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Mistletoe Angel
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25 posted 06-27-2006 04:56 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Jo's right. Neither of our political parties are divorced of scare tactics and fueling fear as a political weapon. The Democrats use fear politically in crying out that our civil liberties are being imploded, while the Republicans have been exploiting the tragedies of 9/11 and our fears of terrorism to make excuses toward this particular war, even if it means taking our national deficit to record numbers and chipping away at others food stamps, Medicaid, national parks, etc. to fund it.

Mind control is omnipresent apparently. I certainly agree some concerns of civil liberty erosions are exaggerated and propagandized just like threats of terrorism are sometimes, but I believe when most Americans do believe we are heading in the wrong direction, and do believe the scope of executive power is being exceeded and taken too far, Americans have the right to be upset and question our liberties are under attack.

*

June 15, 2006 Department of Defense Letter (In Response To January 5, 2006 FOIA Request)

*

Now, I was searching the wire earlier today, and I came across this transcript of a letter from the Department of Defense as requested under a Freedom of Information Act response, and according to this transcript, the DOD appears to be admitting that they have monitored a much wider spectrum of student organizations than was earlier acknowledged. Their admissions included conducting surveillance of groups protesting the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for gays and lesbians in the armed forces, as well as students protesting the war at State University of New York at Albany, William Paterson University in New Jersey, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of California at Berkeley (the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement), despite NONE of the reports in the documentation indicating any terrorist activity by the students who were monitored.

Perhaps we should just admit that mind control is being thrown at seemingly every direction.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
iliana
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26 posted 06-27-2006 05:41 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Noah, I wonder how many people that read that letter will question what those rules cited are?  Almost sounds like the days of good old J. Edgar again, doesn't it?  Maybe some people don't really know what happened there, but more and more it is looking like history repeating itself.  Just a little more scarey this time because technology is so much more advanced.
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27 posted 06-27-2006 05:57 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Every time someone reveals the so-called hidden stuff, the administration cries foul...cluck cluck fowl play.
It's not as if the terrorists didn't already know they were being tracked financially. GIMME a break! Even the village idiots know this is something we've ALWAYS done.
I am NOT saying we shouldn't track the dollars, because I think we should. My-oh-my the poor little admins....
don't kill the MESSENGERS when you don't like the message...and?
I doubt anything in print wasn't already well-known by those who are AWAKE and aiming at us every chance they get.
I do NOT buy the argument that this is anything that puts our troops in more danger than they are already in by being where they are today. And I am terribly sorry for your loss, Ringo, and hope you hold onto those fondest memories of your lost loved one.
There you have it, just what you'd expect from me...my not-so-humble-opinion.
I like your new photo though and I still enjoy and respect your willingness to speak out Mr Mike!
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28 posted 06-27-2006 05:58 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Maybe we'll go all the way back to the Ultimate Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and start relocating ethic/racial groups to concen...detention camps.

I'm curious but lazy, Iliana.  What were your responses to the Valerie Plame leak?  I ask since you seem very nonchalant about these current leaks.
iliana
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29 posted 06-27-2006 06:16 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I said, "When a reporter quotes numbers then they should give the source of their information or it may not be considered credible."

Alicat -- I used the wrong word:  source.  What I should have said is that "a good reporter substantiates his/her numeric complilations with references" -- meaning, giving the place or institution where people can verify the truth of the numbers.  

Please understand that I believe revealing  a "Source" (when it is a person) without their permission violates their right of privacy and violates freedom of the press.  

  


[This message has been edited by iliana (06-27-2006 07:07 PM).]

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30 posted 06-27-2006 07:07 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

*laughing*

I have to be called on regarding MY logic?

*smiling sweetly*

I will restrain myself from quoting some of the many illogical statements from our Commander-in-chief. I don't want the thread to deteriorate to name calling, so I promised myself no Bush Bashing. And that's out of respect for you Mike-lovie. I know it upsets you so I won't go there. 'Cause I DO love you.

and the following is off-topic folks, but a message to Jo. Not only did I receive the fine gift of that movie from you yesterday--I was WATCHING it on the Starz channel when it arrived!

Whoa.

How's THAT for synchronicity?

*chuckle*

Some things just defy logic, eh? Thank you my friend--you are a joy.
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31 posted 06-27-2006 08:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Iliana....ok, let's use your figures...7800 banks in 200 countries. Let's see...that's 39 banks per country. 39 banks? Las Vegas has 39 banks! and you wish to say that the government is monitoring OUR bank accounts and you don't call it exxagerating? I feel confident that your account has not been spied upon and I doubt seriously that mine has, either. You prefer to give the opinion that we are all under surveillance when it's just not true.

