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3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Carteresque on: March 11, 2011, 01:55:32 PM
Now he sounds like Carter for sure.  The job is just too big for the ONE.  Remember when Carter admitted he didn't know if one man could handle the Presidency anymore?  Here we go again:

“Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’”

“Obama Seeks a Course of Pragmatism in the Middle East,” The New York Times, March 11, 2011.

Mr. Obama is right.

If you’re president of China, people around the world who are fighting for freedom don’t really expect you to help. If you’re president of China, you don’t have to put up with annoying off-year congressional elections, and then negotiate your budget with a bunch of gun-and-religion-clinging congressmen and senators. If you’re president of China, you can fund your national public radio to your heart’s content. And if you’re president of China, when you host a conference on bullying in schools, people take you seriously.

Unfortunately for him and us, Barack Obama is president of the United States. That job brings with it certain special responsibilities. It’s a tough job—maybe tougher than being president of China. But Barack Obama ran for president of the United States. Maybe he should start behaving as one.
3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: March 11, 2011, 01:05:40 PM
Doug,

I don't know if you saw this post above.  If not please review as it applies to "net neutrality".  I think it makes some good points.  The general idea of the government regulating or having control over the internet is not attractive at face value but the idea of letting private companies controlling the internet gates without some oversight is also unattractive.  This article sums up the threat.  I've learned the hard way how our lives can be more and more controlled as we continue this descent (or ascent for some) into endless electronmagnetic interconnectedness:

  The post titled above:   Net neutrality. Good,Bad,Ugly
3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline, Fall, (and Resurrection?) of America on: March 11, 2011, 12:01:09 PM
"on issues like the “Jewish cultural mafia” and the “exaggerated” anti-Semitism of past and present Romania"

What??   Again it is the fault of the Jews?  Why does this theme keep rearing its head as the bottom line to all of man's ill?

There are only several thousands Jews left in Romania.  The rest were murdered or fled to Israel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Romania

3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 11, 2011, 11:04:49 AM
Ironically The One was busy hosting a summit on school bullying.  What a joke.  We have nothing but bullying going on in Wisconsin by the liberals (aka, *regressives*), and not a peep about that but he is telling us how kids made fun of his ears as a child.

The hypocracy of this man knows no bounds.
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Republicans are wrong on net neutrality on: March 11, 2011, 11:01:20 AM
I think the ability for Google to manipulate rather than just provide information is a great cause of concern.   Don't think they aren't doing it and don't think they are going to admit it.  "Net neutrality" doesn't stifle business it just makes it fair. 

*** 'We will closely examine allegations raised by' Google competitors, said Herb Kohl.
By MIKE ZAPLER | 3/10/11 6:00 PM EST
Media consolidation, net neutrality and Google's dominance in Internet search are among the issues the Senate's leading legislator on antitrust issues plans to scrutinize in the months ahead.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), who heads the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, listed those issues as priorities in an announcement Thursday outlining his top concerns for the 112th Congress.
Kohl specifically called out Google as a potential cause for concern. The senator in December urged the Justice Department to conduct a "careful review" of the search giant's attempted acquisition of travel search software firm ITA.

"In recent years, the dominance over Internet search of the world’s largest search engine, Google, has increased and Google has increasingly sought to acquire e-commerce sites in myriad businesses," Kohl said in a news release.

"In this regard, we will closely examine allegations raised by e-commerce websites that compete with Google that they are being treated unfairly in search ranking, and in their ability to purchase search advertising,” Kohl continued. “We also will continue to closely examine the impact of further acquisitions in this sector."

The emergence of online video — and barriers providers face reaching consumers over broadband Internet lines — will also be a focus of the subcommittee. He said the panel will also track Comcast's integration with NBC Universal and whether conditions on the deal attached by regulators are being met.

"Internet video holds the promise of providing consumers, for the first time, an alternative to expensive pay TV subscriptions and the ability to purchase only the programming they want," Kohl said.

The panel will look at “challenges that video programmers face in distributing their programming over the Internet, challenges that online video distributors face in obtaining programming, and whether Internet service providers are placing undue barriers to the video delivered over the Internet,” Kohl said in the release.

In addition, he said, the panel is going to explore adherence to “the merger conditions imposed on the Comcast/NBC Universal merger to ensure that these conditions are being properly applied to foster competition, including competition from new forms of Internet delivery of video content."

Kohl has also trained his sights on the high-speed broadband market.

"Maintaining competitive choices in this industry is crucial to consumers and the health of the national economy," he wrote. "We will also examine the issue of network neutrality principles and monitor whether consumers continue to have the freedom to access the Internet content they wish without interference from their internet service provider."

The tech and telecom sector is just one area among many the senator has his eye on. He also plans to focus attention on competition issues surrounding the freight railroad, prescription drugs, energy and agriculture markets, among others.
 


Party: IndependentReply #4
Mar. 11, 2011 - 12:10 AM ESTI'm concerned that Obama want's an internet kill switch. I'm concerned that Google was involved in the "Alliance of Youth Summit" in 2008,2009,and 2010 teaching young revolutionaries how to organize to overthrow their governments using the internet, networking, media, facebook, twitter. One Google executive surfaced in Egypt and has been credited with the overthrow of Mubarak. That concerns me that Obama is meddling in foreign affairs and he is not smart enough to forsee unintended consequences.
Party: ConservativeReply #5
Mar. 11, 2011 - 3:11 AM ESTROEg and Cheetosareus you stole the thoughts right out of my mind. If anything about Google needs to be investigated it's their strange political relationships with Democratic operatives. Along with GE they make Halliburton look like little league.
Mar. 11, 2011 - 5:55 AM ESTHERBIE - I am so glad u r there to make sure `google' isn't monopolizing the internet. hey, jerk my committee is going to investigate you and the all political hacks who pass legislation which favors certain industries protecting them from competition - you what it's called - CRONYISM! BTW HERBIE, DO U FIND IT CHALLENGING WEARING `2’ FACES?
Mar. 11, 2011 - 6:52 AM ESTThe US has to be the only country in the world that boasts of a devotion to capitalism and the little guy making it, and once he does taxes the daylights out of him, sues him for making a product so popular that it becomes 'a monopoly' and breaks up his company so he can't compete to the fullness of his ability against his competitors.


And why is it the 'progressives' who always seem to be the ones squelching success in business?***
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / first republican party meeting on: March 10, 2011, 07:43:44 PM
was in Wisconsin:

***The Origins of the Republican Party
Trying times spawn new forces. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 divided the country at the 36° 30' parallel between the pro-slavery, agrarian South and anti-slavery, industrial North, creating an uneasy peace which lasted for three decades. This peace was shattered in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Settlers would decide if their state would be free or slave. Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley, Salmon Chase and Charles Sumner could not sit back and watch the flood of pro-slavery settlers cross the parallel. A new party was needed.

Where was the party born? Following the publication of the "Appeal of Independent Democrats" in major newspapers, spontaneous demonstrations occurred. In early 1854, the first proto-Republican Party meeting took place in Ripon, Wisconsin. On June 6, 1854 on the outskirts of Jackson, Michigan upwards of 10,000 people turned out for a mass meeting "Under the Oaks." This led to the first organizing convention in Pittsburgh on February 22, 1856.

The gavel fell to open the Party's first nominating convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 1856, announcing the birth of the Republican Party as a unified political force.

Horace GreeleyThe Republican Party name was christened in an editorial written by New York newspaper magnate Horace Greeley. Greeley printed in June 1854: "We should not care much whether those thus united (against slavery) were designated 'Whig,' 'Free Democrat' or something else; though we think some simple name like 'Republican' would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery."

The elections of 1854 saw the Republicans take Michigan and make advances in many states, but this election was dominated by the emergence of the short-lived American (or 'Know-Nothing') Party. By 1855, the Republican Party controlled a majority in the House of Representatives. The new Party decided to hold an organizing convention in Pittsburgh in early 1856, leading up to the Philadelphia convention.

As the convention approached, things came to a head — and to blows. On the floor of the Senate Democratic representatives Preston Brooks and Lawrence Keitt (South Carolina) brutally attacked Charles Sumner with a cane after Sumner gave a passionate anti-slavery speech which Brooks took offense (he was related to the main antagonist of Sumner's speech, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler). Both representatives resigned from Congress with severe indignation over their ouster, but were returned to Congress by South Carolina voters in the next year. Sumner was not able to return to the Congressional halls for four years after the attack. Brooks was heard boasting "Next time I will have to kill him," as he left the Senate floor after the attack.

On the same day as the attack came the news of the armed attack in Lawrence, Kansas. As a direct outgrowth of the "settler sovereignty" of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, an armed band of men from Missouri and Nebraska sacked the town of Lawrence and arrested the leaders of the free state. The anti-abolitionists had made it clear that "settler sovereignty" meant pro-slavery. Labeled only as "ruffians" by Southern politicians, Horace Greeley was quick to decry both events as plots of the pro-slavery South. "Failing to silence the North by threats. . .the South now resorts to actual violence." The first rumblings of the Civil War had begun. The stage was set for the 1856 election, one which held the future of the Union in its grasp.

