Sunday, May 31, 2009


"We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

2. We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

3. We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign." -- Doctrine and Covenants 134:1-3

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Call Me When It's Safe To Come Home.

Being that my kids' last day of school for the year was yesterday, I thought this email that was forwarded to me was very appropriate and that many of you would be able to somewhat relate...

Why Parents Drink

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up.

Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Dad.'

With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you.

I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.

I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.

But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion...Dad she's pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy.

She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone.
We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself.

Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Your Son John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house.

I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the Report card that's in my center desk drawer.

I love you.

Call me when it's safe to come home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Global Warming Heating Up In Debate.

Utah's Next Governor Doesn't Buy Human-Caused Global Warming
By Timothy B. Hurst

Just two weeks after President Barack Obama's choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, was replaced by new Kansas governor, Mark Parkinson - who quickly ended a nearly two-year standoff by granting an air permit for a new coal-fired power plant in the southwestern part of the state - another one of the President's high-profile political appointees will be replaced as governor by a politician less concerned about the environment.

Now that President Obama has tapped Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, a Republican, as the next U.S. Ambassador to China, attention has turned to his likely replacement, Utah Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert, and the direction the new governor plans on taking the state. While observers don't expect any sudden policy reversals, Herbert's position on the human-causes of global warming stands in striking opposition to his predecessor's.

The pair, described by some as a political odd-couple, stand strongly opposed on a variety issues across the political landscape. Herbert said in a news conference Monday that he and Huntsman have always agreed on "core issues."

"We understand the importance of clean air and clean water and being good stewards of the Earth," said Herbert, who has said in the past he does not believe in man-made climate change.

While Huntsman had entered Utah into the seven-state Western Climate Initiative in an effort to set the stage for a market-based control on greenhouse gas emissions, Herbert is less concerned with the issue, noting that a carbon cap would raise energy prices and drive jobs overseas.

"I have no plans to pull us out" of the bipartisan cap-and-trade program being developed by Western states, Herbert said, despite calls for such a move by some conservative Republican legislators.

At least he doesn't plan on pulling out right away.

Click here for the remainder of the story.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

North Korea Threatens War.

Army Chief: U.S. Can Fight North Korea If Necessary

North Korea has threatened war after condemnation of its underground nuclear test this week, and the United States has a long-term commitment to South Korea's defense.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WASHINGTON -- The United States could fight an old-fashioned war against North Korea if necessary, even while newer forms of conflict against terrorists and extremists continue, the Army's top officer said Thursday.

Asked whether the United States would be prepared to fight if war broke out between South Korea and North Korea, Gen. George Casey replied, "The short answer is yes," then added that "it would probably take us a little bit longer to shift gears" away from the type of counterinsurgency fighting that now occupies the Army.

Casey said his usual rubric for how long it would take the Army to gear up for a new "conventional" war is about 90 days. That doesn't mean it would take 90 days for the U.S. to effectively fight the North's million-man army, he said.

"We'd move forces as rapidly as we could get them prepared," Casey said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

North Korea has threatened war following condemnation of its underground nuclear test this week, and the United States has a long-term commitment to South Korea's defense.

"This is a combat-seasoned force" that can pivot quickly, Casey said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking to reporters as he traveled to the Far East for a conference with defense ministers, said North Korea's actions have not reached a crisis level that would warrant additional U.S. troops in the region.

"What we do have, though, are two new developments that are very provocative, that are aggressive, accompanied by very aggressive rhetoric," Gates said. "And I think it brings home the reality of the challenge that North Korea poses to the region and to the international community."

Casey, the Army's chief of staff, suggested that war with the nuclear-armed North might not be the old-style land war that U.S. forces stationed in South Korea were envisioned to fight. He did not elaborate, but he was presumably referring to the possibility that the North might use or threaten to use its proven nuclear capability.

Casey focused on his plans to rearrange the Army around the "reality scenario" of sustained counterterrorism conflict. The reality of permanent war means the United States should have 10 Army brigades and Marine Corps regiments available for overseas conflict worldwide, he said.

"It's not just Iraq and Afghanistan," Casey said. Including Iraq in his contingency planning is not to say that the United States won't honor its agreement with Iraq to pull forces from the country by 2012, he said.

"We will execute the draw down plan that has been executed between our governments," he said.

"I don't know that anyone knows what the security relationship and force level will be, if there are any, in Iraq," after the scheduled withdrawal of combat forces," he added. "That's very much to be determined."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bye Bye Truce!

North Korea says it will no longer agree to the truce of 1953. Defiant leaders are threatening a strike on its neighbor, South Korea. This includes a strike on the U.S. Forces stationed in South Korea.

“Those who have provoked the North will face unimaginable, merciless punishment.”

Are the nuclear and missile tests leading up to a substantial military strike? Here is a summary of the shear numbers they possess in military troops.

North Korean Military
950,000 Active
600,000 Reserves
1,550,000 Total

“It threatens to return us to a state of war on the Korean peninsula by declaring null and void the truce that ended the 1953 Korean War.” – James Rosen, Fox News.

Do you really think sanctions are going to do anything to this rogue country that has been preparing its military might, almost from the beginning of time? Time to up the PSI effort! The United States Military doesn’t need to be stretched any more thinly!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cyber Czar to Religion Czar.

News we all know is coming has broken regarding the formation of a new "cyber czar" position in the federal government. This person will have the task of control over the Internet in this country, this great, free, United States of America.

In other words, there goes the freedom of expression, the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and multiple other Constitutional and Amended rights and freedoms that we all, up to this point, have taken for granted.

Sure, it has been shown that those utilizing the Internet for terrorism sleeper cell development, or recipes for bombs have already found their endeavors rightly policed. However, there are "individuals" like Perez Hilton who have used techniques similar to those in the terror and murder business to terrorized or emotionally rape his victims through the use of mainstream or alternate media outlets.

So, when it comes to the policing of cyber space, do you think that the same thought process will be given to someone whose online science experiment could actually blow up a building as someone whose online human slandering and mental insanity could actually ruin a person's family stability or cause a person harm? Probably not. This, because our nation must be "diverse" and "tolerant" of idiots who will eventually cause, at least, California, to fall into the Pacific.

"The WP reports that Obama is likely to announce later this week that he will create a new "cyber czar," a senior official who will be in charge of figuring out ways to protect government and private computer networks. The official will have a broad mandate to deal with a range of issues and will probably be a member of the National Security Council while reporting both to the national security adviser and to the president's senior economic adviser. But the ultimate goal is that this new czar would be able to "pick up the phone and contact the president directly, if need be," an administration official said." --

Most likely, this "czar" will wind up adding a few people to the federal payroll, expanding the government's hand into all of the rest of our freedoms including our imagination. Please, can the Second Coming please come?!?...Now!?!?!?...Before we have a "religion czar"?!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

2012. Myth, Conspiracy, or Warning?

Remember how I mentioned in previous posts that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012? Well, it seems that there is more than adequate information that would lead to the belief that the end of the world (at least as far as we currently know it) is eminent in 2012. As far as I can prescribe, the Second Coming should be just around the corner.

As dramatic as all of this sounds, there are some things that are for sure in this equation.

First, as you may already be aware, the Mayan Calendar supposedly ends on December 21, 2012. Although, this can be debated by some who are scientists involved in the Mayan calendar research. Those who debate this seemingly "end of days" "doomsday" scenario believe that the Mayan calendar actually only goes until October 28, 2011, at least one full year before the 2012 predicted "end of days".

