Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obama: The Great Divider

Politicians always tend to promote their own ideals & try to diminish the opposition. But i don't remember a president being as divisive to the country as Obama has been. In just the last few months, he's promoted:

1. War on women. He takes a public debate about publicly funded contraception, & uses it to divide us. He distorts the opposition's views, to try to frighten people to vote for him.

2. Immigration. Instead of looking for a bipartisan way to solve the problems, he politicizes it, just to appeal to hispanic voters, who he thinks will vote as a bloc for him if he makes a good show. Of course, he tramples on the constitution in the process, taking an action even he admitted was illegal for him to do. But solving the problem & working for solutions do not seem to be his priority, only dividing to try & win an election. His job is to enforce the law, not rule by edict for political posturing.

3. Gay marriage. His ideas 'evolved' in this, which is fine. But to condemn others with an alternate view seems a bit hypocritical. If he was a uniter, he would help 'evolve' their views as well, or work on a solution agreeable to all parties. Again, it seems like it was 'gay week' for him & this was just a political pandering ploy.

4. The evil rich. He knows that even if we took all the income from the 1%, it would not make a dent in the budget or the deficit. But this does not stop him from fanning the flames of economic division.. or class warfare. He has been harping on this the most.. trying to appeal to the ows crowd & to breed a sense of victimhood.. we are being oppressed by rich people. Again, no attempt at fixing loopholes in the tax code, which his team created for many of his contributors, but demonizing for political purposes. His political cronies want the current tax code with all the loopholes that favor them. He can make a show of righteous indignation, without actually doing anything to fix things. It's just a slick politician pandering for votes.

When Obama ran in '08, he claimed he would reach accross the aisle, promote healing & work in a bipartisan fashion. But he has been the most partisan president i can remember. He divides urban & rural americans with his 'cling to guns & god' comments. He panders to whatever group he speaks with, trying to make them think he's on their side.. he called for the hispanics to 'attack their enemies', & 'if they bring a knife, we'll bring a gun'.

There are always ideological differences, but we work together & try to arrive at a consensus.. a compromise that all can live with, even if no one 'wins'. But Obama only wants to win. He does not compromise. He had the house & senate for the first 2 yrs of his rule, & got his stimulus & healthcare jammed through, even though no one got to read it, & it was not opened up to public debate. Why did he not work on the dream act then? Why no gay marriage provision when he had the votes?

This culture of division has been building for many years. People look for inflammatory things in the news to promote that division. Someone a few months back posted a bogus restaurant check where some banker allegedly stiffed a waitress & posted an insulting comment. It was fabricated, but was all over the net, attempting to divide the wealthy from the oppressed proletariat. The martin/zimmerman tragedy is another.. many people were intent on politicizing it & distorted the facts early on to promote racial dissension. The Giffords assassination attempt is another.. taking a tragic event & distorting the facts to promote a political agenda & smear opponents. There are constant reminders of ideological division in social media, the news, & comedians. Our society is becoming more & more polarized.. instead of looking for the best solutions for any problem that arises, the source of the solution is considered first. If someone on one side suggests something, the other will immediately dismiss it as 'partisan'.

I don't see Obama as the cause of all this, but he is a symptom. He has certainly not tried to heal or unite, but divide & conquer even more. We do not need 4 more years of this kind of division & partisan gamesmanship.  We need real solutions, not politicians campaigning for office.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Class warfare

I think the class warfare ruse is that.. a ruse. It has no basis in fact. The poor do not pay any fed. income taxes, & get back more than they had withheld, in most cases. I heard a dem politician ranting about some company in wisconsin that he alleged paid no taxes. But when looked into, the company paid over $1m in taxes in WI, & millions more in other states, plus federal taxes. We have a high corporate tax.. some think it causes companies to leave the country.  But politicians like to lie & distort things to get themselves elected.

50% of americans pay no federal income tax. they either have a zero balance, or get money back in credits. That leaves the taxable middle class & the rich who pay ALL the federal taxes. Is this fair? The 'rich don't pay their fair share' is a bogus claim to incite class warfare & is done for political purposes.. to get people to fear the evil rich & vote democratic. But it is not based on truth or any reality, just fear mongering.

