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3301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / All who disagree categorized as having a mental disorder on: August 30, 2010, 02:55:02 PM
 I caught the tailend of a caller speaking of "Ameraphobia" while listening to one of the great talk show hosts - Bob Grant.  The left's propensity to attempt to label all opposition as a phobia - some sort of mental disorder.  You know "homphobia", "Islamaphobia".  So they should be called Ameriphobics because of their hatred for this country.

****The last refuge of a liberal

By Charles Krauthammer | Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the "bitter" people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging "to guns or religion or" -- this part is less remembered -- "antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

That's a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card. When the Tea Party arose, a spontaneous, leaderless and perfectly natural (and traditionally American) reaction to the vast expansion of government intrinsic to the president's proudly proclaimed transformational agenda, the liberal commentariat cast it as a mob of angry white yahoos disguising their antipathy to a black president by cleverly speaking in economic terms.

Then came Arizona and S.B. 1070. It seems impossible for the left to believe that people of good will could hold that: (a) illegal immigration should be illegal, (b) the federal government should not hold border enforcement hostage to comprehensive reform, i.e., amnesty, (c) every country has the right to determine the composition of its immigrant population.

As for Proposition 8, is it so hard to see why people might believe that a single judge overturning the will of 7 million voters is an affront to democracy? And that seeing merit in retaining the structure of the most ancient and fundamental of all social institutions is something other than an alleged hatred of gays -- particularly since the opposite-gender requirement has characterized virtually every society in all the millennia until just a few years ago?

And now the mosque near Ground Zero. The intelligentsia is near unanimous that the only possible grounds for opposition is bigotry toward Muslims. This smug attribution of bigotry to two-thirds of the population hinges on the insistence on a complete lack of connection between Islam and radical Islam, a proposition that dovetails perfectly with the Obama administration's pretense that we are at war with nothing more than "violent extremists" of inscrutable motive and indiscernible belief. Those who reject this as both ridiculous and politically correct (an admitted redundancy) are declared Islamophobes, the ad hominem du jour.

It is a measure of the corruption of liberal thought and the collapse of its self-confidence that, finding itself so widely repudiated, it resorts reflexively to the cheapest race-baiting (in a colorful variety of forms). Indeed, how can one reason with a nation of pitchfork-wielding mobs brimming with "antipathy toward people who aren't like them" -- blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims -- a nation that is, as Michelle Obama once put it succinctly, "just downright mean"?

The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.****
3302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: August 30, 2010, 02:31:22 PM
"Both are attractive women saying they are conservative.  Problem for one is that in her first vote she would choose Nancy Pelosi for Speaker"

Gives new meaning to beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside.
3303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 30, 2010, 12:29:41 PM


*EXACTLY* wink
Every single one points out: "overwhelmingly white crowd"

The talking point is obvious.

Well everyone should note/point out that Sharpton's rally was overwhelmingly Black.  How about that for implying racism!

Why is it we only see mostly Black people at his rallies??
3304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: August 30, 2010, 11:20:16 AM
The Republicans seem to have a lock on good looking politicians - at least females!

If looks could kill - Kagan, Sotomeyor, Clinton, Michelle, Pelosi we would all be dead by now.
3305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beck - wow! on: August 29, 2010, 11:06:56 AM
Perhaps you saw Sharpton on Geraldo this weekend.  Geraldo stated that he generally does not agree with Beck but graciously admitted his rally was great, his presentation, his message was "flawlessly" delivered. 

Sharpton was literally pissed at this complimentary tone and that he had nothing he could extract out of the events or speeches  of the day to use as fodder to criticize Beck.

All he could do was state the Beck we saw today was not the one who we saw earlier and use previous comments from Beck as a line of attack.  Like you know, "Obama is a racist".  (Like he is not, of course he is).

So Rev Al argues Beck does not advance civil rights when Glenn promotes the concepts of equal opportunity and freedom for *all*.  That Beck has no right to promote MLK as one of the many in the Civil Rights movement who helped make sure Blacks have the same freedoms whites do and that that is worthy of all our respect, admiration, and honor.

Frankly, Sharpton as well as the rest of these self proclaimed leaders of civil rights have made their intent clear.  It is not about freedom and opportunity for minorities.  It is not enough for conservatives to have this to offer.   We keep hearing Black Democrats asking what does the GOP have to offer Blacks?  Their point is they want special reparations.  They will use past injustices forever as a tool to extract more concessions from Whites. They appear to never be able to admit that the nanny state has arguably made the condition of minorities worse - not better off.  They want more and they want it now. 

I guess these self proclaimed leaders also don't want to lose the privileges that afford them with celebritism, wealth, power.  Why these guys have all become rich with this stuff!

But lets forget them!  They are smaller than they think.  The important question is can the GOP, Tea Party, Beck, et al. actually convince minorities that by joining their side they will be better off as will all of Americans???

The answer is maybe.  And this possibility is what the Dem Blacks who have co-opted leadership power as the spokespeople for their group fear the most.

I can't say I am not impressed with Beck's achievement so far.  I am also surprised.  I still find him in some way a bit creepy and goofy.  But I won't deny he may very well be a political force to recken with.  And thank God we have a new voice to bring back the pride to all Americans rather than a President who angrily and arrogantly insists on demeaning this country.

My hats off to Beck.  Maybe one answer to being hip and cool like the ONE is to be a bit goofy.  And down to Earth.

Does anyone think TIME magazine will place Beck on the cover with admiriation like they did with Sharpton recently? wink
3306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 27, 2010, 10:20:04 AM
Good article from Mort Zuckerman.  I don't know how to link here.

The debt is unsustainable, and the spending from the most fiscally irresponsible administration in history appears to be a woeful failure.

We need a GOP *LEADER* who will lay an honest proposal on the table.  Cutting taxes sounds nice but a lie if anyone thinks this alone is the answer.

We need to raise retirement age.  We need to cut the dole.  And yes wealthy people are going to have to pay more.  I will not accept that wealth is continuously concentrated at the top more and more and that is good for this country.

I propose we streamline the tax code.  Everyone pays a percentage including those above poverty and those at the top.  Get rid of deductions.

Even charity.   I do agree with reducing business taxes to stimulate.  But not personal.  Not at the very top.  When a very small percentage of people control the vast majority of wealth something is wrong.

We can't have the lower classes suffer alone and keep bailing out the rich.

I understand supply side theory but there has to be some compromise or middle way with this.
3307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / John Rich - not looking out for you. on: August 25, 2010, 11:50:28 AM
This AM John Rich was on TV saying he has so many songs that he doesn't know what to do with them all.  They will never get to radio so if anyone wants them for "free" one can go to his website.  I don't know what songs he is talking about but Gretchen Wilson another alleged liar stated he had hundreds of songs.

There is something totoally dishonest about his claim this AM.

Folks, take it from me.  This guy I alledge is a gigantic crook.  He does not have the evidence from Katherine to do the songs (if they are hers).  Or, he cannot come up with the melodies.  I hope they aren't Katherine's.  I hope for his reputation they are not.

This guy wound never give away songs.  It is ludicrous to think he would give them away.  I would NOT/NEVER go this site.  YOu risk getting viruses from him or he and  the criminals who do the actual stealing will find out who you are.  This would be one way to search and find people who do write so they can see if they are any good and then rip them off.

All these music lyrics contests are offered for the same purpose. Give me a break.  There are so many dozens and dozens of these singer/songwriter geniuses they are suddenly quiet and without content?  Suddenly they are holding song writing contests?

Folks never believe any of these hucksters that they are "giving" away anything to you.  It is just the opposite.
3308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 25, 2010, 11:39:58 AM
"a return to work a couple of times before signing off as ready and forcing the issue........   At least that way you are caring while at the same time minimizing the abuse?"

Often I try to do this.  Yet if I sign off on the bottom line often there is not other oversight.  Some companies or gov. agencies seem to have a policy of "whatever the doctor" will say although others tend to say enough is enough.  Occasionally some have bosses who will simply tell the person to get their ass back to work.  Occasionally I even see this go the other way where I think the patient could use more time to rest an injured back or limb.  It certainly is different when I person gets paid for sick or disability time or not.  They usually get better far faster when they are losing pay.

It is harder (for me) to tell a person I really suspect they are full of crap which if I refuse signing their papers is really what I am doing.  I can often sense in the office what the deal is but then again I am not really following the patient around to see if they can or cannot do what they claim.  It is not always what it appears.  So if I accuse someone and am wrong, or based on my opinion I am thought be unfair.....

There was a story in Florida wherein a neurosurgeon was successfully sued for 2 million by some guy who claimed he was permanently disabled from the waist down.  The neurosurgeon knew it was phoney and at his own expense hired a PI to follow the patient around.  The pt. was caught on camera running to a hotel in the Keys carrying multiple heavy suitcases at the same time up the stairs shortly after receiving his money.  According to the newspapers this guy was sentenced to jail time.

This kind of justice is rare.  It took a doctor with the funds to hire his own person to go after this.
3309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: August 25, 2010, 11:28:59 AM
Laura Ingram said it best last night while subbing for Hannity.

"Tolerance only works one way with the Muslims."

The USA must tolerate them. Not the other way around.

Hence we have a woman suing Disney because of their dress code claiming it discriminates against her religious rights.

Our enemies have learned well how to beat this country and make us look like fools.
3310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 25, 2010, 11:19:14 AM
There was an article in Journal of American Medical Assoc. which I receive for free thus I cannot copy it here.

The author stated it like this:
There are 3 choices:
1- We can have a doctor and their patient decide what care to give/receive.
2- We can take a government nanny approach like taxing fatty foods, tax breaks for excercise, regulate towards healthier foods, regualte cigarettes, alcohol as we etc.
Or the author's preferred approach;
3- Redistribute wealth and ration care.

We know which one is Obamacare.

3311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 24, 2010, 12:08:39 PM
I have frequently people coming to me for temporary disability.  Not always but most of the time they will (if covered) drag out thier time off and complain that it is justified due to some medical problem.  Usually it is obvious when they are soaking the "system" whether it be public or private for as much as possible.  I admit, that I and other doctors have a very hard time saying no.  When one is trying to be a good caring physician who wants to maintain a good relationship with a patient it is (for me at least) very hard to tell this patient they are full of it and they should get their behind back to work - even when I know this to be true.

