The pattern of fire that they laid down is a pretty good indication of the amount of hit they've got. The North Koreans have been operating under a veil of secrecy for a long time.
And the comparison isn't really all that useful either. Let's compare the WW2 Era Thompson SubMachine Gun against the M16 A2. The M16 A2 has a burst round of 90 rounds per minute but the fucker knocks you off your target when you do that - all submachine guns do that. So , if you're across the 38th parallel and you've got a guy with a Tommy Gun, firing 600 rounds per minute on a different caliber round, who's getting knocked off their target harder?
The answer is that if you've got killer behind the Tommy gun, you're going to have a dead soldier on the other side of the field. That's what North Korea is setting themselves up to do. They're really going in for all or nothing.
If you think about it, it's all about guts. If I am standing in a room next to you, and you're standing in full body armor holding an M4. I could be wearing a jock strap and flip flops, and holding a kitchen knife in the palm of my hand. If you are just standing there smiling with a bush republican grin - you're going to die a gruesome death with that knife sticking out of your neck. You might be able to squeeze off a few high technology rounds that go into the wall across the way while you fall to the ground.
But you're not going to get back up. Those North Korean soldiers are so psyched up right now they'll feed on your eyes. Pop them like grapes.
Relying on technology to win war, is like relying on the republican party to make a smaller government. Sure, it's what it's designed to do. But in the end, it's all about how hungry you really are.
And we all know what 4 billion dollars can buy you these days...
For the first time in my living Memory, South Korea seemed to promise large scale Military counterattack - approximately three minutes ago, according to newswire.
It is my earnest belief that if they head down this route, America will support them. We're economically allied to South Korea - they are at the Geographic center of Asia .
We're heavily dependent upon Asia at this point. I'm not trying to be dramatic with this post, I just don't think that the North Koreans can sink a battleship - kill civilians and military, and bomb the South Korean homeland and Seoul will let them just abide. I really feel like they've crossed the line.
Unfortunately, for our state, another good, democrat ex-governor ran and was defeated. In politics, the good guy is not always the guy who wins the race. This race, however, was all about who was going to represent the people more - and listen to the will of the people.
I feel that the concept that a state should be run 'as a business' is not a good thing. To be sure, I like fiscal conservatism. I like fiscal discipline. I think that states should be kept financially strong and should only spend where it is going to get ROI, and try to keep things in line. But I also feel that , socially and from a statesmanship perspective - 'running a state as a business' brings some bad things to the table - not the least of which, is the fact that all companies are run, essentially - as benevolent dictatorships. A business is not a democracy. The CEO sets the tone of the business and drives it onward. Good companies listen to their employees, to be sure - and employee-owned companies, just like companies with positive union presence - are usually more stable and more prosperous and better places to work.
But most companies, by and large, follow the direction of their leadership without a vote.
That's also why I feel companies should not be allowed to masquerade as people and be afforded equivalent rights as a voting citizen - they make their presence known over a span of the power of several votes and several combined perspectives that usually add up to the vision of one person. Who really doesn't set much out to a vote. This consolidates voting power, and moves it into a place where the single vote of an American citizen doesn't matter.
If I make more than 250,000.00 a year, I'm not being 'given' any money by anyone - it wasn't yours to begin with. It was mine.
And whether or not I hire people for my business, is a business decision that I get to make. Not you. You shouldn't say that we're 'giving money to the rich' ... when the government is just not taking the money that they already own.
That said. What projects, really need to be done? If the government wants to let the upper 2% taxcuts expire ... and go back to 2001 level taxes for the upper 2% - then, fine. It's not a question of spending that money immediately - the government is running in red ink and needs to stabilize its own finances.
But if there were projects to be funded from that. What are good ones? Here is my list.
1. Secure the Internet - get the US Government in the business of keeping people from tethering devices to specific websites, and have them stop the silly practice of allowing cellphone companies to put modified or crippled web browsers into the cellphones. The US FCC regulates the wireless spectrum, and even though it's crowded - the speed of light is nearly infinite and the public owns that spectrum. They lease it back out to cellphone companies and those companies love to pretend they own it and won't let you use anything but their stupid browser that points back to six lame websites, when you need to get to craigslist. I say get the FCC on board with this. It's like building a national superhighway - only we're making sure nobody can set up illegal toll roads.
2. Plant trees. Seriously. Everyone spend one day, maybe a month - with everyone they can - to plant and care for trees and saplings. Make sure they get at least one month to be able to get off the ground, and then let them grow by themselves. Believe it or not, this one simple idea actually re-forested a completely stripped and barren African country. It is a very simple thing to do, but we need to stop and realize that most of our cities now run their own micro climate. Don't believe in climate change? Watch your own weatherman for three or four nights in a week - and see what you find for the temperature readings around your city, and then just outside of the city. Concrete is making its own microclimate. Warming it up. Holds the heat longer. This is serious business. And its simple.
