Tuesday Night Open Mic for February 23, 2010

We come to open mic not a moment too soon! It seems the topics the last few days have lit a fire behind some people and the discussions have been great. There are obviously some fundamental differences in the starting points for different folks in the conversations. I hope that in the future we have the opportunity to discuss those starting points specifically, rather than lightly flushing them out in order to make a point on something else. For example, the taxes are or aren’t theft discussion is one that I will write about soon and we can have a whole day dedicated to that debate. Should be interesting. For the upcoming few articles I have some plans. Now that I can see Mathius is back among us, I will finish the answer to his post as promised. I will also be starting the series I have been promising. My thought is Thursday night for the Mathius article, unless a guest commentary article shows up in my inbox. And then Sunday night for the beginning of the series. For open mic tonight, I am posting fewer topics initially, simply due to time constraints. So there will only be two to start. But I will add others as time permits. Perhaps not until Wednesday afternoon.


  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Doctors Urging for a Safer, Choke-Free Hot Dog

    The nation’s largest pediatricians group is calling for sweeping changes in the way food is designed and labeled to minimize children’s chances for choking.

    Choking kills more than 100 U.S. children 14 years or younger each year and thousands more — 15,000 in 2001 — are treated in emergency rooms. Food, including candy and gum, is among the leading culprits, along with items like coins and balloons. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids in 2006, 61 were food-related.

    Surveillance systems lack detailed information about food choking incidents, which are thought to be underreported but remain a significant and under-appreciated problem, said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

    Read the entire article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587133,00.html

    We meet again at the crossroads of government intervention and common sense. The woman talked about in the article had a 4 year old son that ate hot dogs for years, but choked to death on a piece of hot dog. Her conclusion: There are not enough warnings on the labels of hotdogs and perhaps we should change the way hot dogs are made to make them less dangerous. Oddly, she does not see this as a failure on her part to properly cut up the hot dog.

    Here is a different take on the statistics presented above. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids in 2006, less than half had anything to do with food at all. That means that kids are choking on things they weren’t supposed to put in their mouth in the first place. Of the 61 deaths by food, I wonder how many were hotdogs? Let’s just assume that 100% of the deaths due to food choking were all hotdogs. That would mean that hotdog choking affects 0.0000001 percent of the population. And for that one ten millionth of a percent, we should take steps to pass laws that will require billions of dollars of industry changes. And remember that I assumed every death was hotdog related. In reality I bet that there were one or two hotdog related deaths a year. When hotdogs are one of the most eaten items in America, couldn’t we chalk that up to coincidence? Isn’t it simply inevitable? The sheer number of dogs eaten daily certainly means the odds are that someone is going to choke on them.

    The result? Hotdogs, along with any other food impacted will increase in cost, further contributing to the problems that most Americans have in getting by on increased costs of living. The cost increases because people feel we need government to tell us that you can choke on food. As an added bonus, we can pay more taxes to pay for the regulation and oversight required to make sure the hotdog industry is meeting its obligation to warn an unsuspecting public about the mortal threat of the processed meat delicacy.

    This, my friends, is a fine example of a runaway government and a public that takes no personal accountability for the actions taken in their lives. It’s an effing hotdog. Is there anything beside liquid that couldn’t cause choking death if not properly chewed or cut up? A bite of steak can kill you. So can a piece of poptart. Instead of expecting that the entire food industry should change the way they make food and should increase the warning labels about choking death, perhaps you could take some responsibility for your own life and teach your child to chew before they swallow.

    I know I seem to be pushing this a little hard. But I have to be honest and say that I am outright sick and tired of this part of the American mentality. Personal responsibility seems to be dead. No matter what it is, idiots like this feel that the answer is that we must have government step in to protect us. Well I say enough. I will continue to call out the stupidity. If you need a label on food to tell you that you can choke on it if you don’t chew it enough, then I submit that you are too stupid to continue on. In fact if you need a label to warn you on your hotdogs, you are probably too stupid to actually read that label. Darwin says you and your line have to stop here. Do not pass go.

    • USW-“We meet again at the crossroads of government intervention and common sense.”

      I blame the decline in the traditional American family structure.Research a little social science USW; the statistics concerning married couples, non-married couples, single parent families in regards to poverty, physical health, juvenile criminal behavior and psychological health is simply amazing.

      • TC,

        I have little doubt that all of those things you mentioned are true. The decline of the family social structure is a major player in the problems in the US today. There is plenty of reason for this to have happened. Everything from a new paradigm of two working parents to a progressive education system that has been designed to come between a child and the values of their parents. But I don’t know that I blame all of the decline on the decline of family structure. It plays into it for sure. But the reality is that the federal government has for too long attempted to create a populace that is completely dependent on government. That means that now even something as simple as ensuring your child chews their food is something that the American public is deemed unable to do without government help.

        The Nanny State grows each day. At some point a 250+ year old country is going to have to forego the nanny and learn that people must stand or fall on their own merits instead of depending on government.


        • Posting for comments! Have a great day!


        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Posting for comments…

          My husband and I talked about that article…

          Personally, I don’t see a problem with adding “warning” labels about choking as long as they add a warning that “Hot Dogs may contain meat products” and “have been processed in a plant that uses sodium”. 🙂

          Have a great day all!

        • USW-” But the reality is that the federal government has for too long attempted to create a populace that is completely dependent on government.”

          I agree wholeheartedly.The government wants a dumbed down dysfunctional populace.Much easier to control.By the way do you think Obama will let the marriage tax credits run out this year or renew them?Seems to me that it would be better to give incentive to be married rather than single.

          • See, this is where we differ, yet again. Perhaps the effect of the ‘nanny’ state is a more dumbed down dysfunctional populace, but the intent is to protect them.

            There’s an age old adage that applies well here: Never attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              If the intent is to protect people and the result is that people end up stupid, lazy, and dependent on the State for their very existence, you MUST JUDGE THE ACTION BY THE OUTCOME, NOT BY THE INTENT!

              • Absolutely not.

                Tex claims that the government wants a dumbed down populace. That is a question of intent, not outcome.

                We can argue outcome separately, but as for intent, I simply reject as patently false that that is what the government is actively trying to do.

            • Mathius,

              Yes, you are a pure Statist.

              You reason that people are too dumb and need government to help – yet, but again contradict yourself, believe people are smart enough to vote the likes of you into such a government position.

              • No one is dumb enough to vote for the likes of me.

              • #
                anita said
                February 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

                There is a God after all 🙂

                Did you miss the thread a while back where I laid out a case that I may, in fact, be God? As such, there is no reason I would want to make another like myself – that would just be silly.

                Black Flag said
                February 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm


                I said “the likes of you”, not “identical”.

                There are millions like you, though you are unique.

                Hardly. I am so unique that there is no one like me.

            • Matt,

              We need to close the Grand Canyon immediately. It is lacking a safety fence around it and all the trails. People might fall down and go splat. Please Obama, save us!

    • Don’t forget to include any restaurant must have signs as you enter “Improperly chewing food might cause choking deaths”

      Instead of kids and baby toys coming with choking labels, all products will include these warnings. You get a pack of batteries, choking hazard, you get a new tv, guess what the packing material is a choking hazard.

      I see nothing but good coming out of this! Since people that choke to death are now warned with everything in existence, they will have no recourse to sue and that will result in lower liability insurance as mandated by the government, thus passing lower costs onto you the consumer.

      • And, since everyone obviously reads the label on everything they pick up, there will be no more choking deaths! I mean, who doesn’t read the entire hot dog label when they pick it up? I have a magnifying glass sitting next to my fridge to read the fine print!

        Honestly? This is like suing McDonalds because hot coffee is HOT! (Of course that is a bad example, because the coffee was actually superheated and gave her third degree burns, but the point is that we should be able to realize that coffee is hot.)

    • WARNING: Being a idiot and eating pretzels may result in this:


    • Ellen Spalding says:

      Lets see we need the government tellig us that we need to cut up the hot dog before we give it to children, and even then watch just in case. Sad

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @USW – I’m missing where here the government has actually done anything with respect to this issue? It was sourced from the physicians group not the government.

      • Ray,

        So are you saying that I have to wait until the regulation is in place before I can say that it is a ludicrous? Because that seems to be the losing way to go.

        See, this won’t be something that Congress does. So there will be no opportunity for us to voice to our representatives that we do not need or want such idiocy. No sir, this will end up being done by a group such as the FDA, and usually we wouldn’t have a chance to voice our thoughts before hand.

        I refuse to wait until the damage is done before I react or discuss problems.


      • @-Ray

        Ray asked”I’m missing where here the government has actually done anything with respect to this issue?”

        TC asks-Seems to me Ray that Big Brother is on the verge of getting involved if not already involved just by reviewing this matter ehh?

        “Adler, a Warren, N.J. attorney who pushed for more warning labels after her son died in 2001, says she hopes the academy’s efforts will work. Several efforts to pass federal legislation for labels have failed in Congress.

        The group also urges the Food and Drug Administration to work with other government agencies to establish a nationwide food-related choking reporting system; and to recall foods linked with choking.”

        “At the FDA, spokeswoman Rita Chappelle said the agency will review the academy’s analysis and recommendations. She said the FDA also would continue consulting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on assessing choking hazards associated with food and take action on a case-by-case basis.”

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      This article is a perfect description of everything that is WRONG with government.

      Government, if it exists at all, should have ONE primary function. Protect the life, liberty, and property of those consenting to be governed, and ensure that those consenting to be governed have freedom to act, provided their actions do not impose upon others. Period.

      Now, some of you MIGHT argue that the choke-free hotdog would fall under the category of protecting the life of those consenting to be governed. However, THAT IS A FALLACY!

      Here is why it is a fallacy. None of us are immortal. If we manage to avoid all risks (or at least not die from any risks) over the course of our lifetimes, WE WILL STILL DIE ANYWAY.

      Life has a 100% mortality rate. Death is certain. When death will occur, how it will occur, and why it will occur are all uncertain.

      It is NOT the job of the government to mitigate or eliminate the risks associated with being alive. Please read that sentence again.

      If you disagree with that sentence, then you believe that it is the government’s job to ensure that everyone consenting to be governed must die of natural causes/old age. If that is truly the case, then we should have grounds to sue the government in any and all cases where a person dies of anything other than natural causes/old age, because the government failed in its supposed responsibility to ensure that everyone lived to the point where they died of natural causes/old age.

      Most of you, I am sure, realize that this is patently ridiculous, and yet some of you support heavy governmental regulations of things which MUST, by definition, fall under the category of routine individual risk which is a natural consequence of being alive.

      The “Precautionary Principle” is an abomination born of the fantasy that government should have the power and responsibility to define acceptable risk for the people. This is not the responsibility of the government, it is the responsibility of each individual.

      For example, anyone and everyone who goes skydiving could potentially die, or suffer completely debilitating injuries as a result of their chosen “sport”. This is WELL KNOWN.

      I personally do not skydive, because in my mind, the risks of the activity outweigh the benefits. I make this determination on my own, for myself, and do not seek to impose this decision upon others, who may well thoroughly enjoy skydiving in spite of (or perhapse because of) the risk of severe injury or death.

      Now, under the “Choke-Proof-Hotdog-Doctrine” if one single skydiver is severely injured or killed, skydiving must be, perforce, outlawed completely, or at a minimum completely redesigned so as to eliminate any and all associated risk.


    • Product Warning Labels

      In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods:

      On Sears hairdryer:
      Do not use while sleeping.

      On a bag of Fritos:
      You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.

      On a bar of Dial soap:
      Directions: Use like regular soap.

      On some Swanson frozen dinners:
      Serving suggestion: Defrost.

      On a hotel provided shower cap in a box:
      Fits one head.

      On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert: (printed on bottom of the box)
      Do not turn upside down.

      On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:
      Product will be hot after heating.

      On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
      Do not iron clothes on body.

      On Boot’s Children’s cough medicine:
      Do not drive car or operate machinery.

      On Nytol sleep aid:
      Warning: may cause drowsiness.

      On a Korean kitchen knife:
      Warning keep out of children.

      On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights:
      For indoor or outdoor use only.

      On a Japanese food processor:
      Not to be used for the other use.

      On Sainsbury’s peanuts:
      Warning: contains nuts.

      On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
      Instructions: open packet, eat nuts.

      On a Swedish chainsaw:
      Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.

      On a child’s superman costume:
      Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

    • A)I’m really craving a hot dog now – chili, slaw & onions, a tad of hot mustard, please, with a nice, cold, dark beer.

      B) Glad the govm’t is going to protect all us stupid parents who try to choke our little ones with hot dogs. Hope they put the warning labels on in English and Spanish.

      C) Rather than Darwin, we attribute the dumbing down of society to a lack of tigers. Tigers used to eat the slow, stupid people before they could breed. Guess it’s the same thing as “natural selection,” but in our personal circle, it’s fun to go to Wal-Mart, buy a 5-lb. package of hot dogs, look around, shake our heads and sadly state “they’re just aren’t enough tigers…”

      Ciao and have a very pleasant evening!

    • wouldn’t it be easier and possible cheaper to create a tv spot reinforcing the Heimlich then spend money on studies and such.

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    NAACP to Honor Van Jones as ‘American Treasure’

    White House green jobs adviser Van Jones quit the post last year after he was dogged by past remarks and associations, but that isn’t stopping the NAACP from awarding him one of its Image Awards — and even calling him a “American treasure.”

    Jones, who served as an adviser to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, generated mounting criticism last summer, first for calling Republicans “assholes” during a videotaped address earlier in the year and then for signing a petition in 2004 supporting the “9/11 truther” movement, which believes the Bush administration may have been involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    The latter development, which came on top of several others, was perhaps the most devastating and led to calls for his resignation.

    But Jones still has his share of outspoken supporters, and one of them is Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.

    “Van Jones is an American treasure,” Jealous writes in an opinion piece posted at CNN.com. “He is quite simply one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating new jobs.”

    and then further in the article:

    Jones is considered a rising star in environmental circles. In addition to writing “The Green Collar Economy,” he has co-founded and worked with several groups dedicated to helping low-income and minority communities — often through green jobs and better environmental policy. He got his start as a San Francisco-area activist.

    Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, speaking last year on “Fox News Sunday,” called Jones’ resignation a “loss for the country.”

    But critics raised questions about his fitness for a White House-level office, pointing to his radical activities a decade ago as well as more recent controversial stances.

    Jones was a self-described “communist” during the 1990s and previously worked with a group dedicated to Marxist and Leninist philosophies. His comments, even in recent years, were often racially charged. He’s blamed “white polluters and white environmentalists” for “steering poison” to minority communities. In 2005, he drew a distinction between white and black youths involved in shooting incidents by referencing the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

    “You’ve never seen a Columbine done by a black child. Never,” Jones said. “They always say, ‘We can’t believe it happened here. We can’t believe it’s these suburban white kids.’ It’s only them!” he said. “Now, a black kid might shoot another black kid. He’s not going to shoot up the whole school.”

    Such statements did not draw widespread attention until after a February video surfaced showing him calling Republicans “assholes” during an address in Berkeley, Calif. Jones apologized, but faced down his past again when it was discovered that he signed a 2004 statement calling on then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and others to launch an investigation into evidence that suggests “people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.”

    Read the entire article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/23/naacp-honor-van-jones-national-treasure/

    Now I don’t want to be the downer here… but really? An American Treasure? How about this: He is an American Racist. An American Communist. A radical community activist (or community organizer, hmmmm).

    In what I deem as yet another example of the NAACP showing why it has zero relevance in today’s society, they have chosen to honor a man as an American treasure who calls the opposition assholes in a public speech, who signed the petition claiming 9/11 was an inside job. There is no way that someone as crass and racist as Van Jones should have ever, EVER been placed into a White House position. In my opinion, it was one of the worst moves Obama could have made because it showed his alliance with radical positions.

