Bin Laden for President!

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Bin Laden for President!

Geithner for Treasury Secretary? Right.

How about Bin Laden for President?

How about Hitler for Israeli Defense Minister?

I didn't file an income tax return (2005) because the government owed me money. Four years later, after a year-long writing sabbatical and after returning from living overseas, due to the convenient way the government (federal and state) have their information reporting systems constructed, I was being hunted by the state and the IRS, supposedly owing the state of California over $129,000; you can imagine the IRS extortion. While I was working overseas in the public school system of my chosen foreign country, attempting to present the American as a peace loving, hard working, dedicated servant to the world,  I developed a reputation in my California neigborhood for being some kind of crook because of the visits made by these corrupt organizations--hunting me as a criminal because of faulty information collecting systems that they design.

As it turned out, both agencies owe me money, and my 2004 tax return had been siezed for another mistaken assessment that was made without any explanation to me--just a notice that they were taking it.This is how things work if you're one of the "small" people.

Now we have a candidate for Treasury Secretary who knowingly failed to pay his taxes for...4?...years? And there is no outrage? There should be burning effigies! But that would not be sufficient. There should be jail time. This was no casual mistake.

WTF!?

I predict: if this alleged criminal is confirmed, the U.S. will self destruct within weeks, for surely any hope that there are remnants of the legal foundation upon which our country was founded still in effect will be realized as an utterly quaint and vain reminiscence of the lies our parents tried to tell us about the value of honesty.

If there is a lawyer out there that would like to handle a defamation of character case against the U.S.of A. and the state of California, you can get my email address from Chris Martenson.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

I would also add to this the now 2nd appeal to the Supreme Court against Obama for not being a citizen, largely based on the fact that he won't produce a birth certificate. Does anyone else know any more about this situation? If (and it's a big if) the Supreme Court actually found Obama Unconstitutionally eligible as President, can you imagine what that might mean? I think we would be on the verge of a racial civil war and (unfortunately) a Constitutional Crisis.

I only recently found out how many armed agents work for the IRS. You can just youtube the videos of them wrongly raiding small businesses and refusing to return the confiscated (stolen) property, even after it is proven that the IRS is in error. Many people fear the IRS.

Just to take the historical angle yet again, let us remember the status of the tax collector in Roman Society: not very well liked. And many would say the Roman Empire fell in large part due to its inability to run itself without greatly increasing the taxes. Unjust taxes played a central role in our own Revolution.

It's a little surreal to think about, and I know the status quo is very strong, but something really tells me that this is it.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/opinion/15thu1.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

"According to the report, when Mr. Geithner’s tax returns for 2003 and 2004 were audited by the I.R.S. in 2006, the auditors found that he had failed to pay self-employment tax in those years... The story does not stop there. Mr. Geithner also failed to pay the self-employment tax in 2001 and 2002. Those returns, which the report says Mr. Geithner prepared himself, were not audited and so the I.R.S. did not order him to pay up — which raises the question of why he did not voluntarily amend those returns and pay the taxes and interest at the time of the 2006 audit. Instead, he waited until after vetting by the Obama team late last year revealed the shortfall — $19,176 in taxes and $6,794 in interest."

 http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/730-Heh-CONgress-Wake-Up!.html

"You expect us to accept a new Treasury Secretary (after the old one who was responsible for a big part of our economic mess) who despite being told in writing annually by the IMF that he was responsible for both halves of FICA and Medicare did not pay for four years - tens of thousands of dollars.  He was eventually audited and caught for two of them - the IRS did not look at the other two years and he did not confess.  It was not until he was tapped to be Treasury Secretary that he admitted to and paid the back taxes.  Are you really going to confirm a new head of the IRS who's PERSONAL MORAL CODE on taxation appears to be "Cheat on your taxes and pay only if audited and caught - and then only to the extent you are caught", but expect that WE THE PEOPLE will simply pay what we owe?  I predict a dramatic increase in unlawful tax avoidance if you confirm Geithner.  Can the US afford mass tax protests?"

What has the world come to when I agree with something Rush Limbaugh said?

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_011409/content/01125109.guest.html 

"Now, just like when Rahm Emanuel's dealings with Blagojevich, Obama has thoroughly reviewed Treasury secretary select's Timothy Geithner's situation and given it his blessing.  Everything's okay!  Obama has cleared his nominee again, so I'm glad that's over.  Having a guy in charge of the IRS with multiple tax issues might have sullied the Immaculate Inauguration, but now that Barack Obama has determined it won't be a problem, it won't be a problem.  But it was close. It was a close one.  Here's my question.  If Hillary Clinton's massive conflicts and political payoffs don't bother Obama or his fellow Washingtonians, why should Timothy Geithner's failure to pay taxes bother anybody? Rahm Emanuel's frequent contacts with governor cesspool, they didn't bother Obama."  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/01/09/DI2009010903168.html

"I don't see how Geithner can fill the treasury secretary job. Nonpayment of self employment taxes by any IRS employee means dismissal, by law, no matter what the excuse."

A BIG P.S.

