Tuesday Night Open Mic for March 30, 2010

Alas, I already find myself at the Tuesday Night Open Mic. It has been a quick start to the week. The conversations thus far have been interesting. The individual liberty discussions were especially good, but we didn’t get to the core of the issues quite yet. We danced around some of them. I will be bringing that article forward in a couple days instead of posting another article so that the discussions can go further. Open mic brings a host of different topics, from global warming taking a larger international hit to the President attempting to mischaracterize the tea party movement. Sprinkled in there we have Arriana Huffington completely missing on her reasoning for the decline of innovation in America and the courts issuing a stupid verdict in the case of the hatemongers from Westbor Baptist (it is not a) Church. We also have a little bit of government claiming that fearing the government is a good thing and a good old politician playing a politician’s game, and sucking at it. As an added bonus I brought over a Black Flag offering from late Tuesday that many may have missed.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #1

    Achtung! Germans Giving Up on Global Warming

    Germans citizens are rapidly losing faith in global warming following the Climate-gate scandals, according to a new report in Der Spiegel.

    The report indicates that just 42 percent of Germans are worried about global warming, down substantially from the 62 percent that expressed concern with the state of the environment in 2006.

    German news site The Local analyzed the results from the poll, conducted by polling company Infratest for the German newsmagazine. Many people have little faith in the information and prognosis of climate researchers, The Local explained, with a third questioned in the survey not giving them much credence.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/29/achtung-germans-giving-global-warming/?test=latestnews

    And the collapse of the man made global warming scam continues on with very few reporting it. Germany is just the latest country to find that the people are no longer fooled by the false rhetoric and emotional appeals that made up nearly the entirety of the AGW scam. The people have pulled back the curtain and found a weak little man with an even weaker little argument.

    I recall that when the Climategate scandal broke, there were a few on this site, myself included that immediately stated that that this was the beginning of the end of the AGW hoax. Since that time we have watched as the illegitimate claims from the left of “the science is settled” have melted away into utter silence on the subject. Interestingly, they have nothing to say. The science wasn’t settled, and many folks on this very site said as much, and provided evidence to back it up. As I recall, one believer who ducked and ran when challenged actually told us that we were simply too stupid to comprehend the data, that we were refusing to accept fact, and that the overwhelming view of the scientific community proved us wrong.

    So allow me to throw a little “I told you so” out to all those that did so. And I will throw one out there for PeterB, BF, and others who stood with me in denouncing this madness of claiming man is the cause and we must therefore regulate the world.

    The sad part for Germany is that the government bought in, and thus the people got stuck with the bill for the fraud. Germany signed onto the Kyoto Protocol, and as Europe’s top carbon emmissions culprit, got stuck with lots of requirements to provide funding to other countries , the economic crutch, to developing countries. They also were put into the European version of ap and trade, which has failed miserably in Europe at great economic expense. I believe that the German government hurt their own country greatly by doing so. Sadly, Europe got suckered in. Fortunately, the United States did not. We almost did though.

    Expect at some point that the premises of cap and trade domestically will rear its ugly head again in the future. The cap and trade legislation go tthrough the House, but never made it to a floor vote in the Senate, but it still lingers. Of course the EPA is attempting to do its best to circumvent the need for Congressional action by issuing regulations on green house gases, which are currently scheduled to go into effect in 2012.

    What we should demand from our government is a commitment to rescind the EPA mandates and to commit to refusing to pass any further legislation on this subject, much in the way that Australia and New Zealand have done. Another interesting tidbit on Global Warming, NASA came out and admitted that their data on Global Warming is in even worse shape than the flawed East Anglia data!

    Somewhere, there are little global warming fanatics forming a suicide pact.

    • At this point, the government will keep preaching global warming for the same reason many states keep pushing to keep marijuana illegal. They do not want to admit they were wrong, and they have so much law and legal precedent and money from fines and control that they do not want to give up on or risk people’s anger when they find out that they were hurt so badly by the law in the past and now its all BS.

      Of course, that is just the dupes with egos that fight it not wanting to admit wrong. The rest will keep at it just to increase their power and control.

  2. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #2

    When It Comes to Innovation, Is America Becoming a Third World Country?

    Is America turning into a third world country? That was the provocative topic of a panel I took part in last week at a conference sponsored by The Economist entitled “Innovation: Fresh Thinking For The Ideas Economy.”

    Once upon a time, the United States was the world’s dominant innovator — partly because we didn’t have much competition. As a result of the destruction wreaked by WWII, the massive migration of brainpower to the U.S. caused by the war, and huge amounts of government spending, America had the innovation playing field largely to itself. None of these factors exist as we enter the second decade of the 21st century.

    America now has plenty of countries it’s competing with — many of which are much more serious about innovation than we are. Just look at the numbers:

    A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation looked at the progress made over the last decade in the area of innovation. Out of the 40 countries and regions it examined, the U.S. ranked dead last.

    A study on innovation by the Boston Consulting Group concluded that America is “disadvantaged in several key areas, including work force quality and economic, immigration, and infrastructure policies.”

    In 2009, patents issued to American applicants dropped by 2.3 percent. Those granted to foreign-based applicants increased by over 6 percent.

    Why are we falling behind like this? For one thing, we’ve lost our educational edge. America once led the world in high school graduation rates. We are now ranked 18th out of 24 industrialized countries.

    And the percentage of 15-year-olds performing at the highest levels of math is among the lowest. South Korea, Belgium and the Czech Republic, among others, have at least five times the number the U.S. does.

    Plus, we are no longer investing in innovation. Until 1979, around 50 percent of all research and development funds were provided by the federal government. That number has fallen to 27 percent. And, during the 1990s, the bottom fell out of U.S. funding for applied science, dropping by 40 percent.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/when-it-comes-to-innovati_b_512280.html

    I found this article interesting. Allow me to say up front that Ms. Huffington offers some thought out solutions in the rest of the article. There are several specific areas that she attempts to address with a series of government moves aimed mostly at attracting foreign innovation to America.

    However, in my opinion, Arriana starts from a false premise in finding solutions, and therefore, will find that the solutions that she points to will have a limited impact on innovation in the United States.

    One factor that she never considers is the war on the wealthy in America or the ways that the federal government infringes on private companies that innovate and work to capture market share. Did it ever dawn on her that perhaps the reason that innovation is dying in this country is because of government intervention? Or that a major contributor is that many who would innovate figure that there is no reason to surge ahead, because the more successful your innovation is, the more the federal government will punish you through increased taxes and regulations?

    Government increased taxes on the wealthy and policies that force companies to spend more money on programs (can you say health care reform, anyone) have a critical impact on these organizations. It decreases available capital. We have all heard about how Caterpillar figures that the health care bill will cost them an additional $100 million. That is $100 million that they cannot invest in innovation or expansion. Government’s never ending appetite for dollars taken out of private company’s profits is a drain on these organization’s ability to innovate.

    She correctly points out that government funding is a driver of innovation in the market. We have countless examples of major innovations that came from the research and development in government contractors or in government itself, such as the internet and nuclear power. What she fails to realize, or at least fails to admit, is that government has consistently increased their spending on social programs such as health care, welfare, and medicare. Social entitlement programs are eating up the fiscal budget of the government, thus limiting greatly the fund available for government to invest in innovation both internally and externally.

    She also corretly points out that a major problem is the fact that American students are falling quickly behind the rest of the developed nations of the world. But what she doesn’t acknowledge is that the students are a product of the government education system. Government funded, government run, and government ruined.

    Notice a theme here? The problem with innovation is America is GOVERNMENT. If the government had its act together, we might find that the American spirit is still as innovative as it ever was. If the government education system were scrapped, we would find that the education level in America would rise substantially, thus fueling innovation and economic growth. Those on the left baffle me with their inability to see that government is the cause of these problems while they simultaneously call for government to do something to fix what it caused.

    Third world country? If this mentality is really representative of the majority of Americans as those on the left claim it is, then I submit that third world performance is something that we will be aspiring to eventually.

    • Physics Today, March p 30.

      China has tripled the number of researchers from roughly 500K in 1995 to about 1.4M in 2007. This us now on par with the US and European Union. Together, the US, European Union comprise 75% of the world’s R&D effort. China’s annual growth in expenditures on R&D is now 22%/year compared to our 6%/year. The quality of the R&D in China is not yet at western levels but they are building state of the art facilities and attracting scientists from other countries.
      USW is correct in placing some of the blame on US schools. To many students take the easy classes and avoid math, physics, chemistry and biology. At my kids HS, they had only 2 physics classes (~50 students) each year from a 4 year school of over 1500. My HS had 160 students, 50% took chemistry and 40% took physics.
      Another thing to consider is that the gifted and talented (top 5%) of students in China and India out number our total student population.

    • Our innovation is dropping because:
      1) Our education system teaches the wrong stuff in the wrong way. We teach companies to squeeze maximum profit without concern for its effect on employees, customers, or the vision and long term health of the company. We teach kids to be good little workers and take instruction, not think. We teach kids to feel, not think. All creative thought is pushed into the arts, creativity in business and science is not encouraged.

      2) Government regulation blocks some innovation, and redirects others. There are better solutions for lighting (LED anyone?) than fluorescent, but that is what is being made because the government pushed it, even tho other technology (LED anyone?) is more efficient, safer, less poisonous to the environment, turns on instantly, and is dimmable.

      3) The wealthy are being taxed, as are investments, thus investing in companies, which is where they would normally gain funds for R&D is reduced.

      4) The smart people are unsure if they want to be at a facility here or a facility where they can work unimpeded by government regulations or cultural blockages.

      5) We stopped striving and started fearing failure.

      And by the way, the government stopped funding R&D because it did not give them a path to more control, unlike global warming research, which does, and which is gobbling up all the funding. We don’t need government funding for innovation, our fastest innovation was during a period of no government funding.

    • Alright, so I spoke with my in-house lawyer about this. He clearly has more experience than Mr. Wala.

      Apparently, First Amendment protection of the right of this ‘church’ is a lock. Period. No two ways about it. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

      So, when evaluating a case against Westboro, the father and his lawyer had to know that they couldn’t win. The fact that they did win is only indicative of a friendly jury (and what jury wouldn’t be friendly in this case?). So, the father had to know, even before going to trial at all, that he was going to lose. Thus, his lawsuit can safely be deemed to be retaliatory. That is, he sued out of retribution, not out of a reasonable expectation of winning. The appeals judge, looking at this, may have been personally sympathetic to the father but had to recognize that he cannot allow retaliatory lawsuits. Since the father brought a dead case, it was clearly – to the judge – frivolous. Given the facts, my lawyer argues, there is no other way an unbiased judge could have ruled.

      Given this argument, I’m force to reluctantly agree with the court. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

  3. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #3

    Father Of Dead Marine Ordered To Pay Legal Fees Of Westboro Baptist Church Protesters

    The father of a Marine killed in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters was ordered to pay the protesters’ appeal costs, his lawyers said Monday.

    On Friday, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered Snyder to pay $16,510 to Fred Phelps. Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder’s funeral in 2006.

    The two-page decision supplied by attorneys for Albert Snyder of York, Pa., offered no details on how the court came to its decision.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/29/father-of-dead-marine-ord_n_517614.html

    And a related Article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/08/westboro-church-protests-_n_489923.html

    The court agreed Monday to consider whether the protesters’ message, no matter how provocative and upsetting, is protected by the First Amendment. Members of a Kansas-based church have picketed military funerals to spread their belief that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

    An interesting case, at least to me. So the Westboro Baptist fruitcakes attend a soldier’s funeral and protest as they so often do. They spout vitriolic and hateful nonsense and are protected by the First Amendment while doing so. The father of the dead soldier sues them for violating his privacy and for emotional distress. A Baltimore jury awards him a $5 million verdict against the “church” protesters. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the verdict and further, calls for the father to pay for the churches legal fees. A decision that I think is outrageous.This is almost never done unless the case was found to be frivolous, which this obviously wasn’t because he won the case in the lower court.

    As you all know, I attempt to remain civil in political discourse, but the folks of the Westboro Baptist Church are absolute pieces of shit. I loathe them on a special level. And I do think that they are going to end up on whatever horrible level of hell is reserved for child molesters and politicians. They are free, in my opinion, to believe whatever they want to believe and to protest saying whatever they want to protest. Where I draw the line is the choice of venue for their protests. Soldier’s funerals are not the place for their hatred. At the point where they show up at funerals, they are, again in my opinion, infringing on the rights of the mourners and family of the deceased. Their speech is protected. Their choice of venue is not.

    I don’t think this is a free speech issue. I think this is an invasion of privacy issue. Protesters who barge into a church get arrested. Protesters against government action get removed from the chamber in Congress. In fact protesters regularly get thrown out of many venues for their disruptive rhetoric. This should be no different. They should not be allowed anywhere near a soldier’s funeral. And if they do go near one, I support the right of the grieving family to pull out baseball bats and beat them senseless.

    The Supreme court has agreed to take up this case, and I will be paying attention to what they have to say about it. They will be considering whether the member’s message, no matter how hateful or unsettling, is protected speech. I imagine the answer will be yes it is. After all, even I don’t contend that they aren’t free to say what they say. I simply don’t believe that they should be allowed to yell it during a person’s funeral. The jury awarded the family the money because of emotional distress and violation of privacy. On those grounds I believe that the 4th Circuit was wrong to reverse the decision, and even more wrong to punish the soldier’s family. I hope that the Supreme Court will uphold that the speech is protected, but the verdict and award for the family is also valid, reversing the lower court’s reversal.

    And then I hope that the God that they claim to worship smites the Westboro Baptist Church with plagues and destruction.

    • PapaDawg says:

      I will make only one comment – That court is WRONG!

      • Agreed!!

        What the hell is the matter with some people?

        • Hey look! Something we can all agree on..

          Shameful.

          I will say this though, if the court saw fit to award attorney fees, there’s a piece of this story we’re missing. As Weapon said, this is very rare unless the case is found to be frivolous, and even then it doesn’t happen all that much. So I certainly hope we’re missing something otherwise, I’m all for impeaching the idiot who handed down that judgment.

          Bah humbug.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            As for the free speech issue, they are clearly protected. This is the type of case that truly tests where one stands on the 1st Amendment. I am all for their right to protest, even at a funeral, despite how despicable I think they are for doing so.

            On the payment of legal fees though, I found this very surprising. There are instances where one can be made to pay legal fees even absent a finding of frivolity (I forget the specifics) but this just struck me as way off base. Perhaps Mathius is correct – there is more to this story that we are missing.

            Anyone have additional info?

            • […]request under 42 U.S.C. § 12205, the court noted that a “defendant in a civil rights action is not entitled to an award of attorney’s fee merely because it prevails on the merits of the case. A prevailing civil rights defendant may be awarded attorney’s fees under section 1988 (and, therefore, under 42 U.S.C. § 12205) only if the plaintiff’s claim was frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or groundless ab initio, or if the plaintiff continued to litigate after the claim clearly became so.” 966 F. Supp. at 1555-56. The court observed that “attorney’s fees may be awarded against a civil rights plaintiff if he or she continues to litigate after it becomes clear that the action lacks factual substance.”[…]

              Link: http://www.brooke-shaw.com/article-civil-actions.html

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Is that the law cited to by the judge in awarding fees? I was under the impression that no reason was given, no citation made (which makes it even more odd)

              • No, this is from a quick google search on the criteria that can be used to award attorney fees to the defendant in a civil right’s action.

                Take it for what it’s worth, and it may not apply in a different jurisdiction, but it’s what I found.

                Extremely odd to not explain a ruling like that.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                True that.

              • Though, given this legal framework, assuming it hold true wherever this case was tried, perhaps the judge awarded under the justification that “the plaintiff continued to litigate after the claim clearly became [frivolous].” That is, he had clearly lost, but kept going anyway?

                Seems flimsy to me..

              • But this was an appeal by the lawyers for the Westboro Church AFTER they had lost the first case. So if the appellate judge believes that this is a frivolous lawsuit, then he is basically saying that the lowere court was wrong to hear it in the first place.

              • As I said: flimsy.

    • Bill O’Reilly to the rescue. He stated last night he would personally cover the bill for Mr. Snyder. Way to go Bill O !

      • Wasn’t that cool? I think he said the bill was $16,000.

        • I think it was a good offer. I just have one problem. Yes I am glad the father will not have to pay, but dammit, I do not want this ‘church’ to have their fees reimbursed. If they’re going to embark on a campaign of hatred, they should be responsible for the legal fees associated with the inevitable lawsuits.

          I award O’Reilly 10 Mathius Points.

    • Everyone covered this well. I will be sending devil raptors to Westbrook to exercise their first amendment right to……ummmm….have lunch….then desert will be the 4th Circuit. I will also send an ample supply of Pepto because gobbling up the 4th Circuit will undoubtedly result in indigestion.

