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Messages - bflynn

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Spin Zone / Re: How Can We Fix Our Nation's Financial Ills?
« on: March 04, 2016, 10:41:53 PM »
Let's add to the question.  Assuming we did some or all of the things suggested here, do you think it is actually possible to dig out of the debt hole we are now in?  Do you hold any hope that we will ever head in a direction that will get us there or are we just screwed?

Is it possible?  Absolutely.  Retiring debt is simply a matter of spending less and paying off the debt more.

Do I hold any hope that we will ever head in that direction?  No, not really.  The #1 issue that got us in this mess is giving money away without regards to our ability to do so, the mandated spending.  And the #1 area where this is a problem is social welfare programs.  If we did not just give away money under the guise of compassion to individuals whose only claim on the money is not having "enough" then not only would we be able to pay off the debt in a very short time, we would not even have to cut any other spending to do it. 

The reason I don't hold out hope is because mandated spending is encoded in law, which means it requires a concerted effort to change and I don't believe we will ever get the number of people into Congress to change the laws.  America is therefore doomed to spend without regards to ability and without regards to it being good or bad for the country.  We could be bankrupt and the law would demand that we continue to spend.  We could be taxing everyone at 100% and the law would still demand that we spend the money.

Spin Zone / Re: Try reading this without laughing, or crying, or both
« on: March 03, 2016, 08:56:18 PM »
“So many of us shared in our pain. I felt I was in danger, and I felt so many people in that room were in danger,” proclaimed Marcus Robinson, student and president of the Pittsburgh Rainbow Alliance.

Danger of what?  What did he believe he was in danger of?  Has he gone so far down the path of dehumanizing those he hates that he no longer believes them to be capable of normal human behavior?  What indication did he get that there was any danger?

I don't want to hear about hurt feelings.  If there was a legitimate dangerous situation, I want to know.  But an accusation of feeling unsafe is about Marcus, not about any reality.  If the rest of the world has to go out of their way to make Marcus feel safe, then doesn't Marcus have to go out of HIS way to make the world feel safe around him?  Because I certainly don't, I feel like if I speak around him, I'd be excoriated for "hateful" speech, like saying that all men are created equal and how individual freedom requires respecting those you don't like too.

Have at it buttercup....

The socialist evolution view includes an idea that evolving technology will eventually require less effort from mankind and will allow more leisure time for the rank and file worker.  I've always found it humorous that so many who endorse the idea don't seem to realize that it means fewer people are needed to work the jobs.  But they will be the first to get upset with the "greedy" corporation who doesn't need them anymore.

Closing the border is a short term solution.  Employment will go up, we could even find jobs for those that don't want to work.  We would not need as much in the way of a social safety net.

But the lack of competition would tend to make us fall behind.  Being isolated and independent from others means you tend not to excel at things, you do enough to get by. 

Spin Zone / Re: How Can We Fix Our Nation's Financial Ills?
« on: January 07, 2016, 02:10:58 PM »

Let's add to the question.  Assuming we did some or all of the things suggested here, do you think it is actually possible to dig out of the debt hole we are now in?  Do you hold any hope that we will ever head in a direction that will get us there or are we just screwed?

We are screwed until such time as we the people demand that our government live within it's means. If we pass a balanced budget amendment and force the government to be fiscally sane, growth in our economy should resolve our debt problem.

We don't necessarily have to dig ourselves out of the hole, but we do need to stop digging the hole deeper.   If we stop government from growing then the tax base will eventually catch up and pass it.  Then we will have more than enough money to pay off the debt.

Bu there is an ugly truth of our finances - mandated spending is out of control.  A balanced budget amendment will actually become a mandated tax raise amendment because the mandated money MUST be allocated for an amount determined by a previous congress.  The primary elements of mandated spending are social welfare and medical care.  Together, they exceed the amount of taxes we take in and we're borrowing money to run everything else in the government.  Put that in the context of your life - you give away every penny that you earn, borrow some money and give it away, then borrow more to actually live on.  If you would quit giving it all away, you'd have money to burn.  So what is the solution?

The question really boils down to - will we ever have leaders willing to fix social welfare and medical care?  Without controlling those, then there is absolutely zero chance of changing the finances of the country.

Spin Zone / Re: Clinton has a plan to fix schools
« on: January 07, 2016, 02:02:06 PM »
My plan would be to have magnet schools that are really good, and then the rest that suck.  Poor performance or disciplinary problems would send students back to the poor schools.  I think there are students for whom the schools can do nothing, so they should probably focus on those for whom they can.

I would agree except for that whole human thing. 

