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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cool NYC Photo

Cool NYC Photo!

Curtesy of

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Religion - What it is...

"Religion is arrogance masquerading as humility."

--Bill Maher

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The New Fascism - A discussion

Featured Views

Published on Monday, August 28, 2006 by
Reclaiming The Issues: Islamic Or Republican Fascism?
by Thom Hartmann

In the years since George W. Bush first used 9/11 as his own "Reichstag fire" to gut the Constitution and enhance the power and wealth of his corporate cronies, many across the political spectrum have accused him and his Republican support group of being fascists.

On the right,The John Birch Society's website editor recently opined of the Bush Administration's warrantless wiretap program: "This is to say that from the administration's perspective, the president is, in effect, our living constitution. This is, in a specific and unmistakable sense, fascist."

On the left, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. specifically indicts the Bush administration for fascistic behavior in his book "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and his Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy."

Genuine American fascists are on the run, and part of their survival strategy is to redefine the term "fascism" so it can't be applied to them any more. Most recently, George W. Bush said: "This nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation."

In fact, the Islamic fundamentalists who apparently perpetrated 9/11 and other crimes in Spain and the United Kingdom are advocating a fundamentalist theocracy, not fascism.

But theocracy - the merging of religion and government - is also on the plate for the new American fascists (just as it was for Hitler, who based the Nazi death cult on a "new Christianity" that would bring "a thousand years of peace"), so they don't want to use that term, either.

While the Republicans promote the term "Islamo-fascism," the rest of the world is pushing back, as the BBC noted in an article by Richard Allen Greene ("Bush's Language Angers US Muslims" - 12 August 2006):

"Security expert Daniel Benjamin of the Center for Strategic and International Studies agreed that the term [Islamic fascists] was meaningless.

"'There is no sense in which jihadists embrace fascist ideology as it was developed by Mussolini or anyone else who was associated with the term,' he said. 'This is an epithet, a way of arousing strong emotion and tarnishing one's opponent, but it doesn't tell us anything about the content of their beliefs.'"

Their beliefs are, quite simply, that governments of the world should be subservient to religion, a view shared by a small but significant part of today's Republican party. But that is not fascism - the fascists in the US want to exploit the fundamentalist theocrats to achieve their own fascistic goals.

Vice President of the United States Henry Wallace was the first to clearly and accurately point out who the real American fascists are, and what they're up to.

In early 1944 the New York Times asked Vice President Wallace to, as Wallace noted, "write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?"

Vice President Wallace's answers to those questions were published in The New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan:

"The really dangerous American fascists," Wallace wrote, "are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

In this, Vice President Wallace was using the classic definition of the word "fascist" - the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word. (It was actually Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Mussolini, however, affixed his name to the entry, and claimed credit for it.)

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." (The US dictionary definition has gotten somewhat squishier since then, as all the larger dictionary companies have been bought up by multinational corporations.)

Mussolini was quite straightforward about all this. In a 1923 pamphlet titled "The Doctrine of Fascism" he wrote, "If classical liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government." But not a government of, by, and for We The People - instead, it would be a government of, by, and for the most powerful corporate interests in the nation.

In 1938, Mussolini brought his vision of fascism into full reality when he dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the "Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni" - the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Corporations were still privately owned, but now instead of having to sneak their money to folks like John Boehner and covertly write legislation, they were openly in charge of the government.

Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out his concern about the same happening here in America in his 1944 Times article:

" If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead."

Nonetheless, at that time there were few corporate heads who had run for political office, and, in Wallace's view, most politicians still felt it was their obligation to represent We The People instead of corporate cartels. The real problem would come, he believed, when the media was concentrated in only a few hands:

"American fascism will not be really dangerous," he added in the next paragraph, "until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information..."

Noting that, "Fascism is a worldwide disease," Wallace further suggested that fascism's "greatest threat to the United States will come after the war" and will manifest "within the United States itself."

In Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel "It Can't Happen Here," a conservative southern politician is helped to the presidency by a nationally syndicated "conservative" radio talk show host. The politician - Buzz Windrip - runs his campaign on family values, the flag, and patriotism. Windrip and the talk show host portray advocates of traditional American democracy as anti-American. When Windrip becomes President, he opens a Guantanamo-style detention center, and the viewpoint character of the book, Vermont newspaper editor Doremus Jessup, flees to Canada to avoid prosecution under new "patriotic" laws that make it illegal to criticize the President. As Lewis noted in his novel:

"The President, with something of his former good-humor [said]: 'There are two [political] parties, the Corporate and those who don't belong to any party at all, and so, to use a common phrase, are just out of luck!' The idea of the Corporate or Corporative State, Secretary [of State] Sarason had more or less taken from Italy." And, President "Windrip's partisans called themselves the Corporatists, or, familiarly, the 'Corpos,' which nickname was generally used."

Lewis, the first American writer to win a Nobel Prize, was world famous by 1944, as was his book "It Can't Happen Here." And several well-known and powerful Americans, including Prescott Bush, had lost businesses in the early 1940s because of charges by Roosevelt that they were doing business with Hitler. These events all, no doubt, colored Vice President Wallace's thinking when he wrote in The New York Times:

"Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after 'the present unpleasantness' ceases."

Thus, the rich get richer (and more powerful) on the backs of the poor and the middle class, giant corporate behemoths wipe out small and middle sized businesses, and a corporate iron fist is seizing control of our government itself. As I detail in my new book "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against The Middle Class," the primary beneficiaries of this new fascism are the corporatists, while the once-outspoken middle class of the 1950s-1980s is systematically being replaced by a silent serf-class of the working poor.

As Wallace wrote, some in big business "are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage." He added, "Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise [companies]. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself."

But American fascists who would want former CEOs as President, Vice President, House Majority Whip, and Senate Majority Leader, and write legislation with corporate interests in mind, don't generally talk to We The People about their real agenda, or the harm it does to small businesses and working people. Instead, as Hitler did with the trade union leaders and the Jews, they point to a "them" to pin with blame and distract people from the harms of their economic policies.

In a comment prescient of George W. Bush's recent suggestion that civilization itself is at risk because of gays or Muslims, Wallace continued:

" The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination..."

But even at this, Wallace noted, American fascists would have to lie to the people in order to gain power. And, because they were in bed with the nation's largest corporations - who could gain control of newspapers and broadcast media - they could promote their lies with ease.

"The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact," Wallace wrote. "Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy."

In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism the Vice President of the United States saw rising in America, he added:

"They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

Finally, Wallace said, "The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. ... Democracy, to crush fascism internally, must...develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels."

This liberal vision of an egalitarian America in which very large businesses and media monopolies are broken up under the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act (which Reagan stopped enforcing, leading to the mergers & acquisitions frenzy that continues to this day) was the driving vision of the New Deal (and of "Trust Buster" Teddy Roosevelt a generation earlier).

As Wallace's President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said when he accepted his party's renomination in 1936 in Philadelphia:

"...Out of this modern civilization, economic royalists [have] carved new dynasties.... It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction.... And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man...."

Speaking indirectly of the fascists that Wallace would directly name almost a decade later, Roosevelt brought the issue to its core:

"These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power."

But, he thundered in that speech:

"Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power!"

In 2006, we again stand at the same crossroad Roosevelt and Wallace confronted during the Great Depression and World War II. Fascism is again rising in America, this time calling itself "compassionate conservatism," and "the free market" in a "flat" world. The RNC's behavior today eerily parallels the day in 1936 when Roosevelt said:

"In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for."

President Roosevelt and Vice President Wallace's warnings have come full circle. Thus it's now critical that we reclaim the word "fascist" to describe current-day Republican policies, support progressive websites that spread the good word, and join together this November at the ballot box to stop fascist election fraud and this most recent incarnation of Republican-fascism from seizing complete and irretrievable control of our nation.

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show carried on the Air America Radio network and Sirius. His most recent book, just released, is "Screwed: The Undeclared War on the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It." Other books include: "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People," and "What Would Jefferson

Curtesy of


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bill O'Reilly - The 'Fair & Balanced' Bully

The O'Reilly-Sucks Truth Zone

Bill O'Reilly is host of The O'Reilly Factor on the FOX news channel. O'Reilly poses as an objective independent news analyst with a no-spin zone. In reality, he's a biased Republican with an all spin-zone.

