One Year of Standing Up For America

stand-up-for-americaSo here I sit on Novermber 11, 2009. It was one year ago today that I began writing this blog. It seems so long ago, yet the time has passed quite quickly. I remember discussing the decision to write a political blog with Rani, who you all will soon know as a viable candidate for office, and telling her that I just want a place to discuss political issues where the people will treat each other with respect, where the issue can be debated on merit, and where we can figure out a path forward for this country. My only option, we decided, was to create that site myself. And ‘Stand Up For America’ was born on that day in that conversation. It was slow going at first, but soon there were many coming to discuss things in an environment where different opinions were respected. The site grew. So as I sit tonight writing this article, as I have done for 3-4 hours every night for the last year, I want to take the time to acknowledge the people here, the tremendous amount of support that I have received, and hand out a few “awards”

I have to say that thus far the blog has been far more successful than I ever dreamed it would be in the beginning. I imagined I would start writing, add some thoughts, and maybe ten or fifteen people would be interested. I figured they would all be people I know. But I wrote it like I was a big star anyway, so that no one would know it was a single person simply putting his thoughts out there. The only rule I put in place, which is still in place, was that everyone had to be treated with respect. I believe, in hindsight, that this was the best thing I could have done. It is amazing how few places there are on the net where different ideas can come and discuss, without the personal attacks that tend to be a defining feature of political discourse. And the frequent comments and emails from those who enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the site told me early on I had hit the mark.

What has resulted is a site that gets roughly between 3,000 and 5,000 hits a day, and that number continues to grow each day. I remember being excited about having 18 hits in a day during that first month. I have an email list that I started putting together of the folks who have come and discussed on the site. I never have gotten to finish it, but in June, that list was up to 500 people. To date there have been over 350 articles written. There have been over half a million visits to the site. And there have been roughly 50,000 comments (along with another 6,000 spams on top of that!). There are links to this site on almost 150 other sites out there who found us interesting. Just imagine what we will be saying next year!

However, I am not naive enough to believe that this is something that I have accomplished on my own. I created this community and set up a simple rule. But all of you are the ones who have made it a place where people want to come. I cannot thank you enough for what you have allowed me to do for the last year. As your host I have had the pleasure of writing what I believe, telling folks what I think, and getting honest feedback on the thoughts I have. I have had the joy of doing something that I am proud to do.

Perhaps the most surprising thing for me as I look back, is the caliber of people that have been attracted to the site. When I began, I foolishly felt that I would be writing a blog that informed others about the political world. Having worked for the government for so long, in one form or another, I felt that it was I who would be doing the teaching. Such arrogance!  What I have found is that I have learned far more than I have taught on this site. While I choose the topics and I write the original articles, it has tended to be the comments that have been the rest of the story. I have learned more from each and every one of you than I can possibly convey in words. I think that I can honestly say that there have been a VERY small number of unintelligent folks that come to this site, and they always seem to go away rather quickly. Those that have remained are some of the more intelligent people that I have known.

So I want to say that I appreciate every single one of you and the points of view that you bring to the conversations. We have voices from the far left, the far right, and everywhere in between. We have voices of anarchy, of statism, of individualism, of objectivism, of nearly every ism I can think of. We have people with no religion, and folks from several of the major religions. And the amazing thing is that we all get along. We discuss our points with respect. And in that way, I think that Stand Up For America has become a shining example of the type of dialogue that can be had even in today’s bitter political climate. I truly believe now, as I did a year ago, that we all have far more in common than what separates us. And I believe that the path forward for this country is dialogue between those with different ideals that is not laced with bitterness and partisanship. If we can make America into what this blog has become, we will be well on our way to forming a better climate and a better path forward for this country.

I would like to give a special thanks to Mrs. Weapon for the support that she has given me from day one, and without waver. It was not easy for her to agree to give up her time with me so that I could spend 4-6 hours a day tending a political blog that doesn’t make us any money. She is not particularly political, so this wasn’t a passion for her. But she has always supported my doing so. She always gave me the urging to do what I think will make a difference for people. After a year of writing, I dread to think of the numbers of hours of time together that she has sacrificed so that I can do this. Anyone who has ever undertaken a time consuming endeavor knows the strain that it can put on a relationship if there is no support. I have never had to have one moment of that strain over this blog. And that has made all the difference in the world in my writing it. I love you honey, and I truly appreciate the freedom you have given me to do what I love doing. You are far more of a wife than I ever could have hoped for.

And now for a couple of year one awards that I want to give out to recognize some of the folks who have made a difference in the blog. I have to say up front that the number of important contributors here would take me days to recognize. I wanted the awards to be more of a fun thing than anything else. So while only a few are recognized here, I hope no one feels slighted in any way.

SUFA Antagonist of the Year

Is there any real doubt as to who this would be? It is like wondering who would win a boxing match between me and Mike Tyson. Of course, our winner is Black Flag. No one has spent more time pushing the buttons of everyone on the site like good old BF. Intelligent, principled, and combative. We can always count on BF to call anyone to the carpet on any issue, even when we would rather he did not. No one can stimulate a conversation like our resident pirate.

SUFA Punching Bag of the Year

I had to go with longevity here. We have had many from the left come and go. Chris Devine, Todd, Greatergoodcs, Charlie Stella (nice how I recognized you as two people!), Mathius, Buck the Wala, Bob, and others. They are what makes the conversations happen here. Without these folks from the other side of the aisle so to speak, we would have nothing more than one sided conversations. But no left leaning commenter has lasted longer than Ray Hawkins. Ray has come and taken our abuse and questioning and condemnation for almost the entirety of SUFA’s existence. So here’s to you Ray, because I value your opinion and your point of view, and most important, your ability to look at things honestly.

SUFA Liberty Seeker of the Year

Without a doubt, this year has seen the emergence of Just A Citizen as our resident protector of the ideals of individual liberty and personal freedom. JAC offers his wisdom, his critical thought, and his empathy nearly every day on this site. And I don’t think that anyone has done more for the family feel of SUFA than JAC. He always takes the time to recognize people for who they are, with a question about their day or a well-wish for the evening. SUFA just would not be the same without him.

SUFA Guest Commentary of the Year

This was a really hard one for me to choose. I could have given the award realistically to every single guest commentary that was submitted in the first year of SUFA. We had several great ones from Black Flag. We had a great one from Bee in My Bonnet about the Canadian UHC system, and one on home schooling, and I could go on forever. I decided to name a first runner up on this one. The first runner up is G.A. Rowe and his guest commentary on the political parties. You can view it HERE . But the winner in my eyes was the Philosophy series “Building a Better Foundation for America” written primarily by JAC, with help from BF. I really felt it was a defining series of articles that set the stage for more idealistic thought going forward on the site. You can view that series by clicking on the multi-articles series page at the top of the home page.

SUFA Mom of the Year

Can we ever forget that Judy S. is here every day, taking the time to bare her soul and ask the questions we need asked. I think it is fair to say that Judy is the heart and soul of SUFA. We can count on her to always get past the politics and remember that her antagonists are people. She is the only one who gets away with regularly saying, “That is absolutely wrong and I disagree totally. By the way, I haven’t asked how your new baby is doing.” And we love you for it Judy.

SUFA Comedian of the Year

Whether he is discussing wife Emelius, Posting a comment as Canine Weapon, or taking a shot at his own beliefs, I think it is fair to say that Mathius has been a welcome addition to SUFA, not only for his intelligent discourse, but for the fact that he makes his points at the butt of a joke so often. It sure makes it easy to disagree respectfully when you are smiling as you write.

SUFA Prepared for the Apocalypse Person of the Year

I have often said that when the apocalypse comes, I am packing my stuff and heading to take refuge with G-Man. He has taken the time and effort to set up a remote location that will keep him safe and self-sustaining for as long as it takes should the worst of times come upon us. Between he and BF, we have all learned a little bit more about how we can move forward with some sort of plan should the US fall into really dire times.

SUFA Prophetic Post of the Year

This one gets handed out to a commenter from way back in the first couple of weeks. His name was “TheDoyle” and he writes a site of his own that has always been on my blogroll. Way back on November 18, 2008, a mere two weeks after the election and months before Obama took office. I had written an article saying that I would support the President regardless of my not voting for him, but that no one had the right to tell me that I had to do so. The Doyle replied to someone’s comment with the following:

AJC Said: “I hated George W. Bush and did not support him at all – especially during his second term. However, as an American, I had the right to hate him”

TheDoyle said: Let’s see if we on the right have the right to hate Obama after he screws things up. Somehow I have the feeling the whole “Dissent is Patriotic” meme is gonna go the way of the Dodo and be replaced with “Dissent is Racist”. After all thats what we were accused of BEFORE the election, now that The One is in power and the Left have already gone batshit crazy over Prop 8, just wait till we actually start in on Obama and his marxist ways. It’s gonna be a fun 4 years.

SUFA Thank God he Helps USW keep his sanity commenter of the Year

I give this one out to my brother in arms, D13. I have always been able to count on D13 to see things from the similar perspective that I see them when discussing the world of conflict and foreign policy. Sure there are some differences in opinion, but he helps me to see that I am not completely crazy in the things I believe. Our shared background means we have seen similar things and that allows me to have someone here that I know will understand my skewed point of view. Thanks to you D13, without your comments I may have snapped and thrown my computer out a window some days.

So there are my awards for the first year. There are so many people I want to recognize for the tremendous amount of time and effort that they have put into the blog and making it the success that it has become thus far. But as I said, there are simply too many to mention. I do want to mention a few names though, because these folks are here every day and regularly contribute greatly to the discussions. PeterB, Life of Illusion, Common Man, Kathy, Richmond Spitfire, CyndiP (who is always first to comment at 4:00am my time!), … I am just going to stop now because if I try to make this all inclusive I will inevitably miss someone and feel bad about it. I know I am already missing some folks because it is 5:00 am and I am not thinking well.

So now there are a couple of things that I want to ask of all of you. First, I would like ideas for where we go from here. What topics do you want to see covered that I haven’t been covering? What path should we take? I know that we went down the philosophical path there for a bit, but got away from it. What can we do to make this site even better and attract even more people to join our community? And what ideas do you have for us to reach more people? I used to post on the Fox Forum, but the format there changed and it became difficult. I currently use facebook, and have a twitter account I am attempting to get going. How can we market SUFA so that we have 20,000 hits a day and 2,000 comments for an article? What we have created is special and I want to share it with more people. Bu tI am out of good ideas at the moment, so I am looking for a little help in figuring out how to grow the readership.

I will end this here. I know this is not really a topic that generates discussion as much as it merely celebrates how far the site has come in a year. So I encourage those who want to to use the rest of this thread to answer the questions that I posed above, and then as an open mic where you can post whatever we want to discuss for the day. But let me say one more time:

THANK YOU, to everyone here. The first year of Stand Up For America has been a wonderful and enlightening one for me. I truly cannot thank all of you enough for the gift that you have given me. I look forward to what year 2 will bring us.

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Comments

  1. Happy Anniversary!

    USW, You have done an outstanding job. Since I’ve been visiting, I’ve grown far more intelligent and even more patient with the views of others I disagree with. I think quite differently about things than I did a year ago, and it’s for the better.

    I’ll add more later, but will follow along.

    PEACE!

    G!

    • US Weapon:

      Please forgive me…I have been over several times — commenting — on your site and since November 1, 2009 I have been meaning to say:

      HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

      Actually I’ve been waiting since October; yet, nonetheless well done! Good form! And way-to-go! Congratulations!

      jps

  2. Buck the Wala says:

    Congrats USW! I may be a bit late coming to the party, but definitely a great site now that I’ve found it. Best of luck going forward!

  3. Richmond Spitfire says:

    US Weapon and everyone here…

    I was truly blessed the day that I found this blog!