    I applaud Jones if he is responsible for helping to create jobs in areas that need them. But the idea that they are “green” jobs, at this point, simply sours me on the whole idea. Because “green” jobs are created by writ of the federal government, meaning that I would put even money that those jobs were created using funds allocated by the federal government on the premise of stopping man-made global warming. As you all know, I do not believe in AGW, and I think many rational folks are beginning to see the light on the subject as well. So he didn’t necessarily create jobs as much as he successfully lobbied to ensure federal funding went to his group instead of some other group.

    I actually have less issue with his being a communist (no he has not renounced such beliefs to date) that I have with his racist mantra. White people are the devil to Jones. We poison minority communities. We shoot up schools. I find it interesting that he brings up that fact for the record. The two biggest school incidents in my mind are Columbine and Virginia Tech. One was two white kids and the other was an Asian. Meanwhile, black “gangstas” aren’t shooting up schools. Mainly because they don’t attend schools. Instead they shoot up neighborhoods, street corners, night clubs, and fast food restaurants. And perhaps he should view that video that went viral of the black kids beating to death another kid with railroad ties at a Chicago school.

    And what was his purpose in the Columbine comments anyway? Since when is a tragedy such as a mass shooting at a school a reason to bring race into the subject? You know who does that? Racists. There sure might be some racist folks in the south. But the biggest racists I know either have black skin or are commentators and guests on MSNBC. Jones fits the bill. He is a racist asshole, not an American Treasure.

    But if he is a national treasure, can we please lose him at sea?

    • Seems to me to just be a method of thought control; Benjamin Jealous is using loaded language to encourage his opinion to become divine using the NAACP as the teleprompter to convince the black community of Van Jones supposedly treasureable qualities.

      Hrmm… who was it that once said… “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”—Joseph Goebbels: Reich minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.

    • Actually, I think the NAACP is a racist organization. If I made the NAAWP I would surely be called a racist. Racism will only go away when we make NO distinctions based on race! That means no affirmative action! If you want to help someone who has been the victim of racism, then do so, I’m all for it, but don’t make a broad sweeping program like aa. If a black or Hispanic or Asian person does not experience racism in his or her life, he or she can still benefit from the program because of their race. If a white person, on the other hand, is a victim of racism, he or she cannot benefit! Isn’t that pretty much the definition of a racist program?

      By the way, with the recent election of the chairwoman of the NAACP, neither the current president nor the chairwomen have ever experienced legalized segregation. I think it’s high time we stop putting racists up on pedestals (on all sides!).

    • USW….you have already given Jones and the NAACP more attention than deserved. You mentioned them in your article. That is enough. I do not think that many people take either very seriously.

    • I equate TREASURE to MONEY. In other words it is something considered of great value.

      I was not aware that we had made such a determination regarding the value of Bull Shit.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I would suggest that Van Jones isn’t worth the effort to write an article on.

      But also….

      “Meanwhile, black “gangstas” aren’t shooting up schools. Mainly because they don’t attend schools. Instead they shoot up neighborhoods, street corners, night clubs, and fast food restaurants.”

      – Statements like that just sound stupid USW. You’re just throwing gasoline on a fire that doesn’t need it.

      • How can it sound stupid if it is the truth? Would it not sound stupid if he had made his point with more politically correct terminology Mathius? Jeesh…It most definitely is a fire that needs to be burnt out.It is senseless behavior causing the deaths of innocents and destroying values in the black community.Not even you could argue for the right of gangsta drive-bys Mathius.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Mathius, unsure how you got dragged into this, but I would love to hear you come up with an argument for the ‘right of gangsta drive-bys’.

          Busy day and I can use the laugh!


          • Not sure either, but I absolutely could argue for such a right – just not argue well.

            I would suggest that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword and that, over the course of the gangster’s life, he has had imposed upon him violence by his intended target or that a legitimate case may be made that the gangster fears for his life from the target. As such, violence may be considered an acceptable recourse. Given that, a drive by may be considered the safest way to deliver that recourse (for the attacking party, anyway). I see no problem with this.

            Now, were I have to disagree is where innocents may be insured. If you can deliver a drive by in such a manner/time/place as to assure no innocents will be harmed (or their property), then I say go for it.

            HUZZAH! 🙂

          • I suppose I am guilty of confusing Mathius and Ray!Sorry guys lol

      • Why does it sound stupid? My point is only that Jones was attempting to indicate that black shooters target only another blank person, not groups or schools or whatever. I gave three very relevant examples of where he is completely flawed in taking that stance.

        If you are pointing to the “they don’t attend schools” comment, I remind you that many of these violent shooters are aged 17-25, either high school dropouts or finished HS. I can accept that whatever I made makes me sound stupid if you explain what you meant. And tell me where I am wrong.

        Because if I am not wrong…. I am stupid for pointing out what I see in the news and in daily life?


    • They might not shoot up schools but they can terrorize several states. Can anyone say DC sniper?

      • Creating a policy that is applied on all people because of the actions of the insane 0.0001% is…


        • Was someone advocating some sort of policy creation? I was merely pointing out that his claims that only white kids are crazy shooters is bogus and false rhetoric. I didn’t see anyone above, at any point advocating some sort of policy.


          • I would recommend a new policy. It reads like this: “no new policies for the next 500 years”. 🙂

            How’s that?


    • Didn’t the NAACP give an “Image Award” only to Condi Rice? And it took them a while to call out those who referred to her as “Aunt Jemima.” That speaks volumes about the NAACP agenda and which way they roll.

      If Van Jones is an American Treasure, how ’bout they bury him, and leave a lot of hard-to-find clues. Then an up-and-coming young actor could dig him up in about 50 years and they could make a movie out of it. The conspiracy theory behind the movie could be how, in 2009, a socialist and his cronies tried to take over the US, but the good citizens stopped them. But, it was a close call….and wow, this guy, Van Jones, was almost a key player. It could happen in Hollywood.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Hutchison Says Perry’s Attacks Hindering Her Campaign

    U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison tells The Associated Press that Gov. Rick Perry’s relentless attacks on her as a Washington insider has hindered her gubernatorial campaign.

    Trailing in the polls with less than a week before the Republican primary on March 2, Hutchison said in an interview with the AP on her campaign bus Tuesday that Perry “definitely has made it more difficult for me.”

    Hutchison said she’s been an effective senator for Texas but that Perry has tried to paint that success as a negative.

    Hutchison, campaigning in a town in north Texas that makes cowboy boots, said she’s always voted with Texas values. She says she’s working hard to turn out grassroots supporters to force Perry into a runoff election.

    Article presented in its entirety from here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/23/hutchison-says-perrys-attacks-hindering-campaign/

    I don’t have a lot to say on this one. But I had to add it here almost as a joke.

    So let me get this straight. Hutchinson is complaining that the statements made by someone who is opposed to her winning an election is not helping her to win an election.

    Damnit, McCain should have used this against Obama and his campaign staff. That damn Barack Obama is hindering my campaign to become President. Unfortunately, the Obama campaign couldn’t have made the same claim after the Palin interview with Couric. McCain was at that point, hindering his own campaign.

    I am sure D13 will have something to say on this nonsense.

    • D13 here…to weigh on on this campaign. It appears that as Tuesday draws near, there will be a runoff. The runoff will not be because of Hutchinson…it is because of Medina. She has anywhere from 20-24% of the vote. D13’s view of things as follows:

      Hutchinson – A Washington insider and she has done a lot for Texas as has every Senator has done for their respective State. Earmarks and spending. Texas has benefited in millions of taxpayer dollars because of her earmarks…as has every State out there. But she is still a Washington insider. Her record on spending is not very good. True, she voted against most things but she still spent through this earmarks. She is in a hardball fight down here. There are a lot of people that are voting Debra Medina just to show both of them that people are pissed. To her statement of negative campaigning….she is doing the same. She is a Texas woman, and, therefore, should be used to the straight forward ways. We respect our women as is the Western way..BUT..if she chooses to strap on the guns, she better be ready for a fight and quit whining. THAT will lose respect faster than sour cactus juice on a spring day.

      Perry – The incumbent that is a “good ole’ boy”. One thing that Texas is sometimes lax on is cronyism. It usually does not fly down here very well but Perry has been successful in doing some of this. We caught Perry doing a couple of things and when we yelled loud enough he quit it and has changed his position. He is getting stronger on the illegal immigration issue, border patrols, and drug trafficking. He tried an end run on the Trans Texas Corridor (toll roads funded and owned by foreign companies) but got caught at it. Imminent domain was going to be used but our legislature has stopped him cold on that and there have been Constitutional Amendments to the use of Imminent domain to better protect the landowners. His stock has gone up in my eyes by two things. (1) He has refused Federal money with strings attached. ( ie. extended unemployment benefits that the feds required state taxes to be raised when Federal Money ran out and (2) he refused billions in education funds last month when the Feds said to take the money, Texas had to adopt the Federal Standards of education which are considerably lower than Texas. He said no. He is now an ardent supporter of States Rights over Federal intervention and has vowed never to accept Federal Funding with Federal requirements and that is ok with us. If we want it, we will pay for it ourselves. Perry has authorized the Texas National Guard to patrol the border and they are weapons free….meaning they can shoot if threatened. There are no rules of engagement that ham string the soldiers.

      Medina – A State’s rights activist and new comer. She has appealed to several conservative voters here and is a straight forward shooter. She has yet to be contaminated by the political trappings. However, she is a neophyte on the political stage and is a “rookie in the ring” and does not know how to rope a dope. Her interview with Glenn Beck hurt her significantly here. The issue was whether she bought into the theory of the 9-11 attacks of whether or not the government was involved. She tried to “do a little side step” and fell on her ass. She was at 26% approval until that day. She lost about 5% of the vote with her statements. Texans do not believe in the conspiracy theories. We deal with the border issues daily and the influx of illegals, however, the only “sanctuary” style city is Austin and that is changing rapidly. Medina has focused on the rise in crime, DUI’s, and felony arrests with a direct link to illegal immigration. It rises and falls with the stats and is provable. She is scoring strong on that.

      So…early voting is still on until Friday. I have yet to cast my ballot. However, our veterans groups are getting together and we are taking over 400 people to the polls in DFW area alone this Friday. In total, state wide, our groups are actually taking just a spit shy of 1,000 people to the polls. I am leaning heavily towards Medina solely to throw the race into a runoff…Perry has the nod, so far, from me. The bigger issues are the down ballot races that we are trying to influence.

      Medina will not win the primary, but I hope that the fact that she has pulled a lot of votes is sending a strong signal….and the Hutchinson/Perry runoff should prove interesting.

      Thus….D13 has spoken.

      • D13


        Are you attending the Tea Party celebration in the Dallas Fort Worth area this weekend?

        I saw their advertisement asking Olberman to come on down. It was great.

        Top o the mornin to ya

  4. Life of Illusion Topic #1

    The Justice Department’s disclosure that nine of President Obama’s appointees had either represented or advocated for Guantanamo detainees has touched off a firestorm of criticism.

    The surprising admission came three months after Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa asked Attorney General Eric Holder for a list of names of Obama DOJ appointees who had been involved in legal work for Gitmo prisoners.

    Holder, in a letter to Grassley, admitted that nine of the agency’s appointees had done some kind of work on behalf of terror suspects.

    “To the best of our knowledge, during their employment prior to joining the government, only five of the lawyers who serve as political appointees in those components represented detainees,” said Holder in the letter, which is dated Feb. 18.

    Read the rest of this article here: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/in_justice_furor_over_gitmo_appointees_2Yr7Gp8Qh41E4EVWIeAXRP#ixzz0gRPpIf2x

    LOI sent me this yesterday and I found it interesting, although not surprising. At this point I am inclined to say that it doesn’t really mean much. Lawyers doing what lawyers do. We knew Obama’s position on Gitmo detainees and their rights before he came to office, so it should be no surprise that Holder’s office got filled with appointees who share that same position.

    But I did want to put it up for others to read and comment on. Am I off base here or is this not a surprise and not really that much of an issue. Now when they release the information stating that these 9 appointees also failed to pay their taxes, that will be not a surprise, but definitely an issue.

    • “The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”

    • Buck The Wala says:

      I’m with you on this USW – no real issue here. Just because a lawyer accepts a client and advocates on their behalf does not mean the lawyer agrees with his client’s position.

      It would be akin to saying that a defense attorney cannot later serve in another capacity because he is soft on crime based on his choice to represent alleged criminals.

      • Buck

        I do see a difference in these types of examples. Namely lawyers and others who take govt jobs.

        Lawyers who take these types of cases are usually some type of “advocate”. In your example the attorney is paid. But who was paying the bills for these fellas? I’m guessing more advocacy was involved than currency.

        In that respect it raises “concerns” for me. It is not necessarily a deal breaker. But it should have warranted a much harder look at each of the attorneys involved.

        I once had to endure an “extra grilling” in an interview for a govt contract position because I had once worked as an industry lobbyist. It came down to the belief of the “environmentalist” on the panel that I had been honest in my dealings and could thus be expected to do the same with a different mission. The point being it raised serious concerns and I underwent extra questioning.

        It seemed appropriate to me. These fellas are in DOJ. I personally don’t want advocates in those jobs unless they are advocating adherence to our existing laws. I don’t want more lawyers in DOJ who think they should change “interpretations” based on some political viewpoints.

        Do have one question though regarding lawyers and their clients. Defense attorneys are obviously going to defend accused criminals from time to time. And your comment in that regard are spot on.

        However, would you say the same for a lawyer who attached himself to defending Mob organizations as his “regular” business? I know the loyalty is said to be to the law, but it seems in these cases the lawyer has really sold out to the money. Your thoughts????

        Good Morning Young Buck. I left you a note last night on yesterdays post.
        Top O’ the day to ya.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          You make a valid point. I would not be opposed to some heightened interviewing in such instances as you had experienced. But overall I would be opposed to any blanket rule which conflates advocacy for a client with agreement with that client’s views.

          As for mob attorneys, sure some do it for the money (or at least in part), and some do it for the fame/notoriety as the case may be, and some do it because they believe someone has to as an integral part of our judicial system. None of these factors should in any way be read to establish agreement on the part of the lawyer with the client’s views.

          Of course as you say, some may do it because they agree with their client, which is why I wouldn’t be opposed to some heightened interviewing.

          Saw your note this morning and left a little summary at the bottom of the page. We’ll have to get in to it a little more another time, hopefully with USWs upcoming series he keeps dangling in all our faces like a little string…

          Best to you today as well!

      • Buck,

        How would you feel if they were to appoint an avowed Muslim hater? Someone who was outspoken and radical, with a “them or us” mentality? Or perhaps a Christian extremist, who feels God’s laws come first, and any other laws that conflict with the bible are null and void? I would not be happy with such people being placed in positions of authority, nor supported by my tax dollars.

        So the fact that these are left wing extremists to me is equally objectionable. I liken them to the Austin nutcase, who hated Bush, the Catholic Church, and capitalism.

        I also wonder about a possible conflict of interest. They defended terrorists. Now they work for the agency that is in charge of their prosecution. Would that not be the same as if I were a mafia crime lord, whose defense attorney was hired to work for the prosecution. I would be feeling either very good about putting the fix in, or very bad, that possible confidential info might be compromised.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          There is a difference between appointing an attorney who advocated on behalf of a client and an attorney who was an avowed terrorist. Hence my approval for a heightened interview process. Someone who advocated on behalf of an alleged terrorist = fine. Someone who believes in jihadism = not fine.

          I don’t see a huge conflict of interest here. I would need to look at their job description in more detail. It doesn’t seem that these appointees are now sitting on the other side of the table in the courtroom – representing the government against the same defendants they had represented earlier.

    • Conflict of interest, in my opinion. They should not be appointed in those positions.

      • D13

        I disagree. See my comment to Buck and his response

        Increase the temp on the grilling. If they pass the test then OK.

        • Ok..increase the temp…I can buy that one….but no mediums or rare where politicians are concerned…increase temp to charcoal…if they pass…ok.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I guess to me this is kinda like saying that a criminal lawyer, because of his past advocation on behalf of murderers, should not be allowed to apply for a job with the District Attorney’s office to work as a criminal prosecutor.

      To me, as long as the lawyer doesn’t actually advocate terrorism, the fact that he worked as an attorney for a gitmo detainee certainly does not automatically disqualify him.

