Monday, September 03, 2007

On Labor Day Bush Runs Away

DENNIS KUCINICH will be our guest on BASHAM AND CORNELL PROGRESSIVE TALK on September 17!

Keith Olbermann gave another of his riveting "Special Comments" on the unconscious person in the White House. George Bush has shamed our nation. He has written a book revising history for his "legacy." Instead of helping the families of the troops who died for his disastrous war, he is bragging about pocketing speaking fees of $50,000 after he leaves office. He is the cause of their deaths, yet he goes to Iraq on our labor day for a photo op. There is a brilliant post at my friend Alicia's blog called "Suicidal Insanity." Last Left B4 Hooterville

As hard as it is to love our enemies, I believe we must pray deeply for George Bush. We must pray to see him guided by the right ideas and principles, instead of fear. Every thing he has done, has been fear-based and disastrous. It's as if he has no moral compass, no conscience and no feelings for others or what they go through. He is playing with toy soldiers.

But there is a spiritual power that is much bigger than Bush or any of us, believe me I know firsthand. When we actually put into practice true prayer (which has nothing to do with the anthropomorphic fear and punishment fundamentalist god of the religious right) THINGS ACTUALLY CHANGE.

This is a universe of laws of harmony. We ourselves must stop our defeatism. Refuse to allow any thought of Bush starting war with Iran into your consciousness. We ourselves cannot be fearful. Bush cannot have that much power. We will not allow him to start war with Iran. I for one, am seeing him as waking up. If he has even a glimmer of the true "Christ" within, he will know he has been ruled by fear. Love casts out fear.

We have to stop saying "Bush is going to attack Iran" as if it's a done deal. We can say, "We will not tolerate this any longer" but let's get active. We need to get out on the streets.

We need to hold our thoughts higher about the man. It is metaphysics and I guarantee it works. As hard as it is to change our vision of him, we have to. Our vision of him will create a different outcome.

ON THIS LABOR DAY ...



On this Labor Day in the United States, a national holiday established more than a century ago to honor the American worker, Americans typically spend the day away from work, enjoying picnics in the park or spending the last holiday of the summer outdoors.

We must not forget that U.S. workers had to literally fight for their rights to a decent wage and improved working conditions and many risked their lives trying to organize.

In 1894, some 34 railway union members were killed when President Grover Cleveland ordered federal troops to break up a railroad strike outside Chicago, Illinois. Cleveland, who was up for re-election that year, needed to appease angry workers nationwide, so he signed into law a national holiday called Labor Day in honor of the worker.

Violence against U.S. workers continued in the 20th century. In 1902, 14 coal miners
were killed by a mine company's private police force. In 1911, about 150 people, mostly women and children, died in a fire working in a New York City sweatshop, Massachusetts police beat women and children in a textile strike.

Americans labor in many different ways. On this Labor Day, the number of people without health insurance continues to rise, up to 15.8% last year. 47 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2006, an increase of 8 million since Bush took office.

Median annual earnings for full-time, year-round workers dropped from last year, the third year in a row. Household income is down $956 since 2000. It rose slightly last year because more household members are working, and for longer hours. But they are getting paid less for their work.

Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s.

The trend to re-classify full-time workers as “independent contractors” continues to rise. Although the same work is done by the same people, contracting it out allows employers to avoid the minimum wage increase and terminate benefits that accrue only to “employees.” Reclassification also lets them avoid payroll taxes, a dodge that creates an invisible subsidy to corporate America in the range of $3 billion.

Since 2000, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance for families have skyrocketed. The average monthly worker contribution for family coverage in 2000 was $135. It has increased to $298 or by 84%.

In the first quarter of the year, wages and salaries represented 41 percent of gross domestic product, down from almost 50 percent in the first quarter of 2001 and a record 53.6 percent in the first quarter of 1970, according to the Commerce Department.

The corporate policies of George W Bush has allowed more manufacturing companies to move overseas in the last six years, giving the country a trade deficit of more than $700 billion annually. And the jobs lost in manufacturing have been disproportionately union jobs.

While the unionization rate in manufacturing was more than 40 percent in the sixties, in 2006 it was just 11.6 percent, less than the 12 percent average for all workers, although still somewhat higher than the 7.4 percent average for the private sector as a whole.

Government policies have also supported anti-union practices in other ways. A main purpose of trade agreements like NAFTA was to make it as easy as possible to relocate factories overseas.

A 30 percent over-valued dollar effectively imposes a 30 percent tariff on goods exported from the United States, while providing a subsidy of 30 percent on goods imported into the United States.

We have a growing crisis in America today, and it is our own countries purposeful neglect of the homeless, the hungry, and the working poor. It was recently reported that there are nearly one million people that are homeless in the United States today.

Even worse, over 40% of the homeless are families. Reuters reported that more Americans went homeless and hungry in 2006 than the year before and that children made up almost one quarter of those in emergency shelters.

Nearly one million families lost their homes last year. This year, it will likely be 2 million. There were 25,000 layoffs in the mortgage industry in the first three weeks of August. Building supply and furniture manufacturers have been cutting back. With home construction 25 percent below last year and falling, hundreds of thousands of building trades workers could lose their jobs.

As economic conditions worsen, right-wing corporate interests are always ready to sow division and fear. It’s the immigrants’ fault. Consumers aren’t spending enough. Consumers aren’t saving enough. It’s the government’s fault for wasting your tax dollars on health care for kids.

In the Great Depression of the 1930s, the American people rejected those arguments. They rejected racism, and under the slogan “Black and white, unite and fight," They organized unions that raised wages and improved working conditions.

On this another Labor Day, Americans have labored with the fact that their sons and daughters, neighbors and friends are strapped in an endless war for profit, with no end in sight.

The U.S economy is quickly falling into a severe recession, that could very well end up in a Modern Day Depression if something isn't done. Millions of Americans lose their jobs each month, millions more are underemployed.

There is much laboring going on in America, on this Labor Day. The homeless labor for a better way, our nation labors over those stuck in a needless war, each American labors over the future of the economy and those in the workplace labor with fear over the future of their employment.

That is America, On This Labor Day!


We live in the richest country in the world. There's plenty to spare and for no man, woman, or child to be in want. And in addition to this our country was founded on what should have been a great , true principle -- the freedom, equality, and rights of each individual. Huh! And what has come of this start? There are corporations worth billions of dollars--and hundreds of thousands of people who don't get to eat.

Carson McCullers

295 comments:

  1. High-quality health care for all Americans moved closer to reality this Labor Day with the 13-million-member AFL-CIO unveiling a major drive to achieve universal health care by 2009.

    “The out-of-control cost of health care is crippling American families and American businesses,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney told reporters at the federation’s annual briefing Aug. 29. “Labor’s campaign is based on the simple premise that no one in America should go without health care, and we’re going to make sure candidates and elected leaders understand that the people will accept nothing less.”

    The AFL-CIO launched a drive that it says will result, by 2009, in all Americans being able to benefit from a health insurance system that:

    • controls rising and irrational costs,

    • provides comprehensive, high-quality health care to all,

    • gives every family the opportunity for preventive care,

    • preserves the ability to choose doctors,

    • has government controlling costs, guaranteeing fairness and efficiency, and eliminating private insurer greed and incompetence,

    • lowers employer costs,

    • builds on positive elements of programs like Medicare and draws upon experiences that work in other countries.

    Some AFL-CIO unions back HR 676, the bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) that would institute single-payer, national health care for all and eliminate the private insurance companies altogether. Asked if he supports HR 676, Sweeney said, “The Conyers bill is in line with our vision for secure, high-quality health care for all Americans.” He added, “Rather than wedding ourselves to one bill at this time, we are building grassroots support for health care reform and plan to work with a worker-friendly president and Congress to enact meaningful reform after the 2008 elections.”

    This is something all Americans would benefit from.

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  2. The main reason for the upsurge in uninsured Americans is that employment-based coverage continued to deteriorate. Indeed, the number of full-time workers without health insurance rose from 20.8 million in 2005 to 22.0 million in 2006, presumably because either the employers or the workers or both found it too costly.

    Sadly, the one area where the nation had made progress — reducing the number of uninsured children — took a turn for the worse…. last year the number of uninsured children jumped more than 600,000 to reach 8.6 million. The main reason, advocacy groups say, is that access and funding for the low-income programs became tighter while employer coverage for dependents eroded.

    Eliminating insurance for dependents is the corporate way in Bush's America.

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  3. The United Steelworkers (USW) today endorsed Senator John Edwards as the Democratic nominee for President.

    The USW, the nation’s largest private sector union, was joined in making its endorsement by the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA), giving Edwards the largest bloc of union support so far among the field of eight presidential candidates.

    In making the announcement, USW President Leo W. Gerard said, “All of the Democratic candidates in the field share our values, and any one of them would be a major improvement over the current administration.

    “But none of them is a more forceful advocate for those values than John Edwards. Senator Edwards is committed, as he has been throughout his life, to going to bat for everyday Americans and to changing a broken political system that leaves millions of Americans without a voice in their government.”

    The Steelworkers also noted that numerous polls show Edwards to be the most electable Democrat in the general election. The USW said it aims to play a leadership role in ensuring Edwards’ nomination, adding that the union's significant membership in the early caucus and primary states and high levels of membership density in crucial battleground states in a general election give it a unique opportunity to contribute to Edwards' nomination and election.

    Edwards is the one Republicans fear most.

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  4. Well, after nearly a year in office, on this Labor Day, at least Speaker Botox can point to one accomplishment: the first rise in the minimum wage in a decade.

    Although with energy costs the highest they've been and food and housing prices at historic levels, most, if not all of the increase, is already gobbled up.

    Add to this, more Americans than ever have no health insurance and must rely on overburdened ER's for primary care. But the elites in the White House and the Congress have health care.

    I wonder if Miss Nancy's Botox injections are considered a work-related, covered item?

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  5. Christopher:

    The only reason Pelosi passed minimum wage was to cover the attacks on Congress giving themselves another raise.

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  6. Top private-equity and hedge fund managers made more in 10 minutes than average-paid U.S. workers earned all of last year, according to a new study from two research groups.

    The 20 highest-paid fund managers made an average of $657.5 million, or 22,255 times the U.S. average annual salary of $29,500, said the study, released today by Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy. The study cited data from the U.S. Labor Department and Forbes magazine.

    ``The fact that these pay levels for fund managers are so out-of-sight is going to drive up pay at publicly traded companies,'' said Sarah Anderson, director of the global economy program at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies and a co-author of the study. ``There are people out there with a straight face claiming that public company executives are underpaid.''

    The private equity boom in the past year has pushed the pay ceiling for fund managers ``further into the economic stratosphere,'' the study said.

    Chief executive officers at large U.S. corporations averaged $10.8 million in pay last year, the study said, citing an Associated Press survey. Their weekly pay of $207,700 was about seven times the average worker's annual salary.

    This is Bush's America.

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  7. Bush is in Iraq for his annual photo op, and daily boast of how safe it is, as thousands guard his entourage, and dozens of U.S fighter pilots fly overhead.

    How safe is that?

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  8. The median price of a single family house soared by about 86 percent from 1997 to 2005, according to statistics from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Housing prices hit their peak in 2005, when they jumped almost 13 percent for the year.

    "Home prices went up far faster than any wage growth," said Lipman, "especially among low income families, whose real wages have either risen anemically or actually fallen."

    As usual it is the poor who will suffer the most as the rich get an ever bigger slice of the pie and the rest are left to fight over the scraps.

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  9. Larry, Lydia

    I am alarmed by the drums of war with Iran being beaten, thanks to LIES spread around by distorted analysis of some so called journalists.

    I have posted the text of the recent (Aug 27 2007)resolution bw IAEA and Iran. can you please raise a little flag about how American president is distorting/ignoring those facts and confabulates baseless threats!!?

    Praying for peace ... with a breaking heart ...

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  10. Naj:

    I agree with you Bush is about to launch a needless war with Iran and I will be happy to help you spread the message.

    Everytime Bush wants war he does so with lies and distortions, which is what he is doing with Iran.

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  11. Richard Draper has a book about GW Bush coming out Tuesday, called Dead Certain. President George H.W. Bush in 1982 was an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of Draper’s grandfather, Leon Jaworski, a special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. Family ties. In the book, George says:

    He cries alot. (I’d cry alot too if I had as much blood on my hands as he does.)

    After leaving office, he wants to start a “Freedom Institute” where he’ll promote Democracy around the world. (We’ve seen his kind of democracy)

    He’ll do some speeches, also….to replenish the ol’ coffers. (because you can never have too much money)

    His top commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, would perhaps do a better job selling progress to the American people than he could. (Hence he’ll put his name on the report we’re about to hear this month)

    He acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.” ( ONE major failing? Oh paaaalease)

    When Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser. (The administration of I Don’t Recall, and why would he…..I mean this is not important, right?)

    What a book: Bush Cries and Lies!

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  12. Bush is allegedly in Iraq.

    Remember the prancing, plastic turkey photo-op a few years back?

    No U.S. soldier said he or she recalled seeing or hearing Bush had visited Iraq.

    Not a one.

    A far more likely scenario then (and possibily today?) is Bush was flown to Qatar or even Saudi Arabia and the photo-op was managed to appear to look like An Bar province in Iraq.

    In 2007, it's all theater. How many times have movies been shot with Toronto standing in for Manhattan or London. Vancover for San Francisco or Los Angeles? I have friends in the industry and they tell me this is done all the time.

    Just saying.............

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  13. Christopher:

    Check out Naj's post and the info on Bush's lies to war with Iran.

    Neoresistance

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  14. "But there was bad news on this front [the poverty front] as well,” said NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams August 28. “The number of Americans without health insurance has gone up from nearly 45 million in 2005 to 47 million Americans last year.

    Williams was wrong. According to the U.S. Census Report, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,” a little more than 10 million of those uninsured are not citizens of the United States or roughly 22 percent of the total.

    CBS “Evening News” took it one step further. The network went to Arlington County, Va., to what is “listed in the census report as one of the richest counties in country.” But the report didn’t mention it also has a relatively high percentage of immigrants, nearly 28 percent, that make up the county’s population.