Probably half of *all* disability is exaggerated and is abuse of the system.

I get angry myself when pts. come in making exxagerated claims but it isn't easy playing sole arbitar, judge and jury in deciding whether to give or not give medical excuses.

That is why many companies have arrangements with their own workers comp doctors who are less concerned about pissing off a person when they tell them they can go back to work.

I had one patient who is on permanent Federal disability for stress, anxiety.  He came in for a renewal of his disability papers and I simpoly looked him straight in the eye and said, " you really can't work because you are stressed out?"  His repsonse, "absolutely".  So I filled out the form with this information exactly as it was and that is that.  He gets it. 

I tell him everyone is stressed out.  Who isn't?  He didn't blink one time when I asked him.  He couldn't care less.

I don't know.  What would you do? 
3312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 23, 2010, 02:07:26 PM
Geraldo had a segment about Bama losing Jewish support, now "below 50%".  Jews calling themselves Republican I think he stated 33%!!

I cannot dream that most liberal Jews will vote can though.

They will stand by their man as long as they can.  If it looks bad for 2012 they will flock to the only other choice - Hillary.

I guarantee the reason we are starting to hear more about the greatness of the Hill in the news recently is partly from Jews who are abandoning the ONE.

For Israel, wipe out Iran if possible SOON or destroy all their military as best as can now and hope this will knock sense about regime change or put off the inevitable.

Or plan to move all Jews out of the country again and be driven off peacefully.  Or wait to die.

That is the choice given by Iran.

Great huh?
3313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 01:59:28 PM

I didn't think you meant to offend.
I hope police officers are not offended either by me or others who post their thoughts.

No one wants their livlihood questioned.

A good case could be made that doctors are breaking the bank more then police.
3314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mitch Daniels for GOP for 2012 on: August 23, 2010, 11:26:13 AM
The "Economist" wondering out loud if this guy would be a good candidate for GOP in 12?  I know absolutely nothing about him so I have no opinion.  I can't say I am knocked off my chair based on this article.  As a cynic I would wonder if that is why the Economist is suggesting this guy.

***Mitch Daniels
The right stuff
Indiana's governor is a likeable wonk. Can he save the Republicans from themselves and provide a pragmatic alternative to Barack Obama?
Aug 19th 2010 | Clay County

THE governor does not like to keep people waiting. On a recent morning this small man leapt out of a trooper’s Toyota (Indiana-made) while it was still moving. He burst into a tiny chamber of commerce and began joking with businessmen, teachers and farmers. He is comfortable with most people in most places. He can command a boardroom. He has moseyed through enough fairs to know how to sign a goat—on its left side, so as not to write against the grain of its coat. After some small talk with the chamber, he introduced himself formally: “Mitch Daniels, your employee in public service.”

Most Americans know little or nothing of Mr Daniels. He does not tweet. “I’m not an interesting enough person,” he explains. He is a Republican who had never heard of 9/12, Glenn Beck’s tea-party group, before The Economist mentioned it to him. But he is good at one thing in particular: governing.

Wonks have long revered Mr Daniels. Since February, when he said he would consider a presidential run, others have started to as well. The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, published a glowing profile in June. At Indiana’s Republican convention he was greeted by chants of “Run, Mitch, run!” Mr Daniels is an interesting model. But whether national Republicans will embrace him is less clear.

“I never expected to go into politics,” he explains. Born in Pennsylvania and weaned in the South, he moved to Indiana at the age of ten before a scholarship took him off to Princeton. Over the years he has worked for Richard Lugar, Indiana’s respected and moderate senior senator, served as Ronald Reagan’s budget director, run North American operations for Eli Lilly, a big pharmaceuticals firm, and, from 2001 to 2003, served as George Bush’s budget director. To these jobs he brought a decidedly dorky passion: a reverence for restraint and efficacy. This pervades his life. At 61, he runs or swims almost every day. He subsists, it seems, largely on oatmeal. On a recent shopping trip his credit card was declined for “unusual activity”. He is, in short, just the kind of man to relish fixing a broken state—or country.

In 2003 Mr Daniels announced that he would run for governor. Democrats knew he was intelligent. To their horror, he turned out to be likeable too. Sarah Palin is strident and Mitt Romney disconcertingly perfect. Mr Daniels is at ease, an unusual politician who does not seem like one. He criss-crossed the state in an RV decorated with his slogan, “My Man Mitch”, and soon covered with signatures. He ate pork and watched baseball in the shadow of Gary’s steel mills. He stayed in private homes, first to save money on hotels, then because he liked it and his hosts seemed to as well. (He continues this even now, sleeping in children’s rooms, cramped Latino households and even more crowded Amish ones, often riding between them on his beloved Harley.) In November 2004 he won, by 53% to 45%.

Mr Daniels oozed with ideas. He introduced merit pay for public workers and performance metrics for state agencies. Indiana’s counties skittered illogically between two time zones, so he reset the state’s clocks. A toll road was losing money, so he oversaw a $3.85 billion lease to foreign investors. He was not dogmatic. In his first year he proposed a tax increase. He shrank the state workforce but increased the number of case workers for children. He passed a health plan that included private accounts for the poor.

Not everything went smoothly. The road lease and time change were, at first, enormously unpopular. He privatised the state’s welfare system, an unqualified disaster—eventually he cancelled the contract. But by the end of his first term he had transformed a $200m deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus and the state had earned its first AAA credit rating.

It helped that Indiana was faring better than its rusty neighbours. Manufacturing output grew by 20% between 1998 and 2008. Michigan’s slumped by 12% during the same time. The number of bioscience jobs, still small, grew 17.2% from 2001 to 2008. Mr Daniels tried to help, keeping taxes low and investing in infrastructure before it was hip. When the recession began, Indiana’s unemployment rate was lower than the national average.

By 2008 all this had culminated in a simple reality: Indiana liked its man Mitch. Barack Obama won the state, but Mr Daniels trounced his Democratic opponent, 58% to 40%. Some of this was luck. The opponent was lacklustre; the recession had yet to do its worst. But his victory was still notable. He won the young by 51% to 42%, and even picked up 20% of black and 37% of Hispanic voters.

Such numbers should make strategists swoon. Mr Daniels used to deny any presidential aspirations. Then Newt Gingrich shared a secret: if you say you might run, people will listen to your ideas. Mr Daniels has plenty. He calls the health-care bill “a wasted opportunity”, blaming both Democrats and Republicans. He is deeply worried about debt—he wants to raise the retirement age and stop sending Social Security cheques to the rich. He wonders whether America can afford all its military commitments, particularly those only loosely tied to fighting terrorism.

He has begun to share such opinions in Washington and on Fox News. In recent months Republican kingmakers have quietly descended on Indianapolis for private dinners. Nevertheless, he remains a long shot. Unlike Mr Romney or Mrs Palin, he is still running a state. The recession knocked Indiana backwards. Last year Mr Daniels closed a $957m budget gap by using reserves and making cuts, including some for education. But another hole is expected next year, and the next round of cuts will be more painful. Democrats argue that Mr Daniels has oversold his economic record. The unemployment rate is now 10% and the unemployment trust fund is insolvent.

Added to this, Mr Daniels is largely untested on the national stage. On television, he can seem wooden. His record includes contradictions. Though he has been a fiscal hawk in Indiana, during his time at the budget office a national surplus became a deficit. He has derided the federal stimulus but taken its cash—a sign of pragmatism or hypocrisy, depending on the audience.

More problematic, it is unclear that a clever, measured candidate stands a chance within the Republican Party. Neo-cons are allergic to talk of defence cuts. Social conservatives were rabid after Mr Daniels, anti-abortion himself, told the Weekly Standard that he favoured a temporary truce on social issues. “It just happens to be what I think,” he says, arguing that politicians need to unite on urgent matters of national security and debt. He is also unlikely to fire up tea-partiers. “Didn’t somebody say in a different context, ‘Anger is not a strategy’?” he asked your correspondent over a rare plate of steak and chips.

Mr Daniels still insists he is unlikely to run for president. But he has a familiar post-partisan sheen, not unlike a certain former senator—though he is more conservative, shorter and much balder. He likes to talk about a “programme of unusual boldness” that unites the parties and sets America back on track. “Supposedly we are not capable of making decisions like this,” Mr Daniels said, grinning as he smacked a stubborn bottle of ketchup. “But somebody has got to try.”***
3315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 10:30:58 AM
This was unfair to Doug IMO.

  Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process
« Reply #177 on: August 21, 2010, 05:02:09 PM » 

A very well seasoned NYPD friend responded to me thusly-- in unvarnished cop candor.  With his permission I post here:


I don't like to discuss the job on public forums, but in a private correspondence I will tell you that macdoug or whatever his name is does not know what he's talking about.

"What that Doug posted is untrue other than we hear from police officer who is offended from a taxpayer who is questioning the process of their pay?"

If you're kid is sick u want the best dr money can buy. Not someone making minimum wage. So way should it be any different with someone who protects your life, or has the ability to take your life. The first 5 years I was on the job I would put my life on the line, then come home and decide what bill I was going to skip.

"I don't see police officers in my area making minimum wage.  Indeed hundreds applying for a few spots in a very samll local town *before the financial meltdown" sounds like they are hardly applying for min. wage jobs." 

Bottom line you can't compare this to civillian work. Overtime usually means putting it on the line fighting with crackheads to make an arrest.   If you get it u earned it. Second, most jobs if you make a mistake you might get fired. Here a mistake could mean death or prison.

"I am sure there is some of this particularly in urban areas but most overtime I see is for traffic control.  Police officers are not dying in the streets." 

When I first came on, people in the private sector would make fun of you. Now they're jealous because they feel we have job security. Trust me, we don't. 

Anyway people like this make me laugh. Thanks for the info.

"I have to say this sounds arrogant".  Unlike GM or BBG here who are being reasonable.

People question and don't pay my bills frequently.  I have to repsond not just get haughty.

I want civil servants to be paid fair.  But retiring in 20 years makes no sense.  How about they do white collar crime after twenty years?  Little in this country is doen about that?

