Open Mic Again…..

I lament that I don’t have the time to write a whole new article tonight (although I am sure that even if I did, it would not be enough research to satisfy you, Todd 😉 ). Plus I wanted to respond to Ray’s post as this bee is now in my bonnet and I think that it is worth pursuing so that I can put it behind me. So I figure that for tonight I will do another open mic night and hit a topic or two as well as allowing space for people to continue other discussions that were started in that long thread that was the Wednesday Morning Open Mic. I also want to take a moment to encourage people to begin writing guest commentaries again. I want to get SUFA back on track the way we were a couple of months ago and that means fresh ideas and new topics and perspectives to talk about. I will continue to offer my fodder for regular discussion and some of it will be completely new now that we have a different majority in the House of Representatives, but I think there is much more to be gained by getting some fresh topics that I wouldn’t normally touch on. So write some stuff and send it on over. I will begin tonight with my rebuttal to Ray and then try to add topics Friday during the day.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Ray, I appreciate your honest feedback. Allow me to respond:

    @USW – I considered sending you a private note rather than reply in public, but you’d rather keep this public which is fine by me.

    And I truly do appreciate that you considered keeping it private, which I assume was to not embarrass me in front of the entire SUFA community. But I am glad that you did not. When I am wrong I should be embarrassed. And when we are discussing this subject, I think it helps to have some perspectives other than just mine and yours. But I really do appreciate that you considered keeping it private rather than embarrass me in public. It says a lot about your character in my eyes and is one of the reasons that I genuinely like you.

    You’re a smart guy

    You sometimes go to unnecessary lengths to assert you’re a smart guy (few months ago you spent a few congratulatory pat-thyself-on-the-back sentences spreading your feathers – my response to you then was something like “narcissistic lately?”)

    Agreed. I am a smart guy and I am not embarrassed to say so. I think I am smarter than a lot of people and not nearly as smart as some others. In the rest of my response I will be referencing some things about me that are going to sound like even more blustering, although I don’t mean them to be that way. I am merely trying to explain where my mind is at.

    You are right, sometimes I do go above and beyond to assert that I am a smart guy. I think this stems from a few things. First, I hate to be called stupid. I was dyslexic as a kid which made it so that I couldn’t read well and the teachers said I was stupid. It hurt. A year later it was discovered that I was severely dyslexic and that was what caused my reading issues. The year after that I was given an IQ test and told that I was extremely high on the scale. I think I spent the rest of my life with a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it. I don’t remember what happened around that article but my guess is that I was called stupid at some point in the days leading up to it and I felt I needed to flex my mind muscles a bit. I understand that this is childish and that I shouldn’t do it. But some days I am saying it just to reassure myself that I am not that 5 year old crying to his mom that the teacher told the class he was stupid because he couldn’t read.

    I don’t think I am narcissistic though. Maybe I am, though. I certainly don’t lack self confidence. I do see plenty of people around me who know a lot more than I do, but I feel like I can compete with anyone in terms of my ability to learn quickly, think critically, and adapt to any situation. I will say without a doubt that I don’t think that I am arrogant. I absolutely do not think that other people are not as good as me or as worthy of my respect or my consideration of their opinions.

    And for the record, I know that you are quite smart as well, Ray. And I envy that you never feel the need to say so. You simply rely on your contributions to let others come to the conclusion on their own. I have always been that way physically. I never feel the need to prove myself physically. But sometimes I struggle with the mental side.

    You’ll go to obscene lengths to combat anything that undermines or counters an assertion or point or conclusion you’ve made.

    I don’t think I do. But maybe I do and don’t think I do. I think that I continue to push what I believe until you show me something that absolutely refutes what I believe. At that point I will change what I believe. Doing so is only logical. That I don’t roll over at the first sign of someone pushing back doesn’t mean that I go to “great lengths” to refute them. I will continue to challenge anyone who opposes what I think is reality. I do go to great lengths to challenge you, however, because I feel that in many cases you are not presenting me with an opportunity to grow or learn. It often feels instead as though you are just trying to discredit me or spin me as a partisan or spin me as intentionally being dishonest, when intentional dishonesty has never, ever been what I intend to do here. This is something that I feel both you and Todd do to me regularly. And a whole lot of people who frequent the site notice it and call you out on it. So I don’t think I am crazy for feeling that way about the way that the two of you debate me.

    Often – this is issued as a challenge to your readers. (twice I know of in SUFA history you were using an assertion that (and yes I am paraphrasing) since the media in the 70s was so wrong about global cooling, there was little reason to trust them today when they pontificate about global warming. Both times I shared with you a scientific study done that analyzed and typed the same data/output you were critical of – the net being you were actually wrong in your assertion which then in turn undermined your existing analysis and conclusion. You went to rather obnoxious lengths to defend what should have a relatively easy “maybe I need to rethink that particular assertion” and ended up telling me that you had firsthand recollection of your assertion being true – meaning you were witness to this avalanche of supposedly erroneous media reporting.

    Allow me to make a point or two here. First, I believe that my statement was that the same scientists who are now saying global warming were claiming global ice age in the late 70’s and early 80’s. As I recall, while you are free to say I was too young to have followed such things, several people such as JAC and others, recalled the same things being said. I wasn’t making it up. I went back and spent an hour and a half looking for what you mentioned here. I found you mentioning the two articles once and the only response to you was from JAC, not me, saying that he remembered the claims. Now that is not to say that you are wrong. That is to say that I don’t remember that and I couldn’t find it. I would honestly be very interested in reading through it again so that I can refresh my memory. From what I could tell your source claimed that there were only 9 papers claiming global cooling in a span of about 10-15 years.

    Peterson’s study was reviewing peer reviewed scientific studies, not media. I didn’t read peer reviewed studies when I was young. I read things like “Time” and “Newsweek”, which when I was a kid were still viewed as hard news sources. And here are articles from both claiming a global ice age was imminent:

    http://denisdutton.com/newsweek_coolingworld.pdf

    Time-Ice-Age-06-24-1974-Sm.jpg 526×750 pixels

    I was certainly too young to read them at 4-6, not to mention that I had a lot of trouble reading at that age. But I specifically remember reading both articles later, which I will clarify below. The point is that what I saw in the media was global ice age, regardless of what the Peterson study says I saw. Now, was a pending ice age actually the prevailing thought in academic circles? Apparently not, which I am happy to admit for you since you provided said links.

    Now maybe this is going to great lengths to defend my position. But what I am doing is attempting to help you understand what I meant and trying to further explain why I feel the way that I do. As a result of what you presented, I have changed my position as to what the prevailing academic thought was about global ice age. But it doesn’t change that there was a lot of media attention pointing to a global ice age, which is what I believe I asserted.

    When I pointed out that you were probably between 4-6 years of age, you, with a straight face no doubt, offered that you weren’t like other 4-6 year old’s at the time – that yes – you would have been following that type of news event be it in TV or print, etc. At that point I recall my reaction to be something like….”ya gotta be f’in kidding me”)

    Now here I want to help you understand why I was not a normal kid, Ray. First, I do not believe that I claimed to be reading that kind of stuff at ages 4-6. I don’t recall ever saying that and if I did, I don’t know what I was thinking but I was apparently simply full of shit because I was not a good reader until I was about 7. However, from the time I was diagnosed as dyslexic at around age 6, my parents used the only method at the time known to handle dyslexia. They made me read. And I mean read a lot. For example, I read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, a fact that dismays many people who play Trivial Pursuit with me because I am a font of useless knowledge. I read everything my parents could get their hands on, which included a lot of political and news stuff. I can’t claim that I truly understood everything that I was reading, but I was sure learning about politics at a much younger age than most kids do.

    When I hit the 3rd grade, I was put into the “gifted” program at Fairview, which allowed those of us who were in it (myself, Rani, Garnet, and a few others) to study things and do things that other kids were not doing. We were running our own school newspaper in the 4th grade, presenting “slideshows” in the 5th grade, stuff like that. When we hit Junior High School we remained separated form other kids for 4 of the 7 class periods. The first two were “Humanities” with Mrs. Pfoutz and Mrs. Heron. In that class we conducted our own political campaigns, studied and documented the recent Presidential election (Reagan vs. Carter), Created our own society complete with infrastructure, and discussed the media and what they were presenting as a coming Ice age (it didn’t make me an expert or anything but I was, in fact, paying attention to what the media was saying). For science while other kids were learning what a fossil was we were spending two months preparing for and then conducting structured debates on Creation vs. Evolution (care to take a guess which side I was on?).

    The point is that my childhood was not normal. In fact the only thing that was normal for me as a teenager was being an athlete, listening to the Beastie Boy and Run DMC, and drinking too many alcoholic beverages at the shale pile in the mountains (you know the one).

    So while I don’t recall following politics or climate change at age 6, I was at age 11, and following them fairly closely because I found them fascinating. So, no, I am not f’n kidding you.

    So to deconstruct you one more time…..

    Here is what you wrote:

    But I think that Maddow does it with a little bit more finesse than the others, which makes her appear more credible, even if she isn’t. I cannot say that I have listened to enough of her to make a really accurate call as to whether she is or isn’t credible.

    First….

    “But I think that Maddow does it with a little bit more finesse than the others”

    This means that (a) you have watched Maddow and (b) that you have watched her enough to conclude that she uses more “finesse” than others. Finesse in this context is meant in the pejorative – meaning she is using finesse negatively.

    Here is where I think you make your first mistake. You assume, or conclude based on some rule below that I don’t understand, that I meant finesse in some negative way. What I meant by finesse was that she wasn’t ranting and saying completely crazy shit the way that Olbermann, Beck, and Limbaugh do. In the limited amount that I have watched her, she appeared more polished, more professional, and usually had something to at least somewhat back up her claim. So (a) yes I have watched Maddow and (b) I have watched her enough to see that she doesn’t rant and blabber nonsense the way the other three mentioned do, ie. she does her job with more finesse.

    “which makes her appear more credible, even if she isn’t.” – this is what makes your use of the word finesse pejorative. The key where you flub up is – with respect to reporting facts (which is what I was providing) – she is either credible or not credible.

    What I was saying is that the fact that she isn’t raving like Beck makes her appear more credible, ie. her use of finesse makes her appear more credible. Then I added even if she is not. I can see how you may construe that to mean that I assert that she is not credible despite her finesse. However, the fact that I, in the very next sentence no less, said that I do not watch her enough to know if she is actually credible or not, should immediately cancel out you believing that I am trying to paint her as not credible. If I were trying to convince the rest of my readers that she isn’t credible, I certainly would not have immediately said that I am not qualified to judge her level of credibility. I would have simply left it at “even if she is not.” Now, whether she is credible or not based on what you presented… some facts about Angle, that is next.

    If someone is reporting the weather temperature outside right now – they are either credible (they report the right temperature) or not credible (they reported the wrong temperature). Analysis can vary in credibility – maybe a certain variable was not considered. Or contrary evidence was not considered. By injecting for example the word “more” you are asserting that she can at times appears “more” credible than she would absent finesse and basing that on the additional assertion that her credibility is inherently something less than credible or completely credible.

    Stop here. You are twisting the crap out of this. Yes, I believe the way she presents has more finesse and because of that it makes her appear more credible. In the same vein, I think that Beck often presents his thoughts in a childish way or by way of hysterics, in other words with far less finesse, which make Beck seem less credible whether what he is saying is accurate or not. So whether Maddow is credible or not is based on the actual facts of what she is reporting. However, the finesse aspect has nothing to do with that at all. The finesse aspect has to do with how rational or sane she comes across in presenting her thoughts.

    As for “basing that on the additional assertion that her credibility is inherently something less than credible or completely credible,” you bet. She is a journalist on a major “news” outlet. It brings her credibility into question immediately the same way as it does with every other journalist in political discourse these days. Someone who is credible all the time is a unicorn in today’s media world: always rumored to exist but never seen. I have seen instances when Maddow was credible and others where she was not credible. So you are correct in asserting that I start from the premise that all media is capable of being “less than credible” at any given time. And by credible I mean correct, not honest. What I don’t know about Maddow is how often what she presents is correct, but since she is a political pundit, I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility that she may spin just a bit. Everyone in the political discourse world seems to do so, whether intentionally or not, myself included as I have been called on it accurately in the past.

    For one – her reporting of the facts is either credible or not. Second – you cannot assess her credibility (by intention or mistake) and then say that you cannot really assess her credibility because you haven’t really listened to enough of her (when you’ve already stated you’ve listened to enough of her to pick up on the quality of “finesse”).

    Net is I think you wrote a fast and maybe sloppy response because you don’t like someone/anyone saying you had it wrong.

    I don’t think I wrote a fast and sloppy response. I certainly don’t like someone saying I had it wrong. But I obviously had some of it wrong, as you will notice that I originally posted to Buck that Angle never even said the term second amendment solutions. Then what Buck presented showed she did but I felt his offering did not show her to be using is as prescriptive, but instead descriptive of what she was seeing out there. Then you offered Maddow with the start of “Liar, Liar, USWeapon’s Pants on Fire” as though I was intentionally lying, which admittedly pissed me off. Maddow presented the same interview in an entirely different light. Now we have two interpretations of what appears to be the same statement. Which is credible and which is not? I don’t know as I have not yet had time to dig any deeper.

    So I didn’t write fast and sloppy. I wrote what I meant, which was what I have repeatedly tried to explain to you that I meant while you have repeatedly assassinated my character by claiming I am again intentionally trying to deceive people who read SUFA despite the fact that I clearly said in the original statement that I am not in a position to judge Maddow’s overall credibility.

    Net is that I think that you have fallen into a pattern of attacking the way that I present things, of attacking my character by outright saying that I am purposely attempting to deceive people, and that you incorrectly understood what I was trying to say about Maddow. You don’t like being wrong any more than I do so you have no refused 4 separate attempts by me to explain what I meant by claiming that I am now trying to backtrack rather than admit that you misunderstood what I meant.

    Your turn………..

    I think I have provided logical replies, so now it is yours. Fire away and be gentle. I am a partial invalid until the surgery next Monday….

    And for the record anyone else can feel free to jump in and offer whatever critiques or observations they have as to how I am doing things. Be honest. I am a big boy and can handle it.

  2. USW and SUFA, I’ve been posting here for about two years. I could not ask for better people to engage with when it comes to politics. Too me, it’s like a large family of brothers and sisters, and sometimes, brothers and sisters don’t agree. I don’t come here to win or lose, I come to learn and maybe, rarely, educate. I like humor and music. I don’t care for conflict, but when it comes my way, I can deal with it. Like USW and Ray, I also had conflict recently with Todd. I hold no ill feelings towards Todd, I think, politics aside, we have many good things in common, the love of nature and dogs being an example. I like debate, not relentless personnal attacks, I’m sure everyone can relate to that! 🙂

    AS a rule of mine, I treat everyone as I hope to be treated. When I’m not treated as so, I can deal in kind and not feel a single bit of sorrow or remorse, and I will not apologize. When I’m wrong, I’ll ask for forgivness. I will give the same in return.

    USW, your doing a fine job with this blog, and as long as it is here, and I am welcome, I’ll be apart of the whole SUFA family. I hope you and Ray can work out your issues soon>

    PEACE!

    G!

    • More snow coming! Welcome to winter, if the same pattern continues, the East coast will get another blast in about 10 days, enjoy!

    • I cannot imagine a scenario where you would not be welcome G!

      As for Ray and I, I don’t think it is a big thing. I am not mad at him and I don’t get the impression that he is mad at me. We are just working through some misunderstandings is all.

      USW

    • G-Man,
      I think we need a campfire and a full cooler! 🙂

  3. Some thoughts from Libertarians, for your enjoyment.

    Walter Block’s
    As far as I am personally concerned, Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, and Murray N.
    Rothbard are the three people most responsible for creating the movement that has the
    best chance of bringing about the free and prosperous society. I dedicate this book to
    their memory.

    JAMES C.W. AHIAKPOR
    The saying that “a conservative is a socialist mugged by reality,” or something to that
    effect, pretty much explains my journey toward my present views on the beneficence of
    market freedom, limited government spending, taxation, privatization and deregulation.

    D.T. Armentano
    Myths exposed the soft underbelly of the “public interest” theory of antitrust by demonstrating that the firms indicted and convicted in the classic monopoly cases had actually been increasing outputs and lowering prices. (Where available, I stuck the prices and industry data right in the text.) And in its most radical chapter on price fixing, Myths argued that even business collusion was a myth since high fixed costs and legally open markets encouraged price cheating and secret discounts to customers. It even showed that the infamous electrical equipment conspiracy of the early 1960s didn’t really work. Myths concluded that antitrust was a complete public policy hoax, that most cases were brought by private firms against their rivals, and that absent any legitimate rationale, the entire legal framework hurt consumers and should be repealed. So there! The immediate reaction to my book in the business and academic world was . . . underwhelming. Despite some important favorable reviews (especially one by Donald Dewey at Columbia in the Business History Review) book sales were modest and the antitrust intellectual establishment did not come crumbling down or even tremble noticeably. Indeed, most economists and law professors in the 1970s simply ignored what I had written or called, instead, for more “vigorous” enforcement of antitrust law and even new laws to limit industrial concentration.

  4. Ray Hawkins

    Ray, I am disappointed in your response to the discussion on “is it a problem that guns are used to commit mass murder”.

    History: Here was my original comment to Buck

    Just A Citizen said
    January 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Buck

    You want to prevent death of innocent people in large numbers?

    Make everyone stop driving.

    The question is quite frankly ridiculous. The loss of a single innocent life is sad, tragic and a problem to those affected.

    The fact that these murders were committed with firearms is not a problem in itself. The real problem is that somebody thinks mass murder appropriate. Once you cross that line the tool becomes a matter of choice and convenience. No guns, then use a car, or bus, or plane.

    Send poison in the mail, put it in the water or food.

    Does that mean that murder is a “cost” of my freedom? Absolutely not. Another ridiculous assertion.

    The nature of the entire question is to put forth the belief that my freedom carries a cost to you or to society. But that is a False claim.

    My freedom and liberty does not impose any cost upon you or society. The action of a particular person can impact you and others.

    But it is not my freedom, it is their personal actions.

    Now here is your response, which I mention above.

    Ray Hawkins said
    January 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    That is quite a leap in logic JAC – so you assert that sans guns – someone who wants to kill large numbers of people in a short period of time will use a car or other transportation device (and before you use the 9/11 tactic – we don’t have a 9/11 happening every 6-8 months). It astonishes me that you fail to acknowledge that part of the reason a gun is used is because of the ease with which one can be obtained and the efficiency and effectiveness inherent in using one.

    Now lets evaluate my comments in light of your response.

    Me: “The real problem is that somebody thinks mass murder appropriate. Once you cross that line the tool becomes a matter of choice and convenience. No guns, then use a car, or bus, or plane.

    Send poison in the mail, put it in the water or food.”

    You: “That is quite a leap in logic JAC – so you assert that sans guns – someone who wants to kill large numbers of people in a short period of time will use a car or other transportation device (and before you use the 9/11 tactic – we don’t have a 9/11 happening every 6-8 months).

    1) Where is the “leap in logic” Ray. People have used all of these “tools” to kill numerous innocent people at one time. Or at least tried to kill many people.

    2) Not sure what the heck the reference is to 9/11 “tactic”. Is there such a thing as a “9/11 tactic”? If so please enlighten me. As for the use of planes, I was thinking of other examples when I typed it, the IRS building being the most recent.

    3) I agree we do not have a 9/11 ever 6-8 months. Do we have an attempted “mass murder” using firearms “every 6-8 months”? Please specify the total time period covered by your assumption.

    4) Everyone of these “tools” is capable of killing many people in a single attempt. Some far more than even the VaTech tragedy.

    Next

    You: “It astonishes me that you fail to acknowledge that part of the reason a gun is used is because of the ease with which one can be obtained and the efficiency and effectiveness inherent in using one.”

    Me: “The real problem is that somebody thinks mass murder appropriate. Once you cross that line the tool becomes a matter of choice and convenience. ”

    1) Looks to me like I said “choice and CONVENIENCE”. So did you miss that or are you trying to get at something else?

    2) Why would you be “astonished” that I failed to address a question, regarding ease of access, efficiency, etc, which was never part of the original discussion or question. Quite frankly Ray this is one of those aggravating tactics for me. You have in fact changed the question and chastised me for not addressing it BEFORE the damn question was even asked.

