Omar M. Campbell: Ship of state

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Our national ship of state is rudderless and bound to go aground sooner or later. Party politics, mostly about the next presidential election, seem to dominate the ship’s course. The current captain, and also the previous two, have set a treacherous course through domestic and foreign shoals and reefs.

Popular and lavish entitlement and retirement programs, here as well as in Greece and a half-dozen other European countries, are leading toward national financial disasters. We are not far behind with Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and a host of miscellaneous welfare and social programs. The aging native population and the welfare and law enforcement burden of millions of illegal aliens is outstripping tax revenue.

The crunch is coming. We need to act ASAP, but the social liberals would rather kick the can down the road, borrow from China and let the national debt (already $15 trillion) grow.

Our current ship’s captain appointed Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles as a committee to chart a course to cope with the coming shipwreck. He then summarily deep-sixed it because it threatened his European-style socialist agenda.

The tide needs to turn in 2012. Hopefully, a new captain at the helm of a refitted ship will lead the country to an austere program of reforms. “Hope and change” has not worked the past three years. The new slogan should be “Hope and getting back to traditional values.”

On Nov. 6, 2012, please vote for the sustainable long-range good of our country. Do not be sidetracked by lesser personal issues — such as abortion, religion, gun control, gay rights, etc. These are minor distractions that will be contentious and with us indefinitely.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

1999 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr Campbell...please explain these "traditional values" to me.

If you think that our conutrys problems started with this president and believe all will be fixed by someone of a different political leaning......you've had your head in the sand for the last 30 years.

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1999 2 years, 7 months ago

ooopsss... I see you blame the last two presidents too.

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NamVet 2 years, 7 months ago

I really would not call Social Security a lavish retirement. First of all most people pay 6.25% of their income which is matched by their employer over a lifetime of about 50 years of working.The average payout at retirement is about $1200 a month. This is below the poverty level if that is all you have. If you want lavish talk to "Conservative" Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. He has been receiving a $92,000 pension since Jan.2011 from the state of Texas while still working thanks to a loophole he found. That puts him in the top 1% with an annual income of $240,000. He is also entitled to another pension for his elected work and Social Security. This is the same Rick Perry who hasn't worked a day in Texas since September who promises to get rid of Social Security. I always find it interesting how politicians exempt themselves when it comes to austerity programs.

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thalgard 2 years, 7 months ago

...you mean traditional values like Ron Pauls antisemitic and racist newsletter? Or do you mean traditional values like Newt hosing his aides while his wife lies sick in a hospital....or do you mean traditional values like yelling "let him die" as we saw in of the Repugnican debates...or do you mean traditional values like outlawing abortions even if a girl is raped by her daddy? What a joke the GOP has become. truly disgusting.

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George Fargo 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Campbell – since you include three presidents, I recall that Clinton achieved a balanced budget and the country was running a surplus, we were in no wars and the economy was booming.

Then Bush came into office and said, “this money belongs to you – the government should not be making a profit” and instituted a tax cut. He initiated a war in Afghanistan to get Bin Laden and failed. Then he allowed Cheney to initiate a war based on a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein that cost well over a $Trillion and many thousand American lives. The country sunk into a recession and finally the economy tanked as Bush was leaving office.

Since then Obama has tried to pull us out of this mess despite an obstructionist Congress that only wants to defeat him in the election. He got Bin Laden, ended the Iraq war, showed how it should have been done in Libya and has the economy slowly turning around.

We are not rudderless. The rudder has been fouled by the Republicans in Congress. On Nov. 6, 2012, I will vote for the sustainable long-range good of our country. I will vote for Barak Obama and the Democrats running for Congress.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Fargo, Please tell me you are joking. This stuff is burning my eyes.

Clinton achieved a balanced budget only because a republican congress dragged him there. Dittos for welfare reform.

Bush did not initiate a war in Afghanistan; Bin Laden did. And he did so because of the unceasing meddling America does in foreign affairs... mostly in trying to secure sources of energy abroad that the left won't let us exploit domestically, hmmm? Bush DID prosecute that war terribly; I will conceede that with NO argument... total screw-up!

Obama didn't "get" Bin Laden. The US Navy "got" him. A Navy that is part of a military and intelligence community that the left has been trying to cut for decades, no??? I seem to recall a bumper sticker on your car that mentioned something about how it would be a great day when the military had to hold a "bake sale" to raise funds... And, BTW, you seem to be applauding something (assinations) that the left called "war crimes" under Bush, hmmmm? Or is assasination OK but water-boarding not?????

Obama "showed us how it should be done in Libya"??? I thought starting wars without the approval of congress made presidents "war criminals" too. Dittos for the patriot act which Obama renewed. Ditto for Gitmo that Obama has not closed as promised. And then there's the question of his renewing the tax cuts you castigate Bush for initiating... Quite a curious appetite you have, unable to stomach under Bush those things you lick up like honey from Obama's resume.

Who had the rudder "fouled" for the first 2 years of Obama's term, hmmm ???

Your observations about Iraq I can totally agree with. What a waste, indeed. Other than that, you seem to me to have some mighty thick left-side blinders on.