Iliana and Kacey.....let me ask you something. If this were nothing but an old story that everybody knows, why did the Times meet with administration and discuss publishing it for hours (in which they ignored the administration's request not to)? Seems a little silly for an old story. Why even would they go with it, if it were nothing new and something everybody knew anyway? That's not news. So why....? The fact that they did makes your conclusions that it was a nothing piece a little far-fetched and illogical.

I have, of course, come to expect that Bush will remain target number one for as long as he is in office but it still surprises me how far people reach to make it so. This topic, which basically has nothing to do with Bush but rather the actions of the New York Times, has somehow reverted to Bush ridicule (except from Serenity, who is being gentle with my tender feelings I must  suppose that our prejudices keep our thoughts one-sided. Absolutely nothing has been said in the Alley by any anti-Bush personage concerning the economy, which is robust and healthy, the unemployment rate, lowest in many years, the elimination of Al-Zarkawi or any other of the 45 playing cards in the Iraqi deck of most wanted. No, of course, I wouldn't expect to see any of that.....but let one topic like this one, having little to do with Bush, come up and these same people will somehow shift it over to Bush.

Another thing that still surprises me is that Leftists will keep coming up with these sleazy actions, recognizable by so many ordinary citizens for what they are, and still wonder why they keep losing elections. LR once stated that when a president is portrayed in a bad light it is weakening for the country as a whole. Obviously some Democrats and leftists in power are more interested in their own political motivations than the weakening of the country and, quite possibly in this case, the welfare of our citizens and soldiers. That's sad...
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32 posted 06-27-2006 09:20 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Mike, I don't think my comments even came close to Bush bashing. And some of the details or specifics of the NY Times report, maybe that was a scoop or new NEWS, but certainly not that the US government tracks the finances of millions of people. Since when does that surprise anyone? It doesn't surprise me in the least, and that would be the same reaction from me no matter which party might happen to be in office.
I happen to believe the Media must have free reign. I believe in freedom of information, and only in the most extreme rare circumstances, should information be kept under cloak and dagger. Look at what happened in Nazi Germany, and what is happening in China right now to the free flow of information. It is being crushed. And when that happens, when journalists are muzzled? we are all in great peril whether or not we are currently in a war scenario.
Again, I think the money trail is crucial, and we have a right to know where our dollars are going, who is sending and who is receiving the war pocketbook.
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33 posted 06-27-2006 09:33 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Mike in your opening paragraph, I quote you:  "It routes about 11 million financial transactions daily among 7,800 banks and other financial institutions in 200 countries."  Exaggerating? -- THOSE ARE YOUR WORDS, not mine.  That is in one day, as well, if I understood you correctly.  

I haven't been Bush bashing either!  I mentioned that both political parties are using fear as campaign strategy.  So, please don't misinterpret me and sorry, if you have.  

Also, seems to me that you should check out the economy.  Interest rates are growing and will be up again soon.  The market is down.  And the employment rates have been inflated.  Minimum wage was not raised.  

A wise friend of mine told me this saying, "Convinced against his will, one has the same opinion still."  (Someone famous said that but I don't know who it was.)  So, I am not going to try to convince you of anything.  But I will state that yes, I knew for a fact that this was going on four years ago.  I saw papers disclosing it that were provided by the bank my elderly friend was dealing with.  So, in my mind, it was no secret!!!  Like I said, maybe the location of the Belgium processing center and the statistics were -- but the fact it was happening was not!

Geez....isn't boxing fun!

[This message has been edited by iliana (06-28-2006 12:16 AM).]

Mistletoe Angel
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34 posted 06-27-2006 09:45 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

With all due respect, Balladeer (and do note that I certainly don't enjoy criticizing our elected officials, but do so because I truly believe some of their actions are harming our checks and balances system and alienating the most urgent needs of American citizens among other things) perhaps it would be appropriate to re-title this thread, "Lefists & Democrats Just Don't Get It" or something along those lines, for it seems your post has more to do with chastising Democrats and liberals in general more than questioning or critiquing their judgment over national security.....and mind you that many of both share this nation's best interests at heart in making our nation secure and only ask we enforce these security programs in a legal, sensible manner and go only after those who truly are affliated with the terrorists, not harmless political opposition or activist groups whose agendas are at odds with those of the administration and such.

