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3951  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.

3952  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
3953  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / good stuff, thanks on: August 18, 2010, 07:26:49 PM

3954  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?
3955  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.

3956  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?
3957  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.
3958  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?


3959  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.****
3960  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
3961  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.
3962  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.
3963  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.
3964  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.”****

3965  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.
3966  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)****

3967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What WE need is a version of Netanyahu on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:51 PM
What America needs is a man like this.  Who can bring pride and strength to America - not shame and weakness.  What a difference!  For Israel I say this brings me only pride and greatfulness there is a real man at their helm.   grin  For America the opposite -  a great deceiver, a huckster of sorts, a lover of himself.  cry angry

From Greorge Will - another great article:

***Israel's anti-Obama

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 13, 2010, 10:57:02 AM
Alright.  Is the killing suspect who is an "Israeli National" a Jew, a Christain, or a Muslim?

Notice the silence so far.   

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

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

3969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: August 13, 2010, 10:44:36 AM
This is just corruption plain and simple.  There is just nothing, or no one money can't buy.  Someone at the FHA should go to jail for this nonsense.  Has anyone tried to get a Federal employee fired?   Almost impossible.  Talk about an "club".

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filling a Void

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

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

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

‘Not an Accident’

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

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

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

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

‘Ironic’ Move

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

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

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

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

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

Eager for Approval

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

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

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

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

‘Great Solution’

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

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

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

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

Limits to Success

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

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

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

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

Rising Defaults

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

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

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

Taking on Risk

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

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

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

Contract Contingency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Oshrat Carmiel in New York at****
3970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / rant on: August 13, 2010, 10:11:52 AM
Friends, Americans (what is left of us), countrymen (also what is left of us),

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have to get off my soap box now.
3971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 13, 2010, 09:35:14 AM
I think much of what you said is part of it.  I suppose also some of the work done by illegals is somewhat skilled such as construction - though the quality of their construction may be suspect.  In any case, we do not hear this obvious relationship one ioda from MSM (at least that I have heard) about this obvious relationship.  IT is simple to connect the dots.

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

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

Another example of the fruadulent political agenda of those at CNN.  As for the Dems in the WH and other houses of bullshit, well it is obvious they are just gunning for votes to enhance their power. 
3972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / a nuclear bomb on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:45 PM
with more on the way.

3973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / What do you get if... on: August 12, 2010, 06:16:05 PM
you have two bullshit artists trying to shit each other:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

answer next post

3974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 12, 2010, 02:27:34 PM
Today on drudge we have the report that youth unemployment is an all time high. 

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

So for kids today those jobs are all too demeaning?

3975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 11, 2010, 11:25:20 AM
ON the yahoo news, another liberal MSM outlet written by someone who read a NYT published article from David Stockton.  I cannot pull up the NYT article since I don't subscribe.  It is interesting how the claim is it is all the fault of Republicans.  I see it more as the fault of liberals with Republicans trying to keep up with "conservative compassion" so to speak.  I have pointed out before that I do agree the widening gap between wealth and non wealth is a huge problem that is getting bigger.  It is not merely that wealthy people are the only ones with brains, the only ones who work hard. It is in our capitlistic society once they reach a certain lelel they do indeed hold all the cards.  I have never heard an answer about this from the right.  OTOH I don't believe welath confiscation and doles are the answer either.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reagan Republican: the GOP should file for bankruptcy

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

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

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Visit the Banking & Budgeting Center 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stage 2. Crushing debts from domestic excesses, war mongering

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stage 4. New American Revolution class warfare coming soon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So be prepared, it will hit soon, when you least expect.
3976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 06, 2010, 11:25:42 AM
"our cops can follow any one of us for nothing and watch for a screwup to pull us over"

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

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

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

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

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

Doug your right.  Like so many of us are saying this country is turned up side down by liberals who are hell bent on giving it away towards a world government, and world socialism.
3977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 06, 2010, 10:47:44 AM
"Israeli satellite captured photos of submarine off loading weapons to Hizbullah"

Whose Submarines?
3978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: August 06, 2010, 10:15:30 AM
Perhaps I am missing it but every time I watch CNN, who bills it self as non partisan all I ever see is partisinship on this issue.  When they discuss the issue of anchor babies, we see anchors, guests, pundits one after the other say with a shit eating grin after another and snickering that it is clearly in the constitution that the babies of two illegal parents are citizens and end of story.

