Thursday, January 20, 2011 Open Thread

As promised, an open thread for all of you to use as you see fit. You can post a new topic, continue a conversation that you were having on the last thread (because I know that it becomes a pain to continue scrolling down to resume the conversation and it also slows way down in loading the longer the thread gets), or even write an article that you want to post. Once I have recovered from my surgery I will be back at writing all the things that either delight or infuriate you! In the mean time you will just have to infuriate each other! But remember to keep it fairly civil as we discuss our differences with respect. I am also going to add a cartoon or two each day. These have no other purpose than to chuckle at. They are nothing more than cartoons that I saw at some point and never used.

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Comments

  1. Good Morning USW….I hope you are feeling better borther. Your body ready for the M60?

  2. Only Nancy Pelosi could come up with this….you know the person….used to be House Speaker…the one that said that welfare checks and food stamps stimulate the economy? Her latest….the dems saved the country from 16% unemployment…..oh wait…it is 16%. I know…she misspoke.

  3. Then there is the lesson in civility from democratic Congressman Steve Cohen who has likened the Republican’s health care repeal to Goebels and the Nazi’s…used the term blood libel….and connected the repeal to the holocaust. Glad to see they are giving us lessons in civility.

    • Link, please..

      • Buck the Wala says:

        You should have watched Stewart last night – he pretty much ripped Cohen a new one.

        Which just goes to show that Stewart is the only true unbiased news source left! Yup, that’s right, Comedy Central is more ‘fair and balanced’ than Fox, MSNBC, CNN and the rest combined. 🙂

      • No link….saw his speech on TV.

  4. And now the push from the dems for….are you eady for it…….”redistribution of political speech”. BUT it is not an assault on the right of free speech according Harry Reid.

    • Link, please…

      and while you’re at it, what the holy hell does “redistribution of political speech” mean?

      • Great question….but again…it was pn the news on CNN this time. Even CNN called redistribution of political speech a travesty and for CNN to do that…it must be bad.

      • Lots of BS along the way to make it sound okay-but by my reading it boils down to -Ideas can be censored if the government can prove they can cause harm.

        Kagan Argued for Government ‘Redistribution of Speech’
        Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan said the high court should be focused on ferreting out improper governmental motives when deciding First Amendment cases.
        Tuesday, May 11, 2010
        By Matt Cover
        Elena Kagan

        Applause for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan at the White House on Monday, May 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
        (CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan said the high court should be focused on ferreting out improper governmental motives when deciding First Amendment cases, arguing that the government’s reasons for restricting free speech were what mattered most and not necessarily the effect of those restrictions on speech.

        Kagan, the solicitor general of the United States under President Obama, expressed that idea in her 1996 article in the University of Chicago Law Review entitled, “Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine.”

        In her article, Kagan said that examination of the motives of government is the proper approach for the Supreme Court when looking at whether a law violates the First Amendment. While not denying that other concerns, such as the impact of a law, can be taken into account, Kagan argued that governmental motive is “the most important” factor.

        In doing so, Kagan constructed a complex framework that can be used by the Court to determine whether or not Congress has restricted First Amendment freedoms with improper intent.

        She defined improper intent as prohibiting or restricting speech merely because Congress or a public majority dislikes either the message or the messenger, or because the message or messenger may be harmful to elected officials or their political priorities.

        The first part of this framework involves restrictions that appear neutral, such as campaign finance laws, but in practice amount to an unconstitutional restriction. Kagan wrote that the effect of such legislation can be taken as evidence of improper motive because such motives often play a part in bringing the legislation into being.

        “The answer to this question involves viewing the Buckley principle [that government cannot balance between competing speakers] as an evidentiary tool designed to aid in the search for improper motive,” Kagan wrote. “The Buckley principle emerges not from the view that redistribution of speech opportunities is itself an illegitimate end, but from the view that governmental actions justified as redistributive devices often (though not always) stem partly from hostility or sympathy toward ideas or, even more commonly, from self-interest.”

        Kagan notes, however, that such “redistribution of speech” is not “itself an illegitimate end,” but that government may not restrict it to protect incumbent politicians or because it dislikes a particular speaker or a particular message.
        Supreme Court

        The U.S. Supreme Court (AP File Photo/Evan Vucci)
        She argued that government can restrict speech if it believes that speech might cause harm, either directly or by inciting others to do harm.

        Laws that only incidentally affect speech are constitutional, Kagan said, because the government’s motive in enacting them is not the restriction of First Amendment freedom but the prohibition of some other – unprotected – activity.

        She argues in the piece that a law banning fires in public places is not unconstitutional, even if it means that protesters cannot burn flags in public. A law outlawing flag burning protests, however, would be, because the motive is to stop a particular protest.

        Kagan also argued that the Supreme Court should not be concerned with maintaining or protecting any marketplace of ideas because it is impossible for the court to determine what constitutes an ideal marketplace, contending that other types of laws, such as property laws, can also affect the structure of the marketplace of ideas and that a restriction on speech may “un-skew” the market, rather than tilt it unfavorably.

        “If there is an ‘overabundance’ of an idea in the absence of direct governmental action — which there well might be when compared with some ideal state of public debate — then action disfavoring that idea might ‘un-skew,’ rather than skew, public discourse,” Kagan wrote.

        Instead, the Supreme Court should focus on whether a speaker’s message is harming the public, argued Kagan in her article.

        While Kagan does not offer an exhaustive definition of ‘harm,’ she does offer examples of speech that may be regulated, such as incitement to violence, hate-speech, threatening or “fighting” words.

