Tuesday Night Open Mic for January 4, 2011

Open mic night comes again and I get the opportunity to finally stand up for my previous company in a way that I was unable to previously, as you will see below. I do so because, first, what was said was factually incorrect, and second, because I kept a lot of people quiet on the promise that I would address it. So I really hope my target for the day doesn’t get upset with me for calling it out 🙂 . I am trying over the next couple of weeks to really get more settled into my regular routine again as I will be done with that previous company in two more weeks and now just have to adjust to different working hours. However, as I mentioned the other day, I will be requiring surgery at some point in the coming weeks and that could render me useless for a day or two (which some folks may argue is no change at all!). But for now, I write on into the new year. I think there are some good topics below and of course I welcome any topics that others may want to add. I will try to check in throughout the day and join in the discussion.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    WikiLeaks Breach Raises Concern About Privacy of Electronic Medical Records

    The embarrassing leak of a quarter-million State Department documents by WikiLeaks has recharged the debate over electronic medical records, raising concern that the government may not be capable of safeguarding Americans’ most intimate health care secrets when their records go digital.

    Doctors and privacy advocates alike are pointing to the havoc wreaked by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allegedly Bradley Manning, the low-level Army private accused of facilitating it, in arguing that the government needs to slow down its push for digital medical records.

    The Obama administration is calling for all doctors and hospitals to go digital by 2014 or, if they’re in the Medicare system, face penalties starting the following year. The 2009 stimulus bill pumped billions of dollars in incentives into this effort, while this year’s health care law set up more programs to encourage the use and study of digital dossiers.

    The goal is to reduce costs and medical errors by making this information accessible, presumably to the right people at the right time. But as the WikiLeaks fiasco showed, the bigger the network grows the more likely it is that the wrong people can take advantage of it.

    “Even the most top-secret things can’t be kept secret,” said Dr. Alieta Eck, who with her husband runs a clinic near Edison, N.J., for the poor and uninsured. Eck said she keeps electronic records for her office only but does not plan on meeting the new federal standards, citing concerns about how that information will be shared and how it could erode the trust she has with her patients.

    “If you think WikiLeaks is bad, this is gonna be WikiLeaks on steroids,” said Deborah Peel, founder of Patient Privacy Rights.

    Peel, who has long expressed concerns about the digitization of medical records, said “everything from prescription records to your DNA” will soon be floating around, susceptible to hackers from the outside and troublemakers from the inside.

    She cited a study from health care security firm FairWarning, which estimated that health care providers have on average between 25 and 100 privacy breaches per month — absent the kind of monitoring system that FairWarning sells.

    Read the Rest of the Article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/07/wikileaks-breach-raises-concern-privacy-electronic-medical-records/

    As we continue to witness the fallout from the Wikileaks scandal, I find this to be especially interesting as a matter of personal privacy. Let me first say that I believe that this particular issue being brought up now, as a link with Wikileaks, is little more than the GOP folks capitalizing on a current event to once again sow fear among the population. We must not forget that fear is a major tactic used in politics on both sides of the aisle, but everything the Democrats use in this realm they learned from the true masters of fear tactics, the Republicans.

    As some of you may recall, I raised the flag on the government’s push for electronic records back in 2009 when it was included in the economic spendulus bill. I said then that the idea of government forcing everything to be done electronically was too costly for many small practices to implement and would thus increase costs for all, especially the patients who foot the bill for every piece of regulation in the end. I was somewhat worried about privacy then. My concerns on that area have increased since that time.

    What I worry about most is that this regulatory requirement, rather than having the intended impact, will do little other than complicate lives, increase costs, and be yet another thing private industry must figure out a way to “work around.” But the Wikileaks situation over the last year has truly raised the stakes in terms of privacy. The bottom line is that if the Department of State cannot keep their “secret” and Top Secret” materials safe, where on earth would we gain the confidence that the government can keep our medical records safe?

    So I will phrase my question this way… Should we be following the path of moving everything to electronic records in a day and age where no network is truly secure? I am sure Ray could expand on how tough it is to secure anything, but it seems to me that once this happens, my medical records are open to the possibility of being accessed by those who should not have access. And if I feel this way, I am sure I am not alone. How many people will begin hiding information from their doctor simply because they don’t want it to get publicized. For example would a Senator who contracted a disease from a hooker lie about where he got it, even to his doctor, for fear that the info could become public? Think about this particular subject when reading topic #4 below as well.

    And just for the record, on a completely different note. I don’t believe for a second that Bradley Manning, a Private First Class, is alone responsible for the stuff getting to Assange the weasel. I believe that there was someone higher up who was also in on it and that Manning is simply the one they are hanging out to dry. Just my two copper discs.

    • Truthseeker says:

      If this was done on a completey, phsysical (not logical) network, I do think it is possible to secure the data and not have any more breaches that what we have today. However the costs of putting in a new phsysical network or even secure lines would be immense and the servers and workstations required would be costly. What I fear is that there will be professionals that sell access to personal information to those that are looking to use it against their enemies. The question is, who is going to pay for this? Something like this will run into the billions for complete infrastructure and that doesnt include the computer technicians that would have to maintain it.

      While this is all a great idea, we are currently not technically advanced yet to ensure Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability on this scale. We are not ready for this and the public sector is the one that will be best suited to pursue this.

      • Truthseeker,

        I agree, although I admit that my knowledge in this area is somewhat limited to that of an end user rather than someone like Ray who has done it for a living.

        I am concerned that information could be sold to one’s adversaries. However I think that would be the exception rather than the norm. In today’s world I would be just as concerned that companies would pay to get information for marketing purposes. Imagine the snake oil salesman getting a list of seniors with a certain affliction and beginning the cold-calling process and scamming whomever he/she could. Overall, it isn’t even about “harm” being done, it is about personal privacy.

    • Common Man says:

      First, this is not me starting a conspiracy, there is just to much evidence to suggest it as a probability.

      The government is not concerned with keeping OUR personal information secured, but they are concerned with keeping theirs secured.

      We have the Patriot Act, National Health Care, cameras on every street corner, media control, government based education and certification, Social Security cards, Passports, drivers licenses, fishing/hunting licenses, building permits, marraige licenses, tax returns, credit cards, tracking devices, satellite TV, and now the government is monitoring the internet.

      Why would anyone think the government is concerned about maintaining security when it comes to our personal information or habits?

      This is all part in parcile to the overall plan to control and corrall. They create a problem for a solution they have already devised.

      We can no longer trust anything these people say, and we must base our actions solely on what they do; and then still investigate and question.

      CM

    • USW…..in our little business that we have on the anti aging process, we are governed by the Texas Department of Health. We are supposed to keep medical records of all clients. In our case, we must know of all medications that are being taken, time spent in the sun, family skin issues, etc. We have to know this because we deal with things that are put on the skin and different types of massage and facial programs and cellulite reducing programs….etc. We have no intention of joining any national organization nor are we going to sign up on the internet for any monitoring or sharing of medical documents from any organization…public or private. We are not, and have so stated publicly and in writing, going to share our medical records with any governmental agency whether by law or not. It does not matter what the government says or threatens. It will be challenged publicly and loudly. Medical records are the responsibility of the client/patient. Period…end of sentence. All of our clients know this. Even if they offer to sign a release of information, we will not do it. It is the clients responsibility to share their own information.

      This does not, of course, include emergency contact information.

      Have a nice day.

    • 1. Kudos on your recognition of the fact that the Republicans are the masters of fear mongering. I have always felt that the red shirts really beat that drum hard. Not that the blue shirts are innocent by any means, but the Republicans really overuse that tactic (see: Iraq, Patriot Act, gay rights, Glen Beck, etc).

      2. I think your concern over public availability of records, while entirely possible (likely) and invasive, is a small price to pay for the upside. Everyone forgets that epidemiologists are foaming at the mouth over the idea of getting access to this kind of uniform and broad-based data. Imagine if the news could accurately report the number of cases of flu diagnosed yesterday, and the percentage of those who got the flu shot verse those who did not. Or if they could show the absence of a statistical between MMR and autism using the entire country as a data set. The potential advantages to medical science are absolutely staggering.

      3. There is a lot of information out there on the internet about everyone if you are willing to look for it. With the exception of a few people, like BF and BL, someone who knows what they’re doing could find the real name, home address, phone number, and IP address of anyone on this blog within hours. It’s all out there, and I assure you it is not nearly as secure as you think. But this doesn’t mean that your neighbors are stalking you and using this data against you. Nor does it mean that companies are harvesting it to advertise to you. Let’s try to settle down, people.

      4. I do not believe any study conducted by any company trying to sell a solution to the problem they are examining. (queue the barrage of people pointing out that the government does this..) FairWarning tells us that “health care providers have on average between 25 and 100 privacy breaches per month” (this amounts to tens of millions per year) and we need to buy their product or else? Bah. Does that seem similar to any of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Institute?

      5. You suggest that public figures might try to hide their diseases from their doctors. Does anyone remember Ron Mexico?

      • 1) Reps are masters of many types of fear mongering, the Dems went the route of using the fear tactic to sell Health Care and other social programs. Different fear, same BS and result. They are both masters of fear mongering, and unfortunately, too many Americans have no friggin balls anymore, so fear mongering actually works.

        2) Not sure I agree that it is a small price to pay. Sure, there are advantages to having all this data out there. There are also risks. I think, for me, I don’t care so much what someone knows, so long as I am not FORCED to divulge information. I can make data about me as secure or as open as I wish. It is when the govt starts enforcing privacy OR publicity that I take issue.

        3) True, just because there is information about you out there does not mean you are already a victim. There is a certain safety in numbers. I tell people all the time that their firewall is often not worth the performance loss on their PC. I do not run a firewall most of the time because I am not a target, therefore my PC is faster than my paranoid friends. BTW, you will never find my home address, because I don’t have one. I probably am the only one on SUFA using their real full name tho, not that it helps much with finding me. 🙂

        4) Let me be the first to respond to the que. The government does this all the time! Remember the CBO’s findings on health care? Why would anyone buy that? That said, I do agree that anyone selling a solution should have their study held suspect. Just because they are selling a solution does not mean their study is false, it could be dead on, but a suspicious attitude would be healthy.

        5) Actually, no, I could google it, but I don’t feel like it right now….

        • 5. Ron Mexico is the fake name Michael Vick used when he visited a clinic in Mexico to treat a VD (which he caught from a prostitute). He didn’t want anyone to find out so he used a pseudonym and went to another country. USW says that this would happen if everyone’s records were made electronic, but I say it’s already going on.

          PS: Go to NFL.com and try to make a custom jersey with the name MEXICO – it won’t let you.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Mathius – (on point #3)look at your keychain (and maybe those a few co-workers) – how many little plastic cards are dangling from that key ring? Any idea what those are used for? I’m not trying to be a smart ass – but its folly to think that data is not harvested and used in a myriad of ways for you and against you. Study retail value chains – you’ll quickly discover it is not by accident how things happen.

        With respect to health/medical records – those are far different than your name / address / etc. (btw – I believe IP address is considered protected under the Electronics Communications Privacy Act)

        Health information is valuable when it comes to determining cost a plan will carry.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @USW – I do work in the industry vertical in question and in information security. Here’s my two cents…..

      Can we digitize and encrypt all medical records? Yes. The technology is there today and we can use algorithms that while not un-breakable – would require extensive computational horsepower to break.

      The problem is cost and implementation. The healthcare industry, both payers and providers vary wildly in how they invest in and implement and support technology. Even some very large companies with big bottom lines do not spend adequately to secure and protect the data that is already digitized. While HIPAA may have helped normalize some transmission standards, there is a long way to go for integration, interoperability and congruence. And who the hell is going to pay for it? Smaller and mid-size companies just lack the capital or support resources to implement more secure digital methods (meaning, your paper charts in some cases are simply more secure than all the digital crap floating around). Adding Government to the mix makes it even worse. They are typically 2-3 years behind the curve anyway and rife with lazy, stupid bureaucrats who love to make rules but never bother with implementation and actually making things work.

      The research in this area has been promising – I’m not enough in the know to know if the industry side is heavily funded from Government – I assume at least some of the academic groups are. The artificial date – if held – will merely mean we add more risk to an already risky endeavor.

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    The Bose Bashers Pick the Wrong Fight

    As many of you are aware, I worked in the world of audio for many years. Nearly 12 years in fact. For the vast majority of my time writing this blog, I intentionally stayed away from ever mentioning what company I worked for. I did this because I was not willing to put my job at risk because of something that I wrote on this site. As I am winding down my time with that company (I only work there for two more weeks), I am finally able to reveal that I have worked for Bose Corporation. I started with Bose many years ago, when there were very few retail stores. I am proud to have helped to build that business and make it a success.

    Over the years, I have learned the ins and outs of what made the company great. And there was plenty that made it great. While I will never reveal the trade secrets that I am under contract not to reveal, I can say that what the engineers at Bose have done in the world of audio is nothing short of amazing. They created markets that didn’t exist (noise canceling headphones), won invention of the year (the Wave Radio, the only piece of electronics to win the award), and changed the ergonomics of the living room by shrinking speakers down to the size of your hand, a trick that every other speaker company in the world has been trying to duplicate for decades since. They have met the needs of the masses in the audio world over and over, while refusing to bend to the snobbery of the audio world. And for refusing to play the game the way the big companies played it or the way the snobby audiophiles said they had to play it, they have become hated by those audiophiles, who detest someone who doesn’t play by their rules.

