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Member since: Thu Aug 30, 2007, 11:50 PM
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Evil Snowden has made it harder to track Terrorists, or something like that.

With the knowledge that no Terrorist attack has been prevented due to NSA surveillance, we must view this claim that Snowden has helped our enemies with a bucket of salt in lieu of the normal grain. We've already seen the claim that dozens of attacks have been thwarted thanks to these fine programs utterly discredited.

So what is the claim today from those who love to track everyone? Snowden has made the jobs of the NSA harder. Supposedly the AQ forces are using different encryption. China and Russia have changed their encryption systems, and even get this, changed their phone numbers and now we don't know who to listen to.

Allow me to quote the last two paragraphs of the story.

In the meantime, hostile groups such as al-Qaeda have lost no time in exploiting the gap in our intelligence-gathering capabilities to strengthen their position, with all the implications that is likely to have for our own future security.

Certainly, if countries like Russia and China were to gain the advantage at our expense, or groups such as al-Qaeda launched a successful terror attack, then Snowden’s treacherous betrayal might not seem to have been such a good idea after all.

We already know that no attacks were prevented because of this spying. We know that because the claims of General Alexander were utterly discredited by Democratic Senators Wyden and Mark Udall. We know that the NSA failed to detect the Boston Bombers despite their travel to an area that was presumably on the watch list, and despite warnings from the Russians. We know that the NSA failed on thousands of fronts to detect anything important to national security while eavesdropping on German Chancellor Merkel's phone calls. Because the threat of Terrorism or attack on the United States being launched by Germany was exceedingly high or something.

Part One of the Frontline PBS report on the NSA and how they invade every aspect of our lives is here. I am more troubled than you can imagine by the cavalier attitude of Bush Co. and the cronies toward the Constitutional protections. That bothers me tremendously, and is IMO unforgivable. But here is the problem I am really having. Why did Democrats continue it with the pseudo protection of the FISA court? I call this pseudo protection because the programs when challenged in "regular" court are dismissed not on the merits, but on technicalities. When you object to the tracking/monitoring of your cell phone, since you are unable to demonstrate real "harm" then this violation of your privacy by the Government is perfectly acceptable. The most recent decision that prevented a challenge to the indefinite detention of American Citizens by the Military was thrown out because the person challenging the law was themselves not under detention.

Let me repeat that for you. The only way you could challenge being indefinitely detained without access to a lawyer would be to actually be indefinitely detained without access to a lawyer. So take heart, those people who are held in black prison sites all around the world now have the freedom to file a lawsuit, presuming that anyone ever hears from them again.

The arguments from the Federal Government that justify these programs are some of the lamest things I've ever heard. The Government argues that they can't tell people how many cell phones have been monitored illegally because that would violate the individuals right to privacy. So we can't violate the right to privacy by informing the people who's right to privacy has been violated?

Snowden hasn't made it harder to track terrorists, because we weren't tracking them using these programs. We were tracking business secrets of other countries. We were tracking any individual who came to our attention, but we were not tracking terrorists with any success.

We were making a mockery of the Constitution, and turning ourselves into a third world country where the Constitution is written in pencil for all intents and purposes.

What is going on?

We are living in the age of propaganda. We talk about new jobs created, and ignore the jobs lost. We have a fundamental problem in our economy, and our solution is band aids on a patient that is bleeding out.

I know, someone here will accuse me of RW Talking points. Baloney. Most of the falling unemployment number has nothing to do with improving economy, it has far more to do with despair. People are just giving up after months of frustration trying to find a job.


Permanent Job Losers in January 2014. 3,341,000. Three and a third million permanent job losers.


Total not in the workforce? That is people we should consider unemployed, but we don't because they are not "Actively" seeking employment. 55 Million. Let me spell that out for you. 55,000,000 people are not in the workforce.

Minimum wage is a band aid. We have 3.4 million people who hold multiple jobs. These are people who are working themselves to death trying to provide for their families.

