ring of fire

I am not sure whether I fell in to the ring of fire or whether I jumped. Supporting the GOP was for me, like most people, a conscious choice but after a while, I discovered that like love, politics too burns.

In my defense, I was never fully comfortable with the GOP. I supported them by pulling the straight party levers (back when it really was a lever) because I was overwhelmingly concerned with fiscal policy, national defense and abortion. As a teenager and young adult, it was easy to make the error of assuming politicians actually mean what they say, so I beg the forgiveness of the Almighty and my gentle readers for the transgressions of my youth.

I remember my mid-life political epiphany with clarity though it came about not in an instantaneous flash of light but over a period of a few months in 1996. Having already had all I could stomach studying asset forfeiture, flag burning, sacramental peyote and other significant civil liberties affronts, the extraordinary hypocrisy of the budget battles sealed it: I had become a full blown political heretic. After dabbling with the Libertarian Party for a few years and eventually abandoning that institutionally defective and philosophically incomplete camp, I found the path of political redemption by dropping out of the existing political process altogether and dedicating myself to using the power of the pen to try to shake whatever small circle of people I can out of the two-party stupor which plagues our land.

I am reminded of all of this because of reading the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It is an interesting read to say the very least.

Interesting because of its overt political nature. The political thrust and parry drip from the white space between the words of putatively sober jurisprudential exegesis. Stevens and Scalia were at their result oriented best reducing the opportunity for righting egregious wrongs and propounding great ideas into a base game of political sport.

Stevens and Scalia are no Hand and Holmes.

The decay of our Federal Judiciary is emblematic of the larger trend of politicization of our nation. Stevens and Scalia are both extremely intelligent men who are fully capable of propounding great ideas in articulate and reasoned analysis. Instead, they give us eisegetical crap.

As a nation we have come to accept this hyper-politicization of everything as something normal and wholesome. When the blue team scores, the crowd roars its approval while the red team clings to hopes of a good free agency period between elections. It is all about victory and defeat.

This politicization affects big stuff that is easy to identify, but you can even see its subtle affects in the smaller things as well.

Perhaps space exploration is not a small thing, but it provides an immediate and useful example of how deeply political we have become. As I write, we are awaiting the Space Shuttle return to flight launch and there is considerable angst over the future of the various NASA programs. If you are not keeping up, it boils down to this: if the flight is successful, then the Shuttle will continue flights for the next four years to complete the International Space Station (ISS). Another failure will likely permanently ground the Shuttle fleet and the ISS will never achieve any stage of construction remotely similar to finished.

Whether Space Exploration is a worthy goal or not is a separate and interesting debate which I am happy to have. But we have gone forward in this direction and having made that decision, we should be proceeding based on scientific merit and rational objectives. Instead the go/no-go decision is being influenced by budget cycles and political spin. The growing corollary national disease of extreme risk aversion plays into the politics of the Space Shuttle, but I’m going to exercise some discipline and avoid venturing further down that tangent.

Truly, it must be incredibly disappointing to career scientists and engineers at NASA to be at the mercy of the spin cycle. But no more disappointing than this political reality is to thousands of our best and brightest who pursue noble causes such as medical research only to find out that getting funding is also a political process. No more disappointing than realization that meritorious science is less important than spending on the political disease du jour.

No more disappointing than figuring out that this is what we have become as a nation.

As we play the two-party game, the federal budget grows and grows. Vote producing procurement programs move forward while things that matter are not even discussed much less addressed. As we fall down, down, down into the political ring of fire, more and more people are getting burned.

I, for one, refuse to stoke the flames.

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532 thoughts on “ring of fire”

  1. I’m sure our GOP knuckle-dragging Senators know more about economics and our economy than < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061011/ap_on_bi_ge/minimum_wage_1" REL="nofollow">these guys<>

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  2. Prof,I got the reference to the Treaty of Tripoli from Jon Meecham’s book… American Gospel. I think it would be a good read for you for your project. Jon’s book is about the role of religion in our country from it’s founding, use by presidents (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Catholicism, Reagan). I think his goal was to make the point that my view (religion should be separate from government) and your view (we are a Christian nation) are both wrong. He makes the case that our country was founded on what Franklin termed “public religion”… i.e. generic religious belief. I guess it comes down to three choices. Our country was founded on:1) one’s own religion2) a public generic religion3) no religionI still think it’s nonsense to say we were founded on equal rights and in the next breath claim those are rights from god that the atheist are also entitled to… but we have had that discussion. Prof… you should get that book. Meecham is a good writer and I think you would enjoy it, even if you don’t agree with his conclusions.

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  3. Prof,Huh? Are you saying Washington (this started on his watch), Adams, the Senate put their name to something that wasn’t true just for prisoner recovery. Adams signed his death warrant with the Declaration of Independence… I rather doubt he had a change of character by 1797. Surely the Prof kids. 🙂Regardless… I just wanted you to make sure you included this in your website diatribe… I mean project. 🙂

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  4. Mr. G.Hmm. Why do you suppose Joel Barlow felt the need to mention Article 11? It couldn’t be that there was a world wide consensus opinion of the U.S. that he was trying to contradict for the stated purposes of peace and prisoner release, would it?

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  5. I wonder if FDR or Churchill ever discussed tax policy in press conferences following events like N. Korea testing (or maybe testing) nuclear weapons? We desperately needed wisdom and humility post-911, and we got shallow and arrogant. We better start electing some wisdom soon, or this rock will crumble.

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  6. I’m crushed…< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061009/ap_en_tv/people_stewart_colbert;_ylt=AsYJNTJ4yMGyNZzgc_aRMgwEtbAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhZDJjOXUyBHNlYwNtdm5ld3M-" REL="nofollow">Stewart and Colbert won’t run in 2008<>

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  7. Prof,Yes, one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard of… along with the other sick pervert in the highschool. I rather doubt those of us with a conscience can understand those without one (either not born with one or lost it along the way). I get someone reaching the end of their rope and ending it… but just take yourself out, what does innocent girls have to do with anything. From the family of those brave little girls who said “shoot me first”. <>“It was very courageous of the girls to offer themselves,” Rhoads said. “God was really present to give the girls that kind of courage.”<>The belief is god was there to give courage… but not to protect such innocence from such evil. For me, that will never be a god worth praying to. Perhaps a god to fear, and perhaps adapting the wise humility that fear demands… but a caring god? Sorry, just isn’t logical. I am reminded how many of the founders were Deist in the book I’m reading. They seemed to believe a Creator created this rock and then moved on. You could at least put some logic to evil events like this schoolhouse shooting… just don’t see how you map providence to something like this.

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  8. I can not explain the depth of my outrage over the murder of the Amish children. Evil is so wicked and its extreme contrast with goodness was evident that sad day. A man who had an obligation, a duty, to support and protect <>his<> family left that responsibility to commit a heinous crime against the unprotected of other men’s families, to serve his selfish desires. That day he thought only of himself. Apparently that had been his focus for some time.In contrast, the sweet, innocent girls, ages 7 and up, in their modest dresses and respectful submissive attitudes, awaited such wicked carnal violence that their sheltered lives could never imagine. Yet, upon realizing his intent to kill them, stepped forward and selflessly said “shoot me first, shoot me first” so as to potentially spare the others. Can a greater contrast be made?My rage exceeds my ability to express.And yet, the families with such great loss, such great injustice done to them, went to visit the widow of the violent murderer and condole with her. I feel shame that, even though I as a Christian should view reality from an eternal perspective, my guttural reaction for vengeance is so encompassing.“Why can’t we all just get along?” – Rodney KingThe one room school house is to be torn down. There was blood on every desk. God forgive us.

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  9. Equally interesting is that it appears the page was < HREF="http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2006/10/05/20061005_193259_flashmfa.htm" REL="nofollow">eighteen<>, part of a < HREF="http://www.drudgereport.com/page.htm" REL="nofollow">prank<>, and the republican who <><>said<><> something to an eighteen year old quit immediately in shame and the president who <><>did<><> something to an intern barely older than the page was defended by those in the party that appreciates the gay vote so well, but threw this gay to the hounds for less than their beloved President <><>did<><>. It’s been so long since I had been to the circus, I had forgotten how fun it was.

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  10. I must be living in bizarro-land. A drunk gay GOP congress critter engages in some nastygrams with a consenting 16 year old…. keep in mind just consenting to typing as far as we know… and the GOP eats it’s own. Meanwhile, back at the oval office, their commander and chief got us into a war that is likely to light a civil war in the middle east, and they stand behind their man. BIZARRO-LAND.

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  11. Prof,“page meat”… bad, bad Prof. 🙂<>Although all of those maybe true, it is the nature of the beast – the beast being government.<>I would say the beast is man, not government. Government is man working collectively, and we certainly can’t say it is in our best interest to avoid all collectivism, or we would have no laws and no ordered societies. I agree that power corrupts, but also believe that applies outside of government. By definition, less government power means more power to wealth, corporations, business… the power goes somewhere. Power needs some check and balances (unless you are a Hamilton guy who pretty much believed those with money should own the government… he would be happy now). You have to ask… what gives us the best chance to check that power… collective representative government or the few wealthy in the so-called free market (i.e. Gilded Age). To me, the only logical hope to checking that power is a “good” government. The argument goes that we will never achieve that… and the current government (we are living through our second Gilded age, with corporate america owning the government) certainly supports that. My response is maybe… but it’s the only chance. The minimum government will also leave the wealthy in charge, let them define work place standards, wages, child labor, etc. The argument here is that man voluntarily transacting with others will define a fair society. Nonsense… the man with the gold makes the rules. If the man with the gold has the only business in town, he is free to define wages as he sees fit… fairness does not pop out the other side without society collectively voting on fairness. This is why Unions came about in the first place. Business and owners of capital are not the only class that matters… the working class also matters and should get a vote even if they are lacking in gold. The minimum government ideology settles for the golden rule… those with the gold make the rules. The progressive path offers us a chance to evolve well beyond our current you-are-on-your-own morality. A conservative path condemns our American experiment to our current greed-based society. The problem is definitely not to little god, but rather, too much greed. The core proselytizing of kids in our country is “go get yours” with almost zero “we are in this together”. If you really want to improve education, it’s going to take more than being more proficient at math and science. The conservative says this is the best we can do because it’s the best we can do with what we have to work with… ourselves. I don’t buy it… we would have never had laws in the first place if we weren’t able to recognize at certain amount of collectivism is required. The nation has been in a progressive path since it’s founding (native indian slaughter reparation, slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, worker rights and child labor laws, work place and environment laws, pluralistic public schools, etc.) To come to the conclusion that “hey, we hit the sweet spot, we can stop the progression” is interesting, to say the least. Why would anyone come to a conclusion that anything man invented (nation, constitution, economic system, laws, etc.) popped out the first time as golden… i.e. sacred and not to be evolved over time. It’s ludicrous… it’s <>Lugubrious<> {that was for Tony}. I look at our current crop of pathetic elected types and do not come to the conclusion our only hope is no government, but rather a <>better<> government… that means progression, not some federalism status quo.There is a limit to me-centric societies… and we certainly are living it.

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  12. It’s amazing how many in office < HREF="http://www.humanevents.com/lists.php?id=17357" REL="nofollow">fall<>. It’s kind of like Frodo the ring bearer in Lord of the Rings. The power corrupts. And Its not necessarily an initial evil tendency, but an inflated confidence in oneself to be a steward of billions of dollars and fresh intern/page meat without having one’s own bias and mischief coming to the fore front. Either party – doesn’t matter. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Tony understands this. He hates both parties. I believe he errors, in my humble opinion, in that he thinks it’s a party problem, or a corrupt, ignorant, or stupid public problem. Although all of those maybe true, it is the nature of the beast – the beast being government. Dogs bark, cats meow, and governments place the power (whether by public consent or dictatorial) in the hands of the few and the base nature of men is to grab and not release that power and to do things not injurious to themselves like protect legacy, acquire fortune, exploit pleasure, and so on. Our forefathers new this and limited government accordingly. We don’t know it and we expand government accordingly. Then when men succumb to their base nature and fall (not that they didn’t back then, but there was less opportunity for it), we have the two party system to blame the other party for indiscretions while ignoring the real cause. Willful blindness is quite the joy ride. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

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  13. Clinton – cigars an internJefferson – $90,000 in frigAbramoff – jailNey – jailCunningham – jailDeLay – potential jailFoley – gay GOP hitting on male pages, maybe jailFrist – under investigation over stock disclosure lawsAllen – Micaca boy, n-word slinger, Confederate flag and hangman’s noose in office, chopped dear head stuff in a black’s mailbox, fake cowboy/redneckRove – gave up an American CIA agent, went to sporting events with Abramoff, uglyCheney – big fat liarProf is really starting to have a point about small government if this is the best we can produce. I mean, if the only function of the government was the military, then you limit the harm a deer-head-chopper-offer-mailbox-stuffer could do.

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  14. Mr I,Yes, I wrote that. Why… did it sound beyond my reach? 🙂 I am proud of the phrase “conflating personal responsibility into self-reliance”… it is a GOP-focus-group-worthy soundbite.

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  15. Mr I… you really don’t want to tweak my public company CEO compensation nerve here. These guys have heard my rants on public company CEOs making 400 times average worker pay here. If this blogsite had a decent search facility, I would go back and find some of my wars with Prof on the subject. You mentioned their pay not be tied to performance… which I think is a given once you say out loud… 400 times average worker pay (I’ve always thought they must not put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us… and surely their shit must not stink)… but my all time favorite is the CEO that takes the company through bankruptcy court… wipes out all debt including common stock holders (I owned quite a bit of Global Crossing)… and comes out the other end making the same… often more compensation. Seems to me a rule of bankruptcy should be the old CEO has to go… otherwise where is the risk, reward and personal responsibility Prof preaches about. Sorry… I just can’t do the CEO rant again. I think it cost me a few years off of my life last time. 🙂I have been reading. Just finished:The World is Flat – Thomas FreidmanTake This Job and Ship It – Sen. DorganFreakanomics FiascoAmerican Gospel (currently reading… a book Prof needs for his website project)

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  16. CG:I amazed at how easily you have foiled the anonymity of my alias. 😉Did you really write that previous post? You’ve been reading again.While I do not completey disagree (if I followed the discourse) the niaevette’ that I was referring and the irony that you point to is you cannot explain CEO compensation with that model. If fact the opposite is true, in the face of CEO’s irrefutable failure he is golden parachuted out as if he were a hero. There are no market dynamics at work in that process.

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  17. Mr Incredible… is that the lawyer {guy}? 🙂Yes, it’s a bit naive to conflate the ideology of personal responsibility into self-reliance… which is exactly what conservatives do. They make allowances for not being 100% self-reliant if that reliance is purchased from the free market (i.e. insurance), but invent some kind of distinction of that reliance being collectively provided through government. They claim this type of collective agreement on safety-nets via representative government violates Constitution provided liberties, which of course is fiction. Perhaps the biggest irony in the self-reliance spiel is a conservative’s (statistically) propensity to rely on a belief in a deity. The group that is most reliant in the spiritual realm is the most likely to turn around and chastise reliance in other realms of life (i.e. public, society, representative government). The flip-side is the irony of the atheist or agnostic that faces the reality of life without the solace of the meaning of life, and yet, still champions a collective spirit via government to provide safety-nets for the needy. You would think if anyone (statistically) would be more likely to sign up for the eat-your-own-kill mantra, with no moral responsibility to others in your society, it would be those that didn’t fear an afterlife punishment for such behavior. I’m a big fan of irony {and sarcasm}… it helps one get through the day. I guess it fills that I-know-the-meaning-of-life gap. If one separates the truth found in a personal responsibility sermon (if enough of us aren’t being pretty personally responsible in our society, we don’t exist) from the false goal of 100% self-reliance, then you can start having intelligent conversations about what common sense government safety-nets should exist. Just as a head of the household purchase of family health insurance is “personally responsible”, so is a vote in one’s government to make sure your family’s old are guaranteed some acceptable level of living standard EVEN IF THEY, AND THEIR CHILDREN fail to achieve sufficient success in laissez-faire America. It is personally responsible to cast the vote in your society that says we will hedge the lifetime capitalism success of families by tapping required wealth redistribution from those in the same society that achieved extreme success. It is personally responsible to reject those selling the idea that this simple collective progressive taxation vote by a society violates the property rights of those that achieve disproportionate wealth in the same shared society. Accepting the results of an economic system as the only fairness arbiter required… without any inspection of the facts on the ground, is not personally responsible in a society. Irony… your country club friends making the case they have been taxed too much. The only conclusion I can come to when I hear that is that, if they weren’t particularly brilliant and the exception, they would have never been able to overcome those unfair tax rates and end up at the country club. Not so much… not from where I’m standing. Like Buffet said… if there is a class war going on, his class is winning. I will never measure our society by the number of Gates and Buffets we create… but rather the collective choices we made and put in writing/government/law. The our-poor-are-the-best-off and trickle-down-bounty-from-the-wealthy will never be personally responsible ideology… no matter what percentage of the population votes for it. I rather doubt it’s personally responsible to post this many words on Curms website. 🙂

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  18. To all:Had to get a Nomdeguerre to sign in as anonymous posts are no longer allowed. I was the only one using my real name besides the host so I am at a loss to explain.I have been fryin’ other fish but came back to check in. Prof – IS there a blog spot for me to check for your religious theory of everything? Let me know.Oh yeah, your last is post is pretty niaeve.

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  19. “… and the wealth gap is growing.”Thank God. I was hoping the upside potential was not disappearing. I figured out that conservatives are people who are worried about the wealth gap. They think that the less well off should have the liberty to conduct business and reap the rewards. Progressives are concerned about the wealth gap too. They are afraid somebody has exercised their liberty and reaped their rewards. One seeks to preserve a path for gaining financial independence. The other seeks to guarantee the status quo through dependence on others, removing incentive to advance because the benefit will be removed, thus securing their lowly estate, albeit with a “safety net.” When everybody is surfing the waves of capitalism, the Dems would have the teaming masses sitting on the shore with floaties. Very safe.

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  20. Yoshi,The party that combines the forces that are dedicated to keeping the wealthy’s advantage, and those with the certitude and arrogance to preach values and policy to others… is the party most likely to elect immoral leaders. The party that recognizes grey in a complex world, and seeks progressive improvement in society over time by actually using their brain instead of superstition guidance… is the party most likely to elect leaders that will better serve a pluralistic society and produce a strong middle class. Currently, the wealthy are winning by leveraging and playing the superstitious… and the wealth gap is growing. Globalization is about to throw a monkey wrench in that current GOP marketing. Never underestimate a society’s wealth holders and their creativity at holding on to wealth… but it’s going to be a lot harder to find a Karl Rove to sell the shit in the brave new global world. Of course Tony will tell you… both parties are equal. 🙂

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  21. Yoshi,Yes… the Foley thing is about as sick as it gets. With any luck, the public will wake up and vote some oversight back into Congress. Bye bye Santorum… and just maybe, bye bye Allen. George Allen was the Shrub RR heir apparent for 2008, and that is now over. Bummer… how will we ever survive without another fake cowboy in the White House? I’m sure Allen already had the vacation wood cutting script and location scouted. Did you see Borat visit DC?

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  22. Prof,You can have Inhofe free of charge. We will package him up and ship him to Texas. I would offer a trade with one of your senators, but you guys haven’t done any better any searching out a senator with an ounce of humility. At least Coburn offers some entertainment value with his war on wasteful spending… but behind the curtains, he appears to be a nut-job holy roller. This is what I hear from Infofe: Since the scientist (the vast majority) that support the reality of global warming are all part of some hoax being committed against the American people, we should therefore continue (maybe even accelerate) our human invented methods of dumping toxins into the air… the air that is shared by all inhabitants (across nations) of this rock. What I hear him saying is: Since global warming is a hoax, any citizen that thinks it’s a good idea to monitor business dumping toxins in our ground water is nothing but do-gooders that don’t understand this planet is the domain of business. What I hear is… well… you get the idea. I just finished the book Fiasco. We might has well put up neon signs advertising that Americans are arrogant with zero interest in Iraq other than our own interests… i.e. that advertise concern about their freedoms is just marketing. I could give you tons of examples from the book… but let me just give you one that provided the gut wrenching clarity for me. Imagine being an Iraqi on the other side of the river from the green zone. You are a husband and father with small kids… and aren’t part of the insurgency… and have only one goal… the survival of your family. Death squads roam the neighborhoods… randomly killing and raping. There is no security, and very limited electricity. Jobs are sparse… and any job you take means you have to leave your family to fend for themselves while you are away. In the middle of this hell (and don’t kid yourself, an infinitely worse hell than that under Saddam… although that was hell also)… you look across the river at night and see the green zone and the US military bases lit up like the fourth of July. Inside that green zone is restaurants, bars, Starbucks, Burger King, etc. The Americans come out from that gated community at night to make nightly raids on suburb neighborhoods… sometimes humiliating the males in front of family members which is devastating in their honor culture. Later… when most of these males are released that were caught up in these random sweeps, the male is honor bound to action in his society to reclaim his honor. This will usually take the form of a gun shot at a soldier, or perhaps laying a bomb (they have no choice… we just don’t understand other societies). In the early post-invasion days in Iraq, the US military kept observing these guys on the side of the road with the guns and RPGs were really lousy shots. What most now believe is the Iraqi who had to defend his honor, did so by shooting over the target.Everything about the way we conducted this Iraqi war seems to be a direct extension of the arrogance of this administration. They met our 911 challenge with ape-like chest pounding, arrogance and incompetence in conducting a counterinsurgency war. And one really asks whether or not this president is embarrassing us… really?Infofe will be on the way. Will FedEx do?

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  23. <>Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff on Thursday evening about the perils of climate change, claiming: Cigarette smoking is a “significant contributor to global warming!<>“ And they say Bush is embarrassing us in front of the world.“<>I do have to give credit to another publication, Congressional Quarterly, or CQ for short. On Tuesday, CQ’s Toni Johnson took the issues I raised seriously and followed up with phone calls to scientist-turned global warming pop star James Hansen’s office. CQ wanted to ask Hansen about his quarter of a million dollar grant from the left-wing Heinz Foundation, whose money originated from the Heinz family ketchup fortune. “As I have pointed out, many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate skeptics, but the same media completely fail to note Hansen’s huge grant from the partisan Heinz Foundation. It seems the media makes a distinction between ketchup money and oil money.<>” – < HREF="http://www.epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264027" REL="nofollow">Sen.Inhofe<>

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  24. Irony:A socialist nation and leader makes a ton of $ engaging in capitalism with the US, and then uses some of the capitalism profits to wealth transfer to poor income neighborhoods (via discounted oil) in the US, in neighborhoods that the US does not engage in any wealth transfer (i.e. does not take care of those poor neighborhoods). On top of that, as a guest in this country, protected by this country, the socialist leader calls the capitalist leader “a devil” in the world body created for world dialogue between countries to address world need… said another way, world wealth redistribution. This stuff just writes itself. More irony”That healthcare system we won’t let the poor people in < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/20060921/bs_bw/tc20060921053503" REL="nofollow">isn’t even that good<>.

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  25. One of the main themes of the book “Fiasco” is that this administration and military leaders (just the narrow military leaders this was restricted down to… many military leaders got it exactly right and new the real war was after Baghdad fell) failed to properly define “winning”. Winning was not occupying Iraq or even simply regime change. Winning was standing up a functioning society and being able to leave. Israel won the Six day war, and have had continued fighting for decades. We could very well slow down Iran’s nuclear progress (although I wonder, because much of this has to be intellectual progress)… but face a lifetime of Iran suicide bombers. It all keeps coming back to the same thing… the Texas* cowboy chest-pounding and our military are useless in a middle east democacy crusade. This administration saw no use in post Iraq invasion planning. Somebody better wise up and start planning for Iran with a nuclear weapon. The oval office cowboy stance… not talking to the child until the child picks up their clothes… is not going to work. Israel and Palestine is no longer an option… this has to be addressed now. In the end, perhaps Iran really would try and destroy Israel even with a two state solution in place… but it’s obvious the current situation can’t continue (what do we have to lose to finally force some two state solution). This is no longer as simple as just backing Israel no matter what… the US can’t be held hostage to this any longer. I would say Israel’s future is toast anyway on the current path. Create a two state solution now… and hope the demographics of Iran’s population head off the mushroom clouds of the future. The WMD genie is out of the bottle… we will not be able to police the globe. Arrogance won’t work now going forward… maybe try something else.

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  26. Chilling… I just saw FoxNews paste “Axis of Evil President speaks at…” on their broadcast as Iran’s president spoke at a news conference. We have witnessed it in our lifetimes… a major news network serving as nothing more than a propaganda arm of an administration. This level of arrogance (both this president, his administration, and his personal news network) only occurs when absolute truth belief systems are merged with state. The irony is the enemy is doing exactly the same thing. I guess… may your fundamentalist have the biggest weapons. We have the Bill Kristol’s and David Frum’s of the world running around now saying that Bush will be an absolute failure as a president if he doesn’t attack Iran before he leaves office. Somebody really needs to buy these Fratboy neocon pussies some toy soldiers to play with. If you think our military and CIA support this White House, you might want to pick up a copy of the book “Fiasco”. The decisions of Bremer and Rumsfeld were devastating for our soldiers. The public may never get it… but the facts are certainly known by that minority of Americans we have fight our wars for us.Add MSNBC to the “Axis of Evil” broadcasters. They pasted it across their screen just like FoxNews. It’s all just one big sports contest. Fine… I need a beer and a hot dog.

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  27. <>One wonders if the Democrats know or care how they look <>We know… we are beautiful. Too sexy, too sexy for our bodies….I had a good laugh with Tony about the 500 posts and your dial-up access. If anything proves loyalty to Curmland… that does it. I suggest we all go on strike until he posts again. Jeeze… even a placeholder post would do. I’m sure that would go against the wordsmithing mural he has been painting…. artists are so sensitive.

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  28. A bill to require a photo ID for voting was rejected by Democrats.“<>But Democrats, siding with groups that work on behalf of minorities and illegal aliens, called the bill a “modern-day poll tax” and said it would place an insurmountable burden on voters and infringe upon their voting rights.<>” < HREF="http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20060921-123316-5086r.htm" REL="nofollow">The Washington Times<>There are certain burdens people are willing to bear. We already have to provide our voter registration card. Having illegal’s, whether Chinese communist or Venezuelan communists, or Islamic terrorist, I would rather the illegal’s voting rights be infringed than those of legitimate voters diluted with illegal votes. I realize these illegal’s, imprisoned criminals, and numerous cemeteries are what make up the bulk of the Democrat base. However, if we aren’t going to vote correctly, what is the point of holding elections?One wonders if the Democrats know or care how they look constantly pandering to the illegal vote.

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  29. Yoshi,Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to look on the net to give you a little perspective on Political Correctness. I found this < HREF="http://www.academia.org/lectures/lind1.html" REL="nofollow">article<> this morning. What he says parallels what I have known for years, albeit with a lot more names and history than I possessed. Most people caught up in the ideology don’t even know the origins of their beliefs and arguments. They parrot the simpleton statements without having real discernment. On a different note, apparently Tony is weeding out the dial-up crowd by allowing this blog to go to 500+. Unfortunately, that includes me. 😦

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  30. Let’s see… you protest someone calling your religion violent by participating in a violent protest. Now that’s irony… and f***ed up.I’ve decided our democracy does not work because it really isn’t incentive-based (or at least built around the wrong incentives). Per our very own Prof’s sermons… capitalism works because of individual incentives… i.e. consenting to mutually beneficial trade. I’m sure the founders intended our democracy to be incentive-based… it just didn’t work out that way. Here is a short list of observations that lead me to the belief our democracy is in strong need of incentive maintenance:1) It doesn’t take much observation to come to the conclusion that US presidents are pretty much free to act as independent agents… particularly when it comes to foreign policy. We get to vote for president once every four years, but that pretty much ends the average citizen’s participation in their democracy. With Shrub, we are left to watch the horror show as he claims to be “the decider”… and there is very little that can be done about it. He boldly claims “a good leader doesn’t govern by polls”. To me, that’s exactly the same thing as saying “it really wouldn’t matter if 90% of the public disagrees with the Iraq war… the only decision that matters until Shrub hits his constitutional term limit is Shrubs… the fate of the world rests on this failed silver-spoons mediocre mind”. 2) I have ZERO incentive to vote in Oklahoma (National elections) other than conscience… and I don’t think conscience rates very high on the human nature incentive scale. My state will never vote for the Dem President or Senator. Incentives are based on gaining a desired outcome… and my Oklahoma vote fails that test. I think this is an obvious reason why the electoral college votes should be weighted in each state… i.e. at least at the end of the day, I can see my vote counted in the Dem candidates minority state electoral vote. (Which means it really can’t be just per precinct either… because a precinct can be a lock just as much as the entire state). At the end of the day, if your candidate didn’t win, then your vote still didn’t count. That said, we need to come up with something that puts the incentive back into voting (beyond just conscience).3) I think the entire Congress is non-incentive based, other than the one glaring one that Tony preaches on this site (The two party game of getting elected again). 100% control of the agenda by the winning party (even if by 1 percent) is… to steal a phrase… a serial single incentive based system. The promotion of a winner-control-all democracy does nothing more than focus democracy on the vote (as if democracy was nothing more than a sports contest), and does almost nothing to focus the democracy on real debate and results. We should change Congress rules and provide an alternating “at bat” regarding agenda items and timing. If you build your democracy as a simple sports contest… then that is what you will live with. 4) Perhaps the most obvious incentive-based flaw in our democracy is our current $1 dollar equals 1 vote process. Note, this is a case of having incentives built in, but the wrong one. We have built a democracy where our leaders come from THE MOST $… either the candidates or those that back them. In a contest between a lifetime silver-spoon failure with the backing of $ and the brilliant intellectual (elite) that is truly presidential-worthy but without $… the elite never makes it to the stage. The moneyed class that owns this government has actually sold the lemmings on the idea that our intellectual elite are just ivy league evil. Are you kidding me? If you ask me to pick a leader from someone who happened to be good at capitalism (or be friends with those that are)… or pick the 1 in 300 million intellectual elite that could actually grasp the complexity of this rock… it’s not even a close call. And yet… the lemmings… year after year… march in lockstep and plant one mediocre president after another in the oval office. Our $ based democracy will continue to elect greedy checker players with only a few interests… protecting their advantage and wealth, and staying in power for those simple goals. This is what I find most ironic. The very society that worships an incentive based economic system doesn’t spend one second contemplating the failed incentives in their democracy. Sure… a minority actually view our government as nothing more than defense (military and defense of private property)… but the rest of us should be recognizing that our democracy is really at it’s core $-incentive-based. Nothing will really ever change unless we divorce elections from capitalism. I have to believe the court decision to equate money to free speech doomed our democracy to a fate of a very shallow society. But by god… we have the right god and the best weapons.

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  31. We’re gonna lose. As long as we deceive ourselves, we’re gonna lose. When we refuse to acknowledge the enemy, or the problem, or the issues, we will fail to allocate our attention and resources where they should be. And Bush is king of mislabeling everything. Clinton was too. He didn’t recognize a string of acts of Islamic aggression as such with an appropriate response. Bush has mislabeled it a war on “terrorism.” Terrorism is a label that describes a form of attack that does not seek to attack military targets, but civilian, thus striking <>terror<> into the enemy and hopefully achieving their results. Terrorism is a technique, not an enemy. Our enemy is using terrorism as a technique to harm us. But if we mislabel our enemy as a technique, then we come up with stupid policies that allow our enemy on to our planes, but extract safety scissors from nine year olds and pat down grandmothers. General George Washington would vomit his toes up if he knew how insane and blind our policies and thinking had become. He’d say “nuke us, the cancer is malignant”.Political correctness is the mental illness wherein an effort to be unoffensive to groups we wish not to offend, we reject truth and consequences (this is not to be confused with diplomacy). As you can see, the mental illness of political correctness could cause the aforementioned errors in identifying the enemy. If we develop a model in our minds that there are no differences between religions, then we start labeling a religion “a religion of peace” when we watch our fellow countrymen have they heads hacked off and their burnt bodies hung from high places. We reject the truth – barbarism – for the higher priority, the desire not to offend. With truth and consequences left leaking off the alter of political correctness, it is impossible to achieve security for our country.Actually, it becomes humorous to an extent that in our effort to not “offend” Muslims bent on our annihilation, we have offered the greatest offense in failing to recognize them as our enemy. Like a small child hitting on an adult, can you imagine attacking someone as vicious as you can, and they fail to recognize you as the enemy? What an insult. No wonder they are livid. We belittled their attacks by labeling it some mumbo jumbo technique. I know I’d be ticked. When the first dirty nukes go off in 7 cities within hours of each other, this time killing millions, I wonder if we will still have the luxury of P.C. blindness. At that point I am going to take matters into my own hands. I will be relentless and they will receive no mercy. No, no, no, not the Muslims – our stupid politicians.Prof. Ricardo

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  32. http://www.borat.tv/Cut and paste this link… if you think what the Pope said was offensive towards Muslims, I wonder what they think of this guy…. he nails that mentality right on the head… and takes the backward Americans down with them….Long live Borat and his shining beacon of truth!!!!This movie proves that all this Islamic backwardness is just becoming the butt of our jokes….