      This is shameful. I wonder if stupid rulings like this can be impeachable….but….I would like to see the details. How was this overturned? Perhaps a review of this Circuit Courts rulings in the past will give us answers?

      Have a nice day, all.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Did the idiot protesters violate a law? Did they violate the right to privacy in a public place? Did they enter an area where they had no right to be? Is the Venue of a funeral protected from freedom of Speech?

      Whatever, they are idiots.

      • My understanding is that they stick to public sidewalks outside the venues they are protesting and remain strictly non-violent (though verbally abusive). The lawsuit does not claim that they were trespassing or violating a law, but rather that they were causing emotional trauma (certainly believable given the circumstances) and violating the father’s right to privacy (wishy-washy, if you ask me).

        But here’s where you go astray. You think they are idiots. Many of them probably are, but the leader is not. He knows exactly what he is doing. He wants the publicity. And he is getting it. Don’t underestimate a man like that.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          I still think he is an Idiot with a capital “I”.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Assuming the cause of action was intentional infliction of emotional distress: 1) intent is not as easy as it sounds to prove – did they have the intent to cause severe emotional distress? and 2) some jurisdictions require there to be some accompanying physical harm (unsure as to local law here).

          No right to privacy on a public sidewalk, even if standing adjacent to the venue.

          • Buck: I know you bleed law.. But just for SUFA sake, on this one issue, just for today, just be Buck the Wala not Buck the Lawyer. Just this one time…I’ll even top it with a “pretty please”

            • Buck The Wala says:

              haha, you got it Anita.

              As I hoped to get across I completely agree with everyone’s sentiments. This whole thing is absolutely despicable. I’m glad the father sued; not overall suprised he lost the case, but glad he stood up for himself and called out this group. I’m very surprised he was ordered to pay legal fees though – can’t understand that one at all. I’ll even go one step further and give credit to Bill O’Reilly for his offer to pay!

    • I have an idea. Don’t like the Westboro crowd? Neither do I. Let’s keep them bottled up in the middle of nowhere where they can do the least harm. I say we begin a letter writing campaign to protest any hotel that puts them up, bus company that drives them, airline that flies them, car company that rents to them, or restaurant that feeds them. A suggest a national boycott of anyone who provides goods or services to these yahoos outside of the county of Westboro.

      (This idea is endorsed by Dread Pirate Mathius)

      • I find that I actually agree with Mathius on this. Use the power of the free market against them. Don’t bother with the local hotel, go straight to the top of the food chain, and protest to corporate. Get the entire company to put them off limits.

      • When a local young man was killed in Iraq and the Westboro creeps were coming to protest, this group came to the rescue:

        “An unfortunate byproduct of our First Amendment right to free speech is organizations such as the Westboro Baptist “Church” in Topeka, KS. They are an anti-gay extremist group whose hate filled message is not fit for print here. Their mission is to disrupt military funerals through out the country and receive funding through lawsuits generated by conflicts with grieving family’s, veterans, law enforcement, and anyone connected with the fallen hero’s proceedings. This is where the Patriot Guard Rider’s become active.

        First and foremost, it is very important to understand that the PGR is NOT, under any circumstances, a counter-protest group. The PGR’s mission statement reads clearly as follows; “Our mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives; 1. To show sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families and their communities. 2. To shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters. This is accomplished through strictly legal and non-violent means.”

        http://www.patriotguard.org/Home/tabid/53/Default.aspx

    • USW wrote: As you all know, I attempt to remain civil in political discourse, but the folks of the Westboro Baptist Church are absolute pieces of shit.

      Bingo. What they really need is for the media and everybody else to ignore them like they are pieces of wood (or grass). We all probably want to beat them senseless, but that’s exactly what they want.

      Bravo, USW.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hello All

      I don’t think this father should have to pay these so called church people one red cent, and I hope that the Supreme Court will favor the father in this case.

      I don’t care if they have the first amendment on their side, or if they are on public land, I personally don’t think they should be allowed anywhere near a military funeral, ever to be able to spew their hatred for our military with their hateful remarks.

      About 3 or 4 years ago, one our locals boys got killed in Iraq, and they were suppose to show up, but they never did. They were out numbered by 1000’s. Guess they were afraid for their safety. Not only was our Governor there, but so was our former one, not to mention about 2000 motorcyclists, as well as several news crews, and Senator Ensign.

      This so called church group, is the most despicable group of people who ever walked on the face of the planet, to be allowed to protest military funerals. These military families go through enough, and they don’t need the added burden of lawsuits.

      Yes, this is very close to me because I have 2 son’s in the military, one a former Marine, now in the National Guard Reserves and one is a full time soldier and if anything happened to them, and these so called church people showed up to protest, they would have to deal with me, and I’m one not to be reckoned with when upset or angry.

      That’s my 2 cents on this subject.

      Hope all are doing well today.

      Judy

    • Alright, so I spoke with my in-house lawyer about this. He clearly has more experience than Mr. Wala.

      Apparently, First Amendment protection of the right of this ‘church’ is a lock. Period. No two ways about it. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

      So, when evaluating a case against Westboro, the father and his lawyer had to know that they couldn’t win. The fact that they did win is only indicative of a friendly jury (and what jury wouldn’t be friendly in this case?). So, the father had to know, even before going to trial at all, that he was going to lose. Thus, his lawsuit can safely be deemed to be retaliatory. That is, he sued out of retribution, not out of a reasonable expectation of winning. The appeals judge, looking at this, may have been personally sympathetic to the father but had to recognize that he cannot allow retaliatory lawsuits. Since the father brought a dead case, it was clearly – to the judge – frivolous. Given the facts, my lawyer argues, there is no other way an unbiased judge could have ruled.

      Given this argument, I’m force to reluctantly agree with the court. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

      • If the hotel refuses to give them a room cannot the hotel be sued for discriminating against a particular religious group? More money, more publicity non?

        • oui.. but maybe they can defend it on the grounds that they do not wish to be boycotted by a larger demographic, or that they do not rent rooms to known troublemakers?

          • Unfortunately I don’t think that would fly. Think of Dr. King in the South in the early ’60’s a known troublemaker and the klansmen gathering in the street below. How would you, or I feel about it then?

            Sometimes a jury will do jury nullification, think OJ maybe judges should do the same upon occassion. back when we were fighting to drive the drug dealers off Watson Ave in Soundview, I used to yell at the precinct commander for not making arrests. His position was the arrests would not be prosecuted because the DA was overwhelmed or the drug quantity was too low. Wrong answer, just keep throwing the shit until some finally sticks.

  4. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #4

    Obama dissects demonstrations

    President Obama describes the tea party movement as a “loose amalgam of forces,” some of whom are “legitimately concerned about the deficit” and some of whom doubt his “legitimacy” as president.

    “There’s a part of the tea party movement that actually did exist before I was elected,” he said in an interview aired Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “There’s some folks who just weren’t sure whether I was born in the United States, whether I was a socialist. So there’s that segment of it, which I think is just dug in ideologically.”

    “Then,” he continued, “I think that there’s a broader circle around that core group of people, who are legitimately concerned about the deficit, who are legitimately concerned that the federal government may be taking on too much.”

    Obama suggested he might be able to sway that faction of tea party sympathizers by tackling federal spending, but conceded: “There’s still going to be a group at their core that question my legitimacy or question the Democratic Party generally or question people they consider to be against them in some way, and that group we’re probably not going to convince.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0310/to_a_tea_a678eddf-ae45-4d7a-8602-f7b32226c479.html

    I think that a better name for this article would have been “Obama Mischaracterizes Tea Party Movement.” As someone who has followed the movement and attended, his version of reality is flawed here. And it isn’t because he doesn’t understand. It is because his intent with these statements was to mis-inform those watching by presenting a false version of what the movement is about. It is the art of politics, dear readers. They say something which is neither derogatory or said in a nasty way. They are never questioned. And the premise they start from is false from word one.

    The President, in discussing whether he can convert tea party folks to supporting him, asserts that he accepts that he won’t be able to sway the folks at the core, the folks that believe he was foreign born or question the legitimacy of his Presidency. He presents that these people are the core of the movement without hesitation, and it was accepted and sworn into the public record. One problem, the two groups he is talking about, those that question his legitimacy and those who oppose increasing the deficit, are neither the core, or even the majority of the tea party movement. He outright lied and painted a false picture meant to delegitimize the entire movement.

    The tea party movement is primarily about two things: The ever increasing amount of taxes levied on the American citizens and the out of control growth of the federal government. Are there some folks in the movement that also believe he wasn’t born in the US? You bet. But they are neither the majority of folks nor are they the “core” of the movement. Government is too big, taxes are too high. That is the core. If there was a third area that has a significant hold in the tea party movement, it is the people opposed to the health care reform as it is being done, but that really just goes back to government being too big.

    Some on the left will say this is not a big deal, but I think that it is a big deal. The President of the United States has now gone on record as saying that the core is something that it is not. And he holds substantial influence, especially over those who stand in support of him. By misrepresenting what the tea party movement is, the President has deepened the divide and inspired further mischaracterization of the movement. What is next, that he comes out and exclaims that the tea party movement is, at its core, racist? Interesting that he didn’t take this moment in the interview to squash that kind of talk. This is a very effective way to stifle discussion on the issues that the tea party movement really represents. He is attempting to ensure that the concerns of the tea party are ignored by painting them as radical and presenting the core as the fringe of society.

    What he will never do is go on record saying that the core is what the core actually is. And that is because he does not want to have to answer on the idea that government is growing too much or taxes are moving too high. There is no disputing that these two things are true. So instead of addressing them or justifying them, he pretends that they are not the relevent issues for the movement.

    Each time I see a move like this I lose more respect for the President. Because I know he is way too smart to not understand what the movement is about. That means that this mischaracterization is an intentional play to sway public attention away from the Tea Party movement.

    It will fail, because the tea party is growing. I saw it mentioned here the other day, by BF I think, that 25% of Americans identify with the tea party movment. Nothing to scoff at. And as has been correctly pointed out, thus far there is no clear leader, and no centralized leadership dictating message or direction. That makes the movement impossible to either control, or destroy. Grass roots opposition against the federal government has gone viral…. and that will do nothing but pick up steam in the future.

    • I would like to see the Tea Party consider some of GOOOH’s ideals, requiring them to sign a contract sounds like a very good thing.

    • The whole Lauer interview was a joke; Matt’s look at BO was one of complete adoration. Give me Brett Baier anyday.

      Count me in as one of those fringe (core) that is a tea partier AND would like to see all the historical documents on BO’s life.

      • USWeapon says:

        I wonder what Todd will say to this? What say you Todd? Still going to claim that it is the tea party movement that has a violence problem?

        • US Weapon,
          I thought I was pretty clear I do not like the extremists and violence either/any side. There are videos that show ‘less civil’ attitudes at some Tea Party events.

  5. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #5

    Failing US banks must fear government closure: Obama adviser

    Failing US financial institutions must face the credible threat of government closure if reforms are to succeed, a key adviser to President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

    Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, said reforms being discussed by Congress hit on the “essential elements” of financial reform, but that a strong government arbitrator must emerge with the power to wind down firms.

    “There is a clear need for a so-called resolution authority,” Volcker told members of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington-based think tank.

    Volcker said that massive government bailouts of a host of banks and insurance giant AIG over the past two years must not be allowed to convince others they can expect a government safety net, and so encourage risky practices, creating a so-called “moral hazard.”

    He said the multibillion-dollar government bailouts raised the problem of “moral hazard writ large.”

    While he said the government should have the power to step in to bolster firms if needed, “ultimately the failing firm should be liquidated or merged. In all… it is a death sentence, not a rescue at the hospital.”

    Read the rest of the article here: Yahoo News : http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100330/pl_afp/usgovernmentregulatebankingvolcker_20100330181050

    And here, Volcker unwittingly admits to the fear that government feels is warranted by those that are not government. I am not a big fan of Volcker, but I am not a person who despises him either. The fact is that he is a very smart man. He understands economics fairly well, although he subscribes to a flawed theory of economics. But where he falls down is the area that almost all politicians and pundits fall down:

    He fails to see that the actions he prescribes, while the most effective way to deal within his system, are fundamentally wrong because of the fact that they operate on the premise of denial of liberty.

    Let me say it more succinctly. The government shouldn’t get involved in the private market. We all know I feel that way. Would things sometimes get tough for everyone if that were the case? Sure, but not unbearably so. When they do get involved, we get the situation we find ourselves in. The banks would not have been able to put our economy at risk without the government allowing them to do so. In other words, our current mess has been CAUSED by government getting involved in private business. So the government caused a mess that then required the government to step in and fix. Bailouts and tons of regulations that give government control (how convenient). And now, in order to alleviate the problems caused by the bailouts, the government (Volcker) says that the government should have the ability to force a bank to shut down.

    Let’s recap shall we? Volcker is saying that the government must be given the power to shut down banks in order to enforce the government actions that were taken to alleviate the problems caused by government actions that allowed banks to act in the way that the government allowed them to act. It seems to me that the problem is government action. It all starts with government action, and ends with government action.

    Now I know that those who support the government action say that things are too precarious. We must have the government act at this point or things will get worse! Wrong. Let them get worse. They will get worse, but not nearly as worse as they will get if the government takes further action to alleviate the problem. If the people had said NO when the government first got involved, the pain would have been minimal. But now we have ignored the infection until it has grown to actually threaten the limb it is in. I say cut off the limb and move on. Because more government action will do nothing but allow the infection to spread to the trunk, and the whole thing dies at that point.

    Todd, I recall you asking the other day for some sort of proof that the federal government has been moving towards a form of “ism”. I would say this qualifies. What the former Federal Reserve Chairman is calling for is complete power to control banks, including the ability to force mergers and closures. That, my friend is government control of the private market. Nationalize the banks and you have done half the work towards nationalizing all industry in America.

    • They should not be involved. However, they’re neck deep in market manipulation already….just love Anita’s usual summation – Assclowns.

      http://www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=9921

      Last Thursday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission held hearings on the possible imposition of commodity futures and options trading limits in the precious metals markets. Each of the five commissioners plus two CFTC staff members made presentations. In addition, 14 outside parties accepted invitations to make presentations.

      This hearing came about in part because of long-term complaints from organizations such as the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee and individual analysts such as Ted Butler, Reg Howe, James Turk, Frank Veneroso and Adrian Douglas that the gold and silver commodity markets have been subject to blatant extensive price suppression manipulation by the U.S. government and its trading partners.

      Among the outsiders making presentations at this hearing were Bill Murphy, in his capacity as chairman of GATA, and Harvey Organ, an individual investor.

      Murphy was advised to expect a strict time limit of five minutes for his presentation, even though the CFTC chairman Gary Gensler had the option to allow more time. In order to provide the maximum documentation possible into the official written record of these proceedings, Murphy raced through his 6-1/2 minute oral presentation in just five minutes. It was not a graceful presentation, but Murphy introduced a lot information into the record that the CFTC can no longer pretend not to know.

      After his formal remarks, Murphy was asked by commissioner Bart Chilton if he could provide some specific instances where such manipulation had occurred. This was the opening for Murphy to introduce a bombshell.

      In November 2009, Andrew Maguire, a former Goldman Sachs silver trader in that firm’s London office, had contacted the CFTC Enforcement Division to report the illegal manipulation of the silver market by traders at JPMorgan Chase. He described how the JPMorgan Chase silver traders bragged openly about their actions, including how they gave a signal to the market in advance so that other traders could make a profit during the price suppressions.

      Maguire had a series of e-mails with Eliud Ramirez of the CFTC Enforcement Division explaining how the manipulations were tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly release of non-farm payroll figures and other recurring events. On Feb. 3, 2010, Maguire sent an e-mail to Ramirez and commissioner Chilton saying that he had observed the JPMorgan Chase signal that the price of silver would be knocked down upon the announcement of the non-farm payroll report at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 5. Maguire then sent them e-mails on Feb. 5 as this suppression was in process, pointing out that it would not be possible for him to have such accurate advance information about this development if the markets were not controlled by JPMorgan Chase.

      Maguire asked to be invited to speak at the CFTC hearings this past Thursday. When he was not invited, he contacted Adrian Douglas, another director of GATA, on March 23 to supply this information to be made public at the CFTC hearings. Murphy filled Maguire’s request in response to Chilton’s question asking for specific instances of price manipulation. When I saw him Saturday, Murphy told me that the CFTC commissioners all went pale as he described exactly how the CFTC was provided this detailed information about silver price manipulation but had not yet done anything about it.