The whole rich vs poor tax debate is a political ruse to excite voters & rile up the base. It is a distortion & a deception of people for political purposes.

Now, if we're debating why GE got some juicy tax breaks, & just happened to be a big contributor to obama, then you're talking about tax reform & closing loopholes.. and maybe some corruption. Or if you want to mention GM & their big tax subsidy so the unions could get their money, i will agree about the injustices in the tax codes toward corporations like this.

I'd probably agree with the injustice of the special treatment for BofA, chase, wells fargo, etc.. why should they get cheap loans from the taxpayers to buy up their competition during a financial bubble?

Or if you want to talk about the corruption in govt where grants are given to shady companies & lose billions of taxpayer dollars to cronies & major contributors of the winners of big elections, i'd be for that, too.

But the lame, general accusation that 'the rich aren't paying their fare share!' is bogus. It's a leftist bumper sticker slogan, or a sign for the occupy wall street protesters.

Our real problem is corruption in govt, & corrupt politicians. They are bankrupting the nation, wasting our tax dollars, & ruining the currency. They should be the target of our wrath, not some vague 'evil corporations'. Those are merely distractions from the real issues.

Incivility & public discourse

Throughout history, we humans have always been divided. We kill each other over food, turf, idealogy & just for fun. Even within nations united by a common heritage, race & creed, we find things to squabble over. That is just The Way We Are.

Occasionally, someone will try to appeal to a moral high ground.. an appeal that says we humans should be respectful of each other, & treat each other like we would like to be treated. That lofty ideal catches on from time to time, & often religious views form around it. Almost every religion in human history has had this concept in it's basic teachings. Some cultures are built around it & it extends beyond religious teaching & becomes 'etiquette', or 'manners'.

I think this concept is esteemed in the american culture. It is not always practiced, but it is admired. During 'bleeding Kansas' times right before the civil war, there were often heated discussions, at times including violence..

From wikipedia:
In October 1855, John Brown came to Kansas Territory to fight slavery. On November 21, 1855 the (relatively bloodless) "Wakarusa War" began when a Free-Stater named Charles Dow was shot by a pro-slavery settler. The only fatal casualty occurring during the siege was one Free-State man named Thomas Barber. He was shot and killed on December 6, 1855 where the main body of the invaders were encamped, some 6 miles (10 km) from Lawrence. A few months later, on May 21, 1856, a group of Border Ruffians entered the Free-State stronghold of Lawrence, where they burned the Free State Hotel, destroyed two newspaper offices and their printing presses, and ransacked homes and stores.
The following day, on the afternoon of May 22, 1856, Preston Smith Brooks (a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina) physically attacked Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in the Senate chambers, hitting him on the head with his thick cane. Sumner was blinded by his own blood, and staggered away until he collapsed, lapsing into unconsciousness. Brooks continued to beat Sumner until he broke his cane. Several other senators attempted to help Sumner, but were blocked by Rep. Laurence Keitt, who was holding a pistol and shouting "Let them be!" This was in retaliation for insulting language Sumner used against Brooks's relative in a speech Sumner made that denounced Southerners for proslavery violence in Kansas. Sumner was beaten severely and did not return to his Senate desk for three years as a result of his injuries to the head and neck area; he became regarded as an antislavery martyr.

These acts in turn inspired John Brown to lead a group of men in Kansas Territory on an attack at a proslavery settlement at Pottawatomie Creek. During the night of May 24, the group, which included four of Brown's sons, led five pro-slavery men from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Brown's men let Jerome Glanville and James Harris return home to the cabin of Harris.

Even chivalrous southern gentlemen got riled up & become unchivalrous. During the times of the founders, politicians & leading men of the era would offend each other & meet at dawn to duel. People would shoot & kill each other for things they felt demeaned their honor. But perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the western.. where men of the 19th century would meet in the street & draw guns over any impugning of honor or integrity. Anyone who called John Wayne a liar was sure to get shot, or at least a severe beating. Now a lot of this is just cultural myth. It makes good movies, but the reality was different. The point is that in our culture, it is esteemed.. civility is idolized, even if it is not practiced. A 'good guy' wears a white hat, opens doors for a lady, & socks you in the jaw if you call him a liar. A bad guy wears a black hat, kicks dogs, & IS a liar. ..and he always gets what's coming.