Fox New's Chronic Fabricator - Bill O'Reilly

Mr Ken45 began regularly watching the Fox News and CNN cable news broadcasts during the Florida election debacle in 2000. The laziness, passivity and dishonesty of many of the commentators on both networks was, and continues to be, breathtaking.

Bill O'Reilly's reporting (the O'Reilly Factor) stands below even this rabble. I will just give two examples of O'Reilly's unbelievable ignorance from my own experience, before quoting a professional.

1) Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, O'Reilly had a hedge fund manager on his show as a guest. The stock market had remained closed in the week of the attacks (9/10-9/14), and fell sharply in the entire week that followed. Bill O'Reilly proceeded to harangue his guest in the pompous and bullying tone that is his trademark. "Anybody who sells stocks is unpatriotic, even treasonous", ranted O'Reilly!

The fund manager tried to explain to 'Mr. Simpleton' that the concept of 'fiduciary responsibility' might legally compel one to sell stocks to stem further losses in clients' accounts. But O'Reilly just repeated his patriotic mantra, ad nausem.

All this bully knows is to wrap himself in the flag and insult his guests, no matter what their expertise, qualifications and accomplishments.

2) In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, there was much discussion about the U.N.'s role and the various resolutions being considered. One evening O'Reilly was discussing the views of the permanent members of the Security Council - and was railing against France's eminently sensible position (remember the O'Reilly inspired French boycott?) of allowing the U.N. inspectors to do their job.

But I was really shocked when the Mr. Know-Nothing began discussing 'another permanent member of the Security Council - Germany!' He was finally corrected by a guest - but the implications of this gaffe are quite amazing. It indicates a complete lack of historical perspective regarding how the United Nations came to exist! Did this pompous fool ever hear of the San Francisco Conference, the Atlantic Charter - or, for that matter, which countries made up the 'Allies'-which of course, became the Security Council (U.S., U.S.S.R., China, Great Britain, France). Uhhhmm, Bill-all these countries fought against Nazi Germany.

Of course, I am sure O'Reilly would deny these two incidents ever happened. As Al Franken documented in many footnotes in his book "Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them", O'Reilly's stock-in-trade are fabrications, misstatements & half-truths-even after he's caught. It's no wonder - his actual fund of knowledge could fill a thimble.

And Media Matters for America, which monitors the press in real time, is constantly pinpointing factual inaccuracies and Republican spin that O'Reilly tries to foist "on the folks" as "fair and balanced". O'Reilly appears almost daily in the section of the the sidebar reserved for Media Matters in MrKen45s Blog.


I am currently reading Lapdogs-How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (2006), by Eric Boehlert. It is sharply critical of the news media, which the author says "has utterly failed in their watchdog duty to the public". The following is some of what he had to say about Bill O'Reilly---


'...That fear of conservative press critics - and the desire to mollify them - also explains why right-wing extremists are treated like serious commentators by the Main Stream Media (MSM) and so rarely challenged. Interviewing Fox News's chronic fabricator Bill O'Reilly, ABC's Good Morning America co-host Charlie Gibson cooed, "I always have a good time talking to him." Previewing a November 2005 speech Bush was giving on Iraq's future, NBC's Today show invited O'Reilly on the program to comment on world affairs, despite the fact O'Reilly announced he had no intention of listening to Bush's Iraq speech. O'Reilly did, though, compare Democrats to Hitler sympathizers on Today, a tasteless attack that host Katie Couric let pass without comment {Italics MrKen45}. (It was left to a late-night comedian, David Letterman, weeks later, to actually press O'Reilly on his hateful rhetoric when O'Reilly appeared on CBS's The Late Show...)'

Friday, August 25, 2006

Human Evolution Gene Discovered

Friday, August 25, 2006

Human Evolution Gene Discovered

Scientists have discovered the gene that causes human brains to evolve beyond those of chimps. What do you think?