"The October 28, 2011 end date can however be rationally understood. It has also been verified by several predictions, most recently my own that an economic collapse would set in and when it would do so: Regardless of what forms such a [financial] collapse may take it seems that the best bet is for it to occur close to the time that the Fifth NIGHT begins, in November 2007 [strictly speaking the 19th] (The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, page 233). In accordance with this prediction economists now agree that it began in December of 2007, see Figure 1)...

It affects not only science, but also how we understand religious prophecies, which often include references to the Tree of Life. Hence, for instance the Book of Revelation refers to this and it seems to be returning to our awareness in the nick of time...

The understanding of Mayan time as quantized also provides a meaningful way of looking at the so-called end date where it is not even potentially a preset end of the world. (This is why no one embracing the October 28, 2011 date has fallen to claim that it is a preset end of the world). The end date simply reflects the point in time when the Cosmic Tree of Life attains its highest quantum state...

What the end date does mean however is that on October 28, 2011 the shifts between energies will come to an end and it is thus no wonder that many intuitively sense that the year that follow upon this, 2012, is very special. The processes that have been driving cosmic evolution until now will no longer be operating and after some time for things to settle the human beings will be left to create evolution themselves...

on November 8, 2009 we may however expect that the meltdown intensifies and the US dollar collapses and with it the established monetary system in the world. Many things may trigger such an event, but it is important to understand that whatever triggers it, and this may be some kind of political event, it is the energy of this night that will bring it about...

It has much in common with the difficult birth scenario for the “New Jerusalem” as this is presented in the Book of Revelation. As this book points out this is however not a world for everyone and it is a scenario that almost certainly will require spiritual strength and integrity to endure. I do not want to add any religious overtones to this discussion, but it seems clear that everyone who is aspiring to enter this new world must sincerely seek the truth and avoid simplistic explanations."
- Carl Johan Calleman

If you disregard the Mayan calendar, here is another piece of scientific evidence about the world experience of the "end-of-days" being sometime between 2011 and 2012. As you probably have already heard or read, there is supposedly supposed to be a huge solar flare around the Winter of 2012.

"The last solar cycle was at its maximum in 2001. Each active solar cycle has a period when the flares are strongest, usually happening near the solar equator, called the "solar maximum." This is significant because the next "solar maximum" event will coincide with December 21, 2012...

Solar flares are pieces of the sun which leap into space, discharging radiation and strong electrical currents that travel outward into space. They often fall back to the surface of the Sun. Sometimes, a very strong flare, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), actually leaves the Sun and this deadly mass shoots out from the Sun towards the planets like a bullet. Usually these CME's don't hit anything but occasionally they hit a planet like Earth. Some believe a powerful CME once hit Mars...

In 1989 a flare hit the North American continent and fried electric lines, zapped power grids in the US and Canada, and created large power blackouts. Flares can also effect our moods and physical health. In theory, a large flare impacting the Earth could zap the ionosphere (there goes all the satellites, cellphones, GPS...) and irradiate the surface, killing every living organism that it touched...

Our solar system is part of a huge disc shaped collection of stars and planets called the Milky Way. We're located somewhere on the edge of the disc, slightly on top of the narrow disc. But very soon we'll be moving to the bottom of the disc. This change, from top to bottom, begins on December 21, 2012...

By some amazing coincidence, not only will we be intersecting with the Galactic Equator, but we will be doing this precisely aligned with the center of the Galaxy where there is maximum mass! More mass means more gravity. More gravity means more influence from those barycenters in our Sun. That means exponential increases in solar disruptions -- all coinciding on the same day! Whew!...

Over the last decade, I have written a variety of stories about such things as underground cities and government actions that could only make sense if there were no future. I cannot help but think that maybe they, like the Mayans, know about these things. I'd specifically like to suggest that readers take another look at the underground complex at Yamantau that the Russians are building. Could this be a haven for surviving a solar blast? And the "doomsday seed bank" that's being filled deep inside an Arctic island. And what about past events? Did the Hopi go underground to survive a similar event thousands of years earlier? Should we be going underground also?"
- Viewzone

Third in line for the 2012 debate is the nuclear situation that is a growing challenge with North Korea.

"Pyongyang has announced it seeks to become a “powerful nation” by 2012, the 100th anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s birth. The goal may reflect achieving formal recognition as a nuclear weapons state...

North Korea ’s refusal to engage in dialogue with the US, South Korea, and Japan is another indicator Pyongyang is playing a new game...

Since the beginning of 2009, however, North Korea has engaged in a series of provocations against the US , South Korea , and Japan without allowing any time for diplomatic outreach. It is evident that Pyongyang is now intent on achieving strategic technological achievements rather than gaining tactical negotiating leverage. As such, North Korea is likely to continue additional missile and nuclear activity during 2009 impervious to naïve initiatives such as offering a senior-level presidential envoy for bilateral discussion."
- Heritage Foundation

"For the North Koreans 2012 is not about the London Olympics.
I asked the tour guide what does 2012 mean? She said "We have a goal that North Korea will become a strong and prosperous country in 2012, which will also be Kim Il Sung's 100 years anniversary".
- Flickr

"The Korean Ministry of Information and Communication announced yesterday that Korea’s National Assembly has passed a special act to convert the country to digital broadcasting by the end of 2012."
- Radio Netherlands Worldwide

" now appears that North Korea’s tallest building will be completed by 2012."
- North Korean Economy Watch

As a bonus piece of information (if you can call it a bonus), South Korea has plans to complete its missile defense system by 2012.

"South Korea plans to deploy a second Aegis destroyer and a third for operational use in 2010 and 2012, according to its navy.

Last year, South Korea began taking delivery of U.S.-made Patriot missiles to replace its aging Nike ground-to-air missiles and better cope with North Korean missile threats.

Seoul had announced a plan to purchase 48 Patriots by this year, setting 2010 as a target for them to be operational."
-- Defense News

So, as bleak of an outcome as this post protests, you may desire to prepare for the future and live in the moment as the impending date(s) emerge before us. What we have valued in the past, being material in nature, may clearly change in drastic manor in the not-so-distant future.

Friday, May 22, 2009

200% Civil Penalties

The following are two bills that need attention that are going through the process in Congress at this time. These will cost money to all who are already suffering in these trying times. Call your representatives!

Comprehensive Transform America Transaction Fee Act of 2009

H. R. 1703
To require a study and comprehensive analytical report on transforming America by reforming the Federal tax code through elimination of all Federal taxes on individuals and corporations and replacing the Federal tax code with a transaction fee-based system.


S.826 American Renewable Energy Act of 2009

(The following is a small part of the new tax issues)

b) Renewable Electricity Requirement-


`(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), each electric utility that sells electricity to electric consumers shall obtain a percentage of the base quantity of electricity the electric utility sells to electric consumers in any calendar year from new renewable energy or existing renewable energy.

`(B) PERCENTAGE- The percentage obtained in a calendar year under subparagraph (A) shall not be less than the amount specified in the following table:

Minimum annual

`Calendar years:/ percentage:
2010 / 2%

2011 / 3%

2012 / 4%

2013 / 5%

2014 / 6%

2015 / 7%

2016 / 8%

2017 / 9%

2018 / 11%

2019 / 13%

2020 / 15%

2021 / 17%

2022 / 19%

2023 / 21%

2024 / 23%

2025 / 25%

...(d) Enforcement-

`(1) CIVIL PENALTIES- Any electric utility that fails to meet the compliance requirements of subsection (b) shall be subject to a civil penalty.