Believe me, I don't enjoy criticizing and raising my voice about the President, his actions and judgment, I really don't. But frankly, while you always tend to be defensive over any criticism tossed his way from political opposition, you yourself resort to the same frequent finger-pointing and decrying of Democrats and leftists collectively in general, which itself is well-documented here.

I myself don't agree with The New York Times running the story especially if politely asked to sit on it for a while, and I also very much sympathize with your concerns that the behaviors of these New York Times editors and the individual Democrats in question, purposely or not, are influencing suspected terrorists of shifting tactics and eluding our security forces. It may just be that you happen to trust the government more than I do personally, but nonetheless, I'm gravely concerned over the overexceeding of executive power, the erosion of our checks and balances during wartime, the excessive use of Presidential signing statements as Arlen Specter noted today, and other such things, and how these very things too are weakening our country and the welfare of every American citizen.

You can complain if you wish about no one starting a thread about al-Zarqawi's death (which obviously I'm glad he's been brought to justice and any sane person would agree) or other such things. Then again, I could have chosen to start a thread about House Republicans stalling the Voting Rights Act in a political fashion (which I was very close to starting but decided not to as to not upset you and others who support the party strongly). I could have started a thread about how most Republicans except for Snowe and Chafee and Collins and Lugar and a few others voting for the NINTH consecutive year not to raise the miminum wage for hard-working Americans, which I also chose not to so as to not upset you and others. And so forth.

I too certainly don't consider my behaviors "Bush-bashing" as you may insist to call it. And if the mere, non-confrontational questioning of the administration's sense of judgment in ANY form is considered "Bush-bashing" in your view, then I simply believe that's an indication of exactly how severely polarized our nation is.

Anyway, rest assured I too echo Kacy in that I believe it's absolutely necessary to have a money trail. All I ask for is sensibility in the use of these devices in that they're firmly and directly aimed at these terrorist networks who harm our very way of life, and I wholeheartedly believe the programs are currently exceeding that very scope, and we need to draw serious attention and consideration to that.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Midnitesun
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35 posted 06-27-2006 09:45 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/4004442.html
an interesting article, well worth reading

here is an exerpt:
While other newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, printed details of the program, Bush singled out the New York Times for censure, arguing that the newspaper's disclosure makes it harder for the administration to fight terrorism.

"It's a nice political opportunity, and the Times is a target among their base," said Dennis Simon, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. "The ardent conservatives in the Republican Party believe in biased mainstream media, and at the top of that list is the New York Times. So this is good politics for them."
Alicat
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36 posted 06-27-2006 10:14 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

The New York Times was THE newspaper who originally broke the story is why.  And that after the Administration took the advice of the New York Times following 9/11/2001 regarding tracking the money and monitoring banking activity.

As per normal, there's really only two papers who break original stories: LA Times and New York Times.  All the others merely copy verbatim whatever comes down the wire.
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37 posted 06-27-2006 10:27 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

well alicat, I'm sure glad that ain't the truth, the whole truth, and nuthin but...
as I've read media flashes the TIMES never even heard about, and that's like saying only two papers know what's happening.
My, what a cynical POV!
Is it time to throw out the Scotsman link?

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38 posted 06-27-2006 10:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Iliana, my apologies.Those were indeed the numbers I quoted. but it is okay to look into everyone's bank accounts....give me a break! That is your comment. The point I was trying to make was that 39 banks per country do not constitute referring to "everyone's bank accout", which I refer to as exaggerating. Speaking of exaggerating, I find that I did exactly that with reference to you and Kacey "Bush bashing". Your comments, after re-reading, do appear to be more political than personally aimed a the president. Mea culpa. As far as the economy is concerned, I AM aware of it. I live in it, too, yanno? To claim that it is not healthy and the unemployment figures are not valid and excellent would put you in a very small minority (comprised only of Democrats, of course)

I stand by my feelings about the NYT. The article Kacey provided states that the Times spoke to the administration "for weeks" before printing the story. That tells me that it was much more than an old story that everybody knew. As I said before, they do not claim Bush broke the law or even did anything immoral. They just want the people to know....right.

I happen to believe the Media must have free reign. I believe in freedom of information, and only in the most extreme rare circumstances, should information be kept under cloak and dagger. Look at what happened in Nazi Germany, and what is happening in China right now to the free flow of information. It is being crushed. And when that happens, when journalists are muzzled? we are all in great peril whether or not we are currently in a war scenario.