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  33. The Muslim’s reaction to the Pope reading a quote from eons ago about the Muslim’s being violent. . . . was to protest by acts of < HREF="http://www.breitbart.com/news/na/cp_w091615A.xml.html" REL="nofollow">violence<>. I know they are fanatical about their beliefs, but are they that dumb?

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  34. ?If, according to Bush, we make no distinctions between terrorists, and the nations that harbor them… why do we not go after Bin Laden in Pakistan. Bush said in his press conference today that we don’t send people in because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. Huh… Iraq was a sovereign nation.

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  35. Yoshi,Since you read Freakonomics, you know Giuliani got credit for the drop in New York crime rate that was largely undeserved. I can only hope the era of the GOP is over, and we can get back to the moral progressive course that was interrupted by this virus called the conservative movement.In 2008, good president choices would be Al Gore and Gary Hart. Both would represent presidents that would have a brain available to make the tough choices ahead. Of course, that’s assuming recovering from our current president is even possible. I agree with Jon Stewart on Shrub’s political address to the nation on 911 (what a political snake) … at least the speech means we are 15 minutes closer to the end of Bush as president.

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  36. Rudolph Giuliani will be the next President. He is for gay rights, and he’s pro-abortion rights. I put a 100 bucks on it. I have a feeling about this…. E.S.P. I wonder how Scott Wilder and all his poor minions will deal with the betrayal of their values by their beloved Republican Party? Common Good, this election year, I think we should buy stock in the popcorn companies… this is going to be oh-so-fun to watch!!!!!!!

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  37. Hey Common Good, there is a book, called “Omnivores’ Dilemma”< HREF="http://www.amazon.com/Omnivores-Dilemma-Michael-Pollan/dp/1594200823/sr=8-1/qid=1157381757/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-5331496-5111869?ie=UTF8&s=books" REL="nofollow">Micheal Pollen<>

Something to check out. Did you know that they make pesticides and fertilizer from petroleum by-products? Did you know Coke is 100% corn product, and a Chicken McNugget is about 48% of calories from corn?Developing countries won’t get anywhere (as in, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps) until we start changing our agricultural policies… but after reading the book, you’ll see some powerful forces have an interest in preserving things the way they are.Professor, you might like it too. This book has me wanting to raise my own chickens as you do. Not to mention, it’s quite interesting how uncapitalistic our agricultural policy is. Actually Professor, you ought to consider selling your own chickens in your neighborhood for meat. Could be an income source… I think people are starting to want the real thing…

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  38. Randy P,Glad to hear you are a fellow pet lover. I will have to post some more material… we get this stuff constantly from the neighbors (our male Westie is in love with their Shih-tzu). Hey… you won’t believe this. While I’m sitting here typing in this post in Curmland… my male Westie attacked that dog on that tennis commercial… AGAIN. He does it every time that commercial comes on… he just launches himself into the TV screen. Something wrong with that pooch. He has attacked the TV often. Some things bug him on TV… what can I say. That dog they used to use on the Target commercials did it every time. Also, a horse always works. Lions don’t seem to… in fact, the little guy looked quite disturbed once when he saw a lion on TV. I think it shook him up. Those Lamisil critters that crawl under the toenails definitely light him up every time. The female Westie could care less about TV. 🙂Yoshi.. glad to hear you have joined the Deadwood club. I finished season one and two. When season three comes out on NetFlix, I will watch the first part of season three that I didn’t see. I finished Freakonomics. Pretty interesting. Levitt said it all boils down to incentives… figure out the incentives, and you can predict the direction us lemmings will take. With the GOP… you will need to frame those incentives as “war on X”… they are into wars. War on Drugs, War on illiteracy, War on terror. In your case, you need to start a war on “dying and suffering in third world countries”.

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  39. Hey Common Good, I got a new joke for you….Q.) How do you get a Republican to support abortion rights?A.) Tell them that they have to spend one of their own pennies to help take care of the child. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

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  40. CG,Your pet comments were a stinking riot. I have tears, I am laughing so hard. I have two dogs, large, and two cats and you hit the nail on the head. Crap that was too funny

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  41. It makes we want to hurl to see this president today getting a photo-op in New Orleans. They showed footage of Bush last year proclaiming… “Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job”. I noticed that last year some PR hack had actually taken the time to roll up Bush’s sleeves for the moment. New rule: if you are a government-hating (GOP) president, you don’t get to give speeches at the site of natural disasters.

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  42. Bill Maher is back. He has graciously updated the products we should not be allowed to take on airplanes.– Dr Scholl’s Shoe Bomb Inserts– Armed and Hamas Baking Soda– Martyr Sauce– Jihad Your Hair Smells Terrific– Soap on a Fuse– Tic Tocs– Behead and Shoulders– Pray and Wash– Pezbollah

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  43. Tony… for crying out loud, post something new. We are about to hit 500 posts. What a lousy Blog Scout Leader you are turning out to be. If you don’t, I’m going to start posting more stuff like the following:In honor of the fact that dogs are so much better than humans:<>PET RULES<>To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door – nose heightDear Dogs and Cats,The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years –canine or feline attendance is not required.The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat’s behind. I cannot stress this enough!To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted th e following message on our front door:To: All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:1. They live here. You don’t.2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.(That’s why they call it “fur”niture.)3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:1. Eat less2. Don’t ask for money all the time3. Are easier to train4. Normally come when called5. Never ask to drive the car6. Don’t hang out with drug-using friends7. Don’t smoke or drink8. Don’t have to buy the latest fashions9. Don’t want to wear your clothes10. Don’t need a gazillion dollars for college, and.. .11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

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  44. Great idea C.G. on the pictures at Walmart, gas pumps….I want to raise my own chickens and goats for the same reason…. killing them myself won’t separate me from the reality of it all…. as opposed to buying neat little meat packets that just came “from somewhere” at the butcher. Common Good, the secret is yourself, the difference is you. You have to start boycotting junk, buying ethically-made goods, creating a demand, starting the trend. Look at Whole Foods, they kick ass and take names now.These are ideas you have that you could capitalize on, make a profit, start your own company if not enough already exist like this…. I’ll be your venture capitalist. I can get a fortune in low interest rate student loans for us….That’s how to change things….

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  45. “We have a nuclear power plant a few miles away and a ridiculous war in the Middle East, countries getting bombed,” said Ian Bigelow, a 23-year-old who had gathered with some of his friends outside a bookstore. “So why’s it such a big problem if we chose to get nude?” < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060825/od_nm/vermont_nude_dc_1" REL="nofollow">Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore<>

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  46. C.G.: “<>I hated to go to Walmart before I clued into the sweatshop issue.<>”Don’t worry, with the free flow of illegal immigration now, we are importing the sweatshops here. Si?“<>When Tony and Prof gets abortion outlawed, they surely will help provide a bigger employment pool for future Walmart needs…<>”It’s good to see you recognize abortion for what it is. Not women’s rights, but the elimination of surplus (unwanted) people. If we could just get NOW and NARAL to consider Hezballah and Al Queda as “unwanted” people and that it was a women’s right not to be flown into a building, we could make short work of this war. Think 1.5 million a year.But you’re coming along just fine C.G. Small steps. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” said Dory from <>Finding Nemo<>. 🙂P.R.

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  47. Yoshi,Tony and Prof are government haters… you only debate them for fun. 🙂I was listening to some scientist\doctor on the PBS Newshour yesterday describe the new technique they came up with to take a cell (1 of 8) from the newly fertilized egg… create stem cells AND leave the fertilized egg unharmed. Fertilization clinics already used this technique to test for best candidates amongst the embryos for IVF insertion into the womb. The argument on the pro-embryo side just got a little stickier… because the embryo is not destroyed or harmed. If the argument narrows to “you can’t touch god’s creation”, then adult stem cells would also be off limits. In fact, much science research would be off limits. On the sweatshops… the US is responsible for the trade agreements we enter. If we know that is going on and still trade with those nations, we are just as guilty as if we had created those sweatshops on our soil. Most decent people desperately want these poor people around the globe to raise their standards of living, but we should demand better for them immediately when we sign these trade deals… or simply do not trade with them. What’s the point of us having labor laws and then looking the other way with nations we trade with? Common sense would dictate US companies under civilized labor laws can’t compete with a country without similar laws, standards and enforcement. It’s not good enough for me that “this provides an incremental improvement” for their shitty lives… so therefore look the other way. We have no business being the world’s democracy crusader, but demanding a trading partner have bare minimum worker rights is our “business”.They should have a picture of those that created the products on the products at Walmart. We should also have a picture of the Iran president at the gas pump thanking us for our contribution. In aggregate, the american sheep sure except some shitty bargains made by our government. It’s like our entire society is blind. btw… I’m a government hater also, but a different breed than Tony and Prof. I hate our existing government results and policies… but not the fact we have a government. 🙂

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  48. Common Good, think Prof. and Tony are bad?My wacky grandmother and aunt think it’s ethically, morally worse to take a morning after pill and “kill” a single-celled zygote than for that N. Texan U.S. soldier in Iraq to rape that Iraqi girl, then kill her and her whole family, and then burn everything down. Basically, to ritualisticaly rape and murder someone in a Satanic way is one thing, but oh no, to take the sweet precious life of a single-celled zygote is much, much more heinous a crime. That’s how far some of the “cults” have taken this abortion thing. All their credibility is lost. I mean, come on….

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  49. This might just be a growing pain on the way up the ladder though… sure, there should certainly be some minimum standards, I agree… 100 years ago it was happening in this country, but 2 generations from now, it’ll change… and their grandchildren will reap the benefit of their sweatshops now…..I was reading in Bangladesh about women working in clothing factories, miles from their homes. But the work kept them from getting married at 14 and having 5 kids at 20. It gave them a measure of independence from men. It gave them exposure to the city life. It takes time for these things to grow…. and as years go by, conditions start improving….I’ve been buying these clothes that aren’t made in sweatshops, and made with organic cotton (25% of the world’s pesticides are used on cotton). They laborers get a piece of the pie… the fruits of their labors, and it’s still profitable… a model for other companies to hopefully follow someday…But they are expensive. Try a T-Shirt for 60 dollars. Beautiful designs they are, but it’s still hard to afford. I can only buy their T-shirts for the time being…. I got one at Saks in New York City…

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  50. < HREF="http://www.nlcnet.org/resources/" REL="nofollow">Hidden Face of Globalization<> Bless Eisner’s heart… sounds like the dude really earned those $40 million years. I could never be a $40 million a year CEO like Eisner. I would go crazy one year and give a $million to one of these sweatshops to be passed out at Christmas (or whatever they celebrate). Sure, that would set a bad example for the CEO club. Like I said, I wouldn’t last long.Seriously…. these guys must use some serious drugs for sleeping at night. How does one ever grow enough ego to say… you know what, I’m worth $40 million a year.

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  51. Yoshi,<>Should we go to Target instead? Any difference?<>Not much difference as far as I can tell… except Walmart is the Gorillia setting the rules. Everyone else can follow or perish.< HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A8254-2002May12" REL="nofollow">Cheap doesn’t happen by accident<> < HREF="www.behindthelabel.org/pdf/Retailindus.pdf" REL="nofollow">1998 Made in China: Behind the Label<> <>Do you shop there?<>Very seldom. I hated to go to Walmart before I clued into the sweatshop issue. The lines were always a pain in the ass.So with Walmart we get:– forced China migration of manufacturing jobs– look the other way on China sweatshop labor as long as we get our shit cheap – federal tax payer has to help support Walmart employees because most don’t make a living wage, and at least 2/3rd don’t have health care. California did a study that estimated it cost federal tax payers $420,000 per year per Walmart store. Of course, this all works out because this is the natural healthy course of improved productivity, right? Part of our society has been pisssed ever since we did away with child labor and created something as crazy as worker rights. Happy times… they are getting another bite at the apple, but this time with other country’s kids. Yoshi… you hurry up and get all these starving kids saved so they can work their way up to a sweatshop. When Tony and Prof gets abortion outlawed, they surely will help provide a bigger employment pool for future Walmart needs… unless of course they squeeze that last bit of productivity out of those stores and everything is serviced by robots cheaper than the $9 Walmart employee.

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  52. Elaborate on the slave/ child labor C.G.Do you shop there? Should we go to Target instead? Any difference?I just buy batteries and cereal and things like this, things that I’d buy anywhere else…

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  53. <>It would seem to me that the problem with WalMart is that it IS so damn efficient.<>Yep… that child/slave labor is efficient… and cheap on top of that. What’s not to love? Our American slaves were much, much more expensive.

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  54. Common Good. It would seem to me that the problem with WalMart is that it IS so damn efficient. When I go in there and walk across the giant parking lot, dodge the baseball teams asking for donations, wait in a 20 minute long “express” line, see all the circus act Fat Ladies walking around, and nearly have a nervous breakdown from the eternally crying babies everywhere, I ask myself, “is this really worth saving money?”

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  55. Guy,I was reading yet another rant about Wal-mart being satan… which I agree with, but this time I had a funny thought. {this probably says something about how my mind works, or doesn’t} In the the middle of the usual rise of my blood pressure on the subject of Wal-mart, I had this thought of anyone trying to sell this concept in Deadwood {yeah, I’ve been watching too many DVDs}. Can’t you imagine some guy setting up a retail business on the Deadwood mainstreet, that sold everything, and everything cheaper. This one guy had a lock on all suppliers of goods, and no one else on mainstreet could compete with this guy. Well of course, the guy wouldn’t make it to sunset without his throat being cut. So one has to ask… have we made progress with Capitalism or have we lost some good old fashion efficiency that kept competition alive and well? 🙂

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  56. Look at Tony putting people “on notice”If you don’t look out Yoshi you’ll be dead to him.1984/Brave New World/Animal Farm/A Clockwork OrangeAll great books that expose the reader to new thoughts about government that seem more relevant than ever. I ate them up in highschool but freely admit that I haven’t read them since but they are a part of my political coming of age. The subserrviant streak that runs through them I found thrilling and when I finally got turned on to Kurt Vonnegut my skepticism of ll that I see was complete.

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  57. As discussed before, we have an open posting policy here at the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon. However, the recent post accusing your gentle host of being “The Government” sinks to new depths in lack of civility. Accordingly, you are on notice that obscene remarks of this extraordinarily loathsome nature will not be tolerated. Offenses will be punished proportionately to the nature of the violation, and will include, but not be limited to:1) Public flogging,2) Deportation to the Gaza strip in an American army uniform.3) Slow-roasting over an open pit fire fueled by partially fermented bat guano.4) Three years imprisonment in the White House Press corps Men’s restroom, stall #3 listening to a loop of a taped debate between Dan Quayle and the Dahli Lama on the meaning of “existence”.5) Six months assignment to a work team tasked with spreading the Commie Good Gospel in Highland Park.Your cooperation in this matter is deeply appreciated.

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  58. <>My comment on 1984<>I’d say it was a great big yawner. It is famous, as Prof pointed out, for the ideas, not the writing. It was not entertaining to me in my mid-teens and I am famous for liking boring stuff. That said, I can’t imagine living the succeeding thirty years without having read it either. The vocabulary is just indespensible.Might I suggest CLIFF notes or something similar? The story will not suffer for being spoiled.

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  59. Yoshi,You should know that there is really only 3 of us here on this blogsite (you, me, Tony). The rest are just alternate identities created by Tony. He is the master of disguise and false debate.

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  60. Prof said: <>Those indoctrinated in < HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism" REL="nofollow">Social Darwinism <> don’t get that.<>Prof, you just confused me with your use of the term Social Darwinism. The following sounds like you… and yet you distance yourself from the term. “Historically, proponents of Social Darwinism have used the theory to justify social inequality as being meritocratic. At various times it has also been used to justify laissez-faire capitalism, or imperialism.”

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  61. < HREF="http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/08/23/schiphol/index.html" REL="nofollow">More snakes on a plane<>Prof… George Carlin mentioned that we think in words. You were doing good on your rant until you brought sin into government at the end. 🙂 Good god {ambiguous}.

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  62. <>1984<> – Follow up. I just remembered, early on in the book it mentions the destruction of <>words<> as a goal of government, because when we think, we think in words. If words are destroyed, then thoughts, or at least the depths of thought, are destroyed as well – thus controlling a public who could no longer contemplate freedom, oppression, etc. As I survey the current landscape of a high percentage of graduating functional illiterates and the often purposeful blurring of the meaning of words, Mr. Wells was insightful indeed. As I have remarked myself and heard of a commentators remark, its sad when society devolves into a state where every argument or comment has to be preceded with a restatement of the obvious…because its not obvious anymore. Common sense isn’t common. The ability to discern and judge was handed off to no-fault this and zero-tolerance that, where six year olds become sexual harassers or terrorist by the logical consequence of the adults willingly foregoing thinking, judging, and taking a logical position on right and wrong. That’s why a one legged, wheelchair bound, white grandmother gets frisked by an illegal alien at the airport, but a 24 year old Arab man with a bulky T-shirt that reads “C4 <>and<> Bust!” walks by without notice. The social Darwinists have it wrong – there’s more monkeying around and less intellectual advancement going on now than just a few years ago. The current situation is the logical conclusion of man trying to govern without the concept of sin and right and wrong. Those indoctrinated in social Darwinism don’t get that.P.R.

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  63. Thanks for the info Prof. Go rent this V for Vendetta Yoshi is hyping {he must be getting commission}. That’s the first movie any civil libertarain like Plank should point doubters to. 🙂

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  64. <>1984<> is not a “I can’t put this book down” kind of book. However, it introduces some words and phrases that are instructive, some of which are in the public lexicon like “Big Brother”, and some excellent insights into the machinations of expansive government. When it was written it was a far out, shocking fantasy, daring to suggest that a populace would allow themselves to be deceived into permitting such a government to exist. When I read it in the 70’s, it was a strangely prophetic, “over-the-top” book about a invasive government, double think, double speak. If you were truly radical you might think it would turn out that way. Today with the epidemic of “political correctness,” government nannyism for everything that ails you, I’m afraid it will only read like a “B” movie where they get the plot right, but the special effects are so “50’s.”I recommend it as part of a library of classics that all need to have read to be well rounded.P.R.

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  65. Tony, don’t feel too bad. I think films that are just so different are hard to get through initially. It’s kind of almost a British humor, and 20 years old at that. I had trouble with that film too first, and others like “Romeo and Juliet” with Leonardo di Caprio… sometimes movies are so weird you walk out, or want to. But then later you adjust to their style, instead of you wanting the film to adjust to you, and you start to appreciate the art of it. Common Good, watch the whole thing and then give Tony your approval of it. In any case Tony, V for Vendetta is more like an action movie… certainly it won’t go over your head at all…. (and if it does, we’ve got bigger problems, Common Good will have to take over your blog for a while as you “rest up.”)The other day I was at a community college applying to take one course (just b/c that single course will be much cheaper there). So they put my email in wrong when I submitted my application, and I couldn’t register online. I went up there, waited an hour in line and finally got my turn. Then I started to explain to the dim-witted woman at the counter what was happening, that I couldn’t register online for some reason (I didn’t actually didn’t know it was my email at that point, but I was trying to figure it out there). So the woman disregards what I was trying to tell her and snaps at me, “You’re going to have to do this online. You’re going to need to learn to use a computer if you ever expect to find a job.” She was obviously trying to insult me, as if I were some inner-city kid applying to college for the first time with a GED. I’m dead serious. I almost laughed. When she said it, I started to hear the theme music from Brazil playing, b/c it was like a scene from the movie. For starters, I could use computers all around that woman, who $20 bucks probably doesn’t even know what a hard drive is- whereas I’m turning into quite a little techie actually. But it was like Brazil in that there is this absurdity of being at the mercy of people like that, unqualified people in charge of you at beuracracies, where you have to jump through hoops to get this paper signed and that paper faxed…. an extreme inefficiency in a supposed efficient system. Anyway, I got it all taken care of when I basically did that lady’s job for her and figured out they put my email in wrong. But movies like Brazil are good for reference points later when you see real life imitating art….. Blah blah blah. I think I wrote more than I am entitled to…

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  66. Is 1984 worth reading?Guy… are you also a HBO Rome series watcher? The second season is about to start, and it is most excellent… i.e. Deadwood worthy. <>Doors close,Cigars are lit,Brandy is poured,and people suffer.<>—George Carlin’s brother<>Doors close,Cigars are inserted,Fat girl squirms,and the nation suffers.<>—CGGeorge Carlin observations on language:“Save the swamp” changed to “save the wetlands”.“Save the jungle” changed to “save the rain forest”.

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  67. Want to know another similar movie in the 1984/ Brave New World style? < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0783225903/sr=8-2/qid=1156316149/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-9530305-3029611?ie=UTF8" REL="nofollow">Brazil<>It’s from Terry Gilliam… he was one of the Monty Python crew years ago… the film is brilliant, not an action film, but a “comedy” I guess, really dark, dry humor, 20 years old… not as flashy as V, but probably better overall…Just don’t “get high” and watch it. Some people I knew once freaked out trying that… I won’t be held responsible for anyone jumping out the window(again!)




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  68. Now it’s Tony’s turn to watch the movie….There was a lot about the movie I enjoyed… It hopefully can wake up a few of those out there not paying any attention…. it’s some sugar-coated medicine for them…. a film plot good enough for a classic book, mixed in with cool action scenes…. it’s almost an oxymoron….

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  69. Yoshi,I just finished my V dvd watching assignment. I liked the movie, and agree with Guy… not an ounce of subtle in those 2 hours. 🙂 Did you catch the “Coalition of the Willing”?

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  70. CG – I did watch Season 1 and 2. The finale to season three is on thos Sunday. Can’t wait. It just keeps getting better.Yoshi – I really liked V’s rant that he broadcast over the air waves. I can hear prof delivering the same speech.

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  71. BILL GATES ‘CHARITY’ FOUNDATION FINANCES NEWSPAPER PURCHASESThe BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION declares its noble mission is to bring “innovations in health and learning to the global community.” But the < HREF="http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default" REL="nofollow">world’s largest philanthropic organization<> also is among the organizations that collectively loaned nearly $400 million to MEDIANEWS GROUP INC. — for the acquisition of newspapers in California and Minnesota!< HREF="http://www.drudgereport.com/flashbg.htm" REL="nofollow">The Drudge Report<>———— Now all those hungry AIDS folks can read newspapers.

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  72. Common Good, if we threw all those pro-Iraqi war people out, who would take care of us? Washington DC would look like Hurricane Katrina hit it… just a bunch of empty office spaces…Guy, glad you like “V.” It could get a few people at least thinkg. I’m going to Rep. Kay Granger’s office with a few others today at 3 pm…. to see if we can persuade her to make a few changes on the job….It was me that arranged it all, thanks very much….but I have to wear dress clothes…. I normally wouldn’t wear a ironed clothes and slacks and such, but I figure it’s the least I can do for the entire developing world.

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  73. Oops… another rant required. Shrub answered a question about Katrina, and the failed concept of federalism when it comes to natural disasters raised it’s head. Shrub proudly claims that he had the local governments come up with their own plans to spend the federal tax dollars. How stupid can you get… collect Federal taxes from each of us, and let Louisiana and Mississippi local governments devise a myriad of plans. The GOP decries government inefficiencies in one breath, and then refuses any form of federal command and control standards on a disaster of this scale. And they wonder why tax dollars get wasted.

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  74. Guy,You were right about Nasr. He was trotted out this Sunday. How did you know? 🙂Have you watched Deadwood Season 1 and 2? I just finished Season 1… outstanding. I hope 2 will be as good. I love Doc’s character. Yoshi… Vandetta is next in the NetFlix queue. Man, it was hard to bump anything against Deadwood season 2. I’m listening to Shrub defend going to Iraq, and staying there now as civil war breaks out. I bet it takes decades to figure out how bad this president damaged our country. Every single politician that still defends going to Iraq should be thrown out of office (both parties). They are all trying to give themselves a pass by saying…. going in was a good decision, but it was just handled wrong. Bullshit…. going in was tragic, and any politician still playing this game should be thrown out. I wonder how many more American soldiers they will be willing to sacrifice to hold on to their blunder? {Monday morning rant now over… probably}

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  75. Tony,<>Perhaps they are part of a centrist plot…by illustrating the absurdity of the extreme left and right, they passionately endeavor to drive others to the center.<>I’m moderate*** left {which should tell you knuckle-draggers where you guys stand}… but I can certainly vouch for the absurdity.*** I’m for all kinds of liberty invasion after seeing a judge, but against the Iraq war and for universal health care. Moderate… 🙂

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  76. OhMyGoshAndGollyGee! The seceret is out.I will say though, I do not miss the feathers. I am a scoash ticklish.You know, CG and Prof are the ones with the secret identity here…I wonder what they are hiding? Perhaps they are part of a centrist plot…by illustrating the absurdity of the extreme left and right, they passionately endeavor to drive others to the center.

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  77. < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000059HA8/sr=8-1/qid=1155936029/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-9530305-3029611?ie=UTF8" REL="nofollow">Rent “Gummo”<>


Common Good, rent “Gummo” from Netflix too (V for Vendetta first though).And don’t read the reviews or anything…just watch it. trust me, it’ll fascinate you… welcome to the world we live in….

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  78. Yoshi,I have always thought Prof was playing me for entertainment value. No way a man as good as Prof {and with a sense of humor} is a Conservative. If he really thinks he is… it’s because he is a scripture-based conservative, not a bank account-based conservative. You just have to discard the self-centered bank account conservatives and keep talking to the rest. Liberals and scripture-based conservatives have the big thing in common… the non-trickle down helping of the needy. The rest is just background noise and process arguments. All of us on Tony’s blog could settle out on a decent government/process… but throw in the Bush administration types and the money that owns them… and you have very little chance. Discard the types that think “everything is their due”, and work with the rest. btw… doggy style has nothing on Guy’s chicken style. I’ve seen the pictures.

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  79. Common Good, Guy, all:I want to out the Professor. He’s a double agent. He’s pretending to be some kind of conservative, when in fact he’s just the opposite, playing the devil’s advocate to help us sharpen our skills…How do I know this? Well, according to my experience, you can always spot a conservative by his lack of sense of humor. And well, Professor can not only take a joke probably better than I can, but he can make some pretty good ones. ;o)Sound like a conservative to you? Me thinks not.

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  80. I guess that would mean’s Yoshi’s source is < HREF="http://www.pravda.ru" REL="nofollow"/> and < HREF="http://www.tnr.com" REL="nofollow"/>.Tony’s < HREF="http://www.mensa.org" REL="nofollow"/>. Common Good’s < HREF="http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2006/07/allison_dubois_.html" REL="nofollow">here<> and < HREF="http://www.pigazette.com/Pigraphics/whipped.jpg" REL="nofollow">here<> :). And Guy’s < HREF="http://www.aclu.org" REL="nofollow"/>.We’re even. 🙂P.R.

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  81. Yoshi said: “<>as far as substantiating the bulldozing the civilian houses (not the tunnels for bringing weapons), that first link you provided was perfect….<>“I caution you on that one. I have it on good authority that the links I gave early are biased. 🙂

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  82. Yoshi – If its going to cost me, on second thougght what the hell do I care, I’m dead. I’ll forward some good stuff your way.

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  83. Professor, as far as substantiating the bulldozing the civilian houses (not the tunnels for bringing weapons), that first link you provided was perfect….I just read through it. Pretty sad. I think it explains things the way they are quite well. According the the article, these volunteers LIVE in these homes, and probably would notice if arms were being smuggled in them. I could go there myself and check to prove it to you, but jeez, that would take a lot of time and money. So either you can believe it, or believe the “military” cover-up version….(Why would they cover it up? Duh.)Do you seriously believe that all those literally thousands of houses have to do with bulldozing terror tunnels? This seems more like the stuff we used to read about in the former-Yugoslavia… what did they call it… “ethnic-cleansing”….

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  84. I don’t mean to go lite but it is my natural reaction when things seem very dark.Let me just point out that should I meet an untimely demise, i do not wish a picture of me in a chicken costume to at the header of any “in memoriam” website. Its OK in the lower body of the web page but I don’t want it to be the lead. Something a bit more dignified please.It s those kind of details that jump out at me. Sure there are plenty of undignified pictures of me and all may be appropriate at a roast but not in any “in memoriam” website.I just want to be clear on this.

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  85. Yoshi said: “<>P,R, – the sad part is those links you post that are so obviously biased, and have no credibilty.<>”#1) The first site I linked was a memorial put on by her supporters. It too was biased in her favor, even supporting her right to burn the American flag. Two links posted – 1 for, 1 against. I thought that was fair.#2) Now that you have criticized my sources, can you substantiate a different purpose for bulldozing the house?#3) To those not going to the links above, there was nothing on the links I posted above about “One-world-government” or “black helicopters” or “Catholic” or “nigger-lover.” To so taint the site when no such comments were made shows there are credibility issues on more than one front.“<>Burning a flag is just a symbol anyway, and there is nothing wrong with it PER SE.<>”A symbol indeed. Perfectly legal and absolutely telling. It means there was more depth than just standing in front of a “friend’s house.” It means there was a political agenda that was against both Israel and America, and a lot deeper than you or I would ever do. Could that level of devotion to her causes lead her to a dangerous situation of her own making? It apparently did. She and her cohorts played chicken for several hours with a military bulldozer. Would you care to discuss what our military boys would do to this geeser, not being a cute young female, if I were to pull that stunt?“<>If what that flag represents is killing people unjustly, and they are experiencing that firsthand with their own eyes, then it needs to be burned.<>”As intelligent adults we realize that this country is not summed up in the latest national or international policy. We didn’t burn flags because our President was committing adultery in the Oval office, We didn’t burn flags because he Tomahawked this factory or that, or sent our boys over to Bosnia, or screwed up at Mogadishu. Given the opinion’s held by the Democrats before we went to war, it has been their flip-flop, their “cut and run” attitude, that has tainted this war as much as the failures of Bush. One could burn the flag because the Democrats act like wussies when the going gets tough, or when the Republicans rubber-stamp Bush failures. But that would show an atrocious lack of depth in knowing this country, its roots, its values, all that is encompassed in being American. By all means burn whatever flags you feel led to. Don’t forget North Korea while you’re at it.“<>If my grandmother, or niece, or whoever, was killed with American guns, I’d be burning flags too. And so would you.<>”Although this country is accelerating into a socialist hell-hole at light-speed, it is still beyond me that I would blame the acts of politicians and a willfully ignorant generation on the Constitutional republic itself. To do so would be to abandon hope or accept the French or communist way of revolution as an acceptable method of political change rather than the beautiful, peaceful change of power that happens thousands of times after elections in this country. Only a poor student of history would wish otherwise.P.R.

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  86. Yoshi and Guy,I gave an example of linking in this thread. Look back at my post 6:46 PM, July 29, 2006. Check that out and let me know if that doesn’t work for you. If we can teach a lawyer to create internet links, then we will know this internet thing is here to stay. 🙂 Prof picked it up in one quick lesson… don’t want him to show you up. 🙂 Use the preview button to test that you actually created a link. Here is another great web posting tip… add the google toolbar. It has a spell checker right on the toolbar that you can click and highlight spelling errors and click on the word to see a list of suggesting correct spelling. It works great for this blogware Tony is using.

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  87. Burning a flag is just a symbol anyway, and there is nothing wrong with it PER SE. If what that flag represents is killing people unjustly, and they are experiencing that firsthand with their own eyes, then it needs to be burned. If my grandmother, or niece, or whoever, was killed with American guns, I’d be burning flags too. And so would you.The girl might have been in a little over her head, a little naive and idealistic. But it seems more reasonable to me to think some Israelis were trying to teach her a little lesson. There are other cases of British activists being shot as well. I suppose those are all accidental as well. Everything soldiers do is an accident. And no one is liable. I mean, come on. Even our own American troops are pulling Charles Manson-style acts in Iraq, raping teenage girls and then burning their houses down….do you really think that Israeli soldiers are so much more pious? Now we get to see Prof’s other link about how that American soldier actually didn’t rape the girl and murder her and her family like Charles Manson, and it’s all “leftist” propaganda. I’m going to be real careful of any photos or me getting out… all we need is one of me at a party- then one of Professor’s websites will read, “rabid communist leftist worships Satan and murders puppies against the United States while trying to take our right to bear arms away.” __________________________________________________ps- Can someone send me the how to link info again?