`(2) AMOUNT OF PENALTY- Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of the civil penalty shall be equal to the product obtained by multiplying--

`(A) the number of kilowatt-hours of electric energy sold to electric consumers in violation of subsection (b); by

`(B) the greater of--

`(i) 2 cents (adjusted for inflation under subsection (g)); or

`(ii) 200 percent of the average market value of renewable energy credits during the year in which the violation occurred.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Think Your Money Is FDIC Insured?

Originally published on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at

Today BankUnited FSB became the nation's 34th bank to fail this year. Bank
failures are nothing new, but this one will cost the FDIC $4.9 Billion per the
FDIC press release issued Thursday, May 21. BankUnited had assets of $12.8
Billion and deposits of $8.6 Billion.

The takeover group is led by the infamous Carlyle and Blackstone investment
groups. The take-away for the average Joe Public - is this:

The FDIC started 2008 with $53 Billion in its insurance fund, and this number
is now less than $11 Billion. This translates to mean that less than a quarter
of every $100 you have in a bank account is now FDIC "insured."

It does not take a genius to predict that the FDIC insurance fund will be
depleted this year, and a public bank closing (or "bank holiday" - as if it were
some sort of twisted vacation) is likely this year.

Source: Liberty Maven

"Why I Voted Democrat" - Political Humor

I received this in an email and thought it quite humorous so I am passing it along.

Why I Voted Democrat

I voted Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I
want. I've decided to marry my horse.

I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon
of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15%

I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of
spending the money I earn than I would.

I voted Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is
offended by it.

I voted Democrat because when we pull out of Iraq, I trust that the bad
guys will stop what they're doing because they now think we're good people.

I voted Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know
that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and

I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will
rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten
years if I don't start driving a Prius.

I voted Democrat because I'm not concerned about the slaughter of millions
of babies so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to
make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away
to the government for redistribution as THEY see fit.

I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the
Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get
their agendas past the voters.

I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my butt that it is
unlikely that I'll ever have another point of view.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."

"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's

Source: A friend's email.

Feel free to send this to your friends and family.

I don't know that Republican is that much better at this point than Democrat. I think I'll start my own party called the Natasha Call Constitutional Respect Party or something. The respect for people and for history seems to have been pushed out the door and is being replaced by government control and social programs that will also cause individuality to disappear with the U.S. Constitution.

As the frustration mounts, it is likely that social control will change to massive social unrest and another civil war. It's like watching a massive accident in slow motion with no way to change the outcome. You just watch in horror as car after car buckles under the pressure of being slammed into each other, losing control, losing lives, crumbling, burning, shredding rubber, shattered glass flying, metal and fiberglass smashed as if the vehicles have been place in a trash compactor...a disaster for most involved, even if they are wearing their seat belts and their airbags are functional.

When are those who are supposedly speaking our voices going to listen to them and change the collision course?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


"Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country." —Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

California. Mass Migration East?

Could there be a new migration?

We all know about California's budget shortfall. The question remains...Are California legislators going to have to beg Washington to give them the emergency money they need to survive or is California going to fall off the face of the map because of the mass exodus due to exhorbitantly high taxes and a complete cut-off in social services?

Governor Schwarzenegger is headed to Washington today to meet regarding the budget shortfall. This, because the propositions that are meant to help with that shortfall are going to fail, all except one. Therefore, the Governor needs to see if the representatives in Washington can get waivers because California won't meet some of the federal standards needed to get federal money back. So, potentially, California could lose more money than it will by not passing these ballot propositions.

"California faces a financial meltdown unseen in the history of the United States for any state." -- Devon Nunes (R), California Congressman

If the propositions don't pass and the state is unable to obtain any money from the federal system, California will have to get the money by making major cuts in other areas. Some of these cuts will likely be made to social services, teachers, fire fighter jobs, and across the board. They are already the highest taxed state in the United States, so they find themselves in quite a kunundrum.

Economy Stabilized.

News media outlets reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has stated that the economy has stabilized.

Whoohoo! Let's celebrate! we trust that he actually knows something about this subject or that he is telling the truth? He didn't pay his taxes and made the excuse that it was a mistake and that he didn't know he hadn't paid. So, does he actually know what is going on with the economy, or is this a prediction made for strategic political confidence?

As much as we could all use the positive news that the economy is possibly getting better, I'd trust a psychic prediction more than I'd trust Geithner on the subject of the economy (not to mention nearly any other subject).

How do you feel about the current state of the economy?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wrong Remedies

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." —Groucho Marx

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"In God We Trust"

Don't let the phrase "In God We Trust" be removed from the American currency!

Click Here For Link

God is an integral part of American and of the freedoms we hold dear. It is important that we don't allow God to be taken out of our country! It is pertinent that we let our voices be heard on this subject!

Without God, we would not be here in America with the freedoms we take for granted.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who Oversees The CIA?

10. Who oversees the CIA? Does it act on its own initiative?

(This is a quote directly from the CIA faqs on the CIA website)

Both the Congress and the Executive Branch oversee the CIA’s activities. In addition, the CIA is responsible to the American people through their elected representatives, and, like other government agencies, acts in accordance with US laws and executive orders. In the Executive Branch, the National Security Council—including the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense—provides guidance and direction for national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities. In Congress, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as other committees, closely monitor the Agency’s reporting and programs. The CIA is not a policy-making organization; it advises the Director of National Intelligence on matters of foreign intelligence, and it conducts covert actions at the direction of the President.

Updated Swine Flu Numbers

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection

(According the the CDC website)

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of May 15, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)

47 states*
4,714 cases
4 deaths

*includes the District of Columbia

Swine Flu Update, May 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, May 15 (Reuters) - The United States has 4,714 confirmed and likely cases of the new H1N1 swine flu virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.
US now has 4,700 cases of new swine flu - CDC

WASHINGTON, May 15 (Reuters) - The United States has 4,714 confirmed and likely cases of the new H1N1 swine flu virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.

Four people have died in the United States from the virus, which is behaving much like a seasonal influenza strain -- spreading rapidly and causing mainly mild disease, but severe illness in some people.

The CDC is now combining its confirmed and probable cases, having said that 99 percent of all suspected cases turn out to be the new H1N1 strain as opposed to other strains of influenza or other respiratory diseases.

The CDC also cautions that not every suspected case is being tested now, as it is more useful to look at the pattern of disease as opposed to counting the numbers. The World Health Organization reports more than 7,500 cases globally, most in the United States and Mexico.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox)

Conservative Speakers Not Welcome?

Conservative Speakers Widely Shunned at Graduation Ceremonies

While Democrats are making the rounds as keynote speakers across the country, you won't see conservatives making addresses at graduation ceremonies just about anywhere.

It's not enough that Democrats have command of some key real estate in Washington. This month, they've also got the ear of just about every college student in the country.

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White house chief of staff Rahm Emanuel all have multiple invites to be keynote speakers at graduations this spring.

And while President Obama is pulling a hat trick at Notre Dame, Arizona State and the U.S. Naval Academy, you won't see one of that last institution's most famous graduates on stage anywhere this year.

John McCain ... Sarah Palin ... Mitt Romney ... Rudy Giuliani ... they aren't on anyone's program in 2009. Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich? Persona non grata, thank you very much.

So whatever happened to conservatives?

Education watchdogs say it's nothing strange for conservatives to be shunned from the academy, and that the one-sided invitations have become a permanent fixture of the ivory tower.