Now Thalgard, I think the "Values" you want to see in your leaders is like those of former Senator Byrd (D) who was a big man in the KKK; or maybe Barney Frank (D) who's boyfriend was running a gay prostitution ring in his house; or former NJ governor Jon Corzine (D) who just bilked investors out of billions at MF Global and had to be legally threatened and summoned to testify to congress; or our treasury secretary who didn't pay his taxes; or Charlie Wrangle (D) who didn't pay his taxes; or Attorney General Holder who shipped guns to Mexican drug dealers and who refused to prosecute thugs who stoopd outside voting booths with weapons threatening anyone who dared vote against Obama; or Anthony Weiner(D) who showed his weener on the internet; or George Kaiser, a major Obama fundraiser who just happened to be a major investor in Solyndra..... The house of (D) is made from the same glass as the house of (R) Thalgard... EXACT SAME GLASS.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

"Ship of State" The American electorate is fickle. They put one person at the helm and when the ship does not turn on a dime and give them 9 cents change they grab the wheel and turn it the opposite direction. All the ship ever manages to do is veer a few degrees one way before it veers only a few degrees the other way.

No meaningful directional change is possible with an electorate as fickle and utterly ignorant, especially economically, as ours.

The ship will crash onto the rocks that lay just ahead and the utter irony is that there will have been open ocean and smoothe sailing in almost any other direction.

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thalgard 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled...I will still be pulling the handle for the Dems this next election cycle, mainly because None of the Above is not on the ballot....corruption in politics probably goes all the way back to Cro-magnon days!

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sparkle 2 years, 7 months ago

gaf's got my vote for the most reasoned, honest comment

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

..and Sledneck's got mine. I would like someone to tell me how Obuma has improved America. Is it the out of control spending, regulation, or class warfare? Do you like his green car programs or is it owning 26% of GM that "thrills" you? Is it his foreign policy, Obumacare, or maybe you like the fact that the USFS is trying to take ski area's water rights, Thalgard, you say there has always been corruption in politics, why would you want those corrupt people to have more of our money/ which gives them more power. Why? Gotta go, trying to refinance before the end of the year before the latest tax hits on new mortgages, refinancing. &*#%$^

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

I'd would seriously like to see a "none-of-the-above" category too. My default position will be libertarian. It sounds like Gary Johnson will be trying to get on that ticket. Check out what he is saying if you are tired of the left and right wings of the same bird.. From what I have heard so far I would vote for him.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

One more thing, I'm not as pessimistic as sledneck, I do think this country can be turned around, if honorable people would do the right thing for the country and not for their own reelection greedy purposes. I will vote Republican, Obuma the 4th greatest president must go.

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NamVet 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled I don't know what branch of the military you served in, probably none, but the Commander and Chief selected the mission that got Bin Laden and the Seals carried out his orders. The Generals just wanted to bomb the compound and the President said no and made the decision to go in and get him. I'm sure if it had failed you'd blame Obama however being it succeeded he gets no thanks. This is what happens when you get all your information from a low life like Rupert Murdock's propaganda organization called FOX. The Bush Administration was a total failure and as far as I'm concerned and the Obama Administration has been a disappointment. Just compare were this country was on the day Bush took office and the day Obama took office. Who got screwed? It was Bush that took us into 2 wars and at the same time instituted the largest tax cut in American history. We have never gone to war in our history and cut taxes at the same time because you need to pay for the stupid wars not borrow the money from China. And don't forget Medicare Part D, bailing out Wall St. Execs and massive deficit spending just to name a few. Obama has had his chance to turn around the blunders of the Bush Administration so it may be time to give someone else a chance however after watching the Republican Debates which turned into the Gong Show I'm not hopeful at all.

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thalgard 2 years, 7 months ago

Nam...I wholeheartedly agree with the gong show analogy...never have I seen such a crop of imbeciles trying to acquire the most powerful job in the world. That just proves to me that the GOP has no new ideas, and has come out at the anti-smart party. Show me some new ideas and I might reconsider my position, but as long as they are represented by people that can't tell the difference between Africa and Asia, the Dems got my vote!

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NamVet 2 years, 7 months ago

If you listen to the Rep. hopefuls their solution to our economic problems are to cut taxes by eliminating estate taxes, eliminating Capital Gains taxes, and lowering the top rate to 25% , more deregulation for the banks and the oil and gas industry and more defense spending and maybe throw in another war, this time with Iran.
This is exactly the formula that was used by Pres. Bush which got us in this mess in the first place. The Investment Banks were deregulated which gave us the worst financial meltdown in history, we had the largest tax cut in history mostly going to the top 1% which is exactly what would happen if estate and Capital Gains taxes were eliminated and increased defense spending and more wars.
How do they think by repeating the same policies again would produce a different outcome?

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thalgard 2 years, 7 months ago

Nam...they don't think. They play to the lowest common denominator, a fear of minorities and a fear of science. They are the party of fear, and fear leads to hate and war. The GOP is bought and paid for by the defense, oil, and mass agricultural industries...Exxon, Monsanto, DOW Chemical etc.. GOP leaders are also some of the largest investors in private prisons, go figure. I am not saying that the Dems are innocent or free of corruption, but they are the only ones that seem to represent the struggling middle class. The current class of GOP hopefuls wants to bring us back to the days of the Robber Barons and they want to force feed us their religious beliefs as well. Until we reform the way we allow campaigns to be financed and disallow former elected officials to engage in for-profit lobbying , this is what we are stuck with.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

Out of 3 hundred million people this is the best the Republicans can do, I agree it's not good, on the other hand out of the same number of people you folks gave us BO. He's had his chance and now we are deeper in financial trouble than we have ever been we need to change course, ASAP 2001 was a walk in the park, financially speaking, compared to what the loons in charge have done to us since the Obama has been president. Do you not see that?
Namvet, sigh, more money in the private sector does create jobs, more money in Washington does nothing, but encourage more spending, it isn't going to put a dent in the hole we're in. Have you ever owned or started your own business? Can you imagine the uncertainty business owners are experiencing now with Obumacare hanging over their heads, and yes regulations that cost or cripple business is not conducive to jobs being created This is what BO's America looks like. "The planning process in the valley received a prod last summer when federal wildlife officials announced they would consider adding 99 miles along the Rio Grande and 44 miles on the Conejos River as critical habitat for the flycatcher.