For the first time in my life, I am beginning to comprehend the concept of a "world not worth living in," and the personal philosophy of "live free or die." This is how corrupt our nation's government has become: it has introduced me to the desperate hoplessness (in some initial, glancing way) that has driven population after poplulation of the oppressed and exploited, generation after generation throughout history, to find death a preferable alternative to the status quo...

The greatest song ever written, in my estimation, is John Lennon's Imagine. I teach all my students this song overseas; we talk about the meaning of it.  I would like to add a stanza or two:

"Imagine there's no Wall Street

It's easy if you're armed

No crooks among us

Around us no more cons

Imagine all the people

Keeping all they earn...youhoo...

You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you join us

As a  jury who'll convict these cons..."

I, personally, have already given up on America and am abandoning it in favor of what I believe to be a better place. However, I fear what those who are "armed" are going to do to those who just Don't Get It Even Yet--as they attempt to install a man who knowingly avoided paying taxes to a position which governs the collections of taxes...

As Karl Denninger says, "I predict a dramatic increase in unlawful tax avoidance..."

 

 

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

Nonzeroone,

I'm beginning to tire of these posts of yours, which seem lately to be mostly a stream of angry statements and angry analogies recounting how bad the world is, how its collapse is imminent, and how this person or that person or the whole society ought to be jailed, disbarred, dethroned, defenestrated, or otherwise done away with.

I hate to sound like Dr. Phil, but there's really nothing whatsoever that can come of this angry negativity.  There are really only two ways that a person can respond to your post above.  The first is to say, "Yes, you sure are right, Nonzeroone: the world sucks, the system sucks, people suck.  Tear it down.  Tear it all down.  To hell with everything."  The second is to say, "Take a deep breath and come back to the keyboard when you're feeling more constructive."

Well I'm choosing the second option.   The purpose of these forums is not to provide support and encouragement for your expessions of personal dissatisfaction with the world. 

I have something to tell you: everybody here is perfectly aware of what is wrong with the world.  Sometimes it makes us angry. When it does, we're generally courteous enough to avoid exposing other users to it.  We come back when we have an actual constructive and helpful thing to say. After a night of hard drinking, people are expected to comb their hair,
wash their faces, and clean their own vomit off of themselves before coming back in public.  When you're angry, you ought to do the same (metaphorically speaking) before you start writing.

If you have nothing to contribute to the discussion aside from the belief that the world is circling the bowl, then my suggestion is that you find a cabin in rural Montana and begin stockpiling ammunition and muttering angrily to yourself.

If you have something constructive to share with us other than anger, then please do so, and find another way to vent your anger rather than always into the ears of other users.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

jrf29,

Spanking accepted...

Though as you can see, I'm not the only one with an opinion on Geithner.

Wanna bet a buck that he doesn't get confirmed due to people like me as opposed to calm people like you?

P.S. What if I'm right? Would you like to compare posts about financial market predicitons for the past ten years?

P.P.S. Since I haven't read any of your opinions lately, I can't really respond to your implied message that you are making a contribution, whereas I am just whining.

As I've told several people here in private emails--and the hundred or so people that called me over the weekend when I posted my real phone number, I believe there is value in demonstrating just how angry some of us are with the corruption that has become our government and Wall Street.

Which house do you think the criminal is going to target, the one with the pit bull chained to the Harley or the one with the poodle in a pink sweater?

Where do you work?

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Nonzeroone wrote:

Wanna bet a buck that he doesn't get confirmed due to people like me as opposed to calm people like you?

Public passion doesn't really matter, I don't think.  The bailout votes taught us that.  The backroom negotiations and deals in the offices of the party bosses are driven entirely by cool calculations of how many votes and how much campaign money (votes-in-a-bottle) will ultimately be gained or lost.  The anger of the voters is often played upon, but in the end only the hard numbers matter.  The calm voter who votes against a candidate is just as damaging as the ill-tempered one. 

Of course for the rank and file representative, the decision to vote against their party leadership's chosen candidate is restrained mostly by fear of being shut out of gov't spending for their district by the committees (and hence lose votes).  A senator who doesn't "bring home the bacon" is often voted out of office.  The uninformed voters who vote him out of office do not know that the reason why he is not "bringing home the bacon" is because he is being punished by his own party for voting his conscience. That's why the voters need education, not just anger.

Quote:

...whereas I am just whining

I don't claim that my contributions are particularly valuable.  If
I'd contributed something spectacular, I assume somebody would have
told me.  Really I'm just chewing the fat. But let me be clear: the reason why I wrote you is because you usually don't "just whine." You just seem lately to be angrier than usual.  If you hadn't made many positive contributions in the past, I wouldn't have bothered talking to you at all.

 

Quote:

As I've told several people here in private emails--and the hundred or so people that called me over the weekend when I posted my real phone number, I believe there is value in demonstrating just how angry some of us are with the corruption that has become our government and Wall Street.

Maybe so. Personally I don't like the way anger makes me feel.  I'm convinced it's not healthy.  Instead I write letters to my representatives calmly telling people how upset I am.  If need be, I'll pretend to be angry.  All of the benefits, none of the side effects :)

 

Quote:

Which house do you think the criminal is going to target, the one with the pit bull chained to the Harley or the one with the poodle in a pink sweater?