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  88. P,R, – the sad part is those links you post that are so obviously biased, and have no credibilty. They fall in the Tim McVeigh category as far as I’m concerned. Any time you hear, “anti-Israel,” anti-American,” or “flag-burning,” or “One-world-government” or “black helicopters” or “Catholic” or “nigger-lover,” you know what kind of site you are in. In fact, for your own sake, you might want to excercise caution. You’ll have the FEDS coming to get your hard drive if you keeping checking those bizarre radical sites….Guy, you’re forgiven for the “lite” treatment of history. We’re not getting paid for this stuff, and we got to keep it basic….

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  89. Not to sidestep the hard questions but what I foind interesting and it ties in with Yoshi’s statements, is that here at the beginning of the 21st century we are still dealing with 19th century problems that we thought would have been behind us by now. I don’t mean this in any Star Trek Utopian sense but in the conterxt that people, as groups, have long memories.The Iranian President’s complaints on 60 Minutes (and I am not trying to soft peddle the opinions of a man who I see as the biggest threat to world peace since WWII) was that there was no justification for Isreal and why are we in the Middle East having to deal with a European created problem. I am not saying I agree but he is pointing to the actions of our Western Culture in dealing with problems. Jews are a problem in Europe, let’s create a homeland and give them a place to go. Brits, what do you say?Empire is crumbling, looking for a way out. Colonialsism is dead. Sure, why not. (Yoshi, if this isn’t a lite treatment of history, I don’t know what is.)So many decisions have come back to haunt Western Culture. The crushing of the Turks at the end of WWI. The British line drawing in Africa and the middle east to create states where none existed before. The support of dictators who brutally oppress their people until a religious zealot comes and pourts fire on a spark of revolution (Shah of Iran).I am not looking for us to provide any apology to the world but only pointing the long and often unseen consequences of “thoughtful” action at the time.Most current example is obviously Iraq. The intended result varies greatly with the actual result. And this did not take 50 years to find out.In my youth I was a big fan of the “Dune” books. I always thought that one of the most interesting things in the world imagined but Mr. Herbert is that early in the history of the political structure that governed that world (which if you read the books was actually a story of our culture several millenia in the future) the major religion met and all rescinded their claim of divine providence and acknowledged that no single religion could make any claim of superiority to any other. I have often thought how much this would change the current landscape.

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  90. Yoshi said: “<>There was even an American girl murdered by Israeli soldiers; as they tried to bulldoze her friends’ house and she stood in front to stop it, the bulldozer ran her right over.<>”Her name was < HREF="http://rachelcorrie.org/ism.htm" REL="nofollow">Rachel Corrie<>, she was American, and the house was not her friends. “The bulldozer was part of an operation to eliminate tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to illegally smuggle weapons from Egypt into Gaza.” (< HREF="http://factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000636.html" REL="nofollow">Source<>) As part of a protest, she and others yelled, used bullhorns, obstructed, and tried to distract the bulldozer driver. This one time when she oriented herself in such a way that she was unseen or appeared to have moved, her comrades yells for the bulldozer to stop sounded not too much different than the yelling protesting distraction techniques already used. Both sides have much to say on the topic. Nothing would be gained by making a martyr out of this anti-American, anti-Israel peace activist. Why kill her and leave the rest of the peace activist to tell the world of their “atrocity?” It makes no sense. To die needlessly protecting a weapons smuggling house, regardless of her knowledge or ignorance of it, is so sad.P.R.

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  91. Yoshi,<>Still though, Palestinians need a Ghandi, and MLK, or a Nelson Mandela….. they need some non-violent RESISTANCE…<>Yes, that was my point. I’m convinced there would already be a Palestinian state well on it’s way if they had taken another path. I’m afraid the hate and rage are at the point now where all you can hope for is walls and isolation for a couple of generations. If the Palestinians couldn’t reach the Israelies… then maybe some of their energy would go towards building a society and nation. Give them defined boundaries and maps, throw them some of that flat world globalism… and maybe a percent of the time can be spent on something other than hate.

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  92. “I don’t think the numbers of dead on each side have anything to do with the moral question of justified killing.”I agree. But it might objectively indicate which side is MORE aggresive. Still though, Palestinians need a Ghandi, and MLK, or a Nelson Mandela….. they need some non-violent RESISTANCE…

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  93. Yoshi,I don’t think the numbers of dead on each side have anything to do with the moral question of justified killing. However, an interesting debate might be: “is there any moral difference between collateral unintended death of civilians including women and children OR a suicide bomber taking out a deli?” That’s the core of the debate. Guy… given a choice, I would not ever watch Deadwood now without the subtitles. My problem, is I can’t now figure out how to get that on my TV w/Tivo or my TV w/Cox DVR. My rented NetFlix CDs have subtitles… but I’m not seeing how to get subtitles on Tivo recordings or Cox DVR recording. Also, I just looked up the definition of Closed Captions vs Subtitles. It looks like I want the Subtitles, but not the Closed Caption added info. Hear was a great Deadwood line I just heard from Swearengen… one we should apply here in Curmland. “If you have nothing to advance the subject, pick up a broom”. 🙂

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  94. Well, after what I saw happen in Beirut these last few weeks, I think the “women and children” blame goes more to Israel…. let’s get some death counts and compare the two. Read “the progressive” newspapers….Read the UK newspaper Guardian about the British volunteers murdered there, and there was an article in Harpers about Israeli soldiers using Palestinians children for literal target practice that I could even find you…I think we like to think Israelis are “the Americans of the Middle East,” which just might be a generalization worse than the ones I admittedly make. The oridinary Israeli has a right to exist…. but I have to say I really, really dislike the “Zionist” who believes it’s their mission from God to retake the “Promised Land,” one btw much bigger than Israel’s current borders, including much of Egypt…. they have the little squiggly sideburns and the Uzi automatic weapons. Just as crazy as any Muslim terrorist if you ask me. They out to internationalize that place and it should belong to everyone or no one. “National” identity is archaic anyway.

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  95. Tony,I will never spill to much private info {like that thing you had with the sheep, and …..}. 🙂This:<>I don’t necessarily agree with the formation of the Jewish state, but here we are. We can not undo it, we can merely do the best we can at creating an equitable future.<>was put in context by this:<>It is a bit different in Palestine because it is part about the past but a lot about the present.<>Our history of slavery and indian slaughter can be parked in our guilty history consciences because the aggrieved didn’t turn into suicide bombers… i.e. a semi-functioning US society is possible. However, since that’s not what went down with the Palestinians… a solution is required. I’m not exactly sure how you could be a fair arbiter in this case without recognizing how Israel came to be. That said, you are still left with the logical conclusion that “Israel, in 2006, has a right to exist… it’s too late to solve the problem my migrating the Israel population somewhere else”. It’s down to map drawing, and as you said years ago… internationalizing Jerusalem. However, Americans should really be educated on how this all came about, and understand this isn’t as one-sided as we tend to treat Israel. All of this said… this has gone on so long you have generations of hate on each side that will not go away even with a perfect solution today. The Palestinians will have to finally find a way to spend more of the energy they spend on their hate by actually building an economy, a state, lives. This is why I was for walls being built. As sad as they are… it represented an attempt to isolate the Palenstian hate {justified, but I will comment on the methods below}, so maybe they would spend their energy showing the world what else they are made of… i.e. intelligent folks who can build a nation. It looked like Israel was moving in the right direction… Gaza and West Bank to follow. The fact that Hezbollah couldn’t sit on their hands now… shows the level of hate {beyond the ability to reason and see things are moving in their direction… give it time to play out}. A comment about the suicide bombers. I had told Tony years ago that I would support the Palestinians as long as I believed the majority of their population did not support the suicide bombing of women and children. But… as soon as I came to the conclusion the majority of them supported killing women and children in their cause… they would lose me. I would no longer care about their fate… because a population that can’t see past their hate to recognize the evil of killing women and children is a population not worth saving. Enough with the “but they kill our children also” because I’m not dumb enough to buy that attempt to equate the two. Well… I’m at the point where I have to acknowledge the majority of the Palestinians at least passively support their suicide bombers. I can read the history and logically be strongly on the Palestinians side… and I’m convinced had they used passive resistance rather than suicide bombing, the Palestinians would already have their state, and an economy, and lives worth living. To me, they have now soiled their moral cause with decades of immoral, reprehensible actions. To be fair, they aren’t exactly the first humans to kill women and children (US indian slaughter, the incineration of Tokyo, Hiroshoma and Nagasaki)… but we are left to judge current events… and the Palestinians choice of suicide bombing of women and children do not even deserve the courtesy of debate.So for me, I’m left desiring the practical solution that is required… a two state solution. However, this US citizen will not be rooting as hard for that Palestinian society starting their own nation on the other side of the wall as I would have been… had they not been a society that supported the suicide bombing of women and children. The Palestinians are entitled to their generations of hate… but I’m also entitled to remember their makeup that could even conceive of walking into a deli with bombs strapped to their bodies and blowing up women and children.And one addition… the world is entitled to know and judge the US citizen makeup by the history of our founding, our actions in wars, and our current policies. A fair comparison is the US citizen gives at minimum passive support for the Iraq war, and the propping up of middle east dictators for decades. In the end… we all stink.

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  96. For the record, what I had said in a prior private communication with CG was that after the collapse of the Ottomans, there wasn’t indigenous government to speak of. CG had asked me about the partition of the entire region. Each area has its own history and complications. Let’s not forget too that under the Ottomans, many Jews were living in Palestine (I’m not sure the numbers though I’m under the impression that it was a good sized minority).I for one do not really see clean hands on either side of the Palestinian issue. Trying to identify the good guy is like the ole angels hoe-down on a pin-head question: I just don’t think there is an answer and if there were, I’m not sure how useful it would be for problem solving. I tend to be more practical on such things. I don’t necessarily agree with the formation of the Jewish state, but here we are. We can not undo it, we can merely do the best we can at creating an equitable future.Translating this to a different context that is personal, I am part Irish and part American Indian. I am also very appalled at how the Irish and indigenous Americans were treated by their respective subjugators. This does not translate into support for the terrorism campaigns of Sinn Fein or AIM. Actually, appalled does not catch how I feel about things, but no matter how strongly I might be repulsed by the brutality of the past, it is in fact past.It is a bit different in Palestine because it is part about the past but a lot about the present. Still, as much as I tend to side with the Palestinians in many ways, I just get stuck on the whole terrorism thing. While I realize they are not a monolithic whole, they did support Arafat for a very long time and appear to be supporting his political heirs. When moderate leadership emerges with popular support, they will be getting a lot of support from me. I really admire the efforts of the Palestinians who are trying to build a more rational government there. These are some very brave people.

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  97. Yea Guy, I know that one experience over a week’s time when I was a teenager isn’t enough to make me an expert on the social stratification of Israel, I knew I’d come off like that, but I was just giving my experience for what it was worth. To be honest though, from what I’d been built up for as I visited Israel/ Palestine, I imagined the Palestinians to all have bombs strapped to them and turbans on their heads and for them to hate us. But that wasn’t the case at all. So my stereotype of them was just completely off. Thanks to the media here that is, by the way… they were all very nice to us. Believe me, even looking back, I realize we must have offended the hell out of some of them inadverdently, and they were still always very nice and charitable. It left an impression, for sure. And to be fair, I have met lets of really cool Israeli people, mostly all younger ones (and all expats), and even some older guys too. More often than not they are pretty cool. Some have even admitted their country’s wrongdoing and just kind of gave the “that’s life” shrug, like we do about our U.S. history. And likewise, more often than not, I’ve met many nice, non-racist South African whites. And then there’s this little bit- I’ve met South African whites who are racist and crude, and Israelis that are racist and crude. Usually it’s just under the surface of them, as soon as they get comfortable talking to you, the little racist monster pops out. Actually, the last Israelis I spoke to seemed like pretty nice guys, but they soon were telling me Palestinians had sex w/ sheep. Now that may be true about the sheep, what do I really much know about Palestinians? …. but what if I were traveling, met an Israeli, and said to him that “African-americans have sex with dogs,” Would that be appropriate? How many American travelers would talk like that? Hardly any (though I’ve heard Americans like this too, once a airline pilot on the subway who went off about Native Americans once… and I thought “this sick bastard flies my plane!”). I think regardless of the generalizations I seem to be making, I think it’s safe to say Palestinians are 3rd-class citizens in Israel (Can they vote? Only a token few, if all the Palestinians could vote, they’d outnumber the Israelis, so they can’t let that happen.) Another time, once in a Prague casino, some Israelis who owned the joint were pretty maliciously running down the Palestinians… and these were mafia type guys… I could tell, these were not nice people, most likely were violent types (guys who own casinos in Eastern Europe are safe bets for violent types). So I’m just giving some impressions of individuals along the way. It’s not just Hezbollah that are evil, that’s just all we see on a controlled television program. Take those impressions for whatever they are worth (they may indeed not be worth anything). I’ve met a lot of anti-Israeli Arabs as well for that matter too, But whether or not Arabs are anti-Israeli is another story. I think it’s pretty commonly accepted that Palestinians lost their homes and were given bobbed-wire fenced camps for compensation. Indian reservations if you will. They had them for blacks in South Africa too. And that’s just not what justice is, and you can’t expect people to just forget it, especially when they are still living there. No one likes to be oppressed, and people who have nothing to lose have nothing to lose. This isn’t about an age-old religious war, this is about real estate. These people have just rocks to throw while their houses get bulldozed, and molotov cocktails against the most expensive, sophisticated military equipment money can buy. That’s enough to piss you off after awhile… enough to take up arms. There was even an American girl murdered by Israeli soldiers; as they tried to bulldoze her friends’ house and she stood in front to stop it, the bulldozer ran her right over. British volunteers working with Palestinians have also been “accidentally” shot and killed (or murdered from what most people believe)by Israeli soldiers… so I can only imagine what happens to Palestinians who literally have no recourse when their rights are abused…I just look at the death toll in these Israeli conflicts. It’s always like 5 Palestinians for each single Israeli, and when Palestinians die, it’s like video game enemies no one even notices; but when Israelis die, it’s like “Stop the Press, an Israeli died!!!”I mean Guy, you say Israel was created no more than Palestine, but the fact is, Palestinians were already living there. Then a bunch of immigrants came in and said, “Get out, we’re bigger and stronger.” Not exactly the way to start a relationship. I’m just trying to see it from an Arabs’ point of view…sorry for being the devil’s advocate (he just pays better ;o)

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  98. CG – My boss actually swears by watching Deadwood with the captions on.yoshi – Your Isreal in a nutshell is a little lite. I agree the Jewish state was a creation bu tno more so than Palestine; Iraq; Yemen and a hand full of other British protectorates in Africa and around the world but your portrayal of the friendly palestinians and clubby israelis leaves a little to be desired. Trust me, and no I haven’t been there, but the conflict is not just about the fact that Israelis don’t play well together in the sand box with others.

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  99. CG, I did notice that many of the Isreali women seemed to have rather nice, well, let’s just say they’d ace the job interview at Hooters….But I thought it was just good genes…what we won’t know what hurt us…

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  100. Yoshi,Appreciate the Israel history… I’m not willing to give a pass on that entire creation until I know more. If any population deserved a break after the holocaust, it was the Jews at the end of WWII. That said, I think I’m leaning in your direction… “the homeland thing seems a bit of an invention”. We {and our ancestors} all came from somewhere. So what. History is littered with injustice… we never go back and make them right. If we did, we would be paying slavery reparations and giving a lot more to the Indians than Casinos. I will add “V for Vendetta” to my Netflix queue. I will slide it in with my Deadwood rentals… I just started to try and catch up on Deadwood… starting with Season One. Man… NetFlix is the way to watch HBO series shows… you can knock out a season in a good weekend. 🙂 Guy… big efforts require the government. I’m convinced stem cell research is one of those things. btw… I’ve found if I leave the captions on while I watch Deadwood, I catch a lot more of the colorful dialogue that I was missing before. Maybe I have a hearing problem :), but I think it’s just because they talk funny. 🙂

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  101. Common Good, have you seen “V for Vendetta?” If not, you should go rent it ASAP. I think you’ll be in for a little treat….It’s very relevent politically; it makes a lot of statements….Tony, Guy, maybe even Professor Ricardo (though it’s not G-rated- but no naked women, just good ol’ fashioned violence that I doubt you’d object to) you all would probably also like it….Common Good, you should certainly see it. I want your opinion on it…

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  102. Freakonomics is a really quick read, it’s more like a “let’s show how statistics can be fun,” and it kind of is. But it won’t be that insightful…. I like the part about the drug dealers operations, and how genetics has a lot to do with a person’s success in life…Back to Israel, from what I know, we (as in the West), secured Palestinian support against the Turks, promising them autonomy after WWI.So after World War 1 the British retained temporary control untl the Palestinians were ready to take over. Then World War 2 happened. The Zionist movement used WW2 and the Holocaust to justify that whole “homeland.” I’ve even read the powerful Zionists in the USA at that time even blocked Jewish refugees from entering the U.S. during WW2, trying to force Jews into repopulating Palestine, and in the process blocking thousands of Jews from escaping Hitler… the whole concept of “Zionism” is only about 100 years old… maybe a bit older, but not much… it just happened to be an idea that hit some fertile ground in history… nowadays an idea like that would be silly… like a homeland for Nebraskans or something…Maybe Palestine didn’t have skyscrapers back in the 1940s, but what countries did? There was a government, a British one, and before that an Ottoman Turk government. And even if what the Palestinians had there before “Israel” doesn’t meet our criteria for what constitutes a “state,” then it doesn’t matter, b/c we weren’t living there, they were. Those people may not have had a government, but they were removed from their houses, that’s for sure. Finally, this whole concept of “nation” should be dissolved. It’s a little archaic if you ask me. Let’s “internationalize” it as you said about Jerusalem. Why should it be a “Jewish” state any more than a “Buddhist” state or a “Muslim” state any more than a damn “Mormon” state? I guess we should tell this to the Muslims, but the truth is, there are (how many) Palestinians living for generations in refugee camps without compensation for thier losses. I’d be pissed about that too if I lived there…. you’d be pissed as well to live in some dusty, hot barbed wire camp w/o so much as a window unit…. these people need to see some justice and not just be swept under the rug….We got were we are as “white Europeans” by killing everything in our way and taking what we want, from the Romans to the Barbarians to the Vikings to the Crusaders to the Conquistadors to even up to World War 2 and the Cold War…. that’s who we are. We killed our way to the top. And now someone else has apparantly adopted our strategy… I actually spent a little time in Israel a long time ago, and I remember the people generally being pretty closed, insular people. If you weren’t Jewish, you aren’t in the club. Want to talk to the pretty girl? Hope you are Jewish….otherwise you are getting near the milk and honey. On the other hand, I remember the Palestinians being extremely hospitable, even talking to us at the stop lights waiting for the green light to come…. “Welcome to Israel” they told us cheerfully. I know that’s just one experience, and maybe it was an anamoly, but I have the feeling it’s generally like this. So I think there is this feeling of arrogance people get from the Israelis… oh yea, I even remember talking to some Israelis, and they told me that Palestinians were “like dogs and that they didn’t take baths.” And this was after I’d already met several really nice Palestinians… so imagine the impression… it was like if you went to South Africa during Apartheid and had to listen to the White Afrikaaners tell you about dirty “Kaffir” blacks….Anyway, what was my point? ;o) – I think this is Aparthied rule in Isreal and we all look the other way because the whacko Redneck Christian right has some fantasy about “Israel” belonging to “God.”

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  103. CGPer our earlier discussion of private funding for stem cell research from the wsj:Donors Sustain Stem-Cell EffortIn California Amid Funding BattleBy DAVID P. HAMILTONAugust 16, 2006; Page A1Even as legal challenges have tied up funding for California’s ambitious $3 billion effort to fund stem-cell research, big-dollar contributions from prominent Californians who stepped into the breach have kept the effort going.[Eli Broad]Amid court challenges from groups opposed to the state effort, private donors have contributed more than $100 million in recent years to prop up the new stem-cell research agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as research programs at state universities, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal. Among the donors are Ray Dolby, the founder and chairman of Dolby Laboratories Inc., who has devoted $21 million to stem-cell-research programs in the past two years. Los Angeles real-estate developer Eli Broad has given at least $27 million. Venture capitalist John Doerr, bond-fund manager Bill Gross, and Qualcomm Inc. founder Irwin Jacobs have also been major contributors.

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  104. Did anyone notice how the Iraq war kept those British suicide-bombers-to-be from an attempt to fight us here {or at least our oceans}. We aren’t going to get Bush back to Crawford fast enough… are we? You guys can be honest with me… just give me the truth… I can handle it. 🙂Hey Yoshi… those Israeli babes will be coming to Texas < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/mideast_implants_dc" REL="nofollow">equipped <>. This could work out well for your assimilation efforts… unless you don’t appreciate this form of modern art. 🙂

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  105. btw… does it bother anyone else that our government isn’t smart enough to brainstorm the idea of explosive liquids on airplanes BEFORE an attempt is made. I keep hearing that the government-hating GOP, the minimum-government GOP, the “shrink this government down to the size we can drown it in the bathtup” GOP, the “fight them over there so they don’t come here huey” GOP, is our best CHOICE to combat terrorism. Sorry, I think by defense lies in government agencies like the CIA… and not ignorant civilian offensive tactics from the White House. I think my best bet is on the Party that doesn’t despise government. I think I’m for the party that will spend more money on Homeland defense rather than corporate welfare of the military complex and billions on star wars. Let’s see… I can vote for some security at ports or chemical sites in New Jersey… OR I can buy into Bush’s claim that the Iraq war is keeping terrorists from flying here… and this wonderful offense means we can ignore the domestic defense. The age of terrorism is the very worse time to be voting for the government haters.

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  106. Yoshi,<>And what right did Israel have just setting up camp in Palestinian land 50 years ago?<>I should send you the email I sent a couple of days ago. Basically I asked our resident historian (Tony) the same question… i.e. how moral was the decision to migrate the jews to the Middle East after 911. I’m not educated enough on the history… Wikipedia only got me so far. 🙂 I will let Tony speak for himself.. but the short version of his answer was “there was no government in place in Palestine at the time anyway”. Regardless of the moral implications, in hindsight, it has to go down as one of the most ignorant decisions our government ever participated in. I think your comment about our native indians {and you could add the blacks} is spot on. Fate could have given the native indians the same makeup that makes a Palestinian NOT draw the line at killing civilians as a response to their grievance over perceived land rights and occupation. It’s insane that a country of our size should have to participate in this land pissing contest for all of these decades… it’s like the tail wagging the dog. Maybe that’s everyone’s “proof of god”… because without a deity overriding human logic, we would have never participated in creating the guaranteed armageddon. There is no way to logically defend the level our foreign policy is influenced by one nation wedged between hatred from all sides. At some point, you really start to not care who is right or wrong… you just want to say our nation of 300 million matter also… and we are tired of this fiasco. It seems to drive much of the terrorism growth industry… although I have no doubt if the Israeli-Palenstinian conflict ended tomorrow… the terrorism movement would live on. I think Bush {as with most things} is dead wrong to push America’s face deeper into the middle east as a response to 911. The way I look at it, if you turn 1% of any society or region into suicide bombers… there is no government or society that can overcome that… i.e. the gig is up. I know my reaction to our crusader president… and I live here. I almost don’t even hear his words anymore… I see “hey, the Christians are coming to teach you guys a thing or two about democracy and values”. I only hope the Iraq fiasco stops the rest of the neocon war games. No more “crusader” or “axis of evil Reagan impersonation” please. Turn the boil down… get a much heavier hand with Israel and do something about that tiresome pissing contest over land. We need to limit our middle east exposure to a lighter version of Israel support, and our required middle east oil pump needs as we spend every waking moment in the persuit of alternative energy… even if that has to be nuclear.Yoshi… btw… Freakenomics showed up. I will read it right after I read Sen. Dorgan’s book “Take This Job and Ship It”. Let’s just say Dorgan doesn’t buy into Friedman’s “it’s a flat world, and the US will benefit from it”.

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  107. Common Good, I’ve been watching a lot of this Israel/ Lebanon stuff (though I’m so sick of it I can’t really bother anymore, there’s no end to it).And so…I was thinking about Iran and Hezbollah and their claims that Israel was taught a lesson and how God delivered on HIS promises to them, so on and so forth, and thinking “why do they direct all their energy on Israel like that?”… seems like a ruse to distract people from other problems, a scapegoat. Life would be perfect… if only Israel didn’t exist. But then I was thinking, “well, maybe they should be pissed at Israel.” It’s a cultural solidarity they have with Palestine, they are thinking nationally, but culturally. And what right did Israel have just setting up camp in Palestinian land 50 years ago? What if they did that here in California or Manhattan (oops, they basically did!), I mean, the “Jews” are safe in America. I don’t buy the “they need their own homeland” b.s.- Just b/c in ancient times King David lived there for a relatively short time means thousands of years later some Europeans and Russians with cultural roots to that ancient people can just move back over there. Genetically, the “Israelis” are hardly the same “Israelis” from ancient times- some are now white people, while just some are Arabs (sorry, any Israeli who is not a white European is genetically just an Arab). So if Hezbollah can make life just enough a pain in the arse for Israelis, they might emmigrate to the USA or Europe. And thus, Hezbollah will accomplish its goal. They don’t have to win, they just have to bloodlet Israel. Maybe that’s just the price the Israelis have to pay for stealing that land…. shit, we’re lucky the native Americans didn’t do it to us….. but had they done so, I’d see where they were coming from….

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  108. Yoshi,<>and probably think they are part of some kind of revolution….<>You said revolution… I substituted “team” by mistake. Yeah, I figure you would be willing to help those new Texas females assimilate. Guy… even I have to rewind the Tivo pretty often to keep up with the dialogue on Deadwood. Not a bad strategy though… pacify angry males with TV… I would chip in for that. I think more babes on TV works for any male. The next question coming up in Iraq…. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060813/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_guards_arrested_4" REL="nofollow">Will we keep US troops in the middle of a civil war<> ?btw… It appears we can now add George Will to the John Kerry and CG position that this terrorism threat is more a matter of intellegence agencies and police action than a WAR. He said exactly that this morning commenting on the British success and the fact that these TERRORISTS were Bristish citizens. I guess according to Ken Mehlman brother George is now a supporter of the terrorists.

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  109. I still say giving them iPods, PSPII’s and satellite dishes with a premium channel line up would take a away a lot of their free time to make such elaborate plans and would be a hard blow to the forces of hate.Potential suicide bomber, “No, no. I can’t do it then. There are only three more episodes of Deadwood left, so Sundays nights are out and I hear this is the last season for the Sopranos. So, while I empathize with your global plight, I’m just to busy now. Besides Halo IV comes is coming out at Christmas or I mean Ramadan.”See what I mean.

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  110. Letting Texas go to the Israelis is a good idea. Those Jewish girls are really hot… we could mix their genetic traits into our white trash bloodline (I’ll help-if you know what I mean- wink, wink). Plus it’ll piss off all the Minutemen.

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  111. Yoshi,Hey, I may have seen you on TV. 🙂 Do you know if you were on TV?I was watching part of the suicide videos made by one of these British bombers-to-be, and your words struck me… “maybe they just feel part of a team”. This guy didn’t seem to fit any of my traits {he had a good job, a family, intelligent, for all appearance assimilated…}. His suicide message {at least the part they played on TV} was very simple and very directed… “you US citizens in a democracy are responsible for what your government does killing Muslims, and I am responsible for their defense and revenge”. This guy felt to his core that “he was in THIS together with all Muslims”. That is a bit confusing given the Sunni-Shiite split that exists (i.e. my discussion with Guy), but bottom line is a certain percentage of British born Muslims with apparently everything in their lives (family, jobs, education, assimilation {although how really assimilated… who knows}, etc.) are still willing to turn themselves into bombs to “pay back” the US. This is the kind of “facts on the ground” that have to be taken into consideration when we battle the very real haters ready to kill us. You get the idea that our current administration is not capable of conceiving the concept that much of the hate could be US-policy hate… i.e. hate us for propping up the middle east dictators for oil… and our military appearances in middle east countries. Instead they give the clean conscience line “they hate us for our freedom”… which of course implies it is rediculous to think the US made wrong policy choices over the last several decades. Wouldn’t you really like to know what the depth was of the debate in this administration before Bush gave the go ahead for the Iraq war. I can only hope they brought 20+ Bernard Lewis types to the White House for hours of consultation… rather than just a prayer and a decision by the decider. I would call this a major weak point in our democracy… we know the war decision that is made, but we don’t have access to the advise given, ignored or not given in the decision. Bottom line… I think your “they feel part of something” is pretty close. As a liberal, I’m always railing that “we should all be in this {challenging lives} together and pool economically for the common good”. They take this “we are all in this together” concept to an entirely different level… i.e. they are in this together with Muslims in other countries and will turn themselves into human revenge bombs at some point. Now that is serious hate… or serious commitment… or serious insantiy… or all three, but going forward someone DECIDING better throw this into the “facts on the ground”. We can waste a lot of time arguing about why we are right… or we can adjust some of our policies and save a lot of lives. I do not believe Bush for one second when he says this is mainly about “anyone hating our freedom”. They hate our existence in their culture… and I’m sure detest the circumstances of their economies and dictators. Obviously our policy can’t be total isolation from the region given Israel and oil… as Friedman says, if you don’t visit a bad neighborhood, the bad neighborhood may visit you. That said, a better middle east did not go through Iraq… we need to take a firmer hand with Israel and demand something happen once and for all with the Palestinian situation. Anybody here that wouldn’t skip the Iraq war, save our $1 trillion… and figure out how to internationalize Jerusalem and get on with the Palestinian state. You have to wonder if now is the right time right after everyone has just participate in the current blood-letting. Of course the US is just a bit TRAPPED in that Iraq hell at the moment.My middle east policy going forward:1) move enough Iraq troop north to protect the Kurds and the oil, and then get out of the way of the civil war and see if that is actually what they are going to choose2) force Israel’s hand {if necessary… they may be as ready as anyone} to strike some deal, and use US troops to enforce this if we can’t get anyone else to {and can we ever… heck no}. I know full well the arguments against having US soldiers as targets… I’ve made them myself. But we will eventually face the question “Do we let Israel go down to her haters… or do we go to war with her at that last desperate point”. If you answer that question like I do… “yes, we would join a Middle East war at that point”, then wouldn’t it be better to take a shot and US military presence now that MIGHT avoid that war.3) If #2 comes even close… than we should be US-hands-off the middle east as much as humanly possible… i.e. the region will decide what it wants to be, not what the US wants it to be. We will watch Iran, and maybe at some point have to make that awful call on whether Iran will soon nuke Israel… but that time is not now. Somebody run that plan by Kissinger. 🙂 Plan B… give Israel Texas, and have them move out of the middle east. Win win… middle east can do their own thing, and Texas improves for the US. Of course, Prof will then be “occupied” and lead the resistance. 🙂

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  112. Guy, I missed the puking flower, but speaking of Chris Matthews, I did see him outside the Rockafeller Center. I could’ve taken my photo with him as a few others were doing, but I didn’t bother…

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  113. < HREF="http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/people/nasr.asp" REL="nofollow">Nasr bio<>< HREF="http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2674" REL="nofollow">Rising Academic Sees Sectarian Split Inflaming Mideast<>Guy, Chris Mathews has been referring to this as the Shiite Crescent. It was telling to hear just how wrong Bernard Lewis was on Iraq. I’ve read one of his books and thought he was the “authority” on the subject. Our checkers-player president and administration unleashed the beast… we desperately needed a chess-player in office following 911. I would actually like to really know the non-filtered truth on the demographics of Iran… because you always hear the Iran youth will work in our favor. Bottom line is a region still living in religious wars probably has a century left of killing… hopefully without nukes. I heard somone say that about Iraq the other day… <>Iraq is over except for the killing<>.

