Tuesday Night Open Mic for August 10, 2010

Greetings from the beaches of an undisclosed location. I have put palm trees up to block off my section of the beach. This evening I had dinner with a man who claimed he was the King of Spain. He was in shorts and a t-shirt, so I am not sure. He also had no personal security, which was odd. But I can say without reservation that my vacation has not cost the taxpayers a single dime. Although it is costing Mrs. Weapon a ton! It is relaxing, however, and much needed. I apologize again for my limited participation during the vacation, but I am benefitting from the relaxation. Tonight we have a few interesting topics. We have the Department of Justice stalling on the MOVE Act, the Department of Defense admitting that government run health care is failing, home schooling on the rise, and the climate change fear monger crowd refusing to let a dead horse alone.


  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    EXCLUSIVE: DOJ Accused of Stalling on MOVE Act for Voters in Military

    The Department of Justice is ignoring a new law aimed at protecting the right of American soldiers to vote, according to two former DOJ attorneys who say states are being encouraged to use waivers to bypass the new federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.

    The MOVE Act, enacted last October, ensures that servicemen and women serving overseas have ample time to get in their absentee ballots. The result of the DOJ’s alleged inaction in enforcing the act, say Eric Eversole and J. Christian Adams — both former litigation attorneys for the DOJ’s Voting Section — could be that thousands of soldiers’ ballots will arrive too late to be counted.

    “It is an absolute shame that the section appears to be spending more time finding ways to avoid the MOVE Act, rather than finding ways to ensure that military voters will have their votes counted,” said Eversole, director of the Military Voter Protection Project, a new organization devoted to ensuring military voting rights. “The Voting Section seems to have forgotten that it has an obligation to enforce federal law, not to find and raise arguments for states to avoid these laws.”

    Adams, a conservative blogger (www.electionlawcenter.com) who gained national attention when he testified against his former employer after it dropped its case against the New Black Panther Party, called the DOJ’s handling of the MOVE Act akin to “keystone cops enforcement.”

    “I do know that they have adopted positions or attempted to adopt positions to waivers that prove they aren’t interested in aggressively enforcing the law,” Adams told FoxNews.com. “They shouldn’t be going to meeting with state election officials and telling them they don’t like to litigate cases and telling them that the waiver requirements are ambiguous.”

    The MOVE act requires states to send absentee ballots to overseas military troops 45 days before an election, but a state can apply for a waiver if it can prove a specific “undue hardship” in enforcing it.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/28/exclusive-doj-stalls-voter-registration-law-military/

    I find this particular story to be a complete travesty. Regardless of whether you fall on the side of believing in the power of the vote or not, there is absolutely no excuse for politicians getting in the way of people exercising their right to do so. It just compounds the issue when we are talking about the soldiers that are serving in foreign countries protecting everyone else’s right to vote.

    I am baffled as to what would pass as an acceptable reason is for this happening. The only thing that I can think of at the moment as a cause is that it is a Democrat administration and the majority of absentee ballots from the military tend to go towards the Republican candidates. I know that is thin in terms of having any substance to back up the claim, but it is all I can come up with. What other reason would the Eric Holder Department of (IN)Justice have for stalling and offering alternatives.

    I guess what frustrated me the most about the entire story was the fact that they were TELLING the states how to go about failing to meet the standards set by law. Just as frustrating is the fact that the DOJ website has no mention of the MOVE Act at all. The article pointed out the the section on military voting rights has nothing but outdated information which is rendered moot by the passage of the MOVE Act. In contrast, the site has detailed and accurate information helping felons learn how to get their voting rights back.

    I guess felons are a bit more important than soldiers….. or at least more consistent in their voting for Democratic candidates.

    Just so you are aware of who has applied for waivers to not meet the standards, and thus possibly get no absentee ballots on time to count them, the list of states is New York, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, Alaska and Virgin Islands.

    • I am baffled as to what would pass as an acceptable reason is for this happening.

      See Mathius’s First Law: People. Are. Dumb.

      • Dumb-in this case-NO-Devious, unethical, evil-those work

        • See Mathius’s Third Law: People. Are. Greedy.

          Mathius’s Third Law, Corollary A: People will behave unethically in order to satiate their personal greed (whether for money, power, or anything else).

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Just got into the office and in dire need of coffee, so I haven’t taken a thorough look at your article, the original article, or the link I am about to post. But as soon as I saw the name Adams again in the context of a DOJ story, I just had to run a quick google search. Here’s what I came up with:


      Methinks Fox should stop simply parroting Adams’ accusations on these voting cases.

      • Not neccesarily to Buck but..

        This link goes into the New Black Panthers story quite a bit. I’m confused about what is wrong with exposing that group for stuff that is actually on video no matter who is doing the exposing.

        Who is trying to suppress what?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Adams is a right-wing hack. You need to take any of his allegations with a grain of salt.

          • I got that part but that doesnt answer my question. The Black Panther Stuff is on video. How can anyone argue about it?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Anita – excerpt from the following link: http://mediamatters.org/research/201007190047

              Voter harassment by definition involves two parties (at minimum). If no one claims harassment then was there harassment or just some jackass on a video?

              Reality: Adams’ accusations don’t stand up to the facts

              * Adams is a long-time right-wing activist, who is known for filing an ethics complaint against Hugh Rodham that was subsequently dismissed, served as a Bush poll watcher in Florida 2004, and reportedly volunteered for a Republican group that trains lawyers to fight “racially tinged battles over voting rights”;
              * Adams was hired to the Justice Department in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, who was found by the Department of Justice Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility to have improperly considered political affiliation when hiring career attorneys — the former head of the DOJ voting rights section reportedly said that Adams was “exhibit A of the type of people hired by Schlozman”;
              * Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;
              * The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;
              * The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;
              * The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;
              * No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;
              * The Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is currently investigating the Justice Department’s decision, reportedly said that the other conservatives on the Civil Rights Commission were trying to use New Black Panther case “to topple” the Obama administration. Thernston has also called the case “very small potatoes” and criticized the “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges” surrounding it, and said that rhetoric has not “served the interests of the commission”; she further said that DOJ has given a “plausible argument” for not pursuing additional charges in the case;
              * The United States Commission on Civil Rights has been integral to the phony New Black Panthers scandal. Although the media have emphasized the fact that the commission is technically bipartisan, thanks to a “controversial maneuver” by the Bush administration, the commission is dominated by conservative activists;
              * Adams himself testified that he had no “indication” that the decision involved anyone “higher up” than an acting assistant attorney general;
              * The Obama Justice Department requested additional judgment against black leaders in Mississippi who were found to have discriminated against white voters.

              • Good answer Ray. It just sucks that everyone in politics- media,politicians, and any regular joes with an ax to grind insist on being F&@#%*^ ASSCLOWNS! I am more & more in Black Flag’s camp


              • Bottom Line says:

                Ray – “Voter harassment by definition involves two parties (at minimum). If no one claims harassment then was there harassment or just some jackass on a video?”

                BL – So, Because there were no formal complaints against Samir Shabazz by voters, standing outside a voting facility with a night-stick shouting racial slurs isn’t intimidating?

                Yeah, that makes sense.

                Ray – “Reality: Adams’ accusations don’t stand up to the facts”

                BL – Reality: He(Samir Shabazz) is on tape harrassing people.

                Reality: He didn’t get prosecuted.

                …and that is true regardless of what Adams or anyone else says.

                I don’t know who Adams is, and I don’t give a shit either.

                I don’t need Adams to interpret what I saw.

                • Aren’t you guys talking about two different things-Adams accused them of not prosecuting the Panthers because of discrimination against whites-the video in my mind proves that the panther did indeed use intimidation and should have been prosecuted but it isn’t proof of why they choose to drop the charges.

                • Ray Hawkins says:

                  Bottom Line – Shabazz is a fairly well known figure in Philadelphia, and ESPECIALLY in that neighborhood. Most people just think he is a jackass. You feeling intimidated on behalf of the people voting there does not make it intimidation. Does that make sense?

                  • He had a weapon in his hand and the people around there probably know about him, which means they know how he feels about white people is your defense that this isn’t intimidation. Personally, I think the idea that the people voting know about him is probably more reason to support the charge of intimidation and a really good reason for there not being any complaints.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      VH – to my recollection (and from re-watching a couple of videos) the only people claiming any type of intimidation were GOP poll watchers and the person who did the original tape. Sorry – still no case here.

                    • Okay, Ray why don’t you try to convince me that if a KKK member all dressed in white carrying a billy stick was shown on video standing in front of a voting precinct -that the outcome at trial would have turned out the same based solely on the law. Then maybe I could agree with you 🙂

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      VH – congratulations on trying to obfuscate the argument – your evasiveness is applauded. But this isn’t about “what ifs”. I would have thought you to be smarter than to use a contextual example with a far different historical significance in our nation and culture versus the New Black Panthers – but you shot your own argument full of holes simply by posting it.

                    • Please enlighten me Ray, because I don’t see much difference in the KKK and the Black Panthers when it comes to the promoting of hate and prejudice, and violence. But if you find my remarks so offensive, convince me if a white man was standing in front of a polling place with a billy stick the case would have turned out the same.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      You’re asking me to argue a hypothetical – what you’re asking did not happen. Its like me asking you if your husband still beats you.

                      And no – I don’t see much of a difference in pure hate between the two – but can you wrap your head around the notion that the Klan has a deep history of murder and torture and violence that pervades to this day?

                    • Of course I can-I can also see that our history of how blacks were treated in the past brings about excusing things that they do now-and causes unequal justice in cases like this one-just like there was unequal justice on the side of whites in the past-and that’s not even considering the political factors that could be involved in this situation.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      There is no excuse for a piece of shit like Shabazz – but he still did nothing illegal at the polling place. What you need to remember and what I also posted here is that there is not universal agreement as to what constitutes non-physical voter intimidation – both LE and the Courts vary in how it is handled.

                      To appease your curiosity – if you repeated the scenario as you describe with a Klansman in Cecil County, Maryland you’d likely get the same result. The issue is very contextual and highly variable accordingly with the variables of each situation. Tough shit if you don’t like it but I don’t make, or enforce laws or decide court cases.

                    • Tough shit if I don’t like it-well my goodness Ray, you really have a problem with someone disagreeing with you or what?

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      “Tough shit” was harsh VH. I run into disagreement all the time – I just tend to be relentless when I know I’m right. 😉

                    • 🙂 I actually meant to put a smile at the end of that comment-but at this point lets just agree to disagree. And just as a side note -your comment may have been a bit harsh but in this case neither my opinion or yours really matters-so I reckon it fits.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Sounds good VH. I’ll leave this with the observation that IF there were intimidating actions taken by Shabazz and observed as such by the voters in that precinct – then its sad those folks are likely too fearful of filing action. As I said previous – tremendous apathy there plus an unwillingness to do the right thing.

                  • Bottom Line says:

                    Perhaps I should better articulate my point.

                    My point is this…

                    It isn’t about Adam’s credibility or anyone else’s.

                    Actions speak louder than words.

                    Regardless of what anyone says or whatever accusations are made, regardless of how people feel about the situation, he was caught on tape breaking the law, and he was never punished.

                    Adams can be a right-wing hack trying to turn American politics into a Jerry Springer episode. He can say whatever inaccurate BS he wants. FOX news can bullshit and sensationalize whatever they want. Eric Holder can make any excuse he wants. The community in PA can think Samir Shabazz is just a jack-ass.

                    …Still doesn’t change the video and the fact that he never was punished.

                    Adams can make accusations that the BHO admin. is denying service personnel the right to vote. FOX can say the same thing. People can say that it is wrong.

                    Doesn’t matter. What matters is whether they deny service persons the right to vote.

                    The proof is in the pudding. Everything else is rhetorical nonsense.

                    Ray – “You feeling intimidated on behalf of the people voting there does not make it intimidation. Does that make sense?”

                    BL – Makes perfect sense. And I agree that what I think is basically irrelevant. What makes it intimidation is the fact that he was at a voting facility with a night-stick shouting racial slurs and being offensive.

                    If a dead body is found somewhere with a gunshot to the head, do the authorities dismiss it because no one made a formal complaint? Is it not still murder?

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Bottom Line – you are mistaken on numerous counts…..

                      “Regardless of what anyone says or whatever accusations are made, regardless of how people feel about the situation, he was caught on tape breaking the law, and he was never punished.”

                      Not quite – perhaps in how you interpret the law which is irrelevant. Please see the following to help you understand better how physical and non-physical “intimidation” is seen differently: http://www.slate.com/id/2109096

                      “Doesn’t matter. What matters is whether they deny service persons the right to vote.”

                      Again – you’re playing logical twister here. You are insinuating that there is a deliberate attempt to deny service personnel the right to vote. Not only is there not a shred of evidence of that, there is evidence to the contrary.

                      “….he was at a voting facility with a night-stick shouting racial slurs ”

                      Can you please link the video where Shabazz is shouting racial slurs? The two videos I saw this a.m. via You Tube apparently are not the ones that include the racial slurs.

                    • Bottom Line says:

                      The simplest way to state my point: Truth is truth is truth. All else is BS.

                      Until the truth comes out, all the rhetoric, speculation, lies, opinions, etc..is all a distracting crock of worthless shit.

                      It isn’t really about Samir Shabazz or Mr. Adams. They are just two examples to illustrate my point.

                      Some Republicrat hack can speculate that there is a spiteful and deliberate attempt to deny service members their vote. Someone else can speculate that it’s not spiteful and deliberate.

                      But until we see what happens to their votes and why, then it’s all BS.

                      Eric Holder(or whoever) can say that because of some BS technicality, that it wasn’t voter intimidation, but any idiot can see from the videos of him talking about killing cracker babies and standing in front of the voting facility in full uniform with a night-stick, or the witnesses of his harassing comments,…that he is clearly a racist extremest with an agenda intimidating voters.

                      That is the truth. The rest(including the legal definition of intimidation) is bullshit.

                      Don’t take someone else’s word for it. Don’t call it how you want it. Call it like it is. Call it like you see it. And if you can’t see it, don’t call it, because then it’s just rhetorical BS.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Okay Bottom Line – maybe I am not being clear. You are misrepresenting the facts of that video. Is Shabazz a jackass? Yes. Has he been taped advocating killing white people? Yes. Was that taping done in front of the voter precinct in North Philly? NOPE. There is no evidence whatsoever that he broke the law on election day. None! So cut the shit with lying about what happened – I know you detest people like him – and you’re welcome to use as much creative license as you want – but at least have the guts to tell people you’re full of shit before you post things you know are not true.

                    • Bottom Line says:

                      Do you STILL not get it?

                      Okay, allow me to use a TOTALLY different example to make the same point.

                      Perhaps a hypothetical will help.

                      Let’s say that BHO requested chocolate cake for his birthday…

                      And on his birthday gave a 30 minute speech on how chocolate is so much better than vanilla. Then cuts the cake and eats half of it all by himself.

                      Now, lets say that someone decided(for whatever reason) that he was really using cake as a metaphor for race and that he hates white people.

                      And lets say that someone else says that Betty Crocker, Hershey’s and BHO are conspiring to take over the world with chocolate cake.

                      It’s all rhetorical BS.

                      All anyone can really say is that he REALLY likes chocolate cake.

                      That’s it…just that he likes chocolate cake.

                      Why? Because it’s true. Everyone watched him talk all about it before eating half of a chocolate cake.

                      It’s not like the cake had “crackers suck” or “New Chocolate World Order” written on it.

                      But, suppose he was cutting into the cake and was caught on camera writing “white people are evil” in the icing.

                      Then you have strong evidence that he is racist. Anything to the contrary would be denial of reality.

                      You can try to rationalize it and make believe that he was just joking, but your eyes do not lie. He clearly displayed hatred of white people while cutting the cake.

                      You can even argue that he doesn’t really like chocolate because artificial flavoring was used, but you watched him eat it and enjoy.

                      Truth is truth is truth. Anything else is just BS.

                      Now, to address your statements…

                      Ray – “You are misrepresenting the facts of that video.”

                      BL – “So, Because there were no formal complaints against Samir Shabazz by voters, standing outside a voting facility with a night-stick shouting racial slurs isn’t intimidating?”

                      BL – Where is a video mentioned?

                      BL – “Reality: He(Samir Shabazz) is on tape harrassing people.”

                      BL – Where did I say “racial slur”?

                      BL – “Eric Holder(or whoever) can say that because of some BS technicality, that it wasn’t voter intimidation, but any idiot can see from the videos of him talking about killing cracker babies and standing in front of the voting facility in full uniform with a night-stick, or the witnesses of his harassing comments,…that he is clearly a racist extremest with an agenda intimidating voters”

                      BL – Notice I said “videoS” not “video”. And the racial slurs are from witness accounts and the other videos. I never said it was in that ONE video.

                      I don’t feel that I have misrepresented anything. YOU are the one putting words in my mouth.

                      Whether you want to be in denial over reality, or believe what someone tells you in spite of what you see with your own eyes is your business, but perhaps YOU should cut the shit.

                      Perhaps YOU should have the balls to admit you’re full of shit.

                      Ray – “There is no evidence whatsoever that he broke the law on election day. None! ”

                      BL – There is plenty of evidence that he was harrassing voters. And harassing voters is illegal.

                      There is a video of him standing there in uniform with a night stick as well as several witness accounts of racial slurs and provocative speech and body language.

                      C’mon Ray, do not tell me that you honestly believe he wasn’t harrassing voters, that he wasn’t doing exactly what the law was designed to prevent/deter.

                      IT’S F*&%ING OBVIOUS!

                      No bullshit technicality, or denial of reality changes the fact that he was indeed harassing voters.

                      We know he was there with a night-stick in a racist uniform because he is on video. We know he was intimidating voters and calling them names because there are witnesses. We know that is his normal M.O. because he is regularly standing around in his neighborhood talking about killing white babies.

                      You can bullshit yourself if ya want to, but he was indeed intimidating voters.

                      What’s to say that he wasn’t? Some bullshit technicality about formal complaints not filed?

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Bottom Line – last round so here goes:

                      Your own words are betraying you….

                      Read your own words one more time:

                      “Eric Holder(or whoever) can say that because of some BS technicality, that it wasn’t voter intimidation, but any idiot can see from the videos of him talking about killing cracker babies and standing in front of the voting facility in full uniform with a night-stick, or the witnesses of his harassing comments,…that he is clearly a racist extremest with an agenda intimidating voters”

                      You have not distinguished your thoughts in any reasonable manner such that you present unique thoughts tied to DIFFERENT evidence (videos). Maybe you were hyped up because I was challenging you and you couldn’t wait to fire off a reply, maybe you’re just not real good at putting your thoughts into words (that’s my issue time to time), maybe you intended to run the concepts together so it can neatly tie a bow around your “he committed a crime” theory.

                      I think it the later of the three – and when called on it you insist “I didn’t mean THAT video”. Yep – okay. I get it. Shabazz can be the most hateful piece of garbage in the world – but one more time (drum roll please) – there is no EVIDENCE of what you state. NONE! ZERO! ZILCH! NADA!

                      Do I think he intended to intimidate anyone? Not really – as I stated here before – I know exactly where that polling place is. I also know that neighborhood quite well (I used to have employees that did Mission work down there). It is a gross but polite understatement for me to offer that the neighborhood where that occurred, while not tolerant so to speak to hatred in general, are not really going to be bothered much by it either – they simply don’t give a shit. Most that live there are not real well off economically, it is an area that for years has had drug and crime problems – a great breeding ground for those Panther idiots to show up and stir the pot.

                      I would consider it likely that they probably did utter something ignorant or stupid – but my gut feeling isn’t proof of jack squat.

                    • Bottom Line says:


                      Maybe the responsibility of us continuing with this nonsensical argument does fall on me.

                      Perhaps I didn’t articulate my point properly thus far.

                      I will try again…

                      Point A: BS

                      There is a lot of people talking a lot of smack all over American politics, people as Mr. Adams is described(hack).

                      Until their claims, opinions, predictions, accusations, etc. manifest themselves into some kind of discernible determinable truth, it has little value. It is basically just bullshit. Who cares what they say.

                      Point B: Samir Shabazz

                      Nobody doubts what kind of ideology Shabazz espouses. His community and everyone that has seen the videos of him standing on the side of the street preaching “black” theology and killing white babies through a megaphone knows that he is a radical militant racist and member of the black panther party.

                      So when he shows up on camera at the voting facility in full black militant uniform with a night stick and a bunch of witnesses saying he is spewing racial slurs and black theology, calling people cracker,… there is little question as to what he is doing there.

                      As I said above, “IT’S F*&%ING OBVIOUS!”

                      And the law prohibits exactly what he did.

                      But instead of serving the community by putting him in “time out”, or whatever else the law prescribes, our attorney general decides to do virtually nothing…All over some BS technicality excuse to let him off the hook.

                      If they wanted to nail him they would/could have. There was sufficient evidence.

                      And if he is innocent, then why is he banned from voting facilities for a while?

                      Further, people like you only exacerbate the problem by supporting such an injustice out of denial of the truth right in front of you. And by rationalizing it as not his fault because he was at least smart enough to watch his mouth while the cameras were rolling, you deny yourself a free and clear interpretation of truth.

                      snap, snap – wake up.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Bottom Line said:

                      “Point A: BS

                      There is a lot of people talking a lot of smack all over American politics, people as Mr. Adams is described(hack).

                      Until their claims, opinions, predictions, accusations, etc. manifest themselves into some kind of discernible determinable truth, it has little value. It is basically just bullshit. Who cares what they say.”

                      Response – I agree with what you are saying. What we seem to disagree on is what constitutes truth.


                      “Point B: Samir Shabazz

                      Nobody doubts what kind of ideology Shabazz espouses. His community and everyone that has seen the videos of him standing on the side of the street preaching “black” theology and killing white babies through a megaphone knows that he is a radical militant racist and member of the black panther party.”

                      Response – that does not vacate his first amendment rights. And there is still no evidence that he espoused any killing of white babies at the polling place. You’re assuming (incorrectly I believe) that the same folks who poll there also watch Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly (who played the clips), or Fox News, or read Breitbart and their ilk. Look at how many hits the You Tube videos actually have. Its nbot too late to change your story BL.

                      “So when he shows up on camera at the voting facility in full black militant uniform with a night stick and a bunch of witnesses saying he is spewing racial slurs and black theology, calling people cracker,… there is little question as to what he is doing there.”

                      Response – Where are the witnesses? Intimidation requires two parties BL – where is the second party?

                      “As I said above, “IT’S F*&%ING OBVIOUS!”

                      Response – Obvious means evidence – you have shown no evidence.

                      “And the law prohibits exactly what he did.”

                      Response – the summary judgment outlines what was prohibited: http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/documents/BlkPants-Judgmt-5-18-09.pdf

                      “But instead of serving the community by putting him in “time out”, or whatever else the law prescribes, our attorney general decides to do virtually nothing…All over some BS technicality excuse to let him off the hook.”

                      Response – the case crossed over two AGs – try at least getting that straight. There was judgment taken against him.

                      “If they wanted to nail him they would/could have. There was sufficient evidence.”

                      Response – already covered this.

                      “And if he is innocent, then why is he banned from voting facilities for a while?”

                      Response – he is? Can you provide a credible reference for this?

                      “Further, people like you only exacerbate the problem by supporting such an injustice out of denial of the truth right in front of you. And by rationalizing it as not his fault because he was at least smart enough to watch his mouth while the cameras were rolling, you deny yourself a free and clear interpretation of truth.”

                      Response – no BL – you are the one filling in the blanks based on your own prejudice and hypocrisy. I am basing my take on this on discernible fact.

                    • Bottom Line says:


                      This is just as much about common sense as it is about legality.

                      If you were to put him in front of a half way intelligent jury, show them the video of voting day, and allow them to hear a witness or two(like the guy on the news, the guy that took the video, and anyone else that could be rounded up – there were plenty of people there – Who saw and heard what?), he would be convicted and probably given a light punishment just to make him think about it.

                      But that’s not what happened. They instead decided not to press it, and let him off with “don’t go back to a voting facility until 2012”.

                      ~Above: “And if he is innocent, then why is he banned from voting facilities for a while?”

                      Response – he is? Can you provide a credible reference for this?

                      BL – Here’s an “interesting” one where the black panthers gloat about it.


                      Note the contradiction. If he did nothing wrong, then what is their premise for banning him. Nothing wrong means feel free to do it again.

                      Don’t get me wrong, he can preach his garbage all he wants. He is free to do so. This is America. But there is a responsibility that goes with the freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want as long as it doesn’t encroach on others. Interfering with someone’s legal civil rights(like voting) is uncivilized and illegal. He can preach all he wants, but as soon as harassment and a weapon is involved, he’s crossing a line.

                      There is a list of places that anyone knows better than to go preaching radical garbage.

                      Common sense and simple respect says not to go to a church, elementary school, funeral, voting facility, etc. and preach radical concepts and harass people.

                      And that is just what he did. He wasn’t inside standing in line waiting to vote. He wasn’t minding his own business or a part of anything useful. He wasn’t serving any purpose other than to preach garbage and harass people. He was standing out front in militant uniform preaching black theology with a night stick saying things like(as according to witnesses)…”get ready to be ruled by the black man, cracker” to passersbys.

                      He wasn’t on the street somewhere or in a more appropriate public venue. He was wielding a weapon and at a place where anyone knows better.

                      While not a perfect example, what comes to mind as a reference is the civil rights movement. It was a little before my time, but weren’t there a lot of schools being guarded against this sort of thing?

                      Ray, just see it for what it is.

                      He was where he didn’t belong. He was there to start problems. He was intimidating voters.

                • That was pretty rude Ray!

                  Perception is Reality

                  Believe what you want

                  • Ray Hawkins says:

                    Anita – nice try – but you’re actually not exactly correct. Ever read studies of the reliability of eyewitness testimony? here is a refresher summary for you: http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan00/pi4.aspx

                    So ask yourself again – where you influenced at all by how the story was reported? By who reported it? By how it was presented here at SUFA? You can certainly perceive things as you wish and you can feel that is your reality – but you can still be factually wrong.

