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One of those Bridges You Do Not Want To CrossThe Other of Those Bridges You Do Not Want To Cross
Courtesy of Protect Our Bridges

This nation has not taxed itself enough for 13 years.  As a result, we have not spent enough on our infrastructure….Driving on roads with potholes, doesn’t scare me that much.  But being on a very tall bridge, knowing it can collapse any second including the ones in which I’m crossing it,  does scare me… With my luck… it will be the I 95 bridge across the Susquehana at Port Deposit, Maryland. That one always scares me. If you haven’t heard, a bridge just collapsed in Washington State, on Interstate 5 north of Seattle.  The Republicans running that state had gutted all maintenance to cut expenses. Now they have one big expense to pay for. The accident occurred 3 hours prior to this writing.  So far there was no loss of life, just many loss of cars.

Being afraid of bridges, I immediately checked Delaware…. Out of our 862 bridges across this state, we have  53 that are listed as severely deficient, just as was the one in Washington State that collapsed…. We are lucky.  Only 6.1% of our bridges are severely deficient.  Nationally, eleven percent of our bridges are severely deficient.  Neighboring PA with   5,540 bridges out of 22,669, comes in with a 24.4% deficient bridge ratio.

Just remember that the next time you drive up into the sky across the Schuylkill River. One of of every 4  Pennsylvanian bridges, can drop out from under you into the water at any second…  one out of four.

The time for wringing hands is over.  It is time to make our bridges safer and the wealthy to gladly foot the bill…  Actually if you ask those people who 3 hours ago found themselves in the Skagit River, … it’s way, way past time.

 

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I’ll be brief.

The reason?

Most Republicans stayed home.  Why bother they said.  I’m voting Democratic anyway.

Therefore to a normal Republican, it doesn’t matter whether Luger or something worse gets the primary vote.  The Republican Party is so repugnant, that in comparison, chemical toilets actually smell decent.

They are either voting Democrat, or not voting…  What was the turnout in Indiana?   Apparently only 16%  thought enough to vote…..

Meaning 84% of Republicans, said fuck it.

The party is dead.

Rick Santorum is a Catholic.  He has incessantly called all Catholics who use contraceptions against Church doctrine, as being “non Catholics”, as worshiping some phony religion.   Santorum minces no words when he declares Catholics have to follow the teaching of their church…..

In an op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer in December of 2009 entitled “The Elephant in the Room: Catholics Must Heed Teachings,”  Santorum wrote, “Catholics must be true to their consciences. But that is not a free-floating guide that we can define ourselves. A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the church’s teachings on faith and reason, and to act in a morally coherent and consistent way, both privately and publicly.”

That bold line bears repeating…

A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the Church’s teachings….  Rick Santorum (2009)

That is a very dangerous thing to say because the Church has been around for a long time…  Over its life-long history,  the Church has said quite a bit…

For example, one of the things the Church under  Pope Leo XIII said back in 1891…. was that the Church would always be solidly supportive of labor unions…. and solidly against unfettered Capitalism….. 

In the Rerum Novarum  (1891- Pope Leo XIII)  occurs the following……

“Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice…”

Among the remedies it prescribed were the formation of trade unions and the introduction of collective bargaining, particularly as an alternative to state intervention.

 Rerum Novarum also recognized that the poor have a special status in consideration of social issues: the modern Catholic principle of the “preferential option for the poor” and the notion that God is on the side of the poor were expressed in this document.

Why does Santorum want to get rid of labor unions?  To do away with these (listed below) responsibilities ordained to be done by the Catholic Church?

Some of the duties of employers are:
1) to pay fair wages
2) to provide time off for religious practice and family life
3) to provide work suited to each person’s strength, gender, and age
4) to respect the dignity of workers and not regard them as slaves…

(Fair wages are defined in Rerum Novarum as at least a living wage, but Leo recommended paying more than that: enough to support the worker, his wife and family, with a little savings left over so that the worker can improve his condition over time…)

Just ask any teacher in Nashville, which this year wiped out all teacher’s unions, whether or not they can fulfill these requirements sanctioned by the Supreme Holiness himself….?

(The answer is :  NO, THEY CAN’T)….

The Catholic Church sanctioned Labor Unions for a good reason… so much so that it codified deep within it’s canon, that protecting Labor Unions would be a necessary requirement for every Catholic to comply with….

So when you see Rick Santorum next time,  ask him why it is that women, … MUST obey the Catholic Church canon,  but large corporations…. must not?     Either it works both ways, Rick,  or… it works neither way……   You don’t get to pick and choose…

Anyone against the formation of  labor unions is in violation of  Catholic Church Doctrine  ……….