Easy for you to say, Kacey. Say it from Iraq. They are the ones in peril, not you. Free reign for the media? May God protect us from the day that ever happens. As in everything else, there needs to be responsibility in reporting - more responsibility in wartime conditions. Making references to Nazi Germany and China as if by comparison or a place we are headed for or what might happen if our papers can't say anything they want regardless of the circumstances is ludicrous and so far out there it belongs on the far side of Pluto. You related to Mirtha??

Yep, Iliana, boxing IS
Midnitesun
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39 posted 06-27-2006 10:56 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

I knew you'd have some 'mirth' fun with that line, Mike. Actually, I do trust that the media will exercise restraint about as well as the government does. LOL
Actally, they have sat on lots of stories in the past, for whatever reason. Having worked for two newspapers long ago, I know the media sometimes sits on something until the timing is ...well, 'judicious' may not be the best word. 'Ripe' might be better. But I don't want them intimidated or threatened by ANY political entity.
iliana
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40 posted 06-28-2006 02:13 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Deer, quoting you: "To claim that it is not healthy and the unemployment figures are not valid and excellent would put you in a very small minority (comprised only of Democrats, of course)"  Don't call me a Democrat...I'm not, nor am I a liberal.  I weigh issues, then vote, thank you very much.     Regarding the employment figures:   http://www.cepr.net/publications/undercounting_cps_2006_01.pdf

The economy not sluggish?  http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read/18754]  
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/business/14897264.htm?                      source=rss&channel=journalgazette_business]

I'll remind you of our National Debt  http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/]

Are there enough national assets left in America to sell off to cover that debt?  Is there enough gold in the world to cover our paper debt?  (It does, by the way, appear our assets are being sold off -- what was that a few weeks back about our ports...hmmmm.)  

Our economy is great; we've got a surplus in our federal budget -- tell that to the precious, brave boys and girls overseas who could have had better protective gear and armor, and still need that even though McCain got his bill passed - http://www.operation-helmet.org/history.html]  -- those young men and women who have to be wondering why their government can't do that instead of private citizenry but will never complain (and I really think that is where you are coming from, too, dear Deer - will never complain, that is...except about Democrats and liberals....lol).  And yet, there's pork barrel spending:  http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Newscenter.ViewPressRelease&Content_id=         1721

Our economy's fine -- tell that to stock investors who have seen a bad market in June after the announcement of higher interest rates...trying to decide whether or not a recession is about to occur.  Tell that to globalists who worry that when the U.S. economy collapses, the whole world economy will collapse.  This used to be the world's best economy.  We are losing that status.  China, India and the Asian markets in general are the growing economies now not us) and even Warren Buffet recommends traders invest in those markets for better returns on their money(I give many thank to our outsourcing and trade policies for this -- sarcasm).   Everytime the slightest thing occurs, whether its weather, interest rate increases, announcements that oil prices MIGHT rise, a bad review on a movie, a simple negative business news article or a controversial one (like the one in the NY Times)....our stocks indices react -- why, because this is an economy based on speculation.  War makes for a good stock market and that is why times have been good for people with their money in the "right" market.  More and more, the people in the know are investing in foreign markets.  http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42687]

Surely, you cannot deny that the rate of inflation since the early 90s is over 25%. http://eh.net/hmit/compare/  

Why do I think the economy is bad or sluggish or on a downturn -- logic.  Our dollar is not worth what it used to be.  I was talking to a friend from Indonesia the other day who works for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as an oversite auditor nationwide.  She mentioned to me and I knew this from when I lived in Indonesia that many of the wealthier people in that country used to convert their money to US dollars.  Then she told me there is great concern about the dollar and their individual investments -- tell me that is not a sign of slowing or declining economics here -- the dollar and its value is the measure of our economic prosperity.  

I want to add that once when I was working for a nationally known legal publication as an assistant editor, I was asked by the CEO of a major manufacturer to not release information concerning a lawsuit about their proven age discrimination which netted a verdict of a couple hundred thousand dollars....their reasoning was it would cause their stock to drop.  If journalists bowed to every request about withholding the truth, I would really, really worry.  Albeit, in times of war, there should be extreme discretion.

I could go on and on....but this is a tiresome argument.  I'm glad things are good for you, Mike, truly.  Maybe since things are so good, you could make a donation to that helmet fund (*wink*) -- I know I'm going to do that.  I'll make a wish now.  I wish things were good for everybody.  

