Politics, Everyday, All day... morning, noon and night....

All things outside of Burning Man.
Locked
User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:40 pm

freedom is best nourished by expressing it, best defended by making friends and immortalized when it lives in the heart and minds of folks no matter what their circumstances.


( fighting for it has too often been the modern American ruse for destabilizing governments the power elite happened not to like.) Ask Prescott Bush Charles Lindberg and Henry Ford why they supported Adolph Hittler if freedom meant so much to these icons of American values.

I'll take Christ's brand of freedom anyday.....he didn't have to kill anyone to prove his point.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
stuart
Posts: 3325
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:45 am
Location: East of Lincoln

Post by stuart » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:03 am

for the duration of my lifetime

I was not around during WWII. I also stand by my position that nobody in Iraq is protecting my liberties. Nobody in central or south america is either. Nor is anyone in asia or europe. A group of proud men in uniform hanging out in gitmo is most assuredly not protecting my liberties. On the contrary, they are there to obstruct them.

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Tue Dec 28, 2004 5:50 pm

stuart wrote:
for the duration of my lifetime

I was not around during WWII. I also stand by my position that nobody in Iraq is protecting my liberties. Nobody in central or south america is either. Nor is anyone in asia or europe. A group of proud men in uniform hanging out in gitmo is most assuredly not protecting my liberties. On the contrary, they are there to obstruct them.
Amen Brother!
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

Simply Joel
Posts: 3483
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:08 am
Location: Land of Lincoln
Contact:

Post by Simply Joel » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:48 am

cowboyangel wrote:
stuart wrote:
for the duration of my lifetime

I was not around during WWII. I also stand by my position that nobody in Iraq is protecting my liberties. Nobody in central or south america is either. Nor is anyone in asia or europe. A group of proud men in uniform hanging out in gitmo is most assuredly not protecting my liberties. On the contrary, they are there to obstruct them.
Amen Brother!
so, does this mean that any historical actions on your behalf prior to your birth are of little consequence?

the Declaration of Independence?
the Bill of Rights?
two World Wars?
the Civil Rights Acts since 1964 to your birth?

sorry folks, your concerns are misplaced... in my humble opinion...

allow me to ask this question...

when was the last time you got a death threat for your beliefs in the USA?
did you contact the police?
was some corrective action taken?

and now i re-direct your attention to where in a tolerant society, death threats are being made and carried out against to free thinkers...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/P ... 9darxx.asp

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:11 pm

okayyyyyyy...I get death threats all the time from illegal mountain bikers.
I actually arrested one of these guys some months ago
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:43 am

It's old, but it's funny, and it's true. in the spirit of Joel cut-n-paste ...

Republicans Cause Global Warming on Mars
Written by Jeremy Robb
Thursday, December 11, 2003


An alarming discovery by NASA has Green Party members, the Sierra Club, Al Gore, the United Nations, and tree-hugging hippies all over earth in a panic. Global warming is occurring on Mars!



NASA has reported that Mars is coming out of an ice age and experiencing significant climate changes. Somehow, some way, the ruthless Republicans have found a way to get their message of support for oil companies and gas guzzling SUV’s all the way to Mars. How else can anyone explain global warming on Mars?



Concerned environmentalists everywhere expressed dismay that they were asleep at the wheel for this one. Not content to destroy just the earth, the Republicans must have devised a way to push their destruction all the way to Mars. Theories have begun to surface that Rush Limbaugh’s radio show is being broadcast through a Republican-owned satellite directed at Mars. Others theorize that this is a Bush payoff to his oil buddies for winning the election, or that this plot might somehow be a hidden clause somewhere deep in the pages of that dreaded Patriot Act.



Response from the environmental movement was swift and decisive. Hours after Al Gore endorsed metrosexual Howard Dean for president, he stated ''I support Dean, because he’s willing to fight against SUV use on Mars.'' He added, ''The Bush administration will not get away with causing global warming on yet another planet. Being the laughingstock of the Democratic Party now, I might be forced to live on Mars some day. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow global warming to happen in a place that could be the future home for me and my family.''



In response to this dreaded news, the French announced that they would triple gasoline taxes in order to build a fund for fighting global warming on Mars. After administration fees, payoffs, and adjustments, the French estimate the fund will accumulate $73 within the next ten years. Earlier rumors that deodorant might cause global warming have caused the French to renew their vow to reject deodorant usage until both the earth and Mars have beaten global warming.