    What CBS and NBC did not report is that the number of uninsured in household incomes of less than $25,000 annually actually decreased – from 14.5 million in 2005 to a little less than 14 million in 2006. So, more of the poorest in the United States are actually getting health insurance coverage.

    What else did they leave out?

    Those who live in households with income above $50,000 annually (households above the national median income of $48,201) make up almost 18 million of the uninsured. That means 38 percent of the uninsured in this new report could most likely afford coverage, but chose not to have it. That 18 million of the uninsured constitutes most of the 2.1-million person increase in the uninsured from 2005 to 2006.

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  15. I believe the word "countries" in the 15th paragraph should read "country's".

    Additionally, if the writer is actually suggesting that it was organized labor which raised wages during the depression and not the arms buildup to WWII, then I don't know what they're smoking.

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  16. TIPTON, Iowa - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

    "It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

    He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.

    Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

    "The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.



    Can't you just see the lines of people being brought to hospitals in handcuffs by the "health police"?
    Gun point health care. Dems sure do care about democracy...

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  17. Great post. We've lost a lot of what was gained by the labor movement in the early part of the 20th century. And the continued horrors of the mining industry are a showcase for this fact.

    The unions had their pros and cons. When they became too strong they became corrupt. And they negotiated perks that the rest of us don't even have, which are now crippling the American auto industry. However, the earlier unions made very important contributions: elimination of child labor, safer working conditions, ability to negotiate with management, etc. For everything there must be a happy medium, and it seems the scales have tipped strongly to management's side again. It's time to change the paradigm once more.

    I disagree with Edwards' idea that people should HAVE to go for preventive health care. This is a free country and one's health is one's own business. But if we at least offer all citizens the opportunity for preventive health care, it would be a big step in the right direction.

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  18. Voltron, I can see the headlines now: "Health Resisters Rounded Up In Police Raids, Charged With Mental Disorders". I like Edwards' idea. It's about time the US adopt an inescapable mental hygiene regime. At least 25% of the populace must be drugged. Bush has the right idea with the New Freedom Initiative, but Edwards' plan is more salable, and he delivers the pitch quite well. The new Michael Moore movie is wonderful programming for it.

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  19. That means 38 percent of the uninsured in this new report could most likely afford coverage, but chose not to have it.

    Nobody chooses not to have health insurance.

    However, when a primary wage earner gets laid-off and his salary was in the 50K range, COBRA benefits for a family of 4 (husband, wife and 2 kids) can range from $800 a month to $1,400 a month.

    Numbers like this make continuing health coverage a choice between shelter, food and utilities or, COBRA.

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  20. I propose a new anthem for the Labor Movement: Funeral March of A Marionette.

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  21. "The unions had their pros and cons. When they became too strong they became corrupt. And they negotiated perks that the rest of us don't even have, which are now crippling the American auto industry."

    Maui, Larry isn't going to like that. He's been spending a whole lot of time saying it's Bush's fault...

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  22. "Nobody chooses not to have health insurance."

    BULL!

    From when I first entered the work force at 16 most (if not all) the jobs I had offered health insurance with a small co-pay. I was young and healthy and I didn't see the advantage to paying $50 to $75 a month for something I didn't think I'd need.

    It wasn't until I was in my late 30's or early 40's that I started taking advantage of my employers health care plans. About the same time I realized I wasn't indestructible.

    How many of those "uninsured" do you think are younger workers like I was?

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  23. Also, let's not forget that in most families today the wife often works as well and has access to health insurance through her job as well.

    (and if any of those "kids" are over 16 they probably have access through their employers as well)

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  24. Sauros,

    I'm not biting. I don't agree with any of your points or globalism for that matter.

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  25. Thats a very interesting article, full of great information Larry.........I never knew how Labor Day originated.

    Our new President should make it a holiday after Bush and his Neo Con thugs are out of power.........we can call it National Mental Health Day!

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  26. Your absolutely right Larry, we need universal health coverage!

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  27. As you saw from my video, the peace-mongers in Fort Wayne believe Health Care should be at the top of any agenda (after stopping this illegal and immoral war).

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  28. Voltron said...
    "Nobody chooses not to have health insurance."

    BULL!

    From when I first entered the work force at 16 most (if not all) the jobs I had offered health insurance with a small co-pay. I was young and healthy and I didn't see the advantage to paying $50 to $75 a month for something I didn't think I'd need.

    It wasn't until I was in my late 30's or early 40's that I started taking advantage of my employers health care plans. About the same time I realized I wasn't indestructible.

    How many of those "uninsured" do you think are younger workers like I was?"


    Your Not addressing several key points Volt

    1) Health care NEEDS to be affordable for people if not provided universally........Its NOT even for people who DO have health insurance I was in an accident last year, spent one day at the hospital and about a month of Physical therapy and was getting bills for $30,000-$40,000 that I couldnt pay....................No one ever went bankrupt or was ruined financially from universal health care.

    2) People need to tale financial responsibility for their health care and that needs to be affordable and the way I see it Universal health care is the only way that will happen.......WHAT happens if some kid doesnt THINK he needs health care because HE thinks he is industuctable and gets in a bad accident or becomes severely ill who gets stuck paying his hundreds of thousans of dollars in medical bills and who gets hurt the most by this.........the working class is who, its no hardship for the rich to pay medical bills when needed, the poor cant afford it so what happens they jack up the costs so the working class who DO take personal responsibility have to pay more and more and thats why we have had declining and stagnating wages.......the camels back has to break sooner or later health care costs are increasing exp[onentially the system is a total pathetic failure.

    People most likely choose NOT to have health care because it is NOT affordable.

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  29. You hear GWB CLAIM our presence in Iraq is denying the Al Qaeda terrorists that attascked us a safe haven to plan more attacks............Did the slimy liar forget Osama, did he forget about Afghanistan and Pakistan where Al Qaeda is winning because he neglected those areas to invade a country that had NOTHING to do with attacking us,,,,,,,,,,,,,,its pathetic when we have a President as delusional as an idiot named Sauros!

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  30. MSNBC spoke on Monday with Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who recently returned from a trip to Iraq.

    "Our troops are amazing. They have done what has been asked of them," Altmire began. "But the flip side of that, unfortunately, the Iraqi government is in complete disarray. And the purpose of the surge was to allow the Iraqi government ... the opportunity to move forward. I think we're worse off ... today than we were six or eight months ago."

    "I support a timeline as a strategy for success," Altmire said, emphasizing that the president had vetoed Congress's attempt to establish a timeline for US redeployment out of Iraq." It's the only leverage we have for the Iraqi government to know that we're serious."

    "There's no sense of urgency there," Altmire concluded. "They think we're going to be there forever to hold their hand while they posture and play political games and bicker with each other. ... They have to step up and run their own government."

    The result of the Bush "surge."

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  31. WASHINGTON - The Bush administration issued proposed rules Friday to trim Medicaid payments to schools.

    Medicaid is the federal-state health insurance program for poor people.

    Schools are currently billing Medicaid for administrative and overhead costs that aren't related to delivering health services to poor people, said Dennis Smith, director for the Center for Medicaid and State Operations.

    He said examples have included costs associated with school construction projects and transporting poor students to school.

    George W Bush: Taking from poor children and giving to Halliburton!

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  32. GENEVA -- American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory or on the farm than their counterparts in Europe and most other rich nations, and they produce more per person over the year.

    They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians, according to a U.N. report released Monday, which said the United States "leads the world in labor productivity."

    The average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report. Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235 and France at $54,609.

    The productivity figure is found by dividing the country's gross domestic product by the number of people employed. The U.N. report is based on 2006 figures for many countries, or the most recent available.

    Only part of the U.S. productivity growth, which has outpaced that of many other developed economies, can be explained by the longer hours Americans are putting in, the ILO said.

    The U.S., according to the report, also beats all 27 nations in the European Union, Japan and Switzerland in the amount of wealth created per hour of work - a second key measure of productivity.

    Americans working longer and harder for less money: That's the Bush Economy!

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  33. The Census Bureau says there are 47 million people in the U.S. without health insurance; more than 5 million of them, according to a study recently released by the Urban Institute, are children. Many wind up in expensive emergency rooms, often because the federal programs aimed at helping those who fall through the health-care cracks are not well understood and not well used. Dr. Robert Simon, interim chief of Chicago's Cook County Bureau of Health Services, discusses the issue with Scott Simon.

    This is the result of George W Bush: "Compassionate Conservative."

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  34. Check out the latest post by Chuck who is a regular commenter here:

    Bushmerika 2

    Another classic rant!

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  35. Baghdad - Two civilians were killed in a car bomb attack in central Baghdad on Monday, while 11 civilians were kidnapped by extremists in north of the Iraqi capital, news reports said.

    The car bomb was set of on a main road in the city's Alwiya quarter, the Aswat al-Iraq news agency said. Three people were injured in the attack.

    The press agency, also reporting on the kidnapping, said about 15 men set up an illegal roadblock on the road linking Baghdad with the Diyala province to the north-east. The victims were ordered out of their vehicle while travelling along the road.

    And that "surge" is working so well!

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  36. Larry, you are the best! thanks.
    Naj

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  37. Larry said...

    Bush is in Iraq for his annual photo op, and daily boast of how safe it is, as thousands guard his entourage, and dozens of U.S fighter pilots fly overhead.

    How safe is that?

    6:03 AM
    ----------------
    Larry:

    He took his girlfriend, Condi, with him. I wonder where The Robot (Laura)is spending this holiday?

    Great post! ;)

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. Health care has gotten so expensive for employers that they can no longer offer it to their employees! :(

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  40. How many of those "uninsured" do you think are younger workers like I was?

    Who knows? Who cares?

    The fact remains, there are more than 47 million Americans without health insurance and the the number is getting bigger, not smaller.

    What braindead rightwingers can't wrap their tiny peabrains around is this: many of the uninsured use the ER's at their local county or city hospital for primary care and the cost is past along to home owners in the form of property taxes.

    Want to lower your property taxes? Then demand universal healthcare for all Americans, just as the rest of the industrialized nations provide their citizens.

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  41. Thanks Suzie:

    I didn't know Condi went with him, but they do alot of late night wallowing.

    Perhaps Pickles is stuck in the latest lounge in Crawford, experiencing rural drinks.

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  42. Check out Naj's post on evidence against Bush's lies to war with Iran.

    Neoresistance

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  43. Larry, what an excellent article. You hit it dead-on. As a side note, the September holiday was chosen to avoid support for the day that unions in other countries had chosen for labor day. May Day.

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  44. Thanks for the compliment and info on Labor Day Tomcat.

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  45. A constitutional lawyer who served in Ronald Reagan's administration says President Bush's "apparently criminal" authorization of a warrantless wiretapping program is grounds for the House to begin an impeachment inquiry.

    By not beginning such an investigation, impeachment will become a "virtual dead letter," Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general under Regan, said in a essay published in Slate.

    Fein has emerged as a fierce critic of Bush's administration and has previously called for the president and Vice President Dick Cheney to be impeached.

    "The House does not require, nor should it await, proof beyond a reasonable doubt of misconduct," Fein wrote in the essay published Friday. "To wait for such proof subverts the whole purpose of an impeachment inquiry."

    Ample grounds for an impeachment inquiry lie in the president's shady justifications for his "Terrorist Surveillance Program," which Fein says subverted the check's on law enforcement powers inherent in the Constitution and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    Remove Pelosi and Reid and Impeachment will Begin.

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  46. Christopher - you're right. Bush is probably doing a mock photo from a nearby country, or maybe even Texas.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Health Care is my biggest issue and while I have for the most part gone back to being a lurker I just need to open up again, if just for a moment.

    13 years ago next month, my wife and I were expecting our first child. Her job did not have insurance benefits and while my job did offer them, I was not eligible for another month. No problem, the baby wasn't due until early February and I was already assured that the birth would be covered. Life was good.

    On a Friday, my sister-in-law checked my wife's blood pressure as practice for her nursing exam. The blood pressure was extremely high and a doctor was notified. We were told to bring her in to see him immediately. Later that afternoon, Kelly was admitted into the hospital.

    We knew she would probably be put on bedrest for the rest of the pregnancy so Saturday morning, I called her boss and quit on Kelly's behalf. Ten minutes later I was called into my boss's office and fired -- they said they just didnt see potential in me.

    No job, no insurance, no money, no income, a wife in the hospital -- I was scared out of my mind. I didnt dare check Kelly out of the hospital, I was afraid I would lose both her and the baby but I knew the bills were going to be racking up. Finally, a social worker sat me down and said "Stop worrying about the money. You need to focus on your wife and your child ... let the money sort itself out."

    On Monday my son was born - 2 lbs 7 oz. Four months, two operations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars later I got to take him home. Thank God for Medicaid.

    If that scenario played out today, I wouldnt qualify.

    Voltron, it's all very well and fine for you supposed pro-lifers to say "but why should I have to pay for it" and "hundreds of thousands of dollars of my money" and make your bogus claims about people choosing not to be insured. The fact of the matter is if it wasnt for Medicaid being there when I needed it, I would be childless and a widower.

    Good quality Health Care SHOULD be a guaranteed right in this country and anybody claiming to be a Christian or pro-life ought to be among the first to be fighting for it.

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  48. Oh, and by the way Voltron, since your tax money did help pay for my son's birth and hospital stay, I would be more than happy to pay you back your share.

    Let's see, around 200 million taxpayers ... a few hundred thousand dollars ... round it up to 5 hundred thousand to cover his 3rd and 4th surgery ...

    Just let me know where to send the penny and you can keep the change.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Christopher - you're right. Bush is probably doing a mock photo from a nearby country, or maybe even Texas.

    Lydia,

    Remember the so-called "spider hole" the troops yanked Saddam Hussein out of? That magical event took place in December.

    The pictures showed the brave, U.S. troops hauling an aged, dirty and dishoveled Saddam from his hiding place. Alas, Bush was a hero!

    But there was another image that made citizens of the Middle East laugh at Americans.

    The date palms. The date palms were covered with brown and golden, perfectly ripe dates, ready to be harvested, sold and enjoyed. You see, dates become ripe in Iraq (and throughout the Middle East) in late-August to late-September. By December, there are no dates on the palm trees.

    This revelation would suggest Saddam was captured by U.S. troops at least 3 months, and possibly 4 months earlier. But of course, 4 months earlier, Bush's approval numbers were above 50 points. By December, his job approval numbers had dipped below 40 points for the first time.