        The government, she concludes, may not express its disfavor with an opinion or speaker by burdening them with restrictions or prohibitions, unless it can show that their speech is causing some type of public harm.

        “The doctrine of impermissible motive, viewed in this light, holds that the government may not signify disrespect for certain ideas and respect for others through burdens on expression,” Kagan wrote. “This does not mean that the government may never subject particular ideas to disadvantage. The government indeed may do so, if acting upon neutral, harm-based reasons.”

        Kagan says that government is also prohibited from treating two identically harmful speakers differently. To do so, she argues, would be to violate what she views as the principle of equality — making the unequal restriction unconstitutional.

        “But the government may not treat differently two ideas causing identical harms on the ground that thereby conveying the view that one is less worthy, less valuable, less entitled to a hearing than the other,” she wrote. “To take such action — in effect, to violate a norm of ideological equality — would be to load the restriction of speech with a meaning that transcends the restriction’s material consequence.”

        http://cnsnews.com/node/65720

        • This is my problem with those in power, they simply can’t read and understand the English language. Example:

          First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          Key words: abridging the freedom of speech

          Definition of ABRIDGE
          transitive verb
          1a archaic : deprive b : to reduce in scope : diminish
          2: to shorten in duration or extent
          3: to shorten by omission of words without sacrifice of sense :

          A simple message to Justice Kagan and all Progressives – Not just NO, BUT HELL NO!

          There I feel better 🙂

  5. And last but not least…..the new round of mortgage failures…..Seniors and their use of reverse mortgages. It appears that seniors have taken their paid off homes and used reverse mortgage to take equity out of their homes. What they failed to realize is that there is now a new mortgage on the home and it does not become part of the estate. The bank owns it….and…..Seniors who fail to pay their property taxes and such, and the bank has to step up and do it….triggers the failure on the mortgage and they are stepping in and taking over. In addition, it is a loan value that has to be paid by the children of the Seniors upon their deaths.

    But…it is a Seniors fault for entering such an arrangement but it appears to not be the great thing that it is led to be.

    • What? Do people think that these kindly organizations are just giving them money out of the kindness of their hearts?

  6. That bear in the upper corner looks like he just got done helping Wily Coyote fail once again at catching the roadrunner. 🙂

  7. @ Buck…..question for you sir….Being as cold and wet as it is today, there is not much going on at the spa and I do not leave for the border until tomorrow….so, watching the news, I see a clip where a female is walking in a mall while texting and not watching what she was doing…walks into a fountain. In her interview, she claimed to be humiliated because a security guard or guards laughed at her when it happened. She has now retained a lawyer to sue the mall and fountain owner. My question is…..what would the suit be and is this something that any sane judge would dismiss or throw out?

  8. Bottom Line says:

    Test post.

    🙂

  9. Hi Gang 🙂

    Quiet today, maybe I should put up a conspiracy theory so we can watch Todd lose it 😆

  10. 27 of 50 States Now Challenging Constitutionality of Obamacare in Court
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011
    By Fred Lucas

    Maine Atty. Gen. William Schneider

    Atty. Gen. William Schneider of Maine announced that his state has joined a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare.

    (CNSNews.com) – More than half of the states—27 out of 50—are now challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare in federal court.

    Six additional states–Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming–petitioned in federal court on Tuesday to join Florida’s law suit challenging the constitutionality of the health care law President Barack Obama signed last March. Nineteen states had previously joined with Florida in this suit, making the total number of states that are now a party to the suit 26.

    Virginia, which has filed its own lawsuit against Obamacare, is the 27th state challenging the constitutionality of the health-care law in federal court. (A complete list of all 27 states appears at the bottom of this story.)

    Florida’s suit challenges the constitutionality of Obamacare on two grounds, arguing that the law’s mandate that individuals must buy health insurance exceeds the legitimate power granted to the federal government to regulate interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and also that the mandates the law imposes on state governments to expand their Medicaid programs violates the 10th Amendment, which limits the federal government to the powers delegated to it by the Constitution.

    Virginia’s lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the individual mandate.

    In December, Judge Henry Hudson of the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., sided with Virginia in that case, ruling that the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to force individuals to buy health insurance.

    The Florida-led case is currently before U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Fla. Oral arguments were held on Dec. 16. Judge Vinson has not issued a ruling yet.

    Ultimately, the cases will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “This lawsuit is about standing up for the rule of law and protecting the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution,” Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt said in a statement. “Our federal government is designed to be a government of limited, enumerated powers, and we do not believe it has the power to order citizens into commerce so it can then regulate their conduct under authority of the Commerce Clause. Whatever the merits or demerits of health care reform, the ends cannot justify the unconstitutional means.”

    Maine Atty. Gen. William Schneider said in statement, “The federal health care reform law mandates that all citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a costly penalty. This would be an unprecedented expansion of federal power, violating the 10th Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.”

    “The federal government simply does not have the right to force someone to buy a product–be it health insurance or any other type of goods or services that an individual may or may not want – or face a penalty,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement.

    Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said the “Constitution places limits on the power of the federal government, and these limits must be defended or they will disappear.

    “Never before has the federal government required an individual to either buy government-approved insurance or pay a penalty,” Van Hollen continued. “And nowhere does the Constitution authorize Congress to regulate in this manner.”

    The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), which advocates for small businesses, has also joined Florida’s suit against Obamacare.

    “Having more than half of the nation’s states involved in this case along with NFIB, who represents more than 350,000 small businesses nationwide, sends a strong message to the courts that this law is detrimental to the entire nation and must be overturned,” said Karen Harned, executive director, NFIB Small Business Legal Center.

