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3901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science vs. God on: September 11, 2010, 08:04:42 PM
Stephen Hawking seems to think we don't need God or philisophy.  We have science.  This Economist writer did not think much of his book:

3902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: September 11, 2010, 07:57:35 PM
"He is currently one point up in a Dem. district"

He answers the questions I see all over CNN when a Black comes on and begs the question, "well what does the Republican party (or tea party for that matter) offer us???"

Well here is your answer,

A free and strong, and safe and properous nation with equal opportunity for all.

Not a country where we are wards of the state, where the elite decide what to do with our money, where property and wealth are not stolen, where we have leaders who are honest and proud of our nation etc.
3903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Health costs are bad? What about education? on: September 10, 2010, 09:53:19 AM
From the Economist:

Declining by degree
Will America’s universities go the way of its car companies?
Sep 2nd 2010

FIFTY years ago, in the glorious age of three-martini lunches and all-smoking offices, America’s car companies were universally admired. Everybody wanted to know the secrets of their success. How did they churn out dazzling new models every year? How did they manage so many people so successfully (General Motors was then the biggest private-sector employer in the world)? And how did they keep their customers so happy?

Today the world is equally in awe of American universities. They dominate global rankings: on the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s list of the world’s best universities, 17 of the top 20 are American, and 35 of the top 50. They employ 70% of living Nobel prizewinners in science and economics and produce a disproportionate share of the world’s most-cited articles in academic journals. Everyone wants to know their secret recipe.

Which raises a mischievous question. Could America’s universities go the way of its car companies? On the face of it, this seems highly unlikely. Student enrolments are higher than ever this year, as Americans who cannot find jobs linger or return to education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, shows no outward sign of becoming Detroit. Yet there are serious questions about America’s ivory towers.

Two right-wing think-tanks, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Goldwater Institute, have both produced damning reports about America’s university system. Two left-wing academics, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, have published an even more damning book: “Higher Education? How Colleges are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids and What We Can Do About It”. And US News & World Report, a centrist magazine, says in its annual survey of American colleges that: “If colleges were businesses, they would be ripe for hostile takeovers, complete with serious cost-cutting and painful reorganisations.”

College fees have for decades risen faster than Americans’ ability to pay them. Median household income has grown by a factor of 6.5 in the past 40 years, but the cost of attending a state college has increased by a factor of 15 for in-state students and 24 for out-of-state students. The cost of attending a private college has increased by a factor of more than 13 (a year in the Ivy League will set you back $38,000, excluding bed and board). Academic inflation makes medical inflation look modest by comparison.

As costs soar, diligence is tumbling. In 1961 full-time students in four-year colleges spent 24 hours a week studying; that has fallen to 14, estimates the AEI. Drop-out and deferment rates are also hair-curling: only 40% of students graduate in four years.

The most plausible explanation is that professors are not particularly interested in students’ welfare. Promotion and tenure depend on published research, not good teaching. Professors strike an implicit bargain with their students: we will give you light workloads and inflated grades so long as you leave us alone to do our research. Mr Hacker and Ms Dreifus point out that senior professors in Ivy League universities now get sabbaticals every third year rather than every seventh. This year 20 of Harvard’s 48 history professors will be on leave.

America’s commitment to research is one of the glories of its higher-education system. But for how long? The supply of papers that apply gender theory to literary criticism remains ample. But there is evidence of diminishing returns in an area perhaps more vital to the country’s economic dynamism: science and technology. The Kauffman Foundation, which studies entrepreneurship, argues that the productivity of federal funding for R&D, in terms of patents and licences, has been falling for some years. Funding is spread too thinly. It would yield better results if concentrated on centres of excellence, but fashionable chatter about the “knowledge economy” stirs every congressional backwoodsman to stick his fingers into the university pie.

The Goldwater Institute points to a third poison to add to rising prices and declining productivity: administrative bloat. Between 1993 and 2007 spending on university bureaucrats at America’s 198 leading universities rose much faster than spending on teaching faculty. Administration costs at elite private universities rose even faster than at public ones. For example, Harvard increased its administrative spending per student by 300%. In some universities, such as Arizona State University, almost half the full-time employees are administrators. Nearly all university presidents conduct themselves like corporate titans, with salaries, perks and entourages to match.