    Rove, Inc. needed an event to help raise Bush's standing with the American people but, nature, or at least, agriculture, revealed the truth about the lie.

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  50. I saw Condi standing to Bush's left with a look of..."what the hell am I doing here...and what is he talking about?" She looked like she wanted to be miles aways from wherever it was. She has kept a low profile now for some time...I personally think she is regretting the turn her life has taken...because it is going down in flames with these people she aligned herself with. She's a smart woman...she should have seen the bigger picture and stepped away...but she looked through rose colored love glasses. Idiot!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sumo:

    She must have some foggy rose colored glasses to follow that dunce around the world.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Conda-lies-alot, was probably thinking, "There is a stain on my legacy, and it's name is Bush."

    ReplyDelete
  53. Howdy Larry

    I celebrated Labor Day by working on my side job. "Luckily" I don't earn enough that way to need to even claim the income on my Taxes. Lucky, sans the fear-quotes, that I have a skill which may just save my arse from anything as drastic as the homelessness I once did indeed face, should the more dire of consequences of Bu$hCo's ideology befall our nation.

    Hmmm... Could, but won't, go into anything lengthy here. Just wanted to tell you "Thanks!" for keeping the factual side of our "Great Nation" on the table. You are a patriot, in my considered opinion. Whether or not you and I might agree on all the details of this country's ailments and strengths, I know that you speak to reality and with unassailable facts about our successive Governments' goals and priorities.

    False premises kill, and the Reaganesque belief in unbridled, under-regulated Capitalism (essentially, Bu$hCo's so-called "ownership society") has long been a convicted murderer in the court of Socio-Economic reality.

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thank you Michael Bains for the kind words and for your comments here at Lydia's blog.

    Reagan started the drive to destroy unions, and the Bush family has taken that beginning to all new levels.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American ­officials.

    The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack.

    Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People’s Liberation Army.

    One senior US official said the Pentagon had pinpointed the exact origins of the attack. Another person familiar with the event said there was a “very high level of confidence...trending towards total certainty” that the PLA was responsible. The defence ministry in Beijing declined to comment on Monday.

    Bush needs to be concerned with the Real Enemy: China, instead of starting wars with everyone else.

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  56. Most young people today have no memory of a time when Walter Reuther of the UAW and John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers were household names, when presidents jawboned labor to prevent agreements from causing wage-price inflation, when productivity gains pushed wages up, and when more than a third of the American workforce was unionized.

    Now fewer than 8 percent of America's private sector workers are in unions, median wage gains have fallen far behind productivity gains, and for most of us Labor Day means a long weekend.

    What happened? Some say it started in the early 80s after Ronald Reagan fired the nation's air-traffic controllers for striking - something they had no legal right to do - and thereby legitimized a wave of corporate union busting. Others blame it on a more pervasive "greed is good" aggressiveness that engulfed corporate suites starting right about then.

    There's no question that, ever since, and with ever greater alacrity, companies have fired workers for trying to form unions, even though that's illegal, and have used or threatened to use permanent replacements if workers go on strike - which is legal but was rare before the 80s.

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  57. A Bloodthirsty Year For Bush:

    We keep reading and hearing how U.S. troops casualties are down since the surge. They are not down. If you compare them to last years numbers, they are WAY not down! Casualties in the summer traditionally go down because it’s so friggin hot. This year they didn’t. They are down from April, May and June of this year, but only because of the summer heat and they go down at this time anyway. Just to set the record straight………

    Janurary 2006 62
    January 2007 83

    February 2006 55
    February 2007 81

    March 2006 31
    March 2007 81

    April 2006 76
    April 2007 104

    May 2006 69
    May 2007 126

    June 2006 61
    June 2007 101

    July 2006 43
    July 2007 79

    August 2006 65
    August 2007 81

    Iraq Civilian Casualties

    Aug-06 2966 Aug-07 1674
    July-06 1280 Jul-07 1690
    Jun-06 870 Jun-07 1345
    May-06 1119 May-07 1980
    Apr-06 1009 Apr-07 1821
    March-06 1092 Mar-07 2977
    Feb-06 846 Feb-07 3014
    Jan-06 779 Jan-07 1802

    These Deaths Are Bush's reason to live!

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  58. Bush and Cheney are concerned with China, read this article to see how China fits into Cheneys plans for destabilizing the Middle East.

    What Will We Do Then?

    The Day After We Strike Iran

    By GARY LEUPP

    Let us suppose that the Bush-Cheney administration answers the neocons’ prayer and does indeed bomb Iran sometime soon. The plan apparently involves more than the destruction of nuclear facilities, replicating Israel’s attack on Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. (That attack, by the way was condemned by the whole world, including a furious President Ronald Reagan). It includes an all-out assault on the Iranian political and religious leadership. Government buildings and officials’ residences will be targeted, guaranteeing collateral damage.
    Since Iran is a highly complex society, and its government widely unpopular, there may well be some local support for a “shock and awe” campaign. We know that the administration has cultivated ties with the Mujahadeen Khalq (even though they remain on the State Department’s terrorist list) and the Pakistan-based Balochi separatist group Jundallah (the Party of God). These among other organizations will get their marching orders amid the “creative chaos” produced by the attack. There can be no large deployment of U.S. troops in Iran, unless they evacuate from Afghanistan and Iraq which is unlikely.

    I doubt that administration plans for the construction of a post-attack Iranian polity are any more sophisticated than their plans for post-Taliban Afghanistan or occupied Iraq. Some have suggested that the neocons’ goal is actually to plunge the Muslim Middle East into prolonged pandemonium, insuring that all foes of Israel are off-balance and terrorized by the might of Israel’s protector for generations to come. “Neocons,” writes Paul Craig Roberts, “have convinced themselves that nuking Iran will show the Muslim world that Muslims have no alternative to submitting to the will of the US government.”

    They are “total Islamophobes” who believe that “Islam must be deracinated and the religion destroyed. . .” Others note that Cheney is obsessed with the imagined threat of a rising China and the need to establish permanent U.S. bases in Central and Southwest Asia to “contain” the world’s most populous nation. The desire to control the flow of oil, the urge to check China, the passionate drive to destroy Israel’s enemies (alongside this neocon Islamophobia) are all reflected in U.S. foreign policy since 9-11.

    Surely a lot of Iranians know this. And they can look over their northern border into Afghanistan and their western border into Iraq and see what disaster U.S. imperialism has wrought in these neighboring countries. Bush calls them “democracies” and boasts of having gifted them with the universally applicable model pioneered by America’s founding fathers. But I’d imagine Iranians paying attention see in Afghanistan a regime dominated by warlords more reactionary than their own mullahs, resisted by an equally reactionary resurgent Taliban. In Iraq they find an emerging regime under the strong influence of conservative Shiite Muslim clerics in an unusual alliance with U.S. occupation forces. Many young Iranians chafing under Islamic law might consider this a step backwards for Iraq, which under the despised Saddam had at least been a secular society. The Iraqi puppet government is of course far weaker than the one in Tehran, and humiliatingly dependent upon the invaders who cannot provide a modicum of security while they demand oil concessions.

    So I would think that the Iranian survivors of this planned criminal assault would not appreciate it. Rather they will resent it deeply, especially if it produces numerous civilian casualties. As Roberts suggests, the neocons believe that the Iranian people and Muslims around the world will be so terrified that they will capitulate to all U.S. demands and the U.S. will be better able to attain its geopolitical objectives without the use of unacceptable numbers of ground troops. I have to wonder about this.

    Perhaps the neocons suppose that there will be no resistance from a shocked and awed Iranian population as America’s Iranian allies---a mix of quasi-left guerrillas, terrorist separatists, monarchists and exiles---create a provisional government. They may underestimate the social base of the present Iranian government, the sincerity of popular opposition to U.S. policy in the world, the depth of Iranian nationalism and national pride at the accomplishments of the nuclear power program. They probably underestimate the outrage an attack will cause, in Iran and everywhere.

    Perhaps they overestimate the power of their weapons. The neocons know that nuclear weapons (even dire predictions about nuclear attack) produce fear---and that frightened people may voluntarily give up much of their freedom. They saw that happen here in the USA between 9-11 and the attack on Iraq. All that talk by Bush, Cheney and Rice about mushroom clouds over New York City got the masses scared, got them to support a war. The neocons may assume that this frightening thing they hold in their hand---that they can deliver (intoning with John McCain, “Bomb bomb bomb Iran”) as soon as Bush (after prayerful deliberation) gives his okay---can fix the Middle East. They may figure that a country once nuked will submit to any aftermath.

    Recall how they predicted in 2002 that Iraqis would respond to occupation the same way the Japanese did from 1945 to 1952. How wrong they were. Maybe the attack-planners think that the Iranians will, after this new, planned Hiroshima, unconditionally surrender to the United States. I doubt that. Just as they appear to have overestimated the power of U.S. troops on the battlefield in Iraq, Cheney and his neocons may miscalculate the power of their most vicious weapons to obtain their goals. Mao often referred to nuclear weapons (first those of the U.S. imperialists, then the Soviet ones as well) as “a paper tiger.” The imperialists might find that they’ve sent a paper tiger to arouse an Iranian griffin. (That’s a lion with an eagle’s head and wings, something not supposed to happen.)

    Meanwhile, reaction in Iraq to reports of a U.S. strike on Iran will hardly be positive. Iraqi Shiites (60% of the population) will naturally identify with victimized Shiite Iran and hate the occupiers more, without necessarily fearing them more. If you really want to do something that will fuel the Shiites’ historical sense of victimization, and unite Shiites from Lebanon to Oman and beyond, the best thing you could do is bomb Iran---not sparing the holy sites. But Iraq’s Sunnis won’t be happy either. Whatever their feelings about Iran, they’ll feel no joy in the expansion of U.S. operations in the Muslim world. The entire world will respond with revulsion. From Europe to Japan there will be much discussion about how to best distance oneself and protect oneself from a USA gone nuts.

    But what will happen here in the U.S. after the Iran attack? How will we react? If it happens, it won’t be announced the way the invasion of Iraq was. There will be more and more unattributed reports of Iranian arms deliveries to unlikely recipients like the Taliban or Sunni “insurgents” in Iraq. More alarmist reports on Iran’s nuclear progress. More propaganda about Iran’s intention to nuke Israel and produce a second Holocaust. More indignant statements about Iran’s defiance of UNSC resolutions. But the timing might come as a surprise.

    As the attack gets underway some Democratic leaders in Congress will indicate support for the move, based on the doctored intelligence reports they’ve read, or have had on their desk and possibly perused. Some will withhold comment or maybe even object to the action. I have the feeling both timidity and stupidity will initially prevail. There is little precedent for U.S. politicians condemning a U.S. attack on a country just after it’s occurred.

    I would expect those on the contact-lists of the various antiwar coalitions would be out on the streets in force immediately after the (first) attack, shouting “SHAME” and making it clear to the world that Bush doesn’t represent the American people. I’d expect that large numbers of people would gather to demand that the Congress move immediately to impeach Bush and Cheney. I’d hope that the Democrats in Congress would find it in their interest to do so, but if Nancy Pelosi becomes president, will there be any great change? On Iran, Pelosi has deferred to AIPAC.

    The antiwar movement has become disillusioned with the Democrats, and even with a mercilessly self-perpetuating system that uses its two parties to convey the illusion that the political status quo is the product of competition. Still, it sees no alternative to a mix of letter-writing, lobbying, voting, rallying, marching, exercising constitutional rights, operating within the paradigm. But Cindy Sheehan officially dropped out of the movement concluding that the “paradigm. . . is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.”

    She is right. The neocons want us to “think outside the box.” Maybe we should one-up them and think outside the system. The “way our system works,” writes Andrew J. Bacevich, “negates democracy, rendering free speech little more than a means of recording dissent.” In it, “Money maintains the Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized politics.” What can the honest dissenter do when informed that the U.S. (“your”) government has committed a spectacular war crime? When can you do when you learn that, once again--- without your permission---the U.S. has attacked a sovereign country posing no real threat to you? Generating enormous hatred for America throughout the world? What do we do the day after? I would just like to pose the question for discussion as we approach that moment.

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  59. The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America summit in Canadareleased a plan that establishes U.N. law along with regulations by the World trade Organization and World Health Organization as supreme over U.S. law during a pandemic and sets the stage for militarizing the management of continental health emergencies.

    The “North American Plan for Avian & Pandemic Influenza” was finalized at the SPP summit last week in Montebello, Quebec.

    At the same time, the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, has created a webpage dedicated to avian flu and has been running exercises in preparation for the possible use of U.S. military forces in a continental domestic emergency involving avian flu or pandemic influenza.

    With virtually no media attention, in 2005 President Bush shifted U.S. policy on avian flu and pandemic influenza, placing the country under international guidelines not specifically determined by domestic agencies.

    The policy shift was formalized Sept. 14, 2005, when Bush announced a new International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza to a High-Level Plenary Meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, in New York.

    The new International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza was designed to supersede an earlier November 2005 Homeland Security report that called for a U.S. national strategy that would be coordinated by the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Agriculture.

    The 2005 plan, operative until Bush announced the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, directed the State Department to work with the WHO and U.N., but it does not mention that international health controls are to be considered controlling over relevant U.S. statutes or authorities.

    Under the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, Bush agreed the U.S. would work through the U.N. system influenza coordinator to develop a continental emergency response plan operating through authorities under the WTO, North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

    WND could find no evidence the Bush administration presented the Influenza Partnership plan to Congress for oversight or approval.

    Bush slipping this in with his North American Union.

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  60. China is the real threat, and Bush is too busy selling off our country to the Chinese, starting wars with Iraq and Iran to notice his own back door.

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  61. Forecasting the long-term direction of any market — stocks, bonds or housing — is a perilous endeavor. But it seems pretty clear that the housing market has not yet hit bottom.

    The recent slide in housing prices has been very moderate, but it’s only just begun — at least according to most widely watched data on both new and existing homes. As recently as the second quarter of this year, home prices were still up 3.2 percent from a year ago nationwide, according to Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. And after years of double-digit gains in many markets, home prices nationwide are down less than 1 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    But there’s evidence that prices are falling faster than the numbers indicate. Many builders are adding “free” improvements like fancier kitchens and bathrooms to avoid cutting their asking price. Sellers of existing homes are offering incentives — like paying the cost of repairs.

