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Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
Topic: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces (Read 362366 times)
Re: Political Rants
Reply #600 on:
May 21, 2009, 07:58:03 PM »
Thanks for your response.
I agree that it seems classier and better for those who are no longer in office not to criticize those still in or those who replaced them.
But the continued visciousness of BO and the rest is unprecedented in my memory.
Certainly Cheney would not be doing this if not for the unending, and nastiness of the attacks persisting long after BO and the Dems won.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #601 on:
May 22, 2009, 10:24:55 AM »
Didn't know about Carter's Librarian quitting; didn't care I guess.
Yes you do have a tendency to note things that support your position and ignore things that reveal its folly.
And I don't remember Carter attacking the next administration immediately after leaving office. There was a grace period.
Pshaw. Carter has been on his sanctimonious high horse from the first day he was drummed out of office. He's been gumming up Mid-east negotiations from day one also.
Nor did Clinton; if I remember correctly he wrote a book, worked on his library, and he and President George H. Bush went on their world wide tour together arm in arm. After his wife became political it is understandable that he re-entered the political arena.
After 8 years of George Bush being demonized in the harshest terms I can recall any President enduring--much of that demonization coming from former Clintonistas--I find this argument hollow. I don't have the energy to do the research, but expect I'd find Clinton doesn't keep his mouth zipped any better than his pants.
Nor have most other Presidents and VP's. Best to get on your horse and go off to your ranch. And leave it for the next generation to pick up the attack. The Republicans just need to find some new talent to take the lead in my opinion. And then they will do fine.
You know, if the press was something other than a lap dog for the current administration, I might have some sympathy for this argument. As it stands, however, BHO and his cronies are making statements that impact this nation's national security, statements that aren't meeting much in the way of a reality check. Along comes Cheney, about the only person out there who was in a position to know about matters at hand and is speaking about it, and we're not supposed to listen to this important counterpoint because it does not meet your definition of a stylish exit?
If I gotta choose between style and substance, put me down on the substance side. And if BHO is gonna keep releasing heavily redacted material that supports his position while failing to address the holes in his statements that folks who were there point out, then I hope everyone in the former administration comes out and calls BS on the rank politicalization of national security matters that the current administration appears to be embracing. Hells bells, is it really all that difficult to choose between a full understanding of critical issues or an elegant exit? And if that choice is difficult for you, what does it say about your priorities?
Reply #602 on:
May 22, 2009, 10:28:45 AM »
Barack Obama, Deconstructionist
PETER WEHNER - 05.22.2009 - 10:27 AM
I commented earlier on President Obama’s national security speech. In reading it over, though, I was struck by something else: the contradiction between what Obama says and what he does. Let’s start with the most obvious: he lectures us against “pointing fingers at one another” — and gives a speech that includes more than two dozen critical comments (direct or implied) against the Bush Administration. For a fellow who constantly speaks about wanting to move forward, Obama spends an awful lot of time looking back. But there is more. President Obama pretends to be providing a quantum break from his predecessor — but, as Charles Krauthammer points out in his column, “Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.”
The president continually made reference to the importance of “transparency” in his speech — yet he will not release enhanced interrogation techniques memoranda showing what information we extracted by using these techniques. Compounding this hypocrisy is Obama feeling no reluctance to release previously classified memos that dealt with the methods of interrogation.
In his speech, Obama argued that President Bush’s anti-terrorism policies did not and, indeed, could not keep this country safe (because, Obama insists, they were at odds with our most fundamental values) — yet Bush’s policies, which in fact were not at odds with our most fundamental values, did exactly that. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was an overwhelming consensus that we would be hit again, and probably sooner rather than later. Al Qaeda certainly tried. Yet during the remaining seven-and-a-half years of the Bush presidency, our homeland was kept safe. Such things do not happen by accident.
President Obama spoke about his passionate concern for a “legitimate legal framework, with the kind of meaningful due process and rights for the accused that could stand up on appeal.” Yet in the same speech — just a few paragraphs later — Obama said, “even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States.” So Obama endorsed the idea of indefinite detention without trial for some people he believes to pose a threat.
President Obama says that waterboarding “serve[d] as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase[d] the will of our enemies to fight us.” Yet key metrics of the last few years — from the increasing unpopularity of al Qaeda and bin Laden in the Muslim world, to rising sentiment against killing innocent civilians, to key clerics who were once allies of jihadists turning against them — show the appeal of Islamic militancy is waning. The reason, in large part, is because the surge has been succeeding in Iraq and Bush’s polices had terrorists on the run in many parts of the world. Iraq turned out to be the birthplace of the Muslim rise against militant Islam. The way to dampen enthusiasm for terrorists is to defeat them, to turn them into the “weak horse” rather than the “strong horse.” And if Obama had his way while serving in the Senate — he both opposed the surge and declared he would withdraw all American combat troops from Iraq by March 2008 — we would have lost the war. And that loss would have been the greatest jihadist recruitment tool imaginable.
By all accounts, Barack Obama’s personal life is admirable, meaning that in this respect he is completely different from Bill Clinton. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that Obama shares with Clinton the tendency to routinely, almost promiscuously, use straw-men to strengthen his case. He employs smooth and persuasive words which, upon close inspection, are at odds with reality. Deconstructionism might go over well when you’re a professor at an Ivy League school; as President, though, it can eventually get you in trouble.
Bush League Obama
Reply #603 on:
May 22, 2009, 10:31:43 AM »
Obama in Bush Clothing
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, May 22, 2009
"We were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning."
-- Unnamed and dismayed human rights advocate, on legalizing indefinite detention of alleged terrorists,
the New York Times, May 21
If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the flip-flops on previously denounced anti-terror measures are the homage that Barack Obama pays to George Bush. Within 125 days, Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.
The latest flip-flop is the restoration of military tribunals. During the 2008 campaign, Obama denounced them repeatedly, calling them an "enormous failure." Obama suspended them upon his swearing-in. Now they're back.
Of course, Obama will never admit in word what he's doing in deed. As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush's moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy.
Cosmetic changes such as Obama's declaration that "we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own counsel." Laughable. High-toned liberal law firms are climbing over each other for the frisson of representing these miscreants in court.
What about disallowing evidence received under coercive interrogation? Hardly new, notes former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. Under the existing rules, military judges have that authority, and they exercised it under the Bush administration to dismiss charges against al-Qaeda operative Mohammed al-Qahtani on precisely those grounds.
On Guantanamo, it's Obama's fellow Democrats who have suddenly discovered the wisdom of Bush's choice. In open rebellion against Obama's pledge to shut it down, the Senate voted 90 to 6 to reject appropriating a single penny until the president explains where he intends to put the inmates. Sen. James Webb, the de facto Democratic authority on national defense, wants the closing to be put on hold. And on Tuesday, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, no Gitmo inmates on American soil -- not even in American jails.
That doesn't leave a lot of places. The home countries won't take them. Europe is recalcitrant. Saint Helena needs refurbishing. Elba didn't work out too well the first time. And Devil's Island is now a tourist destination. Gitmo is starting to look good again.
Observers of all political stripes are stunned by how much of the Bush national security agenda is being adopted by this new Democratic government. Victor Davis Hanson (National Review) offers a partial list: "The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq (i.e., slowing the withdrawal), Afghanistan (i.e., the surge) -- and now Guantanamo."
Jack Goldsmith (The New Republic) adds: rendition -- turning over terrorists seized abroad to foreign countries; state secrets -- claiming them in court to quash legal proceedings on rendition and other erstwhile barbarisms; and the denial of habeas corpus -- to detainees in Afghanistan's Bagram prison, indistinguishable logically and morally from Guantanamo.
What does it all mean? Democratic hypocrisy and demagoguery? Sure, but in Washington, opportunism and cynicism are hardly news.
There is something much larger at play -- an undeniable, irresistible national interest that, in the end, beyond the cheap politics, asserts itself. The urgencies and necessities of the actual post-9/11 world, as opposed to the fanciful world of the opposition politician, present a rather narrow range of acceptable alternatives.
Among them: reviving the tradition of military tribunals, used historically by George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Arthur MacArthur and Franklin Roosevelt. And inventing Guantanamo -- accessible, secure, offshore and nicely symbolic (the tradition of island exile for those outside the pale of civilization is a venerable one) -- a quite brilliant choice for the placement of terrorists, some of whom, the Bush administration immediately understood, would have to be detained without trial in a war that could be endless.
The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.
That's happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won't have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.
Intellect v. Emotion
Reply #604 on:
May 22, 2009, 11:12:43 AM »
Fourth post. I think this analysis is spot on; Cheney's speech was a classical argumentation tour de force, while BHO embraced touchy feely appeals to emotion.
May 22, 2009
Obama vs. Cheney: Man vs. Manchild
It was an extraordinary moment for our times. Two men with radically opposing viewpoints gave speeches on national security at roughly the same time and addressed most of the same subjects.
One, former Vice President Dick Cheney. The other, our current President Barack Obama. While it is difficult to be objective about the content of both speeches, a couple of general observations about the style and tone of the addresses can be made based on long standing principles of good speechmaking without resorting to (too much) partisanship.
I found the contrasting styles of the speeches fascinating. Cheney - elder statesman, experienced in government and politics - gave a speech that was a classic debaters' defense of Bush era policies as well as a straightforward tour d'horizon listing the threats we face an the nature of our enemies. Cheney's appeal was to the head, not the heart.
Obama, on the other hand, gave a speech he could have given a year ago during the campaign. High minded but defensive - almost as if he were responding to a campaign faux pas:
The third decision that I made was to order a review of all pending cases at Guantanamo. I knew when I ordered Guantanamo closed that it would be difficult and complex. There are 240 people there who have now spent years in legal limbo. In dealing with this situation, we don't have the luxury of starting from scratch. We're cleaning up something that is, quite simply, a mess -- a misguided experiment that has left in its wake a flood of legal challenges that my administration is forced to deal with on a constant, almost daily basis, and it consumes the time of government officials whose time should be spent on better protecting our country.
Note the appeal to sympathy and evasion of responsibility. Obama's speech is peppered with these little emotional appeals for understanding which is not only unseemly for a president but only serves to highlight his confusion and refusal to place national security above the plane of rhetoric and "values" and treat it like the hard headed, real world responsibility that it must be if we are to stay safe.
Cheney cooly dissected most of Obama's arguments, praising the president for some of his actions but pointing out in no uncertain terms that the president's starry eyed view of the threats we face as well as his plans with regard to Guantanamo do not make us safer:
On his second day in office, President Obama announced that he was closing the detention facility at Guantanamo. This step came with little deliberation and no plan. Their idea now, as stated by Attorney General Holder and others, is apparently to bring some of these hardened terrorists into the United States. On this one, I find myself in complete agreement with many in the President's own party. Unsure how to explain to their constituents why terrorists might soon be relocating into their states, these Democrats chose instead to strip funding for such a move out of the most recent war supplemental.
The administration has found that it's easy to receive applause in Europe for closing Guantanamo. But it's tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interests of justice and America's national security. Keep in mind that these are hardened terrorists picked up overseas since 9/11. The ones that were considered low-risk were released a long time ago. And among these, it turns out that many were treated too leniently, because they cut a straight path back to their prior line of work and have conducted murderous attacks in the Middle East. I think the President will find, upon reflection, that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the United States would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come.
In the category of euphemism, the prizewinning entry would be a recent editorial in a familiar newspaper that referred to terrorists we've captured as, quote, "abducted." Here we have ruthless enemies of this country, stopped in their tracks by brave operatives in the service of America, and a major editorial page makes them sound like they were kidnap victims, picked up at random on their way to the movies.
Note how Cheney cuts through the clutter and gets to the heart of the matter. He does it by appealing to logic and reason, not emotion. Even his frequent mentions of 9/11 during the speech were contextual and not designed to elicit an emotional reaction. It's what Obama failed to do in his speech. His context was "cleaning up the Bush mess," rather than fighting and winning the War on Terror.
There was nothing radically wrong with Obama's speech stylistically - if, as I said, he were still running for president. It flowed nicely. It laid out the liberal narrative on torture and Guantanamo smoothly. The frequent breaks for applause proved that his appeal to emotion worked quite well.
But the speech itself was appalling. It sounded whiny in places and extremely defensive. And this part sent chills down my spine:
National security requires a delicate balance. One the one hand, our democracy depends on transparency. On the other hand, some information must be protected from public disclosure for the sake of our security -- for instance, the movement of our troops, our intelligence-gathering, or the information we have about a terrorist organization and its affiliates. In these and other cases, lives are at stake.
Now, several weeks ago, as part of an ongoing court case, I released memos issued by the previous administration's Office of Legal Counsel. I did not do this because I disagreed with the enhanced interrogation techniques that those memos authorized, and I didn't release the documents because I rejected their legal rationales -- although I do on both counts. I released the memos because the existence of that approach to interrogation was already widely known, the Bush administration had acknowledged its existence, and I had already banned those methods. The argument that somehow by releasing those memos we are providing terrorists with information about how they will be interrogated makes no sense. We will not be interrogating terrorists using that approach. That approach is now prohibited.
In short, I released these memos because there was no overriding reason to protect them. And the ensuing debate has helped the American people better understand how these interrogation methods came to be authorized and used.
I don't think I've ever seen such a narrow, self serving definition of government secrecy nor a lamer excuse for violating it. The same argument was made for opposing the Terrorist Surveillance Program; terrorists already know we listen to them so what's the big deal?
Cheney, to say the least, is not impressed:
One person who by all accounts objected to the release of the interrogation memos was the Director of Central Intelligence, Leon Panetta. He was joined in that view by at least four of his predecessors. I assume they felt this way because they understand the importance of protecting intelligence sources, methods, and personnel. But now that this once top-secret information is out for all to see - including the enemy - let me draw your attention to some points that are routinely overlooked.
It is a fact that only detainees of the highest intelligence value were ever subjected to enhanced interrogation. You've heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists. One of them was Khalid Sheikh Muhammed - the mastermind of 9/11, who has also boasted about beheading Daniel Pearl.
We had a lot of blind spots after the attacks on our country. We didn't know about al-Qaeda's plans, but Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we didn't think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.
Maybe you've heard that when we captured KSM, he said he would talk as soon as he got to New York City and saw his lawyer. But like many critics of interrogations, he clearly misunderstood the business at hand. American personnel were not there to commence an elaborate legal proceeding, but to extract information from him before al-Qaeda could strike again and kill more of our people.
Cheney knows full well it is stupidity and folly to "assume" your enemy "already knows" something so it is safe to release classified information. You never know what value the enemy will receive from such releases and besides, why take the chance that they can get anything that would help them?
For Obama, his "feel good" national security policy requires that it doesn't matter if the enemy gains an advantage, only that we adhere to his idea of "American values" - which wouldn't mean very much to dead Americans who were killed due to his frightening naivete and stupidity.
These were two speeches that featured competing world views, competing visions of America, and competing ideas on how to deal with the threats that face us. Cheney's statesmanlike address contrasted with Obama's campaign-style, defensive talk. One appealed to the head, the other the heart. One was delivered by a man, the other a man-child.
Dick Cheney is emerging as the elder statesman of the Republican party and the goto guy on critiquing Obama's national security policy. Let's hope he is accorded the opportunity to comment often.
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at May 22, 2009 - 12:07:14 PM EDT
Re: Political Rants
Reply #605 on:
May 22, 2009, 11:24:16 AM »
I've come to the conclusion that BO is the most dishonest President in my adult lifetime.
Only rivaling him in this regard would of course be Clinton.