      Now, if the attorney is a radical and supports the beliefs of those he represented that were gitmo prisoners, that would be a different story.

      How many defense attorney’s have you heard about where they say (after the fact), “Yeah, I knew that my client was guilty as hell, but it was my job to defend him and try to prove his innocence, or at the very least create enough reasonable doubt that he would not be convicted!”

      For better or worse, that is the way our current justice system works. If defense attorneys would simply come into the court and say, “Well, in this case, I KNOW my client is guilty as hell, so let’s just move on to the sentencing phase.” that would certainly be refreshingly honest and save a lot of taxpayer money, but it simply does not work that way 🙂

    • http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Mjc4ZTkwM2Q5ZjRlNDVhZmVhODNjY2Q0NDFmNWIyYzU=

      That’s your Justice Department … or al-Qaeda’s [Andy McCarthy]

      At the New York Post, Meghan Clyne profiles the Obama/Holder Justice Department’s latest fabulous addition, Jennifer Daskal, formerly “senior counterterrorism counsel” at Human Rights Watch. Daskal has no prosecutorial experience; she is, however, an activist of the hard left, which now evidently qualifies lawyers to serve as political appointees in DOJ’s National Security Division. She’s been tapped to shape detainee policy as part of Obama’s Detention Policy Task Force (that’s the task force I declined an invitation to meet with this past spring, as explained in this letter to Attorney General Holder).

      Human Rights Watch, as Mark Hemingway noted here on Wednesday, is now embroiled in a scandal over its fundraising method in that bastion of human rights, Saudi Arabia (namely, bragging to Saudis about its anti-Israel stands). Meghan recounts that, while at HRW,

      Daskal never missed a chance to give Gitmo detainees the benefit of the doubt while assuming the worst about US government intentions. She has called for a “truth commission” to investigate Bush anti-terror policies, and was even unhappy with Team Obama before joining it.

      In February, Justice asserted the state-secrets privilege to avoid disclosing details of the CIA’s interrogation program; Daskal called it “a huge disappointment . . . inconsistent with the commitment to transparency and openness promised by the new administration.”

      Back when five Gitmo terrorists, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, announced their intention to confess, Daskal refused to accept their guilt: “In light of the men’s severe mistreatment, the judge should require a full and thorough factual inquiry to determine whether or not these pleas are voluntary.” Maybe she didn’t hear the outburst from one of the five at the end of his hearing: “I hope the jihad will continue and strike the heart of America with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction.”

      Daskal thinks America is guilty of torture — but she has an odd understanding of it. In a 54-page report on Gitmo detainees’ allegedly deteriorating mental health, she laments how one detainee, “a self-styled poet,” “found it was nearly impossible to write poetry anymore because the prison guards would only allow him to keep a pen or pencil in his cell for short periods of time.” Quick, call the Red Cross!

      Then there’s the attention Daskal lavished on Canadian-born Omar Khadr, a detainee she says is being denied “his rights as a child.” (Human Rights Watch has urged Defense Secretary Bob Gates to transfer Khadr to courts where he’d be treated as a juvenile.) He’s an adult now, but Khadr was 15 when apprehended on an Afghan battlefield — where, US troops say, he launched the grenade that killed Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer.

      Sgt. Layne Morris, who was wounded by the same grenade, calls claims that Khadr should be treated as a child “laughable.” And he says: “The fact that she took on that young man’s case — and has argued the ridiculous things that she has — and is now appointed to the Justice Department, where she brings in those same thought processes and prejudices — it doesn’t bode well for the security of our country.”

  5. “The United States and China are involved in a trade war, the outcome of which will determine who gets America’s remaining manufacturing industries and research and development centers. The Chinese are actively fighting; President Obama is actively talking.” Read the article.


    • Crap….every time Obama’s lips move, we get into trouble.

    • It makes no sense to me why we let manufacturing get away from us like it has. I understand that it is cheaper overseas, that was the original idea. But with lower wages, pay cuts, high unemployment,etc., why not get the presses rolling again? Could go a long way in restoring the “proud to be an American” theme. Give us something to be proud about once again. 😕

      • Hi Anita,

        It would be nice to have something to be proud about again. Unfortunately, this ‘president’ isn’t going to do that. Its not why he was placed in office. If he is removed from office, maybe we can be proud about that someday. Until then, we’ll have more of the same from him.

      • Anita,

        It isn’t a thing that ‘we are allowing this’ – the thing is a personal thing, not a ‘group think’.

        If a business can achieve equal or better quality at a lower price ‘over there’, there is nothing ‘we’ can do except use guns to stop them.

        As long as ‘we’ charge more for our labor than the ‘other’ guy for doing the same thing, our ‘inventory’ of labor will increase. There is a very long way to go before ‘they’ run out of inventory as ‘they’ tend to have a large population.

        If you don’t want to use guns, there are few choices left.

        (1) bid lower then they do for selling your labor. Odds this will be entertained: 0%

        (2) do something else.

        • Hey BF, you always said that when government tries to cut back on the “goodies” it provides the people will riot. Check this out from Greece. No current politician in the US would ever try to do this.


          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Sadly, the union claims of skyrocketing unemployment if these cuts take effect is probably true in Greece. The government is the #1 employer in the country!

            But yes, taking away government provided goodies (and jobs) is causing the people to riot. It is only the beginning.

          • This could be another example of how Socialism=failure. Of course, the Greeks don’t have Obama 🙄

          • Bama Dad,

            It is a hard life to be right all the time – because that also means I am right when I predict bad things 😦

            And just think, this is not really a cut back – but a hold steady – of no more debt. They are not paying off debt, they are merely trying to stop its growth.

            God help them if they really have to do a cut back – it may mean Civil War.

        • BF, Anita, Peter, etc

          Everyone is missing the corner stone to the labor market issue. It is not the unions in and of themselves.

          It is Federally induced inflation that drives the demand and in fact need for ever increasing wages. Inflation gives the unions the leverage they need. When combined with govt protection it has been a double edged sword.

          As our labor costs increase to keep pace with inflation the margins decrease. So companies eventually move to the cheaper labor market. Margins increase, despite the higher transportation costs.

          Inflation erodes our purchasing power at the same time. Driving us to purchase cheaper imported goods to sustain our standard of living. But alas, is also drives our sales overseas where the purchasing power is growing relative to our dollar.

          Our inflation not only pushes production off shore, it increases the markets for the same goods in other places. Creating a double push away from the USA.

          I have no love for modern unions but inflation is the base culprit. Solve that and the unions become a smaller issue in my opinion.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        In large part, the Unions will not allow American workers to work for salaries which would make American products become competitive with products made in other parts of the world and then shipped here. Also, since the economy has become global America no longer has the ability to maintain dominance in any one sector of production for prolonged periods of time as it once could.

        In the past, we had the resources as well as a vast superiority in engineering, science, math, and technical ability. This allowed us to manufacture the highest quality things in the world very quickly, and with almost no competition from anywhere else in the world.

        Our superiority allowed our workers (through the Unions) to demand EXCEPTIONAL pay and benefits for work which was (at that time) truly exceptional.

        However, the Unions COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY failed to adapt to the globalization of knowledge, technology, and engineering! Initially, US Auto Manuracturing relied on, “well, it is made here, and it is more reliable than that foreign crap” when auto competition started coming in from other countries.

        Then the UNTHINKABLE occurred: Other countries figured out how to makes cars more cheaply than ours, and yet THEY WERE BETTER than ours. Instead of making any attempt to compete with that, the Unions bitterly clung (yes, they are bitter clingers) to their high wages and astronomical benefits for producing products which were now demonstrably inferior to the competition.

        The same thing happened in televisions/electronics/computers, as well as most other areas involving manufacturing. Industrial Unions either knowingly or unknowingly committed suicide, and took their associated industries down with them.

        Now that there is precious little manufacturing around in this country, the province of the union employee has become … you guessed it… the GOVERNMENT JOB!

        There is one job that the Unions believe that they can continually demand high pay and high benefits regardless of the quality of the work, and still the jobs will not only NOT DISAPPEAR, they will continue to multiply.

        Sadly, the Unions are probably correct.

        • The unions will bleed out the government like every other industry they latched onto. I’m not even sure it’ll take long to do, either. Hopefully, it’ll happen sooner rather than later. That way, those of us left standing can move on with our lives.

          This whole situation reminds me of hurricanes. My house in Florida is about 10 miles inland, so when a storm warning was issued, the preparations began. All the while, I knew what was likely to happen. Sometimes the storm would stall, or zig, then, zag, but I always knew that the strom was coming. It was a matter of intesity. After a week of waiting, I would get to the point where I would wish the damn thing would just hit, and do its thing already, so I could get on with my life after dealing with the mess. This is how I feel about what Obama, his shadow government of czars, and his DC politburo, are doing.

        • Peter & BF,

          You guys are both right on – but at this point what’s in it for the unions? Their losing members by the thousands. It can’t go on forever. They have to see the writing ont the wall too- or am I giving them too much credit? Geez! They’re stuck in a rut–keep moving!

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            The Unions are strongly pusing for heavy environmental regulations including Cap & Tax (which you would think would HURT the Unions!).

            The catch is, that the Unions are hoping to latch on to all of the newly mandated “green jobs” that are forcibly created by the heavy environmental regulation. This will cause the cost of so-called “green energy” jobs to skyrocket due to Union wages and benefits.

            The end result will be the total death of all manufacturing (because of the heavy environmental regulations) and skyrocketing energy costs.

            If the Unions succeed, it will absolutely kill whatever is left of the economy. They won’t care, because they will have the government jobs and the “green energy” jobs and will (per force) be making a “good living”.

          • Dear Anita,

            You make a typical and common mistake.

            You believe the Union existed for the betterment of Union members.

            That is your error.

            The Union exists for the betterment of Union representatives and – here is the key – the workers with the highest seniority.

            This group is the one that refuses any pay cuts – and are willing to allow the slaughter of the youngest and thus by definition, the ones with the least tenure.

            Unions primary goal is to protect older, expensive, and tired workers from the competition of the younger, cheaper and more hungry and energetic workers

            Once you understand this truth, you fully understand all Union actions. They happily shed workers while demanding higher wages – as the workers who suffer are the more competitive younger workers. The ones that benefit are the older uncompetitive workers.

            • Whoa Pirate! (heehee never ever thought I would say that)

              I am a business owner. Have business ownership in my blood since way before birth. Have never been and will never be in favor of unions.

              It still doesn’t make sense. There’s got to be some rich entrepreneurs still left in America to duel it out in the marketplace with the unions. The optimist in me says it will happen. I see you cringing, Mr Flag. Knock it off

              • Anita,

                Sure there is! Look at the technology industry – un-unionized – why?

                The power of Unions is the ability to hold hostage a business. Thus, the Unions are focused in areas where a business is incapable of avoiding the brutes kidnapping the business by government-enforced strikes – mining and industry. It is impossible to move a coal mine and incredibly expensive to move a factory.

                So the owners paid off the kidnappers. As long as the ransom was somewhat less than the cost of avoidance, the Unions win.

                But Microsoft? Hold it hostage and they take a few disk drives and fly to Singapore and “poof” they’re back in business. Hence, no kidnapping and no ransom.

                So if your cheer back industry – you WILL increase Unionization and business kidnapping.

                That is why one of the reasons I cheer NEW business such as technology; this is that the future creates – mobility – and that allows a company to simply move out of the way of kidnappers. Thus, people refuse to join the kidnappers and act as single agents – quite successfully.

                I’m a good example. Tax authorities would rather leave me alone, and tax their citizens. If they tried to seize my wealth, I move it out of their way, and they lose my voluntary spending locally – thus, the lose the ability to tax those citizens that receive my voluntary purchases.

                So they leave me alone – and tax the citizens. This is how almost all tax havens work – expats get left in peace, the citizens suffer the thief.

                • Oh yeah, citizens get to vote and I don’t!

                  The citizens think like Mathius and Buck and believe the trade off is fair!

                  Go figure that one out! 🙂 🙂

                  • Did I miss something or are you announcing you are not a citizen of the USA

                    • Anita,

                      Lessons on how to be private economic pirate are expensive – trade secrets are not given away for free! 🙂

                    • Anita

                      If you re-read you will find his comments are regarding the location of the business entity.

                      Hence the business citizen is not the person citizen.

                      The business’ ability to run from the tax man leads the tax man to ignore the business citizen and focus on the consumer, aka person citizen for their booty.

                      You are most alert today. It took me a second read myself.

                    • What happens at SUFA stays at SUFA 🙂

                      That’s why you are a pirate!

                      Hi JAC

            • Good lesson on Unions BF!

              I’m forwarding to my son for a class he’s currently taking. I’ll let you know the grade he gets (from his unionized teacher, of course!)

  6. JB Topic 1

    White House: Obama backs repeal of health insurer antitrust exemption

    President Obama strongly supports a repeal of the antitrust exemption currently granted to health insurance companies, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

    Liberal Democrats in particular have pushed for a repeal of the exemption, which has been in place since the end of World War II, in order to inject new competition into the health care industry while lowering consumer costs.

    The announcement came as the White House sought to rally key Democrats around Obama’s new compromise reform plan before a high-stakes televised health care summit with congressional Republicans on Thursday.

    “At its core, health reform is all about ensuring that American families and businesses have more choices, benefit from more competition and have greater control over their own health care,” Gibbs said.

    This is one topic on which I agree with the Dems. It seems to me that the health insurance industry should not get special protection against the anti-trust laws. Breaking that protection would increase competition, which is a key factor in bringing down prices. Along with opening the market across state lines, this is how prices can come down. As things are now, if you don’t like your insurance company because the rates are too high or whatever reason, there’s not a whole lot you can do, right?

    Admittedly, I don’t know a whole lot about this topic. I have yet to here a cogent argument against removing anti-trust protection for insurance companies. The article only offers this:

    Industry defenders, in turn, point out that insurers are still subject to state regulations. They claim that the impact of an exemption repeal is overblown.

    which looks to me like, “well it won’t matter that much…” Anyone here know something about this? I would certainly love to here what everyone else thinks about this, and especially any counter arguments.


    • Buck The Wala says:

      Good find! I also never fully understood the rationale behind granting an antitrust exemption to insurance companies. One of the problems with insurance in my opinion is the fact that many markets only have the ‘choice’ of a single insurance company. Hopefully repealing this exemption will increase choice in these markets.

      • Buck

        I think the one company in a state problem is actually a Govt created problem and not a result of the old federal laws.

        But I was also unaware that the insurance industry had an exemption from the anti-trust laws.

        They should not have an exemption.

        But then the laws should be repealed.


        • Buck The Wala says:

          Its a government created problem only in the sense that the government allowed an antitrust exemption to continue for so many years.

          • Buck

            No, no, no. The STATES regulate the industry. I think you will find in those states where there are limited number of companies it has to do with STATE rules and not the Federal anti-trust exemption.

            Montana has several options and so did Idaho.

            We agree, however, that increased competition is part of the answer here.

        • Hi JAC,

          I have to wonder if there is an ulterior motive here. So they remove the protection, does that mean the government then comes down the insrance companies with the RICO laws to put them out of business that much faster? Obama(doesn’t)Care isn’t about improving the system, its a money and power grab for Leftists. So, how will the Leftists use this change in the law to their advantage????

          • Cyndi P:

            There may be ulterior motives but I have not discovered their exact nature as of yet. As the Colonel pointed out, it could be nothing more than a rhetorical game to be dropped later, after we forget.

            I urge you to not assume the worst every time the administration proposes something. It is OK to question but even with zealots, sometimes the propose something that has general support and is in fact a good idea. Not often, but sometimes.

            Now, lets look at the players. Insurance Co’s have contributed big time to the Dems’s. Why? They would greatly benefit from two things that Nationalized health care provides.

            1) A mandated and guaranteed POOL of maximum possible size (the whole population).

            2) Restricted competition. Those included in the Govt bundle of companies will be guaranteed privileged status, much like those companies in the Federal Health Benefit Program today.

            Now what would anti trust rules do to the insurance industry?

