Just Giving You All Some Space….

LOL… I know that you weren’t really asking for “some space” in our relationship. However, I certainly understand if all of you feel that I have given you some anyway. I apologize for the lack of posts this week. The new job really ramped up in terms of work this week, as I have gone from “new guy to the industry” to “thrown to the wolves and proving that I can hang in there.” I am keeping my head above water. Add to that the fact that I continue to work the other job as well… a retail job in December, and you can imagine how busy I am. Next week and the week after will continue to get busier, but I have a plan to ensure that I get at least two articles a week posted instead of one like this week. Sunday night I am writing about the deal between the President and Republicans. Because the comments start to get lengthy to go through after a bit I decided the least I could do was start a new thread here so that you can all continue conversations and post your own topics. Additionally, throughout the day I am going to pull some of the comments from the last article over to this one and answer them or add my thoughts for discussion (I think BF had the first one I saw that I planned to comment on). I apologize again for not having time to write this week.









  1. Good luck on your new job & appreciate the fact that you have a job this holiday season, as I know you will. With unemployment 9.8% (actually nearly 20%)it’s going to be a sad time for many Amerians.

  2. Interesting….this new bill has a stimulus payment in it for wind turbines to be made in China….run by a Chinese Company and built with American taxpayer money…..where is the out rage?

    • Top Democratic fundraisers and lobbyists with links to the White House are behind a proposed wind farm in Texas that stands to get $450 million in stimulus money, even though a Chinese company would operate the farm and its turbines would be built in China.

      The farm’s backers also have close ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who, at the height of his hard-fought re-election bid this fall, helped blunt congressional criticism over stimulus dollars possibly going to create jobs in China by endorsing a proposal by the Chinese company to build a factory in his home state. Although his campaign received thousands of dollars in donations from the wind farm’s backers and Reid stood on stage with them at a campaign event they hosted, his office declined to answer any questions about the wind farm’s organizers or their plans for Nevada.

      Several of us are looking into this….This is bull shit. TEXAS sized bull shit.

  3. Are the Wikileaks supporters (kids hackling sites with the intent to destroy and disrupt) really exercising a true expression of free speech or are they petty little jerks that deserve whatever punishment they get…..AND…should a parent be responisble for the damamge of their minor child?

    Synopsis: I am, of course, referencing the “hacking” of Master Card, Visa, etc., with the intenet of shutting them down or disrupting their profession, thereby, costing them thousands of dollars. Is this a true expression of free speech? It is true that they are free to do whatever, but also be subject to whatever punishment or rules or laws that have been broken and make whole, any destruction that they caused. I am also in favor of holding the parent responsible, economically, for the antics of thier child. I am sure that I am in the minority here, but what say you SUFA?

    • D13

      Good morning Sir. Thanks for turning on the warm air, finally above 20.

      This is not free speech. It is malicious and criminal in my view.

      But I do have to make one note. How come everybody is screaming over this but NOBODY was complaining or investigating the cyber attacks on the Wikileak Site itself?

      I see the Dutch caught a 16 year old in this yesterday. But who is hacking Wiki?

      Whether parents should be liable I believe depends on their actions, or lack thereof, with respect to what the kid does.

      Best o’ Fridays to ya’l

      • Yo, JAC, my friend……got some more warm air headed your way….supposed to be 65 today with 25-30 mph winds out of the South…enjoy for a couple of days as I see another blue norther headed in for Sunday….

        As to hacking Wikileaks….the same rules should apply.

        Peace upon you and have a great weekend.

    • Parents are liable (within certain parameters) for the actions of their children, particularly where the parents are aware of the actions of their children or had reason to suspect but didn’t stop the actions.

      I have no children, and perhaps my opinion will change once I do, but I think parents should be 100% economically liable for the actions of their minor children. If my child throws a baseball through a neighbor’s window, should I not have to pay up? How is it different just because it’s a lot more money?

      In terms of criminal liability, that’s a different matter. If my child commits a crime, I would say that the parents are only responsible to the extent that they had advance knowledge and failed to act.

      I don’t know much about the details of this instance, but if you fill me in, I’ll be happy to supply my opinions.

      • Hey Matt……I dont have much more information that what I have gleaned from the msm and cable news. You and I agree..(but dont tell DPM, you know how persnicky he can get). On the criminal side, your opinion is well stated. What gets me a lot…..is that some parents say….but I cant be held responsible when they are not under my direct supervision…to that I say bunk and bosh…yes, they can and should.

        • If you raise your children correctly, they will not be criminals.

          • You speed, even once, so your parents failed to raise you right?

            You litter, even once, so your parents failed to raise you right?

            Though these may be considered trivial “crimes” the principle you stated would apply would it not?

            Then, if it is the parents fault for not raising you right it would be better to hold the parent criminally responsible for your violations of the law?

            Disclaimer: The term “you” is being used in a general sense and is not intended, nor should be implied, as referring specifically to Mathius.

            • Let me add here PS, you can do every thing right.

              You can raise your children to be the greatest people in the world.

              You can raise them with morals, respect for others, and not to steal.


              Especially NOW, in this day of Low PUBLIC morals, and most assuredly with the drugs that are going around. IT WON’T DO YOU ONE SPECK OF GOOD.

              All you can hope for is that they will come back to their raising.

              I KNOW.

              While I don’t have immediate family (my kids) like that, I do have family that I know for an absolute fact weren’t raised to be the worthless meatsacks that they are right now.

              • Today’s age is no less moral than yesterday’s age, or the age before it.

                Take off your rose colored glasses. The preferred sins may be different, but they’re no better. We got rid of slavery, (the bulk of) racial discrimination, etc. There were always drugs, only they used to be legal – you could buy opium at the corner store. Sex has always been everywhere, but back in the day it was just more hidden – once upon a time, people engaged in it openly and without shame. Was this immoral? Gambling, drinking, sex, drugs, rock and roll, fighting, sloth, wrath, gluttony, pride, lust, envy, and greed. It’s all the same, only the means have changed.

                Who are you to judge?

                • Rose Colored Glasses? Judging people?


                  All I said is that you can do everything right in raising your kids, and it still may not work.

                  And it sounds like YOU are the one with the rose colored shades, hossbelly.

                  Meth is doing things to the youth in this country that NO other drug in History has caused.

                  I have a couple of young members in my family who I KNOW were raised right and now I wouldn’t allow them in my frickin’ yard.

                  Their parents raising didn’t cause it. Meth DID.

                • Who are you to judge?

                  Mathius, we all judge and likely we all do it every day. While you may call some of the things you listed as not being immoral, someone else may think they are.

                  We judge politicians, political figures, behaviors, etc. Whenever we decide a like or dislike we judge.

                  Who we are is an human being with reasoning capabilities that we use to make decisions with (judge).