Once his poll ratings drop we might start to hear the MSM actually call him on the incredible incongruities of his speeches and waht is actually happening.
Until then, he is adored and we continue to get screwed by him and his anti America socialist gang.
Reply #606 on:
May 29, 2009, 03:02:43 PM »
Reply #607 on:
May 31, 2009, 10:16:38 AM »
By CARL SCHRAMM From today's Wall Street Journal Europe.
We continue to be in the middle of a frightening economic drama, one that is putting the core tenets of modern capitalism at the center of the global debate. That is an important debate to have, considering that the fundamental assumptions of modern economics -- that governments have appropriately designed counter-cyclical tools, that central banks are omnipotent, that the business cycle has been tamed and that our securities markets have finally rationalized risk -- have been shattered.
Is this the moment the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter had envisaged when he spoke of "creative destruction"? After all, it was Schumpeter who worried more than any other modern economist about what might be called the fragile condition of capitalism. He did so having lived through the economic horrors of Weimar, witnessed the terror of Soviet-style political economy, experienced the Depression -- and seen the chaos of World War II. Plenty of destruction, to be sure. His life's work concentrated on entrepreneurs renewing the economy through what he called "creative destruction."
If Schumpeter were alive today, he would surely ask, What caused this crisis? And, is this kind of scandal or drama endemic to the nature of capitalism itself? While a lot of attention has been given to the first question, I want to focus on the more ominous second one. Namely, how to save capitalism from a potentially fatal reaction to this crisis.
We need to remember that Schumpeter embraced capitalism not as a reaction or as the second-best solution to the unproductive reality of utopian economic planning. Rather, he saw capitalism as the foundation of two complementary forces. The first was economic expansion. The second was its role in protecting individual freedom.
For Schumpeter, to sacrifice one was to imperil the other. More starkly, he would remind us in no uncertain terms that, whatever our present doubts, the only way freedom is secure for any individual is within a growing economy. In other words, political freedom depends on economic expansion. In our own time, the Indian-born economist Amartya Sen has shown the importance of this tandem for the world's developing economies where economic expansion has become synonymous with freedom.
The connection between economic growth and democracy is, as political scientist Michael Mandelbaum says, a "tendency," not an "invariable law" of political economy. Economic growth usually brings higher rates of literacy and education, as well as a general shift from rural to urban living, elements shown to be correlated with democracy. Moreover, the overlap between free markets and democracy -- in private property, limited government, a thriving civil society, and established rule of law -- makes the causal connection even stronger.
As a general rule, only capitalism can create wealth and liberty at the same time. And, of course, capitalism can expand welfare faster than any other social or economic order has ever done.
However, given the pressures of the current crisis, a future where growth and freedom continue to jointly secure each other and anchor civil society is not assured. It seems that when economic contractions occur in their inevitable, yet unpredictable way, the critique of capitalism itself becomes more powerful and shrill.
From Schumpeter's vantage point, capitalism's very success allows rich societies to use government to relax the impersonal rules that govern markets, creating new rules that buffer citizens from the rigors of risk-taking and failure. In that sense, government invents for itself the task of mediating market outcomes. Schumpeter had seen the dangers of this play out in Bismarck's conception of Prussia's welfare state. In the face of the Marxist threat, the elite secured its position by causing government to dispense social benefits. Political entrenchment, not charity, had motivated Bismarck. When distorted in such a way, free-market capitalism is seen to suppress -- rather than to encourage -- social and economic mobility.
Since the New Deal, Americans have come to see government as somehow the ultimate protector of their financial welfare. In reality, though, the evidence of the U.S. government behaving in this way during the New Deal is thin to say the least. Although it is largely forgotten now, much of the government's action during the Depression actually had a marginal impact on individual lives. Monetary expansion and technological innovation boosted the economy, while the "second" depression of 1937-1938 is widely understood as having been induced by Roosevelt's attempt to manipulate credit markets.
So what about the ultimate Schumpeterian challenge: Can capitalism be saved? France's President Nicolas Sarkozy in October 2008 proposed a brilliant formulation. He said: "The financial crisis is not the crisis of capitalism. It is the crisis of a system that has distanced itself from the most fundamental values of capitalism, which betrayed the spirit of capitalism."
No doubt, in the face of the continuing financial crisis, entrepreneurial capitalism is threatened. All over the world, people are giving greater emphasis to personal security. Their taste for assuming personal risk may be chastened, at least for the moment. This is an altogether rational and expected response.
Where that becomes troublesome, however, is the moment when government comes to be seen as the sole source of security. What we, the public, need to understand is that the best guarantor of security is not government. It's economic growth. While we want to believe otherwise, the cold fact is that government can't guarantee economic permanency. Nobody, and nothing, can.
Pragmatically speaking, we must figure out how to increase people's sense of security without making government itself bigger or more powerful.
Joseph Schumpeter's answer to all this is that the most important citizen is not the politician, nor the big businessman, nor the bankers on Wall Street. They are important, but not central to the renewal of democratic capitalism. That role, that burden falls to our fellow citizens who, in the face of the challenges we see all around us, are ready to pursuit what entrepreneurs do: Create the new, create jobs and make the wealth that will be more necessary than ever to purchase a future worth living.
Whatever road we choose, entrepreneurial capitalism cannot be revived or flourish if new government security programs end up attenuating the individual's ultimate responsibility to attend to his or her own welfare.
Mr. Schramm is president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation and co-author of "Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity" (Yale Univ. Press, 2007).
Re: Political Rants
Reply #608 on:
May 31, 2009, 12:49:17 PM »
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy in October 2008 proposed a brilliant formulation. He said: "The financial crisis is not the crisis of capitalism. It is the crisis of a system that has distanced itself from the most fundamental values of capitalism, which betrayed the spirit of capitalism."
Sarkozy said this?
Interesting a European is looking to the right. And the President we are stuck with is and always has been looking the other way.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #609 on:
June 08, 2009, 05:58:48 PM »
This post is entitled "Political Rants" so my turn...
Recently, my small town (La Canada) where I own property proposed an assessment on all residential
property. The money is to go towards schools. A worthy cause I suppose, education, and good
schools do keep the property up. A simple majority is needed for it to pass.
But anyone over 65 and underprivileged (not too many in town) may chose not to pay. Now
I support the elderly, but it doesn't seem right to me that they can vote and be counted in
favor of the assessment, yet they do not have to pay. It seems only fair to me that only
those who will pay should be entitled to vote; and let the votes fall as they may.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #610 on:
June 08, 2009, 06:00:29 PM »
40% of the US population doesn't pay federal income tax. Should they be able to vote?
Re: Political Rants
Reply #611 on:
June 08, 2009, 06:10:42 PM »
GM; I understand your point, (it is a good one) but this is a tax on property. IF and only if
you own residential property will you be required to pay. Yet, you can voluntarily opt
out of paying if you are over 65 regardless of your ability to pay. And there are a lot of affluent
65+ people in town who are homeowners including my parents. But perhaps you are right.
It was only a "Rant".....
Re: Political Rants
Reply #612 on:
June 08, 2009, 06:11:12 PM »
Quote from: G M on June 08, 2009, 06:00:29 PM
40% of the US population doesn't pay federal income tax. Should they be able to vote?
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
Re: Political Rants
Reply #613 on:
June 08, 2009, 07:12:56 PM »
Maybe the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when money and property were part of the qualifications to vote!
@JDN: If you take the next step and realize that money is property too, a blazing glory of comprehension will be yours
Re: Political Rants
Reply #614 on:
June 09, 2009, 08:27:05 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on June 08, 2009, 07:12:56 PM
Maybe the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when money and property were part of the qualifications to vote!
"What is true of every member of the society, individually, is true of them all collectively; since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of the individuals." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. ME 7:455, Papers 15:393
Reply #615 on:
June 11, 2009, 03:25:05 PM »
He has been pointing out that bo's policies are not all that popular which is not in sync with the fact that he is popular.
He predicts his poularity will fall as the public starts to equate him as part of the problem and not the solution.
That will occur when the visciousness of his changes start to be felt.
Will see if this plays out as he predicts.
"By Dick Morris 06.10.2009 Published on TheHill.com on June 9, 2009
At last, there is convincing evidence that Obama’s poll numbers may be descending to earth. While his approval remains high — and his personal favorability is even higher — the underlying numbers suggest that a decline may be in the offing. Even as he stands on his pedestal, the numbers under his feet are crumbling.
According to a Rasmussen poll, more voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the economy, by a margin of 45-39. Scott Rasmussen notes that “this is the first time in over two years of polling that the GOP has held the advantage on this issue.” Last month, he had the Democrats holding a one-point lead, but they lost it in June’s polling.
And the Democratic leads over Republicans on their core issues are also dropping. Particularly interesting is the Democratic decline over healthcare, from an 18-point lead in May to only 10 points now.
A Gallup poll also confirms that the president’s personal ratings are high, but the underlying data less so. While 67 percent of voters give Obama personal favorable ratings and 61 percent approve of his job performance (Rasmussen has his job approval lower, at 55 percent), they give him much lower ratings on specific issues.
Gallup shows Obama getting only 55 percent approval on his handling of the economy (down from 59 percent in February) and finds that only 45 percent approve of his handling of federal spending while 46 percent approve of his treatment of the budget deficit.
As it becomes clearer that the deficit caused by spending has landed us in a new economic crisis, entirely of Obama’s own making, his popularity and job performance are likely to drop as well.
The old recession — that the public says was caused by Bush — shows signs of winding down. But the new recession and/or inflation — triggered by Obama’s massive deficits — is just now coming upon us.
If Obama refuses to cut back on his spending/stimulus plans (despite convincing evidence that Americans are not spending the money), he has three options:
a) He can raise taxes, which will trigger a deeper recession;
b) He can print money, which will trigger huge inflation;
c) He can pay more interest to borrow money, which will send the economy diving down again.
The blame for these outcomes will fall squarely on Obama’s deficit and spending policies. The fact that Americans are aware of these issues, and already disapprove of Obama’s performance on them, indicates that they will be increasingly receptive to blaming him for the “new” recession.
Interestingly, Obama’s polling is now the exact opposite of President Clinton’s in the days after Monica Lewinsky. Back then, the president’s approval for handling specific issues was his forte, while his job approval remained high but his personal favorability lagged 20 points behind. Ultimately, it is a politician’s performance on specific issues that determines his electability. Personal favorability withers in the face of issue differences. Obama is about to find out that you cannot rely on image to bolster your presidency when the underlying issues are crumbling.
All this data suggests that Obama might run out of steam just as he gets to his healthcare agenda. As unemployment mounts, month after month, and Obama’s claims of job creation (or savings) ring hollow, it is possible that he will not have the heft to pass his radical restructuring of the healthcare system. The automaton Democratic majority may pass it anyway, but it will be a one-way ticket to oblivion if they do."
Re: Political Rants
Reply #616 on:
June 12, 2009, 11:22:11 AM »
Reagan and Lincoln vs BO
Reagan said what he meant and meant and did what he said.
Does not say the true extent of what he means and does and means a lot more than what he is saying.
What would the founding fathers think about such deception?
Re: Political Rants
Reply #617 on:
June 12, 2009, 12:26:35 PM »
CCP: "[Obama] means a lot more than hje is saying"
Scott Johnson, Powerlineblog today:
In his Rhetoric, Aristotle teaches that a good speech necessarily draws on ethos (the speaker's power of evincing a personal character which will make his speech credible), pathos (the speaker's power of stirring the emotions of his audience) and logos (argument). Paul's analysis focuses on logos to the exclusion of ethos and pathos.
Obama's flattery of his Muslim audience with historical howlers cannot be understood apart from ethos and pathos. In part the flattery supports Obama's declaration of the uncomfortable historical truth of the Holocaust. As rhetoric, Obama's falsehoods give him the standing with his audience necessary to advance a painful truth.
One cannot understand a given passage without considering its effect upon the hearers. The topic sentences of the two paragraphs of the initial passage in issue read as follows:
Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland.
While Obama does not himself explicitly equate the sufferings of the Jewish people with those of "the Palestinian people," the structure of the passage does so for him. And this is of course how his intended audience would hear the words. Note as well how Obama includes Christians and excludes Jews from his definition of "the Palestinian people." It is an exclusion that conflicts with history but that serves his rhetorical purposes.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #618 on:
June 12, 2009, 02:32:26 PM »
Fascinating point about Aristotle here. Let's apply the philosophy, or let me try:
BO has the ethos and pathos but not the best logos.
So he and the other Dems provide logos with falsehoods, lies and other deceptive manipulations that people will fall for in their wanting to believe that he is some sort of savior.
And he bribes large numbers with his class warfare rhetoric and to confiscate wealth and give it away to his favorite constituents and supporters.
They wrongly beleive he is helping them. In the process he is selling America down the river.
This is where Dick Morris comes in. He points out that BO's positions are not supported by a majority of Americans though her remains favorable. When more and more Americans begin to feel the pain he is inflicting on this country then his personal numbers will fall.
Prediction:When the eventual fall comes BO will blame his fellow Dems
Reply #619 on:
June 13, 2009, 11:55:24 AM »
Dick Morris predictions, I think, have been fairly acurrate. Dick thinks the outcome of the gigantic spending of BO, and his associate Dems will be one or a combination of:
1) massive inflation
2) the policies will fail and the economy will continue tanking
3) or taxes will sky rocket.
All the outcomes in his opinion will cause the ruin of BO - it is only a matter of time.
My guess he is right about the first three predictions. But I have a prediction that he may be wrong about the ruin of BO:
BO (despite another one of his deceptions stating he doesn't look much at polls) is of course studying them with a fine tooth comb.
When he sees his poll numbers start to drop because more and more people will start worrying about the gigantic spending BO is not going to just sit there.
I predict he will start throwing his democrat colleagues in both houses to the wolves, with an all out triangulation attack blaming THEM for the massive spending.
We will start seeing more and more subtle calls and claims from him and his subordinates that HE is working diligently to hold DOWN spending. If it doesn't come down (and it won't because Democrats are clueless without being able to steal money and buy votes), and things go wrong as Morris predicts they MUST then watch for BO start publically blaming his own party mates for the malfeasance. He won't accept the responsibility.
Right now he continues and is getting away with blaming the "previous administration". But when that no longer works he will blame his fellow Dems.
Would he succeed in getting away with this? I am not sure. The adoring MSM will do their best to help him.
We shall see.
Bonner: The third and final stage
Reply #620 on:
June 19, 2009, 09:20:02 AM »
Provided as a courtesy of Agora Publishing & The Daily Reckoning
Jun 18, 2009
<<The United States has entered the third and final stage in the life and death of a great country.
America's history can be divided into three broad stages. The first stage was industrialization. This is what took the United States from a marginal nation of settlers, explorers, farmers, entrepreneurs and religious refugees to become the world's richest and most powerful country. The source of its wealth and power was its factories... and its people. The factories were the best in the world. And the people how labored in them were accustomed to hard work, saving, and self-discipline. There were no free lunches in America during this period. The fastest growing cities of the time were manufacturing centers - Chicago, Gary, Detroit, Pittsburg, and Birmingham. Thanks to its smokestacks and assembly lines, the US could make things better, cheaper and faster than any other country, with the possible exception of Germany before WWI and Japan after WWII. That is how the US became the world's largest creditor - by selling US-made goods to foreigners. And it's how the United States won WWI and WWII too. American factories could turn out more tanks, more planes, more guns and more butter than any other nation. And the United States had an abundant source of fuel too; "Texas Tea" they called it.