If anyone wants to get annoyed with doctors I can take it.  I agree most of us are not saints.
3316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 12:45:01 PM
I don't know how accurate this is.  Iselin and Newark NJ seem to be at similar rates.  I guess if one wants to be a police officer go for State Policeman, or work in NJ or LA.   I have had patients applying for jobs with local police force.  They tell me 200 applicants for one or two spaces.  It ain't too bad in Jersey is all I can say.
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3317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 12:40:50 PM
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The current starting salary for a trooper is $58,748.29 (including uniform allowance). The second-year total compensation jumps to $65,662.39. Top pay for a Trooper I is $97,188.48. Troopers receive yearly increments. All recruits receive $777.78 every two weeks, plus overtime pay. Room and board are also provided while training.

Work Schedule
Troopers typically work a 40-hour week on a variety of schedules. Overtime is voluntary, except in unusual circumstances, and is rewarded with premium pay or compensation time.

Holidays, Vacation and Sick Leave
There are 13 paid holidays a year.
Troopers are allotted one vacation day per month in the first year of service, as well as three personal days per year. The initial vacation allotment of 12 days increases after a trooper has been on the job for five years and increases at regular intervals after that.
Sick leave is allotted.
Health Benefits
Members of the State Police and their families are offered two options for medical coverage, two options for dental coverage, a prescription drug plan and a vision care program.

The two options for medical coverage are:

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) - The HMO plan allows you to choose a plan from among several different HMOs, allows you to choose a primary care provider from a list of participating HMO physicians, requires no deductibles or claim forms, and only a possible co-payment for services. Coverage is not usually provided if you go outside the HMO for services.
NJ Plus (Preferred Provider Organization) - Combining features from the traditional and HMO systems, this plan allows you to choose from a network of physicians, usually covers 100 percent of services in network, and usually requires a $10 co-payment for services. In addition, with a yearly deductible, this plan allows you to use the medical service providers of your choice and covers 70 percent of the payment for their services.
Dental Coverage
For an optional biweekly payroll deduction, troopers may choose a "traditional" plan or a plan offered through an HMO system.

Prescription Plan
Under the plan offered to troopers (and their spouses and children), virtually all prescription drugs require only a co-payment of $10. Generic drugs require a co-payment of only $3.

Vision Care Program
The program provides for a partial reimbursement for the cost of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and the cost of the eye examinations.

Leave of Absence
Leaves of absence are available for such reasons as: pregnancy, child care, education, family leave or military service. These leaves are usually for not more than a year and must be approved.

Deferred Compensation Plans
Members are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation plan or supplemental annuity collective trust plan in order to supplement retirement income.

Life Insurance
Enlisted members are covered by a group Life Insurance Policy that provides 3 1/2 times their final average salaries in a lump sum to beneficiaries.

Retirement Package
The State Police Retirement System is overseen by a Board of Trustees which includes two members of the State Police. When a trooper retires, he or she can take advantage of a comprehensive retirement plan. The plan offers a wide variety of benefits, depending on years of service.

Mandatory Retirement
Everyone in the State Police must retire by age 55 except the Superintendent.


Enrollment in the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) is a condition of employment. Your employee contribution will be 7 1/2 percent of your annual salary. (Note: You will not pay pension contributions on your maintenance allowance, but it will count towards your final compensation for pension purposes.)
Service Retirement: After 20 years of service as a New Jersey State Trooper, you are eligible to receive a pension, regardless of age, consisting of 50% of your final compensation.
Special Retirement: After 25 years of service as a New Jersey State Trooper, you are eligible to receive a pension, regardless of age, consisting of 65% of your final compensation plus 1% for each year above 25 years. The maximum benefit that you can receive under a special retirement is 70% of your final compensation.
Deferred Retirement: Troopers who serve for 10 years and then terminate their employment before qualifying for a service retirement are vested and thereby eligible for a pension benefit at age 55. The benefit is 2% of final compensation for each year of SPRS service.
Optional Purchase of Former Membership: You can purchase former membership from a New Jersey State administered pension plan (e.g. PERS, TPAF, PFRS) that could increase your retirement benefit. This service cannot be used to qualify for a Special or Service Retirement. However, it can be used to compute your retirement allowance on the basis of 1% of final compensation for each year of such service credit.
State Paid Health Benefits

Troopers who attain 25 years of service in the SPRS are entitled to State paid health benefits in retirement according to the terms of the bargaining agreement in effect at the time they reach 25 years of service. The current agreement covering State Troopers does not require any cost sharing by the Troopers.
Troopers who do not attain 25 years of service in the SPRS before they retire or terminate employment may qualify for State paid health benefits in retirement if they have purchased former membership for a New Jersey State administered pension plan. The former membership purchased and the SPRS time must add up to 25 or more years to qualify.
Troopers who do not obtain a total of 25 years of state service will be afforded continuous State health benefits covered at a group rate.
Pension Benefits and Disability
If a trooper retires because of a job-related accidental disability, he or she receives a pension equal to two-thirds of his or her final compensation. If a trooper retires as a result of a non-job-related disability, he or she is eligible for a pension of no less than 40 percent of his or her final compensation.

Information or questions regarding your eligibility for any retirement benefit should be directed to the Division of State Police, Human Resource Management Bureau, Debra Hanko at (609) 882-2000 ext. 2623, email: or Fred Warner at (609) 882-2000 ext. 2621, email:
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3318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 09:42:08 AM
How many in this country pay no income taxes?

So Cost of government day which is somewhat buried in our withholdings keeps getting later and later.  I think I can recall when it was March, then April then May.
Now August.

OF course one can get a government job and if one lives to say 85 they can get salary (or pension) for say 60 years but only have to work for 20 of them.

Like JDN pointed out, who in the private sector (except for CEO's and CFO's and their close buddies) get this?

I don't recall ever being asked for my opinion (AS A TAXPAYER) about what would be fair for a person whose salary is paid by taxes before this was granted to gov. empolyees at any level.

I always felt that nurses, teachers, police were underpaid but this is not what I had in mind.  I respect and appreciate all they do but with the country literally going broke we can't keep this up.

I had a union trade employee tell me he makes 48 an hour here in NJ.
He said he went to Florida to meet with people in his trade.  When they, who receive 16 or 17 an hour saw what he makes they got enraged and asked him to leave.

The power of unions.  The power of unions in NJ.  I don't know what he should make.  I don't want to make that call anymore than I want anyone telling me as a doctor what I should be making.  This came from someone in his field from a different state.

The unions ALWAYS (as far as I know ) support Dems.  Dems get loads of money for campaigns and we all know return the favors in ways I doubt we can even dream about.  I wonder how so many local politicains in NJ live like royalty. So many are rich.  Some even say that is why they go into politics.

GM noted that police officers in rural areas receive far less compensation than those in urban areas.  I wonder how much is due to unionization.

3319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: August 20, 2010, 04:18:45 PM
"President Barack Obama's top adviser on nuclear issues, Gary Samore, told The New York Times that he thinks it would take Iran "roughly a year" to turn low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material. The assessment was reportedly shared with Israel and could ease concerns over the possibility of an imminent Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities"

Well this certainly does not address John Bolten's concern about once the reactor is working, then to bomb it would result in release to atmosphere of radiation increasing collateral damage and making it even harder to justify bombing.

In truth the only answer for Israel is to use nucs and wipe out Iran period.  Crazy?  Yes and No. 

Otherwise they will always just be delaying the inevitable or some sort of retaliation.

3320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 20, 2010, 12:07:51 PM
BO ws certainly born a Muslim.  I guess his middle name is Hussain because he is a closet Jew.

In any case I have never heard him as passionate about any issue as he was when he gave the speech to Muslims at the Ramadan dinner a week ago defending the rights of Muslims to build their mosque at ground zero.

I have never heard him as passionate about Israel's right to exist - ever.  I have never heard him so passionate about Christianity.  Indeed Beck was reading excerpts from his diary on radio this AM wherein he professes to be less of a Christain and more of something else though the explanation as to what that is was unclear; obviously in a political attempt to try to appeal to everyone and not to be honest about what he believes or who he is.

3321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 18, 2010, 07:32:17 PM
My dentist is Chinese!

"spent an hour+ telling
me about how great America is..."

I would rather he be President.  Unlike the one we have now he at least appreciates this country.

JDN, let me know when you get carpal tunnel surgery.  Then I can post my opnions to you and you won't be able to post back.   grin
3322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / good stuff, thanks on: August 18, 2010, 07:26:49 PM

3323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 17, 2010, 01:26:52 PM
The idea that some police are eligible for food stamps is nothing short of shameful.

Isn't this also true of some military personel?
3324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: August 17, 2010, 01:01:04 PM
Bolton's opinion made front of Drudge today.  We all remember Amhadinajad saying how Israel's time is coming to an end. 

I would like to hear Bamster's response,

and not BS like, "let me be clear", or "top priority".

To all my fellow liberal Jews who support Bamster,

"you may get what you asked for".  Fools.

I can only hope Bolton is wrong, not privey to more information, there will be a strike, or a miracle like a regime change.

3325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: August 16, 2010, 06:00:23 PM
How do you know all these quotes?
3326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 05:58:30 PM

I agree with you.  While I really don't want to dissect another person's income salary benefits there is another side to the story when public employees are allowed to have unions that negotiate not with taxpayers directly but some sort of small group of representatives of those payers such as councilmen, school boards or state elected officials and the real payers have little say in the process.  Of course taxpayers might be able to be more involved by going to meetings, newspaper editorials, or perhpas by speeches from local politicians.  Indeed I am totally ignorant (my fault) about local politics.  I am ignorant how and who sets pay and benefits for essentially all public officials.

It is easier for some officials to give in to pressure when it is public and not their personal monies involved I would guess.  Then there is the old "if you scratch my back I will scrach yours" that is rapant in local politics.
3327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 02:33:34 PM
Our country may have a problem when we see that government jobs are becoming more attractive than private sector.  This serves to increase the power and limitlessness of government.

I certainly don't want my policemen to be pissed off or feel cheated anymore than I want to go to a doctor  who would feel the same way.

Why are there not more detectives?  There are certainly huge amounts of crime out there that goes unattended to.  At least if we are paying people to they die why cannot they do some work investigating crime till say 60 or 65?