  I've never said anything against a person's right to defend themselves.  A person who does not properly provide for their own defense, and by extension the common defense, is negligent in their duty to themselves and to their community.  One doesn't need anger to provide for their defense, though.

Quote:

Where do you work?

I work in the factory that makes the little pink sweaters for the poodles....we have a pit bull out front.

 

Pleasure talking with you again, Nonzeroone.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

jrf29,

Damn you! No matter how hard I try, I just can't get mad at you. Thought you might get a laugh out of this:

 jrf29

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

:-D

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

I think the anger is useful to the extent it stirs you to action. As soon as the anger really rises, it's time to do something constructive about it, like protest or call Congress (202-224-3121). I'm very disappointed in our system, just like everyone else. But I won't go down without a fight, even if 'fight' simply means that I'm kicking and screaming the truth. But I do agree that most people on this site, already feel the same way so it's most effective to channel the frustration towards another avenue.

It's really sad to hear how the US has practically deserted you, nonzeroone, particularly as you attempt to repair our image overseas. I've found myself in a similar situation a couple times, and I know I've been more welcomed overseas than the US would have been to foreigners here.

I can also sympathize with nonzero on the fact that we have a system that seems to crush dissent pretty effectively. It will take a monumental effort to change the status quo and my hope is that it can be done without some sort of violent Revolution. That's where this site comes in. But the only way this will work is to continue to educate and spread the message. After a while, we all are beating dead horses preaching to each other. I know I'm guilty of it at times.

Mike

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Quote:

I would also add to this the now 2nd appeal to the Supreme Court against Obama for not being a citizen, largely based on the fact that he won't produce a birth certificate.

John McCain was born in Panama.

 

Barrack Obama's mother was a US citizen at the time of his birth.

 

Osama bin Laden is not eligible by birth to run for President.

 

Nonzeroone wants sympathy because he ducked out on his taxes and then fled the country. Good luck.

 

Nothing to see here folks. Just move along.  

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

Regarding the Geithner tax thing, have you seen the Aaron Russo film which shows that according to your now defucnt (sic) constitution, the income tax itself is illegal? its a good watch and Aaron Russo was a good man that will be sorely missed.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-1656880303867390173&ei=WyhvSb66I4qGjQLnupi4BQ&q=aaron+russo&hl=en

Nonzerone I admire your spirit very much amigo, but if you are thinking of taking jrf29's advice then perhaps you shouldnt watch the above film Wink - but without anger you cant have a revolution can you?

And perhaps Geithner now has the incentive to defend and uphold the constitution?

the plot thickens.....

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

Mike, here is some info on Obama in regards to his citizenship,

http://www.obamacrimes.com/

This V for Vendetta protest was held because of Russo's film, Freedom to Fascism, 

Greg

 

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

Mike said:

"If (and it's a big if) the Supreme Court actually found Obama Unconstitutionally eligible as President, can you imagine what that might mean? I think we would be on the verge of a racial civil war and (unfortunately) a Constitutional Crisis."

Mike,

One thing I'm not is a conspiracy theorist--not that they don't exist. I am a believer in the Good Ol' Boys Club, which is probably at the heart of why a ratio of 100-1 citizen votes against the bailout failed to produce any recognizable action in congress; that is to say, once you get in (to congress), you have most likely done something to compromise your ability to act in the best interest of the citizens, and for those who haven't, there is probably the Silver Spoon equivalent of the "beat in" or "token murder"--to become part of the club; once that's done, the particular member is just a brick in the wall...

That sounds harsh, but I think that whatever goes on there in D.C. somehow compromises the integrity of most people who get there (not that there wasn't some serious damage prior to arrival in many cases; Ron Paul is the exception here). I think it's probably one of those "when in Rome" cultural kind of things that just happens to you...you lose perspective...

That was a bit of a digression as goes your point on Obama; where I was going was that even in the case of inclusion by cultural immersion as is the case in congress, where there is enough damage and collusion to disregard the Will of The People--blatantly disregard, it would take an extraordinary conspiracy such that Obama, were he not a citizen, to get elected as President. Sorry, I can't even start down that path.

 Mike said:

"After a while, we all are beating dead horses preaching to each other."

I hear you. I hear me. I rant with seemingly no effect (who knows?), but I feel better after I get it out, and occasionally I post a link or two to someone who has something of substance to say. What would you have me do, hold it in until I'm dangerous? You and jrf29 are right.

Mike also said:

"It will take a monumental effort to change the status quo and my hope is that it can be done without some sort of violent Revolution. That's where this site comes in. But the only way this will work is to continue to educate and spread the message."

I hope Chris and all the other well-intentioned people such as yourself are successful in your efforts to spread Chris' statement to an audience that will somehow make a difference. I, myself, think the efforts will at best put a chapter in a history book that may benefit some future generation; that is to say, the damage has already been done: "This horse is dead already." I'll offer one word: Pensions (Chris' math is more broadly applicable than to what he has addressed so far.); I took mine when I realized it wouldn't be there when I retired. Penalties included.

