transit of mercury

A rare astronomical event is coming your way on November 8th: the transit of Mercury. Observers will see a small black disk “transiting” the face of the Sun as the planet Mercury comes between Earth and Sol in such a way for it to be visible here in North America. Happily, my Son’s telescope and I will be at his school for some hands-on education during the transit. Nothing edifies an old Curmudgeon like spending an afternoon with a class of seven year olds.

Unfortunately, I will be in need of edification on this day after our national apostasy.

Apostasy will be exactly the right word in the eyes of Republicans as they witness American voters turning away from the true faith of conservatism. “Revival” will probably seem more fitting if you are a Democrat.

You see, one jihadist’s sanctification is another’s abomination in American political theology.

But the apostasy to which I refer is the anti-democratic election process we engage in under the guise of republican democracy. Vote for anyone you want, damn near everyone tells me, so long as they are a Republican or Democrat. Republicans seem uncannily certain that Democrats are going to Hell and Democrats share the same heartfelt moral contempt for the GOP. Both would agree on the fate of those that disparage the two-party system: there is a special level of Hell just for us.

I shall not, however, be dissuaded from regaling you with my disenfranchised observations while I await my fate in the hereafter. And given that we are getting down to election time, I will hazard a few prognostications and some prospective aftermath analysis.

I am not in rare company when I predict the GOP’s ouster from power on November 7th. Depending on who you choose to listen to, 350 to 390 seats in the House of Representative are considered “safe”. Decades of rapacious Gerrymandering have reduced things to where as few as twenty seats out of 435 are considered serious contests. But the current margin of GOP House control is so thin that the balance of power may still swing on those twenty or so Congressional districts.

As luck would have it for the Democrats this time around, the Democratic seats up this election tend to be the safer seats and the Republican seats less so. A six seat shift will be required for control of the Senate to go blue and something like ten of the thirty-three seats are considered seriously contested. My sense is the national rage against the war in Iraq is going to deliver the Senate chamber keys to party of Jefferson though by a narrower margin than in the House.

Analyzing congressional elections through the lens of national issues has historically lacked utility, but Tip O’Neil’s admonition that all politics is local seems quaint to me now. Certainly there are still times and specific races where local factors are more important than national ones, but in recent years there have been more Congressional elections that were national in character than not. In the wake of 9-11 and the Iraq Occupation, national issues are at the forefront as seldom before.

It was the national focus that brought out the Moral Majority in record numbers two years ago to thwart the putative leftist attack on families. In spite of this incredible energy generated in the right-wing base last election, the result was an even thinner margin of control in Congress as war weariness was already beginning to set in. This election, there is no lightening-rod issue at the forefront to energize the right, but for the left it will be the body count. It doesn’t take an astrophysicist to grasp the polling data. The GOP base has cooled off and the Democrats sense their opportunity.

And I’m talking now about 2008.

You see, this election is 1966 all over again. In 1966 mid-term elections, the GOP made big gains in Congress in what was an easily recognizable harbinger of the 1968 GOP Presidential campaign success. Wars that lose their purpose inevitably have bigger effects than jokes about “Mission Accomplished” banners. While it would be a mistake to push the 1966 to 2006 analogy too far, the same voter nerves have been rubbed raw and the result will be a changing of the guard.

The good news is that I can look forward to enjoying two years of return to glorious dead-lock. You remember what that was like do you not? Stalemate with the Executive and Legislative branches in the hands of different parties was a (relatively) beautiful thing. It was more beautiful than I even realized back then. Extremist agendas, be they from the left or right, while often noisy, in retrospect they did not get nearly as much traction.

The bad news is that the 1966 election was followed by 1968 just as surely as 2006 will be followed by 2008. As was the case back then, the body bags will continue to accumulate and voters will be looking for change.

Leave it to Shurb to screw up the opportunity for a golden age of glorious stalemate: the GOP has botched things so severely that we are about to find the government entirely in the hands of the Democrats in two years.

Even this I would calculate to be good news for me personally: cynical punditry should be at its zenith. Surely I’ll soon be picked up by a national syndicator because opportunities like his only happen once in a life time. If you think the Arkansas mafia was fun the first time, just wait till they apply the lessons learned at the knee of Rove and company. Can you imagine the excitement in their camp? Now their elitist ways are legal thanks to the GOP.

Whether we like it or not, we should start practicing our salutations now because “Madame President” does not yet flow readily from the tongue.

Yes indeed, I’m looking forward to November 8th and my time with the seven and eight-year olds. Thanks to the kids, I will have less time to contemplate the rigor-mortis that will then be setting in on those experiencing sudden political death. It will get my mind off of the tragic American political mess and on bigger things. On youngsters who offer hope rather than adults who sold theirs to the highest bidder. On the inevitable triumph of Good.

Perhaps it is no accident that Mercury is making his show on the heels of the day of death and apostasy. One of Mercury’s lesser celebrated services to man was to act as an escort to see the newly dead from Earth to the Underworld. Depending on whether you root for Team Blue team or Team Red, you may have differing opinions on whether the departed Titans should properly be escorted to the Elysian Fields.

Me?

My bet is down on justice: a speedy transit to Tartarus.

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236 thoughts on “transit of mercury”

  1. Dupety-duptey-do. Hey everybody, posting has ceased. Yup, life goes on. It’s been a mixed Spring in Ricardo’s household. I found a video worth watching. It’s called <>< HREF="http://www.archive.org/details/The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle_Documentary" REL="nofollow">The Great Global Warming Swindle (2007)<><>. It was < HREF="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4340135300469846467&hl=en" REL="nofollow">banned<> from the politically correct Google (that always celebrates secular holidays with its logo over the search box) video where it had moved up to the 16th position of their top 100 videos when I discovered it. It would be food for thought for both Yoshitownsend and Common Good, as it not only covers the Global Warming political aspect as well as the political movement’s effect on the poor.

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  2. It just amazes me that there is so much hipe about the Dem candidates, and not one of them amounts to the integrity that our current President has in his tiny finger. Just amazing

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  3. TED TURNER: Global Warming is ‘single greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced’…BWAHAHHAHAHHAA!!!< HREF="http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_020607_news_taylor_title.59f5d04a.html" REL="nofollow">Governor Plans To Fire Oregon Climatologist for Skeptical View of Warming…<>Yup! It’s not politics, It’s science. Why else would a politician want to fire a scientist for his scientific conclusions? You gotta spew the party line or you’re out of here.< HREF="http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/02/05/D8N3RVOO0.html" REL="nofollow">Below-Zero Temps Close Schools…<>< HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/04/wbears04.xml" REL="nofollow">Iceland Bucks Global Warming Trend – Increasing Ice…<>< HREF="http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070204/D8N2UEU80.html" REL="nofollow">Harsh Cold Expected to Linger in Midwest<>

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  4. C.G.,“<>He is deep in the middle of the 30 year conservative movement dedicated to getting rid of anything new deal.<>” Or anything conservative. He’s a Democrat C.G. He has abandoned his base. He welcomed the Democrat controlled congress. One might say he even longed for it.“<>Well… Bush hasn’t been part of that 30 year effort for the entire time… there were the cocaine years.<>”Was he hanging out with Barack Hussain Obama? He’s admitted using coke himself. Maybe the druggies will oust the druggies. Speaking of new blood, How about that Pelosi? Wants her own < HREF="http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20070207-123706-5963r.htm" REL="nofollow">taxpayer paid for Jets<>, tuna-gate, and all. Quite the jewel of character the Democrats elected as the best they have to offer as House Majority Leader. Out with the old corruption, in with the new….And you wonder why I loath to give our healthcare system over to the government?I like visuals. They can lie, but they can also better explain one item relative to another. Take a look at this older video entitled <>Immigration by the Numbers<> ( < HREF="http://video.google.com/url?vidurl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2Fvideoplay%3Fdocid%3D4094926727128068265%26q%3DImmigration%2Bby%2Bthe%2Bnumbers%26hl%3Den&docid=4094926727128068265&ev=v&esrc=sr1&usg=AL29H2046pzTnaZPve5Wt4DFEotRBDQwpQ" REL="nofollow">here<> ).Prof. Ricardo

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  5. Randy P,I’m saying that is not even close to an adequate goal for the peril we face being dependent on the middle east oil. I mean, what’s the difference between being 60% dependent or 40% dependent? The goal should be we can tell the entire middle east to go kill each other if that is their desire.. because we don’t need their oil anymore. Maybe we could do that in 10 years… maybe not… but shooting for 20% is a waste of State of the Union airtime.

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  6. You just can’t make this stuff up. Our very own leader of the free world, with access to all of the best consultants the richest nation in the world can buy… comes up with his “moon shot” which is to cut our gasoline usage by 20% in 10 years. Be very afraid… very afraid. I guess this would be an analogy of that enlightened plan…A neighborhood starts having one child after the other bitten by rattlesnakes. The parents get together to consider what they should do, and come up with the plan that they should attempt to cut down on the rattlesnake population by 20% in 10 years. Holy sh*t…. very, very afraid.

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  7. Randy P,That wasn’t a reaction… it was a prediction (i.e. before the speech).Bush definitely never means any remarks (lies) he comes up with on health care and safety-nets. He is deep in the middle of the 30 year conservative movement dedicated to getting rid of anything new deal. Well… Bush hasn’t been part of that 30 year effort for the entire time… there were the cocaine years. But he and Cheney are just Grover Norquist with some calibrated lies and better suits.

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  8. < HREF="http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/23/bush.sotu/index.html" REL="nofollow">Time again for Bush’s one day out of the year lying about energy and healthcare… I have to figure the GOP always feels dirty tonight.<>

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  9. <>“The Weather Channel” Mess<>January 18, 2007, 5:45 pm | James SpannWell, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them. Here are the basic facts you need to know:*Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at “The Weather Channel” probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab…< HREF="http://www.jamesspann.com/wordpress/?p=650" REL="nofollow">Link<>

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  10. “Iran would be tickled silly if we did this for another 20 years… it’s a PR bonanza for them.”The real bonanza for Iran, and all the other nut jobs out there that think terrorism can accomplish their ultimate goal, which would be to get as many conssesions from “westerners” as possible to back them into a corner and then remove them from the face of the earth, would be to disengage and prove to them that their little stunts are working, build them up into some sort of frenzy and reinforce their goal to wipe us out. Even if you think it impossible to consider such an extremist outlook, even the attempt would be devastating to the “common good” of the public. Even you can see that logic and reality.“So ask yourself… what changes the dynamics to make this circus come together and make a deal? The correct answer is probably NOTHING”I agree, the correct answer is nothing. I agree that someone with so intelligence should have figured it out prior to entering the conflict. That did not happen, now the answer is to figure out what will work. Again disengaging is a sure way to allow not only the civil war to turn out full scale, but it will also give them a reason to believe that their small scale terrorist action will ultimatly win the world Islamic dominance for them, we are all that is left to stand up and take them down.“Iraqi’s owed the US a debt of gratitude”Well if this gets pulled off correctly, and that “mother” can pull off enough sympathy to get the majority of Iraqis to realize that unless they pull together they will be run over by the same type of regime that we pushed out, we will be owed a debt of gratitude. I do not disagree with Nuttjob’s assessment that we do need to re-evaluate what role our military is playing, pulling back a dimension to more secure and secluded bases is not a bad idea. Putting more effort into taking down nut-job militias, and secure bases to train Iraq police would not only be safer for us.

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  11. Randy P,“That being said, disengagement is not the answer”If you read the article… and if you read Thomas Friedman, the argument is “you won’t get engagement from those that matter until they see and fear the disengagement”. Iran would be tickled silly if we did this for another 20 years… it’s a PR bonanza for them. The Kurds really prefer 100% independence… and want to control the Kirkuk oil fields, but they recognize that as a risky overreach. For now… being the Taiwan of the middle east (for all practical purposes, independent… but minus the nation title to go with it). The Sunni’s think they can whip the Shiite’s in a civil war, but not 100% sure. The Shiite’s think they can whip the Sunni’s in a civil war… but not 100% sure. Also… Maliki (and everyone) would pay a very heavy price to do that without the US. Saudi should be able to help politically with the Sunni… but as usual, the oil barons sitting on the sand dunes of oil are missing in action (should be, because they fear their pyramid scheme of skimming the oil profits off the top for royal yachts could come to an end). So ask yourself… what changes the dynamics to make this circus come together and make a deal? The correct answer is probably NOTHING… which is the same answer someone should have figured out before the war. However… if you are still part of the dreamer crowd who thinks this can turn out “ok”… then the answer seems a clear statement “hey Mr-kill-that-other-guy-because-his-Islamic-tree-branches-the-wrong-way-for-the-last-1000-years… we are about to be out of here… maybe you should chat and decide if a full scale civil war is in your interest). btw… Nutwakk proposed desert bases outside of the cities… where we could bomb the crap out of border excursions and “massing of bodies”. That’s Nutwakk’s main point… we win every conceivable battle where the enemy forms groups (like a standing army… or advancing Taliban dudes in trucks). However, the onesy-twosy suicide bomber, sniper-and-move, IEDs… and our $billions-of-dollars military means little. Maybe… we should just quit asking our kids to drive over those road bombs.btw… did anyone see the president on 60 Minutes claim the Iraqi’s owed the US a debt of gratitude? Would that be the mother who just watched her husband and sons dragged out to the street and shot, followed by the sexual assault? Is the demographic that “should be thankful”. My god… we are watching a national train wreck and there is nothing we can do about it. I can almost guarantee this backed-in-a-corner-sociopath-admin is going to figure out a way to start something with Iran before their last two years or up. You can see it in Bush’s and Cheney’s eyes… in their poll-ignoring eyes.

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  12. Before anyone here forgets, I am against what was started in the Iraqdom. It was an ill-conceived plan that was destined to “look” bad to the American public. That being said, disengagement is not the answer, nor is the status-quo Vietnam style occupation going to work. A systematic medium smack dab in the middle is the road to take.

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  13. Randy P,I figured a “Nutwakk” comment was coming (I know nothing about the author other than what I read on Wikipedia and heard on C-Span), although I thought that would be Prof. I gave it some thought to post it without referencing the author… and just let the arguments stand on there own. I guess when one (us) is reading something they are not experts in (military strategy)… the source of the advice becomes more important, but this software programmer read that article and comes to the conclusion the only “surge” that should happen is the surge of the boots hitting the Neocon asses that got us into this Fiasco.

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  14. Colin Powell was wrong when he said that if we broke Iraq, we would own the lives, security and aspirations of the millions of Iraqis. He wasn’t wrong morally… because any nation that preemptively attacks another like we did in Iraq becomes morally in debt for those citizen’s security (at least the majority that aren’t out in the street trying to kill Americans). But Powell was wrong if he was implying it would be a possibility for the US to secure a nation of 20 million. I heard the following extrapolation which pretty much puts the entire fools errand in context. If you used the ratio of New York City cops to the city’s population, Baghdad (6 million people) would require a police force of 500,000… IF THEY WERE AT PEACE LIKE NEW YORK CITY. After 911, the US was forced to engage in the Terrorism Chess match. With Afghanistan, we pushed our first pawn forward. With Iraq, we sacrificed our Queen. The Neocons have probably sealed our fate… but I say we keep them away from the chess board from now on even if we are going down.< HREF="http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/0512luttwak.pdf" REL="nofollow">Worth the read… check out the date.<>

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  15. <>Guardsmen overrun at the Border<> 12 NewsJan. 4, 2007 02:44 PM National Guard unit stormed while patroling the border, Border attack raises security concerns A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona’s border with Mexico.According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state’s West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat< HREF="http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/borderstory0104-CR.html" REL="nofollow">Link to story<>Just remember, they are only here to feed their families and do jobs you wont do.

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  16. Common,“<>I bet all of those Shiavo force feeding and force breathing zealots are now ready to pull the plug on our 1 vote margin South Dakota senator. 🙂<>”On the contrary, I hope he recovers quickly. However, if he lingers in asparagus and broccoli land, he may need to be pulled from the drivers seat of his position. Not only are the Republicans salivating at the consequences of a Republican majority and all the Senate committees whose leadership depend on that, but the Democrats (…or food and oxygen withholding zealots 🙂 have incentive to keep an invalid in a position unable to perform their duty, for the exact same reasons. Whatever is decided, it should be done regardless of party consequences and along some nobler rule of law type method, rather than the political “depends on who’s ox is getting gored.” Ok Tony, I’ll put down the crack pipe.

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  17. Prof… didn’t feel a thing… but I bet it’s this rock trying to rid itself of humans. Maybe it’s just had enough of the Decider.btw… I bet all of those Shiavo force feeding and force breathing zealots are now ready to pull the plug on our 1 vote margin South Dakota senator. 🙂

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  18. Funny JokeA woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 4909 minutes west longitude.She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be a Republican.”“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Democrat.”“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it’s my fault.”