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

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

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

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

Comon you dumb Republican "leaders" what about all the illegals including those who overstay their visas.  Those from Asia, from Europe, From Africa, From the Carribbean.  By keeping silent about this and making it solely a "border" issue you feed the concept that it is about people who look Mexican.
3979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: August 05, 2010, 04:09:18 PM
Usually when they start telling you the "story" behind the lyrics it is because the person didn't write it and it is pure BS to cover it.  The rush out of the song is very suspicious.  Often they rush it out because it is stolen or has been stolen not by downloaders but by the middle men. As soon as they get the evidence they throw it out there.  Delays in singers coming out with their albums are because they can't steal the evidence.  They will not do a song if the real writer hass evidence.  They will wait days, weeks, months or even years.  That it why it is so rare to hear in the news when anyone gets caught.  And then there is a behind the scenes deal or they work on stealing the evidence as it comes forward and we never hear in the nuews anything about it again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / speaking of bbking on: August 04, 2010, 03:24:55 PM

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

BBK has broken through.  Many of the other old time Black musicians have their own long stories about how they were treated like garbage and left to rot.
3981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Twice?? on: August 02, 2010, 03:05:18 PM
It seems Margaret's house is a thoroughfare for drug dealers on the run:

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

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

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

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

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

Return to Forfeiture main page
3982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 02, 2010, 01:34:13 PM
Do you have any sense about what proportion of Muslims or Christian Arabs in Israel feel like Khaldi?

MSM like interviews with the disenchanted not people like Khaldi.  Particularly, if they fit into the liberal agenda.

For example I doubt Soledad O'Brien would want to interview this guy.  She would much more quickly jump to interview the angry Arab Muslim who exclaims discirimination.
3983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / yeah right. It is all racial. on: August 02, 2010, 10:37:15 AM
Is this not ridiculous?  Now people are trying to say that the Rangel, Waters thing is racial.  Of course.  What else is new?  Sharpton was on cable this weekend not explicitly saying this just stating one has to ask this question.  He still refuses to apologize for his lies with Twana Brawley.  He is on the cover of some mag supposedly with the title of reinventing himself.  To me he is still the same race baiting hustler he has always been.  I don't know why msm keeps giving him some sort of legitimacy.  I guess they still find his BS still fits their liberal agenda and incorporates him into the progressive strategy to get fight republicans.

3984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / another scam attempt this AM on: August 02, 2010, 10:29:35 AM
This morning as I leave the house I see a large dump truck next to our back yard fence gate with guy sitting there reading paper, our "neighbor" who is a plant sitting on her porch like she does off and on all day everyday smoking her cigarette on the other side of house, new guy who just moved in standing in his driveway directly next to our house, pickup truck from guy named Mcyintire who I have found following me, his vehicle is registered to son who moved in the house three doors down.  He doesn't live there he lives 30 minutes away but the truck is registered to the son.   they moved out from Brooklyn .  They *all* moved in after us.

They were hoping to get in the house after I leave and if Katherine lets out the dogs in our yard and by accident leaves the back door unattended even for minutes.

They will know exactly where in our house to go, understand from monitoring us the time needed to do what they need to do, and sit and wait, and have all the people in the scam in place.  They will get in the house, take what they want and leave no obvious trace.  The only thing(s) missing will be related to songs, lyrics, copyrights, documents related to Fidelity trading scam where they were robbing Katherine by some insider at the trading desk or at Fidelity.

I don't know who is the one calling the shots behind all these low level bozos who are being dircted by someone who is a professional crook who does this for a living for the music industry middle men.  I am told the big guys corporate execs at sony, disney, Gaffner etc. are not directly doing this.  They are reportedly just looking the other way.  I am not so sure.  But that is what some have told me.

I have been told there is an Irish Mafia that has a group that does this as well as the Italians.  The Blacks in music of course are all associatecd with the drug gangs.