Read the Republican Platform of 1856

And what of the nickname "Grand Old Party"?
The nickname of the Republican Party didn't get attached to it until 1888. Previously, the nickname had been used by Southern Democrats. After the Republicans won back the Presidency and Congress for the first time since the Grant administration, the Chicago Tribune proclaimed: "Let us be thankful that under the rule of the Grand Old Party ... these United States will resume the onward and upward march which the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884 partially arrested."
 Copyright ©1999-2010 by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942.
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 10, 2011, 05:41:58 PM
Compare the restrained peaceful Tea Party events to the screaming, yelling, name calling, disruptive tresspassing MOB that is the union protesters.

OK Bamster where are you now??? when speaking of civility.

Next step is to fire all these people if they don't report to work.

This is EXACTLY what FDR even feared.  The taxpayers are being held hostage by public employees.

Let them keep it up.   They are not helping there cause any.

They are lucky to have jobs.

3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / still missing on: March 10, 2011, 03:14:22 PM
I can't imagine what this is like:

http://michellemalkin.com/
3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / France is recognizing the Libyan opposition: Italy is probably next on: March 10, 2011, 02:34:32 PM
Reason,
is they have their own illegal immigration problems.  From the Economist:

****Fear of foreigners

The Italian government worries about a huge influx from north Africa
Mar 3rd 2011 | ROME

 All washed up and ready to goNOWHERE has the Libyan uprising caused greater anguish than inside Silvio Berlusconi’s Italian government. Distress at the death of so many protesters? Sympathy for the prime minister’s friend and erstwhile ally, Muammar Qaddafi? Neither, really. What has prompted reactions ranging from alarm to hysteria is the prospect of a sharp increase in immigration from the Maghreb. The foreign minister, Franco Frattini, feared “an exodus of Biblical proportions”. It would bring Italy “to its knees”, said the interior minister, Roberto Maroni. Mr Frattini talked of 200,000-300,000 arrivals, creating a future that was “impossible to imagine”.

The government has good reason to worry. The achievement of which it is perhaps proudest is a sharp cut in the flow of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean (from 36,951 in 2008 to only 4,406 in 2010). It managed this by striking deals with Libya in 2008 and Tunisia in 2009 under which both countries were paid to clamp down on human trafficking. The danger is that these agreements will be rendered null by the chaos. On February 26th Italy declared that its friendship treaty with Libya was “de facto no longer in operation” (though that was probably to free it from an obligation not to use force against its former colony: as later became clear, Italy supports a no-fly zone).

The earliest tear in the diplomatic membrane shielding Italy came after the uprising in Tunisia. More than 5,000 people fled to the little Italian island of Lampedusa, which is closer to north Africa than to Sicily. The Italians elicited an outraged response from Tunis when they suggested intervening militarily to block the boats. But the Tunisians seem to have tightened their grip and this, assisted by bad weather, stopped the landfalls until March 1st, when the first of 413 people, mostly Tunisians, arrived on Lampedusa and a nearly island. Unsurprisingly Mr Maroni failed to convince his European colleagues in Brussels on February 24th that Italy was facing a “catastrophic humanitarian crisis”.

His real worry is Libya. The total estimated foreign population there is put as high as 1.5m. There have been reports of sub-Saharan Africans being attacked and even killed by anti-Qaddafi protesters who mistook them for mercenaries. Yet it would be absurd to claim that all foreigners in Libya will go to Italy; most would prefer to return home. There is little evidence of their fleeing northward so far. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that, of 55,000 people who crossed into Egypt between February 10th and 28th, all but 6,900 were Egyptians or Libyans. Most others were Asian.

The Italian government’s fear is that hundreds of thousands may yet take advantage of the disorder to embark for Europe. But the disruption may affect people smugglers as much as anyone. For the moment, the numbers seem bearable in a country of 60m. Germany’s outgoing interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, noted that Sweden, with a population of only 9m, took 30,000 asylum-seekers last year.

Where there is a real and immediate humanitarian emergency is on Tunisia’s border with Libya. On March 1st, in an abrupt and welcome change of tack, the Italian government announced that it was putting some money into a humanitarian mission to the area. Mr Maroni said it would provide food and shelter for 10,000 people, “but also stop them from leaving”.****

3660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: March 10, 2011, 01:51:53 PM
If only Sally Hemings saved her dress with the stain for 200 years:               
 
****Y-chromosome studies indicate that Thomas Jefferson may very well have had children by the slave Sally Hemings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Did Thomas Jefferson Father Slave Children?
Back to Build a Family Tree

The first American presidential sex scandal never went on trial, but rumors have persisted to this day that President and founding father Thomas Jefferson had an illicit relationship with his slave mistress, Sally Hemings, that bore him children. Jefferson never responded publicly to this attack on his character nor denied the accusations.

The circumstantial evidence is suggestive. Jefferson, who traveled extensively for long periods, always happened to be in residence nine months before the birth of each of Sally Hemings's seven children. Some of Hemings's children were said to bear a striking resemblance to Jefferson. And in an 1873 interview, Sally's fourth son Madison stated that his mother had been Jefferson's "concubine," and that he and his siblings were the president's children.

The Y chromosome keeps its family secrets and now, nearly two centuries later, DNA evidence has unequivocally linked a male descendant of Sally Hemings to the house of Thomas Jefferson.

To a geneticist, the obvious solution to resolve questions of paternity going back generations is to compare Y chromosomes from living descendants of the father in question. Because the Y chromosome is passed virtually intact from father to son to grandson and so on down the line, it traces the father's male side of the family tree.

 Jefferson's slave records listing the names of Sally Hemings and her sons.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
If Jefferson fathered a child with Hemings, all his male descendants should carry a nearly identical copy of his Y chromosome. Investigators tracked down living male descendants of Hemings's sons and compared their Y-chromosome DNA to that from male descendants of the president's paternal uncle, Field Jefferson. (Thomas Jefferson's only legitimate son by his wife Martha died in infancy.)

The story the DNA told was that the descendant of Eston Hemings, Sally's youngest son, had the same genetic signature as the male descendants of Field Jefferson. But the descendants of Thomas Woodward, Sally's first son, did not share a genetic signature in common with Thomas Jefferson. The DNA data clearly shows that one of Sally's sons, Eston, born during the president's second term in office, was a Jefferson offspring. What the data cannot resolve definitively is whether Thomas Jefferson or another male relative on his father's side of the family was Eston Hemings's father.

It is noteworthy that the same Y chromosome type existed just 20 miles away with Thomas Jefferson's brother Randolph and his five sons. The historical records indicate that Randolph and his sons occasionally spent time at Monticello, the presidential residence, but the trail of evidence disappears there, leaving Thomas Jefferson as still the most likely father of Eston Hemings Jefferson.

3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: March 10, 2011, 01:45:48 PM
On every single MSM coverage of King's hearings the use the adjective, "controversial".

The "controversial hearings".  It is clearly a liberal jornolist strategy going viral on MSM.
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NJ policeman perspective on: March 10, 2011, 01:39:33 PM
One of my patients pointed out this article from a police officer.  He points out that Republican governor Christie Whitman raided the pension funds of police and firemen in the 90's and that is the reason for today's shortfall.

****News Item: 
 
Mount Olive Cop: Politicians Caused Pension Woes
 12/02/2010
 
Editor's note: The writer, Michael Poquat, is a police officer in Mount Olive Township.

BUDD LAKE, NJ – As a police officer in the state of New Jersey, I find myself unable to sit by while the current climate of public employee bashing continues under the misinformation fed to the public by the media and our current governor.

While I cannot comment on the teachers' retirement system, I can speak about the Police and Fire Retirement Fund (PFRS), and more specifically, how it has been mishandled by some of our elected officials. The truth should come out, and the public has a right to know how we got to where we are today.

Long before I became a police officer, the state of New Jersey enacted a law which required police officers and firemen to contribute a certain percentage of their salary into the state's "secure" pension fund. Throughout my 22 year career, I have paid 8.5 percent of my salary, as mandated by law, into this fund every pay period.

I was not given the option to place my 8.5 percent in an IRA or other investment fund. Every pay check since I was 25 years old had the 8.5 percent taken out of my pay and placed into the PFRS with the promise that the money would be there when I retired. By law, towns and municipalities were required to match that 8.5 percent.

By the time Gov. Christine Todd Whitman took office, there was over $100 billion in the fund. This meant that at the current rate of retirements, pension costs for police officers and firemen were funded at 104 percent, well into the future. This was a prudent and financially responsible plan that worked, and it provided security for the families of these men and women who risked their lives every day serving and protecting the citizens of New Jersey.

In no way was it heavily over funded or excessive. It covered the costs of promised retirements with a small cushion left over. It was at this time that Whitman stepped in. Gov. Whitman recognized the billions of dollars in our "secure" and "separate" pension fund, and she proceeded to raid that fund. Unknown and unannounced to the public, monies were indiscriminately withdrawn from the PFRS and used to pay for Whitman's tax cuts and to balance the state budget.

Billions of dollars were taken, and to make matters worse, the Whitman administration passed a law allowing towns and municipalities to no longer contribute to the fund. Over $3 billion in contributions were skipped over the next eight years, while the individual police officers and firefighters continued to have their 8.5 percent contribution taken from them and placed into the PFRS.