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  19. And I do not disagree with your tube sock theory either, except we have to have the CEO salary topout legislation first or greed will inevitable take control and they will still have no insurance, and Mexicans will still not have products bought from them. First things First I always say

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  20. Well we already have a separate number for immigrants, and a totally separate card from INS for them…..living up there in yankee land I have to ask have you ever seen a real live immigrant CG…;-}

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  21. Well I do not disagree with marriage rights in all 50 states. To think that we can arbitrarily let states make that decision without consideration of the other states is ridiculous; as soon as one state has the gay marriage/civil union every other state must recognize it and therefore nullifies the whole DOMA thing anyway. As much as I do not believe in all the lies surrounding the whole gay life style, I am torn between what I know is right and wrong, and what should or should not be in a secular society.And for minimum wage, I say let them eat cake! There is no reason why a state could not determine what the wage rate should be. It should be a collective determination and a states right

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  22. Hey… how about those Dallas Cowboys. I’m becoming a fan… although I will never be a Jerry Jones or Parcells fan. I am a Romo and Barber fan. I haven’t watched much football this year, but it sure looks like Dallas has as good a shot as anyone to win the whole thing.Prof… I read Freakenomoics, and the author points out that things usually come down to incentives… and people acting on incentives. Strict laws and walls are certainly incentives, but hardly a match for a empty stomach… particularly an empty stomach of a child or parent. You suggested that doing things in the interest of “their” home country would be bad for us. I don’t know… if it involved doing anything where they provided jobs in Mexico that could be a win win. I wonder if much of the problem could be fixed just by buying more sh*t from Mexico than from China. Wal-Mart did us no favors by setting up the cheap-sh*t-pipeline from China. I read somewhere, for example, that Wal-Mart could pay $1800 a year more (thing health insurance) per employee by just raising it’s prices a half of cent per dollar… i.e. if we all agreed to buy those $2 tube socks from Wal-mart for $2.01, then all of those thousands of Wal-mart employees could have health insurance. I would pay the extra penny… and even better, I would pay the extra couple of dimes to see our Mexican neighbor get the business instead of China. Incentives Prof. It’s not that your strict daddy lay down the law ideas don’t have incentive aspects… I just think their are larger incentives working against them. But hey… programmers aren’t exactly economists. 🙂

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  23. What are the consequences of allowing illegal aliens the right to vote (a right restricted to citizens)? You don’t think they would favor representatives that favored their homeland over American interests do you? What could be wrong with that?

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  24. “Congress will approve an immigration bill that will grant citizenship rights to most of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. after Democrats take control next month, predict both sides on Capitol Hill.”< HREF="http://www.washtimes.com/national/20061204-122448-1240r.htm" REL="nofollow"> The Washington Times<>Why don’t we grant citizenship rights to all 6 billion people? Who are we to restrict the blessings and riches of such a great nation?Political correctness is devastating this country as is evidenced by the < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53187" REL="nofollow">6 probing Imams<>.

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  25. Randy P,No… I do not think minimum wage should be a state’s right issue. In fairness, in 2006… I don’t think much of anything should be a state’s right issue. I think the need for federalism and nationalism are inversely proportional to the evolution of a society, it’s economic system, and the global economic system. I think federalism and nationalism were a necessity at our founding… I don’t think we would have made it without it. Of course, I would make the case some very bad things happened under the banner of nationalism (taking the land from the native Americans, maybe even the revolutionary war in the first place… I still believe we would have ended up an independent nation without the need for war at a future date). But in 2006… why state rights? Take the example of the minimum wage. We have a national and global economy… the concept of a Texas economy with independent economy decisions (minimum wage) make zero sense to me. Same with gay marriage or gay unions. Either a gay is equal to equal human rights under our constitution, or they are not. So gay marriage should be illegal in 50 states, or legal in 50 states. Of course…. that goes back to Tony’s dead-on post on the subject. If you take the church ceremony out of our human rights… i.e. a marriage is a religious ceremony that has nothing to do with legal rights (i.e. bind legal rights to equal legal unions)… then the debate becomes obvious. If someone is left with the argument that each state should be able to decide who gets hospital visitation rights, or inheritance rights… then the unequal human rights position is there with a spotlight shining on it.

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  26. I guess Google is the one profiting from all of this Curm-stirred entertainment. 🙂I forgot one other thing Prof would probably agree with me on… and that is we should never have law written by the corporations. So we could start with:1) government waste and auditing… with the elephant in the room being our $400 billion a year military.2) constant evolution of best-of-class government service delivery, whether that be private, public or hybrid3) Law writing limited to We the People, no corporation need apply.A couple of terms probably also need a bit of real debate. <>Common good<>: To me the best definition is <>public insurance<>. It’s area the society decide to collectively pool beyond private insurance options. The cons usual demonizing of common good tends to center around “undeserved handouts and wealth distribution” and the creation of the “body slackers”. Of course, there is an element of truth there… anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that much of our society truly depends on individual motivation and personal responsibility, or in the aggregate we would not succeed as a society. However, does that mean one has to draw the line in a 100% non-collective fashion to maintain that personal motivation/responsibility threshold… I hardly think so. Again, I’m either covered from financial ruin from a child with cancer, or I am not. I hardly see how that effects my personal responsibility quotient… but it could aid in the pursuit of happiness. Wow… what if some Con think tank produced a study that proved content people produced more economically. That would just be radical.<>Personal responsibility<>: Listen closely to most con arguments against public safety-nets on the grounds of personal responsibility, and ask yourself this: “Is that really a argument for personal responsibility or for personal self-sufficiency”. I contend those are two separate animals. I am more personally self-sufficient if I deny unemployment payments when I find myself out of work. However, let’s assume I have a wife and kids at home… and for dramatic effect… a kid with serious need of ongoing medical attention. I’m a more personally responsible to deny the unemployment check and deny my kid a trip to the doctor? I don’t think so… and it starts to put the entire discussion of personal responsibility into perspective. I would make the case that as a head of household, you are being personally irresponsible if you are fighting against government safety-nets that you don’t have the means to provide to your family on your own. btw… A wealthy individual can be pretty self-reliant cocky… not so much if you live from paycheck to paycheck (which is most of the human population in the US). <>“The foundational con theory is that selfishness is the fundamental human urge, that the greed arising from it will motivate people to go into business, and that those businesses will then–to maximize their profits–meet all the needs of the people. With all human needs thus being met, there is no need for government, other than perhaps to operate an army and a police department”.<> — Screwed… The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class… Thom Hartman

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  27. Randy P,Where were we? 🙂<>Could we say that immigrants can not vote, that will be left to the next generation, or naturalized citizen<>Why would we say that? If we organize this thing correctly, immigration workers are nothing but upside for this country… i.e. we want them, not to mention the “human rights” thing we preach. I don’t know what the waiting time is now, but I don’t see why a working immigrant paying taxes wouldn’t be eligible to vote in x years. That sounds more like election engineering to me. <>Yes I see where you are coming from, but how is it that much different now? Checking and using SSN’s is all the employer is required to do?<> It would seem to me we need a federal immigrant ID separate from the SSN… i.e. they get the SSN when they become a citizen. It sounded like we agreed on the core of my premise… we need to not treat employers as policeman or immigration officials. I hear all of this rant about “sock it to the employers”… and it’s from the same pro-business people who fight like hell for every tax breaks for business. I don’t know how anyone could not come to the conclusion that bigotry trumped conservative principle in these cons.<>#4, but what you are suggesting will only encourage more wide spread illegal immigration. Just like when Clinton did it before the election in ’96, so he could gain re-election.<> I think the better argument is it encourages our Congress critters to act like they did something when they didn’t fix the problem. In some respect, the problem isn’t fixable until Mexico can employ itself. There is no wall that can fix a dirt poor country sharing a land mass with a wealthy country. In the end, the “if you aren’t strict with them you set a bad example” is a waste of breath, because there is no way in hell the nation of “bring us your huddled masses” is going to physically round up and deport 11+ million human beings. It’s a waste of time that just delays the real debate and policy design that needs to happen.<>What is it about the middle class that requires a safety net<>Well, if you read my previous post, I think the requirements and complexity of citizen safety-nets track the complexity of the times\current economy. Who could argue (other than Prof), that we would need the exact same government economy laws for the 18th century agrarian economy, the same laws for the industrialization economy, and the same laws for the new global labor market and US Finance-based economy (i.e. we don’t manufacture anything anymore, other than… as Jon Stewart said… laughter and cheesecake). If the Congress included CG and the Prof (a horrendous scary thought), and CG was the leader of the majority… this is how I would start with Prof on ecomomic policy. Mr. Honorable Prof, let’s start with a couple of things we both agree with, and save the bloodbath for the last.1) We both agree that the government has done a despicable job auditing itself, highlighting waste, and taking corrective actions. We may even need to join that crazy OK senator Coburn in his Earmark attack mission… but just that part of Coburn. 🙂2) Regarding corrective actions: we will both have to agree that both private and government solutions are on the table. Since Prof fundamentally believes the private sector is the right choice in ALL situations, I will let him present his private solution and case first. I will fully agree that all ties go to the private sector. We both agree we have to advance to more detailed analysis than “the private sector is always better or I want a ton of government services”. Take each one on their own, bring in experts, have the discussion with the public. The ongoing disagreement will always be what should be in the collective common good bucket, and what should not. For example, the majority of the public is pretty sure they want to keep social security as common good, and aren’t interested in privatizing it. They are not as settled on issues like universal healthcare, so this has to remain in the national debate. We should agree that the public needs education on the new globalization world they face in the work force, in order to better decide what is common sense things to include in the common good bucket. In the end, wise choices about common good doesn’t make the citizen weak or less self-responsible… any more than private insurance. If my family is federally covered for the risk of a child with cancer, I’m not exactly going to run out an spawn a kid with cancer. The universal healthcare is a tougher nut to crack, because you could create a situation where someone would say, hey, I will just opt for that free health coverage. I think this will force us into a future of individual asset measurement… not exactly the libertarian wet-dream, but I see no other way. If you set it up correctly, someone isn’t going to opt to be poor just to get that free health coverage. Man… guess I had some built up Curm posting that I didn’t know about.

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  28. Prof,It’s understood that people in this neck of the woods don’t know how to drive on this stuff, because it only happens a couple of days a year. That said, it really is pretty bad this time. It’s not the worse I have seen in Tulsa. The absolute worse is when the sleet hits first, then under the snow a little melting turns it into ice sheets. I think that’s exactly possible this time, because that’s what happened… the sleet fell first. It’s suppose to just peak above the freezing point, so I suspect we may indeed have the skating rink in our future. At least we had two business days for everyone to tear it up, so we will see. <>About giving advice of me giving advice at the Boston Tea Party. Under their thinking, since Christ was the real King, this other English king could not usurp the people’s right “endowed by their Creator.”<>Man… you pulled out the deity debate card. 🙂btw… I most clearly stated I am not for unlimited immigration. We need a comprehensive Globalization-Immigration plan going forward. What is done is done… and no amount of setting-the-wrong-example will change the fact those 11+ million are here, and we let it happen. We need the lecture…not the poor guy trying to feed his family. I would ignore every law on the planet if it meant feeding my family. The reason I merge globalization into this discussion is the core problem with our southern neighbor is a share land mass, but not shared human prosperity. To address the core problem, it’s going to take getting Mexico producing quality jobs there. However, it’s not nearly as simple and clean as your branding them with the “Socialist scarlet letter”. At one point, manufacturing was starting to migrate from the US to Mexico, which should have had the positive impact of our southern neighbors improving income opportunities in their own country. Guess what happened… it turned out China could out-cheap-labor Mexico. Now that is what a call a raise to the bottom… when Mexican workers make too much. Holy shit batman… the bottom of trickle down just went under the slave labor level. Bottom line, IMO, nationalism and border protection won’t get the job done in the inevitable global world we face. I know I always recommend books… but I strongly recommend you read two book… in this order. The World is Flat – Tom FriedmanTake This Job and Shove It – Sen. Byron DorganIt doesn’t matter if you agree with all of what they both have to say… there is no way you can read those two books without some new perspective of what we are up against. Dorgan had a particularly interesting idea about how to deal with our trade deficits going forward. At least it was an idea beyond “stay the course and watch international corporations pad their pockets, pay no US taxes, and rob the middle class”.

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  29. Randy,Hey, you are making me work to copy all of those posts in for a response… one good long post/rant would do. 🙂<>I have a question, what is considered middle class? I believe that the 2004 Dems claim that the top 1% got the most tax relief, if I recall who is in that top 1% I believe that our household income is over the top. So I am confused about the actuall classification of “middle class” cause I feel like I am in the middle, but do not think I actually rank there. So what is it?<>To me, being a proponent of the middle class is more about shared risk and reward across a society, rather than an exact wealth demarcation. I do not accept, for example, the golden oldie “our poor are so much better off that other country’s poor”. If that’s the best argument one can come to the table with to defend the current US wealth distribution, then you come to the table unarmed. I guess you could say I’m for the lifting all boats to whatever high-water mark that might reach, and am most aggressively against the idea of a society which ends up being a wealthy playground of the few. Here are some relevant stats in that regard” (source: Thom Hartman – referencing a Northwestern University Study).Income increase (not inflation adjusted… i.e. inflation ate up more than the top 90% income grew)– top 90th percentile (college grads, white-collar workers, people at the higher end of middle class) -> +34%– 99th percentile -> +87%– 99.9th percentile -> +181%– 99.99th percentile -> +497%99.9th percentile = $1,672,726+ per year99.99th percentile = $6 mil+ per year< HREF="http://zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/gordon-Dew-Becker.pdf" REL="nofollow">Northwestern Study<> Note: I haven’t read the study yet, but plan to. The stats were Thom Hartman quoting stats from that article.

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  30. C.G.,Interesting. You’ve built a self supporting system. Currently the “middle class”, whatever that is, is growing quickly (less foolish consumerism debt issues), the exit out of this “middle class” tends to be people graduating into the wealthy millionaire class that is growing rapidly. You seem to be for people getting better, but not too much better since you rail against “wealth gaps.” You are for unlimited immigration so that the stream of have nots will look disproportionate to the graduating middle class thus creating further “wealth gap”, and therefore the necessity of more of the same policies. Yes, you are for unlimited immigration. When you say in #4 that 11 million trespassing, forging, tax evading law breakers will receive amnesty because laws dealing with “the illegal working to feed your family is hardly a law at all.” Then you have no moral basis to prevent future seekers of “working to feed your family” from entering. That inconsistent treatment would hardly be fair to those who waited patiently. Additionally, because laws and words have meaning, you start setting a legal precedent of not prosecuting “trespassing, forging, and tax evading.” Were I involved in one of those crimes I would seek dismissal of the charge based upon what you would have as current practices and immigration policy.About giving advice of me giving advice at the Boston Tea Party. Under their thinking, since Christ was the real King, this other English king could not usurp the people’s right “endowed by their Creator.” In their minds they were not breaking a law. They were upholding Biblical law by taking action against a usurper. Any action that quells excessive government in a reasonable manner gets a thumbs up for me. And as far as “creating the middle class.” That happened when government was <>restrained<> by the Constitution. As our Constitution was converted from law to a wishy-washy living document, using Marx’s terminology class, or wealth gaps, have emerged. The greatest wealth gaps are in countries with oppressive governments. Only the haves benefit. In free countries all peoples can benefit. Believe it or not, there are wealthy people in Mexico. But with that socialist hell hole of safety nets, the common citizens are fleeing. By population nearly 10% of Mexican citizens are in the U.S. Doesn’t say much for the philosophy of government controlling the economic system does it?P.R.P.S. My bro was driving through your state yesterday. He said the snow was blowing like crazy.

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  31. #5What is it about the middle class that requires a safety net, now do not get me wrong, I agree that a comprehensive program should exist to help people straight out of being laid off to keep their heads above water. This type of program should not support a life style for years, and or supplement the shady dealings of drug dealers which is currently what we have. And we have discussed before that CEO and Board member pay should be tied to median company wages, and gross productivity output. I agree, this will ensure that “minimum wage” salaries will be a thing of the past and the houses can stop arguing about it. Until then I think minimum wage should be a state’s issue, and not the Federal Government, there should be incentives and % of minimum wage and federal funds for welfare support (or something like that).

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  32. #4, but what you are suggesting will only encourage more wide spread illegal immigration. Just like when Clinton did it before the election in ’96, so he could gain re-election.

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  33. I have a question, what is considered middle class? I believe that the 2004 Dems claim that the top 1% got the most tax relief, if I recall who is in that top 1% I believe that our household income is over the top. So I am confused about the actuall classification of “middle class” cause I feel like I am in the middle, but do not think I actually rank there. So what is it?