    Over the last 11 years, I have had the pleasure of dealing with a regular stream of Bose Haters who decide to come into Bose stores to tell us how shitty our products are, how inferior we are to other companies, and how our success is the result of either clever marketing or “uneducated ears” on the part of a large segment of America. I reveled in the fact that in nearly every single one of those cases, I was able, with products there to demonstrate, to absolutely make the haters look like fools. No Lows? We can shake the walls as well as anyone. Missing midrange? Have another listen. Our headphones suck? We outsell the rest of the headphone market 2 to 1…. that is the rest of the companies out there combined. The other day, someone discussed audio headphones and someone gave me the opportunity to have one last hurrah in defending Bose’s outstanding reputation right here on my own site. And I am finally permitted to do so.

    Last week, TexasChem said:

    All highs and no lows…must be a BOSE!

    Grado, JBL, Senheiser, Klipsch, Koss are comparable to motorcycles in that they are the performance rice burners such as the Hayabusa.BOSE is like a Harley…all you’re buying is the pricey name.

    Before I begin, TC, allow me to say that none of this is personal to you. I am not angry with you, nor do I think anything negative of you for what you said. But you are obviously a Bose hater, and as such, you get to be the target of my rant. I certainly hope that there are no hurt feelings over it. And you should know, there are about 20-30 regular readers on this site who work for or used to work for Bose. They all held their tongue on this issue when it came up at my request.

    I would appreciate it if when you disparage my company, that you get the saying right. The saying is “all highs, all lows, must be Bose.” It stemmed from the fact that when we originally did speakers, the 901 featured nine 4.5″ drivers and created great bass response from a sealed cabinet design. But the speaker struggled to handle the midrange. We corrected that by adding in an equalizer that took care of the issue. The saying re-surfaced when we stunned the world with small speakers in 1984. The small speakers did the highs well with their 2″ drivers and the sub that came with them did the lows well, but there was nothing to produce the midrange. A problem that Bose corrected with the series II in 1988. People rarely get the saying correct, which means that they are parroting what they have heard elsewhere rather than evaluating it themselves. If you were basing it on actual experience listening to the speakers, you wouldn’t get the saying wrong. You would remember what you heard. Before you go bashing Bose, perhaps you should venture into a Bose store (not a Best Buy where they never have it set up correctly, a real Bose store), and actually listen to them. You might be surprised.

    You aren’t just buying a pricey name, you are buying quality products from the most customer service focused company in the electronics industry. You are buying from the only electronics company in the world that puts 100% of its profits back into research and development. You are buying from a company chocked full of acoustic engineers from MIT, where Dr. Bose taught for nearly 5 decades.

    Bose serves a specific segment of the market and does so very well. Consumer Reports has rated Bose best in the market for the money on home theater set-ups in 4 different price ranges. Bose was one of 18 companies worldwide named as the most reputable brand names in the world by a global panel, and it was the ONLY electronics company on the list I might add. What amazes me is the plethora of “Bose haters” out there who continue to aggressively bash the company despite the fact that there are millions of Bose customers out there who love their products. Just as amazing is the high road Bose continues to take, making it a fireable offense to disparage another audio company’s equipment. I think there are lots of great audio companies out there. Bose is one of them. I don’t feel the need to trash those other companies in order to make mine seem superior.

    Why do you?

    • Pass the popcorn!

      Good Morning TC, sucks to be you today 🙂 And to be fair LOI needs to be called out too. He had TCs back that day!

      USW: Did you forget that you are disabled and this is not a good time to be picking a fight with the biggest guy on SUFA 🙂

      • Good morning Anita… I certainly won’t be picking any fights with TC (or anyone else). But this is the internet. Isn’t this where people come to talk tough to others who cannot get to you through the high speed line?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Anita – TC is the biggest guy on SUFA? Let the testosterone floweth………..

        Size does not equal success when it comes to fighting. USW and D13 among others will be the first to tell you. I’ve trained with Marine Corps Black Belts and IDF trainers half my size that have taken me down and literally had my own ass in my own face (I’m 6’2″, 240). Not a pleasant experience and gladly no pictures were taken.

        Cheers to you.

        Please keep the foul weather in Michigan if you don’t mind. 😉

        • Size may not equal success, but if all else is equal, size does matter. I have always been able to do well for my size because of speed and flexibility and deceptive strength, but I have known a couple guys who, despite having 100 lbs on me, were still just as fast, and had similar martial arts ability. In a match, they had the advantage of reach, but in full contact, they had much more advantage. Bigger is better in a fight as long as it does not make you slower. 🙂

          • But Jon…old age and treachery can outdo youth and vitality always…..the older we get….it is the wisdom that comes with fighting that outweighs the size, strength, and speed.

            • Indeed sir. As my dad told me a couple years ago. “I carry a gun. Even if I could take on an opponent in a physical fight, I really don’t feel like it anymore, I don’t need to.” Dad was always a good boxer and wrestler, same deceptive strength and high bone density as me. Its just not worth the aggravation to him anymore, lol.

              Work smarter, not harder. That applies to fighting too. I am not in as good shape as I was in my mid 20s, but I think I could take on my mid 20s self without too much trouble. There is no substitute for experience. 🙂

        • I’ll host the cagematch between TC and Weapon. But not until Weapon is at full strength.

          • Even at full strength, Anita, you will not find USW or myself in a cage match anywhere…..now….in the field…..that is a different story.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Why do I picture D13 as a Ric Flair lookalike?

              • Had to do a little research on him (did not know him) Nature boy…..long white hair ( I wish ). Naawww….I am a mere 72 1/2 (dont fergit the 1/2) inches…187 pounds…pretty lean (there is a hint of a paunch that is trying to take hold – won’t happen)..can still run as fast as I have to…can still shoot and see targets…reading is getting a little hazy up close…hair follicles are not cooperating on top…getting a little gray….but in a Sean Connery way…can still pass the APFT..but with some difficulty…prefer not to eat bugs and things anymore…(like burgers and such)…MRE’s getting a little bothersome to the disposition….what I used to do all night, takes me all night to do now – but with quality. (More info than you wanted to know, I am sure)….beginning to mellow some….even agreed with BF once….

                So, see? Just a retired old Colonel who knows nothing…….oh…I do like to chase little white balls around a beautiful green pasture and poke them around…and have you for a friend. How can I go wrong?

              • .”what I used to do all night, takes me all night to do now”

                Toby Keith’s got nothing on you! Sounds like a country song in the making.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Thumbs up D13

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Am just going to watch this one – I had no idea there was this whole “Bose thing”.

      And color me crazy – I thought TC would have known you worked at Bose?

    • USW,

      I hope I did not say anything negative about Bose. I have enjoyed several of their speakers, as well as JBL & Klipsch. I was amazed several years ago to discover almost any cheap set of headphones gave better sound performance than any full sized speaker. An interesting test is giving a listen to “Jamie’s Got a Gun”. What you hear in you car or home may be good, but plug in the headphones and suddenly there are notes and music you did not know was in there. Klipsch is the only speaker that has come close to matching headphone sound quality in a home speaker, to my hearing. I have been tested as having the full human range of 20hz to 20,000 hz.

      I may also be out of date on where everyone is at today. My Hersey speakers were used when I got them eight years ago. My B&O turntable is over 25 years old. A problem with buying high quality components, they tend to last, so you don’t have a good excuse to replace them with what’s new.

      Anita, thank you so much for remembering me.

    • I don’t have a dog in this fight. My limited speaker knowledge is all gleaned or learned from my girlfriend, and it all about PA.

      Bose has a larger system that sounds pretty good and is VERY portable. It cannot touch a pro level PA, but it is not supposed to. For small places doing DJ or Karaoke work, the Bose system was picked by a lot of our peers for its lightness and small footprint. We went the route of massive system, so we were not really in the same league, but I did see that the Bose tower unit made small bar work ideal, and it was slick looking for things like corporate events or weddings where you don’t really want the PA to be noticed, just heard. If we had a spare $2500 laying around, we might have gotten a Bose rig just for small venues and classy events.

      But for overall sound quality and performance, and the ability to play larger venues, we went big. We can handle outdoor crowds of about 1,000, and indoor up to about 3,000 with her current system.
      JBL dual 18″ subs, SRX pro series
      JBL dual 15″ with 2″ horns, also SRX pro series
      8,400 watts from 3 QSC amps pushing those fronts, with an additional 3,200 watts from 3 crown amps for stage monitors, which include 4 15″ wedges with 2″ horns and 2 12″ with 1.5″ horns.
      Bose cannot hang with that, but, of course, that is not part of the Bose market. 🙂

    • As a private pilot…..best noise canceling headset I have ever had. Just keep that battery replaced and I do not hear outside engine noise or feedback.

      Have a great day, Sir…..remember, I stand ready in whatever recovery help you need. Swift..silent..deadly. Plus my raptor contingent is getting soft…..needs some “exercise”.

    • I bought my 5.1 Acoustimas 13’s in 2000 (holy cow!), spending around a grand on it (my little brother worked at Circuit City and got me a discount).

      I have never had a single problem. Every channel works. I actually dropped one off the second story once by accident, picked it back up and it continues to work flawlessly. I cannot turn the volume all the way up because it is too loud to be in the room with. The base has actually vibrated a glass off of a table in the next room. The treble and midrange are pitch perfect.

      And here’s something else: I have never met a single person with a superior stereo system. Not. One. And my system is 11 years old, and I know some people with money to burn.

      Disclaimer: I use an Onkyo receiver – I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to pay so much for a Bose one without enough inputs. Wep, your thoughts?

      Disclaimer 2: I know the Bose noise canceling headphones are great and all, but I want these (http://www.bang-olufsen.com/earphones – in aluminum/black). Wep, your thoughts?

      • I worked for USW in the same Bose store from 2001 to 2002. He was a great boss and I’m confident Bose should be sad to lose him.

        I saw at least one “Bose hater” a week.

        At the close of my tenure, I picked up an Acoustimass 15 (an “AM-15”) along with a VCS-10 center channel. By using a 6.1 receiver, I would send what would be the front center cube to the rear center, and insert the VCS-10 as the front center, effectively making the 5.1 system a 6.1 system. I originally used an Onkyo receiver, but have recently replaced it with a new Denon receiver.

        The AM-15 has since been updated and while it still uses the same cubes, it now also comes with a sixth cube (making it 6.1 and mooting the need for a VCS-10) and a more powerful bass module. (What most folks refer to as a “subwoofer.” Bose’s is technically not “subwoofer,” but that’s the common lexicon.)

        In a 15×15 room with 8 foot ceilings and driven by that Denon receiver, my AM-15 is a killer. The sound is huge, clear, crisp, resonant, and full. You can feel the bass and it rattles the walls. The system produces an obviously better experience than any movie theater I’ve ever been to.

        I can perceive no mid-range “gap” in sound. That’s just nonsense from people who haven’t really sat and listened to it or perhaps heard one that was poorly installed. In my living room, everything sounds as if it is really happening in the room–traffic, conversation, gun fire, rocket ships, galloping horses, whatever. It sounds like it’s all happening in the damn room. There’s no mid-range “gap.”

        And that’s all at flatline–the Denon came with microphone that listened to a set of tones after the set up, and automatically calibrated the system for optimum sound. (The Bose “all-in-one” systems can do this too.) Once that was done, I didn’t change a thing.

        The speakers are also tiny and mounted on my wall. This is perfect for my lifestyle (I’ve got two toddlers and an aesthetically senstive wife). Guests can’t believe it. Many just sit there in stunned silence and end up watching whole movies when they thought they just wanted to hear a “sample.”

        I have been to a few homes of (very) wealthy people who claim to have “superior” home theater systems. And indeed, their systems cost tens of thousands of dollars more than mine and are installed in dedicated home theater rooms. However, other than being really loud, I couldn’t hear any substantial improvement from my system. I’m sure the power in those systems could handle a larger room than my AM-15, but in an average size living room such as mine, there is simply no improvement offered. In an average room–particularly without cathedral ceilings–the volume from my AM-15 and Denon would drive you out long before you challenged the speakers.

        The “Bose haters” are a vitrolic group, and USW’s critique of them is dead accurate. However, no matter what they say, I promise you this: If I turned off the lights in my living room and you sat down and watched a good movie on Blu-Ray without knowing anything about the audio system, I just don’t see how you wouldn’t view it as a first-class audio experience. There’s just no way.

        • I occasionally stop in to the bose store, but just to drool over the awesomeness – how often to get you people like me compared to the haters?

          Your thoughts on the Bang-Olfson earphones?

          • Yea, I only ever drooled in the store too. Sound was not a high enough priority to me to spend real money on it till I met my girl, and even there its all about the PA, not the sound system in the RV for our own listening pleasure.

            My next investment for personal sound will be some good non-sound warping earplugs. I would like to be able to still hear in 10 years.

          • Oh, we got lots more droolers than haters. They made the job worthwhile. The haters just came with the territory.

            I haven’t listened to the B&O’s, so I can’t say. Typically, I’ve found B&O to be overpriced when compared to Bose–B&O is great, but I didn’t see where the extra money was going over and above the cost of Bose products. But of course that doesn’t mean this particular B&O product isn’t awesome.

            If it were me, I’d make sure to check out Bose’s in-ear headphones and the noise cancelers before you buy the B&Os. If you’re still sold on the B&Os, then you know you at least gave Bose a chance and go ahead and pull the trigger on the B&Os.

