Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama Open Government Memoranda: New President, different approach.

January 22, 12:30 AM
by Michael Salla, Ph.D., Honolulu Exopolitics Examiner

On his first full day as President, Barack Obama issued two Executive Orders and three Presidential Memorandum that will start an era of transparent and Open Government. The White House Office of the Press Secretary released a statement outlining the sweeping changes to be implemented by the Obama administration. In his Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, and the Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act President Obama instructed :








"... all members of his administration to operate under principles of openness, transparency and of engaging citizens with their government. To implement these principles and make them concrete, the Memorandum on Transparency instructs three senior officials to produce an Open Government Directive within 120 days directing specific actions to implement the principles in the Memorandum. And the Memorandum on FOIA instructs the Attorney General to in that same time period issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the FOIA context."


President Obama emphasized that his Administration “is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” ...

see more at: The Examiner

My comments:

The new President and the new government have many detractors. There are a great many people in this nation who are predisposed to consider any action proposed, or taken, by The President or his administration to be anti-American and in some way totalitarian socialism at work to subvert our national heritage, identity and well-being. It remains to be seen whether there is any validity to their position. I prefer to adopt a supportive, if reserved, position and await actions and events - without, however, abdicating the right to offer constructive criticism to the leaders of the new government.

It is, whether you approve or not, the government of all Americans - nationals of The United States of America, that is - and must, if you claim to be a patriot, be supported unless your claim that it is the beginning of a totalitarian dictatorship should prove to be correct. I might remind you, in fact I will remind you, that as recently as January 19th some left-wing websites were still preaching that President Bush and "Darth Cheney" would somehow contrive to circumvent the election and refuse to relinquish their offices. That has not proven to be correct, in spite of all the venomous rhetoric served up and swallowed by the leftist conspiracy theorists and their rapt followers.

That tinfoil hat leftist excreta having been put to rest, for now, we are now being inundated by parallel , if not identical, excreta from the tinfoil hat right. As a free-born American citizen, and- thank God -that is now the only kind we have, you have the right to disagree with your government and to say so. You might, arguably, have the right to malign the office holders unjustly and to accuse them of any kind of scurrilous action of which you can conceive including unjust ad hominem attacks, note that I said "arguably", that perceived right is the province of the courts - however, those actions are definitely not in the best interests of The Republic.
A more constructive course of action for a reasonable citizen would be to watch events and to communicate to your elected representatives, including President Obama, areas where you believe things are being done incorrectly or improperly - you might even consider offering ideas as to how things might be done correctly.

President Obama won this election by putting in place a communications network, over the internet and in person, which collected people who thought that the paradigm being followed by the administration of President Bush was missing the point, as far as they were concerned. It was not done by Bush-haters or McCain haters. It was not done by haters, period. It was done by millions of people, mostly working class, who felt that the government was concentrating effort, and tax dollars, in the wrong places, with the wrong priorities. It was done by the efforts of millions of people who were, and are, optimistic enough to care - and to act.

President Bush is justly proud that his efforts helped to keep us free from terrorist attacks in our homeland subsequent to September 11, 2001. The Obama campaign, as far as I know, did not belittle nor diminish that achievment and neither do I. Everyone is aware that it is possible, even likely, that the international terrorists against whom we are making war will seek to strike at us - in The United States - now that we have a new administration in charge. Electing Senator McCain would not have changed that. The terrorists will be probing for weak points and would have done so without regard to whom we had elected. Whether they will perceive that there is, in fact, an opportunity to strike effectively and will follow it up is at this point unknown.

Many question whether President Obama's administration will be able to defend against or follow up such an attack, should it occur, as well as a Republican administration would be able to do. I'm sure that the terrorists likewise are wondering. I think that President Obama's detractors do a major disservice to the nation by airing those doubts and in effect offering reassurance to the terrorists that they might succeed where they surely would not against a republican government. If you have doubts about our national readiness to prevent or to retaliate against such an attack - I urge you to communicate with your elected representatives: members of Congress, Senators and the office of the President in private rather than using newspapers or radio or television or the internet as a forum to sound off about our possible weakness or lack of preparedness.