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  34. Randy P,We are snowed/iced in here in Tulsa. What a mess. My 92 Lexus LS 400 becomes a 2 ton sled in this stuff. I made it home barely yesterday, and grounded myself and my better half today. <>What you bank on is sending buses and boats to countries with poverty stricken people and collecting all of them to live off a welfare system right here in the good ole US of A, the richest nation in the world?<>I wasn’t suggesting across-the-border-busing, at least not this time… but now that you say it, it does make sense. If CG were king, our immigration laws would be similar to the following:1) The government would put the US impact to the middle class from Globalization AND Immigration AND the last several devastating years of Conservatism as pretty much priority #1. Terrorism is a very real threat, but it won’t much matter if the US loses it’s middle class economic engine… and based on current wealth gap trends… we are well on our way.2) Based on sound debate of #1, we should come up with some sort of reasonable projection of the number of immigrants per year we can absorb… and real analysis that would break this down by industry need projections. I do not think an immigrant has equal rights with US citizens, so we would be acting morally if we designated legality by industry. For example, the government could deem immigrant farm workers LEGAL, and even provide federal transportation across the border.3) An Employer should have absolutely NOTHING to do with policing the legal status of workers other than documenting the FEDERAL IMMIGRANT ID (this will have to be a government program) at hiring. The employer\employee relationship has been ill-defined for a long time. An employer should have never been a gatekeeper to employee insurance for example… that has nothing to do with the employer\employee relationship (contract). By the same reasoning, employers should not be policeman or immigration officials. Detecting fraudulent FEDERAL IMMIGRANT ID’s is a government function. We should have common sense documenting at the hiring point, but beyond that, the employer should not be federal police. Therefore, employer fines in this area could be narrowed to those who refuse to document the federal immigrant id at hiring… and in my kingdom, this is where the fines\sentences would become very severe. 4) The stupid (and a waste of time) talk about deporting 11+ million illegal immigrants ends immediately. The necessitous immigrants (legal or otherwise) here to work are immediately deemed innocent. This does not include real criminals (murderers, rapist, etc)… these guys should be treated under the law in an equal fashion. Tony addressed this before… not all laws or equal, and the illegal working to feed your family is hardly a law at all. 5) The immigration issue, and related globalism… are current real-life examples why we will need more (and more efficient) government safety-nets going forward if we are to preserve a middle class… or said another way, preserve democracy. An adults working career will me much different in the 21st century… fewer lifetime jobs, fewer middle class blue collar family sustaining jobs, more career changes, more continued adult education, etc. Current unemployment safety-nets are not going to be even close to sufficient. Government (and when I say government… my first choice will be government as command and control using the private sector… but government only if required) is going to have to design\devise more progressive safety-net in the 21st century, not less. This will span changing our policies from “free trade” to “fair trade”, probably some things the cons (conservatives) will call protectionist, no more decade lapses on minimum wage, and a thorough examination of public company laws. The 400-times-average-worker-pay for CEO’s at public companies needs to cease immediately… that is not the free market at work, that is the good old boy corporate boards at work. That’s a start on this iced in day in Tulsa. 🙂I’ve heard a rumor Tony is working on his next blog\rant. Let the debate continue.

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  35. So CG:What you bank on is sending buses and boats to countries with poverty stricken people and collecting all of them to live off a welfare system right here in the good ole US of A, the richest nation in the world?

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  36. <>What is up with you two, are you in favor of the One World Order or something?<>Nope… I’m just for treating poor people trying to feed their families with a little more respect. I’m for this country being a better host rather than a bunch of greedy bigots… or nationalist bigots. Tony is all over it. It’s been a combination of poor people in need and our governments failure to create rational immigration laws. I find the lecture to poor people trying to feed themselves lacking… and the breaking of bs laws doesn’t make those lectures any more palatable. Can’t you just see Prof standing at the Boston Tea Party docks lecturing those guys about breaking the law. 🙂

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  37. Prof,<>You view the fixed pie. You see it if some have, then others must not have.<>No… actually the opposite. I am using your infinite pie opportunity against you. If a government covers the family that gets wiped out… with all of the negative earning potential of that family’s posterity, my premise is the family and it’s posterity grows more pie. The government is more than made whole from increased future tax revenue from this family and it’s future generations. Yoshi tried to break through your thick skull when he discussed infrastructure investment in our society (roads, legal system, fire and police, SEC, stock exchange, etc.) that makes our economy work. A baseball game can’t happen without the field and the rules… why would our society and it’s economic system be any different. Here is the bottom line of your libertarian position… you would doom the middle class and democracy can’t happen without a thriving middle class. The middle class is a man-made invention. You are the Prof, you should know that in 7000 years of history, the middle class is almost non-existent. The natural state of man is feudalism… it took our founders to create a middle class. When we were an agrarian based society, the government didn’t have to do as much making rules to fuel the middle class. However, what happened when we society and the economy became more complex and migrated from an agrarian society to industrialization… railroads, monopolies and robber barons. The complexities of our society and it’s economic system are not static entities… change is occurring. That’s the WHY of <>progressivism<>, and that’s the WHY of <>living constitutions<>. I realize some <>false<> comfort could be found in absolutes… absolute deity truths, absolute meaning of life, absolute liberty rules, absolute libertarian eat-your-own-kill-capitalism…. but it’s just not reality. Government had to make new middle class rules at the end of the robber baron gilded age which killed the middle class. It’s right there in our own history staring at us. And guess what… we are now in our second gilded age… and globalization and corptocracy is going to make the railroad bastards look like good guys. Prof, the difference between us is you start with old rules and illusions of absolutes, and say accept whatever may come. I start with “what rules are required for a square deal for WE THE PEOPLE (Thanks for that one Teddy)”. A middle class is man-made, and will never be created by Capitalism trickle down without government involvement.

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  38. Prof,<>You view the fixed pie. You see it if some have, then others must not have.<>No… actually the opposite. I am using your infinite pie opportunity against you. If a government covers the family that gets wiped out… with all of the negative earning potential of that family’s posterity, my premise is the family and it’s posterity grows more pie. The government is more than made whole from increased future tax revenue from this family and it’s future generations. Yoshi tried to break through your thick skull when he discussed infrastructure investment in our society (roads, legal system, fire and police, SEC, stock exchange, etc.) that makes our economy work. A baseball game can’t happen without the field and the rules… why would our society and it’s economic system be any different. Here is the bottom line of your libertarian position… you would doom the middle class and democracy can’t happen without a thriving middle class. The middle class is a man-made invention. You are the Prof, you should know that in 7000 years of history, the middle class is almost non-existent. The natural state of man is feudalism… it took our founders to create a middle class. When we were an agrarian based society, the government didn’t have to do as much making rules to fuel the middle class. However, what happened when we society and the economy became more complex and migrated from an agrarian society to industrialization… railroads, monopolies and robber barons. The complexities of our society and it’s economic system are not static entities… change is occurring. That’s the WHY of <>progressivism<>, and that’s the WHY of <>living constitutions<>. I realize some <>false<> comfort could be found in absolutes… absolute deity truths, absolute meaning of life, absolute liberty rules, absolute libertarian eat-your-own-kill-capitalism…. but it’s just not reality. Government had to make new middle class rules at the end of the robber baron gilded age which killed the middle class. It’s right there in our own history staring at us. And guess what… we are now in our second gilded age… and globalization and corptocracy is going to make the railroad bastards look like good guys. Prof, the difference between us is you start with old rules and illusions of absolutes, and say accept whatever may come. I start with “what rules are required for a square deal for WE THE PEOPLE (Thanks for that one Teddy)”. A middle class is man-made, and will never be created by Capitalism trickle down without government involvement.

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  39. Tony:“Do neither of you see any complicity on the part of the US government in the illegal status of the illegal aliens? I mean, they are just seldom enforced laws and we practically leave out a welcome mat.”Yes I do see some compiclatrity, complicannary, coldsoreicity… (whatever that means, quit using big words.) and all I am saying is take the welcome mat off the front porch. I am in favor of having a workforce that is happy with minimum wage. I applaud the efforts of some cities that are trying to curb the comfort level of those that are here illegally. These are all good things.

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  40. What is up with you two, are you in favor of the One World Order or something? It is hard to believe that two intelligent guys like you can not see the writing on the wall. Don’t get me wrong I am not for closing off completely just lets get a handle on what is coming in, and work with Mexican officials about what type of trash is out there. My problem is we are getting into the third phase of immigration and that is not a good thing!

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  41. Prof:No joke about spending time in the slammer. Antother story to follow up the first. I was working in Parker County; my wife was using one of my checks to register for a woman’s gym and had my license to prove we were married. I was leaving the jobsite and was reaching for my seatbelt when I noticed two police officers across the intersection outside their cars and looking straight at me. They motioned me to pull over, failure to wear a seatbelt. I did not have my license. They arrested me for no identification. Now they did not have to actually take me to jail, because of the high-tech systems they use now and my memory, I could give them my DL # and they could pull up my picture from the data base. I would have been in the lock-up had it not been for technology. Go figure. You are right Prof, everybody but the people that try to lead lives that:1. Don’t interfere or conflict with other’s lives2. consider life to be something worth saving3. have a healthy respect for the lawAre protected under the laws that states minorities have “special” rights because they feel they deserve them. Unfortunately this includes law breakers. Ya know this whole illegal search and seizure thing should be re-evaluated too. IMO. Man I am riled up now.

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  42. Where is Yoshi when you need him.< HREF="http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/29/D8LN0P6G1.html" REL="nofollow">Africa Faces Growing Obesity Problem<>“More than one-third of African women and a quarter of African men are estimated to be overweight, and the World Health Organization predicts that will rise to 41 percent and 30 percent respectively in the next 10 years.”I suppose part of that 1% of GNP we’ve obligated to world welfare should go into health clubs like < HREF="http://www.curves.com" REL="nofollow">Curves <> ?

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  43. Tony,“<>Do neither of you see any complicity on the part of the US government in the illegal status of the illegal aliens?<>”Sure. It started with making laws. Then we made it worse by not enforcing them.“<>How can we come down so hard on the illegal aliens when we have been so hypocrytical?<>”By coming down hard, we will cease to be hypocritical. The hypocrisy is having laws and NOT enforcing them. The problem is not in having laws, but the slack enforcement. I do not fault the Illegals for being smart enough to take advantage of slack enforcement. Its like children having parents who say: “Don’t do that Johnny. I said don’t do it. I’ll count to three. Johnny aren’t you listening to me? One. Listen to me, I said one.” This is a parent who is afraid to give a consequence to disobedience. Once the parent gets a spine and monitors and disciplines, the child will experience the pain of the consequence of disobedience PLUS the frustration of the inconsistent enforcement. The answer is not to continue being a bad parent, but to start doing things right. Similarly in immigration, the whole situation is remedied by consistently enforcing the laws. I am not asking for new laws, or some hatred of Hispanics. Just enforce the laws like we did before we became politically correct and ignored law breaking to achieve some social engineering goal.P.R.

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  44. C.G.: “<>What happens to a family when all of it’s savings is wiped out due to huge medical bills?<>” The same thing that happens to a family that has an uninsured house burn down, or a business that goes bankrupt, or a lawsuit that wipes them out. Heck, most folks don’t have any savings, but have high credit card balances, upside down financed autos, and a really nice plasma HDTV. Our old church had a boy that needed a liver transplant. Many hundreds of thousands of dollars. We had fund raisers. You do what you can.“<>Is it possible the kids of that family (perhaps more than one generation) gets economically stunted?<>”No body starts at the same point, nobody progress at the same rate, and no body ends at the same place. And guess what? That’s OK. What I have or don’t have has no bearing on you. As far as I can tell, most young adults start off with nearly nothing. You don’t get issued a fully furnished home when you get married or graduate from high school or college. Are those folks “poor”? Do they have a healthy savings? Of course not. The LEGAL immigrants that arrived here these past 400 years mostly had their savings “wiped out” by just the transportation to get here. Do you think they whined about their kids being “economically stunted?” No, they opened up a shop without a college degree, without a medical safety net and thought they were in heaven. Without a cent to their name they had more hope because of the opportunity in the private sector in the freedoms to work hard and reap the benefits of their ingenuity.“<>Is it possible collectively covering these families when the rare (really not that rare) tradegy occurs makes economic sense… that family and it’s future posterity ecomomic earning post-society-safety-net more than makes up for the investment.<>”You view the fixed pie. You see it if some have, then others must not have. If someone is poor, unless money is given to them they cannot change. Other that contradicting several hundred million examples to the contrary in this country, you’re probably right. 🙂 I wonder, do you have anything of value? Who gave it to you? If you purchased with wealth you earned, are you so elitist that you think everybody else is too stupid to duplicate your efforts? If a family looses everything in a tragedy, including job, do you consider them poor? I consider them as starting back at the starting line like when they first started out on their own.I know it is usual for bleeding hearts to get all lathered up over the poor, but I think you’ve manufactured in your mind some level of wealth that one must have to be happy, and have over burdened yourself with excess lather. 😀P.R.

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  45. Consider this… we are the richest nation in the world (at least for a little longer), and this country spent the last election cycle trying to figure out the best way to hold back\down the poor. I’ve never heard anyone talk about trying to figure out how to be better hosts to these poor people. What about some of this frantic energy to come up with schemes to get these poor to their jobs in the first place. If the employer makes a killing off of their labor, maybe some busing to the job. Or here is a really wild idea… give them that minimum wage that Prof despises. No … Prof… a little bit of safety-net will not make me an inferior person. It will simply make me (and my family) a little more protected in a cruel world. Prof, you are the laissez-faire zealot here. What happens to a family when all of it’s savings is wiped out due to huge medical bills? Is it possible the kids of that family (perhaps more than one generation) gets economically stunted? Is it possible collectively covering these families when the rare (really not that rare) tradegy occurs makes economic sense… that family and it’s future posterity ecomomic earning post-society-safety-net more than makes up for the investment. I bet you treat your cars better than citizens. 🙂

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  46. Prof and Randy,Do neither of you see any complicity on the part of the US government in the illegal status of the illegal aliens? I mean, they are just seldom enforced laws and we practically leave out a welcome mat.How can we come down so hard on the illegal aliens when we have been so hypocrytical?

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  47. C.G.: “<>Driving on our highways will always be a collective risk…<>”Usually minimized by rules and laws. Drive on the right side, read the signs, proper following distance, etc. Laws governing vehicles, passive restraints, emissions, etc. Laws on vehicle manufactures and drivers. Minimizing risk is good. Saves money, saves lives.“<>…you just can’t boil it down to simple personal-responsibility-doctrine.<>”You absolutely can and should. Man is an absolutely agreeable creature to be around when he cares about the outcome of his actions. I realize they are poor, but it is an insult to the poor to think that irresponsibility and criminal behavior is a characteristic of the poor. Irresponsibility and criminal behavior is a characteristic of socialist hell holes that produce vast quantities of poor through safety nets and other forms of taking over a persons responsibility and creating “collective risk.” It is painful that this is a mystery to you. 🙂“<>We are going to have poor people driving-for-food…<>”You mean driving illegally for food. Well, they trespass for food. They forge documents for food. They evade taxes for food. They march with the Mexican flag for food. And the refuse to learn the language for food. How about we ship the food to Mexico and cut down on all the illegal crap going on in our country? A little international welfare. Of course we can’t discriminate. Let’s ship it to the other 228 countries as well.“<>I don’t have time to spell out a government safety-net here beyond private insurance… but let’s just say in my liberal world the uninsured motorist thing would be federally covered in one way or another.<>”Wow. If I could get the Fed to pick up payments for my reckless freeway activity, that would remove higher insurance premium incentive from driving poorly.Randy,I believe in the concept of restitution. It has incredible benefits. The victim gets just compensation for damage done and the perpetrator gets the knowledge that he has righted his wrong, with INCENTIVE to do things correctly in the future. The illegal should have been taken into custody. The local police have been schooled not only in traffic laws, but family violence, hostage negotiations, teddy bears for kiddos, drug identification, etc. Add another two day seminar on how to do INS’s job. ID these bad boys – fingerprints, papers, photo ID, DNA etc. His freedom will involve identifying his employer. Fine the employer and use proceeds for the victim restitution. OR Allow him to continue working and scarf 1/3 of his pay, garnished from the employer(s), to be used for restitution. OR put him to work in prison. Real work. Garnish 80% for restitution. After taxes that should be about right. OR you can reward him for reckless behavior by taxing citizens as “insurance” to pay for his foolish criminal behavior.P.R.

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  48. The middle class is getting hosed. Wake up and smell the coffee. I don’t agree with brother Lou Dobbs on all of his immigration positions, but he is < HREF="http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/11/28/Dobbs.Nov29/index.html" REL="nofollow"> all over it <> when it comes to the modern day robber barons. The middle class is getting bent over… and most don’t even have a clue. They are all going around with their panties in a wad over poor folks from the south and RIGHT values… all the while the bandits are picking their pockets and their future. Tony has been raising the fascism red flag… and I never bought it until it hit me what the power would be for. It’s for one simple understandable reason… only a modern day feudalism can protect the growing wealth of the capital gains class by controlling the middle class demands. If they keep those middle class demands at bay, then they retain their playground of the few. Big problem in their plan however… democracy requires a strong middle class. Hope they figure out how to run this place without democracy. 🙂

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  49. Randy P,<>Why does it have to be about the testicles<>Don’t confuse imagery with the plot. For example, when I say Shrub is an incredible asshole… the plot is “he is the worse president in our history”, and “asshole” is just imagery.Then again, it could just be too much Jon Stewart (which I don’t think is possible).<>Iraq isn’t a civil war… it’s just a faith-based malaise.<>— The Daily ShowOn the other subject… how to deal with poor southern neighbors trying to feed their families BEYOND lock em out and lock em up. This is yet another example of this society’s blinders when it comes to pooling collective risk. Driving on our highways will always be a collective risk… you just can’t boil it down to simple personal-responsibility-doctrine. We are going to have poor people driving-for-food… even those who are doing it illegally… even if we have a massive southern poor neighbor lockup. I don’t have time to spell out a government safety-net here beyond private insurance… but let’s just say in my liberal world the uninsured motorist thing would be federally covered in one way or another. But hey… I’m the same guy who wouldn’t leave the child cancer patient at the mercy of how they did in the parent lottery. < HREF="http://millercenter.virginia.edu/scripps/diglibrary/prezspeeches/roosevelt/fdr_1936_0627.html" REL="nofollow">Conservatism robbed us of the future we would have had… the one FDR started and Reagan plundered with an actor’s smile<><>“Necessitous men are not free men.”<>

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  50. Randy, One hour ago I talked to my brother, a truck driver for a very large retailer, and he said last night one of their drivers had the exact same occurrence. Illegal caused the accident, little or no ID, police officer lets them go. I guess international trespassing, serial traffic law breaking, failure to pilot a vehicle in a safe manner are not worth investigating. I’m sorry you are a victim of stupid border policy. Like other minorities, Illegal’s are a protected group. If that was you are me, we’d have spent the night in the slammer for reckless endangerment or some such charge. Must be nice to get a free pass to drive like an idiot.Can you imagine what the Mexican governments response would be if we drove in a reckless manner with nary an ID on us and a history of offenses? Granted driving reckless in Mexico would take quite the imagination and will power, but I hear it can be done.P.R.