At least the Naval Academy is free

Given the size and competitiveness of America’s higher-education system, you might expect these problems to be self-correcting. Why don’t some universities compete by hiring teaching superstars? And why don’t others slash prices? The big problem is that high-status institutions such as universities tend to compete with each other on academic reputation (which is enhanced by star professors) and bling (luxurious dormitories and fancy sports stadiums) rather than value for money. This starts at the top: Yale would never dream of competing with Harvard on price. But it also extends to second-division universities: George Washington University has made itself fashionable by charging students more and spending lavishly on its facilities.

This luxury model is unlikely to survive what is turning into a prolonged economic downturn. Parents are much less willing to take on debt than they were and much more willing to look abroad for better deals. The internet also poses a growing threat to what Bill Gates calls “place-based colleges”. Online, you can listen to the world’s best lecturers for next to nothing.

America’s universities lost their way badly in the era of easy money. If they do not find it again, they may go the way of GM.

3904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / what a business this is on: September 09, 2010, 07:18:30 PM
We have race baiting Reverends.  Now we have religious baiting "imams".

What a racket!  This is becoming a tried and true business model.

3905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: September 09, 2010, 07:14:11 PM
"They were fallible human beings with mortgages to pay and funds to raise"

So says GW of the climate change croud:

****The environmental movement in retreat

By George Will | The collapsing crusade for legislation to combat climate change raises a question: Has ever a political movement made so little of so many advantages? Its implosion has continued since "the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most unproductive and chaotic global gathering ever held." So says Walter Russell Mead, who has an explanation: Bambi became Godzilla.

That is, a small band of skeptics became the dogmatic establishment. In his Via Meadia blog, Mead, a professor of politics at Bard College and Yale, notes that "the greenest president in American history had the largest congressional majority of any president since Lyndon Johnson," but the environmentalists' legislation foundered because they got "on the wrong side of doubt."

Environmentalists, Mead argues, have forgotten their origins, which were in skeptical "reaction against Big Science, Big Government and Experts." Environmentalists once were intellectual cousins of economic libertarians who heed the arguments of Friedrich Hayek and other students of spontaneous order -- in society or nature. Such libertarians caution against trying to impose big, simple plans on complex systems. They warn that governmental interventions in such systems inevitably have large unintended, because unforeseeable, consequences.

In the middle of the 20th century, Americans, impressed by the government's mobilization of society for victory in World War II, were, Mead says, "intoxicated with social and environmental engineering of all kinds." They had, for example, serene confidence that "urban renewal" would produce "model cities." Back then, environmentalism was skepticism.

It was akin to the dissent of Jane Jacobs, author of the 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." She argued that ambitious social engineers such as New York's Robert Moses were, by their ten-thumbed interventions in complex organisms such as cities, disrupting social ecosystems. The apotheosis of technocratic experts such as McGeorge Bundy and Robert McNamara gave us "nation-building" in conjunction with a war of attrition -- the crucial metric supposedly was body counts -- in a Southeast Asian peasant society. Over time, Mead says, "experts lost their mystique":
  Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
 "An increasingly skeptical public started to notice that 'experts' weren't angels descending immaculately from heaven bearing infallible revelations from G0d. They were fallible human beings with mortgages to pay and funds to raise. They disagreed with one another and they colluded with their friends and supporters like everyone else."

And expertise was annoyingly changeable. Experts said margarine was the healthy alternative to butter -- until they said its trans fats made it harmful.

Environmentalism began as Bambi doing battle with Godzillas, such as the Army Corps of Engineers. Then, says Mead, environmentalism became Godzilla, an advocate of "a big and simple fix for all that ails us: a global carbon cap. One big problem, one big fix." Mead continues:

"Never mind that the leading green political strategy (to stop global warming by a treaty that gains unanimous consent among 190-plus countries and is then ratified by 67 votes in a Senate that rejected Kyoto 95 to 0) is and always has been so cluelessly unrealistic as to be clinically insane. The experts decree and we rubes are not to think but to honor and obey."

