Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

__Now__ I understand his plan

From the transcript of a presidential news conference as reported by the whitehouse:

\Because the – all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There’s a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those – changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be – or closer delivered to what has been promised.

Does that make any sense to you? It’s kind of muddled. Look, there’s a series of things that cause the – like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate – the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those – if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

Okay, better? I’ll keep working on it.\

I’m glad he cleared that up. Good to know he’s got such a clear understanding of the issues.

What some people consider fun

From CNN:

\Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who commanded Marine expeditions in Afghanistan and Iraq, made the comments Tuesday during a panel discussion in San Diego, California.

“Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot,” Mattis said, prompting laughter from some military members in the audience. “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”\

I have nothing but respect for those who serve in the military out of a sense of duty or honor or patriotism. I may not agree with their decisions, but I respect and honor them for living their convictions. Having said that, I think there is a name for people who “think it’s a hell of a hoot” to shoot people.

We call them psychopaths.

John Quincy Adams quote

“Whenever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will be America’s heart, her benedictions and her prayers. But she does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the wellwisher to freedom and independence for all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She well knows that by once enlisting other banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extridition, in all wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom….She might become the dictress of the world but would no longer be ruler of her own spirit….Americans should not go abroad to slay dragons they do not understand in the name of spreading democracy.”\

__John Quincy Adams__ As Secretary of State

Oklahoma is OK

The state of Oklahoma ranks as the 5th worst in the country for the percentage of people living without health insurance, 7th worst for percentage of teenage parents, 10th worst for people living below the poverty level, 10th worst for burglary rates, and 10th worst for larceny rates.

Given this, what interests the Oklahoma Politicians? What laws do they address? What are their pressing issues? Why, it’s putting little boxing gloves on roosters so they revive cockfighting.

And to prove it must be something in the red state air, not just limited to the Grand Old Party, this yahoo calls himself a democrat.

Christians issue gay warning on SpongeBob video

I never __did__ like this annoying little twerp.
Now I know why

Darth Tater

Finally, a completely non-political post.

Personally, I feel one of the greatest toys went way down hill when Mr. Potato (Not ‘potatoe’ — I guess I just had to say that) Head started shipping with a plastic potato rather than having you stick decorations in real ones. I mean, come on, we were __supposed__ to play with our food!

Having gotten that off my chest, I may just have to get me one of these when they come out in a month.

I mean, how cool is that?!


Another letter (I couldn’t make up something like this)

\Progress for America, Inc
P.O. Box 19242
Washington, DC 20036

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to my attention that your organization has begun running an advertising campaign to promote President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security and cut benefits. The advertisements that are currently being aired feature President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his signing of the original Social Security legislation. I find the use of my grandfather’s image and legacy in your campaign to be highly inappropriate.

For seventy years, Social Security has been the bedrock of retirement security for millions of Americans thanks to the efforts of President Roosevelt. My grandfather would surely oppose the ideas now being promoted by this administration and your organization. Not only that, but to compare the courage it took to provide a guaranteed insurance program for our seniors and the disabled to the courage it will take to dismantle the most successful social program in history is simply unconscionable. We should be working to protect and promote Social Security, not cutting benefits for our seniors.

On behalf of my family, I would ask that you cease using my grandfather’s image in your advertising campaign.


James Roosevelt Jr.\

Social Security Myths

Before you buy into the need to reform Social Security, with all the risks that entails, read this article from CNN/Money.