[This message has been edited by iliana (06-28-2006 04:19 AM).]

Ringo
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41 posted 06-28-2006 04:14 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

quote:
even if it means taking our national deficit to record numbers and chipping away at others food stamps, Medicaid, national parks, etc. to fund it.

Noah, my friend, once again the facts that you present are those of the liberal propaganda machine (yes, we conservatives also have ours... now, back to our program).
Here is the filler that wasn't mentioned by those in the press with a liberal Democratic bent:
As of the middle of January 2006, 24 million people have been enrolled in medicare prescription... which the former president refused to support (I know it's not mediCADE, however it does fit the program).

President Bush has created or expanded 900 health centers, bringing medical attention to an additional 4.3 million people.

He approved 11 Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability demonstrations, which at
full implementation, could result in approximately 825,000 individuals receiving health coverage through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

His new budget provides access to health care through more than 300 new and expanded Health Center sites, including 80 new sites in counties that have a high prevalence of poverty

The 2007 Budget will provide new and affordable health coverage options for all Americans—targeted to those who need it most: low-income children and families; the chronically ill; employees of small businesses; and the self-employed.


Through the (President's) initiative, States can provide health care to more beneficiaries with the same amount of funding by changing delivery systems and using mainstream coverage, including coordination with employer plans. At full implementation, approximately 825,000 individuals may receive coverage through 11 approved (program) waivers.

The Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA)  program provides coverage for former welfare recipients entering the workforce, and the Administration proposes extending the program through September 30, 2007. Similarly, the 2007 Budget proposes Cover the Kids, a national outreach campaign. This initiative will provide $100 million in grants annually to enroll additional Medicaid- and (low income)-eligible children by combining the resources of the Federal Government, States, schools, and community organizations.

Since the the successful TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program was created, the number of welfare recipients has continued to decrease, and employment and earnings among the target population have increased.

The Budget reforms Federal financing for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education payments. Federal funds currently go to free-standing children’s hospitals without regard to which hospitals most need the Federal assistance. The reformed payments will focus on those hospitals with the greatest financial need that treat the largest number of uninsured patients and train the greatest number of physicians.

Here is the 2007 budget for Medicade. The number is actual dollars (in millions) from 2005 (186,849), 2006(198,109), 2007(204,689). That cut that you are complaining about is a cut in the amount of INCREASE in the budget... not the amount of money. And with all of the increased spending to get medical care to the needy and poor of this country, a cut in actualy medicade would not hav been a disaster. It would have actually been a wash at the absolute worst.
Just figured I would add something that could be proven by the figures everyone wants, and not by arguments about "supposed-ly"


"... the rest is silence"
from the song The Flesh Failures www.myspace.com/mindlesspoet
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42 posted 06-28-2006 11:27 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, I admire your vigor and zest, Iliana. Let's look at a little of that....

You are going to quote the Political Gateway? Let's see how unbiased they are..

The most powerful man on the planet went to the most dangerous place on earth Monday to show us his war face.

You know his war face. You saw it three years ago, on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Wistful, eyes misty, brows pointed upward at the center, almost too overwhelmed with gratitude to speak.

Mission accomplished, boys! Way to take your Commander in Chief's word for it when he says you need to die! And see how much I appreciate it? Just check out this poignant expression! Now excuse me while I return to Washington and cut veterans' benefits. Got to pay for those tax cuts somehow!


There is one of their editorials.....sounds unbiased enough to me!

No, you need not remind me of the National Debt clock. Hopefully, I need not remind you that the last time you brought it up and I showed you the discrepancies, you admitted that you really didn't understand it anyway. We could always look that conversation up, if you like.

what was that a few weeks back about our ports...hmmmm.)  

Yes, what was it? Btw, are ports national assets or private concerns? And what about all of the Democratic rhetoric about no foreign ownership? You seen anything since then to reverse all of the other foreign ownership of our ports? Me neither. To just throw out a cryptic remark like yours as if it proves a point is like trying to sew a vest on a button.

You want to bring up the lack of supplies in Iraq? There are ALWAYS a lack of supplies and equipment in war areas. There was in WW! and WW2, Korea - I can assure you there was in Viet Nam. This is nothing new. You improvise - as millions of soldiers have done in the past. could it be better? Oh, yes, certainly, and I hope it gets there. Can you lay it on Bush's doorstep as something new?  Hardly.

