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How Can We Detect And Stop Terrorist Acts From Happening

(category: Politics, Word count: 739)
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How Can We Detect and Stop Terrorist Acts from Happening?

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

Thomas Jefferson

Knowledge about the terrorist planning cycle is necessary in order to identify the key areas to implement effective counter terrorism measures. It is difficult enough just to summarize this cycle, let alone do something about it. Be that as it may, here are the steps typically involved with this cycle (investigations into terrorist attacks have shown that these steps are typical regardless of the cause).

First there is an original grievance. Grievances are usually localized (food shortage, ethnic tensions, politics, environment, religion and so forth).

The charged emotions associated with this grievance become focused and joined with a more universal common objective that helps vent the charged emotions (e.g. radical Islam's hatred of the western world). The best defense against this step is limiting the ability of terrorists to traverse the globe. Keep the grievances and the emotions that are inflamed by them at the local level. The Privilege of Passage Plan, proposed by author John Errett is one such plan that would nip this step right in the bud.

The next step of the planning cycle is when this larger group starts to act by gathering information. This usually takes place over a significant period of time. No attack on any US facility has ever been done with less than 3 weeks worth of surveillance. This portion of the planning is vulnerable to discovery because very often amateur grassroots operatives are used to gather information. Experts recommend surveillance detection as the best form of defense against this stage.

Step three is picking a target that will create the biggest damage and commotion for the risk involved. Next there will be pre-attack surveillance to determine any missed information, calculate terrorist escape options, target habits and so forth. Usually better trained operatives are used for this stage of planning. Surveillance detection equipment is still beneficial here.

The planning stage of the attack involves getting the equipment (including weapons, false IDs, vehicles and so forth) and highly trained personnel needed to carry out the assault. When all this is done the group will conduct rehearsals to remove any potential glitches. They will need for example to verify information, instruct participants involved and test equipment. They will even try their escape routes. They can tweak their plan by considering any hypothetical scenarios that might occur.

Next the attack plan is implemented. They go to their specific locations and wait for the target to appear if it is a mobile target Continued surveillance by the group will be conducted to determine if the plan is a "go" or not. Unfortunately, if the terrorists get as far as the execution phases the odds of doing harm are in their favor. There is no doubt that first responders need ongoing advanced training to thwart plans at this stage but the best plan is to prevent terrorists from ever getting to this execution stage. The most effective counter terrorism plans will address stages 1 and 2.

Finally, after the damage has been done, there is usually an escape plan with the

exception of the fanatic (who even then may have second thoughts and try to escape). The terrorists will now want to use media coverage to further their political or religiously goals. This is why terrorist groups claim responsibility for their own attacks and sometimes even for attacks that they did not do as well. Very often the terrorists' plan includes having someone film the attack or the immediate aftermath of the attack so that it can be released to the media.

Today the reality of radical Islam is not "if" terrorists will attack the Western World, it is when (see the internet video "Obsession").

We must detect them and stop them in their initial phases of their planning process. We must stop them from organizing their local grievances and moving them across international borders. We must be determined to detect them before they have opportunity to cause terror. This is a responsibility that all nations share. All nations must be vigilant prepared and held accountable for issuing passports to known terrorists. This is not a matter that law enforcement and the intelligence services can do alone. We are a global community and must all join hands to affect, detect and stop terrorism.

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How Cults Create An Artificial Personality In Their Followers And How You Can Do It Too

(category: Politics, Word count: 661)
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The title seems ominous because it mentions that cults make an effort to change ones personality but in a sense we create artificial personalities all the time. We use one when we are shopping, another when we are dating and one when we are buying a car. They are all a different and useful form or "I/me".

Cults may do this in the most dramatic way with an end result that even Jack's family members agree "This isn't the Jack I know."

The methods that cults use can be used by anyone in any group setting and can be thought of as a "Management system" or a technique of motivation. Thus there is a benefit to applying this knowledge in other areas.

ISOLATION

An obvious way a cult does this is through isolation from other social networks. The extreme of a cult does not have to be applied. If this is applied to a work setting then the stated rule is "This is work. Leave the other parts of life at the door." Likewise the person can go home and leave work at work. The result is a "work personality" and a "home personality".

ENLIST THEM IN A CAUSE

Nothing is quite so motivating than to be involved in a glorious cause. To do this make the success of the group linked to the individuals success. Make the cause lofty and ideal and progressive always on the wave of the future.