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  114. CG:You will start seeing this guy trotted out n the talking head shows, Vali Nasr. He is the latest acedemic who seems to have a rational explanation for the mid-east conflict and what happened after the Iraqi invasion. He is getting a lot of attention inside the administration and has Condi’s ear. The was a recent article in the WSJ on him. “Rising Academic Sees Sectarian Split Inflaming Mideast”

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  115. CGTom Friedman is a regular talking head on “Meet the Press” He is trying to educate and think outside the box. I like him.On the Lighter side: life goes on:< HREF="http://www.bbg.org/vis2/2006/titan/index.html" REL="nofollow">Blooming of Amorphophallus titanum (corpse flower) at BBG<>

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  116. You guys have to watch this clip…the one titled “Forced Perspective”< HREF="http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/videos/most_recent/index.jhtml" REL="nofollow">Click on the image with Forced Perspective<>

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  117. I guess we need those Prof page anchors to branch down to the bottom of the 300+ posts… but then Prof would want one that just branches to his last Profferation. 🙂Has anyone read this < HREF="http://webcast.rice.edu/speeches/20030124mandelbaum.html" REL="nofollow">book <>, or any of Michael Mandelbaum’s books. Thomas Friedman talks well of him… and of course Mandelbaum talks well of Friedman {cross promotion}. I listened to the video clip, and Mandelbaum seems impressive. It’s always interesting to go back and listen to comments made about Iraq by intelligent people before the war… listen to the last 3 minutes of the video. Mandelbaum makes the point that the verdict is in… Peace, Democracy and Free Markets are the winning ideas. After reading Friedman, and witnessing what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan… I come to the conclusion that our main tool going forward is “free trade”, rather than a US Democracy crusade… particularly at the point of a gun. I think economies and jobs lead to the other… when people choose it for themselves. We may not be able to get tribal Afghanistan to want democracy… but I bet we could win them over with manufacturing jobs. Do you try free trade with a Saddam? It sure doesn’t taste very well… but then, how well does this war taste? “People are more impressed by what they notice then what they are told.”— Michael MandelbaumOne of Friedman’s observations made me think of Guy’s comment about “introducing IPods to the middle east… and they will come”. Friedman makes a similar comment… but from the global supply chain end of things. He had Dell provide him with the complete supply chain detail on the Laptop he had bought from Dell in 2004. Dell builds laptops with a “just in time” model, which means Dell has suppliers locate near the Dell manufacturing centers and supply them as orders come in. They actually send out emails every two hours to their local suppliers, and those suppliers must physically show up with product within 90 minutes. Dell has redundancy of suppliers, and these suppliers span US, Europe and Asia. Two of the countries that are major suppliers are China and Taiwan. In 2002, Taiwan had an election where it looked like they were about to elect the pro-independence party and sh*t was about to hit the fan. In the end, Taiwan voted otherwise… opting for their improved ecomomic lives and psuedo-independence. The point is, both China and Taiwan have huge ecnomic stakes to consider before they pull the war trigger. These supply chain relationships may not return after a war. One other example… India and Pakistan. When India and Pakistan were in the middle of their war sabre rattling a couple of years ago… it was the Indian Bangalore {their Silicon Valley} business community that brought it to the attention of the Indian elders that there would be a huge economic price to be paid if they moved against Pakistan. Several of the US CIO’s had warned the Indian business community that the on going relationship depended on a stable India. How much better is this than war. Yoshi will probably bring up the Dubai Ports World deal at this point. 🙂 I’m not excited about seeing my IT career exported to India and China, or someone else running our ports (or any other American infrastructure with security concerns)… but their is another powerful side to globalization that the American public should become educated on. Man… if we only had a Tom Friedman leading and educating our public than our holy Democracy crusader. McCain is correct… elections matter.

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  118. Whether or not Bill Gates would wear a key ring through his nose, I don’t know, but I do know that Steve Jobs once said that if Bill Gates took more LSD, that he would make better software.

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  119. Prof,<>The body mutilation through piercings adorned with crude jewelry is less amusing, but still telling.<>Our current non-pierced adults elected Bush… twice. Now that is what I call <>telling<>. If any generation has the right to question the adults… it’s the current pierced generation. I bet a conspiracy minded generation would have called bs on the Iraq mushroom cloud marketing… and would not have tolerated the Cheney secret oil oligarchy meetings. That said, the guys that wear their jeans below crack level should NEVER BE ALLOWED TO VOTE. They actually showed a guy on TV the other day that got caught by the police trying to run away down an alley… he couldn’t run because his pants kept tripping him. Now that is surely Darwin at work.

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  120. “<>But Prof, didn’t you know what many younger folk are ACTUALLY believing today. 9/11 was an inside job done by the government and the “corporations.”<>”It’s funny that the people who have done terrorism in the past, are planning it in the future, planned the 9/11 attack, left a trail a mile long, their supporters danced the day it happened, they have bragged that they will do it again, they have partially duplicated it and taken credit for it in London, Madrid, and elsewhere, the planes are missing, the people are missing, and yet it was detonations from helicopters or Tomahawk missiles that did it…. Sure it is. Contrary to every fact, every witness report, every fiber of reason, we are to think that Bush was successful at something, and that something was an attack on the U.S. This new generation is a funny lot. I am particularly amused with the droopy drawers syndrome (DDS) that otherwise non-brain damaged people have adopted to obscure that fact. The body mutilation through piercings adorned with crude jewelry is less amusing, but still telling. You don’t see Bill Gates with a key ring through his eyebrow now do you? Crazy.

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  121. Yoshi,<>So maybe it’s not all just jobs and being able to vote.<><>Looks like most of these people come out of the West- soical misfits, and probably think they are part of some kind of revolution…. like computer hackers or something…only these are ready to kill thousands/ millions.<>There are obviously multiple paths to “humiliated angry males now ready to kill someone”… i.e. the trend of bullied highschool kids who show up with a gun one day. That said, I think we will find the majority of the Amway terrorist recruiting movement comes from middle easterners who migrated to Europe “to get a job and respect”… and were met with a lack of assimilation. No doubt this dyanmic will attract other angry types who got there by different means. Our leaders failed us by marketing this as a war on terrorism. This is a war against angry males coming out of failed economies. The most important result with Iraq is not whether or not it becomes a Democracy example for other coutries, but whether or not it becomes a job-creating-economy example. It’s a numbers game… with more males with jobs in any society less fathers and sons will opt for human-bomb-zealotry, or even listen to the cult sellers. Our “War on Terror” is actually a war on failed economies exporting their pissed off males… and this is with oil at $70+ a barrel. Want to really see some exported angry males… flip the switch where nobody needs to buy oil any more. Scary. This is what I don’t get… you figure even Mr. Middle Eastern dictator sitting there has to see they virtually have no economic infrastructure… i.e. no Plan B beyond oil. They have kids they are planning on leaving all of the dictator bounty to… right? <>But Prof, didn’t you know what many younger folk are ACTUALLY believing today. 9/11 was an inside job done by the government and the “corporartions.”<>Man that’s stupid. The US government has no power. 🙂

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  122. Prof’s link shows it was a close one. I read that the terrorrists were even “home-grown,” from the UK. So maybe it’s not all just jobs and being able to vote. Looks like most of these people come out of the West- soical misfits, and probably think they are part of some kind of revolution…. like computer hackers or something…only these are ready to kill thousands/ millions. But Prof, didn’t you know what many younger folk are ACTUALLY believing today. 9/11 was an inside job done by the government and the “corporartions.”

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  123. Prof… surely you know al Qaeda has nothing to do with religion… other than recruiting vunerable males seeking religion.Here is the formula:Males with out jobs -> once proud societies now devastatingly behind economically -> male humiliation -> male rage -> male vulnerability to peversion of religion and religious zealotry -> al Qaeda (a totalitarian power movement… nothing to do with religion) leverage the religious zealots recruiting capabilities…. and presto… suicide terrorism. Have you seen a religious son of Bin Laden blow themselves up yet? Not much different than any power movement really… i.e. figure out how to get other folks to die for your power. This isn’t about Democracies and non-democracies. It’s about jobs for young male populations, functioning economies, and secular goverments powerful enough to fight off sectarian power and provide some level of tolerance and pluralism. If one wanted to make the case that only Democracies could create functioning economies, then that would be an argument worth listening to. However, China’s economy would present a challenge to that argument… although it’s still way too early to know how China comes out. One thing is pretty obvious in our current global world however, and that is anti-pluralism-based government will be great economy killers going forward. That’s what terrorism is by the way… anti-pluralism power aspirations.

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  124. Colbert regarding Bush’s vacation:“Bush is like a Black & Decker vacuum cleaner. You have to give them a rest so they can SUCK.”I wish I could find a link to a video from last night’s Daily Show where they had a comedian representing the Middle East explaining how the entire region looks at bombing as “opportunities”. One line… paraphrasing… “The entire Muslim community looks at bombing as an opportunity and stand ready to be human test cases for anything US social scientists dream up”. Priceless… if I find the link, I will add it.

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  125. <>In fact, children tend to come into the world very needy and not that thrilled about things.<>That’s why I stuck with dogs.<>I wish I could share your belief that a painless and enjoyable existence is possible.<>Oops… you just expressed a limit of the creation abilities of your infinite god. O ye of little faith. 🙂

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  126. CG,I gotta tell you, the notion that children are happy ab initio does not stack up with my experience as a child or a parent. In fact, children tend to come into the world very needy and not that thrilled about things. Now they certainly have a more finely tuned ability to enjoy simple pleasures put before them, but I think that is the flip side of the coin that is there suffering is typically in our culture fairly insignificant.But the greater point is to be observed in society at large. I think you of all people should get this. If you look at American society, I believe a lot of what you see is unhappiness that is the product of too much ease. I think our very success has led to massive amounts of unhappiness. Collectively we pop prozac by the handfuls to try to get past the malaise of too much comfort.If you ever spend much time around people who came from a poorer background, I think you would discover the same kind of joy you ascribe to children. We tend to couch this simple truth in terms of appreciation, and that is certainly one way to describe it. But I think “appreciation” is an intellectual manifestation of experience, where as the joy is an emotional manifestation.I think we actually have so much joy and ease that we loose track to it. If you have a fine wine every day, then eventually, you lose track of how special it is. But if you drink grocery store wine most of the time, a bottle of fine wine has a special appeal and enjoyability. I’ve seen rich people swish, spit and criticize some of the finest wines you can buy: too much ease to experience real pleasure.I wish I could share your belief that a painless and enjoyable existence is possible. While I can not disagree with complete confidence, I strongly doubt your hypothesis. It just doesn’t mesh with experience.

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  127. Yoshi, This is what Friedman said about the Gates Foundation… I knew some of it and it’s probably on his website.When Bill decided to start the foundation, they made a point to not be a “Western” foundation that said… here is the answers, here is your instructions and here is the checks. Instead they opened up the initial discussion to scientists across the globe, including Nobel laureates. They started with this question:<>What are the biggest problems that, if science attended to them, and solved them, could most dramatically change the fate of the several billion people trapped in the vicious cycle of infant mortality, low life expectancy, and disease.<>Friedman said they got back 8000 pages of ideas. The list was distilled down to what they called the <>fourteen Grand Challenges worldwide<>. They included – how to create effective single-dose vaccines that can be used soon after birth– how to prepare vaccines that do not require refrigeration– how to develop needle free delivery systems for vaccines– how to better understand which immunological responses provide protective immunity– how to better control insects that transmit agents of disease– how to develop a genetic or chemical strategy to incapacitate a disease-transmitting insect population– how to create a full range of optimal bioavailable nutrients in a single staple plant species– how to create immunological methods that can cure chronic infectionsWithin a year the foundation received sixteen hundred proposals for ways to meet those challenges from scientists {from 75 countries}. They made a moral appeal to the scientific community on issues the community had ignored… than then direct resources to the best ideas. Here was a stat from the book… provided by Gates. “The estimate for saving a life in the US {the amount our society is willing to spend} is $5 or $6 million. You can save a life outside the US for less than $100. I really had some problems with Gate’s business practices, but man the dude is really making up for it. < HREF="http://www.gcgh.org/subcontent.aspx?SecID=408" REL="nofollow">14 Grand Challenges<>

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  128. let me throw another dart at the board. Regarding whether siamese twins existing and suffering and all of that has anything to do with God having this or that quality, consider the idea that this same God allegedly suffered itself. The story has it as I understand that this God suffered everything all we humans collectively experience while dying on a cross.So there must be something purposeful about suffering. Well, that’s my two cents. I’ll get that Friedman book, but I’ll hold off just a little longer til the paperback comes out.

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  129. Yoshi… Friedman had some comments about Gate’s work which I will post soon. You will be interested in it… and may already know about it (i.e. the strategy Gates used to come up with their 14 top issues/goals).

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  130. Tony,<>Kind of like the way I suffer here by answering your posts.<>I usually see those coming, but not this time. Glad I wasn’t drinking anything. 🙂I decided long ago anyone still here is into the beatings… BOTH giving and receiving. We have managed to find 4 or 5 folks on the planet that are in to this… and probably a lurker or two that enjoy watching us do it to each other. {note: Lurker = government surveillance} So let me respond to your latest post… which once again reminds me why I start my day with a couple of Exedrins before I venture to Curmland. I know you are the wordsmith between us… and I often have to cut your prose down to a core product. Let me give it a try here.Tony:<>This is no easy nut. Couldn’t an infinite God design a creation where everything is sweetness and joy? Or is suffering an integral part of joy? Can you know joy without suffering? Does it even make sense without suffering? Can you have joy without free will? Does free will have to come with the capacity for evil? If it does not, then is it really “free”? Lots of questions here.<>CG:<>Life would be meaningless without child cancer.<>Let me try one at a time:<>Couldn’t an infinite God design a creation where everything is sweetness and joy?<>Yes… and reason says a caring god would have, or not created anything?<>Or is suffering an integral part of joy?<>No… watch a child (pre-suffering)<>Can you know joy without suffering?<>Yes… watch that same child or my two Westies when I hose them down in the back yard on 100 degree days.<>Does it even make sense without suffering?<>I’m not sure any of this makes sense with or without suffering… but a creator creating suffering doesn’t add sense… just adds suffering. <>Can you have joy without free will?<>I don’t even know what that means. It sounds like “can you have joy if you were not thrown into the heaven and hell lottery with all the upside reward and downside risk”. I think we would have to have a bit of a talk about “joy” because I’m not sure what threshold would be involved to achieve joy in the face of a potential eternity in hell. Maybe you would like to introduce a definition of “joy”.<>Does free will have to come with the capacity for evil? If it does not, then is it really “free”? Lots of questions here.<>Asked another way… “is there any point to all of this without a test {heaven vs hell test}?” I certainly don’t get the point of being created for a test in the first place… so if a creator exists and evil has value it must be value for the creator and not the created.

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  131. CG,I thought of another way of thinking of the problem of evil.Lets say there was a way that through your own personal suffering, you could bring happiness to others or eliminate their suffering. Kind of like the way I suffer here by answering your posts. 🙂 Would you take the deal? I suspect a lot of people would depending on the amount of good they might do.I am not trying to say that this way of looking at it is a complete answer because it begs other questions. But still, if you look at the suffering of an individual, it is hard to determine all the results of those trials.This is no easy nut. Couldn’t an infinite God design a creation where everything is sweetness and joy? Or is suffering an integral part of joy? Can you know joy without suffering? Does it even make sense without suffering? Can you have joy without free will? Does free will have to come with the capacity for evil? If it does not, then is it really “free”? Lots of questions here.My own view is that pain is essential to living a full life. And the more I am around you, the fuller my life seems to be.Somebody stop me…

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  132. Jeeze Prof… that preacher was <>inscrutable<>.<>Now I bet you really hate me for learning html links.<>Well, technology is a tool that is not always used for noble purposes. 🙂 Bill Maher had some advice about hate on Leno last night… we should all get designated haters. I like that… would free up some time. 🙂So all of this is the ultimate reality TV show that God created for his pleasure. You have to admit the plot is much better than what we get out of Hollywood these days… although we get more happy endings out of Hollywood.

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  133. C.G. said: “<>Hey Prof, did you see your buddy 🙂 Pat Robertson now believes in global warming.<>”I tend to distance myself from Tele-Evangelists. Particularly after < HREF="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3552314994740921390&q=farting+preacher" REL="nofollow">this.<>Now I bet you really hate me for learning html links.Prof. Ricardo

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  134. First, sorry that I haven’t been around the last couple of days. Lets just say work has been “interesting”.Guy, you asked, <>”My question, and it is sincere, are we really alone in this universe or has God got a lot of other projects going on too?” <> Well, the short answer is that I have no idea.Of course there is the long answer. 🙂 I do not find the possibility of other worlds inhabiting life out there to be inherently inconsistent with the Christian worldview or teachings of the Bible. My feeling is something along the line of the often used line, if there isn’t other life out there in this huge universe, wow what a waste. That said, God can do what he wants … it is his universe. Perhaps his aesthetic sensibilities are inscrutable.My feeling, and it is nothing more than a feeling, is that there are other created beings out there. I think it is likely that even if they are out there, we may never know about it. Perhaps the speed of light itself is designed to eliminate the possibility of our knowing or seeing.I also think speculating about such things is no end of fun. I even derive a certain twisted pleasure of observing people who get all knotted up about it. There are those that think that they have the answer from God and that there are certainly no other thises or thats out there. Then there are those that think if they can prove this or that then they have somehow eliminated the possibility of the existence of God. What a great time to be alive and able to have such discussions!Yoshi, you asked if I directed this at you or Creationists: <>“How can any of us be so certain that we understand what creation means as applied to an infinite God?” <> I directed it at neither. I wrote most of that in response to someone on a CS Lewis messageboard three or four years ago. It was someone who was questioning their faith as a result of some personal losses they had experienced. It was quite a discussion as you might imagine. I suppose it is directed to Creationists of the stripe that assert that Genisis 1-2 is literal with no room for any allegory or anthropomorphic techniques.CG, as to your three questions on the problem of evil, we have been down that path many times. So have hordes of philosophers and theologists. I do not think any honest person of faith can tell you that they are totally comfortable with the idea of evil or the bad things that happen to innocent people. This is intrinsically difficult. That said, there is a big picture that you and I can not comprehend. I’ll give you a Biblical answer and a more modern one. In the Bible, Naomi lost most her husband and sons and was left destitute. Through a series of events, this led her daughter-in law to a marriage to Boaz and this continued the line of descent that led to David and then ultimately Jesus. In more modern times, ask whether the rise of Hitler will be considered a good thing or a bad thing in a few hundred years. NATO led to peace in Europe and the spread of democratic principals that has accelerated with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Now this is far from playing out, but if you consider the wide ambit of history, it is hard to say for certain that the net result of all of that truly evil and bad stuff will ultimately be bad. I’m not saying either way, just trying to point out how hard it is to know.

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  135. So BP made 7 billion last quarter. If you can’t inspect your pipelines now, when can you?Hey Prof, did you see your buddy 🙂 Pat Robertson now believes in global warming.

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  136. Prof,Quite a test isn’t it? 🙂 I’m particularly impressed with the myriad of coping paths we choose. I’m not impressed with the added hell {used figuratively here} we add to the pot/plot… i.e. throwing in bonus pain like {wars,crime,greed} with the baseline pain {cancer, death, etc}. Cope on Prof… as Colbert and Guy would say… a Tip of the Hat to your coping style and grace. Guy,<>I have always had a theory that when Jesus comes back, he will be a Plaintiff’s attorney. Fighting for the little guy against corporate greed (throwing the money changers out who are destroying the envirnment). Having said that, I worry because I know he will do it all pro bono. 😉<>Jesus a lawyer. Oh Guy… your Jesus complex is showing. 🙂 I’m pretty much an <>Age of Reason<> guy when it comes to Christianity… but I do imagine what a judgement day might look like. I would be interested in the WHY first… prior to the grading.

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  137. C.G. said:“<>1)…<>”Man was created for God’s pleasure. That includes all of us.“<>2)….then doesn’t “a god we should fear” make sense, but “a loving god” make no sense?<>”No. When man was placed here he was not a puppet on a string. He could obey and have fellowship with his creator or disobey. When sin entered the world so did death. In fact one of Adam’s sons killed the other one. That is not something that God did. It was something that man did. With regard to birth defects I think I am uniquely qualified here to say that, although not “normal”, these individuals can live lives honoring to God and fulfilling to themselves.From the natural man’s perspective they are defectives. Human errors that should not exist. They see our existence only as the here and now and an aberation is unpleasant for them to deal with either in their own person or that of people around them. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, originally supported abortion for eugenics, to purify the race. Those two girls you referred to have souls. Though I would not wish medical problems on anyone, we grow through adversity, and through much difficulty yet, they can live blessed lives.“<>I guess I need a bigger dose of that god-provided reason. The only thing I can come up with is god introducing various forms of “testing on this rock”.<>”God provided life and the universe around us. Living in a world of infinite variables provides the testing. The same God ordained gravity that keeps you from floating off our planet, demands that planes come tumbling out of the sky when systems fail. Gravity isn’t good or bad it just is.The infinite variability of genetics, the introduction of chemicals while a child is in the womb, the catastrophe’s of chance and accident all combine to bring us the human condition. My own son’s deformity was the result of an “intrauterine catastrophe,” the doctor called it. It was not genetic, nor something we did. It just happened. He lives with it everyday . . . without complaint. I couldn’t be prouder. I am sure that the siamese girl’s parents feel the same. There would never wish it upon someone, but glad to have what they got.I have heard of young ladies aborting their babies when they were young and later when they desired to have children they were unable. My heart breaks for them.And yes, it’s a test for the parents as well as the child with the difference. You can choose to get bitter or better.Prof. Ricardo

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  138. CGI have always had a theory that when Jesus comes back, he will be a Plaintiff’s attorney. Fighting for the little guy against corporate greed (throwing the money changers out who are destroying the envirnment). Having said that, I worry because I know he will do it all pro bono. 😉

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  139. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060808/sc_afp/mideastconflictlebanon_060808160758" REL="nofollow">Buy bicycle and mass transit company stocks… enough already with screwing up oil supplies<>Prof… think Hezbollah staged this or Israel really took it out? I read the History of Israel on the wikipedia website. I knew some of it, but not all of it. Wow… Israel has had wolves attacking the campsite since 1948. Nobody should have to live like that. We station troops all over this globe… why not in Israel. I don’t buy that honest broker crap. I think smart people have looked at the reality of plopping down an Israeli state in the middle of all that hate… and figured we would be losing American lives right along with Israel for enternity. Israel sure proves out the saying… “Location, Location, Location….”.

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  140. I don’t want to interrupt the quest for the meaning of life here… but… 🙂Random CG thoughts void of any decent amount of reasoning ability:The BP Alaska pipeline shutdown is now estimated {by an analyst at Stratfor at least} to be as big as Katrina. BP has admitted that it has not inspected this pipeline since 1999. Looks like this no-government-interference-with-business administration (i.e. we don’t need no stinkin regulation) is pretty much as good with our energy as they are with hurricanes. Darn… you just knew some shit would hit the fan when Shrub went off to cut some more wood. Maybe Guy has a point with his calming ying-and-yang… the world tends to balance out advice. Congress critters can reach a threshold where even being the incumbent doesn’t protect them. Tom DeLay… for example, although that sucker is actually going to remain on the ballot. Now Bob Ney of Ohio is going down for those golf trips to Scotland and Abramoff ties. You can stink pretty bad and stay in DC.. but at least there is some smell-threshold. Looks like Lieberman might get the boot for supporting the Iraq war and kissing Shrub {actually Shrub kissed him}. Of course the “Liberal” Dem that may beat him lives in a $30 million dollar house… and Prof knows how I feel about rich people. YAERF… Yet another elected rich f***er. btw… Thomas Friedman suggests China will kick our economic a$$ going forward because our government is filled with Lawyers, and China’s is filled with Engineers. Sorry Guy… I think they have a point. 🙂

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  141. Yoshi:<>And there is a WHY.<>Prof and the overall WHY:<>The overall picture is that God made man for his pleasure.<>I can see that… I feel like one of those ants I use to fry as a kid under the magnifying glass.OK… Guy got to ask a question (to Tony that Prof answered ins<>taint<>ly). Let me try a couple of questions.1) If we are all created at God’s pleasure, were those two 4 year old conjoined twin girls they separated today created for God’s pleasure?2) If “yes” to #1, then doesn’t “a god we should fear” make sense, but “a loving god” make no sense?3) If “no” to #1, then either A) god had another motive other than personal pleasure B) God isn’t controlling creation at this point {Deist type of thing} C) A God does not exist. Let’s just deal with 3A… and speculate about what the WHY might be for two babies being joined together under the control of a god. I’m pretty stumped… I guess I need a bigger dose of that god-provided reason. The only thing I can come up with is god introducing various forms of “testing on this rock”. Perhaps these particular two parents needed this type of test… or perhaps the parents were <>collateral<> casualties in a broader test of the population. There must be a huge bucket out there of “irreconcilable gaps”.

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  142. “How can any of us be so certain that we understand what creation means as applied to an infinite God?”Tony, is that directed at me, or at the Creation people? I don’t think evolution puts me off “God” in any way. It just puts me in awe. Complete awe. It’s as if “creation” is like a flower blossoming from literally nothing. From nothing to billions of years later (if years can be counted in timelessness), to me standing in the middle of it. Oh yea, Professor is right about that people, the center of the universe is on Earth. The Center of the Universe is actually in Times Square, Manhattan. So when you go from the Museum of Natural History off Central Park, learn the orgin of the universe, and then go stand in Times Square with the crazy guys yelling out, “Christ of Nazareth is real,” and all you can think of is “why”?I mean, science can tell us HOW. But science can not tell us WHY. And there is a WHY.

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  143. Guy said: “<>Earth as the center of the universe and all that above created for time keeping; navigation and showing off. Wow.<>”Taken piecemeal any belief system may look foolish. You ask a specific question, I helped provide that answer.The overall picture is that God made man for his pleasure. You don’t have to like it. You don’t even have to believe it. He didn’t consult me either. That would be a little arrogant to think that God would need our wisdom on the situation. He created the Heavens and the Earth. Apparently from your comment above you are impressed with the immensity of the universe in relation to the purpose of man. It speaks of God’s power that He can produce that for whatever purpose He sees fit, including putting His glory on display for us.I tell you what, the next time you speak a universe into existence, you can make the heavens above that is used for “time keeping; navigation and showing off”, a more realistic size, whatever you deem that to be.—–I have a question for you.The DNA in your cells tell everything about you. They tell your hair to be a specific color, your blood type, the shape of your face, all the characteristics of your body. Each cell contains this information for all cells even though each cell does not do all the parts. Each cell knows which part it plays in the body: the hair, the eye, the blood, the bone, etc. Was all this information available in your DNA at birth or was it added at a later date?P.R.CG /taint

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  144. Prof – Looked at your link. I can only politely say, “wow.” Earth as the center of the universe and all that above created for time keeping; navigation and showing off. Wow.

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  145. Guy,If I answered it would be garbled. See: What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets?on < HREF="http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c012.html" REL="nofollow">ChristianAnswers.net<>

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  146. <>My question, and it is sincere, are we really alone in this universe or has God got a lot of other projects going on too?<>Yeah… you really have to figure this rock was a prototype or practice.

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  147. TonyWith my boy the other day we were downloading pictures from the Hibble Space Telescope for a screensaver on his computer. I am sure you have seen these images of not only distant stars but millions of distant galaxies.My question, and it is sincere, are we really alone in this universe or has God got a lot of other projects going on too?It is hard for me to believe that given we are just one planet in the Milky Way Galaxy that there are not other planets in our own galaxy that may alo have life. And if you times that time the number of galaxies, it seems life may be fairly abundant throughout the universe. This is my logical syllogism and I do not stand ready to hit you with a bunch of links about the propensity of life around the universe. I am curious as to your thoughts.

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  148. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060807/sc_space/scientistsreverseevolutionreconstructancientgene" REL="nofollow">The earth appears to be between 6000 and 530 million years old.<>

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  149. Tony,<>This is where we find ourselves on the matter. God gave us reason and intends for us to use it. As time has marched on, we continue to learn more about our universe and as we learn more, our thinking on God’s revelation grows with that learning.<>So you use science to enhance your revelation, and Prof uses revelation to filter science… and yet both are Christians. Very confusing. 🙂How would one know when they have faulty reasoning vs faulty free will?

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  150. Yoshi,I guess I’ll respond to the creationist jab. Actually, I’ll borrow something I have written and used a few times before because I think it is responsive. The short answer is that I think the Sun is the same thing most normally sentient beings do.============================I view the Bible as God’s revealed truth to Man. I believe it is infallible and should be taken literally where the language is clearly meant as literal. Thus, I believe in Adam and Eve, the flood and much of what is easier to write off as legendary or allegorical. But, I’m also a fairly well educated person and my wife of twenty-one years is a molecular biologist. Reconciling this matter is of significant importance to me and my family.This is where we find ourselves on the matter. God gave us reason and intends for us to use it. As time has marched on, we continue to learn more about our universe and as we learn more, our thinking on God’s revelation grows with that learning. Few now deny that the Earth orbits the Sun, but educated and faithful men of another age felt passionately about the Earth being the proper Biblical center of the universe. We came to understand that maybe the perceived clarity on the point was an error and we learned how to reconcile the new learning with our faith without stretching or twisting faith or reason.I believe that faith will be completely reconciled with reason when God restores Creation to its as-created Goodness. Our inability to perform that reconciliation now reflects our limitations as men. As our knowledge continues to accumulate, we will perhaps reconcile more of this gap than what we have managed thus far.I for one have a real difficulty understanding people who are so certain that they understand even the act of creation when we do not even have a firm handle on our own human ability to create. How can any of us be so certain that we understand what creation means as applied to an infinite God? Clearly, God spoke to us at times in abstract ways such as when he “spoke” creation into existence. But “speaking” is itself anthropomorphism not to mention a physical phenomenon of a created universe: God is doing his best to help us grasp his enormity.Our weak ability to grasp the act and fact of creation is nowhere more evident than in the discussion of the old Earth v. young Earth arguments. It is pretty apparent to me that the God who <>created time<> and the other dimensions could probably handle creating a universe that not only appears old, but actually <>is<> old. I’m not saying that is what I believe, but rather pointing to the possibility. We could spend a lot of time being troubled over such things in a spiritual sense, but I find that effort somewhat lacking in utility.Similarly, I think such a God as this might create men through evolution, or that he might not. If one really opens their mind to the best of our limited ability as to what such a God might be, it is enormously humbling. I may know that I am created in God’s image, but does that mean God has lungs and a poor sense of humor? I think not. I think we are the best facsimile he could fit into four dimensions much like the artist who tries to render three dimensional perspective on a two dimensional canvas. I am strongly influenced in this regard by the engaging book < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/048627263X/qid=1090270456/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/103-3290900-1918247" REL="nofollow">Flatland<>.I am not troubled at our inability to understand how God’s truth is hard at times to reconcile with our experience using our limited minds. Instead, it is better to spend our energy trying to more fully understand God and better understanding his creation.My faith is that God will sort it out in his time-not mine.

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  151. <>George Carlin’s new rules for 2006<>New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just forweddings. Now it’s for babies and new homes, graduations, and releases from jail.Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for youisn’t gift giving, it’s the white people version of looting.New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for Classmates.com! There’s areason you don’t talk to people for 25 years. Because you don’tparticularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of thefootball team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot,blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description forthese kids: LUCKY BASTARDS.New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards,you’re gay. If you’re a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. Ifyou’re a grown man, they’re pictures of men.New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here’s how much men careabout your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we’re done.New Rule: There’s no such thing as flavored water. There’s a whole aisleof this crap at the supermarket – water, but without that watery taste.Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavoredwater? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That’s your flavoredwater.New Rule: Stop f***ing with old people. Target is introducing aredesigned pill bottle that’s square, with a bigger label. And the topis now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it,his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solvedthe Social Security crisis.New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger thea**hole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a “decaf grandehalf-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbreadcappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and oneNutraSweet,” ooh, you’re a huge a**hole.New Rule: I’m not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding mycard, entering my PIN number, pressing “Enter,” verifying the amount,deciding, no, I don’t want cash back, and pressing “Enter” again, thekid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating myAlmond Joy.New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn’tmake you spiritual. It’s right above the crack of your ass. And ittranslates to “beef with broccoli.” The last time you did anythingspiritual, you were praying to God you weren’t pregnant. You’re notspiritual. You’re just high.New Rule: Competitive eating isn’t a sport. It’s one of the seven deadlysins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, becausewatching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting.What’s next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They’re already doing that.It’s called “The Howard Stern Show.”New Rule: I don’t need a bigger mega M&M. If I’m extra hungry for M&Ms,I’ll go nuts and eat two.New Rule: and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants.After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I justhad sex with George Michael. I can’t even tell if he’s supposed to bethere, or just some freak with a fetish. don’t want to be on yourwebcam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don’t need to know inmonths. “27 Months.” “He’s two,” will do just fine. He’s not a cheese.And I didn’t really care in the first place.