                  I happen top agree with Esom Hill that we live in times of lower moral standards than we ever have before, IMHO. Whether you agree with that statement or not is a judgment call. 🙂

              • Perhaps it’s an age/experience thing, because I too believe we are living in an age of decreasing moral standards.

                Since you are young, Mathius, and this is all you know, perhaps that is why you don’t see it that way.

                • Perhaps people are inclined to believe that in the halcyon days of their youth, things were better than they are now.

                  People don’t change. We’re animals. You need only look at a broader timeline to know that I’m right – how ‘moral’ were people in the 6th century? Ancient Rome? Ancient Greece? Ancient Egypt? Ancient Babylonia? Was your generation just a 30-50 year anomaly, an aberration in an eons-long string of otherwise uninterrupted hedonism?

                  My generation didn’t invent sin and immorality, we just put our own spin on it. Your parents probably thought the same thing about your generation and their parents before them.

                  In the words of Dick van Dyke: What’s the matter with kids these days? Why can’t they be like we were – perfect in every way?

            • Fair enough. To clarify. If you raise your children correctly, they will know right from wrong. If you, as a parent, cannot trust your child to access a computer without committing a crime, you should not give them access to a computer. Likewise, if you cannot trust your child to drive safely, you should not give them access to a car.

              Note, there are differences in “criminal” behavior such that minor offense are likely to occur regardless. But that doesn’t make them “no one’s” fault – they belong to the child and the child belongs to you.

              To me, criminal offenses (with a few exceptions) are generally deliberate acts. If I steal someone’s wallet, I meant to do it – crime. If I accidentally take someone’s wallet thinking it was mine, it’s not a crime. Mens Rea. So, without the mens rea, I do not see how a parent can be criminally liable for the actions of their children. Children, however, can be placed in Juvi, and rightfully so, as a lesser penalty than general prison, and with shorter sentences as a half-measure in deference to their less developed minds and weaker impulse controls.

              Now, one final thought. I have spoken here about my brother. He is what might be called a “bad egg.” He is a genius, but he is also a sociopath. As it happens, my parents did not raise him right, but it wouldn’t have mattered if they did. He’s smart enough to never have come into directly conflict with the law, but if he had, I think that would have to mitigate the liability to my parents.

              But someone has to take the responsibility – who should it be? Are the actions of children equivalent to acts of god?

              • Now I can agree with what you are saying much more.

                The one who is held responsible is the one who is violating the law. A criminal case against a child in which the outcome against the child also holds the parents responsible in some material manner violates the right of due process provided for under the 5th Amendment. Now, that is not to say that parents couldn’t be sued in civil court and compelled to be financially responsible.

              • I’m sure you will be saying the same thing about your children’s generation and At that point you will realize that the moral’s in this country have declined even more. The point isn’t have there always been immoral people. The point is that the definition of what is immoral has changed in my life time. Some good but a whole lot is nothing but bad. Children are influenced by everything in society-just turn on the radio or the TV. Moral values aren’t there just to ruin peoples fun. There are reasons why it’s unwise to take drugs and indulge in free love-it isn’t free, it comes with some big consequences. Kids found this out in the 60’s and they backed off when they matured a little and the consequences hit them in the face. But the viewpoints of that era have held on and they are destroying the moral values of this country. Everyday our children are being influenced by outside forces telling them to live together, have abortions, party hardy. No doubt parental influence can help or hurt but it cannot completely stop them from following their peers.

                • Your generation judges mine to be immoral. Mine judges yours to be immoral. Why are you right and we’re wrong?

                  • Matt..I bet when you were a teenager your parents were pretty dumb, right? I think every teenager’s parents are dumb during those years. But the older you got the smarter your parents were, right? So be careful what you say now about the older generations because they get smarter faster than you do.

                    • As the old saying goes:

                      When I was 16 I could not believe how stupid the old man was. When I turned 24 I was amazed at what he had learned in 8 years.

                  • The last I looked my generation wasn’t dead yet 🙂 so I am not judging your generation as immoral. I am saying that society as a whole is accepting and promoting immoral behavior. It is one thing to say that people have a right to do immoral things-it is another to claim that these actions aren’t immoral or just stupid if that word works better for ya 🙂

    • How does the arrest of one teen by the Dutch equate to the attackers being “kids hackling sites with the intent to destroy and disrupt”?

      Are there more identified juveniles involved, or is the one kid the excuse to broad brush them all as kids? I’d have to see more data supporting the assumption before giving it any realistic credibility.

      Criminal liability belongs on the violator. The problem I see in holding the parents responsible for damages in the criminal case is that they’re not on trial for an offense, therefore they have no direct opportunity to defend themselves against any requirement to pay some restitution amount arbitrarily set by a judge. Parents monetary responsibilities should be handled in a civil court (tort) action if you want them to pay up, providing due process for parents.

      I agree with JAC, where’s the condemnation and calls for justice against those who are attacking Wikileaks in the same manner?

      • Plainly spoken asks: “How does the arrest of one teen by the Dutch equate to the attackers being “kids hackling sites with the intent to destroy and disrupt”?

        D13 answers: It does not indicate that at all. I never said that it did. I am only asking from the standpoint that it is being widely reported that ” many teenagers ” and/or young people are supporters of Wikileaks and are vowing to shut down any site or institution that goes after Wikileaks. That is all.

        There are many that are praising the attacks on the government. Now, I see some will praise the attacks on corporations. Then banking instituions, then smaller companies…….Some one show me the difference….and it has to be something else than just saying government and big business. If there are those that believe ths, then they cannot throw stones when Wikileaks starts probing smaller and smaller and smaller to the individual and ethics and morals.

        I see a huge slippery slope and it flies in the face of those that have previously claimed the infringement of government for the good of the people…..Wiki is not for the good of the people…that is being naive.

        • I would not praise Wikileaks for exposing the material, but they were acting within their rights to publish, as much as the Times was. You can’t differentiate in that aspect. The only alleged criminal activity was that on the part of Private Manning – which will be dealt with by the appropriate court authority. If we allow the government to decide that Wikileaks isn’t a genuine journalistic effort and is to be charged with criminal offenses, how long before the government decides that a newspaper is not, or is no longer, a journalistic endeavor and orders it closed and silenced? Next comes dissenting television news…..and a few steps later – individuals could be punished and silenced for dissenting. A slippery slope if there ever was one.

          What is “good for the people” in such activities is open to debate and point of view. I’m sure the US government doesn’t see these leaks as good for the people, and in their day neither did the government view the leaking of the Pentagon Papers as good for the people. The motivation of Wikileaks is irrelevant. I certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that their intentions are for the benefit of exposing corrupt activities of government – but that is my personal opinion.

    • The First Global Cyberwar is well underway.

