Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Politics and Faith


I don't know from whence Street Prophets stole this. But I stole it from them:



59 comments:

  1. Words fail me, so I'll just put in a series of numbers that typify how I feel about that picture: 666.

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  2. Oh, Monkey - You are so 2004 with that number! Go
    here
    to get yourself up to date!

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  3. Off topic...hope you shuck and jivers are mad as hell about the Wall Stree Bailouts. Call your congress leaders and let them know

    1. You will not pay for Wall Street's mistakes.

    2. You will not vote for anyone who dares suggest you should pay for Wall Street's mistakes.

    Bob Corker: 202-224-3344
    Lamar Alexander: 202-224-4944
    David Davis: 202-225-6356

    This is literally a death struggle for the life of the American Middle Class. If we lose, we lose it all, and our future generations will live in rank poverty while the wealthy gaze down in scorn from the tops of the marble palaces.

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  4. Rachel,

    While your ideology is well meaning, your first paragraph and last paragraph don't go together.

    yes people should go to jail for what they have done. Only they had the foresight to deregulate themselves first, so they weren't breaking any laws.

    And yes, its unfair for the taxpayer to pay the burden.

    And yes the Bush administration will find a way to use this to increase the unitary power of the Executive, and the rich are going to get richer and poor are going to get poorer.

    But it is too late.

    Unless you think fighting WW III to get out of the Greatest Depression is an option.

    The taxpayer is going to pay no matter what. The question is, what is the most organized way to pay, and how do we minimize how much the taxpayer will pay.

    A collapse of the financial system will cost you personally more than you can possibly imagine.

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  5. You're welcome! I posted it at Street Prophets after I lifted it from BartCop.com

    I used it to accent one of my regular news roundups.

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  6. Jodie, I don't have a clue what you are implying when you say "Unless you think fighting WW III to get out of the Greatest Depression is an option."

    If you think our system can be salvaged by bailing big business out your are going to be in for a surprise. These bailouts are just going to prolong the agony and put the dollar that much closer to collapse. The poor and middle class will suffer from inflation and taxation, while those on Wallstreet fill their pockets with fresh new dollars.

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  7. The current mess is the direct result of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, one of the cornerstones of the New Deal. As predicted, the lax regulation led to a speculative bubble that has now burst.

    Conservatives love to rail about how crazy it is that we still have those New Deal laws on the books. Turns out there was a reason.

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  8. Funny how Clinton (a Democrat) was the one who repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Can you explain that one?

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  9. Flycandler, I've done some research, and found that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act was bipartisian:

    "38 of 45 Senate Democrats voted for the repeal (which passed 90-8), including some famous names commonly associated with "progressive" politics by the easily gulled: Dodd, Kennedy, Kerry, Reid, and Schumer. And, of course, there was the inevitable shout of "yea" from the ever-servile corporate factotum Joseph Biden, Barack Obama's idea of a tribune of "change"--if by change one means erasing any lingering obstacle to corporate domination of the polity."

    source

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  10. Rachel,

    It was WW II that ultimately got America out of the Great Depression. War used to be good for business. Well, that and the fact that by the end of the war we were one of the only industrialized nations left standing. Sweden being another.

    So unless you are planning on suffering through and surviving WW III, I suggest something less dramatic than letting the whole thing come crashing down.

    What is >>your<< suggestion? Remember, you have till about Friday this week to implement the fix. After that its the Apocalypse. No kidding.

    Of course some people would welcome the Apocalypse. They think it would hasten the second coming. Notice that poster? The little girl is smiling...

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  11. Jodie,

    "War used to be good for business."

    And war is not good for business now? LOL!...Have you ever heard of the 'military industrial complex'? Don't you think somebody is getting rich off the 2 billion we spend each week in Iraq?

    Jodie, letting the banks fail will not bring about the 'Apocalypse'---bailing them out will. The moral thing to do is to let these big businesses and banks fail. We are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren.

    Before I tell you what the solution is, you need some background first on what caused the crisis that we are in. Flycandler pointed out part of the cause of the current mortgage crisis, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. But the underlying cause was the Federal Reserve System, which is an unelected, government-licensed monopoly that inflates the supply of dollars in our economy.

    "The mortgage crisis and the current economic turmoil is a direct result of the Federal Reserve's artificial lowering of
    interest rates - which spurred major banks and other corporations to back bad mortgages..