3328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bolten's opinion on: August 16, 2010, 11:48:47 AM
Window to bomb Iran is nearly closed.  Once the Iranians start the  nuclear power plant they could get 50 bombs. Bombing after the plant is up and running would result in radiation leakage all over the place and an even greater PR and collateral damage disaster.  Ballgame is almost over if he is right. Iran went nuc and we did nothing.  We are weak and our enemies know it. cry

****War in the Mideast? Israel may be forced to strike Iran
By DonPublished: August 14, 2010
Posted in: Iran, Nuclear Weapons
Tags: Iran, Israel, Nuclear Weapons

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolten told Fox News on Friday that Russia will be loading Iran’s Bushehr reactor with nuclear fuel rods on August 21st. This makes the window of opportunity for a military strike on that facility very narrow, for if attacked after the fuel rods are loaded, then radiation could spread in the air and into the Persian Gulf.

News that Russia will load nuclear fuel rods into an Iranian reactor has touched off a countdown to a point of no return, a deadline by which Israel would have to launch an attack on Iran’s Bushehr reactor before it becomes effectively “immune” to any assault, says former Bush administration U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton.

Once the fuel rods are loaded, Bolton told Fox News on Friday afternoon, “it makes it essentially immune from attack by Israel. Because once the rods are in the reactor an attack on the reactor risks spreading radiation in the air, and perhaps into the water of the Persian Gulf.”

In March of this year, Russian President, Vladmir Putin announced that Russia would be fueling the Bushehr facility this summer. Understandably, this was big news in Israel, but the MSM in America predictably shied away from the story.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared in March that Russia would start the Bushehr reactor this summer. But the announcement from a spokesman for Russia’s state atomic agency to Reuters Friday sent international diplomats scrambling to head off a crisis.

The story immediately became front-page news in Israel, which has laid precise plans to carry out an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities while going along with President Obama’s plans to use international sanctions and diplomatic persuasion to convince Iran’s clerics not to go nuclear.

But as I said, the Israelis will have to take action before the facility is fueled.

Bolton made it clear that it is widely assumed that any Israeli attack on the Bushehr reactor must take place before the reactor is loaded with fuel rods.

“If they’re going to do it that’s the window that they have,” Bolton declared. “Otherwise as I said before, once the rods are in the reactor, if you attack the reactor you’re going to open it up and radiation will escape at least into the atmosphere and possibly into the waters of the Persian Gulf.

“So most people think that neither Israel nor the United States, come to that, would attack the reactor after it’s been fueled.”

Bolton cited the 1981 Israeli attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor outside Baghdad and the September 2007 Israeli attack on a North Korean reactor being built in Syria. Both of those strikes came before fuel rods were loaded into those reactors.

“So if it’s going to happen in Bushehr it has to happen before the fuel rods go in,” Bolton said.

Even though the Iranians claim that Bushehr will be a nuclear energy facility, once it is operational, it will have the ability to produce the materials needed for nuclear weapons.

According to Bolton, once the reactor is operational, it is only a matter of time before it begins producing plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon.

“And in the normal operation of this reactor, in just a fairly short period of time, you could get substantial amounts of plutonium to use as nuclear weapons,” Bolton told Fox.

The Obama administration has been trying to use diplomacy and sanctions to keep the Iranians from going nuclear. This means that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s back is against the wall on this one. As John Bolten points out:

Russia, which is operating under a $1 billion contract with Iran, has spent more than a decade building the reactor. If Russia moves forward with its plan to fuel the reactor, it could be seen as a major setback to the Obama administration’s strategy of engaging Russian leaders in order to win their cooperation.

“The U.S. urged them not to send the Iranian’s fuel rods,” Bolton said. “They did that. The Obama administration has urged them not to insert the fuel rods in the reactors, but as they’ve just announced that will begin next week. What that does over time is help Iran get another route to nuclear weapons through the plutonium they could reprocess out of the spent fuel rods.”

The developments mean Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon may face a stark choice: Attack the Bushehr reactor in the next 8 days, or allow it to become operational despite the certainty it would greatly enhance Iran’s ability to create nuclear weapons.

This has been going on for the last decade, in fact in the Bush years no harsh steps were taken either in the mistaken idea that Iran should be allowed to have nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The flaw in this theory is that Iran will not hesitate to use such “peaceful” nuclear energy to produce the materials for atomic weapons.

Bolton said the reactor has been “a hole” in American foreign policy for over a decade.

The failure to demand it be shut down began in the Bush years, he said, and continues with the Obama administration “under what I believe is the mistaken theory that Iran is entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

“I don’t think Iran is entitled to that, or I don’t think we ought to allow it to happen, because they’re manifestly violating any number of obligations under the non-proliferation treaty not to seek nuclear weapons. But this has been a hole in American policy for some number of years, and Iran and Russia are obviously exploiting it,” Bolton said.

Russia’s move would put Iran “in a much better position overall,” he said, adding, “I think this is a very delicate point, as I say, it closes off to the Israelis one possible target for pre-emptive military action.

U.N. sanctions against Iran, he said, “have not had and will not have any material effect on Iran’s push to have deliverable nuclear weapons.”

In this humble contributor’s opinion, the time for half hearted sanctions and toothless diplomacy are over. The only thing that Iran will respect is strength and unfortunately this administration is not up to the task of showing any strength anytime soon.****
3329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 11:03:03 AM
So are you saying we need to continue the pensions or else no one will become a police officer or firefighter?

Perhaps you are correct. I don't know. undecided
3330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: August 16, 2010, 10:53:17 AM
"Not just Bush, but the R. congress of that time needs to be answered."

What is interesting is that I read that one of the architects of W was Rove and that he is behind the scenes making a comeback if you will and is gaining inside power in the party.  OR he never lost it.

I don't know what to make of this.  If we say that compassionate conservatism does not work and is no more than conservatives trying to keep up with Dems in spending taxpayer money and competing with them to buy votes than, if it true, that Rove is consolidating his political behind the scenes power in the party, than what does that mean for the future of the party?

By the way, I predict we will have a Black Republican candidate for President in 2016.
3331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 16, 2010, 10:47:30 AM
Perhaps all these priorities can thus be summarized as:

to redistribute wealth around the world and in his mind settle old scores.

International Marxism, one world government etc.
3332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 10:02:18 AM
"police firefighters retiring at 50 then getting other jobs for 30 years"

I know there are at least some officers who come to this board.

I would like to clairfy this comment.

I did not post this to disparage them or their service in any way.  But times are changed.  People are living longer.  We cannot afford to have public empolyees retiring sooner than the average employee with pensions that pay out for the term of their life.  There must be a better way to reward them or compensate them that makes more sense.  Perhaps increase their pay by 5 or 10% and have the extra go into a 401K.  Maybe have a 50% employee match or something.  But I am sorry and hope I don't offend anyone here.  Yet when I lived in Florida we would see retired police all the time.  Age 48 or 50.  How would I not resent this.  I never agreed to pay for them to have 40% of their lives paid for through taxation.  Yes they do risk life and limb.  But not that much.  It is rare for police of firefighters to be killed in action.

I cannot make it equivalent that someone who serves in law enforcement or fire protection is the same as those who serve in the military wherein I do want them taken care of for life in return for their service.

Anyone is welcome to respond.  Call me out, cuss me out but please feel free to respond.  I do think many people feel as I do.  I also think many are really afraid to say anthing about this in public.  No one wants police to be mad at them.  Of course this board is public anyway since it goes right to the internet and I know everything I do online is monitored in my unique circumstance.
3333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 14, 2010, 12:42:15 PM

I hear your opinion.  I disagree with most of it.  But that is just my opinion.  I have already posted my thoughts and you posted yours.  And I agree with you that we just need to agree to disagree about what to do about the problem of ilegals.


Getting off the immigration topic but wanting to respond to Doug's thoughts about the "world is a joke" I don't know what to think anymore.  Look at this article below andy not to conclude the world is a joke.  When our own "leaders" are such outlandish thieves, liars, crooks, bullshit artists.  When our own officials who run the country refuse to even level with us and lie and lie.  I don't know what else to conclude about the human race.  And not justur officials but Americans have just as much of the blame.  We want early retirement, someone else to pay for medical care, take care of us when we lose jobs, pay the rents, someone else mpay our mortgage, pay for the food, don't want to work when it is easier to sit at home and collect on someone else's dime, double dip. play the system by robbing medicare, medicaid, disabilities plans, faint injuries, use drugs and allow the Mexicans to die in their streest fighting the narco terror, complain about illegals coming here to work yet we refuse to do it and rather go get a pay check, wealthy fat cats stealing all over in wall street, banks, CEO's, union bosses, politicians stealing lying, physicians some who game the system, lawyers finding any excuse to sue protecting people's legal rights, government emplyees joining unions turning around telling the taxpayers what to do, police firefighters retiring at 50 then getting other jobs for 30 years, Blacks forever blaming race, foreigners coming here illegally then turning around and sticking it is our faces, Muslims building on the site of murder and also sticking it our faces, liberal Jews defending 'them' screaming something about their rights, and on and on and on.  The world and the human race is not a joke?

*** The mystery of Jerry Brown’s pension
August 13th, 2010, 3:00 am · 282 Comments · posted by BRIAN JOSEPH, Sacramento Correspondent
Updated with comment from Brown’s spokesman

As Jerry Brown grabbed the spotlight with his criticism of Bell city officials and their outrageous pensions, The Watchdog got to wondering: How much will the Democrat for Governor make in retirement?

That, as it turns out, is a very difficult question to answer. After more than a month of investigation, the Watchdog can only say for certain that Brown and a handful of other top officials are eligible for generous benefits under a special pension fund so obscure that few people in government know how it works and many thought it had been eliminated 20 years ago by outraged voters.

Under the law, Brown should have accrued, at most, 16 years of service credit in this special fund, known as the Legislators’ Retirement System, or LRS. Actuarial statements produced by LRS, however, indicate that an unnamed person of Brown’s age and earning Brown’s exact salary has been credited with 25 to 29 years of service. The difference would mean tens of thousands of dollars in additional pension payments for Brown each year.

Brown’s campaign staff acknowledge the unnamed person sure looks like the gubernatorial candidate but have been unable to explain the discrepancy over service.

Officials at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages LRS, have similarly refused to cooperate, saying the law forbids them from answering questions about specific individuals. Meanwhile, The Watchdog has sought help from the offices of seven state lawmakers, one constitutional officer and one state department as well three outside pension experts and not one has been able to explain the discrepancy.

It’s a mystery as persistent as LRS itself.