The essence of progressivism, of which environmentalism has become an appendage, is the faith that all will be well once we have concentrated enough power in Washington and have concentrated enough Washington power in the executive branch and have concentrated enough "experts" in that branch. Hence the Environmental Protection Agency proposes to do what the elected representatives of the rubes refuse to do in limiting greenhouse gases. Mead says of today's environmental movement:

"It proposes big economic and social interventions and denies that unintended consequences and new information could vitiate the power of its recommendations. It knows what is good for us, and its knowledge is backed up by the awesome power and majesty of the peer review process. The political, cultural, business and scientific establishments stand firmly behind global warming today -- just as they once stood firmly behind Robert Moses, urban renewal and big dams. They tell us it's a sin to question the consensus, the sign of bad moral character to doubt. Bambi, look in the mirror. You will see Godzilla looking back."

Mead, who says that he is a skeptic about climate policy rather than climate science, says that the environmental movement has "become the voice of the establishment, of the tenured, of the technocrats." This is the wrong thing to be in "Recovery Summer" while the nation wonders about the whereabouts of the robust recovery the experts forecast.****
3906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: September 09, 2010, 02:14:09 PM
I guess if the pastor simply painted a picture of the quran burning and dipped it in urine. He could call it art and apply for a NEA grant.
I am so glad Hillary weighed in on this.
3907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: September 09, 2010, 02:01:56 PM
"But just as old problems return, so do equally old solutions. Once-stodgy ideas like a free-market economy, strong defense, secure borders, and national unity are suddenly appearing fresh and wise."

To many it does, including me and most on this board.

But "old solutions" are going to come with MUCH pain.  I don't hear many politicians being honest about that.

Bamster who has criticized the previous politicians for kicking the can down the road has done more to kick the can down the road then everyone before him.

The left is still hanging on hoping he is not the disaster that I/most of us think he is.
3908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: September 04, 2010, 10:19:02 AM
Those who don't listent to history are doomed to repeat it:

""We were expecting Islam to adapt to France and it is France adapting to Islam," Robin said"

If the Bloomberg's of the country have their way it will happen here too.

****'Islamization' of Paris a Warning to the West
By Dale Hurd
CBN News Sr. ReporterSaturday, September 04, 2010RSSPodcasts

The latest version of Adobe Flash Player is required to watch this video. Please click on the link below to download the latest version. Thanks!

Embed:  Link:   
Ad Feedback PARIS - Friday in Paris. A hidden camera shows streets blocked by huge crowds of Muslim worshippers and enforced by a private security force.

This is all illegal in France: the public worship, the blocked streets, and the private security. But the police have been ordered not to intervene.

It shows that even though some in the French government want to get tough with Muslims and ban the burqa, other parts of the French government continue to give Islam a privileged status.

An ordinary French citizen who has been watching the Islamization of Paris decided that the world needed to see what was happening to his city. He used a hidden camera to start posting videos on YouTube. His life has been threatened and so he uses the alias of "Maxime Lepante. " 

Lepante's View

His camera shows that Muslims "are blocking the streets with barriers. They are praying on the ground. And the inhabitants of this district cannot leave their homes, nor go into their homes during those prayers."

"The Muslims taking over those streets do not have any authorization. They do not go to the police headquarters, so it's completely illegal," he says.

The Muslims in the street have been granted unofficial rights that no Christian group is likely to get under France's Laicite', or secularism law.

"It says people have the right to share any belief they want, any religion," Lepante explained. "But they have to practice at home or in the mosque, synagogues, churches and so on."

Some say Muslims must pray in the street because they need a larger mosque. But Lepante has observed cars coming from other parts of Paris, and he believes it is a weekly display of growing Muslim power.

"They are coming there to show that they can take over some French streets to show that they can conquer a part of the French territory," he said.

France's Islamic Future?

If France faces an Islamic future, a Russian author has already written about it. The novel is called "The Mosque of Notre Dame, 2048," a bestseller in Russia, not in France.

French publisher Jean Robin said the French media ignored the book because it was politically incorrect.

"Islam is seen as the religion of the poor people, so you can't say to the poor people, 'You're wrong,' otherwise, you're a fascist," Robin explained.

The book lays out a dark future when France has become a Muslim nation, and the famous cathedral has been turned into a mosque.

Whether that plot is farfetched depends on whom you ask. Muslims are said to be no more than 10 percent of the French population, although no one knows for sure because French law prohibits population counts by religion.