We have a fundamental problem with our economy, but we celebrate raising stock prices, while ignoring those who are not actively seeking employment. We have given up on them because they are inconvenient. If we recognize them, we have to admit that we are not doing well by a massive portion of our population. These are kids living with parents, parents who have moved in with their children. Brothers who are living with siblings. These are people who are homeless, hopeless, and forgotten by our political establishment.

There is a fundamental flaw in our economy, because we are determined to ignore the bad news, it might give our political opponents some sort of advantage. But what about those 55 million people we are ignoring? People living in storm drains in our cities.

I feel sick when I read celebratory posts on sites like this, cheering the "low unemployment" numbers as proof we're doing the right thing and we're awesome. Our unemployment numbers are down, but not because more people are working, but because more have surrendered to the despair and the depression.

So what is going on? Everyone in the economy is holding on waiting for someone else to do something that turns the fucking thing around. Money is not being invested in new jobs, it's being put into the stock market where it continues to hold itself high based upon psychology. People want to believe the good news, so the reports are great for the nation and the world.

We have a fundamental problem with our economy. The solution is not job killing trade agreements. The solution is not more band aid fixes and ways to fiddle with the numbers so it looks good. Look at those who are employed, in thousands. http://bls.gov/web/empsit/ceseeb1a.htm

We have more people in Government than we do in health care. 17.8 million working in health and social services. 21 million working in Government. Are you telling me that of those 21 million people working for the Government that none of them realizes how bad it is out here among us? Do they read the stories of homeless in storm drains? Do they realize that 55 million people have just given up?

America has been great in the past based upon the drive and determination of our people. We all strove to get to the moon. Everyone felt like a part of that drive. We all strove to win World War II. Everyone was a part of that effort. If we could get one more plane, one more tank, one more ship into the war, that was our duty. Even if we weren't building them, we planted gardens to grow our own food to make more available to those fighting because they needed it desperately.

Now, we have another war. The war of our economy. We denounce those who shout that things are fucked up. We ignore 1/6th of our population, and cheer when more of them give up and surrender to despair. That drives the unemployment numbers down.

I'm going to catch a lot of flack over this but...

Look at the successes of the past, and learn from them. Don't over analyze them, just look at them as a more complete overview. Don't make the mistake of dismissing them just because they worked for the opposition.

First that I personally experienced, and can remember is Ronald Reagan. Reagan wanted to enact huge tax reforms, and instead of lobbying congress, went to the people and sold his vision. He used anecdotes, ideals and visions that the people could understand, and grasp. Now, we can make the mistake of debating the effects, and the negatives that resulted. But what did he do? He had a vision, an ideal that existed in his core, he was a true believer, and he was able to express that ideal to the people.

When you talk to a bible thumper, not one of the ignorant believers, but a truly educated believer, one who has studied the bible and the words therein, you are struck with the simple fact that they believe in their very core. There is no debating them, they believe passionately in their heart and soul. The same is true of pilots. When it comes to flying, they feel it as well as understand it logically. It is in their souls.

In 1994, Newt and the Republicans tapped into a sense of frustration in the American People. They formed the Contract with America. I know, it was a publicity stunt, but it worked. Because the Politicians seemed to be listening to the people, seemed to finally understand what the people thought was wrong.

The Reform party was a short lived phenomenon, but again it tapped into a feeling of betrayal by the two main parties and did rather well considering it was upstart outsiders.

Now, consider the election of President Obama. Hope and Change. Yes we can. These were ideals that the majority sincerely hoped would be the catalyst to great new things. The only problem was that the outline was pretty vague as to what those changes would be. So when the details started coming out, the people started to feel betrayed again. Then the asinine comments that ended up being the only sound bites the people got from Congress was even worse, if that is possible.

We won in 2006 by promising an open and responsive Congress. We lost in 2010 because "we had to pass it to find out what was in it" became the battle cry.