      During Harvey Organ’s presentation, a question came up about whether large short positions on the London Bullion Market Exchange also reflected efforts to suppress gold and silver prices. Adrian Douglas was permitted to address the hearing on this issue, a subject he has studied extensively. Douglas pointed out that the huge volume of trading levels in the London market (averaging $22 billion per day) could not possibly be settled by delivery of physical metals. To this point, the commissioners asked Jeffrey Christian, one of the other speakers who runs CPM Group – one of the most respected precious metals consultancies, whether Douglas’s contention that the London gold and silver markets could not be settled by delivery of physical metal for all the contracts. Christian rejects the concept that the gold and silver markets are manipulated, but he did confirm Douglas’s analysis.

      In effect, the commissioners were told that almost all of the trading activities on the London exchange were merely settled by paper for paper, not for physical metals as the exchange supposedly requires. Further, the commissioners were told that it was impossible for the London exchange to ever deliver all the gold and silver owed to the owners of contracts.

      After the hearing, GATA publicly released copies of Maguire’s e-mails with the CFTC. Murphy also revealed that Maguire had recorded all of his telephone conversations with the CFTC without asking for their permission to do so. This is legal to do in Britain, but such recordings cannot legally be provided to other parties. GATA is currently working to ensure that these recorded conversations can be legally released to the public.

      This past Saturday, Murphy addressed a full room with his Numismatic Theatre presentation at the American Numismatic Association convention in Fort Worth. There, he shared much of the breaking information he provided to the CFTC commissioners. Little did we know at the time, but at about then Andrew Maguire’s car, in which his wife and he were riding, was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Both Maguire and his wife were briefly hospitalized. The police eventually arrested the other driver. The Maguires may be considered more than lucky. There are other past would-be whistle blowers about the manipulation in gold and silver markets that died in unusual accidents before they were able to bring forth their evidence.

      Curiously, the live television broadcast of the CFTC hearing suffered a technical failure right as Murphy was set to begin his testimony. This was corrected right after Murphy was finished. At the same time, at least one live voice broadcast failed during Murphy’s presentation. Coincidence?

      Now that this information about silver price manipulation and about the massive shortage of physical gold and silver on the London exchange is part of the official record, I expect huge fallout. Remember, after the five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic headquarters in Watergate in June 1972, it took more than two years for President Nixon to resign. I don’t think it will take anywhere near this long for last Thursday’s revelations to blow back against the U.S. government and the U.S. dollar. Once the public realizes the extent of the manipulation, gold and silver prices are likely to skyrocket.

      I think this hearing will be the beginning of the end for those trying to suppress gold and silver prices. If you would like to view what happened yourself, please check the video clips listed below.

      • To view Bill Murphy’s prepared statement to the CFTC, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wIMpe9SjfQ

      • To view Bill Murphy’s citation of specific instances of silver market price manipulation to the CFTC, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9bUOr6JP4s

      • To view Adrian Douglas’s discussion of the Ponzi-like gold trading on the London Bullion Market Exchange to the CFTC, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jok3XLBz_SI

      • To view all or part of the March 25 CFTC hearings, see http://www.capitolconnection.net/capcon/cftc/032510/FCTCwebcast.htm

      • Thanks for the shout out Kelly but I have to give credit where it’s due- That would be to our very own beloved assclown CYNDI P!! 🙂 I just can’t get over it.

        So, let’s continue………

      • Need to read entire article from Kelly, but this word jumped out at me….Numismatic

        Ha! Won the 5th grade spelling bee with numismatist! Had no idea what is was then, but it is spelled just like it sounds….

    • US Weapon,

      Let’s recap shall we? Volcker is saying that the government must be given the power to shut down banks in order to enforce the government actions that were taken to alleviate the problems caused by government actions that allowed banks to act in the way that the government allowed them to act. It seems to me that the problem is government action. It all starts with government action, and ends with government action.

      Wow!! That’s quite the rollercoaster ride!!

      The government already has the power to shutdown failing commercial banks thru the FDIC. It’s been happening every week for quite some time now. Volcker is saying that the big banks should be handled like all other banks – if insolvent, shut down, sold, merged by the FDIC (difficult to do with the big banks). No more special treatment (bailouts).

      The article is not real clear if Volker is talking only about commercial banks, or expanding this to investment banks and other financial institutions.

      If the people had said NO when the government first got involved, the pain would have been minimal.

      I don’t think the pain would have been minimal if AIG and many big banks had been allowed to fail. Lehman Brothers failure created quite the panic. Multiple that by 50-100. Pretty painful. But it’s hard to predict outcomes and compare to present day.

      Todd, I recall you asking the other day for some sort of proof that the federal government has been moving towards a form of “ism”. I would say this qualifies. What the former Federal Reserve Chairman is calling for is complete power to control banks, including the ability to force mergers and closures. That, my friend is government control of the private market. Nationalize the banks and you have done half the work towards nationalizing all industry in America.

      Volker isn’t advocating to “Nationalize the banks”. He’s saying commercial banks should understand that the next time they won’t (or at least might not) be bailed out. If insolvent, the FDIC will shut them down, sell them off, or merge them. Power the FDIC already has.

      Actually, isn’t Volker advocating more free market control? If a bank is insolvent, let it fail and then the FDIC cleans it up?

      • USWeapon says:

        Todd,

        I wasn’t talking about the pain being minimal in the beginning of this financial crisis. I was talking about the pain being minimal decades ago before the banks were given the power to control the markets the way they do…. by the government. Banks have become what they are because of rules the government put in place that the private market wouldn’t have allowed. By the time we got the TARP, it was already far too late.

        Volcker isn’t advocating more free market control. He is advocating more government control. He isn’t saying that we are going to not support the bank and we will therefore let the free market determine whether the bank shuts down. He is saying the government will determine when the bank gets shut down.

        • US Weapon,
          I wasn’t sure what time frame you were referring too.

          Are you saying the Glass-Steagall Act should be reinstated to separate commercial banks and investment banks?
          Or all regulation should be removed to allow the banks to do whatever they want?

          I think I now the answer to that! 😉

          “ultimately the failing firm should be liquidated or merged. In all… it is a death sentence, not a rescue at the hospital.”

          I think Volker is saying when a bank fails, the government/FDIC should step in to close it down, not bail it out. I don’t think he’s saying the government should decide when to shut down a bank. But that’s a fine line. The FDIC monitors banks that are in trouble and decides when the “time is up”…

          If you just let banks file for bankruptcy, people’s deposits and checking accounts would be frozen as the bankruptcy works it’s way thru the courts. That’s why the FDIC plans the closure/sale/merger of failing banks and executes the process over a weekend – the bank reopens Monday under a new name.

          • USWeapon says:

            Don’t have time to answer right now but will as soon as I can. If you don’t think he is asking for the power to determine whether the bank shuts down or not, what exactly do you think that he means when he says the banks should fear the government?

            • I think Volker meant the banks should fear the threat of closure if they fail. No more bailouts.

      • PS – I think the “ism” here is capitalism. 😉

  6. USWeapon says:

    USWeapon Topic #6

    Lincoln Charges Halter With Having A Prescription Drug Problem… Over His Ties To Pharma Firm

    For the past few days, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has been attacking her primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, over his ties to a pharmaceutical company sued for misleading investors.

    The incumbent Democrat launched a website titled “Dollar Bill Halter” last week and sent out an accompanying mailer that stands out for its provocative suggestion that Halter literally has a prescription drug problem.

    The attack has been condemned by Halter aides as “desperate” — mainly because the candidate’s service with the pharmaceutical company, Threshold Pharmaceuticals, was restricted to the board (he wasn’t named in the lawsuit).

    On the pushback front, the lieutenant governor got some help on Tuesday morning, when an Arkansas News columnist took Lincoln to task for those mailers, as well as a host of other negative attacks.

    “This is the cynical demonization process that is part of a cancer on our politics,” wrote columnist John Brummett, who emphasized that he’s hardly a fan of Halter. “It’s not enough to distinguish yourself from your opponent by performance and policy. You must delve into his past and overstate any association that might make him seem more than someone with whom you merely disagree, but someone who is a sinister threat, near-criminal.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/30/lincoln-charges-halter-wi_n_518523.html

    I just wanted to put this out there as a prime example of the low point that American politics has come to. Blanche Lincoln sends out a flier to voters that on the front says that her opponent has a prescription drug problem. If you bother to open it it gives an explanation stating that she means he was involved with a prescription drug company that had some shady deals. On that count let me just say that her opponent was NOT named in the lawsuit that she points to and had nothing to do with the shady deals in question. He simply served on the board of the company at one point.

    You can see the entire flyer that was sent out by clicking on the link that is above. I find it a deplorable act. I don’t offer this as a partisan issue. We are all aware that you can find example after example of this on both sides of the political spectrum. What I offer here is that I think it is high time that the American voter stands up and denounces this type of activity, then refuses to vote for candidates that do stuff like this. A message needs to be sent that this is not acceptable behavior. It is an outright lie by Lincoln.

    But I do offer her opponent some marketing advice: Mr. Halter, I understand your ire over Blanche Lincoln choosing to misconstrue the facts and paint your association with a group that ended up being crooked and acted illegally during your tenure on their board. You find yourself in the difficult position of having been associated with some bad folks in a bad group. But Your next move should be to point out Mrs. Lincoln’s group association that is far more damaging to her credibility than this could be for you. We have proof that Mrs. Lincoln is associated with one of the most corrupt groups in America. One that breaks the law all the time and one she cannot disassociate herself with:

    She is a member of Congress.

  7. USWeapon says:

    Black Flag Topic #1

    Top Eco-Fascist Calls For End Of Freedom To Fight “Global Warming”
    Population reduction enthusiast says “a few people with authority” should run the planet.

    Steve Watson
    Prisonplanet.com
    Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

    Top Eco Fascist Calls For End Of Freedom To Fight Global Warming

    A renowned environmentalist, known for his advocacy of population reduction as a means of offsetting climate change, has called for “a more authoritative world” where freedom comes second to tackling what he sees as the devastating effects of global warming.

    Futurist James Lovelock, tells the London Guardian that he believes “It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while,” in order to save humanity.

    “We need a more authoritative world.” Lovelock states.

    The inevitable.

    When one can justify the use of violence on non-violent people for “these very important things” over here, it gives everyone the right to use that violence for their “important things over there.”

    And, thus, the death spiral into tyranny….

    • Environmentalist = Global Tyranny and Mass Genocide.

    • USWeapon says:

      USWeapon’s Thoughts on this:

      I read this initially and thought that it was a lone kook who could be ignored. But then I thought about it for a minute and realized that this absolutely cannot be ignored.

      What this man has said is that he believes that in order to accomplish what he believes it is important to accomplish, the proper and moral action is to REMOVE the rights of the people. He didn’t advocate a small fix, or a plan of action around the environment. He said that Democracy should be suspended! Can you even grasp that concept? He has suggested the highest order of tyranny that exists in the free world. He wants to strip you of ALL freedom by removing the rights of the people completely.

      And what has me most perplexed by this? The fact that millions of people aren’t calling for this man’s head! The reporter didn’t even call him on it. If he had said those words to me, I would have stopped the interview and informed him that the solution he proposes is nothing short of blasphemous spits in the face of the very freedom that makes the world worth living in. And then I would have told him that he needs to be institutionalized in order to protect society from him.

      Now on the flip side, he is a kook. And we can ignore the kooks right? No. Not when they are on this level. Suggesting that Democracy be suspended? I agree with BF on this one. This is how Tyranny takes hold. He is one voice today. But he won’t be alone next time. And should he gain enough support, he will gain legitimacy. Then we are in trouble. Because the mindset that believes that culling the population has merit is dangerous. I don’t care if the earth heats up by 20 degrees in the next decade, we must never allow the thinking that trampling human rights is OK to take root in this world.

      • I don’t believe he’s ONE kook. He’s one of MANY kooks who think population control is THE way to go. Damn right we can’t ignore this!! Dear Reader is in the back pocket of Big Green. These population control kooks ARE Big Green. Just think what could happen if martial law is declared. What a wonderful excuse to start rounding up those surplus humans, particularly the non Leftist pale skinned variety. It would put those FEMA camps to some real good use, don’t you think? Think I’m nuts? Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWMIwziGrAQ

        Some of these people described in the interview are close to Obama. I believe a Mr Ayers is a frequent visitor to the WH.

      • Mornin 🙂

        This subject is not new to SUFA. In several off handed ways, we have discussed this very subject (population control). From the FEMA camps, to GWI and the effect on the Iraqi population, then finally, how they can do this with limited resistance. This Kook is far from alone, and only now are him and those like him speaking up to their true intentions. In the conspiracy theory arena, and those that refuse to acknowledge the theories because they are trained to do so, these Kooks allow for an inside look at the truth behind the theories and how they came to be. The theories may never come to pass, but they have some legitimacy because of the Kooks who espouse this crap. It’s all part of the truth puzzle. But for far too many, “It can’t happen here”.

        Peace!

        G!

      • http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/31/climate-gate-inquiry-largely-clears-scientists/?test=latestnews

        They’re stating the scientists at CRU are clear after investigating for one day. The next to last paragraph said it all:

        “The committee said that climate scientists had to be much more open in future — for example by publishing all their data, including raw data and the software programs used to interpret them, to the Internet. Willis said there was far too much money at stake not to be completely transparent.”

        Not that the planet stood a lot to gain as a result of this investgation, or even that Phil Jones or that lot at CRU were again in good standing within the scientific community. There is too much money at stake.

        Crooks, crooks and more crooks….

        The eco-terrorists at MIT have been blogging on the Technology Review site for a while about firing a rocket-propelled screen into space to block heat from the sun in order to cool the planet – with or without government approval. Morons. And this from MIT’s Technology Review – let’s bully people into using less energy. A company called OPOWER, no less and endorsed by our fearless leader….

        Wednesday, March 10, 2010
        Using Peer Pressure to Cut Energy Use
        Surprisingly, it works better than conventional energy-efficiency programs.
        By Kevin Bullis
        Energy efficiency has been called the low-hanging fruit for reducing carbon emissions, because it actually pays for itself. But it can be difficult to get people to take simple steps to save energy, and it’s hard to maintain those savings over time. For example, people offset the savings from a new efficient refrigerator by changing their habits or buying a plasma TV.

        A company called OPOWER has what appears to be a successful strategy for dealing with this human element of energy efficiency. It has increased participation in energy efficiency programs from about 5 percent to 80 percent for the utilities that have used it so far, and the savings appear to be sustained.

        So far, since its founding in 2007 the company claims its program has saved over 90 million kilowatt hours of electricity. The company has even attracted the interest of the White House–last week President Obama dropped by, highlighting the company as a source of the green jobs he hopes to help create.

        The company’s approach is based on the idea that people want to fit in. OPOWER first lets people know how their energy use compares to that of their neighbors. Then for each billing period the company gives them a single tip that they can act on, also connected to what they’re neighbors are doing, such as “Most people in your area keep their AC at 78 degrees.” They also tell people how much energy they will save.

        It’s obvious how this could work with people who are using more electricity than average. But for those using less than average, the company also compares them to their “efficient” neighbors to motivate change.

        The company makes use of public information (such as from the tax assesor’s office and weather data) as well as third-party demographics to tailor results. If a person is renting, OPOWER doesn’t recommend insulating the house, for example. It also has software that looks at energy use patterns to identify likely sources of energy waste. Power spikes during hot days greater than that shown in neighboring houses could suggest someone has an inefficient air conditioner.

        It seems like a promising approach. But it’s not going to solve the world’s energy problems on its own. On average the program has cut energy consumption by a modest amount–about 2.5%.

        • Do offenders get to wear a scarlet letter on their chest? Sheesh…..

          “The company’s approach is based on the idea that people want to fit in. OPOWER first lets people know how their energy use compares to that of their neighbors. Then for each billing period the company gives them a single tip that they can act on, also connected to what they’re neighbors are doing, such as “Most people in your area keep their AC at 78 degrees.” They also tell people how much energy they will save.”

          Research shows most people don’t think for themselves, so neither should you. Happy Hope-N-Change, sheeple.

          • Branded is more like it. Whassa mattah? Don’t we all want to “fit in?” Grrrrr!!!!!!!! Or should I say “Baaaaaaah?”

    • Personally, I give him points for being upfront with his intentions, wish more of them would be as honest-Would make their defeat alot easier.

    • Matt, I believe this is in connection to my very first rant at SUFA which was aimed directly at you. Curious what you think today?

      • I don’t know, Anita. I just don’t know. A lot of very smart people who know a lot more about this than I do seem to think the world is ending. A lot of very smart people who know a lot more about this than I do seem to think this is bulldookey. Both sides may have ulterior motives for saying/believing what they do. For my part, as I have said before, I remain unconvinced either way. I do know that a large enough quantity of something dumped into the atmosphere can be – can be, not necessarily is – enough to tip the balance. I suppose it is possible that the next ton of CO2 we dump into the air will push us past the point of no return (I am always reminded of that scene in the Simpson’s Movie). But I doubt we’re that close to the edge.