But the Muslim birthrate is significantly higher than for the native French. Some Muslim men practice polygamy, with each extra wife having children and collecting a welfare check.

"The problem of Islam is more than a problem of numbers," said French philosopher Radu Stoenescu, an Islamic expert who debates Muslim leaders on French TV. "The problem is one of principles. It's an open question. Is Islam an ideology or just a creed?"

"It doesn't matter how many there are," he aded. "The problem is the people who follow Islam; they're somehow in a political party, which has a political agenda, which means basically implementing Sharia and building an Islamic state."

In Denial or Fed Up

From the 1980s until recently, criticizing or opposing Islam was considered a social taboo, and so the government and media effectively helped Islam spread throughout France.

"We were expecting Islam to adapt to France and it is France adapting to Islam," Robin said.

About the burqa controversy, one French Muslim man told a reporter that Europeans should respect Muslim dress. One Parisian woman wearing a headscarf said "the veil is in the Koran" and "we only submit to God and nobody else."

But even if many government elites are in France are in denial over Islam, the people in the streets increasingly are not. Some have become fed up with what they see as the growing Islamization of France.

They've started staging pork and wine "aperitifs," or cocktail parties in the street. They're patriotic demonstrations meant to strike back against Islam.  Another national demonstration is planned for Saturday, Sept. 4. 

A Warning to the West

The French parliament is expected to debate the burqa law in September. Jean-Francois Cope, president of the Union for a Popular Movement political party, has a warning for the West and for America. 

"We cannot accept the development of such practice because it's not compatible with the life in a modern society, you see," he said. "And this question is not only a French question. You will all have to face this challenge. "

For more insight on the slide toward a post-Christian Western society, check out Dale Hurd's blog Hurd on the Web.

For more insight on 'Islamization' around the world, check out Stakelbeck on Terror.

**Originally published September 1, 2010.****
3909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / freedom of speech?/how about a cultural theme park on: September 03, 2010, 12:39:43 PM
"this site goes to the high bidder - strip club, pot shop, shooting range, what ever"

Good idea Doug.

Rush had suggested a gay bar open next door.  May I add a strip club titled "99 virgins" would be excellent for the other side of the mosque.

Across the street a Church with a statue of Jesus and Mother Mary.  Adjacent to that my favorite = a museum about Zionism.

A NOW center also would help complete a culturally diverse theme park around the mosque. 

OK you wise guys (there is certainly no nicer way to put it).  You want to speak of freedom of speech - lets give you the whole works! In your faces too.  grin
3910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: September 03, 2010, 09:42:10 AM
Some have said that the mosque on ground zero is akin to the Japanese building a religious shrine at Pearl Habor.

Looking at it from the opposite perspective:

Could any American dream or think it a good idea to build a memorial to Harry S. Truman on the site of Hiroshima?

It seems to me the fact I have never heard anyone even use this as an analogy suggests no American would be that obnoxious to even think of doing that to the Japanese.

There is simply no other explanation for building this mosque at the WTC site than it is meant to be a symbol of of victory.  The progressives who than turn around and agree with the argument that it is all about religious freedom - it is as Malken would say, "head exploding."  angry

3911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 9/11 memorial that never made the press on: September 03, 2010, 09:33:39 AM
I never saw this before!

I should take a drive up to see it.

3912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here it comes on: September 03, 2010, 09:31:44 AM
Yes, go after our own law enforcement for doing it's job and report to the UN. angry

Feds sue Arizona sheriff in civil rights probe
           DOJ Going After America's Toughest Sheriff? FOX News By AMANDA LEE MYERS and PAUL DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer Amanda Lee Myers And Paul Davenport, Associated Press Writer – Thu Sep 2, 7:49 pm ET
PHOENIX – The Justice Department sued the nation's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" on Thursday, calling Joe Arpaio's defiance of an investigation into his office's alleged discrimination against Hispanics "unprecedented."

It's the first time in decades a lawman has refused to cooperate in one of the agency's probes, the department said.

The Arizona sheriff had been given until Aug. 17 to hand over documents the federal government first asked for 15 months ago, when it started investigating alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and jail policies that discriminate against people with limited English skills.

Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the department's civil rights division, said it's unfortunate the department had to sue to get the documents, which neither the agency nor Arpaio would describe.

