Egypt Denies Basic Civil Liberties To Its People . . . The United States Responds With $1.3 Billion In Military Aid For Government

President_Barack_Obama220px-MohamedMorsiPThis week President Barack Obama ordered the intervention into yet another war after Syria crossed his “red line” by using chemical weapons against its own people. However, over in Egypt, denying civil liberties and free speech appears no barrier to U.S. aid. In the very same week as using human rights to justify another intervention, the Obama Administration quietly approved $1.3 billion in annual US military aid to Egypt. Both Israel and Egypt continue to receive billions in such aid every year despite the reduction or termination of basic environmental, educational, and other programs in the United States.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that the aid was “carefully considered” but it was viewed as necessary to “preserv[ing] important regional interests.” I almost wish it was not “carefully considered” given Egypt’s denial of basic civil liberties.

The same careful consideration has not prevented a cessation of all aid to Turkey despite that country attacking of hospitals, arrest of doctors for helping protesters, the faking of riots by police, and the use of caustic chemicals in water cannons by the government.

Secretary of State John Kerry notified Congress of the transfer of money shortly before the sentencing of 43 Egyptian and foreign NGO workers in what Kerry has denounced as a “politically-motivated trial.” That certainly showed them.

The government of Islamist President Mohammad Morsi and our other ally, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, show the hypocrisy of the United States in justifying military intervention in the name of human rights. Our credibility on such questions is further reduced by our own refusal to prosecute people responsible for the torture program and the widespread use of warrantless surveillance of our own people.

We are now supporting Islamist governments which are responsible for the greatest rollbacks on secular government in the Middle East. These same countries are responsible for the abuse of citizens seeking to exercise free speech and other basic liberties. We are sending billions to these countries that could be spent on our people who are facing weekly announcements of programs being cancelled for lack of funding.

95 thoughts on “Egypt Denies Basic Civil Liberties To Its People . . . The United States Responds With $1.3 Billion In Military Aid For Government

  1. The Arab Spring has turned into an Arab nightmare for the people. Morsi is making Mubarak look like a shining light of freedom and liberalism. Sadly for the Egyptian people, their fight for freedom has cost them any freedom they had…

  2. I’m going to take a moment to remind readers of the Iran/Contra Affair.

    Congress made all sorts of efforts to put a stop to US aid flowing to Nicaraguan contras, but folk within Reagan’s administration, including Reagan himself, who told his Administration he wanted the contras kept alive “body and soul”, created a plan which later, in true CIA style, blew up in their faces. A big scandal ensued with trials and convictions, but, in the end, Oliver North’s conviction was overturned, and President Bush I, pardoned the rest of the players.

    In other words, if the Executive wants to send our tax dollars to crazy bandits in Central America or Islamic extremists in Egypt, they will and absolutely nothing we or Congress says or does will change a thing.

    Democracy? More like, Thus sayeth the King … no matter which political party coughed him up.

  3. It is striking that many Obama supporters still believe he is only killing, torturing and spying on people to: 1. save human (often, women’s rights) and 2. to protect the people of the US. Neither is remotely true.

    The gas (reportedly containing nerve agents) sent to quell the protests in Egypt came from the US. Gas used against Occupy was also suspected of containing nerve agents).

    It also seems strange that we are told we must cut social programs because there isn’t any money left in the budget. Yet, on a dime, billions of dollars appear for war. Where does that war money come from? It comes from somewhere.

    If we have it for making war on the world, why do we not have it for social good? If we had a functioning press, we would be able to understand who is making vast sums of profit from all these wars. Lies could easily be exposed.

    I worry that the ability of the govt. to propagandize our people into a state of complete ignorance and confusion has become so great that they will actually create a false “reality” which people will think is reality. Because of the manipulation going on, I feel it is important for anyone who can to speak out about what is truly happening. We have to raise questions, point out logical inconsistence, expose how propaganda is being used against our own people.

  4. It is Pirate Territory. The “aid” is “bribe”. You do not give aid and comfort to pirates in Pirate Territory.

  5. I am trying to imagine how much infrastructure could be repaired and jobs created if that so-called military aid was diverted. How much of the 1.3 billion will actually go to the military and how much will go to the leader aristocracy of Egypt?

  6. rafflaw 1, June 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I am trying to imagine how much infrastructure could be repaired and jobs created if that so-called military aid was diverted. How much of the 1.3 billion will actually go to the military and how much will go to the leader aristocracy of Egypt?
    A noble sentiment.

    However, it may be that the money is diverted infrastructure money.

    I have been trying for years to get an answer:

    AT $286.4 BILLION, the highway bill just passed by Congress is the most expensive public works legislation in US history … funding the interstate highway system and other federal transportation programs … The enormous bill — 1,752 pages long … It passed 412 to 8 in the House, 91 to 4 in the Senate.

    (Mega Infrastructure Bill To Make Jobs?). I think it had clauses in it that allowed federal agencies to spend the money overseas on infrastructure if in their discretion they felt that was best.

    Who knows?


  7. Until we no longer have a deficit, our government has no right to hand out money to foreign nations.

  8. “Until we no longer have a deficit, our government has no right to hand out money to foreign nations.”


    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve never understood the idea of “foreign aid” for anyone while so many Americans are starving and languishing in poverty. However, this is most obvious when we see the aid designated as “military aid,” what is really being described is money that will be re-sent to the varied corporations that make up the Military/Industrial Complex. The other justification of course is that it brings our “allies” closer to us, but that has been shown time and again to be a false proposition.