                    • To use TC’s words:

                      Whatevah’ Ray,

                      To be honest when I first saw the tape I immediately said voter intimidation and not because of race either. Just straight up intimidation. I don’t know where you grew up but where I come from if I walked up to the polls and those guys were standing there like that ..hell yes I would think intimidation. You sound like a defense attorney trying to find a way out for your client. Then after that we had to hear from his posse on national TV trying to talk his way out of it. You are smarter than that Ray. We’re gonna have to just disagree on this one. and yes I agree with how everyone at SUFA has responded.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Anita – “whatevah” is just codespeak for “I realized my argument has no merit”.

                      But anyway.

                      I grew up in many places – NorthEastern North Dakota, Southeastern Arizona, Georgia (just South of Atlanta), SouthCentral Pennsylvania (same town as USW), and now just West of Philadelphia near Amish Country. The diversity I have seen tells me that environment and context are enormous. I don’t know where you live, but with respect to Philly, had the Panthers shown up in say, one of the Italian neighborhoods in South Philly, or maybe one of the Polish or Irish or Russian neighborhoods in Northeast Philly or hell, even one of the proper communities along the “Main Line” they may just have received a colossal ass whupping while the cops “figured out how to get to the scene”. They picked the site in North Philly because they have sympathizers there plus many many more folks who are simply apathetic – and thus – the creation of enough legal/law enforcement gray area that sans the Fox news crew – they may have been able to stay there the entire day.

                  • Yo Ray,

                    I’ll give you great credit for your knowledge and your research skills and for your debate skills.

                    Me. I don’t need all that to feed my ego. I’m just a regular mom and proud of it who is not blind to common sense. I don’t care if you want some legal justification to see this guy is intimidating people. I am from the Detroit area. I’ve seen enough of this kind of shit to desensitize myself from it. But for you to stick to your story for the sake of being right in your debate and to feel like you’re smarter than me or the others here and to justify that this guy was OK or however you want to spin it holds no water with me. It just firms my view of you.
                    So continue with your insults to everyone if you choose but looks like you are on the losing side of the argument here at SUFA and that’s good enough for me. As I was saying:

                    Whatevah’ Ray

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      Anita – tsk tsk – you don’t really understand common sense then do you? This would be a rather boring place to visit here at SUFA if it were nothing but common sense – but since we are not all “in common” – common sense usually must be either shown the door or coupled with facts. That doesn’t feed or drive my ego or make me feel as if I am better than someone – I just have what must seem to be an odd drive to try and get it right based on the facts. When I cannot find firm ground there I usually say as much or make it clear that its mho. You should consider why you visit this board – is it to affirm your own convictions or to be challenged in them or both?

                      Your comment:

                      “So continue with your insults to everyone if you choose but looks like you are on the losing side of the argument here at SUFA and that’s good enough for me.”

                      lends me to believe that you subscribe to the very same philosophies (group think, mob rules) that you claim to despise.

                      So the whole “I’m a regular Mom using common sense” imho is a crock – a cop-out from challenging yourself.



          • Yes, with a grain of salt-you need to do that with everyone in the political realm- but it doesn’t mean everything he says should be dismissed and ignored-it should be looked into to find out if it is true. Not used AS A tool to discredit the man in order to get the population to dismiss the possibility. I’m not saying we don’t bring up this type of information but we should all be aware that attacking a persons character is a standard political tactic to shut people up.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Yes we should question everything. That’s why we’re all here!

              As I said I haven’t had time to really look into his allegations yet. Just wanted to make sure the ‘other side’ of the story was posted for everyone to see, read and think about as well.

              • I’m not accusing you of anything Buck-I hope it didn’t translate that way. 🙂 I just think most of us are guilty of dismissing out of hand what someone says based on the fact that we don’t want to believe it is true. So if someone can hand us a character assassination that we can stand behind-we proceed to dismiss everything the person says instead of trying to verify the information.

                • Buck the Wala says:

                  After the whole Black Panther case snafu I will happily dismiss Adams’ allegations without something more. And here, there doesn’t seem to be anything more.

                  • Ray Hawkins says:

                    I second that motion – just as a Bob Cesca is dismissed as a crackpot so to should Adams

                    • You are free to dismiss Adams but I still question why the charges against some were dropped and the one man who was charged was given a laughable “punishment” and I ain’t buying the charge wasn’t proven by the video, although I will accept that our crazy legal system was once again used to supply a legal loop hole to override common sense.

                    • And the question remains WHY?

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      What what VH?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Good find Buck – as soon as I read this I thought – “oh shit, here we go AGAIN”. A disgruntled ex-DOJ employee given legitimacy by the pretend journalists at Fox News. The story is chock full of holes, and there is little to indicate even the most minute kernels of truth.

        Here is the link to the Act (MOVE starts around page 130): http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ84/pdf/PLAW-111publ84.pdf

        I would suggest USW read MOVE first and ensure he understands the requirements of it before so easily falling prey to a dipshit like Adams and Fox news. Shame on you USW!

        Another thing I ran across in a rather simple search is this memo from the Federal Voter Assistance Program under DoD: http: // http://www.pewcenteronthestates. org/ uploadedFiles/wwwpewcenteronthestatesorg/Initiatives/MVW/FVAPInterimWaiverMemo+FAQ . pdf

        The memo discusses interim guidance for the States who were requesting guidance be given, contrary to Mr. Cornyn, to the ambiguous language in MOVE.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Good find Buck – as soon as I read this I thought – “oh shit, here we go AGAIN”. A disgruntled ex-DOJ employee given legitimacy by the pretend journalists at Fox News. The story is chock full of holes, and there is little to indicate even the most minute kernels of truth.

        Here is the link to the Act (MOVE starts around page 130): http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ84/pdf/PLAW-111publ84.pdf

        I would suggest USW read MOVE first and ensure he understands the requirements of it before so easily falling prey to a dipshit like Adams and Fox news. Shame on you USW!

        Another thing I ran across in a rather simple search is this memo from the Federal Voter Assistance Program under DoD: http: // http: // www . pewcenteronthestates. org/ uploadedFiles/wwwpewcenteronthestatesorg/Initiatives/MVW/FVAPInterimWaiverMemo+FAQ . pdf

        The memo discusses interim guidance for the States who were requesting guidance be given, contrary to Mr. Cornyn, to the ambiguous language in MOVE.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Interesting — will have to take a look at that memo when I have some time.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            The memo more/less in my mind shows that it wasn’t so much DOJ pushing waivers on States as it were States asking for clarification and guidance given the crappy way we write laws and how some requirements that seem simple on the surface really are not.

            • Which is a big problem with anything written, spoken or otherwise brought to the public’s attention. If things were kept simple-things would be much more ,well, simple. “Their” idea is to keep things complicated. Ridiculous!

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Anita – as part of my academic life I have had to read so many friggin’ laws it is mind numbing – the common complaint I have is that they are written so poorly and so porous that the net effect has so many unintended consequences. Nothing is kept simple and I think that is partially deliberate.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              So the memo kind of goes against every single thing Adams had alleged? Go figure…

              • Okay, I’m still questioning if or why they wouldn’t be sending the applications while they are questioning how to obtain a waiver. One doesn’t seem to stop the other unless they don’t want to send them in time. So the question is are they sending the ballots and just questioning the waiver part of the rules or are they using their questions about a waiver they probably don’t need as an excuse to not send the ballots on time?

      • Buck,

        Al Franken, 341 felons voted in the election that Franken won, and Franken won it by just 312 votes. I would think you, of all people would be outraged by a law not being equally administered.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          At the time I followed that election pretty closely. Now, in all honesty, I cannot remember much about it at all.

          If the election was in all probability stolen I will be just as outraged as I am at the fact that Bush stole the election in Ohio in 2004. But I will have to do additional research on the issue as I’m drawing a blank at the moment…

          • “At the time I followed that election pretty closely. Now, in all honesty, I cannot remember much about it at all.”

            OMG – are you really a politician? If not, you might want to consider it.

            Come on, Buck. It was what – 2 years ago? And you followed it closely?

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Kathy, I did follow it closely at the time. For whatever reason I cannot recall all the specifics now. In between work I am busy doing some research on the issue to try to refresh my memory and read up on what had happened.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              So far in my research I have come across the results of the Minnesota Majority study finding the ‘illegal votes by felons’. However I’ve also stumbled upon several articles which make the argument that the study is extremely flawed as it utilized only public records, which would fail to show changed sentences over time. (So, for example, a felon sentenced to 20 years is let out after 10 for good behavior and would be eligible to vote, even though public records show him as a felon).

              Interesting stuff…back to the research…

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                You are correct Buck – the accuracy of the “study” was never validated.

                • Buck the Wala says:

                  It seems from my spotty research today that there has never been any proof of a stolen election in Minnesota in 2008…Lots of allegations flying around but no actual proof.

                  Am I missing something?

                  • Buck,

                    They did prove a small number of convicted felons
                    voted. They advocated an investigation to prevent this repeating in the future. (It would have no bearing on Franken).
                    One district investigated and confirmed the allegation, one district refused to investigate.

                    • Ray Hawkins says:

                      LOI – as discussed previously on this same topic – there is a very erroneous assumption that any such person you reference voted for Franken.

      • Sorry Ray and Buck. Credibility is lost when you use mediamatters as your defense of anything. Media Matters is nothing but a left wing propaganda site.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Kathy – it is a fine source. However, I do trust but verify and generally find their evidence to be spot on. With respect to current topic, rather than a dismissive hand wave, please point out where there is flawed evidence that was provided.


          • My point is Ray, you have no idea if there is flawed evidence as Media Matters would never report it.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Kathy – you are mistaken. Evidence, by definition, cannot be flawed. If you are referring to omission of facts or something that would cast doubt please do know that I (and perhaps the same as Buck) do not have my homepage set to Media Matters (perhaps to Daily Kos but def not Media Matters!) and am very comfortable using operatives w/in google.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Oh I do so love Daily Kos…

                I often check Media Matters for info and background on other stories I come across and have found that they provide very accurate summaries. Definitely a site worth checking up on more before summarily dismissing Kathy.

          • It can be done Ray…Not saying this happened in this case but…….

    • no excuse for politicians getting in the way of people exercising their rights

      I laughed all morning at this comment.

      When you reread it, you will laugh too, and your post in this matter will fade away.

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Military Health Care Budget Challenge for Pentagon

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ vow to shut a major military command and eliminate thousands of contractor jobs to plug a “gusher of defense spending” will do little to reduce the Pentagon budget but will prove a breeze compared with cutting military health care costs.

    Military analysts, including several who met privately with Gates this week, said that the uproar from Virginia officials over the closing of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) in Norfolk and the firing of defense contractors in the Washington suburbs will pale next to the national umbrage expected when it’s time to tackle personnel costs.

    “There are no sacred cows,” Gates told reporters. “Everybody knows that we’re being eaten alive by health care.” Noting that military health care will cost $50 billion in 2011 and will rise to $65 billion by 2015, he said, “It’s unsustainable, and therefore it has to be a part of our effort.”

    Good luck with that. When Maren Leed, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, spoke with congressional staffers about cutting military benefits, they told her, “It is the hardest possible thing, just short of world peace. Both sides of the aisle agree it’s just not possible.”

    Cutting benefits for service members and veterans — health care, pensions and other perks — may be the only thing more politically perilous than advocating that spending on seniors be reined in.

    “While we understand DOD’s need to reduce spending, the American Legion doesn’t want it to be at the expense of our troops overseas or our veterans at home,” said the the group’s executive director, Peter Gaytan. “They have already earned health care and other benefits through their military service.”

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/pentagons-real-budget-battle-cutting-military-health-care/19587704?test=latestnews

    Another story about military soldiers and the raw deal that they generally get and how it is going to do nothing but get worse. Let’s be clear that the military care that the soldiers get is good, but certainly not top level. Having spent plenty of time in the system, I know how good it can be, and how bad it can be. Having watched my father battle with the VA for years, I also know how hard the military has worked to deny benefits in order to cut costs as well.

    And now they are talking about the possibility of cutting even what is currently offered. You may recall at the beginning of this administration when the President attempted to float the idea of soldiers having to have private health insurance to cover injuries sustained in combat. That got shouted down quickly, but it certainly provided some insight into how Obama views taking care of the soldiers.

    Just as interesting is the idea that the military health care system is eating up the budget of the Department of Defense, as Gates claims. Think about that for a second. The military is the most “controlled” group of people in the United States. They receive care at the whim of the system. When they are not given care or limited in their options, they have little to no recourse and simply have to “suck it up.” If that environment is unable to handle health care, how in the world do you think the government will be able to do it on a national level.

    I warned everyone during the health care debate to look at the military and the inability to run health care there. Now we have government coming right out and saying, “here is an area where we have controlled the health care system all along, and it doesn’t work.”

    Still think passing this bullshit health care bill was a good idea?

    • I think following the UK’s move to decentralize healthcare would work. Start closing the huge network of VA med centers and pay existing hospitals to treat the soldiers. There is nothing wrong with the government buying insurance for each soldier, as long as it fully covers their treatment.


    • Ray Hawkins says:

      To be fair USW – we all really know that the US Government is not really controlling the private health care system – there is a reason the group of Healthcare CEOs that met with Obama basically told him to pound sand when he pressed them on cost containment (or, read: cut your margins). For everyone else out there – you’ll see how little government control there is once your open enrollment period comes around – wear your swim trunks to work that day because there is a good chance you are going to get SOAKED.

      Stupid question – are all enlisted personnel guaranteed healthcare for life – regardless of length of service?

      • Bottom Line says:

        The only stupid questions are the ones not asked.

        The answer is yes, but I think it depends on when you went in and what your contract says.

        I only served a few years, yet, for the rest of my life(or until BHO “CHANGES” it), I can go into any government hospital and ask to see their VA representative to be received for care.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Thanks BL – follow-up…..

          1. I don’t think the existing arrangement for current/former service personnel should be changed;

          2. I cannot blame someone for signing on for such a deal assuming the overall net is in their favor;

          3. But it does beg the question – does it make sense to continue to offer such a benefit no-strings-attached? (ftr – I would say that any soldier injured in battle should have no limits to the care for that injury – or something to that effect).

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I like where you are going with #3. Arguably it doesn’t make sense. Though clearly any injury even remotely arising during/from their service should be covered 100% for life.

            • Buck

              Ah, you young ones don’t have the benefit of history.

              That is how we wound up with a Govt that denies Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome. Because is can’t be proven as a “service related” affliction then it is NOT a covered medical treatment.

              While I agree with the concept you put forth, there are hazards in the details.

              Also remember, we are a “volunteer” military. The trade off for living in poverty for 4 to 6 years is lifetime health care.

              Just as at one time the trade off for govt service was a lower than average wage for a better than average retirement, after 30 years of work.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                True, there is a valid argument to be made that we as a nation should be providing full coverage for life to all soldiers for all injuries, past, present and future. I tend to agree with that sentiment.

                But there is also a valid argument to be made that this doesn’t make sense. You’re right to point out the problems that could arise in this scenario that – these would have to be addressed to get my support.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Oh boy JAC – a play to emotion eh?

                “The trade off for living in poverty for 4 to 6 years is lifetime health care”

                In my profession I have met 100s of former service personnel who benefited tremendously from the quality and level of training they received and were happy to trade in living in frugal (read: not poverty) conditions for much nicer digs. Seems you’re graying the definition of what is entitlement and what is not.

                • Ray

                  Not emotion at all. Many, and I would guess most, of the enlisted pfc to Sargent qualify as “poverty” and can qualify for food stamps and other “welfare”. We want a “volunteer” military but do not pay enough for them to stay long term and raise a family without financial stress.

                  Yes, training is also part of the trade off. As is the promised health care. Along with lower pay is the requirement of being mobile. These are all simple facts.

                  When one makes an agreement, contract, with specific trade offs in mind it is NOT any graying of “entitlements”.

                  • Esom Hill says:

                    Being in the Military in the Pvt. to Sgt. class, I would say that I agree with JAC. I was in POVERTY when I was in the Army.

                    I made $500 a month as a Pvt. Granted, it was with room and board and meals (if you wanted to eat there), but try living on five hundred bucks a month. Even in 1982, that was chicken feed.

                    If you add in combat pay you also have to add in the chance of DYING too. How many jobs in the civilian world are there where you are hired to be shot at?

                    Also, if you are badly and permanently disabled, your maximum amount for disability improvements to your house is $12 grand. That is bullshit.

          • Well don’t politicians get coverage for life regardless of how many terms served? I am certainly much more comfortable giving vets coverage than a politician.

      • Ray…to answer your question….no. It matters on length of service.

    • USWep,

      Military men are mindless attack dogs that merely are the tools of government policy.

      Once they’ve used you to complete “their” task, you have no value to them. Heck, you had no value to them in the first place, which is why they send you to die.

      To expect that if by sheer luck you made it back alive would suddenly increases your value to “them” – wow! That is some mind trick you play on yourself.

      • BF

        I would appreciate it if you stopped calling our military folks “mindless”.

        It is an absolute insult which they do not deserve.

        The military may be pawns to the powerful but that does not make them mindless or stupid nor any other invective you choose to raise the hackles.

        You can certainly address the underlying issues without being deliberately insulting.

        • JAC

          I would appreciate it if you stopped calling our military folks “mindless”.

          I am specific and to the point.

          They are mindless.

          If they actually “thought about” what they are doing, who they are doing it for, and why – they wouldn’t do it.

          But they do. Therefore they do not think about it at all in any critical detail.

          Thus, “mindless”.

          Their mind is owned by someone else.

          It is an absolute insult which they do not deserve.

          It is what it is by definition.

          The military may be pawns to the powerful but that does not make them mindless or stupid nor any other invective you choose to raise the hackles.

          I cannot think of a better term to use for men whose mind is controlled by other men thousands of miles away.

          • Esom Hill says:

            No, they are not mindless. The recruiters simply find young men and women who are filled with a sense of duty and honor for their country, or who don’t have very good prospects in the job market. AND LIE THEIR ASSES OFF TO GET THEM TO VOLUNTEER.

            • Esom,

              Exactly. Mindless.

              They vacate their own sense of self and in the place of their real selves and their humanity, they submit themselves to abstractions of “duty” to a piece of cloth, and “loyalty” to artificial entities and believe there is honor in killing human beings because the entity of evil says so.

              NOTE: I did not say it was their fault they believe this.

              • So they submit themselves to an ideology. How is this different than the manner in which you follow your ideology? Your core is “freedom”, perhaps theirs is “tribe”. Tribe probably did more for ensuring the survival of the species in the early days than freedom did.

                Throwing around terms like “mindless” is arrogant and innaccurate, and is simply an emotional appeal to make a point. It is typical of intellectuals to engage in that crap. In reality, there is more to the mind than the sense of self you adhere to and rever so much. It is like describing someone who is not an accomplished runner “bodyless” because they are unable to run 15 miles straight. Only an accomplished runner would even think like that, and an accomplished powerlifter could still crush said runner like a dorito.

                There are many military people who are unaware of their actions or of any real philosophy of their own, but this is not universal. There are those there with other goals that the military can help them reach, there are those who embrace the philosophy the military espouses of their own volition. This does not make them philosophically void, it just makes them persons who do not agree with you or think like you. I have met many “mindless” anarchists, persons who just wanted “the system” to end, but had no reasoning or plan or method or idea of what to do with their so-called freedom, and they were certainly not acting from any real philosophy. In fact, this is the majority of so-called anarchists out there, as I am sure you know since the term “anarchist” makes people react to you negatively before even hearing anything you say.

                • Jon Smith,

                  So they submit themselves to an ideology. How is this different than the manner in which you follow your ideology?

                  My “ideology” does not justify slaughtering women and children.

                  Your core is “freedom”, perhaps theirs is “tribe”. Tribe probably did more for ensuring the survival of the species in the early days than freedom did.

                  I disagree.

                  The FREEDOM of a man to leave one tribe and make another was core to the survival of the human race – diversity.

                  This moved the human race to every corner of the Earth – ensuring a disaster in one place only affected one group and not all humans.

                  Throwing around terms like “mindless” is arrogant and innaccurate, and is simply an emotional appeal to make a point.

                  “Arrogant” – that is your opinion.

                  “Inaccurate” – absolutely NOT. It is specific and defined and as I noted to D13 mindless is a requirement of all military men for it is the only way a man can kill women and children without causing insanity inside himself. He must be able to allow his mind be owned and manipulated by others, giving this man the self-justification that he is merely a tool of other men, and therefore will not be responsible for his actions

                  “Emotional” – YES!, and that is important because unless this is felt to the core, people will NOT move from their evil and deadly psychosis over this~!

                  The men and women who choose the military for their lives must understand what they will be doing and unless they understand this consciously, they will continue to be the tools of evil men who have no qualms about slaughtering children

                  There are many military people who are unaware of their actions or of any real philosophy of their own, but this is not universal.

                  I know.

                  There are some in the military who are there so that they can kill men, women and children without consequences normally delivered to such evil.

                  But these men are already insane, so do not need the mindlessness to save themselves from it.

                  And that thought is terrifying. 😦

                  • BF,

                    You should not paint with such a broad brush. I was not mindless in the military. You tend to take the actions of a few in the military and apply them to all. I will address all your claims when I have time. But the bottom line is that your rhetoric about military members is not grounded in reality. It is grounded only in your version of reality. For example:

                    “My “ideology” does not justify slaughtering women and children.”

                    Nor does my ideology justify such things. I did not do such things. Yet I was in the military and thus, according to you, mindless.

                    More when I have time.

                    • USWep, I will not burden you with too much of another post, but will just say this.

                      You were lucky. You also know if you were ordered to plant explosives or drop a bomb on a target, you would have – even if you knew innocent people were there.

                      You would justify that by either claiming “that’s war” or “that’s not my call” or “I was following orders” but you would not have said you were evil in killing innocent people.

        • JAC…you need to ignore BF on this issue. He is the mindless one….and the ungrateful one. He is, by far, the most anti US person I have had the displeasure of conversing with, at times, and, at times, he is very smart and resourceful. He gets mad at me and threatens to not talk to me when I call him anti western and anti US…. but he is and I do not mind saying so. He will claim, as he has before, that I do not understand all that is going on…but if you disagree with him, you are always the mondless one.

          So…let it be. It is not worth the effort, sir.

          By the way..how are you?

          • D13,

            I have articulated my definitions and my reasoning to why military men are mindless.

            Mindless is a requirement of the military. How else can a man kill children otherwise?

            • Psychos kill children, and they are quite aware of their actions, often quite brilliant as well. Evil is part of their philosophy. To think them mindless is inaccurate.

              Furthermore, once again you sink to an emotional appeal tactic and pull up the rare case, making your point, by your own reasoning in previous debates, not a valid one.

              Aside form that is the matter of kill or be killed. Is it the mindless man who kills the enemy that threatens his life or is the mindless one the one who lets his emotional reaction stay his hand leading to his death and the death of his fellows.

              If you do not consider all factors, you lose credibility, you of all people should know this.

      • Ummm, didn’t you serve once?

        • Kathy,

          Yes, and I was saved by my heart.

          It was among the worse days of my young life to learn I would not be able to drop bombs on “Stinkin’ Red Russian” women and children.

          Later, I could imagine a much worse of a day I would have had, knowing what I know now, if my heart did not save me.

          There is nothing more terrifying for a mindless man to suddenly realize he has a mind and morals of his own making.

          I was saved, very painfully, from my own life.

          The movie “Matrix” highlights this pretty well.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Home schooling doubles in N.C. over a decade

    The number of North Carolina students being home-schooled has more than doubled over the last decade, according to data released Monday by the state Division of Non-Public Education.

    In the 2009-10 school year, more than 81,000 children attended more than 43,000 home schools – defined as “a non-public school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household.”

    That number is up from about 28,000 students in 16,000 schools in 1999-2000 and 809 students in 381 schools in 1985-86, the first year for which data is available.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.wral.com/news/education/story/8071396/

    We have talked about the home schooling concept here in the past. I know that there are several who frequent SUFA who home school their children. I find it fascinating that in a time when the economy is struggling and families are struggling to make ends meet, home schooling is on the rise in a big way. It isn’t like making that choice saves you some money. You don’t get to blow off taxes that you pay for schools. You still have to pay them on top of the costs of home schooling. Yet more and more people are opting for that path.

    I am interested in what people here think are the reasons that this is so. I know the knee-jerk reaction is to say that more people are realizing that the public education system is a failed enterprise and thus take their children out of it. But I can’t say that this is the real reason, as I don’t have the facts to back up that assertion. What were the reasons that the folks here at SUFA took that step?

    My personal belief, as many of you know, is that we need to eradicate the Department of Education and eliminate public education. Privatizing the education system is the way to go. I have been working on an article on this very subject that should be finished soon. But are there enough people who are thinking like me to account for the numbers we are seeing in the article above? North Carolina only has roughly 9 million people. That means a significant number of school age kids are being home schooled.

    • There are a host of reasons for homeschooling, and the decisions are being made not only for various reasons, but usually for a combination of reasons. A lot of research on this can be found here:http://www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html. NHERI has a lot of detail about the numbers.

      Basically, a lot of people think that religion and academics are the primary reasons, and they are definately major factors, but there are other reasons starting to be a major player. Safety and overall family relationship development are becoming more common reasoning. General distrust for what is being taught, rather than a desire to teach something specific, is also a predominant factor. It is not so much that religious parents want to indoctrinate their children as it is that all sorts of parents do not want their kids indoctrinated by the government.

    • Me and USW agree (well, almost) AGAIN?

      My wife is in the final semester of her nursing degree (while working full time) and has had to put up with more bureaucratic bullshit (including yesterday when they failed to automatically register her {3 months ago} for her final class after she was the top grade in all 3 prior classes–and then told her she couldn’t register until ONE PERSON returned from vacation 3 days after the last day of registration–so technically she can’t register–****king bullshit never ends).

