More Thoughts on the Wall of Separation

In my previous post I shared my thoughts on the recent Supreme Court decision that allows church affiliated organizations (specifically schools) to defy the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so long as the person being discriminated against is a “minister” of the church. The premise is that our government cannot dictate how churches choose their leaders. It breaches the wall of separation between church and state. I won’t  repeat my objection here but suffice it to say the Supreme Court chose a very poor case to make their point.

The nation is now debating another religious brouhaha prompted by the department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Recently HHS ruled that any employer who provides health insurance to their employees must cover contraception, sterilization procedures and the “morning after” pill. This includes Catholic affiliated hospitals which, based on Catholic dogma, oppose contraception. The Catholic church is crying foul and claiming that HHS is breaching the wall of separation by inhibiting “the free practice” of their religion. It should be noted that the HHS ruling does not affect churches per se. A church and a church affiliated institution are two different things.

Unlike some of my smug conservative readers I don’t know with 100% certainty what was on the minds of the Founding Fathers when the establishment clause of the First Amendment was written. To my mind the clause protects religious groups from persecution by the government as well as favoritism or advantage from the government. Now we need to define terms. What is a religious group? A religious group is a group of (mostly) like-minded individuals who share a common spiritual concept of our origins, our destiny and the proper way to conduct ourselves in the here and now. A religious group is not a group of secular teachers. It is not a group of doctors. It is not a group of scientists. It is not a group engaged in commerce.

In my previous post I wrote about a religious group (the Lutherans) who poked their nose into the teaching of secular subjects but then wanted to maintain enough of a shred of religiosity to be protected by the First Amendment. Similarly, Catholic affiliated hospitals dip their toe into the purely secular sphere of providing health care and employing people (doctors, nurses, orderlies, cafeteria staff, etc.) of various faiths but want to claim just enough religiosity to deny insurance coverage for contraception from their employees. If every other non-religious-affiliated business with a moral objection to contraception must provide insurance coverage for it, why should the Catholic church be any different?

There is a dilemma here. Part of most religious faiths is to care for others. Those faiths with the funds to do so can set up health care facilities and hire professionals to provide care in those facilities.  Surely this is a good thing. This is something we want to encourage. The dilemma arises when the dogma of the faith flies in the face of common sense medical practice. Most Catholics practice birth control. The official position of the Church is so out of touch with reality that all but the most ardent of its followers find it laughable. The simple fact is if you want to practice medicine in the 21st century and you want to minimize the instances of abortion then birth control is the most sensible option. Catholic or not, if you are in the health care business and you decry the use of birth control, then you really shouldn’t be in the health care business in the first place.

I think the bigger question posed by both the SCOTUS case and the HHS ruling is when a religion crosses the line into secular society and provides secular services to a non-sectarian audience should those secular practices be protected by the establishment clause? In my opinion, they should not. The government will not tell you how to preach. The government will not tell you how to choose your ministers. But the government, in my opinion, can and should dictate whether your secular practices are consistent with American law and regulations.

While I think it would be a terrible loss if every Catholic affiliated hospital shut its doors, I also believe that the minute they choose to hire people of all faiths and serve people of all faiths they must abide by the employment practices of every other institution in this country. If that involves offering insurance coverage for contraception, so be it.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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636 thoughts on “More Thoughts on the Wall of Separation

  1. Before anyone else goes there, I do not consider the morning after pill, strictly speaking, an abortion procedure. I believe until the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall, all bets are off.

  2. In my previous post I wrote about a religious group (the Lutherans) who poked their nose into the teaching of secular subjects but then wanted to maintain enough of a shred of religiosity to be protected by the First Amendment.

    “Poked their nose into the teaching of a secular subject”?

    Is that what the nuns teaching in the catholic school in my neighborhood did where I grew up when they taught the same subjects taught at my public school?

    I realize what you might understand about the various Christian denominations could fit in a thimble with room to spare, but in putting their emphasis on hiring “called” teachers when they could and putting them through additional doctrinal training, Hosana-Tabor was essentially doing the same thing.

  3. I think you have expressed it perfectly. Religious practices have to do with the voodoo. When you get out of the “spiritual” – read superstitious – part of religion and get into the more mundane things like saving lives, then you are on MY side of that wall, and you have to abide by MY rules.

    Not that complicated, is it?

  4. It also should have gone without saying that in the case of a religious school that “maintain enough of a shred of religiosity to be protected by the First Amendment” (according to someone who doesn’t really get it anyway), the parents of those children…the reason for the school’s existence…make a choice to pay their hard earned money to send their children to those schools for that “shred of religiousity”. If it is adequate to meet the religious requirements of those Lutherans, then it simply isn’t up to you, or the government to determine otherwise.

  5. Unlike some of my smug conservative readers I don’t know with 100% certainty what was on the minds of the Founding Fathers when the establishment clause of the First Amendment was written.

    But you aren’t really interested in even trying to figure it out, either.

    You’re more than happy to take another person’s selective examination of one or two of the people involved, and declare it determinative. In your world, no further examnation of those persons is necessary, and it certainly would not be necessary to examine any of the others involved either. And an examination of the circumstances, or what they were actually forthright enough to explain, either in records of debate at the Constitutional Convention, or in the Federalist Papers is and remains completely out of the question for you. The rest of us aren’t just conjuring forth a convenient image from a crystal ball that only we can see; we are attempting to take a look at the totality of circumstances, which is more than I can say for your lack of intellectual curiousity.

  6. Doubled down. “Poked their noses. . .” As though the constitution grants a monopoly to the government over health care and education.

    Still haven’t figured out that the Constitution is a limit on governmental power.

    Dig in your heels. Every SCOTUS justice has it wrong.

    Not worthy of discussion. You’re in your Loughner mode. And I see you’ve even repeated the MSNBC rhetoric from this morning that you claim isn’t your guiding influence.

  7. And I see you’ve even repeated the MSNBC rhetoric from this morning that you claim isn’t your guiding influence.

    I saw that.

    It pretty much removed any doubt that the Wrong Reverend Al is several cards shy of a full deck.

    BTW, do you actually answer your gmail, or is it for blog commenting purposes only.

  8. I think it wrong that government should mandate what insurance coverage employers must have for employees. Government is already too intrusive in our lives. Contraception is a personal responsibility and not necessary for everyone for various reasons. The cost of providing insurance to employees already burdens companies. Mandating coverage benefits the providers more than employees or employers.

    The Catholic church has opposed birth control and though many Catholics use these preventative measures, they do so without full approval of the pope. Right or wrong, the church has to stand against forcing the insurance providers to require birth control coverage for their employees, even though most of their employees are not Catholic anyway.

    Get your stinking government off my back. That is my two cents.

  9. Pfessor, I thought you keep a copy of the Constitution in your pocket at all times?

    What the hell do you care iif the Catholic Church is vodoo?

    I do to sometimes, and I am Catholic.

    Why do you feel the need to allow the government to force groups to pay for shit they don’t agree with?

    Dude. Get your government out of my face!

    There really is hardly any America left in America.

  10. “If every other non-religious-affiliated business with a moral objection to contraception must provide insurance coverage for it, why should the Catholic church be any different?”

    This country is not even remotely free. Outside of ensuring the safest work place possible, why the fuck should any private institution be forced to pay for products sold by other private parties that they don’t agree with? Its all jaw dropping to me.

    Everyday, I struggle with remaining American.

  11. And I see you’ve even repeated the MSNBC rhetoric from this morning

    What show were you watching? I was only able to watch about 30 minutes of “Morning Joe” today and both hosts (Joe and Mika, conservative and liberal) said HHS overstepped its bounds. If you check my Twitter feed, you’ll see I called Mika out on it.

    Tigre, you do crack me up. Has it ever occurred to you that my views might match those expressed on MSNBC because my views are usually liberal and MSNBC is liberal? You’ve told me enough times that you don’t watch Fox. So at this point, I believe you. But don’t you know you often SOUND like Fox? Why do you think that is?

  12. BTW, do you actually answer your gmail, or is it for blog commenting purposes only.

    I absolutely answer it. I have nothing from you. Were you asking BEFORE sending me a note?

  13. why the fuck should any private institution be forced to pay for products sold by other private parties that they don’t agree with?

    Doesn’t the Catholic hospital have the option to not offer health insurance programs to its employees at all? Not all businesses offer health insurance.

    If you don’t like health insurance policies that cover modern commonly accepted medical supplies then don’t carry the policy in the first place.

  14. But Rabbit has accidentally stumbled upon the EXACT reason why we need a national health insurance system. Health insurance should NOT be connected to employment at all. No employer should be forced to offer it and no employee should work for an employer only out of fear of losing it.

  15. Remember when health insurance through your work was called a benefit? It was something special. Something to lure people to work for a good company. And yeah…you worked your ass off for that company…why?…so you could keep the benefits. They were the jobs everyone wanted but very few ever got.

    Then, once enough companies gave this benefit to enough people for long enough…it suddenly became an entitlement that everyone came to expect. Even people who don’t work for anyone at all.

    Now we have come to the point where pretty much all employers are forced into giving this benefit, and the only alternative mentioned is for The People (READ: government of, by, and for…) to give it, instead.

    The health care industry in this country is out of control. Waiting rooms are full of people who need to see the doctor because their farts smell funny or the crud they coughed up that morning was green instead of the usual green-ish. Commercials flood airwaves reminding you to ask your doctor about shit that he would be telling you about if he thought you really needed it or to tell you to hop onto some class action law suit. The health care reform that is needed isn’t just the insurance part. It’s needed across the board. Wasteful doctor visits. Pharma advertising. BS law suits. And more. All of it.

    And with the amount of money we are talking about…1/6 of the US economy…we all know that kind of reform is never going to happen. So instead we will all empty our wallets and our national treasuries trying to live forever.

    At least the ancients built cool monuments when they broke the bank looking for immortality. What’s going to be our historic legacy? Laws so large you have to pass them to know what is in them.

  16. Notwithstanding wild-eyed cries to the contrary, THE HEALTH CARE LAW DOES NOT FORCE EMPLOYERS TO ACT CONTRARY TO THEIR BELIEFS–unless one supposes the employers’ religion forbids even the payment of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion).

    Questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith are entirely real, but not new. The courts have occasionally confronted such issues and have generally ruled that the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, fraud, negligence, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. Were it otherwise and people could opt out of this or that law with the excuse that their religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate. When moral binds for individuals can be anticipated, provisions may be added to laws affording some relief to conscientious objectors.

    Here, there is no need for such an exemption, since no employer is being “forced,” as some commentators rage, to act contrary to his or her belief. In keeping with the law, those with conscientious objections to providing their employees with qualifying health plans may decline to provide their employees with any health plans and pay an assessment instead or, alternatively, provide their employees with health plans that do not qualify (e.g., ones without provisions they deem objectionable) and pay lower assessments.

    The employers may not like paying the assessments or what the government will do with the money it receives. But that is not a moral dilemma of the sort supposed by many commentators, but rather a garden-variety gripe common to most taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action of the government. That is hardly call for a special “exemption” from the law. Should each of us feel free to deduct from our taxes the portion that we figure would be spent on those actions (e.g., wars, health care, whatever) each of us opposes?

  17. Has anybody seen this painting?

    In fairness, Obama is just the last of a long string of Constitution-tramplers – including GWB and probably the worst, Slick Willie and that big lesbian chick whose name escapes me right now. Reno, that’s it. Reno.

    Nearly had a fistfight with a FBI recruiter at my college right after Ruby Ridge and Waco. Highly entertaining to the kids; the professors were somewhat mortified.

  18. The founders were not all that crazy about religion. They did know the abuses that organized religion had wrought over the ages. Not much HAS changed in that perspective…

  19. “I’m still waiting for PF to answer my question about Jefferson’s wall…”

    I have no opinion.

    What was your point, anyway?

  20. Commercials flood airwaves reminding you to ask your doctor about shit that he would be telling you about if he thought you really needed it

    I’ve been saying this for some time now. Pharma commercials should be taken off the air. I’ve had visits to the doctor where there were more pharma salesmen in the waiting room than there were patients. :-(

  21. BIW –

    “And I don’t believe you.”

    Be assured that I LIVE for your approbation, but back on topic: what was the point of your question? I never could figure out what you were driving at or what you wanted.

    But if you want, we can skip it.

    Your ball, your court.

  22. Pharma commercials should be taken off the air.

    Pharma, fast food, soda, etc…. Where to draw the line? We are overwhelmed with commercials everywhere we turn. Now they are all over the internet, too.

    There is a constant onslaught on our conscious and subconscious minds. It does shape our perspective and affect behavior. Verbal and visual stimuli are designed to make us react in a certain fashion.

    Plenty of studies have proven the effectiveness of these influences. Billions have been spent to hone their scope. Today’s youth are molded and shaped from birth to be consumers rather than discoverers. All are participants in this big material paradise we call America.

    And like the Roman Empire, we have peaked and are in decay.

    Kids know more about the latest smart phone app or the newest virtual game/world than they do about history or world affairs (unless they are celebrity affairs).

    Advanced civilization, my ass. Delusional? Yes. Enlightened? No.

  23. poolman –

    Do you have any information about the state of our boys? The last two years at my son’s high school, ten of the top ten scholars are girls. That’s 100 percent, and it is reported the same everywhere.

    Of my six children, the three girls are go-getters and the boys are as worthless as whistles on a piss-pot. I have a grand-nephew who stays holed up for days playing video games. He’s twenty-four and has never held a job.

    What the hell is going on? Some say it’s – I think this the right chemical – phthalates in plastics. I tend to the “they need their asses kicked” POV.

    Thoughts?

  24. I’m not the only one that thinks we’ve lost it.

    I’d submit things haven’t changed all that much. The Internet and 100 cable channels just makes it easier to see all the craziness.

  25. Should each of us feel free to deduct from our taxes the portion that we figure would be spent on those actions (e.g., wars, health care, whatever) each of us opposes?

    Welcome to the blog Doug. You open up a whole new can of worms but I am with you. I’d love to withhold the portion of my taxes being spent on the useless exercise in Afghanistan. But I can’t do it, can I?

  26. You watch Fox?

    Enough to know you sometimes sound like them.

    Most nights I go to sleep watching Maddow but on Sunday night Fox News Sunday is my lullaby. Chris Wallace ain’t half bad actually. He carries on the legacy of his father quite well.

  27. Which Fox show do I sound like?

    On your best days you really don’t sound like a talking-point parrot. There have been others here much more guilty. But whenever any of you go overboard on Obama, you remind me of Hannity.

  28. R, you got blueberry pie all over your axe.

    That’s taken from one of my fav “Lean Forward” ads. :-)

    Damn Tigre, I do think it is safe to say you watch more MSNBC than I do Fox.

    Not for nothing, I did comment to my better half the other day how odd the Lean Forward campaign is. We already know that the MSNBC lineup skews liberal. Why do we need an ad campaign boasting a political ideology? Even Fox, to my knowledge, does not do that.

  29. Can someone explain to me why HHS (government) is approaching this rule through the back door? They are stating that “employers” must provide for “employees”. Why don’t they go through the front door and demand that “Insurance Companies” include this coverage in every policy?

    If all insurance policies included the coverage then there could be no issue regarding religious beliefs. Just because coverage for contraception is included, doesn’t mean an individual must participate.

    Or is that idea too logical?

  30. Where to draw the line?

    Well we drew the line at cigarettes within my lifetime. And there was a time, not too long ago that you never saw a pharma ad. In the history of advertising it is a new phenom.

    The commercialization of medicine is something to be wary of. I think I told this story once before but I watched an inventor of a preventive health product try to sell his product to some venture capitalists (on the TV show Shark Tank … which is fantastic). One of them asked him if he had tried to sell his product to any of the big pharma companies. He replied that they rejected him on the grounds they could make more money treating the illness than preventing it.

    Scary.

  31. Rutherford –

    I’ve tried several approaches, but it boils down to this: “ass-kickin'” sounds good, but you are not going to let your kids starve or put them out on the street and they know that. All the pat answers just don’t address the problem of no motivation. I was there myself when I was in college, but I had a little epiphany one night and decided to shit or get off the pot and was motivated after that.

    I have a sister-in-law who is having exactly the same problem with her two boys, about exactly the same age as mine. My stepson is about 27; he tried “playing music” for ten years and never amounted to anything – although he is VERY good. He basically lives a bohemian existence on a little income from a Whole Foods part-time job; we don’t support him.

    The problem is that parents eventually die and kids eventually have to fend for themselves. Even if you have spent their entire childhoods trying to motivate them (I have – my family has always been a cadre of overachievers), if they resist the whole way and never get self-motivated it doesn’t matter. I’ve blamed it on video games, public schools, phthalates, ADD – but mostly ME, but I attended my kids more in a month than my Dad did me in a lifetime.

    Very, very puzzling. Maybe we are just at the end of our evolutionary path, like the cheetah.

  32. R, I watch plenty MSLSD and no Fox whatsoever. Can’t recall the last time I turned it on. I find guys like Hannity annoying.

    But at least they do have opposing viewpoint on and a clash of opinions. MSLSD is just the Obama channel with bobble heads.

    And to hear Sharpton (who, believe it or not, I have spent several hours conversing with one on one) talk about racism and religious freedoms makes my stomach turn. The guy who used his position in the so-called church to take action that directly resulted in the death of another individual in the made-up Brawley case (and others)??? Mind numbing.

    Talk about pie on your mush.

    One thing that’s clear to me though. You will repeat damn near anything MSLSD dishes out without hesitation. In fact, most of your posts are drawn directly from some MSNBC opinion piece.

  33. I think it is Madison

    The painting is poignant. If you’re right, Madison is basically saying “sh*t Obama, what are you doing to my beloved Constitution?” It’s a moving picture.

    I’m quite sure if we brought the Founding Fathers back to see what has become of their country, they’d blow their brains out. (Or who knows, maybe they’d be pleased at some of the strides we’ve made?)

  34. Incidentally, I watch MSLSD because I like to hear what the other side says, not because I agree with it. Frankly, so much of the worthless drivel and unthinking partisanship reinforces for me that I’ve got it right.

  35. “Can someone explain to me why HHS (government) is approaching this rule through the back door?”

    Because King Obama will not be denied. If he can’t ram something down our throats from the front end, he has shown plenty of willingness to ram it up the “back door.”

    But 1 way or another…we’re going to take his medicine. Because Daddy knows what’s best….

  36. R, if the Founding Fathers were here to speak, they’d say that your views are the cancer that they endeavored to prevent.

    Of course, the Constitution overrated anyway . . well when it stands in the way of your agendas . . . :roll:

  37. In fact, most of your posts are drawn directly from some MSNBC opinion piece.

    And again, I say you’re wrong. I write about what I want to write about and my conclusions are my own. I watch enough MSNBC that I do get story ideas from them but my recent Sullivan/Frum article had nothing to do with MSNBC. I was planning to write about Saul Alinsky before Chris Matthews and Bill Maher covered it. They beat me to it.

    This MSNBC parrot thing from you really gets old. It’s a lazy way of dismissing opinions with which you don’t agree.

  38. Contraception is a personal responsibility and not necessary for everyone for various reasons. The cost of providing insurance to employees already burdens companies. – P

    Not providing contraception will actually increase the cost of their insurance. It costs a lot more to bring a healthy baby and momma through pregnancy than it does to provide pills. Add to that pregnancies and births that involve complications, and the costs really hit the roof. Also, more than a third of birth control pills are prescribed for reasons other than contraception. Does the Catholic Church oppose the pill for all uses?

  39. At least the ancients built cool monuments when they broke the bank looking for immortality. What’s going to be our historic legacy? Laws so large you have to pass them to know what is in them. – Huck

    The largest building and largest employer in Spokane is … a hospital. Maybe we are building our monuments.

  40. I thought it was you that referred to BiW and “his ilk” with a pejorative “strict constitutionalist.”

    As for the ccoincidence with MSNBC — yeah right!

  41. Thor at 55 … LOL shame on you but then again I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

    All I was suggesting was he might want Obama’s John Hancock. ;)

    OK, I’ll stop.

  42. Not providing contraception will actually increase the cost of their insurance

    This is true, but my point was why should the employer be forced to carry the additional cost of coverage? Why don’t all policies cover this, as someone else suggested?

    Truly my rant is more directed at insurance companies that really are not health care contributors and merely brokers while purporting the idea that an employer must be the responsible bearer of this expense.

    Truth be told, I am for single-payer as proposed in HR676. But with a corrupt government and powerful pharma/insurance lobbies, a real equitable plan is impossible to obtain. Too many profit from it as is.

  43. In fairness, Obama is just the last of a long string of Constitution-tramplers – PF

    He’s probably stepping on Article 1, section 3. If you are counted as 3/5ths of a person but are actually half white, does that make you 4/5ths of a person?

  44. The commercialization of medicine is something to be wary of.

    This is already the case. A good example of the abuse is the recent SGK fiasco with their political ploys and the resulting blow back. Helen got all fired up there at “fat grannies” and posted 2 recently. Pretty feisty, too.

    It goes to prove that cures are not always sought. Profit however, is. The strive for the cure motivates and harnesses all the support. If the goal is reached, the support would go away along with the platform and subsequent donations and profits.

    It should be a good lesson learned, if we are open to learn it.

    Like other manufacturing industries I have discovered, the main purpose of capitalism is to find and hold onto a market and suck all the possible profit it can from that captive bunch. Going so far sometimes as to have government require our participation in their capitalistic venture.

    We do it in such inventive and exciting ways. Shiny bait, but barbed still.

    It is an age of addiction. The goal of manufacturers is to get us addicted to their product and become a lifetime consumer. Nothing is made to last a lifetime anymore, except your need for that convenience. They continually reinforce that need. The proof is in the plastique.

    And yes, Pfesser. All these plastic products emit carcinogens. All these produce toxins that alter our nature. Pornography and virtual games of dominance attract the overly aggressive tendencies of young males. No longer do we have to translate that drive and aggression to fit society or the workplace where it most often displays itself in healthy competitions and strives for excellence.

    There’s a war for our minds. The onslaught is unrelenting.

  45. But 1 way or another…we’re going to take his medicine. Because Daddy knows what’s best…. – Huck

    And so does Uncle Mittens, at least he did until he “evolved” (flip-flopped) once again.

    “Similar to the Obama regulation, the law exempted “an employer that is a church or qualified church-controlled organization” from the requirement and the legislature soundly defeated an amendment that “would have allowed affiliated institutions such as hospitals, universities, and nursing homes to deny their employees coverage.” The defeated amendment closely mirrors the expanded conscience protections religious groups are now clamoring for.
    Romney remained mum on the requirement — which passed unanimously in the Senate and in a 140 to 16 vote in the House — and pledged to maintain the status quo on family-planning related policy throughout his gubernatorial campaign. He even promised to expand access to emergency contraception and restore state funding for family-planning and teen pregnancy prevention programs.
    After all, before deciding to run for President, Romney had been a strong supporter of expanding public access to birth control. In 2007, the Boston Globe reported that “Romney’s wife, Ann, made a $150 contribution to Planned Parenthood in 1994, the year Romney ran for Senate as a candidate supporting abortion rights” from “the Romneys’ joint checking account.” And in 2005, he “signed a bill that could expand the number of people who get family-planning services, including the morning-after pill.” Romney even pressured the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue regulations that required Catholic hospitals to issue the morning after pill to rape victims, despite initially vetoing the bill and claiming that the pill constituted an “abortifacient.””

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/02/07/420237/hypocrisy-romney-maintained-massachusetts-contraception-requirement-that-mirrors-obamas-rule/?mobile=nc

  46. “Is he as looney in person as he is when he is resisting we much on TV?”

    Frankly, no. I found him to be very pleasant and attentive. If I knew less about him, I would have held him in high regard as a result of my discussions.

    I think that MSNBC has him on as a commentator to lend his thoughts on anything dealing with race, religion and politics speaks volumes about its target audience. And not in a good way.

  47. Notwithstanding wild-eyed cries to the contrary, THE HEALTH CARE LAW DOES NOT FORCE EMPLOYERS TO ACT CONTRARY TO THEIR BELIEFS–unless one supposes the employers’ religion forbids even the payment of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion).

    I’ve refrained from comment on the topic directly because I don’t know enough about how the hospitals operate, and I’m not sure that it isn’t a separate question than making the Church pay for birth control in the insurance coverage it provides.

    That said, if I take the quoted paragraph above at face value, the difference between paying for insurance coverage and paying your taxes is that the latter is a benefit voluntarily conferred onto an employee, and the other is compelled from you as a condition of not being tossed in jail. When government starts regulating a voluntary activity in this fashion, then it makes the Church an unwilling participant in the use of a device that it does not sanction, as a condition of voluntarily providing a benefit to a third party.

    You wouldn’t be ok with the government telling you that if you have a dinner party, you can only serve your guests vegetables, would you? (Ok, Rutherford might, but only if Obama promised to stop by and help to eat the arugula roll-ups)

  48. Dickens’ 200th today according to Google.

    I subscribe to A-Word-A-Day by Anu Garg and last week’s words were all Dickensian in origin. It’s amazing how he has influenced the language.

  49. Speaking of influential writers, a really fun film (with some deeper meaning if you care to go there) is Oscar contender “Midnight in Paris” directed by Woody Allen. The protagonist, an aspiring writer, is transported back in time to the 1920’s where he hangs out with the likes of Hemingway, Picasso and Gertrude Stein.

  50. Frankly, no. I found him to be very pleasant and attentive. If I knew less about him, I would have held him in high regard as a result of my discussions.

    Mmmmm so let me see. You’d rather ignore what your eyes, ears, and gut told you about the man and depend on what you “know” about him. In your one-on-one did you discuss any of the things you “know” about him?

    And you call me a tool. LOL

  51. Mmmmm so let me see. You’d rather ignore what your eyes, ears, and gut told you about the man and depend on what you “know” about him. In your one-on-one did you discuss any of the things you “know” about him?

    Charisma and character are two different things.

    As are “being a character” and “having character”.

  52. You wouldn’t be ok with the government telling you that if you have a dinner party, you can only serve your guests vegetables, would you?

    Well since we’re talking diet here: my daughter’s school prohibits kids from bringing in snacks that might contain peanut oil due to allergies of other students. GODAMMIT I consider that a violation of my rights. My kid is not allergic. Why should she have to do without her Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies????

    I’m being facetious of course. It’s part of being in a cooperative society.

  53. BiW: I would have held him in high regard as a result of my discussions. Are you suggesting El Tigre is an easy mark?

    Not at all.

    When I did my internship in the Canadian House of Commons many moons ago, our group met with members of the various parties, as well as working at the PC Leadership convention held that summer.

    Some people come across as exactly the same people they are on TV, and some do not.

    As a case in point, I found Gilles Duceppe to be very warm, engaging, and at times funny. But he was also batshit insane, which was usually easier to see on television, but it started to shine through about halfway through the conversation.

  54. I’m being facetious of course. It’s part of being in a cooperative society.

    No, you’re being obtuse.

    It isn’t a matter of making them provide something so someone else doesn’t have a life threatening alergic reaction (The flying harpie brigades of Klanned Parenthood don’t count, so don’t go there.)

    Your analogy breaks down because they are being required to provide something, not hold something back to prevent an inadvertant harm to an unrelated party.

    If you want to use the school lunch analogy, then what the ruling does is that it says that the Jewish parents must pack a ham sandwich with a side of bacon in their kids’ lunch, because the other kids have all agreed that it tastes yummy.

  55. “You’d rather ignore what your eyes, ears, and gut told you about the man and depend on what you “know” about him. In your one-on-one did you discuss any of the things you “know” about him?

    And you call me a tool. LOL”

    Huh?

    No, we talked about the reason we were together. It had nothing to do with Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights, his race bating and agitation, his anti-semitism etc. etc.

    As BiW put it, charisma and character two different things.

    What the fuck are you talking about Tool?

  56. If you want to use the school lunch analogy, then what the ruling does is that it says that the Jewish parents must pack a ham sandwich with a side of bacon in their kids’ lunch, because the other kids have all agreed that it tastes yummy.