      It is not surprising the the minions of the Elite -corporations- and their financial armaments are the first targets.

      This bodes very well for the future. When government and their evil creations are vulnerable targets to a few men, the freedom of all men expands.

      It was the longbow that gave the breath to the first human rights articulation.

      It was the long rifle that gave breath to the first nation based on rights.

      It will be in cyberspace that the next expressions of human rights will be achieved.

      • December 10, 2010
        Iran getting desperate over Stuxnet
        J.R. Dunn
        Just call me Nostradamus. Less than twelve hours after my cyberwar piece “Wikileaks, Stuxnet, Cyberwar, and Obama” appeared on AT, Fox News published an exclusive report on the Stuxnet worm that confirms most of my speculations concerning the worm’s as yet uncertain capabilities.

        * Despite official denials, Stuxnet remains functional within the Iranian nuclear IT system, rendering it effectively inactive and bringing operations to a halt.

        * Along with the original IT warhead designed to take down Iran’s uranium processing centrifuges, Stuxnet also featured a second “mod”, designed to disable turbine systems.

        * That version has subverted the reactor at Bushehr, curtailing operations for the foreseeable future.

        * The Stuxnet worm is designed to hide in network backup systems where it is difficult to track down.

        * One of the scientists assassinated by a motorcycle hit team on November 29 was in charge of the Stuxnet disinfection effort.

        Iranian desperation is clearly revealed by the number of inquiries to American information security sites dealing with Stuxnet. On some sites, Iranian queries account for a majority of users. The Iranians have reached the end of their string and are grasping at any possible solution, even if it has to come from the Great Satan. Now to deal with Julian A.

        As for me, I promise to use my powers only for good.


      • I guess others see what I am seeing:

        Michael S. Rozeff

        As I read an article about the arrest in the Netherlands of a computer hacktivist, Anonymous and Operation: Payback, and an attack on the attackers, my wife said to me “I can’t follow it.”

        I replied, “Well, it’s the first computer war in history.”

        Actually, the Gulf War is sometimes given that description.

        But this feels more like the opening battle in a prolonged war. So I say it’s the First Internet War in history.

        It’s the People vs. the U.S. Government. The initial fronts are Sweden, Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard, and so on. It’s a war on the internet and being fought over the internet and internet freedom. It’s a war over freedom of communication.

        In my opinion, this is a huge news event, on the order of Watergate. It will go on for a long time.

        Like all wars, it will transmute over time and go into all kinds of unexpected directions. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have begun the First Internet War.

    • Idle thoughts,

      If you break the law, but do no harm, why should the punishment be comparable to if you had done harm? Ex. Hacking for the fun or just to snoop vs. doing so for gain or to cause harm.

      What if you steal from a thief? (I know, you are a thief) If Robbin Hoody rips off a drug dealer, sneaks into his crib when no one’s home, gives the money to the needy, it’s a legal crime, but is it a moral crime? A hacker that seeks to steal Wikileaks sources is looking to find criminals. Wiki did not steal their info, but someone did and Wiki is protecting their criminal informants. Wiki releases the names of foreigners that have helped the US, making them targets for terrorists.

      Sorry, but I am going to cheer the hackers hitting Wiki. If they are caught, I hope they get a stern lecture and a new computer.(wink)

  4. I’m more and more convinced that this whole WiliLeaks thing is just a big, dangerous effort to have government control the internet. We’ll squawk about the need to get this guy (and his co-horts) and shut down his site and so finally, big brother Holder will swoop in and say, well OK, I’m only doing this because you’ve asked me to….and bam – government control of the internet.

    I think we’re screwed either way.

    • Kathy,

      Government can no more control the internet than they can control the light from the Sun.

      They can certainly endarken the minds of men, but the Sun still shines.

      They are still stuck in the MSM paradigm. The internet boggles their minds – they do not understand it nor its supreme power.

      They think it is a bunch of “pipes” running through “valves” that they think they can turn off and on.

      They do not understand it is decentralized information traveling at the speed of a mouse click.

      Not only are there side-streets on the internet, like Tor, but there are “untethered” Internets being installed, such as this idea, called “Dead drops”

      Go to “deaddrops(dot)com” or read a short about it here:

      The Elite do not understand this. They do not understand that the Internet is not a technology revolution but a social information revolution.

      They are vulnerable like never before in history. Wikileaks has exposed their chinks in their armor, the hackers exposed their weak underbelly.

      • Hmm, interesting. My concern? The Elite and tech-challenged Kathy do not understand this.

        • Kathy,

          You are sitting at the same cusp as a person 500 years ago when the concept of a “pocketbook novel” was invented.

          Whowouldathought what it did to human society?

          I mean, the “written word” and “books” existed for centuries (albeit handwritten). What difference did the printing press and the “chap book” of the 15th century … we call them “pocket books” today…. do to human society?

          In the 15th century, you wouldn’t have understood.

          Today, we do.

          It changed everything. A pocketbook, carried by a man, and given to another man in a different city in a different country – decentralized information for the masses.

          Instead of the church and the Elite of the day as the repository of information (and, thus, its control) – it now resided in the “bum fodder” (yes, toilet paper) as the elite called these books.

          But consider the numbers printed. In the 1660s as many as 400,000 almanacs were printed annually, enough for one family in three in England.

          It was the decentralization of information and knowledge that changed Western world.

          True, the elite worked hard in trying to control this. They invented concepts of “copyright” and “intellectual property” as a measure.

          They gave special license to only a few (and well controlled) publishers the power to print “copyrighted” materials.

          They bribed authors with false promises of riches to persuade them to only use copyright printers.

          Thus, the thousands of publishing houses disappeared – with the authors drawn into the “copyright” publishing houses, the rest went bankrupt.

          The Elite re-created the gates around the Main Stream Media. It wasn’t as tight as before, but it was enough to hold on to their power.

          Things like the “Internet Freedom” initiatives of the public are the same scam of the Elite. The proposals to invoke government law to guarantee “equal access to the Web” is the same game as the “copyright” publishers game 500 years ago.

          But the point: it is the decentralization of information and knowledge that is the greatest threat to the Elites.

          The technology behind this decentralization is irrelevant.

          • Net Neutrality, the FCC, WikiLeaks and the Future of Internet Freedom

            by Mike Adams
            Natural News

            Regardless of what you think about the Wikileaks release of state secrets, there’s no debating the astonishing fact that the internet made these leaks possible. Without the internet, no single organization such as Wikileaks would have been able to so widely propagate secret government information and make it public. In the old model of information distribution – centralized mainstream media newspapers and news broadcasts – such information would have been tightly controlled thanks to government pressure.

            But the internet allows individual information publishers to bypass the censorship of government. In the case of Wikileaks, it allowed an Australian citizen to embarrass the U.S. government while sitting at a laptop computer in the United Kingdom.