The anonymity of the internet has changed our sense of etiquette, somewhat. People are able to lie, slander, & exhibit poor manners without consequence. Rude, offensive behavior is even esteemed in some circles.. it becomes a contest to see who can be the most shocking & vile. I think reality shows also reflect this cultural change. Petty, shallow, self absorbed people are given audience, fight & squabble over unimportant things, & do not model anything that resembles manners. Bad manners are elevated, & good manners are seen as a sign of weakness.

This is just an analysis.. a philosophical musing about cultural changes. I'm not whining about anything, or expecting anything to change, or lamenting the good old days. Things are never as good as they were in the revised nostalgic past. But this lack of respect for others signifies a deeper outlook. When people can vilify or demean a group of people, it usually doesn't take long for other actions to be justified. Genocide, racism, & other group bigotry are not far off, once you put them in a subhuman category, and view them as inferior.

This cultural trend concerns me. Our 'politically correct' moral compass does not have enough strength to keep us pointed in the right direction regarding ethics & ettiquitte. It is easily manipulated, & our cultural changes are rendering it obsolete. All sides of the political spectrum mock & ridicule political correctness. Soon we won't even have that as a backup for manners.

Ideals are the basis for our actions. Wars are always justified by someone. Civility & intelligent discourse are not the norm in human history. But things like this seem to go in cycles.. moral values & manners seem to come & go. There are times when they are esteemed more, & other times where they are not. I'm not sure why. Perhaps the horrors of war temper our intemperance & make us long for peace & civility. But too much peace makes us cranky & mean, & we have to find an outlet, so we vent on each other. It is an intriguing concept & an interesting commentary on the human condition.

I do not have a right or wrong summary, but only philosophical ramblings. Good luck finding a point in this!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Currency bubble to pop next?

We all know what caused the real estate bubble.. we may not agree whose fault it was, but we generally agree that easy money, easy credit, & low interest caused prices to escalate. Cheap, easy money drove prices up, as the demand exceeded the supply.

Prices rose, because of easy money & demand, then when a few dominoes started to fall, it brought them all down. A rash of buyers began to default, which triggered foreclosures, which closed down the easy loans, which killed demand, & the rest is history. But it was the ARTIFICIAL supply of easy money that caused the boom leading up to the bust. If money had been tight, & harder to borrow, demand would have stayed at a more moderate level, & prices would not have spiked.

I also think this was & is the source of all the grotesque profits.. it was mostly borrowed money. This money did not come from production or the real GDP of the nation, but was printed & loaned out cheap by the fed. All the money handlers skimmed some off, & dribbled the rest down. The financial sector lost a lot of money in the housing crash, & got bailed out, or reorganized, but they continue to make the big bucks. Why is that? I think it is because the same principles are at work. The easy money now is to the financial sector.. not the housing sector. They get the cheap loans, borrow a lot, skim a lot, & dribble some down to the rest of us. But this is another bubble in the making. It is a currency bubble, made by the fed, by artificially supplying money that has no backing in gdp numbers. The financial sector is in effect, 'house flipping' but they are using market segments, mostly financial markets. They swap money around, all taking a bite as the sandwich is handed around, & borrow more as the supply is depleted. It is propping up the stock market, & china is helping by buying up a lot of tbills. But just like the housing bubble, schemes like this will end. The dollar will have to make an adjustment, & we'll probably see a correction halfway through romney's first term. ok... just kidding .. won't really matter who is in there, it is bigger than a prez. This is somewhat simplistic, but sometimes the truth works that way. The most obvious explanation is often the right one.

If you look at a money supply chart you can see the current trend.. it looks like a spike getting ready to crash. The economy has not grown enough to justify the increase of the money supply.

