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451  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Adams on: July 27, 2009, 07:25:02 AM
Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.

John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
452  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Adams on: July 25, 2009, 08:17:03 AM
Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.

John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

We have dropped the ball and allowed some laws to pass that threaten the country our founders bleed and fought so hard to create.  Property is no longer sacred.  The government seems to be able to take it at a whim. I only hope we can work the system to right these mistakes.

453  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Madison on: July 23, 2009, 07:44:26 AM
Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution.

James Madison, Federalist No. 39, January 1788
454  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Old Ben on: July 22, 2009, 06:41:25 AM
Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.

Benjamin Franklin, letter to Collinson, May 9, 1753
455  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Jefferson on: July 20, 2009, 08:05:27 AM
“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”          Thomas Jefferson
“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” -Thomas Jefferson
456  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Madison on: July 19, 2009, 08:45:27 PM
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity.

James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
457  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Old Ben on: July 17, 2009, 07:34:26 AM
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766
458  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Jefferson on: July 16, 2009, 07:26:02 AM
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781
459  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Jefferson on: July 15, 2009, 10:21:11 PM
Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787

460  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Paine on: July 14, 2009, 09:34:04 PM
Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
461  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 2nd post Madison: Tea Party Spirit on: July 11, 2009, 07:58:13 AM
As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought in all governments, and actually will in all free governments ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers; so there are particular moments in public affairs, when the people stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow mediated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice and truth, can regain their authority over the public mind?

James Madison (likely), Federalist No. 63, 1788

This is what the tea party movement is about!..IMHO
462  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Thomas Paine on: July 11, 2009, 07:47:19 AM
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government, December 23, 1791
463  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Madison on: July 09, 2009, 07:32:28 AM
A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species.

James Madison, Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
464  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: July 08, 2009, 09:25:58 PM
Hehehe technology is great...treat musicians who can use youtube with care!
465  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Paine on: July 07, 2009, 10:47:42 PM
Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.

Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
466  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Jefferson on: July 06, 2009, 01:59:14 PM
If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, Nov 29, 1802
467  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 05, 2009, 04:49:13 PM
I just saw this and was not sure if I should put it here or political rants but since it is about car dealerships and gm I opted for here

Well worth the 5 mins it takes

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) speaking on the House floor: "Now we've moved into the realm of gangster government."
468  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Paine on: July 04, 2009, 08:46:24 AM
If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
469  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Jefferson on: July 01, 2009, 08:49:11 PM
But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.

Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789
470  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Jefferson on judiciary on: June 30, 2009, 07:38:42 AM
At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Monsieur A. Coray, Oct 31, 1823
471  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Latin America on: June 29, 2009, 08:09:27 AM
The trend toward socialism is growing throughout the world.  The 1980's saw the pendulum of political opinion swing to the right with the fall of the USSR.  Now I fear it is swing back the other way!  The loss of freedom around the world and the associated suffering will only increase until the people once again learn the hard lessons of the past.  The real tragedy of this trend is it is stronger in the USA than ever before, the check of a free country championing the cause of freedom is not in place anymore.  Case in point is the government's response to Iran and President Zelaya's attempt to subvert the constitution of Honduras. 


TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Honduran soldiers rousted President Manuel Zelaya from his bed and exiled him at gunpoint Sunday to Costa Rica, halting his controversial plan to stay in power but spurring fresh concerns about democratic rule across Latin America.

Honduran soldiers blocked a street near the residence of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa on Sunday.
"I was awakened by shots, and the yells of my guards, who resisted for about 20 minutes," Mr. Zelaya said, describing the predawn raid of his home to reporters at the San José airport in Costa Rica, where he was flown against his will. "I came out in my pajamas, I'm still in my pajamas....When (the soldiers) came in, they pointed their guns at me and told me they would shoot if I didn't put down my cellphone."

Mr. Zelaya called the action a kidnapping, and said he was still president of Honduras. The U.S. and other countries condemned the coup. President Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned" and called on all political actors in Honduras to "respect democratic norms." Venezuela President Hugo Chávez, an ally of the Honduran president and frequent nemesis of the U.S., said he would consider it an ''act of war" if there were hostilities against his diplomats. "I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert," Mr. Chávez said.

Central American leaders called a summit including the ousted president for Monday in Managua, Nicaragua to deal with the crisis, and the U.N. General Asembly planned to meet.

In Honduras, television stations were off the air, electricity was out in parts of the capital, and military jets streaked overhead, recalling Latin America's long history of military coups and dictatorships.

Later in the afternoon, Honduras's Congress formally removed Mr. Zelaya from the presidency and named congressional leader Roberto Micheletti as his successor until the end of Mr. Zelaya's term in January. Mr. Micheletti and others said they were the defenders, not opponents, of democratic rule.

"What was done here was a democratic act," Mr. Micheletti, who was sworn in as president Sunday afternoon, said to an ovation. "Our constitution continues to be relevant, our democracy continues to live."

Supporters of Honduras's President Manuel Zelaya demonstrate in front of a tire bonfire in Tegucigalpa.
Mr. Micheletti is a member of Mr. Zelaya's Liberal party. But he had opposed his plans for a referendum that could have led to overturning the constitution's ban on re-election, allowing Mr. Zelaya to potentially stay in power past January, when his term ends.

Mr. Zelaya has been locked in a growing confrontation with his country's Congress, courts, and military over his plans for the referendum -- planned for Sunday -- that would have asked voters whether they want to scrap the constitution, which the president says benefits the country's elites.

Honduras' Supreme Court had ruled the vote was illegal and the military had refused to take its usual role of distributing ballots, but Mr. Zelaya fired the chief of the army last week and pledged to press ahead.

There were no reports of violence Sunday, but tensions were high. Soldiers surrounded the presidential palace, keeping at bay a group of several hundred protesters who gathered to support the ousted president. The demonstrators burned tires and chanted slogans in favor of Mr. Zelaya. A 9 p.m. curfew was imposed, but in the evening the protesters, many carrying sticks and rocks, began adding chain-link fences to the burning tires as barricades to try to block the military from moving to break up the demonstrations.

"I love Zelaya, he's a good president," said Esther Ortiz, a 46 year old doctor, as she helped block off a street by the palace. "The oligarchy is just mad because Zelaya raised the minimum wage."

Honduras, one of Latin America's poorest countries, was a staging area for the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contra rebels during the 1980s. The country of about eight million people subsists on exports of bananas, shrimp, coffee, apparel and remittances from Hondurans in the U.S.

