Thursday, December 10, 2009

Making a case for "Life After Death" -- but false claims won't make it real

In CSM online version, 12/10/09  ---
my letter to editor/CSM
Concerning Dinesh D'Souza, "Life After Death: The Evidence."  [His words are in italics]

First, you print an "opinion" piece by him, but it is more like a testimonial for his latest book. Opinion too? Yes, but really.... it is more of a ‘buy my book, make me rich” piece.

Second, he, like ALL religionists, twists facts, or uses only the part that might support his opinion, rather than using everything available to reach a valid conclusion.

So that I am not accused of taking comments ‘out of context’, below are excerpts and my comment.

He takes facts from several sources and mixes them together, then draws a conclusion. But since he didn’t keep the facts straight, the conclusion is false:
Alarmed by the obvious implication of near-death experiences, atheists have been laboring assiduously to explain them away. Today, the best atheist explanation is that near-death experiences are the result of a dying brain. When the brain irreversibly breaks down, psychologist Susan Blackmore contends, it generates special effects that closely track the near-death experience.
There are several problems with this theory but one fatal one is that many survivors of clinical death are now going to work, looking after their families, and functioning just fine. So much for an "irreversible" breakdown.

NO ONE claims that near-death experiences are the result of “irreversible” breakdown. Here he OUT RIGHT LIES. The actual claim is that it results from oxygen levels being so low that people are close to, or in the process of, passing out. Just as several things can cause “tunnel vision”, low oxygen being a major cause, so too can it cause “a white light” as the eyes shut down, or the brain shuts down. “Irreversible” is just that - death of at least part of the brain; any later recovery of the person is because other parts of the brain can take over some functions, as shown BY SCIENCE.

He further states:
I don't claim to prove my case beyond a reasonable doubt, but I do claim to prove it by a preponderance of the evidence.

Well, at least the statement is rational, though I doubt he really means it. And he has NO evidence, but merely claims to have it.

He further states:
"Is it good for me to believe?"  [His quotes, not mine]

For me, the clear answer is yes. If there is no life after death, we are like passengers on the Titanic: We can rearrange the deck chairs and turn up the music, but we are ultimately doomed. By contrast, if there is life after death, we can face death with serenity, viewing it is a gateway to another life. Also we have reason to hope that good will eventually be rewarded and evil held accountable. Moreover, recognizing that our terrestrial existence is part of a larger drama, we can forge a sense of lasting purpose in our lives. So not only is belief in an afterlife reasonable; it is also good for us.

He is making the case for “hey, what could it hurt?” or “let’s CLAIM to believe just to be on the safe side”. In other words, he ADVOCATES HYPOCRISY. He is clearly saying that you should attend church, and tell all your friends, and AT LEAST GIVE LIP SERVICE to “I Believe”, because IF there is an afterlife WITH GOD then you will be safe.

But that assumes that “God” would not know what is really in your heart - that you are doing it “just in case”. IF there is a god, and your bible tells you that making false claims is wrong, don't you think that you would be sent to ‘hell’ by your ‘god’ for false testimony? Face it, to claim all is OK is hypocrisy. (I had a co-worker claim to be a good Catholic, but daily he threatened to kill me, and said he would sleep fine afterwards. He even wanted me to attend his church so I could 'meet a nice girl'; I pointed out the hypocrisy - he said it was not, but soon after started down the hate road. Yea - typical christian.)

And he also try’s to put in some science by claiming that “Heaven” could be another dimension. Again, hypocrisy; Nothing in the bible, written by MEN with the “direction of God”, brings up alternate dimensions or anything even close to the concept. Here D'Souza is trying to trick non-believers and followers of science into “belief” by a ridiculous claim with no substance behind it.

His comment:
One of the direct implications of the Big Bang is that not only did the physical universe have a beginning, but space and time also had a beginning. Space and time are properties of our universe. This means that in realms beyond our universe, if such realms exist, there might be no space and no time. Suddenly the Christian idea of eternity is rendered intelligible.

Again, selecting various facts out of context to support an invalid conclusion. Science states that other dimensions will almost certainly (we have not been there so there is no proof) have different qualities, including the passage of time. Perhaps a what would feel like a week to us there could be 1,000 years here (much like the Einstein equation shows that moving fast will make your timeframe be different from a person on Earth), but to claim that might be ‘heaven’, in fact he practically outright states so, is again just stupid.

To cut this short -- if you think “God” wants a bunch of hypocrites who give lip service to “believing”, go with his “proof”. But don’t expect “God” to forgive you. If you want to go with the REAL EVIDENCE, then do like I do: accept that THIS is all there is, and look for your “rewards” here in this 'plain of existence', do good, follow the “Golden Rule”, and refuse false claims.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Global Warming - Debate, not Politics

Posted on Global Warming FACEBOOK page (12/06/09)
Many doubt that GW is happening at all -- even with pictures of glaciers melting that are over 10,000, even millions, of years old. So for them - there is no stupidity quotient that can measure your brain function.

BUT - what is the main cause? Is man 95%, or 5%, of the problem? There are too many 'scientists' being paid to fit data to political agendas. Liberals want to paint man as the main cause, conservatives don't.

Other groups want to jump to action now, even though there is no solid evidence showing where to even start, beyond lowering emissions in general will help.

Face it - the whole thing can be looked at as a job creation exercise. Make jobs studying; jobs controlling pollution, etc.

So let's get some jobs done by scientists to provide real FACTS -
what are temp controlling gases and OTHER factors in GW?
what sources generate them, and at what amount per year / decade?
what part is man-made?
what part of animal"
what part is 'natural' (volcano, water, frozen methane underwater)?
what can be done about EACH SOURCE, even if totally natural?
what JOB can be created to fight each source?

"Conservatives" need to get behind the job aspect. They are always screaming about "private sector jobs", so they SHOULD be BEHIND all the debates, and pushing for answers so they can create jobs.

Of course, who would be the ultimate employer? YOU!! Because even though you will pay for a filter, or bottled water, etc, NONE of you want to pay for the air you BREATHE. Governments will be forced to TAX the COMPANIES that create (NOT barter like coal pollution) the problems, then dole out the money to companies that clean it up.

Maybe someone will find a good analogy  -- how about garbage pickup? You pay a company directly, or through local taxes, to clean up the things produced by another company that you purchased.

Now you need to PAY TAXES TO BREATHE, and to not get FLOODED OUT on the coastal plains areas, to have DRINKING WATER in interior parts of the country (snow-melt provides a lot to the rivers), and much, much more.

But to claim it is not happening at all -- your education system failed you. Ask for a refund because your IQ is still that of a 5 year old.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Here we go again - a friend sent me a forwarded email about ‘Obama is issuing Muslim stamps’, so they wanted the stamps boycotted. It reads:
“ Now    President Obama has directed the  United States Postal  Service to REMEMBER  and  HONOR the EID MUSLIM holiday   season with a new  commemorative 42  Cent First Class  Holiday  Postage  Stamp.. “
The email goes on about how it is MUSLIMS that have attacked us in Lebanon, Saudi, NYC, etc. (Well, I guess that much is true.) and that we should not support anything having to do with them.

However, I can’t find, online, any special notices about these stamps in 2009, and if not, then it didn’t get issued “by Obama".  BUT GEORGE BUSH DID ISSUE THEM. That’s right, the USPS under Bush, THREE TIMES, in 2001 and 2007 and 2008, issued the Muslim stamp as part of a “Holiday Series” commemorating Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah.