It is obvious to us that when there is something they *must* get in our house we see more and more obvious people wlaking dogs, smoking cigarettes, parking in the Chruch lot next to our house.  We get offers for service, like a plumber who is offering low rates (just while we happen to need one), left on our door, on the local cable station, the neigbhors two doors down, the Flanagens had a miad crew come in driving the exact same model '95 black Caddy I used to drive.  Not only that after a slid on ice and crack into a sign pole causing a dent in the front, so did their car later show a dent almost exactly the same location as mine.  I suspect they were going to park it where I usually park my car and make it look like it was me at my house while they were in the house.

3985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 01, 2010, 02:30:59 PM

"Some Bedouin--Muslim also serve in the IDF."

Perhaps my perception is wrong about the difference between Arab Christains and Muslims with regards to their perception, attitudes, and interaction with Jews.  Feel free to ellaborate and teach me.  I am not an expert in the area.
3986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: August 01, 2010, 02:28:01 PM
"CCP,  The female equivalent might be shopping, not gazing at men."

Yes you are right!  I could have a shelf titled "men's health" with playboy and penthouse mags and a "women's health" shelf loaded with retail catalogues.

Patients may not mind waiting for their doctor too!   grin

Hugh Hefner will pick up on this and promote his mag and website claiming them for health benefits.  Hey look at the master breast connoiseur himself - what is he 90 and still going?
3987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 31, 2010, 10:59:11 AM

I don't know how soon after one is granted amnesty they will be able to vote.  Perhaps you are right and it wouldn't be soon enough to give Bamster all thse votes.

The larger more despicible situation is this guy can alter the course of our history by granting amnesty to tens of millions who will largely vote for a party that taxes and spends money to buy votes of their contstuents.  And not a damn thing anyone can do about it.  The founders gave too much power to the President in retrospect.
Wikepedia even points out how this was troubling to them from day one. 

I see no reason why bama wouldn't do this.  It totally fits with his goals of distributing wealth to buy votes and keep power.  Again does anyone for one second think the Dems would be stalling for this if these people were not going to vote for them.  Sure come to this country and vote for socialistic programs that distributes money to them.  I don't know why American Blacks do not see this as screwing them as well.  As well as the Latinos who cme here legally.
3988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama pardon all illegals on: July 30, 2010, 04:39:04 PM
From wikepedia.  The constitution grants pardon power to the Pres.  So nothing can stop Bamster from doing this.  I predict he will.  Suppose in 2012 he loses reelection.  Nothing can stop him as a lame duck from pardoning 20 million illegals before he walks out the door.  And I believe he will do it if it comes to that.  I wonder if the founders ever imagined this.  I believe Obama will do it sooner if he can get away with it politically.  Suppose he simply decides to do this before the election.  He will then have 20 million more people to vote for him.  I wonder how long in advance he would have to do this so the illegals can register/qualify to vote for him.

Reagan made a big mistake setting precedent for this.   

****In the United States, the pardon power for federal crimes is granted to the President of the United States under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution which states that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." The Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted this language to include the power to grant pardons, conditional pardons, commutations of sentence, conditional commutations of sentence, remissions of fines and forfeitures, respites and amnesties.[12]

All federal pardon petitions are addressed to the President, who grants or denies the request. Typically, applications for pardons are referred for review and non-binding recommendation by the Office of the Pardon Attorney, an official of the United States Department of Justice. The percentage of pardons and reprieves granted varies from administration to administration (fewer pardons have been granted since World War II).[13]

The pardon power was controversial from the outset; many Anti-Federalists remembered examples of royal abuses of the pardon power in Europe, and warned that the same would happen in the new republic. Alexander Hamilton defended the pardon power in Federalist Papers, particularly in Federalist No. 74. In his final day in office, George Washington granted the first high-profile federal pardon to leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion.

Many pardons have been controversial. Critics argue that pardons have been used more often for the sake of political expediency than to correct judicial error. One of the more famous recent pardons was granted by President Gerald Ford to former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974, for official misconduct which gave rise to the Watergate scandal. Polls showed a majority of Americans disapproved of the pardon, and Ford's public-approval ratings tumbled afterward. Other controversial uses of the pardon power include Andrew Johnson's sweeping pardons of thousands of former Confederate officials and military personnel after the American Civil War, Jimmy Carter's grant of amnesty to Vietnam-era draft dodgers, George H. W. Bush's pardons of 75 people, including six Reagan administration officials accused and/or convicted in connection with the Iran-Contra affair, and Bill Clinton's commutation of sentences for 16 members of FALN in 1999 and of 140 people on his last day in office, including billionaire fugitive Marc Rich. Most recently, George W. Bush's commutation of the prison term of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was controversial.