    If the slump continues, it’s going to be harder for sellers to get their original asking price. For one thing, the wave of foreclosures is forcing banks and other lenders to put hundreds of thousands of homes on the market priced for quick sale — usually at below-market prices. Those sales then become “comparables” — used by appraisers and future buyers to determine how much a similar house is worth. That puts further pressure on sellers to mark down the price.

    Another result of the Bush economy.

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  62. Larry, I think China is more an economic rival right now than a military one........the Neo Cons seem hellbent on making them a military rival as well though by infringing on and possibly jeprodizing their national interests....namely access to energy.

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  63. I'd like to throw this question out there for everyone to consider, hopefully i'll get some feedback...................How do you guys think an attack on Iran would impact the election, if we actually have an election.............i'm wondering if a nuclear attack on iran followed by $250 a barrel oil and $10-$15 a gallon gas would trigger the economic disaster and pain to decimate hawkish candidtes like Hillary Clinton and the repugs and shift things to Edwards, Richardson, or Obama.

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  64. Lydia, I have to say although I initially didnt support him Edwards has one me over and he's the guy I want right now.............I think Hillary and Biden are too old school corporatist democrats and we NEED new age progressives and Edwards has really one me over in the debates.

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  65. Mike:

    China is an economic rival and they own the bulk of the U.S, so that in itself gives them the edge.

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  66. Mike:

    I think an attack on Iran would only strengthen the resolve of the masses to get rid of Bush and his enablers and get someone who wants peace.

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  67. After Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast in late August 2005, tens of billions of dollars in federal and private contracts, the largest of which went to companies like Bechtel, Halliburton, and its then-subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root, were dispatched to New Orleans. The alleged goal was to fund a clean-up effort President Bush said would require "a sustained federal commitment to our fellow citizens." That, of course, never came to pass.

    Thanks to its initial disastrous rescue effort, today, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) receives most of the blame for chaos in New Orleans. But it wasn't just FEMA. The anatomy of the failed reconstruction is complicated, but understanding what went wrong requires examining the Department of Labor (DOL).

    The DOL has been in decline for a generation, suffering from long-term decreases in funding even as the number of people whose livelihoods it is supposed to protect has grown. Those problems have been exacerbated through the six and a half years of the Bush administration. But the consequences have never been more appalling than in New Orleans, where the failure of high-level DOL officials to require proactive oversight of reconstruction employers led to an endless string of abuses. After Katrina, employers, unfettered by rules, became less concerned with the task at hand than with profiting at the expense of workers without protection. They became predators in a lawless environment.

    In the two years since the disaster, there have been thousands of testimonials -- issued to both government officials and private advocates -- about a wide taxonomy of abuses.The most frequent complaint workers cite is withheld wages, but almost as numerous are accusations of employee intimidation, toxic and hazardous working conditions, immigrant abuse, trafficking, exploitation and monetary extortion.

    More Corporate Betrayal.

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  68. Larry said...
    Mike:

    I think an attack on Iran would only strengthen the resolve of the masses to get rid of Bush and his enablers and get someone who wants peace."

    I think your absolutely right, an attack on Iran would doom the war hawks in the election..........most reasonably intelligent people have to KNOW this.

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  69. Mike:

    Most predict Bush will attack Iran before the end of the year.

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  70. DES MOINES, Iowa — A year before they choose a new government for the post-Bush era, Americans are desperate to change the country's course.

    According to opinion polls and interviews with political experts and voters, the U.S. population is more liberal than at any time in a generation, hungering to end the Iraq war, turn inward and use the federal government to solve problems at home.

    Still, polling indicates, some want to turn farther right, demanding that the country fence off its Southern border, expel illegal immigrants and rein in a federal government grown fat under a Republican government they now dismiss as incompetent.

    The surveys point to one thing almost all Americans tend to agree on: They're deeply unhappy with the way things are going in the United States and eager to move on. There's virtually no appetite to extend the Bush era, as there was at the end of Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1988 or Bill Clinton's in 2000.

    Just 1 in 5 Americans think the country is going in the right direction, the worst outlook since the Reagan-Bush era ended in 1992.

    Less than one-third of Americans like the way the current President Bush is handling his job, among the lowest ratings in half a century. The people had similarly dismal opinions just before they ended the Jimmy Carter era in 1980, the Kennedy-Johnson years in 1968 and the Roosevelt-Truman era in 1952.

    The ranks of people who want the government to help the poor have risen sharply since the early 1990s — dramatically among independents, but even among Republicans.

    The public mood is evident in Iowa, the heartland state that votes first for major-party presidential nominees and a pivotal swing state in the last two presidential elections.

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  71. mike said,

    I think your absolutely right, an attack on Iran would doom the war hawks in the election..........most reasonably intelligent people have to KNOW this.


    An attack on Iran dooms this COUNTRY.

    A lot of people think I'm blowing smoke. I'm not. I've heard the same thing too many times now, from people who know things.

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  72. I believe it Jolly, it launches World War III which is the doom for us.

    ReplyDelete
  73. doltron defecated,

    How many of those "uninsured" do you think are younger workers like I was?


    Funny how I know quite a few people with jobs they've had for years-and families-who don't have health insurance. And oddly enough, it is because they can't AFFORD it.

    But, I am sure that in your *snicker* mind, I'm just proselytizing Marxist doctrine. Never mind that universal healthcare is the PRO BUSINESS position to take, as healthcare costs are the biggest component cost of any American made product or service.

    Why do you Chimpletons hate American competitiveness? Why do you want us to fail?

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  74. Larry said,

    I believe it Jolly, it launches World War III which is the doom for us.


    There won't be any need for a WWIII. Within days of an attack on Iran, the Beijing bankers will shut the purse, and junior officers there and here will be in full-blown rebellion.

    This country will rip itself apart.

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  75. I believe it Jolly:

    Since China virtually owns the U.S and Bush has loans floating all over the globe, that tumble is inevitable.

    ReplyDelete
  76. JR, how do you think an attack on Iran would impact this nation...........i'm thinking something SIMILAR to the Great Depression but far far worse because the energy crunch would cripple our economy and result in massive unemployment, starvation and rioting............the perfect scenario for Chimpy to ATTEMPT to declare martial lawq and cement his power..............Those Neo Cons sure do crave chaos......funny thing is they dont just want it on the other side of the world, they want it here as well.

    ReplyDelete
  77. You talking about the "Nuclear" option China has threatened to use JR?

    ReplyDelete
  78. China's Nuclear Threat

    The U.S. Dollar
    (Part - I & II)
    "The world is governed by very different personages
    from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes." [1]
    Abstract

    Speculation runs rampant that China may use its $1.33 trillion dollars of foreign currency reserves as a political weapon of mass destruction. This massive hoard of currency reserves is the largest single holding of any nation on earth, and thus represents a potent force.

    Reports in the media have suggested that if the United States gets too pushy regarding the valuation of the yuan versus the U.S. dollar that Beijing could threaten to start selling the U.S. currency en masse, causing a panic flight out of the dollar. This could easily result in a crashing dollar, as it presently hangs precariously above the abyss - trying desperately to keep from falling in.

    The following paper will examine the merits of what has been referred to as the "nuclear option" or threat of a premeditated crashing of the U.S. dollar, precipitated from the other side of the world - Beijing, China to be precise.

    The study will be broken down into four parts. First, an examination of the two central issues from which the "dollar question" arises will be offered. This will provide some insight into two important topics that are at the heart of the controversy: the trade deficit and the recycling of trade payments.

    The second part discusses the possible and most probable motivation and intent that could be behind such world shaking policies and actions. Who would benefit the most by what actions and events?

    In the third section we will look at a most improbable scenario, but it does exist so it will be mentioned - to bury our heads in the sand in ignorance would be remiss.

    In the fourth and final part, we will provide the conclusions that the examination of the issues have revealed and led us to.

    Part One:
    Trade Deficit & Recycling Credit

    A large part of this controversy revolves around the trade deficit between the United States and China, at least in part. But the trade deficit is just one of the issues; there are other factors at play as well.

    Weighing in as the favored heavy weight contender is the recycling of foreign trade payments in a ponzi-like scheme of musical chairs. U.S. currency credits leave New York and travel to Beijing to pay for U.S. imports. Upon reaching China, the money is almost immediately sent back to New York, employed by Beijing to purchase U.S. Treasury bonds with.

    This is analogous to robbing Peter to pay Paul, and robbing Paul to pay Peter. The only one that makes out is the broker in the middle of the deal, he who stands between Peter and Paul - the moneychanger.

    In today's computer age, some say the money never even leaves New York. A couple of clicks here, and a couple of clicks over there, and before you know it the wonders of double-entry bookkeeping does the rest. The New World Order working its magic - what could be finer?

    Since January 1, 2007 China has accumulated a positive trade imbalance with the U.S. of $123 billion. In May the deficit was 20 billion, in April it was $19.34 billion, and recently in June it was $26.9 billion, so it's averaging about $20 billion a month, but it is expanding - it is growing. Only things that are alive expand and grow.

    There are those in Congress, those in the administration, and those looking to lead the next administration, who are all convinced that the undervaluation of the yuan versus the U.S. dollar gives China an unfair trade advantage; hence the large trade deficit. However, perhaps they run too hard - too fast; and in the wrong direction. Too often man thinks it is easier to run away from his problems then to face them head on, which can lead to trying to run away from oneself - a very difficult task, if not impossible.

    Calls for protectionism were sounded months ago from voices within Congress - voices who should know better, as protectionism never promotes free trade, it is the stuff of market intervention that stifles and restricts markets by alienation and isolation.

    Tariff restrictions on certain Chinese imports have been suggested as the iron fist needed to come down hard on the Chinese government and its central bank's monetary policy. Even Secretary Paulson has questioned the validity of such restraints, knowing full well the possible repercussions and subsequent fall out.

    One Democratic Presidential candidate believes that the U.S. is being held hostage to monetary and economic decisions made in China and Japan. The reason given is that because foreign entities hold almost 44% of all outstanding Treasury paper (debt), they carry and can thus wield a big stick.

    The statistics are correct, China and Japan hold over 40% of U.S. Treasury debt; and such holdings do constitute a large stick that can exert great force. However, just having the capability of doing something is not the same as being able to do that something, and to know and control all of the repercussions and results there from. Some may not be discernible, while others may simply be too formidable to handle without incurring significant risk and loss.

    Part Two:
    Motivation & Intent

    China is reported to have $1.33 trillion dollars of foreign currency reserves. Such an amount is quite formidable and could easily be used as a catalyst to start a selling panic in the U.S dollar, which in turn would cause interest rates to go up, and Treasury bond prices to go down.

    It is estimated that China holds about $900 billion in various types of U.S. bonds. Once again this is a significant amount. Certain individuals in China have recently made statements to the media indicating that Beijing might play hard ball with their massive amounts of U.S. dollar denominated holdings, especially if the U.S. backs them into a financial corner. Perhaps the issue is not so much could they, but would they?

    Could or Would

    Some of these comments came from minor cabinet level officials; however, none have been made by officials sanctioned with the power of enforcement behind them. It would set off a financial nuclear bomb if China starting an en masse withdrawal from the dollar, especially if precipitated by officials in high government positions.

    Why would any sane person make such a decision? As noted, China has huge sums in both U.S. government bonds and U.S. currency. To wantonly destroy the American dollar would also destroy China's huge positions denominated in those very same U.S. dollars.

    Beijing would be sealing their own political and financial fate by precipitating a wholesale flight out of the dollar. It makes no sense for them to do so. It would be self-defeating. Such a move would be the proverbial biting the hand that feeds you. Although China could pursue such a course, why would they - especially if political and financial suicide was the most likely end result?

    Real or Unreal

    So what might be going on that has led to the public display of threats of self-destructive and insane monetary policy?

    The first possibility is that China means what it says: it is willing to use the power and force of its huge holdings in U.S. dollars as a weapon of mass destruction. For the reasons given above, this is most improbable; possible, yes - likely, no.

    If this political position and resulting scenario is real, it should be taken and viewed as a direct threat. Unless one is prepared to act to back up a threat, it is meaningless and without consequence, as if it never occurred - very much like laws not in pursuance of the Constitution.

    Which then brings us to the posturing alternatives, where what is being said is not considered to be a viable course of action that would ever be taken, but is presented as such to gain the upper hand in the global geo-political poker game: an unreal bluff if you will.

    Political and financial posturing between world class players at the world championship poker table: with all the attendant checks, raises, calls, and bluffs is what is going on. It is the art of the game on display. Once again, however, for what purpose and towards what design? Cui Bono?

    Is China simply straight out bluffing that it would consider such dollar selling, when behind closed doors they admit to themselves they wouldn't? If this is the case what is China trying to gain?

    One possibility is they want their bluff to cause the other player to throw their hand into the pot and give up - that other player being the United States. This is definitely high stakes poker playing, as do they really think the U.S. will fall for that ploy, or are they just testing the waters to see what pops up? The only other viable and meaningful reason for such a bluff would be to gain time - to reposition and redeploy.

    National, International, or Supranational

    Or might this be a larger bluff made in concert by all the players involved, or at least the majority? Is it possible that most central banks are working together, regardless of what is done or said in public and reported by the press?

    But what could the possible reason be for such political intrigue and financial posturing? The easiest way to answer that question is by asking another question: who is in a position to gain from such a policy; and to gain how - politically or financially?

    The BIS (bank for international settlements) records over $450 trillion in derivative positions on the books of the various entities that report to them (and not all entities report to them). The gross product of the entire world is about $55 trillion, which means there are paper derivative obligations equal to more than 8 years of total world production. Perhaps Archimedes was right; with enough leverage the earth can be moved.

    That's a whole lot of leveraging going on, and it best be maintained because if it isn't there are going to be some serious problems when the bill comes due. Consequently, the system has a very vested interest in seeing that it maintains, at whatever the cost - cost is not the issue anymore, the issue is survival.