There are people in the world, many of them, who are - for one reason or another - not friends of the US. Unfortunately a lot of them also live within our borders, I'm not - in this instance - talking about illegal immigrants, or any other group of immigrants, I'm referring to those among us who seem, always, to take the attitude that whatever the US wants or does is wrong. I'm not asking for a witch-hunt or any kind of latter-day pogrom, I'm asking for a little introspection by Americans who feel alienated from the government, populace and apparent aims of the United States.

This country is not, unfortunately, always right. We have made a lot of mistakes during our approximately two and a quarter centuries of self government. We - OK, our ancestors, - allowed slavery to persist, for economic reasons even though everyone knew - KNEW- that it was wrong. We, the part of us that is European in descent, for most of us that would be only one side of the family tree - nearly exterminated the Native Americans. A lot, if not most of us, are descended either from those slaves or from those Native Americans (often both) as well as from the Europeans and a lot of us are too new the the country to have ancestors who were involved in any way in any of it. There were a lot of ugly things going on in this favored land in colonial times and in early independence and right up to this very day some of it still rears its ugly head.

But, and this is a very large "but", we have the ability to change and to fulfill the promises made by the founding fathers of the nation, even if they might have been a bit hypocritical in the documents which they left us. We don't have to keep our brothers and sisters down in order that we might reach the top. We can all advance together and actually form that "more perfect union" and make available to everyone "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - unfortunately we cannot guaranty that everyone will be a "rock star" with money for nothing and... well you know. But, you've got to admit that it does sound good. Unfortunately it does not work that way.

To be wealthy you have to either be very lucky- inheriting is good... Or you have to work very hard - and be very lucky, or you have to be very smart - and very lucky, or be very talented - and very lucky, or steal the money - and be lucky enough to not get caught. Ok, we failed all those, we missed the lucky part. Most of us are pretty smart and we work pretty hard and we are pretty talented at something, some of us are very talented but still didn't have the luck it took to make the big bucks. It's a sorry deal, but, no matter how many people are in the pyramid, there's still only one at the top.

Support your country, try to make it what it promises to be. Support your country as you would a beloved family member, not by hiding the faults, but by trying - in private, out of the view of outsiders, to counsel for correction. This Nation, and this People, is worth that consideration.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A recent news story in the Las Vegas area - re: legal prostitution

Lawmaker Proposes Saving State Budget with Sex

Updated: Jan 22, 2009 06:13 PM


State law bans prostitution in Clark and Washoe Counties and it is up to individual county commissions in rural counties to allow the practice. But State Senator Bob Coffin says it could be time to revaluate those laws.

Political leaders say legalizing prostitution, and then taxing the industry's revenues, could raise hundreds of millions of dollars for state coffers. Senator Coffin believes the time has come for Nevada to seriously consider the concept.

"The point is that this act continues to occur and will always occur and it cannot be stopped and it can only be regulated, and perhaps taxed," he said.

Coffin says his first goal would be to tax existing bordellos, such as those currently operating in Nye County, as well as strip clubs and escort services elsewhere in the state, "When you add it all up, there's a lot to be said for creating a tax on the bordellos, the strip clubs and the escort or entertainment services."

Mayor Oscar Goodman says he's always been willing to have a discussion about legalizing prostitution, but says he will not go so far as to advocate for the change, "I have met with folks from that industry who make a very compelling argument that it could generate $200 million a year in tax dollars. That would buy a lot of textbooks, pay for a lot of teachers."

Proponents believe that legalizing prostitution would also make a safer environment for those working in the industry.

But UNLV Assistant Professor Alexis Kennedy says the research does not necessarily back up that claim, "Research that has been done on the brothel system has shown less violence in the brothels, but it does not remove violence and it is only open to people who can work there legally -- those without diseases, addiction issues, of the age of majority. So it does not capture all of the population either."