  9. “So many Americans are starving” Shoot from the hip Dem bullshit. And, Dems also point out, very correctly, that we have become an obese nation w/ the poor being the most obese. In prior generations, obesity was a sign of wealth. Now it’s a sign of poverty, thanks to coporate prepared and fast food, and poor parenting. The only Americans “starving” are those starving themselves via eating disorders. I cook spaghetti dinners and my wife serves them @ a place called Luke House in Madison. You can call and ask “Big Paul” who runs the place so keep your snide “possibly false anecdote” in your back pocket this time. We do volunteer work, not just sit around and whine. I’ll cook the pasta, and my wife will be serving there[w/ others] tomorrow. The diners are not starving. Many are obese. They’re poor[for the most part], many are homeless, or semi homeless, some have addiction and mental health issues, BUT THEY’RE NOT STARVING, or any more hungry than you or I before supper. This is a religious program supported by churches and synagogues in the Madison area. The discordant “starving Americans” and “Obesity Epidemic” is currently the most blatant hypocrisy in the political culture. I support the latter, teaching people how to eat right, particularly kids. Please stop saying the former, because it’s an obvious lie.

    We need to find balance in foreign aid. Isolationism does not work and we need to help worthy causes worldwide. But yes, we need to focus more on our own. Get rid of bureaucracies and spend our hard earned dollars on people, not people getting paid 125k for sitting in a cubicle and watching porn on their computer all day.

  10. War…. You can count on…. Supplying aid to enemy combatants…. It’s a given…. How do you keep the food chin supplied…

  11. From what I have read starvation is a problem among senior citizens who have exhausted all their resources and young children, nick. Not every community has the resources and programs that Madison does.

  12. The government hands out about 44 billion a year in foreign aid and most of it is military aid. From 90-something, 96 I believe, until the Iraq war Israel and Egypt were the two largest benefactors. They are now farther down the list behind places where we are in wars like Afghanistan. Israel has always been the top contender even before the aid was listed as military but remained concealed as other programs. Egypt was right up there also. Peace is expensive. It, in major part, cost Anwar an-Sadat his life.

    Just look at the map linked below. Then do some searches like ‘political unrest in Jordan’, political unrest in ‘Lebanon’. The whole region is destabilized. We are selling (actually giving) israel a bunch of new weapons and selling the Saudis and the UAE some new and really spiffy weapons too.

    We are protecting our best ‘friends’ and the red sea chokepoint. We are going to pay for a hopefully stabilizing influence in Egypt and I wouldn’t be surprised to read an increase aid to Jordan and Lebanon in the future to try to insure their stability. There is some very complicated s*it going down in an area we need to remain stable and where some of the countries have nukes.

    Aid to Egypt to encourage stability, even if they are moving away from democratic/liberal ideals, is a necessity. Yea, I hate it too.

    “WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is expected to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports to help them counter any future threat from Iran.”

  13. nick spinelli 1, June 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    “So many Americans are starving” Shoot from the hip Dem bullshit.

    You obviously conflate “starving to death” with just plain “starving.”

    The word means, when put in context, “to suffer from extreme poverty and need.”

    In the last census, half of Americans had no assets. Zero.

    Six Walton (Walmart) kids had as much as 100,000,000 American adults who have to support their families and/or themselves.

    Get real.

    It is bad in the, even though you are not there in the bad stuff.

    Anecdotal ideology is selfish.

  14. Prof. Turley says: “However, over in Egypt, denying civil liberties and free speech appears no barrier to U.S. aid.”

    Why is this a surprise? I have explained countless times that Leftism means a strong, powerful government that people live in fear of, that is controlled by big business interests (corporate socialism). Of course, many here are stuck in the bogus quagmire of a Left-Right paradigm, but that is a fiction. Today, fascists, communists, corporate socialists, etc. may uniformly and correctly be referred to as Leftists. So, of course, Obama, an ardent Leftist, would be supporting the fascist, totalitarian regime in Egypt.

    Here’s a comedic take on Leftism, in which its basic principles are articulated:

  15. Nick, I don’t think either of your assertions can be backed up. I will link to a website with information about being fat and wonder what you think of what you read there. As to people not starving. Both children and adults are going without meals, many more so in the last few years. As to bad food choices. I’m not certain you can call being poor and not having the money to purchase nutritious foods a choice. Fast food is affordable in a way that fruits and veggies simply aren’t. One dollar will get me a hamburger which is filling (if only momentarily). A pint of organic tomatoes is 3-5 dollars. Certainly, the hamburger is full of really bad stuff and will ultimately harm my body. But it’s going to provide a burst of energy that I need to complete the first 40 hour job, take care of my family and move on to a second job. Really, the pint of tomatoes are at least 3 times the cost and they will not do it for energy boosting at the level needed to survive in the work/family environment I describe above.

    Morgan Spurlock did a show about living on min. wage. I don’t think people understand how far at the edge that puts people and how deeply it effects one’s health and ability to get food at all, let alone nutritious food. This show did go through what it took to live on that level of wage.

  16. “So many Americans are starving” Shoot from the hip Dem bullshit. And, Dems also point out, very correctly, that we have become an obese nation w/ the poor being the most obese.”