In the modern world, with everything you say, and everything you've ever said in the Internet somewhere, you can't be hypocritical in the slightest. In 2004, Steny Hoyer and many other Democrats denounced, properly in my mind, the Slaughter Rule of the deem and pass era. You can find endless quotes online, everyone can.

Then we used it, we used it to pass the ACA. If the RW Radio and Faux News didn't tell us that it was hypocritical, the most basic of browsing on the internet would have. We used a thing we denounced, to get something we wanted. The ends do not justify the means to most people outside of Washington.

We were lucky, they ran Romney, and the bigoted folks wouldn't turn out to vote for a Mormon. If they had run a more acceptable candidate to the RW core, they might have won in 2012. But we didn't take the House back, because all we ran on was that the Republicans were awful.

Do you see what I'm getting at now? President Carter's campaign took place when I was not yet ten years old. Yet I can remember the picture of him standing up there with his smile, and his "Hello, I'm Jimmy Carter" and I've read a great deal of his history. He believed in his core of personal sacrifice, and personal risk. The man went to Three Mile Island to show he was confident that they had the matter well in hand. Nobody since would have, and I doubt anyone before him would have either. Only President Carter could have gone, and only President Carter would have.

Core beliefs are evident to people who view you. Fred Phelps is an unequaled Jackass, but he really believes that nonsense he spouts. We can't always get lucky and hope that a segment of the Republicans stays home and we win by default. We can't have as our battle plan that our one selling point is we aren't the other guys. When you go to a baseball game, it isn't the NY Yankees playing some guys who wondered in off the street. They are playing another team, one who is playing to their strengths, and to the Yankee's weaknesses. They may win, the Yankees might win, but both teams are playing to win on their own strengths.

Right now, the Republicans are playing to win. They are playing to the populist anti ACA mood. That may carry them through the election, and then again it might not. My money is leaning towards the idea that it will. The question I have is will they get enough seats to take the Senate back? I'm leaning towards no, but only just.

Our strength is not that we are not the Republicans. Our strength is our ideals, or the ideals we used to have. We need to learn from those who have succeeded, we need to learn how to express our core beliefs, assuming we have any left in Washington, in a way that works to inspire the public. It's not about slogans, or sound bites. But we have to be smart there too.

Look at Kennedy's speech calling on us to go to the moon again. http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/ricetalk.htm

It wasn't just that we were going to the moon. He laid out the problems we faced. A rocket larger than any we had yet manufactured. A space ship using technology that does not yet exist. Reaching the moon using materials not yet invented. Using techniques we could not yet imagine. Yet the speech inspired a people, Republican and Democrat. it was such an inspiration that even his death would not dissuade the people from this grand quest.

FDR inspired a people, when we were basically on our knees, our teeth for all intents and purposes knocked out. When Churchill spoke to the British People and told the world they would fight on the beaches, the air, the sea, in the hedgerows, the fields. They were so short of material, so much of it had been lost on Dunkirk that they could barely manage to give every soldier a rifle. They could count rounds of ammunition for their shore batteries on one hand. They could not afford the rounds needed to sight the guns in, so they would just wait until they could sight down the barrels and fire at point blank range.

Everyone who knew the truth couldn't imagine how they would muddle through. But one man inspired the people, the leaders of the military, and the Government to stand up and say that they would not surrender.

These were core beliefs of the leaders. These were ideals held in their hearts. Churchill could never inspire the British People to resist Hitler with the ideal that "We aren't them." We would have sued for peace if FDR had said to the American People and the world that we were not Japanese, and that was all you needed to know.

Great Leaders step up when the going gets tough. They go to Three Mile Island and stand facing the danger when everyone else runs away. They don't try and politically wheedle a version of what they want out of soulless political hacks. They turn to the people and say "Let's do this, together, we can do the impossible."