But let’s add the rest of the questionable information - the stamps are noted in USPS documents as 41 cent and not the 44 cent (42 cent pictured) claimed in the email. If they reissued them again, at 42 cents, they forgot to post the notice on their web site. Otherwise, I have to ask - did someone FAKE this issuance, because the USPS cross out the price so it can’t be printed and used that way, and in the emailed picture the price was not crossed out. (The email mentioned both 42 and 44 cents - if true, it should be ONE price)

Let’s also try to be fair about this whole ‘so-and-so issued’ thing. The USPS is a quasi-independent organization, and maybe the President can stop an issue, but the chance of that happening is near zero. Everyone is “trying to be fair” and not pointing out the bad things about each religion, only the good, and therefore will include all the main religions, and since we are “not making war against all Muslims” then of course a general holiday issue will include a Muslim stamp.

One last comment, for the person who started this crap -- if you want to fight Muslims, and the faith in general, then strap on a gun, fly your ass into the midst of them, be it Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, or any other place, and declare yourself as a fighter against all Muslims. But -- who are you going to shoot? The man on the street, the woman, the child? Who?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wall Street -- They Make the Rules, so You Lose

[Original March 18, 2008; updates inserted into the original -- a Congressional Hearing is going on today, 11/16-17, 2009 that is supporting things I post here.]

"It is very difficult for inaccurate mark to model valuations to remain a secret," Hintz said. "And if I get my marks wrong, everything else is messed up in the firm. They may want to play games with valuations, but doing so would mean everything else was wrong too." [Brad Hintz, an analyst at Bernstein Research and former chief financial officer at Lehman.
Above is from article by Alistair Barr, MarketWatch 7:57 PM ET Sep 7, 2007]

This comment is about how banks and investment firms [Lehman, Bear Stearns and others] value their assets and debts. It is figured not just by putting the values into a spreadsheet as you and I do for household finances, letting the income from every source balance against every bill, and hoping that there is money left in the bank at the end of the week. Institutions are allowed to estimate the risk of a debt and hedge the value {like saying I loaned a friend 500 dollars, but the chance he won't pay it back is really small, so I'll put only $100 into the 'out-lays' column} so the true debt is not on the books. Now if I get paid, all is fine - and maybe I list it as "extra income"; but if I don't get paid back, the loss is suddenly FIVE TIMES what was on the books.

Another way they do this is, when they BUY a company, they will falsely overvalue it, using a procedure called "good will accounting" -- the company has $1B in buildings, products, and all other "hard assets", but they will place an extra value of 20% to 200% on the company based on "valued employees", "expected contracts", and many other guesses and will even add in "brand name recognition" [isn't the name, the company, what they are buying?].

And there lies the crutch of the problem - American [and world-wide?] companies don't have to put the real value of anything into the account ledgers, so they can make themselves look more profitable than they really are - until some one calls their bluff. [Umm, the collapse of Sept 2008, which was 'predicted' by the above quote.]

They also divide up companies to sell off the "unproductive" parts, and load them with debt from the parent company. They do this so that the parent will look healthy, but it almost assures that the new entity will fold - putting it on you to back it up through bankruptcy procedures. [See SPE's, etc -- this is how Enron and others "looked good".]

Cost of Stamps -- P.O. Losing $$ -- A Solution

[First written Oct. 2007]

I admit that I think the price of stamps going up again is outrageous.

HOWEVER - Face it - under 50 cents to send a note or card across the country is a FANTASTIC PRICE.

How often, other than junk mail, do you get wanted mail? 3 days? 4 days a week? Personally, I am down to monthly bills in the mail of: 1 credit card, electric, water, phone, 2 investment reports, cable. SEVEN items that regularly come to me; and I send out only 6 (some are being paid online) including the mortgage. [Update Nov 09 -- I send out NONE for bills because I do all online now - and nearly everything is "auto-paid" so I can never worry about being late on a payment.]

And I don't even have to go to the post office for stamps, saving gas money, because they will DELIVER them with your mail!

But there is that perception that the cost is too high, and here is how to make the increases slow, then maybe STOP for about 10 years: STOP HOME & BUSINESS DELIVERY OF 6 DAYS A WEEK.

There is NO REASONABLE ARGUMENT that I can see being made to support the current delivery/pickup system. The cost to the system - salary, benefits, gasoline, maintenance, and other factors - is going to demand that the price of stamps go to nearly a dollar by 2010. Who among you wants to pay that? So why do you think we should keep delivery people running all over every county in this huge country even if they have nothing to bring to you, or you have nothing for them to take? [[Update Jan 2010 - we have not hit $1 yet, but maybe because they are still in deficit spending mode.]]

But it is VERY reasonable to reduce delivery to 3 days a week (and in 10-20 years that will need to drop to 2 days a week or less) to each area. No, I don't mean deliver to even-numbered houses, then odd-numbered houses (except that doing it that way MAY make sense in densely populated city areas). I am talking about sectioning cities and counties into the present routes but maybe delivering to those in the south end Mo-We-Fr and the north Tu-Th-Sa so the same roads are not covered on consecutive days.

The Postal Employees Union will complain, but let me kill that argument before they can make it. The beauty of my plan is they simply stop hiring, and let attrition whittle down the workforce. So they really have no case.
[Update Nov 09 - they are supposedly letting people go already.]

Companies sending out bills may complain that they have schedules that have been made over decades and that they can't change those billing dates. Hogwash - let me kill that argument before they can make it. There is no real problem with putting in a piece of SW code that compares a billing address with a pickup/delivery date so the billing company can adjust the sending or receiving date. They also can put a box on the bill for you to check that says "accept this check but wait until the last day to charge against my bank account". Something like that can be done without the huge expense that the companies will CLAIM it will cost - reality is that programs are changed every few months, so the modifications could be done over the next couple of years as the change is debated in Congress. The BANK could offer this change too - if you can't do on-line banking, you could still tell them what day to pay each bill, but this could be MUCH more difficult.

People will say that they always send out bills only a day or so before it is due because they won't get the money in the bank until then. Not really a problem - they give you many days to send the money in, and if you must wait until the last day then either adjust your standards for when to pay what, or remember that dropping it in the box outside your house will not really affect the timing of their endorsing and charging against your account all that much.

The change MUST HAPPEN - now we just need to say WHEN.

From -
 [[ This is 2004 info. These people may have change jobs now, so look up who is on the panels now ]]

The House Government Reform Committee’s Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight is charged with helping reform the outdated postal system, currently facing about $90 billion in liabilities and obligations and in the midst of the biggest overhaul since it became an independent government entity under the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.
The panel is chaired by Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY), and working closely with the Administration to enact postal reform. Rep. McHugh and the panel report directly to Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, making postal reform a full committee priority.
Other Committee members appointed to the panel are: Reps. Dan Burton (R-IN) Edward L. Schrock (R-VA), Candice Miller (R-MI), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Major R. Owens (D-NY), Edolphus Towns (D-NY) Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Congress - stay out of the way, let Professionals do their job first on Hasan

For all those asking why Obama is telling Congress to wait - there IS such a thing as procedure. If Congress steps in too soon and starts giving immunity or in other ways interfering, then HASAN's prosecution could be hindered. (remember Ollie North?? He was GUILTY and found so, but had to be let go because Congress gave immunity)

And there BETTER be some people found guilty here, from the army promoting someone who was so bad that some said they would never refer a patient to him, to the placing of such a bad 'shrink' to the front lines of a battle when he had already made comments that such soldiers deserve to die. These IDIOTS were more than that and need to at LEAST be demoted and drummed out of the Army.

