jacksonian democracy

Lost amidst the Michael Jackson trial headlines was news that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in closed session last week approved legislation to reauthorize and expand the Patriot Act. The level of citizen concern over reauthorization compared to interest in the Thriller acquittal is almost as disconcerting as the proposed legislation.

News stories on reauthorization are sadly scant. If you are one of those whose legal curiosity extends beyond local criminal matters and into the erosion of our civil rights legacy, perhaps you will find this resource helpful in locating a few of the limited stories on the subject.

It is very tempting to rehash the old arguments against the wisdom of the original Patriot Act. Tempting because the arguments are incredibly strong and nearly irrefutable to those that practice the arcane and nearly lost art of deductive reasoning. But the irresistible morsel of the moment for me is the opportunity for an I-told-you-so.

The last time around the patriotic block there was some discussion of what lawyers refer to as a “slippery slope”. Slippery Slopes abound in legal tomes and it is perhaps unfortunate that such an important idea is encapsulated in such ordinary and seemingly familiar language.

Perhaps if there were a grand term such as “res ipsa loquitur” to describe the process by which certain detrimental changes in the law gather momentum and sometimes crush the spirit of the well-meaning originators, then we would not garner as much flippant ridicule. While the term may be inappropriately ordinary, the phenomenon in this case is as real and present as it was predictable.

What is telling now is the total absence of discussion of whether the original Patriot Act was constitutionally permissible. It appears that to the extent that the reauthorization debate gets visibility, the reauthorization discussion is going to center around making the act permanent and the expansion of the powers granted.

We have slid down this slope in an entirely foreseeable fashion.

It is hard to know with certainty whether the present intention of the politicians is simply another naked power grab or clever political posturing to attempt to move the center of the debate farther toward the totalitarian end of the scale. Perhaps it is some of both. Either way, the essential Constitutional questions have been taken off the table.

The despair is almost enough to send me to the tabloid rack to get the latest on Michael Jackson too.

The powers that are sought in Patriot Redux truly are as seedy as the most lurid tabloid. The FBI’s desire for these powers is conveniently packaged as necessary for fighting terrorism. But in truth, the FBI has long desired the power to issue administrative warrants to circumvent the need for judicial review for what we would have referred to as 4th Amendment searches in days of antiquity.

By playing the terrorism fear card, Hoover’s boys will undoubtedly get their wish.

The argument usually goes something like “the government needs this power because it is too burdensome to go to a court to obtain a warrant”. Warrants, so they claim, consume too much time and energy for effective law enforcement. The problem with this argument is that it can be used to justify almost any form of civil rights infringement you can imagine. All of our Constitutional protections are burdensome on the government. There are more than a few prosecutors that would love to dispense with a trial because of the undue burden.

But, there is little doubt that there are some situations where it is difficult to obtain a warrant in a useful time frame. Truly, I do wish to help out law enforcement by addressing the genuine requirements of a tough job.

The answer, however, is not to eviscerate our civil liberties, but to make the warrants easier to obtain. It is little known by the general public, but the law has long allowed emergency warrants to be issued by a judge over the phone. That the fact of this real and potential flexibility is never a part of the discussion should give all of us insight into the insidious disinformation campaign that is being waged against our Liberty.

Of course, you will never hear the simple idea of hiring more judges and making minor tweaks in the law. The politicians have an agenda and it has nothing to do with protecting you and me. Does anyone seriously doubt which choice the American people would make if actually given the opportunity? Would anyone assert that the better choice is surrendering to the government the right to molest our privacy without cause rather than incurring the expense of hiring a few hundred more judges to guarantee ready access to an independent deliberative body?

An adequately informed public would render the very question rhetorical.

Our faint hope is that it appears to be more fashionable these days to oppose the President than during the previous legislative rubber-stamping extravaganza. Perhaps the Democrats will smell electoral blood in the water and actually mount an opposition to reauthorization.

But given the tepid response of the American people to reauthorization, I will be surprised if legislative opposition goes beyond trying to prevent the expansion of the Patriot Act Powers. Other issues appear more electorally profitable. The politicians totally get it: Americans do not care about civil liberties as long as the government manages to present the illusion of relative Safety. A moment of national reflection on the wisdom of surrendering six centuries of accumulated personal sovereignty does not seem likely.

Have no doubt: this is one time when we will definitely get what we asked for.

Michael, whatever you do, please don’t move Neverland to Africa: at times like these I really need the distraction.

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443 thoughts on “jacksonian democracy”

  1. Yoshi,btw… I didn’t catch your response. Were you willing to die in the emergency center parking lot (or at home on the couch for that matter) because you don’t have health insurance?

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  2. Yoshi,I think resorting to the <>personal responsibility mantra<> when discussing universal healthcare is intellectually lazy. I’ve never met anyone using the personal responsibility speech ever even acknowledge the difference between a dad and mom working full time low wage jobs and the ex-convict-rapist who can’t find a job. Of course, making the distinction would be admitting that their simple minded ideology is too crude and barbaric, and not worthy of a just society. It would be admitting that we have no choice but <>to be in the game of social justice via government<>. Yoshi, your major rant here is about Africa. Do you see the private sector solving Africa, or even acting like they care? Like I’ve said before… I agree with Cuomo. If the private sector can handle needs, and is willing to do it, then they should be the first choice. It’s quite another thing to say (as Prof does) that once the private sector fails (or even chooses to not participate)… then the subject is dead (i.e. government should never be allowed to step in at that point).I’m going to keep repeating the following here:The government is US, it’s not some unique entity. Being for SMALL government should really be stated as being for “zero collective agreement by the citizens to fund anything TOGETHER beyond the military”. We really should lose the <>small government mantra<> and just call it what it is… more self-interest focused and less society focused. Or said another way… more <>get yours focused<> and less <>we are in this together focused<>.I bet the rest of the world that hates America is becoming smart enough to hate America conservatism rather than those in this country that believe as Europe does… it is the governments job to take care of the poor. In fact, that’s the government main job 24 x 7. Wars and protecting the public has it’s peaks and valleys, but taking care of the economic losers is 24 x 7. You can not find the equivalent of US Conservatism in ANY OTHER western industrialized nation. One can believe the US conservative is the only one that gets it, and all of those other societies are just wrong if you must… and you must in order to hang on to such a greedy ideology. Just be aware the American conservative is becoming more and more isolated… out there on that greedy little self-interest Island all alone. Sooner or later, the economic subterfuge arguments won’t win the debate. I hope I live long enough to see conservatism buried and put in the museum. Hey… there were some golden oldies in that rant. 🙂 Disclaimer: These comments represents the opinions of an ex-Republican who could no longer where the greedy blinders. I woke up one day, and the stench of greed was overwhelming. Millionaires got $125,000 tax breaks at the very same time our lower economic class sent their kids off to die in war. Attempts are being made to privatize our old age society insurance program. Protecting gun companies who sell assault rifles from lawsuits is more important than finishing defense bill items which include important financial help to those lower economic class soldiers. And of course, every single thing the GOP controlled Senate puts on the agenda is more important too them than middle class jobs and affordable healthcare for all. Duck your head in shame you stinking conservatives. 🙂 Yeah, I know… the laws of economics make you the way you are. Pawaaaaa!!!!If I could slide in a graphic here sticking my tongue out at you, I would. 🙂

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  3. I agree with Prof. No, not his insane <>libertarian<> rant, but his request for at least a “continue” blog so we don’t have to retrieve have the internet before our next post. Prof… I watched part of Nightline’s show on Darfur from a couple of nights ago. I say part, because is was the most sickening thing I’ve ever seen. Where is the pro-life crowd once the kid has squirted onto mother earth and is now starving to death. I guess the goal is covered by just making sure nature takes it’s course… whatever that course.We better all hope there is not a hell… because if there is, we are all going.

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  4. Tony, I have this Idiots’ Guide to the FED I’ve been reviewing lately. Keynesianism, according to my definition, is using fiscal and monetary policy to steer the economy during downturns. The FED does the monetary part for sure, with interest rates, etc.The government does the fiscal policy….Seems like a Keynesian world to me.Common Good- Prices aren’t arbitrary concepts designed to ruin our lives. They are decided by the market, and reflect real underlying costs. Even if we artificially lower the price of healthcare, the costs will still be there. I’d be all for it, the intentions are great, but the repurcussions of it in the long term aren’t worth it. It’s not about greed, it’s just about basic truisms that we can’t get around. I’m not saying there isn’t a solution to getting people the medical care they NEED, but universal healthcare doesn’t appear to be the answer. Don’t you think the “conservatives” would love universal healthcare if it worked in the long run? (It does in the short run though, it works on the surface). They’d get votes, etc. etc. What politician would be against such a thing?They reap the benefits. But we would reap the costs. Also, I agree about the notion of “mass stupids.” But they are that way because we create them that way. If you do things for people that they should be doing for themselves, they never learn how to do it for themself, and thus never develop towards their full potential. A micro-example is my cousin. He can’t use a computer at all, since I always helped him. I’d type his name in for him, book airline tickets, etc, etc. Then I realized he was a helpless baby. Now I won’t touch a computer for him, he’s on his own. Guess what? Either he figures it out (which isn’t hard, give me a break), or he’s not going to be online. Babying someone isn’t helping someone, it’s hurting them. Prof. knows this well I believe.I think we can transfer that concept to society as a whole. We should provide the water (basic infrastructure), but we shouldn’t, nor can we, force the horse to drink it.

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  5. Tony: <>Prof, Your reading list looks a little tilted right to me. You need a little Marx and Keynes in there.<>Great idea. I have the Communist Manifesto at the house. However, Marx does not offer any economics insight. As Yoshi says, the Manifesto is an unpleasant read. Maybe I can highlight major points he proposes, but his material is better covered in the worldviews class I need to assemble.<>I don’t think our problems stem is being “too liberal” at all. If you look at what has actually occurred for many years and at the radically increasing pace from #41 on, what we are witnessing is the accumulation of power within the hands of a relatively few politically empowered people. It has nothing to do with principles or ideas.<>I disagree. A propensity to empower government at the expense of citizens for the “good” is a principle or idea (liberal in the political sense) that is worse than pure corruption. Bad people know when they are doing bad things. When people with good intentions do bad things, then zealotry toward selfish power accumulation is accomplished with a clean conscience. If you kill six million Jews to be killing six million Jews, you probably have a hint you’re not on the side of righteousness. But if you kill six million Jews because you are cleansing the race and accomplishing many great societal goods – Ah, you are a hero, pure as the driven snow – in your own mind. This goes for do-gooders on the right as well.<>Leftist Extremism is much easier to fight than rampant corruption.<>I disagree for the same reasons. Whether feeding the sick, insuring the uninsured, or securing us from ourselves with the Patriot act, each compels us to submit for its <>intended goals,<> regardless of its actual outcome or threat of vulnerability of our freedoms. Corruption is evident to nearly all who see it, and most can agree it needs to be eliminated. The average person can not argue well against having government address all of our personal social responsibilities (Leftist Extremism). Thus LE is the more dangerous animal.Prof. RicardoP.S. __Care to give us a new sheet of paper to scribble on? We’re approaching 440 posts and my dialup is struggling to even load this page w/o a 404 error. Thanks.

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  6. Yoshi,Unfortunately, I have forgotten much of my econ. Age takes a vicious toll.In practical terms, Keynesian ideas are alive and well. Your analysis is spot on. The basic idea is to smooth out the business cycles, the government engages in spending by acquiring debt.Conservatives love to pooh-pooh Keynes, but if you look at what we have just gone through it is pure JMK. It is actually a sort of supercharged Keynesian approach because the debt is held largely by China.But just to be clear, in my view I do not think that Keynes viewed borrowing as any cure all but rather a tool to stimulate some growth in down cycles. In my reading, there are very few economists that do not believe that the business cycles reign supreme. And in my opinion, the government does not have near the effect we believe it does on short term economic conditions. The long term effects can be profound, but short term is largely out of the government’s control. Of course this does not stop the politicians for taking credit for every little uptick or casting fault for every little problem.

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  7. Yoshi,Keep working on it. Leaving the poor without health insurance out of some perceived economic necessity is a lie AND immoral. At least a middle ground would roll everyone up into Medicare (or Medicaid… I get those two confused). I think education and healthcare should be EQUAL regardless of economic status… but at least provide a bottom feeder safety-net that is more cost effective than slamming the emergency rooms. I can’t think of anything sadder in a wealthy nation than those that “have” justifying why the “have nots” should be excluded just to keep “standards up”. Jeeze… saying that out loud should make anyone guilty as hell.

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  8. Well, it’s not so much about diong the right thing as it is about mathematics.Imagine you are a doctor. You have 24 hours in a day. You have to see everyone. There are limited amounts of time, unlimited wants (not needs, wants). So the fat guy in front of me wants some diet pills and some tranquilzers to help him sleep tonight. Hell, it’s free, why not? So he goes, and all his friends go with him. So here I am with a real problem, willing to pay (this is where the black market inevitably comes in), and I can’t get the healthcare I need because I have to wait in the long line behind the fat guy who’s just messing around. Whenever there are price controls, whether on oil or healthcare, or whatever, there is a shortage, and a black market. Now, if the fat guy has to pay out of his own pocket for that tranquilizer prescription, he’ll think longer and harder about it, and maybe postpone that visit until something more important comes along. If there is some kid with cancer who needs treatment, that’s one thing, but what kind of healthcare are we talking about here? Breast Surgery (hey, that might not be a bad idea actuallY)? Condoms (that neither)? Ten pairs of eyeglasses? Common Good wrote: “As long as we actually do take care of uninsured people in the most expensive form, then you come to the argument unarmed.”-Of course we would take care “in the most expensive form”. Ever go to a hotel when someone else is paying? Did someone order room service? Hell yea, I did!!!!!When we aren’t paying, we have no incentive to not milk the hell out of it and ruin it for everyone. I think it’s called the “tragedy of the commons.”

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  9. Yoshi, Yoshi, Yoshi…You have the makings of an outstanding liberal, but you are carrying around some conservative baggage. I can’t really hold it against you… you live in Texas. 🙂<>I think a lot of people could afford healthcare (me included), but we choose not to, because we don’t want to give up consumer goods. So really, it’s my choice not to have it.<>When you sign a contract agreeing to die in the emergency center parking lot because you don’t have insurance, then you can make that society/economic argment. As long as we actually do take care of uninsured people <>in the most expensive form<>, then you come to the argument unarmed. The gist of the argument is <>those that can afford insurance SHOULD NOT BE IMPACTED BY THOSE WHO CAN’T<>. I get that argument from the libertarians and eat-your-own-kill Capitalists… but I will never understand it from Christians. Christians have to do backflips to rationalize their reasoning against universal healthcare. Remember… my definition of universal healthcare has never demanded it be government provided, but rather everyone is covered. Nobody can use the large government argument against me… I’m not demanding government doctors or healthcare in any way. I’m simply demanding that everyone is covered (100% covered in the private sector where tax funds used to cover those who can’t pay works great for me). You telling me it’s a personal choice about healthcare, and then showing up at the emergency center when you downed some bad shrooms is like my sister telling me it’s none of my business she keeps her garage door open all of the time. I seem to be on the hook in both instances. I guess if you choose to die in the emergency parking lot, and I can figure out how to not care about imature family members… I can finally get out of my collective rants. Hey, if most of the world doesn’t want to do all of this together, then f*** them. 🙂 Hello bifurcated economic class USA. I sure don’t plan on living with the greedy side.The complexity of economics is the greedy souls friend.

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  10. < HREF="http://www.holylove.org/index2.htm" REL="nofollow"> Everyone Christian here check this stuff out. My grandmother is into this weird, weird stuff, I have to print it out for her. These are messages from Virgin Mary, Jesus, and various friends they apparently have. Yes, these are actual messages these supernatural beings give to some wacky Mexican lady, and I am told if I had the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, then I would also believe them. Just read a few of these messages. Voodoo Catholicism if you ask me. This is probably why I think I’ll find my own path to God. <>

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  11. < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465081436/qid=1122497781/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_sbs_1/102-1042173-7835333?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow"> Applied Economics; Thinking Beyond Stage One, by Thomas Sowell <>This is good book to read, maybe for Common Good though, and not so much Prof’s son (although he could probably read it too). For the record, I think the universal healthcare stuff is a bad idea, and misleading- Being without health insurance isn’t the same as being without medical care.Nothing is free, we pay less, we get less. I don’t want to compromise my healthcare when I really need it. There will be a shortage of quality healthcare for people who really need it. It’s not about greed, but about what’s best for everyone in the end collectively, believe it or not. There are some pretty convincing arguments for healthcare costs shouldn’t be subsidized, which I will not go into here. I think a lot of people could afford healthcare (me included), but we choose not to, because we don’t want to give up consumer goods. So really, it’s my choice not to have it. I read only 10% of those over 55 don’t have health insurance.______________________________Tony, I don’t recommend any Keynes or Marx for anyone not already extremely well read. That’s some excruciating stuff to read…. there should rather be summaries of the concepts….As for Keynesianism, how much of our economy right now is being fueled by Homeland Defense spending, government programs, and military expenses from the war? The same question applies to Reagan’s plan as well (the government primps the economy)? Could someone shed some light on this? I keep hearing about the old days of Keynes, but if you look at things, you’d see the anti-Keynesians like Reagan were still actually in fact Keynsian, at least it seems so to me. I’ll look this up on my own (eventually), but it could help to get a basic grasp from anyone here in the meantime.

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  12. Prof,Your reading list looks a little tilted right to me. You need a little Marx and Keynes in there.This is not to say that I am necessarily in agreement with those thinkers, but rather that I think there is much to learn from them. “Free to Choose” was a very influential book on me when I was in High School … I still have my old copy and plan to put it in my Son’s hands. Along with some good Marxist stuff.On your political cynicism, I have to say that I still hold claim to being the most cynical of this lot. Anyone who can stomach voting for these self-aggrandizing lunatics can’t possibly be as leery as me. I tried very hard to vote last election. Loaded up on Pepcid, Maalox, Rolaids and Alka-Seltzer, but still could not stomach the endeavor.I will quibble with you on one thing where you said, <>”Dems & Repubs promise the world, including tax cuts, up front and turn wildly liberal when in office. <>I don’t think our problems stem is being “too liberal” at all. If you look at what has actually occurred for many years and at the radically increasing pace from #41 on, what we are witnessing is the accumulation of power within the hands of a relatively few politically empowered people. It has nothing to do with principles or ideas. You can trace a lot of this way back, but the curve is logarithmic and the slope of power accumulation is getting steep indeed. Iran-Contra, the Budget Wars and the [un]Patriot[ic] Act all fit a pattern of reducing individuals and increasing government.The jaws of the two-party trap have been sprung. It is a matter of whether we have the resolve to free ourselves from the teeth of partisanship or die lying here in the blood of our broken republic.If only it was a matter of them simply being “too liberal”. Leftist Extremism is much easier to fight than rampant corruption. And so often the American people simply swoon from joy as these letches ply their obscene craft with a skill that makes Joseph Göbbles look like Mr. Rogers.I’m not a cynic. A cynic has a negative forecast. Unlike the cynic, I’m not forecasting but rather describing the simple truth of what we have become.

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  13. Tony & Yoshi,Not finished with the list yet. But…First, <>How to Understand Economics in One Hour<>, by Marshall Payn. I believe it is out-of-print, but available new < HREF="http://www.lifetimebooksandgifts.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_prod.html?p_prodid=5011&p_catid=&sid=8VGFG91FGJj522P-34105100210.3a" REL="nofollow">here <> and used < HREF="http://www.laprest.com/si/4527.html" REL="nofollow"> here <>.Second is The Uncle Eric series by Richard J Maybury that contains eleven books that you should check out at < HREF="http://www.bluestockingpress.com" REL="nofollow"/> . We picked up the first three books of this series at the bookfair in May and I am halfway through the second book now. The books, written for a mature high-schooler, are easy to understand and present complex concepts in bite size morsels that make so much sense, you wonder why these are not required reading in all high schools.Originally I was going to include <>Free to Choose<> by Milton & Rose Freidman. But his information is presented so much better in The Uncle Eric series that I’m rethinking that.I’ll be looking at some others and will report back later.Have you ever played the board game <>Cashflow 101<> by Robert Kiyosaki? T.P.: <>I am always amused with the 2nd Amendment defense that conservatives put up…. the standard conservative line of how sacred the right to bear arms is. Funny thing is, I agree with the stock line but the hypocrisy is undeniable. If the 2nd Amendment is so sacred, then why not the 4th as well?<>Politicians ≠ Trustworthy People.Dems & Repubs promise the world, including tax cuts, up front and turn wildly liberal when in office. It is the nature of government to do that to people. Power makes cocain pale in comparison. It is addictive and you will sell out your moral position to acquire it. THAT’s why we need the “chains” of the Constitution and not a <>living<> document that could be disregarded whenever we felt like it. THAT’s why politicians in our system were supposed to be temporary and not career, why power not given to the Feds was reserved for the states (where they would be more accountable). My father remembers his father saying at an early age, “politics is dirty business.” There is a track record of thousands of years across all countries and in every one of them government, made up of fallible men, is the same: (1) accumulate power and (2) spend other people’s money to accomplish the first goal.And you thought you were the political cynic.Prof. Ricardo

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  14. Prof,I too would like the reading list. Not that I will have time to read it, but I can always dream.I am always amused with the 2nd Amendment defense that conservatives put up. I’m not talking about you really, but rather the standard conservative line of how sacred the right to bear arms is. Funny thing is, I agree with the stock line but the hypocrisy is undeniable. If the 2nd Amendment is so sacred, then why not the 4th as well?The truth is that the people making these arguments do not care two tidily-winks about the principles. If they did, they would be mounting vigorous defenses of all our Constitutional rights. The Republicans wipe their dirty boots on the Constitution every day just like the Democrats. Convenient political arguments is all it is and the incessant hot air is supremely tiring.On Iraq as a Failure.Iraq was easy to predict as a failure going in because of the narrow political agenda of the hawks. But if you harbored any doubts about it, if you were sitting back and wondering if by some miracle these politicians could make deeds match the rhetoric, then all doubt was removed with the scenes of looting that went on unabated. Nary an oil well was lost in the invasion, but the looting went on unopposed.Oh no! It wasn’t about oil!Yeah right.The Iraqi people who saw the means to reconstruction being destroyed under the watch of the US Military did not buy it and neither should you.

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  15. Prof., I want to see your reading list….Regarding the Nation article, it kind of freaked me out. I actually read another article there that scared me. It seems almost like a conspiracy theory, but it makes WAY TOO MUCH SENSE. Follow the money, the motives…. it does make this all seem like an illusion. The media are in on it, of course, they are subsidiaries of these corporations, or somehow financially linked, so of course they aren’t going to blow the whistle on any of this stuff. Was Iraq just a business strategy? Was it just a new pie to carve up? Prof., you mentioned incorporating history into your son’s studies, every learn what the industrial powers did to China in the 1800s? To Africa in the 1800s? What the Monroe Doctrine was to stop in Latin America before it happened there too?Has history really changed much? No, I don’t think so. Iraq, with it’s oil, it’s potential to exploit, was ripe for the picking, and 9/11 gave the public the fear to smokescreen the real reasons. If this Nation article is true, then we need to take another look through the looking glass. And check this one out as well…. more of the same…< HREF="http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050627&s=klein" REL="nofollow"> A Noose, not a Bracelet <>I think all of us here are probably a little naive about how the world really works. < HREF="http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030428&s=klein" REL="nofollow"> The Nation article about Iraq which seems much more honest than the Hannity “Go Team” B.S. soundbites <>By the way Randy, did you read that? Doesn’t sound too much like the Iraqi people’s ultimate welfare are too much of our focus… looks like the Iraqis are gettting exploited, and it looks like the U.S. taxpayer is subsidizing and using our military to run security for private firms.

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  16. Randy,I do my own left wing proganda. If someone else is using my words, then that means at least two of us are right. 🙂You said: <>You can say that all you want, and keep spouting the lefts rhetoric statements.<>I guess in your opinion, we can’t call Iraq a failure until a conservative declares it so. You realize of course, no matter what kind of meltdown happens in Iraq, the GOP and the neocons will tell the Iraqi people it was for their own good. Did you read the Nation’s article Yoshi linked? You crack me up… facing the reality that Iraq has already been lost is a <>liberal thing<>. There is little doubt when the failure becomes official, it will all have been caused by a liberal lack of will and backing of Shrub’s Iraq blunder. Get ready for Hillary sports fans… Iraq and the Neocons are no longer the flavor of the month. Granted, Hillary is very harsh punishment for the Iraq blunder (for all of us)… but that’s my bet for 2008. If Shrub’s supreme court nominee/s can just overthrow Roe vs Wade before he goes back to Crawford, that will be the end of the GOP for a long time. The Iraq draft constitution has named Islam as the nation’s official religion, and no law is to conflict with Islam. We lost all of these soldiers and spent all of this money to help setup a theocracy. Hey, I was one of those hopeful Thomas Friedman followers who really believed we could plant a democracy in Iraq. But, yeah I know… this is just liberal rant until a conservative declares it so. btw… bigger government means more of a commitment to our poor. You aren’t against the poor are you?< HREF="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-sharia20jul20,1,3447235.story?coll=la-headlines-world" REL="nofollow">Equal rights for women in Iraq… NOT!<>

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  17. CG,“heard some say the civil war started six months ago in Iraq. I don’t want to believe that article.”You do not have to believe this article, there is a difference between “civil” war and a few nut jobs trying to hold a country hostage with terrorism. “Iraq was a tragic choice… it appears we can now call it a failure.”You can say that all you want, and keep spouting the lefts rhetoric statements. I can tell the difference between those that regurgitate what the left (or right) is saying and what somebody has determined after hearing the facts. You Sir are regurgitating. Quit it. I can tell you that I did not agree with the war in Iraq when it first started, although I gave the administration a (that is to say one) benefit of the doubt. As most people from the left start falling by the wayside after September 11th, those that are facing the facts about what is happening in the world today are realizing that this will be the only way to defeat the terrorists. Yes I do agree with you that we have to step beyond just the war, we do have to make some concessions, and try to understand the mind set of these freaks, but we should never, and I mean never appease their cause. Cells that exist may become more active, as in England, but these are cells of people that were bent and determined to do something at some time. All the liberal papers try to make it seem like a month ago all these Islamikaze nut jobs were just regular people, but that is not the facts. They were part of cells that already existed and would have done something at some time. That is their goal in life, to accomplish something. They are hell bent on fighting for a cause that even their leaders don’t really agree with. Kinda like the Dems, they understand that all their liberal agendas are a pipe dream, but they can convince people like you that it is worth fighting for and that the country would be a better place with all these programs and big government. Hogwash.

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  18. Prof,You are barking up the wrong tree. My comment had nothing to do with where I stood on gun rights, and everything to do with how obvious these bought and paid for GOP Senators prioritize their donors rather the nations needs. If you want to believe tort reform, NRA lawsuit protection, and privatizing social security is in the top 100 list… then I have some land to sell you (or is that a daughter). If they only followed your advice:<>Give priority to those items where priority is due, but do not neglect the real world that is continuing despite the war.<>

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  19. C.G.: <>The gun lobby was more important than those guys and gals over in Iraq.<>Ever notice how the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution pre-dates “the gun lobby?” It seems the gun lobby is not the only one interested in securing rights to being armed.The liberals – the ones with the living Constitution – bless their hearts – and also the ones with the three branches of government (Executive/President, Legislative/House of Rep. & Senate, and the <>other<> Legislative/Supreme Court) – could not destroy the right to bear arms with the 1st legislative branch (Congress), so they are starting to use the 2nd (Supreme Court) to bankrupt the companies that make firearms . I don’t know what Frist is up to, but if he is throwing roadblocks in front of the Anti-Gun Lobby, I’m all for it.C.G.: <>I guess the soldiers don’t make campaign contributions… the NRA sure does.<>The Soldiers do and a lot of them are NRA members. I doubt any soldiers have any problems with Frist discussion on gun company liability. BTW, the argument that one must only address the number one item on a list of priorities is very poor. Should we not address education, hunger, painting lines down streets, or whatever, since those items aren’t as important as “those guys and gals over in Iraq?” Give priority to those items where priority is due, but do not neglect the real world that is continuing despite the war.Prof. Ricardo

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  20. Yoshi,Where is Wolfie now? You would hope he has swallowed a dose of humility… we all need that on occasion. But you know what… I haven’t seen anything in this administration that approaches humility. Constant record setting arrogance, but precious little humility. Iraq was a tragic choice… it appears we can now call it a failure. Of heard some say the civil war started six months ago in Iraq. I don’t want to believe that article. I don’t want to believe Iraq was a bigger lie than talking WMD but really democracy crusading. I have already accepted the fact corporations own the GOP congress critters and the president… but surely not on decisions to go to war. If so, our democracy surely is an illusion… we the corporations, for the corporations. Prof…. I bet Yoshi is in the market for a hot daughter. Oops, was that out loud… I hate it when that happens. btw… our GOP Senate leader Frist decided today talking about gun company liability was more important than discussions of some loose ends on the defense spending bill. You know, loose ends like taking care of our soldiers and soldier family needs. The gun lobby was more important than those guys and gals over in Iraq. I guess the soldiers don’t make campaign contributions… the NRA sure does.

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  21. Common Good quoted Krugman: <>“…Corporate leaders understand quite well that good public services are also good for business…”… public services…CAN BE GOOD FOR BUSINESS. Who knew?<>Were I to value money, and only money, I would sell my daughter to the highest bidder. Obviously that is not the case. Since I also value my daughter, and greatly, I will teach her to discern a good man from a bad one, so that her felicity and service to God in life is maximized.Similarly, if all I desire is profits, then I would wish anyone wanting to improve MY lot at their expense (say government?) – have at it. Most businesses are not the mean evil greed monsters that leave a trail of smashed patrons. These business care about this country and they understand the act of taxing more and more to receive benefits comes at a cost. Krugman, Hanity’s “socialist,” apparently does not think the businesses have admitted they benefit and therefore need to permanently mount up to suckle at governments teat. It gives you a glimpse at what Krugman’s model of American businesses looks like.I am in the process of compiling my son’s economics class for his junior year in high school. His first book to read in day 1 puts government expenditures into perspective with such clarity that he will be light-years ahead of Krugman in his understanding of macro economics. The class will not just talk in theory, but will integrate useful information to understand how history, politics, wars, and government should be viewed and how to apply it in the making, investing, spending and keeping of wealth. After I research some more books (we’ll be reading at least a dozen during the year), I’ll report my reading list if anyone is interested.Prof. Ricardo

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  22. < HREF="http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030428&s=klein" REL="nofollow"> The Nation <>Common Good, check this article out from 2003. Very interesting perspective on things you may appreciate. Randy, give it a quick read too, you might get something out of it too. I’d like to hear some comments on it…. if the media were liberal, we’d be seeing these types of stories.

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  23. “Maybe we should discount remarks from the president of the Toronto-based Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, who claimed that the educational level in the Southern United States was so low that trainers for Japanese plants in Alabama had to use “pictorials” to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech equipment.”Good God. I actually know a guy from Mississippi and he’s pretty damn dumb too. I think a little more investment in education is in order. Funny enough, my little brother goes to Trinity Valley School, a private school. I was looking at his history textbook the other day and I’ll be damned, but it’s the same one they use at UTA!!! Except he’s a freshman in high school. Meanwhile, my younger step-brother goes to a public school, and he’s on his way to car mechanic school. If we want to stay competitive in the future, we need to invest in our education and healthcare. Otherwise it’ll be like the developing world here (as it already is in many parts of our cities).

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  24. Oh, for a society of Paul Krugmans and not a society of O’Reilly’s and Hannity’s… if it was only so.“For now, let me just point out that treating people decently is sometimes a competitive advantage. In America, basic health insurance is a privilege; in Canada, it’s a right. And in the auto industry, at least, the good jobs are heading north.”< HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/25/opinion/25krugman.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fPaul%20Krugman" REL="nofollow">Paul Krugman<>

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  25. “Modern American politics is dominated by the doctrine that government is the problem, not the solution. In practice, this doctrine translates into policies that make low taxes on the rich the highest priority, even if lack of revenue undermines basic public services. You don’t have to be a liberal to realize that this is wrong-headed. <>Corporate leaders understand quite well that good public services are also good for business.<> But the political environment is so polarized these days that top executives are often afraid to speak up against conservative dogma.”Paul Krugman, NYTimes (the one O’Reilly calls the socialist)Looks like Krugman is making the same point our buddy Yoshi has attempted on Prof several times… public services (I think more specifically with Yoshi was infrastructure) CAN BE GOOD FOR BUSINESS. Who knew?

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  26. That would definitely be marketable to the Dems, they are always thinking they can get into your head, tell you what you want to hear, then do what they want and cover it up with partisan politics

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  27. Yoshi,<>This really is about nothing. These people have no goals except to cause chaos and disrupt the system.<>I had one of those “oh” moments recently. I was watching someone on TV explain the motives of the terrorists (I can’t even remember who it was). Everyone was kicking around motives (US policy, Caliphate desires, etc) and someone said… “nope, this is just about people who hate their lives and are killing others in anger”. Filling in the blanks to me means most of these people end up in this mode of hate because they think “they aren’t getting their fair share in this life”. Some roll this up by charging them with envy. I think that misses the mark. I don’t think they are envious of other’s lives, I think they are extremely angry about their own. The lack of assimiliation into Europe fuels this anger…. there weren’t enough jobs back home, they move to Europe for a chance and aren’t accepted there either (no jobs there either). I think this is much more simple than envy or fighting against another religion or policies in the middle east… it’s about men being angry about their lives and making the unforgivable turn to hurt others because of it. That said, I absolutely think the O’Reilly rants of the world where he plays Gorilla thumping is chest because the BBC refuse to use the word “terrorist” serves very little purpose. They use the analogy “we have no need to know what makes a murderer tick… he’s just a murderer”. That’s a nice rant, but it won’t do a damn thing to prevent these lost souls from taking others out. The “I’ve got mind blinders” really is a global problem… economic winners seem incapable of understanding the real plight that’s going on on the losing economic side. It’s human nature… some “that don’t get theirs” will not accept the rules. This is universal… it could happen here. If the Conservative chest pounding forces this country into a biforcated economic system (reintroduction to classes in the US) I predict it will happen here. It already does buried in crime statistics. This entire globe, including the US, has to become more liberal… we can no longer ignore the losers.

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  28. The sad part is you have crazy psycho-paths like Osama, using some intangable piece of info to stir up other crazies to commit suicide and mass murder. None of it will stop it unless we continue to find them where they are and put an end to their craziness.

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  29. “it really is aobut nothing.”This really is about nothing. These people have no goals except to cause chaos and disrupt the system. They have as much cause as the computer criminals who start viruses.

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  30. Yes Yoshi it is true that a new cell will grow from an old one, and maybe this war and some of the US policy in the middle east over the last 40 years has something to do with it. Not really though, the people that are leading these teams or cells or Al-Quieda are only moderately interested in what the US does. These men seek power just like Hitler did, and we can not appease them, we have to find them and kill them. Yes when Osama is found and killed or arrested some one will take his place, but after ten years of this, one day the person that takes his place will forget what it was really about, because it really is aobut nothing but their greed and need for power. If we cave like spain we will forever be in their control and then it will never end.

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  31. I have a friend from London, I guy my age I stayed with a month a few years back….. he’s in a seminary now, studying to be a priest….anyway, he just emailed me to say he had been in that bombing in Egypt. He was on holiday with some friends, they were playing pool and heard the explosion, then another, and the windows bowed in….They went outside and there was chaos, bodies lying there. My friend and his friends weren’t hurt though, just emotionally and physically shaken.I’m mentioning this because this was Muslim on Muslim violence. Sure, there were tourists there, but the attack was on the Egyptian government.These terrorists are like starfish with no head. You cut off the arm and a new one grows from it….

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  32. I think the Christian argument doesn’t hold much water with me.I was watching Ripley’s Believe It or Not one day a few months back, and a doctor was performing surgery on a woman’s stomach area. I guess the anesthetic (forgive spelling) wasn’t strong enough, and wouldn’t you know a little arm reached out of that stomach and grabbed the doctor’s finger. I swear to God my mouth dropped open. It looked pretty real to me. “Believe it or Not,” as the program says….Anyway, abortion is little different than infanticide. It doesn’t take some kind of religion to see that. Best argument we can make is, at what point does it become a meaningful life. So I might not have a problem with using embryos for stem cells, but fetuses that are experiencing “dreams,” I think those beings deserve a right to not be killed, whatever the reason the mother has convinced herself she has. By the way, I saw something about Howard Dean pushes the Democratic party to reach out to “pro-life” voters. That should be interesting.

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  33. Oh yeah… I remember your blog now. My point stands… and you said it yourself in your blog.<> And there is a corollary question that haunts me: why is it primarily the Christian community that is sensitive to this particular issue?<>You went to great lengths to say it shouldn’t be just the Christians pro-life stand… but my point was confirmed by your own words. The pro-life movement is primarily a religious movement.You confirmed it again with your closing comments.<>And when you get to that truth, it becomes time to put down the red, white and blue campaign signs and pick up a Bible. And this time, rather than thumping the cover of the Good Book, open it and read it. There are hearts that need to be changed. There is Truth that Christians are commissioned to share.<><>In ancient English common law, life legally began at the first breath.<>That works for me. Where are the originalists when you need them?Only a religious belief would compel the average man to criminalize women when they end a pregnancy. btw… Most of the nation were Christians during the abolition movement, including those who owned the slaves. Seems like simple statistics were likely in play. Of course the statement that you are making is that it would be highly unlikely that any non-Christian could round up enough morals to be against something like slavery. I guess any serious religion must have it’s own infedels.

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  34. Curm,<>Well, I wrote a whole post laying out why it is inappropriate to boil the anti-abortion crowd as being purely religious.<>I will go read it… don’t remember it. It seems pretty obvious to me that the pro-life movement is primarily a religious based movement (maybe as high as 99%). It will be interesting to look back and see how you made any kind of significant case against that premise. <> I love when you, or anyone for that matter, assert something that in substance means “if you aren’t agreeing with me on this then you must be either uniformed, stupid or mentally ill”.<>Dude… that’s what all of your blogs and all of our response are… opinions. You may want to consider who came up with the term <>mass stupids<>. I just adopted it.