            Also, you asked about substituting a Bose “receiver” for your current Onkyo. Just as an FYI, you can’t. The Bose head units that come with their Lifestyle units are sold as complete packages, speakers and all.

            And contrary to what many of the haters say, that’s not just to screw you. The Bose Lifestyle systems can have such tiny head units because the amp for the cubes sits in the bass module rather than the head unit. This was a great innovation that allowed for dramatically smaller head units, which really helped customers who didn’t want a large, intimidating receiver staring at them.

            By contrast, however, the amp in your AM-15 speaker set only powers the bass drivers. Your Onkyo contains the amp that powers your AM-15 cubes. Thus, if you replaced your Onkyo with a Bose “receiver,” you wouldn’t have an amp to power your cubes unless you also replaced your bass module. Make sense?

            Finally, I will say this. Onkyo makes a great product and I’m sure their new receivers are great. But I just replaced my 2002 Onkyo (not sure what model . . .) with a brand new Denon AVR-791. The difference is RIDICULOUS–it’s not even close. The Denon just blows the old Onkyo away, I almost can’t believe they’re the same speakers. I know it’s not fair to compare a 2002 Onkyo with a 2010 Denon, but it is what it is.

            • My Onkyo is 2010 and amazing – I imagine the difference is more in the time difference than the brand, but I don’t have anything to back that up.

              Regarding the Bose receiver (speaking of an awesome company), they told me the same thing you just did when I went into the store considering the switch. They offered to take my decade old speakers and bass module back and upgrade them for free to the new ones, and charge me only for the receiver.

              Oh, you bought this during the Clinton administration? No problem, we’ll just take it back and give you a brand new one.

            • Agreed. I’d expect current Onkyos would be competitive with similarly priced Denons.

              When I did my switch, I was looking at Onkyo and Denon in the $500 range–not super fancy. Their features and specs in that range were similar. I just went with the Denon because I’d always wanted one and figured it was time for a change.

              As you indicated, I think the drastic improvement in my case was mainly the result of updated technology, rather than the brand.

      • Disclaimer: I use an Onkyo receiver – I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to pay so much for a Bose one without enough inputs. Wep, your thoughts?

        I am a big fan of the Onkyo receivers. For the money they are very difficult to beat. If you ever have to replace it and want to go higher end, do as Mike did and step up to Denon or maybe Harmon Kardon or Marantz. All four of those companies use high current amplifiers which make them far better than all the others out there. As for Bose’s lack of inputs, their new systems are better than the previous ones. The new systems have an ipod dock built in and also provide 7 additional inputs, including 4 HDMI. What you are paying for in the Bose receivers, though, is the stuff it does that others don’t. AdaptIQ, Unify, multi-zone expansion, RF remote, etc.

        Disclaimer 2: I know the Bose noise canceling headphones are great and all, but I want these (http://www.bang-olufsen.com/earphones – in aluminum/black). Wep, your thoughts?

        The BO headphones are really good. I would highly suggest that you check out Bose’s in-ears though. For $100, they do a phenomenal job with sound reproduction. They are not noise cancelling but really don’t need to be.

        • US, to back up what you are saying about Onkyo’s. I’ve owned an Onkyo receiver/amp since 85 and that was used, best receivers I’ve ever bought. Unfortunately, I had to take my original in to have it serviced, it kept losing it’s presets and the idiots at the repair shop had it sitting on a piece of carpet overnight and it arced and caught on fire and was unrepairable. It was one of their elite series, came with cherry on the sides, really great receiver. It was replaced by the shops insurance company for an “equivalent” that cost $1700 at the time and it still sounds great. I just bought another one for the living room surround and that one is good, but I still think my original was the best.

          As far as speakers go, Advent USED to make great speakers, I had a pair of Maestro’s that aren’t made anymore, but they still sound great.

          I have audiophile friends that do own Bose as well as Klipsch Fortes II and they work great together.

          What makes the Wave radio’s from Bose sound so large? I’m considering getting one for the bedroom and I know they sound great, but how do they do it?

    • Wow, my one little question about a gift brought about this???

      For the record, I decided they were too expensive to be used by a high schooler for weight lifting, while studying (a whole separate story), etc. Stuck with SkullCandy earbuds. Didn’t buy the “everyone has them” storyline.

      • Nope. Someone deciding to bash a company that I spent 12 years working for brought on all this!

        😉

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Senator proposes permanent US bases in Afghanistan

    A leading GOP lawmaker on U.S. military policy says he wants American officials to consider establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan.

    Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina says that having a few U.S. air bases in Afghanistan would be a benefit to the region and would give Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban.

    Graham tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he wants to see the U.S. have “an enduring relationship” with Afghanistan to ensure that it never falls back into the hands of terrorists.

    President Barack Obama plans to begin drawing down American forces in Afghanistan next year and hand over security to Afghan forces in 2014.

    Obama has talked about an enduring presence in Afghanistan but not exactly what that would entail.

    Read the Rest of the Article here: http://www.wral.com/news/political/story/8866595/

    Can anyone give me a single rational reason why we should be even discussing putting permanent bases in Afghanistan? First, I think it is unnecessary militarily. Once we are finished with this fiasco, I don’t think we should ever set foot in that country again. We have no vested interest in whether Afghanistan rises or falls on its own. I believe whole-heartedly that once we leave, whenever that may be, the country will revert back to a semblance of what it was before we came. They will not change to match what we want them to be.

    And now Senator windbag from South Carolina has the audacity to step forward and recommend that we stay there permanently. Think we have a problem with our image as an occupying force? Just imagine what this would do to increase that. The longer we are there, the more we are seen as that.

    And I am not buying for a second the rationale that he is using to justify this nonsense. We are not supposed to be in Afghanistan to booster the Afghanistan army’s fight against the Taliban until the end of time. What Graham is inferring is that it is our endless duty to have a hand in the Afghanistan government and what they do. It isn’t our business to choose sides at this point for the future of that country. Perhaps the Taliban does take back over. Perhaps they don’t act the way that they used to because they know we may come back if they do.

    Or perhaps they take back over and do exactly what they have done before. Either way, none of our business unless we start to see terrorist attacks being launched from Afghanistan. When was the last time that happened? As for this nonsense about being a “benefit for the region,” how exactly would that be so Senator? What it would do is continue to be a destabilizing force for the region, causing even further distrust and bad feelings against the US by hard-line Muslims who have been saying all along that we will never leave because we are an occupying force.

    I say we pull out of Afghanistan yesterday. We took the asshole Taliban out of power. We helped them set up a government. We will never root out whoever is still sitting in the caves in the mountains. We have zero reason to stay and every reason to leave. And only one reason to stay…. Because the GOP stalwarts refuse to believe that there is ever a situation where our military should not be entrenched in the world to extend our reach.

    • Bases:

      Oil pipeline and rare earth metals.

      Why does an Empire seize territory that they cannot tax???

    • Common Man says:

      Another example that there is no real difference between a Dem and a Rep. Their sole endevor is to gain more power, influence, money, objects and authority.

      We need to start over and on cleared land. What is the quickest way to topple a house or building…take out the corner stones.

      More on Thursday, or so I have been informed

      CM

      • Common Man says:

        And to go along with my previous comment:

        How does one react or deal with an individual when the first words out of the mouth of that individual are: “Everything I say is a lie!”

        CM

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I didn’t really understand this when it came out – sometimes I feel our politicians are like TV/Radio talking heads – they have to occasionally say something bizarre to stay in the news and seem relevant. The Bush-Obama doctrine of fighting abroad instead of at home is great marketing, but they are no more right than LBJ & Nixon.

      • Common Man says:

        Ray;

        And wasn’t LBJ just a peach of a human being?

        CM

        • You did not ask me, CM but you get a response anyway. 🙂 This from a Native Texan (as Native as one can get without being an Indian)……..LBJ might have been from Texas…but he was NOT a Texan. Peach is not the word I would put on him.

          • Common Man says:

            My friend D13;

            That was an attempt at sarcasim. LBJ was a ruthless power crazy thief bent on ruling the congress and country. I think he rates as one of the worst presidents ever seated.

            And I personally believe he had a great deal to do with the assasination of JFK.

            In short if the guys was still alive and on fire I wouldn’t…well you no the saying

            CM

            • Yes sir…I recognized the sarcasm but wanted make sure that the Texas thing was not part of him….he was a ass here as well…he and Carter would have a great race on who was worse….

    • USW…..you made my reply rather easy. You asked for a “rational” answer. There is not one. Thank you and have a nice day.

  4. USWeapon Topic #4

    Democrats Look for Vulnerable Republicans to “Humiliate” in 2012

    Democrats are sharpening their swords ahead of the next congressional session, looking to target vulnerable Republicans who could either be picked off in 2012 or at least caricatured so that they become liabilities for their party.

    Basically, it’s payback time.

    After Republicans routed Democrats in November by ousting moderates in GOP-friendly territory and turning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into political kryptonite for her caucus, the election losers are mapping a strategy to reverse the tide in two years. They want to halt in their tracks GOP ambitions to build an absolute majority on Capital Hill over the course of two elections.

    Rep. Steve Israel, incoming chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, predicted in an interview Sunday that voters will have “buyer’s remorse” come next year. Just as Republicans did after their 2008 thrashing, he cast the looming political battle in terms of simple math — Republicans are taking up space in more than 60 districts that voted for Obama, he said, and Democrats just need 25 seats to retake the House.

    “We know that there are 61 that have a Democratic presence,” Israel, D-N.Y., said. (That number is actually 62, the DCCC later clarified.)

    By that reading, Democratic odds sound pretty good. However, party chiefs will still need to convince voters that they’ve learned their lesson on overspending — something Republicans have been repenting on for the past two years. Also, Democrats have a disadvantage in that GOP-heavy state legislatures will be redrawing congressional districts this year based on the results of the 2010 Census.

    So Democratic strategists are starting early to cast Republicans as special-interest-driven sell-outs.

    One Democratic source told FoxNews.com the party would be pursuing an “all-of-the-above approach,” targeting vulnerable members via online campaigns and also local Democratic leaders tasked with spreading the bad word about the occupying force known as the Republican Party.

    And later in the same article…

    While Bonjean said John Boehner, the incoming House speaker, probably won’t make as good a bogeyman for Democrats as Nancy Pelosi did for Republicans, analysts say prominent Tea Party Republicans like Kentucky Sen.-elect Rand Paul will.

    Though Paul and most of the class of 2010 are not up for reelection for another six years, any gaffes on their part could be used to make the Tea Party movement look bad along with the GOP as a whole. Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said Paul could easily become a target depending on what he says.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/03/democrats-sharpen-swords-ahead-session-look-gop-quarry/#

    I won’t pretend that the GOP are not just as adept at this political game as the Democrats. But I want to once again point out the brashness of the Democratic party in today’s political climate. Here we have leaders of the party coming right out and telling us to our face that they intend to spin whatever they can and paint a picture of GOP members that may or may not be true. They are willing to tell us to our faces that while Rand Paul won’t be up for re-election, any mistake he makes will be used against other candidates from the Tea Party.

    In other words, the Democrats are simply telling us up front that their intent is to lie, cheat and steal in order to gain political advantage. They are telling us up front that they will spin whatever they can in order to trick the voting public. They are telling you what the issues are going to be before these members of Congress have passed a single vote in their term. They are telling you that there is no level they won’t stoop to in order to win, including outright lying or misrepresenting things to the voting public.

    As I said, the GOP are as good at this game as the Democrats. They just don’t have the audacity to come out and tell you two years in advance how they are going to lie to you. They don’t come right out and tell you that if one person does x, it will be used against other people who had nothing to do with it.

    What I find most important in this topic is not whether the Democrats are better or worse than the Republicans in terms of the crap they will pull. Everyone here should know by now I think both of these parties are full of scumbags who deserve to represent nothing. The point I find most important is that the politicians continue to become more and more emboldened. They literally are willing to tell you up front what they are going to do, and the American voters…..

    Say nothing.

    The next time you wonder to yourself how the world of politics became as disgusting as it has become, remember the answer to your own question. American politics became what they are because we allowed them to become that way. The VOTERS allowed it. When scumbags get elected after all the dirty shit they do in an election, it teaches everyone else out there to do the same dirty shit. What we accept as voters determines the levels they will sink to.

    And as much as you don’t want to hear it, the more we hear about stuff like this. The more we allow dirty campaigns to compete and win, the more we show that our values and principles are no longer worthy of respect we pretend we deserve. More importantly, the more this happens, the more Black Flag proves to be right when he says voting is a waste of time and shouldn’t be done. And believe me, that hurts to admit.

    A quick side note, did you think about the topic above around electronic medical records in regard to this article? Do you see how dangerous it can be? Do you think that medical records or any other information they could steal would be off limits to candidates from the two major parties in their bid to win an election? Or do you think they would be completely willing to use information such as this in the very same way that they use anything else they can get their hands on? Politicians disgust me more each day.

    • Common Man says:

      USW and all;

      People are gulable especially when a desire, or the promise of, is granted. This is in part due to the way the last couple of generations were raised. They were taught that they deserve whatever they want and that it is their right to demand it. My father and grandfathers generation worked for what they wanted, but took nothing for granted. They saved their money and paid cash for what they wanted and needed. The appreciated their famlies, friends and the lifestyle they worked hard to obtain. Although not entirely the fault of their own, today’s youth need an eye opening re-grounding as to what is important and the value of honest hard work.