            Governments don’t like to be embarrassed. They don’t like their secrets aired on the internet. Sure, it’s okay for governments to tap all of your secrets by monitoring your phone calls, emails and web browsing habits, but every government seeks to protect its own secrets at practically any cost. That’s why the upshot of this Wikileaks release may be that governments will now start to look for new ways to censor and control the internet in order to prevent such information leaks from happening in the future.

            What governments around the world are suddenly beginning to realize is that a free internet is ultimately incompatible with government secrets, and secrets are essential to any government that wants to remain in power. That’s because, as even Noam Chomsky stated in this DemocracyNow video interview, most government secrets are based on information governments wouldn’t want their people to discover – secrets that might threaten the legitimacy of government if the people found out the truth.

            How the FCC plans to seize authority over the internet
            As part of a long-term plan to control content on the internet, the FCC is now attempting to assert authority over the internet in the same way it has long exercised content censorship authority over broadcast television and radio.

            The reason you can’t say those seven dirty words on broadcast television, in other words, is because the FCC controls broadcast television content and can simply revoke the broadcast licenses of any television station that refuses to comply. This is the same tactic, in the internet world, of yanking a web site’s domain name, which the Department of Homeland Security has already begun doing over the last several weeks.

            The FCC also controls content on the radio and can yank the broadcast licenses of any radio stations that refuse to comply with its content censorship. This is why operators of “pirate radio stations” are dealt with so harshly: For the government to allow any radio station to operate outside its censorship and control is to invite dissent.

            The internet, of course, has been operating freely and without any real government censorship for roughly two decades. In that time, it has grown to be what is arguably the most influential medium in the world for information distribution. Most importantly, the internet is the medium of information freedom that is not controlled by any government.

            The U.S. government wants to change all that, and they’ve dispatched the FCC to reign in the “freedoms” of the internet.

            How to crush internet Free Speech
            The first step to the FCC’s crushing of internet freedom is to assert authority over the internet by claiming to run the show. The FCC, of course, has no legal authority over the internet. It was only granted authority in 1934 over broadcast communications in the electromagnetic spectrum – you know, radio waves and antennas, that kind of thing.

            There is nothing in the Communications Act of 1934 that grants the FCC any authority over the internet because obviously the internet didn’t exist then, and it would have been impossible for lawmakers in the 1930’s to imagine the internet as it operates today.

            So instead of following the law, the FCC is trying to “fake” its way into false authority over the internet by claiming authority in the current “net neutrality” debate. By asserting its authority with net neutrality, the FCC will establish a beachhead of implied authority from which it can begin to control and censor the internet.

            This is why “net neutrality” is a threat to internet freedom. It’s not because of anything to do with net neutrality itself, but rather with the FCC’s big power grab in its assertion that it has authority over websites just like it has authority over broadcast radio.

            The FCC may soon tell you what you can post on the internet
            Where is this all heading? Once the FCC establishes a foothold on the ‘net, it can then assert that it has the power to tell you what to post on the internet. Here’s how it might unfold:

            First, the FCC will simply ban what it calls “information traitors,” which will include people like Julian Assange (Wikileaks) who publish state secrets. (Technically Julian Assange can’t be a traitor since he’s not even American in the first place, but don’t expect the FCC to care about this distinction.)

            Once the public is comfortable with that, the FCC will advance its agenda to include “information terrorists” which will include anything posted about Ron Paul, the federal reserve and the counterfeit money supply, G. Edward Griffin, or anything from true U.S. patriots who defend the Constitution. The anti-state website http://www.LewRockwell.com (where some of my own articles have appeared from time to time) would also be immediately banned because its information is so dangerous to government control.

            After that censorship is in place, the FCC will likely begin to push the corporate agenda by banning websites that harm the profits of large corporations. This will include, of course, websites like NaturalNews.com which teach people about health freedom, nutritional cures, natural remedies and alternatives to Big Pharma’s high-profit pharmaceuticals.

            The way this will come about is that the FCC may require a license to publish health information on the web, in much the same way that states currently license doctors to practice medicine. This is how conventional medicine has operated its monopoly for so long, by the way: By controlling the licensing of doctors at the state level. Any doctor who dares prescribe nutritional supplements or suggest that medication might be harmful to a patient immediately gets stripped of his license to practice medicine (and thereby put out of business). The FCC will likely do the same thing across the internet. Sites that publish health information without a license will be deemed “a threat to public health” and be seized by the government.

            The first target? Anti-vaccine websites. Vaccines are so crucial to the continuation of disease and medical enslavement in America that any site questioning the current vaccine mythology will be deemed a threat to public health – or perhaps even a “terrorism” organization.

            Essentially, once the FCC has gained power and authority over the internet, it will use that power to push a Big Government / Big Business agenda that censors the truth, keeps people trapped in a system of disinformation, and silences anyone who challenges the status quo.

            The FCC is poised to become the FDA of internet information, banning alternative speech and enforcing an information monopoly engineered by powerful corporations.

            Think of the FCC as the new the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s novel 1984.

            This is not about net neutrality, it’s about the FCC power grab
            Remember, I am not arguing here for or against the principle of net neutrality itself, but rather warning about the FCC’s imposition of false authority over the internet in the first place. The idea of net neutrality has merits, but granting the FCC the power to control the internet is a disastrously bad idea that will only end in censorship and “information tyranny” – especially now that governments around the world are witnessing the “dangers” of information freedom via the Wikileaks fiasco.

            If there’s one thing governments hate, it’s real freedom. Sure, they all talk about freedom and publicly claim their allegiance to it, but behind the scenes what they really want is total information control. That’s because freedom gives people the ability to say what they want, to whomever they want, and even to oppose the doctrine of the government.

            Just look at China and how it has censored the internet to the point where you can’t even log in to Facebook from that country.

            Governments hate freedom because freedom threatens centralized power and control over the People. And because governments hate freedom, they also hate the internet as long as it’s free. This is why bloggers and internet journalists are right now imprisoned all over the world for merely posting the truth.

            As Noam Chomsky said in his DemocracyNow interview (link above), what the recent Wikileaks releases really show is that the U.S. government has “a profound hatred for democracy.”

            It also happens to have a profound hatred for actual freedom, because people who are free to think for themselves and write whatever they want are always going to be a threat to a government that wants people to conform, obey and acquiesce.

            All government agencies seek to expand their power
            What do the FCC, FDA, TSA, DEA, FTC and USDA all have in common?

            They all want more power. They want more authority, bigger budgets and more control over the world around them. They are like cancer tumors, growing in size and toxicity while they consume more and more by stealing resources from a healthy host. The bigger these cancer tumors become, the more dangerous they become to the health of the host body, and the more urgently they need to be held in check or excised from the body entirely.