Young Woman

Gina Helms,
Mailing Services Provider
"I heard that, coincidentally, it's also the same gene that diminishes interest in bananas to a reasonable level."

Young Man

Harry Benson,
Systems Analyst
"Excuse me, but I think you mean: 'God allowed scientists to discover the gene that God made specifically for humans and not chimps.''"

Black Man

Lloyd Farber,
Costume Designer
"Ah, I always suspected that we humans had a slight edge."

Curtesy of The Onion

Mumbai's 'Hitler's Cross' restaurant to change name after uproar

Mumbai's 'Hitler's Cross' restaurant to change name after uproar

By The Associated Press

A restaurant named after Adolf Hitler that enraged Mumbai's Jewish community will soon have a new moniker, its owner promised Thursday.

Puneet Sablok said he would remove Hitler's name and the Nazi swastika from billboards and the eatery's menu after it had angered so many people. He had previously said the name and symbols were only meant to attract attention.

"Yes, I have decided to change the name. I never wanted to hurt people's
feelings," said Sablok, who made the decision after meeting with members from Mumbai's small Jewish community.

"Once they told me how upset they were with the name, I decided to change it. I never wanted to create this controversy or hurt people with this name," said Sablok. "I don't want to do business by hurting people."

Hitler's Cross opened five days ago and serves pizza, salad and pastries in Navi Mumbai, a suburb of Mumbai, also known as Mumbai.

Mumbai's Jews had called the theme of the restaurant offensive, and demanded a name change. There are about 5,500 Jews in India, with about 4,500 of them living in Mumbai.

On Thursday, Mumbai's Jewish community welcomed Sablok's decision."He
realized he made a mistake and listened to reason," said Elijah Jacob, a
community leader. "Some people have wrong conceptions of history and he
realized it was not appropriate."

Some Indians regard Hitler as just another historical figure and have little knowledge about the Holocaust. Swastikas, an ancient Hindu symbol appropriated by the Nazis, are displayed all over India to bring luck.

Curtesy of The Raw Story

GOP candidate says 9/11 attacks were a hoax

GOP candidate says 9/11 attacks were a hoax
Published: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006

A Republican candidate for this area’s congressional seat said Wednesday that the U.S. government was complicit in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In an editorial board interview with The Telegraph on Wednesday, the candidate, Mary Maxwell, said the U.S. government had a role in killing nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, so it could make Americans hate Arabs and allow the military to bomb Muslim nations such as Iraq.

Mary Maxwell
OFFICE SOUGHT: U.S. Congress, 2nd District.

AGE: 59.

ADDRESS: Concord.



EDUCATION: Doctorate in politics from an Australian college; course in diplomatic and consular law at the University of Mannheim, Germany.



PERSONAL: Husband, George, deceased.

Maxwell, 59, seeks the 2nd District congressional seat. The Concord (NH) resident opposes the incumbent, Charles Bass of Peterborough, and Berlin Mayor Bob Danderson in the Republican primary Sept. 12.

Maxwell would not specify if she holds the opinion that the government stood by while terrorists hijacked four domestic airliners and used them as weapons, or if it had a larger role by sanctioning and carrying out the attacks.

But she implicated the government by saying the Sept. 11 attacks were meant “to soften us up . . . to make us more willing to have more stringent laws here, which are totally against the Bill of Rights . . . to make us particularly focus on Arabs and Muslims . . . and those strange persons who spend all their time creating little bombs,” giving Americans a reason “to hate them and fear them and, therefore, bomb them in Iraq for other reasons.”

She said this strategy “would be normal” for governments, citing her belief that the British government – and not the Germany military – sank the Lusitania ocean liner in 1915. The deaths of Americans on the cruise liner helped galvanize U.S. support to enter World War I, and benefited England, she said.

In turn, the Sept. 11 attacks “made the ground fertile” for more stringent laws, such as the Patriot Act, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, Maxwell said.

Near the end of the interview, Maxwell pounded her fist on the table and asked editors of The Telegraph why they weren’t publishing more stories about the government’s role in the terrorist attacks or proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Maxwell has no political experience. She lived abroad for the past quarter-century with her husband, George, a pediatrician, and only recently returned to the U.S., she said.