US state pension funds will have to be replenished by future taxpayers and workers

Workers that are going to find their incomes adjusted by what I have been  referring to (for 10 years) as: IW3E (Inevitable World Wide Wage Equilibrium)

jrf29 said:

"I work in the factory that makes the little pink sweaters for the poodles....we have a pit bull out front."

See!

P.S. barrt,

I've seen lots of stuff regarding the illegality of the income tax, I think that falls into the "Obama is an alien" camp. Even if it were true, it seems there is a parallel here between taxation and that "right of way" or "squatters' rights" concept, which I can't dredge from the memory right now, where once something has been done for a long enoug period of time, it, in effect, becomes law... (Don't start extrapolating...)

 

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

A critter like this ought to deter criminals. Think about it, someone crazy enough to have a dog like this might have a gun.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

Hi Nonzeroone,

Your point on taxes and how guilty until proven innocent seems to be the automatic assumption of the IRS is true. Here is how it worked in my case:

1. I have always paid my taxes on time (once in a great while this means sending an estimated payment by April 15).

2. I have not always filed on time. Sometimes being pretty (OK, really) late (although I am fully caught up now).

3. One of those times my filing was late I received a letter from the IRS stating that I needed to contact them, file, etc. within a given time frame because of all of the $ I owed them (those were not the exact words of course, but that was the gist). Of course, when I did file that particular year, they owed me and paid me a refund. Heck, I file conservatively and leave a little money on the table that I could legitimately and legally keep with valid deductions.

4.  So, why do they always assume we owe them instead of the other way around? (I can guess of course that late filers do owe them the vast majority of the time but that is still no reason to assume that).

 

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Nonzeroone wrote:

...I think that whatever goes on there in D.C.
somehow compromises the integrity of most people who get there (not
that there wasn't some serious damage prior to arrival in many cases;
Ron Paul is the exception here). I think it's probably one of those
"when in Rome" cultural kind of things that just happens to you...you
lose perspective...

I think that is exactly right.  Delegates in Washington are far removed from their constituents, and the federal government is trying to do things far beyond what it was designed to do.  This is dangerous, because it runs out of the democratic controls of the constitution which were designed to regulate the federal government. Power must be returned to be people.

The framers of the federal constitution could not have dreamt of the enormous and opaque bureaucracy which has grown up.  In fact, the federal constitution theoretically strictly limits the types of
power that the federal government may exercise, and expressly provides
that the rest is left to the States, where power is much closer to the
people.  The federal government has overstepped the bounds originally set for it. 

The fact is that when a single federal senator represents millions of
people, unless you have lots of money in your pocket you can't even get
an appointment to see them.  Your state senator, on the other hand, you
can most likely call on the telephone, or at least have a reasonable chance of him reading your mail.  When power is
removed to the central government, it is far more difficult for
the people to be involved, and the initiative falls to the special
interests who are able to send a strong and consistent message at the
federal level.

Therefore while our basic democratic tradition is good, and government is not
necessarily bad, it can be when it derives from the wrong places.  The
federal government simply does not have the same types of democratic safeguards
built into it as do the state governments (i.e., the president is the single
person in the entire executive branch who is elected -- utterly
unheard of at the state level.).  This is because the federal government was originally designed to deal
only with certain specific matters. 

We were never supposed to have a national form of government!  We are a federation of states (hence "federal").  That decentralization of power is a crucial protection of our liberty.  Trying to run the federal government as though it were a national government is very dangerous, not least of all because it is not something that it was designed to do!  There are few democratic protections, because the founding fathers never imagined that the federal government would be used as it has been!

So the thing to do, it seems to me, is to begin gradually pulling power back to the level of the people.  Our basic democratic
tradition is good.  We merely have to wrest some power back out of the
hands of the federal government and place it back where it was: into
the hands of the state and towns --closer to the people -- so that
government will be more responsive to the people once again.

Those parts of government which are closest to the people have fared very well over the centuries.  The town and the city, for example.  Local communities have endured through revolution, starvation, currency collapse ("Not worth a Continental?"), war, and even civil war.  There they have placidly remained, collecting local taxes, enforcing the law, repairing the bridges.  It's ironic that it's during the good times--the roaring 20's for example--that law and order most broke down.  Our pyramid of government was built upon the strength of these communities.  Lately that pyramid has been getting dangerously  top-heavy.  Some stones need to betaken off of the top, and returned to the base where they belong.

 

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
jrf29 wrote:

. . .

Therefore while our basic democratic tradition is good, and government is not
necessarily bad, it can be when it derives from the wrong places.  The
federal government simply does not have the same types of democratic safeguards
built into it as do the state governments (i.e., the president is the single
person in the entire executive branch who is elected -- utterly
unheard of at the state level.).  This is because the federal government was originally designed to deal
only with certain specific matters. 