Where are the grand schemes. Where is the desire to push the envelope of the known, and to look at an insurmountable obstacle and snort derisively and announce that you will conquer it. Where is the grand vision that inspires the people. We are human, we can be inspired. We will follow, but we need someone to lead.

President Carter did something quite astonishing, quite unheard of. Kennedy risked his political future, Reagan risked his second term, Newt his position as power broker of the RW. But Carter put it plainly on display. He went there knowing that if he was wrong, he wouldn't live long enough to regret it. But they all invested into what they believed in. That was respected by the people, because we instinctively respect those who are willing to risk it all to try something they believe in.

We can learn from this, first recognize our core beliefs, and second, be willing to risk disaster in presenting them to the people. Because if we win on the "We're not them" platform, we have nothing to point to that the people want, or want us to do. All that is left is the people becoming disgusted with us, and eventually voting for them, because they aren't us.

Blithering idiot says we need more data collection at the NSA/CIA

Like many of you, I have friends and relatives across the political spectrum. While at times, it can be infuriating to talk to them, often it is informative. It lets me know what they really think, and the background, the why.

Today's highlight is a report in the RW National Journal. I am not posting this as a RW talking point except to demonstrate how utterly the Authoritarians are out of touch with public sentiment, no matter what letter comes after their name.


Michael Morell, the former acting director of the CIA and a member of President Obama's task force on surveillance, said in an interview on Sunday that a controversial telephone data-collection program conducted by the National Security Agency should be expanded to include emails. He also said the program, far from being unnecessary, could prevent the next 9/11.

Morell, seeking to correct any misperception that the presidential panel had called for a radical curtailment of NSA programs, said he is in favor of restarting a program that the NSA discontinued in 2011 that involved the collection of "meta-data" for internet communications. That program only gets a brief mention in a footnote on page 97 of the task-force report, "Liberty and Security in A Changing World." "I would argue actually that the email data is probably more valuable than the telephony data," Morell told National Journal in a telephone interview. "You can bet that the last thing a smart terrorist is going to do right now is call someone in the United States."

Now, there haven't been any intercepted terrorist attacks based upon the massive data collection. The problem according to this moron is not that the invasive programs are useless, but because they haven't intercepted enough information. In other words, there are communications that the NSA/CIA is not intercepting, like text messages between you and a friend in the same town, and emails between you and a someone in the same town. If the CIA could read all of those, then they could potentially prevent another 9-11.

But what are the Authorities doing? Activating web cameras. http://gizmodo.com/fbi-can-secretly-activate-laptop-cameras-without-the-in-1478371370 We can assume that the assholes at the FBI are doing what every other voyeur is doing, trying to see into teenaged girls bedrooms like the common peeping toms.

But what terrorist crimes have been prevented? Well, none really. Oh sure, their internet and email surveillance has netted some criminals, but no terrorists.

But the problem according to Michael Morell is not that they are violating the 4th Amendment regularly, but it is that they are not collecting enough information.

Let me be among the first to explain this to you Michael Morell. The fourth amendment is not an idea who's time is past, it's an idea who's time is right here and now. You have no right, and the lame justifications you use are the same asinine claims made by those who would defend CIA torture. With it we might (perhaps in a parallel universe) prevent another terrorist attack. It is immoral, and plainly prohibited by the Constitution, and the oath you supposedly swore was not to protect me from some vague pretend threat, but to protect the Constitution. I'll take my chances against the vague pretend threats that you and the rest of the assholes claim are out there. I won't take my chances that you assholes are not reading and listening to the stuff you weren't supposed to be collecting in the first place.

If our battle against extremism means we have to surrender our constitutional rights to win, then we've already lost. The only question is what the terms of our surrender should be. You in the CIA, NSA, FBI, and DHS are the greatest threat this nation has faced in it's entire history. That includes the burning of the White House during the war of 1812. That includes the Civil War. The Nazi's were a threat, but they would be slobbering in envy at the police state you and your colleagues have created.