The announcement sprung from the settlement of a lawsuit in July over critical habitat for the bird across the Southwest.

Under the Endangered Species Act, such a designation would impose heavier regulations on farmers and ranchers.

Vandiver said if an individual rancher wanted to clean a ditch or build a fence through willows, he might have to acquire a permit." http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/conservation-plan-in-works-to-avoid-tougher-wildlife-regulations/article_a3df1a7e-304e-11e1-82c2-001871e3ce6c.html or... "Airport Manager Rex Tippetts has borne the brunt of criticism for construction of the fence, but board members said they have been frustrated by the TSA, which board member Morgan Hamon said the airport board doesn’t want to offend.

Defying the TSA could result in the federal agency shutting down commercial air service, and if that happens, “We’ll see it on CNN,” Hamon said. “Grand Junction will be a laughingstock.” http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/airport_users_fume_about_secur/ "The ski industry plans to sue the U.S. Forest Service to stop a new water-rights clause in ski-area permits that resorts argue is a federal taking of tens of millions of dollars in private water rights." http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_19612175

Again, why do you people like this loss of freedom. I don't get it.

. .

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

"but as long as they are represented by people that can't tell the difference between Africa and Asia," Really? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiZFjt...

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NamVet 2 years, 7 months ago

Lizard the TSA was started by G. W. Bush and it is a mess, no argument there. We are no safer than we were 10 years ago. We just spend billions for nothing extra. The private sector has been rewarded via tax cuts over the last 30 years and especially the last 10. What do we have to show for it? The top 1% has seen their wealth grow by 270% while the Middle Class has lost. Trickle down economics does not work. The 6 Walton heirs(Wall Mart) inherited more money this years than the bottom 30% of the country earned which is 110,000,000 people. It was all classified as Capitol Gains so they only had to pay a 15% tax. If the Republicans take control of the gov't they would pay zero. Eliminating the Estate Tax and Capitol Gains Tax would add $6 Trillion to the deficit over 10 years. How would they make this up plus balance the budget? They say the will cut gov't waste, Medicare and Social Security.. Which means the poorest of the country has to pay for the richest tax cuts. No wonder why Maserati. Ferrari, and top end Mercedes sales are up 20 to 40% this year.

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thalgard 2 years, 7 months ago

So Liz...the permanent loss of a species is preferable to a minor inconvenience to some rancher...you truly are a heartless b@tch. I am proud that the DOW and our President sees that keeping endangered animals from disappearing forever is more important than some minor inconvenience. In fact, I hope that one day your narrow little mind will see the beauty that the natural world provides, instead of just how it effects your bottom line. I also know that debating with you low-brow types is pointless, so I will just bow out and leave you to your hate and dreams.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

You don't debate with people like me because you have nothing but "low-brow" name calling to offer. Hmm,hmm hmmm 4th grade was fun for me too, but dude... I do love freedom and perhaps one of the most fundemental righs we have is property rights. You don't believe in those? Who makes those high end cars NamVet?

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thalgard 2 years, 7 months ago

Liz...the endangered species act didn't exist before Obama? Is that what your trying to say. Again, I can't debate the merits of such an important law with someone who has no heart, a low-brow if you will. You are a lost cause to me. You would rather let a woman die than to let her abort her child...you would rather let a person die rather than provide her with basic health care...you would rather let an entire species disappear forever than provide regulations to keep that from happening. Heartless. No soul, no compassion, no hope, that's today's GOP.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

I don't debate social issues, and consider myself to be more of a libertarian in regards to them. But in the spirit of the "you would rather" blame game; you would rather old people and little babies froze in their cold dark homes as electricity prices "necessarily" rise. We must protect the preeble mouse from certain extinction in your "A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy" world, right?.

Of course the ESA has been around since Nixon as has the EPA, this is just another installment in the war on private property rights as per their mandates.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 7 months ago

I do not know what " traditional " values Omar was referring to but the traditional values I would like to see return in this country are the "Ten Commandments". The two worst presidents of my lifetime were Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. One a Republican and one a Democrat. The Senate and the House are mostly populated with greedy immoral men primarily interested in increasing their own personal wealth, Democrat and Republican. The Supreme Court has outlawed the posting of the "Ten Commandments" in public places including public schools. No wonder much of the youth of the country grows up with little moral guidance. This is still the best and greatest country in the world with the most freedom but the leaders and a large minority of the population have lost their moral compass. We are following the path of the Roman Empire and the outcome will be the same.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Where to begin, Namvet... hmmm, Let's take them seriatim, shall we... 1. It's "commander in chief" not "commander and chief" so what branch were you in that you did not know the title of the one you served?

  1. The generals who wanted to bomb bin Laden were probably right since the manned mission gave the chicoms an advanced steath helicopter.