    This example would actually work without the triviality of the “yummy taste”. On the contrary, if medical science deemed a ham sandwich with a side of bacon the best (and least costly) source of nutrition for the kids, then Jews would have to give up their fairy tale nonsense and lick their chops for the ham sandwich.

    Your example is interesting because Jews’ aversion to pork is far more preposterous than Catholic’s aversion to contraception. At least in the latter case, it is an attempt to control behavior to fit some moral model. The fact that it doesn’t work is irrelevant to this short exchange.

  57. BiW, your defense of El Tigre is weak. The man used the phrase “in high regard”. He did not say “I could see underneath his veneer to the sensationalistic man I “knew” from media accounts.”

    Now of course, like any good GOP politician, El Tigre will walk the statement back. It’s just a matter of time. ;-)

  58. So clearly Tigre, your judgment is so poor that you could hold the hustler in “high regard” absent other data. Al’s brand of sleaze if one is to agree on that assessment transcends any conversation (except maybe the weather and sports.) Yet he sure had you fooled. As I asked BiW, is he that good or are you that easy a mark?

  59. On the contrary, if medical science deemed a ham sandwich with a side of bacon the best (and least costly) source of nutrition for the kids, then Jews would have to give up their fairy tale nonsense and lick their chops for the ham sandwich.

    No. No. No. No.

    The government (outside of Illinoisistan) doesn’t get to dictate what I put in my children’s lunch, be it cut veggies or a marshmellow and Doritos sandwich on Wonder Bread. Regardless of whatever dietary laws my faith might require.

    Your example is interesting because Jews’ aversion to pork is far more preposterous than Catholic’s aversion to contraception. At least in the latter case, it is an attempt to control behavior to fit some moral model.

    Seriously?

    Is this another chapter in The World According to Rutherford?
    Screw your deeply held believes because I know better?

    I know, I know.

    It is ok for you do say “More pork chops, Rabbi?”, but for God’s sake, the meals in GITMO had better be Halal, or there will be hell to pay.

  60. # 52 “I’ve tried several approaches, but it boils down to this: “ass-kickin’” sounds good, but you are not going to let your kids starve or put them out on the street and they know that.”-PF

    #53 “I’m not throwing barbs here PF, but according to your theory, why haven’t you kicked their asses”-R

    Once a child is in their twenties, yes, you do some ass-kickin. Set the rules and don’t back down. We told each child they had a one time “come home” for six months. Each one used it “one” time. Yes, you are going to have to let the kid starve and they may be on the street for awhile.

    It’s called tough “LOVE” and it will be the hardest thing you will ever do as a parent. Be glad if it’s boys because it’s really hard on the parent when it’s girls.

  61. “The protagonist, an aspiring writer, is transported back in time to the 1920′s where he hangs out with the likes of Hemingway, Picasso and Gertrude Stein.” – R

    Papa is my favorite writer. If I see this movie, it’s not going to piss me off is it?

  62. American Express declined me for a card.

    Going on stats, I would decline me, too. The weird thing, is they are wrong. I’d be a great customer.

    I bitch about the banks quite a bit. But, I also cringe when I look back to my other financial life, the pre-melt down one. What a fucking idiot I was!

    I had no respect for money. Which is weird, because I never had any for most of my life. I left home at 17. I worked so hard it literally almost killed me. I worked like a Mexican. It’s why to this day I root for their fighters.

    Yet, I was financially feminized. My wife ran up 40 grand in credit card debt and I had no clue. Didn’t give a fuck about money matters.

    I would piss money away. And I had no real interest in investing or economics.

    I paid those bitch credit cards off, despite everyone telling me to file.

    I told Fannie Mae to suck my dick. Gave them back their collateral and put a bullet in the head of my credit score. The smartest thing I ever did was walk.

    The melt down changed me. Empowered me, to use a catch phrase from Oprah’s show.

    The world is much more fun when a you lay a claim on the motherfucker!

    A warning to you Keynesian fascists and liberty killing liberals: I have a dog in this fight now. I’m no longer passive. I think a lot of other people are waking up too. And I can bench 225 15 times, bitches!!!!!!

  63. If I see this movie, it’s not going to piss me off is it?

    I seriously doubt it. Hemingway is portrayed as super confident matter of fact kinda dude. One sample of dialog (paraphrased from my memory):

    Gil (the aspiring writer): Would you read my manuscript and give me your opinion?
    Hemingway: No. I will hate it.
    Gil: How do you know you will hate it if you haven’t read it?
    Hemingway: Either it will be garbage and I will hate it or it will be brilliant and I will be jealous and I will hate it.

    He ends up having the book critiqued by Gertrude Stein.

    There’s another brief exchange between Gil and Buñuel that is priceless. You won’t get it unless you know some of Buñuel’s work.

    It’s a very light-hearted film. I can’t imagine it pissing anyone off. And Owen Wilson truly is this century’s Woody Allen .. neurotic for the 21st century in the way that Allen was neurotic for the 1960’s and 70’s. Allen wrote and directed the film and you can see him coming through Wilson’s character big time.

    Every once in a while my wife and I rent a film that we end up wanting to own. We’ll be purchasing this one for our collection.

  64. Rabbit I’m guessing you think Bill Moyers is a liberal shill like some others on this board but you seriously need to watch this episode of his latest series.

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/crony-capitalism/

    Then when you finish that, watch this one:

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-how-big-banks-are-rewriting-the-rules-of-our-economy/

    This stuff may not be the revelation to you that it was to me cos you seem to have a better handle on it. But damn, this economic clusterf*ck we are in was decades in the making going all the way back to bailing out Mexico to protect Wall Street’s ass.

    I understood, for example at a basic level why doing away with Glass-Steagel was a bad thing … letting banks gamble with folks savings. But what I didn’t understand was that the banks were more devious about this than I thought. They were deliberately gambling with FDIC insured funds. So they had a built in government bailout for any losses.

    In the first video, Moyers makes clear just how dirty Obama’s hands are in this based on his choice of economic advisers. So please don’t assume this is a GOP bashing set of vids. It ain’t. And it explains it terms that economic neophytes like me can understand. I highly recommend it (also to anyone else on the board!!)

    One thing you will come away from after watching this is that Alan Greenspan is an assh*le.

  65. OK Tigre, here is the thing and then I’m going to bed … can’t seem to shake this damn cold.

    From my perspective, you had the privilege of up close and personal interaction with Al Sharpton, something no one else on this board had (or hasn’t owned up to yet).

    You had no problem with the man you interacted with. In fact, you said afterwards, you held him in “high regard”. Yet you come away from the experience with no more nuanced view of the man than any of us who have never met him or said a word to him. So what good did the interaction do you? You prefer to toss your REAL feel for the man in favor of stories you heard in the media that might not give a fair rendition of what went down,

    I’d have no quarrel with you whatsoever if you said “You know for all his charm, I could see he was the same hustler that fooled us about Brawley.” But you didn’t say that. Did you not know about his past when you spoke with him?

    Personally, I think he BELIEVED Tawana Brawley or at least desperately wanted to believe her. He was wrong. I think he was duped. I don’t think he’s ever admitted to being duped (though I can’t be sure). He also looked like a joke back in those days. That was decades ago. He has obviously worked toward gaining some legitimacy. He’s not my style. If MSNBC really wanted to put a black man in the 6pm slot, I wish they had chosen Michael Steele who has really found his calling as a political pundit.

    But I digress. I guess I’m just annoyed that actually meeting this guy, an opportunity none of us other blowhards ever had, had zero impact on you because you prefer to throw your honest impression of him out the window for a media packaged image that fits your politics.

    G’night. Talk to y’all tomorrow.

  66. “Yeah Gorilla, I can’t wait to see how “betcha 10 thousand bucks” Romney convinces America that Obama is out of touch with the struggling.”

    It shouldn’t be too difficult.

    How many rounds of golf does someone struggling get to play?

    How many Hawaiian vacations do they get?

    How many days do they spend at Martha’s Vinyard?

    How many celebrity parties do they host at their home?

    How many pairs of special-made Nike Air Jordans do they have?

    Trust me, Rutherford. Unless Romney’s an idiot, these ads write themselves.

  67. Rutherford,

    I watched the first Bill Moyers clip. It was good. Yeah. Some of you guys are coming around. We have been/are being played.

    Get your game on. :cool:

  68. R, your comments regarding Sharpton are downright the dumbest shit you’ve said to date. You may speculate all you’d like about who the man is, and what the nature of my interaction with him entailed. In fact you appear to have anyway.

    I have met and read about him. What we discussed and why isn’t sufficient to overcome what I know of him, religiously, politically or socially — 30 years ago or today. He is a media figure. He exploits race for personal notoriety — he’s been wrong so many times (in one instance, inciting an anti-Semitic mob to kill), he’s been held liable for slander. He is a public figure dumb ass. His beliefs and his actions are known because he displays them. I don’t need to repeat them. He’s on t.v. every day. If it weren’t for stoking racial conflict he would be at home.

    And what makes you think I claimed to peer into his soul and once having done so returned the same impression you have (or I guess insist that I have)?

    So, spare me your sanctimonious and pitiful bullshit. I was asked about my impressions, and I gave them. I know more of how the media gets it wrong then you do because I have experienced it first hand. I don’t need you to lecture me about it to validate your beliefs of me or Sharpton — both of which here are born of complete and total ignorance. There is nothing to “walk back.”

    In any event, I noticed you didn’t answer my question.

    You may get back to assessing Palin and her family now Tool.

  69. Trust me, Rutherford. Unless Romney’s an idiot, these ads write themselves.

    Huck, Obama’s Romney ads are already in the hopper ready to go. Whether taken in context or out of context, Romney has dropped some doozies. Forgive my 50 year old memory if I paraphrase some of these:

    “Betcha 10 thousand bucks.”
    “Corporations are people my friend.”
    “My income is mostly from investment. I have some speaking fees which don’t amount to much.” (Not much was $375,000.00)
    “I like to fire people who provide services for me..”
    “I can remember times when I was worried about getting a pink slip.” (Yeah right)
    “I’m currently unemployed. HA HA HA. ”
    “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”

    And that’s just the list as of today. I assure you by November he will have added at least another dozen great one-liners. He’s a regular Henny Youngman.

    So I will give you this Huck. The November standoff will be between two people, neither of whom have demonstrated convincingly that they “feel your pain.”

    Then again, the opponent in November could be Newt … in which case we can all look for hope and change …

    on the Moon colony :lol:

  70. Actually Ron Paul is second according to Reuters after Minnesota. His popularity is rising while Romney’s is slowly falling. Newt may have new financial backing, but that isn’t enough to overcome his record.

  71. Poolman, I find Stockman a very compelling critic. He served under Reagan and no doubt believes in trickle-down economics, So no one can look at his comments and scream “liberal commie pinko”.

    We don’t have a problem with Keynes vs Hayek. We have a problem with an out of control locomotive. I submit we would have been screwed regardless of which economic theory we followed.

    I think in the second video it was a former head of Citibank who said that he used to ask his kids “why do we have a brakes on a car?” When they answered “to stop it” he said “no, so we can go fast.”

    I never thought about it that way … but some regulations actually allow you to GO FAST because they provide the brakes to slow the locomotive down when it goes out of control. We threw the brakes off the car when we killed Glass Steagel, among other things.

  72. In any event, I noticed you didn’t answer my question.

    You may get back to assessing Palin and her family now Tool.

    What question was that? As for Palin, I’m pretty sure if I spent an hour talking with her on any topic, I wouldn’t come away saying “I hold her in high regard.”

    Clearly I touched a nerve which is always a good sign for my side of the argument. I’m probably just nitpicking you. What you should have said was “Sharpton is capable of controlling his scumbaggery in a brief conversation.” No inconsistency for me to pick at there.

  73. Well Rutherford, a lot can change in 9 months. From RP’s perspective, his message is getting more widely accepted and folks are joining the movement. He brings important issues to the forefront and has thousands of enthusiastic supporters. Whether he is nominated or not doesn’t seem to phase him, only that the message of liberty advances in the conversation.

    I don’t have a lot of confidence in our electorate. I certainly have watched the ideologies of the right and left disintegrate in recent years. This two party system is killing us.

    But I have great hope for our youth. They are figuring out what is going on and are getting involved in trying to right it. Time will tell, as always, though the record will likely be obscured depending on who or what survives.

  74. “Huck, Obama’s Romney ads are already in the hopper ready to go. Whether taken in context or out of context, Romney has dropped some doozies.”

    That’s really great, and all, but doesn’t have a single thing to do with the comment to which I was responding.

    “Yeah Gorilla, I can’t wait to see how “betcha 10 thousand bucks” Romney convinces America that Obama is out of touch with the struggling.”

    I find it hilarious that you are unable or unwilling to address even a single point I made, being forced, instead, to attack instead of defend.

    Because these years under Obama are indefensible…and you know it.

  75. I also find it funny that you are only left with out-of-context gaffs with which to attack Romney. You’ll notice I didn’t need to resort to the usual “57 states” stupidity that we have pointed and laughed at for the last 4 years.

    I pointed out shit Obama has actually done….on multiple occasions!

    At least when Romney acts rich he does it with his own money. King Obama lives high on the hog on The People’s dime.

  76. Sarah Palin might surprise you Rutherford. Don’t believe the character assasins. Daily Kos and others circulated a bogus series of tests showing Palin had an IQ of 83.

    Kids IQ Test Center estimates her IQ to be of at least 125 based in part on her education and the jobs she has held. According to the site McCain’s IQ is 133 and Giulani’s IQ is an estimated 123.

    I believe her teleprompter misfired near the middle part of her Vice Presidential nomination speech and she carried on. Obama’s failed, and he thanked himself for visiting the White House.

    The lowest score for admittance to Mensa is 132 on many tests.

    She talked informally on air to an Omaha talk show host who disagreed with her. He said that during the conversation his only thought was “SHE IS HOT!” He liked her in spite of himself, and not just because she was sexually attractive. The Saturday Night Live staff also liked her, though they didn’t like her politics, and they thought she could carry her own show.

    Moreover, you CAN see Russia from Alaska.

    Ron Paul has a cult following. Kelly Clarkson said she liked Ron Paul, and sales of her new cd quadrupled in a week. Republicans ignore him at their peril. Paul won’t win, but Republicans need to accommodate him and his followers so they don’t stay home on election day.

  77. Are we are looking for someone incorruptible or just one that sticks to an agenda?

    I think the latter is more likely. I thought Obama was incorruptible, or had hope he was, going into the last election. Obviously there were plenty of favors to go around to those who paid/are paying his way.

    But isn’t that the norm for party loyalty? Who supports the party and the candidate? The same banksters support both left and right politicians in a given election year. Often it swings from one side to the other, never an “all eggs in one basket” tactic. They really don’t care who is elected as long as they still get to run things and write the rules.

    Until we see justice in the halls of our government, we will never get back to being a great nation. We can only expect to be further exploited and any lingering freedoms undermined.

  78. “What question was that? As for Palin, I’m pretty sure if I spent an hour talking with her on any topic, I wouldn’t come away saying “I hold her in high regard.”” – R

    You’d probably come away with bleeding ears and powder burns. ;)

    Talk about 5 degrees. I’m related to Palin! My in-laws were at a wedding where she showed up. Her cousin married my wife’s mom’s second cousin. I have no idea what that translates to, but every time I see her on the tube I shout, out “Hi Cous!” Inevitably, from somewhere in the house, I’ll hear my Sicilian wife yell, “Shut the f*ck up!” Those night’s I sleep with one eye open. Blood libel has got nothing on vendetta’s. ;)

  79. R, the question was posed twice at 92 and 96:

    “How was I fooled?”

    The answer is:__________________________.

    So, if you claim to be nitpicking rather than just being douchebag, you won’t mind if I refer you to what I actually said:

    “Frankly, no. I found him to be very pleasant and attentive. If I knew less about him, I would have held him in high regard as a result of my discussions.”

    Without knowing one word of what was discussed, the purpose or even the topic of conversation, you get:

    “You’d rather ignore what your eyes, ears, and gut told you about the man and depend on what you “know” about him.”

    “And you call me a tool. LOL”

    “your judgment is so poor that you could hold the hustler in “high regard” absent other data.”

    “Yet he sure had you fooled”.

    “is he that good or are you that easy a mark?”

    This isn’t about a loosely worded comment. This because I toughed a nerve by slighting one of your television “friends” on MSNBC.

    ___________

    Now Jackboot, back to you.

    “How was I fooled?”

    The answer is:__________________________.

  80. I find it hilarious that you are unable or unwilling to address even a single point I made.

    I think I did address it. I told you neither candidate can claim to be a true populist without a serious challenge.

    BTW lets stop with the Hawaiian vacation stuff. The dude is from Hawaii. Next time we can limit our votes to candidates from Oshkosh or Schenectady. :-)

  81. “I think the more interesting question would be what impression Rev Sharpton walked away with of our beloved ET. Do you two still converse”

    No we don’t. It was a one-time meeting in a professional setting. Our interests were aligned.

    I think though anyone might like to know how another sizes them up. I would hope he found me professional and diplomatic.

    I think if he met Rutherford he’d say, “Thanks, I speak my own mind. I don’t want your brand of “help.” :lol: :lol:

  82. Obama knows his record is indefensible, so he is running against himself. – J

    Indefensible? Oh, I forgot, losing 780,000 jobs a month is somehow better than gaining … what were the Jan. numbers? 250,000 gained? Unemployment going up is better than it going down? Seen any Ghaddafi videos lately? When was the last threatening message delivered by Bin Laden? GM’s recovery. Manufacturing jobs increasing. US a net exporter of fuel. Dow nearly doubled. Stop Barry, stop. All this success is making me envious. ;)

    No, no ,no Thor. He couldn’t have anything to do with that stuff.

  83. James more power to you my man but please don’t defend Sarah Palin as a great intellect. She has what I think they call social IQ. She was the mean girl in high school who got everything she wanted. She knows how to play the game and is a master at it.

    Book smarts …. ZERO. And she’s got transcripts from what, five different colleges, to prove it.

    Over the course of the campaign the one candidate who I loved to mock but sorta won me over was Michele Bachmann. Even though I think she is also dumb as a post, she has real heart. I think she cares. I was actually a bit sorry to see her drop out. Particularly after her bulls eye attack against “Newt Romney”.

  84. Thor, what Santorum’s shut out last night means is that the GOPhers still don’t like Romney.

    The convention in Tampa will be an exercise in rank hypocrisy as the crowd goes wild for Romney when truly they aren’t the least bit impressed by him.

  85. Regarding the Amish/Muslim story, Tigre your point is?

    There is a difference between refusing health insurance in total based on religious belief vs picking and choosing what you will offer to people of different belief systems.

    I don’t think we’d be talking about this if it were Catholics employing other Catholics, for example within a church (which IS exempt from the contraception requirement).

  86. “How was I fooled?”

    The answer is:__________________________.

    You were fooled because a man of such reprobate status could not possibly have impressed you in a conversation, regardless of topic. Either Al is a smooth operator or you’re easily impressed (or both).

    For the record, I’ve already stated I have no stock in Al Sharpton. I don’t watch his show. I consider him one of the least talented of the gang at MSNBC. I do give him credit for cleaning up his image from 30 years ago. I guess Newt Gingrich agrees with me. They went on a tour together.

  87. “There is a difference between refusing health insurance in total based on religious belief vs picking and choosing what you will offer to people of different belief systems.”

    There may be a difference, but how does it square with the analysis? Specifically, bona fide conscientious objection based on religious grounds.

    An exemption is an exemption. If a Muslim is an employer but forbidden by faith to purchase insurance, the article suggests that an exemption could be granted in that the “purchase” is forbidden.

    It’s merely a question.

  88. “You were fooled because a man of such reprobate status could not possibly have impressed you in a conversation, regardless of topic.”

    How do you know?

  89. So I was fooled, “because a man of such reprobate status could not possibly have impressed you in a conversation, regardless of topic.”
    -R at 135

    “I guess I’m just annoyed that actually meeting this guy, an opportunity none of us other blowhards ever had, had zero impact on you because you prefer to throw your honest impression of him out the window for a media packaged image that fits your politics.”
    -R at 105

    Jealous or starstruck? Obviously, intellectual honesty ain’t your bag.

  90. Rutherford, some of my defense of Sarah Palin’s mind is an after shock of the H&M blog. Some Palin haters were so demented at least one believed Sarah was trailer trash and stupid.They could accept nothing good about her. I thought she was an intelligent redneck, and that was enough for some to call me a Palin lover or troll. I dislike most personal attacks, but I love policy attacks.

    Intelligence comes in many packages, and it has several categories. One can be intellectually gifted and not very creative or creative and not especially book smart or both.

    Yes, ‘Cuda was focused and determined from childhood on. Your praising her knowing how to play the game, etc is a sign of her and your intelligence for noticing. It shows Sarah IS bright, just not in an accademic way. I don’t think she is any mental giant, but I believe her abilities are at least average of most successful politicians which are probably mostly in the 120’s.

    Nixon, and Clinton, considered to be comparative mental giants, had character flaws which made them less successful than less gifted politicians. George Washington, while bright was not as sharp as some of his competitors, but his character fit the office better than theirs did.

    I agree about Michele Bachman. I met her at a restaurant near our home a few days before the caucus. I liked her, and I felt sorry for her, because she did seem to believe. She really thought she was trying to save the United States. She was as upbeat as if she was leading in the polls. Michele surely knew the end was near. I did feel sorry for her.

    As I wrote before, she asked if I was going to vote for her on caucus night, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell her “no.” Instead I said “You don’t look 55. You look a lot younger.” She beamed and seemed embarrassed in a good way.

  91. Jealous or starstruck?

    Good question. I think impressed is more fitting. I was impressed that you got to talk with the guy. I wish more of us (myself included) had more experience with the folks we critique here.

    In a sense we’re all just engaging in mental masturbation since we only know what the media tells us about the folks we discuss around here. Your actual engagement with Sharpton was a nice and surprising change of pace. Maybe that’s where I felt a let-down. I would have wanted more than “Guy was interesting but I still side with media coverage of him.”

    Let me ask you … since you had by your own admission a positive experience with Sharpton, you didn’t give any thought thereafter to how that squared with the 180 degree image of him you’d come to expect?

  92. James, at least two incidents changed my mind a bit about Bachmann. I’m no fan but she got my sympathy twice near the end of her campaign. The first time was when she was on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show and the band leader played “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as she came out on stage. Neither she nor I ever heard of the song. So I didn’t find out what happened until the following day. I think Fallon issued an apology. It was inexcusable.

    The second incident involved a lesbian forcing her child to ask Bachmann a gay marriage question at a book signing. I was pissed that the kid was being used as a pawn but I was also struck by how gentle and kind Bachmann was with the kid.

    Oh well, now we’re left with Riche Rich, Commander of the Moon Colony, Senator Frothy, and “Forget about my racist past and vote for me anyway”. I don’t envy Republican voters one bit this year.

  93. In fact, I’ll go out on a huge limb and say that if Sarah had appeared on Fallon and the band leader played “Lyin’ Ass Bitch”, I actually would have opened up a place in my concrete cold heart for the woman.

  94. Agreed, Rutherford.

    Another sore point with Palin is culture. She comes from a rural background where hunting and fishing are the norm. So is community college, not because of a deficiency of brain power, but because it is a smart way to save money. Unlike Nancy Pelosi, or Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin didn’t have a man’s coat tails to ride, and she didn’t attend fancy schools like most elites of both parties.

    She has rough edges in a small insular community. However as Gary Sinese’s character said in Stephen Kings television movie, “The Stand”, “Country don’t mean stupid.”

    Many urban bi-coastal people don’t know or understand rural people. When we lived in England, my wife and I learned we had more in common with our farmer neighbors than we did with people in a big American city.

    If you want a laugh, google Iowa Nice on You Tube. The video is a response to the criticism Iowa got during caucus season.

  95. Going all the way back to comments 21 and 22, why is it that whenever I see Bill Whittle I just wanna punch him smack in the nose?

    I’d really love to hear Bill expound on how the late 60’s Southern strategy had nothing to do with racism. I’d also like to hear him comment on LBJ’s assessment after the civil rights act, “we just lost the south for a generation” (or something like that).

  96. Rutherford,

    I’m kind of confused why you offered those links to the Rabbit?

    There is nothing in the first video i haven’t ranted about to the point of boring everyone.

    It’s almost as if you think there is a home for the Rabbit on the left because of the Rabbit’s take on the current sickening state of capitalism.

    Fuck no!

    The left IS the problem. The only element of the Democratic Party that truly speaks out about crony capitalism uses it as an excuse to bust out their Communist Manifesto. Fuck that!

    I also think you enjoy seeing me call out the mainstream Republicans on this issue. That’s fine with me. I don’t care.

    It’s very, very difficult for them to admit to themselves how grave the situation is.

    Thus, even some of my favorite commentators like BiC show up here waxing on about the “come back” of the big banks.

    Bonuses! Contracts! Rule of Law screams BiC. The talent will leave, he says!

    The talent? Rule of Law?

    Why would it be important to keep all of this “talent” when its the same people who were at the helm in 2008? The Jon Corizine types ARE NOT SMART!!!!!!!

    TARP was implemented in a total unlawful fashion. The government was supposed to buy toxic debt and attempt to restructure it. That is what Congress voted to do. Instead, they went rogue, and just gave money away. No strings attached. This was outside the rule of law. CONGRESS DID NOT VOTE TO DO THIS.

    But all of sudden, we’re supposed to treat AIG like a private entity?

    The banks used that money to make more bets and to lobby. The Treasury paid lawyers millions and millions for ….well…we were never really told what they did.

    PNC gobbled up National City.

    AIG had an orgy with my son’s money.

    BiC claimed the money was paid back. Total bull shit.

    http://conservativedailynews.com/2012/01/media-ignores-massive-tarp-fraud-and-theft/

    Even if true. Who cares? The Rubicon was crossed. The bubble bigger! Moral hazard on steroids.

    The hypocrisy right now from many Republicans over the Clint Eastwood add cracks me up. Bush was the first to bail out GM!

    Where were all the conservatives during TARP? How come guys like Paul Ryan voted for it?

    Rutherford, want a fun pass time? Peruse a staunch Republican’s blog during the financial melt down and catch the crickets chirping.

    That’s why the Tea Party that you so unfairly slandered was so vital.

    It’s sad that it was hijacked by the Newt Gingrich’s and Willard Romney’s of America.

  97. I’d really love to hear Bill expound on how the late 60′s Southern strategy had nothing to do with racism. I’d also like to hear him comment on LBJ’s assessment after the civil rights act, “we just lost the south for a generation” (or something like that).” – R

    I’d really love to hear you defend the decades of racial positions the Dems have- and continue- to hold. When Debbie Downer talks about returning to Jim Crow, she’s talking about going back to a DEMOCRAT PLATFORM.

    I’ve posted, several times, different links showing that the Southern Strategy was not a racist strategy. So, here we go again…

    The mythmakers typically draw on two types of evidence. First, they argue that the GOP deliberately crafted its core messages to accommodate Southern racists. Second, they find proof in the electoral pudding: the GOP captured the core of the Southern white backlash vote. But neither type of evidence is very persuasive. It is not at all clear that the GOP’s policy positions are sugar-coated racist appeals. And election results show that the GOP became the South’s dominant party in the least racist phase of the region’s history, and got—and stays—that way as the party of the upwardly mobile, more socially conservative, openly patriotic middle-class, not of white solidarity.

    http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.928/article_detail.asp

    In 1960 the Republican Party platform included a plank on civil rights with six items clearly demarcated: voting; public schools; employment; housing; public facilities and services; and legislative procedure.[1] The Republican Party as well as Presidential candidate Richard Nixon ran on a pro-civil rights agenda. There is no indication of the GOP deviating from its pro-civil rights agenda since the party’s conception. Some may argue that in 1968 civil rights is no longer demarcated in the GOP platform,[2] which would prove a turn away from Civil rights. Unfortunately, for those who hold this view the evidence is not there. The Civil rights Act is now law and so is the voting rights act. There is no need to detail what these laws now address. Republicans would focus on other issues as demarcated in their 1968 platform: crises of the cities; crime; youth; education; human development; Jobs; the poor; health etc. Within these categories they’d address discrimination, but there was no longer a need to have a category specifically for civil rights.

    http://www.freedomsjournal.net/2011/11/27/urban-legends-the-southern-strategy/

  98. Peruse a staunch Republican’s blog during the financial melt down and catch the crickets chirping.

    In the second video I linked to, I think a Republican congressman named Dorgan is featured. It is painful to watch the guy protest on the floor of the House (or maybe it was the Senate, I’m not sure) about where things were headed. He predicted the meltdown but was ignored.

