Friday, February 5, 2010

Obama's Ram-It-Down-Your-Throat Health Care Plan...with a little assist from Pelosi

Click on picture to enlarge.

This just in...March 9, 2010

"We have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it." ~ Nancy Pelosi

Daaah? 
 Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone.  The only problem is that Nancy Pelosi is not well enough.


Extremism and American Political Thought...this may be too intense for some, but he does make some good points

This space reserverd -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-
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Source: Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia

Extremism and American Political Thought

Speaker: Joel Olson (see video below)
Date: December 4, 2009
Description:


This paper examines the use of the American jeremiad in the abolitionist and anti-abortion movements in the U.S. The American jeremiad is the lament, ubiquitous in political thought and culture in the U.S., that Americans are a chosen people who have failed to fulfill their calling, yet can still redeem themselves by returning to their moral and intellectual roots. Fanatics such as the abolitionist John Brown and anti-abortion activists Randall Terry, Paul Hill, and Scott Roeder embrace the structure and exceptionalism of the American jeremiad but, in contrast to political moderates, they insist on achieving the utopian ideals of the American jeremiad (unconditional emancipation, the outlawing of abortion) immediately rather than in the distant future. This leads them to reject political moderation and to embrace an extremist approach to politics.
Joel Olson is Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Olson teaches courses on the history of political thought, American political thought, critical race theory, and extremism. He is the author of The Abolition of White Democracy (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) and several articles on the relationship between race and democracy in the United States. He is currently writing a book, American Zealot, that examines the role of fanaticism in the American political tradition.
This colloquium is part of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics’ American Political Thought: Institutions and Values Series.



HELP WANTED: Lemon Pickers

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: link removed
To: link removed
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2010 11:33:08 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Fwd: Lemon Pickers Wanted

Lemon Pickers
HELP WANTED


The woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove seemed to be far too qualified for the job.

The foreman frowned and said, "I have to ask you this:
"Have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?"

"Well, as a matter of fact, I have!

"I've been divorced three times, owned 2 Chryslers, and I voted for Obama.
__________________________

Courtesy Ad

(For friend of Storm'n Norm'm)

"Here we have another classic example of the over confident, narcissistic demagogue waving his arrogance like a red flag before a bull."


"We do not seek to deny anyone shelter, food, clothing or medical goods & services. We seek to prevent you from permanently destroying the Constitution and the economy. " (The pronoun refers to you, Mr. Obama.)
----- Original Message -----
From: link removed
To: link removed
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 3:16 AM
Subject: [victory_for_our_troops] [Take Our Country Back] National Prayer Breakfast Desecrated

At the annual prayer breakfast, President Obama tried to exploit religion for political purposes, in the process exposing his arrogance and contempt for the American people. I heard Conservative radio commentators playing sound bytes of one mispronounced word and asserting that the mainstream media who would have ridiculed Shrub for making the same error are ignoring it when made by their favorite politician.

I don't care about the mispronounced word or the media's attitude. I am disgusted by the sheer arrogance evidenced by the President's statement. I am concerned with substance, not delivery and style. This speech stinks, like something you might find sticking to your shoes after a visit to a barnyard.

Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast quoted out of context, with emphasis added, interspersed with commentary.

I'm privileged to join you once again, as my predecessors have for over half a century. Like them, I come here to speak about the ways my faith informs who I am -- as a President, and as a person. But I'm also here for the same reason that all of you are, for we all share a recognition -- one as old as time -- that a willingness to believe, an openness to grace, a commitment to prayer can bring sustenance to our lives.

In '04, a few days after his nomination to run for the Senate, Obama sat for interview with Cathleen Falsani. These out of context snippets from that interview may help us to understand how his faith informs him. [Emphasis added.]

So that, one of the churches I met, or one of the churches that I became involved in was Trinity United Church of Christ. And the pastor there, Jeremiah Wright, became a good friend. So I joined that church and committed myself to Christ in that church.


Yeah, although I don't, I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I'm not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I've got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.

I'm a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it's best comes with a big dose of doubt. I'm suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.

Its' not formal, me getting on my knees. I think I have an ongoing conversation with God. I think throughout the day, I'm constantly asking myself questions about what I'm doing, why am I doing it.

When I'm talking to a group and I'm saying something truthful, I can feel a power that comes out of those statements that is different than when I'm just being glib or clever.

Obama has an ongoing conversation with God and is constantly asking himself questions about his actions. Does he think he is God or can he carry on two conversations at once? Judging by how he speaks without a teleprompter, I suspect that he can't handle simultaneous conversations.

He is suspicious of dogma and takes religion with a big dose of doubt; how does that comport with having faith? The last quote from the interview seems to reveal a little too much. He admitted that he is not consistently truthful in his public remarks.

It's inspiring. This is what we do, as Americans, in times of trouble. We unite, recognizing that such crises call on all of us to act, recognizing that there but for the grace of God go I, recognizing that life's most sacred responsibility -- one affirmed, as Hillary said, by all of the world's great religions -- is to sacrifice something of ourselves for a person in need.
There is a tendency to confuse personal and communal responsibilities. That confusion contributes greatly to the pursuit of the Socialist agenda. President Obama is contributing to that tendency.