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  152. Yoshi,Make sure you get around to reading Friedman’s book… I think it’s well worth it. I actually thought a best-seller-swap type website was a good idea at one time… you would have had Freakenomics sitting in your online inventory, I had “It’s a Flat World”… we find each other on the website and do a swap. Each pay the shipping plus a $1 per person transaction fee (that’s what the website would take). Tony convinced me it was a loser idea because it was pretty much as cheap to just buy used on Amazon. 🙂Sounds like an interesting degree choice. I don’t know how well that maps to jobs… but it sounds like it would be very interesting studies. If you want to hedge your bets, learn to speak Chinese. 🙂 I just Amazoned…:– Freakonomics– Take This Job and Ship It (Sen Byron Dorgan… dude doesn’t agree with Friedman)– American Gospel– Fiasco: The American Military Adventures in Iraq

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  153. I was just about to order “the World is Flat” last night but my order was so large I had to cut a few books. So I thought I’d wait until the softcover version comes out.I have a degree in “International Studies,” which was “interdisciplinary,” basically an Economics degree where instead of Business statistics and Econometrics and a few others I took World History and International Relations courses in their place. Now I’m going for a second degree, so I’m taking the math I dreaded before and I’m also taking film classes. (I’m hedging all my bets!).In New York, I saw a guy with a t-shirt that said, “being an adult sucks!” And so, I’m taking that at face value. I’m in no rush to get out into the rat race anytime soon.

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  154. Yoshi,<>Or do they just think it’s like a big light which just happens to be up in the sky?<>A big light with a 6000 year old battery. 🙂Yoshi, what’s your major in school? You probably told me this already. You should read Thomas Friedman’s book “The World is Flat”. Your generation is in for one hell of a ride. Hint: don’t pick one of those “fungible” jobs/careeers. I actually thought of your globe-trotting when Friedman asked the following question in his book (paraphrasing):“How is it possible that Mexico which physically borders the US market, has a form of democracy, has cheap labor, is rich in natural resources (oil) is getting it’s ass handed to it by China… which is totalitarian, on the other side of the globe and has no natural resources”. Friedman observes that if anyone had to bet on China or Mexico 10 years ago, most would have bet on Mexico. Friedman goes into some detail explaining why he thinks this happened… but I have some totally non-Politically correct questions:Is the average IQ of the Mexican population lower than that of China?Or is it just a numbers game… with billions, the odds of a significant cream-of-the-crop just a matter of statistics?Or are all populations pretty equal on IQ statistics, and it comes down to education, infrastructure, business rules and regulation, culture etc?You can replace “Mexican” with “American” in the questions above also.Friedman also treads somewhat lightly into the advantage and disadvantage of culture in the prediction of what countries will succeed in this new flat global competing world. He suggest that some Muslim cultures will fail unless they become more tolerant and willing to LEARN FROM OTHERS. That’s not the same thing as not valuing your internal culture.. he’s making the point that if your internal culture prevents you from learning from others in the new global world, you will get further and further behind. Keep making good contacts in your travels… they may be your supply chain some day. 🙂btw… I intend to read Freakenomics next… or at least very soon.

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  155. Hahaha…yeah, my Son loves the Sun. Check out < HREF="http://www.spaceweather.com/images2005/02jul05/midi512.gif" REL="nofollow">these<> sunspot images. Then realize that those little black splotches would fit an Earth inside them.Actually, I found something even more on point. Ever wonder why those magnetic storms and stuff can be such a big deal when the earth is so far away? Well, the are caused, in part, by solar prominences which can not be seen without special hardware. < HREF="http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/top10/top10_detail_molten304_earth.html" REL="nofollow">This<> is a nice close-up of a solar prominence from SOHO.If any of that intrigues you, the IMAX film “Solar Max” is available on DVD and includes some mind-blowing footage that I think is almost a must see.

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  156. I just got back from a week in Manhattan….My God, the Natural History museum they had there was nothing short of AMAZING! It blew my mind (figuratively). Seriously, I’m willing to bet it’d be impossible to walk out of there not entirely convinced of evolution… it was just so comprehensive… everything connected…I was thinking of Professor and thinking, “if the poor guy just had access to this kind of experience…” It’s pretty undeniable. To do so speaks volumes about a person.-Did anyone know that if the sun was hollow, it could fit over a million earths inside of it? The earth is like a volleyball sitting next to a five-story building compared to the sun.

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  157. Prof,I’ve heard this author several times talking about his < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400065550/sr=1-1/qid=1154801270/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-8536181-7848720?ie=UTF8&s=books" REL="nofollow">book <>. He calls himself a “raging moderate”, and seems to have written an excellent book. You may wish it add it to your project reading list. 🙂 If you do, give me a book review. It looks like a book I would be interested in. I am reading Thomas Friedman’s book “It’s a Flat World”. Oh my goodness… if you and I have had this much to argue about with the current state of things… you aren’t going to believe what’s coming in the brave new global economy. We may even end up on the same team for specific purposes. 🙂 I will explain that later.

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  158. Guy,This Westerner may not be used to it yet…. but I have certainly observed carefully orchestrated and large-scale deception of this kind. 🙂Interesting. People without much more than good neighbors, free education and great health care… and they have the arrogance to like it. Any true freedom loving humans would demand weaning out the poor and weak from privileges like health care. What a bunch of commies.

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  159. CGI did not want to gratuitously link just to test the waters, but this seems as good grist for the mill between you and Prof.<>http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1102AP_Cuba_Comfort_in_Communism.html<>

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  160. Prof – I won’t go into again cause I know you guys have hacked it to death but I would dispute this statement “Americans and Westerners are not used to dealing with carefully orchestrated and large-scale deception of this kind.”I think CG knows what I’m talkin about and it certainly was the center piece of the last election.The story is very interesting, I would like to see an investigation like the one on the Haditha Massacre.

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  161. Prof… ignore the following. You need to be working on your project.Yet another example where the two political parties ARE NOT EQUAL. Plan B would have flown straight to the pharmacist’s shelves under a Clinton FDA. This one isn’t about Federal tax being spent against a percentage of the population’s approval… it’s exactly about religious or moral values overriding science in the process of FDA drug approval. It is EXACTLY the argument we had years ago about the legality of birth control pills. Sorry… NOT EQUAL.< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060804/ts_nm/contraceptive_dc_5" REL="nofollow">GoodNewsBadGovernment<>

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  162. Evidence Mounts that Kana “Massacre” Was a FakeFor the full story go < HREF="http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=109072" REL="nofollow">here<>.——–As an aside, the hospital in Tyre, Lebanon, and Human Rights Watch both reported today that 28 people were killed in the Kafr Kana bombing, and not twice that number, as originally reported. Other facts brought by Koret and Spencer:* Sometime after dawn a call went out to journalists and rescue workers to come to the scene. Though Hizbullah has been claiming that civilians could not freely flee the scene due to Israeli destruction of bridges and roads, the journalists and rescue teams from nearby Tyre had no problem getting there.* Lebanese rescue teams did not start evacuating the building until after the camera crews came. The absence of a real rescue effort was explained by saying that equipment was lacking. There were no scenes of live or injured people being extracted.* There was little blood, CNN’s Wedeman noted, concluding that the victims appeared to have died while they were sleeping – despite the thunderous Israeli air attacks. Rescue workers equipped with cameras were removing the bodies from one opening in the collapsed structure, and journalists were not allowed near it.* Rescue workers carrying the victims on stretchers occasionally flipped up the blankets so that cameras could show the faces and bodies of the dead. But, Koret noted, the ashen-gray faces of the victims gave cause to think that the bodies looked like they had been dead for days.* Photos of the rescue operation transmitted all over the world are “extremely suspicious,” Spencer writes, citing work by EU Referendum showing numerous anomalies in the photos. “Most notably,” he writes, “the dating of the various photos suggests that the same bodies were paraded before reporters on different occasions, each time as if they had just been pulled from the rubble. [In addition], some workers are wearing different gear in different photos, yet clearly carrying the same corpse.” * The Christian Lebanese (French-language) website LIBANOSCOPIE has charged that Hizbullah staged the entire incident in order to stimulate calls for a ceasefire, thereby staving off its destruction by Israel and Lebanese plans to rid themselves of this terrorist plague.Spencer concludes, “Americans and Westerners are not used to dealing with carefully orchestrated and large-scale deception of this kind. It is time that it be recognized as a weapon of warfare, and an extremely potent one at that.”—-End of article—-

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  163. Prof,<>2) Lebanese innocents are warned to get out of area X to avoid injury.3) Bomb the heck out of area X.If innocents die, either a) they weren’t allowed to leave, or b) were allowed to leave but chose to gamble. Israel’s due diligence is satisfied.<>If only the real world was really this conscience-free. Many that stay {and you will hear a CG theme echoing here} are old or poor or both. There is not exactly a public monorail to jump on, and even if there was… go where? Where does a poor person with nothing go? Where does a person who is 70 or 80 who have never lived anywhere else in their lives go? I saw one 86 year old husband with a 90 year old wife. Some golden years. You see footage of these poor people coming out of the rubble starving and dehydrated. They didn’t have a way out… or waited too long. I’ve heard several interviews of the real decisions they faced rather than our conscience-free filter on reality. Even if you grabbed your family immediately and hit the road {in a vehicle if you were lucky, or on foot for many}, there is no guarantee you won’t see your family taken out on the road. I wonder how much time one spends outside gathering leaflets during a war? I wonder how I, as a father, would make the call to keep my family in some structure and try and ride out the hell coming from the air… or take my little kids out into the road. I simply can’t imagine the hell. I am not attacking Israel here… I am simply pointing out there are no noble choices here. Reality on the ground is much different than the movie we watch on TV.

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  164. Common said:“<>Wow… you read a lot in there that I did not type.<>”I get excited sometimes when I read propaganda. The host site reeked of it and I took it out on you. Sorry. “<>You will battle to the death over the fetus… but are significantly more dismissive when it comes to these Lebanon innocent civilians.<>”Actually, I’m not dismissive of the citizens. 1) Rockets are falling on Israeli innocents.2) Lebanese innocents are warned to get out of area X to avoid injury.3) Bomb the heck out of area X.If innocents die, either a) they weren’t allowed to leave, or b) were allowed to leave but chose to gamble. Israel’s due diligence is satisfied.While rockets are falling (231 yesterday – must of gotten a new shipment from Syria) on innocents in Israel, Israel must defend by bombing areas previously warned and still posing a threat. I suspect, given Hezbollah’s past, they did not permit their family members, or whoever these people were, to leave.The fetus has no parallel option for escape, unless they go the birth/adoption route, which does not accomplish the primary goal of abortion, secretly eliminating the pregnancy.Thanks for the linking info.Prof. Ricardo

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  165. Prof, I would like to suggest you dedicate your turd-selling-to-CG time to your project. I got more out of reading your Edmond Burke link than our usual witty reporte. You asked:<>Anybody know how to link, not just to a page, but a specific place on a page?<>You can’t unless the author of the page provided it. For example, you will sometime see a link on a html page that branches the reader to another part of the page. If you find that on your source page, then you can use that same link also.. (it will be the page url + the page target). Pretty much as a general rule… you are **** out of luck. Just include a partial quote to direct your reader in some fashion when they get to the linked page. btw… I’m waiting to see if Guy passes his linking test. 🙂

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  166. Prof… btw… that map is probably on < HREF="http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ar&u=http://www.emigrants.gov.lb/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dlebanon%2Bforeign%2Bministry%2B%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DGGLJ,GGLJ:2006-10,GGLJ:en" REL="nofollow">this <> website somewhere. 🙂

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  167. Prof,<>The terrorist do not target military, but civilians with their rockets, car bombs, people bombs, machetes, sending their young men and women to kill civilians – and that doesn’t bother you.<>Wow… you read a lot in there that I did not type. My comment was simply a comment about tactics and results… i.e. I don’t think Hezbollah can be wiped out this way, and I think they will come out of this politically stronger. My comment had nothing to do with who is right or wrong or guilty or justified… with the exception that Israel is bombing all of Lebanon (that’s a matter of fact). Being the “one in the right” in this type of conflict matters less than “what will actually have a chance to work to bring peace”. As I told Tony, that map was presented on Hardball and pretty much verified by the Israel ambassador… i.e. he verified they were bombing all over Lebanon, not just the south. You can disregard whatever website the link pointed to… I just googled it randomly and didn’t care about the content of the website. This was the map that Chris Mathew stated was created by the Lebanon Foreign Ministry, and that’s good enough for me (at least it looked like the same map to me). I looked originally for the map at the Lebanon Foreign Ministry but couldn’t find the link… that foreign language thing. 🙂I am reminded of DavidR’s comments to you a while back regarding your pro-life sanctity of life position. You will battle to the death over the fetus… but are significantly more dismissive when it comes to these Lebanon innocent civilians. I’m sure it comes down to some “just war” belief from the bible, but innocent kids killed from bombs from the sky sure fuzzies up that sanctity of life mantra.

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  168. Guy said: “<>I was promised a manifesto, opus magnus if you will . . . Did I miss it?<>”Sorry, but you are going to have to wait. This is a topic that I have argued with others about before. Although there are numerous web sites I could send you for the partial story, I’ve decided to create my own. I’ve got an immense body of resource material that I am going over, and given my poor journalistic skills it will take a while. Continue on with life, and don’t worry, when it is ready or nearly so, I’ll let you know. My blog is already set up and I’ve got a rough draft of the outline and a few lines written already. I’ve also packed my “Favorites” with urls because I want you and others to go to as much online verification as possible. Anybody know how to link, not just to a page, but a specific place on a page? That would be helpful in directing my reader to a quote in the body of the web page. Also, Guy, do you have a copy of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England? If you don’t I’m pretty sure I can find some or all online since I will be referencing them as well as founders quotes and documents.Since I am trying to prove a basic foundation on Biblical laws and principles for our Country, I am going after the founders intent and execution of that intent in the form and substance of the kind of government we actually got. As you can tell this topic is a passion of mine. To get all the information I want to share in a readable format that flows logically takes time. I’ll let you know when I get there.Prof. Ricardo

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  169. Common,In response to “<>What Israel is doing won’t work. Maybe there isn’t anything that will work, but this surely isn’t it.<>”I don’t understand. Israel has patience as they are < HREF="http://www.adl.org/Israel/israel_attacks.asp" REL="nofollow">attacked by terrorist<>. The terrorist do not target military, but civilians with their rockets, car bombs, people bombs, machetes, sending their young men and women to kill civilians – and that doesn’t bother you. They have the < HREF="http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTMwNTY2YzRmYmU0NDE5ZjFlZTEzYTdlYmYzNTFmMzU=" REL="nofollow">annihilation of Israel<> as their reason for existence, their founding document if you will, the ultimate hate crime – and they get a pass. We have experienced the same < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51254" REL="nofollow">brutality on our citizenry and military<> from terrorist – and we are the bad guys?The website you quote (“The Shame of Being American”) is a propagandist tool for terrorists, Islamo-fascist, and unfortunately, the left in this country. It is sad that this radical cult of butchers would have any faction of America align with them, but alas, < HREF="http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/744426.html" REL="nofollow">deception<> is real, and the consequence of President Bush hatred taken to its extreme, is no longer funny and subject to ridicule. It has become dangerous.Let me get this straight, if Israel were to stop targeting known Hezbollah targets, but was to launch missiles willy-nilly into Lebanon like you-know-who, that would be the honorable thing to do?Did you not know that the butchers are located in < HREF="http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html" REL="nofollow">residential areas<>? They have gone out of their way to imperil civilians.Did you not know that the butchers were using the < HREF="http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=37278180-a261-421d-84a9-7f94d5fc6d50" REL="nofollow">UN as a shield<>?Did you not know that Israel < HREF="http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1150886036308" REL="nofollow">dropped leaflets<>, radio warnings, like no other country since the beginning of mankind, warning civilians to get out, telling them that area was about to be bombed a full 24 hours before hand, in order to minimize civilian casualties?Can you produce ONE STINKING SLIVER of compassion from the Islamo-fascist even resembling the lengths that Israel has gone to, to protect civilians in enemy territory?Although the < HREF="http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14283.htm" REL="nofollow">graphic pictures of the dead children in Qana<> are hard to look at, they speak more of the wickedness of the Hezbollah terrorist stock in trade of hiding behind women and children rather than protecting them. Can you imagine an Israeli or an American soldier launching rockets from neighborhoods so that you could use either the good will of your enemy to not shoot you there, or the dead bodies of the women and children if they do? Pure wickedness. There is a reason that there is a decided difference between the way they conduct war and the way the West conducts war. And it takes discernment not to fall for the propaganda.Common, please exercise discernment here.Prof. Ricardo

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  170. I don’t mean to detract from the current death, taxes and healthcare debate (yawn) but I was promised a manifesto, opus magnus if you will to shake, nay bring off the back benches and cause me to genuflect in deference to a biblical source for all our laws. Did I miss it?No pressure. Just wanted to make sure.

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  171. CG Hammer… not bad. That poem should be put to rap.Prof-the-poor-slayer and CG-the-rich-envyer. What a poor lot… rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. I’m still waiting to meet anyone against property rights. I’ve never met that person yet.

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  172. Common, “<>I don’t envy wealth… but I envy your ability to sell a turd as perfume. 🙂<>“We have a saying about my son: He could sell snow to the Eskimos. Must be a family trait.Prof. Ricardo

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  173. Common,<>Repeat after me… your property is property AFTER taxes voted on in your representative government.<>That’s fine. Your socialist world view demands that view.<>Tony will say this (taxes) is property that you voluntarily give over to the state. This to me means you could opt out of your legal tax requirement… which is of course nonsense. <>No its just your view that whatever I make is the governments and I have the privilege to get some of it for my own use is so ludicrous and insidious.—–“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the <>pursuit of happiness.<>”Did you ever wonder what they mean by pursuit of happiness?“Oklahoma Constituion:Section II-2: Inherent rights. ” All persons have the inherent right to life, liberty, thepursuit of happiness, and <>the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.<>“PART THE FIRSTA Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitantsof the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; <>that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property;<> in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.Constitution of VirginiaARTICLE IBill of RightsA DECLARATION OF RIGHTS made by the good people of Virginia in the exercise of their sovereign powers, which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government.“Section 1. Equality and rights of men.“That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with <>the means of acquiring and possessing property,<> and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”Time after time, in states and the Union, the property rights were an inalienable right of man, not of government. Your version is found in that Karl’s manifesto.This fetish of punishing the “rich” and trying to equalize outcomes is intriguing.In the 10th Federalist Papers by James Madison “an equal division of property” was referred to as an “improper or wicked project.”From Federalist #5QUEEN ANNE, in her letter of the 1st July, 1706, to the Scotch Parliament, makes some observations on the <>importance of the Union<> then forming between England and Scotland, which merit our attention. I shall present the public with one or two extracts from it: “An entire and perfect union will be the solid foundation of lasting peace: <>It will secure your religion, liberty, and property<>; remove the animosities amongst yourselves, and the jealousies and differences betwixt our two kingdoms. <>It must increase your strength, riches, and trade<>; and by this union the whole island, being joined in affection and free from all apprehensions of different interest, will be enabled to resist all its enemies.”You my friend are at odds with the founding and reason for this nations existence. But do not give up hope, there are other socialist hell holes of Utopia that are in much agreement with your world views. They have reaped a GDP that reflects their priorities. Why not start with the end product of your dear wishes for this country rather than send us down that path? Why must all nations dabble in your tyranny of the public good? <>Here is a crazy idea… add more teeth and law to the IRS and throw those tax dodgers, their lawyers and their accountants in jail.<>And they can have the pleasure of hating their oppressive government like the Cubans.<>Trust me my friend… we are we worse than third world if you measure it based on the greed of our economic winners.<>Once again: If I earn it and want to keep it its “greed.” If I earn it and you want it for your pet projects that’s not “greed.” Check.I suppose twice a month you are silly enough to expect your employer to cut you a check. Greedy B@$+^!#). 🙂<>Stop the nonsense that billionaires deserve our support and sympathy… i.e. we have been mistreating our billionaires.<>Nukes & billionaires. You like extremes to make your point. The Billionaires don’t need my help, they seem to have made it just fine. As always I am talking about the $0.-$1 millionaire crowd. My property rights applies to all. Rich or poor, male or female, young or old, straight or brokeback. You are the one that wants to discriminate.“<>The way our nation treats it’s billionaires. Prof… you are correct… we have been despicable to them. Thanks so much for speaking up for that endangered minority in our society. <>”I distinctly noticed that you are the one with the billionaire fetish.“<>Prof, the proud spokesman for the rich and keeping the average joe in their deserved places.<>”It saddens me that you and your ilk do not see the poor as those who can some day make it better. In your opinion, they are without hope. In your mind you have overlain some middle ages caste system on our country where there are Lords and Serfs, and none can ever rise. How you ignore the immigration of millions of people over centuries here for the liberty and purpose of improving their lot with unlimited potential, is just short of miraculous. Your wealth envy is shining ever so bright today. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  174. Guy,Jon Stewart prediction:Senator Ted Stephens (internet tube guy) just said on the Senate floor that “he had had a brain injury before” and “had been the subject of brain research before”. Oh my… Stewart will be ruthless with this one.

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  175. Please America Stop the discriminationNo, not the Mexicans the filthy rich assimilationThe rich are in jeopardy their generational wealth at stakeLawyer and accountant costs are up, with more politicians on the takeEnough with this discrimination and crazy laws like the death taxJust let us have our rich lives You guys need to relaxHow dare you raise issues like wages and health careThe wealthy have their own burdens and are unable to shareThere is much at stake including second homes and yachtsYou Katrina survivors will just have to sleep on cotsAnd enough with the talk about privilege and wealth gapThis is all god’s will and we know you will buy that crapEnough with the class warfare and the verbal fecesSupport the rich they are an endangered speciesIf you don’t stop this incessant rich-tappingYou will soon see their lawyers doing a bit of bitch-slapping— a Common Good poem for Prof-the-poor-slayer

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  176. Prof,Repeat after me… your property is property AFTER taxes voted on in your representative government. I will no longer participate in the nonsense that one’s tax obligation is personal property. You can participate in government and change tax law which may very well put it back into your personal property… but at any given time tax obligation is a legal one, not optional and therefore nonsense to call it property. Tony will say this is property that you voluntarily give over to the state. This to me means you could opt out of your legal tax requirement… which is of course nonsense. <>The goose is already dodging the bullets. That oppressive near 50% tax is the cause of the incredible growth of trusts, foundations (like Tuh-Rea-Sa Hinz Kerry and Bill Gates), yearly gifting, and out right cheating the tax law.<>I love this argument… and the GOP has been trotting it out all week. The argument is… hey these rich f***s aren’t going pay your taxes anyway… so just take what they and their lawyers have decided is fair. Funny… doesn’t sound like representative government to me. Here is a crazy idea… add more teeth and law to the IRS and throw those tax dodgers, their lawyers and their accountants in jail. What you won’t ever hear from the “it’s all my property choir” is the history of the IRS under GOP watch. It is a history of gutting and weakening the IRS with regard to the parallel universe of non-salary wealth… and the merciless efficiency of tapping paychecks. We have the most anti-average Joe democracy I could imagine. This week during a war, the money mongers are selling the idea that in order to raise the minimum wage, it has to be coupled with tax assistance for billionaires. Prof, you have a narrow definition of third world… simply an economic measurement. Trust me my friend… we are we worse than third world if you measure it based on the greed of our economic winners. Stop the nonsense that we will create a third world economy if we back off of this greed and find morality in better serving the common good. Stop the nonsense that billionaires deserve our support and sympathy… i.e. we have been mistreating our billionaires. I bet all of our middle class struggling to make it lay awake at night crying themselves to sleep with the guilt they carry for the way our nation treats it’s billionaires. Prof… you are correct… we have been despicable to them. Thanks so much for speaking up for that endangered minority in our society. <>Those things wouldn’t exist if the goose that lays the golden eggs didn’t fear for its life.<>.Yes… like I said… it is obvious to me that our rich live in constant fear. You must be right… given all of their moral tax dodges and offshoring. Prof, the proud spokesman for the rich and keeping the average joe in their deserved places. I wouldn’t want your job, but I guess someone has to do it.

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  177. Common said, “<>…it’s totally moral to use inheritance tax of a few to fund common good in this society. <>”The goose is already dodging the bullets. That oppressive near 50% tax is the cause of the incredible growth of trusts, foundations (like Tuh-Rea-Sa Hinz Kerry and Bill Gates), yearly gifting, and out right cheating the tax law. Those things wouldn’t exist if the goose that lays the golden eggs didn’t fear for its life. Defacto evidence. Much inefficiency has gone into creating “the highest GDP.” Think of where it would be if folks didn’t have to pay me or attorneys or financial planners or create strange entities and arrangements, invest in annuities that may turn out to haunt them latter. Damn. The outrageous inefficiency that is introduced into a society when taxation gets out of control is beyond sad. What’s worse yet is seeing people pay tax they are not obligated to pay because they didn’t know there was a legal way around it. Credits and deductions not taken, wrong entity selections, incorrect timing or forms of events and transactions that cost them thousands. Or even a complicated taxing system that penalizes the taxpayer for not knowing what the IRS should know but admits it doesn’t. I called the IRS business section the other day with a situation of my client. I stumped them. I went to the Taxpreparer Specialty line, ditto. The transferred me to their law department where I talked to one of the attorneys. He had no answer. We have to file a return that by IRS law is wrong, and by law can not be correct. ALL liability for a correct return is on our shoulders. Penalties, interest, for both my client and me the preparer. This complicated and far reaching scope of the IRS is demanded by a congress with an insatiable appetite for funding the “common good.” The damage to the “highest GDP” is incalculable. Further demand for taxation, intrustion, and confiscation can not promote the goose, it can only restrict and damage it.When you look at the interest component on our national debt, the future annuitization of social security benefits, and the ever enlarging of all levels of government, adding a health cost accelerating universal healthcare liability right now is tantamount to a noose around the goose. Maybe you will be content with a third world America. Not me.Prof. Ricardo

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  178. Common,You can’t have it both ways. Either you are entitled to your wealth or you are not. Its called property rights. There is no partial right or full right to only portions of your property. And ownership demands that you control and dispose of it as you will.Yes we have taxation. Yes we have a duty to pay a fair share. But you look at a cumulative measurement of GDP and see it as something you have access to, to fund your definition of collective duty. That view demands that you negate property rights. It becomes a matter of how much you want to accomplish with other people’s property, and how much you are willing to <>allow<> them to keep. That is detrimental to the concept of property rights. That is detrimental to the concept of capitalism – that proverbial goose with the heavy eggs. That is detrimental to political freedom (economic freedom = political freedom).And you’ve come up with this “common good” that let’s off the individual of his moral duty to his fellow man and places it in the realm of crooks – politicians if you prefer – who can get in without the popular vote as you have told us about, or got in with less than 50% like Clinton, and may not represent the “common good” as defined by you or me. In fact we have very different ideas about what common good is. I think respect of individual liberty and property rights, those nasty little reasons for the war for American independence, would be a common good. What we can do is preserve and protect “individual goods” that all of us share in common. <>The fact that our poor are better off than other’s poor is a tired and worthless argument, IMO. We have the highest GDP… surely everyone would expect our poor to be better off. <>That means that they are not necessarily bad off, just less wealthy than our wealthiest. And just because we still have the “highest GDP” is defacto cause for implementing some wealth redistribution plan. I guess your tune will change when we welfare state ourselves into second place GDP or worse? Or would sucking enough wealth out of the Goose destroying GDP signal that we were actually getting poorer and thus the real need for implementation of “common good” wealth redistributions?“<>…how does one deal with it’s lower end GIVEN it’s GDP<>”One, allow them to be productive and add to it, or two, tell them its not their fault and set them up for a lifetime of dependency and a view that their happiness is someone else’s responsibility, and also what you can get out of the government. Hmmm. Let’s go with the tried and true winner, #1.Prof. Ricardo

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  179. Don’t miss that the legal context of Britain and the US is much different. We have a consent of the governed bedrock on which our government is built and we should not be so glib with what lawyers say can or can not be done. For us, law is what keeps Liberty in its proper ascendent place. All that said, I loved the quote.

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  180. Prof,I wish I could argue with you in the style your buddy Edmond Burke did. Don’t you figure we are not the first two to go at this debate. 🙂Prof, we have been having our own <>Serbonian bog<>… and it’s been a hoot. 1.3.66<>Sir, I think you must perceive, that I am resolved this day to have nothing at all to do with the question of the right of taxation. Some gentlemen startle—but it is true; I put it totally out of the question. It is less than nothing in my consideration. I do not indeed wonder, nor will you, Sir, <>that gentlemen of profound learning are fond of displaying it on this profound subject<>. But my consideration is narrow, confined, and wholly limited to the Policy of the question. <>I do not examine, whether the giving away a man’s money be a power excepted and reserved out of the general trust of government; and how far all mankind, in all forms of Polity, are entitled to an exercise of that Right by the Charter of Nature. Or whether, on the contrary, a Right of Taxation is necessarily involved in the general principle of Legislation, and inseparable from the ordinary Supreme Power. These are deep questions, where great names militate against each other; where reason is perplexed; and an appeal to authorities only thickens the confusion. For high and reverend authorities lift up their heads on both sides; and there is no sure footing in the middle. This point is the great Serbonian bog, Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old, Where armies whole have sunk.<> I do not intend to be overwhelmed in that bog, though in such respectable company. The question with me is, not whether you have a right to render your people miserable; but whether it is not your interest to make them happy. It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. Is a politic act the worse for being a generous one? Is no concession proper, but that which is made from your want of right to keep what you grant? Or does it lessen the [197] grace or dignity of relaxing in the exercise of an odious claim, because you have your evidence-room full of Titles, and your magazines stuffed with arms to enforce them? What signify all those titles, and all those arms? Of what avail are they, when the reason of the thing tells me, that the *145assertion of my title is the loss of my suit; and that I could do nothing but wound myself by the use of my own weapons?<> I liked this from his speech also… even if the British had won, exactly what would they have won?:<>A further objection to force is, that you impair the object by your very endeavours to preserve it. <>The thing you fought for is not the thing which you recover<>; but depreciated, sunk, wasted, and consumed in the contest.<>

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  181. Prof,<>We all have to deal with our own personal “hells” as you call it. I bring up cost because if in implementing your socialist utopia, prices skyrocket so that your savior government must inflate the money supply, confiscate more taxes, go bankrupt, ration healthcare, then the OVERALL healthcare of this nation will suffer.<>My high-water mark would be measured with everyone in… rather than a high-water mark achieved by leaving some out. Besides, you jump to the conclusion that any move in the direction of universal healthcare bankrupts our country. I think it’s more likely to effect a percentage of second homes rather than bankruptcy… which is a stat I can definitely live with. <>I’m sorry your PBS lady friend is having a hard time making ends meet in full time private homecare at the cost of $100-200k per year.<>You missed my point here. I was making the point that this was a family of means, and the $100-$200k stuff was out of reach for them also. She took care of her husband 24 x 7 x 12 years at home by herself. She tried cheaper nursing homes and found her husband in those urine soaked situations with major feet ailments. She had to quit her career to do it. We can definitely afford to add society funded humanity into these devestating situations given our GDP without bankrupting our country… in 2006 it’s a matter of CHOICE. <>That doesn’t make America suck. It just is. And thank God that what you think is an embarrassment to humanity for America is a thousand times better than the majority of the rest of the world and merely one more reason why people flock to this country.<>No… sorry… our choices given our GDP most definitely SUCKS. The fact that our poor are better off than other’s poor is a tired and worthless argument, IMO. We have the highest GDP… surely everyone would expect our poor to be better off. The moral arugment is, and always will be… how does one deal with it’s lower end GIVEN it’s GDP. The moral equation and choices change with increased GDP… it’s the sliding scale I have referred to often. It would have been immoral in 1787 to take required rations from one poor family to feed another poor family. However, in 2006, it’s totally moral to use inheritance tax of a few to fund common good in this society. When someone holds up a definition of liberty that claims infinite wealth trumps any society common good claim… I just shake my head and marvel that smart people can talk themselves into such a moral stance. We had to throw out the dictators and theocracies to claim freedom. We never should throw out collective obligation to the needy in our shared society in the name of freedom or liberty. That is a second-rate form of liberty. You want to see people really flock to this country… brainwash all of the little kids with the first-rate form of liberty with a little collective obligation included. Of course… you better hurry. It won’t be long before China has all of the jobs. Liberty means a lot less without a job or $… Yoshi continues to call that one correct.