    The Solution:

    1.) End the Bailouts - The Federal Reserve's authority to use taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street must be revoked and
    the Fed must be held accountable.

    2.) Stop Congress' Reckless Spending - We must freeze all non-entitlement spending by the federal government at
    current levels and eliminate wasteful spending both domestically and in our trillion-dollar overseas budget.

    3.) Cut Taxes - If Wall Street can be given your tax dollars, shouldn't you get some back? It's time to cut taxes and return
    your money to you. Combined with spending reform, this will increase the purchasing power of our dollars and help
    lessen the economic storm.

    4.) Reform the Monetary System - If we are to have long-term economic progress, we must end the system of printing
    money out of thin air. The current laws limiting the circulation of gold and silver-backed currency must be overturned."

    Source

    If we continue on the path that Bush, McCain, Obama and the current two-party system in Washington are taking us on there will be another Great Depression and more wars. They will probably bail out Wall Street now, but we will have to pay the price down the road...i.e. hyper-inflation.


    As for the piture, I agree there are freaky evangelicals who support McCain and his pro-war positions. They actually believe that God has instructed us to militarize the Middle East. I really believe that these types of people are a minority of the Christian community, so I try not to dwell too much on it. I try to get the truth out instead of antagonizing them.

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  12. Well...

    You couldn't get these done by Friday.

    So there will be a complete crash of the stock market, a failure of just about all the banks in the world, the end of all credit, and the loss of all savings - and that only gets you to Monday. Then layoffs on a scale you have never heard of, followed by defaults on most mortgages, shutting down of most hospitals before the winter flu season, and that gets you to Thanksgiving.

    But cooler head will likely prevail.

    "It's time to cut taxes and return
    your money to you."

    It's not how much you pay in taxes that matters, its what you gross. I would prefer to pay 30% on 200K than 0% on 100K.

    So let's stop talking about our tax rates and start talking about how to improve our standard of living.

    Generally speaking, taxes are spent to improve the infrastructure, such as better communication and transportation systems, better educated well fed creative people, a cleaner environment and widespread health care leading to healthier people who can work harder and longer, all of which allows for more and better business opportunities, which increases the overall income and general wealth and living standard of the entire population.

    Higher taxes is not the problem. Lower income and a corroding infrastructure is.

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  13. My God, Jodie, you don't get it!


    Didn't you read #2? We would put an end to wasteful spending. We are spending a trillion-dollars overseas a year. Wouldn't that be enough money to support the needy and build infrastructure?

    Forget about it. One day you people will get it, but in the mean time continue to bow down to the establishment and BIG Business. They will lead us into the Utopia. HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

    I will prepare for hard times when the Shit Hits The Fan because we are headed for it becuase people like you (majority of the population) won't wake up and fix the future for me and my prosperity.

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  14. Rachel,

    You are right and you are wrong.

    When a car is in a spin is not the time to yell at the driver over speeding. You now have a new problem.

    You might say hey, let him crash, he deserves it. Maybe so, but if you are a passenger in that car, you might consider some other course of action.

    Good luck in the weeks and months to come.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/
    20080923/pl_politico/13769

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  15. Thanks for your kind words Jodie. I wish you well in the future too. You are more mature than I am; I haven't learned to control my emotions. I read the article you sent and I get your analogy. To use your analogy,

    If I am in a car that is in spin I will politely ask the driver to slow down and reverse its' course of action. Not to speed up and put the car in overdrive.

    The passengers in the car are the Wallstreet bankers and industries. I say let them crash. If I were runnning my own business, do you think the government would bail me out?

    By propping up the system we are putting the inevitable crash off until the future. I believe Doctor Paul when he says that by continuing to prop up the system it is only going to make things worse in the long run. It does not bring me peace of mind knowing this, and this is why I want people to do the right thing. I want to believe that my son's future will be bright. Here is the frontpage CNN article by Dr. Paul.

    Why is it too much to ask to have faith that we can reverse the trend we are on..i.e Fascism (Socialist corporatism)? We can stop the car from crashing down the road.

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  16. It's funny how the Republican alway complain about big government and big government spending, and yet it is always under the Republicans that the Government grows out of control and that the national debt blows up.

    I don't agree with Dr Paul that what led us here was regulation. I think it was de-regulation which un-bridles greed. There is right regulation and wrong regulation, and government needs to protect the little guys from the stampeding bulls in our china closets.