    Thank you for all that you do…

    Best Regards,
    RS

  4. I- I’ve never won an award from such an illustrious body as SUFA before. I want to thank all those who made this possible. First, I’d like to thank Emilius, who has no idea I post here, but has been the inspiration for much of the insanity I try to bring to my posts. I’d also like to thank Canine Weapon, Janet Reno, and all the other pseudonyms I’ve adopted from time to time to help spread the pure joy of lunacy. Mostly, I’d just like to thank everyone here for not taking me seriously, I know that humor doesn’t always come across well in written form, and my wit or witlessness, especially, doesn’t usually translate well. So thanks for taking it in the intended spirit! I’d also like to thank […] ::Mic gets cut off, music plays, Mathius is forcibly dragged off stage::

    • Thas’ ok, Mathius….Oprah Winfrey will pick you up.

    • Imma let you finish but I have to say this is the best blog of ALL TIME.

      • Thank you for letting me finish. This is a great blog. So, anyway, as I was saying..

      • Kanye West says:

        I’m sorry, I have to interrupt. This award really should have gone to someone else. LOI really deserved to win. The jokes he posts are far more deserving. The judges got it wrong.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          LOI’s jokes are great, but Matt takes the gold for the wittiness in his comments.

          • You have to say that.. you’re just afraid of what I’m going to say at my best man speech Saturday 🙂

          • v. Holland says:

            By the way Buck, congratulations, hope you and your soon to be, have a lovely wedding and a wonderful life together. Little unsolicited advice-always place her before yourself and if she does the same for you-life will be good.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Thanks for the congrats and the advice – something I learned long ago but can always stand being reminded of.

          • Nonsense. It’s like breaking in a colt (or a Philly, in her case.. woo, puns). It’s important to establish dominance. Leave the toilet seat up, strictly enforce the naked Thursday rule, and don’t tolerate any sass. Make sure she understands that you subscribe to the old testament ways, where a woman is property and is expected to be subservient to her provider.

            But most importantly, under no circumstance, ever allow her to touch the thermostat. This, I believe is the true secret key to a happy marriage.

            Do not allow her to train you. They say that the sexes are equal, but this is simply not true. They are far, far smarter than us. You will see it. You will be lying there in bed together. You will be perfectly comfortable, and she will need something – a window opened, a book from the other room, a glass of water. She won’t ask you to get it, she’ll just say “it’s hot in here,” or “darn, my book is in the other room,” or “shoot, I need more water,” and you will find yourself getting up unbidden to get it for her. DON’T! It’s a trick. She is perfectly capable of opening the window, getting her book or filling her glass. You’re being trained like a Labrador retriever. Don’t fall for it. But of course, it’s too late for you already, isn’t it? Robyn the Wala has already broken you in.

            • Mathius,

              You failed him as your friend.

              You should have presented him with this book long ago, and now you have doomed him.

              http://www.io.com/gibbonsb/mencken/defense/
              —-
              H. L. Mencken “Defense of Women”
              —-

              The very fact that marriages occur at all is a proof, indeed, that they [women] are more cool-headed than men, and more adept in employing their intellectual resources, for it is plainly to a man’s interest to avoid marriage as long as possible, and as plainly to a woman’s interest to make a favourable marriage as soon as she can.

              The efforts of the two sexes are thus directed, in one of the capital concerns of life, to diametrically antagonistic ends.

              Which side commonly prevails?

              I leave the verdict to the jury.

              All normal men fight the thing off; some men are successful for relatively long periods; a few extraordinarily intelligent and courageous men (or perhaps lucky ones) escape altogether.

              But, taking one generation with another, as every one knows, the average man is duly married and the average woman gets a husband.

              Thus the great majority of women, in this clear-cut and endless conflict, make manifest their substantial superiority to the great majority of men.

              —–

              Shame on you, Matt, for letting your friend fall foul to the machinations of feminine designs!

              • There’s an evolutionary pressure here you’re ignoring. Men who avoid marriage are probably less likely to breed with the women. And even when they do, without a committed family bond, those offspring are less likely to survive and breed themselves. Thus the bond is ingrained in our DNA.

                That said, I ran afoul of the institution myself. But Emilius is good for me. Because I.Am.Lazy. And she kicks my butt and makes me do what I need to. Also, she’s a great chef (as evidenced by the 40 lbs I’ve gained since I started dating her).

                But, perhaps most importantly, with her DNA to cancel out the parts of mine that are lacking (ie, social skills, sense of direction, ability to remember names/face) and a IQ deep in the triple digits, my offspring have good odds of being successful and having offspring themselves. Thus, I get lots of grand kids to spoil – this, as we all know, it the true meaning of life.

                Oh, and I love her.. there’s that too, I suppose..

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Just because Emilius is smarter than you, doesn’t mean that soon-to-be Mrs. Wala is smarter than me. Its all about knowing when to pick your battles and knowing when to shut the hell up and let her win.

              Not to mention I am sure all of your advice comes from personal experience, having already ‘lost’ to your better half.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Then again it probably is already too late for me and the previous post is just my way of coping and getting through the day.

        • Kayne,

          I appreciate the vote, but the jokes I post are what others have sent me over the years. I will give Matt credit for posting some original humor on the spot.

        • Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be Kanye.

  5. Lori P. in St. Paul says:

    Happy Anniversary!

    I think I’ve only commented one time but I visit here every day! I love to read your articles and the responses. I get mad at some and laugh at others. Like G-Man I feel like I’ve also grown more intelligent and more patient with others’ views. I like being able to hear other viewpoints and decide if that coincides with my core principles or not. SUFA is where I realized I need to figure out what those principles and values were and stick with them. I hope one day I can participate more in the conversations and not be so intimidated. You all are so smart! Have a great day everyone!

  6. Happy Anniversary, USW. Thank you for the acknowledgment. Thanks for letting me stay around. (tip o’th’ hat, to ya) Back to standing guard now….keep on writing.

    We are taking on the education department today. We raised hell since we found out our text book committee has decided to change the history books here. More on this a little later.

  7. TheDoyle said: Let’s see if we on the right have the right to hate Obama after he screws things up. Somehow I have the feeling the whole “Dissent is Patriotic” meme is gonna go the way of the Dodo and be replaced with “Dissent is Racist”. After all thats what we were accused of BEFORE the election, now that The One is in power and the Left have already gone batshit crazy over Prop 8, just wait till we actually start in on Obama and his marxist ways. It’s gonna be a fun 4 years.

    Firstly, I knew a kid in college named Doyle. He went to Thailand and brought back the worst stomach flu that any of us had ever seen. It debilitated an entire fraternity for two weeks. This plague was known as The Doyle. This is not particularly relevant, but I wanted to share that with everyone.

    OK, so, that said, here’s a problem I have. On this particular issue, the left is full of it. But so is the right. For eight long years, probably closer to 5, we were shouted down at ever stage. We were called unpatriotic for questioning a commander in chief in a time of war – it didn’t even matter if our questioning related to the war – any questioning of Bush and/or his lieutenants and/or his tactics and/or his priorities and/or anything else was deemed borderline treason. If anyone’s memory is hazy, I’m sure I can dig up a few clips from Fox without too much trouble. We said, it’s ok to dissent, we are not with the “terrists” just because we disagree. Further, in his eight years, Bush gave not a single interview to the NY Times – a major publication. This was no accidental slight – they disagreed with his policies and they were, therefore, cut out. None of this is acceptable from a President or from the media. Period.

    So, along comes the Big O, and now the right is adopting the “it’s ok to dissent” view, and some on the left are taking the “opposition is racist” view. They’ve just switched sides. This hardly qualifies as prophetic that what one majority does to suppress opposing viewpoints will be done in some variation by the new majority. The Obama administration has it in for Fox – and not without merit, Fox has been pretty blatant about their bias – but that does not excuse their behavior. Those on the right who claim that opposition all stems from racism are either idiots or cynics, and should be ignored either way. In short, none of this is acceptable from a President or from the media. Period.

    My two cents.

  8. USW

    Thanks for your effort, I for one have benefited greatly from the discussions here. For me, you and others that post here have caused me to really examine my position on a lot of issues. I am a better person because of SUFA.

  9. … …. … we have 20,000 hits a day and 2,000 comments for an article?

    PLEASE – NO NO NO – who has the time to just even read them all when there are 2-300 posts !~! And Im virtually retired !!

    Afraid that comments would lost and buried.

    • I’m going to have to agree here. I also suspect that some of the uniqueness of this blog stems from the size. I could not expect the spirit of SUFA to survive a 10x increase in posts. You’d wind up needing to boot people who were inappropriate.

  10. Just two? Come on, brother, I weigh enough for three at least!

    I’m a bit busy the last few days and am taking the time to read Ayn Rand (she’s next in the reading cue) to instigate some lively discussion … besides, I’ve been torturing liberal blogs the last few days because it just doesn’t take as much thought (now don’t go getting big heads you crazies on the right–I’ll be coming back at you guys too).

    It’s fun stuff, USW … and always interesting.

    • Atlas Shrugged is a pretty large book. I had the small print version and had to buy reading glasses. It’s worth the time to read it. One of the better books I’ve read. I wish I read it 30 years ago.

      • I have an eReader. Size is no object. Time, however… well that’s hard to come by these days…

        • I have a 1:45 one way commute to (and from) work. I’m currently reading “To Serve Them All My Days” (something I suspect Ayn Rand would’ve burned (not required to be burned) but burned if she found it in her house.

          That was somewhat meant as a joke … just somehwat.

          Something tells me I’m going to prefer George Bernard Shaw’s “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide To Socialism” …

  11. Ray Hawkins says:

    Kudos my friend to a great year one. My writing sometimes seems harsh but its always an attempt to evolve.

  12. USW- Thanks for the great site that all can come to and for once have a civil(mostly) discussion about topics important in America. I have learned some things, changed my mind about some things, and broadened my thinking, thanks to your articles and the awesome comments by a lot of the regular contributors. Kudos to you and Mrs. Weapon on your dedication to allowing a site like this to continue. I’ve only posted a few times(got shot down by BF my first time)!, and some days I find myself too busy to even come to the site, so I cannot even fathom the dedication and work involved that you put in! Thanks again and I will continue to share this really important site with more people in hopes of helping it get to the 20k hits a day! Americas future depends on helping to create some thinkers in this country, not just lemmings! Thank God we can come here!

  13. USW,

    Happy Anniversary.

    Thank you for all the work in producing this site. I think it has helped me learn more than I could on my own. The intelligent, sometimes opposing viewpoints that make you examine your own thoughts is something you cannot find elsewhere on the web. And a thank you to the others who post here, you are some good people, and its a pleasure to share your company.

  14. Bottom Line says:

    I’m just glad I’m tolerated here at SUFA. hehe.

    I’ve only been here a couple of months and have learned so much. Thank you all.

    I know SUFA is getting good exposure. I know it when I see someone on TV saying almost exactly what has been said here. I’ve seen this numerous times. They’re paying attention. Believe it. There’s no telling who’s reading this everyday, but I’d be willing to bet that there are some that are pretty influential. SUFA is indeed making a difference.

    Wish I had more time to post today.

  15. v. Holland says:

    Thank you USW, this is a great site, I learn something new everyday from you and your nice and intelligent posters- I enjoy the dialogue as BF would call it-so nice to read and sometimes post without having my blood pressure go up. Congratulations you have succeeded in your mission and your wife, well she is obviously a keeper.

  16. It is a great site USW keep it up!

    Happy Veterans to all of us Vets!

  17. Mr. Weapon, thank you so much for the gracious recognition.

    But it is trully you and the Mrs. first and then everyone who have created a place I can not avoid and which has completely destroyed my plans for further reading and study.

    And I thought the T.V. was bad. This site is like a giant magnet, pulling you into the abyss of respectful discourse.

    My family declared over the Labor Day weekend that they need to arrange for an “intervention” on my behalf.

    Congratulations to you, Mrs. Weapon, and to everyone who spend so much time here. Whether posting or just reading your time is the most valuable thing you have and to spend it here shows how much you believe in the need for serious change.