  2. If the commander in chief gets credit for all things military then he is at fault, not only for losing that helicopter but also for losing a state-of-the-art stealth plane to Iran, who no doubt gave THAT technology to the Russians. HE'S the commander...right???

  3. You can not be sure who I would blame if "it had failed" and Obama gets plenty of praise from lemmings; he needs no more from me.

  4. We agree that the Bush adminstration was a failure. I didn't vote for him.

  5. Obama took us into wars, kept gitmo open and renewed Bush's tax cuts and the patriot act. Are you so pitifully one-sided as to not even posses the ability to acknowledge the same acts from obama that you condemn from Bush??

  6. Hellen Keller could see that the economic mess was a longer time comming than Bush alone. It was caused by many inept and corrupt decisions that spanned the political spectrum. If you can only see the "Bush" part of it but fail to see the Barney Frank or Christopher Dood part then you are every bit as economically ignorant as the average voter.

  7. The TSA was federalized by a 100-0 vote. Before the vote there were the now infamous and hysterical cries from Sen Tom Daschle (D) South Dakota and J.D.Rockerfeller (D) WV... "You can't professionalize unless you federalize..." New Jersy's Rob Andrews (D) called federalizing it "a matter of life and death". As bad as republicans are about big government they pale in comparison to the left WHICH HAS NEVER MET A PROGRAM THEY DID NOT WANT TO FEDERALIZE. Any condemnation from a leftist about government wanting to run things not only rings completely hollow but, frankly shows ignorance.

Thalgard, The left wants to endoctrinate our kids and have them scared to death about something that has happened for millions of years (climate change) and you want to call right-wingers the ones who peddle fear???? That's the best thing I've heard yet. Goebbles would be very proud of you. When it comes to fear, the lefts biggest lie (global warming) takes first prize HANDS DOWN.

I detect, in the two of you, some of the old Russian fable about Borris and Ivan.

They were 2 poor russians boys who were basically the same only Ivan had a goat and Borris did not. One day Borris found a magic lamp and out poped a geenie who granted him a wish... anything he wanted! After a moment of strained thought Borris proclaimed... "I want Ivans goat to die" !

Why don't you guys stop wishing for rich peoples goat to die and start thinking of ways to get a goat of your own???

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jerry carlton 2 years, 7 months ago

sled You know most of the time I basically agree with you, but this time the government took my money and gave it to Ivan so he could buy the goat. I do not want Ivans goat to die, I want the thieves in the government to sell Ivans goat and give me my money back. I would also really like to see the thieves in government give back the gold plated health care and retirement systems they have created for themselves. That is Republican and Democratic thieves.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree that sometimes uncle scam takes your money and gives it to Ivan, Jerry. But why blame Ivan? Let's blame the jerks who put the gun to your head and took your hard-earned money; not the person the jerks gave your money to, eh?

That's why I want less uncle scam. When he diminishes so will Ivans goat monopoly.

The "thieves in government" are never going to do anything honest for you; especially not giving back Ivans goat monopoly. Our only hope is that we get rid of a percentage of thieves proportional to the amount of government we eliminate.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled I buy that line of reasoning. The problem I see is Ivan has bought the government with the money he took from me and gave to Ivan. The 1% keep getting richer, the 99% get poorer and the professional politicians keep getting their pay offs.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

But that's just not entirely true, Jerry. The poor are not getting poorer. Americas poor live better than Julius Caesar did. Their life expectancy is increasing so fast as to be causing problems for social security and medicare... so-called "good problems to have". They have cell phones, multiple telivisions (on their cell phones even), washing machines, cars, groceries, etc.

A by-product of real poverty is malnutrition and starvation; how do so-called "poor" Americans get to be epidemically obese??? Answer: they are NOT getting poorer!

I hear this nonsense all the time about how kids are going to bed hungry; then the next day I hear how so many of them are too fat! Well, which is it??? Lies; that's what I think it is. All around the world, peoples diet is changing to more beef and more grain consuming foods; something to think about in our investments perhaps. This is only possible because of a wealthier global population.

Nor is it a question of the 99 against the 1. Don't fall into that trap of envy. First of all 25% of the top income earners this year will not even be in that category again next year. Dittos for the poorest among us. There is a mobility of income built into a capatilist system. Static data from the IRS simply does not show it. Just because there is always a "poor" category with 15% of the population in it does not mean that it's the same people year after year. Dittos for the high earners.

Secondly, there is only one cure for poverty. It is called wealth. I know a lot of people who are richer than me. Most of them worked hard for their money, provided a valuable service to the masses, and employed many people along the way. I refuse to be envious, jealous, or upset with their prosperity. Wealth is what I wish for everyone and capitalism is the interstate highway to wealth. Sure there are wrecks along the way, but do we close hwy 40 or I-70 because of wrecks... even because of fatalities??? Of course not!

Now I'm not saying there is not corruption in government and in its relationship with big business. There certainly is. In fact, I have come to view the relationship much like the mafia running a protection racket for businesses that pay up. This country is being run by the mob, just not an Itallian one.

You can't sustain as many parasites (fleas and ticks) on a small dog as you can on a big one. Same goes for government. People of all persuasions who hate corruption should want to shrink the size of the biggest dog of all... government.