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  35. CG,Well, I wrote a < HREF="http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/2004/11/tell-tale-heart.html" REL="nofollow">whole post<> laying out why it is inappropriate to boil the anti-abortion crowd as being purely religious. You apparently know better as you tell us, <>”The only logical defense of such a belief is your god demands it of you.” <> The only logical defense of that statement is that your brain is struggling hard to make sense out of your own inconsistent worldview. I love when you, or anyone for that matter, assert something that in substance means “if you aren’t agreeing with me on this then you must be either uniformed, stupid or mentally ill”. Frankly I hear this kind of comment most often from the Radical Right.Call me illogical if you like: it is a free country. In truth, blanket statements averring the inherent illogic of a viewpoint made without any concession to so much as even the existence of an underlying argument makes you look like the one tossing rationality out the door.

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  36. Randy,<>You keep pinning this on Religion<>Of course it’s about religion. Let’s assume the polls are correct… only 30% want to overturn Roe vs Wade. Care to guess what percentage of that 30% aren’t primarily basing that on religion. You may hear some wrap it up in “rights” mantra, but I’m willing to guess less than 1% of the pro-life crowd are primarily driven by anything other than they believe this is what their god wants. IMO, it’s a significant threshold to overcome to decide women should be held as criminals when they end a pregnancy. The only logical defense of such a belief is <>your god demands it of you<>. Yoshi,A complex nation and economy demand a complex government. I call the Libertarian ideology the ostrich ideology. If they just stick their heads in the sand, the magic of human rights and Captialism will natuarally lead to a just society. Sure… that will work. I think State rights mattered bigtime when we were founded… and should be virtually eliminated today. Take the issue of abortion for example. It’s insane to believe a woman’s rights on such issues would be dictated by which state she lives in. btw… remember the theory that spreading democracy will win the war on terrorism. The London 7/7 bombers were homegrown… British citizens. Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf was interviewed on Nightline last night. He was responding to Blair’s comments that the source of the London bombing was Pakistan. Musharraf openly admits they have serious problems in Pakistan, but totally rejected the idea that the London bombings were caused by Pakistan. He named two known hate monger/terrorist groups in London who are allowed free speech. His point was London has it’s own homegrown movements in their city.. they don’t have to travel to Pakistan to get such ideas in their heads. It’s obviously true several of the bomber did visit Pakistan before they did the deed… but my gut tells me Musharraf is more right than wrong with his comments. I think we are all headed towards having debates about free speech limits, camera surveillance of public places (London wouldn’t have a clue about 7/7 without those cameras, but with them, is well on their way in only a couple of weeks), profiling, preemptive data mining of the public, etc.

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  37. Abortion is not much more than infanticide, if you think about it logically.Both have been around since the beginning of mankind, strange, it’s like last remnants of the animal we are still trying to evolve out of us.Common Good, I was looking at government sponsored healthcare examples the other day. It seems to me the actual “costs” of healthcare don’t really drop, obviously it’s subsidized plus we pay the administrators. But then we have shortages as people with splinters in their fingers show up to get examined, while people who are really sick have to get in long lines and get extremely short visits from time-pressed doctors. Then the doctors start cheating too, as a San Francisco doctor got busted for performing heart-surgery on everyone who doens’t even need it, knowing the govt. will pay for it all. And a black market develops as me and you have to slip the doctor 1000-3000 dollars (as happened in Japan)just to get in the door a bit earlier.I think in the end it’s like the old saying. “You get what you pay for.” Price fixing, which is what Universal Medical Care would actually be, would not be all it seems. Maybe there could be some kind of criteria…. like if a poor kid had cancer, and the parents were broke, then the state could help out. Otherwise we may have healthcare for free but there will be a shortage for those who might REALLY, REALLY need it.Anyway, that’s a rough idea of the economic theory behind it. Seems logical to me, and there seem to be loads of examples to study in Canada, China, Soviet Union, Japan, France, England.

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  38. CG,You keep pinning this on Religion, and yes I am christian. I did not make this decision when I was a christian, my parents never brought me to church, never talked to me about abortion, yet I have always believed that babies in the womb were little people and should not be terminated. We allow late term, and the 9th circuit is reversing partial birth, or trying to. And yet a mother puts her new born in a trashbag, throws it in the dumpster, and that is murder. These are not the correct thoughts and faculties of a civilized nation. Granted we have other issues that need to be resolved, and neither party that currently holds 49% of the population is going to do much about it.

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  39. Yeah there are funny twists on every corner about every decision. You would think that those who believe in protecting animals would think a little more highly of a defensless infant.

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  40. I made a condition on my “libertarian.” Of course, the world is complicated now, we need a federal government to represent us internationally. However, it seems more efficient to have local governments have more power. I was reading in Rolling Stone about Columbia a few years ago. The Columbians were complaining about people in an air-conditioned, land-scaped office building in Washington D.C. making disastrous policies for people living in the real-world rural areas of Columbia. Basically, the idea was that beaucrats 6000 miles away aren’t efficient and can make things worse.I’ve always thought about that and extended that Columbian story to the American states in general. I think it might be better for local governments to solve local problems as they see fit. Of course we’d have federal highways, defense, foreign aid, but otherwise local governments might be able to do more more efficiently, and the saved, non-wasted resources (manicured lawns in D.C.)could be allocated elsewhere, and we’d have a net gain to society overall. Basically, cut out the middlemen in Washington. Cut their power that they obviously abuse. Anyway, that’s what’s got me thinking of libertarian. The “blue” states would win out anyway…. since it’s the “blue” Wall Street yuppees and Hollywood execs who subsidize all the poor WalMart shopping, non-money making, country-music listening southerners like us in “red” Texas and Oklahoma.-“You can’t dress a barbarian in a tux and send him to a five star restaurant, you have to instill a little culture and understanding.”Hilarious image Randy ;o)Yea, I guess we’d have to phase it out slowly. -C.G. is right, this is going to be fun to watch….. if it ever even gets to that point….. I’d actually get some strange satisfaction out of seeing all those N.O.W. get so angry… it’s funny how it’s mainly the lesbians who are so concerned about abortion rights….when they don’t even get pregnant to begin with….And after we get this abortion stuff out of the way we’re going to focus on liberating the farm animals. Meat is Murder!!!!

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  41. Randy,<>And also it won’t be a “hoot” as you put it<>No, you are right. It wouldn’t be a hoot, it would be a nightmare. The point is that this issue will never be a consensus. There are only two choices. We pass laws that make women who choose to end a pregnancy criminals… or we don’t. I understand and accept those who feel abortion is wrong. I don’t understand and accept those that feel they have the right to act on that belief to criminalize others who disagree. Other’s religious beliefs are not my law.Agree to disagree… we won’t solve this one here.

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  42. Disasterous is outlawing something people, or the majority of people (according to CG 70%…scoff, scoff) if people feel it is a right you can not take it away, mass panick everywhere, cats and dogs living together, the whole nine, or ten yards as you see it. It has to be gradual. It is also more effective that way. Take a little, get everyone used to it, then declare you have to take more, and so on, and so on. We will get there, it will just take time. You can’t dress a barbarian in a tux and send him to a five star restaurant, you have to instill a little culture and understanding.

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  43. Yoshi,<> But what about libertarians<>Here is the pecking order:1- Liberal Democrat2- Moderate Democrat3- Moderate Republican4- RR Republican5- Curmugeons that don’t vote...Last) libertarianA libertarian is found on the opposite scale of “we are all in this together”. At least a RR Republican is in it “together” with other like minded Christians. That should fire up Prof. 🙂<>What exactly so “disastrous” would happen if abortion was outlawed?<>I say we give it a try. I will sell popcorn… should be a hoot.

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  44. I think that if people couldn’t get abortions (easily), they might be a little more careful about their behavior. “Buy the ticket, take the ride”, as Hunter S. Thompson said.And as for all those “abuse” cases, where a father molests his daughter, etc, abortion lets the father/molester get off scott free to continue the abuse. Maybe we could have some kind of loophole for those who “really, really” need an abortion. Although it is hard for me to imagine who would “really” need one. -I think the idea behind the Bible verse was that whoever wrote that was fantasizing about destroying the oppressing Babylonians, infants and all. And when the Iraelites came to the promised land, they killed everyone, the babies, even the animals, ethnic cleansing is what we call it today. Stange culture back then. Indeed, speaking of barbarians, I think those peoples then were LITERALLY babarians.

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  45. CG,I guess I am one of that 70% because if you gave me a yes or no poll on Roe v. Wade for action tomorrow or even next year I would say “It should not be overturned”. I do see things somewhat similar to you and that the effects of an overturn would be disasterous on the country. I would however, and probably most of that 70% would agree that some type of control is in order soon. And even a slow tightening of the leash is in order.Fellow Barbarian signing off.I am giving her all I can Capt’in.Shame about Scotty

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  46. Yoshi,God endorsed the destruction of a lot of barbarian nations, he also views death a bit differently than we do. Sometimes the death of a child is something to wake you up, get you on the right path, test your faith. The death of a family member or their taking by God can mean a lot of things, sometimes it is the actions of others that cause the death and all should learn about it. Sometimes they die to touch others and show them or bring them closer to the light. SOmetimes not. These are things, as Job learned should be left to God and considered by us, maybe we get angry, maybe we cry out, maybe we come closer to him. It all depends, and we do not know the full breath of our Supreme and Holy Father. Our willfull distruction is just another stone in His eye.

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  47. < HREF="http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://fauxnewschannel.com/hassoun_borat.jpg&imgrefurl=http://fauxnewschannel.com/04jul131.html&h=194&w=193&sz=13&tbnid=n7HCfyf7N5QJ:&tbnh=98&tbnw=97&hl=en&start=12&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dborat%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DRNWE,RNWE:2005-02,RNWE:en" REL="nofollow"> Fox News Link <>Here you go Common Good, you might get a few laughs out of this…

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  48. Common Good, my grandmother is the same way, excited about this Supreme Court stuff. I kind of feel sorry for her cause she’s waited so long and she’s about to learn the hard way that it just ain’t going to happen….The democrats should call their bluff and just get this stuff over with….Even Laura Bush is pro-choice, I think….They will cut down on 3rd trimester abortions, but we may as well forget about any more than that.I can see the majority of this country has few reservations about abortion. Frankly, I find it hard to believe anyone could be socialized to think abortion is a healthy option for a pregnant woman. Even those abortion proponents on TV, those N.O.W. women, they give me bad vibes. I can’t really see myself on their team, thus, one reason I don’t connect with democrats.

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  49. Psalms 137:8-9Randy, just to let you know, God endorsed killing babies too a long time ago….Okay Common Good, I’m not going to vouch for the Republicans. But what about libertarians…. maybe modified to play a heavier role in global affairs as is necessary in this new age we live in….?

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  50. Randy,Recent polls show that 70% of the public don’t want to overturn Roe vs Wade. I guess 70% of us are barbarians. I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but your Republicans aren’t planning on overturning Roe vs Wade anymore than the Dems… they just tell you they will to get your votes. Everyone in Washington, including the Reps know the day that Roe is overturned is the day Republicans become a minority party again. If the Dems were smart, they would tell you the same lie about outlawing abortion. The upside for you would be a chance to battle for the unborn AND not support the party of greed. If I was the Dems, I would call the Reps bluff immediately. One of the Dems should push for an ammendment to outlaw abortion and get the Rep votes on record.Non-greedy barbarian exiting left…

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  51. Yoshi,Don’t believe CG, you should only vote Democrat if you believe in taking three month old babies and smashing their heads in while they while for food. Barbarian.

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  52. That’s totally what’s happening here.Let’s get back to Karlgate.I had an epiphany today, the Prof. might appreciate it. And it relates to the “interest groups” we keep complaining about.What if we start doing more social spending locally, paying higher, if needed, local taxes, and then we can pay lower federal taxes? Then there will be less “pork” to go around for special interests and all the middlemen government officials in D.C. will have to find more productive things to do with their time.Of course, my special interests have to be left alone, but….

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  53. Bummer… this Supreme Court justice nomination is interfering with Karlgate. I wish they would hurry up and confirm someone, get on with the theocracy, and get back to something important… KARLGATE.

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  54. Yoshi,<>well, aren’t democrats against “free trade?” I’ve been pretty thoroughly indoctrinated to think free trade is a good thing.<>I’m a Dem and not against free trade, globalization or capitalism. I’m just against the trickle down snake oil versions the corporations (accented by the dominion crowd) sell to the lemmings. In summary:Vote GOP if you are a greedy SOB or a lemming… otherwise vote Dem.

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  55. I guess I’m pretty liberal socially, for the most part. But democrats are against free trade….. I’ve been pretty well indoctrinated to think that’s a bad thing….The arrogance of the mainstream GOP has really alienated me though…Still, I try to be non-partisan…. It helps me get Republicans to sign my petitions…that’s more important to me than picking a side…. rather I be on both sides…

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  56. well, aren’t democrats against “free trade?” I’ve been pretty thoroughly indoctrinated to think free trade is a good thing.I’ve met a lot of really idealistic young radical types in my time, and they usually have one thing in common…. good intentions and flakiness. Of course, I can say the same for all the Republicans that I know.And actually, there is a certain arrogance about most Republicans that I find really dangerous.The main issue I have with Republicans is they seem willing to melt the planet down and trash our natural heritage on account of their sellouts to special interests. In the end I guess I just find myself in the middle, agreeing with both parties on approximately 50% of issues. I also want to stay neutral, as Tony seems to know, there is this Red/ Blue state division going on, I see it all the time, it’s depressing. I don’t want to get sucked into name-calling with Republicans at school, it’s like arguing about religion, totally pointless and unproductive. It’s like seeing two ex-spouses slam each other all day, trying to booby-trap each other, meanwhile impeding all of our progress. So I think I’m non-partisan…. I’m like the Red Cross… neutral…

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  57. well, aren’t democrats against “free trade?” I’ve been pretty thoroughly indoctrinated to think free trade is a good thing.I’ve met a lot of really idealistic young radical types in my time, and they usually have one thing in common…. good intentions and flakiness. Of course, I can say the same for all the Republicans that I know.And actually, there is a certain arrogance about most Republicans that I find really dangerous.The main issue I have with Republicans is they seem willing to melt the planet down and trash our natural heritage on account of their sellouts to special interests. In the end I guess I just find myself in the middle, agreeing with both parties on approximately 50% of issues. I also want to stay neutral, as Tony seems to know, there is this Red/ Blue state division going on, I see it all the time, it’s depressing. I don’t want to get sucked into name-calling with Republicans at school, it’s like arguing about religion, totally pointless and unproductive. It’s like seeing two ex-spouses slam each other all day, trying to booby-trap each other, meanwhile impeding all of our progress. So I think I’m non-partisan…. I’m like the Red Cross… neutral…

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  58. well, aren’t democrats against “free trade?” I’ve been pretty thoroughly indoctrinated to think free trade is a good thing.I’ve met a lot of really idealistic young radical types in my time, and they usually have one thing in common…. good intentions and flakiness. Of course, I can say the same for all the Republicans that I know.And actually, there is a certain arrogance about most Republicans that I find really dangerous.The main issue I have with Republicans is they seem willing to melt the planet down and trash our natural heritage on account of their sellouts to special interests. In the end I guess I just find myself in the middle, agreeing with both parties on approximately 50% of issues. I also want to stay neutral, as Tony seems to know, there is this Red/ Blue state division going on, I see it all the time, it’s depressing. I don’t want to get sucked into name-calling with Republicans at school, it’s like arguing about religion, totally pointless and unproductive. It’s like seeing two ex-spouses slam each other all day, trying to booby-trap each other, meanwhile impeding all of our progress. So I think I’m non-partisan…. I’m like the Red Cross… neutral…

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  59. McCain is a non-starter… he is a Republican. Anyone who supports the party of greed, no matter how well he plays in public, has something broken in his soul. The Republican party puts greed first… nothing else really needs to be said. Don’t buy this Curm “both parties are equal” bs. That’s just something he uses to avoid his conscience by not putting the common man first. The list of excuses is a mile long, but at the end of the day, if you are supporting the GOP you are supporting greed. It’s so obvious, it really doesn’t even require a discussion.So Yoshi, tell me why you aren’t a democrat. You have the heart of a democrat… that’s obvious. You are too smart to get sucked in by all of the “liberal media” sales pitch to the lemmings. So why not a democrat? Why not a liberal democrat? Liberal to me means nothing more than putting the common man first, and fighting almost everything the cave dwellers throw out… including that strict contructionist crap that Tony just bitch slapped.

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  60. McCain is one of those politicians that I desperately wish I could love yet am prevented by reason from doing so. How quickly the Keating Five have been forgotten. McCain you see is just another politician. He trades on his status as a legitimate hero, but his heroic past should not blind us to the reality of his mundane present as a JASP: Just Another Stinking Politician.

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  61. < HREF="http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=4079475" REL="nofollow"> Personally, I’m fond of this guy. He doesn’t seem to be sold out to “special interests.” What does everyone think? Model leader? We could all be Republicans in this country. <>This is about John McCain… pro-life, Reagan doctrine foreign policy, takes global warming seriously, fights pork-barreling and special interests….

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  62. I don’t really think “Shrub” had to be part of it myself. It’s funny, he actually does have some charisma. I heard him on the radio being questioned and caught myself laughing a little… I guess after two terms people start to grow on you….Maybe ol’Karl Rove was just getting a little passive-aggressive revenge….

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  63. Yoshi,Yes I agree, I am fed up with the Reps, just more fed up with the Dems. Although I can not agree with taking the attitude that if you think of a way to do something using foul play, then it probably was foul play. I will also not concede that there was not foul play. Just not sure that Shrub was part of it, and at the moment nobody can say for sure, just throw accusations around and hope that it sticks. Kinda like monkeys

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  64. Yoshi,It is always fun to what the politically minded defend “their people” on legalistic grounds while denying the propriety of that endeavor to the other side. Left and Right both do this and the sheep just lap it up.Like you, I try very hard to look at the facts and see where they lead. Where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is a hatchet job, there is a hatchet man.Instead, people give their own kind the benefit of the doubt at every turn. It is amazing how clear and simple things are when you step back out of the two-party trance and look at the obvious meaning of the simple facts before you.

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  65. Randy,As I have lain out before, strict construction is a political term and not a meaningful phrase in the area of jurisprudence. If you look at the English words “strict construction” then I would probably call myself one. But the politicians encourage people to pour a lot more meaning into the phrase than the words would suggest.Specifically, the current extremist view is that strict construction means that if it isn’t in the language of the Constitution, then you cannot go any farther than the words of the document. This idea is a legal farce. There is always the need to go outside the words of any legal instrument for interpretation. The error can be seen when you realize that someone without education would need a dictionary to get to what the words mean. You cannot escape the need to go outside to interpret the meaning of the words.Further, the founders were largely a bunch of lawyers who understood the need for interpretation. There was a great deal of debate both during the convention and during the ratification debates on what institution would be the legal authority on interpretation. The lawyers who stand on national podiums and tell you otherwise are simply lying to you for political purposes.Inevitably strict construction is linked to specific substantive issues. This clearly illustrates that the doctrine is not a method of jurisprudence at all. The goal of the courts should be to blindly apply law to facts. But you will see strict construction come up only in specific factual context.Neither do I agree that our Constitution is malleable in unlimited ways unless you include the vehicle of Amendment as the agent of that malleability. This assertion is equally tied to political agendas and not to sound jurisprudence. And like so much in our artificial two-dimensional political “system”, it is always presented as if these to extremist views are the only two viewpoints in existence.

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  66. Yea, Randy, I realize that it is easy for the liberal propaganda machine to say the Republicans are doing something bad. No matter WHAT it is conservatives do, liberals will attack it. And often, in my experience, use melodramatic, irrational arguments to do so…..And I’m not by any means a democrat.However, I will also say, I don’t buy it that the “conservatives” never do anything wrong. Because everyone does, and they aren’t perfect, moral gods, as they are made out to be by the “conservative propaganda machine.” After years of growing up Catholic, I realize the church is like the Wizard of Oz, just some old phoney hiding behind a big fancy curtain trying to scare everyone. The U.S. government is the same way. Hell, probably all governments are (incidentally, the Catholic Church was a government also, come to think of it.)Consequently I just try to look at the evidence, imagine how my corrupt mind would have done things if I were in their shoes (since they are at least as clever as me), and usually from there you can infer a pretty close proximity to the actual truth. And that’s why you know there was foul play.

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  67. “Also, will special interests play a critical and perhaps decisive role in the fight over Supreme Court nominees? I’ll be talking with the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and the ranking Democrat.”I find statements like these to be crazy. Bush has and always will follow his belief that strict constructionist. He has never had any other belief, and now when it comes to it, people jump on this band wagon of appeasing special interest groups for supreme court nominations, hog wash

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  68. Yoshi,I guess I have to say that if your response is “probably there was some foul play” then you should step back and reconsider the situation. It is easy for the liberal propaganda machine to crank out all this crap to keep the focus on the fact that not only can they not actually get anything right, and do the right thing of the people, by the people and for the people, but they have no answers to questions and can only spout the parrots phrase, “they are doing it wrong, they are doing it wrong” bunch of malarky if you ask me. Be careful of the we just want to help the working man, spin they put on everything, they do not actually work that way. All they want is a special interest group vote, not unlike the conservatives, they just go for the different groups.

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  69. That is a nice piece CG, but what is the bottom line. Are we going to appease the terrorists now, because there religion is not taking them to the heights of capitalist profit and technology. What it is, is a bum excuse for radicals to defame the very religion that they claim to be working under. And that does not accomplish any thing. It only goes to prove the point that what Bush is doing in Iraq is the right thing. It will take some years, and military personnel lives, but in the end people will see that this little bit will go a long way to show the majority of these crazies, it is a working system and it will benefit them in the future. Good Job Shrub

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  70. Randy,I highly recommend Thomas Friedman Op-Eds when they pertain to the middle east and terrorism (not so much his stuff on globalization).< HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/15/opinion/15friedman.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fThomas%20L%20Friedman" REL="nofollow">A Poverty of Dignity and a Wealth of Rage<>

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  71. Prof.I don’t really know what to think anymore, this thing about Rove maybe blown out of proportion, I’m still not sure exactly what the crime was, or how it “discredited” her husband anyway. Probably there was some foul-play going on, but I don’t know if it’s a big enough deal to worry about. As you said, she was just an “analyst.” Who cares that her name got out? Anyone feel free to correct me. I’m too tired to care or think or really learn more about this on my own….

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  72. Yoshi: “<>As for the Prof’s implication that Plume’s husband “hated” Bush, where does that come from…? <>”From < HREF="http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may071103.asp" REL="nofollow">Clifford May<> among others:<>He was an outspoken opponent of U.S. military intervention in Iraq. He’s an “adjunct scholar” at the < HREF="http://www.mideasti.org" REL="nofollow"> Middle East Institute <> — which advocates for Saudi interests. The March 1, 2002 issue of the Saudi government-weekly Ain-Al Yaqeen lists the MEI as an “Islamic research institutes supported by the Kingdom.”He’s a vehement opponent of the Bush administration which, he wrote in the March 3, 2003 edition of the left-wing Nation magazine, has “imperial ambitions.” Under President Bush, he added, the world worries that “America has entered one of it periods of historical madness.”He also wrote that “neoconservatives” have “a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the Republican Party.” He said that “the new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our world view are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme.”He was recently the keynote speaker for the < HREF="http://www.mideasti.org" REL="nofollow"> Education for Peace <> in Iraq Center, a far-left group that opposed not only the U.S. military intervention in Iraq but also the sanctions — and even the no-fly zones that protected hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Shias from being slaughtered by Saddam.And consider this: Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wilson did believe that Saddam had biological weapons of mass destruction. But he raised that possibility only to argue against toppling Saddam, warning ABC’s Dave Marash that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might “use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have. For example, if we’re taking Baghdad or we’re trying to take, in ground-to-ground, hand-to-hand combat.” He added that Saddam also might attempt to take revenge by unleashing “some sort of a biological assault on an American city, not unlike the anthrax, attacks that we had last year.” In other words, Wilson is no disinterested career diplomat — he’s a pro-Saudi, leftist partisan with an ax to grind. And too many in the media are helping him and allies grind it.<>Prof. RicardoP.S. I have no opinion on O.J.

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  73. So we all pretty much knew money and lobbyist behing the scenes influenced Congress Critter votes… no big secret. What I didn’t know is the system is corrupt enough to do it in the light of day. Read the top part of the following Lou Dobbs transcript on the vote changes on the floor. I’m not arguing whether the bill should have passed or not… but pointing out that Congress Critters changed their votes after they got their marching orders… AFTER THEY HAD ALREADY CASTED THEIR VOTE. < HREF="http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0507/14/ldt.01.html" REL="nofollow">Please at least act like you aren’t a puppet with someone behind the scenes pulling your strings<>“In addition to the triumph of influence peddlers over principle on Capitol Hill, what makes this vote remarkable is the fact that more than 100 congressmen changed their opinions and their votes in response to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other corporate lobbyists.”

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  74. Yoshi,<>My aunt says EVERYONE makes fun of him and blames everything on him, even though it’s never his fault.<>You reminded me of a point you made earlier that I agreed with, but forgot to express it. People really shoudn’t be to surprise when:The rest of the school kids relentlessly pick on a weakling, and that weakling shows up with a gun someday in class.The rich in a country hoard their wealth, or huge wealth gaps evolve… and then you end up with class warfare.A culture (Europe, Israel, etc) looks down on people based on religion or race or whatever… and finally some on the other side get angry and act on that anger.There is both reaping what we have sowed going on, AND sick, unjustied murder and terrorism. Like I said, they are not mutually exclusive.

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  75. Correction, not retraction (it was brought to the newspapers attention that some errors had been made in the previous news release).CommonGood FakeNews APRove Nominated by Shrub for the Supreme Court1 hour, 59 minutes agoWASHINGTON – In the tradition of rewarding bad behavior and failure Shrub has become known for, Shrub nominated Karl Rove to be the next Supreme Court justice. This follows a long tradition of rewarding bad behavior, which includes:Awarding the medal of freedom to Iraq WMD are a slam dunk Tenent.Promoting to the State Department ignoring Bin Laden determined to attack the US and relegating the terrorism czar Richard Clarke as a back bencher because anything Clinton couldn’t be near as good as the new arrogant leaders Condi Rice.The continued reign of kept in office after torturing prisoners Donald Rumsfeld.Shrub was quoted as saying the Rove nomination kills two birds at once. It removes Karl from Karlgate over this CIA bs… and Karl will be able to find himself innocent when the Karlgate case comes to the Supreme Court. Karlgate has been raging in Washington for a couple of weeks. Comedians have been relentless on the topic. Leno said: “Looks like <>Shrub<> and Clinton share something in common. They both have had chubby people <>in the Oval Office<> who can’t keep their mouth shut”.

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  76. “First, there is obvious blame to go around on both sides, but most of us won’t accept the equating and rationalization you just expressed.”I agree with this. Killing civilians is wrong. Of course it is. The point I was making is, when someone is living under a barrel of a gun their whole lives, and have no means of recourse, I can understand how easy it is to become a killer.My aunt works with a really nice guy at her job. He has cerebral palsy. Instead of collecting social security, he works. My aunt says EVERYONE makes fun of him and blames everything on him, even though it’s never his fault. The guy lives alone in a trailer, by himself, with no friends or family. My aunt hangs out with him a little bit now….Now, I am not saying killing is ever, ever right, but I can UNDERSTAND why someone would walk into their office and shoot everyone. I can understand how years of opression can lead a person to finally take up arms.Same with Palestinians. Unrelenting frustration could make a killer. When I said destruction of houses, I didn’t mean military retaliation for terror. I meant Israelis want to develop a residential neighborhood, so the Arab “dogs” have to go. That happens. All kinds of financial incentives are given to get “Jewish” settlers to move onto Palestinian lands. That’s the root of this in the end. I’d be frustrated too if I were living in a refugee camp my whole life, kicked out of my home…. geez, I wanted some payback when the manager at Barnes and Noble gave me a hard time returning some merchandise, let alone some military soldiers kicking me off my land.In any case, this is a family feud. Jew, Christians, Islam, are all descendents of Abraham. All cousins, fighting and killing each other. Genetically they are virtually identical…

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  77. CommonGood FakeNews AP<>Rove Nominated by Shrub for the Supreme Court<>1 hour, 59 minutes ago WASHINGTON – In the tradition of rewarding bad behavior and failure Shrub has become known for, Shrub nominated Karl Rove to be the next Supreme Court justice. This follows a long tradition of rewarding bad behavior, which includes:Awarding the medal of freedom to <>Iraq WMD are a slam dunk<> Tenent.Promoting to the State Department <>ignoring Bin Laden determined to attack the US and relegating the terrorism czar Richard Clarke as a back bencher because anything Clinton couldn’t be near as good as the new arrogant leaders<> Condi Rice.The continued reign of <>kept in office after torturing prisoners<> Donald Rumsfeld.Shrub was quoted as saying the Rove nomination kills two birds at once. It removes Karl from Karlgate over this CIA bs… and Karl will be able to find himself innocent when the Karlgate case comes to the Supreme Court. Karlgate has been raging in Washington for a couple of weeks. Comedians have been relentless on the topic. Leno said: “Looks like Karl and Clinton share something in common. They both know chubby people who can’t keep their mouth shut”.

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  78. Yoshi,<>If my little brother was killed by an occupying force, or my parents house was bulldozed, I can’t really honestly say I wouldn’t go after civilians myself. Hey, it would be different if I could get near the military or govt buildings to attack them instead….. but if I couldn’t, I’d find the underbelly (civilians)… it would be my only recourse….<>First, there is obvious blame to go around on both sides, but most of us won’t accept the equating and rationalization you just expressed. It is never ok to equate terrorsim to collateral deaths while trying to protect your population with your military. I’ve never understood what Israel is suppose to do… just accept the blowing up of women and children on buses and in malls. They haven’t invented a way yet to just catch the bad guys without collateral deaths. It’s very possible one could make the case Israel overplays their hand, but just how critical can one be of a people who watch their women and children get blown up day after day. The destruction of parent’s houses happen because the murderer is gone. The hope is the young kid who would blow himself up who isn’t deterred from his own death, may be deterred by sure and swift consequences to his parents. It’s an evil business, but exactly what is one to do with women and kid murderers… a constant wave of them I might add. Let’s put this in the darkest analogy I can come up with. I someone intentionally kills my child (if I had one), every fiber in my being would want that individual to die… a very painful death would be fine. If that individual had a child, would that child be fair game as payback? Any decent individual would say obviously not. Women and children are simply off limits under any circumstance other than the case of women in the military. JMO… it’s a very sad complicated hell… I would like peace for both sides. I think they passed the ability for each side to work it out a long time ago… too much accumulated hate. I was for the wall for this reason. I think the only chance is to divide and isolate for a generation or two. Pretty sick statement about what humans are capable of.

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  79. “I pretty much figure people are more alike than they are different.”-me too. “I’m in their corner until too many of them back the women and children murderers.”-yea, no one supports terror. But if the Israeli army has some collateral damage, no one cares. If they run a bulldozer over an American girl, no one cares. If you are wearing a military outfit, then you are a legitimite soldier. But a Palestinian kid throwing rocks, oh, that’s terrible, he’s a terrorist.If my little brother was killed by an occupying force, or my parents house was bulldozed, I can’t really honestly say I wouldn’t go after civilians myself. Hey, it would be different if I could get near the military or govt buildings to attack them instead….. but if I couldn’t, I’d find the underbelly (civilians)… it would be my only recourse….Hey, I’m just trying to be honest and think like someone who is frustrated. It’s always wrong to kill someone…. especially innocents…If Israel wants to live by the sword, they must be prepared to die by it. Oh yea, I forgot, they don’t like Jesus…

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  80. Yoshi,<>But don’t let the so-called “liberal” media skew your perception of Palestinians.<>I envy your chance to meet so many folks from different societies. I have no “perception” of Palestinians. I pretty much figure people are more alike than they are different. My only point was that my natural desire is for all people to have quality societies. I’m in their corner until too many of them back the women and children murderers.

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  81. How does “outing” Valerie Plume discredit her husband anyway? I didn’t quite understand that part….As for the Prof’s implication that Plume’s husband “hated” Bush, where does that come from…? Why are people so reluctant to concede that Iraq didn’t try to buy the uranium? It’s like when you first learn about the birds and the bees and just simply can not accept that your parents “did it.” Yes, they did do it. And they did it many times. And yes, G.W. Bush blew the Iraq thing way out of proportion to sell a war (which maybe was okay to do for strategic reasons anyway). Can we just move on past this obvious truth already? I mean, the motive is there, I swear to God, I’m on record predicting everything that happened with the WMD (or lack of WMD) from the moment I first heard about them. It played out exactly the way I would have planned it myself (I know how to lie and then how to use a technicality to get out of the lie later). Can’t tell me that’s just a coincidence…… there is no way…. the government, Kerry, Bush, etc., lied to us. You could even see the “gun” to Colin Powell’s head the whole time, the reluctance in his face…. they were all dishonest… as Tony said, let’s just face it that neither party is looking out for us….Man, now I understand why people hate defense attorneys….I wish I was here back at the time of O.J. Simpson’s trial. I can see Professor now trying to convince us that O.J. was actually in the living room and never heard a thing outside, and that we are all racists that want to frame an innocent black man….

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  82. Prof,Good for you. You are now the official Novak and Rove defenders on this board. Also Coulter, but that little viper is attractive. Every time I listen to her I have two thoughts 1) man this chick is insane 2) man would I like {engage in activities with Ann that I can’t repeat here}. Oops, was that out loud? Hey, keep sticking up for Rove and Novak. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Go with your gut. In Coulter’s case, go with your ….. I think you mentioned some liberal accepted actions that may apply.Hey, those crazy Dem Senators floated some ammendment to bitch slap Rove. Frist matched him with some ammendment to deny FBI reports to Senators that have a slip of the tongue regarding classified information. Way to go Frist… the old <>hey you guys suck too<> defense. We really do have children running our country. They all strike me as silver spoon frat brother types. Remember those guys in college… those are the very same solid citizens running our government. I’m surprised many of them didn’t piss their pants and quit after 911.

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  83. C.G.: <>Prof, Give us some reasons why it’s ok for someone in the White House to play politics with CIA agent identities over something as minor as “justifications for war”.<>The law and common sense dictate that if agents and stealth operatives that could be in grave danger if their identity were known were maliciously revealed, this would be an action needing serious tending to.I think what matters are: Who is Valerie Plame? What was her position within the CIA? Who outed her? What was her reaction to being outed? How have other’s reacted in this situation? What potential danger would befall her if she were identified? #1&2 – You refer to Plame as a “CIA agent.” In fact she is an analyst. No 007 here. No sneaking from shadow to shadow in a foreign hostile country. She is husband to a Bush hater whom she helped get hired to find out if there Saddam Hussain had attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium for his weapons program.#3 Who outed her? From a Clifford D. May commentary < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34835" REL="nofollow">here<>:<>_____On July 6, Mr. Wilson wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he said: “I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” _____On July 11, I wrote < HREF="http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may071103.asp" REL="nofollow">a piece<> for NRO arguing that Mr. Wilson had no basis for that conclusion – and that his political leanings and associations (not disclosed by the Times and others journalists interviewing him) cast serious doubt on his objectivity. _____On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative. _____That wasn’t news to me. I had been told that – but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhanded manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of. I chose not to include it (I wrote < HREF="http://www.nationalreview.com/may/may071803.asp" REL="nofollow">a second NRO piece on this issue on July 18<>) because it didn’t seem particularly relevant to the question of whether or not Mr. Wilson should be regarded as a disinterested professional who had done a thorough investigation into Saddam’s alleged attempts to purchase uranium in Africa.<>Robert Novak CYA < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34867" REL="nofollow">column<> explains his July 14 “leak:” <>_____The leak now under Justice Department investigation is described by former Ambassador Wilson and critics of President Bush’s Iraq policy as a reprehensible effort to silence them. To protect my own integrity and credibility, I would like to stress three points. First, I did not receive a planned leak. Second, the CIA never warned me that the disclosure of Wilson’s wife working at the agency would endanger her or anybody else. Third, it was not much of a secret. _____The current Justice investigation stems from a routine, mandated probe of all CIA leaks, but follows weeks of agitation. Wilson, after telling me in July that he would say nothing about his wife, has made investigation of the leak his life’s work – aided by the relentless Sen. Charles Schumer of New York. These efforts cannot be separated from the massive political assault on President Bush. _____This story began July 6 when Wilson went public and identified himself as the retired diplomat who had reported negatively to the CIA in 2002 on alleged Iraq efforts to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger. I was curious why a high-ranking official in President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council was given this assignment. Wilson had become a vocal opponent of President Bush’s policies in Iraq after contributing to Al Gore in the last election cycle and John Kerry in this one. _____During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA’s counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: “Oh, you know about it.” The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue. _____At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson’s wife had inspired his selection, but said she was delegated to request his help. He asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause “difficulties” if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson’s wife or anybody else would be endangered. If he had, I would not have used her name. I used it in the sixth paragraph of my column because it looked like the missing explanation of an otherwise incredible choice by the CIA for its mission. _____How big a secret was it? It was well known around Washington that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. Republican activist Clifford May wrote Monday, in National Review Online, that he had been told of her identity by a non-government source before my column appeared and that it was common knowledge. Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson’s “Who’s Who in America” entry.<>#4 – What was her reaction to being outed? Kevin McCullough was so descriptive when < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=36418" REL="nofollow">he wrote<>:<>_____It’s also important to note that Valerie Plame, the woman who has been so ruthlessly “outed” by “sources” within the D.C. community was so injured by it that she resorted to discussing publicly who should portray her when the story finally goes to the gods of made-for-TV movies.…In fact, so injured was she by the fact that her name had appeared in a column written several months ago by a single columnist, she demanded that the whole world be made fully aware of her name – even though the vast majority of people in the United States can’t even tell you who Robert Novak was, much less Valerie Plame…Then, there is the ultimate proof of how much her name being now known (though it be not known well) was now endangering her very life. For if you still had no idea just who this terribly offended, nay even horrified, woman was, running for her very life, reputation and a deal from the CBS television network, then she decided to give the ultimate proof. I mean nothing truly says “I’m in extreme danger of having my identity known” like putting your mug in Vanity Fair magazine with worldwide distribution. But I digress … back to the investigation into this offensive leak …<>C.G., Rove was not the only one that knew of Plame. She was no secret agent. She didn’t feel threatened. In fact, it appears to be quite the asset to the couple. But if you like riding a dead horse, go ahead & give him some spurs.Prof. Ricardo[No horses were harmed in the discussion of this topic]

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  84. There is too much here to respond too, I’m busy, but I want to agree about Common Good’s Thomas Friedman strategy. We should kill the “leaders” with Special Ops. It’s the only way, these guys aren’t nations, they are more like mobsters, well hidden. You don’t invade New York to get to the Italian Kingpin….And the recruits, well, I agree, the tough talk just perpetuates the notion that this is a war between USA and Islam…. it’s not true until we make it true in our heads and president’s speeches. As for Palestine, I was in Israel a few years back. The Palestinians, the ones I met, were very sincere and hospitable people. We were strangers on the street, and they greeted us warmly and welcomed us to Israel. A humble people, from my little sample pool of the population.The Israelis themselves were not so friendly. Maybe it’s a cultural thing…. they seemed to despise Americans, had the nose up. I even met some teenagers that told me about Palestian “dogs.” It was an interesting experience, like going into a time machine to 1960s Mississippi and hearing the residents complain about blacks. Now, a disclaimer, I know some Israelis who are cool people….But don’t let the so-called “liberal” media skew your perception of Palestinians. When I got there, I imagined they would scorn us and have bombs strapped to their bodies. Not my experience in reality at all. Hope someone finds that interesting.By the way Randy, the only reason Spain, Germany, and Israel are going to change, is not because “terrorism” won anything. They will change because the Westerners don’t like to have kids, while the Muslims, b/c they fear/ love God, have many kids. But that isn’t going to happen anymore than we are going to start looking more and more like Mexicans….