    May the blessings of happiness and true joy be with you all.
    JAC

  18. USW,
    I am so glad I made that phone call to you over a year ago! What USW isn’t telling you is that the lead in was about a 2 week process of discussions, which became a sort of Liberty Fighters Anonymous for us. We started at the thought that liberty transcends party lines and most other things and then discussions continued and we knew there were more like us out there.
    For those of you who have only known USW for a short period, I can only say that you are better people for knowing him. We have known each other for almost 30 years and he remains one of my closest confidants in that we share many of the moral values that are so well envisioned here on SUFA.
    While the path I took was different, I have not had the time to contribute as much as I would like, but make no mistake, I read often and have a fondness for all of you that is unmatched. The site has truly attracted such a unique set of people. Those who are more to the left, I so appreciate because often the common thread is a deep concern for the lost souls, the want for good in all people’s lives… while I may not agree wholly on the government funding of that, I am constantly heartened by the spirit of it…
    Most of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who is involved, while I do not get the chance to post often, I want you to know that each of you has made a difference in my views and helped me to form a better understanding of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For that, I am grateful!

  19. Hi USW and Mrs. Weapon,

    Congrats on your one year anniversary! I’ve learned so much from coming to this site every day. At times I’ve been frustrated, amazed, amused, downright PO’d, but the process has been incredible. I thank you and everyone who comes and comments for the daily lessons.

  20. Judy Sabatini says:

    Good Morning All

    USW, first of all I want to thank you so much for putting me in your award category, you don’t know how much I appreciate it.

    Second, when I first came to this site, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I can tell you, that I am so very happy that I did. I feel that I have made some really terrific friends here and for that, I have you to thank. I appreciate the effort and time you put into doing this site and I appreciate the fact that Mrs. Weapon is willing to let you do something here that brings us all together, and for that, I thank her from the bottom of my heart. She is one terrific lady you have there.

    So with that being said, I want to take this opportunity to say to you, CONGRATULATIONS on your year anniversary and I hope we can look forward to many more. You are without a doubt, a very special friend and I will never forget you for all you do.

    Thank You From the Bottom of My heart

    Judy

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Sorry it took me so long to add this comment, but it must be a blond thing.

      USW, I truly feel very honored for the comments you made about me, truly honored.

      Judy

  21. Buck The Wala:

    It has been a nice interlude but now its time to get back to work. Regarding the link you left me last night on judicial activism. Lets start with this.

    If, and I mean IF, all is factual that is presented in the article then I say it just further supports my stated belief and definition of “left wing activist judges”.

    Now, you must slow down here and think a little before you react.

    I smell something burning.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      The link was meant just to show that there are activist judges on both sides of the aisle and nothing more.

      • Buck:

        If by isle you mean both “political parties” then we are in TOTAL agreement.

        But they are both on the “left” side of the scale.

        Now as for the actual legal issues, I felt at the time that there was a legitimate SCOTUS role in Bush v. Gore due to some prior rulings by the court. In fact I think it was again the 14th that played a role here. Can’t remember now but it seems it was the District court that kind of screwed up the process, opening the door for the Supremes to pick up the case.

        Shaivo was an absolute abomonation of a legal move by the Leftist Hard Core Religeous Conservatives.

        I do not know if all the claims in the article are completely factual. I have seen similar stories where the facts are selectively picked to tell a story that is “incomplete”. I will grant this much however. I has witnessed Scalia presenting oral defense of positions that does in fact seem a contradiction in his other positions. Perhaps hypocritical. But I also saw an interview with him once where he rejected the label “constructionist” and described his judicial philosophy in a more complex manner. I didn’t understand it all but I know it gave me an ill feeling at the time.

        The one judge I hear eveyone make fun of the most I have found to be the most solid in his “constructionist” approach. That is Thomas. I say most, because I think they all stray from time to time. I think it is inherent in your profession. Always looking for hairs to split and lack of clarity in all things. I also think there is a tendency for those who achieve higher “judge” status to believe they have to come up with something new or nuanced or whatever.

        Although some just seem to use the bench to impose their values on others. Yes, both sides of the isle.

        There is one more thing I would like to raise. The “liberals” are always raising the spectre of fear about “conservative” judges “turning back the clock”, such as with abortion. The supposed “conservatives” extoll their followers to support the judicial candidate to stop the “liberal activists” blah, blah, blah.

        But no one ever seems to recognize that a truly “conservative” judge is not going to “turn back the clock” if there is any significant amount of judicial precedence, or if enough time has elapsed where society has come to accept the original ruling’s outcome. Where as a “radical” judge, whether “liberal” or “conservative” will overturn precedent to achieve what they feel is a “societal” goal or need. They will use their power to maintain the STATE’s power to manipulate the citizens to match their ideology.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I’ll have to give you post some more thought to do it justice.

          Briefly speaking though, yes I had meant ‘aisle’ as in the two political parties.

          On the two cases you mentioned:

          1) Bush v. Gore – precedent (much of which was put in place by earlier cases decided by a conservative majority) dictated that you send the election back to Florida. This was not done.

          2) Schiavo – complete abomination; we agree completely.

          I’ll try to get back to you later on.

  22. USWeapon:

    I thank you for all your hard work on this site. I’m glad I found the site. I try to come here every day and read the comments or quickly scan through them. I hope to contribute more to the discussions in the future.

    I love reading Black Flag, JAC and PerterB’s comments. Each contribute greatly to the site. I also like to read Mathius, Charie’s and other liberal opinions.

    I really enjoyed the Philosophy Series and would like to get back to developing VDLG.

    • Birdman:

      I see your up and at it. Would you like to continue the IRA discussion?

      • I’m here, let’s continue.

        • Technical question. When you reply, do you then have to hit the refresh button each time to actively participate? My internet connection isn’t always the fastest.

          • I watch the email replies, then use the browser’s search feature to find that particular reply on the blog.

            Because I use the emails, I usually add the ‘target’ of my reply by name – so I can keep track of who I am answering to without having to find it on the blog.

            • I use “Control F” and enter the name and then scroll down to find the response. I don’t understand how you do it. You cannot reply to an e-mail and the link just takes me to the post and then I search. Are you doing it the same way?

              • Nearly exactly. For searching, I put in a short, potentially unique, segment of the comment instead.

              • He is, of course, lying. Being a computer himself, he simply connects to the server with the and posts directly. He makes no use of a browser.

              • You have to stop “outing” me, Matt.

                “We have a plan…”

              • What are you going to do about it, toaster?

              • Leave messy crumbs all over your floor.

              • Good one Mathius! That was funny!

              • Bird & BF – and for others, if it makes sense:

                Once you post a comment and click Notify me of follow-up comments via email.

                You will receive all following posts to the blog via wordpress.

                Then as I read the emails (sorta offline) and find one that I want to read the whole thread, I copy a section of the post ie: to find your post I”d copy “Control F” (pretty unique) – click on the link to the blog in the email(in case you emails from multiple blogs), wait a bit to have blog load, then (I use FireFox), ctrl-F,then ctrl-V (paste) and it immediately finds the post. So far after several months – have always found the unique post 1st time !! Easy to copy, don’t have to type anything !!

              • that’s how I do it, too… wish this thing would auto-update though..

          • Birdman:

            I know I do unless I am posting other comments. Then it refreshes when I hit the submit button.

            I know you are looking for work but what are the other factors affecting your situation? You know, wife, kids (need for college or not), house (paid off or not), how mobile are you those kind of things.

            Here’s where I am going. Given the nature of things I think at your age you are better off liquidating your IRA. You know you can’t get the money until your in your sixties. The odds are the age will be extended. Ask yourself, how much longer do I need to work to recover the penalty and taxes? And if you accept the almost certain fact that the future taxes will be higher on the same income, then it isn’t such a hard decision.

            I would evaluate it by first taking out what you know the tax and penalties will be. Make sure you are using the correct tax tables for 2010 to compare. Select the one that causes the least loss of capital. If it is next year then pull the trigger on Jan 2nd. I would also have them withhold 100% of what you think the tax burden and penalities will be. I know this is contrary to traditional thinking but these are not traditional times. By doing this you will know exactly what you have and you can depend on it. You will not have to worry or wonder about what you need to set aside for taxes, no later conflict as money starts to run short. I would do the same for the State taxes. Get the govt out of your head and thus out of your life for the next year.

            One special consideration here. If you are completely mobile you may want to relocate to a very low income tax state before liquidating your IRA. Texas, Nev. and Wash. are 0%. You can do the math to see what you save.

            Now what to do with the rest. This is where other factors come to play.

            But i suggest you change your frame of mind as you do the analysis. Something like this.

            If you take your left over cash, and set aside enough to live on for six months to a year, and you can then pay off your house, or if you can get out of debt and then make enough to live on, then ……CONGRATULATIONS…..YOU JUST RETIRED AT THE AGE OF 50.

            RETIREMENT DOES NOT MEAN WE STOP WORKING OR MAKING MONEY. IT MEANS WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES TO THE NEED TO WORK OR MAKE MONEY. AT THAT POINT YOU WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO REDUCE THE EFFECT OF GOVT ON YOUR LIFE.

            I forgot, where do you live? State is good enough.

            • I live in Cadillac, MI. I have a daughter at MSU and a son at U of M. My son’s college expenses are covered by the Army ROTC so I don’t have to worry about him. I am covering my daughter as best I can at MSU.

              If I pay off my mortgage I would have no debts and could take a low paying job (assuming I could find one in the area). I want to work but I also enjoy the time off while unemployed. I’ve worked my entire life even as a child. I always had a job from paper boy to Director of Human Resources. This is my first period of unemployment.

              I’m really torn with what to do. My wife and I love the area, we have 10 acres and a barn (my shop now).

              I’m going to take my money out of my IRA. I will look at whether I should do it now or wait until next year.

              I have a potential job opportunity developing in Texas that may lead to an interview. Also, relocation may be covered by the Trade Act which may be a benefit to the potential employer should I get that far.

          • Birdman:

            Do you have good water source on your ten acres?

            Is the ground good enough to grow food and raise chickens, a beef or hog (is this allowed)?

            Do you and your wife see the kids much? Are you all close enough you would rather be nearby? If so, why even consider a move to Texas right now (except to save paying that high state income tax on your IRA)?

            If you do get the job in Texas I would for sure hold off liquidating the IRA until after your move. But I would also consider keeping the ten acres in Michigan if you both truly love the place. That my friend is a key part of being truly happy and far to many folks overlook it.

            Waking up every morning in a place that you love and enjoy is worth a lot. Especially if you have true friends and your family nearby.

            Sounds to me like you should seriously consider the “consulting” route. Leverage your skills and knowledge into a job that doesn’t require the 8-6 grind.
            Set up your business ASAP and start deducting many of your travel and other expenses. Get on govt contract lists and start bidding on work with these agencies who are having problems. Hell, contract with Labor Unions or other such groups if needed. Expand your field based on the same skills. Which I am guessing involve “facilitator”, “negotiator” etc.

            Out of curiosity, what do the property taxes look like on ten acres and a house where you live? Out here I would guess around 3,000 to 4,000 per year.

            • JAC: The previous owners had two horses in the barn. I converted it to a shop where I do metal work. I could raise chickens and pigs or even a cow. Most of my land is wooded and some of it is swampy. We could grow some food on our cleared land. The soil is sandy but I could get some real soil trucked in. I could always convert the barn (my shop) back to a barn.

              We have well water and the water is good. The pump is 220 volts, hence my need for a larger generator. The barn has electricity and water.

              I’m not sure how to develop Human Resources/Labor Relations consulting work as a business. I tried to develop my metal work but people don’t have the money to buy ornamental steel products. I may look at going on-line for the sale of ornamental products and then just ship out the finished product. I have a small ornamental business and doing business as tax license but the recession brought that to a halt.

              I have two children at home. One in 11th grade and one in 8th grade plus the two in college.

              I’m still deciding what to do. I may just pay off the house and stay here. My wife and son don’t want to move.

              • Birdman:

                Metal work………so do you know how to weld? If so what kind? If not, get going and make sure you know acetalyn and arch welding. The latter is very handy with fixing or building aluminum boats or doing cosmetics on cars.

                Take the knowledge, skills and abilities you developed and expand to other areas. For example, your negotiating skills can be “sold” to others as a “moderator” or even a “negotiator” on their behalf.

                I am sure you have discussed this at home but if you cherish your relationship with your kids you won’t move when they are in 11th or 12th grade. The 8th grader is fair game even if moved in the 9th. But once they hit 10th I think they need the anchor of the family and friends they make in high school. Unless of course they have the wrong friends. That is just my opinion and I know it seems to have worked well for us.