    But to save time let me address it. Some people choose guns for those reasons. Despite their availability and efficiency some people choose other means. Using some logic one would conclude that perhaps the condition of guns is not the sole determining factor in why or how CRAZY PEOPLE kill large numbers of innocent people.

    And in your response you completely ignore the POINT of my comment. Instead you try to divert or argue about the nuances of gun availability and whether I addressed it or not,etc. In case you missed it here was the POINT.

    “The fact that these murders were committed with firearms is not a problem in itself. The real problem is that somebody thinks mass murder appropriate.”

    Good Morning
    JAC

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @JAC – this could get interesting…..

      On January 12, 2011 I wrote the following:

      “So….

      You either agree/disagree that the periodic & recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people is a problem. (I’d hope you agree less you think something that has alternately been defined herein as “crazy” and “illegal” isn’t really a problem)

      If you agree….

      Then how does the problem get solved?

      Or

      Do you merely say “Yes – it is a problem, but we accept that it’s the price we pay to exercise our 2nd amendment” (or something to that effect).”

      To simplify for you JAC:

      Problem Statement – The periodic and recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people is a problem.

      Question – How do you solve this problem?

      The 1/12/2011 posting by me was related to the following posting from me on January 11, 2011 at 9:24 a.m……

      “We should not be the least bit surprised or act as if the shootings were completely unexpected. If anything, we should come to expect that periodically, someone in America will grab a gun or guns and kill shitloads of people, including public officials, small children, and the elderly. We are the most heavily armed developed nation on Earth (approximately 90 guns for every 100 people, #2 on the list is Yemen with 61 per 100). We are a nation that loves its guns. We are also a nation that despises most all notions of Big Brother being too invasive in our affairs. We are also a nation that despises (generally) any form of gun control whatsoever. So thus we are also a nation that can and should expect more mass killings via firearms. We have intentionally handcuffed ourselves from doing a damn thing about it.”

      Now JAC – let’s breakdown your response to Buck and your comments to me this morning shall we?

      JAC Said: “You want to prevent death of innocent people in large numbers? Make everyone stop driving.”

      – Not so fast JAC – you’re equating death that would be the result of driving, ostensibly via motor vehicle accidents. I’m not aware of a statistical significance of murder (which my problem statement is addressing) via motor vehicle (and I’ll point out – even if you only meant accidental death you have changed the substance of the problem statement rather than answer it). Even logically, and in viewing the remainder of your post, if the solution for preventing the death of innocent people in large numbers is to make everyone stop driving – hence, remove the instrument used to commit the act, then, in addressing my problem statement, is the answer to make everyone stop using guns? That is a colossal fail on your part sir – it simply doesn’t comport with the later part of your response.

      JAC Said: “The question is quite frankly ridiculous. The loss of a single innocent life is sad, tragic and a problem to those affected.”

      – Your response here is a bit muddy. Let’s look at why shall we? At 3:47 p.m. you wrote as follows: ““Periodic and recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people” IS A PROBLEM.” You would appear to thus agree with my problem statement. There is in fact a problem.
      – At 5:32 Buck wrote the following: “do you agree that it is a problem? And if so, do you believe that is just the cost of the 2d Amendment and we should not try to address the problem?” Now – somewhat in your defense you have already answered me – you agreed previously with my problem statement (but more on that in a second). Buck has posed a question to you additionally that is related more to the “how do you solve the problem” aspect.
      – Based on your response – it would seem – and we can debate this point – you are addressing more my original problem statement rather than the second half of Buck’s reply to you (or my original rationalization example with respect to the 2nd Amendment). So, you have the beginnings of you contradicting yourself (sort of – this gets better).
      – Let’s pose your second statement as a problem statement also:

      Problem Statement B – The loss of a single innocent life is sad, tragic and a problem to those affected.

      And to refresh….

      Problem Statement A – The periodic and recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people is a problem.

      So – in that you have separated these two concepts from the remainder of your posting – logically you are positing that Problem Statement A is ridiculous because of Problem Statement B. Nevermind that you already agreed with Problem Statement A, you are stating that the properties of Problem Statement A are invalid due to the properties of B. I’m sorry if I have misunderstood you JAC – but there is no logic whatsoever in that assertion. The difference between one life or many cannot be easily quantified in degrees of sadness or tragedy. The point here was to address the uniqueness of mass killings within the overall scope of murder. It is suggestive that there are properties different to a killer of many versus a single. Asserting A does not negate or lessen B or vice versa.

      JAC Said: “The fact that these murders were committed with firearms is not a problem in itself. The real problem is that somebody thinks mass murder appropriate. Once you cross that line the tool becomes a matter of choice and convenience. No guns, then use a car, or bus, or plane.

      – Let’s address these one by one shall we? First off: “The fact that these murders were committed with firearms is not a problem in itself”. Sorry to be redundant, but the property of “firearm” was part of my original problem statement which you agreed with. Now you disagree with that?
      – It gets even better: “The real problem is that somebody thinks mass murder appropriate”. Well alrighty then JAC. Looks like we have Problem Statement C: “Somebody thinks that mass murder is appropriate and that is a problem”. But hold on a second JAC – maybe I’m confused here but I thought you and some other folks thought I was a dirty debater because I change assumptions, or problem statements, or conclusions or all the above? It would appear to me, and maybe I am wrong – that you have tried to change the debate no?
      – And on to: “Once you cross that line the tool becomes a matter of choice and convenience. No guns, then use a car, or bus, or plane”. So I take this to mean that if we agree with C – then your first statement here is a merely an observation of the manifestation of the problem. Or is it? Once one decides to commit mass murder (defined by the FBI as “four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders. A mass murder typically occurs in a single location in which a number of victims are killed by an individual”) do they then pick their instrument based on choice and convenience? Perhaps. Perhaps the first choice is typically a gun. But how JAC do you assert that absent availability of a gun then a car, bus or plane is typically used to commit mass murder? I’m not really aware of such statistics so please share what led to your conclusion. (note to JAC – I don’t think you believe that to be true – its just easier to say that than to address the man-behind-the-curtain – whom you already agreed is part of the problem).

      JAC Said: “Send poison in the mail, put it in the water or food.”

      – You broke this separate from your previous statement – I assume you meant that after a car, bus or plane the next tool of choice or convenience is poisoning someone via mail, food or water. Again – I’m not spun up on mass murder stats like you are perhaps – but I’m not aware anecdotally of mass murder via poisoning to be a wide-spread problem or method used.

      JAC Said: “Does that mean that murder is a “cost” of my freedom? Absolutely not. Another ridiculous assertion.”

      – You should explain yourself here. My original words (and later paraphrased by Buck) were: “Do you merely say “Yes – it is a problem, but we accept that it’s the price we pay to exercise our 2nd amendment” (or something to that effect).” Taken differently, if we accept A but cannot offer a reasonable/acceptable remedy – do we merely acknowledge that it’s a price we pay to have the 2nd amendment? I can understand why you think its ridiculous. But let’s expand for a moment ok? Take Freedom of Speech – we have folks like the Westboro Baptist Church. Most all would acknowledge that their speech can be rather hateful, divisive and a shock to the conscious. But many also acknowledge that it is their Right. Is allowing their type of speech the “price you pay” or a “cost of your freedom”? Or – how about civilians that die as a result of war (e.g. firefights or aerial bombings in Afghanistan or Iraq). We know damn well we may kill (or murder?) civilians/innocents. Is that an acceptable “cost”? If it isn’t – then I can say I don’t recollect you advocating the trial and incarceration/execution of military personnel who kill/murder innocent civilians. So how ridiculous is the statement then JAC?

      JAC Said: : The nature of the entire question is to put forth the belief that my freedom carries a cost to you or to society. But that is a False claim.”

      – No JAC, it is not a false claim. But you’ve also reacted the way most do (emotionally). If there is not redress to the 2nd then what is the answer to the problem (ahem, one more time, a problem you agreed is a problem)? That is all I have asked. I could have easily said – require every household to own a gun and/or require gun safety classes, etc of all children. You took one possible route in addressing the problem to an illogical and invalid extreme.

      JAC Said: “My freedom and liberty does not impose any cost upon you or society. The action of a particular person can impact you and others. But it is not my freedom, it is their personal actions.”

      – Clever and somewhat correct JAC. Does defending and enforcing your freedom and liberty impose a cost upon “you” or “society”?

      So JAC – sorry to be so wordy – it’s unfortunate that you have become so sensitive to my response. I’ve chewed up a good two hours in this response. Hopefully we can come to a consensus without so much further time in our day.

      v/r

      Ray

      • Ray,

        Good Morning!

        I know your talking to JAC, but IMHO there is NO logical solution to the problem of periodic mass murders committed with guns.

        PEACE!

        G!

      • Ray

        First of all I was not “so sensitive” about your response.

        I admit I was frustrated because you kept moving the target, in my opinion.

        In hindsight I should not have tried to do the response at midnight, my time. I could have been more precise and less confusing if my brain were more awake.

        I have read your response above several times and quite frankly am at a loss as to what exactly you are trying to get at with the exception of whether or not I accept/reject your original proposition.

        At the time I thought of responding like BF and asking a question instead of providing an answer. That is not usually my style so I provided an answer that required Buck or you to ask yourself the question. My fault for not being direct.

        Since most or your forensic work seems to center around confusion on your original proposal let me address it directly. Perhaps that will save us a lot of time and anxiety. Once I have done that then perhaps you can ask me particular questions about my specific responses yesterday if you think I am still contradicting myself or providing some faulty or cloudy thinking.

        So let me reprint your original, I assume your copy above is accurate so here it is again.

        (I’d hope you agree less you think something that has alternately been defined herein as “crazy” and “illegal” isn’t really a problem)”

        “If you agree….

        Then how does the problem get solved?”

        “Or

        Do you merely say “Yes – it is a problem, but we accept that it’s the price we pay to exercise our 2nd amendment” (or something to that effect).””

        SO LETS TAKE STEP ONE

        “”You either agree/disagree that the periodic & recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people is a problem. ”

        I NEITHER agree or disagree.

        Please define PROBLEM. Please include scope, magnitude, duration or any other criteria you feel appropriate to determining WHEN a problem exists vs when it does not exist. WHAT makes something a problem?

        • Ray

          I’ll bet you are confused now. My copy/past of your proposition disappeared while I was typing my answer.

          So just jump from “……….here it is again.” to “SO LETS TAKE STEP ONE”.

          Sorry, don’t know what happened.

          JAC

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          A problem is merely a condition or property that merits consideration and action to change/fix/remedy/resolve.

          Wording also from Wiki which is fitting herein: “It refers to a situation, condition, or issue that is yet unresolved.”

          I would also add that in connection – something that is illegal should have an associated problem or itself be a problem.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            And with apologies to folks who don’t care for this type of dialogue. This isn’t People Magazine or the local Hair Salon.

          • Ray

            PROBLEM for WHO?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              So I see you’re going that route – precisely why I expressed frustration with the common – “it ain’t my problem response”.

              But

              I already answered your question JAC

              Something that is illegal should have an associated problem or itself be a problem.

              Something is illegal because the collective decides and makes it so.

              • Ray

                I am asking you to define what a problem is from your perspective so that I can determine if I agree with you.

                Wiki etc is incomplete.

                A problem has to be considered within the context of who is involved. I don’t have dependable car to drive. Is that a problem? Yes, for me but not for you. Is hyperinflation a problem? Yes, for most of us but not all of us.

                So ……… a problem for who?

                I don’t see how “ILLEGAL” has anything to do with determining if this situation you are describing is a problem. It was not part of your original proposal. So you will need to explain better how it relates.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Murder is illegal JAC. I can’t make it much simpler than that. Its a concept that I do not own alone in defining. I live in a Country that considers murder enough of a problem to say it is illegal. My perspective and yours is thus irrelevant.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                By the way JAC – you agreed with me yesterday that it was a problem. Mind telling me what changed? 😉

              • Ray

                When did I agree with your general statement?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @JAC – your response posted January 12, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.

                “Periodic and recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people” IS A PROBLEM.

                So what changed in less than 24 hours JAC? Why the backpedal?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                So Flag-channeling-evasiveness aside – I’ll assume that since you already agreed with the problem statement – your refusal to answer “what to do” is indicative that you do not have an answer to the problem. That’s okay too JAC.

              • Ray

                So you are using the fact that murder is “illegal” to determine that murder is a “problem”?

                Is that correct?

                Let me remind you that smoking pot is illegal. So does that make smoking pot a problem?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                No JAC – the society we live in determined that murder is enough of a problem to make it illegal. Whether I think it is a problem or not is completely irrelevant.

                As for smoking pot. Same thing. I don’t think its a problem expect certain instances. But enough of that opinion is not present to change that society thinks it to be enough of a problem to be illegal.

              • Ray

                So whether a situation or condition affects me or not is “irrelevant” in deciding if I have a problem?

                So you or someone else can decide for me if I have a problem, regardless of how I feel about the situation.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Nice try JAC. If something is illegal, society in general is likely to not give a shit how you feel unless there are enough people who feel as you do.

              • Ray

                Moving back to the left side but staying on this thread.

    • Ray Hawkins

      Regarding my agreement with your proposition. I see that my answer is the cause of your confusion. Please notice the rest of the answer. My intent was to make a point and cause questions. The Key to the answer is the combination of the statement and the solution. Todd commented with bascially WTF and Buck explained but only superficially. Let me repost the entire thought string:

      My answer to your first question:

      “You have changed the discussion. But I will play as I like this one better.

      “Periodic and recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people” IS A PROBLEM.

      Solution you ask?

      Bring the military home and restrict them to purely defensive action from here on in.
      Reply”

      Again, notice how my solution does not fit your assumed problem? That should have set off the alarms that perhaps there were constraints on my view of my stated support of the proposition. Especially since you know I often get lost in the philosophical B.S., so to speak.

      Todd notices something amiss and asks the question:

      “How does bringing the military home and restricting them to purely defensive action solve the problem of mass murder by firearms?”

      Buck then applies the hard logic construction but fails on the ethical message.

      “Easy – if the military is home they won’t be committing the mass murder of others by firearms. Not sure how it relates to the purely domestic situation Ray was talking about though…”

      Now I reveal that I am splitting hairs. Again, my fault for not just going to questions. By using answers that were incomplete I hoped you guys would dig a little to figure it out.

      “But he (ref to Ray) didn’t limit his question to “domestic” violence. Now lets apply the standard Progressive view that a cost/benefit analysis should be applied to public policy. Now you guys answer the question. Do we have a problem, within the USA, with mass murder by firearms?”

      At this point I had hoped that I did not agree with your proposition in a wholesale manner. I attached a condition but we never got to the point of identifying what that was.

      That condition is the “meaning of Problem”. While you never stated it outright, your first question carries one absolute constraint and an “implied” condition.

      Constraint = Murder of many people carried out with guns.

      Implied condition = It is a problem to “society”.

      So what I did was acknowledge a condition of “murdering many people with guns” that was a “problem to society” that I did in fact agree with.

      But you see, I am NOT agreeing with the proposition in ALL situations. It depends on whether it is a PROBLEM to all Americans.

      The reason I led you all on this rabbit chase was to try and make the point that questions like the one you asked are completely “loaded”. Kind of like the “did you stop beating your wife?” question.

      It includes fallacious connections and assumptions that are not clearly specified. For example, if you had specified “within the USA” I would have said NO, or launched into the “what is the meaning of Problem” approach.

      And why do I think this important enough to cause such consternation? Because we fail to accurately identify what is and is not a problem all the time. The result is bad decisions and policies.

      Society can not determine what a problem is for me. The situation either affects All of us or it does not. If it does not, then Society has no business dealing with it.

      The next step is magnitude, duration, severity etc. In this case, the number deaths caused by mass murders with weapons is so low as to deserve virtually no attention on a “national” level.

      But I did try to identify what I saw as the REAL problem. One that is tied to societal issues. That is the fact that we have people who think mass murder, of any kind, is an appropriate action.

      If we limit our analysis to “murders with guns” then we do not address the REAL problem. So we out law guns and people still murder large numbers of people with some other tool. Then what? Ban the next tool?

      That has been our approach. And one reason I can’t buy certain Agricultural chemicals in bulk without a freaking federal OK.

      Let me make this very clear.

      Murder of any kind is immoral.

      But mass murder with guns inside the USA is NOT a problem, in my view. And I say that because it is not pervasive enough to affect a large enough number of us to be considered a “true” national problem.

      Got to take a break for now so will try and address some of the other issues later. Like why I reject deaths by guns as a “cost of freedom”.

      But right now it is movie night with the family.

      So until later, stay warm and dry.

      But feel free to leave more questions if you like so I can pick them up later.

      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @JAC – my apologies for giving you so much attention – but your lack of response merited me coming back to this once again – and I’ll thread this so we stay on point.

        First:

        “Regarding my agreement with your proposition. I see that my answer is the cause of your confusion. Please notice the rest of the answer. My intent was to make a point and cause questions. The Key to the answer is the combination of the statement and the solution. Todd commented with bascially WTF and Buck explained but only superficially. Let me repost the entire thought string:

        My answer to your first question:

        “You have changed the discussion. But I will play as I like this one better.

        “Periodic and recurring mass murder by firearm of innocent people” IS A PROBLEM.

        Solution you ask?

        Bring the military home and restrict them to purely defensive action from here on in.
        Reply”

        Again, notice how my solution does not fit your assumed problem? That should have set off the alarms that perhaps there were constraints on my view of my stated support of the proposition. Especially since you know I often get lost in the philosophical B.S., so to speak.”

        I’ll reiterate again that not only is this a shitty way to debate – it is a dishonest way to debate. The constraint would be applied to qualifying what your solution meant – not to whether something was a problem or not. That much you agreed to.

        It akin to saying…..

        Yes I agree that its a problem

        But I really don’t agree that it is a problem

        So I’m providing a solution that while it could be conceived as a solution of sorts, it really meant to setup a backdoor for me to sneak out of.

        Say what you mean JAC and mean what you say.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        As for the remainder of your posting JAC – you take a rather circuitous route – kinda like a kid trying to argue that he shouldn’t have to clean his room because its not really “his” room.

        Observe certainties

        You are a citizen of the United States

        The United States has laws, that while written slightly different between States and National-level – are written to intend to address phenomena that the Country feels strongly enough that it is a problem and should be addressed.

        If it is illegal then it is a problem, degree can be argued, but “it” still has the property of being a problem.

        Because you may think it is not a problem or not enough of a problem does not matter. It is still a problem. The opposite of this would be me asserting that I don’t think gun ownership is a right based on how I alone define what a right is. It doesn’t matter what I think. It is still a right because it is in the same body of laws that we both subscribe to. You don’t get to selectively decide within our legal framework what is or is or right of whether a problem that led to a law is or is really not a problem.

  5. Truthseeker says:

    We can never have a good dialogue if people keep moving the goal posts…

  6. Common Man says:

    For those out there opposed to the 2nd Amendment as it was intentionally written, I ask the questions below:

    We have laws to prevent the following, but those laws do not prevent what they were intended to prevent, so why do some believe additional laws will work?

    -drug laws
    -traffic laws
    -banking and financial laws
    -property laws
    -laws against theft and rape
    -laws against murder
    -import and export laws
    -laws against treason
    -child abuse laws
    -laws for the sale of alcohol
    -laws preventing assault

    And the list can go on and on, but despite these laws we still have individuals violating these laws on a daily basis.

    Some here have argued that legalizing drugs would cut down on the ‘drug wars’ and associated crimes. Some here feel that laws designed to police the financial industry increase illegal activity. Some believe that immigration laws only create more illegals.

    So I ask my question again, Why do people believe that additional guns laws will help reduce gun crime?

    CM

    • The go-to expert on foolish rushes to further restrict guns after a shooting is John R. Lott Jr. An economist and foxnews contributor, he is author of the authoritative More Guns, Less Crime, now in its third edition. National Review Online talked to him about the Tucson attack.

      Kathryn Jean Lopez: Are you outraged that Jared Lee Loughner was not marked a “prohibited possessor” when he went to Sportman’s Warehouse to buy a gun on November 30?