Hasan should have been removed a year ago, not allowed to complete his medical training (WE paid for it) because he reportedly was unstable, and placed under close scrutiny at the least, and since he is in the army, his comments alone were probably enough to get him put in the stockade for months or years.

I looked at one of his postings, and yea you could say it was just a '"study"; but I didn't have the context of all the other things he had said. In it, he didn't seem to support suicide bombing (the news agencies say it did) but to me it DID say that going down like Butch and Sundance, with even a small chance to live, was OK.

Lastly, our MANY agencies are supposed to be joined under "Homeland Security" -- what a joke. Under Bush we saw that this agency was just another place to put friends to pay them for 'past favors' (remember "Brownie", the horse manager? He got a slap on the back as N.O. was still under water and people were trapped in the 'Dome'). It seems that some help is still needed in the ranks. After several accounts came out about FBI CIA NSA and others not talking, we see another massive failure of AGENCIES NOT TALKING TO EACH OTHER. The Army was also supposed to be a part of this 'intelligence group', and we now see that it has failed us, maybe because of "sensitivity training" -- they didn't want to point out someone in a certain religion who was acting up. There has GOT to be action at ALL LEVELS to make this a safer country.

[[[ separately I posted this next one in response to those who blamed Obama, some saying "he knew/should have known about the guy" and did nothing --]]]

Hey - I didn't like Bush at all -- so many reasons, for starters he was in the pocket of big business, and an idiot. And Obama is not on my buddy list either.

But for ANY of you to think that EITHER of them would/should have known about Hasan -- YOU are the idiots!

The Army failed to even report his actions to superiors outside their local command. They let him finish medical training even though he was getting bad reports; they did nothing about his postings; nothing about his yelling at soldiers; nothing about his many other oddities; and finally, they PROMOTED him.

POTUS, whomever he may be at the time, would never have knowledge of a single soldiers' actions, if the immediate superiors DON'T DO THEIR JOB and report him. Even then, until he was deemed a terrorist openly, he would not have heard of him.

Posted as a "Comment" response to a USAToday article

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ft. Hood Shooting - FBI Fu*ked up Royal

There are reports today (11/10/09) that the FBI is looking at whether if (daa - YES) it screwed up an actual investigation months earlier of the shooter Nidal Hasan. It was checking up on him at least by Dec. 2008, continuing into 2009.

They had actual intercepts of phone calls from him to “radical Imam” Anwar al-Awlaki, whom actively advocates attacks on the U.S. And Hasan makes comments, even rants, that other soldiers reported to the Army, and Hasan posts things on the web (that maybe I read wrong too - tough to read "crazy"), and still the CID, FBI, NSA combined can't figure out that the guy has 'converted to terrorism'?

I tell you, it is the kind of F-up that makes you think that maybe we DO have a government that purposely looks the other way so we are attacked - for the sole reason to buy arms to support businesses.

What other reason could there be for such a mistake? stupidity? willful neglect? treason? Pick your accusation.

Part of the reporting says that Hasan was telling other doctors he was "friends" with ("quotes" because he would have shot them if they were there) that all Muslims should be released from military duty as conscientious objectors rather than fight in Muslim occupied areas. They say he even did a formal presentation about the same point. MY first question would be - should we release Christians if we are fighting in Europe? or Jews? Surely we would have to take THEIR RELIGION into account - hell, every religion would have to be taken into account for every place in the world that we go to defend ourselves, or some group (um - our last involvement in Europe was saving a lot of Muslims, fool).

As soon as he started advocating such crap, the Army should have not have just restricted his movements, but look at whether they had enough on him right then to charge him with treason. Yet FBI, CID, etc all decided he was just a little mixed up, not a threat. That he was asking "philosophical questions" of the radical Imam (whom used to preach directly to him).

[You know, I would think that, regardless of the reason, if military personnel have contact with anyone advocating the destruction of our country, there should be a REQUIREMENT to notify superiors immediately. It would not stop them, but would automatically make it a legal issue so they could be locked up. And to actively seek such contact, outside of formal intelligence gathering, maybe should be defined as treason.]

PLUS, to start with, it was Muslims that attacked us, killing people of all religions, including his precious Muslims. So why was he not screaming in the streets "oh brother Muslims, how could you kill those of your own faith? Ours is a religion of peace - how could you kill anyone not attacking your person?" Ah - the comfort of having a religion that says "I'm OK, but you're not - you are an infidel who should convert or die".

[Of course, EVERY religion at least says "I am sane and going to heaven, but you don't believe the same as me, so you will go to Hell." And some have even come up with people who claim to speak for "God" and will forgive your sins so you can feel free to think all is OK, and then can go sin again tomorrow.]

Back to this traitor, his attorneys are setting the stage for him to use an insanity defense, perhaps that his status as a "peaceful Muslim, he could not bring himself to wage war against other Muslims", as though people of all other religions were worth killing. Hey, are you Muslims going to support this? It is saying that ALL MUSLIMS ARE INSANE IF YOU SUPPORT HIS POSITION. So I must ask - ARE YOU?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

MUSLIM in AMERICA -- Fearing Backlash when they should be Preaching PEACE

There are numerous reports that Muslims are afraid that, because one of their faith has committed mass-murder again, there will be protests, and even attacks against people and Mosques. Well, sorry folks, but that is to be expected.

What is wrong with Muslims; with the Imams? Why are the not out PREACHING TO THEIR PEOPLE OPENLY ABOUT PEACE INSTEAD OF VIOLENCE? If they would open madrasahs that teach peace instead of hate in all parts of the world then maybe the suicide bombers, and other killers like Hasan, would be not be so easily pulled into acts like what we saw this week at Ft. Hood, TX.

Muslims, you need to face the truth that if YOU won't teach peace, others in your faith will be free to teach hate. It is much the same in Christian "churches" that teach "white supremacy" and other forms of "we are better, we are right, and death to those who don't follow us". The madrasahs that we hear about are supported by "donations" from Saudi Arabia, and are being built in all parts of the world for the express purpose of breeding several generations of willing pawns for use in a war both to promote their version, the hate version, and to eradicate all other forms of religion. This includes other versions of the Muslim faith! [as you have Shia vs Sunni vs others].

We in Judaeo-Christian religion have gone through this in the form of the Crusades nearly a thousand years ago, plus several other incarnations, like The Inquisition, Salem Witch hunts, etc. And as pointed out, it still lingers in "white hate groups" like the Aryans and KKK, along with other fascists [note to right-wing Republicans -- the dictionary describes 'fascist' as "extreme-right-wing"; I hope you folks realize what you are becoming, and change]. But today we are focused on Muslims, because for all of your ultra-devout ways [pray 5 times/day, don't allow pictures of Mohammad, though you do seem fine with 'worshiping' of 'idols' of your other religious leaders -- hmmm, another contradiction in religion, go figure], you still do nothing about these "pawn" schools.

Maybe I am really starting to like pointing this out -- the ONLY religious teaching you need is what I follow -- the Golden Rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". With that "faith", you would not cheat, steal, hit, murder, steal a wife, or any other 'crime', because if you do, it is saying that you want it to happen to you, and since none of us want that, you would not do it to others. And though I don't subscribe to it, this 'religion' would even allow a belief in God, heaven, and all the other "explanations" for why bad things happen, where Mommy goes when she dies, etc.