                We held off moving until the first two were out of high school because they were close. The third was still in middle school. Of course his situation is different anyway, otherwise we wouldn’t even be considering a move right now as he is in 10th.

                I think you know what you are going to do but just haven’t accepted it yet. I’ll look you up if I come back to Michigan next summer (hint, hint).

                By the way, if your soil is sandy you just need to add a lot of organic matter and tons of cow/horse dookie. If you have a tree stump or two in the way have someone grind them up and then spread the chips on your garden area. They will help build up a fine organic content to the sand. The soils in the swampy area probably have more silt and heavy organic content so you could “move some of it” to your garden area. Do this on your own though. Keeps the Corps of Engineers out of your life.

                Swampy??? Build a small lake and raise fish or specialized acquatic plants to sell?????? Get a book and learn all the wetland plants. Then hire out “classifying wetlands” for others in the MI, WI, MN areas who need Corp permits. Competition is high here but just another idea.

                You don’t need a barn unless you are keeping livestock over winter. Then I would build a small shed for them and not mess with your shop. That is MAN CAVE territory. A man can not give up his CAVE once it is his. Just aint right.

              • You are correct. I think we want to stay here. I will have to come up with a way to do it.

                I can MIG, TIG and do some stick welding. I don’t have torches but I have plasma, which is a nice clean cut.

                With the Trade Act, I may go back to school. They will pay up to 15,000 per year. I already have a Master of Arts in Industrial and Labor Relations but I may take some welding classes. I taught myself to weld and it wouldn’t hurt to get some more formal training. I love to work with metal. You should see the ornamental bed that I made for my wife. If I had to sale the bed, I would have to charge over $1,200 dollars (depending upon steel prices) plus shipping.

                The shop is my man cave — no doubt about it. All I need is to get it insulated and a concrete floor and I’d be in heaven. Winter is cold in northern MI with a lot of snow.

                Another feature I love is my private shooting range right behind the shop with metal targets that I made. When I want to shoot a gun, I just walk behind the shop and start shooting. Never had a complaint from anyone and a 44 magnum is a noisy pistol. I’ve shot rifles there as well. I hand load my own ammunition and have not purchased a factory round for many years. I just buy powder, primers, casings and bullets if I can find them.

                My neigbor has chickens and turkeys and they run in his yard and sometimes mine until my dog runs them off. I may end up getting some chickens and make a small shed. Eggs are nice to have around.

                Small towns are nice and it is very pretty up here. I just need to find a way to produce some income.

              • Hi Birdman,

                Your place sounds like heaven on earth! I’d hate for you to have to leave. I hope you can stay there. Have you considered trading your metal working skills for other goods and services? If you can, you might be able to conserve what little cash you do have. If you’re mechanically inclined, that would be even better. You might also be able to set up an informal ‘barter exchange’, though you’d have to be careful on that. The IRS might get interested, if you know what I mean.

              • Hi Cyndi:

                When I lived in Illinois, we would vacation in northern MI and I loved the place. I eventually took a job up this way.

                I need to find a way to get my small business going, perhaps through the internet. I’ll have my daughter help me develop a web page when she is home in a couple of weeks.

                Regarding freedom, I don’t think MI is the place to be. The state is failing and has high unemployment. The state may raise taxes, the worse thing they can do in this type of economy.

                Although we love it up here, we love freedom more and my wife and I think that Texas may be a good state to relocate to should something develop.

                Stay free,
                Birdman

  23. Canine Weapon says:

    Three men go on a retreat with their
    respective wives. Eventually, while
    their wives are all out shopping, the
    conversation turns to their sex lives.

    The first man, married to a nurse, tells
    them, “it’s horrible, I never should
    have married a nurse. We were doing
    it last night and she saying over and
    over again how unsanitary I was.”

    The second man, married to a telephone
    operator, tells them, “it’s horrible,
    I never should have married a nurse.
    She stopped me after three minutes and
    told me my time was up.”

    The third man, married to a teacher,
    smiles. He said, “we were doing it
    last night. She told me that we would
    have to keep doing it over and over
    until I got it right.”

    • Canine Weapon says:

      A man went to his friend’s house
      for dinner one night. The friend
      was 70 years old and had been
      married for nearly 50 years.
      During the whole dinner, he
      continually addressed his wife
      with endearing terms – “honey,”
      “sweetie,” etc.

      After dinner, when the wife was
      in the kitchen cleaning up, the
      man turned to his friend. “I
      think it’s really amazing how
      sweet and loving you are with
      your wife after all this time.
      It’s a real inspiration.”

      The friend replied, “To tell you
      the truth, her name slipped my
      mind ten years ago and I’m
      scared to death of asking the
      old shrew was it is.”

  24. Bee in my Bonnet says:

    Happy anniversay, USW! I read the blog everyday but, alas, have very little time to actually blog. I admit that the opinions here have forced me to take a hard look at my own values and I have had to re-evaluate some of them.

    Thanks for this site!

    Bee

  25. First, I would like to acknowledge Kent McManigal, who now writes daily for the “Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner”.

    He is a true leader of Freedom. I had read one of his brilliantly articulated articles in some off-the-wall anarchist web-print, and in a few short paragraphs I knew he was a true freedom fighter.

    After a conversation or two via email, he sent me a request…“there is this guy who runs a conservative blog – pretty good on liberty too – that is being overrun by Statists…maybe you’d like to add a comment or two…”. Now, I am petitioning a renaming of the site to the “USWeapon and Black Flag’s Blog for Stand up (but don’t vote) for America!” (Just kidding).

    Next, I have to acknowledge Just a Citizen as well. A crazy old coot. His gentle demure and timely advice to me, personally, to flip my oratory style was critical. I am still sometimes a bit harsh (apologies to any who has been unfairly stung) – however, before JAC’s suggestions, I was very unnecessarily cruel.

    And of course, USWeapon – like Mark Messier vs. Wayne Gretzky when they were on opposite teams – best friends but Messier just plowed Gretzky into the boards one play. After the game, the press asked how it felt to level his best friend with such a bone crushing hit. Answer from Messier: “It felt really good”. 🙂

    And of course, USWeapon invited me to be his first guest poster. I was re-reading his intro – it did take a huge risk to offer his blog and readership to a foreigner like me. He did risk losing his audience if it went badly. Now, guest posting is a regular, powerful feature of this very important blog.

    Peter, the Spaniard – (inside joke held by those who have been here awhile). I think I could retire, and the voice of true freedom and anarchy would resonate with full force from Peter “the Dread Pirate” alone.

    And all the adversaries and friends, old and new. USWep is right – this site moves with great energy, in many directions at the same time.

    • Tally Ho!

    • BF:

      Thank you for the acknowledgment. You and Kent have enlightened me as well at to the true meaning of Anarchism. It seems our camps are within sight of each other, but not quite in the same place.

      And I greatly concur that Peter the Spaniard is most capable, although I think he may actually live on the outskirts of my camp. He is perhaps the living example of epiphany. As I recall that not far into our journey he leaped from London to Spain without even getting wet on the way. Perhaps the fuel was there all along and someone just needed to add the spark that ignited the Spaniard’s passion.

      And who you callin an old coot, you old coot. At least you could call me something with a little more color and flare. Perhaps a loon or mandarin duck. I really like those mandarin ducks. LOL.

      Best wishes my Pirate friend.

      • LoL

        JAC,you old mandarin coot – at least you didn’t debate that you were crazy!

        Happy Anniversary!

        My goal for the next year is to have you move your tent posts closer to my camp, and for me to set mine in concrete.

    • I read Kent everyday.

    • Thanks for the kind words, BF. Really!

  26. Thanks, and congrats US Weapon. I enjoy the intelligent discussion here at SUFA. I do not comment often, but I do read your daily posts. Again, thank you.

  27. Somehow this song seemed somehow appropriate today.

  28. And a callout to some of those that we haven’t heard from in awhile:

    Madmom! SFCDick! Esom! (where the bulldookey are you?)

  29. And, One year later – understanding how very, very far it is to go…

    ================

    Do you think ideas don’t matter, that what people believe about themselves and their world has no real consequence?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8347409.stm

    This BBC poll finds that only 11 percent of people questioned around the world – and 29,000 people were asked their opinions – think that free-market capitalism is a good thing.

    The rest believe in more government regulation.

    Only a small percentage of the world’s population believes that capitalism works well and that more regulation will reduce efficiency.

    One-quarter of those asked said that capitalism is “fatally flawed.”

    In France, 43 percent believe this. In Mexico, it is 38 percent.

    A majority believes that government should rob the rich to give money to poor countries. In only one country, Turkey, did a majority say that less government is better.

    It gets even worse.

    While most Europeans and Americans think it was a good thing for the Soviet Union to disintegrate, people in India, Indonesia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Russia, and Egypt mostly think it was a bad thing. Yes, you read that right: millions freed from socialist slavery = bad thing.

    That news must lift the heart of every would-be despot the world over.

    And it comes as something of a shock twenty years after the collapse of socialism in Russia and Eastern Europe revealed what this system had created: backward societies with citizens who lived short and miserable lives.

    Then there is the China case, a country rescued from bloody barbarism under communism and transformed into a modern and prosperous country by capitalism.

    What can we learn?

    Far from not having learned anything, people have largely forgotten the experience and have developed a love for the ancient fairytale that all things can be fixed through collectivism and central planning.

    As to those who would despair at this poll, consider that it might have been much worse had not the reality of examples of the collapse of Socialism did not exist.

    It might have been 99% in support of socialist tyranny.

    What, for example, is capitalism? Do people even know? Michael Moore doesn’t know, else he wouldn’t be calling bailouts for elite, Fed-connected financial firms a form of capitalism.

    Many other people reduce the term capitalism to: “the system of economics in the U.S.” It is no more complicated than that. This is despite the reality that the U.S. has a comprehensive planning apparatus in place that is directly responsible for all our current economic troubles.

    Now, let’s take this further.

    Among the people around the world who do not like the U.S. empire, many believe they don’t like capitalism either. If the U.S. economy drags the world down into recession, that is a prime example of capitalism’s failure.

    Even more preposterous, if you didn’t like George W. Bush, his ways and his cronies, and Obama is something of a relief, then you don’t like capitalism and you do like socialism.

    Another point of view misunderstands the idea of capitalism itself.

    It is not about creating economic structures that benefit capital at the expense of labor or culture or religion.

    It is about a system that protects the rights of everyone and serves the common good. Capitalism is just the name that happened to be identified with this system. If you want to call freedom a banana, fine.

    What matters is not words but ideas.

    I do know that none of these messed-up definitions of capitalism follow. You know this too.

    But for the world at large, serious ideological analytics are not the active force of daily life.

    Many, if not most, people attach themselves to vague slogans.

    All of which leaves true capitalism – a product of the voluntary society and the sum total of all the exchanges and cooperative acts of people all over the world – with few actual intellectual defenders.

    We are growing, but the educational work we need to do is daunting, and we are facing the most powerful forces in the world.

    But, there is nothing new in this.

    In the history of the world, freedom is the exception, not the rule. It must be fought for anew in every generation. Its enemies are everywhere.

    The fashion for socialism and the opposition to capitalism should alarm every lover of freedom the world over.

    We have our jobs cut out for us, but with numbers this bad, we must do much better at educating and teaching and explaining freedom, because if we fail, it will be the end of human civilization.

    • I find with the reading I occasionally do on other blogs that a lot of people will not even admit that having all these social programs and regulations are giving up freedom-how do you communicate with people who won’t even agree with that basis truth?

      • As you’ll probably recognize, I attempt to start with the basics of definitions – if we agree what the ‘meaning’ of what we are talking about – and then it somehow changes mid-stream, usually it becomes obvious to one of the participants that something “has happened” or “something is wrong”.

        If they continue to proceed regardless, you know they are wholly dishonest.

        What is the point of discussing critically important ideas and actions with those who are dishonest? They’ll only lie and cheat anyway….so you have to move on – now knowing intimately who ‘that person’ really is.

        • v. Holland says:

          Then going and finding them and smacking them upside the head isn’t allowed. 🙂

          • Only intellectually can you “smack them” – physically, no.