    These are the 27 states now challenging Obamacare in federal: Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Alaska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, Iowa, Wyoming, Kansas and Virginia.

  11. After days of relentless attacks by media across the fruited plain, Sarah Palin’s unfavorable rating hit an all-time high this week.

    A look at the assault by television and radio news organizations since bullets were fired in Tucson will give you an idea how the press accomplished their mission (image of Palin was found via a Google search and was not created by NewsBusters or the Media Research Center):

    From January 8 through January 16, CNN ran 80 stories that included the name of the former Alaska governor.

    That’s roughly nine pieces per day, during which her name was mentioned approximately 664 times or over 70 times every 24 hours!

    As few if any of these mentions were positive, is there any wonder a new CNN/Opinion Research poll found 56 percent of all Americans now have an unfavorable view of Sarah Palin – an all-time high?

    As CNN noted, that’s up seven points from just before the midterm elections.

    Of course, the supposedly most trusted name in news wasn’t the only outlet mercilessly pounding Palin.

    During the same time period (chosen to coincide with CNN’s polling period ending January 16), MSNBC ran 25 reports on Palin mentioning her name a staggering 474 times during those segments.

    Those figures are even more astounding when you consider that MSNBC only transcribes weekday prime time programs. Just imagine the kind of pounding Palin was taking from these shills during the weekends and outside of prime time.

    MSNBC’s sister network NBC also was involved in the attacks logging 23 reports with 126 mentions of Palin.

    NPR did 20 stories with 100 mentions; ABC 17 and 62; CBS 14 and 59.

    Add it all up, and these outlets did 179 reports about Palin in those sixteen days (remember – this only includes weekday primetime for MSNBC!) mentioning her name a staggering 1485 times.

    With her unfavorable rating now at 56 percent, I guess these so-called “news” outlets should all be saying “Mission Accomplished!”

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/01/20/mission-accomplished-palin-bashing-reaches-new-high-does-her-unfavora#ixzz1Bc18BD9b

    • 1/19/2011
      CNN uses the term “crosshairs” frequently in month before Tucson Shooting
      This all makes all the moralizing at CNN pretty embarrassing.

      A look at transcripts of CNN programs in the month leading up to the shootings shows that the network was filled with references to “crosshairs” — and once even used the term to suggest the targeting of Palin herself. Some examples:

      “Palin’s moose-hunting episode on her reality show enraged People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and now, she’s square in the crosshairs of big time Hollywood producer, Aaron Sorkin,” reported A.J. Hammer of CNN’s Headline News on December 8.

      “Companies like MasterCard are in the crosshairs for cutting ties with WikiLeaks,” said CNN Kiran Chetry in a December 9 report.

      “Thousands of people living in areas that are in the crosshairs have been told to evacuate,” Chetry said in a December 21 report on flooding in California.

      “He’s in their crosshairs,” said a guest in a December 21 CNN discussion of suspects in a missing-person case.

      “This will be the first time your food will be actually in the crosshairs of the FDA,” business reporter Christine Romans said on December 22.

      “The U.S. commander in the East has Haqqani in his crosshairs,” CNN’s Barbara Starr reported on December 28, referring to an Afghan warlord.

      “We know that health care reform is in the crosshairs again,” CNN’s Joe Johns reported on January 3.

      Seven uses of “crosshairs” in just the month before the Tucson attacks, and just one of them referring to an actual wartime situation. And one reference to Sarah Palin herself as being in “crosshairs.”

      And not just Palin. On September 14, Mark Preston, CNN’s senior political editor, referred to another controversial politician, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, as being “in the crosshairs.” “Michelle Bachmann is raising lots of money, raising her national profile,” Preston said on September 14. “She is in the crosshairs of Democrats as well.” . . .

  12. Thought you guys might like this:

    “Fox News Most Distrusted Name In News: Poll”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/20/fox-news-most-distrusted-_n_811471.html

    • LOL…and you use Huffpo for this?

    • Would like to see the demographics of who was polled. Huffpo is toilet paper to me…NBC more trusted…really. This stinks of liberal baloney.

    • Fox is the most trusted television news network in the country, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

      A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19 found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.

      Thirty-seven percent said they didn’t trust Fox, also the lowest level of distrust that any of the networks recorded.

      There was a strong partisan split among those who said they trusted Fox — with 74 percent of Republicans saying they trusted the network, while only 30 percent of Democrats said they did.

      CNN was the second-most-trusted network, getting the trust of 39 percent of those polled. Forty-one percent said they didn’t trust CNN.

      Each of the three major networks was trusted by less than 40 percent of those surveyed, with NBC ranking highest at 35 percent. Forty-four percent said they did not trust NBC, which was combined with its sister cable station MSNBC.

      Thirty-two percent of respondents said they trusted CBS, while 31 percent trusted ABC. Both CBS and ABC were not trusted by 46 percent of those polled.

      “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said PPP President Dean Debnam in his analysis of the poll. “But the media landscape has really changed, and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”

      The telephone poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/32039.html

      • LOI,
        Did you realize this is the 2010 poll? Seems Fox News has lost some credibility in the past year.

        Maybe that’s the reason I’m so optimistic about America’s future!! 🙂

    • I would say that I would like to see a similar result from someone other than public policy polling, a democratic polling group founded by a democrat pollster.

      Then I would add that I believe Fox News is more trusted than any of the other networks, and for good reason. I would also add that when a poll shows significant bias based on political affiliation, then the problem probably isn’t the credibility of the network, it is the pre-disposed political opinions of those polled.

      In short, this poll doesn’t mean crap.