The recently defeated San Francisco mayoral Green Party candidate, Matt Gonzalez, immediately vowed to fight for an end to global warming on Mars. His first order of business as the current president of the San Francisco board of supervisors was to order all bike companies in San Francisco to send bicycles to Mars on the next NASA rocket at their own expense. He also began a process to hire 23,000 more city workers to send to Mars in order to build three new bike lanes. As a sign of solidarity to our Mars comrades, Gonzalez suggested that all San Franciscans still demented enough to own a car should donate their car to the city in order for it to be turned into affordable housing for the growing homeless population.



Sensing another opportunity to try and make a difference, Hollywood heavies like Martin Sheen, Danny Glover, and Sean Penn have begun organizing a protest march and civil disobedience rallies to be held on the streets of Mars until global warming is stopped dead in its tracks. Martin Sheen issued a press release in which he said ''How many innocent Martian babies need to die because of the senseless greed of the Bush administration and the President's oil buddies?'' He continued by saying “We know this is all part of Bush’s plot to kill children and destroy the land and water on every planet within his reach.'' Sheen hopped into his limo to a waiting private jet to take him back to one of his multiple multi-thousand-square-foot homes with full heating and air conditioning and could not be reached for further comment. Since the Hollywood activists don’t want to use environmentally destructive rocket fuel to reach their destination, they have formed a committee to either design a bicycle that can be ridden to Mars or to invent a rocket fuel made from hemp.



The boldest move, however, came from the United Nations. Based on their success in finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, UN president, Kofi Anan, has decided to send a U.N. inspection team to Mars in order to search and destroy SUV’s, power plants, and human beings. When asked why the U.N. would want to destroy any human beings it found on Mars, Kofi Anan replied ''Everyone knows that human beings expel carbon dioxide when they exhale. If carbon dioxide is causing global warming, then all producers of that gas must be destroyed to save that wonderful planet.'' Given the incompetence of the U.N. inspection team, Anan admitted that any human being on Mars would likely be safe from discovery.



Meanwhile, deep in the boardrooms of SUV manufacturers, executives began counting the endless billions they are making from secret sales to Mars. And oil company executives can only smile as they have found a market for their product on a planet with no environmental laws or EPA restrictions.



Yes, Mars is experiencing global warming. Environmentalists know this can’t be a natural occurrence, so the evil Republicans, oil companies, and SUV manufacturers must be at fault.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
Magikal
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 4:05 am
Location: Insane Diego, Kalifornia

Post by Magikal » Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:03 am

Dang! I knew it! I just knew them rascally republicats wuz up to some such skullduggery! No blood for rocket fuel!!! :evil:
"All the great villainies of history have been perpetrated by sober men, and chiefly by teetotalers"

H.L.Mencken

User avatar
stuart
Posts: 3325
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:45 am
Location: East of Lincoln

Post by stuart » Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:51 am

when was the last time you got a death threat for your beliefs in the USA?
did you contact the police?
was some corrective action taken?
why not ask some obstetricians about this one

depending on the state the answers probably go
every day
yes
no

so, does this mean that any historical actions on your behalf prior to your birth are of little consequence?

the Declaration of Independence?
the Bill of Rights?
two World Wars?
the Civil Rights Acts since 1964 to your birth?
you can not logically deduce a yes answer from my statements.
but lets take them one at a time to avoid as much dissembling as possible. I will feel free to follow your lead and make giant leaps of logic and use much hyperbole.

the Declaration of Independence
lets imagine for a moment that we never had one, or a revolution for that matter. A revolution, BTW, that was started because some wealthy folk here wanted to set up their own system of free moving capital to more adequately serve their needs. In what way does this benefit me? So, here we are in 2005 living in, essentially, England. Don't seem so bad. At least I got health care.

the Bill of Rights
first see above, and second, are we not now in process of eroding it in order to continually prop up the military industrial complex and create a safer environment for imperialism?

two World Wars?
well, the first one was a large scale spat between collapsing related monarchies taking place on another continent. Had the U.S. not gotten involved I imagine it would have shaken out much the same way.
the second, ah yes, the war that all those who glorify wars point to when they want to justify armed conflict. Now, the origins of this one are rather interesting. We all know about germany, but what about the other powers involved? What would be the U.S. response if, say, France blockaded all of our Naval trade I wonder? But yeah, I am happy the Nazis were defeated.

Civil Rights Acts. I don't recall Dr. Martin Luther King having served in the military. Remember, we were talking about the military and it's role in protecting my liberties.