We were never supposed to have a national form of government!  We are a federation of states (hence "federal").  That decentralization of power is a crucial protection of our liberty.  Trying to run the federal government as though it were a national government is very dangerous, not least of all because it is not something that it was designed to do!  There are few democratic protections, because the founding fathers never imagined that the federal government would be used as it has been!

So the thing to do, it seems to me, is to begin gradually pulling power back to the level of the people.  Our basic democratic
tradition is good.  We merely have to wrest some power back out of the
hands of the federal government and place it back where it was: into
the hands of the state and towns --closer to the people -- so that
government will be more responsive to the people once again.

Those parts of government which are closest to the people have fared very well over the centuries.  The town and the city, for example.  Local communities have endured through revolution, starvation, currency collapse ("Not worth a Continental?"), war, and even civil war.  There they have placidly remained, collecting local taxes, enforcing the law, repairing the bridges.  It's ironic that it's during the good times--the roaring 20's for example--that law and order most broke down.  Our pyramid of government was built upon the strength of these communities.  Lately that pyramid has been getting dangerously  top-heavy.  Some stones need to betaken off of the top, and returned to the base where they belong.

 

jrf29,

As I've quoted elsewhere in these forums, "We have met the enemy and he is us." (Pogo)

The reason the federal government has grown as it has is because the states constantly turn to the federal government to do things which should be done at the state (or even city, town, or village) level.

A recent prime example here in Oregon is talk of building a new bridge to connect Oregon with Washington. Where's the money going to come from? Why the federal government of course! Now, can you explain to me why the citizens of the other 48 states should be responsible for subsidizing a bridge that only benefits Oregon and Washington? One only has to do a bit of research to come up with countless other examples of such local projects reaching out to the feds for money.

Naturally, when you accept money from the feds, you become beholden to the feds and you give up power to the feds. The federal budget would not be so large if all 50 states weren't constantly expecting to nurse at the teat of the federal sow.

"We merely have to wrest some power back out of the
hands of the federal government and place it back where it was: into
the hands of the state and towns --closer to the people -- so that
government will be more responsive to the people once again."

You'll never "wrest some power back" until such time as the people at large quit depending on the feds for everything and return to focusing on paying for local projects by themselves and fending for themselves at a local level.

Remember, the federal government was designed to deal with international obligations, defend the homeland and only use the powers specifically delegated to it. Until Congress remembers that it represents the people, and is not joined at the hip with the executive branch, we will never see any changes.

The only way I think things will change significantly is if we have a second American Revolution and frankly, I don't expect that to happen in my lifetime or my children's because too many people are happy to let TPTB run their lives.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

"You'll never "wrest some power back" until such time as the people at large quit depending on the feds for everything and return to focusing on paying for local projects by themselves and fending for themselves at a local level.

Remember, the federal government was designed to deal with international obligations, defend the homeland and only use the powers specifically delegated to it. Until Congress remembers that it represents the people, and is not joined at the hip with the executive branch, we will never see any changes.

The only way I think things will change significantly is if we have a second American Revolution and frankly, I don't expect that to happen in my lifetime or my children's because too many people are happy to let TPTB run their lives."

 

Sam,

Well said... You are so right!

Cat

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

I feel like I've been given a ticket for a front row seat at
"The New Constitutional Convention."

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Nonzeroone wrote:

Which house do you think the criminal is going to target, the one with the pit bull chained to the Harley or the one with the poodle in a pink sweater?

 

Lull them into a false sense of security with the poodle and double tap each one as they come through the door.

I kid.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Sam Linder wrote:

A recent prime example here in Oregon is talk of building a new bridge
to connect Oregon with Washington. Where's the money going to come
from? Why the federal government of course!

I know exactly what you mean.  In my own town we have an historic covered bridge with a very rare "rainbow truss" construction  which we wanted to restore.  Everything was coming along fine until some brilliant person thought that it would be a good idea to ask the federal government for money! 

Then something horrible happened: they approved the request.  Then we witnesses the biggest parade of idiocy which can be imagined.  The town had previously hauled the bridge from its footings with oxen so that the carpenters could work on it.  This resulted in the federal government hiring an engineer to determine the best location to put the bridge, even though everybody already new exactly where it would be!  The engineer proceeded to do a full study and write a complete set of plans showing where the bridge should be placed (back onto its footings, where it had been for 145 years).  Then they determined that it should be reinforced underneath with steel beams to raise its weight limit from 8 tons to 35 tons, even though the bridge was going to be closed to traffic.  Then they determined that because the bridge was made of wood, it needed a fire alarm system and a complete dry-pipe sprinkler system installed even though, again, it was not going to bear traffic, and even though the bridge is in the middle of a field.  Then they determined that the bridge needed to be lit.  Of course, nobody minded too much, since the federal government was paying for all of this nonsense. 

Now we have a bridge with a fire alarm system that is lit up brighter than an airport, in the middle of a field, with one sign that says: "Bridge closed to vehicular traffic", and another sign just beyond it that says, "Weight limit 35 tons." 

This all cost the taxpayers of the United States several million dollars and took ten years.  If we had done it ourselves, it would have cost $50,000 and taken months.