The state gambled for years, relying heavily on the returns from the stock market to cover the missing funds. Politicians misspoke on the campaign trail, touting the virtues of how their financial genius was able to balance their state and local budgets, and the public was lulled into a sense of false financial security.

But the small print in Whitman's bill was ignored. The funds they failed to contribute would have to be made up at a later date. The pension reprieve was temporary and their contributions would have to be paid back, just like any other loan. It was quietly suggested by the Whitman administration that towns set these contributions aside for when the state called to make good on them. It appears most towns and municipalities failed to heed this advice.

Governors (Donald) DiFrancesco, (James) McGreevy, and (Richard) Codey continued this trend, and all failed to call the towns and municipalities on their "loan" while the PFRS fund continued to dwindle down close to $66 billion. They remained silent. To bring this to light at this point would certainly mean political suicide, knowing that towns and municipalities would have to raise taxes to make up for their error in financial judgment and planning.

It wasn't until Gov. Jon Corzine took office that this trend was stopped, but unfortunately, the damage was done. Gov. Corzine made the call the governors before him were afraid to make. He advised the towns and municipalities that it was time to pay back the monies the towns had been given a temporary reprieve on. And the media jumped on this, printing bold headlines "Towns going broke over police and fire pensions."

This attention grabbing and misleading headline made it appear that your police and firemen were bilking the taxpayers dry, when the truth is totally the opposite. The politicians bilked your police officers and firemen dry and in the long run, the tax payers of New Jersey.

Towns and municipalities knew they were going to have to pay this money back and for them to insinuate otherwise is simply not true. Realizing the gravity of the situation, a new bill was introduced and passed into law. This allowed the towns to pay back the loan given to them by their public employees in increments; starting at 20 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent, and finally 100 percent each proceeding year.

Towns and municipalities continue to act as if they have been caught unaware and shocked by this entire process. The public is being told that payments for police and fire pensions are doubling, tripling and quadrupling and that the public employee system is out of control. What the public needs to know is that they are the victims of a mounting debt that was created by the Whitman administration and compounded by those following her tenure.

To blame your public employees for the abuses of the pension system is ludicrous at best, especially when our elected officials are the ones responsible for raiding the fund and then enacting the legislation on how and when to pay it back.

Gov. Jim Florio recognized the financial hardship facing the state of New Jersey and proceeded to raise the state sales tax to 7 percent. This helped spell political suicide for him, and Gov. Whitman was not going to make the same mistake. She repealed the 7 percent, dropping it back down to the 6 percent, knowing full well this money would have to come from somewhere. Her solution was to raid the Police and Fire Pension System, allowing her to balance the state budget and give the false appearance that all was fiscally sound under her watch.

Our current governor, facing the same financial crisis of those going before him, has chosen a similar route, but one with a more vilifying tone. He has again found the same victim: Your public employees. When asked about the pension situation in the state of New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie replied "I wasn't going to put $3 billion into a failing pension system. We need pension reform. I passed some already for new hirees, and this fall we are going after the current employees and pension reform and benefits because we are broke."

Nowhere does he mention how the public employees had already bailed out this state years before, and now he is focused on "going after" the current employees to fix a mess created and compounded by politicians. To say otherwise for him would be political suicide should he aspire to higher political office, and as most of those before him, he is not about to risk his future. Rather, he would gamble on the future of those men and woman and their families who have served this state with honor and integrity.

The principals of the pension system are not broken, Mr. Governor. What is broken is the manner in which the politicians have treated and abused it. Yes, the system is failing now, but not because of your police officers and firemen. As of 2009, the pension fund should have assets of $112 billion to meet its obligations, yet it is currently sitting at $66 billion.

It is the largest unfunded liability in the country. New Jersey is the first state ever to be charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Gov. Christie, strangely, has no comment on this. Yet he continues his rhetoric on the evils done to us by our police officers and firemen, ignoring the truth and lambasting and vilifying us at every turn.

As the saying goes, "Politics has no shame when it comes to preserving your place in office. Why let the truth get in between a good, attention grabbing headline?"

The system is on the brink of collapse, and continued arrogance and mudslinging will not fix it. The truth is what it is, Mr. Governor, and there is no getting around that. Politicians put us in this mess for their own political gain, not our public employees, as you would like the public to believe. You know this and need to stop ignoring the facts. How we deal with it from here is the measure of each of our character and integrity. I know the public is smart enough to recognize this and I hope that you are too. Long after you are gone, we will still be here, protecting and serving as we always have. In the end, all we have left is our name. Let's hope yours is remembered for your integrity and not for what you have slung so far in your race for political aspiration. I challenge you to do the right thing, as so many police officers and firemen strive to do every day for their families and the citizens of New Jersey.

Poquat, Michael. "Mount Olive Cop: Politicians Caused Pension Woes." NewJerseyHills.com. November 12, 2010. <http://newjerseyhills.com/content/tncms/live/newjerseyhills.com/mt_olive_chronicle/opinion/columns/article_487cc442-ec43-11df-8ac0-001cc4c002e0.html>.
 Grand Lodge - Building on a Proud Tradition     
   Copyright © 2004 - 2011 Fraternal Order of Police, Grand Lodge    Legal Notice****
 
3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: March 10, 2011, 01:11:30 PM
Kostas,
Look forward to your insight.
Thanks,
ccp
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: March 09, 2011, 01:48:49 PM
I think he said they preferred him to Bush and Clinton both of whom they saw as more aggressive.

I was just thinking again about his comments about Clinton.

Never have I heard any group not be happy with Clinton for bombing of Serbia.

Listening to the US MSM Clinton is made out to be the equivalent of a Greek adonis (at least with regards to politics) whose bombing of Serbia was a stupendous success.

There are always two sides to every story and I wanted to hear more of the other side from Kostas if possible.
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 09, 2011, 01:44:39 PM
Doug,

Yes, we see this everyday in the MSM propaganda machine.

Rather sickening.  I don't see anything in here about the truth or facts.

One correction:

"Unions used this tactic" on rule 10.

Unions aka the Democrat party use all of these rules.
3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Liberal onslaught on rep. King on: March 09, 2011, 01:07:14 PM
CNN was on the liberal offensive this AM going after Rep. King for his investigating Muslim extremism in the US.
Going into his past such as saying he supported the IRA which while on Fox he explained he did not support their terrorism but was roundly commended for bringing peace there even by Clinton.  Even Obama recommended him to be ambassador to Ireland.  Does anyone think that if he had ties to Irish terrorism the One would offer him the ambassadorship to Ireland?

Of course CNN's the "soloDAD" is off on another lopsided show trying to gain sympathy for the minority of the month.

It was Latinos, Blacks and now of course it is Muslims.

"Unwelcome in America" is the title.

The jornolist crowd appears to have King in their sights.
3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / History being rewritten on "Bush doctrine" on: March 08, 2011, 01:46:33 PM
Will history look back at W as being a foreign policy giant??

"A strange moral inversion, considering that Hussein's evil was an order of magnitude beyond Gaddafi's."

Exactly! It wasn't about morality it was about politics.

***From Baghdad to Benghazi

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 4, 2011

Voices around the world, from Europe to America to Libya, are calling for U.S. intervention to help bring down Moammar Gaddafi. Yet for bringing down Saddam Hussein, the United States has been denounced variously for aggression, deception, arrogance and imperialism.

From Baghdad to Benghazi

A strange moral inversion, considering that Hussein's evil was an order of magnitude beyond Gaddafi's. Gaddafi is a capricious killer; Hussein was systematic. Gaddafi was too unstable and crazy to begin to match the Baathist apparatus: a comprehensive national system of terror, torture and mass murder, gassing entire villages to create what author Kanan Makiya called a "Republic of Fear."

Moreover, that systemized brutality made Hussein immovable in a way that Gaddafi is not. Barely armed Libyans have already seized half the country on their own. Yet in Iraq, there was no chance of putting an end to the regime without the terrible swift sword (it took all of three weeks) of the United States.

No matter the hypocritical double standard. Now that revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush's freedom agenda, it's not just Iraq that has slid into the memory hole. Also forgotten is the once proudly proclaimed "realism" of Years One and Two of President Obama's foreign policy - the "smart power" antidote to Bush's alleged misty-eyed idealism.

It began on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first Asia trip, when she publicly played down human rights concerns in China. The administration also cut aid for democracy promotion in Egypt by 50 percent. And cut civil society funds - money for precisely the organizations we now need to help Egyptian democracy - by 70 percent.

This new realism reached its apogee with Obama's reticence and tardiness in saying anything in support of the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran. On the contrary, Obama made clear that nuclear negotiations with the discredited and murderous regime (talks that a child could see would go nowhere) took precedence over the democratic revolutionaries in the street - to the point where demonstrators in Tehran chanted, "Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them."

Now that revolution has spread from Tunisia to Oman, however, the administration is rushing to keep up with the new dispensation, repeating the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine that Arabs are no exception to the universal thirst for dignity and freedom.

Iraq, of course, required a sustained U.S. military engagement to push back totalitarian forces trying to extinguish the new Iraq. But is this not what we are being asked to do with a no-fly zone over Libya? In conditions of active civil war, taking command of Libyan airspace requires a sustained military engagement.