            But I’ve found more often than not an intellectual smacking hurts them worse – a human brain is the source of all pleasure and pain for the body.

            Making some people think causes them a lot of pain, so be careful and try to do no harm.

            • v. Holland says:

              Okay, but somehow just smacking them upside the head seems like it would be so much quicker, easier, and much more satisfying, but I suppose your way has a much better chance of actually changing their minds.

            • You know, BF, you have caused my brain to hurt at times…..

    • hey BF, I just hope all this recognition you’re receiving doesn’t affect your humillity.

      You’re no doubt aware of the current health of the dollar. You’ve stated your opinion of fiat based currency before, but I can’t recall you ever making a case for a healthier version. Would you advocate gold/silver backed currency. Something else? I read an article recently that proposed that replacing the dollar with another fiat and eliminating the fractional reserve system would be adequate to pay down the debt and prevent much of the abuse present in the current system. Your thoughts?

      note to USW. Very nicely done, sir. You are a true patriot. I have a distaste for the flag-waving variety, but you are the real deal. I thank you for the service you have and continue to give our country. c

      • Csm:

        Let me jump in if you will. BF and I have disagreed on this point before but I agree with the conclusion of the article you describe. But it has a very big BUT attached.

        It requires a strict control on the printing of the fiat to match only what is needed to facilitate exchange and commerce among the people. If you can not find a way to anchor the printing of money to the actual economic situation, and not to political whim, then you must create a surrogate anchor. And that is the purpose of gold. It could be something else, but it has been gold in recent history.

        Best wishes this fine Thursday
        JAC

        • It is a fine Thursday, I’ve missed you all. The article did state a percentage (maybe 3%) annual increase to support growth. The premise itself is based on Baum’s The Wizard of OZ, and they were trying to sell me a video I didn’t want to buy, but I didn’t save the link and now I can’t find exactly what they said about growth. I don’t remember any refs to ‘economic situtation’, and my first thought is that the plan was to disallow central planning and allow fluctuations to be addressed by the market.

          I’ve probably never mentioned that I almost flunked econ 101 and thought ‘well I’ll never have to deal with that again’ when I skated with a (low) C. funny how things turn out 😉

          • Csm:

            I have a video, actually a DVD, titled “The Money Changers” that is about 3 hours long. It is a history of the Federal Reserve and Central Banking system that will curl your hair. At the end the fellow who did the story proposes a solution that sounds very similar to what you describe.

            Basically you print enough “dollars” to cover the economic acitiviy (GDP), lets say 13 trillion, and you give those dollars to everyone who has a “federal reserve note” or are holding govt debt instruments. This was a grand idea until the debt exceeded the GDP. Then you add enough new “dollars” each year to cover population growth and real price increases. The combined effect is about a 3% growth in money supply each year, based on historic averages. This would not equate to a 3% growth in inflation because part of the increase is to account for more people working, ie greater real GDP growth.

            The annual growth in money supply can be used to fund government since govt simply spends the money into the economy. Thus no federal reserve bank needed to circulate the money, and no interest paid by us to the Fed to print and circulate the money they print.

            I have discussed this concept with other economists and they think it would work if not for that one big BUT I mentioned earlier.

            The case study on this is a place called Gurnsey (spelling???) just like the cow. It is an island where they threw out the central banking and took control of their money supply. When they need a new street they simply use the newly printed money to pay for it. NO INTEREST on the money used.

            • The “Moneychangers” is a good video, but it too misunderstands money.

              The question that needs to be asked, given JAC’s, post – “Why does the money supply have to GROW if the economy expands?”

              What is wrong with a decrease in prices that would occur with a growing economy (ie: more goods) and a fixed money? Prices going down is a good thing, right?

              • BF:

                I did not get the impression from that video that they misunderstood what money is.

                As I recall they showed examples of other “things” used for money to show what its real use is all about.

                The theory of expanding money supply to match over all growth is to make sure there is enough money to actually allow commerce to occur. I suppose if the drop in prices were slow enough one might be able to adjust. But if the economy suddenly took off you could actually have a physical shortage of “thing” to exchange.

                It seems I recall that this happened a few times in our history when we weren’t saddled with a central banking system. Yes? No?

              • Their error was attempting to define money by its qualities – and not by what “it is”. Even they do not understand that it is a commodity.

                Your view of the money supply in a growing economy is “Keynesian”.

                The argument: commerce grows (or it does not).

                Money is just a commodity.

                If there are more goods in an economy, the price of those commodities must FALL in reference to money – the supply of goods (other than money) is high; more supply, lower the price.

                The prices of those commodities fall so to attract money.

                OR commodities that are too high priced are removed from the market – lowering supply of goods, raising prices of goods in terms of money. (Lower supply, higher price)

                As you see, the economic effects on prices; going up and down with static money; IS THE SAME as with inflation; where prices go up and down depending on the insertion and contraction of money.

                So any claim that we must inflate to maintain “stability” begs the question of what stability are you demanding and what other things are you sacrificing for it?

                Interestingly, the world had experienced money stability for over 1,000 years under the Byzantine empire – with no ill effects.

                The world has suffered terribly with the ill-effects of inflation – it destroyed the Roman Empire, the British Empire, the Germans and now the American Empire.

                Central banking is a monopoly by government edict. Like ALL MONOPOLIES – it cannot exist in a free market and further, always delivers an ever decreasing quality of goods at an ever increasing cost.

                Money, as a commodity, is not immune to these effects, either.

      • BF humility? Surely you jest.

      • Csm

        We need to start with a strong understanding of ‘what is money’?

        Money is simply the most desired commodity in a society

        It is the ‘thing’ that people will trade FOR that requires no discount in the trade to accept, and is accepted most broadly and most recognizably.

        Gold and Silver, today, do NOT fill these requirements – and hence, is not money. If you offer a gold coin for payment, people will discount your payment – that is, the price will rise for their goods – because the new owner will have to sell your coin to get money for him to buy new inventory. Most people have never seen a gold coin, so it is not recognizable broadly either.

        Money becomes money because free people say so by their desire to have it.

        It could be cigarettes (as in prisons) – people who do not smoke will accumulate cigarettes because trading cigarettes is broadly accepted and most desire obtaining them.

        It could be seashells, or salt. It is whatever the People chose to desire the most.

        Governments figured out that the best way to control society is to control their money. This is why they have seized control over its creation. However, the People still make it money by their desire. When the people no longer desire government money, government money dies.

        Today, however, government money has infected our measure of price. If government money dies, so does the ability of most people to price their services and goods. With that, trade cannot happen and society implodes disastrously.

        People are slowly repricing their services/goods in other things – such as gold. One highly desired actress recently priced her contract in a mix of gold and Euro instead of US$.

        But the move to such things is slow – and the collapse of fiat is fast.

        Money is whatever the people make. The People should always resist the efforts of government to seize such things.

        • I thought money was the most ‘trade-able’ thing, providing a common denominator between my apples, your oranges and JAC’s salsa. Are you saying that replacing the currency is not a viable option at this point in the process?

          • The “Theory of Money” provides a coherent theoretical base that explains economic consequences.

            Mises argued that money is a commodity like any other goods or services in an economy, and as such acts and reacts to economic stimuli like any commodity.

            Thus, increasing supply of the commodity lowers its value – just like any commodity – more of it, the price goes down. Lowering supply of money makes it more valuable – like any commodity, the more scarce, the higher the price.

            When you work, you are buying money with your labor. Understanding this precisely aligns one’s understanding of employee/employer relationships, etc.

            Being ‘tradeable’ tends to be a consequence of becoming highly desired, but not a requirement.

            World’s Largest Currency.

            That’s nothing compared to the currency in the teeny Island of Yap, where stone wheels larger than tractor tires are used as cash!

            Hundreds of giant stone coins, some as big as 12 feet in diameter, stand by the side of the road, lean against houses or lie half hidden among trees and shrubs. Many of the mottled gray stones are centuries old and are worth thousands of dollars.

            Though doughnut-shaped coins that weigh a ton might seem impractical elsewhere, stone money is an essential part of the economy and cultural life of Yap, a small group of islands 4,300 miles west of Hawaii.

            The larger pieces are seldom moved and instead change hands in something akin to an electronic bank transfer. They are used to buy land, pay for services or provide compensation in cases of wrongdoing or negligence. Even stones that sank offshore long ago still hold their monetary value.

            As far as a common denominator</b., that is why the commodity is called 'money' – the People use it to price their goods and services with it as their reference. Whether it is pieces of paper, gold oz., large rocks, grains of salt…. people reference other goods and services in relation to that which is called money.

            Replacing the currency will happen. People will abandon the dollar and accept a different version of the same thing – Amero or Euro or something else.

            People are foolish – they will be fooled by the next version of fiat currency like they have been fooled by this version.

            However, understanding what money really is will allow you to (1) take advantage of the use of paper as money and (2) avoid the pitfall that all fiat of government creates.

            • The question you need to ask yourself is:

              Why is government fiat worthless, but a free market version of fiat worthy?

              • Black Flag:

                I’ll give it a try. Government does not produce any real wealth. Government steals wealth from those that produce it in the form of taxes. All government jobs exist on the backs of tax payers.

                The free market does produce real wealth. Therefore, it is a fair trade.

                Did I flunk?

              • Close.

                Because government fiat is derived by force – that is, the government will use violence on anyone else who attempts to create money, the government has compelled everyone to use its fiat.

                With no way to escape, government is immune to the effects of inflating the currency.

                In a free market, if an entity began to inflate the currency, people would abandon it and chose another. The built-in safety mechanism makes inflation in a free market system very difficult to occur – and if it does, is self-correcting as people begin transferring their pricing and desires to another form of money.

          • Csm:

            Let me help interpret the Pirates answer:

            1) “I thought money was the most ‘trade-able’ thing, providing a common denominator between my apples, your oranges and JAC’s salsa.” Yes, that is what it is.

            2) “Are you saying that replacing the currency is not a viable option at this point in the process?” No, but it would be impossible without a very serious change or elimination of govt. Thus it could get you killed if there are not enough of you to scare the Dookie out of em.

            Does that help?

        • Bottom Line says:

          Only when you’ve lost everything are you free to do anything. Because free is just another word for nothing left to lose. Having nothing is knowing the difference between need and want. Want is enslavement.

          Gold is inedible garbage.

          • BL

            Gold is gold – to you it is garbage, to an India bride it is her dowry.

            • Bottom Line says:

              Drop her off on a deserted island for a couple of weeks and I bet she’d be willing to trade her dowry for food and water.

              It’s all relative to want vs need.

              • Sorta and not quite.

                As pointed out, money is merely the most desired commodity.

                Maybe it may be gold. Maybe it may be coconuts.

                But no matter what, it can be called money and money can be called a commodity.

              • Bottom Line says:

                I know I keep picking at you with the inedible gold thing. And I know you get me in spite of my often bizzare angles. I’m sure anything I can think of is well within your range of understanding.

                I am really trying to define pricelessness in contrast to your definitions of value.

                Whatever the value, Need trumps want.

                Gold is inedible. Therefore unnecessary.

                Coconuts is a more legitemate currency than gold.

              • I have to pipe up on coconuts and gold, what with living on a tropical island in the RMI. Coconuts lay on the ground until someone is paid to pick them up, at least here on this island. The well do to locals wear their gold everyday. There is a woman from the Phillipines who sells 18-22k at the consignment shop. She does a pretty good business. The well to do locals are members of the land owning families and they couldn’t care less about those coconuts. The landowners get their money from the US government for use of the land. They are easy to spot. Try trading some coconots for what they have around their necks and dangling from their ears, and see what happens. The folks on the outer islands have coconuts out the wazoo. How many can they eat? How much effort does it take to turn a coconut into a snack or anything useful? Plenty. I can pretty well promise you that any resident of the outer islands here would gladly take the gold over the coconuts. Gold can be traded for stuff that doesn’t grow on trees.

  30. After reading this blog for a few months and posting occasionally, I find myself referring to “free market principles” more often and describing these principles as another way of describing human nature. I also find myself thinking and speaking of individual rights more often and how individual rights cannot properly be violated no matter what the reason.