Sam Linder wrote:

As I've quoted elsewhere in these forums, "We have met the enemy and he is us." The reason the federal government has grown as it has is because the
states constantly turn to the federal government to do things which
should be done at the state (or even city, town, or village) level.

  I can't disagree.  People need to develop a sense of responsibility.  Instead the town tries to shift responsibility to the county, which shifts responsibility to the state, which shifts responsibility to the federal government, which shifts responsibility to a huge unaccountale federal bureaucracy so that nobody will be personally blamed in case something goes wrong.  The result is covered bridges in small New England towns, with fire alarm systems, visible from outer space.  In other words: graft.  Huge amounts of money going into private hands, which would never occur if the money was spent close to where it was taxed.  It's always easier to spend "other peoples" money. 

There was a time not so long ago when our delegates to the federal government spent a month or two in session, and the went home for the year!  This is still possible.  The Federal Assembly of Switzerland, for example, meets for only 12 weeks per year.  This is not because their government is less complicated than ours, but because powers are mostly delegated to the cantons.  This decentralization of government has allowed Switzerland to remain very politically stable, even with a highly diverse population.

Quote:

The only way I think things will change significantly is if we have a
second American Revolution and frankly, I don't expect that to happen
in my lifetime or my children's because too many people are happy to
let TPTB run their lives.

I hope not.  Power has vacillated between the states and the federal government for a long time.  The tension is inherant in our system and is healthy, as long as the people put up a fight.  If everybody simply degenerates to the point of demanding free support and stimulus from "TPTB" then our nation will certainly be doomed whether there is a revolution or not. 

Positive change can only come when people really care, and are educated enough to know exactly what they should care about. I have spoken with people who have graduated from public high schools, who have revealed that they were never taught what the relationship is between the states and the federal government!  They had always assumed that the states were simply a subdivision of the national government!  Suppose there were a revolution?  What good could come of it with a population as ill-educated as that?  Our own ignorance is what endangers us.

 

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SamLinder
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Re: Bin Laden for President!
jrf29 wrote:

I know exactly what you mean.  In my own town we have an historic
covered bridge with a very rare "rainbow truss" construction  which we
wanted to restore.  Everything was coming along fine until some
brilliant person thought that it would be a good idea to ask the
federal government for money! 

. . .

Now we have a bridge with a fire alarm system that is lit up brighter
than an airport, in the middle of a field, with one sign that says:
"Bridge closed to vehicular traffic", and another sign just beyond it
that says, "Weight limit 35 tons." 

This all cost the taxpayers of the United States several million
dollars and took ten years.  If we had done it ourselves, it would have
cost $50,000 and taken months.

jrf29,

Thanks for sharing that story. I had to laugh - it is so symbolic of the way this country has gone "around the bend"! Foot in mouth If that's what the feds will do with a small covered bridge, I shudder to think what the ultimate cost of our bridge will be!

jrf29 wrote:

Positive change can only come when people really care,
and are educated enough to know exactly what they should care about. I
have spoken with people who have graduated from public high schools,
who have revealed that they were never taught what the relationship is
between the states and the federal government!  They had always assumed
that the states were simply a subdivision of the national government! 
Suppose there were a revolution?  What good could come of it with a
population as ill-educated as that?  Our own ignorance is what
endangers us.

So true, so true. Sigh..................

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

jrf29 said:

"The result is covered bridges in small New England towns, with fire alarm systems, visible from outer space."

I hold you responsible for the coffee spray on my laptop screen...mouth and nose. That hurt!

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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Nonzeroone wrote:

jrf29 said:

"The result is covered bridges in small New England towns, with fire alarm systems, visible from outer space."

Nonzeroone said:

I hold you responsible for the coffee spray on my laptop screen...mouth and nose. That hurt!

jrf29 /  Nonzeroone,

You guys have got to stop cracking me up! How can I be all serious and worried if you keep making me laugh! Surprised

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jrf29
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Re: Bin Laden for President!
Nonzeroone wrote:

I hold you responsible for the coffee spray on my laptop screen...mouth and nose. That hurt!

Hold me responsible.  But you'll have to get past my neighbor's poodle.

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

We live in Virginia Beach - the Navy's Master Jet Base is located at Naval Air Station Oceana which is pretty much in the middle of the city.  After numerous studies, the Navy mapped out various zones around NAS Oceana to limit development in takeoff and approach corridors (high crash risk areas).  You couldn't build residential housing in certain areas, but limited commercial development could happen as a function of the business occupancy rate (a plane could crash on an empty building in the middle of the night and it would be okay).  Never failing to pass up a chance at property tax revenue, our illustrious City Council, built up the surrounding areas right up to the boundaries of the established no-build (or we might fly into it) zones.  That started back in 1943.  Oops. 

In 1954, jet aircraft were stationed at NAS Oceana and now we are up to the F-18A Hornet - a pretty freakin' high performance attack fighter.  The Navy kept updating their studies and guess what?  As the aircraft became faster and more high performance, the no-build zones moved out farther and farther.  Our City Council, (in their infinite wisom) now firmly entrenched in the pockets of developers everywhere, cited an old law that said if you were an original landowner and resident you didn't have to move.  The law was intended for the original farms surrounding the airfield back in 1943.  With a stroke of the pen, the law now applied to all the people in condos and houses that were now surrounding the base.  Of course the homeowners celebrated their victory by complaining about jet noise.