The Obama administration and members of the Organization of American States had worked for weeks to try to avert any moves to overthrow President Zelaya, said senior U.S. officials. Washington's ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, sought to facilitate a dialogue between the president's office, the Honduran parliament and the military.

The efforts accelerated over the weekend, as Washington grew increasingly alarmed.

 Honduran President Overthrown
Soldiers stormed the house of leftist President Manuel Zelaya in a predawn raid Sunday, arresting him and removing him from power amid a growing crisis over Mr. Zelaya's plans to try to get re-elected. Video courtesy Fox News.
"The players decided, in the end, not to listen to our message," said one U.S. official involved in the diplomacy. On Sunday, the U.S. embassy here tried repeatedly to contact the Honduran military directly, but was rebuffed. Washington called the removal of President Zelaya a coup and said it wouldn't recognize any other leader.

The U.S. stand was unpopular with Honduran deputies. One congressman, Toribio Aguilera, got a burst of prolonged applause from his colleagues when he urged the U.S. ambassador to reconsider his stand. Mr. Aguilera said the U.S. didn't understand the danger that Mr. Zelaya and his friendships with Mr. Chavez and Cuba's retired dictator Fidel Castro posed.

Retired Honduran Gen. Daniel López Carballo justified the move against the president, telling CNN that if the military hadn't acted, Mr. Chávez would eventually be running Honduras by proxy. It was a common view Sunday.

"There was no coup d'etat in Honduras," wrote Mariela Colindres, a 21-year-old Honduran who is studying at Indiana University, in an email. "An official who was subverting legality and had violated the Constitution was removed. Everything was done legally and this does not imply a rupture in the constitutional order."

The U.S. has a controversial history of backing coups in Latin America. It began promoting democracy strongly after the end of the Cold War, but in 2002 it hesitated in condemning a brief coup against Mr. Chávez and was sharply criticized by other Latin nations. Mr. Chávez came back to power and radicalized his posture against the U.S. Since then, he periodically claims the U.S. wants to oust him in a coup.

Mr. Zelaya's move to try to stay in power through the ballot box has become increasingly common in Latin America. Other leftist Latin American leaders like Venezuela's Mr. Chavez, Ecuador's Rafael Correa and Bolivia's Evo Morales have used referendums for a similar purpose. The temptation to stay in power isn't limited to leftists, either: Colombia's right-wing President Alváro Uribe is trying to change the constitution to allow him a third term.

At a Sunday news conference in Costa Rica, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, ousted at gunpoint by the army hours earlier, denounced his exile as a kidnapping.
Latin America analysts said the Honduran coup will complicate President Obama's efforts to re-engage a region where anti-Americanism has flourished in recent years. They said Mr. Chavez is likely to seize on the crisis to depict Central America as under attack by capitalist forces.

As a result, analysts said Mr. Obama will need to aggressively call for the reinstatement of President Zelaya, despite U.S. concerns that he is seeking to mirror Mr. Chavez's campaign to secure limitless rule.

"It's very important for the U.S. to come out against the coup and make the point that the U.S. supports democracy unequivocally," said Kevin Casas-Zamora, Costa Rica's former vice president and a senior fellow at Washington's Brookings Institution. "This would prevent Chavez from stealing the show."

Mr. Casas-Zamora and other regional analysts said the coup raised questions about just how much influence Washington actually has in Central America, given the Obama administration's failed effort to avert it.

Both sides of the Honduras crisis traded allegations on Sunday. The secretary of Honduras' congress, José Alfredo Saavedra, showed reporters what he said was a resignation letter signed by Mr. Zelaya. The letter cited the crisis and "insuperable health problems" in resigning. Mr. Zelaya said the letter was a fake.

The ousted president called on unions, workers and peasant and indigenous organizations to demonstrate peacefully for his return. "I ask the people of Honduras to be calm, but for them to defend their democracy and rights," he said.

Write to Paul Kiernan at, José de Córdoba at and Jay Solomon at
472  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Paine on: June 26, 2009, 08:44:43 AM
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776
473  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rebuilding a counrty on: June 24, 2009, 10:03:20 PM
I ran across this lecture on TED.  It is about 16 mins long.  While I tend to lean towards a libertarian view of leave well enough alone...if you are going to invade and then try to rebuild a country this sounds pretty good.  I think it is interesting to compare this approach with the events in Iraq.  I put this out there to see what the group might think.  Having said all that I believe Genghis probably had the process down but political correctness now prevents his methods! evil cheesy

P.S. Crafty I did not see a catagory for this so started this one
474  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST/sword and buckler on: June 24, 2009, 08:21:58 AM
I found some of the foot work interesting
475  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics/Research: No evidence for 'too big to fail' policies on: June 19, 2009, 07:50:33 PM
Research: No evidence for 'too big to fail' policies
April 24th, 2009 
Jean Helwege, associate professor of finance in Smeal College of Business at Penn State. Photo Credit: Penn State Department of Public Information

The U.S. economy would be better served by letting failing firms file for bankruptcy rather than by bailing them out under presumptive federal policies that deem them to be "too big to fail," according to new research from Penn State's Smeal College of Business.

Washington regulators have justified several recent interventions in the financial realm by warning that firms like Bear Stearns and AIG are too big to fail. Allowing these firms to go bankrupt, the argument goes, would result in fire sales and a domino effect, which pose systematic risks to the entire economy. But Jean Helwege, associate professor of finance, writes that there is little to no evidence to support these too-big-to-fail threats of counterparty risk and fire sales.

In "Financial Firm Bankruptcy and Systematic Risk," which Helwege will present April 18 at the FDIC's annual Derivatives Securities and Risk Management Conference in Arlington, Va., she finds that cascading failures are unlikely to occur because of diversification, and that U.S. bankruptcy law allows for plenty of time to avoid fire sales and dispose of assets slowly.

When justifying bailouts or other government actions in the finance sector, regulators warn of a domino effect: One bank's failure triggers another bank's failure, which triggers other failures, and so on. But, Helwege says, this result is, at best, unlikely in reality.

"While the idea of a domino effect of one firm failing and starting a cascade of addition failures seems eminently plausible," she writes, "the empirical evidence to date suggest that no such domino effect would take place were regulators to abandon TBTF policies." Helwege cites prior research that shows that second firms rarely fail because of a first firm's failure and "that there is never a third firm involved, let alone a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, or 10th."