Now, it can be argued that the price in blood and treasure that America paid to establish Iraq's democracy was too high. But whatever side you take on that question, what's unmistakable is that to the Middle Easterner, Iraq today is the only functioning Arab democracy, with multiparty elections and the freest press. Its democracy is fragile and imperfect - last week, security forces cracked down on demonstrators demanding better services - but were Egypt to be as politically developed in, say, a year as is Iraq today, we would think it a great success.

For Libyans, the effect of the Iraq war is even more concrete. However much bloodshed they face, they have been spared the threat of genocide. Gaddafi was so terrified by what we did to Saddam & Sons that he plea-bargained away his weapons of mass destruction. For a rebel in Benghazi, that is no small matter.

Yet we have been told incessantly how Iraq poisoned the Arab mind against America. Really? Where is the rampant anti-Americanism in any of these revolutions? In fact, notes Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, the United States has been "conspicuously absent from the sloganeering."

It's Yemen's president and the delusional Gaddafi who are railing against American conspiracies to rule and enslave. The demonstrators in the streets of Egypt, Iran and Libya have been straining their eyes for America to help. They are not chanting the antiwar slogans - remember "No blood for oil"? - of the American left. Why would they? America is leaving Iraq having taken no oil, having established no permanent bases, having left behind not a puppet regime but a functioning democracy. This, after Iraq's purple-fingered exercises in free elections seen on television everywhere set an example for the entire region.

Facebook and Twitter have surely mediated this pan-Arab (and Iranian) reach for dignity and freedom. But the Bush Doctrine set the premise.

3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: March 08, 2011, 01:32:31 PM
Does anyone recall which thread Kostas posted on?

I wanted to ask if he would please clarify his mention of Greeks not liking Bill Clinton.
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President's I saw on: March 08, 2011, 01:28:09 PM
Yes this is shocking.

I am certainly no Obama fan but it is still a thrill to have a President come to one's graduation.

I saw Clinton once in West Palm Beach.  As a Republican I felt out of place, but there is still a thrill - even for him.

I saw Reagan twice, once on the WH lawn and once in my home town across from my former High School in NJ.  The Democratic mayor praised Reagan for bringing back a sense of pride to America.  Reagan was so impressed a Dem would cross party lines to compliment him he took time to come to the city of Elizabeth to speak. 

I saw GHW Bush play tennis with Chris Evert in Boca Raton in the early ninetees.  He was pretty damn good.
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michelle Malkin's missing relative on: March 08, 2011, 01:18:51 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2011/03/08/searching-for-marizela-an-update/
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: March 08, 2011, 11:03:31 AM
"The "crime" in this instance is insider trading.  An insidious crime that
people think is harmless, yet it's path of damage can harm hundreds of thousands of people."

Agreed.

Not to mention the outright fraud and scams. 

"Frankly, in my opinion "white collar crime" is not nearly punished as severely as it should be; it is difficult to prove
and perpetrators are protected by an army of high priced attorneys, it seems unstoppable."

Agreed. 
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: March 08, 2011, 09:44:58 AM
Crime does pay.  Particularly white collar crime.

That is why I don't understand why we have law enforcement retiring at 50 when we have stealing and thievery rampant in our society.  This society does not take theft seriously.  The law enforcement officers could be retrained to go after some of this stuff.

"Not a single Wall Street executive has gone to jail over the excesses that led to the collapse"

Nor did any politician pay in away way for their complicity from the SEC to Barney Frank etc.

"Prosecutors are coming to the conclusion that it's difficult, maybe impossible, to put people in jail for greed and irrational exuberanc"

Sure with the same millions stolen they can now hire million dollars liars for hire (to quote The Guardian Angels guy) to make near impossible for any prosecuters to get anywhere.   The rest of us can't hire attorneys for hundreds of dollars an hour.  Talk about health care making people broke.

Only the millions of people out of work are suffering.   It does make one question the concept of trickle down economics, the wealth gap which gets wider. I continue to have a problem with that.  Yet, when all taken into context,
to me the less intrusive government theory is the least of the two evils.  More regulation makes things worse and does little good.  Indeed government cannot even enforce what they have on the books.

3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science on: March 07, 2011, 05:22:12 PM
Here is a picture of the reported bacteria:

http://www.space.com/11049-alien-life-meteorites-skepticism.html
3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: March 07, 2011, 04:08:56 PM
Thanks for the interesting answer.

Bernie Madoff called the US government a Ponzi scheme.

Perhaps he is correct and indeed the entire financial system in the US (or Western World) can be looked at in this way?

Is this naive or not far from the truth?
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: March 07, 2011, 12:44:39 PM
"Believe it or not, homeowners and their attorneys do lie"

An analogous situation are patients who go to doctors feighting chronic pain to get narcotic Rx.

It is rampant.  And of course there are doctors who sell their souls to get the cash payments which is usually how the encounter works.  I know because I, like all doctors have patient coming in with multiple scams.  The stories are endless but there are consistent patterns much of the time.

The doctors write their notes, as though everything is hunky dorry and the patient shows them an old injury or gives them the compliants, pays in cash and then goes fills the script and gets high or sells the stuff.

The doctors pretend they don't have a clue and they were just "helping" a pain patient.
They play niave or just say, "how was I supposed to know".  "I take the patient at his/her word and it is not be job or place to judge them or deny them pain medicine and chance they may be legitimate and be suffering".

And some doctors are niave.  Patients will play into their good natures by complimenting them.   But those in practice for some time learn the ropes. 

There is no questions doctors, myself included, who do get fooled, and it is sometimes very difficult and even impossible to know if the patient is lying or not without following the patient around after they leave the office.  But there are doctors who will play "the game" and pretent it is all legit just to get the cash.  They can get 100s of patients, cash paying, to their office, in weeks or months, some from out of state, if they want.  It is rampant.  It has been for decades.  Probably worse now.

They know it is very hard to do anything about it and they feel as long as they document there "well meaning" intentions they can't be proved to be crooks and drug dealers.  And most of the time they are right.
3676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: March 07, 2011, 12:15:52 PM
Thanks for the great insight.

One question.

What do you think of the banking bail out?

How has this affected the housing situation and do you think it was the least of the evils and necessary?

I really am all confused about it and don't know what to think or who to believe.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi Arabia on: March 07, 2011, 10:30:31 AM
"where most of Saudi Arabia's Shia Muslims live"

10% of Saudi Arabia is Shia.  It seems that whereever the Shia are they are proxies for Iran.

In a population of every 27 million that means 2.7 mill are Shia.  They can easily muster thousands to walk the streets.  Yet they are really a small minority.
20K is nothing.

 
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 07, 2011, 10:03:10 AM
Marc Levin forshadowed Bachman on Meet the Press this weekend.
Marc Levin predicted that on Meet the (Liberal) Press Michelle Bachman would would get attacked for something.  He thought she would be question endlessly, like Boehner to criticize the "birthers".  Instead Liberal Democrat David Gregory kept shoving her "gangster" description of the way Obama leads in her face.  Over and over again he made it a point demanding she retract it.  HOw can she be compromising if she speaks like this?  He asks. 


My points,

First,
I didn't hear him calling and demanding for *compromise* when the Dems controlled government.
Second,
I didn't hear him demand an apology from the One for comments like, "we reward our friends and punish our enemies".
Third,
Instead of harping on one comment why doesn't he just let her give her opinions and stance?
Fourth,
Just the fact this is discussed in the following piece is exactly what the liberal media was after.  Get her to say somethng that could be taken out of context  or not to apologize and make THAT the issue to distract from her real points.  The MSM does this to every conservative.



Bachmann Stands by ‘Gangster Government’ Description
By Melanie Starkey
Roll Call Staff
March 6, 2011, 1:39 p.m.
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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) refused Sunday to retreat from her characterization of the Obama administration as a "gangster government."

The House Tea Party Caucus founder said, "I don't take back my statement on gangster government," a phrase she used at a tea party gathering in April. "I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt," she said during her appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

She hammered at the administration Sunday for $105 billion included in last year's health care overhaul law for its implementation, regardless of the questions put to her. Bachmann called on the White House last week to apologize for the funding, which the Congressional Research Service reported in October.

The money was "hidden in various parts of the bill," she said Sunday. "Members of Congress didn't even know this money was in the bill, because we couldn't read the bill before it was passed, because it wasn't given to us but hours before we had to vote for it," she said.

Bachmann said she hasn't "made a decision either way about plans for" entering the 2012 presidential election.

"We can do so much better, she said. "And that's what I'm talking about with people in the next few months. We need to think very strongly. A second administration of Jimmy Carter wouldn't have done this country any favors. We need to make sure we don't have a second Barack Obama administration."

When asked if she had a timeline for making a decision about running, she responded, "I think there's a normal course of events when a decision like that will be made. And if I choose to go down that road, I'll make the decision."

3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline and Fall of America? on: March 05, 2011, 12:45:47 PM
Doug,
It is sad to watch the MSM go after Huckabee though.  Calling for him to apologize etc. instead of taking heed of his point(s).  Yet, perhaps this will backfire on them rather than on Huckabee.  You have a good point suggesting this IS the kind of thing we need to get taxpayers to wake up.  Why should the state be paying till we are broke for other people's babies?
These mothers need to be held accountable. 
3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire-1 on: March 05, 2011, 09:44:46 AM
We are also in a cultural decline thanks to the progressives.  Huckabee's comments about the single pregnant movie star were very reasonable.  But of course low and behold the MSM goes wild making sure he looks insensitive.  It is absolutely no problem women having babies out of wedlock is rampant.  It is no problem that rich gays can adopt - remember (I think Crafty's post - no longer should we use mother and father - it should be "parents").