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  85. I just have to point out my usual here. It amuses me to see the back and forth that it is really the Dems that are hateful and nasty. No its not, it’s the Republicans.Is too. Is not.Folks, there are no clean hands in that battle. They are all a bunch of scumbags. Deal with it.Now as to historical divisions and nastiness. I consider myself something of a student of history (not an expert for sure) and I would say that the acrimony is nothing new in any of its facets. The only thing that has changed is that the distance between the two dominant parties has steadily decreased. They have gotten very proficient at using rhetoric and the media to present the illusion of opposing one another in significant ways. Whereas when you look at the actual results of one or the other dominating at the moment, there is little real difference.Things have seldom been nastier than if you look at the early days of our republic. Consider the politics of the antebellum period and you will see things just as ugly. Look at the depression era politics, and you will find more of the same. In the 50s we had McCarthyism. In the 60s we had people questioning Kennedy because of his Catholicism and rumors were very ugly.Nah, nothing much has changed on that front. What has changed is what is not seen by most people: the Dems and Reps are lined up together against We the People. And we are in the midst of even more radical change in this direction as now they aren’t even trying so hard to hide it.

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  86. Prof. RicardoCommon Good said: <>Do you ever ask yourself why such a huge percentage of Americans despise this president?<>#1 – What President? Some thought he did not legitimately hold the position.#2 – Such a huge portion that they voted him in two terms in a row?#3 – Despise – to look upon as worthless, contempt, aversion, or distasteful. That’s a very strong indictment of Kerry and Gore, the two men who were thought to be not as well suited for the job. The intense hatred of the Moore Democrats who do not care what the accusations are as long as they keep coming is not condemnation of the President. However, it is a sad depth that the “party of compassion” has sunk to over White house and Congress envy.<> We have been polarized for a long time, but nothing like the Shrub era.<>I was too young pre-Nixon to have a sense of political polarization. The reruns of previous political conventions and speeches gave a sense of disagreements handled in a gentlemanly manner. Starting with Reagon I had never seen such political bigotry as I had seen in the Media. With the Democrats and Republicans I expected bias based upon philosophy. But the Media was not even aware of how ridiculous they sounded. Probably because there was no other outlet for people to get news. A virtual oligopoly. But pride goeth before a fall.But over time it got worse. When Bush 1 got in following 8 yrs of Reagon, the Democrats were desperate. When Clinton got in, the coming Utopia of a socialist neutered America dangling from the limp nipple of the United Nations (where milk flowed from us rather than to us), was cut short by a majority of Republican representatives for the first time in 40 years, this is where the Democratic Party should have been committed. The insanity since then is without peer. “It’s the economy stupid” is text book philosophy and technique from the party of new young Democrats with no social skills. Go down on an intern or two in the Oval office, why not? It was anything goes and has been ever since. I feel sorry for you guys following a liberal or humanist philosophy, by nature of your political leanings, become tainted with such a despicable lot of political animals. The tirades that came form Gore after his loss rivaled any toddler showdowns I had ever seen.So the fact that there is polarization during this administration is not seen by me as a failure in Bush, but rather an atmosphere of polarization created by Democrats. Can you name me a film released in theaters during any previous administrations that is <>Fahrenheit 911<>‘s equal? Was this film meant to bring about unity and cohesiveness? And the Bush-bashers jumped on this film like it was another Testament of scripture.C.G., if the rabbit has teeth marks in his butt, don’t look at the rabbit. Look at the dog with blood on his teeth for a source of the conflict.Prof. Ricardo

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  87. Prof,Where did you go? Come back and defend that slime Rove some more. Give us some reasons why it’s ok for someone in the White House to play politics with CIA agent identities over something as minor as “justifications for war”. Here is a question… war or not, why is it ok for a White House advisor to spin the press for any reason. Seems like a good policy would be in public on the record only. btw.. I was wrong, and so was Rove. Rove did use Plames name. He referred to her as Mrs. Wilson.. that is her name.

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  88. Randy, You know recognizing and acknowledging the US’s and the West’s role in this mess (middle east) and being brutal on terrorism is not mutually exclusive. That’s my meaning in saying we need to put aside the chest pounding and the <>axis of evil<> and <>dead or alive cowboy shit<>. It’s just dumb. Like I said, you have to divide the terrorist problem into two groups… the directors (Thomas Friedman calls these the undeterables) and the recruits (folks on the fence that could go either way… look at the young men who were the suicide bombers in London.. these guys seemed incredibly normal.. scarey.) The undeterables have to be killed (can you say black opts all over the globe… bad guys disappearing at night). The deterables… young men and women who are vunerable to recruiting have to be won over (scaring them with cowboy talk isn’t going to work). So given those two groups… undeterables and the gullible that may blow themselve up.. how would Bush’s choice of language help? IMO, it served no purpose. In fact, it appears to me the <>axes of evil<> comment is exactly what ramped up the nuclear assembly line in Iran and N. Korea. I know Bush was dying for a Reagan moment (“tear down this wall”), but I’ve watched Shrub.. he is no Reagan.Back to my point about accepting our role in all of this (like Tony said and Friedman says “we never tell the truth to our pushers”.) Oil is our drug, and Saudi is our pusher.. we made a deal with the devil for cheap oil. And yes… it’s not that simple… you could have very well done worse than the Saudi Royals sitting on their lakes of oil. Think Caliphate mongers sitting on the same lakes of oil. I guess there is something to be said for pure greed accumulated for a few vs a few wanting to dictate rights and religion for the masses. Two bad choices… but one worse than the other. I think an example of where you can recognize a legimate complaint but not accept the method of protest is the Palestinians. I’ve had this conversation with Tony several times. I think it’s obvious the Palestinians have legit reasons for protest, but blowing up women and children is as cowardly and sick as it gets. I’ve always been inclined to support the Palestinians as long a clear majority vocally opposed the killing of women and children (i.e terrorist suicide bombing in Israel). That said, if I ever got the feeling the majority of the Palestinians supported to cowardly murdering of women and children, I would turn on a dime and condemn the entire Palestinian population. The soul of a people are always the moderate center… i.e. not the zealots and extremists. I really don’t know what percentage of the Palestinian population supports the blowing up of women and children. I have always hoped a clear majority condemns it… otherwise I lose support from people like me. It is not possible to make a case for killing women and children… don’t even bother with “but they…..”… it’s a waste of time with me.

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  89. “As I have written we should take steps to energy independence. This would do more than anything else to address the terrorism issue.”Yes I agree that we should work to that end, but what does that do to a country that only has oil export. Will the terrorist not find that as another “agenda” that they need us to solve for them. And the Despots, In our colective opinion, like the Shah of Iran were not as bad as what they presently have. Yes we made some deals with leaders that were not above board, guess we just took them at their word, but the situations now are not just bad they are intolerable. Even for the people on the ground in those countries.

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  90. Randy,What is not addressed is the fact that the despots that run their countries have been propped up for a century by western powers for our own benefit. Meanwhile, the people are impoverished and worse.What needs to be done is for us to step up to the plate and acknowledge our role in it. We need to take steps to right old wrongs. We aren’t responsible for all of the problems nor is the West collectively. Still, we have had a big role in it. Also, I do not think we can just magically fix it all quickly-we just need to start taking steps in the right direction.Again, none of this justifies terrorism either. Rather it just adds fuel to the terrorist fire. Terrorists are criminals and should be treated as such. As I have written we should take steps to energy independence. This would do more than anything else to address the terrorism issue.

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  91. Tony“I guess our broad area of disagreement is over the nature of the current conflict.”Well we probably don’t disagree on that either. Was not a big fan of invading Iraq.I guess our disagreement with this situation is legitimate beefs. These are not freedom fighters trying to restore Sadam, I would have less problem with them if it were. These are out and out terrorists that are using terror tactics to paralyze a country. Killing women and children, be-heading individuals after kidnappings when demands are not met. They are not legitimate and the do not have legitimate gripes. You will never convince me of that, and or the terrorists either. I will bet the majority of non-suicidals know what they are doing, that is why they won’t give their life. The suicidals are fundamental idiots that could not pour p*** out of a boot. IMO

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  92. Randy,Well, I’m glad that we agree so much.When I speak of the death of Liberty here, I mean more than just the Patriot. I mean the constant intrusion of our Liberties by the government. Not to mention the unspeakably horrific decisions by this administration to abrogate the Geneva Convention.It is tempting here to repeat my exegesis of the legal problems with the assertion that you can simply “repeal” the Patriot Act. I have explained best I can time after time why legally that is ridiculous. All these limits and balances you see do not exist. The limit is the Constitution and legally we have eliminated its protections once and for all. The only remaining limit is the willingness of the people in power to restrain themselves.The administrations willingness to abrogate the Geneva Convention is just unconscionable. The have knowingly and willful put our soldiers at even greater risk of inhumane treatment at the hands of others. I understand full well that terrorists do not follow the rules or respect human rights. But only by respecting them ourselves do we maintain the moral high ground.I guess our broad area of disagreement is over the nature of the current conflict. While we probably do agree on the gravity of the situation before us, we do not agree on an appropriate response. Treating it in pure military terms is a recipe for failure. I am not an appeaser when it comes to identifiable declared enemies. This situation is far different. The aggrieved are a much more diffuse and diverse population than traditional war situations present. Also, the aggrieved this time have a legitimate case. That is the most dangerous type of enemy because the legitimate grievances make recruitment to the cause much easier as we are seeing. Until we grapple with the legitimate beefs, this conflict will continue to simmer.My recipe is two fold. The perpetrators of the crimes should be punished viciously and legally. The real grievances of the Arab people should be addressed at a high priority. Anything less than doing both of these is to invite certain failure.

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  93. <>it seems that once again Bush haters have grasped at straws to hate and deride anything the man has said<>Do you ever ask yourself why such a huge percentage of Americans despise this president? We have been polarized for a long time, but nothing like the Shrub era. I guess you either have to sign up with our <>mass stupids theory, but in reverse<>, or you have to say… you know Shrub brings this on himself by the way he conducts himself and communicates with the American public. You really don’t have to recite the GOP mantra and defense of Shrub. They have think tanks for that. The Weekly Standard just came out with a new piece still trying to sell the tie between Bin Laden and Saddam, and a guy from CATO yesterday testified before Congress why they were all morons for being concerned with the China purchase of UNICAL.Let me summarize the Rove story for you… it’s put this hater in great spirits and I have followed every single word.1) Somebody (including on the record now… Rove) played fast and loose with the identity of a CIA agent. That’s all you really need to say… but I will go on.2) There is zero chance someone like Rove did such a thing without knowing Plame’s job at the CIA. We can only guess at motives, but it’s a waste of time to try and sell the idea that people like Rove didn’t know what they were doing. We all pretty much know this involved high level meeting behind the scenes with lawyers planning deniability… and you can pretty much figure Shrub and Cheney knew exactly what was going on. It’s no accident that Rove says before the election “I never revealed Wilson’s wife’s name”… knowing full well that came across as him telling the public he had nothing to do with it. If you think that wasn’t pre-orchestrated with lawyers, I have some land to sell you.3) Very few are making the claim that Rove is guilty of a crime based on current public information. I heard Victoria Toensing interviewed on the subject, and there is a pretty large threshold to be reached to be guilty of a crime. However, even she wouldn’t argue that saying “Wilson’ wife” instead of using her name is any defense at all. 4) Something still doesn’t add up, and we won’t find out if there is more until Fitzerald is done. Judith Miller is still in prison… and if Rove was her source, why didn’t she get the same <>get out of jail card<> Cooper got? Prof… if you have any theories on that one, give them up… we are listening. It’s amazing how fast the GOP talking points get routed through the country, of course they now have their own personal FoxNews proganda channel to help. The defenders of Rove actually usually start with comments about Wilson. My god… what have people sunk to? What does Wilson have to do with a potential outing of a CIA agent by someone in the White House? Wilson could be Jack the Ripper… and it’s still not relevent to Rove and company’s potential criminal acts. The <>assumed guilt rather than innocent until proven guilty<> protest is of course valid if this was a court of law. But right now this is a court of public opinion, and when Administrations and their political geeks act like this one, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise when a large percentage of the public celebrates a fall from grace. I am guilty of using the <>mass stupids<> phrase often… but I actually think the public still gets stuff on a gut and fairness level. Many of us knew the rats were in the White House, and it’s time that ship sank. btw… Randy… regarding profiling. If the US and Europe aren’t currently bugging mosques they are insane. We need to hear Plank defend allowing bomb planning in mosques under the banner of religious freedom. Of course, anyone who claims Indians have a right to break the law with an illegal drug under the banner of religious freedom will surely be able to make the case for allowed “bomb planning in mosques”. Religious zealots are not entitled to a pass on profiling.

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  94. All, re: Democrats singing <>Rove, Rove, Rove the boat<>After listening to news, talking heads, and reading the definitive babe of commentary, Ann Coulter (< HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45268" REL="nofollow">Mission Implausible<>), and quotes by Victoria Toensing, the woman who drafted the legislation, the “1982 statute designed not only to protect the identity of intelligence agents but to maintain the media’s ability to hold government accountable”… “says the Beltway frenzy surrounding Plame’s alleged “outing” as a covert agent is a story arising out of the capital’s “silly season”” < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45266" REL="nofollow">WND<>, it seems that once again Bush haters have grasped at straws to hate and deride anything the man has said, appointed, visited, alluded to, or failed to do merely because of its link to him. There are so many legitimate concerns with Bush, but the rabid foaming and frothing of the Democrats prevents them from having even the appearance of neutrality and discernment. They have cried wolf so often, if Bush were to murder the Pope on live TV, if the Democrats were to mention the act, its factualness would come into question. This story is a non-issue. Its dead. They just haven’t stopped yammering on it yet. You people who are banking on this and every other undulation in the road ahead to out Bush as the great Satan are wasting valuable synapse energy. I realize the foundation the Democrat world stands on, and through which all their arguments are based, is “Bush is brilliantly evil while being utterly stupid and ignorant.” The incongruence of that thinking is astounding, but it utterly permeates their arguments. The pain and hate from Gore’s loss in 2000 is so deep, they can’t get over it.For those on the blog who want to salvage the appearance of discernment and objectivity, I might advise some restraint in agreeing with anything coming from a foaming, frothing Democrat. If I remember my bed time stories well, the boy who cried wolf was not thought as highly after his antics, as before.Prof. Ricardo

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  95. Tony,“Any answer that only goes back to 1979 is pretty silly. You have too look back much futher. At least to our role in the founding of Israel. Definitely into our role in the support of thug dictators in the area. Given the Iran demarcation, it is very incomplete to not consider that the CIA was responsible for the overthrow of the Iranian government and installation of Pahlevi on the Peacock Throne.”Yes I would agree that you can draw a thread back to ’47 at the inception of an Israeli state. And although we backed this partition, it was a UN deal that set all the boundries and states to try and “stabilize” the region. But also we have had our fingures in the “pie” so to speak.“For the political empowerment of the leadership of the attackers. It really is that simple.”It is that simple for people like Bin Laden, and I will give you that all of the arab, or most anyway, allow this type of fundamentalism exist to keep the focus from internal strife and oppression.“I don’t think it was just “Muslims”. That is like holding Christians responsible for the acts of the KKK.”I don’t think that you can generalize it that much. Ever faction, group or congregation, has it’s nut jobs, fundamentalists, and fanatics. This does not outweigh the fact that the perpetrators of this crime were Muslims commiting a crime in the name of Islam.“We agree that it isn’t relevant, but for different reasons. Criminals are criminals. Understanding Islam better would be a good idea because like Christianity, it is unfair to reduce it to simplistic statements like this. Yes, there are some militaristic ideas in Islam, but that isn’t the entire picture.”Yes we do agree, it is not relevant and action should not be taken on Muslims, or Islam, the criminals should be punished. And there are people out there committing similar crimes in the name of retaliation, which we can both agree is wrong. Don’t burn a Mosque here for actions committed by people half the world away.“Of course. In fact, we are very close to having already lost it. Freedom is dying before our very eyes.”We can agree on this also, we do have to be careful of a slippery slope when implementing home land security strategies that infringe on the freedom of our actions. Probably though we stop agreeing there. Your thought is that the Patriot Act is just such an action, and I do not. It is not the loosening of the strings that will dump the load, it is how we, and the courts, allow it to be used that will determine whether or not our actions are wrong. And only the future will tell us that. You can read into it all you want but until there is cold hard facts that innocent people are being prosecuted unjustly, it is just conspiracy theory at best.“This is pretty close to the kind of language the former Attorney General used in calling me a traitor in spite of its explicit attempt to deny what is being said.”I agree that the Attorney General jumped on a band wagon and said some things that were not reality. Although without really knowing you, I can not pass any finality on the traitor thingee, ;}“I believe an America that continues to hold human rights sacred is a strong America. An America that can not fail. An America that would earn a place as a creditable leadership in a world that is floundering.”Again I think that we have to look at how the information is being used to determine the actual validity of the Patriot Act. I know you are concerned about the conspiracy theory, theory, but I do not think that we can close the book that quickly. And I think we have time to determine this. We can always repeal it, like prohibition in the ‘30’s.“I have called for more than an impeachment of the DecDef. I call for the impeachment of the President. The cavalier attitude this bunch of Cretans has take toward our constitution is a clear violation of their respective oaths of office.”I for one, support the Pres, but I do not like either Cheney, or Rumsfeld, and probably for just the reason that you stated. Something “fishie” about them.“This is the typical coward’s charge. Because I disagree, than I am simply stupid or misinformed.”You are a pretty smart guy, and would never say you were “stupid” for sure. Misinformed, probably not, I think you see the far end that the Left has propagated and you are afraid, that is probably the only fault I can see. You should be cautious, and we all should be, not being cautious falls into that “cavalier” attitude you mentioned earlier.

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  96. CG to answer your questions“Given that we are currently a 51/49% extremely polarized two party democracy:1) should the winning president battle 24 x 7 for his 51%?2) should something like 911 change the answer to #1?”1. No, a Presidents only battle should be, as the oath states, defend the constitution, and with that special emphasis on defending our shores from enemies foreign and domestic.2. No, it should enhance it, and he should push the envelope to 25/8, not 24/7

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  97. CG,Although that set of comments hits some points for me, it is not a Randy ‘rigonal.“- profiling is a no-brainer.”I agree, you know, the ACLU would probably say that profiling is the racism of the ‘90’s, and it is a form of bigotry. It also serves a purpose, I know, at some point the pendulum swings and I will become the one profiled. I do not agree with profiling, but I also would say, if you dress like a gangsta’ act like one, on purpose to emulate the life style of a gangsta, then ya you are going to get profiled… grow up. “- US needs to roll back much of it’s aggregate arrogance… getting rid of our arrogant adminstrations would be a great start. We will not win the war against terrorism with a chest pounding “we are americans” mantra. This will be won with brains, honest accessment of the motivations of the other side, strategy and preparation (can you say plan for post-Iraq), and humility.”This is probably the same attitude that Kerry had when he made comments about getting with the terrorists and figuring out how we can fix this to avoid the war. The terrorist will not be appeased, they may act it for a short bit, but that is only to give us the reassurance that appeasing them is the correct thing to do so that they can do it again in the future. CG some form of chest pounding is and will be necessary in the future to accomplish our goal here. They only way to change that is to change the goal. Then and only then may your reduction of “our arrogant adminstrations” work.“I think the directors are Caliphate mongers… they are driven by fundamentalist power motives. I think the recruiting pool comes from a broader spectrum then we would like to admit, but a common thread would be angry males (driven by poverty, lack of jobs, lack of respect…”So…what are we saying different. I guess I understand that you are trying to push your point of helping hand for everyone, and social programs to allow the lazy to remain lazy, but come on. “Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.” Is the bottom line in both situations, unless you are thinking along the lines that Bin Laden is an ego type like Hitler, bent on world domination. It still falls back on why he is bent on that and it is Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.“They respond to US presence in Muslim lands… i.e. policies.”Yes, but we are talking about a group of people that are lemmings and will follow whatever cult, or religion, or political faction that appeals to their sense of a just world, even though that justice come in the form of persecution. To paraphrase, “Nut Jobs”. Yes? And because they are nut jobs they will find fault with any policy we have in that region, because it all falls back on Bin Laden and his envy of what we have, he wants, so he beats the nut jobs into a frenzy talking about how “evil” our policies are and gets them to blow themselves up for “the cause”. Still falls to the basic premise that they have “Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.”“then to me success means fighting that false notion with every fiber in our being until we get leadership that instead defines this conflict through the prism of our policies. I will not unite around a myth and false idea… it will get us killed that much quicker.”Which is just what Bin Laden wants, then he gets his way, and if you think that with the change of our “policies” in their region of the world you will accomplish a victory in the war on terror, then Sir I have to say, you, if Muslim, would most likely be strapping a bomb to your chest this morning for Allah. This is exactly what Bin Laden wants, but he will not stop there. Every once in a blue moon, a man comes to the fore-front of history and has the ability to join a nation in a common cause that the nation did not even realize was a cause it wanted to pursue. Napoleon, Hitler, several Roman Emperors, Attila… the list goes on, but you get my point… and now you are saying to your self… I will vote Republican in the next election, and don’t know why ;}.“Iraq is a perfect example. This was a strategic blunder… wrong time, fueled the problem when we couldn’t afford to fuel it.”Yeah, know what CG, and this is from a “knuckle-dragger” I tend to agree with you, wrong time, and probably the wrong place. IMO, and I have to say that, because I do not, did not, and will never have the data used by our beloved Pres to make the decision to go to war. It did add fuel to the fire, but logically with any fire, it will continue to burn cause some fashion of fuel is always there, nothing we can do about it, so it DID ADD fuel to a fire that was already burning, and would continue to burn without the added fuel. But like a fire when you throw a little more gasoline on it, it burns faster, it also will go out quicker, and we will not lose thousands of innocent civilians in the process. “Appeasement free policy” INC. at your service, anything else I can help with. We do have to support this, maybe we can as a country come together and find a middle, common ground for the common good, but the Dems will not allow it or try to come up with it, because, Like Bin Laden, they can use this to stir it up a bit.“I think we need to rally around killing the myth this is about envy”Can’t do it, because it is what it is, and the envy is real, on somebodies mind (Bin Laden) and as long as that exists he will stir up the fundamentalist with whatever cause he think will get to their hearts. So I say, No policy change will cause an effect in this battle with terrorism. And “Envy” is no myth, it is the cold hard facts.“Thomas Friedman – Israel now has to also fight their own religious extremist”After my brilliant verbalization above you can now understand that it is the same, Israel has been backed into a corner and is moving forward with appeasement of the radicals, and their “own religious extremist” understand that and that is why they are having a fight over their. Israel is giving more than they ever have, and not bombing in retaliation, and what is happening, some extremist like Bin Laden that envies Israeli land, and wants nothing more than their eradication from this earth is stirring up the fundamentalists with propaganda and waging a war that can not be appeased. Bottom line, with all the concession Israel is making, they will never, until the some time during the seven years of tribulation, never ever have peace, no matter how much they appease.

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  98. Yoshi,“First, there is NO WAY we will lose the “war on Terror.” They’d have to occupy us, which they can never do.”I would be careful what your opinion on this is. We can most assuredly lose this war. As you see by the comments in my post Spain has and France is on the Road as well as Israel. We have to be careful however how we define “losing” in this situation. I have not really taken the time to go back to all the “treaties” signed at the end of all our altercations, but there is a stark difference, again have not confirmed all of the wars we have fought, and I may be wrong to a point here, but, the difference comes as our history started to become more… let’s say appeasing, and less “right or wrong”. Look at conflicts prior to Korean Police Action, or as it is called today Korean War. The “war” technically only stopped with an armistice and not a treaty was not an unconditional win, but an agreement. We have to understand that this is the beginning of an era of appeasement. We then thought that we could deal with Vietnam the same way, but N. Vietnam was better prepared for the war of attrition that an appeaser’s war has to be. As we have become a “super” power, we have decided that it is on our best interest to become “politically correct”. We can not do, say, or accomplish anything that might offend some one else. This is the Democrats position on the war on terror, they use terms and phrases like, “You have too look back much futher. At least to our role in the founding of Israel. Definitely into our role in the support of thug dictators in the area. Given the Iran demarcation, it is very incomplete to not consider that the CIA was responsible for the overthrow of the Iranian government and installation of Pahlevi on the Peacock Throne.”But we are talking about unreasonable actions in retaliation for our actions, and if this were the actual reason… I mean the “REASON” September 11, 2001 occurred there would have been a list of demands, and actions that we needed to take to correct the situation. This is however not what they want us to do. As their fanaticism grows they want someone to hate, just like the NAZI party in the late ‘30’s and early ‘40’s. They have found the enemy, picked his weakest spot, our belief that we can use our power to influence global transitions that we believe to be on the road to the cohabitation of all earths inhabitants. We are so ingrained with this thought, they know no matter what they do, will not sway from this course of action. They can continue recruiting and rattling their sabers, with no worry of us changing our policies. And I have to say to you Yoshi, that appeasement will be the lose of the war, because even if we appease them with their demands, they will find new ones, and they will slowly erode our way of life. You will see it in Spain over the next 20 years or so, and in Germany and France in the next 50, assuming we will still be around.The war is very losable, what is you opinion of the war in Vietnam. Did we lose, win (obviously not) or just decide to change our course of action. We fought that was with an appeaser’s mind set with all kinds of hindrances on our military. Don’t cross this line, don’t bomb this plant. All targets in N. Vietnam were posted to the white house and the Pres and SecDef were calling the shots… POLITICALLY. Appeasing the world will ruin us. I not saying we should not all live together nicely and with respect and love for our neighbor. We do have to look at what our mission statement for this country is and stick to it. Down and dirty, stay the course.“The worst case scenario, we leave them be in the middle east, we pull out of their countries, we give them what they want. We take their money out of our countries, we take our money out of theirs. We have a new Iron Curtain. Let’s see those little bastards get by without selling their oil….. They have no water, and the only thing they have to eat is sand. If they want it that way, let them get it. And that Islamic piety crap won’t last long….. the Saudi’s like their Italian sports cars and giant malls too much.”Problem is we can not take their money out of our country, we are after all a capitalist democracy, with political correctness as our bottom line, and we will not base a decision like that on the “possibility” that money from an Arab or Muslim nation is terrorist based. Those are all good selling points, but unfortunately they are isolationist in theory, and would never be approved in such a broad spectrum.“Look at Afghanistan… same thing happened there… left out of the system…. eating sand and smoking heroin all day…”Rather bigoted way of looking at the whole picture, would you not agree. I tried to make some correlations to AIDS and poverty in Africa and got lambasted.“We’ll never, ever truly stop terror though. We’ll have abortion clinic bombers, gay club bombers, Timothy McVeigh’s, kids walking into school with a shotgun, black guys who sit in prison reading Malcolm X and the Koran, etc.”I agree, there will always be a fundamentalist group that believes it has the best solution for a social world and will go to any means to get what they want. “All we can do is keep our eyes open, tighten security, and be nicer to the isolated kids out in the world….”Now you are just stepping on Tony’s toes, to tighten security we have to lose some “privileges” that have been gained over the years. Not things we started with, but things we decided were “better” as the years went on.

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  99. CG,Yes you would be correct in your assumption. I would even take it a step further…wait for it…wait for it…Nothing May Happen…..BAM. How about them apples.

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  100. Prof,And I can see from some other quotes that he had at least a working knowledge of either Christianity, or the ability to manipulate whichever crowd he was talking to, sounds like a Democrat to me.A good one is this from Mein Kampf:“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”Another popular one is this, from a speech in 1922: “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.”Both of these quotes are from Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942, cited in an Internet article by Doug Krueger.“We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out”. “For their interests [the Church’s] cannot fail to coincide with ours [the National Socialists] alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of to-day, in our fight against a Bolshevist culture, against atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for a consciousness of a community in our national life”.Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people. [Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]Another interesting quote is found in a book by Albert Speer, Hitler’s Minister of Armaments: “I often feel that we will have to undergo all the trials the devil and hell can devise before we achieve Final Victory….I may be no pious churchgoer, but deep within me I am nevertheless a devout man. That is to say, I believe that he who fights valiantly obeying the laws which a god has established and who never capitulates but instead gathers his forces time after time and always pushes forward—such a man will not be abandoned by the Lawgiver. Rather he will ultimately receive the blessing of Providence. And that blessing has been imparted to all great spirits in history.” (Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich : Memoirs. Bonanza Books ; Distributed by Crown Publishers, 1982, cited in an Internet article by Kevin Davids).I see it more as him being raised catholic, and thinking as a deist, and when he came to power and began to realize that Christians may have thoughts other than world domination his views and speeches changed. Whether or not he accepted Christ before 1935 when his views begin to swing into an atheist view point or not, are in hindsight, not relevant he did after all turn out to be a monster. His complete viewpoint having swung by his death in ’45 is obvious and well taken Prof.

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  101. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=509&e=1&u=/ap/worldcom_ebbers" REL="nofollow">A potential cellmate for Rove<>I watched a Frontline episode on the Telecommunications bubble and fraud the other night. People like Jack Grubman and Sanford Weill are the real evil behind the scenes, and they will walk. I get the impression Ebbers got in way over his head and long ago turned over his fate to men like Grubman and Weill. Some say greed serves an important function in our economic system, but how could the pendelum ever swing this far. If you measure the health of our society by our faith in our elected types and the CEOs running our public companies and financial institutions… you have to come to the conclusion we are one sick little puppy. Disclaimer: I lost my a$$ on telecom stocks. I personally helped fund those Global Crossing fiber optic lines in seek of cheaper labor and a race to the bottom. Bummer. 🙂

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  102. Tony,<>There was a lot of evidence including some striking numbers regarding students at Yale where there was but two or three professing Christian among them at some sampling in the 1780s.<>It would appear wars, terrorism and conflict provide robust marketing for Christianity/religion… note the US RR movement post 911. I wonder if its also true in reverse… religion provides robust marketing for wars.

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  103. A couple of interesting notes from things recently read.First, I just finished reading a book on Paul Revere’s Ride that covered what was in the minds of the leaders leading up to Lexington and Concorde. A key thing was that it was crucial that a Regular be the one to fire the first shot. This wasn’t a small thing to them, but rather a clear understanding of the importance of having the moral high ground. There was a LOT of effort put into disseminating this understanding and to arguably pulling it off.There are a lot of ways to apply this to our present situation, but what intrigues me is not so much the conclusion, but the existence of the analysis. So much of our rhetoric, as exemplified in the RandyP post, is just the opposite. Instead of making double durned sure that we are making good moral choices, we are focused on fighting fire with fire. This is not likely to lead to good choices no matter what your moral framework.The other observation is from a book I just started on the history of the Restoration Movement (sometimes called Stone-Campbell movement) of which I count myself a part. This history cited several sources on the notion that America at the time of the Revolution was actually in extraordinary decay from the standpoint of Christian values. There was a lot of evidence including some striking numbers regarding students at Yale where there was but two or three professing Christian among them at some sampling in the 1780s. They also had some evidence about the state of things out on the Western frontier. I have not done the research to decide whether I agree or not, but it is a very interesting take that you do not often hear.

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  104. “I will never accept the notion that we simply have to play the game by their rules. America’s strength has always been standing on the principals of Liberty. Take that away, and our moral leadership is at an end. This is reflected to the cold response we have begun to get from the rest of the world.”I heard the prayer recently “Let’s not become a monster in order to defeat a monster.”

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  105. A couple of questions for this fine Bloggersphere.Given that we are currently a 51/49% extremely polarized two party democracy:1) should the winning president battle 24 x 7 for his 51%?2) should something like 911 change the answer to #1?

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  106. Randy,First I must say that was an impressive outpouring. As good of an articulation of the viewpoint as I have heard. Three cheers for some cogent communication, however misguided.Unfortunately, today is a very busy day. I will not be able to respond thoroughly. But, I thought I’d give short answers to each of your questions and perhaps delve deeper later if there is any interest.<>1. When did the threat to us start?<>Any answer that only goes back to 1979 is pretty silly. You have too look back much futher. At least to our role in the founding of Israel. Definitely into our role in the support of thug dictators in the area. Given the Iran demarcation, it is very incomplete to not consider that the CIA was responsible for the overthrow of the Iranian government and installation of Pahlevi on the Peacock Throne.<>2. Why were we attacked?<>For the political empowerment of the leadership of the attackers. It really is that simple.<>3. Who were the attackers?<>I don’t think it was just “Muslims”. That is like holding Christians responsible for the acts of the KKK.<>5. Isn’t the Muslim Religion peaceful?<>We agree that it isn’t relevant, but for different reasons. Criminals are criminals. Understanding Islam better would be a good idea because like Christianity, it is unfair to reduce it to simplistic statements like this. Yes, there are some militaristic ideas in Islam, but that isn’t the entire picture.<>6. So who are we at war with?<>Well, I like the term extremists Muslim terrorists best. There are extremists in every religious walk and it keeps things clear.<>1. Can we lose this war?<>Of course. In fact, we are very close to having already lost it. Freedom is dying before our very eyes.<>2. What does losing really mean?<>I for one do not discount the cost of losing. We have six centuries of progress in securing the sovereignty of the individual. Losing means nothing less than a new dark age of despotism.<>We can lose the war by “imploding.” That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose, and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort.<>Which is something that I could agree with standing alone, but it is followed later by:<>Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose. I hasten to add that this isn’t because they are disloyal. It is because they just don’t recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening. It concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.<>This is pretty close to the kind of language the former Attorney General used in calling me a traitor in spite of its explicit attempt to deny what is being said.I believe an America that continues to hold human rights sacred is a strong America. An America that can not fail. An America that would earn a place as a creditable leadership in a world that is floundering.An America that throws away its birthright of Liberty in poor exchange for a vague and weak promise of security isn’t America at all.<>The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense.<>I have called for more than an impeachment of the DecDef. I call for the impeachment of the President. The cavalier attitude this bunch of Cretans has take toward our constitution is a clear violation of their respective oaths of office.I will never accept the notion that we simply have to play the game by their rules. America’s strength has always been standing on the principals of Liberty. Take that away, and our moral leadership is at an end. This is reflected to the cold response we have begun to get from the rest of the world. Sadly, they have understood that America has fundamentally changed while the American people sit with their buckets of Hagen Daz watching Jerry Springer re-runs.<>If this doesn’t show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can. <>This is the typical coward’s charge. Because I disagree, than I am simply stupid or misinformed.Our enemy is those who would seize our freedom and deprive us of our liberty. Anyone who does that, whether they are from Al Queda or the West Wing is my enemy.<>Democracies don’t have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece. <>I could not have crafted a more delicious piece of ironic prose for you if I had tried.<>After reading the above, we all must do this not only for ourselves, but our children, our grandchildren, our country and the world.<>I agree. After reading this we must stand prepared to defend our civil liberties with a fervor not felt in a couple of centuries. We are at grave peril and our posterity will be our judge.