            1) It would prevent companies from discussing anything relating to pricing, costs or services.

            So, if the insurance companies can no longer share data on costs or prices what might happen?

            Could it increase the cost of business for those insurance companies if they had to collect their own price and cost data? Would the various State chartered companies of a single national entity be allowed to share with each other? Or would they be considered separate entities and thus be forced to develop their own cost/price data.

            If this move drives up cost of insurance then we will see rates increase further. This will cause a greater outcry and call for nationalized insurance. Meanwhile the citizens will cheer Mr. Obama and the Dem’s for subjecting the companies to anti trust laws. Never realizing the cure caused the illness that resulted in death of private health care system.

            Whether this plays out depends on the relation of the State laws and regulations relative to the anti trust laws and other federal regulations being proposed.

            On the other hand, the D’s may be looking at doing something that will give them a little boost in the public opinion. The public will see this as a positive move. It may be that simple.

            I must tell you, I have become equally suspicious of the R’s stance that we need to impose federal regulation to allow cross state competition. We all accept the premise that such a move is logical. But given that the R’s are equally in the pocket of business I find myself skeptical and guarded. And wondering what the real goal is for this move.

            Unfortunately, this is the personal and national cost when the citizen can no longer trust their government. Suspicion of motives creates gridlock, even when none is required or when it is in fact counter productive.

            You will rest easier and remain saner if you stay focused on the big prize. If we achieve that, then all this other stuff will not matter. Because anything done will be undone. If, we do not go bankrupt in the meantime. That is the real issue at hand. We must stop the bleeding at the federal level or there won’t be a house to live in should we get the title.

            Best to you island dweller!
            May your sunsets be filled with color.

            • JAC you said: I have become equally suspicious of the R’s stance that we need to impose federal regulation to allow cross state competition. We all accept the premise that such a move is logical. But given that the R’s are equally in the pocket of business I find myself skeptical and guarded. And wondering what the real goal is for this move.”

              I don’t trust either of them. I think the R’s are clueless and small minded about their power grab, where the D’s are much more cunning about it. Either way, we lose. I’m with BF on the final outcome of this. America, for the most part, is too stupid to survive. I feel sorry for those who don’t deserve what’s coming.

              As to those sunsets, saw a good one yesterday….

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Robert Reich’s op-ed in the NY Times today on just this topic for anyone interested:


    • I am for open competition across state lines. How hard is that.

      BIG BIG BIG BS flag on the “liberal democrats are for repeal”. Horse shit. They have been in power since 2006. It could have changed. They get just as much money from the insurance lobby as anybody.

      Open it up…do it now…in the new health bill. Oh..funny thing…it is not there.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I am sure that this will be covered extensively at a later time as well, but especially after yesterday, I think it is important that Buck (who is a lawyer) please define SPECIFICALLY what he means by the term “social contract”.

    Especially I would like him to explain in detail how it is similar to other contracts, how it differs from other contracts, and how and why it is legally enforcible. After all, the government claims the right to fine or imprison people who violate the “social contract”, so from a legal standpoint I feel we need to know all of the things I have asked about above.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Lots of issues to get into for another time.

      Take a look at Locke, Rosseau, Proudhon, Hobbes, etc. All had differing views on the social contract, but all provide good arguments for its existence and authority.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:


        This has a lot of information on the subject, but it is apparent from the information that Hobbes, Locke, Proudhon, et. al. had quite different opinions on the uses and limitations of the social contract.

        For example, Proudhon is described thusly:

        “Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809–1865) advocated a conception of social contract which didn’t involve an individual surrendering sovereignty to others. According to him, the social contract was not between individuals and the state, but rather between individuals themselves refraining from coercing or governing each other, each one maintaining complete sovereignty upon oneself:

        What really is the Social Contract? An agreement of the citizen with the government? No, that would mean but the continuation of [Rousseau’s] idea. The social contract is an agreement of man with man; an agreement from which must result what we call society. In this, the notion of commutative justice[5], first brought forward by the primitive fact of exchange, …is substituted for that of distributive justice … Translating these words, contract, commutative justice, which are the language of the law, into the language of business, and you have commerce, that is to say, in its highest significance, the act by which man and man declare themselves essentially producers, and abdicate all pretension to govern each other.
        —Pierre-Joseph Proudhon , General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century (1851)”

        I see nothing in particular wrong with Proudhon’s version of social contract theory 🙂

  8. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hello Everyone

    Reading along for now. May post later.

    Hope all is having a good day.


    • I started to change the names, but have left this as was sent to me.


      A psychiatrist was conducting a group therapy session with four young mothers and their small children. “You all have obsessions,” he observed.

      To the first mother, Mary, he said, “You are obsessed with eating. You’ve even named your daughter Candy..”

      He turned to the second Mom, Ann: “Your obsession is with money, Again , it manifests itself in your child’s name, Penny.”

      He turned to the third Mom, Joyce: “Your obsession is alcohol. This too shows itself in your child’s name, Brandy.”

      At this point, the fourth mother, Kathy, quietly got up, took her little boy by the hand, and whispered, “Come on, Dick, this guy has no idea what he’s talking about. Let’s pick up Peter and Willy from school and go home.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        That’s funny. Don’t have to wonder what her obsession is now, do we.

      • Alright LOI, how did you know those were my kids’ names…….

        • When Galaxies Collide

          The New York Times, among other papers, recently published a new Hubble photograph of distant galaxies colliding.

          Of course, astronomers have had pictures of colliding galaxies for quite some time now, but with the vastly improved resolution provided by the Hubble Space Telescope, you can actually see the lawyers rushing to the scene.

    • Two New Elements for the Periodic Chart

      Element: WOMAN

      Symbol: Wo

      Atomic Weight: 120 (more or less, usually more)

      Physical Properties: Generally round in form. Boils at nothing and may freeze anytime. Melts whenever treated properly. Very bitter if not used well.

      Chemical Properties: Very active. Highly unstable. Possesses strong affinity to gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones. Violent when left alone. Able to absorb great amounts of exotic food. Turns slightly green when placed next to a better specimen. Ages rapidly.

      Usage: Highly ornamental. An extremely good catalyst for dispersion of wealth. Probably the most powerful income reducing agent known.

      Caution: Highly explosive in inexperienced hands.

      Element: MAN

      Symbol: XY

      Atomic Weight: 180+/-100

      Physical Properties: Solid at room temperature but gets bent out of shape. Fairly dense and sometimes flaky. Difficult to find a pure sample. Due to rust, aging samples are unable to conduct electricity as easily as young fresh samples.

      Chemical Properties: Attempts to bond with Wo any chance it can get. Also, tends to form strong bonds with itself. Becomes explosive when mixed with Kd (element Kid) for prolonged period of time. Pretty basic. Neutralize by saturating with alcohol.

      Usage: None really, except methane production. Good samples are able to produce large quantities on command.

      Caution: In the absence of Wo, this element rapidly decomposes and begins to smell.

  9. Ray Hawkins says:

    Republicans to ‘Crash the Party’ at Health Summit

    From the following link at Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/24/republicans-crash-party-health-summit/

    “Democratic leaders confronted the reality Wednesday that they may not be able to pass the comprehensive health care overhaul sought by President Obama, while Republican leaders prepared to do everything in their power to make sure they can’t.

    House Republican Whip Eric Cantor declared in a memo that if the Senate goes ahead with plans to use a controversial legislative tactic known as reconciliation to pass the bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “will not be able to muster the votes” to pass it in the House.

    Speaking ahead of Obama’s upcoming televised health summit, House Minority Leader John Boehner also told fellow Republicans in a closed-door event Tuesday: “We need to show up and crash the party,” an aide told Reuters.

    “We shouldn’t let the White House have a six-hour taxpayer-funded infomercial on ObamaCare,” Boehner said, suggesting the meeting was no more than a White House publicity stunt.

    Both parties saw the president’s revised, far-reaching proposal, released Monday, as a chance for Democrats to try to pass the legislation on their own under Senate rules that would bar Republican delaying tactics.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Obama administration appears determined “to try to jam it through under a seldom-used process,” or budget reconciliation. The process would allow Democrats in the Senate to pass part of the bill with a simple, 51-vote majority.

    But Cantor, in his memo, ran through the numbers in the House and estimated that Pelosi would only be able to hold together 203 votes at best — far fewer than she needs. The bill originally passed the House last year by a narrow 220-215 vote.

    Cantor argued that while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could afford to lose several Democratic senators over objections to the reconciliation process, Pelosi might not enjoy the same luxury.

    Reid, though, tried to ease concerns about the tactic. He said reconciliation rules have been used 21 times since 1981, usually by Republicans.

    “They should stop crying about reconciliation,” Reid told reporters at the Capitol. “It’s done almost every Congress, and they’re the ones that used it more than anyone else.”

    I’m not sure I like the headline so much as it weighs more inappropriately on the GOP. This “effort” (I’m trying to be nice) is the clearest cut example of why this government has become so completely dysfunctional – and why the leadership on all sides has failed to lead – to that list I include the guy I voted for – President Obama.

    This is becoming tantamount to announcing that a train wreck is about to happen and encouraging all of us to “tune in”. I’ll tune in all right – but you will not like how I react to what I see and hear.

    Cheers to all.


    • Ray said:

      “why the leadership on all sides has failed to lead”

      That sir is the honest truth that I can totally agree with.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      As evidenced by the current quality of most fare on television, most of the populace seems more interested in watching a train-wreck than watching anything with any sort of redeeming qualities 🙂

      I appreciate your analysis Ray. Another one of those rare occurrences where I happen to pretty much agree with what you said.

    • Hannity and Dick Morris were tossing this around. Hannity suggested for it to be a truly bi-partisan meeting, and since it will be televised, allow each side a three hour monologue on their positions.
      Sounds like a plan to me. But then Pelosi has said she’ll pole vault and whatever else to get over hurdles to get something passed. Continuing to spin our wheels-getting nowhere fast 😦

    • Ray

      I agree with your conclusions. I was going to comment on the whole President’s claim of “summit” to “negotiate a bipartisan” agreement the other day but held off. I have had both training and experience in “negotiations” and in “mediation and facilitation” and can tell you Mr. O is full of the stinky brown if he thinks what he is doing fits any of those scenarios.

      Now instead of hogging the podium, or medium, let me ask you the question.

      If you were the “leader” how would you have handled the situation once the house and senate versions became obviously stalled?

      By the way. Why didn’t you jump in yesterday? The topic was totally a philosophical point I thought you were craving. The adulterous old lady was present and everything. The perfect set up. I figured for sure you would have both guns blazing.

      Hope you had a great day.

  10. Solving a Murder…true story from Associated Press

    For those who have served on a jury…this one is something to think about….Just when you think you have heard everything!! Do you like to read a good murder mystery? Not even Law & Order would attempt to capture this mess. This is an unbelievable twist of fate!!!

    At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, (AAFS)President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story:

    On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus, and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency.

    As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

    The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun! The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus. When one intends to kill subject ‘A’ but kills subject ‘B’ in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject ‘B.’

    When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant, and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded. The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore, the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.

    The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

    Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn’t actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

    Now for the exquisite twist… Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son, Ronald Opus, had actually murdered himself. So the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

    A true story from Associated Press.

    • Just when ya think you’ve heard it all………..

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Don’t know if anybody here ever heard about this one. There was this couple who was on their way home from a night out, can’t remember if it was a rainy night or not. But, anyway, they had a head on collision with the oncoming car from the opposite direction, killing that driver. It was their own daughter that they hit and that was killed. It was just an unfortunate accident that happened, but involving family members. How sad that was when I read that story.

    • Funny but snopes.com says it is false. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/opus.asp

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Well, I don’t care what snopes says, I know what I read. I don’t have a habit of making up stories, and I know I read it somewhere.

    • I’d love to see the look on Jack McCoy’s face when he found out his victim was also the culprit!

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    My wife and I rent an apartment. We both smoke. Recently a neighbor complained to the apartment manager that she was getting smoke transferred into her apartment, and that it was highly unpleasant, especially since she does not smoke.

    The apartment manager could have “gone government” and banned smoking on their property entriely. Thankfully, our landlord isn’t that stupid.

    Instead, the apartment manager called us into the office and calmly explained the situation with the neighbor, and ASKED us if it was ok for maintenance to come into our apartment and re-route some ductwork in order to alleviate the problem. She also said that if we could look into getting some smokeless ashtrays or a room-air ionizer to help out, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Her last words were, “Your apartment is your home. Of course you are allowed to smoke in your own home if you choose to do so.”

    Ahh… gotta love the free market in action! 🙂

    • Judy Sabatini says:


      That’s as bad as what I read in the paper quite awhile ago, about this guy who lived in Cincinnati who complained about his next door neighbors smoke coming into his house through the windows and was going to sue his neighbor because of it.

      Apparently he tried to get his neighbors to stop smoking in their own house because it drifted into his home, and he said the smell of the smoke made him sick. The judge dropped the case.

    • In my early poker days, a cabal of techie buddies and I would setup home games every two weekend on ‘pay day weekend’ to prey on cash-rich oil workers.

      I don’t smoke, but these grease monkeys smoked worse than a forest fire. Our complaints were ignored.

      To get even, the few who were non-smokers went out to buy cigars. The shop keeper gave us lessons on all the style and means to properly smoke.

      Next game, we puffed them out – and they bitterly complained – but had to suffer through the “Law of Mutuality”.

      Oh yeah, I took most of their pay check at the same time 😉

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        We’re all smokers here, except for our youngest son, who quit 2 years ago. He complains when he comes over because of the smoke in the house, I told him, then don’t come over. I try to be considerate of others who don’t smoke while I’m out, but I don’t have any control which way the wind blows.

        I like the smell of a good cigar, and it doesn’t bother me in the least if someone lights up one. Guess I’m just immune to it.

        When I still lived at home, before I got married, we used to go out in the garage to smoke, my dad had quit years before that, and when he went out in the garage, he would complain of smoke out there. Can’t smoke in the house, can’t smoke in the garage, mind you the door was opened all the time, can’t go outside because people complaining, and now it’s getting to the point that your neighbors complain because they can smell it coming in their house from you own house. It’s my only vice, leave me alone.

  12. PeterB in Indianapolis says:


    Good article which I happen to largely agree with. Read it if you wish 🙂

    • I agree Peter we are toast. Glad I added 1500 pounds of food to my food storage this past weekend. Plan on doing it again within the next 6 weeks, one can never be over prepared.

      • Bama Dad:

        You purchased 1500 pounds of food? What did you buy?

        I may have to go out and purchase more canned goods next week.

  13. Get a load of the New Missle Defense Logo:

    Wow……..looks alike combination of O’s logo and the Islamic star and cresent.

  14. Why is there so little inflation after all that government spending?

    Banks are withdrawing the welcome mat – with losses piling up in small banks, with the tsunmai of the Commercial Credit crunch coming….


    Look at the under $10 billion banks assets vs. losses – they are being wiped out.

    The entire banking business had $13 trillion in assets.

    Total profits: less than a billion!

    For every $13,000 in assets, the fourth-quarter rate of return was under $1.

    The engine of the economy is small business.
    The engine of small business is small banks making loans.

    These banks are being wiped out, bought by the big boys – and the big boys money is going to buy government bonds and not into small business loans.

    • BF

      And if the big banks own the Federal debt, what is the likelihood that the Federal Govt will let said large banks fail from bad decisions???? More bailouts anyone?

      Was in V.H., Anita or Kathy that said……….Its incestuous.

      • JAC!

        I would think that if this happened, we’d be very close to total revolt.



        • G-Man

          It already happened. The big banks were among the top ten owners of federal debt when the crash happened that triggered TARP.

          Now we know why the banks were considered “to big to fail”. If the govt hadn’t bailed them out with cash they would have had to dumb govt debt on the market to raise cash. This would have destroyed the bond markets, making issuing of more debt impossible.

          Which of course it has become anyway. The Fed is now one if not the major buyer of our own debt.