Sadly, though, that spirit is too often absent when tackling the long-term, but no less profound issues facing our country and the world. Too often, that spirit is missing without the spectacular tragedy, the 9/11 or the Katrina, the earthquake or the tsunami, that can shake us out of complacency. We become numb to the day-to-day crises, the slow-moving tragedies of children without food and men without shelter and families without health care. We become absorbed with our abstract arguments, our ideological disputes, our contests for power. And in this Tower of Babel, we lose the sound of God's voice.

Note the bold faced clauses; are these Freudian slips or a demagogue mocking us by implicitly exposing himself ? At a spiritual retreat, a prayer breakfast, the President raises one of the most divisive issues, framing it in the context of religious obligation so as to imply guilt on the part of those who oppose his contest for power, which is founded on false premises. President Obama falsely asserts that his program will increase availability and decrease costs while its effects will be the exact opposite. Clearly, he is obsessed with the contest for power and employing a false argument in that contest.

Now, for those of us here in Washington, let's acknowledge that democracy has always been messy. Let's not be overly nostalgic. (Laughter.) Divisions are hardly new in this country. Arguments about the proper role of government, the relationship between liberty and equality, our obligations to our fellow citizens -- these things have been with us since our founding. And I'm profoundly mindful that a loyal opposition, a vigorous back and forth, a skepticism of power, all of that is what makes our democracy work.

The men who founded our representative republic had personally experienced and observed the evils attendant to tyranny. They wanted truth and reason to prevail over arbitrary authority, prejudice & passion. Rigorous debate is part of the process, so that competing ideas and arguments can be tested against each other. In the present case, the P:resident's partisans have declared our way or no way, and sought to prevent the opposition from having any input to the process. They have abused rules and procedures to limit debate and prevent scrutiny of the content of their legislation.

And we've seen actually some improvement in some circumstances. We haven't seen any canings on the floor of the Senate any time recently. (Laughter.) So we shouldn't over-romanticize the past. But there is a sense that something is different now; that something is broken; that those of us in Washington are not serving the people as well as we should. At times, it seems like we're unable to listen to one another; to have at once a serious and civil debate. And this erosion of civility in the public square sows division and distrust among our citizens. It poisons the well of public opinion. It leaves each side little room to negotiate with the other. It makes politics an all-or-nothing sport, where one side is either always right or always wrong when, in reality, neither side has a monopoly on truth. And then we lose sight of the children without food and the men without shelter and the families without health care.

The seeds of division and distrust are sown with campaign speeches and advertisements full of lies and half truths. They are fertilized by the habit of ignoring vox populi and a Hellbent determination to impose injurious policies contrary to common sense, experience and the popular will. Their fruits are harvested and a new crop sown with shibboleths such as "families without health care".

Politics becomes an "all-or-nothing sport" when the stakes are raised, when the policies proposed are self-perpetuating, irreversible and threaten economic devastation. The limited powers assigned to the federal government by the Constitution were designed to prevent politics from becoming a threat to life, liberty and prosperity. The erosion of those limits, set in motion by F.D.R., resulted in the current political climate.

Empowered by faith, consistently, prayerfully, we need to find our way back to civility. That begins with stepping out of our comfort zones in an effort to bridge divisions. We see that in many conservative pastors who are helping lead the way to fix our broken immigration system. It's not what would be expected from them, and yet they recognize, in those immigrant families, the face of God. We see that in the evangelical leaders who are rallying their congregations to protect our planet. We see it in the increasing recognition among progressives that government can't solve all of our problems, and that talking about values like responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage are integral to any anti-poverty agenda. Stretching out of our dogmas, our prescribed roles along the political spectrum, that can help us regain a sense of civility.

Our immigration system is not broken, it is abandoned, jacked up on blocks in the back yard. Illegal immigrants cross the Mexican border with no substantial interference. They carry drugs & disease over the border. They are accompanied by Muslims from the Mid East who may not have our welfare at heart.

The last sentence of the quote immediately above is an appeal to "bipartisanship" & "compromise". The real meaning of which is "Conservatives, surrender your principles and vote for whatever crap Liberals put forth.". When your friend suggests a suicide pact and hands you a poison pill, do you reject the pact and the pill or do you agree to swallow half of it as a compromise? Why should we abandon our principles and agree to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, making them citizens who can cement the Democrat party in power for the long term? The proposed amnesty will not solve the problem, it will serve as an incentive for even more illegal immigrants to cross the border.

So why should our side abandon our principles and accept legislation that will destroy jobs, ruin the economy, increase the federal debt and make health care less available & affordable? Its about our lives, health, prosperity and liberty, not about civility

Civility also requires relearning how to disagree without being disagreeable; understanding, as President [Kennedy] said, that "civility is not a sign of weakness." Now, I am the first to confess I am not always right. Michelle will testify to that. (Laughter.) But surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith, or, for that matter, my citizenship. (Laughter and applause.)

In one of your books, you told about kneeling at the altar of Rev. Wright's church to rededicate your life to God. You did not identify your deity. In a later interview, you claimed that you rededicated your life to Jesus Christ. In another interview, you said that the Adhan was the sweetest sound at sunset and recited it to the interviewer. We have plenty of reason to suspect that your Christianity is a political veneer.