      Our conclusion was charter schools. As much as I am for the worker, I’m not a sucker. The teaching union in New York City has become a perversity. So has the entire education department. There is no more attention being given to students (minority or otherwise) now than before. Kids are pushed through the system whether they can read or not. The only GREAT school model in NY right now is the charter school in Harlem (because one guy took it on himself to get it done and now that he’s shown results, he has support from the private sector and teachers there do not get to use the NY City teacher’s union to protect themselves from their own incompetence).

      My wife, a life-long Democrat sorely disappointed in President Fredo (she still calls him Obama), has also felt the sting of an anti-non minority (how else do you politically correctly say “white”?) atmosphere at her school. The majority of staff (professional and otherwise) are minority and way too often treat non-minorities with obvious and blatant disdain. I went through a similar situation at a law firm in NY where although there were very few minority attorneys (you could count the # on your fingers), the support staff and support staff management was predominantly minority (I have to assume to meet hiring quotas) and I felt the obvious brunt of racism (I refuse to call it reverse discrimination—discrimination is discrimination) and chose to leave rather than fight city hall (it was their loss and jobs were still plentiful—I wouldn’t have the same options today).

      So, I guess I’m for charter school and a complete dismantling of public education, including the union structure that seems to have crippled itself in NY City), but not a complete privatization because the disadvantage to poorer neighborhoods would be too great and unfair.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I’ve read up a lot about that charter school in Harlem – it really is doing truly great work.

        Unfortunately, from a number of studies I’ve seen, that charter school is the exception that proves the rule. For the most part, kids who attend these charter schools actually do worse (or at least no better, depending on the study) than those attending public schools.

        • Not here in Mich Buck.. At least in my city..The charter school is rockin out some smart kids. I don’t know why I don’t just put mine in there. I guess I’m just sitting back waiting for it to fall thru. It started out as just an alternative type school where just the hard to handle kids went. But in 7 years now it keeps getting better.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            That’s promising news. I’d have to take a look at some other, more recent studies.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Don’t look to Philadelphia Buck – several charters in/around Philly have been in the news for the wrong reasons – corruption, ethics violations, illegal kickbacks, embezzlement – of course everyone gets pissed and wants to know why the government wasn’t watching them more closely.

              • Ray: it’s a good question (why wasn’t the gov’t watching them more closely)? I know the obvious answer, but … how does the Gov’t respond to its own failures with public education in Philly. If I’m not mistaken, Philly nearly lost all its libraries (that can’t be good). The problem (and Lord knows I don’t want to defend “The Pirate” on this, but it is true) is corruption within the gov’t itself (dept. of ed, et al). I don’t know about Philly, but in NY, the teacher’s union has way too much power (defending absolute incompetence and worse “alleged” sex offenders who get to sit on their duff for YEARS while waiting for ???).

                It is frustrating, but I suspect parents will have to be on guard no matter which venue they choose to send their kids (because too many schools/teachers just aren’t doing their jobs very well).

      • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:


        Parochial schools set the mark. Superior education at about a third of the cost. Teachers are paid 60 to 70 percent of what public school teachers get. Administrative costs are negligable.

        Vouchers are the answer along with some charter schools. Costs will increase in the parochial schools because teachers will and should gain parity. Public school teachers and administrators will have to compete.

        Win-win for everyone as follows:

        Current cost for student, public school $ 13,000, cost for student, parochial school $ 4,000.

        Issue a $ 5,000 voucher. Parochial school gains 20 percent. Public school saves $ 8,000 which can be: 1. Rebated to the taxpayer (hah), 2. Used to enhance educational programs for the remaining public school students or 3. used to hire more administrators (most likely outcome).

        • Actually, I attended catholic school from 5th through 8th and it’s probably the only reason I could read and write well enough (after 4 years of screwing off in public high school) to go to college (which wouldn’t have happened without a football scholarship. That and my father kicked my ass when I screwed up. He was gone before I went to high school so all i had to do was block and tackle to get through that phase of life.

    • I expect a government response which will make homeschooling more difficult, if not illegal. They do not want education reformed, hence the opposition to vouchers and charter schools. And the know they need to control what kids are taught, to be good little liberals.

      • Esom Hill says:

        I wondered how long it was going to take for someone to say that LOI. Those are my thoughts on the subject also.

        • I was hoping I wasn’t too PC with that.:lol:

          • Esom Hill says:

            LOI, I am just suprised it’s not already illegal to homeschool. After all, we wouldn’t want parents to have too much control over their own children’s education. The Government can do such a much better job!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      As a new Dad I am nervous as hell about the public school system – while my son is only 14 months old I guess that gives me plenty of time to fret even more. Hopefully the resident pirate weighs in here – he has some very good observations on home schooling.

      Again – me being the oddity from the left here – I do agree with a complete and near immediate dismantling of the DOE. With one big caveat or question – how do we maintain any level of standardization in education if we go 1000% local? Going local means going de-centralized which means a lot of strange things begin to happen – changes in subjects, in school calendar years, changes in educational philosophy, etc. Remember, before we drive off the cliff here, there are numerous other industries tied directly to the way education in the U.S. is handled (e.g. the entire Vacation industry is a quick one that comes to mind).

      • All three of my brats went to public school; 2 have BA’s and are close to finished with MA & MBA’s. One has an AA and chose to work in a union instead (he’s the one who will still have a job in a few years–he’s also the most conservative of my kids). We stayed on top of them (our family–even after I split with their mother). We were RELENTLESS … it’s probably the best thing you can do (stay on top of it).

        • Staying on top of your kids, taking an interest and pushing them, is the biggest key for sure. Homeschooling is not necessarily a garauntee of this, since a parent could just let their kids do whatever, but as a general rule, parents that care that much are taking at least as much interest as you did.

          I find it interesting that your son with the least academics is the most conservative. Actually, I find that normal, academia is incredibly liberal. I resisted when I was in college easily because I worked for 5 years first and worked my way through my associates degree. Most of the poor saps in my classes were too young and too willing to accept whatever a professor said to avoid influence. It was sort of sickening actually.

          As for whether he will have a job in a few years, that will depend on a lot of things, like what his trade is and whether he is willing to work non-union. Unions are not all bad. The electrician’s union in VA is pretty down to earth from what I hear, but this is a right to work state, so the only unions that survive are the ones that make sense. Union membership did not keep the jobs for all the GM workers.

          Overall tho, you can make the best of an education system if you are involved in the process. Passing the buck on raising your kids is the real evil, more so than any specific thing the DOE is doing. The stuff that really angers me is when the DOE makes it harder for parents to get involved or excercise any influence.

          • My union kid is not super conservative, although he was just one of two kids in one of his college courses to debate from the right in a debate team. He was not happy with the liberal bias in school (which I myself can attest to because I graduated with a poly sci degree from Brooklyn College way back and being a very liberal person back then, it was an absolute cakewalk–regurgitate what they wanted to hear). There were a few Hasedic Jews in my night courses who were very conservative and although one I knew did very well grade wise, some friends of hers did not because they weren’t as articulate expressing themselves (where several liberal students who could barely string a sentence together were gifted B’s for agreeing–I thought).

      • Ray, I am not sure there is a real need for standardization. If you are just talking about scheduling, the market will handle that. If there is a real need for summer vacation, it will stay. If there is not, adjustments will be made.

        As for standardization of subjects and academic levels, well, you see how that is going so far. It is a big part of the reason the DOE is so screwy to start with.

      • Ray,

        As a new Dad I am nervous as hell about the public school system – while my son is only 14 months old I guess that gives me plenty of time to fret even more. Hopefully the resident pirate weighs in here – he has some very good observations on home schooling.

        (1) Fretting is perfectly natural.
        (2) You are already homeschooling, so the transition will be zero.
        (3) You only need to learn with the child at the rate the child learns. So that’s pretty easy too.

        There are tons of material online and growing everyday.

        Right now, you can self-educate or home school from K-2nd year college – all from your home.

        standardization in education if we go 1000% local? Going local means going de-centralized which means a lot of strange things begin to happen – changes in subjects, in school calendar years, changes in educational philosophy, etc.

        Who wants standardization? What’s the point?

        Why does everyone need to learn to be a poet if they want to learn math? Why does everyone need to learn biology if they want to be poet?

        Homeschooling is 365 days a year, who cares about school calendars?

        Why does there need to be only one educational philosophy? Why can’t there be 300 million different ones?

        Remember, before we drive off the cliff here, there are numerous other industries tied directly to the way education in the U.S. is handled (e.g. the entire Vacation industry is a quick one that comes to mind).

        They will adjust to a all-year-round model – which they would love. The huge feast/famine of the current system is very costly for everyone.

    • Required reading, “A People’s History of the United States”


      Howard Zinn’s Dupes?
      By Paul Kengor
      After years of digging into countless pages of FBI files, KGB documents, Soviet media archives, dusty old copies of the Daily Worker, declassified Comintern Archives on Communist Party USA, and much more, my book was finally going to press, exposing how the communist movement, from Moscow to New York, cynically manipulated — read: duped — liberals/progressives for nearly a century.

      Among the words haunting me as I delivered the final manuscript were these: “I am open to the possibility that herein I myself have been duped on occasion.” I acknowledged the likelihood that later declassified documents might reveal certain “innocents” in my book as actually something far worse.

      Indeed, my research had affirmed what I long suspected: Many self-professing “liberals/progressives,” especially those railing against the alleged evils and excesses of America and, more so, of America’s anti-communists, were, in fact, hardened communists — albeit closet communists. To cite a few now being carefully reevaluated: Arthur Miller, Harry Hopkins, I.F. Stone, and Howard Zinn.

      Yes, Howard Zinn. I include Zinn among an ignominious group of leftist writers whose screeds against the Vietnam War were used by the Vietcong to indoctrinate American POWs in places like the Hanoi Hilton — to learn the “truth” about America’s intentions in Vietnam. Can you imagine? The Vietcong actually assigned books by the likes of Zinn to our POWs.

      And imagine: Today, liberals, under no threat of coercion by captors, celebrate the works of Zinn as nuggets of wisdom to educate themselves and America’s youth, on subjects including Vietnam. They have made Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States a bestseller, core reading for classroom pedagogy and, further amplifying the absurdity, the basis for documentaries like the History Channel’s “The People Speak.”

      As for my book, we placed Zinn’s name on the dust jacket, lumping him with both “dupes” and “dupers,” allowing that Zinn might fit either category.

      So imagine my reaction when — just as we were going to press — I got an e-mail from my editor with the subject head “Zinn.” It noted that the late professor’s FBI file had just been released, and, according to some interpreters, it showed that Zinn had been a communist.

      There it was: Another long-awaited file revealing the subject not as a duped liberal, but (perhaps) as a duping communist. If that’s indeed the case with Zinn, then his victims are legion.

      What does the FBI file say?

      Relying on testimony from insiders and informants, the file (click here) maintains that Zinn joined the Communist Party after World War II and was so devoted that by 1948, he attended five party meetings per week. (See screen 21.)

      FBI agents asked Zinn about such doings. He was cooperative, but he insisted he had never been a party member. He said he was a “liberal,” and that some would describe him as a “leftist.”

    • As Jon pointed out, each home schooling parent has their own reasons.

      Generally, these are the main reasons:

      (1) Religious and moral reasons
      (2) Child development delays or advancements. All children develop at different rates in different things. Some children need more attention in their younger years that would set them behind or ostracized them in school.
      (3) Bullies
      (4) Educational philosophy.
      (5) Convenience (for travel etc.)
      (6) It is very easy (less than an hour a day)
      (7) …and we really love being with our kids all day 🙂

      The school system has failed.

      The kids coming out of the system are approaching dysfunctional. Parents do not like their kids growing up dysfunctional and having to struggle in their adult years to accomplish personal success because of such an easily repairable problem.

      • What I want to know is if you didn’t slow your speed down like you’d normally do in a school zone, because this appears to be a “shcool” zone, would you still be ticketed?

  4. USWeapon Topic #4

    Making Sense of the Climate Impasse

    All signs suggest that the planet is still hurtling headlong toward climatic disaster. The United States’ National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has issued its “State of the Climate Report” covering January-May. The first five months of this year were the warmest on record going back to 1880. May was the warmest month ever. Intense heat waves are currently hitting many parts of the world. Yet still we fail to act.

    There are several reasons for this, and we should understand them in order to break today’s deadlock. First, the economic challenge of controlling human-induced climate change is truly complex. Human-induced climate change stems from two principal sources of emissions of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide): fossil-fuel use for energy and agriculture (including deforestation to create new farmland and pastureland).

    Changing the world’s energy and agricultural systems is no small matter. It is not enough to just wave our hands and declare that climate change is an emergency. We need a practical strategy for overhauling two economic sectors that stand at the center of the global economy and involve the entire world’s population.

    The second major challenge in addressing climate change is the complexity of the science itself. Today’s understanding of Earth’s climate and the human-induced component of climate change is the result of extremely difficult scientific work involving many thousands of scientists in all parts of the world. This scientific understanding is incomplete, and there remain significant uncertainties about the precise magnitudes, timing and dangers of climate change.

    The general public naturally has a hard time grappling with this complexity and uncertainty, especially since the changes in climate are occurring over a timetable of decades and centuries, rather than months and years. Moreover, year-to-year and even decade-to-decade natural variations in climate are intermixed with human-induced climate change, making it even more difficult to target damaging behavior.

    This has given rise to a third problem in addressing climate change, which stems from a combination of the economic implications of the issue and the uncertainty that surrounds it. This is reflected in the brutal, destructive campaign against climate science by powerful vested interests and ideologues, apparently aimed at creating an atmosphere of ignorance and confusion.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/making-sense-of-the-clima_b_667075.html

    Notice that the first paragraph of this article begins with a false reasoning as a call to action. It amounts to an emotional appeal on the climate level. It’s hot outside so obviously we have to stop man made global warming. Yet that same group of people who make this assertion would have a fit if you pointed out that when it snows it is proof that man made global warming is a farce.

    But that is the reality folks. Man made global warming is a farce. I don’t care how hot it is or whether we are the hottest year ever, that doesn’t make it caused by man. It is a natural cycle that will continue regardless of what actions we take. Of course admitting that man doesn’t cause this rise in temperature isn’t conducive to passing legislation that will give government more power and more control over people, so we must press on in the attempt to state this ridiculous theory as fact. Let’s take a look at the “challenges” laid out above.

    “First, the economic challenge of controlling human-induced climate change is truly complex.”

    It is truly complex because it simply isn’t true. It is always complex when you are attempting to skewer the facts to present a case that isn’t based on facts. Humans do not cause climate change. Period. If you believe otherwise then you have no concept of how insignificant we really are on this planet. Economically speaking the challenge really is tough, because you are attempting to destroy the economy of the United States for a political agenda. It will destroy people’s livelihood and way of life. It’s never easy to get people to agree to that based on a lie.

    “The second major challenge in addressing climate change is the complexity of the science itself.”

    This paragraph is nothing more than an attempt to make everyone believe that the science is so difficult to understand that you average humans couldn’t possibly understand it. Let us experts tell you what is true and not true. They even say right in the article, “The general public naturally has a hard time grappling with this complexity and uncertainty.” USW says complete hogwash. It isn’t that difficult to understand. At least it wouldn’t be difficult if we had access to, say, the raw data and an explanation of how you used that data to come to the conclusions that you came to. Of course we don’t get that. Instead we simply get, “Trust us! We’re scientists and we would not lie to you.”   Riiiiigggghhhtttttttt

    This has given rise to a third problem in addressing climate change, which stems from a combination of the economic implications of the issue and the uncertainty that surrounds it. This is reflected in the brutal, destructive campaign against climate science by powerful vested interests and ideologues, apparently aimed at creating an atmosphere of ignorance and confusion.

    In other words, trust us. We have no hidden motives. If you believe those companies that put out information that proves us wrong, you are obviously “ignorant and confused.”  Don’t fall into the trap, dear readers. You aren’t ignorant and confused. They are. And they are relying on ignorance and confusion to reign so that they can further strip us of our rights and our money. We caught them trying to cheat with an ace up their sleeve with Climategate. Don’t even let the lying SOB’s sit back down at our table. Climate Change is natural and cyclical. We can’t affect it. All the doom and gloom bullshit is nothing more than an emotional appeal. We are smarter than that.

    • January – May warmest on record? Bullshit. Does anyone remember in February when there was snow on the ground in every state except Hawaii? Does anyone remember record snowfall and record low temperatures in February?

      So far this year my numbers show it being 1.26 degrees above normal. Last year it was 1.06 degrees below normal. Through 19 months that is damn close to average.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Yes, because when it snows that obviously proves there is no such thing as climate change. Yesterday morning it was raining outside – my immediate concern was that we were heading for another flood…

        Can we please stop looking at the weather on a given day as being indicative of climate change?

        • I went to the store yesterday to buy milk. They were out of milk. This obviously proves that there are no such things as cows.

        • Because through observation it is unlikely that this was the warmest Jan-May ever. And of course it gets cold and hot. I’m sorry here is the data that I have personally kept from weather.com who conveniently does not keep this information up for more then a month.

          Month-Year-Actual-Average High
          Jan. 2009: 29.0 : 37
          Feb. 2009: 40.0 : 39
          Mar. 2009: 52.8 : 49
          Apr. 2009: 62.1 : 61
          May 2009: 70.7 : 71
          June 2009: 76.8 : 79
          July 2009: 77.7 : 83
          Aug. 2009: 80.2 : 81
          Sep. 2009: 72.9 : 74
          Oct. 2009: 59.3 : 62
          Nov. 2009: 55.3 : 51
          Dec. 2009: 38.0 : 40

          Total 2009: 59.64 : 60.70 difference of 1.06 degrees below average

          Jan. 2010: 32.0
          Feb. 2010: 32.6
          Mar. 2010: 53.5
          Apr. 2010: 67.5
          May.2010: 74.1
          June 2010: 79.4
          July 2010: 88.1
          Total 2010: 61.32 : 60.06 difference of 1.26 degrees above average.

          Total 19 months: 60.26 : 60.46 difference of 0.20 degrees below average.

          Of course a 19 month average isn’t that great, so my commenting on a 5 month average that is even worse then my sample obviously means I am disputing if global warming exists instead of Jan-May being the warmest on record when Jan-May was only 0.64 degrees above average in my sample, and because of the observation of this years cold winter I must be wrong in saying bullshit on the warmest Jan-May on record.

          • And another thing that I only started tracking this year, amount of days above the average temperature, Jan-May had 75 days above average in 151 days, (barely off 50%, sounds average to me), and since I only took a single day into consideration, the entire month of February only had two days above the average high.

        • Bottom Line says:

          I believe he used the word “average” in reference to a 19 month period.

          Naten53 – “Through 19 months that is damn close to average.”


          av·er·age – [av-er-ij, av-rij] – noun, adjective, verb, -aged, -ag·ing.


          1. a quantity, rating, or the like that represents or approximates an arithmetic mean: Her golf average is in the 90s. My average in science has gone from B to C this semester.

          4. Mathematics . a quantity intermediate to a set of quantities


          6. of or pertaining to an average; estimated by average; forming an average: The average rainfall there is 180 inches.

        • That would be nice, wouldn’t it? As USW pointed out, that is EXACTLY what the huffington article did. Even if climate change were true, it is obviously having its credibility destroyed by these so called scientists and alarmists who point out this summer’s heat and ignore the snows on Copenhagen this past winter. The fact that they had to call it “climate change” instead of global warming proves they do not know what the hell they are talking about.

        • Buck,

          Correct weather is not climate.

          Climate changes all the time. None of it in the past was due to humans.

          None of the present change is due to humans either. (<-opinion)

          The AGW/ACCC (Anthropogenic Climate Change Causation) hypothesis -as it stands- has been shown to be false (<-fact).

          Solar causation has been shown to be likely (<-fact) though continued study is warranted.

          Another AGW/ACCC hypothesis is possible, but not yet articulated in any manner that is explanatory of the changes of current climate.

          AGW/ACCC as a political movement is dead. The current thrashing are death throes.

          Nothing will come of it.

          It is safe and best to ignore it.

          • Have you ever seen the show Life after People… Very interesting view of life after 1,5,20 years of no people. Strange… The planet doesn’t need us one bit and nothing we do to it matters either.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Just because the planet doesn’t need us (which is true) does not mean that nothing we do to it matters.

              • Buck

                It does not matter to the planet.

                It only matters to us.

                • buck the wala says:

                  Fair enough if you want to parse words, but we both know you know what I meant.

                  And the same goes to you too BF. Don’t think I forgot about you.

                  • Buck

                    Actually, I wasn’t sure what you meant or I wouldn’t have made the comment.

                    Your statement is used often by the greenies and lefties. What they mean by it is that what we do “matters” to the planet, or some component of the planet.

                    Earth doesn’t care and the wildlife and plants have no clue what is causing their distress, so what we do doesn’t matter to them either. They don’t have the cognitive skills needed to determine what “matters”.

                    If they did, we might be in deep doo doo.

                  • Buck,

                    It is root and core to get this answer right – and do not brush it off.

                    The Greenies put the “who” == “Earth”.

                    This leads to solutions where Humans die in order to save turtles.

                    Whereas if “who”==”Humans” real solutions that improve human life appear.

                    So the question is incredibly important.

                  • Buck the Wala says:

                    To clarify then:

                    Just because the planet does not need us (the planet will keep on going with or without us, just as it had before humans existed), does not mean that our actions cannot impact the planet, or our life on the planet, in any way, shape or form.


                    • Buck,

                      mean that our actions cannot impact the planet, or our life on the planet, in any way, shape or form

                      The problem _again_

                      such a open ended philosophy will create a conflict between human life and turtles with turtles being preferred.

                      All action have consequences. You have to kill something to feed yourself.

                      Your philosophy says that human life, by its nature is unnatural and immoral.

                    • Oh poo-What are you talking about-the fact that man should have the sense to take care of the earth that we live on isn’t an open ended philosophy just because man can be stupid and extreme in their viewpoints. Even a totally free world will have to consider pollution and such in relationship to harming an individual rights. We really don’t want to get back into the man has a right to mistreat animals argument which brings the argument for the rights of the individuals to the stupid and extreme IMHO.

              • As JAC said,

                …matters..to who?

    • I would really like to discuss this issue from the perspective that “global warming” is true. Just how would “cap n trade” be implemented and how would it work. IF and that’s a huge if, it was true -I find the whole idea of handling such a dangerous situation by capping how much someone can use based on how much money they have to buy usage-troubling.

      • Displaced Okie says:

        If it were true and GW was going to soon cause the end of all mankind, I highly doubt that governments would be trying to figure out how to tax carbon outputs and give the proceeds to their cronies and/or underdeveloped countries and would instead be trying to ban anything that was going to cause our impending doom. just my thoughts

        • I agree-Another thought-I am assuming that if they pass this bill-they are going to artificially create a price increase on anything that has to do with energy which they believe contributes to global warming-I find the idea of causing an unnessasary hardship on people in order to force them to use less energy a very stupid way to achieve the desired effect. I can actually see the government coming back in a few years and demanding that we subsidize energy use for the poor.

          • Displaced Okie says:

            Mathius said
            August 11, 2010 at 8:53 am
            See Mathius’s Third Law: People. Are. Greedy.

            Mathius’s Third Law, Corollary A: People will behave unethically in order to satiate their personal greed (whether for money, power, or anything else).
            I think he’s onto something….

      • Good idea V! IF climate change were true:

        1) It would be wise to stop pointing at hot days as proof.

        2) It would be foolish to use tactics like cap and trade based on specific data coming out of places that have tried it. Spain, for instance, showed an insignificant decrease, if any, in total carbon emissions while experiencing major economic costs.

        3) Overall government regulation has stifled both green innovation and pollution cleanup efforts. The EPA blocked major cleanup capabilities of the Gulf Oil spill. The EPA’s regulation of the trucking industry has halted several innovations in fuel economy by forcing a year long approval process for changing fuel injector settings, and the low-sulfur diesel fuel requirements have had major negative impacts on truck engine and fuel systems causing increased costs AND emmissions due to the damage to the fuel system. Again, innovation to address these issues has been stifled by regulation. The government funding and political pressure on flourescent lighting technology has put unneeded resources into flourescent bulbs, which contain toxic substances and cause pollution issues in production and disposal phases. Development of LED lighting technology would be further along without this interference. LED is more efficient, longer lasting, more user friendly (dimmable, instant on, etc.), costs less to make, Is safer (generates almost no heat and is non-toxic), and creates less pollution during production and disposal. There are a host of other examples of government interference in the market making things less “green” under the guise of being more “green”.

        4) General government track record of innefficiency and incompetence would indicate that IF we are truly facing global disaster, they are not qualified to handle it. Particularly if the cause of the disaster has anything to do with too much “waste”.

        5) Stifling of debate against climate change is yet another indicator of the shaky nature of the science. The more something is debated and explained, the greater its credibility and the more people understand it.

        6) Real logistics need to be applied to environmentally concious actions. The environmental cost of “Cash for Clunkers” for instance, was enormous. The environmental impact of the creation of a new vehicle far outweighs the environmental impact of operating an older, less efficient one. Emotional reaction does not save the planet. Recycling paper when it is more environmentally conscious to replant and harvest trees than to recycle due to the pollutant output of the recycling process is not “green”. Using ethanol when the production of corn requires more fossil fuels than are saved by the use of ethanol is not “green”. There are a host of other things that appear “green” on the surface but are not when all factors are considered. Serious thought would need to be put into what is really good for the environment if, indeed, there were really a global crisis on the horizon.

        • #2 Must look into this-Have you found any info. that goes into detail on how they implemented the plan.

          • I had a link on Spain, but have not found it yet. This is another that I found interesting.


            Senator Kit Bond of Missouri produced a 44-page report on the cost of green jobs.