          Peace and freedom my friend

          • Then let’s just revolt first and save the waiting time 🙂 Wait a minute, it’s cold and snowy, let’s wait till late spring, when it’s warmer 😆

            • GMan

              Sounds good to me. I’m getting to old to play in the cold snow. Tend to stiffen up a bit.

              Oh, but then it will interfere with fly fishing season and early golf. Lets wait until heat of summer.

              Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

      • Wasn’t me! Incestuous is too big for me 🙂 Sounds like a Cyndi word

  15. Judy Sabatini says:

    Are Ezekiel prophecies on the horizon?
    Chad Groening – OneNewsNow – 2/19/2010 6:00:00

    BibleThe leader of a Messianic Jewish ministry believes a couple of biblical prophecies dealing with wars in the Middle East could come to fruition within the next five years.

    As previously reported on OneNewsNow, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently proclaimed the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 37 prophecy of the dry bones coming to life, which alludes to the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948.

    While many biblical scholars speculate about the next two chapters of Ezekiel, as well as the war of Gog and Magog, Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, believes some other prophecies are likely to precede that cataclysmic end-times event.

    Jan Markell”Frankly I believe 2010 is going to see some of the predicted wars that have not yet happened,” she comments. “I do think that the Psalm 83 war could take place in 2010.”

    That passage references the destruction of Israel’s enemies who desire to cut Israel off from being a nation, and a passage in Isaiah talks about the destruction of Damascus.

    “Isaiah 17 says there is coming a time when Damascus will be leveled, and that probably could be sooner rather than later, in that Syria is stirring up so much trouble — and we really think that 2010, certainly by 2011, there’s going to be a major spark flying,” Markell predicts.

    The ministry founder notes that it is impossible to predict the exact dates for these events, but she believes the clock is ticking toward some volatile times in the Middle East.

    • Judy

      The prophecies have been claimed around the corner my entire life. So as each year passes I would say the answer to the primary question is NO.

      By the way. I have listened to bible scholars, one from the Catholic Church itself, who claim these prophecies already came true. They were stories about what was happening or would soon happen during the times in which they were written.

      Lets turn the question. Is someone trying to use the prophecies to convince religious folks that doom is inevitable, so they can push doom on us and we will blame it on fate or God or bad luck or anything but the ass-clowns who perpetrated it?(spell check tells me that assclowns must be two words or hyphenated. Who am I to argue with the Borg?)

      How’s your snow tolerance level these days my dear?
      Hope you are feeling calmer and more at peace today.
      Think of happy places and people. The rest are unimportant.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hey JAC

        I just put up what I thought was interesting, that’s all.

        To answer your questions.

        #1. My tolerance is about at it’s peak.

        #2.No, quite frankly I’m not calmer today, but working on it, really I am.

        #3. Happy places and people are what’s keeping me going for today. Just hasn’t been so good here lately. But doing the best I can.

        Thanks for caring.


      • JAC, Welcome to the assclown club! However as Cyndi will have my back- it is one word!:) 🙂

        I am going to direct a doom & gloom religious friend to this article and your response. I think the same as you on this. He thinks it’s the end times.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          This is what I found on assclown, so it must be a real word.

          1. Assclown 1840 up, 175 down love it hate it

          buy assclown mugs, tshirts and magnets
          One, who, through the fault of his parents conception, is a skid mark in society’s collective underwear.
          You, my good sir, are an assclown.

          Comment submitted with request to Delete:
          “My Name is assclown and that is offensive”
          by Chris Oct 23, 2002 share this
          2. assclown 631 up, 102 down love it hate it

          buy assclown mugs, tshirts and magnets
          1. A person who, while under the influence, makes a complete fool of himself while attempting humor. An assclown may wear an asshat.

          2. A person who, while making a serious attempt as something, fails to realize what a complete fool he has made of himself.

          3. An untalented schmuck.
          1. That assclown thought he was being funny when he pretended to choke at the party, but everyone thought he was just being foolish.

          2. The actor, while in character, made such an assclown of himself during the production that most of the audience started to talk during his monologues.

          3. That assclown can’t play the guitar at all.
          by RumGunner Aug 29, 2002 share this
          3. assclown 325 up, 57 down love it hate it

          buy assclown mugs, tshirts and magnets
          A person who is laughable and detestable at the same time.Usually
          pretends to be a know-it-all,often
          enhancing their stories,knowledge,
          experience,and every thing in between
          with pure bullshit.
          1-I can’t help but laugh at the
          assclownishness of Johnny’s story.
          I wanted to kick him in the teeth
          but couldn’t because i was laughing
          so hard at him.

          2-Every time I say something,my assclown co-worker butts-in with
          his “similar experience” or “knowledge”
          of the subject.
          by J. Malik Aug 28, 2005 share this

        • She’s right, JAC! 8)

      • Only a fool would take the word of the Borg over that of the lovely ladies at SUFA.

        So henceforth, assclowns it is.

        Night, night ladies.

        Warms hugs and pleasant dreams

  16. Web Pundit Post of the Day

    Why Empires Always Perish: They Run Out of Loot

    Here is the economic pattern of empires rise and fall.

    1. Military success with minimal resistance
    2. Military rule over captive peoples with only sporadic resistance
    3. The institution of slavery and/or the harvesting of slaves
    4. The end of cheap victories
    5. Rising costs of maintaining power in the colonies
    6. Guerrilla warfare at the fringes
    7. Rising taxation at home
    8. Tax resistance at home
    9. The decline of economic growth
    10. The bankruptcy of the empire

    There are no exceptions to this pattern that I am aware of. The British cut loose as bankruptcy loomed after World War II. By 1950, Britain was no longer an empire. It got out cheap. But let us not forget why it got out. The Labor Party defeated Churchill’s conservatives in 1945. They wanted the tax revenues devoted to running the empire to fund instead the nationalization of the British economy, which they came close to doing. Great Britain labored under the depleted capital of those lost years until Thatcher in the 1980’s. Let us not forget that socialism makes people poorer. But it need not send young men off to die.

    The most recent example of this pattern was the fall of the Soviet Union, August 19-21, 1991. It had gone bankrupt in 1989.

    The historian Niall Ferguson, the major popular historian of the British Empire in our day has surveyed the histories of other empires. In 2006, he wrote this.

    Empires, more than nation-states, are the principal actors in the history of world events. Much of what we call history consists of the deeds of the 50 to 70 empires that once ruled multiple peoples across large chunks of the globe. Yet, as time has passed, the life span of empires has tended to decline. Compared with their ancient and early modern predecessors, the empires of the last century were remarkably short lived. This phenomenon of reduced imperial life expectancy has profound implications for our own time.

    The United States is an empire. With over 750 bases in foreign nations, what else could it be?

    We are deep into Phase 6: guerrilla warfare. The Taliban is no longer lying low. It has bided its time. It will now exact revenge. Every empire that tried to capture Afghanistan was defeated. The USSR was the most recent victim, 1970-89. It is now our turn.

    Phase 7– rising taxes — is being deferred by rising debt. But the handwriting is on the wall, as it was in Daniel 5. It is written in red ink.

    Our situation is now ludicrous. Pat Buchanan has described it accurately.

    Indeed, how do conservatives justify borrowing hundreds of billions yearly from Europe, Japan and the Gulf states — to defend Europe, Japan and the Arab Gulf states? Is it not absurd to borrow hundreds of billion annually from China — to defend Asia from China? Is it not a symptom of senility to borrow from all over the world in order to defend that world?

    He makes a prediction.

    Republicans will fight new taxes. Democrats will fight to save social programs. Which leaves the American empire as the logical lead cow for the butcher’s knife.

    The Council on Foreign Relations runs the show.

    It will not surrender power easily. It wants its oil, and it wants its empire. But, at some point, costs exceed revenues. At that point, rulers must face reality: abandon either solvency or the empire. The British and the Soviets abandoned the empire.

    Ferguson thinks the American empire is close to the end. I think he is correct. He has compared the United States with the Ottoman Empire in 1875. It looked solvent. Within a generation, it was bankrupt. You can read his short essay here.


    This is how empires decline.

    It begins with a debt explosion.

    It ends with an inexorable reduction in the resources available for the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

    Which is why voters are right to worry about America’s debt crisis. According to a recent Rasmussen report, 42 percent of Americans now say that cutting the deficit in half by the end of the president’s first term should be the administration’s most important task–significantly more than the 24 percent who see health-care reform as the No. 1 priority.

    But cutting the deficit in half is simply not enough. If the United States doesn’t come up soon with a credible plan to restore the federal budget to balance over the next five to 10 years, the danger is very real that a debt crisis could lead to a major weakening of American power. . . .

    Call it the fatal arithmetic of imperial decline. Without radical fiscal reform, it could apply to America next.

    Democrats will have to choose between Pelosi’s socialism and Obama’s empire. Republicans will have to choose between an unnamed spokesman’s quite retreat from the world stage and the remnants of Bush’s empire. Conservatives will have to choose between the Tea Party movement and neoconservatism.

    The U.S.S. Empire is already taking on water. It may float for another decade, but its end is sure. It will run out of money. It has already run out of cooperative Middle Eastern foreigners.

    The power elite will find it in its self-interest to de-commission the empire for the sake of corporate profits.

    They will hearken to the wishes of the people, once the people demand to be allowed to be full-time consumers instead of funders of foreign military adventures. The domestic market will shift. The Establishment will shift with it. The British Establishment did. The Communist Establishment did.

    Marx never really understood just how powerful the cash nexus is.

    The Web will replace the TV networks, including Fox News. The cheerleaders for empire will find themselves in a nearly empty stadium.

    The good news is that the American empire has entered its terminal phase.

    The bad news is that Congress is unlikely to call a halt to it until Congress has bankrupted the country by means of capital destruction, massive debt, and mass inflation.

  17. Judy Sabatini says:

    I would like to take this moment here and apologize to those if I sounded a little snippy before. Please bear with me, just been going through some rough times lately and within time, I’m sure I will be back to my normal, happy self.



    • Buck the Wala says:

      The ‘nuclear option’ they are discussing there is not the same as the reconciliation process which is being considered now, despite Republican attempts to brandish it as the same.

      Let’s also not forget that the Repubs often used reconciliation while in power to pass legislation quickly and avoid a potential filibuster, including in 1996 for welfare reform.

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine. Watch this vintage video of Reagan.

  19. “Violent Islamic terrorism … was part and parcel of the Ft. Hood killings,” Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday morning. “There is violent Islamic terrorism, be it Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen or anywhere else, [and] that is indeed a major focus of this department and its efforts.”

    Imagine that…it is, indeed, re-election time.

    • Was she gagging as she was saying those words? I bet she had her fingers crossed behind her back.

  20. Judy Sabatini says:

    They seem obsesses with this bill and nothing else.

    The Reconciliation Rulebook

    By Michael D. Tanner

    Even Sen. Robert Byrd, one of the original authors of the Senate’s reconciliation rule, is wary about using it to pass a health care reform plan.

    Even as President Obama prepares to convene a televised summit on health care reform designed to showcase his newfound commitment to “bipartisanship,” the White House and congressional Democrats have been finalizing their plans to ram through a health care bill using a little-known and seldom-used parliamentary gimmick known as “reconciliation.”

    For those not versed in the arcane rules of the U.S. Senate, reconciliation is not what a divorced couple attempts when they visit Dr. Phil. It is a mechanism for avoiding filibusters on certain budgetary issues. If Democrats can find a way to apply it to health care reform, they could pass a bill with just 51 votes, negating the election of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and the loss of the 60-seat supermajority.

    Reconciliation was established in 1974 to make it easier for Congress to adjust taxes and spending in order to “reconcile” actual revenues and expenditures with a previously approved budget resolution. Thus, at the end of the year, if Congress found that it was running a budget deficit higher than previously projected, it could quickly raise taxes or cut spending to bring the budget back into line. Debate on such measures was abbreviated to just 20 hours (an eyeblink in Senate terms), and there could be no filibuster.

    As Robert Byrd, (D-W.V.), one of the original authors of the reconciliation rule, explained, “Reconciliation was intended to adjust revenue and spending levels in order to reduce deficits…it was not designed to…restructure the entire health care system.” He warns that using reconciliation for health care would “violate the intent and spirit of the budget process, and do serious injury to the Constitutional role of the Senate.” In fact, in 1985, the Senate adopted the “Byrd rule,” which prohibits the use of reconciliation for any “extraneous issue” that does not directly change revenues or expenditures. Clearly, large portions of the health care bill, ranging from mandates to insurance regulation to establishing “exchanges,” do not meet that requirement.

    With Republicans threatening to challenge any provision that violates the Byrd Rule, Democrats have been contemplating a variety of ways around it, including having Vice President Joe Biden, in his role as president of the Senate, overrule the nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian. But no vice president has overruled a parliamentarian since Nelson Rockefeller in 1976, and doing so now, in defense of a bill opposed by 58 percent of voters, risks a significant backlash.

    Given the difficulties, therefore, no one expects the Democrats to try to pass a whole new bill. Instead, the House of Representatives would pass the already approved Senate health care bill without any changes. However, because the Senate bill is unacceptable to both liberal and moderate House members, they would simultaneously pass a separate bill under reconciliation procedures that would make changes demanded by the House. Theoretically, those changes would be less likely to run afoul of the Byrd rule and would therefore need just 51 votes to pass.

    But this approach is problematic too. Some changes demanded by the House, such as exempting union workers from the 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans, would likely pass the Byrd Rule test. Others, like abortion restrictions or ending the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies, would not.

    There are other procedural hurdles as well. For example, any legislation passed under reconciliation cannot increase budget deficits by even one cent between 2010 and 2014.

    Moreover, it cannot increase deficits by more than $1 billion beyond 2014—not just overall, but in any single year. Nor can it increase deficits by more than $5 billion over any 10-year period. That is a very hard standard to meet. Indeed, that is why the Bush tax cuts expire.

    Reconciliation also cannot impose unfunded mandates on states or businesses in excess of $69 million for states or $139 million for business. The Congressional Budget Office has already noted that health care reform exceeds those ceilings, and expanding Medicaid eligibility or extending the mandate for employers to provide insurance to their workers is another likely dealbreaker.

    This puts House Democrats in a real bind. Without a guarantee that the changes they want would actually pass the Senate, would House members really pass a deeply unpopular bill that many of them hate? And would the Senate be willing to defy public sentiment by blatantly abusing the reconciliation procedure?

    This all seems to depend on how determined—or desperate—this administration is.

  21. Just saw this on Fox – an old piece with Ronnie R. decrying socialized medicine. Just for your enjoyment.

    • Judy got it first – man, there is some delay on my end – I hope that means great minds…. Have a great night!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        You too Kelly.

        • Hi Judy 🙂

          Hope your day gets better! Snow is coming again, with high winds and all the fun that goes with it. The weather channel is saying close to a foot by Friday night, locals are saying about 4 inches, go figure! I’ll expect the foot and hope for the 4! 😆


          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Hey G

            I’m doing okay for the most part. We got some rain last night and this morning, which is good because it melted a lot of the snow we got. We’re suppose to be getting more of either one come this weekend. I’m am so sick of being cold, nit sure how much more I can take.

            For some reason everyday around 4 in the afternoon, I get so cold, I just can’t warm up. Can’t wait for spring, tired of all the gloomy weather.

            • I rarely get cold, always dress for the environment. Can’t wait for spring myself, much to do. This could be one of my busiest springs in a long time!

              I like sweat pants this time of year, hint, hint! 🙂


              • Judy Sabatini says:

                What does hint, hint mean, you need some? I dress for it too, but I guess I’m just cold blooded. It’s either my feet or hands, then I get what I call, cold arms. Only time I’m warm is when I’m laying on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, or when I go to bed. Go figure.

                • No, don’t need sweats, I can fill several boxes with sweat pants and shirts. There just comfy, and warm. A good lose fitting sweatshirt will solve that cold arm problem. With the woodburner, I can sit and type in shorts and no shirt when it’s 5 below outside.