O.K. enough of that

now, what does any of this have to do with American neo colonialism Joel? What rights and liberties of my forebears were soldiers in the Phillipines serving approximately a century ago? The same ones they are defending today in Iraq I imagine.

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Sun Jan 02, 2005 1:35 am

Is too much "woodwork to hide in" a bad thing?

http://www.livescience.com/othernews/04 ... _good.html
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:04 pm

by Robert Scheer
The GOP's Sabotage of Social Security



J ust my luck: I finally get to be a senior citizen only to discover that the President considers my longevity a grave threat to the nation. Apparently, my collecting Social Security checks for as long as I have left on this Earth is going to help bankrupt the economy and/or be an unbearable burden on young Americans.

That's why, after seven decades of unmitigated success in protecting seniors from the vagaries of market forces, the White House now wants to turn Social Security itself over to the vagaries of market forces. The conservative mantra, whether it comes to energy policy, war in Iraq or education, is to siphon public money into the private sector whenever and wherever possible, through such gimmicks as agribusiness subsidies, school vouchers and the hiring of private mercenaries.


Greed perfectly meshes with ideology in the Republican Party, and the attempted sabotage of Social Security is just another example. While the followers of Milton Friedman talk about the free market in religious terms, Wall Street is slavering at the possibility of one of the biggest potential windfalls in human history if the Social Security spigot is turned its way. The attendant investment fees alone would be enormous--certainly higher than the minimal 1 percent overhead costs the current Social Security system consumes.

What's astonishing is that despite the recent spate of abrupt corporate bankruptcies and Wall Street corruption scandals, the President would have us believe only stockbrokers can save Social Security, and the stability of the entire fund would be tied to a stock market that has been known to tank now and again. Further, even the President's key advisors admit that the short-run cost of "privatizing" Social Security would add trillions of dollars to the Bush legacy of federal government red ink.

While I am all for expanding opportunities to invest in tax- deferred retirement accounts (like 401k's), it does not follow that Social Security should be exposed to the same risks. Social Security is the safety net for the elderly that has since its inception protected millions from facing abject poverty upon retirement--even if their pensions should evaporate, as they did for the employees of Enron.

Along with Medicare, Social Security is the key reason seniors are no longer the most impoverished class in our society or a crushing burden on their children. This last needs to be mentioned to counter the argument that ensuring the security of baby boom seniors would impose an intolerable burden on younger workers. For who is going to replace those Social Security checks, should they stop coming because Grandpa picked the wrong stock? The kids and grandkids, that's who, if they have any real family values.

I speak out of an experience I'm sure many of you share. My mother retired after forty years as a garment worker, after which she lived with me until she died at the thankfully old age of 88. Her presence was of great emotional value to our family, but because of her two-decade bout with Parkinson's, it would have represented a serious financial burden on my wife and me had it not been for government support.

The President says the system that has served us well in the past is no longer sustainable. He, or rather those cooking the books for him, attempts to scare us with projections that the Social Security trust fund will begin to run deficits thirty-eight years from now.

But those numbers assume no dramatic change in the increasing ability of seniors to retire later and otherwise continue to earn income that is taxable. The anti-Social Security crowd is trying to make this a young-versus-old generational fight, even though seniors still pay taxes like anybody else. We even pay taxes on most of our Social Security earnings, if our household income rises above a pittance.

If the President is truly worried about the federal coffers running dry he should stop cutting taxes for us better-off folk and stop spending so much money on boondoggles like the occupation of Iraq. However, if it turns out that we need additional taxes to cover the obligations of the Social Security trust fund four decades from now, so be it. After all, money distributed to the elderly through Social Security is poured right back into the economy.

For three-quarters of a century, Social Security has guaranteed us all a life of modest dignity as we live out the end of this mortal coil.

So--if you'll pardon this senior's use of a curmudgeonly truism--I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Get The Nation at home (and online!) for 75 cents a week!

If you like this article, consider making a donation to The Nation.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:11 pm

At it's current pace, Social Security is going to sabotage itself, no help needed. Anyone refusing to change it is guaranteed to wreck it.

At the time it was put in place, the social security full pension age (65) was equal to the average life expectancy. It was not designed to live off of. It was designed as a SUPPLIMENT for people that found themselves living longer than might have been expected to reduce the burden on families.

The retirement age has not been indexed for increases in length of life, and it should be. In the meantime, any assistance the government can give to me in allowing me to control my own retirement decisions, I will gladly take.