The Justice Department recommends anyone requesting a pardon must wait five years after conviction or release prior to receiving a pardon. A presidential pardon may be granted at any time, however, and as when Ford pardoned Nixon, the pardoned person need not yet have been convicted or even formally charged with a crime. Clemency may also be granted without the filing of a formal request and even if the intended recipient has no desire to be pardoned. In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, the Pardon Attorney will consider only petitions from persons who have completed their sentences and, in addition, have demonstrated their ability to lead a responsible and productive life for a significant period after conviction or release from confinement.[14]

It appears that a pardon can be rejected, and must be affirmatively accepted to be officially recognized by the courts. Acceptance also carries with it an admission of guilt.[15] However, the federal courts have yet to make it clear how this logic applies to persons who are deceased (such as Henry Ossian Flipper - who was pardoned by Bill Clinton), those who are relieved from penalties as a result of general amnesties and those whose punishments are relieved via a commutation of sentence (which cannot be rejected in any sense of the language.)[16]

While a presidential pardon will restore various rights lost as a result of the pardoned offense and should lessen to some extent the stigma arising from a conviction, it will not erase or expunge the record of that conviction. Therefore, even if a person is granted a pardon, they must still disclose their conviction on any form where such information is required, although they may also disclose the fact that they received a pardon. In addition, most civil disabilities attendant upon a federal felony conviction, such as loss of the right to vote and hold state public office, are imposed by state rather than federal law, and also may be removed by state action. Because the federal pardon process is exacting and may be more time-consuming than analogous state procedures, pardon recipients may wish to consult with the appropriate authorities in the state of their residence regarding the procedures for restoring their state civil rights.****

[edit] State law
3989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Princess Chelsea on: July 30, 2010, 12:10:36 PM
I don't care if the Clintons spend whatever they want for their only daughter's wedding.  It is just the hyporcracy of it all.  Chelsea who is some sort of assistant fund raiser for NYU has a building set aside for her that is the size of half a city block!  Marrying her hedge fund guy who is the son of a convicted crook.
NYU which is going global setting up the liberal child of their favorite liberal secretary of state.  The same liberal who feels that succesful people don't pay enough.  The hypocracy of limousine liberals is astounding.  Obviously grooming Chelsea for public office.  This folks, is big money/political power at its worst: 
****I'm constantly amazed at how much some money people blow on the Great White Wedding.

But Chelsea Clinton's forthcoming extravaganza takes the cake. The $11,000 cake, reportedly.

So in honor of this weekend's crazy Gilded Age circus, here are seven financial messages for would-be brides, grooms—and their parents.

1. Yes, the wedding-industrial complex marches on. The Age of Austerity? Ha. If you thought the recession was going to kill the GWW, think again. "We're in a recession-resistant industry," says Carley Roney, editor-in-chief of Knot Inc.'s TheKnot, the weddings website. The company's data suggest that the price of the median wedding, which dropped from $19,000 to $17,500 from 2008 to 2009, has now stabilized this year. Revenues rose 16% in the first quarter of 2010.

View Full Image

AFP/Getty Images
A sign outside a store in Rhinebeck, N.Y., where Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are to be married on Saturday.
2. Spending a fortune on a wedding is a choice, not a necessity. Chelsea's wedding is likely to cost $2 million to $3 million, says Ms. Roney. But first daughter Jenna Bush managed to hold a somewhat quieter affair for a lot less when she got married two years ago. She invited about 200 guests and held the wedding on her parents' ranch in Texas. It was hardly cheap, but at $100,000, the tab wasn't even in the same ballpark.

3. Spend what you can afford. Sure, the Clintons are spending a lot, but they are rich. Their net worth was estimated at $35 million not long ago. Chelsea is their only child. And Bill gets paid about $250,000 a speech. After taxes, that's about $160,000. So he could clear a $3 million tab for Chelsea's big day with 19 speeches. Even at one speech a day, that's three weeks' work. The average family maybe earns $3,000 in three weeks. Yet they spend about $17,500 on a wedding.