    In fairness, Rabbit, I warned you that I thought you would learn nothing new from the links as you are better versed on this stuff than am I. I had no ulterior motive of luring you to the left. As I said earlier, Moyers was quite even handed in his presentation with a pox on everyone’s house.

  99. Poolman, love him or hate him, you have to give it to Bill. He knew how to emit empathy. When he said he understood you, you believed he understood you. A master politician. I think he also genuinely enjoyed politics. Obama doesn’t.

  100. R, I sincerely hope that you take the time to read the links I have posted, especially the Claremont Institutes analysis- and effective- rebuttal to the libel of the left that the GOP is racist. It is absurd on its face and in historical record.

    I would truly and honestly be interested in you response to it as well.

  101. “Let me ask you … since you had by your own admission a positive experience with Sharpton, you didn’t give any thought thereafter to how that squared with the 180 degree image of him you’d come to expect?”

    First, I don’t need to rely on media spin about Sharpton’s platform, views or actions. As I said, they come directly from him. He broadcasts his messages and now on you very own beloved network.

    Second, I understand your belief that people don’t have more than one dimension. I don’t believe there’s anything to reconcile. In my experience, and is painfully obvious in my profession, everyone is self-interested and most people are dishonest with themselves and others (in varying degrees), particularly about their self-interest. For example, you clearly like to consider yourself a champion of blacks in a racial struggle, acknowledge the fact that many of the policies you promote are detrimental, yet you advocate for them anyway by demonizing the right for opposing them. I believe you real motives are not altruistic at all. I think, like Sharpton, your desire to exploit racial differences and affirm your belief in your own compassion overwhelms common sense. So you accuse others of racism with little regard for the truth of the accusation — no better than reinvented McCarthys.

    Now, with that said, in my opinion very few people are “truly” malevolent. While there’s plenty that are, they tend to act out in such conspicuous ways they’re easy to spot. Sharpton is no different, and I never viewed him that way. He may very well believe what he says as you said. But he’s done so with willful blindness. And that is a character flaw not worthy of the excuses you’d extend because you think they’re owed.

    So in answer to your question, I would refer you back to your observations of Bachman. Who knew she was a real person, and even a most compassionate one, that has been subjected to and handled untoward attacks with more dignity than you’d like to ascribe to her? However, your hang up with Palin is something that says more about you than her.

  102. To complete the thought (had to run from my computer):

    My opinions of Sharpton before meeting him were nothing like your profound and inescapable “hatred” of Palin. The difference is that I did not expect too much different from Sharpton because one would never attain his position of leadership without charisma and an innate ability to connection a personal level. I am fascinated that you projected so much onto Bachman that you were actually surprised by a display of basic maternal instinct and decency.

  103. ET –
    ” I think, like Sharpton, your desire to exploit racial differences and affirm your belief in your own compassion overwhelms common sense. So you accuse others of racism with little regard for the truth of the accusation — no better than reinvented McCarthys.”

    I don’t think that is unique to R or that he even has a case of it in the upper half of the spectrum, but I have to agree. Everybody wants to be one of the GOOD guys, and that makes them blind to any criticism of their positions.

    “Now, with that said, in my opinion very few people are “truly” malevolent. While there’s plenty that are, they tend to act out in such conspicuous ways they’re easy to spot. Sharpton is no different, and I never viewed him that way. He may very well believe what he says as you said. But he’s done so with willful blindness. And that is a character flaw not worthy of the excuses you’d extend because you think they’re owed.”

    Well said. Also agreed. Nobody thinks *he’s (personally)* an asshole; it’s just that everybody else does. Everyone thinks that he, personally, is reasonable and his positions well thought-out. The one place we are truly blind is our own prejudices.

  104. ET –

    Re: Palin. Don’t you, yourself, get caught up in self-delusion. I would urge you to read Frank Bailey’s book. He was her go-fer and de facto chief of staff for a very long time. He is a decent God-fearing fellow who takes his faith seriously and his responsibilities to his fellow man as well. His chronicling of the slow, inexorable lifting of the curtain from HIS eyes is compelling.

    Palin is exactly what they say: a bimbo and a lying, conniving, scheming – and most important of all, vindictive – sack of shit who doesn’t give a good Goddamn about anything or anybody except herself.

    Do yourself a favor and get Bailey’s book before you say one more word in Sarah Palin’s defense. He was her closest aide for a very long time and he has no axe to grind, except I believe, a hope for some minor absolution of his own sins committed in her behalf. I think it may lift the curtain from *your* eyes.

  105. Thanks Rutherford. I like the song, and It is hard to get that bass line out of your head.

    Here is another You Tube video titled dating viking women . My wife threatened to throw our computer at me if I play it in her presence, but I think its funny.

    In general, I agree with El Tigre, though I’m not criticizing you. We are programed to survive at all costs. Survival depends on successfully gathering resources which were once scarce.

    I believe people like Al Sharpton may believe they are doing God’s work, but they are lying to themselves when they assign pure motives to themselves. His primary motive is money and power, in my opinion.

    The Democratic strategists who said after Sarah Palin’s nomination acceptance speech “we have 72 hours to destroy her,” wasn’t worried about the welfare of the country. He was worried about the election and the resources the party would lose if Republicans won.

    Many liberals and their allies in the press live by a holly trinity, Stupidity, Racism, and Evil. Republicans have proven in this primary they worship the same trinity.

  106. PF, I just don’t care enough about Palin to investigate. I do think she’s a bimbo in many respects (but hardly all) and I do wish she’d go away. At this point she’s a distraction and resigned herself to the role of “agitator.” But I don’t care to know more about her because she’s not threat to me nor is she threatening to anyone other than weak liberals. I marvel at the obsession from the left when the solution is to ignore her. It’s also why I know there’s more to it — like mommy issues or something. :lol:

  107. Sarah Palin was the anti- Obama in the last presidential election. She and Obama were the stars who drew the crowds and attention. Palin took the ticket to a majority in some polls before the crash.

    Sarah may be a jerk, and I wouldn’t have voted for her for president, but she performed a valuable service by giving voice to a demographic which had mostly been ignored. Some of her supporters were xenophibic but a healthy society debates all view points. Democrats attacked her personally because they feared she and people who were culturally alien to her would take their power. They didn’t want the debate. They wanted Sarah gone.

    I take tell all books with a grain of salt. Every word may be true. In this case, Bailey reveals himself to be a weakling who bought the package until it was safe to expunge the guilt he apparently felt.

    From what I’ve read, Obama is a jerk too, and he has some of the same faults Palin has. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that both are mirror images of each other.

    While we are on the subject, how was Palin worse than an accused rapist or a bully who lied us into greater involvement in the Vietnam War? How was Palin worse than another bright politician who was paranoid and talked to White House portraits? How was Palin worse than a president who did a nineteen year old in the White House?

    My point that Palin was attacked by Stupidity, Racism, and Evil still stands.

  108. How was Palin worse than another bright politician who was paranoid and talked to White House portraits?

    If you were faced with the prospect of being the first POTUS in history to have to resign his post, you’d be talking to George and Abe on the wall too. ;-)

  109. ET, 163 is an interesting read. I agree that it was a mistake for the IPCC to line out effects of solar activity in the summary (politically edited) report. But in the end, he hedges on his own provocative, book-selling downplay of CO2 and is forced to admit that he is just guessing and cherry picking like everyone else. To me the most telling exchange was this:

    “SPIEGEL: You make concrete statements on how much human activity contributes to climatic events and how much of a role natural factors play. Why don’t you publish your prognoses in a professional journal?

    Vahrenholt: Because I don’t engage in my own climate research.”

  110. The more I hear about this HHS ruling fiasco the more pissed off I get.

    LOOK!!!! A hospital is a hospital. A church is a church.

    The day Kathleen Sebelius forces priests to hand out condoms at the end of Mass, you can talk to me about restricting religious freedom. Otherwise …. S T F U!!!!!!

    DAMN!!! :evil:

  111. SCREAM LOUDER RUTHERFORD!!!!

    TAKE IT TO THE STREETS!!!!

    THEY’RE ALL STUPID IDIOTS!!!!

    LIFT THEM THE FINGER AND TELL THEM THEIR SENSITVITES ARE COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL!!!!

    SOMEONE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, PREFERRABLY WEARIN A UNIFORM OR AT A PODIUM NEEDS TO TELL THEM THIS DOES NOT INFRINGE ON THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS!!!

    LOUDER!!! LOUDER!!!!!!

  112. Thank you Tigre. You got that mostly right. When I’m in the hospital I don’t want my medical care or my insurance managed by the Pope. It’s just that simple.

  113. And …. anyone who does want their medical care and insurance coverage managed by the Pope is indeed a STUPID IDIOT!

    I have a great solution. Let’s establish Catholic run hospitals who only employ and serve Catholics. That way, just like when you go to church, you know what you’re signing up for. Everyone can sing kumbaya in their shared medical ignorance and the government can leave them the hell alone.

  114. Don’t go to a Catholic hospital.

    People have choices about where they’re treated and where they work you know.

    But keep screaming Obama out of office. This is about a justified of the role of government. You can not win this debate.

  115. I’ve only addressed the “freedom of religion” angle to this. I haven’t even touched the other issue, namely, conservatives who don’t give a rat’s ass about Catholics or religious freedom, seizing upon this as yet another method to control women’s fertility choices.

    I’ll let the pro-choice crowd carry that load. I’ll restrict my outrage to the bogus “attack on religion” meme being ginned up by the right to win elections.

  116. Let’s fx this:

    “And …. anyone who does want their medical care and insurance coverage managed by the The Government is indeed a STUPID IDIOT!

    Ain’t nobody stopping you from giving a jolly good rogering with your jimmy-hat on.

    This is a slow motion train wreck. I’m Lovin’ it.

  117. The Catholics are ginning this one up — republican AND democrat. No pinning it on republicans who never believed in mandated health care to begin with and had objections to the intrusiveness of government.

    But please feel free to force your opinions and sensitivities down the throats of the dumb religious types and blame it on partisanship!

    You really, really don’t get it.

  118. BTW, my wife’s Catholic Church is almost exclusively democrat, black and pissed off at Obama. And you know what? I’ll wager all but the priest use birth control.

  119. Unlike Palin, Nixon thought he might go to jail when he talked to portraits. Watergate caused a lot of damage, including making it next to impossible for the Ford administration to prevent Congress from suddenly cutting off aid to the South Vietnamese who were basically fighting the war on their own with technical support from us.

    I think the same thing about the climate article Thor.. The doubter of warmists does not have a definitive position any more than Al Gore does. He shows that the science is not settled, and that is important. No one knows what is happening or will.

    The science was settled about the Clovis point too, but now, not so much.

    My solution to the freedom of religion dispute is to let Catholic hospitals and facilities supported by any other religion take no government subsidies and operate according to their doctrine. If they have to retrench and do less charitable work, too bad. Our taxes will make up the difference and then we will know how much religious charities save we tax payers.

    I don’t think the government should force members of a religion to spend money on practices against their doctrine. The Supreme Court should decide what I think is a constitutional matter.

  120. “People have choices about where they’re treated and where they work you know.”-T

    Not if Rutherford and his big government has its way.

    Catholic hospitals are famous for cutting the poor and the uninsured a break.

    They hooked me up once when I was not insured.

    That’s the thanks they get from the entitled pussy liberals.

    I can’t believe what Obama is imposing on the church.

    This country is becoming unrecognizable to me.

    Freedom is always the casualty when R’s big government treads on us all.

    This is just the start.

    I can’t wait to see Rutherford’s face when we finally throw the sledge hammer at him..

  121. I can’t believe what Obama is imposing on the church.

    Nothing is being imposed. On the contrary, a government that should be ignoring ignorant religious doctrine in favor of modern science is ACCOMMODATING the Catholic church with a one to two year waiting period to figure out how both desires can be served: the desire to maintain the religious prohibition and the desire to get women the contraceptives they want.

    I can’t believe how ignorant you can be Rabbit.

  122. Rutherford, did the Insurance companies cut you a big check, or what?

    Thank you, benevolent and merciful government. Thank you so much for your “waiting period.”

    Dumb fuck: PEOPLE CHOOSE TO WORK FOR A CATHOLIC HOSPITAL. THEY CHOOSE WHERE THEY RECEIVE THEIR MEDICAL CARE. THEY CHOOSE TO GO TO A CATHOLIC SCHOOL. END OF FUCKING STORY.

    It’s supposed to be America. Where we can come together as a private group and decide what we buy and what we don’t want buy off of a bunch of assholes.

    What right do you have even imagining you can impose this shit on a private institution?

    Why don’t you stop sucking Big Insurance cock and write about another subject. Maybe Obama’s Super PAC 180.

    As for “ignorant” religious doctrine, why don’t you research all the health issues that have arisen from birth control pills.

    Those fucking pills screwed my wife up big time! She curses the day she ever started taking them. Maybe the church is on to something.

  123. “BTW, my wife’s Catholic Church is almost exclusively democrat, black and pissed off at Obama. ” El Tirgre

    I thought you lived in Georgia. What, did you move to Maryland?

    The union Catholics are pissed here too.

  124. “I’ll restrict my outrage to the bogus “attack on religion” meme being ginned up by the right to win elections.”-R

    And he calls me ignorant.

    Yeah, the Catholic Church has all of sudden teamed up with Bob Jones University to ensure a Mormon wins the presidency.

  125. Rabbit, since big government is his religion, he won’t get it. . . for now. I know it will dawn on him eventually (though he’ll never admit it).

    I have feeling this will become a wake up call for the Statists like R.

  126. Nothing is being imposed.

    Except for that whole directive that they will do it government’s way, regardless of what their faith requires of them

    But that is so minor, who could really take notice?

    On the contrary, a government that should be ignoring ignorant religious doctrine in favor of modern science

    *reads and re-reads the First Amendment, then reviews cited annotations*

    Nope. I just don’t see the part where government gets to bypass the restrictions because someone who doesn’t know the history and the law thinks that the resisting religion’s doctrine is ignorant (although I find the accusation of ignorance from someone who has gone out of his way NOT to educate himself on the topic before stomping his foot and threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue unless all those other people relent and see it his way to be incredibly amusing and an “Oh-look-at-the-retard” kind of way.)

    is ACCOMMODATING the Catholic church with a one to two year waiting period to figure out how both desires can be served:

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the only person stupider than Jay Carney for mumbling about a “compromise” when it appeared that poking the hornets’ nest with a stick probably wasn’t the smartest thing this administration could have done….the person who believes that stalling for a year or two before saying “NOW you have to do it our way” is an “accomodation” or compromise.

    the desire to maintain the religious prohibition and the desire to get women the contraceptives they want.

    The desire to provide a voluntarily provide a benefit to employees that is consistent with their stated belief vs. the state’s ravenous desire to provide “free” stuff at someone else’s expense and expand its ever expanding reach into more spheres of life where its only possible role is to further restrict man’s freedom under the dubious auspices of doing it for “people’s own good”.

    I can’t believe how ignorant you can be Rabbit.

    Projection. It’s not just for slides and movie theatres anymore.

  127. “…the person who believes that stalling for a year or two before saying “NOW you have to do it our way” is an “accomodation” or compromise.”

    No big shocker. He thinks ObamaCare was a compromise because it only has a mandate and not a public option.

  128. R,

    I have a request, which I hope you will honor. It is that you ponder for just a moment about a situation that once existed in America during the course of my lifetime and, possibly, during the course of yours.

    There was a time when our national government had little to do with healthcare in America. Not only did it not regulate it to any great degree, but it also did not subsidize it to any great degree.

    This changed drastically about the time I graduated high school in 1967. I was old enough, and experienced enough, to understand that people were not dying on the sidewalks for lack of health care.

    I had grown up in a town that had a Catholic hospital (Saint Anthony’s), a Presbyterian hospital (Presbyterian), a Methodist hospital (Mercy), a Lutheran hospital (Saint Luke’s), and a Baptist hospital (Baptist Memorial). At one point during this time, I had a job driving a taxi; and I drove many poor people to these hospitals because they understood that would be well treated at these private, charitable, religiously connected institutions no matter what their ability to pay – all in the days before our national government was as involved in healthcare as it now is.

    I grew up poor. Yet, our family doctor made house calls, no matter where we lived, if I, or one of my brothers or sisters, were seriously ill.

    I attended college, graduated, served in our military, went back to another college, and made regular visits back to my hometown. I noticed that these charitable institutions were disappearing. Mercy hospital was abandoned, boarded shut, and fell into great disrepair. Both Saint Anthony’s and the Baptist Memorial hospitals were eventually absorbed into Kaiser Permanente. Neither Saint Luke’s nor Presbyterian hospitals exist in the form they once did, as private, religious, charitable institutions.

    Our family doctor died. None of his successors ever made a house call to our home after I left in 1967.

    I want you to imagine that time, Rutherford. In 1967, healthcare costs were 5.7% of our GDP. Today, they are over 18% of our GDP, despite a huge growth in the goods and services our nation now provides.

    I want you to imagine that time, Rutherford. Then, I want you to ask yourself these questions:

    •If our government were involved in healthcare today, to the same limited extent it was involved before Medicare and Medicaid, then would the policy difficulty you have outlined in your post be as problematic as it is today?

    •Would healthcare costs be as high today as they are had our national government not involved itself in healthcare as it has?

    My belief is that one can ask similar questions about education in this country since the formation of the Department of Education. Have primary and secondary education in this country improved since you and I were in school?

    Think about these things, Rutherford. Don’t take the 10-foot view and discuss the trees while abandoning the 50,000-foot view and missing the forest.

    One final thought.

    My impression is that you might have a closer connection to healthcare in this country than most. In that case, you might have a position on this matter that you might be reluctant to abandon as a matter of self-interest.

    That’s OK. I am not here to change your mind.

    What I am here to do is to focus your attention on what may be a fact: The situation in your post might not exist if it weren’t for the existence of the close, pervasive, financial relationship of our national government with healthcare providers in our country.

  129. Hope and change!

    Just 54 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. That’s the lowest employment rate for this age group since the government began keeping track in 1948. And it’s a sharp drop from the 62 percent who had jobs in 2007 — suggesting the recession is crippling career prospects for a broad swath of young people who were still in high school or college when the downturn began.

  130. It’s all about the 99%… right?

    Democrats are billing the upcoming Democratic National Committee’s annual convention as a “People’s Convention,” funded by “the people.” At President Obama’s request, the host committee in Charlotte—which must raise $36.6 million to pay for the convention—has promised to refuse donations from corporations, lobbyists or other special interest groups, including unions. Individual contributions are limited to $100,000.

    But living up to these ambitious self-imposed rules is proving more difficult than party leaders expected. Local sources say the DNC is approaching wealthy Bank of America executives in an effort to unload some of its premier convention packages. A number of these executives have been shocked at the audacity of the proposition, given the administration’s attacks on not only the bank but also on wealthy Americans in general. President Obama and his Democratic colleagues have repeatedly charged that wealthy Americans are not “paying their fair share” to the federal government in the form of taxes.

    Steve Kerrigan, the committee CEO, recently convened a meeting with lobbyists and other Beltway power brokers at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington D.C. Democratic sources told Bloomberg that Kerrigan, a former national political director for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), touted an expensive array of convention “packages” that were aimed at attracting ultra-wealthy donors.

    One of the options is the $1 million “Presidential” level, which includes a “premier uptown hotel room” and “concierge services,” as well as the $500,000 “Gold Rush” package.

  131. provide a benefit to employees that is consistent with their stated belief

    Who exactly is the “their” there?

    Is it the employer’s stated beliefs or the employee’s? Cos I guarantee there are loads of employees who would welcome the insurance coverage on their birth control.

    BiW for all your Constitutional huffing and puffing I think you fail to see the distinction here. If I am to follow your lead ANYTHING the church even touches becomes off limits to any government regulation. Is that really what the First Amendment is about? I don’t think so.

    The First Amendment is about our government not going INSIDE the Church to dictate doctrine. It is NOT about regulating a secular service that the Church has chosen to offer to people of all faiths. If you can’t see the difference, then I’m not sure what I can do to spell it out any further.

    P.S. I need to back this up with my own research but according to John Heilemann of New York Magazine the constitutional scholars he has consulted say there is NO First Amendment problem with the HHS ruling.

  132. He thinks ObamaCare was a compromise because it only has a mandate and not a public option.

    And I’m right. Forget the public option. ObamaCare should have been Medicare-for-all. That is what should have been done. So yes, we are looking at a compromise.

    And yes the ignorance continues. The Joe Scarborough talking point being mindlessly spewed by some here that it is “wait two years and then do what I say”. Bullsh*t. There are states in this country dealing with this issue right now. This is not new. There is an Hawaiian model, which I think involves the hospital saying “we can’t subsidize birth control but wink-wink-nudge-nudge you can go to XXXXX for an alternative way to pay for it.”

    There are ways to make this palatable to all concerned. But not if folks want to get their dicks all hard over the nonexistent “war on religion”.

  133. Chris at 190, welcome to the blog proper. For the regulars here, Chris often comments on my posts over at openSalon.com where I cross-post my articles.

    Chris I read your comment over there and now over here. It deserves a fuller response than I have time for right now (it’s late and I’m still nursing a nasty cold).

    I don’t argue that the “medical industry” has changed and not entirely for the better. I’m guessing I’m roughly 10 years younger than you but I also remember the days of house calls.

    Insurance companies, dead set on making a profit with little regard for their subscribers are the primary problem in our health care situation. Whether “ObamaCare” is the right sort of government intervention is debatable but some intervention is needed.

    There is no excuse in a country of our wealth and achievement for people to not have access to health care regardless of financial ability.

  134. Since someone referenced it here, and it belongs in the same meme as G’s latest comment, you know what puzzles the crap out of me? Why did Obama and his minions publicly “bless” his SuperPAC? They didn’t have to. SuperPAC’s operate independently from candidates (supposedly) so why should the Obama team have even acknowledged it?

    An unnecessary and dumb move if you ask me, but maybe I’m missing something.

  135. G, I’m battling a cold so I’m not keeping up. I promise I will give your Southern Strategy stuff a complete read-thru.

    By the way, harkening back to an earlier post of mine — Saul Alinksy once said (and I paraphrase) “we must fight money power with people power”.

    You know who said something almost identical within the past few weeks at an election night speech?

    Newt Gingrich

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

    P.S. Credit where credit is due, I learned this on Bill Moyers show from last week.

  136. Yes, some intervention for medical care is needed, and parts of Obamacare will help, but on the whole, this monstrocity will do more harm to us than good. We could have borrowed ideas from other countries like France, Switzerland, or Sweden. During part of the debate, Democrats promised that no more tax money than the present would pay for abortions, and as the current controversy shows, they lied.

    Nancy Pelosi spoke the truth when she said they needed to pass the bill to learn what was in it. It is one reason, most of the law’s provisions, including resolving the current abortion dispute will take effect after the next election.

    Obama as much as admitted he hadn’t read the bill.That is something one would expect from Sarah Palin, not “The One.”

    This administration like most speaks with a forked tongue. Obama has been criticizing lobbyists, bankers and Wall Street while he takes their money with a wink and a nod. His blessing of “Super Pac” is standard operating procedure.

    I agree praising “Super Pac” was a dumb move, but it isn’t the first. Why did the administration open the abortion controversy now? Maybe they thought it would blow over before the election. They should have waited a couple of years.

    Happy anniversary to my wife and me!!

  137. Palin is smart like a fox. She struck gold. She was handed a one-way ticket out of Alaska and she ran with it. All her actions are exactly what celebrities do to stay in the lime light. The only difference between she and Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan is she hasn’t landed in jail to keep her name on the front page. Of course she could always give a finger like Madonna if she thinks her popularity is slipping ;-)

    James, Happy Anniversary.

  138. Rutherford –

    I’d jump in there an help you on the church thing, but you are doing just fine, thankyouverymuch, and any lame attempts at helping would probably just be in your way…

    Carry on in a strong fashion.

  139. Yeah. The two ant-religious zealots don’t have a problem with the government taking actions that impact religious freedoms. :roll:

    You guys would argue in favor of forced sterilization if you thought it would slight christianity/catholicism — but dear Lord never Islam.

    Got that ‘em boys. It’s important to make the Catholic church pay for birth control and pay for being Christian, and bow to the One True God — Obama!

    So why is Obama looking for a way to back down on this R? It’s a right. There’s nothing to consider.

  140. I agree with everything Chris said @ #190. What his reply points out is how far removed we are from that period of time and how much control government now has over our basic daily needs.

    Our view in this country has become so narrow that all we do is nit pick item by item to legislate over. Perfect example, BIW.
    BIW @189: “I mean there are 4,284 federal regulations concerning toilets, for crying out loud.”

    In the matter of birth control, if a drug falls under the category of prescription drugs, it should be included in the list of drugs Insurance companies provide coverage. If your insurance pays for out-patient or hospital procedures it should cover sterilization. My point being, rule on general categories not specifics.

    However, I don’t think we can stop the train wreck that is coming regarding areas such as health and education. Our government operates on the premise of “shut the barn door after the horse is out” or put “your finger in the dike”.

  141. “Yeah. The two ant-religious zealots don’t have a problem with the government taking actions that impact religious freedoms.”

    heheeeee….

    Of course the Church and its minions always try to paint any legitimate criticism as a “attack on God” or “the Church,” or infringing their “religious freedoms,” and I thank you, ET for once again not disappointing.

    But I don’t think it’s that complicated. For my money, the church can pray, proselytize, discourse about philosophy and tell tall tales all it wants, but when it gets in the medical business, hires employees, dispenses cures, then they are in MY garden and they have to abide by the law that everyone else has to observe. They don’t get a free pass just because their shaman speak to an invisible wizard through their hair dryers. They are just like everybody else.

    See? Easy, isn’t it?

  142. I am not religious and I see the issue clearly. It doesn’t offend any of my religious sensibilities, but it does my freedom from intrusive government and belief in the proper role for government.

    Free pass on unnecessary, forced governmental mandates. No freedoms issue there. . . :roll:

    I didn’t realize you were a fan of Obamacare. I seem to recall all that you had some reason you were going to quit the practice of medicine because of it or government regulation. Could be wrong, but you too never disappoint.

    Know though that I do appreciate your and R’s inability to “get it.” This is an eye opener to many as it should be.

  143. Incidentally, what is “your garden?” The government’s “garden” is hospitals and parochial schools? Private is only private if it exists within the four walls of a church?

  144. I’m not a fan of Obamacare, just equal treatment. I would personally roll back the clock to before Medicare, and I guarantee you better medical care much, much less expensively.

    However, that’s not the world we live in, and if you are providing benefits to your employees, you have to abide by the same rules as anybody else. I couldn’t care less what your business is.

  145. Thank you Raji. I agree with what you wrote about Sarah Palin and with you and Chris.

    “Shut the barn door” also applies to the current church/abortion dispute. Now, Obama appears to be retreating from the earlier administration proposal. It seems the government will now mandate what insurance companies must offer. Isn’t our president so wise and caring about our churches and freedoms?

    I suspect in this case the government opened the barn door with malice and closed it as planned to make the government to appear conciliatory.

    They take two steps forward and one step back. This is how we lose our liberty.

  146. Why did the administration open the abortion controversy now

    First James, Happy Anniversary.