DESCRIBE FOR THEM THE QUALITIES OF A "GOOD SOLDIER"

Once you've enlisted them in a cause you can now tell them how best to serve the cause. By describing the qualities of "good soldier" you create an ideal of behavior. On the one hand it's important to point out qualities that they already have to affirm their part in the cause. But it's also important to describe qualities that they will have to work to develop. These qualities can be actual behaviors or they can values that you wish to impose on them. Either way you are holding them to an ideal and letting them know that they play a vital role in the cause.

DRILL THE "GOOD SOLDIER" INTO EXISTENCE

A cult may do this process with intense drills and exercises that emphasize the qualities and values of a good soldier. They will create scenarios and situations where these qualities can be tested and followed up with feedback and correction when needed. You can do this in a management setting much the same way. The goal is to make them WANT to bring on this new personality and do it without prompting. This is done mostly by creating a high standard and through a subtle application of rewards and punishment.

CREATE A GROUP MYTH

Nothing will solidify the new personality than getting a group of "good soldiers" together and having them work with some great purpose in mind. By getting your employee, staff, cult member involved in a group and putting them into action as a group you help create an "esprit de corp" that unifies them and helps solidify the newly created personality. Thus, find tasks that your group can do together. It could be a project, a field trip or anything where they have to work together as a group.

Every one of these tactics can be used and applied in your business and social settings.

If your response to this is to recoil at the idea of using cult strategies then stop it. These strategies are used all the time in many different setting and situations. A good manager is a person who would make a good cult leader if they choose to do it.

The benefits of this strategy include highly motivated people who support the team and, when needed, can put work on hold to develop a personal life.

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Social Security System Is Inefficient

(category: Politics, Word count: 914)
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Ah.. Social Security... It's wonderful program that takes 12.4% of your income each year in order to secure you your future. Let's analyze Social Security a bit, shall we?

The purpose of Social Security is to help the average American save money for retirement. Although the funds average annual yield is 5.3%, it's backed by the United States treasury, meaning it's a guaranteed investment. 5.3% may seem acceptable when compared to the national average savings account yield of approximately 0.54%, but the truth is that many competitive money market accounts yield upwards of 5.4% without locking up your investment until retirement, or jeopardizing your retirement savings, as nearly every reputable bank is a member of FDIC and have lengthy histories of customer satisfaction. When was the last time you went to your local bank and they didn't allow you to withdraw your money?

Now let's compare Social Security to a safe investment in the stock market. History has proven that the safest investment in the market is the S&P 500 index. This index tracks 500 of America's most prestigious blue chip companies and is a sound investment, with minimal risk. The S&P 500 average annual return on investment is approximately 10.4% (This figure is based on a 78 Year average). The difference may not seem much, but it's gargantuan on a long term basis. See my calculations below:

________________________________________

Scenario: Let's say you begin working at the age of 25, and earn $40,000 a year. The government takes 12.4% of your income every year on social security alone. This is the actual percentage that they withhold from your income. (Your employer will adjust your salary in order to cover his side of social security without spending additional money. The employer pays ~6.2% for your social security and you pay ~6.2% this will be explained below.) Let's also assume you retire at age 65. That's 40 years of contributing to social security. Let's see how much you'll get back in social security when you retire, and how much you would have gotten back if you invested the same 12.4% each year in the S&P 500 index instead.

Social Security: *$696,699.17

S&P 500: $2,702,720.36

*The social security total is actually higher then it should be, because I used today's social security yield, instead of the 50 year average, which is LOWER the today's yield.

________________________________________

You may be confused about where the 12.4% was derived from. The way social security functions is that you, the employee pay 6.2% on each paycheck, and the employer pays 6.2% on the wages he pays you, the employee. You may think to yourself that, the 6.2% that the employer pays has no effect on your salary, but you are mistaken. Your salary is adjusted (decreased) to cover the employer's end of social security. This doesn't apply to all employees, but Milton Friedman, Nobel Peace winning economist, got several large employers to admit to using this practice. Let me provide you an example. Let's say, as an employer, you want to spend a total of $100 on your employee for his services. But you know that an additional $6 will be added on top of the base $100 salary to cover the employer's portion of social security. Instead of paying out a total of $106 (100$ to the employee and 6$ to the government, the employer will instead, pay the employee 95$ as a salary, and pay 5$ on top of it for the employer's portion of social security. Now the employer spent his intended 100$ on the employee, instead of the $106 he would have paid if he set the employees base salary at $100. Now the employee must also pay a 6.2% tax on the $95 he earned through wages. If Social Security did not exist, the employee would have received the full $100 in wages, instead of $95 minus social security taxes.