Founded in 1947, LRS was established by the California State Legislature as a special pension system to serve, well, members of the California State Legislature. Later, it was expanded a little to include constitutional officers, like the governor and attorney general, as well as four unelected legislative statutory officers who hold special responsibilities at the State Capitol. At the absolute most, no more than 136 working officials in state government could be members of LRS, which, by the way, offers pension benefits far more generous than what your typical state worker could earn.

For decades, LRS operated in relative anonymity, doling out pension and health benefits to retired lawmakers and other elected state officials, until the late 1980s, when frustration with state government reached a fever pitch in California. Riding a wave of discontent, voters in 1990 approved Proposition 140, a ballot measure which implemented term limits for state officials and eliminated pensions for state lawmakers.

Many thought Prop. 140 meant the end of LRS. Ted Costa, one of the driving forces behind Prop. 140, certainly did when the Watchdog spoke to him recently.

But Prop. 140 didn’t kill LRS, it merely shrunk it. Today, LRS membership is open only to the state’s eight constitutional officers, the four members of the Board of Equalization, the four legislative statutory officers and lawmakers first elected to the Legislature prior to 1990, who are grandfathered in. As of March, only 13 working officials were members of this independent pension system.

For that baker’s dozen, LRS is a good deal.

State Controller John Chiang, for example, currently is eligible for a $67,897 annual pension for a little over 11 years of elected service under LRS. Under the pension plan offered to typical state employees, Chiang would be eligible, at most, for $40,738 annually.

At the same time, LRS is enticing for retired lawmakers. In recent years, Assemblymen Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, and Jim Nielsen, R-Biggs, have come out of retirement to re-join the Legislature. By virtue of having first been elected to the Legislature prior to 1990, both are eligible to earn pension benefits for time in Sacramento while all other lawmakers are not.


But perhaps most eyebrow-raising is the service of a current LRS member identified in actuarial reports only as 65 years or older with 25 to 29 years of service and a salary of $184,301. CalPERS staff won’t talk about specific members, but with so few people in the system you can tell quite a bit from the actuarials.

Only two statewide elected officials have ever had the exact annual salary of $184,301, according to the California Citizens Compensation Commission: Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and Attorney General Jerry Brown.

Brown was born on April 7, 1938 — he’s 72. O’Connell was born on Oct. 8, 1951. He won’t turn 65 until 2016. The person listed in the actuarials appears then to be Brown.

The only problem is Brown should have only 16 years of LRS-eligible service: four years as Secretary of State (1971 to 1974), eight years as Governor (1975 to 1982) and four years as Attorney General (2007 to 2010).

The Watchdog has spent weeks trying to account for the additional time, to no avail. LRS rules don’t allow members to transfer in service credit accrued in other elected offices, so that eliminates Brown’s time as Oakland mayor or as member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. LRS members also can’t purchase “air time,” that is, they can’t add years of service credit by paying a fee, as is allowed in other public pension plans. There goes that option.


So how could Brown have additional time?

CalPERS official refuse to say. Spokespeople Brad Pacheco and Pat Macht have both told the Watchdog that even though CalPERS knows the answer, they are prohibited under the law from sharing it with the public.

“I am very sorry CalPERS staff can’t be more helpful, we have gone as far as we can go within the law,” Macht wrote in an email this week.

Brown’s campaign, for its part, says that the attorney general shouldn’t have more than 16 years of service in LRS. The Watchdog first asked the campaign about the discrepancy 3 1/2 weeks ago and while staff there have been polite, they haven’t gotten to the bottom of it nor have staff at the attorney general’s office been able to explain it either.

Campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford did tell the Watchdog that Brown started receiving an annual pension of about $20,000 when he turned 60 in 1998 and pocketed it every year until he assumed the attorney general’s office, when it was suspended. That means Brown’s received a pension on top of his $115,000 salary as Oakland mayor, but it doesn’t explain the discrepancy.

As best as we can tell, Brown would be eligible for an annual LRS pension of $73,720 if he has 16 years of service. If, somehow, he has 25 or more years, it would be $110,580.

We’re going to keep digging. Hopefully, we can get some answers.


Clifford contacted the Watchdog again and had a few more insights. He said that Brown was not a member of any pension system while he served on the community college board, but he did work one year as a clerk at the California Supreme Court, which combined with his time as Oakland mayor would give him nine years in the pension system open to all state workers. He also noted that pensions are calculated based on an employee’s highest salary and because the California Citizens Compensation Commission cut state officials’ pay last year (and very well could keep the pay cut in effect for the coming years), Brown’s pension has likely topped out.

He concluded his brief email with this reminder: “And of course if you are worried about paying out Jerry’s pension, the best thing to do is elect him Governor so he doesn’t collect it.”****

3334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Race in America on: August 13, 2010, 04:47:10 PM
"Meanwhile, Republicans are laughing."

Krauthammer the other night was on cable and noted how brilliant Rangel sounded while in the Congress floor defending himself.  He stood his ground and said ok prove your case against me.  None of this is a 'hanging offense".

So I am asking myself is Krauthammer serious.  I mean Charlie com'on, you can't be serious.  Then it dawned on me he wants to encourage Rangel to keep up the fight.

Please go on make a complete damn fool of yourself.  Not only will he be proven to be a crook, he will be proven to be a sad naricisstic old fool.  And the fall out on the Dems will be an added delight.  Krauthammer is enjoying this.  So am I.  It is about time to get Rangel some justice.
3335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: August 13, 2010, 12:52:32 PM
I remember someone who was not an American citizen once told me (decades ago) "the world is a joke,  Always Remember I tell you this.  The world is a joke".  His context was that it wasn't fair I was an American citizen and he was not.  I had privleges and lived in the greatest country and he did not - only because of a twist of faith.  I was born here he was not.  The longer I live the more I have come to agree he was right.  I always remembered he told me that wondering if one day I would agree with him.  Here from a total creep who I allege sings songs she claims she writes but didn't, whose boyfriend claimed he didn't take steroids but obviously did (Lance Amrstrong) and now she can lecture her green agenda while spewing carbon all over during her worldly travels. 

***Sheryl Crow, The Queen Of GreenSinger’s 2010 rider demands recycled toilet paper, offers promoters “greening” tips
The document, excerpted here, actually has a 2-1/2 page “environmental portion” to be “strictly followed and policed.” Seeking to “minimize the overall environmental impact of our tour,” Crow demands that only biodegradable cups and dinnerware be used by the caterer. Produce should be “organic and purchased from local suppliers as much as possible.” And for the five backstage “watering stations,” water “must be sourced from a local spring water vendor.”

According to Crow’s rider, her tour party travels between gigs in two 45-foot buses, while her equipment is packed into two tractor-trailers.

Crow, 48, also offers promoters “venue greening suggestions.” She wants “traditional light bulbs” swapped out for compact fluorescent bulbs in “all offices, dressing rooms and common areas.” “Eco-friendly cleaning and bathroom products” and “post-consumer recycled toilet paper and paper towel” should also be used. Crow’s rider also notes that, “We strongly encourage you to use renewable sources and/or to buy sustainable energy credits where possible. Many local utilities offer ‘green power’ as an option--please check with yours and opt in.”

The document also details how Crow’s backstage hospitality room is to be stocked. The singer needs an assortment of “biodegradable non-petroleum cups” and 24 “disposable napkins made of 100% recycled fiber.” Crow’s rider also lists a wide variety of drinks and snacks that she needs, including organic coconut water and two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon (“Sheryl’s Favorite” is Stag’s Leap Artemis). Two “good quality, dark, organic chocolate bars” are described as “***VERY IMPORTANT***”

[Our copy of Crow’s 2010 rider has a number of items crossed out. It is unclear whether this indicates that the individual items had been obtained, or whether the promoter declined to supply them.]

As in a prior Crow rider, the current version includes her specific liquor schedule. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, she needs a small bottle of Ketel One vodka that will be mixed with a half-gallon of organic cranberry juice. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, Crow requires a bottle of Patron tequila that will be mixed with a half-gallon of organic grapefruit juice. (6 pages)****

3336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What WE need is a version of Netanyahu on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:51 PM
What America needs is a man like this.  Who can bring pride and strength to America - not shame and weakness.  What a difference!  For Israel I say this brings me only pride and greatfulness there is a real man at their helm.   grin  For America the opposite -  a great deceiver, a huckster of sorts, a lover of himself.  cry angry

From Greorge Will - another great article:

***Israel's anti-Obama

By George Will | JERUSALEM — Two photographs adorn the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Together they illuminate a portentous fact: No two leaders of democracies are less alike — in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies — than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.

One photograph is of Theodor Herzl, born 150 years ago. Dismayed by the eruption of anti-Semitism in France during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century, Herzl became Zionism's founding father. Long before the Holocaust, he concluded that Jews could find safety only in a national homeland.

The other photograph is of Winston Churchill, who considered himself "one of the authors" of Britain's embrace of Zionism. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Beginning in 1923, Britain would govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.

Netanyahu, his focus firmly on Iran, honors Churchill because he did not flinch from facts about gathering storms. Obama returned to the British Embassy in Washington the bust of Churchill that was in the Oval Office when he got there.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, courting the Arab world, may have had measurable benefits, although the metric proving this remains mysterious. The speech — made during a trip when Obama visited Cairo and Riyadh but not here — certainly subtracted from his standing in Israel. In it, he acknowledged Israel as, in part, a response to Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. Then, with what many Israelis considered a deeply offensive exercise of moral equivalence, he said: "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."


  Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

"On the other hand"? "I," says Moshe Yaalon, "was shocked by the Cairo speech," which he thinks proved that "this White House is very different." Yaalon, former head of military intelligence and chief of the general staff, currently strategic affairs minister, tartly asks, "If Palestinians are victims, who are the victimizers?"

The Cairo speech came 10 months after Obama's Berlin speech, in which he declared himself a "citizen of the world." That was an oxymoronic boast, given that citizenship connotes allegiance to a particular polity, its laws and political processes. But the boast resonated in Europe.

The European Union was born from the flight of Europe's elites from what terrifies them — Europeans. The first Thirty Years' War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, which ratified the system of nation-states. The second Thirty Years' War, which ended in 1945, convinced European elites that the continent's nearly fatal disease was nationalism, the cure for which must be the steady attenuation of nationalities. Hence the high value placed on "pooling" sovereignty, never mind the cost in diminished self-government.