So do like several other faiths --
 send people out to the world to teach your faith, but let it be one of peace!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ft. Hood Shooting on Nov. 5, 2009


Until then, we should try to figure out, if the government is telling us they were suspicious about him for 6 months, why had they not arrested him already, or at a minimum tossed him out of the military? As much as Hasan has to explain, the government also has a lot too, because if early news reports are right and he was elated by attacks on our military, he should have been arrested for being an "enemy sympathizer" and then investigated thoroughly for any inclinations of being more than "support by mouth" [which is simply 'free speech', but enough to get him tossed from the Army, then placed under surveillance to see if he was, or would become, part of a larger terror cell].

I just read what I think the news is using in comments "he wrote about suicide bombing", and using it to say he believed in it.

As I read it, he is against suicide, including suicide bombing. But he does point out that attacking an enemy thinking you may survive is OK -- if you die, martyr; if you don't you fought a good battle anyway.

It was difficult to read (I tried to pass over the religious crap -- had to force myself through it to try to get the complete meaning) partly because he uses convoluted [arab-style?] sentences; and kind of like many in our 'respected news people' community like George Will who like to state things in a way to prove themselves very smart because the rest of us can't figure out what they meant to say.

Anyway -- try reading it. See what you think --

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today Reuters reports that an SEC Commissioner is worried about "naked access", where a trader can "rent" a brokerage license. This will give the trader access to trades and prices before any other trader - maybe only hunderdths or thousandths of a second ahead, but if he has the computers set to "trade on condition" then he can do dozens of transactions before anyone else.

Now I wrote already about abuses in SEC, SPE’s and SIV's - How Wall Street is constructed to take from YOU which was about things happening several years ago. And even though we have just gone through a massive bunch of fraud on Wall Street, and many on TV and in print have said that special deals for the RICH are very wrong, we STILL have the SEC simply "worried", and not taking any REAL ACTION to stop abuses by "special interests".

CRAP like this is why we need to clean out BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS and demand that they stop putting crooks in positions of power (like the Treasury Secretary, a tax cheat).

Justice NOT Served

A woman reported her baby missing in a Florida town, FIVE days later the baby was found hidden under a bed in the baby sitter's house and the police are charging both with several crimes (noted in the story as not released yet -- the sitter's husband is also to be charged). All this is bad enough, but look at what was found out about the sitter:

 Susan Elizabeth Baker convicted of assault in South Carolina in 1987, and questioned but not indicted in 2000 for a 3-year-old child's disappearance, also in 1987.
-------(a few paragraphs later).....
Susan Baker had told authorities Paul Leonard Baker disappeared from the family's Beaufort, S.C., home on March 5, 1987, while she was napping. But a massive manhunt in the swampy area around the Bakers' home turned up nothing, and Susan Baker was never indicted. Authorities could not immediately say Thursday what became of the charge against James Baker.
.........(a few paragraphs later, about her OTHER child)......
Susan Baker was charged with causing the girl's injuries, including sores on her back and broken hands, and charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. After being convicted, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The sentence was suspended to 80 days.

NOW WHY WAS THE SENTENCE REDUCED? The woman didn't just spank her child a few times too hard, or caused some other injury that was "questionable"; she had repeatedly abused her own children. She should have been locked up for the full ten years. It is now clear that she probably killed her own child and disposed of the body. Of course, at the time they could not prove it, though the beating the second child sustained should have (maybe did) made the police suspicious.

It is just luck that police found this one. Baker was under suspicion at least one other time; I hope they 're-visit' that case, and that they do a search in any other places she has lived to see if she might be responsible for other missing children.

Again we see that people voted in or appointed as "Judges" are of questionable morals themselves, and clearly have very poor judgment when it comes to sentences for egregious crimes. While the woman would have been out of jail by now anyway, and so this crime might never have been averted, she might have realized that the punishment for any further abuse of children would be too much to risk. It is these "judges" that we promote to the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SUPREME COURT - be very Afraid of this Group

THE SUPREME COURT of the United States, today (11/4/09) heard arguments about two prosecutors from Pottawattamie County, Iowa, whom fabricated evidence and coerced false testimony to convict two men ["Justices weigh lawsuits against prosecutors" as reported in USA Today] of a 1977 murder. These men might have been put to death; as it is they spent more than 20 years in a state prison facility, and the "prosecutors" knew they not only fabricated evidence but also withheld evidence that could have proven them innocent.

Now this case is not being brought because the men where wrongly jailed by a system attempting to do the right thing, but because they were jailed by prosecutors breaking multiple laws. But the "Supreme Court" is making noises about other prosecutors who "would 'flinch'" from doing their jobs because if they don't convict someone, even of based on all solid, good, and valid evidence, they would fear later law suits.

Now this is a COMPLETE bunch of crap - any ruling could easily state that if a prosecution fails to convict based on good evidence that there is no basis for law suits, but only if "evidence" clearly falsified by "the state" or "the government" [in federal cases] would prosecutors or police be open to retaliatory law suits.

Don't get me wrong - police can lie (maybe should lie) to a suspect in order to get to the truth about their involvement in a crime. But the line MUST be drawn when in court, where OATHS are taken to NOT LIE (Gee, has no one even considered THIS?? That the entire trial was false??)

As I responded to the USA Today story:
There IS protection in the 4th Amendment, and maybe Amendment XV Section 1 (their race was certainly a factor). Any person presenting this case in the Supreme Court should use these issues. And if the S.C. does not let them sue, it will just be another example of ITS' dereliction of duty and law, as was its allowance of taking land and re-selling to anyone willing to pay more in taxes for it.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Lies Perpetrated on the Internet

I recently got an email, forwarded from another person, I'm sure which was intended JUST to make people mad at OBAMA. (He has certainly pissed me off with things he HAS DONE - I do not need LIES to push me too). I don't blame the sender; I'm sure she thought the person she got it from thought it was legitimate.

The email contained a bunch of pictures of what claimed to be a new COOK COUNTY JAIL, which was supposed to have been pushed through by then Sen. Obama. Some of this seems to be pushed by the comments HERE -

When it is really THIS -

A Jail in LEOBEN, AUSTRIA --- NOT the USA !
(I don't take all the honors for finding this TRUTH; I also followed others' trail of facts)

It is STUPID stuff like this clogging up our email boxes that can perpetuate lies and hate. Remember the emails circulated 10 years ago touting a free vacation at Disney World if you forwarded the email and then after several 10's or 100's of thousands it would automatically notify Microsoft and ALL the people would get tickets? I had a friend (former colleague whom should have known better) send that to me, saying "it couldn't hurt" to try it. I differ - I think spreading crap like this hurts because so many are not able to THINK clearly enough to figure out what is true and false.

I urge people to USE the INTERNET to VERIFY stuff before you pass it along. You will stop spreading lies and hate. And maybe start thinking for yourself.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Criminals and the Slap on a Wrist

Original 4/13/05

Criminals that are lifers - do NOT need to EVER be allowed back in public. And if the "right to life" or "prisoner rights" groups want to PAY to keep them in jail for life then fine. Otherwise, let's bring back a sure method of making sure they don't harm us again. No, I am not advocating cutting off hands, or genitals, or any "offending" body part. I am saying that life-time criminals should not have life. Yes, the death penalty. We would save millions each year by dropping the “supermax prisons” off the tax-payroll.

This includes crimes from identity theft [they set out to destroy your life] to egregious child molestation and “slavery” [white, black, or other]; car theft to mob and drug crimes. ANY crime more serious than stealing a loaf of bread, and where the criminal shows they will be a problem for society forever.