    But he is right that where we have ended up is basically fascism: A government controlled economy.

    I think the Republican ideology has been after that all along: Control.

    (And that explains why the Fundamentalists always flock in their direction. They too have an un-satiable need to control).

    I agree the foundations are broken. I've believed that for twenty years. So now it's all coming down. But personally I would like to prop up the system long enough so we can get out from under it and fix it in a controlled fashion. If you let it come down uncontrolled, I really think it will be worse for everybody.

    It might happen anyway.

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  17. Poor Rachel, with her every comment she shows she has no idea what libertarianism stands for. Perhaps she could expond on it on her blog but then again no one would read her comments about it if she did. That's why she uses others blogs to get her "message" out.

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  18. Jodie, you have to quit thinking along party lines. You cannot honestly lay all the blame for our problems with the Republican Party. Take the repeal of Glass-Stegall for example, it was bi-partisian! Look at what Bill Clinton did with NAFTA. It is true that the Dems have done a better job at balancing the budget, but the Dems still support wars and they are going to jump all over this economic package. Let's hope angels, like Dennis Kucinich get their deal enacted. I like what he says, but it is always GREED that wins in Washington and GREED is across party lines.

    "Republicans want to be your Daddy.
    Democrats want to be your Mommy.
    Libertarians want to treat you like an adult."

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  19. Dr. Monkey, the only thing I want is for people to realize that the two-party system is morally bankrupt and they are going to kill us. I am all for Chomsky and Naomi if their ideal world could actually be achieved. But it can't and won't because of the human characteristics that you will never get rid of: GREED and SELFISHNESS. YOu will never have angels looking out for us. That is why libertarianism and the least amount of government interference is the best form of governance. I'm not going to sit here and argue it with you. If you are not too old, you will figure it out in this lifetime when the SHTF. But then again you may never wake up. Bastiat's, The Law, would be a good starting point for you and anyone interested in what it means to live free.

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  20. Yes, Rachel, I believe that conservatives, both Republican and Democratic, are to blame for this. Bill Clinton ran as an economic populist in 1992, and after he won, he had a famous meeting with Alan Greenspan and Bob Rubin, where they sat Clinton down and explained the economic facts of life to him (I envision Ned Beatty in Network). He fell into line accordingly. He was a DLC Democrat anyway, so I guess we should have seen it coming.

    You are actually wrong about Biden's vote on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Biden, along with every Democrat save one (the now-retired Fritz Hollings of South Carolina) voted AGAINST in a party line vote that still passed (Rs were in the majority back then). My source is the actual roll call of the US Senate: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=106&session=1&vote=00105

    Phil Gramm pulled a fast one during the conference that resolved differences between the House and Senate versions, so that a lot of members of Congress voted for something that was in fact different than what they had voted on previously.

    There's a reason we went 75 years without another Depression, and it wasn't the myth of laissez-faire capitalism. It was New Deal regulated capitalism.

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  21. As far as the four-point plan goes, here's my quick debunk.

    1. This is exactly what the economic conservatives in the Hoover Administration advocated, and it did nothing to help the crisis. Letting banks just fail caused panic amongst account holders, and people started withdrawing all their funds and stashing it in mattresses. It caused banks to fail even more rapidly and deflation exploded as there was less and less money available in the economy. This actually led the Federal Reserve to begin issuing Federal Reserve notes rather than dollars backed by gold and helped the Fed get a lot of the power it now enjoys.

    2. "Freeze all non-entitlement spending" means a lot more than you think. The cost of running the government is going up (particularly anything that involves transportation, since fuel is so outrageously expensive). We have infrastructure (a lot of it either New Deal or Great Society projects) falling apart as planned useful lives of bridges, power lines, roads, etc., end. As that infrastructure collapses, it will be harder and harder to do business in the United States. Natural and man-made disasters will be harder (and more expensive) to combat.

    Yes, war is very good for business. It's a way that governments can fuel economic growth. The problem is that the products of defense contractors are temporary. Once you fire a bullet or drop a bomb, it's destroyed.

    Public works can be very good for business (particularly small business). When government spends money on infrastructure (highways, schools, airports), it is an investment that continues to pay for decades to come. Think about how much of the American economy of the last half century owes to the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System!