            Included in a list of problems are the following;

            Comparisons of wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas and coal sources of power coming on line by 2015 show that solar power will be 173% more expensive per unit of energy delivered than traditional coal power, 140% more than nuclear power and natural gas and 92% more expensive than wind power. Wind power is 42% more expensive than nuclear and natural gas power.

            Wind and solar’s “capacity factor” or availability to supply power is around 33%, which means 67% of the time wind and solar cannot supply power and must be supplemented by a traditional energy source such as nuclear, natural gas or coal.

            Eliminate all fossil fuel use and no measurable temperature reduction will occur. Replace any portion with alternative energies and living costs will soar and US industry becomes less competitive.

          • There is this on the economic costs.

            There is also this on spain’s attempt and some specs from Europe overall. Apparrently Spain’s included a lot of renewable energy requirements as well as a cap and trade policy.

            • Spain. Spain’s requires that 20 percent of its electricity production be from renewable energy by 2010. The government’s Renewable Energy Plan expects to have 20,155 megawatts of wind capacity by then. In 2008, wind energy provided 10.2 percent of the country’s electric consumption at a price per kilowatt hour that was almost 50 percent higher than wind’s generating price 10 years prior, partly owing to high premiums in the regulated rates for renewable energy and the requirement that all renewable energy be purchased by electricity retailers. Spain provided both regulated rates and direct incentives to attract investment and meet its renewable policy goals.

              This these regulations come at a high cost. A Spanish study found that Spain’s “green jobs” agenda resulted in job losses elsewhere in the country’s economy. For each “green” megawatt installed, 5.28 jobs on average were lost in the Spanish economy as an opportunity cost; for each megawatt of wind energy installed, 4.27 jobs were lost; and for each megawatt of solar installed, 12.7 jobs were lost. Although solar energy may appear to employ many workers in the plant’s construction, in reality it consumes a great amount of capital that would have created many more jobs in other parts of the economy. The study also found that 9 out of 10 jobs in the renewable industry were temporary.[ix] Based on Spain’s experience, the United States can expect to lose 2.2 jobs for every “green” job created, and each of those “green” jobs will cost about $803,000 in government subsidies.[x]

              Last year, the Spanish Government decided to slash subsidies to solar power, subsidizing just 500 megawatts of new solar projects, down sharply from 2,400 megawatts.[xi] More recently, Spain—worried that it may end up in a similar debt crisis as Greece, owing to a cut in its credit rating by Standard and Poor’s—has decided to curb subsidies to renewable plants already generating, in order to reduce energy costs that are largely passed on to the consumer. Solar energy producers are getting about 12 times what fossil fuel plants earn.

      • Surely there are some people on here who think cap n trade is a good idea. Who can put up some support for using this system to prevent global warming.

        • On here? No, not likely. People here think and research stuff. You will have to look outside of SUFA to find support most likely…

        • V.H.

          Cap and Trade is a good system to:

          1) Reduce a pollutants production and,
          2) Allow the private sector to allocate the amount of pollution produced.

          Two problems I have with C02 Cap and Trade. First is the Govt getting paid for the initial permits or any future sales thereof.

          Second is the “Carbon Offsets” that will allow you to sell “credits” to those who pollute.

          If CO2 is such a problem then why allow offsets, like planting trees? Or shutting down some plant that doesn’t really produce that much in the first place.

          Make no mistake, any attempt to reduce CO2 production is going to drive up the cost of petroleum based fuels. The effect of reducing CO2 production is to make it a “scarce” product and thus its price will increase. “Scarce” in this sense is created by govt, not by reality.

          V.H. you should also know that even the scientists who argue against the Global Warming crowd admit that human produced CO2 has had some effect on global temps and climate. But they argue the effect is much, much smaller than the “consensus” view.

          Quite frankly, to argue that we are not significant enough to effect the broader ecosystem functions of this planet is ridiculous. If we affect the systems then we have some effect on the climate that is linked to the systems.

          But as Peter noted, it appears to be a negative feedback loop. So changes cause other changes and other changes etc, etc, until some new relative balance is achieved. But it still does not remain static. It exists within bands or limits of function when we call it balanced. Thus ice ages and ice free periods are within the boundaries of “normal”.

          If CO2 is such a deadly threat then all we need to do is set caps on existing coal/gas power plant production.

          • Okay, but it seems if C n T does your 1 and 2, once you take out the government payments and the credits you are basically left with basic pollution controls which we have now. As far as us hurting the earth with pollution-I don’t disagree with this statement but going so far as to claim we have to have cap n trade or we are going to destroy the earth if we don’t take drastic immediate actions is crazy and leads to stupid decisions that can destroy us. In other words I think we basically agree. On point though-I don’t see how the private sector would be deciding anything as long as the government had control of the credits.

            • V.H.

              The govt issues the credits (CAP) based on current levels of production.

              The credits then depreciate over time until the target level of production is reached, both quantity and time. So lets say we need to reduce 50% over ten years. Then the permits decrease in value (CO2 allowed) by 5% each year.

              The TRADE part comes in as various companies who have permits don’t need them. They can then TRADE these for economic value to those who need more permits.

              Power Company can’t meet its depreciated permit value so it must buy more permitted CO2 from someone. Another company has reduced emissions beyond their permit so they have some excess to sell.

              Without trade, the Govt would pick the winners and losers of the reallocation. Private trade allows economics to determine the allocation.

              As for the credits for sequestration, the Govt will set the criteria for their value. Such as 100 credits for 100 acres of forest planted. But once they are issued, the trading becomes private.

              The Govt has been working on establishing credit values for several years. The environmental groups are fighting such things as timber harvest and planting as a credit.

              • If you know 🙂 The government makes money by selling the original credits-why per the pushers of this plan is this necessary and how does the government continue to make money after the original purchase.

                • V.H.

                  As I understand the current plan, and I have not read the actual Senate Bill, is that the Govt gets initial fees and fees for the later TRADE between private companies.

                  They also get taxes on any profits from the trading.

                  A Cap and Trade system was set up for Sulfer and is supposed to have worked pretty well. But that was simpler and less impactive than CO2. Although it doesn’t work so well for vehicles, which the govt uses gasoline mix laws and mileage laws to control. If they were so in love with the system they should issue the permits to the car manufacturers with limits on CO2 production tied to testing of each vehicle.

                  Given the magnitude of the reductions they say we need to not destroy ourselves then I don’t see a need for Cap and Trade.

                  If it is that critical then simply issue the permits with the depreciation schedule. And then watch the Power rates climb through the sky.

                  When hydrocarbon increases substantially in price the alternatives become attractive.

                  V.H., the boys like Al Gore who are pushing this plan have an economic interest in it. They have helped establish the “exchanges” and will get fees on every trade. They have invested in alternatives that will give them “credits” they can sell to the power plants and others, for more profit.

                  And the reality of any alternative is that WE are going to be the ones who get hurt. The very wealthy will make money or at least not feel the pain like the rest of us.

                  • I’m just trying to understand how this system would work-I am not in any way endorsing it.

                    • V.H.

                      I know.

                      And I was just trying to give you the mechanics and of course the end result.

                      But the end is obvious so perhaps I was piling on a bit. Heh, heh!

                      I forgot one other thing. The Govt will of course have to write regulations to control the “Carbon Exchanges”, requiring new programs and new employees.

                    • I think what I find the most hypocritical about this system -is that if the government really cared about a reduction in these pollutants, they wouldn’t be working so hard to get there share of the money, they wouldn’t be intentionally trying to inflate the prices -they would leave the money in the hands of the business’s to use to make the needed changes. So in my mind it’s a scheme to make money and increase their power-when their stated goal is to save the planet-but their actions speak much louder than their lying words.

    • “The general public naturally has a hard time grappling with this complexity and uncertainty.”

      The earths heat comes from the sun. Not very complex. We can’t predict our own weather, much less the sun’s, which is vastly more complex.

      “Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1%.”

      78.09% nitrogen
      20.95% oxygen
      0.93% argon
      0.039% carbon dioxide

      Greenhouse gases make up around one percent of the atmosphere, 95% of that being naturally ocouring water vapor. Its only complicated if you leave out all the numbers except the ones you want to count.

      It is truly amazing how far science has advanced in measuring gases in our atmosphere. I suppose we could now measure a gnats fart, and its likely our tax dollars have funded such a study. Such a study might also predict the health hazard gnats pose in our homes, and what measures we need to take to protect ourselves. And mankind’s emissions are closer to a gnat’s fart than to a straw breaking a camel’s back(tipping point).

      I think most people are intellectually lazy. They may have reasons, such as not being good at science, but is that a honest answer? I have talked to people on both sides who say they think mankind is causing AGW or that it’s natural. Nearly everyone I have talked to cannot give a reason for why they think they are right. And it doesn’t matter if you recite what Al Gore or Glenn Beck have stated, you are basing your position on faith in them being correct and truthful. Do you think, or believe?

      • Do you think, or believe?

        Whoa! I love that question. Applies to everything.

        • Its a challenge to myself as well. I believe in God, but I got there by thinking, using logic to prove what cannot be proven. Many writers have compared the green movement to religious zealots, that any question asked is treated as blasphemy (deniers).

          My last encounter was with a college Sr. who said AGW was BS, that it was natural. He stuttered and stumbled when I asked him to give reasons to support his statement.

          • A die hard Obot friend of mine has an Obama T shirt that says BELIEVE on it. One day he had a button down shirt on-on top of the BELIEVE shirt. I made him sit still so I could take a pic of the only letters exposed at that time….The letters were LIE :)…He was not amused.

    • “We are now in the sunspot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle.”

      CNN’s Myers Who Once Called Manmade Global Warming ‘Arrogant’ — Now Drinking the Alarmist Kool-Aid?

      By Jeff Poor

      Want evidence that working at CNN can wear you down? Although this isn’t definitive, something has happened to network meteorologist Chad Myers.

      Back on Dec. 18, 2008, Myers explained to viewers of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” that he thought the entire notion that mankind could affect the weather was “pretty arrogant.”

      “You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant,” Myers said. “Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big – I think we’re going to die from a lack of fresh water or we’re going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”

      But fast forward a year and a half and you’ll see how things change. On the Aug. 9 daytime broadcast of CNN’s “Rick’s List,” that same Myers has a little bit different view. Myers was asked by the show’s host Rick Sanchez the so-called “$60,000 question,” but not without a preemptive cheap shot at climate skeptics on the right.
      Story Continues Below Ad ↓

      “Is there anything, from your perspective – and I know you are one of many scientist experts out there – that would lead you to believe that because these three things are happening right now, we’re more apt to be able to prove or somebody out there is able to prove that there is a consequential global warming and that it’s caused by man?” Sanchez asked. “That’s the big part of this question.

      And guess what – Myers responded differently than he did in 2008. Mankind can influence the climate – but he’s not “100 percent” there yet.

      “Is it caused by man? Yes.” Myers responded. “Is it 100 percent caused by man? No. There are other things involved. We are now in the sunspot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle. We are, we are – many other things going on. But yes, a significant portion of this is caused by greenhouse gases keeping heat on the shore, on the land, in the atmosphere that could have escaped without those greenhouse gases. So, yes, it’s warmer.”

      Sanchez went on to ask Myers if certain weather events were “conclusive” proof of these factors – like global warming or sunspots. He didn’t take it that far.

      “No, absolutely not. No, there is definitely something going on. Whether it’s like el Niño and, you know, it can’t be everything all the time. You just can’t say, ‘Oh – you know, it’s like being a cafeteria meteorologist. I want to pick that today. I will pick that today. I’m going to have the Jell-O. I’m going to have the – I’m going to have the Fudgesicle whatever it might be. There is absolutely something going on here for this summer being the hottest and some of the water that we have in the Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico being the hottest ever on record, which could cause a pretty significant – significant hurricane season still to come.”

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2010/08/10/cnn-s-myers-who-once-called-manmade-global-warming-arrogant-now-drinking-#ixzz0wJLbXSMi

      • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

        Nice, about two weeks ago I caught a news piece about the lack of sun spots, a much hotter sun and solar flares, all happening now. I tend to remember stuff like this because it is A. interesting and B. contrarian. I also tend to notice that these things tend to be one time stories, miss them and it’s like it never happened. Sometimes the censors just miss spiking a story.

        • History was giving the censors fit until they thought to re-write. I think sun spot studies date back to 16th century?

          • LOI,


            Sunspots are the longest, continuously running scientific study of mankind.

            • SK Trynosky Sr/. says:

              So then, what does the history of sun spot activity say about weather anomolies?

              • SK,

                Sunspots have shown to have a very high coorelation to climate.

                An increase of sunspot activity has created a warming effect on earth.

                A decrease of sunspot activity has a cooling effect.

                The process has been identified.

                The increase of sunspots creates an increase of solar particles. These particles deflect cosmic rays coming from the center of our galaxy.

                It has been discovered that cosmic rays is the source of creating high altitude cloud cover.

                More cosmic rays hitting the earth, more high cloud, more albedo (reflection) of solar energy, cooler Earth.

                More sunspots, more solar particles, more deflection of cosmic rays, less clouds, lower albedo, warmer Earth.

                During 1990’s, we noticed the largest number of sunspots in recorded history – and, hmmm, a warming.

                Since 2001, we have had a decreasing number of sunspots to ZERO by 2009 and it this trend continues unabated to now…and, hmm, a cooling.

                Sunspots have explained the “mini-ice ages” of history – but are not as compelling an explanation for ice ages. This lack of explanation has been the root of many AGW-mythologists complain that sunspots are not the cause of global warming.

                However! the Comic ray theory has found to still be the profound causation!

                Voyager has discovered a remarkable thing!

                It has been theorized that this cosmic ray causation also explains the glacial and interglacial periods!

                Voyager has finally penetrated the heliosphere of our solar system – and instead of finding itself in an vacumn of interstellar space, it has found itself immersed in a field of interstellar gas, at a temp. of 3000F.

                They have found that there are “ribbons” of this gas – the remnant of a chain of super nova’s that predicated the creation of our solar system and the Earth – and the Solar system passes through these ribbons, and then out of them, on a regular basis – lock step to the interglacial and glacial periods on earth.

                The ribbons are effectively blocking a massive amount of cosmic rays. While we are in them, the Earth becomes inter-glacial.

                When the solar system comes out of them, we are heavily bombarded by cosmic rays – whether or not the sun provides us the deflection via sunspots. Thus, a glacial period.

                Voyager has found that we are beginning to leave our current gaseous ribbon…. (shudder)….

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      The KEY THING to remember is that if the climate of the Earth was dominated by POSITIVE FEEDBACKS, the oceans would have boiled away millions of years ago.

      The Earth stays in a temperature range that is within +/- 10 degrees C. Whether we are in an ice age, or the medieval warm period, we have been withing this +/- 10 degrees C range for the past 500 million years (at least).

      If the climate system of the Earth were dominated by positive feedbacks, such a thing would not be possible.

      End of line.

    • I recently wrote a column on “climate change”: Climate change hysteria and ‘fixes’ cause harm

      • Kent,

        “Only government deals and favoritism (corporatism) keep the big polluters (BP) from taking full individual responsibility, and making full restitution, for their mistakes and misdeeds.”

        Do you mean like congress getting it’s electricity from an old, nasty, coal power plant? But they bought carbon credits for those nasty emissions.

    • Esom Hill says:

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

      The Technology does not exist for a “green” economy Period Dot.

      Until there is, why does the Federal Govt want to pass Cap and Trade to punish EVERYONE for not being able to produce “green” energy.

      I do not believe in Global Warming to begin with, but that is immaterial at this time. Whether or not you buy the GW scam, we cannot produce enough “green” energy to run the country even by half.

      I do agree we should be developing the Technology, and it is being done. Only a complete moron would not like to see a pollution free Earth. But why do we have to devastate our economy? We don’t. So it begs the question: Why do our Progressive friends want us too?

      • Because it feeds cash into all their green factory jobs which will create billions for all players involved. Glenn Beck did a fabulous job explaining all the players in this scam yesterday. Glenn Beck is on fire lately. I’m surprised he hasn’t ended up dead yet.

        • Esom Hill says:

          Well Anita, the year ain’t over yet. He has been on fire lately. I’m still waiting on that red phone to ring.

          But exactly WHAT green factory jobs? I haven’t SEEN any green jobs out there unless you are talking about research into green technology. Sure, there are some green tech out there, but none of it is worth the money it costs when you compare it with how good it works. The cost differential is just not there yet for any of it.

          And when anyone mentions alternative energy sources that would actually be cheap, they dismiss it. They don’t really want real solutions. All that they want to make are cash cows for their buddies while screwing all of US.

  5. Well, well, well…..comments?


    Washington (AP) — The Obama administration is providing $3 billion to unemployed homeowners facing foreclosure in the nation’s toughest job markets.

    The Treasury Department says it will send $2 billion to 17 states that have unemployment rates higher than the national average for a year. They will use the money for programs to aid unemployed homeowners. Some of those states have already designed such programs.

    Another $1 billion will go to a new program being run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It will provide homeowners with emergency zero-interest rate loans of up to $50,000 for up to two years.

    The administration was required to launch the programs by the financial regulatory bill signed by President Barack Obama last month.

    • I wonder how many are blue states and how many are red? Not that this could have any effect on coming elections.

      Michigan again had the highest rate of unemployment at 14.3%. Second was Nevada at 13%, followed by Rhode Island at 12.7%. For South Carolina, fourth at 12.6%, and California, fifth at 12.5%, the January jobless rates were record highs.

      New Mexico posted the largest jobless rate increase in January, a rise of 0.3 percentage point to 8.5%.

      North Dakota was again the state with the lowest jobless rate, at 4.2%

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Wow, that is great! Only about 7500 unemployed people in all of North Dakota! 🙂

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          By the way, I am SURE that that figure completely ignores anyone on the Reservations, since those are Soverign Territory and not technically part of the US.

    • I don’t think it will fly in Michigan. Like I said yesterday, everyone already bailed on their underwater homes. One friend bought into a manufactured home park with a $40k retirement buyout from Ford. Cost of new home: 18k . Another friend on a buyout from Chrysler- new home 23k. Another friend simply put an addition onto his mom’s house and is living debt free.

    • “The administration was required to launch the programs by the financial regulatory bill signed by President Barack Obama last month.”

      Isn’t this statement just hilarious? (sarc)

  6. As Freddie Begs for More Cash, AP’s Zibel Perpetuates Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Myths

    By Tom Blumer

    FredAndFanLogos1209There are quite a few shaky assertions in Alan Zibel’s Associated Press report yesterday about Freddie Mac’s latest quarterly loss ($6 billion), its latest bailout installment request to the U.S. Treasury ($1.8 billion), and the cumulative taxpayer bailout amounts that have been paid out to Freddie Mac and big sister Fannie Mae thus far ($148.2 billion) — too many to cover in a blog post.

    So I’ll concentrate on the howlers present in just a single paragraph near the end, wherein the AP reporter attempts to explain why the two formerly government-sponsored mortgage giants that are now government-bailout enterprises ran into the ditch. The verbiage pretty much states the meme that the establishment press seems to want the public to swallow about what went down, and who’s to blame:

    During the housing boom, Fannie and Freddie faced political pressure to expand homeownership and competitive pressure from Wall Street to back ever-riskier loans. When the market went bust, defaults and foreclosures piled up, and the government had to take them over.

    Zibel treats the two giants as if they were innocent bystanders in a boom that “just so happened” to coincide with the political pressures it faced. Nonsense. It’s more accurate to say that Fan and Fred fed the boom to the point of being its major cause. Many already know that in 1999, Fannie Mae announced looser lending standards (Fred soon followed; go here to see what this specifically meant). Even the New York Times was a bit concerned at the time:

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

    ”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

    Probably much more important is something that is about the best-kept secret outside of the Wall Street Journal in the establishment press. In a December 29, 2009 article, the aforementioned Wallison conveyed an assertion by Edward Pinto, who is certainly in a position to know, that, as far back as 1993, Fan and Fred “routinely misrepresented the mortgages they were acquiring, reporting them as prime when they had characteristics that made them clearly subprime or Alt-A.” In other words, they deceived the financial markets and the ratings agencies on a massive scale about the underlying quality ofhundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars of securitized mortgages. If Zibel isn’t aware of this, he should be. If this has anything to do with “competitive pressure,” I’d like him to explain how that’s the case.

    It’s also not written in stone that “the government had to take them over.” Perhaps it felt obligated because of the implicit guarantees against default (they were not explicit, despite Zibel’s claim that they were), but the legal requirement for Uncle Sam to take over Fan and Fred in troubled circumstances was not there.

    Zibel wants readers to believe that Fan and Fred were really just victims of a “market (that) went bust” during the final year of the Bush administration. No sir, it has become painfully apparent that they sowed the seeds of that bust by committing fraud on what may be an unprecedented scale all the way back to the early Clinton years. Taxpayers are now reaping the whirlwind.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2010/08/10/freddie-begs-more-cash-aps-zibel-perpetuates-fannie-mae-freddie-mac-myth#ixzz0wJi2kdJJ

  7. Off topic, but all of my books are now available as free downloads, in addition to the real-world “hold in your grubby little hand” versions (which I still personally prefer since I’m a relic).

    Plus, within a few weeks my latest, “Problem? Solved!”, will be published.

    All the information can be found here.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:


    I don’t know a whole lot about LFTRs, but they sound promising. Perhaps BF could chime in on this technology!

    • Part 1 is also interesting.

      “According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, global food prices rose an incredible 40% in 2007. The World Bank states that the cost of staple foods rose by 83% during the 3 year period from 2005 to 2008. The International Food Policy Research Institute states that biofuels are responsible for rapid grain price inflation, and a detailed analysis by Don Mitchell, an internationally respected economist at the World Bank, stated that biofuels have forced global staple food prices up by 75%…..The United Nations states that its charity programs can no longer afford to feed the starving peoples of the world because of the high cost of staple foods. Mr. Jean Ziegler, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, repeatedly denounced biofuels as “a crime against humanity.” The new UN food envoy, Mr. Olivier De Schuster, has called for United States and European Union biofuel targets to be abandoned, and said the world food crisis is “a silent tsunami affecting 100 million people.” Oil price increases have not shrunk the human food supply, but biofuel production has. The more biofuels we produce, the less food we have to eat, because we grow biofuel crops using the same land, water, fertilizer, farm equipment, and labor we use to grow food.”

    • Thorium is about 100x more plentiful than Uranium – and found everywhere (unlike Uranium which is rare and found in only a few places).

      Thorium reactors are in experimental stages – and look very promising. The possibility of safe, personal nuclear power may be in reach.

    • Esom Hill says:

      Well if the story on LFTR’s is true. If this is a cheap, clean easy way to produce power, then you can bet your ass The Feds will be against it.

      • Esom,

        Freedom increases with access to cheap energy.

        One of the reasons North America has been a past haven of generally free people was the access to near-unlimited energy resources at very cheap prices.

        Men built Great Wonders of the World because it. Men turn deserts into oasis because of it.

        Government hate cheap energy for the masses. It gives the masses the sense of self-control.

        They will ban Thorium (I predict).

        • Esom Hill says:

          I have heard that there is another energy source to be gleaned by using the Earth’s Natural Electromagnetic Field (unconfirmed) but that no one will invest anything in it because they would not be able to make any money off of it.

          I wonder if it can be true because if it is, why exactly can you not make money off of it? The Law of Supply and Demand requires that SOMEDAMNBODY will make money off of anything.

  9. Last month, the International Monetary Fund released its annual review of U.S. economic policy. Its summary contained these bland words about U.S. fiscal policy: “Directors welcomed the authorities’ commitment to fiscal stabilization, but noted that a larger than budgeted adjustment would be required to stabilize debt-to-GDP.”

    But delve deeper, and you will find that the IMF has effectively pronounced the U.S. bankrupt. Section 6 of the July 2010 Selected Issues Paper says: “The U.S. fiscal gap associated with today’s federal fiscal policy is huge for plausible discount rates.” It adds that “closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 percent of U.S. GDP.”

    The fiscal gap is the value today (the present value) of the difference between projected spending (including servicing official debt) and projected revenue in all future years.

    Double Our Taxes

    To put 14 percent of gross domestic product in perspective, current federal revenue totals 14.9 percent of GDP. So the IMF is saying that closing the U.S. fiscal gap, from the revenue side, requires, roughly speaking, an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal-income, corporate and federal taxes as well as the payroll levy set down in the Federal Insurance Contribution Act.

    Such a tax hike would leave the U.S. running a surplus equal to 5 percent of GDP this year, rather than a 9 percent deficit. So the IMF is really saying the U.S. needs to run a huge surplus now and for many years to come to pay for the spending that is scheduled. It’s also saying the longer the country waits to make tough fiscal adjustments, the more painful they will be.

    Is the IMF bonkers?

    No. It has done its homework. So has the Congressional Budget Office whose Long-Term Budget Outlook, released in June, shows an even larger problem.

    ‘Unofficial’ Liabilities

    Based on the CBO’s data, I calculate a fiscal gap of $202 trillion, which is more than 15 times the official debt. This gargantuan discrepancy between our “official” debt and our actual net indebtedness isn’t surprising. It reflects what economists call the labeling problem. Congress has been very careful over the years to label most of its liabilities “unofficial” to keep them off the books and far in the future.


  10. Hey Anita,

    Maybe the shirt Kent mentioned was supposed to be taken with a heavy does of sarcasim? Right after the election there was much talk of The One being put in office solely for the purpose of destroying America from within. It could have something to do with that?

    • Wouldn’t surprise me a bit. What’s their sayin: If they punch, we’ll punch back harder. Or something to that effect. Time for us to use there own logic against them. Non-violently , of course!

  11. Michele Bachmann The first hurdle on the path to a legal-process repeal of Obamacare was cleared Monday. A federal judge allowed the Commonwealth of Virginia to proceed with a challenge to the government’s requirement that individuals must buy health insurance. This decision directly bypassed a dismissal request by President Obama’s Justice Department.

