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Reality Check?
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/01/2008 17:39:33

So, we got our Federal Stimulus Check yesterday.

It’s already deposited, and I skimmed a few hundred bucks off the top that we’re going to use for spending money on vacation at the end of August. Our contribution to revitalizing that American economy, I suppose.

Mrs. TriSec needs a new muffler; there’s a few hundred bucks there that’s going to a long-deferred repair, so I guess that’s going back into the economy too. I bet the repair shop will be glad to see it…I’d imagine there’s a lot of people in the same boat that have been deferring repairs because they can’t afford them.

I tell you though, it’s what I thought to do with the rest of the money that has really and truly upset me. We’re not buying any electronics…aside from throwing a few extra bucks at the credit card companies and some other bills, over the weekend I was thinking what I could do with this money.

So…I’m planning on heading for the supermarket. Maybe I can buy some bagels, we haven’t had them for breakfast in a long time. Or brand-name orange juice, so we don’t have to drink the bitter ‘from concentrate’ stuff for a few days. Maybe some better cuts of meat for a change from chuck or chicken thighs. Hell, even a bottle of spaghetti sauce instead of the 99-cent cans of Hunt’s we’ve been eating for years, or a pound of bacon for breakfast, or something other than bologna out of the deli….

This morning, when I was thinking about making a shopping list, I just got incredibly sad over the whole thing. We’re not starving, not by a long shot. But all those little things we once took for granted in our middle-class lifestyle have slowly become luxury items. So here I am, relying on a government handout so I can buy decent orange juice.

Where has America gone?

4 comments (Latest Comment: 07/02/2008 04:48:12 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/01/2008 10:33:23

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,931st day in Iraq.

We'll start as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4113
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3974
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3652
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3254
Since Election (1/31/05): 2676

Other Coalition Troops: 314
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 537

We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 532, 935, 700, 000.00

Given the national mortgage crisis, focusing in on just one state: Taxpayers in Massachusetts will pay $3.9 billion for the cost of the Iraq War in FY2007. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
13,505 Affordable Housing Units.

Check out the website; you can see the cost in your community too.

Continue reading...

179 comments (Latest Comment: 07/02/2008 04:38:43 by Raine)

Speculators? How about insider Trading?
Author: Raine    Date: 06/30/2008 12:30:19

Iraq Announced the Oil Contracts... And Surprise Surprise... The US advised them on who to give the No-Bid Contracts to.
A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say.

The disclosure, coming on the eve of the contracts’ announcement, is the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development and is likely to stoke criticism.

In their role as advisers to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, American government lawyers and private-sector consultants provided template contracts and detailed suggestions on drafting the contracts, advisers and a senior State Department official said.

...At a time of spiraling oil prices, the no-bid contracts, in a country with some of the world’s largest untapped fields and potential for vast profits, are a rare prize to the industry. The contracts are expected to be awarded Monday to Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Total and Chevron, as well as to several smaller oil companies.

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222 comments (Latest Comment: 07/01/2008 02:25:18 by clintster)

Tacking Right - Governing Left
Author: m-hadley    Date: 06/29/2008 12:19:27

Tacking Right – Governing Left

First thing I would like to say this Sunday morning is that I am thinking of Velveeta Jones and her Aunt Azalea and hoping that they are both doing okay. We miss Velveeta here at FourFreedomsBlog and we know that Aunt Azalea misses Velveeta too. We all hope that they are each safe and warm (although not muggy :D). And now on to the post that I have the honor to write in Velveeta's stead.
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118 comments (Latest Comment: 06/30/2008 04:28:40 by livingonli)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 06/28/2008 12:41:49

Good Morning!

Well, we've been having a lively debate this week on the recent decisions of the Supreme Court. It should come as no surprise that the LP has issued several statements about them, too. But we'll actually start with the recent passage of the FISA bill through the senate. It's unfortunate that Sen. Obama chose to support it; let's hope he can recover from this obvious blunder. (I know of at least a handful of 'one-issue voters' that have already abandoned the Senator from Illinois over this.) Of course, I find it curious that while the LP is attacking Senator Obama, the other candidate, who has supported this all along, gets a free pass...