The Constitution specifies that the President must be a natural born citizen or a citizen at the time of the ratification of the Constitution. British law makes your father a citizen of Great Britain. You were registered in an Indonesian school as an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim. Where were you really born? If you were not born on American soil, your mother was too young to convey citizenship. We can't know for certain without seeing the birth certificate which declares the time and place of your birth. Why did you spend more than one million dollars to keep it out of our sight? Your Constitutional eligibility is not a function of your policies, it is a function of the circumstances of your birth.

Challenging each other's ideas can renew our democracy. But when we challenge each other's motives, it becomes harder to see what we hold in common. We forget that we share at some deep level the same dreams -- even when we don't share the same plans on how to fulfill them.

One side seeks to preserve the fruits of the grandest dream ever, which were temporarily secured by a miraculous victory in a war of revolution. The other side seeks to tear down the restrictions on government power. Those restrictions are the last line of defense for our liberties. We do not want to let you strangle the golden goose. Nor do we want to allow you to endanger our hard won liberties. The preservation of prosperity and liberty depends on frustrating your entire Socialist agenda.

We do not seek to deny anyone shelter, food, clothing or medical goods & services. We seek to prevent you from permanently destroying the Constitution and the economy.

We may disagree about the best way to reform our health care system, but surely we can agree that no one ought to go broke when they get sick in the richest nation on Earth. We can take different approaches to ending inequality, but surely we can agree on the need to lift our children out of ignorance; to lift our neighbors from poverty. We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are -- whether it's here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.

There is only one way to reform our health care system, and it is not your proposal! Reducing costs and increasing supply can only be accomplished by removing artificial barriers to competition. That means allowing an open market in insurance policies across state lines. It does not include restrictions on hospital construction & expansion and reductions in the training of new physicians. Reducing costs requires better control of Medicare fraud and the elimination of excessive liability settlements. Your party won't allow tort reform because you are in the lawyer's pockets.

Affordability is ultimately a function of income and living expenses. When you raise taxes, you push every good and service we want and need further out of reach. When you create inflation, you push everything out of reach. You could allow people to set up medical savings plans backed up with catastrophic care policies, but, since that would not cement you in power, you won't consider it.

Surely we can agree to find common ground when possible, parting ways when necessary. But in doing so, let us be guided by our faith, and by prayer. For while prayer can buck us up when we are down, keep us calm in a storm; while prayer can stiffen our spines to surmount an obstacle -- and I assure you I'm praying a lot these days -- (laughter) -- prayer can also do something else. It can touch our hearts with humility. It can fill us with a spirit of brotherhood. It can remind us that each of us are children of a awesome and loving God.

Here we have another classic example of the over confident, narcissistic demagogue waving his arrogance like a red flag before a bull. There is no common ground between Socialism Capitalism, nor between tyranny and liberty. He assumes the content of faith as well as the efficacy of prayer, ignoring the fact that Communism is officially atheistic.

How many times did we rise up and reject alien amnesty schemes when Shrub was trying to shove them down our throats? How many times did we reject Socialized medicine when LBJ & Clinton tried to shove it down our throats? But Obama is deaf to our shouts, he can not hear the protests at the town meetings, tea parties and recent special elections. He has a stiff neck and a stiff middle finger for us, at minimum.

Through faith, but not through faith alone, we can unite people to serve the common good. And that's why my Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has been working so hard since I announced it here last year. We've slashed red tape and built effective partnerships on a range of uses, from promoting fatherhood here at home to spearheading interfaith cooperation abroad. And through that office we've turned the faith-based initiative around to find common ground among people of all beliefs, allowing them to make an impact in a way that's civil and respectful of difference and focused on what matters most.

"The common good" is an undefined and immeasurable concept, entirely too abstract to allow a useful debate. Likewise "common ground" between faiths. There is no common ground between Islam and any genuine religion. Invitations to "interfaith dialog" are actually demands for submission.

It is this spirit of civility that we are called to take up when we leave here today. That's what I'm praying for. I know in difficult times like these -- when people are frustrated, when pundits start shouting and politicians start calling each other names -- it can seem like a return to civility is not possible, like the very idea is a relic of some bygone era. The word itself seems quaint -- civility.


Yes, there are crimes of conscience that call us to action. Yes, there are causes that move our hearts and offenses that stir our souls. But progress doesn't come when we demonize opponents. It's not born in righteous spite. Progress comes when we open our hearts, when we extend our hands, when we recognize our common humanity. Progress comes when we look into the eyes of another and see the face of God. That we might do so -- that we will do so all the time, not just some of the time -- is my fervent prayer for our nation and the world.

We are supposed to gaze into Obama's eyes and see God. We are supposed to submit to his will. The difference between God and Obama is that God does not think he is Obama.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

There is one thing we can agree on: God bless the United States of America.

__._,_.___

The Long Awaited... it was too long a wait! ...and the people's voices will be heard!


Home

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Obama’s bizarre assault on U.S. sovereignty..." [just another routine wake up call...WAKE THE H UP PEOPLE!]

Pajamas Media

Obama Surrenders U.S. Sovereignty: His INTERPOL Executive Order

Posted By Bob Owens

At ThreatsWatch.org, Steve Schippert and Clyde Middleton have dug up the bizarre and unsettling issuance of an executive order recently signed by President Barack Obama. Executive Order — Amending Executive Order 12425 [1], signed December 16 and released a day later, grants the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) rights on American soil that place it beyond the reach of our own law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Schippert and Middleton note [2] that Obama’s order removes protections placed upon INTERPOL by President Reagan in 1983. Obama’s order gives the group the authority to avoid Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests — which means this foreign law enforcement organization can operate free of an important safeguard against governmental abuse. “Property and assets,” including the organization’s records, cannot be searched or seized. Their physical locations and records are now immune from U.S. legal or investigative authorities.