    All of life is about survival - make no mistake about this, as it is going to become more and more self-evident as time goes on. Man needs the basic necessities of life to survive: food, water, shelter, etc. Life's necessities can only be had by two means: one employs his labor in exchange either directly or indirectly to satisfy his needs; or one takes what they need from others. History is replete with countless renditions of this same theme sung out in a full ensemble of keys.

    When an individual takes from another it is called stealing and is punished by the body politic within which it occurs, usually by incarceration. If the body politic in power collectively sanctions the taking from others, they do so by organized conquest - war, the means by which one nation state confiscates the wealth of another.

    The first is considered taboo and results in crime and punishment; the second is deemed to be brave and noble action, rewarded by medals of honor and distinction; and the prizes and bounties of war: loot. Perhaps organized crime and organized conquest have more in common than just being organized?

    The powers that be or the established system knows what's what and they construct a survival plan accordingly. Obviously it is important for the Fed to protect the U.S. Treasury market. Just as obvious is that it is in the best interest of any country that holds a large amount of U.S. Treasury bonds to see the Fed is successful in its endeavors.

    Not only does China not want to see U.S. bond prices go down because of rising interest rates, they would love to see bond prices go up due to falling interest rates. If China were to sell dollars en masse they would lose not only on their dollar holdings, they will also give up a huge profit potential in their massive holdings of U.S. Treasuries, as well as possibly losing a lot of money if Treasuries go down in price.

    None of the central banks are stupid, they know which side their bread is buttered on; and it is in none of their best interests to see the dollar or Treasury bonds falter. Has China and Japan unknowingly bought almost half the U.S. Treasury market without being aware of the risks involved? I think not. Things are not as they so often appear to be. One is reminded of the Catholic saying: black is white and white is black - or was it the Jesuits?

    Instead, they both have acted in an almost unbelievably cooperative manner in buying up hordes of U.S. Treasuries, thereby supporting the U.S. and world financial markets. Perhaps the payoff for such assistance will be a windfall of profits in the very same Treasury market.

    The two biggest financial items in the news these days are the global down turn in most major markets, and the supposed cause thereof - the subprime mortgage debacle, which grows worse by the day. The white's of all central bankers' eyes say it is imperative that the U.S. Treasury bond market not implode, as it is the backbone of the system; some say the guts of the system.

    The U.S. bond market is to be protected at all costs, as there is enough debt denominated in U.S. dollars to take down the entire global system. The dollar is still the reserve currency of the world, and still dominates percentage-wise bar none. Any slashing of the U.S. dollar or U.S. Treasury market will also slash all those who have significant holdings in either asset, which pretty much covers the entire world.

    There is little doubt that either China or Japan, or any other major world power wants to see the U.S. dollar or Treasury market go down the tubes, there is just too much at risk to lose for any and all players concerned.

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  79. Theres an article on it JR.......I think that article is a little too dovish though, if China thinks we are infringing on their national security by trying to control most of the Worlds oil...........I dont think they would hesitate to hurt us regardless of the self inflicted pain.

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  80. Mike:

    Don't you also think China and Russia would intervene militarily if Bush attacks Iran?

    ReplyDelete
  81. The Great Depression: Housing Again!

    The housing starts data available from the Census Bureau begin in 1959 and leave us wondering what happened earlier, but in searching for references I ran across the image to the right of the earlier data in Ketchum(1954). Look at that: housing starts declined beginning in 1925! Industrial production didn’t begin its nosedive until July 1929 and the Dow Jones Average peaked in October 1929. How weird is that!

    Problems in housing led the great depression by full three years. Without doing the hard work to confirm, it seems possible that the increase in the discount rate in 1928 was very hard on an already weakened housing sector, and set in motion the events that led to the Great Depression, dropping housing starts dramatically from over 900 thousand in 1925 to under 100 thousand in 1933. But, of course, I must defer to Bernanke’s(2000) Essays on the Great Depression, which does not emphasize housing.

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  82. And your right we would likely fall so low as to never arise again........we dont have many natural resources that a complex society like ours needs to function and we dont manufacture much of anything to generate the money to pay for those resources.......once the oil and money stop flowing in the war machine grinds to a halt........then what?

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  83. Mike,

    The WARS are always in order to bring home resources! No worries! Bush is working hard to protect America's "real" jobs, in the MIC!

    Unless china has already started selling dollar tanks!

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  84. Larry said...
    Mike:

    Don't you also think China and Russia would intervene militarily if Bush attacks Iran?"

    Eventually if we tried to occupy it yes.........but at first it would be peripherally via supplying the opposition similar to what we did to them in Afghanistan and/or via economic attacks on the dollar and Petro dollar in particular...........and I think much of the world would side with Russia and China in abandoning the Petrodollar.

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  85. All China has to do is pull the plug on the money and the U.S is doomed.

    ReplyDelete
  86. You're right Naj:

    Bush is protecting his interests and not the innocent.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Naj said...
    Mike,

    The WARS are always in order to bring home resources! No worries! Bush is working hard to protect America's "real" jobs, in the MIC!

    Unless china has already started selling dollar tanks!"


    Yes, they are Naj, but has Bush been successful at ANYTHING except buffaloing and bullying two inept Congresses?

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  88. (Reuters) - The Democratic odd couple leading the U.S. Congress has struggled to make its political marriage productive since rising to power in January.

    Now with Washington deadlocked on Iraq and other matters, polls show Americans more frustrated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi than the two have been with each other.

    "We have great hurdles to overcome," Reid, flanked by Pelosi, said in sizing up the battles Democrats face when lawmakers return from their summer recess this week.

    Polls show only about one in five Americans approve of the Democratic-led Congress, a rating even below the unpopular President George W. Bush, and Reid and Pelosi are poised to again challenge Bush on the unpopular Iraq war.

    Time for the Bush enablers to go.

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  89. See thats just it Larry, the Democrats dont have the brainwashed 26%ers that blindly support them no matter what...............put any decent independent against Pelosi or reed and they are finished!

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  90. Mike:

    I only posted a part of the article. The rest was how Pelosi and Reid can't get along and how people are tired of them.

    I know I am.

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  91. I think EVERYONES tired of them..........they are the BIGGEST disapointment i've EVER seen I hope they BOTH get drunned right out of office because ANY decent Progressive or even Independent should be able to unseat those 20%er disgraces.

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  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  93. It's as if Pelosi and Reid think they will always have control, so they can go where the payoff dollars flow.

    ReplyDelete
  94. mike said,

    You talking about the "Nuclear" option China has threatened to use JR?




    I don't think there's any doubt about it Mike. And to be sure, they are GOING to do it anyway; it is only a matter of time. An attack on Iran will cause it to happen immediately. The US military knows this.

    The resultant inflation will be Weimar-like, and promises to absolutely ruin the livelihoods of most Americans. This will also send the Federal Government into default, which means that Uncle Sam won't be paying soldiers anymore. There has never been a case in history where this didn't send the military into rebellion. Our military will not react as some others have (Argentina, for one) because the demographics of the country do not match the demographics of society in America. These soldiers won't be the instruments of a coup; they'll go home, wherever home is.

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  95. Imagine soldiers in Bush's war finding out their money has stopped, their families are destitute and there is no hope in sight.

    ReplyDelete
  96. (AP) -- Republican John McCain says he plans to continue to fight for President Bush's war strategy when senators debate the consequences of next week's highly anticipated progress report on the war.

    He says he will fight against a date for surrender because a date for withdrawal will bring chaos and genocide.

    McCain, speaking to hundreds today in the small western Iowa town of Neola, says the political process in Iraq has been frustrating and the national police still has significant problems.

    He acknowleges that standing up for Bush when most Americans oppose the war carries political risk.

    And that is why McCain will lose.

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  97. It’s a three-part business cycle now,” said Don Lampe, a partner with the law firm Womble Carlyle, whose specialty is mortgage matters. “Boom, bust and recrimination. We’re moving into the recrimination phase.”

    “Most claims will be against mortgage brokers for putting them into loans where they shouldn’t have been,” said Dan Mulligan, a California-based real estate attorney.

    One reason that borrowers often did not understand the terms of their mortgages according to Jo Carillo, a property law professor with the University of California, Hastings College of Law, was the novelty of many of these loans.

    “Many originators had no experience explaining them,” she said. “It appears to be hard to explain the true costs.”

    According to Carillo, some bad advice from mortgage originators may have been made in good faith. Caught up in red-hot housing markets, overly exuberant brokers and loan officers told clients not to worry about concerns like their ARMs resetting; they could always refinance and, anyway, interest rates were bound to fall.

    Even savvy borrowers, said Lampe, “assumed that rising prices would enable them to refinance.”

    With credit much tighter today, the refinance option is off the table for many. And, as prices have fallen in many places, it’s more difficult to sell a home for the amount owed.

    “They can’t refinance it, they can’t sell it, and they can’t afford it,” said Paul Hancock, a Florida attorney specializing in mortgage brokering and real estate law.

    Aside from bad advice, out-and-out lying also seems to have added to the mess. Borrowers often exaggerated income in order to qualify for larger loans. According to Michael Seng, a professor with the John Marshall School of Law Fair Housing Legal Support Center, mortgage brokers were behind much of this.

    “We’re running into stated-income loans where brokers got borrowers to sign blank forms that the brokers filled in; they often did not accurately reflect the borrowers’ incomes,” he said.

    Housing continues its downward spiral.

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  98. "Stepnfetchit" Reid and "Pliant" Pelosi have given the moronic monkey a Congress about as agreeable as the one the American voters threw out.

    Whoever challenges Pelosi in the Primary season will have no trouble getting JollyRoger to pony up.

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  99. Funny how Bush chooses LABOR DAY to go to Iraq, rather than staying here to support his own laborers.

    I guess he wanted to deflect attention from his labor policies.

    John Edwards just got the Labor endorsement.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Jolly Roger said...
    mike said,

    You talking about the "Nuclear" option China has threatened to use JR?



    I don't think there's any doubt about it Mike. And to be sure, they are GOING to do it anyway; it is only a matter of time. An attack on Iran will cause it to happen immediately. The US military knows this.

    The resultant inflation will be Weimar-like, and promises to absolutely ruin the livelihoods of most Americans. This will also send the Federal Government into default, which means that Uncle Sam won't be paying soldiers anymore. There has never been a case in history where this didn't send the military into rebellion. Our military will not react as some others have (Argentina, for one) because the demographics of the country do not match the demographics of society in America. These soldiers won't be the instruments of a coup; they'll go home, wherever home is."


    JR, I cant help wondering if that Executive order allowing Bush to confiscate peoples assets was to pay his mercenaries when the shit hits the fan......

    That being said I think you are correct that it is likely China will dump our dollars and inflation will be the only recourse for the government and that will result in mass unemployment, starvation, chaos etc..............I also think you are right that the Military can not fight several wars and maintain martial law here..........they cant even keep prder in Iraq right now.................BUT like I have been saying what the Neo Cons delusions of grandeur say they can actually achieve, and what they ACTUALLY CAN successfully achieve are two completely different things........but that hasnt stopped them from trying in the past.

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  101. Lydia Cornell said...
    Funny how Bush chooses LABOR DAY to go to Iraq, rather than staying here to support his own laborers.

    I guess he wanted to deflect attention from his labor policies.

    John Edwards just got the Labor endorsement."


    THATS GREAT...............Like I said John Edwards has REALLY won me over, he's the guy I want to be President!

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  102. Now for some good news!

    U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Palm Beach Gardens) met with the editorial board of the TCPalm Newspaper on Wednesday for a freewheeling question andanswer session.

    Among his comments:

    He has met individually with most of the 2008 Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination, but hasn’t determined who he will endorse. Mahoney said there is “a very good chance” that former vice president Al Gore will make a bid. If Gore does, he will be “very formidable” because Gore has been “right” on his predictions about issues such as Iraq and global warming.

    http://fromtheleft.wordpress.com/

    I don't think Hillary should be ordering any new White House stationary quite yet.

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  103. Christopher:

    I still don't think Gore will run, but it wouold be nice.

    It's about too late, and Hillary has all the money locked up.

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  104. Evan Knappenberger is like many young post-Sept. 11 Army enlistees who went from high school into the military for patriotic reasons. He wanted to spread democracy, to topple Saddam Hussein, “to do something to affect the world in a good way,” the freckled 22-year-old says.

    Today, Knappenberger is a disillusioned Iraq War veteran, four months out of the military and on a one-man mission as a peace activist campaigning against Defense Department policies that he believes unethically support the continuation of the war.

    He is not so much protesting as standing guard against the Pentagon’s so-called “stop-loss” and “inactive reserve” policies, both designed to maintain troop strength in light of failed recruitment goals. His platform is a makeshift six-foot-tall guard tower that he erected Sunday next to the Washington Monument. There, outfitted in his battle dress uniform, Knappenberger is holding a vigil for seven nights and eight days.

    The policies have, in effect, created conscripted service in an ostensibly voluntary military, he said.

    You can't fight Bush's city hall.

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  105. More truth from Brit:

    Reuters) - U.S. plans for handling Iraq after the 2003 invasion were "fatally flawed," a retired British general said, adding that the U.S. administration had refused to listen to British concerns about postwar planning.

    Major General Tim Cross said he had talked to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the invasion about the need to have international support and enough troops on the ground to reconstruct Iraq.

    "He didn't want to hear that message. The U.S. had already convinced themselves that Iraq would emerge reasonably quickly as a stable democracy," Cross told the Sunday Mirror.

    "Anybody who tried to tell them anything that challenged that idea -- they simply shut it out," Cross, the most senior British officer involved in planning post-war Iraq, added.

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  106. Sunday, September 2, 2007; Page A01

    Iraq's crucial oil and electricity sectors still need roughly $50 billion to meet demand, analysts and officials say, even after the United States has poured more than $6 billion into them over more than four years.

    Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration has focused much of its $44.5 billion reconstruction plan on oil and electricity. Now, with the U.S.-led reconstruction phase nearing its close, Iraq will need to spend $27 billion more for its electrical system and $20 billion to $30 billion for oil infrastructure, according to estimates the Government Accountability Office collected from Iraqi and U.S. officials.

    Washington Post coverage of the U.S. military and its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Even with the funding, the GAO notes that it could take until 2015 for Iraq to produce 6 million barrels of oil a day and have enough electricity to meet demand. A commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers says it could have enough electricity sooner -- 2010 to 2013.

