Wednesday Night Open Mic for December 15, 2010

I couldn’t get to the open mic last night but have found a spare moment this evening to get some posted. I have worked both jobs at better than 16 hours each day for the last couple of days, so to say that I am a bit tired is an understatement. But I am persevering through it all. The new job is going great and I am learning a lot about the industry and how to do the job they hired me to do. And the old job is, well, the old job. I know how to do it but it is December which means working late nights and being swarmed when you come in. I did want to note for everyone that I won’t be offering any new articles during the week between Christmas and New Years. I will be traveling and enjoying spending time with my family and want to give them the attention that they deserve. I will be trying to jump in and participate throughout the day on Thursday. It appears that I may be working from home at least in the morning as we have some weather developing and here in the South, they shut things down when it snows. It is a bizarre thing for a northern boy to understand.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Investing in Lawsuits

    Some call it a disturbing trend. Others call it a win-win for accident victims and low to middle-income families across America who might not otherwise be able to afford to seek justice in a court of law.

    The issue is legal lending; to plaintiffs who don’t have the money to pay for surgery related to a claim or pay their bills while their case is tied up in court, or to law firms who can’t afford to hire expensive experts or survive a lengthy drawn-out battle with a corporate giant.

    Supporters say more legitimate cases are now being heard and that means more little guys are now getting an opportunity for justice. Critics say this practice leads to an increase in frivolous cases that clog courtrooms. There’s concern among some that the legal system is becoming something like a casino for big investors seeking a better than average return on their money.

    In fact, big hedgefunds are diving into the legal lending field. According to a recent report in the New York Times, hedge funds and big investors are devoting a billion dollars towards lawsuits at any given time, with 250 firms in New York alone borrowing money to fund cases.

    One case where firms and plaintiffs both borrowed is the 9/11 Ground Zero Workers health claim, where first responders said they suffered injuries after breathing the air in lower Manhattan.

    Another case making headlines is the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme which left thousands of investors seeking billions in restitution. Several firms are now reportedly offering victims an immediate payout of 20-30 cents on the dollar in exchange for the firm’s right to seek the full payment themselves, which could be 40-60 cents on the dollar or more. The money fueling the payouts comes from hedgefunds and speculators.

    Lisa Rickard with the Institute for Legal Reform says the wall street money is corrupting the legal system.

    “It’s an inherently dangerous practice because what we are doing is we are putting a third party into a lawsuit and now you have the lawyers trying to get their cut in a contingency fee scenario. You you have investment funds that are trying to get their cut and there is very little left for the plaintiff at the end of the day.”

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/12/14/investing-in-lawsuits/?test=latestnews#ixzz189YkMCvT

    I have to admit that I am a little torn on this particular subject. On one side, I can agree that there is a benefit to enabling those who cannot afford to seek redress when they have been harmed by a large company. We all know the stories from the past where the little guy simply was not able to challenge the large corporate legal staff and funding available to large corporate firms. The cigarette companies are what comes to mind. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of having people involved in the legal system as a means of making money or investing.

    However, regardless of my conflict over the practice in general, I have my mind made up in terms of the hedge funds using legal loaning as a means of investment opportunity. It appears to me that the largest obstacle facing our economy is not the two parts of the deal being debated in Congress right now. Instead, the major recovery obstacle is that financial institutions are not acting in a fiscally sound manner on a wide range of activity. Risky lending is but one of their sins. This is nothing more than risky lending in my opinion. The future of our economy has many different things that will contribute to success or failure, but one of the largest influences will be the conduct of our financial institutions.

    What I feel as a gut initial feeling is that this practice just feels wrong. What we have is big financial institutions getting into the business of trying to make money by funding lawsuits against other big business. There appears to me to be a possibility of lawsuits ending up filed as a means of corporate gamesmanship, as well. Is it legal for one financial institution to fund the lawsuit against a competing institution?

    My guy says that this just perverts the legal system even more than it already is. I simply cannot fathom it being ethical to make the legal system an investment opportunity. Remember the good old days when the only people who viewed the legal system as an investment opportunity was the mob?

    • Truthseeker says:

      I would have no issue if the loaning entity simply broke even and not make any profit. If there is profit, it will be abused. People should’nt make money on other peoples plight.

      • Truthseeker,

        People MUST make money on other people’s plight

        That is what you do everyday when you earn income. You are solving someone’s problem and they pay you money for it.

        All you are doing is judging other people’s solution to other people’s problem – which is none of your business

        • I disagree. When the hedge funds impact the economy the way that they do, and result in bailouts and other means in order to “save the economy”, I believe it is our business to scrutinize risky behavior and question the ethics involved.

          • USWep,

            it is our business to scrutinize risky behavior and question the ethics involve

            ….for yourself. Your analysis may probably not measure mine.

            There is a difference between “risky behavior” and “ethics”. One does not define the other.

            Further, the judgment being applied was not a means for you to choose YOUR investments – it was being promoted as a rationalization to apply government force to prevent an economic transaction that did not involve you.

            • Truthseeker says:

              I should clarify. Plight meaning when something bad (unforseen) happens to you because of somebody or some companies poor judgement.

              • Truthseeker,

                From my viewpoint, no matter who caused it, you have a problem.

                Another person has a solution.

                If it solves your problem effectively, you should trade with them and forgo any subjective judgment regarding their motives.

              • Truthseeker says:

                BF, putting it that way is a really great point. I agree with what you said. Thanks!

    • I’m with you on this one USW: If Hedge funds are involved, it won’t help the little guy (not the general little guy–the greater good). It will eventually be as abused as everything else Hedge Funds get behind. Far more little guys don’t wind up in court (seeking income from litigation) than those who do. There are far too many frivolous law suits … but standards need to be set regarding those corporations/companies who do bend the rules (tobacco, oil, etc.) … not just regulation standards, punishment … when oil companies get to corrupt officials and write their own reports, people should be jailed (not slapped on the wrist). So long as the guilty get to hide behind corporation status, we’re going to have to live with frivolous law suits (which some see as “their ticket” to the financial dance). The other side of the coin is how are you going to get politicians (mostly lawyers) to cut their own throats? I volunteer to do the deed (cut their throats) but I doubt they’ll ever go along with it.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Wait, I thought we were all for the free market??

      In all seriousness though, this is, overall, a good thing. It can allow plaintiffs who have been truly harmed to get their day in court. However, there do need to be steps put in place to avoid certain conflicts of interest and the funding of frivolous suits.

      • @ Buck, my resident SUFA barrister friend…..interesting this came up today as just last night I was talking with a friend of mine (yes, even Colonels have friends) who happens to be an attorney. He practices mainly in estate planning, which is why I was talking to him, and he practices with a very good law firm. He was up in arms about the trend in the Texas Legislature to change the practice in Texas to loser pays. The intent is to stop the stupidity in bogus litigation. He said that this really does not affect him but that going to a loser pays system sure has a lot of his friends in a double “T”…(Texas Tizzy). Said it will take the contingency issue almost off the table because no lawyer will take the suits if the loser has to pay. Now, to me, it makes sense because if the loser has to pay, then they better make sure it is a good suit to begin with AND it appears that the majority of the Texas Supreme Court agrees with the loser pays option. I find this hard to believe but the Texas Supreme Court is very conservative.

        If true….what are your thoughts on this. Mine are that I think it is a good thing but I am sure that there are those that feel the “little” person would be hurt. I don’t see it that way because it forces a reputable counselor to weigh the suit in its entirety and not take on harassment suits just to get a little money. I see the biggest impact in the insurance industry law suits where insurance companies will pay to get rid of harassment suits and the contingency lawyers know exactly where that amount is……Curious as to your thoughts.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Loser pays does have its benefits. All in all though, I am against it because of its adverse impact on the little guy – your friend is right, this will undoubtedly limit a firm’s taking a case on contingency, which is often the only way the little guy can afford to hire the attorney in the first place. Note that this has nothing to do with whether or not the case is deemed frivolous – you can lose even when bringing a just and fair claim.

          I would be much more supportive if you were to apply ‘loser pays’ only to suits which 1) you lose, and 2) are deemed frivolous (with a high threshold for what counts as frivolous as an added protection).

      • So what would those be? I think I could get on board with this idea if I knew what the limitations were. Non-profit status and adherence might be one way to approach it, but there could still be abuse, potentially. What sort of steps would you take to keep the silly stuff out of court, and better yet, would those steps work just in general?

    • Aren’t there always law firms that “we won’t get paid until we get money for you” or is that only in certain states? I would assume they would only take the case if they are confident that they can get money, thus not frivolous, but at a higher cost to the client.

    • Yet one more government mandate that Obama is using in a stealth manner to take America one step closer to bankrupting Capitalism and moving america to his goal of Socializing America….. how do we pay for this extension of unemployment benefits for qualified jobless who have been out of work for more than six months?Doesn’t it seem as if jobless benefits, because of multiple extensions approved by congress,suddenly morphed itself into an entitlement program?
      This depression-era program was originally intended as a temporary bridge to help the jobless until a recovery put them back to work – though nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers do not qualify today.

      During a more normal downturn in the economy, states help people who have been laid off with jobless benefits lasting 26 weeks.Businesses pay into a pool ran by the state.Now, the long-term unemployed have been able to collect benefits for as long as 99 weeks – almost two years.Some of dat’ free money from Obamas’ stash I suppose is paying for this?

      Some would argue that the long-term availability of unemployment insurance has turned it into something like welfare in the days before reform: open to abuse and not helpful in encouraging people to actually look for work.I am one of those…

    • Oooops wrong spot…sorry 🙂

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Jobless Mom To Son: ‘Santa Had To Cut Back At The North Pole This Year’

    At first, Samara McAuliffe thought of her layoff earlier this year as a good thing.

    “I kind of saw the layoff as an opportunity to find a dream job,” McAuliffe told HuffPost. “I didn’t realize how long it would take to find a job.”

    Now all she wants is a job, any job. She said she’s applying for all kinds — she used to do HR for a big bank — and nobody’s responding except Starbucks. “They were kind enough to send an email that I didn’t meet their qualifications.”

    McAuliffe, 30, said her husband is still working and that the family of four is better off than many in similar situation. Nevertheless, they’re still “feeling the pinch” because of her reduced income.

    “My son is four. He’s at that age where Santa is a big deal,” she said. “We did have a talk because he remembers Christmas last year. He can list almost every gift he received. I told him, ‘Santa was cutting back in the North Pole this year, the focus was going to be more on family.’ He doesn’t understand, but I tried.”

    McAuliffe, who lives in central New Jersey, said she will receive her final unemployment check next week unless Congress reauthorizes Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs, which provide up to 73 weeks of federally-funded aid for people who exhaust 26 weeks of state benefits without finding work.

    Read the rest of the article here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/jobless-mom-to-son-santa-_n_796725.html

    I couldn’t help but bring this article over here for all of you to comment on. This wasn’t tucked away somewhere. This article was the headline article over at The Huffington Post. A page wide picture of a broken Christmas bulb and the title of the article in about 72 font.

    The article started out as a sob story, a poor child being deprived of the extravagant Christmas of years past. A struggling mother who must explain to her child that Santa is cutting back this year. They describe the mother’s situation, unemployed through no fault of her own. Wanting to work. The tears of children threatening to drown her. A true bleeding heart story. Five paragraphs doing nothing but softening the heartstrings for that 6th one (the last one I included, although there were about three more to the article that I didn’t bring over). Weepy story. Sad Story. Then BAM….

    We need more unemployment benefits. Congress has to save this woman from her plight. Will Obama save Christmas? Is Nancy Pelosi the Grinch?

    I am flat tired of the use of emotional appeal in political dialogue. I am tired of the MSM and politicians using emotion to manipulate people into supporting one position or the other. I don’t even begin to claim that both sides are not guilty of this. Both sides use fear extensively. These type of bleeding heart stories as we see above seem to be far more used by Democrats (because Mathius is sensitive and therefore they work).

    I don’t want to go too far in attacking the subject of the story. I feel for her plight. But I am willing to hazard a guess or two as to why she is in this position. We all know some people who fit the mold I am going to guess she is in: Never finished a college education, moved up in one company based on hard work. Lost her job and was unable to secure a comparable position because her resume simply isn’t enough to impress other companies. She earned her position in the original company through hard work and building her reputation. But that doesn’t come through on a resume. What comes through is that she lacks a degree. I mean she was told that she was unqualified to work at Starbucks!

    Based on the position and income level that she HAD, she and her husband started a family, bought a house that was a bit more than they could afford. Lived a little bit above where they should have. Did little to prepare for the possibility of hard times. They never considered whether they could survive on a lower salary. She hadn’t been in the job market. She didn’t think that lack of a degree would hurt her. After all she has experience…..

    Bottom line for me. I didn’t hear her once say that her child is not getting fed. I didn’t hear her say that they are losing their home. They have health insurance through COBRA. What I heard is that she told her child that Santa would be cutting back a bit this year. This is not a situation where I feel it is my duty to help. Lacking food, shelter, or clothing? I might be willing to help. Little Mikey is only getting half the toys this year? He should count himself lucky to be getting anything. Anyone willing to make a bet with me that Mrs. McAuliffe drives a Lexus?

    • Truthseeker says:

      Everybody has a sob story. I too am sick and tired of emotion being injected into every debate. It is the human condition. Every great nation/empire has fallen due to this and we will not be any different.

    • Yous guys are such grinches … oy vey.