After WWII America enjoyed its glory days. It was on top of the world... in practically every sense. The United States was #1.
Nothing fails like success. The New Deal had fundamentally changed Americans' relationship to the state. Federal meddlers began playing a larger and larger role in the economic life of the country. Soon, American attitudes evolved to fit the circumstances. With the world's reserve currency... a huge lead over its competitors... and a government that promised to take care of its wants and needs, the US workforce relaxed. Gradually, it shifted from making things to buying them... while industry turned its focus from production to sales... and then, financing. Then, the United States entered the second stage: financialization.
In this second stage, the center of gravity shifted from the wealth-producing factories to the financial centers - mainly Manhattan. Prices of real estate in New York soared. Wall Street came to be seen not merely as a place to invest the proceeds of honest toil... but a way to create wealth. The most ambitious college graduates turned from engineering and manufacturing first to sales and marketing and later to finance; because that's where the money was. At the peak, in the Bubble Epoch, 2003-2007, Wall Street was drawing in the world's leading scholars in mathematics and statistics... These people were creating the biggest debt bombs in history... exotic, complicated financial concoctions... that eventually blew up in their faces.
Detroit went into a decline as early as the late '60s. GM continued to make cars, but it looked to financing as a way of make money. GMAC became the major source of GM's profits. Still mills along the Monongahela River began to rust in the '70s. Ships began to come to the US laden with goods in the '80s and '90s... and to go back empty. The US Fed tried to stimulate the US economy on several occasions, but it had a strange effect. It put more credit in the hands of US consumers - who used the money to buy goods from overseas. In effect, the US Fed was stimulating manufacturing in China!
But in 2007-2008 the bubble in consumer debt blew up. GM went broke in May of '09. The financialization stage ended. In its place comes a new stage: politicization, the third and fatal phase of a great nation.
Where is the money now? It took the train from Grand Central Station in Manhattan down to Union Station in Washington, DC. Want money? Ask Washington. It's pledged an amount equal to three times what it spent in WWII to the fight against deflation.
Where is the power now? Just ask Chrysler bondholders; in the end it didn't matter what their contracts said... when the US government turned against them, their goose was cooked. The Obama Administration, owner of GM, now sets top salaries and determines what kind of cars the company will make. Washington also determines which businesses will be kept alive - AIG - and which will die - Lehman Bros. Now it's the politicians, not Wall Street, nor investors, who decide the allocation of big capital...
And when ambitious young people buy a ticket to begin their careers, are they going to Milwaukee... to Manhattan... or to the lobbyists' mecca in Northern Virginia?>>
Jun 18, 2009
Re: Political Rants
Reply #621 on:
June 25, 2009, 02:25:41 PM »
Well it really does look like it is all over for the US
ARE Americans practicing Communism?
Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy...
Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it's clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.
Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.
Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!
The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are...
1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share".
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc...).
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.
6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read "controlled or subsidized" rather than "owned"… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.
8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, but are actually "government force-tax-funded schools " Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education" . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like "majority rules", and "pay your fair share". WHERE are the words "fair share" in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is "fair share" even suggested !! The philosophical concept of "fair share" comes from the Communist maxim, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. ... America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC ... Teaching ourselves and others how to "fish" to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be "needy"... Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.
Do changing words, change the end result? ... By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?
The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America... KNOW YOUR ENEMY ...Remove the enemy from within and from among us.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #622 on:
June 26, 2009, 12:44:45 PM »
After I read this article myself the arugument is over about the obama
Obama, the African Colonial
By L.E. Ikenga
Had Americans been able to stop obsessing over the color of Barack Obama's skin and instead paid more attention to his cultural identity, maybe he would not be in the White House today. The key to understanding him lies with his identification with his father, and his adoption of a cultural and political mindset rooted in postcolonial Africa.
Like many educated intellectuals in postcolonial Africa, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was enraged at the transformation of his native land by its colonial conqueror. But instead of embracing the traditional values of his own tribal cultural past, he embraced an imported Western ideology, Marxism. I call such frustrated and angry modern Africans who embrace various foreign "isms", instead of looking homeward for repair of societies that are broken, African Colonials. They are Africans who serve foreign ideas.
The tropes of America's racial history as a way of understanding all things black are useless in understanding the man who got his dreams from his father, a Kenyan exemplar of the African Colonial.
Before I continue, I need to say this: I am a first generation born West African-American woman whose parents emigrated to the U.S. in the 1970's from the country now called Nigeria. I travel to Nigeria frequently. I see myself as both a proud American and as a proud Igbo (the tribe that we come from -- also sometimes spelled Ibo). Politically, I have always been conservative (though it took this past election for me to commit to this once and for all!); my conservative values come from my Igbo heritage and my place of birth. Of course, none of this qualifies me to say what I am about to -- but at the same time it does.
My friends, despite what CNN and the rest are telling you, Barack Obama is nothing more than an old school African Colonial who is on his way to turning this country into one of the developing nations that you learn about on the National Geographic Channel. Many conservative (East, West, South, North) African-Americans like myself -- those of us who know our history -- have seen this movie before. Here are two main reasons why many Americans allowed Obama to slip through the cracks despite all of his glaring inconsistencies:
First, Obama has been living on American soil for most of his adult life. Therefore, he has been able to masquerade as one who understands and believes in American democratic ideals. But he does not. Barack Obama is intrinsically undemocratic and as his presidency plays out, this will become more obvious. Second, and most importantly, too many Americans know very little about Africa. The one-size-fits-all understanding that many Americans (both black and white) continue to have of Africa might end up bringing dire consequences for this country.
Contrary to the way it continues to be portrayed in mainstream Western culture, Africa is not a continent that can be solely defined by AIDS, ethnic rivalries, poverty and safaris. Africa, like any other continent, has an immense history defined by much diversity and complexity. Africa's long-standing relationship with Europe speaks especially to some of these complexities -- particularly the relationship that has existed between the two continents over the past two centuries. Europe's complete colonization of Africa during the nineteenth century, also known as the Scramble for Africa, produced many unfortunate consequences, the African colonial being one of them.
The African colonial (AC) is a person who by means of their birth or lineage has a direct connection with Africa. However, unlike Africans like me, their worldviews have been largely shaped not by the indigenous beliefs of a specific African tribe but by the ideals of the European imperialism that overwhelmed and dominated Africa during the colonial period. AC's have no real regard for their specific African traditions or histories. AC's use aspects of their African culture as one would use pieces of costume jewelry: things of little or no value that can be thoughtlessly discarded when they become a negative distraction, or used on a whim to decorate oneself in order to seem exotic. (Hint: Obama's Muslim heritage).
On the other hand, AC's strive to be the best at the culture that they inherited from Europe. Throughout the West, they are tops in their professions as lawyers, doctors, engineers, Ivy League professors and business moguls; this is all well and good. It's when they decide to engage us as politicians that things become messy and convoluted.
The African colonial politician (ACP) feigns repulsion towards the hegemonic paradigms of Western civilization. But at the same time, he is completely enamored of the trappings of its aristocracy or elite culture. The ACP blames and caricatures whitey to no end for all that has gone wrong in the world. He convinces the masses that various forms of African socialism are the best way for redressing the problems that European colonialism motivated in Africa. However, as opposed to really being a hard-core African Leftist who actually believes in something, the ACP uses socialist themes as a way to disguise his true ambitions: a complete power grab whereby the "will of the people" becomes completely irrelevant.
Barack Obama is all of the above. The only difference is that he is here playing (colonial) African politics as usual.
In his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father -- an eloquent piece of political propaganda -- Obama styles himself as a misunderstood intellectual who is deeply affected by the sufferings of black people, especially in America and Africa. In the book, Obama clearly sees himself as an African, not as a black American. And to prove this, he goes on a quest to understand his Kenyan roots. He is extremely thoughtful of his deceased father's legacy; this provides the main clue for understanding Barack Obama.
Barack Obama Sr. was an African colonial to the core; in his case, the apple did not fall far from the tree. All of the telltale signs of Obama's African colonialist attitudes are on full display in the book -- from his feigned antipathy towards Europeans to his view of African tribal associations as distracting elements that get in the way of "progress". (On p. 308 of Dreams From My Father, Obama says that African tribes should be viewed as an "ancient loyalties".)
Like imperialists of Old World Europe, the ACP sees their constituents not as free thinking individuals who best know how to go about achieving and creating their own means for success. Instead, the ACP sees his constituents as a flock of ignorant sheep that need to be led -- oftentimes to their own slaughter.
Like the European imperialist who spawned him, the ACP is a destroyer of all forms of democracy.
Here are a few examples of what the British did in order to create (in 1914) what is now called Nigeria and what Obama is doing to you:
Convince the people that "clinging" to any aspect of their cultural (tribal) identity or history is bad and regresses the process of "unity". British Imperialists deeply feared people who were loyal to anything other than the state. "Tribalism" made the imperialists have to work harder to get people to just fall in line. Imperialists pitted tribes against each other in order to create chaos that they then blamed on ethnic rivalry. Today many "educated" Nigerians, having believed that their traditions were irrelevant, remain completely ignorant of their ancestry and the history of their own tribes.
Confiscate the wealth and resources of the area that you govern by any means necessary in order to redistribute wealth. The British used this tactic to present themselves as empathetic and benevolent leaders who wanted everyone to have a "fair shake". Imperialists are not interested in equality for all. They are interested in controlling all.
Convince the masses that your upper-crust university education naturally puts you on an intellectual plane from which to understand everything even when you understand nothing. Imperialists were able to convince the people that their elite university educations allowed them to understand what Africa needed. Many of today's Nigerians-having followed that lead-hold all sorts of degrees and certificates-but what good are they if you can't find a job?
Lie to the people and tell them that progress is being made even though things are clearly becoming worse. One thing that the British forgot to mention to their Nigerian constituents was that one day, the resources that were being used to engineer "progress" (which the British had confiscated from the Africans to begin with!) would eventually run out. After WWII, Western Europe could no longer afford to hold on to their African colonies. So all of the counterfeit countries that the Europeans created were then left high-and-dry to fend for themselves. This was the main reason behind the African independence movements of the1950 and 60's. What will a post-Obama America look like?
Use every available media outlet to perpetuate the belief that you and your followers are the enlightened ones-and that those who refuse to support you are just barbaric, uncivilized, ignorant curmudgeons. This speaks for itself.
America, don't be fooled. The Igbos were once made up of a confederacy of clans that ascribed to various forms of democratic government. They took their eyes off the ball and before they knew it, the British were upon them. Also, understand this: the African colonial who is given too much political power can only become one thing: a despot.
Someone has to Say It
Reply #623 on:
July 02, 2009, 02:47:12 PM »
Not a political rant, but I can hardly post this under "Rest in Peace."
Michael Jackson Was a Huge, Gaping A$$hole!
By Michael Musto in Featured, Michael JacksonWednesday, Jul. 1 2009 @ 11:00AM
No, wait, don't start throwing white gloves at me in anger! I didn't say it--I just thought it. It's Steppin' Out magazine's Chaunce Hayden who actually put that idea on paper, and I'm merely here to share his fuming words with y'all as a public (or perhaps pubic) service.
Check out Hayden's reasoning and see if you don't gag, spew, wince, and totally agree:
ASSHOLE OF THE WEEK: MICHAEL JACKSON
By Chaunce Hayden
It's time for the voice of reason. Michael Jackson was an asshole. There, I said it, and I'll say it again. Michael "creepy, boy-loving" Jackson was an asshole. Got a problem with that? Too bad. I refuse to jump on the "rest in peace, we love you, Michael" bandwagon and shed tears over someone who was so f-ing despicable. How quickly the world forgets or conveniently chooses not to remember.
Allow me to quickly recap the life of this troubled superstar: Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Michael Jackson was a drug addict. Michael Jackson
abused his own children both physically and emotionally. Michael Jackson was a deadbeat who owed millions in unpaid bills. Oh yeah, and Michael Jackson could sing and dance like a motherf--ker. And now, he's dead. Boo hoo. What surprises me is how long this frail child molester was able to physically walk the earth. Let's face it; Michael, for all intent and purpose, had left the human race years ago as he morphed into one of his Thriller video characters before our very eyes. But like the "Emperor's New Clothes," the world chose to ignore the true horror of this self-mutilated beast.
For 50 years, this soft-spoken mummy moonwalked his way through life leaving a trail of victims in his wake. God knows how many brainwashed boys were befriended by the ghoulish performer with the lure of cash, toys, exotic pets and an alcohol concoction Michael cleverly called "Jesus Juice" to loosen 'em up before a night of debauchery. Imagine your own child lying in bed next to Michael wondering why the room is spinning while a wig-wearing 5'10", 115-pound grown man in clown makeup gropes at his innocence. Yet, we cry for this animal as if Christ himself was crucified before our eyes. Please, spare me.
Someone should have put Michael out of his misery many years ago. A stake through the heart would have been more merciful than to allow this half-human/half plastic thing to slither through his backyard amusement park, hunting for his pubescent prey. In the end, I believe Michael himself knew what he had become and made the choice to put a stop to the madness. While the word "suicide" has yet to be brought up between all the blind tears, it's my hope that Michael, in an effort to stop himself from hurting any other child, put an end to his own miserable existence.
I will not mourn the death of Michael Jackson no more than I would mourn the death of any pedophile that hunts down children for deviant pleasure...Regardless of his musical abilities.
Tonight, as I write this column, my heart and tears go out to those children who grew up much too soon thanks to the "King of Pop."
Long Legged Mack Daddy and Riotin' White People
Reply #624 on:
July 02, 2009, 06:26:07 PM »
The unique Dr. Manning
George Will: Tincture of Lawlessness
Reply #625 on:
July 08, 2009, 02:46:52 PM »
Tincture of Lawlessness
Obama's Overreaching Economic Policies
By George F. Will
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Anyone, said T.S. Eliot, could carve a goose, were it not for the bones. And anyone could govern as boldly as his whims decreed, were it not for the skeletal structure that keeps civil society civil -- the rule of law. The Obama administration is bold. It also is careless regarding constitutional values and is acquiring a tincture of lawlessness.
In February, California's Democratic-controlled Legislature, faced with a $42 billion budget deficit, trimmed $74 million (1.4 percent) from one of the state's fastest-growing programs, which provides care for low-income and incapacitated elderly people and which cost the state $5.42 billion last year. The Los Angeles Times reports that "loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester."
But the Service Employees International Union collects nearly $5 million a month from 223,000 caregivers who are members. And the Obama administration has told California that unless the $74 million in cuts are rescinded, it will deny the state $6.8 billion in stimulus money.
Such a federal ukase (the word derives from czarist Russia; how appropriate) to a state legislature is a sign of the administration's dependency agenda -- maximizing the number of people and institutions dependent on the federal government. For the first time, neither sales nor property nor income taxes are the largest source of money for state and local governments. The federal government is.
The SEIU says the cuts violate contracts negotiated with counties. California officials say the state required the contracts to contain clauses allowing pay to be reduced if state funding is.
Anyway, the Obama administration, judging by its cavalier disregard of contracts between Chrysler and some of the lenders it sought money from, thinks contracts are written on water. The administration proposes that Chrysler's secured creditors get 28 cents per dollar on the $7 billion owed to them but that the United Auto Workers union get 43 cents per dollar on its $11 billion in claims -- and 55 percent of the company. This, even though the secured creditors' contracts supposedly guaranteed them better standing than the union.
Among Chrysler's lenders, some servile banks that are now dependent on the administration for capital infusions tugged their forelocks and agreed. Some hedge funds among Chrysler's lenders that are not dependent were vilified by the president because they dared to resist his demand that they violate their fiduciary duties to their investors, who include individuals and institutional pension funds.