"Cascades can only arise when firms' loans to other firms are very large as a fraction of their capital, a notion that is both at odds with bank regulations and good business practices regarding diversification," she writes.

Firms are more likely to be exposed to the same risk because they have made similar poor investment choices; such is the case with the current credit crisis and firms' common exposure to the subprime mortgage market. In this scenario, Helwege argues that "regulatory aid to one firm is of little use to the entire economy. Such assistance might bolster confidence, but clearly increasing confidence among all such firms is more productive than merely attempting to boost confidence in one particularly weak firm."

Helwege writes that the best policy oftentimes is to allow a portion of firms to fail without any assistance. Regulators warn that failures like this will result in fire sales, so they often force failing firms into mergers like the Federal Reserve-assisted takeover of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase. However, Helwege points out that bankruptcy law allows plenty of time for less desirable assets to be sold off slowly so that their true worth can be discerned. In fact, mergers like Bear and JPMorgan, which took place over the course of a weekend, actually allow less time for assets to be properly valued.

"Mergers like the Bear/JP deal are examples of fire sales, not paths to avoiding them," Helwege writes.

She concludes that the best way to maintain stable, liquid, and orderly markets — the ultimate goal of financial regulators — is to allow individual firms to file for bankruptcy and slowly sell off their distressed assets while allowing Congress to find ways to provide more general assistance to the overall economy.
476  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: June 19, 2009, 05:14:17 PM
It is a sad state of affairs indeed!  Time for the citizens of California to vote, either in an election to stop this madness or with their feet. shocked cry
477  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST/western martial arts on: June 16, 2009, 07:34:18 AM
I thought the high horizontal strikes interesing, could be used with staff or walking stick.
478  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People/movement to try and ban our pocket knives on: June 15, 2009, 07:36:07 AM
If Knives Are Outlawed…Customs And Border Protection Proposal Could Ban Many Pocketknives
Friday, June 12, 2009
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a proposed rule change that directly targets the importation of "assisted opening" folding knives.  (Read the proposed rule here.) The proposed regulations would designate all these knives as "switchblades" (despite the fact they do not fall under the federal definition of "switchblades"), and would make them illegal for import into the United States. 
The proposed rule could affect all knives that can be opened with one hand, because it also includes changes in the interpretation of "gravity and inertia" opening knives in a way that could outlaw all knives that can be opened with a single hand. This means the new regulation could ban the importation of most of the pocketknives that are now in popular use. 

And it could have a far greater impact.  The American Knife and Tool Institute and Knife Rights, Inc. have both reviewed the proposed new regulations and are very concerned that the impact will be far greater than just a ban on the importation of assisted opening knives.  If the new regulations also affect the broader category of single-handed opening knives, it could make millions of knives illegal for import.  More importantly, many local jurisdictions and some states depend on the definitions used by the CBP.  These changes could make hundreds of millions of knives now in regular use, illegal.  And, of course, millions of hunters use and rely on their knives and would be adversely affected by this proposed regulation.

CBP is attempting to expedite this rulemaking and is only keeping comments open until June 21, 2009.  The American Knife and Tool Institute and Knife Rights, Inc. are leading the charge against the.  For more information and to make your voice heard in opposition to these new regulations, please go to: and


Find this item at:
479  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word: a Good Book You Might Like on: June 14, 2009, 08:06:23 PM
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science

I have enjoyed this book and I have found it gives a path to link the religions of the past and present.  Is it an absolute but I think it explains many of the similarities which occur.  It gives you a broad picture from which you can look at the many religious beliefs of the past and present.  A lingua franka if you will.  The mind is wired in a similar way in everyone..yes there are differences but the similarities out weight the differences.  Therefore the similarities in the various religions arise from this mind trying to explain the great mystery of life and the universe IMHO.  I must also point out that the use of number in religion is is older than the historical records we have today, is it no wonder it is the skeleton on which religion is laid down?  Well that is my view of the book.  I highly recommend it
480  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism: Argentina on: June 04, 2009, 04:48:50 PM
nice find
481  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: April 09, 2009, 11:01:21 PM
Bravo nice find!!!!
482  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness NO MERCI BEAUCOUP on: April 03, 2009, 03:22:09 PM
The NO MERCI BEAUCOUP comment made think you might like this.  Crafty if this is not a good place for this let me know where you might want it.  Just put it here because of the comment.  Enjoy 

p.s. Im the guy on the accordian
483  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Patrick Henry 1775 on: April 02, 2009, 10:51:31 PM
The Call to Arms

Patrick Henry


   Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who, having eyes to see, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which in now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending -- if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained -- we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to God of Hosts is all that is left us!
    They tell us, sir, that we are weak -- unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
     Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power. Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destines of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the stronger alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
     It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentleman may cry "Peace, peace"-- But there is no peace. The war is actually begun! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace, so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!
484  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Physics of a stick strike on: March 24, 2009, 09:28:06 PM
I have a question...What type of stick do you like to use.  A heavy one or a lighter one?  The reason I ask is I have heard that, and I might get this wrong this is not my thing, that the energy goes up linearly with mass but exponentially with the velocity.  So when you fight do you do more damage with a fast light stick or a more massive one?  Ideally you want a fast heavy stick if I got the physics right.  Maybe you could answer the question based on your feel during a fight.

My 2 cents hope it gives you an idea that might lead to the answer.
485  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Stratfor: New Era of Geopolitics? on: March 16, 2009, 09:39:07 AM
Very intriguing.  Not sure I think Poland will be that significant, but they do seem to have a great opportunity.  Turkey and the middle east I find very appealing and exciting.   I hope he is right.  His views on China and I will extrapolate India are well taken.  I think we may see turmoil in the up coming bump, he calls our economic crises, in China anyway.  Thanks Crafty
486  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 05, 2009, 05:15:20 PM
Thanks for your response DougMacG. I will read it a couple of times and see if I have a response but at first glace it seems we might disagree on details but are both of the same mind we need a change.

On a different note and a more emotional one I received this email and thought the group might like to know about this movement.

There's a storm abrewin'.  What happens when good, responsible people keep quiet?  Washington has forgotten they work for us.  We don't work for them.  Throwing good money after bad is NOT the answer.  I am sick of the midnight, closed door sessions to come up with a plan.  I am sick of Congress raking CEO's over the coals while they, themselves, have defaulted on their taxes.  I am sick of the bailed out companies having lavish vacations and retreats on my dollar.  I am sick of being told it is MY responsibility to rescue people that, knowingly, bought more house than they could afford.  I am sick of being made to feel it is my patriotic duty to pay MORE taxes.  I, like all of you, am a responsible citizen.  I pay my taxes.  I live on a budget and I don't ask someone else to carry the burden for poor decisions I may make.  I have emailed my congressmen and senators asking them to NOT vote for the stimulus package as it was written without reading it first.  No one listened.  They voted for it, pork and all.