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  51. I guess my feelings about amnesty come along the same lines as Prof’s. It was several years ago, on a warm July day, we were going to visit the sister-in-law and the new nephew in a town south of the metroplex. My wife was driving her fairly-new-to-us Ford Taurus. We began to descend a rather large overpass at merging highways, when the traffic we were merging into slowed significantly. During the merge we heard squealing tires and saw behind us a car spinning wildly out of control. The car looked at first like it would spin right past us, but at the last, most inopportune moment slid into our rear end. The damage to the car was minimal, and under normal circumstances I believe an exchange of information and we would have been on our way. Unfortunately the driver spoke no English, so we felt the dispatch of an officer appropriate under the circumstances. Due to the non-life threatening nature of the situation the officer took about 20 minutes to arrive. Now let me state the limited Spanish that I spoke at the time was enough to calm the driver and convince him to stay for the arrival of the officer, and the driver did the right thing, kudos to him. Upon arrival the officer took our information, spoke to the other driver, to our dismay the other driver had no license, or any legal documentation to his presence in this country. The only documentation this driver had to authenticate his name and address were tickets for, and get this, no driver’s license, no registration and no insurance from two weeks prior. The driver still had no license, registration or insurance. The vehicle was registered, or unregistered as the case may be to another individual, so we had no recourse to collect for our damage. Obvious to us, and the officer also (he stated so) the man driving was an illegal. Due to the small number of personnel involved in the situation the officer stated that INS would not respond to a call for one illegal, and he had no authority to detain the individual. We were left to claim “un-insured” motorist on our insurance and watch helplessly while our rates went up, through no fault of our own.I do not think amnesty will help these conditions, it will only encourage them. That is why I think it is a bad policy. Does that help?

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  52. I do not think we are living in the 17 -1800’s anymore, we can not afford to have a whole sale run on the border. I am not against immigration, and I am not against loosening the time frame to get in (not that I know what that time frame is presently). But some process has to exist in modern day. I am also for a looser worker programs. The cycle of labor has fallen to the Hispanic community. They accept lower wages presently, the unions of North Texas are not what they were 15 years ago and wage depreciation is a reality to keep this economy strong and moving. Soon the Hispanic workers will demand better wages because they deserve them, and they do, but the market will not support this, so what will happen? We will find another ethnic labor pool that will make up the majority of the work force, just like we have today. I could take a couple of stabs at which work force that might be, but y’all probably have a couple idea yourselves. Eventually this work force will come from Middle East countries. It all rolls in cycles, in about another ten years or so the Hispanic workers will wage themselves out of a job. I do not believe that this eliminates the fact that there are tens of millions of people that have entered this country illegally, and I do not think that they should be given a get out of jail free ticket. I do think some of the news stories going around, Mother of naturalized American citizen is going to be deported, that is ridiculous, there should be a process to get her citizenship to stay in the country during the process. Yes that means that every illegal can have a kid here and stay. Our value on family should be one that equates to that yes. I think that people that gain citizenship though should have to take a census every two years in the city of their naturalization, give DNA samples and be in a huge data base, just incase they do something shady. Bottom line, if you give amnesty to illegals, you should just go ahead and pardon teh Enron folks.

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  53. “<>Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/redir/r.asp?http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/ia05_king/col_20060505_bite.html" REL="nofollow">Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa<>. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens. That’s 21,900 since Sept. 11, 2001. “Total U.S. troop deaths in Iraq as of last week were reported at 2,863. Total U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan during the five years of the Afghan campaign are currently at 289, according to the Department of Defense.<>” Article < HREF="http://wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53103" REL="nofollow">here<>. It doesn’t stop there. The article says another 13 Americans are killed each day from drunk illegal agliens. A number of other “benefits” of an open border are listed in the article. Folks, they’re a different culture. Political correctness is fine for those who can’t think, but I really don’t think you want this country adopting the immoral thugs streaming across the border as part of the “melting pot.” If you mix a clean shirt and dirt, the dirt don’t get no cleaner. However, the shirt does get dirtier. Similarly, If folks stream here already breaking our immigration, forgery, and tax laws, does it seem sane to believe they will cower in shame at the thought of drinking and driving, shop lifting, driving without a license, or insurance, or respecting employment laws, trespassing on private property? The Columbine High School murders Clebold and what’s his doodle broke 18 gun laws before they murdered. The Libs wanted more gun laws after that tragedy. Duh? If you are already breaking laws, breaking more is just a matter of degree.If you had lost a loved one to an illegal alien, how would you feel about Bush’s open border? Well, leftist Bush got his Democrat majority to push his open border on us. Now they can commit their crimes, but we loose the option to send them “home” because we have forgiven their international trespassing, forgery, and tax evasion antics. The illegals, not the politicians. Just thought I’d clarify.

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  54. Jeeze… that’s quite the linking instructions. All I heard was: Doubleclick the link while squeezing your right testicle and chanting… poor people deserve it, poor people deserve it, poor people deserve it. 🙂

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  55. HTML glitch above. Right before link “science of global cooling.” which should have been the link. The link is in two parts. The word “here” was the second link. Could have swore I did it correctly. Sry.

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  56. C.G.: “<>Prof… the science on global warming is in.<>”Science used to be observation. Now it plays the tune of educational elites and special interest groups. It used to be that the “science” of psychology found homosexuality, transsexuals, and pedofiles to be deviants and psychologically screwed up. Now it’s a “choice”. Did the science change? Was it wrong before, or wrong now? Evolution is considered science. However, we have only observe variation, not new species creation. We cannot observe what happened in the past, we can only interpret it, and that usually happens through the lense of our worldview. The “evolution” of the scientific age of the earth is fun to watch. The actual age of the earth is only progressing about one year/year, but the “science” of it is progressing about 2 million years per year. The science of global warming comes on the heals of the < HREF="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15391426/site/newsweek" REL="nofollow"/>. Please take the time to read the portion of this summary located < HREF="http://www.apologiaonline.com/conf/ecohyst.pdf" REL="nofollow">here<> that deals with global warming. “<>Environmentalists have a knack for couching their lies in just enough truth so that the uninformed (who are the majority) are convinced.<>”“<>I’m not sure what your (or Sen. Inhoffe’s) vested interest is in the Inconvientent Truth being a hoax, but I will go with science on this one.<>”The question is, Who’s science? 🙂“<>Perhaps you might explore carbon dioxide expressed in parts per million… or how many of the hottest 10 days on record have occured in the last 15 years.<>”See summary above.“<>Give it up… you are just looking goofy. 🙂<>”No, I look goofy for other reasons. Abandon the “uninformed” majority (Lemmings?) and reject the Environmentalists trump card of clapping their hands and squealing “science” when they don’t have anything to go on. It kind of looks goofy.And finally some advice. Don’t invest so much in a failed interpretation of data driven by earth worshipers and enviromentalist whachos that you have to go down with the ship. Save face early and seek truth. The ozone-is-falling chickens won’t look good in another decade or two, and the indigent across the globe will be hurt economically because anti-ozone-is-falling treaties will make basic necessities cost more.

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  57. Never been one to jump on the global warming band wagon. Although I agree that we should come up with better more eco-friendly systems. I think that we do not take the normal weather pattern changes that occur over eons, versus centuries into account.

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  58. Well, present manpower numbers are limited by the armistance with N Korea so we would not be able to man up too much more. We could possible rotate more Marines in and out for short periods of time for “training” exercises. Marines are presently barred from being “stationed” in S Korea due to the armistnace

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  59. I,<>My agreement with Prof was that you proposal (Rangel’s) would not solve any problems if indeed on exists.<>If one indeed exists? As if our non-sharing in the sacrifice of war is NOT a problem?Prof… the science on global warming is in. I’m not sure what your (or Sen. Inhoffe’s) vested interest is in the <>Inconvientent Truth<> being a hoax, but I will go with science on this one. Perhaps you might explore carbon dioxide expressed in parts per million… or how many of the hottest 10 days on record have occured in the last 15 years. Give it up… you are just looking goofy. 🙂I figured you would want to respond to my previous post that the founders were intentionally creating a middle class.

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  60. 2005 saw 28 Hurricanes. 2006 saw 9 named storms, the < HREF="http://www.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBHKNBE0VE.html" REL="nofollow">quietist season in a decade<>. More than half of the record 28 were supposedly the result of global warming heating the Atlantic. Question: Has the earth rapidly cooled in the last year, or are factors other than global warming at work here, AND THEREFORE, claiming the 2005 record number of storms as EVIDENCE of global warming is a tad premature for the “scientific” community?

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  61. “<>I do not agree that the draft would further empower the government to wage war. If that were true, this administration would have done it a long time ago.<>”It is true that this administration jumped on the war bandwagon quickly for Afghanistan and Iraq. But do you not think if they had the draft, then more bodies would be present, and if they had more bodies present, more bodies would be present in So.Korea in response to N.Korea, a military response to Iran’s nuclear push, and in Taiwan in response to China’s reaction to the Taiwan move toward independence? I believe the current “tight” supply of military resources (particularly manpower) has hampered the U.S. war machine.The Draft is a political issue as well as a strategic issue.

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  62. CGMy agreement with Prof was that you proposal (Rangel’s) would not solve any problems if indeed on exists.I do not agree that the draft would further empower the government to wage war. If that were true, this administration would have done it a long time ago.

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  63. I just read something interesting that I would like to run by our resident historians (Curm and Prof).<>The notes from the Constitutional Convention were locked up by Madison for 50 years. This was not because (as many have suggested) the wealthy white men at attendance were setting up rules to perpetuate their wealth (dynastic wealth), BUT RATHER, they locked up the notes because they were going against their own economic class. They were in effect setting the ground rules for the existence of a middle class.<>

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  64. Mr not-so-I,<>Nonsense. Rich and privileged will always figure a way out if they really want to.<>.You realize of course rants here in Curmland aren’t reality-based… it’s just individual wishlists (and man do we wish for different stuff). Just think of it as a very cheap form of therapy.I dinged you with the not-so-I because you seemed to agree with Prof that the draft further empowers the government to use the military as it chooses. If I just missed your dripping sarcasm of disagreement, then I will reinstate your full-I-lawyering-for-the-little-guy status. 🙂

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  65. Happy Thanksgiving. The intellectual wanderings of this blog are audacious to say the least.On the draft, I hesitate to write this but I agree with prof on the draft up to the femmobabble post he lost me there. The draft used to be about the poor now we need it so rich and privileged have to go? Nonsense. Rich and privileged will always figure a way out if they really want to. Hell, in the past some have even signed up for the reserves and not even shown up for duty whil they work on the campaigns of their father’s cronies. I know it sounds crazy but I heard about a guy who did that.

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  66. <>Tony<>: “<>The canine species gets off nearly scott free on shouldering their share of the burden!<>”Don’t overlook the social injustice of arrogant cats getting off Scott free. I think a pride of Persians armored in C-4 behind enemy lines would kill two birds with one stone, sort of.If you’ve got time, or want to make time, I stumbled over some free download videos about creation and old earth vs new earth vs evolution. The download page is < HREF="http://www.drdino.com/downloads.php" REL="nofollow">here<>. Big downloads, long presentation, and extremely interesting “facts.” I particular liked the fourth one <>< HREF="http://drdino.activeforjesus.com/videos/seminar4_300k.wmv" REL="nofollow">Lies in the Textbooks<><>.<>C.G.<>, I do not doubt Mrs. Curm is capable. However, I met my wife in a Karate class 27 years ago. She out ranks me by two belts now. Don’t know what it is about microbiologist and tail whippin, but I wouldn’t mess with ‘em myself.<>Randy P., et al<>,Have a happy Thanksgiving Day! Don’t forget to whom you are thankful and fer what you are thankful.Adios!

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  67. Tony,<>Professional soldiers can generally not trust draftees.<>The one’s they really can’t trust are the $1000-a-day rent-a-soldier sharing their battlefield with their own rules. The draftee problem you talk about must be trivial compared to that. And you are right, no one here was talking about some incompetent implementation of shared sacrifice… and I know your IQ so I know you were just throwing in a red herring. I bet those Iraq soldiers would trust your robust program body to drive one of those trucks. btw… lay off the the pooch draft. Dogs are innocent creatures… a bit different than humans wouldn’t you say. Randy P and Prof obvious don’t know the Curm better half, because they would have to eat that women-are-weaker-than-men statement. There are exceptions, and I bet Mrs. Curm could kick Prof and Randy’s ass at the same time. 🙂

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  68. Prof,You know what irritates me on the social justice front? The canine species gets off nearly scott free on shouldering their share of the burden! Oh sure, there are a few volunteers-we’ve seen the cute pictures with the company mascot. But it is time they pulled their load!Dogs enjoy all of the privileges of living here in the United States. A quarter of the world’s population would do well to eat as well as the average dog does in the United States. It is time they share the burdens with mankind. It is time for Rover to hit the trenches and start living up to the moniker “Man’s Best Friend”.Anything less than a Doggie Draft is simply unfair and immoral.Once my insightful plan is implemented, I have dibs on the GI-Spot doll royalties.

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  69. Anybody with half a brain can understand that there are inherent differences between men and women, and that there are specific purposes for each in society. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, or whatever, nature dictates this very easily. Problem is the majority that occupies our government next year do not between all of them have half a brain. And they are being led by the Femmo herself.

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  70. Tony,And a corollary is women in the military and the reduced thresholds for accomplishment so that women sent to assist in particular tasks can not even lift or do the work. By design, men are stronger and more capable for war. But Femmobabble seeks equality regardless of how ridiculous and dangerous the outcome. Such social equality is fine for discussion for the reality displaced among us, but has a poor record in the history books.

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  71. Its not simply about having the finest military possible per se. I focus more on the flip side. Professional soldiers can generally not trust draftees. There are a lot of exceptions for sure-draftees that took the duty seriously and were capable soldiers. But for the most part, draftees are less reliable soldiers. This has been true since the age of the Phalanx and will continue long after we are departed.I have no trouble with the notion of shared sacrifice. I think that is important too. What I have a problem with is forcing professional military to accept even greater risk because of a bunch of politicians’ notions of social justice. Imagine being that professional soldier for a minute. Not only would we be asking them to risk their lives, but forcing them to suffer much higher risk for a political purpose. Talk about immoral.Now I know that isn’t exactly what anyone here is suggesting, but I think that reality needs to be understood.

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  72. Prof,<>You said Seriously, think about that.<>That was… think about the fact that we would not be in Iraq if we had the draft. That’s the truth, regardless of the William’s drivel. In other words … if you spread the burden of war across society, then that society is not going to back <>optional<> wars. Short of bankrupting the country, discussing costs and efficiencies on this subject is immoral. I mean, is the final justification of the voluntary army and tiny slice of citizens killed and maimed in war … “Hey, it’s not very moral, but man are we saving some money”. Or even weaker… “the government isn’t allowed to violate a citizens rights by demanding they share in the ugliness and cost of war UNLESS that citizen volunteers”. If that’s how we define our human rights in this country, we surely don’t deserve them. Tony defends the voluntary military on the basis of producing the finest military possible. I have no doubt that is true for many of the high-skilled requirements of today’s military, but it certainly isn’t true of the guys driving the trucks in the IED roulette. Heck… they hire non-military contractors for most of that anyway. The ranks are probably filled with blue collar parents out of work in this gangbuster economy the conservatives keep bragging about. Yet another clever twist on the definition of “volunteerism”. Bottom line… we should have real “shared sacrifice”. That doesn’t have to all be on the battlefield… it could be like the link you posted. However, that can’t remain “volunteer-only” or we will remain economic-brilliant-but-morally-bankrupt.

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  73. Prof,That was a good little read on Friedman. An interesting take for sure.I saw a rebroadcast of a Charlie Rose interview with MF. Even though he was getting on in years, the intellectual energy he exhibited was simply amazing. I can only imagine the wheels turning in that head.It is rather sad that you haven’t heard Monetarism discussed much in the wake of his death. His legacy and impact on the Federal Reserve was forgotten before he even died. Ah well, I am sure that Rose is comforted more by the real impact her husband had than she ever would’ve been by the vacuous unknowing accolades of the political class.

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  74. Prof:Was that not the argument of the Vietnam era and the draft. I believe that the draft was ineffective at that time, college just about gave you an automatic out when it came to the wartime draft. Of course “my” draft would be different. No one person would be free. All would serve in my military. Also the article on Friedman was very interesting, and did I follow it correctly, the writer was not really a Friedman “fan” so to speak, but could not debunk his theories, or something like that.