Where do the "rights" groups come in? If they want these criminals alive, then they can DONATE THEIR MONEY to the state of their choice, with the money directed by law to the general upkeep of the prison population. NO money for TV's in every cell, or weights that just make criminals more dangerous when they do get out. There are many groups, mainly religious, who don’t want the death penalty; fine. And there are many people in jail, even “death row”, that are innocent; we need to make sure that we separate the one-time criminals from the career criminals. But even career-purse-snatchers are more than we need on the streets again. We spend tens-of-thousands of dollars hunting down these “small-time” thieves, so lock them up forever too.

And these jails do not have to be nice; how about un-used desert space, with AC for the guards and fans for the prisoners? Give them some play area, some balls (no bats) and gloves and other things for activities, so long as it won’t make them more dangerous. And if their relatives (or others) want to give extras that fit within the restrictions, fine - just don’t ask ME to pay for it.

Updated 10/28/09

One last point, food for thought, etc, and boy could this generate responses - America jails more of its population than any other nation. I do worry about WHY this is so [do we lock up minor offenders because they are are not white, like me?] because I start wondering if there is a conspiracy of some intent I don’t understand.

We need to find some way to reduce this number (better education?). My solution to crime, as outlined, will initially put far more behind bars, unless because of the “warning” of the law’s passage, they stop the activity beforehand. But when people realize they will be put away forever, including those “rich” folks on wall street and other places using drugs [just like purse snatchers, these “minor” repeat offenders take the police on a ride, costing us huge $$], then crime will go down. Remember that many in a family know that the spouse is at least doing “questionable things” like drugs, which support organized crime (the one thing “Bush 43” was right about). If they don’t want the family broken up, and possessions seized, then they will put pressure on the family member to stop, or kick them out themselves.

Identity Theft

Original  3/13/06

OK, maybe we have to have some method of determining, in this ever-expanding world of commerce, who is and is not likely to pay back borrowed money.

But the companies that have amassed our most secret information are not just selling it to "authorized" agencies, but are also not securing the data to keep it away from criminals.

And don't think you will be able to sue them for the breach, the subsequent ruination of your credit, reputation, ability to get a job, etc; because we can expect Congress to soon (if it doesn't exist already) pass a law protecting these "vital national resources" against "un-warranted litigation", just as they did the drug companies that make vaccines. That piece of legislation will certainly come back to haunt us - as companies make mistakes that easily should NOT happen, and they simply hide behind the 'law'. While we have to have vaccines, they have always come with warnings like "made with eggs - don't use if allergic"; but Congress has now taken our Constitutional protections from us!

On top of all this, if we catch the criminals that steal our information, and ruin our lives, they get a sentence of a couple months to a few years - then they go do it again! (see Criminals and the slap on a wrist)

Update 10/28/09

Now we have to also add to the mix - theft of your very personal medical records! The Federal Government wants to put ALL of your medical info online so even if you take a trip around the world and get sick/injured, you won’t get a shot of something you are allergic to, an MRI when you have a piece of metal that would be ripped through your body, etc. All of this is “good”.

I would love to see this happen. Imagine not having to pay for x-rays again because you were shipped across town but they lost the films, to state one easy case.

But let’s face it - your information had not been secured very well so far, and I doubt we can expect the companies writing the programs (software) to institute any methods to keep the data safe. They are in this to make money, and if making it secure would add $100K to the price, they won’t do it because someone else will underprice them for the contract. [Some help - see below]

What do we have right now? First, every doctor’s office demands your SS# - why? They are not paying you, so they don’t need it. Insurance companies want it too, though I don't think they really need it. But many of these offices have people working in the office with questionable backgrounds, so your SS# should not be released; even if they are not criminals, they don’t secure the data, and may send it wirelessly throughout their offices, making it easy for “drive-by hackers” to steal it. If you have insurance they give you a policy number - that is all any doctor needs. No insurance? Then you pay at the time of service, so again they don’t need the SS#. [I joined a bowling league - THEY wanted my SS# too!! (I did not give it, they flipped out; in about a year, they stopped asking for it from anyone)]

Now I could go through pages of more problems with all this, but to get to the point, any data should be heavily controlled and protected. How? First secure the data at every stage of transmission with encryption, including (*especially*) over any wireless nodes since these are the easiest to steal from; and the encryption should be far better than the current 1,024 bit standard - more like 10K or 1Mbit scrambling that is changed on a random basis. With the amount of computing power available to criminals (equal to a supercomputer of just a few years ago) anything less will be decoded within days, if not hours! Think they won’t care that you had a broken leg when 12, or your “tubes tied” at 24, think again. Most of the activity involving computer data theft is now done on a large scale. It’s like a major retailer - to sell everything cheap you get everything cheap, and hope for a home run on a few products, but low-margin stuff still adds to the total volume and brings in a lot of $$ too. [Think about the standard ID theft - you may not be rich but they steal it anyway and over-charge on your dime. Then you may spend YEARS getting things straight while they sit in comfort. Even shoplifting is being done by organized groups.]

SO [some help] - contact your Senator and Representative today and demand a LAW that forces any companies (software, hospitals, etc) writing for or handling sensitive data to ensure that encryption is the most important factor in the process; that if your SS# is required at some point, that it is NOT displayed on every monitor or printout (they can substitute a randomly generated number at the federal level so it matches up only at the most protected point), and that mandatory sentences are imposed for any willful act that causes your personal information to be even potentially stolen (in other words, if your data is not protected then someone goes to jail even if you are not directly harmed - sentences could start with 30 days or a fine for stupidity, and the more egregious violations could result in 20 years-to-life).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Domestic Spying?

Original: 2/16/06

Let me preface this article with two things
    1. I agree with most of what they are doing, but not how
    2. I always assumed that the NSA/CIA/FBI was listening to international phone conversations, all the way back to Hoover & his FBI wiretapping of Dr. King, and anyone they chose out of an anti-war rally. Any government, unchecked, will do whatever they can get away with.

Now when I first heard the report (confirming my assumption) of the "domestic wiretaps without warrants" I was outraged. The media left open the idea that my conversations with friends were being listened to, because I was so upset after 9/11 that I went into the local FBI office and told them off (everything I accused them of - that the FBI/CIA had evidence before the attack that they did not act on was later proven to be true) so unfortunately that put me on their radar.

Then I started hearing from the administration; they tried to say it was necessary, and finally VP Cheney described what was really(?) happening - that one end of an international communication was coming from 'known terrorists', so I had to agree - this was needed in order to find out what was being planned so that the next attack could be stopped. If allowed, I would assist in such wiretaps, because it is a useful tool in a war.

But I still have a problem with the procedure used; Pres. Bush says to do wiretaps without going to the FISA court - ever. Pres. Bush reviews his own order and deems it correct every 45 days. Pres. Bush tells a few select Congress people about the operation, but tells them that they would be breaking the law and could be prosecuted if they reveal to anyone that they ever even met with him for any such briefing. So Pres. Bush makes up constitutional powers for international calls; it is not beyond reason then for us to assume that he has also decided that Article II has given him the right to listen in to domestic calls. After all, he is fighting a war, and "all is fair in love and war". Remember, too, that there are already laws that allow people to be picked up and held, without any notification, if suspected of treasonous acts (the Evansville 7 were picked up and detained for weeks and no contact, not lawyers or family, was allowed. And some of them lost their business because of the government's detention-without-evidence), and Jose Padilla was held without contact even though he is a citizen, and supposedly protected by our constitution. [I believe that these "laws" are unconstitutional, as supported by Amendments 4, 5, and 6.]