O.K. folks, here it is.  You may think you are just one voice and what you think won't make a difference.  Well, yes it will and YES, WE CAN!!   If you are disgusted and angry with the way Washington is handling our taxes.  If you are fearful of the fallout from the wreckless spending of BILLIONS to bailout and "stimulate" without accountability and responsibility then we need to become ONE, LOUD VOICE THAT CAN BE HEARD FROM EVERY CITY, TOWN, SUBURB AND HOME IN AMERICA.   There is a growing protest to demand that Congress, the President and his cabinet LISTEN to us, the American Citizens.  What is being done in Washington is NOT the way to handle the economic free fall..

So, here's the plan.  On April 1, 2009, all Ameicans are asked to send a TEABAG to Washinton ,  D.C.    You do not have to enclose a note or any other information unless you so desire.  Just a TEABAG.   Many cities are organizing protests.  If you simply search, "New American Tea Party", several sites will come up.  If you aren't the 'protester' type, simply make your one voice heard with a TEABAG.  Your one voice will become a roar when joined with millions of others that feel the same way.  Yes, something needs to be done but the lack of confidence as shown by the steady decline in the stock market speaks volumes.

This was not my idea.  I visited the sites of the 'New American Tea Pary' and an online survey showed over 90% of thousands said they would send the teabag on April 1.  Why, April 1??  We want them to reach  Washington by April 15.   Will you do it?  I will.       
Send it to;     1600 Pennsylvania Ave.      Washington ,  D.C.  20500 ...

Forward this to everyone in your address book.  Visit the website below for more information about the 'New American Tea Party'.  I would encourage everyone to go ahead and get the envelope ready to mail, then just drop it in the mail April 1.  Can't guarantee what the postage will be by then, it is going up as we speak, but have your envelope ready.  What will this cost you?  A little time and a 42 or 44 cent stamp.

What could you receive in benefits?  Maybe, just maybe, our elected officials will start to listen to the people.  Take out the Pork.  Tell us how the money is being spent.  We want TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.  Remember, the money will be spent over the next 4-5 years.  It is not too late.
487  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 02, 2009, 09:39:22 PM
Thank you for your response and I look forward to hearing more from you.  Your points made me look into this more and I am still in favor of the Fair tax.  I am still open minded and if we could come up with a better solution I am all ears.  I touched on each of your points and would be happy to go into depth on them more though that would require more time that I spent on this response and more research but I would be happy to do it.

1) Changing over to the 'FairTax' requires the repeal of the 16th amendment. You will not see 2/3rds of Nancy Pelosi's House, 2/3rds of Harry Reid's Senate and 3/4ths of the legislatures, including states like Senator Amy Klobuchar's Minnesota and Senator Hillary clinton's New York, voting to 'permanently' cancel the authority of the federal government to tax income at all while their careers are fully focused on "raising taxes on the wealthiest among us" to pay for health care and more government of all kinds.

Granted this is a real problem and the main obstacle to the fair tax, but you can not win a fight by standing idle.  The support must be large enough to move the Harry Reids aside or to the cause.  With enough press I think it can be done.

2) A 23% "inclusive" tax is a 30% sales tax. When you buy a $1 item you pay $1.30. The inclusive version is fine for comparing with income tax rates but this is a sales tax and you add 30% (best case) to the price.

Inclusive or exclusive is just a numbers game the amount of tax is the same it is just in how you chose to do the math.  Your 1 dollar example is weighted in the wrong direction if you pay a dollar you pay 70 cents for your item and 30 cents tax if you run the numbers exclusive so tax is 30%.  You also fail to take into account the taxes imbedded in the cost of good which will no longer be there.  Studies have shove this to be as much as 24% so the amounts balance out.

How does the FairTax affect wages and prices?
1. Americans who produce goods and earn wages must pay significant tax and compliance costs under the current federal income tax. These taxes and costs both reduce after-tax wages and profits and are then passed on to the consumers of those goods and services in the form of price increases. When the FairTax removes income, capital gains, payroll, estate and gift taxes, the pre-FairTax prices of these goods and services will fall. The removal of these hidden taxes may also allow wages to rise. Exactly how much prices will fall and wages will rise depends on market forces. For example, in a profession with many jobs and too few to fill them, wages will likely increase more than in fields where there are too many employees and not enough jobs.

3) Unless you live in South Dakota or another location without a state income tax you will still need to file a complete income tax return including all of the schedules with the government every year. (Who really thinks the states will soon quit taxing income.)

These states with state income taxes I believe will fall into line once the people see how easy it is to do their taxes.  They will demand their states change.  The power of goverment lies with the people.  If this is no longer the case then our civilization is on the downward slope.  I still have hope we can fix it.

4) Somewhere approaching 40% of the economy are the government purchases. You can make them FairTax-exempt and then adjust the 30% tax WAY upward for the rest of us. If we make them not-exempt, then adjust our public spending 'needs' up by 30% to cover the tax.

It is my understanding that even the government would pay the fair tax.  It was stated in the fair tax book and on their web page.

5) The so-called "prebates" that remove the harshness of sales tax regressivity also remove the simplicity which was the primary strength, purpose and justification for the 'Fair Tax'.

There are already systems in place in our govt. that would allow us to send out the checks and the form you send in to apply for a prebate is one page and easy to do.  The expense is negligible when compared to the IRS now.  Here is a PDF explaining the system.

6) New items are taxed and used items are not taxed again because they already were, yet 'used' homes will be taxed! Again, there goes the simplicity and the lobbying as it means the rules are negotiable.

It is my understanding the used homes will not be taxed.  Here is an example from the site it uses cars but a good is a good.