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  107. Scores of Pakistani paramilitary soldiers on Thursday were thought to have been kidnapped in the restive south Waziristan area of Pakistan's border tribal region, provoking fresh concerns over the security of troops stationed in the area.

    The men disappeared when they were traveling in trucks near Wana, the main town of south Waziristan, according to a senior government official. "Maybe up to 100 men have gone missing," said the government official, who spoke to CBS News on the condition of anonymity "We have not heard from them since this (Thursday) afternoon. The fear is that these people have been kidnapped by local Taliban."

    What about this war Bush?

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  108. As of Monday, Sept. 3, 2007, at least 3,740 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 3,061 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

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  109. Baghdad recorded more than 1,500 violent deaths in August, according to final figures released by the Health Ministry this week — nearly three times the preliminary figure the same ministry had released last week. The figure is a sharp contradiction of U.S. and Iraqi claims that a security crackdown led to a steep drop in deaths in the capital.


    An Iraqi man is wheeled into the emergency ward of a hospital in the restive city of Baquba. Iraq's dominant Shiite alliance submitted a draft of a new law to govern the division of the country into autonomous regions, as unabated violence left at least 18 people dead and the authorities said 27 "terrorists" had been executed.(AFP/Ali Yussef)

    Instead, the number of deaths in the capital in August was roughly the same as during July, before the U.S.-led security crackdown began, the Health Ministry officials said.

    Does this death toll make you Giddy Bush?

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  110. EVERYONE, PLEASE, for at least five minutes a day pray for Bush to stop his fear of Iran.

    His fear is what drives him to create chaos.

    This really works: when you see a person differently, when you stop fighting your enemies, they actually change. We have to stop giving all this fear-mongering power too. We give such power to our enemies (Bush) with our own thoughts.

    See Bush in divine light - see him as joining the human race and shedding his irrational fears.

    We need to stop him from bombing Iran. And we can do this together by writing the White House, and by praying deeply for George Bush to reflect God. God is love.

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  111. Peace, harmony and love are our divine nature. We are all made of this. Everything else is an illusion.

    The more we focus on the good in each other, and shed our own fears, the more others reflect back to us their own innate goodness.

    Our job is to spiritually stop our catastrophic thinking. We must see George Bush as stopping all of his arrogant war-mongering.

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  112. Category 5 Hurricane Felix slams ashore

    Category 5 Hurricane Felix Slams Ashore on Central American Coast, Thousands Stranded


    Hurricane Felix roared ashore early Tuesday as a fearsome Category 5 storm _ the first time in recorded history that two top-scale storms have made landfall in the same season. The storm hit near the swampy Nicaragua-Honduras border, home to thousands of stranded Miskito Indians dependent on canoes to make their way to safety.

    But it has NOTHING to do with Global warming, cause that is just a "lie" made up by evil liberals to discredit "good ole Georgie,"(and the illegal immoral tactics of the reichwing) RIGHT DOLT?

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  113. I think it's pretty ironic that summer is marked at its beginning and its end by two groups of people to whom we pay much lip service to (dead war veterans and workers) but do nothing for.

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  114. For any reichwing propagandist who wants to screech about the surge working;

    US Deaths are up year over year by Month

    Year... 2007,.. 2006

    August 82,.. 66
    July 79,.. 46
    June 101,.. 66
    May 126,.. 79
    April 104,.. 82
    March 81,.. 33
    February 81,.. 58
    January 83,.. 64

    So the surge has RAISED the levels of US soldier casualties month over month by year.

    And even though the deaths the military WILL report on;(since they have repeatedly under-reported Iraqi casualties like the Lancet study showed...) are claimed to be down in Baghdad, the total deaths of Iraqi civilians is UP nationwide(as reported by Juan Cole among others), which means the surge is a failure, (except for inside the bubble Bush and Petreaus, and the reichwing lying propaganda spin meisters and their lackeys live in.)

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  115. BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military buildup that was supposed to calm Baghdad and other trouble spots has failed to usher in national reconciliation, as the capital's neighborhoods rupture even further along sectarian lines, violence shifts elsewhere and Iraq's government remains mired in political infighting.

    At last the truth.

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  116. Midwestern hospital operator Clarian Health caused a stir when it announced that next year employees who smoke will be assessed $5 per paycheck in extra insurance copayments, and that in 2009 it will extend the penalty to workers with high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose; obese employees will be charged $10 extra.

    Final federal rules for such programs went into effect in July, giving employers firm legal footing to push workers into healthier lifestyles.

    Doesn't society punish them enough?

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  117. Nearly two-thirds of Americans feel President George W. Bush was too eager to wage war in Iraq and is handling the conflict there badly, a poll released Tuesday suggested.

    The result marked a turn-around from a survey that asked the same question four years ago, immediately after the US-led war began.

    Sixty-one percent of nearly 2,700 US adults surveyed online over one week last month by the Harris Poll group said they felt Bush was "too eager" when he sent US troops into Iraq in March 2003, while only 26 percent perceived the president as "not too eager" to go to war.

    I'm surprised the figure isn't higher.

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  118. The "most feared man" on Capitol Hill promises he's going to release the names of a few more closeted Republicans in the months to come.

    In a Tuesday profile of Washington outing blogger Mike Rogers by Jose Antonio Vargas, the 43-year-old activist says he plans to release the names of "a few more" closeted Congressmembers on his blog, blogACTIVE.

    The onetime fundraiser outed Larry Craig on his blog last October. Following his post, the Idaho Statesman dispatched a reporter to this story -- a piece which remained canned until revelations that Craig was arrested for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport bathroom appeared in August.

    Larry Craig wasn't "the first on my list," Rogers told the Post. "And the Idaho senator, who announced his resignation Saturday, 'won't be the last.'"

    Craig was the first of many!

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  119. (CNNMoney.com) -- The economic expansion that began six years ago has failed to benefit most workers, according to a report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, released Monday.

    Productivity growth, although slower of late, has been strong since 2000. After a sluggish start in the period, employment has picked up, although at a slower pace than in past recoveries. Yet, that growth hasn't transferred to workers' paychecks, particularly for workers at the lower and middle end of the pay scale, the report found.

    After rising quickly in the second half of the 1990s, most workers real wages have been stagnant in the 2000s, especially since 2003.

    The Bush economy leaving everyone out but the rich.

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  120. AP) Lawyers behind a California ballot proposal that could benefit the 2008 Republican presidential nominee have ties to a Texas homebuilder who financed attacks on Democrat John Kerry's Vietnam War record in the 2004 presidential campaign.

    Charles H. Bell and Thomas Hiltachk's law firm banked nearly $65,000 in fees from a California-based political committee funded almost solely by Bob J. Perry that targeted Democrats in 2006. Perry, a major Republican donor, contributed nearly $4.5 million to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that made unsubstantiated but damaging attacks on Kerry three years ago.

    Hiltachk has been pushing a proposal to revamp the way California awards its electoral votes, a change Democrats claim would rig the 2008 race. He and Bell are the sole officers of a new political committee, Californians for Equal Representation, that is raising money to place the plan on the ballot in June.

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  121. Larry,

    Next up for Rogers is a certain South'n Senator who's in his fifties and never married and is the only sitting senator who's also active duty military.

    That's enough clues, but if you need more, his first name is the same as the last name of a recent NYC mayor.

    And no, there's no "Koch Graham" sitting in the Senate.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Carl:

    I had heard before that the Senator you are referring to was one of those closeted Repugs, from someone in that States Afl-CIO.

    I wouldn't doubt it one bit. Quite a phony.

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  123. You're welcome, Larry.

    Good info on the Swiftboat connection to the California initiative.

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  124. The Cost of The War

    Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes plan to present this week a paper estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $1-2 trillion. This is far higher than earlier estimates of $100-200 billion.

    Here is their statement:



    NEW STUDY SUGGESTS ECONOMIC COST OF IRAQ WAR MUCH LARGER THAN PREVIOUSLY RECOGNIZED



    A new study by two leading academic experts suggests that the costs of the Iraq war will be substantially higher than previously reckoned. In a paper presented to this week’s Allied Social Sciences Association annual meeting in Boston MA., Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes and Columbia University Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz calculate that the war is likely to cost the United States a minimum of nearly one trillion dollars and potentially over $2 trillion.



    The study expands on traditional budgetary estimates by including costs such as lifetime disability and health care for the over16,000 injured, one fifth of whom have serious brain or spinal injuries. It then goes on to analyze the costs to the economy, including the economic value of lives lost and the impact of factors such as higher oil prices that can be partly attributed to the conflict in Iraq. The paper also calculates the impact on the economy if a proportion of the money spent on the Iraq war were spent in other ways, including on investments in the United States



    “Shortly before the war, when Administration economist Larry Lindsey suggested that the costs might range between $100 and $200 billion, Administration spokesmen quickly distanced themselves from those numbers,” points out Professor Stiglitz. “But in retrospect, it appears that Lindsey’s numbers represented a gross underestimate of the actual costs.”

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  125. Larry,

    Read your post. Thanks.

    The practice of "outing" a gay person just for the sport of it is to me, an immoral act. There are many reasons why a gay man or lesbian woman might choose to remain in the closet. I'm from a generation where it's no big deal (I've been "out" since I was 16 years old) if you're gay. But not everyone is so lucky and free.

    However, I draw the line with elected lawmakers (mostly conservative) who are closeted and then pass laws that make me and my partner secondclass citizens. For them, I say out them all!

    As you know, I revealed the identity of GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry and his ties to a triple murder/suicide and the gay porno industry. I was glad to spread the word. It's been well known that Sen. Lindsey Graham is gay and closeted. In fact, I even know what flavor he likes in men, if you get my drift. Ditto, Rep. David Drier of California. But, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky? Oh no. That's just wrong. He's too vile to even be a closet queen. If true, this would mean his wife, Labor Sec'y Elaine Cho is his beard!

    ROFL!

    ReplyDelete
  126. Christopher:

    You have a unique, but observant way of making the point.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Check out this excellent post by Alicia: It's worth the read!


    Last Left Before Hooterville

    ReplyDelete
  128. Amid a huge security clampdown, the US leader’s plane Air Force One touched down around 10.20 PM. On arrival he was met by Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, NSW Premier Morris Iemma and the US Ambassador Robert McCallum.

    Earlier tonight, Anti-APEC demonstrators staged their first protest during the Sydney summit, with 200 demonstrators attending a peaceful rally near Central Station.

    Amid chants of “Go home Bush”, Stop Bush Coalition spokesman Alex Bainbridge said a strong police presence and other deterrents would not dissuade protesters.

    Some protesters carried banners as about 60 police, some of them members of the riot squad, watched their movements.

    “This is a scare tactic by the police and the government,” Mr Bainbridge said.

    “I think there is a lot more people who are prepared to say that they can’t let this intimidation go ahead and will come along and support us anyway.”

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  129. MCH said...
    Health Care is my biggest issue and while I have for the most part gone back to being a lurker I just need to open up again, if just for a moment.

    13 years ago next month, my wife and I were expecting our first child. Her job did not have insurance benefits and while my job did offer them, I was not eligible for another month. No problem, the baby wasn't due until early February and I was already assured that the birth would be covered. Life was good.

    On a Friday, my sister-in-law checked my wife's blood pressure as practice for her nursing exam. The blood pressure was extremely high and a doctor was notified. We were told to bring her in to see him immediately. Later that afternoon, Kelly was admitted into the hospital.

    We knew she would probably be put on bedrest for the rest of the pregnancy so Saturday morning, I called her boss and quit on Kelly's behalf. Ten minutes later I was called into my boss's office and fired -- they said they just didnt see potential in me.

    No job, no insurance, no money, no income, a wife in the hospital -- I was scared out of my mind. I didnt dare check Kelly out of the hospital, I was afraid I would lose both her and the baby but I knew the bills were going to be racking up. Finally, a social worker sat me down and said "Stop worrying about the money. You need to focus on your wife and your child ... let the money sort itself out."

    On Monday my son was born - 2 lbs 7 oz. Four months, two operations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars later I got to take him home. Thank God for Medicaid.

    If that scenario played out today, I wouldnt qualify.

    Voltron, it's all very well and fine for you supposed pro-lifers to say "but why should I have to pay for it" and "hundreds of thousands of dollars of my money" and make your bogus claims about people choosing not to be insured. The fact of the matter is if it wasnt for Medicaid being there when I needed it, I would be childless and a widower.

    Good quality Health Care SHOULD be a guaranteed right in this country and anybody claiming to be a Christian or pro-life ought to be among the first to be fighting for it."


    EXCELLENT point MCH............this is the perfect reason WHY we NEED universal health care..............no one was ever ruined financially with universal health care.

    For a bunch of Simpletons that Screech how much they value life............it seems they ONLY care about unborn fetus's because they can use it as a wedge issue.........once babies are brn not so much......they would rather let them die and decrease the surplus population than have to reach into their pocket to actually help the person to live.

    Same with the War, the wealthy hippocrites support the war as long as it doesnt affect their tax cuts or their children dont have to die over there fighting it.

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  130. That was a great post.......somehow I must have missed it yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Larry,

    There's one more senators that Rogers has the goods on (one whose initials are MM), one Southern California Congressman who is already been outted by Michaengelo Signorile with the initials "DD",plus a Representative from a certain South'n state (same state, I think, as the Senator I mentioned in my last post) who's gay lover was found dead over the weekend in a double murder-suicide crime scene in Florida.

    Along with the gay ex-lover of a certain Christian Coalition powerhouse whose initials are "RR".

    Hm. Any Republican with the same last and first initial seems to be gay, right, Ronnie Reagan?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Oh, and hey, Biff?

    If that's true, then how come you managed to slip in?

    ReplyDelete
  133. Breaking News Breaking News

    Keith Olbermann will have another "SPECIAL COMMENT" tonight.

    Good TV.

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  134. DETROIT - Toyota, Ford and Chrysler each reported sales declines last month, but General Motors Corp. surprised industry analysts on Tuesday by showing an increase in a declining U.S. auto market.

    Automakers with declining sales: It's the Bush economy!

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  135. The White House has scrubbed its Web site of evidence it has reversed its policies on allowing public access to information to which it is legally entitled. However, a source told RAW STORY that the scrub would have no legal implications.