My view on "violent" porn

I know that a couple of you already know this about me, I have had email from you asking me to confirm the factoid. I write books under this name. SavannahMann is the handle under which I write Bondage themed erotica, although I haven't written much of it of late.

I have one story, one, that is non-consensual. I have another book that begins with a non-consensual scene, or I should say a scene that starts out consensual, and ends up non-consensual. The book that I am going to focus on is the first non-con one. It was called "The Vassal Group" and resulted from a curious fact I ran across while web browsing. Nearly a million cases of missing persons are filed each year. A majority of them are children who run away from home, or are taken by non-custodial parents. But I wondered about the rest, the thousands, or tens of thousands that were just gone, vanished, disappeared.

Some reappear years later, like a story featured here in which a Judge ruled that the man standing before him was still legally dead because he had been declared so more years ago than allowed the judge to overturn.

I started to wonder if some of those missing were really kidnapped, and I spent a couple months considering the kind of organization that would be needed to create sexual slavery. I wrote the book, and it ended badly for the girl in the story. I wrote it as realistically as possible, knowing that the scenario I created would not allow someone to return to a normal life. I used drugs and hypnosis to break into the minds of the victims, and in the story, I made the organization vast, evil, greedy, like Enron for involuntary sexual slavery.

What frightened me about the scenario was how possible it was. The drugs are readily available, mind monitoring devices exist, EEG's have gone a long way and there is even one in use now that monitors the consciousness level of a patient during surgery to attempt to eliminate the possibility of a patient waking up. Brainwashing is well enough understood to know it is possible, if not immediate.

I had my young woman break the brainwashing, and escape. Then I spent weeks considering something. What kind of a life would she have afterward? She wasn't just captured and kidnapped and raped. She was brainwashed, and even broken, the programming would still rattle around in her mind. I saw very few positive outcome possibilities. I considered Convicts who spend years in prison, how many of them commit a crime right away because Prison is the only life they know.

The outcomes I had considered were dark. The woman in question would quite possibly never have a "normal" life again. Suicide was a possibility, a real possibility. Insanity was also similarly possible. Years of therapy was a given. Confusion, obvious even at a surface level.

I did not like the Vassal Group. I didn't like where it ended, with the bad guys winning. I did not like that I had created a group that was although fictional, impervious to law enforcement ever finding and stopping them. It was too compartmentalized, too protected to ever really stop. On that I based it on criminal and intelligence organizations. It is said that the Director of the KGB was not allowed to know the agents names who were spying for the USSR. At most he was allowed to know a code name, but never the real identity of the individual spying for them. So the bosses didn't know anything that they didn't have to know to do their jobs.

As I was saying, I didn't like where it ended, with an organization that was untouchable, with no one able to stop it. So I decided that the next best thing was for them to "go legit". I started the next story, the one that got me bored with writing that genre, because it was so popular. The Vassal Academy instead looked at the issue of voluntary submissive behavior. A subject I had done in two other books, but this one was a little different.

So you see, my views on this may be a little different than most people. In one book, I outline the practices that are used in common sense venues. Safe, sane, and consensual. I cover the subject of safe words in two of the books, explaining how the submissive has the brakes, and is able to stop everything with a single word. Ladies, imagine that when you were dating. You move a hand away from something you aren't comfortable with, he's taking liberties you aren't ready for, and a few seconds later his hand is back. BDSM respects the use of a safe word. You say your word, perhaps it's RED, and he stops right then and there.

For those of you who doubt me, and there are many. Here is a link to a site that has all the stories although membership is required for some of them. Sorry. http://storiesonline.net/a/SavannahMann

This site rightly considered The Vassal Group to be outside of their standards, but the others are there. http://www.literotica.com/stories/memberpage.php?uid=862746&page=submissions

I am assuming that I will be suitably blacklisted by you all for this admission, and so be it. But if you ask what I consider acceptable? Safe, Sane, and Consensual would be as good of an answer as I can give.