            There is no such thing as a government agency that wants to be smaller, with shrinking budgets and fewer employees on the taxpayer payroll. Government departments – just like people – incessantly seek more power even at the expense of freedom among those they claim to serve. And this move by the FCC to assume control over the internet is one of the most dangerous power grabs yet witnessed in the short history of the information age.

            By the way, one of the reasons we created and launched http://www.NaturalNews.TV was because we wanted a video site that could not be turned off by YouTube. You’ve probably heard the horror stories of famous content producers like Alex Jones having their YouTube accounts suddenly terminated. NaturalNews.TV is a safe haven for alternative health content that cannot be turned off by a large corporation that doesn’t recognize the value of health freedom.

            Feel free to participate by uploading videos or viewing the many thousands of free videos available right now at http://www.NaturalNews.TV

            By the way, I recommend reading another outstanding article on this topic written by John Naughton at The Guardian. Here’s a taste of what he writes:

            Consider, for instance, how the views of the US administration have changed in just a year. On 21 January, secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a landmark speech about internet freedom, in Washington DC, which many people welcomed and most interpreted as a rebuke to China for its alleged cyberattack on Google. “Information has never been so free,” declared Clinton. “Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.”

            She went on to relate how, during his visit to China in November 2009, Barack Obama had “defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity.” Given what we now know, that Clinton speech reads like a satirical masterpiece.

            • OK, BF, you often get my head spinning, I will admit – and this is one of those times. Isn’t this article above (very good article and site, BTW), exactly what I said I feared in my original post????

              • Kathy,

                Yes and no.

                Do not be fooled by the Net Neutrality fluff.

                If it involves government, it is VERY bad for you.

                However, the power of the Internet is beyond their control – they can disturb it, but they cannot stop it.

                China has the most powerful firewall in the world, and it takes a half-competent person about 5 minutes to bypass it.

                If they can’t stop it, no one can.

                The Elite depend on the internet for their money. They would hang themselves on a higher post then you if they ever “stopped the internet”.

                They are on undefendable territory facing the masses.

                They will lose.

          • OK – didn’t get through your long post yet, but in your shorter one here on “bum fodder”, aren’t you actually making my point?

            Just like what they did with copyright laws, publishing houses, won’t they be able to do similar measures with the internet. Regulate it to (its) death (or close to it?)

            • Kathy,

              They will most certainly try, such as the “Net Neutrality” mush.

              They are trying to fake YOU OUT by claiming the threat is Google/Verizon.


              Do NOT call on Evil to protect you from Google – it is a trap.

              You will invite the evil into your home, and it will take what you were trying to protect away from you.

              But that is YOU. Even if that happens, there will always be “illegal” internet popping up all around you, like it does in China.

              Whether you participate or not will be up to you.

  5. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/new_study_shows_zero_impact_of.html

    December 10, 2010
    New study shows zero impact of $800 billion stimulus
    Rick Moran
    There have been other studies hinting at the same thing, but this one by John Cogan and John Taylor of the Hoover Institution appears to be pretty solid.

    In September 2009, we reported on this page empirical research showing that the temporary tax rebates and transfer payments in the Bush and Obama administration’s stimulus programs were ineffective. Here we consider new data on the impact of increases in government purchases, which were heralded as a major stimulating factor in the Obama package.

    The key tenet of Keynesian economics is that government purchases of goods and services stimulate additional economic activity beyond the amount of the purchase itself. The impact on GDP of the stimulus depends both on the dollar volume of additional government purchases and on the size of the government purchases multiplier, i.e., the effect of a change in government purchases on real GDP.

    Although the policy debate has mainly focused on the multiplier’s size, data covering the first year and three quarters of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) show that, despite the large size of the program, the dollar volume of additional government purchases that it has generated has been negligible.

    “Negligible” as in perhaps a 3% difference. One thing that the stim bill accomplished was bringing down state indebtedness – about $130 billion less was borrowed. That’s not to say that the states didn’t spend that money. They just didn’t need to borrow against tomorrow to do it.

    This won’t stop liberal economists like Paul Krugman from ranting about more and more stimulus. But it least it gives the opposition a little ammunition to stop the madness before we are forced into insolvency.

  6. You know, screw this.

    Vote down the tax cuts. IMHO, they are not worth spending another 1 or more TRILLION dollars so that both Democrats and Republicans can put their pet pork into it.

    If those stupid morons cannot see the hypocrisy of passing more pork spending and horsebiscuits to please the Liberal fools, then don’t pass ANYTHING.

    Either pass JUST, ONLY, the tax cuts and leave the rest of that horsedookey off.

    We don’t need the Unemploymnet.
    We don’t need wind farm contracts.


    I can PROMISE you I ain’t no hypocrite. Let it ALL go unpassed.

    • Don’t forget online poker!

      Single issue bills.

    • Oh gee. NOW they are acting all outraged and sanctimonious that the “rich” are even being considered for a tax cut.

      What a frickin’ circus act.

      I am waiting on some of them to burst into flames.

      • Or say something like…. F*&$ the President!

        Oops – guess that happened yesterday!

        Makes “You Lie” look pretty mild, huh?

    • Esom,

      I think I’m with you. We may start another recession, and they keep playing their games. Tax rates should be single issue.

      Movie Producers and Racetracks Get Special Tax Breaks in $858-Billion Obama-GOP Deal
      Friday, December 10, 2010
      By Matt Cover

      Talladega Superspeedway in April 2008. (Photo: Curtis Palmer/Wikipedia Commons)

      (CNSNews.com) – Provisions buried in the $858-billion tax-rate and unemployment-benefits extension bill that President Barack Obama negotiated with Republican congressional leaders extends special targeted tax breaks for racetracks and television and movie producers.

      The tax break for “motorsports entertainment complexes” is found in Section 738 on page 59 of the 74-page bill. The tax break for “certain film and television productions” is found in Section 744 on page 61 of the 74 page bill.

      The deal, which is scheduled to go to the Senate floor on Monday, is centered on extending the current income tax rates–otherwise set to rise on Jan. 1, 2011–for two more years and extending unemployment benefits for 13 more months. The deal also imposes a 35 percent tax on estates of $5 million or more. This year there is no federal estate tax at all. Next year, unless new legislation is passed, the estate tax will snap back to 55 percent on estates worth $1 million or more.

      The special targeted tax break for racetracks was initially enacted in 2004. It allows racetrack owners to use a seven-year depreciation schedule for improvements to track facilities such as grandstands, parking lots, and the tracks themselves, allowing the owners to write-off the investment faster than other businesses.

      The special targeted tax break for television and film producers allows these producers to expense $15 million of their production costs if they are incurred in the United States. If the costs are incurred in an economically depressed area, companies can write off $20 million.