Israel, with its deep sense of nationhood, is beyond unintelligible to such Europeans; it is a stench in their nostrils. Transnational progressivism is, as much as welfare state social democracy, an element of European politics that American progressives will emulate as much as American politics will permit. It is perverse that the European Union, a semi-fictional political entity, serves — with the United States, the reliably anti-Israel United Nations and Russia — as part of the "quartet" that supposedly will broker peace in our time between Israel and the Palestinians.

Arguably the most left-wing administration in American history is trying to knead and soften the most right-wing coalition in Israel's history. The former shows no understanding of the latter, which thinks it understands the former all too well.

The prime minister honors Churchill, who spoke of "the confirmed unteachability of mankind." Nevertheless, a display case in Netanyahu's office could teach the Obama administration something about this leader. It contains a small signet stone that was part of a ring found near the Western Wall. It is about 2,800 years old — 200 years younger than Jerusalem's role as the Jewish people's capital. The ring was the seal of a Jewish official, whose name is inscribed on it: Netanyahu.

No one is less a transnational progressive, less a post-nationalist, than Binyamin Netanyahu, whose first name is that of a son of Jacob, who lived perhaps 4,000 years ago. Netanyahu, whom no one ever called cuddly, once said to a U.S. diplomat 10 words that should warn U.S. policymakers who hope to make Netanyahu malleable: "You live in Chevy Chase. Don't play with our future."

3337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 13, 2010, 10:57:02 AM
Alright.  Is the killing suspect who is an "Israeli National" a Jew, a Christain, or a Muslim?

Notice the silence so far.   

To me it makes a difference.  Does he even have ties to Hazballah?

I am looking forward to this information.  I hope he ain't another David Berkowitz.

3338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: August 13, 2010, 10:44:36 AM
This is just corruption plain and simple.  There is just nothing, or no one money can't buy.  Someone at the FHA should go to jail for this nonsense.  Has anyone tried to get a Federal employee fired?   Almost impossible.  Talk about an "club".

****Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Housing Administration is providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Bloomberg's Monica Bertran reports. (Source: Bloomberg)

A one-bedroom apartment is pictured at the 99 John Deco Loft condo building in New York. Photographer: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg
Whitney Gollinger, marketing chief for a Manhattan condo building with an outdoor movie theater and panoramic city views, is highlighting a different amenity to spur sales: the financial backing of the federal government.

The Federal Housing Administration agreed in March to insure mortgages for apartments at the 98-unit Gramercy Park development, known as Tempo. That enables buyers to make a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent in a building where apartments range from $820,000 to $3 million.

“It’s a government seal of approval,” said Gollinger, a director at the Developments Group of New York-based brokerage Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “We need as many sales tools as we can have these days, and it’s one more tool.”

The FHA, created in 1934 to make homeownership attainable for low- to moderate-income Americans, is providing a lifeline to new Manhattan luxury condominiums after sales stalled. Buildings featuring pet spas, concierges and rooftop lounges are applying for agency backing to unlock bank financing for purchasers. The FHA guarantees that if a homebuyer defaults on his mortgage, the agency will pay it.

At least nine Manhattan condo developments south of 96th Street have sought approval for FHA backing since the agency loosened its financing rules in December, according to a database of applications kept by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The change allows the FHA to insure loans in new projects where only 30 percent of units are in contract, down from at least 50 percent. About 1,900 apartments in New York’s most expensive neighborhoods would be covered by the applications.

Filling a Void

The agency also offers insurance to half of all mortgages in a single building after previously setting a limit at 30 percent, according to the new standards, which expire in December. The entire property must be approved for a buyer to get backing. Most of those that applied in Manhattan are buildings converted to condos or built since 2007.

The FHA is filling a void left after mortgage-finance agency Fannie Mae tightened its condo lending standards last year. The Washington-based company won’t back loans made in new buildings where fewer than 51 percent of the units are in contract, sometimes setting a requirement as high as 70 percent.

That in turn makes mortgage lenders hesitant to make loans at developments under those thresholds, said Orest Tomaselli, chief executive officer of White Plains, New York-based National Condo Advisors LLC, which advises condominiums on how to adhere to Fannie Mae and FHA standards.

‘Not an Accident’

“It’s not an accident that the FHA is offering this -- not private lenders,” said Christopher Mayer, senior vice dean at Columbia Business School’s Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate in New York. “An unfilled condominium complex is not the kind of thing that a bank looking to rebuild its balance sheet on real estate is looking to do.”

In New York City, the priciest urban U.S. housing market, the FHA insures loans of as much as $729,750, and permits buyers to borrow up to 96.5 percent of the price.

No buildings in Manhattan applied for FHA recognition between 1998 and 2008 -- though in those years the program didn’t require an entire property be approved and condo buyers could seek FHA-insured loans on their own, Tomaselli said.

New development in Manhattan represented 23 percent of the sales market in the second quarter, compared with 35 percent two years earlier, according to New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. About 8,700 new apartments in the borough were empty as of June, partly because of a lack of available financing for buyers, said Jonathan Miller, president of the firm.

‘Ironic’ Move

“Something has to happen for this product to be marketable,” Miller said. “I just find the whole thing ironic that FHA is providing financing for luxury housing.”

The FHA loosened the condo rules because of “market conditions,” according to Lemar Wooley, an agency spokesman.

“We are certainly cognizant of falling sales prices, limited availability of liquidity, etc., so we wanted to be flexible,” Wooley wrote in an e-mail. “The risk was considered before issuance of the temporary guidance.”

The new rules are a “game changer,” said Ryan Serhant, vice president at Nest Seekers International, a brokerage with offices in New York and Florida. He’s marketing 99 John Deco Lofts, a 442-unit conversion project in downtown Manhattan that features a “zen” flower garden and Brooklyn Bridge views.

The development, where sales began more than two years ago, had 10 units go into contract with FHA backing since approval in March. The FHA suspended its support for the building Aug. 3, according to the agency website. The property is working to have it reinstated, Serhant said.

Eager for Approval

Angela Ferrara, who markets the Sheffield condos on West 57th Street, checks every day whether the 597-unit property, which applied to the FHA in May, has won approval. Ferrara, vice president of sales for New York-based the Marketing Directors Inc., says she is eager to start touting the FHA backing to potential buyers. That’s a reversal from the past, when government loan programs weren’t necessary -- or advertised.

“People would get the wrong idea, and think it was a different type of government-subsidized product,” Ferrara said. “It was almost regarded as a negative, particularly in the luxury properties.”

Now, she said, “It’s actually became a widely accepted marketing tool.”

The Sheffield promotes amenities such as concierge service, a pet spa and massage rooms, according to the project’s website. A neighborhood guide on the site lists chef Thomas Keller’s four-star restaurant Per Se as a nearby attraction, along with Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Tiffany & Co.’s flagship Fifth Avenue store.

‘Great Solution’

The Sheffield’s owner, New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC, took over the condo conversion project in foreclosure last August after the original developer, Kent Swig, defaulted on a loan. With 56 percent of the converted units sold or in contract, the building has about 230 units left to sell, Ferrara estimates.

FHA is “definitely is a great solution right now,” said Tomaselli of National Condo Advisors, which prepared the FHA applications for Tempo and Sheffield.

“The savvy developers did it first,” Tomaselli said. “But everybody else is catching up.”

In the borough of Brooklyn, FHA support accounted for half of the 29 units sold at the 111 Monroe condos in Clinton Hill and a quarter of apartments in Williamsburg’s NV building, which is sold out after two years on the market, said David Behin, executive vice president at the Developers Group, a New York brokerage for new buildings.

Limits to Success

The FHA’s effectiveness will be limited in Manhattan because apartment prices are higher than in Brooklyn and the insured loan is capped at $729,750, Behin said. The median price of a Manhattan apartment in a new development was $1.4 million in the second quarter, according to Miller Samuel and Prudential Douglas Elliman.

“With apartments over $1 million, FHA isn’t going to help you,” Behin said. “You’d have to put down 30 percent to get the loan of $729,000. And if you have 30 percent to put down, a bank will loan to you without FHA.”

Borrowers backed by FHA are essentially buying mortgage insurance, said Debra Shultz, managing director at Manhattan Mortgage Company Inc. in New York. Buyers pay an upfront premium of 2.25 percent of their loan value, and a monthly fee equal to about 0.5 percent of the loan amount for at least five years, she said.

Nationwide, the FHA insured 21 percent of all mortgages made in the second quarter, or $71.4 billion worth of loans, according to Geremy Bass, publisher of the Inside FHA Lending newsletter. That’s close to the $79.5 billion total value of all FHA-backed loans in 2007.

Rising Defaults

Nine percent of all FHA-insured loans were 90 days or more past due or in the process of foreclosure in the first quarter, compared with 7.4 percent a year earlier, data from the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association show.

The agency doesn’t require a minimum credit score for the mortgage insurance, though many lenders who fund the loans insist on a rating of at least 580, said Shultz.

The FHA is considering a minimum required score of 500, according to a notice the agency filed in the Federal Register on July 15. A person with a 500 rating is in the lowest one percentile of credit scores nationally and was likely delinquent on several accounts in the last year, said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for, a consumer and credit education company based in San Francisco.

Taking on Risk

“The government is taking on more risk,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. “That’s the bottom line. They really can’t say no, because that’s their purpose. It’s to support the housing market when there’s no other funding.”

Until they heard about FHA, Asha Willis and her boyfriend, Cesar Rivera, didn’t think they would buy a place for at least five years -- enough time to save a 20 percent down payment, she said. The couple reasoned that they earned enough to make monthly mortgage payments, and began an apartment search in February, limiting their hunt to buildings with agency backing.

Willis, an attending physician at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn; and Rivera, a sales associate at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, toured several glass and steel high rises and decided on a one-bedroom at Toll Brothers Inc.’s Two Northside Piers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It didn’t have FHA approval at the time, but developers promised it was on its way, Willis said.

Contract Contingency

“Our contract had a contingency that if they weren’t FHA approved we could get out of the contract,” said Willis, currently a renter at Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town.

Prices at the building range from the “high $300,000s” to more than $2 million, according to Adam Gottlieb, project manager for Northside Piers. The property, which began sales in October 2008, received FHA approval in June.

Shultz, whose Manhattan Mortgage has sourced FHA loans for buyers in Brooklyn, the borough of Queens and on New York’s Long Island, said the last month brought a sudden surge of calls from would-be buyers seeking FHA insurance for Manhattan purchases.