A spokesman for Las Vegas Metro Police says, at this point, the department does not know if legalizing prostitution would create any public safety issues. The department says they are going to reserve judgment until they see the specific language of the legislation, if it ever gets that far.

See original story here.

My take on this issue:


Never mind Oscar (Las Vegas' Mayor Goodwin), the clown prince, It seems to me that - given the huge amount of illegal prostitution in Las Vegas and Reno - a governmental regulation which mandates the things that are required in legal brothels in Nevada could only be a positive thing.

The prostitution is not going to cease. Whether you approve or not is of no significance, it will not diminish the big dollars generated. Unless you are currently a customer and decide to no longer buy the services.

If there were legal, regulated brothels many of the women who work the streets would be there in a minute, as it is a far less dangerous environment in which to conduct business.

If there were legal brothels - IMHO - many, if not most of those looking for paid sex would patronize those establishments as a far safer alternative to picking up a streetwalker or bar-cruiser of unknown health and of unknown motives. Patrons are often robbed or otherwise harmed by unregulated prostitutes or their controllers. Often it is not something the women take part in voluntarily.

I think that the casino industry does not want the competition of the bars and other amenities provided by brothels or we would have them already, after all - conduct which was, and still is in many places regarded as sinful, has been the "stock-in-trade" of Nevada in general and Las Vegas in particular for generations. Yes, folks, it's not our huge manufacturing capacity which pays the bills here...

I don't patronize prostitutes, and I don't particularly care for the business in any form but that certainly does not change the fact that they exist and that there are customers aplenty for the services offered. If you should happen to want to see for yourself, I recommend a short tour through the Sprint - sorry -Embarq yellow pages: start just past engraving and you will find entertainers and so on. Full page advertisements in the yellow pages are not inexpensive. I'm guessing that these businesses generate a lot of income.

I also think that the availability of legal, regulated brothels would cut deeply into the profits of those who entice or force young women and under-aged girls into the sex trade. I don't know of any hard data which will support or falsify my opinions pertaining to this matter but will welcome any hard information. I'll even listen to your unsupported beliefs. Yes, yes.. I know that it's a sin and that Christians are against it as are Jews and Muslims. Hell, maybe even the Zoroastrians are against it by now. Fear of being stoned does not stop the behavior, fear of prison does not stop it - curtail it a bit? Probably that is true - but it certainly is not stopped.

Few rational men would choose a liaison with a woman of unknown health and possibly larcenous designs for sexual gratification if a legal, licensed and regulated establishment were available to them. There are among us men, and maybe some women too, who are not really interested in having a sexual partner who is above the legal age of consent. I choose to consider that as irrational. Those people will not, probably, go to a brothel but will continue to pick up - or kidnap young girls off the streets if they are able to do so... That is a whole separate issue, and is properly a law enforcement challenge. People who coerce under-age children, even those who think that they are grown-up, into prostitution are beneath my conception of human and... well, I'd better not go there.

On the other hand I don't think that unemployed females should be denied unemployment compensation by the state because they decline to accept a job in a brothel. I'm not a lawyer and can't interpret the law in such cases but have not heard of such a thing happening in Nye County or any county in Nevada where prostitution is allowed. If you know different - please enlighten me.

In short - denying that prostitution exists does not make it go away, nor does making it a crime. People, male and female, will do what they want - or need - in this area without respect to its illegality or your - or my -belief in its immorality. No jurisdiction, even using draconian measures has ever in the history of the human race succeeded in eliminating sex for pay, even when or where it was a capital offense . Refusing to legalize the business because we believe it to be wrong does not change the facts.
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Monday, January 19, 2009

MAJOR SECURITY FOR PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

From "The Scotsman.com"


Published Date: 20 January 2009


By Chris Stephen in New York


WASHINGTON DC is going into lockdown today for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, the biggest single-day security operation the world has ever seen.


With crowds of up to four million predicted and most of the world tuning in, a 3.5sq mile area of the city will be sealed off, with entry possible only via airport-style metal detectors.