    Second, there is no abortion controversy, This is not about abortion. It is about contraception. The morning after pill does not stop a pregnancy. It prevents one. So I have no idea where you’re coming from on this comment.

  147. There’s a better quote about losing your liberty; it’s from Lewis Brandeis:

    Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. *The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.*

  148. PF, the problem began when the government imposed the condition of forced coverage thereby substituting its choice for the individuals.

    It is also why I asked R about the American Thinker article on Muslim and Amish exemptions to the personal mandate. Although R a pointed to a distinction, he didn’t address the rational underlying the schism between government mandate and religious liberty. I think working through that might lead to an epiphany founded on more fundamental notions of the proper role of government. It’s why I love the debate but don’t share the religious sensitivities driving it.

    Neither you nor R has explained why the one’s choice as to the relationships that are established (be it employer–employee, school-students, hospital-patient etc.) does not control when it comes to birth control. Access and entitlement to having it provided are two different things. Calling it “your garden” doesn’t get it there.

  149. Obama shift on birth control seeks to placate Catholics

    OH MAKE ME PUKE MY BREAKFAST — DAMMIT

    So like the hypocrites that I already knew comprised the Catholic church, it’s all about the f*cking money. Why would any Catholic run institution “of conscience” agree to offer a health plan that would give free contraception to subscribers, regardless of the institution’s subsidizing it or not?

    So St. Mary’s Hospital can now stand by and watch the health insurance company that they use for their employees, hand out free pills and it suddenly doesn’t bother them a bit? Where is the compromise here?

    It’s about the MONEY. It’s big business. Just like the Catholic church is big business. A business too big to be jeopardized by dealing properly with pedophile priests.

    Yeah today is a proud day for Catholics everywhere.

    F*cking hypocrites!!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:

  150. “Why would any Catholic run institution “of conscience” agree to offer a health plan that would give free contraception to subscribers, regardless of the institution’s subsidizing it or not?”

    Why, indeed?

    But have they actually agreed to it?

    This is really just another one of those back-door ass-rammings where King Obama will do whatever he can in order to force his policies onto America.

  151. The compromise has been made. Religious organizations don’t have to pay for birth control pills, health insurance companies that want to be listed on the exchange as comprehensive must include free contraception. Meaning, the rest of us get to pay for it. I don’t have a problem with that, I’m sure most of you do. BTW, birth control pills can actually FACILITATE pregnancy. Shows how stupid it is to allow religious doctrine to determine medical procedures.

  152. “Fine…I can’t force you to give your workers free contraception. Instead, I will force you to provide your workers with health care coverage and I will then force those health care insurers to provide free contraception.

    HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, MOTHERFUCKERS!?!?!”

  153. It’s no compromise at all. Religious institutions are still being forced to do business with medical insurance providers who provide contraception. It’s nothing but a proxy for his original mandate.

  154. Now that I’ve cleaned the vomit off my keyboard, one must ask just how dumb the Obama administration is. If the solution were this easy … just to straight to the insurance companies and make them offer free contraception, then why didn’t they go that route in the first place and save themselves a lot of grief? Obviously all the Catholic church cared about was the money. It was never a matter of “thousands of years of doctrine”. So just don’t make the church pony up any money.

    I don’t know what disgusts me more this morning. The hypocrisy of the church or the idiocy of the White House.

  155. “That’s funny,” (see what I did there?) because the piece I just listened to said people still thinks this is an overreach.

    “….the idiocy of the White House.”

    Welcome to the last 3 years in America.

  156. But have they actually agreed to it? – Huck

    No, in fact, they have already have fought it in California and New York. In both cases the SCOUS refused to even review the case. Did we see all the Catholic hospitals in those states close on moral grounds? No. Hmmmmmm. Why is that?

  157. “They don’t get a free pass just because their shaman speak to an invisible wizard through their hair dryers.” PF

    When my sound machine is set on “rain” it sometimes sounds like it is whispering my name over and over. ;)

  158. Hey Pfesser, I just watched Rick Santorum’s speech at CPAC2012. Just in case you didn’t know, we get our rights from God.

    I guess that means God made the majority of voters in CA vote for Prop 8 denying gays the ‘right” to marry. Fortunately a couple of judges saw fit to overrule “God”.

    PF you’ve been pretty critical of Obama but I’m telling you if you vote for Santorum in November you’ve lost your mind.

  159. “So like the hypocrites that I already knew comprised the Catholic church, it’s all about the f*cking money.”

    Um don’t you mean your hypocritical god, Obama? This is his way of backing out of it.

    Let me know when you’re ready to have the government pay for Catholic church services.

  160. Believe me, Rutherford. The chances of my ever voting for santorum (with a lower-case “s” – ’cause that’s how I regard him) is about as likely as a camel’s passing through the eye of a needle – as he would say.

    They don’t get it. They don’t get it. They don’t get it. Who the f*ck do they think comprise this “independent voter cohort” that just sprang up over the past ten years? I’ll tell you exactly who it is. It is people exactly like me, who used to be proud Republicans and now would be embarrassed for anyone to know.

    And we – that independent bloc – will bury anyone like santorum. It is plain and simple. Run him as your candidate and we will help assure four more years of Obama.

  161. Thanks Rutherford. Who would have thought two teenagers would have survived together this long?

    I wrote “abortion” because I was talking on the phone with someone as I wrote. The wrong word came out, because I was using half my brain on this blog . Bad move. I have enough problems using all of my brain.

    “Hello Mitt”. That made me laugh.

    I agree, the whole affair is stupid. Do you remember when I wrote Palin and Obama are mirror images of each other? Maybe after a few more episodes like this you will agree with me.

  162. Pfessor shoul change his name to PFony.

    You are the phoniest libertarian I’ve ever come across.

    You hate Christianity so much, you would rather sell out to Nanny. Vote for Obama. I’m starting to think you did the first time anyway.

    Dude. The government should not be able to make anyone buy stuff off another private company, simply for the crime of existing.

    I don’t care what the reason is.

    Unbelievable to me you can’t see this for what it is.

    Go back to your crusade against Dominion-ism, faux Celtic paganism and pornography.

    Sooner or later the weird shit that floats your boat will be encroached upon, too. just wait.

  163. Happy Anniversary, James. You two have been through a lot this past year. They say this year is one of restoration. I hope so. There is plenty that needs restoring!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This whole religion/government debate is tedious. I am as tired of organized religion as I am our corrupt secular institutions. They often both get it wrong. Completely. And to be at odds regarding practice and theology? Really. This is America? I thought we upheld diversity.

    I would like to see much less pontificating and more progress toward inclusiveness and peace. We all need each other and our differences make us stronger. For far too long our leaders have exploited our differences for political gain.

    The religious institutions improperly burden the people with requirements of men, steeped in the tradition of ritual and deceit.

    We often reject and forget the simplicity of faith, as Jesus so states:

    For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  164. “Pfessor shoul change his name to PFony.”

    I’ll consider it.

    “You are the phoniest libertarian I’ve ever come across.”

    You wouldn’t know a libertarian if he bit you on the ass.

    “You hate Christianity so much, you would rather sell out to Nanny.”

    No, I just think one kind of oppression is enough, without adding the Christian variety on top of what we already have.

    “Vote for Obama. I’m starting to think you did the first time anyway.”

    I did. See, I’m consistent. Run a zealot for office and I vote Democrat. So do a lot of other Completely Disgusted Republicans. You can recognize them easily; they are the ones who can read.

    “Dude. The government should not be able to make anyone buy stuff off another private company, simply for the crime of existing.
    I don’t care what the reason is.”

    I couldn’t agree more. But if you make one do it, you have to make everybody. Fair is fair.

    “Unbelievable to me you can’t see this for what it is.”

    I give up; what is it?

    “Go back to your crusade against Dominion-ism, faux Celtic paganism and pornography.”

    Three very good things. They bring a lot of joy to my life, and not an insignificant income at times.

    “Sooner or later the weird shit that floats your boat will be encroached upon, too. just wait.”

    You say “weird” like it’s a BAD thing…

  165. Rutherford –

    I know you to be reasonably open-minded. My nephew and I just watched “Mr. Conservative” the other night on HBO. It’s a documentary about Barry Goldwater, done by his granddaughter. He was SOME guy. One thing that might surprise you is that when the 1950’s equivalent of the Religious Right came calling, he told them to take a hike; the Republican party was not about that kind of stuff. He also staunchly defended queers – but voted against the Civil Rights act, not because he was against it, but because he thought parts of it were unconstitutional.

    At the end of the War, he took his airplane to LAX and flew returning servicemen to Arizona on his own dime, because there were so many of them that they couldn’t get seats on the airlines.

    Quite a fellow. Not perfect by any stretch; he thought we should use nukes just like conventional bombs (shudder). Still a very principled man.

    My wife’s ex is a big ham radio guy and worked Goldwater several times.

  166. R,

    The argument at 198 about the greed of health insurance companies being the problem with health care in America doesn’t respond to the issues at hand, nor does it seem explanatory. At issue, as your post discloses, is whether policymaking at the national level could have been this intrusive, or problematic, before legislation like Medicare and Medicaid coupled healthcare and hospitals in a close, pervasive, financial relationship.

    Health insurance companies, greed, charitable hospitals, and healthcare costs at less than 6% of GDP all existed long before 1967. Since 1967, health insurance companies still exist and so does greed. However, healthcare costs now stand at 18% of our GDP and private charitable hospitals have been effectively eliminated.

    It’s hard to avoid the obvious conclusions.

  167. “Medicare and Medicaid coupled healthcare and hospitals in a close, pervasive, financial relationship.”

    Man, I don’t know who you are, but you must be in the medical field, because that is EXACTLY the problem.

  168. Thanks Poolman. Yes, it has been a challenging year, and so far, our area seems to be on the way to restoration. Much of the sand was removed before the snow. A neighbor found a like- new deck in a field, and he put it on his house.

    I agree with your comments about government and organized religion. As in the old Waylon Jennings song “Did old Hank (Jesus) really do it this way?”

    Yes, “its hard to avoid the obvious conclusions” and extrapolation of the future makes them even harder to avoid.

    Hillary Clinton and I have at least one thing in common. We both campaigned for Goldwater when we were in college.

  169. “I couldn’t agree more. But if you make one do it, you have to make everybody. Fair is fair.”

    Good boy. Fall right in line.

    In all honesty, I wasn’t really judging your “weird”. I’m defending mine.

  170. “If the solution were this easy … just to straight to the insurance companies and make them offer free contraception, then why didn’t they go that route in the first place and save themselves a lot of grief?”

    I agree Rutherford and that is what I said in my comment @ #50.

  171. “He also staunchly defended queers – but voted against the Civil Rights act, not because he was against it, but because he thought parts of it were unconstitutional.”

    Really PV, My parents knew Goldwater and I can assure you from information they told me, he did not use the term “queers”.

  172. Sorry for not being up to speed, but since when can the government just MAKE a private business give free shit a way?

    I assume the government changes contracts with insurance companies or something?

    I am seriously confused over how this new America works.

  173. since when can the government just MAKE a private business give free shit a way?

    Government can make private businesses do whatever they want, as long as the proper channels are used to implement those things. That is one of the requirements for any business to be allowed to operate in any given country.

    I’m not crazy about the government imposing their rules and requirements on business, but as a business operator, I understand the need. Business is not going to operate in the best interest of the citizenry by its own volition – especially today, where most owners are so far removed from the daily operations of their business.

    It is purely clinical to most stock-holders. The goal is profit. Everything else is secondary. It doesn’t matter as much what the business does for or to society as it does how profitable that business is. What is the rate of return on investment?

    Now, forcing businesses to promote charity is going too far. I understand the church for the most part has fallen down on what they used to provide to communities. Much of that is due to the destruction of those communities often by business going global and closing shop in many of those places. The donations to churches are down along with attendance.

    I am seriously confused over how this new America works.

    America, as we know it, really isn’t working right now. There are some businesses that are thriving and profiting in this climate. But it is unsustainable. The middle class is going away fast. That is the sustainable market needed for many of these businesses.

    This new America is not the same great nation we grew up with. Statistically we have dropped behind most other first world nations in terms of health, wealth, and freedom. It has been undermined from inside even as we hype the external threat. Soon it will be every man for himself.

  174. I’m sure some of you miss Tex Taylor who’s been absent for a while. Well if you need your Tex fix you needn’t go to Alfie’s or BiW’s blog where he currently comments. All you need to do is go to http://www.cpac.org.

    I’ve spent hours today watching a half dozen CPAC speeches and while each speaker looked different (hell, two were women) they all SOUNDED like Tex Taylor.

    The overriding message is if Obama is reelected our country is finished. I swear after watching Andrew Breitbart I needed a bath.

    Wild stuff and very entertaining. Yes I will be watching Palin’s keynote (oxymoron?) tomorrow night.

    It’s like watching Morton Downey Jr. You just can’t take your eyes off the spectacle.

  175. Tex was often absent even when he was here commenting. I KNOW this country is full of Tex Taylors. Trust me. I have lived around plenty that hold to the same ideology. Heck, I am even related to many of them.

    While the invite is tempting, I am afraid I have lost enough confidence in humanity to be able to figure shit out. I may be a passenger on this crazy train, but I don’t have to visit all the coo-coo cabins to know they are all headed for same ultimate derailing.

  176. OT, but did you know that they discovered the biggest ever found pyramid in Bosnia, among what may be the most of them in one place?

    Fascinating. I found that out recently and don’t recall the media saying anything about it.

    That somehow ties in with the mummies and Egyptian artifacts, including hieroglyphics found early last century in an area in the Grand Canyon and also in Oklahoma.

    You think there are things they don’t want us to know?

  177. What did happen to Tex?

    R, I still don’t understand your rabid hatred of Palin. I’ve heard you claim she doesn’t provide any substance, but excuse me, if your criticism is a complete lack of substance, then look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    I’ve theorized for the longest time that most liberals cannot actually articulate their views, that they in fact have little to no substance to their beliefs. You actually go a long way in supporting this theory R. Any of the Conservatives on this forum can articulate at will what their ideological views and structures are. You’ve consistently struggled with that type of requirement. In all honesty, you’ve more than struggled, you’ve failed.

    I’ll add one caveat: there are liberals who do have pure ideological beliefs, but most of those liberals will refuse to admit them in public to the American people because they know that they are the minority and their beliefs will not be accepted by the masses.

    I suspect your hatred of Palin is more about her success in communicating her ideas- you’re quite frankly, jealous.

  178. “Really PV, My parents knew Goldwater and I can assure you from information they told me, he did not use the term “queers”.”

    Didn’t say he did. *I* did.

    ********

    Let me give you a little info. I have a gay employee and l a passel of gay friends – whose company I prefer 10:1 to my doctor friends, and especially the “DWs” (Doctor’s Wives) whom, by the way, I find consummate phonies to their last molecule.

    When I am around my faggot friends, I never refer to the gays’ orientation except as queer. It’s a little like black folks referring to everyone in their little circle as “niggers.” Being a straight guy and being allowed to do that in casual conversation with queers is a sign of acceptance – of which I am very proud. Now I do it all the time, in their presence or out. It’s a little inside joke on the rednecks, who think I’m “one of them” and it outrages the liberal PC Police no end – and you have no concept the perverse pleasure I get out of *that*.

  179. “I may be a passenger on this crazy train, but I don’t have to visit all the coo-coo cabins to know they are all headed for same ultimate derailing.”

    Here you go, poolman. For you:

  180. “I’ve theorized for the longest time that most liberals cannot actually articulate their views, that they in fact have little to no substance to their beliefs. You actually go a long way in supporting this theory R. Any of the Conservatives on this forum can articulate at will what their ideological views and structures are. You’ve consistently struggled with that type of requirement. In all honesty, you’ve more than struggled, you’ve failed.”

    That’s one explanation. Another might be that there is a big difference between those who understand that there are no absolutes and those who don’t. We used to call the second group “surgeons” – swift, sure and wrong.

  181. Poolman, google 12,000 Years Old Unexplained Structure You Tube. Scientists are slowly excavating a huge complex created thousands of years before accepted science permitted such structures to exist.

    It is located in southern Turkey, and if the video is not a hoax, the views are amazing. Even more surprising, the creators buried the complex under 20 feet of sand when they abandoned it.

    Another complex has been found in the Orkney Islands, I believe. It is much older than Stonehenge.

    People in North Africa came close to domesticating grain as they intensively harvested native grasses, but the climate changed about 18,000 years ago.

    Weapons and tools have been found in North America which resemble what the ice age Magelinians used in Europe. Thus, it is possible Europeans sent explorers to America long before the Vikings did. Their culture may be ancestors to Fins, Sami, Basques, Irish and Welsh people,.

    Blue eyed people may be distributed about the world because the mutation became established around the Black Sea shortly before a great flood forced thousands of people to flee in all directions.

    I also think Columbus visited Iceland while he prepared to discover the New World because he thought its mariners had information which could help him. .

    I can’t document anything except for the 12,000 year monument because the rest is what I remember from reading.

    If some of these things are true, I don’t think there is a conspiracy as such to hide them. Egos and religious fervor for one’s theories are powerful obsticles to recognizing contrary evidence. I think the same mind set imprisons people within liberal and conservative walls, and those “walls of separation” enslave us.

    I have relatively little experience with blogs or message boards. The three which I frequented were liberal. They all followed the same pattern. Some liberals were open- minded and liked to argue. Others had internalized their beliefs, so that if they were proven wrong, they reacted with rage and anger.

    Rutherford, compared to what I have seen since 2003, this site is a breath of fresh air. I didn’t know such spots existed.

  182. “(Doctor’s Wives) whom, by the way, I find consummate phonies to their last molecule.” @ #251
    In total agreement with that statement!

    “– and you have no concept the perverse pleasure I get out of *that*.”
    Whatever floats your boat, PV

  183. Yeah. Come on Raji. Pfessor is Harvey Milk.

    On the one hand, he brazenly reminds us how un-PC he is.

    He then goes on to placate the PC crowd by telling us he is sooooo accepted in the gay community he has special permission anyways.

    So, he got you with a double whammy!

    You will learn very quickly pfessor is totally awesome.

    People bag on Tex. But, the dude kept it real. I miss the humbleness he brought here.

  184. People bag on Tex. But, the dude kept it real. I miss the humbleness he brought here.

    Dude. Real? Humbleness? Really? I like Tex just fine, but “humble” doesn’t fit the Tex I have come to know. I guess we all take away different things from the same experiences.

    I found this place by following him here after he finished one of his bombing runs through Margaret and Helen’s place.

    The guy is a virtual bull in a china shop. Humble? Not so much.

    True, he grows on you and DOES have his sincere moments… but I think your rear view mirror is a bit smudged.

  185. Gorilla, by way of brief explanation, Tex vacated the premises in a huff over my disrespect of Jesus (at least that was the reason du jour). He and I have had our usual exchanges at other venues. He may or may not come back.

    Rabbit, you, Tex and I go back a long way at this point. I will definitely agree that he kept it real. But humility? What are you smoking? Yes he confessed to the grand flaws that many of us have, in particular having wives way better than we deserve but ideologically the man is anything but humble.

    I suppose there is a difference between being humble about oneself and being humble about one’s ideas. I suppose Tex is humble about himself as a flawed human being. But Tex never had an idea he didn’t think was the grandest thing since sliced bread. On his best (worst?) days he makes Newt Gingrich look “humble”.

  186. Oh and one last thing, people bag on Tex? Tex enjoyed as much support here as on any other venue especially considering this is a liberal blog. For someone commenting on a liberal blog, he got nearly 100% consistent support from:

    Rabbit
    Tigre
    Gorilla
    BiW
    Alfie (about 98%)

    The only conservative here to do semi-regular battle with him was Huck whose social views don’t match Tex’s.

    As for everyone else here, they are all either on-the-fence conservatives or outright liberals. And yes, that crowd is very likely to “bag on Tex”.

  187. James, thanks for the kind words about the blog. I’m blessed with a regular clientele who articulate their views with clarity, humor and of course the occasional dose of poison.

    Even when we all get pissed at each other, I think we value the give-and-take.

  188. “Yes he confessed to the grand flaws”

    Well…yeah…that’s what I’m talking about. And it was more then him talking about his “better half”.

    Tex, while no spring chicken, was too young to be wasting all his time online.

    The internet can be a good thing. Or it can be vice. I think it became a vice for Tex. He displayed some of the characteristics of an addict. It wasn’t a healthy outlet for him anymore.

    Now, I could very well be wrong. Tex could be posting like crazy somewhere. But, I suspect Tex will one day return here and use this weird blogging shit with a “moderation is key” mindset.

  189. Any of the Conservatives on this forum can articulate at will what their ideological views and structures are. You’ve consistently struggled with that type of requirement. In all honesty, you’ve more than struggled, you’ve failed.

    G, I beg to differ. I no doubt have failed at convincing anyone I’m right but that would be a pretty tough slog anyway when it comes to ideology.

    I think the readers here have a very good sense of where I stand ideologically. I think the biggest factor that moves my politics is a sense of fairness. I don’t like seeing underdogs having no voice. I don’t like bullies. I believe it is possible for capitalism to run in such a fashion that everyone who works hard can live a life without basic worries (food, shelter, clothing, basic education). I believe folks who don’t play by the rules throw a monkey wrench into the works of capitalism, they rig the game, and everyone who works hard no longer has an opportunity for relative comfort.

    At CPAC2012 yesterday, Reince Preibus, the RNC chair said something that really resonated with me. He said he’d like to see the day return when companies had a sense of morals. When they were as loyal to their workers as the workers were to them. He also said (and I don’t NECESSARILY disagree) that the government can’t force those days to return. I’m still on a fence about that last assessment.

    Which I guess brings me to my closing point. The biggest difference between us is our estimation of what the government can and should do to make things better for its citizens. G, you believe in a very limited federal government. I’m not there yet.

  190. Tex could be posting like crazy somewhere.

    Like crazy, perhaps not. But yeah, he’s over at Alfie’s and BiW’s blogs in the same mode as here. And of course he badmouths me every now and then knowing I’ll see the comments and won’t be able to resist responding. He’s what I call on my more charitable days, a lovable stinker.

    Rabbit, I truly think, and I’m not saying anything here I wouldn’t say to Tex personally, if he and his wife consolidated households, he’d spend a LOT less time commenting on blogs. I think he spends an inordinate amount of time alone and that’s a tough row to hoe. (This is just my own personal inference. I’m not betraying any confidences between the two of us.)

  191. I have this gut feeling that the latest brouhaha by the Obama administration is a planned RED HERRING ! All the social networks, bloggers, MSM are once again all focused on religion, abortion and health care forcing or allowing the GOP candidates to dwell on these issues and allowing Obama to enter into the fray through the back door. The Komen foundation issue was just icing on the cake.

    The real issues are being ignored such as Syria, the military, the euro and our economy, just to name a few. I fault both the liberal and the conservative media. Where is our Walter Cronkite?

  192. For the election, Obama has the “euro” covered. Quantitative Easing 3.

    Believing the Fed is an independent entity is quite a leap. We all know why. I bet the stock market will be titanium come late spring.

    While the government treads and we are having conversations unthinkable only 10 or 20 years ago, the real bait in switch is taxation without representation.

    Deficit spending and fiat currency corrupts a democracy. it’s just too easy to please all the people all the time and win elections on the backs of the unborn.

    We can argue this shit all we want. Tomorrow’s generation will never have a say. And they will pay for all of this. Text book tyranny.

    It’s like the British government we threw off our backs in the late18th century has returned as our a foes with a secret weapon. The power to terrorize the future. Time travel.

    Obama is their greatest proxy to date.

    And well meaning rubes like Rutherford, religious bigots like Pfessor or even selfish government workers like myself, have no problem cashing in today, hurting children. Our crime is premeditated.

    We are sick. All of us.

    ****************************************************************
    I was thinking the other day how hard it would be for a baby boom generation motherfucker to lose money.

    Forget buying house, investing in stocks, bonds or gold. We already know how much they have cashed in that way.

    All the motherfuckers had to do was throw loose change in a coffee can!

    1948 – 1963 Silver Franklin Half Dollar Value has a melt down value of $12.1346464428!

    You know something is wrong when a piggy bank full of lose change appreciates that much!

    What do us chumps get as money?

    Scrap metal tied to the holy dictate of Ben Bernanke.

    What would Sam Adams do?

    WSAD?

  193. That was funny. The speaker forgot to tell us gold fish, hamsters, and puppies are delicious.

    Mark Steyn has an article titled “King Barack vs. the Non Conformists.”

    I smell a red herring too. We are on our own. Walter Cronkite “took the last train for the coast.”

  194. Raji, a panelist on MSNBC agrees with you to the extent that this brouhaha distracted the GOP candidates from the real issues of import. Now the GOPhers paint themselves as anti birth control, a losing position with the public at large. Dems couldn’t be happier.

  195. Now the GOPhers paint themselves as anti birth control, a losing position with the public at large.”

    If there one thing that is consistent, its that Rutherford is ALWAYS proven wrong about the American street. ALWAYS.

    Most people identify with the bishops. This hasn’t hurt the GOP at all, despite what that channel you watch all the time tells you.

    Rutherford, always remember, hardly anyone watches your propaganda channel. MSNBC is why you are laughed at so much.

  196. Rutherford,

    If you haven’t figured it out yet… “conservatives” can dis their own all day, but when a “liberal” does it, it serves as glue to unite them against the common “foe”. As rabbit claims, it will NOT hurt the GOP.

    This latest birth control “issue” won’t do anything but strengthen their resolve. It also serves to divert our attention from real and important issues, as Raji stated.

    Whoever came up with this abortion football was genius. It doesn’t matter what else the world is doing, when it comes to mentioning abortion, it conjures visions of “innocent baby murder and mutilation”, successfully charging the emotions of even the most unchristlike “Christians”.

    It NEVER gets resolved or goes beyond drawing a line in the sand.

  197. This latest birth control “issue” won’t do anything but strengthen their resolve. It also serves to divert our attention from real and important issues…”-poolman

    Poolman. So let me get this straight. The church is claiming the same government that you accuse of attacking its own people on 9/11 for grossly overstepping it’s Constitutional checks.

    And what’s your response?

    A 3 paragraph retort dissing the church because organized religion sucks. And complaints that it’s all a distraction.

    But I forgot. You entrusted the same government who supposedly slaughtered its own people with your…cough…health care, from the very beginning.

  198. “God you can be out of touch.”-Tigre

    He really is. But, you got to remember, the poor dude doesn’t leave the house much and watches MSNBC non stop. He literally can’t help it. That’s why he has been wrong on the direction of the wind every single time.

  199. “Rabbit I’m a bit confused. Are you calling for a return to the gold standard?”

    I’m not smart enough to make that call.

    I’m not drinking the Ron Paul Kool Aid to the point that I ignore the perils of a gold standard. One of the reasons we are on a fiat based system is that it theoretically gives us wiggle room out of nasty boom bust cycles.

    For a generation, the baby boomers, its hard to argue with the results.

    But, with that comes great responsibility. We are being led by the opposite.

    I’m calling for ethics and responsibility. A Constitutional amendment putting checks on deficit spending. Severe cuts in government. Even things that I personally love like NASA and, yes, the military. Of course, entitlements, more then anything, HAVE to be sustainable.

    With that comes heart ache and pain. i understand this and am personally willing to deal with it. I’m on the dole too, you know.

    In other words, our leaders are either delirious (the left) or cowards (the right)…or both.

    Hidden taxes by way of inflation via Fed monetary policy is not how this Republic is supposed to function .

    Selective bail outs given to the politically connected elite is not how this Republic is supposed to function.

    A majority of plebs who have no skin in the game, their mouth stuffed with government block cheese, government bread and government opiates is not how this Republic is supposed to function.

    Spending the wealth of people who walk this land in the year 2112 in the year 2012 is not how this Republic is supposed to function.

    That is unless we can get Terminator to go into the future and collect ballots from said people. Then all bets are off.