                  Oh yea! A shot of liquor will warm ya up too! 🙂

  22. Judy Sabatini says:

    That’s all I wear is a loose fitting sweatshirts, but I’m getting tired of wearing them. No, not just a sweatshirt, good Lord I’d freeze. I usually wear legging with them, and socks just to try and keep warm. If I go anywhere, I do wear something else, don’t want to look like I just go out of bed, but I don’t usually go out wearing my jammies. LOL

    Yea, you got that nice warm wood burner, we got that nice warm heater, that’s where my desk is, in the living room, right by the vent.

    The way things have been going lately, I might need more than a shot, but won’t go into it here.

    Going to take a break right now, and have a little dinner, but I will be back though.

    Catch ya later.

  23. Judy

    Have you seen this poster around your neighborhood?

    • Now that made me laugh 😆

      Hope today finds you well Kathy!


      • Hi G,

        Doing good. Very cold today; guessing it is coming your way tonight/tomorrow. Don’t mind the snow but growing weary of the windchills.

        Have you made your popcorn for the theatre presentation tomorrow? Obama is good at theatrics so I hope the R’s are prepared and just keep coming back to cost. The One can’t have an honest answer to that.

        • Gonna get windy they say, more worried about the amount of snow. The cold is normal, much like where your at, I work at a hospital, and very deep snow in short time is a problem, this don’t look like we can’t manage it though.

          No popcorn for me, won’t watch the BS! I mostly watch the morning news (local), sports that I’m into, which isn’t much this time of year, or a good movie, which is about twice a month. Mostly listen to music on the radio.

          But I’ll get the whole story here, so I’m not out of touch. Why? I’ll explain in the weeks to come.

          Winter is now sucking! 🙂 Time for Spring!


    • Judy Sabatini says:

      No, that’s the first time. Where did you find that? Maybe I can have my son get a copy off the site and blow it up and make several copies and plaster them around town. NAH!, Maybe I better not, don’t want to get arrested.

      • If I lived there, that would be plastered everywhere! 👿

        I’d gladly pay a fine and spend a night in jail for that!

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          He’s not worth going to jail for. Did you read what he he said about men and how they become abusive because they don’t have a job? What I’d like to know is, what was their excuses before all these job losses came out.

          Domestic abuse has been around for long time, not just because some guy doesn’t have a job. Give me a break. Now, you see why we want him out? I’ll say what Cyndi and Anita says, what an assclown.

          • Yep, he is what he is. Hope you all vote him into retirement!

            • Then ask him to leave your State!

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                I just hope he goes back to Searchlight where he came from, and just stay there, keep his mouth shut and go rot.

                Did you also see where 2 Casino’s in Vegas are backing him now? They must have been promised something big. And after that crack he made about being able to smell the tourists when they go there. A double assclown.

                • Judy,
                  Been laughing at this comment for 5 minutes.

                  Poor Judy-hang in there- you’ll celebrate in November

  24. Judy Sabatini says:

    Fred Thompson Mocks Reid for Linking Unemployment to Violence on Women

    Fred Thompson, the TV actor and former Republican senator, took a swipe at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday for suggesting that unemployed men are more likely than women to commit domestic violence

    Fred Thompson, the TV actor and former Republican senator, took a swipe at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday for suggesting that unemployed men are more likely than women to commit domestic violence.

    “Reid: Jobless men = domestic abuse,” Thompson, a 2008 presidential candidate, said online in a Tweet. “Is he saying we should be worried about Mrs. Reid after the November elections?”

    But Reid’s office wasn’t laughing.

    “While Fred Thompson may think he was being funny, it is unfortunate and disappointing that so many on the right would make light of domestic abuse,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a written statement to FoxNews.com.

    Reid has come under fire from advocates for men for the comments he made Monday as he argued during a Senate debate that the $15 billion jobs bill he sponsored should be passed to help prevent an uptick in violence.

    The Senate passed the bill Wednesday.

    Reid has refused to apologized for his comments.

  25. Judy Sabatini says:

    Senate Votes to Extend Patriot Act for 1 Year


    In agreeing to pass the bill, Senate Democrats retreated from adding new privacy protections to the USA Patriot Act.

    WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Wednesday to extend for a year key provisions of the nation’s counterterrorism surveillance law that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month.

    In agreeing to pass the bill, Senate Democrats retreated from adding new privacy protections to the USA Patriot Act.

    The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote with no debate. It now goes to the House.
    Three important sections of the Patriot Act are to expire at the end of this month.

    One authorizes court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones. A second allows court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations. A third permits surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen suspected of engaging in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.

    Supporters say extending the law enables authorities to keep important tools in the fight against terrorism. It would also give Democrats some cover from Republican criticism that the Obama administration is soft on terrorism. Republicans have criticized the administration for trying terrorist suspects in civilians courts, rather than military ones, and for trying to close the military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Some Democrats, however, had to forfeit new privacy protections they had sought for the law.
    The Judiciary Committee bill would have restricted FBI information demands known as national security letters and made it easier to challenge gag orders imposed on Americans whose records are seized. Library records would have received extra protections. Congress would have closely scrutinized FBI use of the law to prevent abuses. Dissemination of surveillance results would have been restricted and after a time, unneeded records would have been destroyed.

    “I would have preferred to add oversight and judicial review improvements to any extension of expiring provisions in the USA Patriot Act,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “But I understand some Republican senators objected.”

    • The Reichstag dutifully met every 4 years during Hitler’s rule.

      Hitler’s Enabling Act had a 4 year time limit, and he never missed his appointment with the legislature.

      And every 4 years, the Reichstag renewed Hilter’s Enabling Act – right up to the destruction and occupation of the country.

      That example and the current Patriot Act example should be more than enough to convince people of how evil rolls along unimpeded by those ‘representatives’ that received their ‘votes’.

  26. Judy Sabatini says:

    Going to go for the night. See you all tomorrow, and have agreat night and a great tomorrow.

    Take Care All


  27. Health Care is 1/6th of U.S. Economy but Obama wants to cram reform through congress? Why? Does anyone never wonder why the government wants to so dramatically change a system that is the very best in the world?

    The U.S. economy produced roughly $15 trillion worth of goods and services in 2008.1/6 th of that economy was from healthcare services.How much revenue would the Feds take in if healthcare reform is passed?It’s blatantly obvious the feds want to turn to a single payer healthcare system in time.The feds would be setting the wages of medical personnel with legislation.The feds would be setting the prices on medical procedures.The feds would determine if a procedure is needed or not based upon their evaluations!The feds would be monopolizing the entire medical industry!Could they want the revenue from this industry to bail themselves out from the mountain of debt they have accumulated and to fund further growth of the BIG Government monster that has spawned in our nations capital?This legislation the way I understand it is a HUGE EFFIN TAX on the American people the way it is written.I’m sick of hearing the ruse being spouted saying that healthcare is in trouble and needs help.Sure I believe we need change and a little more regulation.BUT, I believe that change and regulation should be in the form of TORT reform and a repeal of health insurer antitrust exemptions.Holy Smokes people what is wrong with the majority of Americans that they cannot understand what games are being played in all our branches of government?Cap n Trade,Stimulus Spending,Bailouts,Health Reform, WAR.Wake the eff UP!

    • “Holy Smokes people what is wrong with the majority of Americans that they cannot understand what games are being played in all our branches of government?”

      They are fools and assclowns who will get what they have coming. Unfortunately, those of of us who are opposed to what’s being done will suffer as well. If an American hasn’t woken up to what’s going on by now, he/she never will. Its that simple. We’ve produced to many fools.

  28. SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea threatened a “powerful” attack if the U.S. and South Korea proceed with joint military drills next month, warning Thursday that it could even resort to nuclear means.

    The threat, routinely issued before South Korea and the U.S. embark on regularly scheduled military exercises, was made just hours after President Barack Obama’s special envoy to North Korea arrived in Seoul to discuss the North.

    The North has demanded a lifting of the sanctions and peace talks with the U.S. on formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War before it returns to the negotiations.South Korea and the U.S., which maintains 28,500 troops in South Korea, plan to conduct annual military exercises starting March 8.

    The North sees the exercises as preparation for an invasion, but the U.S. and South Korea say the maneuvers are purely defensive.

    “If the U.S. imperialists and South Korean warmongers launch the joint military exercises … we will react to them with our powerful military counteraction, and if necessary, mercilessly destroy the bulwark of aggression by mobilizing all the offensive and defensive means including nuclear deterrent,” a Korean People’s Army spokesman said in a statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.”

    OK BIG BOY…. BRING IT ON. Little Big Man, playing dictator….while starving his people.

  29. WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Wednesday to extend for a year key provisions of the nation’s counterterrorism surveillance law that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month.

    In agreeing to pass the bill, Senate Democrats retreated from adding new privacy protections to the USA Patriot Act.

    The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote with no debate. It now goes to the House.
    Three important sections of the Patriot Act are to expire at the end of this month.”

    Have I missed something? Correct me if I am wrong but did not the democrats and our “hope and change” man have a plank in their platform that the Patriot Act was a bad piece of legislation and needed to be repealed? Correct me if I am wrong, but does not the democratic party own the House and Senate and Presidency? I guess I am somewhat confused….the party in power, that hated this bill, that cannot be out voted…..voted to extend this bill and even retreated from introducing any legislation at watering it down….tucked tail and ran.

    Where is Alfred E Nueman when you need him? What…me worry?

    Is this an election year or what?

    • I seem to recall something like that being said, and ending the war(s), bringing out troops home, closing Gitmo. All these anti-Bush promises, yet he is still using the Bush playbook for about half his actions. And still they “BELIEVE”. Mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm.

      Good morning D,

    • Hey D13 how’s my cow school buddy doing this morning? Thought you might be interested in the following email that is making the rounds in Bama land.

      Subject: Bama Interesting Facts of 2009

      This is all that Saban and Bama did last year.
      What’s the big deal?
      14-0 with wins vs….

      The defending BCS National Champion.
      The Big 12 Conference Champion.
      The BCS Sugar Bowl winner..
      The Cotton Bowl winner.
      The Chick-Fil-A Bowl winner.
      The Outback Bowl winner.
      The Liberty Bowl winner.
      Only the second (2nd) National Champ to be 14-0.
      Only the second team in 11 years to have the Heisman winner also be a National Champion.

      The most All-Americans ever assembled on one team.
      The only coach in the AP era to have won at two different schools.
      The only SEC team that has gone back to back SEC seasons undefeated since the late 70’s.
      Beat another undefeated team to win the BCS Crown.
      Beat an elite team from the SEC, ACC and Big 12.

      Beat arguably the best player ever in Tim Tebow..
      Beat the team with the winningest QB ever in Colt McCoy.
      The first Alabama team to have ever beaten Texas.

      Beat four teams this season that have coaches that have won National Championships.
      Beat the previous three BCS National Champs in one season.

      Lastly, this is the first team EVER to beat 10 teams in the same season that all ended the season with winning records.

    • My O-loving boyfriend and I were talking about that the other day. I asked why O hadn’t repealed the PA yet. Of course, he didn’t have an answer. There must be a reason why it hasn’t been repealed, but I doubt its so HS can crack down on Islamic terrorists. If they are cracking down on them, the government isn’t doing a very good job of it.

  30. HuffPo’s Ryan Grim: ObamaCare 2.0 Really A ‘Conservative’ Plan

    By Kyle Drennen
    Wed, 02/24/2010 – 17:09 ET

    Appearing in the 3PM ET hour on MSNBC on Wednesday, Huffington Post writer Ryan Grim claimed that President Obama’s latest version of health care reform was actually a conservative approach: “We actually already have a Republican bill, and it’s the one that Obama has proposed….It’s all about choice. Everything in it is a Republican kind of free market-based idea.”

    Speaking to anchor David Shuster, Grim continued his bizarre argument: “The idea that this is a Democratic bill, you know, that this is some left-wing plot, some government takeover that they’re going to ram through the Senate, is the part that’s the problem. This is a very centrist, leaning conservative health care reform bill.”

    The segment also featured Sally Pipes, author of “Top 10 Myths of American Health Care,” who dismantled Grim’s assertions: “I disagree with Ryan that this is a conservative blueprint that the President has put forward. It’s very much not what the Republicans are talking about in terms of changing the tax code, portability, reducing mandates. What this is about is getting government more involved in our health care industry.”

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2010/02/24/huffpos-ryan-grim-obamacare-2-0-really-conservative-plan#ixzz0gYWmGr3h

    • And these are the people who currently run half our health care, and are about to take control of all of it, looking forward to government “efficiency” next time I get a shot!

      E-Verify Misses Half of Illegal Workers, Report Finds

      AP (from FOX)

      Online tool Congress and the Obama administration want employers to use to help curb illegal immigration wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time.

      WASHINGTON – The system Congress and the Obama administration want employers to use to help curb illegal immigration is failing to catch more than half the number of unauthorized workers it checks, a research company has found.

      The online tool E-Verify, now used voluntarily by employers, wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time, according to Westat, a research company that evaluated the system for the Homeland Security Department. E-Verify missed so many illegal workers mainly because it can’t detect identity fraud, Westat said.

      “Clearly it means it’s not doing it’s No. 1 job well enough,” said Mark Rosenblum, a researcher at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, Washington think tank.

      E-Verify allows employers to run a worker’s information against Homeland Security and Social Security databases to check whether they are permitted to work in the U.S. The Obama administration has made cracking down on employers who hire people here illegally a central part of its immigration enforcement policy, and there are expectations that some Republicans in Congress will try in coming weeks to make E-Verify mandatory.

      E-Verify correctly identified legal workers 93 percent of the time, Westat said. However, previous studies have not quantified how many immigrants were fooling the E-Verify system. Much of the criticism of E-Verify has focused on whether U.S. citizens and legal immigrants with permission to work were falsely flagged as illegal workers.

      Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is writing the Democrats’ immigration bill and has fought expanding E-Verify because of its flaws, said Wednesday that the fact that E-Verify was inaccurate so often shows that it is not an adequate tool.

      “This is a wake-up call to anyone who thinks E-verify is an effective remedy to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants,” Schumer said.

      A so-called worker verification process like E-Verify is considered essential to any immigration overhaul proposal that has any chance of approval in Congress.

      Westat’s report, completed in December 2009 using data from the previous year, was quietly posted on Homeland Security’s Web site Jan. 28 along with a summary that pointed out E-Verify is accurate “almost half of the time.”

      “While not perfect, it is important to note that E-Verify is much more effective” than the I-9 paper forms used by most employers, the summary said.

      Rosenblum, who has studied E-Verify, said Westat’s evaluation shows it doesn’t make sense to substantially expand and invest in E-Verify without fixing the identity theft problem.

      Bill Wright, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the agency, part of the Homeland Security Department, has created an anti-immigrant identity fraud unit in Buffalo, New York, to address the issue.

      The agency is developing a way for people to screen themselves through E-Verify so they can show potential employers they can legally work.

      About 184,000 of the nation’s 7 million to 8 million employers are using E-Verify, the Homeland Security Department says on its Web site.

      Congress gave DHS about $100 million to spend on E-Verify in its 2010 budget.

  31. v. Holland says:

    Funny how animal’s and man want their freedom-Not so funny how man is always figuring out ways to take freedoms. Perhaps we should emulate the ants. 🙂

    Best-Laid Plans Fail to Trap Ants at Academy of Sciences


    It took humans about three years and countless hours of planning to rebuild San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences—but less than a year for the leaf cutter ants to figure a way to bust out.

    Thousands of ants on exhibit at the museum were put under lockdown last summer after workers discovered they had bored passages inside a feeding tree near their nest in a mock rain forest, which allowed them to flee their enclosure. A new artificial tree has been installed, but officials say the ants will remain locked up for a few more weeks until officials can be sure they don’t escape again.
    The Great Ant Escape

    It took leafcutter ants less than a year to escape their enclosure.

    “The ants decided they would like to expand their territory—and proved that they were smarter than the humans who designed their display,” says Stephanie Stone, an academy spokeswoman.

    Much has been written about the wonders of the academy since it reopened in Golden Gate Park in September 2008 after a $500 million revamp. The academy now boasts a state-of-the-art environmental design with a planted “living roof” and popular attractions such as a living coral reef and a four-story tropical rain forest. Almost three million people have visited since the reopening, allowing the nonprofit to break even on expenses, officials say.