1) Every student deserves to have the opportunity to learn.  Do you really think they're going to get it right and not push smart kids into failing schools?
2) With the prevalence of politics in our local school board, I absolutely don't trust school boards to make these decisions.  They're human too and they will tend to promote those who adhere to their thinking.

Spin Zone / Re: Barbary Pirates and ...
« on: January 06, 2016, 10:24:33 AM »
Well, a quick look at history will tell us that they are no different than many others before them. This entire land we call the USA was taken by force and justified with nothing more than "Our God is great and allows us to do this."

You think the motivation of the expansion of the United States was religious expansion?  Just out of curiosity, is this entirely your idea or are there writings that back you up? 

My knowledge of the expansion was "hey, it's crowded, there's new opportunities out there.  Go West young man!"  The United States expanded because people were looking for a better life. 

I say don't let them try.  Stop them now and reject their game because it is a game where you wind up dead or a slave.

Spin Zone / Re: Barbary Pirates and ...
« on: January 05, 2016, 06:58:35 PM »
Death cult is quite a bit overboard.  They believe in the absolute superiority of Islam and the divine right of Muslims to rule the world and there's nothing that is allowed to stop that, including killing.  But that hardly makes them a death cult.

My observation is not that ISIS is violent and evil.  It is that they are nothing new.  I know this has been going on for 1000 years if not since 632. 

We need to look to history on how to deal with them.  The only thing they will react to is strength and the complete rejection of their game.  They offer the choices of conversion, slavery, death or tax and our answer needs to be None of the Above.

Spin Zone / Barbary Pirates and ...
« on: January 05, 2016, 04:10:52 PM »
This is a bit long - hopefully worth reading.

I did some reading over the holidays. I initially thought I was just going to be reading about some US History, the story of the Barbary Pirates, Thomas Jefferson and the march to the Shores of Tripoli. It wound up being a lot more than I anticipated.

First - an interesting tidbit that you can pass along to all your Marine friends. The phrase "to the shores of Tripoli" in the Marine Corp Hymn comes from the Tripoli wars. A force of 500 marched 500 miles across the desert to attack and capture the city of Derne with the intent of installing a new sultan. For the day, it was an amazing feat of military accomplishment. The twist that I suspect many Marines don't know or would want to admit is that out of that force of 500, there were only 8 US Marines present and two of them were killed before reaching the fort on the shore. So, even if you don't tell them, every time you hear them proudly singing, remember that only 6 Marines actually made it to the shores of Tripoli.  :)

I read the book - Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade, a history of the war against the Barbary Pirates. The trouble with the pirates really started in 1784 when the newly formed United States became an independent country. Lo and behold, the tribute money which had been paid by England before the Revolution and France for a while afterwards was no longer there to keep the pirates at bay. Hundreds of US ships were seized and US trade in the Mediterranean was practically shut down. In order to save money, the US had decommissioned all warships after the Revolution, there was no Navy to save us.  American merchant ships were helpless.

Early on Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with a representative of one of the pirate lords which quickly showed the impracticality of paying tribute to prevent attacks - the new United States just did not have that much money. Despite it appearing to be a dead end, Adams, being rather bullheaded as he was, pressed harder to learn why. What was their beef with the United States, with all the European powers?  I was a little dismayed to read that the justification by the pirates was that their holy book commanded them to attack infidels wherever they could be found, to enslave Christians and Jews, to convert those who would convert, tax those would acknowledge the superiority of their religion and kill however many was necessary to accomplish their goal. Why is it that we never talk about the fact that the Barbary pirates were Muslims who were driven by the same justifications of Islam that we're dealing with today? Today we would call what they're doing "state sanctioned terrorism".

But then I got to thinking...surely 1784 was not the first time this topic had raised it's head? No, of course it wasn't. I won't detail every battle, attack and war, but let's just say that Islam spent the better part of the 7th-10th centuries getting their house in order, in establishing their caliphate. The Western world cares about Islam again in 1077 when the Islamic general Atsiz Awaq forces the city of Jerusalem to surrender, then violates his truce and slaughters 3000 Christians and destroys dozens of Christian churches, kicking off the First Crusade. You may not have connected the dots, but all of the Crusades were reactions to Islamic treachery. Today we'd call it terrorism or genocide, but the source is the same - they believe the Koran commands Muslims to enslave non-Muslims, to convert non-Muslims and to kill any who get in their way.

I've been doing some additional reading - there's some facinating secondary source documents (verified translations of primary documents from ancient Arabic) at

This paragraph from Robert the Monk in the 11th century describing how the Turks treated Christians sounds so familiar. Its almost like they're doing the same kinds of things today.