4. Look at the hourly costs. For Chelsea's event, if the ceremony starts at 6 p.m. and the guests party into the small hours, the whole affair may last maybe 11 hours. For $3 million, that's $270,000 an hour. How much fun can anyone have in an hour? Even if you're, say, doing the tango with Oprah Winfrey? Look at the numbers for a regular wedding. A $17,500 event that lasts 11 hours is costing you about $1,500 an hour. If it lasts only, say, six hours, you're spending nearly $3,000 an hour. Enjoy.

Rhinebeck Wedding Gridlock Rhinebeck Conspiracy Theory 5. The lifetime cost is off the map. People get angry when I point this out. But if your money earns, say, 4% a year above inflation, every dollar you save at age 20 will grow to about $6 by the time you retire. So that $17,500 will grow to about $100,000. If you're financially secure, maybe it doesn't matter so much. But most middle-class Americans are in a far more precarious situation than they realize. They have saved little, if anything, for their retirement, and they are deeply in debt. (Household debts are about twice what they were a decade ago.) And we've seen what can happen to jobs and wages in a slump. In these circumstances, saving money instead of spending it matters very much.

6. You might—possibly—be able to profit from others' extravagance. For those who still play the market, Knot Inc. may be of speculative interest. With its stock trading at $8, the company's entire market value is down to $270 million. It has about $130 million of cash and equivalents and no debt. Operating cash flow last year was $12 million. Results are due next week. One to watch.

7. How do you cut costs and still have a great wedding? Avoid Saturdays and peak seasons, says Ms. Roney. Avoid fancy venues and big cities. Make it more casual: A lot of the money goes toward those big formal dinners. And invite fewer guests. Five hundred people is going to cost you, even if they're not famous.

Bottom line? Think more like Jenna Bush, and less like Chelsea Clinton.

Write to Brett Arends at

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved***
3990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: July 29, 2010, 01:49:51 PM
I dunno....

Should I start recommending this to my male patients?

Should I rec. to my female pts they start staring at mens private parts ten minutes a day?

Maybe we should change the magazine selection in the waiting room.  I mean it is all in the name of improving health.
My practice might even take off.....
3991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 29, 2010, 01:03:44 PM
"Arab Christian family"

I doubt she would feel this way if she were an Arab Muslim.

It is not so much the Arab part - it is the Muslim part that want the Jews wiped out.
3992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / British system not a model for us?! on: July 28, 2010, 11:35:33 AM
Coincidentally, the woman from England who was touting the British system as being so good afterwards told of a new born nephew having mental status alterations.
To make a long story short it took days to finally have a cat scan of her brain approved wherein they found a fractured skull and a bleed that they think was probably due to forceps injury during child birth.
She later recanted and reportedly said that "maybe the British health care system is not so good".

If weasle Berwick has his way we will all have no choice.  As far as progressives are concerned it is "inevitable".  If not with this bill then the next one.  Caveat emptor, Reid recently saying we will get a public option. [shoved down our throats] 
3993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: July 28, 2010, 11:29:56 AM
This lady has some courage.

Being a whistleblower against a President, especially this one, is sure to bring heat on her life.

The left will make her pay for this, personally, financially, emotionally, and in every possible to make her suffer.

Many criticize whistleblowers for doing it for money.  I don't know the circumstances of why this person is doing it.

But as long as they are telling the truth they deserve to make money.  Otherwise no one will come forward and have their life ruined for ideology alone. (or very rare).
3994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 27, 2010, 10:22:41 AM
It certainly seems that it is all political that we are starting to hear NOW rumors of war with Iran before the election with sagged poll numbers.

Better to change the subject when your domestic ideology is not popular before an election, eh?

This is not just cynical.  It is just connecting the dots.
3995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / gel instead of fillings? on: July 27, 2010, 09:30:27 AM
 Gel that can help decayed teeth grow back could end fillings
By Pat Hagan

Open wide: Thanks to a new gel, soon this won't hurt
A gel that can help decayed teeth grow back in just weeks may mean an end to fillings.

The gel, which is being developed by scientists in France, works by prompting cells in teeth to start multiplying. They then form healthy new tooth tissue that gradually replaces what has been lost to decay.

Researchers say in lab studies it took just four weeks to restore teeth back to their original healthy state. The gel contains melanocyte-stimulating hormone, or MSH.