  200. Rabbit,

    The organized church and the government in America are not cohesive entities, so opposing either on one hand and approving of it on the other is not hypocritical.

    An eagle has two wings, one left and one right. We have to live under both.

    In an ideal world, the government and the church would be advocating for all people.

    I think what I have learned most from these debates is that conservatives feel that it’s always an “all or nothing” or a “one size fits all” or more of a “one extreme or another” issue. There seems to be no room for moderate solutions, or moderates at all.

  201. “The organized church and the government in America are not cohesive entities, so opposing either on one hand and approving of it on the other is not hypocritical.”-poolman

    You can oppose the church all you want. I just find it odd you chose to oppose them when they are at odds with a government you blame for attacking its own people.

    Let me melt down your take in a few words.

    We shouldn’t care what the church says because its distracting and the church sucks.

    Eagle?

    One of your wings claims our government murders its own people by smashing planes into skyscrapers already lined with explosives. Your other wing cries out for the very same government to completely take over our health care system.

  202. “Sorry you’re wrong. Polling says a majority of CATHOLICS support the original HHS decision.”-R

    Yeah, right. Sure thing. Just like your polls told you the GOP was dead on the eve of the historic 2010 elections.

    Or that the Tea Party was AstroTurf.

  203. Funny thing at CPAC today. Panel discussion where Tea Partiers ripped Occupy a new one. I don’t recall seeing any animosity from Occupy toward the Tea Party. Why all the hatin’ in reverse?

  204. “Why all the hatin’ in reverse?”

    Because the OWS wants a bigger government and the Tea Party wants a smaller one. But, you already knew that.

    Not to mention the behavior of OWS was horrid. But then again, you knew that too.

    Of course, at first, you were dead wrong about the American reception of the movement and who really made up OWS.

    Alternative life style people, skate boarders, hippies, communists, anarchists, etc..

    Dude, I wish it want like that. But it is.

    The early Tea Party called out Wall street and government alike. The OWS has a knack for letting the biggest Wall street president in history off the hook.

  205. Here you go, Poolman. You can even see the nipple.

    You want to fight the current system?

    That’s how you do it. Hard assets passed down to the youth. It’s the blue pill. Or is it the red one? Either way, its how you can free yourself from the matrix, maaaan.

    No sales tax. No Capital Gains, depending on your ethics. Nobody knows. While, in the short term, violated by many factors, manipulation being one of them. Long term it is the La Résistance.

    The funny thing, the silver bugs are all tin foil hat retards like you.

    So, if I’m right, I will site you idiots as proof it was the ultimate contrarian play, and genius.

    If I’m wrong I will look back upon you shemps as the proof that I was a fucking nut case too.

    Either way, my kids are getting barbaric plunder from their old man. Can’t fucking lose.

    http://www.apmex.com/Product/60599/2011_5_oz_Silver_Libertad___Proof.aspx

  206. Pretty nice tatas, there rabbit. I might have to splurge.

    As far as the matrix… we are kind of born into it here in THE UNITED STATES. Google Maritime Admiralty Law. Oh, and take the RED pill.

    You might just be a corpse, maaan.

  207. Off topic folks but it’s weird when someone who’s part of the soundtrack of our lives dies.

    Whitney messed up big time in her later years but listen to “I Will Always Love You” and tell me that was not once a spectacular voice.

    It’s a sad end only a week or so after Don Cornelius. Tough month for music/pop culture fans. :-(

  208. I agree, Rutherford. Whitney in her prime had one of the best voices in pop music.

    It is also sad that Don Cornelius felt such pain that he drove himself to end it.

  209. When us normal motherfuckers hoot with the owls, we’re eventually expected to soar with the eagles. Either that or become a street person or convict.

    Not celebrities. Everybody kissing their ass, 24-7. Nothing but time on their hands. Lots of money and sycophants willing to make them temporarily happy. Must be hard pulling in the reins.

  210. I heard two interesting things last night. One from Simon Cowell that as a performer you have to have limits and be able to say no. He said the current singing sensation from the UK Adele is very good on this. She simply doesn’t do what she doesn’t want to and when she developed voice problems recently, rather than push it, she took time off and got her voice fixed.

    The other comment was from Jermaine Jackson who said that one of the first things that happens when you become super-famous is your handlers try to cut you off from your family. They try to replace your family. He said that happened to Michael. I don’t doubt he’s right.

    I’m conflicted (as usual). These folks get the fame they crave. Then they don’t know what to do with it and they go crazy. On the one hand it’s hard to be sympathetic to someone who squanders good fortune. On the other hand our society does eat these people up. They can’t have a private fart without it being all over Twitter, Facebook and the tabloid shows.

  211. “Somebody told me
    when I first got to Nashville
    Hoss, you’ve finally got it made
    Old Hank made it here,
    and we’re all sure that you will
    But I don’t think Hank done it this way

    Ten years on the road
    making one night stands
    speeding my young life away
    So tell me one more time
    so I understand
    Are you sure Hank done it this way?” Waylon Jennings

    “Here I go playing star again
    Out there in the spot light
    You’re a million miles away
    Every ounce of energy
    you try to give away
    as the sweat pours out your body
    like the music that you play.”

    Bob Seeger

    The odds are against most of those people. Besides talent, they need luck, a work ethic, and the wisdom to keep the business from consuming them. Michael Jackson is a tragic example of one who’s talent became his master.

    Someone posted in a You Tube comments section that people growing up in the seventies and eighties didn’t appreciate the wealth of talent surrounding them. He wrote if one wants to revisit that time, listen to Adele. I agree with Simon Cowell.

  212. The live feed looks pretty bad. Another you tube story last week showed that the larger than average number of Greek homeless is also suffering from the cold spell affecting much of Europe.

  213. So this is all preempting an austerity vote that is supposed to take place in a couple hours (midnight local time). Some guy in the livestream chat who speaks Greek is translating news feeds and said the top 2 parties have said they will vote in favor of austerity measures.

    This is looking to get worse before it gets better today/tonight.

  214. “Not celebrities. Everybody kissing their ass, 24-7. Nothing but time on their hands. Lots of money and sycophants willing to make them temporarily happy. Must be hard pulling in the reins.”

    Money for nothing and your chicks for free…

  215. Rutherford,

    Be careful how you answer that. Your position could be broadcast over all of Youtube. :grin:

    Get ready America. What is happening in Greece will probably be happening here soon. That is, unless something drastic happens before then. It is 2012, after all.

  216. Rabbit I’m not well enough versed on the specifics of Greece to have a detailed educated opinion.

    A mature populace can look at fair austerity measures, bite the bullet and start healing. Does Greece have maturity issues? I don’t know enough to say.

    Will Americans riot in the street if serious belt tightening is done? I doubt it. In fact I think some Americans are longing for some tough love.

  217. “A mature populace can look at fair austerity measures, bite the bullet and start healing. ”

    Please tell me when that maturity of ours has kicked in. Because so far, I aint seeing it. Even the super duper committee failed.

    Has America ever deleted an entitlement?

    I know we’ve pushed back the retirement age. But, I can’t recall one entitlement ever going bye bye.

    Oh well, i guess we all have to be taxed into slavery then.

  218. “Be careful how you answer that. Your position could be broadcast over all of Youtube”

    That link was hidden from mass viewing. I erased it That being said, I don’t think R thought it was very funny. I was just being stupid with my wife’s Iphone app.

    Sorry R, i was drinking last night.

    If it makes you feel better, I bought two investment grade fossilized Raptor Dinosaur teeth last night, as well.

    Looks like my sons getting dinosaur teeth in the booty chest too.

    I’m starting to get a little crazy with investment relics.

    Who knows, maybe my dinosaur teeth will appreciate like my Dad’s change did.

  219. “I’ve theorized for the longest time that most liberals cannot actually articulate their views, that they in fact have little to no substance to their beliefs.” – G

    Bullshit. Articulate enough? ;)

  220. “The internet can be a good thing. Or it can be vice. I think it became a vice for Tex. He displayed some of the characteristics of an addict. It wasn’t a healthy outlet for him anymore.” – Rabbit

    I think you might be right. He left shortly after R revealed that he was the top comment poster of 2011. He seemed genuinely surprised by that fact while the rest of us could have easily guessed it.

  221. “Deficit spending and fiat currency corrupts a democracy. it’s just too easy to please all the people all the time and win elections on the backs of the unborn.” Rabbit

    But sometimes it is necessary. What was the deficit to GDP ratio during and after WWII? Did they forfeit our future, or secure it?

  222. “Really bad right now. Fires all over Athens.” – Huck

    Screw the fires. Let us know when they start crapping on cop cars. That’s when you know it’s getting out of control. ;)

  223. For Whitney.

    “If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
    Threatening the life it belongs to
    And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
    Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
    And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to” – Anna Nalick

    “Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive?” – Lao Tzu

    Some artists give us their gifts willingly but can’t survive the process. My thoughts go out to her family. I have faith she is in a better place now.

  224. DR –

    “I’m starting to get a little crazy with investment relics.
    Who knows, maybe my dinosaur teeth will appreciate like my Dad’s change did.”

    I recommend you get Jeremy Siegel’s “Stocks for the Long Run.” Learn it and love it. There is a very interesting chart comparing various investments over the period 1801 to 2011.

    A buck invested in cash in 1801 would be worth $.06 today.
    A buck’s worth of gold? $1.95.
    Bills? $301.
    Bonds? $1083
    Stocks? $755,000

    All the above “returns” are before taxes, which of course devastate EVERY investment (and is the reason the Church is so wealthy, but that’s an argument for another day).

    I’m sure relics are in there somewhere.

    I’ve stayed in the market through thick and thin since the ‘eighties. I keep enough cash for about 6 months’ expense and the rest in index funds, with an occasional foray into individual stocks with which I am familiar. My worst? GE and EBay. My best? Cognizant and Apple, which I bought at $40. If it goes to 800, I’m retiring for good.

  225. I like your “For Whitney,” Thor.

    Yes, sometimes deficits are necessary. I believe John Maynard Keynes believed a country needed to “prime” the pump with extra spending during the down turns and reduce spending when times improved.

    We have spent in all seasons, and eventually, the well will run dry. The Greeks lived beyond their means and would have gone bankrupt without a bail out. They are sending their citizens into even harder times, because their benefactors force them to. When you borrow money from a bank you surrender some of your freedom, and that is what the Greeks face.

    Otherwise, they would have continued to spend and become dependent on government largess. Like other societies, we have learned to vote ourselves money and benefits with little regard of their affordability. We won’t stop until circumstances or a benefactor forces us to. Its human nature.

    One asset not mentioned is land. We paid $450 per acre for our first farm in 1976. It is now worth $5,000 to $6,000 per acre, and that is a conservative estimate. Of course we’d have to sell our land for the increase to mean more than higher property taxes.

    The flood cost us too much money, and I didn’t want to dig us out of another financial hole, so we rented out the land. It has now become an interest bearing annuity. The price of land will eventually fall, but our income will depend on the price of grain and the cost to produce it.

    I’m not bragging, just noting the attraction for tangible assets which produce income.

    I like Tex too, though like Poolman, I think he is a bull in a china shop. My memory is probably hazy, but the last time I remember his posting on the Helen & Margaret blog made me wonder if he was saying “good bye.” He wrote, I could handle myself fine and didn’t need his help.

  226. Rabbit, since you doubted my polling statement, here is the data. Sorry it took so long. I’m just getting this cold under control.


    According to the Public Religion Research Institute poll released today,

    A majority (55%) of Americans agree that “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” Four-in-ten (40%) disagree with this requirement.

    Key breakdowns

    58% of all Catholics agree employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception. That slides down to 52% for Catholic voters, 50% for white Catholics.
    61% of religiously unaffiliated Americans say employer plans should cover contraception.
    50%of white mainline Protestants want the coverage. However, for evangelical Protestants, that drops to 38%.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2012/02/contraception-catholic-bishops-obama-hhs/1

    Before you go there, this article contradicts the USA Today article to some extend except for this statement::

    While politically active Catholics tended to disapprove of the mandate being applied to religious ministries that serve the public at large, their non-voting Catholic counterparts leaned toward a different view. With non-voters included, Catholic support for a mandate of this kind reached 52%.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/new-poll-shows-catholic-voters-oppose-hhs-mandate/

  227. poolman –

    I had an older brother just like Tex. He never had a conversation in which he was not sarcastic or belittling to whomever he was speaking with – and then brooded about why “everybody” was an “asshole.”

    It never occurred to him that people don’t like being treated that way.

    **********

    Since you can’t divorce your family, I did my duty when he caught cancer, but I saw to it that we never discussed anything but the weather and, “How are the kids doing?”

    Sad really. A lot of lost opportunities and good feelings that never were.

  228. From Chris:

    Medicare and Medicaid coupled healthcare and hospitals in a close, pervasive, financial relationship.

    OK I get this I think. But just so we’re clear, this has been to the detriment of health care providers has it not? I’m just checking there’s no implication of a government/hospital collusion to the hospital’s benefit.

  229. I’m in catchup mode so it’s time for me to weigh in on the whole “queer” thing.

    I don’t have a good feel for gay culture. I sense, perhaps wrongly, that gay’s are less offended by queer than they are by “faggot”. I think, at least in the media, I’ve heard gays refer to themselves as queer. Let’s remember the old Bravo series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. I doubt Bravo would have named it that if they risked alienating the gay audience.

    So, I don’t think the queer-fag-ni**er comparison holds.

    Now on to the N word. Black men calling each other the N word is one of the worst most self destructive phenomena to take hold in recent history. It is a hateful word and it is NOT defused by over-using it. The use of it within the black community is an example of rank black stupidity.

    Let any man, black or white, call a self-respecting black man a ni**er and watch him get a punch in the face, deservedly. Actually a dignified black man will simply dismiss the abuser as a fool and write him off as “dead to me.”

    P.S. This same rule applies to women who call each other ‘bitch”. Incredibly foolish.

  230. Rutherford –

    I think you and I are passing each other in the night on the PC stuff. Successful people don’t spend their days twisted up in angst about “nigger,” “queer,” “faggot” things. They have important things to worry about and that stuff doesn’t even register on their radar. They just file that person in the “ignorant” category and move on. Punch somebody? They wouldn’t waste the time. Same thing when people call me Hillbilly or don’t take the time to learn my name and call me “Red.” I just immediately file them on the bottom of the stack and don’t interact with them unless I have to.

    My queer friends don’t get tangled up in that kind of PC nonsense. They have too much fun stuff going on to bother.

  231. Pfesser, I find siblings so fascinating. I understand that everyone is an individual with a unique personality but it always amazes me how two folks emerging from the same household can be so different.

    Despite the fact that I have actually almost never seen homogenous siblings, I still always expect it. My sister and I have somewhat similar senses of humor. Our “morals” are pretty well aligned. We’re not extremely close (separated by many miles) but we enjoy each others company. Not much tension between us. But I suspect this is the exception not the rule.

    Another example … my father and my uncle (his brother) have entirely different perspectives on their father (my late grandfather). My Dad remembers him fondly. My uncle, far more critical.

    Wow … families are complex, aren’t they?

  232. I just immediately file them on the bottom of the stack and don’t interact with them unless I have to.

    Well that is actually what I meant by Actually a dignified black man will simply dismiss the abuser as a fool and write him off as “dead to me.”

  233. “A mature populace can look at fair austerity measures, bite the bullet and start healing. Does Greece have maturity issues? I don’t know enough to say.

    Will Americans riot in the street if serious belt tightening is done? I doubt it. In fact I think some Americans are longing for some tough love.”

    So you doubt that Americans (but you really mean liberals) would take to violence over austerity measures, but you have no problems believing that conservatives will kill people when they are crossed?

    Rutherford, did you find the answer to your question regarding why Obama caved? It is in the paragraph you posted.

    “While politically active Catholics tended to disapprove of the mandate being applied to religious ministries that serve the public at large, their non-voting Catholic counterparts leaned toward a different view. With non-voters included, Catholic support for a mandate of this kind reached 52%.”

  234. The money lenders got us here.

    The banks giveth and the banks taketh away.

    They have enslaved us all with their funny money.

    They encourage us to live beyond our means with their innovative debt incurring instruments. We were all too eager to bite and chew and swallow their poisoned bait. Now we are seeing it for what it really is. Ultimately it is our fault. We let them in to set up the game board and make the rules.

  235. This from today’s A.Word.A.Day:

    Ralph Waldo Emerson summed it up well when he said, “The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.” At one time there were magnificent temples of Apollo and Zeus, people prayed to them, made offerings to them.
    Today no one believes that those gods and goddesses were anything but figments of ancient people’s imagination. Today we learn about these gods as part of myths.

    What makes Zeus and Apollo any different from the God worshiped by Jews, Muslims and Christians?

    1000 years from now, will that God too be viewed as mythology?

  236. Regarding the banksters, take my industry, for example.

    During the 80’s, 90’s, and into 2006, the lending institutions created an atmosphere of commerce where money flowed from hundreds of sources providing low interest loans with virtual equity to back them.

    Businesses were born to meet the increasing need this atmosphere fostered and they thrived while constantly expanding to meet the “need” during this “prosperous” time.

    Then the lending institutions pulled the rug out from under it all. The funding stopped and the equity dissipated.

    Businesses became aggressive while competing for the few “cash” customers that were out there.

    Competition drove prices down to cost and even below cost, as many companies were “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and eventually made even staying current as a business difficult at best.

    Most are long gone. Larger companies with greater assets were forcing smaller ones out of business, gobbling up market share and gambling with their own assets in hope that the economy would turn around before they depleted those assets.

  237. What makes Zeus and Apollo any different from the God worshiped by Jews, Muslims and Christians?

    These “gods” were not just make believe. They fit into biblical accounts as well. The “fallen angels” DID intermingle with creation and these “gods” were “born” from that. The mythological figures, though called by different names, existed in both Roman and Greek cultures.

    The true God of the Abrahamic faiths is Spirit and “invisible”, while these other “gods” did have physical presence and form and could be “seen”.

    These “gods” were not holy or all powerful and were said to control only certain forces, and were often at odds with one another.

  238. That’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them.

    Huck, so long as you sign on to this broader statement by Jackson, you’ll get little argument from me.

    My problem with “blacks voted for Obama solely because he was black” is the implication that whites are intelligent voters who vote on issues and blacks are dumb-asses who vote on skin color.

    If we agree that MOST PEOPLE vote for people with whom they identify, then I’m fully on board. Otherwise, I call BS.

  239. Rutherford, did you find the answer to your question regarding why Obama caved?

    While politically active Catholics were no doubt a moving force in Obama’s “cave”, we can’t ignore the fact that many Dem’s (Kerry, Kaine, McKaskel) were against him on this. (Then again, they may all be Catholic too.) So Obama was getting it from all sides, other than the pro-choice lobby which was happy as a clam.

  240. “I voted for Barack because he was black. That’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them. That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean shit to me.”

    ‘About time people started to admit what many of us knew all along.’

    What utter rubbage.

    It’s always the explanation, isn’t it? When someone does something we disagree with, it’s never because they thought it out and did what they considered best. No, it’s because they weren’t as smart as *me.*

    I voted for Obama because the alternative was a sick seventy-two year old with a witless git as his back-up girl in the (great) likelihood that he crumped.

  241. Poolman, be that as it may, didn’t these Gods predate Christianity and didn’t the people of the day pray to them, sacrifice for them, in the hope of positive intervention?

    In schools, we learn of Greek and Roman mythology. We don’t learn this stuff under the guise of religion. In fact, I seem to recall very explicitly being taught that belief in these Gods was evidence of the ignorance of that time period.

  242. Well PF while I agree with you, at current rate and speed it does appear that ole Johnny would have survived at least one term.

    I might count the average cancer survivor as too great a risk but that mofo survived some nasty captivity in Vietnam. Probably not a good idea to bet against his health. He’s probably got the disposition of ten healthy oxen.

    McCain probably had a better chance of dying from Todd swapping poison for his Metamucil than from natural causes. ;-)

  243. didn’t these Gods predate Christianity and didn’t the people of the day pray to them, sacrifice for them, in the hope of positive intervention?

    Christianity changed the relationship, not the one true God. The “gods” existed for a “time”. Actually all spirits still exist according to what I believe.

    People still choose to sacrifice and pray to whatever god they believe will best benefit themselves. We all worship somewhere, whether we recognize it as such or not.

    Nothing has changed in that respect, really. One might say there are many more gods today. Celebrity certainly has worshipers, many willing to kill or die for them.

    Sometimes governments forced worship, other times it was by choice or clan or culture. Where many gods existed, some submitted to several for particular purpose, as they “governed” specific realms.

  244. “Well PF while I agree with you, at current rate and speed it does appear that ole Johnny would have survived at least one term.”

    You can’t make decisions today on what you know tomorrow. You pays your money and you takes your shot based on best judgment.

  245. Tigre, of that 53% a good number of people identified with Obama.

    Identified with him because he was black.
    Identified with him because he was from Chicago.
    Identified with him because he was an Ivy League grad.
    Identified with him because he was an amateur basketball player.

    So yes Tigre, not all of the 53% were issues wonks. In fact, it could be very possible that of the 53% only 10 to 15% of them actually understood and could articulate the issues. The rest voted on identification. And that identification-based vote was not limited to black people,

  246. In schools, we learn of Greek and Roman mythology. We don’t learn this stuff under the guise of religion. In fact, I seem to recall very explicitly being taught that belief in these Gods was evidence of the ignorance of that time period.- R

    So your schools don’t teach about Socrates, Plato or Aristotle?

  247. “And that identification-based vote was not limited to black people.”

    Chicago, Ivy League, Amateur Basketball player? That’s what you and SLJ were referring to as “identifying with?”

    (something tells me SLJ had something else in mind)

  248. “What makes Zeus and Apollo any different from the God worshiped by Jews, Muslims and Christians?” – R

    They had human characteristics, human weakness. I think the more interesting question is why western culture rejected that version but has continued to embrace Judeo-Christian theology for 2-3 thousand years.

    On an entirely tangential point; the Oracle at Delphi would convey her insights after being suspended on a tripod over a hole in a cave. Archaeologists now believe that hole was a fissure that emitted poisonous gasses. Entire armies were sent into battle on the revelations of antiquity’s first “crack” addict. ;)

  249. Neanderthals worshiped a deity a hundred thousand years ago. Today, the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Bhudist religions predominate because their believers were expansionistic empire builders who thrust their beliefs on unwilling populations.

    Did God suddenly appear before people when He inspired various holly books a relatively few thousand years old? Where was He fifteen thousand years ago when some modern pagan religions may have been active?

    Is it possible Thor, Baal, and the others were aspects of the same God? I believe we have all created God in our image, and in so doing we “see through a glass darkly.” Maybe God let societies imagine Him to suit their cultural and technological development. A hunter-gatherer society has different needs than a modern urban oriented civilization.

    Consider the Sami and their shaministic religion which shared a commonality with Eskimos and Siberians. Christian conquerors forced them to become Christians only a few hundred years ago, so we can still extrapulate our ancestors experiences from them. Since WW11, the old ways are returning. Though most are Lutherans, many joik, use ceremonial drums, and music as adjuncts to their Christianity. Some rock groups even joik.

    We also carry vestiges of old religions with rabbits, Easter Lillies, Christmas trees and religious dates prominent in our mythology.. In another context, we might classify the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost as separate gods.

    It makes more sense to me that God has been with us from the beginning in one form or another. I have no documentation to support my musings, and I could be as wrong as sin.

    I thought life would be better for us under President McCain, and I feel even more strongly about it than I did on election night. Again, like the religion question, I can’t prove it.

  250. Thor I’m probably a bit thick today but I don’t know where you were headed on that one. Aristotle, Plato, Socrates in the same sentence as Zeus and Apollo? Help a brotha out.

  251. Tigre, no, I suspect SLJ was focusing on race. He was saying white folk vote for the white guy just as often as blacks for the black guy.

    I know, I know … how does that account for the white vote for Obama. I broadened SLJ’s theory to explain that.

    But I assure you, if you think white folk have a monopoly on critical political thinking you are sorely mistaken. (I know you’re not saying that. I’m just making my point.)

  252. DAMN THIS CHEST COLD!!! I thought I had kicked it. Went out to get my dry cleaning this morning and wham I feel almost back to square one.

    F*ck Punxsutawney Phil. I want Winter over tomorrow. :-(

  253. James, this is going to sound like a cop-out for Obama but the system is way too sick for McCain to have done all that much with it.

    At this point, if I have to say “na na na na hey hey hey goodbye” to Obama, then I’d like Gingrich for one reason and one reason only. That mofo is so crazy he would give us one entertaining presidency. He’d probably get us all killed in the process but at least we’d die entertained.

  254. “What makes Zeus and Apollo any different from the God worshiped by Jews, Muslims and Christians?” – R

    ‘They had human characteristics, human weakness.’

    You mean like smiting people for pissing against the wall?

  255. Like demanding that people grovel and worship them? That’s some kind of super-human, holy-type self-confidence, I’ll tell you.

    Like telling their servants to murder thousands of innocents?

    (Thank god that’s all fantasy and none of it ever happened.)

  256. “Thor I’m probably a bit thick today but I don’t know where you were headed on that one. Aristotle, Plato, Socrates in the same sentence as Zeus and Apollo? Help a brotha out.” R

    I hope you are pulling my leg, but if not, “the ignorance of that time” produced three of the titans of philosophy in Western civilization.

  257. Poolman, it’s a pride thing. Just like I don’t work in my pajamas, wearing a pressed shirt every day just makes me feel more professional.

    Post-layoff, it’s a Whitney Houston kinda thang: “No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.”

    Of course, applied to Houston, those words kinda ring hollow.

  258. Thor I wasn’t pulling your leg. Thanks for the clarification. I’m not up to speed on my philosophers. Did Aristotle, Plato and Socrates believe in the Greek Gods?

  259. Nobody really knows what Socrates thought. He seemed only interested in motivating others to think for themselves.

    That being said, Socrates was put to death for disbelieving in the Gods. Back then, patriotism and the Gods were one in the same.

    I’m pretty sure Plato is a favorite with Christians. His realm of the perfect idea casting shadows to create imperfect replicas in the material world jibes pretty well with Christianity.

    Aristotle didn’t give a shit about what is in Plato’s mind, outside of Venn diagrams. He classified shit here on Earth.

    Notice the center of Raphael’s School of Athens. Plato is pointing to the heavens while Aristotle points to the ground.

  260. Thor,

    WW2 was a battle for survival. In those circumstances, where the very existence of future American generations hang in the balance (and we have a declaration of war), special permission could be granted for deficit spending.

    Of course, we would have to pay it all off.

    That being said, America was only beginning it’s parabolic rise, so we could afford to deficit spend.

    Times are different now.

  261. “I’ve stayed in the market through thick and thin since the ‘eighties”-pfessor

    I do invest in dividend paying blue chips (250 bucks a month…don’t laugh) and agree that’s a solid way to go. I also have a 403b which I regret and some 50 dollar a month annuity (which I also regret).

    It’s boring to talk about it. So I don’t.

    Bad ass dinosaur teeth and bullion…different story.

    That being said, this aint my Father’s economy anymore. Everybody told me the exact same thing you did about buying a house in an upper middle class white neighborhood.

    Your hundred or so year sample doesn’t imply the future will be the same.

    I know you know more then anyone on this board the state of the fiat currencies around the globe.

    The deterioration of world basket, mixed with the new emerging middle class in China and India, the latter seeing investment in gold as an actually religious duty, leads me to believe the barbaric relic is where it’s at.

    Your mind set with the market is and will be my mind set with PM’s.

    If I’m wrong, fuck it. i get tremendous pleasure from the art work on coins. I also foresee, and encourage, a huge dip. Probably numerous times.

    I also sometimes flip semi-numismatics and pocket the money or stack more bullion with it. It feels like trading baseball cards in the 80’s. But, it seems to be working.

    My sons will know i made a call and stood by it with disciplined focus.

    I’m not sure anything else matters.

  262. DR –

    I hear you.