        I do see where he’s coming from. As Karl Rove (Holy S**t, am I about to deputize Rove into my argument??) said back in the day (paraphrasing): “you can’t have any freedoms if you’re dead.” Rove (AKA Mr. Potatohead) does make a good point here. If the Earth becomes the new Venus, our precious freedoms won’t mean a whole lot. But I would really want extraordinary proof before I gave up democracy in favor of a “more authoritative world.”

        That said, I still support government action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Even if we aren’t at the tipping point, dumping large quantities of something into the environment changes the environment. Nature may be adaptable, but it is still possible that we may have unintended effects on it. Given that there is no agreed upon conclusion, I lean toward erring on the side of caution, but not going overboard.

        How’s that?

        • Close enough even though you ducked the population control part.

          Now I assure you that even at your age you are living in a more athoratative world than it was when you were 5. I just don’t get what more extrordinary proof you need to see what is going on in front of your eyes. As even you guys admit- there is no end to progressivism. Yes there is…you’re dead!

          PS: I do not have horns at the moment! Let them rest 🙂

          • Population control.. I’m torn on this, but I have to come down on the side of – gasp – freedom.

            See, I completely appreciate that we cannot continue having Jon & Kate plus eights. I know that there is a finite amount of resources out there and that 6.5 billion people is probably already pushing it, but that the 13 billion it will be in 2020 is probably an unsustainable number. I know it – you know it. We all know it.

            But to tell people they can’t have children… I’m sorry, I just can’t do it. Technology will keep up for a while, but eventually, we’re going to start seeing shortages of literally everything, including (especially) food. Even if we don’t destroy the ecosystem, we are all screwed. Well and truly, deeply screwed.

            Add in longer life expectancies, the modernization of China and India (read more cars and richer diets), and the trend toward suburbanite living – this is going to be a major problem. I applaud him for attempting to tackle it head on, but I simply cannot support his solution even though logic dictates that it might be necessary.

            :-/

            • Most people, at least in the US, don’t have more than two or three kids. I think the earth could easily support the current population and then some IF the political will were there. It isn’t. Big Green won’t allow that to happen. Global population control is a dream come true for tyrants, sociopaths, supporters of eugenics, and the simple minded snobs who look down up the masses of people who rank so much lower than they do, in physical attractiveness and intellignece.

              Yep, these people are going to be a BIG problem in the future. Just wait until the global economy takes the next plunge and food shortages occur. They’ll use this as evidence that the planet cannot suuport so many people. Of course, we’ll be expected to over look the fact that Big Green and its Leftist allies manufactured the whole ‘crisis’ to begin with…..

              Birth control will not be enough for these people. They’ll want to get rid of the old folks too. You know, the useless eaters who are a drain on the system. The mechanism is now in place. ObamaCare. Rahn Emmanual’s brother is in on this plan. I believe his idea of senior healthcare applies mostly to those under 70. After that, if you get sick, you’re on your own. Lovely.

              • Just so I’m clear. You think, absent government intervention (Big Green, et al), the world could sustain 13 billion people? How about the 20 billion it will be shortly after? 30 billion? Where is the breaking point? And what stops us from reaching it before cataclysm?

              • Without government interference, yes, I believe the planet could support 7 billion souls, easily.

                I’m much more concerned about people who think they’re smarter than everyone else and have the means to impose their will on the great unwashed masses. Talk about a cataclsym!

                I second JACs comments.

            • Mathius

              So many erroneous assumptions about ecosystems and the concept of sustainability. You are a product of our education and political system.

              1. If 6 billion or 13 billion is unsustainable then it can not be sustained. Problem solved. No need for further action. And you do not “know” it, you simply “believe it”. I certainly don’t know it and I study this stuff.

              2. Food shortages are a political problem not a lack of resources problem. In fact, global warming would help alleviate any “resource” shortage by expanding the food producing areas. The coming ice age will pose special challenges.

              3. When one ecosystem is supposedly “destroyed” another is created. Our erroneous belief that systems are “static” is based first on ignorance and second on political motivation. Time is ignored in the debate. What appears as a static condition can in fact be one step in a transition to another condition. It is the time frame that must be addressed.

              4. Claims of shortage presume constant and ever increasing demands for the same products and services that exist today. That is not reality in any system and has not been the case in the past.

              What is missing from this debate is the reality of motivation of those harping the gloom and doom. That motivation is their own “self interest”.

              It is not altruism that motivates them but selfishness. The very thing that undermines their basic philosophy, yet they ignore the contradiction.

              They do not want “their” lifestyle to change. “Their” view of the world is what matters, including “their” attachment to the animals and plants within it.

              They are fighting the very thing they profess to worship……..PROGRESS.

              By the way, the ecosystems that existed 50 years ago, let alone 300 years ago, no longer exist. They were forever changed when the Europeans set foot on shore. Of course they were forever changed when the Indian migrated into the area before that, and the buffalo before that and the mammoth before that………..

            • The earth has balanced its population for millenia. In any social system, births are curbed by the ability to sustain life, resource availability, etc. If the births are not curbed, the total life is. It is done by default. IF there is not enough food, then there is either a war over food (competition, i.e. natural selection, the strongest survive) or starvation (survival, i.e. natural selection the stringest/toughest survive). We can overcome many natural things, but not all.

              In our arrogance we think we are destroying the earth which has survived far worse than us and is immensely older than our entire species. In our arrogance we think that we will continue to grow in population at our current rate despite natural barriers because we think that because we can make our homes 72 degrees when it is 102 outside we can control nature. We will never hit an unsustainable population. We will either slow our population growth or expand our area of living or change our standard of living so that we survive.

              Besides, is it not the concept that all should have the chance to live that motivates socialized health care? Is it not in conflict with its own premise that the unborn have no such right to a chance? Is it not within the concept of the health care system (if not ours, then those of other countries) to stop health care because of resource “waste” on certain persons deemed too old or unsavable? The whole thing is a contradiction and means of control, not a means of anything good. You cannot preach that all should have the right to health care so they can live and preach population control at the same time. The only truly fair way to proceed is a free market, mimicking mother nature. Otherwise it is simply the few deciding for the many, which is always wrong and unjustifiable, unless one truly believes that all are not created or born equal and that some have the right to lord over others. It is the same attitude that supported slavery for so long.

              Systems of this earth are not static. Until science and people begin to grasp that, no real future prediction will be possible. And no decision based on supposed future prediction will be credible. Population control is the least of our worries, and historically every single doomsayer has been wrong. Either because of new technology or changes in culture or changes in growth or changes in resource discoveray and access or a host of other reasons. Suffice it to say, doom is false, we are not so weak as the fearmongers claim.

              I am human, hear me roar.

              • Well said, Jon!

                Excellent point: You cannot preach that all should have the right to health care so they can live and preach population control at the same time.

              • Just for kicks and stats note the following. Maybe someone with a bigger calculator than I can figure daily consumption based on the world population and these associated numbers:

                World Population = 6,693,030,277

                According to http://www.ers.usda,gov/briefing/corn

                Grain (all grain) Production will be around 3.75 tons per achre at about 110 M achers annually in 2016

                Beef production will be 50 M metric tons yearly
                Pork Production will be 150 M metric tons yearly
                Poltry productions will be 275 metric tons yearly

                Seems like a lot of food especially when you consider the number of veggitarians and hunters who consume no farmed meat or very little

                Just some thoughts

                CM

            • PapaDawg says:

              Matt, what about space exploration? We can colonize the Mars Moons and other nearby planets. However the Messiah says we are not going back to the moon or anywhere else in space. What is wrong with that picture?

            • A Puritan Descendant says:

              During the first 300 years after the first Puritans arrived to America families very often had 10 – 15 children. Now as Cyndi states usually no more than 2 to 3 children per family. Maybe things will take care of themselves. I wonder how many sons it takes to replace a John Deere…hah tractor

              • It not just in America. ALL the techonolically advanced countries have experienced declining birthrates. I’ve read that in a few decades, particularly in Europe, this will be a problem for the welfare states becasue there will be more old people than young ones to support them. So I guess the alleged over population problem appears to be in the poor, less technologically advanced coutries. Aren’t those populated by people of color? Could the claims of reducing population be a form of RACISM? I’m just asking…

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Lovelock is far from a lone kook, he isn’t even a kook technically.

      The man is highly intelligent and widely regarded by the Greens as nearly a prophet. He and Erlich are still revered by the entire left-environmental movement worldwide.

      To ignore the threat posed by this man and his ideas would be VERY dangerous.

      • Mathius

        I don’t know, Anita. I just don’t know. A lot of very smart people who know a lot more about this than I do seem to think the world is ending.

        Define “ending”?

        Absolutely not! Come on! This earth has had super-volcanoes – Yosemite National Park is a volcano! – and the Earth hasn’t ended.

        The Earth has been hit by super-asteroids – Yucatan….

        Whatever globally is happening is so waaaaaay beyond the influence of man, all we do is adjust and wobble on.

        The big Daddy of influence – the center of the galaxy – is going to dominate. Voyager has potentially discovered why we go through glacial and interglacial periods – and it is cosmic rays from the super-black hole in the center of the galaxy.

        We are passing through ‘filaments’ of gaseous residue from a series of super-nova near our solar system – in fact, the series that created us and the solar system.

        We are currently inside on of the finger-like filaments – temp. 6,000C – and it is shielding us from the intense cosmic rays of the galaxy.

        We transverse these in about 10,000 years, and there is on average a 100,000 year gap between them… and it appears we are approaching the exist side of the current gas cloud….

        I do know that a large enough quantity of something dumped into the atmosphere can be – can be, not necessarily is – enough to tip the balance.

        Grab a hold of science, Matt!! The claim is super-silly.

        The Earth is a negative-feedback loop – a disturbance is mitigated back to a equilibrium center.

        Think Coke bottle and a marble inside. The bottle is always shaking. The marble swings and sways around the equilibrium center – but never reaches it – it is constant change. The hard you shake it, the faster the marble races back to the mean – and the steeper the sides go when you go higher up the bottle.

        We know the Earth is a negative feedback, because if it was a positive feedback – well, we simply wouldn’t be here right now (Yosemite, Asteroids, etc.)

        Ignore anyone who claims otherwise – they are most definitely idiots.

        I suppose it is possible that the next ton of CO2 we dump into the air will push us past the point of no return (I am always reminded of that scene in the Simpson’s Movie). But I doubt we’re that close to the edge.

        The most frustrating thing I have with amateurs who talk about science in relation to human action on the planet is the utter and total refusal to understand the science and the math!

        Current C02 = (in terms of money) is the cost of your jacket and shoes to the net worth of Rockefeller.

        $350 out of a $1 billion…..

        Man’s output of Co2 = 26 Gigatonnes.
        Nature’s output of Co2 = 220 Gigatonnes.
        USA output = 6 Gigatonnes.

        Amount in atmosphere = 720 Gigatonnes.

        Current Energy equivalents (in barrels of oil) for USA entire energy use (oil, gas, water, nuke, coal) = 2.2 billion metric tonnes.

        The World Energy Outlook 2009 – Total oil reserves known – 16.8 billion tonnes of oil equivalent

        To raise the temp. of atmosphere by 1C = double current Co2 in atmosphere to 720/billion or an additional 720 GT.

        US produces 6 GT, would need to increase its energy use by 120 times.

        There is only 8 times US energy consumption in the Global reserves of oil.

        The USA would have to increase its Energy use to consume MORE than the entire known reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal.

        Do you not understand how utterly futile and insignificant mankind is??

        Nature may be adaptable, but it is still possible that we may have unintended effects on it. Given that there is no agreed upon conclusion, I lean toward erring on the side of caution, but not going overboard.

        You have unintended effects no matter what happens

        To be so sure destroying the economies of the world will have less negative unintended consequences is a belief of utter stupidity!

        Unintended consequences are by definition unknown. You cannot claim this action or lack of action can create better unknowns!

    • Mathius,

      I know that there is a finite amount of resources out there

      Utter poppycock!

      For all purposes of human understanding, there is an infinite amount of resources out there

      If you take every single resource man over the last 100,000 years has claimed from the earth – every oz. of copper, iron, gold, silver, coal, oil, wood — everything — and piled it up….

      …it wouldn’t fill 1/10 of the Grand Canyon.

      • BF;

        When you come back into the fold you do so with a fevor don’t you?

        CM

      • poppycock?

        Let’s try this again.

        ASSUMPTION: People consume resources.
        ASSUMPTION: Modern humans consume, on average, more resources than their predecessors.
        ASSUMPTION: We are unlikely to find a way to colonize other worlds within the next 100 years.
        ASSUMPTION: According to UN estimations, the world population will be around 9.25 billion in 2070 (as if they really have any clue). Their high estimate is 12.5-ish.
        ASSUMPTION: We will not have invented a devise capable of converting mater into the desired form a la Star Trek replicators. Gold will remain inedible.
        ASSUMPTION: Human lifespans will continue to increase at a rapid and increasing rate which will exacerbate population growth.
        ASSUMPTION: As human consumption exceeds certain levels, the tragedy of the commons will start to take hold. This can already be seen with fish stocks whose populations are in a death spiral. Everything larger than a grasshopper will be consumed.

        From these ASSUMPTIONS, I draw this conclusion – eventually human beings will reach a point where our net draw from the planet exceeds the planet’s capacity to provide. Whether this is today (unlikely), tomorrow (unlikely), next decade (still unlikely), or in 50 years (plausible). There is a maximum amount of human beings this planet will support. We can accept simpler, more humble lifestyles and higher efficiency ways of living that will increase this number, but there is still a limit: I need to eat, poop, and live somewhere at the barest of bare minimums. If human breeding remains unchecked, there is a point at which the Earth will no longer sustain it. 10 billion? 100 billion? 1 trillion? 10 trillion? At some point our standards of living will have to collapse. At some later point we simply won’t be able to live on this rock. Period.

        Thus some measure of population control is a logical necessity. Nevertheless, until it become absolutely imminent beyond the slightest doubt, I cannot back any push to restrict a human being’s right to produce children. It is as simple as that.

        If it helps you, think of my view in this way: your breeding threatens me. Your children will consume resources which may mean that I will die for want of those resources. However, at this point, the threat from your children is so minor that I cannot justify infringing on your rights even though it might technically be construed as self-defense. At the point where population is a clear and present threat, I could conceivably “defend” myself by enforcing population control on others. After all, your choice to breed is an act and if it threatens me, I am ethical in opting to defend myself, no? The bar for justifying this is extremely high.

        • I assume that the UN is full of crap because its nothing but a power hungry bunch of criminals, but that is beside that point. If you REALLY that too many humans are a problem, why are you still alive? Suicide is THE answer. All that sacrifice Leftists demand would find a perfect opportunity in sucicide by those who believe the UN. Suicide doesn’t infringe on anyone’s right and you get to lead by example. Enforce your population control beliefs on yourself and the others who believe you like do. If you cannot justify this, then how can you justify population control in general?

        • Mathius,

          ASSUMPTION: People consume resources.

          No, sir!! Choose your assumptions carefully!!!

          This statement is NOT an assumption – it is a FACT!

          ASSUMPTION: Modern humans consume, on average, more resources than their predecessors.

          Wrong again!

          This is a FACT!

          ASSUMPTION: We are unlikely to find a way to colonize other worlds within the next 100 years.

          This is an assumption and I wholly dispute it.

          We moved from the “impossibility” of space flight to landing on the Moon in less than 30 years.

          The acceleration of science and technology is such that we double our understanding every 10 years. From 1970 to 2010, we have increased our science and technology by a factor of 32x; and in some fields, by a factor of 100,000x

          We have the easy capability of moon villages – today +/- 10 years. Mars is in reach.

          But this is wholly irrelevant

          We haven’t even touched the Earth.

          Canada – at the density of Holland – can sustain 3 billion

          But, at the density of Singapore, Canada would have 330 billion.

          We are Sooooooooo far away from even touching the capacity of the Earth, it is poppycock to argue we are even close!

          ASSUMPTION: According to UN estimations, the world population will be around 9.25 billion in 2070 (as if they really have any clue). Their high estimate is 12.5-ish.

          So what?

          The Earth could easily handled billions more of humans.

          Consider: over the land area of the Earth that is currently occupied by mankind (wiki)

          – 148,940,000 sq.km
          – Density: Israel = 900/sq.km
          On Earth = 119,200,000,000 ~120 billion people.

