Overdoing security: Pittsburgh G-20 summit

Has it come to this? Make an entire city downtown a ghosttown to have a summit? How is this helping Pittsburgh sell itself? Stores boarded up because of the fear of vandalism. Why even bother choosing a city to host a summit? Why not just have it in Montana, in the middle of nowhere?

There are more cops than protesters. Since when did protesters become that scary?

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Michael Duvall: Another Republican Family Values hypocrite

Michael Duvall, an Orange County, CA Republican married assemblyman was caught bragging about affairs with not just one, but two female lobbyists in the energy sector. He resigned a little while after the scandal blew up in the media. He received a 100% rating from the Capital Resource Institute

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/08 /lobbyblog_n_279244.html

A California assemblyman is in some hot water after having a hot conversation picked up by a hot mic before a recent hearing. But he's not talking about sex with just anybody -- this is hot, steamy sex with LOBBYISTS!

"So, I am getting into spanking her," says the Orange County Republican. "I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah! Because you're such a bad girl!'"

The lobbyists reportedly represent utility companies. Duvall is vice chairman of the Utilities and Commerce Committee. Bad assemblyman!

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Salon article: TSA:- The idiocy and cowardice of our politicians and citizens

I wrote a diary a few weeks on this same topic. I may have overreached with my rants on seatbelts since it distracted some readers from my main point of how the current TSA's policies and the meek way Americans have accepted it shows how the terrorists have won by making us a cowardly nation.

Here is an article from Patrick Smith who writes a regular column on salon.com regarding air travel. He expressed skepticism of the fluids issue in a previous article, if memory serves me right. In this one, he talks about how bags are not checked enough, and there is a greater risk to our security in those bags where explosives can be smuggled on. He makes the same point I did in my previous diary where it is actually less safe to have the TSA worry about trivial stuff like 3oz bottles , butter knives, or whatever.

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Lockerbie Outrage! So now cancer stricken terrorists are free to bomb?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/20 /abdel-baset-almegrahi-loc_n_263879.html

Scotland freed the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds Thursday, letting the Libyan go home to die despite American pleas to show no mercy for the man responsible for the 1988 attack that killed 270 people.

Announcing the release, Scotland's justice secretary insisted freeing the Pan Am Flight 103 bomber was an expression of the Scottish people's humanity -- a decision rejected by many in the U.S.

Al-Megrahi, who had served only eight years of his life sentence, was recently given only months to live after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

SO why not just release some local thieves who are suffering from some disease or the  other if the Scottish bozo wanted to show some compassion?  Don't the relatives of the victims deserve some input?

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TSA - Air Travel: An Idiocracy in Action

I have always considered myself a libertarian of sorts with a liberal slant. The whole Homeland Security issue is one where genuine libertarians of all slants have found common grounds. Let us focus on the idiocy of the TSA. It is not only a needless invasion of our privacy, it is a waste of money and it causes actual dilution of surveillance of key air travel safeguards.

I think part of the fault lies with us. It is not just a Bush big government problem.

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Cash for Clunkers a clunker of a bill

In theory, maybe this is a marginally good idea(and I say marginal because trashing inefficient clunkers takes energy and producing new vehicles consumes energy). But is it good enough of an idea that the benefits are worth the opportunity cost of spending more time on the health care bill or scaling down the military industrial complex? Is it worth fighting the conservatives on this issue when there are more important fights to fight?

I just think this bill is just needless distraction for our party. If they are going to compromise with the conservatives, I would rather see them concede ground on this rather than something like health care or military issues. Where are bills on education? Why are we wasting time on this crap? All this does is feed the notion that government can be assured of being too nanny like in trivial matters.

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Too much time on the torture issue

I have been one of the biggest critics of the Bush policies and the Iraq war issue has been one of the bigger single issue policies I have had in a long time. Naturally, people of my kind would be on board for the enormous time being spent on the torture issue. But I could care less about the torture issue unless we want to deal with torture of innocent civilians. Do I feel bad that Khalid Sheik Mohammad was waterboarded? Hell, no.

Let me blunt. We can delude ourselves with polls which ask leading questions or whatever that most of the country wants to see prosecutions on this. But there is a difference between what people think logically and what they feel viscerally and priortize as a burning issue.  I have not met a SINGLE person who really cares deeply about this issue to want to see prosecutions at the expense of time spent prosecuting most of the same people for bigger war crimes(like selling the concept fo a needless Iraq war). I have met many people livid about lives lost- not just soldiers lives, but also innocent Iraqui lives. But many of these same  people, while opposed to torture for one of many reasons, are not really spending a lot of time feeling bad for the victims unless they are innocent Iraquis wrongly imprisoned. I am one of those. I think torture of even known terrorists is a bad idea only because I will take the experts at their word that it is not beneficial enough and it backfires in some instances. Also I think any torture that exists should be on the fringe of the system and not "normalized" by government backing.  Plus it only serves as useful recruitment propaganda for islamic fanatics. It also serves as a bad precedent for other countries. BUt do I really care about the "victims"? Not really, unless they were innocent.

For the record: I do think Obama made a mistake in promising too much on the torture issue. They look bad in the way they dealt with the issue of releasing pictures. Why not say that journalists are free to examine the pictures but no copies will be allowed to circulate for fear of propaganda for the next 10 years or so. I personally think that they should release the pics along with the pics made by terrorists of what they do to innocent people worldwide.

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Schools need to teach Mortgage 101, Taxes 101, and other simple stuff

I was watching Dateline last night where the Predator nemesis, Chris (is he going to be in the next Predator vs Illegal Alien movie?), was interviewing, how shall I put it, morons who are in danger of foreclosing. No doubt, in almost every case, the lender should take a lot of the blame including the case of one lady who was an outrageous scam artist buying houses and reporting fake income to the lender. She should be glad her ass is not thrown in jail.

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Republicans can learn from Democrats in criticizing own administration

For most of Bush's tenure, we saw Republicans, including the voters fall in line with Bush's inane policies. If you were unfortunate to have colleagues who listened to Hannity or Glenn Beck for reasons other than comedic relief, you knew how lock in step those people were.

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Obama sez "You're doing a heckuva job TIMMY"

It's one thing for Obama to say Geithner has an impossible job to make everyone happy. But to go on Leno with such superlatives such as

I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job," Obama said. "He is a smart guy. He is a calm and steady guy. I don't think people fully appreciate the plate that was handed him."

RIDICULOUS. Obama needs to buy a clue. Geithner can't remember if he owes taxes. He can't seem to decide if bonuses are essential or if he was powerless to stop them.

Here is the link:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/19 /obamas-leno-appearance-sa_0_n_177173.ht ml

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