Tuesday Night Open Mic for March 9, 2010

Well, to say that I have found the discussions around unemployment to be interesting would be an understatement. I began with a simply premise, what can be done to fix unemployment insurance? I had hoped to get some input from folks on all sides of the issue. And I was not disappointed. Whta I have to now figure out how to refine is the way that it is all wrapped up and some conclusions are formed. There were several ideas out there and a lot of discussion around other parts. There were even some discussions around whether the system is broken in the first place. I look forward to any thoughts on how we might possibly be able to wrap any of it up or whether there is even a need to do so. But for now, we have open mic. Which means four random topics from me and others from you. First we touch on the madness that is Lindsay Lohan and frivolous lawsuits. Then some opinion on liberal mindsets, a democratic double standard on corporate money in politics, and finally bank regulation causing bank behavior which leads to more regulation….

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Lindsay Lohan Suing E-Trade For ‘Milkaholic’ Baby Ad

    Lindsay Lohan is feuding with the E-Trade babies.

    The actress has filed a $100 million lawsuit claiming a television ad for the Wall Street firm that aired during the Super Bowl and Olympics was modeled after her.

    Talking babies in the ad engage in chatter that refers to “milkaholic Lindsay.” The 23-year-old actress has famously sought substance abuse treatment.

    Lohan’s name was never mentioned. But her New York lawyer contends that “Lindsay” is an equally recognizable moniker for her client — like that of Oprah or Madonna.

    Lohan’s legal team is seeking an injunction to stop future airings.

    An E-Trade spokeswoman is declining to comment.

    Article posted in its entirety, originally appearing here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/09/lindsay-lohan-suing-etrad_n_491298.html

    OK…. Yes I do know that many of these types of frivolous lawsuits get throw out and do little more than waste the court’s time (and taxpayer money). But I really couldn’t ignore this story. Lindsay is apparently under the extremely false assumption that she falls under the umbrella of talent levels of folks like Madonna, Oprah, Cher, or Prince. Step one, Lindsey, is to admit that you haven’t a shred of talent. She actually made the claim that her name is like those. Lindsay is a fairly common name.

    Second, leave the e-trade babies alone. I think those are pretty good commercials. And I laughed out loud at the one in question. It was simply an OK commercial until the lindsay baby popped in and said “milk-a-what?” Honestly I see Lindsay Lohan as a sad example of what is happening to our youth today. Partying too hard, playing with too loose of a moral code (it appears that she has slept with everyone in Hollywood except Mel Gibson and Jennifer Aniston), and the opportunity for her idiotic rantings to be broadcast to a willing population intent on rushing these vulnerable young folks to their graves while watching with glee. It reminds me of the South Park episode where they had to drive a young star to suicide in order to ensure a good crop season (they chose Brittany Spears and targeted Miley Sirus for next year).

    The best part is that e-trade could get her to drop the case immediately by simply claiming that the baby in question was named Lindsey, not Lindsay. She is stupid enough to accept that answer even though the ad doesn’t offer the name in writing.

    The question that I have is shouldn’t the lawyer representing Lohan be punished in some way for bringing a suit that is absolutely ridiculous into the American legal system? Not only is this wasting taxpayer money, it is making a mockery of the legal system as we know it. Perhaps sending a message that lawyers have to do better vetting of the cases they decide to move forward with or face stiff fines and being reported to the bar association in their state.

    • Yes, leave the e-trade babies alone.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Gotta disagree on you with this one USW.

      Though I will agree that the commercial is hysterical!

      On its face the suit seems almost frivolous. Almost, but not quite. I personally never thought the commercial was referring to Lohan. I don’t know anyone that did. But Lohan is alleging that a substantial number of people did make that connection and it tarnished her image (not sure her image can even be tarnished at the moment, but that’s besides the point). She should be allowed to bring her case before a judge. I am sure E-Trade will file a motion for summary judgment and, if all facts are as Lohan alleges and she still would not be entitled to judgment, the suit will be dismissed.

      The damages does seem outrageous, but Lohan is worth millions and if she is successful on the merits, and can further prove that this has resulted in $50 million in damages to her (the other $50 million I believe was for emotional damages, etc.), then she should be entitled to recover that amount. Remember, part of the trial will be about calculating the actual damages.

      As for the lawyer, lawyers should be and are penalized for bringing purely frivolous lawsuits. However, even if the case seems frivolous on its face but has even a 1% shred of reality (as is the case here) then it should be allowed to proceed. Everyone gets their day in court, no matter how stupid it may appear.

      By the way, even if the baby in question was named “Lindsey” it wouldn’t matter since its the same name when spoken, as was the case in the commercial.

      • USWeapon says:

        I see your points, but I have to say that you are reaching a little bit here. You don’t actually believe that Lohan thinks this was a targeted ad towards her, do you? I think it is little more than her wanting to get her name in the news again, and being vain enough to believe that anything that mentions the name Lindsay must be somehow attached to her.

    • Ellen Spalding says:

      When I first heard this I just shook my head. First, she is not in the same league as Oprah or Madonna, Elvis etc. Two, her parents (who also want to be famous) have raised her to believe that the world moves around them.
      It is a sad story that has been going in Hollywood for a long time now. Young adults or young kids who are raised on the partying and less than normal morals and then when Hollywood is done with them they spit them out.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Isn’t there some law that allows greater latitude for saying bad things about people who are in the public eye? Or does that only apply to politicians? I remember Rush Limbaugh mentioning it one time.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Yes, you’re right — with ‘public people’ (those who hold themselves out as public figures) the standard is ‘actual malice’

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          are actors publc figures?

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Yes.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            But by bringing the suit, Lohan will have the opportunity for discovery. Who knows – maybe she’ll find a memo from a Board meeting where someone threw out this idea and someone else said “we should call the baby Lindsay…as in Lohan!” and then they laughed and proceeded with the commercial.

            Probably not though. But what an easy case that would make!

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Though on second thought this might not even be a defamation case — a defense to defamation is truth. Lohan was undergoing treatment for being an alcoholic.

          My guess is that this suit is based more on use of plaintiff’s name or likeness.

          • v. Holland says:

            Stupid is as stupid does-the woman doesn’t own the name-it isn’t even an uncommon name-it is a frivolous stupid case-but by our laws she is free to be both stupid and frivolous-the question of whether the lawyers should be liable for frivolous cases seems too broad to me-would cause more stupid frivolous cases-I find the idea of the person who files the case having to pay the other sides expenses if they lose a fair way to handle things but I fear the power it gives those with money. So I stand conflicted on how to fix this problem.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Its probably not a purely frivolous case. But if it is found to be one, the judge can and will impose sanctions on the attorney.

              • v. Holland says:

                What type of sanctions are allowed?

              • v. Holland says:

                and does the lawyer have any legal recourse against the sanctions?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Depends on the state.

                Sanctions could be anything from a fine to a censure to disbarment.

                If no prior history of bringing frivolous cases, and this is found to be frivolous, most likely be a slap on the wrist and possibly a fine. Depending on the state, could also be made to pay for the opposing sides legal fees.

                Unsure about legal recouse. I’m assuming the attorney could appeal the decision.

              • v. Holland says:

                Do you think these sanctions are fair?

                If there is legal recourse-wouldn’t it just add to the problem-if there isn’t-well that just doesn’t seem fair.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I think they’re perfectly fair.

                People often characterize suits as being frivolous, without having an understanding of either: a) the actual facts of the case or b) the legal issues involved.

                Look at the McDonald’s case – prime example of what is still referred to as what is wrong with our legal system. If you look at the facts of that case, you would see that it was a valid claim and that the plaintiff deserved some compensation.

    • When your cache is low, you need press.

    • PapaDawg says:

      Forrest Gumps Mother was right . . . “Stupid is as stupid does.”

      Yep, you just can’t fix stupid!

      I sure hope that there is a real judge (like Andrew Napolitano) who has the intestinal fortitude to throw this out, or we will see another case like that McDonalds “Hot cup of coffee” case.

      Just my not-so-humble opinion. B)

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    5 Ways Liberals Misjudge the American People

    1. They believe the American people want liberal policies. When you’re a conservative, it’s almost impossible to filter out liberal views. Your kids are exposed to liberalism at school, Hollywood forces liberal ideas down your throat when you watch TV, the local paper leans left — you just can’t get away from it.

    2. Liberals believe that many Americans don’t know what’s in their own best interests. Liberals tend to falsely believe that they’re better, smarter, and more caring than the average person. This often leads them to make rather glib and far reaching assumptions about the “best” way for OTHER people to live.

    3. Liberals believe that the American people want to be treated like children. Sure, there are always going to be losers who want the government to do everything for them, but bottom feeders who want to be taken care of by the government have never represented the majority of the American people.

    4. Liberals believe that most conservatives are evil. The problem with pegging people who merely disagree with you as greedy, evil, malevolent racists is that it tends to lead to kneejerk disagreement with everything they believe. That’s why people go to such great lengths to compare their political opposites to Nazis — because the thinking goes, the Nazis are bad and if they’re like Nazis, no matter what they’re saying, then it must be bad. Incidentally, the Nazis were socialists, animal rights activists, advocates of bigger government, supporters of the social welfare state, and supporters of unions — just like liberals — but that’s neither here nor there.

    5. Liberals believe they can lie to the American people without consequence. Saying that politicians lie is like noting that rats like cheese. Without question, politicians from both parties are guilty of lying. However, in the political realm, liberals lie much, much more often than conservatives. Why? There are two reasons for it. Conservatives tend to believe liberals are stupid, but liberals tend to think conservatives are evil. Also, because the Left controls the mainstream media, they can often get away with lies no conservative ever could.

    Read the entire article here: http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnHawkins/2010/03/09/5_ways_liberals_misjudge_the_american_people

    I thought this was interesting. I do not necessarily agree or disagree with the article in general. Obviously there are parts that I agree with. But given the discussions we were having a week ago about the ways that the left is condescending to the right, I thought this kind of fit in. So I figured I would offer a thought or two and ask for the opinions of you folks.

    I agree with #1. I think that those on the far left believe that the American public really does like their policies. And I agree that they are dead wrong in making that assumption. Because I don’t think the majority of the American public does like their policies. But that leads into my agreeing strongly with #2. As Mathius pointed out in his discussions last week, the left does tend to view the American public as too stupid to understand. They really do believe that the American public would be supporting them if they were smart enough to understand what the left was offering.

    I don’t agree with #3. I don’t think the left thinks that the American public wants to be treated like children. In fact I think the left thinks the opposite. I think they DO treat Americans like little children but they know well that this is not what the public wants or expects. In fact I think they are catching on even more quickly these days as to how offensive the public finds this to be.

    I also don’t think #4 is correct. I think that the radical pundits, guys like Bob Cesca, absolutely believe that conservatives are evil. But I don’t think the politicians believe that and I don’t think that the average liberal believes that. Stupid I could have agreed with, evil, nope. Only the fringe 10% on the far left actually believe that. Those are the folks you find giving Bob “atta’boys” after each of his articles. I think the rest of the left just thinks those on the right are wrong.

    #5 is one that I am at a toss up on. I think that both liberal and conservative politicians lie compulsively. I think that they BOTH were able to get away with it for so long because they controlled the media and what it said. I think the extreme turn to the left is a fairly recent development, at least in being open about it. This resulted in the MSM all the sudden calling out all the lies on the right. Then the right became much more careful liars while the left got a little bolder with their lies. Now the internet has come along and both sides are being called out on it. But I would clarify one thing about the lying. I don’t think the left lies more than the right. I just think they tell bolder lies than the right. Death panels was a lie, but had some form of base in the bill. It was a stretch of the truth meant to deceive. That is an example of the right and how they lie. The left is willing to completely abandon reality, such as Harry Reid saying during the summit that no one has been talking about using reconciliation. A much bolder and outright lie, with tons of evidence to the contrary that Harry just assumes many folks will never see.

    So what do you guys think of the 5 claims of Liberals misjudging the American people offered in the article. The article does explain each a little more in depth so it is worth reading before commenting. Better yet, is anyone willing to write the 5 ways that conservatives misjudge the American people? If no one does, I might take a shot at it as an article early next week. Because I think the sword cuts both ways.

    • Once again, we’re back to painting the left (or right) with a broad brush. You have to realize that articles like this do no good. If anything they put the backs up of liberals and make conservatives think all liberals think like this. To tell the truth, I’m tired of such characterizations. Why can’t this country stand together for a change instead of dividing along party lines?

      I find myself doing this. I challenge you to investigate your own reactions. If I am reading an article by someone I know is liberal, my first inclination is to become defensive, if a conservative to see where I agree. I have to force myself to be objective. Articles like this perpetuate this problem!

    • Ellen Spalding says:

      My issue with this this article is that it paints everyone in a certain box. You are either extreme one way or another. When that is just not the case. I see extreme people on both sides of the aisle. I think most Americans are some where in the middle, which I dont think most politicans like. The media and politicans are trying to force people into one box or another, which ever suits the best.

      Ellen

      • Agree, US did say that there is maybe 10% of the left that is fringe, I would say the same applies to the right. The media mainly reports on the fringe because they make more attention getting stories.

        • Ellen Spalding says:

          Yes that is what makes them get ratings and money to talk about the very fringe of both sides. Not about the actually real people somewhere in the middle.

        • USWeapon says:

          Exactly LOI. It is the ten percent on each end that are the issue. And it is that 10% that I am really talking about when I am presenting the information above. Looking back at what I wrote, I pointed this out in my discussion of one of the points. I should have done a better job of pointing out that I apply it to all of the article.

    • The author of Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, written on a third grade reading level, worries about stupid people buying Rove’s book instead of her’s!!!
      Does this fit #2 in any way? And does anyone know what the Bang Bang in her title refers to?

      E! Talk Show Host Chelsea Handler Calls Sarah Palin ‘Really Stupid’

      By Geoffrey Dickens

      Late night talk show host and author Chelsea Handler was invited on Tuesday’s Today show to plug her new book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang and couldn’t leave the show without taking a dig at earlier guest Karl Rove, as well as Sarah Palin who she called “Really stupid.” When asked by 10:00am hour Today host Hoda Kotb how she felt about having her book released at the same time as the former White House advisor’s the E! talk show host quipped she was worried about competing for the “stupid” audience with him and Palin, as seen in the following exchange that was aired on the March 9 Today show: [audio available here]

      KATHIE LEE GIFFORD: It is, it is, It’s laugh out loud though, it really is.

      HODA KOTB: Yeah it really is fun.

      GIFFORD: I’ve been reading it since we got it, for a couple weeks. I’m not a slow reader. It’s just that I just read it in the morning.

      CHELSEA HANDLER: Well it’s an easy. It’s like a third grade reading level.

      GIFFORD: It’s an easy read! Yes.

      HANDLER: I like to write for my audience and I know that my audience are going, mostly going through some tough times.

      KOTB: What do you think about your book coming out at the same time as Karl Rove’s?

      HANDLER: Well I was on earlier with Matt Lauer this morning and talking about Karl Rove. And obviously I’m wildly attracted to him like any, any young girl is.

      GIFFORD: Aren’t we all?

      HANDLER: I mean he’s a silver fox is what he is. And he, yeah his book came out and my publishers didn’t tell me I had competition. I was like, you didn’t tell me. They said, “Well we don’t think it’s the same audience.” I’m like yeah but it’s, I mean there’s a lot of really, really stupid people out there that might buy this book. Look what happened to Sarah Palin. She’s really stupid.

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/geoffrey-dickens/2010/03/09/e-s-chelsea-handler-worried-about-competing-rove-and-palin-stupid-#ixzz0hmUfMyIt

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Dems want ‘soft money’ for redistricting

    Members of Congress may soon be back in the business of raising soft money, the unlimited corporate and union donations that a 2002 law bans them from collecting for their campaigns.

    The National Democratic Redistricting Trust is asking the Federal Election Commission to let lawmakers raise soft money for the legal fights likely to develop as congressional district boundaries are redrawn after this year’s census. How a district is drawn — and which voters are included in it — can have a big impact on whether a Democrat or Republican gets elected to represent it.

    The Democratic group says lawmakers should be allowed to raise unlimited donations because they wouldn’t be used for elections. Members of Congress were banned from raising soft money for elections due to corruption concerns.

    Article presented in its entirety from MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35710499/ns/politics/

    I found this especially interesting in light of the claims of catastrophe that the Democrats have been raising over the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.

    So let me get this straight, and please correct me if I am wrong. The Democrats are outraged that corporations could possibly have the right to sponsor advertising for a specific candidate because it sets the table for corporations to have too large a voice in the election process. But they think it is OK for the corporations to be able to give unlimited amounts of money directly to the political party to use as they see fit? Unlimited corporate funds to argue re-districting to ensure districts are set up in a way that allows the Democrats to win more seats. How do those of you on the left reconcile this apparent contradiction? Democrats either believe that corporations should have a voice in American politics or they don’t. Which is it?

    And as a further argument, let’s tackle whether the argument the Democrats are making is valid. Should corporations be able to donate money into legal funds to determine how districts are set up? As a better debate, should there be any legal arguments over re-districting? Shouldn’t there be an impartial, non partisan group that handles the districting and let it go at that? Neither party should be able to set up districts in any way that favors one or the other. Am I wrong?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Um okay – so re-drawing districts has nothing to do with elections? They must think we are all incredibly stupid.

      • USWeapon says:

        I think that the politicians on both sides of the aisle do think we are all incredibly stupid. And uninformed.

        Hope your day is well Ray.

        USW

      • USWeapon says:

        Ray,

        On a quick side note, watched the Big Ten wrestling championships this weekend. Only one Penn State wrestler won a championship. And it was the coaches brother (Cyler Sanderson, Cael, who is perhaps the greatest college wrestler ever, is PSU’s coach). But it was really cool to watch the best wrestlers in the country battle on that stage. The Big Ten has 7 teams in the top 12 in the country.

        We weren’t in the big ten when I was at PSU. We were still independent, but ranked #2 in the country (Iowa the obvious #1). I would have loved to wrestle something like the Big Ten championships. Watching it made me miss those old days. And it made me realize that I would be unable to move the day after a match, lol. I am simply not able to do what they are doing anymore. Such a brutal sport. And in my opinion, still the toughest sport in the world.

        It does make me want to go back and coach high school wrestling again. Did you know that Eric Mowen is the coach at WASH now? Did you wrestle with him? I know you were behind me by a year, but I thought I was with him for two years on the varsity team.

        USW

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @USW – I did discover by accident that cable up here does carry several of the Big Ten channels – and afforded me opp to watch some wrestling. Pretty cool stuff.

          Eric Mowen and Dave Weber coached my last year at WASHS – that was my fateful year I blew out my knee wrestling Kerry Grunden in practice – Kyle’s younger brother. Back then Weber was always on me to wrestle HW (my ‘brother from another mother’ – John Hawkins and I used to beat the crap out of each other – John had a little more experience I couldn’t shake and Kerry needed a challenge at HW) – but to wrestle HW you to meet a minimum weight – I was the only wrestler on the team eating 2-3 lunches a day and guzzling protein/carb shakes because I couldn’t get the weight on (oddly – me putting on weight isn’t a problem at my age – but I manage much better now). I think Eric left coaching for a while – last I heard one of the Rouzer boys was coaching. I always liked Eric – he was tough as nails and a helluva teacher (was he a Marine or Army? I don’t remember).

          • USWeapon says:

            Eric went into the Marines after High school. I wasn’t aware that he had come back to coach the year after I left. I was always pretty good friends with him. I intend to go up and catch a match or two next year, sit and chat with Eric for a few minutes. He was a Senior when I was a Sophomore. And he certainly help me a lot in my development. I remember having to wrestle him in practice to learn something one night. I was 130 lbs and he was 171. That was brutal. I also used to wrestle Doug Peiffer in practice. He was a BIG boy. I remember Kery and John as well. John and I had a brawl at one point when he was really drunk. Wasn’t pretty.

            Funny how age can take care of that putting on weight thing, isn’t it. The military was where I added weight. I went in after wrestling in college at 130 and was 168 by the time I left basic training. I was the only one adding weight it seemed. lol

    • Spell it with me: H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S!

      This is sort of the inverse of another equally stupid argument. When the Dems blast republicans for using stimulus money that they voted against. Just because you didn’t support the underlying principle, doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to get demolished when the other side does. You can’t expect either side to unilaterally disarm.

      That said, I propose a fairer way of redistricting. Do you know the homunkulus? It’s a model of what a human looks like adjusted for the density of nerves in the body. Take that same concept and apply it to a state. Now, you have 50 oddly shaped states with bulges all over the place, but the entire area is uniform for population density. Now, take those 50 state-homunkuli to someone with a computer, and have him randomly divide it into the desired number of sections of equal area (this is easy, and when using a random seed, should be completely impartial).

      Now, take those new maps to a kindergarten class and and ask the kids if any districts look weird to them. If they think anything looks gerrymandered*, then repeat the process with a different random seed. Then adjust back to the actual state shape.

      *they’re 5 year-olds, I suggest using smaller words

      • Ellen Spalding says:

        I am with you on this one, both sides are H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S when it comes to this topic. The sad part is they are trying to squeeze out the third party people. Sad

        • USWeapon says:

          Reid is embracing them in Nevada. A third party splitting the vote is the only chance he has at re-election. I have a feeling something shady is going to happen in Nevada that leads to Reid keeping his seat. The leader of the Senate majority can call in a lot of favors and pull a lot of strings.

          • USW…..there is indeed something going on there. Our group is on it tho…I will not go into detail on here because I do not know who is reading this blog but we are on it. what is public knowledge is that there is a third party, that has never run before, entering the fray. Of course this is designed to pull the votes but there is a plan. we picked up on it some time ago.