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  182. Common said: “<>This lady on PBS may or may not have been getting help… but she was living a hell on earth.<>”I’ve seen cancer and Alzhiemers devastate people. Its sad. I hate it.“<>Why doesn’t that reality have more impact on you than it does?<>”A lot of people hurt. Financial and emotionally. I realize PBS tugged your heart strings, but this stuff goes on every day. Not just on TV, but in real life. The folks I know that went to a full time nursing care couldn’t afford $100-200k private care. That’s Bill Gates stuff. They are families that liquidated savings, had long-term care insurance policies (that’s why they offer those you know), or just turned over the social security check and let medicaid handle it. I’ve smelled the urine drenched hell hole that rich woman on PBS never knew existed. I’m sorry for her loss. But there’s another 300 million of us out here losing family members too.“<>You respond always with a comment about prices and efficiency. Is your position that we have to sacrifice these people in order for the rest of us to have cheap prices… or maybe a greater good is served by sacrificing their lives by leaving them on their own to deal with their personal hells?<>”We all have to deal with our own personal “hells” as you call it. I bring up cost because if in implementing your socialist utopia, prices skyrocket so that your savior government must inflate the money supply, confiscate more taxes, go bankrupt, ration healthcare, then the OVERALL healthcare of this nation will suffer. You’re worried about somebody you saw of PBS or web site. I’m worried about our descendants 5 generations from now. Your slaughter of the goose that lays the golden egg may make your tummy feel good today, but something’s going to be missing tomorrow and waiting till then is the wrong time to start discussing “prices and efficiency.”I know you hate numbers and concrete reality but work with me here.Let’s say we have a 10 trillion dollar economy,Let’s say we have 2 trillion spent per year on healthcare.It’s expected to be 2.7 trillion by 2010. (14-18% annual rise.)Do you think that guaranteeing that nobody will walk away from a healthcare expenditure (because of government intervention) will make prices (a) rise, (b) stay the same, or (c) fall?Remember, its already rising dramatically without government healthcare. The 10 trillion dollar economy can only absorb so much whether taxes, insurance premiums, or direct payments for healthcare. Every dollar displaced by healthcare, and taxes and insurance for same, is a dollar not available for housing, food, other insurances, transportation, charity, entertainment, other taxes for non-healthcare related items. Do you get the drift that we need to not exacerbate the cost of healthcare?I’m sorry your PBS lady friend is having a hard time making ends meet in full time private homecare at the cost of $100-200k per year. That’s not an option even to be discussed at my house. That doesn’t make America suck. It just is. And thank God that what you think is an embarrassment to humanity for America is a thousand times better than the majority of the rest of the world and merely one more reason why people flock to this country.Prof. Ricardo

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  183. <>We should partition Iraq and keep the oil fields turning into a large military installation by building The Mother of All Walls.<>Hey, now that’s on energy plan. I just heard them debating some lame plan in the Senate today that won’t do jack for our oil needs… but this would have promise. Maybe brother Frist can present the bill. Of course, in America… this has to be private industry. Who do we fly in to run this thing? Exxon? I keep hearing the estimate on this war is going to be over $1 trillion. Maybe with a little US imperialism regarding Iraq oil… we can get some of that back into US Oil Baron CEO hands. Do you think it would be wise to pay the Iraqis some form of royalty payments to fund their civil war… or just keep it?Saddam is gone. Arafat is dead. Castro may be dead… or about dead. It’s all going great… right?

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  184. <>My self-confidence is borne out of more than a little bit of study.<>Hey, I like that trait in you and also in my Westies. 🙂I bet Stephen Breyer studied a bit also. I have very little doubt that you both are brilliant and yet disagree on many legal matters. What is a loyal friend to believe? 🙂Can’t you just hear the lurkers? If that is his <>loyal<>, I sure would like to see his disloyal comments.

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  185. I think we need to just be honest about things if we are going to maintain troops over there long term. We should partition Iraq and keep the oil fields turning into a large military installation by building The Mother of All Walls. Organize the US Territory of Mesopotamia. Have that territory make petition to Congress to become the 51st Star.As much as I hate our actions over there, the dishonesty makes it even more icky.

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  186. Prof,<>If we are currently providing medical help through municipal hospitals for 100% of our citizenry not covered by “insurance” and currently 10% of Mexico’s citizenry, why are you ready for a “national major medical plan?”<>This lady on PBS may or may not have been getting help… but she was living a hell on earth. Why doesn’t that reality have more impact on you than it does? You respond always with a comment about prices and efficiency. Is your position that we have to sacrifice these people in order for the rest of us to have cheap prices… or maybe a greater good is served by sacrificing their lives by leaving them on their own to deal with their personal hells?

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  187. My self-confidence is borne out of more than a little bit of study.Let me put this in context, I am also pretty confident that structured code trumps spaghetti, modular code trumps top down, and object oriented trumps everything for interactive business applications. I also am certain that full grain brewing is superior to extract brewing and that no matter what the commercials tell you, you can not taste “cold”.Even the most strident pro-Warren Court advocate will tell you in an honest moment that the law applying the Commerce clause is a miserable mess. Don’t let the political mumbo jumbo get in the way of your understanding.Lastly I would add that I am perhaps the least troubled person you will meet when confronted by the minority status of their own opinion. In fact, given the raging stupidity in this land, I gives me some added confidence to be in the minority.

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  188. Let me throw out a new thought {at least I haven’t heard anyone say this yet} regarding withdrawing our troops from Iraq.Thought: I think withdrawing our troops from Iraq may have a positive impact on Iran.Yeah, that sounds insane right… particularly given all the talking heads out there that say Iran will take over Iraq as soon as we pull out. But consider the mess that Iraq is now. I am not convinced anyone is going to “take over” this mess anytime soon. Also consider the Iran demographics you hear all of the time… young and more progressive than the clerics in charge. I would think the last thing a cleric theocracy would want is turmoil… i.e. something that changes the delicate balance that goes on that keeps that youth demographic in check. Needless to say, any absorbing of Iraq into Iran would be anything but stabilizing. Who knows what pops out of that little experiment? It would seem we have very little to lose in both Iran and Iraq at this point. If I actually thought our military presence really was stopping the killing and brewing civil war… than I might feel more obligation for the disaster that Bush’s decision to go in caused. I would do exactly what I heard someone say yesterday {and I can’t remember who it was}… I would take the American forces in Iraq to the north and protect the Kurds… and unleash the beast. Seriously… what do we have to lose at this point.Now that’s news analysis you won’t get on the 24 x 7 cable news shows. 🙂 You might get that on Prof WND though. 😦

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  189. Tony said: “<>I would be in favor of a national major medical plan to cover medical expenses beyond some maximum out of pocket.<>”You know my position about taking on such a matter. When you have a deep pocket prices rise. If there are no checks and balances then prices will skyrocket. Insurance, whether government or private, provides a deep pocket that will allow prices to rise because demand is not altered when prices rise. Not just those who can not afford it, but how often do consumers price shop for prescriptions with a $5 co-pay drug card? How often do consumers shop for healthcare providers, operations, dental, etc. based upon their cost, if the item is covered by insurance? Add onto the private insurance the governments rubber stamping of all future medical expenditures, and I’m quitting my profession for one in the medical field, because that is where the money will be. I’ve already seen evidence where doctors stick it to insurance companies – some to the point of fraud. What’s the first thing a doctors office ask you? “What’s you social?” Tell ‘em your paying cash and they stagger back like a firecracker went off.If we are currently providing medical help through municipal hospitals for 100% of our citizenry not covered by “insurance” and currently 10% of Mexico’s citizenry, why are you ready for a “national major medical plan?”Prof. Ricardo

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  190. Tony,<>I would be in favor of a national major medical plan to cover medical expenses beyond some maximum out of pocket. As long as we have a constitutional amendment.<>Well, I guess you have <>some wing-nut<> in you too. 🙂 You have come a long ways from your embarrassing libertarian 20s. Of course, you are not full wing-nut {moral} yet. It took a couple of decades for the move we got out of you so far… so maybe before you drop. Let me give you a glimpse of a real moral society regarding an issue like Alzheimer’s.1) The day you found out you had Alzheimer’s, would be the day your entire medical bills would be covered by insurance {Government if required… see my previous post to Guy}. This would require second opinions and whatever oversight necessary to guarantee the disease. 2) The pooled coverage would not be open ended… i.e. available services would be defined and standardized. My guess is both in-home services and facility {hospital\nursing home\etc} services would be involved.3) A person with a fatal illness would be able to end their life with dignity… it wouldn’t be murder, and life insurance policies would be paid off. Something like that. We put sick pets to sleep out of love… I’m tired of humans being treated less humanely than pets. <>But, unless you mangle the Commerce clause into an unrecognizable morass of meaningless goo (like the Supreme Court has), you can’t get to that result with our constitution.<>Your confidence of being right, and Supreme Court judges being wrong remind me of something I read about the West highland Terrier breed before we got two of them: … paraphrasing… “the Westi is possessed with no small amount of self-esteem”. 🙂

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  191. I would be in favor of a national major medical plan to cover medical expenses beyond some maximum out of pocket. As long as we have a constitutional amendment.You said, <>“I certainly do not think the current Constitution prevents such action.” <> Feel free to think incorrectly…I can not stop you. But, unless you mangle the Commerce clause into an unrecongnizable morass of meaningless goo (like the Supreme Court has), you can’t get to that result with our constitution. This is the price we are paying for the jurisprudential excesses of the New Deal.

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  192. Prof,<>I am curious about this concept of disproportionate response in war.<>Israel has the ability to wipe Lebanon from the face of the map today… before sundown if they use their nukes. So let me ask you a question: Do you want Israel to do that today? If you answered “No”, then you are part of the “proportionate response crowd” just like the rest of us… just arguing over the proportions.

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  193. Tony,Why should I have to step up to chess if our president never had to. Technically speaking… I’m a qualified presidential candidate lacking the resources. <>I would be completely in favor of publicly funded health insurance for the poor, but only after a constitutional amendment is passed where by the people grant the government the power to tax and spend for that purpose.<>I’m not just talking about the poor. This family on PBS appeared pretty upper income. Even many wealthy folks can’t afford $100,000+ a year for 10+ years. I will never get this… particularly from the “personal responsibility” crowd. What could be more personally responsible than helping construct a government that provides a safety-net for family economic ruin. If you are a dad, and vote against such a thing, you are being personally irresponsible by exposing your kids or wife to a lifetime {or 10+ year} illness which wipe our the family savings. It might be humbling for the “personally responsible” crowd to realize their family could be vulnerable just as much as a liberal’s family… but pride could lead to devastating results for kids and mates. Although you know I’m for more Constitution amendments in this area… I certainly do not think the current Constitution prevents such action. Right now it says “the government can tax… ” without specificity. That means majority representative vote until someone starts removing some grey with Constitutional amendment. You kind of wriggled out of the hypothetical… I knew you would in some fashion.

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  194. I would be completely in favor of publicly funded health insurance for the poor, but only after a constitutional amendment is passed where by the people grant the government the power to tax and spend for that purpose.

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  195. I am curious about this concept of disproportionate response in war. When did this concept rear its head? What all does it apply to? Are those proposing the relevance of such a concept excluding years of pizzeria and bus go-boom-boom and previous inbound rocket history? What is a proportionate response when an enemy’s existence is predicated on your annihilation and its domination of the world? Does that law of disproportionate response in war apply to our enemies, and if so, how do you get them to play by those rules when wacking off heads on video of construction workers, journalists, and peace activists is their modus operandi? If they don’t play fair and you’ve already responded as far as your concept of disproportionate response in war permits, what do you do then? Can’t be a response because that would be in excess of your permissible response.Prof. Ricardo

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  196. Tony,So let me test my good friend’s wing-nut coefficient. This will require a hypothetical… which your instincts will tell you to wriggle out of.Hypothetical: Tony is our only representative in our representative democracy {admittedly scary, but not near as scary of the current reality of this administration}. You have to decide the role, or non-role of government in family economic ruin due to a healthcare crisis in the family. Further add to this hypothetical that a percentage of good, hardworking families will not have had private insurance options that would have covered the economic ruin of the family. How does Tony vote? Federal tax dollars used in some collective fashion… OR 100% on your own?Don’t need to ask Prof that one. Guy and Yoshi… care to air your wing-nut coefficients?

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  197. Wing-nut my ass. I am at the peak of my game… the merging of heart, conscience and mind producing maximum wisdom. A CG society would be light-years ahead of the one we have now {real lives in need served that are ignored now, no current rich person would cease to be rich}… and we wouldn’t kill capitalism in the process.

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  198. Tony, yes… I totally agree. There is no kissing and making up to be had. This will take military force, redrawing of the maps, occupation {particularly some kind of Jerusalem third-party force like you have said in the past}, and about 40-60 years of isolating Israel from the Israel haters. I also agree with you that this administration is acting on US self-interest (well, a narrow corporate self-interest) and equating that with morality. They are a corporation that got control of the White House for corporate intersts… period. They are there to show wing-nuts like me that they will create the facts on the ground… i.e. those with the money by definition impose the facts. Representative democracy = representing those with the most money and making sure they keep it. Guy… I have no doubt you are correct that this is a US-backed enterprise that has been on the shelf. The dedicated tunneling by Hezbollah just provided the cover for the plan to be unleashed. At this point, the cynic in me has to believe that if there had ever been a major oil company advantage in solving the Israel conflict, it would have happened already. Oil corporations have been able to work around Israel pretty well… no worries. Now Iran is challenging that … which is exactly the time to be most afraid with this neo-con admin. They have no reputation left {totally discredited on Iraq}… and have nothing to lose with more war. IMO, the risk even goes up if the Dems when back the House or the Senate, or both. The president will then have very little left politically to play for… and still retain the power of war in his last lame duck years. This is the problem with presidents {and people} that see no grey. They are incapable of seeing they are wrong even with the evidence in front of them. You would think being so close to the ground {conservative slithering} it would be easier to see the facts on the ground. Of course, the only facts that matter is the maximum accumulation of property and minimum taxing of it along the way. That’s the core religion… everything else is just smoke and mirrors. CG…. conservative snake killer.

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  199. During the cold war, whenever a hot war would break out between thridworld countries or a civil war, it was often viewed as a Proxy war between the two superpowers. The current Isreali-Hezbollah conflict should be seen in the same manner in my opinion.This is a new proxy war in the war on terrorism. Our troops are too spread out, how do we attack known terrorist groups without a draft? Answer, a proxy war.Bush has given cover, supplies and, I am sure, intelligence Isreal to conduct the war.Condi’s actions are meant to placate international outrage while Isreal trys to get the job done. The only problem is they told Bush they could wrap it up in two weeks. It doesn’t look like they can. Bush is trying to get them more time through Condi’s busy work.

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  200. Well CG, though you still qualify as a wing-nut on domestic policy, you have pretty much come all the way around on the foreign policy. Welcome to my world.It has been abundantly clear that the only way to have peace over Palestine is an international presence with imposed borders. These battles have been going on for at lease four millennia. I don’t think everyone suddenly kissing and making up is in the cards.And the invasion of Iraq was never calculated by reasonable minds to bring peace to the troubled region. This is where cultivating one’s internal cynic is valuable. This has been about money and power all along. As long as we continue to pursue only our narrow interests, we will never have credibility with the Arab people nor will we deserve it. I stand amazed at the rampaging ignorance of those themselves amazed that our donning of a white hat is by itself insufficient to win over the hearts and minds of others.

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  201. The PBS Newshour {yesterday} did a < HREF="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec06/alzheimers_07-31.html" REL="nofollow">story <> on Alzheimer’s. They featured a wife taking care of her husband who had developed a case of early onset… I think in his sixties. She was a national journalist and he was a prestigious physician and scientist specializing in blood-related cancers at the National Institutes of Health. This poor lady has basically been given the same death sentence for the last 12 years. This was a couple of means… and yet there really was little help for her. The private help comes at the tune of $100,000-$200,000 a year. Merly Comer {the wife} said the statistics show that the caregiver mate often dies before the mate with Alzheimer’s. I continue to ask: What the fuck is wrong with our society that prevents it from pooling together to form a safety-net which would protect families from economic ruin? What type of knuckle-draggers aren’t smart enough to figure out this is all a matter of statistics, and it could be your family just as likely as the next guy? What type of idiots would play the family financial ruin game in order to say “their ideology is the right one”? I’m sorry, but it’s a simple fact. Conservatism is not an honourable position in the battle of ideas… it is a plight against humanity and lacking in any form of human compassion. A society that comes up with ANY reason to leave surviving mates on their own to these type of fates really isn’t a society at all… merely a shared bit of real estate housing human individual islands of greed. An individual spouting “sanctity of life” out of one side of their mouth and “individual responsibility to deal with family financial ruin” on the other side are snakes… creatures that slither on the ground. Lebanon isn’t the only country with a cancer growing within. I’m embarrassed my country actually could produce the conservative movement of the last 30 years. I guess it really isn’t my country, it’s their’s.

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  202. Tony,<>If some later day Pancho Villa were launching Missiles into Laredo and Harlingen, I have a feeling the US response might not seem so proportionate to outsiders either.<>Based on history, the US response most definitely would NOT be proportionate. I believe we could point to the incineration of many Japanese cities full of civilians… even before the nukes. If my memory is correct, we didn’t drop leaflets warning Japanese civilians to evacuate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. <>The link you posted is very suspect and I can tell this even though I know nothing of the website.<>I believe this is the map they showed on Hardball which was originally created at the Lebanon Foreign Ministry website {the only reason I didn’t link to it is because I couldn’t find that website with that link}. Chris Mathews asked the Israel ambassador to the UN if he wished to deny the bombing shown on this map {clearly showing bombing was not limited to Beirut and south as the media had lead us to believe}. It was clear from the response that this map was probably very accurate. I’m not taking sides… it was a simple statement that I don’t think this will work to achieve anything other than another generation of kids who will be locked into the hate cycle until they die. Who here doesn’t believe that we would have been 100% better off to use our military strength and influence to try and force something regarding Israel and it’s neighbors rather than the fiasco in Iraq. The peace in the Middle East most definitely did not go through Baghdad. We need two generations of isolation of Israel and their haters. I’ve come to the conclusion this will take military force and some major rewrites of the maps. If we were committed to inflaming America hating in the middle east, we should have at least skipped the Iraq fools errand mission and done something around Israel.

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  203. CG,One caution I would throw at you is to be very skeptical over reporting on the situation in Israel and Lebanon. Objective information is hard to come by. The link you posted is very suspect and I can tell this even though I know nothing of the website. The clue that this is not objective news material is the labeling of Israel on the map as “Occupied Palestine”.For the record, I really don’t take a side in the whole Palestinian question. I for one think clean hands are hard to find in that conflict. While the Israeli response may perhaps be too extreme, it is Hizbolah that is launching rockets from residential neighborhoods. I don’t know enough of the military realities on the ground to judge whether the Israeli response is appropriate. The sad truth is that collateral damage is inevitable in such conflicts.If some later day Pancho Villa were launching Missiles into Laredo and Harlingen, I have a feeling the US response might not seem so proportionate to outsiders either. It all depends on whose ox is getting gored I suppose.

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  204. What Israel is doing won’t work. Maybe there isn’t anything that will work, but < HREF="http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14227.htm" REL="nofollow"> this <> surely isn’t it.

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  205. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060731/ap_on_go_ot/morning_after_pill_5" REL="nofollow">Bush admin caving on Plan B<> Wow… what will the GOP do if the abortion issue gets significantly reduced. Watch out gays and Mexicans… that puritan wrath has to go somewhere. “Barr must agree to sell nonprescription to women 18 and older, not 16 as the company had earlier sought. That’s because it conforms with current age restrictions on tobacco products, and thus would simplify pharmacists’ enforcement.”What the **** does Plan B need have to do with tobacco products or pharmacist’s life simplification. If they can’t handle the business, pick another one. Maybe it’s just me, but if we are willing to let a 16 year old drive a 2+ ton vehicle on our highways… I think she can handle a Plan B purchase on her own. In fact, I really don’t want stressed out pregnant 16 year olds driving on our streets.

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  206. Guy,Those four valves and all their cruthiness got me through college on a partial music scholarship: I played Euphonium in wind ensemble. I actually think the instrument suit me perfectly though my valve technique couldn’t even barely keep up with the music majors.I’ve only seen Drum Corp on telly in the last couple of decades. I may try to change that. I actually toyed with the idea of join a Senior Corp that practices about two miles from where I live. Then I realized I already barely have time to take a dump.Speaking of such things, I had recent email correspondence with Charles Zimmerman. He has done well for himself: his a VP of Wal-Mart. But, he said he still goes to two or three shows every year.

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  207. Guy said: “<>Where’s Prof?<>”My son commandeered me for his auto restoration project. We’ll do that again today as well. Its hard to complete my magnum opus with reality and the truly important things happening to and fro. P.R.

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  208. Guy,You realize I taught Prof how do do links and have regretted it ever since. Maybe sharing this wisdom with a fellow Dem will help earn me some forgiveness. Then again, I only taught Prof how to do links… you sent him off towards an entire web-based project. < HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHsOrFwIZ8Y&search=colbert%20norton" REL="nofollow">Colbert interviews Norton<>The link above was created by typing in the following (delete the two *):< *a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHsOrFwIZ8Y&search=colbert%20norton">Colbert interviews Norton< */a>Other formatting tags:<>example text<> < *b>example text< */b><>example text<> < *i>example text< */i>

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  209. Guy,I’m generally not a Charlie Sheen fan, but I totally disagree with you on this one. It’s one of the funniest shows I have ever watched. Besides, it’s about the only show my family {wife and my parents} all agree on… so we have something to talk about when we meet them for dinner. 🙂Yeah… I heard all of these TCP/IP packets are not just dumped on a truck, but get sent by a bunch of tubes. Alaska Senator = insane. Don’t tell the poor senator about the fiber optics and the light thing. He has enough clogging his tubes. < HREF="http://youtube.com/watch?v=bSsWqeBEahY&mode=related&search=senator%20ted%20stevens" REL="nofollow">We are so toast<>

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  210. CGI was giving you high marks Deadwood: The new Shakespeare. Love the dialouge and especially the subtext. Great show!But Two and Half Men? I have always been puzzled by its popularity. Sheen is as wooden as they come and the writing telegraphs all the jokes by the end of the opening credits. Well, I guess we all have our Gore moment (“I invented the internet.”)Or is it “internets” GWB BTW, I now understand the internet is a bunch of tubes. It makes so much sense.Where’s Prof? If am responsible for the spawning of a new blog, I am not sure I can forgive myself. Damn, this power of the pen!!

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  211. Guy,Yes, I saw Colbert destroy Norton. The Colbert show has turned out to be just as good as The Daily Show… I didn’t think it would be possible. I’ve decided Stewart and Colbert have to be off the charts IQ-wise… including the main Daily Show writer David Javerbaum. btw… I’m not sure if Tony has a TV.My Tivo Season Passes:My three favorite shows on TV:-The Daily Show-The Colbert Show-Real Time with Bill MaherSopranosRome {awsome}EntourageDeadwood {just started watching it}Lucky Louie {wife won’t watch this one…. too rude}Two and a Half Men NightlinePBS NewshourHardball – Chris Mathews60 MinutesWest Wing {loved it}FrontlineNova {never get to them}— always watch Sunday morning shows… wish I could stop 😦Meet the PressThis WeekFoxNews Sunday {hold my nose during}Late Edition

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  212. Tony – That is my exact definition of someone who is smart. 😉Let’s see – four valves and unlimited combinations v. one slide moving along a length of pipe. Yeah, I can see that was a crutch. BTW – Have you seen any corp shows lately? Wow.CG/Tony – Did either of you catch Colbert’s interview of DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton? Talk about a tour de force on strict interpretation of the constitution.

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  213. Well, extremists on the other side often maintain that our laws have any root in Judeo-Christian belief. That is why I take the trouble to refute it.And for the record, I do think that our culture is rooted in Judeo-Christian beliefs is essential to the evoltuion of the European and American success story. The big story was that our culture had evolved sufficiently where we could finally divorce religeon and governement. That does not mean that the past was not important to getting us to the present.Best example of this is the scientific method. Maybe it would have arisen through pure reason eventually, but there is little doubt that the quest to understand an objective creation was an essential stepping stone.

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  214. <>“It is very clear to me that much of our law has roots that are borne out of historically shared Christian moral thinking. To deny this is absurd and I’m not suggesting anyone here is.<>Sure, but I don’t think it is very important other than being historically accurate. Our law since 1787 obviously has not been a bible codifying process, so as far as current law, it seems irrelevant. I believe laws would have ended up pretty much the same over time… whether or not that started from Christian morality or reason-based morality… i.e. from both, we would have decided that murder should be illegal. The argument may be that our founders would have never created a human rights based Constitution if the majority of them were something other than Christian moral based. If so, I would be interested in the evidence. Bummer… throw a little bit of old testament scripture at Prof and it looks like he takes his Profocrazy blanket and runs. So many “heathens” … and so little time.

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  215. Guy,I think you may be falling into that common fallacy where one thinks someone else is bright because they agree with you.But then, I never leaned on those crutches known as “valves” either. 😀

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  216. Prof said . . . “The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law.” Guy’s retort . . . “In a word, bullshit.”Guy’s Supplemental response . . . See Tony’s most recent post.Tony, I knew there was a reason you were the smart one in highschool.Tony said . . . “It is very clear to me that much of our law has roots that are borne out of historically shared Christian moral thinking. To deny this is absurd and I’m not suggesting anyone here is. But I think those that suggest the founders intended to create a Christian nation are either displaying profound ignorance or insulting the founders in a most uncharitable fashion.”Here, Here. Prof, that statement I agree with.

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  217. Sad. Very sad that I have been so busy lately. What a fun discussion in a bit of a dysfunctional version of “discussion”. But, there are a few things that jumped out that I thought I’d respond on.At one point Prof said, <>” Tony, my apologies sir. I failed to ask if we could hijack your blog to settle personal matters, potentially of public interest. Are we game?” <> In two years of blog comments I have NEVER objected or protested any discussion. We have had every flavor of potentially objectionable discourse one might imagine, albeit in small quantities. Heck, I even tolerate stupid posts.My firm belief that no on-line discussion community that has editorial rules is worth a tinker’s durnation. I love the open and logically-hyper-linked discussion. Frankly I think it is why our small little group keeps coming back.I also loved Guy’s statement earlier: <>” My own view is that you and I are being played. … Your neighbor is not Satan nor are the judges. But that doesn’t draw in campaign donations. <> Perfect. This is the central truth that I keep harping on.Guy also asked, <>“I don’t mean to distract you from your task of a biblical basis for our laws but if they felt so strongly, why didn’t they just create a theocracy?” <> This is a great question because it answers itself.It is very clear to me that much of our law has roots that are borne out of historically shared Christian moral thinking. To deny this is absurd and I’m not suggesting anyone here is. But I think those that suggest the founders intended to create a Christian nation are either displaying profound ignorance or insulting the founders in a most uncharitable fashion.Really, you do not have to look much further than the contrast between the <>Declaration of Independence<> and the <>Constitution<> to understand that there was an desire to balance faith and reason in the new institutions they were creating.Now, if you had asked the founders if they thought the new nation would be a Christian nation two hundred years hence, I think everyone of them, with the possible exceptions of Franklin, Adams and Jefferson (who had experienced the intelligencia of France and were deeply in touch with the modern philosophies evolving there), they would’ve have answered yes. Similarly, if you had asked if they thought the new nation would be one where people were free to practice their religion as they saw fit, the would’ve answered that it would depend on whether they stuck to the Constitutional principals or not. Or as Franklin said, and I’m paraphrasing, “it’s a Republic if you can keep it.” I’m telling few people anything they don’t already know, but these men had lived through religious wars WITHIN PROTESTANTISM. They were intimately aware of the problems that mixing religion and government caused. The absence of “God”, “Creator”, or “Providence” from the Constitution is huge. Importing religious language into the document would’ve been easy to do and would’ve perhaps helped with the ratification process.Make no mistake about it: they intended to create a secular government. I don’t have a lot of energy for arguing the point: I’d rather do something constructive and argue about the color of the sky or whether the IQ or our current President really is above 80.Lastly, Prof lit me up (in a good way) when he remarked, <>”The average person in Constitutional times were very educated – about a 2% adult illiteracy rate. Today with compulsory school laws and government in charge of educating and we have a 25% functional illiteracy rate. Now that’s progress for you.” <> The University of Tulsa had a history professor who did a lot of work on historical literacy rates. In fact, there is a good chance that statistic come out of his research. Unfortunately, his name escapes me at the time. But I remember his guest lecture in my Law and Society class (undergraduate) and he was quite compelling on this point. Colonial America through the early National period was a time of incredible literacy. People read and understood the paper in a way we can scarcely relate to today. The written word was their medium of interaction. Cricket scores were not to be found in those precious pages. The point is that this is some pretty solid research and not just a funny statistic out of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.But statistics still play games. For instance, the numbers change dramatically based on how you define “functional illiteracy”. My guess is that your 25% number comes from a study that has a fairly low threshold for achieving “functional”. Often this means simply that you can read an electric bill and fill out a job application. Studies that define “functional” a little higher and include comprehension of simple written arguments tend to show much higher level of illiteracy. I have seen many number over 50% when measured this more useful way. Additionally, if you look at inner city communities and poor rural regions, the number are even worse.No wonder sound bites sell and the politicians try to play us at every turn.

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  218. btw… Burke totally head-faked me. I thought he was going for the <>representation in Parliament<>, and he goes with <>grants<>. I’m still not clear how 14 different colonies doing voluntary grants works out… but what a head-fake.

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  219. Prof,I read Guy’s homework assignement {Edmond Burke}. I will have some more comments, but two thoughts hit me immediately. 1) Why didn’t England listen to him?2) How did we go from the likes of Burke and Madison… to the likes of George W. Bush? Shouldn’t 300 million people give us an edge?Burke’s line from that speech sure seem appropriate in 2006. <>a great empire and little minds go ill together<>btw… I saw no support for an American theocracy in Burke’s speech. Maybe it was intended to just be foundational material for your future lesson plan. Thanks for the link… it was a very good read. I listen to the obvious logic he presented, and marvel at the ability of men {highly intelligent men} to talk themselves into alternate realities. Obviously that’s a human trait that we haven’t lost yet. 😦The entire speech was awsome, but the following was particularly brilliant, IMO. <>All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. We balance inconveniences; *194we give and take; we remit some rights, that we may enjoy others; and we choose rather to be happy citizens, than subtle disputants. *195 <>As we must give away some natural liberty, to enjoy civil advantages; so we must sacrifice some civil liberties, for the advantages to be derived from the communion and fellowship {collectivism here Prof} of a great empire.<> But, in all fair dealings, the thing bought must bear some proportion to *196the purchase paid. None will barter away the *197immediate jewel of his soul. Though *198a great house is apt to make slaves haughty, yet it is purchasing a part of the artificial importance of a great empire too dear, to pay for it all essential rights, and all the intrinsic dignity of human nature. None of us who would not risque his life rather than fall under a government purely arbitrary. *199But although there are some amongst us who think our Constitution wants many improvements, to make it a complete system of liberty; perhaps none who are of that opinion would think it right to aim at such improvement, by disturbing his country, and risquing everything that is dear to him. In every arduous enterprize, we consider *200what we are to lose, as well as what we are to gain; and the more and better stake of liberty [223] every people possess, the less they will hazard in a vain attempt to make it more. These are the *201cords of man. Man acts from adequate motives relative to his interest; and not on metaphysical speculations. *202 <>Aristotle, the great master of reasoning, cautions us, and with great weight and propriety, against this species of delusive geometrical accuracy in moral arguments, as the most fallacious of all sophistry. {a warning against absolute truth… a proponent of recognizing human nature and using reason}<><>

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  220. CG:I have not even seen a “rainbow” study bible but can tell you that it is probably suspect. I mean “rainbow” isn’t that code for multicultural; can’t we all just get along; love your neighbor babble? That’s probably just the kind of Bible a heathen would cite to.I think Prof is going to slam you guys on that one.

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  221. <>hea·then ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hthn)n. pl. hea·thens or heathen One who adheres to the religion of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Such persons considered as a group; the unconverted. One who is regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or unenlightened. Such persons considered as a group.<> Would the website Guy linked be a heathen website? It appears to be a very civilized exploration of religions and their impact on society.Would anyone that rejects some of the old testament scripture be considered a heathen. I’ve heard major religious leaders (Baptist, Catholic, etc) on Larry King explain why their church doesn’t live by the letter of the old testament law. The explanation is always something like “we are always discovering the truth as we go along”… or something similar. Where do you stand on codifying the old testament into our law? If we did the Prof federalist thing, would it be Texas’s prerogative to allow slavery once again… and sacrifice critters for a bit of rape. If not, what’s your method of acceptable old testament scripture filtering for modern society?