The Economist says the administration has "ridden roughshod over [creditors'] legitimate claims over the [automobile companies'] assets. . . . Bankruptcies involve dividing a shrunken pie. But not all claims are equal: some lenders provide cheaper funds to firms in return for a more secure claim over the assets should things go wrong. They rank above other stakeholders, including shareholders and employees. This principle is now being trashed." Tom Lauria, a lawyer representing hedge fund people trashed by the president as the cause of Chrysler's bankruptcy, asked that his clients' names not be published for fear of violence threatened in e-mails to them.
The Troubled Assets Relief Program, which has not yet been used for its supposed purpose (to purchase such assets from banks), has been the instrument of the administration's adventure in the automobile industry. TARP's $700 billion, like much of the supposed "stimulus" money, is a slush fund the executive branch can use as it pleases. This is as lawless as it would be for Congress to say to the IRS: We need $3.5 trillion to run the government next year, so raise it however you wish -- from whomever, at whatever rates you think suitable. Don't bother us with details.
This is not gross, unambiguous lawlessness of the Nixonian sort -- burglaries, abuse of the IRS and FBI, etc. -- but it is uncomfortably close to an abuse of power that perhaps gave Nixon ideas: When in 1962 the steel industry raised prices, President John F. Kennedy had a tantrum and his administration leaked rumors that the IRS would conduct audits of steel executives, and sent FBI agents on predawn visits to the homes of journalists who covered the steel industry, ostensibly to further a legitimate investigation.
The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.
Reply #626 on:
July 09, 2009, 12:53:19 PM »
Spread Freedom? Not So Much
The past four weeks show how ideological Obama’s un-ideological view really is.
By Jonah Goldberg
The Obama Doctrine is finally coming into focus.
It’s been hard to glean its form because for so long it seemed the president’s most obvious guiding principle was “not Bush,” particularly when it came to the Iraq War. Indeed, his anti-Bush stance has led him to stubbornly refuse to say the war has been won or to admit that he was wrong to oppose the surge. In the past, this unthinking reflex has caused Obama to take some truly repugnant positions. In July 2007, Obama said that he would order U.S. forces out of Iraq as quickly as possible, even if he knew it would lead to an Iraqi genocide. This makes Obama the first president in modern memory to have suggested that causing a genocide would be in America’s national interest.
Obama himself insists that he’s guided by nothing other than a cool-headed pragmatism. Indeed, Obama has a grating habit of describing any position not his own as “ideological,” as if his is the only sober, practical understanding of the problems we face. Just days before he was inaugurated, he gave a speech in Baltimore in which he proclaimed, “What is required is a new declaration of independence, not just in our nation, but in our own lives — from ideology and small thinking, prejudice and bigotry — an appeal not to our easy instincts but to our better angels.”
So ideologues — i.e. millions of Americans who disagree with his policies on principle — belong in a list along with bigots and dim bulbs. At home, this attitude has allowed him to dismiss opponents of socialized medicine and the government takeover of various industries as “ideologues,” and critics of trillions in debt-fueled spending as small-minded cranks.
Joshua Muravchik, a scholar at Johns Hopkins University and a leading advocate of democracy promotion around the globe, demonstrates in the current issue of Commentary that Obama has a similar attitude toward those who say America should advance the cause of liberty and democracy worldwide. Again and again, the administration has made it clear that spreading freedom is so much ideological foolishness. Before the inauguration, he told the Washington Post that he was concerned with “actually delivering a better life for people on the ground and less obsessed with form, more concerned with substance.” There’s merit to this view in principle, though Obama seems to be thinking about “economic justice” more than a free society. But in practice, when American presidents say they don’t care about democracy, tyrants rejoice.
In April, at a news conference following a meeting of the Organization of American States, Obama proclaimed, “What we showed here is that we can make progress when we’re willing to break free from some of the stale debates and old ideologies that have dominated and distorted the debate in this hemisphere for far too long.” Hillary Clinton was more pithy: “Let’s put ideology aside,” the secretary of state said. “That is so yesterday.” It’s worth recalling that those old ideological debates often involved America championing democracy against those who pushed for socialism. One wonders which ideological stance Obama thinks is stale.
Obama supporter and Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne writes that the Obama Doctrine involves restoring America’s alliances and working with the international community so we can all do great things together. That’s why Obama and Hillary Clinton have been so eager to apologize for America around the globe. One problem with such an approach is that it — so far at least — buys us nothing save the appearance of weakness. Another problem is that quite often, the international community is wrong.
Hence, according to the Obama administration, it’s foolishly ideological to resist the U.N.’s accommodation of tyrants and fanatics, while it is “pragmatic” to placate human-rights abusers. It is ideological to show disdain for Venezuela’s would-be dictator Hugo Chávez; it is “pragmatic” to stamp as “democratic” his effort to overthrow term limits. It is ideological to sustain sanctions against Burma and Sudan; it’s pragmatic to revisit them, even if it disheartens human-rights activists across the ideological spectrum. American exceptionalism is ideological, while seeing America as just another nation is realistic.
The past four weeks show how ideological Obama’s un-ideological view really is. In response to the revolutionary protests in Iran, Obama initially favored stability and preserving the fantasy of negotiations with the Iranian clerical junta. Not “meddling” was his top priority. Over time, the rhetoric improved, but the policy remained just as cynical.
Then, events in Honduras revealed that Obama really has no problem with meddling when a left-wing agenda is advanced. Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras and a Hugo Chávez wannabe, illegally defied the Honduran Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution in an attempt to repeal term limits (which help sustain democracy in Central America by preventing presidents-for-life). The Supreme Court ordered the military to remove Zelaya from office and expel him from the country. A member of Zelaya’s own party replaced him, and elections were announced. But suddenly, Obama — taking much the same position as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez — thought America should join the coalition of the meddlers demanding Zelaya’s return to power. In Iran, Obama was terrified to do anything that might lead to a coup to bring about democracy. In Honduras, Obama was unwilling to let stand a coup that preserved democracy.
It sure seems like Obama has an ideological problem with democracy.
National Review Online -
Re: Political Rants
Reply #627 on:
July 09, 2009, 03:24:12 PM »
"It sure seems like Obama has an ideological problem with democracy"
as does the msm and academia.
Feds on Fed Ownership of GM
Reply #628 on:
July 15, 2009, 10:32:50 AM »
Current and retired government employees chime in on US ownership of GM:
Politics, Government Ownership of Auto Companies and Your Next Car Purchase
July 12, 2009
Will the change in ownership of General Motors and Chrysler have an impact on the buying habits of our readers? Will significant government ownership will result in management decisions by these companies that reflect the administration's political agenda?
According to last week's survey, government ownership will have a substantial impact on the future buying decisions. In response to the initial question "Do you currently own a car manufactured by GM, Chrysler or Ford?", 66% of those responding indicated that they did own one of these cars.
Most of our readers work for the federal government or are retired from the federal government so they are often closer to the political process than most Americans.
Readers think that the future decisions made by the company will reflect the administration's political agenda. 69.4% say that future company decisions will reflect a political agenda; 16% say that decisions made by GM and Chrysler will not reflect a political agenda; and 14.7% are undecided.
Government Ownership and Purchasing Your Next Car
It is the response to the second question that may indicate problems for the American automobile industry. In response to the question: " General Motors and Chrysler will have significant government ownership in the near future. Will this change influence your selection when you buy your next new car?" 47.65% said they would not consider buying a GM or Chrysler car. 5.6% say they are more likely to buy a GM or Chrysler and 37.2% are undecided.
Here is an interesting statistic. 1388 readers (66%) said they currently own a Ford, Chrysler or GM. Out of these people, 49.6% said they would be less likely to buy a Chrysler or GM car in the future as a result of government ownership.
Out of all readers who took the survey, including those who currently own an "American" brand of automobile, 47.7% of readers said they would be less likely to buy a Chrysler or GM car in the future.
In other words, fewer people who currently own a GM, Chrysler or Ford car will consider buying a Chrysler or GM in the future compared to those who do not own one now. Based on the comments sent in, the most common reason is that many readers think the quality of the cars will be impaired with government ownership. Some readers are also displeased with a political agenda intermingling with business decisions of the company--which some see as harming the future quality of these cars.
Here are a few of the comments send in by readers in response to this question. As the largest percentage of readers indicated they would not buy a GM or Chrysler, most of the comments reflected that sentiment. Here are samples of the reasons given for this response:
I will buy no product that I know is owned or controlled by the federal government.
I will not/never buy from GM or Chrysler exactly because of govt AND union ownership...in fact, bought my first Japanese car 5 days ago...a Toyota, never even looked at GM or Chrysler.
I will however buy from Ford again as I did in Feb of this year. Neither company will get my business.
If I start looking for something new, Ford is the only American car manufacturer I will even consider.
GM still is too beholding (sic) to the UAW and can't or won't make necessary changes that are needed in today's competitive market. This is what caused their collapse in the first place.
The Govt should stay out of managing corporations. It should be looking to best manage the govt which it is not doing now.
I'll NEVER buy a car built by a US government owned company.
I've seen the Soviet built Ladas. I will be much more likely to purchase a foreign owned vehicle even if it is built in the U.S. (Nissan, Toyota, etc.)
Obama and UAW running a company? I wouldn't buy a water bucket from that bunch of Socialist thugs.
The government cannot run anything efficiently! Look at the post office, social security, medicare, and AmTrak!
I will not support socialism!
I'd buy a Yugo first.
I am definitely more inclined to buy a Ford if I decide to buy American.
Not supportive of Nationalizing Private Business...am also transferring banking to non-bailout Banking Institutions.
I feel Ford Mtr Co took a stand and refused bailout money. So I feel I should support the company with intergity first.
Have a VOLVO will keep a VOLVO. Toyota next choice. I will not support the Auto Workers Union, UAW, or an intrusive government.
But not all readers were so negative about their future car-buying experience from GM or Chrysler. While much fewer in number, here is a sample of these comments:
I will look for history of product quality, higher gas mileage and reasonable price (Value for the dollar) in making my next purchase.
I work for Uncle Same, no problem.
I have owned only American-made Chrysler or GM vehicles. If I should buy another vehicle it would very likely be GM or Chrysler. Government ownership in these companies has no effect on my choices.
A safe, stylish car would be attractive regardless of company ownership.
I'm going to buy what I need, when I need it, at the best price.
Quality will be the main criteria.
Personally I purchase vehicles based on my needs, customer service that is provided, and the identified dependability of a vehicle. I do not make decisions based upon the vehicle being American made, if I did I would not purchase a vehicle since most vehicles sold in America are made from non-American parts.
If there is no apparent change in quality, I'll still buy a GM product.
Politics and Government Ownership of GM and Chrysler
The question of political and building cars generated a strong response from many readers. A large majority (69.4%)think that the administration's political agenda will be a factor in future decisions made by these companies. A few readers compared American to the Soviet Union and the quality of cars built by state-owned facilities there and in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.
Here is a small sample of the hundreds of comments sent in by readers on this issue.
I think Obama is pressuring all companies to build according to his agenda without regard as to it's feasability. Cost doesn't matter to him. Democrats think "we'll pass the laws and manufacturers will just build "em". Technology isn't there yet.
That has already happened. GM couldn't close an unprofitable warehouse in Norton, Massachusetts because it was in Barney Frank's district.
They are Obama motor's, and he has already set down the law. They have lost their owner ship, and as usual anything our government runs will fail. Thank God for FORD!!!!!!!
Obama ought to be ashamed ...
I've worked for the government long enough to know that whatever management (the primary owner) wants, management gets. How could the two be separated?
6 of 10 people on the GM board are Obama Administration officials, how would decisions NOT reflect Obama's political agenda?
Automobile company decisions have always been influenced by political agendas. The current administration is just more overt. For example: Expending valuable resources producing higher-mileage small cars that consumers don't want in order to meet a government mandated fleet MPG value.
The GOP will get things straightened out 4 years from now. We went through this government nonsense with the Carter administration.
Of course. The govt is micro-managing every other business to whom tax-payer dollars have been given (ie, banks and insurance companies). Why would this be different?
The unions will have an inordinate influence on these companies due to the current political climate and the ties they have with Mr. Obama.
Yes, for some reason politicians believe they more about running a corporation then a CEO does, they will drive these companies into the ground attempting to get them to purchase parts made in their districts for certain models as a way of ensuring their reelection campaign coffers are filled.
I foresee the demise of the car companies who will now have to build "government committee" designed cars. I also see the "BIG 3" going the way of Medicare, Medicade and Social Security.
Obama's idea of making cars people want is flawed. GMs best sellers were large trucks and SUVs not some death trap that will resemble a Smart car.
Does fascist state ring true here?
It will be impossible for the Gov't to keep its politics out of a company that it is a majority stock holder. That is too bad that our capitalist society is turning into a socialist society over a historically short period of time.
I think GM and Chrysler will have to follow what the administration's agenda is even if it does not make money. This is why the government then will have do force us to buy the cars that they make.
This is a bad situation where the government is taking over banks and want to control the nation. They are heading to outher countries like Russia who control the people. Everyone is saying the same also when you talk with them.
The Marxism has just begun.
Most surveys that we run result in several readers commenting that the way the comments are presented is unfavorable to the view held by those readers. To give a voice to all views, we searched through the 400 or more comments on this question and did find several that reflect the opinion of those that do not think the decisions made by GM and Chrysler will reflect a political agenda—or these readers are hopeful that the management decisions will reflect a political agenda. Here are those comments:
Primarily fuel economy improvements. But this should have happened years ago anyway as far as greater fuel economy.
And I hope that they do!
In olden times, yes. But today, as we see with the likes of Exon and countless other company agendas, bottom line management decisions are more and more about personal gain and greed.
Don't know - but I hope so
I hope so.
"American" car companies need to get with it and go Green!!!! and focus on Quality!!!
If the administration does have an influence, it should be to make the whole industry as "green" as it can as fast as it can!
I think so, if they focus at right point such as Quality, consumers in mind, one day auto industry will reach in pinnacle, which will take time, and nation will be proud for their tireless efforts.
I think the only goal is to keep the state of Michigan from imploding. The economy is the only agenda.
I feel that there will be fewer models to select from and that in itself will cut development cost.
I think ultimately the new trends in government reflect and shape the new trends in business.
Our thanks to the thousands of readers who took the time to participate in this survey and a special thanks to those who were willing to send in their written opinions on these questions.
Contrarian:Bama.is Rebublicans best hope
Reply #629 on:
July 17, 2009, 09:12:23 AM »
Maybe Republicans should be grateful for BO.
I was speaking to someone who thinks BO's plan may be to spend the economy into a total trash then he could rebuild it from the ground up as a socialist state.
On the other hand Republicans like me may actually be grateful for him. suppose precisely because of him that the trend towards socialism dies on the spot and reverses.
Wouldn't that be something. The "pompous know-everything" who thinks he will mold America into his socialist vision actually causes a backlash so large the opposite happens. That is what this Buchanan piece causes me to wonder:
Socialist America Sinking
by Patrick J. Buchanan
After half a century of fighting encroachments upon freedom in America, journalist Garet Garrett published "The People's Pottage." A year later, in 1954, he died. "The People's Pottage" opens thus:
"There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom."
Garrett wrote of a revolution within the form. While outwardly America appeared the same, a revolution within had taken place that was now irreversible. One need only glance at where we were before the New Deal, where we are and where we are headed to see how far we are off the course the Founding Fathers set for our republic.