          • USW, D13, Judy and others watching Nevada

            OK guys, time for a little lesson in Nevada politics.

            Many, many years ago there was a young politician from the north who challenged the existing Senator from the south. The race was much closer than anyone imagined as the young one had a reputation for hard work and HONESTY. He had in fact pulled into a dead heat with only a few weeks to go.

            Well as crunch day gets closer the Senator sends a bag man to pay off the young turk to “take a dive”. Now the young fellow, being the HONEST type he was, called the Sheriff and asked him to come to his house and hide in the next room when the bag man showed.

            All went as planned. Senator’s rep, a fellow later described as a stranger acting on his own, showed up, explained the deal and handed over the money. The Sheriff stepped out and the trap was sprung.

            Well then it hit the news, with the young man announcing what had happened. Then the Senators defense went into action. As I said, a stranger and no acquaintance of the Senator at all. The you said, he said, got very intense the closing weeks of the election. In the strangest turn of all, the Senator accused the young turk of setting the whole thing up himself.

            The Senator won, going away. The young HONEST politician lost almost 10 points in the polls over the controversy. And what’s more, he was never heard from in politics again.

            Moral of the story? In Nevada nothing is as it seems. Twist upon twist upon twist. But you can still count on one thing. The GRAPEVINE is alive and well. Nothing happens in one corner without the word getting to the other. You just need to know where to pick up the vine.

          • v. Holland says:

            Poll: Reid could win in Nevada — if tea-party candidate runs
            posted at 4:12 pm on February 22, 2010 by Allahpundit
            Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

            His favorable rating stands at a sparkling 35/58 and previous polls have found he’s all but finished if forced to run head to head against Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian. But toss a little third-party tea on the gears and magical things start to happen, my friends. Which, of course, is precisely why Palin’s been nudging tea partiers lately to pick a side.

            As Groundskeeper Willie would say: I warned ye. Didn’t I warn ye?

            ash

            Against three other lesser-known Republicans, with Ashjian in the race, Reid wins outright. Geraghty’s keeping a stiff upper lip by noting that even in this nightmare scenario Lowden and Tarkanian still win, but that margin’s way, way too close for comfort given all the headwinds against Reid. If unemployment drops just before the election, a small bounce in goodwill towards Dems could be enough.

            One ominous footnote here: For a guy preparing to play spoiler in a hugely important national election, Jon Scott Ashjian seems to be keeping an unusually low profile. And don’t think tea partiers haven’t noticed:

            Ashjian is expected to file March 1 to run against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican challenger in the November general election. But Ashjian has remained quiet about his campaign, giving cryptic e-mail interviews and hardly returning phone calls.

            Barry Levinson, a lawyer, registered Democrat and secretary of the Tea Party of Nevada, said he “represents the candidate” and wants to help his longtime friend get elected…

            “I have never heard of him,” said Judson Phillips of the Tea Party Nation, which will hold its second convention from July 15-17 in Las Vegas. “The tea party movement is very successful, and I’m not shocked that opportunists will try to use the movement.”

            Another group, the Tea Party Patriots, issued a statement last week to “make it clear that we are not associated with any attempts to form a third party.”

            The group said it believes voters should “demand appropriate reform within their own parties” rather than creating a new party.

            It’s a testament to the brand, and to Reid’s own weakness, that a complete unknown waving the tea party flag could pull 10 percent against the sitting Senate majority leader. Exit question: We saw this coming too, huh?

            Update: I remember last year when third-party fever was in full swing being told that it was okay to reelect Democrats by splitting the vote between Republicans and TPers since eventually the Dems would screw things up so badly that the whole country would turn rock-ribbed conservative as a backlash. And then of course they’d elect a huge majority of “true conservatives” who would sweep away all the crap passed by the left. Still feel that way? Another six years, or maybe 12, of Dingy Harry in order to secure total victory?

            http://hotair.com/archives/2010/02/22/poll-reid-could-win-in-nevada-if-tea-party-candidate-runs/

    • Was glad to hear Roberts voice concern on BO’s boorish behavior (and the Dems seated around the Justices) during the SOTU address.

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    Bank Of America Overdraft Fees Dropped: Bank Will End Fees By Summer 2010

    Bank of America customers will soon be unable to spend more than they have in the accounts linked to their debit cards. It’s a step that may become a common move ahead of new regulations limiting overdraft fees.

    Rules set by the Federal Reserve that will ban banks from charging such fees, without first getting permission from the customer, are set to take effect July 1.

    But Bank of America is going a step further than the regulations require. It will simply no longer allow debit card purchases to go through if there isn’t enough money in the account.

    For ATM transactions, customers who try to withdraw more than their balance will have to agree to pay a $35 overdraft fee before they can get the money.

    “The majority of our customers who overdraw their account do so with everyday debit purchases,” said Susan Faulkner, senior vice president of consumer banking for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America. “They’re doing this unknowingly, because they aren’t aware that they are about to overdraft.”

    Since the bank doesn’t have the ability to notify the customer when they’re at the register and give them the chance to agree to a fee, it will simply reject such transactions.

    Consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay overdrafts for covering the mortgage and the car payment, said Greg McBride, who follows the banking industry for Bankrate.com. “But not if it’s things like covering a latte and a scone.”

    Read the rest of the article at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/09/bank-of-america-overdraft_n_492667.html

    At first glance I was thinking that this is absolutely a good thing. After all, we are all aware of the overdraft fee scam that the banks have been using for years to bilk us out of our hard earned dollars. And it wasn’t lost on me that it hits those on the lower end of the economic scale harder than those who have plenty of money in the bank. But after some thinking about this subject. I am a little less enthusiastic about the move, for a couple of reasons.

    First, I am not sure this will be good for consumers. It is one of those things that a regulation here means there will have to be further regulations to come. See, one of the biggest places that overdraft fees happen are when a customer has things set up on an autopay. I have had to pay overdraft fees once in the last ten years that I can recall. I keep several bank accounts. The one for bills gets only what is needed for bills. So when an unexpected bill autodrafted from the account, it set up a wave of overdrafts. Because of course the banks takes the big bills and pays them first, eating up the balance so that the ten other bills are the ones that overdraft. They could have paid the ten and given me an overdraft on one, but they didn’t. $200 in overdraft fees later, I was angry. I got it all rectified and the bank gave me a break, mostly because I had 6 accounts there (I am a bit OCD when it comes to money).

    But now let’s put the new system in place. Now the bank does the same thing. Pays the big bill, and instead of charging me $39 for overdraft on each one of the other ten, it rejects them. Instead of getting all those overdraft fees from the bank where I can go to one place and argue them, I will instead get ten different fees from ten different companies so that I can make ten different calls to ten different faceless customer service people who aren’t interested in customers or service. As a result, the government will use public outrage over the new situation to justify putting further regulation on ten OTHER industries to “protect the consumer”. See there how one little regulation from the Federal Reserve can cause a tidal wave of regulation later. Any other questions as to how the bureaucracy in Washington DC got so damn big to being with.

    You know what would have solved this problem? Consumers getting angry enough to demand better service from their banks in a FREE MARKET. And then, and I know people will gasp to hear this coming from me, we could simply expect that people act with some personal responsibility when it comes to spending their money. You know what is in your bank account. Don’t spend more than that number. But rather than simply expecting people to act with some personal responsibility and accountability, we instead pass a regulation that will lead to more regulations that will lead to more regulations. Government grows. My prediction. At our current rate, government becomes the employer of 50% of the population by the end of the century. They will work at the Ministry of Truth, Ministry of Love, Ministry of Peace, etc….

    The other downside here is that the American public had finally figured out the scam that is bank overdraft fees. It took a lot of pain and agony, but people became aware of what the banks do. And most had learned to act differently in order to counteract that problem. Now we throw the public back to the wolves so they can try to figure out the new way the banks will come up with to screw us.

    • I don’t want to get into the whole regulation deal, but I think not allowing overdraft is a good idea. If you want to buy something, you need to have the money to do so. If you overdraft your account, the bank has to pay. It is not unfair in my book for them to charge a fee when they have to do something like that. By the way, the bank is offering a service to you by investing your money and giving you a way to pay bills. If you don’t like overdraft fees, take your business elsewhere. There is always a safe, your mattress, etc.

      USW, your situation is a perfect example. If you have automatic bill pay, you should have a cushion in your account. That way you won’t have to worry about the unexpected bills. If you overdraft your account because of poor planning it is YOUR fault. You can’t pay a bill from an account that doesn’t have money in it. You talk about personal responsibility later in the article, but seem to show a lack in the first part.

      • USWeapon says:

        On the contrary JB, I absolutely own up when I am in the wrong. And I do absolutely hold myself personally accountable in the situation that I mentioned above, except for one caveat, which I didn’t mention in the article. I had overdraft protection set up and they didn’t use it. In the event that something happened like what happened, they were supposed to pull from a savings account to pay the incoming bills. They did not. That was why I was eventually able to get the charges dropped.

        I also agree that banks are offering a service. But do you not see the ways that banks have been operating for quite some time as a bit unethical? It isn’t all banks and it isn’t all the time. But there are still a good number who have used these fees as a away to hammer consumers. Given the fractional reserve system, I would say the banks have operated with money they don’t have for quite some time.

        • I don’t think this is a question of ethics. If a bank charges a fee over drafting, as long as they have stated their policy upfront, they are doing nothing wrong. If a person thinks $30 overdraft fee is not right, they can take their business elsewhere. I understand what you are saying about hammering the customer, but I don’t see the policy as a problem. If you don’t want people to overdraft, charge a big fee.

          I recently got ticketed on campus here. I have a permit, but I switched vehicles and forgot to switch the tag. The fine was huge. I don’t think they should fine me so much, but you know what? I’m not going to forget my tag again!

          Also note that I am not trying to be belligerent and I hope I did not offend you earlier. I just wanted to point out the fact that personal responsibility solves all problems with overdraft fees. It’s hard to convey tone in written words…

    • My understanding of this, and I could be wrong, is that you will be able to return to the current system, but you must opt in. That is, by default, you will not be able to go over on your debit limit, but you can call them up and authorize this again.

      Either way, this is a bogus piece of legislation. Don’t like your bank fees? Find a new bank. There are regional banks out there that have offered these kinds of options for years. Enough people leave BofA (Disclaimer: I use and like BofA), then BofA will change its policy. Remember, that your non-interest bearing deposits are the lifeblood of a commercial bank. It’s free money to them and they do not want to see it walk out the door over nickels and dimes.

      This is a good example of micromanaging. Bah Humbug.

    • v. Holland says:

      We all know the rules-they sometimes bite us-have no problem as long as they give me my options-What I do not like is when you deposit a check and it bounces or they put a hold on a check without telling you and then bounce checks on your account when it wasn’t your fault. These fees should be charged to the person who gave you a bad check.

      • You have the right to claim the person who bounced the check for the amount of the fee (and any incidental fees which occur as a result) in small claims court. Many times, this can be accomplished by affidavit without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom.

        • v. Holland says:

          Thanks for the info 🙂 -although it seems the bad check part of my example could very easily be handled by the banks.

          • Sure it could. But I don’t think the government should be mandating it.

            Again, don’t like your bank’s policy? Ask them to change it. If they don’t, go elsewhere. Convince your friends to go elsewhere too. The bank will come crawling back to you every time.

            • AND don’t bounce checks. Darn that personal responsibility

              • A check is you saying “I’m good for it.” When you bounce the check, that makes you a liar.

                I don’t do business with liars.

    • PapaDawg says:

      It will be like passing a bad check only with immediate rejection so the customer won’t be able to make the purchase.

      I don’t have a problem with that as it will force you younger folks to live within your means and stop all these frivolous purchases – like CD’s etc.

      Just my not-so-humble opinion.

  5. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #5

    I figured I would just open a thread here so that anyone with thoughts on how to best wrap up the unemployment fixes topic could add their thoughts.

    • Glad I read all the way down to here first because I was going to post this under the first article. It is nice to get a new topic. Even as I was reading about Linsey I was glad to not see the word UNEMPLOYMENT.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Just do away with U.I. People will learn to save for bad times or purchase there own U.I.. Those to poor to buy there own U.I. can fall back on Welfare. At that point, piss tests would be justified. Case solved.

    • v. Holland says:

      Seems that it was shown that even though making small changes in regulations is a good idea for normal times(whatever that is) it won’t do much good in bad times because the rules are temporarily thrown out the door-although I still think tighter regs. would be good to discourage the attitude that the government was going to give you a free ride. BF-convinced me that private insurance is probably not doable because the buyer has too much control over the process-Which leads me to T-Rays idea of savings accounts-although how you would ever get this passed considering the reaction to Bush’s plan to privatize social security beats me. There are risk factors but listening to T-Ray and JAC makes me believe that the risks could be limited by regulations of all things 🙂

    • Grown men, members of Congress, “tickle fight”. EWWWWW

  6. USWeapon says:

    Life of Illusion Topic #1

    From the Money and Markets Newsletter

    The government officials running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have decided to force big banks to take back $21 billion in bad mortgages.

    If they can get some of these sick assets off the government’s books, they figure, they can say they did SOMETHING before global investors start attacking.

    So they’re using various loan provisions to force giant institutions like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup to buy some of them back.

    But these bad loans are a hot
    potato that no one wants!

    Fannie and Freddie certainly don’t want them. Just since 2007, they’ve already lost $202 billion on loans like these, a figure that dwarfs the $21 billion in loans they’re trying to pawn off to the banks.

    Meanwhile, the banks wish they could stuff every one of these bad loans into lead boots and toss them into the East River.

    The loans are already in default. The homes used as collateral are now worth far less than the outstanding balances on the loans. And, inevitably, the banks that get stuck with them are going to take huge hits to their bottom line. To whit …

    * JPMorgan recently said that it loses about 50 cents on the dollar for every bad loan it has to buy back.

    * Bank of America’s mortgage division lost $3.84 billion last year, thanks largely to these buy-backs. Plus, the volume of buybacks is increasing so dramatically, it has to set aside $1.9 billion and hire new employees to process these buy-backs.

    * Wells Fargo had to repurchase $1.3 billion in these loans in 2009 — THREE TIMES the 2008 amount — and also had to pay nearly $1 billion in costs as part of the repurchases.

    * Citigroup has had to increase its repurchase reserves six fold this year alone!

    And this effort to get bad loans of the books is just ONE example of the spreading fear among Washington officials.

    Look. They saw how global investors dumped Greek bonds a few weeks ago. And they saw it happen AGAIN this week as investors attacked Britain.

    • Posting for comments. Maybe it’s time for these banks to fail!

    • v. Holland says:

      I find I just feel like saying shut up you ungrateful children-the government stepped in and saved their behinds and they are crying because they may be forced to show some of the loss. It’s like someone gives me $10,000 dollars to help me out and I moan and groan because they come back and ask me to give them a $100 to help them out.

    • Another story from Ye Olden Times of Yore….

      Back in the day, in the 14th century to be precise, there was a city called Barcelona. Because usury was outlawed by the Catholic Church, bankers were not allowed to charge interest, so what they did instead was charge “commission,” which amounted to the same thing. They were referred to as money changers.

      When a money changer was asked to redeem a deposit and could not, they were declared bankrupt. They were then given 3 days to appear before a magistrate to examine their book for solvency.

      If the magistrate determined that the money changer had the money, but that it was just tied up and temporarily unavailable, they were given six months to call in their debts and regain liquidity.

      If, at the end of the six months, or if the magistrate did not declare solvency, they were placed in jail and given six weeks (not months) to raise the money from friends and family. Their assets were seized and liquidated and debited against the amount owed.

      If, at the end of the six weeks, the money changer had not paid off his debts, he was publicly executed. All money changers in the city were required to watch.

      Note that a money changer’s business may consist of dozens of individuals, but it is the person whose name was at the top who found himself in jail or on the block. This inspires a great deal of caution in the lenders and confidence in the investors.

      Just thinking aloud, while sipping on a Dr. Pepper..

      -Dread Pirate Mathius

      • v. Holland says:

        I will let the pirates speak for themselves but I suspect you may be misrepresenting them. 😉

        • I’m not actually advocating this approach. I just was reminiscing about the past. Of course, I feel that, if you fail to honor debts, people should just take their business elsewhere. Eventually, street-cred, will determine who is successful and who is not as a banker.

          But you have to admit that it has a certain appeal..

          • v. Holland says:

            Now you sound like the pirates and yes sometimes it has an appeal. 🙂

            • You would have to assume that a complicated system of privately funded watch-dog agencies would spawn to establish the credit-worthiness of the banks.

              With an extra layer for good measure, another watch-dog agency to establish that the other agencies are doing their job and are being impartial, I would feel comfortable investing accordingly.

              It seems likely that less reputable institutions would have to offer higher interest rates to attract investors, so everyone can choose their own risk/reward investment scheme.

              • Mathius

                Why a watch dog agency, even if private? This is part of our disease. We want someone else to evaluate the risk and tell us. We want rewards without work.

                If you can’t evaluate the risk of the investment on your own, then don’t make the investment.

                If you can’t read and understand the income statement and balance sheet of your bank then don’t keep your excess funds in that bank.

                Crap, now we need to figure out how to fix education. All things are “connected” in the circle of life.

                Arghhhhh Matey
                JAC

              • The problem is two fold. First, I don’t want to bother going through massive amounts of data to analyze the credit worthiness of a bank – I prefer to outsource that to a watch-dog. Second, I have no assurance that the data they are providing me is correct – the watch-dog will go to the bank an perform a physical audit.

                Further, I do not expect something for nothing. To benefit from the research of the watch-dog, I expect that they will charge me a fee. I worked for the money that they will receive as a fee, so there is no ‘something for nothing’. TANSTAAFL.

                Raising my Dr. Pepper to you this AM..

              • Matt…you are a DP man….and I thought it was all Red Bull.

              • Mathius likes his Red Bull.

                Dread Pirate Mathius drinks Dr. Pepper, and believes in freedon – unlike that socialist Buck.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Just give it a few days everyone. Soon enough DPM will be gone and Mathius will return to us.

                After all, there can only be one Pirate on any given site.

              • Buck,

                Like the Sith, there is always two – the master and the apprentice.

        • Great song.

          • “If you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste; use all your well-learned politesse, or I’ll lay your soul to waste.”

            Just poking fun at ya. 😆

            “If, at the end of the six weeks, the money changer had not paid off his debts, he was publicly executed.”

            • It’s a hard game with hard rules, but at least no one taxed me to bailout some idiot who took a big risk and lost. (Yes, I am old enough to have lived in 14th century Barcelona).

              I was ’round when Jesus Christ
              Had his moment of doubt and pain
              Mad damn sure that Pilate
              Washed his hand, sealed his fate.
              Pleased to meet ya
              won’t you guess my name?

              • I like the ship, but why are you sailing away?

                Also enjoyed you posts yesterday.
                Sorry about the ticket. Most cases I have seen, they are after the money. The judge asks “how do you plan to pay for this”.

                You may have heard about “Southern Hospitality”. Not all down here practice it.

                http://blog.motorists.org/jericho-arkansas-pay-ticket-or-get-shot/

                Jericho, Arkansas: Pay Your Ticket Or Get Shot
                September 8th, 2009 Posted in Speed Traps, Traffic Tickets

                barney_fife
                There are many small-town speed traps across the country, but Jericho, Arkansas may be one of the most outrageous speed traps out there.

                A big reason why speed trap towns are able to stay in business for years is that they generally leave the locals alone. After all, if the tickets are going to out-of-towners, there’s no reason for the local citizens to be upset.

                In that scenario, the town and its citizens benefit from the extra money generated by the tickets. Meanwhile, the out-of-towners who get the unfair tickets are unable to vote the city’s leaders out of office and unlikely to complain — due to the hassle of driving back to the small town to fight a ticket.

                The police department in Jericho, Arkansas decided to ignore this reality and treated even the locals with disdain. Now, thanks to their greed, the speed trap has been exposed in the national media.

                In case you missed it over the holiday weekend, here’s an excerpt from the Associated Press story on MSNBC:

                It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn’t hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.

                The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.

              • 😆 too funny!

              • Right. As you’re zapping the one in front of you, there’s another one sneaking up behind you…..

              • And there are no raptors on my ship. They wouldn’t dare.

        • Yes excellant song.

          I get visions of that being Black Flag all the way 🙂 🙂

    • My first thought on reading this was about “transparency”. And this is a rock I throw at the MSM and Obama. Fannie/Freddie should be under a microscope until proven to be reliable, or broken up and privatized.

      Second, there are two types of toxic loans.

      “President Clinton expanded the Community Redevelopment Act, a well-intended Carter-era law designed to encourage minority homeownership. And in so doing, he helped create the market for the risky subprime loans that he and Democrats now decry as not only greedy but “predatory.””

      Those that were forced on banks by the government, should be the governments responsibility. There are also toxic loans that were made to try to profit from the housing boom. I can agree with those being returned to the banks. If that causes them to fail, so be it.

      • v. Holland says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. They are both to blame but the government is the worse in my opinion because they caused the problem in the first place.

    • So let me get this right.

      The Fed drops rates to almost 0 and the banks loan out that money at very low rates, using both traditional and ARM loans. All of which are not only legal but were pushed by Govt.

      The quasi govt entity FMae and FMac come along and purchase these loans with their “profits” and any govt money given to them.

      This is a willing transaction by the way. The banks offered them for SALE and the Freddies PURCHASED them.

      Now you folks think that it is somehow JUSTIFIED that the Govt can use its power (FORCE) to make the banks take back the contracts that were sold in a free market exchange.