Historians and economists are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government. ~Reuven Brenner

The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. ~John Kenneth Galbraith

Campaign finance reform: we the people or we the money?

Politics is always in a state of flux & evolution. It is clear we are in a time of sharp division in the us. The dems & pubs are sharply polarized.. mostly in the area of size of govt & spending. There are individuals, groups, unions, corporations, pacs, & any other entity you can name for either side, & money flows for both. Some money is given for ideological reasons.. the donor believes their party or ideology is best for the nation & the future. Other money is given for favors. The donor expects a return on their investment.. an appointment.. a tax break.. a grant or loan.. a vote for a favorable bill.. some kind of payback is expected for supporting the candidate. And the candidate knew this when accepting the donation, that payback would be required. It was not written out in a contract.. that would be overt corruption.. but verbal promises were given, & it is still corruption.

I don't think most people mind political donations based on ideology.. that is how it should be.. each issue can be debated on its merits, & people can make up their own minds. Distortions & sneaky propaganda tactics will still be used, but we trust the electorate to see through the deceptions & arrive at a reasonable balance of truth.

But when donations are made for political favors, there is no ideology. People donate for a financial return. Money is given not for stands on issues, but to corrupt the system for financial gain. This is bad for our political process, as there are hidden agendas.  Arguments are not made to persuade people on issues or ideology, but to fleece the taxpayers. THAT is the problem in our election process, & always has been in democracies. Money follows the power, & power the money.. we need to have some system of checks & balances, and some way to limit conflicts of interest.. or at least expose it.

This should be something we agree on.. open, fair discourse where the ideals can be discussed, and then the voters decide. But it seems to me that fairness in campaign finances is not the goal of the politicians. They live by corruption & favors.. at least a lot of the high level ones seem to. And we've gotten so used to it, we think it is a normal thing, & that the culture cannot be changed. But we can change it. Our focus should not be on the amount of money given, but by whom & for what reason. The more corruption we can ferret out, the better the democratic process. The more we can let ideals be the motivation for our political process, the better.  When it is money, we all lose.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Money can't buy me love, but maybe an election!

Since the Wisconsin recall election, we've been hearing a lot about how money 'buys' elections, but it's been an ongoing debate. This is also the topic in the 'corporations are people' supreme court ruling in citizen's united. If there is anything we all agree with, it is that we need more election campaign finance reform.. tighter rules regarding donations.. some kind of accountability with PACs, or the balancing of special interests vs the people as a whole.

1. Is 'campaign finance reform' just smoke & mirrors for keeping election finances obscure? Is it each side jockeying for position so their side has the advantage? Can there be true transparency with politicians & those who back them?

2. Will the american people buy distortions in slick media campaigns, or do they see through the bias & investigate things on their own? Do the bigger spenders always win the elections, or at least most of the time?

3. Is whining about election finances something the loser does, while the victor extols the virtues of the system?

4. Should special interest groups have the right to pool their resources & contribute larger amounts for influence? How are the interests of others provided for?

5. If campaign contributions are limited, will we only get rich guys with lots of their own money to spend running for public office? Should there be equity in campaign expenditures? ..limits on how much anyone can spend?

6. What rules should PACs have to follow? They can spend against a candidate, what is the difference in spending for them?

7. How can campaign finance rules be crafted so that special interests are not given preference, and honesty & transparency is rewarded? ..And limiting obligations to the big donors?

8. Should campaign donors be allowed to accept political appointments? Is this not like a vegas bet? If your guy wins, you get anything you contributed back in favors.. grants, appointments, loans, etc. It is a long standing practice, but it is corruption by any definition.

It seems to me our campaign finance rules are too vague, have too many loopholes, invite corruption, & favor the high bidder. Groups tweak the rules for public image & to mask shady dealings.. buyoffs, gifts to mistresses, etc. 'Conflict of interest' is the big concept in campaign finances. We need to tighten up those definitions, & recognize those conflicts anywhere they occur.

