Make your vote count
jsthepreacher
Please! VOTE in this election. Remember – the only wasted vote is the one not cast.

Here are a few tips to help clear away the mind-numbing barrage of the meaningless drivel from advertising & the media.

First of all, remember that there are no degrees of bad. There is no such thing as: “the lesser of two evils”, a “good bad” or a “better bad”. Every politician out there is a bad politician and every one of them is bad for our country and bad for our lives. So, how do we get rid of them?

1) do not vote for an incumbent
2) do not vote for a lawyer
3) do not vote on the Republican Party or the Democratic Party line. Do vote for the candidate of your choice – just vote for them on some other line (such as the Conservative Party line or the Independence Party line).

Cross-posted to: [Bad username: _gopchristians_], [Bad username: christianity], [Bad username: conservacorner], [Bad username: conservatism], [Bad username: freestate], [Bad username: ljchristians], [Bad username: nehemiah_group], [Bad username: ontd_con], [Bad username: radicals]

The Government's New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS
winslowned
chemchick



Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway - and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants - with no need for a search warrant.

t is a dangerous decision - one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle's underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA's actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno's privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.

The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited. (See the misadventures of the CIA.)

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. "There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist," he wrote. "No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter." The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of "cultural elitism." (Read about one man's efforts to escape the surveillance state.)

The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant. There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state - with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.

Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit's - including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's pro-privacy ruling was unanimous - decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell's totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: "Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania."

Source

Extending the Bush tax cuts. Good idea or Bad idea?
winslowned
chemchick
Photobucket


The Bush tax cuts are set to expire in January of 2011 and there has been much debate about whether or not it's a good idea to extend them. As I'm sure many of you are aware there was much teeth gnashing on the Democrat side when they went into effect. The supposition was that it was a tax cut for the rich and a Very Bad Thing(tm) at the time.

Ironically, some Democrats have begun to re-examine their original opinion and have urged the president to extend the 15% tax rate on capital gains and dividends that will revert to 20% and 39.6%, respectively, next year. The reasoning is that the tax cuts will encourage investment that stimulates growth and job creation. This reasoning has been strongly echoed by the GOP party and for many seems to be the most logical step to take.

On the other side of this coin, David Stockman (who served as President Ronald Reagan's budget director) completely disagrees with that stating the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. Fairly strong words from a man who supports the foundational idea that tax cuts boost the economy.

So where does that leave us? Would these cuts boost the economy or will they bankrupt us?

CNN Money seems to think that they might have the answer. They state thatif the Bush tax cuts expire for the nation's top earners, people making a pinch less than the wealthiest Americans, who don't quite qualify for the new top two tax brackets, could find themselves in an even lower bracket next year.

To delve more deeply "under Obama's tax plan, the 28% income tax bracket would be widened. According to estimates from Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, if your taxable income is between $171,850 and $195,550, you would fall into this "sweet spot" and be moved from the 33% tax bracket to the 28% bracket and could end up saving more than $1,000 a year."

This still leaves the 2% of the population that makes more than $250,000 a year being adversely affected if they aren't extended.

So what do you think? Do you think that extending the tax cuts are a good idea or a bad idea?

Fox on Sex: Is Too Much Porn Messing With Your Sex Skills?
winslowned
chemchick
Hey Guys, could your porn-habit be making you less of a lover in the real world? Are you developing what’s referred to in the world of sexology as an "idiosyncratic masturbatory style?"

If you’re thinking "idio-what??" check out this article and consider a visit to my website, Good in Bed, where we are talking about this issue in our forum.


For the most part, women don’t understand guys and porn. Many women get freaked out and immediately jump to conclusions:

— "Is something wrong with me? Am I too boring?
— "Is that what he’s really into? "
— "Does he want a woman who looks/acts like a porn star?"

What women should know is that for many guys, porn is comparative to a day at the spa: It feels good and relieves stress. Or, think of it a quick, little treat — kind of like scarfing down a bag of gummy bears in the middle of the day. It doesn't mean we're not interested in having "a real meal" with the woman we love, but sometimes we're in the mood for a snack. No big deal.

But sometimes too much porn is a problem, and lately I’ve been noticing in my practice a new issue: Men whose sex skills are suffering because of their propensity for porn, and women who are noticing that their guys have gone from good in bed to, well, not so good.

How can too much porn affect your sex-skills?

First of all, it can deplete your libido and lead to a lack of mojo – if you’re masturbating frequently, you may end up being less into sex with your partner and not putting enough time into romance, foreplay and your connection with your partner. And your partner will notice. As men age it's not only perfectly natural to experience longer refractory periods (the time between erections), but also an increased latency period (the time it takes to reach ejaculation).

Sometimes men develop an "idiosyncratic masturbatory style," as I mentioned before. When a man masturbates, he is often applying significantly higher levels of pressure and friction than real intercourse provides. So, he may get used to a different kind of physical feeling. As a result, there are a lot of men who can only get past the point of no return via oral sex, or manual stimulation (usually their own), but can’t get there during sex anymore.

Also, with so many varieties of porn at their fingertips, men who get in the habit of having a steady flow of sexual novelty and intense visual stimulation, have a more difficult time reaching peak levels of sexual arousal with their real-world partners. They may get an erection, but they’re mentally not at peak arousal. They’re unable to focus fully on the sex they’re having and have become habituated to high levels of visual stimulation.