      John R. Lott Jr.: No, I am not. While about 90 percent of murderers have a violent criminal history, not every murderer does. It is impossible to flag everyone who might possibly become a criminal. While Loughner had an arrest record and exhibited strange behavior, he was not a convicted criminal, and had not been involuntarily committed, and had not been deemed as a risk to himself or others. Do people really want to forbid gun ownership to law-abiding individuals who have never been convicted of a crime?

      Background checks are actually very ineffective to begin with and are mostly an inconvenience for regular people. Unfortunately, many law-abiding citizens end up being erroneously flagged. People intent on horrific crimes are not going to be deterred if they cannot get the guns legally. They can easily enough get guns illegally.

      The statistics are clear on this issue: Virtually the only people inconvenienced by background checks are law-abiding citizens. Just as law-abiding citizens accidentally get their names on the government’s “no-fly” list, Americans without a criminal record also find themselves prevented from buying guns.

      In 2008, 1.5 percent of those having a Brady background check were forbidden from purchasing a gun. Unfortunately, virtually all these cases represent so-called “false positives.” In 2006 and 2007 (the latest years with detailed data), a tiny fraction — just 2 percent — of those denials involved possible unlawful possession; and just 0.2 percent of the denials were viewed as prosecutable — 174 cases in 2006 and 122 in 2007. Even when the government decided that the cases were prosecutable, at least a third of them failed to result in convictions. And even the few convictions were often for people who simply made mistakes — they hadn’t realized that they were prohibited from purchasing a gun.

      The Brady background checks have done virtually nothing to prevent people with criminal intent from getting guns. Given that, it isn’t too surprising that no academic studies by economists or criminologists have found that the Brady Act or other state background checks have reduced violent crime.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/257026/rounding-guns-interview

      long article, will post more in a bit

    • Former Texas Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on Thursday’s Today show, was cornered by NBC’s Matt Lauer on his anti-gun control stance, as Lauer pressed: “In the wake of…that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona, do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?” DeLay was invited on to discuss being sentenced in his campaign finance case but Lauer felt the need to shoe-horn in a question about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he attempted to guilt DeLay into rethinking his support for overturning the assault weapons ban back in 2004.

      First up, Lauer’s colleague, Norah O’Donnell, foreshadowed the anti-gun bias turn in the interview, in her set up piece as she reported: ” In Congress, DeLay was known for his ruthless ability to make his fellow Republicans tow the line, blocking renewal of the assault weapons ban in 2004, in the news again today because of Saturday’s Arizona shooting.”

      Lauer then advanced that line to DeLay in the subsequent interview segment as seen in the following January 13 Today show exchange:

      MATT LAUER: I wonder if I could turn subjects on you, a little bit here, and get your opinion on some things. Gun control, it’s a hot topic again, right now, in the wake of those shootings or that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona. Do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?

      TOM DELAY: Absolutely. In fact, I understand there’ been a bill introduced that has a 1000 foot barrier around an elected official so people couldn’t bring guns. If I were still in Congress, I would welcome and urge those that have license to carry, to come to my town meetings. I’d feel more safe having them there, rather than shutting them out and letting some crazy come in and, and, and shoot up the place.

      LAUER: So you would have-

      DELAY: You know I had a shooting in my office from one of these crazies, too, back, back in-

      (I wonder why he was so quick to cut him off here)

      LAUER: You would have no difference of opinion, in terms of the assault ban, of the ban on assault weapons that you didn’t allow to come to a vote in 2004? And I’m not connecting dots that don’t exist here, Congressman, believe me. But, but in that law would have prevented the new manufacture of things like these extended magazine that, that was used by this alleged shooter in this case. He could have still gotten one, he could have gotten an old one. But no new rethinking of your, of the philosophical idea of that?

      DELAY: Absolutely not. Guns and people that carry guns are a deterrent. Happened right here in Texas. We, we had a situation where people would bump into women in expensive cars and rob them right on the freeway. The day that concealed carry went into law in the state of Texas, that all stopped, because the robbers didn’t know if that women they were bumping into had a gun or not. So, you know, this is all stuff that we shouldn’t be talking about. And what we ought to be talking about is, is the rhetoric in Washington, what people ought to be – how people should be treating each other civilly. And gun control and grandstanding doesn’t help anybody.

      Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/geoffrey-dickens/2011/01/13/lauer-tom-delay-will-you-rethink-your-opposition-gun-control-now#ixzz1B1L2OqBr

    • Buck the Wala says:

      More guns, less crime?

      http://islandia.law.yale.edu/ayers/Ayres_Donohue_article.pdf

      DISCLAIMER: I have absolutely no time to actually read this study at the moment.

      • Common Man says:

        Buck;

        Reading through it and so far it is a lot of theory, conjecture, maybe’s and re-direction.

        So far they are not basing their point on facts, but on adjusted facts filtered by conjecture or theoretical ideals.

        At this point in my reading it is apparent that these self-proclaimed elite researchers, set out to disprove Lott however they could, and are tossing in a lot of ‘could-be’s, maybe’s and semi-relevant theory’.

        I will do my best to read all 120 pages, but at page 25 I am already sure that the rest of it will read much the same.

        CM

        • Buck the Wala says:

          You have to remember that it is written in a Law Review. Very different from a study found in a scientific journal. Additionally, from the very loose bits I skimmed thus far, it seems that their entire point is that Lott’s findings are based on very specific criteria that, if you move around ever so slightly results in huge swings in the final numbers.

      • Dear Letters Editor:

        In his evaluation of the book “Evaluating Gun Policy”, Saul Cornell stated, “John J. Donohue challenges economist John Lott’s contention that states issuing permits for carrying concealed weapons have seen significant reductions in violent crime. In a commentary on this essay, David B. Mustard, Lott’s original co-author, quibbles with Donohue but concedes that data from the 1990s show a rise in crime in those states that adopted concealed-carry laws.”

        I would like to correct this misrepresentation of my analysis, in which I write, “Unfortunately, many of [Donohue’s] criticisms have already been addressed extensively in the literature” and that Donohue’s own data show that “the passage of the law [that allows law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons] is associated with sharp decreases in murder, rape and robbery.”

        David B. Mustard

        Terry College of Business

        University of Georgia

        Athens, GA 30602

        Other misleading charges about David’s changing views on our research have also been made in other publications. If you would like a discussion of those, it can be provided. Unfortunately, absolutely none of the various supportive letters sent to the various newspapers have been published.

        F) Response to the New York Times attack:

        —— Forwarded Message

        From: John Lott

        Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 21:01:39 -0500

        To: Letters New York Times

        Subject: Pity the Poor Gun, 3/2/03, Section 7, Page 31 (earlier version of letter transposed numbers in date)

        Dear Letters Editor:

        Your comic strip would be funny if it didn’t contain so many errors (Pity the Poor Gun, 3/2, Section 7, Page 31). 1) My hard disk crash is extremely well documented. 2) There is evidence of the survey’s existence from both a couple of professors and from a survey participant. 3) I never attributed the 98% figure to the Los Angeles Times, Gallup, or Peter Hart. 4) The claims you raise are over one number in one sentence in my book More Guns, Less Crime. ALL the crime data in the book was replaced after the hard disk crash and has been given to dozens of academic researchers. Every single regression measuring the impact of guns on crime has been redone by others.

        I should also mention that I replicated my lost 1997 survey in 2002 and got similar results–to be presented in my new book, The Bias Against Guns, when it is released in a couple weeks. Incidentally, only two other surveys have been done on this question since 1990 and one found that in 92% of all defensive gun uses either brandishing or firing a warning shot was sufficient to scare off the attacker.

        Sincerely,

        John R. Lott, Jr.

        Resident Scholar

        American Enterprise Institute

        1150 17th Street, NW

        Washington, DC 20036

        (202) 862-4884 http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2003/03/02/books/20030302stamaty.html

  7. I am surprised no one has picked upon the DISD (Dallas Independent School District) issuing class c misdemeanor tickets in elementary, junior high, and high school instead of detentions and calling the parents. Failure to pay the class C misdemeanor subjects the parent to the penalty for such. Disruptive students have been issued tickets for the past three years. The fines run from $15 to $500. The DISD says that since you cannot effectively punish students, other than detention (which does not work), and parents are not being responsible in effectively alleviating the problem, it was determined, like speeding, to just issue a ticket for disruptive behavior. (The bringing of cell phones to class, radios, Ipods, etc. is considered among the disruptive issues). A smart mouthed student does not face rebuke and confrontation from the teacher….just issued a ticket…with the report card. Failure to pay the ticket…you will not get your grades or you will not graduate. According to the DISD…..disruptive behavior has declined over 60% in two years.

    • Common Man says:

      Disruptive students started shortly after they outlawed “swats”, running laps, etc. Isn’t interesting that should a child screw up in the class room they are given detentions or suspended, however should a player on the schools football team screw up he gets to do things like the gauntlet, sled, laps, endless mountain-climbers.

      How come when it is proven to work to correct behaivor on a football field it cannot be used in the class room? After all they are still under the direction of the education system.

      I think a little bit of “Boot-camp” or “Training camp” disapline deployed in the class room would go a long way toward keeping things structured and controlled.

      CM

      • Common Man says:

        All throughout High School, or at least the one I attended, teachers used the coaches and gym teachers to deal effectively with disruptive students. The teachers would let the appropriate coach or gym teacher know of the issue and those individuals saw to it that corrective disapline was dispenced.

        Guess what…it worked

        CM

      • But CM…there are those that will say any form of discipline is abuse….. Hitting the parents in the pocket book seems to be working. NOw, I am sure we will hear how it is an imposition to the parents to have to pay or a poor family cannot pay or some such “poor me” drivel. According to the interview that I saw this morning, there are administrators that wish to take it further as far as the pocket book. Tie the tickets to the free lunch program, free transportation program, free breakfast program…..failure to pay the tickets keeps the child out of those programs. Interesting discussions up coming in the DISD.

        • They should do what Germany does with speeding tickets, make it a percentage of income rather then a fixed amount.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          I can just hear the parents now, after the 3rd 100 dollar ticket. “If we get one more ticket we are going to beat you within an inch of your life! If you report us, they can have you! AAAAHHHHHHHH! 🙂

    • Have not heard about that D13, will share with some teachers.

      • I am going to see if I can find some links….it was an interview on the TV this morning. I did not know this was in effect. I believe that I heard all of it correctly.

      • Found this: Schools Giving Tickets, Not Detention Slips, Report Says
        http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/01/12/schools-giving-tickets-not-detention-slips-report-says/ ^ | January 13, 2011 | CBS

        DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Court has become a deterrent instead of detention for some North Texas students.

        The social and economic group Texas Appleseed collected five years worth of data from 22 districts across the state and found young students, including a six year old in Dallas, who received class C misdemeanor tickets for things like disrupting class, leaving school early and school yard brawls that didn’t include weapons.

        “Dallas ISD was one of the districts that had a very large number of elementary school students that were issued class C misdemeanors,” said Deborah Fowler, of Texas Appleseed.

        Over the course of five years, more than 1200 elementary students in DISD received a ticket.

        O.M. Roberts Elementary parent found Abby Amadore found that alarming. “It’s the (school district’s) job to help us as parents to help them determine what’s right from wrong. I don’t think it’s correct to give them a ticket at six years old,” said Amadore.

        In 2006-2007, over 4,000 DISD students received tickets but one parents said depending on the student’s age it may not be a bad way to curtail persistent misbehavior.

      • And this…..im HOuston and other cities.

        Wednesday, January 12, 2011
        Dallas ISD number 1 in tickets issued to elementary students
        “Houston ISD police do not issue tickets to students under the age of 10, but did issue the most tickets to students statewide in 2007. More than 4,800 tickets were handed out, Dallas ISD followed with more than 4,400 tickets, then San Antonio and Austin ISDs.”

        “Something we started a couple years ago is we gave our officers the ability to issue warning citations,” explained HISD Police Assistant Chief Robert Mock.

        Dallas ISD issued the most tickets to elementary students. More than 1,200 class C misdemeanor tickets were issued to Dallas elementary students in 2007. The second highest number of tickets issued by a school district to elementary children was 355.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      A few kids are just born to be bad. Parents can talk to these kids until their lips fall off and nothing will change. Anything further than talking may be seen as abusive. I hope these parents don’t go broke paying the tickets.

  8. pg 2

    Lopez: Should we ban guns at civic events, to protect congressmen?

    Lott: Another law banning guns from outdoor events would be ineffective — it would make no difference for somebody intent on committing murder. Actually enforcing such a law would require conducting events only in enclosed areas with guards checking for guns at the entrance. It would effectively ban the type of spontaneous contact that Congresswoman Giffords and others felt was so important. It isn’t very clear how one would provide extensive Secret Service protection to all 535 members of Congress.

    Lopez: Could this attack have been prevented if there were a federal assault-weapons ban?

    Lott: When the federal assault-weapons ban expired on Sept. 14, 2004, those favoring the ban predicted a massive violent-crime wave.

    Massachusetts senator John Kerry, the Democratic party’s presidential nominee that year, warned it would make “the job of terrorists easier.” California senator Dianne Feinstein foresaw that deadly crime would soar because of the “pent-up demand for 50-round magazines and larger.” Gun-control advocates such as Sarah Brady, James’s wife, anticipated similar problems.

    Six years have passed since the ban sunset, and none of those fears has been borne out. Indeed, every category of violent crime has fallen, with the murder rate falling by about 15 percent between 2004 and June 2010. The recently released third edition of More Guns, Less Crime found that the six states that have their own assault-weapons ban saw a smaller drop in murders than the 44 states without such laws.

    There is no academic research by criminologists or economists that shows that either state or federal assault-weapon bans have reduced any type of violent crime. Clips are very easy to cheaply make, and a ban would mean that criminals, not law-abiding individuals, would have the advantage in any confrontation.

    The civilian version of the AK-47, or other so-called assault weapons, may look like the guns used by militaries around the world, but they are quite different. The civilian version of the AK-47 is not a machine gun, and fires essentially the same bullets as deer-hunting rifles at the same rapidity (one bullet per pull of the trigger), and does the same damage. Of course, in this attack in Tucson, the weapon used was a very commonly owned handgun.

    Lopez: What about some kind of ban on high-capacity magazines? Could that have cut down on the casualties?

    Lott: Re-instituting the parts of the assault-weapon ban limiting magazine size won’t lower crime. No research by criminologists or economist found that the ban or magazine-size restrictions reduced crime. Magazines are just small metal boxes with a spring, and are very easy to make. The benefits of not exchanging the magazines accrue to law-abiding citizens, police, and criminals. If criminals still get the larger magazines, they’ll have the advantage.

    Lopez: Is there anything new about the legislation Carolyn McCarthy is offering?

    Lott: No, she is trying to reinstitute part of the federal assault-weapons ban.

    Lopez: Why shouldn’t members of Congress be emotionally or politically pressured into supporting it?

    Lott: Too often, knee-jerk reactions cause Congress to pass laws that actually make future crimes more likely. Creating gun-free zones is one such example. Banning guns from places such as schools might have seemed like a way of protecting children or college students, but instead it created a magnet for those intent on causing harm. The problem is that instead of gun-free zones making it safe for potential victims, they make it safe for criminals.

    Criminals are less likely to run into those who might be able to stop them. Everyone wants to keep guns away from criminals. But the question is, who is more likely to obey the law?

    A student expelled for violating a gun-free zone at a college is extremely unlikely ever to be accepted to another college. A faculty member fired for a firearms violation will find it virtually impossible to get another academic position. But even if the killer at Virginia Tech had lived, the notion that the threat of expulsion would have deterred the attacker when he would have already faced 32 death penalties or at least 32 life sentences seems silly.

    Letting civilians have permitted concealed handguns limits the damage from attacks. A major factor in determining how many people are harmed by these killers is the amount of time that elapses between when the attack starts and when someone with a gun is able to arrive on the scene.

    • January 13, 2011 4:00 A.M.
      Rounding Up the Guns
      (Page 3 of 4)

      Lopez: Is there any gun-control regulation that makes sense?

      Lott: I really wish that I could point to something that seems to work here. If background checks make people feel safer, I suppose that there are worse wastes of money, but, generally, gun-control laws either have no effect on crime or actually make things worse. It seems preferable to take the money that we are spending on gun-control laws and use it to hire more police, whom we do know to be extremely important in stopping crime. The big question that people have to ask when examining a law is, who is most likely to obey it? If the law-abiding, good citizens are the ones most likely disarmed by the law, the law can actually make crime rates worse.

      Lopez: But don’t gun bans stop criminals from getting guns?

      Lott: Everyone wants to keep guns away from criminals, but the question is: Who is most likely to obey the law? With a ban, if the law-abiding citizens are the ones who turn in their guns relative to the criminals, you can actually see increases in crime rates. And that is what we see happening. In every instance, we have data that show that when a ban is imposed, murder rates rise. In America, people are all too familiar with the increased murder rates in Chicago and Washington, D.C., following their handgun bans. They might even be familiar with the 36 percent drop in murder rates in D.C. since the Supreme Court struck down its handgun ban and gun-lock laws.

      Supporters blame those gun-control failures on the ease of getting guns in the rest of the country. The claim is that unless the ban covers the entire country, it isn’t a fair test of how well a ban will work. Still, that doesn’t explain why gun bans increase murder rates. As the third edition of More Guns, Less Crime shows, even in island nations such as Ireland, the U.K., and Jamaica — with their easily defendable borders and lack of obvious neighbors — gun bans haven’t stopped drug gangs from getting either drugs or the guns that they use to protect their valuable product (see the figures here).

      Lopez: What have been the most prevalent media errors you’ve heard in recent days?

      Lott: No one in the media holds gun-control advocates responsible for past claims. Again, after the federal assault-weapons ban sunset, politicians and gun-control advocates lined up claiming that murder and violence rates would soar, but the opposite happened. So when gun-control advocates now claim that renewing part of the assault-weapons ban is essential to control violent crime, it would be helpful for reporters to once in a while call them on their past predictions.

      ( I love this point)
      No one in the media holds
      (insert any issue here, global warming, bird or swine flu, etc)
      advocates responsible for past claims.

    • Rounding Up the Guns
      (Page 4 of 4)

      Lopez: Where should Congress go from here?

      Lott: Sen. John Thune’s proposal for right-to-carry reciprocity, to make concealed-carry licenses more like driver’s licenses, would be helpful. Congress should also try undoing many new regulations and treaties that the Obama administration is pushing through. The Obama administration has enacted a ban on the importation of semiautomatic guns because: “The U.S. insisted that imports of the aging rifles could cause problems such as firearm accidents.” They have also imposed much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns.

      However, possibly the biggest threat is Obama’s nomination of Andrew Traver to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

      There is also the Obama administration’s push for the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty and its continual inaccurate statements about the source of Mexico’s crime guns.

      Lopez: Where can the Second Amendment go from here?

      Lott: What happens with the Second Amendment depends a lot on what happens with the Supreme Court and the lower-court appointments. The two recent Supreme Court decisions that affirmed that there was an individual right to self-defense were 5-to-4 decisions, and just because the court says that a complete ban on an entire category of guns goes too far doesn’t mean that they will decide that high fees or other restrictions that effectively prevent many from owning guns are unacceptable. President Obama’s appointments to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, are adamantly against any protection for individual ownership of guns. If one of the five justices in the majority of the Heller or McDonald cases were to die or retire, not only would further gains be prevented, but even those two precedents would be threatened.

      Striking down Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban and gun-lock law and Chicago’s handgun ban has been met with new costly restrictions that would-be gun owners must meet. In D.C., the restrictions are so extensive that after two years, only around a thousand people have obtained permits to own handguns in their home. Those regulations are being challenged, but it will take a few years to see whether the Supreme Court will take those cases. Another prominent issue will involve what it means for people to be able to “bear,” in other words carry, guns.

      Lopez: Do Jason Chaffetz and Heath Shuler — two congressmen who are planning on arming themselves when they are in their districts — have the right idea? Is that necessary?

      Lott: Congressmen can be victims of violent crime, and not just because of their prominent political position. In 1997, when Colorado senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell was asked by the Denver Post “how it looks for a senator to be packing heat,” he responded, “You’d be surprised how many senators have guns.” Campbell said that “he needed the gun back in the days when he exhibited his Native American jewelry and traveled long distances between craft shows.” I just wish that more people in Tucson, Arizona, were carrying a concealed handgun with them when the attack occurred on Saturday.