    Although I had stuck by my guns since the ‘eighties, I was kind of ambivalent about the wisdom of staying in the market in the face of universal fiat currency inflation; if the whole world does it, you don’t have much of a place to run.

    After I read Siegel, it made sense though. Stocks get their value by the fact that people are working and making things. When the currency undergoes inflation, it costs them more to buy their raw materials, pay their workers, etc, but they just raise their prices, so the margin remains roughly the same – a built-in hedge against inflation. Inflation devastates bonds, commercial paper, etc., since they are tied to the value of the money. Real estate was always a good bet, but to a large degree its appeal s tied to the fact that an ever-increasing population is chasing a fixed amount of land. That’s not true now, since the US will soon have a near-zero population growth. I don’t know anything about real estate anyway and it’s too late to learn and make the mistakes.

    If I knew how to somehow embed that chart, I would post it here. It sums up in one graphic what every investor (I believe) needs to know.

  263. DR –

    Shit – I went right to it. Here you go:

    Notice that big disruptions like WWI and WWII, the 1987 crash, the Great Depression, etc. are just little blips. It sure convinced me! Now if I can get my kids to not piss away everything I have saved on speculative nonsense and personal items, I’ll be OK. Doubt it, though…

  264. Yes, dead rabbit, the evidence is shaky for Neanderthal religion, but it exists. A web site titled Middle Paleolithic cave site in eastern Crimea with non-utilitarian bone artifacts by the Ukrainian Academy of Science mentions bone artifacts with no apparent practical use which may have been used for ceremonies.

    Social Life of Early Man mentions Neanderthal burials with signs bodies were bound before burial. The practice in later people was associated with a fear of ghosts and evil spirits.

    Cave Basua has a stalagmite in an almost inacessible chamber. Neanderthals’ foot prints show they repeatedly walked around it and they also threw clay pellets at the stalagmite..

    Some bodies were surrounded by stones, and others were colored by ocher. One body surrounded by stones showed signs of violent, perhaps ritualistic death. Two blows to the head killed the man, and a hole was drilled into his skull after he died.

    The skull appeared similar to those left by head hunters in Borneo who killed and beheaded a known man before they could give a baby a name. The skull was kept in the home as a sacred object.

    Neanderthals left no written records, and their motives may have had nothing to do with religion. The fact that some Neanderthal tools and actions dovetail with known religious practices of later people does not prove anything, but it raises questions.

    I believe the circumstantial evidence shows Neanderthals may have had religions. You may look at the same signs and believe they did not. Like modern religion, it is a matter of faith which cannot be proven one way or the other. One can only infer, and I infer that at least some Neanderthals believed in something beyond them.

  265. Yes, Rutherford, Obama inherited an awful economy, but several other countries like Canada and Germany dealt with the recession differently than we did, and their economies improved faster than ours . An unknown number of Mexicans are moving home because they think their job prospects are better than they are here.

    Obama has appointed some awful officials. One of the most notable is Eric Holder. McCain probably would have given us some real winners too, but they would have tended to have been too conservative which seems to be better for us than too liberal.

    On the other hand, I think McCain said we should have sent troops to Libya. Newt might have been entertaining, but Al Sharpton or Rush Limbaugh would have been full of laughs too. .

  266. My wife and I worked the commodities market to protect our incomes, but we never played the stock market.

    Mark Styne wrote in “America Alone” that immigration will be our salvation. Our population will continue to grow as long as people want to move here. Europeans and Japanese are not replacing the next generation, and their elaborate welfare systems will become unaffordable.

    NBC reported on Iowa’s economy during the caucus season. A real estate business man said farm land is different from urban real estate. People have to eat, and as cities expand the amount of farm land shrinks each year. Home sites can be bought and sold many times a decade. A productive farm may only be available once in a life time.

  267. Obama”s need to spend is insatiable. Absolutely insatiable. He will justify continuing down this path by any mean necessary so he can appear as the candy man. It’s got to end.

    10 months prior to the election and a budget designed to be rejected is offered? This is purely political and shouldn’t be tolerated by the right or the left. And yet the MSNBC crowd will cheer and point finger to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the path we are on, then scream about “the rich” and “fair share” with all the resonance of “mean people suck” to the delight of their indentured electorate.

    Against the backdrop of what’s occurring in Europe, this has to end. This is where we are headed unless we change course. And the left sits by smugly content. They will never accept responsibility and therefore consider themselves immune from blame.

  268. “Thor I wasn’t pulling your leg. Thanks for the clarification. I’m not up to speed on my philosophers. Did Aristotle, Plato and Socrates believe in the Greek Gods?” – R

    I wasn’t addressing their faith, I was taking issue with the blanket indictment … “ignorance of the time”.

  269. “That being said, Socrates was put to death for disbelieving in the Gods.” – Rabbit

    I think it went a step further. If I remember correctly, he actually used the mythology against itself in his arguments. Nobody likes a smart ass. ;)

  270. DR @ 361:

    Yes, the justification for destroying Europe and then rebuilding it were far greater than cleaning up the mess from an unnecessary war,tax cuts for the upper crust during a time of war and the unbridled speculation that led to the housing bubble burst.

    But again, like you said, it must be paid back. I think we can still grow fast enough to do that. Apparently you feel we have passed that era.

  271. Like demanding that people grovel and worship them? That’s some kind of super-human, holy-type self-confidence, I’ll tell you.
    Like telling their servants to murder thousands of innocents?
    (Thank god that’s all fantasy and none of it ever happened.) – PF

    If that’s how you wish to see it. I simply asked the question of why these religions still thrive while the gods of Greek mythology have faded away.

  272. “Obama”s need to spend is insatiable.” – ET

    “Rutherford, is this how Obama shows he understands? By cutting the budget of the only school district for which he is responsible?” – Huck

    Evil cutting Obama. Evil spending Obama. Now that’s what I call a “tar baby”. ;)

  273. Numbnutz, this word, “tar baby,” I do not think it means what you think it does. You can’t reconcile the two statements? Dig deep and see if you can find some sarcasm there. . .

  274. “10 months prior to the election and a budget designed to be rejected is offered?” – ET

    I’m sure Ryan’s forthcoming budget will be “severely” conciliatory.

    “And the left sits by smugly content. They will never accept responsibility and therefore consider themselves immune from blame.” – ET

    We take the blame for handing you a surplus and a growing economy. Do you take the blame for handing us deficits and a recession?

  275. There’s got to be a lot of black people in the DC school district.

    And I’ll bet a lot of rich, white motherfuckers are who is looking to buy that shitty Volt.

    Why does Barack Obama hate black people so much while he favors whites? Is it because he knows “people vote for those who look the same,” so he doesn’t have to worry about losing the black vote?

    I’ll let our resident race experts toss that one around.

  276. “We take the blame for handing you a surplus and a growing economy. Do you take the blame for handing us deficits and a recession?”

    Notice the utter failure to defend the practices of the current leaders of this country?

    Thor, why won’t democrats pass a budget? Do you have an answer to that?

  277. “That’s mighty racist of you….” – Huck

    And you dare to imply, ET, that I don’t know how to use that term? I’m a “propagandist” remember. It’s my job to “use” words. ;)

  278. R, because you said something about Catholic voters and polling, I thought I’d share this…

    Catholics strongly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing as the debate continues over his administration’s new policy forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception they morally oppose. While the president’s overall job approval ratings have improved over the past couple of months, they have remained steady among Catholics.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of likely Catholic voters nationwide at least somewhat disapprove of the president’s job performance, while 40% at least somewhat approve. But the passion’s on the side of those who don’t like the job he’s doing: 44% Strongly Disapprove versus 19% who Strongly Approve.

  279. Notice the utter failure to defend the practices of the current leaders of this country?- H

    The current practice (salient enough for you) of deficit spending is required to clean up the mess of the prior administration. The current opponents of the current administration want to return to the practices of the prior administration.

  280. And I’ll bet a lot of rich, white motherfuckers are who is looking to buy that shitty Volt.

    If you buy a Volt it automatically disqualifies you from being a “motherfucker”. :)

  281. Since using them properly would a prerequisite, I’m guessing you’re unemployed.

    You seem to be under the impression that doing a good job has something to do with being employed. You really do live in a glass bubble. ;)

  282. Those dry cleaning chemicals are messing with your health, Rutherford. Save yourself a buck AND the constant misery.

    Plus the gas to get there and back.

    Plus the time…

    That’s right. You said it’s a pride thing.

    Our whole nation is stuck up in that same pride thing.

    It’s insanity!

    [I pontificate]

  283. “Tar-baby” is straight out of Uncle Remus’ Tales, by Joel Chandler. Nearly every child of the ‘fifties remembers that book with great fondness.

    Here’s an updated version of the “tar-baby” story:

  284. As I tried to explain to Rutherford (who I recall would here nothing of it),”Tar-baby” is a well-worn expression/term in the Southern legal community. And “no”, it’s not considered racist although some politician was accused of it recently by the PC police.

  285. Thor, just come clean.

    You don’t care about a budget. After all, it won’t be budgets that save us. It will be a massive and rapid expansion of our economy. The largest growth our country has ever seen.

    You have full confidence in a debt fueled bubble, managed by a tiny elite while coupled to a loose monetary policy and lots of hope. Most people do. I’m the weirdo, here.

    Its cool. One thing I’ve learned, there is always someone on the other side of the bet. I need you, man.

  286. The House has passed about thirty pieces of legislation concerning the budget and other financial matters. Harry Reid hasn’t even brought them to a vote. As with the absent budget, why?

    The payroll tax is robbing Social Security, but it is a tax Obama likes because his using it puts Republicans in a bind. If they fight it, Obama tells us Republicans are stealing from the middle class to pay for the rich people’s tax breaks.

    This is as far off topic as it can get. I was cross- country skiing a few minutes ago. Our labrador-rotweiller cross dog is a stray who learned to live off the land through hunting before she came here.

    She loves to go cross country skiing with me so she can hunt. She ran barking toward a tree, and a red tailed hawk suddenly swooped down at her. It circled and came back again. Our dog lept up and snatched the hawk from the air I couldn’t cross a fence with my skies on so I watched.

    The dog grabbed the hawk’s foot and she let go when it counter attacked. She walked about ten feet away and charged as she took care to stay away from the hawk’s beak and talons. Our dog looked like a wolf.

    I am exhausted and my teeth are thobbing, so my wife has walked about a half mile to see what she can do to rescue the hawk.

    I hope your cold fades away.

  287. As I tried to explain to Rutherford (who I recall would here nothing of it),”Tar-baby” is a well-worn expression/term in the Southern legal community. – ET

    I know. You already explained all this about two months ago. I was just yanking your guys’ chains.

  288. “No, the Budget Control Act was passed August 2nd Numbnutz.” – ET

    I know. And that’s the framework they are operating under. You might not like to see it as a budget, but apparently Congress does. They’re still collecting their paychecks.

  289. Thor, just come clean.
    You don’t care about a budget.

    Sure I do. Budgets are about priorities. But they tend to turn to bullshit after about two years out. Projections that far out can start to get pretty twisted. That’s when decelerating increases become “cuts” and wars start to pay for themselves. Ryan’s plan eliminates Medicare and still doesn’t balance the budget. Most SS doomsday projections go out decades without any assumption of change in population growth trends, as if we will always have the baby boom to pay for. Even my guy Obama is throwing around this 4 trillion dollar reduction number, like anyone can even grasp what 4 trillion means.

  290. Obama”s need to spend is insatiable. Absolutely insatiable.

    I don’t know why but that struck me as funny.

    One minute it’s “when has Obama ever produced a budget?” Now it’s getting all pissy because the budget is dead on arrival.

    Let me ask you a general question Tigre. How ’bout the strategy of no cuts during a recovery and a plan for long term deficit decreases? The idea is you kick the economy into high gear so that later you have the money to more aggressively pay off the debt. Sounds reasonable to me.

  291. Government is not going to spend it way out of this as the government envisions spending. So “no.”Not reasonable.

    And I ain’t being “prissy.” EvenReid knows this is “budget” is a political joke.

    How about Obama and the senate get serious about debt reduction, deficit and private sector growth?

  292. Just keep nursing that cold R, I’ve got this.

    I’m enjoying the show tremendously. By the way, the whole fam damily is sick. We truly need to be put in three separate sterile rooms until we kick this thing. :neutral:

  293. Your daughter can just drive herself to school while your nursing that cold too.

    Funny you should mention that Tigre. Our “rule” is whichever of us has a fever stays indoors if possible. In the event (like this morning) when we both have a fever, then my wife bites the bullet and delivers the kid to the bus since my respiratory system is always at greater risk than hers.

  294. LOL Poolman thanks for the advice. I suspect dry cleaning chemicals are more hazardous to workers than to the folks who wear the clothes. Hell, I’ve had my shirts cleaned for nearly 30 years.

    I’ll tell you this much though. When I was a toddler, I had frequent surgeries to correct “birth defects” and the ether used as anesthesia had a distinct smell. As a young boy, I’d hate to go to the dry cleaner with my mother because I smelled that same ether-like odor. It prompted an immediate fear reaction.

  295. Look, even Numbnutz repeats the meme that the Ryan plan kills medicare — no talk of replacement under the piece of shit Obama passed.

    At least Ryan has a pair.

  296. The latest hero for the Christians emerges.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to make the protection of persecuted Christians one of his foreign policy priorities if he wins the 2012 presidential election.

    At a meeting on Wednesday between heads of government and representatives of different confessions, a member of the Russian Orthodox Church told him that Christian minorities are facing repression in certain countries, such as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and India. He urged Putin to make this one of his foreign policy directions in future.

    “This is how it will be, have no doubt,” replied the Prime Minister before stressing the importance of solving this problem worldwide.

    The largest community of Orthodox Christians in the East is located in Syria.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/Vladimir-Putin-emerges-as

  297. Poolman, I wonder how many Christians face persecution in Syria. I ask because of course Russia (with China) blew the UN’s attempt to scold Syria for its current bloodbath. Is Putin talking out of both sides of his mouth?

  298. The Napolitano video is right on the money. It’s meet the new boss, same as the old boss. This has been the biggest letdown for folks like me who placed a lot of hopes on Obama. But to answer “why would you vote for him again?” There is no alternative that will make things any better and I still favor liberal ideology over conservative.

    Poolman, I won’t post the video here because it is inflammatory and will feed your already well documented paranoia but there is some dude on YouTube who thinks Napolitano got fired for a piece critical of Israel.

  299. R –

    re: ether. My mom had surgery as a kid and they did open-drop ether on her. They held her down and she couldn’t breathe. It was a horrifying memory for her to her dying day. But enough about whether “waterboarding” is torture…

    I had my knee ‘scoped about fifteen years ago and the anesthesiologist was an old friend of mine. (He had just left his VERRY cute wife for another MAN and I told him that if I woke up with my underwear on backwards, he had some ‘splainin’ to do. LOL.)

    I told him I hadn’t done any drugs since college and I wanted some good ‘erbs. He said, “I’ll take care of you, Jim.” hmmm…..

    So while they were prepping my leg he kept my anesthesia light and we tried various stuff. The surgeon and nurses laughed their asses off at us. You’d probably go to jail for that these days, but it was a very controlled environment, so what the hell.

    Anyway, he hooked me up with this new drug called Propofol. Heard of it? Michael Jackson? It blew me away. I looked over the drape and told the surgeon to go ahead and cut my leg off. I remember that. He just laughed and said that’s why we don’t get informed consents after people have had pre-op shots. Pat told me that these kinds of drugs are why anesthesiologists have such drug problems as a group.

    The anesthesia was wonderful. I woke up as if I’d had a good night’s sleep, hobbled out to the car and drove myself home. Wasn’t supposed to do that…

    Ether is a sonofabitch. It is soluble in fat, so the body is constantly taking it out of the blood. That makes it VERY safe, but waking up takes the better part of a day as it slowly bleeds back out of the fat, and you are wiped out for a week. Modern anesthesia has advanced further than any part of medicine in the past thirty years; an anesthesia death is almost unheard-of these days.

  300. I usually exorcise until my teeth throb. That is when it is time to quit.

    Its the media’s fault about Obama. As Tom Brokaw said “we know so little about him, we don’t even know what he reads.” I did the research reporters didn’t do, and I knew what to expect when he was elected.

    I think Obama could win again, and if you think it can’t be any worse, remember he will have few restraints because he will be a lame duck president.

    Re ether: When I was in the Air Force, a young dentist removed my two impacted wisdom teeth. One was infected. He split the teeth to better remove them. The dentist lost a half inch section in my lingual space, and he nearly went crazy. I must have glowed with all of the full mouth and other x rays, and as time passed the anesthetic wore off. He pressed on for four and a half hours.

    A crowd gathered around to watch and someone told the commander the anesthetic had worn off. He ordered the dentist to get me numb again. An hour later, I was in the hospital for two days.

    Two years later, I was on another base, and the dental clinic commander spotted luninecense around the root tip. The needle was so far down my throat, what anesthetic that leaked out drained down and made it hard to swallow. I chocked, and he lost the root tip. Two and a half hours later, the dentist sewed me up. One side of my face and tongue were numb for nearly four months.

    The root tip is still in place, and sometimes it throbs like pounding a hammer.

    Forget water boarding if you want to torture someone. Do a little dental work.

    Women sometimes tease that men wouldn’t be able to stand the pain of child birth. Wrong.

  301. “I usually exorcise until my teeth throb.”

    Ah, a Catholic priest. That explains the position on birth control mandates. :lol:

  302. Thanks for the good laugh, El Tigre, and thanks too Poolman.

    My teeth are fine. I have them checked every six months. The area around my root tip throbs because it is resting next to my lingual artery. The throbbing is referred elsewhere from the source.

    Whatever you do, don’t EVER let a tooth get infected and die.

    I worked in the hospital when I was in the service, and i also worked in the dental clinic. Sometimes airmen came in with infected teeth and the infection which killed the teeth had nowhere to go in such a confined space. As the pressure built, the pain became unbearable. Anesthetic was no good.

    The dentist drilled as the patient moaned in agony. Finally the drill broke through, and it was like lancing a boil. The pain was gone.

    A drunk driver knocked me out and wrecked my two front teeth. They both have nice crowns. Unfortunately, one root shattered. The dentist put it together with pins and glue and removed part of my gum which became infected because of the trauma.

    The work took an hour and a half and stole his noon hour. They prescribed pain killer, but I didn’t need it because of my earlier experiences. Compared to them, this pain was minor.

    Now, we are waiting to see what will happen before risking another $900 on a new crown. My next appointment is tomorrow.

    Time to ski again and see if the hawk survived.

  303. Man, I can identify with the military dentist story by James.

    The Navy made myself and the meanest black chick I’ve ever known drive a van down to San Francisco to get all of our wisdoms yanked.

    They put me out to do it. When i woke up, I was still fucked up. They gave me the keys to the van and there I was, my face pulsating, driving 5 hours north on the 101. It’s a miracle I didn’t drive off the side of a mountain, getting bitched at the whole time by my partner from some swamp in Louisiana.

    When I returned, I realized I never got my medical records back.

    Of course, that was all my fault, despite being in a stupor. I got reamed for it AND a “re-do” on every single shot I had ever gotten, including all the funky overseas shit. That was a lot of shots, man.

  304. “I love when this petty shit is fired back to point out the absurdity of the typical lib tactic used to control dialogue.”-tigre

    I disagree. All this does is keep the gotcha game going. I thought the tweet was going to be way more inflammatory then that.

    I’m not sure if a chimichanga is really even Mexican food but I have never got why food is such a sensitive subject when it comes to ethnic groups.

  305. “Poolman, I wonder how many Christians face persecution in Syria.”

    Minority groups, like the Maronites, Orthodox, Druze, and obviously the Alawites side, although some of the groups reluctantly, with Assad.

    Assad is a secular tyrant. As long as you stfu, you can practice any religion you want. Thus, afraid of the extremism that may emerge from the Sunni majority, the Orthodox side with Assad.

    Claiming to protect a certain religious minority (France the Catholic Maronites, Russia the Orthodox, etc.) is a geopolitical play that goes back for centuries. Par for the course.

    One thing I find interesting is that Hamas has packed their shit up and left. There was an alliance between Hamas and Hezbollah i always found odd, despite both of the groups being Iranian proxies. Maybe Gorilla or Hucking have a take on this?

    Maybe we will get to see a Hamas-Hezbollah showdown in Syria if Assad gets ousted and Syria splinters in a Civil War form hell.

    By the way, Hucking. Seems like you have some explaining to do. I read the MB has demanded the U.S. keep paying tribute to Egypt or there will be no peace with Israel. It seems the MB’s are defending the military oligarchy’s bullshit with the arrest of those Americans.

  306. Then we disagree. The b.s. continues unabated. Attacks on other for political correctness continue as long as the media reports them and allows the MSNBC types to run with them.

    Case in point appears above. Remember the uproar over “tar baby.” Rutherford still refers to “dog whistles” to validate the gotchas.

    Shit, look at his last post with the reference to Obama’s singing. The loiters around looking for things like that.

    When people that let it pass are forced to say, “hey, this is stupid — they could do the same to casually stated things [like chimichangas] on the other side” I think scepticism will set in.

    In other words, fuck you — you’re wrong. :lol:

  307. “When people that let it pass are forced to say, “hey, this is stupid they could do the same to casually stated things [like chimichangas] on the other side” I think scepticism will set in.”

    I hope you are right.

    The worst thing to probably happen would be for the Tweetee (is that a word?) to apologize.

  308. AND a “re-do” on every single shot I had ever gotten

    I broke out into a cold sweat when I read this. That is a LOT of shots…

    I’ve had the full series of Anthrax for years, with many boosters. Small Pox is such a pain in the ass- I hate that open wound, and who could forget Typhoid- such a little needle, so much fucking pain…

  309. “By the way, Hucking. Seems like you have some explaining to do. I read the MB has demanded the U.S. keep paying tribute to Egypt or there will be no peace with Israel. It seems the MB’s are defending the military oligarchy’s bullshit with the arrest of those Americans.”

    That’s possible, but I also see where they could be 2 different things as far as the MB is concerned.

    SCAF is the executive power. It enforces the law. The MB essentially controls a lower house. It helps make/ratify the law. And I don’t know if they even have that power yet.

    Treaties would fall under the MB realm. Like treaties with Israel and agreements with the US.

    Internal security and arrests fall under the SCAF realm. Like arrests of foreigners for supposed crimes of spreading democracy.

    It could be seen as backing the SCAF arrests or it could be seen as calling the bluff of those in the US screaming about cutting funds (which I am not opposed to).

    Is it the MB’s fault that we allow Israel to lead us around by the ballsack? Why wouldn’t they exploit that? It’s the smart play if you are Egypt. And it will work (which is why it’s the smart play).

    Regarding Hamas and Damascus, they have been looking to relocate since the shit started hitting the fan in Syria. They are probably going back to Jordan. They recently met with King Abdullah II, and they have also made nice with the PNA, accepting a unity government with Abbas in charge with 2012 elections. Which reports say is pissing a few people off within Hamas. And of course they are spouting off about their (non) relationship with Israel.

    Hamas has so many different wings, it is hard to tell if its contradictions are from the various wings or if they signal possible schisms in the group as a whole.

  310. “There was an alliance between Hamas and Hezbollah…”

    G certainly might know something I don’t, but I have never encountered anything in my 2 years of studying Hamas that supports it was ever “officially” allied with Hezbollah, and at best maybe a very loose affiliation based on mutual friends and mutual enemies.

  311. Maybe Gorilla or Hucking have a take on this? – DR

    How far down the “rabbit” hole should we go? First off, if you think Hamas has bugged out, think again. Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not active- they are. I’d bet dollars to donuts that they’ve already been involved in some of the violence against the civilians/protesters.

    Curious though- and maybe R can explain this- why did we conducts months month’s worth of operations against Libya because of the potential of regime violence against the civilians, yet, we have hundreds of actual dead civilians from regime violence and we’ve done nothing.

    What, does the Messiah only act on the African continent?

  312. Official is such a loaded term. Kind of like proxy. If I provide you with training, logistics, weapons and support your operations, am I really not affiliated with you? Hamas and Hezbollah have been , and continue to be in bed with one another.

  313. Listen, I think that if someone thinks that the military and MB aren’t working together at some level is just delusional. They’re feeling each other out, but they both know that at this point, they will need each other to stay on top in the future.

    It’s good to see that Huck has an academic future though…

  314. And I think it is equally delusional to think that the Muslim Brotherhood would get into bed with SCAF right now when it still has a higher house of parliament and a presidency to contend for.

    The people hate SCAF, why would an entity (MB) that plays on populism ally with such a hated group?

    It just doesn’t make any sense to me. And I have not seen 1 lick of evidence or analysis other than “you’re crazy if you think….” to refute any of that. Sorry, but that isn’t sufficient in my world.

    “Hamas and Hezbollah have been , and continue to be in bed with one another.”

    But you just can’t prove it…right?

    Here’s the big difference between what I say and what Gorilla says.

    I say what might and what might not be. And I provide evidence and analysis to back it up.

    Gorilla tells us what is and what isn’t. And gives nothing to back it up.

    I am not saying I am right and I am not saying he isn’t. But it is going to take more than an appeal to his perceived authority to get me to concede.

  315. “What, does the Messiah only act on the African continent?”

    Maybe Libya was low hanging fruit. The risk to reward ratio, decent?

    Personally, I think it’s great that Qadaffy got a bat up his ass. And I’m not sure going in and backing up the Sunni in Syria would make sense, as much as it pains me to see that thug Assad massacre his own people.

    I thought its widely accepted Hamas and Hezbollah have had a close working relationship for the last ten years. They’re both funded by the nation. Both make war against the same nation. And Hamas needed the training from Hezbollah. I didn’t know that their working relationship was controversial?

    It certainly would be interesting if Hamas was covertly helping Assad kill Sunni Muslims. Perhaps they will become a target of Al Queda?

    It would be fun to watch all these stink beard groups kill one another instead of women and children for once.

  316. why did we conducts months month’s worth of operations against Libya because of the potential of regime violence against the civilians, yet, we have hundreds of actual dead civilians from regime violence and we’ve done nothing.

    Sorry, I’ve been wondering the very same thing.

    The Libyans and the Arab League explicitly asked for our help if I’m not mistaken. Can the same be said for Syria? That’s the only straw I can grasp at. In my view Assad deserves an ass whupping way more than Gadaffi did.

  317. Poolman, that Jon Stewart piece was so refreshing.

    To my friends here who tell me to stop whining about American poverty because on a global scale our poor are living like kings, I reply, stop whining about the war on religion. You want to see a real war on religion, go to countries around the world who kill you for your religious beliefs. Makes the recent birth control brouhaha look like a walk in the park.

  318. It would be fun to watch all these stink beard groups kill one another instead of women and children for once.

    While I might not have put it quite like that (PC and all) I couldn’t agree more.

  319. I’ve never been a big fan of medicine. I’m the type who just grits his teeth and suffers. But this 50 year old bag of bones is just too damn tired so I’ve been medicating my symptoms away. Problem is, since I’m not used to medicating, the medicines are doing some wild crap on me. Benadryl this morning slowed me down to a crawl. I was useless. Robitussin cough medicine tonight has my heart racing and my lungs wheezing.

    The good news is my daughter is getting better. Once my wife recovers from this bug I won’t be surrounded by sick people anymore and I may have some hope of recovery.

    Of course, in typical self-destruct mode, I’m typing on a blog when I should be in bed. :neutral:

    Tomorrow, dudes and dudettes.

  320. This puts a different spin on the Syrian situation. Based on what we are led to believe and told by the media, I think it’s worth considering others views.

    For eleven months, the Western powers and the Gulf States have lead a campaign to destabilize Syria. Several thousand mercenaries infiltrated the country. Recruited by agencies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar within the Sunni extremist community, they came to overthrow the “Alawite usurper” Bashar al-Assad and impose a Wahhabi-inspired dictatorship. They have at their disposal some of the most sophisticated military equipment, including night vision systems, communication centers, and robots for urban warfare. Supported secretly by the NATO powers, they also have access to vital military information, including satellite images of Syrian troop movements, and telephone interceptions.