"The colleges have been transformed," said David Horowitz, whose organization, Students for Academic Freedom, tracks ideological bias on campus. "They're now these partisan institutions. They're not going to change."

Horowitz ran a study in 2003 that looked at commencement speakers at 32 top institutions in the U.S. for the previous 10 years. He found that liberals and Democrats were favored over conservatives by a ratio of 15-1. And then he stopped counting.

"It's permanent. It's not going to change, partly because there's so little attention being paid to it," he told

A few conservatives have gotten invites this year, though you could probably cram them all into a compact car.

Gov. Bobby Jindal will be addressing Loyola University, Louisiana Tech, and Grambling State University, all located in his home state of Louisiana. Sen. Richard Lugar will be the keynote speaker at Ball State University, which is located in his home of Indiana. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, will be addressing USC.

Conservative speakers are often big targets for protest. Students and teachers literally turned their backs on President Bush during his annual addresses, and an English professor even resigned when Condoleezza Rice spoke at Boston College in 2006.

This year hasn't been much of an exception -- and the protests have started well before the pomp and circumstance.

Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay who's running for governor of California as a Republican, canceled her speech at UCLA's Anderson School of Management in the wake of protests over her support for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state.

Conservative Ben Stein was uninvited as speaker at the University of Vermont because of his views on evolution. He was replaced by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean .
Conservative speakers are often big targets for protest. Students and teachers literally turned their backs on President Bush during his annual addresses, and an English professor even resigned when Condoleezza Rice spoke at Boston College in 2006.

This year hasn't been much of an exception -- and the protests have started well before the pomp and circumstance.

Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay who's running for governor of California as a Republican, canceled her speech at UCLA's Anderson School of Management in the wake of protests over her support for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state.

Conservative Ben Stein was uninvited as speaker at the University of Vermont because of his views on evolution. He was replaced by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean .

J. Harvie Wilkinson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, is facing fire at the University of Virginia Law School, where he'll be speaking May 17. Students have objected to his views on issues like affirmative action and detentions of enemy combatants.

But the furor and froth have gone both ways this year. President Obama's coming address at Notre Dame has set off students and faculty at the Catholic university. And Sen. Bob Casey Jr., a Democrat, withdrew as commencement speaker from St. Vincent's College in Pennsylvania after a Catholic bishop criticized him for his support of funding groups that provide abortions overseas.

Conservatives, whose campus woes look to continue for the foreseeable future, may find a kindred spirit in at least one Cabinet member who seems to have fallen out of favor with the campus crowd.

Notably absent from the stage this year is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who would seem like a hot property in a year defined by the financial crisis. Geithner, who President Obama joked is being treated like a fire hydrant by the big dogs in Washington, isn't making the rounds at any universities.

Read Source Here

Pelosi VS The CIA

Panetta Urges CIA Staff to Focus on Mission, Tune Out 'New Decibel Level' in D.C. on Interrogations

CIA Director Leon Panetta writes to agency employees that it's time to turn down the volume on the debate in Washington and concentrate on the jobs they do, despite being called liars by the House speaker.

President Obama's CIA director on Friday urged agency employees to concentrate on their mission and not get sidetracked by the high-volume argument in Washington spurred a day earlier when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of lying to Congress.

"There is a long tradition in Washington of making political hay out of our business. It predates my service with this great institution, and it will be around long after I'm gone. But the political debates about interrogation reached a new decibel level yesterday when the CIA was accused of misleading Congress," CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote in a letter publicly released.

"My advice -- indeed, my direction -- to you is straightforward: ignore the noise and stay focused on your mission. We have too much work to do to be distracted from our job of protecting this country," he wrote. "We are an agency of high integrity, professionalism, and dedication. Our task is to tell it like it is-even if that's not what people always want to hear. Keep it up. Our national security depends on it."

Panetta's letter was released as the debate grew over what Pelosi knew, when she knew it and whether she complained about it if she was so bothered by it.

Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that those briefing her in September 2002 gave her inaccurate and incomplete information. Pelosi's office issued a statement Thursday saying Pelosi had been told in September 2002 that waterboarding, or simulated drowning, had not been used, but was going to be used in the future.

On Friday, Pelosi issued a statement and said criticism of the manner in which the Bush administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from her respect for those in the intelligence community.

"What is important now is to be united in our commitment to ensuring the security of our country; that, and how Congress exercises its oversight responsibilities, will continue to be my focus as we move forward," said Pelosi.

The timeline is the basis for the speaker's claim that the CIA lied to Congress -- because the CIA has confirmed later that it used waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah in August 2002.

Panetta repeated in his letter to CIA staff that the agency's response to congressional inquiries show that "our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing 'the enhanced techniques that had been employed.' Ultimately, it is up to Congress to evaluate all the evidence and reach its own conclusions about what happened."

The White House refused to be drawn into the debate Friday, with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs declining to weigh in on whether the CIA lied to Pelosi.

"I appreciate the invitation to get involved, but I'm not going to RSVP," Gibbs said.

At the time of the briefing, Pelosi did not issue a complaint about possible future use of waterboarding. She said she was told five months later that waterboarding had been used. She said at that time, in February 2003, her concerns about the enhanced interrogation techniques were voiced in a letter written by California Rep. Jane Harman, who was the House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat.

But the Feb. 10, 2003, letter outlined Harman's concerns over policy, not concerns over the legality of the program. In the letter, Harman wrote to CIA General Counsel Scott Muller asking whether President Bush had authorized and approved the enhanced techniques because of the impact such methods may have on policy.

"What was described raises profound policy questions and I am concerned about whether these have been as rigorously examined as the legal questions," Harman wrote, according to a redacted copy of the letter released on Jan. 3, 2008.

"I would like to know what kind of policy review took place and what questions were examined. In particular, I would like to know whether the most senior levels of the White House have determined that these practices are consistent with the principles and policies of the United States. Have enhanced techniques been authorized and approved by the president?"

Harman also stated that she wanted videotapes of the interrogation of terror leader Abu Zubaydah to be preserved to serve as "the best proof that the written record is accurate, if such record is called into question in the future." In her statement of Jan. 3, 2008, Harman said her concern about the videotapes was her reason for releasing the letter.

Harman wrote that she was assured by intelligence officials at a Feb. 5, 2001, briefing she attended with then-Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss that certain methods had been approved by the attorney general and subjected "to an extensive review by lawyers at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice and the National Security Council and found to be within the law."

Harman went on to say that she appreciated the "difficult challenges" the CIA faced after Sept. 11, 2001, and that she knew that "the balance between security and liberty must be constantly evaluated and recalibrated in order to protect our nation and its people from catastrophic terrorist attack."

"I thus appreciate the obvious effort that you and your office have made to address the tough questions," Harman wrote.

On Feb. 28, 2003, Muller wrote back to Harman, saying that "a number of executive branch lawyers including lawyers from the Department of Justice participated in the determination that, in the appropriate circumstances, use of these techniques is fully consistent with U.S. law. While I do not think it appropriate for me to comment on issues that are a matter of policy, much less the nature and extent of executive branch policy deliberations, I think it would be fair to assume that policy as well as legal matters have been addressed within the executive branch."

At a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi told reporters that she supported the letter Harman drafted for Muller that raised concerns over the legality of the program.