    BF, JAC, and Peter have been particularly influential on me. Even if I disagree with them often, I still look forward to reading what they write. I have been pretty conservative for a long time, but now find myself thinking and sounding more libertarian.

    Kudos to USW for all of this.

  31. Happy Anniversary! Also congratulations and a big thank you. I feel smarter after reading these blogs. Thanks

  32. Does this bother anyone else? Does anyone buy that this is an inadvertent mistake? The other day, Hannity used footage of the 9/12 rally to make the protests over the heath care bill’s passage appear to be much larger. Jon Stewart called him out on it. What I would like to know is this: had one of the other news outlets done this and inflated the size of a pro-Obama rally, would it be handled in the same way, or would that outlet be racked over the coals for it’s bias? So far, this doesn’t seem to be attracting huge attention, just mild observation and no questioning.

    • GMAFB !! Gibbs says things like ’they’ don’t know about tea parties, 9/12, etc LOL But does the MSM call them out?

      • I must be getting old.. it took me a while to translate GMAFB into The English. C’est la vie.

        Who is the “they” you’re referring to?

        Do you believe this was an accident as Hannity claims?

        • Buck The Wala says:

          No way this was an accident. Bravo for Stewart calling him out on that; and I’ll give Hannity some respect for at least responding.

        • For whom else does Gibb’s speak?

          “they” = White house, administration, Obama, etal

          GMAFB – a Stossel-ism exclaimed ! ;=}

        • Matt:

          “Do you believe this was an accident as Hannity claims?”

          I would say at this point in time that is was an accident. Because:

          1) You may not accept it but there is in fact a double standard when dealing with what the MSM calls left and right issues or pundits. I found this out years ago when dealing with “Environmetal Groups”. If they lied, and they did often, the media would over look it. But if our side made even an honest mistake it was drug through the coals. As one high up politico told me, they can lie and nobody cares but if we get caught in a lie our credibility will be destroyed forever. So, do not ever lie.

          2) There are too many people playing gothca to not expect it to be discovered. If it was deliberate by the actual producers then they have fallen into the “stupid” tank.

          3) To quickly and openly appologize eliminates future problems, but only if your appology is also honest. If it were not a mistake, someone would and will blow the whistle. Phony once we accept graciously but phony twice we castrate you.

          Now lets see what floats to the top on this in future days. Then we might know for sure.

          • I award you 10 points.

            • Since Mathius’ points are merely fiat – they are, in the end, worthless 😉

              • I know, I know.

                But let me relish the moment will ya?

              • They may be fiat, but they can be exchanged for real stuff.

                At 2,732,234,314,791, I will send you a microwave oven.

                Currently, JAC has 47.3 points.

                Bottom Line, has -1,762.1

                You, my friend have 3.1415926535897932384626 * i.

                Oh, and if you happen to acquire 1,894,891,894,918,491,618,911,891, you can exchange them for one oz of 18k gold.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Bottom Line, has -1,762.1

                I think you take me more seriously than I do.

                Do you have something to say matt?

                Don’t be shy brother.

                Speak up.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Matt,

                Believe it or not,
                I like you.

                “You” meaning these words you type that represnt you.

                You don’t get me yet. And that’s cool. You don’t have to.

                I’ll try to stop hedging things so funny.

                lol

                There is middle ground.

                The list is up to two.

    • v. Holland says:

      Yes, it bothers me-what Jon Stewart did is what the Media is supposed to do-Unfortunately very few “call them out” anymore based on a desire for truth in reporting.

    • That WAS deliberate. You have to admit, the uber right is learning.

    • Mathius,

      I have to admit that I missed this. I don’t watch Hannity. I would have to say that I don’t see this as nearly AS big a deal for a single reason. Was it dishonest? It appears so, and I don’t believe for a second Hannity’s explanation that it was an honest mistake. The reason I don’t think it is as big a deal as some other things, is because of the apparent sameness of the health care protests and the 9/12 project. I could be wrong about this, because I don’t follow the 9/12 thing as well, but wasn’t the 9/12 project demonstration basically the same groups as the health care protests? If so, perhaps the 9/12 rally was bigger because it was centralized in DC, but the tax day tea parties and the health care protests have had some large crowds as well.

      I guess I would also have to see the original clip from Hannity’s show. How was it presented? Do you know? Was the video in question presented as evidence of a growing health care protest rally as far as size, or was the video in question merely visual filler while Hannity made whatever inane point he was making?

      • Couldn’t find the full Hannity clip, but here’s Stewart’s handling of it. Starts around 12 minutes in, but it doesn’t answer your question. But at least it’s funny.

        http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/255660/tue-november-10-2009-serena-williams

        They were still different rallies. If a million people showed up to one, it’s a big statement. If they all showed up a second time that’s an exponentially bigger statement, no? Think about it that way. Because the first was huge does not mean that it’s fair to portray other events as if they are the same size, even if their nature is the same. It is misleading. Yes it could have been worse, but it is very dishonest. And I do not understand why Fox doesn’t get pasted to the wall when the pull stuff like this. Everyone else would be.

        • Matt:

          Here is where you are wrong: “Everyone else would be.”

          That would only happen by a concerted and very focused effort by outside forces to get them to even acknoweldge their wrong doing.

          I do find it humorous but sad for us that the media now seems to spend more time watching each other so they can throw mud at themselves, rather than digging into the real issues of the day.

          Perhaps the reason the rest of the MSM is not screaming is because they all know it has or could happen to them?

        • Matt

          I assume you mean distortions like this.

          http://www.mrc.org/biasalert/2009/20090818040310.aspx

          Paste away.

          • Oh NO way Bama Dad !! MRC is a known right wing hate site !!

            You all know that!

            • http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/08/18/msnbc-no-mention-black-gun-owner-among-racist-protesters

              I know you are going to say every site I list is rightwing but I saw it when it was on the news.

              • Sorry Bama – I meant to include a tongue in cheek icon that I was posting as a “Mathius” follower !! LOL

                Just yesterday at an industry expo, as I approached one of the tables, a distributor (one of the more successful ones) was telling a coupla guys, one especially hippie / liberal looking(longer hair, beard, etc)was saying quite vehemently that they should support the public option, bad insurance companies etc etc et etc. I waited and (nicely for me) mentioned that medicare which is the single payor option actually rejects more claims that the ;bad; ins co !!! He replied – mockingly – where did you hear that, Hannity, linbaugh.. then he went on – I interrupted him a couple of time with what (I thought was a couple good points) but he wouldn’t look at me. But he did say he was a socialist and wanted things for everyone) I just couldn’t believe it – wondered why are you here – this is capitalism. Only later did I wish I had waited for the right time and ask him to give me his product for free or less than everyone else. Oh well..

  33. Glad I was ripping away on Foxforum long before it went to PC hell. USW’s “Want to talk without getting censored?” was something I’d only seen on sites like whatsupwiththat and Canada Free Press. Oh and BF, I’ll be checking out the site you mentioned.

    Sorry for the absence, I’ve been reading most of your posts even those times Mathius is busy answering himself but capitalism has been calling a lot of late.

    Later all. This is a great crowd you’ve open the doors to USW.

  34. Stuck in Ohio says:

    USW-congratulations on your first year! Like others I found your site because someone else mentioned it in passing and I was intrigued from my first visit. I rarely post any comments, but I truly enjoy reading it on a daily basis.

    I have learned a lot from your contributors over the last few months and look forward to the next year of issues and comments.

  35. Missing Texas says:

    I would like to add my voice to the congratulations on this blog. I didn’t start to REALLY pay attention—to government—to money—to Congress, till I ran across this site in Feb of last year. I had just found out I owed 15K in state and federal taxes after buying my very first house (a foreclosure in good shape) in CA—Dang, I miss Texas.

    What I have learned from all of you has started me reading, talking and paying attention to the events of the day. How to prepare for what’s coming is going to be difficult, but knowing you are all out there gives me hope.

    Took me a while to process the not voting idea of BF’s—till he used the North Korean example and the light bulb went off.

    I don’t post often (this is the 2nd time)—just read and think about what has been discussed—but if I can’t get here daily, it’s as if I missed my lunch companions.

    Thanks again to you all—

  36. Judy Sabatini says:

    Move afoot to outlaw divorce
    Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 11/12/2009

    A California man wants divorce outlawed.

    RescueMarriage.org imageJohn Marcotte has filed for a ballot initiative to protect traditional marriage in the state of California as an extension of the work related to Proposition 8, the voter-approved constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. In essence, Marcotte’s project would legally ban divorce.

    “Marriage is an important and sacred institution, and I’m just trying to safeguard it in really the most direct way possible,” he states.

    He says he needs the help of California’s registered voters in acquiring “700,000 valid signatures, which likely translates into 1,000,000 [signatures] total.” He further reports that he only has about five months to gather that support for the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act.

    The traditional marriage advocate points to the Bible as validating marriage and providing limited reasons for divorce. “It’s a little difficult to translate God’s law into the law of a secular state, so I think this is about as close as we can come without probably running into some constitutional issues,” Marcotte explains.

    He adds that media attention has helped get the message out, and that people are talking more about the issue. His hope is that the growing discussion will translate into enough petition signatures for a 2010 ballot. His group has organized “The Wedding March on the Capitol” on Saturday (Nov. 14), and has also established a Facebook fan page that has attracted more than 9,000 fans.
    __________________________________________________________________

    So, I guess this guy wants people to stay married even though there might be a reason one seeks a divorce, whether it be, maybe one of them doesn’t love their spouse anymore, or maybe one is trying to kill the other, or maybe, how about infidelity, or how about this one, say abuse.

    There are any number of reasons why people get divorced, but I can’t see how this could even possibly get on the books and ban divorce. Look how many there are in Congress and the House, not to mention a few Senators who have been divorced, and this guy expects to get divorce banned. I don’t/can’t see that happening. Being forced to stay together whether you love each other or not.

    I just had to share this one with you all.

    Hope everybody is having a good day here so far.

    Judy

    • Hi Judy!

      Well, let’s look at this in a different way. We’ve talked about government and their role in marriage, and most agree they should have no business getting involved. This would certainly remove government from marriage, because they would not happen, people would be to afraid of getting stuck in a bad one. Of course, this in California, even if it passed, people would go elsewhere for a divorce.

      I wonder, If this guys wife beat him up real bad o few times, would he think differently. I’ll bet he’s a staunch Democrap as well!

      Yes, this is in jest!

      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hey G

        I just had to put this up, it was just so stupid to think that anybody would even come up with the idea. Thought I heard it all before, but I think that takes the cake. It just threw me for a loop when I read that.

        Hope you’re having a good day today.

        Judy

  37. Mike M. Houston Texas says:

    Great site. The best I have found. You havent kicked me off of here for speaking my mind. For that thanks. Dont let anyone box you in. Keep to your guns.

    To all the winners you earned it. Thanks for providing me feedback. I believe that one day BF will show up in a space ship because he clearly cannot be from this planet.

    • Mike, He is from this planet, but when one enters his cave, it’s really a seperate dimension. I tripped and fell into that cave awhile back, when I finally escaped, I had a bad case of dandruff, as I couldn’t stop scratching my head for days.

      I have since come to terms with his dimension and understand it now.

      G!

  38. Judy Sabatini says:

    Cartoon of the day, you gotta love it.

    • Judy, loved it. Nite all.

      My greatest fear is that there is no PMS and this is my personality….

      If we’re all God’s children, what makes Jesus so special?

      Without me, it’s just aweso

      Why do we call them buildings when they’re finished? Shouldn’t they be called Builts?

      I am going to call my kids Ctrl, Alt and Delete. Then if they muck up i will just hit them all at once.

      I enjoy using the comedy technique of self-deprecation – but I’m not very good at it.

      In retrospect, I suppose “supercalafragalisticexpialadocious” wasn’t a great “safe word…”

      If my hand could get pregnant, today I would be the father and founder of the third global superpower.

      I was standing in the park wondering why frisbees got bigger as they get closer. Then it hit me.

      So a baby seal walks into a club..

      This girl rang me up one time, she says “come over, nobody is home”, I went over, no one was home…

      When shooting a mime, don’t use a silencer or his friends will hear you.