    I agree we need to end the occupation of Iraq and curtail military spending (especially our role as arms dealer to the world). But we still need that money to strengthen America.

    3. This sounds great in a stump speech, but the reality is that government is us and we all have a responsibility here. As the Federal government goes deeper into debt (and massive tax cuts will only exacerbate this), the dollar becomes weaker and weaker. The Euro is already becoming the world's de facto currency, and that is frightening as hell. The Canadians are terrified about this, trust me. The Euro isn't backed by a precious metal, but by very strict economic regulation by the ECB of member countries in the Eurozone. In fact, meeting the strict financial requirements of the Eurozone have helped lift Ireland, Greece and Portugal, traditionally the weakest economies in Europe, into the same league as Germany and France.

    4. This is a recipe for massive deflation. Hoover's dogmatic attachment to the gold standard worsened the Depression, and most economists agree that at this point (due somewhat to FDR's partial decoupling of the dollar to gold, but mostly to Nixon's complete decoupling), the toothpaste is out of the tube and the only way to go back onto a gold standard would be to eliminate the dollar and start a new currency a la third-world countries. Hmm.. maybe we can call Dr. Paul's new currency the "Amero" and get the black helicopter crowd to mess themselves!

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  22. Flycandler, I'm using GovTrack and it says Biden voted Aye to pass S.900, The Gramm-Leach-Biley Act, in November of 1999. I'm not sure what the difference is, but I will look into it. Here is the timeline from your source. Why would they be opposed in March, and then for it in November?

    "There's a reason we went 75 years without another Depression, and it wasn't the myth of laissez-faire capitalism. It was New Deal regulated capitalism."

    I'm going to use the John-Jodie line:

    Flycandler, I admire your idealism; let's hope that you are right and that the status quo is going to put us on the right track by bailing out Wall Street. People over at the DailyPaul and Campaign for Liberty are under the impression that the Federal Reserve System is the cause of the 1930's depression and that it will inevitable be the cause of our next Great Depression.

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  23. Thanks for your reply flycandler. It will help me to go back to my bubble of living a normal life where everything is fine. I will read it several times and really try to convince myself.

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  24. Flycandler, will you watch this 5 min. video of Boston Legal and respond to it. Flycandler do you have access to watch videos? What do you think of Iran's latest speech to UN on:

    CNN


    Larry King


    and


    on NPR news?

    I'm going to have a hard time justifying war with them.


    Let me know when you hear the latest on the bailouts.

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  25. For Dr. Monkey, here is what the term libertarian means to me: It is wrong to use threats, fraud, or the use of force against honest, peaceful people. This is known as the non-aggression principle. Author Richard Maybury says that libertarianism can be summed up as: 1) Do all you promise, 2) Do not aggress. Others have noted that the libertarian principles are the application of the "Golden Rule" to government.

    I believe that Rachel understands these principles and what libertarianism stands for.

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  26. Paul, the definition you quote is a lovely idea, as is the lamb lion down with the lion. Now, if you can explain to me how a government will cause the lamb and the lion to go about doing that, it might clear things up for people like Monkey and me.

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. snad,

    Thanks for the question. The purspose of government is to maintain peace and administer justice through the use of threats and force. (Barmen Declaration) Government, in your example, is one lion. Another lion is one who initiates force or fraud against another person or group of people. Then, government may step in to prevent or restore the victims.

    Another description of government is that it is how we decide when it is appropriate to use threats and force in a civilized manner. There are some problems with this, though, in that the government can use its power to oppress. The church has a proper responsibility to bring this out when it happens. Not only that but we are limited "according to the measure of human judgment and human ability." Which means we will make mistakes.

    I hope this helps you to understand a little better.

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  29. Anyone have any idea what Rachel is talking about?

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Paul. Huh? Oh, never mind. Obfuscation can never be made clear by, um, more obfuscation.

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  32. CONSIDER:

    1. The Fed. Govt.'s choice to step in and "save" the banks is going to cost $700 Billion

    2. The Fed. Govt's stepping in to take control of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is going to cost an estimated $200-300 Billion

    3. For the first time in the history of our country, the United States will likely have a Annual Deficit greater than $1 Trillion!