They circumcise the Christians, and the blood of the circumcision they either spread upon the altars or pour into the vases of the baptismal font. When they wish to torture people by a base death, they perforate their navels, and dragging forth the extremity of the intestines, bind it to a stake; then with flogging they lead the victim around until the viscera having gushed forth the victim falls prostrate upon the ground. Others they bind to a post and pierce with arrows. Others they compel to extend their necks and then, attacking them with naked swords, attempt to cut through the neck with a single blow. What shall I say of the abominable rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent.

I can trace notion of submission to Islamic rule and paying a tax in lieu of being killed back to 642, just 10 years after the death of Mohammed.  This was during a time when Islam was conquering it's neighbors and very strongly encouraging a large part of the Arab world into Islam.  It really didn't affect Europe much until the late 11th century, resulting in the First Crusade as mentioned above.

These issues that the West had with these beliefs in Islam in the past are the same as the issues we're seeing today. The Muslims who practice the original Islamic law are just flat out racist - or whatever *-ist applies to religion. You are either a Muslim or you are inferior. If you are not Muslim, you can be legally enslaved, you can be killed, you can be raped and nobody will care. Those who wish to live in peace may pay the jizya or "peace tax", or if you prefer, pirate tribute. Or perhaps you just like to call it payola, insurance money or a protection racket.

I'm still looking at this.  But it appears that this whole thing that ISIS is doing is nothing new.  I can trace the same kind of behavior back to at least the 11th century.  And I think we have to look to history for our solution.  They offer conversion, tax, slavery or death.  I think our only option is to reject their game - and the only language they understand is strength.

Didn't we go through this already in the SZ?

NASA admits that base temperature data were adjusted from something that was basically flat into something that showed an upward trend in temperature.  Their explanation was correction for error in thermometer replacement.

Unfortunately the fact that they hid this for years and they cannot logically explain their adjustments using rational reasons makes the data suspect at best.  This was the basis for climate change and there is sufficient evidence to doubt it's scientific truth. 

Spin Zone / Re: Registered Republican
« on: December 11, 2015, 01:24:42 PM »
You heard me right.

Even though I am a Libertarian, why did I do it? A few reasons:

1) I need to be able to vote in next year's primaries. The Democrats will have Hillary, and the primary vote will hardly matter on that side.
2) I can still vote Libertarian in the general election.
3) As a Libertarian voting in the Republican Primaries, I can choose the candidate that best represents my Libertarian views (though there aren't many who seem truly Libertarian).

I feel good.

I went the opposite direction and registered Independent.  In North Carolina an Independent voter can vote in one or other primary.

Spin Zone / Re: C.S. Lewis quote from my .sig
« on: December 08, 2015, 08:23:45 AM »
BTW - remember that the quote applies whether your consider yourself on the left or the right.  We see the left in charge right now, but it would equally intolerable to be "progressed" into good habits by the moral saints on the right. 

The pendulum always swings. 

Spin Zone / C.S. Lewis quote from my .sig
« on: December 07, 2015, 01:36:40 PM »
Thought it was an interesting quote, but nobody wants to read all of this in my, here's what I'm saving you all from by having the shorter one.  Enjoy.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

Spin Zone / Re: What Will the Downfall of the US Look Like?
« on: December 07, 2015, 01:28:49 PM »
I'm of the opinion that the US as we know/knew it is not going to be salvageable.  With that premise what do you believe we will see as signs backing this up.  I'll give you one sign I see today.  The seeming hatred of the first amendment on college campuses and the use of "free speech zones".  Will these college kids bring that with them into the "real world" as they try to assimilate into the work place?

This is not a sign of the fall, it's just a sign of intolerance and bigotry.  They will get outed as being haters sooner or later, the question is how much damage they do first.

I think the fall of the United States looks like rioting, looting and civil disorder.  That comes after the police give up and the wolves become just a little bolder.  Individuals will have to keep close to home to protect their stuff, commerce breaks down and then the dollar collapses.  There isn't a world bank big enough to bail us out if it happens.

That isn't a certainty, but I believe it will be economic, not political.

Spin Zone / Re: Morten Storm Predicts US Terrorist Attacks within 2 Weeks
« on: December 07, 2015, 01:25:48 PM »
Meh.  I've been expecting one for several months now.  It will happen when it happens.  Hopefully I'm not there or I'm prepared in some way.

And they all occur in gun free zones in states with the MOST RESTRICTIVE GUN LAWS.

Of course.

The San Bernadino shooting is what a terrorist attack under gun control looks like.  The evil-doers with the guns kill the unarmed civilians whose only option is hide and hope the police get the bad guys first.

That's not to say that a good guy with a gun would have stopped either of these two, but at least there's a choice to defend one's self vs being murdered at the will of the State of California. 

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