Pelosi said her staffer told her in February 2003 that Harman and Goss "had been briefed about the use of certain techniques which had been the subject of earlier legal opinions. Following that briefing, a letter raising concerns was sent to CIA general counsel, Scott Muller, by the new Democratic ranking member of committee, the appropriate person to register a protest," Pelosi said

"But no letter or anything else is going to stop them from doing what they're going to do," she added.

Read Source Here

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nancy Pelosi "This is their policy"

While being annoyed while listening to Nancy Pelosi today, during her press briefing, I realized how over-the-top the blame game is becoming. It seems that everything that ever happened or is currently happening is the fault of the Republican Party.

So, I decided to write a transcript of the main portion of the briefing. Pay close attention to how nervous she is, how often she has to go back to her written "statement", and how often she blames the Republican Party for the problems and tells the press that the CIA lied to her and to Congress. Personally, I would not have wanted to open that can of worms.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Official Press Briefing, May 14, 2009

(This begins her "statement" regarding the enhanced interrogation techniques)

I unequivocally oppose the use of torture by our government because it is contrary to our national values.

Like all members of congress that are briefed on classified information I have signed oaths not to disclose any of that information. This is an oath I have taken very seriously and I've always abided by it.

The CIA briefed me only once on enhanced interrogation techniques in September 2002 in my capacity of ranking member of the Intelligence Committee. I was informed then that the department of justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques were legal.

The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed. Those conducting briefing promised to inform the appropriate members of congress if that technique were to be used in the future.

Congress and the American people now know that, contrary to the opinions within...contrary opinions within the executive branch, concluded that these interrogation techniques were not legal. However, those opinions were not shared with congress.

We also now know that techniques including waterboarding had already been employed and that those briefing me in September 2002 gave me inaccurate and incomplete information.

At the same time, the Bush administration...this is exactly the same time (waving hand in defensive stance, looking up from reading her prepared speech)...September of 2002...the Fall of 2002...(swallowing heavily) the same time, the Bush administration was misleading the American people about the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

5 months later in February of 2003, a member of my staff informed me that the Republican Chairman and the Democratic ranking member of the Intelligence Committee had been briefed about the use of certain techniques which had been the subject of earlier legal opinions.

Following that briefing a letter raising concerns was sent to CI general council Scott Mullard by the new Democratic ranking member of committee...the appropriate person to register a protest. But no letter could change the policy. It was clear we had to change leadership in congress and in the white house. That was my job...the congress part.
When democrats assumed control of the congress in 2007, congress passed legislation banning torture and requiring all government agencies to abide by the army field manual.

President Bush vetoed this bill barring the use of torture.

In an effort to overturn his veto failed because of the votes of the republican members.
We needed to elect a new president. We did. And he has banned torture.

Congress and the administration must review...I've always believed that congress and the administration must review the national security act of we have a chance to do that with the new determine if a larger number of members of congress should received classified briefings so that the information can be utilized by proper oversight...for proper oversight and legislative activity without violating oaths of secrecy.

I have long supported creation of an independent truth commission to determine how intelligence was misused. And how controversial and possibly illegal activities like torture were authorized within the executive branch.

Until a truth commission comes into being, I encourage the appropriate committees of the house to conduct vigorous oversight of these issues.

I'll be pleased to take any questions...Mike?

Mike: Regardless of the individual who told you that these techniques were being used and regardless of the venue in which you learned of this fact, does not the foreknowledge of the use of these techniques make you complicit in their use?

Pelosi: No. This is a policy that has been...was conceived and implemented by the Bush administration. The..the..they notified congress that they had legal opinion say that this was a...was legal but they would let us know whether they were planning to use what they briefed us on.

Uh, I think you can see by what mister uhm Panetta has sent out that it's really hard to confirm what did happen and the committees on jurisdiction may have to look into that. But it does not make me

Mike: But you said that Mr. Sheety (probably spelled incorrectly) did tell said that your staff did tell you...

Pelosi: He informed me that that briefing had taken place. We were not in a place where he could...that was all that he was required to do. We were not in a setting...we weren't in the...I'm no longer the ranking member of intelligence. He just informed me...and that the letter was sent. That is the proper person to send the letter...the ranking member of the intelligence committee.

So, my statement is clear (she looks down at her speech) and let me read it again. Let me read it again...Sorry. I have to find the...(reading) I was informed that the department of justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogations was legal. The only mention of waterboarding was in the briefing was that it was not being employed...(stuttering, gathering)...When, uhm, my staff person...I'm sorry, the pages...5 months later my staff person told me that there had been a briefing, informing me that there had been a briefing and that a letter had been sent. I was not briefed on what was in that briefing. I was just informed that the briefing had taken place.

So, let's get this straight. The Bush administration has conceived the policy...uhm the CIA comes to the congress, withholds information about the timing and the use of this subject. We later find out that it had been taking place before they even briefed us about the legal opinions and told us that they were not being used.

This is a diversionary tactic to take the spotlight off of those that conceived, developed, and implemented these policies which all of us long opposed.

My action on it was to further to say we have to change the majority of congress. We have to win the white house so that we...

(The following insert is an excerpt from the online Wikipedia)
"Pelosi officially opposes the interrogation technique of waterboarding.[97] In one hour-long 2002 briefing, while Pelosi was the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, she was told about enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding authorized for a captured terrorist, Abu Zubaydah.[98][99][100] After the briefing, Pelosi said she "was assured by lawyers with the CIA and the Department of Justice that the methods were legal."[101] Two unnamed former Bush Administration officials say that the briefing was detailed and graphic, and at the time she didn't raise substantial objections[102]. One unnamed U.S. official present during the early briefings said, "In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to September 11 and people were still in a panic. But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.'"[102]

Officials in Congress say her ability to challenge the practices was hampered by strict rules of secrecy that prohibited her from being able to take notes or consult legal experts or members of her own staffs.[103] In an April 2009 press conference, Pelosi stated, "In that or any other briefing…we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel -- the Office of Legislative Counsel opinions that they could be used, but not that they would. And they further -- further, the point was that if and when they would be used, they would brief Congress at that time"[104][105] Pelosi's office stated that she later protested the technique and that she concurred with objections raised by Democratic colleague Jane Harman in a letter to the C.I.A. in early 2003."

Mike: ...(mumbling, unable to decipher) he did not tell you that he was informed that they were actually using the techniques.

Pelosi: No he DID say that. He said that the...the committee chair, uhm ranking member and appropriate staff (at the time, she WAS the ranking member) had been briefed that these, uh, techniques were now being used.

They...that's all I was informed...that they were being used and that a letter was sent. And that is a responsibility is different. I'm no longer the ranking member (not now, but she was then). Appropriately, the ranking member sent the letter.

So...let me say this...of all the briefings that I have received, at this same time they were misinforming me in September, the same time as briefing. They were telling the American people (raising her chin in superiority) there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and it was an imminent threat to the United States (when did we get to this topic?). To the limit of what I could say to my caucus I told them that the intelligence does not support the imminent threat that this administration is contenting.

So, it's on the subject of what's happening in Iraq, whether it's talking about the techniques used by the intelligence community on those their interrogating every step of the way the administration was misleading the congress and that is the issue. That is why we need a truth commission. To look into that.

Mike: Madam speaker, just to be clear, your accusing the CIA of lying to you in September of 2002?...

Pelosi: Yes. Misleading the congress of the United States. Misleading the congress of the United States. I am.

Mike: And doing it again now as they released this list of briefings that said you were briefed on the interrogation tactics...