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  75. <>C.G.<>: “<>Let me get this straight… in a discussion about the morality of leaving the burden of war on the backs of a thin slice of our population, one jumps into a dicussion about the economics and capitalism of the military.<>”You got it wrong. You mentioned Obama and Rangel suggesting the Draft. You said <>Seriously, think about that.<> I just happened to mention just one view of the confiscation of labor for military purposes, which, right or wrong, is what it is. Let’s be big boys about this and call it what it is. Randy maybe right that we are justified in doing so. However, that does not negate the economic consequences of doing so.The argument for getting out of the draft was that it disproportionately affected the poor. Now that is the argument for it. Our Founding Fathers did not want to have a standing army. They thought it was dangerous and that the country would start jacking with other countries and getting into wars. Well that would never happen right? 🙂The economics of any use of the public funds or private resources for public good is a legitimate discussion.BTW, last night my son registered online for < HREF="http://www.sss.gov" REL="nofollow"/>. He would like to join the military but would not be accepted because of his hand.<>Tony<>,A quick neat article on < HREF="http://theunknowncandidate.blogspot.com/2006/11/smile-of-reason.html" REL="nofollow">Friedman<>.

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  76. I would not pull Sen Obama(D) out yet, Satan has a forked tongue and will spin this to his favor.CG: I like your idea about the “WAR TAX”. Would this include tax “bumps” when we fire a cruise missile in retaliation like former Pres Clinton did, or should the “fixed” military budget include this cost allotment. Say an allotment of five retaliatory cruise missiles a year. I do believe that whether we are fighting or not mandatory NG or reserve duty should be a must. Not quite sure how we should figure it out, i.e. people going to college do boot camp in the summers or wait and do OCS after graduation, MBA or PHD get to maintain their school status and are thus non-deployable until final graduation or do they have to wait until after the two year requirement is up, and then how long does the in-active reserve play out. Presently there is a ten year commitment, four years active and six years in-active, means you can be called back up if needed. And is this too much to ask from a society that has been handed everything on a silver platter with no price to pay for the freedom they enjoy. And, you find it hard to believe, but most that join do it for a moral reason when they enlist. Some regret it no doubt, but we are talking about a small percentage. I was part of a battalion of over 600 personnel, when we deployed to Saudi, not one requested even hinted at trying to get out of it. Like I told my son, I would be proud if he served, I just want him to understand that serving to get college money is a bad choice, if you enlist in an all volunteer military you have to understand that there may be a price. The determination is whether or not you are willing to make that sacrifice. And yes that includes fighting in what some may consider an unjust war. Let me also say again, that although most may consider me callous about the loss of life and military action, Iraq was not a good idea, I have held the opinion from the vote to authorize force all the way through the first days of the invasion. I am basing my opinion on information that the public had, and not the information that congress had when voting. I do believe however that if we are to make a difference in the world we have to follow through with the bad idea and show tyrants that we may threaten from time to time that when we mean business, we mean business. Stay the course, that is what I say. Stay until the job is finished, and yes that will take ten or more years to accomplish. IMO

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  77. Let me get this straight… in a discussion about the morality of leaving the burden of war on the backs of a thin slice of our population, one jumps into a dicussion about the economics and capitalism of the military. Let’s just put it this way… if your first response to the idea of a draft is an economic one, you are not someone who will ever get what the discussion is about. That said, the Williams argument is about as weak on it’s face as I could imagine. This has nothing to do with $’s. As long as a tiny percentage of our population fights our wars for us… the rest of us are free to go on with little impact to our lives… in fact lives with tax breaks. If you change that tiny percent to a majority of society sharing in the costs of war… (like Rangel said, this doesn’t necessarily mean sharing in war by being in Iraq), then the society is less likely to tolerate the decider doing the kind of deciding he has put on display. I will never relent on this topic. We live immoral lives in the US by allowing this so-called voluntary youth to shoulder the burdens of war for the rest of us. My god… don’t even start with the economic talk… it makes me want to puke. It’s not just the lesson Randy is after for the youth… it’s much more than that. It’s about all of us sharing in the horror of war, rather than being able to package it up into that ugly little thing over there that we can think about every now and then. Here is some no-brainer ideas: 1) A war tax for the duration of the war. Our peacetime military has a fixed cost. As soon as you go to war, you incur costs above that fixed budget. So what is our response to a predicted $1 trillion dollar war…. tax breaks. It barely even dents the “government takes too much of my money” drivel. Perhaps those not getting the bullets flying over their head or playing IED roulette on some Iraq highway should pay the most tax during the war. Yeah, I know… that’s just the government picking your entitled pockets. 2) …. I could go on… but what’s the point. This society has already spoken and they think our voluntary military is a moral choice. Sad… very sad. Our poor kids dying for us is just an obvious function of economics and supply and demand… why discuss it any further.Mr Williams… when the congress critter’s kids and the rich folk’s kids are potential Iraq IED casualties… then you will get the real economic lesson.

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  78. Prof:Mr Williams is a very interesting gentleman, but let’s for just a minute think about this. I think that we would have to start with:If there were a draft, age – 18 to 26, which constitues which portion of the adult community, say 5.3%. Now if we assume that a small portion of the unemployment in this country is with-in this age range, how low could we actually make our unemployment numbers look. 1 maybe 2%. I might be dreaming a little, but if the numbers looked that low, how well off would we be. With a large influx of numbers into the military, there-by requiring more civilians, as Mr. Williams states, to make the materials needed by this military, then we could in essence get our unemployemnt down to under one percent. Win-Win

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  79. Prof:Although I would agree that my “ex” – his mom, is very challenged in this regard. No, not a post teen day care. I am more under the impression that every child should have a taste of not having the freedom that the military maintains for us. An example, there is no telling what Osama’s next move would have been if we had not put him on the run in Afgan. There is no telling what the fate of American Civilians would have been, if we had left Sadam in power and Iraq were the next training ground for terror. Do I think that – in general – kids are spoiled these days, yes. Do I think that every post-teen could use a little discipline, yes. That is why I recommend NG or Reserve. It would be a value for a younger generation to have this type of experience.

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  80. C.G. “<>Obama said it, and now Rangel said it. <>If we had a draft, we would not be in Iraq today<>. <>”This is not logical. The draft confiscates labor at below market prices. If you have all the hammers you want, everything looks like a nail. If you have all the army you want, you would tend to use the military to accomplish your goals. The draft empowers the government with tremendous manpower and hides the cost of war.Consequently, If we had a draft, we’d also be in Iran, Pakistan, N. Korea, Venezuela, & Oklahoma, etc. : )< HREF="http://www.townhall.com/columnists/WalterEWilliams/2004/05/05/reinstating_the_military_draft" REL="nofollow">Further reading<>.Randy P.: “<>Every snot nosed little kid could use a little discipline in their life, my 17 yr old included.<>”So another governmental function is a post-childhood daycare service for the parenting skills challenged among us?

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  81. I think Rep Rangel (D) has a decent idea. I think a lot of these snot nosed kids coming out of school would do good to have a couple of years in military training. I am looking more along the lines of mandatory Reserve or Guard duty. Accomplishes two things.1. Gives everyone a chance to feel what “giving” up a portion of your freedom to help secure others freedom is all about. 2. Every snot nosed little kid could use a little discipline in their life, my 17 yr old included.Little brat thinks he wants to join the NG to get college money. Doesn’t even take the time to pass in his home work now, can’t imagine what he will do in college.

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  82. Saying that Milton Friedman was about “trickle down” economics is like saying that Stephen Hawking is all about black holes.I hate to break it to you but the Monetarism school influenced economics in a very profound way. Whatever political use this thinking has been abused by just doesn’t matter. Friedman’s insights into the money supply were on target. Those that followed his lead…most significantly Jimmy Carter AND Ronald Reagan, saved us from economic ruin.Blow off Friedman if you choose, but that is like ignoring Marx simply because you disagree. He was one of the significant intellectual contributors of the 20th Century and even those who disagreed with him on much would agree with that statement.

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  83. Tony… I have your new blog topic. Defend the voluntary-based US military. < HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061119/pl_nm/usa_politics_draft_dc_1" REL="nofollow">Rangel to offer military draft proposal <> Obama said it, and now Rangel said it. <>If we had a draft, we would not be in Iraq today<>. Seriously, think about that. This society does not share the risk and pain of war. In fact, not only do we not share the pain of a estimated $1 trillion dollar war, but we pass tax breaks for the rest of us… $100,000+ for millionaires. Tony… make that smell ok for me. Prof… yes, I know “trickle down” was invented by politicians. In fact, what was really invented was supply side economics. Tony sent me a link to an article many years ago entitled “The Education of David Stockton”. I kept a bookmark and was going to post it, but it now requires subscription to The Atlantic Online. It was a great read and well worth it if you can Google it and find it. Glad you had a fine day in green country. I had to look up your destination… I can’t say I’ve been there.

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  84. C.G. “<>It sounds like your initial thinking was formed by one of Reagan’s trickle down preachers. I hope you have shed yourself of such bs.<>”Milton Friedman explained the economic laws as born out by historical evidence. “Trickle down” is a political phrase of how to supposedly use economic laws to accomplish political or societal goals. Economic laws do not seek to accomplish goals. The just exist in the universe of rational man.BTW, The wildlife refuge was gorgeous and I took many pictures. We saw deer, longhorns, bison, the gorge, the boulder Rock Rooms, from a distance the “apple and pear”, and even one of the rock arches. The weather was cool and pleasant. A perfect day.

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  85. Tony,Perhaps you didn’t read far enough in the article you linked by Alter. He said what I just said… what I just made the dinner offer over. <>But should Hillary and other experienced candidates jab at Obama’s lack of foreign-policy experience, he would quickly reply that he was right and they were wrong on the critical question of going to war in 2003. (Obama was an early and outspoken critic of the war before being elected to the Senate.)<>Hillary can’t beat Obama. Her only chance would be to make a deal and give him the VP slot. btw… bottom line, I’m not against Hillary because I think she is the daemon you do. I’m not for Hillary because I think presidents should be about us… and it can hardly be about us when she brings such polarization to the table (even if that polarization is because of those suffering from the plague… i.e. conservatism). To be honest, if Bill could run again in 2008 he would win. The reason Hillary can’t beat Obama is the Bill vote won’t carry over to Hillary 100%. I’ve listened to some of the coverage about Milton Friedman over the last couple of days. It sounds like your initial thinking was formed by one of Reagan’s trickle down preachers. I hope you have shed yourself of such bs. If you want to see our society meltdown, just fly that trickle down kite into the upcoming globalization winds… and buy a perimeter fence for your home. I listened to Jim Webb this morning … the VA senator that will replace George Allen. Wow… did VA ever upgrade. He sounded very impressive… and guess what he think his number one priority is to address? The obscene growing wealth gap… the fact that 1% of our country owns 16% of the wealth. The fact that corporate profits are at all-time highs, but middle class incomes are not sharing in the bounty. The fact that globalization is padding the profits of these multinationals, but doing almost nothing for the middle class. Yep… in the middle of everything else including Iraq <>OR<> terrorism, this guy puts screwing the middle class right at the top. If you read the Clinton article you posted, you will see where Bill made the statement this election wasn’t just about Iraq… it was also about a demand that the middle class and the poor start to be attended to again. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana… it wasn’t just about the war. People are waking up (it sure takes them long enough sometimes) to the fact that the moneyed elite will bend you over until the end of time if they can get away with it… and man is it amazing how long they can actually get away with it. They sent Abramoff away to prison the other day, and it sure made this populist smile. It’s a damn shame the Bush, Cheney and Rove aren’t being given cells right next to him.

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  86. Prof,Don’t hold back… you can go with the one finger salute if you must. I know you like me down deep. 🙂 When you show up for that dinner, I will be sitting right next to you… someone needs to keep an eye on you. Tony may have to cut your steak for you… the idea of sharp utensils in your hands worries me.

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  87. Prof, Prof, Prof my friend. If I didn’t know you so well, I would not point this out. But a REAL friend is always there to help.It isn’t possible to visit the state of Confusion. It is just an expression.Let me know if you are hearing voices or anything and I’ll see what I can do.

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  88. CG, I’ll be in your state tomorrow. Its a senior outing for our son’s graduating class. We’re going to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Saturday. I’ll wave to you as we come across the border on Hwy 44, and yes, I’ll use all five fingers. 🙂 Y’all have a great weekend.

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  89. CG said, <>“I’ve become convinced McCain would do anything and say anything to get into the White House. Pretty sad really…”<>Substitute Obama, Hillary, Daniel Ortega or any body else that might get the Democratic nomination, and you have a nice axiom there.

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  90. T-town would be beautiful green country otherwise known as Tulsa.Randy… you are most definitely in, and Spudders is exactly what I was thinking. (If MI was buying, then we could upgrade to Mahogoney’s… although that’s just an upgrade in costs and not quality).This Dem says no to Hillary and the polarizing-merry-go-round. I’m hoping for a progressive with an ounce of humility. That said, I would definitely vote for Hillary over McCain. I’ve become convinced McCain would do anything and say anything to get into the White House. Pretty sad really…

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  91. Prof – I am not saying it’s alays right but I appreciate some emotion and empathy. The non-human alternative is a bit scary. keeps things interesting.“Governing by the emotions of the moment would have had us nuking somebody after 9/11.” or into an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.CG – some other politicos that I cabal with say Biden won’t get it but if a Democrat wins the presidency, he will be the next Secretary of State.Tony – Spudder’s is still in business. I ate there about a year ago. Still pretty good.Randy P – If the Repubs choose Rudy as their candidate, then I will no longer stomach Repubs telling me how true their party is to its ideas. Rudy may be too liberal for some democrats. “Rudy Guiliani has marched in lockstep with liberals on affirmative action, gay rights, gay marriage, gun control, school prayer, tuition tax credits, liberal immigration policies, and he’s reinforced it, time and time again. Just about everytime Rudy opens his mouth, offensive liberal words come pouring out. As Mayor, Rudy put liberals in high-paid city jobs, an indication what a Rudy WH would look like.” See http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/1665819/postsTony – So Democrats of Curmland, I pose the question: Why not Hillary?My hang-up is that she is one of those people that people love to hate. Wanting a Democrat in the WH, I am very concerned that no mater how well she may “poll”, she will be a rallying cry for the repubs and cause them to come out ingreater numbers. This would be very “Rovish.”A less divisive democratic candidate would general support frm the liberal base and the necessary 15% center. Such a victory may also be helped by a Repub base that is disillusioned and stays at home. Of course, a substantial democratic blunder in the next two years would also be a rallying point for both centrists and Repubs. (I give this scenario a 30% chance.) In that case, Ross Perot may make a come back! 😉That’s my own two cents in two seconds to your question. I guess that goes without saying.

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  92. And how come I’m the only one with a stinking avatar?Here are some suggestions for you:< HREF="http://tinyurl.com/ykcx9u" REL="nofollow">CG<>< HREF="http://tinyurl.com/yzftds" REL="nofollow">Prof<>< HREF="http://tinyurl.com/ym2t5d" REL="nofollow">MI<>

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  93. Tony:some what similar to my wife saying “Bless your heart” when I grab both wires coming out of the ceiling fan – before – I turn the breaker off.Thank for clearing it up for me ;}

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  94. Prof:“What if they voted for it before they voted against it? :)”Isn’t the differences between the two votes really that they voted for the war, and then voted not to fund the troops that went to fight in the war they agreed we should start. So from the prefect candidate for the Demz goes, as long as you don’t pay for the equipment to fight the war, you are technically against it, at least from a fiscal point of view and that must be good enough.

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  95. Prof,It is funny you posted that. I logged on to make mention of Friedman to you. He shaped a lot of my early thinking on things.RandyP, I think I was being emotionally empathetic. Hope that helps. 😀

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  96. Oh, BTW, being 100th doesn’t make it so, but I’d definitely call you “special”.WOW when you put it in quotes like that I am not sure how to take it. Are you being empathetic or emotional, cause I think that would be the difference.

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  97. MI: “<>Prof – Yeah, empathy and emotion. You hate to see it in a human being. Another imperfect trait(s) that must be stamped out in our time.<>”An astute jurist should know the difference between <>having<> empathy and emotion, and <>governing<> by your feelings. We have the Constitution and are governed by law. That makes the king and the peasant equal before the law. Much of the railings of the empathetic and emotional are precisely because of their since of injustice by either society or circumstance. Empathy and emotion also drove lynchings. I know of no one who did wrongs who first did not justify the act in their own mind. Everyone thinks they are right. Governing by the emotions of the moment would have had us nuking somebody after 9/11.On a somber note Milton Freidman just passed away at age 94. 😦

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  98. RandyP,Welcome back our long lost friend!T-town would be Tulsa. And I feel confident given your contributions around these parts that CG would be on board for buying you a steak too. If we meet up in T-town and CG cheaps out…you know how commies are…then I’ll buy the steak.

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  99. Let me also say that even though I am very Repub, I was against the war when the vote was going in, and opposed when the invasion occurred. On the flip side of the present day Dems I am not for cutting and running. Shrub got us in, someone needs to get us out correctly. This is not the same situation as Vietnam where cutting and running lost us nothing but face. If we leave a vaccum in that region many civilian lives will go down the tubes.

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  100. Hillary is a special case in every sense of the phrase. Normal rules do not apply.Is Spudder’s still in business? I’d love a steak from there.So Democrats of Curmland, I pose the question: Why not Hillary? (Outside of the war vote.)

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  101. Prof,<>What if they voted for it before they voted against it? 🙂<>No get out of jail\Iraq free on this one. If they voted for it… then they officially became US 2008 presidential-ineligible. If Hillary, McCain, Biden, Edwards, etc. get elected, I owe dinner. 🙂 This should also exclude anyone like Rudy who openly supported it.