Taxes drove the American Revolution, for we were a taxaphobic, liberty-loving people. That government is best that governs least is an Americanism. When "Silent Cal" Coolidge went home in 1929, the U.S. government was spending 3 percent of gross domestic product.
And today? Obama's first budget will consume 28 percent of the entire GDP; state and local governments another 15 percent. While there is some overlap, in 2009, government will consume 40 percent of GDP, approaching the peak of World War II.
The deficit for 2009 is $1.8 trillion, 13 percent of the whole economy. Obama is pushing a cap-and-trade bill to cut carbon emissions that will impose huge costs on energy production, spike consumer prices and drive production offshore to China, which is opting out of Kyoto II. The Chinese are not fools.
Obama plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts and take the income tax rate to near 40 percent. Combined state and local income tax rates can run to 10 percent. For the self-employed, payroll taxes add up to 15.2 percent on the first $106,800 for all wages of all workers. Medicare takes 2.9 percent of all wages above that. Then there are the state sales taxes that can run to 8 percent, property taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes, and "sin taxes" on booze, cigarettes and, soon, hot dogs and soft drinks.
Comes now national health insurance from Nancy Pelosi's House. A surtax that runs to 5.4 percent of all earnings of the top 1 percent of Americans, who already pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes, has been sent to the Senate. Included also is an 8 percent tax on the entire payroll of small businesses that fail to provide health insurance for employees.
Other ideas on the table include taxing the health benefits that businesses provide their employees.
The D.C.-based Tax Foundation says New Yorkers could face a combined income tax rate of near 60 percent.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called George III a tyrant for having "erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance."
What did George III do with his Stamp Act, Townshend Acts or tea tax to compare with what is being done to this generation of Americans by their own government?
While the hardest working and most productive are bled, a third of all wage-earners pay no U.S. income tax, and Obama plans to free almost half of all wage-earners of all income taxes. Yet, tens of millions get Medicaid, rent supplements, free education, food stamps, welfare and an annual check from Uncle Sam called an Earned Income Tax Credit, though they never paid a nickel in income taxes.
Oh, yes. Obama also promises everybody a college education.
Coming to America to feast on this cornucopia of freebies is the world. One million to 2 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrive every year. They come with fewer skills and less education than Americans, and consume more tax dollars than they contribute by three to one.
Wise Latina women have more babies north of the border than they do in Mexico and twice as many here as American women.
As almost all immigrants are now Third World people of color, they qualify for ethnic preferences in hiring and promotions and admissions to college over the children of Americans
All of this would have astounded and appalled the Founding Fathers, who after all, created America -- as they declared loud and clear in the Constitution -- "for ourselves and our posterity."
China saves, invests and grows at 8 percent. America, awash in debt, has a shrinking economy, a huge trade deficit, a gutted industrial base, an unemployment rate surging toward 10 percent and a money supply that's swollen to double its size in a year. The 20th century may have been the American Century. The 21st shows another pattern.
"The United States is declining as a nation and a world power with mostly sighs and shrugs to mark this seismic event," writes Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, in CFR's Foreign Affairs magazine. "Astonishingly, some people do not appear to realize that the situation is all that serious."
Even the establishment is starting to get the message.
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."
Reply #630 on:
July 17, 2009, 01:35:08 PM »
I almost started an "Abject Irony" topic within which this piece would fit just fine.
July 17, 2009
Pirate this Film!
I have long had the belief that God can have a very pointed sense of humor. I think that His is not a thunderous belly laugh in reaction to grand human pratfalls but rather an irony laden little chuckle reserved for the self important and those who are often too clever for their own good. This belief was reaffirmed this week when I read about the trials and tribulations of Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh in an article in the Guardian.
Most of the article was about Soderbergh's four and a half hour film Che, a Spanish language epic that was split in two for its mostly unnoticed release in America. The movie earned less than half of its production costs at the world wide box office. Both the journalist conducting the interview and the filmmaker seemed clueless as to why the film failed badly at the box office.
First came self pity.
Eventually European investors were tapped for $58m (£35m) - a paltry figure considering the project's ambition. As a result Soderbergh was forced to shoot extremely quickly to stay on budget. The two parts were filmed over 76 days, four days fewer than for his glitzy Vegas action comedy Ocean's Eleven, an $85m capitalist fat-cat of a movie in comparison with Che.
"It's hard to watch it and not to wish we'd had more time," he says of Che.
Why investors seeking to make a profit should rush to invest in an overlong film about a murderer and a sworn enemy to their way of life in not explained.
The interview gets even better. Why was Che such a complete box office failure when his image still adorns posters and tee shirts among self proclaimed radical revolutionaries in Western nations? It turns out that those who actually wanted to devote a large segment of their time to watching the film had followed Abbie Hoffman's classic reflexive title. They pirated the film.
"We got crushed in South America. We came out in Spain in September of last year and it was everywhere within a matter of days. It killed it."
The irony of fans of a sworn enemy of private enterprise and bourgeoisie property laws ripping off a filmmaker seems lost on both Soderbergh and the Guardian's Henry Barnes, who goes on to lament
Che seems, in retrospect, like a glorious, sad aberration: a niche-audience epic it would be impossible to commission in these straitened times. Today, the willingness of the studios to take such a punt has all but evaporated - a fact that Soderbergh is more alive to than most.
"I'm looking at the landscape and I'm thinking, 'Hmmm, I don't know. A few more years maybe,'" says Soderbergh. "And then the stuff that I'm interested in is only going to be of interest to me.
What end could be more fitting for one who lionized a monster in the name of art?
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at July 17, 2009 - 02:32:37 PM EDT
Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 02:28:18 PM by Body-by-Guinness
GS to buy Treasury
Reply #631 on:
July 17, 2009, 10:50:40 PM »
Goldman Sachs in Talks to Acquire Treasury Department
Sister Entities to Share Employees, Money
In what some on Wall Street are calling the biggest blockbuster deal in the history of the financial sector, Goldman Sachs confirmed today that it was in talks to acquire the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
According to Goldman spokesperson Jonathan Hestron, the merger between Goldman and the Treasury Department is “a good fit” because “they’re in the business of printing money and so are we.”
The Goldman spokesman said that the merger would create efficiencies for both entities: “We already have so many employees and so much money flowing back and forth, this would just streamline things.”
Mr. Hestron said the only challenge facing Goldman in completing the merger “is trying to figure out which parts of the Treasury Dept. we don’t already own.”
Goldman recently celebrated record earnings by roasting a suckling pig over a bonfire of hundred-dollar bills.
Elsewhere, conspiracy theorists celebrated the 40th anniversary of NASA faking the moon landing.
And in South Carolina, Gov. Mark Sanford gave his wife a new diamond ring, while his wife gave him an electronic ankle bracelet.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #632 on:
July 18, 2009, 08:36:49 AM »
Just for argument sake:
If W was still president and Goldman execs were giving themselves and their employees 12 billion in bonuses after all this would you think the msm would be almost completely silent about this?
I don't hear the left protesting us now that we have the Bama.
I don't hear the right speaking out about this since of course this is just an example capitilism.
Now that's said and out of the way it is obvious to me the rest of the country was robbed.
We were robbed EOM.
Everything But Soylent Green
Reply #633 on:
July 20, 2009, 08:29:31 PM »
Wow, imagine if a Bush administration official had a record of statements this horrid.
Czar 54, Who Are You?
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, July 20, 2009 4:20 PM PT
Leadership: Our new science czar, John Holdren, once backed compulsory sterilization and forced abortion as part of a government population-control program. The only thing missing was a Soylent Green recipe.
In April, President Obama declared that "the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over." In everything from stem cell research to climate change and energy policy, reason and science would triumph. The problem is that what the Obama administration considers science, as exemplified by the choice of Holdren, is troubling.
In a recently rediscovered 1977 book, "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," co-authored with doomsters Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Holdren, who holds the post of presidential assistant for science technology, revealed his pessimistic and apocalyptic views on all three topics. They are disturbing.
He hates people and views them as the root of all planetary evils. Large families are a target of Holdren and the Ehrlichs, who write that they "contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children" and "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility."
On page 837, Holdren writes "it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."
Overproducing children? On the next page, Holdren asserts that "neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce." He missed that part about life being an inalienable right.
Existing Constitution? On page 943, Holdren proposes "a comprehensive Planetary Regime (that) could control the development, administration and distribution of all natural resources . . . not only in the atmosphere and the oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes." We believe that was tried in Kyoto and will be tried again in Copenhagen.
As for that nasty people problem, Holdren says the "Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits. . . . The Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits." This is China on steroids.
Among the methods of population control he discusses in the book is "sterilizing women after their second or third child" and "adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods." He cautions that whatever is added must be safe for pets and livestock.
Similar nonsense was express in Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb" (1968), which warned: "In the 1970s, the world will undergo famine — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now." He was wrong.
Such nightmare scenarios regarding overpopulation have made the rounds since Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798 that overpopulation would outstrip England's food supply and the British Empire would literally starve to death.
In 1980, Holdren and the Ehrlichs made a famous wager with economist Julian Simon: They bet $1,000 that five metals — chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten — would be more expensive 10 years later. They were wrong on all five predictions, and had to pay up in 1990.
Holdren also calculated that famines due to climate change could leave a billion people dead by 2020, championed "population control measures," and believed 280 million Americans would likely be "too many."
Like Ehrlich, he forgot that with bodies come minds, minds that can innovate, invent and find substitutes for scarce resources and new ways to feed people. Things like fiber optic cables, wireless computers, and bioengineering come to mind. Obesity is a threat, not famine.
This administration, through its policies, programs and personnel choices, is pushing science fiction, not science, and seeking to control and limit people as a plague upon the earth. Science czar John Holdren's views, which to our knowledge have not been disavowed, paint a bleak future for the human race at the hands of government.
We prefer another piece of advice we were once given — be fruitful and multiply.
Re: Political Rants
Reply #634 on:
July 20, 2009, 08:38:46 PM »
Where are all the O-bot, Bush haters? Step up and justify your Chicago-thug, marxist, empty-suit of a president. Hasn't quite turned out like you though, has it?
Congress Doesn't Create Rights
Reply #635 on:
July 24, 2009, 09:14:25 PM »
The Folly of Obamacare
It’s a bait and switch.
By Jonah Goldberg
Let us for a moment adopt the proposition that health care is in fact a “right,” as pretty much every liberal politician has told us for at least a generation.
Now let us consider how President Obama’s proposed health-care bill would work. Under his plan, an official body — staffed with government doctors, actuaries, economists, and other experts — will determine which health-care treatments, procedures, and remedies are cost-effective and which are not. Then it will decide which ones will get paid for and which won’t. Would a 70-year-old woman be able to get a hip replacement, or would that not be considered a wise allocation of resources? Would a 50-year-old man not be permitted an expensive test his doctor wants if the rules say the cheaper, less-thorough one is sufficient? The Democrats call this “cost-controls.” But for the patient and the doctor, it’s plain old rationing.
Now, imagine if the government had a body of experts charged with figuring out what your free-speech rights are, or your right to assemble, or worship. Mr. Jones, you can say X and Y, but not Z. Ms. Smith, you can freely assemble with Aleutians, Freemasons, and carpenters, but you may not meet in public with anyone from Cleveland or of Albanian descent. Mrs. Wilson, you may pray to Vishnu and Crom, but never to Allah or Buddha, and when you do pray, you cannot do so for longer than 20 minutes at a time, unless it is one of several designated holidays. Please see Extended Prayer Form 10–22B.
Of course, all of this would be ludicrous beyond words.
Which is the whole point. Health care cannot be a right, because rights cannot come from government. At best, they can be protected by government. The founders understood this, which is why our Bill of Rights is really a list of restrictions on the government in Washington. “Congress shall make no law . . . ” is how the First Amendment begins.
Now, this isn’t to say the government can’t or shouldn’t provide health care to everyone. You have no right to a highway or sewer system, but there’s nothing wrong with government providing such things. Indeed, the Constitution says that government should promote the “general welfare.” And people of good will can argue whether or how much government-provided or -subsidized health care fits under that mandate.
Historically, the American people are keen on any proposal that expands freedom and are skeptical about anything that constricts it. Generally, this means that advocates for every new program or policy — from welfare to gay marriage — try their darnedest to frame their case in terms of extending choice and freedom.
The interesting thing is that it seems Americans have discovered that talk of health care as a “right” doesn’t mean expanding their own freedom. It means, at best, expanding the options of others at the expense of the middle class and, naturally, “the rich.”
Polling by the centrist think tank Third Way finds that the pivotal question for Americans is, “What’s in it for me?” And it seems President Obama hasn’t answered that to their satisfaction. Sixty percent of Americans think Obama’s health care plan will help someone other than them.
Many liberals frequently confuse widespread support for “reform” with support for massive new government involvement in health care. But when concrete proposals come down the pike, the issue changes from hypothetical support for fixing the problem to, again, “What’s in it for me?”
That’s why in his press conference Wednesday night, President Obama used very conservative, even free-market language to sell a program that is actually still premised on the left-wing nostrum that health care is a “right.” His plan will create “a marketplace that promotes choice and competition.” He’s in this to “control costs” and bring down the deficit.
Now, Obama has come nowhere near meeting the burden of proof that the still inchoate and murky proposals in a still half-baked health-care bill will do anything of the sort. Indeed, so far the more persuasive argument — backed up by the Congressional Budget Office and others — is that Obamacare will cost a lot of money. And the only way it can actually “save” money is by rationing care. But Obama understands that he cannot sell his health-care reform in the language of the Left.
So, it’s a bait and switch. If anything, the overriding idea behind Obama’s approach seems to be to rush his “public plan” into law and expand its generosity over time. This is the tribute a center-left president must pay to a center-right country.
He’s in such a hurry because he senses Americans understand a bait and switch when they see one. On Monday he even proclaimed, “The time for talking is through.”
In fact, it almost sounds like he actually does want to ration free speech, too.
— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.
National Review Online -
Trillion Here, Trillion There
Reply #636 on:
July 25, 2009, 11:25:26 AM »
Obama Lied --- The Economy Died ( IMHO a Must Read!)
RenewAmerica.com | July 25, 2009 | Joan Swirsky
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." — Winston Churchill.
As President Clinton's campaign mouthpiece James Carville put it so succinctly in the 1990s, "It's the economy, stupid!" It was true then, it is true now. People may be temporarily seduced by intriguing figures and rosy promises but, bottom line, they still have to support their families and pay their bills. When the novelty of this or that politician has worn off and his or her pie-in-the-sky promises prove just so many hollow words, reality sets in.
I am no economy expert, except for seeing every day that Americans are both depressed and terrified about their rapidly devolving savings and the inflation that has already hit them at the supermarket. The other day, I was visiting my mother in the nursing home she has lived in for the past several years, where at least 75 percent of the employees are African-Americans who heartily voted for Obama. This was a conversation I heard in the elevator.
He: how are you doing?
She: Another day, another dollar.
He: Hey, for me it's another day, another fifty cents..
She: Me, too. I'm down to one meal a day!.
As I said, I'm not an expert-on-the-economy person, so I will cite those who are, with lots of bullets to emphasize the horror — and Buyer's Remorse — that Americans are now waking up to as they realize that the hope-and-change candidate they voted for in November is just another Socialist-cum-Marxist-cum-Communist whose regime (it's certainly not an administration) threatens to transform America into yet another failed and impoverished Banana Republic.