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jerry carlton 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled I agree with a lot of what you say. I envy no one. I own a house free and clear in Routt County that I paid for with money I earned and saved by working 51 years plus a small inheritance from my mother that I managed for her for 20 years. I will have enough money to live comfortably the rest of my life unless the country collapses as I think you have predicted before. I resent the government being bought and paid for by the truly rich. I resent the gold plated health plan and retirement system that the Congress and Senate have set up for themselves. I resent that the Congress and Senate can trade stocks on insider information with legal impunity. I resent that the average income of the top 1% has gone up 240% since 1982 while average overall wages have stayed flat. Source: Congressional Budget Office, Economic Policy Institute by way of Readers Digest. I could go on forever. I fear for the future of my 4 grandchildren. If the government and the rich continue down this path, there will someday be an armed insurrection in this country. Not in my lifetime or yours but somewhere down the road. Just shrinking government will not stop the corruption. Somehow the control of the government by the 1% must be broken. I think we are both saying the same thing, just a little different perspective on it.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

I resent a lot of those things too. Very, very much.

Shrinking the size of the dog is probably the best solution short of violence. Shrinking the size and scope of government WILL bring things closer into line with where you and I wish them to be. If there are no enforcement officers, then stupid regulations might exist, but can not be enforced.

Another solution is "Nullification". Thomas Woods wrote a book about it (titled Nullification) that I would recommend to you. Very interesting concept that I firmly believe can and must be excercised, especially at the INDIVIDUAL level. The basic concept is simple... ignore stupid laws... just flat-out ignore them.

A concept I wish every American was familiar with is the difference between "Mala-prohibita" vs "Mala-en-se".

Mala en se are things that are wrong because everybody knows they are just plain wrong. Things like murder, theft, rape, etc. No rational person thinks they are ok.

Mala prohibita are things that the state tells you not to do; but on their face, they are not necessarily wrong. Things like j-walking, smoking pot, hiring or firing whoever you want, prostitution, gambling, etc. It's really nobodys business if I do those things or not. Those laws should be ignored. Doing so diminishes the power of the state.

The Declaration of Independance tells us that "... mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils ARE sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms [of government] to which they are accustomed..."

At some point the evils will once again become more than people wish to suffer. You are right that for the time being a revolution is not in the forecast. Saying that you will not see one in your lifetime suggests you are more optimistic about this nations future than I. I hope you are right and I am wrong.

I think that until that time, my personal solution is three-fold: First, work to change what I can. Second, endure that which I must, and third, short of getting thrown in jail, every stupid rule and ignoramous who would enforce them gets totaly ignored... just as if they do not exist.

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trump_suit 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled, You lose all credibility when you continue to advocate for armed revolution against our legally elected representatives. When you actively call for citizens to "IGNORE" laws that they do not respect, you are asking for a return to the lawless days of the old west when the quickest gun or the strongest man ruled the county.

Sorry, but I for one reject that option and will choose to work within the framework of our laws to make any changes that are necessary. Regardless of your assertions to the contrary, Regulation at all levels is necessary without them, corporations will do whatever is most profitable including dumping their toxins into the environment and cutting corners on the maintenance required to keep their operations safe. We see examples everywhere we look from the West Virginia coal mine to the BP oil spill. These are the incidents that take place when corners are cut and corporations make decisions to increase their profit margin at any cost.

Your call for citizens to revolt is in fact revolting in and of itself. I sincerely hope that I am not alone in this opinion. Anyone?

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Htiler was "legally elected"; as was Stalin. Together they killed 100 million people.

It is the liberty you have which allows you to reject the opinions of others.

Regulations are, indeed necessary. So is water. Over drinking (otherwise known as drowning) nets the same results as over-regulation. We also see examples of the corruption that takes place when regulators become gods.

Oh, and since you brought it up I would LOVE to talk profit margins with you.

In the last quarter of 2010 Exxon profited less than 3 cents per gallon. Uncle Scam took about 47 cents. Is Exxon crying about not being able to supply gas? NO! Is Uncle Scam crying about not being able to keep roads and bridges in good repair? YES!

The gubbamint collects more money on a pack of cigarettes than retailers, wholesalers, farmers, truckers and manufacturers COMBINED.

Grocery stores nationwide report a profit margin of about 3%. The city of Steamboat alone takes 4.75%. Are grocery stores crying about needing more money? NO! are city officials raising taxes for airline bla bla bla??? YES!

I was forced to pay city tax this summer on concrete that was poured OUTSIDE the city! What's the city's profit margin for that????? I'd say about 100%!

You think people involved in a racket like that are all honest while the same creatures (human beings) involved in the private sector are all crooks???

People should take a good look at their reciepts from Wal Mart, Ace hardware, restaurants, sporting goods , etc and seriously ask themselves... "Do I really think this store made as much proffit on my purchases as that tax charge at the bottom of my reciept?" Most people already know the answer. Then ask yourselves... "Who should get the profit; the guy who MADE the food I'm eating or the guys who forcibly collect 5%??" Defend THAT institution if you wish, Trump. I can not.