    This has been falsely portrayed to the Western public as a political revolution crushed in blood by a ruthless dictatorship. Of course, this lie has not been universally accepted. Russia, China and the Latin American and Caribbean member states of ALBA repudiate it. They each have a historical background that allows them to readily grasp what is at stake. The Russians are thinking of Chechnya, the Chinese of Xinjiang, and the Latin Americans of Cuba and Nicaragua. In all these cases, beyond ideological or religious appearances, the methods of destabilization by the CIA were the same.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/End-of-game-in-the-Middle-East

  321. “It would be fun to watch all these stink beard groups kill one another instead of women and children for once.”

    Yep. I think GWB’s biggest mistake was taking out Iraq. They and Iran were constantly in a Mexican standoff, punctuated by an occasional all-out war that resulted in a lot fewer Islamists. (Actually, I really like that “stinkbeard” epithet. I may start using that.) What the hell was he thinking about? Ditto Bo on Libya, Egypt, Syria etc. Arab Spring? Yeah, right. Help them spring up at your own throat.

    Ron Paul is right. We absolutely need to sit on our hands and mind our own business. Everything we touch, from taking out the Shah to the “Arab Spring,” we end up shooting off our own foot. Kinda like that leg-a-cide bomber a couple of days ago…

    disclaimer: No racism meant, R, by the “Mexican standoff” remark. I didn’t mention chimichangas or anything…

  322. “To my friends here who tell me to stop whining about American poverty because on a global scale our poor are living like kings, I reply, stop whining about the war on religion. You want to see a real war on religion, go to countries around the world who kill you for your religious beliefs. Makes the recent birth control brouhaha look like a walk in the park.”

    Huh? Is this inanity the product of some Benadryl induced stupor?

    Please tell me you are kidding. Comparative free practice of religion versus wealth redistribution is a parallel in your mind? :roll: :roll:

  323. I liked your military story dead rabbit.

    I opposed the invasion of Iraq too, but there were reasons for the war. Liberal columnist Thomas Friedman was a loud cheerleader because he supported one of the reasons for war the Bush administration stated.

    For one thing, his forces sometimes shot at our planes enforcing the No Fly Zone. Our pilots had a couple of narrow escapes.

    Iraq would become a relatively democratic bastion in the heart of Muslim theorcracy. and would weaken the region’s political monopoly. Iraq also had undeveloped oil production potential. Saddam Hussein wasn’t getting any younger, and there were signs of future instability when he was no longer around.

    The existence of weapons of mass destruction was as much accepted science as Al Gores’ version of global warming. Analysts feared that if Iraq collapsed, terroristic groups might steal some of the weapons and use them.

    The Bush administration knew the public wouldn’t accept an optional war with fuzzy geopolitical goals, so they hinted that Iraq was getting ready to use nuclear or biological weapons on us.

    Iraqi expatriots also fanned the flames for their own reasons. The administration and its allies gave credence to their reports of conditions in Iraq. We didn’t have many spies in the society. Few paid attention to one of Saddam’s sons-in law who fled Iraq and said Saddam had ordered the weapons dismantled, hidden, and left to be reassembled at a later time.

    Even some of Saddam’s generals didn’t know the weapons were gone until the invasion began. He used the threat of such weapons and fostered the belief that they still existed to protect Iraq from Iran or other potential enemies.

    The reasons for war were valid, but as you hinted Pfessr, unintended consequences are a bitch.

  324. “disclaimer: No racism meant, R, by the “Mexican standoff” remark. I didn’t mention chimichangas or anything…”

    Anyone remember when the Obama campaign accused Bill Clinton of being a racist in referring to Obama as a “kid.”

    Good times. . . good times.

    Ah yes, Rabbit, that is the key. The dems turning it on themselves. . .

  325. Back to the wall of separation for a minute…
    Scott Gottlieb: Meet the ObamaCare Mandate Committee.WSJ.com tells us about the brave new world we will face under Obamacare.

    “Its all a reminder that President Obama’s decision on contraception isn’t a one off political intervention but the initial exploit of an elaborate new system.”

  326. Rutherford,
    From personal experience only as I am not a medical person and seldom take any medications but your reactions sound familiar. Benadryl and Robitussin can have some strange interactions taken together. I don’t know what dose of Benadryl you took, but knock it down to 25 mg maybe twice a day and if you do take Robitussin make sure it’s the expectorant not DM or CF or just take the Mucinex tablets.

    Hope you feel better as that is some nasty crude going around.

  327. “Maybe Libya was low hanging fruit. The risk to reward ratio, decent?

    It would be fun to watch all these stink beard groups kill one another instead of women and children for once.” – DR

    Before the Arab Spring, Libya ranked 14th in oil exports, Syria ranked 55th, two rungs south of Vietnam. It would take a year for the loss of Syrian production to have the same effect of one month without Libya’s oil going to world markets. Also, Libya’s oil pretty much goes straight to Europe. All the financial experts I listen to (meaning one, Mr. Dead Rabbit) feel we still have extreme exposure to the European CDS market. But I’m sure none of this has anything to do with the choice to hold back militarily.

    And make no mistake, women and children will be killed.

  328. OT – Mountain Lion is ready!

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/16/hands-on-new-mac-mountain-lion-os-spotlights-sharing/

    For the faithful few who hung on doggedly through the bad times, a little vindication is sweeeeeeeeeet…I don’t know how long this company can keep hitting on all cylinders, but I sure am enjoying it right now. There is an amazing app for the iPad that gives you full control of every electronic item in your house from anywhere in the world, as well as seeing what’s going on there while you’re away.

    …great time to be alive.

  329. “All the financial experts I listen to (meaning one, Mr. Dead Rabbit)”

    Lol. God help you.

    Good point about the Euro oil market.

    As for Rutherford’s strange rant about global wars of religion and those here in America making 1st amendment arguments involving religion, that had to be the dumbest thing I’ve read since the sensico era.

    Um um…you niggas need to stop complain’ cuz y’all lucky u aint slaves.

    Or…bitch, damn right your gonna give me the pussy after the first date because they just take the pussy sans Olive Garden in da Congo…

  330. The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014.

    The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent. Compounding the problem of high unemployment, the share of unemployed people looking for work for more than six months—referred to as the long-term unemployed—topped 40 percent in December 2009 for the first time since 1948, when such data began to be collected; it has remained above that level ever since.”

  331. poolman –

    Thanks for the Napolitano vid. I hope you don’t mind; I shanghaied it to M&H; we’re kind of on the same side anyway…

    I was skimming the news this morning. It looks like at Paul’s speech last night they did everything but put him on a donkey and ride him into Jerusalem. Buckminster Fuller said it took about twenty years for a revolutionary idea to go from invention to wide adoption. I guess Americans are just slow learners.

  332. From The Weekly Standard, Amateure Hour at the UN,

    “What will emerge from the wreckage of Obama’s Syria policy remains unclear, but Russia and China have demonstrated the UN will play no role contrary to their interests. Obama has failed to appreciate the geopolitical linkage between Assad’s regime and Tehran, and the protective ring thrown around both by Russian and China. Most significantly, whatever conclusions one draws about the Arab Spring–good or bad, optimistic or pessimistic–Syria is radically different from its other manifestations because of one central fact, the malign presence of Iran.”

    Obama’s and Hilary’s attempt to reset relationships with Russia failed.The Russians must have smirked behind closed doors. Like other countries, they still do what they what when it is in their interest.

    Maybe we need another cowboy who worries more about what is good for US than about letting others who pretend to be our friends when it suits them overly influence our foreign policy.

    I could vote for Ron Paul if he discarded his isolationism.

    My wife and I were gone yesterday, and we will be gone today after I finish cross country skiing. If people get bored, maybe they can tear this comment apart.

    I hope you are feeling better, Rutherford.

  333. “There is an amazing app for the iPad that gives you full control of every electronic item in your house from anywhere in the world, as well as seeing what’s going on there while you’re away.” PF

    Why don’t you just stroll over to Langley and let them place chips in your frontal lobes. ;)

  334. God has anybody seen this? This guy has had it with his daughter ‘dissing him on Facebook. It’s gone viral.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/10/it_bloke_shoots_daughters_laptop/

    thor – interesting stuff on the video surveillance. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but an acquaintance, Steve Ciarcia publishes an electronics magazine called, “Circuit Cellar, Ink. He had an article on homebrew video surveillance several years ago – he had designed and built one for his house that sent vid to his cell phone – pretty advanced for the time.

    I wrote to him and asked why that would be something I should do for my house.

    “Let me tell you a story. Last year around New Years’ I was travelling. My house is down a long driveway, like yours, and I am not married and live alone. The house would be a perfect setup for burglars when I’m gone, since there is nobody there and I may be gone two or three weeks at a time.”

    “I got an alarm on my phone and turned on the video remotely. There was a car sitting by my house with someone inside, not moving. I could tell the engine was running by the steam from the exhaust. I called the local police, who investigated.”

    “It was an old lady with Alzheimers who was lost and had planned on sitting there until somebody came and rescued her. I wouldn’t be home for a week and the temperatures were below freezing.”

    That has given me a lot of pause – also the fact that I probably have enough computer equipment to keep an addict in drugs for a long time, and my dogs would help the burglers carry everything out for the bribe of a biscuit apiece.

  335. We got the best beer in the world in Michigan.

    Fuck the west coast or Colorado. It’s getting to the point where we can take on Belgium.

    I’m mostly a Belgium guy myself, but when the Dead Rabbit feels like something really hearty, he reaches for a Founder’s Breakfast Stout. Oily as fuck.

  336. Beer talk. Yeah. I enjoy a nice Fat Tire on tap when out to eat. Otherwise, if there is beer in the fridge, it’s probably Dos Equis Amber. Serious business, that beer shit.

  337. ” enjoy a nice Fat Tire on tap when out to eat.”

    Fat tire is actually some tasty stuff. Mild, kind of weak on the gulp…but tasty nonetheless.

    Why don’t you forgo that night out and buy an ounce of shiny and put your money where your mouth is, sucka.

    It’s real rich of you to now all of sudden start linking libertarian rhetoric. You were an Obama cheerleader and you waxed on about how bad you needed Planned fucking Parenthood to take care of the most private of household issues. Now its all about small government.

    I feel like getting you in a head lock, shemp.

  338. Raji @ 471, LOL. That’s wild.

    Elect Rick Santorum and in 60 days we’ll be that shining city on the hill again.

    That’s gonna take a lot of magic dust. :grin:

  339. Rabbit, you think I just “all of sudden start linking libertarian rhetoric”?

    You haven’t been paying attention, maaan. I DID vote for Obama. I’ve been disappointed with just about everything that we have been still doing since, regardless of who is at the helm. I just don’t blame him for his driving, because obviously, like the boats in Disney World, the steering wheel is just there for show.

  340. My wife needed the computer, so I was in hurry and wrote our old e mail address.

    Michele Malkin’s Feb 17 column discusses Obamacare’s medical devices tax which manufacturers say will force them to reduce research and employment or move overseas.

    Meanwhile the British are discussing privatizing some of their National Health Service.

  341. Hey, Rutherford. Haven’t seen any posts from you for two days. Hope all is well but am a bit worried that you are having problems with the lungs.

  342. “You alive brother?”

    Just barely. I’m a stubborn mofo but I’m gonna see a doctor tomorrow. I look and feel like death warmed over.

    Hold down the fort until I’m back on my feet.

  343. I don’t know much about you, Huck, but you seem like a nice man. Do what you need to do.

    The same for you, Rutherford. Take care of yourself.

    That was a scarey article about Target, Raji. The one about not going to grad school was good too. Every child and adult should live by the last paragraph. “Don’t be the kid who chickens out. have the courage to go after what you want. Having courage is half the battle…People with guts are the ones that get the job, live the dream and live without regret.”

  344. @ Huck.
    Its been nice “knowing” you in the e world. You are definitely one of the folks I’ve met on the web that I think I’d have enjoyed meeting in the real world. Thanks for the dialog.
    I wish you the best in life,studies and of course health.
    Cheers-Alfie from in2thefray

  345. I’m going to start trying to avoid Chinese products as much as possible. Probably a totally impossible, endeavor.

    As anyone here been to China before?

    I’m starting to think the problem with them is beyond the tyrannical boot of the Commy-fascists and their tiny privileged aristocracy.

    There is something inherently wrong with Confucianism. It’s even more problematic when its hijacked by fascism or communism or whatever the fuck they got going on.

    Yeah, they respect their elders, mom and dad. And they do their homework, never making a peep in class.

    But damn man, China sucks. Do these people feel duty bound to be slaves?

    It’s probably grossly unfair of me to judge them from the safety of the free world.

    It’s certainly an odd dilemma. We all pat ourselves on the pack and say the plight of the American worker is in the past. No need for unionized labor. Yet, we buy all of our stuff from slaves.

    It seems to me they only historically rebel when they are starving. And, as the biggest mass murderer in human history has proven, Mao, not all the time.

    China gets a huge break from our politicians and media, too.

    The weird thing is how much their new middle class tows the line.

    Dead Rabbit. The Sinophobe. it’s official.

  346. @ dead rabbit
    The Chinese people don’t necessarily see it as you do. What many in the West see as slavery the Chinese see as a source of nationalist pride and an economic model that offers great opportunity both fiscally and in pure power.
    The Chinese people see the corruption,pollution and assorted other negatives but seem willing to move forward as long as the positives keep flowing.

  347. I had an email conversation with an American who lives in China and I asked him about what the Chinese thought of our “Banned” Commercial: Ron Paul 2012. Here is his reply which is quite moving:

    Well I showed it to my wife (who is Chinese). The translations don’t match 100%, I saw the original afterwards and was like “okay that’s better”. But, I’ll actually share something with you very true.
    When I first came to China I lived in a place called XiaoShan( a rich district of Hangzhou) and made a few friends with business owners. Last month I met up with them at a convenient store and on the TV there was talk about U.S. politicians. XiaoCun (her name) was very excited talking about a politician that was really good, he was even in the newspaper (here in China) and that most Chinese people thought he’d be the one to beat Obama. I honestly thought it was Rick Perry but when I showed her a picture of him on my Laptop she said nope. I showed her Ron Paul and she knew exactly who he was.
    The question that followed her face afterwards was priceless, she said “Why don’t you Americans listen to him, the words he says are so good, we never get a chance to have something like that in China.” Afterwards a huge debate arose about how sick they were about the Chinese government, how they wanted Ron Paul’s idea of freedom in China but it’d never happen. And the obvious “you guys get a choice but don’t take it, we get no choice and it’s what we want.”
    It ended in a somebody else would win because Americans don’t understand and care anymore. My wife constantly says when I’m watching Ron Paul videos on Youtube “He looks like such a good man, I wish I could vote to help you.”

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/02/19/even-if-you-dont-like-ron-paul-you-should-watch-this-its-only-1-minute/

  348. Rabbit, I don’t know if I fully understand your point, but my brother returned to Detroit from a Shanghai after 5 years there. FWIW, my discussions with him are consistent with what Alfie said for the most part. He did say that business ethics are very different from the west — but not in the way you describe when it comes to employer/employee.

    I’ve been to Hong Kong before the reversion. Wow. I doesn’t really count for purposes of your observations. But fascinating city, fascinating business culture.

  349. Actually, Hong Kong should count (or count against) my observation. It’s proof that a society with a Confucian background can embrace freedom. And boy, do they.

    As for what Alfie said, I’m not aware that the Chinese have the privilege to speak their mind one way or the other.

    But, he is probably right. They see life totally differently then i do. And that’s exactly my point. It’s cultural.

    If the collective seems to be economically improving, then they seem to be ok with a bull shit life of censorship, oppression, aristocratic dominance (party members) and something very close to slave labor.

    Aren’t you glad you weren’t born in China? It’s a giant sausage fest, for one. And a civilization of robots. Seems miserable to be Chinese.

    It sucks that a free people composed of individuals (The West) have to compete against a giant hive of drones and copy cats.

    I find it weird that often times, the same people who are outraged over the lack of religious freedom in China, go mum when it comes to working conditions.

    It’s hard to tell what its like in China. One thing is for sure, i don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. How can anyone? You almost have to assume the worst, no?

  350. Shanghai is kind of an oddity in China, isn’t? The city revolves around trade, and, while very important, not very representative of the rest of the country in terms of egalitarianism. It’s kind of like The Party’s version of Hong Kong.

  351. Perhaps. But again, I don’t fully get your point. Are you talking about some particular trade/manufacturing? Shanghai has exploded — 23 million. Workers are drawn there for obvious reasons and are willing to live in squalor surrounded by prosperity. The point I am not getting I guess is the “egalitarianism” part of it.What industries are you talking about?

    Of course, my brother wasn’t confined to Shanghai. He conducted business throughout China. Shanghai has a huge amount of manufacturing though.

  352. Back to Rutherford’s original post, I find this information pertinent.

    A well known theologian has coined a new term: Republicanity.
    “Taken all together, Republicanity is a culture that merges politics and religion and unashamedly and unreservedly blows apart the longed-for ‘wall of separation’ keeping the two spheres separate. Now more than ever the case can be made that our politics are a form of religion and religion is the new politics”
    (Religion Dispatches by Gary Laderman)

    Republican candidates in 2012 have ramped up their religious fervor. The First Amendment separates church from state but it does not separate religion from politics or public life.

    Is the concept of ‘wall of separation’ to be a deciding factor in 2012 or is that concept just an “ideal” and that ‘wall’ is really very porous and permeable?

    On the other hand ” the issue of how religious one candidate is compared to another is mostly rhetorical. Once you get into office, the contingencies of the system force moderation” (Brent Strawn)

    So do we vote for a candidate based on his religious fervor and then face disappointment when that candidate becomes moderate or do we ignore “Republicanity” and vote secular?

  353. “The point I am not getting I guess is the “egalitarianism” part of it.”

    The rich people in China are not remotely self made. They aren’t rich because of business. Or talent. They are rich because their Daddies were party guys. And their Daddies were nothing more then thugs.

    The industrious and well trained people accept wages far below then what the their skill set is worth. They accept this because they do what their told and they were raised that way. They seem to be willing to carry the Party guys on their shoulders.

    The factory rats are worked like dogs and not remotely paid for it.

    In a global economy, the “do what your told” Confucian ethic, mixed with Marxist philosophy, hurts all of us.

    We operate under an assumption that we all make decisions as individuals. Not as some drone in a nest with a plan for the collective that spans 500 years into the future.

    It fucks everything up.

    What scares me is that this new trend is catching on everywhere. National Socialism. Fascism. Whatever you want to call it.

    As the world becomes more connected, I guess we should throw our copy of Wealth of Nations in the trash. Because the shit doesn’t apply anymore.

  354. Raji, I think your comment misses the point, much as Rutherford’s did, notwithstanding Santorum’s having returned focus to religious social issues.

    The contraception issue invokes a deeper question of the role of government regardless of your religious affiliation. HHS defines this administration; it is hugely unpopular. The mandates within it are troubling even for the non-religious. They expose the intrusive nature of the bill and the views of the left that they should be. Labeling it Republicanity is no less rhetorical than than the “more religious” distinction although the rhetoric of religion by necessity will be applied. That is the sphere intruded.

    Stated differently, I don’t believe this issue is a “religious” one. It’s one of governments scope, boundaries, and proper role. This battle could be waged on different grounds with he the same fervor if it invoked something intrusive of true rights, e.g. NOT a pretend right to have lifestyle products paid for by someone else.The distortion of the arguments in framing the issues like “Republicanity” are frustrating to deal with. They miss the mark.

  355. “Rabbit, I assure you, the caste system (“factory rats”) exists big time in Shanghai.”

    I’m sure it does. I just always picture Shanghai to be the best place for a small Chinese business owner to get a fair shake.

  356. I’m a self-proclaimed Panda Basher but I think there is a perception issue of China happening here.
    The Chinese factory system is an incredible thing. It could not occur without state involvement and likely could not happen outside of China. That said the conditions found in the factories and dorms are many many steps above what an average rural Chinese person could expect to enjoy over the course of their lives.In fact not unlike the nations of Central and South America who greatly benefit from the hard currency remittance from legal and illegal immigrants in the USA and Canada the rural areas of China are experiencing increases in standards of living secondary to the children (often numbering more than one since outside of cities the govt is lax on the 1 child rule)sending home Yuan or more so items from clothing to appliances.
    Some factories are better than others of course and the concept of human capital is alien in a country with over a billion people.

    Although Party has a great deal to do with ones success in China it isn’t the be all end all. The founder of Lenovo did time on a prison/labor farm and the head of Lifan spent two decades in prison for being “capitalistic”. The latter is truly self made. Started selling used books and started a repair shop with a handful of other folks. Now he heads one of the top auto companies in China.

    I read an interesting piece today about China/US trade issues. Its ironic to see your (DR) Wealth of Nations comment since it was included in the piece I read. Obama recently scolded the next POCn Xi Jinping that China needs to play by the rules,play fair etc. The truth is as the article pointed out China and many other nations ARE playing by the rules,it is just that they are playing a different game.

  357. All fair points Alfie.

    One thing is for sure, luxury goods are selling like hot cakes over there.

    There is a massive numismatic coin bubble right now in China. Perfectly rated Gold Panda’s in slabs are going for absolutely amazing prices.

  358. Rabbit, you are going to be doing without plenty if you try to boycott China goods. They have virtually invaded our culture providing many of its components. Those huge mega stores would be pretty empty without Chinese goods. Stay away from kid toys, for sure.

    You should brush up on your Mandarin, you never know…

  359. Mrs. R, look after our host. I hope it’s ado about nothing. If he’s out too long, it’ll devolve to Lord of Flies around here. An update or two on his condition wouldn’t hurt (if he’ll allow it).

  360. :lol: ^^^ THAT would be rich. Too good, Tigre.

    Well, the “gods” are probably upset with Rutherford for all his pontificating. :wink:

    Here’s praying for a speedy recovery. I expect results.

  361. Man, “Tankman” has to be one of the most bad ass, iconic videos of all time.

    As for Taoism’s inherent peace, I believe it was the backdrop to the famous “Art of War” that corporate douche bags feel compelled to have on their desk. But, yeah…I hear what your saying.

  362. I took a sick day today. I feel bad even complaining while R is laid up in the hospital.

    But damn, my entire body from my chest up is infected. Bronchitis in my lungs, green sludge in my nose, pink eye. Wtf…..

    I don’t know how R does it. I can deal with a lot…but my damn lungs not working…..miserable.

  363. First, Rutherford enters the hospital, and now you, dead rabbit are sick. Take care of yourself.

    I had what you describe a year ago August. Before it ended, I relived the first day my wife and I met, our wedding, and moving our daughter into her college dorm room. On one level, I suspected it wasn’t real, but it felt like real.

    Be careful. These things can deteriorate quickly.

  364. “for Taoism’s inherent peace, I believe it was the backdrop to the famous “Art of War” that corporate douche bags feel compelled to have on their desk. But, yeah…I hear what your saying.” DR

    I never read the “Art of War”, but I imagine most Chinese literature of that era was influenced by the Tao Te Ching.

  365. “So do we vote for a candidate based on his religious fervor and then face disappointment when that candidate becomes moderate or do we ignore “Republicanity” and vote secular?”

    Raji – I think it is a lot simpler than that. A candidate can personally believe what he wants, but anybody who attempts to inject religion into American government is de facto unqualified for office. It boggles the mind; as Santorum goes along, he is getting more and more emboldened to just flat-out say: it is his goal to put “God” right in the middle of American politics; Obama, of course, believes in a “false theology.” Is this REALLY happening, or is this some kind of perverse dream? christ on a bicycle.

    Vote for Obama? Nearly unthinkable.

    Vote for someone bent upon breaching The Wall? *Absolutely* unthinkable. Obama wins. A Hobson’s choice, but an easy one.

    *****************

    As an aside, I was speaking to several of my ultra-liberal friends in Tax-a-chusetts yesterday. Since there will be no real Democratic primary, they are organizing en masse to switch parties so they can vote in the Republican primary for whomever they think has the least chance of beating Obama. Guess who that is?

    I’ll give you a hint: it has to do with that frothy mixture, sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.

    http://spreadingsantorum.com/

  366. Update on R – He’ll still be in the hospital a few more days. He tested positive for Influenza B. He’s getting Tamiflu and full spectrum of antibiotics in case he does have pneumonia that they’re not seeing.

    No, it’s not a Catholic hospital. He thinks he has a better chance since he’ll have no problem getting contraception.

  367. Mrs R, thanks for the update. Do you think you can keep the computer away from him? On the other hand, maybe they should monitor his heart rate while he is exploding on the internet :-)

  368. Thanks for the update and the humor. We are hoping he will be home soon.

    Yes, Pfessor, it is a Hobson’s choice, but one we all must make.

    One night, you see a stalled pickup truck across an icy bridge as the alcohol addled driver opens a door and puts his foot on the bridge, you must choose. Either you swerve and risk going through the bridge railing and into cold deep water, or you ram the pickup.

    The United States must make a similar choice. No matter what we do, we are doomed. One way will certainly destroy us. The other will do great damage, but we might survive.

    Choose well.

  369. Well that’s great to hear. It’s nice to know they’ll use a rubber…

    But seriously, tell him to get well, or else- like Tigre said- we’re gonna start sharpening sticks!

    Thanks for the update!

  370. Thanks El Tigre. Its how I felt that night, and its how I feel now.

    I like Poolman’s link. It made me think of Herman Melvil’s book, “The Confidence Man.” Also “Columbo.”

    Maybe Eddi Reader.Muddy Waters.East Lothian Homecoming. Skateraw Concert YouTube video will take our minds off sharpening sticks for awhile. Or, Siberian Throat Singers at the Appolo also on YouTube. Somebody has a good sense of humor.

  371. Some headlines on the Drudge Report are:

    Obama’s tax rate on dividends to soar to 44.8%

    Retirees to get hammered

    Percentage of Americans who pay no tax hits 49.5%

    Tax revenue plunges in UK after 50% rate implemented

    Greek Rescue Leaves Risk of Default

    Adel flips ‘the bird’ at Brit Awards after speech cut off…

  372. James, the effects of increased capital gains (and hell corporate income tax) completely elude the majority of libs. I often feel like I am banging my head trying to explain economics 101 to the reluctant observers.

    So, if dividend taxation goes up, who really gets hurt? The retired. The ones who live of their investments and in the absence of stable income from them, the most likely to require assistance financed off other tax payers.

    “Sitck it to the man” is not a solution. The intellectual dishonesty (and naivety) in the chants of “pay their fair share” scares the crap out of me. The headlines just don’t capture the deeper consequences of what that really means — and intentionally so. We are indeed headed for that icy bridge.

  373. “Percentage of Americans who pay no tax hits 49.5%” – J

    Really? 49.5 % of Americans don’t have a job, drive a car, own a home, have investments, smoke, drink, fly use a phone or take a dump?

  374. “If they make over $200,000 dollars a year. Poor little cat-food eating retirees.”

    What does this mean?

    Numbnutz, do you understand the difference between federal and local tax?

  375. thorsaurus, the Wall Street Journal article says “IRS data show that retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income would be hit especially hard. Almost three of four dividend payments to go those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65, according to IRS data.

    But all American shareholders would lose. Higher dividend and capital gains taxes make stocks less valuable. A share of stock is worth the discounted present value of the future earnings stream after taxes. Stock prices would fall over time to adjust to the new after-tax rate of return…

    The question is how this helps anyone. According to the Investment Company Institute, about 51% of adults own stock directly or though mutual funds, which is more than 100million shareholders. Tens of millions more own stocks through pension funds.”

    Unless you don’t have such a retirement fund, you will be hammered too, thor.

    Of course we, even lllegal aliens pay some taxes. Most of them are hidden and painless. Income taxes require effort and forms. I was only quoting the headline, not the article which I had not read. It was referring to INCOME taxes. Surely in these hard times we should all pull our weight.