      Simply because the Govt stuffed money in the bank vaults. What about banks like Wells Fargo who didn’t want the money but were threatened? What about the banks that paid the money back to Uncle?

      Fannie and Freddie should EAT the bad loans. They can refinance them with the bailout money they received. Then Congress needs to freeze all future loan purchases. Once the refinanced loans are sold on the open market ELIMINATE Fannie and Freddie.

      • JAC,

        I see two different situations. Where a bank was pressured into giving a loan to someone on welfare, for ex., I think that is on the government. Where the bank made a loan on a $400K home to someone with a $40 K income, I think that’s on the bank. They knew it was a bad loan, and were trying to ride the wave and cash in.

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29127316/the_great_american_bubble_machine/4

        BUBBLE #3 The Housing Craze

        Goldman’s role in the sweeping global disaster that was the housing bubble is not hard to trace. Here again, the basic trick was a decline in underwriting standards, although in this case the standards weren’t in IPOs but in mortgages. By now almost everyone knows that for decades mortgage dealers insisted that home buyers be able to produce a down payment of 10 percent or more, show a steady income and good credit rating, and possess a real first and last name. Then, at the dawn of the new millennium, they suddenly threw all that shit out the window and started writing mortgages on the backs of napkins to cocktail waitresses and excons carrying five bucks and a Snickers bar.

        None of that would have been possible without investment bankers like Goldman, who created vehicles to package those shitty mortgages and sell them en masse to unsuspecting insurance companies and pension funds. This created a mass market for toxic debt that would never have existed before; in the old days, no bank would have wanted to keep some addict ex-con’s mortgage on its books, knowing how likely it was to fail. You can’t write these mortgages, in other words, unless you can sell them to someone who doesn’t know what they are.

      • v. Holland says:

        You as always have very valid points but they all messed up, they all caused this problem and I just can’t help but feel they all need to play a part in fixing it. I suppose the truth is I just don’t know enough to be able to figure out what that fix should be. But I certainly don’t think any banks who didn’t receive or were forced into taking the bail out money should be involved.

  7. Moved forward from the other night.

    Just A Citizen said
    March 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Health Care Costs

    An analysis of what is driving some costs so high.

    http://www.sltrib.com/Opinion/ci_14521799

    • I attended a health care presentation a couple months ago where the panel had representatives from each of the 3 hospitals and their associated clinics here in the Madison area.

      One of the areas that was mentioned was duplication of services between hospitals that are located so close to each other. While it might be good to have competition in some cases and sometimes caseload necessitates duplication, having all three hospitals having huge cardiac centers, for instance might not make sense. They talked about steps all 3 were taking – together – to work on this to keep costs down. In big cost areas, they were somewhat becoming specialized.

      On the individual front, we have an HSA and I am very supportive of this concept. While not perfect nor a complete cafeteria method yet, it has made us much more educated consumers and by our questioning costs, has forced the clinics we deal with to be more open with pricing and care options.

    • In most fields, such as computers and cell phones, new technology usually increases quality and reduces prices. Health care prices, though, often go the opposite way. Not always; drug prices drop when generics replace brand-name drugs, and expensive drugs sometimes replace even-more-expensive surgical interventions. But often, new health technologies increase prices. Why? Health-care prices are determined by a bureaucratic process that prevents competition from driving prices down.

      Once Medicare or an insurer approves a new medical device (or device-based procedure like MRI), the manufacturer has little incentive ever to reduce prices — even when its manufacturing costs go down. And unlike goods sold in “normal” markets, the next model will come at a higher, rather than a lower price, since the improvements can be used to “justify” a higher price.

      (So government has undermined the free market?)

    • Some blame the increased spending on frivolous malpractice lawsuits and excessive malpractice insurance premiums. The direct cost of malpractice amounts to less than 2 percent of total health-care spending, according to the CBO. (It is higher for certain specialties and certain states.) The much larger problem is the tendency of physicians to prescribe additional tests and treatments out of the belief that they will forestall lawsuits. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that this “defensive medicine” accounts for 10 percent of total health-care spending.

      (Tort reform could lower cost by 12%? I wonder why all those lawyers in congress are against this?)

      • Buck The Wala says:

        The problem I have with tort reform is that we already have it state-by-state. Every single state, to my knowledge, has some form of ‘tort reform’ in place in medical malpractice.

        For instance, there are limits placed on the statute of limitations (when you can bring a suit) — NY has placed a 2 1/2 years SOL; most malpractice claims have a 3-yr SOL. There are also limits on tolling – when the SOL begins (upon discovery of the injury, or upon treatment). Other states do impose caps on judgments.

        Your thoughts?

        Lastly it surprises me that so many conservatives push for tort reform when they are all about states rights on practically every other issue. Why not keep this with the states as well?

        • Congress has the power to regulate, meaning to make regular the laws between the states. They claim they are trying to reform healthcare, but do not address the costs. Requiring everyone to buy insurance is not within their power.

          And tort reform is why insurance is cheaper in New Jersey than in Arkansas. How about letting me but my insurance from them?

          • Buck The Wala says:

            In the final bill, the Dems did add something about a pilot program to look into this issue.

            The problem in my mind is that many Repubs want to put in place caps for damages – I have a huge issue with this. If an individual harmed by a doctor’s negligence can prove damages in excess of some congressionally mandated cap, why should they not be entitled to recover that amount?

            As for purchasing across state lines, I would be ok with this assuming there were some federal baseline of benefits. Otherwise, all insurance companies would flock to the state with the fewest regulations. Under the current system, unless I am mistaken, if an insurance company wants to offer coverage in state X, they can get licensed in that State so long as they abide by that state’s laws and regulations. What’s the problem with this approach?

            • Buck,

              If we or anybody was trying to “fix” healthcare, how would they go about it?
              With 50 states and hundreds of countries, are there not both successes and failures that we could learn from and apply? Two studies, one of the US, the other of the civilized world.

              Mass and Hawaii would get fail ratings, because they were/are not economically sustainable. Arkansas gets a fail, because of higher cost without any benefits than New Jersey. Arkansas laws and regulations impose additional costs.

              Studies like that, published, would show in black and white what system would give us the best care, and its cost.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                This is true, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the issue with tort reform.

                How would you design tort reform? Would you deny access to court rooms (possibly infringing on due process rights)? Would you place a cap on the amount of damages they could recover?

                I don’t have the answer, but I definitely am against any maneuver to place caps.

              • Buck,

                I would look at states that have passed it, and evaluate the results. If there is enough there to show it is a good thing, pick or combine the best results.

                “I don’t have the answer, but I definitely am against any maneuver to place caps.”

                I thought you wanted affordable health care for all? What if that could be done, but would mean caps? We had a lawsuit several years ago, nursing home, 80 million award.
                The families grandmother died. The 80 million did not bring her back, just made the family rich. Would one million paid to immediate family members satisfy the desire to punish the guilty? The 80 million cost, in the long run, is passed on to all who pay for insurance, not the insurance company nor the nursing home.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Would 1 million paid satisfy the desire to punish the guilty? Sure, perhaps.

                But if it was actually deemed to be valued at 80 million, that would be fair compensation. I don’t know the facts of the case. You don’t know the facts of the case. We don’t know the pain/suffering she suffered in her final weeks/months/years. This could be an example of an egregious award, but we would need to know the underlying facts. Also, was the damage reduced on appeal?

                If the ONLY way of affordable health care was to impose caps on recovery, then I would be against it. I would be willing to consider caps on emotional suffering, but never when it comes to compensatory damages.

              • USWeapon says:

                Agreed Buck… Compensatory damages should not be capped. It is, by its very nature, repayment for actual cost of wrongdoing.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I’m also not in love with the idea of placing a static cap on other damages, but would be more willing to go along with this route if it can be proven doing so will substantially reduce costs.

              • Are there not compensatory and punitive damages? It is often the punitive damages that are outrageous. What about all of the suits that are settled out of court? Some of these are just shakedowns. It is cheaper for the insurance company to settle rather than go to court. The tort process does not stop incompetant doctors but it does punish doctors for human mistakes. As a result we have doctors that practice defensive medicine which is the real expense. How do we attack that?
                Tort reform needs to be done in general not just in medical cases. I would impose the following: If a plaintive losses, I would start immediately another tial with the same judge and jury to determine if the case was frivolent. If frivolent, the plaintive’s lawer (2/3) and the plaintive (1/3) would be liable for the legal expenses of the defendant up to 3x what the plaintive spent. This would stop the shakedowns and would ensure that only viable and real cases make it to court.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I agree punitive damages can sometimes be absurd, but the most egregious cases are reduced on appeal. Again, I would be ok capping punitive damages in most cases to a reasonable sum; perhaps the exception being intentional misconduct of the doctor.

                Completely disagree with your solution for tort reform – it has the effect of punishing a plaintiff for bringing a case forward and could easily have the impact of scaring people away from bringing a case even when they are in the right for fear of losing and then being subject to huge fines (triple the amount of their own legal fees!?)

                What you find frivolous is not necessarily a frivolous case. I’ll bring up McDonalds again (one of my favorite cases to use for an example) – was this frivolous? I say not in the least; might a jury say it was – you betcha.

                Frivolous cases are best dealt with as they currently are — thrown out on motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim; thrown out on motion for summary judgment; or court imposed sanctions on the attorney bringing the claim.

              • What about the suits that insurance companies settle to just avoid the costs? Are not their rights being violated if these cases are frivolous? A judge can throw out a case at any time. That does not change the fact that the defendent spent unnecessary $s on the defense.
                We have lawyers teamed with wheel chair bound individuals traveling around to small Mom & Pop wineries and other small businesses suing over wheel chair access. They are systematically seeking out and visiting every establishment that they can to shake them down. I grew up on and around farms. My grandmother was on crutches most of her life. My wife is in a wheelchair. It is ridiculous to expect universal access for the handicapped. I front of the building I work in, they just tore up and replaced a perfectly good wheelchair access ramp because it did not meet the letter of the law. The only one that ever used it was my wife and it was perfectly fine. But we got $K worth of new ramps and sidewalks when the heat was not working in my office.
                The current system is not working, it is being abused. I would worry less about the rare case where fear prevents prosecution rather than the large number that should not have been procsecuted.
                By making the same jury and judge determine if a case was frivolous and doing it immediately after the trial, the facts will be fresh in everyone’s minds. Lawyers can argue their cases pro and con but no additional paper work or court filings are involved. It should be over within hours and will be just as fair as a summary judgements or counter suits.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                T-Ray, down below…

        • Buck

          Tort reform should be a STATE issue and not for Congress to tackle.

          The only concern I have is the issue of HOME STATE for Insurance Corps. But this may be moot given that each state must approve charter of those companies located within the state.

          Not sure on this but wouldn’t want Aetna of Calif skating on tort issues by running to HOME court in Texas, for example.

          While I support Ins. companies competing across state lines I also do not think this is a Federal Issue.

          States can certainly work out agreements in multi-state compacts to regulate similarly to reduce customer costs. They don’t.

          So something else is going on here. I am guessing state control is best for the consumer and it is the Ins. Industry that wants bigger areas in order to increase their pool size. But national companies also have high rates so maybe its not the pool size that is the primary cost driver to the insurance companies. Maybe it is simply skyrocketing medical costs across the board.

          Just some more food for thought.
          JAC

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Good thoughts…

            You pretty much echo my concerns with providing access across state lines. My conclusion is that if you are going to allow insurance companies to run to the state with the least restrictions on their product and sell it to everyone throughout the nation you need two things:

            1) An agreement that all claims arising out of the insurance will be tried in the courts of the state in which the purchaser resides; and

            2) A federal baseline of minimum requirements (this way you don’t have a state removing any and all restrictions and just allowing every single insurance company to set up shop)

            As it stands now I believe it is the exact same as auto insurance — you want to sell in State X, that’s fine – you can apply for a license to sell your insurance here, so long as that insurance is subject to our minimum requirements and regulations. Still not so sure what is wrong with that.

            • Buck

              What if the States couldn’t impose any “required” coverage?

              I think that might expand the range of medical coverage available, and thus range of pricing based on various risk.

              For example, right now company’s can not offer a basic coverage for normal check ups and sickness. They are required to cover other things.

        • PapaDawg says:

          Buck, we need to get a handle on lawyers. Look at the TV ads they have, offering to sue for anything (Lohan, fer instance), this is “law practice out of control”.

          I have two doctors, like most men my age, and one of them is a teaching doctor and his medical malpractice insurance contributions to the University is nothing short of ridiculously high.

          The other one foots his medical malpractice bill by passing that along to his patients treatment costs.

          Once lawyers are under control and there are less frivolous medical lawsuits, perhaps the cost of medical malpractice lawsuits will go down – a good thing for everyone concerned.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Are some lawyers ‘out of control’ and bringing ridiculous claims? Sure, I’ll give you that. But the vast majority are just trying to make a living.

            The bigger problem is not lawyers who advertise on TV, but the litigious nature of our society. Everyone immediately wants to sue even for the slightest wrong. They are entitled to under our laws, but perhaps this is where our energy should be spent.

            Also, doctors have notoriously been very cold to patients who they have wronged in the past. This helps lead to an attitude on the part of the patient that suing is the only way to seek recompensation. I remember a front page article in the NYT a few years back on several hospitals which basically mandated their doctors come clean and apologize for any errors made and offer to do what they can to fix any mistakes. Guess what happened? Much much fewer law suits brought by those patients, even when it came to more serious mistakes/errors.

  8. Lawyers and Talking Heads Attack Liz Cheney

    The Huffington Post has ANOTHER article involving a lawyer type blasting Liz Cheney’s attack of the DOJ attorneys who defended Al Qaida types.

    Intro: “Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday attacking Liz Cheney’s “Al-Qaida 7” logic as “shoddy and dangerous.”
    While the former chief of the Bush Justice Department never mentioned Cheney by name, he made it clear that anyone would be wrong to automatically identify DOJ lawyers with the defendants that they represent. Mukasey wrote:”

    You can read the rest of the article here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/10/michael-mukasey-slams-liz_n_492789.html

    This is the latest of a flurry of such attacks on Cheney since she made her comments. All by big name politicos, talking heads and lawyer types. I have found it most amusing to watch them attack with such determination, indignation, and outrage because someone dared to question their value system.

    Back in my lobby days we had a saying. If you are going to go after a Govt bureaucrat you had been destroy them on the first try. Because if you don’t the agency will circle the wagons in defense and you will be destroyed. Even if the agency itself has no use for the person you are going after. Even if they agree with your position. You are attacking family and family will defend itself against all outsiders.

    I think Mukasey is a little overdramatic. Her comments are not Dangerous. This seems to be an increasing ploy as well. It creates the fear to speak out because you are causing Danger. You can be held responsible for the thoughts and actions of lunatics because of what YOU say. Now that is the true Danger in a free society.

    Good Tuesday to One and All
    Including the Dread Pirate Mathius 🙂
    JAC

    • Go Liz Go!

      I thought the ad just fine and interesting that the names were finally released once it appeared. Also, a tactic we are now used to from the left: let’s not question or hold a debate on why Holder would not release names and whether there was a conflict within the DOJ, but let’s attack the messenger instead.

      • USWeapon says:

        I agree to a point Kathy. Attacking the messenger is part of the game being played here. But the attempt to paint the attorneys as “the Al Qaeda 7” SHOULD be attacked. That part of the message was where the ad lost me. I think the names absolutely should have been released, as anyone who works on the DOJ payroll should be public knowledge. We are paying their salaries after all.

        But attacking the lawyers for doing what lawyers get paid to do, uphold the rule of law in a country where that is supposed to be the highest standard, borders on criminal itself. Should we be attacking Doctors who perform life saving procedures on convicted felons? This country was built on values and principles. A great quote from John Adams:

        Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of Princes or Parliaments. That many of our rights are inherent, and essential, agreed on as maxims and established as preliminaries even before parliament existed. We have a right to them, derived from our maker. Our forefathers have earned and bought liberties for us at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasures, and their blood. Liberty is not built on the doctrine that a few nobles have the right to inherit the earth. No. NO! It stands on this principle: that the meanest, and the lowest of people ARE, by the unalterable and indefeasible laws of god and nature as well entitled to the benefit of the air to breath, light to see, food to eat, and clothes to wear as the nobles or the king! THAT is LIBERTY. And Liberty will reign in America!

        USW

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Good for those attacking Cheney. The charges she brings are completely ridiculous, outrageous, and even dangerous.

      You do not get to attack the attorneys who take on the worst of clients who are trying to uphold our Constitution. You especially do not get to label them ‘terrorists’ themselves due to their representing alleged terrorists.

      See: http://www.slate.com/id/2246903/

      • I like Kathy’s take,

        “let’s not question or hold a debate on why Holder would not release names and whether there was a conflict within the DOJ, but let’s attack the messenger instead.”

      • Ellen Spalding says:

        Buck

        I am with you on this one. I dont agree with what Liz did at all. There has been many lawyers who defend people who do terrible things, because that is what we are suppose to do.

        I see that if we believe in holding on to people for years without a trial, they have a right to get defended against that holding.
        I dont hold anything against the lawyers who do that job, anymore than I hold against the public defenders here in the US that defend criminals.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I would hire those attorneys in a second — they took a huge risk to their careers but believed in their duty to uphold the Constitution. To now denigrate them for having the courage to represent these individuals is just horrendous in my opinion.

          So long as they are well-qualified for their role in the DOJ, I have absolutely no issue with their appointments.

      • Take a look at the ad:

        • This is about calling for transparency. This isn’t about saying anyone has a right to an attorney or any such thing. Don’t fall into that trap. It’s asking for names of people that are in the DOJ. That’s it! This is dangerous? Spare me the theatrics.

          But, if you do want to look to see if there are conflicts of interest among these attorneys, check out this guy:

          http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/meet-doj-lawyers-who-defended-terrorist-detainees

          Hmmmm, so would we be OK with lawyers that had once defended Klan members now being a part of the DOJ civil rights unit and having the AG refusing to release their names? I wonder.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Not an attack? Come on — the “Al-Qaeda Seven”!?

            And yes, I would be ok with a lawyer who defended Klan members serving in the DOJ civil rights unit so long as they were not Klan members themselves. There is a difference between advocating on behalf of a client (everyone has a right to zealous representation) and advocating for a cause you believe in yourself.

            • Catchy name – got your attention. Good Ad!

            • Where was the moral outrage when fine lawyers like John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Jim Haynes, Steve Bradbury and others came under vicious personal attack? Their critics did not demand simple transparency; they demanded heads. They called these individuals “war criminals” and sought to have them fired, disbarred, impeached and even jailed. Where were the defenders of the “al-Qaeda seven” when a Spanish judge tried to indict the “Bush six”? Philippe Sands, author of the “Torture Team,” crowed: “This is the end of these people’s professional reputations!” I don’t recall anyone accusing him of “shameful” personal attacks.

              The standard today seems to be that you can say or do anything when it comes to the Bush lawyers who defended America against the terrorists. But if you publish an Internet ad or ask legitimate questions about Obama administration lawyers who defended America’s terrorist enemies, you are engaged in a McCarthyite witch hunt.

              Thiessen also dispels the Times’s claims that alleged terrorists are entitled to legal defense of the same order as everyday criminals.

              Some defenders say al-Qaeda lawyers are simply following a great American tradition, in which everyone gets a lawyer and their day in court. Not so, says Andy McCarthy, the former assistant U.S. attorney who put Omar Abdel Rahman, the “blind sheik,” behind bars for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. “We need to be clear about what the American tradition is,” McCarthy told me. “The Sixth Amendment guarantees the accused — that means somebody who has been indicted or otherwise charged with a crime — a right to counsel. But that right only exists if you are accused, which means you are someone who the government has brought into the civilian criminal justice system.” The habeas lawyers were not doing their constitutional duty to defend unpopular criminal defendants. They were using the federal courts as a tool to undermine our military’s ability to keep dangerous enemy combatants off the battlefield in a time of war.

              If lawyers who once sought to free captured terrorists are now setting U.S. policy when it comes to the release of Guantanamo detainees, moving terrorists to the United States, trying senior al-Qaeda leaders in civilian courts, and whether to give captured terrorists Miranda rights, then, as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) put it, the public has “a right to know who advises the attorney general and the president on these critical matters.” Only when this information is public can members of Congress judge whether these individuals have properly recused themselves or whether they should be involved in detainee matters at all. The charge of McCarthyism is intended to intimidate those raising legitimate questions into silence. But asking such questions is not McCarthyism. It’s oversight.

              Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/03/09/amazing-nyt-only-upset-when-conservatives-question-lawyers-backgroun#ixzz0hnIduPqg

              • Buck The Wala says:

                The more thought I give to this issue (John Yoo et al) the more willing I am to let them slide for much the same reasons I criticize Cheney’s comments above.

                However the two situations are not completely analogous. Based on others reports, Yoo seemed to have come to a conclusion and changed the law to suit his conclusion. He neglected adverse case law (which as an attorney you are actually required to bring to the attention of opposing counsel in any trial). He did a shoddy job.

                So the reason for calling for his head is not necessarily due to his ‘representation’ of torture, but in his work product and his possible violation of ethical standards.

    • Hearing Delayed for Obama Judicial Nominee Who Supported Serial Killer

      By Judson Berger

      – FOXNews.com

      The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed the hearing for a controversial Court of Appeals nominee after the panel received a letter from a home-state prosecutor blasting the candidate as a judicial loose cannon and after Republicans raised concerns about bias in favor of sex offenders.