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HowardRoark 2 years, 7 months ago

Reading the comments here makes me feel disgraced to live in a country with so many ill informed, emotional, and clueless people within my own town. To see comments about Osama Bin Laden being killed is childish, and what this country needs now are informed men. You are all children playing checkers and your masters are playing chess. Let me inform those of you that are not aware of it that the pictures shown of his dead body were photoshopped and fake, and the MSM admits this. Don't believe me? Then get off your fat can and look it up! Bush had invasion plans for Iraq BEFORE 9-11. Don't believe me? Look it up! Military grade nanothermite (An incidiary chemical used for controlled demolition) was found in the dust and rubble of the WTC, and over 1000 professional architects, engineers, pilots and firefightrs are aware of this, and have been screaming this truth for over 5 years now, yet you children all still believe that a boogie man in a cave in Afganastan pulled it off with box cutters and pepper spray. I suppose that all of the fluoride you all are drinking has effected your ability to perform cognitive thought. The day before 9-11 Rumsfeld stated in a press conference that over 2 trillion dollars was missing from the pentagon, and after the so called "attack" no one even questioned where all of this money went. I will tell you where it went you pathetic sheeple; they have camps waiting for you, and coffins as well, placed all over the country, and you will find yourselves in them if you don't wake up and look into these things for yourselves. Do you think I like saying these things, knowing good and well that every last one of you will think I am crazy? I do it for self preservation, because if you don't wake up, I am going down with you. The neoconservatives have a plan for all of you, and that is to jail you, kill those that oppose them, and make you work like a pig for penniesin a sweatshop prison. Sure, laugh at me, but remember you read this when what I am telling you comes to fruition, which will be very, very soon if you do not wake up to the manipulation and corruption that has governed your lives for so long. 7 days before JFK was assasinated he stated that "There is a plot to imprison every man, woman and child in this country and I intend to expose this plot...". Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex in is farewell address. Were they delusional as well? Oklahoma city was an inside job pulled off by Clinton in order to take more of your freedoms. 9-11 was an inside job, or false flag if you will, to launch the US into more wars and strip more freedoms from Americans, and these monsters are just one false flag away from taking everything from you bickering morons; and you call me crazy.

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HowardRoark 2 years, 7 months ago

Your generation will be remembered as the people that let the torch of freedom go out on your watch, and your children will curse you in perpetuity for it. Happy New Year.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

"They have camps waiting for [us] and coffins..."

80 million people in this country own guns. Some of them probably have a little sompin-sompin waiting for "them" too. American civilians won't be the only ones in the coffins when that day comes, Howie.

And if "they" lock up (or kill) everybody then who is going to file a tax return come april 15th? Hell, the Chicoms won't allow that cause then they will never get their $4 trillion back...

I'm as opposed to big government as it gets. I do not trust it. I think it is corrupt to the core. But this conspiracy theory you have goin' is beyond me... way, way beyond. Clinton caused the OK. City bombing? Bush caused 9-11? As sorry as they both were as presidents I just can't grab on to that handle.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and BTW... the pentagon has contingency attack plans for Canada, Mexico and probably a couple dozen other countries including the next one that's gonna get thumped... Iran. That doesn't mean there is some sort of secret cover-up about it.

I guess I have just one question about the prison-camp theory... To what end? Why lock your cattle up in the barn where you have to feed them when you can leave them in the pasture and they will feed you???

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 7 months ago

Howie watch one to many episodes of "The Star Chamber" ? did you

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Phoebe Hackman 2 years, 7 months ago

Seriously, Howard ... buy yourself a TV; then you won't have to get all your news from YouTube. And do stay inside, 'cause it's reeeealllly scary out here in the real world and everybody IS out to get you.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

Late to the party. A pet peeve that I can't allow to go unchallenged:

“...I recall that Clinton achieved a balanced budget and the country was running a surplus...” One of the most ridiculous memes of the last 20 years. Clinton never posted a surplus during any of his 8 years, and never left one for Bush to inherit. He came close in FY2000 with a deficit of 'only' $19 billion, but those numbers were never in the black at any point during his two terms. His final budget proposal for FY2001 generated a deficit of $133 billion. I am interested to understand how those who speak so glowingly of Clinton's imaginary budget balancing can so easily turn a blind eye to to the hole we're in now – where, for the first time, government debt exceeds GDP.

Which is not intended to excuse his successor's profligate spending. Many tea partiers (like me) will tell you the movement first began to stir when W signed off on the asinine TARP bailout. What's truly galling is how BHO makes W look like Ebeneezer Scrooge. The US of A now owes more money than anyone has owed anybody. Ever.

Owing to American desire to be prevalent during the Cold War, our NATO allies never had to choose between guns & butter. We funded the defense, enabling many of those nations to engage in the same kind of socialism BHO would have us choke on here. And look where too many of those countries are now: Greece, England, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy... are all collapsing under the weight of decades of Keynesian largesse, as those governments finally run out of other people's money to confiscate.

During the recently ended fiscal year, Big Bro collected $180 billion a month. He spent $300 billion a month. One wonders how much larger that disparity needs to become, and how much longer it needs to continue before the sheeple regard it to be unsustainable.

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HowardRoark 2 years, 7 months ago

Just because you don't believe something to be true does not make it false. The real problem with this country stares you in the face every time you look into the mirror. You dismiss what I have said so easily without even looking into it. All I have written is true, yet you all ridicule me rather then looking into these things; this is why you are so easily controlled. Fema camps are REAL, Fema coffins are REAL, the Georgia guidestones are REAL, agenda 21 is REAL. The world you live in, the fantasy world you enjoy where you can ignore these truths and concentrate on sports and american idol, has been fabricated for you to distract you. You are fools. May your chains lay lightly upon you.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh - sled, Phoebe, Kevin, et al: arguing with a conspriacy theorist is like mowing your lawn with a pocket knife. You're invited to appropriate a page from my book, and don't waste your time.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Even if it is all real/ true/ going to happen... What, pray tell, am I supposed to do about it? If the government is pregnant with such a plot nothing will stop it. And don't even THINK about saying how to vote. If voting could meaningfully change anything it would have been outlawed years ago.