  39. U.S. deficit sets October record of $176.4 billion

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33890309/ns/politics/

  40. Thanks USW for this blog and thanks to all who post. I read every day altho I don’t post every day. I can’t even remember how I found you all but I know it was pretty early this year. I have learned a ton just letting all your comments sink into my densa brain 😉
    Oh, and we need a SUFA entertainment director 🙂

  41. USW…..I have said this before…..YOU HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB.
    I have been coming to your site since January (USW posted an invite on Fox forum) and I have loved every minute of it. I don’t get to post like I would like but I always try to read daily and listen to the “experts” on your site. I thank you for this site and for the gracious MRS Weapons for being such a wonderful lady and sharing her husband with us. There are so many really smart, well read posters here who express theirselves very well and do it without being ugly or tacky. Lots of good people here and I feel as if I know each one personally.
    Thanks USW and congrats!!!

  42. Something……different,

    You don’t like rap? this one you will. Have to see it…and listen carefully – hopefully the message will spread to the homies…

  43. I wonder if the ACLU will join them?

    ACORN Sues Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Funding Cuts By Congress

    by Joseph Abrams

    , FOXNews.com

    In an attempt to regain the millions in funding it lost in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal, ACORN is suing the federal government over congressional legislation that cut off funding to the community organizing group.

    Representatives for ACORN sued the federal government Thursday morning in an attempt to regain the millions of dollars in funding the community organizing group lost after filmmakers videotaped its workers offering advice on how to commit tax fraud and various other felonies.

    The suit charges Congress with violating the Constitution when it passed legislation in September that specifically targeted ACORN to lose federal housing, education and transportation funds.

    That qualifies the legislation as bills of attainder, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the suit on behalf of ACORN. A bill of attainder punishes a person or group without the benefit of a trial, and is illegal under Article 1 of the Constitution.

    Bills of attainder have traditionally been understood to have more serious legal consequences — including the seizure of private property and even capital punishment — than Congress’ decision to withhold funds that are at its discretion to disseminate. Though members of Congress have accused ACORN of corruption, it is not clear how the exercise of its own prerogative is outside the bounds of legislative power.

    • LOI, Maybe we could pull our resources and slap a class action on ACORN for misuse of our tax dollars. The videos alone would prove our case!

      G!

      • I am willing to give it a shot. Think we can find a judge that goes by the law and not how they think the world should be?

      • v. Holland says:

        While we’re at it why don’t we file a class action against the government for misusing our taxes-oh yea that’s against the law isn’t it.

  44. More data against gloabl warming

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2009/6649.html

    • T-Ray!

      I thought I heard the faint sound of Al Gore weeping! Yes, that’s what it is. His scheme to rip off the American people is being flushed down the toilet as each new day arrives. Maybe I should mail him a tissue and a get well card.

      G!

    • T-Ray, more info, and Gore has cut 88 staffers at his TV station, so he’s squirming.

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/11/10/headline-antarcticas-ice-loss-helps-offset-global-warming

      ‘Antarctica’s Ice Loss Helps Offset Global Warming’

      By Noel Sheppard

      A British study has found a new area of sea off the coast of Antarctica, supposedly caused by global warming, that is soaking up carbon dioxide climate alarmists like Al Gore and his media minions believe is responsible for — wait for it! — global warming.

      You really can’t make this stuff up!

      Professor Lloyd Peck, a near-shore marine biologist from the British Antarctic Survey, marvelously said about the find, “It shows nature’s ability to thrive in the face of adversity.”

      With obviously little fanfare, this supports the view of much-maligned climate realists who maintain that fluctuations in global temperatures are largely cyclical, and that nature typically balances such changes over the course of time.

      As Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday:

      Scientists led by Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said that atmospheric and ocean carbon is being gobbled up by microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton, which float near the surface.

      After absorbing the carbon through the natural process of photosynthesis, the phytoplankton are eaten, or otherwise die and sink to the ocean floor. […]
      Over the last 50 years, around 24,000 square kilometres (9,200 square miles) of new open water have been created this way, and swathes of it are now colonised by phytoplankton, Peck’s team reports in a specialist journal, Global Change Biology.

  45. I admit, I have next to no fashion sense, but don’t you usually wear black as a sign of morning at ceremonies like this? I think it is disrespectful.

    http://mrs-o.org/newdata/2009/11/11/marking-veterans-day.html

    In honor of Veterans Day, First Lady Mrs. O has joined the Bidens and President O for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Mrs. O is wearing a blue tweed overcoat from J.Crew, last seen in January 2009, belted at the waist for this occasion. We are intrigued by the dress underneath. Might it be the teal Maria Pinto dress worn for the DNC in August 2008?

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      HI LOI

      She has absolutely no fashion sense what so ever, and who ever said she did, is dumber than a bag of broken rocks. Jackie O., she’s not, even though she thinks she is.

    • LOI

      I have been biting my tongue over all these little snippy criticizms of Mr and Mrs. Obama. After all he is the POTUS and she is the MrsPOTUS.

      However I must finally opine on the general subject of their political and other senses of protocol.

      The Freakin Clampits would have a better grasp on how to dress and how to act in the White House than this bunch from Chicaaaaaago.

  46. Judy Sabatini says:

    I say NO, NO, NO, to giving illegals amnesty. They should have to go through proper channels if they want to become citizens just like everybody else has done.

    I say they should have to learn to speak English, learn about the constitution, and learn the rules and laws, and what ever else people have to do to become LEGAL citizens here.

    Quit catering to illegals and letting them have everything without paying for it like the rest of us. I don’t care what country they are coming from.

    __________________________________________________________________

    Weekend ‘Tea Parties’ will focus on amnesty issue
    Chad Groening – OneNewsNow – 11/11/2009 5:00:00

    On Saturday thousands of citizens opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants will take part in special “Tea Party” events in more than 50 cities across the U.S. to make their opinions known.

    Luis GutierrezRecently Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) announced that he intends to introduce amnesty legislation by the end of November. His “pathway to legalization for undocumented workers,” he says, offers a “practical approach to dealing with the 12 million undocumented immigrants living, working, and raising families in the United States.”

    Given an opportunity to earn their citizenship, he argues, those illegal aliens will submit to background checks, pay their fair share of taxes, and learn English. Gutierrez, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, does not agree with President Obama and Senate Democrats, who prefer not to tackle the amnesty issue until after the 2010 elections.

    William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, explains the political implications of the proposal’s timing.

    William Gheen (ALIPAC)”Many of the Democrats in the House are begging the leadership not to bring up the amnesty bill at all next year because they are fearful for their political lives in the next election,” says Gheen.

    “But Gutierrez is trying to say that he will not fall back any further, and despite the fact that Obama is asking him not to do it yet — because Obama fears the backlash on it — says that he’s going to file that bill,” he adds. “So we’re trying to push him back into not filing that bill.”

    Gheen’s group has organized dozens of Tea Party events for November 14 to oppose Gutierrez’s effort. The website AgainstAmnesty.com offers more information about those events.

  47. So, let’s carry a bit further on JAC’s ‘money’.

    Under the Keynesian theory, gold-money can be hoarded. A SOB can ‘buy up’ all the gold, and stuff it in his vault, and plunge the nation into depression.

    Yes, under a Central Bank theory of money this can happen. But it could not happen under the free market system.

    Change the subject from gold-money to oranges-money. If I bought up all the oranges, and stuffed them in a vault – would the free market economy collapse? Of course not. The people would switch to apple-money, or some other commodity that they valued. Perhaps oranges would still be held to be valuable – but the lack of oranges does not stop pricing things in apples.

    However, in the Central bank cartel – the government prevents the existence of competition in money. Thus, depressions due to contraction of the money supply can occur due to actions of the Central Bank cartel. They can “hoard” gold-money or oranges-money, and by legal violence prevent the use of apples-money. The contraction sets off a depression.

    The other way; in a free market system, a sudden explosion of oranges-money (a good crop) would cause inflation – however, as with hoarding, the public could easily move to apples-money instead and avoid the inflation of oranges.

    However, in the Central Bank cartel – the creation of money causing inflation has no recourse. The people suffer inflation. Pricing calculations are based on fiction and huge errors in allocation of resources is made, causing an inevitable crash of the economy.

    The Bust-Boom cycle of the economy is not a free market consequence – but the consequence of the monopolization of money by government/banking cartels.

    • Black Flag: How would it work in a free market. Let’s say the government no longer controls the money supply. How do I know what currency to use or to accept. Don’t you need a standardized currency in the same geographic area? I cannot comprehend how this would work in a totally free market system. All I know is the US dollar. I understand how barter works, up to a point, for small things but not for large expensive items.

      I just don’t understand how you move from oranges currency to apples currency unless everyone agreed to the new currency.

    • BF:

      I have moved our discussion here.

      You misunderstand my personal view and my question I fear.

      My first offer was an explanation of what the guy on the DVD said and that there are others who agree. I personally have a problem with the need to expand money supply based on any “real price increase” as this would be Keynesian and I am not one.

      If you recall I used the money is a commodity explanation a few months back when trying to explain how and why it moves up and down in value.

      Here is the nut of my personal concern. As population grows and as the economy grows there is ever increasing demand for money. As a commodity it is very possible that there could be a shortage of money. This has happened in the past WITHOUT a central bank. To prevent such a shortage more money is needed. How to accurately calculate the amount? I don’t know.

      Now if you could just explain this one point please.

      • I personally have a problem with the need to expand money supply based on any “real price increase” as this would be Keynesian and I am not one.

        I didn’t mean to paint you as Keynesian. But this is at least the second time it may have appeared that I have. I’ll have to be more careful.

        Here is the nut of my personal concern. As population grows and as the economy grows there is ever increasing demand for money. As a commodity it is very possible that there could be a shortage of money. To prevent such a shortage more money is needed. How to accurately calculate the amount? I don’t know.

        Let’s step one stone at a time.

        What happens when there is a shortage in other commodities? Well, the price goes up for that commodity in relation to other commodities.

        If there is a shortage of wheat, wheat goes up vs, say, oil. Or we can say the price of oil in relation to wheat went down. People will sell more oil to get wheat.

        Same with money, a shortage makes money more valuable vs other commodities – thus, what we see is the price of other commodities goes down in relation to money, since all commodities are using money as a reference for pricing.

        So, if we are unconcerned about the relationship between wheat and oil – that is, we trust the free market is adjusting to increase or decreases of demand and supply of these commodities – why would we be concerned with money doing the same thing?

        As prices drop (money becoming valuable), the other commodities are driven lower and lower in price toward their minimum profit margin.

        Eventually, the sale price is too low, and the product is removed from the market. As products are removed, there is less ‘competition’ for money – and money becomes less demanded – and other products more demanded. As money is less demanded, it’s price drops. As other products are more demanded, their price rises.

        Money is just another commodity – it is simply the most desired commodity. And as such, in a free market, the free market automatically adjusts to the increase in demand or supply of the commodity called “money”.

        Now, to answer Bottom Line before I go into “central banking”.

        The reason Gold has traditionally become money instead of coconuts is the lack of ability to inflate gold. Coconuts, though could be money, is unlikely because you can – literally – grow money on a tree. Coconuts are too easily “inflated”.

        Gold has been traditionally regarded as ‘money’ because it is so darn difficult to find, mine and refine gold. Inflating gold is very, very hard.

        It has occurred, such as the ’49 Gold rush, and it suffered the same ‘inflation’ as any inflated money. But the aggregate amount added to global reserves was less than 1%. Yes, inflation in that small region was high – but globally – not a blip.

        Compare that with the effects of inflation for the US$.

        Back to JAC…

        Central banks are government-granted cartels which monopolize a commodity. They choose the most desired commodity to monopolize.

        When I put it into that frame, doesn’t that scare you? A group, under the agreement of government, monopolized the most desired commodity in society!

        If we trust the free market in dealing with buying and selling commodities, why do we abandon our trust with the most valuable commodity?

  48. Hi Ya’ll!

    I’ve been thinking about USW’s questions he asked at the bootom of his article, so I throw some ideas out and see what happens

    First, as the SUFA Prepared for the Apocalypse Person of the Year, I’d like to thank all those who gave me the knowledge to go in that direction, especially Black Flag. That would be an interesting subject some day, on why to prepare, how to prepare, and how important it is to apply common sense in all of this. Everything that Dad and I have accomplished in this area was well thought out, and rather inexpensive. A discussion on this may help those who are not familiar with these things.