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  107. Randy,Did you write that long rant… or copy it. Just curious.Some comments:Starging with areas I agree with. – the war on terrorism is the new fight of our lives– we will have to temporarily give up civil liberties along the way, and I agree… that doesn’t mean we will never revert back. That said, this war is probably for our lifetimes, so reverting back may be a ways down the road.– profiling is a no-brainer.– US needs to roll back much of it’s aggregate arrogance… getting rid of our arrogant adminstrations would be a great start. We will not win the war against terrorism with a chest pounding “we are americans” mantra. This will be won with brains, honest accessment of the motivations of the other side, strategy and preparation (can you say plan for post-Iraq), and humility. Areas of disagreement:<>2. Why were we attacked?Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.<>First, I think it’s important to make a distinction between the terrorists directors (Bin Laden) and the recruits (suicide bombers). I think the directors are Caliphate mongers… they are driven by fundamentalist power motives. I think the recruiting pool comes from a broader spectrum then we would like to admit, but a common thread would be angry males (driven by poverty, lack of jobs, lack of respect… particularly when trying to assimilate in Europe, etc). I don’t think either of these two groups are primarily driven by envy… hating who we are… I think that’s an absolute myth. The Bin Laden’s simply want power… and the recruits are motivated by our nation’s POLICIES rather than who we are. They respond to US presence in Muslim lands… i.e. policies. This brings me to the point about “having to unite in the US” to win. If uniting around the myth that terrorism is happening because “they envy our freedoms and success”… then to me success means fighting that false notion with every fiber in our being until we get leadership that instead defines this conflict through the prism of our policies. I will not unite around a myth and false idea… it will get us killed that much quicker. Recognizing that our policies are at the heart of the matter doesn’t mean we are to blame or that we never put American forces on Muslim soils. It does mean that we weigh all actions against the costs of those policies/military actions. Iraq is a perfect example. This was a strategic blunder… wrong time, fueled the problem when we couldn’t afford to fuel it. So we are suppose to rally around the Iraq blunder now? I think we need to rally around killing the myth this is about envy… and quit trying to simplify a very complicated problem which involves US policy, poverty and lack of employment in the middle east, a devestating shunning of Muslims in Europe, religious extremism from all religions, etc.< HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/opinion/13friedman.html" REL="nofollow">Thomas Friedman – Israel now has to also fight their own religious extremist<>

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  108. Jeez Randy, that’s too long…. I read about half, I’ll respond and get to the other half.First, there is NO WAY we will lose the “war on Terror.” They’d have to occupy us, which they can never do. The worst case scenario, we leave them be in the middle east, we pull out of their countries, we give them what they want. We take their money out of our countries, we take our money out of theirs. We have a new Iron Curtain. Let’s see those little bastards get by without selling their oil….. They have no water, and the only thing they have to eat is sand. If they want it that way, let them get it. And that Islamic piety crap won’t last long….. the Saudi’s like their Italian sports cars and giant malls too much. Even if this happened, we could still have our economic system and just leave them out of it. So even if we did “lose,” it would be them that are losers. We’d develop an alternative to oil in say, twenty minutes. One of the reasons Africa is so poor is that they withdrew from the world economy after their independence, not commies, but not capitalists either. They withdrew and tried to be self-sufficient. They tried find a third way. Now look at them…..Look at Afghanistan… same thing happened there… left out of the system…. eating sand and smoking heroin all day… Second, the Muslims may be the enemy. But they are all we got if we want to win in Iraq (not the war on terror.)The “good” muslims are going to have to kick out the “bad” muslims. If there are no good muslims, then we just need to say “see ya later and good luck making those sand brownies.” However, I think there are good muslims out there.I think these terrorists are becoming more and more marginalized in the Islamic community. I have a friend from Pakistan, her sister lived right near the train station that was bombed in London. Many muslims do. They aren’t going for this “jihad” crap. Only a few radicals, probably people who sat in jail and have an axe to grind against the government, or those who are miserable and frustrated in the Middle East, are becoming terrorists. We’ll never, ever truly stop terror though. We’ll have abortion clinic bombers, gay club bombers, Timothy McVeigh’s, kids walking into school with a shotgun, black guys who sit in prison reading Malcolm X and the Koran, etc.It’s like stopping computer viruses. Even you could walk into (or drive up to) the mall with a homemade bomb and there is nothing anyone, anywhere could do about it. We just are all so interconnected now, we just have to trust each other. All you need for terrorism is someone who hates himself and everyone else, and who wants to make a statement…..All we can do is keep our eyes open, tighten security, and be nicer to the isolated kids out in the world….

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  109. Randy P said: <>“…but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian)…”<>I have often heard this but the facts do not support it. On 13th December, 1941, midnight, Hitler said: <>Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery…. …. When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let’s be the only people who are immunized against the disease.<>Doesn’t sound like the kind of missionary I want sent into the field to spread the Gospel.That and other quotes of Hitler on Christianity are located < HREF="http://answers.org/apologetics/hitquote.html" REL="nofollow">here<>.Prof. Ricardo

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  110. ON that note,To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it. Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WWII! ).The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.First, let’s examine a few basics:1. When did the threat to us start?Many will say September 11th, 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 19 98;Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;Pentagon 2001.(Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).2. Why were we attacked?Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were no provocations by any of the presidents or their immediate predecessors, Presidents Ford or Carter.3. Who were the attackers?In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims. 4. What is the Muslim population of the World? 25%5. Isn’t the Muslim Religion peaceful?Hopefully, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference. You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests). (see http://www.nazis.testimony.co.uk/7-a.htm).Thus, almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis as the 6 million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities. Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world – German, Christian or any others.Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US, but kill all in the way — their own people or the Spanish, French or anyone else. The point here is: that just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are fanatically bent on doing — by their own pronouncements — killing all of us “infidels.” I don’t blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?6. So who are we at war with?There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don’t clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting.So with that background, now to the two major questions:1. Can we lose this war?2. What does losing really mean?If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions.We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question: What does losing mean? It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business, like post Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get. What losing really means is:We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will not subside, but rather will steadily increase. Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet. If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us over the past 18 years. The plan was clearly for terrorists to attack us, until we were neutered and submissive to them.We would of course have no future support from other nations, for fear of reprisals and for the reason that they would see that we are impotent, and cannot help them.They will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be increasingly easier for them. They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn’t matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops. Anything else they want Spain to do will be done. Spain is finished.The next will probably be France. Our one hope on France is that they might see the light and realize that if we don’t win, they are finished too, in that they can’t resist the Muslim terrorists without us. However, it may already be too late for France. France is already 20% Muslim and fading fast! If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish as we know it. After losing, who would trade or deal with us, if they were threatened by the Muslims.If we can’t stop the Muslims, how could anyone else?The Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning, at any cost. We’d better know it too, and be likewise committed to winning at any cost. Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing? Simple. Until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our thoughts and efforts into winning. And it is going to take that 100% effort to win. So, how can we lose the war?Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by “imploding.” That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose, and really digging in and lending full support to the war effort. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. If we continue to be divided, there is no way that we can win! Let me give you a few examples of how we simply don’t comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation.President Bush selects Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation.Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 and 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling. Does that sound like we are taking this thing seriously? This is war! For the duration, we are going to have to give up some of the civil rights we have become accustomed to. We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil rights temporarily, or we will most certainly lose all of them permanently. And don’t worry that it is a slippery slope. We gave up plenty of civil rights during WWII, and immediately restored them after the victory and in fact added many more since then.Do I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him?No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all of our Political Correctness, and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war. None of those words apply to war. Get them out of your head. Some have gone so far in their criticism of the war and/or the Administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose. I hasten to add that this isn’t because they are disloyal. It is because they just don’t recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening. It concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media regarding the treatment of some prisoners of war, perhaps exemplifies best what I am saying.We have recently had an issue, involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war, by a small group of our military police.These are the type of prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off their hands, cutting out their tongues and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein.And just a few years ago these same type of prisoners chemically killed 400,000 of their own people for the same reason. They are also the same type of enemy fighters who recently were burning Americans, and dragging their charred corpses through the streets of Iraq.And still more recently, the same type of enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally, showing the beheading of American prisoners that they held.Compare this with some of our press and politicians, who for several days have thought and talked about nothing else but the “humiliating” of some Muslim prisoners — not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses through the streets, not beheading them, but “humiliating” them. Can this be for real?The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the Secretary of Defense.If this doesn’t show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can. To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned — totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world.Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife. Again I say, this does not mean that some of our politicians or media people are disloyal. It simply means that they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude of the situation we are in, and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us, for many years. Remember, the Muslim terrorists’ stated goal is to kill all infidels! That translates into all non-Muslims — not just in the United States, but throughout the world. We are the last bastion of defense. We have been criticized for many years as being ‘arrogant.’ That charge is valid in at least one respect. We are arrogant in that we believe that we are so good, powerful and smart, that we can win the hearts and minds of all those who attack us, and that with both hands tied behind our back, we can defeat anything bad in the world!We can’t! If we don’t recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the World will survive if we are defeated.And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal rights for anyone (let alone everyone), equal status or any status for women—or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the world.This has been a long way of saying that we must be united on this war or we will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire. If, that is, the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written or read.If we don’t win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next 5 years or less. They will continue to increase the Muslim population of France and continue to encroach little by little on the established French traditions. The French will be fighting among themselves over what should or should not be done, which will continue to weaken them and keep them from any united resolve. Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar?Democracies don’t have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece. And they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown, worldwide, that they abhor freedom and will not apply it to you or even to themselves, once they are in power.They have universally shown that when they have taken over, they then start brutally killing each other over who will be the few who control the masses. Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the “peaceful Muslims”?I close on a hopeful note, by repeating what I said above. If we are united, there is no way that we can lose. I hope now after the election, the factions in our country will begin to focus on the critical situation we are in, and will unite to save our country. It is your future we are talking about! Do whatever you can to preserve it.After reading the above, we all must do this not only for ourselves, but our children, our grandchildren, our country and the world.Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal — and that includes the politicians and media of our country and the free world—Please forward this to any you feel may want, or NEED to read it. Our “leaders” in Congress ought to read it, too.There are those that find fault with our country, but it is obvious to anyone who truly thinks through this, that we must UNITE!

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  111. And just so we are on the same page, I do know that Reps do the same type of “special interest” deals just like the Dems. They are all doing things that keep them in power, not what is right. I just believe that it is better to have the Reps and the patriot act, instead of the Dems, abortion, and gay marraige. IMO

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  112. Common Good, I did notice the talking heads. That’s what I meant by the “damage control” people. It’s amazing what’s going on these people’s shows….. how these guys maintain their street credibility is beyond me.This is like a cult of personality phenomenom. No other explanations could do..

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  113. Hey, Yoshi may not have played “look at those desperate Dems trying to smear the saint Rove”… but the GOP talking heads sure are. It’s amazing… none of them can remember any kind of strategy meetings to deal with Wilson at the time of the Niger report. Pawaaaaaa!!!! These guys must have group grope sessions. Every single one of these talking slugs start out by saying “but Wilson was discredited… yada yada yada”. Home of the mass gullible stupids.

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  114. Correction/addition<>If I’m sitting at the CIA, and the country allows someone in the White House to risk the life and career of a CIA agent… I think I would tell that country to go protect itself.<>should have been:<>If I’m sitting at the CIA, and the country allows someone in the White House to risk the life and career of a CIA agent <>for political reasons<>… I think I would tell that country to go protect itself.<>

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  115. I think a large part of the CIA can’t stand this administration and didn’t buy into the Iraq war lies. When Rove and company used one of their own for political points, I think the CIA distaste for this admin went off the charts. The only reason there is a special prosecutor is the CIA demanded it. I think the public is gullible… I don’t think the CIA is gullible. There is zero chance Rove would talk to a reporter about someone in the CIA without knowing her position… I repeat.. ZERO. Therefore, this is the best case you can make. Rove knew Plame’s postition, and made a calculated decision to reference her in his discussion with a reporter, including language and future planned denialability (sp??), to reference Plame (actual words appear to be “Wilson’s wife”). Note, I didn’t include motive above. Even without motive, Rove, by definition made a slimey move. Now let’s consider motive. The best case you could make is Wilson was making false claims against the admin regarding Niger WMD… and Rove’s motives were to combat that… including claiming Wilson’s wife sent him to Niger rather than the admin. That’s the best case. The worse is Rove was teaching those that would combat this administration a lesson… we will even turn out a CIA spy to destroy the enemies of this admin. I think we all know that’s what Rove actually did here. These guys aren’t Machiavelli fans for nothing.If I’m sitting at the CIA, and the country allows someone in the White House to risk the life and career of a CIA agent… I think I would tell that country to go protect itself.

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  116. By the way Prof., the Britney picture of yours didn’t work, so I’m putting up another….< HREF="http://www.chefantasia.com/sfondi/Britney%20Spears.jpg" REL="nofollow"> My Country ’tis of thee….. sweet, sweet, oh so sweet land of liberty! <>

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  117. “How about a fair trial?” Yea, “fair trial.” (wink, wink 😉Like O.J.’s trial. What’s hilarious is hearing the damage control coming out. Jeez, either they think we are REALLY gullible, or we are REALLY gullible.We all know how this works. First it’s a show trial to make it look like we have a system, then the rich powerful guy gets off, then everyone at the office watercooler talks about the truth of the matter (except for the odd “dittohead” guy who’s dumb enough to fall for the excuses as he was to fall for the Saddam Hussein is Osama bin Laden’s brother line).Tony, how close am I to the mark? I did that with my eyes closed….

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  118. Yoshi,“<>…what do you think should happen to Karl Rove?<>”Sorry, but I haven’t following him in the news or even on this blog. I could probably pick him out of a crowd of two…if the other one was < HREF="http://elliottback.com/wp/wp-content/Britney-Spears-Rolling-Stone-October-001-big.jpg" REL="nofollow">Britney Spears<> or such. 😉How about a fair trial? I believe Col. Klink from Hogan’s Heros detailed a plan. Courtmarshalled, shot, <>AND<> sent to the Russian front. The only difference being we hope the punished party is guilty. Well, some of us do. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  119. Karl Rove is going to the slammer. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. A man has to keep his dreams alive. This may play well for the Supreme Court nominations coming up. Bush and Rove will eventually be like a cancer that was cured… Shrub will go to Crawford and Rove will go crawl under whatever rock he chooses. However, a Shrub Supreme Court nomination could be like a STD… a gift that keeps on giving. If I were the Dems, I might very well make the deal to leave Karl alone if it avoided putting a Knuckledragger on the court. The timing could not be more perfect. It will be interesting to watch… will Shrub and Rove still play their arrogant cards, or will they protect Karl’s ass and the perception of this admininstration. After all… crime or not… someone with close proximity to the oval office reported on a CIA operative. That’s about as sick as it gets.

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  120. Common Good, I hate to break it to you, but in fact, I learned on Rush Limbaugh’s website that Karl Rove DIDN’T betray our CIA agent. If he did, the “democrats” would’ve brought it up during the election. I trust Rush Limbaugh knows what he is talking about, as usual. (Hint: I’m not serious.)I don’t guess I’ll ever get into a government position now. After learning about this, and then learning about this John Bolton guy, I realize it’s not a meritocracy at all. You either sell out your soul and the American public or get canned or sent to work in the mail-room. I’ll have to start brainstorming for some new goals….

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  121. Yoshi,Yes we need history lessons, but no, not at the Courthouse. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&e=4&u=/ap/cia_leak_investigation" REL="nofollow">Bold face lies before the 2004 election, and they got elected anyway<>Remember Shrub saying “anyone in his administration turning out Valerie Plame would get fired”. Well… we are waiting. I say fire Rove and then put him in prison… or put him in prison and then fire hime. Either way works for me. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&e=6&u=/nm/bush_leak_dc" REL="nofollow">Liar, Liar…. pants on fire<>“I think we all want to see the prosecutors get to the bottom of this matter, the president wants to see the prosecutors get to the bottom of this matter,” McClellan said.Sure… and your used car was only driven by a little old lady on Sundays.

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  122. “We are all equal under the law. Law is most relevent in a Courthouse. There is no justification for a Muslim facing equal law in our land with a Christian judge staring him/her down with the 10 commandments over his right shoulder.”-Who said the judge was a Christian, at least, in any meaningful sense? And Muslims have the same commandments anyway. And when I go to Chinatown in Manhattan or San Francisco, I want to see a bunch of Chinese stuff too….“No excuse…We have no need to conduct history lessons with public buildings.”-Actually, we need all the history lessons that we can possibly get…. I’m a substitute teacher…. trust me….

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  123. Common Good said: “My favorite (what’s your wife’s phone number… I want to ask if she thinks that is funny :)”You always seem to isolate those statements that can get me in trouble with the weaker sex. BTW, her number won’t do you any good. I’ve taken the phone out of the kitchen…where she is barefoot… naaawwww, just kiddin’. For real, SHE is the one that gave me this list, forwarded from <>another<> homeschool mom. Prof. Ricardo

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  124. Prof,Most excellent FakeNews…. you have raised the bar. I think this may be a better way to argue… we may be on to something. My favorite (what’s your wife’s phone number… I wan’t to ask if she thinks that is funny 🙂<>Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.<>

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  125. A Conservative response (sort of) to C.G.FakeNewsAP<>Future News, Year 2029, Headlines:<>Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia formally known as California. Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage. Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels. France pleads for global help after being over taken by Jamaica. Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking. George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036. Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only. 85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise are the keys to weight loss. Scientist insist additional 10 year 10 billion dollar study required to verify results. Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs. Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut. Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative. Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights. Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches. New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036. Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts and approve Congressional salaries to be equal to that of top paid NBA star. IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent and simplifies tax form to only 350 pages. Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock. Baby conceived naturally . . . scientists stumped. And last but certainly not the least… Florida voters still don’t know how to use a voting machine. Prof. Ricardo

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  126. Tony,<>Of course, I’d include the CongressCritters that wasted our tax dollars on the investigations on my impeachment list as well.<>Hey… if you were offering this package deal all along you should have said so… I would have taken it. 🙂Yoshi,<>Maybe he should have been impeached, but the consequences to America would have been greater than the consequenses to Clinton himself.<>Most people don’t understand what impeachment is … or is for. Impeachment is to protect us… the public. Impeachment is not a punishment for a president. Protecting us by impeaching a president comes at incredible societal cost… just think what we went through with Clinton. When measuring the Clinton impeachment decision against “protecting us from what at what cost given Clinton was near the end of this term as president”… it wasn’t even a close call. I actually agree with Tony that the Clinton’s offense was severe enough <>to be impeachable<>… but weighing all of the factors and context made any decision to go through with impeachment in that particular case a crime against our society. One of the sickest times in our democracy… and although I didn’t know it a the time, marked my eventual end with the rich old fat white man party.<>I think to have the Ten Commandments up in courthouses is relevent<>Couldn’t disagree more. We are all equal under the law. Law is most relevent in a Courthouse. There is no justification for a Muslim facing equal law in our land with a Christian judge staring him/her down with the 10 commandments over his right shoulder. No excuse.. simple hypocrisy. We have no need to conduct history lessons with public buildings. We are either a pluralistic nation, or we are not. If we are not, we better get busy with the genocide. (OK.. a little over the top 🙂Randy,<>Funny thing is even if the liberals get in and use the scare that we need to spend more on homeland security, they will raise the taxes and then spend it on some other liberal function that will get them more special interest votes in the next election.<>If either side plays politics with American lives than they are equally guilty. You raise a hypothetical that could happen from the liberal side… I’m raising a very real question about what appears to be actually happening now with this conservative admin in charge. This isn’t conspiracy… it really looks like they are deciding what homeland infrastructure should be protected and budgeted for based on ideology. If that is correct, and the American public come to believe that… selling “small government” won’t have the same appeal is has up to now. btw… I agree we aren’t a theocracy, and the real plutocracy is driven by the current Enron’s in charge. I don’t think the theocracy crowd are driving anything… but rather give their deciding swing vote to the party of greed (ironically for reasons that have nothing to do with greed).Rove is going to the slammer… you heard it here first.

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  127. Randy, earlier on this page I mentioned in Czech Republic regarding public displays of religion:< HREF="http://www.olamgadol.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/King%20Charles%20Bridge%20rague2.jpg" REL="nofollow"> Christ on the Bridge <>< HREF="http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://inst.uno.edu/prague/photo/prague2004Pics/images/Charles%2520Bridge%25203_Eliza_jpg.jpg&imgrefurl=http://inst.uno.edu/prague/photo/prague2004Pics/pages/Charles%2520Bridge%25203_Eliza_jpg.htm&h=1024&w=1536&sz=252&tbnid=5116NBTEjFkJ:&tbnh=100&tbnw=150&hl=en&start=4&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcharles%2Bbridge%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DRNWE,RNWE:2005-02,RNWE:en%26sa%3DN" REL="nofollow"> More on the Bridge <>Even under a system of forced atheism these religious statues were kept in thier place. They have a heritage of Christianity in Europe, as we do here…..I think to have the Ten Commandments up in courthouses is relevent, since our laws are based on Judeo-Christian ethical notions to begin with….what’s next, we have to take down the statue of Stevie Ray Vahgn in Austin? Or the monument I saw in New Mexico of the train robbers who were killed there? I think cultural heritage is cool. In Thailand, I liked seeing Buddha everywhere….. I like seeing statues of the 7 dwarfs at the Disney headquarters in L.A. And I like seeing Christ up on the Cross on a 700 year old European bridge.As long as we do monuments in a classy way and not have them everywhere and rubbed in people’s face, I don’t see the problem.Our people are so dumb now, a stature or monument here and there can serve some kind of cultural education purpose at the very least, and who knows, maybe they will even follow those Ten Commandments….

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  128. Randy,Check this out Randy: “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance in the 50’s.Just because I do not think this is a Christian country does not mean that I do not think that our collective turn away from God is not the problem. Hmmm. A lot of negatives in there.You see, there was a time when we at least shared Christian values even if individuals were not necessarily Christian. We have lost this shared set of values. The radical right’s continual trumpeting to the contrary makes them look totally silly if not worse. Just look at the behavior of people around you: one has to be seriously mentally deficient to see that we are not operating on Christian values.There was a time when Christian Americans understood that the best way to protect their own religious liberty was to protect that of others. Of course I am being a bit dishonest with this argument as the truth is that society was generally homogenous before recent times and there was no temptation to curtail religious liberty because there wasn’t that much variation in belief. People forget that the oppressed in this country once included Catholics-but it the oppression wasn’t written in the law. So what I’m not saying is that there was no pressure to conformity in the past, but rather I think people understood that such things had no place in the laws of our land.

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  129. “Funny thing is even if the liberals get in and use the scare that we need to spend more on homeland security, they will raise the taxes and then spend it on some other liberal function that will get them more special interest votes in the next election.”I agree with this statement entirely. It’s all a grab for a piece of the pie. Bigger pie, bigger pieces special interests try to grab….It’s the “liberals” that are protecting cotton, sugar, etc…..that keep the poor from developing their own agricultural industry….

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  130. Tony,Been doing a little research on the founding fathers and how they meant to interact with God. I thought I would get you and CG when I started looking up “In God We Trust” on our monetary pieces of eight. Guess what I found. 1861 was the first introduction of this moniker on our money. I am all for a better understanding and realization that God did play a part in what went on bcak then, and memorial displays to show that we have our rights granted us by our Maker is one way. I also am having an increasingly hard time accepting things like Under God, and In God we Trust in our system though. Ya know though we can like a couple of things together here and come to some conclusions.Our present state of “fascism” is not because of the introduction of God and a theocracy, but I would challenge that it is the opposite, there are not actual God fearing Men that respect, out of love for all, everyone and their rights to the same freedoms. The men that wrote that constitution knew what it was all about. Moderate. now we have fascism on the right, and on the left trying to beat the middle over to their side. Crazy, just Crazy

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  131. CG,Funny thing is even if the liberals get in and use the scare that we need to spend more on homeland security, they will raise the taxes and then spend it on some other liberal function that will get them more special interest votes in the next election. HA

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  132. Yoshi,I have been raising the fascism specter for some time. Usually I’m dismissed as a whacko…I may be whacko but that opinion isn’t an indicator one way or the other. What I believe we are evolving too is a plutocratic form of fascism. Fascism without the individual dictator.The truth of this is seen most clearly in the way our regulatory schemes have been implemented. Big business is controlling both sides of the equation. Big business is using regulation as a tool to stamp out competition. Regulation has become a competitive advantage. Big government is happy to oblige as long as Big Business supports their sustaining their status as the ruling elite.This isn’t conspiracy theory at all. I do not think there is a conspiracy to produce this result. Rather, they are doing it in the plain light of day. I worry some about the secret stuff, but what is done and admitted to in the open, and then endorsed by American is more worrisome still.

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  133. Now that I see how it works in government I’m actually a bit scared. I wanted to go into the military and then from there into the government. BUT NOW…..I see how it works. I’d be in Iraq giving a real history lesson to my fellow troops and then they’d probably put me in danger just because I have too many opinions. Basically they might want to knock me off. Or if I made it further into the State or Defense Dept, or even an intelligence agency, if I tell the truth I could (would) get fired. You can’t tell me the latter doesn’t for sure happen….. cause we just saw it….So that’s a dilemma.

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  134. As for Clinton, impeaching him could have really destabilzed the entire country and affected our standing worldwide. Maybe he should have been impeached, but the consequences to America would have been greater than the consequenses to Clinton himself. Making a point is one thing, but not when we all will have to pay much more than it is worth for it. The same goes for W. Bush. Now I’d like to see Karl Rove get penalized, but strangely enough, I’d want President Bush to be immune from prosecution while he’s sitting in office protecting me.

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  135. Well Tony, the thing that I said Common Good will admit too, (although I think you will too), is that we have fascists in our midsts, talking on radio programs. I used the Oxford dictionary definition of fascists, which is “right-wing ultranationalist” philosophy. What I meant was, though everyone knows that certain radio hosts promote fascism, no one will admit it (although as I said, I think you would as well.)Now go to a Hannity site or a Limbaugh site. It’s a bunch of U.S. Flags everywhere, and !Go team, Ra, Ra, Ra!” Then they put Oliver North’s face all over the place, who illegally ran weapons to known terrorists, and then on the very same page go on to talk about those “cowardly terrorists.” And if you were to ask, “hey, weren’t those poor latin americans’ lives valuable too?,” well then you just become an evil treasonist who should be brought out into the public square and shot or ridiculed…. or so the impression is given… Now, excuse me, but I use something called reason and rationale. So I an not easily brainwashed by melodramatic, irrational, jingoistic don’t ask questions just do your duty and blindly obey fascism.The point I’m making is, we all sit around and wonder “how the Nazis ever took power?” Well, if we look at the forest through the trees, it seems quite plain to me that we have these same types of isolationist, jingoistic, “patriotic” types on the radio. Will we become a monster to defeat a monster? People who call themselves Christians should seriously ponder that question, because it’s very relevent today…..

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  136. Impeachment was a no-brainer. Either the law matters, or it does not.Of course, I’d include the CongressCritters that wasted our tax dollars on the investigations on my impeachment list as well.

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  137. Tony,<>BTW, I just can’t let the Clinton thing lie. He did much more than hide a “love affair”. He perjured himself in a Federal Court. That is not the same thing.<>He lied about sex after being persued by a GOP witch hunt. Should that perjury have had legal consequences… of course. Impeachment… of course not.

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  138. “The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.”Booker T. Washington1856-1915, Educator

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  139. Yoshi,Nothing will happen to Rove. All the President’s Men are seldom called to account. The Liddy, Colson and Mitchell thing was an aberration that will never happen again.BTW, I just can’t let the Clinton thing lie. He did much more than hide a “love affair”. He perjured himself in a Federal Court. That is not the same thing.Funny thing is that folks are more upset over his finger wagging remark than his felonious behavior. Just goes to show how far we have come in failing to appreciate the rule of law.America is just an illusion now. We have thrown our legal legacy away.

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  140. So does anything happen now about Karl Rove? Am I reading something wrong?If not, then all that liberty and “justice” stuff they make us say at school is just a bunch of poetic rhetoric nonsense.I guess if you have power you are above the law. This is way worse than keeping a love affair quiet as Clinton did (hell, John F. Kennedy did it and we were all proud of it then.) So Rove sold out our own CIA. Jeez. For revenge that her husband didn’t lie about WMD. Are we in USA, or Belarus? I’m not sure anymore…I think I’m reading this wrong, because it’s no longer on the headlines…. that must mean the “liberal” media is burying it for some reason.

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  141. Yoshi,<>You acted like he was nuts….. and now the truth is coming out….<>Being right and being nuts isn’t mutually exclusive.< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=541&e=7&u=/ap/health_care_push" REL="nofollow">Another chance for CG to be right… I mean left 🙂<>I was listening to Bush’s new Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff rationalize this morning on Meet the Press why we are spending relatively little on homeland defense… in particular our rail and subway systems compared to airlines. It hit me right in the middle of his unconvincing rant… this administration refuses to add common sense needs to our homeland defense budget (like protecting our chemical facilities, rail and subway, ports, etc) because…. IT MAKE GOVERNMENT BIGGER. Tell me I just imagined this. I’m the first to admit we are an open society and can’t protect everything… but don’t try and sell me we can’t protect chemical facilities because it makes government bigger and that would be interference with private business. Please tell me the current conservatives in the White House aren’t deciding what we will protect at home based on some sort of minimum government ideology. Sooner or later the line <>fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here<> is going to be found stupid… even by those a bit gullible. It will be ironic if conservatives are only good at foreign war, and it will take liberals willing to allocate tax funds for required domestic homeland defense.Tell me these guys don’t make these kind of decisions based on their ideology and next election… please.

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  142. Well, well, well….< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/media_watch" REL="nofollow"> Common Good was right <>turns out ol’ Common Good was right. Randy, I think you should be a man and apologize to Common Good. You acted like he was nuts….. and now the truth is coming out….Wow, it’s really scary how brainwashed we are becoming in this country…. are leaders are now benevolent God-like Pharoahs, who can do no wrong. To even connect the dots and figure out the obvious you are considered a “liberal” treasonist. It’s really sickening. Now I know how Hitler did it. Sean Hannity has a homo-erotic love affair with a terrorist like Oliver North (who broke the law to supply terrorists in Central America), and then he gets on his high hat and condemns “terrorism.” The hypocritical moral is, when we do it, it’s heroic, when they do it, it’s a cowardly act of terrorism. What kind of sick, twisted, f**ked Up world is this? Want to know the Oxford dictionary definition of a “fascism” anyone?-Extreme right-wing nationalist movement or philosophy. Now, does that sound familiar in our own society? I have SO MUCH RESPECT for Common Good, as he is probably the only one here who has the honestly to answer that question. Everyone else knows the answer but will be in denial about it. I know I sound cynical as Common Good right now, but I’m venting. I still believe the good guys will come back at the bottom of the 9th inning.

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  143. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050708/lf_nm/tech_africa_dc" REL="nofollow"> High-tech cell phones help Africans trade crops <>

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  144. “if it’s the type of god I would hope for, that god would expect us to be seriously mad at him/her given what’s going on down on planet earth…. … A god that is not involved in our daily horror show or one that doesn’t care.”What absolute horror/ horror show you are talking about? Yea, it’s bad, but it’s pretty good sometimes too.Hey, Common Good, without the sour, the sweet just isn’t as sweet. It’s not so bad…< HREF="http://www2.victoriassecret.com/commerce/application/prodDisplay/?namespace=productDisplay&origin=onlineProductDisplay.jsp&event=display&prnbr=SA-150579&page=1&cgname=OSBRPCOTBRA&rfnbr=581" REL="nofollow"> In any case, I’d suffer all the pain and sorrow in the world for just one split-second of seeing this….even if just in a digital photo <> A moment of beauty… is a joy forever…. Click on the picture to make it bigger. There must be a designer out there somewhere….. YOWSER!!!!

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  145. Jeeze, my story was stupid but you guys didn’t follow very well. Tony,<>Well, you are creating a big logical fallacy when you say for your rather strange little story that you want to assume there is a bright line.<>Hey, just because you can’t draw a bright line doesn’t mean god can’t. Don’t you think god is capable of determining the moment he/she will hold someone accountable?<>Now, the other example where you progressed from childhood to mental infirmity was interesting.<>Yes, if I had only present that example. I actually presented childhood -> some point of hell accountability while old enough and sane enough -> ended with mentally deficient and having never achieved the heaven threshold. IMHO, that’s also an interesting example.<>So the notion goes… so little Bih should be right there next to his twin Lih.<>No… remember he ran away from the tsunami and reached hell accountability before death. <>Unless he thought about it in his head of course, the little sick pervert…. 🙂<>I didn’t tell you… but Bih was born that way (which would imply god created him that way) and he had been having homo interaction with other boys in the village for a couple of years.<>Intrinsically, I think I’ll stick with the loving my neighbor way.<>If there is a god worth praying to… that should do. If being a good person, fighting against personal greed, and caring about the have-nots is not good enough for a ticket in… you really have to wonder if you want to be part of the club. In fact, if it’s the type of god I would hope for, that god would expect us to be seriously mad at him/her given what’s going on down on planet earth. It’s only logical… given our limited earthly knowledge and looking at the absolute horror around us… you only two logical conclusions is to 1) not believe in god 2) believe in a god that is not involved in our daily horror show or one that doesn’t care. You have to believe there are many Christians that are only Christians for themselves… to get that eternal heaven thing for themselves. Why wouldn’t god prefer those that were the opposite of those in this for themselves, even if they failed to plug into the proper obedient mantra. Why would god create you are me with a risk of eternity in hell? I can see a future reward system for a life well lived… but the opposite for a life failed seems simply cruel… like the god created us for sport. Just doesn’t make any sense. I guess if there is a judgement day… this blog rant will be part of the CG evidence. Prof,<>Once again, its not all about me.<>Really… we all thought this blogsite was all about the Prof. 🙂

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  146. If you really have faith, works will come naturally to you.Works may not be sufficient, but faith WITHOUT works is also not sufficient. According to the book of James.And doesn’t Paul say at some point about his works filling “what is lacking on the cross?” I don’t remember where exactly…. maybe someone here does. What’s he mean? Lacking on the cross?Jesus also said “whatever you do unto the least of my brothers, you do unto me.”So the logical conclusion is that if Common Good brought a homeless man back to his house and gave him a hot bath and meal, he’d be doing it for Jesus. Jesus also says “how can you love God who you can’t see, if you don’t love your brother you you can see?”I get from that: You love God through loving your fellow man.So Common Good may very well sub-consciously love God more than any of us here. At least, according to my theory.I always wondered how we could love something intangible like God. It’s like loving all the galaxies or something difficult like that. Not easy. I don’t think God itself wants a bunch of people dancing around on Sunday jamming for Jesus. Intrinsically, I think I’ll stick with the loving my neighbor way.By the way Common Good, it’s not a sin to actually be GAY, only a sin to ACT ON IT. So the notion goes… so little Bih should be right there next to his twin Lih. Unless he thought about it in his head of course, the little sick pervert…. 🙂

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  147. CG,Well, you are creating a big logical fallacy when you say for your rather strange little story that you want to assume there is a bright line. There isn’t. Assuming there is changes the whole discussion. To generalize from there is not logical.Now, the other example where you progressed from childhood to mental infirmity was interesting. Obviously there is likelihood that someone became accountable between those two states. It really isn’t that complex. If one understands their state of rebellion against God and chooses to do nothing about it, then there are some hellish consequences. If one never gets to that point, a fair and loving God will not condemn them.All that said, the Bible only guarantees one method of obtaining a get out of Hell free card. I would commend that course to anyone entertaining thoughts of their mortality.

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  148. Yoshi said: “<>Does God really want robots? Can’t I just do good things to cancel out the bad ones?<>”Nope. That would mean that by your actions you could obligate God to reward you. And two, Jesus death on the cross was not sufficient.“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9It’s a pretty self explanatory scripture. Salvation is a gift, not something you earn. Pride makes us want to be a significant part, achiever of our salvation. Once again, its not all about me.Prof. Ricardo

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  149. Yoshi,<>Can’t I just do good things to cancel out the bad ones?<>Cancel out the bad things or bad people? 🙂I heard a line from a comedian on Comedy Central that seems appropriate. “The problem is the are too many stupid people in the world, and not enough people to eat them”. 🙂Yes Yoshi… that’s the message I hear. Obedient robots without a single good deed or good works to there name rank higher that a lifetime of good works but no obedient prayer of acceptance. Yoshi, have you ever read Thomas Paine’s <>Age of Reason<>. I did recently and found his arguments compelling. Of course Prof would say Thomas was just arguing with the rules. 🙂

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  150. “Choosing to turn away from sin.”Tony, I would be SO INTERESTING if I did that….Does God really want robots?Can’t I just do good things to cancel out the bad ones? I think of sins/ works as debits and credits.

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  151. Tony,<>I definitely believe that young children are not accountable. I wish we all came with those little pop-up indicators like you get on a butterball that would tell you when the wages of sin become eternal damnation, but we do not.<>So let’s assume there are not any consequences between hell or heaven (you are going to one or the other… your hell isn’t Houston because you failed very badly, but Fort Worth if you borderline failed :). There may not be a bright line as you put it, but we assume children up to some age are not held hell accountable, then there is a specific point for an individual where they actually do cross a line. It wouldn’t make much sense for god to say “now you are accountable”, and then later move you back to the unaccountable stage… except maybe if you became mentally unstable along the way (maybe that’s my out :). I guess in theory, as long as you went unstable or retarded before you died you may receive a <>get out of hell<> card. Anyway, we should assume for an individual there is a point where they enter hell/heaven jeapordy. For the sake of arugment, let’s pick an age… let’s say on your 12th birthday. Imagine two identical brothers were playing on a beach in Indonesia on their 12th birthday. Their 12th birthday is minutes away, and the Tsunami is rolling in. One brother Lih (laughs in heaven) sees the waves rolling in, and being the pisser that he is… runs full speed ahead to meet the wave. The other brother Bih (burns in hell) has always been afraid of almost everything. Truth is he was born gay, although that’s not really relevent to this incredibly stupid made up story. Well, Bih takes one look at the wave… and high-tails it in the other direction. Lih is crushed and killed by the wave (all under the watchful eye of a god that loves him) just seconds before his 12th birthday. Bih being the fast little gay child he is, isn’t crushed and killed until seconds after his 12th birthday. Lih off to heaven, little gay Bih off to an eternity in hell. If Bih was only born slower… or was it the gay thing?< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=9&u=/ap/turkey_sheep_suicide" REL="nofollow">God doesn’t like sheep any more than people I guess<>

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  152. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER FROM THE DISENFRANCHISED CURMUDGEONIt has come to my attention that some individuals posting here may be advocating violent acts that are not endorsed by the Curmudgeon or other posters on this board. These viewpoints are not necessarily the views of any sane person whether here on this board or otherwise.Pursuant to the open posting policy here at the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon, recent posts advocating violent acts against Kinko’s, its employee, stockholders, or customers will not be removed. In fact, the Curmudgeon wishes to state for the record that he rather likes Kinkos and would be saddened if any of its fine locations were in fact blown up.

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  153. Yoshi,Don’t forget that repentance is an essential aspect of salvation.Here is how I present the “steps” to becoming a Christian:1) Recognition of one’s hopeless condition2) Choosing to turn away from sin3) Accepting Christ’s subsititionary sacrifice as full payment for that sinThe words are unimportant and there is obviously a lot of ways of laying it out. No doubt some have been saved by little more than “Help me Jesus” but the content of these steps are still there.