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pitpoodle 2 years, 7 months ago

Obama took us into wars, kept gitmo open and renewed Bush's tax cuts and the patriot act. Are you so pitifully one-sided as to not even posses the ability to acknowledge the same acts from obama that you condemn from Bush??

Hellen Keller could see that the economic mess was a longer time comming than Bush alone. It was caused by many inept and corrupt decisions that spanned the political spectrum. If you can only see the "Bush" part of it but fail to see the Barney Frank or Christopher Dood part then you are every bit as economically ignorant as the average voter.

I like these quotes - especially re Dodd and Frank.

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trump_suit 2 years, 7 months ago

I have to agree with Jeff. The only reason Clinton even came that close was because they raided the Social Security funds that were running a very high surplus during those years to fund future obligations. Once Clinton moved those funds into the general budget, the numbers looked better but were not. Robbing Peter to pay Paul does not constitute a "Balanced Budget".

The two biggest problems are the Bush Tax Cuts and Medicare Part D that were passed by Republican administrations and never paid for. they add up to almost a trillion dollars a year. When this kind of problem hits your families household you do two things.

  1. Reduce expenditures immediately, not over 10 years.
  2. Get another job or in the Govt's case raise more money (ie taxes)

Never in this countries history have we gone to war without raising taxes to pay for it. Bush started 2 wars and lowered tax rates. To further the problem the entire Republican party blamed it all on Obama and refused to compromise on their sudden fiscal conservatism. Take away those two major Bush initiatives and the budget is much closer to where it should be.

Jeff, Do you agree with Sleds contention that armed revolution is the answer, that it is coming and almost unavoidable?

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rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

Howard -- I agree totally, and we have created a monster called the Federal Reserve. In June 1962 JFK signed an executive order to begin dismantling the Fed, and he was dead within 6 months. For those whose ego is not threatened by animated characters providing dialogue, I refer you to the following link, which also features JFK:

http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=16719

The Fed's power is limitless. No entity -- not the FBI, not the CIA, not the Supreme Court, not the President himself -- nobody, can attend their board meetings or in any way violate their turf. Their power is absolute. Their tentacles are long, their smoke and mirrors quite effective, as they can kill our own President and blow up our own buildings, while getting the masses looking everywhere else.

What can be done? Very little, I fear. Ron Paul has spoken out against the Fed and our constant "war-mongering" and should he happen to end up in the Oval Office, he will join JFK in short order; of that I have little doubt.

I am not here to join your fight, Howard; I've voiced my opinions in here before. I've resigned myself to deal with whatever happens when the time comes, and all our guns will be good for, sled, is shooting rabbits and deer for food, since City Market and Safeway will just be pleasant memories. There are dark days ahead, unless we sell out totally to the Chinese, and the Fed's private owners care little what happens to the general populace; they could each buy Hawaii by now anyway.

The evidence is out there, for any curious and secure enough to seek it. I'm just here to say, Howard, that I think you do our cause a disservice calling people "morons." It is our job to educate, not alienate.

Not that it will do any good. What's getting better? Nothing. What can you do? Nothing.

Get ready for a pleasant ride, my friends.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Excuse me; can I please clarify... I am not anxious for armed revolution, not at all. I am far more comfortable today than were there an ongoing revolution.

Nor do I contend that it is "THE" answer. With something like that, one never really knows until one tries, hmmmm?

Yes, I do think it is comming and almost unavoidable.

Now, you may continue ripping me a new one...

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HowardRoark 2 years, 7 months ago

I understand that calling people morons is not a very good way to get a point across, and I also understand that every time I try to share this information with others I am ridiculed and belittled. I didn't write any of this for the sheeple, but for myself. I now have a clear conscious that I have warned all of you ignorant, hubris driven cattle. When you are groveling for food for yourselves and your family, do not come to me. I will not hesitate to protect my food and family from ignorant masses that greeted my screams and warning with jokes and innuendoes. The only one who has my respect, and whom I would share a place at my table in this forum is Rhys. As for Kotowski and the rest of the ignorant, I wouldn’t give you a crumb. The amount of time and energy you all have wasted making fun of me and my so called “conspiracy theories”, you could have educated yourself about the Fed, the Bilderbergs, the tri-lateral commission, the CFR, 9-11, Oklahoma city, ect...but instead you ignore the very truth given to you, and you insult the messenger. You will all get what you deserve soon. Have any of you asked yourself “Gee, Howard has been commenting here for a few years now, and he has never gone this deep with his comments”, probably not. I am speaking up with this increased volume because I am quite certain that within a year from now the lives you live now will be history, if you are alive at all. This post is dated, so you will have the opportunity to make me eat crow if I am wrong. So just sit back, relax, ignore what I have said, and wait; everything is just fine.

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rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

sled -- I kinda hope you're right, as I am thoroughly disgusted with the direction this country is headed. We intend to dominate the world just as the Commies intended 50 years ago. We'll just buy 'em out. P.J. O'Rourke said it best: "Nothing fights Communism like a Quarter Pounder." That some countries would like to retain their own identity and culture can hardly come as a surprise; Iran and North Korea are fighting Coke and Pepsi taking over, which is inevitably coming.