The Libertarian Party condemned Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama for recently stating he does not oppose the Bush administration's program of illegally spying on U.S. citizens. "Obama has sold out liberty in his refusal to stand up to Republicans on FISA," says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis.

"We have come to expect Republicans to hold a contempt for basic protections of civil liberties," says Davis. "To see this same type of reckless disregard for the Constitution from Democrats--especially their presidential nominee--is extremely unfortunate. Democrats were given a chance to stand up to Republicans after the 2006 election, but they have failed to do so time and time again ever since. Obama's refusal to state a clear opposition to the President's illegal program of domestic surveillance is just one more example of how both Republicans and Democrats have failed the American people."

In an interview last week with ABC News' Senior National Correspondent Jack Tapper, Obama stated, "I haven't opposed, for example, the national security surveillance program, the NSA program," adding that he believed the program could be done without violating the Constitution.

"Perhaps it is in Obama's nature as a big-government liberal to trust the government with unchecked power," Davis adds, "but supporting a proposal to give the government blanket permission to spy on American citizens should give voters an idea of how much Obama respects the Constitution and privacy rights."

The Libertarian Party has called repeatedly to reject any amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that empowers the government to spy on U.S. citizens, which includes the most recent "compromise" by Republicans and Democrats. Additionally, Libertarian Party candidate for president Bob Barr recently issued a video that blasted supporters of the recent FISA amendments.

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107 comments (Latest Comment: 06/29/2008 11:51:07 by trojanrabbit)

Supreme Disappointment
Author: BobR    Date: 06/27/2008 12:25:35

The Supreme Court has been busy the last few days. It's that time of year when these 9 don their robes, listen to arguments, then write opinions based on their own personal... opinions. When the stars align correctly (such as Rowe -vs- Wade), these decisions grant individuals more rights, more freedoms, and more protection. Lately though, the decisions have been swinging the other way.
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227 comments (Latest Comment: 06/28/2008 05:53:23 by livingonli)

The cost of our Thneed
Author: Raine    Date: 06/26/2008 12:33:27

Mountain top removal in the Appalachias for coal, mining the Grand Canyon, and now drilling off our coastal waters for oil. This is what is either happening, or will happen all in the search for fuel sources.
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181 comments (Latest Comment: 06/27/2008 12:59:47 by capt)

The Ugliness of the McCampaign
Author: BobR    Date: 06/25/2008 12:19:39

With the conventions still two months away, the campaign season is already in full swing. Both candidates have vowed to run a clean campaign. Whether they will remains to be seen; whether they have is open for interpretation. For the groups and high-profile individuals who support the candidates, it's business as usual. Here's a sampling of some of the less savory items out there...
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226 comments (Latest Comment: 06/26/2008 06:20:01 by livingonli)

Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 06/24/2008 10:41:53

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,924th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4104
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3965
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3643
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3245
Since Election (1/31/05): 2667

Other Coalition Troops: 313
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 532

We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 530, 974, 500, 000.00 I timed it again this morning, and the counter seems to be moving at $10,000 every 3 seconds.

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190 comments (Latest Comment: 06/25/2008 03:08:22 by livingonli)

Being Right Is Not Enough – Speaking Truth and Taking A Stand
Author: Will in Chicago    Date: 06/23/2008 12:50:08

Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will win a thousand battles.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War,

In reflecting on past Democratic political campaigns, it seemed that many of the candidates had never heard of the wisdom of a general of ancient China whose works are still required reading in many military academies. Too often, Democrats and progressive have let Republicans not just define the terms of the debate but have failed to present their stories and vision of the country and the world. Equally as bad, too often these stories and for what candidates stand were related in ways that seemed passionless and distant from voters. Thus, the Republican Party has been able to win time and time again – even when only a minority of Americans shares their positions.

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189 comments (Latest Comment: 06/24/2008 05:05:35 by Raine)

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