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Michelle Obama: We’re going to take part of your pie...
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, April 09, 2008

So are we to ignore what the spouse is saying out there on the campaign trail (Bill Clinton wouldn't appreciate that, would he) and pretend it really isn't an indicator of what the candidate believes?
"If we don't wake up as a nation with a new kind of leadership ... for how we want this country to work, then we won't get universal health care," she said.

"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."
Let me restate that for you.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need".

Sound familiar?

(HT: Bilwick)
_________

Linked by NeoCon News, Caveat Bettor, Mental Hiccups and The Liberty Papers - Thanks!
 
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Comments
I’d like to see Michelle give up $250,000 of her $300K+ salary so that other employees at her hospital can have more.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
I guess it’s time for me to try and understand why pieces of my pie need to go to other people.
Oh, wait, I live in Texas where the unconstitutional Robin Hood plan is still used to fund education. I understand her plan prefectly.


Steverino, it’s a safe bet Michelle doesn’t mean HER pie needs to be sacrificed.
She said ’someone is going to’ she didn’t say ’we are going to’.
Hillaryette is she now? Making policy?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Can I get a piece of that AUDACITY OF HOPE royalty money? I’m a struggling author and it’s unfair that Obama is getting so much money from his book while I have to struggle along in low-paying day jobs.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
I’d like to see Michelle give up $250,000 of her $300K+ salary so that other employees at her hospital can have more.
Dude she and Barry are "barely scraping by" on their 500K/year income and wouldn’t have made ends meet if not for his two books, so there’s no way she and Mr. Changey-Hope-i-tude can give up any of their pie. YOU on the other hand look to have a great deal of spare capacity in your pie safe
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Hey, McQ, it is worse than this.

When it came to things like transfer payments or public housing, it just(!) cost the rest of more money.

But medical care is a different kind of issue. Because all these plans involve a single systematic approach, not only does it cost more money, but it also costs most of us in the form of worse care (longer waits, less choice, procedures we aren’t allowed to have, etc).

I would love to see the following poll taken: "Would you favor a universal health care plan that improved care for the poorest Americans but in turn provided worse care than you currently receive to you and your family."

This would be a great question, because it is exactly the situation most of us face.
 
Written By: coyote
URL: http://www.coyoteblog.com
In bumper sticker form:

From thee, to me.
Vote Democrat!
 
Written By: Diffus
URL: http://
I’m watching "All the King’s Men" a wonderful 1949 film which won Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Support Actress Oscars. It’s about a radical populist politician (inspired by Louisiana Governor, Huey P. Long) who runs on a wealth redistribution platform and wins elections by announcing, "I’m going to soak the fat boys and spread it out thin!"

Michelle Obama makes a great old-school demagogue.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Memcken said it best decades and decades ago when he wrote about politicians who run for office "by promising to turn A loose in B’s cornfield," and have made elections "an auction of stolen goods held before the fact." He might have amended it to "politicians and their wives."
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
That’s exactly why I went to college and grad school and work my a$$ off now, while still paying back my student loans. I want to be taxed more, because my piece of the pie is unfairly bigger than someone who did not sacrifice on the front end. Since this is obviously a zero sum game, I’m just going to have to give it up. It’s that simple. Someone else needs it. Why should they have to work for it? That’s not fair. Obama’s domestic policies are sh!t.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
We have finally come full cirlce as the Democrats now want "Oil for Blood".

What ever happened to "No Blood for Oil" ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Yep. I’m really starting to think giving up the fun lifestyle of bartending on South Beach for graduate education + debt was a dumb idea. Saving up for my [future] kids college education is apparently dumb too. But since I’ve chosen the path I have, I guess I have no other choice. So let’s recap:

Stay a bartender: party all the time, spend money as fast as I make it — my needs are covered, my [future] kids needs are covered.

Go to graduate school pursue a career in research: work my ass off for 5 years below min. wage, acquire debt, get out and make good money while still working my ass off. Pay off my own debt while trying to save for [future] kids college education, pay for other people’s kids college education, pay for my family’s medical care, pay for other people’s medical care.

On top of that, if I scrimp and save for retirement, I can use that to subsidize the proverbial grasshopper’s retirement too! Woohoo!

The moral here is: I’m an idiot. I could enjoy myself and push my responsibilities onto others, but instead I’m working my ass off to cover other people’s asses and maybe make a marginally better life for myself...though it most likely won’t be worth the cost.

/Anyone know of a good free-market non-Marxist country that might be worth emigration?

 
Written By: ck
URL: http://
By the way, paying for the war in Iraq is probably much more expensive than Obama’s health care plan, and we’re being forced to pay for it. We’re getting nothing from it, it’s not making us more secure, and apparently the main goal now is to transfer wealth to the Iraqi people so they can be stable. Again, you seem to complain about one kind of big government program, but are oblivious to the costs and consequences of the big government social engineering experiment in Iraq.

McQ asked, back when it seemed obvious that Clinton was cruising towards the nomination, if it was a good strategy for Obama to be doing the "straight talk" in Michigan, telling people things they didn’t want to hear. (Answer: apparently it was a good strategy). Michelle Obama is at least honest: if we’re going to have universal health care, it’ll come from increased taxes.

 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
By the way, paying for the war in Iraq is probably much more expensive than Obama’s health care plan, and we’re being forced to pay for it.
How do you figure? The Iraq war so far has cost less than $1 trillion. Do you really think ongoing costs of a national health care plan will sum up to less than that, even adjusted to Present Value?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Boris:
By the way, paying for the war in Iraq is probably much more expensive than Obama’s health care plan,
Really, Boris? Obama’s plan is to make sure all Americans have health insurance for 1% of GDP, or less?
We’re getting nothing from [the Iraq war], it’s not making us more secure,
Given the thousands of al Qaeda terrorists we’ve killed, it has undoubtably taken away their capacity to participate in terrorist attacks inside the U.S.