  13. And this:

    “The Palin Problem (It’s Not What You Think…)”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erica-payne/the-palin-problem-its-not_b_811245.html

    Especially the last line.

    • Todd, it appears you were the mean girl at camp.

      Why the Left Hates Sarah Palin
      By Robin of Berkeley, American Thinker
      When I was ten years old, I participated in an act of unadulterated group evil. It happened at a sleep-away camp in the Catskill Mountains.

      Starting in third grade, I was shipped off to this summer camp for three months at a time. Although I was in no way ready to be so far from home, my parents wanted the summers free and clear — so I was whisked away, like hundreds of other Camp Tawonga kids.

      I lived in a bunk with a gaggle of other girls, with two teenagers to oversee us. Since our counselors were more absorbed in the male staff than in us, we girls had the run of the house.

      One day, my bunkmates decided to punish Barbara, a popular and confident child. The masterminds held Barb down while a few others stripped off her clothes. Barbara struggled and screamed as the rest of us watched, transfixed. The details are blessedly murky, but they involve mocking Barbara and grabbing at her body.

      Although I wasn’t a major player, I also did nothing to stop the madness, which shames me to this day. I even recall feeling a strange, wicked thrill surging through my body. Now that I analyze it, it was the maniacal power of sadism — and evil.

      I’ve always wondered why Barbara was chosen to be tortured, and not a nerdy girl instead. But after beholding the horrible treatment of Sarah Palin, I finally understand: Barb was a sweet and happy and innocent child. The leaders of the pack wanted to knock her down from her high horse.

      My mind flashed to this awful memory after hearing that Palin was being scapegoated for the Tucson Massacre. Palin has been a target of the left’s wrath from the moment she was nominated for vice president. Many conservatives have tried to explain why.

      Some say it’s jealousy, which is true; Palin is a lovely woman with a handsome husband. She’s also a self-made woman; Palin has risen to power on her own, without the coattails of husband or father.

      Some conservatives believe that the hatred is a result of brainwashing; this is true, as well. Liberals respond robotically, like Pavlov’s dogs, whenever Palin’s name is uttered.

      But there’s a darker reason for the abject hatred of Palin, and the clues can be found in that Catskill Mountains bunk. Because evil can manifest when people project their own badness and shame onto another.

      People on the left hate Palin for one simple reason: because she is everything they are not. She is their polar opposite because her life journey has diverged from the prescribed liberal path.

      Palin was raised to be self-sufficient and independent since “idle hands are the devil’s tools.” Little Sarah was up at the crack of dawn, hunting with her dad; in sharp contrast, liberal kids like me were still fast asleep.

      Palin didn’t have life handed to her on a silver platter, like so many in the ruling class. Instead, Sarah balanced school, chores, jobs, and sports. While liberal girls like me were glued to the boob tube, Sarah had no time for sloth.

      Palin attended church with her family on Sundays. On Sunday morning, young liberals like me were recovering from Saturday night.

      From her devout Christian upbringing, Sarah learned to be a good girl. In contrast, I learned everything I needed to know about how to be a modern girl from the monthly Playboy Magazine, which was conspicuously displayed on our living room table.

      Sarah dated and then married her high school sweetheart; I learned that my body was a commodity that I “owned.” And I could use my body — and allow it to be used — to temporarily still the pangs of loneliness.

      There’s a lyric from a Matt Maher song that always moves me to tears. It’s when he cries out to God: “Where were You when sin stole my innocence?”

      When I hear these words, an unspeakable pain cuts through me. I feel the ache of something stolen from me — something precious, never quite recovered. And there are countless others out there, similarly robbed, though they have no idea what has gone missing.

      And then, out of the blue, Sarah Palin, like a majestic bird in flight, swooped onto the scene of a depraved and deprived nation. With her children and grandchild, her religion and her patriotism, Sarah is the antithesis of everything the progressives stand for. Palin is not just pro-life, but she emanates life — and good, clean living.

      And what does the left do? They try to drag her through the mud to sully her. The hardcore among them want to eliminate her, even if this means putting her life at risk.

      The progressives “joke” about gang-rape, make pornographic movies about her, and leer at her legs. (Would any of this be tolerated against Michelle Obama?)

      Palin’s church was torched during the primary, a vicious crime that was hushed up by the MSM. And now, with the smears about Tucson, death threats against Palin have soared.

      Yes, leftists attack Palin because they envy her beauty; and true, she’s a political threat. But the main reason for the hatred is something deeper and darker.

      Leftists loathe Palin because she has retained something that was stripped from them years ago: a wholesomeness, a purity of heart. People on the left despise Palin because she shines a bright light on their shame and unworthiness, which they try desperately to deny.

      The progressives, like that brutal gang of abandoned girls, want to drag Palin down into the gutter with them; they want to spoil her. Of course, their efforts will be futile; Palin is fueled by a Spirit that isn’t simply her own.

      The left knows only how to point fingers, and threaten, and menace. Why? They are lost, abandoned children as well; they have shunned the only Force who could wash them clean and bring them home again.

      • I’ve wondered often about the left’s hatred of Palin and after this last week, I believe this author might be right on target.

        I have never seen such viciousness, ugliness, absolute craziness as I’ve seen since the Tucson shooting. I’ve come to believe that there is an underlying, internal hatred by leftists that no amount of debate, attempts at educating can cure. The Progressive agenda and the belief that anything is fair game to get to that point is nothing short of evil.

    • Again with Huffpo…unbelievable. About as much credibility as Wiki…..zero.

    • Right back at you with that last line Todd!

      “And absolutely none of our problems will be solved with stupidity.”