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  222. Prof,I had my wife pull out her bible and verify that the website was quoting the bible correctly. Her bible is The Raindbow Study Bible, King James Version. It looks like the website scripture postings matches her bible verbatim. Is your problem the website’s proceding summaries of the verses that are quoted? If so, can you give an example. I’m interested because I’m reading these scriptures for the first time, and the website’s summaries match what I am reading in the scriptures.

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  223. Oh, now we’re heathens. I’m sure that makes it easier to discount the Bible Quotes. We of little intellect misconstruing the word. Why we’re hardly qualified as “heathens”.Those were quotes weren’t they? Word of God?Now you’re going to interpret the Bible and tell us “heathens” what it means. Parse through and pick out which words are from God and which are “commentary.” Your not a protestant your a papist.

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  224. Prof’s blogsite name….– Profferations– AProfColoredWorld– AbsoluteProf– Profocracy– BlackWhiteandBlue– BiPolarStatesofAmerica – GoodNewsBadGovernment– TheocracyBirthRight– FootandProfDiseaseI’ll keep working on a list.

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  225. Uh oh… Prof is getting his own blogosphere real estate. Scary. Sounds like we are in for a lot of serious propaganda. A name for it… I’ll think about that one. Guy… thanks for the link. I knew that slavery was condoned in the bible, but had no idea it was to that degree. Holy slavery… wow. It looked like if I lived in those times I could have quite the slave nightlife if I just kept up an ample supply of goats {or other sacrificial animals}. You know the old saying… if you go slave you never go back. Did you read that the priest had a virgin for every day of a year. Jeeze… I’m with Dennis Miller on that one. After a couple of virgins, I would be interested in a professional. Oh think of the irony. A fundamentalist scripture follower will be holy in owning a female slave and treating her has an unwilling sex toy, but consentual prostitution is a non-starter. Make some sense out of that one. All I can say is the animals in those days must have been a bit stressed with horny slave owners with an eye for engaged female slaves. Prof, from Guy’s linked website:< HREF="http://www.religioustolerance.org/const_am.htm" REL="nofollow">Seperation of Church and State<>Quotation:“When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some.” Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun in the Lee v. Weisman ruling, 1992.

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  226. C.G.: “<>If they were so brilliant, why didn’t they skip the war and just announce their independence without bloodshed 30 years later?<>”Thanks. I forgot about that one. The answer is in support of my position. I will incorporate it in my comprehensive response. This is going to take a while. Because of the length of my response I will be publishing it on a remote temporary blog site. That way I don’t “taint” Tony’s site. If he is agreeable to it we can still argue about it here. Common, wanna name my blog for me? 🙂P.R.

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  227. Prof said “Today with compulsory school laws and government in charge of educating and we have a 25% functional illiteracy rate. Now that’s progress for you.”That’s what excites me so much about state mandated religious instruction in a theocracy. Why in less than 50 years, I bet the federal government could wipe all religious notions in American citizens.I can’t wait to see how this will work.

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  228. taint continued…Let’s say you prove to Guy that our founders did intend to create a theocracy but just failed to include that in the Constitution… why would that intention be any less flawed than the slavery intention? Demographics and conscience caught up with the slavery issue… why wouldn’t it also on the theocracy issue?Don’t you just hate it when the students ask question out of turn?

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  229. Hey Prof,< TAINT >If they were so literate in Constitutional times, why did they push for the Revolutionary war. Nearest I can tell, the colonies would have matched UK in population around 1820 +/-. If they were so brilliant, why didn’t they skip the war and just announce their independence without bloodshed 30 years later?< HREF="http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/cwc/other/stats/warcost.htm" REL="nofollow">America major war stats<>< HREF="http://www.npg.org/historypop.html" REL="nofollow">US population growth chart<>< HREF="http://www.populationparsons.com/UK_Population_data%20_sheet.htm" REL="nofollow">UK population growth<> < / TAINT >

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  230. Guy said: <>In the meantime, I liked paragraph 1.3.42 of Burke’s Commentary.<>Excerpt of 1.3.42:“I hear that they have sold nearly as many of Blackstone’s Commentaries in America as in England.”I purchased my facsimile copy of the first edition of Blacksone’s Commentaries about 10 years ago. The average person in Constitutional times were very educated – about a 2% adult illiteracy rate. Today with compulsory school laws and government in charge of educating and we have a 25% functional illiteracy rate. Now <>that’s<> progress for you.Prof. Ricardo

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  231. Prof,<>Just keep the taint to a minimum.<>Screw that sentiment also. Prof, I bet you think YOUR taint doesn’t stink. 🙂Jeeze… this Burke dude is even more long-winded than Plank. Check out < HREF="http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/burkee/tolord/index.htm" REL="nofollow">this <> rebuttal to a Lord that didn’t approve of his retirement pension given by the King… and that’s when he was old and 3 years from death.Yoshi… to answer your previous question. Yes, it would make me a terrorist also.What we have in Iraq is Democra<>z<>y. — Stephen Colbert

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  232. <>Me thinks the required level of evidence that our laws are based upon the Bible is going to be high if that is the sort of documentation that you are going to provide.<>Guy, Guy, Guy, Guy, Guy!As a mere passing comment to your passing comment to my , whatever…That was not meant to be a comprehensive doctoral thesis on the existence and proof that all feet touching soil in America where protestant. Good grief. It was just to show you how a non-colonial individual described Americans to another non-American. It was supposed to represent a non-tooting-our-own-horn “looky at us great protestants” type of evidence.Did that slip past you? Please tell my I don’t have to spell everything out. That would increase my work load immeasurable. Work with me here. I can not write as well or as fast as Stephen King. Nor do I come from a background as a Constitutional attorney with unlimited resources. I’m going through a blog and the inherent restrictions that it, me, and time create are real.Tanks,P.R.

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  233. Prof:Me thinks the required level of evidence that our laws are based upon the Bible is going to be high if that is the sort of documentation that you are going to provide.I like Burke and the quote is insightful but he seems to be supporting my view that while we may have been religious, our real passion was religious freedom and an adamant belief in the separation of chruch and state.But maybe I see ducks when you see chickens. I know this is not your response but this is not a original or source document is it? I mean, I hope we are not judged 500 years from now on the speeches of GW.

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  234. Guy said… <>Prof said, “Religion meant Christianity, which meant Protestant.” I am kinda surprised you bit on that. Holy War here we come!!<>I haven’t started my response yet. That will take several days to organize and make comprehensible given that work, home life, and sleep still retain much value to me.A tid bit on the “Holy War”…Edmund Burke, Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies22 Mar. 1775< HREF="http://www.econlib.org/LIBRARY/LFBooks/Burke/brkSWv1c3.html" REL="nofollow">Edmund Burke quote<>Read paragraph 1.3.40

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  235. Prof said, “Religion meant Christianity, which meant Protestant.” I am kinda surprised you bit on that. Holy War here we come!!

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  236. <>Screw that sentiment… this ain’t Tony’s living room. 🙂<>LOL!<>Remember, admitting is the first step towards recovery. 🙂<>The court jester is always welcome. Just keep the taint to a minimum. 🙂P.R.

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  237. Prof said . . “Also, I hope to dispel some myths and misunderstandings that you may have on what a Christian nation would look like.”I think I have a good idea but lets tackle one thing at a time.

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  238. Guy,<>To the extent the other bloggers have already been through this exercise, my e-mail is gfortney@valornet.com<>Of course we have been through this. We have covered everything in Curmland. Don’t go offline with Prof… you need witnesses {which is ironic because I guess that’s Prof’s mission statement}. Besides, I’m convinced Tony’s blogs and discussions will provide a written record for posterity of the limited logic range of 21st century Americans. 🙂

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  239. Prof,<>Tony, my apologies sir. I failed to ask if we could hijack your blog to settle personal matters, potentially of public interest. Are we game?<>Screw that sentiment… this ain’t Tony’s living room. 🙂Talk about theocracy executive power… a president with a God hot-line… “God told me to end term limits, nuke Iran and make Prof president of Texas”. Just for the record, I have no problem with a God coming down and taking over our government… god knows it needs it {pun intended}. While we are waiting for that, I’ll pass on someone promising they have the true god bat-phone.How many parties would we have in our Christian theocracy? Probably still two… 1) the fundamentalist moderate party (new testament law) 2) the fundamentalist conservative party (old testament law).Prof, your case really would be a lot easier to make if they had just created the Constitution that you desire. They could at least thrown you a bone by mentioning god once… just a little Prof foothold and he could take it from there. Rummaging through other original source documents is just sad to witness. Remember, <>admitting<> is the first step towards recovery. 🙂

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  240. Guy said: “<>Why would you quote as evidence from men who you obviously think were too weak to stand up for what is right? Weren’t they a bunch of pious do gooders who didn’t have the balls to create a godly state in the founding document?<>”Yu hav learn well Grasshoppa! You parrot re-manufactured history with precision. I hope to change that. In order to serve you well, repeat this phase: original source documents. Repeat it like a mantra all day. Go to sleep mumbling it tonight.“<>Then, having not said anything about god in the Constitution, they had a high lapse of moral character when they amended that damn thing to say this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .”<>”If you could’ve only seen the smile that crossed my face when I read that.“<>I don’t mean to distract you from your task of a biblical basis for our laws but if they felt so strongly, why didn’t they just create a theocracy?<>”I must establish the ground rules first. That’s the reason I am asking for the evidence necessary to prove my case. If you just say a “preponderance”, that means I run the race and you get to come along afterward and draw the finish line wherever you want. Not that you are dishonest, but we must all appease our world views, and the proponents of the world view you espouse just through these comments above is threatened by the actual history that took place in this country. Read original source documents.What I want to evidence is that our Country and its laws are based on Christian principles as revealed in the Bible. Although I am not claiming to prove that we are or ever have been a theocracy, I may allude to that in the evidences I shall put forward.What I am not trying to do is prove that historical Christian players in our past were sinless. Impuning the character of the historical figures I quote does not disprove the point I am trying to make.Also, I hope to dispel some myths and misunderstandings that you may have on what a Christian nation would look like. So you can get that picture out of your head from Monty Python’s Holy Grail where the monks walking around chanting and banging stuff into their heads.Tony, my apologies sir. I failed to ask if we could hijack your blog to settle personal matters, potentially of public interest. Are we game?Prof. RicardoAddendum: Religion meant Christianity, which meant Protestant. They did not want to further other religions, but they were not hostile toward them either. “<>But now that I think about it the term “democratic theocracy” is an oxymoron.<>”Probably. But at its origination beginning in the colonies, they may have viewed themselves as theocratic republics. An important distinction.<>IQuery: If they wanted a Christian theocracy, why didn’t they just create one?<>”That’s what this particular thread is all about.

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  241. Yoshi – Technically yes, but those could be declared a nullity if God told him he wanted him to stay on. The term limits would be man’s law which is subject to absolute veto power by the supreme leader on his divine authority.

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  242. Prof:Just to be clear when you say, “a desire to further Christianity through making government not hostile, but friendly toward religion.”Religion means christian religion, right? They certainly didn’t want to further any other religions did they?Also, when you say Christian, you do mean, Protestant right? They also weren’t open to promoting a religion where an intermediary interpreted the Bible and spoke to god on your behalf, were they?Just trying to make sure I understand the terms.

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  243. Prof:Also, I do not doubt the religiousity of the founders. But in your eyes they got it wrong by not creating a theocracy. Why would you quote as evidence from men who you obviously think were too weak to stand up for what is right? Weren’t they a bunch of pious do gooders who didn’t have the balls to create a godly state in the founding document? Then, having not said anything about god in the Constitution, they had a high lapse of moral character when they amended that damn thing to say this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .”I don’t mean to distract you from your task of a biblical basis for our laws but if they felt so strongly, why didin’t they just create a theocracy?

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  244. Prof:I guess I was thinking that if the majority in this country became muslim, then they could vote in a muslim theocracy. Or with the increase in hispanic culture in america, maybe a Catholic Based theocracy. But now that I think about it the term “democratic theocracy” is an oxymoron.With regard to your burden of proof, I would request that you supplement with any quotes from the Constitution which would support your argument also.Query: If they wanted a Christian theocracy, why didn’t they just create one?

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  245. Guy,<>1) What is your definition of theocracy?<>I agree with the Britanica definition.<>2) In a very short summary, how would a modern day American theocracy look to you?<>A country governed by Biblical law, where God is acknowledged to exist by the state.<>3) What reasonable level of evidence would I have to produce…?<>Actually, I was interested in the kind of evidence like quotes of founders, quotes of government documents, quotes of sources the government or founders used, that point toward a the Bible, Christian principles, acknowledgment of God, and a desire to further Christianity through making government not hostile, but friendly toward religion.<>If you do not believe in the seperation of church and state, then is it OK for a muslim based theocracy too?<>I think it is “OK” for Muslims, like any man, to seek to govern their countries any way they see fit. However, I think they are wrong theologically. Therefore, I do not think it is “OK” for someone to believe that way if, according to what I know about salvation, they want to get to heaven. Additionally, from what I have read in the Koran and have seen evidence in real life, it appears that the religion is hostile to freedom, females, and is intolerant of anyone that believes otherwise, to the point of killing them. I don’t think <>that<> is “OK”.<> Or is a christian theocracy the only one that would be OK.<>That would be my conclusion.Prof. Ricardo

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  246. Prof – As for a Definition of Theocracy, I’ll go with this from Encyclopedia Brittanica:Government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.In many theocracies, government leaders are members of the clergy, and the state’s legal system is based on religious law. Theocratic rule was typical of early civilizations. The Enlightenment marked the end of theocracy in most Western countries. Contemporary examples of theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Vatican.I would add that in a theocracy the state has a chosen religion which the government is designed to promote and establish among the population. Further, the executive uses the power of the office to enforce the religious tenets of the state religion.A modern day American Theocracy would probably be Christian based for the time being. The power of the state would force church attendance; tithing; and the christian coalition’s wish list of morality laws would be passed quickly in Congress (I guess maybe it wouldn’t. I mean you wouldn’t demean God’s law by putting through the legislative process. I guess it would be law by executive fiat. That would be better because then the law would be whatever the executive interpreted it to be with divine guidance of course.)Yeah, I think it would a lot like that.Level of Evidence: I don’t know. A will hold you to the prepoderance of evidence standard not beyond a reasonable doubt.I beleive your claim was – “The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law.” To which I responded with a short yet succinct retort.Maybe you should also answer these questions so we have an understaning of terms. I would also like an answer to this question that I posed: If you do not believe in the seperation of church and state, then is it OK for a muslim based theocracy too? Or is a christian theocracy the only one that would be OK.

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  247. Guy,Since time is valuable for both of us, I need 3 items from you.1) What is your definition of <>theocracy<>?2) In a very short summary, how would a modern day American theocracy look to you?3) What reasonable level of evidence would I have to produce to support my claim that our Constitutional Republic and its laws are built on a foundation of Christian principles as revealed in the Scriptures?Thanks,Prof. Ricardo

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  248. U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.“If I was president, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John’s bar and grill in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.July 23, 2006The Detroit News

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  249. Prof – Is that a concession. It reads a little like one but doesn’t quite feel like it. You don’t have to respond to that. Its not all or nothing with me.CG/Tony/Yoshi – Should I frame that response and call it a concession?

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  250. Guy, Your response on the abortion issue was very well done. Dang near professional! 🙂I’ll drop the Roe v. Wade issue for now ‘cause I can only defend so many ports at once AND live a life outside of blogdom.Prof. RicardoPS . . Various responses coming on the religion issues.

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  251. All, pardon the typos.Prof:Finally, what laws are based on the bible? I am curious. Let me start:Thou Shall not Kill?Except in times of war; or to stop an abortion clinic doctor (under the heading for the greater good); or when acting in the heat of passion; or when you are insane. Are any of these exceptions contained in the bible?Oh yeah, forgot one, when God tells you too. (Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac. As a test of you faith.)What laws did Jesus espouse?

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  252. Prf: I don’ think it could be stated any clearer that they did in Stenberg v. Carhart:Three established principles determine the issue before us. We shall set them forth in the language of the joint opinion in Casey. First, before “viability ••• the woman has a right to choose to terminate her pregnancy.” Id., at 870, 112 S.Ct. 2791 (plurality opinion).[3] Second, “a law designed to further the State’s interest in fetal life which imposes an undue burden on the woman’s decision before fetal viability” is unconstitutional. Id., at 877, 112 S.Ct. 2791. An “undue burden is ••• shorthand for the conclusion that a state regulation has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” Ibid.[4] Third, “ ‘subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.’ ” Id., at 879, 112 S.Ct. 2791 (quoting Roe v. Wade, supra, at 164-165, 93 S.Ct. 705).Analysis under these three principles:“With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the “compelling” point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester.This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”I thought this was interesting:“About 90% of all abortions performed in the United States take place during the first trimester of pregnancy, before 12 weeks of gestational age. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Abortion Surveillance-United States, 1996, p. 41 (July 30, 1999) (hereinafter Abortion Surveillance).”Further analysis:The Casey plurality opinion reiterated what the Court held in Roe; that “ ‘subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.’ ” 505 U.S., at 879, 112 S.Ct. 2791 (quoting Roe, supra, at 164-165, 93 S.Ct. 705) (emphasis added).The fact that Nebraska’s law applies both previability and postviability aggravates the constitutional problem presented. The State’s interest in regulating abortion previability is considerably weaker than postviability.Consequently, the governing standard requires an exception “where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment for the preservation of the life or health of the mother,” Casey, supra, at 879, 112 S.Ct. 2791, for this Court has made clear that a State may promote but not endanger a woman’s health when it regulates the methods of abortion.”In summary, I would like to point out a few things:(1)The Supreme Court has stated in Roe; Casey and in this case what is needed for a “viable” law proscribing abaortion, and yet the frafters of these laws always fail to follow the cookbook set out for them. Why is that?Becuase they are more interested in the issue than actual regulation of abrotion. All or nothing. No middle ground. My own view is that you and I are being played. You get your pamphlets that decry and distort what the courts are actually saying. Sounding the alarm against activist judges so that you will give money and support conservative candidates who will wrest control of the judiciary and stop the moral decay.I, on the other hand, am routinely attempted to be fleeced by liberals who states that they are only one vote away from a complete takeover by the right waing who want to, and you have agreed should, impose a theocracy. I get it. I hope you do too. Your neighbor is not satan nor are the judges. But that doesn’t draw in camapaign donations.The voice of reason doesn’t fuel people to open their checkbooks and give money. It is partisanship and alarm bells that do that. So reason gets no voice.But I honestly don’t beleive that showing you what the actual decisions say will change your mind. You can’t. Your too committed to stopping the moral decay of society at all costs. Whether it exists or not. Its all or nothing.I am shocked that you want a theocracy. I thought at least all Americans believed in the seperation of church and state. And we could have that as a starting point.If you like what they have done with the tax code just wait till you see what they can do with state mandated religion. It’ll be great.

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  253. Prof. from Roe v. Wade . . We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute and is subject to some limitations; and that at some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. We agree with this approach.In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, whether she be a resident of the State or a nonresident who seeks medical consultation and treatment there, and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches [410 U.S. 113, 163] term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes “compelling.”With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the “compelling” point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester.This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

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  254. Prof – from Roe v. Wade . . . We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute and is subject to some limitations; and that at some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. We agree with this approach.In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, whether she be a resident of the State or a nonresident who seeks medical consultation and treatment there, and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches [410 U.S. 113, 163] term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes “compelling.”With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the “compelling” point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester.This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

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  255. Prof.I am on a family reunion Des Moines and I will respond fully when I get home. I am quite confident though that our founding fathers had no desire for a theocracy or they would have created one. That Chancellor Kent is a bunch of self serving rubbish. If it has any value at all it is mere dicta and does not support in any way your argument. Christian comity does not mean the basis for our laws is the bible.

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  256. Guy said… “<>Prof siad . . . “The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law.” In a word, bullshit.<>”It’s hard to address your scholarly response with, as Yoshi might say, a proportionate response. It probably wouldn’t be helpful. However, the evolution of law is an interesting topic. Commentaries on American Law (1826-30)Chancellor James Kent“The law of nations, so far as it is founded on the principles of natural law, is equally binding in every age, and upon all mankind. But the Christian nations of Europe, and their descendants on this side of the Atlantic, by the vast superiority of the attainments in arts, and science, and commerce, as well as in policy and government; and, above all, by the brighter light, the more certain truths, and the more definite sanction, which Christianity has communicated to the ethical jurisprudence of the ancients, have established a law of nations peculiar to themselves. They form together a community of nations, united by religion, manners, morals, humanity, and science, and united also by the mutual advantages of commercial intercourse, by the habit of forming alliances and treaties with each other, of interchanging ambassadors, and of studying and recognizing the same writers and systems of public law.”Since it is most probable that our founding fathers, 35 of which were either lawyers or trained in the law, were educated by the Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769) by Sir William Blackstone, it may behoove you to read Sect. 2: Of the Nature of Laws in General . I realize that your worldview may prevent you from seeing what is clearly written, given the general perspective of people much closer to the foundation of our laws than are we, I stand behind my original statement.Prof. Ricardo

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  257. Guy said… <>Prof Said Prof said “From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born.”It says no such thing. Read it.<><>U.S. Supreme Court ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) <>410 U.S. 113 ROE ET AL. v. WADE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF DALLAS COUNTY APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS No. 70-18. Argued December 13, 1971 Reargued October 11, 1972 Decided January 22, 1973 < HREF="http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=410&invol=113" REL="nofollow">http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=410&invol=113<>Relevant texts….With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the “compelling” point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester. This is so because of the now-established medical fact, referred to above at 149, that until the end of the first trimester mortality in abortion may be less than mortality in normal childbirth. It follows that, from and after this point, <>a State may regulate the abortion procedure to the extent that the regulation reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health.<> Examples of permissible state regulation in this area are requirements as to the qualifications of the person who is to perform the abortion; as to the licensure of that person; as to the facility in which the procedure is to be performed, that is, whether it must be a hospital or may be a clinic or some other place of less-than-hospital status; as to the licensing of the facility; and the like. (<>That’s showing them. Make ‘em use licensed abortionists. Babies in the compelling stage are cheering everywhere.-Prof.<>)This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State. With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.——–End of Relevant Text—-We all know that the “health of the mother” means everything from keeping a flat tummy so that her girl friends won’t talk to anything under the sun that might cause stress. Basically unlimited. Let’s go to a non-conservative source and see what happens next….< HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade" REL="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade<> Roe v. Wade[75% of the way down]<>Stenberg v. Carhart<>During the 1990s, attempts were made at the state level to ban late-term abortions, which were struck down, again by a 5-4 vote, in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000), with Justice Kennedy, co-author of the Casey decision, among the dissenters.<>< HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenberg_v._Carhart" REL="nofollow">Stenberg, Attorney General of Nebraska, et al. v. Carhart,<> <>530 U.S. 914 (2000), is a case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with a Nebraska law which made performing “partial-birth abortion” illegal, unless necessary to save the mother’s life. Nebraska physicians who performed the procedure contrary to the law were subject to their medical license revoked. Nebraska, like many states, banned the procedure on the basis of public morality. The Court struck down the law finding the Nebraska statute criminalizing “partial birth abortion[s]” violated the United States Constitution as the court ruled in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).———-Guy,If Roe v. Wade (its arguments) does not permit abortions throughout the pregnancy, how come states try, try, try to in some way limit abortion, even the insidious partial-birth abortion as a late term gruseome procedure, and it is always struck down. PLEASE, PLEASE show me in a meaningful way that Roe v. Wade is limited to the first trimester.Prof. Ricardo

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  258. RedoProf Said Prof said “From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born.” It says no such thing. Read it.

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  259. Prof said . . . “From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including partially born. It says no such thing.

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  260. Prof siad . . . “The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law.” In a word, bullshit.Have you ever read Roe v. Wade and the cases that follow or just what Ann Coulter writes?If you do not believe in the seperation of church and state, then is it OK for a muslim based theocracy too? Or is a christian theocracy the only one that would be OK. Yoshi – BTW, I read Freakonomics. Great Boook.

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  261. Yoshi said: “<>Hey Professor. I finally figured out how the Minutemen could be successful in their endeavors. Make all the brown people use birth control and have abortions like us white people do!<>”Actually, that’s Planned Parenthoods job, not the Minutemen. Their founder Margaret Sanger already had experience with eugenics on the < HREF="http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/special_issues/population/the_negro_project.htm" REL="nofollow">Negro Project<>. It would take very little adaptation for them to prey off of any particular group.Yoshi said: “<>There is a whole chapter linking higher abortion rates and lower crime 20 years later… all the little poor kids without fathers, the ones not able to get educated, etc, basically not able to make it in a capitalist society get aborted, which means all us lucky ones don’t have to worry so much about having their guns in our faces when they turn 20….<>”Cool. Death sentences before they commit the crimes. Just hope nobody foresees us doing any crimes, eh?There are flaws in a simplistic comparison of abortion implementation and crime rate. A simple analysis is available < HREF="http://www.rightgrrl.com/carolyn/abortioncrime.html" REL="nofollow">here<>.Its amazing how the women knew which children to abort, you know, the criminal ones, before she ever saw the child. Of course, if you kill enough unborn, you’re bound to get a few bad apples.How about another correlation? Parenting skills of Pro-Lifers vs. parenting skills of Pro-Abortionists. When the offspring of the Pro-Abortionists are eliminated, crime goes down. Cool. We can play all kinds of < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393310728/002-9348340-7883249?v=glance&n=283155" REL="nofollow">games with statistics<>.Prof. Ricardo

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  262. Hey Professor. I finally figured out how the Minutemen could be successful in their endeavors. Make all the brown people use birth control and have abortions like us white people do!

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  263. Common Good, Prof, either of you read “Freakonomics.” There is a whole chapter linking higher abortion rates and lower crime 20 years later… all the little poor kids without fathers, the ones not able to get educated, etc, basically not able to make it in a capitalist society get aborted, which means all us lucky ones don’t have to worry so much about having their guns in our faces when they turn 20….pretty interesting. Should I comment about Israel? It seems a little much over 2 captured soldiers, dropping bombs on Beirut and over Lebanon. I’d be a terrorist by now if I was living there, as all of us would. Why don’t they just send ground forces from the get-go instead of aerial bombing? Less physical damage to the country, less money to rebuild, less money lost over the long run…-they ought to be forced to pay for anything they destroy, and reparations for any civilian lives lost…. break it, you buy it. The ratio of deaths is 15/300, Isreali/ Lebanese. That’s a little disproportionate to say the least, especially since all of them are just collateral damage.

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  264. C.G. said: “<>Prof, you are the only extremist here… <>you are the only one married to delivery method<>. It’s obvious to most of us that our <>government has to provide at least <>some<> social services<>. It’s obvious to a few of us that is what government is for…<>”?!? I seek a legal, just, and efficient way to help them…and I am the extremist. You come from the stand point of <>government has to provide at least <>some<> social services<>, and yet you charge me with being married to a delivery method. I ……….er………uh…….Yes Dear.Prof. Ricardo

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  265. Tony is the diplomacy guru here, but it occurs to me the US might take the lead in a creative approach to Lebanon. It would seem to be wise for the US to say something like “We defend Israel’s right to defend itself, but we recognize the destruction of lives and infrastructure that is occurring. We can’t bring back the lives, but the world can recognize that the Lebanon government lacks power against Hezbollah, and therefore is not 100% accountable. If and when the world community can verify that assistance in rebuilding infrastructure will not be used to fund Hezbollah aggression, than the world will be there for Lebanon”. Force the moderate Muslim nations hands by requiring them to help fund this. Maybe you can’t talk about such things in the middle of the conflict… but maybe you can. You could at least put that type of thinking out there in preparation for what’s going to be a devastated Lebanon and devastating PR.

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  266. I wonder what Lebanon would give to have as their biggest problem an inefficient government?Looks like Israel is just about to go in on the ground in Lebanon. I’ve been seeing some of the pictures on TV of the damage in Lebanon. It looks like a complete annihilation. There are people there so poor in the south, they can’t leave. What a hell on earth this really is. Is it more moral to take a country apart through two weeks of bombing then to give them two weeks to move north, and then nuke it in one shot? I really don’t buy the fact that Israel has much of a chance to damage Hezbollah in any significant way. I therefore think the only real gain for Israel taking this particular stand is to once again, try and create a buffer zone. But then, what good is that… they talk about missiles with a 60 mile range. It really makes you wonder how Israel has managed to avoid giving up and using it’s nuke threat by now. I expect them to reach a breaking point some day where they tell their neighbors you have two choices 1) let us live here in peace and we and the rest of the world will chip in for aid and helping you guys develop economies and lives OR 2) Israel has had enough, and will start nuking designated targets… one at a time until you guys change their mind, or some other power takes Israel out. Either way… Israel has had enough. The first nuke surely would not be Lebanon… but Tehran. Guy, that will be WWIII.

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  267. Prof,<>Additionally, knowing how welfare has worked in the pass to “win” the “war on poverty,” it is apparent to all with open eyes that not only has the war on poverty at great expense not been won, it is a path littered with social carnage that few could have envisioned before hand.<>Let’s be clear here, between the two of us {on this subject}, you are the only extremist. I say give the private sector first chance, then do the best we can with the public sector. A opting out of the private sector, or even a poor performing public delivery method doesn’t mean we therefore ignore the need. The answer IMO, more often than not, is the need for a better government rather than no government. We should learn from mistakes and replace public services with private ones when the case can me made, and replace failed private-only methods {our healthcare} when they fall short. You start from the premise that a successful public delivery of required common good <>IS NOT POSSIBLE<>. Our Social Security system has been a raging success in the lives of many of our elderly. Does it have problems… does it need to be adjusted along the way… of course, welcome to life on this rock. However, to follow your extremism, you would have us believe we could have {or would have} provided a better way to provide dignity and economic security to our elderly. Do you really need to find a phrase in the constitution for our society to do the best {even if flawed} at taking care of our elderly? If so, I’m for the amendment. Prof, you are the only extremist here… you are the only one married to delivery method. It’s obvious to most of us that our government has to provide at least <>some<> social services. It’s obvious to a few of us that is what government is for… {not so few in Europe, and our better GDP doesn’t make our choice more moral}.