Pelosi: I'm quoting what the head of the CIA said(she cannot possibly take any of the blame for her own actions and decisions. We don't know if this information is accurate. What they briefed us on...and perhaps they should release the briefings. I would be very happy if they would release the briefings. And then you will see what they briefed in one time and in another, house and senate and the rest...and perhaps with the intense interest that this has generated because of the distraction that the Republicans want to cause with this then you can make a judgement yourself at what you think these briefings were.

But, I'm telling you, that they had talked about interrogations that they had done and said "we want to use enhanced techniques and we have legal opinions that say that they are okay. We are not using waterboarding." That's the only mention that they were not using it. Any we now know that earlier they were. So, yes I am saying that they are misleading, that the CIA was misleading the congress. And at the same time, the administration was misleading the congress on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. To which I said "the intelligence does not support the imminent threat". To which the press asked the same question you just did now. "Are you accusing them of lying?" I said "I'm just stating a fact".

Press Woman: Do you wish you had done more? Do you wish you had written your own letter?

Pelosi: NO. No, No, No, No, No. I mean the point is is that we had the conversation. They told us they had legal opinions. As I say in my statement (looking down to attempt to read from her "statement") we now know what they didn't inform us then that there were other opinions within the executive branch that concluded that these interrogation techniques were not legal. So, no letter or anything else is going to stop them from doing what they are going to do.

My job was to change the majority in congress and to fight to have a new president because what was happening was not consistent with our values. Certainly not true. And, and, and, uh, certainly something that had to be changed. We did that. We have a new president. He says he's going to ban torture. When we won in '06 and passed legislation in that congress, President Bush vetoed that bill. I think we're in a whole different phase.

Press Man: With your desire to have a truth commission....doesn't this make it harder to go forward in that regard because so many on the other side have churned this issue up?

Pelosi: Well, I have always been for the truth commission, as you know. Others in the legislative branch have thought maybe the committees of jurisdiction should do that job. And until we have a truth commission and unless we have a truth commission they must do that. But it isn't...uhm, I think the truth commission would be a good idea. I think the American People want it. I think they want to know how we got to this place.

And that's why I say in this (her statement) "until we have a truth commission, the committees on jurisdiction whether it's the intelligence committee or the judiciary committee are the appropriate places for that to go. But, understand...and I don't know how you can fall prey to this...this is their policy. All of them. This is their policy. This is what they conceive. This is what they develop. This is what they implement. This is what they denied was happening. And now, they're trying to say..."don't put the spotlight on us. We told the congress."

(this insert is another excerpt from Wikipedia regarding Nancy Pelosi)
"In mid-July 2008, two days after President George W. Bush stated that Congress was relatively inactive and said, "This is not a record to be proud of, and I think the American people deserve better",[108] Pelosi responded by calling the president "a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the war, on the economy, on energy, you name the subject" and that Congress had been "sweeping up after his mess over and over and over again".[108]"

Well, they didn't tell us everything that they were doing. And the fact is that anything that we would say doesn't matter anyway. We had to change the majority in congress. We had to get a new president in order to change the policy. And that is what we have done. And I, as I say, have taken special interest in this issue over time, take pride in it, and the work that we have done on the issue of torture. So I was pretty sensitive to what they were briefing us and to what they said they were doing but they did not represent the facts.

Press Man: On healthcare, do House Democrats have the political will to raise taxes to reform healthcare?

Pelosi: We're putting everything on the table.
Well, that's about all of it I can take. Isn't it interesting that there is so much blaming and so little accomplishing that is really going to benefit our country.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Surprising? Not really.

It's pretty sad when the things that surprise you involve beauty queens having moral values and intelligence and the things that don't surprise you involve a government with its hidden agendas and corrupt agencies.

The Washington Post today posted an article that states that federal officials were aware of AIG's bonus payments to its executives. Yes, those are the outlandishly high bonus payments that were supposed to be retaining bonuses that you would think would be given only in the case of good company performance. However, that is obviously not the case. Yes, this is the company that we gave billions in TARP money to and they gave it to foreign countries and used it for other things such as bonuses. Disgusting? Yes. Surprising? No.

Different subject, a little bit surprising until you get to the end...
Long after last summer's "Montauk Monster" rotted away, another mysterious animal carcass has washed up on a Long Island, N.Y., beach.

"The beast smelled like a mix of low-tide and rotten garbage. It really smelled horrific," wrote blogger Nicky Papers. "I couldn't help but take numerous pictures of it and video clips."

Papers then goes on to speculate that the dead animal may be a result of biological warfare, and carrying the H1N1 swine-flu virus.

If this is a genetic mishap from Plum Island, we’d like to sell the remains to an independent lab for study.

Note: to read more about Plum Island Click Here They state that "We're equally proud of our safety record. Not once in our nearly 50 years of operation has an animal pathogen escaped from the island."

Unfortunately, it would not be surprising to me that this "Monauk Monster" could be from Plum Island. When you look at their list of projects, it seems that there is quite a bit of "research" going on that could very definitely cause some strange deformities in animals (and, for that matter, humans).

Now, back to the nation's financial situation...
The federal government, now that they have had a taste of ownership in the private sector, is considering an expansion of power. Yes, it's true. They now want to work out restrictions on executive pay in banks that received TARP money AND in banks that DID NOT receive TARP funds. The road to socialism continues. Surprising? Unfortunately, "I told you so" is probably going to become an old phrase.

To the topic that has been discussed, surprisingly a lot, on mainstream media outlets, Miss California, Carrie Prejean is allowed to keep her crown. Why does this subject surprise me? Well, for one, there is someone out there with beauty that also has brains and some sense of standards. Another thing...even with the backlash of her stating her opinion and being punished for it, Donald Trump is allowing her to keep her crown. I guess I didn't think that much of Donald Trump for one. So, his view of allowing her the honest opinion and still keeping her crown surprises me a lot! It doesn't surprise me that there are a bunch of photographer leaches that are using her previous photo sessions, even photoshopping them, against Carrie Prejean. She is handling it all like a seasoned pro, realizing that this is what happens when you stand by your faith and your moral standards in the year 2009. Listening to her is like a breath of fresh air. Finally! Someone is actually willing to risk their career for their integrity! Sorry Perez Hilton. You only gave yourself bad media coverage, making yourself into quite a joke and Carrie Prejean into the queen.

You know, sitting here at my computer with my broken nose, I can't stop thinking about how excited I am for Universal Healthcare. I think I'll daydream about that the rest of the day as I make plans to horde soft drinks before July hits. I wonder what Pepsi thinks of Obama's plans to tax the soda industry products. Weren't they a huge contributor/sponsor for his election?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Will there be Social Security or Medicare after 2016?

Social Security and Medicare finances worsen
May 12th, 2009 @ 3:01pm
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The financial health of Social Security and Medicare, the government's two biggest benefit programs, have worsened because of the severe recession, and Medicare is now paying out more than it receives.

Trustees of the programs said Tuesday that Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, one year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner.

Medicare is in even worse shape. The trustees said the program for hospital expenses will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year and will be insolvent by 2017, two years earlier than the date projected in last year's report.

The trust funds _ which exist in paper form in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg, W.Va. _ are bonds that are backed by the government's "full faith and credit" but not by any actual assets. That money has been spent over the years to fund other parts of government. To redeem the trust fund bonds, the government would have to borrow in public debt markets or raise taxes.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the head of the trustees group, said the new reports were a reminder that "the longer we wait to address the long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security, the sooner those challenges will be upon us and the harder the options will be."