  9. I guess it’s Ok when liberals use the term…

    MATTHEWS: Do you think the way, do you think that the Democrats exploited this? I mean the NAACP ran an ad this year…

    KEMP: Oh, that was sad.

    MATTHEWS: … basically blaming Bush for the James Byrd horror story because they said he wouldn’t back a hate crime, even though he actually, he, you know, he — they’re executing those people.

    KEMP: Oh, I served in the Congress with Kweisi Mfume. He, I want to say, is a friend of mine. I talked to him before George W. Bush spoke at the NAACP during the campaign and Kweisi is a man of integrity.

    I really can’t believe, and I just say this without any knowledge ahead of time, I don’t believe that Kweisi Mfume, in my opinion, would have allowed, could have allowed, would have funded such a brutal, brutal ad hominem blood libel ad against George W. Bush.

    Six years later, on the October 31, 2006 “Scarborough Country,” MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle lamented that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) had not effectively handled the Swift Boat Veterans attack on his credibility two years prior (emphasis mine) and thus had a lack of credibility in his ongoing critique of the war in Iraq:

    The problem for Kerry here is that two years ago, Joe, he did not talk like that when he was undergoing a blood libel by the Swift Boat people. If he had stood up two years ago, in July of 2004, and looked into the cameras with the same intensity he showed today on this issue and said, Hey, I didn`t see Dick Cheney on the bow of my boat in the Mekong Delta, we might have a different president today. That didn`t happen then, and so he`s playing catch-up in terms of his reputation now.

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2011/01/13/2000-dem-congressman-used-blood-libel-reference-gop-attack-gore-hardba#ixzz1B1JJIQMJ

  10. Looking for thoughts.. any tax experts here?

    I am getting an MBA. My employer has offered to pay for half the degree.

    So here’s what happens (with made up numbers)

    Tuition total is $20,000. My share is $10,000, and my employer’s is $10,000.

    I prepay my school with post-tax dollars. That is, for the employer’s share, it takes (assuming a 30% rate) $14,286 pre-tax dollars to pay $10,000 post-tax.

    There is a tax exclusion for “fringe benefits” for $5,200. Beyond that, it becomes taxable income. So when my company reimburses me $10,000, $5,200 is free and clear, $4,800 is taxable.

    That $4,800 is taxed. So my take home is $5,200 + ($4,800 * (1 – 30%)) = $8560. This is $1,440 short from tax.

    That means that I have paid 1,440 + 4,286 = $5,726 in tax on a gross income of 14,286. Which means the rate is now 40% instead of 30%.

    This looks to me like a double-tax which adds about 10% to my rate.

    Again, these numbers are all made up (except the exclusion amount). Does anyone see a way around this or have a different take?

    • Matt….I do not claim to be expert in tax matters….I hire it done….however, since the family is an employer and have, in the past, tried to help employees out, we always ran into road blocks as far as the employee was concerned. It all depends on how it is reported to the IRS. Let me give an example….at one time we had an employee safety award program in place. Three employees per year were selected upon reaching certain pre-established criteria to receive a safety award. The top award was an all expense paid trip to Hawaii for 7 days. We paid for the plane fare, the hotel room, and a per diem. Anything else was the employees own.

      The IRS disqualified the award as an expense to us and instituted a ruling that the employee received monetary benefit in the form of a bonus. THey were charged a tax as ordinary income and we had to alter the tax filings to show same and pay employee benefits on that amount. (SSN, Medicare etc) We, of course, discontinued the program.

      We tried to do the same thing on education. The IRS ruled that the education expense was deductible if it was directly related to the operation of the company and the employee not charged additional income. BUT, it specificallyu said that any direct aid to a normal college degree failed the test of being directly related to the operation of the company and disallowed the deduction and charged 11 employees as ordinary income. We discontinued this program as well.

      This was in the late 80’s and 90’s. Don’t know if this helps but it appeared to depend on the classification of the funds. We were told that if we created a foundation or such, then it would be deductible. But we did decline to do that.

    • Oh, it appears that you have been double taxed, given your example but then what was the classification of the monies you received?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      There’s an argument to be made that your tutition is fully tax deductible as being ordinary and necessary towards your current career…

      DISCLAIMER: I am not in any way, shape or form telling you that your tuittion is tax deductible. The above statement constitutes only an opinion without full knowledge of the underlying facts or circumstances. As such it cannot be relied upon as legal advice by the intended recipient (Mathius) nor by anyone else who happens to read it.

      • Typical lawyer..

        OK, a search of the IRS website suggests that, rather than writing it off as an “Educational assistance program” which has a 5,250 cap, they can call it “Working Condition Benefits.”

        Working Condition Benefits for education require that “The education maintains or improves skills needed in the job” and does have a cap.

        http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000193667

        • Buck the Wala says:

          The rules for tax-deductibility of an MBA depend on whether you can prove that you were already established in a certain trade or business before going to get the MBA and that the degree will help you maintain or improve your skills in that specific trade or business.

          And you are right about the Educational Assistance vs. Working Condition Benefit in regards to the taxation of amounts paid for by your employer.

          • I started my degree in fall of ’09. I had been working in hedge funds for three years at that point. The degree has a focus in finance.

            I’d say it’s a safe call.

            • Sounds like it and that is what I meant about classifications.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I’d say so too.

              IRS is all over the map on tax deductions for an MBA though, but you should definitely fall within the exceptions.

    • Mathius

      You have taxed yourself twice in your calculations, and twisted the entire analysis.

      Damn Lefty logic………… 🙂

      Gross Income = $14286

      Tax without education allowance = $14286 x 0.3 = $4285.80

      AGI with “fringe benefit” exclusion = $14286 – $5200 = $9086.00 of taxable income.

      Tax with education allowance = $9086 x 0.3 = $2725.80

      Now if you take the pieces of $14286 and apply the tax rate to each piece, ie your gross vs. post tax tuition, you will get the same answer.

      (($14286 – $10,000) x .3) + (($10,000 – $5200) x .3) = $2725.80

      • I thought Matt was in favor of more taxes. Is it ethical of him to try and pay a lesser amount?

        • Maybe we should nickname him John Kerry!

        • Thought the same on Flag’s response yesterday to Kathy re: SS post!

        • I’m interested in paying my share.

          I’m not interested in paying my share a second time.

        • Interesting, I find that I am like Anita-the argument that people who are for taxes should not take advantage of the tax laws to lower their tax rates is comparable to people saying that people who want to actually receive there SS checks, money they paid into the system are hypocrites. Neither argument is fair IMHO. And in reality if you have paid into SS and you don’t get your money back, you are in reality being made to pay twice.

  11. This is a terrific and incredibly easy test. And it shows results in a number of ways. It clearly indicates that the majority of Americans don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the world. No wonder our politicians take such advantage of us. It’s astonishing that so many people got less than half right. These results say that 80% of the (voting) public doesn’t have a clue, and that’s pretty scary.

    There are no tricks here – just a simple test to see if you are current on your information. This is quite good and the results are shocking.

    I believe it was Winston Churchill who opined that ” . . . the biggest argument against democracy is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter . . .”

    Test your knowledge with 12 questions, then be ready to shudder when you see how others did!

    http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

    I managed to be in the top 25% with 8 right.

  12. http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201101060023

    Beck catching some heat.. but I hate to do it.. I have to agree with him. It took a second listen to get past the knee-jerk, but yes – he has it right.

    See? I’m fair. Right? Right? Let’s all remember that I supported Glen “Asshat” Beck so I can’t be a complete leftist hack, right?

    • Matt….agreeing with Beck in no way…alleviates the seige. We want the GROG. (By the way, interesting link)

      • I don’t know.. I worked hard on a good narration of the siege on #7 yesterday, but you didn’t respond. It made me sad.

        • Common Man says:

          Hey all you Pirates, check this out: I looked up “Grog” and found this. It appears D13, Matt and DPM are drinking the wrong elixer.

          Bumbo (also known as Bombo or Bumboo) is a drink made from rum, water, sugar and nutmeg.[1] Cinnamon is sometimes substituted for or added to the nutmeg. Modern Bumbo is often made with dark rum, citrus juice, Grenadine and nutmeg.

          CM
          A related drink is the Traitor, made with orange juice, rum, honey and nutmeg, mixed and heated.

          Bumbo was popular in the Caribbean during the era of piracy, largely because it tasted better than Royal Navy Grog. Pirates and short-haul merchantmen did not suffer from scurvy as often as British sailors, largely because their voyages were shorter and their diet included plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. This meant that citrus juice could be dropped from the grog recipe, and sugar and nutmeg sweetened the mix.[citation needed]

          Bumbo was commonly used during election campaigns in colonial British America, to the extent that treating voters to gifts and other freebies during election campaigns was referred to as “swilling the planters with bumbo”. George Washington was particularly noted for using this technique. His papers state that he used 160 gallons of rum to treat 391 voters to bumbo during campaigning for the Virginia House of Burgesses in July 1758.[2]

          • BUt CM…..I dont drink the stuff….just bootleg it…and, of course, keep DPM in swill.

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              Y’AARRRGGGH *HIC* YAR!

              I don’t know what the *hic* suff be, err, stuff be called. All I knows is that it be delic- delic- delicious. And really bad eggs, avast, me hardies, yo ho!

              Four Bells! Another one down the *hic* down the *hic* down the hatch!

              Y’ARRRGH!

        • Do not be sad, my friend. I did not see it until you referenced it….I WILL respond….haveto find out the complete dmamge first…you have been very effective. Have to rethink strategy.

    • Mathius

      Tip O’ the hat to you on this one.

      Now the big question.

      Do you start to see why some of us question Media Matters motivations?

      Did you notice their “prior” headline on the topic? (just under the picture).

      Also, take a look at the comments and let me know what you think. It reminded me of certain discussion at SUFA from time to time. I would like YOUR thoughts on what that might be I am talking about.

      JAC

      • Comments were interesting.. it took a while to see anything saying that he was right.

        The issue, it seems to me is the perspective you want to look at it from*. From the Northern perspective, the 3/5ths gave the South more electoral power and prolonged slavery. From the Southern perspective, the 3/5ths diminished their power, under-representing their population, causing them to be weaker.

        In reality, it just leveled the playing field a little bit and allowed them to pass the Constitution, without which slavery might have continued far longer in the southern states.

        As for the commenters, they’re (mostly) just rapid Beck-haters. They’re more interested in bashing him than arguing why he is wrong. Perhaps they used to argue why he’s wrong, but got bored with it over time since he makes so many boneheaded comments, and now they just automatically assume he’s wrong and bash him regardless? I’m just giving them the benefit of the doubt – most likely, they’re just idiots.

        First Law: People. Are. Dumb.

        *Yes, that’s another sentence ended in a preposition, deal with it.

        • Mathius

          Sentences that end in prepositions are a common occurrence in the English language. Only English teachers get their panties in a twist over it. 🙂

          The thing I noticed was the nature of the disagreement based on differing “perspective” or “starting points” when applied to the same facts.

          Obviously there are those that hate Beck and nothing will make a difference. But there were a few who were reaching completely different conclusions with the same information. Although those who believe it just perpetuated slavery have to ignore the ramifications of NO COMPROMISE given the situations in 1787.

          Shorter version. The bias of individuals caused them to reach different conclusions yet they were using the same FACTS. The bias influenced their ability to decipher the information.

          We all have the problem from time to time and must guard against it.

          Active minds are required at all times.

  13. Common Man says:

    From a more lofty perspective:

    As a freeman I have an unalienable right to protect myself and friends/family members; and if appropriate, with lethal action.

    No nation, government, law or individual has a right to tell me otherwise. How I choose to do so is my choice so long as I do not violate the same right of another.

    I don’t agree or believe a government can either permit me or deter me from that right. Since I have an unalienable right to protect myself, any paper, government or law dictating either way is a violation of that right.

    These laws were and still are established to control and manage individuals and individual freedoms granted by a superior force. They are created to provide the author of those laws and restrictions more power and influence, nothing more.

    As a respectful, moral, honest, thoughtfull and kind individual I live my life accordingly; and expect the same in kind.

    Individuals like those who have committed mass murder do not live by the same code, and are therefore more likely to promote violence. Laws, restrictions and governments cannot prevent them from preforming violence without violating righteous individuals their rights and freedoms.

    As I referrenced earlier, laws do not prevent honest, thoughtful, caring and considerate individuals from commiting violent acts; those laws only hinder the righteous from being as effective in living as they have chosen.

    CM

  14. CLIMATE CHANGE moved forward per USW’s request.

    Just A Citizen said
    January 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    CHANGE IN SUBJECT

    Let go back and kick that old Global Warming Horse. Its been awhile and I would like some answers.

    BF, Peter, etc, please explain what, if anything is wrong with the data that created this graph.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/the-graph-that-should-be-_b_808747.html
    Reply

    *
    Black Flag said
    January 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    JAC,

    Good ol’ chartism at its best.

    First the graph scale is bizarrely +-1C over 120 years – an impossible degree of accuracy. The error bars on the graph – purposely not printed – are greater then the total anomaly – which means in normal word – there is no way we can separate the noise from the signal.

    Second, it is the CHANGE in temperature, not THE temperature. A delta needs a “beginning” or a norm. No where has such been provided in the article – but in the link, you find it is 1971 the coldest period of the last century. This is like taking the temp. of a hypothermia patient – calling it “normal” and then declaring that the person has a fever when they start to warm up!

    Thirdly, who the hell knows the global temperature in 1880! – heck, we do not even know it today. No such thing is measurable – there is no anal cavity of the Earth we can stick a thermometer to declare a “global” temp.

    Fourth, what is the starting point – as Anthony Watts posted – why not “This is the 9,090 warmest year in the last 10,000″ – making this if true (which it is not) – a ridiculous claim.

    Fifth, it is not the warmest. 1934 still wins, according to GISS/NASA – the NCDC data has been shown to be badly compromised with irrational “corrections” and much disputed methodology of combining ocean and land (where land measures suffer Urban Heat Island effect).

    For example, directly from NCDC
    ese grid boxes are then averaged to provide an average global temperature anomaly. An area-weighted scheme is used to reflect the reality that the boxes are smaller near the poles and larger near the equator

    …so the warmer areas have larger counts and the colder areas smaller counts.

    Further, there is far fewer measuring stations in the North (cold) then the South (warm), a bias that is not accounted for in the stats. This is how the “North” is suffering a heat wave while buried in snow and a deep freeze.

    There are volumes of dispute to this “claim” but frankly “WHO CARES”?

    Whether it goes up or down is not in human control – it just is.
    Reply
    o
    Just A Citizen said
    January 14, 2011 at 10:57 am

    BF, et al.

    More stuff on the analysis of Global Warming Climate Change.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/indicators/
    Reply

    • I picked this out an opinion article. Is the subject of the article about Global Warming or something else?

      Scientific fraud is a very serious matter. From a fiscal standpoint, it is essentially stealing money. Whether the funding comes from taxpayers, charities or private sources, there is an expectation that the recipients of such largesse act in good faith and honesty. Any knowledge produced from this funding then enters the public domain via scientific journals. Thus, when a scientist fabricates data, he is not only squandering limited financial resources but is also violating the public’s trust.

      Even worse, when a scientist commits fraud, he misleads his fellow colleagues for years, if not decades. Thousands of hours and millions of dollars are often wasted disproving the research, and those precious assets could have been better spent elsewhere.

    • MA solar plant to close after two years
      Ethel C. Fenig, American Thinker

      While the sun might be a constant source of light and heat apparently even constant Massachusetts government green dollars–$58,000,000 of them–couldn’t guarantee Evergreen Solar Company customers and a profit.

      So just two years after opening a solar energy plant with great fanfare–and even greater state subsidies–the plant is closing and with it 800 jobs reports Todd Wallack of the Boston Globe.

      Why?

      calling itself a victim of weak demand and competition from cheaper suppliers in China, where the government provides solar companies with generous subsidies.

      And speaking of China…

      Evergreen itself has a factory in Wuhan, China, built in collaboration with a Chinese company, Jiawei Solarchina Co. Ltd., and with money from a Chinese government investment fund. The company had previously said it would shift some production from Devens to the Wuhan plant but yesterday was the first time it said Devens would be closed.

      Using even more state green

      In the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Patrick was heavily criticized by his rivals for providing so much public aid to a company during tight fiscal times. One mark of the sensitivity of the issue: Evergreen yesterday requested that the State Police provide four troopers for security at the Devens plant until it closes, two Massachusetts officials said.

      The snow and cold weather continue in Massachusetts as does the spending of the green. But the sun will come out tomorrow, sometimes shining on and heating homes adorned with solar panels from China.

    • Another indicator of earths orbit and the sun’s effect on climate.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/13/new-zodiac-sign-dates-oph_n_808567.html#s223863&title=kristin_leigh

      New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign?

      The Huffington Post | Dean Praetorius First Posted: 01-13-11

      Your zodiac sign may not actually be your zodiac sign anymore. (UPDATE: Scroll down for Twitter reactions — and to submit your own!)

      Astronomer Parke Kunkle says that due to changes in the Earth’s alignment the dates of many zodiac signs have changed, according to NBC. In addition, there may be a 13th Zodiac sign: Ophiuchus.

      Kunkle says that as the Earth and Sun slowly move the signs gradually change, as expected.

      The change didn’t happen over night either. The 12 signs were designated to different periods of the year almost 3,000 years ago, when astrology began, and since then the Earth’s position in relation to the sun has changed.

      While the sign many people were born under may now be different, it shouldn’t affect horoscope readings, according to NBC.

      See if your Zodiac sign has changed below. (And find out if your friends’ signs have changed here or under the dates below.)

      The New Dates:
      Story continues below

      Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
      Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
      Pisces: March 11- April 18
      Aries: April 18 – May 13
      Taurus: May 13 – June 21
      Gemini: June 21 – July 20
      Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
      Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
      Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
      Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
      Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
      Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
      Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20

      • I do not see how the sign I was born under-can now change-Perhaps future people born on the same date will be born under a different sign but I will forever have been born under the sign of scorpio. 🙂

        However I am much for curious to why the alignment of the earth is changing. I am not much into science-is this normal?

        • It is normal and ongoing, the earths orbit has a 40,000 year cycle that shows some relationship to past ice ages. I am not saying this proves anything except changes in our orbit. I do think it supports questions on how much effect our orbital shift has on our climate.

          I also think we are about to start another ice age, but timescale of this event is in hundreds or thousands of years, not decades.

      • Thank the Gods!

        I think this puts it best:

        http://www.reallifecomics.com/archive/110114.html

  15. It’s been an emotional week here at SUFA, here’s an anger management technique that might help 🙂

    I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I’d forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.

    A man answered, saying ‘Hello.’

    I politely said, ‘This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?’

    Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear ‘Get the right f***ing number!’ and the phone was slammed down on me.

    I couldn’t believe that anyone could be so rude. When I tracked down Robyn’s correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits.

    After hanging up with her, I decided to call the ‘wrong’ number again.

    When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled ‘You’re an asshole!’ and hung up.

    I wrote his number down with the word ‘asshole’ next to it,and put it in my desk drawer.

    Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I’d call him up and yell, ‘You’re an asshole!’

    It always cheered me up.

    When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic ‘asshole’ calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, ‘Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I’m calling to see if you’re familiar with our Caller ID Program?’

    He yelled ‘NO!’ and slammed down the phone.

    I quickly called him back and said, ‘That’s because you’re an asshole!’ and hung up.

    One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking Spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I’d been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me.

    I noticed a ! ‘For Sale ‘ sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number.

    A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial), I thought that I’d better call the BMW asshole,too.

    I said, ‘Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?’

    He said, ‘Yes, it is.’

    I asked, ‘Can you tell me where I can see it?’

    He said, ‘Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax , and the car’s parked right out in front.’

    I asked, ‘What’s your name?’

    He said, ‘My name is Don Hansen,’

    I asked, ‘When’s a good time to catch you, Don?’

    He said, ‘I’m home every evening after five.’

    I said, ‘Listen, Don, can I tell you something?’

    He said, ‘Yes?’

    I said, ‘Don, you’re an asshole!’

    Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

    Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call.

    Then I came up with an idea.

    I called asshole #1.

    He said, ‘Hello.’

    I said, ‘You’re an asshole!’ (But I didn’t hang up.)

    He asked, ‘Are you still there?’

    I said, ‘Yeah,’

    He screamed, ‘Stop calling me,’

    I said, ‘Make me,’

    He asked, ‘Who are you?’