    Possibly good news!

    I copied this from Michelle Bachmann’s Facebook page. She has some interesting stuff there.

  12. Great quotes from the Democrats….

    “One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

    “The buck stops here.” – Harry S. Truman

    “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

    And, from today’s genius Democrats…

    “It depends what your definition of ‘Sex’ is?” – Bill Clinton

    “That Obama … I would like to cut his NUTS off.” – Jesse Jackson

    “Those rumors are false … I believe in the sanctity of marriage.” – John Edwards

    “I invented the Internet.” – Al Gore

    “The next Person that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads up their ASS.” – Joe Biden

    “America is … is no longer, uh, what it … it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was … uh, and I say to myself, ‘uh, I don’t want that future, uh, uh for my children.” – Barack Obama

    “I have campaigned in all 57 states.” – Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

    “You don’t need God anymore, you have us Democrats.” – Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006)

    “Paying taxes is voluntary.” – Sen. Harry Reid

    “Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he.” – Hillary Clinton (Quoted 1998)

    And the most recent gem of wisdom from the “Mother Moron”:

    “We just have to pass the Healthcare Bill to see what’s in it.”

    – Nancy Pelosi (Quoted March, 2010)

    • Three girls all worked in the same office with the same female boss.

      Each day, they watched the boss leave work early. One day, the girls decided that, when the boss left, they would leave right behind her.

      After all, she never called or came back to work, so how would she know they went home early?

      The brunette was thrilled to be home early…she did a little gardening, spent playtime with her son, and went to bed early.

      The redhead was elated to be able to get in a quick workout at the spa before meeting a dinner date.

      The blonde was happy to get home early and surprise her husband, but when she got to her bedroom, she heard a muffled noise from inside.

      Slowly and quietly, she cracked open the door and was mortified to see her husband in bed with her boss!

      Gently she closed the door and crept out of the house.

      The next day, at their coffee break, the brunette and redhead said that they planned to leave early again, and they asked the blonde if she was going to go with them.

      “No way!” the blonde exclaimed. “I almost got caught yesterday!”

    • The Defective Parrot.

      A guy is browsing in a pet shop, and sees a parrot sitting on a little perch.
      It doesn’t have any feet or legs.

      The guy says aloud, ‘Jeesh, I wonder what happened to this parrot.?’

      The parrot says, ‘I was born this way. I’m a defective parrot.’

      ‘Holy crap,’ the guy replies.
      ‘You actually understood and answered me. !’

      ‘I got every word,’ says the parrot.
      ‘I happen to be a highly intelligent, and a thoroughly educated bird’

      ‘Oh yeah?’ the guy asks.
      ‘Then answer this, how do you hang onto your perch, without any feet.?’

      ‘Well,’ the parrot says, ‘this is very embarrassing, but since you asked, I wrap my weenie around this wooden bar, like a little hook.
      You can’t see it, because of my feathers..’

      ‘Wow,’ says the guy.
      ‘You really can understand, and can speak English, can’t you.?’

      ‘Actually, I speak both Spanish and English, and I can converse with reasonable competence on almost any topic, politics, religion, sports, physics, philosophy. I’m especially good at ornithology. You really ought to buy me, I’d be a great companion.’

      The guy looks at the $200.00 price tag..

      ‘Sorry, but I just can’t afford that.’

      ‘Pssssssst,’ says the parrot, ‘I’m defective, so the truth is, nobody wants me, cause I don’t have any feet.
      You can probably get me for $20, just make the guy an offer.!’

      The guy offers $20, and walks out with the parrot.

      Weeks go by.

      The parrot is sensational.
      He has a great sense of humor, he’s interesting, he’s a great pal, he understands everything, he sympathizes, and he’s insightful. The guy is delighted.
      One day the guy comes home from work, and the parrot goes, ‘Psssssssssssst,’ and motions him over with one wing.
      ‘I don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but it’s about your wife, and the UPS man.’

      ‘What are you talking about,?’ asks the guy.

      ‘When the UPS man delivered a package today, your wife greeted him at the door, in a sheer black nightie.’

      WHAT???’ the guy asks incredulously. ‘THEN what happened?’

      ‘Well, then the UPS man came into the house, and lifted up her nightie, and began petting her all over,’ reported the parrot.

      ‘NO!’ he exclaims, ‘and she let him.?’

      ‘Yes. Then he continued taking off the nightie, got down on his knees, and began to kiss her all over.’

      Then the frantic guy demands, ‘THEN WHAT HAPPENED.?’

      DUNNO?!? I got a hard-on, and fell off my perch.!’

    • Ray Hawkins says:
      • Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.
        Ronald Reagan

        Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.
        Ronald Reagan

        But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.
        Ronald Reagan

        Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
        Ronald Reagan

        Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.
        Ronald Reagan

        Don’t be afraid to see what you see.
        Ronald Reagan

        Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.
        Ronald Reagan

        Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.
        Ronald Reagan

        Facts are stubborn things.
        Ronald Reagan

        Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
        Ronald Reagan

        Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
        Ronald Reagan

        Going to college offered me the chance to play football for four more years.
        Ronald Reagan

        Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.
        Ronald Reagan

        Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.
        Ronald Reagan

        • Ray Hawkins says:


          “Well, I learned a lot….I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries”

          “I don’t know. I’ve never played a governor.” -asked by a reporter in 1966 what kind of governor he would be

          “Facts are stupid things.” -at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, “Facts are stubborn things”

          “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.”

          “All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.”

          “There is absolutely no circumstance whatever under which I would accept that spot. Even if they tied and gagged me, I would find a way to signal by wiggling my ears.” –on possibly being offered the vice presidency in 1968

          “You can tell a lot about a fella’s character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful.” -explaining why he liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings

          “We are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we’re going to succeed.”

          “As a matter of fact, Nancy never had any interest in politics or anything else when we got married.”

          “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

          “What does an actor know about politics?” -criticizing Ed Asner for opposing American foreign policy

    • Lessons from a Turkish Wedding
      By John F. Di Leo
      In the world news, we read of a moment of horror at a wedding in Gaziantep, in southeastern Turkey. During the celebration of his own wedding, as is all too common in the Middle East, Tevfik Altun, the groom, fired his AK-47 into the air, immediately lost control of it, and in an instant had killed his own father and two of his aunts, besides injuring eight others.

      News reports include the obligatory mention that the Turkish government has tried unsuccessfully for years to end this practice, but that’s a tall order in a culture where the right to party is valued by many as superior to the right to life…where living for the moment is more popular than concern for remaining alive a moment later.


  13. A Tale of Two Pauls

    August 11, 2010 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Economy

    Liberals have generously treated us to a motley assortment of apologia for President Obama’s economy-wrecking fiscal policies over the past 19 months:

    (1) The economy is doing fine (Ezra Klein)! We should have expected the recovery to be agonizingly slow, and it is—hence, Obama’s policies worked.

    (2) The economy isn’t doing well, but it would have been doing even worse without the stimulus bill (Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s and certified boob). Without a Keynesian spending orgy—or as Obama puts it, “moving the economy forward”—unemployment wouldn’t have stopped at 10% and might have risen to 12 or 13 or 15%.

    (3) The economy is doing poorly, and it’s because the Democrats didn’t do enough (the ever-certifiable Paul Krugman). The stimulus should have been much bigger, and financial regulations should have been much harsher. To compensate we need “a second big stimulus, plus much more aggressive Fed policy.”

    In contrast, conservatives have suggested the following interpretations of events:

    (1) The economy is going to improve soon (Larry Kudlow). We won’t experience a double-dip recession and growth is resuming, so we should be more optimistic. Obama’s policies aren’t helping, but American ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit are strong enough that we can recover anyway.

    (2) The economy isn’t doing well, and Obama’s policies have made it worse (every other conservative on the planet). Wasteful spending caused our debt to skyrocket and increased the chances of inflation; government takeover of private industries and burdensome financial regulations created an uncertain climate for investing and hiring that has prolonged the recession.

    (3) The economy is doing poorly, and now is the time to discuss not only repealing Obama’s policies and ensuring that the likes of them never pass again, but undoing the policies liberals have inflicted on the nation since FDR under the pretense that once they were in place future generations would be too sheepish to touch them (Paul Ryan). The impetus from the Tea Party movement should be used to revive talks about privatizing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    So liberals and conservatives are at a bit of a standoff over the fundamental economic principles behind their political strategies. Who’s right?

    Let’s see: economists have demonstrated, time and again, using common-sense reasoning, econometric modeling, and historical data, that increasing government spending yields less private spending than if government had left that money in the private sector to be spent, invested, or saved as those who generated it saw fit.

    Economists have shown that increasing marginal tax rates counterintuitively decreases the gross domestic product, especially in the years immediately following tax increases. Obama’s chief economic advisor, Christina Romer—who just retired over a conflict between her views and the administration’s—documented the effect of this negative tax “multiplier” using empirical data in a recently published economics article.

    It doesn’t matter whether we accept Klein’s view that the economy is peachy, Zandi’s view that it’s doing badly but could be worse, or Krugman’s view that it’s doing badly and needs more Obamanomics. All are based on the false premise that more government spending, taxation, and regulation are better for the economy than less. (Hey—don’t Keynesians believe that spending lots of money on wars is a good way to revive the economy? I guess Krugman will be admitting he was wrong about the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts after all!)

    People like Klein bemoan the fact that corporate profits are back up to 2006 levels while hiring remains slow. Liberals present the question of our tepid recovery as an intractable metaphysical mystery incapable of being penetrated by mere humans; as Klein puts it: “That is the catch-22 of the recovery: Businesses will start hiring when the economy recovers. And the economy will start to recover when businesses start hiring.” Answer: And both will improve when the government gets out of the way!

    As for the varying conservative perspectives, which are the only ones remotely connected to reality and thus worth considering, Kudlow is right that the American economy is resilient. Perhaps he’s slyly making the point that more optimism on the public’s part not only better reflects the state of our economy but may improve it via increased investment and hiring. Kudlow’s perspective is largely predictive, rather than focusing on how lawmakers should bring about a faster and more permanent recovery (though he often discusses those issues as well).

    Every other conservative in the world who believes that we shouldn’t stand for the “new normal” of high unemployment and unexceptional growth is correct that Democrats’ policies are making the recession worse. Repealing ObamaCare, preventing cap-and-trade legislation, and stopping or reversing the scores of other nasty things Obama and Pelosi have planned for our economy are mandatory undertakings over the next six years.

    But Paul Ryan hits the bullseye when he notes that it is desirable, necessary, and possible to go further. Train wreck legislation like ObamaCare is worth repealing, but if Medicare and Medicaid are quickly running out of money, and Social Security is already in the red, why shouldn’t we go after every entitlement shibboleth?

    What principle, applied consistently, would nudge us to nullify ObamaCare but leave Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid shiny and intact? Did our country survive and prosper before these programs were enacted? Would we survive and prosper if we phased them out? Might we prosper even more in their absence?

    Ryan’s proposal is far from perfect—his main argument for the Roadmap to recovery is that it will keep our entitlement system solvent—and he doesn’t discuss eradicating entitlements once and for all. Perhaps Ryan believes that talking about eliminating entitlements is too politically risky now, when even his Roadmap is audacious by today’s standards. But Ryan deserves credit for having gone further than anyone else in Congress in working out the details of a plan that will help the country avoid fatal insolvency.


  14. Hey VH,

    Maybe Ray, Buck or Mathius can volunteer to carry out the experiment, lol. Then it won’t be hypothethical anymore…White guy goes the voting place in predominately non white area. Stands around talking trash while waving billy club. All in the name of social science, lol.


  15. Yesterday we had the post on Geithner and his delusional talk. Today there’s this union boss on (lack of problem) with deficits.


    • What hole did that clown just crawl out of?

      Why? Why? Why?

      Oh, Beck just said why. CLOWARD-PIVEN

  16. I found this interesting-


    A little something from the past…………That seems appropriate and reflects how I have been feeling of late.

    My deepest and sincerest BEST WISHES to ALL.

  18. Cyndi P

    A little something that seems to fit your feelings towards the Admin and its supporters.


    • Thanks JAc but you should know that YouTube is blocked on the work internet connection. The ‘public’ connection is so slow that it can 30-40 minutes to download 2:30 video, if the download happens at all.


      • Cyndi

        I am so sorry, I forgot your situation.

        It was the Sarge chewing ass in the movie Full Metal Jacket.

        I saw that and thought of you………..:) 🙂

        • 5’9″ I DIDNT KNOW THEY STACKED SHIT THAT HIGH!!!!!!! I have to remember that one 🙂

          It’s a FEMA Camp Cyndi

          Cyndi wouldn’t be able to keep her mouth shut JAC. Oh man, I’d love to be a fly on the wall then…hahahahahahahahahhahahaha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • 🙂

    • Oooh ooooh ooooh

      WARNING: Do not open at work or with little ears around!

  19. SK Trynosky Sr/. said August 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Nice, about two weeks ago I caught a news piece about the lack of sun spots, a much hotter sun and solar flares, all happening now. I tend to remember stuff like this because it is A. interesting and B. contrarian. I also tend to notice that these things tend to be one time stories, miss them and it’s like it never happened. Sometimes the censors just miss spiking a story.

    Life of Illusion said August 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    History was giving the censors fit until they thought to re-write. I think sun spot studies date back to 16th century?

    Black Flag said August 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm



    Sunspots are the longest, continuously running scientific study of mankind.

    (Boy do I feel cheated! Flag tells me I’m right about something, but awards no pirate points. I think there has been some news reports about heave rain somewhere?)


    Each upsurge in sunspots reflects a slightly greater output of solar radiation and the numbers peak in roughly 11-year cycles. The next crest, or solar maximum, is expected to arrive between 2011 and 2012. According to the new study’s main prediction, East Africa should experience a major intensification in its rainy season about a year before that solar maximum.

  20. http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/summer_of_no_recovery.html

    Summer of No Recovery
    By Alan Aronoff
    Summer time, and the living is easy — that is, if you are one of the 22.77 million people employed by the government, representing one out of seven people currently employed. If you are unemployed and hoping for an economic uptick to increase chances for employment, this may very well be your summer of discontent. In any event, the White House has designated the summer of 2010 the Recovery Summer.

    If this is the Recovery Summer, then:

    * Why hasn’t the National Bureau of Economic Research set a date for the end of the recession that began in December 2007 even though GDP growth had turned positive during the second quarter of 2009?
    * Why are U.S. light vehicle sales in June, at 11 million cars at an annual rate, the lowest rate for auto sales since February?
    * Why are housing sales weakening? Sales of existing homes in June fell by 2.6% from May. The National Association of Realtors Existing Home sales index was down 18.6% in June compared to June of 2009. Home sales in May fell 30% from April. April marked the end of a government incentive of providing up to $8,000 per home purchase. In many cases, the government subsidy served as the down payment.
    * Why is consumer confidence at 50.4 in July, which is down from 54.3 in June? During the recession of 2001, and immediately after 9/11, the index was above 80.
    * Why did the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index fall 17 points in July to an all-time low of -28?
    * Why do the job statistics for June still show a 9.5% unemployment rate? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force was reduced by 2.5 million workers and 2.7 million people have left the labor force.

    Against this list of facts, President Obama claims that the economy is getting better. This administration’s ineptness at promoting growth is equaled by its ineptness at spinning facts. The Obama administration also touts that the stimulus passed in February of 2009 created or saved 3.5 million jobs. Of course, the president has chosen a standard of measure that is not and has not been tracked before. Mr. Obama boasted, “The stimulus bill prevented the unemployment rate from getting up to … 15%.” Of course, not seeing 15% unemployment (unless you consider the underemployed in the U.S.) does not mean that the stimulus worked. The president could have also stated that passing the stimulus bill would prevent asteroids from destroying the earth. Just because the earth has survived does not mean that this result was due to the stimulus.

    Few believe the economy is getting better and job growth is just around the corner. The table below from Business Insider (hat tip: Tom Sullivan Radio show) shows that the current recession has the deepest loss of jobs. At 31 months since the onset of the recession, there is no uptick in employment.

    The reason for lack of economic performance in the U.S. economy was stated succinctly by Ben Bernanke in his July 22 testimony, where he stated that there is unusual uncertainty in the economic outlook of the U.S. The source of this unusual uncertainty is the pending changes in the structure American economy. These changes include:

    * Uncertainty in tax laws. The current federal tax rates are due to reset in January. Also, many states whose budgets are underwater are considering tax rate changes.
    * Uncertainty of the obligations on business from ObamaCare. As Nancy Pelosi stated, “We need to pass this law to find out what is in it.” What Ms. Pelosi didn’t say is that many of the rules in the 2,000-plus-page bill have yet to be written, and the final impact will not be known for some time. However, as the Missouri vote shows, most Americans think the costs of ObamaCare outweigh the benefits.
    * Uncertainty in the future cost of energy. The moratorium on deep-water drilling, coupled with the continuing attempt by Congress to pass energy cap and trade legislation, makes the future cost of energy uncertain. Energy consumption is directly correlated to GDP. Furthermore, increases in the cost of energy will reduce the competitiveness of American manufacturers.
    * Uncertainty in bank lending to private-sector business. The financial regulation bill recently passed will place unknown requirements on bank lending, as new capitalization rules have not yet been written. Also, with interest rates near zero, banks can borrow at the Fed discount window at near zero and lend that money to US treasuries – 10 year treasuries yielding at 2.82% providing a risk-free return.

    On top of it all, the prime cheerleader for Obamanomics, Christina Romer, announced that she is leaving her position as the head of the Council of Economic Advisors to President Obama to return to teaching at UC Berkeley. Christina Romer and her husband have authored a paper that evaluates the effects of tax rates on GDP. A tax of 1% of GDP will have a negative effect on GDP growth larger than the tax increase. If Romer’s research is correct, then allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire will cause a reduction in GDP growth compared to allowing the current tax rates continue.

  21. Welcome back from your vacation. Glad to hear your trip didn’t cost me anything.

  22. I thought this was funny.

    • aaahhhhh, memories, memories.. My class song but sung by George Benson. Whitney rocks though too!

  23. Out of the mouths of baby’s -where are you from-you will love her answer and her song. Enjoy

    • Meh. But the 10 year old who was on the other night was just unnatural…

      10. Years. Old.

      • Wow-I mean WOW! but lets face it 4 year old cute is hard to beat-but I believe she managed it -but then, give the other cutie 6 more years and we can re-evaluate. 🙂

      • This Jackie is unbelievably mature in her command of the lyrics and very, very tough melodies that she sings. Have listened to several of her youtube songs going back to the ripe age of 8 – she is amazing.

    • Saw this awhile back – so precious.

      (Disowning NY – too funny)

  24. Sometimes you just gotta shake your head and wonder, how the hell did we get here?

    Don’t let, what is it, 13 indictments? come between a good party and hero worship! Doug Powers has a great take on it.

    Charlie Rangel’s Birthday Party: ‘This Damn Sure Ain’t No Funeral!’


  25. Last post and then I really have to get some work done (plus conference call is coming to an end :smile:)

    Overseas media seem able to get a handle on our situation.

    The stunning decline of Barack Obama: 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in meltdown

    The last few weeks have been a nightmare for President Obama, in a summer of discontent in the United States which has deeply unsettled the ruling liberal elites, so much so that even the Left has begun to turn against the White House. While the anti-establishment Tea Party movement has gained significant ground and is now a rising and powerful political force to be reckoned with, many of the president’s own supporters as well as independents are rapidly losing faith in Barack Obama, with open warfare breaking out between the White House and the left-wing of the Democratic Party. While conservatism in America grows stronger by the day, the forces of liberalism are growing increasingly weaker and divided.

    Against this backdrop, the president’s approval ratings have been sliding dramatically all summer, with the latest Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll of US voters dropping to minus 22 points, the lowest point so far for Barack Obama since taking office. While just 24 per cent of American voters strongly approve of the president’s job performance, almost twice that number, 46 per cent, strongly disapprove. According to Rasmussen, 65 per cent of voters believe the United States is going down the wrong track, including 70 per cent of independents.

    The RealClearPolitics average of polls now has President Obama at over 50 per cent disapproval, a remarkably high figure for a president just 18 months into his first term. Strikingly, the latest USA Today/Gallup survey has the President on just 41 per cent approval, with 53 per cent disapproving.

    Related link: The Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime
    There are an array of reasons behind the stunning decline and political fall of President Obama, chief among them fears over the current state of the US economy, with widespread concern over high levels of unemployment, the unstable housing market, and above all the towering budget deficit. Americans are increasingly rejecting President Obama’s big government solutions to America’s economic woes, which many fear will lead to the United States sharing the same fate as Greece.

    Growing disillusionment with the Obama administration’s handling of the economy as well as health care and immigration has gone hand in hand with mounting unhappiness with the President’s aloof and imperial style of leadership, and a growing perception that he is out of touch with ordinary Americans, especially at a time of significant economic pain. Barack Obama’s striking absence of natural leadership ability (and blatant lack of experience) has played a big part in undermining his credibility with the US public, with his lacklustre handling of the Gulf oil spill coming under particularly intense fire.

    On the national security and foreign policy front, President Obama has not fared any better. His leadership on the war in Afghanistan has been confused and at times lacking in conviction, and seemingly dictated by domestic political priorities rather than military and strategic goals. His overall foreign policy has been an appalling mess, with his flawed strategy of engagement of hostile regimes spectacularly backfiring. And as for the War on Terror, his administration has not even acknowledged it is fighting one.

    Can it get any worse for President Obama? Undoubtedly yes. Here are 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in serious trouble, and why its prospects are unlikely to improve between now and the November mid-terms.

    1. The Obama presidency is out of touch with the American people

    In a previous post I noted how the Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime, extravagant, decaying and out of touch with ordinary Americans. The First Lady’s ill-conceived trip to Spain at a time of widespread economic hardship was symbolic of a White House that barely gives a second thought to public opinion on many issues, and frequently projects a distinctly elitist image. The “let them eat cake” approach didn’t play well over two centuries ago, and it won’t succeed today.

    2. Most Americans don’t have confidence in the president’s leadership

    This deficit of trust in Obama’s leadership is central to his decline. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, “nearly six in ten voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country”, and two thirds “say they are disillusioned with or angry about the way the federal government is working.” The poll showed that a staggering 58 per cent of Americans say they do not have confidence in the president’s decision-making, with just 42 per cent saying they do.

    3. Obama fails to inspire

    In contrast to the soaring rhetoric of his 2006 Convention speech in Chicago which succeeded in impressing millions of television viewers at the time, America is no longer inspired by Barack Obama’s flat, monotonous and often dull presidential speeches and statements delivered via teleprompter. From his extraordinarily uninspiring Afghanistan speech at West Point to his flat State of the Union address, President Obama has failed to touch the heart of America. Even Jimmy Carter was more moving.

    4. The United States is drowning in debt

    The Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Budget Outlook offers a frightening picture of the scale of America’s national debt. Under its alternative fiscal scenario, the CBO projects that US debt could rise to 87 percent of GDP by 2020, 109 percent by 2025, and 185 percent in 2035. While much of Europe, led by Britain and Germany, are aggressively cutting their deficits, the Obama administration is actively growing America’s debt, and has no plan in place to avert a looming Greek-style financial crisis.

    5. Obama’s Big Government message is falling flat

    The relentless emphasis on bailouts and stimulus spending has done little to spur economic growth or create jobs, but has greatly advanced the power of the federal government in America. This is not an approach that is proving popular with the American public, and even most European governments have long ditched this tax and spend approach to saving their own economies.

    6. Obama’s support for socialised health care is a huge political mistake

    In an extraordinary act of political Harakiri, President Obama leant his full support to the hugely controversial, unpopular and divisive health care reform bill, with a monstrous price tag of $940 billion, whose repeal is now supported by 55 per cent of likely US voters. As I wrote at the time of its passing, the legislation is “a great leap forward by the United States towards a European-style vision of universal health care, which will only lead to soaring costs, higher taxes, and a surge in red tape for small businesses. This reckless legislation dramatically expands the power of the state over the lives of individuals, and could not be further from the vision of America’s founding fathers.”

    7. Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill has been weak-kneed and indecisive

    While much of the spilled oil in the Gulf has now been thankfully cleared up, the political damage for the White House will be long-lasting. Instead of showing real leadership on the matter by acing decisively and drawing upon offers of international support, the Obama administration settled on a more convenient strategy of relentlessly bashing an Anglo-American company while largely sitting on its hands. Significantly, a poll of Louisiana voters gave George W. Bush higher marks for his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with 62 percent disapproving of Obama’s performance on the Gulf oil spill.

    8. US foreign policy is an embarrassing mess under the Obama administration

    It is hard to think of a single foreign policy success for the Obama administration, but there have been plenty of missteps which have weakened American global power as well as the standing of the United States. The surrender to Moscow on Third Site missile defence, the failure to aggressively stand up to Iran’s nuclear programme, the decision to side with ousted Marxists in Honduras, the slap in the face for Great Britain over the Falklands, have all contributed to the image of a US administration completely out of its depth in international affairs. The Obama administration’s high risk strategy of appeasing America’s enemies while kicking traditional US allies has only succeeded in weakening the United States while strengthening her adversaries.

    9. President Obama is muddled and confused on national security

    From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the War on Terror, President Obama’s leadership has often been muddled and confused. On Afghanistan he rightly sent tens of thousands of additional troops to the battlefield. At the same time however he bizarrely announced a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces beginning in July 2011, handing the initiative to the Taliban. On Iraq he has announced an end to combat operations and the withdrawal of all but 50,000 troops despite a recent upsurge in terrorist violence and political instability, and without the Iraqi military and police ready to take over. In addition he has ditched the concept of a War on Terror, replacing it with an Overseas Contingency Operation, hardly the right message to send in the midst of a long-war against Al-Qaeda.