          Human lifespans will continue to increase at a rapid and increasing rate which will exacerbate population growth.

          Not true. This is finite. There simply will be more concurrency of generations.

          There are 6,790,062,216 people in the world.

          The death rate in July 2009 is 8.2 per 1000.

          Doing the math, there is about 56,000,000 deaths a year worldwide.

          Double life expectancy= 200 years = 4.1 per 1000.

          But death is a factor of population – so the higher population, the more deaths per year.

          Do the graph – the impact of life expectancy does not significantly impact the maximum population size – birth rate is the key.

          (Which is why all the UN agencies ignore death rates and focus on birth rates)

          ASSUMPTION: As human consumption exceeds certain levels, the tragedy of the commons will start to take hold. This can already be seen with fish stocks whose populations are in a death spiral. Everything larger than a grasshopper will be consumed.

          That is not a population problem.

          This is a tragedy of lack of ownership problem.

          Tragedy of the Commons exists because there is no owner.

          I draw this conclusion – eventually human beings will reach a point where our net draw from the planet exceeds the planet’s capacity to provide. Whether this is today (unlikely), tomorrow (unlikely), next decade (still unlikely), or in 50 years (plausible). There is a maximum amount of human beings this planet will support.

          The same Malthusian poppycock over and over again.

          A failure to account for human engineering, technology, development and science.

          Malthus and the Club of Rome fail every time – because they fail the test of human knowledge and its acceleration.

          We can accept simpler, more humble lifestyles and higher efficiency ways of living that will increase this number, but there is still a limit: I need to eat, poop, and live somewhere at the barest of bare minimums. If human breeding remains unchecked, there is a point at which the Earth will no longer sustain it. 10 billion? 100 billion? 1 trillion? 10 trillion? At some point our standards of living will have to collapse. At some later point we simply won’t be able to live on this rock. Period.

          There is no end and it is wholly sustainable.

          You are befuddled because you cannot conceive of the technology necessary to do it. If you could, it would exist. But the problem doesn’t exist either!

          Humans solve their problems. Don’t worry, Matt – we’ll solve this one too!

          Thus some measure of population control is a logical necessity.

          Poppycock!

          Typical Statist.

          Create a problem that does not exist, and promote actions – which is always some sort of control upon non-violent people to solve the non-existent problem!

          • I reject some of what you’ve said, but that last paragraph in particular. I have been very clear that I do not support population controls.

            Additionally, I reject your assertion that increase longevity is irrelevant. Older people will live longer, but they will also start to be healthier and biologically younger at an advanced age. As such, they will continue to breed at higher ages and have more children. This accelerates the birth rate.

            • Matt;

              Horse dung! Only a young person would shout something so moronic as that. We (older folks) don’t want more children simply because we have enough grey hairs and wrinkles as a result of those we created when we were younger.

              People may begin to live longer due to the miricles of science, but that does not validate that they are going to want to reproduce as a result. Besides if we want young children around we just go get the grandkids for a day or two. Add to that fact that the new Health Care bill may in fact aid in slowing ones life expectatncy.

              Birthing and raising children is a full time and tedious job, and is not something that older folks wish to repeat.

              You cannot ‘logically’ predict or assume anything when part of the assumption factors in unknowns. That is why the global alarmists are now being called quacks.

              I go with BF on this; we as a species are at best insignifigant.

              CM

            • Mathius,

              Your assertion is incorrect.

              All evidence clearly demonstrates that the longer people live, the lower the birth rate.

              This FACT is global – across all cultures on all continents.

        • 10 trillion would never happen because that’s just too much mattress action. I’m sure the male species would think otherwise.

          But no one has addressed the point of them downsizing the population immediately..as in hit the water supply or plant e-coli in the cows. ever heard of mad cow disease?

    • Mathius,

      and that 6.5 billion people is probably already pushing it, but that the 13 billion it will be in 2020 is probably an unsustainable number. I know it – you know it. We all know it.

      More poppycock! Malthusian babblemouth.

      The trouble with the illiterate mathematical mind is there is no concept of scope, depth or volume.

      The scenes of Star Wars … a planet is destroyed by the “Death Star” – billions dead – and Obi Wan stumbles due to the tremor in the Force.

      Consider this.

      If the Death Star – which is “the size of a small moon” was 99% engine and machines for its operation – and only 1% of the volume represented the area for people to live, and at a density of population of Holland (400 person/sq. km)

      Area of a sphere = 4 x pi R^2
      Death Star = 100 km radius.

      So each “floor” of the death star has:
      123,100.56 sq. km of living space.

      Let’s say each “floor” height is 10m (30ft) high. In 1 km of human space, there would be 1,000/10 or 100 floors.

      100 x 123,100 = 12,310,000 sq. km
      x 400 people per sq km. = 4,924,000,000 people.

      5 billion people on a ‘small moon sized Death Star’ where 99% of the space was made up of engine and machines! And if anyone has been on a ship of war – the population density is a whole lot higher than 400/sq. km!!!

      If anyone actually calculated it – there was probably more people in that 100km Death Star than on the surface of any potential planet in the galaxy!! 🙂

      So what’s the point? 6 billion, 20 billion people – is irrelevant. The Earth is not a small moon! Even at 400 people /sq. km in Holland (#1 population density in the world) – they have huge farms and empty tracts of land…

      Do not fall into the trap of believing Malthusian idiocy.

      • So the Black Flag theorem states that we can consume as much as we like and breed as much as we like and we will never run out of space or stuff?

        • PapaDawg says:

          Matt, our resources are renewable. I am not even being close to being a scientist and even I can understand that. Maybe BF can explain it much better than I can, but this earth is three quarters water and it continues to circulate. Almost everything is made out of carbon – no it isn’t fossil fuel, it is carbon based fuel – and we can make almost anything we want out of it.

          BF, help me out here!

          • Sure resources are renewable. But just try to have 1,000 fish in one tank. Yea, the water will re-oxygenate, but you tell me what the outcome will be.

          • Papa,

            You’re right.

            Club of Rome fanatics have no idea how big the Earth is.

            They can only see their small lives, and divide in population sizes and it scares them.

            But it is because of their ignorance of the size of things.

            I give the Grand Canyon example – and it blows right through them with no effect. They cannot understand how absolutely small we are and how absolutely huge the Earth is…. and it the Universal scheme of things, the Earth is so small as to be non-existent!

            But big numbers confuse many people – it is larger than their brain, so they fit it into their brain.

            So their perspective is horrifically skewed, with the consequence that they scare themselves silly – and start creating problems for peaceful men by trying to solve non-existent problems.

        • Mathius,

          We will NEVER run out of space or resources in the context of human capability.

          Get out of the city one clear night and look up.

          From the point of view of God, we simply are so small we practically do not exist.

        • Matt;

          BF is pretty much on the nut about a lot of this. Aside a nuclear war with everyone that has them pushing the button to launch them, we pretty much cannot surpass the Earths ability to adapt.

          There is too much evidence to the contrary. Polar Bears, wolf populations, deer populations, numerous animal and plant life previously believed to be extinct discovered otherwise, and the list goes on.

          God, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, whatever your passion is just to resilient. Hell we as humans haven’t even set foot on certain parts of the planet yet.

          It is just not feasible to believe that we can drastically effect the Earths overall health to a point it cannot rebound. WE ARE JUST NOT THAT MUCH OF A FACTOR REGARDLESS OF THE POPULATIONS SIZE.

          Now, that’s not to say that we cannot act as stewards and be more responsible by controling our waste, being considerate of what we have and curbing some of our idiotic behavors. We should, if for no other reason than that of respect.

          I have spent many a day and night afoot in the wild, have seen a great many natural wonders and witnesses the results of Earths self-healing, and I know that it is far superior to us, and by shear force will last long past humans.

          Keep in mind that the creator put us here last and spent a great deal more time building Earth than he/she did constructing our pathetic carbon asses.

          Besides you city folk will be the first ones to be eaten anyway, while us country boys/girls will just wander off into the wild and be one with nature.

          CM

      • Did the USS Enterprise Air Craft Carrier

        4500 in .068 sq.km., or 66,000/sq. km.

        If we use that in the Death Star (still 99% engine/machine or empty) that is
        814,632,352,941

        815 billion people – killed by Luke!! Makes Darth Varder look like a wimp!!

  8. My apologies if this has already been discussed somewhere, I haven’t been able to keep up with the discussion lately:

    Abrupt end of college tuition help angers military spouses

    WASHINGTON — With her husband deployed in Iraq with a Stryker brigade from Washington state’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord, 20-year-old Lauren Silva isn’t your typical college student. But when it comes to finding money for tuition, books and other expenses, she’s not so different.

    Silva has scrambled to apply for scholarships and loans to pay for classes at the University of Washington-Tacoma , where she’s a junior studying social work. She thought part of her financial problems were solved when she learned of a Defense Department program that pays military spouses $6,000 to help them with their education. Yet just as Silva prepared to apply earlier this year, the military abruptly shut the program down.

    The Pentagon was overwhelmed by the number of applicants, which had grown from an average of about 10,000 a month to 70,000 in January alone as the nation’s economy continued to sputter. Money for the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program, known as MyCAA, was rapidly running out. Rather than ask Congress for more cash, Pentagon officials decided to close the program to new applicants and stop payments to those who were already enrolled.

    “This was probably, in my view, a mistake,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee last week, adding that while he expected the program to resume, it eventually could end up costing $1 billion to $2 billion .

    Gates said the Pentagon had budgeted $61 million for the program in the current fiscal year and had requested $65 million in the next fiscal year.

    Though she isn’t particularly political, Aten and thousands of other spouses who had been counting on the MyCAA money banded together to convince the Pentagon to change its mind. More than 1,200 military spouses joined a Facebook group to protest, and plans were developed for a rally in the nation’s capital.

    Aten and others also lobbied their members of Congress. Sixty-seven lawmakers sent a letter to Gates.

    “Halting this program without notice is not the way to support those who sacrifice so much to make our military what it is,” the letter said.

    Less than a month after the program was “paused,” the money started flowing again. However, the program isn’t accepting new applicants. The Pentagon said it’s reviewing long-term plans for the program.

    I thought this was a good example of even nominally typical “fiscal conservative” groups getting upset over a relatively minor cookie being taken away. Not exactly “riot in the streets” level but notice how quickly the money flow resumed. And even if we could manage something along the lines of “no new applicants” to the free cookies, I don’t think we can afford the current unfunded liabilities ($60+ trillion).

    So,

    You can’t take the cookies away.
    You can’t afford to keep giving them out.

    What happens?

    • USWeapon says:

      DK II,

      First thanks for posting this. It was not yet covered here so it is an interesting topic to cover, and one I am certainly interested in covering. I think the first step is to take away the emotional story behind the article. In this way, it is no different than the sob stories that the Democrats are telling to justify health care legislation. The story focuses on an emotional aspect in order to garner support for something instead of asking the hard question that should be asked.

      Personally I applaud the military for stopping the program in the first place. While I absolutely support education and couldn’t be happier with a program that provides the ability for military spouses to pursue an education, the fact is that the program was out of money. There were some commitments already made. Those who are currently attending classes that have yet to be paid for should be grandfathered in on the stoppage of the program . Don’t saddle someone with paying for a class you said you would pay for in other words. But they were absolutely right to both stop future classes and begin denying new applicants. They were broke!

      As much as I hate to see a program like this go away, I feel that the same scrutiny should be given to this program as I would give any other. In a time when government is flat broke (actually very far in the red), there is no way to justify discretionary spending, which programs like this fall into. To be honest, I think government should be announcing that in 6 months welfare will be suspended until the budget is balanced and the deficit eliminated. I wonder how many would have supported the health care bill if the government had come out and said that you can have one or the other. Welfare or health care. We cannot afford both, so the American public is going to have to choose. Everyone likes free stuff when someone else is paying for it. Is health care such a right that it trumps welfare? Are you willing to give up that government check in order to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are covered if you get sick?

      The government needs to stop spending money that it doesn’t have. Programs like this need to be halted, unfortunately.

      USW

      • Careful, USW…..you will upset those on here that do not like us (military) very much….We actually want to clean up our own backyard before telling someone else how to clean theirs. I am in sympathy with this program, and as much as I would like to see it continue, it must have money…..not a credit card. Cash. Out of money? Out of program. Simple.

        I think a lot of people miss the fact that we know austerity and we know how to do a lot with a little. Keep the program going, if, and only if, the budget can be balanced. Actually, we have a private fund that we have started in Texas for Texas veterans. It is funded entirely by private money (non Federal and non State). We have organized golf tournaments, curling tournaments, bowling tournaments, tennis tournaments, etc….with the [proceeds funding directly to the education of children of fallen veterans. If there is left over funds, it will be towards the education of spouses while husbands are deployed overseas. The fund currently has over $3,000,000 and no applicants waiting. The only caveat is that the money is for Texas Veterans only and the qualifications are very stringent.

        Texas also has a Veterans land program that is privately funded. It can be done…just takes work. Something that our government cannot do…work.

        D13

  9. Let me see if I have this straight…..Obama hated off shore drilling. Said it would not affect prices…..now he loves off shore drilling and will open it up.

    I am confused.

    Is the Dread Pirate still locked in the basement? I have an assignment for him.

    • You can give me the assignment. I will be happy to pass it along to him.

      • D! Did you forget about me? I’m about to send Dread Pirate Mathius his bread and water for the day. If you want to pass him an assignment, you’ll have to let me know so I can give it to him.

        • LOL…..no did not forget about you sir….I have an even better assignment…doing the research now….

    • Actually heard a report on this topic this morning and how it is all smokescreen for an announcement coming from EPA on some other energy mandates. People will think BO is now for drilling and making a good effort, but he knows it will be years and years away from happening, if at all, due to challenges by environmental groups. In the meantime, this EPA order will go unnoticed and unreported.

      Will try to find link to interview I saw.

  10. Witch Hunt by Waxman…..

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/03/31/henry-waxman-the-witch-hunter-of-capitol-hill/

    New interesting twist to the healthcare debate.

    Heard that Emanuel and Jarrett were making phone calls to stifle the comments. Think these were nice phone calls?

  11. Kind of humorous-If you are

    > > 30, or older, you might think this is hilarious!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with
    > >
    > > their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When
    > >
    > > they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to
    > >
    > > school every morning…. Uphill… Barefoot… BOTH ways.
    > >
    > > yadda, yadda, yadda
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there
    > >
    > > was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like
    > >
    > > that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy
    > >
    > > they’ve got it!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > But now that I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I
    > >
    > > can’t help but look around and notice the youth of
    > >
    > > today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
    > >
    > > childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!
    > >
    > > And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don’t
    > >
    > > know how good you’ve got it!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet.
    > >
    > > If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn
    > >
    > > library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a
    > >
    > > letter – with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way
    > >
    > > across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would
    > >
    > > take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Child Protective Services didn’t care if
    > >
    > > our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of
    > >
    > > all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere
    > >
    > > was safe!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > There were no MP3’s or Napsters or
    > >
    > > iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had
    > >
    > > to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio,
    > >
    > > and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it
    > >
    > > all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in
    > >
    > > our car… We’d play our favorite tape and
    > >
    > > “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would
    > >
    > > come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that’s
    > >
    > > how we rolled, Baby! Dig?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > We didn’t have fancy crap like Call
    > >
    > > Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else
    > >
    > > called, they got a busy signal, that’s it!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > There weren’t any freakin’ cell phones either. If
    > >
    > > you left the house, you just didn’t make a damn call or
    > >
    > > receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your
    > >
    > > “friends”. OH MY GOD !!! Think of the horror…
    > >
    > > not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then
    > >
    > > there’s TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids
    > >
    > > have no idea how annoying you are.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either!
    > >
    > > When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could
    > >
    > > be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your
    > >
    > > drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t
    > >
    > > know!!! You h ad to pick it up and take your chances,
    > >
    > > mister!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or
    > >
    > > Xbox
    > >
    > > video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the
    > >
    > > Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space
    > >
    > > Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your screen
    > >
    > > guy was a little square! You actually had to use your
    > >
    > > imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or
    > >
    > > screens, it was just one screen… Forever! And you could
    > >
    > > never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder
    > >
    > > and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out
    > >
    > > what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel
    > >
    > > surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the
    > >
    > > TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no,
    > >
    > > what’s the world coming to?!?!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > There was no Cartoon Network either! You could
    > >
    > > only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m
    > >
    > > saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled
    > >
    > > little rat-finks!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > And we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat
    > >
    > > something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day
    > >
    > > long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And
    > >
    > > if you came back inside… you were doing chores!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back
    > >
    > > seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the
    > >
    > > “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment
    > >
    > > if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the
    > >
    > > dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot
    > >
    > > gun” in the first place!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > See! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You
    > >
    > > kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled rotten!
    > >
    > > You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in
    > >
    > > 1980 or any time before!
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > >
    > > The Over 30 Crowd
    > >

    • Am I too young to find that hilarious?