Hmmm, I am considering buying an existing house that is next to a jet base.  Do you think it will be noisy?  I don't hear anything right now so sure, I'll buy. 

Blah, blah, blah, jets on full afterburner on takeoff can hit 175dB.  That is louder than your mother-in-law.  Or your wife at the exact moment in time when she was the most furious with you she has ever been in all your married life.

Okay, maybe not as loud as your wife, but pretty loud.

The Navy kept telling the city not to build anymore and to consider buying property back and relocating people.  The CIty Council did build and didn't consider.  "That would cost money" City Council said.   "Why spend it if they are a revenue generator?"

People kept complaining, bumper stickers started popping up:  "I Hate Jet Noise"

These were countered by:  "I Love Jet Noise"  (We are oh so clever here in Virginia) 

Then they morphed into:  "Jet Noise - The Sound of Freedom" to force you on the Patriots side or the bad guys side.

My personal favorite was:

"I Make Jet Noise"  (Obviously pilots with lots of courage)

Along comes BRAC.  The recommendation is to close NAS Oceana because they can't expand for all the development that sprang (sprung??) up around the base.

"Oh my" gasps City Council - "where will all our tax revenue go? "  (NAS Oceana has about 12,000 active duty stationed with their families.  They constitute the single largest employer in Virginia Beach and a not insignificant contribution to the local economy.)

BRAC says "Too bad, you were stupid.  The base should be moved to Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL."  An aerial photo of the area surrounding Cecil Field shows a very densely populated forest - densely populated with,......wait for it.........

 trees.

City Council says "What can we do?"

BRAC says "Stop building and buy back the property and relocate the homeowners."

City Council says "That sounds like a good idea, but it will cost money."  "Lets raise taxes and make the citizens of Virginia Beach pay for our stupidity."

They did - NAS Oceana is still in Virginia Beach.

But we have a new mayor and a new City Council.  And BRAC is coming again in three years.

 

Perhaps not as good as the covered bridge story, but as is often the case, many City Council members grow up to become state and national level politicians.  Maybe this whole mess can be blamed on the Virginia Beach City Council?????

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Re: Bin Laden for President!

"Our own ignorance is what endangers us."

As much as I have been enjoying this thread, once again a great fallacy in it strangles me.  It takes great and committed passion to spur a revolution of ideas and action, but no less than committed rational thought, both of which, finding commonality, can articulate what is needed by our country.  Both are expressed in this thread which is really quite beautiful and so rarely seen, expecially the first several posts.

But what strangles my optimism for the outcomes of continued discourse like this for our future is the untenable assumption that the majority of humans in this country or the world have the capacity for understanding and making individual and informed judgements about what is needed to resolve an issue as do the authors of these posts. In another thread I mentioned the ability to conceptualize and how I had had recent interaction with an older college graduate who could not add 15 + 15 + 10 in his head. How can any truly revolutionary ideas ignore the fact that the majority of the world's population probably cannot do this either?  There are a huge number of mentally deficient people in our society,
either emotionally or mentally impaired, or physically disabled or
character disordered (Bush?)  :-) and the college graduate I mentioned can't be shoved into any of those labeled boxes.  About such people, either you generally think you have to become "big brother" like the US and "protect" them, or you become another feudal state like Medieval England and punish them, or you become what Russia was, at this point in history, a grand, failed experiment I think.  Please, please think about this and don't limit your discussions to your intellectual equals or moral equivalents, but include the whole "real" world just as we have discussed the "real" economy here.

The attitude here seems to me to be the underpinnings of old politics and old religion and I would hate to think we have to do Rome again in this day and age.

Rosemary

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jrf29
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Re: Bin Laden for President!

I once had a calculus teacher (a brilliant one, too) who couldn't add numbers in his head!

But
you are correct, Rosemary.  A large part of humanity lacks the mental ability, or the education, to fully grasp things.  A greater portion simply does not care enough to learn, and would
not be disposed to care even if they possessed the ability to understand.  If
left to their own devices they will vote for whomever promises to make
beer free and mail them $100 bills.  Another large portion of the
people may possess the ability to understand an issue, but they cannot spend time doing so because they are
busy caring about some other issues.

All
told, such people do nothing to sustain the life of a nation except in their sheer inertia. They may be a greater or lesser part of
the population, but certainly well over 50%.  

Which raises a great truth.  The people do require leading. 
Each individual person does not have the time, even if they are
mentally able, to fully contemplate each and every important issue
facing humanity and to reach their own fully independent conclusions. 
People naturally turn to others all the time, who advise them on subjects of
which they are ignorant, and who guide their actions. 

Long
ago, political candidates engaged in highly refined debates in which a
single speech might last over an hour.  Rebuttals might be half of an
hour.  The Lincoln - Douglass debates are a perfect example.  If you
look in a newspaper of the 1860's, you'll find that the volumnous
speeches were faithfully reproduced in small print, word for word, for the population to read. 