      Forget the sob story/drama aspect of this. Think ahead, peoples (on the right) … when enough people lose everything (jobs, homes, etc.) how exactly does that help YOUR cause? Higher unemployment, most defaulted mortgages, etc., eventually effects YOU as much as them. Good God almighty … Mikey has to live with less (or no) toys, I’m with you there … but you can’t attack her past (assuming you are right about “what” her past was–how do you know the circumstances?). So what she doesn’t have a college degree (they’re as useless as toilet papers these days, by the way) … there are too many variables you’re “assuming” to make your case. Mikey has it rough this holiday season … maybe the next several … tough noogies, I agree … but … BUT, her plight shared by enough others in her position (no matter what the cause) does NOT strengthen the rest of your lives (no matter how much you swallow that Ayn Rank garbage). When enough people go under, so do the rest of us.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Great points Charlie. And often completely overlooked.

      • But, Charlie, where is enough? We have the same issues here. Why does she, or anyone, deserve a comparable job? HOw long is enough on unemployment? The papers are full of full and part time jobs here. So, get out and take TWO jobs if you have to….or even three. The sob stories are just part of it. People, me included, are getting tired of them..but they are all over the place. I have a daughter in law that refuses to work “menial” jobs. She prefers to live on welfare, food stamps, and the dole while waiting for the “right” job. I don’t understand it. She could be delivering pizzas and working a midnight shift at a fast food joint to make ends meet but has the entitlement mentality that she is above “those type of jobs”….then cries about not having enough gas money or that her children are not going to have a “good” Christmas…which good is apparently decided by how much material things you get….and not getting off your ass and doing something about it.

        This morning, in the classified ads, in the Dallas Morning news, and the Fort Worth Star Telegram, I just counted 847 jobs available right this minute and that does not count the part time jobs, the job fairs, and the local franchises that do not advertise in the paper. There are signs in the windows of almost every fast food joint looking for dishwashers or cooks or just plain help and since the immigrant labor is fast drying up down here due to increased surveillance and enforcement…jobs are available….but considered menial. Even jobs in construction. My point to my daughter in law….quit crying and start working…two or even three jobs if necessary. You don’t need resumes and fancy degrees to make ends meet….but quit waiting for the golden rainbow….there are not going to be any.

        You are quite correct in that if people go under, it affects us all…I do not mind helping but I do mind the entitlement mentality and the “it is to menial” attitude that seems pervasive.

        • I can’t argue for your daughter-in-law if she refuses to work; that’s just wrong (no matter what job), but … I don’t think that was the case in the description USW gave. If a person truly can’t find a job, that’s a very different scenario (and I can’t speak for Texas, but there are certainly not that many jobs here on the East Coast–not enough for all those who actually want to work–menial jobs or otherwise). It’s a tough situation, I agree … but so long as this gov’t is willing to bail out and reward Wall Street and the like (CEO’s etc.), I’m all for continuing unemployment until the entire system falls apart. That bailout (the way it was conducted and without protecting American workers) was as criminal as it gets and a genuine cause for revolution in this country.

      • Sorry Charlie, but the Grinch is you.
        Maybe not the Grinch, but your line of thinking does not work. It may be logical, but only if you leave out several key factors. If too many go under, it hurts everyone. Yes. But if we are propping up people with taxes, IT IS ALREADY HURTING EVERYONE. In fact, it is doing more damage because it is putting the brakes on the economy. Its kind of like eating your sled dogs to make it out of the arctic. If you dont eat and the dogs dont eat, then there is not enough energy to get out. On the other hand, if you eat all the dogs, you are not going to make it out anyway. You can eat your dogs if rescue is coming. You can maybe strike a balance and let you and the dogs eat your weakest dog if you have to. But there is no rescue coming. No one is inclined OR able to bail out the US. We have to make it out of the wilderness. And I am sorry, but people are just not trying hard enough. Eat the dogs if you are about to die, but people are feasting on dogs to maintain their excessive bulk, and they are riding on the sled instead of running beside it. And then they are complaining about the slow speed of the sled (economy) and demand more dogs be slaughtered.

        You want to help those people? Tell them to get off the sled and start jogging. You want to make sure that everyone gets out of the arctic alive? Take care of your dogs (producers). If anyone should get extra rations, it would be them (meaning let the working business people keep their pay). What we are doing now is taking rations from the strong dogs and giving it to the fatsos on the sled, and saying that its all ok because we are not taking rations from the weak dogs.

        People need to understand what survival really is.

        • Dear Mr. Smith: (shooting for formal here), nothing counts until this country can reconcile the damage it did to labor across the board with the Wall Street (and otherwise) bailouts. Please don’t give me the auto workers union argument again. Focus on how unprotected this gov’t left it’s workforce by not restricting outsourcing and allowing Banks to cut their workforce while rewarding itself for failing (with record bonuses into the millions for failed CEOs). Reconcile that before you get to pick on the little guy.

          Those CEO’s and their lackies in this government (especially on the Republican side of the aisle) need to learn survival … and I suspect a few years in the joint amongst general population for the thievery they all concocted would go far into teaching those suvival techniques–bankers & politicians alike).

          • Oh I have no intention of invoking a union argument here, that is a separate issue. I certainly agree that the bailouts were an absolute corruption and misappropriation of funds. I agree that there are a host of things this government has done to labor.

            What I do not agree with is that they can fix their mistakes with more poor appropriation of funds. The best thing they could possibly do would be to stop helping. Don’t help, and don’t harm. Take a break, and stop spending money so that the people can keep theirs, and you will see the market recover all those lost jobs. More unemployment WILL NOT FIX ANYTHING. It will feed the lazy. It will feed the non-working who are not lazy too. But it does so by taking the money from the job creators, who would be more than happy to take over feeding the non-lazy if only they have the money to do so. Employers are not sitting on money because they want people to starve. They are sitting on it because they don’t want to lose it.

            I would like to take everyone in washington and every CEO of every company that employs more than 5,000 people on a 30 day survival camping trip. I will not play favorites, I will teach everyone what to do equally. I will not do for any one above the other. Those who survive 1 month, will be allowed to return to work. Those who do not, well, they needed replacing anyway.

    • I’m just a sensitive soul.. what can I say?

      • We should ALL be sensitive at this festive time of the year (something the rich via corruption should try) … for remember what Jacob said:

        Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @USW

      “I don’t want to go too far in attacking the subject of the story.”

      Um – I think you went plenty far USW. You’re sick and tired of a lot of things right? Let me share what the firetruck I’m sick of – no where in this story did I read that this person is somehow lacking a college education, overspent on their house, were irresponsible with how they spent money, were irresponsible with how the saved money…..

      Do us a favor dude – quit making shit up to make a point that doesn’t exist.

      It’d be like me saying you’re a white, middle-aged bitter little man because you don’t feel that anyone deserves anything if they haven’t suffered the same hardships you have to get where you are.

      But I wouldn’t say that because it likely isn’t true.

      My take is the writer presented this piece to show what the net net is of someone who lost their job, thought they’d catch somewhere, didn’t, now timing is biting her and family in the rear end right at Christmas. That’s it. Period.

      Of course we could be back to the pointless argument of trying to define what and how any money as such should be spent by the recipient.

      • I gotta back you on this Ray, there is no proof of this particular lady’s situation. As far as I am concerned, there is plenty to criticize without adding anything, and so I agree with USW in principle, but making up or assuming extra details was bad form.

      • Ray,

        Fair points. Perhaps I went too far, although I am not yet convinced that I did. The scenario that I painted is one that I have seen over and over and over again. It isn’t meant as a slight against her. It is a small peek at what I believe the American mindset has become. Her story is sad to me, but I am tired of the use of emotional staging as a means to justify government action.

        I am surprised that you missed all the good that I laid out on her behalf. I noted that she earned her stripes, worked hard to get where she was. I know TONS of people in her position. They proved themselves within a company through hard work, but the lack of a degree left them unable to secure comparable positions in a different company. When someone says that they had a great position and then were told that they were unqualified to work at Starbucks, I don’t think it is going off the deep end to surmise that a lack of a degree is out of the realm of probability. Was I making a complete guess as to her exact situation? Yes. But an educated guess, and one that, even if wrong in this case, is a very common situation in today’s workforce.

        I also noted that they were probably in a house that was above what they can afford. Again, not a situation that is outrageously far fetched. There are millions in this country in that very situation today. It has become the rallying cry for your very own party. I don’t think it so far fetched to take that leap either.

        I also noted that they didn’t prepare for hard times. Go around and ask your friends. I bet you will find that the vast majority of them are in that boat as well. It is the American mindset. We want what we want and we want it now. We purchase NOW and figure that the future will magically afford us the opportunity to be better off later.

        I didn’t have to make up shit to make a point. You are so caught up on my “guesses” about her that you MISSED the point. Her child having a leaner Christmas is being used as justification for extending unemployment benefits. Not a lack of food, shelter, or clothing. Christmas toys!

    • Yet one more government mandate that Obama is using in a stealth manner to take America one step closer to bankrupting Capitalism and moving america to his goal of Socializing America….. how do we pay for this extension of unemployment benefits for qualified jobless who have been out of work for more than six months?Doesn’t it seem as if jobless benefits, because of multiple extensions approved by congress,suddenly morphed itself into an entitlement program?
      This depression-era program was originally intended as a temporary bridge to help the jobless until a recovery put them back to work – though nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers do not qualify today.

      During a more normal downturn in the economy, states help people who have been laid off with jobless benefits lasting 26 weeks.Businesses pay into a pool ran by the state.Now, the long-term unemployed have been able to collect benefits for as long as 99 weeks – almost two years.Some of dat’ free money from Obamas’ stash I suppose is paying for this?

      Some would argue that the long-term availability of unemployment insurance has turned it into something like welfare in the days before reform: open to abuse and not helpful in encouraging people to actually look for work.I am one of those…

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Allen West: Government ‘Should Be Censoring The American News Agencies’ That Collaborated With WikiLeaks

    Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) may have proven himself a prime pupil for fellow Rep. Michele Bachmann’s forthcoming constitutional classes, when he recently displayed selective reverence for the Tea Party’s most sacred document by calling for American news outlets to be censored for running stories based on the recent WikiLeaks cable dump.

    Here’s the transcript of what the soon-to-be congressman said on a conservative internet radio program last week, via ThinkProgress:

    WEST: There are different means by which you can be attacked. I mean it doesnt have to be a bomb or an airplane flying into a building. It doesn’t have to be a shooting. It can be through cyber attacks, it could be through leaking of very sensitive classified information. Regardless of whether you think it causes any harm, the fact that here is an individual that is not an American citizen first and foremost, for whatever reason gotten his hands on classified American material and put it out there in the public domain. And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled him to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts. So that’s kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime.

    Beyond the clear fact that he is arguing against one of the most exalted constitutional guarantees of a free press, West is also joining a number of legislators who have met worries over the actions of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks by branding the Australian citizen as an enemy of the state.

    While some have argued that he is guilty of treason — a nonsensical argument considering his lack of American citizenship — or terrorism, and maybe even punishable by the death penalty, West charted a somewhat different course, joining Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who last week said that the media accomplices, such as The New York Times, who were enabling people to view the information should be held accountable for their part in the affair as well. Of course, West took this argument further by calling for censorship, while Lieberman simply urged an investigation.

    Though Wikileaks and Julian Assange have been roundly criticized by politicians on both sides of the spectrum, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) gave perhaps the most impassioned defense of the website and its actions in an address on the House floor last week, in which he called the “hysterical reaction” to the leaks an “example of killing the messenger for the bad news.”

    Read the rest of the article here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/allen-west-censoring-wikileaks-_n_796574.html

    I think I made clear what I think of Julian Assange last week when I posted the article about him. And I made clear that I think that what he did is an act that threatens diplomacy and does a multitude of various damages at many different levels. And just so I note it here, if time permits me to do so I will be pulling over a few comments from that discussion last week and offering further discussion. I really wanted to do so last week but simply couldn’t find time.

    But after watching West speak in the past, I was really surprised to hear this coming from him. I know someone posted a video of West here at SUFA a couple of weeks ago and many of you noted that you were glad to see someone who didn’t seem radical, who wasn’t playing the race card, and who seemed to have a logical grasp on the problems we face. And after getting all that SUFA love, West goes out and makes a statement such as this.

    As I stated last week, I think publications such as the NY Times are hypocritical for handling this leak far differently than they did the climategate leak. However, that does not mean that I can support what West is calling for. That information is out there. It is a big news story. West is suggesting that news outlets be prohibited from reporting news stories.

    I cannot and will not support the idea of censorship whether it is used on those who share my position or those who completely oppose it. I simply don’t believe we have the right to censor. I can say without fear of much pushback that the Constitution is in agreement with my position.

    I would support some sort of system designed to promote accuracy in reporting. I am not sure how to make it work. I have far more problem with the fact that the MSM has become little more than groups of partisan hacks who present only one side of a story or who distort the facts in order to push a particular position or agenda. That is something that I can support us doing something about.

    But West has left my sphere of acceptability on this topic. Regardless of the popularity of the position, it should be covered and reported by major news media institutions. I just wish they could do it honestly.

  4. 8)

    • 👿

      • 8)

        9am my time..4am here in Kailua, Hawaii..Currently 73 degrees..What better way to kill some time but to SUFA around until the kids get up!

        • How was your flight?

          • Terrible! Missed a connection to Honolulu because of de-icing in Detroit! Watched them pull jetway away as we ran to the gate.! 👿 Got here 6 hrs late. Passed right on through security at every stop. Saw no one get scanned or groped..DRAT..was hoping for some fun 🙂

            • Glad you made it safely and without getting sexually assaulted 🙂 I want your weather, it’s 10 degrees right now in these parts. At least we’ll have a white Christmas!