Don't assume that I don't agree with the general philosophy of Social Security. The purpose of Social Security is to provide for the elderly once they retire so that they may sustain themselves. I am not against its purpose, but I am strongly against the way it's forced down our throats. If the money is intended to be spent on your future, why can't the government allow you to save it on your own? The only way for social security to function in an honest fashion is for it to be voluntary. If an individual wants to invest their money elsewhere, that individual should have the option to opt out of the Social Security system. The government simply cannot spend your money in a better fashion FOR you then you can for yourself. An individual should have the liberty to decide how he chooses to invest his own money, instead of the government forcefully taking it and investing it in their place.

The S&P 500 is not a guaranteed investment, but history has proven it to be the safest investment in the market, and has a proven track record of 75+ years at an average annual return of 10.4%. Ultimately, an individual should have the choice of opting out of government run social security. Countries like Chile, Mexico, Britain, and Australia have already transitioned from failing government run social security type programs to healthier systems based on individual retirement accounts.

Original Article on www.TheLibertarianForum.com Visit us, and learn more about Libertarian politics! Learn about Capitalism, and why small government works!

http://www.TheLibertarianForum.com

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14 Billion Doesn T Buy What It Used To

(category: Politics, Word count: 671)
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I am not sure how much national attention this story has gotten but there was a tragedy that took place in Boston's Big Dig on July 10th. One of the ceiling panels that are hung in the tunnels of the biggest construction project in the world, the "Big Dig", fell and crushed a car killing a woman inside. The panels are 20? x 20? and reports have said they weigh anywhere from 3 to 12 tons.

This is a huge story here in Massachusetts where I live, as it should be. Politicians are once again using this to their advantage to either make themselves look better or the other party look worse. Everyone in this country is the victim, because it is all tax money, although the woman that died and her new husband are directly victimized.

The bill for the project is approximately $14 billion at this point. I am not sure how much of that is federal money but it is in the billions for sure. Since it has opened there have been leaks in the tunnels and now this debacle.

What this project is, is an example of how poorly our government is run just on a smaller scale. It is no secret here in Massachusetts of how much money was wasted in this project. Governor Romney had to create a group responsible for pursuing the contractors that were overpaid and trying to collect money they should never have received. The story of our government, which is obvious when you look at the 8 + trillion dollar deficit, you spend all you want and have no control and then try and fix it after. This is how things get so out of control. If things were done correctly the project would have cost a couple billion less, they wouldn't have to pay people to recover the other couple billion, and the work would have probably been done right.

But, we are back to reality. A woman has been killed. The number of ceiling tiles with problems is increasing with the continuing inspections. The last count I heard was over 200 tiles that are coming loose. Governor Romney had to file emergency legislation to take over control of the decision on when the tunnel in question will be safe to reopen because the Chairman of the MA Turnpike Authority, Matt Amarello, has been saying it is safe and it clearly isn't.

This particular story is very troublesome to me because I am constantly analyzing our government and trying to open people's eyes to how incompetent our government is from top to bottom. I continue to make as strong of a case as I can for people to begin seeing that they need to pay more attention to who they vote for in upcoming elections. We cannot just allow the politicians to spend, spend, spend our money with no consequences. It still bothers me that our federal government contracts with China to build some of our most valuable weapons to protect our country. Yes, China, a communist country, is responsible for building some of the weapons we use to protect the country in times of war.

So I ask you, please do not see this recent accident in Massachusetts as just an accident. It is more than that. It is proof that the people we elect to run our country are virtually incompetent. They make poor decision after poor decision and the citizens of the country are the ones that suffer. Use this as motivation to make better selections during the next election. If you haven't voted in past elections because you didn't feel you had a candidate worth your vote I would like to say you are right. There wasn't a candidate worthy of your vote. But, you need to make a statement in upcoming elections. Cast a write-in vote. If you don't know who to vote for write my name down. I know I can do a better job.