If the president of the United States has an aboveboard reason for making a foreign law enforcement agency exempt from American laws on American soil, it wasn’t shared by the White House.

Andy McCarthy, former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, notes at National Review [3] that the limitations that Obama removed are “what prevents law-enforcement and its controlling government authority from becoming tyrannical.”

A paragraph later, McCarthy describes Obama’s actions in the starkest of terms:

This international police force (whose U.S. headquarters is in the Justice Department in Washington) will be unrestrained by the U.S. Constitution and American law while it operates in the United States and affects both Americans and American interests outside the United States.

Some bloggers covering this story are noting that the law enforcement agency to which Obama has extended such extraordinary powers to has had a dismal past.

INTERPOL’s senior leadership was flush with Nazis [4] from the late 1930s all the way into the 1970s. That fact allowed, going Godwin [5] isn’t necessarily relevant to today’s organization. Khoo Boon Hui of Singapore is the current president of the organization, and the current secretary general is American Ronald Noble. Noble is perhaps best known in America for overseeing the Treasury Department’s review of the disastrous 1993 raid and siege of a Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, that left nearly 80 people dead. Noble had cautioned against the initial raid plan as being too dangerous, but the lack of any significant ramifications for federal officials that approved of the raid and allegations of a cover-up have inspired conspiracy theorists [6] to derisively dub Noble “the Enforcer.”

But INTERPOL’s past isn’t what concerns us at this moment. Its current actions and the actions of our president are those that we question.

With the flourish of a pen and no warning at all, Barack Obama surrendered American sovereignty to an international force with a checkered past. To what end?

The consensus opinion among those commenting on this development is that the most radical president in American history seems to be intent on submitting American citizens to the whims of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Previous administrations have been very leery of signing onto agreements that would make citizens susceptible to the ICC, due to the possibility that U.S. servicemen could be dragged into show war crimes trials. Such events are obviously heavily politicized, and demands for war crimes arrests can come from any government, even those that sponsor terrorism or genocide themselves.

No finer point can be made about the endemic problems of the INTERPOL/ICC than that made by a recent diplomatic incident [7] that erupted in Great Britain, where an Israeli government official had to cancel travel plans to England because of an arrest warrant issued by an English judge — because of Iranian charges of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. The brief but intense conflict was one Iran helped instigate, as the Persians supplied the terrorists in Gaza with the rockets they used against Israeli civilians, triggering an inevitable Israeli response.

If President Obama and his radical allies in the Democratic leadership have their way, American soldiers could presumably be brought up on charges as war criminals by enemy nations and marked for arrest and deportation by an international police force on American soil. They would face charges in a foreign land without the constitutional protections they fought and bled to protect. The White House seems to be on the bewildering path of giving al-Qaeda terrorists who murder innocent women and children more legal protection than the very soldiers that risk their lives trying to bring terrorists to justice. The asinine court-martial charges being brought against three Navy SEALs based upon the word of a terrorist they captured suddenly make a sickening kind of sense [8].

It also stands to reason that Obama’s seeming willingness to put American soldiers’ lives in the hands of a corrupt international community could also be brought to bear against his political enemies. Foreign investigators of dubious intent, and our own left-wing extremists, have long branded officials of the previous administration “war criminals” for actions they’d taken in the war on terror. It is entirely conceivable — perhaps even likely — that these same organizations and enemy governments that went after 25 Israeli government officials [9] through INTERPOL and the ICC would quickly move to indict a wish list of current and former U.S. government officials for alleged “war crimes.” Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney would obviously be at the top of such a list of politically motivated suspects, but such a list could just as easily include General David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, congressmen, and senators.

As the Iranian gambit has shown, Obama’s bizarre assault on U.S. sovereignty could have disastrous repercussions. We can only hope that his fetish for weakening this nation can be stopped before American politicians and servicemen are made pawns by our enemies.


Buried Alive! - "The autopsy result is blood-curdling..." All In The Name Of Muslim "Honor"

Source: Bare Naked Islam

ANOTHER HONOR KILLING IN TURKEY: 16-year-old girl BURIED ALIVE

A 16-year old Muslin girl buried alive by relatives in southeastern Turkey in a gruesom honor killing carried out because she reportedly befriended boys.

Acting on a tip, police discovered the body of the girl, identified only as M.M., in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a 2-meter-deep hole dug under a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta, a town in the southeastern province of Adıyaman, the news agency reported.

The body was found in December, around 40 days after M.M. went missing. She is being identified by her initials because she was under the age of 18. Her father and grandfather are suspected in the murder.

A subsequent postmortem examination revealed that M.M. had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she was buried alive and conscious, forensic experts told the news agency. “The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl – who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood – was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,” one anonymous expert said.

The girl’s father and grandfather have been formally arrested and jailed pending trial over her killing, according to the agency. The father is reported to have said in his testimony that the family was unhappy that M.M. had male friends. HURRIYET NEWS H/T TROP

RELATED VIDEOS:

in-the-moderate-islamic-state-of-turkey-there-are-more-than-4-honor-killings-per-week

honor-suicides-a-growing-epidemic-in-turkey

4-honor-killings-a-week-and-turkey-is-the-country-obama-is-pushing-for-membership-in-the-eu

you-have-dishonored-your-family-please-kill-yourself

muslim-honor-punishment-warning-graphic-images

End

Public Bank, Public Health Care...what do you think?