In the hour-long interview, Maxwell spoke at length about Constitutional law, U.S. law, nuclear weapons proliferation, and other domestic and foreign policy issues.

Maxwell said the U.S. should withdraw from Iraq. She also questioned whether Congress authorized the war and said its members can’t explain that 2002 vote. (Congress authorized the use of force to defend this country’s security and enforce United Nations resolutions on Iraq.)

“Legally, we shouldn’t have gone to Iraq if Congress can’t explain why,” she said.

Maxwell described herself as a strict Constitutionalist, a candidate who wants to bring the country “back to basics.” The Constitution grants more power to the legislative branch than the other two branches, but Congress has allowed the executive and judicial branches to diminish its influence, she said.

She also said the U.S. shouldn’t immerse itself in the international community by signing trade and security pacts. These agreements have weakened national sovereignty, she said.

Albert McKeon can be reached at 594-5832 or

Curtesy of The Raw Story

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Sinking Sidebar, Redux

The Sinking Sidebar, Redux & Why I Hate Internet Explorer

I don't know why, but these days the sidebar seems to reside way down at the very bottom of the blog. Hopefully, one day it will surface again. But, until then, if you're interested, it's down there. Scroll, baby, scroll.

This problem is only evident in Internet Explorer. In Mozilla Firefox, my sidebar is at the top, where it should be.

Use Mozilla Firefox!
Thanks all!

Also, for 'Sidebar Tricks' go to

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The TSA - 'Thousands Standing Around' - Administration

Curtesy of

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Social Security Trust Fund- A Massive Loan to the Rich

The Richest Americans Try to Renege on Their Loans from the Social Security Trust Fund - with President Bush's Help.

"President bush has called his proposed (privatization) policy 'a promise to reform and preserve Social Security.' In fact, his proposal would neither reform nor preserve Social Security. In the name of preservation, it would destroy the nation's most comprehensive social insurance program and replace it with a system bearing enormous costs and risks for millions of workers and retirees."

--from The Plot Against Social Security: How the Bush Plan Is Endangering Our Financial Future (2005) by Michael A. Hiltzik, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

This is the third book I am researching regarding the current conundrum on Social Security. The following excerpts are from Chapter Six - 'The Myth of the Mythical Trust Fund'...

'...The truth is that Social Security's reserve has been built up from assets belonging to millions of working taxpayers. It's money the government has collected in payroll taxes since 1983 over and above the system's current needs, on the representation that the surplus will eventually be spent to cover the cost spike caused by the retirement of baby boomers.'

'In practice, the money has amounted to a huge loan from the middle class and poor, who pay most of the payroll tax, to the wealthy, who pay most of the income taxes. The income tax rates have been kept low by four presidential administrations, which have raided the trust fund to pay for federal programs that should have been financed by the income tax levy...
Why shouldn't the wealthy be obligated to pay it back?'... (italics MrKen)

'...Presidents and lawmakers alike soon became hooked on the Social Security trust fund. The government sold ("special issue") T-bonds to the Social Security system, in effect borrowing the surplus, and once the borrowed money was in hand, they spent it...'

'...The payroll tax is regressive, meaning it costs lower-earning workers proportionately more than it costs the rich. The income tax is progressive, falling most heavily on higher-earning taxpayers. About three-quarters of all taxpayers, in fact, pay more Social Security tax than income tax. Since the payroll tax is only levied on the first $90,000 (in 2005) in earned income, taxpayers reap larger and larger payroll tax exemptions as their income rises above that amount - but they incur higher income tax rates as their income mounts.'

'...The implications of the pattern may be clearer if ... we view payroll taxpayers and income tax payers separately. Let's say Sam pays only Social Security tax, and Ingrid pays only income tax...'

'...Since 1983, when Social Security taxes were increased and the buildup in the trust fund began, Sam has been paying more into the Social Security system than it has required to pay for current retirees benefits. The excess has been funneled into the trust fund as a cushion against the baby-boom retirements. Until the money is needed to pay for those benefits, it is lent to the federal government, which has used it to cover general (that is, non-Social-Security) expenses.'