I have no idea what you know about the stock market but there is always speculation and uneasiness before a pending or possible rate hike, the same as there are always ups and downs throughout the year. You point to June as if that's supposed to prove a point. It doesn't. Over the past couple of years the market has been excellent yet you make no reference to that at all. Shall I take one month where the market surged like wildfire and say that month shows how robust the economy is? It doesn't work that way.


Tell that to globalists who worry that when the U.S. economy collapses
   I'll be glad to. Can you point them out to me?

Everytime the slightest thing occurs, whether its weather, interest rate increases, announcements that oil prices MIGHT rise, a bad review on a movie, a simple negative business news article or a controversial one (like the one in the NY Times)....our stocks indices react -- why, because this is an economy based on speculation.

That's true but I don't understand why you say it here. It has always been that way, since the beginning of the stock market. You present it as if this is something new - and attributed to our current leaders. It's not. Check out the tulip crash of the market in Holland sometime....

Surely, you cannot deny that the rate of inflation since the early 90s is over 25%.  There has always been inflation and the dollar has always bought less as time goes by, Iliana. Let's use that nifty little calculator of yours a minute..

$100.00 in the year 2000 is worth $88.14 now, accordingto the consumer price index
$100.00 in the year 1992 is worth $81.50 in the year 2000.

hmmm...seems it was worse during the previous administration, right? Let's go back further...

$100.00 in the year 1960 was worth $85.10 in the year 1968....those were Camelot years!

You can't just take little snippants of comments like soldiers helmets, selling ports, the market having a bad month, dollars not buying as much as they used to.....and try to build a case for the current administration taking the country down the toilet and the collapse of the US economy. I can provide as many links stating how strong the economy really is.

Yes, things are going well for me, thank you   i put in my 40 hours, live on a budget, have a roof over my head, wish I could buy better things sometimes, wish I had enough money aside to retire some day (which is unlikely) so I suppose you could say I'm fine. I'll tell you what I'm not. I'm not a person sitting behind a computer with a tv in the room, a car outside, a closet full of clothes and food in the refrigerator whining about how horrible the economy is and how the country is going to hell. No, that's not a slur on you, Iliana. I know you are not, either, but there are plenty who are. We live in the greatest country in the world, enjoying more freedoms and a better lifestyle than anyone....and we moan and complain. You want to complain about taxes, for example? Check out Canada and Europe.  You want to cite China and India as "growing economies"? Tell you what....let's hop a plane over to either country and see how the average person lives. Let me assure you that you would not want to trade places with 95% of the people in India, who live in incredible poverty. If those are the glowing economies you want to use as examples of how we should be, then God help us if it ever comes to pass.

It's just the half-full, half-empty glass, Iliana. I will continue to see it as half-full and for me that makes it true. If you see it as half-empty then it will be that way for you....and either one of us will be able to come up with a million examples to prove our points. That's human nature on display.....

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43 posted 06-28-2006 06:08 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Mike, I'll tell you what.  Why don't you hop on a plane and come on over to Houston's 4th ward...or just take a walk down under the I-45 or I-59 overpasses near downtown....or visit the Star of Hope shelter.  Homeless in America has been going on for years, but it has gotten worse.   Oh, by the way, I lived in a third-world country (Indonesia) for over three years and am married to a man born and raised in India (son of two American missionaries) -- I am correct in saying that those economies which I referred to are growing at a faster rate than ours.  Well, yes, they have a good bit of catching up to do, and they are reliant of us having a strong economy.  If we fail, they will fail.  Yes, we do live in the best country in the world in my book.  I just want it to stay that way.  Building up a national debt the size we have is going to haunt our children just when the rest of the world is on a fairer playing field.  I said back when I posted that I did not understand what the national debt was -- Mike, I did my homework and do understand what I am talking about now, but it is not my job to explain that to you.  I am grateful for what we have; I just want to make sure it is there for my son, who btw, signed up for 8 years.  

Like I said before....my wish:  that things will be good for everyone.

[This message has been edited by iliana (06-28-2006 06:51 PM).]

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44 posted 06-28-2006 06:43 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Jo, I just wanted to quickly say here that I wish your son the best in serving the nation, as well as wish him the best safety and strength each day he takes up this most brave cause.

Indeed I share your wish, dearest friend, as does everyone here in this thread and everyone beyond this single thread. We may have ideological differences and conflictions in how to nurture this wonderful world for our children and their children, but every one of us here wishes nothing but the best for them all.