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  154. “The imperfect us deserving damnation get eternal life and the sinless perfect Jesus Christ pays the tab, the punishment for all believer’s sin.”Prof/ Tony:I see it more that Jesus Christ just pays the cover charge to get in the door. And the tab will still be waiting for us. We pay that tab by giving to others either materially, emotionally, spiritually, by our own sacrifices.I don’t think clicking our heels and reciting “I accept Jesus as my Savior” three times actually does anything.

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  155. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050708/ap_on_re_us/governor_schiavo" REL="nofollow"> more schaivo <>“Gov. Jeb Bush has declared an end to the state’s inquiry into Terri Schiavo’s collapse 15 years ago, after Florida’s state attorney said there was no evidence that criminal activity was involved.”-Now they Jeb Bush “in on it.” It being the consipiracy. These fruitcakes are still harping on this “unanswered question” stuff. Man, I consider myself pro-life, BUT I DO NOT WANT TO BE GROUPED ANYWHERE THESE NUTCASES!!!! These people are OBSESSED, and have so much tunnel vision they no longer know even know what being Pro-life was originally about to begin with.What’s amazing is how much Sean Hannity time this issue got. Shows what an idiot he is. (I guess he’s supposed to be a Catholic, perhaps someone should tell him what kind of heroic effort a stuggling Parkinson’s diseased Pope John Paul 2 put into the Drop the Debt Campaign.)

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  156. C.G. “<>When do you think humans assume the mantle of guilt, and at what point does hell become a consequence? At conception? Some point in childhood? Some threshold of adulthood? Some threshold of mental function?<>”There is an inherent/inherited sin nature. There are also actual acts of sin that you and I commit. I am actually ½ German, although I have never been to Germany like my wife has. I represent and inhere certain traits dependent upon my linage. You can become Jewish, but only certain people are racially Jews. This linage conveys rights, culture, and identity. Being human and a descendent of Adam you and I have that identity associated with us that we inherit, of all things, original sin. I didn’t write the original game plan, nor did I vote on this, but sticking my fingers in my ears and saying “not me” does not alleviate that situation.I know its in existence at birth. Maybe it goes back to conception, but the point is moot since I don’t get to go back and modify my actions in utero. Actual acts of sin were at a point where you knew what you were doing was wrong. There are some references in scripture about persons who cannot comprehend, I would assume youth, mental retardation/autism, that sort of thing, where God has special grace for those without capacity to know.“<>Ironically, although the guilt at birth concept based on religious belief makes no sense for me, I tend to think humans have earned their guilt complex based on their aggregate actions on this planet.<>”Aggregate may be bad, but each individual will stand in judgment for his own sin. The ten commandments are nice to follow, but they highlighted man’s inability to be perfect and sinless. They were the unattainable standard me all must meet. That failure (envy, stealing, lust, idolatry, hate, taking the Lord’s name in vain) to meet the minimum standards means that God’s justice (quality control 🙂 would demand we be sent to the reject pile to be disposed of (Hell). But God is not only just, He is merciful so he provided a very simple way for man to be redeemed, made perfect, through His Son Jesus Christ. Nice God huh? What a deal. The imperfect us deserving damnation get eternal life and the sinless perfect Jesus Christ pays the tab, the punishment for all believer’s sin.At our house, when other people’s children are over, we tell our children to play the games our guests want to play. And when they are at other people’s homes they are to play the games the other children want to play. They ask: “Don’t we ever get to play our way?” Acts of hospitality in our home and gracious consideration in other’s homes pays sweet dividends. It’s amazing how much fun any game is when the emphasis is off of me, and how often I get my own way anyway.Similarly, in the game of life God created the game board (the universe), the pieces (you and I), and the rules. We can complain and pout about wanting wildcards in poker or two hotels on Park Place, but if we get off the “It’s all about me” mantra long enough, we find that the game is enjoyable, the rules are just, and the rewards at the end are spectacular. Saying we don’t want to play the Creator’s game His way does not negate the rules, nor will it obligate Him to provide certain rewards in the hereafter. Self delusion will only secure a low point score, which in this strange gaming allegory could be considered the “hot ticket” to Hell.Prof Ricardo

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  157. Yoshi,Yes, you speak of exactly the types of things I think we should pursue. I have no problem with feeding people directly who are on the brink of starvation, but what I really want to see is sustainable solutions.I think what is troubling to some is that solutions will not be boilerplate. Sometimes the solution will be providing some military police for a while and taking out key bad guys. Sometimes it will be fertilizer or seed. Sometimes it will be malaria medicine or food.I also have no problem with moving systematically. I don’t know if I’ve ever said this here, but I think the United States could adopt a few countries. Haiti and Liberia come to mind as starters. We could create free trade zones and do some targeted investment and change these places forever. Perhaps by cultivating indigenous leadership in Africa, the adopted countries could themselves become regional agents for change.The great irony here is that people totally miss the realpolitik angle of doing this kind of work. I am careful to always bring it up as an afterthought because I like to focus on the moral obligation. But frankly the potential material benefit to the United States of this type of work is huge. We are not only shirking moral responsibility, we are losing great opportunities for domestic growth and expansion. I think that is an appropriate price for selfishness.

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  158. What about this Tony, instead of “just shipping piles of cash?”Repeated from earlier: “I think we need to look at what’s been working, what can be scaled-up. We should focus on proven, targeted investments. It can be something as providing fertilizer for a farmer, maybe for 3 years, to increase his productivity and give him a surplus. Once out of the hole he should be able to buy his own fertilizer. Have a system set up where if the guy tries to cheat then all the other community members will lose thier access to the loan….. I think the community peer pressure will keep things in order. That’s how the micro-credit systems work in India, and it works brilliantly.”

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  159. CG,I believe we inherited a sinful nature as a result of the original sin of Adam and Eve. The Bible is pretty clear that someone who seeks will find. Jesus was equally clear about the moral innocence of children. While the Bible does not spell out a doctrine of accountability, in my view there are clearly individuals who are not held accountable for sin because of various infirmities. I do not believe there is a bright line. I definitely believe that young children are not accountable. I wish we all came with those little pop-up indicators like you get on a butterball that would tell you when the wages of sin become eternal damnation, but we do not.Thanks for the kind remarks on the new art. I think the artist did remarkably well and captured my good side.

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  160. Prof,I totally agree on the good intentions thing. That is why in my post entitled < HREF="http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/2004/06/rebuilding-esteem.html" REL="nofollow">rebuilding esteem<> I called for a some special reflection to determine how we could actually make a difference for the long term. I’ve never bought the notion of just shipping piles of cash and being done with it. I think we can and should do much more than that.

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  161. CG,Conservative, Activist, Strict Constructionist…all those terms are impossibly infused with political meaning for them to be any use in speaking of jurisprudence.Your question on whether the Supreme Court should be an advocate for social justice is sure a rhetorical because you know my view. I think the Supreme Court should interpret law and that is it. Promulgating policy is not its legal role. Political Scientists would phrase it this way: the SC is not institutionally competent to make social policy.The SC is supposed to be an important check on Congress. But a check against Government overreaching in the area of human rights. What you suggest is not a check, but a law making body. I’ll never buy the notion that these unelected judges should have any direct say on social policy. Your lament is that Congress is a bunch of idiots and with that I agree. But Congress is the closest representation of We the People and guess what, it performs that function. Collectively Americans are a bunch of idiots. We have to fix that problem first. Anything else is just a band-aid.So I come full circle as always: the major problem before us is the politicization of our life. Until something breaks this vicious cycle, there is little hope for America.

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  162. Tony,<>the central theme of man’s sin guilt and need for salvation.<>When do you think humans assume the mantle of guilt, and at what point does hell become a consequence? At conception? Some point in childhood? Some threshold of adulthood? Some threshold of mental function?Ironically, although the <>guilt at birth<> concept based on religious belief makes no sense for me, I tend to think humans have earned their guilt complex based on their aggregate actions on this planet. btw… nice Curm graphic… it fits perfectly. 🙂

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  163. “It starts with Adam and Eve in Genesis and ends with the Second Advent in Revelation.”Okay, okay, I concede.We all deserve to burn in hell because we like women. I get it.

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  164. “I’m sure this money is going to relief organizations and not really to stimulate any kind of real commerce other than the relief organization’s own presence.” I agree Prof. there are lots of details to work out. I usually keep my own concerns out of the way as you don’t need any more ammo to disagree with me than you already do. The one about relief agencies is really valid… a bunch of white people driving around in 30 thousand dollar white Land-Rovers and checking up on people isn’t efficient. And there is something very annoyingly arrogant about it.Now that the money is coming, maybe I can jump to the other boat and start coming up with ideas on how to use it. We need plans, systems, MUTUAL accountability…No one wants to see more money wasted and stolen…. hey, Prof, maybe we are going to need to hire some accountants…..? Want to move to Africa? I gave the example of the Chistian missions applying for grants to scale-up successful operations….. do you think that’s a good idea? There does haves do be some planning involved, but the groundwork is laid through initiatives like W. Bush’s Millunnium Challenge and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/TB/ Malaria. There is a lot of accountability, and money is issued in 4 quarters, instead of a lump sum. So if the money isn’t spent right, it’s cut off before the next 1/4th of the money arrives. There are panel review boards with representives from the ground as well as from the donor countries that can moniter results and qualify recipients for grants.How productive will it make Afica? Let’s take the example of the African Riverblindness. By 2010 it will have cost 735 million dollars, but it has so far saved the sight of 600 thousand people in West Africa, opened up 25 million hectares (more than 50 million acres) of fertile land. They also eradicated polio and smallpox. There was a Green Revolution in Asia. All done with outside money and international cooperation. There can be success. Maybe some of the money could be directed to U.S. labratories to develop new crop varieties suited to African soil/climate and medicines tailored for Africa (malarial vaccine) and developing countries…. ones that would not normally be developed as the developing world’s market wouldn’t be profitable enough for private investors. (90% of R&D for medicine is directed at 10% of the world’s population.)I think we need to look at what’s been working, what can be scaled-up. We should focus on proven, targeted investments. It can be something as providing fertilizer for a farmer, maybe for 3 years, to increase his productivity and give him a surplus. Once out of the hole he should be able to buy his own fertilizer. Have a system set up where if the guy tries to cheat then all the other community members will lose thier access to the loan….. I think the community peer pressure will keep things in order. That’s how the micro-credit systems work in India, and it works brilliantly.These things, like an Tylenol helps you make it to work in the morning, will increase the productivity of Africans.There have been loads of successes, not just failures. I know we usually only see the failures… just look more closely though….So the money, and additional 25 billion, has been promised. I am a little shocked and I’m asking, “What’s the catch?” I’m going to find a way to get personally involved somehow. I feel like the government answered my call, I feel obliged to give something back. Maybe I’ll do some years in the service, save some capital and look at the world, come up with ideas. Maybe I’ll start high-speed internet cafes for tourists in certain cities… entrepreneur that I think I am….This is going to be a private-public partnership… by the way, maybe the reason more companies don’t invest in manufacturing is because they would face tariffs getting products to market? I do know there are also some information processing centers done in Africa. These things take time to see, seeds need time to grow.In Indonesia, the public’s attitude towards the USA has greatly, and don’t let me undersell that, greatly, improved since we helped them out in their tsunami emergency. I think this too will work in the same say. Now we see the terrorists still blowing innocent people up, and look what the West is doing? I think we are going to win hearts and minds, and the Terrorists are certainly losing them.

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  165. Yoshi,I think it is hard to read the entire Bible and not come away with the central theme of man’s sin guilt and need for salvation. It starts with Adam and Eve in Genesis and ends with the Second Advent in Revelation. It is certainly possible to be so focused on that theme as to lose track of other important messages, but really it is pretty clear what the main theme is.

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  166. Yoshi,The G8 just upped its ante to Africa to $50 billion. Although I don’t need the whole money trail from taxpayer’s pocket through the IRS, can you offer a possible scenario of the final dollars (capital) arriving in cities, villages, rural Africa, and shanty-towns? I’m talking the poorest of the dirt poor. I’m sure this money is going to relief organizations and not really to stimulate any kind of real commerce other than the relief organization’s own presence. But for this much needed “capital” that would supposedly pave the way toward eradicating poverty, can you paint a picture of how the capital gets delivered, who chooses and who is chosen, what do people who made $10-$200 going to do with $X, and how much should they receive? These are not merely details, but (disregarding wealth redistribution issues) the deciding factors as to whether this works and accomplishes said goals, or whether it becomes a European Union price support debacle (remember, that was handled by economics experts too). I think as mature intellectuals we can all agree that the object is the <>actual reduction<> of poverty and suffering, and not merely the <>appearance<> of the same. This would demand not merely spending $50 billion, but spending it wisely, spending/investing it in the right areas. Monitoring the exchange process, the results of this investment, and being adaptive in the future to channel the funds into the most productive areas. $50,000 lost to a government official skimming is $50k not invested in medicine, food, commerce, the infrastructure, etc.Good intentions are necessary, commendable, and very common. So common that the road to hell is paved with them.Prof. Ricardo

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  167. I use the word “conservative” loosely. I truthfully don’t know what it means actually since you’ve people like John McCain on one end of the spectrum, and Adolph Hitler on the other. The definition of conservative at that point becomes meaningless. What I should have said is let them put someone on the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion, or even late term abortions. Just as an experiment. And buy some stock in Birth Control companies, cause people will be more careful. As for Sister Maria (made up name) who has an orphanage and some kind of program for education, let her submit a request for funds. Let her demonstrate her success, she’s already on the ground, she’s local, she knows the area. She’s an expert. Let her get a grant from the federal government and scale up her operation.

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  168. Yoshi,I actually have mixed feelings about federal tax dollars going to religious organizations. The problem isn’t the good people willing to do a job most of us don’t participate in (other than pay our fair tax burden)… it’s the give the RR a inch, and they will take a mile problem.<>And I hope they put a conservative on the Supreme Court.<>Be careful what you ask for. The one judge that just got through… Janice Rogers Brown thought the New Deal was a Socialism revolution. Why would anyone put such loons on the court?Which reminds me of a question I meant to ask Tony:Should our Supreme Court be an advocate for social justice in our society? I hear people always say judges should just <>interpret<> the law. If the Supreme Court is not also an advocate for social justice, why can’t we just replace the Supreme Court with some good software? I’ve watched enough of Congress on C-Span to know I don’t want to rely on those knuckledraggers alone… I’m thinking a little judicial activism really offers a check on the idiots in Congress. For example… I don’t think a Supreme Court should allow the red staters to put gay bashing in the Constitution, even if there is a majority of them. btw… polls show 65% of the population does not want to outlaw abortion. I guess when the current theocracy movement plays out, and abortion is outlawed, they will be going against the will of the people… i.e. activism.

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  169. [Yoshi quoted man’s wisdom: “”…it is unarguably the central tenet of Christianity: that everybody is equal in God’s eyes…””The central tenet is that man is sinful and in need of salvation.]I think this is example of two people looking at the same thing and seeing something different. I never got the guilt stuff out of the Bible that you seem to get. As Tony famously said, “I’m not a psychologist but I think there is something subconscious there that is revealing.”In contrast to other religions in history, the ancient Greeks, Asian religions, you name it,the Judeo-Christian religion has the notion that God created every man equal. Maybe it’s not “the” central tenet, but “a” central tenet.

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  170. “A lost soul elsewhere is not less valuable than a hungry person or lost soul in Africa. Refer back to perceived central tenet: That everybody is equal in God’s eyes.”Yes, but say in the example of the tsunami, or HIV, or September 11, we have to act. Africa is still a mysterious, distant continent. And it has a human catastrophe emergency. It isn’t equal, it doesn’t make the press, no one cares. It needs to be integrated into the system. We write them off, even my “poor” uncle, the one who my “rich” uncle bought 20 acres for, told me, “you can’t help those people.” There is an intrinsic racism in our society, most aren’t even aware of it. Africa is pushed in back of the closet, hidden from view…..Now it seems to be changing…“The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it’s to have any meaning in this world…”This means where the free market falls short, as in this case, fighting AIDS in Africa, something has to be done. If the church, the great moral leader, can’t deal with this problem, it’s just a bunch of cheap talk and no action….The free market isn’t going to build that highway you drive to work everday, Prof. Nor will it pay firemen to show up when you leave the heater on too long. But we still have “free markets.” No one seriously believes in no collective action whatsoever. We only disagree on how much exactly.As for supporting missionaries in Africa, I’d rather the great economists of the world develop Africa than those wacky Mormons. As I said before, somethings the government is just better at doing…. fighting wars, for example. On the other hand, there are also great missionaries, who do great things NO ONE else is willing to do. And they always are sending my family overwhelming requests for more needed money. Now, say the federal government had a panel board that reviewed requests from missionaries, gave them a criteria of success to meet, and gave grants to missionaries with successful programs that needed scaling up. Sounds efficient to me. Regardless of Common Good’s ideas about churches and states, whatever… as long as they get the job done, give them my tax money. In fact, most of these beneficiaries on any funds for development would go to Christian-oriented organizations to begin with, as it is for the most part only Christians who are even in these types of fields to begin with. And I don’t think Christians should have to bear the burden of the poor alone….. let’s take some of Common Good’s taxes and make him chip in…..No, I don’t have a problem with “Christians” in power. But I have a problem with people co-opting Christianity. And I hope they put a conservative on the Supreme Court. And put the 10 Commandments in schools or wherever they want (as an experiment that won’t work, IMO). I don’t consider it part of religion, but part of culture.I grew up Catholic, and though I can’t really stand the “religion” itself now, I still love having that culture. I meet people who have no religious background at all, and it’s usually obvious the difference. You know what I mean, but it’s hard to explain. If Christianity is part of our culture, put up some statues or something. In Prague, for example, they have a beautiful bridge, with saints and one of Jesus on the Cross, and Jesus taken down from the Cross. I love those statues…. Google the “Charles Bridge” at look at the pictures. No one in Prague, even though most are atheist, would dream of removing those statues. It’s their heritage. For God’s sake, the communists even left it up. Personally though, instead of the 10 Commandments, think Jesus had two commandments that would be better to display….

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  171. Yoshi quoted man’s wisdom: <>“”…it is unarguably the central tenet of Christianity: that everybody is equal in God’s eyes…””<>The central tenet is that man is sinful and in need of salvation.<>“So you cannot, as a Christian, walk away from Africa.”<>Souls need saving everywhere. A hungry person or lost soul elsewhere is not less valuable than a hungry person or lost soul in Africa. Refer back to perceived central tenet: That everybody is equal in God’s eyes.<>“America will be judged by God if, in its plenty, it crosses the road from 23 million people suffering from HIV, the leprosy of the day.”<>America will be judged for many things. The blood of millions of unborn children come to mind. The legislative acceptance of sexual sin is another. With literally thousands of missions and missionaries sent into nearly every country on the face of the earth, not just to evangelize, but to bring medical care, food, modernization, and hope, I pray God’s blessing on those so called to “go into all the world” and God’s mercy on our inadequacy of reaching the lost.<>“What’s up on trial here is Christianity itself. You cannot walk away from this and call yourself a Christian and sit in power.”<>Well, which is it? Do Christians get to participate in politics or not? If we Christians and America are going to be judged based upon Christians getting elected and directing tax monies to our missions, feeding the poor and healthcare for Africans, then we have some roadblocks to overcome. Talk to Common Good. Convince him. When he’s on board for this we’ll have another convert…er…you know what I mean. 🙂<>“The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it’s to have any meaning in this world…”<>Which is it? The free market or government? The free market, ie individuals supporting missions to Africa, are already underway. If we are talking billions of taxpayer dollars, that’s not the “free market.”Regarding Adam Smith,<>“Book V of the Wealth of Nations explains in detail …Now I can’t do your homework for you, but do you have the book?”<>Top shelf in my hallway at home. Thanks.Prof. Ricardo

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  172. Professor,Regarding Adam Smith,Book V of the Wealth of Nations explains in detail why the state has powerful responsibilities regarding defense, justice, infrastructure, and education, areas in which collective action is required to complement, or substitute for, private-market forces. Now I can’t do your homework for you, but do you have the book? Check it out at your own leisure.

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  173. I don’t want to give Hannity another more publicity than he has. I do want to physical knock him one though, since he thinks he’s a physical type. Common Good, you should really check out the Bible. It has some great “socialist” ammo in it. < HREF="http://www.bruderhof.com/articles/Choosing-Poverty.htm" REL="nofollow"> Jesus and the Redistribution of Wealth <>

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  174. Tony,Good post/s. Let me ask you about the following:<>Socialism that impoverishes the body and spirit would not be good in his view because if Christ had a unifying theme it was that God looks to the substance of our hearts and not the outward form.<>If I remember the last time I looked up Socialism, it was defined as the middle ground between Communism and Capitalism. IMO, that simply means somewhere in the middle of the scale where one end is 100% self-interest and the other end is 100% collective/government ownership. Obviously, the US does not, and can not exist at the 100% self-interest end of the scale. We are simply arguing <>what’s the right amount of common good/collectivism<> in our Capitalist system. Having said that, I don’t follow how some middle ground (perhaps labeled Socialism… at least by Prof) “impoverishes the body and spirit”. In fact, I would say the nation would start feeling much better about itself once it quit lying to itself that it is in fact a generous nation… both within it’s borders and outside.Yoshi… dude, sorry I hit you with Hanity. We should start a new t-shirt… “Flush Hanity”… we could have Hanity’s head mounted on a turd being flushed. Tony knows some homebrewing buddies with graphic art skills… sounds like a instant winner. I think it’s ok to say turd here… don’t know about MFer. 🙂

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  175. Prof,<>Admit it Common Good, you’re a religious nut. 🙂<>That was good. Still laughing. I like that about you. 🙂 I think Tony pretty much nailed it. When I refer to religion or worship it only means a reference to a belief or worship in the supernatural… i.e. deity. I may be dictionary imperfect… but that is what I mean and will mean in the future.<>FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.<>Some believe there is significant evidence that the universe was proably created, and absolutely no evidence that the creator cares about us, or that there is anything beyond this life for us.<>FOURTEENTH: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world….<>I like much in that statement, but I don’t believe <>radical<> is required. It’s a pretty common defense for the laissez-faire types to yell <>frickin Communist<> when someone doesn’t accept the eat-your-own-kill type of Capitalism. I think the required direction for our society is not radical at all… we just need to continue to evolve the New Deal. As Thomas Friedman says… “we need a New New Deal”. Reagan put a pretty face on conservative greed the self-interest doctrine. His smile and likability hurt this country beyond comprehension by moving us to the right. The entire conservative movement from Goldwater on represents a cancer that has spread through this nation. At some point, cancer can’t be cured… maybe we are there already. Prof, I know this is a message you are not able to absorb… we have to become more collective (not radical communism collective, but just more robust safety-nets) going forward… the global world will demand it. Going forward, there will be a new breed of disgruntled that have to be dealt with… that would be the breed who had stuff at one time but found themselves moved to the other side of the wealth gap. These folks will be much more vocal and effective than those who never were part of the significant food chain.

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  176. Hmmm….that gives me a wild thought.What exactly would be the effect of a National Year of jubilee. I’m thinking mostly of the discharge of debt here. It would be a one-time thing or else it would get factored into the cost of business. I’m not advocating this, just thinking outside the box.

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  177. “Now, for all its failings and its perversions over the last 2,000 years—and as much as every exponent of this faith has attempted to dodge this idea—it is unarguably the central tenet of Christianity: that everybody is equal in God’s eyes. So you cannot, as a Christian, walk away from Africa. America will be judged by God if, in its plenty, it crosses the road from 23 million people suffering from HIV, the leprosy of the day.What’s up on trial here is Christianity itself. You cannot walk away from this and call yourself a Christian and sit in power. Distance does not decide who is your brother and who is not. The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it’s to have any meaning in this world—and stop being its apologist.”

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  178. Hey Hannity, here’s the answer to your question. And if I see you on the street you better take off your polished shoes and start running…. “And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to “sinners,” expecting to be repaid in full. But…lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful…Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. (Luke 6:34–38)

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  179. Prof,It isn’t that I am afraid to tell CG that he “worships” something. Rather I recognize that with him and many others the terms worship and religion are tied solely to deity related worldviews. I think worship in this context is a loaded word that confuses the point.I even reminded him of this difficulty by remembering his denial of possessing a worldview. He struggles along with us on these thorny semantics it would seem. The point is that even the belief in nothing (nihilism) constitutes a worldview. If ones’ worldview is that only material facts in front of you matter, then that is your worldview. Different people can call that worship or religion and be equally correct. Examples abound, but my point it is what it is. Put whatever label on it makes you happy…one must simply define terms and move on with the discussion.

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  180. CG,In my view Christianity doesn’t have anything to do with economics and politics per se. Christ was always careful to state that his kingdom was not of this world. Major swaths of the Bible are directed toward the idea that focusing on this world is a trail of woes. Christ of course famously said to render to Caesar and God what is respectively theirs.But this is not to say that Christians should avoid being a part of the debate. Indeed, we are commanded to speak out about Christ and Godly living. But what is often forgotten is that our command to speak out is also to be humble and to do so with no other purpose than God’s glory. Humility should lead us to be cautious in the area of making direct claims about how the Bible applies in the area of politics. Politics itself is a seedy and worldly thing that tends to pervert the ideas and intentions of the participants. There is no better example than how a worthy servant of the Lord such as Jim Dobson has descended into the pit of partisanship.In terms of what the Bible does say about economics and politics I think it is very hard to draw general conclusions. Let me illustrate a bit.God was the first libertarian. He gave man the freedom to commit sin. Even in the Garden of Eden man was given the latitude to do a very stupid thing.But, the Bible is equally clear that Kings rule under the authority of God. Whether that King is good or evil, we are still to submit as long as not commanded to directly violate the will of God.But then during the period of Judges, it was clear that God did not want Israel to be governed by a King. It was Israel that demanded the governance. Now once it was clear that Israel was going to have a King, God did select that King. Now this worked out good up to a point, but then things kind of fell apart.The Bible is also filled with stories of faithful service to foreign Kings such as Pharaoh, Artaxeres, Nebuchadnezzar and Darius. Those stories are all coupled with individuals who refused to violate God’s law in that service. Indeed, these are some of the most famous and loved stories of the Bible.Now prior to Christ, the law is filled with directions to provide for the poor. There were numerous ways the poor were provided for and this included government action as well as individual acts. Now Christ added to this, but only on the individual acts front. So this can be spun how you might see fit if you choose to try to use the Bible to support a particular economic viewpoint.My view is that claiming that it is clear that the Bible supports this or that economic or political system is very problematic. As Christians I believe we should apply the clear moral teaching to the world around us and make decisions (be that a vote or other kind of choice) that support our best understanding of the right thing to do. The Bible paints a lot of bright lines but it is always in the context of moral principals.Applying this to politics in America today in my view renders a vote for either of the major parties a most decidedly un-Christlike act. I do not think that Christ would approve of either of our parties. I think Christ would approve of the Marxist axiom of each according to his need, but that he would also understand that our institutions must function with fallen humans and not with resurrected and perfected men. Socialism that impoverishes the body and spirit would not be good in his view because if Christ had a unifying theme it was that God looks to the substance of our hearts and not the outward form.I think Christ would approve of the GOP mantra of personal responsibility yet not be particularly pleased that they seldom mean what they say. I think Christ would approve of the Democratic policies to help the little people, but not be pleased with how poorly these things play out in practice. I think Christ would not care much for abortion in so-called clinics or torture in so-called prisons. I don’t think Christ would care much for the dishonesty and self-aggrandizement that is the major characteristic of both of our political parties.I threw out a lot of disjointed stuff, but I am merely making the point that it is very hard for any of these groups to claim the moral high ground based on Biblical principals or any other.

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  181. I’m reposting this, mainly for the Prof.-Get this, according to this weeks Economist magazine, p. 11, “the European Union alone wasted 55 billion last year on a common agricultural policy designed to keep food expensive for its consumers.” Now the British Commission for Africa (I assume they hire the brightest experts) is asking for an additional 25 billion dollars to be spent on aid. Looks like we could cut the subsidy in favor of the aid, and still have 30 billion in tax cuts…and that’s just in Europe.

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  182. Common Good,<>Christians (at least you and Tony) jump to the conclusion that you must worship something else… i.e. not god, so therefore (in Prof’s case, the state, in Tony’s case, my evil self or something). You guys need to get a grip. 🙂<>Tony is so kind to not push the point…You know better with me. 🙂Every person is equally religious. Every person believes some things are right and some things are wrong. They have a worldview, a way or perspective of discerning what to believe. Christians believe in the authority of scripture and the attributes of God, and use those as a lense to view, discern, and understand their world. Non-Christians also have a lense. It may be liberal teachings and experience. It is <>their<> ultimate authority with which to judge their world. They no less worship, depend on, and reverence their ultimate or final authority than I worship, depend on, and reverence mine. Saying you do not worship does not make it so. If we take one of the meanings of worship as: “extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem,” then we could look at anyone and apply this test to them. Let’s take someone, anyone, say Common Good, and apply the test to him. Is there something you have extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to? Something so dear to you that might want to take it on as a name…on a blog? When we discuss/argue points of interest, your main focus is:1) The common good – a very subjective goal.2) A purely secular state oriented solution to perceived public shortfalls.3) State controlled healthcare, regardless of cost and efficiency.4) Justice coming to those who possess more than you approve of.5) The ridicule of those professing the Christian faith. This sounds straight out of the Humanist Manifesto. Let me highlight a couple of items from this document:<>In order that <>religious<> humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting therefrom (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life.…<>FIRST<>: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. …<>FOURTEENTH<>: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world….<>Admit it Common Good, you’re a religious nut. 🙂 Just not my religion, but one you haven’t named yet.<>Prof… sorry, but claiming religion has an equal right to the public square as federal tax debate doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. We have no choice but to define federal tax policy, common good and social justice together. We have every choice whether we have to do “religion” together. <>Including your religion of humanism? Now NOBODY can enter the federal tax debate. 😦Prof. Ricardo

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  183. Hanity said what?First off, cancelling debts that aren’t getting paid to begin with doesn’t make you a “liberal.”Hannity likes to act like he’d knock some liberal out with his fist, as if he has to hold himself back. I’ve heard him act like this several times. God, I am praying to you know… please let me go on that show sometime….I swear, I try not to be this way, but hey, I am from Texas, so…. it’s something I can’t ever get completely out of me. Plus there is some Irish back there somewhere…Pardon my language Tony, but if I were on that Hannity show, I’d knock that motherfucker out with one punch when he opened his big mouth, and take his little tie and wrap it around his neck until the security came running in to save his little manicured ass. What a little trash-talking pansy he is, I’d do anything to get him in a room, man to man.These “conservatives” are going to lose their fan base and not even know it. I know a bunch of old ladies who adore Hannitty. Can’t wait to tell them about this….In fact, I’m going to start doing that right now…..

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  184. Yoshi, TonyWallis has been on Larry King a couple of times… the shows where Larry as many faiths represented on one show. These shows are always very similar… with very few exceptions, the only narrow intolerant voice comes from a fundamentalist Christian type. Wallis counters this voice on the show… although he very likely believes everyone besides Christians are bound for hell (he just must choose to not dwell on that little fact while promoting social justice). Wallis’s message reminds me of what Ben Franklin seems to have pushed for… a religious based form of “public good works”. I think Ben recognized the utility of religious based beliefs pointed at common good, while seeking to avoid the puritan instinct of wanting to set the rules for society. Questions for Prof and Tony (probably been through this before):1) Does/Should Christianity have anything to do with economic systems, private property laws, federal vs state government?2) If yes, why is Capitalism Christian, and Liberal versions of Capitalism Socialism or Communism?

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  185. Yoshi,Yes, I have heard that guy on the talk shows. If only his brand of Christianity was the dominant version in our society. He definitely proves Christianity comes in many flavors.Prof… sorry, but claiming religion has an equal right to the public square as federal tax debate doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. We have no choice but to define federal tax policy, common good and social justice together. We have every choice whether we have to do “religion” together. I heard that bowel movement Hanity on TV last night chastising a guest because he wanted the US government to forgive African debt. Hanity said… paraphrasing: “why don’t you liberals just get together and do this rather than steal money from others… blah, blah, I’m such a turd, blah, blah, blah”. Well Mr. Turd, here is why. We all have a vested interest in fighting terrorism now… and that directly involves fighting poverty. We are no longer willing to listen to this conservative greedy self-interest wanting a decent society for free bs. Fighting poverty and fighting terrorism are now officially off the “voluntary tax… not my problem” list.Any nation (particularly as wealthy as ours) that proudly claims all charity should only be on a volunteer basis only without any federal collective form has no soul… we are merely 300 million individual profit centers. Quit spreading the myth we are generous… the global community and US liberals are no longer buying the bs. The US conservative movement is no match for what we are up against… the golden oldie of US military might will not save the day. We have to change, we have to deal with world poverty head-on, we have to deal with inequality…. in short, we have to become more liberal. We need to bury American conservatism, and we need to do it immediately. Too many on the other end of inequality are opting to not accept the ground rules. In the global world with current weapon technology, we will either deal with inequality or perish. Turn away from the conservative dark side and live… or follow the conservative dark side and perish. Then again… this could all be predestined and we are already toast. 🙂Hanity needs to be flushed.

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  186. Yoshi,Yeah, that does sound good. I had actually started an outline for a book along those lines. Though that book sounds more liberal in outlook than mine would be where I to actually work on it.

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  187. < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060558288/qid=1120753828/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-1042173-7835333?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow"> What do you guys think about this book? Anyone heard anything about it? <>

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  188. Common Good,<>Prof,However, your liberal hostility is the sadist part…Sound familiar?<>Pro private-Liberal, very anti-Leftist Liberal public, organized, intolerant, state ownership variety. I’m anti-Leftist Liberal trying to own OUR government, but very pro C.G. getting to post on blogs. You see the distinction? Sound familiar? Two can play this game.Would it be intolerant of me to demand you keep harmful socialist ideologies out of the public marketplace of ideas? Maybe keep it in your own homes and possibly low-keyed meetings one day a week? When the shoe is on the other foot, does it sound as reasonable and tolerant and open minded of a position?Prof. Ricardo

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  189. Yoshi,We all live like Israel now.Prof,However, your liberal hostility is the sadist part. There are many Christians that recognize the good liberals have done in the world. But you have entrenched yourself, not in being NON-Liberal, but ANTI-Liberal. It is impossible for you to recognize the Good of liberal ideas even if you are not a liberal. It would wreck havoc with your discerning between the deserving and undeserving poor arguments that glorify your version of Christianity. A harsh reply for a harsh statement of yours.Sound familiar?

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  190. Anyone get word of the terrorist attack in London. 160 wounded, 2 dead. That could have been a lot worse…..It’s enough to make someone feel like joining to army and put a stop to this crap….. of course…. that’s not going to really help much…

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  191. Yoshi,I’ve tried hard to advertise this website actually. I’ve actually paid for advertising. A few regular visitors have come here because of htat.I really think the best way is word of mouth. We have great conversations here. Anyone interested in that will stay a while I think. It is hard to spread the word in a targeted fashion.I am totally open to ideas. I would like a bit larger audience. I’m not sure that the quality of conversation would necessarily improve on every topic however. I would like to see a broader set of interests. We are all interested in different things.

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  192. Help boost the S. African economy a little bit…< HREF="http://www.amarula.co.za/home.asp" REL="nofollow"> Buy this S. African product at the liquor store. It’s like Baileys Irish Cream, makes a good gift. It’ll change notions about Africa too, this stuff is great in coffee. <>

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  193. “To add more fuel to the fire I’ll make another observation about Haiti. The predominant religion of Haiti is Voo-Doo. They actually celebrate Jesus’ death with great enthusiasm. In my view, there is a connection between that and their extreme social/political dysfunction. Personally I am unwilling to make that a basis on which to reject emergency humanitarian assistance.”Tony, what you are saying is, that basically people there are quite uneducated, primitive, and have what I refer to as “folk” beliefs.I agree totally. People who believe this stuff aren’t going to be starting Microsoft companies anytime soon. This is lack of education.We have the same thing here, but maybe not as bad. Folk religion. Those Christians that let snakes bite them, pray in tongues, etc. Fall over and cry. I know some. Strange people. Those folks are typically economically unsuccessful and uneducated too (100% of the ones I’ve met).

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  194. Yoshi,<>There is certainly some covering up going on. A crime has certainly been committed. The question is exactly who?<>When you listen to the Nixon tapes, a chill goes through you when you realize the typical makeup of the men we elect as presidents. These guys are power mongers, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the game. Note, that’s a condemnation of us as much as them… but that’s another blog. So here’s the questions:1) Did Shrub know about it and direct the outing2) Did Shrub know it was going to happen, but hid under the cloak of <>don’t tell me the details<>3) Did Shrub know this kind of stuff goes on constantly, gives a wink and a nod and never participates in the details. 4) This is action Shrub would never do and some Cowboy went out on their own.If you picked #4, I have some land to sell you.

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  195. The sad thing is, if they really wanted to find out who outed the secret agent, they easily could.It’s like the old days in the South when a black got lynched and the whole town knew who it was but kept quiet.There is certainly some covering up going on. A crime has certainly been committed. The question is exactly who?

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  196. Oh… a really good conspiracy thought just hit me. It seems to me back in the pre-war hype, Judith Miller was front and center on the airwaves hyping the Iraq WMD myth. What if she was a prewar-hype tool for this administration? In that case, her better choice would be to take the brief jail sentence than have that come out. At least that would explain this. If that is correct, then I don’t think we will ever know the truth. The grand jury has been at this for some time, and no charges to date. Miller probably just saved her a$$ and the adminstration.

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  197. CG,For the record, I’ve never said that non-Christians worship something else. I have said that non-Christians have elements of faith in their worldviews. Somehow in the past-and I’m not sure how you feel about it now-you have taken offense to the assertion that you and everybody else possess a worldview. I’m still wondering about that one.We also had some discussion about the word “religion”. You seem to have a narrow definition than I. I’m not sure whether you ever agreed that it was irrelevant to my point that we all have views on this stuff.To add more fuel to the fire I’ll make another observation about Haiti. The predominant religion of Haiti is Voo-Doo. They actually celebrate Jesus’ death with great enthusiasm. In my view, there is a connection between that and their extreme social/political dysfunction. Personally I am unwilling to make that a basis on which to reject emergency humanitarian assistance.