3. The Energy Militia: Get everyone together and sweep the community for places where energy is being thrown away. Look up at the lights, and arm them with compact flourescents - let them go in and change the stupid light bulbs. Get them solar panels, and let them install them on the tops of buildings. A community task force that sweeps through the neighborhood and city could do a lot of good. I've found that there are alot of businesses and places where people live and meet that are just burning electricity for no real reason. And only the community would know it.
4. The food and Jobs drive. Sweep throught the community and feed the poor - but give them the snack they want in a seminar where they're going to learn how to do a job, any job. Find jobs in the area - maybe some relating to the above. But more importantly, note that all of this is a repeating requirement - make it so they can learn how to do a job worth doing. No such thing as a free lunch. And let this kind of drive extend out to everyone.
Ok, I apologize. But still you have to be very careful about the GOP. They deal with some pretty toxic stuff. They have out of work , failed hollywood entertainers on staff now - and those guys constantly use this kind of catch phrase mentality.
That trip didn't cost that much. And it made a ton of very important friends. The whole focus on the trip... that's stupid.
The real focus is on the fact that 4 BILLION dollars were just spent no less than three weeks ago - to buy off an election . 85% of that lobbyist cash went straight into the GOP. No surprise , really - the lobbyists are just as afraid of the TEA party as they are of losing their meat puppet GOP . The lobbyists want fake debate, people arguing endlessly - and nothing to get done so they can corrupt the country.
The best agenda is a sort of pick and choose - I agree that it's time to fight - but what you should fight for is the concept , first, that the Lame Duck - is just that. A lame duck.
It's not. This has been the hardest working congress in history - and it would be a fitting end to the congress that drained the swamp of the bush republicans, passed tons of reform - and basically honored every promise that was ever made - to go out into the interim period between November and December of 2010, in the final days of its existence.
The expression lame duck was originally applied in 18th century Britain to bankrupt businessmen, who were considered as "lame" in the sense that the impairment of their powers rendered them vulnerable, like a game bird injured by shot. By the 1830s, the usage had been extended to officeholders whose service already had a known termination date. In current American usage, for instance, a President is considered a "lame duck" not only if he has been defeated for re-election, or after his successor has been elected, but also whenever he cannot be, or is known not to be, a candidate for reelection.
Members of Congress in similar circumstances are also considered "lame ducks." And may accordingly well be applied to Members who are known not to be seeking re-election as well as to those who have been defeated. In particular, however, after an election of Congress, all the Members who did not gain reelection can be described as lame ducks until the term of the new Congress starts.
When the previously sitting Congress, which includes these Members, meets in a post-election session, this session is called a lame duck session as well.
And historically they haven't gotten much done. So. Here's what really needs to happen. And it can happen, esp. with this congress.
1. Act on the findings of the deficit commission. Set the country on a straight path to reduce the deficit.
2. Finish the work on the bush era tax cut issue. Work that top line bullshit about how the top two percent really don't need a tax cut - into a new dialogue about why the hell someone who is making 250k or more suddenly - according to the GOP - is someone we all have to think about as a "small business". If it is a small business, then let's talk about structure. Is banking all the money into your personal account the best way to go? No way. Set things in motion so that if people are just hoarding cash they're going to pay a penalty.
3. Help the Unions by doing the card check thing. Unions need to seriously evolve. Card check is a way to go. Its a good first step to getting the unions to finally be on as members of the board of directors, like they are in Germany. But for now card check is huge. And the GOP loves to bash unions so it's not something to do in the next congress - and it makes a good stable basis for business growth - employee owned companies usually kick ass.
4. Some. Any. Environmental legislation. Let's face it these are dangerous times - seriously , seriously wicked climate change is in the works. People say - wow, there's no big giant hurricane so why is it an issue. Trust me on this point. It is. I know someone who is putting on their tombstone, "I tried to warn them about climate change"... the only catch is, will the hot windborne sand scrub the writing off? Even the pentagon has issued private internal memoranda about the effects of climate change - and are preparing for the worst - their spec says global chaos can result. You have two weeks supply of food in the grocery stores all across america. Watch what happens if just the least environmental glitch shows up. Its way better to be proactive about this. The trend is real.
5. Don't ask. Don't Tell. Good lord. What a stupid policy. There will be a finding, in the next few days - as to what troops believe about the policy. But this is a modern navy, army and air force. We're a rapid strike, highly technological force. We land F16's on carrier decks. We launch predators in the sky. This is a new world. I think we'll find that the modern armed forces can absorb a repeal of this policy. The Congress could look at it.