Because… ..

A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the Church’s teachings….  Rick Santorum (2009)

Fact, Alambama’s law is just the first.
Fact, Right to Work States are also anti-foreigner states.
Fact, Union states, have a more balanced approach to business.
Fact, laws passed by Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and Utah, will apply to your executives as well as Mexican farm workers.
Fact, in Alabama, one German executive was detained from a Mercedes Plant, and one Japanese executive visiting a Honda plant, was picked up in a dragnet.. Because they couldn’t prove they were citizens (they weren’t), they were incarcerated.. In both those cases hush money and calls from the state executive, took care of the issues, putting the executives out of jail.

If you are a foreign company, thinking of building in any redneck state to save labor, there is a good chance you might find yourself in jail the next time you visit…

As they currently say in Alabama (while the crops rot in the fields…). “The Law… is the Law.” You would be safer building a plant in Venezuela where, yes, it could be nationalized, than you are in building in Alabama where you can’t visit… or find decent workers who will work for the prices you want to pay.

Move North. Safest place? Delaware.

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.

Daily Kos and Tommywonk featured excerpts from Dr. Goldsmiths upcoming book, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration.

Defender of the Constitution Despite Cheney's Tirades!!!

Before Goldsmiths arrival, things were much shadier. “Goldsmith claims that Addington (Vice President’s Legal Counsel) and other top officials treated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the same way they handled other laws they objected to: “They blew through them in secret based on flimsy legal opinions that they guarded closely so no one could question the legal basis for the operations,” he writes. Goldsmith’s first experienced this extraordinary concealment, or “strict compartmentalization,” in late 2003 when, he recalls, Addington angrily denied a request by the N.S.A.’s inspector general to see a copy of the Office of Legal Counsel’s legal analysis supporting the secret surveillance program. “Before I arrived in O.L.C., not even N.S.A. lawyers were allowed to see the Justice Department’s legal analysis of what N.S.A. was doing,” Goldsmith writes.

“By shielding its legal theories under a cloak of secrecy, the Administration hoped to insulate their radical positions from any form of review. Just as the Administration is attempting to use the ‘state secret privilege’ to stop any court from reviewing or ruling upon its domestic surveillance, it used “strict compartmentalization” to prevent internal review. The reason is simple, if Machiavellian: If one can prevent dissenters from access to the legal theories, it is that much easier to dismiss their concerns. If one can stop courts from ruling, there’s no one to say you were wrong.”
(Expect the book out on September 17th. It is a fitting day…..being the last day Gonzales is in office………)

This is the process of closed government in action, proving that there needs to be more transparency in all branches of government. Power corrupts absolutely, unless of course, everybody is watching. Power independent of party ideology will continue to function the same as long as secrecy is allowed.

It doesn’t matter if the party is democrat or republican. It matters not whether it is in the highest reaches of government, or in our levy courts and county councils. FOIA needs to be applied to all government agencies to prevent abuses such as the above.

Government in this nation is a function of its people. It is nothing but a tool. How many of us would trust a plumber who charged us $3000 to work with tools we could not see?

You can harp on this administration, if you want, but the real issue is more than symptomatic. The real issue is that our Constitution has been hijacked by both Dick Cheney and Thurman Adams…………..

Transparency is the key.

Congess finds out the dangers faced by our solders

We have heard so often that the surge is working. Perhaps it is working far too well. Four arch-Conservative Congressional delegates flying out of Baghdad, came under fire just as their C130 lifted off from the Baghdad airport. Judging from the depth of the Pentagon’s reaction, it was a close call.

The C-130 cargo aircraft conducted evasive maneuvers after a nighttime takeoff from Baghdad, said Ken Lundberg, spokesman for Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who was on the plane.

In addition to Martinez, the plane was carrying fellow Republican Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Alabama Rep. Robert “Bud” Cramer, a Democrat.

With the exception of Cramer the Blue Dog Democrat, all of the three republicans would be considered extremely conservative. Shelby, was the individual responsible for announcing that we had intercepted Osama bin Laden’s phone messages. Inhofe accused the Weather Channel of creating global warming. Martinez was in charge of Bush 2000’s Florida campaign, and we all know what happened there. In 2006, he helped craft the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 that would be referred to by much of his own party, as “amnesty”.