Does the FairTax tax used items?
1. The FairTax does not tax “used” goods but it is important to note that HR25 has a legal definition of the term “used”. This is necessary to ensure that items are taxed only once and to prevent tax cheating.
Under the FairTax, for an item to be considered “used” it must be:
(1) purchased before the FairTax is enacted, or
(2) the FairTax on the item must have been previously paid.
Let’s look at (1) above. Assume that Joe bought a new car in January of 2005. Let’s further assume that the FairTax went into effect on Jan. 1, 2006. Since Joe owned the car before the enactment of the FairTax, it is considered a “used” car. It has the taxes from the existing tax system embedded in its price. Therefore, when Joe sells that car to Bill, Bill will not owe tax on the transaction.
Now, let’s consider (2) above. The most common example is that Joe buys a new car for personal use and pays the FairTax on it. If Joe then sells his car to Bill, there would be no tax on it because the tax had already been paid. Let’s look at another example. Assume that Joe owns a flower shop business and buys a van to use when making deliveries to his customers. No tax is charged on purchases for business purposes so that the FairTax on goods sold to consumers does not double tax, or put a tax on a tax.
If Joe decides to sell the van to his friend Bill (who is not in business) for use as his personal vehicle, then it would be a taxable sale to Bill. Why? Because Joe did not pay tax when he bought the van for his flower shop. Since no FairTax has been previously paid on that van; it is not considered used and the sale to Bill would be taxable.
If later, Bill decided he did not like driving a van and sold it to someone else, it would not be a taxable sale. Why? Because the tax had been previously paid (when Bill bought it from Joe) making the item “used” and not subject to tax.

7) Fairness? For whom? Those who worked hard, paid taxes and saved for the future and now want to enjoy it will be openly double taxed. So much for fairness. Again, if we adjust for fairness, out goes the simplicity.

What about senior citizens, retired people, and anyone on a fixed income?

As a group, seniors do very well under the FairTax. Low-income seniors are much better off under the FairTax than under the current income tax system.

Some erroneously believe that people who live exclusively on Social Security pay no taxes. They may not know it, but they are paying hidden corporate income taxes and employer payroll taxes whenever they buy anything. Under the FairTax, seniors pay $0.23 out of every dollar they choose to spend on new goods and services.

Plus, seniors, like everyone else, receive a monthly prebate, in advance of purchases, for taxes paid on the cost of necessities which more than pays for all of the taxes they would pay if they received the average Social Security benefit amount and spent it all. If seniors choose to work, they are freed from regressive payroll taxes, the federal income tax on wages, and the compliance burdens associated with each. They pay no more hidden taxes on goods or services, and used goods are tax free. There is no income tax on their Social Security benefits.

The income tax imposed on investment income and pension benefits or IRA withdrawals is repealed. Pension funds, IRAs, and 401(k) plans had assets of $12 trillion in 2004. An income tax deduction was taken for contributions to most of these plans. All beneficiaries and owners of these plans expected to pay income tax on them upon withdrawal, but are not required to do so under the FairTax.

All owners of existing homes experience large capital gains due to the repeal of the income tax and implementation of the FairTax Plan. Seniors have dramatically higher home ownership rates than other age groups (81 percent for seniors compared to 65 percent on average). Homes are often a family’s largest asset. Gains are likely to be in the range of 20 percent.

The FairTax makes the economy much more dynamic and prosperous. Consequently, federal tax revenues grow. This makes it less likely that federal budget pressures require Medicare or Social Security benefit cuts.

How does the FairTax help seniors who have paid taxes on their retirement savings or invested in Roth IRAs?

Simply put, the FairTax is a revenue-neutral proposal, raising no more money than does the current system. The FairTax only changes where the money is raised, not the amount.

Additionally, some erroneously believe that people who have invested in Roth IRAs will never pay taxes on this money again. They may not know it, but they are paying corporate income taxes, employer payroll taxes, plus the associated compliance costs that are hidden in the price of every retail purchase they make. Under the FairTax, these hidden taxes are driven out of retail prices. And note, they can determine the amount of tax they pay through their own lifestyle choices.

Furthermore, used goods are not taxed because they have already been taxed once -- when they were new. Therefore senior citizens, like all Americans, do not lose purchasing power, but gain it instead. Moreover, the FairTax preserves the purchasing power of Social Security benefits, and seniors receive a monthly prebate so they don’t pay taxes on the purchase of necessities. Tax-deferred investments get a one-time windfall. Savings invested in any long-term, income-generating asset such as a stock, real estate, or a long-term bond that can’t be called, increase substantially in value. Finally, complex estate planning is an artifact of an earlier age.

8.) What kind of real and restructuring tax reform is revenue neutral? Those who want reform generally want lower tax burdens. Those who preach the populist 'tax the rich' message of today oppose efforts to lower or remove the burdensome taxes on production.

Revenue neutral simply means this tax plan would raise a similar amount of funds as the current system would.  The difference is 1) we take the power out of the politican’s hands and move back to the people, 2) we now tax the underground economies and become hugely more competitive in the world market.  Many of the businesses driven offshore by taxes would now have incentives to come back to the U.S.

9) The false promise (IMO) of ending taxation on income has split and damaged the already feeble movement to truly reform our massive, incomprehensible tax system. Case in point, look at the GOP contest in Iowa (2008) that will spread from there. The already thin minority of Iowans who are inclined to be a) caucus-goers, b) fiscal conservatives and c) have a tax reform orientation are now split candidates with income tax reform proposals and one who just recently co-opted the 'FairTax ' banner. IMO that means certain defeat for the larger cause of simplifying and lessening the burden.

What system do you prefer?  Where is your support going and why

10) I take issue with the nomenclatures and slogans of "FairTax" and "revenue neutral". They remind me of telling us that taxes are mere "contributions". Changing to consumption-based taxation is not fairer, it is just different. It is not revenue-neutral to the individual taxpayers. It would shift burdens around and half the people would certainly cry out 'unfair!'.

I have explained revenue neutral earlier.
Is the FairTax fair?

Yes, the FairTax is fair, and in fact, much fairer than the income tax. Wealthy people spend more money than other individuals. They buy expensive cars, big houses, and yachts. They buy filet mignon instead of hamburger, fine wine instead of beer, designer dresses, and expensive jewelry. The FairTax taxes them on these purchases. If, however, they use their money to build job-creating factories, finance research and development to create new products, or fund charitable activities (all of which help improve the standard of living of others), then those activities are not taxed

Bonus, 11) A national 30% sales tax would compete and worden the state and local sales taxes that are as high as 7% and higher. States and localities would then shift taxation heavier toward the income side, potentially removing most or all gains after adding an enormous new layer of taxation. Imagine your local public schools looking at all that new revenue potential. Nothing in the federal constitution or future amendments removes the ability of the state, county, local, school, or waste, stadium or transit commissions to go after any revenues that the feds leave on the table.

The people prevent the state and local governments from getting out of control.
How are state tax systems affected, and can states adequately collect a federal sales tax?