    Sometime over the weekend, White House computer technicians removed from government Web sites any references to the Office of Administration or its previous compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests

    More Bush Secrets!

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  136. Chimpleton Jesusistanis like doltron have as much compassion for other people in them as I have an inclination to vote Gopper in the next election.

    Jesusistanis don't congregate out of love. They congregate out of unadulterated hatred. Hatred and fear of anything not like them (along with a good bit of fear of their own internal deficiencies.)

    ReplyDelete
  137. President George Bush’s credibility gap problem seems even bigger because he’s now being directly disputed for an assertion made in a new book — disputed by a key figure in the U.S. occupation of Iraq:

    A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.

    Mr. Bremer provided the letters to The New York Times on Monday after reading that Mr. Bush was quoted in a new book as saying that American policy had been “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”

    The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents. In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.

    Bush can't even lie with distinction!

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  138. Alicia at Hooterville wrote a great post. Here's what I wrote to her:

    Great article, Alicia! I will be 13 years sober on Sept. 11, and am very familiar with the definition of insantiy.

    For years I've said we're in an abusive relationship wtih Bush and we need Alanon. So let's take it a step higher and really stop fighting our enemies.

    What I mean is this: there is a spiritual power that is much bigger than Bush or any of us, believe me I know firsthand. But when we stop saying things like"Bush is going to bomb Iran" and actually put into practice true prayer (which has nothing to do with the anthropomorphic fear and punishment fundamentalist god of the religious right) THINGS ACTUALLY CHANGE.

    This is a universe of laws of harmony. We ourselves must stop our defeatism.

    This one asshole cannot have that much power. We will not allow it.

    we cannot allow him to start another war or bomb Iran.

    I for one, am seeing him as waking up. If he has even a glimmer of the true "Christ" within, he will know he has been ruled by fear. Love casts out fear.

    Larry, I know what you are saying, but let's not use statements like this:

    Larry said: "I also think Bush will attack Iran and I agree it will launch World War III."

    China practically owns the U.S thanks to Bush, China and Russia have been holding joint manuevers, our military has been destroyed by Bush and attacking Iran will unleash the Mideast against us.

    America can't survive all this but it is coming.

    Perhaps that's the neocon plan in reality = The New World Order!
    Larry | Homepage | 09.04.07 - 1:14 pm | #

    ReplyDelete
  139. Lydia said,

    For years I've said we're in an abusive relationship wtih Bush and we need Alanon. So let's take it a step higher and really stop fighting our enemies.


    Some enemies can only be defeated through constant confrontation.

    Chimpy and his ilk have been waiting 50 years to run amok. That whole time, they never took a day off confronting US with lies, half-truths, and paranoid fantasies dressed up as "threats."

    Unless we take it back to them, we lose. The truth must constantly be pounded into them, as one would pound wheat into flour.

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  140. Yes JR, but we have to stop saying "Bush is going to attack Iran" as if it's a done deal.

    We can say, "We will not tolerate this any longer" but let's get active.

    Obviously bush needs to be locked up, put in prison or a mental institution. But constantly hating his guts only makes us feeble and powerless.

    We need to hold our thoughts higher about the man. It is metaphysics and I guarantee it works. As hard as it is to change our vision of him, we have to. Our vision of him will create a different outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  141. "Some enemies can only be defeated through constant confrontation"
    -Jr.

    Interesting that you can say this only about your fellow countrymen who simply disagree with you, and not about external forces which want to kill you.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Pacifism is evil, because it permits evil to exist and flourish.

    Hence Ghandi:

    "The advice that the Mahatma offered the jews when faced with the Nazi peril: they should commit collective suicide. If only the Jews of Germany had the good sense to offer their throats willingly to the Nazi butchers' knives and throw themselves into the sea from cliffs they would arouse world public opinion, Gandhi was convinced, and their moral triumph would be remembered for 'ages to come.' If they would only pray for Hitler (as their throats were cut, presumably), they would leave a 'rich heritage to mankind.'" Even after the war, when the unprecedented extent of the massacre became known, Gandhi callously insisted "that the Jews died anyway, didn't they? They might as well have died significantly."

    AND

    "It is not appreciated "how much violence was associated with Ghandi's so-called 'nonviolent' movement from the very beginning." The poet Tagore astutely "sensed a strong current of nihilism in Gandhi almost from his first days, and as early as 1920 wrote of Gandhi's 'fierce joy of annihilation,'" which he feared "would lead India into hideous orgies of devastation -- which ultimately proved to be the case." Here is a description of the wages of Gandhi's "nonviolence," after the "violent" and oppressive British left India:

    "The Indians -- gentle, tolerant people that they are gave themselves over to an orgy of bloodletting." Bloodthirsty mobs "surged through the streets from one end of India to the other, the majority group in each area, Hindu or Muslim, slaughtering the defenseless minority without mercy in one of the most hideous periods of carnage of modern history.... Blood-crazed Hindus, or Muslims, ran through the streets with knives, beheading babies, stabbing women, old people." Grenier notes that "we will never know how many Indians were murdered by other Indians during the country's Independence Massacres, but almost all serious studies place the figure over a million, and some... go to 4 million."


    It's also said he treated his own family quite horribly...

    http://history.eserver.org/ghandi-nobody-knows.txt

    ReplyDelete
  143. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the Earth."


    As wise as Ghandi was, Idiotron, Jesus was a tad wiser.

    ReplyDelete
  144. mch,

    IF you'd read the article you wouldn't mention Ghandi and Jesus in the same breath.

    Jesus was more than just a "tad" wiser. Ghandi was a opportunist and a lowlife.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Just stick with Jesus and forget Ghandi. You'll be better off.

    ReplyDelete
  146. I might remind you of the same thing -- stick with Jesus and you'll be better off.

    Remember that when faced with the decision of the candidate proposing peace war and the one proposing more war.

    Remember that when faced with the decision of the candidate proposing helping the poor and the one proposing helping the rich.

    Remember that when faced with the decision of the candidate proposing equal rights for all and the one proposing restricting them.

    Remember that when faced with the decision of the candidate proposing restricting guns and the one proposing more guns.

    Remember that when faced with the decision of the candidate proposing freedom and the one proposing restriction of freedom.

    I'll give you a hint -- and I know you need the hint because Republicans only pretend to know this stuff -- you can find out where Jesus stands on all of this by reading the gospels. Oh, and there are four of them ... I needed to throw that in because most Republicans havent read the Bible, they only claim to have read it.

    ReplyDelete
  147. BREAKING BREAKING BREAKING!

    Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, the Republican closet queen who was was arrested in a mens restroom in June at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on suspicion of making sexual advances to an undercover police officer in the next stall and resigned in disgrace, stunned the Congress by announcing late Tuesday is may revoke his resignation.

    You can't make this stuff up!

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  148. Voltron, you were quoting someone who twisted Gandhi's whole stance to make it fit an argument. What Gandhi was trying to convey was the higher law, the Christ law: love your enemies. A soft answer turns away wrath.

    How little you know of either Jesus or Gandhi.

    Gandhi walked in the path of the Christ truth, and was one of those who actually followed Christ very closely in his purpose.

    Because your mortal mind cannot understand these higher laws and makes everything low or debased to fit your small-mindedness, does not mean Gandhi's intentions were not pure.

    Always look at a man's intentions first. No problem can be solved at the level it was created - Einstein.

    (You can't fight fire with fire.)

    ReplyDelete
  149. mch, you seem in a fairly reasonable mood this evening so I'll indulge you.

    First, I have read the Bible quite a few times through.

    Evil DOES exist in the world and not only in the guise of George W. Bush. It will not rest and give you the peace you crave until you either defeat it or devise a method to at least keep it at bay.
    (and WHILE you keep it at bay from you and yours, it's still out there devouring others who seem useful to liberals only as a statistic...)

    Further, the BEST way to help the poor is NOT by simply GIVING them things and creating a permanent underclass eviscerating their self esteem and breaking up families.
    The BEST way is to SHOW them the way to take advantage of the privileges our society has to offer and ALLOWING them to help themselves.

    Regarding "equal rights" see the above.

    "Guns" are simply a tool. They are inherently neither "good" nor "bad". If you restrict responsible law abiding people from owning guns you simply make them "prey" for those who would not obey your "restrictions".

    "Freedom" comes at a price. Sometimes it must have certain limits imposed when we cannot know the motives of those who we give it to, while it is being fought for and re-established.

    And I know you need the hint because Liberals only pretend to know this stuff --

    While most Liberals have read the Bible, they only CLAIM to understand it. (and ONLY then when it follows their agenda)

    ReplyDelete
  150. mch - great post.

    Christopher! this is crazy; it's Craig's ego talking.

    Regarding Hitler - remember it was the Christians who were bought off within Germany. They were the accomplices who remained silent.

    Long before we intervened, the so-called fear-based Christians should have risen up against Hitler.

    Gandhi was trying to follow Christ and make a pacifist statement in a purely hypothetical way. And in this, he was wrong. But his utopian ideal was right.

    If the insiders in Germany and the men supporting Hitler had been awake to the mesmerism der Fuhrer, and they hadn't been full of bigotry and brainwashing against the Jews -- they would have taken Hitler out before our inevitable and right intervention.

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  151. All of Christ's teachings are about the sins of intolerance and hatred. These need to be cut out of the new man with the spiritual sword, which separates hate from love.

    Gandhi lived the way Christ commanded us to live, as a peacemaker who nourished the poor, couldn't be corrupted or bought, and who resisted war against all odds.

    "As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side."

    Gandhi believed that at the core of every religion was truth and love (compassion, nonviolence and the Golden Rule). He also questioned hypocrisy, malpractices and dogma in all religions and was a tireless social reformer.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    And eye for an eye is the OLD Testament.

    Christ came with the new law: love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies. Blessed are the Peacemakers.

    Volt - you must not be talking about the same Christ.

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  152. Lydia,

    Was Sergeant Major Gandhi walking in the "Christ truth" during the Kaffir wars in which he was awarded Victoria's War Medal for helping put down the Zulu uprising in South Africa?

    I would not call you "small minded" as you have labeled me, but can you not see that "intentions" are nothing without results? As I recall there is a certain road paved with good intentions...

    And while Gandhi's stance may be "twisted" his actions are history.

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  153. Lydia,

    Did he help "nourish" the poor by defending the caste system in India?

    And as far as "incontinent" being immoral, there may be a few older folks in nursing homes that'll never get into heaven now...LOL

    And Lydia, If I defend my position too vigorously, Larry will claim I'm "attacking" you and declare my "hatred" of you, so let's just leave it at that. If I have the time, I'll slog it out with your "warriors"...

    ReplyDelete
  154. This needs to be addressed though,

    "All of Christ's teachings are about the sins of intolerance and hatred"

    There is a DIFFERENCE between "tolerance" and "acceptance". We as a people are VERY tolerant. We tolerate many things to the detriment of our very society. What you ask is acceptance and I don't think even Jesus "accepted" those things which he considered sin. He WAS tolerant of it, as he knew we were fallen and prone to sin. But he never ACCEPTED sin.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Ok, I will respond in kind. Please note that edits made are only made for space considerations:


    "Evil DOES exist in the world and not only in the guise of George W. Bush ... "

    If you have been paying attention, you might have noticed that I dont think W is evil ... I just think he's stupid. Now Cheney -- that man is evil. Also, I don't disagree with you about fighting evil ... I just dont think we need to stoop to their level to do it. Did somebody say Gitmo?

    "Further, the BEST way to help the poor is NOT by simply GIVING them things ..."

    No, the best way to help the poor is to give them what they need to survive while they get themselves into the position of no longer needing it ... as I was. Yes, there are those who will simply kick back and live off the system ... fine, let them. Far better to support them while we are helping the others then cut it all off entirely.

    "Regarding "equal rights" see the above."

    Equal rights are not something that you can GIVE, SHOW how to have or ALLOW somebody to take (emphasis yours) ... they should be there already. Too many people on your side though keep thinking that equal rights are fine so long as Christians and Heterosexuals are the only ones who have them.

    "'Guns' are simply a tool. They are inherently neither "good" nor "bad"...."

    Guns are a tool whose sole purpose is to kill. If there were a lot fewer guns in the world, there would be a lot less dying in the world. Me, I'm for getting rid of ALL of them and let people go back to bows and arrows and rocks when making war. It will never happen, but I will continue to hope for that to happen when I read of drive by shootings, school shootings, and accidental shootings.

    "'Freedom' comes at a price. Sometimes it must have certain limits imposed ..."

    Either follow the Constitution or get rid of it. If you dont like it, go live somewhere else. Gee, that sounds like something a Republican would say ...

    " While most Liberals have read the Bible, they only CLAIM to understand it. (and ONLY then when it follows their agenda)"

    If following what the Bible says is called an agenda .. then yes, I have an agenda. I just wish Republicans had an agenda that involved following the Bible.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Volt - the only sin Jesus cared about was hatred. Unkindness to one's fellow man.

    ReplyDelete
  157. I'll tell you what Voltron, I will make you the same challenge I have made to others ...

    Republicans claim to oppose gay marriage due to religious convictions. If you can find me 1 verse in any of the four gospels in which Jesus condemns homosexuality ... I will vote a Republican straight ticket in the next election.

    However, I support Medicaid for religious reasons. Therefore, if I can find 5 verses in the four gospels in which Jesus says we need to give what we can to the poor, then you have to vote a Democratic straight ticket in the next election.

    You will notice I have given myself a handicap -- 5 verses as opposed to one. Are you up for the challenge?

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  158. mch,

    There is no such thing as a "right" without a corresponding "responsibility". If you will not take the responsibility, you cannot claim the right.

    You have a right to freedom of speech, but you have a responsibility not to yell "fire" in a crowded theater.

    Along that same line, your "rights" end where mine begin. You may say whatever you like, but you are NOT free from repurcussions. I and others are free to voice our disagreement, and shun you for your opinions if we should decide to.

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  159. I wrote this after all the hate mail I got: The Christian right is obsessed with the unborn and with the sexual immorality of others, to the exclusion of any other sin, including their own sins of pride and judgment — which, by the way, were the only sins Jesus cared about, or actually mentioned! He did condemn divorce, but since divorce is rampant among evangelicals, no one never sees them picketing courthouses to abolish divorce. Sexual immorality was not even on Christ’s radar, as was clear when the mob was stoning the prostitute: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

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  160. Lydia,

    You can oppose something without "hatred".