    4. The War in Iraq, if all was to cease right now, will have cost an estimated $3.5 Trillion (3 500 000 000 000)

    A. Where is this money coming from?

    B. What is the dollar worth after it is "created?"

    C. WHO, is in control when the Federal Govt reaches the breaking point, when the dollar reaches the breaking point? Not me, not you, Not Congress, Not our representatives ... you need to watch the videos.

    Educate yourselves if you have time. If you are like many, you use "busy" as the main excuse for not taking the time to search these things out. Scripture states: "Ye Cannot Be Saved in Ignorance."

    All truth is empowering and can enable one to draw clear and accurate conclusions. For me, below is evidence that Lucifer, the self-professed god of this world, uses money to control armies, navies, and countries to cause pain and suffering to the children of God.

    Banking Made Easy Videos (Who controls the World):

    one

    two

    three

    four

    five


    Ron Paul Video

    Consider these videos whenever you watch President Bush speak tonight.

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  33. snad,

    I am hurt by your comment. I was honestly trying to explain an idea. It may not be the best explanation, and I could do better but it was not obfuscation. I was honestly attempting to respond to your request for an explanation in an understandable way. I may also not have understood what you said so my response may have missed the mark. I apologize about that, but am not sure what you were looking for. If you could restate your request, maybe I can understand it and better respond. Again, there was no intent of mine to conceal or confuse you, the fault is entirely mine for not understanding and not respoding in a clear manner.

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  34. This blog is a madhouse! But I love ya all!

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  35. Rachel,

    While the cost of the war in Iraq is ginormous, about 3 billion dollars a week, or about 300 Thousand dollars a minute, it does not add up to 3.5 Trillion yet. I put the price tag at about 600 to 700 Billion. How do you figure?

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  36. Paul, bless your heart! Basically, I was obfuscating - as a way to say that your "definition" was all fluffy clouds and booboo kissing. Please don't be hurt.

    here is what the term libertarian means to me: It is wrong to use threats, fraud, or the use of force against honest, peaceful people. This is known as the non-aggression principle.

    It is also known as "good business". I don't think this definition is sole property of libertarians.

    Author Richard Maybury says that libertarianism can be summed up as: 1) Do all you promise, 2) Do not aggress.

    These two simple tenets are no less than I expect of any elected official, government agency, or executive administration, whether Rep, Dem, Green, Lib, Soc, or Rosecrucean (forgive the spelling, but you get my point). Again, no sole ownership for you!

    Others have noted that the libertarian principles are the application of the "Golden Rule" to government.

    Bah! Humbug! Deregulation of corporations will lead to very few golden rulings, I fear. My idea of the GR is to have social programs to help those in real need, and not the the chapter of Atlas Shrugged where we finally learn who John Galt really is.

    Call me a dreamer.

    Nice apology, by the way. It made me want to watch "A Fish Called Wanda", again.

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  37. In case you're curious:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7mIy97_rlo

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  38. Snad, how do you plan to fight the elite/Corporations? Or do you not mind being enslaved?

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  39. "Or do you not mind being enslaved?"

    I, for one, am waiting for the Daleks to return. Then you'll know what enslavement is! Bwah! Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Erm. Puh-lease.

    This thread has become an episode of Dr. Who. But unfortunately the Christopher Eccleston Dr Who, not the fun or interesting ones. ;)

    We now return you to the previously scheduled Ron Paul commercial, already in progress... (Perhaps he will save us from the Daleks AND the Cybermen too?)

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  40. Heard an interesting interview with Naomi Klein. This is classic shock doctrine at work. The only remedy is to not panic, and to let your members of Congress know exactly what you think. There's a huge swell of opposition to the bailout from both sides, and as I always say, any politician worth his or her salt, when s/he sees a parade, will rush out in front of it.

    ---

    Alan, I kind of liked the Eccleston Who, though Billie Piper pissed me off (lay off the eyeliner and lip gloss, honey), but Tennant is better. Neither holds a candle to Tom Baker, though.

    I liked Catherine Tate as a companion and never understood the British antipathy toward her until I discovered "The Catherine Tate Show", which is available on Netflix and is hysterically funny. People couldn't get over the "I'm not bovvered" catchphrase when she was in "Who".

    One final geeky thought: remember, it's the Cybermen who assimilate. The Daleks "EX-TUH-MIN-AYET!"

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  41. Rachel,

    Since we don't really know one another, I can only assume that I am no more enslaved to the corporations than you are - perhaps less so.