THOSE IN THE KNOW
Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D., an expert in domestic and international financial markets and the bestselling author of The Ultimate Safe Money Guide, has documented the following. We now have:
A new surge in unemployment that, even without counting those who are excluded from the official numbers, amounts to 14.7 million who are now jobless, the most since records dating back to 1948. Worse, for the first time since the Great Depression, every single job created after the prior recession has been wiped out.
Industrial production is falling at the same pace as it did in the early 1930s.
Global trade is falling at twice the pace of the early 1930s.
California — the nation's most populous state, with the largest GDP and the greatest impact on the entire U.S. economy — is collapsing.
Consumers are slashing their spending, small businesses are laying-off their workers, cities and states are forced to gut their budgets.
The most radical government countermeasures in a 100 years.
The biggest federal deficits in 200 years.
Weiss lists the bald-faced lies that Obama lackeys have foisted on the American public, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke lying to "60 Minutes" in March that he detected "green shoots" in the economy, Wall Street gurus lying about "the end of the bear market," labor officials lying about "a big turnaround in our nation's job market," California officials lying that they would never default but two days later defaulting on the state's short-term debt obligations to countless vendors and taxpayers and then unilaterally issuing millions of dollars in I.O.U.s that few financial institutions accepted.
Weiss also reports that the following government "help-America" programs have all FAILED!
TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program)
PPIP (Public-Private Investment Program)
TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility)
TLGP (Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program)
CAP (Capital Assistance Program)
TIP (Targeted Investment Program)
HASP (Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan)
CPFF (Commercial Paper Funding Facility)
AMLF (Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Fund Liquidity Facility)
MMIFF (Money Market Investor Funding Facility)
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
It's not a pretty picture.
Our national debt is $12,000,000,000,000 (as in trillion)
Social Security's unfunded liability if $11,000,000,000,000 (as in trillion).
Medicare's unfunded liability is $48,000,000,000,000 (as in trillion).
All of which adds up to $71,000,000,000,000 (as in trillion!). In short, the Obama regime has in six short months made the United States the most indebted country in the history of world civilization!
This is "change," economist Dick McDonald writes, that "only an imbecile could love." McDonald (
) has his own laundry list:
Obama promised to save 3 or 4 million jobs, but we have lost 3.5 million jobs since January.
Obama has promised to hold unemployment to 8 percent — it's at 9.5 percent and skyrocketing.
He has brought the Government's tax receipts from corporations down by 55 percent.
He has brought the Government's tax receipts from individuals down 27 percent.
He has brought the number of unemployed to 20 percent and rising.
He has sent businesses reeling from being told they will bear more of the tax burden and have reduced staff.
He has favored wealth redistribution over job creation and economic growth.
He has funded a Gestapo-like mob of ACORN brown shirts who intimidate everyone.
He has given an equity interest in General Motors to an unsecured UAW debtor as a political payoff.
He has hired over 30 Czars to run the country without them being vetted by Congress.
He has militated against U.S. energy independence by refusing to increase domestic oil drilling in ANWR and offshore and build nuclear plants, but stood by his "addiction" to ethanol, which has caused corn shortages that precipitated starvation in the Third World.
He has used Democrat-controlled media and academia to silence his critics.
As everyone now knows, unemployment is still surging, with many states reporting up to 15 percent to 20 percent of people out of work; consumer confidence is plunging even further; and loan losses are exploding.
Obama's Cap & Tax Bill — which will cost every family $3000/year and force jobs to go to China and India — promises that every American will be TAXED every time they flush their toilets, turn on the lights in their homes, open their refrigerators, and drive their cars — that is the short list! In other words, every single activity of daily living will be monitored electronically for "usage" and then taxed to the hilt. Why? Because the way Socialism works is to tax people to such a Draconian extent that they can no longer afford to "make it" on their own and so must be "taken care of" by Big Government. Yes, the same government that has brought us the utterly FAILED Post Office, Medicare, Medicaid, and Motor Vehicle systems, to name but a few Big Brother debacles.
Then there is the centerpiece of Obama's Socialist dream, to "transform" our healthcare system, the better to "serve" the more-than 300-million people who live in America — including multi-millions of illegal aliens, felons, and other multi-millions who can afford health insurance but "choose" not to buy it.
In his prime-time news conference on July 22 — in between trashing the "stupid" Cambridge police department for doing their jobs — Obama admitted that he hadn't read the House version of the healthcare bill. Then he had the nerve to describe a three-card-Monte scheme to pay for it, all the while repeating the urgency of whacking the American people with another $1.5 trillion in debt.
As writer and author Larry Schweikart has chillingly documented, Obama's monstrous "healthcare" bill includes, among hundreds of other horrors:
Page 22: A mandate for the Government to audit the books of all employers that self insure.
Pg 30: A Government committee that will decide what treatments/benefits a person may receive.
Pg 42: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You will have no choice!
Pg 50: HC will be provided to ALL non-U.S. citizens, illegal or otherwise.
Pg 58: Government will have real-time access to an individual's finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!
Pg 59: Government will have direct access to your bank accounts.
Pg 65: Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions and community organizations like ACORN.
PG 85: The Government will ration your healthcare!
Pg 95: The Government will use groups — i.e., ACORN & Americorps — to sign up individuals for a Government HC plan.
Pg 85: Specifics of Benefit Levels for AARP members — your health care WILL be rationed.
Pg 124: No company can sue the Government on price fixing and there can be no "judicial review" against Government monopoly.
Pg 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into a public option plan. NO CHOICE.
Pg 126: Employers MUST pay for healthcare for part-time employees AND their families.
Pg 149: ANY Employer with payroll $400k & above who does not provide a public option pays 8 percent tax on all payroll.
Pg 150: Businesses with payroll between $251k & $400k that don't provide a public option pay 2-6 percent tax on all payroll.
Pg 167 ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to the Government will be taxed 2.5 percent of income.
Pg 170: Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay).
Pg 195: Officers & employees of the Healthcare Administration (the GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans' finances and personal records.
Pg 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it says that.
Pg 239: Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, and the poor will be affected.
Pg 241: Doctors — doesn't matter what specialty — will all be paid the same.
PG 253: Government sets value of doctor's time, professional judgment, etc. — literally, the value of humans.
PG 272: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS — Cancer patients, welcome to rationing!
Pg 317-318: Government will mandate that hospitals cannot expand.
Pg 354: Government will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people!
PG 425: Government will mandate Advance Care Planning Consultations for seniors... end-of-life prodding.
Pg 425: Government will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!
PG 425: Government will provide an approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in how to die.
PG 429: "Advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from the Government to end a life!
PG 430: The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.
Pg 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services/Non-profit orgs. (ACORN Medical Services here?)
Pg 494-498: Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.
Why rationing? Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York State, explains that the "$1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bill, with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to Medicare, will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase Medicare enrollment by 30 percent. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing." It's an "assault against seniors," she says.
After reading the 1,018-page Obama-Pelosi-Reid Bill, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dave Janda wrote, "it should be clear that the same warning notice must be placed on The ObamaCare Plan as on a pack of cigarettes: Consuming this product will be hazardous to your health."
"If you are over 65." Dr. Janda continues, "or have been recently diagnosed as having an advanced form of cardiac disease or aggressive cancer.....dream on if you think you will get treated. Pick out your coffin. After each American turns 65 years of age, they have to go to a mandated counseling program that is designed to end life sooner."
THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY
As the Executive Director of Traditional Family Coalition, Andrea Lafferty said, "It took President Obama six months to pick a dog for the White House, but he wants Congress to pass a massive health care reform bill in two weeks! This is insane."
But why the escalating opposition to Obama's grand vision? Well, for one thing, Americans are a very smart people, notwithstanding an occasional lapse into a Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama. They "get" the scam of socialized medicine, they see people from Canada and France (in fact, from all over the world) flocking to our shores for treatments that they can't get in their "progressive" systems. And then there is the sticky reality of the non-partisan, putatively objective Congressional Budget Office, whose director Douglas Elmendorf said last week that the White House's health-care proposals would result in a "net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion" over 10 years.
Forthwith, Obama "invited" Mr. Elmendorf to the White House, clearly not for tea and crumpets! Can you just imagine the tongue-lashing this watchdog received, or the threats? It remains to be seen how objective Mr. Elmendorf will be in the coming days and weeks.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson puts it this way:
There is a growing collective recognition that things simply do not work the way Obama thinks they do. They may in the hothouse at Harvard Law School or in the charade of Chicago politics, or among young, hip bloggers right out of Yale, but not necessarily in the larger American landscape or the real world abroad.
The American people sense this. They assume that what goes up must come down... Americans are waking up to the fact that their president says, promises, and does things that simply do not make sense...
And as an article in Reuters stated about Obama's stimulus package: "The economy is shaping up to be Barack Obama's Katrina. The difference [between Pres. Bush's Katrina and Obama's], of course, is that Katrina afflicted a city and a few states, while the recession afflicts the whole country."
ACCORDING TO PLAN
Vice President Joe Biden recently admitted that all the "experts" Americans entrusted with their money "misread how bad the economy was." Leftists like Biden have only a one-solution strategy for the problems they create: throw more money at it! Sure enough, Congressman Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, suggested that a second "Stimulus" package may be coming!
But the dirty little secret liberals take great pains to conceal is that their massive spending and taxing is all part of the Left's grand plan to bring big bad America to its knees, annihilate free-market capitalism, widely expand the role of government, and tax people into economic oblivion — all to fulfill their childlike, utopian goal (1) leveling the playing field to the lowest common denominator, and (2) exerting total control over the masses they consider so stupid.
In the last six months, they've seen the light of Socialism at the end of the democracy tunnel they've loathed for decades. But they're not there yet! Americans have now caught on to the scammers and their thug tactics and are pushing back hard.
Note to Obama & Company: We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!
Re: Political Rants, wage legislation
Reply #637 on:
July 26, 2009, 12:04:23 PM »
I must pile on to comments CCP made a couple of days ago in the health care thread: "...Chuck Schumer made a statement that doctors should make no more than 80K a year...If that is his argument lawyers who require far less schooling should make no more than 40K per year..."
Over the years Republicans went along grudgingly in some cases with minimum wage legislation. Then Kieth Ellison's predecessor proposed maximum wage legislation. It was largely ignored but the premise was allowed to fester. Entry level wage legislation is NOT about how much these people should make, it is about WHO should determine it. The maximum wage proposal was that no one at the top should make more than 20-fold what to lowest wage worker gets paid by the same company. Whether that sounds reasonable or should be some other factor is NOT the point. We don't determine private compensation plans at the congressional level. It is NOT part of their defined powers nor is it something they would be good at.
I don't know if Tiger Woods makes too much. Nike and the PGA can figure out their pay and incentive plans and live with the consequences. I'm busy with my own business.
Unfortunately, we keep blurring the lines between public and private. The more that we do that, the more that we have the government to micro-manage everything including the comp plan for Dr. CCP (and all these other workers in all these other industries) instead of leaving that in the hands of the patients he sees and the providers who want to hire him.
Look at the auto makers, banks, insurance companies, airlines, auto companies and on and on and on. I always felt their executive pay is none of my business. If they are inefficient in their business, they will fail. That corrects the problem. Now we have the mindset of don't let them fail. So where is the correcting mechanism, a vote in congress for every paycheck for every profession in every industry? And that is smarter than the market??? They exist only because of our subsidy, so now their intricacies are our responsibility. I can't even think of examples more facetious than reality. Is McDonalds to big to fail? Is a federal french fry commission next??
Only 2 of 10 members of the federal auto task force drive American cars, 2 don't own cars.
I don't know what other people should make or what they should drive nor do they know the value of my labor or vehicle suits me best. Chuck Schumer should re-read Article 1 and the rest of the constitution and focus on his own G*d D*mned business which should include spending the summer with his constituents, not trying to run every business in America.
For the parts of the constitution limiting federal powers that he doesn't like, he should focus in on the amendment process which should come before the enabling legislation.
American Aristocrat Outed
Reply #638 on:
July 27, 2009, 08:33:53 AM »
July 27, 2009
Impersonating a Victim
By W. R. Wansley
This past March 29th, Professor Henry Louis Gates was being interviewed in front of a small group by Walter Isaacson on C-SPAN's Book TV. Thirty-three minutes into the discussion about his new book on Lincoln, Professor Gates began a detailed account of his own genealogy. He said that in doing so he had discovered he was about "50% white". He said that this was quote, "To my astonishment and horror...".
He continued by saying that he had subsequently sent his DNA off to be tested. This time, upon finding out he was "57% white", he said again, "to my horror .... I was becoming more white by the minute". To this Gates, Isaacson and everyone else there chuckled.
Something tells me that if Mr. Isaacson had said that he also had sent his DNA off and found that to his "astonishment and horror" he was 57% black, no one would chuckle, least of all the Professor of African American Studies at Harvard, Dr. Gates.
This diminutive man is the epitome of intellectual elitism. He goes on book tours touting books he has written. He lectures at symposiums on race. He travels for pleasure. He is vaunted and toasted where ever he goes. He loves to talk about where he dines and drops a "Martha's Vineyard" or the like, in conversation here and there. Except for his being slightly handicapped -- he walks with a cane -- he is living a charmed life. He is embraced by his mostly lily-white fellow liberal elites. He makes a good living -- inside work with no heavy lifting.
He is good friends with none other than the President of the United States and so much so that the President will lurch to his defense -- with prejudice. He can publicly disrespect an officer who was called to protect his property. He even, it is now known, has a get out of jail free card.
The Gates arrest fiasco has put into sharp focus the difference between class and race in America. It has also contrasted the pseudo victimhood of Gates with the legitimate victims of Jim Crow. His defenders try playing the tattered race card but it doesn't work this time. "Black men are arrested in greater proportion than whites", they squawk. If Gates is indicative, now we know why.
We have now all heard the verbal abuse Gates hurled at the officer -- who was called to protect his property. Gates theatrical reaction to the situation: "This is what happens to a black man in America!" What? Returning to your posh residence from your trip to China and having a neighbor look out for you by reporting suspicious behavior in your upper-crusty neighborhood and having a white public servant come check on your place for you -- is that what "happens" to you in America, Dr. Gates? Swing low sweet chariot.
Immune to embarrassment he continues undaunted. When he is asked by the officer to step outside, Gates articulately replies, "I'll step outside with yo'-mama!" The words of his repartee ring hollow -- even pathetic. And funny too -- but alas I am laughing at him not with him. What a joke.
Until now I have thought highly of Dr. Gates. Regrettably he has been unmasked as another successful black man unable to come to terms with a country that has given him so much, but he is required to hate as part of the milk-the-guilt charade. He now reminds me of Jeremiah Wright, a man who lives in a million dollar mansion in a gated community where he continually smolders with hatred for the country that has "persecuted" him so.
The President, Gates and Wright: three conspicuously successful black Americans irritably fixated on race. Perhaps Wright is dealing with some of these same white genealogy issues as Gates and the President -- pray tell?
Gates must believe using such colloquialisms as "yo' mama" gives him some sort of black victimhood authenticity. What a fool. In reality, he is a member of the American aristocratic class. As a victim, he is an imposter.
Page Printed from:
at July 27, 2009 - 09:32:33 AM EDT
Reply #639 on:
July 27, 2009, 05:51:24 PM »
We always hear about the back room deal making among our legislators.
Maybe there should be some transparancy about the stuff behind the scenes.
Why should not a congressman not be able to vote his beliefs or conscience and not have his arm twisted, his pocket lined, or threatened, or cojoled, or paid off in some way to vote the party line?
Or is that an oxymoron?