“It’s definitely breaking through to the Manhattan market,” she said.

At Tempo, which is still under construction, developers are hoping that FHA approval will appeal to buyers of lower-priced units and inch the number of contracts signed to the 51 percent that conventional mortgage lenders require, Gollinger said. About 15 percent of the 98 units are under contract.

The developers plan to tout FHA support in e-mails and other promotions in a sales push next month as the building nears completion, Gollinger said.

“I never even dealt with this,” she said. “All of a sudden it became an absolute must.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at****
3339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / rant on: August 13, 2010, 10:11:52 AM
Friends, Americans (what is left of us), countrymen (also what is left of us),

One hospital where I work has just made pay and benefit cuts to all its employees.  Another where I used to work has just laid off 200.

It is felt that this is just for openers.  ONe MBA type states that 2011 will be far worse as the health care sector tends to lag the general economic business sector.

In my mind there is no question this is just the tip of an iceberg.  As 45 more million people come on to the rolls the insurers will have to raise their rates so much there will be public outcry.  Of course the Dems will rush to the "rescue" and continue consolidation towards the "end stage disease" (if you will pardon my medical imagery) of single payer full government controlled health care.

This IS the road map.  Make no mistake or be fooled by anything else Bamster and the rest of the far left, which he certainly IS part of despite those hucksters on CNN claim he is not, want.

*Only* a political win this fall and in 12 will stop this steamroller.  If not the groundwork they have put into place will lead the chemical reaction to its inevitable end - Czar Berwick as supreme dictator telling the masses what they can and cannot have, who gets what, who does not get what, everyone is the same and he and some mock panel of "experts" will decide it all.

That is not to say we don't need something done about health care.  And I am the first to admit I am not sure what the answer is.  But I am totally against this continued, forced, and expanding redistribution of wealth as the answer to the country's problems.  It is destroying the leadership role of the US.

And make no mistake about it - you can't give access to care to 45 million without costs skyrocketing.  Thus we will have rationing, restirctions, waits, and the rest.
Keeping people out of ERs won't save anywhere near enough to make up for the office visits, drugs screening and the rest.

It is total propaganda.  They know this and they have their plan to respond to this ready in the wings - that is the ONLY answer is single payer gov controlled internet controlled care.  And Bill Gates is heavily promoting this at least in part because he wants MSFT technology to have an in with the "revolution".  I really wnat to see this blithering little weasel geek have his father or mother or he himself have to wait on line for a CT someday and maybe they will day waiting.  Does anyone think that will happen to this guy or his family?  I wouldn't bet a dime on it.

I have to get off my soap box now.
3340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 13, 2010, 09:35:14 AM
I think much of what you said is part of it.  I suppose also some of the work done by illegals is somewhat skilled such as construction - though the quality of their construction may be suspect.  In any case, we do not hear this obvious relationship one ioda from MSM (at least that I have heard) about this obvious relationship.  IT is simple to connect the dots.

The phoney dirtballs at "keeping them honest" CNN continue to ommit discussing the discongruity of having illegals flooding our low wage market while at the same time we see that youth unemployment is at an all time high.

It *doesn't fit* in their agenda of protecting the plight of illegals while the USA burns. The persist in prvoding cover for illegas showing us day after day about their "sad" plight.

Another example of the fruadulent political agenda of those at CNN.  As for the Dems in the WH and other houses of bullshit, well it is obvious they are just gunning for votes to enhance their power. 
3341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / a nuclear bomb on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:45 PM
with more on the way.

3342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / What do you get if... on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:05 PM
you have two bullshit artists trying to shit each other:

****Barack Obama 'may be prepared to meet Iranian president’
Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Gen James Jones, has indicated the President may be prepared to meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if the regime resumed negotiations over its nuclear programme.
By Robert Winnett in Washington
Published: 10:57PM BST 11 Aug 2010

 Gen James Jones, the US National Security Adviser Photo: AP
The retired general also indicated that the return of three American hikers held in Iran for the past year would be an “important gesture”.

Earlier this month, Mr Ahmadinejad requested face-to-face talks with Mr Obama during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. The White House had appeared to rule out any meeting.

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Iran election: Barack Obama refuses to 'meddle' over protestsHowever, in an interview with CNN, Gen Jones said “the door’s open” if the Iranians agree to resume talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

When asked whether Mr Obama may meet the Iranian leader, Gen Jones said: “Ultimately if we find a convergence of paths all things are possible.

“One thing they might do is return our three hikers. That would be an important gesture. It could lead to better relations.” However, the President’s national security adviser said there would be “no point in a theatrical meeting.” It is unlikely that the Iranians will agree to the American’s demands as the regime has repeatedly circumvented previous attempts to rein in its nuclear programme.

Earlier this month, Mr Ahmadinejad said he was ready for face-to-face talks.

“We are hopefully coming for the UN assembly,” Mr Ahmadinejad said in an address to expatriate Iranians which was broadcast live on state television.

“We are ready to sit down with Mr Obama face-to-face and put the global issues on the table, man-to-man, freely, and in front of the media and see whose solutions are better. We think this is a better approach.”

In the interview, Gen Jones refused to be drawn on whether military action might be considered against Iran if it fails to comply with international demands.

“I’m not going to speculate on that,” he said.

There are currently extensive UN sanctions against the country.****

answer next post

3343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 12, 2010, 02:27:34 PM
Today on drudge we have the report that youth unemployment is an all time high. 

Yet we have tens of millions of illegals who seem to find work here.

So for kids today those jobs are all too demeaning?

3344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 11, 2010, 11:25:20 AM
ON the yahoo news, another liberal MSM outlet written by someone who read a NYT published article from David Stockton.  I cannot pull up the NYT article since I don't subscribe.  It is interesting how the claim is it is all the fault of Republicans.  I see it more as the fault of liberals with Republicans trying to keep up with "conservative compassion" so to speak.  I have pointed out before that I do agree the widening gap between wealth and non wealth is a huge problem that is getting bigger.  It is not merely that wealthy people are the only ones with brains, the only ones who work hard. It is in our capitlistic society once they reach a certain lelel they do indeed hold all the cards.  I have never heard an answer about this from the right.  OTOH I don't believe welath confiscation and doles are the answer either.

In any case blaming republicans for this coming catastrophy and not dems is in my very humble and arm chair opinion ridiculous.  Yet some points appear to have some merit on the face of the logic of the arguments. 

Lastly I don't know how accurate this guy's assesment of Stocktons take is since no doubt he is a grinning liberal happy to post all over this hit piece on the Republicna party.

 Aug 11, 2010, 12:06PM EDT - U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 54 mins
Reagan Insider: 'GOP Destroyed U.S. Economy'
by Paul B. Farrell
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ShareretweetEmailPrintCommentary: How: Gold. Tax cuts. Debts. Wars. Fat Cats. Class gap. No fiscal discipline

"How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy." Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse."

Get it? Not "destroying." The GOP has already "destroyed" the U.S. economy, setting up an "American Apocalypse."

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Yes, Stockman is equally damning of the Democrats' Keynesian policies. But what this indictment by a party insider -- someone so close to the development of the Reaganomics ideology -- says about America, helps all of us better understand how America's toxic partisan-politics "holy war" is destroying not just the economy and capitalism, but the America dream. And unless this war stops soon, both parties will succeed in their collective death wish.

But why focus on Stockman's message? It's already lost in the 24/7 news cycle. Why? We need some introspection. Ask yourself: How did the great nation of America lose its moral compass and drift so far off course, to where our very survival is threatened?

We've arrived at a historic turning point as a nation that no longer needs outside enemies to destroy us, we are committing suicide. Democracy. Capitalism. The American dream. All dying. Why? Because of the economic decisions of the GOP the past 40 years, says this leading Reagan Republican.

Please listen with an open mind, no matter your party affiliation: This makes for a powerful history lesson, because it exposes how both parties are responsible for destroying the U.S. economy. Listen closely:

Reagan Republican: the GOP should file for bankruptcy

Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: "If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt ... will soon reach $18 trillion." It screams "out for austerity and sacrifice." But instead, the GOP insists "that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."

In the past 40 years Republican ideology has gone from solid principles to hype and slogans. Stockman says: "Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts -- in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses too."

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Visit the Banking & Budgeting Center 

No more. Today there's a "new catechism" that's "little more than money printing and deficit finance, vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes" making a mockery of GOP ideals. Worse, it has resulted in "serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy." Yes, GOP ideals backfired, crippling our economy.

Stockman's indictment warns that the Republican party's "new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one:"

Stage 1. Nixon irresponsible, dumps gold, U.S starts spending binge

Richard Nixon's gold policies get Stockman's first assault, for defaulting "on American obligations under the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement to balance our accounts with the world." So for the past 40 years, America's been living "beyond our means as a nation" on "borrowed prosperity on an epic scale ... an outcome that Milton Friedman said could never happen when, in 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold or other fixed monetary reserves."

Remember Friedman: "Just let the free market set currency exchange rates, he said, and trade deficits will self-correct." Friedman was wrong by trillions. And unfortunately "once relieved of the discipline of defending a fixed value for their currencies, politicians the world over were free to cheapen their money and disregard their neighbors."

And without discipline America was also encouraging "global monetary chaos as foreign central banks run their own printing presses at ever faster speeds to sop up the tidal wave of dollars coming from the Federal Reserve." Yes, the road to the coming apocalypse began with a Republican president listening to a misguided Nobel economist's advice.

Stage 2. Crushing debts from domestic excesses, war mongering

Stockman says "the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970." Who's to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but "from the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."

Back "in 1981, traditional Republicans supported tax cuts," but Stockman makes clear, they had to be "matched by spending cuts, to offset the way inflation was pushing many taxpayers into higher brackets and to spur investment. The Reagan administration's hastily prepared fiscal blueprint, however, was no match for the primordial forces -- the welfare state and the warfare state -- that drive the federal spending machine."

OK, stop a minute. As you absorb Stockman's indictment of how his Republican party has "destroyed the U.S. economy," you're probably asking yourself why anyone should believe a traitor to the Reagan legacy. I believe party affiliation is irrelevant here. This is a crucial subject that must be explored because it further exposes a dangerous historical trend where politics is so partisan it's having huge negative consequences.