Geithner said that President Barack Obama was committed to working with Congress to find ways to control runaway growth in both public and private health care expenditures, noting the promise Monday by major health care providers to trim costs by $2 trillion over the next decade.

However, Republicans pointed to the newly dire assessments as evidence the Obama administration has failed to come forward with actual entitlement reform to close the funding gaps.

"Instead of getting existing public programs in order right now, some are saying we should create a new government-run health insurance plan," Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a reference to the administration's health care proposals. "When we can't afford the public health plan we have already, does it make sense to add more?"

House Republican leader John Boehner said the trustees report "confirms what we already knew: Our nation cannot afford to continue this reckless borrowing and spending spree."

The findings in the trustees report, the annual checkup given the two benefit programs, did not come as a surprise. Private economists had been predicting that the dates the programs would begin to pay out more than they take in and the dates the trust funds would be insolvent would occur sooner given the economic recession.

The deep recession, the worst the country has endured in decades, has resulted in a loss of 5.7 million jobs since it began in December 2007. The unemployment rate hit a 25-year high of 8.9 percent in April.

Fewer people working means less being paid into the trust funds for Social Security and Medicare.

The Congressional Budget Office recently projected that Social Security will collect just $3 billion more in 2010 than it will pay out in benefits. A year ago, the CBO had projected that Social Security would have a much higher $86 billion cash surplus for the 2010 budget year, which begins Oct. 1.

The trustees report projected that Social Security's annual surpluses would "fall sharply this year," then remain at a reduced level in 2010 and be lower in the following years than last year's projections. The report said that the Social Security annual surplus would be eliminated entirely in 2016, reflecting increased demands from the wave of 78 million baby boomers retiring.

That means Social Security will have to turn to its trust fund to make up the difference between Social Security taxes and the benefits being paid out beginning in 2016. The trustees projected the trust fund would be depleted in 2037, four years earlier than the 2041 date in last year's report.

At that point, the annual Social Security taxes collected would be enough to pay for three-fourths of current benefits through 2083. To tap the trust fund, the government would have to increase borrowing or raise taxes because Social Security bonds exist only as bookkeeping entries.

While the government is obligated to redeem those bonds, it has already spent the excess Social Security collections over the years to fund general government operations, providing the trust funds with IOUs.

While the smaller surpluses that will begin this year will not have any impact on Social Security benefit payments, the government will need to borrow more at a time when the federal deficit is already exploding because of the recession and the billions of dollars being spent to prop up a shaky banking system.

Medicare's condition is more precarious, reflecting the pressures from soaring health care costs as well as the drop in tax collections.

Obama on Monday praised the pledge by the health care industry to achieve $2 trillion in savings on health care costs over the next decade, but it was unclear how much help those pledges would be in achieving Obama's goal of extending coverage to some 50 million uninsured Americans. The administration is pushing Congress to pass legislation in this area this year, preferring to tackle health care before Social Security.

The trustees report is likely to set off renewed debate over Social Security and Medicare. Critics have charged that the Obama administration has failed to tackle the most serious problems in the budget _ soaring entitlement spending.

The administration on Monday revised its federal deficit forecasts upward to project an imbalance this year of $1.84 trillion, four times last year's record, and said the deficits will remain above $500 billion every year over the next decade.

Health Advice for Our Time.

An email was sent to me from a friend giving excellent medical advice...

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.

Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride!'

Monday, May 11, 2009

Belated Mother's Day

Sorry I haven't posted anything in the last few days. I had to have surgery because of a broken nose and it has been kind of fun. Well, not really, but I couldn't post because of the pain meds. Therefore, since I am still on pain meds, here is a belated Mother's Day post. I'll be back to as normal as I get soon. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who Do You Trust?

What do you do when you cannot trust your own government to tell you the truth or to make the best decisions?

Maybe you haven't trusted them for a long time and I am just naive. However, I am noticing a bit of a pattern that leads me to be very untrusting of our government and their motives.

Take the swine flu...oh, excuse me, the H1N1 virus. Isn't the situation kind of like the boy who cried wolf? What will we think the next time there may be a health emergency? I don't think that we may feel quite as alarmed. After all, there are 36,000 people who die from the regular flu every year and look at the stats for this flu. I know that next flu season it may come back heavier. However, it isn't resistant. Looking back at the article that I posted about the swine flu during the '70s, it is the same thing and caused panic back then and then deaths from the inoculations to "prevent" the virus. Why would we trust new inoculations now? I wouldn't until a bunch of other people take them and live to tell about it. CDC LINK HERE

Let's address the issue of Homeland Security putting out information that said that our veterans, those who have served our country on the front lines, may be recruited into terrorist organizations. No, let's not reward them and welcome them home. Let's demonize them and make them feel like outcasts in society. That will most certainly help tame the masses. official Homeland Security Document PDF

"Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities...

The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities
could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks...

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented ...It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration...

Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement...

...the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization...

Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers...

DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat."

...and they think that other people may be paranoid? Hmmm. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me. I mean, I don't need to dislike Obama because of his race. That's not the reason I dislike him at all. Plus, it's not a matter of disliking him as a person. I just dislike his policies.

One more thing for this post (I could go on and on). I don't trust the motives of the Obama administration getting involved in the bankruptcy of Chrysler (or involved in the business dealings to begin with...other than insuring the money side of things because of the trickle down effect).

"An attorney representing several Chrysler bondholders accused the Obama administration of intimidating his clients by issuing threats of public humiliation if they opposed their brokered deal to resolve the automaker’s debts. Speaking to WJR, Thomas Lauria said that the White House called the bondholders “vultures” for insisting on their rights as senior creditors and told them that the Obama administration would use the White House press corps to attack them in the media."

"...the lenders who dared to oppose the deal, undoubtedly considering that the bargaining had been too one-sided, were excoriated by the president as “speculators” for raining on his parade. Over the weekend it emerged that would-be auto czar Steve Rattner threatened to sic the White House press corps on bondholder Perella Weinberg if they continued to oppose the deal on the table...

...the effort by the Obama administration to protect the UAW will likely leave Chrysler permanently uncompetitive..."

So, why is it that there is a bit of siding...okay totally siding with the union workers? Here is a bit of info you probably already know.

"The UAW, which has more than 1 million members, announced today the union is endorsing Obama after a unanimous vote of its International Executive Board."
- June 10, 2008 AFLCIO

"You deserve a leader in the White House who not only understands the difficulties you and your families face, but who will stand up for you every single day. That’s exactly what I’ll do as your President." - July 18, 2008

Now, there are many sources indicating that there was anywhere from $4 million to over $400 million in donations from the UAW to Obama's presidential campaign. Evidently those claiming that have a secret source (or they could just be bent) because I couldn't find that exact number. Here are a couple of sources you may want to check out.

Anywho, I don't know about you, but I don't trust much that is being done in the government these days. There seems to be ulterior motives for all of it and none of those motives seems to reflect the needs of the average American citizen. On the upbeat news, I can leave my house now because the CDC says that the swine flu wasn't as bad as they thought it was going to be.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The problem with global warming is "global warming"

Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus

Published: May 1, 2009
WASHINGTON — The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. A summary of the group’s latest findings and recommendations was accidentally sent by e-mail to a number of news organizations by someone who sat in this week on a briefing intended for government officials and environmental leaders.

Asked about the summary, ecoAmerica’s president and founder, Robert M. Perkowitz, requested that it not be reported until the formal release of the firm’s full paper later this month, but acknowledged that its wide distribution now made compliance with his request unlikely.