      And in response to your comments relative to the government and politicians I quote a former mentor of mine: “You expect what you inspect”. Maybe the population will continue to wake up and continue to inspect, question and learn from the mistakes of the past.

      CM

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Whether I step in deer shit or dog shit in my backyard……its still shit.

    • Not a surprise that politicians (of both parties) make their desire for power so clear. Rather than concern themselves with the American public and all the problems they face, it’s all about their power. What’s shamefull is that some people like this kind of crap.

    • You don’t have to look far to humiliate any politician.

    • What I think is interesting from this article is their continued angst against the Tea Party – not a political party at all but a movement of the American people. So they are saying up front they are willing to go against the will of the people in order to continue down their destructive path.

  5. USWeapon Topic #5

    Is Kathy Griffin Going Too Far Targeting 16-Year Old Willow Palin?

    Kathy Griffin announced her New Year’s resolution to continue a verbal assault on the Palin family. Only in 2011, the comedian said she intends to target Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter, Willow.

    “I’ve already gone for Sarah, Todd and Bristol obviously,” Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter. “But I think it’s Willow’s year to go down. In 2011, I want to offend a new Palin.”

    Could Griffin be switching to a younger, easier Palin target following her Bristol backfire in December?

    On a special that aired Dec. 5, Kathy Griffin was jeered by the audience after attacking Bristol Palin for being “fat” while hosting the VH1 Divas “Salute to the Troops.” Griffin called the 20-year-old “the white Precious,” referring to Gabourey Sidibe’s role as an obese and abused teen mother in the 2009 Lee Daniels drama.

    The incident provoked widespread criticism.

    “Calling Bristol Palin fat is inappropriate and distasteful, even under the guise of humor,” body image expert and author of “Love Your Body Love Your Life,” Sarah Maria told Pop Tarts at the time. “The problem is that people, and particularly young people, easily absorb the ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that are presented to them.”

    Bristol Palin herself responded, telling Pop Tarts that “The audience’s reaction to this ‘comedian’ spoke volumes, and the decent people I know would probably have booed her, too.”

    Hollywood publicist Angie Meyer says Griffin’s targeting of Willow, a minor, is even worse.

    “To attack a young girl solely because of her last name seems rather contradictory of the types of justice she champions for others,” Meyer said. “A 50-year-old woman who chooses to attack a 16-year-old girl publicly at a time when cyber-bullying and teenage suicide are at their highest reported rates, not only sets irreconcilable example for others, it’s tasteless, immoral, and frankly – classless.”

    Griffin said she was going after Willow because the teen reportedly used homophobic slurs on Facebook. “She’s called people a fa—t on Facebook a couple of times,” Griffin told the Hollywood Reporter. “You don’t throw around the f-word without hearing from me about it.”

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/01/04/kathy-griffin-going-far-targeting-year-old-willow-palin/#ixzz1A7NSP0v3

    I wonder if resident Huffington Post Idiot Bob Cesca will write a scathing article condemning Democrats for targeting children. After all, he was livid (as well as hysterical and completely dishonest) over Fox News doing nothing more than mentioning the name and hometown of a girl who questioned Obama (after she had already given her name and hometown herself as part of her question, of course). I have a feeling that Cesca will remain the lying hypocrite that he has always been, however, and will remain mute on the subject.

    I, on the other hand, will not. I personally think that Griffen is a no talent hack, who doesn’t even belong on the D-List. I thought her attacks on Bristol were twisted, especially her stunts with Levi. But I remained fairly mum on those because Bristol was an adult. Willow, however, is not. She is a 16 year old girl and Griffen has no right attacking her. The article above says enough, but I have to say that I think all of this stuff has gotten a bit out of hand. And most of it seems to be coming from the left these days. It wasn’t always this way, as there were some tough things said about Chelsea Clinton, which I also was against back then. Chelsea was a child and not responsible for what her father or mother did or didn’t do. This situation is much the same.

    How many attacks have we seen in the last two years aimed at Sarah Palin’s children? If you don’t like Sarah, that is fine. I can understand it. She certainly rubs some people the wrong way, and I am not sure I would be all that comfortable with her as President, although she realistically probably wouldn’t do any worse than many of the dolts we have had in the position. But there is no justification for going after her children. Yet the left seems to boldly do so over and over. I have never once heard of someone with any public presence going after Barack Obama’s little girls. Had they done so, the media would have torn them apart for it.

    Yet Palin’s children have been attacked repeatedly. They are made the butt of late night jokes by folks like Letterman and Leno. What exactly is wrong with these people that they think that attacking a child is OK? When Palin had her last child there were the articles claiming that the child was really Bristol’s and Sarah was simply trying to hide it. These are the kind of things we are allowing to stand as acceptable? If Griffen had dared to utter the word “nigger” she would be ostracized like Kramer and her career would be over. But consistently going after politician’s children over things like their weight or targeting a 16 year old barely measures on the Hollywood richter scale.

    I sure hope Karma takes a very large bite out of Kathy Griffen’s ass.

    • Truthseeker says:

      If I was Sarah Palin, I would file a lawsuit for slander and liabalis against Griffen. Griffen is not entitled to making fun of whomever she wants at the great expense of others especially when they are private citizens and underage. How low can you go? I find it very revealing when the left embraces her as the 2nd comming.

      • Slander and libel have to be untrue not just unkind. Calling someone fat, for instance may be a judgment call, but unless it is categorically untrue, then you’re never going to win an S/L suit. But that’s just for private citizens.

        Public citizens have a higher bar – it’s not even required that the statement be false. You only have to have a justifiable belief that it’s true. So if you call Obama a Muslim, even though that’s false, it’s not going to be S/L because you believe it and have some justification (albeit weak) for doing so. This is why trashy celebrity magazines get away with all the BS they do.

        A major question if W. Palin were to bring suit in this case would be whether W. Palin is a private or public citizen. Since S. Palin has brought her on stage in front of millions, publicly talked about her and featured her on the TLC ‘documentary,’ I’d be hard pressed to consider her a private citizen.

        Perhaps a real lawyer would know more.

        • So since the Obama girls have also been paraded on stage, they too are fame game???

          • …fair game?

            • I don’t know – I said you’d have to ask a real lawyer. But I do know that Mattel made barbie dolls in their images. Obama asked them to stop and they did, but I’m not sure a lawsuit would have been successful (either way, it wouldn’t have been S/L though, but it goes to the question of whether they’re public figures.

              I think they are. I suspect that anyone whose is, for whatever reason, a household name is fair game. But this is just my off-the-cuff thoughts.

              Just one thing to add.. satirical statements may be exempted from S/L law – When SNL portrays Hillary Swank as a man (though this false.. I think..), they are doing it for as comedy and cannot be considered as making a “false” statement for these purposes.

              That said, though I don’t know what Kathy Griffen has said or intends to say, since she’s obviously not intending it or portraying it as truth, it may fail the litmus test on those grounds.

              To sum up: Willow has a lot working against her in a S/L suit – she’d be far better off going on tv somewhere and crying about it until public opinion forces Griffen to act more appropriately.

          • I think Bristol became fair game when she became a spokesperson on teen pregnancy. She became a public person. I’m not aware of Willow taking any such action, so would think by accepted standards, she’s off limits. I did not catch much of SP’s Alaska, not sure if that is a game changer.

            I hope public response lands Kathy Griffen a gig telling jokes at truck stops instead of HBO.

    • Who cares?

  6. Boo hoo hoo, my Hogs went down like a sack of bricks.

    What a very strange but entertaining football game.

    • Death to the BCS. With BYU, TCU, and Utah all leaving the mountain west now it is only Bosie State that can bring down the BCS and install what America actually wants, a playoff. But with bowl games and powerful college presidents that want to keep the status quo, them making millions upon millions off of free labor, they have only one pesky school to worry about beginning in 2012. Hopefully TCU or Bosie State can make a run of it next year now that they are in the same conference their strength of schedule can be a little higher, but they also need everyone else to lose. Get one of these teams in the national championship game and we will see all the people in power trying to keep the status quo crying foul and maybe just then, we will see some change we can believe in.

      • Naten

        I agree. Nevada will add to the Mtn West as well. The WAC is in big trouble.

        If these programs play some of the top names and beat them in the regular season it will have much of the same effect. They will not be allowed in the big dance as long as “playoff” is not available.

        I find it funny how these teams strive to move up, work hard, recruit well, then right when they get the offer their programs are starting into a down cycle. I’m thinking Utah and BYU here. I also think you will see Boise take a dip next year. Too many starters graduating. They stuck around for their senior year in hopes of a BCS Bowl game. Can expect the same of Nevada with their QB and key players graduating.

        It was only a few years ago that Fresno State was beating, or nearly beating, top BCS teams. Now they struggle in the WAC. Up and Down is the standard for college sports programs. Unless you have something special to offer the top recruits.

        Of all the moving around this year, I think TCU made the best move. And they sure kept it close to the vest.

  7. Here come the over population fear mongers, ready to exploit the coming economic crisis…..

    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

    Why is this man still alive? Shouldn’t he just kill himself, you know, for the good of the planet? Oh wait, its always someone else who has to die….

    USW, I hope your surgery goes well with a speedy recovery….Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Exactly. Show us how its done.

      Happy New Year to you too, Cyndi!

      We miss you here at SUFA.

    • Yes he should show us how it works. Then all the czars can make sure to show us, then I can think of several congresscritters who could show us… ASSCLOWNS!

      • Yes, lead by example is the best, particularly when it comes to global human population control. Let ’em put their ass where their mouth is. Good riddence I say!

    • Hey CP, Happy New Year!

      The Over-Population People (OPP for short) are not all that different from the Nazi’s. They feel supior to most other people and believe they are expendable. Those in Thrid World countries, the poor entitlement classes in all nations and those that do not agree with them are those they would choose to “off”. The AGW crowd is joining the OPP, because their AGW hoax was crushed.

      The Conspiracy theory of FEMA death camps has gotten steam lately, as has alot of other CT’s. For most, the CT’s are hard to believe, because they are so Evil and unimaginable. Five years ago, the “One World Currency” CT was blown off as rediculous, today, it has been openly talked about by very powerfull people and world leaders.

      The problem our loser govt has, is that we are an armed society and we’re waking up to their BS. Very loosly organized militias are cropping up everywhere and they know it. So how will Govt get control of 300+ million citizens if the SHTF. USW alraedy made that clear, fear. The only way to get the people to leave their homes and farms wiilingly is through fear. What would cause such fear to get people to act as they wish?

      • I think a collpased economy, complete with food and fuel shortages would do it. Throw in a false flag terror attack and wha-la: full death camps. So easy a Marxist/Globalist could do it!

        😉

        • Just for fun! 🙂

          Austerity hits the US hard, the dollar devalues and we have high inflation. Gas is 5-6 bucks a gallon, food prices are 3 times what they are today. States cut entitlements in half, cities/counties lay off cops and firefighters. The US also cuts SS and Medicare 25%. Civil unrest will ensue, especially in the most populated areas. Those who have prepared are safe in the country, with plenty of food, guns and ammo, and basic needs (like me). Marshal Law is called, detention camps are hastily built, the military moves in to squash the violence, makes 100’s of thousands of arrests nationwide. Calm ensues, but the detention centers can’t get enough food for the detainees and it is scarce for everyone else in the cities. What does the Govt. do now? The choices are not good!

      • Sadly, it is not just hardcore criminals that are being rounded up and abused by authorities these days. The following are 14 of the most ridiculous things that Americans are being arrested for….

        #1 A Michigan man has been charged with a felony and could face up to 5 years in prison for reading his wife’s email.

        #2 A 49-year-old Queens woman had bruises all over her body after she was handcuffed, arrested and brutally beaten by NYPD officers. So what was her offense? The officers thought that her little dog had left some poop that she didn’t clean up.

        #3 A 56-year-old woman who was once a rape victim refused to let airport security officials feel her breasts so she was thrown to the floor, put in handcuffs and arrested.

        #4 In Milwaukee, one man was recently fined $500 for swearing on a public bus.

        #5 Several years ago a 12-year-old boy in South Carolina was actually arrested by police for opening up a Christmas present early against his family’s wishes.

        #6 In some areas of the country, it is now a crime to not recycle properly. For example, the city of Cleveland has announced plans to sort through trash cans to ensure that people are actually recycling according to city guidelines.

        #7 A 12-year-old girl from Queens was arrested earlier this year and taken out of her school in handcuffs for writing “Lex was here. 2/1/10″ and “I love my friends Abby and Faith” on her desk.

        #8 Back in 2008, a 13-year-old boy in Florida was actually arrested by police for farting in class.

        #9 The feds recently raided an Amish farmer at 5 AM in the morning because they claimed that he was engaged in the interstate sale of raw milk in violation of federal law.

        #10 A few years ago a 10-year-old girl was arrested and charged with a felony for bringing a small steak knife to school. It turns out that all she wanted to do was to cut up her lunch so that she could eat it.

        #11 On June 18th, two Christians decided that they would peacefully pass out copies of the gospel of John on a public sidewalk outside a public Islamic festival in Dearborn, Michigan and within three minutes 8 policemen surrounded them and placed them under arrest.