Yes, the GOP does have a welfare-warfare state: Stockman says "the neocons were pushing the military budget skyward. And the Republicans on Capitol Hill who were supposed to cut spending, exempted from the knife most of the domestic budget -- entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects. But in the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans' fiscal religion."

When Fed chief Paul Volcker "crushed inflation" in the '80s we got a "solid economic rebound." But then "the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts." By 2009, they "reduced federal revenues to 15% of gross domestic product," lowest since the 1940s. Still today they're irrationally demanding an extension of those "unaffordable Bush tax cuts [that] would amount to a bankruptcy filing."

Recently Bush made matters far worse by "rarely vetoing a budget bill and engaging in two unfinanced foreign military adventures." Bush also gave in "on domestic spending cuts, signing into law $420 billion in nondefense appropriations, a 65% percent gain from the $260 billion he had inherited eight years earlier. Republicans thus joined the Democrats in a shameless embrace of a free-lunch fiscal policy." Takes two to tango.

Stage 3. Wall Street's deadly 'vast, unproductive expansion'

Stockman continues pounding away: "The third ominous change in the American economy has been the vast, unproductive expansion of our financial sector." He warns that "Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation." Wrong, not oblivious. Self-interested Republican loyalists like Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner knew exactly what they were doing.

They wanted the economy, markets and the government to be under the absolute control of Wall Street's too-greedy-to-fail banks. They conned Congress and the Fed into bailing out an estimated $23.7 trillion debt. Worse, they have since destroyed meaningful financial reforms. So Wall Street is now back to business as usual blowing another bigger bubble/bust cycle that will culminate in the coming "American Apocalypse."

Stockman refers to Wall Street's surviving banks as "wards of the state." Wrong, the opposite is true. Wall Street now controls Washington, and its "unproductive" trading is "extracting billions from the economy with a lot of pointless speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives." Wall Street banks like Goldman were virtually bankrupt, would have never survived without government-guaranteed deposits and "virtually free money from the Fed's discount window to cover their bad bets."

Stage 4. New American Revolution class warfare coming soon

Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us "live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore," while at home "high-value jobs in goods production ... trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million."

As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder "that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy."

Get it? The decaying fruit of the GOP's bad economic policies is destroying our economy.

Warning: This black swan won't be pretty, will shock, soon

His bottom line: "The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing ... it's a pity that the modern Republican party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach -- balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline -- is needed more than ever."

Wrong: There are far bigger things to "pity."

First, that most Americans, 300 million, are helpless, will do nothing, sit in the bleachers passively watching this deadly partisan game like it's just another TV reality show.

Second, that, unfortunately, politicians are so deep-in-the-pockets of the Wall Street conspiracy that controls Washington they are helpless and blind.

And third, there's a depressing sense that Stockman will be dismissed as a traitor, his message lost in the 24/7 news cycle ... until the final apocalyptic event, an unpredictable black swan triggers another, bigger global meltdown, followed by a long Great Depression II and a historic class war.

So be prepared, it will hit soon, when you least expect.
3345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 06, 2010, 11:25:42 AM
"our cops can follow any one of us for nothing and watch for a screwup to pull us over"

I was once pulled over while driving a relative's car while mine was in the shop.

My wrong?  I stared at a local police officer while driving past him in his car because I thought he looked familiar and might be a patient. of mine.  He thought that was odd so he looked up the plate and then realized the registration was overdue by a few days.  So I got pullled over and had to explain all the above.

I gave my relative the ticket after getting an oil job and filling the tank for his allowing me the privilege of using his car.  It was all a minor thing. 

But if I was illegal and the policeman happened to ask for proof of residence than perhaps I could have said the police officer had profiled me - a Jew - and sued.

I am not sure if the ACLU would have picked up the case because I am also a white guy. 

Doug your right.  Like so many of us are saying this country is turned up side down by liberals who are hell bent on giving it away towards a world government, and world socialism.
3346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 06, 2010, 10:47:44 AM
"Israeli satellite captured photos of submarine off loading weapons to Hizbullah"

Whose Submarines?
3347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: August 06, 2010, 10:15:30 AM
Perhaps I am missing it but every time I watch CNN, who bills it self as non partisan all I ever see is partisinship on this issue.  When they discuss the issue of anchor babies, we see anchors, guests, pundits one after the other say with a shit eating grin after another and snickering that it is clearly in the constitution that the babies of two illegal parents are citizens and end of story.

Then we see over and over the 4 foot tall Guatemalan working in a yard shoveling dirt breaking his back living in a room with only clothes to his name as the example of all illegals and how can anyone with a heart deny this poor man the "right" to be in America and work and struggle and dream for a better life like all of the rest of us who were all from other countries?  How could anyone but a Republican be so heartless.

No where or never have I seen them ever discuss the displacement of American workers (many of whom quite naturally sit back and collect unemployment), try to get disability, etc, discuss the benefits the illegal's children get, schooling, health in ER, free births and child care, food stamps, welfare, medicaid. 

I want to see networks start to hire bilingual illegals for far less wages than these G-D assholes on these stations and make them news anchors.  Then and only then, when it hits them in the wallet will they change their tune. 

Comon Soledad you American hating white hating jerk.  Instead of cherry picking the adorable Latino family why don't you give us the real objective picture about illegals.  And why are we not talking about illegals from all countries rather than making Latinos believe this is all about them. It isn't!!!

Comon you dumb Republican "leaders" what about all the illegals including those who overstay their visas.  Those from Asia, from Europe, From Africa, From the Carribbean.  By keeping silent about this and making it solely a "border" issue you feed the concept that it is about people who look Mexican.
3348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: August 05, 2010, 04:09:18 PM
Usually when they start telling you the "story" behind the lyrics it is because the person didn't write it and it is pure BS to cover it.  The rush out of the song is very suspicious.  Often they rush it out because it is stolen or has been stolen not by downloaders but by the middle men. As soon as they get the evidence they throw it out there.  Delays in singers coming out with their albums are because they can't steal the evidence.  They will not do a song if the real writer hass evidence.  They will wait days, weeks, months or even years.  That it why it is so rare to hear in the news when anyone gets caught.  And then there is a behind the scenes deal or they work on stealing the evidence as it comes forward and we never hear in the nuews anything about it again.

 In any case I will look forward to seeing the lyrics.  Taylor Swift is really Taylor little shit.
Every day lately there are people sitting outside our house.  Today one guy was sitting in a SUV in front of the house next to us. Hey it is only 90 degrees.  After I passed him twice he finally dirves away.  Later some guy in a small truck again sitting out facing our back door for no obvious reason until he left after I watched him for five minutes. Meantime Katherine's computer keeps crashing while they buy time.

****Taylor Swift, 'Mine' -- Story Behind the Lyrics
Posted Aug 5th 2010 9:00AM by Nancy Dunham Comments [2] Print
Big Machine Records
The lyrics to Taylor Swift's new song, 'Mine,' give fans a glimpse into her love life that you'll only hear her sing about. In a webchat held last week, the 20-year old superstar told fans she won't discuss her personal life in interviews, but she "definitely sings about it," especially on her upcoming album 'Speak Now,' set for release on October 14.

Taylor's management team announced on August 4 that they rushed 'Mine,' the album's first single, to iTunes and country radio after "an unauthorized low-quality mp3 file of the single appeared online earlier today. As the low-quality file started to spread virally the decision was made to rush release 'Mine' to iTunes and Country radio to ensure that Taylor's fans were able to hear the single as she intended."

During the webchat, Taylor also told fans that she didn't use co-writers for the songs on her upcoming album because most of the lyric ideas came to her late at night on her Fearless tour. She also shared the very personal story behind what led her to write 'Mine.'

It's a song that is about my tendency to run from love. It's sort of a recent tendency.

For me, every really direct example of love I have had in front of me has ended in goodbye and has ended in break ups. So I think I've developed this pattern of running away when it is time to fall in love and stay in a relationship.

This song is about finding the exception to that and finding someone who would make you believe in love and realize that it could work out. I'm never, ever going to go past hoping that love can work out. I'm always going to be very hopeful and blindly optimistic when it comes to love even if it does seem like it's very hard.

Tune in to Aol Radio's Top Country radio station, where 'Mine' is playing in heavy rotation, here.****

3349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / speaking of bbking on: August 04, 2010, 03:24:55 PM

My first date with Katherine was to a BBKing concert in WPB, Fla.
After over a decade of getting our lives destroyed by music thieves my/and her enchantment with anything to do with music is, well let's just say, the
"thrill is gone".  She now realizes she was getting robbed almost certainly all the way back to ~1989.  The year she was in Nashville.

BBK has broken through.  Many of the other old time Black musicians have their own long stories about how they were treated like garbage and left to rot.
3350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Twice?? on: August 02, 2010, 03:05:18 PM
It seems Margaret's house is a thoroughfare for drug dealers on the run:

Seizing Elderly Woman’s Home in Philadelphia
Margaret Davis, a 77-year-old homeowner with multiple serious medical conditions, including end-stage renal disease, was in the habit of leaving her North Philadelphia home unlocked so her neighbors, who routinely checked up on her, could come and go.  She used paratransit to travel to dialysis treatment three times a week.[1] 
In August 2001, police chased several alleged drug dealers through Davis’ front door.  The suspects escaped out the back.  Davis gave the officers permission to search her home and they found drugs, left in plain view, presumably by the fleeing suspects.[2]  The matter should have ended there, but in September 2001 the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office filed a motion to seize the home even though Davis was not a party to any drug dealing.[3] 
Unable to afford an attorney, Davis was referred to the Civil Practice Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, which took on the case in February 2002.  In April, as the case was working its way through court, police chased another suspect into Davis’ house and caught him attempting to hide drugs.  Fortunately, Davis’ attorney was able to reach an agreement with the District Attorney’s office, which withdrew the petition in November of 2003.[4]

[1] E-mail exchange with Louis S. Rulli, Practice Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs, University of Pennsylvania Law School, August 18-20, 2009.

[2] Amended Petition for Forfeiture at 10, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1365 W. Colwyn Street No. 2903 (Pa. Ct. Common Pleas filed May 16, 2002).

[3] Civil Docket Report, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Davis, Case ID: 010902903.

[4] E-mail exchange with Louis S. Rulli; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1365 W. Colwyn Street No. 2903 at 10. 

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