    So Nick,

    If you are going to find some excuse to disagree with me it would be nice if you quote me correctly, so as not to misquote me by omission. You responded to my writing this:

    “I’ve never understood the idea of “foreign aid” for anyone while so many Americans are starving and languishing in poverty.”

    Do you deny that poverty in the U.S. affects about 46 million people?:

    “The nation’s official poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent, with 46.2 million people in poverty. After three consecutive years of increases, neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2010 estimates.”

    Maybe the point you are making is that poverty isn’t a problem because perhaps you and your wife cook spaghetti for poor people?:

    “You can call and ask “Big Paul” who runs the place so keep your snide “possibly false anecdote” in your back pocket this time. We do volunteer work, not just sit around and whine. I’ll cook the pasta, and my wife will be serving there[w/ others] tomorrow. The diners are not starving. Many are obese.”

    Now just what “snide anecdote” was I making that you responded to and also why in hell would you think this mythical anecdote was directed at you? What was it that led you to believe that anything I said was directed at obesity?

    Here’s why I think you made this illogical, innaccurate comment at 12:32pm above. You wanted to start an argument with me, but had no basis for doing so. You misquoted what I was saying and then framed it as if I was attacking you. Now by doing this one can make an inference that the people who follow this blog are so stupid as to read your comment and think I attacked you in any way, thereby allowing you to play the wounded victim again when I respond.

    It would have been nice if your comments were directed towards Egypt and their denial of human rights which is the subject of this thread, perhaps you might have some insight you could offer. I would guess knowing you that you’ve been to Egypt and have many close friends there, who have told you the truth of the situation. Wouldn’t it have been far better to take this opportunity to enlighten us with another of your wonderful insights, rather than engage in a silly attack on something I never said?

  17. People were starving during the depression. People are not starving now. In Madison there is what I considered a great program. A truck would visit poor neighborhoods once a week. It has only fruit, vegetables, fresh low fat meat, fish, etc. Food stamps can be used and the food is subsidized by the Dept of agriculture so it’s quite cheap. It bets pretty good biz in the Hispanic and Hmong neighborhoods but hardly any in the black neighborhoods. Flotus understands this. That’s why I TOTALLY support her obesity/exercise program and don’t consider it nanny govt @ all. It speaks to an actual epidemic in our country..OBESITY, NOT STARVATION! I don’t know if any of you folks shop where black folks do. I shop in one of the most multicultural grocery stores I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived many places. Both the employees and customers are black, Middle Eastern and African muslim, Hispanic, Asian, etc. It’s a local chain called Woodman’s. Being an observer by nature and profession, I notice what depts. most people spend their time, and what’s in their baskets. The Asians are the healthiest shoppers by far. Hispanics are next but you can see as they become more Americanized[it’s ~80% Mexican here] they start throwing more processed shit food in their carts. The same holds true for the ME and Africans, although they’re all fairly new to this area so not very Americanized and quite healthy eaters. Then there are black and poor white folk. It’s virtually all junk. You see, I don’t shop in yuppie stores where everyone’s white, upper middle class and eat the same food. I’ll go to a co-op or Whole Foods sometimes. This Woodman’s grocery store has met the needs of it’s very diverse customers and employees[most are bilingual] over the years. There are much more interesting foods, spices, vegetables, fruits, etc.

    Jill does bring up one interesting point. Our govt. subsidizes dairy, corn and tobacco. They have never supported “truck farmers”, people who grow vegetables. I would fully get behind a fazing out of the current subsidies, and start subsidizing the healthy food. And, I call total bullshit on lower economic families meaning bad food being the only option. It’s about certain poor cultures being captured by the corporate food industry. I’m Italian, food is very important to me. All 4 of my grandparents were immigrants, immigrants are very important to me. And, “the truth shall make you free” I

  18. “While so many Americans are starving” is what you said. Do you like splitting hairs when called on bullshit, great diversionary tactic. I deny people are starving, not that they’re poor, read my follow-up based somewhat on what Jill said

    You have accused me several times in the past of providing “false anecdotes.” You have also said, “Sports and movies” are the only subjects about which I know anything. Until you take back those untrue and hurtful comments I’ll keep repeating them. We’ve gone over this previously, take notes!

  19. You see, I don’t shop in yuppie stores where everyone’s white, upper middle class and eat the same food. I’ll go to a co-op or Whole Foods sometimes.

    Whole Foods and poverty:

    “Relative to shoppers in the Grocery channel, Whole Foods demonstrates
    much stronger appeal among upper income households. Note that 6 out of
    10 Whole Foods’ shoppers have incomes of $50k +, and they drive 66% of
    trips and 67% of dollar sales to Whole Foods.?”

    “Whole Foods
    Median Household Income: $63,554
    Median Age: 36.2
    Owner Occupied Homes: 62.40%
    Bachelor?s Degree or Higher: 54.97%”

    “Whole Foods is a national brand, with stores from Beverly Hills to Boston and
    1.5 million shoppers who step through their doors each week — a market the
    company hopes to leverage for its Web business by promoting the site in the

    The demographics of Whole Foods shoppers — who tend to be affluent and
    well-educated — make them ideal for Internet sales.?”

    The source for the above quotes is here:

    As far as being Yuppie goes having residences in San Diego and Madison may well qualify one for that distinction, given the median income and desirability of both areas.

    The same is true for Madison, Wisconsin.

    They are both beautiful places and yet I have spent time in each, but I frankly couldn’t afford to live in either one of them, my income wouldn’t allow me to buy a home there. You are truly clueless.

