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madamesilverspurs's Journal
madamesilverspurs's Journal
December 31, 2012

Please - celebrate safely!

December 31, 2012


December 31, 2012

A smidge of research help?

I've been trying to find a chart or graph that shows guns sales by year, covering at least 10 or 20 year span. Suffice it to say that doing the search on dialup has been frustrating. Can anyone direct me to such a graph/chart?

Much thanks!


December 30, 2012


Even with that 2013 cost of living adjustment my Social Security check is still under $800. It's so inadequate that I must, out of simple necessity, depend on several government programs in order to get by. There is no luxury, I do not live in palacial splendor, nor do I dine on caviar or shop at Tiffany's. My budget allows for one new pair of shoes per year, and those shoes are worn every day; hot glue usually holds them together the last couple of months until I can replace them. Yet, Boehner and McConnell seem to think that reducing my benefits will somehow fix the budget. If there's logic in that I wish someone would point it out, because from where I sit it just looks cruel.


December 30, 2012


Did this in response to a facebook diatribe against re-instating the ban on assault weapons.

December 29, 2012

Not entirely "do-nothing"...

December 28, 2012


December 27, 2012

Timecard not stamped

December 27, 2012


Recently, Electric cars have caught the eye of manufacturers and investors who have started working towards this technology more aggressively. The drawback, currently, is that electric cars are too costly. But now comes a technology that might just change all that. A little car known as Airpod is the first commercial project of this technology; technology that runs the car on compressed air! Which means there will be zero percent emission level. And yes, it is cheap.

Airpod’s technology was originally created in France at Motor Development International, but after some time, it was bought by Tata Motors (an Indian car manufacturer). This technology is so far the most environmentally and economically friendly. Airpod’s tank holds about 175 liters of compressed air that can be filled at special stations (which are right now not available in many countries) or by activating the on-board electric motor to suck air in from the outside. The total cost of the car is $10,000 and it takes just a few pennies to refill the car cylinder or you can use the on-board electric motor pump. Right now, the car has no steering, rather it just has a joystick to control its movements. But in the future, design and the control will be worked on. Check out this short documentary by CNN on this technology.



December 27, 2012

The first President Bush is very sick.

While not wishing the man ill, there's nothing wrong with wanting an honest accounting of his twelve years in the White House (and prior, for that matter). There's still much to be explained.

Remember Iran-Contra?

"The United States gives terrorists no rewards and no guarantees. We make no concessions; we make no deals."
--President Reagan, June 30, 1985

"...the moral equal of our Founding Fathers."
--Ronald Reagan, describing the Nicaraguan contras

"I guess in a way they are counter-revolutionary and God bless them for being that. And I guess that makes them contras and so it makes me a contra, too"
--Ronald Reagan

Thus did Reagan declare his support for the contras--remnants from the old Somoza regime--who were attempting to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Reagan hoped to sway a reluctant American public to back the contra cause as well.

However, enlisting public support was turning out to be a hard sell. Many Americans were wary of the CIA-trained mercenaries due in large part to numerous reports of atrocities committed by the contras against Nicaraguan civilians.

More bad press came in the form of a CIA manual written for the contras. The manual instructed on such things as how to blackmail unwilling Nicaraguans into supporting the contra cause, how to create martyrs by arranging the deaths of fellow contras, and how to "neutralize" Nicaraguan government officials.

Public skepticism increased further when the CIA was caught mining Nicaragua's harbors. When Nicaragua brought charges in the World Court against CIA aggression, the Reagan administration announced that it would not be bound by the World Court ruling.

Many in Congress were growing weary of CIA recklessness, including Republican Senator Barry Goldwater. Regarding the mining of Nicaragua's harbors Goldwater wrote, "This is an act violating international law. It is an act of war." Later, CIA Director William Casey would apologize to the Senate Intelligence Committee for keeping the Nicaraguan mining a secret.

However, the U.S. Congress was not swayed by Casey's belated apology. In October 1984, Congress voted to cut off funding for CIA-contra operations.

With the Congressional cutoff, Casey decided to make an end run around Congress by "handing off" contra operations to the National Security Council (NSC). National Security Advisor John Poindexter and NSC member Lt. Col. Oliver North were placed in charge. North and Poindexter were soon employing every clandestine scheme they could think of to fund the contras.

During this period, unknown to the public, the Reagan administration was selling arms to Iran in exchange for American hostages held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian terrorists. North and Poindexter surreptitiously diverted money from these arms sales to help fund the contras--a crime for which they would later both be convicted.

The administration had tried to keep its weapon sales to Iran a secret. However, on November 3, 1986, the Beirut magazine, Al-Shiraa broke the story. This was the beginning of the Iran-contra scandal which would cause a political firestorm in the United States. The following quotes give a sense of the controversy:

"The charge has been made that the United States has shipped weapons to Iran as ransom payment for the release of American hostages in Lebanon, that the United States undercut its allies and secretly violated American policy against trafficking with terrorists.... Those charges are utterly false.... We did not--repeat--did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we."
--President Reagan, television address, November 13, 1986

"... was not fully informed on the nature of one of the activities."
--President Reagan, referring to the fact that money from weapons sales to Iran was diverted to the contras, November 25, 1986

"If he knew about it, then he has willfully broken the law; if he didn't know about it, then he is failing to do his job. After all, we expect the President to know about the foreign policy activities being run directly out of the White House."
--Senator John Glenn, November 25, 1986

"When someone says, 'But he was giving arms to people he knew had killed our Marines,' it's hard to respond to that."
--House Republican Robert Dornan, previously one of Reagan's most ardent supporters, December 11, 1986

"The simple truth is, 'I don't remember--period.'"
--President Reagan, responding to a question about when he authorized arms shipments to Iran, February 2, 1987

"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
--Reagan in a television address is forced to acknowledge "the facts and the evidence" uncovered by the commission that Reagan appointed to look into the matter, March 4, 1987

"I told you all the truth that first day after...everything hit the fan."
--President Reagan, June 11, 1987

Four years after Reagan left office, more of the truth would come out. In 1992, former defense secretary Casper Weinberger was ordered to turn over notes of a January 1986 White House meeting. Weinberger's notes said, "President decided to go with Israeli-Iranian offer to release our 5 hostages in return for sale of 4,000 TOWs [U.S. missiles] to Iran by Israel. George Shultz + I opposed--Bill Casey, Ed Meese + VP favored--as did Poindexter."

Before leaving office in 1992, then-president George Bush pardoned Weinberger and five others who were facing felony charges stemming from Iran-contra. The Bush pardons effectively ended the Iran-contra investigation.

"If the American people ever find out what we have done, they will chase us down the streets and lynch us."
--George H. W. Bush, to White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, June 1992, in response to the question, "What will the people do if they ever find out the truth about Iraq-gate and Iran-contra?"



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