Op Ed News [My comment is at the end]

Funding Public Health Care With A Publicly Owned Bank: How Canada Did It

January 25, 2010

By Ellen Brown

The Massachusetts gubernatorial upset means the President may have to start over with his health care bill. The good news is that there's still a chance for the public option the voters thought they would be getting. How to fund it? The way Canada did -- with credit issued by the government's own central bank.

The story goes that Churchill offered a woman 5 million pounds to sleep with him. She hedged and said they would have to discuss terms.Then he offered her 5 pounds."Sir!" she said. "What sort of woman do you think I am?""Madam," he replied, "We've already established that. Now we're just haggling over the price."

The same might be said of President Obama's health care bill, which was sold out to corporate interests early on. The insurance lobby had its way with the bill; after that they were just haggling over the price. The "public option" was so watered down in congressional deal-making that it finally disappeared altogether.

However, the bill passed both Houses by razor-thin margins, and the stunning loss on January 19 of the late Ted Kennedy's Democratic seat to a Republican may force Obama to start over with his agenda. The good news is that this means there is still a chance of getting legislation that includes what Obama's supporters thought they were getting when they elected him a universal health care plan on the model of Medicare.

That still leaves the question of price, but all industrialized countries except the United States have managed to foot the bill for universal health care. How is it that they can afford it when we can't? Do they have some secret funding source that we don't have?

In the case of our nearest neighbor Canada, the answer is actually that they do. At least, they did for the first two decades of their national health service -- long enough to get it up and running. Now the Canadian government, too, is struggling with a mounting debt to private banks at compound interest; and its national health service is suffering along with other public programs. But when Canada first launched its national health service, the funding came from money created by its own central bank.Canada's innovative funding model is one that could still be followed by a President committed to deliver on his promises.

The Canadian National Health Service Today

Despite what you may have read in the corporate-controlled press, studies show that Canadians are generally happy with the care they receive; and they live an average of 2.5 years longer than Americans. They receive free health service for all diagnostic procedures, hospital and home care deemed medically necessary. People can choose the general practitioners they want; there are no deductibles on basic care; and co-pays are low or zero. Care continues despite changing jobs, and no one is excluded for having a pre-existing condition. Drug prices are negotiated by the government and are paid with public money for the elderly and homeless. For the rest of the population, cost-sharing schemes are arranged between private insurers and provincial governments, with most provinces requiring families to pay small monthly premiums (generally around $100 for a family of four).

According to a 2007 study, the government pays for more than two-thirds of all Canadian health care costs. The US government, by contrast, pays for less than half of these costs. In 2007, the US spent a staggering 16% of GDP on health care compared to 10% in Canada. Health costs paid for out-of-pocket by Canadians amount to less than $300 per capita annually.

But while that arrangement may look good to people in the U.S., it is only a shadow of Canada's former system. The federal government's contributions have decreased significantly, making up only slightly more than 20% of provincial medical care costs in 2002; and this money is largely borrowed by the Canadian government at interest. The portion not paid by the federal government must be borne by provincial governments through taxes. In its early years, however, Canada's public health system was funded under a provision of the Bank of Canada Act allowing the Bank to create the money to finance federal, provincial, and municipal projects on a nearly interest-free basis.

Money Created the Old-fashioned Way by the Government Rather than the Banks

What was extraordinary about the Bank of Canada was not so much that it created money on its books as that it managed to wrest that power away from the private banking monopoly. All banks actually create the money they lend simply with accounting entries on their books. This was confirmed by Graham Towers, the first governor of the Bank of Canada, in hearings in 1935. Asked whether banks create "the medium of exchange," he replied:


"That is right. That is what they are there for. . . . That is the banking business, just in the way that a steel plant makes steel. The manufacturing process consists of making a pen-and-ink or typewriter entry on a card in a book. That is all."

The decision to fund government programs through a publicly-owned central bank was driven by a crisis much like that in the U.S. today. The country was in the throes of the Great Depression, and the money supply had radically contracted, causing businesses to close and unemployment to soar. Many Canadians blamed the private banks for making conditions worse by failing to extend loans.

Prior to the 1935 Bank of Canada Act, private banks in Canada issued their own banknotes, which were regulated less by the government than by the Canadian Banker's Association. The country's largest private bank, the Bank of Montreal, served as the government's de facto banker. By the eve of the Great Depression, interest on Canada's public debt had reached one-third of government expenditures, and many officials believed that the government needed a central bank to come up with the money to pay its foreign debts. A Royal Commission was put together in 1933 which supported creating a Bank. A major debate then ensued over whether the central bank should be public or private.

Much of the credit for the Canadian public banking model goes to a Canadian mayor named Gerald Gratton McGeer. He has been largely lost to history, and his book The Conquest of Poverty has been long out of print; but according to local historian Will Abrams, it was McGeer's lengthy presentations to the Ottawa Common Banking Committee that clarified for bankers, economists and legislators how well a publicly-owned bank could work. McGeer's model was based on the public banking system of Guernsey, an island state between Britain and France. The Guernsey government began issuing currency to pay for public works as far back as 1816. To this day, its system of publicly-issued money has allowed its inhabitants to maintain full employment and enjoy quality infrastructure, while paying modest taxes and without suffering from price inflation.