Hey, just get rid of income tax and make a sales tax that people over age 70 are exempt from. Then all investments become tax free (as long as you dont spend it) and when you retire you are free of sales tax too, a sort of national Senior Citizen discount.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:30 pm

With the aim of privatizing Social Security--a move that would yield billions in profits for the financial industry--President Bush and Republicans in Congress have argued that the system is on the brink of collapse. But the fact is that, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates, without a single policy change, the Social Security system can pay full benefits through 2052.

The program, as it stands, is extremely popular and benefits a significant portion of the US population. Propaganda aside, the cooked-up panic over Social Security isn't really about the future financial wellbeing of retirees, but rather the Republicans' effort to transfer money from a popular social program to private industry. The consequences of this privatization plan--if implemented--would be devastating for those who depend on the decades-old program.

The current program is effective, efficient, and successful in preventing fraud and abuse. And as Dean Baker points out in The Nation, the proponents of privatization have thus far been unable to pass the "no economist left behind" test--or in simpler terms, demonstrate the legitimacy or certainty of the projected returns numbers outlined in the President's plan.

All in all, the Republican Party's attempt to hijack Social Security and shuffle its funds to big business is not only founded on a false premise (the "crisis" in funding), it's also built on shaky projections and risky financing. Contact your representatives today and urge them to reject the President's plan to transform the Social Security system.

the trustees that oversee the social security account say that it is solvent till at least 2052
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:08 pm

Privatizing social security is, in my opinion a good idea. Anything government gets involved in tends to be inefficient, mismanaged, and becomes a political football to further careers. In general, I see government as an evil thing that should be kept to the minimum possible size to keep the roads maintained, etc. I wish I could opt out of the social security system altogether. The government isn't responsible for my comfort. If my neighbors and community want to help me, it should be by their own free will and not under threat of imprisonment.

Also, I am not against someone making a living or providing a service for a profit. If a financial company makes a buck, fine. They are going to be competing against a lot of other financial companies to make that buck and the one that gives ME the most bucks is gonna win. The government competes with nobody and has no incentive to make anything efficient.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
Wind_Borne
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 8:53 pm
Location: Sonoma, CA
Contact:

Post by Wind_Borne » Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:52 pm

Love ya, Cowboy Angel, but I must disagree with you on Social Security.

No one claims that SS is on the verge of collapse today; but rather that it will become ever less able to support the old while becoming ever more burdensome on the young.

And nobody proposes cutting off benefits for older workers approaching retirement. But we must lay the groundwork today for the retirement of today's younger workers. And SS won't handle that. To say that SS will be solvent until 2052 sounds great if you're 50 today; but if your only 10, then it sounds pretty fucked up. So if you're 30 today, then "Heads Up!", and start making other retirement plans.

Now if most people were disciplined enough to forego enough beers, electronics toys and new SUVs to save for their retirement, then we wouldn't need SS at all. But unfortunately we have more grasshoppers than ants (remember Aesop?). So we do seem to need some form of compulsory retirement saving plan.

But it doesn't follow that the SS ponzi scheme is a wise plan. There are many more productive ways to invest money, both for the saver and the economy in general. While the smart worker could certainly invest their SS contribution much more productively than the government can, these are not the people to worry about. It's those grasshoppers that never learn to wisely handle their money that we worry about. After all, those don't have the sense to save for retirement probably lack the sense to invest wisely.

It seems that what we need is compulsory saving plan with a limited set of approved investment options. Sort of like a typical 401K plan. Young workers might put their money into the growth funds, those near retirement might opt for bonds or real-estate funds, others might go for income funds. Not only will the saver's money grow in such investments, in doing so that money will fund small businesses, home loans, capital investment and countless other activities that will fuel the economy.

When we go out to the playa, we bring our own food, water and shelter. No self-respecting one of us would show up unprepared. Would you live the rest of your life with any less thought?
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:58 pm

Wind_Borne wrote:It seems that what we need is compulsory saving plan with a limited set of approved investment options. Sort of like a typical 401K plan. Young workers might put their money into the growth funds, those near retirement might opt for bonds or real-estate funds, others might go for income funds. Not only will the saver's money grow in such investments, in doing so that money will fund small businesses, home loans, capital investment and countless other activities that will fuel the economy.
I would support something like that. Where do I sign?
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
Ranger Genius
Posts: 2408
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:07 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain
Contact:

Post by Ranger Genius » Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:13 am

Hey, just get rid of income tax and make a sales tax that people over age 70 are exempt from. Then all investments become tax free (as long as you dont spend it) and when you retire you are free of sales tax too, a sort of national Senior Citizen discount.
That's a truly horrible suggestion. Sales tax is a regressive tax..meaning the less you have, the more you pay. Someone living at the poverty line spends every dime they make..often before they get it. So 100% of their income is taxed. But a wealthy international banker only spends a tiny percentage of his income, the rest going into investments, capital ventures, etc. Only the money he spends is taxed, which is almost none of it.