And not having the revanchist psychopath Hussein in charge of a sovereign state with a multi-layered security apparatus with global outreach, that doesn’t make you feel safer, Boris?

How about rolling up the AQ Khan network and having Libya giving up its WMDs in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion?

And the recovery and booming of the U.S. and world economy in the aftermath of 9/11, i.e., the capacity to grow rapidly and increase prosperity? You don’t see any benefit there from removing Hussein and killing terrorists hand-over-fist in Iraq?

Oh, right, you’re a college professor. So you’re not in touch with reality.


 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
How do you figure? The Iraq war so far has cost less than $1 trillion. Do you really think ongoing costs of a national health care plan will sum up to less than that, even adjusted to Present Value?
Don’t forget that we are already paying massively for health care — insurance (often we don’t see that money if the employer pays it), and direct pay. If there is a national health care plan, that money that is already being paid is part of what will pay for any future plan. So the cost is really whatever more gets paid above what we currently pay for our very expensive private system. I doubt that will be that much. I was surprised to learn that about 60% of doctors think we need national health insurance. I suspect this is coming, though I’m skeptical of a national bureaucracy being able to run such a thing. I’d prefer a mix of private and state-level efforts with national coordination/assistance.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I doubt that will be that much
The cost of Medicare over the past 40 years would be my first bit of evidence to rebut that. Seriously, if you think medical care is expensive now, just wait until government starts running it.
Don’t forget that we are already paying massively for health care — insurance (often we don’t see that money if the employer pays it), and direct pay
I kind of doubt my employer will increase my salary if health care is suddenly nationalized. More likely, businesses will cut prices in accordance with the lower cost of doing business, so we’ll all see marginally lower costs of living.
I was surprised to learn that about 60% of doctors think we need national health insurance.
Of course they do! It’s guaranteed payment for them, and they won’t have to deal with a bunch of different insurance companies. But that doesn’t make national health insurance a good idea for the rest of the country.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Once again I need to apologize to QandO readers. As you know, I and my staff at the University of Maine have been carrying out a test in artifical intelligence in the realm of the "Turing test." Our software is named the Emotionless Robotic Bloviator, or ERB for short. We are currently testing version 4, which has been posting to QandO for several months, including several minor upgrades in response to QandO commenters shredding the output from the ERB program at various times. You have almost certainly seen the output from ERB-4 posting robot, which is posted under the moniker "Scott Erb."

The primitive ERB-1 posting robot has been exposed to QandO a couple of times inadvertantly, and that was the cause of my previous apology. However, today I must tell you about a different problem.

Given that most QandO commenters have figured out that the ERB-4 posting robot is not capable of normal intellectual discourse, we would like to terminate this experiment. We have already halted execution of the main program in the University of Maine AI lab. However, a copy of ERB-4 has been inadvertantly left on some system by a graduate student, and is continuing to post.

It may be quite some time before we locate this copy and halt execution. It seems to be well hidden.

I must offer an apology for this, and ask the indulgence of QandO commenters. ERB-4 ("Scott Erb") has begun serious degradation of QandO threads, and new visitors are often initially fooled into pointless discussions with it.

For your full information, the latest parameters that were set for ERB-4 include the following settings:

Posting word count: Normal (this was previously set to "High", but the long posts became a problem due to the obvious repetition and vacuous nature of the prose)

Posting frequency: High (this is the main source of thread degradation, but we were trying to gather a lot of data as the end of the semester approaches)

Condescension: High

Repetition factor: High (was formerly Normal, but was changed elevated as an experiment recently)

Humor level: Low (This was turned completely off for a while, but we turned it on recently as another experiment. It cannot be set any higher than "Low" because the humor is of such poor quality that it is an immediate giveaway that it’s not produced by a normal human.)

"Last word" tendency: Very high. Don’t try to get the last word with ERB-4. It will almost certainly come back and post again, leading to a probable infinite loop as the program runs out of new things to say on a thread and merely begins repeating what it’s already said.

To further potential discussion with QandO commenters, we programmed the ERB-4 robot with several nonsensical positions it will defend. These positions are clearly not supportable with logic, but since ERB-4 does not depend on logic, we considered these a viable part of the experiment. These include:

- Jimmy Carter is a great man

- All the Swift Boat members are liars and John Kerry never lied about his service

- Nothing good has ever come or can possibly ever come out of the Iraq effort

- America is definitely in dramatic and irreversible decline

- Europe is far more enlightened than the United States

- If you don’t agree with the posting robot, you are intellectually dishonest

ERB-4 is programmed to bring discusson on almost any topic back to subjects on the above list. The weighting in the recent past has unfortunately been far too heavy on the Iraq subject, as the above off-topic response indicates.

I urge you not to engage ERB-4 on any of these topics. The output on them is becoming far too predictable, and we need no further data in the area of engaging with nonsensical positions. Further, the posting robot is programmed to insist that it is more knowledgeable about any topic than any commenter it engages, so discussion based on facts and logic is fruitless.

Once final characteristic of ERB-4 is worth noting. If certain negative keywords are encountered in responses, then ERB-4 is programmed to fall back to a pleading position of "engage me as an equal." This attempt to re-engage does not work with anyone who has seen enough of ERB-4’s output, but new commenters can occasionally be taken in by such a plea. If the responder takes the plea seriously, ERB-4 returns to its default condescending posting style.