      • you are listed there under spolied little rat fink

      • Hope not-it was meant to be funny 🙂 People laugh at me but my children, the dog, anyone actually still get the arm safe-habits are hard to break.

    • My life in print 🙂

      Got beat by my parents friends and my parents rewarded them with a Black Label
      Caller ID is the best invention ever
      Texting is great. In a group its a fun way to talk about the bad guy!Must keep a straight face though
      Got the stiff arm in the front seat once. Broke my glasses

      • Grew up on a farm half the year and in a neighborhood the other half. Had a lot of chores on the farm starting with milking at 4:30 am, then feeding the livestock, and then had breakfast. Went to school with brother and sometimes got to ride “Bo” a 1800 pound Belgin, otherwise walked. When we got home we did everything from plowing to harvesting. Was driving my first tractor at 9; same year I got my first shotgun. A H&R single shot .410.

        In the summer did more chores (BTW they were called chores because you had to do them to get fed) and then played either sandlot baseball, football or in the winter ice hockey on the local farm pond.

        Got my first car with the money I had saved raising calves and selling them at the 4H fair when I was 17. It was a 1966 Belair 4 door stick (3 on the tree). I paid $315.00 for it.

        When I graduated High School life got easier got a scholarship to play football which only required 4 hours of work a day and a game on the weekend.

        Dad bought my brother and I a record player for Christmas one year but was always yelling at us to turn it down, because he didn’t want to hear that sh*t we called music (Aerosmith, AC/DC, MOlly Hatchett, etc)

        Didn’t have a cell phone until I was 35. Never played Zap games.

        Interestingly I now have a cell phone, a computer, I am on linkedin, Biznik, email more than I speak, and practice a profession that involves technology that didn’t really exist when I was 18.

        My how the world changes.

        Oh, and when I was in my teens my father taught me to never trust a politition because they lie; one of the few absolutes in life.

        CM

    • A Little Odd History from England :

      #1 Story:

      There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hung. The horse drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ”ONE LAST DRINK”.

      If he said YES it was referred to as “ONE FOR THE ROAD”

      If he declined, that prisoner was “ON THE WAGON”

      So there you geaux. More bleeding English history.

      ******************

      #2 Story:

      They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.

      If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”.

      But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot they “Didn’t have a pot to Piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

      And that’s the damn gospel truth…Now, whoever said English History was boring!!!????!!!!!!

      KAP of Gloucester Street , London , England

      • Years ago when I sometimes used unsavory language, I often used the expression “Bull S***.”
        As I grew up a bit and discovered it was not necessary to use such crude language, that expression became “BS.”

        What did I really mean when I used those expressions? I meant that something was ridiculous, or idiotic or a half truth or just stupid. It covered any number of negative formats. The dictionary defines it as: nonsense; especially: foolish insolent talk…

        I have decided that I no longer will use either of those expressions in the future. When I have a need to express such feelings, I will use the word “Pelosi.”
        Let me use it in a sentence. “That’s just a bunch of Pelosi..” I encourage you to do the same. It is such a nasty sounding word, it really packs a punch, we are no longer being vulgar, and it clearly expresses our feelings. If enough of us use it, perhaps the word could be entered into the dictionary. When on a ranch watch your step and don’t step in Pelosi. It will get on the bottom of your boot and won’t go away until next election.

        What a fitting and descriptive legacy for the Speaker of the House!

        Pass it on to at least 10,000,000 people. Do not break this chain or you will get more Pelosi than you can shake a bull at.

        P.S. Betcha when this new word reaches D.C., the PELOSI WILL HIT THE FAN! Awe….they probably won’t notice because the Pelosi is so deep in D.C..

        • LOI,

          LOL, that makes my day!

          Poo-Fiddly-Pelosi-Poop it is.

        • I like it, I like it…..Pelosidookey!

        • Not sure I would agree that “Pelosi” is a less vulgar or offensive word than Bulls@#%, I find it brings more offense and thought of vulgarity to mind than the expletive. I love the idea tho, I will have to try it 😀

  12. Thought for the day:

    The golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you He with the gold makes the rules.

  13. D13;

    Hearing bits and pieces about this Texas border town gearing up for amass migration of Mexican citizens fleeing their howmtown due to threats from a Drug cartel of get out or die. Even heard that some 10K Mexican people have crossed the border and are pleading for asylum.

    What do you know and what art the Texas authorities doing about it?

    CM

  14. You are talking about the town of Fort Hancock. There is a border town there named El Porvenir where the drug cartels are fighting for control of that town. It has escalated to the point that the extortion of the families in the border town of El Porvenir (Mexican side)is to pay 5,000 pesos or have their children executed. They are even threatening to come to the United States to execute the children and families leaving the area. The Mexican government is powerless to do anything and will not even order the army into that area. We have sent 1,000 troops to that area as a State Militia (National Guard).

    • I might add that in the influx of immigrants, there are moles of the cartel imbedded in these groups and they blue print the positions of border patrol, find where the immigrants are staying, and kidnapping children ( Mexican)on the Texas side and taking them back to Mexico. When we pursue them, the children are executed. When they get them into Mexico, the children are executed. It is no win. The border needs to be closed and we need to turn a blind eye. Or we will need to invade and we cannot do that. We cannot have open borders under any circumstance.

      I have a guest article coming out this week, according to USW, that talks about all of this. Some of it is beginning to hit the news but much of it is blacked out on orders from Washington. There was an army Colonel that was just relieved of command for talking to the news…. it happened yesterday on direct orders from Obama.

      I spend all of my extra time down there to the detriment of my new little company but the border issues are much more important.

      It is dangerous and it is nasty.

      • D13,

        I think of you every time the illegal issues are on the news. I know a retired law enforcement guy down there in Texas, who worked all over the world in various capacities, including undercover narcotics in Mexico. That was back in the ’70s, I can’t imagine how you deal with it today.

        Stay safe, you are in my prayers.

        And THANKS, for all you do.

    • Hi D13- Please explain why the Mexican government is powerless if you have the time?

      • Sure. you have to thoroughly understand the mentality of the drug cartel and money. The Federales (federal police) are bought off. The local policia are bought off. If the military intervenes, the families of the leaders are assassinated. The others are bought off. That intimidates the rest of them.

        Read my article that comes out Friday. you will see that the Mexican Military has even provided firepower and cover for drug runners entering the United States. we expect this and we deal with it.

        • Thanks-looking forward to your article.

        • Many thanks and an American salute to you Col.

          • I just wish there was more that I could do. In my official capacity as an adviser, I cannot “order” any units to pursue into Mexico, which I believe that we should. If we are not going to close the border and a crime is committed on the United States side and we are in pursuit, I believe that we should take them out….permanently. But the border is a safe haven. Reminds me of being in Vietnam. The enemy comes across the Laotian or Cambodian border, hits us, and flees back across the borders where we would not chase them. Pretty soon, we chased them across the borders anyway and that is what we should do now. We are in defense mode when we should be in offense mode. You cannot fight a cartel that is supported by the government by sitting on your ass. You either close the border or you defend and defending, in MY opinion, is establishing a security zone at the border. If Mexico does nothing to stop this violence and corruption, then I feel the United States has the right to protect its borders and that includes moving into sovereign territory to cleanse the area. You cannot take “boxing gloves” to a gunfight.

            I can only recommend certain actions and I am training young officers how to spot potential ambush sites, mannerisms, etc. Many times, we pursue when they want us to pursue right into an ambush ( and this does happen ). Young officers do not know how to spot these potential danger areas in both open country and urban areas. I do know how to spot them. I also know how to spot when “innocent civilians” are used as a barricade and put there intentionally (and this also happens). I am also of the opinion that this is NOT a law enforcement action any longer. The civilian law enforcement is coming under constant fire from automatic weapons, rocket launchers, IED’s on known smuggling and infiltration routes ON THE US SIDE, helicopter surveillance from the Mexican authorities, and military style tactics. It is well known that the drug Cartels are using military trained personnel to protect their infiltration routes.

            Anyway, my job is to help train these young officers who are in command of National Guard units. Federal troops cannot be used so, as a Department of Defense adviser, I am assigned to the National Guard to help train them in policing style tactics as a military unit….which is like trying to rain an elephant to ride a bicycle. But, our civilian force is not large enough nor powerful enough to combat this border area and the border area is the way it is because we adopt a feather like approach because we do not wish to “offend” the Mexicans. Y We cannot give sanctuary as political refugees because the refugees are infiltrated with moles. Innocent civilians are being used as smugglers, under the penalty of death, and intelligence gathering, under the penalty of death.

            Amazing how NONE of this is reported.

            • A Texas Congresswoman was on Fox this morning and she indicated it was important that this is treated with law enforcement not the military. She sounded pretty clueless and I sure would not feel confident if I lived in that area and she was my Rep. (forgot her name)

              • Granger..

              • And I might add….she forgets her own name….she is a republican…but from the good old boy establishment….she does well on most things but immigration is an issue in her area where the votes are….lot’s of Hispanic voters in her area.

  15. Hi ya’ll!

    Finally got back to the screen, and want to say that I’m looking forward to the good Colonels guest article. D13, I’m real interested in this, form your upfront point of view!!

    On another note, I have promised to provide a recipe for Tomatoe Brandy, which, after many threats of death and outright violence, I now have in my possession 😆 (I should be a dentist 🙂 )

    Tomatoe Brandy!

    Boil 3 gallons water with 10 pounds sugar.
    Let it cool
    after it cools, add 3 cut lemons
    1 large package yeast and 2 quarts of tomatoes (drained) mix well!
    Stir once a day for 7 days
    after 7 days, add 4 lbs of white raisins, stir good.
    Let stand for 21 days ( or more)
    Strain into bottles.

    Drink and enjoy!

    As with all recipes, always cover the ingredients as they work together to get to the end point. Boil bottles before filling ect. Safe and clean should always be a priority.

    Good luck, it’s great!

    G!

    • Just a note.

      I’ve been trying to get this recipe for 20 years! It was not easy, and cost quite a bit. I just hope that somebody other that me will use it, because it is fantastic when it’s complete. I have it now! 🙂

      First batch starts in a week!

      G!

    • GMan

      Questions

      What type of container do I store the stuff in after boiling and cooling? Crock, glass, metal, plastic? A five gallon plastic bucket with lid perhaps?

      How big is a “large packet of yeast”? Is that the standard packate of about 1 to 2 oz?

      I assume I need to remove the seeds from the lemon, correct? Cut into what? Slices, wedges?

      Do I need fresh tomatoes or will canned and peeled work?

      • Mornin JAC!

        My Uncle uses a jug from a water cooler, but anything will do. Just a note, as it is fermenting it will build pressure, so if you use a 5 gallon bucket, make sure it can release the pressure, or you could have quite a mess!

        Here’s to a great day!

        G!

  16. Everyone loving the “Changes”? I wonder how many government positions will be “created” by this? from FOX News

    Powerhouse student loan provider Sallie Mae says layoffs are imminent as a result of President Obama’s new student loan overhaul.

    “This legislation will force Sallie Mae to reduce our 8,600-person workforce by 2,500,” Conwey Casillas, Vice President of Sallie Mae Public Affairs, said in a statement to Fox News.

    Obama was at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria on Tuesday to sign the student loan changes into law. The new bill includes a provision for the government to begin directly lending to students, bypassing financial institutions like Sallie May that traditionally have provided the loans. Obama said that such institutions have soaked up billions in subsidies.

    “Now, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the big banks and financial institutions hired a army of lobbyists to protect the status quo,” Obama said. “In fact, Sallie Mae, America’s biggest student lender, spent more than $3 million on lobbying last year alone.”

    Indeed, Sallie Mae has been outspoken in its opposition to the plan, calling it a “government takeover” just last month.

    “The student loan provisions buried in the health care legislation intentionally eliminate valuable default prevention services and private sector jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them,” Casillas told Fox News.

    Sallie Mae was trying to garner support for an alternative, which the company said was roundly rejected.

    “We are profoundly disappointed that a reform plan that would have achieved more savings for students was ignored and now thousands of student loan experts will unnecessarily lose their jobs,” Casillas said.

    But Obama says he’s merely looking out for those in need.

    “I didn’t stand with the banks and the financial industries in this fight. That’s not why I came to Washington. And neither did any of the members of Congress who are here today,” he said. “We stood with you. We stood with America’s students. And together, we finally won that battle.”

    Obama said the move will save billions, enabling his administration to use the money to improve the quality and affordability of higher education.

    Sallie Mae hasn’t said exactly when jobs will start getting slashed, but the cuts “will start soon,” Casillas said.

  17. George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell.
    While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The
    devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.
    Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is
    finished the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so
    Putin writes him a check.
    Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When
    she is finished the devil informs her that the cost is 6 million
    dollars, so she writes him a check.
    Finally George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is
    finished the devil informs him that the cost is $5.00.
    When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush got
    to call the USA so cheaply.
    The devil smiles and replies: “Since Obama took over, the country
    has gone to hell, so it’s a local call.”

    • Never Ask a Gunny!!!

      A young Marine officer was in a serious car accident, but the only visible permanent injury was to both of his ears, which were amputated.

      Since he wasn’t physically impaired he remained in the Marine and actually rose to the rank of General. He was, however very sensitive about his appearance.

      One day the General was interviewing three Marines for his personal aide.

      The first was an aviator, and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the General asked him, “Do you notice anything different about me?” The young officer answered,” why yes, sir. I couldn’t help but notice that you have no ears.” The general got very angry at the lack of tact and threw him out.

      The second interview was with a female Lieutenant, and she was even better. The General asked her the same question, “Do you notice anything different about me?” She replied, “Well, sir, you have no ears.” The General threw her out also.

      The third interview was with a Marine Gunny. He was articulate, looked extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two officers combined (surprise). The General wanted this guy, and went ahead with the same question, “Do you notice anything different about me?” To his surprise the Gunny said, “Yes sir; you wear contacts lenses.” The General was very impressed and thought, what an incredibly observant Gunny, and he didn’t mention my ears.

      “And how do you know that I wear contacts?” The General asked. The sharp-witted Gunny replied, “Well, sir, it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with no freakin ears.”

    • They’re Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
      ————————–
      The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
      —————————-
      The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’
      ———– —————
      Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
      ————————–
      Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say ‘Hell’ to someone who doesn’t care much about you.
      ————————–
      Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.
      ————————–
      Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
      ————————–
      For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
      ————————–
      Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
      ————————–
      Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
      ————————–
      A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
      ————————–
      At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.
      ————————–
      Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
      ————————–
      Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
      ————————–
      Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
      ————————–
      The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
      ————————–
      Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.
      ————————–
      The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
      ————————–
      This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
      ————————–
      Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
      ————————–
      The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
      ————————–
      Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
      ————————–
      The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
      ————————–
      Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
      ————————–
      The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new campaign slogan last Sunday: ‘I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.’

  18. Plenty of guns around SUFA right?

    Dear Concerned American,

    With willing one-world accomplices in Washington, D.C., gun-grabbers around the globe believe they have it made.

    In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just announced the Obama Administration would be working hand in glove with the U.N. to pass a new “Small Arms Treaty.”

    Disguised as legislation to help in the fight against “terrorism,” “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates,” the U.N.’s Small Arms Treaty is nothing more than a massive, GLOBAL gun control scheme.

    If passed by the U.N. and ratified by the U.S. Senate, the U.N.’s Small Arms Treaty would almost certainly FORCE national governments to:

    •Enact tougher licensing requirements, making law-abiding citizens cut through even more bureaucratic red tape just to own a firearm legally;
    •CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL “unauthorized” civilian firearms (all firearms owned by the government are excluded, of course);
    •BAN the trade, sale and private ownership of ALL semi-automatic weapons;
    •Create an INTERNATIONAL gun registry, setting the stage for full-scale gun CONFISCATION.
    Are you outraged? Do you want answers? Then please scroll down and fill out the Firearms Sovereignty Survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you putting yourself squarely on record AGAINST the U.N. Small Arms Treaty!

    Once you submit your survey, please consider a generous donation of $100, $50 or $25 to the National Association for Gun Rights so we can fight for your gun rights and defeat the U.N. Small Arm’s Treaty.

    Sincerely,

    Congressman Paul Broun, M.D.

    Official Firearms Sovereignty Survey

    1. Do you believe the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment are the supreme law of the land?

    Yes No Unsure

    2. Do you believe that any attempt by the United Nations to subvert or supersede your Constitutional rights must be opposed?

    Yes No Unsure

    3. Do you oppose the international licensing requirements, international gun registry database and international ban on all private sales that will be included in the UN’s Small Arms Treaty?