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  198. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&e=6&u=/nm/media_leak_dc" REL="nofollow">Miller falls on her sword… or covers up something worse she doesn’t want out<>

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  199. Hey conspiracy theory folks… there sure seems to be the smell of Watergate in the air. I can’t figure it out.– That slug Novak gives up the cover for the CIA spy Valerie Plame. – Time reporter Mathew Cooper and NYTimes reporter Judith Miller do subsequent stories (actually, Miller doesn’t even print the story)– Prosecutor threatens both Miller and Cooper with jail, but not the slug Novak. Today Miller was sent to jail… Cooper walked.– If only one source was involved, then Novak certainly knows who it is. Does this mean the prosecutor believes there were multiple sources… i.e. an orchestrated action by the White House.Something just doesn’t add up here. Don’t know if we will ever know… but if Miller is protecting this administration I won’t be crying for her. I understand the importance of freedom of the press, and taking a stand accordingly by the press… but when a judge makes a decision, seems like a reporter that has fought the good fight should just give it up. Society and democracy can follow up with required changes in law if desired… but the reporter shouldn’t be the lone citizens to bear the burden. Like I said, none of this adds up… which usually means there is something bigger under the radar that the public doesn’t know yet. Conspiracy theorist…exiting left.

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  200. Prof,Guess this clarification thing goes both ways for years. 🙂 <>But you have entrenched yourself, not in being NON-Christian, but ANTI-Christian.<>Pro private-Christian, very anti-RR public, organized, intolerant, state ownership variety. I’m anti-RR trying to own OUR government, but very pro my wife’s Sunday trips to church. You see the distinction? <>It is impossible for you to recognize the Good of Christianity even if you are not a believer.<>I’ve stated on this board I appreciate the solace religious faith provides for individuals. I’ve also acknowledged the good work churches do in there community, while rejecting the idea that such church good works can or should serve as the basis for our pluralistic nation’s common good needs. <>It would wreck havoc with your save the whatever arguments that glorify your deity, the state.<>Interesting… I hear such charges from Tony also which I continue to find interesting. By not buying into the <>guilt at birth<> belief system, and by not defining one’s life through Christianity… Christians (at least you and Tony) jump to the conclusion that you must worship something else… i.e. not god, so therefore (in Prof’s case, the state, in Tony’s case, my evil self or something). You guys need to get a grip. 🙂 I know it’s mind blowing to you guys that anyone other than Christians could participate in a society defining common law and social justice. Just how much easier this would all be if the crusades had been 100% global and successful. Read my lips… no worshipping.. not state worshipping or evil self humanism worshipping. Jeeze, I’ve never seen a group more motivated to come up with phrases for world views and ideologies simply because some people don’t drive their existence by Christianity or religion. So in summary… CG is not anti-Christian but anti-public organized state ownership RR mantra…. and Prof is not anti-all Capitalism regulation (but you can safely assume most of it) and he knows the difference between Captialism and free markets. Also, Prof likes to argue.

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  201. The problem with Rush is Africa has Captilism. But all his little disciples are so dumb they will parrot “Africa needs Capitalism.” When as far as I know, they already have it. (Unless we are talking about some rebel-controlled conflict zone.) Rush simplified the situation in a sound bite, then got smug about it. And that annoys me. Smugness mixed with not-knowing-what-you-are talking-about annoys me.“We? Are there not 268+ nations on the planet and Africa’s woes are created by “we?” Can they not trade with other non-we nations? I thought because of Bush the rest of the nations would not follow suit with us. Think of the markets they have forgone.”Actually, my criticism isn’t aimed at America, per se. It’s aimed at the rich, protected markets of the world. In fact, W. Bush will not drop subsidies only because Europe will not drop theirs. I agree with him on that, no sense in us losing out while the Europeans cheat on by….Get this, according to this weeks Economist magazine, p. 11, “the European Union alone wasted 55 billion last year on a common agricultural policy designed to keep food expensive for its consumers.” Now the British Commission for Africa is asking for an additional 25 billion dollars to be spent on aid. Looks like we could cut the subsidy in favor of the aid, and still have 30 billion in tax cuts…and that’s just in Europe. “We have a fixed game. You know that.”See above segment if you want to know about fixed games. Africa cannot compete economically because cotton farmers here in the U.S. and french dairy farmers in Europe don’t want to lose money. And they have powerful lobbies. Not only that, but if African countries try to manufacture goods, add value to products, they face ever higher tariffs. For example, they can grow cocoa for export to France, fine. But if they try to build a plant to process the cocoa into a product… suddenly higher tariffs are slapped on the new value-added goods. Thus, a manufacturing base can never be developed.Also, money lent/ given in the past was not for altruistic development, but political strategy. Despots were supported, money often never left western banks to begin with, where the banks held the deposits and of course, as banks do, profited off them (all the while Africans were paying the interest). Just think of mankind’s corruption, and connect the dots. These types of things go on in the corridors of power. Corruption isn’t just in Africa…Also, “we” because during the Cold War, “we” were supporting dispicable leaders giving away billions….. now we act sweet and innocent and say, “We’ve given them billions and look what those savages did with it….” This what I mean by fixed game. “Provision of public goods?” Now THAT’S the part of Adam Smith I want you to quote to me (not that he’s a god or anything.)Okay. coming up next…. maybe not a god, but close enough…“You have the same chances as your uncle. I don’t think he waited for someone to give it to him.” I know I do. I can get rich. But I’m also not from the ghetto, and I got “lucky” in many ways, etc. There was grace involved, if you ask me. I could have easily been a monkey, if my circumstances had been only slightly different. I actually lived a few years with my cousins and uncle/ aunt. Now compare me to my sister, who didn’t. Now she’s like a monkey, sadly. Hard to believe we’ve similar genetics. Environmental factors that were a grace God gave to me saved my butt…“My idea? Build 500 thousand dollar condos on the beach. If there is that much wealth in S.Africa, then they’re spending it on houses, clothing, food, entertainment, etc.” They have those 500 thousand dollar house already on the beach. < HREF="http://www.campsbayapartments.com/" REL="nofollow"> Cape Town Luxury Apartments <> Commercials are filmed there, model shoots. It’s like Miami. Art house cinemas, casinos, you name it. I met a guy from London moving there for the weather, and was going to build a “sensory deprivation tank” facility, charge by the hour (another idea we could use here). He said there was just less red tape in South Africa.But there is another darker side as well. In the black communities. So there is an interesting topic. Why are the whites rich, and the blacks poor, in the same country, with the same government? My idea was to bring a little income into the shanty-towns with the snow-cones.“Also rather than have it made in China, build your factory in Africa. Cheap labor. There must be a reason they are not doing this.” Could be these areas in China are right on the coast, on the shipping lanes? “I would tend to think the unfriendly governments and violent social upheavals have something to do with it.” -Some places, of course…. but in fact, they are doing it. I buy clothes at Banana Republic, I know Mauritania is often seen on the back label. Maybe they face textiles quotas and can’t get them to markets. Maybe they WTO membership just ten years ago got Chinese exports onto US markets. Maybe the Chinese just have cheaper labor and an infrastructure in place and put them out of business. Actually though, I have a lot of plastic stuff from China, but no clothes….There is also “internal barriers” to trade in Africa. Landlocked countries that have to pay fees every time goods cross a border. That is an internal change Africans must be made, if need be, by pressure from “donors.” Hint, hint, we might have to simply tell them how to run things and punish them if they don’t follow directions.

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  202. C.G.“hear the sad message loud and clear. Unless they are Chrisitian… basically f*** off.”Actually its not. However, your religious hostility is the sadist part. There are many atheist that recognize the good Christians have done in the world. But you have entrenched yourself, not in being NON-Christian, but ANTI-Christian. It is impossible for you to recognize the Good of Christianity even if you are not a believer. It would wreck havoc with your save the whatever arguments that glorify your deity, the state. A harsh reply for a harsh statement of yours. <>I saw a new button that’s making a comeback after the 2004 election…. Better dead than red<>Actually, now that Republican states are red, I heard someone jesting the other way. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  203. Common Good,<>“The goal is not Capitalism but specifically free markets.”<>Don’t hear what I’m not saying. Yoshi used the word “capitalism” and he was berating Rush for his use of it. I was trying to point out his loose use of this word. You know, argue. 🙂<>“…but Prof’s insane argument that any regulation is by definition anti-free market is an open confession that he knows not what he is talking about.<>When I state consequences or relationships that exist, you read them as a subjective assessment, because you do not like the consequences or relationships. If I say: “Regulation limits freedom,” is that a fact or a judgment? Regulation brings something into conformity. That can be good or bad. However, it also limits your choice (freedom) of not being in conformity. You want me to endorse regulation. I want to define it first. You don’t like the definition, so you and Yoshi jump to conclusions (mostly right ones though 🙂 that I never made.<>“Like I said, I know Prof is pulling our chain for entertainment value.”<>🙂<>“He can’t hide is IQ with these lame positions. :)”<>I haven’t taken many of the positions you accuse me of. However, you also see the consequences of regulation I lay before you, don’t like the insinuation of it, think I’m dissin’ one of the good ole -isms because you don’t like my interpretation.. Some people just want to divorce the inevitable consequence from the socialist answer and have the world sing “We Are The World.”I don’t have the voice for it.Prof. Ricardo

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  204. Prof,<>My heart goes out to them and my money goes to missionaries that are changing hearts that must be changed before a commerce friendly environment exists in these places. There. That ought to give Common Good something to chew on. 🙂<>Don’t need to chew on it… hear the sad message loud and clear. Unless they are Chrisitian… basically f*** off. I saw a new button that’s making a comeback after the 2004 election…. <>Better dead than red<>

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  205. Jeeze… this website must have changed their cookie retention to 5 seconds or something… sure getting tired of having to re-login every time.Yoshi… <>So we are essentially getting their stuff for free…. until they decide to use the dollars we give them to buy from us, or invest in us. We have gotten real goods from them, and they are merely holding paper notes….<>Oh, I think these type of trade deficits are insane… but you miss my main point. US citizens are both employees and consumers… they are not just consumers. It is quite possible for global trade to benefit both sides equally in $s, but that says nothing for how that benefit is shared in the US. For example, let’s say the equal free trade with China provides an equal $ amount in revenue and profits for Wal-Mart… and they use that new found wealth to continue to pay low wages and poor health benefits to it’s employees. The Wal-Mart CEOs and Wal-Mart stock holders (my wife owns a wee amount because she comes from a small town and still thinks Wal-Marts are cool) may pad their pockets… but does that mean that was a good deal for the US. You hear the talking heads from CATO and Heritage Foundation always talk in terms on dollars and sometime net job… but you will hardly ever hear them talk in terms of <>the quality and pay of those jobs, or the current trends of global trade wealth dispursement in our country<>. IMO, you don’t have to be an economist to say… hey, if Wal-Mart is making huge profits by shutting down our domestic suppliers … one after the other… just maybe there is a problem. I’m sure all of those small town unemployeed people really benefit from Wal-Mart always low prices. You want a take a survey there… maybe ask if they would rather pay 10-20% more for stuff with a job, vs the discount without a job. There will be a revolt the way things are heading… it just has to hit a big enough threshold where those of us with jobs can no longer ignore those without. For people who think there is a class war now.. they haven’t seen anything. The sad thing is it just doesn’t seem necessary to me…. we should be smart enough to not let these global companies rule our societies.Back to Wal-Mart… Wal-Mart is now in business in China (don’t remember how many stores are open, but they are on their way). Not only does this retailer now call the shots over suppliers, how long will it take before the US consumers/citizens are a secondary concern. Run the potential numbers for Wal-Mart in China… the US could look like an after thought. Now we have a US company with it’s most important profit motive in China, dictating where global supplies come from. Why make a US supplier move to China… why not just find an equivalent China replacement. Anybody want to predict the year our worthless elected types actually have to pass Wal-Mart legislation due to the civil war of the citizens. Sure… someone convince me Wal-Mart is good for the US. I’ve heard Wal-Mart’s CEO make his best pitch on a Frontline episode… you could tell even he wasn’t buying the bs he was spewing.

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  206. Tony<>You can’t come up with a better example of how capitalism is not a solution by itself than the example of Haiti. Having a successful market depends on a number of things not the least of which is a fair and accessible court system and the underlying social contracts that make more mundane transactions possible.<>This is a key element – people behaving themselves. Our founders set up a system where there would be checks and balances if some miss behaving souls got into government, where local and state governments could decide on which immoral acts to prohibit, where courts were held in check by juries, where religion, the Christian religion, permeated all of society and demanded self regulation and discipline so that government would have little to do to keep the peace. These characteristics are missing from numerous places throughout the world, and therefore they are inhospitable for commerce to thrive. Little do they know their own sinfulness is causing much of their own poverty. Insert gobs of cash and their lot will change, not one wit if their bent is to machete their neighbor, deal drugs, and steal like chickens. Why would I open an Intel plant in a place that “necklaces” people? Why would I open a Wal-Mart in a place where machine gunners and mobs could obliterate my store and employees? There are major problems in these countries that writing a check will not fix, but has the unintended consequence of enabling by keeping the sinking boat afloat a little longer. My heart goes out to them and my money goes to missionaries that are changing hearts that must be changed before a commerce friendly environment exists in these places. There. That ought to give Common Good something to chew on. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  207. Yoshi,Re: trade deficit.<>Prof, know anyone about this stuff?<>You did a beautiful job. No need to comment. However…..Prof. says. “sorry to disagree, but capitalism only refers to a system of operating with assets, not the quantity of assets.” <>-I say, you can’t make investments without capital, and without capital, you can’t grow.<>Fine. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. My response to you was about your telling Rush he needs to learn what capitalism is. Because you were all over the board about Capitalism is and is not in Africa, its rightness was in being regulated and so forth.<>also, Prof. wrote: “As regulations increase, freedom and therefore capitalism decrease.”-somewhat true. I should have a freedom though to not have to worry about clean air and water, and not let a factory destroy the basic elements I need to survive. Freedom doesn’t mean “anything goes.” You sound like a liberal now.<>Once again I am defining terms. Some regulations are good, but at the cost of freedom. We regulate immoral acts of murder and stealing by outright prohibition. That of course costs us the freedom to murder and steal, a cost we all wish to bear. However, many regulations cost us our competitive advantage. A number of jobs are going south of the border because they do not have the same kind of environmental and occupational hazard laws. We basically outsourced our occupational hazards and pollution. Global effect, nill. American effect, loss of profits/jobs for companies that would have performed those jobs. I am not saying this is a good or a bad thing. Only that this is the effect of this policy.<>“Capitalism survives by a commitment to freedom, to the idea and justice of allowing man to own and direct his own capital. The ideology of seeing capitalism, countries & continents, as constantly needing paternal nourishment, oversight, and direction flies in the face of Adam Smith’s invisible hand and is the greatest threat to capitalism and freedom.”That’s very poetic, but we live in the real world. First off, subsidies and trade barriers we put up fly in the face of Adam Smith.<>We? Are there not 268+ nations on the planet and Africa’s woes are created by “we?” Can they not trade with other non-we nations? I thought because of Bush the rest of the nations would not follow suit with us. Think of the markets they have forgone.<>“We have a fixed game. You know that.”<>I started to respond to this, but I’m not sure what you meant here.<>Adam Smith knew that competition and struggle was just one side of the coin… collective action and the provision of public goods are the other…<>“Provision of public goods?” Now THAT’S the part of Adam Smith I want you to quote to me (not that he’s a god or anything.)Re:Rich Uncle<>His kids are total spoiled slackers…Sometimes I wish that I could have had those chances myself. I could have been much, much more…..<>In countries where the government is entrenched in the regulation and workings of the economy, people are more solidified in their current relative wealth level. In countries where greater freedom exists, people are free to move within the various income ranges. You have the same chances as your uncle. I don’t think he waited for someone to give it to him. He was industrious and its natural result is, he “got lucky.” With ingenuity, spending less than you make, and hard work, you can get lucky too.<>Want to hear my idea for making money in South Africa?Snow cone stands. <>My idea? Build 500 thousand dollar condos on the beach. If there is that much wealth in S.Africa, then they’re spending it on houses, clothing, food, entertainment, etc. Also rather than have it made in China, build your factory in Africa. Cheap labor. There must be a reason they are not doing this. I would tend to think the unfriendly governments and violent social upheavals have something to do with it.Prof. Ricardo

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  208. I’m not well-versed on international finance, although it’s extremely interesting to me, I haven’t had time to really delve into it.But the trade deficit with China, I’m not sure is a threat. So they have tons of US dollars in their accounts (which they get when we buy something from there)…. sooner or later they’ll have to spend those US dollars here in the USA… and the more US Dollars they accumulate, the less valuable they become in real terms (as the exchange rate drops in favor of the Chinese currency) (which the Chinese artificially prop up as it is, btw.) So we are essentially getting their stuff for free…. until they decide to use the dollars we give them to buy from us, or invest in us. We have gotten real goods from them, and they are merely holding paper notes….I’m open to criticism, like I said, it’s just a rudimentary understanding of trade deficits.

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  209. <>Perhaps what we need to do is to build these people Wal-marts so they can see what capitalism is.<>Good example of Prof’s live and let live no strings free market. I’m looking forward to hearing from Prof why Wal-Mart is good for America. Hint: he also has to defend our 2004 $162 billion trade deficit with China at the same time… because the lion share of that is driven by Wal-Mart. An anti-Capitalist regulative type free market may have not allowed Wal-Mart to force it’s US suppliers to fire Americans and move over to China for cheaper labor. A free market with more regulations may have not turned into a race to the bottom, but rather than a gradual race to the top. Yeah… I know… anyone who doesn’t worship our economic system is sacrilegious.

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  210. Yoshi, Prof, Tony,<>Sorry to disagree, but capitalism only refers to a system of operating with assets, not the quantity of assets. As necessary as quantity is desired, I can have a stone, you can have a stick, and we can enjoy capitalism. Since you did not name specific regulations, you left the door open for interpretation to mean you desire general or any regulations that would take capitalism and morph it into socialism.Capitalism survives by a commitment to freedom, to the idea and justice of allowing man to own and direct his own capital. I said, “you can’t have capitalism, without CAPITAL! There has to be a minimal infrastructure in place, among other things….”Tony: Having a successful market depends on a number of things not the least of which is a fair and accessible court system and the underlying social contracts that make more mundane transactions possible.<>Prof, buddy… we are all on to your game. You are a very smart guy and make really nutjob arguments just to… well… argue. I know… I’m built much the same way. Disclaimer: I make the following response knowing that Prof is already all over this… just likes to argue. The goal is not Capitalism but specifically <>free markets<>. The distinction to me is Prof’s Capitalism dictionary definition probably holds up without a mention of <>capital<>… but free markets are the holy grail and they depend on capital. Specifically, free markets depend on the little guy, the startup with a better mousetrap having access to capital. Without that basic access to capital, free markets are impossible. Sucessful companies become entrenched and seek to hold on to their monopoly (or strategic controlling) positions… innovation and creative destruction from new challengers is minimized. Robust free markets can simply not happen without laws, rules, regulations, infrastructure and oversight. How much is enough and how much is too much is worth arguing about… but Prof’s insane argument that any regulation is by definition anti-free market is an open confession that he knows not what he is talking about. You have to have a level of trust from the investing public to have a free market. Let’s try running our stock exchanges in Prof’s zero regulation fantasy… sure… bet the investors would be lining up. Jeeze Prof… we have rules and penalties in peewee football… surely we would have rules and penalties in the biggest free market on the globe.Like I said, I know Prof is pulling our chain for entertainment value. He can’t hide is IQ with these lame positions. 🙂Uh oh… I think I hear another CommonGood FakeNews Associated Press report coming in. I will try and post shortly.

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  211. Yoshi,As tempting an exercise as would be wielding a red pen, I must decline. I am a hard grader. Just ask CG.But I will do this much and give both you and Prof the grade and remarks I saw often in school: B+ – you are doing A level work, but I know you can do better.Now your articulation of the need for capital to Prof was pretty good. Reminds me of another capitalist economy that I have recently become familiar with: Haiti. You can’t come up with a better example of how capitalism is not a solution by itself than the example of Haiti. Having a successful market depends on a number of things not the least of which is a fair and accessible court system and the underlying social contracts that make more mundane transactions possible.Haiti is capitalistic for sure. A friend of mine brought back pictures of some ambitious capitalists over there that make charcoal. Hard dirty work that produces a subsistence level of income for some families in Haiti. The less enterprising folk just starved.The problem is that other fuel sources aren’t available. They used to be, but because of the economic collapse, they aren’t any more. But I’m sure they are grateful to be unburdened by environmental regulations and they luxuriate in their unbridled market freedom. But then the fact that the forests have disappeared completely from large areas of Haiti and the dust chokes villages that used to use those woods for constructive purpose is but a mere tweak in the direction of greater market efficiency. And how lucky they are to not have a pesky OSHA inspector coming around to prevent them from digging the burning wood out of the ground by hand.I’m as big a believer in capitalism as you will find. I’ve just got a little hunch that there is more to selling tomato soup than squeezing tomatoes in your fingers. Platitudes about Democracy and Captialism aren’t very useful when people are starving and there does not exist a viable currency. My friend saw this first hand because he actually had a fistful of dollars to spend in Haiti to help some people and discovered that the dollars just wouldn’t get it done. Enough dollars might get you this or that specific thing through a gang or robber baron, but there just wasn’t places to spend the money in the way you and I think of it.Perhaps what we need to do is to build these people Wal-marts so they can see what capitalism is.

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  212. Want to hear my idea for making money in South Africa?Snow cone stands. They don’t have those over there. Just ice and cheap syrup…. this sounds totally racist, but those little African kids in the townships would love them, and they are cheap.Only part to work out is the security.

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  213. Look,let me explain my rich is rich argument. I come from a poor, working class family. My uncle is rich, built a 401.k investment company, very successful, lives in a mansion, takes me on trips, etc.I can see that anyone can make it. He came from the same house I did. Bill Clinton was a poor piece of trash from Arkansas, and become President of the USA. I believe in America, don’t get me wrong. My uncle, he was lucky, in the right place at the right time. Also brilliant, a speed reader too (I’m envious). He’s a role model for me in a lot of ways. His kids are total spoiled slackers, as your theory goes about rich kids… but his youngest daughter…. I can see now, is of a different class. (My uncle got really rich after we were all too old…. but my youngest cousin has moved up in the class system at a young age). She rides a 20 thousand dollar horse they had to fly in from Germany. She’ll go to the East Coast to college. She’ll marry another rich guy. The rich will stay rich. Sometimes I wish that I could have had those chances myself. I could have been much, much more…..Instead, I will go to a state school in Texas. If it wasn’t for public subsidies, I would never have gotten any education. On the other hand, there have been trickle down effects from my uncle’s wealth. Even that little, tiny bit has set me FAR apart from my peers…. even getting into my uncle’s library has set me apart… Truly, if it weren’t for him, I can’t say I would be much more than a monkey…..I agree, America is an awesome place for foreigners to work hard and be successful. But in South Africa, if you are living in a 500 thousand dollar condo on the beach, you will probably stay rich. Like my cousin with the 20 thousand dollar horse will. If you live in a hut in a shantytown, you aren’t going to get educated, cultured, to ever even know what you are missing. You will be a monkey like I would be without my uncle’s books and trips abroad. You can get rich like Horatio Alger in South Africa. It’s possible. I could, and maybe someday I will there. But highly unlikely if you come from the ghetto shanty-town. Same as it is here. There can only be so many rap stars….

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  214. Prof. This is why I need an editor…. Tony, get out your red marker…. I want a grade on this one…I said, “you can’t have capitalism, without CAPITAL! There has to be a minimal infrastructure in place, among other things….”Prof. says. “sorry to disagree, but capitalism only refers to a system of operating with assets, not the quantity of assets.” -I say, you can’t make investments without capital, and without capital, you can’t grow. Private propety rights or not. If you can buy it and sell it, and keep the profits, it’s capitalism. If the market determines the price, if they have floating currencies, it’s capitalism. They have private property there…. of course, no one has thought to get a title or deed on their straw hut yet…… buy a mansion though…. it’ll be yours… lack of private property isn’t the problem, it’s lack of revenue coming in. If K-Mart goes out of business, it’s not because it isn’t privately owned, it’s because no one is shopping there.“They have capitalism anyway…. too much of the wrong kind: unregulated, that’s the problem.” Prof. wrote: “Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods (which don’t sufficiently exist in Africa btw), by investments (also don’t sufficiently exist in Africa) that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market (no free market, farm subsidies, remember?). So says Merriam Webster. All systems use capital. It is the rights to own, direct, operate, and benefit from it that is determined by the system. Capitalism is synonymous with “free enterprise,” that system by which one can freely exchange and benefit from ones dealings with their own capital. The freest form of capitalism is “unregulated.” As regulations increase, freedom and therefore capitalism decrease. By stating that their “capitalism” is “of the wrong kind: unregulated,” you are stating that their system of FREE enterprises is not UN-FREE enough, is not properly encumbered by restrictions (regulations) from outside, namely government. Since you did not name specific regulations, you left the door open for interpretation to mean you desire general or any regulations that would take capitalism and morph it into socialism.”Yoshi’s response: Okay, I was saying two things here. I notice contradictions I make. The point I’m making is, if I want to open a clothing manufacturing company in say, Senegal, I CAN. If I want to buy the rights to mine a region for minerals, I CAN. And I will get a steal of a price while I pay a fraction of a bribe to an official while the public services there get nothing. Many companies own assets in Africa. Own them. Why don’t you check how much oil is being drilled out of W. Africa? In the interior, that becomes less profitable (except maybe river rafting companies or Safari parks (tourist industry), so no one will invest. No investment when profits won’t be made. Thus, no “successful” capitalism. On the other hand, if I want to sell a bunch of machine guns there, or make a bunch of illegal drugs to ship to Europe, I can. (This is what I mean by too unregulated!) Also, if I want to destroy their environment by dumping chemicals, as we would never be able to do here in the USA, I can. This again, is unregulated capitalism. This is why terrorists go to W. Africa and put their assets in diamonds when their bank accounts get frozen…. that’s too unregulated in my book, what about yours?Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking that I don’t have to give everyone a complete lesson in basic, common sense, high school economics every time I make a statement.also, Prof. wrote: “As regulations increase, freedom and therefore capitalism decrease.”-somewhat true. I should have a freedom though to not have to worry about clean air and water, and not let a factory destroy the basic elements I need to survive. Freedom doesn’t mean “anything goes.” You sound like a liberal now.“How can they have capitalism when they are blocked from our markets?” Prof. writes: “Is this a contradiction? You said Africa has capitalism (assuming you know what it means (given your statements above that is a dubious claim)). You said not only does it have it, but it is of the purest form, “unregulated.” Now you state apologetically that with farm subsidies and geographic problems that they are excused from being real capitalist.Yoshi’s response: -Yea, okay, I’ll stick to one statement. They have capitalism, but they can only sell products on their own penniless markets. Maybe some mother with 10 kids will buy an apple at the market. But if we want capitalism to take off, with the international trade Adam Smith envisioned, we can’t choke them Cuba-style.“The same way “capitalism” won’t survive without any nourishment…. Africa is too vulnerable now to not need assistance….”“Capitalism survives by a commitment to freedom, to the idea and justice of allowing man to own and direct his own capital. The ideology of seeing capitalism, countries & continents, as constantly needing paternal nourishment, oversight, and direction flies in the face of Adam Smith’s invisible hand and is the greatest threat to capitalism and freedom.”That’s very poetic, but we live in the real world. First off, subsidies and trade barriers we put up fly in the face of Adam Smith. We have a fixed game. You know that. A. Smith knew that, and talked about it. Should I quote him and make this even longer? Second, we have a successful MIXED ECONOMY here. In fact, ALL SUCCESSFUL ECONOMIES ARE MIXED. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPENDING ARE NECCESSARY. Adam Smith knew that competition and stuggle was just one side of the coin… collective action and the provision of public goods are the other…

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  215. Yoshi: “<>The rich are rich because they are rich. When you are rich you generally stay rich. The poor are poor b/c they are poor.<>”I don’t know why you picked up the Socialist Cliche’ Illustrated and read it cover-to-cover, but…The United States has a negative reproduction rate. However, it is growing in population because of immigration. Now, if I were a sensible sort, I would figure that if people are migrating from one place to another (and this is just me, hypothetical, haven’t really done a lot of research on this), I would say people are migrating from a less desirable place to a more desirable place. People are hoping to improve their lot. People aren’t saying: “Darn, I know we can’t ever get any regulations around here because our government wants to stay small and weak and have little control over anything. We’re too stupid to react to supply and demand or make the right choices to benefit us. We need disinterested bureaucrats, thrice removed from accountability deciding where I should spend my money. Only then can I achieve financial security and emotional fulfillment.”Let’s get real. Today there are over 5.6 millionaires in the United States. Few of them got there on food stamps. The number is growing faster than the rich are having babies. So it must be the poor that are becoming rich. That hope and reality has brought immigrants here for the past 400 hundred years. Many have made it big on countless avenues of free enterprise. Those that made it big because of government’s intrusion or contracts aren’t looked on with favor. Can you say Haliburton? That word causes sinking spells in C.G. that none of us want to see.BTW, rich and poor are relative terms. Somebody is “poor” in relation to some standard. Or “rich” in relation to some standard. Middle class in Mexico may be poor here. Middle class in the US maybe poor compared to the S.Africa wealthy. Hey, maybe they should send us “capital?” I keep getting this email from Africa that they need a go-between on some big money deal. This could be my break.As a side note, our education system trains children to be good workers, good employees. Only 20% of Americans are self-employed. Yet, 2/3 of all millionaires are self-employed. If you were wanting to go from “poor” to “rich,” how would you do it?Prof. Ricardo

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  216. I hate the spybot scanners situation too.I was a little uptight yesteday…I should post a link the Limbaugh stuff… I wonder what the others have to say….Rush did have one link from an economist I admire that was “critical” of Live 8, but when I actually READ the article it was actually just streamlining some of the details on how to make it really work better (not saying it would be a failure.) That whole “Africa needs capitalism” excuse is so ignorant. That falls into the “partial-birth abortion PROPONENT” category for me.There IS ALREADY capitalism there. Go there as a tourist. Buy whatever you want in the shops. Does anyone realize how many Europeans buy houses along Africa coasts? There are resorts along the coasts… Go to CapeTown and you will not even be able to discern the difference between Malibu, CA and CapeTown. Except CapeTown is nicer in parts….The rich are rich because they are rich. When you are rich you generally stay rich. The poor are poor b/c they are poor. In Capetown, I saw Ferraris driving around, gorgeous super-models sitting in the cafes, etc./ then I went to the shantytowns where, well, you don’t DARE get out of your car.Saying Africa needs capitlism is like saying we need capitalism in our “ghettos.” Things are just a little more complicated than that.It’s not despots… (entirely)That’s capitalism…. I hate to break it to people. There aren’t Soviet style bread lines in Africa. It’s not communist.(If the Live 8 seems over-simplified, it’s because they want the general illiterate American public to digest it. It has to be simple. If you want to go further and get into a complex discussion and learn EXACTLY what the strategy is, the exact history is, you are going to have some books to read. And God knows Americans don’t read… we need sound bites.)

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  217. Yoshi: <>“Rush Limbaugh’s”…He says “Capitalism” is needed. Poor guy needs to learn what captilism is…, you can’t have capitalism, without CAPITAL! There has to be a minimal infrastructure in place, among other things….”<>Sorry to disagree, but capitalism only refers to a system of operating with assets, not the quantity of assets. As necessary as quantity is desired, I can have a stone, you can have a stick, and we can enjoy capitalism. <>“They have capitalism anyway…. too much of the wrong kind: unregulated, that’s the problem.”<> Capitalism is <>an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.<> So says Merriam Webster. All systems use capital. It is the rights to own, direct, operate, and benefit from it that is determined by the system. Capitalism is synonymous with “free enterprise,” that system by which one can freely exchange and benefit from ones dealings with their own capital. The freest form of capitalism is “<>unregulated<>.” As regulations increase, freedom and therefore capitalism decrease. By stating that their “capitalism” is “of the wrong kind: unregulated,” you are stating that their system of FREE enterprises is not UN-FREE enough, is not properly encumbered by restrictions (regulations) from outside, namely government. Since you did not name specific regulations, you left the door open for interpretation to mean you desire general or any regulations that would take capitalism and morph it into socialism.“<>How can they have capitalism when they are blocked from our markets?<>”Is this a contradiction? You said Africa has capitalism (assuming you know what it means (given your statements above that is a dubious claim)). You said not only does it have it, but it is of the purest form, “unregulated.” Now you state apologetically that with <>farm subsidies<> and <> geographic problems<> that they are excused from being real capitalist.“<>The same way “capitalism” won’t survive without any nourishment…. Africa is too vulnerable now to not need assistance….<>”Capitalism survives by a commitment to freedom, to the idea and justice of allowing man to own and direct his own capital. The ideology of seeing capitalism, countries & continents, as constantly needing paternal nourishment, oversight, and direction flies in the face of Adam Smith’s invisible hand and is the greatest threat to capitalism and freedom.Prof. Ricardo

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  218. I am more the prosecuting type, but I take the bill of rights very seriously. Even if I think that portions of it could be done better to help the common good.

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  219. Yoshisauraus,Man, you sound uptight today. Perhaps you need to visit peyote place or something.I’m sorry to hear you hate cynics. I guess I am something of a cynic myself. Of course, I’m a selective cynic. I’m very cynical about politics but far less so about important things.I hate to admit it to you, but I am increasingly cyncial on important things to, or at least I am when it comes to the affairs of men. How anyone could be a freaking humanist is beyond me. Perhaps I’m just bitter because I have two different virus spybot scanners running in the background becuase surfing the net for ten minutes without a carefully configured firewall is so “stupid” these days. Oh how far we have come.You said, “It’s time to take the planks out of our eyes…… we gave with the right hand and took back more with the left hand…..” Geeze…the mixed allegories give me head spins. But for the record, I support the translation of “logs” in our eyes. I just can’t bring myself to equate “Planks” with hypocrisy and lack of awareness of sinfulness.I may be a sinner, but at least this Plank is fully aware.

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  220. One last thing…. for anyone who reads or hears about “all the money we gave with nothing to show for it,” a.) The money has lots to show for it. One child’s life is enough. Just go ask people whose lives have been improved significantly.b.) money we did give was not for development. It was buy-off money for despots. We bought teams, the Soviets bought teams. We gave grants for weapons so they could purchase FROM our weapons manufacturers. That’s not aid, that’s money laundering to the companies that sold the weapons. Prof.-You are an accountant right, you know how to follow the money. If the money goes into (or never leaves a Western bank), money meant to go to Africa but instead diverted to a despots private account, the Western banks are culpable. They want those deposits to make loans against….We all know how it works…..the way some of us on here try to play dumb and naive really gets on my nerves sometimes….It’s time to take the planks out of our eyes…… we gave with the right hand and took back more with the left hand…..Man, this really wants me to buy a ticket to Africa and leave next week…. and get back by mid-August…

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  221. I was just reading “Rush Limbaugh’s” webpage criticism about “Live 8.” Poor guy has a very limited understanding of the problem.He says “Capitalism” is needed. Poor guy needs to learn what captilism is, he thinks is just a fancy word you say.Rush, sweety-poo, you can’t have capitalism, without CAPITAL! There has to be a minimal infrastructure in place, among other things….I wish I could sit down with that guy. Of course, he’s about as real as Hulk Hogan, so I guess there would be no point. He’s “news entertainment” as Wrestling is “sports entertainment.” Capitalism doesn’t come out of no where, out of thin air. They have capitalism anyway…. too much of the wrong kind: unregulated, that’s the problem. Drugs, guns, diamonds, etc. You name it, you willing to pay, you get it. And everyone knows that Africans cannot export to rich world markets because of farm subsidies (hey, attack liberals about that why don’t you?). How can they have capitalism when they are blocked from our markets?Duh!!!!!! Futhermore, even Adam Smith wrote about Africa’s geographical problems, and it’s distance from European markets. Buy hey, what does that idiot liberal Adam Smith know? He’s just a “democrat.” He sounds like one of those pro-choicers that say when a baby becomes viable he deserves rights. As if you can put a baby on the street and it would survive without food and water, without parents. The same way “capitalism” won’t survive without any nourishment…. Africa is too vulnerable now to not need assistance….Hey Rush, why don’t we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and stop spending money on development there too, since it won’t work. Everyone knows those new governments are unproven…. let’s cut them off and let the market just work its magic….Christ, I hate cynics. They think they are so freaking clever, when they are actually simply ignorant of the issues and ultimately naive.Also, South Africa, be assured, and this is for you Prof., is much more free for business than here. The red tape and regulations, etc., are much smaller than here in the U.S.A. I could start a business much, much easier there than I could here.

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  222. Randy,I haven’t seen any of this stuff about Karl Rove in the mainstream press, and honestly, I don’t really even know who he is (Bush’s manager and advisor, I surmise.) So I don’t yet believe it. I’m curious to see if more comes of this though…However, there is no question that SOMEONE “outed” a secret agent, for such obvious reasons that no one even has to repeat them, because it’s the first thing that naturally comes to anyone’s mind when they hear about it. Randy, sometimes you sound like a defense attorney for O.J. Simpson.I would take you more as the prosecuting type….

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  223. CommonGood Fakenews Associated PressTuesday, July 5, 2005; 12:51 PMDuring Grand jury testimony it became apparent that Jeff Gannon’s services at the White House went far beyond adminstration planted questioning. Karl Rove was asked <>is it true that you engaged in sexual relations with Jeff Gannon while you formulated the grand election plan of gay bashing to win a second term for this adminstration?<> Karl’s response was <>it depends on what you mean by the word “is”… besides previous White House precedent holds that oral sex is not really sex.<>. It was not clear whether Karl was the actor or recipient of the non-sex oral sex. Many of Karls’s Republican supporters where seen with signs that said “What happens in the White House stays in the White House”. The equivalent of the blue dress was not found, although several tattered cigars were found around Karl’s desk.