By the way, another graduate student created the Ott Scerb posting robot as a joke. We considered terminating that program also, but apparently some QandO commenters find it funny, so we are leaving it running until we track down and terminate ERB-4. In case you are interested, the graduate student earned his doctorate based on that program, because doing anything in AI that produces humorous effect is quite difficult.

Justin Case
Director, Turing Studies
Teacher Replacement Lab
University of Maine
 
Written By: Justin Case
URL: http://teacherreplacementlab.maine.edu
"By the way, paying for the war in Iraq is probably much more expensive than Obama’s health care plan"
HAhahahahahahahaha!

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Justin, funniest thing I’ve read all year!
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Don’t forget that we are already paying massively for health care — insurance (often we don’t see that money if the employer pays it), and direct pay.
The problem is employer provided health insurance (due to our current tax codes) and gov programs like medicare.

But you are missing the point: it isn’t just about cost, it’s also about theft. Obama plans to steal.

He, like other Democrats, is a theaf.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."
Rather then even note that you can try to increase the size of the pie, since we’re not talking about a zero sum game here- I’ll simply say that Uncle Sam can take the goddamn pie from his pantry and not come asking me for another slice
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
By the way, paying for the war in Iraq is probably much more expensive than Obama’s health care plan, and we’re being forced to pay for it. We’re getting nothing from it, it’s not making us more secure, and apparently the main goal now is to transfer wealth to the Iraqi people so they can be stable.
For one thing, as others point out, the war is cheap by comparison. The other thing is that the war is a temporary thing.

Yet another point is that Obama’s health care plan would eventually cost more American lives than the Iraqi war, which on balance may save lives, if things work out.

You don’t agree (and at this point, I don’t want you to agree, that would require me to rethink my view), but I see the war as an investment in our future security.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I’m getting quite a lot from the war in Iraq: lots of dead Islamofascists. The only thing better would be a War on Socialists.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
Justin, good that you guys recognized the Ott Scerb creator, I’ve gotten to the point sometimes where I only read the Ott Scerb version since it summarizes the previous posts by ERB-4 in a humorous manner.
I admit I occasionally forget I’m not reading the ’comedy’ version when I read some of the ERB-4 posts and I end up looking for the funny bits and not finding them. I realize that’s a user error, but I thought it might help somehow in your research. I’m sure there’s some kind of psychological effect at play there like Stockholm Syndrome or some such other syndrome that might be worthy of a grant for further research.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
the ERB-4:
If there is a national health care plan, that money that is already being paid is part of what will pay for any future plan. So the cost is really whatever more gets paid above what we currently pay for our very expensive private system. I doubt that will be that much. I was surprised to learn that about 60% of doctors think we need national health insurance. I suspect this is coming, though I’m skeptical of a national bureaucracy being able to run such a thing. I’d prefer a mix of private and state-level efforts with national coordination/assistance.
Let me translate:

"I’ve been pretending for at least a year to be against a universal health care system, because I wanted the regular gang at this libertarian blog to maybe believe that I was a libertarian too. But actually I’m a socialist, and I’m ready for an Obama president like a hooker at the Emperor’s Club is ready for a governor of a really large state. Anyway, look at how much we pay for health care in this country, so Obama’s plan won’t be that much. I don’t understand the market, even though I pretend to like it, so don’t try to explain to me its advantages. Doctors support me on this."

And to Justin: Brilliant!
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
You don’t agree (and at this point, I don’t want you to agree, that would require me to rethink my view), but I see the war as an investment in our future security.
Right now the Pentagon is warning that we are seriously endangering our ability to respond to crises in the world because of our engagement in Iraq, which seems to be more a social engineering experiment than a war. I don’t see how it invests in our future security, I think it weakens us. So far, I don’t see any real argument out there defending our continued presence there on those terms.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Speaking of Huey Long, Michelle’s words above ring eerily similar to the King Fish’s own campaign along these lines.

 
Written By: CR
URL: http://
Right now the Pentagon is warning that we are seriously endangering our ability to respond to crises in the world because of our engagement in Iraq,
Given the current political/manpower situation, i.e. we have not mobilized the full 1.2 million man Army and the 210,000 USMC. So, IF you try to fight in Korea AND Iraq with the current force level, you and the Pentagon have a point, BUT if you mobilize the ENTIRE Ground Force component of 1.4 million men, not so much. Conditions need to be specified, Dr. And that discounts the USN and USAF, the most potent combat power for a number of contingencies, forces that are NOT being stretched too thin by Iraq or Afghanistan.



which seems to be more a social engineering experiment than a war. I don’t see how it invests in our future security, I think it weakens us. So far, I don’t see any real argument out there defending our continued presence there on those terms.


As Ott Screb says, NO evidence is acceptable to you, otherwise...the fact that 10’s of thousands of jihadis have died in Iraq...the fact that AQI and AQ are broken reeds in Iraq and ME, generally because of their actions and their failures...the fact that a multi-ethnic democracy is being built next door to Syria and Iran, all mean NOTHING to Dr. Erb. I will leave it to Ott Scerb to satirize you, but I see the outline of his and your response(s). No evidence I see (transl; No evidence I CHOOSE to see)....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe, any evidence offered I take seriously. I don’t read the "satires" (though I am flattered that so much energy and attention is thrown my way — makes me feel sort of like a star here). I am here to learn different perspectives and love it when people actually make an argument and provide evidence. Unfortunately, most people find it easier to make assertions and then respond to arguments and links I post by throwing insults — which suggests to me they know I have a point but don’t want to admit it to themselves.