6. Finally, a serious look at improving healthcare reform - to the point of institutionalizing a national health service. No matter how you slice it, if you're opposed to healthcare reform - you're in the pockets of big pharma. You're with the lobbyists. This single issue more than anything defines the fight - in the early part of 2010, the big lobbyists spent 25 million dollars on a big campaign to get people to try to hate it - and despite all their catchy catch phrases - they ended up with still, a majority of people supporting it - even the flawed reforms that came out of the senate. More and more people are going to realize how important healthcare reform is - and how much better things are under reform. I say. Give them more of what they like!
Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm - ? No way. I at least agree with that. But the whole concept of anyone being on vacation - in the hardest working congress in history.
That's what I call bullshit on. I would agree with anyone who says fight. It's the best strategy.
Much of the talk here is political consultant-ese. "How do we sell the democrats, how do we make the GOP look bad" bla bla bla.
But the fundamental debate is really about tax revenue. In the 60's , corporations paid a significant portion of the overall tax revenue burden. The middle class paid much less.
Then, with the rise of Watergate, Nixon, and Lobbyism - we found the percentage of the burden dropping squarely on the shoulders of the middle class, and the citizenry - while corporations seized control of American institutions.
Now, an unprecedented level of control is exerted upon American institutions by corporations. Corporations funded the last 4 billion dollars that were spent in 2010, and 85% of it was spent on the GOP. They were hit hard by the 'hardworking congress' that passed so many real reforms - and they are now running scared.
The key to the current issue is not how to deal with citizenry, but rather, corporations. The Republicans openly defend the concept that if a person is making 250,000.00 or more, then he or she is a "small business" and hitting them amounts to a hit on a corporate interest.
Somehow, that's seemingly become a third rail of politics. I run a small business. And there is a very simple answer. If your small business is making 250k or more, then spend 120 dollars, reclassify it as an LLC or a C Corp.
And stop running it as an S-corp. The "small business" that these republicans are talking about is a sole proprietorship - where all the income for a business is booked under a single person's name.
To hell with that. There's a ton of liability in that structure, if anything goes wrong you get sued, on and on. It's a kiddie structure for a business, by and large. Sure, there are certain privately held or closely held exceptions to this kind of criticism - but by and large S-corps are for companies that are just starting out. And we should remember that if an S Corp is taking in 250k in personal income, which is to say - if a single person is banking 250,000.00 as their own, taxable income - and not paying anyone out of that - then by god they have enough business to at least consider hiring one other person to help things grow beyond that limit. Most small businesses really start moving when they break the 1 M per annum growth barrier anyway.
So back to this concept, then, that corporations shouldn't pay taxes? Good lord. You can take a look at the family of the '60's, the '70's, and then jump forward to 2010 - and its like night and day. Taxes on the middle class, adjusted for inflation - are up 32% and taxes overall are also up - levied against the citizenry.
My vote here is pretty simple. Make the tax cuts for the middle class law. And then nuke the 250k tax payoff but make sure we see it for what it really is: lobbyist interest payoff.
It blows my mind that we even have lobbyists as a part of this process, to tell you the truth. The corporations are trying to permanently install lobbyism into our country.
And the best solution? The simplest solution. Do away with income tax altogether. It's a total pain in the ass. Levy everything off a sales tax. Yes, corporations would suddenly have to pay. They make these go-zillion dollar purchases, and they're taxable for pete's sake.
But in the long run - the attractiveness of living without income tax would appeal to everyone - germans, japanese, you name it. And America would prosper - the markets would look favorably upon it.
And the corporations would suddenly discover that people have money to spend again. Just like they did in the 60's , and 50's .
We're actually spending less. The big expenses are taxes, mortgages, and ... you know the drill. Corporations thrive off healthy markets and the corporation that forgets the customer is king is the one that ends up as roadkill.
I traded stock professionally for a few years, and what I've seen of the stock market made me into a democrat. We need good regulations and fair bidding practices, and an even, strong market is what makes jobs - not one that just goes wild west and ends up completely out of hand and under the gavel.
The Bush Republicans pushed for these tax cuts, and then ran them for eight years and they not only didn't produce jobs, they helped create a global economic crash.
Further, the latest polls are in and - get this. 16% - that's right folks, 16% of Americans believe that the last election should be viewed as a mandate to the GOP to pursue their goals. Not even republicans in their own party believe that the GOP will get it right - this shows a bit of institutional memory on behalf of the American people, and it makes me proud.
The GOP will NOT be in full obstruction mode come 2011, so it's fairly safe to say that whatever can be done now, should be done. And to help reduce the deficit and stabilize our economy will be a good thing - we are already seeing the effects of the Obama administration on the economy.