        #12 A U.S. District Court judge slapped a 500-dollar fine on Massachusetts fisherman Robert J. Eldridge for untangling a giant whale from his nets and setting it free. So what was his crime? Well, according to the court, Eldridge was supposed to call state authorities and wait for them to do it.

        #13 Once upon a time, a food fight in the cafeteria may have gotten you a detention. Now it may get you locked up. About a year ago, 25 students between the ages of 11 and 15 at a school in Chicago were taken into custody by police for being involved in a huge food fight in the school cafeteria.

        #14 A few years ago a 70-year-old grandmother was actually put in handcuffs and hauled off to jail for having a brown lawn.

        http://www.lewrockwell.com/rep/almost-everything-is-a-crime.html

  8. Just stopping by to share the pride, peoples.

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/01/hellllllo-nurse.html

    One way to DEFEAT OUTSOURCING …

    • Way to go Nurse Stella.! 6 months ago my niece missed her board exams because her twins decided to make their debut that day. She passed two weeks later and is now also sporting the RN pin and the spiffy job to go with it.

  9. Texas pissed of Napolitano……….again. Dateline Austin: dit dit dit dit……….

    Janet Napolitano said today that the success of the Texas model on the border is only temporary at best. Using the National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety Interdiction Program, and the newly founded rancher program only exacerbates the true Federal Policy of border protection and hinders the efforts of the homeland security and FBI and DEA and makes it harder on the Federal Government to do their business…..in response, Governor Perry said…..”So”?

    So let me understand. Texas, with its own funds, is securing its own borders, with its own people, and has reduced illegal crossings 67% in two years, shoots back, and forces Mexico to handle its own population, telling a Federal Judge that we will not abide by her order of no profiling, going after and shutting down employers who hire illegals, checking the roles of public school systems for addresses and challenging legal status of profiled individuals…….AND ENFORCING FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAW………is somehow wrong?

    Our new rancher army is working quite well and is very effective protecting their own private property. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….don’t you love it when a plan comes together.

    State’s rights……a past issue coming to light again. The Republic of Texas….nice ring to it. Wish it could happen……..perhaps…………………………………

  10. for those with an intrest in gold….

    • Common Man says:

      I have now watched this twice and it continues to make sense. Buying gold is a good idea, but silver maybe even better.

      BF:

      Your thoughts on this whole message…is there reality to it? Do you think this is what is going on?

      CM

      • CM,

        Silver is very much more volatile – it goes up faster and goes down faster.

        Traditionally Silver is 1/16 the price of Gold – so by that calculation, silver should be around $85 or gold should be $480.

        Gold will not ever go below $1050 in your lifetime, therefore, the traditional price of silver is low by this calculation.

        However, silver is NOT part of any central bank reserves – only gold is – so silver is NOT coupled necessarily to the rise/fall of fiat currency.

        Further, silver is not purposely mined – it is a byproduct of finding some other ore. There are not really any “silver mines” like there are “copper mines” or “gold Mines”. You find silver when you find copper and gold.

        On the up side, silver has been significantly consumed faster then found in mines – there is an annual greater consumption of silver than mined – thus, the ore must be purchased on the market – which will tend to keep the price going up.

        Silver is a “poor man’s gold” – it is a better purchase for the dollar then fractional ounces of gold coins – simply because the numismatic cost is not as amortized in a fractional oz. of gold coin very much in a per oz. calculation (that is, it costs about the same to punch an oz. coin as a 1/10 oz. coin.

        So for smaller value coins, silver is better than fractional oz gold.

        I think Silver is a really good buy right now. I do not buy on price – I tend to buy on down turns and hold on up turns, so such as now, where there has been a large downturn, I’d would buy.

        When it goes back up, I would hold.

      • CM,

        And, yes, there is truth behind the video. There are huge naked short positions out there – admitted by such players publicly.

        How much that has driven the price down … (shrug) … but many have been closed since the release of this video.

  11. Couple cool things in the last hour on Capitol Hill:

    A nice prayer was said before swearing in the new guys.

    Gibbs is resigning. Thank God for small favors. Could he take his boss with him?

    • WOMEN’S ASS SIZE STUDY

      There is a new study about women and how they feel about their asses; the results were pretty interesting:

      30% of women think their ass is too fat………….
      10% of women think their ass is too skinny………

      The remaining 60% say they don’t care, they love him, he’s a good man and they wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  12. Anita,

    More home schooling stuff – an interesting article:

    Parent-Controlled Education

    I am working with a young man who turned 18 in December. You know what he got for his birthday? A B.A. degree from an accredited college.

    His parents paid for tuition: under $15,000. The college awarded him his degree for work performed. He did the whole thing at home.

    Is this a better way to go to college? You bet it is.

    Are more parents going to figure this out? I hope to persuade them.

    Is boola-boola at a distant campus worth $100,000 or more, plus five years instead of four? Not to wise parents and students.

    Is earning a college degree at 18 better than earning a high school diploma? That family thought so.

    What do you think?

    SURRENDERING CONTROL

    There have been three models for parent-controlled education throughout history.

    1. Parents teach their own children.
    2. A family hires a tutor to teach its children.
    3. Families join together and hire a tutor.

    The first establishes a family’s control over the content and structure of education. But with the invention of the printing press, families have surrendered control over both content and structure to textbook writers and publishers. The publishers steadily increased their control. The families delegated control to supposed experts: the authors of textbooks.

    The second stage adds another layer of delegated authority. The tutor became the expert in what to teach and how. The most famous example in Western history of a family hiring the wrong tutor is the story of Abelard and Heloise, in the early 12th century. He was brilliant; she was brilliant, and they did something really stupid, but predictable. He got her pregnant. Her uncle saw to it that he would not get anyone else pregnant again. Their correspondence survived. It has made for great scripts over the years. The message: monitor the tutor.

    The third adds another layer of delegated authority, but with added confusion: several families pay. The students create a greater challenge: the problem of the lowest common denominator. The tutor must adjust his teaching to meet the demands of a committee above him and an intellectually and emotionally mixed group below him. But the cost per student falls through the division of labor.

    To get their children educated, parents must compromise: with textbook authors, tutors, and committees. The costs keep falling, but the structure of authority becomes less clear. Is the tutor earning his keep or not? Who is to decide? By what standard? Enforced by what sanctions? By whom? With what long-term results?

    Then parents try to cut costs even more. They pass on costs and authority to local priests. But the priests have their own agendas.

    When priests demand payment, the parents then go looking for another source of funding. Ever since the 1830s, this has been the civil government in the United States. This delegation of authority has been accompanied by anti-parental new philosophies of education (R. J. Rushdoony, “The Messianic Character of American Education”) and new systems of control (John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education”).

    All of this demonstrates, once again, that we cannot get something for nothing. When we try to do so, we always transfer authority to the agents who promise to supply us with something for nothing.

    SMALL TO BIG TO SMALL>br>
    The pattern of education was this. First, a small school — the family — taught the children. The operation is small, but it involved a heavy commitment of time by parents. As soon as textbooks appeared, parents began to undermine the family’s educational authority. Textbooks do this by cutting the costs of educating. Parents delegate authority to an expert, whose book is local.

    The move to a tutor brought in a third party, plus textbooks. This increased the size of the school.

    The tutor for many families did his work in a single location. This required a building. It required transportation. It required a schedule tied to clocks. Families adjust. The school teacher said: “I don’t make house calls.”

    The schools got bigger as more students were educated. Administrative control increases. Parents had less and less to say about what went on in the classroom.

    With tax-funded education, the last traces of parental control finally disappeared. The PTA was an invention of school administrators to create an illusion of parental input. It was a way to keep activist parents busy. The PTA is busywork for parents.

    The schools kept getting bigger. Regional high schools wiped out local high schools in rural areas.

    The mark of all this has been the school bus. It says, “Teachers don’t make house calls.” They are symbols of authority: schools over parents. I have written about school buses here.

    http://bit.ly/TwoBuses

    This pattern of growth parallels the history of mass production. Consider textile production. Initially, a family raised sheep and spun its own yarn. Then this was transferred to sheep herders and local carders. The system of household industry took over: specialists delivered raw materials to households and paid for output on a piece-rate basis. Then looms took over: mass production. The costs fell. Factory production replaced household production.

    Choices increased, but authority over production was delegated. Costs fell, but production got centralized. Today, there are cities in China that specialize in specific articles of clothing: socks. neckties, or sweaters. They ship anywhere.

    http://bit.ly/SocksCity

    Asia busted America’s trade unions in manufacturing. Let us be thankful for large favors.

    Then must everything get larger, more distant, and more centralized as specialization increases? No. There is a new movement toward greater local authority. Just as we saw centralization early in education, so are we seeing decentralization in education.

    Where brainpower is for sale rather than physical items, digits are returning authority to local households. The fact that we buy our socks from China is really neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. What customer cares? But when we are talking about ideas, a lot of them care.

    HOME SCHOOLING

    Home schooling is a throwback to the fifteenth century. It lets parents choose the content and structure of their children’s education. But it goes far beyond anything available then. One size does not fit all: all parents or all children. There is enormous diversity today, and it is getting even more diverse.

    The teacher-tutor today says, “I do make house calls.” He does this through the Internet. The student stays at his desk, and he can access programs around the world.

    The model is Salman Khan’s Khan Academy. There, a student in India can learn math through calculus, physics, and several other sciences. It is 100% free. It is 100% decentralized.

    The technology is moving to classrooms on the Web. The Mises Academy offers on-line courses, taught live.

    For true/false exams and multiple choice exams, machines have replaced teachers at the university level. Now digital exams can match this. Only essay exams need teachers. If a parent wants essay exams, he can pay for a tutor. They are available cheap on the Web.

    The parent can choose from a wide range of teachers and courses. This is growing constantly. Choices increase as prices fall.

    The students are not forced onto buses. They are not governed by the ringing of bells.

    The old model of the factory, with its rigid time schedule, is dying. The number of Americans employed in such environments is falling.

    The educational system that was designed to supply highly conditioned workers to factories is now outmoded. That was what the system designed by public school educators was supposed to produce. The production system rolls on, but the programs no longer match reality. The content of education has been dumbed down: lowest common denominator. The brighter students get Advanced Placement courses: APs. But there are few high school courses that require a classroom any longer, except possibly for chemistry, with its labs. Not many students take chemistry.

    We see a unionized system of education, which spends far too much on administration, facing budget cuts. The most feared sanction in any bureaucracy — budget cuts — now threatens school systems around the West. The parents are finally rebelling at the polls: no more bond issues, no more new schools being built, no more pay raises for teachers, and firing untenured teachers.

    Soon, classroom size will grow. Then other cost- cutting measures will appear, including Internet courses. But once that happens, the teachers union will not be able to criticize Internet-based home schooling. The parents can “hire” the top teachers anywhere on earth.

    NEWSPAPERS SHOW THE WAY

    Physical newspapers are all dying. They deliver day- old news. They are expensive to print and distribute. They are aimed at large audiences: the lowest common denominator. They ask people to be satisfied with local articles by local columnists, when the Web provides access to the best writers and cartoonists.

    What can the local paper offer that is unique? Local stories. But local news can be found online on local blogs.

    Newspaper editors say: “We get professionals to write these local stories.” But then these stories get posted. We can read them for free. The production of news stories is being transferred to the Web. The existing models are no longer working.

    The subscription-based news industry is shrinking, yet the number of readers is growing. The returns to largeness are falling. The economies of scale no longer favor the large, centralized producer. They favor the little guy in most cases. And where they don’t, the users still get their news for free on-line. The newspapers find that few people will pay for digital news.

    Rupert Murdoch’s world of paper newspapers is dying. We call the newspapers only out of habit. He bought MySpace, just in time to be hammered by Facebook.

    The skills developed in terms of the old technology must be applied in a new environment or else abandoned. The established producers hope they can adjust. They won’t. They hope that this process will not continue. It will.

    The move has been this: (1) small and local without specialization; (2) large and distant with specialization; (3) small and international with specialization, As soon as digits are involved, “We make house calls” becomes the cry. Suppliers deliver to our door. Think of Amazon and UPS. Think of Salman Khan’s site.

    When you can buy from anywhere, local monopolies die. That happened to medieval urban guilds. It is happening to education. The local tax-funded school cannot deliver the goods. Today, it offers babysitting. It offers sports. It offers a central market where drugs are available. It offers opportunities for teenagers to hook up, which does not mean what it did in my day. It offers economies of scale in those features of education that are either peripheral or objectionable.

    CONCLUSION

    Family by family, parents are making the decision to pull their children out. They want a better education for their children.

    Family by family, the realization is becoming clear: a mother can stay home with her children and monitor their performance. She can give them a better education than the local tax-funded school can.

    The existing educational system is desperately trying to keep the public schools from losing its best students, but it cannot win this war. Digital technology is against it. Price competition is against it. The tax revolt is against it. The looming bankruptcy of municipalities is against it.

    As the centralized control over the content of education fades, the diversity of choices will undermine the existing political order.

    The Left cheers multiculturalism. We are going to see what real multiculturalism is: a world without ideological control by New York City’s textbook publishers.

    There is a scene in the movie, “The Answer Man,” where Jeff Daniels takes on a public school teacher. It is a great scene. That it could appear in a Hollywood movie is an indication of what lies ahead for the existing system.

    As the old saying goes, “When you see something wobble, push it.”

    • Thanks BF. This just helped get my game face on. Leaving the house shortly to see the counselor.