    I also wouldn’t mind trying to understand our left leaning folks and the “greater good” ideals, and why they think it can work this time. Along with that would be why the Anarchists view as to why their ideals would work. I’m sure Flag and Kent would love that.

    Lastly, I would like to discuss how “we the people” can actually change things for the future, a better future. Can this be done peacefully, or will the people rise up and do it forcefully. Which side will our troops take?

    Well, there are some ideas USW. Once again, thanks for doing what you do, you have brought a lot of perfect strangers and made friends of them, which may be your most difficult accomplishment. To everyone who posts or reads here, your a part of my extended family!

    PEACE!

    G!

  49. v. Holland says:

    Personally, I’d like to know more about how specific social programs work-such has hospitals-does the government pay for all unpaid bills or does the hospital have to cover a % -how does it actually work-G brought up programs that were all funded by charity thru his hospital-I know that there are free clinics-Maybe we could prove that charity can take care of societies problem if we examined what charities are available and how the government programs actually work.

  50. v. Holland says:

    As far as getting the word out about your blog-would a radio ad be out of the question-I don’t think there all that expensive and I for one would be happy to help pay for it-a few words on say Fox radio station, like you put on there blog page might bring in a lot more people.

  51. Judy Sabatini says:

    Here’s a little extra humor.

    I was in the express lane at the store quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the
    sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled
    high with groceries.
    Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward looked into
    the cart and asked sweetly, ‘So which six items would you like to buy?’

    Wouldn’t it be great if that happened more often?

    ——————————————————————-
    Because they had no reservations at a busy restaurant, my elderly neighbor and his
    wife were told there would be a 45-minute wait for a table. ‘Young man, we’re both
    90 years old, ‘ the husband said . ‘We may not have 45 minutes.’ They were seated
    immediately.

    —————————————–

    All eyes were on the radiant bride as her father escorted her down the aisle.
    They reached the altar and the waiting groom; the bride kissed her father and placed
    something in his hand. The guests in the front pews responded with ripples of
    laughter.. Even the priest smiled broadly. As her father gave her away in marriage,
    the bride gave him back his credit card.

    ——————————————————————-
    Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to
    the idea.

    ——————————————————————–

    Three friends from the local congregation were asked, ‘When you’re in your casket,
    and friends and congregation members are mourning over you, what would you like them
    to say?’
    Artie said: ‘ I would like them to say I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual
    leader, and a great family man.’

    Eugene commented: ‘I would like them to say I was a
    wonderful teacher and servant of God who made a huge difference in people’s lives.’
    Al said: ‘I’d like them to say, ‘Look, he’s moving!’

    ——————————————————————-
    Smith climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God. Looking
    up, he asks the Lord… ‘God, what does a million years mean to you?’

    The Lord replies, ‘A minute.’
    Smith asks, ‘And what does a million dollars mean to you?’ The Lord replies, ‘A
    penny.’

    ‘Smith asks, ‘Can I have a penny?’
    ‘The Lord replies, ‘In a minute.’

    ——————————————————————-

    A man goes to a shrink and says, ‘Doctor, my wife is unfaithful to me. Every
    evening, she goes to Larry’s bar and picks up men. In fact, she sleeps with anybody
    who asks her! I’m going crazy. What do you think I should do?’
    ‘Relax,’ says the Doctor, ‘take a deep breath and calm down. Now, tell me, exactly
    where is Larry’s bar?’
    ——————————————————————-

    John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully. ‘Give me one last request, dear,’
    he said.
    ‘Of course, John,’ his wife said softly.
    ‘Six months after I die,’ he said, ‘I want you to marry Bob.’
    ‘But I thought you hated Bob,’ she said.
    With his last breath John said, ‘I do!’

    ————————————–

    A man goes to see the Rabbi. ‘Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to
    talk to you about it.’ The Rabbi asked, ‘What’s wrong?’
    The man replied, ‘My wife is poisoning me.’
    The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, ‘How can that be?’
    The man then pleads, ‘I’m telling you, I’m certain she’s poisoning me, what should I
    do?’
    The Rabbi then offers, ‘Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I’ll see what I can find
    out and I’ll let you know.’
    A week later the Rabbi calls the man and says, ‘Well, I spoke to your wife. I spoke
    to her on the phone for three hours. You want my advice?’
    The man said yes and the Rabbi replied, ‘Take the poison’

  52. Murphy's Law says:

    Happy anniversary, USW! I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading, and occasionally posting on this blog. Mostly my comments are of the agree or disagree kind in response to something someone else has written……I have not done enough research of my own to offer much that is original, but I hope to in the future.

    I am also very grateful to the friend of mine who told me about this blog, and who would also kick my ass for naming him, so I won’t.

    May there be much more success for this site…..and saying thanks for all the time you put in on this site just doesn’t do justice. But please give your Mrs. a hug for me….

  53. v. Holland says:

    Someone just sent this to me-thought it was nice.

    The Music Stopped

    For those who are unaware: At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins.

    This is written from a Chaplain in Iraq:

    I recently attended a showing of ‘Superman 3’ here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.

    Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

    Here in Iraq, 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.

    But No!!… You could have heard a pin drop, while every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off:

    “And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

    It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!

    ———————-

    Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price.

    Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins,

    LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq, north of Baghdad

    • VH, That is a wonderful story and very inspiring. Men and women that are serving today believe in this country, I believe, through the many contacts that I have (one being my daughter) that they are not happy with this current administration. They can’t get invloved in politics, so maybe it’s up to people like us to give them a helping hand for a change. That would be another good topic to discuss one day, how to accomplish that?

      Nice post!

      G!

    • And, for me, V., this story is saddening.

      We are wasting our soldiers in a fight we cannot win, a fight made for those that care nothing for those lives nor the lives of those that love those men and women who die for a dream (who IMO are dying totally in vain).

      • BF

        While my support for our troops is from the heart, I would have to agree that whats happening overthere now is not going to achieve anything. Considering the BS in D.C., the realization that the nemy is not that important, maybe it’s time to get out. IMHO, get out or go full blast, this inbetween stuff reminds me of VN.

        G!

      • You may be right about this war but that does not lessen the sacrifice that these men and women are making for the people that they love and when I think about the patriotism these soldiers show, I believe that it’s not so much for country as country is a word used to describe the people in this country. If we as a Country are making mistakes than “we the people” are at fault not the brave men and women who basically give up their freedom and sometimes their lives to protect our freedoms.

  54. On the first anniversary of this site, I offer a suggested theme song, it sure fit the name, and probably fits most who come here:

  55. I have to echo Bottom Line and other comments above;

    Mathius and Buck are exceptional representatives of the “Left” – funny, articulate, respectful, colorfully expressively, and extremely intelligent.

    I sincerely hope they become a permanent fixture at SUFA!

  56. And I want to “call out” a mutual friend of all of us here –

    SFC Dick

    The info I’ve had is he’s deep in the mess we call Afghanistan. He has been MIA on the site for awhile.

    I know he is fighting many wars on many fronts against many enemies – some wearing American uniforms too – with all his weapons – guns, attitude, faith, duty and trust.

    In any battle I’d ever want to walk into, I’d want him covering my back.

    Fight on, fight hard, come back in one piece, SFC!

  57. JAC and Bottom Line

    Kent has written an excellent article on money today for his column.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-5723-Albuquerque-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m11d12-Money-requires-no-government?#comments

    As usual, he chops the fluff and explains the core in a style that ‘real’ people (not aliens) can understand.

    🙂

    • Thanks for the link, BF. I’m sorry I haven’t had the time to hang out here too much recently, although I do still read every post (just not always in a timely manner). My daughter has other plans for my day and it is a challenge most days to even sit down and write the column that is rattling around in my head. On top of that I get requests to comment on other sites all the time, and I guess it is good to spread myself around sometimes. If you want a pretty in-depth discussion of “what I believe”, check out that link.

  58. Life problems of the incredibly rich

    Man distracted by pelican drives Bugatti in marsh

    LA MARQUE, Texas – A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston. The accident happened about 3 p.m. Wednesday on the frontage road of Interstate 45 northbound in La Marque, about 35 miles southeast of Houston.

    The Lufkin, Texas, man told of driving his luxury, French-built Bugatti Veyron when the bird distracted him, said La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist. The motorist dropped his cell phone, reached to pick it up and veered off the road and into the salt marsh. The car was half-submerged in the brine about 20 feet from the road when police arrived.

    Gilchrist said he doesn’t know if the car was salvageable, but in his words, “Salt water isn’t good for anything.” He says the man, whose identity hasn’t been released, was not injured.

    A 2006 Bugatti Veyron was recently offered for sale in Jonesboro, Ark., for $1.25 million.

  59. Judy Sabatini says:

    Well since it seems to be complimentary night here, I would like to say a word or two if you don’t mind.

    I was complimented today by USW, and it really made my heart soar, and I want to thank you again for his kind words.

    To all the rest of you hear I know I have said it before, but I want to say it again. You all have become very good friends to me over these past few months I have been coming here, and I love you all so very much.

    We have had some great talks , debates, and just basic chats here and I have really enjoyed each and every one of them. Even the ones who pit me in the corner, no need to mention names, I think you know who you are.

    You will never be forgotten and you will always, always hold a very special place deep within my heart for making me feel welcome here, and I thank you all so very much for that.

    May you all have the very best that life has to offer you.

    Judy

    • You have been officially deemed as the Official SUFA Team Mom. I hope you can live up to your reputation, because now you have an important role here. From this point on, when the boys get alittle out of hand, you must step in and calm them down! This means Black Flag too! Your the Mom, now handle those duties, we’re all counting on you!

      Your great!

      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Oh Great, now I have more than my 2 son’s to contend with. I want to thank you for that vote of confidence and I will promise to live up to my duty.

        But one question G. Who made you the official spokesmen here for that job? LOL!

        Judy

        • I’m preparing you for the apocalypse, that’s my job now too! Today was a good, fun day here. Damn I’m Lucky!

          G!

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            You’re right G, it has been a fun day here, but I think everyday here is fun, at least for me anyway. I wouldn’t have said what I did, if I didn’t mean it and I meant every word I said. I truly love all of you here and it makes my heart warm to know that I can call all of you here my friends, good friends, my special friends.

    • G-Man,

      I already leave the pistol and sword outside the door when I ‘visit’ Judy.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        And I thank you for that too BF, but there may be times I might have to get a little rough with you. LOL

        Oh, who am I kidding, I cant get rough with any of you and you all know that too.

  60. I’ve read many times that some put a monetary value on a human life, but noone has been able to do the same with freedom. Reckon that makes Freedom priceless!

    G!

  61. Judy Sabatini says:

    Time to go for the night and I would like to add that this has been a very special day for me, one that I will remember for a long, long time.

    While I’m gone, I expect my boys to behave and play nice with each other, no fighting now.

    Good night to all and pleasant dreams.

    Judy

  62. I have been visiting this blog almost daily since mid December, and just wanted to thank USW for setting up this communty. I also wanted to thank the members of this community, this is one the few places I have been on the internet where ideas and viewpoints are respectfully debated. In my opinion you folks are far more knowledgeable and well reasoned than any of the “experts” and/or pundits that the major networks and newspapers trot out on a daily basis. Looking forward reading the next year’s worth of articles and comments.

    Stay safe,
    Displaced Okie

  63. Hey USW,

    Congratulations and a big thank you! I visit this site everyday and have learned quite a lot. Thanks for letting me speak my mind here at SUFA. Lord knows I couldn’t do it anywhere else! I’m looking forward to another year of those 4am posts! Ah, the wonders of the International Dateline……

    🙂

  64. Idea for future post: role of lobbyists in government.

  65. Natalie Martinez says:

    It must feel like such an accomplishment to have kept this going for a year. I always thought about starting a blog but never knew what I should do it about. I look up to people like you who can stick to something like this.
    Thank You

  66. Happy belated anniversary to USWeapon and everyone else in this great community.

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