    10. Obama doesn’t believe in American greatness

    Barack Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, and has made apologising for his country into an art form. In a speech to the United Nations last September he stated that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.” It is difficult to see how a US president who holds these views and does not even accept America’s greatness in history can actually lead the world’s only superpower with force and conviction.

    There is a distinctly Titanic-like feel to the Obama presidency and it’s not hard to see why. The most left-wing president in modern American history has tried to force a highly interventionist, government-driven agenda that runs counter to the principles of free enterprise, individual freedom, and limited government that have made the United States the greatest power in the world, and the freest nation on earth.

    This, combined with weak leadership both at home and abroad against the backdrop of tremendous economic uncertainty in an increasingly dangerous world, has contributed to a spectacular political collapse for a president once thought to be invincible. America at its core remains a deeply conservative nation, which cherishes its traditions and founding principles. President Obama is increasingly out of step with the American people, by advancing policies that undermine the United States as a global power, while undercutting America’s deep-seated love for freedom.


  26. Anita:

    Your comment regarding my music post last night:

    “JAC, JAC, Snap out of it! You’re not goin there. Care to dance?”

    I am curious as to where it was you thought I was going.

    And I intend to collect on that dance someday so keep your shoes polished and close to that chair on the porch. 🙂 🙂

    • Here I am JAC: Maybe it was me because it was past my bedtime last night but I thought I heard some depression in that song and that’s why I wasn’t letting you go there. My shoes? They are tennis shoes not dancing shoes. I was not born with the rythm and never gained the rythm in my years.I was being nice because I thought you were stressin. But I’d love to see you and VH gettin down on my porch!!!! 🙂 🙂 So then explain the meaning of the song.

        • ALRIGHT V!!!!!!!! Maybe you can teach me a step or two… Or would that be LOI

          • I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t a good dancer but neither was most of the people our there dancing-and they were having a whole lot more fun than I was sitting at the table-so teach you-probably not-but I will indeed be doing my interpretation of dancing and having a wonderful good time doing it. But I’m sure there is someone else who can teach you steps, I just don’t think you will need them-just do what your feet and happy spirit tell you too.

          • I have a few moves, more into rock.

            • My nane is Bob Seger and I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan!!!!!!!!

              You’re my hero LOI. He is my favorite. His kinda music just soothes my soul.

              • It happens out in vegas
                happens in moline
                On the blue blood streets of boston
                Up in berkeley and out in queens
                And it went on yesterday and it�s going on tonight
                Somewhere there�s somebody ain�t treatin� somebody right

                And he�s looking out for rosie and she�s looking mighty fine
                And he�s walking the streets for nancy
                And he�ll find her everytime
                When the street light flicker bringing on the night
                Well they�ll be slipping into darkness slipping out of sight
                All through the midnight
                Watch �em come and watch �em go
                With only one thing in common
                They got the fire down below

                • Finally got to see him in concert a couple yrs back @ $75 per ticket. I growled about the price but it was worth it. For an old fogie he can still knock em out! BTW: he’s a mentor for Kid Rock, also a Michigander.

                • Can’t imagine why you like KR….

                  “Trying different things; smoking funny things”….

              • OK – like the song but cannot help thinking of Cruise in his BVD’s everytime I hear this!!!!

    • Might be a midwest thing JAC. I had the same understanding as Anita here…..thought you were ready to pack it in.

      Unlike Anita, however, was raised in a musical family and love to dance! Just happened to marry someone who doesn’t (although I made him practice before our reception – how embarrasing to not be in step during our special dance and all).

      When is SUFA planning a get together? Anita’s cabin? Weapons home state? As I’ve offered before, I’ll bring the WI cheese (from the very, very happy WI cows) and some good WI brew. When and where?

      • Anita”s cabin is actually a camper until this time next year. It is the one with the WELCOME SUFA sign on it. Then it will be the cabin with the SUFA IS ALWAYS WELCOME sign. In case you come in via shoreline..It’s the one proudly displaying the American flag!

        JAC: The ladies are waiting in the dance line for ya.

  27. Alright, if you guys are gonna continue discussing the Black Panther case-could you do me a favor and move the conversation down here-My hands getting tired scrolling back and forth.

    • I haven’t been involved, but you made me think, I believe our DoJ is showing itself to be corrupt.


      • Our corruptocrat Attorney General Eric Holder continues to stonewall investigators probing the DOJ’s decision to drop default judgments in the New Black Panther Party 2008 voter intimidation case.

        The Washington Times has the latest developments — and excoriates Democrats for looking the other way:

        A Feb. 2 letter from Glenn A. Fine, inspector general for the Justice Department, to Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, ought to give pause to lawmakers of any party. In effect, the letter says there is no independent authority that can investigate any decision by the department to stonewall congressional inquiries. If the department refuses to answer congressional questions by asserting legal privileges that have never been recognized in U.S. history, the IG is powerless to assess allegations of certain sorts of departmental misconduct.

        The letter from Mr. Fine explained why the IG says he is prohibited by law from reviewing whether the Justice Department or the White House allowed or instigated political interference in a decision to drop or reduce voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party. This means nearly a dozen separate requests from Mr. Wolf, Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, and other legislators for Black Panther-related information can be stonewalled by the Justice Department, as can inquiries and even subpoenas from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In short, the department is saying that it can ignore Congress with impunity.

        The House Judiciary Committee’s Democrats, led by Chairman John Conyers of Michigan, voted on Jan. 13 to roll over like whipped puppies when presented with a resolution demanding answers from the Justice Department. On a 15-14 party-line vote, committee Democrats voted to look the other way rather than hold the department accountable to Congress. Seven other committee Democrats did not even have the courage to vote on the resolution.


        • Dang for a country that has so many laws how can this crap just keep being allowed. I wanted to scream the other day when they said they were investigating all the obnoxious salaries being paid to the power structure in Bell to SEE if it was ILLEGAL. THE LEGALITY SHOULDN’T BE A QUESTION-IT IS PERIOD-IF THEY DON’T HAVE A LAW WHICH MAKES IT SO-WRITE ONE AND MAKE IT RETROACTIVE. Well that wasn’t as de-stressing as really screaming but it helped.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Would be real nice to see the letter!

          • I think I found it- Hope this posts-go to page 66 forward if doesn’t open on this page.

            Click to access CongressionalCorrespondencereNBPP.pdf

            • Make that page 65

              • Great job V! Too bad there all a bunch of sissies and won’t step up. Maybe they’re afraid of congressional intimidation by the Black Panthers..Ooops..No maybe’s allowed according to the HMFIC, aka Ray Hawkins..Disregard last maybe.

                • It was eye opening(although I wasn’t surprised) when Mr. Fine said that he had informed the Congress back in 2008 that their not being able to investigate was a problem. Then I read on Malcolm’s blog that LOI posted this:”The House Judiciary Committee’s Democrats, led by Chairman John Conyers of Michigan, voted on Jan. 13 to roll over like whipped puppies when presented with a resolution demanding answers from the Justice Department. On a 15-14 party-line vote, committee Democrats voted to look the other way rather than hold the department accountable to Congress. Seven other committee Democrats did not even have the courage to vote on the resolution”

                  • It’s a big circle with no one stepping up. Pretty interesting reading though. They do a fine job sidestepping and tripping over themselves to get out of DOING THEIR JOB. We really do need to clean house. I’ll step out and let you guys hash this out

      • LOI, weren’t you following above?

        He’s just a right-wing hack ’cause Media Matters said so.

        • No, was unaware until VH made the comment. MM says he’s a right-wing hack, OK, that settles the matter. Oh, but wait, he is making false accusations against the DoJ. Slander and libel, if only they knew a lawyer, they could sue him and even prohibit him from making these false accusations. And if he tried to use truth as his defense, hehehehe. If only there was a lawyer.

          HEY BUCK!!!!! Looking for new work??? The gov. pays more!!


          EDITORIAL: Media blackout for Black Panthers

          Where is the New York Times? Where is The Washington Post? Where are CBS and NBC? A whistleblower makes explosive allegations about the Department of Justice; his story is backed by at least two other witnesses; and the allegations involve the two hot-button issues of race and of blatant politicization of the justice system. A potential constitutional confrontation stemming from the scandal brews between the Justice Department and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. A congressman highly respected for thoughtfulness and bipartisanship has all but accused the department of serious impropriety. By every standard of objective journalism, this adds up to real news.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        LOI – the story is interesting indeed – but why can nothing be provided to corroborate his claims? Frustrating!

        • Several people have said, the simplest thing would be for DoJ to respond, especially since this is the most transparent administration in the history of the world.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Its an endless cycle then – he can make any accusation he wants and then we tie up more government jackass bureaucrats responding to / refuting the claims. At least show something to back up the claim so its seen as something more than a disgruntled ex-employee.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Grrrrr VH – my strategery has been exposed. 😉

      Isn’t there some other nonsense we can volley the ball on?

      • Ray, how about this? Long one, so follow link for full article.

        Social Security: Government ‘Ponzi’ Scheme Turns 75 with $41 Billion Shortfall

        By Julia A. Seymour

        This is a historic year for the largest government program: Social Security, which turns 75 in just a few days. The program is also running a deficit for the first time since 1983, and ahead of estimates.

        Initially, Social Security was created to provide supplemental income to elderly and disabled people who could not work, and was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Aug. 14, 1935.

        Social Security is in the red six years earlier than forecasted, and for the first time since 1983 (the last time the program was “fixed”). Downplaying the significance of the problem, The New York Times reported March 24, that the program is facing a “small” $29 billion shortfall this year because the high 9.5 percent unemployment rate is cutting into payroll tax collections that fund the program’s benefits. Oh, and because there isn’t actually a trust fund with all the money previously collected by people paying into the system.

        Problems are mounting for the Social Security program which essentially is a government-created “Ponzi scheme.” It was a boon for the earliest entrants to the program like Ida May Fuller. She was the recipient of the first monthly retirement check, in 1940, and continued to collect until her death in 1975. Fuller worked only three years under the system: paying in $24.75 in taxes. By the time of her death she had collected a total of $22,888.92 according to the Social Security Administration.
        Story Continues Below Ad ↓

        In 2010, the public is skeptical that they will get anything back from the system they pay into with each paycheck. A USA Today/Gallup poll found that three-fourths of people between 18 and 34 years of age don’t expect to get a Social Security check.

        Yet the news media have opposed much needed reform recently by ignoring or downplaying the problems with Social Security, and during the Bush years by attacking conservative reform proposals. They have allowed liberals to attack conservatives for wanting to make changes to the program, editorialized that Social Security will be just fine and practically ignored the failure of the program’s trustees to provide its annual report on time this year.

        The three broadcast networks have done little reporting on the postponement – even though the trustees are delaying bad news during an election year. The president’s debt commission is also looking into entitlements like Social Security to come up with policy solutions, but those won’t be announced until December – conveniently after the election.

        Every year the trustees of Social Security are required to publish their annual analysis by April 1. CATO Institute’s Jagadeesh Gokhale and Mark J. Warshawsky pointed this out in Forbes on July 12, 2010. “This year, however, the trustees have postponed its release indefinitely.”

        Why does that matter? Because, according to that article “The program’s financial condition continues to remain hidden from public view.”

        The trustees’ report was finally released Aug. 5, but when The New York Times announced its findings there was no mention that the report was four months late.The Times’ story also hyped the solvency of Medicare (something seriously in question), while admitting that Social Security is in the red. Nor did it point out that the shortfall had grown to a projection of $41 billion this year, $12 billion more than the Times had reported in March.

        Still, the Times quickly reassured the public it was “not a cause for panic,” according to Social Security commissioner Michael J. Astrue. The Times quoted the report, Social Security trustees, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the co-chair of a liberal coalition, but not a single conservative voice.

        A Times editorial predictably spun the report by saying, “Social Security is holding up even in the face of a weak economy.”

        USA Today supplied its view on Social Security in an editorial Aug. 9. “[H]ere’s something Americans can cross off their be-very-afraid list: whether Social Security will be around so they can worry about all those other threats in relative financial comfort.”

        According to the liberal media, the problems facing Social Security are “easily fixable.” USA Today argued that it is only necessary to “economize elsewhere,” but that Washington doesn’t like to do that.

        CNN Money’s senior writer Jeanne Sahadi also said that fixing Social Security “should be a snap.”

        Sahadi’s solutions were not new: increase the retirement age, reduce growth in benefit levels and raising the cap on how much of wages is subject to the payroll tax. But she didn’t point out how politically difficult those solutions actually are, or the mainstream media’s past attacks on reform proposals.

        When President Bush attempted to tackle Social Security reform, the five major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and FOX) aired twice as many left-leaning stories as right-leaning.

        Despite the media spin, “urgent reform is necessary” said Nicola Moore of The Heritage Foundation. Moore pointed out that Social Security has a $7.9 trillion shortfall “which means the program would require $7.9 trillion in cash today! – to afford its promises.”

        Kathryn Nix, also of Heritage, wrote in June that “the early arrival of the need for a Social Security bailout should serve as a severe reminder to the Obama Administration that entitlement reform is needed now.”

        MSNBC Host Portrays Conservative Attempt at Reform as Attack on Middle Class

        According to at least one leftie pundit on MSNBC, attempts toward reform are actually attacks on the middle class in disguise. That’s what Keith Olbermann said on Aug. 9.

        Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/julia-seymour/2010/08/12/social-security-government-ponzischeme-turns-75-41-billion-shortfall#ixzz0wPiilo6A

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          LOI – I’m an oddity I guess in that I think SS should be eliminated. Set a cutoff date and work backwards so people that were “promised” X still get X. But that will never happen.

          • Ray, I agree. You are an oddity.:lol: I think what you propose is similar to the roadmap plan Paul Ryan has proposed. I hope you or he are successful, even if I loose all I have paid in to SS. And I admit to being an oddball myself. But that’s OK, I like me.


          • Whoa, I agree with Ray on something!

            Never have expected on SS being there and haven’t made it part of retirement plan.

            Get rid of it.

      • I’m sure there are, Mr. I’m relentless when I know I am right. 🙂 Hee Hee

    • I’m done with it V. Ain’t gettin me nowhere! 🙂

      • Yea, after awhile one gets into the “I don’t care anymore attitude”. Luckily that feeling only lasts until someone says something you just can’t stop yourself from responding too.

  28. Anyone have outstanding payments due from the state of CA? Hope that IOU will satisfy!


    • I thought you had work to do 🙂

      • I apparently have ADHD today and/or you guys are just too damn irrestible!

        I’m home with no car – oldest son has car problems so borrowed mine and youngest at football practice (in 100 degree heat – yikes!) so have to wait for one to get here to deliver some orders.

    • Lots of questions on this whole clean up issue. Why the secrecy? To me, this story doesn’t make sense. If BP was to pay the fines to the govmnt, why the heck is the govmnt helping them dispose of the dead animals?

      I’ve also read the theory that there hasn’t been nearly as much damage as expected so people are kept away so that the NO DRILLING mantra holds.

      Don’t know what to think, but for some reason there’s sure been secrecy surrounding it all. It’s what we’ve come to expect from this transparency touting adm.

      Even Anderson Cooper had a segment a few weeks back about all the pushback in having media there. Here’s one clip of his outrage:


      • I agree with you 100%! Who knows what the truth is on this. The whole thing arouses suspicions just by the amount of dishonesty/misinformation/incompetency.

        (Sorta like the birth certificate) 😉

  29. 30 seconds with Obama contest

    What say you SUFA?

  30. Anita, Kathy, V.H., and other SUFA ladies.

    OK. It looks like I will have to promise dance lessons for the first big SUFA gathering. Or the first little gathering, which ever comes first.

    I don’t know any “real dances” but I can move around the floor whether jitter-bug, waltz, country, fast and slow. But I DO NOT do “line” dancing. In fact I don’t do “lines” of any kind very well.

    Sorry to leave after asking the music question. But I had a chance to play 18 holes of golf with my youngest son today (the one with Autism). He managed to get in the whole 18 and played most from start to finish. And drove the cart quite well. It was a most wonderful, happy and rewarding day. The hard work and tension from trying to teach him paid off with interest today.

    I posted that song last night because it stirs strong emotions in me. When I say strong emotions I mean STRONG emotions. And, honestly I don’t know why it does, but it has from the first time I heard it. While I have more friends than you can shake a stick at, I have always had a feeling of being on my own. I have always taken the path less traveled, hell sometimes the one not traveled at all. My family had more baggage than a train could carry. When I finished college I loaded my pickup with all I owned, including dog, guns, traps and clothes and left it all behind.

    So to me the song is the story of someone who took the path they thought was right. A person who did not listen to all the friends urging him to conform or to follow the easy way. I had been thinking it would make a good theme song for the hard core SUFA or VDLG members.

    You mid-easterners may be right, however. I had not thought of depression but maybe the song is more about regrets than I thought. I just never felt that as much as coming to grips with the reality of ones choices, and how that can result in leaving so many supposed “friends” behind. Now that you mention it, I may have been feeling like we should join Cyndi and Black Flag in the “screw it” strategy. It was just a passing thought but perhaps it affected my emotions.

    When we make the choice to pursue freedom and liberty and to accept nothing less, we in fact end up “burning bridges” as those we thought close suddenly fall behind and avoid being seen with you in public.

    I want to thank you ladies for stepping up when you thought I was faltering.


    • Ray Hawkins says:

      JAC – I also need dance lessons. Promise I won’t grab your ass.

      • Ray

        Its a deal. Besides, I don’t dance that way. The ladies prefer dancing with a gentleman.

        How ya been Ray?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Very good JAC. Weather has been brutal here so it makes spending a lot of time with the baby outside dicey. Bought a backpack so I can take him hiking with me. The more I think of the kid the bigger my bucket list gets – but don’t want him to grow up too fast!

          • Ray

            Enjoy ever minute you have for what it is. The clock spins way to damn fast.

            I almost forgot. Didn’t respond the other day so, Don’t fret eliminating the Dept of Ed at the Fed level.

            We live in a country with more highly educated people than the history of mankind. Local control and diversity is nothing to fear. Our ability to communicate in real time is the salvation.

            If they try to attack that, then you can start to be afraid. But as long as we can all communicate outside the box WE will all be far better off than our ancestors.

            Live Free my friend.

            And Be Happy.

    • We care about you Sir 🙂

    • JAC: You’ve propped us all up from time to time. It was our turn this time. See ya at the first annual SUFA FEST. Or as always you’ve got a chair with your name on it on the porch.

      • Anita

        I am Soooooooooo looking forward to sitting on that porch. And teachin ya to dance….ha, ha, ha!

        How far is that porch from say Petoskey or Harbor Springs?

        • JAC, My porch is a solid 4.5 hrs from Petoskey and 5 from Harbor Springs. But if you ever end up there again I’m ALWAYS good for a roadtrip to the beautiful north woods of Mich. Either way is good with me!!

          How many hours from Big Sky Country to say Jackson, Mi?

          • Anita

            It took me about 36 hours from Harbor Springs to home. So I am guessing you could cut off about 5 hours because Jackson is much closer to the interstate going west. I went north and then through the U.P. and upper Wisconsin.

            You could take off another 8 hours if you just want to reach the Big Sky state. But it takes 8 hours to cross it to the west side, if you want to actually see it.

            Trace it on a map or globe and then overlay with Texas.

            • I’ve always dreamed of a roadtrip to Montana. My son did a research paper on the state last year. Don’t be a bit surprised if someday you see a post on here saying “JAC? How far are you from 94 & Billings, I’ll be there in an hour” 🙂

    • We’ll look after you JAC. We SUFA girls know how to take good care of our men!


      • Don’t think you have any excuse to skip out on the SUFA party either. Turn in some of that pot of gold for the airfare.

    • Hey JAC,

      Good to hear we over reacted a little bit and you are really OK.

      We can always learn new things….this is for you!

      • Kathy

        Thanks for the music and kind words.

        A little melancholy and a lot of nostalgia, but no depression here.

        At least I think not. Not sure I know what “depression” feels like so I might not recognize it. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

  31. Ray Hawkins says:

    Today I received the “2010 Presidential Survey”. Thought I’d share it here. Oddly they didn’t get the memo that I left the party. And since when was I ever member of the DNC?

    Section I – Personal Information

    My name + address.

    Section II

    Available responses are Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, Undecided

    1. How do you rate President Obama’s performance in addressing the nation’s economic situation?

    2. How do you rate President Obama’s performance regarding the passage of health insurance reform?

    3. How do you rate President Obama’s performance regarding our nation’s energy policies?

    5. How do you rate President Obama’s handling of the FEMA concentration camps?

    4. How do you rate the President’s performance regarding foreign policy?

    5. How do you rate the President’s performance in handling the war in Afghanistan?

    6. How do you rate the Obama Administration’s efforts to hand over responsibility to the Iraqi people?

    7. How do you rate President Obama’s overall performance?

    8. How do you rate President Obama’s relationship with Snooki?

    (s0rry – made two of those up 😉

    Section III National Priorities

    Please rank the following 14 national issues by their level of priority. Mark the appropriate number by each issue, with the number 1 signifying most important and the number 14 signifying least important.

    America’s Economic Situation
    Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets
    Lowering Unemployment
    Dealing with Iran
    Fighting Terrorism
    War in Afghanistan
    Handing over responsibility to the Iraqi People
    Improving Race Relations
    Nuclear Proliferation
    Improving Education
    Energy Independence
    America’s Image in the World Community
    Dealing with North Korea
    Producing a Birth Certificate

    (ooops, added one extra 😉

    Section IV Democratic Party Priorities

    Please rank the following 5 goals for the Democratic Party by their level of priority. Mark the appropriate number by each goal, with the number 1 signifying most important and the number 5 signifying least importance.

    Organizing Grassroots Support
    Raising Funds for 2010 Congressional Elections
    Electing Democrats on the State and Local Level
    Reelecting President Obama in 2012
    Combating Republicans’ Obstructionist Tactics
    Finding a 2010 VP Candidate that is hotter than Sarah Palin

    (rut roh)

    Section V Comments

    Please tell us your thoughts about President 0bama, the Democratic Party, and the issues our nation is facing

    (Oddly, they left no room to actually write anything)

    Section VI Contribution

    Are you willing to offer your support to President Obama and the Democratic National Committee at this critical time? If so, please indicate the amount of your contribution:


    • Ray

      Didn’t they ask for an email address?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        The only additional personal info they asked for was my sex.

        • Ray

          That is strange.

          The primary goal of these “party” surveys is to raise money.

          The one thing Obama’s campaign mastered was tying into everyone’s cell phones, email, etc in order to build their data base and expand fundraising.

          This sounds like the “old school” methodology. EXCEPT asking about your sex. I guess the Dems must be SEXIST as well as RACIST.

    • You stopped me cold with #5 but I have an excuse, my brain is tired :), all it could say was “say what”. Would be a lot more interesting if you had answered the questions.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I was afraid you’d call me on that – I may just answer but it will not be kind. (will answer here. I already shredded the survey and added it to the kitty litter box) 😉

        • You should have sent it in-let them know why people who used to be a part of their party became an independent. Although you might get audited if you do 🙂 Hee Hee

          • And I really need to decide which Person I want to write in. 😦

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Here goes – my official responses

            Today I received the “2010 Presidential Survey”. Thought I’d share it here. Oddly they didn’t get the memo that I left the party. And since when was I ever member of the DNC?

            Section I – Personal Information

            My name + address.

            Section II

            Available responses are Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, Undecided

            1. How do you rate President Obama’s performance in addressing the nation’s economic situation?

            Fair/Poor – making government bigger and less efficient, effective and economical is NOT the answer

            2. How do you rate President Obama’s performance regarding the passage of health insurance reform?

            Poor – you were largely absent during the process – when you did get invovled it was either too late or behind closed doors. We ended up with a half-assed piece of legislation that just places an even greater burden on folks like me who used to be your base.

            3. How do you rate President Obama’s performance regarding our nation’s energy policies?

            Poor – what performance? what did you do other than scare the shit out of a bunch of people with cap n trade and then you walked away from it. Screw you.

            4. How do you rate the President’s performance regarding foreign policy?

            Fair – what the hell is our policy? Beats the shit out of me. If Hilary is your FP face then give her some face time. The lack of discernability of your FP leds me to the think the popularity world tour was perhaps characterized properly.

            5. How do you rate the President’s performance in handling the war in Afghanistan?

            Poor – I’m a pretty stoic guy. I make effort to follow the effort – and everytime I read of another soldier dying I feel a pain in my gut and I shed a tear for the soldier and family – largely because you knew what a quagmire this was before you ran – and we STILL HAVE NO SOLID PLAN.

            6. How do you rate the Obama Administration’s efforts to hand over responsibility to the Iraqi people?

            Fair – what effort? Sorry Chief – you didn’t do the heavy lifting here.

            7. How do you rate President Obama’s overall performance?

            Obama 1.0 better right the ship fast or there will be no 2.0

            Section III National Priorities

            Please rank the following 14 national issues by their level of priority. Mark the appropriate number by each issue, with the number 1 signifying most important and the number 14 signifying least important.

            Sorry folks – I don’t like your list – so the hell with you – please see my comments……

            America’s Economic Situation – should be in your top three – you should not need me to tell you that
            Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets – you already let Dodd and Frank fuck it up.
            Lowering Unemployment – see number one
            Dealing with Iran – shit or get off the pot
            Fighting Terrorism – get rid of the bullshit alphabet soup of agencies – we have the technology – USE IT.
            War in Afghanistan – top three
            Handing over responsibility to the Iraqi People – just stay out of this ok?
            Immigration – grow a pair and fix this – if it costs you the election then tough shit – you know the right thing to do
            Improving Race Relations – go find a mirror
            Nuclear Proliferation – huh?
            Improving Education – CLOSE the Dept of Ed – do it now!
            Energy Independence – see number one
            America’s Image in the World Community – our image? Take care of number one and Afghan – if some folks drop from the Christmas card list then tough shit
            Dealing with North Korea – North Korea needs to deal with North Korea
            Producing a Birth Certificate – just show it ok? Tired of this bullshit.