The Bank of Canada became publicly-owned in 1938 under Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, a staunch supporter of McGeer's vision for a public central bank. King maintained:


"Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile. Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation's laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation."

What Can Be Done by a Government Issuing Its Own Currency

Along with New Zealand, Australia and other progressive countries, Canada proceeded to fund infrastructure and social programs using national credit issued by its own central bank. The potential of this new credit tool for the Canadian economy was first demonstrated in World War II, in which Canada ranked fourth among the Allies for production of war goods. Under the Returning Veterans Rehabilitation Act of 1945, some 54,000 returning vets were given financial aid to attend university. The Department of Veterans Affairs provided another 80,000 vets with vocational training, and the Veterans' Land Act helped 33,000 vets buy farmland.

After the War, the Industrial Development Bank, a subsidiary of the Bank of Canada, was formed to boost Canadian businesses by offering loans at low interest rates. The Bank of Canada also funded many infrastructure projects and social programs directly. Under the 1950 Trans Canada Highway Act, Canada built the world's longest road and the world's longest inland waterway (a joint venture with the United States), as well as the 28-mile Welland Canal. People over 70, regardless of income or assets, received $40 a month from the government under the Old Age Security Act; and children under 15 got a tax-free allowance of $5-$8 a month.

Canadians first began talking about a government-run health system during the Great Depression, but at that time the government felt it could not afford the service. Various provincial programs were launched in the 1940s, often to care for returning veterans. But it was not until 1957 that the Canadian federal health care system was actually initiated, with funding from the Bank of Canada. A Hospital Act was passed under which the federal government agreed to pay half its citizens' bills at most hospitals; and a Diagnostic Services Act gave all Canadians free acute hospital care, as well as lab and radiology work. In 1966, the Hospital Act was expanded to cover physician services. In 1984, the Canada Health Act ensured that no medically-necessary care would include private fees or a charge to citizens.

A Misguided Economic Policy Kills the Golden Goose

For three decades, Canada paid for these projects through its own government-owned central bank, without sparking price inflation. Then in the late 1960s, a period of "stagflation" set in --rising prices accompanied by high unemployment. According to former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer, these elevated prices were the result of "cost-push" inflation, which could be traced to a combination of causes. Big labor unions, big government, and big corporations all negotiated top dollar for their contracts. In 1971, President Richard Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard, putting a strain on currencies in international markets. In 1974, the price of oil quadrupled, following a secret deal between Henry Kissinger and the OPEC countries in which the latter agreed to sell their oil only in U.S. dollars and to deposit the dollars in U.S. banks. Countries without sufficient dollar reserves had to borrow from these banks to buy the oil they needed, setting a debt trap that sprang shut when U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker raised interest rates to 20% in 1980.

These increased costs drove up prices worldwide; but in Canada, price inflation was blamed on the government drawing money from its own central bank. Under the sway of the classical monetarist theory promoted by U.S. economist Milton Friedman, the Canadian government abandoned its successful experiment in self-funding and began borrowing from private international lenders. These private banks created "credit" on their books just as the Bank of Canada had done; but they lent it to the government at compound interest, creating a soaring national debt. Today, interest on the debt is the Canadian government's single largest budget expenditure -- larger than health care, senior entitlements or national defense.

The provision of government-paid services is gradually being undermined by a combination of cuts to funding and provision of private services.Canada's health care system is suffering along with the rest of the economy, necessitating the cutbacks and long waits for elective procedures described by critics. But the achievements of an earlier debt-free era attest to the sustainability of a system of public health care funded with money issued through the government's own central bank.

Goosing the Economy Again

The Bank of Canada was created to end the hardships of the depression and give the government full responsibility for the health of the economy. As it turned out, the Bank also funded the health of the Canadian people.

The U.S. government could fund universal health coverage in the same way. Ideally, it would nationalize the Federal Reserve or set up a separate government-owned bank for this purpose. However, the same result could be achieved by borrowing from the privately-owned Federal Reserve, which always rebates the interest to the government after deducting its costs. The federal debt is never paid off but is just rolled over from year to year. Interest-free loans rolled over from year to year are the equivalent of debt-free government-issued money.

Contrary to popular belief, adding to the money supply in this way would not be inflationary. Inflation results when "demand" ("money") exceeds "supply" (goods and services). In this case the new money would be used to create new goods and services, so supply would be kept in balance with demand. The result would particularly not be inflationary today, when we are suffering from a deflationary crisis. As in the Great Depression, money is not available to buy products and fund programs because the money supply itself has collapsed. The solution is not to slash programs but to put more money into the economy; and that can be done by authorizing the government to create the funds it needs through its own bank.

Author's Bio: Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and "the money trust." She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from "the money trust." Her eleven books include Forbidden Medicine, Nature's Pharmacy (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker), and The Key to Ultimate Health (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are http://www.webofdebt.com/ and http://www.ellenbrown.com/.