But Arpaio called the lawsuit "a ruse" and said the federal government is just trying to score a win against the state, which has found itself at the center of the nation's argument over illegal immigration since passing a law that mirrors many of the policies Arpaio has put into place in the greater Phoenix area.

"I think they know we have not been racial profiling, so what's the next step — camouflage the situation, go the courts, and make it look like I'm not cooperating," Arpaio said Thursday.

Arpaio said he provided "hundreds of thousands" of reports but hasn't turned over others because the department's request was too broad.

Kevin Ryan, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California and a law professor at the University of San Francisco, said he thought the department's characterization of Arpaio's behavior as unprecedented was overstating it.

He said the contentious relationship between the sheriff and the department is no secret.

"You really can't hold it against the sheriff and assume he's guilty because he's not rolling over for the Justice Department," he said.

But Rory Little, a law professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law who formerly worked at the Justice Department, disagreed, called Arpaio's actions "pretty unusual" because the lawsuit says Arpaio's office signed agreements promising to cooperate with civil-rights investigations and other reviews when it accepted federal law enforcement grants.

Last year, the nearly $113 million that Maricopa County received from the federal government accounted for about 5 percent of the county's $2 billion budget. The lawsuit listed $16.5 million of funding provided Arpaio's office through several programs.

"Normally when you receive $113 million in grants you're going to cooperate and send over whatever they want to see," Little said. Otherwise, "it raises the level of suspicion pretty significantly."

He also said it's rare for a law enforcement agency to push the department all the way to a lawsuit.

"Cooperating with the Department of Justice is usually not a bad thing so long as you're not the target of a criminal investigation, and the federal government has a lot of power in terms of grants and you don't want to get on their bad side," he said.

Arpaio believes the department's inquiry is focused on his immigration sweeps, patrols where deputies flood an area of a city — in some cases heavily Latino areas — to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders.

Critics say the deputies pull people over for minor traffic infractions because of the color of their skin so they can ask them for their proof of citizenship.

Thursday's lawsuit is the latest action in a slew against Arizona by the federal government.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stripped Arpaio's office of its special powers to enforce federal immigration laws, and in May, the Obama administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent Arizona from enforcing its employer sanctions law.

In July, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to overturn portions of Arizona's strict new immigration law that would require police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally. A federal judge put that provision and most of the law on hold.

The continued attention on the state sends a clear political message that the federal government doesn't want Arizona enforcing federal immigration laws, said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for strict immigration laws.

"It's surprising that the administration would focus on Arizona and go after it on such a high-profile and persistent way," he said.

In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in Phoenix is examining allegations that Arpaio has abused his powers with actions such as intimidating county workers by showing up at their homes at nights and on weekends.

A Hispanic activist said a federal judge might have to threaten jail time to get Arpaio to cooperate in the lawsuit filed Thursday.

"It's going to take the hard hand of the judge to order some sanctions against the sheriff's office," said Lydia Guzman of the Phoenix-based civil rights group Somos America.

Arizona Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, author of the new Arizona law, called the Justice Department's actions against Arpaio a "witch hunt."

"This is the game that's played," he said. "They couldn't find any violations ... that's why they're very vague about what they want. It doesn't take a very high IQ to figure out what's going on with these folks."


Associated Press Writer Jacques Billeaud contributed to this report.

3913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hill vs vahvahvahvoom! on: September 02, 2010, 08:50:03 PM
Did you see Hillary between Abbas and Netenyahu today?  What a political setup.

They might as well have put a sign behind her asking "should I run in 12 or wait till 16"?

If Bamster continues to screw up I would certainly be very surprised if there wasn't a big push for the Hill to save the crats in 12.

IF only people voted based on how one looks in a bikini.
3914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: September 01, 2010, 07:04:37 PM
I don't know the details.  Persistant hoarseness in an older person especially one who smokes is always a red flag.  OTOH is not unusaul for someone to smoke for 50 years knowing full well of the risks and then when they do come down with something turn around a blame the doctors because they didn't catch it fast enough or something else doesn't turn out perfect. 

Irregardless, Michael Douglas, and his father are two of my favorite actors so I am saddned to hear this.  I wish them well.

***Catherine Zeta-Jones furious Douglas' cancer went undetected
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones admits having a hard time watching husband Michael Douglas battle throat cancer and has told People magazine she is furious with doctors for not detecting his disease sooner.