    But speaking broadly, the best way for any of us to prevent ourselves from being enslaved, as you so dramatically put it, is to avoid living on credit whenever possible, reduce consumption of all things, do not allow yourself to believe the hype about anything you hear, and play well with others.

    In other words, be happy with what you are, what you have, and who you love.

    Peace,
    Snad

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  42. Snad, I understand that first and foremost one must get their life in order, but I am up for a fight. I would rather die fighting than to live knowing that the constitution may be subverted by the forces we are at odds against today. That is why I joined the ET Campaign for Liberty. It is the duty of every citizen to stay in touch with everything that is going on in Congress and demand that they abide by the Constitution. Our kids and grandkids future is on the line.

    Did you call your reps?

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  43. Rachel,

    Asking Snad if she talks to her representatives in congress is like asking the Pope if he ever goes to church. You are talking about one of the most pro-active, in the politician's offices, grassroots organizer, on the streetcorner, making a difference people I know. She walks the talk, believe me.

    Now, my friend, your Ron Paul sermonizing has begun to annoy even me. Just saying...

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  44. I'm not sermonizing about Ron Paul. I'm simply asking a question. I want to know if we are in the same fight.

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  45. Fly wrote: "One final geeky thought: remember, it's the Cybermen who assimilate. The Daleks "EX-TUH-MIN-AYET!""

    Good point. Personally I'm much more fond of the Raxacoricofallapitorians. *burp*

    BTW, there's a YouTube video of a parrot who has been taught to say "EX-TUH-MIN-AYTE!" like the Daleks. Funny stuff.

    Eccleston was just too smiley for my taste and not nearly as dreeeeeeaaamy as Tennant. But I have to confess, I never saw Dr. Who before the current few seasons, though I do remember flipping past the guy with the 'fro, the scarf, and the metal dog on PBS back in the day.

    (And what was up with Billie Piper in the last couple episodes? New dental work? She sounded weird. You're right, she applies make-up like a bad drag queen.)

    Anyway ... Carry on... :)

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  46. John -

    Thanks for that comment. You do me a much greater honor than I deserve.

    Rachel -

    To answer your question and then move on, if you are asking if I and others who challenge you are working in our way to improve the condition of this place called Earth, then, yes, we are in the same fight. If, on the other hand, you are asking if we choose to suck the joy out of every ounce of life until it resembles a desiccated carcass in the desert, I would have to say, no.

    And frankly, my dear, and with great respect and concern for you and your family, that is all I hear coming from you these days. I encourage you, on this gloriously beautiful day, to take your little one and go outside - walk along the trail to Laurel Falls. Roll in the leaves and wade in the creek with your jeans rolled up. And if, after that, you don't feel any sense of joy, then by all means, jump right back into your fight - for that is what you are wired for.

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  47. Meanwhile Alan and Flycandler are talking in secret code. I am totally missing this. What is this show?

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  48. You have totally lost control, John. :)

    The proper response, a la David Tenent as Dr. Who would be:

    What?

    What???

    WHAT?!?!?!

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  49. It is an exciting time to be alive. There are so many ideas out there as to which path America will take. I love sharing Ron Paul's ideas of freedom and abolishing the Fed.

    I'm just trying to learn and grow by talking to people who can offer different perspectives than mine. It also makes me feel good to share the message in this fight to save America. Flycandler has given me much to consider with his rebuttal of the four point plan. Those are the types of conversations I like to have. Now if I had all the time in the world I would have already researched his points and provided a rebuttal of my own, but I haven't taken the time.

    I love life. I do not take time away from my family by talking to you guys...but I do take time away from school work, which is so mundane in light of recent events.

    Now if I'm getting on your nerves all you really have to do is ignore me or call me on it like you and John did.

    By the way, we're going to head out to Elk Falls on Saturday. I hear it is beautiful.

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  50. I have some catching up to do!

    Loss of control pretty much defines my life.

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  51. I really liked "Turn Left" (the episode where Catherine Tate's character goes through the last few seasons as if the Doctor wasn't able to save Earth from peril). The post-crash scenes reminded me so much of the BBC's depressing Cold War nuclear holocaust drama "Threads" (watch it if you dare, but be ready to be physically ill).

    I loved the realism of Donna having no makeup on after that point and her resulting pallor added to the emotional impact, but she seemed to be completely washed out next to Piper and her troweled-on makeup (and WTF with those horse-teeth?).