      • UPDATE: Counselor really had no good argument for us. She informed us how in the end it’s our decision but that she would love for my son to stay in the school system. She really couldn’t defend any problems I brought up. I did agree to a meeting with all 6 teachers but did tell the counselor I really didnt see how it would help. I’ll play the game til the end of the semester but more so that I can get prepared than to satisfy them.

        • Sounds like you are on the right path. I must admit this is what I expected you to say happened, the public schools have long since lost the ability to make compelling arguments for staying there outside of financial or time related issues. If you know what you are getting into there and you are willing to take it on, there is no compelling argument for continuing public education.

  13. More on Gold vs Silver

    The case for gold vs. silver is simple:
    (1) Gold is what rich people buy in a crisis;
    (2) Gold is what Indian fathers buy when their daughters marry;
    (3) Gold is what central banks buy from each other.

    There is a floor under gold that silver does not possess.

    We have been told of an imminent shortage of silver for 45 consecutive years. No such shortage has ever occurred, except in 1979, due to Bunker Hunt, who went bankrupt when the FED ceased inflating in November and the COMEX changed the rules.

    Silver almost never outperforms gold.

    Owning some silver coins is OK. A 80/20 split is reasonable. But gold should be the core of your precious metals holdings.

  14. When evaluating a future risk of US currency, some things to keep in mind and consider:

    The FED it will not hyperinflate. It will risk a major recession. The main threat to the dollar is Congress.

    The Federal Reserve is staffed by economists. The Board of Governors is staffed by economists. The regional FED banks are sometimes headed by bankers, but usually they are academically trained bankers.

    The nature of the training in academia is to conform to the consensus. The system screens out mavericks. People rise professionally by avoiding extreme positions. The result is consensus thinking.

    The world’s economists all know about Weimar Germany.

    They probably have heard of the story of Hungary in 1946.

    They all know of Zimbabwe in 2008.

    FED staffers do not want their careers to be tarnished by such a disaster. These people look to their academic peers as guidelines. Their peers are cautious to the core.

    Staff economists are more concerned about their reputations and their pensions than they are about Congress or the Treasury.

    Hyperinflation would be very bad for the Big Four banks. They would be sitting on worthless IOUs to pay them dollars.

    In a depression, the FED will pay its pension obligations and its staff’s salaries. That is rule #1. The recipients do not want hyperinflation, which wipes them out along with everyone else.

    Kicking the can down the road for Congress means delaying any decision about the budget deficit. For the FED, it means risking one more boom-bust cycle. It does not mean risking hyperinflation.

    Keep this in mind: these people are academics at heart. They seek the middle of the road. They trust in their pensions. They have something like tenure. The FED gives them what they want . . . unless there is hyperinflation or a total deflationary collapse.

    The FED can avoid both by refusing to stick with any monetary policy too long. Boom-bust does not hurt them.

    BUT the Congress is governed by short-run considerations.

    Congress is a threat to the dollar.

    If Congress nationalizes the FED, then we will get hyperinflation.

    That is why the threat of Federal bankruptcy is a threat to the dollar.

    Congress may demand that the FED buy T-bills. If it does, the day of reckoning will arrive. But we are not near that today.

    But, one day, we might be.

    • BF,

      How do outside entities like China, OPEC and the IMF play in this? When does the debt (14 trillion) get too big? I have read that the FED RES is already buying T-Bills, but not by force. What happens if the dollar stops being the worlds reserve currency?

  15. BF and others –

    USW touched on this yesterday, the dilemma of raising the debt ceiling again. Could you talk about what you think should happen and why.

    Thanks~

    • BF: Don’t raise the ceiling. Cut spending or default. Eventually cut it all, but that’s a start, not that it will happen because the only thing government does well is grow. Let it burn, wanna let it burn, wanna let it burn, wanna wanna let it bu-urn!

      Mathius: They should raise the ceiling, but slash the defense budget and means test SS. Then, they just have to figure out a way to keep increases in expenses in line (or less) than growth in tax revenue. Then they need to establish a long-term plan to pay off the debt and live within our means.

      DPM: Y’AARRRGH, let’s just have a grog and forget about it because nothing you say or do or think matters to those fools – they’ll be doing whatever it is they want regardless. They’re only interested in themselves, so driving the country off a cliff doesn’t concern them. So why get bent out of shape over something you can’t control?

      • Matt, “slash the defense budget”.

        Not without equal cuts to all entitlements.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/graph_for_the_day_for_january.html

        Graph for the Day for January 5, 2011
        Janice Shaw Crouse
        “[B]ureaucracies with unique goals achieve autonomy when their middle-level officials establish reputations among diverse coalitions for effectively providing unique services. These coalitions enable agencies to resist political control and make it costly for politicians to ignore the agencies’ ideas.”[1] … [This reality creates] “the conditions under which administrators have gained control over the political authorities that ostensibly control them.”[2]

        The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy

        Bureaucratic Empire Building at the Food and Nutrition Service (never let a recession go to waste):

        1981 number in poverty: 31.8 million ~ Food Stamp benefit expenditures $24.9 billion (2010 dollars)

        1995 number in poverty: 36.4 million ~ Food Stamp benefit expenditures $32.4 billion (2010 dollars)

        2010 number in poverty: 44.6 million[3] ~ Food Stamp benefit expenditures $64.7 billion (2010 dollars)

        1995-2010: Persons in poverty: up 22.5 percent ~ Food Stamp benefit expenditures: up 99.5 percent

      • Mathius,

        than growth in tax revenue

        What is the point of a “debt ceiling” that is always raised? It isn’t a ceiling then – it is merely a news item and a talking point.

        Either it is a ceiling or it is not. If it is a ceiling it should be static.

    • Kathy,

      Here’s what Harry Reid thinks about raising the debt limit, before he had the credit card. I wonder what he will say now???

      http://nation.foxnews.com/debt-ceiling/2011/01/05/reid-raising-debt-ceiling-06-weakens-country-hurts-economy

    • Five years ago, then-Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) voted against raising the debt ceiling and even spoke about it on the Senate floor before the Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-48 to increase it.

      “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” Obama said on March 16, 2006. “Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

      http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/white-house-defends-obama-s-senate-vote

      This is one of the very few times when I agree with BO 😆 What a JackWagon!

  16. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=abo3Zo0ifzJg&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Geithner Aides Reaped Millions Working for Banks, Hedge Funds
    By Robert Schmidt – October 14, 2009 00:00 EDT

    Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) — Some of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s closest aides, none of whom faced Senate confirmation, earned millions of dollars a year working for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and other Wall Street firms, according to financial disclosure forms.

    The advisers include Gene Sperling, who last year took in $887,727 from Goldman Sachs and $158,000 for speeches mostly to financial companies, including the firm run by accused Ponzi scheme mastermind R. Allen Stanford. Another top aide, Lee Sachs, reported more than $3 million in salary and partnership income from Mariner Investment Group, a New York hedge fund.

    As part of Geithner’s kitchen cabinet, Sperling and Sachs wield influence behind the scenes at the Treasury Department, where they help oversee the $700 billion banking rescue and craft executive pay rules and the revamp of financial regulations. Yet they haven’t faced the public scrutiny given to Senate-confirmed appointees, nor are they compelled to testify in Congress to defend or explain the Treasury’s policies.

    “These people are incredibly smart, they’re incredibly talented and they bring knowledge,” said Bill Brown, a visiting professor at Duke University School of Law and former managing director at Morgan Stanley. “The risk is they will further exacerbate the problem of our regulators identifying with Wall Street.”

    While it isn’t unusual for Treasury officials to come from the financial industry, President Barack Obama has been critical of Wall Street, blaming its high-risk, high-pay culture for helping cause the financial-market meltdown.

    ‘Reckless Behavior’

    Speaking to financial executives last month, Obama said: “We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses.”

    At the same time, the president has promised to change Washington by keeping lobbyists for special interests at a distance and by making decisions in the open.

    Sperling and Sachs are each paid $162,900 at the Treasury. Along with four others, they hold the title of counselor to Geithner. Sachs, 46, withdrew earlier this year from consideration to be the Treasury’s top domestic finance official, a job that would have required Senate confirmation.

    Geithner’s predecessor, Henry Paulson, brought on a coterie of non-confirmed advisers from Goldman Sachs at the end of his term. Paulson, who had been the firm’s chief executive officer, defended the arrangement as necessary to quickly bring in top talent when the financial system was on the verge of collapse.

  17. I thought indoctrinating children was wrong.. or is it only wrong with you agree with what they’re being told?

    I often go into a high school auditorium or meet with people at even the K-through-12 level in their entirety, and I will tell them: “You will be asked to answer one of the most profound moral questions of our age and that is where do you stand on the abortion issue. And you need to only ask and answer two questions. The first question is do you believe that human life is sacred in all of its forms. Is the person sitting to your left and to your right and everyone in this room, is their life sacred?” And they’ll nod their heads.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/03/steve-king-abortion_n_803694.html

    • Soooo, How do YOU answer the questions?

      FTR: I agree a K-12 setting is not the proper place for this kind of discussion.

    • yea, only a parent should have the right to address moral issues of this nature, regardless of which side of the issue you are on.

    • Nice try Mathius. I personally would not want any politician addressing school age children – regardless of their party or beliefs.

    • It is a controversial topic, which if the school is going to offer a speaker to discuss, I would expect notification. I might want a say in who tells them what. I do think it is a subject, like sex-ed, that when they reach a certain age, needs discussing. I think the parents should be the primary person’s doing that discussing. I do not object to sex-ed at school, nor them talking about abortion. I think if I am doing my job as a parent, I will be able to deal with the Steve King’s and Planned Parenthood.

    • Indoctrinating children IS wrong. Does not matter the topic or whom delivers it.

    • TexasChem says:

      As a kid growing up in Southeast Texas I can remember multiple times in which positive morals and values were reinforced by members of the community in which I lived. If I were at a friends house and my friend and I did something we were not supposed to do…we got a whooping with a peach tree switch. Did not matter if it was my dad or their dad. In school we got paddled by the principal or coach if we got into serious trouble. While I agree that indoctrinating children is wrong as D13 says, where do you draw the line at reinforcing right/wrong whether from telling them what is indeed right/wrong or using corporeal punishment?

      • Same place that you and I had it drawn….except I got switched with a willow branch..and told to pick it.

        My grandma did this… I do not remember what I did but whatever it was required a “reinforcement”…so I was told to go out and cut my own switch… I did as told and came back with one that was about one foot long and very flexible….my grandma just smiled and went and got her own switch….considerably larger and not so flexible….seems that has stayed with me…..that and the deserved “licks” I received in junior high school for being a smart ass to a teacher.

        The indoctrination that I referred to was political and personal viewpoints being taught or forced in schools.

        • Mother would send us children out to cut our own switches also. We would cut 3 or 4 and try them out on ourselves to see which one hurt the least. Looking back it must have been a sight to see 4 kids standing around a switch tree whacking themselves with switches.

        • Maybe my mom knew your grandmother-As much as being popped with that switch hurt-I think it was the having to go get it that bothered me the most 🙂 But no offense Bama but I didn’t add to the humiliation by hitting myself LOL

          • Gotta admit…hard to top BAma on that one….the visual….kids standing around beating the crap out of each other to pick the one that hurt less….mom standing in the window, unknown to the kids, grinning like a Cheshire Cat……the beauty of it.

      • Yardsticks and belts were the spanking weapons of choice. Just one whack with either. Got into major trouble once for putting a book in my butt area and then laughing when yardstick struck it and broke. I tell these stories to my kids and they can’t believe it. Didn’t happen often but was very effective.

      • I have a Japanese Mom, which means when you got beat, it was whatever she could get her hands on. Wire end of a fly swatter, the old Air Force cotton/canvas belts, whatever she could grab first. Good Times.

      • Texas Teacher says:

        My partner (or wifey as I call him) and I also grew up in SE Texas – about 70 miles NE of Houston. Neither of us needed to be beaten to reinforce any values or lessons. As both of us are teachers now we would both discourage use of the same. Beating another living creature to enforce a moral or lesson reminds me of the saying:

        “Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity”

        • Ummmmm….who said anything about a beating? Or do you equate spankings and switches to beatings…

          • Yes. there is a big difference between a beating and an old fashioned whooping. I’m not sure exactly how my mom, who was the sweetest person in the world, did it. But she convinced me-that she loved me more than her own life and that she would kill me if I did wrong at the same time. I’m thinking it’s a matter of demanding respect from your children and I know that switch and being willing to use it was a part of that process.

          • Back in the day it was called a whuppin and not a beating. When I got older my mom used to tell friends and family “The only day that boy didn’t get a whuppin was on the days he was sick”.

        • Never felt I was beat or abused. Disciplined was how we viewed it.

          Having said that, I never spanked my own kids.

          • Razor strap hung in the bathroom closet! Heard it used on the older sibs. I think senility settled in as the youngest of us grew because I only got the belt. Couple times did the trick. A stern eye and immense fear worked the rest of the way. Don’t think the baby of the family ever got spanked!

  18. TexasChem says:

    Political Correctness is Cultural Marxism:

    Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. An intellectual Soylent Green is happening in which western culture has become the main course and Political Correctness the secret weapon. Here more than in anything else, knowledge is the weapon to fight back with!

    Marxist theory said that if a major war broke out in Europe, the workers of every country would join together in a revolution to overthrow capitalism and replace it with international socialism. But when war came, that did not happen. What had gone wrong?

    Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary were two Marxist theorists that independently came up with the same answer. They said that Western culture and the Christian religion had so blinded the working class to its true Marxist class interests that Communism was impossible in the West until traditional culture and Christianity were destroyed. When Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the Bolshevik government of Hungary in 1919, one of his first acts was to introduce sex education into Hungarian schools. He knew that destroying traditional sexual morals would be a major step toward destroying Western culture itself.

    Lukacs became a major influence on a Marxist think tank established in 1923 at Frankfurt University in Germany, the Institute for Social Research, commonly known as the Frankfurt School. When Max Horkheimer took over as director of the Frankfurt School in 1930, he set about in earnest to do Lukacs’ bidding by translating Marxism from economic into cultural terms. Other Frankfurt School members devoted to this intellectually difficult task were Theodor Adorno, Eric Fromm, Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse.

    The Frankfurt School’s key to success was crossing Marx with Freud. They argued that just as under capitalism everyone lived in a state of economic oppression, so under Western culture people lived under psychological repression. From psychology they also drew the technique of psychological conditioning. Want to “normalize” homosexuality? Just show television program after television program where the hero and normal-seeming white male is homosexual. Anyone notice any relevance to this in todays world of television and theatre?
    Brokeback Mountain? Milk? CSI episodes… Hrmmm…The same can be said true of other behavior deemed detrimental to society that the entertainemnt industry is sensationalizing.

    In 1933 the Frankfurt School moved from Germany to New York City. There, its products included “critical theory,” which demands constant, destructive criticism of every traditional social institution, starting with the family. It also created a series of “studies in prejudice,” culminating in Adorno’s immensely influential book, The Authoritarian Personality, which argued that anyone who defends traditional culture is a “fascist” and also mentally ill. That is why anyone who now dares defy “PC” gets sent to “sensitivity training,” which in reality is psychological conditioning designed to produce submission!

    In the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Marcuse translated the abstruse work of the other Frankfurt School thinkers into books college students could understand, such as Eros and Civilization, which became the Bible of the New Left in the 1960s. Marcuse injected the Frankfurt School’s cultural Marxism into the baby boom generation, to the point where it is now that generation’s ideology. We know it as “multiculturalism,” “diversity” or just Political Correctness.

    That is the dirty little secret of Political Correctness, folks: it is a form of Marxism. If the average American knew that, I suspect Political Correctness would be in serious trouble.

    Most people in the U. S. hate Political Correctness, but they don’t know how to fight it. The way to fight it is to find out what it really is, and make sure all your friends find out too. I reccommend watching this series on youtube.

  19. Anything that pisses Joy Behar off has to be good. She is on record yesterday against the reading of the constitution in Congress today. She says that the Constitution was not the mainstay of this country. Nuff said…she deserves no more consideration.

    The New York Times is against the reading of the Constitution and stated that anyone that thinks the Constitution is a static document needs to go back to school. It is to be reinterpreted as a document as the future grows but NOT reinterpreted by the Tea Party and the Republicans. Nuff said….who reads this paper anyway?

    Banks are now going to require 30% down for buying homes. So, let me see if I understand this. The banks, following regulations and greed and under pressure from Congress, made loans to people who could not afford them and destroyed their own balance sheets, then get massive infusion from our tax money to clean up the housing market debacle that they created…but they keep the money and pump up their balance sheets with cash and liquidity….now, they decide to require 30% down on home buying, which they should have done anyway, and raising the new round of bank fees that Obama put into place as a result of revampng the bank regulations. (The cost is passed along). So, now, they increased their balance sheets with tax money that was supposed to be passed along to help mortgages and now……put in the consumer controls…..to pump their balance sheets. Bank of America is the biggest culprit….but I left them back in the 70’s.

    • I actually think 30% is too high-20% worked well for a long time. They go to such extremes-we want everyone to have a house so we make it so easy it’s nuts-now they want to make it too hard.

    • TexasChem says:

      PC Marxism…the majority of mainstream media is just propoganda. Behars and the Times’ statements are blatantly obvious. I just don’t understand why people let themselves be led around for slaughter.

      • TC,

        Most people can’t handle the truth. To see the truth, understand it, requires courage. The truth can be very ugly, and those that lack courage, will not face it. The few that see truth, understand it as it is today, face an undaunting task, how best to face it.

        Today, our words are meaningless. The powers that be do not care, they just want the power. Sadly, facing this will take undaunting courage, from the few.

  20. Ahhhhh…….the Tea Party has pulled enough power in Congress to require any bills that are to be introduced be accompanied by the inclusion of the part of the Constitution that gives them this power. Senate Democrats calls this obstructionism and grandstanding….the Tea Party says this is what we were elected for….to prove where Congress gets this power. The OLD GUARD Republicans are now saying that the freshmen do not inderstand Washington politics……..perhaps they do understand.

    • Yea, its not a lack of understanding, it is unwillingness to accept Washington politics as they are and changing them. If the system is screwed up, you don’t let it make you screwed up, you fix the damn thing.

    • I call it great-At the very least having to include the part of the Constitution that backs up their bill-will make them think about the bill in relation to the Constitution-put them in the right mind set so to speak-I hope to never hear another politician say-Are you kidding? when they are asked this question.

  21. Economics 101 – revisted.

    New York and Ohio lost 2 seats each, and eight states lost a single seat: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

    Texas, 4; Florida, 2; and six states with 1: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington….all gained seats.

    Texas, Florida, Nevada, Utah, and Washington all have no state income tax.

    States that lost key industry and major players – New YOrk, Illinois, New Jersey, California, Massachusettes, and Pennsylvania.

    States that gained these same industries and major plaers – Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Washington.

    This is not to mention those industries that have had enough of all taxes a flew to India and China with little or no taxes for industry.

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  22. A little Texas justice in Arizona? Preliminary reports…..another 17 year old was shot to death in Nogales, Arizona for throwing rocks at Federal Agents….from on top of the border fence…..during a drug chase.

    Sigh……bringing rocks to a gun fight yet again.

    • Oh no, not the “can rocks kill?” discussion. Let’s not do this again. Go to the archives and read all about it.

      • No..no need to discuss it….just reporting the futility of it. Just another border “non incident”….the new term for Napolitano.

  23. Oh Flagster, Hehehehe

  24. Prime Minister Julia Gillard – Australia

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..

    Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques. Quote:

    ‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT.. Take It Or Leave It.
    I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. ‘

    ‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom’

    ‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!’

    ‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

    ‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’

    ‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’
    ‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

    Gotta love her….brass balls……no…make that cast iron ones.

  25. @ Ray…thought of you on this saying.

    “In the coming new year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address occur on the same day, Feb. 2, 2011.

    “It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to an insignificant creature of little intelligence for prognostication.

    While the other involves a groundhog.”

    • Wonder if the Supreme Court Justices will be there. I think I would set this one out if I was them. 🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @D13 – sadly the insignificant creature will have quite a theater to play to – equal parts cheering and jeering I suppose.

      • You are probably correct……isn’t it interesting how our chamber is responding like that of England…..I thought we got away from all of that.

        HOw are you this fine day, sir?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Doin well D13 – working a forensics case which is always interesting. You’d be amazed at the creative side businesses people try to setup and run from the workplace. Not a good idea cause eventually you will get caught……

  26. Re: D13’s comment on the reading of the Constitution, etc.

    Good morning Colonel.

    The reference to the NY Times prompted me to search out their story. I found this little ditty wherein they provided an “annotated” version with notes about the parts often disputed by “teaparty” and others. Aside from the fact they constantly used “tea party” to describe one side rather than “constructionists” or “orginalists” or some other more accurate label, the notations were somewhat informative.

    But just to help you all get your blood flowing this morning I thought I would link you to the comments made about the article. They probably say more about the work that still lies ahead than anything contained in an article by a talking head.

    Make sure you go past the first page of comments or you won’t get a full “flavor” of the stew:

    http://community.nytimes.com/comments/thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/an-annotated-guide-to-the-constitution/

    • Will do so, sir. I have not read anything from this paper but the radio show that I was listening to was really having a field day with this one.

      • Ok read the article and some of the bloggers (not all) but the annotated parts that the NYT highlited were indeed interesting….however, I noticed that the NYT left out references to several of the amendments that changed some of what they annotated…..interesting though….thanks for the link.

    • I thought this was interesting:

      The man responsible for the exercise (reading the constitution), Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., says it’s more than just a simple civics lesson.

      “This is a very symbolic showing to the American people,” said Goodlatte, “and it’s a powerful message to members of Congress. We are a nation of laws, not of men.”

      So the laws come before the individual men?

      • Howdy Todd!

        Hope your getting plenty of winter sport activity in, seems like snow is everywhere. We could get a foot by Sunday night.

        IMHO, this is just theatrics at is worst. On one side, people say it’s just stupid, one the other side, they applaud the move thinking that someone might learn something, and there are a few people who are lapping this up like a thirsty dogs. Silly actually, to think D.C. is going to change in some way.

      • We are supposed to be ruled by law, not by man. Equal justice for all. The elite aren’t supposed to be above the law. A nation of laws is supposed to protect the individual man from being governed and controlled by a powerful elite.

        • V.H.

          Well done my dear.

          🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

          Of course the corollary is that laws are the product of Government, and thus our freedom depends on Govt passing laws to control itself.

        • Nice, V.H.

        • At one job interview for a to be unnamed city in SoCal police department, I was turned downed because I would have a celebrity’s limo impounded and its driver arrested for blatantly refusing to move out of the white curbed no-parking zone at the local airport. When I was asked why I would do this because this particular celebrity was very instrumental in bringing much revenue into the city. I stated that under the U.S. Constitution the law is for everyone and there are no exceptions. I was told by the interview panel that I would not be hired in spite of my range of experience and expertise because they could not risk any of the city’s many celebrity’s being “disrespected” by any of the city’s police officers.

          Now do you know what the problem in this country is?

        • This theory of the equality of law is irrational.

          So what if the Law is equal if you are the one who makes the law?

          The “equality” of law is a great fiction used to enslave the People

      • Todd

        Yes, that is another purpose of the old saying. V.H. has one interpretation spot on.

        But the other use, by those great stateists is that laws, and thus Govt, and thus society, has primary presidence over the freedom of the individual.

        It is one of those phrases that has been corrupted by those who wish to destroy its legacy. V.H. pretty much captured the “original intent”, pun completely intended.

      • Well that’s quite the impressive lineup of “spinsters”.
        If Obama or Pelosi had said this, you’d all be jumping up and down screaming bloody murder!

        At least G-Man got it right!

        It’s a pretty scary day when G-Man is the voice of reason around here!! * 😉

        * extra credit if you can name the source of this (obviously it wasn’t G-Man in the original quote)

        • I’m honored to be a voice of reason, at least for a few minutes. During the reading of the Constitution today, a rude women spoke up about Obama’s birth issue thingy. While this was truly rude, she was told she was “under arrest” as she was being escourted away by Capital Police. So, let’s get this straight, a citizen exercises her right to free speech, in front of the House of Reps, while they are reading the document that guarentees that right, is promptly arrested. If that ain’t IRONIC, I don’t know what is.

          Now the Jackwagons playing theatrics apparently couldn’t even do this one simple thing correctly, which is read the document, as written.

          http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/06/constitutional-reading-sparks-debate-omitted-parts/

          Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., questioned the reading of the “amended” Constitution.

          “To not read the full document, including all the text that was later amended, is to fail to acknowledge the struggle our nation has constantly fought, within and without, to ‘keep’ our Republic,” he said in a written statement.

          I, in this rare moment, agree with Rep Cummings, a Democrat! Someone call the Pope 🙂 it’s snowing in hell!

          • G-Man,
            Wow – so it’s your fault it’s been so cold this Winter!! 🙂

            That is an interesting twist on the days events.

            It’s also interesting that on the day the Republicans made such a big deal about reading the Constitution, two Republican members of the House violated the Constitution by casting votes without being sworn in.

            And one of them violated House rules by having a fundraiser in the Capitol Visitor Center…

  27. Anita

    Re: your post about home schooling and meeting with the district.

    Perhaps I missed it, but could you share what your primary grievances are with the public school district?