Douglas, the Oscar winner of "Wall Street" and a veteran of Hollywood movies and television, told the celebrity magazine that he spent months seeking attention for persistent throat and ear pain only to be told nothing was wrong until August.

The son of actor Kirk Douglas announced on August 16 that doctors had found a tumor in his throat and that he would undergo radiation and chemotherapy, which he has now started.

"It makes me furious they didn't detect it earlier," Zeta-Jones told People. "He sought every option and nothing was found."

The actress, herself an Oscar winner for "Chicago," has been married to Douglas for 10 years and the couple have two children together, Dylan, 10, and Carys, 7.

Douglas, 65, is now undergoing radiation and chemotherapy five days-a-week every three weeks to rid himself of a walnut-sized tumor at the base of his tongue.

Zeta-Jones said she can't stand the thought of watching her husband undergoing chemotherapy and radiation and loosing his strength as he battles the disease.

"I know maybe I should be stronger, but emotionally I just don't want to see that," she said, later adding, "the hardest part is seeing his fatigue, because Michael is never tired."

Douglas made his first post-announcement TV appearance on Tuesday on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and told the talk show audience that although his cancer was late "stage four," doctors say he has an 80 percent chance of recovery.

He told People magazine that he was optimistic about his odds. "I'm treating this as a curable disease," he said. "It's a fight. I'll beat this."

But he admitted that he was uncertain about the future, and noted that "you just never think it's going to be you."

Still, after months of feeling the pain creep up on him, of having a dry throat and hoarse voice, the news of his cancer came as little surprise to both Hollywood stars.

"It wasn't a huge shock. I knew something was up. He knew something was up," said Zeta-Jones.

And while she is furious about the lack of an early diagnosis, Douglas seems more understanding. "Without having to blame anybody ... these things sometimes just don't show up," he said.***

3915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / All who disagree categorized as having a mental disorder on: August 30, 2010, 02:55:02 PM
 I caught the tailend of a caller speaking of "Ameraphobia" while listening to one of the great talk show hosts - Bob Grant.  The left's propensity to attempt to label all opposition as a phobia - some sort of mental disorder.  You know "homphobia", "Islamaphobia".  So they should be called Ameriphobics because of their hatred for this country.

****The last refuge of a liberal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.****
3916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: August 30, 2010, 02:31:22 PM
"Both are attractive women saying they are conservative.  Problem for one is that in her first vote she would choose Nancy Pelosi for Speaker"

Gives new meaning to beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside.
3917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: August 30, 2010, 12:29:41 PM


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

The talking point is obvious.

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

Why is it we only see mostly Black people at his rallies??
3918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: August 30, 2010, 11:20:16 AM
The Republicans seem to have a lock on good looking politicians - at least females!

If looks could kill - Kagan, Sotomeyor, Clinton, Michelle, Pelosi we would all be dead by now.
3919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Beck - wow! on: August 29, 2010, 11:06:56 AM
Perhaps you saw Sharpton on Geraldo this weekend.  Geraldo stated that he generally does not agree with Beck but graciously admitted his rally was great, his presentation, his message was "flawlessly" delivered. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does anyone think TIME magazine will place Beck on the cover with admiriation like they did with Sharpton recently? wink
3920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 27, 2010, 10:20:04 AM
Good article from Mort Zuckerman.  I don't know how to link here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I understand supply side theory but there has to be some compromise or middle way with this.
3921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / John Rich - not looking out for you. on: August 25, 2010, 11:50:28 AM
This AM John Rich was on TV saying he has so many songs that he doesn't know what to do with them all.  They will never get to radio so if anyone wants them for "free" one can go to his website.  I don't know what songs he is talking about but Gretchen Wilson another alleged liar stated he had hundreds of songs.

There is something totoally dishonest about his claim this AM.

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

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

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

Folks never believe any of these hucksters that they are "giving" away anything to you.  It is just the opposite.
3922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 25, 2010, 11:39:58 AM
"a return to work a couple of times before signing off as ready and forcing the issue........   At least that way you are caring while at the same time minimizing the abuse?"