All three of these are extremely conservative; all three are potentially embarrassing to the future Republican party; all three have uttered controversial statements like this one…. by Inhofe:

“I am outraged by the ‘outrage’ over the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib”, suggesting that liberals being outraged over Rumsfeld’s abusive tactics, were more of a outrage to American values, than the actual torture practiced on Iraqis by American servicemen.

Each of these Republicans has become and will be a future embarrassment to their party in the upcoming elections. Each of these statements will be pounded over the airwaves with undulating precision.

But if you look beyond the glossed over press reports there seems to be something deeper going on behind this incident. Perhaps it was more than just a close call?

For one, why would the C 130 fired upon as it left Baghdad, just happen to carry three of the most conservative members of Congress? Of course one option, and the first considered, is that it occurred randomly. However two other possibilities that could occur, are 1) either the Iraqi insurgents have remarkable intelligence capabilities, capable of communicating the precise moment the plane lets go its brakes to a position miles away, or……2) it was an inside job.

Was it random? At roughly 150 of these planes flying in and out of Baghdad on a daily basis, the odds at firing on this one randomly selected over the last five years, would be: 1 chance out of 273,750. That would be a 2737.5% chance of not happening. But anything is possible, right?

So let’s examine the logistics behind the alternatives. To fire upon this one plane, the enemy would need to know which plane out of the twenty five lined up on the tarmac awaiting takeoff, contained the conservative legislators. That means the insurgents would have had access to Baghdad military airport, in the heart of the super safe Green Zone.

If the enemy was this intelligent, they should know that killing four congressional legislators would not end the war. It would escalate it further. (To end the war they would need to kill liberals.) They would also know that creating martyrs out of the four most conservative Congressional members, would embolden a 9/11 response across this country. It would rally international support behind the US, now waning worldwide, and create an international environment more hostile to Al Qaeda. The insurgents would be foolish to fire upon that plane.

So who stands to gain if these men were shot down? Obviously those republicans waiting in the wings in their safe red districts, would benefit. So would the RNC. There would be NO chance of a blue taking any of these seats. Obviously the Republican party would be better off by not having their own comment blaming “the Weather Channel for creating global warming”, receiving international airplay. (They are so losing this next election; I hope that Mondale lives long enough to see his dubious record broken.) Obviously the next big republican scandal that will come out of Florida (Martinez), would be nice to nip in the bud. Furthermore anyone having a vendetta against that one single person responsible for leaking that nugget that we were listening to Osama’s phone calls just after 9/11, causing his GPS location to be lost to us forever, would rub their hands with revenge.

These shots fired, based on a cross reference of the press reports description and the Pentagon’s map of Baghdad, originated from an area safe from insurgents, and entrusted to private corporate mercenary services. The location of these shots makes it even more unlikely that an insurgent pulled the trigger. The odds that an operative of Al Qaeda, infiltrated a private security service such as Blackwater, was in real time informed as to when this very plane was taking off, and knew exactly when to pull the trigger seconds before he even saw or heard the plane, all without any experience of ever having done so before at this location…….. are impossible to calculate…………….

If this was an inside job, perhaps instead of an assassination, it was a mere attempt at a scare. They missed on purpose. For by instilling fear in some of the most conservative members of the Congress, one could continue to count firmly on their future loyalty and support.  No doubt as they spoke before their respective branches of Congress, they could then be counted on to convey to others, that the threat was real.

For if on their return, had these four wavered and decided that all future expenditures were nothing but a massive waste of money, that the surge was not working, and that it was time to make a change in Iraq policy, then dreams of all neocons everywhere, would be nothing more than a wisp of gunsmoke……………

But such talk is just “hullabaloo” , really……… it was nothing more than a random event, a one in a 273,750 chance.
defensive actions by a C130 over Baghdad

Thanks to fellow live bloggers: Ryan Singel and David Kravets for their words and images.
threat level rising

Based on the judges question, an apparent victory may be at hand……..

The hearing involves two cases: one aimed at AT&T for allegedly helping the government with a widespread data-mining program allegedly involving domestic and international phone calls and internet use; the other a direct challenge to the government’s admitted warrant-less wiretapping of overseas phone calls.

In questioning of the governmental witness, this exchange occurred.

Judge Harry Pregerson suggests the government is asking the courts to “rubber stamp” the government’s claim that state secrets are at risk “Who decides whether something is a state secret or not? … We have to take the word of the members of the executive branch that something is a state secret?”

Garre counters that the courts should give “utmost deference” to the Bush administration.

Judge Pregerson: “What does utmost deference mean? Bow to it?”

Fifteen minutes later, this exchange occurs.