We produce this in the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland just behind the bridge of the nose.

MSH is already known to play an important part in determining skin colour - the more you have, the darker your flesh tone.

But recent studies suggest MSH may also play a crucial role in stimulating bone regeneration.

As bone and teeth are very similar in their structure, a team of scientists at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Paris tested if the hormone could stimulate tooth growth.

Their findings, published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, could signal hurtnot just an end to fillings, but the dreaded dentist drill as well. Tooth decay is a major public health problem in Britain. Around £45m a year is spent treating decayed teeth and by the age of 15, teenagers have had an average of 2.5 teeth filled or removed.

Decay is caused by bacteria, called streptococcus mutans, that live in the mouth and feed on sugar in the diet. Once the bacteria stick to the enamel, they trigger a process called demineralisation - they turn sugar in the diet into a harmful acid that starts to create holes in the teeth.

For decades, the main treatment for cavities has been to 'drill and fill'. However, an estimated one in five Britons suffers from dental phobia, a fear of dentists which means some would rather endure pain and suffering than face the prospect of having their teeth drilled.

The new treatment is painless. And although fillings halt decay, they can come loose and sometimes need refilling.

Experts believe new tooth cells would be stronger and a permanent solution.

The French team mixed MSH with a chemical called poly-L-glutamic acid. This is a substance often used to transport drugs inside the body because it can survive the harsh environments, such as the stomach, that might destroy medicines before they get a chance to work.

The mixture was then turned into a gel and rubbed on to cells, called dental pulp fibroblasts, taken from extracted human teeth. These cells are the kind that help new tooth tissue to grow.

But until now there has been no way of 'switching' them back on once they have been destroyed by dental decay. The researchers found the gel triggered the growth of new cells and also helped with adhesion - the process by which new dental cells 'lock' together.

This is important because it produces strong tooth pulp and enamel which could make the decayed tooth as good as new.

In a separate experiment, the French scientists applied the gel to the teeth of mice with dental cavities. In just one month, the cavities had disappeared. The gel is still undergoing testing but could be available for use within three to five years.

Professor Damien Walmsley, the British Dental Association's scientific adviser, said the gel could be an interesting new development, but stressed it is unlikely to be able to repair teeth that have been extensively damaged by decay.

'There are a lot of exciting developments in this field, of which this is one,' he said. 'It looks promising, but we will have to wait for the results to come back from clinical trials and its use will be restricted to treating small areas of dental decay.'

Scientists have developed a 'tongue' gel as part of a new approach to tackling bad breath and preventing tooth decay.

Halitosis is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. The latest treatment, developed by Meridol, takes a mechanical and chemical approach. It consists of a tongue scraper, gel and mouth wash.

The extra-flat tongue cleaner is used to scrape bacteria off the tongue. The tongue gel and mouthwash are anti-bacterial and contain chemicals that attach themselves to odour-producing compounds, which are then flushed out with the mouthwash. Both gel and mouthwash contain fluoride.

3996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 26, 2010, 10:28:06 AM
I don't know how accurate or complete this list is but I cannot deny, as a Jew, how many obviously Jewish names there are on this list (over 40).

It rather does give weight to the notion that Jews do have a unusually large influence in media.  That said I am proud of our accomplishments and not disparaging them.

OTOH I just don't get the reason or even justification for the liberal bias of so many of my fellow Jews.  They think they are being intellectual but I look at them as being foolish.

3997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: July 22, 2010, 02:57:24 PM
This has been my default search.  I was doing a search "CNN and Bobby Seales".  I was trying to find out who was the CNN anouncer who told Seales it was a "privilege" to have him on the show.  I posted this last week.  I noticed O'Reilly literally that evening then had a 30 second shot of her saying this on the show I saw and commented rather sarcastically "a privilege, really?'

When I did the serach it says "latest posts by ccp" and there is my post on the issue from the board.  I tried to do latest posts for others from the board and some of them also come up.  I get to bing from the msn site:
3998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / live on the net on: July 22, 2010, 02:11:08 PM
Just thought I would serve notice that our posts here go *right* to the internet courtesy bing search though I don't get it with google or yahoo search.