    • Total BS…Todd you’ll have to do much better than Huffpo…because we all know how they twist things to the left’s delight…this too is total baloney.

      • Again, what are the approved sources for use on SUFA?

        • Try having multiple sources. Like with presidential polls, there are usually several of them cited, not just a single one from some political blog site. Would you take Fox News at face value if it was the single source of someone’s information on SUFA? I certainly would not, and have not (because that has happened).

  14. January 20, 2011
    The lexicon of stupidity
    Ralph Alter
    The English language is constantly evolving. To meet the need for terms to describe technological innovations, the steady influx of immigrants adding an international flavor to our patois, and sometimes just the political free-for-all of our democracy, the addition of neologisms to frame our thoughts accurately is required.

    In 2010 alone, the Merriam Webster Dictionary added hundreds of new terms to its venerable lexicography. Included are such pop-cultural inventions as bromance, skankitude and frenemy. Sarah Palin’s melding of the words refute and repudiate to form the new term “refudiate” was actually named the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year.

    Often the development of a new term is a conscious political decision to help re-direct public opinion away for a controversial topic generating too much heat for a political interest group. Thus we find Janet Napolitano coining terms like “man-caused-disaster” when she found the term terrorism just to unpalatable to mouth.

    And sometimes, we find an individual whose personal characteristics so strongly define a particular set of attitudes or behaviors that their very name comes to represent those behaviors in our language. Vidkun Quisling, for instance, was President of the collaborationist Norwegian government that fronted for the Nazis from 1943-45. He was wisely executed by firing squad by his livid countrymen immediately following WWII. His treasonous actions were so vile and blatant that his name has come to be a synonym for traitor.

    The appearance of Clarence Dupnik on the national scene following the Tuscon massacre of innocents provides just the right opportunity for a neologism. It’s hard to recall a public figure with less on the ball than this modern day Barney Fife. It seems impossible that the voters of Pima county have continued to vote for this incompetent hack for 28 years. But that is what Democrats do.

    From Detroit to New Orleans to New York City, just name a failing municipality and you can guarantee it has been run into the ground by Democrats. With its proximity to Mexico, Tuscon should be a leader in the battle against illegal immigration. With Dupnik at the law enforcement helm, Tuscon is more a part of the problem than part of the solution.

    Clarence Dupnik’s inability, or perhaps his unwillingness to pursue the detention of the Tuscon massacre killer when he was aware of both Loughner’s instability and his death-threats is unconscionable. Rather than owning up to his failure to prevent this tragedy, however, Dupnik attempted to re-direct the colluding media in a direction they were only to willing to go.

    In an era rife with political incompetence and thuggish hackery, Clarence Dupnik stands alone as a symbol of incompetence, stupidity and vainglorious dishonesty. Congratulations, Clarence. Joe Biden and Van Jones have got nothing on you. Please help disseminate the wide use of the term “Dupnik” to describe anyone you see displaying the sheriff’s defining characteristics of pig-headedness, stupidity or ham-handedness. When confronted with glaring ineptitude or ample dunderheadedness, simply hit your forehead with the heel of your hand and exclaim:

    “What a Dupnik!”

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

  15. YANKTON, S.D. (KTIV) — It’s happened in places like Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky. Hundreds of birds mysteriously found dead.

    Folks in Yankton, South Dakota, thought they were being added to the list after hundreds of dead birds were found there on Monday. Turns out the unpleasant feathered discovery has a solid explanation. They were poisoned.

    Some had thought 200 Starlings found dead in Yankton’s Riverside park had froze to death. But they were actually poisoned on purpose, by the US Department of Agriculture.

    Many of the European Starlings discovered by a passerby, were laying on the ground or frozen in trees. Officials first thought the birds were late to migrate and froze to death during the recent cold spell.

    But that theory changed after Yankton police received a phone call from a USDA official who said the birds had been poisoned.

    “They say that they had poisoned the birds about ten miles south of Yankton and they were surprised they came to Yankton like they did and died in our park,” says Yankton Animal Control Officer Lisa Brasel.

    The USDA confirms the story, saying the deaths were part of a large killing at a private feed lot in Nebraska.

    They say a local farmer had been having troubles with about 5,000 starlings defecating in his feed meal. Department of Ag officials say because of health concerns for the farmer’s animals and staff they decided to kill the birds.

    They used a bait laced with the poison DRC-1339. The USDA says the birds ate the bait then flew back to Yankton and died.

    They say poisoning isn’t a common practice.

    “We’re doing it to address, in this case very defiantly agricultural damage as well as the potential for human health and safety issues,” says Carol Bannerman USDA Wildlife Services.

    USDA officials say they regret they had to kill the birds. But say there’s no toxic concern to people or animals.

    In all, officials estimate nearly 2,000 birds ate the poison. However, since the bait has been removed they don’t expect any more birds to die.

  16. 8)

    • Hope your healing and feeling better! 🙂

      • Thx, G!

        Today was a wash.

        Elbow – better.
        Left leg – worse.

        • Good morning, BF. I do hope that you are feeling better. But the mental picture of you doing an aerial 360 and then, of course, your discourse upon hitting the stairs and ground….been there and done that on ice skates. Had a pair on for 30 seconds…….have not had them on since.

          Get better, sir.

  17. Buck the Wala says:

    Hey all you Texans out there…what’s the matter with your state?

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/01/19/whats-the-matter-with-texas

    • Buck,

      This article is a great example of why the people of this country are and will continue to be divided. This is also why the left and the right are heading towards outright hatred towards one another.