    Yes No Unsure

    4. Will you vote AGAINST any Senator who votes for ratification of the UN’s Small Arms Treaty?

    Yes No Unsure

    First Name: Required Invalid Character
    Last Name: Required Invalid Character
    Email Address: Required Improper Email
    Confirm Email: Required The Email Addresses Do Not Match
    Zip: Required Please use a 5 digit zip

    Copyright © 2009 National Association for Gun Rights

    • Cool just taught myself something. Here’s the link

      http://www.nagr.org/UN_lp_survey2.aspx?pid=UN4

    • Important note…..The United Nations is a toothless tiger…nothing more. It will never invade a country without being asked and it will never be allowed in the United States as law enforcement force. Not only will it be unconstitutional, it will be accepted like a beer and egg fart in a sleeping bag.

  19. Interesting, the racist Tea Party protester is not a racist.

    As NewsBusters has previously reported, liberal Web sites – particularly Talking Points Memo (TPM) and the Huffington Post – have continually cited the Tea Party links of one Dale Robertson. Why? Because he further promotes the concept of the tea partier as racist. Robertson once demonstrated a level of racial ignorance that boggles the mind by being photographed with a sign reading “Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Niggar”.

    But the reality is that Robertson has predominantly self-described links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have been trying to distance themselves from the man. His claims of influence within the Tea Party have turned out to be mildly embellished. Now, it turns out his web of tales is growing ever more tangled.

    Tommy Christopher of Mediaite recently interviewed Robertson, in which he claims that the sign that made him famous for the wrong reasons was simply a fake. As Mediaite reports:

    “The misspelled n-word appears to have been duct-taped over the original sign, which Robertson claims read ‘Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Slave.’ He says he never taped anything over the original sign, nor did anyone else. He says the photo must be a fake.”

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rusty-weiss/2010/03/31/tea-party-fraud-tangled-web-lies#ixzz0jr9mkAgb

    • “It is easy to take the mob mentality and make accusations. This comment was taken from Webster Dictionary, from Ron Dellums a Liberal/Socialist Democrat.

      (Niggar) It means politically unrepresented.

      However, we are so interested in hating that we can’t see this is not referring to a person, but Americans in general. In particularly, myself.”

    • We have a very sad situation in this country but when I hear statements like the one made by Sharpton- he said that the use of the statement “we’re going to take back our country” is racist-how can we overcome this type of foolish labeling when we’re dealing with this type of mindset-Don’t try to understand what people mean-just react to trigger words that effect you emotionally.

  20. Oh my…..

    What can you even say about the level of intelligence here?

    • HELP!!!!!!!!!! We tipped over.. Come save us!!!!!! STUPID!!

    • Cyndi – you have some good anchors on that island of yours?

      • 😆

      • Cyndi P says:

        We don’t have spare anchors here. We need all we’ve got! I mean, last weekend when we had the music festival, most of the residents were on the north end of the island. Then a couple of fatties waddled over and that finally did it! People in beach chairs had to scramble to keep their beer coolers from slipping into the lagoon! Tipping over is a big, BIG problem on tiny islands, in case you’ve never heard of such a thing. Those of us who had their coolers staked down, ran toward the far side of the island and waited there until our Dive Club could organize and tie more anchors to the bottom of the far end of island. Once they did that, the island leveled off and the party continued. Of course, when the fatties got tired of standing around and waddled home, the island began to tip in the opposite direction, but our great divers were ready and standing by! They immediately went into action to stablize the situation and saved the evening. Not one person had to get out of their chair and so much as chase a single beer! The moral of the story is that when you live on a tippy island, you better have a lot of anchors and smart proactive divers around or you’ll lose your beer.

        • And there you have it! Your next film. 🙂

        • Oh Cyndi, 😆 😆 😆

          Now, how exactly do we compute the square mileage, because that also was important to the poor guy…..

          • Cyndi is temporarily unavailable..she herself tipped over!!!

          • Cyndi P says:

            Wiki…

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwajalein_Atoll

            Kwajalein is one of the world’s largest coral atolls as measured by area of enclosed water. Comprised of 97 islands and islets, it has a land area of 16.4 km² (6.33 mi²), and surrounds one of the largest lagoons in the world, with an area of 2174 km² (839 mi²

            • Cyndi P says:

              from the article:

              ….Amidst these uneasy and ambivalent negotiations between the Marshall Islands central government and landowners, and between the RMI and U.S. officials, the Marshallese residents of Ebeye, Enniburr (Third Island/Santo) and other islands in Kwajalein Atoll have suffered with increasingly strict regulations at the military installation, along with frequent power outages due to technical malfunctions and fuel shortages. ….

              I don’t think the Marshallese ‘suffer’ when on the base. The real suffering is on Ebeye. The regulations haven’t been changed to be more strict, they’ve just been enforced. About two years ago there was a substantial shadow population of Marshallese citizens living on the base. Wives and children of Marshallese workers were living in the bachelor quarters, using the laundry facilities, etc. There has been a decrease in petty theft since the regulations have been enforced. Personally, I’m glad to not have to do my laundry at 4am just to get a washing machine. Every Saturday, Marshallese citizens are permitted to shop in our retail store.

              • Something just repels me at:

                “Marshallese citizens are permitted”

                The USA forces a base on their land – subjugates them to third class citizens – and then *gasp* permits them access at a store…

                Yeech.

                Sorry, Cyndi – but my POV – revolting.

              • Cyndi P says:

                Hey Flag,

                You really should find out about the reality of the situation here. You might be less revolted. One, the USA isn’t forcing anything here. The RMI is an independent state where the citizens elect their leaders. Now, I know you feel that is an illegitmate arrangement, but for the sake of discussion, let’s just go with it for a minute. This base provides good jobs for the local nationals. Those employees have access to our medical system. They have access to tax free shopping one day a week. Our location limits how much ‘stuff’ can be shipped/flown in, so there are limits placed on quantity and variety. We have less on the base than they do on Ebeye. The big difference is we shop tax free. The locals do too, one day a week. Yeah, that’s really oppressive, isn’t it? The RMI pepole who work on this base also have access to clean drinking water, something they don’t have on Ebeye. They can be seen carrying large containers of clean drinking water as they head home at the end of the day. The water on Ebeye isn’t fit to drink. The article mentioned unrealiable electricty on Ebeye. Who do you think provides the materials and expertise to keep it running when asked for assistance? If the US wasn’t here, the Chinese government would be, but let’s go with the RMI left to its own. About the only thing the RMI has in terms of natural resources are fish and coconuts. If you want to see how the unoppressed people live, just travel to some of the outer islands where the US isn’t present. Those folks collect rainwater. If it doesn’t rain at least every three days, they’re going to have a problem. Fortunately, green coconuts have water that they can drink. Most people don’t have electricity on those islands. No medical facilities. Missionaries provide assistance for education and minimal medical and dental services. The present arrangement isn’t ideal for the RMI, however, I don’t see where they would be any worse off if they weren’t being ‘oppressed’ by big bad America. In any case, I suspect we’ll find out soon enough. I don’t see where America will be able to spend the 10s of millions of dollars every year, and render aid when asked, for much longer.

  21. U.S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises.

    1.They voted to not give you a S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011.
    2.Your Medicaid premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2-years and
    3.You will not get the 3% COLA: $660/yr. Your total 2-yr loss and cost is $1,600 or $3,200 for husband and wife.
    4. They have voted to excuse themselves and their staffs from the increased costs and requirements of the new health bill.

    Amendment 28

    “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”

    Hmmmmmm.

  22. Slow day…So lets get the party started.. Cmon Summer

    • 70 today in WI! It is awesome! High school baseball has started and it’s not unusual to have snow in the outfield for the first few games and all the fans wearing winter coats and blankets. No coat at last night’s game and tonight should be even warmer. Love the change of seasons~

      However, those poor people in RI – omg, that water and flooding. How sad.

      • Same here Kathy- Beautiful! Time to get outside.. Looks like lunch and dinner on the grill.

        D13: Any steaks available today? Quiet, Kathy 🙂

  23. Talk about bringing a knife to a gunfight………………

    NAIROBI, Kenya — Suspected Somali pirates fired on a U.S. Navy warship off East Africa early Thursday in what appeared to be a ransom-seeking attack on an American guided missile frigate, officials said.

    The USS Nicholas returned fire on the pirate skiff, sinking it and confiscating a nearby mothership. The Navy took five pirates into custody, said Navy Lt. Patrick Foughty, a spokesman.

  24. Updated April 01, 2010
    Lobbyists Enjoy Windfall Despite Pledges to Rein In Special Interest Influence

    FOXNews.com

    Though President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to curb the influence of special interests, slap a leash on lobbyists and “put the interests of Main Street in front of K Street and Wall Street,” the past year hasn’t exactly live up to that standard. Health care reform made the public mad, and it made lobbyists rich.

    Though President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to curb the influence of special interests, slap a leash on lobbyists and “put the interests of Main Street in front of K Street and Wall Street,” the past year hasn’t exactly live up to that standard.

    Special interest spending on Capitol Hill broke records in 2009, topping $3.47 billion. And almost half of the president’s recess appointments last weekend were tied to or work for so-called special interests.

    Finance figures show those interests are giving huge sums to Democrats and Republicans alike — but while the influence game is hardly the problem of one party, the legislative frenzy on Capitol Hill has only inflated it over the past year.

    The health care industry led the pack in terms of special interest spending, pumping out $266 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. General business interests spent $183 million; the oil and gas industry spent $168 million; the insurance industry spent $164 million; and utilities spent $144 million. The biggest increase in spending last year — 3,000 percent — came from the food and beverage industry, which spent $18 million on lobbying and more on campaign donations to kill a national soda tax.

    While each party likes to claim the other is in the pocket of special interests, both parties are guilty and, in many cases, corporations favor the party in power.

    Sixty percent of Wall Street campaign money last year went to Democrats. Eighty-three percent of the food and beverage spending also went to Democrats.

    “The truth with campaign money is by and large and … particularly on Wall Street, the money doesn’t go to one party or another party. It goes to both parties,” Levinthal said.

  25. You might be a Statist if…

    * You vote in every election, but soon after your candidate takes office, you wonder aloud (or secretly) about his qualifications.

    * You have voted for political candidates in your own party, expecting them to care more about you than the people who actually paid for them to be elected.

    * You have voted for political candidates in different political parties than your own, expecting a different result than voting for a candidate in your own party.

    * You believe some bureaucrat in Washington, who doesn’t know you from Batman, actually cares about you.

    * You complain to all who will listen about the terrible policies of The Other Guy, but somehow think Your Guy’s policies, demonstrably no different, are better.

    * You think that a person who happens to show great skill in one narrow area, such as public speaking, is qualified to make decisions about the lives of others across many areas, as if the fastest runner in a tribe is automatically qualified to be Chief.

    * You hate greedy corporations, but think an organization such as a government – itself the Creator of (and factually a horribly-mutated form of) a greedy corporation – will protect you from (… wait for it …) greedy corporations.

    * You think welfare only happens when the government gives money to poor people, or to rich people, or to people of another race, or to people of another socio-economic strata, or to corporations, versus whenever any organization takes money from one person via violence or coercion and gives it to another.

    * You think it is possible for a government to change the laws of supply and demand or determine an appropriate response to scarcity.

    * You’ve ever used the terminology “public option” and weren’t talking about making a Number 2 in the woods.

    * You think the land mass – and the people inhabiting it – on one side of an imaginary line in the sand called a border, are objectively better than the land mass – and the people inhabiting it – on the other side of that imaginary line in the sand.

    * You think some guy in a special uniform is objectively different from you in terms of morality and rights.

    * You believe that rights are obtained by declaration, or via guns and violence, or by the application of all three.

    * You think that rules written by members of the State can be used to control the State, as if consulting an old piece of parchment very closely and then yelling “Article 76!” was ever a reasonable response to a corrupt man holding a gun.

    * You get squeamish about shooting someone yourself, but have no compunction with having a nameless, faceless representative of the State shoot someone on your behalf. (The further away this person lives, particularly if it’s someplace you cannot find on a map without help, the better.)

    * You think it is morally justified to install an army base in the vicinity of a so-called foreign people, but would cry foul at the top of your lungs if the roles were reversed.

    * You think it can be morally justified to withhold trade with the people of a country – called an embargo or imposing sanctions – in order to blackmail the ostensible ruler of that country to do your bidding, but do not understand that such an action is morally equivalent to holding an innocent person hostage in order to illicit a certain action from someone who knows them.

    * You think your neighbor, or some guy on the other side of town, should be restricted from owning a firearm, since he might be psychopath, while simultaneously assuming that some other guy, who also might be a psychopath, can be armed because a third guy or group of people – none of whom you have ever met – authorizes it.

    * You think that one person can morally make decisions about the appropriate use of the private property of another person.

    * You think the moral nature of theft, murder, slavery, assault, and kidnapping change dependent upon the size of the group that authorizes these actions.

    • You’ve ever used the terminology “public option” and weren’t talking about making a Number 2 in the woods. Guilty to part two.

      You think the land mass – and the people inhabiting it – on one side of an imaginary line in the sand called a border, are objectively better than the land mass – and the people inhabiting it – on the other side of that imaginary line in the sand. Guilty.

      How did I do? Am I a Statist?

      • Mathius says:

        I don’t know about you.. but after reading this, I think I might just be a statist..

      • D13,

        You have those tendencies, true.

        • Hmmmm….reread….can’t say I subscribe to any except the one and one half I mentioned….

          • You think the moral nature of theft, murder, slavery, assault, and kidnapping change dependent upon the size of the group that authorizes these actions.

            • I think BF that you may be way to concerned about size. 🙂

            • I reread also. A year ago I would have been guilty of the first five but not today.

              D13s first answer: I’m not guilty
              D13s second answer: I’m also guilty

              Flag’s reply to D13 : it’s a trap

  26. Duly Noted: Run While You Can
    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4370

    From the desk of George Handlery on Sat,

    Raise taxes and lose across the board: the IRS shows how. Euro troubles: run while you can. Those nasty populists. Distorted perspectives that are politically correct.

    1. Congress’ decision to revise the US’ hefty tax code deserves attention. The measure is aims to squeeze money from declared American owned investments if the fund is managed by foreign entities. The regulation puts an additional burden on foreign investors by forcing them to disclose everything about their American clients. For aliens investing in the US is becoming more costly and complicated. These measures against a target group that has no lobby should be big news. They are not because, as also this legislation proves, the US is an insular country. That since Pearl Harbor this impression is caused by an error does not seem to impress anyone.

    Even so, confidence in the US economy, the credibility of the dollar and the moderation of her deficit, depend on continued foreign investment. Already prior to the passing of the new rules the prescient acted. Some persons and institutions were quietly loosening their business ties to the US and Americans in general. What one hears and reads now is that the changes imposed sap the desire of engagement.

    Exporting us jurisdiction abroad, and now compelling foreign businesses to act as enforcers of US ordinances and as the collection agency of the IRS, are irritants. Not only “US Persons” are to be reported, but the status of shareholding legal persons – such as investment funds – are also to be investigated by operators. In case of error, the threatened sanctions are massive enough to elicit radical self-protection. It is to avoid everything that has to do with the, in this respect, unpredictably capricious USA.

    If a foreign bank has an account at a US institution, under the terms of the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, it must determine whether that institution has an agreement with IRS. If not then all gains become subject to 30% punitive tax to be collected by the deposition’s host. The ruling involves not only the activities of about six thousand banks but also 50 thousand to 200 thousand funds, fiduciaries and investment firms. This creates high administrative costs and exposes those involved to IRS surprises that can criminalize them. The result is that the separation from US clients and the avoidance of any US-related economic activity is emerging as a wise strategy. This is hardly an American interest. It will cost dearly because US government bonds and US stocks will lose attraction. Considering that much of the deficit is financed by trusting foreigners, the consequences will be of interest. Regrettably, the US taxpayer and job seeker will hardly become conscious of the laws made in his name that work to worsen the terms by which he lives. This raises questions regarding the future of US “Treasuries”. These are now placed at 3%+ interest. Regarding that advantage for the issuer, the foregoing suggests the possible end of a “good thing”. Indirectly that gives rise to a thought. “Is everybody entirely certain that there is no way that the American economy can be hurt?”

    • Cyndi P says:

      Looks like Dear Reader is closing another escape route. I’ve been looking for a new country to call home. In my reserach I’ve found that having 100,000s of thousands of dollars makes it very easy to escape Obamaland. For those of us without that type of cash, its a whole other matter. America will be for poor people.

      • Cyndi,

        Close the first day I found SUFA, I described the future history of the World – where “Sovereign Individuals” will separate themselves from the “masses”.