    While Clif and Mike may think I "hate" or am "biggoted" towards muslims, I can think of no greater gift for these people than to free them from an oppressive and evil ideology.

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  161. You completely missed what I was referring to when I talked about rights. Either that or you changed the topic while pretending not to ... learn that from watching Rove's puppet .. er, I mean the President?

    ReplyDelete
  162. No mch, I didn't miss your point.

    Equal rights are there for everyone, but some standards have to be upheld for the sake of society.

    Those you mention already have the same rights you and I do, but they want to usurp those rights in ways that are against the societies they live in.

    ReplyDelete
  163. So ... about that challenge?

    ReplyDelete
  164. By the way, Volt, you should read websites from real Muslims who are horrified and deeply upset that Al Queda claims the name of Islam. Al Queda is a fringe lunatic group of terrorists that have nothing to do with regular Muslims or Islam.

    But we don't hear these people in the mainstream media because fear sells. and propaganda is what Bush, Fox, Rush, must use to beat the war drums.

    I will post some of these comments soon.

    ReplyDelete
  165. I guess he's not up to the challenge.

    Oh well, Volt, it's an open challenge so feel free to take me up on it any time you wish.

    Oh, another hint, the gospels are in the New Testament.

    ReplyDelete
  166. You know, this was fun. I should stop being a lurker a little more often.

    ReplyDelete
  167. mch,

    No, I won't take you up on your offer, but consider this. This also goes to Lydia's statement as well.

    I found this response on another website, you may either accept or discredit it, but I certainly can't.

    "Consider these facts:

    1. Jesus also never said anything directly about rape, incest or domestic violence. Are those things okay, too?

    2. Many teachings and deeds of Christ are not included in the Gospel accounts, as John writes in John 21:25.

    3. Christ did say that God created people “in the beginning” as male and female, and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman joined together as “one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9). Nothing is said about any other type of union.

    4. When He discussed sexual morality, Christ had a very high standard, clearly affirming long-standing Jewish law. He told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). He warned people not only that the act of adultery was wrong, but even adulterous thoughts (Matthew 5:28). And he confronted the woman at the well (John 4:18) by pointing out to her that he knew she was living with a man who was not her husband. If he had intended to change this longtime understanding of God’s requirements for human sexuality, He would have said so.

    5. Christ used the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of God’s wrath (Matthew 10:15, Mark 6:11, Luke 10:12 and Luke 17:29). Throughout the Old Testament, prophets clearly described these cities as being notorious for the practice of homosexuality (Genesis 18:20, Genesis 19:4-5, Isaiah 3:9, Jeremiah 23:14, Ezekiel 16:46-59). Jesus certainly knew that this was how the comparison would be understood.

    6. Christ was God incarnate (in the flesh) here on earth. He was the long-expected Messiah, which was revealed in Matthew 16:13-20, Matthew 17:5-9, Mark 8:27-30, Luke 4:16-30, Luke 9:18-21, John 4:25-26, John 8:57-59 and elsewhere. As one with God, He was present from the beginning (John 1:1-13; Colossians 1:15-17; Ephesians 3:9 and elsewhere). So, Jesus was part of the Godhead as the laws were handed down through Moses to Israel and eventually to the whole world. This Old Testament law clearly prohibited homosexuality (Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17 and elsewhere). The apostles understood this also, as shown by Paul’s writing in Romans 1:24-27, Peter’s in 2 Peter 2:4-22, and John’s in Revelation 22:15.

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  168. Lydia said,

    Yes JR, but we have to stop saying "Bush is going to attack Iran" as if it's a done deal.

    We can say, "We will not tolerate this any longer" but let's get active.

    Obviously bush needs to be locked up, put in prison or a mental institution. But constantly hating his guts only makes us feeble and powerless.


    Not really. I despise him, and it pushes me to keep my eyes and ears open. And it also makes me more than willing to present the facts to his worshipers, right to their faces. While this may make me somewhat unpopular in delusional circles, if I reach one or two people, and you reach one or two people, and Larry reaches one or two people, we eventually raise up a large pool of people who understand the truth about the moronic monkey.

    The fact that so many have turned from the monkey in disgust is what keeps the troll contingent in an uproar. doltron (and those like him) long ago surrendered independent thought for a few easy-to-remember-and-recite slogans, in much the same way that Charlie Manson's girls chanted the same things in unison in Court every day. To these people, the truth is irrelevant, because they are practicing a religion. I will do whatever I can do to ensure that their proselytizing comes to naught. Their Deity has already destroyed enough of my country.

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  169. Volt, you are focused on the "letter" and not the spirit of the law.

    Christ was not concerned with the flesh but the spirit. Not at all interested in the legalistic matters of man's laws, the flesh, but of Love.

    The higher laws, the spriitual qualities of man.

    That's how he was able to heal physical ills -- by seeing the spiritual perfection of man, the way God sees us. He did not see man as sick or sinning. He saw us as God's reflection.

    Hence the sinner and the lame were healed because they had never known love like that before.

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  170. Alas, I have yet to find a Republican confident enough in his Biblical knowledge to take me up on the challenge ... and so the poor continue to suffer.

    When Judgement Day comes, I'll be sure and tell Jesus you said hi ... I doubt you'll get a chance to.

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  171. Would doltron now present to us where it is Christ said that WE should cast judgments on the people he talks of?

    I also know Scripture (having been raised in a family that had 7 Baptist ministers in it.) Christ said that personal morality is a score you settle up with God when your number comes up. He didn't say a damned thing about James Dobson, Pat Robertson, or any politician setting the penalties for moral failings.

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  172. Lydia,

    I agree that there are many peaceful muslims. (at least currently peaceful) But like I posted the other night, the people who attacked us were educated, well to do men. Do you think they misinterpreted the Quran?

    From what I've read the Quran is very disjointed and badly structured for a work of God. Most of the masses simply take what the Imams say as gospel. (much like Catholics used to when the mass was in latin)

    And I note that muslims often get their message out when a cartoon degrading to Mohammed is published.

    I do agree about the media though. We see a never ending avalanche of stories regarding the foibles of a very few in our military, yet they seldom show the be-headings and atrocities of the muslims.

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  173. Ok, I should have left this part out

    "When Judgement Day comes, I'll be sure and tell Jesus you said hi ... I doubt you'll get a chance to."

    Not for me to decide.

    For the record, I hope you're there too Voltron so we can continue the sparring

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  174. doltron spewed in bigotry,

    I do agree about the media though. We see a never ending avalanche of stories regarding the foibles of a very few in our military, yet they seldom show the be-headings and atrocities of the muslims.


    The second worst terrorist attack in American history was carried out by a guy who had some very special friends he used to hang out with. What religion did they profess to be upholding?

    Next question. How much time did the MSM spend examining Mr. McVeigh's ties to those people-people who had sheltered him many times when he was in the general vicinity of the building he eventually blew up? What did THEY know about what he was up to?

    Bigotry attempts to put a one-size-fits-all face on anything not like the bigot. It makes it easier to hate everybody else if you can reduce them to monsters in your own mind. What you can't do is change facts, and the fact is that ignorance+religion=extremism. Pick whatever religion you like.

    For a final question, then: what is the name of the ACTIVE terrorist organization that has killed more people than all the other ones COMBINED? Bonus points for correctly identifying what Deity they claim to be doing all their killing, kidnapping, and burning for.

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  175. "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls
    before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and
    tear you to pieces"

    -(Matt. 7:6)

    Jr., Do you suppose he meant ACTUAL dogs and swine? Gee, looks like we might have to make a judgement...

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  176. Jr. spare me. We've been through that one before. Get a new questionaire.

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  177. Ooooh! I know! I Know!

    The Republican National Committee!!!

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  178. doltron wiggled,

    Jr., Do you suppose he meant ACTUAL dogs and swine? Gee, looks like we might have to make a judgement...


    Not even worth responding to. Christ said very plainly that God settles up moral failings. You cannot, and will not, find any passage in the New Testament that says that Christ ever said otherwise.

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  179. mch, thank you for that consideration. I hope you will be there as well.

    As for me, Carl (a minister who posts here frequently) has informed me he'll be there to whisper in Jesus ear to condemn me, so it looks like I'm already gone.

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  180. Good night all -- parting is such sweet sorrow.

    Well, except in Voltron's case in which it's just plain sweet ;)

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  181. JR - exactly.
    Mch - great challenge.

    Volt - "Leave jugement and vengeance to God."

    Just like JR said, it's not up to us to judge our fellow man, but to "turn the other cheek.

    And by the way, whatever happened to the whole idea of forgiveness and redemption?

    YOu are living in the old testament Volt.

    Also, the bible needs to be read with the spiritual key or you'll go crazy trying to make sense of a handbook for the desert peoples written for them in their time.

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  182. Hi Lydia - thank you so much for your 'God shot' on my post today. You are absolutely right. I have found it to be true in my own life that it is imperative to pray for those who I have a resentment against, and that when I do, good results are sure to follow. I need to bring my program more into my activism - they are not (or should not be) separate. Like a lot of people, I forget at times, and need to be reminded.

    And thanks for the mention!

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  183. AND I pointed out that he wasn't really a Christian. As I recall it was some weird mix that even included voodoo...

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  184. Voltron said...

    As for me, Carl (a minister who posts here frequently) has informed me he'll be there to whisper in Jesus ear to condemn me, so it looks like I'm already gone.



    I don't think Jesus needs Carl to whisper in his ear to know that you're already gone.

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  185. Yes Jr.

    Only you and God can see into the heart and make MORAL judgements.

    But we ARE to judge ACTIONS.

    I would have to look it up, but there is even a passage about separating the unrepentant and continual sinners from the congregation lest they drag the rest down...

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  186. Ouch Worf. Did you just "judge" me?

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  187. No.

    I merely pointed out that Jesus doesn't need Carl to. judge you.

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  188. Voltron said...


    I would have to look it up, but there is even a passage about separating the unrepentant and continual sinners from the congregation lest they drag the rest down...


    Well, we're not quite ready to cast you clowns out of the country yet. Just out of office.

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  189. Lydia,

    "Turn the other cheek" was a response given for an insult, not a threat to ones life.

    "And by the way, whatever happened to the whole idea of forgiveness and redemption?"

    It's still there, right next to "repentance" and "atonement"...

    What does it accomplish to "forgive" someone who will just do it again? Redemption doesn't occur if you don't repent and atone.

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  190. "I don't think Jesus needs Carl to whisper in his ear to know that you're already gone."

    Oh really?

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  191. Voltron said...
    Lydia,

    "Turn the other cheek" was a response given for an insult, not a threat to ones life.


    Well its clear he didn't intend one to ignore life theatening situations, but the turn the other cheek commandment wasn't just for insults. He specifically described the circumstances, and the word he used translates to "smite".

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  192. Yes Worf, but a slap (or smite) on the cheek is just that, an insult.
    Clearly not life threatening.

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  193. At any rate, I'm going to finish reading that review of Gandhi and turn it. Goodnight all.

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  194. No. You're thinking in King James terms. When a Jew "smites" you, you'll understand a little what that scripture means.

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  195. Either way, its moot.

    Iraq didn't smite us on either cheek.

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  196. Oh before I go, I just have to give kudos to Jr. on this one:

    "Bigotry attempts to put a one-size-fits-all face on anything not like the bigot. It makes it easier to hate everybody else if you can reduce them to monsters in your own mind."

    Well said. Many here could learn from that.

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  197. Voltron said...
    Lydia,

    I agree that there are many peaceful muslims. (at least currently peaceful) But like I posted the other night, the people who attacked us were educated, well to do men. Do you think they misinterpreted the Quran?"


    and the "people"/Neo Cons currently attacking THEM are ALSO educated well to do men, misinterpreting the bible............birds of a feather aye????

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  198. BTW, great posts today MCH!!!!!

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  199. I can not forgive Der Fuhrer Adolph Bush for all he has done after proclaiming himself to be a Christian.

    That if for the Lord too do, not I.

    I will be judged by the Lord for my deeds as will everyone else.

    Jesus was about love and He did not preach anything else but Love.

    Hitler was against abortion, homosexuality and used the fear of others to sway the church to believe he was going too make the church the official religion.

    Of course he didn't, but than he also considered himself to be a Christian as noted in his Christian Youth Movement.

    The Old Testament was a covenant between God and the Jews and is totally different than the covenant between Jesus and the Christians.

    It is in my humble opinion a slap in the face to those of Jewish Heritage to imply that there faith is a false faith.

    Every time a Christian tells someone of another faith they are implying that that persons faith is false.

    We hear it all the time. If you don't accept Jesus as your Saviour than your going to Hell.

    The Reich Wing Christians like to mix the Old and New Testaments a lot when arguing their case.

    They like to throw out the Ten Commandments as proof of our country being a Christian Nation.

    The Ten Commandments are from the Old Testament and one of the commandment is Thou Shall Place No Other God Before Me.

    For someone of Jewish Heritage to convert to Christianity is a violation of that commandment and yet they will side with those extremist who would tell them their going to Hell if they don't convert.

    All religions worship a God. I believe that we all worship the same God but under whatever religion we belong to or and our faith tells us is the true God.

    Also there are zealots in every religion who want you too believe that they and only they truly know what God says.

    We all have the means to understand our Lord of our faith within us and we all know, unless we have serious mental problems or issues, the difference between right and wrong.

    That is where God gave us the free will to chose how we will live our lives. Do what is right and moral as He teaches or follow the path of evil as Satan teaches.

    That is our choice too make and if we truly believe that the Lord will guide us down the correct path in life than He will.

    If we believe that no matter what we do to others as long as we get what we want, when we want it, than we are not truly walking the path that the Lord would want us to walk.

    And we all will stand in judgment one day before our Lord and on that day we will know if we followed the correct path or strayed and followed a path that was evil.

    I for one have no fear of being judged by the Lord for the life I have lived. I have always tried to do what's right and I'm sure I have sinned in His eyes.

    I will know on that day that I stand before Him and I have no fear of that.

    Alright, end of rant.

    God Bless.

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