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  224. It is a nice step up to see you on the band wagon for conspiracy theories about everything that is unproven, and only political rhetoric from the left.Very shamefull

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  225. <>What kind of person would sell out a U.S. secret agent?<>The same people who think the public didn’t have the right to know the real reasons for war… the same people who think leadership means <>making the decisions for the nation rather than with the nation<>… the same type of people who brag about <>creating reality<>. In other words… a pompus, arrogant Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice, Rumsfeld, etc. Karl may take the fall on this one, but there is corporate america and a puppet president giving him marching orders for every step.

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  226. Yoshi,I agree… if the US RR form of Christianity was worth a darn, they would spend all of their time on such things as the ONE campaign, rather than belief reenforcement campaigns like religious symbols in Courthouses or political campaigns against gays. In short, it appears the RR spends much more time trying to convince the world they have the right answers rather than living those right answers.

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  227. This could make my year… Karl Rove in prison.< HREF="http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000972839" REL="nofollow">Squeal Karl<>< HREF="http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2005/07/03/20050703_011400_flash1.htm" REL="nofollow">Oh Karl, your cellmate wants to introduce you to some affirmative action<>

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  228. Common Good,the irony is that if you were really serious about Christianity, I mean, if you were going to put 100% into it, you’d probably be some mystic and take a vow of poverty and be like Mother Teresa. Jesus also said, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” basically saying we need to pay our taxes. Of course, real Christianity has since been sold out….. The whole idea behind the religion is that this life is really nothing, that it’s the “next life,” the place where the streets have no name, that matters. So the whole idea of accumulating material goods AND still calling yourself a Christian is really ironic. It’s like a KKK member’s cute little blond daughter marrying a big, muscular black guy.Speaking of the ONE Campaign and Pat Robertson, Ruport Murdoch IS giving it free airtime, and the AIM instant messager has a link to it… plus there was Live 8, the biggest concert in world history…When school starts I’m going to bombard the campus with this stuff, and try to get TCU involved as well…

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  229. Yoshi,<>The moral is political freedoms are one thing, economic freedoms are another.<>Yeah, that’s something I never get. People always collapse economic systems and moral/religious systems into one… i.e. godless communism… as if an atheist in not capable of believing in property rights, and a Christian is not capable of liberal socialist leanings. Jeeze… I’m busy fighting against the merging of church and state… now I have to add the merging of religious belief and economic systems.btw… Yoshi… I saw a Nightline episode where (lucky I was sitting down at the time) both Pat Robertson and George Clooney appeared together promoting the ONE campaign… they even said nice things about each other. Maybe god really spoke to Robertson rather than Oral Roberts. 🙂 Probably… I drive by Oral Roberts Univ all of the time, and it appears to be a bit past it’s prime.

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  230. “Corruption” is not the cause, but a characteristic of atheist systems of government that are hostile to private property rights.I’ll just state my similar idea. Corruption is caused when civil servants, or whoever, don’t get paid. Naturally they have to “supplement” their income. This is a self-perpetuating downward spiral. Poverty causes corruption, and corruption causes more poverty… and so on… For them it’s like stealing pens at the office.There is a book, called the “Mystery of Capital.” < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465016154/qid=1120488384/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-1042173-7835333?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow"> The Mystery of Capital <>It discusses lack of property rights, and thus, lack of access to collateral for borrowing capital. Interesting book.But you seem to be implying that private property doesn’t exist in Africa. I bet if I went there with some cold cash I could buy any private property I wanted to in 20 minutes. I should check a sample of countries individually…Of course, a country like Congo, with internal military conflicts… of course…As for China:“Looks like they are kicking… communism or no communism…”Looks can be deceiving if you didn’t notice the details.(I’m actually playing devil’s advocate here. China is growing like a mofo, and they’ve reduced poverty very successfully. But my take is that they aren’t REALLY communists. Only in the name. That’s why they are succeeding. The moral is political freedoms are one thing, economic freedoms are another.)

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  231. Yoshi,“<> was thinking about your “corruption” theory…..Yet they grow economically.<>” My “theory” is not exactly a corruption theory. It is more like a liberty/capital/human response theory. “Corruption” is not the cause, but a characteristic of atheist systems of government that are hostile to private property rights. Humans may be mass stupids in Common Goods book, but they tend to avoid pain and seek pleasure. They analyze ROI (return on investment) of their efforts.If you ask somebody to work like crazy for someone else, their question is “what’s in it for me?” In a country where you are not allowed to reap what you sow, few people sow. However, in these countries the black market thrives. It thrives because the people receive something for their efforts. The level of economic growth is very proportional to the level economic freedom that exists. In China, the Communist government has learned well that a little economic freedom pays excellent dividends. So does stealing rather than inventing. They copy Microsoft programs and others and pirate it around the country. There is no respect of software licensing laws, particular from the U.S. “<>Also, you wouldn’t believe how many times I heard from patriotic Economists about how “communism doesn’t work.” I’m going to start being the thorn in the side in classes, “what about in China?”<>”The advantages of stealing ideas, products, ignoring patents, etc. from the industrialized nations that created them, the advantages of not following any environmental strangulating laws or even a care of pollution to interfere, the advantage of not having OSHA, FDA, DOT, EPA, to hamper what economic freedom they do have, is very real, very significant. It is not the Communist strangled part that is thriving and driving China, it is the hundreds of thousands of factories that give hope to the workers that they can keep some of their efforts. A very un-communist characteristic.“<>Looks like they are kicking… communism or no communism…<>”Looks can be deceiving if you didn’t notice the details.Prof. Ricardo

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  232. Prof. Ricardo,I was thinking about your “corruption” theory. It only makes partial sense. Countries like Bangledesh, India, etc,(despite being poor, they are quickly growing out of their own poverty), are also JUST AS CORRUPT.Yet they grow economically. So Prof., you must add some more variables to your equation. Also, you wouldn’t believe how many times I heard from patriotic Economists about how “communism doesn’t work.” I’m going to start being the thorn in the side in classes, “what about in China?”Looks like they are kicking ass and taking names to me… communism or no communism…

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  233. Tony, it was Prof. who used the word “real history,” but I assumed you had a similar feeling.The implication is that we (people like me) don’t learn the “real history,” and if we only did, THEN we would understand about yada, yada, yada. I hear this type of stuff when I hear Limbaugh or Hannity or whoever, as if there are some secret manuscripts that proves W. Bush is the reincarnation of G. Washingtion and that Benjamin Franklin and Tom Jefferson wanted us saying the Our Father in schools. Nonetheless, I imagine there is some truth to this, that I am missing a more classical, intellectual understanding of U.S. History, and that I should learn more about say…for example…. the Civil War. I have a rudimentary understanding of it. Basically wasn’t it that the South wanted to exploit slave labor, have them work for free and get rich off the backs of Africans (HOLY COW I JUST FIGURED OUT WHY PROF. IS SO RELUCTANT ABOUT THE ONE CAMPAIGN!!!! It’s in his Confederate blood!!!!), and the North laid down the law with the South Saddam Hussein-style (It’s okay when we do it, of course). Isn’t that the Civil War, in a nutshell? All jokes aside, any essential history books Prof. or Tony (or whoever) would recommend, I’ll pick them up. Tony, your books were less than 1 dollar on Amazon. I’ll put them in my book list, behind “Mere Christianity.”

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  234. Yoshi,Hmmmm…don’t know if I ever used the term real history. History, like any other subject, lives in the domain of subjective interpretation. Unfortunately most of what we learn through the school system and popular accounts is not very accurate or illuminating from the conceptual standpoint. In history as much as any other subject you must consult a wide variety of sources and determine which are worthy on your own.Still, there are some reliable texts that I can recommend with enthusiasm. If you are interested in early American histry, there is no doubt in my mind that Boorstin will not fail you. His widely acclaimed and Pulitzer prize winning trilogy, “The Americans” is an excellent resource:< HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0394705130/qid=1120283456/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/104-8405282-0138336?v=glance&s=books" REL="nofollow">The Colonial Experience<>< HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0394703588/qid=1120283456/sr=1-6/ref=sr_1_6/104-8405282-0138336?v=glance&s=books" REL="nofollow">The National Experience<>< HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0394710118/qid=1120283456/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/104-8405282-0138336?v=glance&s=books" REL="nofollow">The Democratic Experience<>I could produce a pretty long list for you Yoshi, but nothing is as useful as Boorstin. Let me know if you want to narrow the topics down a bit and I’m sure I can get you some guidance.

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  235. Prof,Sorry if anything I said seemed personal. It is perhaps one of those situations where things that are said probably seem more personally directed than they really are. In general, I agree with your last post.For the record (again), I have never suggested that my abstention from the last election (or the several before) meant anything more significant than the truth that I find the alternatives so repugnant that I cannot vote for them. This is the angst I have often expressed. I genuinely care about America’s futurre. That I can not vote for these buffoons is perhaps a weakness.But this is why I trouble myself to write here and participate in messageboards elsewhere. I am very cognizant to the social responsibility to do something. I am convinced that however limited the impact may be, my words here are far more significant than a vote for the lesser of many profound evils might be. You can call this exercise a form of repentance with some accuracy.The Constitution party comes up short in my view because of their overtly religious nature. It has been about four or five years since I have delved into them. I am prepared to be corrected on my perception.You have never been more correct when you say that we shun history. It is very sad to me. I think about this with regularity and I am determined that my Son will not share that fate. Luckily, he has taken to history subjects with some enthusiasm. The sad truth is that my six year old knows more about a number of American history topics than probably seventy percent of adult Americans. I only wish that was the ridiculous statement that it should be. I have said for some time that my primary objective in life is to raise my kid right: it is the greatest contribution I feel I have to make in life at this point. While you and I might disagree on many things, we are truly united on this point my friend

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  236. Tony and Prof speak of “real history.”What is this supposed to mean? We must learn “the truth” about how those mystical beings started this great country? I’m joking a little, but I am also sincerely interested. Is there something I am missing? I could use some more early American history.Amazon link me a few books and I’ll get started…. < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1410102033/qid=1120262290/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-1042173-7835333?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow"> Prof, don’t even think about suggesting this one <>

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  237. I was just pointing out that some of us are trying to help the less fortunate out there. We typically raise over 100K for scolarships to an academy in Dallas. That was all, didn’t mean for CG to question everything to death, thought he would be interested that we were looking out for the common good

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  238. Tony, <>By voting for Shrub you guaranteed that there would be no significant changes on issues you deal with.<>And by abstaining from voting, the political situation changed how? You took a protest position. So did I. You protested the current two parties. Bravo.I protested a man who figuratively hocked a luggie on Old Glory for his internationalist allegiances and socialist bent.<>You signed on to the half-measures of appeasement that the major parties throw their political bases to keep them in the fold.<>But I’m not in their fold. If I vote for one Republican, one Democrat, one Constitution party candidate, and one Libertarian, do they all get to count me in their fold? I think not. Since you didn’t vote for Republican, can the Democrats count you in their fold and vice versa?Don’t pull that half-measures of appeasement crap with me. The GOP got their last dollar from me early in Reagon’s administration. I vote the best person for the position. The Libertarian Party has received votes from me in the general elections. However, they tend to be pro-abortion (which you dislike) and for legalizations of drugs (which you are for). The Socialist part has stepped back because the Democrat party was doing everything they wanted to do. Ditto Green Party. The Ross Perot Party ( I forget what its called) is solidly anchored in confusion – their just against everybody. You’re stuck with the Constitution Party as well. Not a bad Party to be stuck with.<>America is in its death throes. There is no time for the lesser of evils. We need quality Americans dedicated to doing what is right for the country. My ever increasing fear is that the political mindset is so deeply ingrained that it is already too late.<>Tony, our children (collectively) are educated to hate history, shun discernment as being judgmental, abandon absolutes, and embrace government as the answer to whatever the social question is. People get their politics from talking heads that tell them what to think. In THAT environment the political mindset IS deeply ingrained. Don’t think of us now. Think of your posterity for generations. The single biggest difference you can make, is not refusing to come out and play on election day, but altering how our children are educated so that learn real history, so that they can have a real perspective with which to hand the Christian worldview that you want to instill in them. We’ve tried letting the government raise our children in secular humanism. You see the mess we’re in. Here in TX, the great political/financial debate is how we can afford more secular humanism for your children, and why are they being left behind? Your greatest protest vote is to not sacrifice your child on the alter of “public” school, and likewise, to help your neighbors withhold theirs.Prof. Ricardo

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  239. Yoshi,Are you kidding… the liberal over the DOD. I can be quite hawkish… but I would want universal healthcare for those that survived the nukes. I would rather be an activist Supreme Court justice blocking theocracy. Sure, a bit of a stretch, but you did start this by nominating Tony as president. Jeeze. 🙂Randy, no I didn’t read all of your link. I scrolled down a little and there were no golf babes so I lost interest.

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  240. Let’s start a relevent new party. Tony, you can be President. Prof.-you can be Chairman of the FED and/or Sec. of the Treasury. Common Good- Secretary of Defense.Randy, you’ll be head of the CIA. I’ll be Secretary of State & National Security advisor.

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  241. Prof,Well, that is the way the lesser evil argument always runs every time I hear it. I could type you up a nice little litany on why Kerry would’ve been the lesser of the evils to many people.Here is my fundamental disagreement. You said, “One of them would utterly defile and soil the office by his presence.” The truth is that either would defile the office. I will no longer even consider the question of which would defile the office less. If that is the question we are asking, we are already hopeless.The truth is we have major systemic problems that are leading us on a rapid path to destruction. The lesser of the evils perpetuates that path. By voting for Shrub you guaranteed that there would be no significant changes on issues you deal with. You signed on to the half-measures of appeasement that the major parties throw their political bases to keep them in the fold.I know what this is like in totality. I hate to admit it, but I pulled the GOP straight ticket lever for a lot of years. One of those shameful indiscretions of youth for which I pray forgiveness. My own eyes were opened by the behavior of the GOP during the mid-nineties budget battles wherein they left no doubt about their absolute contempt for the principles they purported to hold dear.As I have said, I am a slow learner.The real question is do you want to make a difference for America. My conviction is that voting for the two parties is the path of mutual assured destruction. Neither side will ever get what they want and by handing over control to the ruling elite, and in the process of subscribing to the two-turf theory of governance America will be systematically destroyed.A consistent movement of as little as ten percent of voters to a third parties would permanently change our political landscape for the positive and make substantive change possible.How much does someone have to agree with you to deserve your vote? For me personally I would have to say very little except for three important things: 1) abortion, 2) other civil liberty issues, and 3) not from one of the two ruling parties. For me, everything else is trivial in comparison. Until enough people agree with me on #3 we will never regain our hope.America is in its death throes. There is no time for the lesser of evils. We need quality Americans dedicated to doing what is right for the country. My ever increasing fear is that the political mindset is so deeply ingrained that it is already too late.

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  242. Tony, “<>Keeping coming here because I want to beat that lesser of two evils thinking out of you.<>”What percent agreement with a candidate is necessary for him to <>earn<> my vote?If I agree 85% with one candidate, but he has a core belief wrong, say abortion, would that preclude him from receiving any vote? If a candidate has a core philosophy down pat, but has integrity or moral issues, in your view, is that candidate worthy of a vote? My vote in November was between one who could shame his party and one who could shame his country. One of the two candidates was revered in the Communist world as a hero of the war. It wasn’t Bush. Both of the candidates may not represent your exact views. One of them would utterly defile and soil the office by his presence. He had to be defeated. The swiftboat vets knew it. The current military knew it. Apparently enough of the American people knew it…but just barely enough. If one votes for a candidate that he knows can’t make it by a large margin, and thereby takes a critical vote from the lesser of two evils, then HE HAS MADE A DECISION for the greater of two evils. You may see them as equals. I do not. Bush was never my choice because he was not grounded in Constitutional principles. Reagon could back up every position he took grounded in fundamental positions of liberty. His speeches are pure educational material on our country, its history and founders, and economic principles. Bush <>feels<> this way or that. I don’t think he can back up a whole lot. Kerry has strong convictions. The only problems are: ½ of them contradict the other half, and he’s not afraid to take a rock solid vacillation on any side while it’s popular. You and I evaluated their differences to exist in different degrees. I support your right to shun hypocritical parties. I support my right to minimize the damage an imbecile like Kerry can do. I miss the symbolism the old voting booths provided, whereby “behind the curtain” one could vote as best they thought. Isn’t it great we live in a land where our fore father’s designed such a system.Prof. Ricardo

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  243. Be proud that they were having a tournament to benefit a school of minority students from lower income families. Trying to help out man…Did you read it at all?

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  244. hey, maybe we can institute a clause in the Patriot Act and get it to cover those women that are pregnant. This way we could actually keep track of it all, and not require the doctors to void the client/doctor relationship

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  245. < HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/01/national/01tax.html?ei=5090&en=4d9723bfe4c417f2&ex=1277870400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print" REL="nofollow">interesting<>

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  246. Well, I understand you don’t credit someone (yea, probably W. Bush is making political moves). But we take what we can get and try and make them feel good for giving it and try to get them to give more. If we criticize him too harshly there could be a backlash.You can flatter someone into doing the right thing…I was in Poland once and I used “positive energy” to flatter 3 cops out of bribing me on 3 separate occasions. All I did was talk about how much I loved the Polish people and how my grandfather always wanted me to return (total lie)to his homeland. At that point, the cops just bowed in and let me go with a reluctant smile.

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  247. Yoshi,I admit that I am a bit of an idealist on this, but I for one do not credit people for doing the right thing if their motivations are entirely wrong. In fact, I give credit to people who act consistently with a principle even if I disagree.

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  248. Tony, As long as checks are going to be cut, that’s what is important. He is making concessions at the very least, some good ones that will effect a lot of lives…. if he makes a 60% improvement instead of a 100% improvement, I’ll still take it.I think the President is hearing the “groundswell,” and it is swelling. When NASCAR racers are advertising the issues behind the White Bands, and Toby Keith is playing live audiences, you know it is swelling. Pat Robertson himself went on Nightline to ask Americans’ support. This is riding on the tsunami wave…. and we have to keep it going….Americans are ready for an issue we can unite on…. this is it.As for W.Bush, he still has some Congressional restraints, hurdles, etc. He can do more… but he and Congress both need massive public pressure….. What’s naive is thinking we can’t do anything as a people and so we don’t bother to try.

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  249. Tony,<>Geeze. You usually seem like such a bright guy.<>Getting older… having more senior moments. Randy… confused, what am I suppose to be prowd about. That was a link to some golf tournament. Nothing about my golf game lately shouts “Proud”. More like “Fore….”. Prof… your historical interpretation is purdy, but some of us are wondering what color the sky is in your world?

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  250. Anonyoshi,You know, if you keep quoting things giving credit to Shrub, I’m going to lose some respect for you.Shrub did not hear anyone’s voices. I don’t think the man listens to anyone other than maybe Carl Rove and perhaps Laura. I wish this was because of some popular groundswell, but I think that is a tad naïve.

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  251. Wow! This is amazing!!!!!Even Toby Keith is supporting the ONE Campaign now, he’s playing the Live 8 show in Philadelphia!!!!And NASCAR drivers are supporting it too!!!!Feel better now Randy?Cats and Dogs are finally living together!!Prof.- now it’s your turn to come to the light side of the force…Just bring your sunglasses though…. it’s much brighter over here….AMEN!!!!

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  252. Prof,Keeping coming here because I want to beat that lesser of two evils thinking out of you. You seem too sensible a guy to buy that old stinking vile crock of excrement.We will have to have civil war chat someday. I relish that stuff.Have a great weekend

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  253. < HREF="http://politicaltechnology.com/one/blogs/one_blog/" REL="nofollow"> Blog ONE <>Dear Friend: Yesterday, something significant happened. In the long walk to justice for the world’s poorest people, President Bush made an important speech and committed to doing more to fight malaria, put kids in school and overcome extreme poverty in Africa. You, as ONE, called for this action. And President Bush heard you, one million voices strong.We can do even more together: Ask your friends, family and colleagues to join ONE.ORG.You called for the U.S. to do more to beat malaria, and yesterday, President Bush asked the world to join in an increase of funding that could cut in half malaria deaths on the African continent. You called for the hope and future afforded by education, and President Bush said that “we must work for the education of every African child,” announcing steps toward this goal with teacher trainings and girls scholarships. In 24 hours, the world will start converging on ten cities for the historic Live 8 concerts. As billions take part in Live 8 around the world this weekend, we’ll raise our voices as ONE to encourage our leaders to accelerate and implement these bold commitments at the G8 – and do even more to make poverty history.Ask three friends to join ONE today!Let’s get LOUDER at LIVE 8 and raise the world’s voice as ONE.Thanks,The ONE Team

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  254. Prof,“<>I think your civil war summary is a tad bit revisionist in its emphasis, though correct as far as it goes.<>”Since I don’t smoke crack, I’m fully aware that my own bias and ideology, my world view, colors my historical interpretation. Hopefully it’s a purdy color. 🙂“<>In the American Civil War context state’s rights and slavery are different sides of the same coin in the same way the privacy and abortion function today.<>”I think more so today than back then. Sure, slavery was a sore spot. More in the South though. Two thirds of all pre-war abolition material was printed in the less populace South. Since 1808, none could be brought into the U.S. I was surprised 2-3 weeks ago on the History Channel that they quoted Lincoln correctly at the beginning of the war that he didn’t care about the slaves. He’d just as soon ship them back to Africa. He sure didn’t want them to go north. 18-24 months into the war, as politicians do, he repositioned himself to be the great emancipator. Great guy.“<>I wish more people could perform independent apolitical analysis. It is shocking how deeply ingrained the political mindset is in Americans.<>”The familiar is too comfortable. It doesn’t require effort.“<>So tell me sir, if you are of this mindset do you vote for the Constitution Party?<>”As a matter of principle, yes. In the last election I voted the less evil of the two lessers. Howard Philips used to be the Constitution Party Presidential candidate. Brilliant wonderful man. His son, Doug Phillips, has an incredible ministry in the homeschool movement. His company < HREF="http://www.visionforum.com" REL="nofollow"/> is at the bookfair every May, and on occasion he gets a chance to speak. Well worth your effort to hear. His web site is excellent and I have a number of his tapes on various subjects.Y’all have a happy and safe weekend. “Death to all Tyrants!” (from Support Your Local Sheriff). Happy Birthday U.S.A.!Prof. Ricardo

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  255. Hey, think about it…we say the Iraqi regime under Saddam killed 300 thousand civilians…..But… according to my statistics…. 1 in 3 pregnancies is ended by abortion! How many million does that make?I don’t think they had that in Iraq!!!!! Almost positive they didn’t.So who are the evil ones? Maybe they should invade us now?Or we should invade them and give them a bunch of porno and abortions like we did in 1970s Iran and today in Afghanistan. Those God-loving Muslims will take it and like it when our guns are pointed in their dirty faces.(that’s a joke, btw).

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  256. CG,Geeze. You usually seem like such a bright guy.My plea for some time, and in my query to you, has been to get people to develop a consensus definition suitable for a pluralistic society. Yes I want to also convince people that my view is correct, but that is moral debate that is waged in hearts and minds, not a legal one. I think you often forget who you are talking to. Unlike the radical left and right, I can actually separate those two things in my mind.So back to you…propose a definition. Or make a cogent defense that having our law wander around aimlessly for want of a definition is a good thing. Using your terminology, when does conception reach a critical mass? And if you feel too uncertain about that, then what is certain enough that you can build law around it? Are you in the camp that supports infanticide? I know you are not, so what is the distinction between 36 weeks of gestation and a new born baby?Again, I am trying to get at a process whereby society can come to a consensus we can live with. You sound passionate on the point so why retreat from the discussion?The intriguing thing is while you have harshed me repeatedly for an alleged unwillingness to deal with the allegedly tough questions on how criminalization would work, you are the one ducking the only really tough question in the entire debate. I responded to you litany of what I called silly questions with a lot of detail not a single item of which you refuted as impractical or illogical. Your response is to retire from the field of discussion with the critical question unanswered as to what your opinion in fact is.Of course you know that I will have a few words about Truth as well. You said, <>“Moral certainty or absolutism is an illusion… a constructed crutch to face an evil reality. The crutches can help us get through that reality, but they work against men doing the best they can to make decent pluralistic societies.”<>My turn to break the hard news. Moral relativism and utilitarianism is a constructed crutch to enable those who are seeking meaning and order to cope with their evil selves. The crutches can help you get through that reality for a while, but they work against society being able to grapple with the tough problems and lead to the destruction of civil order as people founder in their ability to firmly grasp the world around them.

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  257. Hey… here’s your chance pro-lifers. O’Connor is stepping down. Looking forward to the future 5-4 vote. Theocracy is right around the corner.Bork is on CNN slamming O’Connor. Turns out she was an “activist” because she was pro-choice. Seems like a guy that needed Borking.

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  258. Tony,<>Rather, I note that for all the criticism and moral certainty I hear from that camp, they really do not have an answer to the only real question before us.<>This is going to be hard for you, but I’m going to break it to you anyway. Moral certainty or absolutism is an illusion… a constructed crutch to face an evil reality. The crutches can help us get through that reality, but they work against men doing the best they can to make decent pluralistic societies. Some of us have decided man is in this alone and all we can do is make the best of it. Without the crutch of absolute truth, we make collective decisions for a pluralistic society. We do the best we can… and don’t beat ourselves up over some perceived rule book. I have to decide between two bad choices… abortions or criminalizing our women. Not a tough call for me. I actually have the view that the rights of those here fighting the good fight should trump the rights of those “not here yet”. You can conduct this argument based on some “sanctity of life doctrine” or “when conception reaches critical mass”, but it won’t change the fact I’m not willing to criminalize our women over the choice to end a pregnancy. OK.. had my yearly abortion debate. That should about do it for me in 2005. We can do this again in 2006. In the meantime, someone should start planning those <>silly<> details and consequences of making abortion illegal. That would be a good community website project idea. Have all of this all worked out including death sentence guidelines for the mothers (oops.. for the would have been mothers).

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  259. “Let me represent myself on these blogs, and resist the temptation to associate me with the parties that claim similar ideologies.”okay, from now on I will no longer associate you with either party….

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  260. Prof,I think your civil war summary is a tad bit revisionist in its emphasis, though correct as far as it goes. While undoubtedly there were many Southerners who were sincere on the states’ rights matter, the instant right the cared about was the Constitutional protection of slavery. In the American Civil War context state’s rights and slavery are different sides of the same coin in the same way the privacy and abortion function today. Just to connect the dots clearly, what I’m saying is that abortion rights advocates don’t care about privacy per se, they care about the women’s right to do as she wishes.I wish more people could perform independent apolitical analysis. It is shocking how deeply ingrained the political mindset is in Americans. We indeed need to all represent ourselves and if we would but stop and take a cold hard look at the political reality before us, we would see that this two-party monstrosity serves nobody’s agenda but that of the politicians themselves.So tell me sir, if you are of this mindset do you vote for the Constitution Party? Based on what I have read in your posting, that would seem a good fit.

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  261. Yoshi: “<>But for folks like Randy and Prof, my only concern is as Tony implied, that the “GOP” don’t really care in principal and just use the issue to get votes.<>”Things are not always what they seem. Like the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon, I believe both parties are political beasts that serve there own interest and do not represent me. The pre-War-of-Northern-Aggression Democratic Party probably best represents me. These folks had a strong Calvinist, states rights, limited government, and personal liberty leaning. The South inhibited the North’s side stepping of the Constitution at its whim. This Calvinist strict Constitutional interpretation angered the North far more than any abolition bent. It was necessary to crush the South. That’s why Sherman cut off communications with Lincoln as he plunged deep into Georgia burning everything in his path. That is why “reconstruction,” the utter rape and humiliation of the South, solidified the South into what we now call Yellow Dog Democrats. They viewed the atrocities of the North as so vicious and despicable, that they and their descendants would never, ever become Republicans like Lincoln and the North. Even after the parties switched ideologies and Democrats are now the party of strong centralized government and godless practices, much of the South still cling to the party of their ancestors. You’ll find many strong Christian believers embracing the party of abortion, trusting in government for social change, and the party of sexual deviancy. To us Southerners, the Republicans descended from Satan, and the Democrats are rushing to embrace him.Let me represent myself on these blogs, and resist the temptation to associate me with the parties that <>claim<> similar ideologies.Prof. Ricardo

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  262. “As I’ve said repeatedly, it still comes down to whether a fetus is human or not…”That’s a hard answer for people to admit to…. it makes things so inconvenient. However, it’s hard to lie to yourself about the complexity and “humaness” of a fetus. People who go through with it must put on emotional/ mental blindfolds. They have those ultrasounds that can really amaze you, I don’t know how anyone could carry through with an abortion after seeing that….I also think if people sub-consciously knew abortion wasn’t an option, they’d be more careful.(And that in theory would slow the birth rate down). Adoption would have to be made easier however… or we should all invest together on a franchise of orphanages. We’ll make a fortune.But for folks like Randy and Prof, my only concern is as Tony implied, that the “GOP” don’t really care in principal and just use the issue to get votes. I was thinking last night that as long as rich peoples’ daughters want abortions we are going to have them. That’s just the way it is. So ultimately, this is a battle for hearts and minds… What someone needs to do is run “propaganda” on TV airtime with fetuses in the womb. That would get people thinking…. hmm, I just had an idea for myself for a student film class I’m taking….“I’m not a psychologist but I think there is something subconscious there that is revealing.”-I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to steal this subtly hilarious phrase to humiliate/ impress people with my clever witty come-backs 🙂

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  263. Having just completed a book on Paul Revere’s ride today, I’ll share something intriguing, yet obvious once you hear it. Revere never shouted, “the British are coming”. At the time the break was not complete and Americans considered themselves quite English. What he in fact did say was variations on, “the Regulars are coming”.Whatever you want to say about the Spanish, in my view Port and paella justify their entire national existence.

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  264. CG,I’d love for you to explain how I have been result oriented. How I have tortured my legal argument to get to a specific result? I’ll be the first to admit that my view on abortion colors my legal outlook in a general way, but I try hard to make a consistent legal argument. And in the past I have very clearly articulated what I think would be the sound legal argument in favor of abortion. But since you disagree, you call me result oriented. I don’t think that flies, but hey, you are welcome to your opinion.The truth is that there is plenty of infrastructure to deal with higher birth rates. But it is also clear that the birth rate would not inevitably skyrocket. If it does, then the tragedy of abortion is even larger in scope than I realize. What would in fact happen is that a large percentage of those abortions will not occur because women will make better choices.But even if for the sake of argument we assume that each abortion prevented is instead a live birth then I am unmoved. We are dealing with humans and they deserve our assistance and care. Remember I’m not the zero social safety-net guy. I understand there are monetary ramifications to criminalizing abortion. As I have said elsewhere here, a cost-benefit analysis is not a moral measuring stick for right and wrong.As I’ve said repeatedly, it still comes down to whether a fetus is human or not. Where you come out on that is determinative. Unfortunately there is no clear objective test on that point. You have no greater claim to objective fact than I on the subject.Actually, I have been having some parallel correspondence this week with some articulate folks not of this community. I keep raising the fact that I have advocated a logical bright-line test for humanness and am willing to consider other definitions. It is intriguing that I have had zero feedback from the abortion rights crowd wherein they were willing to hazard a definition of some kind.Which is not to say I am making some grandiose conclusion about the vacuousness of the abortion rights viewpoint. Rather, I note that for all the criticism and moral certainty I hear from that camp, they really do not have an answer to the only real question before us. It is as if the lack of easily measurable objective evidence renders them unable to render a well formed and logical opinion.Frankly, as appalling as I find the view, I have more intellectual respect for the extremist crowed that asserts that infanticide is morally justified because at least they are drawing a rational, albeit heinously immoral, line. That sick and depraved crowd at least understands what they are advocating with clarity.I also find your comments about the nation owning a women’s womb down right hilarious. Or it would be if not for the gravity of the topic. Hey, if this possibility troubles you, think about how the nation owns all parents and hold them accountable for how they treat their kids. How appalling that is! Children place a great burden on Moms in particular and perhaps in a narrow sense that is unfair. Then again, the Mother-child connection is a wondrous thing to behold so it is a hard thing indeed to determine which gender is the more impaired.The clear truth is that nobody owns a mother’s womb but the mother. And nobody owns the life of a fetus but the child in residence. At times of great medical peril, those rights may get extraordinarily hard to balance, but in the vast majority of cases, it is actually not complicated at all.I wish I shared your “fear” that somehow the GOP would get abortion law in American changed. But the truth is that abortion is far too popular for the GOP to actually effect real change. They do not care two whits about the principals involved and unless popular sentiment changes, the status quo is what we will have. All the moral rhetoric from politicians on both sides is empty of actual principled beliefs.Lastly, I would add that I relished your marvelously ironic comment when you said, “I particularly want the Republicans to push for the death sentence for the mothers.” It is ironic because the choice of abortion is a choice to not be a mother. Seems like if the fetus is not a child, then a pregnant woman is not a mother. I’m not a psychologist but I think there is something subconscious there that is revealing.Come on CG, either it is human or it isn’t. Give me your definition of humanness. I may disagree, but if you will make the case, I’ll at least respect you in the morning.

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  265. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=518&e=6&u=/ap/spain_gay_marriage" REL="nofollow">The faggots are coming, the faggots are coming<>That was suppose to be a play on “the British are coming” in case anyone has a very dirty mind. 🙂Wonder how the world will get along without religious intolerance. I guess this is one of those <>mind so open brain falls out<> times Tony talks about.

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  266. Prof,I never said I agreed with the Supreme Court Eminent Domain ruling. Didn’t say I disagree either.Seems kind of strange we would become sensitive to Eminent Domain at this point since we Eminent Domained it up the Indian’s a$$ to get this country in the first place. Speaking of Indians… has anyone else kept up with the Jack Abramoff lobbist story. < HREF="http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/22/lobbyist.tribes.ap/" REL="nofollow">What a sleeze<>Tony,<>In general, US Courts do not have jurisdiction over crimes committed in foreign territories.<>Hey… I see a business opportunity on the horizon… although it would represent kind of a reverse form of Darwinism.<>I don’t see the need, but I’m open to thinking about it. There is a lot of infrastructure out there for the adoption business already.<>You think just maybe adoption needs may ramp up a bit when we outlaw abortion? Yeah… silly… this stuff all works out. Well, the fun part for me on this topic is I can call you the “result oriented one”. I’m ready to try out this illegal abortion thing. The Republicans own every branch of government. Why don’t they make this happen. I would like to try it out for the rest of Shrub’s temporary stay in Washington. I particularly want the Republicans to push for the death sentence for the mothers. I am already feeling a rush of male empowerment. Much better to be a male in your world then a female. Of course, I expect many of those female soldiers to feel a little less motivated to fight for a country that owns her womb. Cheers… can’t wait for Theocracy America. Sounds like some kind of RR theme park.