      U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny gained notoriety in 2005 for his role in trying to fight the execution of convicted serial killer and rapist Michael Ross, also known as The Roadside Strangler, whom Chatigny had described as a victim of his own “sexual sadism.”

      His conduct in that case, which included threatening to go after Ross’ attorney’s law license, as well as his ruling in 2001 against sex offender registries created under Megan’s Law, has caused a commotion among Republicans on the judiciary panel.

      “I’ve never seen conduct like this,” said a Republican source. “I’m shocked that the White House vetted this guy … and still put him up for a judgeship.”

      The nomination is relatively fresh. President Obama submitted his name Feb. 24 for a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, calling him a “first-rate” legal expert and “faithful” public servant.

    • http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/holders_hidden_friend_of_court.html

      March 10, 2010
      Holder’s Hidden Friend of Court Briefs
      Clarice Feldman
      Bill Burck and Dana Perino reveal in NRO that AG Eric Holder expressed views on detainees in amici (friends of court) briefs he signed on to that he was obligated to inform Congress about but failed to. This suggests that the views expressed in those briefs he signed onto presage his inexplicable, highly criticized decisions on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab:

      The brief [in Padilla] leaves no doubt that Holder views the loss of intelligence information as sometimes an acceptable tradeoff because, to quote from the brief again, “as a Nation we have chosen to place some limits on Executive authority in order to protect individual authority.” Pre-Obama Holder well appreciated that under some circumstances, treating terrorists like criminal defendants may be less protective of national security than treating them like enemies of the United States. But he was willing to take the risk to reduce what he perceived as possible abuses of power by the executive branch.

      [snip]

      [F]ailure to disclose to Congress his participation in the Padilla case is even more curious. Did he forget? Did he think it wasn’t important enough to mention? Was there some concern it could hurt him at confirmation? Was he worried about being associated with Padilla (who was eventually convicted of terrorism charges in civilian court)?

      We do not know. But we imagine the senators on the Judiciary Committee would have preferred to have the opportunity to question Holder about the ideas he set out in his Padilla briefs before they were put into action, and just how much tolerance for risk to our national security he might have.

    • USWeapon says:

      A couple of thoughts after reading the article and the comments that you folks have made here.

      First, I agree that the Cheney ad is attempting to get transparency, something that I completely agree with. However, there is definitely a bit of a hidden attempt to paint the issue through the use of the moniker “Al Qaeda 7”. Catchy name, and more important, a name meant to evoke emotion and paint the 7 as being a part of the terrorist network.

      I don’t like the ad because of this. As I said when I brought this issue up a couple of weeks ago on open mic, I have no issue with the lawyers doing what lawyers do. Their job is to defend people, and everyone is entitled to a defense. I saw the argument from some talking head that they were not entitled to a defense because they were not charged in civilian courts, and therefore these lawyers are not attempting to uphold the Constitution or whatever. Complete bullshit argument. What these lawyers are attempting to do is uphold the rule of a law in a country where rule of law is supposed to be the driving force. Remember this country was founded not as a outright democracy, but as a republic, and for a reason. The founders were attempting to keep populist appeal from infringing on rights. As such the all powerful thing was not the people, but the rule of law. These lawyers were working to ensure that the rule of law reigned in American action. To attempt to punish them for doing so is to undermine the very “rule of law” principle that this country was founded on.

      USW

      • Buck The Wala says:

        USW, I’d be curious to hear your take on the issue involving Yoo et. al.

        • USWeapon says:

          I will admit to not having studied the Yoo issue as in depth as some here. My initial take on the issue was that Yoo did what he was asked to do. He was asked to interpret the law and make recommendations based on what he felt the law allowed and didn’t allow. For doing so, I do not believe he should be persecuted. Much as I stand with the lawyers on the issue with the DOJ above, I believe that if Yoo made his recommendations in good faith, and they were what he really believed the law to be, he was right to do so.

          However, I have heard the arguments that this is not the situation. I have heard that the situation actually played out that Yoo was given a starting point of find a way to justify the torture we want to do. IF that this the case, and his quest was instead to find away around the law, I think he should be held accountable. If people don’t like the law, then they can attempt to change the law. But you cannot simply find ways to ignore it. It appears that this may be what happened. If so, then I completely agree with your assessment above that the Yoo case and the Cheney case are not analogous. One involves lawyers who did their job according to law, while the other did his job according to personal objective, in spite of the law.

          But I do caution this: Are we sure that Yoo INTENTIONALLY attempted to subvert the existing laws? Because without that proof of intent, we have little more than a lawyer attempting to offer his professional opinion on what the law allows. And I submit that we are entering very dangerous waters if we begin punishing lawyers for offering their opinion on legal matters. We could end up in a place where no law is challenged or no opinions are offered outside of the 9 justices of the SCOTUS. If Yoo was wrong in his opinion, then it can and should be challenged, but he should not be reprimanded. He was simply doing his job. If he failed to do the work properly, then reprimand him for that (such as neglecting adverse case law, which a lawyer should do).

          Not sure if I answered enough of what you were wondering or not. I can expand further on specific points if you like.

          USW

          • Buck The Wala says:

            No that’s a fair answer and I mostly agree with everything you said.

            I do know that an inital panel looked into the Yoo issue and found that he did violate certain ethical standards. The case then went to some other department which reversed the decision. Many attorneys and legal ethic scholars have criticized this other department for failing to apply the proper standards.

          • USW and Buck

            Also keep in mind that we (non lawyers) hire lawyers all the time to tell us how to achieve a certain goal. I expect them to find all the loop holes, where as’ and what if’s so I can drive my goals through.

            If the law is black and white then they can say, Sorry but no can do.

            But what we have found is that the law is more gray than black and white. Therefore they might say, “but you can do this way.”

            That is my view of Yoo and all the work done by DOJ on the interrogation and Geneva convention interpretations.

            They presented options within the boundaries of the law as they saw it. What is a shady concept or loophole to one is the salvation for another.

            My reason for posting the article was the humor I got in this being the ONLY truly bipartisan issue I can think of in the last several years. And only because she attacked lawyers. So all the other lawyers, right and left, circled the wagons.

            I find it hilarious.

            Now how about those responses on HuffPo. You are guaranteeing that those comments are only 10% of the left, correct?

            • USWeapon says:

              No I can’t guarantee that they are only 10% of the left. 10% seemed like a nice round number to me. But I don’t think that the majority of Americans side with the far left. I think there are lots of people in the middle who think both sides are crazy. I just don’t think it would be fair to say all those on the left feel a certain way. I know Cesca is dead wrong when he attempts to paint all conservatives as wingnuts who believe that the earth is literally 6,000 years old and created in 6 days. Very few on the right actually believe that.

              Maybe it is more. Maybe the majority of the left is feeling as those commenting on the HuffPo do. But I wouldn’t think so.

              USW

              • USW

                I am more concerned that the nature of the comments on HuffPo, not the position but the lack of critical thinking and reflexive vitriol, are common to a much larger number.

                If we assign the trait to 10% on each side that is 20% total.

                What if it is 20/20 for a total of 40%?

                Over 30% of the country thought Bush was responsible for 9/11.

                I am concerned that we over estimate the number we consider to be “in the middle range”. You know, those we view as rational!

                I have tried the last few days engaging folks at HuffPo. It is virtually impossible. The blogging format is harmful let alone that very few actually want to discuss anything.

                I do wonder why so many folks spend so much time sharing nothing but their hatred and smart ass comments with perfect strangers each day. Perhaps that is why they are keeping unemployment so high.

                Its a conspiracy by the Blogs to capture day time audience.

                Nice to see you popping in during the day, today.
                JAC

              • USWeapon says:

                Well JAC… get ready for a possible influx of that madness. I went after a few of the folks on Cesca’s latest article, pointing out their contradictions and petty comments. One of the folks in there posted a link to my site. I imagine they will come over in droves and begin getting ignorant. Here’s hoping that all of the regular readers will maintain our respect policy while dealing with the rants.

                I agree, it is a lack of critical thought that worries me with so many of the posts. They really believe that no one on the right questions Beck or Limbaugh, that no one on the right is smart enough to understand, that no one on the right has the ability to critically think! They immediately threw me into that box of ultra-conservative with a religious agenda and wrote me off. Could get interesting. Could end up blocking a few folks if they get ignorant.

              • Bottom Line says:

                USW,

                I read through your(&JAC’s) posts there and was actually quite entertained by watching them try and stuff you into their little pre-conceived idealistic boxes.

                It was like watching a firing squad trying to execute (bulletproof) Superman. ROFL

                They won’t show up here @ SUFA. If they couldn’t handle you when you were surrounded, how on Earth would they handle being surrounded by steadfast logical debate?

                They dare not step outside their comfort zone from where they can rationalize how dissent for irresponsible monetary policy is akin to radicalism and racism.

                BTW, your link didn’t show up. It was just a blank space.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              The issue I have with Yoo is that it doesn’t seem to be just a case of zealously representing their client and arguing for the conclusion the client wants. It seems that Yoo had purposefully neglected prior case law, violated ethical guidelines, etc.

              Here’s an article I had found criticizing the final determination to find Yoo ‘not guilty’ so to speak:

              http://www.slate.com/id/2245531/

              • Buck

                Thanks for the link..will have to do some homework on the actual report.

                I don’t have a grasp on Lawyer ethical standards so have to work on this one.

                I am guessing, based on our prior discussions of law, that there was probably lots of gray and wiggle room regarding the conclusions. But then maybe not.

                Back to you later on this.
                How’s your thinking on Marshall’s ruling on Marbury?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Still only got to take a little more than a cursory review of the materials.

                I definitely see your point on Section 13, but I can also see another reading of that Section purporting to establish original jurisdiction. I noticed that in your Wiki cite, ‘a minority of scholars’ have argued such and such, leading me to believe that a majority of scholars support the reading and judgment SCOTUS ultimately reached – not saying the minority can’t be right (often the minority is right – especially with the current SCOTUS in my opinion 🙂 ).

                On the issue of ethical standards in Yoo’s case, the major problem from what I recall is his complete failure to address prior case law, which pretty much did settle the questions posed.

              • Buck

                I noticed that footnote also. Was amazed that even a “minority” of scholars could reach the same conclusion I did. Although I haven’t reviewed their actual work yet.

                The irony to me is that for Marshal to conclude that sentence was a new authority means he was taking a very strict constructionist view of the document.

                Yet his ruling set a standard that was not clearly in the document.

                I am going to research the Yoo thing more. But doesn’t surprise me that a lawyer in DOJ would avoid sanctions against another DOJ lawyer.

                Similar things happen with other bureaucrats in govt as well. There is always one last guy who has veto over some committee’s findings that prevents any serious action.

                I must admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by many of the SCOTUS rulings. There approach has been more orginalist but not so much as to completely alienate everyone. In the end it may be hard to say just whether there was a theme to the Robert’s court.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Don’t be amazed – I thought you had a solid interpretation of everything; just not the same as my interpretation.

                It is a bit surprising that Marshal would take such an ‘originalist’ view of the Act, but not on the Constitution itself. I think that can be squared away though just by the nature of the case:

                1) Does this Act seek to extend the jurisdiction of SCOTUS? Yes, by its terms.

                2) Does the Constitution set a floor or ceiling for SCOTUS jurisdiction? Well it doesn’t say either, but based on context, it seems to set a ceiling.

                3) What happens when an Act conflicts with Constitution? Supremacy Clause – Constitution wins.

                Oversimplified, but that’s my initial thoughts without any coffee in the system…

                Be curious to hear your thoughts on Yoo after you look into the materials. By the way, you ever speak with Mr. Natelson on those other issues?

                Hope you have a good one!

                –Buck

  9. from Dr. W.C. Douglas

    CDC fails at math

    The feds are still squealing over swine flu — but no matter how loud they oink, their numbers just don’t add up.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that 57 million Americans have come down with swine flu — and their media lap dogs (or are they now pigs?) just ate it up. I saw that big number repeated in headlines everywhere as if that were a fact and not a completely made-up number.

    Oink, oink.

    But that’s just what it is — a story as true as those Babe the Pig movies. If someone can prove to me that 57 million Americans actually came down with swine flu, I’ll trade my lab coat for overalls and take up hog farming.

    I mean it… but it’s not going to happen. The truth is, no one knows how many swine flu cases there were, not even the math whizzes at the CDC. That 57 million figure is just the midpoint of a massive estimate range that claims up to 84 million Americans may have had swine flu.

    They may as well say it was between 1 and 300 million.

    Remember, the feds stopped counting swine flu cases in July — they actually told state and local health authorities to stop testing for it and stop tracking it. It’s better than burning evidence — because they prevented the evidence from ever existing in the first place.

    Now, they can throw around any number they want without having to worry that the truth might someday come out and squeal on them.

    All we know for certain — and this is based on real data from the CDC and state health departments — is that only a tiny fraction of the suspected H1N1 cases that were sent to labs for confirmation actually turned out to be swine flu, or even any kind of flu at all.

    Most people just had a bad cold.

    Yet the feds keep pushing this myth that Americans should STILL rush out and get swine flu shots… hinting darkly at the possibility of a “third wave.”

    If it’s as “bad” as the first or second wave, you can safely keep your sleeve down… because this undercooked bacon is already cold.

    • This is still being discussed? I thought swine flu went the way of….oh I don’t know….AGW!

      • USWeapon says:

        I think now we are simply in defense mode around it. The government took bold steps. They raised a really loud alarm. The media was complicit in doing this. Now all involved want to attempt to deflect criticism for doing so. The best way for them to do so is to attempt to alter history to show that they were justified in raising said alarm. This is an attempt to re-write history by the CDC and others, in the hopes that their written words will be what judges them rather than reality.

        I don’t think swine flu was a hoax or false attempt to control people the way that AGW was. I think they merely reacted on the overly cautious side. It put a ding in their credibility. Now they are doing damage control.

        USW

        • I think it’s about money. CDC will try to increase it’s size, as all bureaucracies do, so will come up with reasons for additional funding and personnel. Drug companies, seeking to cash in, will provide ammo, and liberal talking heads will continue asking big government to save us.

        • My niece was told she had the swine flu after they swabbed her inner cheek. Several ill students in a neighboring town were told they had it, even though none were tested.

          My husband had open heart surgery on Oct. 30th. While he was in ICU one of the nurses told me that they had 3 people in ICU in very bad shape and they were sure it was swine flu. She said that the swab test just shows it is influenza, but not which strain. The only way to know for sure is to send it to a lab in Roanoke VA. It takes 2 weeks for results. NONE of those in ICU had the swine flu, she said they were very surprised by the results.

          Bottom line is that many people were told they had swine flu when they probably did not.

  10. Before I leave for therapy and gym I wanted to leave you with this little piece of work. Also from HuffPo.

    An attack on Beck by a Catholic Priest. Please make sure you read through the first couple of pages of comments as well.

    I think you will find this fits quite well with one of USW’s shorts from above.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/glenn-beck-to-catholics-l_b_490669.html

    Happy reading
    JAC

    • Interesting and not surprised that the Priest took it literally. Based on what I’ve heard from Beck in the past, he’s trying to make people aware of the language that is used to promote a certain ideal. “Social justice” and similar words can have more than one meaning.

      Separation of church and state is one thing, but churches have long been involved in politics and for the naive church attendee it can become a political indoctrination facility, not unlike our education system.

      Several years ago we had a pastor who was extremely left – fine in her personal life – could care less how she votes or who she supports politically. Problem is she brought it to the pulpit and used terms similar to what Beck is referencing; trying to incorporate them as just religious terms. Several members of the congregation started speaking up and on one particular Sunday, some even walked out. We considered leaving this parish if that was the route they were taking. Lots of meetings later (some really, really, ugly – think town halls mixed with religion – yikes!) she left and actually even left the ministry and today is a political activist somewhere.

  11. Sheep, wolves and Sheepdogs. Which are you?

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35832

    • USWeapon says:

      LOI,

      I finally got to read this last night. A great analogy being made in the article. We are in need of more sheepdogs.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      It is good if we can all be our own Sheepdog.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        I have a livestock guardian dog. She does not herd. She stays within an imaginary perimeter and uses intimidating barking to Bluff creatures away. When push comes to shove, she will and has put her life on the line for me. Twice saved me from a NutJob Moose we were trying to chase away from my apple trees.

        Just like bird dogs I have owned, it is amazing the instincts dogs have bred into them. Trained many generations ago, the offspring are hard wired to a specific task just from their bloodline, no serious training required.

        I sometimes wonder how much of the way we think as individuals has to do with our own bloodlines.

        • Maybe some day we will be able to do genetic screenings for liberal tendencies…

          Some day…

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            It might not be as far off into the future as you may think.

            Genealogical autosomal testing is taking hold at a reasonable price. Around $300.00. FTDNA is just breaking out with it in a couple weeks. At least one other company already does it. Once they have a big database they could maybe screen people’s fmaily trees and political preferences. It is doable.

          • Matt,

            Wolf in pirate clothing?

            Sheepdog, willing and able to defend your family from an armed intruder?

            Sheep, on which level?
            Ban private gun ownership?
            Ban open carry where now legal?
            Ban concealed carry where now legal?
            Fine any use of a nuclear weapon within city limits?

  12. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hello Everyone

    Haven’t been here for a few days, but trying to read along when I can.

    Hope all is doing well.

    Judy

  13. Article update. Politifact has still not responded to me, but they now have one true statement rated for Beck.

    https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/guest-commentary-glenn-beck-is-a-liar/

  14. What happens when the Customer is really the Government and the Government uses Violence to force itself on its supplier

    Passengers may soon be seeing more cancellations on airport departure boards.

    Several airlines, including Fort Worth-based American and Houston-based Continental, say they will cancel flights rather than risk paying stiff penalties for delaying passengers on the runway.

    Continental’s CEO told investors Tuesday that the airline will opt to cancel flights rather than chance being fined.

    Aviation consultant Denny Kelly expects other airlines to follow suit.

  15. SUFA

    OK, is anyone else feeling like something really strange is going on in the political world lately, or is it just me?

    Strange #1:

    Mr. Obama, Pelosi and now Sec. Sebilius are attacking Insurance Co.’s for recent rate hikes. Insurance Co.’s are jacking up rates and leaking statements to the effect they don’t care.

    Now, if your industry/business was in the cross hairs of Washington D.C. why in the world would you do anything, and I mean anything, to provide them with ammo to be used against you?

    I spent only a few years in the Lobby hobby and I have to tell proposing or pushing this type of behavior would have gotten any trade association hack fired in a second.

    So, what’s up?

    I smell a dead skunk folks.

    Strange #2:

    This one I noticed around Feb 14th, Valentines Day. There was a sudden and very Vocal condemnation of the “birthers” and the “truthers” by all the “conservative” talking heads. All within a two day period. They didn’t just continue their poking fun but became very vitriolic in their attacks. Beck himself seemed to go ballistic on the lady running for Gov in Texas. Instead of accepting her explanation for her first answers he went Ape Shit over the criticism he got for attacking her.

    Next came Glenn Becks address at CPAC. This time he himself was criticized by the “conservative talking heads”. Rush Limbaugh said he didn’t understand his goals or what he is trying to accomplish. Red State’s Erickson was extremely critical. Hannity began picking Becks stuff apart.

    Then like a well practiced symphony, they all started chirping about the fallacy of a “third party”. The Tea Parties are “conservative” they say. They need to stay Republican they say. A third party will only get the Dems re-elected they say.

    I listened to Beck discuss his upcoming Mass TV interview with Michell Malkin, yesterday. He kept saying why isn’t anyone willing to give this guy a chance to tell his story so that we can determine if he is a nutjob skumbag or if there is some truth in his story. At what if he is a skum bag but is still telling the truth. Why would we ignore the truth. Malkin was doing the “he’s poison so why allow yourself to be linked to thise guy” dance when Beck got testy.

    And this folks is why I like Beck the most of all these honking turkeys. Michelle asked Beck why he was upset because after all “we are on the same side”. Becks reply was “I not so sure we ARE on the same side anymore Michelle.”

    Remember when the lefties said the T Party was a flash in the pan? It would have no real effect?

    Well it may not hurt the Dems politics but it sure as hell is causing some strange behavior on the other side of the fence.

    I suspect that there was some polling or surveys done recently that showed Third Party favor growing in the country, at primarily at the expense of the Republicans.

    I suspect that the talking heads are out of sync with many of their traditional audience. In fact heard Hannity ripping into “conservative” callers because they were proposing third party or write ins against the Rino’s in the party. He was much more concerned about R’s winning than anything else.

    Which reminds me, hold on a second while I send out a quick note.

    Memo to Mr. Hannity and Mr. Limbaugh

    You two are always claiming you are NOT Republicans but Conservatives. I just wanted to say, you are both liars.

    You have proven yourselves to be loyal Republicans first and foremost. Its OK, as it doesn’t affect how I think of your talent or show. I enjoy your humor and insight Mr. Limbaugh. Can’t say much about Mr. Hannity as it is hard to describe the positive aspects of empty space.

    And just to jog your memory, the Republican Party was a third party at one time. So you may want to keep an eye over your shoulder at that light coming in the distance.

    Yours in the fight for liberty
    JAC

    Sorry about that. So as I was saying. I see some very strange things going on. Can’t explain it all but I’m sure it will become evident soon enough.

    Hope everyone is having a great day.
    JAC

  16. SUFA

    I almost forgot

    Strange #3:

    This relates to my post at #10 above, and Kathy’s response.

    Anyone else notice the increase among the Dems, and especially the progressive talking heads, to use the Bible and Christianity lately to justify their “socialized govt programs”?

    They seem to be trying to use the “conservatives” religion against the “conservatives” seemingly not realize that by doing so, they are interjecting Religion into the political solution.