As far as military readiness, I’m going by what the Pentagon says, not my own analysis. I think the cost and time of a major mobilization is not something they’re thinking about, they’re more concerned with sudden crises or flareups that call for immediate attention. That’s also the concern Senator Biden discussed.

So I’m looking for evidence that this war is worthwhile. I

Even Amassador Crocker noted that al qaeda in Afghanistan is far more dangerous than in Iraq, and al qaeda in Iraq is mostly a group of regional fighters who came there because of the opportunity, they would not have been in al qaeda otherwise. The war grew the ranks of al qaeda. You think tens of thousands of jihadists have been killed. On what basis do you make that claim? Do you think any Sunni and Shi’ite militias are "jihadists". Yet their concern is with Iraq, not the US (except to force us to leave), they aren’t a threat. They wouldn’t even be doing what they were doing if we didn’t invade.

But you may simply be unwilling to question your position, regardless of the evidence. Luckily, most Americans are not thinking that way.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Right now the Pentagon is warning that we are seriously endangering our ability to respond to crises in the world because of our engagement in Iraq. Of course, under different circumstances, I’d claim that was just a bunch of generals trying to pump up their imperialist budget, but since it’s concerning Iraq, I take it at face value as a complete and irrefutable reason to withdraw right now. That way, if it descends into chaos as we all expect, the Pentagon won’t dare go back in again, and the effacement of America can begin, along with me crowing about how we’re in decline. I’m salivating over that possibility. Of course, I’ve been salivating a lot lately, to the point where I had to replace a keyboard that was saturated with spittle, but this would be a different kind of salivation.

Iraq seems to be more a social engineering experiment than a war. I’m all in favor of social engineering as long as we wise leftists are running it, but any social engineering that might actually promote the reputation and power of the US is clearly off limites. I don’t see how it invests in our future security, I think it weakens us. When I say "us" of course I mean the left in America. We would definitely be weakened by success in Iraq, so I’ve got to deny any evidence you put forth. So just let me say along those lines, I don’t see any real argument out there defending our continued presence there on those terms. Stability, lower violence, Arab societies evolving towards being open and free; who needs any of that stuff? Especially if it makes the US look good.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
You think tens of thousands of jihadists have been killed. On what basis do you make that claim?

Casualty figures released by MNF, thank you Doctor...or do iou think that all those suicide bombers are Iraqi’s...or do you think that "Foreigner" fighters means aircraft not made in Iraq?
But you may simply be unwilling to question your position, regardless of the evidence. Luckily, most Americans are not thinking that way.
I have evidence...as Ott Screb points ut, the person who doesn’t like evidence is YOU...and not questioning their position? from YOU, oh man that simply DEFIES satire.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So far, I don’t see any real argument out there defending our continued presence there on those terms.
Even if you think that the war will end up as a net loss, it seems quite clear that pulling out asap is stupid. We have to extract ourselves with caution. This is something everyone should agree on.
al qaeda in Iraq is mostly a group of regional fighters who came there because of the opportunity, they would not have been in al qaeda otherwise. The war grew the ranks of al qaeda.
Speculation. You speculate much.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Joe, any evidence offered I take seriously. Really. Stop laughing. It just has to meet my definition of "evidence" which is that it agrees with my own point of view, which is much more informed and intelligent than those of you dense righties.

I don’t read the "satires" (though I am flattered that so much energy and attention is thrown my way — makes me feel sort of like a star here). Yes, I actually am learning to like being the butt of running jokes. Really. I said stop laughing. I have to say something like the above to try and make the writers of the satires stop. I can’t respond directly to them because of my utter lack of a sense of humor.

I am here to learn different perspectives and love it when people actually make an argument and provide evidence. Unfortunately, most people find it easier to make assertions and then respond to arguments and links I post by throwing insults — which suggests to me they know I have a point but don’t want to admit it to themselves. See, isn’t that a terrific all-purpose response to anything someone says? I am like that dog in the Dilbert comic strip that just waves his paw and says "Bah!" to anything he doesn’t want to deal with. That allows me to go blissfully on posting the same drivel over and over again, and causing you righties to waste time and effort trying to do the impossible by finding evidence I might someday accept.

As far as military readiness, I’m going by what the Pentagon says, not my own analysis. I think the cost and time of a major mobilization is not something they’re thinking about, they’re more concerned with sudden crises or flareups that call for immediate attention. That’s also the concern Senator Biden discussed. And the wise anti-war Senator Biden is another irrefutable source, and I don’t care how many McCains you bring forth to challenge him, Biden trumps them all.

So I’m looking for evidence that this war is worthwhile. I... Oops. Lost my train of thought there. That was definitely not a communication glitch from the computer I’m hidden on up at the University of Maine. No sir, you can just put that thought out of your head.

Even Amassador Crocker noted that al qaeda in Afghanistan is far more dangerous than in Iraq, and al qaeda in Iraq is mostly a group of regional fighters who came there because of the opportunity, they would not have been in al qaeda otherwise. And don’t start talking about how that enabled us to kill thousands of them before they could come here. If we had just left them alone, they would all have scholarships to Yale now, or at least to the University of Maine.

The war grew the ranks of al qaeda. You think tens of thousands of jihadists have been killed. On what basis do you make that claim? I’m telling you, I’m invulnerable to evidence, so don’t even try. Do you think any Sunni and Shi’ite militias are "jihadists". Well, I guess some of them are, but my godlike powers of political science enable me to discern that they are all peaceful at heart and would be just fine if we were not around. Yet their concern is with Iraq, not the US (except to force us to leave), they aren’t a threat. They wouldn’t even be doing what they were doing if we didn’t invade. Sure, a few of them might get bored slaughtering each other and come here to join flight school for a chance to kill a few thousand of us, but hey, I’m sure it would be a small minority, and we have 300,000,000, so what’s a few thousand lost in the cause of humbling the US?

