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With the anticipated demise of the NRA, I have found a face saving solution… They can switch their charter to become a political organization in support of good dentistry.

They would just have to make a little curvy thing on the “n” in guns, and turn all their literature into saying “gums.”

I don’t need any thanks. Consider it a public service.

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Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Today’s debt: $14,639,000,000,000.. Longhand, that is fourteen trillion, six hundred thirty-nine billion dollars…….

All caused by the Tea Party of course.

To pay that off in one year (with no interest), would cost us… would cost us…. would cost us… $463,881 every second…. (Oops, a million just passed by while reading this)…

But no one pays off a debt in one year… Instead, let’s take 30 years… Again, with no interest, per second we would need to pay… $15,463 dollars every second…. Now take a deep breath of a sigh of relief… Now only $100,000 went by in just those 6 extra seconds.

Considering that the US’s GDP is crunching forward at $411.374 dollars a second, those same six seconds generated $2,468,248 dollars in income… Therefore to pay back the entire debt we owe, over the next thirty years (with no interest) we would be paying… 16.6 percent of every dollar earned….

So obviously balancing our budget first is a capitol idea (pun: we certainly can’t do it when “they” are opposed)… Then over the next thirty years, we simply need to account and only spend 83.4% of every incoming dollar we are taking in.

In thirty years, we’ll be in the black… and you will be… uh, how old?

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

I am taking a break from discussing wind power and just how much it will save for each of us, in order to talk about another topic which has hit the news recently. Of course, based on my pocketbook, dropping every Delawarean’s electrical rates is very important. But it pales far less than whether or not we have a country left, or more appropriately, whether like Humpty Dumpty, the pieces are splintered too tiny to even bother picking them up and patching them back together.

As you know, Dennis Kucinich proffered the Articles of Impeachment on the floor of the House and they are now in the Congressional Record for every historian to read….. There is some question where Mike Castle stands on the issue, which of course is what brought that topic into the arena of the local blogosphere.

In essence the articles were shelved into committee, and done with little national coverage….. But there was much rejoicing among real Americans, ie those not controlled by corporations. Actually a more apt description would be this: those often screwed by corporations……

Republicans, at least those who still carry cards touting their Republicanism, are dumbfounded…. How can this be? They wonder. How can a large segment of the population wish for and support the impeachment of the one to whom they’ve sworn a secret loyalty pledge, like little fifth graders playing in the bushes…..? They wonder.

Today, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) dismissed the call for impeachment as the efforts of “left-wing bloggers“:

This is just another example of the Democratic leadership in the House indulging trivial and silly conspiracy theories from left-wing bloggers, rather than working with Republicans to deal with the real issues facing the American people.

I feel kind of honored. Although he would be shocked to find out who I am. But we are getting through, and they are scared… We know this from that fact that we were not dismissed. As anyone knows who has run a third party candidacy, the first line of defense against a new force is not to acknowledge it… “What, bloggers? What are they?” Obviously normal American citizens simply tired of the way this country has spiraled downhill over the last 8 years, are a force to be reckoned with, and now need to be castigated with derogatory terms… We have been bumped up to the second level.

This is a badge of honor in a way. This means two things. One is that it means that we are scaring them. There are grounds for impeachment and they know it. It means that only a hair is left standing to protect their president from the most shameful thing to ever happen within their party. And that thing is that: their official party structure openly and entirely supported the Executive’s office disrespectful dismissal and violation of the Constitution. From the email soldiers of 2004 up to the highest office itself, except for the brave few (Chick Hagel) who tried to publicly call them out on the error of their ways, the Republican Party goosestepped their way across the pages of our nations most revered document.

Our ancestors fought for that document. Our police officers swore to uphold that document, and ironically so did each of those legislators withing the Republican party who looked the other way when this happened….

Now I understand that my title may be shocking for some. And since I am more of a rational than emotional type of person, the casual reader should probably know that this title came to mind only because just an hour before typing this screed, I was in a park serendipitously describing to eleven year olds, the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany…..

Amazing Correlation Between These Two and Boehner and McConnell[1933 Nazi Election Poster – This poster is from the March 1933 Reichstag election, the last one in which Germans had a choice. The poster shows President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler. The caption: “The Reich will never be destroyed if you are united and loyal.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.] Courtesy of Calvin.edu

Most often we blame Hitler for the horrible things that occurred during that time of history…. What I told those children in their yellow day-camp shirts, was that we often look and blame a villain without looking at the fact that we ourselves put them in power and then did nothing out of timidity, to stop them….. Those few actually speaking out were killed off first, then those likely to speak out were killed off second, and those who knew those who had been likely to speak out were killed off third,…etc, etc and soon there was no one to say “hell no… it ain’t so.” (Little kids love cool sounding phrases).