  20. We all make choices in life. My wife chose to work for the Federal govt.. I chose to start my own biz. I worked 80 hour weeks. We are not wealthy. Home prices in Dane County are much cheaper than Palm Beach County. And, we don’t own a house in San Diego, we rent. San Diego is a summer resort and so the rents for such a wonderful place are cheaper than most imagine. I hope people don’t realize this secret.

    I’ve made many substantive points but you seem to be obsessed w/ defending Whole Foods and their shoppers. I am a libertarian and people can shop wherever they wish. But don’t deny the customer base is pretty damn white.

    We have a GREAT farmer’s market in downtown Madison every Saturday from April-November. You can buy local, cheap, good food from the actual farmer. The Market requires every product to be grown or made[bakeries] in Wi. w/ Wi. products. There are many Asian and Hispanic growers. I’ve gotten to know some of them and buy almost exclusively from them San Diego has an incredible farmer’s market rotation w/ a market being in every neighborhood on different days. At both the Madison and SD markets I see multicultural vendors and customers. I almost never see black customers and never see black farmers.

    Finally, I’ve never been to Egypt, but I do like to walk like one. I can take a ballbust, you’re the thin skinned one.

  21. Again, veracity is not what makes anecdotal evidence suspect. It’s suspect because it relies upon insufficient sample spaces to claim something is a typical behavior and is subject to cognitive biases. It may be sufficient to form a hypothesis but it is in itself insufficient as evidence without objective independent (statistically valid) assessment. Even Wiki knows this . . .

  22. “You have accused me several times in the past of providing “false anecdotes.” You have also said, “Sports and movies” are the only subjects about which I know anything. Until you take back those untrue and hurtful comments I’ll keep repeating them. We’ve gone over this previously, take notes!”


    Aren’t you really saying that it is your intention to continue attacking me with ad hominem attacks. Your words are there on this thread for all to see. I already made clear in my comment at 2:36pm that there was nothing directed at you and that you must have purposely read meaning into my words that were clearly not there. Others obviously thought that too. Frankly, I am becoming weary of your behavior. Which from your first time on this blog has been an ongoing series of ad hominem attacks on me and then upon Gene and then upon Elaine. You have been the subject of much discussion offline and complaints about you have come from other people who comment here, not just Guest Bloggers. The irony is that I’ve so far been against you being banned and I’ve got the sent E mails to prove it, but for me this is reaching a point of no return because you refuse to stop this nonsense.

    I have never had a problem with people disagreeing with my point of view and presenting arguments against it. In your case though you have never done that. It is always personal attacks with you, rather than delivering arguments. The example is right here on this thread. My main point, which is clear, is that I don’t believe in foreign aid. You might have responded with the fact that you do believe in foreign aid and given reasons why you do. That might have led to a productive discussion. Instead you ignored the point I was making, in order to attack me and then responded with an out of left field anecdote about you cooking spaghetti for obese poor people. I can’t help it if you don’t understand how to discuss, or argue something and I’m certainly going to respond if you attack me.

    I have tried ignoring you and I have tried reasoning with you and yet you persist in playing this ad hominem game out until I apologize to you, while you have been the aggressor. You have even said this could be settled if we “met in a bar”, which seems to be how you deal with people. In person do you really think you can intimidate me Nick? Is that how you handle things in your world?

    Now let’s clear something else up. I’ve been here for a long time and I was chosen to be a guest blogger by Professor Turley. I take that to mean that he has some confidence in me and yes he has asked us guest bloggers to assist him in the chores that need to be done in managing the blog,due to his very, heavy schedule. Most people here recognize that I am a very fair person and that I don’t use my status here to throw my weight around. However, Nick I am far from a personal pacifist and if someone keeps attacking me I will return the fire. Stop this bullshit with me or perhaps the consequences might be unpleasant. And Nick I don’t make empty threats.

  23. “I’ve made many substantive points but you seem to be obsessed w/ defending Whole Foods and their shoppers. I am a libertarian and people can shop wherever they wish. But don’t deny the customer base is pretty damn white.”


    You were the one that brought Whole Foods into the discussion as an example of how you shop where the poor people shop. I don’t shop at Whole Foods because their prices are ridiculously high and their CEO is someone I dislike politically. You and Joseph Goebbels would be soul-mates.

  24. Nick,

    Stop the personal attacks…. Man up, suit up and sometimes shut up….

    I’ve defended your right to be here and will continue to do so… .

    Heres a suggestion….If someone personally attacks you respond….. But don’t send in the cannons when a sling shit will do…. You can see people can disagree civilly without making it personal….

    Hope you hear what’s being said….

  25. I asked you to reply to my substantive comments which comprises ~80%-90% of what I’ve written on this thread, it’s on the record. Analyze what I’ve written on this thread, count the words, you seem to have plenty of time. My comments to and about you are trivial, as warranted. You have not abided, and you are continually breaking, your self imposed one paragraph rule. And, the “We are talking about you offline” is middle school horseshit. Maybe my substantive comments don’t comport w/ your boilerplate views, so you’re creating a straw man. You are doing exactly what you’re accusing me of doing.

  26. You fail to understand who is running afoul of the rules of this forum and who has been warned time and again that there are consequences for breaking them, nick.