    I said, ‘My name is Don Hansen.’

    He said, ‘Yeah? Where do you live?’

    I said, ‘Asshole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax . I have a black Beamer parked in front.’

    He said, ‘I’m coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers.’

    I said, ‘Yeah, like I’m really scared, asshole,’ and hung up.

    Then I called Asshole #2.

    He said, ‘Hello?’

    I said, ‘Hello, asshole,’

    He yelled, ‘If I ever find out who you are…’

    I said, ‘You’ll what?’

    He exclaimed, ‘I’ll kick your ass,’

    I answered, ‘Well, asshole, here’s your chance. I’m coming over right now.’

    Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at
    34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax , and that I was on my way home to kill my gay lover.

    Then I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down on Oaktree Blvd. in Fairfax .

    I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax .

    I got there just in time to watch two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

    NOW I feel much better.

    Anger management really does work.

  16. City puts a stop to homeless outreach
    Couple must have proper permit to continue feeding dozens each day

    By BRADLEY OLSON
    HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Jan. 13, 2011, 11:14PM

    Bobby “Tre9” Herring, center, prays with John Bradley who had been on the streets for 41/2 months after his roommate lost his job and created financial stress during Feed a Friend anniversary event, Nov. 12, 2010, in Houston, under the Main Street bridge near downtown.

    Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.

    That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their “Feed a Friend” effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.

    “We don’t really know what they want, we just think that they don’t want us down there feeding people,” said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.

    Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. To get that permit, the food must be prepared in a certified kitchen with a certified food manager.

    The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless, Barton said, because “poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care.”

    Bobby Herring said those rules would preclude them from continuing to feed the 60 to 120 people they assisted nightly for more than a year. The food had been donated from area businesses and prepared in various kitchens by volunteers or by his wife.

    He and his wife became involved in the effort several years ago, when she would take leftover food from work to the homeless downtown. From there, it expanded into a full-time effort for her working through Eyes on Me, the Herrings’ nonprofit organization that focuses on Christian-themed youth outreach efforts.

    Nearly every day last year, they distributed food prepared or donated by volunteers or local stores at 6 p.m. at the corner of Commerce and San Jacinto, near the Harris County Jail, Bobby Herring said.
    Looking for new solution

    On Nov. 8, they were approached by Houston police officers and asked to provide food at another location under an overpass at Commerce and Travis streets adjacent to Buffalo Bayou, he recalled.

    They were happy to move to the new location and continued to provide food there until Dec. 30, when a park ranger and two police officers told them they would have to stop until they could obtain a permit.

    Because the new area to which they had moved is on city park land, they need permission and permits from both the parks department and health department.

    Because city ordinances would prevent them from obtaining the needed permit, Bobby Herring said he is hoping to find a new solution, perhaps working through a church with a permit or finding a downtown location that would allow them to continue to help the homeless.

    Amanda Herring said she was frustrated at the city’s sudden stance.

    “I’m just really sad,” she said. “I can’t believe for a year we were right out in the open and never had anybody tell us to leave, to stop, to tell us it was wrong. I’m blindsided with it.”
    ‘Designed to protect’

    Connie Boyd, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, applauded the Herrings’ efforts but defended the city’s stance.

    “We absolutely need more people like them who care about this vulnerable population,” Boyd said. “Even though their intentions are good, they ran into ordinances that are designed to protect the public. There are good reasons why they’re in place.”

    Boyd said the Herrings, or any like-minded individuals, could use her organization to connect with more than 200 groups and agencies that provide aid to the homeless and possibly stake out a partnership.

    Barton said city officials in the past had considered passing a “public feeding” ordinance that would make it easier for people like the Herrings to comply with rules designed to protect people’s health and well being. The ordinance could involve easier and cheaper permitting processes, she said, although there had not been discussion of the matter for some time.
    Ordinance review?

    City Councilwoman Wanda Adams, who has been an advocate for the homeless during her tenure, said she planned to review the ordinance. She reiterated the importance of the city’s rules but applauded the efforts of the Herrings.

    “I’m very passionate about what they’re doing,” she said. “Somebody needs to make sure our homeless people are being taken care of. … We have to look as a city to see if there are other ways we can partner with people like this who are trying to help.”

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7381016.html

    Okay, maybe there’s a reason for the rules and it’s just great that they want to encourage people to help. But these people that they have been feeding for a year are not getting the food. So please, lets get ourselves together and come up with a way to fix this problem. Now, it has already been several weeks.

    • “To get that permit, the food must be prepared in a certified kitchen with a certified food manager”

      1. Pay for permit

      2. Pay to be a certified kitchen

      3. Pay to become a certified food manager

      Don’t want to lose our tax dollars!

      Houston, you have a problem!

    • THe insanity of Government, they want to “protect” people from food bourne illness, so that people can get sick from malnutrician related illness instead. The power and stupidity of government never ceases to amaze me. Hat’s off to the Herring’s 🙂

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        I still don’t know if I can even give apples away without filing with the FDA for a small farm exemption. I will just give the extra apples to the Moose/deer or cut some appletrees down.

        • APD, You must be referencing the new food safety law, S 510. It’ll be awhile before they actually enforce it. What I don’t understand, loss of life due to food borne illness, while tragic, is quite low compared to other causes of death, yet the law provides 1.4 billion dollars for it. I’m thinking of doing a guest article on it, but I’d be deemed a “conspiracy theorist” 🙂 My feeling is that we are in for a bad outbreak of illness, which will be blamed on “locally grown and purchased” foods. Then we have a problem and an answer to the 1.4 billion dollar question, food police!

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            yes that is what I am refering to. That would make an interesting article. Be back later, have to run for a bit.

  17. USWeapon Topic #2

    No Way, Eh! Canadian Station Defies ‘Money For Nothing’ Ban

    Starting at 8pm Friday night, the Edmonton, Canada classic rock radio station K97 will play the recently banned Dire Straits hit, “Money for Nothing,” nonstop and unedited for an hour in protest of a Canadian regulator’s decision to ban the original version of the song, first released in 1985, because it contains the word “fa—t..”

    “We’re not afraid of repercussions. We have never had a complaint in the 25 years we have played the song,” K97 Music Director Todd James told FOX411. “We will play it in its entirety and unedited as we have always done and if someone wants to file a complaint we will take it from there.”

    But K97 may be alone.

    Most Canadian radio stations that play rock music have been bombarded with phone calls from listeners unhappy about the ban of the quarter-century old Dire Straits hit— still, despite the many complaints, the majority of stations don’t plan to break the rules and broadcast the forbidden tune like the Edmonton station.

    “The audience reaction is ‘Are you kidding me?’ There is a lot of disbelief. This song was a major hit and we have played it a billion times on the radio and we never even thought it was an issue until the ruling came out,” David Farough, Vice President of Brands and Programming for Corus Entertainment, which owns and operates 52 radio stations from Toronto to Vancouver told FOX411.

    “The CBSC does some very good things, but they don’t always make the best decisions,” Farough said.

    Music directors and DJs from Corus stations manned the phones all day Thursday and directed angry listeners to call the CBSC and complain. But Farough said that his stations will not buck the ruling like K97 and play the banned version. Some of Corus’ classic rock stations are going in another direction and plan to stop playing the Dire Straits hit altogether instead of playing the edit.

    “It has become a credibility issue,” Farough says. “Sometimes it is better not to play the song. We are leaving it up to the individual markets.”

    “Money for Nothing”, written by Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and famed rock star Sting, neither of whom returned queries from FOX411 by deadline, is a satire of the boom of MTV rock stars in the eighties. It is written from the perspective of a blue collar worker who, when jealous and ticked off, refers to the rockers as the offensive f-word.

    An offended listener complained to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council last year about the song’s inclusion of the homosexual slur, and on Wednesday the CBSC ruled that the use of the gay slur breaches the national broadcast authority’s code of ethics. The CBSC ruled that the song can be played on the radio in an edited form without the slur.

    The CBSC ruling panel said that even though the song has been accepted for the past 25 years it does not mean that its lyrics are acceptable today.

    The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation which protects the rights of gay and lesbian individuals here in the United States told FOX411 they don’t make it a practice to comment on Canadian issues, but Helen Kennedy, executive director of the Canadian gay-rights group Egale championed the decision to Canada’s Globe and Mail.

    “It’s the word that is used most often in hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation, which we know are the most violent, against gay men,” Kennedy said.

    The unprecedented ban raises concerns about other golden oldies with lyrics that would be offensive to politically correct modern ears, like Bob Dylan’s use of the n-word in the song “Hurricane” or maybe even Bruce Springsteen’s “yellow man” in “Born in the USA.”

    The sudden crackdown on “Money for Nothing” has freedom of speech advocates concerned that this week’s ruling represents a slippery slope for any song that could be interpreted as offensive in hindsight.

    “It is concerning that the CBSC has focused on one word rather than what this song is about,” Cara Zwibel, director of the Fundamental Freedoms program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association told Fox411. “I hope we won’t head down a slippery slope, because this opens so much up to question since there are many songs people could consider offensive. We think there needs to be a wide space for artistic expression.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/01/14/way-eh-canadian-station-defies-money-ban/?test=faces#

    • I’ve heard Canada moves a little slow, but 25 years later?

      What a bunch of bunk.

    • I hate these topics because I am always conflicted and wishy-washy in my opinion. It seems stupid, it’s a violation of freedom, it’s dangerous to outlaw words. But at the same time I don’t want my kids listening to songs all day that burn all these derogatory words into their little minds.

      • Fear not V.H.,

        If the government passes some kneejerk hate speech law, it will be applied to radio stations and music. Kiss RAP goodbye!

      • RI Gov. Chafee: Stop paying for vitriolic commentary
        10:20 AM Thu, Jan 13, 2011 | Permalink
        Felice Freyer Email

        When talk radio hosts use harshly divisive language, “The advertisers should shut them down,” Governor Lincoln Chafee said this morning.

        Chafee said the solution to the vitriolic rhetoric — which some have linked to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords over the weekend — is for people to stop paying for it, including not buying books from people who use such language.

        Chafee made his comments in response to reporters’ questions after a meeting on health care. He noted that he had been a target of violence-tinged criticism himself. In 2006, conservative commentator Ann Coulter wrote a column, “They shot the wrong Lincoln,” and calling then-Senator Chafee a “half-wit.”

        Chafee made national news earlier this week when he announced that he would not go on talk radio and would ban state employees from doing so.

        The ban came because talk radio is essentially “ratings-driven, for-profit programming” that was not appropriate use of state employees’ time, Chafee said. His spokesman said it had been in the works long before the shooting in Arizona.

        http://newsblog.projo.com/2011/01/ri-gov-chafee-stop-paying-for.html

        Of course they are helping to make me less conflicted as time goes by- No state employee can go on the radio-Is this just on state time or anytime? The whole idea seems more like a convenient way to make the state not have to answer questions from the media to me.

        • Memo to Gov. Chaffee

          In regards to the reason for your ban, “The ban came because talk radio is essentially “ratings-driven, for-profit programming” that was not appropriate use of state employees’ time, Chafee said. His spokesman said it had been in the works long before the shooting in Arizona.”, I just wanted to remind you that the major networks are also:

          RATINGS DRIVEN, FOR PROFIT PROGRAMMING.

          By the way, NPR is also profit programming, but not so concerned with ratings.

          It is rare I agree with the stork, but Mr. Chaffee, your are a half-wit.

    • want my MTV

      Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
      You play the guitar on the MTV
      That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
      Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
      Maybe get a blister on your little finger
      Maybe get a blister on your thumb

      We gotta install microwave ovens
      Custom kitchen deliveries
      We gotta move these refrigerators
      We gotta move these colour TV’s

      (See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
      Yeah buddy that’s his own hair
      That little faggot got his own jet airplane
      That little faggot he’s a millionaire)

      Gotta install microwave ovens
      Custom kitchen deliveries
      We gotta move these refrigerators
      Gotta move these colour TV’s

      I shoulda learned to play the guitar
      I shoulda learned to play them drums
      Look at that mama, she got it stickin’ in the camera
      Man we could have some
      And he’s up there, what’s that? Hawaiian noises?
      Bangin’ on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
      That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Get your money for nothin’ get your chicks for free

      We gotta install microwave ovens
      Custom kitchens deliveries
      We gotta move these refrigerators
      We gotta move these colour TV’s

      Look a’ here
      That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      You play the guitar on your MTV
      That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
      Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

      Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free

      Look at that, look at that

      Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free
      I want my, I want my, I want my MTV
      Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

      (Fade)
      I want my, I want my, I want my MTV

  18. You hunters might like this one. I’m thinking the person who wrote this may not like hunting-the picture of a baby fox with the article-I took as a clue

    Fox shoots man
    Reuters

    A wild fox cub lies outside its burrow near the village of Khatenchitsy north of Minsk Reuters – A wild fox cub lies outside its burrow near the village of Khatenchitsy, some 37 miles north of Minsk, …
    – Thu Jan 13, 2:50 pm ET

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – A wounded fox shot its would be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter’s gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to finish the animal off with the butt of the rifle, media said Thursday.

    The unnamed hunter, who had approached the fox after wounding it from a distance, was in hospital with a leg wound, while the fox made its escape, media said, citing prosecutors from the Grodno region.

    “The animal fiercely resisted and in the struggle accidentally pulled the trigger with its paw,” one prosecutor was quoted as saying.

    Fox-hunting is popular in the picturesque farming region of northwestern Belarus which borders Poland.

    (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Matthew Jones)

  19. Trapped burglars call police for help
    Reuters

    Thu Jan 13, 12:59 pm ET

    BERLIN (Reuters) – Two would-be thieves called in their own crime to police in Germany after they could not escape from a broken-down elevator over the weekend, police said in a statement.

    “This sounds really dumb,” one of the thieves told police in Cologne over the elevator’s emergency phone, “But I’m afraid that we wanted to break in and the elevator has gotten stuck.”

    When police arrived they found the two thieves aged 31 and 37 stuck in the elevator of an office building.

    The thieves allegedly broke into the building and were attempting to reach a higher floor when the elevator became stuck, the police said.

    They decided to phone for help when one thief injured his hand attempting to pry open the door.

    Firemen eventually freed the men and they were arrested.

    🙂

  20. Judy Sabatini says:

    Mexican gunman fires across border toward U.S. highway workers
    by Adriana Gómez Licón / El Paso Times
    Posted: 01/14/2011 12:00:00 AM MST

    FORT QUITMAN, Texas — At least one Mexican gunman fired a high-powered rifle across the border at four U.S. road workers Thursday in an isolated ghost town east of Fort Hancock, Hudspeth County sheriff’s officials said.

    The bullets did not injure the four men.

    Mike Doyle, chief deputy of the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office, said a rancher spotted a white pickup fleeing the area on the Mexican side at 10:30 a.m. — the time the shots were fired.

    The bullets stuck private land along the unpaved Indian Hot Springs Road, which is about half a mile from the border fence. Hudspeth County borrowed the land to store gravel and rocks used for road construction. The workers were filling a hole left last year by rainstorm damage.

    The ghost town of Fort Quitman is 25 miles east of Fort Hancock and 80 miles southeast of El Paso. Fewer than a dozen ranchers raise cattle in the remote area.

    Doyle said the gunman might have shot at the road workers to distract them or get them to flee.

    “Maybe they were trying to get them outside this area,” he said.

    Doyle said the sheriff and the Texas Rangers at this point are assuming the bullets were fired from Mexico. He said one of the county workers said he heard eight shots that “sounded like high-powered rifles.”

    On the Mexican side, the nearest community is Banderas, but there are roads that connect to Ojinaga, right across from Presidio, and also to Juárez.

    Two Texas Rangers and Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West and
    Advertisement
    Quantcast
    Deputy Doyle later were at the scene looking for the bullets with a metal detector.

    Drug cartels use this busy smuggling corridor in between the Quitman Mountains and mountains in the northwestern part of Chihuahua state to traffic marijuana and sometimes cocaine, Doyle said.

    The U.S. government built narrowly spaced steel poles north of the Rio Grande to fence the border in that West Texas area. The slots are not wide enough for people to cross, but small objects can fit between the 15-foot-tall poles.

    “You can walk up and stick your gun through,” West said. The river where it separates Fort Quitman from Mexico is only a few feet wide.

    It is the first time Hudspeth County officials reported gunfire coming from across the border.

    In El Paso, stray bullets from a drug-related gunfight hit City Hall in June. Another stray bullet struck a University of Texas at El Paso building in August.

    On Falcon Lake, a border area near Laredo, Texas, American tourist David Hartley was reportedly shot by Mexican gunmen in October.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety, which oversees the Texas Rangers, referred calls to sheriff’s officials. DPS officials said only that troopers escorted the workers and their equipment away from the scene.

    Border Patrol spokesman Bill Brooks said his agents in the Marfa sector responded to the gunfire after DPS alerted them. The agents are not part of the investigation, he said.

    Brooks said the agency is not deploying more agents to the area. “There is no beefing up in any way,” he said.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s spokeswoman Katherine Cesin ger said the governor’s office had yet to confirm the incident.

    “If these reports are true, it is yet another incident of border violence and spillover,” Cesinger said. “It goes back for the need for the federal government to provide more resources to the border, which is certainly feeling the effects of the escalating violence in Mexico.”

    The shots from across the border angered U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-Texas, who represents the area.

    “It is completely unacceptable that Americans at work, doing their job in America, come under gunfire from across the border in Mexico,” Canseco said in a statement. “Our border is not secure from violence that threatens American lives. Securing our border against the cartels and their violent threat must be a top priority.”

    Adriana Gómez Licón may be reached at agomez@elpasotimes.com; 546-6129.

    Times reporter Daniel Borunda contributed to this story.

    vanessa monsisvais / El paso Times

    Texas Rangers scour an area 25 miles east of Fort Hancock for bullets.

    ” It is completely unacceptable that Americans at work, doing their job in America, come under gunfire from across the border in Mexico. ”

    — U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-Texas, who represents the West Texas district

    • Wonder what the story line would have been-if one of our guys shot back and hurt one of them. Poor innocent 15 year old killed by those mean old Americans who caused all these problems to begin with. This stuff is past getting out of hand.

  21. Judy Sabatini says:
  22. Judy Sabatini says:
    • This is really irritating isn’t it. Seems like these people should be smart enough to come up with a reasonable way to fix this problem. Instead of just letting the people who were being helped starve to death. Seems like finding a solution in a hurry would be on the top of their list instead of making excuses.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        I know, God forbid if anybody tries to help the homeless by giving them food. This is as bad as a while back, then they wanted to have a couple kids get a permit for selling lemonade in front of their house. Just another way for government to get their sticky little fingers involved.

        • I don’t remember all the details but I know that several years ago Kellogg wanted to give away food that they couldn’t sale, to the poor. The problem didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the food-it was safe to eat. But for some reason they weren’t allowed to do so-so they just started burning it. Some how common sense has got to be put back into this countries policies and laws. To burn all that food is just so wrong-it makes me crazy.

  23. USWeapon,
    I believe it was this part of the article that started this entire debate:

    “‘Don’t retreat, reload.’ Someone in Nevada saying we may need to use Second Amendment remedies. There’s only one way to read this,” Slaughter said.

    And then this comment by you:

    USWeapon said
    January 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm
    It wasn’t Angle that said to use second amendment rememdies. Notice that the quotation marks ended prior to that. The second amendment remedies part was added as the interpretation from Rep. Slaughter. The only part that was a quote from Angle was “Don’t retreat, reload.”

    The sentence in the article is poorly written. Notice the period after “reload”? So the “reload” and “Second Amendment remedies” are separate thoughts, but that’s not clear on the first read. Very poorly written.

    It was Angle that said the “second amendment rememdies” line. I think that was proven by the many videos posted.

    It was Palin the said “Don’t retreat, reload.”

    Later you said:

    And I am open to being proven wrong each day.

    In this case you were wrong. Every part of the above post was wrong. But instead of admitting a simple mistake, you pick on Maddow’s credibility (or not??), and then when called on that, you make up excuses about opinion, time, not discussing issues…and you go on the attack against Ray and I…

    And then make that attack the subject the your entire next article…

    You made a mistake – admit it…

    And you feel so “wronged” because Ray and I gang up on you?