No state is required to repeal its income tax or piggyback its sales tax on the federal tax. All states have the opportunity to collect the FairTax; states will find it beneficial to conform their sales tax to the federal tax. Most states will probably choose to conform. It makes the administrative costs of businesses in that state much lower. The state is paid a one-quarter of one percent fee by the federal government to collect the tax. For states that already collect a sales tax, this fee proves generous. A state can choose not to collect the federal sales tax, and either outsource the collection to another state, or opt to have the federal government collect it directly. If a state chooses to conform to the federal tax base, they will raise the same amount of state sales tax with a lower tax rate -- in some cases more than 50 percent lower -- since the FairTax base is broader than their current tax base. States may also consider the reduction or elimination of property taxes by keeping their sales tax rate at or near where it is currently. Finally, conforming states that are part of the FairTax system will find collection of sales tax on Internet and mail-order retail sales greatly simplified.

488  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 02, 2009, 09:33:59 AM
   Fair Tax

I like this plan and thought maybe I could get some feedback on what the forum group thinks of it.  I copied this from the web site.  I also included some links to youtube vids.  We have to do something to change the curent system.  The power to tax is the power to take property and ownership of property is the basis of liberty.  This power must be used wisely.  Our system is not wise or fair now.

What is the FairTax plan?
The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.
The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.
The FairTax:
Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
Allows American products to compete fairly
Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
Abolishes the IRS

We offer a library of information throughout this Web site about the features and benefits of the FairTax plan. Please explore!

The FairTax Five
The gloves are off as critics try to pick apart the FairTax. Trouble is, it's just a replay of the same five FairTax myths:

"The 23% rate is misleading. It's actually 30%"
Well, actually...

"It's not enforceable and evasion will be rampant"
Well, actually...

"It will not be revenue neutral at 23%"
Well, actually...

"The FairTax is not politically viable"
Well, actually...

"The FairTax is regressive and shifts the tax burden onto lower and middle income people"
Well, actually...

You tube vids

489  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: February 27, 2009, 03:50:39 PM
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." 
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Chas. Yancey, 1816
490  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 25, 2009, 07:47:05 AM
Who here guessed the answer to this one raise your hand. rolleyes

Mayor pays tribute to slain officers
Juarez bridge protesters were paid, officials say
By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times
Posted: 02/19/2009 12:00:00 AM MST                  

Mexican officials characterized Tuesday's protests at the international bridges as suspicious, while Juárez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz condemned the deaths of four police officers killed in an ambush, also on Tuesday.
In a news conference Wednes day, Ferriz said one of those killed, police director Sacramento Perez Serrano, 49, had been recruited last July from the interior of Mexico to help reorganize the Juárez police force.
Perez was in charge of police operations.
Before the mayor's conference, officials removed banners with threatening messages aimed at police that had been placed in various parts of the city.
"These three officers, along with the police director, lived and died in the line of duty, and gave their lives to the country," Ferriz said. "Until his last day, (Perez's) only goal was to serve the public.
"Juárez Police Chief Roberto Orduńo Cruz profoundly laments the loss of a man who lived and served our country with conviction, the same as the officers who died at his side."
Perez, who was a former Mexican army captain with a law degree, will be buried with honors, along with police Officers Antonio Arias Feria, Vicente Mata Beltran and Francisco Javier Reyes Moreno.
Officials said the officers were traveling by truck to the Babicora police station when they were attacked by a group of armed men around 5 p.m. Tuesday at Ejercito Nacional and Paseo de la Victoria, near the U.S. Consulate.
On another matter, Joint Operation Chihuahua issued a statement alleging that the protests that temporarily shut down three border bridges Tuesday -- about four hours before the policemen were killed -- were carried out by people "who received money for their participation" in the protests.
Officials said several people were observed Tuesday filling up buses with paid protesters to march against the military's crackdown on the Mexican drug cartels.
Joint Operation Chihuahua also confirmed that on Feb. 10 authorities detained taxi driver Oswaldo Muńoz Gonzalez, who reportedly inspired the protests, and that he is being investigated in connection with marijuana and weapons found in his possession.
About 20 Juárez taxi drivers took part in Tuesday's bridge blockades, officials said.
Joint Operation Chihuahua also cautioned the public against being used by others to take part in protests intended to discredit soldiers who were sent to Juárez to fight drug cartels.
Similar protests against the Mexican army, which has been accused of abuses, have occurred in other cities besides Juárez.
Last week, Nuevo Leon Gov. Natividad Gonzalez Paras said in a news conference that protests against the military operations in Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Veracruz "were organized and financed by the Gulf cartel Zetas," the drug organization's enforcement arm.
More than 5,000 people died last year as a result of drug violence in Mexico, including 1,600 in Juárez.
Diana Washington Valdez
491  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 18, 2009, 12:11:35 AM

Here is  BBC vid on the blocking of the border  by Mexican protesters   huh

BBC Story from link above

Protests block US-Mexico border

Hundreds of people in Mexico have blocked key crossings into the US in protests against the deployment of the army fighting drug traffickers.

Traffic was brought to a halt on a number of bridges in several border towns in northern Mexico.

The protesters accused the army of abuse against civilians. Government officials said the blockades had been organised by drug gangs.

The army was sent into border towns in 2006 to control rising drug violence.

Violence continued on Tuesday in the border town of Ciudad Juarez where three police officers were shot dead by unidentified gunmen.

More than 5,000 people were killed in drug-related violence last year, Mexican officials say.

Powerful drug cartels have been fighting both each other and federal forces as they battle to control the immensely lucrative routes trafficking cocaine and other drugs from Colombia to the US via Mexico.

Up to 40,000 troops are currently deployed against trafficking cartels.

In some parts of the country, the army has taken over the role of the police, which have often proved easily corrupted when bribed or threatened by the gangs, says the BBC's Stephen Gibbs in Mexico City.

Calderon's vow

The protesters blocked bridges in Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa.

Huge quantities of Colombian cocaine are sent to the US via Mexico

They chanted "Soldiers out!" and "Stop abuse by the PFP [Federal Preventative Police]!"

The demonstrators also shut roads in the industrial city of Monterrey.

Many of the protesters said border towns had become more dangerous since President Felipe Calderon sent the army in.

But the governor of one state - Nuevo Leon - said he believed the Gulf drugs cartel and its armed wing, the Zetas, were behind the border protests.

"There are reasons to believe it has to do with the Gulf cartel and the group known as the Zetas," Governor Natividad Gonzalez said.