Question is, who are we going to attack? Should we start at the Forest Service and work our way up? Maybe take over a recruiting office? Where's the nearest National Guard Armory? Oh I forgot; they've just got M-16's and M-4's -- junk, no AK's -- although rockets and mortars could provide some fun. Then who do we bomb?

Maybe we could all pack our .308's and hop a train to Washington? Start shooting at our cousins and brothers? Most of their weapons have full-auto; we might then be at a disadvantage.

I'm thinking, there is also power in the pen, and the Internet might save us. All of the information one needs to know about the reality of things is readily available at your fingertips, if you just use it. Look at the miracles it has already enabled in the Middle East, and continues to. We can't vote the Fed out, but maybe if we elect enough opponents, and/or make our fervent wishes known to our representatives, they can collectively -- and peacefully -- accomplish our objectives. God I hope so.

Because if not, I am ready, maybe secretly hoping, for your solution.

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rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

sled -- I can't say your idea hasn't occurred to me, not that it is without merit. If the politicos can't shake the monster, we might have to do it ourselves.

A question and a comment arise:

-- When we dump the old regime, do we lose their debt too? China might be PO'd.

-- In the New Constitution, privacy and individual rights will supercede even the State's interests.

My three cents.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Argentina shook off about 70% of its foreign debt when it defaulted in '02. They are still paying the price. America would pay a much higher price than Argentina or ANY other country if it defaulted. Why? Oil, Gold, etc is priced in US Dollars. the day you wake up and see oil quoted in Yen or Yuan , etc is the day you start living in a whole other world. Take a look at what the interest rates are right now for Italy... about 7%; and they are saying that much above that will cause them to bankrupt. I think Argentinas rates are running about 9 - 12 %. I'd have to imagine that, if America had to pay 7 or 8 or 9% (much less 13%) interest on its debt it would very quickly not have the $$$$ left over to write ONE SINGLE social security check.

THAT, Rhys, is the 900 pound gorilla. If you want to read about it Adam Ferguson wrote a good book about the history of the Weimar Republic titled "When Money Dies". I recommend it.

Now, as far as I'm concerned it would be one of the funniest things I have ever ever ever ever ever seen to watch all those present and former government workers (I use that term loosely) and welfare dependants and social-security dependants roll "snake eyes" from Uncle Scam. It would be as satisfying as seein' all the ticks panic when they realized the dog was DEAD!

Howie, You told us your real name and now you are telling us you will have food and other provisions at your place when the s**t hits the fan?

I'm taking the opposite approach. I have recently sold most of my weapons since the price went way up when Obama hit town; I store no food and I have shot-up most of my ammo. I own no gold, silver or other precious metals and I keep very little cash on hand. I guess you could say I ain't got nothin but the habbit; and I figure when it all goes south there won't be enough barbed wire or machine-guns to keep people out anyway.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh, but Rhys... I DO have memorized what the hold ups and hold offs are for most wind conditions... .308 is my favorite followed by 300 win mag and 7.62 x 39. I too think m-16's are over-rated.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

I dunno. John Galt sounds like a pseudonym, to me. My money's on Ragnar Danneskjöld.

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Jeff_Kibler 2 years, 7 months ago

I prefer nom de plume, but I catch your drift. JohnGalt blogged herein, but it's been a few years. That double dot thing over the vowel is commonly called an umlaut auf Deutsch. What do the Scandinavians call it? The linguists label it a diaeresis. Sounds kinda disgusting. Go figure.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

Nothing to apologize for. I thought perhaps Howie had disclosed his identity in another discussion.

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HowardRoark 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr Kotowski, I know who you are, and I commend your courage to display your name and face on such a forum, but I am concerned about your hubris for doing so. I am also concerned that you seem quite interested in who I am. I will tell you who I am; I am a tool of patriotism that loves his family and his way of life, and I work endlessly to expose fraud and followers of fraud. Rest assured I am no threat to you or anyone that does not threaten me or my way of life. Let me close with this: I know you, I have seen you, and I have even grasped your hand and shook. You should take solice in the fact that I am no pirate hell bendt on forcing men into submission via force like Ragnar, and rather expose the ineptness of men as a tool of society, and you clearly fear this tool. You are an ill-informed sheep like the rest of the company you keep, and you pose no threat to anyone but yourself, and the freedoms you enjoy are threatened by your ignorance of current events and history. I gave you a challenge not long ago to play out at an open mike night, and you refused. You missed your chance to meet eye to eye at that point. You will never know who I am, what I do, or what makes me tick, because you are consumed with the idea that you are better than me, and that is your weakness, and a sickness that has spread throughout humanity. I do not relish the fact that you obsess over comments on a newspaper thread to fulfill your being and I see clearly your part in the ignorant wave of fearfull men that are running out of rope. Why not use your noodle, and look into the things I have stated rather then waste your venom on a ghost you know nothing about and uses ficticious characters created in a novel written by Ayn Rand? Is that your brand? Is that your only reply?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

For the record: I couldn't be less interested in HowardRoark's identity. I'm just struck by his choice of screen name: one of the most stalwart protagonists in all of 20th century fiction. More than a little ironic, as our resident incarnation can only sling insults and derision while cowering behind a veil of anonymity. Quite unlike the fictional hero he's chosen to call himself.

For that and other reasons, he's one of a handful of posters here whose contributions I ignore.

Rock on, HowardRoark!

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HowardRoark 2 years, 7 months ago

Sure Brian, sure you ignore me, sure you are not interested in who I am, and sure you understand Ayn Rand. Rock on Brian.

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