The power follows the money, & the money follows the power. But we need to have checks & balances in it so we the people are not the losers, while the politicians & their backers hit the jackpot. Public service should be motivated by 'service' and should not be a get rich quick scheme. We need to remove the 'big money' lure of public service so honest, sincere public servants will run for office more than shysters & con men.

Here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Limit contributions from any single entity.. either a pac, union, corporation, or bundler.  Say no more than $10k can come from any single contributor.  This would limit any obligation the candidate has to the donor.

2.  Tighten up 'conflict of interest' laws.  Candidates with holdings in an industry should not be making policy decisions regarding that industry.  Justice should be blind, & so should regulations.. they should not pick winners & losers in industry.

3.  Limit the media spending from Political Action Committees  (PACs).  Require a balanced view from the opposition, like is done for major addresses, like the state of the union.

4.  Become a smarter electorate.  It is our nation, & we need to take more of an interest in what is going on.  We get caught up in our lives, yet people in politics make decisions that will affect us & our families futures.  We need to be more skeptical of politicians' claims, & spend some time researching the issues.

Monday, June 4, 2012

In defense of Allen West..

Alright, I'll come flying in with my superhero cape & be the defender of poor allen west.
I'll post your blogger's critiques, & analyze them for you.

Rep. Allen West’s 15 Most Outrageous Statements
By Guest Blogger on Feb 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm
In two short years in the U.S. House of Representatives, congressman Allen West has earned a reputation for making the most irresponsible statements which are clearly intended to attract media attention, spark debate, and fire up his most fervent right-wing supporters. West may be running in a new (more conservative) district this fall, but he’ll still be running on his old record of divisiveness and discord. To refresh everyone’s collective memory about who Allen West is, ThinkProgress has compiled a list of his most outrageous quotes (and it’s anything but pretty):
(1) “YOU ARE NOT A LADY”: In July 2011, West responded to a perceived slight from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (R-FL) with a fiery letter in which he threatened her and scolded, “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” West later said he had apologized, but Wasserman-Schultz said she had not received one.

Here is what i found.. what was said..
shultz, on the house floor, after west had left:
"The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries -- unbelievable from a member from South Florida,"

west, in a personal email response, after hearing her remarks:
"Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige.
"You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!"

I could not find the exact quotes that included the 'not a lady, no respect from me' lines, but i'll concede that they are there.

So shultz criticized west after he left the house floor, he wrote a scathing email, then she released it to the public. They are neighboring congress members of florida districts. their history of fighting & squabbling goes way back. Singling out one part, & ascribing all the blame to west is a pretty lame criticism. So i'm going to put this in the 'made up partisan criticism' category. Why no outrage for shultz for publishing a private email? Seems like i remember someone here getting bent out of shape over a published private message.

(2) JOSEPH GOEBBELS WOULD “BE VERY PROUD” OF DEMOCRATS: In December, West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” The link to Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, drew criticism from several members of Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and others.

I haven't heard this, but what's the deal? You never heard bush get called names, or call any other pubs the same or worse? I get called worse than this on the forums, all the time. If anything, what he says is true. The dems DO have a powerful propaganda machine. This is another lame, hypocritical criticism.

(3) LIBERALS “GET THE HELL OUT”: Speaking at the Palm Beach County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner in last month, West said of liberals, “Take your message of equality of achievement. … You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.” West later tried to walk back the statement, claiming he was only referring to “the message” and not liberals themselves.

Sounds like he was exactly saying their 'message'. So an obvious attempt to spin his words becomes one of your criticisms? That is obvious in the quote.. i didn't even look it up for context.

edit: here is the speech excerpt:
This is a battlefield that we must stand upon. And we need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and my dear friend the Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, we need to let them know that Florida ain’t on the table. Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else! You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America!

(4) “A THREAT TO THE GENE POOL”: In a July 2011 post on the website Red Country, West wrote, “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

Oh, that was so mean.. he's so hateful & scary.. really?.. this is offensive? I've heard much worse from dems about west, bush, palin, or anyone.. i've heard worse personally here. another bogus, hypocritical claim.