              • So sorry G! I’m on the patio..barefooted at the moment. Kudos to the Marine Corp..116 KIA from this base since start of the wars. In honor of the fallen heroes the marines are running a relay.. 2 miles for every marine killed…24/7 until all are honored.. It’s an honor just to watch them run by!

  5. 😉

  6. Truthseeker says:

    I am simply dumbfounded. I watched another interview with Rep. Weiner and I was simply amazed. He is using the normal left argument that the rich need to pay for everything so the middle class can have everything. If the rich don’t pay, then we have to borrow from the Chineese. What I am dumbfounded about is why does Rep. Weiner beleive we need to spend so much money that the government needs to steal from its own people or “borrow” money from another foreign country? If we cannot sustain ourselves reasonably, that is our fault. Not the rich peoples fault. The rich didn’t create all of our problems. It takes regular people to vote other people into office that made all the choices that are now catching up to us.

    I think the American people need to own up to their personal responsibility and stop trying to play class warfare. It is time to look into the mirror and drastically change our society from being thiefs to being self productive and responsible.

  7. Good Morning All 🙂

    I can no longer be amused by the stupidity of people. Despite AGW being proven as junk science, idiots continue to swindle from the people, and the people in Cali seem to like it. Maybe the US can offer Cali as payment of debt to China, LOL.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/16/calif-set-adopt-sweeping-cap-trade-rules/

    • Common Man says:

      G-Man;

      I am sure you understand that this has nothing to do with cleaning up the environment, but it is designed to furhter tax/steal from citizens and industry. Since the state is broke they are just looking for a way to reap more money into their own coffers. Since it will be the state selling the carbon tax, it is the state who will make money.

      Each and every time I read or study a state/federal promoted bill/act I look for the money trail, and 99.9% of the time these bills/acts are just another means for raping the tax payer.

      Cap-N-Trade, Health Care, Stimulus, etc, etc are just ways to take/steal more money.

      State and Federal representatives are where they are for 2 reasons: Power and revenue nothing more.

      CM

      • I agree totally!

        The people who agree with these rip-off schemes remind of a scene in the movie “Animal House”, remember “Thank You Sir, May I Have Another”.

        Hope your Day is a Good One 🙂

    • We tried to stop this but the unions came out with a campaign that said it would cost 500,000 green jobs if the AB32 was placed on hold until unemployment dropped to 5.5%. Nothing is stopping any green jobs except for the fact that they are economically unviable. Cleaner less costly energy will happen automatically if it is cheaper. Otherwise it requires government mandates which is what we got now. The next four years in CA will be interesting. Either the Dems seize the opportunity to fix things (not likely) or this state will default.

    • December 16, 2010
      UN Climate consensus failing
      William R. Hawkins
      Japan played a major role in undermining the Kyoto Protocol at the recent UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico. Tokyo declared that it would not commit to a second period of Kyoto after 2012 unless all other major economies were required to make carbon emission cuts. Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshito Sengoku, called Kyoto “unfair and ineffective.” The 1997 Kyoto Protocol only requires the “rich” developed countries to restrict their economic activity while allowing the developing countries to pursue growth at full tilt. The United States has long been criticized by the developing states and the Green movement for refusing to ratify Kyoto because of its asymmetrical mandates. Now it is Tokyo’s turn to be attacked.

      Yuri Onodera, Friends of the Earth Japan: “Japan’s move to drop out of the Kyoto treaty shows a severe lack of recognition of its own historical and moral responsibility. With this position, Japan isolates itself from the rest of the world. Even worse, this step undermines the ongoing talks and is a serious threat to the progress needed here in Cancun.”

      The truth is quite the contrary. The government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan knows exactly where its responsibility rests. Japanese industry cannot be put at a competitive disadvantage when the U.S. and China are free of any limitations. And Japan was not isolated, as it was joined in its stance by Russia, Canada, Australia and Turkey while America stood by its previous position. Other developed nations are thought to support a break with Kyoto in private, though the self-destructing European Union seems paralyzed on the subject.

      The UN Framework Conference on Climate Change has been advocating a new treaty to replace Kyoto, but the Cancun Agreement pushes that effort into at least another year of talks. The odds are getting longer against any new treaty based on the Kyoto model as the number of major nations opposed to accepting imposed limitations increase.

      The BASIC bloc of China (the world’s #3 economy with a GDP of $5 trillion), Brazil (#8 with GDP of $1.6 trillion), India (#11, $1.3 trillion) and South Africa (#31, $0.3 trillion) is adamant about the right of its members to develop without external constraint. The U.S. (#1, $14.1 trillion), Japan (#2, $5 trillion), Canada (#10, $1.3 trillion), Russia (#12, $1.2 trillion), Australia ($13, $0.9 trillion) and Turkey (#17, $0.6 trillion) refuse to accept restrictions unless BASIC does. Together, these ten nations account for over half of the global economy; $31.3 trillion in GDP out of a world total worth $58.1 trillion according to the World Bank.

      The world’s most successful economies may see each other as competitors in international commerce, but they are coming together in favor of continued growth and national independence from UN governance.

  8. Hi Ya’ll

    For the sake of discussion, I’ve heard or read numorous predictions of upcoming events. I’ll put them up, and you vote “likely to happen” or “hogwash”.

    1. Gas will cost $5 to $6 a gallon by the end of summer 2011.

    2. The Euro will collapse, before the dollar, in 2011.

    3. The dollar will collapse within weeks of the Euro.

    4. We won’t recognize America in 2012.

    However you feel about these predictions, include why you feel the way you do.

    G!

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      1. Gas @ $6: Possible, but not so soon. I say summer 2013.

      2. Euro collapse: Possible, but not so soon. I say 2020.

      3. Dollar collapse: naw.

      4. We won’t recognize America: naw.

      I have a lot on my plate today (probably because I spent so much time here yesterday and the day before), so I won’t get into why. My predictions can stand on their own for now.

      • So many wenches and grog…so little time. There are priorities.

        • I’m getting a cough (courtesy of my wife, AKA Typhoid Emilius).

          My question is: will Red Bull supercharge my immune system, rendering me healthy, OR will it supercharge the virus/bacteria, creating a virulent and unstoppable global pandemic plague?

          Should I take the risk?

          • Caffeine does not supercharge the immune system. Neither does sugar. Sugar will charge the virus.

            However, a good attitude and positive thinking will help the immune system. So, I would take a bunch of vitamin c chased with red bull and charge through your day 🙂

          • Damn the torpedos…….full speed ahead……RED BULL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              “Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Crayton, go ahead! Joucett, full speed!”

              I like the cut of your jib, colonel! You can sail with me any time.

    • Gman —— you forgot China. There was a great special on the other day that had some renegade Chinese economists that are not government sanctioned, if you can imagine that….reporting that China has an inflation rate of 5% right now and that it will climb to 15 or maybe even 25% by next year. it will be interesting to see how this will affect their currency and trade.

      I think the Euro survives two more years…..as to the dollar, I think that depends on spending with the new Congress. If it is business as usual…then the dollar continues its downward spiral….if efforts are made to reign in spending and is actually done…the dollar strengthens, gold and silver drops, the bond market goes flat, and the stock market soars…But…this is all speculation of course….

      as to the price of gas….we are in the oil and gas business with old production so the impact on us will be a bonanza if the price climbs that high. That will depend on two things….demand and production. There is plenty of oil…we have full storage tanks…just no where to put it. There is not enough refinery capacity out there but we deal with the spot market. We are not big enough to play with the pros.

      Have a bodacious day, my friend…remember…do not stand downwind of spitting camels.

      • Good Day, Colonel,

        I don’t like spitting camels, they are nasty!

        China, in several predictions, will revalue their currency upwards, which will give Chinese more buying power and lower inflation. How that affects us is a big ?

        The IMF is calling on 15 countries, including the US, GB, Japan, Spain, Italy and others to raise 10 + trillion dollars to pay the interest on their debts. This is impossible. With that said, how long can the dollar survive with the US holding the most debt of any country in the history of mankind? My guess, as long as the dollar maintains it’s spot as the worlds reserve currency. What would happen if that were to end?

        An interesting economic take can be heard at endofamerica3.com

        Hope you have a great Texas day!

    • 1. Gas will cost $5 to $6 a gallon before you die.

      2. The Euro will not collapse – it will fade away. Before you die, you will witness the return to national currencies in Europe, with Germany holding on to the remains of the Euro assets.

      3. The dollar will not collapse. It will be worth 0.1% of what it is today, but it will still exist when you die.

      4. You won’t recognize America when you die. This is self-evident, since your Grandparents know a completely different America today then when they were kids.

  9. Happy holidays, everyone. I’ll be sending 50 of these to USW, so just let him know where to forward yours to!

    http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/obama-spanish-christmas-doll-122308

  10. NO!!! NO NO NO!!!!!! NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! See how easy it is to say no? But that is not what a California mom says.

    She, and a consumer group, contend that McDonald’s is violating consumer protection laws by marketing its Happy Meals directly to young people who are especially vulnerable to marketing messages.”What kids see as a fun toy, I now realize is a sophisticated, high-tech marketing scheme that’s designed to put McDonald’s between me and my daughters,” said Monet Parham, of Sacramento, Calif. “For the sake of other parents and their children, I want McDonald’s to stop interfering with my family.”

    I just finished watching a very heated debate with a consumer advocate group, named National Action Against Obesity….saying that the marketing of Happy Meals by-passes the parent and goes straight to the children and should not be allowed. It impairs a parents right to say no and creates an unhealthy mental atmosphere. In addition, they went on to say, having the playground areas is also a violation of the consumer protection laws.

    They were then asked about Chuck E. Cheese, Burger King, Jack in the Box and the different marketing directions of all the fod manufacturers out their and the answer was…..they should all be banned from marketing to children.

    When asked about Toys R Us…their answer was that if anything is marketed to the children…it should be banned. TOYS R US?????? Holy crap Batman!!!!..Television is next, comic books…………….

    When asked about parenting rights, the comsumer group said this is not about a parent saying no…..it is about consumer protection.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      I have an idea. Don’t want the companies marketing directly to your children (which, in fairness, they are)? Wait for it.. wait for it.. this brilliance is going to floor you.. wait for it…

      Don’t let them watch tv!

      Give them a good book, some board games, maybe shove them outside the house and let them play in the yard?

      Or is that just crazy talk? Sometimes I have trouble grasping reality (says the imaginary alter-ego of an anonymous blog commenter).

      • So what if they are marketing to children….parents can say no…..now…..my kids played outside, did sports, rode bicycles, broke arms, nose, several stitches from who knows what…ate dirt, rolled in the dirt, climbed trees, broke ankle, played with bottle rockets and set neighbors awning on fire, tied tin can to the dogs tail and watch it run in circles, got spankings, grounded, ate hamburgers, hot dogs, chocolate, cotton candy, etc. Watched TV and asked questions…were told no numerous times….They turned out ok. NO drugs (to dad’s knowledge), no alcohol (to dad’s knowledge), no pregnancies (girl), no pregnancies (boy), no jail time, and no running away (threatened once, tho til I showed him the door). As a parent, I was respnsible for their eating habits and social graces and/or disgraces, TV habits, reading habits….it was no one else’s business……oh well.

        • Amazing how far a little personal responsibility goes.

          Here’s a crazy thought. If you can’t say no to your children, the solution isn’t to eliminate everyone else’s choices and mess with their lives until the temptation (to which you might have to say no) is removed.

          That’s like saying, my teenager drives too fast, but I don’t want to take away her keys, so we should pass a law banning anyone from driving.

          ::sigh::

          • Mathius

            But the cost/benefit ratio says that Society is justified in interfering with the parents responsibility.

            These kids grow up to be a load on society. We must protect the rest of us from these fat little kids.

            • I don’t think the cost benefit necessarily does… I do think obesity is a societal problem, but controlling every facet of marketing to children is a little draconian for my taste.. I’m open to arguments though.

              • Ok, here is one:
                remove regulations and stop pushing fear to pass regulatory laws. Then people won’t be too scared to let their kids go out and play. Kids burn the calories, problem solved. Our diet is not our problem, our lack of activity is our problem.

    • Wow, this woman really needs to look deeper. If a happy meal comes between her and her daughter-the problem isn’t the meal. Besides saying NO is a big part of being a parent. It teaches children a valuable lesson. And if you can’t handle telling your child they can’t have a happy meal-you have a much bigger problem to worry about.

    • What do you expect from Cali ? Here’s how a women gets answers, LOL.

      WIFE: “What would you do if I died? Would you get married
      again?”
      HUSBAND: “Definitely not!
      WIFE: “Why not? Don’t you like being married?”
      HUSBAND: “Of course I do.”
      WIFE: “Then why wouldn’t you remarry?”
      HUSBAND: “Okay, okay, I’d get married again.”
      WIFE: “You would?” (with a hurt look)
      HUSBAND: (makes audible groan)
      WIFE: “Would you live in our house?”
      HUSBAND: “Sure, it’s a great house.”
      WIFE: “Would you sleep with her in our bed?”
      HUSBAND: “Where else would we sleep?”
      WIFE: “Would you let her drive my car?”
      HUSBAND: “Probably, it is almost new.”
      WIFE: “Would you replace my pictures with hers?”
      HUSBAND: “That would seem like the proper thing to do.”
      WIFE: “Would you give her my jewellery?”
      HUSBAND: “No, I’m sure she’d want her own.”
      WIFE: “Would she wear my shoes”
      HUSBAND: “No, she’s size 6.”
      WIFE: — silence —
      HUSBAND: ” Shit! “

  11. December 16, 2010
    Why Do They Hate Sarah So Much?
    By Victor Volsky, American Thinker

    What is the reason why the ruling class, including the GOP establishment, hates Sara Palin so passionately? The left and its propaganda machine have always looked down on conservatives, but the attacks on Sarah Palin are unprecedented for sheer malice, scope, and decibel level. Everything about her incenses the left — her bubbly personality, her high-pitched voice, her lively manner of speech and facial expressions, her colorful biography and way of life, her large family, her unabashed loyalty to Christian and conservative values.