        The ability and capability of certain individuals will rival nation states.

        Some nation states will reorganize themselves in a way to attract these “SI”‘s while nations will be trapped by the political expidence of having to cater to the lowest common denominator.

        Whereas today we see INSIDE most Western countries a rainbow of wealth from a few super-rich to a mass of middle class to a few poor, (though it is tipping), the future will see inside nation-states either a huge mass of super-rich and few super-poor OR nations with a huge-mass of super-poor and a few super-rich. I believe the USA is doomed to become the latter.

        A few countries, like Switzerland cater to the rich and, by design, discourage poor.

        There will be a ‘grocery store’ of nations all bidding for those that can afford to migrate.

        But those who are tied to the largess of the Nation-state will suffer its fall.

        Thus, it is imperative to divorce yourself from the Nation-state or else your entanglement will be your doom.

        • Todd,

          …and the above is a prediction that I am quite confident will come about…. global war notwithstanding.

          🙂

        • Birdman says:

          Black Flag:

          How do you divorce yourself from the nation state?

          • Birdman,

            First, you don’t believe it the nation-state. See it for what it is – a mirage.

            Second, hold firm that all human action is ultimately individual. Never allow a person to deflect their own responsibility for what they do to another person.

            Third, call “evil” evil. When you see it call it. Ridicule is the most effective weapon – evil cannot sustain itself the light of truth.

            Fourth, at every turn, and every opportunity, confound evil. When it asks for a form, bury it in a filing cabinet of paper. When it asks for an answer, send it a library. When it asks for you surrender, say – nonviolently – NO!

            GumItUp.

            Fifth, and most importantly, remember you are a free man – who may be, temporarily, unable to enforce your freedom – but a free man none the less. Never let them forget this.

            • Birdman says:

              Black Flag:

              I guess I am already divorced from the nation state. I will do #2 and #3 whenever I can. I’m not sure how to gum up the system. When you see the opportunity to gum up the system, let SUFA know about it.

  27. Recalling the labeled “Left” where supposed to be “smarter” than those labeled “Right”…

    …comes to a halting conclusion with this video of a Democrat Congressman Johnson who claims:
    If Guam gets too overpopulated, it might tip over

    This guy has a serious illness that affects his mind (“he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion”). Although if that’s what’s going on here, a polite question for Madam Speaker arises: What’s he doing at these hearings instead of resting?

    • I don’t want to be unkind but if he has an illness that effects his mind-why is he still a congressman.

  28. I have a question for everyone:

    What would you call someone who advocates a reordering of society to fit their definition?

  29. Todd

    You are doing what every “bad” person from human history has done:

    1. Defining some new standard of “acceptable” behavior

    A “new” standard???? You jest.

    The standard of human behavior has been “mind your own business” – a standard of which you refuse.

    2. Rallying those that agree with you to the “enlightenment” of your cause

    Yep. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of humanity. Without it, nothing else matters.

    3. Declaring those who do not adhere to your new standard as bad/evil

    Not true. Many do not adhere to my standard and are not evil.

    I have been very clear on my definition here.

    If you are still unable to understand it, the fault lies completely with you.

    And I don’t use “bad” – that is a short-term behavior “interrupt”, like sneaking cookies before dinner.

    Evil is systemic and core.

    Evil extends its power thoroughly throughout the individual – it influences all their decisions, beliefs and behaviors

    4. Ridiculing, threatening, and banishing those that do not agree with you

    No, only those that use or advocate violence on non-violent people.

    Don’t do the violence, and you have no problem by me.

    Do you think your reordering of society will come about peacefully?

    I hope so.

    Rarely, does it happen though.

    Those that depend on violence for their living do not take likely any attempt to dismiss violence.

    Or, since I am evil, that justifies you using violence against me to achieve your reordering of society?

    I simply repel your use of violence for that is all I can justify.

    How many people will die during your reordering of society?

    I don’t know, maybe zero.

    I do know the current system – in the 20th Century – killed more of their own citizens then those that died in natural disasters.

    That’s pretty bad.

    Could you explain how this is different than the “New World Order”, or the “One World Government”, or the “Top Eco-Fascist Calls For End Of Freedom To Fight “Global Warming”?

    I do not claim a right to chose for you what you wish to do in peace.

    You believe you have a right to chose for me what I will do, and invade my peace to enforce it.

    Thus the conflict.

    Wow – this is getting scary…

    Indeed.

    Evil’s face is incredibly scary.

    • Black Flag,
      You talk about history so often, I’m amazed you can’t see that what you are proposing is just repeating history. Many people have thought they have “the answer” to the worlds problems, and they could control government, society, people, economies for the betterment of all.

      As you point out – they all failed…except one, but you’re predicting that failure too… 😉

      But now you feel you have “the answer” to the worlds problems, and you can reorder of society to fit your vision.

      Do you not see the similarities with history?

  30. Judy Sabatini says:

    As a patriotic American, you should know immediately about a very troubling situation.

    The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Court has ordered Albert Snyder, the father of a slain Marine, to pay legal costs to the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., led by Fred Phelps, has for years been taunting grieving mourners at military funerals nationwide. During the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder in 2006, the anti-gay group praised the loss of the young Marine as well as other young servicemen and women, calling their deaths a by-product of a nation that tolerates homosexuality.

    VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr., is urging members and patriotic friends to assist the fallen Marine’s father and also send words of support and encouragement.

    A fund has been set up to help Mr. Snyder pay the court costs. None of the money will be for attorneys, who are graciously representing him pro bono. Donate online at http://www.matthewsnyder.org or send a check payable to “Al Snyder Fund” to: Barley Snyder LLC, 100 East Market Street, York, PA 17401.

    Tell A Friend

    “This is a travesty at best and borders on the obscene. Mr. Snyder has already confronted the difficulties of burying his Marine son and then bringing a lawsuit against this group of hate-mongers. It is absolutely wrong for the court to order him to shoulder a financial burden on top of everything else.”

    Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr.
    VFW National Commander

    Veterans of Foreign Wars | 406 West 34th Street | Kansas City, MO 64111

    Forward to a Friend | Update Your Profile | Unsubscribe

    To ensure you receive these important communications from VFW, please add friendsoffreedom@vfw.org to your address book.

  31. Birdman says:

    Interesting article I found.

    The RentenDollar: A conspiracy theory OR Please tell me where I’m wrong.
    Posted on March 29, 2010 by correia45

    Late last night I came up with my very own conspiracy theory. It seemed a little odd at the time, but as I’ve continued to think it over, I’ve not yet been able to poke any significant holes in it. Of course, it is the kind of thing that an accountant turned science fiction author would come up with.

    Basically, I’m starting to think that certain factions within our government actively want hyperinflation to occur as a surefire method of instituting de-facto communism in America…

    Crazy, right? I know, you’re thinking that surely Correia has gone off the deep end and spouting off all sorts of doomsday nonsense, but hear me out first.

    As many of you know, I’m a history geek. Last year I wrote my first alternative history novel set in 1932. Because I’m a stickler for authenticity, I did an absurd amount of research. I read every book I could get my hands on about what is normally called the interwar period. I mostly concentrated on American history/culture but I also learned a bit about the Weimar Republic.

    The interesting factoids about the Weimar Republic that most of us remember is that it was the home of hyperinflation (remember the wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread) and eventually it also gave us one of history’s greatest scumbags, Hitler. Other than that, most Americans don’t really know much about the Weimar Republic.

    Okay, but where did the hyperinflation come from? I’m going to greatly simplify this because A. I’m a writer and accountant, not a historian, go to Wikipedia and B. This is only for a background to draw a comparison to what we’re doing right now.

    The Weimar Republic (If I recall correctly, they actually called themselves the Deutsch Reich) came about after WWI. The German Empire had fallen apart, leadership fled, and for the next couple of years there were several battles fought between different factions of communists, socialists, and conservatives. (and when I say conservative it isn’t what it means here and now. I mean conservative back toward the empire, royalty, and all that entails). These were not polite political discussions. These were a series of violent mini-revolts where various cities would go off and declare themselves independent, like the Soviet State of Munich. Then a bunch of communists and the “Freikorps” would clash in the streets, then repeat a week later in a different city. It was bad.

    Eventually the Weimar Republic was formed from the different groups, and immediately it had a whole new set of problems. The Germans signed the treaty of Versailles, they gave up a bunch of territory, and even worse, then took on a massive war debt and an agreement to basically pay the allies for the biggest war in history.

    So what does a government, which is already sitting on a very damaged economy, do in order to pay this debt? They printed more money. Sounding familiar yet?

    It got worse. As the Weimar printed more money, their government got more bloated, and ate up even more of their resources. (at one point a chancellor laid off several hundred thousand government employees to try and make ends meet). As their money inflated and became more useless, France got tired of not getting paid, and being jerks, invaded and took over the Ruhr, which was one of the most productive regions in Germany. This caused a drop in production, and then everybody else went on strike.

    Meanwhile, the money kept inflating to levels that people couldn’t even understand. Back during the war, the Mark was something like 4 to 1 against the dollar. By the time they hit hyperinflation, they’d gone to millions to 1, and by the end, it was literally trillions to a single dollar. They would print new bills, and a few days later all they were good for was note paper. This is where the stories about the wheelbarrow full of money for bread comes from. To put this in perspective, this would be like you filling the trunk of your car with twenty dollar bills and then using all those trash bags full of money to buy some shoelaces and a tube of toothpaste.

    So basically Germany was totally screwed.

    So how did they get out of it? Contrary to what most Americans think, it wasn’t Hitler that came along and fixed Germany’s economic problems and turned them into an industrial powerhouse war machine through the sheer power of him being a complete ass. There was actually a time period in the thirties that the Weimer knew as the Golden Years, because they’d finally gotten much of their economy back under control.

    They rebooted their currency. If I recall correctly, their new currency was called the Rentenmark. They introduced the Rentenmark, and you could trade in your trillions of crappy marks for one of them. It went back to 4-1 with the dollar. Now here’s the thing. You can’t just change the name and have new currency. Your currency has to actually be based on something. (kind of like how the dollar is based on good feelings and rainbows).

    They based it on land. It was the one asset that the government could go and take over to use as a base asset, and land is always valuable because they aren’t making any more of it. Congratulations land owners, all your dirt belongs to us, but people were so desperate (and tired of carrying buckets of silly money around) that it didn’t matter. They were desperate, and desperate times called for desperate (and sometimes stupid) measures. Using the new asset-backed Rentenmarks, Germany was able to start paying their debts again and get on with a semblance of normalcy, well at least until they elected a bunch of lunatics in snazzy uniforms.

    So why this long story? Because it is to compare with what we’re doing ourselves. Right now the United States is on the path to hyperinflation. CBO is predicting that by 2020, our debt will be 90% of our GDP. (EDIT: As was pointed out in the comments, my information there was wrong. We’ll hit 90% way way earlier than that, so it is even worse) Think about that for a second. That would be like if you had a $50,000 a year job, but you owed vicious thumb-breaking loan sharks $45,000 that was still collecting interest. Our entitlements are bankrupting us. Even before Health Control (because if you believe the government is going to spend a trillion bucks and cut the deficit, you must sleep in a helmet) we’re only a few years from all our tax dollars only being able to pay for Medicare, Social Security, and interest on our debt. That’s it.

    Now, what happens when you as an individual can’t pay your debts or pay your bills on time? Your credit rating goes down. And when your credit rating goes down, you can no longer get that low interest Visa-Black-Platinum-Playboy card (with Sky Miles!) you can now only get the Soup-Kitchen-Discover card at 280% interest. Many people don’t realize it, but governments have credit ratings too. Right now we’ve got a great one, based on ‘because we’re so awesome’. But we’re getting really close to losing our good credit rating, (because awesome will only get you so far before you actually have to pay the bills) when that happens, all of those already really bad estimates about our future debt are going to get far worse. How much worse? Have you ever played Fallout 3 on the Xbox? Kind of like that.

    So while we’re on our way to Thunder Dome, the government is printing dollars like crazy, faster than ever before, with no signs of letting up. Inflation is coming. When the credit rating tanks and the entitlements get worse (or the oil currency switches to something else) hello, Master Blaster! We’re in deep trouble. We’re looking at hyperinflation. Dollars worth nothing, burning them to keep warm would be more efficient, kind of thing.

    Yet the government, that surely has some smart people in it, continues to increase our spending, increase our debt load, and do things that are the exact opposite of fiscally responsible. It is almost as if they want the system to collapse…

    Then I remember the Weimar Republic. They had hyperinflation. How did they get out of it? By rebooting the currency. What was the new currency based on? Land. Land is an asset.

    The government is gobbling up land out west like crazy. Every time we discover a deposit of oil or coal out here, the government immediately discovers a snail or a flower on it that might be endangered and grabs a couple hundred thousand more acres. The government is trying to kick 18,000 people out of their homes in Colorado to put in a new “tank range”.

    But that wouldn’t be enough. Think beyond land. Think assets.

    Fanny May and Freddy Mac now hold something like 50% of the mortgages in the US. The government has recently either directly taken over, or regulated the living crap out of our auto industry, insurance industry, banking and finance industry, and now health care…

    The people of the Weimar were so desperate, that they would do anything to get out of their economic crisis.

    Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation here. Let’s say that in a decade or so, our currency has collapsed. We owe far more than we produce. Companies are failing. Because all of our tax dollars are used just to pay for our debt, taxes have to be raised, which causes even more unemployment and decreased production. Entitlements can’t be met. The current economic crisis looks awesome in comparison, but there is no possible way out, because our money is now worthless.

    So… Reboot the currency. Make a new RentenDollar.

    The media can even point out what a fantastic idea this is because historically, it has worked before! The politicians will tell us that this is the only way and we must act quickly! People are desperate and will be told that “the private system has failed! Only government intervention can save us now!” (gee, why does that sound soooo familiar?)

    Sure, they caused the problem, but that isn’t what most people will think, but as they’ve shown, they don’t really care what we think anyway. They will not let a good crisis go to waste. There is only one teensy downside to this reboot though…

    See, the RentenDollar can’t be based on good feelings like the old dollar, it must be based on ASSETS. And since the capitalist system has failed, and the government has already got its fingers in all these various companies, instead of just regulating these companies, why shouldn’t the government just own them?

    All those mortgages? They now belong to the government. Banks? Belong to the government. Industrial production? Government. Medical. Government. They’re assets, and they’re necessary to back our new currency.

    You don’t like it? People are starving. There are riots in the streets. Cities are burning. We have to act now! Won’t somebody think of the children! There’s no time to read this 9,000 page bill! HURRY!

    …And just like that, America has become a communist country. State control and ownership of everything.

    So, let’s poke some holes in my late night theory. Please, somebody tell me how this is impossible. Maybe we’re not heading for an economic collapse. Maybe we’re not going to have hyperinflation. If anybody has any evidence of that, I’d love to hear it, because this is kind of depressing.

    Or, the other way that this idea could be silly and implausible is if there was no possible way that elements within our government would want to exercise total control over our lives… Yeah… that’s just absurd.

    Ask yourself this one question. Do you believe that our current federal government, if presented with the opportunity, would take over and control everything? Yes or No.

    Help me out here, guys. I’m not getting any warm feelings from this.

  32. Todd,

    So you make the perfect case to why Command-Control systems fail when trying run naturally chaotic systems.

    Are you saying the Glass-Steagall Act should be reinstated to separate commercial banks and investment banks?
    Or all regulation should be removed to allow the banks to do whatever they want?

    Money and Banking are no more and no less an economic good as anything else.

    Ask yourself, should the government create laws that separate Apple growers from Apple juice producers?

    The question is absurd – yet, the question is asked when you do simple word replace of Banks for Apples!

    The problem IS the Regulation and the Monopoly on Banking.

    But since that is invisible to you, you will perpetually try to invent other solutions to solve a self-induced problem – which no matter what Statist solution you choose will always make it worse.

    I think Volker is saying when a bank fails, the government/FDIC should step in to close it down, not bail it out. I don’t think he’s saying the government should decide when to shut down a bank. But that’s a fine line. The FDIC monitors banks that are in trouble and decides when the “time is up”…

    You are generally accurate here except in the allocation of “class”.

    Some banks are “more equal then others”.

    The small banks are being crushed. The big banks are being bailed. It is black and white. It is the consolidation and nationalization of the banking industry on an unprecedented scale – and completely oblivious to the general American public.

    If you just let banks file for bankruptcy, people’s deposits and checking accounts would be frozen as the bankruptcy works it’s way thru the courts. That’s why the FDIC plans the closure/sale/merger of failing banks and executes the process over a weekend – the bank reopens Monday under a new name.

    And you’ll never see BoA or Citibank with a new name.

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