(5) “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU”: Before running for Congress, West had a 22-year career in the military, but left after he abused an Iraqi detainee: “This is it. I’m going to count to five again, and if you don’t give me what I want, I’m going to kill you.” He then fired a shot “a foot” over the detainee’s head.

So he scared a terrorist that he was interrogating? To the left this is an indication of 'crackpot'? I thought the idea was to scare the terrorists so you could get information.. waterboarding, etc.. How is this a criticism?

(6) “NUTS!”: West has often clashed with opponents over the issue of Islam. In August 2011, a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked West to sever ties with anti-Muslim activists. In response, West sent a letter which read only, “I am writing to you with regard [sic] your recent letter: NUTS!” Why West chose this response is a mystery, although he might have been quoting a World War II general who responded that way when the Nazis told him to surrender.

Obviously he was.. he is a military man, & has knowledge of military history & was quoting the famous line for effect. How does this make him a crackpot? So far, i haven't seen one of these criticisms to have any validity in attributing an extreme viewpoint or showing an unstable personality. It is all partisan bashing & spin.

(7) “WE ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE OUR MEN BECOME SUBSERVIENT”: In April 2011, West told a conservative women’s conference that liberal women “have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow.”

So you think that men should be subservient to women? I've stopped looking up the exact quotes, since the charges are so lame & transparent. There is nothing to get excited about here.. this is made up hysteria.

(8) “BLINDLY FOLLOWING A COMMANDER IN CHIEF”: Talking with radio host Mark Levin last month, West said Generals “have to be very careful about blindly following a commander in chief that really does not have the best intent for our military.” What West did not mention was that officers are constitutionally bound to follow the President’s orders unless they are illegal.

"And you know I've had a lot of people ask me about that because the responsibility of our senior generals has to be to the men and women in uniform," West said. "They have to be very careful about blindly following a commander in chief that really does not have the best intent for our military."

I'll admit that this doesn't sound very good on the surface. It is true that the military's oath is to 'protect & defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign & domestic', which does not entail blindly following a commander.. there have been many instances in military history where men did not follow their superiors, & were vindicated, as it was shown the commands were contrary to the higher duty of the soldier. For example, if a superior officer told you to shoot civilians, you wouldn't just obey.  Now if some commander said this same thing regarding bush, i'm sure you wouldn't care at all.  But i would have to hear more of his views of military chain of command, & have him clarify his meaning before i could condemn him for this statement. Without more information, it is hard to understand the context. But, if he means it as a statement of sedition, & is advocating insubordination, i will agree with the criticism. But this is highly unlikely for a career military man. It is more likely, especially lumped with all the other 'criticisms' here, that it is a trumped up distortion of his views.

(9) I AM “THE MODERN-DAY HARRIET TUBMAN”: Speaking with O’Reilly Factor guest host Laura Ingraham in August 2011, West said the Democratic party is a “21st-century plantation.” He added, “So I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”

(Yawn).. that's it? This is some kind of an indicator of a dangerous extremist crackpot?

(10) “LET THEM GET SHOT AT”: In May 2011, the House narrowly defeated a proposal which would have required President Obama to submit a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Of those who voted for the bill, West said, “I would take these gentlemen over and let them get shot at a few times and maybe they’d have a different opinion.” This was just months after the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The giffords connection is irrelevant. 'Just months after the shooting?' What a lame attempt at a correlation! He was talking about war. I've heard variations of this phrase many times, from many politicians. Liberals have said things like this. I would take it further, & have heard it said by others.. let the politicians go to war, first. Let them be at the front lines of danger, & see how that changes their decision making.

(11) “WE ALSO SHOULD BE CENSORING THE AMERICAN NEWS AGENCIES”: In response to the whistleblower website Wikileaks releasing thousands of pages of diplomatic cables, West declared: “And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled [Julian Assange] to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts.” West later claimed he only called for “censuring” the media. Either way, it would be a First Amendment violation.

This was directly addressing wikileaks. If we are in a crisis of war.. like ww2, there IS censoring. War correspondents do not have total freedom to report anything they want. If they report things that are aiding & abetting the enemy, it is no longer a free press issue, but a treasonous one based on national security.