    She is ridiculed mercilessly by hordes of comedians who, plumbing new depths of vulgarity, make a nice living exploiting the Palin Derangement Syndrome. The press watches her, eagle-eyed, and pounces at the drop of a hat, twisting the most innocuous slip of the tongue into a monstrous gaffe, almost a federal crime. For all intents and purposes, she is hounded as Public Enemy No. 1. The left views all Republicans as enemies, but Sarah Palin stands apart; she is treated like dirt, like an alien life form. Why?

    And why do the feminists outdo even their male allies on the left, evincing astonishing ferocity in attacking Alaska’s former governor? One would think Palin is the one person they should defend and extol as a poster child of feminism, an icon of women’s liberation.

    Indeed, Sarah Palin rose from humble origins eventually to win the office of governor of Alaska and take the number-two spot on the Republican presidential ticket. She overcame all obstacles without any connections, entirely by dint of talent, hard work, and perseverance. She fearlessly took on the GOP establishment and the oil interests that had dominated Alaska for decades, and she beat them all at their own game. She achieved great success and popularity in all public offices she ever held. And on top of all that, she efficiently juggled public service with homemaking duties, married an Eskimo (the left should be particularly ecstatic on this point — a minority!), and gave her husband a hand in his business undertakings. She raised a large family and does everything a full-blooded Alaskan male is supposed to do, including killing her dinner.

    A woman who can successfully challenge and beat any man, climb any mountain, ford any stream, shatter any glass ceiling — a feminist dream come true, don’t you think? And yet, the feminist leaders seethe with boundless hatred for that “upstart.” Why? Granted, Palin is a conservative Republican and thus a natural enemy of the left, of which the feminist movement is an integral and prominent part. Still, this explanation somehow fails to account for the extraordinary viciousness of the feminist attitude, for the stupendous amount of vitriol the feminists spew at the mere mention of Sarah Palin’s name. There has to be something else. But what is it?

    For decades, the political drama in Washington followed a well-defined pattern, with the two major parties playing distinct roles. Under the conventional scenario, the Democrats, noble and high-minded, fight for the “little guy,” defend the helpless minorities, feel the pain of the poor and defenseless, selflessly provide succor to the “victims of social injustice,” and pursue an internationalist foreign policy. For their part, the Republicans are Wall Street stooges and loyal henchmen of Big Oil and other paragons of greedy capitalism, who rob the poor to give to the rich and follow the imperialist line in the international arena.

    From time to time, the Democrats would go too far in their redistributionist schemes, throw public funds around with too much abandon, push the country too far into the morass of economic distress. Then the irate voters would throw them out and hand the reins of power to the Republicans, who would proceed to clean up the mess under withering fire of criticism and ridicule from the sidelines. Once the ship of state was put back on an even keel, the Democrats would return to power and pick up where they left off. This political two-step has continued over many decades, widely perceived as an eternal, providential order of things. To be sure, the Republicans have been contemptuously treated by their adversaries as junior partners. But the operative word is “partners.” Though maligned and denigrated, Republicans’ political legitimacy has never been called into question.

    Then the Obama era dawned. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself to the revolutionary left; its political wet dream finally seemed to be within easy reach. The Democrats controlled all branches of government, and the ongoing economic crisis gave it maximum freedom of maneuver. The new president and his allies grabbed the bull by the horns and set about remaking the country on the radical blueprint. But in their zeal, Obama and the Democrats in Congress badly overreached and made a fatal mistake: they woke up the sleeping giant. The vast, hitherto-silent middle class, alarmed by the inexorable slide of the country into the abyss, woke up and rose to defend the American way of life. The resultant Tea Party movement has been the elite’s nightmare come true.

    The ruling class love to swear their abiding love for and eternal fealty to the people. They indeed love the “people” — as an abstract sociological concept. But they despise the populace. Everything about the common people, the denizens of the “flyover country,” is alien and offensive to the elites. They can’t help contemning those thick-skulled yokels, no doubt rabid racists and homophobes all — who cling to their religion and their guns, who crow about their stupid moral principles and reject the sacred rights of abortion and gay marriage, who are unable to appreciate the sublime beauty and poignant social message of, say, a crucifix immersed in the artist’s urine or a Madonna splattered with elephant dung. So long as the knuckle-draggers stay in their caves and lairs, allowing their betters to rule unopposed, they can be safely ignored. But when they start loudly protesting, threatening the prerogatives of the ruling class, the great unwashed turn into an acute danger.

    The left was fit to be tied; it sensed a mortal challenge to its dominance. But a movement is an amorphous mass, difficult to pin down and target. Somebody has to personify it, and so Sarah Palin was chosen to be the face of that horrible entity. When she emerged on the national scene, she was merely a target of widespread ridicule. But with the rise of the Tea Party, derision was augmented by dread. Sarah Palin came to be viewed as the leader of the barbarians at the gates, the commander of the vast hordes of pitchfork-brandishing peasants storming the ramparts of civilized society. In short, in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, she is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters.

    This is, above all, why Palin arouses such elemental fear and hatred on the left (and the moderate right, too). To be sure, part of the reason is just plain envy. The darned woman seems to have Teflon skin — all criticism just rolls off her back without doing any damage.

    Worse, everything Palin touches turns into gold. How can one preserve equanimity in the face of her astonishing popularity and jaw-dropping earnings? How can one help wondering about the injustice of it all when “that stupid and ignorant lowbrow from the boondocks” commands such attention, with media hanging on her lips and her every word, her every entry on Twitter or Facebook becomes breaking news — so much so that she actually seems to be driving the national discourse?

    And yet, I submit, the elites detest Sarah Palin primarily out of fear and loathing. They view her as a usurper, as an embodiment of a threat to deprive them of the power and privileges they regard as their God-given right.

    And what happens if Sarah Palin actually decides to run for president? Katie bar the door, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

  12. MSNBC
    Dylan Ratigan Show
    December 15, 2010

    4:18 P.M. EST

    DYLAN RATIGAN: Are we wrong to debate this, though, without considering that we’re borrowing a trillion dollars to do it? And should the debate be if we’re going to borrow another trillion dollars is the best way to spend these tax cuts or should there be some higher output use of a borrowed trillion?

    CHRYSTIA FREELAND, Reuters global editor-at-large: No, for sure and it’s also where do the cute come from? The thing that I have the most sympathy for in the criticism of this compromise is the estate tax. I just don’t understand the logic of the big Republican push for that. Why is it so important that people who are inheriting five million dollars–that’s a lot of money–get a real tax break for that?

    MATT LEWIS, Politics Daily: The philosophy says if you earned something, you paid taxes on it when you earned it. Now you’re paying taxes on it when you die.

    FREELAND: I thought the philosophy was against a landed gentry. I thought the philosophy was against an aristocracy. I thought the American way was you build it yourself and everyone was born equal and has a chance to do it.

    (Crosstalk )

    LEWIS: Instead of having an inheritance tax, if there was an income tax on the person receiving it. I mean this goes to fundamental change.

    FREELAND: I suspect the Republicans would not be excited about that idea.

    LEWIS: There’s just zero chance that I’m going to have a problem with the estate tax. I would need to make five million dollars before it would affect me and I’m still against it as a matter of philosophy.

    FREELAND: Why?

    LEWIS: Because it’s my money, not the government’s. If I earned it, I already paid taxes on it once. For them to then tax me for dying.

    FREELAND: You’re not being taxed for dying. Because you’re dead actually, so you’re not paying the tax. I don’t believe that dead people can pay taxes. I think it’s your heirs who pay the taxes. And actually, I don’t think that people being handed a silver spoon is something that’s good for society to do or actually even for their parents to do. I think it’s really really destructive to the fabric of America.

    LEWIS: I actually would not leave them a big inheritance. I don’t think it’s good for them. But that’s my decision. That’s not up for the government to decide.

    RATIGAN: To stay with the estate tax, one of the premises behind the departure from Western Europe of the immigrants was that you had a landed gentry, an aristocracy, where all of the money was with people, four, five, six generations, who had no incentive to invest that money, no incentive to do anything with that money. In fact they may not have any ideas as to what to do with it. The premise behind this country was, as Chrystia was saying, you need some mechanism to break the landed gentry, the Rothschild dynasty that was leading to the extraction in Western Europe. And isn’t the premise behind the estate tax not to tax somebody–and again, I’m the last person to say listen let’s give the government more money–but if the fundamental of capitalism is based on those principles, doesn’t it make sense to not let capital pool up with people who have no incentive to invest it or do anything with it?

    FREELAND: And who didn’t earn it, actually! They were just born–it’s the lucky sperm club, right? I don’t think American wealth should be determined by that.

    LEWIS: I do think that there are people that have very good intentions who really think that when you have a society with very rich people and very poor people, that’s actually dangerous. It’s dangerous for everybody, including the rich people. Having said that, America is still the land of opportunity–

    FREELAND: But how is an estate tax opportunity? An estate tax is the opposite of opportunity!

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/alex-fitzsimmons/2010/12/15/reuters-editor-shrieks-tax-lucky-sperm-club-break-landed-gentry#ixzz18JHwN1B1

  13. My pappy once told me the secrets to gaining wealth.

    1. Master the tax system – The wealthy know that nothing can eat into your earnings like taxes. So, in order to minimize tax bills, become a stickler about tax law. Know them and use them.

    2. Obsess of the rate of return – Make your money grow at the bst rates of return. Rates are only good if you get a return in your investment. Wealth is not made over night. It is made from long term planning.

    3. Educate yourself – Look at things in new ways and not just the old ways. Educate yourself on the latest financial instruments, the price of commodities, etc. Look at what is happening abroad and look for trends in the real estate market.

    4. Borrow money ONLY as a leverage – Increase your assets and reduce your liabilities. Borrow only as a leverage for investment to make more money. Use debt….do not let debt use you.

    5. Spend less than you earn – This is a no brainer. Net worth is the only score card to use.

    6. Look beyond the obvious – Wealth does not hapen by happenstance. Look beyond the obvious. Most wealthy are creators and can make something out of nothing. They are doers.

    7. Understand the power of compounding – Compound interest is 24/7. Make money while you sleep. Long term planning is also paramount here as well if starting young.

    8. Have a spending plan and not a budget – Budgets get blown…plans usually do not.

    And, hide your stuff before inviting DPM in…..he is cagey…that one.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      Y’AAARRGGGH!! Your family and I go way back.. D12 (D13’s pappy) he knew that you never had to hide your belongings from a pirate, unless that stuff was a nice cold grog on a hot day. Hiding your women though.. well that’s probably a good idea.

      If D12 knew you’d said that about me, he’d tan your hide.

      (Adding, D1 was the finest first mate that the Thor’s Hammer ever had.)

      • D13 (pouring Red Bull on lash marks from having to kiss the “gunners daughter”) asking for forgiveness after forgetting the Pirates Code of not stealing from your own….Women aside, of course. Such lack of respect for tradition is inexcusable…..just don’t keelhaul me.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Red Bull? You ought to be ashamed of yourself. No self-respecting freebooter would ever touch the stuff.

          I assume you meant Dr. Pepper?

          • Actually, I asked for grog…but it was determined that it would be a waste of good grog…then I asked for Dr. Pepper…..it was determined that it was not punishment enough….so they decided upon Mathius Red Bull for the ultimate humilation and pain….sea trials can be tough. I shall never violate the tradition again. Red Bull poured into lash marks…whoa.

    • Your pappy seems like a wise man.

      1. No savings for an emergency…tsk, tsk. (Proverbs 21:20)

      2. Do not take on too much debt. (Proverbs 22:7)

      3. Cosigning a loan, for which the Bible uses the term “striking hands in pledge” (Proverbs 17:18; 22:26, 27)

      4. Do not get involved in a financial transaction you do not understand.(Proverbs 19:2)

      5. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.(Proverbs 1:5)

      6. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.(Proverbs 22:6)

      7. I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of one who lacks wisdom. I saw that thorns had grown up all over it, the ground was covered with weeds, and its stone wall was broken down. When I saw this, I gave careful consideration to it; I received instruction from what I saw: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to relax, and your poverty will come like a bandit, and your need like an armed robber.”(Prov. 24:30-34)

      8.Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)

    • Better be quiet or you will et reported……..BBBWAAAAAHAHHAHHHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHA!!!!!

      On the serious side…..I hope the spell my name right. (Yes, I do have a problem with this App)

      D13 conservative side: What do you mean you have a problem with this. You just finished organizing ranchers and public awareness on the border. Are you daft man?

      D13 logical side: Shut up….that was in response to actual happenings on the border with border incursions and kidnappings and drugs and illegal immigration. It is not the same,

      D13 Conservative side: Not the same? This is a front line eyes and ears…just like what you did on the border.

      D13 logical side: Shut up already. It is not the same. The border setup is a response plan not a tattle tell plan. There are already plenty of agencies and phone numbers in place to report suspicious activity. If you are suspisious of something, call it in. You do not need an app.

      D13 Conservative side: But…but…..

      D13 logical side: Shush and go drink a Dr Pepper and chill. It is about money, you daft one…the selling of apps. I have enough trouble with my other alter egos….and that lashing I just took. Be quiet and don’t buy the app. This app will cause enough trouble with girlfriends that get pissed, or boyfriends that get pissed…or anyone with an axe to grind. We don’t need it…so chill out.