      This special break for TV and movie makers was previously inserted in the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion program for bailing out banks.

  7. A question for Black Flag. I am curious about the Pirate interpretation.

    If I tell you to give me money (no threat of violence) and you just hand over the money, I have done nothing unethical and the money is now mine. So far so good?

    If I send computer messages to a bank and cause it to erroneously wire money to my account (no physical damage or any such) then withdraw said money, the effect is that the bank has just handed me free money. Where might the Pirates come down on this? I hacked, but did not force or break anything, and the computer made a mistake and gave me something to which I was not entitled. But at the same time, I used no force, no violence, and it’s your own fault that your computer system is poorly designed.

    In other words, since you consider thoughts and words to be insubstantial and non-real, can the use of them in this manner be considered unethical? Hacking would seem to me a null-ethical event in this framework.

    • Mathius

      Where might the Pirates come down on this?

      The first case, I – under my own mind and voluntarily – gave you money.

      The second case, you – without my consent – took my money. The core is consent – that is, voluntary.

      If it is voluntary, it is yours.
      If it is without my consent, it is not yours.

      • Mathius,

        Re: Abstract vs. Real vs. Theft

        Theft exists when you take something of mine and thus deny the use of it to me.

        It is not theft to take something, yet does not deny me my use of it.

        You breathing air takes air. But it does not deny me my breath. Thus, you breathing is NOT theft.

        You stealing electronic digits representing money denies me using those electronic digits as my money. You have those digits and I do not. This is theft.

      • I didn’t take anything. I told your computer to give it to me. Your computer gave it to me.

        If, instead of money, it was information, did I do anything wrong?

        • Mathius,

          You control the computer – like you control the gun.

          If you shoot me, you cannot claim “the gun did it”.


          As I pointed out already – you taking my digital money denies my use of those digital monies

          Me taking your knowledge – DOES NOT deny you your knowledge

        • Alright I’ll jump in. Several years ago, my oldest son’s minimal bank account (paper route $$ etc.) suddenly had a $50,000 deposit – we laughed and figured the bank would immediately find it and that would be the end of it.

          Sat there for 6 months before they tracked it down. We didn’t do a thing (vs. Mathius above using computer). Was it ours to use?

          • Kathy,


            You knew it was a mistake of someone else.

            It was not their voluntary wish for you to have these funds.

            • That’s nice. If you hand me money, but then decide you didn’t mean to, why should I be obligated to fix your mistake?

              • Mathius,

                If you know it was a mistake you have a responsibility to be responsible.

                Law of Mutuality: if you were on the “other end of the circumstance” you would wish that for yourself.

  8. I just wanted to take this opportunity to mention that it’s 15 degrees outside and if I was back in my native SoCal, it would be 59 (better, but still unacceptable).

    I’m going to go out to the store and buy all the old fashions CFC spray cans I can afford, then I’ll be spraying them all into the air. Global Warming*, here we come!

    *Registered trademark of The Al Gore

    • HI Matt,

      Obama and his staff are on your side:

      Obama’s science advisor John Holdren forecast ice free winters in the future if we continue respirating CO2.

      Looks like it probably won’t happen this winter, with temperatures averaging -30C and 181,086 Manhattans of ice in the Arctic.

      Start breathing harder and harder, it will help your cause.


      • Let’s feed some refried beans to the cows to get them farting.

        For my part, if it gets any colder, I’ll start hyperventilating.

        • UnderArmour is great! Heading out for a run right now – beautiful sunny 20 degree day. Snow yesterday – more tomorrow.

          Toughen up man!

    • Oh man, you should’ve went to the recent Algorian gathering in Cancun. You know, the annual gathering of the professionals who know all about this global warming/climate change/it’s getting colder/warmer crowd. Remember last year the gathering in Copenhagen and it was colder than ever during this event? Kind of embarrassing for them so this year, they’re not going to let that happen so they head to “guaranteed” warm weather.

      God has a sense of humor: record lows in Cancun while they were there!

      “Gore effect” strikes Cancun Climate Conference 3 days in a row


  9. A little humor

    A police officer pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, clocked you at 80 miles per hour, sir .’

    The driver says, ‘Gee, officer, I had it on cruise control at 60; perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating.’

    Not looking up from her knitting, the wife says: ‘Now don’t be silly, dear — you know that this car doesn’t have cruise control.’

    As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and growls, ‘Can’t you please keep your mouth shut for once !!??’

    The wife smiles demurely and says, ‘Well dear, you should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did or your speed would have been even higher .’

    As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, ‘Woman, can’t you keep your mouth shut?’

    The officer frowns and says, ‘And I notice that you’re not wearing your seat belt, sir. That’s an automatic $75 fine.’

    The driver says, ‘Yeah, well, you see, officer, I had it on, but I took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket.’

    The wife says, ‘Now, dear, you know very well that you didn’t have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you’re driving .’

    And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket, the driver turns to his wife and barks, ‘WHY DON’T YOU PLEASE SHUT UP??’

    The officer looks over at the woman and asks, ‘Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma’am ?’

    The wife answers cheerfully…………,

    ‘Only when he’s been drinking.’

  10. Common Man says:

    On a different subject and this one is very personal. I would especially like to hear from those with military experience, as well as anyone with like issues

    PTSD. Why is so prevelant these days verses years past? Why are so many of our young men and women coming home with some level of PTSD?

    I understand that people change after combat and that many have issues with flashbacks and dreams, but why are we seeing an estimated 65% of our returning vet’s dealing with PTSD.

    Both my nephew and son are still dealing with PTSD, although my nephew is progressing faster. Is it because he didn’t see as much “shit” as did my son?

    I have been told that a technique called EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) is working very well for Vet’s with PTSD…Does anyone here have any experience with it?

    From what I have read and experienced so far those who have PTSD are turning to booze and drugs to kill the pain and stop the dreams. This just leads to other problems as we all know.

    Why didn’t our fathers, brothers and grandfathers have PTSD, or if they did how come the numbers or the effects were less severe. My uncle landed on Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Buldge, and was one of the first to see a concentration camp for the Jews, but he lived a normal life and was never in trouble. He drank, yes but only beer and he worked in a glass factory 10 hours a day where the temps were always around 130.

    It seems like the majority of soldiers returning from combat since Viet Nam are dealing with far more issues like PTSD…why?

    I am looking for some thoughts and especially answers.


    • Good Afternoon CM

      I have a take on this that might seem alittle deep, but I have firsthand experience with this subject. I served with a younger Airman in the first Gulf War, he had PTSD pretty bad and I didn’t (at least no more than should be normally expected after playing war). I have several theories as to why, but the one uncommon denominator was the Anthrax vaccine. The young SRA got all in the series, and I managed to get none (they were getting bitchy about it, then the war ended and we went home).