    Still, academy officials say a few creatures are besting their carefully laid plans. As a result, workers are having to wage a behind-the-scenes battle against some of the museum’s 38,000 living specimens.

    One conflict involves a 12-inch monitor lizard, which last spring burrowed into some openings in the articifical rock behind its cage. That forced biologists to use a tiny remote camera to find its hiding place. New rockwork with no openings was later installed, say officials.

    In the academy’s Steinhart Aquarium, workers have been trying unsuccessfully for two months to remove a zebra moray eel so a veterinarian can inspect a growth on its head, says Bart Shepherd, the aquarium’s curator. But though the eel resides in a relatively small, 300-gallon tank, he says it has figured out how to elude capture by wedging itself in some rocks.

    “We want to have all these animals under control because this is a controlled environment,” Mr. Shepherd says. “But when you reproduce the natural environment, then they have an advantage.”

    The academy’s biologists have learned from some past mistakes. About 10 years ago, Mr. Shepherd says, crabs kept mysteriously disappearing from a tank in the old academy. The culprit was a giant octopus two tanks over, which used its tentacles to sneak out at night and snatch crabs, he says. The octopus tank has since been wrapped in AstroTurf.

    In the new academy, officials thought they had designed a foolproof enclosure for the leaf cutter ants, so named because they cut leaves to make fungus gardens. The ants’ nest was embedded in rock made of concrete and fiberglass, with windows for visitors to watch. A vine made of plastic connected the nest to a 20-foot-tall tree stump also made of concrete and fiberglass. It was put in a pond away from other trees, so the ants would have no way to escape to the rest of the forest, says Mr. Shepherd.

    For months, visitors marveled as the leaf cutters marched along the vine. But in June, biologists noticed the ants were going inside the stump and not back to their nest. They discovered the colony had excavated new nest chambers in the foam inside the stump by chewing up and carting out tiny pieces of the fiberglass. They also had built a network of fungus gardens inside.

    If the ants had escaped, officials say the critters could have damaged mahogany and other trees in a 90-foot-diameter glass dome enclosing the rain forest. “What we don’t want is for them to be free-ranging the forest,” Mr. Shepherd says.

    Academy workers quickly locked the ants inside their old nest, giving them access only to an “ante” chamber built into the same artificial rock where leaves are loaded in for them to harvest, Mr. Shepherd says. Workers recently installed an eight-foot-high stump, which this time was filled with concrete and topped with a large plastic bowl where leaves will be placed. The sides of the bowl are coated with liquid Teflon to discourage climbing.

    Meanwhile, a new vine is being constructed to the ant nest 15 feet away. “We’ll see if this works,” Mr. Shepherd says, adding that he hopes humans this time will outsmart the ants.


    • I haven’t had my first cup of coffee yet, but huh???

      “We want to have all these animals under control because this is a controlled environment,”

      What a control freak! I wonder if he’s on the government payroll!

      • I loved the natural “controlled” environment-just have to root for the animals but couldn’t help but notice the impossibility of their task and the correlation between this and our government.

  32. I know I am coming late to the Tuesday night party, and the following does not mesh well with everything already posted here, but I needed to vent.


    “Read my lips, no new taxes” – a lie
    “I promise transparency” – a lie
    “Weapons of mass destruction” – a lie
    “I did not have sexual relations with that women” – a lie
    “I will not allow lobbyists in my cabinet” – a lie
    “Unemployment will not rise above 8%” – a lie
    “I was not informed that water-boarding would be used” – a lie
    “I don’t want to run a car company” – a lie
    “I did not father that child” – a lie
    “I didn’t know how to use Turbo Tax” – a lie

    The list goes on and on and on to a point that if lips are moving a lie is the result. And it is not just a few of those seated in an elected position, it is each and every one of them.

    What is the first and absolute universal fact about politicians? They are liars.

    What is the one single trait that most people despise in another person…dishonesty! You can be ugly, fat, rude, self-centered, egotistical, poor, dirty, perverted and mean and still earn trust. But if you are dishonest, lie, cheat or steal then eventually people will not trust you.

    Why then do we believe anything spewing from the mouths of those seated in an elected position?

    If we know that a rattlesnake bites, because it is their nature, then we must conclude that all rattlesnakes bite.

    If a politician is a liar by nature, isn’t it then true that all politicians are liars? And if lying is the one trait that we all agree is bad, why then do we listen, follow, support and trust any politician.

    Have we as a people become less tolerant of lying? Has lying become an acceptable trait in politicians simply because it has evolved to become a universal standard for all those that seek election; if so, we need to change our standards.

    We don’t tolerate lying in our relationships with loved ones, co-workers or friends, so why do we do so in our elected officials?

    How do we deal with liars? When lies originate from our children we punish them. When our spouses are caught lying we get angry and punish or leave them. When our boss or co-workers lie we either file a complaint, or at least chose not to associate with them. When a friend lies we stop calling them a friend.

    I suggest that we stop tolerating lies from those that we elected to represent us. After all if they are lying then they are not really representing us are they?

    What is the one thing that usually infuriates a liar? Calling him/her one!

    Instead of eloquently asking them to clarify their answer to a position, why don’t we just start telling them they are lying?

    Instead of moving onto the next question when they respond to the first questions with double-speak, or a flippant remark, why don’t we re-ask the initial question and demand a straight answer. If nothing else maybe they will at least shut up and/or leave the podium. After all if we can’t get them to function as we want them to, maybe we can at least get them to do nothing; and nothing would be a great improvement.

    Start calling them out. Tell them they are lying and should they continue, we will vote against them.

    Maybe if enough people start doing this we can get the liars to shut-up. You can’t stop a rattlesnake from striking, but if you sew it’s mouth shut he can’t bite and will eventually starve.


    • Joe Wilson: YOU LIE!

    • Good morning, CM…..not had your coffee yet?

      • D13;

        I was born and raised on a farm in Indiana, near a small town called Portland where my mornings started at 4:00am. Had to help the neighbor milk dairy critters each morning before breakfast, so coffee is usually over and done with way before 9:00.

        Just been trying to figure a way to avoid the double speak, rhetoric and BS and push them into a corner they can’t back out of. I have had some success on a local basis when I have caught them in a lie. Gets them real frustrated, sometimes even angry. It really changes the entire mood of the setting and they seeem to change their stance. One of them even decided he didn’t need to listen to that type of disrespect and threatened to stop the meeting. I smiled at him and relied “I second the motion”.

        It worked, he left

        Hope you have managed to get through the winter snows down your way and your raptors didn’t freeze


        • Everything going fine.. hang in there..we will make it.

          Strange winter here….colder than normal, wetter than normal, more snow than normal….that damned global warming.

        • Common Man,

          I have had some success on a local basis

          Now you’re getting it!

          Ignore Washington. Ignore anything Federal.

          You have power locally because these guys have to live with you. He is the guy next door and he doesn’t like when his windows getting egged. He has to face you every day.

          Focus only locally. Here is where you have influence and social power

          • Curious BF- Do you “do” jury duty or is that evil too?

            • They would never let me on a jury. “Nullification” is my mantra – so no self-respecting Statist judge or prosecutor would allow me to be one.

              • Pretty much the answer I was expecting. You’d freak them out anyway the minute they started asking questions! 🙂

                I’ve been on one jury and been kicked to the curb during questioning another time. I found it interesting. They lie in a courtroom just like they lie in DC

    • Common Man,

      “..vote them out!..”

      Sorry, but you get the wet noodle of sarcasm.

      “Oooo… that is scary! You’re going to vote me out… Oooooo … and who are you goin’ vote IN???? hahahahahhahaha… another liar!!!”

      Good plan, CM – too bad it fails.

      The voter has no power to enforce upon a politician. They are immune to your stomping feet.

      As Alexander Haig said about war protesters.

      “Let them march, as long as they continue to pay their taxes”

      • Hi BF,

        I had similar conversation just this morning with a former O-bot. At least she sees it now. I wish my boyfriend would open his eyes and mind. I think he deserves an Honorable Mention for stubbornesss.

      • BF;

        Ah, but I didn’t say “vote them out” I said “vote against them” and that goes back to the lesson you promoted some months back; no vote.

        Not casting a vote sends the message that we chose not to participate and not participating reduces their power and influence. A kind of civil disobedience if you will.

        My point is to start challenging them when they lie, flip-flop, pander and are indignant. Remind them that they were elected. Yes I know they realize it is not the common man / woman that puts them into office, but that is not something they would publicly admit, unless the want to implode. Remind them who they work for and their employer can and will remove them.

        I am not voting against them, because as you say I would just be voting in another liar, I’m saying defy them, stop accepting their BS and rhetoric and tell them NO!

        BTW: Those who have spoken out do seem to be making a difference as demonstrated by the current regiem’s effort at bipartisanship, but then again it could all just be another shell game.

        Since everything they say is a lie we cannot accept anything they put forward or support.


  33. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    The latest from EPA Director Jackson:

    ““We need to move clean energy legislation,” Jackson said. “We need to move to addressing carbon and putting a price on carbon emissions.”

    During the hearing, as she laid out her plan for the 2011 budget, Jackson was adamant in her defense of global warming.

    “The science regarding climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming,” Jackson said.

    Later on, she added: “What this program needs is money.” ”

    File under “AGW Alarmist Uber-Statists, and how they intend to screw us.”

  34. Anyone else see this? I thought it was interesting….I think they should study the Patriot Act next. I bet that gets the the little one’s attention.


    Follow the rules, comrades … or else

    OSPREY – Stephany Fournier, an 11th-grader at Pine View School, did not want to punish her fellow classmates, but it had to be done. They defied the law.

    I’m normally a nice person, but I have to be really firm with these people,” Stephany said. “They must come in, sit down and write this line on paper, front and back.”

    The line: “I will serve the glorious East German state better.”

    The students copied it repeatedly after watching a propaganda film depicting the evils of Western culture.

    The drill was part of a history lesson taken to an elaborate level Tuesday at Pine View, where Stephany and the rest of the 2,000 students participated in an interactive lesson commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.

    “This was a project of the history club, and their idea was that students should really have an idea of what it was like to live in a communist state,” said social studies teacher Patricia Johnston, who helped organize the project and served as the lead “comrade.”

  35. For a group that advocates that society must be tolerant and accepting of other’s they are sure intolerant. Pat Griffin who is a consultant to the NCAA on gay and lesbian issues runs her own blog and the hate and intolerance shown there is shocking. IMO this sort of thing does not help the gay community as it shows hypocrisy in trying to stamp out any view but their own.

    NCAA yanks Focus on the Family ad amid concerns about group’s stance on gay relationships


  36. Judy Sabatini says:

    Can someone please explain to me, how this health care bill will create 400 million new jobs? What risks is Pelosi talking about? Am I missing something here?

    Hope al is doing well today.



  37. There is no 400 million jobs to create….I am watching this and it is like a bunch of Romper Room rejects arguing back and forth and Obama says…keep it in his box or it is not appropriate to talk about.

    • I’m watching also D13. I want to know why no questions are being answered-just throwing aroud talking points & sad stories. Lamar Alexander had him for a minute on reconciliation though

    • The new mantra for socialized medicine will be “please pay for my healthcare so I don’t have to smile with my dead sister’s teeth.”

      Did ya’ll catch that? I ’bout spit Pepsi out of my nose.

      Romper Room is so right! Can we buy some Romper Stompers and use them on their heads???

      Paul Ryan did better than most. McCain snickering about Obama’s “the election’s over” remark creeped me out.

      Have a great evening!

      • Paul Ryan is from the area just south of me. He gets it, with the exception of voting for the bailout last fall. For this move he was booed at the first taxday teaparty last April. He’s become a reliable voice for the R’s.

        Sowwy, they buried ma sister ‘fore I could get er teeeffff……

  38. Cato Scholar: Private Accounts the Only Answer on Social Security, Pensions
    By Anthony Kang
    Thu, 02/25/2010 – 10:32 ET

    Americans have been so bombarded with the word “crisis,” it appears to have lost all meaning. But distinguished scholar the Cato Institute, there is a real, serious crisis pending in America’s addiction to entitlement programs, government-dependence, and imaginary “rights” to live off future generations.

    “You will have to look into the future, do the responsible thing, and begin moving toward a system of personal accounts. That is the only long-term solution,” said Jose Pinera of America’s social security and pension system.

    Pinera knows what he’s talking about – he’s the architect of social security reform in Chile. Introducing a recent interview with Pinera, Fox Business Network’s Brian Sullivan said, “Thirty years ago, the social security system of Chile was broke, flat-busted. Entitlement reform was just destroying the nation’s finances. In walks the Harvard-educated Jose Pinera. He pushed through by force of will a plan to privatize their entire entitlement system and social security – there is no government social security in Chile now – and everybody has a private account.”

    In the Cato Institute’s 1975 Economic Freedom of the World Report, Chile ranked 71 out of 72 nations evaluated. And while Latin American countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have become more centralized and destitute, Chile now has the highest per-capita income in Latin America – largely because it embraced free trade and pension privatization.

    Pinera acknowledged that a recent Pew study a trillion dollar gap in state budgets to finance pension plans is a gigantic problem – but citing U.S. government figures, said there is a “$100 trillion problem” regarding health and social security entitlement (or seven times the GNP).

    Suspicious of the $100 trillion figure at first, Sullivan quickly conceded the possibility and asked: “Okay on this paper from the CBO – $35 trillion in hospital insurance for current and future, $34 trillion for Medicare part B, about $18 trillion for drug benefits, then social security – how are we going to pay for this?” Sullivan asked.

    For Pinera it comes down to the fact that many Americans have adopted a dangerous philosophy identical to the unsustainable culture of European-style socialism. And the first thing Pinera did as Chile’s Secretary of Labor was guarantee the benefits for the elderly, but forced a change in the younger generation.

    Pinera lamented upon the imperative need for Americans to go back to the roots of the American experiment, take personal responsibility and convert to the only sustainable option – personal retirement accounts.

    “In only seven years the social security system will begin to have a deficit. You will have to raise the retirement age, you will have to raise the payroll tax, cut benefits…unless you change the paradigm and you go to a system of personal accounts. Personal accounts are very simple: you save for old age and you benefit from the extraordinary rate of compounding interest,” Pinera argued. “It is a system we had all over the world before Otto van Bismarck created this monster of unfunded welfare state that is bankrupting Europe and eventually will bankrupt the U.S.”

    “All the money is real somewhere,” Sullivan interjected when his guest called the current system a Ponzi and Madoff-scheme. Pinera insisted the schemes are identical – there is no “real” money or funding – just a default waiting to happen.

    As Pinera told Sullivan, there will always be people looking to game the system and receive unwarranted special treatment. “I believe the only long-term solution is to free yourself from the legacy of Bismarckian unfunded, pension system and go to a system of personal responsibility…that is common-sense.”

    He went on, “The moment where you change the dynamic and people begin to know that if they save more – they work more, they will get a better pension out of their own savings – then the whole system begins to improve.”

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/anthony-kang/2010/02/25/cato-scholar-private-accounts-only-answer-social-security-pensions#ixzz0gaDbOI7Y

  39. Does anyone else think this might have something to do with O’s tanking numbers???


    Obama May Prohibit Home-Loan Foreclosures Without HAMP Review

    • Hi CP 🙂

      I’m not very familiar with the govt programs as far as mortgages are concerned, I can say that the banks should work more on their own to help those who could benefit from lower interest rates and lower payments. However, they don’t give a crap, they just want their money. Of course there are people who will simply burn their house down in anger and let the insurance pay for it and move on!

      I personnally have much dislike for banks, I’d rather let them foreclose, move out, then burn it down. Hopefully they don’t have insurance on it.



      • My sister got an Obama mortgage ammendment. The big assist was a lower interest for ten years. I wonder what happens in ten years? Does it return to the original rate, or the going rate at the end of the ten years? I hope it goes back to the original rate, otherwise she could be looking at an interest rate of the Carter Years. What other strings are attached? I mentioned this and she told me not to be ‘so negative’. There is no free lunch. Oh well, she might get lucky.