Human rights activists say there are legitimate complaints about reported abuses by the troops, including alleged cases in which army patrols have fired on civilians at checkpoints.

President Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of troops along the border, vowing to destroy drug cartels.

492  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 17, 2009, 11:59:21 PM
By JULIE WATSON, Associated Press Writer Julie Watson, Associated Press Writer – Tue Feb 17, 4:56 pm ET

VILLA AHUMADA, Mexico – For people caught inside Mexico's drug corridors, life is about keeping your head down and watching your back, especially when the sun dips behind the cactus-studded horizon.
No town knows this better than Villa Ahumada, where the entire police force quit after 70 cartel hit men roared through last spring, killing the police chief, two officers and three townspeople.
Residents were left defenseless again last week when gunmen returned and kidnapped nine people, despite the soldiers manning checkpoints far outside town.
"This was a mellow town where we would walk along main street at night. But now we're too scared to even go out," said Zaida de Santiago.
For this lanky 14-year-old, everything changed last May 17. She was dancing at a neighbor's ranch when gunfire shattered the night. The party's hosts turned off the lights and silenced the music. The guests stood frozen, ears trained to the sound of automatic weapons as the gunmen raced down gravel streets in their SUVs.
When the sun rose hours later, the party guests learned that armed cartel commandos had killed the police chief and five others. Soon after, the rest of the 20-member force quit in fear.
"That day will always remain burned in my mind," Santiago said.
Federal investigators say Villa Ahumada is a key stop along one of Mexico's busiest drug smuggling routes, where the Sinaloa cartel has been challenging the Juarez gang for control. The military staffs checkpoints miles outside town, and soldiers and federal police roll through each day, but residents are largely left on their own.
Sliced by a railroad and the Pan-American Highway heading straight to the U.S. border, the town is one of many outposts across Mexico — many of them too small to appear on maps — that cartels need to dominate in order to ensure passage of their U.S.-bound loads of marijuana and cocaine. The town of 15,000 is about 80 miles south of El Paso, Texas.
"In the small towns, the narcos want to have an open sesame," said George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. "They want to be able to pass through as they see fit, and they've got the muscle to enforce that, but it's unfortunate for the residents. This is where you've got enclaves of failure."
Cartels treat these towns as fiefdoms — in some communities, everyone from the furniture owner to the barman to local officials pay a kind of tax to the gunslingers, border expert Victor Clark said. The extortion not only gives gangs an extra income, it also makes clear who's boss.
"In land occupied by organized crime, society's rules are completely altered," said Clark, a lecturer at San Diego State University who has studied one such town in the Mexican state of Baja California. "This is their territory, and you pay them for protection, or they will kill you."
Villa Ahumada has been without a city police force since May, unable to find anyone brave enough to take the job. Even Mayor Fidel Chavez fled for a time to the state capital, Chihuahua City, last year. After the army and state police pledged to have more of a presence in town, he returned and put 10 residents in charge of reporting suspicious activities to the authorities.
But there was little these unarmed citizen patrols could do when heavily armed assailants in black ski masks drove SUVs into town last week, kicking in doors and carting off nine residents in blindfolds.
They called state authorities, closed their office and fled.
The gunmen had already executed six of the hostages near a desolate ranch called El Vergel, about 30 minutes north of town, by the time soldiers swooped in. The other three kidnapped men were rescued as soldiers rappelled into the desert from helicopters to chase those fleeing on foot.
By the time the shooting stopped, 14 suspected pistoleros and one soldier were dead, and townspeople felt more desperate than ever.
"We want some authority here. They kill here and no one does anything," complained a frail 67-year-old woman, gripping a cane as she walked past crumbling adobe homes.
Her daughter stopped her from giving her name, warning: "They might kill our entire family if you do."
Villa Ahumada is a town where scruffy dogs amble down gravel streets alongside slow-moving pickups. The economy depends on highway travelers stopping to eat at countless wooden burrito stands, but business has dropped by 50 percent since last week's violence, and the mayor has criticized the media for harming tourism. He declined repeated requests by The Associated Press for an interview.
Many townspeople have turned to God for answers, said the Rev. Fernando Nava, who presides over the Roman Catholic church.
"Fathers have lost sons, sons have lost fathers," he said. "This is affecting families, which is what the church is concerned about."
Some residents are stepping forward despite the risks to demand more safety. Nine men applied to be police officers this week as part of a renewed effort by the state of Chihuahua to establish a presence in town.
"These are all people from the town who want peace and security for their families," said Manuel Rodriguez of the Chihuahua State Public Safety Department. He was administering an exam Monday designed to evaluate their skills, character and psychological stamina, with questions like: "Do you consider men and women equal?" and "What would you do if there was an attempt on your life?"
Ismael Rivera, a lifelong resident, decided to apply after spending seven months as an unarmed guard.
"A lot of us don't know how to read or write," said Rivera, donning a black baseball cap with the word "guard" emblazoned in yellow across the front. "But they are going to give us the chance to study and work at the same time."
Rivera keeps an eye on things from the former police station, a small office where a yellow note on the wall lists the cell phone of a state police officer. Taped above it is a list of telephone numbers of federal officers. A toy Spider-Man and a picture of Jesus Christ adorn another wall. A bike with "police" painted on its rusty frame leans against the fence outside.
Joining the force is an opportunity to do something for his three children, but Rivera admits he's nervous.
"Of course, you are scared," he said. "You go home and you think about quitting."
493  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 10, 2009, 09:43:53 PM

How Corrupt is Our Language in Economic Discourse?
The vast majority has no clue what economic science is.  To them economics is about political ideology or practical business.  There are no laws of economics.  We economists have permitted this to occur.  We have allowed politicians and the public to demand of our discipline results which the discipline cannot produce but which nevertheless if we pretend we can produce those results will provide power and prestige.  Hayek argued in the early 1930s that the fate of the economist was to be called upon to address questions of pressing political concern only to have his advice discounted as soon as it was uttered.  Why? Because economics as a discipline puts parameters on people's utopias.  It gives us primarily "negative" knowledge --- we live in a scarce world, there is no such thing as a free lunch, we cannot assume what it is we hope to prove, ought cannot presuppose can, and can doesn't mean we ought, etc.  In the 1980s, Hayek wrote that: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

But that is not the "economics" we heard about last night from President Obama.  The economics is a POLITICAL economics.  It is an economics that at the service of political parties in power --- either right or left.  Conservative Keynesianism and Liberal Keynesianism, but it is still Keynesianism however you slice it. And as Deirdre McCloskey has put it, when your intellectual range is from M-N you think you are being open minded when you look at M and you look at N, but you certainly don't see A or Z.  President Obama actually argued that no serious economist has argued against the need for government action with respect to the stimulus package. The leading economists, he argued, for Bush I and Bush II, as well as his team of economists all agree that only government can break the economy out of this vicious spiral downward.  He must not have read the Christian Science Monitor yesterday.  Robert Higgs's op-ed is best on his historical research, which is among the best on the subject, dealing with the 1920s-1940s.