    Remember, that happens to us everyday here…

    • Todd,

      First, I admitted to being wrong in a couple of different comments yesterday about Angle not saying that statement. The sentence was written poorly, as you admit, and I was working on what it appeared to be. When Buck showed that Angle did make the statement I admitted I was wrong. I admitted I was wrong AGAIN in the first comment above when I was addressing Ray. Perhaps you didn’t read closely enough or this wasn’t written clearly enough:

      “But I obviously had some of it wrong, as you will notice that I originally posted to Buck that Angle never even said the term second amendment solutions.”

      So it seems that I made a mistake….. and I admitted it several times.

      In this case you were wrong. Every part of the above post was wrong. But instead of admitting a simple mistake, you pick on Maddow’s credibility (or not??), and then when called on that, you make up excuses about opinion, time, not discussing issues…and you go on the attack against Ray and I…

      In this case I was wrong and I admitted it. You obviously didn’t catch, or I was not clear, as to what I questioned about Maddow’s presentation. Follow the thread under what Buck presented and you will see that there was a discussion about whether the “reload” statement had anything to do with the “2nd Amendment solutions” statement, because many assumed both statements were from Angle. MY contention was that Angle’s 2nd Amendment statement was a description of what she believes she is seeing, not a recommendation for what she wants to see, so the two statements had nothing to do with one another. Then Ray, calling me a liar, presented Maddow putting the same interview statement from Angle in a different perspective than the article that Buck offered. And you will notice that Ray posted the liar comment as a response to my reply to Buck that was discussing the article that he produced, meaning Ray replied to my admission that she made that comment by calling me a liar as to how I interpreted that comment. What I don’t think is an issue is whether I admitted that I was wrong when I said Angle didn’t make the statement “2nd amendment solutions”. I have shown you two examples now of places where I was clearly either openly admitting I was wrong or discussing the statement I was wrong about under the assumption that Buck was correct.

      Now don’t you feel silly for continuing to claim that I won’t admit I was wrong?

      As for whether I was saying Maddow is not credible, I have done all the explaining I can do around what I meant by what I said. If you or Ray doesn’t want to accept my explanation, there is little more than I can do about it.

      And for my “excuses” about opinion and time, they were in reply to your statement that I didn’t do enough research. I explained what I did research, so that you would understand why I missed the part Buck presented that made me wrong to claim Angle didn’t say anything like that. It wasn’t an excuse. It was an explanation. But I will stand by what I said in this regard: I write a blog that is focused on my opinion. I research what I can when I can and I write what I want about what I can. This is something I try to find a couple of hours a night to work on for nothing more than a love of doing so. Will I miss things in researching? Yes I will and I have missed more lately than I used to as I have had less time. I don’t really care if you like my level of research. You are welcome to call me out when I am wrong, which you certainly don’t have a problem doing. And I don’t have a problem with being called out for being wrong.

      What I do have a problem with is that you never just say “hey, USW, you are wrong here and here is the proof.” Instead, you tend to always say “hey USW, your level of research sucks and if this is the level of research and writing you do you shouldn’t even be presenting your opinion.” Do you see the difference, Todd? Do you understand that statement #1 is simply having honest discussion while statement #2 is less about me being wrong and more about you attacking me personally? You choose to attack my method instead of my content. Let’s be clear that I know full well that I don’t write as good a blog as I used to because as much as I love doing this I simply haven’t had as much time to do so. But you never, ever just question my facts, you always couple it with a personal attack on me and my worth as a writer. THAT is why you get the responses from me that you do.

      And then make that attack the subject the your entire next article…

      I don’t believe that I did go “on the attack”. I believe that I took the time to answer Ray’s criticism of me. Go back and read what I wrote again. I never once said a bad thing about Ray in my entire reply. I only explained my views on what he said or offered how I felt based on the way that he has presented things. I was quite civil, never attacked Ray, and offered nothing but explanations. As for why I “made that attack the subject of your entire next article,” it was an open mic because I didn’t have a lot of time. I brought it over because I thought doing so would be easier for both Ray and I than scrolling through 400 comments from yesterday in order to continue the discussion. Do you see what I mean about how you are attacking my methods again? I had no evil motive for bringing it over. I wasn’t attacking Ray so I obviously wasn’t trying to embarrass him or something like that. I thought it was a valid discussion to have so I continued it. As for attacking you in it…. I mentioned your name one time Todd and it was only in saying that I felt you also have fallen to attacking me personally rather than discussing issues lately. Just explaining how it feels to me. If that is an “attack” on you, then I apologize. But I didn’t feel that it was.

      You made a mistake – admit it…

      I think I covered that well enough above.

      And you feel so “wronged” because Ray and I gang up on you?

      I never said that at all. I said that I feel that what could be good discussion because you are two smart people is lost because instead of engaging me on the issues themselves, you generally do nothing but attack my level of research, claim that I am intentionally lying to people, or generally make it personal rather than issue based. But I would say I don’t think I feel wronged. I would say that I am generally just disappointed that good opportunity for discussion is wasted and further disappointed that both you and Ray seem to have such a low opinion of both my character and integrity that you spend more time trying to prove I am intentionally dishonest or purposefully leaving out information than you do engaging me on the actual subject.

      Remember, that happens to us everyday here…

      Yes it sure does. Do you think that there is anything to the idea that others may see the way you engage in the same way that I see it and therefore take you to task a little more often because of it? Granted you will get picked on more than others because of which side you come from. But I also recall that I used to regularly see you backed up every now and then until you stopped sticking to issues and started attacking character.

      The bottom line, Todd, as I said yesterday, is that I think you are a pretty smart guy. I don’t understand why it is that you seem to automatically always assume some negative ulterior motive to everything I say or do. I can only assure you that I don’t have some ulterior motive. I write this blog because I love doing it and I genuinely like all the people that come here, including you. Maybe I am a shitty writer. Maybe I form opinions with too little knowledge or research. But I don’t do it because I am trying to hide something. It is more likely because I am struggling to find time to do what I do here. And when I try to take the time to better explain what I meant about something or to clarify a point that I made or to argue a position, it isn’t because somewhere in my head I refuse to be proven wrong or because I am desperately trying to cling to some fictional level of credibility. I would just appreciate it if you would assume that I try to be honest and I try to clarify where I can. A little benefit of the doubt isn’t too much to ask, I think. Or at least an explanation of why it is that you always assume the worst about me.

      But if benefit of the doubt is something you aren’t willing to give me, that it OK. I don’t think you have much respect for me and that is OK too. You don’t owe me anything and i won’t begrudge you any further for it. I have done my best to win you over and get you to understand that I am basically a pretty honest guy who just wants to have reasonable discussions about politics, regardless of where I might stand on the scale of “expertise”. No matter what, I will continue to write here because it is something that I love to do and because I don’t want to lose touch with what I think is a pretty cool community of people, every one of which I would help in any way that I could.

      And thanks for the feedback. I understand that I upset you but I really do appreciate hearing what people really think of me.

      • USWeapon,
        Yes, I’m a day or two behind here. I got sucked into a mess at work that took every minute of the last two days, so I haven’t read the comments from the past 2 days.

        I saw my name in the first line of this post (hey, top billing again!!), and your #32 comment from the previous thread, and went from those. The part were I was grasping at straws…

        I didn’t see any admissions there, so I don’t really feel all that silly…

        It seems every month or so you single out Ray or me (mostly Ray) for a special post. They tend to come across as pretty harsh – you did say you had a bee in your bonnet…

        For the rest of your post, I feel pretty much the same way. So just reread it as if I had written it to you…

        • USWeapon,
          Just to be clear, there was no “negative” intent in my response. You just worded everything so good. 😉

          Do you remember about a year & a half ago when we talked on the phone for about an hour? After I hung up, my wife came out of the bedroom and asked “who were you talking to at 2am?”. I answered “that crazy right-wing blog guy” (sorry, but that’s what I said!). She said “but you were laughing most of the time…”

          That was a good conversation. It’s much easier to determine intent and attitude when talking vs writing. I think we need a daily SUFA tele-conference to hash things out. And V.H. needs to be on it cause I got some issues with her!! 😉

          My comment about “research” was in response to G-Man’s comment. It wasn’t meant as a cheap shot at you. But maybe one at G-Man…

          G-Man and I have been going back and forth all week. It probably got a little offensive, but I wasn’t offended by G-Man. And it seems G-Man is Ok with it. He can give as good as he gets! 🙂 I think we both chased it down the rabbit hole together. Probably need to dial that back.

          But anyway, it can be easy to get worked up during a heated debate. I don’t mean to be confrontational, and try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt in that same regard.

          • And here I thought we had worked through our differences. 🙂 But hey I told you what I thought so have at it. 🙂

            • It will begin with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re gonna hear about it!

              And you be quiet Anita, you’ll get yours in a minute… 😉

              • Well, it’s not Christmas time but I’ll see if I can’t get Jon to bring that pole. We’ll have to get someone else to do the strength part-USW is under the weather right now. 🙂 Anita I’m sure will happily participate. 🙂

              • Don’t mess with V.

                Ding. Ding. 🙂

              • I think your tag-team partner is not available…it’s just you and me…better get out that broom!! 🙂

              • Guess I better give Anita another contact number 🙂 Bye

          • Todd,

            I hold no ill feelings at all towards you, I never have. You posted a link with pics, I recall being down this road before. My gut says we have far more in common than we have differences, and I would welcome a campfire and a cooler with you anytime.

            PEACE!

            G!

          • Todd,

            I remember that conversation well. And I have the same fond memories of it. I perhaps have taken some of your comments a little too harshly when you didn’t mean them that way. A weekly conference call would be good. Then again you and I may get along too well then, and in reality I need people like you keeping me on my toes. I think perhaps a fresh start after my surgery Monday will be good for all involved. I appreciate your responding and your honesty. I wish I had time to write a better response but I really need to lay down and relieve some of this pressure on my injury.

            USW

          • Oh hell no! You have to get past me to get to V so let’s get ready to ruuuumble!

            I’ve already popped BF for messing with her.

  24. It’s Friday-Here’s an oldie 🙂

  25. A Puritan Descendant says:
    • I like him. Takes no crap. Seems like he’s not out to make many friends, but to do his job. His best trait is he don’t seem to like Obama.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        I like him a lot! He said once that he wanted to be the ‘Chris Christie’ of Maine.

    • We’ve come a llloooonnnngggg way! There was a time when no one would dare not show up for the (racist) NAACP.

    • Ok, he doesn’t want to go to the NAACP celebration. I’m Ok with that. Respectively decline.

      But “held hostage” and then “tell them to kiss my butt”? Is that really appropriate coming from the Governor? Whatever happened to civility?

      You feel this is appropriate behavior?

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Todd, I responded and my post vanished. I suspect it will show up later. I hope this post gets through.

      • Todd,

        But “held hostage” and then “tell them to kiss my butt”? Is that really appropriate coming from the Governor? Whatever happened to civility?

        You feel this is appropriate behavior?

        YES, It is right, the political correct police (media) needs to be reminded of what country they live in.

  26. From across the pond, the article isn’t much to talk about, but the comments from the Brits are just entertaining. Conservative Brits don’t speak highly of the Left over here, and don’t mind saying so.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100071922/a-shameful-week-for-americas-liberal-elites-the-top-10-most-ridiculous-left-wing-attacks-on-us-conservatives-following-the-arizona-shootings/#dsq-content

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Gotta laugh, even Jane Fonda still going at it,

      • Too bad some whackball has whacked her yet. The liberal media would probably blame Palins teenage daughter and, of course, Bush!

    • this was my personal favorite of the comments that I read.

      danoconnor
      Yesterday 08:50 PM
      Recommended by
      2 people
      @davinciclaude

      I’m a 58 year old British , Atheist , Libertarian Nationalist and former
      68 ‘s Left-Wing , progressive Socialist.

      You are not talking to an utter fool . I’ve been on the other Left side of the fence for many years.
      I am well travelled, and have worked in all kinds of jobs and enviroments. I have not led a sheltered life.

      When the penny finally drops , and that Eureka moment comes , and it isn’t easy, those people you speak of , the American puritanical religious conservatives right , who believe those things you talk of,and in fact million don’t — begin to present far -far less of a threat to the future of civilization than the Marxist, Trotskyist, Leninist, Maoist, Alyinskyite, Frankfurt School , internationalist Liberal ” progressive ” Democrat radical Left .

      One reason being , that if you study the ideological roots of the Left , they have been jumping in bed with every single totalitarian ideology and despot , since the 30’s , and their latest novelty victim ( Islam )but the Left want us to have amnesia about it. The story of the Left is that it never happened.
      The reason why the Western Left narrative is so dangerous , is that its prime rule , is that

      ” my enemies enemy is my friend ”

      The prime enemy of the Left is white/western civilization. Their ideology is not rational, it is faith based, it is emotional it is crypto-Religious and a form of neo Chritianity itself but with different substitute symbols , it is irrational white historical guilt .
      It is far more deadly, self-destructive and criminally simplistic and naive.
      It’s a journey of the mind and soul to get that realization.

      (Edited by author 3 hours ago)
      Report Recommend

    • My favorite! I lost my breath trying to read this, 😆

      A message to all those obsessively Left Liberal anti-White-Anglo-Heterosexual-Conservative Males on this thread who keep on repeating the mantra that White-Anglo-Heterosexual-Conservative voting Males are oppressive, totalitarian , barabaric, fascistic and little more than a lynch-mob just wating to happen on the slightest pretext —–

      —if you would do a little research you might notice as several journalist and media organisations have done, by digging a little , is that not only has the Western Left Liberal progressive intelligensia , media , Acorn.Org, Moveon:Org, activist-agit-prop campus culture —in the USA used far more directly incitefully violently rhetoric on average, but the authorities turned a blind eye to it because the subliminal narrative has been indoctrinated into the general public that

      When the Left anti-AMERIKKKA prancing , smug, intellectual sloth, self-righteous , paragons of virtue, trendy, cafe-radical , adolescent , global-compassion posing people like Bill Ayers , the ex jail bird terrorist bomber and friend of Obama & Co, or the ” sh**t-Bush – K*ll Bush ” web-site and T-shirt sales lark ” does it ……

      …then it’s Okay and you just have to turn a blind eye because

      1) Thats what the Left do, but it’s just an adolescent , silly rebellious phase but they’ll grow out of it
      2) The enemies of the Left (WASP -America) are less than human and deserve any treatment they get.

      In truth, the entire knee -jerk reaction to this Aizona shooting has opened up a can of worms . A Leftist can of worms ,a Leftist Pandoras Box . The Left don’t realize what they have done . This is beginning to expose the Left , the ideological modus operandi under which they operate , who they really perceive the real and only enemy to be , and why.
      This one more giant step towards exposing the double-standard, moral hypocrisy of the Left and their virulent white-guilt obsession concerning White Conservative Western Civilization and Culture-
      (Edited by author 4 hours ago)

      • Did you notice, in the article, a big part of the blame was laid at the substance of the words , not the containment of metaphors-they really don’t seem to care so much about the references to guns or killing. They have a problem with the criticism of government and where the governments policies will take us. This type of complaint is a matter of stopping free speech not a matter of cutting down on rhetoric.

        • This type of complaint is a matter of stopping free speech not a matter of cutting down on rhetoric.

          How correct you are. The Left’s (not necessarily the ones who post here) biggest threat to the Liberal/Progressive Agenda is free speech. Because people like you and I can stand up and scream “not just NO, But hell NO”. They want control, They will lie and deceive to get that control, and when their called out, it really pisses them off. The Progressives really showed what they are this past week, hypocrits and liers.

          • Well, you are wrong about one thing G, this article had quite a bit to it-seeing all those remarks together like that-really put a spot light on their true intent. We already saw it-hopefully it will help show it to those who don’t.

            • I liked your favorite comment as well. I think I’ll copy and paste that on HuffPo a few hundred times 😆 Then I can watch them go batty! HEHEHE!

              • Good Luck getting it past the post police. A good portion of time they hold it forever so it’s so far back in the comments no one sees it- Or they post it and then take it back down-they used to have some system where if enough people blackballed your comment they would delete it 🙂 Gonna get off of here for awhile-Check you later.

  27. Mysterious Bird Deaths Continue!
    50+ Eagles went down Sunday in Philly;
    Scientists found the cause and put
    Atlanta, GA on alert.

    GO PACK GO!

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  28. WOW, what a week! I was writing a guest article to send to USW, but lost my train of thought after (I removed the rest of this thought G, while I figure it out, sorry)

    Anyway, let me ramble alittle, back in the late 1999, Loretta ( my fiance’ at the time) and I got tickets to a rock show at a local bar. The talent was Kip Winger, who years previous had a successful group called Winger, known for the 80’s hair band style of music. They had some great ballads and rock songs in their prime. But, it was just Kip, all by himself, with all accompanying instruments coming out of a big box, he just played guitar and sang. In 1999, we went to 17 rock concerts, but this one, was special. We got there early to get good seats at the bar, just before the sound check. Kip did his sound check, and we were the only ones in the bar, about 2 hours from showtime. He walked over to us and I asked to buy him a beverage, he said yes and beer was his choice. Kip sat and talked with us for over an hour, telling us stories of being on the road with his past band. I didn’t know much about his past, just his music, but I was about to learn. Near the end of our conversation, and about 3 beers each, he asked what special song we would like to hear. Loretta asked for “Hungry”, a very popular song in it’s day. I asked for my favorite, “The Lucky One”. Kip smiled, and told us the story of the song. He said he rarely plays it live, because it was written about his wife, who was killed in an auto accident years ago. He said that he can count the times he played it live on his two hands.

    He shook my hand, hugged Loretta, and went to prepare for his show. The bar filled up and the show was absolutely awesome. Kip’s encore was the best I’ve ever experienced, because of our conversation. His last two songs, Hungry and a really long version of The Lucky One.

    Shortly after the show, Kip came out, we shared one last beer, we all hugged and said goodbye.

    I sure love the memories!

    • USW-Let me help, ignore the slime-that is what the coward deserves -what I hoped you would do.

  29. The doc is back … picking on me (picking on Palin) and picking on Obama again. I know it’ll make you crazy righties smile:http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/01/doc-says.html

    • Charlie said,

      As to Sarah “Blood Libel” Palin … is there anybody in her camp that can shut this broad up? Seriously, how f**king obtuse can one person be? As her loyal ranks decrease daily, it will be interesting to see just how far the GOP will be willing to let her speak as the Presidential elections draw nearer.

      Doc said,

      Sarah Palin: When will the media just leave the girl alone? That half-baked sheriff basically accused her of being an accomplice to the shooting. You expected her to say nothing?

      Charlie,

      I started to post to Ray on intentionally being dishonest, and I would include you and most of the lefties here of the same charge. I give you & them credit for being better informed that the average person. That makes me question when the media decides for you what is an issue. Palin was attacked by the media, including the networks, for previous statements, using targets(just as the democrats did). None of you brought up Obama talking about using a gun on those who only brought a knife to the fight.

      Palin might run for president. I agree that’s newsworthy.

      Obama IS President. His past words are not worth remembering?

      Myself, I don’t think the terms used in a debate are much of an issue, reload, target, job killer. I think the issue is the public’s thought process, and the MSM tried to make it about the right wing inciting violence. Polls show(get that, they have all ready polled people on their thoughts on the shooting)60-70% do not believe the left/right dialog had anything to do with the shooting.

      I also think you were “played”, again. You blogged about Palin and her remarks, but gave the sitting president a free pass for the same behavior.
      Just like all the MSM. I liked the Doc’s remarks on the funeral speech, I thought he (Obama) did OK. T-shirts and such that a few on the right are attacking over, I think they are wrong, and it will cost them credibility.

      And you think Bush would have mumbled up a similar speech. Might be right.
      Why bring it up though? He’s not Pres. anymore. Why use a tragedy to take a shot at the former, but nothing to say about the current? Makes me wonder about something, did Bush ever use those loaded terms in debate? Could it be, he chose his words with more thought and consideration than our orator-in-chief? I know, unworthy thought, lets bash Palin some more instead.

      • LOI, if you knew ANYTHING about me or my politics, you would KNOW that I think the left (which I consider myself left of) does nothing more than WASTE ITS TIME bashing Palin & the like. What I was doing on my dopey blog was 2 things: 1) trying to be fair by taking shots at both Obama and Palin (my much longer comment about Obama showing up in Tuscson being more political than anything heartfelt) AND feeding my good RIGHT WING friend Doc a line to come back with.