Let's not forget that the second largest demographic as a percentage of their overall group supporting the Democrats behind Blacks are SINGLE mothers.  They want big government to be their sugar daddies.  Most of these low wage or totally unskilled mothers.  Who is going to pay for the health care.  Who is going to pay for the food the clothes the rent?

To them it should be the "rich", it should be businesses, corporations.  Huckabee is totally right but of course, his point is ignored and he is made into some sort of angry, wrong headed, insensitive religious zeolot.  I don't know if it is too late or not for America.  The liberals have evolved into such a powerful force in the media, academia, and bribing too many voters, and in politics.  I just don't know.

http://www.showbizspy.com/article/227689/natalie-portman-mike-huckabee-criticizes-sexy-natalie-portman-for-being-pregnant-and-unmarried.html
3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: March 04, 2011, 02:44:50 PM
W's policy of spreading Democracy is somehow not complimented by the Soros.  I agree with Charles in previous post that Saddam was far worse than Ghaddafi:

***Billionaire George Soros told Fareed Zakaria that if President Bush and Dick Cheney were in charge now, the Egyptian revolution would have been much more violent. But instead, Obama has been successful because he sees the revolution in terms of people asserting their right to freedom and continues to refuse to “instigate” the coming regime change.***

All of a sudden all of the libs (and McCain) are calling for the US to jump into Libya???
They can't seem to get their heads on straight.

3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / W the great visionary of our age?? on: March 04, 2011, 02:40:55 PM
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 4, 2011

Voices around the world, from Europe to America to Libya, are calling for U.S. intervention to help bring down Moammar Gaddafi. Yet for bringing down Saddam Hussein, the United States has been denounced variously for aggression, deception, arrogance and imperialism.

From Baghdad to Benghazi
Iran might not be the big winner of Mideast uprisings
A strange moral inversion, considering that Hussein's evil was an order of magnitude beyond Gaddafi's. Gaddafi is a capricious killer; Hussein was systematic. Gaddafi was too unstable and crazy to begin to match the Baathist apparatus: a comprehensive national system of terror, torture and mass murder, gassing entire villages to create what author Kanan Makiya called a "Republic of Fear."

Moreover, that systemized brutality made Hussein immovable in a way that Gaddafi is not. Barely armed Libyans have already seized half the country on their own. Yet in Iraq, there was no chance of putting an end to the regime without the terrible swift sword (it took all of three weeks) of the United States.

No matter the hypocritical double standard. Now that revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush's freedom agenda, it's not just Iraq that has slid into the memory hole. Also forgotten is the once proudly proclaimed "realism" of Years One and Two of President Obama's foreign policy - the "smart power" antidote to Bush's alleged misty-eyed idealism.

It began on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first Asia trip, when she publicly played down human rights concerns in China. The administration also cut aid for democracy promotion in Egypt by 50 percent. And cut civil society funds - money for precisely the organizations we now need to help Egyptian democracy - by 70 percent.

This new realism reached its apogee with Obama's reticence and tardiness in saying anything in support of the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran. On the contrary, Obama made clear that nuclear negotiations with the discredited and murderous regime (talks that a child could see would go nowhere) took precedence over the democratic revolutionaries in the street - to the point where demonstrators in Tehran chanted, "Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them."

Now that revolution has spread from Tunisia to Oman, however, the administration is rushing to keep up with the new dispensation, repeating the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine that Arabs are no exception to the universal thirst for dignity and freedom.

Iraq, of course, required a sustained U.S. military engagement to push back totalitarian forces trying to extinguish the new Iraq. But is this not what we are being asked to do with a no-fly zone over Libya? In conditions of active civil war, taking command of Libyan airspace requires a sustained military engagement.

Now, it can be argued that the price in blood and treasure that America paid to establish Iraq's democracy was too high. But whatever side you take on that question, what's unmistakable is that to the Middle Easterner, Iraq today is the only functioning Arab democracy, with multiparty elections and the freest press. Its democracy is fragile and imperfect - last week, security forces cracked down on demonstrators demanding better services - but were Egypt to be as politically developed in, say, a year as is Iraq today, we would think it a great success.

For Libyans, the effect of the Iraq war is even more concrete. However much bloodshed they face, they have been spared the threat of genocide. Gaddafi was so terrified by what we did to Saddam & Sons that he plea-bargained away his weapons of mass destruction. For a rebel in Benghazi, that is no small matter.

Yet we have been told incessantly how Iraq poisoned the Arab mind against America. Really? Where is the rampant anti-Americanism in any of these revolutions? In fact, notes Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, the United States has been "conspicuously absent from the sloganeering."

It's Yemen's president and the delusional Gaddafi who are railing against American conspiracies to rule and enslave. The demonstrators in the streets of Egypt, Iran and Libya have been straining their eyes for America to help. They are not chanting the antiwar slogans - remember "No blood for oil"? - of the American left. Why would they? America is leaving Iraq having taken no oil, having established no permanent bases, having left behind not a puppet regime but a functioning democracy. This, after Iraq's purple-fingered exercises in free elections seen on television everywhere set an example for the entire region.

Facebook and Twitter have surely mediated this pan-Arab (and Iranian) reach for dignity and freedom. But the Bush Doctrine set the premise.

3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 04, 2011, 01:21:59 PM
"In both films, as in real life, the problem is the unions themselves, not individual teachers. They present teachers who are heroic, who are creative and idealistic. But they too, in the films, are victims of union rules."

Bullshit.  The problem is as it always is - greed.  Almost all teachers in NJ ***love*** the unions.   It is not just the unions it is the idea that union members want to get as much out of the system for as long as they can.  This is human nature.

In my opinion this new strategy of Republicans saying its the unions and not the union members - sorry - that is total crap.  It is the culture of both at least here in NJ.

The vast majority of teachers in NJ are Democrats, feel the rich should pay up, and Christie is the devil incarnate.  They feel entitled and have been getting pay raises, good insurance and pension benefits for decades.  Compared to the 70's I believe they are better off.

I want them to do well.  But the money is not there and I refuse to pay more.  Enough is enough.
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 04, 2011, 12:23:31 PM
"The question for conservatives I think goes something like this, who among these top 10 or 15 possible candidates is consistently principled conservative to their core with unquestionable integrity that you could visualize right now as President best articulating American principles directly to the American people on the whole realm of economic, budget and security issues we face."

One gigantic difference between liberals and conservatives is a conservative could win by being honest about who they are, what they believe in, and how to keep this country great.  Unlike radical liberals who have to pretend they are for America and its historic principals yet in reality are for one world government, the UN as leadership role, world Leninism, a single "class" for everyone, etc.  We know Obama believes this and strives for this but he cannot say this or he would never have been President.  He pretends he is for America he pretends he is to keep her great he tries to copy Reagan etc but we all know how radical he really is. 

This false and decpetive pretense and facade more than anything else he can and should be beaten and driven out of office head first in '12.   We need a candidate who can and will call him out for this.  Not let him and his MSM cohorts bluff us like they do.  Newt is one who could do that.  Mitt cannot not.  I am not saying Newt is otherwise a good candidate but the only one clearly who could take Bamster on in a debate and show what a fraud he is and not let him lie us to death with deception.  But Newt does need a softer side that can appeal to moderates in some way.  He doesn't have that.

I don't know yet about Pawlenty, Daniels, or any other.  West has the right mouth piece but as Crafty pointed out his resume is too thin at this point.
3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 03, 2011, 02:50:37 PM
Crafty,
Yes. Great point. 

I think he would fold.  Actually I meant I do *not* think he could beat Obama in a debate.  He might on some logical points but not on the emotional issues like race baiting and class warefare.

We really need to get a candidate that can debate on those points.

GM,
I am not sure what you mean about Mitt?
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 03, 2011, 01:50:19 PM
"Morris said Newt because he would eat Obama up in the debates"

Doug,

I just think Mitt could beat Obama in a debate.  I could see him coming out slight ahead on the content but he would get wiped out on style and that to me is the problem at this point.

3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / For those losing sleep wondering what happened to... on: March 02, 2011, 01:37:06 PM
Monica Lewinsky Made a Stealth Appearance Last Thursday Night
 
 03/02/11 12:51am Roger Friedman 0 
Monica Lewinsky–yes, Monica Lewinsky– I saw her last Thursday night in Beverly Hills. She attended the Ed Ruscha art premiere with her brother. And I talked to Monica, and forgot about it entirely until I saw that Terry Richardson somehow got someone that night to take a picture of him with her. It’s on his blog, and I hope it’s okay that I’ve moved it over here. Monica was great, very perky, looking un-aged from her celebrity moment a dozen years ago.  I asked her if she was still making handbags. She said no. She also said she was living out in LA. She was very gracious. It was not appropriate to ask about anything else. So well, well, not much of a story. She was excited to check out all of Ruscha’s work, and that was that. Fame is fleeting. A couple of said, “Isn’t that what’s her name?” And no, she didn’t go to any Oscar parties.