    The truth of the matter is as Mike states it: your persistent flaunting of the rules has been a subject of out of camera discussions, other non-GB posters have registered complaints about your behavior and the possibility of taking action to prevent you from persistently breaking the rules has been discussed.

    Mike isn’t telling you anything I haven’t. Or for that matter, what Russell just told you. Learn to follow the rules.

    As stated before, we’d prefer the situation doesn’t continue until you are banned, however, that does not mean it won’t happen if you don’t stop what you’re doing.

  27. Russell, I’ve never noticed you previously. There are people here who I respect, and listen to their warnings. Most times they don’t join in w/ advice such as you just did. But, they have, and I have heeded them. That’s what is so obvious when the 2 Guest Bloggers[Gene and MikeS] allege so many people being fed up w/ me. Then why don’t I hear it. I have friendly relations w/ virtually everyone here. Some think I’m a jerk, and worse, but we work it out. The chronic problem is w/ me, MikeS, and GeneH. They talk about others wanting to ban me but it’s all “secret”, like the “secret rules given to Guest Blogger by Mr. Turley.” As I read more from you, then I may be willing to take your advice to heart. That’s if I’m not “Banned in Boston” first.

  28. There was a general statement on a heated discussion where Mr. Turley made a general request to turn down the volume. He mentioned no person, and there were several folks, including me, who were going toe to toe. Damn, we’ve gone over this before many times. I’ve been warned by yourself and MikeS. I would like to hear directly from others who have complaints. I’ve made this request in the past, but gotten no response. Am I not allowed to meet my accusers? That would be consistent w/ the “secret rules”.

  29. Although there have been many out of camera complaints, there have been public ones as well, nick. Like this one:

    “personally i think a ignore button should be put into place so when certain posters begin their attacks on others for no reason accept they want attention. then those of us who DO NOT WANT TO READ what that poster has to say can simply hit the ignore button on them and that way we can all get back to reading those posts which are following the rules, which are debating LEGIT TOPICS. and not being a clown for the simple need of no not receiving any attention at home..

    I DO NOT COMMENT ALL OF THE TIME. as sometimes i cant the carpal tunnel makes it difficult but i read here all the time and have been for many years now. I finally got the nerve up a few years back to begin adding a comment every 10 articles or so . with that said i have watched nick go after Mr Spindelli and Mr Gene many, many times for no reason at all. i have watched them ignore him many times but like a infected gnat he will just not stop until they pay him attention. i am not speaking for anyone but myself. and i myself am tired of having to read thru his ignorant attacks on these 2 gentlemen so that he can get the attention he wants from them.”

    You have no say in either the rules here or in how this blog is run, nick. Your participation here is voluntary but it is subject to rules – rules which have been explained to you ad nauseum at this point. While you are free to discuss any topic on this blog – including attacking ideas and assertions on a factual and/or logical basis, you are not free to attack anyone just because you feel like it and/or don’t have a substantive counter-argument.

    You should really learn to grasp that and follow the rules before it’s too late.

  30. “The nation’s official poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent,”

    that is an interesting statistic. that is about what it was when Johnson started his war on poverty. So in almost 60 years we still have the same percentage of poor? We could have done nothing and had the same number of poor.

    All that money spent and their are still poor people. The war on poverty is as ineffectual as the war on terror.

    All that money spent and people still get blown up in Boston.

  31. Bron,

    The War of Poverty is/was a failure because, like the War on Drugs, it address(es, -ed) symptoms and not causations. Like Big Pharma, there is no money in cures, the money is – as Chris Rock observes – “in the medicine”. Private contractors wouldn’t get their big payoff for bribing, er, financing campaigns, if they were properly directed toward and held accountable for results based on causation. Who wants to sell on cast when you can sell a trillion splints? The profit motive is not only amoral, it is often immoral in operation if not intent.

  32. Gene,

    And don’t forget that the vendors of these debit cards for SSI…. SSD..get a cut of the action…. Presently brewing in the Michigan legislature is a bill to force the Medicade reciepients to pay a copayment….. Now explain the logic of that….

  33. Nick,

    Some folks come out from being anonymous because they believe in equal treatment of all…. If someone attacks you…. Don’t respond in kind…. Just ignore them…. I’m sure you read of the passing of ID707…. He used to frustrate the hell out of me…. Finally…. I just stated don’t talk to me and I won’t talk to you…. Sometimes it’s best to leave copperheads alone…. Or not wise to stick a stick in a hornets nest…. I generally enjoy reading your posts ….

    We are neither the teacher or the student…. We are both…. We all can learn…. Sometimes the lessons are hard to understand….

    Read about Dr. Albert Ellis and REBT…. It might strike your fancy…..

  34. AY,

    Yep. The whole “War on Cash” thing just a scam for banks to take a cut too. And fascism marches on . . .

  35. nick:

    you disagreed that people are starving in America. You are right.

    Poor people can be obese and have lousy diets. Blacks have high incidents of diabetes and other things like heart disease and strokes. Most probably from too much fat and sugar. But that is a southern thing, think Paula Dean, not a race thing.

    My wife’s grandfather ate “white meat” [read pork fat] in just about everything and he died of a heart attack at 68.

    The only thing I agree with the First Lady about is her effort to teach people how to eat properly.

    I dont know if you will be banned or not but just ignore Mike S and Gene.

    I for one enjoy your anecdotes and your take on things.