I say go the opposite way: eliminiate all taxes BUT the income tax, and get rid of the loopholes in the code.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:36 am

Not really. It can be modified so that the following are exempt:

1. Grocery items.
2. Health and hygene items.
3. ONE car per household.
4. First 150,000 of ONE home.

Those items account for a much larger % of income for lower income people.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:39 am

Oh, and getting rid of the IRS is really the goal. When you get rid of the massive computer center, field agents, thousands of other workers, the government saves money. Then you can look at trimming 90% of the Social Security Administration. Government bureaucracy is a bad thing. Taxing production rather than consumption is a bad thing.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:38 pm

geekster wrote:Privatizing social security is, in my opinion a good idea. Anything government gets involved in tends to be inefficient, mismanaged, and becomes a political football to further careers. In general, I see government as an evil thing that should be kept to the minimum possible size to keep the roads maintained, etc. I wish I could opt out of the social security system altogether. The government isn't responsible for my comfort. If my neighbors and community want to help me, it should be by their own free will and not under threat of imprisonment.

Also, I am not against someone making a living or providing a service for a profit. If a financial company makes a buck, fine. They are going to be competing against a lot of other financial companies to make that buck and the one that gives ME the most bucks is gonna win. The government competes with nobody and has no incentive to make anything efficient.

does this include getting government out of the military along with its bloated ineficient spending addictions?
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:02 pm

Please calicocwboy, emigrate to my planet where you will be installed as a god object next to the container of rare reagan jellybeans.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

helitack
Posts: 4140
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Location: A secret, undisclosed location in TexMexistan...

Post by helitack » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:04 pm

So is getting rid of Park Rangers on this agenda too?
Actively helping President Trump build the wall

Winning hearts and minds in lovely TexMexistan...

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:11 pm

Wind_Borne wrote:Love ya, Cowboy Angel, but I must disagree with you on Social Security.

No one claims that SS is on the verge of collapse today; but rather that it will become ever less able to support the old while becoming ever more burdensome on the young.

And nobody proposes cutting off benefits for older workers approaching retirement. But we must lay the groundwork today for the retirement of today's younger workers. And SS won't handle that. To say that SS will be solvent until 2052 sounds great if you're 50 today; but if your only 10, then it sounds pretty fucked up. So if you're 30 today, then "Heads Up!", and start making other retirement plans.

Now if most people were disciplined enough to forego enough beers, electronics toys and new SUVs to save for their retirement, then we wouldn't need SS at all. But unfortunately we have more grasshoppers than ants (remember Aesop?). So we do seem to need some form of compulsory retirement saving plan.

But it doesn't follow that the SS ponzi scheme is a wise plan. There are many more productive ways to invest money, both for the saver and the economy in general. While the smart worker could certainly invest their SS contribution much more productively than the government can, these are not the people to worry about. It's those grasshoppers that never learn to wisely handle their money that we worry about. After all, those don't have the sense to save for retirement probably lack the sense to invest wisely.

It seems that what we need is compulsory saving plan with a limited set of approved investment options. Sort of like a typical 401K plan. Young workers might put their money into the growth funds, those near retirement might opt for bonds or real-estate funds, others might go for income funds. Not only will the saver's money grow in such investments, in doing so that money will fund small businesses, home loans, capital investment and countless other activities that will fuel the economy.

When we go out to the playa, we bring our own food, water and shelter. No self-respecting one of us would show up unprepared. Would you live the rest of your life with any less thought?
hello my airborne friend! But what about the aged and infirm - those marginally able to care for themselves? It's hard enough for them to save anything these days. Social Security isn't as worthy as the bloated military, farm sunsidies, tax breaks for the rich, tax incentives for oil companies, free roads into national forests for timber companies and virtually free mining rights for strip miners?
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

CoworkerLurker
Posts: 342
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: the office

Post by CoworkerLurker » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:37 pm

You know, I had a client once, he said, "I'd rather those companies had the money, because at least they know what to do with it."