If you think porn could be crimping your sex-style, it may be time to take a porn-break and focus on some real sex. If you’d like to talk more about this, please visit me at http://www.goodinbed.com/discuss

Source

Sorry but I disagree with this article. I see no issues with porn. Thoughts?

85 Days to Decide: Democrats Roll Dice With Education Aid Vote
winslowned
chemchick
House Democrats are rolling the dice this week by returning from a recess that had barely begun to pass a $26 billion teacher jobs bill -- at a time when calls for fiscal restraint are dominating the campaign landscape.

Democrats and Obama administration officials say the package is paid for and will not add to the deficit. The bill, which is expected to pass, allows supporters to tout their role in saving tens of thousands of teachers and other government workers from being laid off before the start of the school year, and before the November election.

"This bill ... will help keep 160,000 teachers around the country in the classroom as we start school the next couple weeks rather than on the unemployment line," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Fox News on Monday.

But at the same time, the vote takes members of Congress off the campaign trail to vote for yet another multibillion-dollar aid bill. And Republicans are not missing the opportunity to cite the looming vote as the latest example of Washington's addiction to spending -- something they claim they'll cure should they win back the majority in Congress.

"It amounts at this point in time to asking the citizens of responsible states like ours to subsidize those places who have been more reckless," Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told "Fox News Sunday." "It's probably not going to help the economy."

He described the continuing stream of state aid as a form of "trickle-down government" that is not spurring private job growth.

The bill is paid for with a cut to food stamps benefits and a tax increase on some multinational companies based in the United States. House Minority Leader John Boehner cited the provisions in claiming the jobs bill would have an adverse effect. Boehner said the vote just shows how oblivious Democrats are to concerns about spending.

"The American people don't want more Washington 'stimulus' spending -- especially in the form of a payoff to union bosses and liberal special interests," he said in a statement last week. "This stunning display of tone-deafness comes at the expense of American workers, who will be hit by another job-killing tax hike because Washington Democrats can't kick their addiction to more government 'stimulus' spending. Democrats should be listening to their constituents."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, whose state reportedly is set to receive $250 million in education money from the bill, said that some of the "stimulus funding" has helped, but eventually it has to stop.

"I think it has to end soon because the federal government is running out of money," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We cannot continue to have all of the states rely on the federal government."

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, though, said that while the states do need to make cuts, the funding in the $26 billion package is necessary.

"This is not for bureaucracy. This is for people -- real people who need real help out here. And this bill was entirely funded," she said.

The state with the most to gain from the bill is California, set to receive $1.2 billion for education. The amount is projected to save up to 16,500 teacher jobs.

With California and other states still struggling to close gaping budget shortfalls, many lawmakers welcomed the congressional package. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in a written statement that the money comes "just in time" for the start of the school year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called lawmakers back to Washington last week after the Senate broke a GOP filibuster that paved the way for the bill's passage -- just days after the House went on recess.

The bill is meant to provide both teacher and Medicaid funding to the states.

Source

Thoughts?

When Policies Don't Jive With Reality
winslowned
chemchick
Some of the many platforms that Obama ran on was transparency as well as being a more "eco-friendly" president. Based on that he's implemented a lot of programs to both increase transparency (well, sorta) as well as providing homeowners with incentives to create more eco-friendly homes that would also save them money.

In terms of transparency, President Obama decreed in December 2009, that the administration would begin posting all White House visitor records for the period from September 15th onwards under the terms of their new voluntary disclosure policy. This was an interesting turn of events as before that time the administration was fighting that the White House visitor logs were presidential records -- not Secret Service agency records, which would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This was a similar position that the Bush administration had and one that many Democrats loudly criticized.

At any rate, the doors are now open for the public to view those records and many watch-dog groups have. But a recent NYT article revealed that because of this "open-door" policy many of the people in this current administration have been having meetings outside of the White House. "Rich Gold, a prominent Democratic lobbyist who has taken part in a number of meetings at Caribou Coffee, said that White House staff members 'want to follow the president’s guidance of reducing the influence of special interests, and yet they have to do their job and have the best information available to them to make decisions.'" This is a clear disconnect between what the administration is saying and what it is doing. Some may argue that to play politics in Washington one needs to meet with lobbyists but this goes directly against the platform that President Obama has even posted on the White House website.

But enough about transparency. Onto environmentalism!

There were many complaints about the Bush administration and it's horrendous environmental record. When Obama brought forth his pledge to incorporate many environmental friendly programs into his platform, many people were thrilled. One program that he instituted as part of his pledge was to devote $150 million in stimulus money for programs that help homeowners install solar panels and other energy improvements, which they pay for over time on their property tax bills. Sounds great, right?

Except another NYT article points out that "the two government-chartered agencies that buy and resell most home mortgages are threatening to derail the effort by warning that they might not accept loans for homes that take advantage of the special financing." Why Fannie and Freddie Mac I hardly knew ye!

So now you have two policies that were instituted based on platforms during President Obama's run for the presidency that are currently being undermined by the people who implemented them. It seems that there is a great amount of disconnect between what the administration says and what they do. So should we blame the administration for making promises they can't keep? Or should we blame the politics in Washington and/or the economy that are preventing the current administration from "walking the walk"?

What say you?

As an aside, I would behoove you to click all 500 links I included.

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