Christmas Tree Massacre

Thought some of you might like this.


Snowden's revelations of the NSA's activities fallout continues. Next chapter, the UN

Foreign Policy Magazine is reporting that the people around the world we've been wiretapping and spying on and generally being nosy towards are headed to the UN. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/24/exclusive_germany_brazil_turn_to_un_to_restrain_american_spies

Brazil and Germany today joined forces to press for the adoption of a U.N. General Resolution that promotes the right of privacy on the internet, marking the first major international effort to restrain the National Security Agency's intrusions into the online communications of foreigners, according to diplomatic sources familiar with the push.

The effort follows a German claim that the American spy agency may have tapped the private telephone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dozens of other world leaders. It also comes about one month after Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff denounced NSA espionage against her country as "a breach of international law" in a General Assembly speech and proposed that the U.N. establish legal guidelines to prevent "cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war."

Brazilian and German diplomats met in New York today with a small group of Latin American and European governments to consider a draft resolution that calls for expanding privacy rights contained in the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights to the online world. The draft does not refer to a flurry of American spying revelations that have caused a political uproar around the world, particularly in Brazil and Germany. But it was clear that the revelation provided the political momentum to trigger today's move to the United Nations. The blowback from the NSA leaks continues to agonize U.S. diplomats and military officials concerned about America's image abroad.

So who do we talk to in order to get this quietly dropped? Our Middle East allies including Saudi Arabia have told us to go off and copulate with ourselves. South American allies, well if we had any, the actions of the NSA run amok have pretty much caused them to give us the cold shoulder. Perhaps our allies in Europe will use their influence to help us? That would include France and Germany, who are supporting this change to the UN's treaties.

Well, if all else fails, we can become the one nation in the world that doesn't sign on to this treaty change. As Syria was pretty much alone in refusing to sign the Chemical Weapons Ban treaty, we can stand alone refusing to sign the right to privacy on the internet treaty. That will show the world who is in charge of what.

Many times here I've read responses to revelations about the NSA about how everyone is doing it, we just got caught thanks to the traitor Snowden. Well apparently everyone is not doing it like we are. Because they are seriously pissed at us. We are the ones who are working overtime to alienate the world, pretending that they wouldn't dare do anything to harm our interests because we're the United States. Well, they aren't going to sit back and pretend that their lives are merely an episode of Big Brother while the NSA tracks everyone both foreign and domestic. We are rapidly shifting to being the black hat wearing bad guy in the world stage, and we seem unconcerned about this change, as if it will have no repercussions for us as a people. It will have repercussions for us as a people, it has already started, and it will continue to get worse.

We must get serious about reigning in the NSA, and strictly limiting the information they are allowed to have. WE must put a Civil Rights Division lawyer from the Justice Department in charge of the NSA with an eye to making sure all civil rights are protected domestically, and all treaties are respected internationally. Because it is nearly too late to save our future.

The truth is that Death Panels have always existed

Rationing is the means of adjusting supply and demand. Deciding who gets what is another way. We've all seen the medical shows where they discuss a patient who is on the heart transplant list. So we'll use that as an example. The list is hundreds, or thousands of patients long. A panel of doctors discuss your particular situation, and place you on the list according to many factors. Age, other health issues, what caused your heart problems, and other things. A man who has a genetic defect and works full time with a family and two small children who has been working hard to protect his heart knowing of his genetic issues is going to place higher than a man of the same age who is a drug abuser and has nearly exploded his heart with Crack.

That of course makes sense. There are a finite number of hearts, a finite number of Doctors who can perform the surgery, and a rather large list of people who need the lifesaving procedure. We have to decide the issue somehow, and this is the best way we can come up with. That drug user mentioned above probably wouldn't even make it on the list in all honesty.