President Obama presents himself as a pragmatist who wants us to get beyond the stale ideological debates of the past.  But he is simply trapped in the conventional wisdom of Keynesian economics.  Why not take a few minutes --- since we are talking about actions which will transform the economic landscape of the US --- and think in a "non-Whig" fashion about economic ideas.  Consider once again the arguments that "lost" due not to intellectual defeat, but political expediency.  What were those pre-Keynesian ideas regarding the economy and the proper role of monetary and fiscal policy?  President Obama said he cannot take seriously criticisms of fiscal irresponsibility from politicians that when they were in power doubled the national debt.  Good point. But does that mean that fiscal irresponsibility is off the table as a concern? How pragmatic is thtat, as opposed to how politically convenient is that excuse?  If President Obama wants to break from the stale ideology of the past, then he should start with breaking with the policy path of the past. NOTHING he is doing is radically different from what President Bush did before him.  It is the same strategy being pursued just on "steroids" (and he is disappointed with A-Rod?!).  No answer has yet been given as to why President Bush's bailout package didn't work while his stimulus package will. In fact, when pushed on that question President Obama really just said, we might even need to spend more down the road when this doesn't give us the result we want.  And the claim is just that confidence has to be restored to the market and only government can do that.

The belief that only government can do this is the real stale ideology of the past.  What is really causing the problems in this economists opinion, is that government action has produced an uncertain investment environment. The rules of ownership and control are unclear, or clear but counter-productive for indiviudual initiative; monetary policy guided by the rhetoric of fighting inflation, but fearing deflation has been so loose that long term inflation that threatens the viability of the dollar should be a real concern to investors; and fiscal policy which is so out of control that US public debt will bankrupt the future generations with an astronomical tax burden and/or a monetization that will destroy the currency through hyper-inflation.  Whatever way you slice it, our current policy path is the PROBLEM not the SOLUTION.  But if your intellectual range is from M-N (lets say Larry Summers to Paul Krugman), then don't be surprised when in being "rational", examining the "evidence",  weighing the "arguments" and assessing the "theories", you fail to consider the fiscal arguments of a James Buchanan, the monetary and capital theories of F. A. Hayek, the comparative institutional analysis of law and politics in Ronald Coase, and the monetary and fiscal policy arguments of Milton Friedman.  Each of these gentlemen, President Obama, won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science.  Their ideas may have been used by politicians in rhetoric, but none have been political appointees (well Friedman served as an economist during WWII, Hayek and Buchanan fought for their countries in WWI and WWII respectively) and their ideas have not been used in political practice --- no denationalization of money; no balanced budget ammendment; no full scale school voucher program, drug legalization, monetary rule, etc..  Friedman had more success than the others in carrying the day, but compare the policy prescriptions in Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose with the reality of public policy that we got even under Ronald Reagan, and compare the policy prescriptions in Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty with what was achieved under Margaret Thatcher.  There is a far distance from the ideas in these books to the reality of the policy world.  A really radical notion of hope and change might be to get government out of the business of attempting to manage the economy, stop demanding of economics results that it as a discipline cannot produce, and lets depoliticize political economy. 

Economics is NOT social engineering, it is instead a phiosophical science.  Political economy is the best label for it, but at its best it is not political in the ordinary meaning of that term.  And the intellectual range is not limited to M-N, but instead travels at least from A-Z.  Because President Obama has failed to grasp this, to him economics disagreements are inherently political, economics science is Keynesian, and economic policy is pro-active.

Posted by Peter Boettke on February 10, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

The artical mentioned above which is in the Christian Science Monotor is worth a look as well
494  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: February 03, 2009, 08:03:03 AM
All but the voanew link did not work?  My conspiricy alarm is going off grin shocked wink
495  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 31, 2009, 09:03:26 PM
I have heard of this solution before.  I have not formed an opinion on it yet.  The question I am considering when I think of this solution is:  Does buying the crop amount to a form of blackmail?  If so do you want to set this type of precedent for other terrorist or criminals to use to get money out of us?

What do you think?
496  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: January 30, 2009, 08:15:49 AM
 huh  That sounds good.....where is the catch?  I will belive it when I see it, and I hope they do it. huh
497  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: January 29, 2009, 07:32:57 PM
Don't tell him about sunlight and skin cancer!!!!!!! grin evil wink
498  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 26, 2009, 10:58:46 PM
I have several questions.  What is the tribal make up of Afghanistan?  What are we doing to win over the tribes to our side?  It seems to me when dealing with a tribal society one must win over the tribes.  Don't these tribes cross over borders?  Could not this be the key to the region?  Ignore countries and borders and work on a tribal level.  Hold the tribal leaders responsible for the actions of their tribes.
499  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 22, 2009, 07:01:18 AM
This is from the hip so.......Moving the supply routes through Russia is not the answer.  Putin is not a trustworthy ally and it did not work for the Russians.  There are 2 choices both bad.  1) Pull out of the region and let things fester, while keeping an eye on things (leaving assets in country to spy can not be understated!), then go back in and take out the leadership and when you do go with our whole army and fight in the whole region including the tribal areas of Pak.  2) Why wait?  Start by removing the border issue and fight in the tribal regions of Pak.  We need to take the gloves off the CIA and allow them to "suppress" the enemy even if it is a operative in the Pak intelligence.  One action we could take is to bribe the Pak military to aid us while we remove any who oppose us through politics and or any means we have available.  This would fall under the heading of taking the gloves off.  Make them an offer they can't refuse.  Of coarse for that to work you have to be willing to fallow through.  My great grandfather used to say, "bluff till you can't bluff no more then do everything you said you would!"

So I realize the political implications but what do you want from an armchair general? evil grin
500  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: December 28, 2008, 08:21:21 AM
Nice find!!!  A logical knock out!!!  Now if only the world was a logical place we could put our 2nd amendment worries to rest.  Keep up the good fight!!
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