  376. “If they make over $200,000 dollars a year. Poor little cat-food eating retirees.”
    What does this mean?
    Numbnutz, do you understand the difference between federal and local tax?

    The raise in dividend taxes only applies for those earning above $200,000.

    “Unless you don’t have such a retirement fund, you will be hammered too, thor.” – J

    I get about $20 in taxable dividend earnings a year. I’m not too worried about getting “hammered”. But CEO’s that have been getting bonuses paid in stock to avoid income taxes would get nailed pretty good. Think about who has the most to lose from such a change. The ones that have been gaming the system the most. I doubt that includes many struggling retirees.

    “Of course we, even lllegal aliens pay some taxes. Most of them are hidden and painless.” – J

    Really? I doubt the people paying them feel that way. I don’t think my FICA taxes are painless.

  377. “Think about who has the most to lose from such a change.”

    Yeah. We have. You haven’t because you don’t understand how this works. Frightening, but predictable. You obviously plan on the government to finance your retirement, a/k/a someone else. Good luck with that.

    Re-read what James said. It’s true and easy to follow.

  378. Yes, thor, most taxes are relatively painless. Most people don’t know the percentage of what they pay in federal or local taxes. They just know the price of the product.

    For example, Omaha imposed a restaurant sur- tax to help pay for police and fire fighter union pensions. An uproar resulted and people predicted restaurants would go out of business. There was talk of boycots and taking business across the river to Council Bluffs.

    Restaurants are still doing well, and people don’t seem to notice the higher bills.

  379. A Scandinavian wrote on a YouTube comments section: “Christianity is a religion from the Middle East and has very little to do with traditions and nature of the North. It is an import product and brought by foreign empires, (at least in Finland and Sampmi) with force and violence.”

    One could say the same about Islamists after the Arab Spring. At for least the force and violence.

  380. James it’s a wasted effort with Thor, no mater how simply it’s explained. He views himself as a “have not” and the way to become a “have” is to take it from somewhere.

    Like many libs, it’s why he doesn’t understand that people (and companies) change their behavior when it when tax burdens shift.

    It’s why the discussion about the percentage that the wealthiest pay in annual personal income tax absent a discussion of capital gains rates (which requires a taxable event and has diminishing returns over certain levels) persists.

    It’s why Thor speaks of local/municipal tax and services in response to discussions of federal income tax unpaid by one-half of our population sounds reasonable and interchangeable with concerns about the crippling federal deb and federal taxation.

    It’s why guys like Thor can’t see that when disincentives to earning higher incomes and capital investment hurt the payor and the economy at large.

    It’s why the left doesn’t see that they have mortgaged their futures and the futures of unborn generations in continuing down a path of spend, spend, spend with the vague understanding that ultimately someone else will pick up the tab.

    It’s why guys like Thor speak of “fairness” rather then effect and compare their own financial condition to retired Americans that saved, sacrificed and invested over the course of a lifetime an discount it entirely in their selfish assessment of what is “fair.”

    It’s why I drink. . .

  381. Try thinking instead of drinking and tell me why FICA is a local/municipal tax.

    “James it’s a wasted effort with Thor, no mater how simply it’s explained. He views himself as a “have not” and the way to become a “have” is to take it from somewhere.” – ET

    This is laughable. Your deficit of empathy is overshadowed only by your inability to define me through this blog.

  382. “Try thinking instead of drinking and tell me why FICA is a local/municipal tax.”

    Yawn.

    It’s not. Through all of the typos and sloppy grammar, I didn’t say it was.

    How about addressing what James said about the effect of increased dividend taxes?. It’ll punish those evil CEOs that receive stock options doesn’t do it, nor does your taxable dividend income.

    I just want to see you succeed in your arguments rather than responding to a headline that 49.5% of Americans don’t pay income tax with misdirected references to sales tax, utilities and other service tax etc.

    We get it. Obama can do no wrong in your eyes, you’re a cheerleader for him, and you consider yourself virtuous.

    But you’re right in a sense. Although I do not lack empathy, I do lack sympathy — and the ability to define you through this blog. You transcend definition — well, beyond my loving label you: “Numbnutz.” Oh, and liberal blather points do grate and you told Rutherford you would take the helm.

  383. “How about addressing what James said about the effect of increased dividend taxes?. It’ll punish those evil CEOs that receive stock options doesn’t do it, nor does your taxable dividend income.” -ET

    Already did and the mention of my tdi was in response to his concerns about me getting hammered.

    “I just want to see you succeed in your arguments rather than responding to a headline that 49.5% of Americans don’t pay income tax with misdirected references to sales tax, utilities and other service tax etc.” – ET

    “Percentage of Americans who pay no tax hits 49.5%” J @ 534

    I was responding to this. I don’t see the word income in that sentence.

  384. Paiging Captain UN. Come in please, Captain UN.

    Tigre, BiW- Please tell me there is something we can do to get this complete fuck nut off the bench. Fuck me…

    The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.

    The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.

    The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death. Judge Martin’s comments included,

    “Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.

    Judge Martin then offered a lesson in Islam, stating,

    “Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca to be a good Muslim, before you die you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you can not because you are too ill too elderly, whatever but you must make the attempt. Their greetings wa-laikum as-Salâm (is answered by voice) may god be with you. Whenever, it’s very common when speaking to each other it’s very common for them to say uh this will happen it’s it they are so immersed in it.

  385. All I can say is “pray” for more action in Syria and Somalia. I repeat: once the brain is infected with the Muslim rabiesvirus, the only recourse is to destroy the animal.

    We just can’t kill’em fast enough is the only problem.

  386. I know, the Great Muslim Defender is no longer around, but this is instructive nonetheless…

    (Reuters) — Police in a Tunisian town used tear gas on Thursday to break up a crowd of about 200 hardline Islamists, armed with sticks, swords and petrol bombs, who set fire to a police station, witnesses told Reuters.

    “The security forces are chasing about 200 Salafists armed with swords and sticks after an exchange of petrol bombs and tear gas,” resident Omar Inoubli told Reuters by telephone from Jandouba, about 160 km (99 miles) west of the capital.

    “These groups set fire to a police station …. (They) are broadcasting recordings through the loudspeakers of mosques calling for jihad (holy war).”

    Residents said the clashes broke out when police arrested a Salafist but tensions had been brewing between authorities and the conservative Islamists who have become more active since last year’s revolution.

    “The situation has become serious in the city, which has been living in a state of terror and fear because of Salafist groups seeking to impose a strict way of life,” another witness, a woman who did not want to be named, told Reuters.

    One resident said the Salafis had threatened people drinking alcohol and slapped women wearing trousers or skirts.

  387. That is exactly what I mean, Gorilla. Just do nothing. They will continue the infighting and eventually the hardline Muslims will take over.

    Any country where that happens will just sit there and stew in its own brew, decade after decade. The killing will continue unabated. We just sit on the sideline and mind our own business; out of their sight, out of their mind. They will be so focused on killing each other in their made-up jihads that they won’t even think about us, and their own religious nutcase policies will ensure that they never progress beyond sixth-century technology, thus no threat to us.

    It doesn’t get any better than that. All we need is the patience to JUST SIT ON OUR HANDS and tend to our own knitting.

    That will require a Libertarian in the White House, by the way…

  388. You don’t see China sticking it’s jib in there, do you? That’s because they know where they are going and have a plan to get there.

    It does NOT include doing any foreign adventuring. Nor should we.

  389. Take care of yourself, Rutherford. It takes a while to heal from what you have had.

    My point about increased dividend taxes stands. No one here has proven it or the the Wall Street article wrong.

    Yes, the article about 49% of the people paying no taxes was misleading only if one was not already aware of the large number of people who do not pay income taxes or who enjoy a net gain at tax time. I was aware, and I didn’t have to read beyond the headline to understand its meaning. I did read the article later.

    Obama, like many politicians, is a habitual liar, and the press aids and abets him. The last time gas prices rose, Democrats, including Obama said it was the Republicans’ fault. Bush and Cheney, former oil men were benefiting from the price fixing of their oil company friends.

    The press asked “What will Bush do about the price of gas?” as if it was a personal or political failure. Now, we hear that no one, least of all Obama can do anything about the high prices. He claims we are producing more oil now than ever, and he takes credit for production mainly authorized during the Clinton and Bush administrations. Boehner said that since Obama took over, oil production on federal lands has fallen by 11%.

    One reason prices are rising is the perception of an improving economy. As people spend more money the economy uses more fuel. Another is speculation. Traders are betting the Middle East will devolve into more violence which will threaten the supply of oil.

    The last time this happened, President Bush authorized off shore drilling, and “drill baby drill” became a popular phrase. Do you remember what happened then? The price of oil fell because of the expected increasing supplies, though there was little change in the amount of available oil. Later, the crash helped keep the price of oil down. President Obama could do something similar to puncture the oil bubble.

    Obama said last time that he didn’t like $4.00 oil, not because it wasn’t a good price but because it had happened too fast for people to adjust to. He as much as admitted that high gasoline prices sell more “green” factories and products.

    Helping the Arab Spring without knowing who the actors were was a mistake, and the results are helping increase the price of oil

  390. Pfessor, we need to reproduce faster than we are to ultimately beat the Muslims. Mark Styenes’ America Alone describes how they will win in the end.

    Yes, the Chinese have a plan. They are quietly using “foreign adventuring” to buy and develop energy and other resources for their future use. So far, its working for them.

  391. Oil prices don’t reflect supply and demand. Supply is way up and demand is way down. The US alone is only consuming 80 percent of what it was a couple years ago, and the other first world nations are down similarly.

    It is a vastly MANipulated™ market, rather than one where free market principles apply.

    Basically, it’s a shell game (no pun intended). There are alternative purposes for raising and lowering the price at the pump, just as there are for promoting drilling, pipelines, and exploration.

    By the way, what “terror threat level” are we at nowadays? :roll:

  392. Oil prices DO reflect supply and demand though as Poolman wrote, manipulation and emotions also contribute to the price. It doesn’t seem much different from the grain market. One weather forecast can send commodity prices into a surge or crash. Producers can also influence prices with the amount of oil, grain, orange juice or other commodity they decide to sell. The price fluctuates even though the actual supply is not changed. The short-term prices change with PERCIEVED supply and demand.

    However, sales must be related to real and potential demand or prices will change to adjust to a new reality. Its one reason oil prices fell during the world-wide recession. People were buying fewer energy products. Now, people are buying more, and traders react to greater demand.

    Part of today’s run up is fear that a war or other Mideast disturbance will reduce the supply of oil. When Bush lifted a drilling moratorium in 2008, the price of oil fell $9.00 a barrel. If Obama did something similar, I guarantee you oil would lose some of its value with traders as fast as a heavy storm in July during a drought. . There will be no more oil for awhile, but traders will bet on the future.

    Obama said in a speech that Americans aren’t stupid. The jury is still out.

  393. The “blame the speculator” meme is the height of ignorance.

    Oil is going up because of the world printing currencies, an uptick in global production and fear over war.

    I surprised its not higher.

  394. To understand the nature of ‘prices’ and asset valuations today we need to ask some new questions, such as: who really determines the ‘price’ structure of today’s commodities…such as oil, gas, wheat, corn, silver, gold, copper…as well as all the hundreds of fiat currencies which trade daily? Which decision makers affect the psychology of the marketplace and cause changes in traders minds as they manipulate the global markets? What technology is used today to influence changes in ‘prices’ within the global marketplace?

    http://kingdomecon.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/why-dont-prices-of-key-commodities-reflect-the-underlying-supplydemand-factors/

  395. Thanks PF. So far, so good.

    Rabbit, you might remember the car accident with my wife and kids last summer where I had to run out of the office not knowing whether they were killed. Turns out she had more damage than originally thought. She’s been damn near crippled– as in crawling on her hands and knees — since January. This should prove a relief, but I have to admit I am a little worried about the quantity of pain medication she’s had over a long period. My doctor friends have told me how hard it can be to get cut off after extended use (percocets).

  396. ET –

    My experience, and the experience of most docs in the pain management business is that narcotics, even taken in high doses, used for the legitimate treatment of pain rarely cause any dependency problems. Remember, if you were diabetic you would need to be on insulin for a lifetime and would never give it a second thought. Chronic narcotic use is the same thing; if you need it, you need it.

    Folks who take drugs recreationally have a very different set of neurons in their heads. The fact that you and your wife are wary already puts you way ahead of the game. I have a sister with erosive arthritis; she’s been on narcotics for years but uses them appropriately and is completely functional. It still bothers her but she has come to the understanding that she cannot get by without them. I see no reason why your wife should be any different. As long as she needs the meds, take them. She should do just fine, including when the time comes to taper off.

  397. my wife got hooked on those a long time ago. It wasn’t a fun couple of years.

    When and if they try to prescribe her an opiate alternate (seboxal…spelled wrong) refuse.

    Ultimately, your wife will have to go through 3 days of hell and then another 2 months of doldrums. But it HAS to be done. But it can be done.

  398. Glad you’re OK, Rutherford. Looks like I might be, too.

    Gorilla, you still don’t know jack shit. Remember when you said I was a fool for thinking Hamas was done in Syria?

    I guess you forgot to tell Hamas.

    Have fun arguing against crap I never said, like where Tunisia is headed.

    Regarding the US court case, the judge should be removed from the bench. (bet you didn’t see that coming did ya you fucking shit talking prick)

  399. Day 1 back home pretty hard but I’m getting my land legs back. Huck, meant to write you personally before I landed in the ER. Glad to hear things might not be so dire for you.

    Tigre good luck with your wife. Damn do I hear you about hospitals.

    Today, trying to maneuver around my wife in our cubby-hole of a bathroom, I fell into the bathtub. ROTFLMAO! This month has to end soon before I frigging kill myself.

    One political observation: To the chagrin of many on the board I avoid Islamophobia at all costs BUT:

    Am I the only one confused by this scenario? Muslims deface their beloved holy book by passing notes back and forth to each other in the margins. Our military seizes the books and disposes of them to stop the radical rhetoric from being shuttled back and forth and then the Muslims go batsh*t crazy because WE didn’t give proper respect to their holy book. And then WE apologize. Now you guys know I don’t defend burning Korans but the very same folks rioting are ignoring the fact that their brothers got the whole brouhaha started by defacing their own holy book in the first place.

    What am I missing here?

    Ok, back to getting some rest.

    And thanks to all of you for your kind wishes this week and for giving my wife a gracious welcome.

  400. R – an immodest proposal, courtesy of my wife:

    A proposed “burn the koran day.” On a designated day, everybody take a koran out into their yard and set it alight, and then post the video to YouTube. Millions upon millions of videos, millions of basically anonymous burners.

    These loonies would be overwhelmed by the volume. Everybody would be showing them their middle fingers, saying, “F**k you, you lunatic bastards; come into the seventh century or greater and then maybe we will interact with you. Be this our sign of parting, cavemen!” Then we basically stop all contact as fast as possible. Our govt. starts pulling out all troops; we drill, baby drill and begin looking for alternative sources of oil, whatever the cost, &c…kind of a “screw you; farewell – or fare poorly; take your choice.

    What do you think?

    BTW, glad everybody’s medical situations are improving.

  401. I’m glad you Rutherford and huck are getting better. Maybe Mrs. R could write once in a while even after you have recovered.

    I feel bad for your wife Tigre. A pickup hit me once and my car was rear ended. I identify with what she is enduring, though I chose not to have surgery.

    I am not against speculators who operate to make some money and to insure themselves from risk. Most farmers who play the commodities market or forward contract do it because they cannot charge what their products sell for.

    I still believe the main driver of oil prices is fear of the future.

    I like the modest proposal. We should all do it.

    A Danish cartoonist went into hiding because Muslims didn’t like the way he depicted Mohammed. I believe a movement for cartoonists to mock Mohammed for a day started, but I don’t remember how many participated. One of Van Goh’s descendents was murdered because of a movie he made about Muslims. We know about Salmon Rushti. They are trying to control us through intimidation.

  402. re: Muslims and van Gogh, Rushdie, etc…When your head is on fire it is sometimes difficult get a plan together to be aggressive towards others. A little preemptive striking goes a long way; they are still a numerical minority and technological babes in the woods. I sort of like the Israeli approach: keep your troops at home, but make any act of terrorism extremely expensive to the folks at THEIR home. Works quite well, I think.

    I still remember my brother, when a fellow threatened to go home and get his gun, saying, “You goddamned fool; do you think they just made one?”

  403. Thanks James. There was no option for her on this one. But having suffered a serious back injury as a kid (hit by a car), I know that you know the suffering.

    So. Obama issued a fucking apology? I haven’t had a chance to catch up on the news. But this is the guy you want back in office R? Are you fucking kidding me? He apologized? I’ll read up a little. Right now I am at a total loss.

  404. Welcome back to the living, Rutherford. I hope your ROTFLMAO wasn’t supposed to be taken literally ;-)

    El Tigre, so sorry to hear about your wife’s pain. I would like to make a suggestion that once the surgeon approves, try to find a “hands on” physical therapist whose practice concentrates on sports medicine injuries. She would benefit from long term therapy on the whole body due to muscle injuries associated with the pain. I am not referring to the usual 3-4 weeks post surgery therapy usually recommended.

  405. Rutherford, I see your point but regardless the Quran was treated with disrespect by our military. The burning of the Qurans wasn’t even a political statement as they were thrown into a pile of trash for burning and noticed by Afghan workers, apparently people we are suppose to be defending and helping to rebuild their country!!!

    Put the shoe on the other foot. US prison inmates are found passing notes of a prison uprising hidden in Bibles. The Bibles are confiscated and thrown into a trash pile? I don’t see that scenario happening.

    “The burning of Qurans that had been thrown in a pile of trash at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan has prompted four days of protests and violence that left 20 Afghans and two Americans dead. An apology by President Barack Obama has not calmed enraged Muslims, who remember previous incidents of Quran desecrations, which are perceived as an offense to the religion.

    The unrest in Afghanistan started Tuesday, when Afghan workers at the sprawling Bagram air base noticed that copies of the Quran and other Islamic texts were in the trash that coalition troops dumped into a pit where garbage was being burned.

    U.S. officials said the materials had been taken from a library at a detention facility because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions. Writing inside a Quran is forbidden in the Islamic faith, although_” it was unclear whether the handwritten messages were found in the holy book or other reading materials.”

    Our negligence is IN NOT training our coalition forces in the culture of the country we are protecting.

  406. Our negligence is IN NOT training our coalition forces in the culture of the country we are protecting.

    Very true, Raji. We have the notion that we are superior in our culture and our morality, yet our actions themselves generally speak volumes to the contrary. I think it’s arrogance AND ignorance.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I’m glad you have survived the hospital visit, Rutherford. Those places are depressing and cold, from my experience. I have never liked going or being “stuck” in hospitals. The artificial lighting alone is usually enough to squelch one’s happy attitude.

    Give me sunshine to aid my healing any day over those halls of gloom.

    As for “holy books”, I always write notes all over mine. I use a highlighter and the margins of certain pages are fully utilized.

    But at the end of the day, a book is still just paper and words. The “power” they hold is in their implementation.

    If they were being shared and used to pass off secretive information, then they should be destroyed. If they were merely an outlet to unleash anger and frustration, what is the harm? Often we are just insensitive. Why incite radical behavior?

  407. @ spirit of comment # 587 than Raji himself:

    First and foremost is there anyone on the thread willing to go with me to Tehran,Kabul,Mecca (oops we’re not allowed in there) ok Riyadh to pass out Bibles?? Let’s do it!
    We’ll be arrested and our Bibles burned.

    Bibles confiscated in an American prison and burned? I imagine they would indeed do it but more germane to the discussion at hand the US military DID burn Bibles in Afghanistan in 2009.

    As for burning trash,Bibles,Qurans or anything else in Iraq & Afghanistan. It is military protocol for waste of all types to be burned in war zones. The rules further state that burning is required until other suitable means are installed. Well, call it sad commentary that after a decade and trillions of dollars we’ve failed to implement a recycling,trash logistics program in our perpetual combat areas.Let alone roads,reliable utilities etc. It is not to say it hasn’t been ordered,desired needed. Just the facts. Trash gets burned in “war zones”.

    As for the culture training. Our people are instructed ad nauseum to cultural sensitivity.Perhaps that is actually part of the problem. Yak yak yak eventually gets ignored or worse,hated. In this latest though I see no malice. This latest event is just a classic example of the nutters getting frothed up instead of thinking it through and possibly offering something constructive.
    As for culture training in real life?:In Gitmo the US soldiers improvised surgical masks as Quran-a- hammocks in the outdoor pens. this kept the Quran from touching the ground. Quiet zones in Gitmo and other installations for prayer time. The list goes on.

    Tell you what, how about the next time we get a cache of Qurans and/or related text,that technically have been defiled and rendered unusable instead of burning them we wrap them in something pure and tie them to a heavy object and place them in a flowing river? Or we can wipe the Prophets name from them and then burn them. Or we can bury them somewhere they won’t be desecrated.
    Those are all some of the prescribed methods of proper Quran disposal but something nags me that all of these will be met with the same level of hysterics,violence and utter stupidity on display up to now.

  408. poolman and raji –

    I am trying to keep control here, but I am not doing very well, so please forgive me in advance.

    What is wrong with you two?! It is a FUCKING BOOK! It is printed on ordinary paper, with ordinary ink. It – IS – A – BOOK. It is not a human being, or even a well-loved dog. It is not your uncle or aunt or child. What makes a FUCKING BOOK worthy of taking a human life? WHAT? WHAT? What voodoo was done to it to make it so holy? Was it soaked in the Prophet’s piss-water? WHAT?

    Morally superior? Get a grip, poolman. Yes, we’re morally superior! We don’t generally go nuts in the street and kill people because of a FUCKING BOOK. It’s not that we are so great, it’s that they are bloody cavemen!

    Jesus christ. GET US OUT OF THERE! We are dealing with sixth-century throwbacks. I don’t care if they kill each other down to the last man, woman and child – in fact that would be a GOOD thing. considering it further, now that I think of it, if we let them kill each other, there is at least an even chance that every such encounter might take out two of them, at no expense to us. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    We don’t need this. We need to be fixing our roads and helping our kids get jobs – not blowing their goddamned legs off so that we can salve our do-gooder egos by trying to save cavemen who don’t want to be saved. Get us out of there. Forever.

    And welcome home, Rutherford.

  409. Go ahead and burn a cross on your front yard and see what ensues.

    Seeing as PFessor is from Va he’d be in violation of state law. Not secondary to Christianity but more about the Klan and hate crimes.
    Christians rioting and beheading the PF? I don’t think so. More like a civil lawsuit from the local NAACP chapter and being roundly lashed by the media as a racist.

  410. “PFesser,
    Go ahead and burn a cross on your front yard and see what ensues.
    Then get back to me on that.”

    What in the world are you talking about? How does that have ANYTHING to do with murdering people over a damn book?

    You are ‘way over your head on this one, Bucko…Two years ago I watched a group of religious (actually probably not) nutcases parade nauseating signs in front of hundreds of grieving widows and family members of 26 dead coal miners – one of them my best friend – shouting “God hates dead coal miners” and nobody touched a hair on their heads. I think comparing us to “them” is such a stretch that it’s not even worth considering. We’re no angels, but we are not cavemen, either.

    In any event, we’ve no business there – for any purpose. You can’t help people who are incapable of receiving help.

  411. Yes, Alfie, good point.

    Consumerism IS a disease. Successful marketing does that over time. Take a look at some “Black Friday” footage and see how savage we CAN be, even to the point of trampling others to death. We’ve done it at concerts. It often doesn’t take much to incite a mob.

    It is similar to how peer pressure works in abusing others who don’t wear the “right” things, listen to the “right” things, or think the “right” thoughts. We have to “fit in” or be ostracized.

    How many teens commit suicide because of it? This is a symptom of moral decay. What do you think the suicide rate is in these “savage” countries? Yet there are much less opportunities available.

    Values and morality have been mostly misplaced in this country.

    From the outside looking in (aquarium perspective), I think what stands out the most is the total commercialism of American life. All the signage, packaging, and the resulting garbage that it produces in which we “swim”. One can’t get away from it anymore. In a way, Americans are in that fishbowl. Like that movie The Truman Show maybe. Virtual realities abound.

    The next moral indicator, to me, is in the way sex is displayed and portrayed and made available. We idolize young flesh and exploit it in all forms of media and culture. We tell ourselves it is “freedom”, but really it has helped undermine families and occupy our minds, robbing much of our creativity.

    The next indicator is how we are supposedly a nation of laws, yet are the first to break those very laws we espouse when they apply to others. Our leaders and the wealthy in society are somehow exempt from these laws. Moral society should exhibit some consistency throughout.

    I’m sure I could go on, but the point is that our moral superiority is fantasy. Sorry, Pfesser but I disagree.

  412. What in the world are you talking about? How does that have ANYTHING to do with murdering people over a damn book?

    My point of the cross is that it’s just wood, much like the book is just paper. The symbolism is the thing. Power to radicalize. It may be just a book or just wood, but it incites great emotion within those who hold these things high standing. Your state makes it a crime to burn a cross. Why?

    I am secure enough in my beliefs that none of these type of actions will infuriate me to any degree. All material things can and will burn anyway. They are all just “things”. Replaceable. We are the ones that assign a value to them.

  413. “As for burning trash,Bibles,Qurans or anything else in Iraq & Afghanistan. It is military protocol for waste of all types to be burned in war zones”

    Good point, Alfie and I tried to make a similar point by stating the “waste” was laid out for all to see and it was NOT a political statement and I saw no malice just ignorance.

    “As for the culture training. Our people are instructed ad nauseum to cultural sensitivity”

    Okay but again why instigate a situation if they know burning the Quran will incite a riot but here I don’t think anyone was thinking. Put the items in garbage bags and throw them in the burn pile.

    PF, I am NOT defending a Book. I am saying when we have coalition forces in a country we need to be aware of “waving red flags” unless we want to be gored.

  414. Raji seems to be lecturing the zoo keeper for letting his guard down while in a cage full of wild chimps.

    He’s quite accepting of wild chimp behavior. it is what is.

    Forgive us for expecting just a trace of human rationality from the stink beards. Our bad. Lesson learned.

  415. @ spirit of comment # 587 than Raji himself:

    @Alfie, #589 “Herself” ;-)

    PF @ 590
    Morally superior? Get a grip, poolman. Yes, we’re morally superior! We don’t generally go nuts in the street and kill people because of a FUCKING BOOK

    Alfie @ 593 Oh yes, so S-A-D. Ever seen a video of Walmart’s Black Friday?

    Yep, we are really morally superior!!!!!

  416. “Raji seems to be lecturing the zoo keeper for letting his guard down while in a cage full of wild chimps.”

    Rabbit, if you know anything about zoo animals you know NEVER to let your guard down.

    The one thing about being a “live” zoo keeper is you understand the feral instincts of the wild animal and you avoid at all costs waving a red flag.

    You can love that critter to death but if you turn your back it will be your death.

  417. Okay just to clarify once again my position!

    Put the “frigging” Quran in a body bag and burn it!

    Now do you understand what I was trying to say?

  418. @raji 601

    May I suggest an alternative:

    Put all the troops on “frigging” C-130 Hercs and get them the hell out of Dodge. Tonight. And leave a sign behind: If We Even *Suspect* an Attack Has Come From This God-Forsaken Country, We Will Pick A City and Level It To The Ground. Every Time. Have A Nice Day.

    We tried. We failed. Vietnam all over again. You can’t help people who don’t want it, and I’m not sure we “helped” them at all. If I were Afghani, I certainly wouldn’t think so.

    When they get tired of killing each other and the women get tired of being raped and murdered by a cadre of sixth-century throwback cavemen stinkbeards, they will put a stop to it.

    Me? I want my money spent here, trying to get our manufacturing base back on line. It may be too late.

  419. 1. WordPress is acting weird.
    2 This thread has reached sad load speed point. This coming from someone w/ FiOS
    3.Think positive,people are wondering if you’re ok.