The research directly parallels marketing studies conducted by oil companies, utilities and coal mining concerns that are trying to “green” their images with consumers and sway public policy.

Environmental issues consistently rate near the bottom of public worry, according to many public opinion polls. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found global warming last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists. “We know why it’s lowest,” said Mr. Perkowitz, a marketer of outdoor clothing and home furnishings before he started ecoAmerica, whose activities are financed by corporations, foundations and individuals. “When someone thinks of global warming, they think of a politicized, polarized argument. When you say ‘global warming,’ a certain group of Americans think that’s a code word for progressive liberals, gay marriage and other such issues.”

The answer, Mr. Perkowitz said in his presentation at the briefing, is to reframe the issue using different language. “Energy efficiency” makes people think of shivering in the dark. Instead, it is more effective to speak of “saving money for a more prosperous future.” In fact, the group’s surveys and focus groups found, it is time to drop the term “the environment” and talk about “the air we breathe, the water our children drink.”

“Another key finding: remember to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.

To read the rest of the story click HERE (New York Times).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thank you.

Thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement I've been given in the endeavor of running for Mayor, as well as my many volunteer efforts in our community and the elementary school.

Throughout the last couple of months I have been working closely with various people in the city offices and within the city government. Through those experiences I have had some interesting and revealing things happen to me and to others who have been volunteering around me. I guess I needed these things to happen to open my eyes to the reality of the way things work (or don't work) in our own city government and in other governments around the state and country. Those experience have been unfortunate but, I believe they have been necessary.

Those who know me know that I am the kind of person that sticks to her moral standards and practices what she preaches. I don't expect others to do something that I wouldn't do. I also expect that people treat each other with kindness and respect and show concern for and value other people.

Recently, as of March 16th, my husband was laid off from his employer. At that moment I had to make a decision. Should I continue to do my 5-8 hour days of volunteer work or should I work on getting our home in order and helping him get a job. The decision was a obvious one. I couldn't feel good about doing all of those volunteer hours when we need something that gives us an income to take care of our basic necessities.

Amazingly enough, during this same time I was receiving hate mail in the form of email from members of our own city government. This was in response to my steadfast encouragement to treat those volunteering for the city programs with respect. While the majority of the members of the government may be respectful, I learned first hand the reasons why there are problems and stepping away from the volunteer work was one of the best things I could do.

I've thought long and hard about my run for mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. I'm not at all stuck on the glory of a title. The title of mayor wouldn't make the difference to the people. Those holding the titles in the government are not better than you and I just because they decided to run for an office and won. It's just a choice they've made.

I'm not stuck on the $700-900 monthly to be mayor when the city manager (who is a nice guy) doesn't live in the city, actually lives in Salt Lake County (no accountability or consequences for his decisions) and makes $110K per year. I knew this when I put my name out there, but I have a lot deeper perspective on the subject now.

My thoughts have run all over the place with me wondering how I might be able to improve the city for the citizens. I don't think that I can do what is necessary to make the changes because there are so many and they are so deeply necessary. Throughout this process I have prayed daily that I would know where my talents might be utilized for the betterment of my community.

Until the recent experiences, I have always felt deeply driven to run for mayor, and very much from a spiritual standpoint. At the same time, I have been driven that I should continue to behave Christ-like in my dealings with my fellowmen.

I am not willing to sacrifice my moral standards or my family's wellbeing. There is such little regard for the citizens and for those who are volunteering their time to make sure that the projects and programs in the city can continue to run smoothly following the lack of an adequate budget. If people are attempting harm when the campaign season has not even gotten underway, what will they be willing to do during a heavy campaign?!

In a word, dissapointed. I feel dissappointed with those who should have higher standards as an example to others. I see now that those who tell the truth and only want to make things better with no credit to be given to themselves will never fit in. While there are a couple of very respectful and respectable members of the city government, I am disappointed with the behaviors of the rest.

I appologize that I am pulling my name from the campaign. I know that some may feel let down in this process. However, in the end I must answer to myself, my family and my Savior. There will be another way that I can utilize my talents to make things better while keeping my moral standards and while being around others who will respect me and other people around them, as there is great value in every citizen.

For those who have contributed to my campaign, thank you so much for your support! I feel deeply blessed that you have supported my efforts to make a difference. I hope that I am not letting you down and that you understand why I am making this decision. The money you have contributed will be returned within a reasonable amount of time.

Where do I go from here? Currently, my husband and I have been working on a web design and development company ( and we are currently tweaking our own website. My husband is still unemployed, so please keep us in your prayers. For those who see my talents and know of somewhere that I can make a difference in a positive way, I am thrilled to hear your ideas.

Again, thank you so much for your support! The best thing that has come out of this experience is that I have met some of the absolutely best people. Thanks for those associations. I treasure them.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pandemic Defined.

Definition of Pandemic

Pandemic: An epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent, or the world.

By contrast:

An epidemic affects more than the expected number of cases of disease occurring in a community or region during a given period of time. A sudden severe outbreak within a region or a group as, for example, AIDS in Africa or AIDS in intravenous drug users.
An endemic is present in a community at all times but in low frequency. An endemic is continuous as in the case of malaria in some areas of the world or as with illicit drugs in some neighborhoods.

The word "pandemic" comes from the Greek "pan-", "all" + "demos", "people or population" = "pandemos" = "all the people." A pandemic affects all (nearly all) of the people. By contrast, "epi-" means "upon." An epidemic is visited upon the people. And "en-" means "in." An endemic is in the people.


Epidemics and pandemics refer to the spread of infectious diseases among a population. The difference between an epidemic and a pandemic is two-fold. First a pandemic is normally used to indicate a far higher number of people affected than an epidemic, and a pandemic refers to a much larger region affected. In the most extreme case, the global population is affected by a pandemic.

An epidemic is defined by an illness or health-related issue that is showing up in more cases than would be normally expected. However, in the case of a pandemic, even more of the population is affected than in an epidemic.

Let's take a hypothetical example and assume several people contract the same flu-like symptoms in a particular area. Let's further assume that cases show up across the state, but the concentration remains localized in a few original cities. Some cases even turn up elsewhere in the nation, but the illness doesn't catch on elsewhere. In the hubs where it is seen the infection rate remains more than you would expect to normally see. This is a classic example of an epidemic.

Now let's take that same scenario but imagine the rate of infection started growing exponentially so that more and more cases were cropping up locally. When the rate of infection grows very fast it is likely, given favorable circumstances, that the epidemic grows into something more. Now we start seeing cases across the nation and the rate of infection is exceeding even that of an epidemic. It turns out in our hypothetical scenario that most of the population in the nation becomes affected by this flu. This is a pandemic.

To put a finer point on it, if the entire nation was affected but the rate of incidence never rose above that of an epidemic, it would still be considered an epidemic, even though the disease was nationwide.

Conversely, you might have a small population in a remote area of Africa, for example, that is nearly 100% affected by an illness or health problem. Because the incidence is so high, and the area relatively widespread in that it is affecting an entire population, this could be termed pandemic.

You can see with these subtle but significant differences how the terms might be confusing, but normally epidemics that grow out of hand due to the nature of the disease and other factors, turn into pandemics.

A pandemic may be regionally localized if it involves more cases than a simple epidemic; and an epidemic may be widespread if not enough of the population is affected to term it pandemic. Though in this latter case, you might still see it termed pandemic by some, just because the geographical area is so widespread. View Source