    • I don’t follow the logic to this one but as the saying goes:

      SNITCHES GET STICHES

  14. WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is making it a bit riskier to cheat on your taxes.

    The tax agency increased the number of returns it audited by nearly 11 percent this year, statistics released Wednesday show. Wealthy taxpayers and big businesses were most likely to be targeted.

    The IRS also stepped up audits of charities and other tax-exempt organizations.

    In all, the IRS examined more than 1.58 million individual returns in the budget year that ended in September, up from 1.43 million the year before.

    “We saw individual audits increase, reaching the highest rate in the past decade,” said Steve Miller, IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement. “The bottom line shows enforcement revenue topped $57 billion, up almost 18 percent from last year.”

    Overall, a little more than 1 percent of individual returns were audited, either by mail or in person. The IRS audited more than 8 percent of returns with incomes above $1 million.

    Taxpayers filed nearly 143 million returns, including those from individuals and married couples. Nearly 389,000 taxpayers reported incomes of $1 million or above.

    Corporate audits dropped slightly, by less than 1 percent. But there was a 7 percent increase in the number of audits of firms with $10 million or more in assets.

    • This is hardly surprising.

      Imagine that you’re a farmer and it’s been a good year. You go out and harvest the crop, but maybe you don’t strain yourself to get every last grain because, hey, you have enough.. so what if you miss a few pieces.

      Now image that there’s a famine on and your crop is weak. You go out and you neurotically, obsessively gather ever single last grain you can. You’re out there with a flashlight and a pair of tweezers.

      That’s what’s going on here.. when times are good, they don’t have to work as hard, but when it’s tough, they go after every last dollar they can.

      • Found this at John Lott’s blog. He seemed to think Obama, with his bias against the rich had some responsibility. I agree with your point, when times are bad, you work harder to bring in revenue. But the IRS doesn’t work that way(in theory). They have a job to do processing tax returns, no budget issues, no quota’s to fill. A increase in audits of the rich had to be because the higher ups directed the auditors to target certain returns.

    • Truthseeker says:

      So to sum up the article and the responses, it is all the Republicans fault and they are just a bunch of liars? Do Democrats really think they are the smartest human beings on the planet and if you do not agree with them, you are a liar and to stupid to understand? Can anybody please tell me why it is okay for the “rich” to pay for everything? Do you not know that most of the rich had earned their money? Did the “rich” create all these programs we have to pay for? Why do we need all these entitlement programs? People make it seem that the “rich” has brought us problems in our country and therefore the “rich” should be blamed for everything. People need to start looking into the mirror.

      • Hijack from a commenter at RedState:

        Honestly I think Progressives verge on the mentally ill. Anyone who disagrees with them is dehumanized and regarded as evil. Progressives feel no compunction to respect the rights of those who disagree because those people are obviously not worthy of their freedom. The values and intellects of Progressives, in their own minds, are so much greater they feel it is not only acceptable but a moral imperative to control others. While they exaggerate the failings of others they also diminish the good in others, and do the opposite in their views of themselves. Their talents are over-esteemed and their personal failings ignored. The tyrannical nature of the power of State escapes them. They only see the good. They can only see themselves as benevolent dictators, somehow each is akin to a kinder, gentler Mao. They view social justice as a higher goal than freedom, and their justice is the only justice. Further, they are absolutely godless, replacing God with the State and themselves at the head of that state. The thorough corruption of this idea escapes them entirely because they are so blinded by their narcissism.

      • Now where did anyone claim that Dems have any answers (never mind all the answers)?

        I have as little use for the Democratic Party as I do for the Republican Party. that was Paul Krugman’s article, but you can’t deny he made some very valid points.

        • Charlie,

          we expected the crisis to remind everyone why banks need to be effectively regulated

          Krugman is a moron.

          40,000 laws govern US banking, starting since 1796.

          It is because of these laws that the crisis occurred.

          The laws the prohibit free market banking must create cartel banking – and more laws will tighten the cartel, not dispel it.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Yes, because the free market will solve everything!

            • Buck

              Free market does not solve “everything” – that is impossible and irrational demand.

              What it does is provide the best solutions possible for problems that can be solved.

          • Krugman is a moron?

            BF, you mean he doesn’t rank with all those genius bankers who somehow managed to topple the entire economy by skirting regulation (whether through outright corruption of the SEC or clever loopholes)?

            And then they were rewarded for being F-ups (the bankers) … and Krugman is the moron?

            Oy vey, my brother … oy vey.

            • Charlie,

              Krugman is a moron?

              Yes, because he advocates for the same solutions that caused the problem.

              That -by my definition- is a moron (someone who thinks fixing the hole is his foot is to shoot it again and make a different hole)

              BF, you mean he doesn’t rank with all those genius bankers who somehow managed to topple the entire economy by skirting regulation (whether through outright corruption of the SEC or clever loopholes)?

              The bankers did NOT topple the economy. They could not. They could topple their banks.

              The solution to saving the banks could topple the economy.

  15. Buck the Wala says:

    I find it surprising that there has been so much talk about the proposed tax legislation, the ‘evil’ estate tax, the ‘horrors’ of extending unemployment insurance, the anger towards Dems wanting to raise taxes on the wealthy, yet not a single word about the 9/11 Responders Health Bill.

    • That’s emotional drivel being used as a wedge issue to make the Republicans look bad.

    • WRONG……my intrepid Barrister….yours truly sent out 34 emails, and was responsible for organizing and sending out over 400 emails and I don’t know how many phone calls…..in non support of this bill. The Senators and Congressmen in our districts down here have some explaining to do AND face some tough re-election issues in 2012.

      But, I suppose you are referring to the lack of news coverage and outrage that should have happened?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I was referring to the news media (all the channels – ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/FOX), as well as SUFA.

        And wait, you spent so much time emailing, calling, and organizing, in opposition to this bill!?

        • Yes sir….I do not support it at all.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Any reason?

            • Yes sir…the main reason is that these people were doing the job that they were paid to do. It is part of the risk of being a fireman, policeman, construction worker. There are buildings demolished all over the United States….granted not on as large a scale…but demolished none the less….they breathe the dust. Firemen lives are lost every year and policemen die in the line of duty every year. But I don’t see the government bringing a spare teat around for them. This makes headlines.

              Why are the 9-11 responders any different than the rest of the country? Because of its grander scale? I disagreed with all of those million dollar payouts to the families of victims as well.

              The 9-11 responders were no braver and no less or more dedicated than the thousands all over this country that risk their lives. This is great press.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                This was more than ‘just their job’. The entire circumstance was above and beyone for many of these responders. The government itself certified to the safety of the site; it was anything but safe.

                Many of these responders are facing other issues as well – some have been let go because their medical bills are just too high; others have been granted worker’s comp, just to find that worker’s comp is fighting them every step of the way and denying claims because they can’t prove their injuries are work-related.

                Yes these men and women choose to risk their lives for the rest of us, and in that they are no different from the thousands across the country. But these are very different circumstances.

              • I understand your argument…I thoroughly understand it. But, you asked my opinion and now you have it. I see it no different.

                The Workmens Comp situation is another issue and a state issue. They should prove their injuries are related in order to be paid. I just see it no different, sir.

                What makes it above and beyond, in your opinion. Because it was a terrorist attack on a grand scale?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Interesting point you make in regards to workmens comp – how exactly do you prove, without any doubt, your injuries are related in this instance?

              • Buck

                And if they can’t, then why should they get special attention from Congress?

                After all, is not the attention to address ailments caused by their work on this site.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                It is impossible to prove, without a doubt, that the type of injuries they are suffering from are caused directly from their work. So because of that, too bad for them?

    • Good Morning Buck,

      I have read alittle on this, mostly that they did not know how to pay for it. This comes as no surprise, it’s the things that the peolple approve of that is ussually scuttled, while the crap legislation gets the green light. The Dems can pass anything they want until January, they still are the majority and have the power. My guess is that it has no “control the people” parts, so both sides would have rejected it, why pass something that doesn’t control the people or enrich the wealthy?

      Hope you have a great day!

      • Buck the Wala says:

        From my reading on this bill, it was fully paid for by closing a tax loophole.

        Difficult for the Dems to pass anything when the Senate now requires a super majority for every piece of legislation.

        • Difficult for the Dems to pass anything when the Senate now requires a super majority for every piece of legislation.

          Not passing anything would be a good thing. I hope it stays that way for the seeable future.

        • Buck

          It does NOT take a “super majority” to pass legislation in the Senate.

          A “super majority” is traditionally viewed as 2/3 or in this case 67 Senators.

          It only takes 60 to close debate, that is halt a filibuster.

          The Dems had 59 and then 58 Senators and a few Republicans willing to go with them on most bills. So if they had stuck together they could have passed anything they wanted.

          But alas, they couldn’t. Why oh why? Perhaps because the voters who elected those Dems didn’t like the legislation being pushed by the leadership.

          Blaming the Republicans for grid locking the Senate is a false claim.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I misspoke – yes, ‘super majority’ refers explicitly to 2/3 vote in the Senate.

            Regardless, my point remains – and I don’t blame only the Republicans on this, though I do believe they shoulder more of the blame at the moment – but it is absolutely ridiculous that we need 60 votes for virtually every single piece of legislation.

            • but it is absolutely ridiculous that we need 60 votes for virtually every single piece of legislation.

              I’ll give you one chance to take these words back or forever hold your peace. 🙂

              • C’mon Anita,

                The Dems lost their super majority an ability to dictate their pathetic socialist policies. The drivel is just beginning.

              • ROFL quietly so as not to wake the ducklings!

              • Anita

                Good morning oh trepid traveler and avoider of subzero weather.

                Careful with the Sun there. It is a sneaky vacation ruining device. Keep exposure to minimum and enjoy the breeze and family instead.

                Good article the other day explaining that if Reid gets his way and reduces the filibuster threshold it will actually favor the minority Republicans in the Senate.

                I’m not sure any of these “ass clowns” can see past the their nose, or at least their next press conference.

                Warm wishes for you and the family.
                JAC

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Nope, sorry, won’t walk that back one bit.

              • Okaaaaay, careful what you wish for.

              • Anita

                Best wishes to you and yours this morning.

                An eye opening 12 degrees at dawn.

                🙂 🙂

              • Mornin JAC..5:30 am and a dreadful 72 ocean smelling degrees here! Life is good!

              • Anita

                If you haven’t already been warned.

                Take small doses of sunshine. Or your vacation will be spent in bed with burns and sickness.

                It sneaks up on folks there who are not used to it.

              • Armed with full assault weaponry..SPF 40 then 30 then 15 then full strength Coppertone!

                Something is just not right about 85 and Christmas tho…first time for everything, I guess..and no I’m not complaining, Kathy! 🙂

    • Buck,

      Some words on 9/11 responders. Also a question. How much federal money has been given to NY after 9/11 for aid & security? Have we hit a trillion yet?
      My thought, the aid has been exploited and turned into graft.

      from American Thinker
      December 11, 2010
      The 9/11 Responders Health Bill Failure
      By Jack Kemp
      Thursday, the Senate Republicans got blamed for not passing the Zadroga Bill, a $7.4-billion piece of legislation to aid those who have respiratory and other serious health problems as a result of working at Ground Zero in the post-9/11 World Trade Center rubble doing tireless rescue and recovery efforts. But the Democrats in Congress can also shoulder a good part of the blame for how they managed their time this year and earlier.

      Last July, before it was commonly expected that the Republicans would have sweeping victories in the November elections — elections subsequently characterized by Obama as a “shellacking” — the Democrats decided to introduce this Zadroga 9/11 bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. But the Democrats chose a method too clever by half: namely using a procedural method that required a two-thirds majority vote.

      The vote total in the House was 255-159, with twelve Republicans voting for it — and that meant the bill was defeated, even though it was well over fifty percent. The “cleverness” of the Democrats in not allowing the Republicans to add, subtract, or debate both amendments and the body of the bill resulted in this fiasco. The Democrats apparently thought that Nancy Pelosi’s famous line, that “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it,” was the new standard in the U.S. Congress. Others thought not.

      The defeat of the Zadroga bill, complete with a House floor rant by “Mad Anthony” Weiner, was reported in the Gothamist:

      Yesterday, the House’s 255-159 vote (243 Democrats and 12 Republicans supported the measure; 155 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted nay) fell short of the majority needed to pass the long-debated James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009. Republicans called it a “slush fund” and an “entitlement program.” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) slammed the partisanship in this rousing (and LOUD) speech. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) claimed the Democrats were taking “cover” by asking for the high majority. The NY Times explains, “Democrats used rules requiring a wider majority for approval to prevent Republicans from offering amendments on the floor that would embarrass Democrats in an election year”-amendments like denying illegal immigrants sickened during 9/11 benefits-“Republican opponents of the legislation expressed concern over the $7.4 billion cost of the program. But Democrats accused Republicans of being callous and vowed to bring the bill back for another vote in the fall.”

      This is the same Anthony Weiner who just said in a December Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly that when people die, their estate should be taxed again — i.e., half-confiscated by the federal government. Specifically, he said on the air that “I don’t care [about the deceased]. They’ll be dead.” You can see the video of this rant by the “compassionate liberal” at Town Hall (YouTube pulled the video). Apparently, Weiner has compassion for people until they die — i.e., can’t vote. Then he wants to pick their pockets. Maybe he’ll introduce a bill to entitle the government to extract their gold teeth as well. On second thought, one shouldn’t give him any ideas.

      So what did the Democrats do to regroup? They reluctantly took the Republicans’ advice and got the bill passed by a simple majority vote in the end of September with 268-160 for-against totals. But after the August recess, the Democrats failed to work on the pending expiration of the Bush Tax Rates (not tax cuts) and the little matter of the annual budget of the United States of America — which was supposed to be done by October. So the Zadroga bill — and many other matters — somehow didn’t have enough priority to be taken up by the Senate before the pre-election recess.