It does worry my heart very much that I'm just a young man who has yet to even raise a family, who hasn't even dated yet, and imagining them being born in a world that is even more unstable than it is right now. I certainly don't want to see that happen just as much as those who disagree with me 90% or more of the time here do.

I certainly think the best place to start is to take care of something once and for all that has been long overdue for decades now; reforming our rigid two-party system and democratic process so more individuals can be represented in our democratic system, free of the red and blue game. We certainly need many more Paul Wellstones, Christine Todd Whitmans and Kinky Friedmans, or more simply individuals who think for themselves and not stand with their feet bolted behind party lines. I believe if we can get through this first, and very difficult hurdle, it'll open a floodgate of so many new possibilities for the better in meeting the collective needs of every child, hard-working American family, single mother balancing two part-time jobs, etc.

Until that happens, essentially in the most part we'll just continue to oscillate back and forth on empty promises.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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45 posted 06-29-2006 02:57 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

By the way, Jo is right; this is NOT new news.

*

First of all, this is OLD news. In doing some research, I've recognized that Bush himself has touted the government's efforts in tracking and shut down terrorists' international financial networks, long before this New York Times story was officially published June 23, 2006, that they had reason to suspect their banking activities were being monitored.

And while specifics of the U.S. government's tracking of terrorist finances may not have been known, the administration has signaled repeatedly a campaign to track terrorists' money.

Here's some examples of these implementation calls:

*

White House Press Release: September 24, 2001

"And, by the way, this list is just a beginning.  We will continue to add more names to the list.  We will freeze the assets of others as we find that they aid and abet terrorist organizations around the world.  We've established a foreign terrorist asset tracking center at the Department of the Treasury to identify and investigate the financial infrastructure of the international terrorist networks.

It will bring together representatives of the intelligence, law enforcement and financial regulatory agencies to accomplish two goals: to follow the money as a trail to the terrorists, to follow their money so we can find out where they are; and to freeze the money to disrupt their actions."


*

White House Press Release: September 26, 2001

"We're fighting them on a financial front. We're choking off their money. We're seizing their assets. We will be relentless as we pursue their sources of financing. And I want to thank the Secretary of Treasury for leading that effort."

*

White House Press Release: October 10, 2001

"Today, NATO nations are acting together in a broad campaign against terror.  Britain is side by side with us in Afghanistan.  The nations of NATO are sharing intelligence, coordinating law enforcement and cracking down on the financing of terrorist organizations.  Some NATO members will provide logistic support to military operations.  And others have offered to fight if we deem necessary.

*

White House Press Release: September 10, 2004 (Fact of the Day)

"The targeting of terrorist financing continues to play an important role in the war on terror. Freezing assets, terminating cash flows, and following money trails to previously unknown terrorist cells are some of the many weapons used against terrorist networks. The United States has designated 387 individuals and entities as terrorists or terrorist financiers. The global community has frozen more than $142 million in terrorist-related assets. These steps make it harder for terrorists to build networks, recruit and train new members, and carry out attacks."


*

*

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Denise
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46 posted 06-29-2006 10:03 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

That's the problem, Noah, the specifics were revealed.

And is this old news not worthy of creating a controversy by its being printed or a scoop by the NYT that had to be printed in the public interest? It can't be both.
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47 posted 06-29-2006 02:26 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I understand that, Denise, and I do continue to question the judgment of those New York Times writers here (I just believe it's way too premature to push retributive legislation and accuse them of treason)

I also strongly believe that, the bottom line here, is that this administration also does not like the fact that the light is being shone on the reality that they themselves are engaging in many legally questionable activities without any external oversight.

Let's face it; many of the closest supporters of whoever is in the White House have always had a biased grudge against the New York Times and other publications. Now I absolutely believe there should and MUST be limits to consider in the freedom of reporting, but the New York Times is also not the lap dog of the US government and should not need to censor themselves when reporting stories that any logical can figure out. Those who are most outraged here should also recognize and consider the true existence of the press and their obligation to society. And though I do believe it's important to question the publication in what "specifics" were revealed, it is also no secret whatsoever that the finance trails of terrorists were and are still being monitored. All in all, the Times is simply putting the facts together and stating the obvious.

I also recognize that there has been a pattern of behavior from this administration that is anatagonistic toward journalism in general on other issues, regarding the treatment of detainees, Iraq, warrantless wiretapping, etc. Somehow, journalists practicing real journalism is this administration's worst nightmare. Heck, it's any president's worst nightmare I think.