Judge McKeown asks whether the government stands by President Bush’s statements that purely-domestic communications, where both parties are in the United States, are not being monitored without warrants.

“Does the government stand behind that statement,” McKeown asks.

Garre: “Yes, your honor.”

But Garre says the government would not be willing to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect for the court record.

Blogger’s opinion: Pregerson, by his record, is the most liberal judge on the panel, and he clearly thinks the government is just looking for a blank check for their secret program. But the other two judges aren’t thrilled either. They seem perplexed that the government attorney can’t swear under oath that the Bush Administration isn’t warrant-lessly spying on domestic phone calls.

Proceed to the second case:

Whether the foundation’s lawyers were spied upon, which is the subject of the case, “Is itself a state secret,” Bondy argues. Expanding on that theme, the government argues that the Al-Haramain case needs to be thrown out because the secret document that the government accidentally gave the foundation is so secret that it is outside of the case.

The government claims that the plaintiff’s memories of the document can’t be allowed into the case because the only way to test them is against the “totally classified” document.

This leads to this exchange :

Judge McKeown on the TOP SECRET/TOTALLY document: “I feel like I’m in Alice and Wonderland.”

Eisenberg: “I feel like I’m in Alice in Wonderland, too.”

Al-Haramain lawyer Eisenberg argues that the government’s rationale for dismissing the cases on state secrets grounds doesn’t apply to his clients, since they already know they were surveilled from seeing the secret document.

Judge Margaret McKeown and Judge Hawkins seem unconvinced that the Al-Haramain case can continue without relying on a top-secret document that can’t be used in court.

Eisenberg also offered that the government could have the case dismissed simply by proving the court that they got a warrant.

But the panel seemed unpersuaded that the document can be used at all and generally seemed to be sympathetic to the government’s position.

Bondy, the government’s attorney, finished by reiterating that giving out any information on the alleged surveillance would help the enemy: “We just cannot confirm or deny whether they were surveilled.”

Bondy, for the government, gets the last word and neatly sums up the case for the three judges. Al-Haramain Foundation attorneys, he points out, “think or believe or claim they were surveilled.”

“It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false,” he says.

The Federal Governments Position in Defense of Secret Surveillance

Possibility of another terrorist attack?

Unconfirmed talk is that international terrorist chatter is as high as it was in August of 01, just before the planes came………Definitely expect an attack within 90 days we are told. Code Red.

Wasn’t it a former Pennsylvanian senator named Santorum who said last week that what ultraconservatives needed to push their agenda forward is another terrorist attack like 9/11? What?

Isn’t that what Mitch McConnell is currently peddling around Congress, this heightened level of chatter? But who is the source? Silence…..Is there any independent confirmation? Silence…… The only answer the public hears is a rumble from the gut of Chertoff. ……..Feed me……

The fear every American has, is not from the random violence of a terrorist, who supposedly will fight the sharks and swim across the ocean to get here, but of our own self-appointed president, declaring martial law, stripping us of our rights, in order to stay in power forever. What better method than to use a massive terrorist attack to push ones agenda…… It worked the last time, right?

This time I am not so sure it would work. If one has an employee who makes the same mistake twice, big time, one fires his ass. A terrorist attack is definitely big time. And whose ass did we entrust the last time to make us safe? And now miraculously those same people are telling us that Al Qaeda is as stronger than it was in the summer of 01?

That doesn’t make me scared. It really pisses me off!  How on earth can the greatest country in the world, be completely powerless to contain Robin Hood and his band of merry men, climbing over moon rocks while carrying a kidney machine? Bottom line is that they can’t…. unless not finding him is being done on purpose.

“What is most troubling is that no one in a position of authority is trying to get to the bottom of this.

If GOP leaders like Dennis Milligan (R-Ark) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa) possess information that could protect the American people from another terrorist attack, the CIA should interrogate them using the techniques our Vice President has approved,” Fetzer observed. “Let’s water-board them and subject them to sexual humiliation. After all, that’s what we are doing to prevent attacks abroad. Why aren’t they being used here? Chertoff appears to be making no effort to get to the bottom of this. Bush can’t claim to be ‘the security president’ if he won’t keep us secure.”How much money have we sunk into Iraq, where according to every nation’s intelligence agencies, there were NO terrorists before we started. How many bridges could we have inspected and repaired in this country if we had used that money less foolishly?……..

If we have an administration that allows us another terrorist attack, this time killing between 30,000 and 300,000, we need to impeach that administration; not give them more power. What the hell have we been spending our children’s money on? and they are telling me that terror is worse now?…. than it was before 9/11?