      When the Congress returned after the November 2 Democrat “shellacking,” Harry Reid had a passel of other bills to consider as a Lame Duck Congress Last Hurrah: Cap and Trade; Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; the DREAM Amnesty/Immigration Act; and even a bill to legalize internet poker. Oh, yes — and the pending Bush tax rate expiration increases, the U.S. budget — and the Zadroga bill to aid 9/11 first responders. That was/is quite a lot for the Senate handle, especially if Harry Reid’s first priorities in the Senate are amnesty/immigration and online video poker. I guess he wanted people in Nevada to save gas — and be green — by not having to drive to a casino to gamble.

      The Zadroga bill was defeated Thursday in the Senate. The New York Post gave their account, stating that there is little chance of the bill passing now. Although the article didn’t speculate on what might happen in the new January session of Congress, one can’t rule out the Republican majority passing a slimmed down version of this bill. In reality, I can’t predict what will happen in the new Congress, but I suspect with one of the bill’s sponsors being Nassau County, NY Republican Congressman Peter King, it has a decent chance of becoming law.

      The July grandstanding by the Democrats, especially Rep. Weiner, made them feel righteous. But it proved only that they can’t manage a congressional schedule of important bills — i.e., they don’t know how to govern. They know only how to McGovern.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Actually I cam across that drivel of an article this morning. I’ll be the first to say the Dems handled this piece of legislation wrong, but nowhere does the author argue why the GOP failed to vote on it yesterday in the Senate. Because there’s too much on their plate? Come on now. Absolutely ridiculous.

        • Buck

          The GOP does not control the Senate.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Both sides are to blame for this. I’m not saying otherwise.

            • The “cleverness” of the Democrats in not allowing the Republicans to add, subtract, or debate both amendments and the body of the bill resulted in this fiasco.

              For the record, I blame Nancy. Had she allowed a general vote, it would have passed, but that meant allowing Repugs to make some changes. Her way or the highway.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                You blame Pelosi; that’s fine – she gets plenty of blame for that initial decision. But then the House voted on it and passed the bill in September. Bill moves to the Senate and we have this boondoggle.

      • More drivel,

        http://www.majorwager.com/forums/war-room/57329-ny-daily-news-4-year-scandal-9-11-billions.html

        The 9/11 tragedy brought out the best in most of us — the countless acts of heroism, the passionate outpouring of volunteerism and the unprecedented generosity of a grieving nation.

        It turns out that the huge and sudden influx of billions of dollars in federal disaster recovery aid also brought out the worst in others — to a degree that is sad and disheartening.

        To be sure, the financial assistance given to New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks delivered tremendous benefit to countless citizens and businesses, small and large.

        But a four-month Daily News investigation of the $21.4 billion disaster recovery package reveals that major elements of the aid process were procedurally flawed — from the determination of how much money was supposedly needed, to how it was distributed, to how it was actually spent and ultimately, to how little oversight there was over the spending. In effect, no one was watching.

        As a result, 9/11 recovery aid was used to finance a plethora of projects that taxpayers elsewhere could be forgiven for characterizing as old-fashioned pork-barrel spending.

        Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on projects that seemingly had nothing to do with 9/11 and lower Manhattan.

        Programs were plagued with so many loopholes that millions more ended up being given to recipients who did not fit the full intent of the particular program.

        Still more millions went to help projects already in the works before 9/11 or on the drawing board with no prior funding source.

        Huge contracts were given to companies and organizations linked to the very officials tasked with deciding how to spend the money — creating, at a minimum, the potential for multiple conflicts of interest.

        Substantial sums were given to companies to stay in lower Manhattan even though they had no intention of leaving.

        In many cases, original eligibility rules were expanded, and deadlines extended, so that virtually no one was ineligible. Vast numbers of applications were filed during the final weeks of signup periods.

        Rules for some aid programs were so loose and broadly drawn that otherwise honest people grabbed their little piece of the 9/11 money pot — like the thousands of New Yorkers who took advantage of FEMA by obtaining free air conditioners, air purifiers, air filters and/or high-efficiency vacuum cleaners.

        The gold rush also attracted businesses and organizations that followed all the rules for obtaining relief but didn’t necessarily need free money to survive.

        Then there’s the city Department of Education. It did such a poor job of keeping track of how it spent its $32 million share of Project Liberty grief counseling funds, that four years later, the feds are still withholding $26.8 million. Finally, The News found that program after program was designed, then redesigned, with a singular goal: spend every dime.

    • Firemen, Cops — wimps.

      They are not even close to the most risky and deadly occupations. But because they are agents of the State, they get the most press and State honors.

      #1: COMMERCIAL FISHING – you eat lobster, they freeze to death and lose limbs. You get a tasty meal, they get no medals.

      #2: Lumber industry
      #3: Farming

      #4: Coal Miner

      …where are cops? #11, Firemen #12.

  16. Amazing how the 1.1 trillion spending bill was pulled at the last minute when they were going to read line by line and item by item, the spending in that bill and who earmarked what……..

  17. Those peace loving liberals.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2010/12/16/ed-schultz-producers-advice-obama-handling-ceos-put-gun-their-head#ixzz18NSOkeei

    Agreed, certain people should not be allowed access to firearms. Here’s an example of one of those people.

    On his radio show yesterday, Ed Schultz was talking with his producer, James “Holmy” Holm, about Obama meeting with 20 of the nation’s top CEOs that day. Also mentioned in the discussion was corporations holding back on $1.9 trillion in capital reserves.

    Such is the context for this alarming remark by Holm (audio here) —

    HOLM: The president is going to speak with business leaders that are sitting on $1.9 trillion dollars — $1.9 trillion dollars. Maybe what we should do is put a gun to their head and just say, give us that $1.9 trillion dollars, you don’t need to read anything, just hand it to us!

    SCHULTZ: Yeah, they won’t …

    HOLM: But, I mean, that’s, that’s how crazy this thing is!

    Crazy indeed. Is Holm paraphrasing Mao, or was that Che Guevara?

    Gee, how’d he end up working for someone as balanced and thoughtful as Schultz?

    • Truthseeker says:

      Why does some people feel entitled to money they did not earn? If the bank STOLE all the money, then it needs to be given back. However, it if it was made legally, nobody has a right to force the banks to give up their earnings. This is a sad world we live in where theft is okay if you make over $XXX,XXX. WHO MADE YOU KING?

      • Because the government has a lot of guns, and it’s legal for them to use them (if the government says it’s legal). And the media cheers!

        (Holm)Maybe what we should do is put a gun to their head and just say, give us that $1.9 trillion dollars, you don’t need to read anything, just hand it to us!

        we should do is put a gun to their head
        we should do is put a gun to their head
        we should do is put a gun to their head

        Sounds like a rap song….

  18. Is our land really “Private property”?

    Madison Co. to evict man from camper
    Updated: Tuesday, 30 Nov 2010, 11:39 PM EST
    Published : Tuesday, 30 Nov 2010, 10:25 PM EST

    By: Brad Edwards
    MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – 72-year-old Dick Thompson isn’t sure if he wants to fight or give up.

    “I want to get the hell out of here right now — too much hate,” Thompson says one minute.

    “I think it’s a bunch of bull,” he says another, vowing to stay.

    Thompson faces eviction from his 38 acres in Madison County. The county lawyer tells 24-Hour News 8 it’s because Thompson is breaking too many rules, laws and ordinances; Thompson has no water, no sewer and no electricity in his recreational trailer that he calls home.

    “I’m a country boy,” explains Thompson. “I just want to be left alone.”

    Thompson is mighty fine, thank you very much — along with his dog, Ace, his horse, Fritz, his bird, Sunshine, and many more.

    The eviction papers state go-time is “Nov. 30 at noon,”’ though no one came — not yet.

    What right does govt. have to tell anyone how to live, on their own property no less? Until the people look at all government in the eye and hold up the middle finger, this will get much worse.

    • what do you mean what right does the government have. Obviously they know whats good for you!

    • This one hits especially hard for me. There are a host of places that I am not allowed to park my RV, even when it is private property, and in some places where I can, I am not allowed to be living in it. I could enjoy a variety of amenities for very cheap while helping out someone with a reasonable rental agreement to simply park my Camper and plug in. Unfortunately, this is not allowed in most counties, and to have a semi-permanent site to stay at would require me to be in designated campgrounds, where monthly rates are scarcely lower than rent on an apartment.

      Camper living is extremely efficient, I can show numbers that my “carbon footprint” is far lower than the vast majority of people. I imagine this guy in Madison has an even lower footprint. He is probably the greenest living in his whole state. So if Uncle “nanny state” Sam knows best and is pushing greener living, then they are in contradiction. I know, big F#$%ing surprise right?

      People bring up eminent domain and property taxes as proof that we really don’t have private property rights, that the government is the real owner. That may be true, but the inability to even use your property or live as you see fit is the real indicator. Its not just some tax placed on wealth or dire emergency, its full on control.

      • “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” As long as the Government says so. This is just a small example of what is happening in our country. CP’s post below is another. I could write agreat guest article and list these small things, only to show that Americans are asleep at the wheel and they better wake up.

        • Yup. For now tho, I sort of enjoy hopping place to place, parking in various parking lots, plugging in at a friend’s place for a day or two, not enough to arouse suspicion, working with a P.O. box as a permanent address. (I know the P.O. is a federal things, but if given enough reason I will switch to a UPS store mailbox). Basically I am the guy with the generic name and no permanent address. Find if you think you can. 😛

          But yea, the number of small liberties that are gone is incredible. And the fact that so many of those things are known and ridiculed by people, but there is no push to get those things removed, even when they obviously need to be.

          There are two kinds of battles to pick when you have to choose your battles. People know to pick the important ones and don’t waste resources on the little stuff, but the easy wins are good battles to fight too, even when they are small. No one cares about these little laws, which might be why there is no push to remove it, but there would not be a lot of resistance either, I think its time we start knocking out some of the easy shots. The collective impact on personal freedom could be huge, and it might give people a sense of hope that maybe something really can change, and that freedom is a good thing.

          Besides, like a skilled pool player once told me, if you start with the easy shots, they will all be easy shots. If we can get parking restrictions removed and lift the ban on non-missionary sexual positions, then maybe living with no electricity will be next on the easy list of freedoms to restore. Then maybe people start getting back the sense that their property is their own, and we get private property restored and taxation on property lifted. Who knows. Lets get a slippery slope going in the direction of freedom, instead of the other way around.

  19. Buck the Wala says:
    • In 1974, studies showed the earth was heading to cooling, possibly another ice age. Just more drivel from left wing college kids with too much time on their hands.

    • Buck,

      I think how they frame some of the questions is interesting. On TARP, I know it passed under Bush, but Obama supported it and took some credit for it as well. And who fired the head of GM?

      And is saying the government is taking over of health care a lie, or a viewpoint?

      ABC’s “Nightline” touted a PolitiFact story Thursday that rated the five biggest lies of 2010 in politics. The number one lie? Republicans calling the health care bill a “government takeover of health care.”

      When asked why the claim received the status of biggest lie of the year, PolitiFact.com editor Bill Adair answered that it was “so pervasive” and “just not true.”

      “It was so pervasive. It was said by the Republican leadership, by Republicans running for Congress, said by Republicans running for governor. And it’s just not true. This is a plan that uses the private health insurance system to expand health care coverage.”

      While the bill does not constitute a single-payer health care system, the 2,200 pages of legislation nonetheless contain countless new rules and regulations enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services, among other federal institutions.

      Also, the bill includes a mandate for individuals to buy health insurance, under threat of penalty. This is claimed by many to be an unprecedented expansion of the federal government’s influence into the decision-making of Americans and their personal lives.

      The claim was voted on not only by editors of PolitiFact, but also by the public. ABC’s Jake Tapper reported that almost 4,000 readers voted. Tapper himself labeled the claim as “a lie repeated far and wide and again and again.”

      Clips played of notable GOP congressmen Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) calling the bill a “government takeover,” as well as party chairman Michael Steele and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) saying the same.

      “Congratulations to the lie of the year for its speed and effectiveness,” concluded Jake Tapper. “Way to deceive the public.”

      Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/matt-hadro/2010/12/17/gop-calling-obamacare-government-takeover-health-care-biggest-lie-year-t#ixzz18OBsY9TF

    • Buck,
      You beat me to it! However, there’s lots to go around!! 🙂

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/15/fox-news-climate-change-email_n_796963.html

      • Maybe we would be better off getting our factual information from CBS, where increasing the death tax from zero to 35% is a “cut”.

        Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2010/12/17/cbs-letting-americans-keep-their-own-money-holiday-gift-congress#ixzz18OoY5DCH

        CBS: Letting Americans Keep Their Own Money = ‘Holiday Gift’ From Congress

        On Friday’s CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on the passage of legislation to extend current tax rates and described it as: “an early holiday gift for every American taxpayer.” She pointed out how “The cost of all that led 112 Democrats and 36 Republicans to vote no.”

        Moments later, she falsely claimed: “The bill also cuts the estate tax rate from 45% in 2009 to 35%, a White House concession to Republicans.” While tax did exist in 2009, the 2010 estate tax rate was zero, therefore, having any tax on inheritance in 2011 would be a tax increase.

        • LOI,

          Moments later, she falsely claimed: “The bill also cuts the estate tax rate from 45% in 2009 to 35%, a White House concession to Republicans.” While tax did exist in 2009, the 2010 estate tax rate was zero, therefore, having any tax on inheritance in 2011 would be a tax increase.