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Iran Builds Support Among Muslim Nations

(category: Politics, Word count: 415)
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The U.S./Israel coalitions have been at odds with the Iranian government over Iran's nuclear program. Diplomatic efforts have soured over the U.S. Israeli belief that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran contends that the nuclear program is to make energy and resents any interference from countries deemed hostile to their cause. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states that he is willing to talk about the program to anyone except Israel who has keeps "bombs over our head".

Iran has won support among many Muslim Leaders for his uranium enrichment program. Members whom Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke with included prime ministers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt and Bangladesh.

Although the meeting held on the island of Bali was to discuss ways to boost economic and political cooperation, alleviate poverty, restructure debt the discussion quickly swayed to Iran's stand off with Israel and the U.S. "Our people need to do more to help one another," and that Islamic countries should work together to increase the development of renewable and alternative energy resources stated Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhovono

To add to the complicated conflict an anonymous UN inspector pushed his political agenda by indicating that traces of highly enriched uranium of bomb making quality were found at a research center that works with the military. The statement was quickly rebuffed by an agent from the International Atomic Energy Association who clearly indicated that no such "high grade" uranium was found. He also went on to state that the uranium that was found was well below bomb making quality.

The European Union posted on their websites that their ministers were prepared to support Iran's nuclear energy program if international concerns could be resolved. Such a decision would further leave the U.S. and Israel at odds with the rest of the world.

Since the years of sanctions on Iraq, and the subsequent invasion that went against the grain of the international community, the U.S. and its close ally Israel have been further alienated from having a dominate opinion in international affairs. Due to the miss information handed to the public through traditional media sources such as CNN (hence the recent growth in alternative news sources) American's have been in great support of Israel. In blind furry politicians make decisions to support their ally without consideration to the validity, political fall-out or long term ramifications of doing so. Honesty, integrity and forethought should be considered before making international policy.

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Wyoming Governor To Uranium Miners Bring Us Your Projects

(category: Politics, Word count: 1458)
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"We're Ready: This State is in Play!"

The New Face of Wyoming's Uranium Mining

Part One of a Five-Part Series

Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal really likes the current uranium bull market, "I hope the price of yellowcake stays up, and things get moving." Yes, the Wyoming democratic governor strongly endorses uranium mining in his state. That would make sense because Wyoming is the largest U.S. uranium producer. More than 40 percent of the uranium reserves in the United States are located in Wyoming, according to the reserves and resource estimate published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Since hitting a bottom in late December 2000, the spot price of uranium has soared by more than 500 percent, reaching a high of $38.50/pound at the end of February. The last time uranium traded this high, President Ronald Reagan was into the second month of his first term.

Unlike some states, where uranium mining is frowned upon, or banned, Wyoming welcomes the industry with open arms. "We've always sort of been comfortable with the uranium industry," Freudenthal told StockInterview.com. "The uranium industry is part of our history. It's not something that is frightening or alarming to us." Freudenthal clearly sees nuclear energy as a potential solution for the energy crisis, "I don't think anybody has any reservations that we need to have greater domestic capability in energy. I think, in the circles that worry about those equations, there is clearly a role for nuclear power."

Freudenthal urged the capital markets to act on the energy crisis by turning to Wyoming and mining the abundant supply of uranium, "There's got to be some clear signals to the capital markets that investment in this area will ultimately be rewarded. We certainly have the resource." Since June 2004, publicly traded junior uranium companies and speculators have created a staking frenzy in the state. Wyoming's Office of State Lands and Investments reported developers are snapping up tens of thousands of acres of state leases. The reading room, where prospectors and developers study potential federal lands for leasing purposes in the Cheyenne office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), was filled to capacity during a recent visit by the StockInterview.com editorial team.

StockInterview.com asked if the unusually high level of staking activity in Wyoming by publicly traded companies, such as Strathmore Minerals (TSX: STM; Other OTC: STHJF), Energy Metals Corporation (TSX: EMC), Kilgore Minerals (TSX: KAU), UR-Energy (TSE: URE) and Uranerz Energy (OTC BB: URNZ), was merely speculative, Freudenthal responded, "I think we're past the sort of speculation of people running through and picking everything up. We're down to serious players trying to make serious decisions." Good news for the above-mentioned uranium development companies: The Governor of Wyoming believes you mean business, and he's doing everything he can to encourage you!