[Kind of sounds "divine" - he looks at what he has done - "and it is good." Scary, isn't it? Pres. Bush makes comments about a 'crusade', he tells a reporter that he does not consult his father (Bush 41), but his "Father", and now creates a new Presidential power (one without Congressional check and balance review) by his own will. {Mr. Bush needs to study Amendment 1.}

Isn't this the problem we are in right now, with Bin Laden and others claiming to pray to God for guidance, then claiming that God wants them to wage war? This looks more like two religious zealots fighting a war, but using other people's bodies for the ammunition! Looks like the "Founding Fathers" were right - when you have a state religion, you tend to use the state to fight your religious battles, so separation of church and state was mandated when the United States was formed. ]

The Administration says they won't go to the FISA court because it might decide that a "probable cause" requirement was not met. How could it not agree, if the NSA shows that the non-U.S. end of the conversation is a "known" terrorist? To have a known terrorist on the phone is basically the definition of probable cause.

What about this? 'A' in Afghanistan talks to 'B' in Kansas. "B' then calls 'C' in Boise. At this point, we are told that the NSA should then listen to the B/C conversation, but go to FISA right away for an "after the fact" warrant. But they have to give probable cause, so they must tell FISA about the A/B conversation; except that they are ordered by Mr. Bush to not tell about this call. NOW they can't use the B/C call in court because it was an illegal/secret wiretap or - will someone lie about a source to try to get the tap used in court later, only to have any prosecution fail when the truth about the tap becomes known?

The irony of all this debate about secrecy is
- if Pres. Bush had used the FISA court, as the LAW states he must, then we would not have all this discussion right now. This entire 'secret wiretap' plan fell apart because of those who said it was wrong, and illegal, and who left their jobs in protest. It is a 99% probability that one of those dissenters confirmed to the press what I had always assumed. And - what is the real story; did they leak over international, or truly domestic, wiretaps?

SEC, SPE’s and SIV's - How Wall Street is constructed to take from YOU

The SEC,  SPE’s and SIV's

 Securities and Exchange Commission and Special Purpose Entities

and Structured Investment Vehicles

Started  2/17/04 and updated 12/05/07 -

When Harvey Pitt was placed in charge of the SEC, democrats screamed immediately that he was wrong, without really supplying any proof (that was reported in a reasonable fashion). So every time I heard it, I said to myself, and others I talked to, “give him a chance”. Then after a while, some evidence was presented that showed that Mr. Pitt should be removed.

Of course, the new Chairman, Mr. Donaldson, as it was in the beginning with Mr. Pitt, was heralded as “someone who knows where the skeletons are” on Wall Street. EXCUSE ME, but it occurs to me that if they know where problems on Wall Street are at, then they either would have made news telling where the problems were years before, or they are part of the problem!

Eliot Spitzer has done this country a great service – he has pointed out that Wall Street is set up for the rich to get richer (he has not necessarily said it in those words, but that is the result), and has been from the start. I don’t care what his political aspirations may be because he has done something that needed to be done; he has shone a bright light on the backroom dealings that are big business, and the rats there are being shot (figuratively).

Insider deals giving extremely rich (Mr. Bernie Ebbers comes to mind) people more ways to make money with no risk is one thing that now shines in the Spitzer light. Though in some cases the people actually did trade with the firms involved (new reports say Ebbers didn’t), it is still not a fair way to do business, here in this country of “equals”. How can anyone say that making sure that a select few rich people are given the chance to make money while shutting out millions of other potential investors is the right way to do business?

Mr. Spitzer is doing what the SEC would not – enforce the law, and in some cases cause new laws to be made. But everything that he is doing is just what the SEC was supposed to have been doing for the past 60 years! CNBC had a program on in 2003 by Sue Herrera that looked the SEC and the NYSE, what precipitated its founding, and whom was placed in charge. As I remember the show, a banker, and one of the richest men in America, was given the job of getting it all going. But that show also pointed out how many things were still done in the smoky back rooms. Funny how things never change over time, unless forced from the outside.

And then we come to SPE’s – those “Special Purpose Entities” dreamed up by accountants. That’s right – accountants. With all the purpose of a mafia lawyer, they looked at how they could modify legitimate methods of branching off sections of a company, but with the apparent purpose of filtering off assets and debt to places where no one could gain access to the records. Some of those, as profiled in news accounts, had companies created by corporate insiders funneling millions of dollars (both real and imagined, I believe) to places where the money could just disappear, leaving behind just the debt. And of course, a company with only debt files for bankruptcy and “dissolves into the night”. While there are still questions about the purpose of all of them, reports were that ENRON made over 4600 SPE companies. Some may have had legitimate reasons to exist, but NO ONE will ever convince me that these, with few exceptions, were for "sound business practices".

And where was the SEC while all this was going on? ENRON (and others) started making SPE companies years ago, so why had the SEC never investigated them? Surely they won’t try to say that they never had the funds to do their job, will they? Why, just one of these, with the proper penalties (read that as “how to fund the SEC through lawsuits against unscrupulous companies and individuals”) assessed, would have paid for then next, and then some. But of course, as I pointed out above, there is no way that these “skeleton” sleuths were going to rat on their cohorts.

Now don’t start thinking that Congress is going to start really getting involved either. Sure, they want to make a good showing, calling witnesses in so the elected officials can read their prepared remarks for the cameras, and then the witness can either “take the 5th” or sit there and claim “I don’t recall”. But you will never get any real action from Washington, because they all know where their campaign money comes from, and in over 200 years, we have perhaps had 2 officials upset the apple cart (read that: cut their political throats), and I may be generous in stating that much.


SEC is Run Amuck Again

Here we are in November 2007, and AGAIN we are faced with the SEC failing to do it's duty, this time in regards to lending institutions. Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, even UBS, are now on the hot seat for risky lending in the many tens of billions of dollars! And what has become the quick way of getting the debt out of sight?: the equally wrong banking version of a SPE [the Special Purpose Entity of Enron fame]- called a SUPER "structured investment vehicle" [SIV - I can't think of a better acronym that they could have come up with. Rather than a bucket to hold the assets, they use something with HOLES!! read on]. [Note - there are also "conduits" that are smaller versions of these holders of failed investments.] They have quickly changed the 'name' to MLEC [Master Liquidity Enhancement Conduit - this is defined in another article, but I can't find it otherwise on the internet].

Just what is a SIV/MLEC? The Financial Times ( for U.S. & Canada states it thus: "The idea of the MLEC is to transfer the securities to a new vehicle that could hold the securities to maturity thus capturing the full value of the assets. Although the backers stress the MLEC would be a temporary solution, they say it is likely to last for three or four years." [from a 10/19/07 article - before the shit really hit the fan in the U.S.]

The article, however, not being the place to speculate, does not state this - that I am certain that rather than waiting years for maturity of these loans, and perhaps more importantly because many of these loans could never be re-paid, most will be written off their taxes, ultimately becoming OUR BURDEN as they get to claim it as a loss against the billions otherwise made, and therefore not pay any taxes! And where they can't do that, they will again come after US as they did with the "Long Term Capital Management" fiasco in the late 1980's [and later, the BCCI banking scandal], when the super rich lost billions in hedge funds [which ONLY they are allowed to invest in] then got bailed out by George Bush (#1), as it was determined that allowing these funds to fail could also take down banks. [See, the rich don't have to pay for everything up front (to be fair, neither do the moderately wealthy, when investing in "puts and calls") but instead "leverage" their investing by simply promising to pay if they lose the "bet" on the investment. Think of it this way - you go to a bookie and tell him you are betting on "Flower Power to WIN at 8:1" and place a bet of $100, but only give him $10. If the horse wins, you collect the $800, but if it loses then you have to cough up the other $90. If you don't YOU get your legs broken - but for the rich, they cry to the government an WE get OUR legs broken in the form of taxes to fund a bailout!]