There were 35 million voting Germans, and only one Hitler. If they truly wanted they could have gathered on his front lawn, stormed his house at midnight, grabbed him and pulled him apart, literally, in 35 million directions…. It didn’t happen.

The Republican Party, except for a few heroes, (Chuck Hagel) are as guilty as was the German population during Hitler’s ascendancy during the 30’s. ( The Germans had their hero Speer).

The second important fact that Boehner makes when he paints “left wing bloggers” as an evil empire living on a nearby death star, with a secret weapon almost in completion, instead of who they really are, regular people who work for a living and are tired of the way things have been run under Republican leadership, so tired in fact that they use their free time to research the Republican government and expose their inadequacies to a public that is not allowed to read those type of things in corporate sanctioned media outlets…..

And that is…

That they are afraid of the defection by party faithful…. Normally one tries to act like a good guy. a jovial person, a likable bloke for the simple reason that as one deals with other people in the give and take of the real world, that if people like you , you tend to get more of what you want…. Therefore this controversial tone being used by Boehner is not dispensed to make things easier for Republicans to exercise their power. It is designed to scare their core group away from defection, and into staying within the Republican fold…. Just as did the Nazi party, just as did Khrushchev after Stalin’s death, just as did the Communists is Southwest Asia, and most recently just as did a handful of extremists in some summer camp in the Afghan Himalayas, anytime one wants to browbeat a group that would rather be somewhere else, one rants and raves at a common enemy while blocking all information that proves the contrary is true….

Brainwashing.

That is just what Boehner did….. or attempted to do,…..of failed miserably at doing…….

Because this is not yet a country of broken spirited people as was Nazi Germany during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

This is America… and damn it, we understand the Constitution and we understand exactly what Republicans are doing to destroy it!

And unlike those feeding on the udders of the Republican Party, we, the normal people of America, tend to see those actions as being synonymous with the terms of ” High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

If any Republican wishes to be reelected, perhaps they should consider this too. For if they are willing to cite poll data, and trust it implicitly when it states the number of Americans who want offshore drilling (today’s news)……. be advised that the same type of poll data doesn’t paint you well at all.

For…….

“A July 2007 poll found that 46 percent of voters in favor beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Furthermore, a 2005 poll said 42 percent of voters say that “if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment.

Now that we know the truth, that your administration did got to war and lied about its reasons, that number is much higher than 42%…..

Shall we guess 71%? (based on April’s data).. At 300 million Americans that amounts to 213 million Americans desperately craving some form of accountability by Congress for Republican’s total disregard for the Constitution…….

That’s quite a few “left wing bloggers” Boehner,…..wouldn’t you say?

I was intrigued by this article in Delaware Liberal.  Apparently their take was different than that in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mike Castle did vote yes on  the  impeachment vote, but a yes vote was to “shelve” the bill, and bury it in committee, thereby once again protecting Bush from facing the truth..

For a second I thought he had recanted and we were actually going to have a close election on our hands…. But he still supports Bush, making him still a loser out of touch with America’s people…

Talk about an elitist…..

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

Delaware‘s blogosphere is awash in posting at this time. There are five basic themes.

Obviously the first is elections. The Primary election is gearing up for three weeks from tomorrow. Just three weeks. Rudy signs were the first to appear. Then I crossed my first Ron Paul sign last night. Obama organizer Brandon Hurlbut has contacted Delaware Liberal. The game is on. FSP is split between “Flip Flop” Romney, Fred “Flintstone” Thompson, and “Huckleberry Hound” Huckabee, depending which contributor is posting. (Anyone support Giuliani or McCain anymore?)

Ron Paul still remains the favorite of Republicans who do not go to meetings in undisclosed locations, although it looks like he has finally ticked Alan Coffey off a little. “Stop the war. Stop our nations slide. Grow our economy”. While the other Republicans jockey among themselves to determine which one of them is the cruelest when it becomes time to torture illegal aliens or terrorists more viciously, Ron Paul focuses on issues relative to most Americans. The media can say what they will…..When it comes to the effect of the media, America drowns them out as noise.