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

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

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

This kind of justice is rare.  It took a doctor with the funds to hire his own person to go after this.
3923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: August 25, 2010, 11:28:59 AM
Laura Ingram said it best last night while subbing for Hannity.

"Tolerance only works one way with the Muslims."

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

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

Our enemies have learned well how to beat this country and make us look like fools.
3924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 25, 2010, 11:19:14 AM
There was an article in Journal of American Medical Assoc. which I receive for free thus I cannot copy it here.

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

We know which one is Obamacare.

3925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 24, 2010, 12:08:39 PM
I have frequently people coming to me for temporary disability.  Not always but most of the time they will (if covered) drag out thier time off and complain that it is justified due to some medical problem.  Usually it is obvious when they are soaking the "system" whether it be public or private for as much as possible.  I admit, that I and other doctors have a very hard time saying no.  When one is trying to be a good caring physician who wants to maintain a good relationship with a patient it is (for me at least) very hard to tell this patient they are full of it and they should get their behind back to work - even when I know this to be true.

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

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

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

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

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

I don't know.  What would you do? 
3926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 23, 2010, 02:07:26 PM
Geraldo had a segment about Bama losing Jewish support, now "below 50%".  Jews calling themselves Republican I think he stated 33%!!

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

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

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

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

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

That is the choice given by Iran.

Great huh?
3927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 01:59:28 PM

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

No one wants their livlihood questioned.

A good case could be made that doctors are breaking the bank more then police.
3928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mitch Daniels for GOP for 2012 on: August 23, 2010, 11:26:13 AM
The "Economist" wondering out loud if this guy would be a good candidate for GOP in 12?  I know absolutely nothing about him so I have no opinion.  I can't say I am knocked off my chair based on this article.  As a cynic I would wonder if that is why the Economist is suggesting this guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr Daniels still insists he is unlikely to run for president. But he has a familiar post-partisan sheen, not unlike a certain former senator—though he is more conservative, shorter and much balder. He likes to talk about a “programme of unusual boldness” that unites the parties and sets America back on track. “Supposedly we are not capable of making decisions like this,” Mr Daniels said, grinning as he smacked a stubborn bottle of ketchup. “But somebody has got to try.”***
3929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 23, 2010, 10:30:58 AM
This was unfair to Doug IMO.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If anyone wants to get annoyed with doctors I can take it.  I agree most of us are not saints.
3930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 12:45:01 PM
I don't know how accurate this is.  Iselin and Newark NJ seem to be at similar rates.  I guess if one wants to be a police officer go for State Policeman, or work in NJ or LA.   I have had patients applying for jobs with local police force.  They tell me 200 applicants for one or two spaces.  It ain't too bad in Jersey is all I can say.
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3931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 12:40:50 PM
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   NJSP Quick Links ----------------------------- NJSP Home About Us Recruiting Division Organization Public Information News Releases Crime & Technology FAQ's Highlights Sitemap Services Contact NJSP    Recruiting -------------------------------------- Recruiting Page Minimum Qualifications Disqualification Info Selection Process How to Apply Career Nights FAQ's Salaries & Benefits Women in the NJSP Academy   
Starting Salary
The current starting salary for a trooper is $58,748.29 (including uniform allowance). The second-year total compensation jumps to $65,662.39. Top pay for a Trooper I is $97,188.48. Troopers receive yearly increments. All recruits receive $777.78 every two weeks, plus overtime pay. Room and board are also provided while training.

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

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

The two options for medical coverage are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Information or questions regarding your eligibility for any retirement benefit should be directed to the Division of State Police, Human Resource Management Bureau, Debra Hanko at (609) 882-2000 ext. 2623, email: or Fred Warner at (609) 882-2000 ext. 2621, email:
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3932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: August 21, 2010, 09:42:08 AM
How many in this country pay no income taxes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: August 20, 2010, 04:18:45 PM
"President Barack Obama's top adviser on nuclear issues, Gary Samore, told The New York Times that he thinks it would take Iran "roughly a year" to turn low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material. The assessment was reportedly shared with Israel and could ease concerns over the possibility of an imminent Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities"

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

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

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

3934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 20, 2010, 12:07:51 PM
BO ws certainly born a Muslim.  I guess his middle name is Hussain because he is a closet Jew.

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

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

3935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 18, 2010, 07:32:17 PM
My dentist is Chinese!