        Now, do I think Palin is a MORON? 1,000,000,000 (running out of zeroes here)%, yes.

        Do I like President Obama (the job he’s doing)? same zeroes, but probably for very DIFFERENT reasons than you don’t like him or the job he’s doing.

        So, your assumptions, I fear, are wrong. That said, Palin remains Obama’s BEST HOPE for a 2nd term, make NO (more) MISTAKE(s) …

        • Charlie,

          Whether you dislike Palin & Obama equally, it does not really explain why you frequently attack Palin, but give Obama a free pass. You are thoughtful and informed. So why did you jump on the Palin dog pile? I think you gave a typical knee-jerk reaction to the media’s attack on her. You don’t like her, so even when they make false statements, or hit her for doing/saying the same thing as liberals, she’s the one singled out.

          “Now, do I think Palin is a MORON?”
          funny word to describe a self-made millionaire.

          Now, Illusion, do you think Obama is a MORON?”
          funny word to describe a self-made millionaire.
          If I were a writer, really good with words, I would want to use just the right word(s).

          I would like to think I would also look for the overlooked stories or events. When three networks, four cable, and hundreds of commentators all dwell one one story/issue, kinda makes me think we’re missing something.

          “What I was doing on my dopey blog was trying to be fair by taking shots at both Obama and Palin (my much longer comment about Obama showing up in Tuscson being more political than anything heartfelt) ”

          And you did that, no question. I guess it apples and oranges to me. You hit Palin on her word choices, that might inspire violence, but made no comment about liberals who use the same tactic and words she uses.

          You took a shot at Bush, saying he would have tanked such a speech, which OK, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But can you back it up with anything? What would happen if someone who had some qualifications(like a writer) were to examine speeches made in similar circumstances? How did Clinton, Bush & Obama do after a mass shooting? And let me admit my bias here, I think Clinton was reprehensible for using a memorial event to push his agenda. Respect the dead and the grieving, there is time after to address your agenda. Points to Bush and Obama.

          • Obviously, LOI, you place value on millionaires …. so I guess you wouldn’t have a problem with Mr. Chavez from Argentina. But rather than go there and explain (or try to explain how there are many fools/idiots/morons with money in this world, let’s stick to the facts. I can’t attack Obama for being a moron. Duplicitous yes (and I bombard him for it quite a bit), but stupid, no. Palin is a dope; there is no denying that (unless you prefer to exist in denial). Obama is a scam artist more concerned with his legacy than any principles he original proclaimed. That plus the fact he isn’t all that inclusive (the way he broke into politics, using lawyer to unseed a black incumbant through signatures).

            So, again, you’re wrong. I don’t pick on one more than the other but Palin’s 15 minutes of fame have been over for a long time now. What extends it is her mouth (and the stupid shit that comes out of it). I heard her comments (from her mouth-not any media) regarding blood libel. She wasn’t on the same planet as the rest of us (most of us anyway). Defend her all you want, but she’ll be the reason you have to put up with Obama for another 4 years.

          • Oh, brother … it wasn’t me who said Bush would tank the speech (although I’m pretty sure he would’ve) … that was Doc; he’s further to the right than you probably are.

            By the way, the entire point of my picking on Obama in that particular post was HE WAS USING TUSCON for political purposes. He’s a politician … they all do it. They’re all reprehensible. Most, anyway.

      • Oh, and the other reason I used “Blood Libel” in the (short) comment about Palin is pretty obvious, she used it in the very wrong context … but why should that stop her (see “death panels” et al) …

        • The title seemed to be screaming-show this to Charlie 🙂

          Oy Vey! Indignation Over ‘Blood Libel’?
          By David Harsanyi

          Wasn’t it moving to see progressive tweetdom and punditry unite in the defense of Jewry — in the Middle Ages? As a member of this most oppressed minority, I personally want to thank you.

          After all, how dare she? The media are so sick and tired of Sarah Palin’s shtick (that’s one of the words we use in private) that they created a stampede to Wikipedia to quickly figure out just how divisive this “blood libel” thing, whatever it means, could be to American discourse.

          Now, just for the record, we Jews haven’t been using the blood of gentile kids for our baking needs in at least a couple of decades, but in historical terms, blood libel refers to false accusations that Jews were murdering children to use their blood in religious rituals — and an excuse for anti-Semitism. It was heavily utilized in the Middle Ages by some Christians and, with a few modifications, is a regular smear in the Muslim world today.

          Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of Israel antagonists at J Street (an outfit that USA Today accidentally referred to as “a political organization for Jews and supporters of Israel”), spoke for hundreds when he claimed that “the term ‘blood libel’ brings back painful echoes of a very dark time in our communal history when Jews were falsely accused of committing heinous deeds” and demanded that Palin “retract her comment, apologize and make a less inflammatory choice of words.”

          Really? Memory? Inflammatory? Painful echoes?

          Jews, well, we can be offended like it’s 1257.

          If blood libel is really a distasteful parallel, it is only because we have intimately familiarized ourselves with the idea through a History channel documentary about the crusades. And if our institutional memories make us so thin-skinned, there are far more tangible reminders of genocide when we hop into our fancy German cars (which we do a lot, because we’re in charge of everything). Or it is certainly as offensive as the heinous deeds of Sarah Palin, which include, among many other transgressions, talking.

          And as Jim Geraghty of National Review helpfully noted, the term “blood libel” has been used many times by pundits and journalists from both sides of the ideological divide, including the esteemed Frank Rich of The New York Times, over the years.

          Liberal Alan Dershowitz, as sensitive as they come to anti-Semitism (both real and imagined), said in a statement that “there is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.”

          Now, feel free to be annoyed or enraged by Palin or her views. Feel free to question whether she had any idea what a blood libel was before this week. But this kind of indignation over an analogy is infantilizing what were once serious sensitivities.

          Perhaps if self-proclaimed spokespeople for Jews everywhere like J Street focused on genuine anti-Semitism around the world, their little partisan cabaret would be more plausible.

          Blood libel is the fiction-laden, anti-Israel Goldstone Report. Blood libel is the flotilla incident near Gaza. Blood libel is the Egyptian state media’s peddling the idea that shark attacks were the handiwork of Jews and other state-run Arab media’s blaming AIDS on Zionists.

          There are plenty of genuine things to get offended about in the world if you’re Jewish.

          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/01/14/oy_vey_phony_indignation_over_blood_libel_108533.html

          • Good rebuttal. I don’t care if he is a little confused, I just can’t not like him so good luck with these guys Charlie!

            • Thanks, Anita … one argument from one Jewish fella for Sarah’s incredible ability to misuse the mother tongue and that’s a wrap? I don’t think so.

              Look to the link to SNL video I posted … the before sarah (Tina Fey) and after (Sarah Palin) … that sure was coherent. So, based on all her coherent statements (“this great land of ours”, et al, aside), her use of blood libel makes her the victim. Really? She’s the victim? Here I thought all those who died and were wounded were the victims. Who knew?

        • She used it perfectly.

          Aimed right at the heart of the media and left wing talking heads.

          • Yes, and it scored the usual points for her. Obama’s poll lead against her jumped.

            She’s a one woman GOP wrecking machine … keep cheering her on!

            • Charlie

              You are one confused human being. I can’t put it any simpler than that.

              • JAC, Obama’s #’s v. Palin went up. What’s confusing about that?

                She’s at 30% … probably 10% higher than the percentage of vote she’d actually get in a presidential race. She’s now scared some conservatives off.

                And that was one hell of a job she did in Alaska, by the way … oh, right, she didn’t finish that job. She was too busy becoming a genius (cashing in).

                Oh, Lord … I’m the one confused?

              • Charlie

                Yes, you are confused and full of contradictions.

                Regarding the former. Obama vs Palin has nothing to do with my comment.

                Confusion on your part to assume or infer that it was relevant.

                If you paid attention to my other comments you know I don’t support her for President. So again your comment in response to mine is irrelevant and confused.

  30. Sometimes I am just lost for words-This time I think it’s the laughing-I just can’t stop laughing.

    Climate a factor in Rome’s rise and fall -study
    Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:15pm GMT

    Print | Single Page
    [-] Text [+]

    By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

    OSLO (Reuters) – Climate change seems a factor in the rise and fall of the Roman empire, according to a study of ancient tree growth that urges greater awareness of the risks of global warming in the 21st century.

    Good growth by oak and pine trees in central Europe in the past 2,500 years signalled warm and wet summers and coincided with periods of wealth among farming societies, for instance around the height of the Roman empire or in medieval times.

    Periods of climate instability overlapped with political turmoil, such as during the decline of the Roman empire, and might even have made Europeans vulnerable to the Black Death or help explain migration to America during the chill 17th century.

    Climate shifts that affected farm output were factors in “amplifying political, social and economic crises,” Ulf Buentgen, of the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, told Reuters. He was lead author of the report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

    The review, by experts in Germany, Austria, the United States and Switzerland, extended study of tree rings 1,000 years beyond previous analyses. Thick rings indicate good growth conditions while narrow ones mean poor.

    The study said the evidence, helping back up written records that are sparse in Europe more than 500 years ago, “may challenge recent political and fiscal reluctance” to slow projected climate change in the 21st century.

    Modern societies seem less vulnerable but “are certainly not immune” to climate change, especially because migration “will not be an option in an increasingly crowded world,” they wrote.

    The U.N. panel of climate experts says that greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, will lead to more droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels that could swamp low-lying island states.

    The study said: “Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from AD 250-600 coincided with the demise of the western Roman empire and the turmoil of the migration period.”

    “Distinct drying in the 3rd century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul,” it said.

    Temperatures and rainfall only returned to levels of the Roman period in the early 800s, around the time when new kingdoms consolidated in Europe.

    The Black Death bubonic plague of the mid-14th century, for instance, was during an unstable, wet period. “From other studies we know that a more humid environment is more supportive fo the dispersal of plague,” Buentgen said.

    Later on, “temperature minima in the early 17th and 19th centuries accompanied sustained settlement abandonment during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) and the modern migrations from Europe to America,” they wrote.

    He said Europe had the best record of tree rings because of widespread wooden buildings but that the techniques could be applied elsewhere, for instance in China or the Middle East.

    http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE70C5GQ20110113?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      “He said Europe had the best record of tree rings because of widespread wooden buildings but that the techniques could be applied elsewhere, for instance in China or the Middle East.”

      I am very hesitant to accept this method for determining past climate. On my own property by studying tree ring growth, and a record of when my land was last logged, I can come to an obvious conclusion. Trees grow much faster and have wider spaced tree rings after the trees have been thinned. When trees are close together competing for sun light, water and nutrients the rings are tight together.

      How do they know the conditions from where a buildings trees came from, were the trees from a recently thinned area, previously cut or burned over…………….

      I have my doubts.

      • Tree ring data has been shown to be inconclusive. A lot of information that can be used to explain whatever conclusion you want.
        One point is accurate, climate change does contribute to political change. The French revolution was spurred at least in part by starvation caused by poor crop yield during the cooler growing seasons. Their king urged them to grow potato’s instead of wheat, but was ignored, and lost his head because the peasants were hard-headed.

  31. Obviously, derogatory, racist comments are okay if they are about white people.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/01/14/msnbcs_matthews_birthers_are_usually_some_cracker_on_the_right.html

  32. Let’s all sit together and get along. I’m not buying it and hope they don’t either. A D suggestion which really is not a bad idea on paper. I’m with Rush on this one. He says the Ds want to sit together to deflect from the mental picture that the R’s have a big majority in the House now. I agree. My thought is also that the Rs need to appear UNITED..AGAINST the Obama agenda. I will support this for next year’s State of the Union.

    If you read the comments I am NOT the Anita listed 😉

    http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/01/14/effort-blur-party-lines-state-union-gaining-momentum

    • Wouldn’t this be called a linguistic device? Using a mental picture? 🙄

    • Hadn’t thought about it from this perspective but it makes a lot of sense-It would be more os an advantage to the dems.

      I did however figure all the stand up, sit down, over and over, and clapping in my ear might irritate me and make me want to be separated from the dems. I wish they would all just sit down until the end of the speech-all the theatrics is what makes them look so un-united.

      • Look at the bright side. We don’t have to watch Jack(wagon)-in-the-Box Pelosi popping up & down this time. 🙂

  33. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110115/ap_on_re_us/us_serbian_family_custody_fight
    Who protects the children from government run amuck?

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      It is scary and happens everyday. Part of the problem may be CPS and Judges trying to cover their *ss. Another part of the problem may be who the CPS workers are, are they people who have a bug up their behind over a traditional ‘Ma Dad’ family, for whatever reason? Do they enjoy the power trip? CPS just uses that magic word “Safety” and they have free reign. Have children today, you better be prepared for the littlest thing possibly turning into a life wrecking nightmare. Some CPS workers may be very fair, but they may still put you through a long and gut wrenching process. You might not come out of this the way you went in.

    • I’m amazed how long these cases carry on. If TPTB would just give it the full hour or two of their time..which is all they would need to investigate this, it would be over with. Poor kids.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Once young children have been away from the family for an extended period…. say 18 months, (all states may not be the same)…… Then it may not be possible to get the child returned to the parents. CPS claims the young children have been away from the parents to long and it will disturb these children to return them to the real parents. I read a book years ago about how CPS will make one demand after the other (demands such as living conditions in the real parents home) in an effort to drag it out past 18 months. Poor families often have a hard time meeting whatever demands CPS makes if money is an issue. Once past 18 months, the children probably stay in the Foster system or get adopted. As I said, all states may not be the same. The more children they get into the system the bigger the budget can grow.

  34. Due to almost non-existent internet access (thanks to a unnamed cable company arguing with an unnamed RV park – over responsibility for repairs), I have not been able to read or respond to most of the threads on this site.

    However, I would like to throw this out for all who hang out here; I would like to call for the firing of Sheriff Dupnik (sp) for his unprofessional and uncalled for statements after the shooting in Tucson last Saturday. No professional law enforcement official, elected or not, should ever attempt to turn a crime scene into a political statement like he did. There are no words that describe my feeling for what this man has done. It is my personal opinion that this man should be removed from office and never allowed to hold public office in any capacity for the rest of his natural life.

    Is there anyone else in this country who shares my feelings?

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Ditto! Gotta Run all. Later.

    • He’s all your PapaDawg! I agree with what you said but I just figure he’ll be a good boy now because he knows he stepped in it. But instead of creating more drama with a special election or whatever just vote him out when the time comes

    • Add him to all the leberal media hacks who jumped on it, WRONGLY I might add. I’m still waiting for them to show some personnal responsibilty, assholes! 🙂

  35. One of the topics this week has been whether words can have an impact. Quite a few people seem to think they don’t.

    But isn’t the intent here on SUFA to share ideas and either influence or be influenced by others?

    If you don’t think words can have an impact, then what are you doing here on SUFA?

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I still don’t see my Lepage response so I will just say I agree with you that the Gov. probably should have found better words. It could have been worse though. He could have called them racist group instead of a “special interest” group. Remember too, the Gov. only told them to go to Hell after they tryed to lay a guilt trip onto him. I guess he just does not want to be manipulated into sucking up to them. They wanted him to go to the prison to see the black inmates. The Gov. said he would go to see All the inmates and they objected to that. He also brought out that he has a black son, so thay can’t call him a racist cracker.

      Anyway, have a nice holiday weekend Todd.

  36. Congrats to all the Packers Fans! I would really like to know when all this Global Warming is really going to start, high temps in low teens, low temps at zero or below, WTF! 🙂

  37. Just wanted to share with everyone a short conversation I had with someone at HuffPo the other day.

    The topic was Paul Krugman’s prediction that the Euro would collapse soon. But in the article he said this would happen “if the European Union did not devalue the Euro”. By now you should know that means kick up the old inflation fires.

    Anyway, someone posted a comment that the Euro’s failure was inevitable because the Euro was a “contrived currency” and not that of one of the member nations. Following from here is my response to that person and the response I got back from someone else.

    JAC: “All fiat currency is “contrived currency”. The US dollar is no different.”
    Share it

    ritamary on Jan 13, 2011 at 22:41:43:
    “Another voice speaks up from the Jared Loughner School of Economics. It was Richard Nixon who took the United States off the gold standard. (Nixon was a Republican by the way.)”

    This comment provides an example of what I keep running into during debate and what I find aggravating. And it is not the linking my comment on fiat currency to a murderer. It was the reference to Richard Nixon.

    Notice how this hasn’t got a damn thing to do with the point of the discussion between myself and the original poster. Namely, that fiat currency is a “contrived currency” whether the EU or a nation like the USA.

    I did not respond as I am sure HP would not have allowed my comments towards “ritamary”. And I am guessing the response would have simply taken even more diversions, almost certainly turning to Reagan and GW Bush.

    What this displays to me is a strong bias or position that is interfering with this persons ability to simply read words and respond to them. Ritamary jumps to a “Republican” example as if that is supposed to either destroy my argument or somehow rationalize linking me to a murderer.

    Just thought I would share as it is a pretty simple example of how you wind up talking past someone because you can’t hear what they are saying for the “assumptions screaming” in your head.

    🙂

    • Welcome to the world of Liberal/Progressive mindset, fu#$ing clueless.

      • Damn, I sick of this politically correct bullshit, it’s spelled fucking, not fu#$ing. We are all adults here, not children, if you can’t handle cuss words, close your eyes!

      • G-Man

        I see the bitter cold has you in a foul mood this evening.

        In fairness my friend, I am sure we could find similar clueless comments on “right wing” sites as well.

        Although I would still call them all lefties 🙂 LOL.

        Peace be with you this evening.
        JAC

        • 😆 Good mood tonight! The cold is still yet to come. I agree, the right and left are equally lost. Too bad, both could learn alot.

          Peace my friend! May you and your familiy stay warm and safe!

          • I don’t even know what to call myself anymore. I guess its just let the best candidate win. I would never have thought I woulda strayed from the Rs. Still working on family members.

            Remind me to never piss off G-Man either! :mrgreen:

            • Anita,

              You don’t have to be right or left, or even centrist. Freedom has only evil as it’s enemy.

          • In the 40’s here, snow and water every where.

            I am guess we’ll have another cold front in a few days. It will then get very, very interesting.

            • A low of 3 degrees predicted tomorrow night, next week even colder. We keep getting snow, even when it’s frigid. I like snow, don’t get me wrong, but the frigid temps suck! Next week will be even worse, with lows below zero. Guess I shouldn’t complain, it’s worse up north in the northern plains. Stay warm up there!

              G!

  38. Mathius, Buck, Todd, Charlie, Bob and other leftward thinking self proclaimed Progressives and/or pragmatists.

    Question to you.

    Since Altruism is the philosophy you subscribe to, please tell me if you would allow 100 people to die if you were convinced that it would save the lives of 10 million people.

    No B.S. on the type of evidence. You must assume that what ever it is that YOU are CONVINCED beyond any reasonable doubt that you would save 10 million. The death of the 100 is probable but you are not as certain as you are about saving the 10 million.

    Would you take action knowing that your actions “might” kill those 100 people based on your conviction of saving the 10 million?

    This is pretty much a YES or NO question, but feel free to provide whatever caveats you like.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @JAC – its unfortunate you continue to struggle with this.

      Your first error is “since altruism is the philosophy you subscribe to”

      The remainder of your argument requires me to agree with this assumption.

      Nice try.

      If you’re requiring me to label myself (disappointing of you to do so) – I would align more closely as a logical positivist.

      And

      Erroneously

      You assume anyone who embraces altruism not only believes in their own selfless concern for others….

      But would insist individually to define how you or anyone else embrace or show selfless concern for others.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Or JAC – alternatively – can you define what you mean by “might”? Or “save”? 😉

      • Typical attack! He did not include your name in the address. You do not see the label fitting you. You are free to not answer. You shut down debate. 😦

        • Anita,
          Whoa!!! Please slow down and take a breath!! 🙂

          • Not even on my broomstick. Just holding folks accountable. I see you are very approachable today 🙂 Very cool. Makes the site more pleasant to visit.

            • Anita,
              JAC’s question is very loaded and bias. He seems to think he can pigeon-hole everyone who disagrees with him. Maybe you should consider that when you think about who’s encouraging or stifling debate…

              • I see it very differently. Our side did something. Stood for something. You guys are still waffling. In the meantime the 100 probably died anyway because you weren’t sure.