3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yes this is about power not jobs not workers rights on: March 02, 2011, 12:39:00 PM
Rachel fled the board so I will post a Buchanan piece.  I admit he probably is a bit of an anti-semite but his articles are far more in the real world than her philisophical postings which are nice for college students to fantasize about but have no place in the real world IMO:

****CommentsWhy Scott Walker Must Win
by Patrick J. Buchanan

03/01/2011

The anti-democratic methods President Obama's union allies are using in Wisconsin testify to the crucial character of the battle being fought.
   
Teachers have walked off in wildcat strikes, taking pupils with them. Doctors have issued lying affidavits saying the teachers were sick, a good example of ethical conduct for the school kids.
   
Thousands of demonstrators have daily invaded the Capitol, chanting, hooting, banging drums. Hundreds have camped out there and refused to leave so the Capitol building can be cleaned.


   
Is this democracy in action? Is this what 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green went out to see that Saturday morning in Tucson?
   
Picketers have carried placards with the face of Gov. Scott Walker in the cross hairs of a gun sight. He has been compared to Hitler, Mussolini, Mubarak. Democrats have fled the state to deny the elected Wisconsin Senate a quorum to vote.
   
Such tactics cannot be allowed to triumph in a republic.
   
Why is the left behaving with desperation? Because it senses what this battle is all about. Not just about pay, but about power.
   
The Republicans are not only resolved to guarantee government workers pay a fair share of the cost of their pensions and health care. They are in a purposeful drive to disarm and demobilize the tax-subsidized armies of the Democratic Party and end sweetheart deals between unions and the poodle politicians they put into office.
   
"Walker wants to end collective bargaining," is the wail.
   
Actually, what the governor wants to end is the scandalous practice of powerful unions raising millions and running phone banks and get-out-the-vote operations for politicians who thank them with wages, benefits and job security no private employer can match.
   
Since the 1960s, government unions have been able to sit behind closed doors with the politicians they put in office and write contracts, the cost of which is borne by taxpayers who have no one at the table.
   
They call this collective bargaining. A more accurate term is collusive bargaining. And Walker means put an end to the racket.
   
When Ford sits down with the UAW, Ford negotiators represent the executives, directors and shareholders. Should they give away the store and Ford have to raise prices, and be undercut by Honda, all Ford workers, shareholders and executives suffer.
   
This is a healthy adversary procedure where Ford and the UAW each represents the interests of those who sent them, and both share a stake in keeping Ford prosperous.
   
When government unions sit down with the politicians they put into office, the relationship is not adversarial. It is not healthy. It is incestuous. And taxpayers must pay the cost of their cohabitation.
   
Gov. Walker also seeks to end the practice of having the state government collect union dues from state workers.
   
Indeed, why should a Republican administration collect dues for the benefit of union bosses who constantly labor to see to it those Republicans are not re-elected? Let the unions collect their own dues.
   
Walker would also require public service employee unions to hold annual elections by secret ballot to determine if state workers want the union to represent them, or if they would prefer to have their deducted union dues put back in their paychecks.
   
Legislators submit to voters every two years.
   
Why ought not unions to do the same?
   
In Wisconsin, the die is cast and Walker cannot yield.
   
For if he yields, the state and its 3,000 cities, counties, towns and school districts will be forever at the mercy of these unions.
   
If he yields, it will be a triumph for the tactics of intimidation, wildcat strikes and mass demonstrations to block legislative action.
   
The senators who fled will come home heroes, and Walker will have broken the hearts of the people who put their faith in him.
   
If Walker yields, governors and legislators across America will read the tea leaves and back away from taking on government unions. That means higher and higher taxes, as in Illinois, and eventual sinking of the states into unpayable debt and default.
   
The correlation of forces is in Walker's favor. Time is on his side. When you are holding a winning hand, you do not offer to split the pot.
   
After his opponents invaded the Capitol, called him Hitler, fled the state, and tried to shout down and shut down the legislature with raucous demonstrations, what other cards do they have left to play?
   
Walker has recalled Ronald Reagan's firing of the air traffic controllers as an example of how a strong leader must stand up even to a popular union when it is wrong.
   
There is an earlier example. When the Boston police went on strike and criminals ran amuck, and Sam Gompers came to the defense of the cops, Gov. Calvin Coolidge sent a telegram to that founding father of the American labor movement, "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."
   
Scott Walker cannot lose this fight, because his country cannot afford to have him lose it.****

3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 02, 2011, 12:15:48 PM
On O'Reilly yesterday  Stossel went out onto the streets of NYC and asked pedestians what they thought of what is going on in Wisconsin.  He estimated roughly half the people had no clue about it.  Yet when we hear polls telling us a majority are for the collective bargaining "rights" it is clear most people don't really understand all the implications.  I doubt very much most people would support government union collective bargaining if they understood how it really affects them or this country as a whole and how corrupt it really is. 

O'Reilly has really changed his strategy in his overall presentation.  It is obvious he has plays his guests as straw men while he pretends to be the reasonable middle of the road one.  By doing so he can attract Bamster and others to appear on his show and boost his own ratings.

I think many viewers have caught on to his ruse.  But that is another story.

****John Stossel takes to the streets
 
Fox Business anchor John Stossel set out to determine how much ordinary citizens know about the political battle in Wisconsin. "I would say half the people were clueless," Stossel reported, "but it's not that complicated - all you have to do is watch a few news shows and read a bit." Given the public's lack of knowledge, Stossel took issue with how recent polls are worded. "The polls game the language, and even you use the term 'collective bargaining rights. Who's to say it's a right? Let's call it collective bargaining power." The Factor contended that most Americans inherently sympathize with unionized workers: "There is a lot of suspicion that government is corrupt, Wall Street fat cats are corrupt, but workers just want enough to feed their families and send their kids to college."**** 
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Last doughboy gone on: February 28, 2011, 11:47:37 AM
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Frank Buckles, Last World War I Doughboy, Is Dead at 110
 

By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Published: February 28, 2011
Frank Buckles, who drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918 and came to symbolize a generation of embattled young Americans as the last of the World War I doughboys, died Sunday at his home in Charles Town, W. Va. He was 110.

His death was announced by a family spokesman, David DeJonge, The Associated Press said.

He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 or so miles from the Western Front trenches, but Mr. Buckles became something of a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”

Frail, stooped and hard of hearing, but sharp of mind, Mr. Buckles was named grand marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington in 2007. He was a guest at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day 2007 for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He was honored by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon and met with President George W. Bush at the White House in March 2008.

United States Senators played host to him at the Capitol in June 2008 for the impending 90th anniversary of the World War I armistice. And he appeared before a Senate subcommittee in December 2009 to support legislation named in his honor to bestow federal status on a World War I memorial on the National Mall built in the 1930s.

Sought out for interviews in his final years, Mr. Buckles told of having witnessed a ceremony involving British veterans of the Crimean War, fought in the 1850s, when he was stationed in England before heading to France. He remembered chatting with General John J. Pershing, the commander of American troops in World War I, at an event in Oklahoma City soon after the war’s end.

And he proudly held a sepia-toned photograph of himself in his doughboy uniform when he was interviewed by USA Today in 2007. “I was a snappy soldier,” he said. “All gung-ho.”

Frank Woodruff Buckles was born Feb. 1, 1901, on a farm near Bethany, Mo. He was living in Oakwood, Okla., when America entered World War I and he tried to enlist in the Marine Corps at age 16, having been inspired by recruiting posters.

The Marines turned him down as underage and under the required weight. The Navy didn’t want him either, saying he had flat feet. But the Army took him in August 1917 when he lied about his age, and he volunteered to be an ambulance driver, hearing that was the quickest path to service in France.

He sailed for England in December 1917 on the Carpathia, the ship that helped save survivors of the Titanic’s sinking in 1912. He later served in various locations in France, including Bordeaux, and drove military autos and ambulances. He was touched by the war’s impact on the French people.

“The little French children were hungry,” Mr. Buckles recalled in a 2001 interview for the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. “We’d feed the children. To me, that was a pretty sad sight.”

Mr. Buckles escorted German prisoners of war back to their homeland after the armistice, then returned to America and later worked in the Toronto office of the White Star shipping line.

He traveled widely over the years, working for steamship companies, and he was on business in Manila when the Japanese occupied it following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He was imprisoned by the Japanese, losing more than 50 pounds, before being liberated by an American airborne unit in February 1945.

After retiring from steamship work in the mid-1950s, Mr. Buckles ran a cattle farm in Charles Town, and he was still riding a tractor there at age 104.

In April 2007, Mr. Buckles was identified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as one of the four known survivors among the more than 4.7 million Americans who had served in the armed forces of the Allied nations between April 6, 1917, when the United States entered World War I, and the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918.

Two of the four — J. Russell Coffey and Harry Landis — had served stateside in the American Army. Mr. Coffey died in December 2007 at 109 and Mr. Landis died in February 2008 at 108. John Babcock, who was Canadian born, served in Canada’s army in Britain in World War I and held dual American and Canadian citizenship, died in Spokane, Wash., in February 2010 at 109.