Ratcheting Up the Nanny State
Reply #640 on:
July 30, 2009, 08:04:02 AM »
Hardly a rant, but rather a very prescient piece written in 1951 and applicable today.
How Now Shall We Behave?
Mises Daily by Garet Garrett | Posted on 7/30/2009 12:00:00 AM
"and they shall beat their swords into plowshares"
– Isaiah 2:4
[Faith & Freedom, March 1951]
With the advent of war, what means are available to those who wish to resist the progressive socialization of American society?
After every war, until the last one, the people took their liberty back. It was understood that they would; it was understood, in each case, that the government would surrender its extraordinary wartime powers and return to the form that was before. But during World War II, as we know, the planners at Washington were writing the enlarged design for a controlled world — enlarged, that is, from the New Deal design. They thought they had learned all they needed to know about controls, and they said, "You see that the economy has to be planned for war — prices, production, distribution and all. What is good for war is good also for peace. Unemployment can be planned away. Prosperity can be planned. The full life forever, with security and social justice — that can be planned."
And the people, remembering the unplanned depression, answered saying, "Why not?"
For the first time in our history, there was no intention on the part of government to return to the form that had been before, and from what followed we know that if a government is bent upon extending its power over the lives of the people, war is a wonderful occasion. During the war it can invoke the laws of necessity and appeal to the spirit of unity; and even while pretending to be tolerant of criticism, it can insist that criticism shall be constructive, not destructive, as if there could be any point in criticism that did not aim to destroy something. Then after the war it says, as it said the last time, that the problems of transition from war to peace are more than the people can solve for themselves; they need the aid and guidance of government much more than they need their liberty back.
These are not cynical reflections. They rest upon experience. One would have to be stupid, indeed, not to realize that with the political climate what it is, and has been for twenty years, you could almost as soon imagine putting the chicken back into the egg as to repack in a tight Constitutional box the powers of government that are released by total war.
A Question That May Fairly Tear You Apart
So it is war again, and the question comes, how now shall we behave?
We, of course, means those who have been fighting the rise of the Welfare State and, in its name, the progressive socialization of American society. Shall they go on with it? In war as in peace, shall they continue to say what they think of a government that tells the people socialism and liberty may dwell together amicably in the same house?
It is a question that may fairly tear you apart. Waiving the point as to whether they could if they would, some who are asking the question are not sure they would if they could. They know that the conditions of total war are so extreme and the perils so great that unity may be imperative. They know how easily going on with the fight could be construed as disaffection and how it might in fact implement disunity. Only in a war that calls for less than the utmost exertions of the whole people may disaffection be tolerated. In total war there arises almost at once a demand that disaffection shall be suppressed; and if it is too large to be suppressed, as for example in the case of powerful pressure groups like organized labor, it may have to be bribed, and public opinion will condone the bribing of it. This, of course, means nothing to those whose convictions might lead them to defy hostile public opinion and who could not at all be bribed. Nevertheless, under stress of common danger, herd compulsions are very strong. Divisive ideas may be forgotten. If the price of survival is solidarity, the feeling for solidarity will be almost irresistible.
To begin with, therefore, the degree of peril, according to each individual's estimate of it, must affect his decision about how to behave. He may say, "Of what avail are my private political principles if my country falls? Am I justified to insist upon them or to fight for them if thereby I tend to create disunity, which could be fatal?"
On the other hand lies the certainty that if the fight is broken off, the government, in default of opposition, will occupy new ground from which afterward perhaps it cannot be dislodged. So you have the terms of the dilemma.
An Ideological Truce
The decision would be easy to make if the government would say, "In all the fields of social controversy let there be truce for the duration of the war." It will not say that. On the contrary, it is already evident that totalitarian neo-liberalism is riding the war. Having promised that the government would practice extreme economy in nondefense spending, a staggering defense budget was brought on with, at the same time, further demands for the Welfare State; such as, increased unemployment compensation at a time when there are more jobs than men, greater subsidies to agriculture at a time when high farm prices are immunized by law from the effects of inflation, compulsory health insurance, federal aid to education, larger grants-in-aid to the states, and the distraction of a Fair Employment Practices Commission. A budget, said a responsible Senator, that was "the very height of fiscal irresponsibility."
The government, you see, cannot ever have thought to ask itself the question we discuss here; that is, whether for the duration of the war there should be a truce between, on the one hand, those who are resolved to extend much further the political regulation of our lives, and those, on the other hand, who very bitterly resist it.
The answer we seek must be found by each individual in himself alone. That also is freedom. A man must be free to surrender his freedom if he will, or to give it in hostage for any other value he may set above it — the survival of his country, for example. But for any whose minds may be in suspense it would certainly seem that the government's attitude should resolve the doubt.
Well then if you say, "Yes, the fight must go on," there is the next question: How?
It is probably true that the fight cannot be continued in war as it was conducted in peace, if for no other reason than that the minds you want to reach are not the same. They will be inflamed by passion and slanted by propaganda, and above all they will be greatly distracted by many new cries of "Attention, people! Attention!"
The mind's capacity to give attention is very definitely limited, and as the demands upon it multiply in wartime it is bound in self-defense to become more selective and a little deaf. In this competition the normal disadvantage of the evangel for freedom is naturally worsened, since by its very nature it requires people to think attentively. Extremely few people like to do that. On first reflection this seems a discouraging fact, and yet it might turn out to be a gift if only it would cure the freedom-spokesmen of their principal weakness, which we may call the shotgun method. They sit in their towers writing many things in different ways, each on his own impulse, competing with one another for the people's attention — and they have no line. By contrast, look at the totalitarian neoliberals who are moving the Welfare State. They say the same things over and over, all as with one voice, and the cumulative effect of their reiterations is tremendous. They have a line. They got the idea from the Communists.
Is there not a lesson there?
To continue the fight successfully in wartime, it must be focused on relatively few points, such, for example, as to clarify the United Nations Covenant on Human Rights or the Genocide Convention, with intent to show the appalling danger of government by international treaty above the Constitution; or the fantastic nature of the federal budget; or the implications of any act of usurpation by the President, leading to government by executive discretion — and to do it in every case on level of ordinary understanding, in every man's language, even as the Daily Worker would do it.
An Ominous Sound
The scattered current literature of economic education, of free enterprise, of freedom's heritage, of Constitutional government, and so on, is in the aggregate enormous; but it is the work of many warriors discharging buckshot at many targets. If it could be organized and trained on a few selected targets — and targets in the news — its effect could be cannon-like. This would require collaboration, a liaison, a clearing intelligence somewhere, a board of strategy perhaps — but what of that? There now is a science of propaganda. The other side is using it. When will the conservatives learn it?
There will be something still for the individual to do. He cannot refuse to pay taxes, no matter how absurd the budget may be. He cannot attack the credit of the government — not in the wartime. He cannot conduct the war, nor can he refuse to risk his life for it if that is required of him. And though he may take to the soap box and lift his voice in the street, that will be only worse frustration.
But there are a few great voices left, and others not so great that are still telling the truth, and these the individual may amplify prodigiously. In his speech entitled, "Think It Over," and again in his startling speech calling for our own defense first, Mr. Hoover got several thousand letters and telegrams. Suppose he had got ten million, so that it had been in the news that the delivery of them blocked traffic in the neighborhood of Park Avenue and Forty-ninth Street. After a speech on the catastrophe to which the government's gaiety with billions is leading the country, Senator Byrd gets a few hundred letters, whereas if one-half of those who believe with him responded, the Senate Office Building would be swamped with them. Notable speeches by Senators and Representatives fighting against socialism are ill-reported in the news — often, in fact, omitted — yet it would be little enough for one who wished to do his part to find them in the Congressional Record and react in a manner to help boost their muzzle velocity. The running together of many voices, even yours and mine, makes a very ominous sound.
Garet Garrett (1878–1954) was an American journalist and author who was noted for his critiques of the New Deal and US involvement in the Second World War. See his books in the Mises Store. See his article archives. Comment on the blog.
This article was originally published in Faith & Freedom, March 1951.
See also, "Who Is Garet Garrett?"
Re: Political Rants
Reply #641 on:
July 31, 2009, 01:05:26 PM »
I am one of those tea baggers. I live in a small town, pop was 2000 when I was young it is now about 7000. At the first Tea party protest we had about 1700. As I looked around at the demographics of the crowd they were mostly the older patriarchs and matriarchs of the town! People who had never protested anything in their lives. At the fourth of July protest we topped 2000 people. Our town has 7000. The article that follows has comments from congress men who still dont seem to get this movement. They seem to think they know best and are not listening to their constituents. The backlash against bigger government is not a flash in the pan. We have had enough. Our reps need to listen or be put out.
Alex Isenstadt Alex Isenstadt Fri Jul 31, 5:30 am ET
Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.
On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.
I had felt they would be pointless, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO, referring to his recent decision to temporarily suspend the events in his Long Island district. There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation.
In Bishops case, his decision came on the heels of a June 22 event he held in Setauket, N.Y., in which protesters dominated the meeting by shouting criticisms at the congressman for his positions on energy policy, health care and the bailout of the auto industry.
Within an hour of the disruption, police were called in to escort the 59-year-old Democrat who has held more than 100 town hall meetings since he was elected in 2002 to his car safely.
I have no problem with someone disagreeing with positions I hold, Bishop said, noting that, for the time being, he was using other platforms to communicate with his constituents. But I also believe no one is served if you cant talk through differences.
Bishop isnt the only one confronted by boiling anger and rising incivility. At a health care town hall event in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier this month, police were called in to restore order, and at least one heckler was taken away by local police. Close to 100 sign-carrying protesters greeted Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) at a late June community college small-business development forum in Panama City, Fla. Last week, Danville, Va., anti-tax tea party activists claimed they were refused an opportunity to ask Rep. Thomas Perriello (D-Va.) a question at a town hall event and instructed by a plainclothes police officer to leave the property after they attempted to hold up protest signs.
The targets in most cases are House Democrats, who over the past few months have tackled controversial legislation including a $787 billion economic stimulus package, a landmark energy proposal and an overhaul of the nations health care system.
Democrats, acknowledging the increasing unruliness of the town-hall-style events, say the hot-button issues they are taking on have a lot to do with it.
I think its just the fact that we are dealing with some of the most important public policy issues in a generation, said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who was confronted by a protester angry about his position on health care reform at a town hall event several weeks ago.
I think in general what is going on is we are tackling issues that have been ignored for a long time, and I think that is disruptive to a lot of people, said Bishop, a four-term congressman. We are trying, one by one, to deal with a set of issues that cant be ignored, and I think thats unsettling to a lot of people.
Freshman Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), whose event at a Syracuse middle school was disrupted, said that he still planned to hold additional town halls but that he was also thinking about other options.
I think youve got to communicate through a variety of different ways. You should do the telephone town hall meetings. You should do the town hall meetings. You should do the smaller group meetings, said Maffei. Its important to do things in a variety of ways, so you dont have one mode of communication.
Youre going to have people of varying views, and in this case, youve got the two extremes who were the most vocal, Maffei said of the flare-up at his July 12 event.
On Tuesday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who handles incumbent retention duties for House Democrats in addition to chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, met with freshman members to discuss their plans for the monthlong August recess. While the specific issue of town hall protesters never came up, according to sources familiar with the meeting, he urged them not to back away from opponents.
He said, Go on offense. Stay on the offense. Its really important that your constituents hear directly from you. You shouldnt let a day go by [that] your constituents dont hear from you, said one House Democratic leadership aide familiar with the meeting.
Some members profess to enjoy the give-and-take of the town halls, even if lately its become more take than give.
Town halls are a favorite part of my job, said Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), a third-term congressman from St. Louis who noted that a handful of disruptions had taken place at his meetings. Its what I do. Its what I will continue to do.
People have gotten fired up and all that, but I think thats what makes town halls fun, said Perriello, a freshman who is among the most vulnerable Democrats in 2010. I think that most of the time when we get out there, its a good chance for people to vent and offer their thoughts. Its been good.
I enjoy it, and people have a chance to speak their mind, he said.
Both Carnahan and Perriello said they were plunging forward with plans to hold more town hall meetings.
Republicans, with an eye toward 2010, are keeping close track of the climate at Democratic events.
Weve seen Russ Carnahan, weve seen Tim Bishop, weve seen some other people face some very different crowds back home, said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). The days of you having a town hall meeting where maybe 15 or 20 of your friends show up theyre over. Youve now got real people who are showing up and thats going to be a factor.
Asked later how or whether the GOP would use the confrontations against Democrats, Sessions responded: Wait till next year.
But Democrats are quick to point out theyre not the only ones facing hostile audiences. They single out Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who found himself in a confrontation earlier this month with a birther protester, and insist that Republicans face a backlash of their own if it appears the party is too closely aligned with tea party activists or other conservative-oriented protesters.
Its a risk that they align themselves with such a small minority in the party, said Brian Smoot, who served as political director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the past election cycle. They risk alienating moderates.
Read More Stories from POLITICO
Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 09:33:51 AM by Freki
The Following Words are Strung Consecutively
Reply #642 on:
August 05, 2009, 12:06:31 PM »
Andrew Sullivan: Opposition to Cash-for-Clunkers Shows GOP Not Serious About Limited Government
Matt Welch | August 4, 2009, 10:55pm
Ideological shape-shifter and presidential benefit-of-the-doubt-giver Andrew Sullivan types the following words consecutively:
[C]ash-for-clunkers is one example of the government actually doing something right, helpful and popular. It's the kind of pragmatic experimentation that FDR tried repeatedly. So you have a practical, targeted measure that seems to have helped abate a deeper recession in the auto industry, and the right is obsessed with the ideological abstraction of "government."
What conservatives have to do, in my view, is not demonize government, but to champion limited government. If government can do tangible practical things that help everyone, while balancing its budget, it's doing what conservatives think it should. Smart, practical initiatives that address problems that the private sector has failed at: what else is government for? The rest is ideology - and it seems to be all the Republicans have left.
I'm nobody's conservative, but I'm pretty sure if I was telling conservatives how to think I wouldn't admonish them for failing to champion limited government within two sentences of praising FDR's pragmatism. It's like, I dunno, lecturing the Labour Party about demonstrating their pro-union bonafides while praising Margaret Thatcher's centrism. Sounds a bit off.
As for the factual claims, did cash-for-clunkers indeed "help everyone"? Well, no. Let's take my favorite example: me. The Welch household owns one car, a 1994 Acura Integra. While clunky, this 15-year-old car does not qualify for the program, because it gets too many miles per gallon–around 28, allegedly. So our tax dollars are being redistributed to people who have made less eco-friendly purchases than we have.
One could counter-argue that monocle-wearing magazine editors such as moi are not the intended audience for this bit of alleged FDRism, and while that actually doesn't make any sense (since no one's checking your pay stubs on the showroom floor), let's roll with it anyway. Here's the problem even then: We bought that pup (for the C-4-Cish price of $4,000, about six years ago), back when we were poor. Hell, I'd bet that the majority of households whose lone car is a 1994 anything ain't exactly swimming in the do-rey-mi. What this program does is take money from the stickshift-driving non-rich, and gives it to anyone with an SUV and/or old beater. Who (again, unlike us) is ready to shell out five figures for a shiny new car.
And wait! It gets worse, from that whole social-justice angle. What about the estimated 12 percent of Americans aged 15 years and above who don't drive, period? What about all the adults who live in the 8 percent of households that don't have a vehicle? What about half the residents of Manhattan, who took transit planners' decades-old dream to heart and "got out of their cars"? What about those who are too poor to drive? The answer: All of these people are subsidizing whoever turns in an SUV or crappy old $800 K-Car like the one I used to drive. Not only that, but what do you think happens to the $800 car market when the guvmint is handing out $4,500 checks to have the things destroyed? I'll go ahead and state the obvious: It shrinks, making it more expensive for the truly poor people, the ones who want to make that daring leap from the bus system to an awful old bucket of rust.