    I would have said fatuous progressive thought rather than typical dem BS.:)

    It isnt what you say, its how you say it.:)

  36. AY, I did not know ID died. That saddens me. I had his email and he didn’t respond to a couple, but in the times he did respond it was sporadic. I liked the guy even though he was quite different. He was scoffed @ by some here but it’s my personal belief the iconoclastic ID is in a much better world, where nobody scoffs or condescends. It’s a bit disturbing to me more people haven’t spoken of ID’s death. Did this just occur? The last email response I received from him was a couple months ago, maybe.

    AY, You are one of the folks I listen to. I will read up on Dr. Ellis andREBT.

  37. Gene, Not even a prima facie case. I could make a personal comment, but I’m choosing not to. I do so as a homage to the passing of ID.

  38. Bron, Thanks for wise words. The Flotus thing is trying to get black folk back to gardening and eating right. They used to and not long ago. When I worked in the ‘hood in KC back in the 70’s virtually every black residence had an extensive garden. I had a kid on probation who lived w/ his grandparents. They were wonderful people. Grandpa had a huge garden and grew the best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten to date. We would sit in his back yard and discuss his grandson. He’d have a salt and pepper shaker on a little table. Grandma would bring out homemade lemonade. Once I asked grandpa what his secret was on growing his tomatoes, “Chickenshit I get from my brothers farm.” Now, I had probably eaten a dozen of his tomatoes right off the vine, w/o washing, so I just said, “f@ck it,” and continued.

    Paula Deen starts w/ “Soften 2 lbs. of butter. I’ve heard she’s lost weight and “gotten religion” on eating right.

    Finally, I’m not a politician or diplomat. To that I plead guilty.

  39. the reason there arent any cures is because the FDA sh1t cans effective drugs because they kill one person in 1,000 so 1,000,000 people die or live miserable lives because of some idiot at the FDA.

    I wonder how many people have died because of the length of time it takes to approve a drug? I further wonder why people with no other hope are denied access to those drugs?

    Are there bad actors in business? Sure, they are mostly the big money democrats on Wall St.

    “Obama retains a core group of supporters on Wall Street who are central to his fundraising efforts. About a third of his top 40 fundraisers, who have helped bundle together $500,000 or more in contributions, hail from the finance sector, including big names such as former New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine of MF Global, hedge-fund manager Orin Kramer and UBS executive Robert Wolf.”

  40. Bron,

    If you haven’t realized yet that big business plays both sides of the aisle, I’m not sure I can help you with that. Money is an apolitical corrupter. They want favors no matter who wins so they buy both sides.



    I don’t care why you follow the rules so long as you follow them. Keep in mind the case isn’t yours to make or judge though and one piece of evidence is not the whole case. As Bron says, you are free to ignore both me and Mike. You ignore the rules, however, at your own risk. And ultimately that is the issue.

  41. Gene H:

    You say that as if you just figured that out and are passing on superior knowledge.

    If you read the article though, Obama got much more than Romney.

  42. nick:

    “I do so as a homage to the passing of ID.”

    If you read some of the go rounds Gene and ID had, you wouldnt be saying that.:)

    I am sure ID would have relished a good comment or 2.

  43. Bron,

    I say that as if it were a political reality. The reason Romney got less cash is Big Business isn’t going to just throw away money on a near certain loser although they will hedge their bet. Hairboy was a loser out of the gate. The smart money knew this. The smart money gave to both. Quantity of money isn’t as salient a point as the point “they are buying both sides just in case”. A $20 dollar prostitute and a $200 prostitute are still both prostitutes.

  44. Bron, I remember their battles. But the sweet man would sometimes tell me to just pass on some of my barbs. So, I did in that comment. Some may find this hard to believe, but I hold back more than I dish out.

  45. I’m really laughing now. The really funny part is you’ll never know why.

    As I said, I don’t care why you follow the rules so long as you follow them, nick.

  46. Russell, The classy and heartfelt words on the passing of ID are the most important aspect, don’t you agree? And, after reading the other comments about free speech and he being the only person who has the authority to ban[Gee, I wonder to whom that was directed???] my faith in this intelligent, judicious, and wise man was strengthened even further. Thanks for pointing out that comment from Mr. Turley about ID. ID was the first person who told me how things operate here. He mostly encouraged but a few times admonished me. ID was a person who was welcoming, and I follow his lead. I always try to welcome new folks here as ID did me. It’s on the record. I will continue in his honor. Some elitists passed ID off as a clown, I saw him as an iconoclast. I love people who are different, always have.

  47. Nick,

    Don’t abuse it…. You really could be banned in some sort of way…. Disagree without making it personal….

    I had a different relation with ID…. So…. I’ll leave it there…. his passing to the next chapter in the souls life is not anything i understand… except to say… you aint going til its your time….

    But there are those that had a good relation with him… And for that and with that I did not interfere ….. Like has been said, suit up…. Show up…. And sometimes know when to shut up….

    Mike S., has strong opinions…. So does Gene…. Everyone had the right to be here until otherwise told…. It is the imperative last Free Speech Zone….. Where you can be known, anonymous or another vehicle…. Lets keep it civil……

    But then again…. If you read about the relationships of the Founding Fathers…. Madison was so arrogant…. But brilliant at the same time…. He alienated so many folks that Jefferson was in charge of putting down the ideals of Madison…. Research it and prove me wrong….. Though its not well documented…. Liquor, distilled spirits and Beer of some sort flowed well…. They might even have had a brawl or two in the meeting…..