Freudenthal was optimistic more companies would bring their projects to Wyoming, "These are not light investments. But you also don't go out and re-activate uranium production, if at the end of the day, you don't have a buyer." Governor Freudenthal is a good listener and acts quickly and decisively when facing facts. For example, when StockInterview.com informed him that decommissioned Russian nuclear warheads now powered about one in every twenty electric light bulbs in the United States, and that the swords-for-plowshares arrangement might end in 2013 (end of HEU), Freudenthal responded, "If that timing is correct, then they should already be making decisions to invest in Wyoming. I hope they do."

A large number of Canadian and European financiers believe there is a nuclear renaissance. Where does the Governor stand? "We're ready," Freudenthal shot back. "They just need to start bringing the projects and the money (into Wyoming). I think we have a very good regulatory climate. I think if they move into the 'in situ' (ISL) mining, we've got some experience with that." And if the public companies bring their projects to Wyoming, how does Governor Freudenthal feel? "This state is IN PLAY!" he exuberantly announced.

Asked to compare Wyoming with New Mexico, once a top uranium-producing state, he responded, "This state, historically, is just much more comfortable with commodity development." On the other hand, he somewhat deferred to New Mexico's own nuclear renaissance, where rumors are flying of a new nuclear power plant and the expansion of uranium mining and nuclear in that state, explaining, "New Mexico is closer to some larger energy consuming markets. They have fewer miles of transmission lines to build if they are going to get to California or Nevada. It wouldn't seem illogical if I were a private investor to look there first."

What does the Governor have to say to the new flock of uranium development companies, joining Cameco's Power Resources in mining Wyoming's uranium? There are several companies, which have staked land, and are now beginning to move their projects forward. Freudenthal advised, "They need to start allocating greater capital at a rate that the project sponsors are comfortable. We're past the speculators. People know it (uranium) is here. Nobody wants to hit the market too early. And they don't want to be too late. It'll move. I just don't know when. But when it does, we're in a position to respond to it. We've got the goods. We've got the right regulatory climate."

Would Governor Freudenthal invite or discourage a public utility in building a nuclear power plant in Wyoming? "I don't have a problem with one. The question really has always been, and most of what we are focused on, right now, is getting power lines built. If we don't have power lines, we're not going to get nuclear plants. We're not going to get coal-fired plants. We're not going to get anything. Ours is an export state. There is not enough internal demand for electricity to justify the construction of a plant." Freudenthal added Wyoming was "waiting to see if the larger economy is ready for some nuclear power plants."

Two years ago, his administration created the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority to work on getting power lines constructed. That may help remove the bug stalling the launch of Wyoming's first nuclear reactor, as well as exploiting the state's most valuable renewable energy source, wind. "We've got five or six areas that are world-class wind resources. We have people who want to build the turbines, but they have got to have access to the power grid. And I think the same is true in terms of whether it is a nuclear power plant, a coal-fired plant or this new combined-cycle plant, where you can convert coal to gas. Ultimately, the marketplace will decide which way they're going to go. But, no matter which one they do, I know my chances of getting it in Wyoming are greater if I have figured out our power line routes."

Freudenthal is popular, can think on his cowboy-boot clad feet, and can be decisive. And he is working on the power line routes, not just dreaming about what could be done. "We have some hopeful things," he explained. "We have been working with California on the Frontier Line." And what is the Frontier Line? U.S. Secretary of Energy announced in a press release a year ago, "This proposal exhibits the boldness and innovation the West is traditionally known for, as well as the multi-state cooperation and big-picture thinking required to make regional markets thrive." Secretary Bodman praised Governors Schwarzenegger, Freudenthal, Guinn and Huntsman, saying, "... the 'Frontier Line' project will begin the process of ensuring reliable electricity for some of our fastest growing Western States."

Being an export state, Wyoming has done well during the recent boom in commodities, enjoying the rising royalties from the production of oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. This past year, the state built up a surplus of nearly $2 billion. How does Freudenthal plan to spend this money? "We're putting a chunk into college scholarships, a chunk into infrastructure and a chunk into human capital investments." And next year, Freudenthal will have more such chunks to spend as high energy prices continue to demand the extraction of those abundant resources Wyoming generously offers the rest of the United States.