Super sharp guy, good engineer, great project manager, really good client. But statements like that had me squirming.

Consider how many influential people have that attitude.

helitack
Posts: 4140
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Location: A secret, undisclosed location in TexMexistan...

Post by helitack » Mon Jan 03, 2005 9:56 pm

G Bush (Oil Company), Dick Cheney (Halliburton), Gail Norton (Attorney), all corporate, whats the difference now.
Actively helping President Trump build the wall

Winning hearts and minds in lovely TexMexistan...

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Tue Jan 04, 2005 2:04 am

I think things like the National Parks are exactly the kinds of things the federal govt. SHOULD be doing with our tax money.

Here is an example of why I think a sales tax is a good idea. People that are making income "under the table" or people here illegally who might be afraid of reporting their income will pay tax. Instead of criminalizing them, they pay their tax at the store when they buy something. What you end up with is a lower overall tax rate on a much larger base. That guy selling crack on the corner will pay tax when he spends some of that money. People growing pot will pay their tax when they buy fertilizer or grow lights or beer or whatever. Ever dollar earned EVENTUALLY gets spent. It often gets spent several times before it ends up saved and then still ends up getting spent again at some point.

You win the lottery? You get to keep it. All of it except what your state might take out if they have an income tax. It's okay, even if you slip your buddy Joe a couple of grand, it will still get spent and the taxes will be paid on it.

No April 15th deadlines, no H&R Block, no tax accountants, no IRS lawyers. That is why it will never pass. Too many people making money off the system the way it is or not paying any taxes and will fight tooth and nail to keep the system the way it is.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Tue Jan 04, 2005 7:20 am

geek this is for you:
http://www.freedomabovefortune.com/


if you can pull yourself away from the church of Grover Norquist for a moment, consider what it would mean to have Enron running the airports, ports, coastguard, VA hospitals, Medicare, manufacturing (what's left of it)
labor (8 hr. day?) etc etc....
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Sat Jan 08, 2005 6:04 pm

Come back Joel......come back.........eplaya beckons you.......back, back come back................................






Backing Gonzales Is Backing Torture




Click here for info on how you can help oppose Gonzalez's nomination.
T hat is the central question the Senate Judiciary Committee faces Thursday as it begins hearings on the confirmation of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as the next attorney general of the United States. At stake is whether Congress wants to conveniently absolve Gonzales of his clear attempt to have the President subvert US law in order to whitewash barbaric practices performed by US interrogators in the name of national security.

Gonzales ignored the objections of State Department and military lawyers to strongly endorse the determination of Justice Department lawyers that neither the Geneva Convention nor corresponding US laws on prisoner protections should be applied in the "war on terror."

ADVERTISEMENT
"In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions," Gonzales wrote in a legal memo to President Bush on Jan. 25, 2002. Declaring the war-on-terror prisoners exempt from the Geneva Convention, he argued, "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act."

Acting like a sleazy attorney advising a client on how not to be convicted of an ongoing crime, Gonzales was apparently not worried about irrational foreign courts or high-minded jurists in The Hague, but rather US prosecutors who might enforce federal laws that ban torture of foreign prisoners of war. Indeed, Gonzales made the case for a legal end run around the 1996 War Crimes Act, which mandates criminal penalties, including the death sentence, for any US military or other personnel who engage in crimes of torture.

"It is difficult to predict the motives of [US] prosecutors and [US] independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441" of the act, Gonzales wrote. "Your determination [that Geneva protections are not applicable] would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 does not apply, which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution."

In light of what we have learned since about the rationalization and use of torture by US interrogators over the last three years, it is difficult to ignore the possibility that Gonzales already had knowledge that such violations had occurred and expected more.

In fact, Gonzales in his memo singles out language from the Geneva Convention (and incorporated into US law) that explicitly brands as a war crime "outrages against personal dignity"--a perfect description of the pattern of mental, sexual and physical degradation of US detainees that has been reported by prisoners, military whistle-blowers and even FBI agents in recent months. Many of those rounded up in Muslim countries by US military and intelligence personnel have reportedly been subjected to dog attacks, being chained in fetal positions in their own excrement or placed in degrading sexual postures.

On Monday, a group of military legal experts, including Rear Adm. John Hutson, who was recently the Navy's judge advocate general, released a letter to the Judiciary Committee noting that Gonzales' recommendations "fostered greater animosity toward the United States, undermined our intelligence gathering efforts, and added to the risks facing our troops serving around the world."