            Section IV Democratic Party Priorities

            Please rank the following 5 goals for the Democratic Party by their level of priority. Mark the appropriate number by each goal, with the number 1 signifying most important and the number 5 signifying least importance.

            I hate this list too. Want a priority? Push for term limits (yeah – I know – you don’t have the balls to do it)

            Organizing Grassroots Support
            Raising Funds for 2010 Congressional Elections
            Electing Democrats on the State and Local Level
            Reelecting President Obama in 2012
            Combatting Republicans’ Obstructionist Tactics
            Finding a 2010 VP Candidate that is hotter than Sarah Palin – this one I am okay with. Joe Biden ain’t doing it for me.

            Section V Comments

            Please tell us your thoughts about President 0bama, the Democratic Party, and the issues our nation is facing

            Here is a thought – go fuck yourselves. This tired ass act has led me to seriously consider asking G-Man, JAC or even Flag for shelter. Tired of the same old same old bullshit – bunch of crooks.

            Section VI Contribution

            Are you willing to offer your support to President Obama and the Democratic National Committee at this critical time? If so, pelase indicate the amount of your contribution:


            Um – one more time – go fuck yourselves. You take enough of my money as is.

            (Sorry for the language SUFA folks)

            • Ray

              I only have one thing to say. Perhaps not exactly in sinc but close enough to earn a


              I will only add this.

              Mr. Obama, you have proven to be ALL that I expected you to be. And that aint sumthin to brag about.

            • Did you really submit those answers or are you just playing with us??


              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Just here Cyndi – I don’t think they really care what people think and the answers would be twisted around anyway.

            • Ummmm…Ray…..and your point here? I wish you would just tell me how you feel….

              I feel left out…I have not received any letter like this. BUt your answers appear to be spot on from my perspective…

              HOw is the young un, my freind.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                D13 – I guess since I was a registered Democrat I thus received the letter.

                The boy is great – growing up too fast but there is also so much I cannot wait to do with him.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Update VH – my cat (Miss Kitty) has officially defecated on the survey. Should I still send it in?

            • I wouldn’t-I suspect they would have to close down the whole building just in case it was some type of airborne toxin.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Shit – 0bama should have been spelled Obama – inserted a “zero” in place of the big “O”

      or maybe it was purposeful

  32. Ray,

    No doubt! Twisted around and probably forwarded to the IRS for further scrutiny.

    So, it it safe to say you’ve had a change of heart when it comes to Obama?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Cyndi – I am working on POV article for USW – maybe he shares it maybe not. I applaud all who can shed light on the way we have become our own worst enemies – we have embodied insanity by continually electing the same dipshits over and over again and we expect a different result. Maybe I thought Obama was the JFK of this generation – he most clearly is not – and maybe our colleagues here that are longer in the tooth can tell us if that is a proper aspiration anyway.

      My change of heart is not just that I want to ensure I am not confused to be an Obama nuthugger – but also that I have a significant disdain for our “leaders” in general. We have dug such a deep hole I fear that my son (and maybe other kids soon) will grow up in even more dire conditions than what my grandparents faced decades ago.

      I’ll close by saying I really do wish that the Tea Party would/could/should distance itself from established parties (the GOP). Maybe that is no longer possible. But the fuckers in DC no doubt do not deserve our votes.

      How I square that up to being activist locally and not ending up on the pirate ship I struggle with today.

      Cheers to you Cyndi.

      I still do not quite grasp what you do (job) but am sure it is something worthy of a thanks considering where you are.


      • My change of heart is not just that I want to ensure I am not confused to be an Obama nuthugger – but also that I have a significant disdain for our “leaders” in general.

        Welcome to the club, Ray. I’m probably still a bit too far to the left to accept the concept of zero government, but life knocked the bleeding heart out of me a dozen years ago. The one thing I am sure of these days is that both these major parties should NEVER be rewarded again; not from fear of the other party winning (what too many of my so-called liberal democratic friends feel–they have to keep the Reps out of power so they vote for a different version of the same incompetence … and on the right, the Reps wave the flag of bought and sold way too proudly for me to stomach anymore. I switched parties for both of Bush’s elections. I regret it, but not because I think the Dems would’ve done better … because it was a vote against my interests. I continue to batter the Dems because they’re “supposed” to represent the little guy. All Politicians from both parties represent their own interests (and could care less about anybody else).

        The other thing I can no longer deny is the absolute uselessness and incompetence of government in way too many important areas. It is what it is … a disaster.

        Liberal Dems take issue with my Fredo (Obama) bashing and are extremely upset at my letting my very conservative friend (DOC) comment on my blog (he’s too good a writer not to let him comment — and even when I don’t agree with him, he’s funny as hell).

        The intolerance on both sides is pretty frustrating but so long as the two major parties are rewarded (whether from fear of the other party or otherwise), NOTHING changes … certainly not for the better of the working man.

      • Parenthood changes EVERYTHING doesn’t, Ray? 🙂

        Thanks for your honesty.

        Here’s a little more info on what I ‘do’…



      • Hi Ray,

        I responded to you last night, but I think the comments are still in moderation…..

  33. Here’s a counter to some of the Media Matter points.

    The Corner

    Downgrading’ Voter Intimidation
    July 13, 2010 4:56 PM
    By Hans A. von Spakovsky

    I was on vacation with my family in Yellowstone National Park when the New Black Panther voter intimidation case exploded into the headlines with the testimony of former Department of Justice career lawyer J. Christian Adams before the Civil Rights Commission. This story has been in the public domain for a year, but the reaction to Adams’s testimony was eerily similar to the many geysers I saw venting steam into the atmosphere in Yellowstone.

    Adams confirmed many of the details that I have reported for National Review over the past year, and Megyn Kelly of FOX News has done an outstanding job further exposing the sordid and frankly infuriating particulars of the politically biased and pernicious actions taken by the political leadership at the DOJ, as well as the hateful, racist, and anti-Semitic views of the members of the New Black Panther Party. I will have more comments on Adams’s testimony, but first I wanted to comment on the latest excuse (and tired old refrain) that has been conjured up over the past two days: It was the fault of the Bush administration. (I kid you not.)

    Yes, the latest claim, according to Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and others, is that the “charges against the New Black Panthers were downgraded by the Bush Department of Justice [inasmuch as] the decision not to file a criminal case occurred before Obama was even in office.” This “downgrade” talking point is apparently supposed to excuse the Obama administration’s decision to dismiss virtually the entire civil voter intimidation case and to neuter the injunction sought against the one remaining defendant so substantially that what was left was little more than a minor annoyance.

    These claims by a nonlawyer betray a fundamental ignorance of the difference between civil and criminal prosecutions and a total misunderstanding of how things work at the Justice Department and the Civil Rights Division. First of all, although the Civil Rights Division has aCriminal Section, the vast majority of its voting-rights prosecutions are civil cases conducted by the division’s Voting Section. Whenever someone violates the Voting Rights Act and does so in a way that is potentially both a civil and acriminal violation, the division must decide whether to proceed first with a civil or a criminal case. With most voting cases, the decision is usually to go with a civil case, particularly if there are elections coming up in the near future. That is because civil cases have a lower burden of proof and give the government the opportunity to obtain almost immediately a temporary injunction to stop the defendants from engaging in the same wrongful behavior as the case winds its way through the federal courts.

    Criminal cases can take longer to develop, particularly since the government usually has to convene a federal grand jury to return an indictment. Also,criminal cases focus like a laser beam on individual defendants, whereas civil cases can include an organizational defendant (like the NBPP).

    The focus for the Civil Rights Division is always on the best way to get the remedy that is needed to stop and prevent the recurrence of the voter intimidation or other wrongful behavior as soon as possible. In this particular case, when the decision was being made in January of 2009, the division knew there was going to be another election in May in Philadelphia. The fastest to way to make sure there would be no thugs in paramilitary uniforms and jackboots smacking batons into their fists at polling places in the upcoming election was to file a civil complaint and obtain a restraining order against the individual defendants and the New Black Panther Party. In fact, one of the defendants dismissed from the case was once again credentialed as a Democratic poll watcher in the May election.

    Once the division obtained a judgment and an injunction in the civil case, they could have decided to further pursue a criminal prosecution against the individual New Black Panthers, but the number one priority had to be getting a civil injunction as expeditiously as possible before the next election.

    On the other hand, Adams also testified that some radical career lawyers shared the apparent view of the Obama political appointees that no civil-rights cases of any kind should be brought against blacks. If that factored into any decision the career lawyers made not to initiate acriminal investigation of the NBPP actions (it looks criminal to me — just watch the video and judge for yourself), that supports Adams’s most significant testimony. It would be damning regardless of which administration it occurred under. So, this left-wing excuse (thatcriminal charges weren’t also brought) may strongly support what the Civil Rights Commission is now trying to focus on — and what the DOJ is desperately trying to cover up.

    Indeed, the person who would have been responsible for making a recommendation on whether to file a subsequent criminal charge against the individual New Black Panther defendants was Mark Kappelhoff, the “career” chief of the Criminal Section and a former ACLU lawyer. Besides being a big contributor to Democratic candidates like Barack Obama and John Kerry, as well as the DNC, Kappelhoff was considered such a liberal loyalist that he was moved into the political position of chief of staff to the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights by the Obama transition team almost as soon as they came in the door.

    Sources tell me that Kappelhoff never recommended a criminal case against the baton-yielding thugs, so the claim that the Bush administration is somehow responsible for “downgrading” this case is complete nonsense. This is no surprise, given Kappelhoff’s very liberal ideology, and given his associations: In this photo, taken at a dinner of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in May of 2009, he can be seen to the right of Julie Fernandes, the deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights who is now at the center of controversy. Christian Adams testified under oath last week that Fernandes said that no voting-rights cases of any kind would be brought against minorities during this administration by the Civil Rights Division and that Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to delete ineligible voters who have died or moved away from their voter registration list, will not be enforced. Given the action of the careercriminal section in CRD, it is unreasonable to expect the Bush political appointees to initiate a criminal investigation of their own in the waning days of the administration when the civil suit was being filed.

    Yet Kappelhoff and the Obama administration could make the decision today to indict the members of the New Black Panther Party, since they are still well within the applicablecriminal statute of limitation. But you can rest assured that they will not do so. It is more important to them to block the investigation of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and to creatively excuse what they have done in this case, which was throw away the opportunity to obtain an exhaustive and wide-ranging permanent injunction against the NBPP in the civil case, which would have ensured that what happened in Philadelphia in November of 2008 never happened again at any polling place anywhere in the country.

    Another point: These same liberals are making the false claim that the Bush administration failed to file similar charges against members of the Minutemen, “one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006.” “Allegedly” is the correct term to use: While I was not at the Justice Department in 2006, I have talked to sources inside the Civil Rights Division who were and who have first-hand knowledge of the facts of this matter. The Voting Section sent lawyers to Arizona to investigate these allegations. They were told that the people in question (who were apparently there with some sort of English-only petition) did not enter the polling place and stayed outside the state-imposed limit around polling places where campaigning is forbidden. No one (including Democratic poll watchers) saw them talking to any voters while they were there — nor could the lawyers find any evidence that they prevented or discouraged anyone from entering the polling place (which is directly contrary to the witnesses in the NBPP case, who testified that they saw voters approaching the polls turn around and leave when they saw the Panthers blocking the entrance to the polling place).

    The Voting Section was not able to make any recommendations to move forward with a lawsuit because the career lawyers assigned to the case could not find any evidence to support the claims being made. In fact, the Voting Section even referred the case to the criminal section (headed up by Mr. Kappelhoff, the trusted Obama confidant), who also declined to do anything about it. There was no viable case to be “dismissed” by the Bush administration. Some of the individuals pressing this preposterous comparison are the same militant partisans who masqueraded as career civil servants for many years in the Civil Rights Division but whose true political colors were always on full display. These individuals are as unworthy of credibility as their absurd allegations.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, at its last hearing, Civil Rights Commissioner Todd Gaziano (who is also my colleague at the Heritage Foundation) expressed particular interest in securing testimony from the individual who would know the most about the Arizona case the liberals keep mentioning: Chris Coates, the former Voting Section chief, whom the Commission has subpoenaed. The department has ordered Mr. Coates not to comply with the lawful subpoena because he would tell too many inconvenient truths the Holder DOJ would prefer to keep bottled up. Here’s hoping that Congress may finally be able to help and apply more pressure on DOJ to stop stonewalling the commission’s investigation.

    – Hans A. von Spakovsky is a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department.


  34. Abigail Thernstrom

    July 6, 2010 4:00 A.M.
    The New Black Panther Case:
    A Conservative Dissent
    Never mind this one-off stunt by fringe radicals; the DOJ is engaged in much more important voting-rights mischief.

    1 | 2 | Next >

    Forget about the New Black Panther Party case; it is very small potatoes. Perhaps the Panthers should have been prosecuted under section 11 (b) of the Voting Rights Act for their actions of November 2008, but the legal standards that must be met to prove voter intimidation — the charge — are very high.

    In the 45 years since the act was passed, there have been a total of three successful prosecutions. The incident involved only two Panthers at a single majority-black precinct in Philadelphia. So far — after months of hearings, testimony and investigation — no one has produced actual evidence that any voters were too scared to cast their ballots. Too much overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges has been devoted to this case.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    A number of conservatives have charged that the Philadelphia Black Panther decision demonstrates that attorneys in the Civil Rights Division have racial double standards. How many attorneys in what positions? A pervasive culture that affected the handling of this case? No direct quotations or other evidence substantiate the charge.

    Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, makes a perfectly plausible argument: Different lawyers read this barely litigated statutory provision differently. It happens all the time, especially when administrations change in the middle of litigation. Democrats and Republicans seldom agree on how best to enforce civil-rights statutes; this is not the first instance of a war between Left and Right within the Civil Rights Division.

    The two Panthers have been described as “armed” — which suggests guns. One of them was carrying a billy club, and it is alleged that his repeated slapping of the club against his palm constituted brandishing it in a menacing way. They have also been described as wearing “jackboots,” but the boots were no different from a pair my husband owns.

    A disaffected former Justice Department attorney has written: “We had indications that polling-place thugs were deployed elsewhere.” “Indications”? Again, evidence has yet to be offered.

    Get a grip, folks. The New Black Panther Party is a lunatic fringe group that is clearly into racial theater of minor importance. It may dream of a large-scale effort to suppress voting — like the Socialist Workers Party dreams of a national campaign to demonstrate its position as the vanguard of the proletariat. But the Panthers have not realized their dream even on a small scale. This case is a one-off.

    There are plenty of grounds on which to sharply criticize the attorney general — his handling of terrorism questions, just for starters — but this particular overblown attack threatens to undermine the credibility of his conservative critics. Those who are concerned about Justice Department enforcement of the Voting Rights Act should turn their attention to quite another matter, where theattorney general has been up to much more important mischief: his interpretation of the act’s core provisions.

    The department has just proposed new guidelines intended to assist the “covered” jurisdictions in their efforts to comply with the demands of section 5, which forces “covered” states to obtain federal approval (“preclearance”) for all proposed changes in voting procedure. All southern states are “covered”; so are Texas, Arizona, Alaska, and numerous scattered counties in New York, California, and elsewhere. Redrawn districting maps are changes that must be precleared.

    Every state must draw new lines every ten years when the new census figures reveal demographic changes; the old districting maps seldom meet the “one person, one vote” standard.

    Redistricting is always a delicate, politically charged process in which much is at stake. The DOJ under Holder will undoubtedly insist that states draw the maximum possible number of majority-minority districts — a reversion to old legal standards that were suspended after a 2000 Supreme Court decision. Those standards rest on a core conviction of the civil-rights community: In a nonracist society, minorities would be elected to political office in numbers proportional to the black and Hispanic populations.

    Thus, race-conscious districts will have to be the top priority of legislative-redistricting committees. If they give greater weight to other considerations, they risklitigation and a consequent delay in their ability to hold elections. This distortion of the American political process can only be justified by a fear that blacks, left without extraordinary federal protection, will be excluded from public office. That fear does not reflect current reality.


    There is a page 2, but I figured you can open the link to read it

    • Here’s the counter-Read them and make up your own mind. But I think that Miss Thernstrom seems to believe this is “small potatoes” because she has bigger fish to fry- and seems to believe that a weapon has to be a gun-and as long as only the people at one polling place are being intimidated it’s okay.

      The Corner

      With Due Apologies to Abigail Thernstrom . . .
      July 28, 2010 9:54 AM
      By Hans A. von Spakovsky

      . . . the New Black Panther case is not “small potatoes.”

      Abby Thernstrom is my friend and we usually agree on voting matters, but I have to say with due respect to her that her view of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is wrong for a number of reasons, from her characterization of the evidence in the case to a misunderstanding of the applicable legal standards. On the other hand, Commissioner Thernstrom seems to have backed off somewhat on some issues in her latest posting at National Review. Whether or not this is because of the sharp criticism by Andy McCarthy, it is hard to tell, although I have to say I agree with Andy’s analysis. What isn’t hard to tell is that she seems to be backtracking toward her position of December 2009, that the NBPP matter constituted “blatant voter intimidation.” She makes a number of concessions in here piece, among them:

      ● She seems upset that the new regulations on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act will receive “scant attention” and she implies that the Commission should be studying that instead of the NBPP dismissal in its annual enforcement report. This makes no sense; Thernstrom never proposed that the Civil Rights Commission study that in its annual report last August and September, when it had to decide what the subject of the report would be. (Her proposal was about Title VII and the Ricci firefighters case.) In fact, these proposed regulations were only issued very recently, so they could not have been the subject of the report. Most importantly, her concern over Section 5 enforcement is no reason to downplay the NBBP case. Thernstrom is certainly correct that these new regulations are extremely important, particularly because of the political mischief the Voting Section can wreak with them in the redistricting process. But the evidence from Christian Adams about the NBBP case and the animus against race-neutral enforcement is highly relevant to Section 5 enforcement. What difference does the text of the regulations make if they won’t be enforced in a race-neutral way?

      ● She reminds us that “DOJ’s decision to drop the case may have been wrong” before citing the irrelevant lack of evidence of a broader “vote suppression effort.” She concedes that “reasonable observers can disagree about this complicated incident.” However, we know that none of the reasonable career voting experts at the DOJ in both the Voting Section and the Appellate Section disagreed. The only people who disagreed were the political appointees who ordered the dismissal — and we have direct testimony that one of those individuals, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steve Rosenbaum, had not even reviewed the facts and the law in the case before ordering the dismissal.

      ● Thernstrom also says something that she has thus far been unwilling to state in her numerous media appearances: “In fact, I still have questions about DOJ’s conduct, and I remain interested in knowing more about why the department declined to pursue the case. I would thus join my colleagues in welcoming further testimony. I would love to hear firsthand from Christopher Coates about DOJ’s handling of this case.” Perhaps CBS will invite her back next week to publicize her call for the DOJ to stop stonewalling the testimony of Christopher Coates, something she failed to mention in her prior appearance on Face the Nation. Perhaps the Huffington Post and others who have been trumpeting her criticism will pick up on this important call, too, although I have my doubts — that doesn’t fit the scenario they are trying to paint in the public arena. She did not have this view on July 16 at the last Commission hearing when she did not support a motion to send another demand to DOJ that Coates be allowed to testify

      ● Thernstrom admits her previous characterization of the legal standard, so often cited in liberal media outlets, was wrong. “Upon reflection, I think neither of us was correct. My oversimplified formulation ignored the fact that this section of the act has been litigated so rarely that there are no clear legal standards at all, no substantial body of precedent to define precisely what is needed to prove a violation.” Thernstrom apparently is unaware of another Section 11(b) case that was successfully brought by Steve Rosenbaum, who ordered this case dismissed. In 1991, he filed a lawsuit (and obtained a consent decree) against the North Carolina Republican party and the Jesse Helms campaign. Rosenbaum claimed they had intimidated voters by sending a postcard to prospective voters that misinterpreted North Carolina law on whether an individual who moved into a district within 30 days of the election is eligible to vote. Rosenbaum certainly had no doubt in 1991 about the adequacy of a postcard mailing meeting the legal standards of intimidation under Section 11(b) even though there were no physical threats of any kind as there were in the NBBP case. Was that because the defendants were Republicans? Was it because they were white? We don’t know, but the contrast between how these two cases were handled by Rosenbaum is quite stark.

      ● Most importantly, Thernstrom concedes the broader investigation of the USCCR should proceed: “Perhaps because of the problems with the Commission’s initial investigation, my conservative colleagues on the panel have now shifted the focus of their investigation to the broader question of racial double-standards in the enforcement of voting rights — that is, whether the Obama DOJ has a policy of offering protections for black voters but not white ones. That issue greatly interests me, and I hope that the Justice Department will send additional representatives who will be willing to discuss the Commission’s old and new concerns.”

      Still, Thernstrom makes some other mistaken assertions. She continues to characterize the evidence on intimidation as “weak.” This assertion is devoid of merit. Not only is there video evidence, but there are affidavits and sworn testimony from the roving poll watchers who were dispatched to the polling place about threats and racial epithets being hurled at the black poll watchers who were stationed in the poll. This testimony included voters turning away fromthe polling place when they saw the Black Panther thugs blocking the polling place . Thernstrom discounts this evidence as if it did not exist. Her complaint seems to be that there is no testimony from actual voters and no evidence of whether they returned later in the day to vote. This focus on whether voters actually returned and voted shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the law. It is obvious that the Black Panthers were trying to intimidate individuals in their black paramilitary, fascist-style uniforms with nightsticks, and that is all that is necessary to violate Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act.

      Moreover, Thernstrom overlooks the fact — as did the entire panel on Face the Nation last Sunday, none of whom seemed to know anything about the actual case — that the trial lawyers who brought the lawsuit had their legs cut out from underneath them before they even had a chance to conduct additional discovery in the case. Every litigator knows (and Thernstrom, by the way, is not a lawyer) that much of the evidence in a civil lawsuit is developed through the course of discovery. A plaintiff must have a good-faith basis for bringing a case at the outset, but the development of evidence comes through discovery. Here, though, the politically (and racially) motivated dismissal of the case prevented that discovery from ever going forward. Let me add as well that if the evidence was so weak, why didn’t the defendants mount a defense? Perhaps because they were caught red-handed — on video, no less. How could they possibly defend themselves? They couldn’t.

      Why does Thernstrom think that there are no voters to testify about turning away from the polls, even though the poll watchers who were there saw voters turning away when they encountered the Black Panthers? Perhaps because there were no DOJ lawyers at the poll taking down the names of the voters who left rather than run the NBPP gauntlet. And does she really think that voters who live in that poor, inner-city black neighborhood are going to voluntarily come forward to cross this racist, violence-preaching hate group that lives in their neighborhood? And would anyone really expect such intimidated voters to voluntarily come forward now?

      Thernstrom claims that the two black poll watchers who were inside the polling place said they were not intimidated in the deposition taken by the Civil Rights Commission. She is correct, but she ignores what they told the roving poll watchers who showed up at the polling place after their frantic call for help on Election Day, or what they told the DOJ lawyers investigating the case (a summary is on pages 5–6 of the DOJ internal memorandum on the case). The black poll watchers told the DOJ lawyers (and the other witnesses) that they were petrified and afraid to leave while the Black Panthers were there after they had been threatened. They thought a bomb was going to go off or something else would happen to them and they wouldn’t leave until the Black Panthers were gone.

      But what happened after they talked to the DOJ investigators? These black poll watchers who live in this neighborhood saw the Justice Department abandon the case against those who had threatened them; they saw the New Black Panthers crowing and strutting about the case being dismissed without having to do anything to fight it; and then they are brought in for a deposition months later before the Commission on Civil Rights, well aware that after they give testimony about the NBPP, they have to go back to that same neighborhood where every day they could be confronted by these same Panthers who have gotten away with deeply disturbing bullying tactics at the polling place. The Commission had great difficulty in getting them to appear for their brief deposition testimony, which is also consistent with their continuing fear of exposure.

      Perhaps Thernstrom has forgotten that at the first hearing the Commission held on this case, where the other roving poll watchers who came to the precinct testified, including Bartle Bull, almost a dozen members of the NBBP in their paramilitary uniforms showed up. I was at that hearing and I personally saw — as did everyone else there — one of the Panthers get up and move to the front of the room with a camera, where he proceeded to take pictures of the three witnesses who were testifying against them. What purpose does she possibly believe there was for taking those photographs other than to intimidate witnesses? What does she think would be the reaction of the witnesses from that neighborhood in a deposition after experiencing such intimidation? Any change in testimony by these individuals showed just how intimidated they were and how scared they are of retribution. That in itself makes this an important case, not “small potatoes,” and I am frankly shocked at the commissioner’s seeming lack of concern for those poll watchers and what happened to them.

      Although the dismissal of the NBPP suit was never small potatoes, the potential scandal is really much bigger than that now. There is sworn testimony by a DOJ attorney (partially corroborated by other sworn statements) that Julie Fernandes, the politically appointed deputy assistant attorney general, actually instructed the career staff that there would be no voting rights cases filed against blacks or other minorities no matter how serious their violations of the law and that Justice would not enforce Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires states to maintain the accuracy of their voter-registration lists.

      The lawless stonewalling of the Justice Department is itself a major scandal, with the most prominent example being the orders and threats to Chris Coates, the former chief of the Voting Section, not to comply with the Commission’s lawful subpoena. Witnesses have established that Coates likely would be able to testify about two very important matters: (i) whether the NBBP dismissal really was based on the facts or on racial motives, and (ii) whether Section 8 of the NVRA will not be enforced. The DOJ says his testimony on these matters is privileged, but the president has not invoked executive privilege and no other privilege applies.