I think that is also why Tony Snow and others in the administration are reluctant about going after the New York Times prematurely; because they KNOW then they'd have to go after some of those appointed to the Bush Administration. This new rushed, premature resolution that House Republicans have put together (H.R 895) is symbolic of the hypocrisy of this administration; a bill that is so-called a moral stand against leaking of classified information, yet one coming six years into an Administration that has always been willing to leak even the most sensitive information if political benefit can be scored from it to excuse the invasion of Iraq, treatment of detainees, etc.

Quite ironic it is thinking that when the Administration sought to silence critics of its pre-Iraq war intelligence claims, it chose to leak the classified identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, as well as previously classified components of a national security estimate, to, what you say? Ahhhhhh yesssss....the New York Times. (Ding ding ding, what do we have for Johnny?)

Funny to think that despite all that, these House Republicans didn't show equal volumes of outrage and protest that scandal. Where was all the protest when Valerie Plame, a CIA operative and a national security asset, as well as all of her contacts in the intelligence community, were put in danger? The fact is, there was minimal to none of that, perhaps because they actually deemed that act permissable.

So yes, in some ways I do believe this is an act of scapegoating; in placing the blame on a target such as them for their own inability to keep a secret, passing the hot potato of their own incompetence entirely to them.

I think most Americans here are going to question the judgment of the New York Times, and also that they don't want their tax payer dollars to be wasted on another politically-motivated investigation, tax payer dollars they believe should be spent on many of our underfunded domestic programs and such.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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48 posted 07-01-2006 03:32 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Today, I came across a blast from the past that I believe is absolutely worth reading again:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=403&invol=713  

Former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, in one of his major cases in 1971 before his passing later that year, reviewed the New York Times v. United States case, regarding the "Pentagon Papers" where the Nixon Administration attempted to prevent the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing materials belonging to a classified Defense Department study collected by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg regarding the history of United States activities in Vietnam. The President argued that prior restraint was necessary to protect national security, but it was decided that the Nixon Administration's efforts to prevent the publication of the information violated the First Amendment.

It was argued in that case that the word "security" is vague and should not be used "to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment." Moreover, it was reasoned that since publication would not cause an inevitable, direct, and immediate event imperiling the safety of American forces, prior restraint was unjustified.

Hugo Black also was quoted for saying this in the case:

*

"In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."

*

Unfortunately, as symbolized in the vote over legislation H.R 895 condemning the New York Times, many have decided to side with the ghosts of the Nixons and McCarthys of our times. Some talk show hosts like San Francisco's Melanie Morgan even want those New York Times editors to be sent to the gas chamber, while personalities like Fox News Radio's Brian Kilmeade want our government to put together an office of Censorship to screen the news again as the two links below reveal:

*
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/06/29/MNGICJM9B21.DTL
http://mediamatters.org/items/200606290009

*

And THAT'S precisely why the administration is going to lose this case; both because this is NOT new news, and secondly, especially with the July 4th holiday approaching, we should ALL remember that the nation was founded partly on the ideals we hold dear regarding freedom of press and speech. For instance, we are all now aware of that catastrophic Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, a story the Times knew very well about but kept it secret, and now we know where that secrecy got us, where even President John Kennedy later said he wished it had been disclosed, because it might have prevented that very fiasco.

This is nothing but a politically-motivated attempt by Bush to rally his NYT-antagonizing base for the 2006 elections (funny how he's not equally as outraged about The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal reporting it too) and I believe it's going to backfire. Certainly no one is above the law, including ANYONE in the press, and I believe some sort of investigation is necessary. But I believe no president is above the law either, and this is also a diversionary effort by the administration, a "blame nothing but the media" tactic to shield them from their own incompetence, an administration already among the most secret in our nation's history if not THE most, zealously keeping information away from the courts and Congress, which are the government branches that have oversight under the constitution for the executive powers that be.

Thomas Jefferson said, "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Not everyone should agree with Black's opinion certainly, but I believe we should also respect the words of our Founding Fathers, and though I still strongly believe revealing information that truly can threaten lives is wrong and there must be discipline and restraint among our press in that manner, I don't buy the argument that this disclosure is one that does just that, given our own government has already revealed details of this finance tracking program for years now as well and there's no tangible evidence it has endangered our country more.

*

(giggles) That's enough contemplating and arguing for the time being. Time for me to head off to Tom McCall Waterfront Park for the Waterfront Blues Festival, yay!

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
 
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