    John, this is actually relevant to this thread. In that episode, Britain is rocked by a nuclear explosion caused by a crashing spaceship, and the grandfather says "at least the Americans are sending help. God bless America!" right before the news announces that half of the US population has disappeared and ascended into the sky. Not the rapture--a weight-loss drug turns out to be a fiendish plot to turn human fat into little baby aliens that are "hatched" and sucked up into the mother ship.

    It's an awesome show, as you can probably tell by my and Alan's complete geeking out.

    BTW, Alan, a great Tom Baker show is "Genesis of the Daleks", which covers their origins and explains a lot of the Davros stuff you just saw. Back in the day, "Who" was a half-hour serial show, and stories arced across anywhere from 2 to 10 episodes. You'll also see a VERY young Sarah Jane.

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  52. Fly: Turn Left was great. Not my favorite, that would have to be Blink, but still good nonetheless. Hmm ... I'll hafta see if I can netflix some of the older stuff.

    BTW, I wish I could knit because I saw a pattern for knitting a cute little stuffed Adipose on boingboing.

    There John. How's that for a sentence that has absolutely no meaning to the uninitiated? "Cute little stuffed Adipose on boingboing." Ha! :)

    That reminds me of the Simpsons episode in which they travel to Australia and they pass a theater with a marquee that reads, "Yahoo Serious Film Festival" and Lisa comments, "I know those words, but that sign makes no sense."

    That, by the way, is my round-about way of segueing to the topic of your latest post, John. :)

    Given enough time I can link any topic to any other. I'm the Kevin Bacon of non-sequitur.

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  53. You guys have sold me. Do I rent this series at the video store or what? What!? WHAT!!???

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  54. By the way, we're going to head out to Elk Falls on Saturday. I hear it is beautiful.

    Enjoy, Rachel!

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  55. Yup, John: Dr. Who Season 1 thru 4 are out on DVD.

    (That's confusing, BTW, since this series has been on BBC for like 25 years...but by Season 1-4, I mean the current incarnation which started back in 2005.)

    It's easy to get into without having seen the previous 25 years. :)

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  56. Jodie,

    Here is a video that explains the 3.5 trillion dollar figure for the Iraq war I quoted above. You are right this is probably on the high end.

    Here

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  57. John, I think you'd love "Doctor Who". Basically, it's a British sci-fi show that has been in (more or less) continuous production since the 1960s. It centers around The Doctor, a mysterious alien who travels in time and space in a ship called the TARDIS, which he cleverly disguises as a phone booth (Police Box for you Anglophiles). He has a weakness for humanity and usually travels with one or more attractive human companions. In the early version, this usually meant running down corridors from aliens wearing cheap costumes and landing on "planets" that bear striking resemblances to rock quarries in southern England. But the writing is brilliant.

    One trait of this particular race of aliens (the Time Lords) is their ability to regenerate into a new physical form when their physical body starts to die. This has led to ten manifestations of the Doctor, played by various British actors:

    1. William Hartnell (grandfatherly and slightly doddering--this describes both character and actor), 1960s
    2. Patrick Troughton (dresses like a hobo and a little more cunning), 1960s
    3. Jon Pertwee (flamboyant and a little imperious), 1970s
    4. Tom Baker (my favorite--with the giant 'fro, the trenchcoat and scarf, manic smile, enormous eyes and a brilliant sense of humor, no doubt helped by script editor Douglas Adams), 1970s
    5. Peter Davison (the sensitive one), 1980s
    6. Colin Baker (the annoying, egotistical one), 1980s
    7. Sylvester McCoy (the brooding, dark one), 1980s
    8. Paul McGann (only appeared in the awful TV movie), 1996
    9. Christopher Eccleston (bald with northern accent), 2005
    10. David Tennant (the hot one), 2005-now

    Aside from this obvious resurrection theme, there are a LOT of religious and spiritual themes throughout the series. Again, I think you'd love it.

    A lot of the early shows are lost forever; since videotape was so expensive, the BBC ended up erasing many of the original tapes. Many of the Tom Baker and newer shows are available on DVD from Netflix, as are the modern series (Eccleston and Tennant). The new "Who" (2005 and later) are also shown on the Sci-Fi channel in the US. Older "Who" is sometimes shown on PBS stations.

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