  40. A Puritan Descendant says:

    Feb 25

    Bernanke delivers blunt warning on U.S. debt


    With uncharacteristic bluntness, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Congress on Wednesday that the United States could soon face a debt crisis like the one in Greece, and declared that the central bank will not help legislators by printing money to pay for the ballooning federal debt.
    Recent events in Europe, where Greece and other nations with large, unsustainable deficits like the United States are having increasing trouble selling their debt to investors, show that the U.S. is vulnerable to a sudden reversal of fortunes that would force taxpayers to pay higher interest rates on the debt, Mr. Bernanke said.

    “We’re not going to monetize the debt,” Mr. Bernanke declared flatly, stressing that Congress needs to start making plans to bring down the deficit to avoid such a dangerous dilemma for the Fed.

    • Hahahahahha


      He and the FED have no spine. This has been already demonstrated with the bail out.

      “We will not bail out the banks”. “Ok, just this one”. “Ok, just that one too.” “Ok, all of these”. “Ok, these too…”

      They will monetize the government debt (that is buy T-Bills) right up to the full edge of hyper-inflation. Then they will try to stop. Let’s hope they can.

      There is significant odds that they can’t stop hyper-inflation even if they tried.
      There is significant odds that if they tried, the government will nationalize the FED.
      There is significant odds that stopping hyper-inflation will toss the economy into a monster recession and depression.

      The odds that the FED will avoid any one of these three scenarios is zero.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        shucks! i was just starting to have hope…..

      • v. Holland says:

        Sounds like they are trying to stop now or just trying to get on the record that they warned the Government so they can plead their innocence later.

      • I am sure glad I live in the country, have a well driven by a generator (if need be) can hunt and fish, no how to can food, use wood to heat my home when I need too, can shoot 4 inch groupings at 400 yards, have a dear friend that has all the re-loading equipment needed to maintain my ammo supply and can grow a vegitable garden big enough to support my family.

        BF makes it sound as if venison, fresh or canned garden foods and potable water may wind up being legitimate trade goods.

        That is of course means those looking to trade have something of value.

        Might even be kind of fun


        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          What happens if your gun breaks and you can’t get parts?

          I live in the country too, but when I honestly look at my chances of survival, they are slim. Only the very lucky will survive.

          • P;

            I think you sell yourself short, provided you have been taught how to live off the land. Mom nature provides us with everything we need provided we know where and how to locate and use them.

            As for guns, I have never had a weapon break on me in 45 years, which has a lot to do with upkeep.

            My first weapon was my grandfathers H&R single shot 410, which was past on too my son, who will pass it onto my grandson. It works effectively today, and I suspect will continue to do so well past my great, great grandson. Works for everything from deer to rabbits.

            There are lots of places and sites on information on how to live in the wild and most of it is accessable on the web.

            The country is a far better bet than the city should we need to be “independent”. Easier to develop a community of like minded individuals and easier to defend. Besides city folk are scared of the wilderness.


            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              You are right guns are reliable. It’s most everything else I worry about. Best to rely on simple hardware as much as possible. Have a way to get water from a well without need of gasoline or pumps…. My big concern is after all my preparations i will be shot weeding my garden and have all my supplies stolen while I lay dead. Or after building a concrete bunker with everything I could need, I will hear a knock on the door. “Hello this FEMA! You must go to the relocation center NOW!” LOL

              • P

                There is safty in numbers provided those you surround yourself with are trusted, and contribute to the groups overall well-being.

                You could always set up a perimeter to warn you of trespassers. I have some friends that spent a couple of tours in Viet Nam…


                • All

                  There is a magazine out there dedicated to living independent called “Backwoods Home Magazine” which provides detailed advice on living “independently” they cover everything from canning meats, to storing LP gas, gasoline and other various fuels.

                  If you are intersted in learning how to survive comfortably independent of others and/or society you should look into it.

                  I have been a subscriber for many years, their web site is http://www.backwoodshome.com


                • A Puritan Descendant says:

                  I have a fence going up this year for Moose protection and to contain my dogs. BUT nothing to stop someone from just waiting me out from a distance and shooting my sorry behind. No neighbors to speak of here. I would need to be very stealth to survive.

                  • APD,

                    If you are without neighbors, and worry about moose attacks (LOL) you are in great shape. The desparate city folk will not have the tools for effective sniping, And the dogs would call them out!

                  • P;

                    You have Moose? I do so want to harvest one of those critters, even more than Elk, which I have taken a couple of times. One of those critters will fill th freezer for a winter or two.

                    I revert back to my statement of a couple of Viet nam buddies for preventive protection.

                    It does sound as if you are farther back than me, which would work to your advantage. Maybe dogs is an idea. Given then shelter, but let them fend for themselves. That way they are constantly wandering, although they could mess up your chickens.

                    I have a friend that keeps peacocks on his property, best damn alarm system money can buy.

                    I look forward to the tomato brandy.


                  • A Puritan Descendant says:

                    I hope you are right G Man! The Moose eat my cider trees

                    • P

                      Don’t know if it will work on Moose, but my brother-in-law has a number of fruit trees on his property and he keeps the whitetail away from them by hanging soap bars from the branches. A DNR agent told him it was effective and ever since he has never had an issue. He buys those small bars that hotels use at a local restauraunt supply store, ties them to a string and hangs a couple each on every tree. It works, now problem since with the whitetail

                      Maybe it will work on Moose as well.


        • Only problem with this is that I have not yet had the time to teach myself how to brew beer or make rum.

          Anybody willing to trade those skills for a venison quarter or a couple of wild trukeys?


          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            If you have apples cider is your best bet. You won’t even need to buy yeast, as it is on the apple skins.

            Supply at least two of everything!

            • P;

              Have apple trees on the property as well as pears and rasberries. What do you use Cider for, beer or rum?


              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                I use Cider for Cider. If carbonated it can taste just like Beer ‘sometimes’. Still cider would be best for hard times as it is simple to make.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                I also have Blackberries. Makes good wine but is way more effort than cider and needs added sugar for effect. Apples without anything added will give between 5 – 8% Alc. usually above 6%

          • Hey CM!

            I’m getting a recipe for tomato brandy, which I have tasted, and it is very good, and easy to make. Once I get it, I will post it for all to copy. Working on the beer recipe as well!



            • G

              I am a tomato freek, can’t grow enough and never ever get tired of eating/canning them. They are truely God’s fruit.

              I would be extremely giddy about tomato brandy and I am willing to smoke a wild turkey and ship it too you for the formula.

              Might even through in some venison jerky as well.


              • Save your wild game for your enjoyment, I’ve got plenty of my own. I will gladly provide it, as soon as I get it! It is really good stuff 🙂


              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                I have (‘had’ it’s falling down now)a pit greenhouse. 10 x 20 and 4 feet deep. Very handy for extending the season in a cold climate for Tomatoes and Hot Peppers.

                • I’ll have to look into the design, might come in handy!


                • P

                  I can and dry all peppers including Bonnets, jalapenos, bells, cayanne, etc, etc. Next to tomatoes they are another primary staple.

                  Have you guys pickeld sweet and hot banana peppers? Now there is a munching treat on a cold night when you looking for something on a Ritz cracker.


                  • How come hot peppers taste so good, and are hot, but seem to be ten times hotter coming out the other end? 😆

                  • A Puritan Descendant says:

                    We are lazy. My wife freezes our hot peppers. Pickled ban. peppers sounds tasty!

                    • P;

                      Yeah and for kicks and giggles you can mix the sweet bannanas with the hot bannanas when you are pickling them. That way everyone gets a surprise once in a while. It also warrants a shot of rum to ease the heat.


            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              GM says>
              “How come hot peppers taste so good, and are hot, but seem to be ten times hotter coming out the other end?”

              I say>
              All great things have a price !

      • A CEO of one of the banks of the FED came out and said he saw no change of the major bank’s position on lending.

        “No (bleep) way in this economy”

        The banks will continue to stack their cash into the excess reserves and not lend into the market.

        Bad for the ‘recovery’ – but mostly certainly holds off the inflation tiger…. for now.

        The good thing: there is still time to get ready.

        Review those big ticket items that you may really need in the middle of high inflation and buy them on sale today.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          “Review those big ticket items that you may really need in the middle of high inflation and buy them on sale today.”

          Have my list started already > First thing is another chimney, on and on. If they things get real bad we can do without MUCH of what we think we need. Priority for me would be handsaws for cutting firewood. My chainsaw will be useless without gasoline or needed parts. Much to think about!

          • Funny you mention the handsaw. For 10 years I would get my ex power tools- chain saws, gas weed whippers, etc. as gifts. I would always ask for things simple things like the hand saw or plain old long handled sickle. I can keep myself busy for weeks with those “toys”. We would always laugh that I had to work harder with my manual tools. HA! I also accumulated regular tools like hammers & screwdrivers while he collected impact wrench’s, etc. We’ll see who laughs last. I also bought one of those shake-able flashlights, a solar powered radio and a solar battery charger

  41. Judy Sabatini says:

    Warning: watching American politicians argue about healthcare can be seriously damaging to your health. Symptoms may include migraines, extreme fatigue and sudden violent urges. In the event of exposure to competing statistics — regarding “donut holes”, “HMO deductibles”, “reconciliation devices” or suchlike — seek immediate medical help.

    The public affairs television channel C-Span 3 might as well have put such a message at the bottom of its screen today as it broadcast President Obama’s epic six-hour “bipartisan” debate on US medical reform.

    Of course, by the usual standards of C-Span programming — which can induce sleep faster than an IV drip of propofol — the summit was the equivalent of a bikini mud wrestling contest. You half expected the picture to shake as the camera operator struggled to compose himself.

    For the rest of us, however, it was mainly an opportunity to see how many conciliatory-looking poses Obama could strike while listening to his Republican opponents explain why the entire first year of his administration has been a gigantic waste of time, and why the telephone directory-sized health Bills produced by both the Democrat-controlled House and Senate should be fed into a shredder the size of Connecticut, before they . . . well, no one seems to know exactly what these vast pieces of legislation would do.

    Except that it won’t be good, because the US Congress generally only does expensive and complicated.

    The President’s first challenger of the morning was the Republican charmer Lamar Alexander, a whiskey-voiced Senator from Tennessee. “We want you to succeed, because if you succeed, our country succeeds,” he told Obama, before adding, a few moments later, that want he really wanted, more than anything, was for the President to fail.

    Or, as he put it: “This [healthcare reform] is a car that can’t be recalled and fixed . . . we ought to start over.”

    Throughout all this, Obama, looking incongruously glamorous in a crisp white shirt and blue tie — like Jamie Foxx chairing a convention of Pittsburgh cement contractors — gave an Oscar-worthy performance as the Concerned Listener.

    He listened with his chin raised and his eyes narrowed. His listened with his head resting quizzically in one hand. He listened while scribbling furiously in his notebook. Indeed, it was only when one of his own allies began to speak — the purple-suited Nancy Pelosi, famed for her left-wing politics and fondness for private jets — that Obama’s camera-talent abandoned him, and he allowed himself to be filmed with his middle finger creeping over his lips, as if urging Ms Pelosi to shut the hell up and take the next Gulfstream back to California.

    His frustration was understandable. After all, for a while, it seemed as though Senator Alexander might be getting the upper hand, and the viewer began to wonder if Obama’s gambit — to bore America into submission while getting another opportunity to look handsome on television — was about to blow up in his face.

    But then Alexander made the fatal mistake of claiming that even Congressional Budget Office thought Obama’s healthcare reform plan would result in more expensive health insurance premiums.

    Quite the opposite, interjected Obama, suddenly in his legal scholar element: the Budget Office said that premiums would fall, which would then inspire middle class families to purchase better, more expensive insurance policies. “This is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight,” he chided, in the tone you might use while encouraging a toddler to eat all his peas.

    Alexander attempted a flustered response, before declaring that he would like to submit his rebuttal in writing at a later date, instead of “arguing in public”. Obama, now sounding like the leader that has been mostly absent from the White House for the past year, declined the offer. “I’d like to get this issue resolved before we leave today, because I don’t believe I’m wrong,” he said.

    For the Democrats, it was a long overdue moment of victory. Whether anyone in America was still awake to witness it, however, was another matter.

    • I watched maybe 5 minutes of it today. Long enough to hear Obama make a complete assclown (hehe) of himself trying to explain the spike in California, which he completely looked like a fool explaining the a laid off man, who is healthy, is not buying insurance, and that’s why it spiked. The idiot continued to say that if there was a mandate this wouldn’t happen. What this complete moron, who stated that the laid off man can’t afford the insurance, neglected to realize that the laid off man still won’t be able to afford it, even with this pathetic mandate.

      ARGGHH, our President is a flaming idiot, and too damn stuck up to realize it!


  42. Judy Sabatini says:

    So, with or without Repubs backing, they’re gong to pass this thing one way or another.


    • You are so right, Judy! I was reading up on the Byrd rule to see if it could be used to block reconciliation in this case.

      Reconciliation cannot be used if “it would increase the deficit for a fiscal year beyond those covered by the reconciliation measure, though the provisions in question may receive an exception if they in total in a Title of the measure net to a reduction in the deficit”

      I’m not an expert in this area, but wouldn’t the current mess of a bill create a deficit for the forseeable future according to CBO and massive deficits thereafter? Would that be arguable in this case? Is there any hope of blocking this nonsense?

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        All I know is, that this health care bill they’re cramming down our throats is unconstitutional, one of them said that today, but can’t remember who it was.

        • Yep – heard that one, too. Maybe someone else can comment on Byrd – I haven’t spent a lot of time reading up on Senate law lately – been too busy WORKING! Hope you have a great evening, Judy!

          • WASHINGTON – President Obama ended Thursday’s White House summit by threatening to push for passage of health care reform without Republican support, and despite the daylong meeting with Democratic and Republican lawmakers, a a bipartisan agreement remained out of reach as lawmakers vowed to stick to their guns.

            At the conclusion of the televised showdown, which was aimed at finding common ground between the two political parties, Obama said Republicans had only a matter of time to decide if they would jump onboard.

            “If we’re unable to resolve differences over health care, we will need to move ahead on decisions,” he said, alluding to using reconciliation, a controversial maneuver that prevents a GOP filibuster by requiring only 51 votes to pass legislation.

            Obama added that if voters are unhappy with results, then “that’s what elections are for.”


            Obama= One Big Ass Mistake America

        • Well, here’s a silver lining. You may not this ‘plan’ but at least Ray, Matthius and Buck get to pay for your mother, your husband and you to have FREE health care. Ya’ll don’t have jobs, but Ray, Buck and Matthius do! Karma BABY!!!


          • Oh – too much working – I’ve been helping to pay for somebody else since age 14. Actually, earlier than that, but they didn’t tax the yard-mowing and babysitting money. How many people have been on my back since then??? Hate to think about it.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            I’m the only one right now without a job, but looking, but darn it, can’t find one. I don’t want other people paying for me on anything.


            • There’s a lot of people in the same boat, Judy. Hope you’re able to find something right for you soon! None of us are guaranteed a job in this climate.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                You can say that again, all I see out there right now, are management, engineering, accountant, nursing, dental hygienist, stuff like that, or they want you to have at least 3 to 5 years experience or speak Spanish, and I don’t do any of those. I do secretarial or cashier work and there isn’t jack s$%# out there for them, YET.

            • But Judy, Obama supporters are so full of love for the masses that they insist on paying for your health care. You should make the most of it, because if you had a job, you’d paying for someone else to make the most of it, because Obama supporters will insist you do. I know you hate what’s being done, but more and more, it looks like there isn’t a damn thing you can do to stop it. So, make the most of it. If people don’t like it, let them vote ’em out, HAHAHAHAHA!

              Yes, I’m very cyncial. But you really should make the O-bots accountable for their vote. Take as much as you can get and be sure not to thank them. They’ll really appreciate it!

  43. Judy Sabatini says:

    Well Good night good people, and have a pleasant rest of the night.

    See you all tomorrow.

    Take care everyone.


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