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  102. Prof – Yeah, empathy and emotion. You hate to see it in a human being. Another imperfect trait(s) that must be stamped out in our time.CG – No Bush clearly wasn’t ready for primetime but when your a legacy that happens. I think the “truest” thing you said its, what will come up out of the governorships? While senators are always talked about, they rarely make it to the office. I have forgotten the stats that were flashed during the Kerry Campaign but it was pretty dismal. The smart money would be on a governor but who, I am not sure. Bill Ruchardson out of New Mexico is interesting but I have not heard anything about him running.

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  103. I went to a tax seminar the past couple of days. While talking about the numerous energy credits, the speaker told us that Honda is currently producing a Fuel Cell vehicle. Its called the < HREF="http://corporate.honda.com/environment/fuel_cells.aspx?id=fuel_cells_fcx" REL="nofollow">Honda FCX<>. The link describes most of the stats on the car. I’ll add they are building one (1) per month. The cost is $1.5 million per car. There are currently 25 stations in the US, the majority of which are in Calif. $5.60/gallon equivalent. You can lease one for $500/month. It is listed as a zero emission vehicle. The plant that produces the hydrogen cannot boast the same claim.I suppose if we remove the pollution creation from the vehicle (that which we can see and identify) to the fuel generation plant for hydrogen and electric cars (that which we can not see), we can feel good feelings about ourselves and have government mandate a certain percentage of “zero pollution” vehicles from manufacturers.A better law might be to permit lynching in Washington DC for Bureaucrats that govern by feelings….which coincidentally would eliminate about 95% of Democrats and about 30-60% of Republicans. Sorry, I was speaking from my feelings.

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  104. Folks, < HREF="http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/787766.html" REL="nofollow">this<> is not going a good direction. The eschatological implications boggle the mind. In purely rational terms, I think we should all find this unsettling. We could all soon be wishing that our biggest worry were in fact $5/gallon gasoline.

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  105. < HREF="http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/13/061113135607.0h94c19j.html" REL="nofollow">This<> is for all those people (you know who you are) who told me what an idiot I was when (back in 2001-02) I said that Iraq and North Korea were far more worrisome than Iraq.

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  106. <>” I predict that will not be true.” <> Get a grip naiveté breath. The American people let Reagan off because he couldn’t remember. They let Clinton off because of politics. They gave Shrub a pass for years on WMDs even though it was obvious that lie stunk worse than a dead raccoon lying in the sun all election week.The plausible deniability hand works nearly every time it is tried. Perhaps the war supporters are all in, but the American people never call. You, my friend, are the rare exception that will admit they are wrong. And politicians who admit they were wrong have a name: ex-politicians.

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  107. Tony,<>Some Democrats will get off the hook for Iraq because they will say the President lied to them.<>I predict that will not be true. It will be interesting to find out. Of course, part of my prediction is that the Iraq hell will be still raging on in 2008. Perhaps the media will ignore how our US democracy gift to Iraq turned out… and perhaps the public will ignore what we created… but I’m betting not in this case.

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  108. Some Democrats will get off the hook for Iraq because they will say the President lied to them. Or more likely, they will imply they were lied to and tell you that if they had all of the facts they never would have supported the war. This all part of the intricate plan of plausible deniability that all of these despicable lot build before they support anything with even a hint of controversy.Obama seems like a good guy. What a shame he is a Democrat. Biden? Certainly and intelligent and articulate guy. But at the bottom of it all, he is just another partisan hack. A waste of quality DNA. I stand by my Hilary 2008 prediction.

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  109. I,btw… My guess is any candidate that actually voted for the Iraq war will be a dead man\woman walking when it comes to the 2008 election. I would give someone like Biden or Edwards that came out and flat out claimed their vote to be a mistake a slight chance… but I just don’t see how that holds up to someone like Obama who has the vote against the war right there in black and white. McCain is toast because he is on the hook for still defending the idea that going into Iraq was a good idea. He chose a path where he backed Bush 100% on Iraq… and no amount of Rumsfeld-did-this-wrong tap dancing is going to ever erase that fact. Iraq will still be a burning hell in 2008… just picture McCain sticking to his guns that the Iraq war was a good idea. Hillary has exactly the same problem. It would seem like there is a very good chance the winner will be a governor who never had to cast a vote on Iraq… or a Obama or Feingold that actually voted against it. Feingold has opted not to run… so he’s out. Obama is the new rock star… and that’s good enough given the analysis-lite this society practices when it comes to voting. All just my opinion, of course. 🙂

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  110. Tony,<>You are bright young common do-gooder. I have no doubt you will join me in my disillusionment eventually. Frankly, it is my prayer that you don’t take it as hard as I did. Actually, you are probably one of the few people I know who get how hard swallowing that reality pill was for me. I don’t wish that for you and I’m trying to save you from my bitter fate.<>Let me get this straight. After months and months of me painting the cruelty of this rock on this blogsite, you are trying to protect my feelings from discovering our democracy is a bit f***ed up. Truly touching… but dude… back away from the cat hair. 🙂 You are listed on my cellphone under my “Family” grouping. You truly prove everyday you earn that title… because the CG-family are also all a bit <>off<>… or if you prefer… <>special<>.

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  111. Mr I…. I like Biden a lot. I would have no problem with that.I couldn’t agree more about those deserving a dose of humility and their recent serving. I hope the Dems really do operate in a way where it isn’t total payback… but a little will be fun. 🙂 I would be lying if I said I didn’t get immense pleasure out of watching Bush and Tony Snow wake up to a new day.

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  112. Where to begin . . .Tony – I agree with your post on tolerance and sense the same in the general population. I am the first to admit that I am painting with an uncharitable and broad brush against those who allege they speak on behalf of christianity. When I speak in private the charity and empathy many times overwhelms any intolerance.Humilty is a good trait. It seems that it has been dispensed in large doses of late to those most in need in my humble view. I am trying not to commit the sin of gloating.Prof – “self employed and poor”? What are you doing in the blue blood party? They wouldn’t even let you sit at the same table and they certainly have proven themselves less than faithful to your ideology. Get out while you can!!On the subject of double speak, you are late to the party. I know we talked about it before but you need to read some Orwell and Huxley. My word – “paradigm.” I always know the BS is coming when they start with that ten dollar word.CG – I like Obama but he is not ready for prime time. As good as he is, he needs more seasoning. Trust me, he will fold in the long season of a presidential campaign. Joe Biden, President, 2008.

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  113. Jeeze… a lot of stuff bothers Curm. I think it’s the new cat. 🙂<>Which words set y’all off?<>How about a phrase instead:“I’m the DECIDER”. Based on Tueday, a bunch of little deciders decided the big decider couldn’t, or shouldn’t decide.

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  114. I don’t know that any particular words out of context trouble me.When the Attorney General called me a traitor, that bothered me. I hate “Presidents Day” because it so diminishes the importance of Washington and Lincoln. The word “feet” as a measurement bothers me because it reminds me how stupid we are.I hate the word “debate” because it is used for made for television shows with no actual debate. I hate the word “gay” because it has been taken away and we don’t have another word in English that mean happy with exactly that tone and positive connotations.I hate the word “millionaire” because it reminds me of my own wasted potential. And while I’m at it, I’m not fond of the word “failure” either. The term multicultural irritates me because it is always wrapped around an attempt to drive wedges between us rather than actually celebrate our differences.The words “liberal” and “conservative” bother me because they used to mean something, but now they do not, and even if they both still did mean something, I’m not either even though stupid Americans insist that I must be one or the other. I hate the word “Indian” because I’m half Native American myself but I work with a bunch of people from India.There is a start for you Prof.

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  115. Being a tiny sole proprietor I do not directly dialog with upper management who are brain washed in BizSpeak – that important sounding mumbo-jumbo psychobabble of the executives in management around the country. But I do talk to some of the people who have to put up with it. (Glad to be self employed and poor 🙂 When I hear Pres. Bush speak, that psychobabble is what I hear. Important sounding vagaries with either no definition, an imprecise definition, or a changing definition. Sounds like someone caught doing something wrong, trying to BS their way out of the situation. An increasing number of people are doing this. Business, government, and even religions. Its an art to try and describe something in a indirect manner, avoiding the most useful and descriptive words. We don’t use the word “retarded” to describe retarded people. People don’t have handicaps, they have “differences.” People aren’t stupid, neurotic, traumatized, or eccentric – they have “issues.” I’m all for politeness and diplomacy, but this wave of political correctness disguised as such nearly makes me gag. I have a collection of psychobabble words. Which words set y’all off?

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  116. Oh yeah… Obama was a president of the Harvard Law Review. That doesn’t make him qualified for president in a nation of 300 million… but I hardly doubt there is a cavern between Hillary and Obama. 🙂

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  117. <>Tolerance in the sense of an understanding the human condition.<>Beats me how anyone can know that and be against safetynets or a little longer wait in the doctor office so the kids who didn’t win the parent lottery can get checked out by the doc. Heck… I would even sit with Prof in the doc’s lobby and let him talk trickle down if it would get the poor kids into see the doctor without having to go to the emergency room.

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  118. <>Intolerant Christians, isn’t that an oxymoron?<>Each belief system tries to convert others to their way of thinking. Not long ago psychologist though homosexuality was deviant, unhealthy behavior. It was against western social morals & customs. In polite society, and otherwise, it was not “tolerated”. If one were of that persuasion one would seek to be tolerated. Over the past 20 years they have come along way baby.As groups have attained political clout certain buzzwords have become the new trump card. We’ve seen the word <>racist<> come into being in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Jackson and Sharpton are a little too quick with it at times.An uproar of recent years is the word <>intolerance<>. In the original since of the word I am “tolerant” of others beliefs and forms of worship. However, an unwillingness to desire that children in public school to be taught the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered lifestyle as <>normal<> is labeled “intolerant”. This distorted definition of <>intolerance<> I claim. Rather than hypocritically reading that it is a sin and then turning around and permitting it to be given the same moral status as heterosexual monogamous marriage in my culture, I try to be consistent. As a fallen creature I am not perfect, but this makes sense to me. Other examples exist as well.Ditto what Tony just wrote. I jess ain’t so L-E-Quint. All forms of sinful behavior seeks validation. You have less guilt when others agree with you. The fact that certain folks don’t rubber stamp their approval of what others do will always look like “intolerance.”

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  119. MI,As a unabashed Christian, I have to take some umbrage at your Oxymoron comment. Although I suspect you knew that would be my reaction.It is tough expressing myself on this subject because inevitably it results in rather harsh criticism of many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. But on the subject of “tolerance” I feel compelled to speak out.I am not saying anything that the readers here do not know when I remind you that Christ was the first and foremost preacher of tolerance. Tolerance in the sense of an understanding the human condition. Christ further commanded us to be tolerant of others. You know, “turn the other cheek” and all that jazz.Unfortunately, Christianity in America has morphed into something different and often ugly. I have taken Dobson and others to task and I often find the sanctimony of the leaders and the people who follow them obnoxious.As I have said at least a hundred times, how much more would the cause of Christ been advanced had the energy and resources put into fighting gay marriage instead been put into aids outreach and other worthy endeavors? It saddens me greatly that people have been so blinded by their own success that they forget the essentials of what Jesus taught.And I certainly don’t hold myself up as any kind of model. My shame over my own failings is something I prefer to not discuss if that is OK. But I still shake myself and wonder if some people who call themselves my brother in Christ ever listen to their own words. Whether they consider how they might sound to others with any degree of serious introspection. Sadly, I do not think they do.But do not be mistaken, not all Christians are like this. I sense the Christian community is starting to get some of it. I hear more humility of late than in the past. Less political stumping from the pulpit. Less confidence that all of the answers are in hand. I hope it isn’t just my imagination.A final word on tolerance. While I do believe in tolerance of this kind, I do not appreciate those who demand tolerance of the new politically correct variety. I do not care much for those who say that I must totally accept the views of others as equal in validity or truth. I once told someone that was in need of great help that I would always be there to assist them but that they should not ask me to tell them that I thought what they were doing was fine. I will tolerate a great deal in the traditional sense, and very little in the latter.Believe what you want. Think what you want. Do what you want within the limits of an ordered society. Ask me for a hand when you are down. Just don’t ask me to validate your choices: I don’t have that power.

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  120. <>“Prof you are so hard to please.”<>A common characteristic of someone who sticks to his principles in a world of compromise. 🙂<>Finally, I predict:<>(1) & (2) Agreed, (3) Possibly, & (4) I hope not.<>There will not be gridlock and Bush will finally be freed from being held policitally hostage by the far right.Finally, Prof – really – Bush a democrat? Is that what’s its come to?<>Reread your previous statement: <>…Bush will finally be freed from being held policitally hostage by the far right.<> He did a lot of lip service but his heart was not in it. I always voted for somebody else than George until I had to vote against Gore and Kerry. I thought he was a Democrat when he was running the first time….so this is no reaction to recent phenomena.C.G.: <>Hillary won’t be able to beat Obama in 2008.<>You over estimate his delivery of a speech with thinking in his head. Hillary, though objectionable on every front, can run circles around him intellectually. She’s just as fun to listen to as eating soggy bread.Tony,Though politically I am with you, there are real differences in degree of socialism implemented. For instance, when I employed my young children in my business years ago, I wanted to pay them a rate commensurate with there worth and the economic lessons to be learned – probably $3.50-$4.00/hr. The minimum wage was $5.25. As there father I could bump that up with no problem. Another employer would not have been so charitable. The current immediate increase in the minimum wage will not affect 99.99% of Americans. Even burger flipping jobs start at $6.50 these days. If the minimum jumps, the poorest will suffer first. The biggest proponents of the minimum wage over the past century have been labor unions which never have anyone make near the minimum. It helps to eliminate labor competition. This is a real consequence of the current election. Yes the repubs would eventually compromise on principle, but they would have lagged. A matter of degree.Another real effect of the election is potential gun control. Unnecessary and inefficient government harassments will likely be passed. No ban, just unnecessary crap that only helps government control its subjects.Healthcare will come to the forefront. Bush laid a nice red carpet to the Medicare drug entitlement. It is not abortion that will be legal, safe and rare. It will be all medical care. In degree there is a difference. I hope your family is reasonably healthy. That will be an excellent asset going into socialized medicine.

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  121. Hahaha MI…that was good.CG-I’m giving up trying to convince you that there will be no appreciable difference between this regime and the last. You have to follow this stuff hard and heaving for a while before you get it.I was you once upon a time. I was practically in tears in 1980 because I was twenty-five days to young to cast a vote for Reagan. By that time I had been following politics closely for five years. Like you, I thought the GOP had faults, but at least they supported a core agenda of fiscal conservatism and anti-communism that drove most of my political thinking at the time. At least they wouldn’t roll over on important national security issues like the Panama canal or continue pouring huge amounts of money into failed social experiments.I slowly grew less enchanted with the GOP as my thought drifted toward a more personal liberty focused view but I still pulled the lever for the GOP because reigning in the budget seemed so important to me.Then came the Republican revolution. They exposed themselves for the hypocrites they are and things started getting a lot clearer for me. About that time, I read Boorstin’s “The Image” and the pieces started to fit into place. I started carefully looking at what the Democrats said and comparing it to what they did. I learned a bit about campaign finance. I also had some personal life changes that gave me a much greater insight into what was really happening with big business and regulation and thereby learned how the Democrats are just as tightly in bed with big Business as is the GOP. This was a bit of a shock to me but when you bounced what I saw people doing off of things like coffee klatches and white envelopes getting passed around, you figure this stuff out.You are bright young common do-gooder. I have no doubt you will join me in my disillusionment eventually. Frankly, it is my prayer that you don’t take it as hard as I did. Actually, you are probably one of the few people I know who get how hard swallowing that reality pill was for me. I don’t wish that for you and I’m trying to save you from my bitter fate.

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  122. Blah, Blah, Blah. Waa, Waa, Waa. Prof you are so hard to please. By the way, I do put that in the win column. For those of you (mainly me) keeping score I will come up with a tally of wins later.Finally, I predict:(1) The world will not end or stop spinning;(2) Any change will be nominal;(3) People will be generally happier; and finally(4) Christians will become tolerant once again. I am kidding on that last one.I have listened to the pundits on the right predicting gridlock. Yeah, and unified government has gotten so much done in the several years.There will not be gridlock and Bush will finally be freed from being held policitally hostage by the far right.Finally, Prof – really – Bush a democrat? Is that what’s its come to? Lose a little lection and throw the baby out with the bath water. Get off the ledge, you’re going to be OK.

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  123. Well… I’m in too good a mood to let a couple of whining libertarians get me down. No doubt there is a competency problem in DC… but it’s just nuts to keep saying there is no difference between a DeLay and Santorum, and a Fiengold, Biden and Obama. Different as night and day. It’s as different as “me entitled people” and “we are in this together with robust saftey-nets people”. The second group just won. Tony… <>Unfortunately, Rush will fail to follow his thinking down it ultimate path.<>Jeeze… tell me you don’t still listen to that slug. If you following Rush’s thinking you will soon be surrounded by flushing water and turds bouncing off of your head. Prof… Hillary won’t be able to beat Obama in 2008.