But you may simply be unwilling to question your position, regardless of the evidence. I am the same way, of course, but that’s because my godlike powers of political science enable me to always take the correct position in the first place. Luckily, most Americans are not thinking your way. Well, they’re not thinking my way either, because most of them are far more interested in the NCAA playoffs than Iraq, but trust me, McCain is going to have trouble over this in the fall. And Obama won’t have any trouble at all, and his foreign policy experience is extensive and impressive, and you can just forget that whole Wright thing, which is definitely not going to cost Obama a single vote. I have it on good authority from Jimmy Carter.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
Even if you think that the war will end up as a net loss, it seems quite clear that pulling out asap is stupid. We have to extract ourselves with caution. This is something everyone should agree on.
Don, I’ll dig up the evidence on al qaeda in Iraq and how this is really represents people who otherwise would be living their normal lives and not caught up in this. I respect you won’t take my word for it, but I gotta go get my snow tires removed now (though we still have lots of snow on the ground) so it’ll be later.

I do agree we have to pull out in an orderly manner, preferably while engaged in dialogue with regional powers to try to assure stability.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
If it weren’t for Ott Screb I would almost never read a single one of the good Dr from Maine’s postings....

I’m with martin, I just Ott now, and get more bang for my buck...I laugh AND I get the gist of the argument presented...

Here’s an idea Dr. Erb, rather than post here, just send an outline to Ott or the whole thing...let HIM/HER post it. It’s a win/win for everyone, trust me.

I’m waiting to discover that Ott Scerb is one of Erb’s TA’s.....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
What the he11 does this have to do with Michelle Obama?
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
"What [] does this have to do with Michelle Obama?"

Nothing. There is a certain regular poster in these pages that hijacks every thread into a non-germane "Bush’s War" discussion with predictable results; the two sides just scream past each other.

A couple of us above pointed out the parallel between MO and the demagogues and failed ideologies of the past. Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun. Too bad this is lost on some people.
 
Written By: CR
URL: http://
Don, I’ll dig up the evidence on al qaeda in Iraq and how this is really represents people who otherwise would be living their normal lives and not caught up in this. I have plenty of left-wing sources for that. I respect you won’t take my word for it, but I gotta go get my snow tires removed now (though we still have lots of snow on the ground) so it’ll be lat$#*#$~` <—Previous code section inserted to mask computerized nature of ERB-4 response. Caution: section still has minor parsing bugs.—>

I do agree we have to pull out in an orderly manner, preferably while engaged in dialogue with regional powers to try to assure stability. Of course, that orderly manner has to happen immediately and be over before the All-Star game, or we on the left will keep screaming about it even while we’re high-fiving each other in the faculty lounge. And since the "regional powers assuring stability" thing is a complete dodge, we’ll get to high-five each other again when the collapse into chaos begins. That’s the real victory, because then the US won’t dare interfere anywhere else in the world for the rest of our lives.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
Is:
What the he11 does this have to do with Michelle Obama?
All of the threads are now about the ERB-4.

Boris:
I don’t read the "satires"
You are the satire, Boris.
(though I am flattered that so much energy and attention is thrown my way — makes me feel sort of like a star here).
Yes, that’s what you seek as a passive-agressive narcissist (with mild psychopathy). A normal person isn’t flattered by being treated like a clown with size 36 shoes and a rubber nose the size of a grapefruit.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
By the way, paying for the war in Iraq is probably much more expensive than Obama’s health care plan, and we’re being forced to pay for it.
The current share of Medicare and SCHIP in the 2008 federal budget is ~$600 billion. That’s just this year’s expenditures for the federalized portion of the health care industry. If we federalize all of health care we’re looking at doubling or tripling that number per year.

The current total cost estimate for the war in Iraq is ~$500 billion. That’s the total expenditure spread out over 5 years of warfare. So we’ve spent about $100 per year on Iraq.

Which number is bigger? There is no way you can pay for universal health care just by ending the Iraq War or even by deeply cutting the entire military budget. It is far too expensive a proposition for that and current federal health spending dwarfs the US military budget by itself.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
Between Erb, Scerb, and Joe I am thoroughly confused, but also thoroughly amused. I had to read the last Erb post three times before I believed that it wasn’t Scerb. Snow tires?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Snow tires...though they are useful for running over the black flies, it’s not black fly season in Maine...so in order to save the tires for black fly season (August) and then snow (Sept.) the tires must be removed.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Baptist:
The current share of Medicare and SCHIP in the 2008 federal budget is ~$600 billion. That’s just this year’s expenditures for the federalized portion of the health care industry. If we federalize all of health care we’re looking at doubling or tripling that number per year.

The current total cost estimate for the war in Iraq is ~$500 billion. That’s the total expenditure spread out over 5 years of warfare. So we’ve spent about $100 per year on Iraq.

Which number is bigger?
I’m quoting all of that so I can make a few points.

The first point is that the war has brought terrorists into a focal point not in the United States, but within the range of American lethality. That is a bargain, and it’s good for our economy and the world economy to be taking care of that business off the main highway. There are collateral costs in energy prices and to the people of Iraq who want and deserve better, but this approach to Islamic extremism is certainly one that gets fairly rapid results (for the long war aspect).

Additionally, by succeeding in building a reasonably modern civil society in Iraq, we can give the Middle East an opportunity to dig itself out of the mire of dictatorship and failure. That will be a huge change there with benefits for the rest of the world.