      In typical Liberal/Progressive media hack bullshit, the author and the idiot minions that commented, fail to be intelligent enough to understand that almost every State, City and municipal government is in the same boat. It’s not a right/left issue, as both sides have the same problem where they are in control. I’m not going to bother pointing out where the left has equally failed in fiscal management, but rather, point out that there is but one common denominator (can you guess?). Nothing will ever get solved until the common denominator, as a whole, is removed or greatly reduced.

    • Buck et al.

      I just love this comment on the article:

      paul doane
      NH
      January 20th, 2011 3:55 am
      No mystery in Texas. In fact, as Paul Krugman pointed out, Texas is great example of what you get with a far right, tax cutting crowd in power – huge deficits and reduced human services. Texas ranks near the bottom of all charts on important indicators like education, percent of population with insurance etc. etc. Wasn’t Gov. Perry touted as presidential material at one time?

      Here is my point. Notice the CRITERIA for the evaluation???? “all charts on important indicators like education, percent of population with insurance etc.”

      In other words, Texas finishes last in criteria determined by the Progressives to be important.

      Well I think I will use the FREEDOM INDEX as my criteria. Now how was that again that Texas stacked up in that category???????????

      • JAC, stop cheating. Everyone knows that liberals are the only ones allowed to define what is important.

        And, before you get uppity, you should know that only liberals are allowed to determine who is allowed to define what is important.

        Further, only liberals are allowed to determine who gets to determine who is allowed to determine who is allowed to define what is important.

        Et cetera, et cetera, and so forth.

        • Mathius

          Not uppity here, that was my point.

          Although I find it curious that I used Progressive and you responded with liberal.

          Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

          Are they really one in the same, as old Rush Limbaugh has been saying for years?

          • I don’t know what a “progressive” is other than another name for a liberal after “liberal” somehow became a bad word.

            There used to be nothing wrong with being a liberal – then Bush basically declared that being a liberal meant being anti-American and pro-“terrist”, and the “liberal-media” ran with it. So the liberals re-branded themselves as “progressives.”

            Personally, I don’t care for the term progressive.. always makes me think of progresso soup which gave me a food poisoning the one time I tried it.

            • It became a bad word because they supported a bad agenda. Progressive is becoming a bad word for the same reason. A rose made of chicken poop by any other name is still just sculpted chicken poop.

    • Talk about timing!

      Grappling with a brutal economic climate, more than 200 of the nation’s mayors have descended upon Washington to urge President Obama to help cities out of the fiscal morass they find themselves in as state and federal aid dries up.

      Several mayors, attending the annual National Conference of Mayors, met behind closed doors with the president and Vice President Biden on Thursday afternoon. Job creation is high on the agenda as the local executives push the administration to help find work in America’s cities and townships, where 85 percent of the nation’s population resides.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/20/nations-mayors-urge-obama-cutting-federal-grants-cash-strapped-cities/

      Gotta love who’s in the picture!

      BAAAHHHAAAAA!

    • Yep….it was a problem that was exacerbated by a little flawed thinking but has since then been resolved. What was not mentioned in the New York Slimes article was that the budget shortfall has been addressed already. What was mentioned but not touted is that we operate on a two year budget cycle and that the deficit has already been addressed. The cuts in education were mentioned but not the type of cuts….9 billion in illegal immigrant spending will be slashed,,,meaning no more free ride in public schools and in state college tuition grants to illegal non citizen people. What was not mentioned was the free lunch school programs that are being cut to non citizen illegal immigrant status. What was not mentioned was that the medicaid and medicare cuts are to non citizen and illegal immigrant status. What was not mentioned was the in state crack down on fraudulent food stamp and housing issues going to non citizen and illegal immigrant status. estimated savings alone over two budget cycles…..34 billion. What was not mentioned was the denial of workmen’s compensation to illegal non citizen immigrants.

      All that the slime paper said was deep cuts in education and social programs. it mentioned nothing about how the programs were being cut.

      Now, on the admission side…Perry understands the mistake that was made in the property tax issues and has since then rectified the situation….which was not mentioned. In order to fix that, the insurance regulations in Texas were changed and the Robin Hood taxes (take from the richer school districts and redistributed to the poor districts)were eliminated. Our fees are higher for certain things but we are a pay as you go state…and if we want certain things, then there is a fee and we have the choice as to whether we want them or not.

      The progressives do not like Texas….that is ok. Stay away.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I got a different sense from the article — I feel the moderator and commentators did clear that the problems seem more exacerbated than they sound at first blush due to the 2-yr budget cycle.

        Clearly I would not be on board with many of the cuts being proposed and implemented by Perry. I don’t believe the cuts in education and social programs were limited to only illegal immigrants but have read that is where they are mostly targeted.

        Its not that we don’t like Texas…Austin is fine in my book! It’s the rest of the state that gives us progressives pause.

        • So in essence your position is to be fine with a non-citizen that doesn’t pay into a system, reaping the benefits of those that work hard and pay into it?

          This is the type of thinking that has our nation in such a debt crisis right now.

          What is progressive about that?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            No, but I do believe that the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for the actions of their parents.

            • As to the punishment of the children….I have mixed feelings. Do not reward the parents because they have children here. Eliminate entirely the free education of illegals….children or not. Just eliminate it. It is not fair for citizens to have to pay for their children. It is not fair that illegals get in state tuition while a legal citizen cannot…..