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  124. Prof,You said, <>The next two years of bipartisan “compromises” I am sure will be painful to him. Yeah right. And it put enough bad taste in the mouth of true conservatives that milk toast John McCain will be our nominee, a sure loss to Hillary. <> Right on point. These people don’t care a tinker’s damn about the principals they purport to uphold. CG will be singing this same lament in about…oh, I’ll give it five years. It will go like this. In about a year he’ll be saying that the Dems could get it done if they only held the White House. Then when they get that, he’ll somehow blame the GOP for a while. Then it will eventually all fall apart and they will be exposed for the charlatans they are and he’ll moan over the same stuff.Anybody notice that Nancy Pelosi is married to a stock broker? Heh. Yeah, everything will be COMPLETELY different now.

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  125. Don’t know if you heard Scott Wilder today, but he nailed it. The loss on the election is purely at the feet of George Bush.Once again President Bush is <>looking forward<> to working with the Democrats…after all, they won’t hold him to conservative principles and promises. We are 3/4 of the way through Democrat George Bush’s reign. The Democrats have been so stupid with rage because of the “R” after his name that they failed to see he was one of them. Big spender, wants to reward illegal international tresspassers whose first act in America was breaking our laws. He wanted unproven Hariett Meyers, He only mentioned the marriage amendment during elections, he signed the McCain Feingold censor of political speech. He appears to be left of John McCain.<>But then I remember…the GOP had total control for several years here… <>Government education has created a nation seeking to be nursed by big government. Even the “conservative” party is clueless. I cringed hearing the President today. He sounds down right giddy to work with a new congress that expects more from him what he is really wanting to deliver. The next two years of bipartisan “compromises” I am sure will be painful to him. Yeah right. And it put enough bad taste in the mouth of true conservatives that milk toast John McCain will be our nominee, a sure loss to Hillary. C.G., save your money on those ‘08 Hillary signs. It’s a sure shoe in without spending the bucks. Your going to need those bucks to buy the illegal timely healthcare that Hillarycare will create the demand for. Enjoy 1 hour waits, it’ll never be that short again. Just ask the folks in the socialist utopias.

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  126. <>Limbaugh<> on the state of things:<>“Now I’m liberated from having to constantly come in here every day and try to buck up a bunch of people who don’t deserve it, to try to carry the water and make excuses for people who don’t deserve it. I did not want to sit here and participate, willingly, in the victory of the libs, in the victory of the Democrat Party by sabotaging my own. But now with what has happened yesterday and today, it is an entirely liberating thing. If those in our party who are going to carry the day in the future — both in Congress and the administration — are going to choose a different path than what most of us believe, then that’s liberating. I don’t see this with any animosity about anybody, and I don’t mean to make this too personal. ….But it has been difficult sometimes, when these people on our side have not had the guts to stand up for themselves, have not had the guts to explain what they really believe and why they’re doing what they’re doing. When they haven’t had the courage to be who they are, when they haven’t had the courage to be conservatives. It has been a challenge to come in here and look at some of the weaknesses and some of the missed opportunities and try to cover for them and make up for them and make sure that the opportunities are not totally lost. But at some point you have to say, “I’m not them, and I can’t assume the responsibility for their success. It isn’t my job to make them succeed. It isn’t my job to make elected Republicans look good if they can’t do it themselves. It’s not my job to make them understandable and understood if they can’t do it themselves — not in perpetuity, not ad infinitum.” So all I can tell you is I feel a little liberated, and I think this is all going to result in a lot of cleansing in a number of areas.” <> Unfortunately, Rush will fail to follow his thinking down it ultimate path. He will fail to understand that the parties themselves have become the significant political problem in our country. He is no different than most Americans. He is bought into the whole two party thing as something we must live with.What we need to do is attack that and rebuild fresh.

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  127. Prof,That almost makes sense to me. But then I remember…the GOP had total control for several years here and how much progress did they make on abortion?But your point is well taken…they both have fascist tendencies. I just think the GOP program of coopting big business through strategic regulation do be more like National Socialism than the Dem agenda.

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  128. <>We are trading a pack of neo-fascists for a pack of neo-socialists and that is a bad thing?<>Both are fascists.I don’t mean to imply that all roads lead to the womb… 🙂 …but if I am going to have a leader, and the leader is going to be a fascist, then I would rather they not be for slaughtering the unborn. The pro-evolutionary socialist fascist view held by the Democrats is one of unrepentant baby slaughterer supporters.

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  129. So Prof,We are trading a pack of neo-fascists for a pack of neo-socialists and that is a bad thing?Here is the really good news. The system is set up to where nothing important will get implemented. Unless you count further impairments of human rights protections, of course.

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  130. <>Meet the new speaker Pelosi served as leader of socialist-leaning Progressive Caucus<>< HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52844" REL="nofollow">Article here<>.As severe as my previous socialist rant was, it pales in comparison to the truth. Read the short article.

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  131. Common,re: minimum wage increasesWhy is there a limit? Why only go from $5.25 to $7 or $8? Why not $9, $10, $12, $20, $50/hour? What economic law applies after $5.25, but not before? What fairness issues come into play after $8-10/hour that do not apply before?

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  132. The good news is the poltical ads stop.The bad news is the baby killer socialists won over the baby saver slightly less socialists.Don’t have a crystal ball, but I’ll give you some guesses.1 – Glorious gridlock occurs when the house, senate, and executive branch are “owned” by opposing factions. Hopefully nothing will get done.2 – Generally the economy does better under Democrat control, but usually the executive branch and only for a year or two. The economy is already singing along with low unemployment, construction everywhere, and taxes streaming into government at never before seen rates. Government knows what to do with increased tax revenue – expand. But remember, it never contracts.3 – Various Bush tax cuts will sunset at different stages. Some this year, some in ‘08 and some in 2010. <>After<> the tax cuts were implemented, the top 10% paid a greater share of the tax burden. If we remove those tax cuts what do you think that will do to the proportion of tax burden? I gave stats from the IRS to back this up in earlier posts. Also note that under the Bush tax cuts, like under JFK’s cuts, tax revenues increase once we came out of the recession, also aided by the tax cuts. This revenue increase after a tax cut shows we were on the downside of the < HREF="http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/laffercurve.asp" REL="nofollow">Laffer Curve<>. If the tax cuts that increased tax revenue are taken away and we are sent further down the Laffer Curve, what happens to tax revenue? When the cuts sunset, will more money be available for “universal healthcare” and other help-the-disadvantaged programs? When the cuts sunset, will the need to shelter income through legal and illegal means be greater or lesser? You all are big boys and can muse, lend me your wisdom.I’ve been watching cable stations lately on houses being repaired, appraised, & flipped. There are all kinds. One thing I noticed is that if you are in California you have to be stinking rich to be broke. Three bedroom houses that would go for $90,000 here in TX ($75k in OK), run about $500-$800K in CA. How do they do that? Do people flipping burgers make $100k per year? Dude, I’d have to win the lottery to rent an apartment there. I think its HGTV, check it out. I bring this up for a reason. Estate tax will sunset and go back to $1 million exemption. Here in TX if you have $1 million plus, you usually have a family farm, a self employed business owner, or you’ve got some good investments, not boatloads, but you wont be sweating the Social Security check each month. In California if your house is paid for, you’re toast. Sell it baby. Somebody has got to liquidate that puppy when the 46+% estate tax rates hit because you’re rich enough over the course of your life to have paid off a typical 3 bedroom home with a thimble size back yard. Though the Demosocialists won’t identify with dollar figures what the “wealthy” and “rich” buggie-man that is the root of all evil in their worldview, it is apparent that if you own any land (private property buggie-man) or you happened not to spend yourself in to debt hell, but actually saved some money (“the filthy rich”), or you own a going concern that you’ve built up over the years (capitalist pigs), you are the target of death taxes. The socialist point of view is that the greatest and most rightful heir to property is the “State”. The Demosocialists will fight to consume the remnants of property purchased with after-tax dollars of Americans. The diety of State must be paid homage to. And what better sacrifice that the fruit of the bourgeoisie?

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  133. Be afraid.<>Be very afraid.<>My prognostications are coming true and I have predicted Hillary as the next Prez.<>Be very, very afraid.<>I’m planning a trip to hold CG’s trembling hand as he casts that Hillary vote.

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  134. <>Oh yeah, Prof – Where’s your political theory of every thing website on how biblical is the basis for all of our laws?<>1 – I started the website and had a draft of the intro and outline and a boatload of links.2 – I entered a new “school” year and I am more involved in the nuts and bolts of instruction with my children – ie, too busy.3 – I realized the sizeable task of accumulating all that I had with quotes and links and decided that the magnum opus would be just that.4 – I also realized that regardless of what I did and how many hours I devoted to it – it wouldn’t matter to you. Since you are a counselor, you’ve heard of William Blackstone. His definitive work was what our forefathers studied to be counselors themselves. Read chapter 2 of volume 1 of his 4 volume set. Several websites have it in both its original spelling and modernized. Its what the founders were trained in and believed when they wrote the Constitution. I retract my offer to spend boat loads of time devoted to the preparation of this document, knowing it would have little effect. Consider this a mark in your win column if you like. The data is there, the historic documents are there, the founders writing is there. I found it without problem. Yes, there were some who did not believe that way, but the movers and shakers did. Our belief systems and worldview will either permit us to see it or it wont. I consider myself open minded because over the course of my life I have been pro & anti abortion, and pro & anti evolution. However, I am as biased as the next guy.

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  135. < major gloating >Another straight party voter checking in…. and guess 🙂 which way I went. What a great night… I thought those pompus asses on FoxNews were going to break down and cry last night. They distort, but we decide. Bye bye Santorum… don’t let that sermon-on-the-senate-floor door hit you in the ass on the way out. Heck… I would have settled for Santorum and DeLay leaving Washington… now I’m just giddy. If we get to throw George Allen on that pile…. it will be the trivecta. Progressivism isn’t quite dead yet in America. With any luck, the south will be isolated and we can wait a couple more generations for them to catch up.Oh yeah…. Mr. Cheeney…. about those closed meetings with those energy CEOs early in your first term. PAWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! < / major gloating>

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  136. Thought I would check in on election night. I am sure Tony went to bed early because it doesn’t matter or he can’t affect it or something like that.Straight Party Line Voting – Only two choices, I ‘ll let you figure out which way I went.Oh yeah, Prof – Where’s your political theory of every thing website on how biblical is the basis for all of our laws?

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  137. It happened rather simply this AM. I got out my < HREF="http://www.freemarket.org/portal/pdf/2006%20General%20VG-%20Printer%20Friendly%20Version.pdf" REL="nofollow">Free Market Foundation Voter’s Guide<> – it doesn’t tell you how to vote, just what positions they claim to hold – I compared the positions of Dems, Repubs, Ind., & Libertarians, marked my choices and took the guide with me into the booth. Only chose one of the Libertarians. He was a Pro-Baby killer, but so were his opponents. Knowing that the Repub. & Dem. were both socialist in American clothing, I voted for the free marketer that was pro-gun, anti-excess gov’t.Knowing that none of the candidates running in this election or any other agrees with me 100%, and knowing therefore that I must elect some with at least some deviation from my principled positions, I voted for the least deviation from my positions, if only to prevent those with the greatest of deviations from my position from gaining office. I know the Libertarian vote I made will not bring the fruit of his gaining office, but the two parties will know that someone was not with them.There were a couple of write-in votes available, but I was not aware of them and never researched their positions. If they are not organized enough to get on the ballot, then maybe that is evidence enough not to take them seriously. On second thought, such a procrastinating candidate maybe just the answer to reactionary socialism and its effect on government growth. Procrastinating politicians unite….late on the night of the deadline!

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  138. Prof,You said, <>” Don’t pull the party lever. Learn the individuals position and if the free marketers are in the Democrat party then vote for them.” <> That sounds good. If it makes you sleep better at night to think that, then good for you.But the reality is that special interest money controls the two major parties. It is rare they get elected unless they take PAC money, and if they do, they don’t get re-elected unless they do. It sounds good to say you want to take a look at the individuals. In an abstract way, I certainly agree with that.I don’t have a present count, but a book I’ve just read documented the number of CongressCritters that do not take PAC money. I think the number as of a few years ago was 7. That’s right, 7 out of 535 do not take the PAC buy-offs. And what did the 7 have in common?Guesses? Guesses? If you said they were independently wealthy, you go to the head of the class. They are probably your clients Prof, so I’m guessing you know who they are.In my view, the ones with their heads in the sand are the el stupidos that vote for a Democrat or Republican because they represent “change”. That would be funny if not for being so incredibly sad.I detailed out the corruption of the Democrats to CG in private emails a while back. Anybody who thinks voting Democratic is going to clean things up is running a risk of being a victim of the war on drugs: Put down the crack pipes people and step away from the Diebolds. The Democrats brought us some of the better scandals in recent memory.Excuse me folks, I have to go wretch…

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  139. “Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”[James Garfield, “A Century of Congress” published in <>Atlantic<>, July 1877]“On Two Ministers of State: Lump says that Caliban’s of gutter breed, And Caliban says Lump’s a fool indeed, And Caliban and Lump and I are all agreed.” – Hilaire Belloc

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  140. Tony,<>If you are going to choose the one who is the lesser evil, then surely you have to vote independent or third party.<>So far I have voted Libertarian and the Constitutional party. I haven’t found a so called “independent” that didn’t sway towards socialism.<>If the lesser evil works for you (it does not for me) then I’d think you should be pulling the Libertarian lever absent personal knowledge of the individual.<>I think the Constitutional party is basically the libertarian less the pro-abortion, anything goes socially stance.<>Libertarians have a lot more chance of implementing a free market agenda than do the Republicans. The GOP talks about it, but they drink from the mother’s milk of special interests.<>I agree. However, remember, RINO’s can go both ways. Republicans In Name Only are not just liberals, but Libertarians as well. Ron Paul being the most readily recognizable example. Libertarians wanting to actually be taken seriously and have a chance at getting elected, and thus achieving their agenda can masquerade as Republicans. Unfortunately this taints the Libertarian with the filth of the GOP two facedness, but enough of these creatures might influence the party, particularly if they are willing to criticize fellow Repubs for excess spending, gov’t expansion, etc..<>A vote for the GOP is a vote that is calculated to CONDEM the market proponents agenda to failure.<>But a vote for an <>individual<> within the GOP need not. Don’t pull the party lever. Learn the individuals position and if the free marketers are in the Democrat party then vote for them. Actually, the thought of infiltrating either party with rational free marketers is intriguing. Particularly since they, in general, are too big of wussies to stick to a constitutional form of government. Long live wolves in sheepish GOP clothing!!!

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  141. Prof,Hopefully you aren’t accusing me of putting my head in the sand. If you are, let me know and I’ll respond. 😀If you are going to choose the one who is the lesser evil, then surely you have to vote independent or third party. If the lesser evil works for you (it does not for me) then I’d think you should be pulling the Libertarian lever absent personal knowledge of the individual.Libertarians have a lot more chance of implementing a free market agenda than do the Republicans. The GOP talks about it, but they drink from the mother’s milk of special interests. A vote for the GOP is a vote that is calculated to CONDEM the market proponents agenda to failure.Now just copy and paste that paragraph, substitute CG for Prof, Green for Libertarian, Dem for GOP and socialist for market propenents, and you get the idea.There is still time for you to save yourselves. I urge you to cast a vote consistent with your own moral codes. Don’t risk lying awake at nights: eschew the Demopublicans and Republocrats! Make a stand!

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  142. Prof,I was a very happy Zone Alarm customer (although not the free one… had to upgrade once when my PC seemed to be under attack… wasn’t sure if virus or firewall problem, so just stepped up for paid versions). So I paid for the ZoneAlarm firewall… but paid for McAfee virus protection. I didn’t mind the extra costs… but both products seemed to start complaining about the other being around. I had to decide between keeping McAfee virus protection and using their firewall… or the other way around with ZoneAlarm. I made the wrong choice… by a mile… assuming ZoneAlarms virus protection is adequate. I will never purchase McAfee again… but at this point I’m living with it until the next new PC… which shouldn’t be long.

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  143. CG,Try < HREF="http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/trial_zaFamily/trial_zaFamily.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=US&lang=en" REL="nofollow">ZoneAlarm<> free version. Does not seem to slow anything down on my pc.Go to < HREF="http://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?rh1dkyd2" REL="nofollow">this web page<> to check for holes in your firewall.You can get a free antivirus software < HREF="http://www.bitdefender.com/site/Main/view/Download-Free-Products.html" REL="nofollow">here<> too.Obviously free has no bells and whistles. But it didn’t seem to lobotomize my pc like Norton and McAfee did.

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  144. <>I am glad you agree and have decided that because we can’t elect competence that it would be absurd to turn our health care system over to such a band of knuckleheads.<>So I guess our choices on who we turn this over to are either the Shrub’s or the Ken Lay’s who fly them to the inauguration on the corporate airplane. I would rather turn this over to Curm… but he doesn’t have enough money to get invited to the ball… and won’t lube up and bend over to get someone else to foot the bill. Perhaps we have reached a point where the complexity of our society, our economy, and the global implications exceed any realistic chance for a democracy to succeed… or even your miraculous church network. Lou Dobbs (that raging border nazi 🙂 pointed out the other night that we don’t even make our own clothes in this country… we will all be naked if the foreign manufacturers go on strike. Now that is a sobering ugly picture. The terrorist should just start hitting the sweatshops around the world… and then they really would expose the great satan. 🙂 < HREF="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,219737,00.html?sPage=fnc.specialsections/lawcenter" REL="nofollow">Yes, Prof… leave it to the free market and it all works out great…. 🙂<> On top of that, McAfee’s firewall product seems to be able to reduce a cable internet connection to a dial-up connection. Prof… I’m quickly reaching common ground with your connection speed… 😦

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  145. “<>We can’t even elect <>competence<>… good government is totally out of reach…. i.e. a pipe dream.<>”I am glad you agree and have decided that because we can’t elect competence that it would be absurd to turn our health care system over to such a band of knuckleheads. Bravo! I applaud your decision. 🙂

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  146. <>Finally, God held Israel responsible for its leaders, even those unelected blokes called kings. How much more does he hold our nation responsible when we have the power to elect whom ever we please?<>Let me say this about that (Tony will get the inside joke here 🙂If one was basing such judgement solely on the political ads on TV the last several weeks… then we are surely due to be bombed into rubble. It’s like a bunch of children going at each other. You guys with kids would know more… but it’s not a good idea to have kids in charge of much… is it? We can’t even elect <>competence<>… good government is totally out of reach…. i.e. a pipe dream. It looks like they will at least have to share the playground when the House goes Dem.