And just to prove I’m a hypocrite like everyone else……hat’s off to Shirley for leading off this mainstream media article… My take is bloggers lead. Media follows………..As Shirley says: does it really matter? Dem’s 23 out of 2025, Repub’s 18 out of 1191? While we act like good citizens, the real decisions are being made simultaneously in California, Texas, Illinois and New York. Since no candidate can meet and greet effectively in such a short time, this election will be decided by the ad gurus. Who’s ad resonates, wins the nomination.

In some of the best original analysis of the early elections, Duffy provides an interesting comparison and contrast between 4 of the leading candidates.

Take this test. What are the five things your candidate will do if he get elected. As an aside, I can tell you Ron Paul’s, Joe Biden’s, and creepy Tancredo’s, and those of “in the purse” Kucinich. But when it comes to the mainstream candidates, i am a little more fuzzy, and this was the longest lead-off time before the first caucus in history. Do the mainstream candidates even have a plan? Or are we voting for 18th Century values, preceded by a capital letters: Enthusiasm, Change, Experience, Security, Imperialism, Rusticism, Evangelism, 9/11? And in doing so making the assumption that the person behind them doesn’t really matter?

Locally breaking news of who is running this time. DWA (of course) provides titillating evidence that our state’s Vestal Virgin is taking on Joe Biden. Dave is for it, creating just enough gossip to take our minds off of what we should be concerning ourselves about.
Apparently Carney should be concerned with Jack’s 1.6 million. Soapbox Matt now on DWA has the comparison, and rebuts Carney’s reply to Markell’s huge war chest. (Ah John, you forgot about the bloggers, huh? So used to dealing with the News Journal who accepted what you said at face value?) Well done Matt.

As for the republican candidate for governor? His actions can only remind one of this line from William Blake: “The invisible worm that flies in the night.”

The second prevalent topic is our local General Assembly. It will be a week old this session on Tuesday. Happy Birthday. Starting off with a bang, the two topics that focus the heat, are the OOGA bill and the Wind controversy. Nancy tells us that this time….the Democrats are behind FOIA, at least publicly. Its a Democrat on the legislative committee who refuses the take the OOGA bill out of his drawer ….The stumbling block are those members of the Incumbent Party of Delaware affectionally known around these parts as the Adam’s Family. More concerned with their own than our welfare, they are and will continue to be that way until challenged in primaries throughout the state by real candidates not picked by party leadership. That of course applies to both Democrats and Republicans who have been returned to office without a challenge

Unrestrained Growth and Development seems to have surfaced as a Sussex issue. Of course it is too late to do anything about it in New Castle County, but Kent County, its nearest neighbor, has seen the enemy and “it is us.” Sussex has a chance to join them before it is too late. Tie developers up in knots. It works. Nancy carries two group’s attempts to teem up in a statewide effort for the support of home owner’s rights vs those of the road builders.

Education, often on the back burner of liberal blogs, has been kept alive by those on the other side. The micro analysis of Red Clay School District as seen from inside the School Board meetings, should be a wake call to all across the state. So is DSU budget process, as covered by Nancy.If hired by the current administration and you are less than competent, you get shoved over the educational field…..Mike Mathews expounds upon and tags FSP’s coverage of the Charter School Controversy, courtesy of the DSEA. Hube keeps us informed of idiocy anywhere students are given more rights, security, and sympathy than those teachers there to teach them. Discipline is indeed lacking.

And finally there seems to be some concern about our economy. Duh? For some reason things do not seem as rosy as the administrations financial reports keep touting. Oh, no……you don’t suppose they are wrong again, as they were on WMD’s, Iranian Nukes? Relax. We certainly are not being mislead intentionally…..But no matter how bright the economy appears to bloom, its seeds of enrichment never seem to fall to the ground, creating new growth and benefits for those on that level. No one it touching Republican economics this season. That issues has been proven to have been nothing more than a pipe dream. A return to the earlier Clinton economic plan is sorely wished by all: rich and poor alike…….

The one thing that has been quietly brushed aside by all the hoopla occurring simultaneously throughout the state,……is the fact that Mike Castle votes with Bush 90% of the time. He seems to have received the greatest benefit from the wealth of opportunity bloggers these days at their fingertips……Compared to the heat he was feeling earlier, looking over the blogs of the last several weeks, one might erroneously conclude that he was doing a good job …………

Complacency is not in our nature.