See also... Compulsory Private Health Insurance: Just Another Bailout for the Financial Sector? (plus the comments)

My comment to above article: In the overall scheme of things I think that this would be a good idea (although I wouldn't call it "good news" ...yet). Starting, of course, with a public owned bank...the way it should be and the way it was prior to 1913. As for financing universal health care, I would have to wait until we see how the bank is run. On another note, was it not John F. Kennedy that tried to re-establish the public control over the monetary system and wasn't that the reason he was asassinated? Some would say that the Office of the President of the United States is the most powerful position in the world... Not so! Its the people who control the money and Obama is not doing a good job in that area. ~ Norman E. Hooben

Home

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go! How convenient is this place?

----- Original Message -----
From: link removed
To: link removed
Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 9:41 PM
Subject: Fw: Unique Rest Stop in Nevada

HWY 95 and Scotty's Junction in Nevada, about 30 miles on a dirt road on the way to The Hard Luck mine.

This beautifully landscaped unique rest stop has three working toilets, a phone and a memorial dedication marker . . . [click on picture(s) to enlarge]

Dedicated to members of both houses of Congress . . .

one a native of Nevada . . . and the other the neighboring state of California .

A designated repository for their legislative process including health care, stimulus acts, hairbrained socialist ideas, etc .

end of email....


Aaah heck I missed the Pelosi/Read Rest Area! I just came back from Nevada and all I saw out there were a few mountain goats (see below... how ya like that 70 to 1 optical zoom? )

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some reporters are ... this one is ...

video

In other news...

February 4, 2010

WHO’S THE REAL BIGOT?

MEL GIBSON OR SARAH SILVERMAN?

On today’s edition of “The View,” they ran a clip of entertainer Sarah Silverman’s appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show. In the portion of the show they aired today, Silverman is shown slamming Pope Benedict XVI for not selling the Vatican to feed the poor.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue raises some questions about it:

Mel Gibson has a new movie out, and all that many reporters can talk about is the anti-Semitic remark he made four years ago when inebriated. By contrast, Sarah Silverman got a pass last October for her foul-mouthed attack on the pope—rendered when cold sober—and had it repeated today, much to the delight of Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar.

If they had any guts, they would have aired the most indefensible thing Silverman said on Maher’s show. She said if the pope sells the Vatican, he “will get crazy p---y. All the p---y.”

Silverman was nothing if not defensive about her anti-Catholic remarks being made by a Jew. She said that this “has nothing to do with me being Jewish. You know, a lot of mail was like, ‘What if it was Jewish?’ You know, yeah. If the Jews owned something like that I would be, I’d have no religion. I’m not talking as a Jew. I just can’t help that I’m a Jew—it comes out of my pores.”

Silverman should feel guilty. Just as it is despicable for ex-Catholics like Hasselbeck and Behar to relentlessly assault Catholic sensibilities, it is despicable for a Jew to do so as well.

After Gibson made his drunken remarks, he said, “I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said.” But Silverman will never apologize to Catholics for her scripted hate speech. The double standard is sickening.

Contact “The View” executive producer: bill.geddie@abc.com

Susan A. Fani
Director of Communications
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3191
212-371-3394 (fax)

Send Mail To lg@catholicleague.org to unsubscribe.

Afghanistan: The Obama administration continues the awkward dance of engagement that began in 1995



Obama Repeats Mistakes in Afghanistan: Purposeless Engagement

An article today by Michael Rubin in Commentary Magazine lays out the history of our State Department's many years of purposeless "engagement" with the Taliban; "engagement" meaning diplomacy and endless, endless meetings over the years, costing certainly billions in the quest for what our Government had to, at some point between then and now, realize was folly...but apparently not.

Today, the Obama administration continues the awkward dance of engagement that began in 1995:

The story the documents tell is one of engagement for its own sake—without any consideration given to the behavior or sincerity of an unambiguously hostile interlocutor.

...another U.S. diplomat met a Taliban “insider” who told the official what he wanted to hear: the Taliban liked the United States, had no objection to elections in Afghanistan, and were suspicious of both Saudi and Pakistani intentions. This was nonsense, but it was manna for American diplomats who wanted to believe that engagement was possible.
In 1997, Madeleine Albright followed in Warren Christopher's engagement policy:

Simply sitting down for tea with a diplomat fulfilled the Taliban’s major needs before bargaining ever began. Engagement ironically removed any incentive the Taliban had to cease sponsoring terror or mitigate human-rights abuses.
Albright had tea with the thugs, as had all those before her. Afghan women and girls lived the most brutal lives, under the harshest circumstances of any women, anywhere - while she took tea with the Taliban.

Diplomats met Taliban representatives every few weeks....What resulted was theater: the Taliban would stonewall on terrorism but would also dangle just enough hope to keep diplomats calling and forestall punitive strategies. It was not hard for the Taliban to string diplomats along.

On January 16, 1997, Holzman suggested that the Taliban allow a U.S. team to visit the sites of terrorist camps to confirm the alleged cessation of activity therein. Wakil Ahmed, a political adviser to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, agreed at first; but over subsequent weeks, he offered a litany of excuses to delay the visit—the Ramadan fast, winter snows, and scheduling difficulties. Eventually the offer was rescinded altogether.

Once again, the State Department walked away empty-handed, while the Taliban had secured for themselves a four-month reprieve from pressure at the very moment that al-Qaeda was using its Afghanistan base to plot attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania....
Rubin walks the reader through ABC's interview with bin Lade in May 1998. Then the embassy August bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and points out:

Any notion that engagement had convinced the Taliban to cease support for terrorism should have evaporated. It didn’t....