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  267. CG,I think you were being very unfair when you said, “Following through with honest debate and an honest look at the law enforcement consequences is always avoided by the other side.”I have never avoided that discussion. Never. I think it is a bit of a stupid discussion because it is freaking simple and obvious to me. But I’ll indulge you because I’m in a good mood and I hate to be accused of issue avoidance…which you well know and are using as a clever ploy to get me to say some things so that you can turn around and tell me how unreasonable I am.<>How about sentencing guidelines… for abortion and attempted abortion.<>It would be murder: same guidelines apply. And yes, this includes the death penalty.<>If a female is caught at a clinic (scratch that, meant back alley) what’s her sentence. Jail after baby is born. Birth at the prison.<>Murder is murder. You look at the criminal intent like any other crime. Pregnant women go to jail all the time.<>What’s the threshold for clinic searches by the FBI? Will the patriot act cover it.. or will judges be in the loop.<>Well, I detest the Patriot Act so I won’t answer in those terms. But it would be a criminal investigation and police would need a warrant to do a search. You are correct however that the Patriot Act compromises those legal protections in profound ways. Besides, abortion clinics would no longer exist because they wouldn’t have much work to perform.<>Does the father who pressured the female to get the abortion face any legal consequences?<>It depends on whether the father committed acts in furtherance of the crime. Just like any other criminal prosecution. Pressure probably does not rise to the level of accessory before the fact but depending on the extent of coercion, it certainly could.<>What’s the law regarding problem pregnancies? Should the doctor’s have to consult with the judge before saving the mother?<>Gads, at least you did ask one good question. I’d say if the decision is close he would definitely want to go to court and get adjudication. This one is probably worth more discussion but I’m going to deal with all these silly questions for now.<>Is abortion sentencing the same for minors as adults?<>Of course not. Criminal law has never held minors to the same standards as adults until recently. No reason to change centuries worth of law.<>What about the mentally challenged?<>Hey, this may shock you, but this is well settled law too. You have to be able to appreciate the result and quality of the act to be convicted of a crime.<>If someone commits murder, and are found incompetent, they go to the funny farm.<>Yup. Just like any other murder. Are you seeing a pattern here?<>Same with the incompetent mothers?<>What does this have to do with abortion? Happy to clarify here, but I really don’t get your question.<>What’s the law regarding a US citizen flying overseas for an abortion?<>In general, US Courts do not have jurisdiction over crimes committed in foreign territories.<>If these mothers can still be prosecuted, wouldn’t that mean the government would end up in the business of monitoring pregnancies?<>Of course not. If there were probable cause to believe a crime was to be committed, then they could get a warrant and investigate. Of course people who love the Patriot Act would probably demand warrantless access to all kinds of stuff, but that is not my view.<>Should we expect a new robust federal backed adoption department?<>I don’t see the need, but I’m open to thinking about it. There is a lot of infrastructure out there for the adoption business already.<>Will it be legal for a mother to give up her child to adoption?<>I don’t have a clue why you are asking this. Why would I oppose adoption? I think you are insinuating that I would force a mother to raise a child she does not want which is pretty far flung from anything I have ever said.<>Will she have any say in it, or since this is federally backed with our tax $, does the mother just give the baby over to the state? <>Mothers have always had a lot of say in the adoption process. The only thing she would not be able to do is kill her child and skip the decisions.<>Same sentences for doctors as mothers?<>No, I would tend toward harsher sentences for the doctors because they do not have the emotional distress to mitigate the criminal state of mind. But this is still nothing any different than other criminal prosecutions.<>Yep… looks like we would be good to go the day after the Supreme Court says “no abortions for you”. That local police department and court system will be all over such a simple problem. <>I see your sarcasm and find it amusing. If we come to a consensus that this is in fact murder, then it truly is no more complex than any other murder prosecution. You only find it complex because you disagree.<>It was a fair question. Pro-lifers should step up to reality and include a clear statement of consequences of their desires. You carry that burden because your side of the argument includes legal consequences. When you make something illegal, it requires sentencing guidelines and law enforcement procedures. It’s not already covered.<>I have never shrunk from nor avoided the topic. And it is already covered. Abortion, when we finally have the good sense to declare it as what it is, is not a new crime. Rather, it is a very old crime. Indeed, the < HREF="http://bible.crosswalk.com/OnlineStudyBible/bible.cgi?word=Genesis+3§ion=0&version=msg&new=1&oq=&NavBook=ge&NavGo=3&NavNextChapter=%3E%3E&NavCurrentChapter=3" REL="nofollow"> very first crime.<>

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  268. Prof,To me <>Envy<> and <>jealousy<> implies wanting something for yourself from someone else. I assume you are making those charges about me. I don’t want anything from the wealthy for myself… other than a more moral society where the government serves as a safety-net for the population.Besides, once we tax the hockey out of the wealthy there is nothing to be jealous about. You can’t be jealous of property that no longer exists. 🙂

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  269. Tony,<>I don’t see any need for designing an enforcement scheme. We have the police department, courts and the rest of the criminal justice system already. What about it seems complex?<>LOL. I had already practically written your exact response in my head. 🙂 I don’t blame you though. Following through with honest debate and an honest look at the law enforcement consequences is always avoided by the other side.How about sentencing guidelines… for abortion and attempted abortion.If a female is caught at a clinic (scratch that, meant back alley) what’s her sentence. Jail after baby is born. Birth at the prison.What’s the threshold for clinic searches by the FBI? Will the patriot act cover it.. or will judges be in the loop.Does the father who pressured the female to get the abortion face any legal consequences? What’s the law regarding problem pregnancies? Should the doctor’s have to consult with the judge before saving the mother?Is abortion sentencing the same for minors as adults? What about the mentally challenged? If someone commits murder, and are found incompetent, they go to the funny farm. Same with the incompetent mothers?What’s the law regarding a US citizen flying overseas for an abortion? If these mothers can still be prosecuted, wouldn’t that mean the government would end up in the business of monitoring pregnancies? Maybe employer pregnancy tests. Should we expect a new robust federal backed adoption department? Will it be legal for a mother to give up her child to adoption? Will she have any say in it, or since this is federally backed with our tax $, does the mother just give the baby over to the state? Same sentences for doctors as mothers? Yep… looks like we would be good to go the day after the Supreme Court says “no abortions for you”. That local police department and court system will be all over such a simple problem. It was a fair question. Pro-lifers should step up to reality and include a clear statement of consequences of their desires. You carry that burden because your side of the argument includes legal consequences. When you make something illegal, it requires sentencing guidelines and law enforcement procedures. It’s not already covered.

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  270. Man, I really need to get a life.But here goes another one…Randy wrote: “When was this promise anyway, was it Shrub that laid it out, and when did that happen? Just asking?”Shrub signed on to it March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico. Google the “Monterrey Consensus.” That should take you there. ________________________________As for miscarriages. Sorry. There have been many in my family as well. Which brings me to this question: I had an 11 year cousin killed on a horse 2 years ago, and several “cousins” and “aunts/uncles” who died during miscarriages. I did not grieve for the miscarriaged ones, but I certainly did for the cousin. And honestly, I think the miscarriages were never “really alive.” It died before it ever really existed. Well, it existed, but you know what I mean. However, in the same sense I am concerned with global poverty issues, I am concerned with unborn children. I know they dream… and feel pain.. that’s good enough for me to agree they deserve rights. And even though I wouldn’t equate a first trimester with “murder,” I’d certainly think it was wrong and carry lots of guilt if my partner were to ever have one. It would be a spiritual guilt though, and not a legal one.Now, I think we should outlaw abortions but leave loopholes in certain extremely rare situations, but as I implied earlier, they’ll be knocking on doors arresting people for using the pill. Because the pill does KILL embryos. And that makes us half-ass pro-lifers at best. I’m all for the happy medium myself. Put everyone on the pill, and severely restrict abortions. But that’s not what the Pro-Lifers are after. (I think deep down for them it’s more about people having sex that they are against and less about the “sanctity of life”. It’s sub-conscious though, they don’t even realize it.)

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  271. “And then poverty is irradicated? Wait. Is that .7% per year? Every year? Or will it go down as a percentage because it is working and “done right?””Exactly. It will take some years of course…. 20 maybe? Just look at Bangledesh, or even better, India. Or China. These countries may be poor, but it is similar to what immigrants went through here in the USA at the turn of the century. They were poor, but not for too long….“There are a few minor cases where Tsunami, weather, etc. made someone fall on bad times. That is NOT the cause of the worlds poverty.”-Prof., I just was in Colorado rafting a few weeks ago. Way up in the mountains. I noticed it was hard to find a restaurant that didn’t have a monopoly, and crap food and service on account of this fact. So I look around and started thinking. The population density was very thin relative to land mass. No markets. Similar to Africa. Hours into the mountains must mean high transport costs. Similar to Africa. So then I understood why no one was investing there in more restaurants and shops that we take for granted in DFW. I was really surprised to see such a town in America. It had a tourist industry, and that was it. (I had a new appreciation for Fort Worth after this, frankly there was little to do up there but raft and camp.) But it made me realize how it must be in Africa, cut off from the outside world. By contrast, look at the port cities. East Coast, West Coast, Chicago, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. That’s where all the money is. Adam Smith even talked about Africa’s lack of access to navigable waterways and proximity to markets. And that was a few hundred years ago, but still true today. (however, technology, good governance, infrastructure investment, removal of internal and external trade barriers, etc. can overcome this handicap.)Add in factors such as malaria, how many sick days do you think that causes? These are some geographical problems, as well as problems with the global trade order, that also contribute to poverty. There are external problems. Political, cultural/social, and even spiritual issues need to be addressed.-Yes, they do. On our side and their side, apparently. Zimbabwe is a great example of despots ruining a country. But that is merely one country, there are many countries in Africa, if you did some homework, that are making great changes and simply need outside investment (Uganda, Senegal, Botswana). I could break it down for you, but I’d literally be putting up a book on this site… no one wants that… better I refer the actual book.“And can you think of situations where the poor are ready for help, we give it to them EXACTLY what they need, and they still don’t make it?”-Can you? Personally, I can’t. Not when the money was well monitered and coordinated. Not when their weren’t ulterior motives on our part. We eradicated smallpox and the measles worldwide. We rebuilt Europe and Japan. I believe we will succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Look at Eastern Europe. We bailed them out after the fall of the Berlin Wall. They are doing great now, and we averted a potential catastrophe. Without our help those countries would have collapsed.“How about the confiscation of white farmer’s farms in Africa by dictators and hooligans?”-Terrible thing what has happened in Zimbabwe. That country has been ruined by this policy. “Isn’t troublesome governments the main inhibitor to past, present, and future aid doing its work?”-Yes, there are problems regarding this that we can solve. Consider George Bush’s Millennium Challenge. Bush pays smart people to figure that stuff out for us. We will improve the lot in Africa, but there will obviously still be problems with corruption, violent crime, etc. Those things tend to diminish as incomes rise though, don’t they? “If the goal is to end “extreme poverty”, then those impoverished MUST improve their lot, not because they are fed by someone else, but because they genuinely support themselves, year after year..”-I understand that. That ulitmately has to happen. And that’s my theory. However: the people at the very bottom, in EXTREME POVERTY, not moderate poverty, not relative poverty, but EXTREME POVERTY, CANNOT improve their lot without outside assistance. They need a boost up to the ladder of self-perpetuating economic growth. After that economic growth should be endogenous. Just investing in fertilizer or more productive agricultural techniques, for example, could help a farmer run a surplus for the first time, give him some savings, capital accumulates, and things start falling into place from there. Then there are the issues of the tariffs (ex. 164% tariff on peanut farmers in Uganda). If you want a good book on the subject, or two…. check these out…:< HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1594200459/qid=1120162325/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1042173-7835333?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow"> Jeffrey Sachs’ book <>< HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/026205065X/qid=1120162414/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1042173-7835333?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow"> William Easterly’s Book <>Amazon is really cheap… they must love me, I spend loads of money there.

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  272. Yoshi“F**k trophies.” That used to be a compliment when I was doing what I aught not to do. ;>.“This self-interest, individualistic rat-race to the top of the corporate world, materialistic values, etc, is why we have abortions.”Really, cause we had some control at one time, and the liberal courts that decided a woman’s discomfort out weighs the life of a child. Poppycock.“Also Randy, how do you feel about “the Pill?””Well tanks for the hard one. My belief says let good figure it out for you, but my human says I don’t have a problem with it. So although I am not as torn with this issue (meaning I am OK with the Pill), I still question my thinking on that, cause it is “of the world” and not “of God”.“Yea, since we are all relatively anonymous, I guess we can just all admit whether or not our “spouses” use “the Pill” or any other unnatural form of family planning.”We do not use the pill! But I am not condemning those that do. Again it is a conundrum that we find ourselves in on issues like these. So I guess that we can assume that abortion has to be listed of the pill, when we make these illegal we can make abortion illegal. How far are you planning on taking this argument, You are talking about saving 6000 kids in other countries with our money that secularly we can not force someone else to “give” away to any body else, “we are not a Christian nation”, and you can not see or feel a drive to save those tens of thousands here in the states. Poppycock.“This is because when the egg is fertilised, it passes through the uterus and doesn’t attach itself… then it dies a premature death. It’s a morning-after pill, essentially.”Tanks you Yoshi, my 8th grade education did not take me quite that far.“Now I will be quite suspicious of anyone who doesn’t have 7 kids like my Catholic grandma, or 8 kids like her Catholic sister in New Jersey. Or 10 kids like the family that sits behind us at church. How many of us Pro-Lifers here are hypocrites?”Thanks for the vote of confidence, some of those “good” people out there have had a few miscarriages in their lives. Appreciate you bringing that to light again.“Do we rationalize it and say that a mere embryo doesn’t deserve the same rights as a more developed fetus…? To be honest, I personally think there is a difference between the two. Though I respect a mere embryo, I don’t think it deserves rights.”We are talking about a difference between whole sale slaughter and a happy medium. I want to also go on record as stating I am basing this opinion of mine on a secular view of protecting the unprotect able. And comments like bus drivers to cart of the young women to jail because they will be heading there in droves it ludicrous also. “Silly promise? That’s not what the word’s leading economists are saying. And that’s what was PROMISED.”When was this promise anyway, was it Shrub that laid it out, and when did that happen? Just asking.

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  273. Common Good: “<>Prof… if I were king and setting up the tax code in this country, your tax would either not be impacted or at a very minimal level. The ugly wealth gap bloat is in the top 5%… more specifically in the top 1-2%.<>”How much tax do the bottom earners pay?If you are married filing joint, <65 yrs, 2 kids under 17:If your income is: $20,000___ your tax is -1,388. You actually get a refund. Negative tax.If your income is: $30,000___ your tax is -1,207. You actually get a refund. Negative tax.If your income is: $40,000___ your tax is -26. You actually get a refund. Negative tax.Your breakeven income, where you pay your first dollar of tax is $40,150!Let’s add another child as po folks often do.If your income is: $40,000___ your tax is -1,456. You actually get a refund. Negative tax.Your breakeven income, where you pay your first dollar of tax is $49,950! Tax? $1.With 4 children under 17?If your income is: $50,000___ your tax is -1,456. You actually get a refund. Negative tax.Your breakeven income, where you pay your first dollar of tax is $59,750! Tax? $6.All of these people did not have any other favorable tax benefits. No itemized deductions, no capital gains break, no deductible college interest deduction, no qualified dividends. Purely ordinary income.So Common Good, A family of four makes $40,000 and pays no income tax, still gets a check from the government for $26, How much of a refund should they get under a tax cut plan? Are they burdened with taxes? Shouldn’t a tax relief come from those actually paying tax? Let’s look at the other end of the Spectrum.The top 50% pay 96.03% of the total income tax collected.The top 10% pay 64.89% of the total income tax collected.The top 5% pay 53.25% of the total income tax collected.The top 1% pay 33.89% of the total income tax collected.To be in these exclusive clubs, how much did you have to make?50% club = $28,528+10% club = $92,754+5% club = $127,904+1% club = $292,913+C.G.: “<>The ugly wealth gap bloat is in the top 5%…I would tax the frickin hockey out of the top 5% and wouldn’t lose a bit of sleep. <>”So you want to cap family incomes to no more than $127,904/year? Everyone pays their current tax + the tax of the 5%ers portion which is 53.25% of the tax and all incomes above that figure? I’ve given you plenty of rope. Now as king setting up the tax code, re-shift the numbers while not killing capitalism.Prof. RicardoPS “<>The louder the whining, the more I would know society is doing the right thing.<>”It’s not about the common good. Your constant theme is you despise the wealthy. It comes through in your wealth gaps, tax the hockey, two homes and a jet, hatred of Bush. It was the theme of <>Perfectly Legal<>, the book you recommended to me. It oozed out of nearly every page of his book. I have erroneously called this envy. Jealousy is closer. That is, one hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage. Come over from the dark side C.G. so that socialism farce will not be with you. 🙂

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  274. CG,I don’t see any need for designing an enforcement scheme. We have the police department, courts and the rest of the criminal justice system already. What about it seems complex?

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  275. Question for the pro-lifers:When we outlaw abortion should we1) Outlaw it first, and then contruct the enforement schemeor2) Plan and develop the enforcement scheme, and then outlaw it?Seems like a fair question… plan for post-Iraq or just do Iraq and wing it.

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  276. Tony,<>they will start admiting some problems around the edges<>nah… many still claim we lost Vietnam because of a cut and run mentality. I’m sure Inhofe could clear it up for you.

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  277. Button one will be defended at least through the next Presidential election cycle. That is the nature of such things. As long as the GOP is succeding, the will claim they were correct and admit not even the slightest mistake. The only way that will change is with a sound electoral defeat in which case they will start admiting some problems around the edges and new faces will emerge that are in the public mind unconnected with the debacle.The error people continue to make is that the substance matters to the politicians. No substance matters except the substance of the votes at the polls.

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  278. Yoshi: “<>So .7 % is not the “minimum” that Prof. implies, but rather the maximum, the longshot gift of God, Hail Mary of a request.<>”IF you haven’t noticed, I’m razzing my friend Common Good over his obsession with “wealth gaps,” the fact that somebody is getting paid a lot for whatever they are doing, or that they didn’t blow it all on entertainment rather than invest it in Microsoft stock ten years ago. The 50% of course is ridiculous. However, the only definitive goal I’ve gotten from him is that the wealth gap must be minimized and they way to do that is confiscate from those at one end and redistribute it (less processing charges for gov’t of 96%) to the other end of the spectrum. He, or you, have not defined who the poor are, who the wealthy are, what are our optional methods of addressing these issues, why those not wanting to participate are required to, why those already giving to organizations should continue after said mandatory plan is installed, how do we compare the various methods for efficiency of transfer, etc.“<>7 cents out of every ten dollars is what it would take to do it right. <>”And then poverty is irradicated? Wait. Is that .7% per year? Every year? Or will it go down as a percentage because it is working and “done right?”If the need does not go down as a percentage of GDP, can we then assume that <>the poor <>…have not pulled <>themselves out of the poverty TRAP they are stuck in(trap, as in, can’t escape). <>? If the assistance works, by definition, the poor would be getting out of the poverty trap and would not need our assistance, thus lowering their need for assistance and the budget, no?And can you think of situations where the poor are ready for help, we give it to them EXACTLY what they need, and they still don’t make it? How about the confiscation of white farmer’s farms in Africa by dictators and hooligans? Isn’t troublesome governments the main inhibitor to past, present, and future aid doing its work?If the <>goal is to end “extreme poverty”<>, then those impoverished MUST improve their lot, not because they are fed by someone else, but because they genuinely support themselves, year after year, generation after generation. When you have otherwise reasonable people in this country (Common Good, five Supreme Court Justices) abandoning the concept of private ownership of property, the bedrock of EVERY prosperous nation, how do we expect extreme poverty in other nations to decrease when they don’t have a clue what freedoms are <>necessary<> for commerce to thrive to support themselves and their families? There are a few minor cases where Tsunami, weather, etc. made someone fall on bad times. That is NOT the cause of the worlds poverty. Political, cultural/social, and even spiritual issues need to be addressed. I’d write the 40 billion dollar check out of the US Treasury myself TODAY if I thought just 5% of those people receiving help (dictators not included) would achieve a level of ½ our stated poverty level. Today!!!!Governments hostile to economic, and therefore political, freedom are your enemy. Remove that blockage and the aid discussion is superfluous, because the word “widespread” would never have to precede the word “poverty” again. Prof. Ricardo

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  279. Randy,<>I do not fall on abortion as my only platform issue and dwell solely on that.<>Yeah… my point really wasn’t to label you, but rather to make the point that many continue to vote Republican simply because of the abortion issue. Let’s face it… the Gospels definitely more closely match the Dem platform than the Republican… other than the abortion issue. The majority of this country are middle class or lower, and common sense dictates most would not tolerate such narrow excess wealth and corporate favortism unless there were social issues at play. There would be a minority that might rationalize this based on libertarian views… but it wouldn’t be enough to carry the day. Corporate america will succeed at treating the rest of us as pawns as long as abortion remains an issue. I guess pro-lifers can claim that’s what we (including those falling the laissez-faire cracks) deserve.We will just have to agree to disagree on the morality of our current volunteer military practice. Every single one of us should share some burden when our soldiers are dying. We can’t even share in the pain of temporaty tax hikes to cover war. For the vast majority of our population, the Iraq war is like some movie on TV. We have some real blinders on when we accept the sacrifice of the few under the banner of a more efficient military. Any of us can drive trucks down the IEDs laden roads… doesn’t require some volunteerism from poor family kids. You frame this as “not being sorry for the soldiers”. I frame it as “being embarrased at us allowing only a few to sacrifice during war”. If the deal is I pay an additional $1000 per year to fund the war, and in return I don’t have to get blown up by an IED in Iraq…. only an idiot would complain about that deal.Bob Costas was standing in for Larry King Tuesday, and asked Senator McCain a couple of questions. The first should sound familiar.COSTAS: Senator McCain, I hope this question doesn’t seem impertinent, but we often hear that if these terrorists are not confronted in Iraq, they’ll be in New York or wherever. What is to stop them from being in New York simultaneously, if they could get here? We know that they would if they could, and they still might. MCCAIN: Because I believe, Bob, that Iraq would turn into a hotbed of radical Islamist extremism and training, with equipping. It would be a center for Islamic extremism, and also a failure on the part of the United States would set a chain of events in motion, particularly in the Middle East, that would eventually reach the shores of the United States, I believe. <>Note: McCain really didn’t answer Costa’s (and the one I have been asking) question.<>COSTAS: Senator McCain, we are where we are, and most people believe that if we just up and left, chaos would ensue. But suppose, for the purposes of this exercise, there were two buttons in front of you. You could only push one. If you push button number one, the best possible realistic outcome, as we speak now, ensues in Iraq. If you push button number two, we never went there in the first place. Which button would you push? MCCAIN: Oh, by far, button number one. Look, I believe we’re making progress towards a democracy in Iraq. That’s already having an effect in the region. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya has already had an effect. There was a bad guy. Weapons of mass destruction or no weapons of mass destruction, the sanctions were eroding, and if Saddam Hussein were still in power, he would be attempting to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction. <>Wonder how long button number one will still be defended… another year, two years… <>It sounds like we are already at button #2… hope I’m wrong.

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  280. “We may have more money, but our neighbors to our North is light years ahead of us on the sexual tolerance issue”Not sure why the band wagon has to be same sex marraige for equallity. I think it is pretty clear that this is one more step closer to No-Age barrier marraige for groups like ManBla and the like. I agree that equallity could be a better issue, and all things considered there are still some pretty racial people out there in america, but frankly they have that right. And no to answer you I am not a one issue guy, I do not fall on abortion as my only platform issue and dwell solely on that. I have issuses with the war, but I do not believe that it was a lie, I think the intentions were good. I am not happy with any lose of life, especially on foreign shores, but it is an all volunteer military, and with the way things are heating up in the world, and with Sept 11, 2001, I have no sympathy for the military personnel in Iraq at the moment. Personnel over there are either lifers, or those that joined after Afgan and knowing full well that this would be a fight and loss of life would be an issue. Can we do better for them, YES, should we, YES. Did we have less in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, YES can they complain…only moderatly IMO. They know the hazard, and they also know their responsibility.

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  281. well, it’s not just starving….To my understanding, 6000 children die of a mosquito bite. Then there is dirrehea. AIDS. TB. Filthy water. Etc.You are right though Tony. Self-interest long-term strategic reasons should be SECONDARY. There should be a primary, deeper human need at the individual level that wants to do something.

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  282. Yoshi,I don’t disagree that there is a self-interest rational for addressing starvation. And that is probably the argument most likely to get people’s attention and succeed. But my point is that is sad. The bare facts that people are starving and we can fix it should be enough to motivate a moral people. Your realpolitick answer is correct, but I find it extraordinarily sad that it has to be made as a primary argument.

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  283. “Bottom line is that this is about alms giving…”I see it less as alms-giving and more as targeted investments in economic infrastructure: transportation, health, vaccinations, agriculture, water wells, education, etc.Aside from development spending we need to reform global trade rules that are skewed toward rich-world producers.These together will lead to economic growth and put these countries on the path to self-sufficiency and integration into our global capitalist system. We have the technology now, the riches now, unlike anytime in history. This is completely feasible. There are thousands of lives already benefitting from the President’s global AIDS plan. That’s proof these things can succeed right there. Now we just have to scale things up. We have the ability to do this, we just lack the political will.

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  284. Just another observation.Perhaps what we should do rather than discussing taxation is to discuss spending prioritization. Do any of us doubt that if it were important to us, that we could find Yoshi his extra $60 Billion out of the federal budget. I’ll bet eliminating the Congressional Country club alone would net a good chunk of the first billion.Bottom line is that this is about alms giving, not wealth transfer per se. Clearly we do not have the national character to take care of the most miserable of our planet. And when I think about this truth and reflect on the claims of the Religious Right of ours being a Christian nation, it makes me feel physically ill. Given our national behavior of late, such a claim is seriously insulting to our Lord.

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  285. Prof… if I were king and setting up the tax code in this country, your tax would either not be impacted or at a very minimal level. The ugly wealth gap bloat is in the top 5%… more specifically in the top 1-2%. It’s insane that society has accepted this. To put it simply… I would tax the frickin hockey out of the top 5% and wouldn’t lose a bit of sleep. The louder the whining, the more I would know society is doing the right thing. Is there anyone more unattractive than a multi-millionaire claiming they are taxed too much.

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  286. Never said there wasn’t limits to wealth redistribution, in fact I have made the specific point here that we can’t kill capitalism… quit making stuff up.One party’s entire platform is fighting for the middle and lower class… the other’s is business and the religious right. Keep equating… and keep looking silly.Note, that certainly doesn’t mean everyone batting for the left in Washington are outstanding characters. In fact, if they were doing their job they would be even more in a minority given our current conservative RR revival going on. The point of wealth redistribution isn’t equal lives or envy. Grow up and have an adult conversation. 🙂Isn’t really sad Yoshi has to convince anyone about the .7%.

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  287. One more thing….I just want to say that this is not a partisan issue, not one that Americans are taking sides on… (all except the Prof.)Randy, just wanted to tell you the Ruport Murdoch, the guy who owns FOX NEWS, is giving the ONE CAMPAIGN free airtime. FREE airtime. He said he wasn’t going to lead the charge but that he would do whatever he could to help. Pat Robertson, the big cheese on the religious right, went on ABC’s Nightline June 24 to ask all Americans to sign the ONE Campaign and the letter to President Bush. This is a conservative movement just as much as it is a liberal movement. And back to the rich paying slightly higher taxes to finance this .7%, they will benefit from increased international trade with new developing markets. Think U.S. construction firms didn’t benefit during the Marshall Plan? Think Bill Gates, aside from just being generous, isn’t planning to sell a few MS Windows in these regions he is helping? It’s going to be a symbiotic relationship.

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  288. So answer number 2 is about “if you want a really narrow wealth gap” and how much Prof.’s kids are going to starve if we do this… (there is a strange irony in Prof’s concern for children here).The goal is to end “extreme poverty.” NOT TO EQUALIZE INCOMES OR CLOSE THE GAPS BETWEEN RICH AND POOR. The rich are merely giving the poor some assistanec to pull themselves out of the poverty TRAP they are stuck in(trap, as in, can’t escape). Can we afford it? Well, first, five donors are already making the .7 %, 6 more have scheduled to, and all donors, including the U.S.A., have promised “concrete efforts” to achieve. Common Good. Listen. To get from today’s .14% level to .7% of GNP we would need an extra tax of 0.55% of GNP.So we’d have an extra .55% of income tax to change the lives of 1 billion people, give them a future of economic hope and health rather than a downward spiral of death and despair.But there is more. As you know, the top four hundred taxpayers in the year 2000 had a combined income of $69 billion, or $174 million per taxpayer. Now if you take the most successful countries in Africa: Uganda, Senegal, Botswana, and Nigeria, the combined income in 2000 was $57 billion. That equates to 161 million people on average of $350 a year. The rich have benefited disproportionately from the economic and tax changes of the past twenty years. Prof, don’t kid yourself to think they are out there toiling in the hot sun working….. I could care less if Paris Hilton has to downsize her pink private jet plane. Basically, the point I’m getting at is that some of Bush’s tax cuts for the richest, the mega-rich, could cover the tab, without the Prof’s or my taxes ever being touched.

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  289. According to my source, which is a book and so I can’t link it. Gladly send you a copy though (or link to Amazon), it’s a great book.$ 75 billion is .7% of our GNP.$ 15 billion is .14 % of our GNP, and is what our “Official Development Assistance.”(During the time of the Marshall Plan, we spent 2.0 % of GNP).Should I repeat that: $75 billion.And the ONE Campaign itself, is asking for much less, a mere $40 billion. So .7 % is not the “minimum” that Prof. implies, but rather the maximum, the longshot gift of God, Hail Mary of a request. 7 cents out of every ten dollars is what it would take to do it right. I’m going to do this is segments so people won’t get bored with such long responses from me. I want people to retain this stuff.

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  290. So the question is: “Can we afford .7%, and how could it be paid for?” And will it make a noticeable effect on the lives of ordinary Americans such as ourselves?Valid questions which I will return with soon in detail.

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  291. [Sorry, having html issues. Previews good, posts messed up.]Yoshi, “<>So we have jumped from .12% of GDP to the Professor’s suggestion of 50%. C’mon. Now that’s silly. .7 percent will not kill the golden egg goose, it’ll make it stronger. <>”My point is, if we are a slacker country in need of shame and condemnation if we give any less than .7%, then that is not the target, but the minimum, if that. If we fall short, short of what? A promise? Fine. But, why .7%? What is the formula? Why not .701%? And if pure greed is what is driving this country, and the wealth “gap” is so intolerable, why not more, a lot more? If you want a really narrow wealth gap, and apparently to some people that is a good thing, then we’ve either got to get the world on board for making quite a bit more (not $25/month like Cuba, but $2,500/mo.), or we need to really bring in some oppressive tax rates to punish those silly enough to have acquired wealth.Common Good was partly right when he said: “<>Folks like Prof are absolute types… compromise isn’t in the cards.<>”I don’t want to tax the snot out of Americans because C.G. feels we ought to be. I want a principle or objective standard to go by. I want a reasonable course that not only will not kill the goose, but won’t strangle it leaving it blue in the face gasping for air. Being a numbers kind of guy, and a cautious tightwad type that analyzes things to death, I took the < HREF="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/tables.html" REL="nofollow">2005 GDP of 12,042 billion<> and divided it by the < HREF="http://www.census.gov" REL="nofollow">US population of 296,490,000 <> and got GDP per person of $40,615, not per bread-winner, but for every man, woman, child, elderly, poor, and illegal. I’m not ashamed to tell you for my 4 family members, we’re not making the cut. But if I multiply $12 trillion times .7% divided by the population, that gives me an international welfare rate of $284/US person. So my 4 member family will represent $1,137 going overseas. That is a small % of my representative GDP of $162,460., but a very large portion of my actual one bread-winner family income. Maybe you could step up to the plate and pay my portion.The expected US government receipts this year are $2.036 trillion. Divide that by the US population resulting in $6,867/ US person, OR $27,468 for my family of four. Once again, as patriotic as I hope to be, my family falls short in paying these kinds of taxes. I guess people like me ask ourselves how much federal government do we really need? Those figures do not represent our state taxes and local taxes paid through sales tax, real estate taxes, state portions of fuel tax, those multiple charges on your phone bill, ad nauseam. And to think some persons are looking to shift 1/7th the economy, healthcare, from private to governmental control. I know its silly of me to worry and use concrete examples for anything, but I feel that it is better to stop suffocating the goose now, rather than apply the paddles and try CPR later.Prof. Ricardo

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  292. Well, this was a great discussion so far. Really enjoyed it!A few comments. While I disagree with Prof on many things, I do love how he draws some of the issues out. The fundamental problem with wealth transfer is establishing limits and criteria. Unlike conservatives, I do not think that problem is insurmountable. Unlike liberals, I do not think that problem is unimportant.I am amused that at this juncture Prof takes another stab at calling Americans generous. While I try hard to be “tolerant” of different viewpoint, I have crept over to where I find that claim simply absurd. Yes, we need to define our terms but the meager amount we give doesn’t hardly deserve wasting our breath over the issue. We should really be discussing how much more is morally correct. That more intriguing question is far more difficult.I am almost in hysterical fits over the assertion that voting Dem is inherently less greedy. Seems like when I look at the actual voting record of the left side of the isle, those pesky little fellas look almost as greedy as the GOP types. Seems like I remember the mid-nineties budget battles and them defending statistically insignificant budget differences as if they were the moral champions of our day. Other examples of Dem hypocrisy abound.But hey, if a bunch of empty rhetoric works for you, I am happy for you. I’ll stick with actual facts and behavior and judge that. Just don’t’ come here with silly partisan sanctimony and expect to proceed unmolested.

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  293. Yoshi,“The whole idea of anyone taking a side that doesn’t overlap with the “other side” seems really strange to me.”Well, let me challenge that. If you are an independent thinker, you will look at the issues and decide where you stand. It just so happens that my views seem to align almost perfectly with the democratic platform. I don’t start as a Democrat team player… I just happen to pretty much agree with their positions, and hardly any of the conservative ideas… other than there does need to be a voice of fiscal discipline (not that the current conservatives in charge are doing that). That’s just how it works out for me. For other’s like Tony who is slowly developing a more liberal side (very slowly) … it’s more complicated because of the abortion issue. I’m convinced a conservative would never be elected again in this country if we had the technology starting tomorrow that would prevent all unwanted pregnancies (some kind of switch that has to be turned on to become pregnant). Take the abortion issue away, and conservatives don’t have a fighting change. Gay bashing and cries for theocracy wouldn’t win elections without the abortion issue.<> I think what Common Good means is if we are going to use the credit card to pay for the war, the rich shouldn’t be getting tax breaks so that I have to pay the inevitable bill down the line….<>Folks like Prof are absolute types… compromise isn’t in the cards. When he doesn’t want to deal with a reasonable idea of .7% federal foreign aid because it goes against his ideology/belief system.. he morphs the discussion into silly levels that no one is asking for. Your statement is pretty much on target. Anything we don’t pay for now goes on your tab. This is how I view taxes… sorry for those who already heard the rant too many times.1) We decide via representative democracy federal common good2) We then determine tax rates (progressive or otherwise) to fund these needs. Note: we define needs before we define tax rates. People who start the discussion with my tax rate should never be more than x% are fairly useless.3) #1 represents fixed government costs. Other things like wars come along that have to be added to the tab. Part of the war expense is in the fixed cost section… we pay for the Pentagon in peacetime or war. However, the lion share of Iraq is non-fixed costs… and they have to be added to the tax tab. Shrub is either willing to pass this on to posterity, or it’s part of the starve the beast strategy where they can finally starting dismantling the New Deal. It’s obviously the latter… the Social Security private accounts was the first warning shot across the bow.Prof said: <>How about a cap on wealth at $250,000?<>Ben Franklin actually proposed something like that for his state constitution. Go figure… could have been a founder intention. I actually wouldn’t rule the concept out. If you follow the logic I set out above, you start with common needs, and then fund it. Depending on circumstances and the <>general welfare and tranquility<> could require some forms of caps… never say never. I would think it would just take the form means testing and very high progressive tax rates. If you are a billionaire and get taxed 75% on earning… I won’t be crying a river for you. If you take your blanket and go home that even better… someone without “enough” can step in and get “enough”. Paul O’Neal said something once that made me dislike him (I liked him more after I read his book). He was responding to CEO compensation in public companies. He said “he never understood the logic of cutting down the tall trees”. To me, that is backwards for a moral society. We should strive for 99% sturdy trees rather than 1-2% Redwoods. You know… water the sapplings rather than paying special attention only to the mature trees. I think old Ben was on to something… someday the majority of us will quit buying the unlimited greed and wealth in this society. There is no logical reason for us to treat our society as the playground for the few. Call it envy if you must… I call it common sense. The US conservatives are a unique breed… they can only be found here. Our neighbors to the North appear to be Dems. Europe appears to be Dems… they pretty much expect government’s job is to take care of the poor and the needy. This current brand of conservatism will be temporary IMO. Globalization will isolate such thinking and it will eventually shrivel and drown in the bathtub (That’s for you Grover Norquist).Say no to the greedy side… vote Dem.

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  294. Prof. wrote: “If we need 1.4 trillion and we are taxing 1.6 trillion, then we need a tax cut.”-Yes, IF. IF we have a surplus, we need a tax cut. Briliant!However, IF we are running a deficit, we might need a raise in our taxes. I think what Common Good means is if we are going to use the credit card to pay for the war, the rich shouldn’t be getting tax breaks so that I have to pay the inevitable bill down the line….

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  295. “Maybe you can help me here. How much are we supposed to give? No, not that silly promise of .7%.”Silly promise? That’s not what the word’s leading economists are saying. And that’s what was PROMISED.“That is not an authoritative objective amount.”-Yes it is. Again, that’s what the world’s leading economists are saying. But what do they know anyway?“How about 10% of GDP? 50%? We’re pretty wealthy, how about 30% to our government and 50% to the rest of the world?”-So we have jumped from .12% of GDP to the Professor’s suggestion of 50%. C’mon. Now that’s silly. .7 percent will not kill the golden egg goose, it’ll make it stronger. There are stategic reasons, as well as basic human reasons, for wanting to aid the poor. 50%, as you know, will kill the goose. It’s not an all or nothing world. It would still be 1/10th of military spending. Now back to everyone’s position on the pill. I want to “out” all the closet abortionists in the room.

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  296. Yea, since we are all relatively anonymous, I guess we can just all admit whether or not our “spouses” use “the Pill” or any other unnatural form of family planning. BECAUSE….. if anyone does…. then technically they are aborting their “human life” children.This is because when the egg is fertilised, it passes through the uterus and doesn’t attach itself… then it dies a premature death. It’s a morning-after pill, essentially.Now I will be quite suspicious of anyone who doesn’t have 7 kids like my Catholic grandma, or 8 kids like her Catholic sister in New Jersey. Or 10 kids like the family that sits behind us at church. How many of us Pro-Lifers here are hypocrites? Do we rationalize it and say that a mere embryo doesn’t deserve the same rights as a more developed fetus…? To be honest, I personally think there is a difference between the two. Though I respect a mere embryo, I don’t think it deserves rights.

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  297. Common Good: “<>getting ours” was in reference to our (US) tax breaks at a time of war… not a reference to foreign aid. <>I know it was.<>Conservatives can’t even give up the “lower tax rate mantra” to pay for a war. <>Tax is to pay for government, not to punish or exact justice upon the governed. If we need 1.4 trillion and we are taxing 1.6 trillion, then we need a tax cut. The reverse is true as well. After 9/11, commercials stopped, comedians stopped, sports stopped. The contrast between ultimate tragedy and the superfluous day-to-day distractions was acute. But eventually, and necessarily, we all turned back to everyday life. Sports, comedians like Leno, and yes, even tax relief in the midst of the Summer of 2000 stock market tank, the following recession, and the uneasiness in the economy after 9/11. Auto dealers financed vehicles for 0%, massive rebates, etc. The government passed tax laws to help stimulate the economy. F.Y.I., greedy businesses need incentive to hire people. Mere kindness is not enough, they want to know if it will benefit them. If they get a temporary help from lower taxes, they might be able to hire someone they might not otherwise could hire.<>We give less than 1% of GDP in foreign aid… save your breath, you come out looking silly…<>Maybe you can help me here. How much are we supposed to give? No, not that silly promise of .7%. That is not an authoritative objective amount. How about 10% of GDP? 50%? We’re pretty wealthy, how about 30% to our government and 50% to the rest of the world? If not why not? Who are you to say that living on 20% of the wealth in one of the richest nations is not enough? How about a cap on wealth at $250,000? House + vehicles + retirement + the shirt on your back. That is billionaire territory compared to the poor nations of this country. Can you condone a wealth gap any greater? That would definitely reduce the wealth gap that so many whine over. And what is your incentive to work when you hit that magical wealth cap? Nada. What will you tax? It sure won’t be productivity and prosperity. Nix retirement, nix incentive, nix dreams, nix the lottery, nix life insurance, nix it all.I tried to find the “taxmemore” web site from the Arkansas politician but it didn’t last. Not many takers. I wonder why?Prof. Ricardo

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