(12) “I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS A KIDNAPPING ATTEMPT”: When West first ran for Congress in 2008, the Arab news network Al Jazeera asked for an interview. West recalled, “But my b.s. flag really went up when [Al Jazeera] said they wanted my address, to pick me up at night. They said they would send a car but wouldn’t tell me where it was going. I don’t know if it was a kidnapping attempt. But I am not going to entrust Al Jazeera with my life. I said, ‘Cancel the interview!’”

You're kidding, right? I don't know much about west, but this seems to be a joke from him, & even if he is saying he's afraid of a terrorist supported news agency, what's wrong with that? He might also say the same thing if the KKK said they would be coming by.. at night.. to 'give him a ride'. I would certainly have misgivings if some of the posters here wanted to come by late at night for a vist or to take me for a ride.

(13) RELIGIOUS COEXISTENCE “WOULD GIVE AWAY OUR COUNTRY”: During a March 2011 town hall, West talked about the “Coexist” movement, saying of their bumper stickers: “Every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are.”

So, he is evil because he doesn't like leftists? It seems leftists don't like him, either, so this is the pot calling the kettle black. this is just another partisan shot. It does not indicated any psycho tendencies.. except to the extreme left, who calls everyone on the right a psycho. You added the spin & hysteria by including 'religious'. He was talking about the drivers of the cars & their bumper stickers, not religious liberties. I have heard him give clear support to the 1st amendment..

(14) “GEORGE BUSH GOT SNOOKERED”: During the same town hall, West claimed: “George Bush got snookered into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace.”

I haven't heard this before.. so you don't like anyone criticizing bush? Or is it islam? Are both of those subjects off limits to leftist criticism? Or is it just offensive because you can't stand the idea of bush getting 'snookered'? It has nothing to do with Snookie, so he's not smearing one of the left's role models.

(15) DEMOCRATS SUPPORT “MOST INSIDIOUS FORM OF SLAVERY”: Just yesterday, West accused Democrats of supporting the worst form of slavery known today. “The Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today,” West said.

I heard this one, not long ago..  i saw the video of the speech.

"We reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock" ~Allen West

"..Minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us. Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom." ~Allen West

Sounds pretty good & accurate to me.. how is this the ravings of a madman?

“I’m very concerned about this very divisive rhetoric,” West said of President Obama in December, apparently unaware of the glaring irony. 
– Zachary Bernstein

Zach, this is the only one where i'll agree with you, & you didn't even number it. His partisan divisiveness is not much difference than obama's. Of course, a congressman in a district isn't usually scrutinized that much, nationally, while a president should be. So if anything, you making an issue of it is more of a backhanded slam of obama.

I've done this before (reply to long lists), with usually the same result. No effort is given to rebut, but once the light of truth is shown, the distorters run & hide like cockroaches in a welfare queen's kitchen. This big list of 'scary proofs' is nothing but distortions & partisan smears, with no basis in reality. They are either common political discourse, or blatant misrepresentations.

If anything, i would not think the left would be that keen on giving air time to west. He's a pretty straight shooting guy.. the kind that the american people like.. We are tired of the mealy mouthed politicians.. who change messages depending on the audience. Someone who speaks their mind, like christie & west, are refreshing changes from the run of the mill politicians that infest the country. But i do appreciate the challenge to look up more about him.. the more i read & hear, the more i like him. I've added him to my twitter feed & facebook. He's got some good ideas, is not afraid to speak his mind, & doesn't hide behind innuendo & double speak. He might very well make a good vp for romney, who is more like the other pols. He's a tp fave, & is getting quite a following. If this is the best vetting the left can do with him he should be good. O has more skeletons in his closet than west. If there isn't something more damning forthcoming, his name will definitely be on the short list for vp. Thanks for having me research him more.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

@OccupyWallSt It's Day 4 of the Ongoing Siege of #LA's Central City Association

Come tomorrow for day 5! Get those evil central city association people... just like the better business bureau, or angie's list. Those evil capitalists have to pay!! Down with the bourgeois capitalist pigs! Oh, and vote democratic!