      The DOJ’s claims that it doesn’t allow career lawyers to testify also falls flat in the face of past history. The Civil Rights Division allowed former Voting Section chief John Tanner to testify before Congress in 2007 when questions arose about the approval of Georgia’s voter-ID law, and there are numerous other examples outlined in a report issued by the Congressional Research Service in 2007. That report concluded that “in the last 85 years Congress has consistently sought and obtained deliberative prosecutorial memoranda, and the testimony of line attorneys, FBI field agents, and other subordinate agency employees regarding the conduct of open and closed cases in the course of innumerable investigations of Department of Justice activities.”

      This is not a tempest in a teapot. The Civil Rights Commission’s investigation is extremely serious, because it is intended to answer a question that is important to the interests of impartial justice and the civil rights of every American – whether race and political ideology is driving law enforcement decisions at the Justice Department. No more, no less.


      • Just finished reading 130 odd pages of Adams testimony and I have to say that he didn’t sound like a right wing hack. He was also very careful to state what he could verify through first hand knowledge and what he was told. He also pointed out numerous times that Mr. Coates was the person who could verify the second hand knowledge. But for some reason Mr. Coates has been transferred and isn’t being allowed to testify. So my question is-why are people bothering trying to tear Adams testimony to treads instead of insisting that we be allowed to hear from Mr. Coates?????

        Click to access 07-06-2010_NBPPhearing.pdf

        • I think it comes down to what you want to believe. Everything you have laid out here is pretty conclusive, but as long as Coates & DoJ are silent, there is no smoking gun.
          Is Eric Holders Justice Dept. above partisan political maneuvers? Do you believe a snake won’t bite?

          • Ray Hawkins said
            August 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

            Kathy – it is a fine source. However, I do trust but verify and generally find their evidence to be spot on. With respect to current topic, rather than a dismissive hand wave, please point out where there is flawed evidence that was provided.

            So this is my attempt to point out where they are flawed-I believe I was successful-what others will believe is up to them. Although I knew I was right to begin with and doing this is wayyyy to much work. 🙂 🙂

  35. Ray Hawkins says:

    Maybe Black Flag can explain this……

    In the last month I decided to expand the bookshelf a wee bit – recent additions (that also shared self space) include:

    “Keynes: Return of the Master” by Robert Skidelsky


    “Human Action: A Treatise on Economics” by Ludwig von Mises

    This morning I found the Keynes book on the floor. The von Mises boxed set was still sitting firm. No cat was in the room.

    How do I explain this Mr. Flag?

  36. Ray Hawkins says:

    Chivalry is dead!

    Anyone else see this hamster duck out of the way of this foul ball so it could hit his girlfriend? What a tool.

    • She should have dumped the tool right then and there, on national TV.

      What would you do if that was your son in 20 years? I bet that will never happen, you will raise him with values.

  37. from Judy,

    The homeowners association in the Dallas , Texas suburbs
    were having a terrible problem with litter near some of the
    association’s homes. The reason was that six very large, luxurious new
    houses are being built right next to their community.

    The trash was coming from the Mexican laborers working at the construction
    sites and included bags from McDonald’s, Burger King and 7-11, plus coffee
    cups, napkins, cigarette butts, coke cans, empty bottles, etc. They went to
    see the site supervisor and even the general contractor, politely urging
    them to get their workers not to litter the neighborhood, to no avail.

    They called the city, county, and police and got no help there either.

    So here’s what this community did. They organized about twenty folks, named themselves The “Inner Neighborhood Services” group, and arranged to go out at lunch time and “police” the trash themselves. It is what they did while picking up the trash that is so hilarious.

    They bought navy blue baseball caps and had the initials “INS”
    embroidered in gold on the caps. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what they hoped people might mistakenly think the letters really stand for..

    After the Inner Neighborhood Services group’s first lunch time pickup detail, with all of them wearing their caps and some carrying cameras, 46 out
    of the total of 68 construction workers did not show up for work the
    next morning — and haven’t come back yet.

    It has been ten days now. The General Contractor, I’m told, is madder than hell,
    but can’t say anything publicly because he could be busted for hiring illegal aliens. My friend and his bunch can’t be accused of impersonating federal
    personnel, because they have the official name of the group recorded in
    their homeowner association minutes along with a notation about the vote
    to approve formation of the new subcommittee — and besides, they
    informed the INS in advance of their plans, and according to my friend,
    the INS said basically, “Have at it!”


    • I call BS, but I find it hysterical anyway 🙂

      • And you’re thinking of buying one of those caps, aren’t you?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Knowing what I do about Texas, I bet that this story is true. Furthermore, it would not surprise me if D13 didn’t have something to do with the whole thing 🙂

        • My favorite story (probably apocryphal) is this one:

          A guy goes out and hires a half-dozen illegal workers for the day. He has them all sit in the back of his pickup. Instead of driving to his house, he drives into the parking lot of his local INS department. He then starts blowing the horn. All the workers jump out of his truck and run for the hills.

          • First a warning-never leave a bottle of bourbon on your back porch-because you might come home to find all your workers, whether they are legal or not-I figure they were both-laying around drunk in your small fishing boat, swimming in the lake and taking in the sun in your yard and your hammock-having a good old fun day at the lake-true story-my parents house.

  38. Of 351 Reports on Outrageous Bell, Calif. Salaries,
    Only One Mentions Employees Are Democrats
    By Lachlan Markay

    In late July, NB Contributing Editor Tom Blumer busted the Associated Press for neglecting to mention the party affiliations of scandal-plagued officials in Bell, California. The AP piece was one of hundreds of reports on the scandal. Of those hundreds, one solitary report mentioned party labels for the five officials.

    Can you guess which party they belong to? I’ll bet you can.

    The only news outlet that mentioned the officials were Democrats was the Orange County Register. And even that paper noted the absence of party labels only in response to reader complaints. “Our readers noticed one part of the story has been left out by virtually all media sources,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “All five council members are members of the Democratic Party.”

    The most prominent of the officials in question, former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo, resigned after it came to light that he was making $1.5 million per year – in a town with a per capita income languishing at about half the national average.

    Ann Coulter noticed the amazing absence of party labels in virtually any news coverage of the scandal. She called this blatant instance of media bias “the greatest party-affiliation cover-up since the media tried to portray Gary Condit as a Republican.”

    According to my own Nexis search, there have been 351 stories run by newspapers, wire services, and television news outlets.

    Though 350 of those 351 stories neglected to mention Rizzo’s party, many went out of their way to label California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who’s also running for governor, a Democrat. Forty-one stories mentioned Brown’s party affiliation, but not Rizzo’s.

    Brown is investigating the lavish salaries in Bell, and his tough talk has made for some good populist campaign soundbites. Journalists have been more than happy to call him a Democrat, while leaving Rizzo and his colleagues’ party affiliations unmentioned.

    Only the noble, populist warriors are Democrats. The reprobate, quasi-corrupt city managers of a destitute neighborhood in Los Angeles have no party affiliation.

    In the fantasy realm of politically-neutral media, the Democrat label would be played up by the media

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/08/13/351-reports-outrageous-bell-calif-salaries-only-one-mentions-employe#ixzz0wVaJ4lfU

    • I never noticed this and I’ve read several of these articles. But I guess that’s why they do it.

  39. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    For a startling and realistic view on REAL unemployment in this country, please see the following:


    As E.M. Smith points out, those who work IN government, and those who work FOR government (without being directly in it) generally do not produce anything of value. That is, they CONSUME large quantities of dollars, without producing anything which is concomitantly WORTH anywhere near that amount of dollars. Therefore, counting them as “employed” is technically correct, yet they are NOT PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY. Instead, they are (for the most part) tax-dollar leeches who DRAIN the economy rather than add to it!

    • Peter

      I don’t think the claim that ALL government expenditures are consumptive and not productive is true.

      Even the military spending results in byproducts used by society to improve productivity or general production.

      Govt spending is much like the “service sector” jobs in my view. They support the productive segment of the economy. The problem is TOTAL “service sector” as opposed to “productive sector”, in my humble opinion.

  40. Ray Hawkins said
    August 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Kathy – it is a fine source. However, I do trust but verify and generally find their evidence to be spot on. With respect to current topic, rather than a dismissive hand wave, please point out where there is flawed evidence that was provided.

    So this is my attempt to point out where they are flawed-I believe I was successful-what others will believe is up to them. Although I knew I was right to begin with and doing this is wayyyy to much work. 🙂 🙂

  41. I wanted to share something that crossed my desk this week. The following is a copy of the actual email to all employees in the US Dept of Agriculture. I assume a similar memo was sent to other agency staff as well.

    I can attest to the true fact that all administrations have reached out to ALL employees in order to try and improve working conditions, morale, productivity, effectiveness, you name it. But in all my years this is the first time that I have seen “preference” given to JUST the “union employees”. Here it is, in all its glory:

    Labor-Management Forum
    United States Department of Agriculture
    August 5, 2010

    On December 9, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13522 Creating
    Labor-Management Forums to Improve the Delivery of Government Services.
    The purpose of the Executive Order is to establish a cooperative and
    productive form of labor-management relations throughout the executive
    branch. In achieving this goal, the Executive Order seeks to turn the
    relationship between the Federal Government and labor unions representing
    its employees away from confrontation and toward cooperation and
    collaboration. It is the President’s belief that a collaborative
    labor-management relationship will result in an improvement in the
    government’s ability to deliver high quality services to the American
    public. The improvement of government services is the chief objective of
    the Executive Order. To support this outcome, the Executive Order seeks to
    institutionalize processes that allow employees to contribute their ideas
    to making the government work better. The Executive Order directs Federal
    departments, such as the USDA, to establish Labor-Management Forums with
    their unions at the Department level and down to the level in agencies
    where unions have been voted in to represent employees. The Executive
    Order also allows the use of existing labor management committees to do the
    work of Forums. The Forums are to be used as a method for unions and USDA
    management to discuss initiatives and potential changes before a decision
    is made to implement any initiative or make changes. This process is
    called pre-decisional input. In this manner, management would benefit by
    obtaining ideas of the people who would be expected to make the change
    happen and, thereby, improve the quality of changes.

    Secretary Vilsack has been a strong proponent of the collaborative approach
    to labor-management relations. Even before the Executive Order was issued,
    Secretary Vilsack called for a meeting between USDA leadership and the
    national unions who represented USDA employees. The unions were asked for
    their ideas on making USDA a better place to work. Several of their
    suggestions, such as changing the name of the Department’s personnel
    function from what they felt was the degrading title of Human “Capital” to
    Human “Resources”, were adopted immediately. Since the signing of the
    Executive Order, Secretary Vilsack has continued to engage employees’ union
    representatives in his effort to make USDA a better place to work. As part
    of his Cultural Transformation initiative, he instructed organizers of the
    listening sessions to seek out the opinions of labor unions. This resulted
    in unions being guaranteed participation in the six sessions held around
    the country as well as a seventh union-only listening session in
    Washington, DC. More recently, and in response to the latest Employee
    Viewpoint Survey, the Secretary had his Deputy Chief of Staff, Carole Jett,
    meet with union leaders and ask for their ideas on how employee morale
    could be improved.

    At the direction of Secretary Vilsack, the USDA has been on the fast track
    to implement the Executive Order throughout the Department. The Executive
    Order created the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations
    (Council). The Council is a Presidential advisory body composed of
    representatives of Federal employee organizations, Federal management
    organizations and senior government officials. It is co-chaired by the
    Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Deputy Director of
    the Office of Management and Budget An important part of the mission of the
    Council is to oversee the implementation of the Executive Order nationwide.
    The Executive Order required that Federal executive departments each submit
    a plan to implement their responsibilities under the Order to the Council
    by March 9, 2010. After consulting with its national labor unions, USDA
    submitted its implementation plan on March 9, 2010. The Council notified
    USDA that its implementation plan was approved in April. USDA’s plan was
    part of the very first group of plans approved by the Council.

    In May, USDA convened a meeting with its unions to discuss the best way to
    carry out the requirements of the approved implementation plan. The
    parties appointed two committees. One was responsible for drafting a
    charter for USDA’s Department level Forum. The other committee was tasked
    with developing a plan that would determine, as required by the Executive
    Order, how the baseline for the labor-management relations climate in the
    Department would be established.

    The parties met again in June at which time the Charter was approved to
    formally establish the USDA Labor-Management Forum. The parties also
    approved a plan to assess the labor-management climate. Other
    organizational issues were decided, such as which of the co-chairs (labor
    or management) would take the first turn presiding at Forum meetings.
    Using a coin flip, Labor won the first six-month period of presiding at
    Forum meetings. An important consensus reached at this meeting was that
    Mission Areas, agencies, and staff offices should be given the “green
    light” to fulfill their implementation obligations. Karen Messmore,
    Director, Office of Human Resources Management subsequently issued an
    instruction to all agency heads that they should begin implementing the
    Executive order at the various levels within their organizations.

    The Department level Forum is responsible for implementing the Executive
    Order by delivering the highest quality services to the American people,
    improving the quality of work life for USDA employees, and promoting good
    labor-management relations throughout USDA. It will work to ensure that
    Mission Areas, agencies, and staff offices are in compliance with the
    Executive Order and develop guidance and otherwise provide assistance to
    labor management groups at Mission Area, agencies, and staff office levels.
    The USDA Forum will also engage unions at the national level in
    pre-decisional input for Department-wide initiatives.

    At the Forum’s July meeting, unions were engaged in the pre-decisional
    process on a number of issues including: 1) Improvements to the
    Departmental Regulation on telework; 2) Developing a comprehensive
    standardized process for onboarding new employees; 3) Updating the
    Departmental Regulation on Individual Development Plans (IDPs); and 4)
    Revising the Departmental Regulation on labor relations. Forum members
    discussed a wide range of other issues, such as a new regulation to
    implement Executive Order 13513 that requires agencies to prohibit text
    messaging while driving,; the Department’s desire to standardize human
    resource tools and processes across all agencies; the status of the
    Cultural Transformation initiative; and problems with details both within
    and between agencies.
    Forum members also took up the matter of communicating with employees so
    that they were aware of the Forum initiative and activities at USDA. This
    introduction is our first effort in this regard. It will be followed by

    The next USDA Forum meeting is scheduled for August 25 at which time the
    Mission Areas will report on their progress in implementing the Executive
    Order in agencies and offices.
    In the short time since USDA’s implementation plan was approved by the
    National Council, labor and management have acted quickly to make the
    requirements of the Executive Order a reality. Although we have made a
    good start, there is much more to be done to fully transform the
    labor-management environment in USDA. However, with the high level of
    commitment demonstrated by national leaders, both in unions and USDA
    management, we are confident that employees and the American public will
    soon begin seeing the benefits of cooperation and collaboration between
    USDA management and the unions that represent its workforce.


    Debra Arnold, Labor Co-Chair
    President, Local 3870, RD,
    American Federation of State, County
    & Municipal Employees

    William P. Milton, Jr., Management
    Deputy Director Office of Human Resources Management
    Departmental Management
    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    For those who do not understand how government works on the civilian side, this memo is a clear signal that the Federal Employee Unions will now have veto power over most if not all agency actions.

    • Good Evening JAC,

      Well. What to say to that, eh? We knew that Dear Reader would be paying back his union buddies for their help installing him into the WH. I’m pretty sure Dear Reader doesn’t gives a royal rat’s ass what the proles in the union think. No doubt the union leaders will make out like bandits while the lowly union member is just sure that his ‘president’ is looking out for him. Same old, same old. Maybe the American people will get lucky and this whole joke of a nation will implode already.

    • Many smart people have tried to change Union’s by engaging in “cooperative partnerships” or other ideas to get the two parties to work together. None have ever worked. The Union’s goals and the Company’s goals are separate. You can be friendly with the Union but you will never be their friend. The two sides are natural born enemies and there is nothing that you can do to change that.

      I agree with you JAC that this will give the Union very broad power. The Union will want consulted on every management decision. Where in the past Management could take unilateral action, they will now have to consult with the Union whose only interest is “wages, hours and working conditions” of their membership and protecting bad workers from discipline. This will only lead to greater inefficiency of the government, as if they need more of that.

      I just read the other day where an aluminum company agreed with the United Steelworkers to employment security and new productivity language. The Union spun it as a way to improve efficiency of the Company. However, the Company could not make any productivity improvements without the Union’s permission! The Company could not upgrade equipment that would eliminate jobs without the Union agreeing. What a joke. The Company is in the last stages of total collapse.

    • Unions are another tool for them to destroy us from within.

      The union bailout this week was another big payoff day for them.

  42. Here’s a laugh for ya’ll. Look closely at the tab bar of the Google window, LOL!

    Obama’s Desktop

  43. Here’s something to be proud of (sarc). My local Rep (Honorable – what a laugh) is a card carrying member of the American Socialist party.


    American Socialist Voter–
    Q: How many members of the U.S. Congress are also members of the DSA?
    A: Seventy

    Q: How many of the DSA members sit on the Judiciary Committee?
    A: Eleven: John Conyers [Chairman of the Judiciary Committee], Tammy Baldwin, Jerrold Nadler, Luis Gutierrez,
    Melvin Watt, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Steve Cohen, Barbara Lee, Robert Wexler, Linda Sanchez [there are 23 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of which eleven, almost half, are now members of the DSA].

    Q: Who are these members of 111th Congress?
    A: See the listing below

    Hon. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07)
    Hon. Lynn Woolsey (CA-06)

    Vice Chairs
    Hon. Diane Watson (CA-33)
    Hon. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
    Hon. Mazie Hirono (HI-02)
    Hon. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)

    Senate Members
    Hon. Bernie Sanders (VT)

    House Members
    Hon. Neil Abercrombie (HI-01)
    Hon. Tammy Baldwin (WI-02)
    Hon. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
    Hon. Madeleine Bordallo (GU-AL)
    Hon. Robert Brady (PA-01)
    Hon. Corrine Brown (FL-03)
    Hon. Michael Capuano (MA-08)
    Hon. André Carson (IN-07)
    Hon. Donna Christensen (VI-AL)
    Hon. Yvette Clarke (NY-11)
    Hon. William “Lacy” Clay (MO-01)
    Hon. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
    Hon. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
    Hon. John Conyers (MI-14)
    Hon. Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
    Hon. Danny Davis (IL-07)
    Hon. Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
    Hon. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
    Rep. Donna F. Edwards (MD-04)
    Hon. Keith Ellison (MN-05)
    Hon. Sam Farr (CA-17)
    Hon. Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
    Hon. Bob Filner (CA-51)
    Hon. Barney Frank (MA-04)
    Hon. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)
    Hon. Alan Grayson (FL-08)
    Hon. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
    Hon. John Hall (NY-19)
    Hon. Phil Hare (IL-17)
    Hon. Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
    Hon. Michael Honda (CA-15)
    Hon. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02)
    Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
    Hon. Hank Johnson (GA-04)
    Hon. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
    Hon. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13)
    Hon. Barbara Lee (CA-09)
    Hon. John Lewis (GA-05)
    Hon. David Loebsack (IA-02)
    Hon. Ben R. Lujan (NM-3)
    Hon. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
    Hon. Ed Markey (MA-07)
    Hon. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
    Hon. James McGovern (MA-03)
    Hon. George Miller (CA-07)
    Hon. Gwen Moore (WI-04)
    Hon. Jerrold Nadler (NY-08)
    Hon. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC-AL)
    Hon. John Olver (MA-01)
    Hon. Ed Pastor (AZ-04)
    Hon. Donald Payne (NJ-10)
    Hon. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
    Hon. Charles Rangel (NY-15)
    Hon. Laura Richardson (CA-37)
    Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
    Hon. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
    Hon. Linda Sánchez (CA-47)
    Hon. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
    Hon. José Serrano (NY-16)
    Hon. Louise Slaughter (NY-28)
    Hon. Pete Stark (CA-13)
    Hon. Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
    Hon. John Tierney (MA-06)
    Hon. Nydia Velazquez (NY-12)
    Hon. Maxine Waters (CA-35)
    Hon. Mel Watt (NC-12)
    Hon. Henry Waxman (CA-30)
    Hon. Peter Welch (VT-AL)
    Hon. Robert Wexler (FL-19)

    • Good Grief-I can’t come up with any idea why the Socialist Party would give out this list-It seems like this would hurt their cause-not help. Could they possibly think that the ideas of socialism is so accepted now that it would help. I’m seriously confused here.

      • Well I guess that’s what we’ll find out as this list circulates. Here in the Madison area that Baldwin represents, it probably won’t be such a big deal. WI currently is a mini-federal govt. so they probably don’t think wearing a Socialist flag is a big deal.

        Paul Ryan’s District is just south of us, and as he continues to talk more honestly about the dire straits of our economy, I can only hope that people will begin to understand the damage that Baldwin and her ilk have foisted on us.

        • 14 from California
          9 from NY
          6 from IL

          Well I can tell you Kilpatrick from Mich didn’t win her primary so she’s gone. Conyers from Mich is the one who said “What good is it to read the bill when its 2000 pages long” or something to that effect. He’s not up for re-election this time but just wait…he’ll be out.

          I wonder if these people ran as (S) insead of (D) would the voters actually vote for them? Wake up America. These people combined with people like BDN (shh don’t talk him up) got us where we are today.

  44. Bottom Line says:


    `Hindenburg Omen’ Indicator Suggests Slump in Stocks: Technical Analysis
    By Alexis Xydias

    This week’s plunge in U.S. stocks triggered a technical indicator known as the Hindenburg Omen that may signal a more severe selloff, according to analysts who follow charts to predict market moves.

    The market signal, named for a German zeppelin that caught fire and crashed more than seven decades ago, occurs when an unusually high number of companies in the New York Stock Exchange reach 52-week highs and lows. The indicator last occurred in October 2008, according to UBS AG.

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday completed the biggest three-day decline since July 1, after an unexpected increase in unemployment claims added to evidence an economic recovery is weakening. The benchmark gauge for U.S. stocks has dropped 3.4 percent so far this week as Federal Reserve policy makers said growth “is likely to be more modest” than they previously forecast.

    The indicator may suggest “a savage equity downturn is imminent,” said Albert Edwards, a London-based strategist at Societe Generale SA, who has told investors to favor bonds over stocks for more than a decade. “Equities are tottering on the edge as increasingly recessionary data becomes apparent. It would not take much to tip them over that edge.”

    The Hindenburg signal was triggered yesterday as the proportion of stocks reaching new one-year highs and lows both exceeded 2.2 percent of the total listed on the NYSE, according to Michael Riesner, a technical analyst at UBS in Zurich.

    Rising Market

    The number of stocks at a 52-week high must not be more than twice the number marking lows, the technical theory also says, according to analysts. The indicator is only valid in a rising market, as defined by the NYSE Composite Index’s rolling average value in the last 10 weeks. It must also occur when the NYSE McClellan Oscillator, a measure of market momentum, is negative.

    The Hindenburg Omen must be confirmed with a second occurrence within 36 days, according to Riesner. He said the signal occurred seven times in 2008 as the S&P 500 posted its biggest annual drop since the Great Depression.

    “It’s an interesting name but what you really have as a technical background is a classic distribution phase in the market,” Riesner said. “It’s the classic tug of war between bulls and bears that you have there.”

    In technical analysis, investors and analysts study charts of trading patterns and prices to predict changes in a security, commodity, currency or index. UBS is ranked as the top bank for equity technical analysis and charting according to a 2010 Thomson Extel survey.

  45. GO TO HELL

    Michigan that is. 🙂

    Some patriotic news gang: I was invited by a neighbor at my lake to go to this event in Hell, Mi today. It was a biker’s rally/fund raiser for the Fallen Hero’s. Never been to Hell but this was a perfect opportunity for me to visit the not even one stoplight town.
    The Michigan Military Parents support group teamed up with the Fallen Heroes gang to put on the event. What a fun day it was! Met many biker vets and many very nice parents of military men & women. Had the kids picture taken with the Devil himself! A contest for the furthest rider ended up with a vet from TEXAS winning. A tear jerking balloon launch, each balloon had a card with a fallen Mich serviceman/woman’s name attached and lots of other activities. So if you happen to find a balloon in your yard report it on the website listed on the card.

    For pics and other news check out the website and maybe think about going to HELL same time next year:


  46. BF,

    My “ideology” does not justify slaughtering women and children.

    The military does not arbitrarily slaughter anyone, nor justify that. Their actions are specific and tactical. It the goals are corrupt, then the persons who are in the military must question those orders. If they are mislead about the goals, then it still does not mean they were mindless.

    I disagree.

    The FREEDOM of a man to leave one tribe and make another was core to the survival of the human race – diversity.

    This moved the human race to every corner of the Earth – ensuring a disaster in one place only affected one group and not all humans.

    This does not jive with any informaiton I have seen about early man and his survival.

    “Arrogant” – that is your opinion.

    Yes, “arrogant” is a relative term, it can only be my opinion, that was an emotional appeal on my part.

    “Inaccurate” – absolutely NOT. It is specific and defined and as I noted to D13 mindless is a requirement of all military men for it is the only way a man can kill women and children without causing insanity inside himself. He must be able to allow his mind be owned and manipulated by others, giving this man the self-justification that he is merely a tool of other men, and therefore will not be responsible for his actions

    People who do something for a greater goal are not mindless. They may suffer the pain of what had to be done, but that does not mean that what was done was wrong. It is the allowing of feeling and difficulty to run ones life that is truly mindless. It is, in fact, that very thing that has allowed the social safety nets we are burdened by.

    “Emotional” – YES!, and that is important because unless this is felt to the core, people will NOT move from their evil and deadly psychosis over this~!

    The men and women who choose the military for their lives must understand what they will be doing and unless they understand this consciously, they will continue to be the tools of evil men who have no qualms about slaughtering children

    Emotions are not the core. It is not the fear of being called babykiller that awakens people in the military to evil actions. It is when that which they believed in and defended is betrayed. It is not the actions they take or must take, it is the discovery that the goal is not that which they believed it was because the leaders are corrupt. It is not the emotional mind that grasps this, as it can be as easily swayed the other way. It is the rational mind that must be reached.

    In this case, you have nothing to reach the rational mind with.

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