Further security cordons extend in concentric rings out from the Capitol building, with all bridges sealed off within an even larger area. Some 50,000 security personnel from 58 services will flood the city, in an operation costing $80 million (£55 million).


"It will be the most security, as far as I'm aware, that any inauguration's had," the homeland security chief, Michael Chertoff, said.


Drawing on the experience of the 2005 London Tube bombings, when the bombers used outlying stations as staging points, 1,000 plainclothes FBI officers in 155 teams will mingle with crowds at subway stations across Washington, hoping to spot would-be terrorists.


At the tip of the security spear are the so-called "Men in Black", a 100-strong unit of snipers from the Secret Service.


Armed with a customised weapon, the snipers are able to hit a target the size of a saucer at 1,000 yards.


From early this morning, they will be deployed in teams of two on rooftops along Pennsylvania Avenue to watch over the presidential motorcade.


When one of the team spots a threat, the other trains his rifle on the target while the spotter takes the role of "wind caller", advising on corrections for wind based on flags and chimney smoke – one reason the Secret Service says the more flags on display the better.


Pictures from Washington's 5,265 surveillance cameras will be fed into a central security command centre.


More than 8,000 state and federal police are in the city, with attention centred on the 1.9-mile Mall, where more than a million will gather to watch the swearing-in on giant TV screens.


An additional 10,000 part-time National Guard troops will be deployed, with 20,000 in reserve, along with an undisclosed number of regular troops.


Hoteliers, meanwhile, have received training on how to spot a terrorist threat, with the authorities mindful that the Mumbai attackers in November singled out hotels as "soft" targets.


Chemical, biological and radiological detectors, installed after 9/11, are already in place, and public buildings will be closed.


Coast Guard craft will patrol the Potomac river, and F-16 fighters will roam the skies, with all civil air traffic banned. "I think we are ready," Mr Chertoff said. "Part of my job is to hope for the best and plan for the worst."


For today, the "worst" includes not just the risk of a terrorist attack, but managing huge crowds and guarding against stampedes or injury during and after the noon ceremony.


Much of the security effort is focused on the internet, with unprecedented attention being paid both to al-Qaeda cyber traffic and messages sent by so-called white supremacists.


In August, a group of white neo-Nazis with sniper rifles were arrested at the Democratic Party's Denver convention.


The only public airing of neo-Nazi views has been the declaration by the National Knights, a faction of the Ku Klux Klan, that they will wear black armbands and display the US flag upside down to protest at the inauguration of the first mixed-race president.


'We should learn from King's vision'


THE president-elect yesterday brought a whole new level of interest to "watching paint dry".


Barack Obama helped paint a wall at a shelter for homeless teenagers in south-east Washington, an area marred by poverty and deprivation, to mark the public holiday celebrating the birth of the assassinated civil rights icon Martin Luther King.


The shelter provides training for the youngsters and places an emphasis on self-reliance, a virtue that Mr Obama extolled during his election campaign.


"Dr Martin Luther King's was a life lived in loving service to others," said Mr Obama, who, in earlier years, worked in similar projects for the unemployed of Chicago's South Side. "His was a vision that all Americans might share the freedom to make of our lives what we will."


He appealed to the nation to remember King through service to others.


"As we honour that legacy, it's not a day just to pause and reflect – it's a day to act," he said.


"I ask the American people to turn today's efforts into an ongoing commitment to enriching the lives of others in their communities, their cities and their country."

See original article

One hopes that the deranged and/or extremist element of the US population as well as their ilk from other lands will stay away from the capitol Tuesday, and that this historic event will be allowed to occur without untoward incident. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the election results this is democracy in action and is the will of the majority of the people of the land and should be respected by all for that reason. To president George W. Bush: Thank you for all the good you have done and best wishes for the future. To President-elect Barrack Obama: Congratulations upon achieving the highest office of the nation and best wishes for a successful term of office and for a satisfying future.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

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The ever observant Mac Tonnies has blown the whistle.
See it here: Posthuman Blues