“Troops out now”. We hear it all the time. It is the opposite of “Stay the course.” But how many troops are going to leave? How many troops are going to stay? Those answers from the candidates, may surprise you.

Two candidates have forthrightly said, we need to pull all troops out now…….Both of those candidates, Kucinich and Richardson make up less than a combined 2% of all poll numbers. The big movers and shakers, Hillary, Obama, and Edwards have much different messages.

When we hear “withdrawal of American troops from Iraq” we think of all our troops coming home to parades and flags. However what is really being said, is these major candidates support the withdrawal of “combat troops” or “combat brigades.” These effective fighting forces, at the most, make up only 45% of all troops in Iraq. The rest, who are unmentioned, one can assume are to remain there for a long time, especially now that we have a new embassy and need to maintain our new military bases.

Why? Because any serious contender for President cannot publicly be for the chaotic fall of any country in the Middle East……..in other words….the loss of oil….

So the Democratic front-runners must promise voters that they will end the war — with not too many ideologically laden ifs, ands, or buts — while they assure the foreign-policy establishment that they will never abandon the drive for hegemony in the Middle East (or anywhere else). In other words, the candidates have to be able to talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. Ira Chernus: The Democrats’ Iraqi Dilemma: Questions Unasked, Answers Never Volunteered

It is time to begin ending this war…. Start bringing home America’s troops…. within 90 days ” says Hillary Clinton. Excuse me but did anyone hear the word “all”? It seems to have been casually omitted. Previously she said this: “We have remaining vital national security interests in Iraq…. What we can do is to almost take a line sort of north of, between Baghdad and Kirkuk, and basically put our troops into that regionOne reporter admits that Clinton expects U.S. troops to be in Iraq when she ends her second term in 2017. She wants 80,000 more troops with an emphasis on special forces.

Obama is not pulling all the troops out either…..To control everything and everyone, he wants “the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.… A 21st century military to stay on the offense.” That, he says, will take at least 92,000 more soldiers and Marines. Like Hillary, Barack would remove all “combat brigades” from Iraq, but keep U.S. troops there “for a more extended period of time” — even “redeploy additional troops to Northern Iraq” — to support the Kurds, train Iraqi forces, fight al Qaeda, “reassure allies in the Gulf,” “send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria,” and “prevent chaos in the wider region.” “Most importantly, some of these troops could be redeployed to Afghanistan…. to stop Afghanistan from backsliding toward instability.”

Obama plans to use redeployment as a carrot. The redeployment could be temporarily suspended if the parties in Iraq reach an effective political arrangement that stabilizes the situation and they offer us a clear and compelling rationale for maintaining certain troop levels.

Edwards goes further than either Obama or Clinton in spelling out that we “will also need some presence in Baghdad, inside the Green Zone, to protect the American Embassy and other personnel”. Edwards continues: : “I would put stabilization first.” “Stabilization” is yet another establishment code word for insuring U.S. control, as Edwards certainly knows. His ultimate aim, he says, is to ensure that the U.S. will “lead and shape the world.”

The top Democrats agree that we must leave significant numbers of U.S. troops in Iraq. This is remarkably similar to the Republican position. However,…..both sides politely seem to dismiss any mention of the number of Iraqis and/or servicemen killed during our lengthy stay………..

Well, perhaps it’s time Americans started asking such questions. A lost war should be the occasion for a great public debate on the policies and the geopolitical assumptions that led to the war

Tomsdispatch.com puts the challenge before us in clear terms. “Bush, Cheney, and their supporters say the most important message is a reassuring one: “When the U.S. starts a fight, it stays in until it wins. You can count on us.” For key Democrats, including congressional leaders and major candidates for the imperial Presidency, the primary message is a warning: “U.S. support for friendly governments and factions is not an open-ended blank check. If you are not producing, we’ll find someone else who can.”

This is a debate about tactics; not about goals. Among the American people a greater debate is raging. At stake is whether America should be allowed to create a war to further certain interests of its own economy?   Or………… should America agree to play by the same rules it insists that all other’s abide by: thou shalt not invade another country for resources. At first glance it appears that in their courtship with the powerful elite for those delicious campaign dollars, the leading Democrats have placed their foot in the very same traps that snapped shut upon the feet of the Republicans.

It is time that all Americans look hard at this duplicity.

Perhaps in such a reflective light, many of the minor candidates, such as Biden, do appear to have the better shine after all…………..