So no, not "everyone" was helped by cash-for-clunkers. Ah, but what about how it's better for the environment, and therefore "everyone"? Tell it to those smokestack apologists at, uh, The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Guardian.
Sullivan is dead right about one thing: Cash-for-clunkers is indeed very "popular." So is the home mortgage interest deduction, the prescription drug benefit, and any number of federal programs that siphon from the diffuse pool of tax revenue+debt and blast out concentrated benefits to the broad middle class. The standard for judging these things shouldn't be popularity–Richard Nixon's wage-and-price control spasm of 1971, to name one of many historical measures now widely and rightly considered asinine, was hugely popular at the time–but whether they make sense in both the short and long term.
Cash-for-clunkers amounts to a rounding error in Tim Geithner's nose-hair at this point, which is probably why at least some liberals seem so genuinely baffled by the disproportionate criticism it has drawn. But for some of us it's also a nearly perfect symbol of economic statism run amok. The federal government is taking from the many, giving it to the less-than-many, destroying functional cars, funneling money to an auto industry that it already largely owns (at a hefty taxpayer price tag), then taking multiple (and multiply premature) bows for rescuing the economy and the auto industry in the process.
I understand, and even appreciate, that not everyone interprets things this way. But what I don't understand, and ultimately don't respect, is the weird urge to react to yet another Obama administration brainfart by rounding up its opponents and putting them in a metaphorical holding pen marked "ideologically obsessed." Particularly after eight years in which the only detectable ideology was taxcut-and-spend, and otherwise do what parties in power always do: look for creative new ways to bribe the middle class.
We are in the midst of a "soft" civil war
Reply #643 on:
August 05, 2009, 05:52:45 PM »
"Cash for clunkers is an example of government doing something right"?
first one billion than three.
A billion here, a billion there.
What's a billion dollars anymore anyway?
In an age of government wherein we speak of hundreds of billions and trillions the concept of a billion has been relegated to pocket change.
I don't listen to Sullivan. I have seen him on the talk circuit and I have never heard anything this guy has said that made any sense.
He always sounds bizarre and makes no sense.
I have said I was for compromise. I thought the initial Tarp had saved a castrophe. If there was no such thing as FIDC I am convinced we would have seen a rush on banks and a collapse like '29.
But, my idea of compromise was not to spend like crazy.
Jonah Goldberg was right when he said the Democracts are like Huns crashing the gates and going nuts looting and (my words) raping and pillaging, and stealing everything they can get their paws on and throwing it all around to their friends and cronies and allies.
We really are in a "soft" civil war.
Years ago the plundering would have been done with guns. Now it is "legal" and legitimized because the plunderers have bribed enough of an electorate to get away with it.
And yet the Rebublicans have not yet found a savior of the United States of America if one exists.
I can only hope Dick Morris is right.
Cash for Clunkers: Piecemeal Lobbied Justice vs. Equal Protectection for ALL
Reply #644 on:
August 05, 2009, 06:27:09 PM »
Yes it helped one failed industry hit better numbers at the end of one quarter but it violates all principles I thought we stood for. As a manufacturer, if you are not on their preferred list, you miss out - AND you get to pay for the others' people's subsidy! As a consumer maybe you get lucky (odds are that you don't!), but somebody else equally deserving comes in one day earlier, one day later, buys a slightly different vehicle, trades in a slightly different vehicle or does something else equally large and heroic to stimulate the economy and save the planet and THEY GET NOTHING... AND THEY PAY FOR YOUR SUBSIDY!!
Regarding the author, how do I say nicely... what kind of MORON thinks these are conservative OR AMERICAN principles???
In terms of common sense, it isn't drivers of clunkers who buy new cars. There is a food chain. More typically it is owners of 3-5 year old cars that buy new cars and it is the driver of the clunker who delays the need to expend the energy - roughly 65000 mega-joules or about 1.5 tons of crude oil - to manufacture a typical new vehicle.
The people who were ready to trade in the exact vehicle required in the bill and buy the exact new vehicle specified on the exact day that the taxpayer-taken, borrowed or printed money hit the street were most likely the cronies of the staffers and lobbyists who wrote the bill, it would seem to me.
Also I think the numbers will show that Honda and Toyota were the 'American' companies who benefited most...
Thugocracy Strikes Again
Reply #645 on:
August 10, 2009, 10:55:53 PM »
Oh my goodness. Plenty wrong with this interview--we watch so much polished and produced news that this comes off quite raw--yet here we see a citizen confronting his representative and then informing us of the fallout:
Reply #646 on:
August 14, 2009, 11:44:43 AM »
If President Bush had , , ,
Reply #647 on:
August 15, 2009, 11:13:57 AM »
If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special
Olympics, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and
incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a
thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod
containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this
embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?
If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have
If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the
nonexistent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a
If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people
who cannot seem to keep current on their income taxes, would you have
If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de
Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the fourth of May
(Cuatro de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you
have winced in embarrassment?
If George W. Bush had misspelled the word advice would you have
hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as "proof"
of what a dunce he is?
If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single
tree on "Earth Day," would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?
If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying
low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown
Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether
they actually "get" what happened on 9-11?
If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter
installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have
laughed and said this is more proof of how he is inept he is on his own and
is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?
If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout
the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans,
would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of
racism and incompetence?
If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation,
even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have
If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which
had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would
you have approved?
If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10
years, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of
GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you
If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to
take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?
So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and
impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 5
months -- so you'll have three years and seven months to come up with an
Oleg Atbashian: Laughing
Reply #648 on:
August 18, 2009, 12:18:53 AM »
Laughing at the Contradictions of Socialism in America
Posted By Oleg Atbashian On March 5, 2009
There was a time in recent American history when certain Soviet jokes didn’t work in translation — not so much because of the language differences, but because of the lack of common sociopolitical context. But that is changing. As President Obama is preparing us for a great leap towards collectivism, I find myself recollecting forgotten political jokes I shared with comrades while living in the old country under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Gorbachev. (I was too young to remember the Khrushchev times, but I still remember the Khrushchev jokes.) I also noticed that the further America “advances” back to the Soviet model, the more translatable the old Soviet jokes become. Not all Soviet advancements have metastasized here yet, but we have four more glorious years to make it happen.
One of my favorite political jokes is this:
The six dialectical contradictions of socialism in the USSR:
There is full employment — yet no one is working.
No one is working — yet the factory quotas are fulfilled.
The factory quotas are fulfilled — yet the stores have nothing to sell.
The stores have nothing to sell — yet people got all the stuff at home.
People got all the stuff at home — yet everyone is complaining.
Everyone is complaining — yet the voting is always unanimous.
It reads like a poem — only instead of the rhythm of syllables and rhyming sounds, it’s the rhythm of logic and rhyming meanings. If I could replicate it, I might start a whole new genre of “contradictory six-liners.” It would be extremely difficult to keep it real and funny at the same time, but I’ll try anyway.
Dialectical contradictions are one of the pillars in Marxist philosophy, which states that contradictions eventually lead to a unity of opposites as the result of a struggle. This gave a convenient “scientific” excuse for the existence of contradictions in a socialist society, where opposites were nice and agreeable — unlike the wild and crazy opposites of capitalism that could never be reconciled. Hence the joke.
Then I moved to America, where wild and crazy opposites of capitalism were supposedly at their worst. Until recently, however, the only contradictions that struck me as irreconcilable were these:
America is capitalist and greedy — yet half of the population is subsidized.
Half of the population is subsidized — yet they think they are victims.
They think they are victims — yet their representatives run the government.
Their representatives run the government — yet the poor keep getting poorer.
The poor keep getting poorer — yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
They have things that people in other countries only dream about — yet they want America to be more like those other countries.
Without capitalism there’d be no Hollywood — yet filmmakers hate capitalism.
Filmmakers hate capitalism — yet they sue for unauthorized copying of their movies.
They sue for unauthorized copying — yet on screen they teach us to share.
On screen they teach us to share — yet they keep their millions to themselves.
They keep their millions to themselves — yet they revel in stories of American misery and depravity.
They revel in stories of American misery and depravity — yet they blame the resulting anti-American sentiment on conservatism.
They blame the anti-American sentiment on conservatism — yet conservatism ensures the continuation of a system that makes Hollywood possible.
I never thought I would see socialist contradictions in America, let alone write about them. But somehow all attempts to organize life according to “progressive” principles always result in such contradictions. And in the areas where “progressives” have assumed positions of leadership — education, news media, or the entertainment industry — contradictions become “historically inevitable.”
If one were accidentally to open his eyes and compare the “progressive” narrative with facts on the ground, one might start asking questions. Why, for instance, if the war on terror breeds more terrorists, haven’t there been attacks on the U.S. soil since 2001? Why, if George W. Bush had removed our freedom of speech, was nobody ever arrested for saying anything? And if Obama has returned us our freedoms, why was a man harassed by police in Oklahoma for having an anti-Obama sign in his car? Why would anyone who supports free speech want to silence talk radio? And why is silencing the opposition called the “Fairness Doctrine”?
After the number of “caring,” bleeding-heart politicians in Washington reached a critical mass, it was only a matter of time before the government started ordering banks to help the poor by giving them risky home loans through community organizers. Which resulted in a bigger demand, which resulted in rising prices, which resulted in slimmer chances of repaying the loans, which resulted in more pressure on the banks, which resulted in repackaging of bad loans, which resulted in a collapse of the banks, which resulted in a recession, which resulted in many borrowers losing their jobs, which resulted in no further mortgage payments, which resulted in a financial disaster, which resulted in a worldwide crisis, with billions of poor people overseas — who had never seen a community organizer, nor applied for a bad loan — becoming even poorer than they had been before the “progressives” in the U.S. government decided to help the poor.
As if that were not enough, the same bleeding hearts are now trying to fix this by nationalizing the banks so that they can keep issuing risky loans through community organizers. In other words, to prevent the toast from landing buttered side down, they’re planning to butter the toast on both sides and hope that it will hover in mid-air. Which also seems like a sensible alternative energy initiative.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, there’s always the last resort of a liberal: blame capitalism. It’s always a win-win. Today government regulators may be blaming capitalism for the crisis caused by their dilettantish tampering with the economy, but who do you think they will credit after market forces resuscitate the economy?
Years ago, living in America made me feel as though I had traveled in a time machine from the past. But after the recent “revolutionary” changes have turned reality on its head — which is what “revolution” literally means — I’m getting an uneasy feeling I had come from your future.
As your comrade from the future, I also feel a social obligation to help my less advanced comrades in the American community, and prepare them for the transition to the glorious world of underground literature, half-whispered jokes, and the useful habit of looking over your shoulder. Don’t become a nation of cowards — but watch who might be listening.
Let’s start with these few.
Liberals believe they’re advancing people’s power — yet they don’t believe people can do anything right without their guidance.
People can’t do anything right — yet the government bureaucracy can do everything.
The government bureaucracy can do everything — yet liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives.
Liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives — yet they vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government.
They vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government — yet they believe they’re advancing people’s power.
Bush and the media:
The media said Bush was dumb — yet he won over two intelligent Democrats.
He won over two intelligent Democrats — yet the media said his ratings were hopeless.
The media said his ratings were hopeless — yet the 2004 electoral map was red.
The 2004 electoral map was red — yet the media said his policies failed.
The media said his policies failed — yet the economy grew and the war was won.
The economy grew and the war was won — yet the media said we needed “change.”
Liberals have been in charge of education for 50 years — yet education is out of control.
Education is out of control — yet liberal teaching methods prevail.
Liberal teaching methods prevail — yet public schools are failing.
Public schools are failing — yet their funding keeps growing.
Their funding keeps growing — yet public schools are always underfunded.
Public schools are always underfunded — yet private schools yield better results for less .
Private schools yield better results for less — yet public education is the only way out of the crisis.
Foreign radicals hate America — yet they’re all wearing American blue jeans.
They’re all wearing American blue jeans — yet they disdain American culture.
They disdain American culture — yet they play American music, movies, and video games.
They play American music, movies, and video games — yet they call Americans uncivilized.
They call Americans uncivilized — yet they expect Americans to defend their civilization.
They expect Americans to defend their civilization — yet they think American capitalism is outdated.
They think American capitalism is outdated — yet most of their countries require American handouts.
(* Some Democrat politicians have similar opinions about their redneck constituents — yet they won’t shut up about how proud they are to have their mandate.)
Liberals and taxes:
Liberals want to help the poor — yet they won’t give money to charities.
They won’t give money to charities — yet they’d like the government to become a gigantic charity.
They’d like the government to become a gigantic charity — yet the money has to be taken from people by force.
The money has to be taken from people by force — yet they call it welfare.
They call it welfare — yet higher taxes make everyone poorer.
Higher taxes make everyone poorer — yet liberals find ways not to pay taxes.
Liberals find ways not to pay taxes — yet they get to be chosen to run the government.
Liberals and the CIA:
The CIA is a reactionary institution — yet its agents always leak information that helps liberals politically.
CIA agents always leak information that helps liberals politically — yet liberals say the CIA is clueless.
Liberals say the CIA is clueless — yet in their movies the CIA is running the world.
In their movies the CIA is running the world — yet they tell us that better intelligence could have prevented the war.
Better intelligence could have prevented the war — yet “enhanced interrogations” of captured terrorists must not be allowed.
Love and marriage:
Sex differences are the result of social conditioning — yet homosexuality is biological.
Homosexuality is biological — yet everybody is encouraged to experiment with it.
Everybody is encouraged to experiment with it — yet venereal diseases are treated at the taxpayers’ expense.
Venereal diseases are treated at the taxpayers’ expense — yet taxpayers have no right to impose standards since there are no moral absolutes.
There are no moral absolutes — yet gay marriage is an absolute must.
Gay marriage is an absolute must — yet family is an antiquated tool of bourgeois oppression.
Reply #649 on:
August 19, 2009, 09:12:51 AM »
And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America , having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as "The One".
He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I shall save you with Hope and Change. Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed."
And the people rejoiced, for even though they knew not what "The One" would do, he had promised that it was good; and they believed.
And "The One" said "We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!".
And the people said, "Hallelujah! Change is good!"
Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats."
And the people said, "Sock it to them, and redistribute their wealth."
And the people said, "Show us the money!".
And then He said, "Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody."
And Joe, the plumber asked, "Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats?"
And "The One" ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.
One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?"
And she was banished from the kingdom!
Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience, and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?"
And "The One" said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them, and show them how nice we really are, and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"
And the people said, "Hallelujah! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"
Then "The One" said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes."
And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes."
So "The One" said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!"
And the people said, "Hallelujah! Show us the money!"
Then "The One" said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!"
And the people yawned, and the slumping housing market collapsed.
And He said, "I shall mandate employer- funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics."
And the people said, "Give me some of that!"
Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas."
And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"
Then "The One" said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry, and electricity rates will skyrocket!"
And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates."
So "The One" said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN, and your troubles are over!"
Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs, and guaranteed housing."
And the people said, "Hallelujah!!" And they made him King!
And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without means of support.
Then "The One" said, "I am the "The One" - The Messiah -and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!"
But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more."
And the people said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!"
And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"
And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?"
But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon "The One" and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung.
And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope.
And the Change "The One" had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.
And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!"
But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.
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