    So in summary, I guess I shouldn’t have been so freaked the other day when Mathius suddenly transformed into the latest reincarnation of the Dread Pirate.

    Hoisting a mug of Grog to you all.
    JAC

    • Hi JAC!

      Been digging hard this last month, I think we may be seeing just how powerful the internet can be. As more people become engaged and educated, there will be less sheep in the herd!

      Peace my Friend!

      G!

  17. PLease disregard, teaching copy/paste.

    • Sorry folks! My neighbor recently lost his job and needed help on how to copy and paste his resume’. So, I showed him all the different ways that I know so he could practice. Mission accomplished 🙂

      G!

  18. Judy Sabatini says:
  19. USWep

    I’ve been on a mission last week and posting on some “left” and “liberal” sites.

    I am shocked to find no site that isn’t predicated on emotionalism, insults, irrationality and hostility.

    As I am still in the middle of my investigation, I’ll hold off on my report.

    However, their greatest weapon is to pull an argument into emotionalism. They “win” if they can get you to down to their level, and they are expert at it.

    You are absolutely correct that the best strategy is to stay the course – maintain decorum and fight on a reasoned, logical and rational basis. They have no tools there.

    • Flag and USW,

      I’m in full calm mode, as I know how emotions can be used against people. Stay the course and kill’em with logic and kindness! 🙂

      G!

    • Can’t wait to hear your report. Bet those people don’t know what’s hit them when you come along.

  20. posting for comments. Late to the party again….

  21. USW

    I wonder if we will come to regret our time playing in the sandbox tonight?????

    Could get interesting around here in a few days.

    Buck, I might have found a replacement for you, now that the Dread Pirate has taken Mathius.

    Happy trails to you……..until we meet again.
    JAC

  22. http://wenchwisdom.blogspot.com/2010/02/this-just-in-when-responsibility-doesnt.html

    from The Bobo Files
    Having lived in Greece in 3 years and Germany for 10 – I can attest and validate this article. I hated living in Greece. The stores didn’t open until 10:00. They closed from 1:00 – 3:00 for Siesta and then they closed for the evening at 6:00pm. The only thing open after that were restaurants and bars. All the government services were unionized. We regularly had to suffer rolling black-outs because the utility company employees would go on strike. Our garbage would stack up for up to a month while the waste services employees went on strike. Etc. etc. etc. Greece is a socialist cesspool and their demise is indeed their own doing. If this is the type of life and government Obama and his ilk want for the U.S. – they can have it. Bobo

    Saturday, February 27, 2010
    When Responsibility Doesn’t Pay
    From National Review Online.

    “What’s happening in the developed world today isn’t so very hard to understand: The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over.”

    “So you can’t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don’t have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

    By the way, you don’t have to go to Greece to experience Greek-style retirement: The Athenian “public service” of California has been metaphorically face down in the ouzo for a generation.”

    “When seeking to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, President Ford liked to say: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” Which is true enough. But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back. That’s the point Greece is at. Its socialist government has been forced into supporting a package of austerity measures. The Greek people’s response is: Nuts to that.”

    “Responsibility doesn’t pay. You’ll wind up bailing out anyway. The problem is there are never enough of “the rich” to fund the entitlement state, because in the end it disincentivizes everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the basic survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate.”

    How many women of child-bearing age DON’T have kids in this country? Last I heard, it was somewhere around 30%–they won’t have grandkids to stick it to, either…just like me. The ungodly tax situation in Europe is EXACTLY WHY they have declining birth rates, even negative ones in the northern European countries (and their governments offer incentives to have kids). Along with negative birth rates, they also have rising rates of alcoholism–is shows a lack of hope for the future. They’ve given up.
    Posted by Wenchypoo at 8:56 AM

    • v. Holland says:

      To me- this just says it all-I simply can’t understand why people deny the truth when it is plain to see everywhere.

      • Anymore it’s not what could happen. I’m starting to think we’re already there. Hell on earth. Just finished watching Hurt Locker. Shoulda watched it at the end of the day instead of the start of the day. Now it’s really going to be hard to get fired up today.
        But It’s suddenly spring! that’s one positive thing.

  23. Earlier in the day, Pelosi suggested to the National Association of Counties that the bill must be passed before the details are all sorted out.

    “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy,” she told local executives.

    From a Fox News story:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/11/democrats-white-house-close-health/

    This is outrageous. 1968 is coming, remember what happened to people who dared to go public about their disapproval of the gov’t. I hope it doesn’t happen that way, but it is possible.

  24. @USW……border wars heating up down here….do you think it would be a good article for SUFA? we have a combination of gun running, slave trade, and illegal immigrants. Ranchers have been told to better arm themselves and protect their own property…. do not call the local enforcement agencies or the Texas rangers but take care of themselves. Texas Supreme Court has upheld ruling of the right to protect private property using deadly force. Texas National Guard now patrolling the border with helicopters, drones, infra red and satellite.

    I think the article would have to relate to the right to protect property, the use of force, and the immigration issue.

    • I would enjoy the discussion. It is not a simple, single issue. You have an invasion by foreign nationals, encouraged by their home country. Our national government has not had a significant effect on the invasion. They have hindered local responses. Property rights and deadly force. What rights does an illegal have if on your land?

      • The answer is simple. He has the same rights as anyone else on your land: leave or be forcefully removed. You do not have the right to simply kill him unless you think he poses a threat to you. Then you are defending yourself. Otherwise, you are (perhaps Texas is different, but morally it’s the same) required to try everything you reasonably can without putting yourself or your family or your belongings in harms way before you can inflict violence on him.

        Remember, immigrants are people too.

        It’s only because of arbitrary rules by the government that they are classified as ‘different’ than anyone else. Crossing the border between Mexico and the US does not strip them of their rights as humans.

        • v. Holland says:

          You do seem to be so concerned about the illegal immigrants rights and I certainly don’t advocate people inflicting unnessasary harm to anyone but you seem to ignore the damage and harm that they inflict-You say our laws are arbitrary because we simply won’t allow everyone to just walk across our borders-Imagine them walking through your backyard destroying your property, stealing your property and then maybe you will better understand the attitude of people who are being hurt both financially and physically by all these so called innocent people. You might take note, if you’ve read any of D13 posts or listened to the very seldom reported on violence that is going on at the border that there are some very dangerous people coming into our country.

          • So when they damage your yard, or steal your stuff, defend yourself. Nobody is saying you can’t or shouldn’t. I’m just saying you should be able to impose on everyone because of the actions of a minority.

    • I’m unclear on this immigrant issue. If the government weren’t so hell-bent on making it difficult to become an American, almost all of them do so legally. I understand (though don’t necessarily agree) that the government wants to keep tabs on who enters, but I do not believe they should have a right to say who can and cannot move here.*

      As for protecting your property with lethal force, go for it. Just remember, take the kill shot – you can find yourself in deep trouble if you just wound. I think, though, that you should mark your perimeter in Spanish and/or universally understood signage – at least give them a chance to know that they’re doing something that will get them shot. It’s not fair to say “it’s America, speak English” – first, there is no official national language, and second, a lot of other reasons won’t go into right now.

      What’s wrong with gun running? Why should the only guns you purchase be government approved and monitored? Why shouldn’t there be a black market for weapons? Why should the government control these markets with an iron fist? I thought you Texans were all about your 2nd Amendment. An armed society is a polite society, after all.

      Tip o’ the Dr. Pepper to ya..

      *Yes, I understand keeping out known criminals, terrorist, and liberals.. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about Joe Immigrant.

      • v. Holland says:

        (I understand (though don’t necessarily agree) that the government wants to keep tabs on who enters, but I do not believe they should have a right to say who can and cannot move here.*

        *Yes, I understand keeping out known criminals, terrorist, and liberals.. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about Joe Immigrant.)

        Just how are we to determine which is which if we don’t keep tabs on who’s coming in and make judgements about who gets to stay. Do we not have a right to decide how many immigrants get to enter- It does have an effect on our economy. Please explain what about our process makes it so hard for people to legally come here, I’ve always thought the main problem was the large number who wanted to come.

        • The government doesn’t own this country. That’s the difference. You can say who can and cannot enter your land because you own it. The government doesn’t own America. People own America. And if a person wants to sell or lease property to another person, they should be able to do so and that person, if he is an immigrant, should be able to move here to that land. Why are you ok with the government interfering in this?

          And the immigration process is very long and difficult, but that’s not at all the point. An immigrant should have all the same rights that you do. He should be able to live where he want, where where he can, etc.

          Do we not have a right to decide how many immigrants get to enter- It does have an effect on our economy. No. Just like we don’t have a right to decide how many children you are allowed to have.

          I’ve always thought the main problem was the large number who wanted to come. Why is an influx of population a problem? Did we run out of space for them? Are they changing our culture? They aren’t eligible for welfare. The only reason they don’t pay taxes is because we’re arbitrarily determined that they are criminals just because they had the audacity to seek out the same kind of life you and I were born with.

          • Mathius

            The Government owns about 26% of it.

            And where I live and play it is above 70%.

            If you don’t believe me just try to use it without the Govt’s permission.

            🙂

            • People own the government. The government does not exist. Point to the government? Oh, you can’t? That’s because it’s a theoretical construct. It’s a Higgs Boson.

              • Mathius

                You know better. We the People DO NOT own the govt.

                We own the consequences of its actions but we do not own the entity itself.

                I can point to the govt all around me my friend. I can go to the county land office and pull the plats of the land around town and there on the plat is the name of the owner. U.S. Government.

                Note, it does not say United States, it says United States Government.

          • v. Holland says:

            The world is not a utopia, there is the matter of reality. We are a sovereign nation so yes we have the right just as all other countries do to decide who does and does not get to come across our borders. Why is the influx of population a problem-are you serious-of course it’s a problem-health care expenses, the number of jobs available, increase in educational needs. Are they changing our culture-it’s a big possibility if that huge influx of population comes across the borders-would it hurt us-I don’t know there is that matter of a lot of immigrants being liberal :). Welfare-don’t know about this but I suspect they manage to get a lot of government money thru everything else and probably welfare too. As far as wanting a better life-I sympathize and I welcome legal immigrants-I welcome people who ask for, whats the word-permission to come here because their life is in danger-the relivant word here is ASK.

            • Why is the influx of population a problem […] health care expenses, the number of jobs available, increase in educational needs. How would you respond to someone telling you that you aren’t allowed to have children for these exact same reasons?

              Are they changing our culture[?] So your concern that they will change the culture overrides their rights as human beings? I don’t think they’re nearly as big a threat to your culture as teenagers, the internet, or the invention of Cartoon Network.

              Welfare-don’t know about this but I suspect they manage to get a lot of government money thru everything else and probably welfare too. Already addressed this above, but no. They are not eligible. This is a myth.

              the relivant word here is ASK. Why should they need your permission? If you buy a new house, do you need the permission of your new neighbor in order to move in?

              there is that matter of a lot of immigrants being liberal Maybe they will learn better after being here for a while?

              the number of jobs available I want to touch on this one again. If they are here, and they are working, then they earn money and produce something. They then spend that money. This creates more demand, which creates more jobs.

              • v. Holland says:

                Since this discussion is being conducted under the do what is right arena-then let me put it this way-why is it the right thing to do if it will hurt the people already here-Caring about people is a wonderful thing but if you care so much that you bankrupt yourself and everyone else what exactly is so moral about that-if your intention is to help people you have to do so in a thought out manner if you don’t you end up helping no one. If our laws are too strict, fine talk about that-but don’t tell me we should just open the door. Don’t tell me people just have the right to cross borders because they are people, it might be an ideal but it just isn’t compatible with the reality of the world-if we want to be different and welcome immigrants, then lets work on making our laws as fair as they can be-but please don’t try to make us all feel guilty because we look at reality and realize that the only way to do the moral thing is to look at he effects on everyone involved not just the immigrants but our country as a whole.

              • Amen V.

              • V. Holland

                why is it the right thing to do if it will hurt the people already here

                Please explain how they are “hurting” you.

                A man works in my garden.

                Please show how is hurting YOU by working my garden?

                Why does the color of his skin, the city he was born in, the distance he has traveled, the places he has visited and the language that he spoke when he was 2 years old make any difference to his working in my garden????

                but don’t tell me we should just open the door.

                Why do you believe YOU have the right to close the door???

                please don’t try to make us all feel guilty because we look at reality and realize that the only way to do the moral thing is to look at he effects on everyone involved not just the immigrants but our country as a whole.

                But you are guilty.

                It is NOT moral to punish a free and non-violent man.

                Your claim is “I have a right to punish free and non-violent men, if by such punishment I gain”

              • v. Holland says:

                I will have to live with the guilt then I guess, because the ideal is nice to strive for but the reality still puts it out of reach.

              • v. Holland says:

                Sorry about the short answer looking back at it, it seems a mite rude-sorry about that wasn’t my intent-just hurrying -will try to answer completely when I can-have to go get my husband he had oral surgery today and I suspect I’m gonna be busy taking care of him. 🙂

              • I happen to like the short version. It’s either that or go down with the ship

              • v. Holland says:

                Glad you approve because I don’t think I can add anything that hasn’t been said already today. 🙂 My hubby ate and then passed out. So much easier than when he stays awake and stumbles all over the house and I have to be in fear of him falling and hurting himself 🙂

              • Time to party then V. Hope he’s feeling better.

              • v. Holland says:

                Thanks Anita 🙂

              • I’m reeling here.

                I have to climb Mathius’ flag pole to see if that pirate flag is real or not!

                I couldn’t have argued better or more articulated then him right now!

                Black Jack Matt!

              • I give up. You might as well just let them climb on board the USS Enterprise on its way in from THE WAR

              • Enterprise/Eisenhower: same diff. You’ll let the martians in too

              • Anita

                WE are the martians.

                Didn’t you know that? Come on,, you had to know that.

              • On this topic, the flag is 100% legit.

      • By what right does the government decide who can and cannot live where they want? Provided that the immigrant leases or buys property where they live and earns money by working, how are they any different than you and me?

        I would bet that the vast majority of them would become legal and start paying taxes if that were an option rather than the ridiculously costly, time-consuming, and difficult process now in place.

        As I understand it, immigrants are required to go back to their country of origin just to apply – just how is a nearly broke manual laborer supposed to get back to their home country to apply? They can’t get on a plane, and couldn’t afford it anyway if they could. The trip here, for many of them, probably took months and was a tremendous hardship – it’s (I think deliberately) prohibitive. Meanwhile, they’d be out of work for all that time. How are they supposed to support themselves and their families?

        This whole problem is the fault of government intervention where it doesn’t belong – how is it that people are so anti-government everything else, but they’re ok with the government deciding who can and cannot enter the country?

        • Matt- Then why don’t we just open all doors and windows and support the whole world. We can’t even support who was born here.

          • Who said anything about supporting them? They should stand or fall just like everyone else. They should also pay taxes like everyone else.*

            *In deference to my new pirate status, I offer the concept of an obligation to pay taxes for the sake of argument and offer no admission that I agree such an obligation can exist absent consent of the payer.

            • You’re jumping ahead too far. They come with the shirt on their back and walk straight to the welfare office. No plan whatsoever. And we’re supposed to play nice?

              • Immigrants are not eligible for welfare.

                http://blogs.chron.com/immigration/archives/2008/01/post_80.html

              • So what’s the problem then.There’s only 6 billion more out there? Let em all in.

              • They wouldn’t want to all come over. Eventually it would get too crowed and people would want to move elsewhere. Eventually, we would arrive at some kind of equilibrium.

              • Anita,

                Not everyone wants to come to the USA – most do not.

                With open access, the USA would -almost overnight- return to be the wealthiest nation on earth, instead of being so in debt.

                Pirate Mathius is right – why would they get ‘welfare’?

                Very few immigrants come to the US to live on the dole. They are here to earn money and send it back to the family they left behind.

                U.S. remittances to Latin America alone totaled almost $46 billion in 2008.

                Immigrants add $150 billion to the GDP every year.

              • The difference is illegal. If you want to come fine. The line starts over there. It is 6 years long. Knock on the door with the right paperwork and you’re welcome anytime. Why can’t they do it the right way.

              • Anita,

                If a law is evil, are you obligated to obey it?

              • Flag,

                Can you look D13 in the eye and tell him given our current situation that he might as well give up? I would like you to take the first 25000 illegal immigrants and set up an illegal immigrant village directly next to your home

              • Anita,

                Eyeball to eyeball, yes.

                And bring them! More the better!

                They all will want houses, cars, tv’s and all services you want – and (the key)

                …. they want to work for them!

                There is more than enough room for anyone who wants to earn their goods….

              • Really? The kids they give birth to here are eligible, with the funds payable to the illegal parents on the kid’s behalf.

                And there is this (While he uses the term “immigrants”, I believe he is referring to “ILLEGAL immigrants”:

                “Immigrants are poorer, pay less tax, and are more likely to receive public benefits than American citizens,” said Edwin Rubenstein, reporting on the National Research Council’s new book: “The New Americans: Economic, Demographics and Fiscal Effects of Immigration.” The Social Contract Winter 2007-08.

                The NRC found that the average immigrant household receives $13,326 in federal welfare and pays $10,664.00 in federal taxes. Thus, American taxpayers shell out $2,682.00 for each immigrant household.

                In addition, the report showed that immigrants affect 15 different executive agencies of the U.S. government.”

                http://www.rense.com/general81/dtli.htm

              • If they have children born here, the children are American citizens. So are the parents. Thus they are no longer “illegal.”

                Thus they are as eligible as you and I for welfare.

                So my point stands: illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare benefits.

              • Mathius,

                Are you serious, you really think that? REALLY?

                Giving birth here does NOT make the parents legal, better check your facts.

                Granted the parents “use” the kids to pull at the liberal idiots heartstrings, you should hear them all whine when there is an immigration raid, and Mama and Papa are deported. Happened near here not long ago. Of course, the parents COULD have taken the kids “home” with them to Mexico, but do you think they did? Nope, they parked them in the community with whoever would take them.

                We have illegals here, after having 10 kids the parents are STILL ILLEGAL!

              • When the kids grow up, they can apply to have the parents (and I think other relatives) imported legally. The child born on US soil is seen as a way in.

              • To revise. Once born here, the child is an American citizen and eligible for benefits. The parents are not.

                So, again, only citizens are eligible for benefits. My point stands.

              • v. Holland says:

                Your points stands-okay-but you better not breath on it. 🙂

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Matt

          If our ancestors had to do it the legal way, why then can’t others do it the legal way. Why should the illegals get all the freebies and perks, and when everybody else has to work and pay for it?

          I agree with Anita, then lets just open all windows, doors and boarders and turn our backs, and just let everybody who wants in, in. Sorry, Matt, but I think they need to go through the proper channels.

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Forgot to say this as well. Why shouldn’t anybody when coming into this country, learn English? After all, we have to learn their language when we go to their country. I always though that this country was founded on the English language. So, I say, yes, we do have a national language, it’s called ENGLISH. Learn to speak it when you come here. That’s MHO anyway.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Sorry Judy, but Mathius is correct – there is no national language here.

            • Nope, sorry.

              Maybe I missed something, but can you point me to the part of the Constitution that says English is the national language?

              In ye olden days, when the English (Saxons) would take over new territories, they would prohibit use of the vanquished language. In this way, the people were forced to assimilate. Does this sound right to you?

              • Mathius

                We have a National language.

                We do not have a Government dictated language.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Well, that’s what I was taught when I went to school anyway. If I’m wrong, then I apologize.

                And no, maybe it’s not the same now as it was back then, but what’s wrong with them applying for legal citizenship and going through the proper channels like some do? What makes them think it’s okay to come here and expect to automatically be legal?

                Let me tell you about my cousin and her husband. They have lived in Mexico now for 10 years. When they moved there, they had to live there for 5 years before applying for Mexican citizenship, they couldn’t work, but they could own a business,now for what I understand, they are citizens because they went through the proper channels. All I’m saying is, why can’t anybody who comes here do it the right way? Doesn’t matter where they come from either.

                My mother’s parent’s came here from Poland, went through Ellis Island, my husbands father came here from Italy, went through Ellis Island, yes, I know it’s closed now, but if you want to become a U.S. citizen, all I’m saying is, do it the right way, don’t expect to automatically become one and expect everything to be handed to you.

              • Judy

                Those who come here don’t expect anything to be “handed to them”. They don’t expect to become automatically “legal” as in legal citizen.

                You ignore the primary question which is WHY should there be restrictions on these people in the first place.

                Regarding what other country’s do is not relevant to doing the morally proper thing here.

                If things were as they should be there would be no restrictions to anyone coming here, except the criminals. And even some of those might get in because a criminal in Russia might be a Patriot in the USA.

                There is nothing wrong with them applying. The point is that the USA doesn’t allow them to apply because we greatly restrict how many and what kind can get in. This creates a criminal class of those who come in anyway.

              • We’re failing at restricting the numbers

              • Anita

                I think the Govt has restricted the numbers to just about what it wants.

                I am willing to bet they look at the combined legal and illegal numbers in deciding what their action on the border is going to be.

                I also think that our perception of just how big a problem this has been is being driven by certain folks with ulterior motives.

                I do have concern for the Mexican nationalist movement in the USA. But that again is part of the political agenda of those who control the media on this issue.

                We are being played.

              • You guys are slapping D13’s efforts right down by justifying everything. Why is D13 on the boarder?

              • Anita

                I am not slapping down D13’s efforts. But the reality is that the “need” for his efforts are created by laws created by our govt.

                Laws that make little sense given a foundational principle of freedom and liberty. The one with unalienable rights for all men.