 Here's another good one - most investment bankers and financial reporters, and some government officials claim that they don't really understand the SIV/MLEC. But that won't stop Washington from letting these banks set it up.

What the banks are doing with the SIV would be impossible, and perhaps illegal for you and me to do. Do you think you could really take, say, a couch that turns out to be really bad, throw it in the garbage, then tell the company that you are stopping payment on the check? What they are doing amounts to the same thing! They 'bought' these bad mortgages, that may be defaulted upon shortly, but now claim that they are worthless and so want to trash them without any consequences.

As some are now stating - "where were the regulators in all this?" Well, let's see - reports are that the BUSH #2 administration has cut many federal departments from 10% to 80%! Was the SEC one of these? Whether it was or not, it clearly has not been doing the job it was set up to do, and hasn't been doing it for many years!

Of course, there are those that think there shouldn't be any regulation of any business. Larry Kudlow [of CNBC - sorry Larry but since I watch a lot of CNBC & not the rabid "FOX'es", you are the one I am exposed to the most - which is why, with your 'let business do anything completely un-regulated' stance, and 'only Republicans can save the world' stance, I can't stand to watch your show anymore] is one of those staunch Republicans that believe the "market" will regulate companies, forcing bad companies into failure by not purchasing their products. But let's face it, America - if we didn't have regulations, drug companies would sell snake oil, crops would be sprayed with DDT, and auto companies would make bumpers out of plastic!! Now do you really want to have a country where that could happen without consequences? [oops - they do! Remember the "5 mph no damage to the vehicle" rule? Now a 2 mph bump, or a simple scrape, can cost hundreds to repair. But the bumpers looked hideous and weighed about 100 lbs., so they could hardly be allowed today.]

But as pointed out before, regulations are a necessity in this world. I'm not saying that government should list things that can be sold, or how they must be sold - I am saying that companies are out to make money, and many don't care how they do it! Remember the movie "Erin Brockovich"? A utility was poisoning people by dumping toxins, and when discovered they did everything they could to cover it up, then fought tooth and nail to not pay the victims. If companies really did want to make money without hurting people, then as soon as they realized that people where being harmed they would have jumped to solve the problem.

Conmen, Cowards, and Thieves

[Original started in 2005 - last updated 3/15/09]

Cher sang a song ["Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves"]  about how a group of people were looked down upon, though they were constantly sought. Congress has shown that they deserve a similar moniker.

Conmen - "I will do what is right for America". Gee, how many times have we heard that? Promises of health care, lower taxes, "no pork", projects for America, foreign policy that promotes peace; all of it costing less than ever before - and none of it is true. But Americans keep voting for these liars.

What is it going to take before we stop voting for them? Unfortunately, I don't think there is a strong enough force in the universe, because the power that keeps getting them voted into office is GREED. And not just the greed of the politicians, but the greed of every American, looking for "a chicken in every pot"  [a slogan from long ago]. Add to that a populace that can no longer think for themselves [ I cite the declining position of American schools as compared to the rest of the planet - what are we now, 98 out of 100? ] and you have an atmosphere where politicians can say anything and be believed.

Have you people ever balanced your checkbook? Income - outlay = what's left. Now while a temporary outlay overage is OK, say for a new replacement refrigerator, or car tires, or even a new couch, should not hurt in the long run, unless your plan is to get more than you will ever [even without interest tacked on] be able to afford then go 'Chapter 13', then how can you justify new cars, new TVs, or houses that cost 5-10 times your annual income [the old norm was about 3 times]? If you can not see how to pay off a credit purchase in 1-2 years [clothes in a couple months], then extras like TVs should wait.  The same goes for these CONMEN in DC - they must be planning to use some kind of 'debt forgiveness' so that the bills for their excesses will never have to be paid. [I guess they just use "debt forget-ness" - they know the people won't remember]

In the 1980's America did not just show the Soviet Union that we had a "better idea" - we out-spent them into the ground. THEY finally gave up the money race and opened their borders. American politicians and economists declared that the Soviet system could not sustain itself, could not spend what it didn't have, and collapsed. However, WE are in the same boat, but refuse to admit it. Mainly Republicans (and their supporters) are the ones claiming that we can cut taxes and offer more services without it costing anything [they claim revenue will increase causing more actual tax money to be collected - kind of like Wal-Mart; lower prices will bring more customers and though the profit margin on each item is small, the total money brought in increases], or even get more in the long run. But since this plan went into effect (I believe in 1981) the total U.S. debt has gone from about $1 Trillion to about $9 Trillion today [would have been MORE if Bill Clinton, for whom I have no love because of the disgrace he brought to our country, had not changed some policies to the point that we had years with no deficit.].

BY THE WAY - have you noticed that YOU have given the former Soviet Union about $1 Trillion since the collapse? The U.S. 'CON'gress thought we should pay them for old nukes missiles, uranium that was laying around, and other weapons, AND straight-up CASH to support their economy as it struggled to become more like ours. But don't you people remember the news reports about hundreds of millions of dollars being directed straight into the Russian mafia, along with other millions simply 'lost'? Just how the hell do you think there became so many Russian millionaires in just a few years? And don't look now - but Putin is planning to stay in power forever!

Cowards - every day they tell us that they are passing laws to help us. Then they insert self-serving "pork projects" and try to tell us that the extra spending is taking care of a true need. The President is also at fault - perhaps, since he can VETO the "pork" laden bills, he is MORE at fault than the self-serving pigs that passed them though Congress. ALL of this could be stopped by a REAL PRESIDENT (I'm not just talking about the current one) making a simple announcement in the Inauguration speech; "I will VETO any bill, for any purpose, that has ANY PORK in it! Further, every bill's contents must pertain only to the bill's subject - amendments, paragraphs, or whatever, for highways can only be inserted into highway bills. This veto would include bills for roads, borders, even flood and hurricane relief; and I will lay the blame right back at Congress for my being forced to veto any bill that does not follow this guideline, as they now have the ground rules and I will demand that they follow this guideline."

However, every past- and present-President has lamented that they signed the "pork laden bill" because there was some provision (usually the name by which it is referred to, like a "Samantha's Law") that was needed. However, at some point the President must STOP BEING A COWARD and STOP THE SPENDING SPREE that Congress has allowed for themselves.

The 'Coward' moniker also fits 99% of the House and Senate membership. Every year we hear that they don't like some bill, but vote for it because they "felt they had no choice". WHAT CRAP. Much of the reason they don't stand up and decry how extra spending has been inserted into an otherwise "good bill" is that THEY THEMSELVES are (or plan to be) guilty of the same "Pork Stuffing".

COWARD can also be a label for them as it regards the "War on Terror". How many of them have sent their kids to Iraq? If they support it, if it is so 'good for America', then they should be able to get their kids to volunteer. I think I have heard of about 10 office holders having direct relatives [child or sibling's child] in the military, and maybe 3-5 of them being in a war zone. But instead, they put out "BONUSES" in the tens of thousands for the poor to join.