      Another theory is the exposure to DU (depleted uranium), but that hasn’t passed the evidence test.

      There are some more, off the wall, theories, like it’s on purpose to weaken the fighting ability of the citizens to fight a future government takeover of society. I’ll stick with the vaccine theory!


      • It’s the Greys.

        You know it is.

        (Mathius dons his tin foil hat)

        • It’s really a population of aliens that have escaped from Area 51, didn’t you say you lived there once? 🙂

          • I didn’t say nothing.

            Besides, we all know they’ve evacuated Groom Lake and gone.. elsewhere.

      • Common Man says:


        Both my son and nephew got every vaccination you could possibly get and I know my son got the anthrax at least twice. Is there any scientific studies or evidence to support this?


        • CM,

          I wish they would conduct a study that doesn’t involve government money. PTSD has become a big problem for our troops, but why more so than VN and WWII vets? The same could be said for Gulf War Illness, they know it exists, but not the cause (disclaimer- I think the government knows whats causing both, but won’t admit anything).

          My young SRA called me often, just to talk, sometimes quite drunk. He’s doing much better now, but not out of the woods and this is 20 years later. The two common factors with the Gulf Wars vs. the other wars – anthrax vaccines (amongst others) and the exposure to DU (depleted uranium).

          I wrote a guest article some time ago covering both subjects in depth, you can read it here; https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/guest-commentary-is-the-government-murdering-us/


  11. I will not comment on the unemployment rate, as that number is just as variable as the people who take the so-called polls.

    I know that you are glad to just have a job, period. Here in AZ foreclosures are still on the rise, even as the talking heads proclaim this so-called “recession” is over.

    Reality check here – over two million dollars worth of various narcotics were discovered in a Phoenix illegal alien drop house along with a bunch of children without their parents – yet the “consensus of opinions” – according to the talking heads – is that illegal aliens come here to find work and not to transport narcotics. Yeah, right – youbetchabottomdollar they just want to work the jobs that Americans do not want.

    Have at it now BF, just tell me and the rest of the world how we just shouldn’t have any borders and we all should just do all the drugs we want, cuz after all doing drugs have never harmed anyone . . . ever.

    • Papa,

      So your argument that 1% of some population engages in some sort of immoral behavior justifies asymmetrical action that would not be applied to 1% of another population that engages in the same action.

      In other words, 99.2% of illegal drugs in America is consumed by American citizens. To this, you are blind.

      0.8% of such illegal drugs is held by some poor Mexican. To this, you claim all Mexicans are drug dealers.

  12. Tis the season

    Grandma got molested at the airport


  13. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009322838245628.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

    Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap
    Let’s not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president’s deficit commission offers.


    The publication of the findings of the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was indeed, as the report was titled, “A Moment of Truth.” The report shows we’re much closer to the budgetary breaking point than previously assumed. The Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. As early as 2025, federal revenue will barely be enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our national debt. With spending structurally outpacing revenue, something clearly needs to be done to avert national bankruptcy.

    Speaking with WSJ’s Jerry Seib, Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI) insisted that the deal between Republicans and the White House on the Bush Tax Cuts was not a second stimulus and that the agreement would promote growth despite adding to the deficit.

    The commission itself calculates that, even if all of its recommendations are implemented, the federal budget will continue to balloon—to an estimated $5 trillion in 2020, from an already unprecedented $3.5 trillion today. The commission makes only a limited effort to cut spending below the current trend set by the Obama administration.

    Among the few areas of spending it does single out for cuts is defense—the one area where we shouldn’t be cutting corners at a time of war. Worst of all, the commission’s proposals institutionalize the current administration’s new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen’s report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar.

    It also implicitly endorses the use of “death panel”-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board—making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.

    The commission’s recommendations are a disappointment. That doesn’t mean, though, that the commission’s work was a wasted effort. For one thing, it has exposed the large and unsustainable deficits that the Obama administration has created through its reckless “spend now, tax later” policies. It also establishes a clear bipartisan consensus on the need to fundamentally reform our entitlement programs. We need a better plan to build on these conclusions with common-sense reforms to tackle our long-term funding crisis in a sustainable way.

    In my view, a better plan is the Roadmap for America’s Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.). The Roadmap offers a reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs, and it does so by encouraging personal responsibility and independence.

    On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.

    The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission’s proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.

    On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap’s proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs. The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.

    Together these reforms help to secure our entitlement programs for the 21st century. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan’s Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.

    Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it’s too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a “much more favorable macroeconomic outlook” for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.

    Is Rep. Ryan’s Roadmap perfect? Of course not—no government plan ever is. But it’s the best plan on the table at a time when doing nothing is no longer an option.

    Let’s not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president’s commission offers. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make these tough decisions so that they might inherit a prosperous and strong America like the one we were given.

    Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican Party vice presidential nominee, is a Fox News contributor.

    • This would do it! Can you imagine how cool it would’ve been to experience this? Ray – were you hanging around Macy’s at noon that day? Know anyone that was there?

      • Yep, that did it-chills all over.

      • AWESOME!!! That’s what it’s all about!

        V, Time for you to start posting some Christmas tunes.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Kathy – I missed that show – I actually used to work in that building – its called the Wanamaker Building. Years ago the clothier Wanamaker’s occupied that space. They were sold to Strawbridge and Clothier which was then gobbled up by Macys. When I worked there (its in Center City – right on Penn Square which surrounds City Hall – the center of corruption for all of Philly) I used to take my lunch downstairs everyday and watch the show like one of the many schoolchildren that come in. It is a beautiful thing. Thanks for the video!!!!

        (I now work in the “country” instead of downtown.)

  14. Washington gets even weirder! Did you see/read/hear that Press Conference with Obama and Clinton yesterday? The One leaves because he has to go to a Christmas Party with Michelle and leave Clinton there to field questions.


    • Saw that. Word has it there’s bad blood between them so I was thinking Obama left Clinton stranded on purpose. Big Deal! Clinton didn’t miss a beat. What was it Clinton said during the campaign..something about Obama should have been serving them ice water?

  15. SUFAs

    I forgot to ask after returning from Turkey week off, if any of you SUFA’s got to watch the Macy Day Parade.

    If so, did you catch the penquins?

    Kathy’s post on the Macy’s above reminded me.

    Happy Saturday Everyone.

    • Forget to watch on Thanksgiving Day – just found this:

      • COOOOL!!! Which peng one is she JAC?

      • Kathy, Anita

        Here is their performance for the NBC cameras. She was second row on left. You can get a very quick glimpse when they first stand up, just before they start the routine.

        I was fun cause of the time delay, time zones, we were talking with her while watching the parade. She was already at the air port.


    • Atta Girl, V! I’m smilin now 🙂 🙂 I won’t be home for the holidays but my family will be together! YAY!