          You really need to do a little independent research. The estate tax rates if this bill had not passed:

          2009 – Assets over $3.5 million taxed at 45%
          2010 – 0%
          2011 – All assets taxed at 55%

          This bill cut the estate tax:

          2011 – Assets over $10 million taxed at 35%

          So actually, the CBS Early Show and Nancy Cordes underestimated the amount of the tax cut…that damn right-wing media…

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Its amazing how this fact is completely overlooked…

          • Todd,

            It’s all in how you want to frame the argument. And I agree both sides are doing it.

            “The bill also cuts the estate tax rate from 45% in 2009 to 35%, a White House concession to Republicans.”

            Why did Cordes use 2009 instead of 2010? Same reason FOX only uses 2010, spin.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Most people in my experience, do not understand that the current law, as written, mandated a 55% tax with a $1M exemption for 2011.

              This is the baseline that everyone should be using for comparison purposes.

              • Buck

                NO!

                Not until it actually went into effect. Which it had not.

                Therefore the now existing law supersedes the now existing law just before it. Not the provisions allowed by the law that would take place later.

                Only a lefty with desires to SPIN the room could claim that maintaining the existing rates is a cut from those tax rates which were never implemented.

                Because of the facts in this issue it allows it to be spun either direction. Neither side can claim absolute truth while calling the other a liar.

                But the point is that the two media outlets in question made a decision to couch it one way or the other. Meaning they are deliberately taking sides.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Nope, sorry absolutely wrong.

                The law as written was set to expire at the end of 2010 with a return to the 2001 rates. This means that, in the absence of a new law, the 2011 rate would be 55%. Do you disagree?

                No amount of spin can change this fact.

              • Buck

                I know the facts. One of which is that it IS NOT 2011 yet.

                One law took over the other. But the actual impact to tax rates was that they remain unchanged. They were not increased nor were they decreased from the existing levels.

                There is no spin my friend, except from those who wish to create political points in their favor.

                The new law reduced or “cut” the 2011 tax rates, thus it prevented an “increase” in taxes that would have occurred under the old law.

                Buck, you know as well as I do that this whole thing was set up years ago so that BOTH sides could make the argument of their choice. By trying to pick one side you are just playing their game.

              • precisely. You cannot base a cut on projected, hoped for, or future rates anymore than I can deduct 123 million from my taxes as a capital loss because I failed to win the lottery in tonights drawing, not even if I staple my losing ticket to my return along with my projected budget for next year.

                If the IRS wont take that, then I wont take Congress calling extension of current tax rates a “cut”. Just on damn principle it makes no sense. No one gets to plan on how much they will take from me in the future. More logically/mathematically, however, is the fact that you cannot call a tax cut a cut in future government income because it is all projections. Unfortunately, they project based on static numbers, which do not work. You cannot depend on my tax revenue if I lose my job or decide to stop paying because I am pissed off. In fact, revenues have often declined after tax increases, and increased after tax cuts due to compliance changes and economic changes. Were those economic changes tied to the tax changes? Not necessarily, that is not my argument, but it is clear that the government budget rises and falls on more than the income tax levels, so crying about tax cuts is bulldookey to start with.

              • Buck,

                Maybe I do not understand. I thought Bush could only get his tax cuts passed thru 2010, when they expired. Once they expire, the rate returned to their previous level, just as you state. To me, the law would have had to be written that the rates would, in 2011, be 55%. That would be a mandate. If the rates expire in 2010, and return to previous levels, you get the same results, but it’s not a mandate.

                And if you use that for your baseline, people would start calling them the Clinton tax rates. Obama doesn’t like being compared to Bill. I think that is why the MSM dances around the wording on this issue.

      • …we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

        Such damning language!!!!

        “It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts”
        Kinda reeks of, “We report, you decide”.

        How dare any network allow us ordinary people to come to our own conclusions on any issue. Get out the pitchforks and torches!

        • Seriously LOI, don’t waste your time. If they truly are so desperate to think these mean anything and haven’t, after all this time on SUFA, gained the skill to pick through and decide truth from media spin, then let them have their childlike finger pointing.

          • Seriously Kathy – are you interested in the truth? Or in right-wing propaganda?

            All the time on SUFA has caused most of you to believe your own spin. It certainly has not taught you the skill to pick through and decide truth from media spin…

        • LOI,
          If there was an email from a CBS, ABC, or CNN executive explaining how the news should be covered or “spun”, you’d have a fit.

          Just above here you’re all worked up about CBS reporting, when in fact you’re the one who’s wrong…

          But since you agree with this “spin”, you’re Ok with it…how typical…

          • Todd,

            Seems you have me all figured out. I applaud a news organization exec. stating it’s reporters should not assert either side as being fact. If ABC and the others were to take such a position, I would cheer.

            I was not aware I was all worked up about this, I thought I thought it was amusing, thanks for correcting me on what I’m feeling.:lol:

            “typical…” Now that’s a word I rarely have heard used to describe myself. Demented, strange, weird, annoying….

            PS, Merry Christmas!

          • Todd

            Where is your proof of Fox or anyone else spinning or distorting the news.

            I have two examples of NBC doing it years ago. Chevy trucks and dead fish caused by logging.

            This supposed example of the Fox exec and global warming issue is B.S. and you know it. Telling folks not to present information as absolute facts due to existing controversy is not spinning nor is it distorting the news.

            In fact, there are many other examples that fit the story much better. I find it funny that HuffPo selected this one as there “smoking gun”.

            As LOI tried to say. If your watching any of the major networks, MSM or cable, you are probably not getting news and facts. You are getting manipulated in one or more ways.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Ah, loving it. Just keep the coming…

      • Wow, that really did read like finger pointing drivel. What is the point of the bullying? There are examples of totally lousy journalism in every news organization I have ever seen. Is Fox biased and inaccurate? Yes. Is Huffpo any better? Nope. How about CNN or the NY Times? Not really.

        So, for those out there that think Fox News is gospel, then you should look at these articles and start asking some questions about your news source. For anyone else who is smart enough to think first, believe later, its just a bunch of foolish drivel. Sort of like the Dems and Reps pointing out how corrupt the other side is. They are both right when they point the finger, and wrong when they claim innocence.

      • More from FOX,hehehe

        When asked what holiday spirit they are feeling, a strong majority of voters — 75 percent — still answers with “Merry Christmas,” according to a Fox News poll released Friday, while about one in five voters (22 percent) say they feel obligated to say “Happy Holidays” these days.

        Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/17/fox-news-poll-voters-say-merry-christmas/#ixzz18PHRm7ua

    • So, it might be erroneous to believe that “most economists” said this or that, or that “most scientists” believed this or that. However, that could be because those persons who believed such errors were assuming that “most economists” and “most scientists” knew what they heck they were talking about, which, sadly, may also be erroneous.

      Also, I am not certain what “most” of either of those categories believe, I am certain that the university study did not get feedback from all economists or scientists, nor did they classify the fields or training of those persons. Most Keynesian economists probably did not think the deficit would increase, neither did the CBO, but the CBO has already reneged on its initial estimates of costs, and the Keynesian model is being increasingly questioned, whether “most” economists follow it or not is not really relevant. “Most” scientists thought the world was flat before the Renaissance too.

      That said, I get that maybe more Fox News watchers thought they were getting more accurate info from Fox and failed to be as questioning as they should have. I never bought what Fox was saying anymore than I did what CNN or NPR or the rest of the MSM. For that matter, I take everything with a big grain of salt, especially university studies. Universities are historically even more biased than most of the MSM news outlets. Like I said, I am not so sure that I trust the study just based on the description. Did they really have a more accurate count of economist opinions? Probably, but was it comprehensive enough to say anything with certainty? I seriously doubt it, especially if you look more globally. There were an awful lot of British economists that thought poorly of the stimulus and health care plans, and they have experience to go on concerning those things. Was it a majority? I dunno, I dont have time or resources to talk to all of them, I just know that the ones who dont have to make up weird math to back up what they are saying tend to disagree with the CBO and the Keynesians.

  20. Everyone but Buck, Mathius and Ray should take a look at this…

    http://www.infowars.com/dhs-implementing-no-work-list/

    • Coool.. this should solve some of the sleeper cell problem at Detroit Metro Airport! Oh, I forgot..the muslims probably get a pass!

    • Hey CP! 🙂

      One day, we will wake up and be slaves to the State. Noone will be able to do anything without govt. approval. We have watched freedom being ripped from us, day in and day out, and just stand by, ignorant to the truth. SAD.

      Other than that, hope your day is a good one!

      • You’re right G-Man. Its very sad and scary. I wonder how it’ll be for Ray to get his wish granted that I lose my job. Oh well, I’ve been expecting ever since I know the marxists were taking over. Still, I’m not looking forward to it…..

  21. SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea said on Friday it would strike again at the South if a live-fire drill by Seoul on a disputed island went ahead, with an even stronger response than last month’s shelling that killed four people.

    The announcement on North Korean official news agency KCNA came as South Korea readied for firing drills on Yeonpyeong island near a disputed maritime border with the North for the first time since November’s exchange of artillery fire.

    ———

    So if SK does their firing drills and NK responds, who fault is it?

    • BF

      It is North Korea’s fault. If this island is part of South Korea and the firing is done in “internationally recognized” waters.

      You can seriously be claiming that anyone can simply issue a warning that another country’s training is cause for direct attack on people.

      • JAC,

        The island is disputed. It is not a “simple” warning. They did not threat when SK went and played “war” around Pusan.

        Are you seriously suggesting that there is no difference between a war game around Pusan and a war game in the DMZ?

        If I intentionally antagonize you to act against me, it is my fault.

        • BF

          I don’t have details on who sits on what but there is a primary principle involved here.

          If I scream at you and antagonize you but DO NOT use violence upon you, then you have no right nor justification for using violence against me. You in fact could simply ignore the insults.

          The fallacy in the entire argument is that either side in this maintains anything approaching such a moral principle.

          • JAC

            I don’t have details on who sits on what but there is a primary principle involved here.

            The primary principle is if you artillery my property, you are antagonizing my response.

            If I scream at you and antagonize you but DO NOT use violence upon you,

            Dropping artillery shells on my property kinda qualifies as violent.

            then you have no right nor justification for using violence against me. You in fact could simply ignore the insults.

            Exactly what happens if SK drops artillery on Pusan – NK wouldn’t care less.

            approaching such a moral principle.

            They are governments, therefore moral as a principle is irrelevant.

            But they still operate in a rational world.

            Thus, provoking your enemy tends to generate a consequence.

            • Sorry for jumping in, but, how better to shift the minds of people from the economic problems than to instagate a nasty war. The US govt needs to deflect the minds of the sheep, to finish raping them of their wealth and impoverish almost everyone in the process. Let’s use SK, by saying we will protect them, to provoke NK into a nasty war that kills thousands, and use this as an excuse to confiscate everyones retirement savings to pay for it. This has Bullshit written all over it.

            • Gentlemen….the shells will fall in international waters. All the protocols of maritime warnings have been followed…just as SK has been doing for years. Same area.

              If NK responds…..it is going to be wrong for them to do so. Just because THEY claim the waters are disputed…does not make it so. NK wants war but not all out war. They are playing with brinkmanship yet again. Let it happen….and let SK respond. We shall see.

              My take on it….SK will not do it and further embolden NK. Shame.

              • D13

                Just because THEY claim the waters are disputed…does not make it so

                Just because SK claims they are not disputed doesn’t make it so, either.

                What is a fact – it is a big deal to NK.

                Go shell Pusan, and they won’t care.

              • True enough.

              • I would suggest that the International Community, which regards the same waters as International Waters, should carry some weight….but I really don’t care. Let them shoot each other into oblivion.

            • Russia calls on South Korea to halt military drill

              MOSCOW Dec 17 (Reuters) – Russia on Friday called on South Korea to halt plans for a military exercise in the Yellow Sea that it said could escalate tensions with North Korea.

  22. 30,100 deaths in Mexico in four years. 96.4 % on the US border. Napalitano says the border is safer than it has been in 20 years….funny…I remember hunting and fishing in the McAllen area and Falcon area in the 80’s and 90’s and there was no problems. YOu could cross the border very easily and go eat dinner. Not anymore.

    Mexico, on its southern border, has moved 40,000 army to stop the refugees from Central America from entering Mexico. They are holding some in detention for underterminable periods of time. That are deporting all of them.

    The preferred weapon of the drug cartels…….the AK47….not bought in the US.

    Some interesting facts….no discussion necessary.

    • D13,

      AK47

      No surprise here.

      Massively more reliable, fantastic firepower at typical combat ranges, well and abundantly produced, a favorite of revolutionaries.

      • Yep, I even carried one in Vietnam…..drop it in the mud…pick it up and fire it….too heavy though…great up close….not too good over 150 meters…bullets tumble too much.

        M16…made by the lowest bidder…..nuff said.

        • Might add, for close in firing, I used a simple .30 cal Carbine….light..effective…cuts a hole in the jungle. AK 47….cuts a hole in the jungle… M16 bounces off twigs…However, the M16 was far more reliable over 150 meters that the Carbine or the AK47.

          The majority of the weapons we are finding now are AK47’s, Uzi’s.

        • D13,

          Everything you said about the AK47 is precisely my experience.

    • 6.5 Grendel in an AR platform combines the best of both worlds…The 6.5x39mm Grendel is as close to perfect as is possible if your aim is to replace both the 5.56x45mm and the 7.62x51mm NATO rounds with a single bullet.