AND- a recent [OCT 07] news report showed that they don't want to pay the bonuses as promised. The soldiers have complained that the bonus was set up to be paid if they were in a war zone for X-number-of-days [I believe it was 370 - gee, why just OVER 1 year, when the politicians knew that postings were normally just 1 year?] but that the soldiers were shipped out of the war zone just 14 days, or less, of the "PAY-UP" goal.

ADD to that insult the fact that reservists are being called up at rates not seen since WWII, but are NOT being given full medical coverage! These soldiers DESERVE to get FULL coverage for ALL physical and mental problems when they come back, the same as ANY regular enlistee.

OH YEA - the "Regular Enlistee" also can't get the coverage that was promised. There are multiple reports of soldiers being forced out of the military because they suffer mental disorders as a result of service; they are committing suicide, beating spouses, and a number of other problems are reported. But YOUR GOVERNMENT has decided to REFUSE ASSISTANCE. They don't want to admit they are responsible, neither as the cause or the one responsible to help. [Can we again say "COWARD"?]

Thieves - Mr. Cunningham, of California, for many millions of OUR dollars, what did you get for steering projects to special interests? You got what - house, boat, cars? And that is just ONE example of how these bastards are stealing from us.

Now include the other special interests - Congress people that have special charities in their home districts, where money can be funneled that, despite their claims, does directly benefit them. Come on, take a good look - you will see that while a campaign may not get money from some big corporation, those same corporations are giving money to 'charities' that are not anywhere close to the HQ of the company, but are close to the HQ of the politician. How does this benefit the politician? - they get free rides, use of planes, trains, and automobiles, and houses and private clubs that are all paid for by the 'charities'. There was a bigwig Congressman from eastern Texas a few years ago, whom was forced out because of things he did; I remember news reports that he oversaw some charity in his district which was getting money from around the county even though its area of concern was a couple counties in their local area. Why did this 'charity' get millions? - because the politician was based there.

But the stealing is not just in such 'round about' ways. Did you hear about the plane that gets funded, though over 10 years has not gone into development, many millions spent, and the military says it will NEVER WORK, but because the politician has some small company in his district that the wants to keep running, he funnels money every year to the project? This plane [profiled, I think, on 60 Minutes] has never flown, and at best got 3 feet off the ground [it is a vertical takeoff craft] for less than 10 seconds; but was not allowed to do that attempt without being tethered to the ground for safety! So this guy 'steals' millions from us so he can have a couple jobs in his district, and a few thousand in his campaign coffers!


Capitalists Ruined Capitalism

AIG, BoA, UBS, WFG, GE, the Bush (1 and 2) administrations, Congress (both Houses), FDIC -- pretty much doesn’t matter where you look, the fault is easy to find if you are not part of the Washington insiders.

Republicans seem to make some good points about how to stimulate the economy in both good times and bad. They always make these points - ‘when the economy is running well, more goods are sold, business is booming, so we should take the “Wal-Mart approach” and lower taxes because it will reward people for doing well, and revenues will increase because of more goods are sold’. And when the economy is doing poorly, ‘we need to lower taxes so people will have more in their pockets, which they will spend in order to help the economy’.

Sounds great, right? Lower taxes, no matter what the economic situation.

Democrats seem to make some good points too. ‘We, as an advanced and prosperous society, should help people - they should have healthcare, good roads, every drug paid for or assistance to pay, etc.’

Sounds good, right? We are the “best nation on the planet” and so our citizens should have more benefits than any other nation on earth.

But there is another side to all this. To get the companies to have the freedom to expand and develop new things, Republicans act like Democrats -- ‘give them anything they want, lower barriers, remove oversight, de-regulate, ignore laws and common sense’. YES - they ignored LAWS. [Is that a treasonable offense?]

There is regulation to keep companies from running Ponzie schemes. The SEC, FDIC, and other sections of “our government” have long been assigned the task of watching over companies, examining books to look for “irregularities” and outright fraud. However, as shown recently with the Madoff rip-off, and several others, even when presented with evidence compiled by a non-government worker, the SEC refused to properly go over the books. As has been testified before Congress, some under-paid under-qualified junior auditor went in and checked some recent books and concluded nothing was wrong. When brought up again, no one was sent.

And as for “common sense” - anyone with a 50’s or 60’s high school education [our poor schools, and how / why they are so bad, are another article] knows that you can’t spend more than you make for more than a few months [and even then it is because of an emergency, not ‘we need a new couch’] and survive. Anyone [at least an honest person] with a lick of sense KNOWS that if you remove regulation, people will use GREED as their ‘moral compass’, and will do anything to make a buck.

How should Congress people / Government employees have known this? Because it is how they are living their lives right now. Just look at the recent Obama selections for high government posts. Over 50% have not paid the taxes they knew were due. You and I do that and the IRS will freeze our accounts until they make it impossible for us to pay, then they seize everything and force us into bankruptcy. But “Government Officials” are awarded high positions, and simply pay for the past with what they were supposed to pay anyway. What other evidence is there? How about Randy Cunningham of CA taking bribes, Or that Alaska member who had “friends” totally re-build his house, then claim “I thought my wife wrote them a check” [what a crock of shit].

Further - Man is not a “grazer”, taking only what he finds, moving on so as to not damage the landscape (as cattle unwittingly do) so severely that it can’t recover. Man is a “predator”, hunting, chasing, destroying, to “fill his belly”. When presented with some lax rules, he will hunt through them to find loopholes, bending and breaking rules, to claw his way on top of everyone else!

SO, what have we got? Two parties that don’t think you will ever have the gumption to stand up to them and remove them from office, because they keep “giving” us what we really want, something for nothing!

Republicans claim things will be paid for with “inflated dollars” - a $100 bill today is worth $75 dollars in a few years, so if we pay that bill, on paper 100=100, but it really hurt us less. But it never does happen, because they bump up spending, the economy doesn’t produce as much as their rosy picture, and debt increases. Then they lower tax rates again to “spur the economy”.

Democrats put in policies to raise taxes, lower taxes, and give you plenty of unpaid for services. They aren’t as quick to say that inflated dollars will fix everything, but do say that a healthier America will reduce costs.

What we need are a set of laws and rules, “set in stone”, that tell companies that they MUST follow standard accounting rules; “good will accounting” for purchases can not add more than ‘some reasonable percent’ [should be enforceable by Board of Directors’] or it will trigger a lower rating; criminal law should rule when company officials ruin a business, because they will have committed a fraud against shareholders and employees; the “rating agencies” should set realistic ratings [anything not above ‘A’ is considered bad? You start adding “A’s” and it just confuses the issue] and be accountable under law that they have actually checked the company, CDS, or whatever; the SPE [like in Enron} can not be used to foster off debt, because assigning debt to a company that can simply file for bankruptcy hides the real cost, and cost taxpayers plenty; and on and on.

And finally, there should be no more “forget about going after the ones that did this, and focus on fixing it”. First, you usually leave in place the ones that committed the ‘crime’, and you keep paying high salaries, rewarding them for ruining the business [staying in their federal job, etc]. Second, by not going after them even if removed, you are still telling them that there are no consequences to bad actions [reminder - a dog will eat the steak from the table unless taught not to; we are animals & will take what we can]. Tell me, if someone slaps you, do you say “forget it, I will try to duck next time”; a purse is stolen, you say “I’ll stop the credit cards & hold tighter next time”; will you “turn the other cheek” when someone kills your family? NO - you have them prosecuted. Same should be done to these thieves. {Gee - I just finished typing this, and Rep. Barney Frank just said on TV that we should go after them!}

Washington Post 3/5/09 as Op-Ed, but not accepted, so it is MINE to do as I please