                If we did not have the drug laws how much of the Colonels problem would disappear?

                There has been massive movement of people back and forth across both borders on a daily basis for generations.

                Yet no one is asking why this has suddenly become such a problem with the criminal elements.

                If we want freedom we must live by the principles that support freedom.

              • Thanks, JAC.. I thought I was all by myself in this one..

              • I am only an honorary pirate but on this one we stand united.

                That is why the villagers in Black Flag’s land are willing to sit and drink with me when I visit.

                They are equally welcome in the land of VDLG.

              • You’ll be welcome to sail on my crew any time. The jib is yours.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Why shouldn’t there be restrictions? Then if that’s the case, then why even have any boarder patrols then, just let anybody and everybody in without question.

                I’m not blaming them for wanting to come here and make a better life for them self and their families, heck, who wouldn’t, this is a great country, all I’m saying is, do it the right way.

              • Judy

                That is the point. There should not be any restrictions.

                The only issue is how to separate the criminal element.

                Do we try to stop at the border or do we let them in and dispose of them once they commit a crime here?

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                JAC

                Even if they come in the right way, that’s not going to stop them from becoming a criminal or doing criminal acts.

                Just how are they going to know who is a criminal or not when and if they are let in?

                I don’t think anybody would know that until a crime has been committed.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                JAC or anybody for that matter

                Let me ask you this then. Should those who came here illegally be given amnesty? Should they be allowed to live and work here legally even though they didn’t come here legally? Should they be given the same rights as to those were born here?

              • Judy

                they be given the same rights as to those were born her

                You have no right to give rights

                They have rights because they are human.

                Therefore, it does not matter where they are born.

            • D13: Could you please explain what you are doing on the boarder and why?

              • JAC and Matt, I’m curious what you think the purpose of the boarder patrol is? And is it working. Why or why not?

              • Anita

                Truth?

                The purpose of the Border Patrol is to stop just enough people from sneaking in to mollify the American People just enough so that they will continue to vote for the D or R depending on their loyalty.

                It is working because everyone is voting for the same old assclowns.

                It is working because most of us don’t realize how we are being played. Both sides of the issue, conservative and liberal.

                What is going on at the border is the result of a combination of actions that lead to this type of behavior. Namely the criminal elements.

                All things are connected in the circle of life, my dear Anita.

                Do not fret over the what is happening. Place your action in what should be happening.

                At the base level, what is wrong with an open door policy? Assume that the welfare has been replaced with personal savings and charity. Now what is truly wrong with freedom seeking humans being able to come here to live and work?

              • In the perfect world there is no problem. We’re far from perfect. We have sky high uneployment as it is? The govt is tying the hand of business every chance they can. The prisons are full of illegals. How did they get in there? By being good and working every day. No.Yes they are full of legals too, which we pay for. Create a some jobs for them to take first.

              • Anita,

                Do you really believe unemployment is due to immigration?

                Do you believe Americans want to clean toilets when there is lots of government money that pays more for staying home?

              • I never said that BF. We cannot just jump from here to no govt. At some point you have to start chipping away at problems. You cannot in reality expect to just shut down govt today. So where does the chipping begin in today’s reality. You guys shut down every avenue so as not to offend. Please. I’m offended that nothing is happening to get us moving forward somehow.

              • Anita,

                My point: Don’t blame immigrants.

                —-
                Other point:

                You cannot improve a situation by making it worse.

                ——
                Next point:

                What do you believe you (or anyone) can do that is effective?

                I’ve posted numerous times that there is NOTHING you can do that is effective in the federal sphere. So why waste energy here?

                If you want to do something, do something local.

              • Yes maam. I am there as a consultant with the Department of Defense. My job is to be a liason between the Federal offices (civilian) and the Texas National Guard (military but run by the state). The Federal government does not have jurisdiction of the National Guard unless the guard is activated. The State National Guard is under the command of its various governors. So, as a liason and consultant, it keeps the law from being violated.

                The top crimes on the border, in order, are (1) drugs, (2) human trafficking (not coyotes), (3) gun running, and (4) illegal immigrants.

                The problem with the illegals (setting side the huge economic drain) is that they are inundated with the first three. One does not exist without the other.

                The other problems resonate with the five “families” that are trying to control the border. Therein lies a significant problem. The Mexican Army is bought and paid for as are the Federales (National Police) as are the local authorities on the Mexican side. I am quite sure some of our locals have been bought off as well.

                So, it is a war zone with our economy caught in the middle and the citizens of Texas and the US. My job…well…I think I am supposed to don some type of cape and be a super hero but it is nigh to impossible without Draconian measures…and throwing the doors wide will only exacerbate the problem…but I will point that out in my article.

                You can argue all day about how unjust our laws might be and how “free men” who are not violent have rights etc etc….that does not change the fact that we have laws. Period. They are there. Go by them or change them. In the meantime, our ranchers WERE suffering…not now. Remember that the Texas border is over 90% privately owned. We have the right to protect private property…and I do not give a tinkers damn about the poor Mexican that crosses the border in search of work….if he climbs my fence, kills my cattle for food, breaks into my house for water and to steal clothes…..he is a thief. Period. Bang!
                Harsh but true.

              • D13,

                I always smirk at those that say:

                “We have dogs, soldiers, cops and heavy weapons – and if we didn’t there would be more violence on our border”!!

                No, D13 – it is because it is militarized is the cause of the violence.

                The American armed presence ups the stakes – and only those the most desperate and will to use violence are the ones who attempt.

              • Sorry BF… We already tried the no patrol approach and no Army and no immigration. End result was more violence than now. We are actually curbing the violence…deaths at the Texas border are beginning to decrease because we are shooting back.

                What is upsetting me the most is the human trafficking at the border….I though we were past that…meaning humanity. Used to be, as a tourist, we could go to the border towns and buy goods. We would go on dove hunting trips into Mexico along the border. You cannot anymore. No more hunting trips..no more fishing excursions…barely can raft the Rio Grande in the Rio Grande area due to Mexican bandits and snipers. A man cannot take his family to Nuevo Laredo with out getting them kidnapped. The tourist areas on the border are drying up and the hotels are empty. Even during this Spring Break, there is a warning out to stay away from Padre Island due to the kidnappings…

                Nothing will stop this except to meet it head on..ignoring it will make it worse and has.

              • Thanks for your input D13. These guys had me all fired up at the time. I’m still standing my ground and now you helped me stick to my guns. Don’t let em past ya down there 🙂

          • All they had to do was get here. Ride a boat into the harbor and you’re now a citizen. Land at Ellis Island, stand in line for a few hours (pass a few tests, change your name), and you’re in.

            Not exactly the same thing.

            • Mathius,

              That was when the country NEEDED to grow it’s population. People were counted and documented as they entered.

              It is different now. What is happening now is not immigration, it is an invasion, taking advantage of our good nature and patience, and our corrupt government.

              It is also what I have been calling for sometime a “shifting of the wealth” which I consider different than “redistributing the wealth”, in that corporations are the recipients of cheap labor with the true cost of that labor shifted to taxpayers in a multitude of ways.

              The government has looked the other way for whatever reasons, which I assume are many, including cheap labor / increased profits for the corporate buddies of our politicians.

              • Dee

                So if these workers could come and go as they please and contributed to their own support while here, just what would be the cost of their labor that is hidden to us?

                Immigration, even in large numbers, is NOT invasion.

                Who are you or anyone else to decide what is “NEEDED” to grow?

                Once you take on that authority you give someone else the same authority to use against you. You are caught in the conservative/liberal dilemma.

                To use Govt to carry out your purpose gives your opponent the power to use govt for his purpose. In the end you will destroy each other and the rest of us.

                There is nothing to fear from free immigration. We just need to keep out those known to be a danger to us.

              • JAC,

                Your key words are “contributed to their own support”. Contributed? Tell me who is “contributing” the balance of that support.

              • Dee

                I am talking about the entire system.

                It is all connected.

                If there is no welfare then they will be supporting themselves.

                If they can’t then they have the same access to charity as anyone else.

                You assume that the number currently being helped by our tax dollar is significant. The problem is that while that may be true in a specific location it is not true in the big picture.

                The total number on welfare is the bigger picture, and that included the businesses being subsidized by us through the govt.

              • JAC,

                In your philosophical utopia, your thinking this way, right?

                In reality if we completely open the borders, how do you propose to keep out the “bad” guys, when we can’t do it now?

                Is this your path to anarchy, leading to no government?

                Just trying to understand where you are coming from.

              • Dee

                I am not building a path to anarchy, although I hold out hope that mankind may some day achieve it.

                I am trying to move us back to the foundational principles on which this country was founded. All men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights………

                So what do we do about now? The arguments against free immigration are tied primarily to concerns over cost to our system. Namely Welfare programs.

                But Welfare is antithetical to our founding principles and needs to be eliminated for that reason. If eliminated all but one argument disappears from the migration issue.

                That is the criminal element or those carrying contagious disease. This was the purpose of the Ellis Island experience in the first place. Disease.

                We can still do screening. Those who wish to come in can come through the front door. They will know they are welcome so there is no reason to hire Coyote’s to run them across.

                Those caught sneaking in will be sent back just as now. I am guessing that number will be very low and consist primarily of the seriously ill and criminal types who don’t want to go through the screening.

                We can never keep out all the bad guys. But for the most part, the bad guys are linked to our laws on criminalizing drugs that probably should be criminalized. Such as cocaine and pot.

                I think we can improve the situation in the short term by eliminating phony quotas and focusing on screening of those who come in.

                D13 and others are working on the criminal elements.

                But in the end, we need to address the underlying rot in the country so that we can kick open the doors, so to speak. Leaving the screen door in place.

                Does that make sense?

          • Judy,

            Answer this:

            Because a man stole my wallet, I demand that you have your wallet stolen before you can buy an apple.

            Does that sentence make any sense to you?

            So if it does not, why do you claim that another non-violent man needs to be punished because it happened that your grandparents got punished?

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Yes, that sentence makes sense, but what makes you say they are being punished? I don’t understand that. How do you figure my grandparents were punished because of the way they came here.

              Then why immigration laws at all? Why not just let all those who want to come, come without any questions or problems. Why go through all the legality?

              • Judy,

                Exactly. Why have immigration laws at all?

                (1) We do have the collective right to prevent those that carry communicable diseases to be stopped. There is a Clear and Present Danger, and as such proactive action is justified.

                Can you think of something else?

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                No, I can’t

              • Bottom Line says:

                BF – “(1) We do have the collective right to prevent those that carry communicable diseases to be stopped. There is a Clear and Present Danger, and as such proactive action is justified”

                But what about those “imaginary lines”, Mr. Flag?

                You DO remember “imaginary lines” don’t you?

              • What is the point, Bottom Line?

              • Bottom Line says:

                My point Sir, is this…

                Using the premise that a threat justifies action, I can argue that action must be taken to prevent the numerous dangers presented by illegals.

                Communicable diseases are just one way they are a danger to American society.

                Geo-political boundaries(Lines)are quite real and most relevant.

                🙂

              • Bottom,

                An unhealthy man finds it hard to work

                I am not worried about the health of those that come to work.

              • Judy

                Yes, why do we need immigration laws at all?

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Okay, there you got me. Why do they have them then?

                BYW, not arguing with any here, just merely asking questions.

        • Mathius

          I see you HAVE been paying attention these last few months. If only it were truly you.

          One clarification.

          The govt does NOT have the right in this country. That concept is a hold over from the old’n days and other forms of govt.

          The govt has the POWER because the people either granted it, or didn’t bitch when it was assumed.

          If national soveriegnty exists then nations should be allowed to decide who comes and stays. But in my desired society the rules would be very minimal.

          Here is one reality we must deal with. If we had NO rules, or very relaxed rules, we would be overrun by those seeking a better life. We could collapse under the wave. So where is the limit? I don’t know but probably higher than it is now. In fact immigrants are the only reason our population is still growing. Perhaps it should be higher.

          Most of what you say is true. But remember we must first unravel this house of sticks. If pull the wrong stick or place one in the wrong place the whole thing could collapse on top of us.

          Our system should be easy and simple. Only complex enough to keep out the true riff raff.

          I assume you realize the problem D13 describes is tied to the Drug and Human Trafficking trades conducted by the Crime bosses south of the border.

          All things are connected in the circle of life.

          Good day mate.
          JAC

          • Oddly enough, JAC, my boy, this is the real me on this subject.

            I would say human trafficers are true riff-raff that should be kept out, oh, but how without trampling the rights of the millions of innocents?

            • Mathius

              Yet you do not see the contradiction that exists between the foundation of your view on immigration and the foundation that supports your other views.

              Dangerous my young pirate apprentice. Very dangerous.

              And yes, the trick is figuring out how to deal with the riff raff without hurting the innocent.

              Perhaps we let them in and then let the Texicans deal with them. We could voluntarily send the Texicans some money to compensate for their protecting us.

              Does the real you recognize the danger in just throwing open the doors before we fix some other fundamental problems?

              There is also a REAL issue regarding culture. And I don’t mean what most folks think culture is. I am talking the basic cultural concept of freedom and liberty, that made America different.

              If the flood is dominated by those seeking fortune or an easier life and not freedom then you could destroy freedom in the process.

              We did not have our massive welfare system in place when the other large waves came on shore. Imagine what could happen if all the current and proposed programs were in place and 5 to 10 million extra low income wage earners showed up each year.

              It is a balancing act for sure. Do you have any suggestions on how to balance in the middle without scewering yourself?

              • I’ll ignore the condescension.

                I’ll also ignore the fact that you referred to me as Mathius (the bleeding heart liberal) rather than Dread Pirate Mathius (the stalwart Darwinian Libertarian).

                Does the real you recognize the danger in just throwing open the doors before we fix some other fundamental problems? Yes. I do not advocate for just throwing open the doors. I would advocate mainly for increasing the quota at a quick and accelerating pace and simplifying and relaxing restrictions until they approach where you want to be. All at once would wreak havoc – I am willing to temporarily yield my principles slightly in deference to practical concerns..

                If the flood is dominated by those seeking fortune or an easier life I should hope it is. I want them to come hungry for the good life. Immigrants built this country with that dream. They innovate. They work hard – far harder than most Americans. They will demand goods and services which will revamp the US economy better than anything you can imagine. Among them could be the next Einstein, and children who are the next Mozart. Remember, even the great Dread Pirate Mathius is the great-grandson of immigrants.

                what could happen if all the current and proposed programs were in place and 5 to 10 million extra low income wage earners showed up each year. The system would collapse under its own weight. But you and I both know it needs substantial revision. Fix it first then open the doors, or open the doors and let that be the catalyst for fixing it – either way is fine by me.

                Do you have any suggestions on how to balance in the middle without screwing yourself? Nope, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But that which is right is rarely easy.

                give me your tired your poor your huddled masses

              • Mathius

                It looks like we are in agreement. When I said looking for fortune only I meant those who would seek handouts or those who would wish to use a socialist system to their advantage.

                My paranoia about the left using this to take over the country by slight of hand. Pirate or not, I have my eye on you.

                I was not condescending in the least. One of the two of you, or both are living a contradiction. A dangerous thing to do.

                By the way I said SCEWERING not screwing. Guess I should have used the K instead. Har har har….

                Don’t forget the rest of that poem. A lot more to it.

                Later mate
                JAC

              • aarrrggh..

        • Do you decide who lives in your house or can anyone move in at any time? Why is it different on a personal level than on a national level?

          We have immigration laws. We are a country of laws. Follow them or don’t come. It is that simple. Should we make immigration easier and raise the quotas? Probably since that is our primary mode of growth. That does not mean we ignore our own laws.

          Do you have the right to cross into Mexico and live there? Do you have the right to cross into Canada and live there? No not without stopping first at immigration. So if you can not immigrate freely to another country, why should the others be free to come here without recourse?

          I do not buy your liberal concept that they are just people. A million man army in uniform is just people too. We would not permit them to cross the border without a fight.

          • T-Ray

            “So if you can not immigrate freely to another country, why should the others be free to come here without recourse? ”

            Because we ARE DIFFERENT, or at least we are supposed to be.

            We should be a nation of laws. It is the laws that are the problem not the concept of law abiding.

            Our immigration laws are the result of a nation increasingly constrained by a Govt driven by the need to control us more and more. They reflect the phobias and fears of the various groups who grab the reigns of power, on both sides.

            You know there is a difference between a million civilians and a million man army.

            I submit that the problems many have with mass immigration has more to do with the strains it puts on an already strained economy, which is itself the result of over reaching government. Eliminate the primary disease and the immigration issue would not be of much importance.

            We need to be careful here that we are trying to protect the right things in our concern for immigration. That is the protection of a nation founded on freedom, liberty and justice for all.

            Not just a nation of European descendants.

            Good to see you out in the daylight T Ray.
            Has it stopped raining down yonder?

            JAC

            • Had to take the wife to the docs today so am home. About to go out and see it the rototiller will fire up after many years of disuse. I thought I would try to fee the deers again.

              Re: Immigration, I said the laws need reformed and quotas increased, but a totally open border policy I think would ultimately hurt more than help.

              • T-Ray

                In what ways do you see Open Borders as potentially harmful?

                Other than the impact to welfare programs. Assume we took care of that with the saving accounts and charity.

              • Basically our borders were open in the 18th century. We welcomed nearly everyone. All they had to do was show up, go through immigration, be healthy, and move in. However, there were physical restrictions on this migration. The route from Europe and Asia was via the sea. Only so many boats and births available. Also, it cost money to come, often much of the immigrant’s life savings. This limited the totals flow. The Irish came in large numbers because Britain often paid the passage.

                At that time we had active homesteading and lots of land available. Even then, many settled in the east coast cities because they did not have the train fare inland. As result, we got the slums and sweatshops NYC and others were famous for.

                Today, the influx is over land. The trip is much easier and cheaper. Large tracts of land are no longer available. Without restrictions, the flow would go up significantly, triple or higher. This will put a massive burden on social services, schools, housing, etc. These people are industrious but dirt poor. It think we would have tremendous difficulty assimulating them. They will as most immigrant groups do, congregate together. However, the huge numbers will mean they will retain their language and customs and will take much longer to assimulate to American customs and our domiment and universal language, English.
                Racial tensions will increase which will further divide us. This will be exploited by greedy politicians. Already there is a separatist movement. I have predicted that within the next 50 years, this will grow to the point that a UN sponsored plebescite will be demanded to separate the SW as an independent country or to reunite it with Mexico.
                Yes JAC, we are different, but those differences are already fading. Unrestrained immigration will just accelerate that process.

          • Do you decide who lives in your house or can anyone move in at any time? Why is it different on a personal level than on a national level?

            Because I do not tell you that you cannot let a certain person move into your home and expect you not to tell me my own business either.

            If I travel a broad and make some friends in New Zealand and they want to move here and I want to rent them out my basement while they look for a job and a place to live on a more permanent basis (or go even further, say I sell them a second home I have lying around) who are you to tell me otherwise?

            Today, the influx is over land. The trip is much easier and cheaper. Large tracts of land are no longer available. Without restrictions, the flow would go up significantly, triple or higher. This will put a massive burden on social services, schools, housing, etc. These people are industrious but dirt poor.

            1) There’s still plenty of land available. Outside of the coasts most of the country is still empty. We could fit multiple billions of people with the population density of somewhere like China or India or even Japan.

            2) Social services are mostly unsustainable as is, arguing that this would make that “more” so is not really an argument. And in what way is housing a social service?

            3) Land is cheap outside the major cities. A massive influx of “poor” people will congregate in cheap housing that spreads the costs out among multiple families, and the rising demand for such cheap housing will naturally create such complexes (assuming the government doesn’t step in with subsidized housing again, anyway).

            General rule of thumb – more people increases the overall productivity of a society. You might have a greater labor supply which could lead to reduced wages (minimum wage laws aside, anyway) but you would also have cheaper and greater quantity and variety of goods. One of the biggest booms we had was when we “allowed” women into the workforce, nearly doubling its size.

    • USWeapon says:

      I do think it would be a good article. I would certainly be interested in discussing the topic. I am very torn on immigration these days, which is why I haven’t yet written about it exclusively. I am still trying to figure out where I fall. But I like the stuff you have talked about on this subject previously.

      • USW

        I knew it. Your just a damn closet racist!

        The fact you haven’t made up your mind is proof….you can not refute it.

        OTFLMAO……..ouch my side hurts!!

      • USW & D13

        I too agree that this would be a good article. D13 would be the perfect author, as he is on the front lines and has a much clearer perspective. I also think that immigration, legal or not, is more a localized issue today. In my hometown, it’s a non-issue, but in other towns it’s a big issue. The media don’t help with all their BS hype. But it would be a good topic, if for me, no other reason than to extract the emotional side, and deal with it logically.

        Hope you two had a good day! 🙂

        G!

      • Ok….then with your permission, I will write a guest article and send it to you for approval. I have all the statistics of the impact on taxes, costs, crime, violent crime, destruction of personal property at the border, drugs, guns, and human trafficking. Most people do not know what is going on down here on realistic level…especially human trafficking that is on the rise as a direct result of open borders. They are stuck in philosophy and feeling sorry for folks and over look the obvious. It is an election issue here (in Texas) as I am sure it is in New Mexico, Arizona, and California. I will additionally deal with the impact on real estate, the problems of TB, Polio, Chicken Pox, Plague, and other ailments that are once again on the rise down here. However, since my area of expertise lies only with consulting on the Texas/New Mexico border areas, this is where I will limit my article. I cannot speak to the Arizona and California borders.