                Matt..I can’t believe you even showed up on a Sunday. Kudos for taking a stand.

              • Reply is on its way Todd. No clue why it went to moderation.

                USW, I’m behaving! Can I get off the SUFA? 🙂

              • Not sure why it went in to moderation Anita…. Sometimes it randomly does that. Sorry for the delay.

              • Todd

                I am not loading the question with any bias.

                I am not pigeon holing anyone.

                I told you and Ray you are welcome to answer both questions if you like.

              • Anita,
                I made my choice this morning. Did you miss that?

                What gives you the right to decide what is an attack and what is not?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Anita – I just headed over to my bar and poured you a nice tall glass of STFU. Hope you enjoy it.

          JAC said: “other leftward thinking self proclaimed Progressives and/or pragmatists.”.

          I think I’ve earned that belt a few times.

          Thanks for playing.

      • Ray

        As Anita noted, I did not include you on the list. Those I named have clearly stated their support for the concept of “common good” has priority.

        You are free to answer the question or simply deny Altruism as your philosophy. It does not change the question actually nor does the question require you to accept Altruism. You could be a Pragmatist, or a logical positivist. It really doesn’t matter.

        I was only trying to conduct a survey which segregates into two very broad groups as the participants see themselves. Based on the discussions that have occurred at SUFA over the past year or so. If you want you are free to answer in both groups.

        Might = Could, possibly, maybe, I think you understand.

        Save = prevent injury, prevent sickness, prevent death, your choice. But not religious in nature. Your choice, it won’t change the context.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @JAC – disappointed you don’t recall the several discussions we’ve had about altruism – which usually ended with you telling me how I should feel about being altruistic.

          • Ray

            I do remember and it ends with you trying to tell me that it doesn’t have the same meaning as the person who first identified the concept.

            At that point Ray we are in different worlds and the discussion must end. It is useless to debate some issue that is based on two separate and differing definitions of the underlying concept.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Sorry JAC – I also thought that “other leftward thinking self proclaimed Progressives and/or pragmatists” was an invite. Maybe you didn’t mean that either.

          My bad.

          • Ray

            As I said just above, your are invited to answer either or both questions.

            Also as I said, whether you accept that philosophical ethic or not, or its definition is not relevant to the problem I offered. I simply used it as a way to group those who lean to the “common good” side with the question that was more oriented to their value system.

            But if you notice, both questions carry the same moral dilemma. It is only the perceived “benefit” that changes.

            Its not a true study or I would have asked everyone to answer both questions. That in fact might be interesting, but for an entirely different purpose.

    • JAC,
      You dodged Ray’s hypothetical question about mass-murder with some long winded response. But you expect us to answer your hypothetical question with a simple answer?

      1. Your assumption is wrong
      2. The scenario you present is completely unrealistic

      But…I’d probably do everything I could to save both groups. The minute details of the situation would determine exactly what that entails…

      • Todd

        I answered Ray’s question and it required explanation. It was not truly a yes or no proposition.

        This one on the other hand is such a question. Either you believe that the potential death of some is worth saving millions from death or you don’t.

        Not sure what assumption is wrong here. I explained to Ray above that if you don’t like the Altruism label then just ignore it and answer one or both questions if you like.

        The scenario is not completely unrealistic. It happens EVERY DAY.

        So Todd, how would you decide? Yes or No?

        • JAC,

          The scenario is not completely unrealistic. It happens EVERY DAY.

          Please provide examples.

          I answered your question. It is not a simple YES or NO. Like everything in life, there are many shades of GREY between YES and NO…

          • Todd

            EPA toxicity standards

            Food safety standards

            Just to name a couple.

            It is in fact Yes or No. You either ACT or you DO NOT ACT given the scenario.

            If you want to sit and contemplate the Gray areas then you obviously DO NOT ACT.

            Not sure what gray you see here.

            • JAC,
              Please explain how your examples happen everyday, and how a split second decision by me could have any impact?

              Evaluating possible courses of action does not equal inaction. I may find solutions that you couldn’t see because you assumed it was a YES or NO question. That’s where the GREY comes in…

              • Todd

                Once again you divert. Whether it happens every day is irrelevant to the question.

                I have set the conditions of what you believe to be true and it requires you to decide to act or not act. Your choice.

                But you don’t get to change the scenario.

                It is quite simple. Obviously you don’t want to choose based on the constraints of the problem.

              • In reality, if there is a scenario where you would say yes, than the answer to the question is yes.

                Now I’m out the door-Pray they are in a good mood, I certainly am.

              • JAC,
                You said it happens every day and then presented vague and irrelevant examples.

                Your question is unrealistic. All the details of the situation would affect my decisions.

                I answered your question with my caveats.

              • Todd

                Whether it happens every day or not is irrelevant.

                The scenario given is a hypothetical to start with, but has narrow constraints.

                One is that you have arrived at a single choice of action. All the analysis is done. You believe that action will save large numbers (10 million) but it might result in the death of some (100).

                That is the GIVEN of the problem. So do you ACT or NOT ACT.

                That is the problem. You are not cadet Kirk and don’t get to reprogram the game.

                So your caveats DO NOT fit the problem. But I appreciate your attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

              • JAC,
                Following your narrow constraints, I would act.

                But you have not defined the result of inaction, and since you cannot provide a realistic example, I cannot determine better actions.

                An example:

                A few years ago one of our server systems starting crashing on a Monday afternoon during peak hours. When the same thing happened Tuesday afternoon, they called us. There were several emergency changes made the weekend before. Tech support kept saying that the emergency changes had been applied to many servers and this was the only one having problems, and backing the changes out was risky and could cause other problems.

                They had no monitoring process on these servers, and after digging thru the logs we could find no errors.

                Despite this, the applications team and management felt the only option was to back out the changes.

                There were 2 servers on this cluster.

                The situation:
                – The existing cluster got us half way thru the day (not great)
                – Backing out changes to those servers might fix the problem or might not, and it might cause a complete failure (worse)

                Their choices:
                – Leave the servers as is (no action)
                – Back out changes (action)

                Our recommendation:
                – reformat a test server and add it to the production cluster to add capacity (3 servers)

                We spent hours arguing for this. They finally agreed and we spent all night reformatting and adding the third server to the cluster.

                The system never crashed again.

                After the fact, Tech support tried to back-out this change on two different test servers. They both crashed, and they had to reformat them…

                We spent the next two weeks adding monitoring processes so we would know what the servers were doing and stress testing the servers so we know what their actual capacity was.

                We then have valid information to make decisions.

                I’m a problem solver, both in my job and personal life. I love the challenge. You present a scenario with limited information and limited choices. I reject those as the only choices because there are always other options.

                You also can’t convince me that “YOU are CONVINCED beyond any reasonable doubt” because anything involving 10 million people is going to be extremely complex simply because of the numbers involved…

              • Todd

                I have tried to explain with each of your challenges that it is YOU that has reached the conclusions about those whose life you will save vs those that might/maybe could die.

                This is not a problem solving question where you look for options.

                There is no trick or game. I am setting the stage for YOU at a point in time. Each of us must then take that dilemma or problem or how ever we view it and decide to take the action identified or not take the action.

                So you see, your computer example doesn’t fit the problem I am presenting. It does fit a problem where the goal is to look outside the box so to speak..

                This just wasn’t one of those problems. At least I had hoped it would be quite simple.

              • JAC,

                At least I had hoped it would be quite simple.

                Please show me a simple, real life situation that involves 10 million people?

                Your attitude implies that your question is worded so perfect as to leave only two logical answers, while Ray’s question was open ended and therefore allowed you to reframe it and ramble on & on…

                Ray’s question was simple and straight forward. The fact that you had to reframe shows that you didn’t want to answer it, or you realized your first answer didn’t make any sense and you had to “walk it back” some how.

                The way you started your two questions shows your total bias. I restated your hypothetical question to “progressives” in a simple real life situation.

                I’d to see you restate your question to “conservatives” in a simple real life situation.

              • Todd

                I didn’t say you had only two logical answers.

                I said you have only two choices based on YOUR perceptions, and I explained what those perceptions were.

                You are comparing Apples and Oranges.

              • Todd, maybe Ray too, The question posed by JAC initially gave me problems because I kept trying to apply a scenario to it. Once I stopped with scenario, I put the question in it’s simplest form. Would I do something that could possibly cause the death of 100 people? That was my first question, then if it would no doubt “free 10 million” in my convictions as the result of my action. After referring to the Book of G, I changed my kneejerk answer to “NO”. Simply, are you willing to sacrifice a few to save the many? Easy question!

              • JAC,
                The two choices are based on YOUR perceptions, not mine. You need to present a valid scenario and let me determine my actions. When you present a vague scenario and only two options for action, you are limiting the my choices to YOUR perceptions.

                The Apples and Oranges are YOUR perceptions vs mine – which makes this entire exercise futile.

                I’m still waiting for your simple, real life situation that involves 10 million people?

              • Todd

                My perceptions are not part of the problem. Except when I go to answer it myself. Then I as you will be under the same constraints.

                It was clearly stated that a given was that YOU had reached these conclusions and now had to make a choice.

                You can dump all the rabbits on the table you want, I’m not chasing any of them.

                Your demand for real life examples is a strawman for the questions given. Irrelevant and intended to divert, to I have no idea where. So wait if you like, but don’t hold your breath cause you will pass out for sure.

                Perhaps some other time when it is relevant.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @JAC – you “answered” my question by after-the-fact re-qualifying an earlier response – something like – “well I said yes but that was really to set you up for something else”. Kind of a shitty way to debate. But I’ll play the game a little later tonight.

          • Ray

            This is not a game. A simple problem with one of two choices ACT or DO NOT ACT.

            As for our other discussion, your question was open ended, in that it did require definitions. I did not intend to set you up so much as to make a point and get you to think in doing so.

            I apologized for muddling up my efforts. Not sure what else you want. I said I would try to be more direct in the future.

            So is your intent now to just try to end run around this question to get even? I certainly hope not.

    • JAC,
      A scenario for you:

      You are flying a helicopter to rescue people from a flood. You have picked up 10 people and had to dump all non-essential gear to just barely take off with those 10. You barely have enough fuel to get back to safety. You see a person barely clinging to a tree. There are no other rescuers in the area.

      If you try to rescue that person, you may not be able to take off, and may not have fuel to return to safety.

      If you leave the person, they may not be able to hang on until you return.

      What do you do?

      • Unfortunately for that person, they’re toast if they can’t hang on until I or another rescue helicopter can return.

      • Todd

        Assuming that all I know and can know is what you have presented, then I take the 10 to safety and hope I get back in time to rescue the other person.

      • It sounds to me like you’re both supporting Altruism?

        • Maybe in this instance. But were there only nine on board – using your scenario – I’d go for in for the person.

          To me it’s simply making a realistic choice knowing there is only so much I could/can do. If i think it can be done then I’ll try it, otherwise I won’t. And I won’t lose sleep over it either.

          Where does that fit me in with the “models” of behaviors?

        • Todd

          Absolutely NOT.

          Rational choice, yes.

      • Todd, good scenario. This one is simple. When mechanics is involved, decisions are limited to the mechanical limits, which as you have put forward, those limits have been met. I’d fly those I have rescued to safety. In the process, I would call in the other persons location, in hopes that another chopper is close. Refuel, if the other person is not reported as rescued, return and search, hope for the best. That suerhero crap works in the movies, rarely in real life.

    • Yes.

  39. SUFA conservatives, libertarians and others espousing the virtues of freedom.

    Question to you.

    Since individual Freedom and Liberty is the philosophy you subscribe to, please tell me if you would allow 100 people to die if you were convinced that it would FREE 10 million people.

    No B.S. on the type of evidence. You must assume that what ever it is that YOU are CONVINCED beyond any reasonable doubt that 10 million would enjoy the fruits of freedom and liberty. The death of the 100 is probable but you are not as certain as you are about saving the 10 million.

    Would you take action knowing that your actions “might” kill those 100 people based on your conviction of saving the 10 million?

    This is pretty much a YES or NO question, but feel free to provide whatever caveats you like.

    • YES.

      • yes

      • G-Man & V.H.,
        What about the rights of the 100 people you allowed to die?

        • I’ve got to go and help babysit 4 babies-so I just don’t have time to really answer that question. But in general, I will risk the life of a few to save a million but I would not willingly force anyone to give up their life for a million. Will be back later but that’s just all the time I have right now.

        • Good morning Todd!

          The question was would I “allow” 100 to die to save 10 million. Lacking a scenerio, it appears that I’m not in the decision making room. “Allowing” something to happen does not mean that I agree with it, it means I’m minding my own business. Now, “taking action” with the chance to free 10 million, at the potentail cost of 100, seems more like a rescue mission rather and a personnal decision. I would, however, join that rescue mission fully aware that 100 could die, myself included.

          • On a lighter note, if the 100 included Ohlberman, Maddow, Mathews, Krugman, Pelosi, Reid, Frank ect, I would have to say, “Oh Well, Sucks to be them today” 😆

          • G-Man

            Actually YOU are making the decision. Please note that I describe the scenario a few different ways to make sure you understand that YOU are making a conscious choice to TAKE some action recognizing a probability that 100 might die based on the absolute belief you will free 10 million.

            Changing your answer is allowed of course. This aint English class.

            🙂

            • Then I change my answer to “NO”

            • This aint English class.

              No, but it’s a damn test, I hate written tests, they give me a headache. Why couldn’t you put “MAYBE” on the list? That requires little thought and no argument. Then again….

              🙂

    • Viet Nam Veteran here, over 50,000 actually did die trying to free less – Wimps back home cried about all those who died in the war so our wimpy politicians gave in and abandon South Viet Nam to the Communists.

      Your question is inane.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I think the 100 people should decide, not me. Certainly we can find 100 volunteers for such a noble cause. Can’t stand Yes/No answers 🙂

    • Bottom Line says:

      No.

      Neither those 100 people, nor the 10 million are my responsibility. I didn’t put them in their predicament and it is not my place to make life or death decisions about their lives.

      I would not willingly take action that “might” kill 100 people.

      However, IF any of those people were MY people(family,friends,etc), then I have a certain responsibility toward them and would likely choose whatever would benefit them.

      If that 100 people included MY people, then I definitely wouldn’t risk their lives.

      If the 10 million included MY people, then I may prioritize responsibility toward MY people over the lives of 100.

      So my answer is No, but maybe IF…

      🙂

    • Yes.

      You might want to play with the wording, allow means they had a choice.
      Would I require 100 to die to save 10 million? No.
      Do I apply that same standard to a volunteer army and it’s commander? No.
      Do I apply that same standard to a conscription army and it’s commander? Damn.
      All the wars we fought with a conscription army violate my personal principals.

    • Basic answer NO. That would be trespassing in God’s business.

      Are the hundred killers themselves? Yes
      As in 9/11 where they support killing (the infidels) Yes
      Would I fight against killers to free millions? Yes
      Would I force you to kill to free millions? No

    • Yes….no doubt and without hesitation.

      • Colonel,

        That was my first answer, then I rethought some things. In JAC’s question, I could free 10 million by possible sacrificing 100. Then I thought about today’s society and mindset, I couldn’t be sure the 10 million wanted freedom. So I changed my answer to “NO”.

        • Yes sir, you are correct but I did not see any guidelines in which to go by….so I answered his question directly. It, of course, depends upon circumstances….but I would have no problem at all if the circumstances warranted or dictated such.

  40. Oh great, more hyperbole. As I’ve said before, this needs to be toned down on both sides…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/15/eric-fuller-arrested-tea-party-arizona-shooting_n_809584.html

    • Hey Todd,

      I’m doing research on the timing of “very bad events” and Presidential approval ratings. I’m not done yet, and it may all just be coincidence, but so far all “very bad events” came when Presidential approval ratings were real low, with a rare exception. Would it surprise you if my findings show that “very bad events” (like mass murders, attacks against the US, ect) came at a time of low Presidentail approval ratings 99% of the time, or would you just blow it off as coincidence? Just curious, not trying to stir the shitpot!

      • G-Man,
        That wouldn’t surprise me, but be careful with how you apply cause and effect…

        • Cool, How would you interpret that there is a solid common denominator between “very bad events” and Presidential approval ratings as a historical fact? Again, not stirring!

          • I have no facts to support that. 😉

            If you do, what’s your theory?

            • Still researching and putting numbers together. I want to say it’s just coincidence. Alot of info has been declassified from the past making some of it easier, but finding approval ratings long ago is more difficult, and time consuming. I have no theory at this point. If the study shows that over the last 75 years, VBE’s (very bad events) occured during a period of low Presidential approval ratings, which were then raised by the President’s actions thereafter and coinciding with reelection to a second term (or beyond), I would take pause and all of us here at SUFA. It would be very un-nerving to say the least. As I said, not done yet and may be nothing, just thought it a good way to reestablish more pleasant conversation. 🙂

              • I think you have to consider that low presidential approval ratings imply turmoil in the country or world, which may lead to ‘very bad events’.

                You also have to do VERY thorough research, and not just look for events that fit your theory.

                I don’t think it would be un-nerving. I think it would fit human nature.

                Are you brewing up another conspiracy theory? 🙂

              • “I think you have to consider that low presidential approval ratings imply turmoil in the country or world, which may lead to ‘very bad events’.”

                Todd, I agree 100%. Both coincide, but not the reason for my study.

                “You also have to do VERY thorough research, and not just look for events that fit your theory”

                Correct, I want all the info available. As I have no theory as of yet, I would rather let’s the facts do the talking.

                “I don’t think it would be un-nerving. I think it would fit human nature.”

                Unless it’s one of your family that is killed.

                “Are you brewing up another conspiracy theory?”

                Conspiracy theories are entertaining, most absurd, but some have been proven true. Two somewhat recent ones were “There are no WMD’s in Iraq” and AGW is a hoax have been proven correct. Mind control experiments by the Govt. was one as well, and proven true. False flag events to go to war have also been proven (Gulf of Tonkin, WMD’s in Iraq as examples)

                Most CT’s are BS, but, some are proven true. It’s the truth I seek, not the BS. When I’m done, I’ll get my study results out and you can make your own judgement, if the study shows anything, not there yet.

                Peace!

  41. I think I understand the question and it seems to me that if one says NO. Then you are basically saying that we have no right to fight for freedom. Anytime you go into any battle there is a probability that people are going to die. If we cannot make decisions based on the risk that some will die than we cannot stand up to oppression. Then, numbers not withstanding, I don’t think the numbers really matter in this question-the American Revolution was wrong.

    • V.H.

      Don’t think of this as military action. As a vet, my initial response was yes, but with little intel, I had to change that. Simple, would you take actions that could kill 100, knowing that you could give 10 mil freedom?

      • Military action-a revolution by the people-is a possible scenario, at least by my reading of the question. I agree that there is a thin line here-one is necessary as self defense-the other can be pure evil-like handing over an innocent to the enemy so you and others get to live-evil.
        Willingly risking your life fighting together against a common enemy-self defense

        • I have no problem fighting tyranny, and dying to keep the freedoms of my fellow man (even if I don’t agree with their views). But, I can’t dictate to 100 to die for 10 mil. I can lead volunteers in such action, but that wasn’t the question. As I told D13, in our current times, there’s no guarentee that the 10 million even want freedom.

          • Even if I accept that the question was not a percentage of people but was talking about all who were sent would probably die. Which I wouldn’t agree too-there should always be a chance to win-if there isn’t than only the ones going could or should make that decision-sorta like at the Alamo.

            But even if you are leading a volunteer army where every man has agreed to go to this specific fight-there is still a probability that they will die. Or possibly some innocents who get in the line of fire. And nothing in the question said these people weren’t volunteers. And nothing I read in the question said that you would be forcing freedom on another country. It just said fighting for freedom-I interpreted that more as fighting to retain my own.

          • “there’s no guarentee that the 10 million even want freedom.” To clarify, I’m speaking of 10 million Americans, not a foreign country.

            V. said ” I interpreted that more as fighting to retain my own.”

            Freedom is first and foremost an individual responsibility to maintain. Does that help?

    • V.H.

      Your over thinking the problem, but raising related questions that we can chase tomorrow.

      For now, the possible 100 did not volunteer and may know nothing of your action or your intent.

      This is not a military or revolution question.

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