As a side note, Wyoming is a "red state," but with a very popular governor who is ironically a Democrat. While we did not discuss Freudenthal's political ambitions, Wyoming's previous leading political personality has been serving as Vice-President of the United States through most of this decade. Memo to Hillary Rodham Clinton: Don't overlook Dave Freudenthal if you want to woo the vast number of red states between the east coast and the left coast. This governor could help get your old room back at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Watch What You Say

(category: Politics, Word count: 824)
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Watch What You Say!

Repeat after me: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice." Ha! I tricked you. I have deceived you into swearing an oath, or affirming if your religious convictions do not permit swearing oaths. Of course the intention and effect are the same in either case. You will now be loyal and obedient, especially obedient.

Does it seem underhanded that someone should spring such an oath on you unexpectedly? That's how it's done in the military. You don't get time to think it over. You say I do with everyone else in the room. But you can relax now, you will never be tested on its meaning, because it has no meaning. It is designed solely to obtain your loyal, unquestioning obedience, just like you have been learning since before you could walk.

Given time to think about it no reasonable person would swear such an oath. Only someone desperate for a job that required it, or someone who routinely swears to things that are not true, make no sense, do not matter, or all these - like politicians. What say we take a closer look?

"I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States". The constitution may embody important principles. It may require tweaking from time to time, to remedy original deficiencies, many which were hotly contested when it was fresh. It may be the best of its kind ever devised. But what it was and is, is a legal contract between elite, slave owning men who were dead when half the country butchered the other half over who was a domestic enemy. It is not an object of worship, despite all appearances to the contrary. It is not something to kill and die for, even though millions have been certain it is. It is not supreme, though its creators proclaimed it so in the very text itself, and many there are who say amen. It is an old and badly flawed contract.

So how do patriots support and defend this old contract? Apparently by obeying others who claim to be supporting it.and killing some who don't. If you ask superiors what that oath means, they cannot give a straight answer. I would have no confidence in anyone who has sworn such an oath. Since I would have no confidence in them, I would neither obey nor serve them for honor, love or money.

"Against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic". This one word, ALL, makes it impossible for any living person to uphold this oath. How do you determine one enemy? What are the chances you could ever discover them all and what are you supposed to do by way of defense, if you found them - write down their names and turn them in to superiors? Shoot first and ask questions later? What if your superiors violate their oath and do nothing to defend the contract? Guess you'd be off the hook.

What does it mean to bear true faith and allegiance to the same? The way this is worded, it sounds like true faith and allegiance to all enemies foreign and domestic. A case can be made the national leadership reads it that way.

You have the right and the duty to refuse unlawful orders but it says nothing about that in the oath, does it? Why do you suppose that is? That is because you will never know the regulations and the UCMJ you are swearing to obey. The bureaucracy does not want some combat grunt deciding which orders are lawful and MUST be obeyed. Soldiers who think for their selves are court martialed and discharged or imprisoned. You, my friend, have been taught to accept the words of authority. You were a slave, before you volunteered to be one. Society volunteered you from the cradle.

Before you raise your right hand and say I do; consider that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld might be traitors according to the words of that old contract you want to defend. Every one who serves under them in silence, would also be traitors, as well as a U.S. Congress that should know the facts but would rather not.

U.S. leadership goes to war not knowing friends or enemies and because of this tactical error, MUST lose any/every war eventually. If you want to be a patriot or a hero in the face of the truth; to imagine or hear the public sing your praises, don't let any oath stand in your way.

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Privacy Versus Security

(category: Politics, Word count: 950)
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Lately the far left, the Democrats, certain left wing celebrities, ultra liberal newspaper reporters and editors and network news reporters and commentators have been ranting and raving about how President Bush has illegally taken away our right to privacy by signing an Executive Order allowing the National Security Agency to intercept certain communications between people of interest, in the United States, and people in certain other countries. Many of the foregoing are even saying that the President should be impeached. Some are comparing him to Richard Nixon or worse.

Do these people hate President Bush so much that, they are willing to sacrifice the safety and possibly the lives of Americans, their loved ones or even themselves in an attempt to ruin the President? Are they so hungry for power that they would endanger the people of this country in order to gain a political advantage over the Republican Party? Can they be so naive as to believe that what they are doing is not potentially harmful to this country? Do they even care if they are harming this country? Do they actually believe that their right to telephone privacy is more important than our right to life? Are they dumb enough to actually believe that the President broke the law?

Personally, I don't believe that the President did anything illegal, however, if he did, then I say, thank you President Bush for putting the lives of my loved ones before other considerations. After all, what good is privacy if you are not alive to enjoy it.

I value my privacy (I don't even like having my picture taken.), but I value the lives of my friends and loved ones more. I value my privacy (I don't even like to be in crowded places.), but I value the continued existance of this country and form of government more. I would give my life for my wife and sons. Is a possible threat to my privacy worth more than my life.

This whole brouhaha about our loss of privacy is ridiculous anyway. The odds of an N.S.A. employee or contractor listening in on any one American's conversations, are so small as too be almost incalculable. There are, according to most calculations, in excess of six billion people on this earth. There is no way, no matter how many computers are assigned to the task, for the N.S.A. computers to check, every telephone call, fax and e:mail, for suspicious activity, therefore the computers are tasked to check only certain areas or telephone numbers. Even then they can't catch everthing. As far as I know (I don't work for the N.S.A., so I could be wrong.), unless they task the computers to check my telephone numbers or unless I use, in my conversations, certain "buzz" words that have been deemed, by people that know far more than I, to be of consequence to national security, the odds of one of my conversations being listened to are almost nill.

Say some unknown faceless person at the N.S.A., or any other branch or part of our government, does listen to or read a transcript of one of my conversations. So what? I am not planning to do harm to this country or anyone else, I am not a terrorist nor am I a criminal. I would not know the person and he or she would not know me. I wouldn't care what that person thinks about me, so what difference would it make? Say, he or she did learn and use something of embarrassment to me, again I say so what, I'd rather be embarrassed than deny my loved ones their security.

It seems to me that the far left, most Democrats, the 'Hollywood Elite' and certain other people are always talking about rights. The problem is that, the rights that they are usually talking about are the rights of criminals, terrorists and others out to do us harm. What about our rights, our right to life, our right to protect our spouses and our children, our right to protect our property, our right to be safe, etc..

Maybe if President Clinton would have cared as much for the American people as President Bush does, a telephone conversation would have been picked up that could have saved lives by giving us the advance information that could have prevented 9/11 (Remember, the planning for 9/11 started long before President Bush took office.).

Whether or not the far left likes it, these are trying times. We are at war, a war against terrorism. During war some sacrifices have to be made. This war may well be more important than any war we have been in since the Civil War. We have given up many freedoms during each war, including the Cold War. After each war, we got those freedoms back. Have we become too lazy, too greedy, too self indulgent to give up some freedoms in order to protect our loved ones and, perhaps, win this war.

I don't know about the rest of you, maybe some of you don't care about your friends or family, maybe some of you don't have any friends or family, but I would be willing to give up whatever privacy I have, if it would help protect my family.

One last note to those on the far left and their sympathizers: Don't give me that junk about how you are trying to help Americans by stopping the erosion of our 'freedoms'. The fact is, we enjoy more 'freedoms' today than we ever have. There is no country in the world that gives it's citizens more 'freedoms' than America.

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Bush Gets Caught Swearing On Open Mika At G8 Summit

(category: Politics, Word count: 291)
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President Bush today uttered a colorful expletive while referring to Hezbollah in what he thought was a private conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two were attending a lunch at a G8 summit and speaking candidly about the current situation in Israel, unaware there was an open mike in front of them.

Bush said something to the effect of, "someone needs to tell Hezbollah to stop that s-t". The video is available currently on CNN.com. This is not the first time Bush has gaffed with a hot mike he thought was off. Once while speaking to Cheney, he referred to a reporter as "an a--e".

While this certainly will not end his political career or send the stock market into a plunge, it points to a very important concept. What you do in public can reflect on you and your business even if you think nobody is listening.

A business owner I know was sitting in a restaurant one time badmouthing a recent issue of a magazine. As it turns out - the publisher was right next to her. He stood up and confronted her. It goes without saying she'll never get any good publicity from him.

Do you have a corporate vehicle with your business name on it? Be careful how you drive. Be careful how you park.

Did you hand out jackets with your business name to your employees? How are they behaving while wearing your logo out in public?

My attorney related the email test to me. If you ever question whether you should send out an email, just imagine it blown up poster size in front of a jury. If you're still comfortable, push send.

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