The last known veterans of the French and German armies in World War I, Lazare Ponticelli and Erich Kästner, died a few months apart in 2008; Harry Patch, the last British soldier, died in 2009. A former nurse and a former sailor, both English, are thought to be the only two people still living who served in any capacity in the war.

Mr. Buckles is survived by his daughter, Susannah Flanagan. His wife, Audrey, died in 1999.

More than eight decades after World War I ended, Mr. Buckles retained images of his French comrades. And he thought back to the fate that awaited them.

“What I have a vivid memory of is the French soldiers — being in a small village and going in to a local wine shop in the evening,” he told a Library of Congress interviewer. “They had very, very little money. But they were having wine and singing the ‘Marseillaise’ with enthusiasm. And I inquired, ‘What is the occasion?’ They were going back to the front. Can you imagine that?”
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 27, 2011, 05:15:47 PM
I hope he runs.  At least give a go.

If he doesn't do well at least he will have tried.  We'll never know otherwise and always question not doing so.

Go for it Newt!
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN: Good point! on: February 27, 2011, 05:12:18 PM
"Yet Obama was criticized for "standing up for democracy" in Egypt.  If we follow this new Republican suggestion, maybe we should "stand up for democracy" and oust
the dictatorships in in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Bahrain, Kuwait, et al and return their government to the "people". "

JDN, I agree with your point 100%  grin  grin  grin

Both parties Dems and Cans are schizophrenic with regards to which way to go - support "Democracy" or not depending on the political advantage at the time.

I hear some Republicans criticizing Bamster no matter what he does and I don't hear many if any Dems giving W high grades for promoting "freedom" around the Middle East.   The make love not war anit American 60's libs who control the Democratic party today should be holding W up as some sort of Saint if you listen to them.  But then, how could they blame him for everything, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

The whole political aspect to this thing is a big joke.  And the joke is on the US.


3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jonah Goldberg on Obama reversal on: February 25, 2011, 12:38:44 PM
"President Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional, and yet the “law professor” says he will continue to enforce it. In a properly ordered constitutional republic, this would be a scandal. But in America today, it’s cause for eye-rolling, shrugs, and platitudes about the demands of politics."

I think it is likely a political move.  He needs the gay hordes led by MSNBC as his poll numbers are falling again.  I think he is holding back on support for gay marriage for the political opportune time not for their benefit but for his.   Just IMHO.

***Jonah Goldberg

February 25, 2011 12:00 A.M.

Throwing in the Towel on the Constitution
Obama violates his oath of office

Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires that each new president take the following oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

President Obama announced this week that he will violate that oath.
In a decision hailed by gay-rights activists, the White House announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on the grounds that it has suddenly dawned on the president and attorney general that the law is unconstitutional.

DOMA, signed into law by President Clinton, bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Obama has always opposed the law, but as president his administration has enforced it and defended it in court. Although it should be noted that Obama’s Justice Department has not defended DOMA vigorously, as Justice Department guidelines require.

As Ed Whelan, a legal scholar and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has detailed at some length, the DOJ has been, in effect, tanking the fight in court for the last two years by tailoring its arguments in ways beneficial to gay-marriage activists. Now Obama’s lawyers are simply taking a dive by flatly declaring the unconstitutionality of the law.

Obama, who fancies himself a scholar of the Constitution, never said a peep about the law being unconstitutional until this week.

Why the public change of heart?

There’s good reason to believe that Obama has always been lying — yes, lying — about opposing gay marriage. For example, in 1996, he told the Windy City Times, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” But by 2004, Obama very much wanted to be president, and he understood that supporting gay marriage would be a political liability. So he opted for something other than honesty. And in a 2004 interview with a gay publication, Obama strongly hinted his opposition was strategic, not philosophical.

“Everything we know and admire about President Obama makes the claim that he doesn’t support the freedom to marry very unconvincing,” Evan Wolfson, the director of the gay-rights group Freedom to Marry, told the Huffington Post last August.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insists that the president still opposes same-sex marriage. But Carney was quick to note that the president has said his views on the matter are “evolving.” Translation: He could completely change his mind at any moment.

And you know what? That’s fine. Lots of people change their minds about issues like these. Support for gay marriage and gay rights generally has been on the rise for years. My own views have been evolving as well.

But that is all irrelevant. The politics are irrelevant too. I don’t know if this is a politically smart move on Obama’s part or a dumb one, though I have my theories.

Either way, what Obama is doing is flatly outrageous. Carney says that “the president is constitutionally bound to enforce the laws and enforcement of the DOMA will continue.”

No, he is not.

There’s a myth out there that only the Supreme Court determines what is, or is not, constitutional. It’s a bipartisan myth. “We can’t have presidents deciding what laws are constitutional and what laws are not,” Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.) said in a statement. “That is a function of the judicial branch, not the executive.”

President Bush made a similar, indefensible error when he signed the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill, even though he believed portions of it were unconstitutional (and he was right; the Supreme Court overturned it in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission last year).

The problem is that the Constitution doesn’t say any such thing (and, no, it’s not in Marbury v. Madison either). The president doesn’t take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Supreme Court. He takes an oath to defend the Constitution.

Imagine if Congress passed — hopefully over a presidential veto — a law that brought back slavery. Such a law would be plainly unconstitutional, and no president worthy of the job would wait for the Supreme Court to tell him as much. More to the point, once the president concluded that the law was unconstitutional, he would be bound by his oath to ignore it, and challenge it in every way possible.

President Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional, and yet the “law professor” says he will continue to enforce it.

In a properly ordered constitutional republic, this would be a scandal. But in America today, it’s cause for eye-rolling, shrugs, and platitudes about the demands of politics.

—Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. © 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.***
 

3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 25, 2011, 11:43:03 AM
This is exactly why tax codes should not be tinkered with in regards to social engineering.  They should be the same for everyone, flat, no write offs, no loopholes.
How could government employees under assault not be outraged?  This is classic the rich get richer and reap unfair benefits.  Repubs would do well to at least recognize this and say/do something about it.  The silence from them on issues like this is deafening. 

****Tax breaks on real estate deals for people like A-Rod cost city 900M a year
Juan Gonzalez - News

Friday, February 25th 2011, 4:00 AM

 
Sipkin/NewsA city program gives huge tax abatements to condo owners in newly built housing. A-Rod, for instance, will pay just $100 a month in taxes on his new $6 million bachelor pad. Related NewsLupica: A-Rod out of the spotlight? For Yanks to win, he'd better find itA-Rod: Bombers will survive without LeeLupica: Hamilton shows A-Rod how its doneA-Rod expects to be in top form next seasonA-Rod confronts Grim realityLupica: It's time for Alex to be GreatYankees star Alex Rodriguez will pay virtually no property tax for a $6 million apartment he is buying on the upper West Side.

Rodriguez will be billed around $1,200 this year in real estate tax for his 3,000-square-foot, five-bedroom penthouse with spectacular views of the Hudson River.

Over the next 10 years Rodriguez and his fellow residents will continue to receive huge discounts on their tax, a city housing official said.

For Rodriguez, a full tax bill would be at least $60,000 annually, the latest city assessment records show.

A spokeswoman for Extell, the company that built the 2-year-old luxury Rushmore Towers near the West Side Highway, declined to discuss the taxes on the slugger's new bachelor pad.

But the only two penthouses that went into contract this month at the Rushmore, each of which was listed at more than $6 million, have been assessed at a little over $100 per month in taxes, one real estate expert told the Daily News.

So how is it possible that tens of thousands of ordinary city residents struggle each year with soaring tax bills for their co-ops, condos and homes, while the Yankees' $33-million-a-year star gets to pay next to nothing?

Well, Rodriguez and many other well-heeled New Yorkers have learned to take advantage of a little-known tax abatement program that has existed for decades.

The politicians and real estate insiders call it the "421A" program. It grants as much as a 98% percent tax abatement for up to 25 years to condo owners in newly built housing.

The bulk of the 421A benefit has gone to luxury housing in Manhattan, though a few reforms by City Hall and the Legislature in 2007 at least required developers to build 20% affordable housing to qualify for the tax abatement.

This year alone, the 421A program will cost our city more than $900 million in lost revenues, the Independent Budget Office says.

That's money that could prevent layoffs of firefighters and teachers. That could fund senior citizen centers and pay for after-school programs.

You haven't heard much about this, but the 421A program ended in December for any new construction. But the city's powerful real estate industry is determined to get it renewed and even get it expanded. Its lobbyists are working feverishly behind the scenes to pressure Council and lawmakers in Albany.

Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander has been leading the fight against that renewal.

It's too much of a giveaway to developers, Lander says, especially since there's already a glut of luxury housing in this town.

The developers want to link any extension of rent stabilization laws for tenants, which the Legislature must vote on by June, to a deal on extending the 421A tax abatement for builders.

The industry hopes Gov. Cuomo, who made a name for himself a long time ago as an advocate for affordable housing, will take their side.

In so many ways, big and small, the minority who have the big money keep trying to get government to give them more financial breaks at the expense of the rest of us.

"Where's the fair share if people who have paid millions of dollars for an apartment get away with paying no real estate taxes, when people in co-ops are being slaughtered?" said Bayta Lewton, of the Coalition for a Livable West Side.