              Send the parents home and if the children have to go with them…so be it. As you can see, it is a very hot button issue down here. Take them off welfare, food stamps, and free medical. Those items are RESERVED for citizens…not non citizens and before you ask, my barrister friend, it is something worth fighting for to eliminate. If that makes me a calloused son of a bitch…then put me in that category. 🙂

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Its a fair position; I don’t think that’s what makes you a calloused son of a bitch. 🙂

                I’m torn on it myself as well, but in the end I lean towards providing at least some basic services to the children of illegals. They are not the ones that chose to come here illegally and I dont’ believe they should be punished for it.

                Going back to Texas’ budgetary issues, I believe there are other services and programs facing substantial cuts for citizens. You know anything about this?

            • A very fine case against reparations of any sort.
              Thanks Buck!

        • Ahhhhhh….enjoy Austin while you can….there is a VERY strong, and I think it will be successful, movement afoot to eliminate sanctuary cities in Texas. we have three of them…Austin, Dallas, San Antonio….Dallas has taken some remedies as have several outlying municipalities….but enjoy the semi liberal Austin while you can.

  18. Excellent video on exposing Government secrets and why its important….

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/1009.html

    • Good read T-Ray! The beer and brandy part was interesting. Couldn’t help but think about how the AGW folks are so worried about the planet decades from now but fail to see the continuing decline in their purchasing power. I can just see them in a grocery store complaining because a can of green beans is $5 and a 10 lb bag a potatoes is $15 and reminding them that the CO2 they were so worried about is why those beans and tators are even there, and if they’d have spent their time fighting the Govt. fiat ponzi scheme, they might be able to buy those beans and tators. Instead, as armed men in black suits look over their shoulder, they bypass the real veggies for stuff called GMO veggies, which has beed irradiated to the point of having no nutritional value. Then they’ll bitch that AGW is why their in bad health. And the world just keeps spinning! Think I’ll have a beer and increase my “carbon footprint” just to piss them off! 🙂

  19. http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/19/gohmert-sharia-hearings/

    I have not seen any sign of this imminent threat.. anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Absolutely amazing…

    • They should be investigating the Liberal media, a far bigger problem then men with towels on their heads.

    • Hmmmmm…a re-institution of McCarthyism? A communist behind every rose bush? Doubt that it will go very far. Even as a right of center type of guy…I would be against this type of witch hunt. I have seen no threat of Sharia Law in creeping in in Texas…not yet. I know that it is in some progressive cities but not here yet except maybe Dallas. It has no place here but I do not see it as a problem yet….

      So, no mcCarthyism is necessary. If it becomes a problem, we know how to handle it.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Sharia law is creeping into progressive cities? Umm…being from a progressive city, this is sure news to me!

        • Are you still pretending to be a New Yorker?

          But I actually live in New York and have seen none of this either. And I used to live in LA (AKA liberal mecca) and saw none of it there either.

          Maybe I missed something and D13 can elaborate..

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Yes I’m still a New Yorker damnit! Stop trying to take that away from me.

            It is you, sir, who is a fake.

            Maybe he meant there is Sharia law is some other liberal/progressive city??

          • Liberal Mecca. Very clever M

          • Ahhhh….My young Patewan and my liberal barrister,,,,,i am not referring to matters of law. Do me a favor, please, as I have done it in Dallas. Go to the local Mosques….as I did. And ask what they preach and go to your local school board and demand to look at your text books. Since Texas apparently is the guide line for most states…(wonder why that is)…it is being taken out of the text books here….not as a teaching point in that there are different aspects of religion all over the world but taken out in the context that it is an appropriate execution of law in the states.

            as long as the courts continue to overturn such stupid rulings as the one mentioned, I see not threat legally….however, the idea is that it is being taught in the Mosques of the United States…and, therefore, the “creeping mentality”. (Why do I suddenly have this picture of Steve McQueen and the Blob in my mind.)

            • Buck the Wala says:

              So you’re problem is that a MOSQUE (a religious institution) is preaching SHARIA LAW (a religious legal/belief system) to adherents of its faith?

              • No sir……I did not say it was a problem with me at all. I merely said the check it out. It is you and some others that have said words make a difference. However, since you brought up the religious aspect of this……..

                Do you, as a counselor, not find it reprehensible to preach a “religious legal/belief system) to adherents of its faith…..in contradiction of the laws of the state in which they preach? does tacit approval behind closed doors make it any more correct if said teaching an application of same still violates the laws of the State in which they reside?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I dont’ have a problem with that one bit, so long as the adherents of the faith follow our laws as well and are subject to our laws for their failure to do so.

            • D, think about it in reverse. What about the Christians whose churches preached against slavery even though slavery was the law of the land?

              And what about otherwise harmless religious practices which are banned in the US (ie polygamy (among adults), or smoking the ganja?). It’s not a perfect world.

              Religious-base morality and law have butt heads for millenia and will continue to do so. The free practice of religion is essential to a free state. Just because you don’t like a particular belief or practice doesn’t mean you should have the right to stop it unless you want to open the door to others to do so when they find your beliefs abhorrent (maybe a fundamentalist Jew thinks you shouldn’t be allowed to preach that women are equal to men?).

              Adding, Texas sets the standards for textbooks because, due to their population, they’re the second largest market (behind Cali) and publishing companies find it less profitable to make separate books for each state. It’s the same way that the whole country got seat belts in the car when California mandated them – it wasn’t worthwhile to the car companies to make their cars two separate ways.

        • Shariah law is already here: Judge allows spousal rape on Islamic grounds

          http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/fischer/100725

          • Buck the Wala says:

            The ruling was overturned by New Jersey’s Appellate Court, which ruled that the husband’s religious beliefs were irrelevant and that the judge erred in taking them into consideration.