Wakil Ahmed [Taliban foreign minister] repeated the canard that popular sentiment in his country would not allow the Taliban to expel Bin Laden, despite the carnage in Kenya and Tanzania.

Nonetheless, the State Department found promise in the discussion, even though a face-to-face meeting with Americans served only to reinforce the Taliban gang’s pretensions as a government rather than as an umbrella group for terrorists.

“Now is the time to notch up the diplomatic—-repeat—diplomatic pressure,” Milam [Ambassador to Pakistan] wrote. “A political / diplomatic solution to Bin Laden’s expulsion from Afghanistan may be a mite more possible now.”
By November, "a Taliban court found bin Laden not guilty" of bombing our embassies. The dance continued.

Before long, the Taliban were again giving Bin Laden unfettered access to the media.
We continued plying funds into our agricultural adventures with the Taliban, hoping to convert them from drugs to vegetables - as Rubin put it: "the Taliban garden refused to yield even a hint of a green shoot."

Now today, the Karzai government plans to bribe the Taliban with money and jobs - hoping to lure them into communities where "the people" try to live out the day without dying. President Karzai has told the BBC "the US will fund the scheme."

Obama’s willingness to accept the conventional history—we lost Afghanistan because we ignored Afghanistan—is reason for grave concern. The story of Afghanistan in the 1990s is a story of the limits of diplomacy for its own sake. And diplomacy for its own sake is a cornerstone, perhaps the cornerstone, of Obama’s foreign policy.

And specifically in Afghanistan, he is already signaling a readiness to repeat the mistakes of engagement with the very extremists whose behavior made possible the attacks of 9/11 and who have returned to torment Afghanistan.
I hope you will read this excellent and insightful piece, Taking Tea with the Taliban by Michael Rubin at Commentary Magazine. We who cannot learn from history, even the most powerful in the world, are likely doomed to repeat it.

Read more about the failures of diplomacy:
Missiles and Warships to Persian Gulf: Patriot Missiles to Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait
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"Iran-phobia" ...you better believe it! Friends of Joe Biden are getting into the long range missle business. * [also, What's happening Feb 11 ?]

*Ref: Friends of Joe Biden...see Iranian Medal Of Honor Winner and here
See also story at bottom of this page: 'Iran will deliver telling blow to global powers on Feb. 11'

The Washington Post

Iran: research rocket successfully sent into space

By Thomas Erdbrink
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, February 3, 2010; 10:55 AM

TEHRAN -- Iran said it successfully fired a new, domestically produced research rocket into space Wednesday, with several live animals aboard -- a feat that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said illustrated his country's technological prowess.

State television broadcast images of the launch of the Kavoshgar (Explorer)-3, and showed officials putting a mouse, two turtles and about a dozen creatures that looked like worms inside a capsule that was placed in the rocket before it blasted off.

The launch, part of Iran's ambitious space program, could boost Western concerns over Iran's missile program, since some space rockets can be equipped with warheads and used as intercontinental missiles.

On Tuesday, Iranian officials reacted angrily to moves by the United States to expand land- and sea-based missile defense systems in and around the Persian Gulf to deter possible Iranian missile attacks. They called the rationale "an excuse" to widen U.S. influence in the region, saying the U.S. wanted to create ""Iran-phobia" in the region and emphasized Iran's good relations with neighboring countries.

At the same time, Ahmadinejad appeared Tuesday to back a deal to remove most of Iran's enriched uranium from the country, a proposal Tehran had rejected several weeks ago.

Ahmadinejad on Wednesday also unveiled three more domestically made satellites; a booster rocket that can carry a satellite; and a study center for satellite data, local media reported. Iran sent its first satellite into orbit in 2009, marking a festive period surrounding the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

"If last year was our first presence in the space, this year is our living creatures' first presence in the space," Ahmadinejad said in a speech that was broadcast live to mark Space Technology Day. "This is a sign of bigger achievements to come," he said.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Tuesday urged scientists to "make extra efforts for Iran to reach the heights of world science."

The capsule, which the Kavoshgar-3 rocket carried into space, landed safely later Wednesday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. Studies on the live animals that were inside are underway.

The news agency, which is close to the government, also said that the rocket launch was a joint project between the defense and science ministries and the aerospace research center.

The Kavoshhgar-3 is a multi-stage rocket. Wednesday's test was the third in a series that seem to have been successful. In 2008 an older version of the rocket made it into space for 40 minutes; its capsule returned to Earth on a parachute.

___________________

'Iran will deliver telling blow to global powers on Feb. 11'

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 01:30:44 GMT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the nation will deliver a harsh blow to the "global arrogance" on this year's anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

"The Islamic Revolution opened a window to liberty for the human race, which was trapped in the dead ends of materialism," Ahmadinejad said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"If the Islamic Revolution had not occurred, liberalism and Marxism would have crushed all human dignity in their power-seeking and money-grubbing claws. Nothing would have remained of human and spiritual principles," he added.

Ahmadinejad said that in the three decades of its history, the Islamic Revolution had inspired some great developments in the world.

The Iranian president made the remarks as the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution approaches.

Iranians are expected to pour into the streets on February 11 to celebrate the occasion in public rallies across the country, as they have done annually over the past three decades.

MJ/HGL