      • Glad your smiling-it was a great suggestion-made me smile too. I know your trip will be wonderful. It is Hawaii after all. 🙂

  16. When I first started reading this, I figured they would prove that this hypothesis wasn’t true-but they didn’t. Made a couple “it may look this way because” and “it could happen but mostly it isn’t” remarks. All I can say is “it’s worse than I thought”

    Is America’s Entitlement System Ripping Off the Middle Class?

    By Uri Friedman | December 10, 2010 2:50pm

    * Print Print Comments (32)
    * More

    Presented By
    Click here to find out more!

    Does a one-parent family of three, making the minimum wage of $14,500 a year, have more disposable income than a family earning $60,000 a year?

    That’s the provocative claim made by pseudonymous blogger Tyler Durden at the popular finance blog Zero Hedge. Durden produces a chart that compares inputs like income, payroll and federal income taxes, child care costs, and welfare benefits from programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for theoretical families of various income levels in Mississippi.

    The calculation yields an “economic benefit” of $37,777 a year for the family making minimum wage but only $34,366 for the family making $60,000 a year. The analysis also indicates that a family provider working only one week per month at minimum wage will make 92 percent as much as the provider earning $60,000 a year as a result of savings on child care and Medicaid’s low deductibles and copays.

    Durden concludes:

    America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper–it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world’s most generous entitlement system.

    Curiously, Durden attributes the analysis to a Wyatt Emmerich at Mississippi’s Clevelend Current but doesn’t link to the original piece, and the Wire could not locate it. A search of The Cleveland Current’s website yields no record of either the article or the author. Nevertheless, economists and statisticians are dissecting Durden’s bold claim:

    UPDATE: You can find Emmerich’s original analysis here, in Mississippi’s Northside Sun. [H/T: HP Loveshaft]

    * The Calculations Appear Incorrect, states economist Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution: “Should the Medicaid and CHIP benefits of the poorer household actually be valued–to the user– at $16,500 a year? (Is that number coming from some kind of cost basis? If so, is it adjusted for the age of the Medicaid recipients to rule out nursing home expenditures?) Is the $60,000 per year family receiving employer-supplied health insurance? The assumption seems to be that they do not.” Yet Cowen admits that “even if you make adjustments this is a scary comparison. I’d like to see a more exact calculation of the implicit marginal tax rates of the poor, as they climb from say 15k a year through the 60k range.”

    * If Durden’s Right, Why Aren’t Middle-Class People Taking Low-Income Jobs? asks the statistician Kaiser Fung at Numbers Rule Your World: “If we concede that the middle-income person would end up with less disposable income than the lower-income person, then we’d expect that the middle-income people will take lower-paying jobs so as to increase their disposable income. But I have not seen reports of such reverse social mobility. Theory needs to fit reality.” Fung also questions Durden’s implicit assumption that “poverty is a problem of misconstrued incentives” and that “poor people would not exist if we had the right incentives in place.” Most low-income people, Fung submits, don’t exploit every loophole in the system to get government money.

    * Well, People Can’t Typically Choose Between a Minimum-Wage Job and a $60,000 Job, counters Andrew Gelman, a Columbia University statistics professor: “The short answer to, Why don’t people quit their jobs and work at minimum wage?, is that their working conditions would be less pleasant.” Gelman adds that Durden’s analysis is presenting a hypothetical calculation of what someone could do rather than reporting what is actually happening among low-income workers.


  17. This is nuts-Yes, it’s stupid to forget your keys-but it isn’t criminal. It is however much easier to get money out of the law abiding citizens than the criminals.

    New Measure Puts Owner of Stolen Car at Fault

    Updated: Saturday, 11 Dec 2010, 11:47 PM CST
    Published : Saturday, 11 Dec 2010, 6:03 PM CST

    * Lynn Lampkin


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The law might not have any sympathy for you if your car is stolen. A new measure in Tennessee puts the blame on you when you make it easy for thieves to get-away with your ride.

    Let’s say you get out of your car and forget the keys in the ignition. A stranger walks up steals your car, then crashes it. You could be responsible for the damage he causes.

    The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently made the ruling. This after a 2007 case in Murfreesboro in which a car thief led police on a chase, crashed, and hurt another driver. The court ruled the car owner was negligent when she left the keys in the car for the thief to see.

    Well the liability stems not necessarily from the action of whomever took your car, but more so from the ownership of the car itself. That’s why you have insurance to cover those types of liabilities.


  18. I have to say I love this.

    Saggy Pants Get Urkeled at West Side Middle School

    MEMPHS, Tenn. – Sagging pants, wearing your pants in such a way makes you look like a fool with your pants on the ground. To make sure students don’t wear baggy britches to class, one Mid-South school has implemented an urkel alert.

    “You’ve just been urkeled.”

    In the fight against saggy pants, an unlikely hero has championed the cause, and elevated the dress code at West Side Middle School. Steve Urkel.

    About a month ago teachers at West Side High School began zip tying male students’ pants up. Come to school with your pants sagging’, and you’re getting’ urkeled.

    “Well the sagging’ pants is a cultural thing, so to attack it, we came up with urkeling,” said one school official. “Because it’s not just about hey look, I’m going to put this zip tie on you, because you don’t look like the young man that you know I expect of you.”

    Those with the school believe that being urkeled send the kids a positive message, not a sagging one.

    “To fully demonstrate where your waist is, when your pants are up and where we want them to be when you come to school. “

    The war on sagging pants includes a lunchroom board, where all those who have been urkelized have their pictures placed, and the teacher who urkels the most students gets the urkel trophy.

    “Because once you urkel someone it becomes really apparent when some one else is not up to par in the way they are dressed.”

    Urkel alert signs throughout are a constant reminder for students and another reminder is other students walking down the hallway with their pants around their armpits.

    “At this point we really don’t have a huge sagging problem, in our building, it’s not an issue. “

    When the urkeling of students began a month ago, nearly 80 students a day were being urkeled. Now it’s down to a mere 30 urkels a week. Teachers have noted, attitudes are up, discipline problems are down and pants are correctly fitted.


  19. GOOD GRIEF! Any other northern midwest SUFAs as tired of shoveling as I am? We shoveled four times today! And it is still freaking snowing! Too damn bad! I’m not shoveling anymore! 👿

    • Bottom Line says:

      I’m about 300 miles south of you and haven’t shoveled yet, but I’m rather tired of driving 60 miles every day on slick roads.

      Where I live is right on the jet stream. It’ll rain all day, then at night freeze and turn into sleet, then snow. By morning the roads are a dangerous sloppy mess.

      But at least I’m working. 🙂

    • Blizzard here – we made investment in snow blower last year. Best thing since sliced bread!

      Windy and cold, cold, cold!

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