        I will also speak to the written and oral instructions from the Obama administration that deals with censoring of news from this area up to an including the threatening of revocation of Officers commissions in the military and the firing of government employees for divulging what should be common knowledge.

        If this is acceptable, then I will move forward.

    • A must see video to understand the immigration issue.

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4094926727128068265#

  25. Buck The Wala says:

    T-Ray, a few points:

    1) As for those insurance companies settling claims – this reflects a cost-benefits analysis conducted by the insurance company. It in no way signifies that the underlying claim itself was frivolous. Are some cases frivolous and wind up settling to avoid the legal costs? Sure. But I honestly don’t believe this is as pervasive a problem as you believe.

    2) Yes, you have attorneys abusing the system. But again, this is not the chronic epidemic you make it out to be. Concerning the anecdote you provided, I am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the ADA, and yes it is a bit disgusting that some attorneys are purposefully driving around disabled ‘plaintiffs’ just to bring a claim. However, assuming the wineries are actually in violation of the ADA…you get where I’m going with this. By the way, I don’t mean to give those attorneys a free pass, there could be some serious ethical issues here.

    3) You worry less about that rare case where a valid claim is not brought due to fear and more about the number of cases that should never have been brought in the first place. Reminds me of a famous quote (cannot remember who said it at the moment) — “I would rather ten guilty men go free than to have one innocent man convicted and sent to prison”. Similarly, I would worry much much more about establishing any fear of being subject to punishment for bringing a suit due to a jury finding of frivolity.

    4) How do you define a frivolous case? It seems we may have very different definitions here. You are asking for the judge and jury to decide frivolity after finding in favor of the defendant. This would be after the trial. After the plaintiff surviving a motion to dismiss, a motion for summary judgment, etc. If the plaintiff’s claim survives all of these motions then in all probability it had laid out a prima facie case. You fear ‘runaway juries’ awarding outrageous sums. I would fear ‘runaway juries’ punishing plaintiff’s because they feel the case is frivolous when it clearly is not.

    • http://www.insurecast.com/html/lawsuit_costs.asp

      Lawsuit Costs

      The costs of our country’s civil justice system have increased by a factor of 100 since 1950. The societal costs of tort actions now equal a 5% tax on wages in the U.S.

      So says Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of London, which helps provide capacity for commercial insurance policies in the United States and around the world. “The U.S. litigation system, if left unchecked, will destroy the American spirit of enterprise and drain the U.S. economy,” warned Levene.

      “We need to strike a balance so that individuals do have a means of redress and risk-takers have a safety net should things go wrong but aren’t dragged into court at the most inconsequential slip,” Levene said, urging Congress to find this balance and act against the awarding of excessive damages.

      He added that lawsuit abuse “strikes at the very heart of the American spirit for enterprise. We now have a system in which doctors can’t deliver babies for fear of being sued and can’t afford to pay for the insurance coverage. In such an environment, what hope is there to keep the spirit of risk-taking alive, to fuel the appetite for innovation and creation?”

      • Buck The Wala says:

        The bigger problem in my opinion is the litigious nature of our society. It is not the ease of access to the courtroom.

        I am fine with imposing SOME procedural hurdles, but nothing that could have the impact of limiting people’s access.

    • 1) I think it far more pervasive than you think it is. It includes the individual that has a car accident and goes to his lawyer, then to the lawyer recommended doctor. I think the vast majority of suits are settled out of court just to avoid the costs. Merit has nothing to do with at this point. These kinds of shakedowns are pure legalized theft.

      2) Re: ADA, I think some businesses should be able to say handicapped not provided for without fear of suit. Circumstances do not always permit handicapped access. The above mentioned lawyer visited a café in Sacramento called the SqueezeInn. It was a narrow long room with just enough width for a counter, stools and a barely accessible aisle. It was openned in 1930 and was a popular lunch place but was definitely not wheelchair accessible. The owner had to close the facility and reopen at another location (today) at great expense and without the ambiance that made the place popular. His formerly thriving business remains at risk. Did I mention, he had an outdoor patio in the rear that was wheelchair accessible. Yes this is one story out of many suits but it has been repeated many times in this area.

      3) Why shouldn’t the plaintiff and his lawyer be subject to punishment if the case they present is frivolous or purely done to shake down the defendent. Yes the defendent can countersue. What I am saying is simplify this process and make it automatic. The judge and jury who just heard the case, have it fresh in their minds are probably the best ones to determine if the case should have been brought in the first place. If it was a waste of their time, then the plaintiff should pay damages to the defendent.

      4)I think the above mentioned case is a very good example. Even though the letter of the law sides with the plaintiff, the case should be thrown out in my opinion. While I think that the ADA law has merit, there are limits to where a handicapped person can or should be able to go. And there are limits on how far one should go or spend to accomodate them. As I mentioned, in the building I have worked in for the last 4 years, they just spent thousands to rebuild the wheelchair access to a 30 year old building. The old access was perfectly fine but did not meet the letter of the building codes. In the last 4 years, the only person to use it was my wife for a grand total of 2 visits. Instead, I have suffered through a summer without A/C and most of a winter without heat in my office.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        T-Ray,

        Based on your own admission, in both examples you cited, the defendant was in violation of the law and the case did have merit. Why then should that suit be labelled frivolous in any way? Why should a plaintiff bringing such a case have to fear a jury will impose sanctions on him for deciding the case is frivolous?

        Do some cases which would in all probability be thrown out settle out of court? Sure, but I have a feeling that’s a smaller number than you think. It doesn’t cost much for a defendant to hire an attorney to prepare a quick motion to dismiss; if that fails they can always settle. Hiring an attorney and going to trial – and winning the case – can also serve as a deterrent to future ‘frivolous plaintiffs’ from bringing a claim.

        • Have you ever been involved in a small family owned business? Lawyers are not cheap. They can consume in a very short time the a substantial percentage of the annual profits of such a business. The law has loop holes for grandfathering older structures and for other hardships. But you need to make it to a judge or jury to determine this. By that time the defendent is bankrupt, hence the upfront out of court settlement because it is cheaper. Who’s rights are being violated? The plaintiff is suing because of embarassment. Does this trump the owner’s right to a living? Even if it goes to trial, the owner losses. His only recourse is to counter sue and that is a crap shoot.

          I once heard of a case where a doctor found a cancerous growth on a woman’s face. Since the woman was poor, the he removed the growth for nothing. She sued because it left a scare and the doctor had not advise her of that fact before the surgery. How does one get to adulthood without knowing that cuts leave scars? How can one be so unappreciative when a doctor performs a potentially life saving procedure for gratis? Why and how does this get to court? It did. How many such cases are settled out of court because the insurance company does not want to spend money defending the case? Most of the cases are buried due to secrecy agreements on settlement. The following year, the insurance company just raises their rates. If there was the opportunity to recoup losses, would the insurance companies take the risk of going to trial?

          Lawyers protect themselves, just like doctors, behind their own “ethics” panels. Both groups are not very good at weeding out the bad apples.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Given your anecdotes, how would your plan do anything to alleviate your perceived problem? Even with the possibility of bringing an automatic countersuit to determine the frivolity of the suit, resulting in plaintiff and attorney paying defendant, wouldn’t companies still pay to settle to avoid having to go through the entire process to begin with?

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Also, your anecdotes are very short on facts.

            How big of a scar? Multiple scars? Impairment of any faculties? Did the Doctor perform the operating negligently? Did the Doctor follow all protocols? etc. etc. etc.

            What sounds like a frivolous case at first blush usually has some additional unknown facts.

            Maybe the woman should have been more thankful for the Doctor’s pro bono service and not sued, despite having a valid claim. This goes back to my issue of living in a litigious society where everyone just automatically wants to sue.

  26. Can anyone please tell me why the Department of Education would require even ONE shotgun?

    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cb68cf9f3fa2fe18a83d1c3dee0039b2&tab=core&_cview=0

    EDOOIG-10-000004 Notice Type:
    Combined Synopsis/Solicitation Synopsis:
    Added: Mar 08, 2010 10:39 am
    The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14″ – PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT – XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID – 14″ LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
    The required date of delivery is March 22, 2010.
    Interested sources must submit detailed technical capabilities and any other information that demonstrates their ability to meet the requirements above, no later than March 12, 2010 at 12 PM, E.S.T. Any quotes must be submitted electronically to the attention of Holly.Le@ed.gov, Contract Specialist (Contract Operations Group), with a concurrent copy to Sherese.Lewis@ed.gov, Contracting Officer (Contract Operations Group).
    The following clauses are applicable to this requirement:

    52-212-1 Instruction to Offerors – Commercial Items
    52.212-2 Evaluation – Commercial Items
    52.212-3 Offeror Representations and Certifications – Commercial Items
    52.212-4 Contract Terms and Conditions – Commercial Items
    52.212-5 Contract Terms and Conditions Required Implementing Statutes or Executive Orders – Commercial Items

    In accordance with 52.212-2, the fill-in applicable to this requirement is below:
    52.212-2 Evaluation-Commercial Items.
    As prescribed in 12.301(c), the Contracting Officer may insert a provision substantially as follows:
    Evaluation-Commercial Items (Jan 1999)
    (a) The Government will award a contract resulting from this solicitation to the responsible offeror whose offer conforming to the solicitation will be most advantageous to the Government, price and other factors considered. The following factors shall be used to evaluate offers:
    (i) Technical Capability
    (ii) Price
    In accordance with 52.212-5, the following clauses are applicable to this requirement:
    52.225-1 Buy American Act – Supplies (February 2009)
    52.232-33, Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer-Central

    New equipment only; no remanufactured products. No partial shipments
    Offer must be good for 30 calendar days after submission.
    Offerors must have current Central Contractor Registration (CCR) at the time offer is submitted. Information can be found at http://www.ccr.gov.
    This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items. The Government will award a commercial item purchase order to the offeror with the most advantageous offer to the government. All offerors must submit their best price and delivery capabilities.

    Place of Delivery:
    U.S. Department of Education
    Office of Inspector General
    c/o: Gary Pawlak, Special Agent
    500 West Madison Street – Suite 1414
    Chicago, IL 60661

    • I’m just picturing a kindergartner firing a 12-gauge…

    • Cyndi,

      That is very interesting, did you notice delivery is to Chicago, where they are having a 2nd amendment conflict?

      • I noticed the Chicago aspect, but didn’t consider the 2nd Ammendment conflict. Still, the Dept of Ed is part of Dear Reader’s dominon and which is against private citizens having weapons. So, why is the Dept of Ed buying guns? Are they going to offer target shooting with shotguns, rather than rifles, in the public schools? How many weapons does the department already have? Why do they even need a single gun? This STINKS……

        • Cyndi,

          Have you considered calling them and asking them why they are buying guns?

        • Here’s another one for you, Cyndi,

          “Solicitation Number: TIRWR-10-Q-00023
          Agency: Department of the Treasury
          Office: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
          Location: Field Operations Branch Western (OS:A:P:B:W)

          The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division. The Remington parkerized shotguns, with fourteen inch barrel, modified choke, Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight and XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock, and Speedfeed ribbed black forend, are designated as the only shotguns authorized for IRS duty based on compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory, certified armorer and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.

          Submit quotes including 11% Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) and shipping to Washington DC.”

          • I’ve already seen that one. I think EPA bought some too. Nothing like armed government enforcement agencies…..

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/us/14explorers.html

      They have a training program for Explorer Scouts, don’t know if this is related. The 14″ barrel is not suitable for skeet or target shooting.
      This is a police/military design used for home entry, short range shooting.
      28″ is typical for hunting and target shooting.

    • Cyndi,

      Fox News Channel just questioned this issue. Maybe there will be an answer, I hope they follow up on this.

      • Thanks.

        BTW, after 45 minutes I still couldn’t get that google video. I hate dial up….

  27. Re; Criminal Immigrants.

    I refer to this lesson.

    Gen. Custer attacked a camp purposely because he thought it was full of women and children. He wanted to destroy the heart of the Sioux by killing their families.

    Of course, we know he ran into the warriors instead.

    Sitting Bull retreated into Canada. He was an “American criminal”.

    What did Canada do?

    Canada sent two – just two – Northwest Mounted Police to Sitting Bull. He had just slaughter the 7th Cav. – but only two NWMP went to see him.

    They rode through the camp packed with 5,000 warriors. They said to Sitting Bull “Do no harm, be peaceful, and Canada has no problem with you staying”. Then the rode out.

    Sitting Bull, during his time in Canada did no harm, and was peaceful.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      My great-great grandfather on my dad’s side married a Sioux woman from the Dakota Nation. Don’t know why, just felt like throwing that in. Wanted to share that.

  28. USWep,

    What article did you post into that you expect a return visit from “liberals”?

  29. Interesting…

    http://mises.org/daily/4164

    Thinking for Oneself
    Mises Daily: Thursday, March 11, 2010 by Leonard Read

    [Chapter 2 of Accent on the Right]

    During the discussion following one of my recent lectures, it occurred to me that the questions fell into a pattern, and that this pattern was the same — whether in Manila, or Boise, or wherever. Each question was based on something the inquirer had heard or read; no questions appeared to stem from a genuine impasse in the person’s own effort to solve a problem. These people were merely repeating questions someone else had raised for them; they weren’t seeking directions by reason of having lost their way for, in fact, they had done no exploration on their own!

    What a fearful thought — if this situation is general: a nation of people, the vast majority of whom do no thinking for themselves in the area of political economy! Positions on matters of the deepest social import formed from nothing more profound than radio, TV, and newspaper commentaries, or casual, off-the-cuff opinions, or the outpourings of popularity seekers!

    The quality and influence of an idea, Ortega saw, was not so much in the idea as in a man’s relation to it. Has he made the idea his own, or merely inherited it? … The man born into a culture confident of its knowledge is in danger of becoming a barbarian.[1]

    Granting the correctness of this gloomy thought, what are the political consequences? And what counsel can you and I offer individuals who are doing no thinking for themselves? So, let’s explore the two significant questions this deplorable situation seems to pose.

    To assess the political consequences, view the American populace as a market. Suppose, for instance, that the consumer tastes in literature have deteriorated until there is demand for pornography only. Pornographic authors and publishers will spring up by the thousands; authors and publishers of ethical, moral, and spiritual works will fade away for lack of a market. Reverse the market situation and assume only highly elevated tastes in literature. Authors and publishers of pornography will then be displaced by authors and publishers of high-grade literature.

    One needs no poll to determine the literary tastes of a people. Merely observe the kind of literature that is gaining in favor and profit. We can infer from this that it is useless to blame commentators, authors, and publishers for purveying trash. They are merely irresponsible responses to the general taste — the market — whatever it is.[2] The market determines who are to be the successful purveyors.

    The Political Climate
    Market demand also determines the kinds of persons who vie with each other for political office.

    Assume a people who do no thinking for themselves. Theirs is a stunted skepticism. Such people only react and are easy prey of the cliché, the plausibility, the shallow promise, the lie. Emotional appeals and pretty words are their only guidelines. The market is made up of no-thinks. Statesmen — men of integrity and intellectual stature — are hopelessly out of demand. When this is the situation, such statesmen will not be found among the politically active.

    And who may we expect to respond to a market where thinking for self is absent? Charlatans! Word mongers! Power seekers! Deception artists! They come out of their obscurity as termites out of a rotten stump; the worst rise to the political top. And when our only choice is “the lesser of two evils,” voting is a sham.

    Now assume a society of persons who do their own thinking and, as a consequence, possess a healthy and intelligent skepticism, persons who cannot be “taken in,” hardheaded students of political economy graced with moral rectitude. The market for charlatans is dead; we are scarcely aware of such people. Instead, we find statesmen of character and integrity vying for political office.

    There is no need for a poll to determine whether original or introspective thinking is declining or rising. Merely keep in mind that whatever shows forth on the political horizon is the response to the market, an echoing or mirroring of the preponderant mode in thinking. When thinking for self is declining, more charlatans and fewer statesmen will vie for office. Look at the political horizon to learn what the thinking is, just as you look at a thermometer to learn what the temperature is. So, blame not the political opportunists for the state of the nation. Our failure to think for ourselves put them there — indeed, brought them into being. For we are the market; they are but the reflections!

    An interesting fact intrudes itself into this analysis: approximately 50 percent of those who do not think for themselves are furious with what they see on the political horizon — which is but their own reflections! And to assuage their discontent they exert vigorous effort to change the reflection from Republican to Democrat, or vice versa. As should be expected, they get no more for their pains than new faces masking mentalities remarkably similar to those unseated. It cannot be otherwise.[3]

    No improving trend on the political horizon is possible except as there is an improvement — quantity and quality — in thinking for self. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that we seriously attend to our thinking. What helpful points can we make?

    The Proper Role of Government
    Given the present situation, where government is recklessly out of bounds and has its hand in practically every aspect of life, the well-informed citizen is expected to know all about everything: how to deliver mail, poverty the world over, giveaways to foreign countries, you name it, are up for public discussion. Most of these so-called national or world problems are of similar origin and nature — each one trying to manage everyone’s business but his own. This hopelessly impossible challenge doubtless accounts in no small measure for so many having “thrown in the sponge” when it comes to thinking for self.

    No person on the face of the earth knows how to make socialism work. And don’t try! Instead, concentrate the thinking on what the principled and proper scope of government really is. This is easily within the realm of any reasonably intelligent person, and is first of all the kind of thinking for self in political economy one should cover.[4] All else — welfare, security, prosperity — is in the realm of the free market: you to your affairs, me to mine.

    The Individual’s Role
    Most individuals who have abandoned thinking for self in matters of political economy are unaware that they thus dry up the source of Creative Wisdom. Such wisdom as society requires does not and cannot exist in any one person, though each of us should be responsible for his own part. Each of us views the world through a tiny aperture. No two apertures, no two views, are identical.

    Your and my disparate wisdoms, such as they are, these minuscule dividends of exercising the introspective faculty, can be likened to two wee candles, each different from the other and each, by itself, barely perceptible. But when all persons with any capabilities in this respect are realizing their potentialities, there is a remarkable wisdom, a Creative Wisdom that can be likened to an overall luminosity, a great light.[5]

    To understand the nature and origin of Creative Wisdom is sufficient to inspire many persons to introspective action.[6] The responsible citizen insists on knowing what is his part and then doing it.

    There are obstacles, of course, on this path to wisdom. One is a lack of faith in an overall wisdom representing a coalescence of tiny bits of individual understanding. There are numerous reasons why it isn’t trusted. Obviously, it cannot be seen with the eye; it can be apprehended only by abstract thinking. Nor have enough people been thinking for self to make an impressive demonstration. Yet, this is the nature of knowledge in society and it behooves each of us to make the best of it.

    Another obstacle is busyness, a consuming preoccupation with housework, children, the job, a business, making a living, or whatever. But these amenities of life are impossible in the absence of a good society, and a good society cannot be developed except through the process of thinking for self. Until such introspection becomes as natural as eating and breathing, there is little prospect for the good life.

    The essential critical faculty cannot be developed when we copycat the questions and conclusions of others. Each to his own thinking! The rule, therefore, is not to take somebody else’s word for it. And to be consistent, what must my counsel be? Don’t take my word for it! Scarcely any self-anointed seer or prophet wants to go that far, but unless he will, write him off as an intellectual authoritarian, a be-like-me god.

    Does this counsel, “Don’t take my word for it,” mean that others should close their minds to my word? Not necessarily. Indeed, one who would think for himself should look not only among his contemporaries but also among his predecessors, even among the ancients, for any bits of wisdom that can be garnered. Take full advantage of one’s environment, experience, and heritage, but let each thoughtfully do his own selecting, evaluating, and reasoning.

    To trust this Creative Wisdom reflects an abiding faith in self and in all free men — really, a faith in the creative process. But don’t take my word for it; think that one through for yourself.

    • That’s what I’ve been saying since day one on SUFA.

      Think for yourself. Do simple into “expertitis” disease and let others do your thinking.

      Too much is at stake.

  30. Cyndi P:

    This one is for you darlin. I have found how they plan to cull the herd. OK that was a joke.

    But thought you all might find this of interest. The govt once again exposed in its full glory.

    This is testimony given to a Montana Legislative Committee holding hearings on natural resource issues in the state.

    March 7, 2010

    Environmental Quality Council

    Re: Followup to March 5th testimony

    From: Gary Marbut, President
    Montana Shooting Sports Association

    Mr. Chairman and Members of the Council:

    There are issues about wolves that were not adequately addressed before the Council on Friday, primarily because of time constraints, and about which I’d like to follow up.

    Wolf diseases and human health risks.

    About Echinococcus Granulosus (EG for short), I felt that the council did not get a good synopsis of this disease. The Council was informed by FWP that 63% of Montana wolves carry this disease, which is transmissible to humans.

    Because this disease has not been well studied, especially concerning the likelihood that this disease has been or will be transmitted to humans, FWP takes the position that it is no big deal. They equate their lack of information with absence of risk – what you don’t know about can’t hurt you, an attitude similar to the people of Haiti about earthquakes a year ago.

    This is a mistake. Council members have been provided recent issues of The Outdoorsman which will generate a more informed view. Let me summarize.

    EG (called “Wolf Worms” by some) is a parasite – a type of tapeworm. In Montana wolves examined there were literally thousands of these tiny tapeworms in the intestine of wolves. These tapeworms produce tens of thousands, maybe millions of microscopic eggs that are expelled in wolf feces. These eggs are viable for long periods of time, depending upon conditions.

    These millions of EG eggs can become airborne or get flushed by rain into moving water. I have been unable to learn if community water treatment processes normally used to purify drinking water will reliably remove or destroy these eggs. That remains an open question.