But also note that as little as we spend on defense, it still gets squeezed by the entitlement cancer. Erb, the fool, pretends that "universal" health care can be squeezed out of the money spent on the Iraq war when you could fight the Romulans and the Klingons for what "universal" health care will cost.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Run away! Run away! Obama’s wife is a scarry, scaaaarry communist. Flee for your wallets lives.

Thanks for the heads up there, McQ.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Retief:
Run away! Run away! Obama’s wife is a scarry, scaaaarry communist.
I don’t know about that, but she’s a nasty, presumptuous, socialist, who has about as much business lecturing people from the national spotlight as Arianna Huffington, who we can thank Newt Gingrich for originally ushering onto the big stage.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Run away! Run away! Obama’s wife is a scarry, scaaaarry communist. Flee for your wallets lives.
Deflection.

Can’t (or won’t) answer the point so it’s time to try to deflect it.

Obvious.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
You should tie this to the FRAUD WASTE AND ABUSE posting. I expect that’ll be part and parcel of a national health care system run by the government.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
That’s exactly why I went to college and grad school and work my a$$ off now, while still paying back my student loans. I want to be taxed more, because my piece of the pie is unfairly bigger than someone who did not sacrifice on the front end. Since this is obviously a zero sum game, I’m just going to have to give it up. It’s that simple. Someone else needs it. Why should they have to work for it? That’s not fair. Obama’s domestic policies are sh!t.

The War on Self-Reliance has never been so close to a swift victory. No more of these incrimental victories from Congressional Democrats. With Michelle and Barack, the time table can be moved up.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
There is a certain regular poster in these pages that hijacks every thread into a non-germane "Bush’s War"
Not me. I just made the point that people who are very concerned about using tax dollars to pay for health care need to also realize that it’s other peoples’ tax dollars being used for the social engineering experiment in Iraq. Nobody really replied to that or seemed to take that point seriously.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
about using tax dollars to pay for health care need to also realize that it’s other peoples’ tax dollars being used for the social engineering experiment in Iraq.
That’s because it’s your OPINION that the War in Iraq is a social engineering experiment, not a FACT.

National health care will be a FACT.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Not me. I mean, yes, I did bring up Iraq in a thread on wasteful spending. But it’s not thread hijacking, oh, no! It’s just that I’ve been using the exact same drivel on Iraq for a bunch of threads now, and this thread offered me a new and different opportunity to raise the subject of Iraq. I just made the point that people who are very concerned about using tax dollars to pay for health care need to also realize that it’s other peoples’ tax dollars being used for the social engineering experiment in Iraq. It’s relevant! It’s not thread hijacking! I’m not either obsessed with posting about Iraq! Besides, nobody really replied to that or seemed to take that point seriously. Of course, it’s now reached the point where no one takes me seriously. I think Justin Case is taken more seriously than I am. But I’ve got to continue my quest to make you righties see the error of your ways in Iraq. Because if you held out long enough to eventually be proven right, my brain would dissolve into mutually contradictory globules from the resulting cognitive dissonance.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
Not me. I just made the point that people who are very concerned about using tax dollars to pay for health care need to also realize that it’s other peoples’ tax dollars being used for the social engineering experiment in Iraq. Nobody really replied to that or seemed to take that point seriously.
Perhaps it is because we lump Iraq in with our national defense, and hence a legitimate use of tax $$$.

When it comes to any form of socialized healthcare, my view is:

1) It’s unconstitutional (a violation of the 10th).

2) It’s stupid economically.

3) It amounts to theft.

4) It will damage the quality of healthcare, and remove the consumer as boss.

Medicare is already a step on this path, we should step back, not continue farther . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Deflection from what? Your hysteria that Michelle Obama said government programs had to be paid for with tax dollars? Yikes. It’s no wonder y’all haven’t cut government if that sounds like communism to you. But I have no interest in deflecting attention from your cowering at the prospect that somebody recognizes the fact that gevernment spending must be paid for with taxes, in fact, I’ll amplify your fearful ranting: Yikes everybody, Michelle Obama says things like universal health care and a revamped education system won’t be free. The money to pay for them won’t appear by magic, but will be raised by teh dreaded taxation. She must be a communist. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Yikes. It’s no wonder y’all haven’t cut government if that sounds like communism to you. But I have no interest in deflecting attention from your cowering at the prospect that somebody recognizes the fact that gevernment spending must be paid for with taxes, in fact, I’ll amplify your fearful ranting: Yikes everybody, Michelle Obama says things like universal health care and a revamped education system won’t be free. The money to pay for them won’t appear by magic, but will be raised by teh dreaded taxation. She must be a communist. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.


Gee Retief it wasn’t jsut taxes, it’s the idea that the economy is a zero sum game. If I’ve got health care I must have stolen it from you. Also, the redistribution aspect...it’s not just taxing me for a service I use, but I must LOSE more than you, so that you can have something...in short you have to steal from ME, in order for you to have soemething.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Your hysteria ...
What hysteria?

I mad an observation and you went nuts. Who is the hysterical one?
But I have no interest in deflecting attention from your cowering at the prospect that somebody recognizes the fact that gevernment spending must be paid for with taxes...
Well of course you won’t ... you want your "piece of the pie" and you don’t care who it has to be taken from, do you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
National health care is going to suck. We already have a national health care mini model. it’s called military health care. Tricare is the insurance company that pays your doctor bill when we don’t get seen by a military doctor. Guess what...not every hospital accepts tricare just like every hospital won’t accept any national health care insurer because they don’t pay as much as the doctors think their services are worth. If i’m away from a military installation and i need to go to the doctor i have to call tricare to get authorization. If you don’t get authorization then you aren’t covered. If it’s an emergency you don’t need authorization but if the hospital doesn’t accept tricare you may not get seen. If you go to the emergency room and the hospital transfers you to another doctor who bills your care as anything other than emergency services then tricare won’t pay and they aren’t interested in resolving the situation.