      • Actually I believe I would lean more towards a bullpup design such as the Steyr Aug than an AR platform for quicker target acquisition.That’s what’s wrong with the carbines today.Shorter barrels = less powder burn = floppy bullet tumble.A bullpup design with a full length barrel would give the much touted shorter target acquisition time with the full lbs. foot force lethality capability of your cartridge since you would have full powder burn.

  23. OH NO…..is nothing sacred…..N.O.W. National Organization of Women……has Hooters in its sights. It claims that the new menu at Hooters…which now has a childrens menu….is over the top. It exploits children.

    Now I ask you….UNLIKE McDOnalds…….what child is going into Hooters without a parent?

    I guess MAgic Kingdom is next. It advertises for children almost exclusively….wonder if their menu and playgrounds are going to be under scrutiny….ahhh…….the progressive agenda…..more interference.

    • UPdate..

      Hooters has been declared as adult entertainment in California and it is, therefore, against California law to take your child to Hooters. N.O.W. has sued Hooters for sexually explicit conduct against children and wants them to drop the menu and wants Hooters declared as adult entertainment.

      OMG.

    • Who the hell takes their kids to Hooters?!!!!!

      Anyway’s I thought Hooters had a kids menu for a while, in the UK kids eat free there on Sundays.

      • My boys have been to Hooters after baseball games several times. At the age they were there they were just flirting with all the girls and having their pictures taken with them. What is wrong with it? Are you a prude Bob? Is that inmmoral to you? They are not, after all, naked.

        As for any bad effects it may have had. Neither of my boys really cares anything about going back. The food is not bad, but not really something to make a special trip to go back for. I am married and an old crippled fart, so I could really care less also.

        But I also don’t understand the fuforol about it. How are they being exploited? They are well paid for being waitresses.

        • Oh and exploiting children? PLEASE!!

        • I don’t think I am going to take my daughters to hooters thanks. I prefer to make my dining selections based on the qualities of the food and not whether I can freely ogle the waitresses tits.
          Having said that I have been to Hooters once (unwillingly), the food was pretty terrible along with the service, I wont be going back.

    • But do they defend the Alaskan Governor, who is female? Nope.
      Did they slam Clinton for his poor treatment of women, including clear cases of sexual harassment and cheating on their champion, Hilary? Nope.
      Do they respect Any Republican leaders like Rice? Nope.
      Do they have any credibility as an organization supporting women rather than just another political group? Nope.

      • Reverend!!!!!! Preach it son!!!!!! 🙂

        IMHO, NOW is irrelevant. And they have been made that way by the very women they “allledgedly” represent.

        They are beginning to sound like the ACLU or the NAACP or KKK.

        This world no longer needs organized racial political hate groups of ANY kind.

  24. USW – Dr Dre headphones or Bose?

  25. From the Expect more this file:

    Greece, whose massive government mismanagement has thrust it into economic turmoil, now thrusts itself into massive rediction of causation:

    We are poor because of…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101217/wl_time/08599203743300

    Ailing Greece Struggles with a Flood of Illegal Immigrants

    What we see abroad, teaches us lessons locally… (re: D13 post above)

  26. Admist all this doom and gloom:

    Lunar eclipse and winter solstice to coincide, first time since the year 1378

    Visible (pending weather) everywhere in the N.A. continent….

    • I’ll be watching – I love eclipses. Such a cool event – especially on the winter solstice. Although they’re predicting clouds & snow Monday night and Tuesday morning here…bummer…

  27. I offer NO apologies for what I am about to say here, so if you are Homosexual or Lesbian stop reading right now because you will be greatly offended and I DO NOT CARE!

    Fox News has just reported that Congress has repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about lesbians and homosexuals serving in the U.S. Military. When President Obama signs that bill it will be perfectly “normal” for openly active homosexuals and lesbians to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

    With the signing of that bill, we will hear the death knell of the United States of America. Pure and simple.

    Why?

    YOU CANNOT USE OUR ARMED FORCES FOR SOCIAL EXPERIMENTATION! That is why.

    Military personnel, by virtue of necessity, are trained to kill other human beings. That is where you get PTSD from. Not everyone is completely satisfied with their ability to kill another human being, after all it is not a normal thing to do. When police officers have to shoot and kill a suspect, the department makes psychological counseling available to him for as long as he remains a member of that police department just for that reason.

    It is hard enough for a heterosexual male to cope with what happens in war, and even worse for a heterosexual female.

    I cannot imagine how I would feel or react as a squad leader knowing that one or more of my squad was homosexual. I do know that I would keep an eye on him until I observed his actual behavior. Why? I would need to know if he could take the life of a potential “lover” or not.

    I know that when I worked with a female officer who would tell me that they had doubts about shooting anybody at all, I would take her back to the watch commander and request a partner I could depend on. And yes, I have worked with homosexual officers, and a few of them stated their misgivings about taking a life for any reason and I treated them the same – I would request a partner that I could depend on.

    I do not think that homosexuals and lesbians would be reliable in a firefight, I just don’t and there is nothing that anyone can tell me that would change my mind on that.

    The reason that this bill passed the Senate and the House is that the Liberals and Progressives want more block (aka blind) votes for their cause. Nothing more and nothing less.

    I hope they are happy about it, because they just shot down the only really free country on this planet.

    We will no longer have a military that we can depend on.

    • Papa
      will no longer have a military that we can depend on

      You never did.

    • I suppose next we will have a new homosexual affirmative action bill requiring a percentage of future public education teachers, a percentage of future scout leaders, a percentage of day care workers, a percentage of priests and preachers, a percentage of Ice Cream truck drivers, a percentage of (God forgive me) Cowboys be homosexual.Let’s really f*$k up the minds of our American youth guys cmon now!All together lets sing it LoUD…

      It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

      They have everything that you need to enjoy,
      You can hang out with all the boys …

    • The UK had a similar policy to the US regarding open serving members in the military. We changed it in a week, sure there was all the same hyperbolic arguments that I am hearing from the US, its against military tradition, it will drop combat effectiveness and mass resignations, do you know what happened? One officer resigned, everyone else decided to be professionals and get on with their jobs.
      I hear a lot from American sites that the American military is the best trained and most professional in the world, from reading some of the comments here I very much doubt it.

      “I hope they are happy about it, because they just shot down the only really free country on this planet.”

      I really cant get my head around this statement, it makes no sense. Please explain how allowing openly homosexual people in the military restricts the freedom of others?

    • It matters not Papa DAwg….It matters not.

      Nothing will change…just watch. THe repeal of a ban will not change the impact on the ground. It was a feel good measure from the democrats. So, you need not worry….you will not see or hear o any changes at all. There will be no gay barracks, no fraternization in the open….nothing. It simply will not change.

      • You are a colonel.

        I am enlisted.

        Perhaps it will not change in the officer ranks, although I seriously doubt that.

        It will change among the enlisted, but not on the surface.

        Not long ago the U.S. Navy put females on ships and they said nothing will change, but no one is talking about the increase in STD’s or unmarried pregnancies or divorces.

        Because the suttle changes are never on the surface where all can see. Just those of us in the law enforcement branches who get to deal with the aftermath see it.

  28. Another thought on the $7.4 billion, 9/11 Responders bill. from NY Post,

    Republicans oppose the bill’s plan to raise funds by closing tax loopholes on foreign companies that funnel profits through third parties. They see that as a tax on firms that create jobs in America.

    Gillibrand and Sen. Chuck Schumer, both N.Y. Democrats, have offered at least five other ways to pay for the measure, suggesting a deal could get done.
    If it does not happen soon, the clock will run out, and the Zadroga bill will be all but dead.

    First thought, when they write these tax laws, where is the outrage when they insert a loophole into that law? Funny, it’s an exemption when you favor it, a loophole when you oppose. For the record, I support loopholes for everybody on everything. (LOI audit by the IRS) You claimed a sunshine exemption for May3rd, NOAA records show it rained all day on that date. Ooops, my bad, I claim the total BS exemption instead, so you still owe me 4K in overcharges.

    • And they know “at least five other ways to pay for the measure”. That’s six ways to find $7.4 billion, or about $50 billion. The real problem is spending. The more they spend, the more they tax to pay for that spending.
      Any worries about the economy, jobs, and why companies are leaving the US?
      Taxes.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/us_companies_pay_the_highest_t.html

      March 04, 2009
      US Companies Pay the Highest Taxes in the World
      By Chris Banescu
      It may come as a surprise that US companies pay the highest taxes in the world. Yes, you read that right. American businesses, large and small and across all industries pay from 35% to 41.6% of their income in combined state and federal taxes. The 41.6% maximum rate is scheduled to rise to 46.2% in 2010 when President Obama’s promised tax increases are implemented. Compare that to socialist France where companies pay only 34.4% in taxes, to China where the rate is 25%, or Russia which levies a mere 24%. Corporations in Ireland, Europe’s fastest growing economy for the
      last 18 years, pay just 12.5% in taxes.

      Because of its dual taxation system, US businesses and individuals are required to pay both state and federal taxes on their income. When combined both these taxes range from a minimum of 35% in states like Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming that do not tax business income, to a maximum of 41.6% in Iowa, the state with the highest corporate tax rate of 12%.

      Corporate Tax Rates, US vs. Other Free-Market Democracies

      Last year the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan educational organization with a solid reputation for independence and credibility, released a report that compared the tax rates of US corporations (across all 50 states) with 29 other countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and free-market economy (referred to as OCED countries, 30 total). Their study reveals the surprising finding that US companies are already at a significant competitive disadvantage in the world economy.

      When compared to other OECD countries:

      * 24 US states have a corporate tax rate higher than top-ranked Japan.
      * 32 states have a corporate tax rate higher than third-ranked Germany.
      * 46 states have a corporate tax rate higher than fourth-ranked Canada.
      * All 50 states have a corporate tax rate higher than fifth-ranked France.

  29. TEHRAN, Iran – The Iranian government sent squads of riot police to man the major intersections of the capital as sensitive cuts in energy and food subsidies came into effect Sunday.

    Eye witnesses reported a heavy police presence in the squares and junctions of Tehran such as Enghelab square and Sadeghieh and Valiasr squares as well as some western neighborhoods of the city, though so far the city has been quiet.

    In 2007, angry protesters set dozens of gas stations on fire after the government imposed a new system of gasoline rationing to cut down on access to heavily subsidized fuel.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said late Saturday that the cuts in essential subsidies were the “biggest surgery” to the nation’s economy
    in half a century.

    After the president announced the cuts late Saturday, long lines of cars were seen at several gas stations in Tehran as Iranians rushed to fill their tanks at subsidized prices before the new ones took effect at midnight.
    The cuts come as the Iranian economy is suffering under four rounds of U.N. sanctions as well as those from individual countries over its controversial nuclear program.

    Still, Iran had planned to slash subsidies before the latest sanctions took effect, and Ahmadinejad and his allies have long insisted the country’s oil-based economy could no longer afford the largesse.

    Tehran says it is paying some $100 billion in subsidies annually, although experts believe the amount is about $30 billion.

    Under the new rationing system, each person with a fuel card has to pay 40 cents per liter of gas, up from 10 cents per liter. Fuel beyond a person’s quota is now sold at 70 cents per liter, up from 40 cents.

    Ahmadinejad also said his government was paying $4 billion in bread subsidies. That, too, is now being gradually phased out.

    Economists say the unpopular plan to slash subsidies could stoke inflation
    already estimated to be over 20 percent. The cuts also are widely seen as placing added burdens on Iranians.

    The government says cutting subsidies, known as the Subsidy Smart Plan, will return part of the money obtained from increased prices to the people through cash payments. It has already paid nearly $15 billion into bank accounts
    of some 20 million families in the country as compensation ahead of the cuts.

    Every family member would now receive $80 for to help them over the next two months, and Ahmadinejad suggested that they could withdraw the money as of Sunday.

    The new prices for electricity, water, flour and bread are expected to be announced later on Sunday.

    House of cards…….House of cards.

    • Should we consider an aid campaign? Christmas spirit, we would not want anyone going hungry. Maybe fruitcake? Last a long tome, travels well. I am sure the traditional preservative would not be offensive.

  30. Pocket Taser Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Taser for their anniversary submitted this:

    Last weekend I saw something at Trade N’Save Pawn Shop that sparked my interest.. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie.

    What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety….??

    WAY TOO COOL!

    Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button.

    Nothing! I was disappointed.

    I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I’d get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.

    AWESOME!!!

    Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

    Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn’t be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right?

    There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target.

    I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat.

    But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised.

    Am I wrong?

    So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and taser in another.

    The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

    All the while I’m looking at this little device measuring about 5′ long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, ‘no possible way!’

    What happened next is almost beyond description, but I’ll do my best…?

    I’m sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, ‘don’t do it dipshit,’ reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn’t hurt all that bad.

    I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . .
    HOLY MOTHER OF GOD . . . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . .. . WHAT THE HELL!!!

    I’m pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again.

    I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs?

    The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

    Note: If you ever feel compelled to ‘mug’ yourself with a taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself!

    You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative?

    SON-OF-A-BITCH, THAT HURT LIKE HELL!!!

    A minute or so later (I can’t be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape.

    My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching.

    My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling.

    Apparently I shit myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair.

    I’m still looking for my nuts and I’m offering a significant reward for their safe return!!

    P. S. My wife loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!

    ‘If you think Education is difficult, try being stupid.’

  31. Good ‘ol China……Emergency Un Security council called by Russia to try to settle things down between North Korea and South Korea……. China vetoed any and all action that was proposed as a peaceful resolution to the problem…..South Korea said it would conduct the drills only on its own island and China rejected that and said that all drills must be ended…SK said nope…it is on their own land. It apparently does not matter. China has done nothing but emboldened NK….we shall see in a day or two.

    Told ya the UN is totally ineffective.

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