Gonzales based his case for doing away with the Geneva protections on memos produced by a small group of Justice Department lawyers that, along with making other controversial claims, infamously argued that physical abuse of prisoners was torture only if it was "of an intensity akin to...serious physical injury such as death or organ failure," and mental abuse was torture only if it caused "lasting psychological harm." Presumably these pain and damage levels are to be determined by the interrogator.

Such language was so onerous that, perhaps to help Gonzales get through the hearings, the Justice Department only last week quietly slipped new guidelines onto its website redressing this stain on the country's reputation. Although still vague in many parts, the new doctrine belatedly reasserts the primacy of international and federal law in the treatment of prisoners, even those captured in relation to the war on terror.

Another positive step would be the withdrawal or rejection of the Gonzales nomination. To make a man with so little respect for both the spirit and the letter of the law the nation's top law enforcement official would be a terrible advertisement for American democracy.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:55 pm

Joel's bustin what's left of his ass workin on his house.
this was too good to leave in the bar so here it is again, have a nice time with it you fuck heads at Carnivore:
cowboyangel wrote:here..just checkin on the military blog sites and satellite imagery of Shri Lanka, as I sip my milk, fuck the non-politicos for a minute, I just happen to be in this thread and I miss Joel...but I think it's high time that Amnesty International, Various environmental groups and other humanitarian non-profits get their own military satellites for high res image gathering...imagine if the red cross or amnesty had this when the Israelis were bombing the fuck out Jenin/ Lots of other useful truth finding implications here...they could commission the Ukrainians to build the birds...the Ukranians were the ones that designed and built the SSI class of rocket boosters for Soviet ICBMs during the cold war..they need the bucks and they know how to do it. Let's help their economy

now, back to my milk
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:07 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Gov. Phil Bredesen announced Monday that he will drop 323,000 adults from the state's expanded Medicaid program to save about $1.7 billion a year, but will preserve health coverage for children.

if the dim wit we call president had an ounce of compassion and real political flare he'd say, Tennessee, "you can have the 40 million dollars for your medicare program that I was planning to spend on my innauguration", and Johnny Kerry could do the same with the millions he has left over from his campaign. These guys just don't understand what greatness is just within reach of their fingertips.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

User avatar
cowboyangel
Posts: 6987
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 10:32 pm

Post by cowboyangel » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:08 pm

(heard this one on AirAmericaRadio today)

Dear Mr. Gonzales
By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 10 January 2005

Dear Mr. Gonzales,

You have been rewarded for your unflinching loyalty to George W. Bush with a nomination for Attorney General of the United States. As White House Counsel, you have walked in lockstep with the President. As Attorney General, you will be charged with representing all the people of the United States. Your performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday verified that you will continue to be a yes-man for Bush once you are confirmed.

In the face of interrogation by members of the Committee, you waffled, equivocated, lied, feigned lack of memory, and even remained silent, in the face of the most probing questions. Your refusals to answer prompted Senator Patrick Leahy to say, "Mr. Gonzales, I'd almost think that you'd served in the Senate, you've learned how to filibuster so well."

Even though the Department of Justice retracted the August 2002 torture memo, and replaced it with a new one on the eve of your confirmation hearing, you still refuse to denounce the old memo's narrow and illegal definition of torture. You permitted that definition to remain as government policy for 2 1/2 years, which enabled the torture of countless prisoners in U.S. custody.

You continually evaded inquiries about your responsibility for drafting the now-repudiated memo by portraying yourself as a mere conduit for legal opinions from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. This puzzled Senator Russ Feingold, who said, "If you were my lawyer, I'd sure want to know your opinion about something like that."

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told you, "I think we've dramatically undermined the war effort by getting on the slippery slope in terms of playing cute with the law, because it's come back to bite us." Indeed, 12 retired professional military leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces wrote to the Judiciary Committee, expressing "deep concern" about your nomination because detention and interrogation operations which you appeared to have "played a significant role in shaping" have "undermined our intelligence gathering efforts, and added to the risks facing our troops serving around the world."

When Senator Graham, an Air Force judge advocate, asked you if you agreed with a professional military lawyer's opinion that the August memo may have put our troops in jeopardy, you were tongue tied. You said nothing for several embarrassing seconds, until Senator Graham suggested you think it over and respond later.