If you are a fan of national health care just do a quick google for tricare nightmare to see what you have to look forward to.
 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
Perhaps it is because we lump Iraq in with our national defense, and hence a legitimate use of tax $$$.


In your opinion — but in the opinion of many people Michelle Obama’s idea would be a legitimate use of our tax dollars. And, while a lot of people want to say their interpretation of the Constitution and what is legitimate is self-evidently correct, in our democracy it gets decided via a political process.

Moreover, it’s hard to see invading a country half way around the world as national defense. If anything it’s national offense.

Looker, it’s a fact that the Iraqi operation is a social engineering operation. We won the war early on. We are trying to create a stable, western style democracy, and have sent experts on various governmental and technical issues over there to try to create this new social structure. We have failed. It wasn’t a military failure, the military did the job it was sent over there to do. It was a political failure, and a moral failure. We deluded ourselves into thinking that since we see our system as so good, it would be right and even natural to try to export it to different cultures. And, while I am amazed that after five years of failure so many of you still do all you can to resist dealing with reality, and in fact some get extremely hostile when someone tries to point it out to you and puncture the illusion, reality has a way of destroying illusions.

And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.

To infringe on Scerb’s copyright here, and don’t mention local/provincial elections, constitutional conventions, national elections, Parliament, Awakenings, Reconciliations, electricity output or oil out put because none of those things can be considered "evidence" in the Erb-world...he’ll get back to you what it is...possibly the election of Andrew Sullivan as the President of Iraq, with Medea Benjamin as Speaker of the Parliament...and National Health Care and Gay Marriage...tomorrrow.

It would help if then the Iraqi’s would denounce US Imperialism and demand that the faculty of the Univ. of Maine were to be awarded cash prizes by the new government.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.

And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.

And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.

And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.

And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.

Stack Overflow at EC3804DA. Probable infinite loop. Resources depleted. Program restart initiated.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
"We already have a national health care mini model. it’s called military health care."

You are absolutely correct.
And I can remember when it was absolutely free to active and retired members of the military and their dependants, with minimal paperwork. Over the years this totally government run (and therefore much more efficient) program has become more expensive, more inconvenient, and more mired in regulation and paperwork.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Stack Overflow at EC3804DA...."

Laughter overflow at ABCD123. Probable muscle pull.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Joe:
To infringe on Scerb’s copyright here, and don’t mention local/provincial elections, constitutional conventions, national elections, Parliament, Awakenings, Reconciliations, electricity output or oil out put because none of those things can be considered "evidence" in the Erb-world...
You have to remember that Erb is a college professor and so he doesn’t know anything.

It’s impossible to get him to pay attention to facts, and he doesn’t know any theory. So he’s left with the blind ramblings of college professors, as handed down through the generations.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris:
And so far no one still is able to make a case that the war has been worth the tremendous cost to the country on multiple levels. Amazing.
Actually, Boris, many people have made the case that the war has been worth its very modest costs.

For instance, look at the refreshing new attitudes of the governments in Germany and France! They’ve even been able to muster up a thousand or so troops each to serve warm lunches in Afghanistan. That’s not bad for adult children living with their parents.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
erb is like the al gore faithful, he gets to discount anything contrary to his opinion without explanation or justification. He is currently working on his jedi mind tricks and researching cia mind control techniques in hopes of developing a hybrid mind control that will work on someone besides his students.
 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
Deflection from what? Your hysteria that Michelle Obama said government programs had to be paid for with tax dollars? Yikes. It’s no wonder y’all haven’t cut government if that sounds like communism to you. But I have no interest in deflecting attention from your cowering at the prospect that somebody recognizes the fact that gevernment spending must be paid for with taxes, in fact, I’ll amplify your fearful ranting: Yikes everybody, Michelle Obama says things like universal health care and a revamped education system won’t be free. The money to pay for them won’t appear by magic, but will be raised by teh dreaded taxation. She must be a communist. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

Which begs the question(s):Are "universal healt care" and "a revamped education system" desirable? Necessary? Constitutional?

To socialists, it is.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
I am not against some income redistribution. Ideally, it would be very, very transparent ala a negative income tax, but in any case I don’t mind discussing that per se, so I think the communist comparison is a bit too much, but what worries me is that she thinks the economy is a pie. The economy is not a zero -sum game, and people who think it is can often get into trouble.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
erb is like the al gore faithful, he gets to discount anything contrary to his opinion without explanation or justification.
You’re projecting. I’m posting arguments, linking to evidence, and making a case. I do it in a polite manner, avoiding personal insults and focusing on the subject. I think the real problem is that not only aren’t some people able to counter my argument, but these folk see the country moving more in my direction and they are frustrated. I’m serious about wanting to know why people still support the war, or oppose big government if its domestic, but don’t seem to mind if we’re trying to shape another culture to fit what we think it should be like — even if it leads to a lot of needless killing. I really would like honest answers and solid arguments on that front. Instead, perhaps because the question is too hard, there is a lot of diversion, attempts to distract via insult and ridicule, but very little in the way of evidence and substantive argument. In my world, where evidence and logical argument counts for almost everything, the responses here are substandard, to put it mildly. But that’s OK, people can vent and take out their frustrations in blogworld. I’ve got class in four minutes — American Foreign Policy — and I wish I could read arguments that could help me better express the pro-war perspective and give it a fair hearing.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris:
You’re projecting.
One need not "project" anything at all onto you, Boris.