Now, that is the situation for those with insurance, or money. What the ACA does is provide more people with the opportunity to make it on to the list, where they might get the surgery they desperately need to survive. The total number of people who get the surgery probably won't go up that much, but the ones who had been excluded before will now have a chance. If you are low on the list, chances are you won't get the transplant. If you don't get on the list, there is no chance for a transplant. That is the death panel, if you don't make the list, you are dead, often quite soon.

The truth is that death panels have always existed. The truth is that we've used them ever since the first doctor came up with a treatment that seemed to work. Look at Senator Kennedy. He got surgery on his brain from the one hospital that had any success with it. Others were rejected as candidates, because of any number of factors. The most limiting one was the Doctor's time, he can only treat so many patients, and he can only train so many at one time in the procedure.

Orbis is a charity that operates a flying eye hospital. http://www.orbis.org/ They fly this hospital into remote areas, and perform a number of surgeries on peoples eyes restoring sight. Cornea transplants and other treatments. They have thousands of people who would love to have the surgery, and they do as many as they can, but they can't treat everyone. They use the judgment of the Doctors, who would benefit the most, who has the best chances. All of it is judgment of one or two Doctors.

The people of Orbis would love nothing more than to restore sight in every single person in the world who needs their services, but they are human, and they are limited. They do a great job, and they are worthy of commendation. But for every person who can see because of the surgeries this group performs, dozens go without that procedure.

Supply and Demand, someone has to decide who gets what, and that has been the case since the dawn of time. The objection to the ACA is that the decisions will be harder now, because more people will be eligible to get on the list in the first place.

Insurance and points of view

It is sometimes far too easy to utterly dismiss any points of view other than your own. On many issues, I myself am tempted. I have said many times I would like to see all guns banned, but I rarely rage at those with opposing points of view, as I am well aware that there is a certain amount of truth to their arguments.

On this board tonight, we have seen such activity regarding the ACA and those who will be paying more because of the laws requirements. Now, there is a certain amount of truth to both sides of the issue, and many of us will be suffering on both sides of the issue.

In this thread. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023824490 The poster pointed out how because of the requirements of the ACA known improperly as Obamacare, and the requirements that his plan must have certain coverage that he had previously opted out of, his costs are rising significantly. Those by the way mean dollars, real money. Many of us live if not paycheck to paycheck, we're not far from it. Perhaps we have a couple weeks, or perhaps even six week cushion against the unexpected. However that unexpected can go through that money in a minute. That cushion if it exists may not be that deep, and some people with those cafeteria plans may not qualify for the subsidies, and may well find that their costs are going up even with those subsidies.

Ronald Reagan famously said that a rising tide lifts all boats. To paraphrase that let me take it and apply it more accurately. We are not all in boats, we're all standing in the water. Some water is more shallow, and those are the rich people standing with only their feet in the water. Some of us are standing up to our waist in water, and some of us are barely able to touch the bottom and keep our heads above the water. Some of us are struggling mightily to tread water and feel like we are about to drown. The ACA adjusts the slope of the bottom of the bay. So those struggling mightily to keep from drowning can now join those who are barely keeping their heads above the water. But those who's heads were clear, are now liable to be joining those who were struggling to keep from drowning and their meager safety zone is now gone. That is the condition that many find themselves in and they feel some betrayal because they have worked hard to get that safety cushion going.

They have a point. There is some truth in their words. These are not radical RW trolls who are rabidly screaming repeal Obamacare. They are saying that the law has some flaws because all their work is about to vanish overnight. They are saying that they are stuck in the middle.

On the other side of the coin, there is truth too. It is true that those without should be subsidized by those with. The haves should help those have not's that are too numerous in our society. Medical costs bankrupt many families, and are outrageous. Many people have been denied care for far too long, and it is a disgrace.