Do you suppose that
every semi-literate farmer spent his night hours pouring over these
long speeches in the newspaper by himself?  No. Communities had constant political meetings on the local
level, in their churches and town meeting rooms, where the educated men
of the community were expected to speak, and interpret these issues for
the people.  Preachers set the moral tone of a community, selectmen set
the political tone, and an individual was expected to listen to the
logic of others, or to any man who was more informed, unless they had some better idea
themselves.  If they did, they were expected to say what it was, and
allow it to be debated.

As I am lucky to be a participant in one of the
still-remaining forms of pure democractic government, the New England "Open Town Meeting," I can say that only on the most contentious issues are
decisions ever made by split vote.  The town usually starts off split on the
issue, and then the issue is discussed and wrangled with until all
the arguments have been exhausted, and when the "yeas" and "nays" are
finally called out, it usually ends very close to a unanimous vote.  Certainly
many of the sillier and more ignorant ideas which the participants came
to the meeting with have been extinguished by discussion with more
knowledgeable citizens.

Now, remember that national issues used
to be routinely discussed on the local level like this, also. There was
no means of communicating directly to the population by such things as
radio or televisions.  Information was presented to the people in
mass meetings where it would be argued and discussed, and also somewhat
digested for the masses by leaders at the local
level who spoke to and guided the people in their
understanding.

This is no insult to the people.  Everybody needs
to turn to a source of authority on most subjects.  I, for example, spend most of my mental energy thinking about and being involved in the
political and legal challenges of the country.  You may be very knowledeable about wind power.  Of course I am
theoretically concerned about wind power too, but my knowledge in that
subject is very limited and so I must rely on your guidance and leadership in that area.   

So I think this
modern leadership vacuum illustrates some of the problems with modern
society.  We call this the "information age" but the directness and privacy with
which information is fed to the population has resulted in a
deterioration in the quality of that information, and the confusion of the people.  When leaders have no
choice but to speak directly to the dumbest members of society, the
lowest common denominator factor takes over. 

Television has destroyed
the networks of local communities which would interpret national
news for the people.  We don't have local political committees any more,
where the debate is open and fresh.  We have only our televisions, and
we rely upon the news anchor to tell us what a candidate just said in a
speech, or who won a debate, and which facts in a speech were true. And
they control which news hear about, and the tone in which it is
presented.

So you're right Rosemary, people do need to be led.  And
we see a severe leadership vacuum caused by the short-circuting of the
old social channels through which people used to receive news and by
which they interpreted it.

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Headless
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Re: Bin Laden for President!

Wow! There is so much to attempt to respond to. I've said this before, I'll say it again: Lucky to be here.

A few minutes before lights out here in our house, so I have time for one comment--a short one.

Rosemary,

While it is true that people could know so much more, could be so much more logical, be sane--as we see it, be able to add and multiply--and even extrapolate, could be brought up in a environment where their rights as human beings are respected--which would allow them to focus more clearly on things outside of their immediate survival needs, I will give you some hope for believing in 99% of the population, in those who seem "damaged" with respect to deliberate, intentional participation in a more humane social agenda. This observation comes from 20 years of teaching and living in 6 different countries; 20 years which allowed me to come to the realization that every child is born with an under-appreciated gift; everything that he or she will ever need to become an integral part in Martin Luther King and John Lennon's march toward a better world where Imagination and A Dream are no longer as important...

They all understand when they are being treated unfairly;

show them, and they will stand up and shout!

Pick the right leaders (Martin Luther King, for example), people who can clearly communicate the existence of unequal treatment, exploitation; people who can demonstrate the negligble differences between the old and the new slavery (something which has characterized and supported U.S. corporatism much of the past 100 years). Pick the right communicators, and you don't need  a population that can do differential calculus and argue the merits of Brown vs. Board of Education. People know when they are being treated unfairly--if you simply provide a context, a comparison, a "look at that guy in the Porsche. Did you know he makes twice as much off of every apple your grandmother picks as she does, and he has never even seen an apple orchard?"

I believe the leader that can communicate inequality to the oppressed, thus frees them by the very act of communication. I don't think we would have come as far as we have if progress took a great deal more than the ability to recognize and be repulsed by unfair treatment...

P.S. As I came back this morning to see who had dropped by, I realized I may not have been clear:

The problem is not with "The People," actually. It is more the lack of leaders--or just one--who has the perspective, who has the bully pulpit, and who actually believes ..."all men are created equal." If that leader could just provide the context,  99% of The People are pre-wired to respond on their own or on another victim's behalf.

Hence, control of the media...and such catastrophic errors as Sean Hannity.

 P.P.S. jrf29, We must have posted simultaneously last night; don't have time to comment now--as your detailed posts deserve a well thought out, detailed response. Off to L.A....

 

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Bin Laden for President!

It has truly been a privilege to read these posts. Nonzeroone, Sam Linder, jrf29, and everyone else: Thanks for your excellent insights and discussions!

 

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