    If I understand…. Someone is gong to introduce Rye Whiskey the way it was distilled at Mount Vernon….soon….and I believe it’ll be for sale….

  48. At law, free speech does not cover defamation, fighting words, physical threats and/or incitement. They are the exceptions to the rule. This set of precedents is perfectly in line with the policies of this blog.

    Just sayin’.

  49. ID’s passing is indeed a sad note, AY.

    He did, however, follow the rules once they were explained to him and despite any differences he had with others (including me).

  50. AY, Read my words, not what people say about my words. I never use foul language directed @ a person, although I swear like a sailor. There is NOTHING on the record of me doing that. Gene was fond of STFU until I called him on that and he changed that one negative behavior. I have never defamed anyone or used “fighting words.” I mentioned meeting in a bar and MikeS went all ballistic about how bars are for fighting. I guess he must hang out in biker bars. I go to restaurant bars and friendly neighborhood bars where fights a VERY rare. To me, a bar is where people share a beer face to face and are much more likely to be civil than the virtual reality of a blog, where there is no body language or even voice inflection. Finally, lets use this thread as a perfect example. I have made numerous substantive points and all the dynamic duo want to do is discuss faux civility despite my asking to discuss substance. Again, they are doing what they constantly accuse me of doing. I’m tired of this, I imagine you are as are most others. Let’s give Gene and/or Mike the last word for tonight [which they needs more than food or water], and start anew tomorrow. Good night and sleep well.

    ID I’m putting this to rest for you. We often expressed genuine affection and my prayers and tears are real, from my heart. I’ll never forget your welcoming of me and your guidance. I hope you got to eat some eggplant before you died. We discussed your love of that nightshade vegetable. Eggplant absorbs oil and flavors better than most vegetables, and it is quite flatulent. Maybe eggplant is a metaphor for you, you old fart!

  51. Nick,

    I have no scores to settle with anyone but myself right now…..

    Reread what you wrote, Three digs or passive aggressiveness…. I don’t really care…it gets tiresome reading thrashings…. Especially ones where no ones gonna win anyway…..

    We just express ideal from our collective conscience…. That’s all nothing more, nothingness…. From my perspective everyone is equal here…. Regardless of education or work experienced…. We share it…. You have good things to offer… Offer them up… Share them…. When you think the folks you’re speaking to are fools…. You’ll soon be fooled…. Especially here….

  52. How about we put differences aside for the moment and reflect a little on the loss of one of our fellow contributors; Idealist? A man has lost his life and he was a member of this forum.

    Maybe an article for him, so that the comments are not just jumbled around on random topics threads and there can be something for those who knew him to connect to here and have something to remember him by. Just a suggestion.

  53. Nice idea, Darren. Maybe JT will pick it up this week (he’s swamped getting ready for court so he may not see the suggestion). If not, I’ll make a spot for it Friday night/Saturday morning.

  54. As a single mom with limited resources, and as an Asian, I would love to be able to afford more Asian food choices, but alas those choices are too expensive. It’s why I have to resort to processed crap more often than I’d like. I think Michelle Obama could do a world of good if she could, I don’t know, encourage her husband to steer the government ship towards subsidizing healthy foods, if she is serious about fighting obesity and its related diseases.

  55. AY: ” I’m sure you read of the passing of ID707…. ”

    WHAT! I missed that. I was thinking about him yesterday and today and was tempted to post asking if anyone had heard anything from him. Damn. Sorry to hear that.

  56. LK…. Yep… I’m sorry to…. He became comical to read when he wasn’t after you…..

    Pete…. Maybe that’s his dob or the way he got to Sweden or the plane that dropped him off in nam….

  57. AY,

    From my contact with Ron (ID707) offline I think he led a quite interesting life that intersected with governments and the military at various times, snippets of which he exposed in his commenting here. Through most of the time he commented here he was quite ill physically and having been there I know it can affect ones mood. He had also confessed to me that being bi-lingual at times hampered his written communication. What is sad to me is that he was a very private man, yet very talented man, who worked to exorcize some of the demons from his past and was beginning to succeed. He was beginning to feel happy about himself and enjoyed being a regular here. His body appeared to betray his new found peace of mind, but perhaps his acceptance here comforted his last days, I certainly hope so. Having been close to death myself, I have some understanding of his pain and fears. I regret his loss because there is much I felt we could have all learned from him.

  58. Mike,

    For the most part everyone here is very intelligent…. Getting the message across sometimes lays the nuances of life…. I enjoyed reading ID707 by the way…. So long as he wasn’t after me that it…. I will state that is where I did learn how to ignore folks on here…. So, yes he was a teacher…. As well…. I think his heart was in the right place….. It was just communicating without the tangical moments….

    He was open and did put his email address out there…. I did not contact him off line…. I’m glad you all did…. He will be missed…. He was very intelligent….

  59. AY,

    Ron (ID707) at times got excessive in his attacks, but rarely were they personal, except when he perceived that he was dealing with a rigged game here. He came to realize though, that as much flak as he got, he was recognized by all as a regular and part of the “mishpucha”. This was especially true when Jonathan recognized him as the top commenter in his year end wrap-up.

    Or mishpokhe or mishpucha. It means “family,” as in “Relax, you’re mishpocheh. I’ll sell it to you at wholesale.””

  60. Of course we need to financially aid a government that needs to oppress its citizens; not all governments can do it as efficiently as our own! It costs MONEY to do it RIGHT!