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  268. C.G. said: “<>I accept the fact that your religious convictions prevent you from pooling federal taxes to help the needy in our society or foreign societies.<>”Actually, my religious convictions do not specifically prevent it by stating “Don’t tax thy neighbor for thy needy”. What scriptures DO say is that it is a personal responsibility of mine. I guess I could delegate that to others, but that does not lessen my responsibility. So if I give $100 to help an individual in need, I know that $100 is used for its intended purpose. If I give $100 to a private charity, whether religious or not, I know that a certain amount of money is used for administration and fund raising. Out of $100, probably $85 makes it to the needy. If I give $100 to the government, knowing historically how they have handled this, I know that only about $35 get’s to the needy on average. If I care about the needy, then I will try to use the method that get’s the most real help for the needy. If I care about my responsibility to discharge my duty to the needy, I will seek to use the method that gets the most help for the needy from my $100. If I feel compelled to help those in Africa, and I know I’m not going there anytime soon, I need to choose either private or governmental was to accomplish my method. Given the horror stories of government funds going to despots, buying condoms and unneeded medical supplies, etc., it seems a safe bet that the multitude of private charities, some religious and some not, that they are the best bet purely on a pragmatic economic basis.Morally speaking, a couple more issues crop up. One, can we legally (Constitutionally permitted) take money from others for the specific purpose to enrich others. Although I see provision on the Federal level for collecting money for public purposes (that is, that benefits all people, like roads, defense, settling disputes, etc.), I see no provision for collecting taxes to enrich specific people as an end unto itself. So I have a problem with breaking the law to “do good.” Additionally, knowing how welfare has worked in the pass to “win” the “war on poverty,” it is apparent to all with open eyes that not only has the war on poverty at great expense not been won, it is a path littered with social carnage that few could have envisioned before hand. For example, with government paychecks replacing responsible bread winners in the family, is anyone on this blog surprised at the number of unwed births in the black community? Isn’t it approaching 70%? And <>that’s<> averaging in all of the middle & upper class blacks as well. Doesn’t even the most liberal of you see unwed mother’s, fatherless children, and multiple siblings with all different daddies, not a way to achieve a good wholesome environment for raising children, avoiding spousal abuse, increasing family wealth, and avoiding a future of being a “needy” family? There are reactions to receiving money when one is “needy.” You would think it would be purely thankfulness with the desire to use that opportunity to better oneself. It turns out it is one of resentment and anger. And once they accept the help, then their level of achievement seems stifled. They can only earn, say $500 per month and then all benefits (say $600) will be taken away. That means if they have the chance to make $700 this month, they wont do it because they will actually be $400 worse (+$200 over limit less $600 of lost benefits.) They become locked in to poverty by the very thing that is intended to “help.”Surely even the liberals here will admit to some level of negative consequence that happens when welfare is given. Surely the pragmatism that drives most of you would demand that you weigh damage done versus benefits gained. And given your abhorrence to slavery and championing privacy and choice would allow you to place at least some value on the labor and decisions (choices) that people make, so that when they labor and make money, or invest and loose money, that you would not want to play god and rearrange the fruits of our time and our decisions, to achieve some outcome that is arbitrary according to your since of compassion as you define it.The position of ones opposed to welfare are not hatred of poor, elitism, some since of superiority, pharisee-ism, or some other boogieman of the left. Rather, it is with a since of compassion, obligation, justice, and a desire to achieve real change in the needy that we take the stands we do. There are varing levels of caring on both sides. But for me to ignore 30+ years of study and insight into the harm and lack of results of the welfare game, would be the least intelligent and humanitarian thing I could do.Prof. Ricardo

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  269. I don’t know what I did wrong with the link, but I had put in the links to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW. Just put a .org on the end of each and you’ll get there. Sorry for the html butcher job. I learned everything I know about it from C.G. 🙂

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  270. Much to respond to. I’ll deal with C.G. later…Guy said… “<>The problem for our debate is that you don’t believe in the seperation of church and state as a starting point….<>”Exactly! And you and others do. That is the rose colored glasses for the liberal. EVERYTHING including truth and history bow down to the slogan of the secularist proselytes. Remember, your starting point, your standard, that by which everything else is judged <><>is<><> your religion, and my religion, and everybody else’s religion.“<>…and that your religious convictions give you a moral imperitave to create a government that will force your views on all others.<>”The whole concept of government is the use of force to compel some people in some way to accomplish some goal. Those goals vacillate between the acceptable extremes for the period and cultural society we are in. According to my Bible, worshiping God and not killing your neighbor are voluntary restraints – it’s up to you to do what is right. I can not, nor should I ever use government to make you worship anything. That is between you and God and the afterlife. However, murdering another person is something that I can and should use government for to exact justice. The basis for a lot of these laws is Biblical law. You could say I have a moral imperative to exact justice based upon my religion and you’d be right.“<>… Admit it, you want a christian based theocracy.<>”OK. I’ll admit it only to you. But <>please<> don’t tell Common Good. He’s stirred up enough already.<>Plenty of liberals are for restrictions on abortion…..<>The right to an abortion only exists in the first trimester,<> thereafter the state’s interest take hold and more restrictions become reasonable. Like most things, it is not all or nothing. Ithink most liberals agree with this proposition and therefore agree to reasonable restrictions on abortion.<>I know arguing with a lawyer about law is a losing proposition, but you can’t win against Goliath if you don’t fight Goliath. From what I understand Roe v. Wade allows abortion up to and including < HREF="http://www.lifeissues.org/pba.html" REL="nofollow">partially born<>. As long as the head is still in the birth canal, the little booger is a target for the abortionists tools. All the polls say the average person only believes abortion is legal in the first trimester. All the analysis of Roe v. Wade have said it is the full term. Maybe you can give me comfort that a full term, family in the waiting room, “It’s a Boy!” infant is protected from the D&X slaughterfest. I await your scholarly council.Oh, and another thing. Just so it isn’t so easily swept under the rug – I didn’t see a single restriction on abortion that pro-aborts would accept itemized in your retort. Maybe I could give you the < HREF="http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal" REL="nofollow"/>, < HREF="http://www.naral.org" REL="nofollow"/>, or < HREF="http://www.now.org" REL="nofollow"/> web sites so that you could use them as your resource. But you and I both know that would be to no avail.Guy, another widespread myth is that repealing Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion. That would only revert to the states to control such activity. States could then keep or restrict abortion to any degree they saw fit. And I’ll throw a bone to C.G. to gnaw on ‘cause I know how he dislikes obscene capitalist gain. It is the normal practice of abortion clinics to accept only cash for abortions. No checks and no credit cards. It is not uncommon for abortion providers to take $10,000 to $15,000 a day to the bank. In such an unaccountable environment of dealing purely in cash, I wonder if all of the taxes due on such income are paid. I should probably be tarred and feathered for such a comment. After all, it is obvious they are only providing such services for the benefit of poor troubled women and not for any personal gain.Prof. Ricardo

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  271. Prof,Prepare to laugh: I’ve narrowed down our worldviews to quick soundbites even the GOP focus group marketing guys would appreciate.Prof’s worldview: Facts from the sky.CG’s: Facts on the ground.btw… when your church-only-volunteer charity comes through, I will throw in that “respect” also. Hey, I just thought of a great t-shirt.Neocons— they get you into war based on opinions, and leave you holding the bag of facts on the ground.

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  272. Prof,btw… on the open-mindedness. If I was convinced that church-only-volunteer-charity sufficiently served the needy in our country and this planet <>I’m in.<>. How is that for open-mindedness? I would still think we have public good freeloaders in this society that are chipping in, but that means almost nothing to me compared to those I see in need. Yes… those in need is a subjective call. Welcome to life on planet earth… very tough gig with subjective chances for making it better while we are here. Do you care to give me your counter open-mindedness pledge?I heard a great statement yesterday… by of all people, Bill O’Reilly. If the anti-Israel forces put down their arms from now on, a deal could be reached. If Israel took every one of their weapons, and threw them into the sea, we would have the second holocaust. I agree… and think that statement should be repeated constantly by our administration. There are valid grievances on both sides, but at the end of the day that statement frames the core fact.

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  273. Let’s See . . .Prof – What a bunch of intolerant horse hockey!! The problem for our debate is that you don’t believe in the seperation of church and state as a starting point and that your religious convictions give you a moral imperitave to create a government that will force your views on all others. Admit it, you want a christian based theocracy.Also in response to – “They are against ANY RESTRICTION ON ABORTION PERIOD! If not so, name one.”Plenty of liberals are for restrictions on abortion. I think the Sup Ct reasoning is abundantly reasonable and consistent with centuries old common law.Prior to the “quickening” the state has little interest in the life. Typically or at least in modern times, the quickening has come to mean after the first trimester. The right to an abortion only exists in the first trimester, thereafter the state’s interest take hold and more restrictions become reasonable. Like most things, it is not all or nothing. Ithink most liberals agree with this proposition and therefore agree to reasonable restrictions on abortion.CG – Can’t say that I disagree in general. As always the devil (or liberal according to Prof) is in the details.

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  274. Prof,<>The liberal mind speaks of intolerance, but what they mean is for people of religious convictions to become bigger hypocrites through embracing and practicing that which their religion condemns.<>I <>accept<> the fact that your religious convictions prevent you from pooling federal taxes to help the needy in our society or foreign societies. I highlighted the word “accept” because most in these discussions just throw in the word “respect”. I just have to be honest here, I don’t respect any form of thinking that leaves the huddled masses still huddling at our current GDP. I find “scripture” to be an inadequate defense, and it’s what I meant before when I said “you can only reason with a scripture-based worldview up to the boundaries of the scripture”. We could have infinite scientific and economic evidence that said x, and it would be no match for scripture beliefs. We leave the realm of debate and compromise here… it’s simply a matter of winning or losing. It’s not your fault, and it’s not any fault of a lack of open mindedness on my part. Fortunately, there are many more areas where compromises are possible than those where it is not. For those unfortunate areas with no chance of compromise {and unlike human rights, we could do a pretty good job of listing them}, then we must “accept” the other view, but spend our efforts at “winning”. Tony should split his blogs into two categories… 1) those with a small chance of convincing each other of our views 2) only for entertainment purposes, not a batshit chance in hell of convincing the other one. 🙂Personally, I enjoy that angels on the pin thing… but I’m easily entertained.

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  275. Prof,I think we would both agree there is no such thing as a 100% autonomous citizen government. The government with out <>some<> collectivism has not been invented yet. We have confirmed before here you are not against everyone paying for the military. It’s like the old joke… now that we have determined we are a whore, we are now just negotiating over the rate. Well over half of this country thinks the Iraq war was a huge mistake, and yet we all chip in our federal dollars to pay for this. I have a hard time understanding that your moral position is that is ok, but it becomes immoral and bends you over if we all pool funds for our old and sick people. I realize this is a clear bright line for you… but I think you are just a fellow whore with a different rate. 🙂

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  276. Tony,I know where you stand on embryonic stem cell research, but I’m guessing you could speak to federal funding of scientific research {given your better half was in that business}.

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  277. Guy,<>CG – I thought prof and Tony were just mudslinging when he called you a socialist but maybe not.<>I think labels tend to be too broad, but < HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democrat" REL="nofollow">Social Democrat <> seems to fit me. I have no intention of replacing capitalism. I also have no intention of ever accepting the fact a just society pops out the other end of unfettered capitalism. That last sentence makes me a socialist by many… and if so, I gladly proclaim I’m a socialist. <>While I agree there are some tasks the government should do, these are limited. I like the workings of the free market better and trust it a lot more.<>I think this is the typical either-or argument we find ourselves locked into. My position\strategy\ideology\worldview is really rather simple:1) Define via representative democracy what our common good {federal tax based by definition}is before we discuss tax rates or method of delivery. You often hear people say I should never have to pay more than X% in taxes. That’s were they start without a nanosecond devoted to any definition of what common good should be in our society.2) After defining common good… i.e. what we will pool federal $ for, we should define most efficient delivery method {note: that is not necessarily the same as the profit motive, and not necessarily best served by the free market}. I agree with Mario Cuomo here: <>Any time the free market can provide the society need more efficiently, or equally, compared to a federal public method.. IT SHOULD<>. By definition, if the private sector provides any need society would be willing to vote into the common good, it never becomes common good. As Cuomo points out, in the entire history of our nation, the private sector always has first shot at covering that need. However, it’s obvious that the free market is not sufficient for our common good definition. Old and sick people are not necessarily profitable. Is that the end of the definition for our common good regarding how we treat our old. If so, Social Security would never have existed. That’s how Prof would define our society. So for me, a failure of the free market to cover a need {anything we vote on via representative democracy} does not expel it from being common good. Just because I make the call that x now has to be federally funded because the free market chooses to not persue it, does not necessarily mean a government RUN program… it does mean a government FUNDED program. For example, I’m for Universal Healthcare. That doesn’t necessarily mean government run… it just means I’ve made a vote that I will pay taxes to make sure EVERYONE is include in healthcare in this country. It may just mean we keep the healthcare system exactly like it is now, but those with means pay the tab for those without… i.e. I don’t change the free market whatsoever, I just collect taxes to slide those without means into that free market. The absolute last choice should be a government run program, but I’m convinced many programs will logically fit in this category. We need to get better at it. I would start with being able to audit our $400 billion a year military budget… but that’s just socialist me. 3) Once something has been voted into common good {by definition, private sector opted out}, then we need to define the level of the tax need, and the allocation {progressive taxation, etc) to covert it.If that approach makes me a socialist, I proudly claim to be one. In my US, we wouldn’t have yet another silver-spoon frat boy president bought into office by the moneyed elite giving a speech to the NAACP preaching fairness. In my US, a Martin Luther King president would be giving that speech. What happens on this planet is driven by people like us… the economic winners {at least I used to be}. It has never been driven by those without means. We made the prettiest package on that reality to date with our Constitution, but it was in the end, a pact created by economic winners. We have never advanced past the idea that the most $ doesn’t equate to the best ideas. Think I’m off-base? Then please explain the presidential qualification of this president giving this speech to the NAACP as I type. I don’t think I’m off-base at all. Of course, an insane person never knows they are insane.

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  278. “<>I agree Prof, we should go back to the Articles of Confederation.<>”I think this shows how difficult it is for the liberal mind to step outside of total collectivism. You see what I said as the “Articles of Confederation,” but that is what the articles of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights pointed to. It is beyond your imagination, ie your world view, to imagine a world not driven by a command economy. A land where people are forced into a cookie cutter citizenry marching like those N. Koreans or Nazis for some greater common good, and miraculously, while ignoring family, profit motive, and self, food appears like manna’ from heaven every morning on the breakfast dishes. The liberal mind is bragged about as being so open, yet I have never seen a mind so closed.The liberal mind speaks of intolerance, but what they mean is for people of religious convictions to become bigger hypocrites through embracing and practicing that which their religion condemns. The liberal mind speaks of compassion, but what they mean is for me not to sacrifice for a cause I feel as worthy, but to force others to use their money to sacrifice for my pet “common goods.” The liberal mind speaks of Choice© for women, but what they mean is they want women to choose death for their child, because choice involves options and a full knowledge of what they are, and the liberals have rejected at every level information about the abortion being given to the parents, the husband or partner, and even to the woman getting the abortion. They are against sonograms, pictures of fetal development, discussions of post abortion depression. They are against ANY RESTRICTION ON ABORTION PERIOD! If not so, name one. There has never been a more ANTI-Choice© party than the liberal. They speak of honesty (Bush lied, people died.) but they are the ones that make stuff up and once their statement has been proven false, drop it and try another claim to see if it will stick without regard to truthfulness, accuracy or ANY abhorrence to lying. They are the ones who excused Clinton’s lying because, after all wouldn’t ANYBODY lie about sex? Wouldn’t anybody perjure themselves on the witness stand for their family? And the liberal mind speaks of being open minded, but what they mean is they want opposition proponents to open THEIR minds to the liberal’s way and not vice versa. The liberal speaks of being bipartisan, but that means they want the conservative opposition to yield their point of view, never the opposite.Your lack of historical understanding of what I described above that was in the realm of our current Constitution and not the previous Art. of Confed. is dismissed as a triviality. Why would you have to understand to comment on it? Your utopian collectivist answer is the only answer, regardless of the question. Its only a matter of making history and “facts” mold to your answer. And I must add, you do it brilliantly.P.R.

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  279. CG – I am reminded that WW starts small and grows big with much appeasement along the way. Having said that, the seeds of this go a long way back. (Obviously). I think Bush maybe right here, no quick ceasefire. Let’s get this worked out. I for one don’t think Israel’s response is out of proportion. Having said that, this is a dangerous game. Having it “worked out once and for all” may mean an all out culture war and the final act of the crusades.

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  280. Tony – Thanks for the pick me up. I forgot that this is all grist for the mill.CG – I thought prof and Tony were just mudslinging when he called you a socialist but maybe not. While I agree there are some tasks the government shouold do, these are limited. I like the workings of the free market better and trust it a lot more. I repeat, this is not a big deal except to those institutions who were looking for more government grants to buy i-pods with.

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  281. Prof,I agree Prof, we should go back to the Articles of Confederation. We should get our own Jerusalem too. Our OU-Texas college football rivalry will look like nothing in comparison… that will be a hoot. The US border argument, of course, would need to be expanded to those little lines on the map that define the state borders. Texas would have to expand their slogan… “New Mexico Socialists, don’t mess with Texas”. Of course, this would accelerate an alternative to oil. Since each state would be in effect competing with each other, Texas oil reserves would be an asset they might choose to leverage to their advantage {capitalism baby, right?}. Can’t you hear it… California, no oil for you. Texas, no stem cell medical cures for you… oh yeah, grow your own oranges. This is an entertaining exercise. Let’s keep trying to “paint” that US you hope for. This will be fun.

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  282. Guy,<>If there’s so much promise in it, then there’s a lot of money in it too.<>I don’t buy your premise. For one, I don’t limit common good to a profit motive. For another, some things are of a scale that it requires government involvement. Tony has often pointed to our nation building the railroads. I would say infrastructure in general provides the examples. They talk in terms of decades of research when it comes to stem cell research. Just because it is viewed too risky by the free market doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold great promise. <>With all that is going on in the world, you think it would bring out or best. Instead it mediocrity is on display.<>I couldn’t agree more. Our frat boy rubbing the shoulders of Merkel was bizarre. The Bush drivel caught at the G8 wasn’t so revealing because he said sh*t {who cares}… it was revealing because it showed the simpleton on display. It showed Blair doing his best to interact/guide the american cowboy. Blair lost me on Iraq, but he had always struck me as a competent world leader. We have a checkers president when we needed a chess player.btw… regarding WWIII. I heard someone from Stratfor {Tony uses these guys for a reference often} last night say that this has all been a prelude to a full scale Israel ground invasion of Lebanon. How big a leap is it to a broader war from there that brings in more countries?Israel moves into Lebanon on the ground -> Syria makes a military move against Israel -> Israel starts bombing the hockey out of Syria -> Iran joins the fight against Israel -> US sends bombers to support our Ally Israel {and Bill Kristol and the neocons have their wet dream} -> China moves on Taiwan while we are busy in Iraq and Iran -> N. Korea is ignored and does something like give Hezbollah a nukeor a slower route to the same eventual US-Iran war that brings everyone else in:x -> Hezbollah becomes our Al Qaeda inside the US {terrorist attacks including malls, movie theatres, schools, buildings, etc} -> we live like Israel for some time -> we eventually go full scale war with Iran -> yada yada yada from above.Here is quicker path:Hezbollah attacks one of the ships evacuating Americans from Lebanon… or… Hezbollah starts taking American hostages. We will get frustrated by not being able to get our hostages back, and bomb Syria/Iran… it’s our way. The neocons expected to already be at war with Iran. The Iraq cluster f*** made this unsellable to the public, but Iraq hasn’t altered their thinking 1%.< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060720/ap_on_re_mi_ea/lebanon_israel_256" REL="nofollow">Israel hints of full-scale invasion<>

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  283. “the vote as I understand it is on the taxpayer dollars FUNDING the stem cell research…. to have it only be privately funded like much of the research already going on in the medical community.”One of the greatest fears of the 13 colonies was that if they joined the United States that the Federal government would become all powerful and the state governments would be of no effect. Its amazing how we look purely to the federal government to accomplish every good thing. Today we have state governments, many of which rival the population and resources of 1789 USA, and we fail to recognize them as capable, useful entities for accomplishing <>common good,<> objectives. The stem cell debate is mostly about Federal funding of new lines, two qualifications you don’t hear. The Fed <>IS<> funding stem cell research now. The Fed will be funding stem cell research tomorrow. But any state wanting to could pick up the banner and run with it, funding stem cell research of new lines if they saw fit to do so. Rather than be known as the “Show Me” state or the “The Lone Star” state, your state could be known for its dedication to research, disease and poverty eradication, or something similar. The blue states in unison could pick up the ONE Campaign. Their 50% of GNP multiplied by two could make up the infamous 0.7% needed to end all poverty, or whatever. So if 0.7% is nothing, surely two times that figure for the blue state, or 1.4%, is barely more than nothing for the blue STATEs to brag about.This could go on ad nauseam to accomplish all of the worthy goals we desired. Those states wanting Universal Health Care could so implement that, others could pass. States could be known for all kinds of socialist or free elements. Of course, the socialists hate this because it is somewhat decentralizing of power and they want to concentrate it at the top, forgetting approximately 100% of history that says that is not a good idea. They, with a straight face, bring up slavery as a condition that will return if the Fed does not control 100% of everything. It’s hard not to laugh and cry at the same time when trying to respond to that one.I must apologize to my Marxist friends though. I have accused the socialist path as one that stifles ingenuity. I have been < HREF="http://therealcuba.com/Sandaliasr.JPG" REL="nofollow">proved wrong<>. I sincerely apologize.P.R.

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  284. Guy,Don’t be depressed! You need a completely new attitude. Fortunately, I can help.You see, all that stuff inside the beltway…that is entertainment. Hell, the part we see is even mostly produced by Hollywood. I think they should call the series Dynasty – The Next Generation.So don’t worry or fret. Pop some pop-corn, top it with extra butter if you are really down, and kick back in the lazy boy: enjoy the show. With it being one of the few Hollywood feature productions sporting free tickets, what is not to enjoy?

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  285. I have to agree with prof a little on this. If there’s so much promise in it, then there’s a lot of money in it too. Therefore, funding (private) should not be an issue. Also, once the new president gets in, republican or democrat, the law will be trotted back out, passed and signed.The only historical significance of this veto is that it is his first in six years. Spending out of control, a war president and a repub rebellion and this is it? No leadership in the executive branch, no leadership in the legislative branch and a new court. How the hell did we get here?No leadership in either party that would make me want to get up off the couch and walk across the street for anybody.With all that is going on in the world, you think it would bring out or best. Instead it mediocrity is on display. Chewing some bread and cussing is we get. Oh yeah, an attempt to give a neck message to another world leader as if she were the new girl in the secretary pool.Now I’m depressed.

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  286. I forgot one observation about the Bush stem cell veto. This one will not be able to be sold right down the pro-life line. Frist, Hatch, Smith votes in the Senate… all pro-life GOP.

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  287. Guy,<>This WWIII thing is getting off to a slow start.<>FoxNews said it is so… except one guy who said it is really WWIV. You don’t question FoxNews do you?I guess since you watch Jon Stewart, he has a bit of a problem also with calling this WWIII. 🙂 Someone was asked on one network what they thought of Newt Gingrich calling this WWIII, and they said the thought Gingrich was a WWIII. 🙂Of course, if you are one of the million Israelis in bomb shelters as I type, or anywhere in Lebanon south of {and including} Beirut, you might just call this a World war.

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  288. Prof,<>the vote as I understand it is on the taxpayer dollars FUNDING the stem cell research.<>Yes, that is correct. Coburn and Brownback tried to sell the idea that regardless of the moral implications, other non-embryo stem cell research was superior anyway, so there was no need to bother with embryonic stem cell research. They were playing a typical politician game… turning the debate into a false either-or when the logical course should be to pursue BOTH/ALL research avenue {hint: the clue is the word research}.We have already covered here who thinks we need to honor human cells over living human beings with current disease… so we don’t need to rehash that. In fact, we are running out of things to talk about here. 🙂 But I do have a few comments about Bush’s veto.1) It will only temporarily delay science… and it is a delay because it is a bogus argument that private investment counters what was about to be invested via public pooled funds {total bogus argument}. The reason it will only temporarily delay publicly funded embryonic research is simple… it effects everyone. A majority of us, for example, will continue to back our immoral policy of having our “volunteering poor” fight our wars for us. Our vote or passive acceptance effects somebody else besides ourselves. Not so with the equal opportunity disease and sickness (ALS, Parkinson, Cancer, heart disease etc.) regardless of economic class. This effects all of us, and we will eventually vote that a family member with disease trumps that {more moral} process of throwing away frozen embryos. If something significant happens on the science front that really does make embryonic stem cell research obsolete, than that would rightly change the funding policy. That said, let’s just say I won’t rely on the religiously motivated for my science analysis.2) We don’t have the ala carte tax policy you and Tony (maybe even me in some circumstances) wish for. Until then, it will not be ok for a narrow few to dictate tax policy for the majority. Tax policy is a majority game, with the only limit those fuzzy human rights. If we did have an ala carte federal tax system, this is the deal I would offer those against embryonic stem cell research: If you were willing to sign a pledge that you would never use medical cures for yourself or your family that were discovered from embryonic stem cell research, then you could opt out of that tax. The rest of us would opt in for the tax, and reap any benefits that may come. 3) This will be a reminder that even OUR public will get that from now on… our President really matters. A majority of the population appears to be for federally funded embryonic stem cell research {unless of course it’s a FoxNews poll}. More importantly, a majority of both the House and the Senate voted for this. I do not know the background of the presidential veto, but I can say I’m not for it in any form. I’m not a fan of Congress anymore than the next guy, but I have come to the conclusion I absolutely do not want one man\woman in a 300 million person democracy to have the power to overrule Congress {I’m sure someone thought that was a check and balance, and I’m sure they were wrong}. btw… this also goes for declaring war. No more of the nonsense of the Congress giving a weasel blanket ok to a president when it comes to war. They need a public vote on the actual war or significant military action.4) This veto will be in the top 10 when the historian measure … what I have to say now for sure… is our worse president… at least in my lifetime. I have always held out that Reagan had the most negative effect on the direction of this country, but Iraq will now probably trump that. Bush’s highlight reel will include (post-911, Iraq, Katrina and not this veto).

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  289. Common said: “<>In the category of further lame discussions, the Senate is debating stem cell research…<>”Although they may be doing that too, the vote as I understand it is on the taxpayer dollars FUNDING the stem cell research. They have been researching it, they are researching it, and they will continue researching it. The debate is on whether to take money out of the pool that can be used for universal national health insurance or to have it only be privately funded like much of the research already going on in the medical community.P.R.

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  290. CGIt is vague. The language is deceptively simple. I repeat my earlier post:Hey, given the brevity of the document I think that it is a mona lisa masterpiece. What the hell are they smiling about? The devil was in the details and to the extent you include too many, the chances of each colonial legislature adopting the document drop drmatically. I beleive the intent was to make it vague on purpose so they could get passed by the people. Sorry, I mean State Legislative Bodies. No democracy, it’s a republic. The words are always subject to interpretation (intentionally).

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  291. “<>have to take out his Katyusha missiles someday. <>”No good. We have the Texas Rangers and that would be considered a provocation. You don’t want to get Chuck Norris angry.———————There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Chuck Norris lives in Oklahoma. The show Survivor had the original premise of putting people on an island with Chuck Norris. There were no survivors, and nobody is brave enough to go to the island to retrieve the footage. Chuck Norris doesn’t bowl strikes, he just knocks down one pin and the other nine faint. In the beginning there was nothing…then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said “Get a job”. That is the story of the universe. Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoloy card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO. Chuck Norris always knows the EXACT location of Carmen SanDiego. Contrary to popular belief, there is indeed enough Chuck Norris to go around. Wilt Chamberlain claims to have slept with more than 20,000 women in his lifetime. Chuck Norris calls this “a slow Tuesday.” When Steven Seagal kills a ninja, he only takes its hide. When Chuck Norris kills a ninja, he uses every part. When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side. The grass is always greener on the other side, unless Chuck Norris has been there. In that case the grass is most likely soaked in blood and tears. Chuck Norris doesn’t actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear. Some people like to eat frogs’ legs. Chuck Norris likes to eat lizard legs. Hence, snakes. Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell him there was a stripper in it. An anagram for Walker Texas Ranger is KARATE WRANGLER SEX. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds AWESOME. Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door. Hellen Keller’s favorite color is Chuck Norris. Superman once watched an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. He then cried himself to sleep. Chuck Norris doesn’t play god. Playing is for children.

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  292. Guy,What is it with you lawyers? You ask for a simple fundamental human rights list and you get “oh, it’s a difficult concept”. 🙂 Tony must be a good lawyer because I got back the same fuzzy {learned that from our pres} logic. I guess I am left with the idea that when it comes to state rights… you know it when you see it unless the SC Justices don’t see it. No wonder we are locked into a 24 x 7 pissing match over the constitution… the darn thing is vague as hell. I hope most of the SC Justices continue to “not see” state rights, or else we might end up with Prof as our governor to the south, and have to take out his Katyusha missiles someday. I guess I owe Tony an apology for beating him up on his vague lawyerly answers. He was just practicing for high billing rates someday. I bet this is covered in the cabals.

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  293. CGI hate to be lawyerly but the problem and I hope Tony agrees is that the more specific you get the more nuanced the constitutional analysis becomes.For instance, on your driver license question. Yes it is not a right and therefore left to the states. But then you get into a trump card carried in the constitution by congress called the commerce clause. Sure they can regualte this area but if the regulation is too onerous then congress steps in with the commerce clause.The commerce clause is the basis for all federalism in my opinion. The power to regulate interstate commerce has been the basis for almost of the federlism complained of by prof.The interplay between the commerce clause; the fourteenth amendment and the Bill of Rights is complex. Layer on top of that the rule of stare decisis and there are no clear cut answers in my opinion.I am not saying that as a layperson you can’t understand it. Hell most attorneys don’t (I am not saying I can fully explain it myself). Several persons who are “experts” would even tell you that at least half of the supreme court doesn’t get it.I don’t if this helps but I really do view it as a debate of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. For every case that a conservative scholar can show me that says this, I can find one that says the opposite.I don’t think this helps. That is what I meant when I said in some of my first posts that I apply Sup Crt cases in a specific context. Much easier to do I assure you.

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  294. <>She was face down in the dirt and the other chickens were just walking right across her.<>Sounds like GOP chickens. I’m just surprised they didn’t stone the sick one. As you say, the chicken in the dirt would resent it if the other chicken’s helped out.

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  295. “<>I think we’ll keep him anyway…just for general amusement.<>”Its mostly why we have chickens…in town. The cost of our fresh “organic eggs” is about $8.14 each because of the heat and therefore lack of production. Almost lost one yesterday from heat prostration. She was face down in the dirt and the other chickens were just walking right across her. They are very simple creatures with no measurable level of brain activity.Hey, I just got this great idea for a new mascot for the Democratic Party!P.R.

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  296. Tony,<> I do in fact think he is incapable of hearing the answer on this one.<>My mind has advanced to where it blocks out bs. I find when I go back and read some of your posts, and mine… many sentences are no longer there. However, with Prof… it’s like the entire post is missing. Weird. 🙂<>I think we’ll keep him anyway…just for general amusement.<>What an honor. 🙂 Speaking of amusement, I offer exhibit A… our very own leader of the free world at the G8 meeting… talking with a full mouth of food saying “these other guys talk to much”. Will the national embarrassment ever end? You have to figure this was when he was at his best… i.e. his G8 A-game. Thank goodness that is all they caught on tape. Man, that was close. Jon Stewart: Hey Condi, you know you have to grind up the ritalin in George’s food or he won’t take it. Pay attention.

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  297. CG is amazingly impervious to information at times. I do in fact think he is incapable of hearing the answer on this one.I think we’ll keep him anyway…just for general amusement.

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  298. C.G.“<>It would mean, for example, that since the definition of marriage is not in the constitution, it can’t be in the domain of state prerogative.<>”I’ve tried to steer you in the past on this issue, but I have failed. The Constitution restricts the federal government to that which it permits it to do. The states are open to be free or a communist hell hole as they see fit. A state, at least under the original Constitution, could dictate any reasonable or ludicrous requirement for marriage, drivers licenses, or whatever, as they saw fit. The Constitution does not restrict, or <>did<> not restrict, what the states did. Read the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall not…” That’s the Federal Congress it is restricting, not the states, not the people. That’s why I keep telling you to implement your wickedness on a state level and you can do it with a clear conscience. That way people who want to participate in that level of governmental intrusion can do so and experience the bliss. And those poor selfish mongrels who want less bliss and reap our just rewards as well, and everybody is happy. For some reason you seem resistant to allow anyone to escape your idea of bureaucratically induced nirvana. This is common on the left. Their socialism doesn’t work on the local level, or the state level, or the national level, and its not going to work on the world level either. At each step, the leftist keep saying: “Well, if we could just get everybody to participate….” Same song, same delusion, different socialist apologists.I hope this helps. 🙂P.R.

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  299. <>Bill of Rights, 10th Amendment:<>The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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  300. Tony and Guy,Let me ask my “rights” question one more time… I think a little more directly.What rights do states have prerogative with, and which ones are off limits?I believe Tony answered that with: “if the constitution doesn’t say states can mess with right x, then THEY CAN NOT”. That makes sense to me. It would mean, for example, that since the definition of marriage is not in the constitution, it can’t be in the domain of state prerogative. But then, what about my original example… driver licenses. They are not mentioned in the Constitution, and yet common sense says each state can come up with different legal driving ages. Our conversation here before lead to the idea that their are fundamental rights and a lessor right {we called legal rights}. That makes sense until you tell me we can’t list what our fundamental rights are… i.e. how can I label a right as fundamental or legal if I can’t list the fundamental ones.Guy, I have bugged Tony forever on this one. I don’t think he has given me a good answer yet… and he thinks I am not capable of hearing the answer. 🙂

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  301. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060718/ap_on_re_as/afghanistan_21" REL="nofollow">Wake up democracy crusaders… not everyone wants it… yet another thing Bush is wrong about<>

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  302. Yoshi,I actually heard some in the Senate did try to block in vitro in the 80’s. I heard that after I posted. CG winning a Okieland Senate seat… that’s a good one. 🙂 Hint: they like Coburn and Inhoffe. You’ve heard my rants here… wouldn’t exactly classify me as a red-stater would you? 🙂 They did elect a Democrat governor over Steve Largent… I’m still scratching my head over that one.btw… quit slandering Don Knotts like that.

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