I am not about to say nor am I alluding to some idea that we should repeal the ACA. I am saying that any law this big, should be open to consideration, and we should approach it's implementation with an open mind. Nothing is perfect, that is one lesson that we adults should have learned long ago. Nothing is perfect, but we should always strive to make things better. There is always some room for improvement, and on both sides of the coin, where there is truth to their statements, we should consider the matter and see if we can find a way to improve the footing of all of our fellow citizens. Perhaps there is a way to do so, but we can only reach that improvement if we stop the dogmatic denunciations of those who say that the one size fits all doesn't fit. I had a friend who described it as one size fits none. That may be true to a certain extent, because each of us are unique, and have our one individual situations and concerns.

In short, what I am asking is this. Must we be so callous in our treatment of fellow Democrats who point out that one size does not fit all?

Once again, I am not discussing nor am I trying to add validity to the Rabid RW doomed effort to repeal the ACA. I am saying that before we declare the program an unmitigated success, perfect in scope and execution, we should listen to how it affects those real people who are helped and harmed by it. So we can figure out if there is a way to improve it, to make it better for everyone. I don't know if it is possible, but I know we should not reject such views which are valid and again, have some truth to them.

I've sat through it twice, and it was poorly done.

First the logic. Estimates are that more than 100,000 are dead from the Civil War. We've seen videos of Executions, and brutalities for the entire civil war. But somehow, 1,400 dead from Chemical Weapons are the only thing that matters. Now, I'm no Mathematician, but by my calculations, roughly 1 in 71 dead have died from suspected CW attacks. So 1.4 % of those dead are from suspected CW attacks. And I'm not supposed to really concern myself with the dead adults from CW attacks, but the Children, the children are what Assad must answer for.

To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor, for sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.

Indeed, I'd ask every member of Congress, and those of you watching at home tonight, to view those videos of the attack, and then ask: What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?


So I'm supposed to ignore 98,600 deaths because those were proper deaths. Death from shrapnel, and shock from explosives is fine, even it is children being bombed. Deaths from machete's in far away lands is no skin off our nose, even if children are hacked to death, that's an acceptable death. Death from starvation is just fine, because when you're starving you're too weak to writhe on the ground and nobody has videotaped that. Oh and bullets are the best way to die, because bleeding out is a perfectly acceptable way to be taken into the next life. No parent has ever held a child who was shot and beg them to live.

That was asinine, and it was childish, and it was even worse than amateur.

Look Mr. President. Let's be honest here. Syria is not in violation of international law, because they did not sign the CW treaty. You can't hold me responsible for a credit slip I didn't sign. Nobody does that. But you are claiming a violation of international law based upon a treaty that Syria hasn't signed. Will you allow yourself to be held accountable for landmines which are banned by nearly every other country but we haven't signed it? No of course not. That would be silly. But that is the standard you are trying to hold Syria to.

The even worse was the stretching of the imagination to the breaking point in trying to explain how this was a necessary action for the American National Security. I write fiction, and in creating a story you have to make it believable enough to suspend disbelief. Mr. President, you failed to get me to suspend disbelief on that one.

In 2011, 32,367 deaths occurred on our highway. Many of those people writhed as they died, it's a terrible thing to watch someone die, because only in Hollywood is it clean as they bravely stare off to space. Should I be more upset if 1.4% of those people died in Fiat's than if they had died in Ford's? Are Ford deaths any more dignified than deaths in some other kind of car?

That is what we are reduced to debating Mr. President. That the deaths by Gas that affected 1.4% of those killed in this war are somehow more offensive than the 98,600 who died by bombs, bullets, bladed weapons, gang rapes, bludgeoning.

You can't promise that no retaliation is going to happen. Russia has a Naval Base there. Unless Putin has assured you in writing that no retaliation will come from them, and even then I'd be suspicious, especially with all the Naval Deployments Russia has to the region, you can't promise no retaliations.

Three million Syrians are living in refugee camps, but that's fine too, because starvation and disease in a refugee camp is a proper death that is morally acceptable to the worlds oldest constitutional democracy. Asinine.

From amateur to ridiculous. This speech had it all. I love the Democratic Party, but I'm supporting other Democrats for this one gang.
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