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This morning I opened the local paper to find a picture of a protest rally in Pakistan burning an American Flag.
The protest is in response to the Quran burning originally planned for tomorrow.  Since no Qurans have been burned yet, seems they're using the Dubya playbook to hold a 'preemptive protest'.  That's fine.  However, this doesn't illicit the emotional response they were looking for.  I don't think they understand what it means to actually respect freedom.

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I've warned about this for a while now, that the Constitution is not an ala carte menu, and that efforts to pick and choose which amendments and freedoms are allowed would backfire on all of us.  At the end of the day, all our rights and freedoms are just words on paper.  Their only legitimacy is our interpretation of them and the respect we finally give them.  And they will all be interpreted equally.  If we overly parse and restrict individual freedom on one, we open the door to restrict all of them.

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The Chicagoland area is crisscrossed by numerous high voltage power lines owned by ComEd.  Many of these lines pass through highly developed residential areas, with houses lining both sides of the ComEd right of way.  Except for an occasional bike path winding through, the area under the power lines is simply vacant mowed fields.

Decades ago suburbs started leasing plots of land for community gardens.  These programs are extremely popular, with plots always in demand and fully farmed each year.  Demand was so great that some communities started farming outside their allotted area and building unauthorized sheds.  Citing safety and maintenance access concerns, ComEd began terminating these leases several years ago when they came up for renewal.  However, ComEd is now terminating all remaining leases where there have never been issues, in the name of fairness.

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Venus, Mars and Saturn are in the homestretch of a long developing planetary alignment.  Currently appearing in a nearly straight line stretching away from the setting sun, they will slowly draw together in the western evening sky as July progresses, finally forming a small triangle on Aug 9th before fading into the sunset.  And if you watch this dance unfold you’ll be able to see first hand how the entire Earth and our fellow planets go hurtling around the sun through their orbits.

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First you change the narrative, and the GOP does it beautifully.  Why am I reading on Daily Kos discussions about giving terrorist suspects their Miranda Rights?  The reading of Miranda Rights to a suspect at the time of arrest does not magically bestow those rights, by the simple act of speaking them out loud.  On the contrary, those rights are innate, guaranteed to every American citizen by the Constitution itself.  The 5th Amendment protects all of us against self-incrimination.  We all have a God given right to remain silent and be secure in our persons at the same time.

To use the GOP's Orwellian language, that Miranda Rights are given, well that which is given can be taken away.

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You're a fiscal conservative, we get it.  You don't like to spend money, I understand.  I don't want to waste money either.  But $10 Billion dollars so that people can keep the heat on, so that we keep the economy moving, isn't wasting money.

It's interesting, Sen. Bunning, that you protest so vehemently over spending money on the American people.  But where was your objection over the money wasted in Iraq?  You've voted for everything, every wasted dollar.

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When I saw the news that Blue Cross Blue Shield in California was raising it's premiums 39%, my first thought wasn't "What can the gov't do about it?", but "Why the hell is anyone still their customer?"

If Allstate told me my car insurance was going up 39%, 5 minutes later I'd be calling State Farm, American Family, Geico.  They're a private company, and I can withdraw my business.  Allstate knows this, which is why my car insurance DOESN'T go up 39%.

That is what the government should be doing.  Enabling every BCBS customer in California the access to the free market that American capitalism is all about.  And make the GOP choke on it.

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The American people are in favor of the Public Option.  They support long overdue reforms of the healthcare system to increase competition, implement much needed regulation, increase system efficiency and to reduce costs.  They are looking for politicians who are not bribed by and beholden to the Insurance companies.  The public is watching and waiting for reform, and was patiently supportive for a year.  That is, until the excise tax on healthcare plans was proposed.  After that, the union base support was lost, middle class and independent support was lost, and a Massachusetts Senate seat was lost.  And the losses will continue until you understand why it is a fundamentally wrong action.

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I want to put to a wider audience a question that came up last week during the excise tax debate.  It’s a question I feel cuts to the heart of the debate, and one that this site does not have agreement on.  Last week I received two answers that are incompatible with each other.  If we are to successfully reform healthcare, this question needs a single answer:   What is the level of care we should expect from the healthcare system such that we can successfully manage costs?


Cadillac Insurance Plans:

10%4 votes
76%30 votes
12%5 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Before you cut my head off over the headline, look at the facts.  Joe Wilson claims illegal imigrants will be covered with health care.  Is he wrong?  Do we toss sick illegals out into the streets to die?

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I don't have a lot of time to write this, I'm at work.  But a Republican co-worker is rubbing this in my face, so I wanted to get it up so people can see it and talk about it.  This is from an EE Times article us engineers get, on outsourcing and the support Obama seems to be showing for it.

The full article is here with the relevant sections below.

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It's amazing how a few beers can shatter the ice, can loosen the tongue, can get it all out in the open.

The setting:  An office retirement party, where the political talk gets hot and heavy.

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