We need to see more. Not less.
A Republican, seems to be someone who is either trying to keep the essential elements of a regulated, fair market - out of the picture - or he's off using American military power to force other countries into an unfair situation , whether through invasion - or ham-handed diplomacy. Obama did alot to restore our economy. I'm looking at the numbers now - and I'm seeing a huge rebound in economic sales / retail is up 100% , beating expectations by nearly 72%.
Stock market is rockin'. If Obama makes his policies felt and known, then he will get credit for the recovery that he's sparked.
I like it. I also like the fact that the Dems circled the wagons around Pelosi and kept her in power. She's a good chick.
So. Yeah. I agree. Besides, the top 2% are doing well. Alot of cash is just being hoarded and sitting on the sidelines. This will encourage those guys out there to get it moving again.
Second Life is a unique thing. A friend of mine, who does alot of call center work - latched onto it immediately. Alot of people in SL spend alot of time having cybersex.
Some of it is really fun. For example, you can login, and walk around in a giant kitchen with a sixteen story tall toaster. I think that place is called 'greenies' or something.
But what we need to be careful of with SL is the fact that Linden Labs, the company that operates the place - is installing an increasingly authoritarian form of governance.
If you want to promote awareness, you need to be free of things like an authority that exists to snatch away all your content, or to cause a ban on your content - without explanation. There was a founder, a burner named Philip Rosedale - who did a good job of making it an open place. But now it's being run by venture capitalists, and it's in danger of becoming some kind of facebook application somewhere down the road. They take serious liberties in that virtual world.
For example, they implemented a rule that gambling was not allowed. Even though you were only gambling what amounted to pennies. Nickels. Dimes. On a bet.
They didn't consult with anyone. There wasn't a vote. It was just. Remove gambling. So anyone who had a casino in there.
Suddenly. Got shut down. End of story.
Things like that happen all the time. If you want SL to be a good forum, I recommend getting actively involved in helping Linden Labs to become more responsive to their user base - and improve the stability of the environment. The first step would be democracy.
To lose 60+ blue dog seats that went over to the democratic party and pretty much gummed up the works, is not that surprising a thing to see.
In 2008, the Democrats - powered by progressives and the blogosphere - won 257 seats in the house. A huge landslide in favor of reform. The blue dogs that went into power from largely republican districts helped make things difficult - but congress made history in the total reforms they passed -
With 100% republican obstruction. A do-nothing republican house was replaced with a Norm-Abrams style get-back-to-work house that faced them down and won. Pelosi said she would 'drain the swamp' left by the Bush administration.
She did. She's got my vote.
I have problems with her on her leadership with the SBIR reauthorization, but ultimately - she stepped up to the plate and got that done as well.
So she's a good person. The people who want to throw her out. Are to the last man, usually perfectly willing to defend the people who did nothing these past two years.
My message to the republicans is this: Get it right, or we'll throw you out on your asses.
This is incorrect. This issue is being raised as a smokescreen to cover up the fact that the midterm elections were bought. 4 billion dollars were spent on these things, and 85% of it went to the republicans. So the Republicans are trying to talk about a presidential trip.
But the trip is not that expensive. It's the same as trips made by bush, clinton, whomever. What is interesting, is where he's going and what he's doing. India is a huge economic partner and this trip is long overdue as far as I'm concerned. Go ahead and make a tech support call to your computer hardware company. See who picks up the phone.
It's neither dramatic, nor even out of the ordinary. It's not even fancy. It's just a trip.
And the lobbyists spent sooooo much money, that if you forget that they did - then you've forgotten who bought the election. Sure, blue dogs got thrown out. But they were replaced by corporate cronies.
The president's trip is cheap, and it's good - we have alot of IT jobs going to India. We need to figure out how to work with India.
It's a good thing he's there. The price tag? Seriously. It's just another presidential trip. Same price tag as any other.
You said something interesting - how seemingly well coordinated the wingnut message machine is. There is a reason for that. The wingnuts are conveying their messages by means of media manipulators - lobbyists in control of news media entertainment companies, that formulate stories and test them - and then send them out in email and massive conference calls.
There really is a difference between a country run by people, and a country run by lobbyists.
The last election was bought. 19.2 million dollars were spent PER DAY straight into the Lobbyist Party. They are trying to put up a smokescreen.
You really need to look at this election in historic terms. The special interest groups, lobbyists - even ELECTED A LOBBYIST this cycle. 85% of the money was spent on the GOP. And it was all targeted to 'high value' targets like Alan Grayson, Pelosi, and Sen. Harry Reid.
So in this scenario, Pelosi and Reid held on - and Grayson - who was from a conservative district to begin with- got pole-axed. But Grayson's message lives on.