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  147. “<>So Prof, you we are close enough to Louisiana that you should have an opinion. Who was the lesser evil: Duke or Edwards?<>”Not all races are like that. Given a despicable rascal that is for abortion and a despicable rascal that is against abortion, I prefer the latter. Ditto border security, save the snail darter, or whatever floats your boat. Not all elections show a clear better choice. Many do. Because those controlling the parties are on the take and the propensity for scoundrels to congregate on the ballot, does not make burying one’s head in the sand an equivalent responsible option for the concerned citizenry.You can make an equivalent <>statement<> on the two party system by burning a donkey and an elephant caricature on election day. But to <>do<> something constructive rather than just make a statement, find out which politician, were he to do what he said he would, would cause the greatest harm, then vote fore his opponent. It’s the electoral equivalent of jumping on a grenade….painful and unpleasant, but benefit’s the “common good©.”Finally, God held Israel responsible for its leaders, even those unelected blokes called kings. How much more does he hold our nation responsible when we have the power to elect whom ever we please?

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  148. Prof calling for unrepentant immorality. Never thought I’d see the day.So Prof, you we are close enough to Louisianna that you should have an opinion. Who was the lesser evil: Duke or Edwards?And I have to flat disagree. I have volunteered to be President many times. Nobody seems to take me seriously though. I think if it truly were a lesser evil kind of thing, I’d be a shoe-in.

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  149. “<>… the entire GOP appears to be gay.<>”Then they are a protected group off limits to criticism….funny thing for a party that preaches a traditional definition of marriage…and a particular waste of a tall slim blonde.

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  150. I bet Ann Coulter is a rug muncher… the entire GOP appears to be gay. 🙂 I wonder if during all of those Monday phone calls to the White House working on those right values and protecting the sanctity of marriage this < HREF="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2627142" REL="nofollow">guy <> was being serviced by his gay prostitute/meth supplier. I keep hearing that if we pull out of Iraq, then the terrorists will take over Iraq. Someone will have to tell me how Al Qaeda is going to take over the Shiites, which also basically means taking over Iran. It’s a load of crap and the lemmings keep backing up the truck. Iraq will be taken over by another Saddam-type-strongman, but this time it will be a Shiite selected by Iran. Will that be better than having Saddam in power…. OF COURSE NOT YOU F****** lemmings. <>When Bush tells you to elect the GOP because they are better at protecting you from the terrorists, it’s like someone covering you in shit and then telling you they are best at protecting you from the flies”.<>— Bill Maher

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  151. Given that politicians are self serving reprobates,Given that those who aren’t, by the nature of governing other men, will become self serving reprobates.Given that past independents and third parties have also been self serving reprobates, usually existing somewhere between Democrats and Republicans, and Given that the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon has yet to offer any, much less a roster, of potential candidates for this or any other election…I hereby call on all able bodied citizens to endeavor to persevere in electing the lesser of two self serving blood sucking reprobate politicians of your choice, by immorally casting your vote this Tuesday. 😉

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  152. Just to restate the official position of the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon.Any vote for national office in favor of a Democrat or Republican is immoral.If you care about America, don’t waste your vote on these blood suckers. Vote independent or third party.

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  153. “Of course Americans should vote Democrat,” Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, and infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, told WND. “This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud,” said Jaara, speaking to WND from exile in Ireland, where he was sent as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the church siege. Jaara and others told WND that they believe if the Democrats come into power because of the party’s position on withdrawing from Iraq, that ensures victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance. < HREF="http://wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52775" REL="nofollow">-WND article<>.

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  154. “For those of you keeping score at home, John Kerry has now called members of the U.S. military a) stupid, b) crazy, c) murderers, d) rapists, e) terrorizers of Iraqi women and children. I wonder what he’ll call them tomorrow. Whatever Karl Rove is paying John Kerry to say stupid things, it’s worth every penny.” < HREF="http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52739" REL="nofollow">Ann Coulter<>The < HREF="http://wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52728" REL="nofollow">troops message<> to John Kerry.

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  155. Barack Obama will win the Dem primary… Hillary won’t run. It will come down to Barack and Mitt Romney… and Barack will win. Yes, I hear you saying Barack is a firstterm Senator and not up to being president. The response is… “of course you are right, but after Shrub buried the bar 6ft under… all of us here are qualified to be president”.< HREF="http://obama.senate.gov/about/" REL="nofollow">Next prez<>

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  156. I had no idea that my simple post would still be referenced 25 posts later.I have no great love or love loss of Sen. Clinton, but she deserves as we all do, the dignity and respect due to human life, please no kibbitzing from the galleries.I was just trying to being forth the message that universal coverage with built in “NOW” coverage is on its way as soon as the next Congress takes it oath in January.I was prepared to go on about her politics, but in such a well read crowd I would be wasting space.These elections reflect the declining quality in candidates in the mainstream and I agree that quality candidates for third parties are truly needed. If nothing else to shake up the mainstream.I think I will wait and pray to my superstitions since I am not a TiVO worshipper ;-).Brackenator

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  157. Tony,Well, I don’t know how to measure how big the clean election movement is, but the fact the Arizona governor was elected with public funds seems prettys significant. Arizona has setup a scheme where any politician can pledge to the public funds only, and then they get public funds to match their opponent’s private funds. The funds come from a percentage traffic tickets (can’t you hear Prof now… just because I ran that red light doesn’t mean I want to contribute to public election funds :). The funds also come from voluntary check-off on state tax returns. < HREF="http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/242/index.html" REL="nofollow">PBS NOW episode that covered this<>

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  158. Hey… there are significant movements for publicly funded elections out there that I didn’t know about at… mainly at the state level for now. The Arizona governor was elected with public funds (Google Clean Elections), the California nurse’s association is pushing proposition 89. We will have capitalism owned government until we get federal publicly funded elections.

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  159. CG< HREF="http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/10/19/061019154112.r1ls71oh.html" REL="nofollow">One billion people overweight, 300 million obese worldwide<>How about a gluttony tax? We have a luxury tax on yachts, cars, and gas guzzlers. How about a gluttony tax? And subsidies for oat meal and MiniWheats and high bean content food items? All of this would be for the “common good”, except the freeways would be clogged with people who didn’t die of clogged arteries from Twinkie overload. Must have cost benefit analysis done.BTW, 2 Congressmen on the same page comment trumped my “page meat” comment. Be ashamed. 🙂P.R.

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  160. CG,Another irony I like: the Democrats who supported the war that are now of a different mind when the polling data shifted. Which time exactly were they being principaled?Just wondering.

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  161. more irony:American president (oil industry funded) spreading democracy to Iraq by suggesting that they should nationalize their oil resources… i.e. every Iraqi should feel they have a stake. So is he right in Iraq and wrong at home, or right at home and wrong in Iraq?

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  162. Look here everybody!CG is wagging his finger about how stupid Shrub is! This from the blogizen that think Madame President will solve all our problems.Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe CG is now qualified to be a CongressCritter.

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  163. Irony:President of 300 million giving a speech at a kiddy school demanding high standards.The president’s speaking ability would never pass a test of high standards… i.e. he is high-enough standard to lead the free world, but wouldn’t pass the test for English teachers in that kiddy school he is speaking at. You just can’t write this stuff. Anyone else tiring of being lectured by this guy?

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  164. FT,Kinky is a loon. That is the problem that the 3rd parties have right now. Credible candidates are desperately needed. Even dumbed down Americans can see that Kinky, Perot and Ventura are loons.I will say this: if Kinky Friendman is half as good at being governor as he is at making < HREF="https://www.panthercitycoffee.com/zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=30" REL="nofollow">salsa<>, then he would be a great choice.

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  165. Tony,Well… it seems you could simplify your rant to a vote strike until elections are publicly funded. At first glance, that’s a stand and a movement I could support… and simple enough to pass the US soundbite attention span test. WE AIN’T VOTING AGAIN UNTIL WE HAVE PUBLICLY FUNDED ELECTIONS. The problem I have… being one of those moral-lacking SPs that O’Reilly preaches about these days is I know full well the conservatives that believe $1 should equal 1 vote would be the ones left voting. I don’t think vote strikes are going to get us very far… unless you can couple that with a negative economic impact (and for the secret police tracking your website, I’m not talking about terrorism). Get your vote strikers to also pledge to boycott Wal-Mart… and you just may have a movement with some teeth.

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  166. CG,I’ve been talking about getting the money out of elections since back when your world revolved around Miller Lite.The Two Parties is all about the money.But what a great analogy that I totally missed. Just like the Mideast can only be fixed by taking away their source of funding, so too the American political system can only be fixed by taking money away from the Demopublican terrorists.How do you do that you might ask? Only one way: quit voting for them.If you give a flying crap about the issues you claim to care about then you need to man up and vote for the Green party.As much as I enjoy my rants about the system, I really do not have that much sympathy for people that vote for these people and then complain about how broken it is. If you want to guarantee that there will be no significant change, vote Demopublican.

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  167. Tony,Truths:Universal Health care is the only moral course for this nation, EVEN IF Hillary supports it.Brack is a great human… Hillary, not so much.You are right about energy independence being our only real defense against middle east spawned terrorism. If only you recognized getting money out of elections is the only real defense against a failed democracy, and not your energetic sidebar two party rant.Federalism was a required reality at our founding… but something that should logically fade away with the progressive march towards equal rights and liberties… i.e. I hear some words of “long arch of the moral universe” in the background… the King 🙂 does live. The Sooners need some extra support… they just lost their running back for the season.Religion is superstition… with the exception of Tivo worship.

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  168. Paul,Welcome to posting here on the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon my very old friend. Hope you will hang around and post some. I think it is fun here.Speaking of libertarianism, I wrote a piece some time ago that might interest you called < HREF="http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/2003/12/why-i-am-no-longer-libertarian.html" REL="nofollow">why i am no longer a libertarian<>. I have been down that road and I too can be candid about my troubled past.On Federalism, I am somewhat more amenable to it than some but in reality the concept of Federalism is as dead as the fourth amendment. And I really do not think turning back the clock is possible at this point. Legally we have set the precedent and given power to Washington without serious deliberation. As sad as it may be, the deed is done. Shred your copy of the Magna Charta too while you are at it. The King lives.

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  169. Olan,You said, <>”[W]hat he SHOULD be doing is prosecuting the war with every tool at our disposal and saying TO HELL with anyone that does not like it.”<>From where I sit, that is exactly how the petulant little twerp got us into this mess to begin with. The only reason you have seen a moderation in what the administration is doing is that the “to-hell-with-you” philosophy has failed miserably and the GOP handlers are demanding a new approach to save their own arses from the political meltdown headed their way.The way cut off the arms supply to the terrorists is by getting our arms around our own strategic energy position. Until we accomplish that then…well let just say an old phrase about the direction of the wind and relieving natural urges comes to mind.As happy as I am that you agreed with me on this one, I am comforted to know we still have plenty of room for disagreement.

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  170. Tony… definitely revival.Olan…<>Sadly, Bush has become another political wimp trying to please everybody all in the name of politics – when what he SHOULD be doing is prosecuting the war with every tool at our disposal and saying TO HELL with anyone that does not like it.<>Please everyone… are you kidding me? Trust me on this, that ain’t working. Brack… regarding Nationalized Health care (better framed as Universal coverage): After spending much time on this debate, it really comes down to two paths:1) protecting current standards and costs (medical, taxes, etc) of health-insurance-have’s by excluding those who can’t afford to purchase it (i.e. avoid dilution of services and possible increased taxes by excluding others). Of course, not really excluding because we will service this excluded class at the emergency room.2) Refusing to exclude others, and building the best health care system we can from there… whether that be nationalized, or some public/private hybrid, or the exact industry we have now but funding the have-nots from a federal tax base. Hillary isn’t near the human that Brack is… but she is right and you are wrong on this one. Humor:It used to be a good thing to get two Congressmen on the same page. — Leno

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  171. As much as I love a good discussion on nihilism I would like to remind you of something our curmudgeon has said. He talked about heading into Tartarus. The first point may be a place of pain and suffering, even lower than Hades in Greek myhtology.But even more ancient is Tartaros, which was the unbounded first existing thing from which light and the cosmos was born.The reason I mention this is that for any real advances to be made, we the people generally have to suffer through administrations and congressional sessions that sour our perspective.The one lasting legacy that I CAN thank Shrub for, is the placement of Chief Justice Roberts. Many other points of his administration will be lost to history for good reason.I have heard the term “madame” president associated with terms as Hildabeast, Hillzilla, Harbinger, Rodham’s the thoughtless, etc.My only point is, if you truly want nationalized healtcare, then get her into the whitehouse. That was her platform as first lady. Believe me she will bring it up again.Brackenator

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  172. A few years ago, a friend helped me to understand the concept of a third political viewpoint, known as “Libertarian”. Their priciples seem to match how I feel about the federal establishment. That said, I agree with what you all state, mostly. The Articles of Confederation state that we are made up of “free and independent states”, and that explains our name. What I don’t like is that Senators and Representatives leave their home states, and arrive in Washington, D.C. only as Democrats and Republicans. Our government of representation is now instead a government of politics. Isn’t that what the Soviet Union did? Have a political party run the country? I’m not saying we are communist, but the congress needs to remember that we are “The United States of America”, not the “United State” of America. I’m from Oklahoma; ya’ll come by and we’ll cook up some BBQ and Fry Bread.On Bush and Iraq: My oldest son spent most of 2005 with an Oklahoma National Guard unit in Balad, Iraq; despite being a Humvee mechanic, he ended up driving trucks in convoys (dangerous) and standing watch in guard towers (with Kevlar, NV goggles and a grenade launcher attached to his rifle), so I am a bit put off with our involvement in general. I know why George went there, aside from wanting to be like his daddy. The world is going to run out of oil. If you look at the middle east as a whole, taking Iraq into our color swatch puts a big lump in the middle of the Arabic-controlled oil regions. However, this will only work if Iraq wants to be our blue chip in the middle of all the red ones. The philosophy might be “we only have to keep control until all the oil is gone, then the middle east becomes as unimportant as it was before the industrial revolution.”Yeah. Right.To close, I invite everyone to watch the state of Colorado this November as they vote on Amendment 44, and show the rest of the country that $1 Billion per year is too mutch to spend putting otherwise normal people in jail.

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  173. Here’s my thoughts on your post, most of which I actually agreed with! 🙂1. I’ve always voted independently, and I always will. I vote for the person and their political positions – not for the party.2. I love gridlock: like you said, it prevents extremists from legalizing their particular brand of insanity. We have enough laws in this country, what we need are sensible laws enforced and idiotic laws removed.3. About the only things I liked about this President Bush were 1) the war on terror and the way it was prosecuted in the first year, and 2) his tax cuts.Sadly, Bush has become another political wimp trying to please everybody all in the name of politics – when what he SHOULD be doing is prosecuting the war with every tool at our disposal and saying TO HELL with anyone that does not like it. He needs to shut down the flow of equipment and terrorists from Iran and Syria; until that happens the war in Iraq will simpy go on and on and on.4. I am against damned near everything else he’s done, including but not limited to his position on: stem cell research, environmental protection, public information (or the falsification thereof), selling out to big business, and immigration.5. And there’s an issue that will galvanize more people than you realize: immigration. Bush is all for a blanket amnesty (by any other name, of course) and has zero interest in truly securing our borders. He’s an open borders freak who refuses to even contemplate the “Attrition Through Enforcement” proposals all over the country and all throughout the House. Nope, Big Business wants cheap labor and the lowering of American wages, so BY GOLLY….open borders it shall be! However, anyone who has actually lived in a town where the illegal population has swollen like a balloon, and has seen the resultant damage to EVERYTHING from schools to medical facillities to the parks to job availability to crime in the streets, knows the horror that is illegal immigration. We MUST elect people that are willing to enforce our current laws, secure our borders, and help to preserve our American culture. Besides the war on Islamo-fascism, illegal immigration is THE hot-button topic. 6. The sad part is even if the Dems win everything in 2008, is there a single one that really, truly understands the threat posed by those primitive, barbaric, diseased vermin in the Middle East? Is there ANYONE that has the balls to do what is necessary to isolate and immolate these terrorists? Who can and will prosecute this war with the single goal of WINNING it? And NOT play “politics as usual” in the meantime? Sadly, I can see NO ONE with the courage and the political will to do what is required to win the war on terror. So I guess we’ll all put up with whatever political clowns win in 2008, and we can hope that the next 911 doesn’t actually hit near OUR home.

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