  61. Mike,
    I grew up in Skokie and never heard that one! Your statement about ID 707 is accurate. He was part of this band of brothers/sisters.

  62. AY, I did not know ID died. That saddens me. I had his email and he didn’t respond to a couple, but in the times he did respond it was sporadic. I liked the guy even though he was quite different. He was scoffed @ by some here but it’s my personal belief the iconoclastic ID is in a much better world, where nobody scoffs or condescends. It’s a bit disturbing to me more people haven’t spoken of ID’s death. Did this just occur? The last email response I received from him was a couple months ago, maybe.

    ID707 only died on June 10. He was, in fact, in quite good health (comparatively speaking of course) and in very good spirits up until June 7. That’s the date I last heard from him.

    We corresponded privately by e-mail. He’d get mad at me when I didn’t respond or if I seemed to be ignoring an important question, but then I’d “fuss at” him and he’d forgive me and send me a url for a great piece of music. I really loved him and will miss him a LOT. He died suddenly. So suddenly, in fact, that I presumed he was mad at me for having gone out of e-mail contact for a few days (I was traveling and did not have access to the Internet). I e-mailed him a bit of a cranky “Hey stoppit! I worry when you do that!” e-mail and then I realized something must be wrong. I learned that he died by e-mailing other folks who had received some of his informative e-mails about something he might have discovered — one of them inquired and learned of his death. I wrote a short haiku for his memorial service but don’t have any idea when that will take place and I can’t go to Stockholm.

    Toward the end he really evolved; didn’t take insult so easily, became much more flexible. He told me that his wife (who had died years back) had a sign that said men had only two faults: “Everything they say and everything they do.” I responded that I did not KNOW if that was true because I didn’t know “everything [he] do[es].”

    R.I.P. He enriched me.

  63. Thanks, Malisha. I thought that maybe he had died in heart surgery. He was an interesting man. He and I shared a fondness for Cedar Waxwings. I thought of him this spring when the birds migrated to this area for a few months.

  64. After Malisha’s comment I went back again to the correspondence I had with ID707 and realized that I called him Ron in comments, when his name was Jon. It’s the type of memory mistake that happens more of late as I age into my dotage.


    Your closeness to him through correspondence is good to hear. It is nice to know that his presence here was substantial enough to have touched more than a few people beyond the threads. That is the meaning of “mishpocha”, which as you well know is one of the most important words in Yiddush.

  65. “Mike,
    I grew up in Skokie and never heard that one!”


    Maybe the Jews you knew didn’t take you to their bosoms, or had forgotten their Yiddush:)

    Almost all of my parents closest friends were Italians and would always call us their “mishpuchah”. But then of course I lived in New York.

  66. Malisha, Thanks for posting my comment. AY was my first friend here. The wisdom he imparted about the cast of characters and dynamics was spot on. He could certainly be cryptic @ times, but that’s one of the many quirks I loved about him However, as I stated previously, this was a gentle man w/ a good heart. He welcomed me and others. Even before his death, I also have welcomed people who have been hit hard here upon their arrival. I have done this, and will continue to in honor of ID. We shared a love of food.

    Malisha, What I hear in your comment is some guilt. You are a very good person. And I’ll tell you my take on guilt. Those who could use a healthy dose of guilt never have any, and those who don’t need guilt are often overwhelmed by it. AY was a kind, loving man. Please know he is living free of the horseshit in our reality here on earth, and that he looks upon his friend, Malisha, w/ nothing but love. I am certain of that!

  67. AY, I’m glad you have a sense of humor. “The reports of your death were greatly exaggerated.” My apologies.

  68. Nick,

    Ah if it were only true at one point in life….it’d be so true….tried my damnedest ……

    Query to those that might know…. What ever happened to Bdaman…..

  69. Nick S, I wasn’t feeling guilt so much as regret. It’s a complicated process. In August 2012 a dear friend of mine died WHILE I was en route to go out to Portland, OR to visit her and help her arrange hospice care. Delta Airlines screwed up my fight so badly that I missed her by 10 hours. (None of us expected that rapid a departure by her or that slow a departure by me.) I effin flipped; created a scene in the airport in Salt Lake City and got taken to medical emergency (result of learning on the cell phone that she had died and becoming utterly disoriented) in a wheel chair. Very humiliating. They wanted to throw me in the hospital and I had only 45 minutes until my connecting flight and for some reason a Felliniesque scene played out complete with a gaggle of black-garbed ultra Orthodox Rabbis in the hallway as they whisked me off to “emergency.” I am told that I was crying and saying: “It was only a four-hour delay no lifetime points!” To be honest, it sounds comical to me now. But I missed her and soon realized that I had taken that Delta flight to save $200. An extra $200 and I wouldn’t have had that horrible experience!

    Then Jon died. In a certain bizarre way it brought back the Oregon experience. Jon was interested in things Jewish and didn’t understand a lot of the subtleties that Mike Spindell and I often discuss and co-appreciate. I was getting ready to send him a package of small gifts that included a Jewish cook book — and some kosher TELMA bouilion cubes. [sp!?] Apparently you don’t find them in Stockholm. Never sent the package; considered that bad luck.

    It’s not that I feel guilty; it’s that I feel great regret. And a kind of rage that attaches to regrets whether they are associated with fault or not.

    I have a button that says:


    Damn, I have to change my life so I can wear that button SOON.

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