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

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

JDN, let me know when you get carpal tunnel surgery.  Then I can post my opnions to you and you won't be able to post back.   grin
3936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / good stuff, thanks on: August 18, 2010, 07:26:49 PM

3937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 17, 2010, 01:26:52 PM
The idea that some police are eligible for food stamps is nothing short of shameful.

Isn't this also true of some military personel?
3938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: August 17, 2010, 01:01:04 PM
Bolton's opinion made front of Drudge today.  We all remember Amhadinajad saying how Israel's time is coming to an end. 

I would like to hear Bamster's response,

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

To all my fellow liberal Jews who support Bamster,

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

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

3939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: August 16, 2010, 06:00:23 PM
How do you know all these quotes?
3940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 05:58:30 PM

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

It is easier for some officials to give in to pressure when it is public and not their personal monies involved I would guess.  Then there is the old "if you scratch my back I will scrach yours" that is rapant in local politics.
3941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 02:33:34 PM
Our country may have a problem when we see that government jobs are becoming more attractive than private sector.  This serves to increase the power and limitlessness of government.

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

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


3942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bolten's opinion on: August 16, 2010, 11:48:47 AM
Window to bomb Iran is nearly closed.  Once the Iranians start the  nuclear power plant they could get 50 bombs. Bombing after the plant is up and running would result in radiation leakage all over the place and an even greater PR and collateral damage disaster.  Ballgame is almost over if he is right. Iran went nuc and we did nothing.  We are weak and our enemies know it. cry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this humble contributor’s opinion, the time for half hearted sanctions and toothless diplomacy are over. The only thing that Iran will respect is strength and unfortunately this administration is not up to the task of showing any strength anytime soon.****
3943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 11:03:03 AM
So are you saying we need to continue the pensions or else no one will become a police officer or firefighter?

Perhaps you are correct. I don't know. undecided
3944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: August 16, 2010, 10:53:17 AM
"Not just Bush, but the R. congress of that time needs to be answered."

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

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

By the way, I predict we will have a Black Republican candidate for President in 2016.
3945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 16, 2010, 10:47:30 AM
Perhaps all these priorities can thus be summarized as:

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

International Marxism, one world government etc.
3946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 16, 2010, 10:02:18 AM
"police firefighters retiring at 50 then getting other jobs for 30 years"

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

I would like to clairfy this comment.

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

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

Anyone is welcome to respond.  Call me out, cuss me out but please feel free to respond.  I do think many people feel as I do.  I also think many are really afraid to say anthing about this in public.  No one wants police to be mad at them.  Of course this board is public anyway since it goes right to the internet and I know everything I do online is monitored in my unique circumstance.
3947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 14, 2010, 12:42:15 PM

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a mystery as persistent as LRS itself.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


So how could Brown have additional time?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

3948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Race in America on: August 13, 2010, 04:47:10 PM
"Meanwhile, Republicans are laughing."

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

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

Please go on make a complete damn fool of yourself.  Not only will he be proven to be a crook, he will be proven to be a sad naricisstic old fool.  And the fall out on the Dems will be an added delight.  Krauthammer is enjoying this.  So am I.  It is about time to get Rangel some justice.
3949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: August 13, 2010, 12:52:32 PM
I remember someone who was not an American citizen once told me (decades ago) "the world is a joke,  Always Remember I tell you this.  The world is a joke".  His context was that it wasn't fair I was an American citizen and he was not.  I had privleges and lived in the greatest country and he did not - only because of a twist of faith.  I was born here he was not.  The longer I live the more I have come to agree he was right.  I always remembered he told me that wondering if one day I would agree with him.  Here from a total creep who I allege sings songs she claims she writes but didn't, whose boyfriend claimed he didn't take steroids but obviously did (Lance Amrstrong) and now she can lecture her green agenda while spewing carbon all over during her worldly travels. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

3950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What WE need is a version of Netanyahu on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:51 PM
What America needs is a man like this.  Who can bring pride and strength to America - not shame and weakness.  What a difference!  For Israel I say this brings me only pride and greatfulness there is a real man at their helm.   grin  For America the opposite -  a great deceiver, a huckster of sorts, a lover of himself.  cry angry

From Greorge Will - another great article:

***Israel's anti-Obama

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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