Do a search on bing on your user name

for example:

"latest post crafty dog" and see what comes up.
3999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Republicans:Puerto Rico for statehood? on: July 20, 2010, 03:06:42 PM
Interesting read from G Will:

Through Puerto Rico, the GOP can reach out to Hispanics

By George Will | Republican governor -- a very Republican governor -- has an idea for solving one of his party's conundrums. The party should listen to Luis Fortuno, the Reaganite who resides in Puerto Rico's executive mansion.

Conservatives need a strategy for addressing the immigration issue without alienating America's largest and most rapidly growing minority. Conservatives believe the southern border must be secured before there can be "comprehensive" immigration reform that resolves the status of the 11 million illegal immigrants. But this policy risks making Republicans seem hostile to Hispanics.

Fortuno wants Republicans to couple insistence on border enforcement with support for Puerto Rican statehood. This, he says, would resonate deeply among Hispanics nationwide. His premise is that many factors -- particularly, the Telemundo and Univision television channels -- have created a common consciousness among Hispanics in America.

How many know that Puerto Ricans are American citizens? That every president since Truman has affirmed Puerto Rico's right to opt for independence or statehood? That every Republican platform since 1968 has endorsed Puerto Rico's right to choose statehood? That Ronald Reagan, announcing his candidacy in 1979, said, "I favor statehood for Puerto Rico"?


  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.
Fortuno supports H.R. 2499 (also supported by such House conservatives as Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and former Republican Study Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling), which would provide for a plebiscite on the island's current status. If a majority favor this status, the question could be asked again in eight years. If a majority vote for change, a second plebiscite would offer a choice among the current status, independence, "sovereignty in association with the United States" and statehood.

Puerto Rico, which is only half as far from Florida as Hawaii is from California, is about the size of Connecticut. Its population is larger than the populations of 24 states. There are, however, problems.

Puerto Rico's per capita income ($14,905) is only 50 percent of that of the poorest state (Mississippi, $30,103) and 27 percent of the richest (Connecticut, $54,397). The fact that Puerto Ricans are at home in American society does not entail the conclusion that the commonwealth, a distinct cultural and linguistic entity (most on the island do not speak English), belongs in the federal union. Currently, Puerto Ricans pay federal income taxes only on income from off the island.

Fortuno says the present system has failed to prevent the income disparity with the mainland from widening. But America does not want lukewarm citizens. In three referendums (1967, 1993, 1998), Puerto Ricans favored the status quo -- an unincorporated territory -- over statehood. In 1998, the vote was 50.4 percent to 46.5 percent. In the 1950s, the last time the federal union was enlarged, Hawaiians and Alaskans overwhelmingly supported statehood.

Many Republicans suspect that congressional Democrats support statehood for the same reason they want to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state -- to get two more senators (and in Puerto Rico's case, perhaps six members of the House). Such Republicans mistakenly assume that the island's population of 4 million has the same Democratic disposition as the 4.2 million Puerto Ricans in the Bronx and elsewhere on the mainland.

Fortuno disagrees, noting that while Republicans on the mainland were losing in 2008, he was elected in the island's biggest landslide in 44 years. The party he leads won more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the legislature and three-fifths of the mayoralties, including that of San Juan. Fortuno, who calls himself a "values candidate" and goes to Catholic services almost every day, says that Puerto Ricans are culturally conservative -- 78 percent are pro-life, 91 percent oppose same-sex marriage and 30 percent of the 85 percent who are Christian are evangelicals. A majority supports his agenda, which includes tax and spending cuts, trimming 16,000 from public payrolls to begin eliminating the deficit that was 45 percent of the size of the budget.

Fortuno, 49, who has degrees from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia's law school, looks half his age. "Republicans," he says, "cannot continue to oppose every Hispanic issue." If he is correct that Puerto Rican statehood is, or can become, such an issue, Republicans should hear him out.

The United States acquired Puerto Rico 112 years ago in the testosterone spill called the Spanish-American War. Before another century passes, perhaps Puerto Ricans' ambivalence about their somewhat ambiguous status can be rectified to the advantage of Republicans.

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4000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 20, 2010, 01:49:10 PM
Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru

You know what.  It is time we expolre suing these countries for damages they cause us with the drugs they send over.

We need a Prez that will stand up to this abus of our country.  Not one who sides with THEM! angry

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