And they want us to trust who? Should another attack occur, an attack more viscous than 9/11, the ugly truth is that such an attack could only occur because one man fell asleep at the wheel: George W Bush. America will be furious. They will not reward him with powers of tyranny, they will impeach!

Cheney’s diversion in Iraq provided a lull in the war on terrorism. Had we finished Afghanistan first, maybe made a couple or secret raids across the border into Pakistan, there would be no Al Qaeda. But no, we are now being warned of an eminent attack………..

If the unthinkable occurs and we are attacked, America must get it’s own house in order first before striking back. America must replace its 2 leaders with ones who are competent,… so that when our time comes to return the favor to Al Qaeda………we won’t make the same mistake twice………..

Bush can’t claim to be ‘the security president’ if he won’t keep us secure

Recently in Delaware, a well know auto parts company did a comparative study and decided that Delaware was ripe for expansion. The acquisition costs were low, taxes low, and competition was archaic and outdated. They received the required financing and moved in.

They built a new store every 120 days. Gradually they had received all but the most loyal of its competitor’s regulars. They began to set the standards of how business could be run. Were one to write a textbook on how to succeed in acquiring a new market, they would have been the most quoted source. Comparatively their service times per transaction were faster, their customer satisfaction results the highest, and their return to the bottom line was better than those same company’s stores in other states.

Every opportunity was met with success. Investors as well as customers were happy they had moved in.

Then, almost inexplicably, the upper management decided to buy a local strip club that was up for sale. They tackled the purchase with meticulous detail. They wined and dined, then cold shouldered the prospective seller, until he, desperate to unload the property, gave it up for a song. No one is certain as to why this company would go into a venture half-cocked. Some thought it was for reasons, deep, secret personal reasons, that guided the chief executives decision. But for a song, the place was acquired and a great party was thrown to celebrate the new diversion. It was even whispered by some, that all entertainment costs charged to the auto parts conglomerate, would be at cost, if even charged at all. Those few who fearlessly stood up to the executive and challenged him to explain his weird choice of action, were chastised publicly and told not to worry, it would pay for itself ten times over……

But no one knew how to run it……Apparently upper management was so concerned with the acquisition and the possibility of future profits, that in their rush, they had failed to plan for its management.

“Don’t worry. We will do it” they said. They chose a bright young parts manager and put him in charge. Since the facility was intact, they placed want ads for employees and prepared to open their doors. But being new to the porn arena, caused many of the local entertainers to become a little leery of signing up. “Let’s wait and see” was their approach.

Desperate, because of upper management pressure to get something done immediately, the young part’s manager asked some of the company’s most loyal employees to moonlight for him in their off hours………Opening day was a flop.

Jeers, hoots, holla’s were shouted at the dancers. The locals treated them with contempt. Who pays to see a middle aged pot bellied male clerk, dance around in a thong? Not only did the employees get shouted off of stage, but they failed to receive tips as well. Desperate, the young parts manger made deals from his car’s window with hookers off of Route 13. He asked them to come in and fill his roster. The hookers would do so only if he stipulated that they could ply their other trade within the club’s walls. He felt he had no choice but to agree.

Costs were running 200% more than anticipated. They had underestimate the clientèle. Southern businessmen, these locals were not. Heroin was sold openly.

They had bitten off more than they could chew. Those who had supported the diversionary financial venture, began to come under fire by stockholders. Over and over the CEO reassured them that all would work out.

Close it down to stop the financial bleeding he was told. No he insisted. That would be a failure. He would not do that. Instead we will staff it with all our employees. Every employee will work half a day at one of the stores, and the other half would be at night, inside the strip club.

As the staff levels increased, operations stabilized. However the client base hemorrhaged. Most nights were devoid of customers. Occasionally a group would arrive from out of town. The strip club soon sucked up more profits than the auto part’s stores could afford. For the first time, the company dipped into the red. It never recovered…………

Then came the vice squad. Arrests were made and prostitutes and management were incarcerated. Fines were levied against the holding company. There was no money left to pay them. Under court order, the doors were closed.

For whatever the reason, whether it was due to loyalty, or trust in his past brilliance, or personal fear, no one stood up to the CEO. All who came to advise him, left with head hung, hat in hand……No one pushed back…at least not hard enough…….and as the result,…..the entire enterprise was eventually auctioned off to pay the creditors no more than 18 cents per dollar invested……….

Moral of the story: Extravagant adventures sometimes end where you least want to go……Planning make perfect……

Relevance of the story: I’m sure you are smart enough to have figured it out by now.