    Thanks,
    JAC

    • uuuugghh! a 45 minute explanation just went poof! Long story short-my situation involves personal life as well. 3 close in deaths in the family in 3 yrs, (favorite aunt, favorite uncle,on dad’s side both mid 40s both heart trouble, and grandma), dad opens the spikets to the keg and finds other female interest which gets him and his son kicked to the curb. A heartbreaker to lose the son but still see him daily. These shake ups have undoubtedly caused trauma for both kids. This begins in their 5th grade but they finish that year with excellant grades. 6th grade begins and ends badly. Grades hit bottom and stay there now matter how many trips I make to the classroom for behavior modification ;). The kids rule the roost and the teachers are at a loss as to how to deal with it. Large class size 37 and 34 is a big problem. Also found out during 6th grade that an unusal amount of ADHD kids have come along the six years as well. I’m amazed they passed the boys to the middle school.
      I’m at my wits end and begin researching homeschooling.. Divine Intervention happens..son befriends family of 5 homeschooled boys. Well mannered, well educated kids. I begin full assault on newfound friends about homeschooling and get a better understanding of day to day mechanics of it. Still hope for the best as 7th grade begins..Has not yet come to fruition. Not only am now I scared I’m pissed 👿 My biggest beef is THE INMATES RUN THE ASYLUM. Minor infractions result in detentions or 1 day suspensions and they are frequent. My home is the neighborhood meetup and fav hangout so I get to assault all the kids on what these infractions are. They are as old as father time..talking in class, paper airplanes, late for class (10 minutes is avg..where are the hall monitors while the inmates are loose),”dropping” the pencil and “falling” out of chair to retrieve it. But zero tolerance and PC have them suspended way too much for my liking. Loss of class time = less time learning =slippery slope= disaster x 650 kids. Not to absolve my class clown/bored to death/quick learning son (he is after all Anita jr.) but I see no other problem solving techniques other than suspensions. HANG EM I say..duct tape to the mouth, tear up the plane, write I must not talk 1000 times, stand in the hallway for 20 minutes,teacher pacing the aisles, but that falls on deaf ears. Another complaint from the kids is a raised hand for questions goes un noticed.Homework counts for only 10% so all my preaching about homework really result in getting nowhere. My many contacts by email and phone this year have brought the response of “well Ms. Anita we have 35 students per class we don’t have time for one on one teaching. Well zippidy doo da! So you have no control and no time for one on one. So exactly what is it I’m paying you to do? The staff has no accountability and I can relate to an extent..BUT..in the end its my job to see that he LEARNS. My district is also a ‘school of choice’ district which has brought many thugs from surrounding cities into our well accredited district. The high school is worse…they bring weapons to school. Two city cops are at the high school daily. So as I try to live outside the box more and more homeschooling seems to be he way to go. Son balked at first but the more we get into it the more he is actually excited about it.

      Welcome to the Anita asylum. My son and I click well. He’s good around the house, does his chores(while whining), checks in on time, no police knocking on the door, responds real well to my help with his homework, I’m in a position where I can homeschool so I don’t see the harm. Matter of fact I’m seeing plenty of good! Now if my crystal ball would cooperate I would feel more secure in my decision.

      If this doesn’t post this time I’m coming thru the screen after it. I thought this was the short story.

      • My crystal ball says you should do it. Now, I kinda do feel for the kid to have to have Anita 24/7, but given your/his story here, you might be the lesser of evils. 😀 😀

      • Anita

        May God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can not, and the wisdom to know the difference.

        Seems to me you have it tied down good and tight.

        So to my question, it appears the biggest issue with the schools proper is:

        1) They lack control in the first place. A problem hit on by Graf Zepplin in his guest article.
        2) Their only recourse for behavior is suspension.
        3) Given their frustration they basically don’t give a shit any longer.

        And it sounds like the future for High School is pretty damn bleak.

        So here is the next big million dollar question.

        Why not just get the hell out of the area all together? Go somewhere where the schools don’t suffer from the same malaise/affliction, etc?

        • JAC
          suffer from the same malaise/affliction

          There is no such school that is not infected = the difference is merely the intensity of the infection.

          As the article above says:

          “Why go for a diploma when you can go for a degree by doing homeschooling”

          Why, indeed!

          • Precisely, there is no such place. All of the public schools are infected. ALL OF THEM!

            Some are better than others, some have good teachers and fewer behavior issues. But they are still infected.

        • Mornin JAC,

          The straight answer to your question is very simple. It’s too damn cold in an RV on a lake in the middle of winter! Patience, patience. I’ll be breaking ground as soon as the ground thaws. The original plan was to be in by the time my son starts 9th grade. But at this rate he’s either not going to ever make it there or they’ll continue passing him and he’ll be a lost soul. Can’t have that. As it stands today, if I homeschool I can move as soon as the house is finished instead of on a timeline decided by a school year. I’ve still been thinking about only doing this until 9th grade. But if this works well, who knows? Couple numbers of interest: Current city population-22,000 New township – 4600. Currrent city high school enrollment-1300 New township 450.. New township has been catering to the higher end homes for several years now and boasts a new state of the art high school. Gotta like that.

          • Once you go home, you will never roam. 😀

            Seriously, there is nothing for your son in a public high school you can’t give him at home except for peer influence and girls.

            I hear you on the RV thing tho, we have been using a lot more propane than I expected this winter, and its not nearly as cold here as where you are. 🙂

            • Hey Jon, Thanks for the positive feedback on all this. Helps ease the mind some. I’ll see what the finances are looking like in a year or so and make a further plan based on that.

              RV is a 32 footer, loaded! Can’t figure out why the furnace won’t run on electric. RV repairman wants $125 just to get in his vehicle. I’m not that desperate. Had regular HVAC friend come out and check it out but he’s at a loss too. Curses!

              • Most RV furnaces are propane only. We use a space heater when we are plugged in to save on propane costs, but on cold nights (below 25 degrees) we still need the furnace to keep up. They are pretty efficient tho, especially in the newer units. 32 footer is a little more space to heat, but you unit is likely better insulated than our ’76 model. 🙂

              • It’s an 05. Ran on electric for two years then suddenly nothing. No biggie! Plan to downsize drastically once the house is in. Never even considered a space heater, duh! 🙂

              • If it does not run, it is probably a controller issue, if it does not heat, it could be a fluid issue (heat pump coolant)

                Back before I hit a rough patch we had an ’02 Minnie Winnie. That was nice. I miss it. Admittedly, however, the low amount of features in the ’76 makes for a LOT less battery drain. And of course there is the cost of the unit, insurance, and especially property tax.

      • Its not just the lack of control that is a problem. It is also the control. I see school events and activities through my gf’s business that cast a frightening light on the prison like procedures in public school these days. Basically, as usual, the system punishes the good and rewards the bad. I feel like mounting an intervention every time we do a karaoke event for a school. I don’t know what they are teaching in class (tho last I checked it was crap), but i know what they are teaching in the halls and cafeterias. Suffice it to say that I am amazed at the intelligence of Americans considering the dismal nature of most of their education. And that is NOT a statement of how smart the average American is, but rather how much smarter they are than they would be if public school was their only source of instruction.

  28. This is a good start:

    Republicans kill global warming committee

    I like this last paragraph:

    “There had been some talk among Republicans of keeping the committee alive so it could be used to mock climate change and harass scientists, but leadership put the kibosh on that idea”

    It would be fun to serve on a committee to mock and harass, and in this case, not too hard!

    http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/01/rip-select-committee-global-warming

  29. UH OH!

    More govt. sponsored terrorism or a bad batch of tacos.

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — State officials say two packages have exploded in state government buildings.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/06/packages-explode-maryland-government-buildings/

    • No major injuries! A couple small bangs to scare people so they will want more liberty stealing laws and/or to sell some expensive machines to detect small explosives to all the states/govt.

  30. The match-up we’ve been waiting for: CNN panel features Ted Nugent and Roseanne Barr
    By Jeff Poor – The Daily Caller | Published: 10:25 PM 01/05/2011
    This one was bound to end well.

    On Wednesday night’s “special edition” of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Roseanne Barr, Ted Nugent and Cornell Belcher discussed the day’s events. Although it was relatively tame for the majority of the program, there was one eruption between Nugent, an outspoken libertarian, and Barr, a comedienne with a liberal streak.

    (Transcript as follows)

    NUGENT: Chicago people don’t look very helped to me. It looks like a tragedy. Did he help Cabrini Green? Is that one of his projects.

    BELCHER: You go to keep trying to help people.

    NUGENT: No, you need to try to help people by scolding them to help themselves. If you keep rewarding them for sleeping in then they’ll never get out of slavery. Why would you support slavery?

    BARR: I’m scolding you because you’re blaming the people at the bottom who have nothing whatsoever..

    NUGENT: I’m blaming people who refuse to be productive.

    BARR: Why don’t you blame the people who have the blame? Why aren’t you ever…

    NUGENT: Why do you want to people who have jobs and produce things?

    BARR: I want to blame the Koch brothers and the billionaires and all the people who robbed the taxpayers of this country, absolutely.

    NUGENT: The government is the one who’s robbed the taxpayers this of country.

    BARR: What would we do without government? Expect the rich people to take care of the poor? Are you crazy?

    NUGENT: The rich people are the ones providing jobs.

    BARR: No, they’re not. There are no jobs. There are no jobs and rich people…

    NUGENT: Rich people who put all their lives on the line to get creative.

    BARR: Rich people don’t pay squat and it’s proven.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/05/the-match-up-weve-been-waiting-on-cnn-panel-features-ted-nugent-and-roseanne-barr/#ixzz1AHzQ3sAT

    • Classic:

      Barr: Expect the rich people to take care of the poor?

      Hello? Anyone home? Who do you think pays the most in taxes that make entitlements available to the poor?

      • BARR: No, they’re not. There are no jobs. There are no jobs and rich people…… Rich people don’t pay squat and it’s proven.

        Damn, she’ right! Remember that study published by Obama & Pelosi. The did their own surveys and research and proved rich people do not employ people. Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, etc, do not really employee thousands.

        Ms. “Domestic Goddess” is not all there.

        • Found this video – whoa, she is certainly not a fine wine! Aging has not done her any favors!

          http://www.ihatethemedia.com/ted-nugent-meets-roseanne-barr

          • She’s more like “whole milk”. Her friend calls her “Elsie”, go figure…. maybe gone figure is better 🙂

          • ROBERTS: All right, because George wanted me to get to this. What’s this about you running for president?

            BARR: I’m running for president of these United States of America. Plus, it’s a two-fer, and also, prime minister of Israel, a two-fer. And the reason I’m doing that is because, it’s true. Because I just realized, my whole life that I’ve been doing all this writing, this unending writing, it’s always about saving the world. So I’m like, jeez, you’re 58. You’ve already figured everything out. You’ve already done a sitcom. You have five grandkids and five grown kids. What are you gonna do? You’re gonna, you know, live a less-stressful life and save the world. So in my effort to be less stressful than the past, I just figured out solutions for the easiest way things, a problem can be solved. And I think I’m the only candidate in the whole world that says stuff like that. I think we should target a problem and solve it. And I figured out how we can do that. So that’s what I’m running on is solutions that actually work. And don’t destroy the environment in the process.

            ROBERTS: So what’s the solution to the unemployment crisis?

            BARR: Jobs.

            ROBERTS: Oh. There you go. You have it. Silly me. Silly me.

            BARR: No, thank you for asking.

            ROBERTS: That that would be the solution. You are, well you probably could run for office with answers like that. But you’re happy, you got the, content, I remember you saying you don’t really like – you’re content.

            Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2011/01/06/abc-skips-controversy-leftist-roseanne-barr-no-mention-burnt-jew-coo#ixzz1AMEqiVfg

  31. From a commenter at Fox. Subject doesn’t matter:

    Republicans are becoming nothing but a Terrorist Organization!!!! Beck and Limbaugh have you nuts convinced that the Government is your Enemy.

    Is it a full moon today?

    • He’s the nut that thinks Govt. is his friend, along with all the rest. Damn, why are some people so dumb?

  32. http://www.statepolicyindex.com/?page_id=143.

    Interesting paper. Check how your state ranks in freedom.

  33. Truthseeker says:

    Article: Howard Dean: tea party is ‘last gasp’ of generation that fears diversity
    Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/monitor_breakfast/2011/0105/Howard-Dean-tea-party-is-last-gasp-of-generation-that-fears-diversity

    By Dave Cook, Staff writer / January 5, 2011

    Washington
    Economic uncertainty and concerns about the country’s growing racial diversity are the two key factors driving the growth of the tea party, says former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean.

    Speaking at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters, Mr. Dean said “the fundamental driver is the economy. I think the unsaid issue that nobody wants to talk about is – and the Republicans get really upset when I mention this – is the demographic changes. There is no question about that.”

    Dean called the tea party movement, “the last gasp of the generation that has trouble with diversity.”

    He argued that, “The demographic changes we have all known were going to happen have happened and all of a sudden it is here for them and they don’t know what to do…. Every morning when they see the president, they are reminded that things are totally different than they were when they were born.”

    The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate said he tells college audiences that, “you have all had friends of different races, different religions, and different sexual orientations, and you all date each other, that is not how I grew up. That is not how the tea party grew up. The tea party is almost entirely over 55 and white.”

    Now working for a Washington law firm, Dean argued that there are three tea parties. “There is the racist fringe…. There is the Dick Armey corporate tea party, which doesn’t have anything much more to do with the real tea party than the racist fringe. [Mr. Armey is a Republican former House majority leader now active in the tea party movement.] And then there is the real tea party … which is the vast majority – which are pretty socially conservative even though they try to mask that,” Dean said.

    Dean described the bulk of the tea party members as “populists. They are not going to support free trade. They don’t mind taxing millionaires. And they really do want to balance the budget.”

    Incoming House Speaker John Boehner is well aware of the tea party’s different components and political concerns, Dean said. “He is just trying to figure out how the heck he is going to make it work.… I can’t wait to see which tea party really emerges.”
    ——————————————-
    I find this truly insulting and Howard Dead and anybody else should be called out on it. No wonder why we have such tremendous issues in our country.

  34. Anita – a good home schooling situation that a judge deemed bad. What a scary, bizarre world this is!

    http://blog.speakupmovement.org/church/religious-freedom/mom’s-homeschooling-views-work-for-her-child-but-not-for-nh-judge/

    • Shakin my head. Why can’t people just mind their own business? Luckily, the ex has my back that we have to try something different. And he doesn’t even have a HS diploma!

%d bloggers like this: