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March 21, 2009

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On the other hand, I will go out of my way to stop at a Citgo station, for the express purpose of supporting Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution. While I oppose the repression of the press in Venezuela, it has very obvious President Chavez has improved conditions in Venezuela. Eight years of rule by the Bush administration has proven the failure of free market capitalism. The US is now moving toward the Venezuelan economic model. We have, in effect, nationalized our banks. The reason for this is banks have failed under the “free market” concept. The failure is not limited to the banks. Practically EVERY major financial institution in America has failed. The institutions failed because they exploited loopholes and any opportunities not subject to regulation, and engaged on an orgy of leverage. They are smart guys and they knew they were selling out the country in the process, but that does not matter in unregulated free market capitalism. The only thing that matters is the money. They veiled themselves in the flag and carried a bible, but that was just symbolism for the masses. Remember Mr. Navy and Mr. Jesus boy, Ken Lay? America is now following the Venezuelan model in a big way. First the banks, then the oil companies. The right wing free marketers had their chance and they blew it. Bring on the socialism. Bring on nationalization of the oil companies. It cannot be stopped.

Wow, Scott. So much for individual rights in your world, huh? I think regulating geosciences are the least of the worries when the state dictates all. Good luck in your oligarchy there. Freedom=Slavery is a funny concept of the socialist agenda. As Margaret Thatcher said, "the problem with socialism is pretty soon you run out of other people's money to spend". Let the state steal everyones property is the dictate of a kleptocracy. Not a sustainable political system. No different than the Genghis Kahn.

"Freedom=Slavery is a funny concept of the socialist agenda."

Like the US occupation of Iraq was really intended to liberate the people of Iraq? Do we have to bend our knee and agree to such nonsense? If democracy had anything whatsoever to do with this issue, we could have started with Kuwait or perhaps Florida.

"As Margaret Thatcher said, "the problem with socialism is pretty soon you run out of other people's money to spend". "

Aren't we like the proverbial "pots" calling the kettles: "black?" We are borrowing more money from other people than any nation in history. Will we only become socialists when everyone else HAS run out of money for us to borrow? Or shouldn't ills be counted from their inception?

"Let the state steal everyones property is the dictate of a kleptocracy."

The necessity and Genesis of this kleptocracy BEGAN in earnest when our budget deficits began exploding under Ronald Reagan. Do Republicans think that budget deficits never result in increased tax burdens? Or only deficits run up by democrats count? Are Republicans going to call Obama a socialist when he attempts to raise enough taxes to pay for the deficits of past administrations as well as his own? If Republican exaggerations were true, all they could say is that he is just like them... only the beneficiaries of Obama's largesse won't golf (or hunt) with Dick Cheney.

I think the basic problem today is that virtually none of the rules by which the world really operates can be spoken aloud without violating the morality we were all taught (or were supposed to have learned) in Sunday school. After Sunday school, if you saw a bully beating a weakling you would feel safe reporting it. But after the Bush admin, we feel obligated to bite our lips when certain Bullies are in action. And though highly-placed bullies may have excuses, every would-be bully sees it as precedent that he need only have an excuse when he goes into action. Any excuse will do. This is lawlessness. It is the type of order that is based on the prejudicial application of law, which is the same thing as no law at all.

The way things are going (wild philosophical swings) between republicans and democrats, if the fate of the countries economy were like the physical custody of an infant, they are both evidently willing to pull out its arms and legs to prevent the other side from saving it.

It is true I have opposed regulation of geoscientists by the State of Texas. The reason for this is the regulators are political appointees and represent the interests of corporations, employers and multinationals. This is not meaningful regulation. It is just another power grab by corporate interests. Geoscientists as a group, have never caused this state one ounce of grief. To the contrary, they have helped this State tremendously. There is no defined need to regulate geoscientists. When was the last time you saw headlines or news reports of marauding geologists? I have never met a more dedicated, straight shooting bunch in my life. The sleaze is not found at the drafting table. It does however, exist in spades in the boardrooms.

On the other hand, let me comment on the depth of our economic problem, caused by unregulated capitalism.

Walking the streets of Houston or Austin, one may not even know there is an economic meltdown. Take a look at LA, or Detroit, where the median home price has fallen to $7500.00. That is not a typo. It is real tough out there for a lot of folks, and this time they are not going to take it. The conservatives stole too much.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-detroit-housingjan29,0,5435392.story

The party is over. Bush and his bunch burned the house down for a buck. Now it’s our turn and we are going to continue the socialization. Medicine and the oil business better get ready because they are in the cross hairs.

The oil business will do fine under socialization. The Ken Lay, Boone Pickens types will not do well.

Fred...thanks for the post. I think Freedom = Slavery is Orwell, and was intended to warn of the tactics of fascism, the opposite of socialism. Projecting Orwell’s blueprint of totalitarianism on a socialist agenda is straight out of Karl Roves’s playbook.

Scott, I think your comment about the medical and oil industries better get ready is correct. I also think you may not be far off the mark with the "cross hairs" analogy. Just remember that "fly over country" is populated by alot of folks that are "clingers", and the change you get might be more of the "cross hair" type for you and your ilk.
Just to be clear, you and Fred's comments are unbelievable and I hope I am just being baited by trolls.

Scott and Fred, I admit to be an old fashioned clinger and replied without all of the consideration your comments were due. I am in Austin enough to know that you are probably heartfelt with your comments. So upon further reflection, you are both probably correct, the socialist agenda has worked so well in every country that it has been given the full opportunity to inspire the population with hard work and esprit de corps, that I must commend you both for your brave opinions. Shucks, Mao's Cultural Revolution is probably the shining example of socialism at its best, coming up with solutions to hard issues. Too many people to feed, work 50 million to death, problem solved. So you go for it, and just keep hope alive, baby. All your dreams will come true...especially once the drugs kick in. And come to think of it, that is the medical miracle that BO can give to the country, Boomsday here we come, Yeehaw!

Ok Claude,..I feel your anger but I am not getting anything else. What are the ”clingers” going to cling to? Will they cling to Dick Cheney’s ideas regarding foreign policy? Will they cling to George Bush’s view of unregulated free market capitalism? Will they cling to the religious right’s view that torture is consistent with American values? There is nothing left to cling to. The right wing, Christian Conservative movement delivered only greed and more greed. Middle America is broke, and they are depending on socialist leadership to resurrect a wrecked America. The “clingers” don’t have any ideology beyond “give me money now”. The clingers are bewildered, rudderless and have no leadership, excepting Rush.

I love a spirited discussion!

HAHA, Scott, your dogma is bankrupt and you know it is so. As for socialist leadership, if you like Party rhetoric, that is your business, I find it tedious and odious that I have to pay for BO and his leeches. I will leave you with this advice, load up on Vodka; it will help with the coming disappointments.
But do have a good day now and please tell Jugo hello.

Claude,

"the socialist agenda..."

Let me ask a really simple question. Is it a socialist trait to opine that the USA is obligated to pay back the money it has borrowed? Do you think it is somehow "socialist" to suggest that we must eventually ante up (in taxes...) the cash necessary to pay our debts? (This is not a rhetorical question. I'd like you to answer it.)

If that is not enough to warrant implying that I am a fan of socialism, then what basis do you have for such an implication?

(If that IS what got your goose... then you must believe that Uncle Sam is entitled to rip-off everyone in our galaxy who bought T-bills...)

It was the host of this board who wrote that "the problem with socialism is that eventually, it runs out of other peoples money..." Well, the world is almost out of money, and just because I point out that WE match the description that OC suggested... does not make ME the socialist. I am the messenger pointing out that you are like the "pot" that calls kettles, "black."

Socialism... hmmm. Too soon to leave this subject. NASA, interstate highways, NSF, NIH, national defense (with emphasis on "defense"), federally-funded research of every flavor, National Parks, the USGS, NOAA, EPA, DOE, Dept. of Agriculture.... All of these probably strike some people as "socialist" because they are not owned and operated by selfish, greedy people for their own selfish interests. If appreciation and enthusiasm for the work done by these agencies is enough to make me a socialist, then have at it, I am a socialist. But I have my limits too and when the FBi decides to burn down a church, or kill the wives, children, friends and dogs of random gun owners....I think they deserve to be water-boarded and sent to Gitmo.

Just enough regulation to make avoid big crises, and stop right there.

For an oil and gas executive, you sure don't know your industry. gasoline comes from oil and it's a commodity that everyone can't seem to get enough of. So it really does not matter if CITGO, as a brand, fails. Venezuela will still sell their oil. In fact, they do sell their oil to other brands.

By the way, if you think the 911 terrorist are from your best friends - the Saudis.

C, you are certainly correct. I choose not to support the brand, even knowing that it is sold in many other stations. Certainly may be a hollow gesture, but no more so than Scott's gesture to buy there to support the "Bolicastroan Revolution".

In REAL fact, Hugo has helped me by being an idiot and destroying his production capacity with his "redistribution" schemes.

And you're right, I certainly don't understand my industry in all its glory. Certainly not to the extent a smart guy like you must.

So choke, why are you so scared of socialists? Consider any reasonable ranking of countries by standard of living. You won’t find the U.S. on the top of any of them. You will find that all of the countries above us on the lists are socialist countries.

You have had great and varied participation on this blog entry. I have not seen this degree of activity in a long time. That is a good thing. The participation makes this blog relevant.

Scott, 'standard of living' measurements are completely subjective and highly political.

Ok Dave..what do you think? Do you think Norway or Switzerland have a higher standard of living than US?

No. Norway didn't allow skateboarding till 1989. The govt. in Norway thought that by banning skateboarding they would reduce injuries related to the sport, a benevolent sort of law. All they did was limit freedom. For the sake of this discussion, I choose to measure standard of living in public skate parks per capita. Something as simple as that is as good a measure of standard of living as anything else. USA > Norway. My ex-girlfriend was also Norwegian. Screw Norway.

Let’s compare Switzerland to the USA. I define standard of living in the amount of goofy languages I have to put up with on a daily basis, the fewer the better. USA FTW.

How many people actually have 8 true friends?Hardly anyone I know.But some of us have all right friends and good friends.

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