    What is not open to question is that people who intake these eggs though inhalation or any sort of transport-to-mouth mechanism can develop cysts that may be discovered any time from soon after exposure to as long as 20 years later. Such a long incubation period causes EG to be a nightmarish, untrackable public health risk.

    Therefore, FWP’s position that no public health risk has been demonstrated is simply a case of whistling past the graveyard – denial based on lack of information and wishful thinking (but absolutely typical of FWP’s endless overt downplay of negative wolf impact).

    When EG cysts form in a person, they are VERY difficult to detect. There are serological tests for presence of EG, but these tests have a spotty detection rate. Further, nearly all medical practitioners and diagnosticians are unaware of EG and are unlikely to look for or diagnose presence of EG cysts from non-specific patient complaints.

    EG cysts have an affinity for peoples’ livers, lungs and brain, and sometimes heart. They may grow up to ten or 14 inches in diameter. Usually, there are multiple cysts in the affected organ. These cysts are an encapsulation of the larval form of EG, and one cyst may contain hundreds of these worm larvae. When a person develops EG cysts, that condition is called Hydatid Disease.

    If a diagnostician should luck onto the detection of any such cyst in a patient, the only way to address or remove the cyst is via surgery – cut it out. Because of the risks associated with such surgery, the physician will usually opt to let the cyst grow until it becomes life-threatening before attempting surgical removal. Meanwhile, more such cysts may form in the same or other organs of the patient.

    A physician and pathologist who is a member of MSSA told me that he has seen a death from EG where the patient’s liver was destroyed by EG cysts. A scientific journal reports the potential for heart attacks because critical heart blood supply vessels are blocked by EG cysts. Imagine EG cysts in your brain and being forced to choose between the risks of letting them grow, or surgery to remove them.

    To summarize, 63% of Montana wolves are shedding millions of invisible, microscopic EG eggs across our landscape, eggs that can become airborne or water-borne and persist in the environment. These EG eggs can and do infect people. That is proven. Once infected, a person may develop cysts, up to 20 years later. The cysts will most likely be in the person’s liver, lungs, brain or heart. It is statistically unlikely that medical personnel will detect such cysts in a patient, except upon autopsy. If cysts are detected, the only solution is surgery, which is usually deferred because of the high risks of such surgery, until the risk of death from cysts exceeds the risk of death from surgery.

    But, even that is not the whole story. There is another, similar type of tapeworm carried by wolves that is perhaps less studied and even more dangerous to humans. That is Echinococcus Multilocularis (“EM” for short). The life cycle, transmissibility and consequences of EM are similar to EG, but differ in some important ways.

    Since EM is even less studied than EG, we don’t know how prevalent EM may be in Montana. Further, when a person is infected with EM cysts, those cysts eventually rupture and the infected person dies suddenly from anaphylactic shock. The primary mechanism of death may or may not be detected upon autopsy, which, of course, no longer matters to the deceased.

    Since systematic EG and EM detection and reporting processes do not exist, we simply have no way at present to quantify the public health threat. In the face of this absence of information about EG and EM, FWP assures us that these diseases are no big deal. Instead of stressing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, FWP, with its head firmly in the sand, assures us that there is no problem.

    Other diseases.

    Mange and parvovirus are known to be hammering wolf populations currently. In Yellowstone Park, the chief cause of wolf mortality now is wolves being killed by other wolves. Both of these are obvious signs of overpopulation. The wolf advocates will argue that because wolves are dying from overpopulation we must stop killing wolves, a pretty obvious comment on the quality of rationale’ used by wolf advocates.

    We know that rabies is endemic in other wild animals in Montana, especially in skunks and foxes. With wolves in the overpopulated condition demonstrated by wolf-wolf killing and existing diseases, it is only a matter of time before rabies begins to infect wolves, if it hasn’t already.

    In Will Graves’ book Wolves in Russia, Graves documents that rabies-infected wolves will run for 100 miles or more, deliberately biting and infecting every animal and person it encounters. Stories abound in Russian literature of rabid wolves entering villages and attacking and biting every cow and person not sheltered inside buildings. This is not the bite-kill-eat behavior usual with wolves, but bite, move on and bite again typical of rabies-infected wolves.

    Regardless of the political and ecological debate about wolves, it is a huge mistake to ignore the public health dimension of wolf diseases. Such diseases are real and they are a threat to public health. We don’t know how large the threat is because we lack information to make a determination. However, the potential threat is huge, for the reasons stated. It would be a serious mistake for policy-makers to not take this public health threat seriously until it can be proven otherwise.

    If a homeowner calls 911 to report that an armed intruder is trying to force entry to the home with mayhem in mind, the dispatcher will send armed police immediately to investigate and interdict. The dispatcher will NOT require the homeowner to provide photographs and corroborating statements by five witnesses before dispatching assistance.

    Citizens alerting policy-makers about the threat of wolf diseases to people is analogous to that 911 call. FWP’s dismissal of the alleged problem is like the theoretical dispatcher requiring photographs and witness statements before dispatching assistance. “Prove it,” they are saying. If policy-makers are unwilling to send the public health police, they should at least be honest enough to inform citizens that they are on their own to defend against this threat.

    The wolves are eating each other.
    Sounds a little like Washington D.C. these days doesn’t it?

    LOL
    JAC

    • Hi LOI,

      This sounds alot like the usual fear mongering. I take it that wolves have always had this parasite? If it is such a problem, wouldn’t it be better known?

    • I remember my husband telling me about this disease, or a similar one when he was in parasitology. It was a problem at one time in the western states with some shepherds. The parasite’s life cycle went from sheep to sheep dog. The shepherds got it from their dogs. I’m guessing the shepherds had lot closer relationship with their dogs than people do with wolves, so if you pet any wolves be sure to wash up before lunch.

  31. Judy Sabatini says:

    The Right to Work

    By John Stossel

    Licensing everything from florists to lawyers interferes with the freedom to make a living and harms consumers by limiting competition and protecting established firms.

    The people of Louisiana must sleep soundly knowing that their state protects them from … unlicensed florists.

    That’s right. In Louisiana, you can’t sell flower arrangements unless you have permission from the government. How do you get permission? You must pass a test that is graded by a board of florists who already have licenses. To prepare for the test, you might have to spend $2,000 on a special course.

    The test requires knowledge of techniques that florists rarely use anymore. One question asks the name of the state’s agriculture commissioner — as though you can’t be a good florist without knowing that piece of vital information.

    The licensing board defends its test, claiming it protects consumers from florists who might sell them unhealthy flowers. I understand the established florists’ wish to protect their profession’s reputation, but in practice such licensing laws mainly serve to limit competition. Making it harder for newcomers to open florist shops lets established florists hog the business.

    Other states are considering adopting Louisiana’s licensing law, but before any do, I hope that the law will be stricken. The Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm, has challenged the licensing in court, saying it violates liberty and equal protection, and so is unconstitutional.

    “One of the most fundamental tenets of the American dream is the right to earn an honest living without arbitrary government interference. What could be more arbitrary than saying who can and who cannot sell flowers?” IJ President Chip Mellor says.

    Others states have their own sets of ridiculous licensing rules. In Virginia, you need a license to be a yoga instructor. Florida threatened an interior designer with a $25,000 fine if she didn’t do a six-year apprenticeship and pass a test, at a cost of several thousand dollars. Fortunately, the Institute for Justice got that law overturned.

    I’m rooting for IJ because licensing interferes with the freedom to make a living, harms consumers by limiting competition and protects established firms. By the way, this will be the subject of my Fox Business show on Thursday night.

    It’s an old story. Established businesses have always used government to handcuff competition. Years ago, small grocers tried to ban supermarkets. A&P was going to “destroy Main Street,” the grocers cried. Minnesota legislators responded to their lobbying by passing a law that forbade supermarkets to hold sales. Consumers were hurt.

    OK, while licensing of florists, interior designers and yoga teachers is ridiculous, what about more important professions, like law? Surely people need protection from people who would practice law without a license. Again, I say no. Lawyers’ monopoly on helping people with wills, bankruptcies and divorces is just another expensive restraint of trade.

    David Price recently spent six months in a Kansas jail because he wrote a letter on behalf of a man who was wrongly accused of practicing architecture without a license. When Price refused to promise never to “practice law” again, a judge sent him to jail.

    All he did was write a letter. Price didn’t misrepresent his credentials. However, he did save a man from paying $3,000 to a lawyer. Perhaps that was his real offense.

    Some of the most famous lawyers in American history, including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, had no license from the state. Their customers decided whether they were worthy of being hired.

    Competition is better than government at protecting consumers from shoddy work. Furthermore, licensing creates a false sense of security. Consider this: When you move to a new community, do you ask neighbors or colleagues to recommend doctors, dentists and mechanics even though those jobs are licensed? Of course. Because you know that even with licensing laws, there is a wide range of quality and outright quackery in every occupation. You know that licensing doesn’t really protect you.

    A free competitive market for reputation protects consumers much more effectively than government can. Today, online services like Angie’s List make it even easier for consumers to get better information about businesses than government licensing boards will ever provide. We do need protection from shoddy businesses. But it’s freedom and competition that produce the best protection.

    John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network. He’s the author of “Give Me a Break” and of “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.” To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

  32. Greece rocked by riots as up to 60,000 people take to streets to protest against government

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1257243/Greek-riots-Up-60-000-people-streets-protest-government.html#ixzz0huDoIOlm

    • These people have jobs and are protesting. Imagine what would happen here if welfare is shut down. My town would burn down, without me in it!

    • Black Flag:

      Take a look into your crystal ball.

      What does the next 6 months look like in the USA?

      Are you still purchasing supplies and food or are you set for now?

      • Hey Bro!

        Hope you don’t mind me chiming in 🙂 We have talked about this in the past, I now have the material to build 11 temp structures (ground blinds), roughly 6 x 6, with heavy duty tarps. Waiting for warmer weather to get them in proper colors. Last weekend, Dad and I had to build a small shelving unit to hold the 27 cases of canning jars for this fall, garden gets plowed in a couple weeks (spread weed killer), replow in late May, plant in early to mid June. This year will be big for potatoes, and may expand the garden by a 100 sq ft.

        Yesterday, Dad sent me pics of 11 deer at the salt block, three days in a row they are coming in droves, apparently in need of sodium. We counted eight for sure that were pregnant, that’s a good thing. I can forward a few pics if you’d like.

        My crystal ball says 2012, beginning in late spring, things will go to crap. I may relocate up there by this fall, opportunity knocks!!!

        Glad to here from you, hope you are well and having some luck!

        G!

        • G-Man:

          Had an interview last week and two this week. Just got back from one today. Could end up in Texas, Illinois or MI. Once I know for sure what my future holds, I plan on ramping up preparations.

          I need to learn how to garden and plant like you do. I may start purchasing some canning supplies and start that up again, even if I buy from farmers.

          I made a nice target stand a few weeks ago. Like an H on the ground with wood strips that you set in square steel tubing. Two bolts tighten down on the wood and remove any movement. As soon as the snow melts, I will take it out behind my shed and do some target practice. I finally received my 9mm casings and bullets so I plan on loading around 500 rounds to start and then add more to it. I may just buy a lead melting furnace and molds and make my own bullets. They will not travel as fast as a jacketed round but fast enough.

          If you still have my e-mail, send me the pictures of the deer.

          • I sure wish you luck on finding some work! I wish I knew of some around here, but this place is dying fast. Sent the deer pics! Any gardening help you need, e-mail me and I’ll gather some good stuff to forward, plus some little secrets that help.

            The target stand sounds good, although I would limit the rounds you fire to just keeping sharp, you may need what’s left. I shoot very little these days, I have found that dry firing works just as well at keeping sharp, and you can concentrate on the fundamentals more closely.

            G!

            • G-Man:

              I did not receive your pictures. Double check the e-mail address you sent it to.

              I received one employment offer today! I never thought it would happen but it did. The position is in Illinois. I am still hoping the Texas comes through because I would rather be there. If I have to move, Texas is the state I prefer. I need to get back with Illinois by next Wednesday. It’s not the best job but it’s work and they have a decent relocation package.

              This is a great relief for me. At least I know I will have some employment. It’s a food business so there is some security in working in food versus manufacturing. In fact, some of their business picked up during this recession.

          • Hi Birdman,

            Wish you lived near us, we have trouble getting rid of all our extra garden stuff. We are planting 13 varieties of tomatoes this year, most of them heirlooms so we can save the seeds if needed.

            In the fall we have bushels of apples that go to waste. The neighbors hide when they see us coming with yet another bucketful…lol.

            The main food preservation item I can think of that would be an issue would be the canning lids, as you can only use those once. Once you have the jars, pressure canner, etc…it’s the lids that will be very important.

            • Hi Dee! 🙂

              Wished I lived near you too! Tomatoes for brandy and apples for applesauce would not go to waste around me! Dad was able to get some apples late from the Amish quite cheap and made some killer applesauce!

              Hope today finds you well!

              G!

              • ((((((((((G-Man))))))))!!

                I thought you forgot me!

                Doing OK now, but we had a hell of a year, Mom died in July, Hubby had heart surgery end of Oct. and I was in the hospital with celluitis in Jan. Just trying to get back to some form of normal, I do try to read SUFA often, but am not always up to posting due to my crappy health issues. God help you all if I ever get back to normal…lol. I will post your ears off… 🙂

              • My condolences on the loss of your Mom, hope the hubby is doing better and you just need to get healthy! Post my ears off 😆 at least your feeling better and I hope it continues to improve.

                God Bless!

                G!

              • Thank you, G-man.

              • You are more than welcome! Just being Me!

              • Dee

                My warmest and deepest heart felt thoughts are with you.

                Now if we can convert GMan to Apple Jack instead of that Tomatoe brandy we can take care of your apple overpopulation problem.

                When I was young Mama used parafin wax to seal many of our canned items. Especially all the jams and jellies and syrup. Never tried it for other things but bet it would work in a pinch.

                Might have to watch for spoilage alot closer though.

                Again, my best wishes to you and your hubby. Get well cause I am lookin forward to you blogging our ears off.

                Big hug to you
                JAC

              • Gee JAC!

                Moonshine, apple juice and a cinnimon stick or two, cured just right, can make for an interesting night 😆

                I remember the wax and the jam thing, did it many times with rasberry jam. That takes me back to some good youth memories! 🙂

                I can make some stuff with raisans that would blow your socks off!

                G!

              • Thank you, JAC!

                I have sealed many a jar of jam with paraffin, but have heard it is not very safe, really. That would probably be another thing to disappear fast in a meltdown.

                I have never had tomato brandy or apple jack. Sounds interesting. Best homemade wine I ever had was beet wine my Grandma made. Tasted nothing like beets (which I HATE), but more like grape or cranberry.

                Big hug back at ya!

            • Hi Dee!

              You had a rough few months but it sounds like everything is getting better now. I’m sorry that your mother passed away.

              I look forward to reading more from you in the future when you are up to it.

              • Hi there Birdman,

                Thank you.

                I am keeping up with your job hunt and have my fingers crossed for the best deal for you, one that you will be happy with.

              • Thanks Dee!

                I should know something by Monday or Tuesday at the latest on Texas. If Texas doesn’t make me an offer, then I’ll take the position in Illinois.

      • Birdman,

        Yes, I am.

        When items are on sale, I buy 3x my normal consumption, and store the extra. This is the way I don’t exhaust my current cash flow – little by little my stores are growing.

        Goal: 24 months without the need to spend $1 on the needs (and some “nices”, too).

        Why so long? Because I anticipate I will have to carry some close friends and family as well – but I do not know how many or how much. So overstocking to the best I can.

        I take 5% of my monthly earning and buy gold – sometimes I have to carry over to a month or so, but it is put aside and when it is enough, another coin is bought. Price is not any concern – just a steady buy plan.

        The summer will probably be “ok”. Gas prices are going to be high, most people will stay home, but no major crisis.

        But be wary of the “Black October”. For reasons of timing, Sept-Oct-Nov are traditionally really tough – most economic disasters fall in the Fall (pun intended).

        I do agree with G-Man, the elite probably can hold things together until after the next Presidential election.

        Recall that 9/11 happened early in Bush’s term. Another big “crisis” planned or unplanned is likely in 2012/2013.

        But that’s a guess, of course.

        • What kind of coin are you buying, B.F.?

          • American Eagle or Maple Leaf 1 oz.

            • Shoot, I was thinking those 1/10th ounce coins, the Krugerrand, but I heard they were in short supply, that has been back a while, though.

              I was looking to get away from the 1 oz. size.

              • Dee,

                You are dong very well with 1/10 – I have quite a few of those too.

                They are good for small exchange – but they have a larger commission too per oz.

                …buy what one can! 🙂

              • Oh, I don’t have any small stuff, just wish I did.

              • But…don’t you think the big stuff could be melted into smaller units if things get to that point? I realize there would be a authentication issue, but maybe trustworthy places would spring up to deal with it.

                Hey, there is a business idea for you!

              • Maple Leaf’s are available in 1/4 and 1/10 too.

                No, you don’t want to remelt the coins.

                If you tried to sell raw gold, it would need to be assayed – no one trust it for purity – and that is expensive except for larger (100+ oz chucks).

                Keep the coins as coins – much more liquid for transactions.

        • B.F.,

          If you are looking to feed lots of people, you might want to think about popcorn. We can buy it here from a popcorn farmer for $14 / 50 lb. bag. Lasts us forever, is filling and can be popped over a fire if needed. Can also be ground and used as cornmeal.

          I’m thinking that would be a cheap way to stretch your food supply.

  33. from American Thinker

    March 11, 2010
    KC Schools, A Case Study in Liberal Stupidity
    Randall Hoven
    The AP reports that the Kansas City school system is closing 29 of its 61 schools due to budget problems — a $50 million shortfall. The AP quotes KC Councilwoman Sharon Sanders Brooks on the background of the story.

    “The urban core has suffered white flight post-the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. the Board of Education, blockbusting by the real estate industry, redlining by banks and other financial institutions, retail and grocery store abandonment.”

    There might be another explanation, one that the AP barely mentions.

    The court decision that brought about KC schools’ demise was not the 1954 decision, but a 1985 one. The case was summarized by the Cato Institute in 1998.

    “In 1985 a federal district judge took partial control over the troubled Kansas City, Missouri, School District (KCMSD) on the grounds that it was an unconstitutionally segregated district with dilapidated facilities and students who performed poorly. In an effort to bring the district into compliance with his liberal interpretation of federal law, the judge ordered the state and district to spend nearly $2 billion over the next 12 years to build new schools, integrate classrooms, and bring student test scores up to national norms.”

    The judicial branch ordered the legislative branch to spend money, and told it exactly how to do it.

    “Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil — more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.”

    How did that turn out?

    “The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.”

    That was in 1998. But that’s not all. In 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported a Reuters story.

    “Kansas City’s public school district has become the first in the nation to lose its accredited status by failing all Missouri’s performance standards, and could be abolished unless it improves, officials said Wednesday.”

    And now the KC school system is broke and has to close down half its schools. This, after a court-ordered $2 billion injection.

    I would call that $2 billion quite a stimulus for the KC system. See how well it turned out?

    • LOI,

      And we wonder what’s wrong with education!

      Our local school district has a budget of around 4 million dollars and just made cuts that add up to $500,000. The cuts were fairly painless.

      As a point of interest, not a single extra-curricular activity was cut, but they are “studying” it.

      My Mom taught school for 44 years and she always said they piss away more money than you can imagine, then whine for more. No doubt Federal interference has had a very negative effect on our schools.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi Dee

        Glad to see you back, been thinking about you and how you’re doing. How’s hubby doing since his surgery? How you doing overall?

        Hope all is going well with you now.

        Judy

  34. Thanks, Judy!

    You all do still remember me!

    We are doing OK, been an awful long winter here, though. Now it’s melting and we have to use 4-wheel drive to navigate our driveway.

    The hubby is doing great, he had no heart damage, even with 8 major blockages, which they were able to fix with 5 by passes.

    If you remember my rant on statins, well it still stands. We talked to all the other by-pass patients on his floor at the hospital, and they had ALL been taking them and were there anyway.

    He still tires easy, but we have heard it can take 6 months or more to really feel good.

    • Ooops, hit the wrong reply button.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Oh Come on now, we wouldn’t forget you. Glad to hear your hubby is doing good and everything is getting sort of back to normal for you. Can’t really remember your rant on statins though, forgive me. Guess it’s been awhile.

        Things here are doing fine, except for me losing my job, and Jim is working on apart time basis, but we’re managing. Mom is still living with us, and she’s doing just fine, no problems there.

        Our winter has been an off and on again with snow/rain/winds and or all the mentioned. Had a light dusting yesterday morning, but soon melted off. Was nice here today, but crappy weather coming in for tomorrow and this weekend, then by next week, temps move up to around the 70 degree mark.

        Again, glad to see you back, and things are getting better for you.

        E-Hugs to ya girl.

        You take care now

        Judy

  35. A nice funny! 🙂

    Widdle Wabbit

    A precious little girl walks into a petsmart shop and asks,in the sweetest little lisp, between two missing teeth, “Excuthe me, mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?”

    As the shopkeeper’s heart melts, he gets down on his knees so that he’s on her level and asks, “Do you want a widdle white wabbit, or a thoft and fuwwy, bwack wabbit, or maybe one like that cute widdle bwown wabbit over there?”

    She, in turn, blushes, rocks on her heels, puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and says, in a tiny quiet voice,

    “I don’t think my python weally gives a thit.”

    Night all!

    G!

  36. Judy Sabatini says:

    Good night everyone, have a pleasant night and tomorrow.

    Take Care

    Judy

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