Even before the pennant race begins, A-Rod has become the poster boy in another race - to end these tax abatements that have run amok.****


3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beck apologizes on: February 25, 2011, 10:04:57 AM
Lawrence of MSNBC has been crusading against Beck.  Apparantly Beck said a few things about the reformed rabbies who critcized him.  I am not that familiar with the whole thing.  Rachel who disappeared from this board after her post about Beck and Rabbie complainst and I came back and criticized Soros would probably find this apology inadaquate.  I am not sure what to say specifically on the issue of Beck on this though I stand by my comments on Soros.  As for criticizing Obama on not speaking out enough ON Ghaddafi I think this wrong headed and political.  There are thousands of Americans trapped in Libya and their lives are at stake.  It is not a leap to worry that US over - condemnation could cost them their lives.

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2011/02/glenn-beck-apology-admits-making-one-of-the-worst-analogies-of-all-time.html
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris' poll on Wisconsin on: February 24, 2011, 07:31:38 PM
MSNBC announcers with great glee yesterday citing polls that people of Wisconsin are "breaking" with Governor Walker.  I am a bit surprised (and disappointed) that most people appear to think collective bargaining for government employees is OK.  I don't get it.  They like paying for the largess.  Without limiting this won't taxpayers always have to be at risk of being held up for more money?

****« REVOLT!: STATES LEAD THE WAYTHE DICK MORRIS POLL ON WISCONSIN
By Dick Morris02.24.2011
ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF THE DICK MORRIS POLL and FIRST STATEWIDE POLL RESULTS OF WISCONSIN VOTERS

February 24, 2011

Dick Morris, a veteran pollster with thirty years of experience in national and international polling, is announcing the launch of The Dick Morris Poll, which will focus on timely political issues and candidates. Drawing on his polling expertise, Dick will provide the results and an analysis of each poll.

Dick Morris was President Clinton’s pollster for 20 years, and has done polling for 30 Senators and Governors and 14 presidents or prime ministers in foreign countries.

The Dick Morris Poll, to be published at least once a month, will use the traditional polling method of telephone calls to registered voters. On occasion, internet polls will be done of a carefully drawn random sample of likely voters – in order to avoid the bias of relying only on those participants with a political predisposition.

The initial poll is the first published poll of voters conducted within the state of Wisconsin and was completed on Monday, February 21, 2011 and Tuesday, February 22, 2011.

WISCONSIN POLL RESULTS

The Dick Morris Poll conducted a telephone survey among 409 likely Wisconsin voters. The survey has a margin of error of +- 4%.

Findings: Wisconsin voters break almost evenly on Governor Walker’s proposed reforms, supporting them by a margin of 51-47.

They support many aspects of the proposal by significant numbers:

VOTERS SUPPORT CHANGING THE BENEFITS TO STATE WORKERS, PAY, AND AUTOMATIC DEDUCTION OF UNION DUES

• By 74-18, they back making state employees pay more for their health insurance.
• By 79-16, they support asking state workers contribute more toward their pensions.
• By 54-34, Wisconsin voters support ending the automatic deduction of union dues from state paychecks and support making unions collect dues from each member.
• By 66-30, they back limiting state workers’ pay increases to the rate of inflation unless voters approve a higher raise by a public referendum.

VOTERS OPPOSE CHANGING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

On the issue of limiting collective bargaining to wage and benefit issues, however, they break with the Governor, opposing the proposal by 41-54.

If the issues to be taken off the bargaining table are related to giving schools flexibility to modify tenure, pay teachers based on merit, discharge bad teachers and promote good ones, however, they support such limits on collective bargaining by 58-38.

ANALYSIS: Voters back the principal of collective bargaining. But they are also willing to limit these negotiations so that they would not impede education reforms.

For Governor Walker to prevail, he must focus on his goal of achieving reform in schools. He will not prevail as long as his proposal is essentially negative in nature (i.e. limiting collective bargaining). But if he emphasizes the positive intent that lies behind the proposal (i.e. giving schools the flexibility and freedom to implement education reforms), he will find a solid public majority behind him.

(c) COPYRIGHT 2011, DICK MORRIS AND EILEEN MCGANN. REPRINTS WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION ONLY.****
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / King vs. Piers on: February 24, 2011, 07:21:49 PM
I thought Piers is pretty good but I guess his ratings have fallen.  I am surprised Larry King criticized him.  It is interesting that one of King's complaint is Piers "is not dangerous enough".   I kind of thought King was always rather wishy washy himself:

Piers Morgan, Larry King spar over CNN veteran's jibe
 – British journalist Piers Morgan (pictured) sparred verbally with his CNN predecessor Larry King, after … – Thu Feb 24, 3:22 am ET
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – British journalist Piers Morgan sparred verbally with his CNN predecessor Larry King, after the US veteran criticized Morgan's talk show technique.

Morgan, who took over in January after King bowed out following 25 years as host of "Larry King Live," light-heartedly suggested he would have to punch the 77-year-old following his jibes in a BBC interview.

"I have spent the last few months saying following you is like following Sinatra. I couldn't have paid you higher praise. And you go in my back yard and say I'm... oversold, undangerous," said Morgan.

King told BBC radio last week he thought Morgan had been "oversold" when he started at CNN, saying: "He's good, but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly."

Damning with faint praise, King added: "He's certainly not bad. He's certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times."

Defending himself on Morgan's show, King insisted he didn't think the British host was dangerous.

Morgan replied: "We couldn't come in and undersell me. I'm following a legend. You can't follow Sinatra in Vegas and say 'By the way, I'm not very good, and this is going to be useless.'"

King, deadpanning: "Why can't you just say: 'Piers Morgan. I'm coming. Watch me.' What's wrong with that?"

After briefly squaring up for a pretend across-the-table punch -- King said he had heard that Morgan had suggested he would punch him for the BBC jibe -- the British host agreed to change the subject.

But they came back to it at the end of the interview, when Morgan presented King with a pair of suspenders -- the CNN veteran's onscreen trademark -- with a Union Jack flag pattern.

The pair then got into another pretend verbal tussle over the fact that "suspenders" in British English are an item of women's underwear, the British word being "braces."

"So I've been wearing ladies' underwear all these years?" asked King.

"That's what the Brits think," replied Morgan.

"You're dangerous," joked King.


3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / radical community organizer meets with companies that control flow on internet on: February 24, 2011, 02:57:59 PM
Supposedly the meeting is for job creation.  That said, Obama meeting with Google owners, CEOs etc should raise eyebrows and questions.  This is all the more reason net neutrality may very well be a good idea.  Do we really want the most radical guy in the WH we have ever had meeting with those who can control the flow of information, and commerce and all communication on the internet without some sort of controls or regulation?  Very thought provoking.

*****Hosted by      Back to Google NewsObama meets with heads of Facebook, Apple, Google to discuss job creation
By Darlene Superville (CP) – 6 days ago

WOODSIDE, Calif. — President Barack Obama assembled some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley to confer on jobs and innovation, trying to get leaders from companies like Google and Apple behind his push to keep spending on high-tech initiatives even as Republicans are out to slash the budget.

Wunderkind Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, and Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and CEO who announced last month that he was taking his third medical leave, were among a dozen business leaders who met with Obama in California Thursday evening. Also attending were the heads of Twitter, Yahoo!, NetFlix and Oracle, and the president of Stanford University.

The dinner at the home of John and Ann Doerr in the San Francisco Bay area was closed to the media. Doerr, a partner at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, attended the meeting.

Obama wants to spend billions on clean energy, education, high-speed Internet and other programs even as his new budget proposal calls for a five-year freeze on domestic spending in certain other areas. The approach is getting a frosty reception from newly empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are pushing steep cuts to a wide range of programs and balking at new spending.

The president argues that targeted spending, including education initiatives aimed at producing a more sophisticated workforce, is crucial for job creation and future U.S. competitiveness with other nations. A stamp of approval from the Silicon Valley's leading innovators and job creators could help.

At the same time, the president's meeting Thursday extends outreach to the business community that he's embarked upon since Democrats suffered steep losses in the November midterm elections. With unemployment stuck at 9 per cent, Obama has been pleading with corporate America to hire.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the high-tech sector has been "a model, really, for that kind of economic activity that we want to see in other cutting-edge industries in the U.S. where jobs can be created in America and kept in America, and that's what he wants to talk about."

After his stop in California, Obama was planning to tour Intel Corp.'s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Ore., on Friday with CEO Paul Otellini. Otellini, who was among a group of CEOs who met privately with Obama in December, has criticized Obama's policies as creating uncertainty for business.

Obama has left Washington weekly since his Jan. 25 State of the Union to highlight his plans to boost education, innovation and infrastructure. Education is this week's theme.

Obama last visited California and Oregon, both states he won easily in 2008, during a four-state swing in October.

___

AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller and Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 24, 2011, 02:16:11 PM
"The
teachers bargained in good faith; they have a contract and the
State signed and agreed."

Well, a little more accurately, the Democratic party machine signed and agreed.
Taxpayers had no clue.
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 23, 2011, 12:51:37 PM
Isn't Brian Wesbury a bull 100% of the time.  I don't recall him every saying anything negative.

Then again I don't follow him much anymore.
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