'Considering that Ingrid's income taxes normally would have been used to pay for those expenses, she has benefited from the transfer. Indeed, she and her fellow income tax filers have reaped a windfall of more than $1.5 trillion since 1983. Without the loans from Sam and his fellow Social Security taxpayeres, her taxes would have been raised substantially. So she has been able to hold on to a larger proportion of her earnings since 1983 than she otherwise would have...'

'According to Social Security's official projections, the flow of money from the trust fund to the general budget will reverse course sometime around 2022. At that point, Ingrid will be obliged to repay the loans from Sam.'

'What will happen is she reneges on the loans? The options are not pleasant - but all of the unpleasantness will be visited on Sam. His Social Security benefits will be cut, or his payroll taxes will have to be raised. In either case, Ingrid will have enjoyed the fruits of Sam's tax payments for some 40 years. But he will have gained nothing - and he'll have to pay much more for his retirement, to boot.'

'It's true that repaying the loans without reducing the federal budget may require a general tax increase - but that's a burden on Ingrid. In other words, the income tax may have to be raised to repay Ingrid's obligations to Sam. But isn't that the proper course?'

'The point made most commonly about the fiscal retrenchment the country might have to undergo to cover the trust fund redemptions is that it will, essentially, break the bank - that the necessary tax increases or budget cuts will be so large the economy will collapse...'

'...The sums the government will have to transfer to Social Security, compared to the size of the economy at the time, should be manageable. Assuming that the gross domestic product grows at an average 4.5 percent a year in accordance with forcasts by the Congressional Budget Office, then... the total of redemptions from 2025 through 2041 will come to less than one-half of one percent of GDP per year...'

'...It's hard to make the case that paying off the trust fund obligations would be a devastating blow to the economy. All we can say for sure is that if it's so, then President Bush's 2001-2003 tax cuts will be an even harsher blow. They're going to cost an average of 1.95 percent of GDP, or nearly four times the average cost of redeeming Social Security's assets.'

'In fact, the share of the tax cuts paid to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans alone - those who, not so coincidentally, gained most from the government's borrowings from the Social Security trust fund in the first place - comes to about one-half of one percent of GDP. In other words, if their tax cuts were rolled back, the revene gain to the government would cover the cost of redeeming the bonds, with a little left over. Maybe that's why, when you examine who is really behind the organizations looking for privatization of Social Security, you find some of these people...'

MrKen says baby-boomers have to oust the vile and corrupt plutocracy that the Bush Administration represents. Bush and his neo-con friends continue to wage war against the poor and middle class at home, while waging perpetual war around the globe. Bush has promised to bring up his 'privatization' scheme again in 2007, and his new 'lapdog' Treasury Secretary Paulson promises to "overhaul" Social Security.


Book Jacket Curtesy:

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bushwatchers know the following is true!

"Hezbollah attacked Israel, Hezbollah started the crisis, and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis," Bush said, noting that the United Nations resolution agreed to last week calls for the Lebanese army to take over the areas of southern Lebanon once occupied by the Islamic militia.

"Hezbollah, of course, has got a fantastic propaganda machine and they're claiming victory, but how can you claim victory when at one time you were a state within a state, safe within southern Lebanon and now you're going to be replaced?" --George W. Bush

1. George Bush is so happy he can pronounce "Hezbollah", he is saying it as often as he can.

2. He is saying exactly what he what he was told to say because a cease-fire in the Middle East is not in the best interests of the corporate oligarchy that passes for the "U.S. government."


In a global PR coup, Iranian President Ahmadinejad has started his own blog. The site, in Persian, Arabic, English, and French (click on a little flag to choose) had a typical amateur's beginning -- AJ wrote 2,300 words, far too much.

"From now onwards, I will try to make it simpler and shorter.".

Still, there's not much we Americans can say -- we don't have a president who could write 2,300 words on any subject...

Curtesy of Wendy Reid Crisp--

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

ATHEISTIC FORUM - A Godforsaken Place

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."

-- H.L. Mencken
Curtesy of

Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian

- Curtesy

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.

Curtesy of