When Senator Richard Durbin asked "Do you believe there are circumstances where other legal restrictions, like the War Crimes Act, would not apply to U.S. personnel?" you again sat mute for several seconds, and then asked to respond later.

It is alarming, Mr. Gonzales, that a lawyer with your pedigree would be stumped into silence by these questions.

You have taken the unprecedented step of advising the President that the Geneva Conventions have become "obsolete." You testified that since "we are fighting a new type of enemy and a new type of war," you "think it is appropriate to revisit whether or not Geneva should be revisited." You admitted preliminary discussions are already underway.

The 12 former military leaders wrote, "Repeatedly in our past, the United States has confronted foes that, at the time they emerged, posed threats of a scope or nature unlike any we had previously faced. But we have been far more steadfast in the past in keeping faith with our national commitment to the rule of law."

Mr. Gonzales, you have concurred in, even commissioned, advice that led to the following:

Sodomy with a broomstick, chemical light, metal object

Severe beatings

Water boarding (simulated drowning)

Electric shock

Attaching electrodes to private parts

Forced masturbation

Pulling out fingernails

Pushing lit cigarettes into ears

Chaining hand and foot in fetal position without food or water

Forced standing on one leg in the sun

Feigned suffocation

Gagging with duct tape

Tormenting with loud music and strobe lights

Sleep deprivation

Hooding

Subjecting to freezing/sweltering temperatures

"Dietary manipulation"

Repeated, prolonged rectal exams

Hanging by arms from hooks

Permitting serious dog bites

Bending back fingers

Intense isolation for more than 3 months

Grabbing genitals

Severe burning

Stacking of naked prisoners in pyramids

Injecting with drugs

Leaving bullet in body of wounded prisoner

Taping naked prisoner to board

Shooting into containers with men inside

Keeping prisoners in small, outdoor cages

Pepper spraying in face

Forcing heads into toilets and flushing

Threatening live burial, drowning, electrocution, rape and death

Beating prisoners to death

Killing wounded prisoners

Throwing off bridge into river and drowning

Rape

Murder

Saddam Hussein would be proud of you, Mr. Gonzales.

Perhaps most alarming was your response to Senator Durbin's question, "Can U.S. personnel legally engage in torture under any circumstances?" You answered, "I don't believe so, but I'd want to get back to you on that." You failed to give a categorical "no" answer. You surely know, Mr. Gonzales, that the Convention Against Torture prohibits torture at any time. That treaty, ratified by the United States and therefore part of the Supreme law of the land under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, says, "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."

Mr. Gonzales, based on your record and your performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have critical concerns about your appointment as Attorney General. I believe you would stand mute if George W. Bush told you he planned to collapse the three branches of government into one, destroying the Constitutional separation of powers. Even though Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives only Congress the authority "to make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water," you refused to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that the President is not above the law. You think the President has the power to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional. You would rationalize the torture of prisoners.

Where even the strident John Ashcroft thought prisoners in United States custody are entitled to due process, you designed the military tribunals to deny it to them.

As counsel to Texas Governor George W. Bush, you wrote abbreviated clemency memos in capital cases omitting crucial defenses such as ineffective assistance of counsel, even evidence of factual innocence. Your counsel led Bush to deny pardons in 56 of 57 death penalty cases.

You sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the American people for seven hours with a smug grin on your face, lying to us, knowing you will be confirmed.

Your testimony led the New York Times to opine, "Mr. Bush had made the wrong choice when he rewarded Mr. Gonzales for his loyalty," and the conservative Washington Post to say, "The message Mr. Gonzales left with senators was unmistakable: As attorney general, he will seek no change in practices that have led to the torture and killing of scores of detainees and to the blackening of U.S. moral authority around the world." The Post concluded, "Those senators who are able to reach clear conclusions about torture and whether the United States should engage in it have reason for grave reservations about Mr. Gonzales."

You will have the distinction of being the first Latino Attorney General of the United States. You come from humble roots in Humble, Texas. You should understand the struggles of people of color, yet you have turned your back on them. As overseer of the policies that led to the torture of myriad people of color in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, you have betrayed your roots.

Your actions have shamed us in the eyes of the world and endangered our fighting men and women.

You do not deserve to be our country's top prosecutor, head of the Department of Justice, charged with protecting our civil rights.

Mr. Gonzales, you should be ashamed.

Marjorie Cohn, a contributing editor to t r u t h o u t, is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists.
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

Locked

Return to “Open Discussion”