Hyperbole has its uses. Often points are scored in courtrooms, on televisions, and national debate through the use of hyperbole.

Only by writing, have I fully come to appreciate its usefulness. The effect of such comes not from what is said, but from the thought process that goes through each listeners head as they try to decipher the irrationality of what they have just heard………..Often through that analysis, they make some neural connections that are often quoted as “thinking outside the box…..”

It is unfortunate that in this case, my title is not hyperbole. It is my response to this, which I picked up from a link on Delaware Liberal…..

I have to admit, even though I try to use clean language when I write, when I read this my bowels rolled over and I even said “Oh shit. Here it is.” For amongst ourselves we have been talking about the repeated tendency of our president to laughingly consider himself as a king. And as we did, all of us knew in the back of our minds that the only real rational for such unconstitutional actions was for them to actually think………. that they would someday become one…………

Many of our generation were never schooled in the classics. As one who sprinted through two years of Latin, I would highly recommend that the reading in Julius Caesars’ own words, his argument for the replacement of the Roman democracy with the instillation of himself as its dictator, be required reading for all members of all democracies.

Fortunately today we do not all need to know Latin,…… for the same argument is dramatically portrayed in the last three episodes of the Star Wars Trilogy. The Dark Side is among us……………………………

But this recent executive order scares me…….. for next comes the assassination of our Jedi knights and the heartless slaughter of their future generation……………………….

I am no Jedi knight, but I may have to become one after this..

From the executive order signed days ago……….

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,..I hereby order: all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:(for) any person..undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

If one assumes the language is English and that the words therein have the meanings associated with those defined by dictionaries of the English language, then as someone who is adamantly against the Bush Iraqi Oil Grab, I am one of these, I am included. So are most of you…….

So is Dennis Kucinich, Olympia Snow, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi…….all of us who protest not the war, but it’s failed policy, are in the same boat, for according to Republican Sen. Bunning of Kentucky, anyone who opposes the war, is in effect giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Despite the reality that the opposite is true, as Dana was quick to point out here, that it is really the policy of George W Bush that has banded and bonded disparate groups (united by their hatred of both al Qaeda and the US) to “GET US OUT OF IRAQ“, ………. under the language of this order, even poor June and Rebecca Young, who have eloquently spoken against the war, are now like Will Smith and Gene Hackman,……………. enemies of the state.

And should we, as patriots, decide to help our friends and neighbors after their bank accounts have been frozen and assets devoured, we too stand on the wrong side of this capricious Ministry of Magic.

Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

To our representative E-ZPass Mike Castle, Republican of Delaware: Our sincere thanks for your silence in support of the dissolution of what was once considered the greatest nation to have ever existed on this planet……….May future generations show you mercy and spare you the infamy that has hitherto, been previously reserved for Benedict Arnold, Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate……….

This is from EFF’s website.

Washington, D.C. – A judge ordered the FBI today to finally release agency records about its abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) to collect Americans’ personal information. The ruling came just a day after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the judge to immediately respond in its lawsuit over agency delays.

EFF sued the FBI in April for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about the misuse of NSLs as revealed in a Justice Department report. This week, more evidence of abuse was uncovered by the Washington Post, and EFF urged the judge Thursday to force the FBI to stop stalling the release of its records on the deeply flawed program.

“The reports we’ve seen so far about NSL abuse are just the tip of the iceberg,” said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “FBI officials told the Washington Post that there have likely been several thousand total instances of misuse. Americans deserve answers about this scandal and how the FBI has abused its power to spy on ordinary citizens.”

Under the PATRIOT Act, the FBI can use NSLs to get private records about anyone’s domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions without any court approval — as long as it claims the information could be relevant to a terrorism or espionage investigation. Without a judge’s oversight, the law is ripe for the abuse that has been uncovered in these recent reports.

“The law itself is the source of the problem. It’s time for Congress to repeal these expanded NSL powers and protect Americans from this abuse of authority,” said Hofmann.

The judge’s order requires the FBI to process 2500 pages of NSL-related records by July 5, and then 2500 pages every 30 days thereafter.

For the judge’s order:
http://www.eff.org/flag/nsl/bates_order.pdf

For EFF’s supplemental memo:
http://eff.org/flag/nsl/supplemental_memo.pdf

For the Washington Post article on NSLs:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/13/AR2007061302453_pf.html