One need only describe what one sees. There’s no need to even move in the direction of minor embellishment.

What is plain to the eye is more than enough.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
In my world, where evidence and logical argument counts for almost everything, the responses here are substandard, to put it mildly.
In one of the funniest threads I’ve ever read, this may be the funniest sentence in the whole thing. If Scott were not so deadly dull, I might suspect he was satirizing himself for comic effect.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
and I wish I could read arguments that could help me better express the pro-war perspective and give it a fair hearing.

But to do so would undermine my position of gloomy, quagmirey, declinism and to pay them any attention would cause my head to explode...

Dude get back quick, remember..."Last Word" it’s an Erb hallmark....

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Isn’t Mrs. O a communist? Small c of course. Along with, for that matter, most of the canaille who call themselves "liberals" these days. After all, these days, if you look at most of the proposals in the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, the average Democrat would probably support eighty per cent of them. John McCain, maybe fifty-five per cent.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
I forgot to add, re Mrs. O being a small-c communist, she (like her husband and other professional Cult-of-the-State members in the Washington DC-NYC-Boston/ politics-media-academy axis) were a large-C Communist. Outside the workers’ paradise that is Cuba, the Party is largely discredited and moribund, and if the Obamas were publicly identified as Part members, their idiocy would be plain for all to see. As small-c communists, they get to pose as "liberals" or "progressives" (like statism has anything to do with progress) and maintain a veneeer of respectability that their State-shtupping wouldn’t get if they were outright Commies.

 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
Harun, so you’re saying we need to make the pie higher? Anyway, how is it zero-sum to say that universal healthcare won’t be free?
Are "universal healt care" and "a revamped education system" desirable? Necessary? Constitutional?
That is the question The Gonzman. A question that is obscured by shrieks of "run! commies!".

thanks Bilwick, for the insight that liberals=commies. So helpful.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Not that anyone should have to explain to you, but every time, and I do mean EVERY TIME, whether it’s government giveaways that I like or government giveaways that you like, that the government takes money from either me or you, and gives it specifically, via services or cash to the other one, it’s socialism.

The only difference is the degree to which we redistribute each others wealth that makes it less painful & more acceptable to do so, and generally is considered less painful and more acceptable provided YOU are giving to ME and not the other way around.

So when she very clearly says some people must lose ’pie’ in order for others to have MORE pie than they do now there isn’t anything you can call that but a socialist outlook.

Unless you’re Retief, of course, and then you can mock it and dodge the issue by pretending it’s not really there.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Retief:
thanks Bilwick, for the insight that liberals=commies. So helpful.
You seem to be blissfully ignorant of the the long relationship between liberals and "progressives" and communists.

The Cold War caused a breach between fellow-traveler liberals and liberal anti-communists, but the liberal anti-communists were then attacked by the anti-anti-communists, who were essentially communist apologists, as opposed to fellow travelers.

And once upon a time liberals were a relatively small but influential faction within the Democratic Party, and rank and file Democrats included the blue collar Northerners and segregationist Southerners.

Now the Democratic Party is essentially a liberal party that features a heavy dose of race and gender identity politics, radical pro-abortion types, teachers unions, and trial lawyers. And it stinks of neo-Marxist BS.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Way to go on the reading comprehension, Retief. Or put up a straw man. Whatever.
In context it was clear I was using "commie" to denote a member of the Communist Party. My point—which I’ll repeat again for the benefit of others who may have reading comprehension problems—is that in some ways it would be better if State-f$ckers like the Obamas were CP members, so they could be clearly identified as fools and/or villains. Instead they adopt a programme that, in terms of expanding State power, in many ways goes byond what Marx and Engels proposes in the MANIFESTO. (Try reading it, Retief—or perhaps listening to a spoken word audio version in which the reader speaks very slowly—before you tell me I’m wrong on this.)**

You tell me, Retief: if someone supports at least seventy-five per cent of the policies advocated in THE COMMUNIST MANFESTO, not to mention the Marxian formulation "From each according to his ability, etc." and actually want to expand the power of the State beyond what Marx and Engels ever dreamed of. . . in what significant way would such a person NOT be a [small-c] communist?


*By the way, why do "liberals" always seem to find the use of the term "commie" the mark of the unenlightened? If a screenplay writer, for example, wants to portray a character as a low-brow reactionary, the character will invariably speak disparagingly of "commies." If "liberal" blog-posters want to demonstrate their own intellectual superiority and sophistication, they will use "commie" sarcastically, as a way of letting the reader know, "I’m not one of those unevolved flyover-zone people who actually employ such language. I’m so above that." Generally, "Commie" is a bit too slangy for me, but if National Socialists can be—and even call themselves—"Nazis," why can’t Communists be legitimately called "Commies"? Just wondering.

**Like "Pete Seeger sings THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO for Kids!" Available in CD and audiocassette from Internaionale Recordings.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://

*By the way, why do "liberals" always seem to find the use of the term "commie" the mark of the unenlightened?
Well, it’s usually a sign of age, young people don’t usually think in those terms anymore, communism was very last century, cold war. It’s a rather dated term.

Communism usually refers to government control of all production, and I don’t think very many people argue for that. Communism is dead, even if a couple small countries try to maintain governmental control.

The danger is not communism, but a repressively growing government. I argue (April 11) that people wrongly define the issue as big government or big money, and thus don’t see that BOTH are dangerous, and we need to find a small government approach to keeping powerful and wealthy actors from dominating.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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