            The judge’s ruling basically turned on his finding that there was no criminal intent as he was acting in accordance with his cultural and religious beliefs. The Appellate Court found (rightly so) that despite the husband’s cultural and religious beliefs, he had the full knowledge that he was assaulting his wife under NJ law.

            Not exactly a shining example of Sharia law in the US…

            • Buck, It was overturned. How would you apply this situation to the Constitution in regards to religion? I’m just curious, and trying to understand why this is an issue.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Wait now I’m confused: It was overturned. Exactly. So how is this an example of ‘Sharia law is here’??

              • Sorry, should have asked a better question. If, under Sharia Law, it is OK to beat and rape a wife, and if is pushed to the SCOTUS for a decision, using the language of the 1st Amendment, how would you apply the 1st Amendment in this argument.

                First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
                Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

                Namely, “prohibiting the free execise” part.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Its a non-issue. SCOTUS has been very clear that a criminal statute that applies to all equally is valid as applied to any one individual.

              • Buck, I hope your right! Kinda flushes that “living document” position down the toilet.

              • G-Man,

                If, under Sharia Law, it is OK to beat and rape a wife,

                No where was this statement made

                In Islamic culture there is a difference between
                “a husband has marriage rights”

                and

                “a husband has a right to beat and rape his wife”

                The Iman in the case attempted to elucidate the difference – but due to the process of court, was not able to (as he can only answer asked questions, and not participate in detail explanations)

                The judge’s argument in the first instance was that the defendant did not have “mens rea” – the guilty mind. If by his culture he believed he was not guilty, though in breach of law, has not committed a crime.

                His ruling was overturned – correctly – by the argument that as living in the US, he knew US law prohibited such action =- thus, he did have mens rea.

                So the question has nothing to do with Sharia law, but the application of Western Common Law and mens rea.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Well said BF. Though it always bothers me a bit when we agree on something; maybe that fall knocked some sense into you!

              • D13, there’s another factor to consider with regards to the first amendment, which I touched on elsewhere.

                The courts have already established that certain religious practices are illegal, such as ritualistic drug use and polygamy. If the courts can ban these, surly they can also ban rape (which, Black Flag is correct, is not a Muslim thing but a cultural thing).

                In the mosque I visited a while back, the imam was very, very clear that Islam preaches kindness and respect for women – much more so (and I have personally read the books and can confirm) than the old testament.

                Adding, I also agree with Buck.. it makes me very uncomfortable to agree with Flag. Let’s blame it on his pain killers 🙂

              • Mathius,

                It is weird to be on the same side as you and Buck – maybe the End of the World is coming….

                And further, I wholly agree to your review of the Holy Books – Islam was one of the first religions to actually give women legal and political rights.

                The parable was when tribal leaders were discussing women in terms no better then cattle, Mohammad sternly challenged them with “who of you has not been born from a woman?” and continued to embarrass them by reflecting their comments about women upon their mothers.

                Thus, Islam codified broad rights for women (given the time) never before recognized.

                (But it is also strongly suggested that as Mohammad was illiterate, it was his very literate wife who wrote the texts…..;) )

                Before, a man could divorce his wife and throw her to streets as to beg.

                After, she had equal claim to whatever her ex-husband enjoyed – he had to still maintain her as she enjoyed as a wife. (The first concepts of “equality in property”).

                etc. etc.

            • What if it hadn’t been overturned?The fact that it was ruled ok in the first place should bring about a red flag don’t ya think?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                No, not really.

                As Mathius said, it was one decision by one judge. Should that judge be admonished – possibly. But do you really believe this serves as a red flag of the encroachment of Sharia law on our society?

          • “We [the Appellate Court] are also concerned that the judge’s view of the facts of the matter may have been colored by his perception that, although defendant’s sexual acts violated applicable criminal statutes, they were culturally acceptable and thus not actionable — a view that we have soundly rejected.

            That sounds less like “creeping sharia” than one idiot judge who was reversed on appeal. (BTW: reading the actual ruling, I cannot see how the initial judge possibly reached the conclusions he did, but I’m not a lawyer.. Buck?)

            http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/courts/appellate/a6107-08.opn.html (note, some of this is pretty disturbing and graphic)

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Not really sure how this judge botched the ruling; seems to me that he just put too much emphasis on the cultural defense and neglected to properly apply the criminal statute. This is why we have Appeals Courts.

              But I agree, doesn’t really demonstrate any creeping Sharia law when you actually look at the facts and the outcome.

              • It happened but let’s not read too much into that fact since it got fixed at a later date.I mean shucks it was only rape…

                See anything wrong with that line of thinking there, pardner?

              • Yes, when you look at it like that. But a better way to look at it is this: one judge was an idiot, but the system worked and overruled him. Odds are good he’s now out of the job.

                You act like one person’s bad ruling is an indicator of a large group of people exerting their influence to install a system of sharia law. It’s not. That’s extrapolating way too much.

                Saying that is like saying that one judge incorrectly dismissing a pot case demonstrates that there’s a movement afoot to force everyone in the country to become crack users.

                Deep breaths. The US is a Christian theocracy.. the odds of Sharia setting up shop here are approximately equal to the odds of Black Flag voting for Obama’s second term.

      • How to handle it: “Have you no shame, sir? Have you no shame?”

        Done and done.

    • But, but, ………McCarthy turned out to be pretty much right.

      I suggest that he may not make the perfect example of witch hunts.

      • LOl…JAC…maybe so….but the “spy on your neighbor” mentality that was pervasive then…

        But who am I to say different…..every time I see a Hispanic…..he/she is bound to be illegal. (That is the thought that is in my mind)…even I have my prejudice that I am trying to curb….(not every Hispanic is illegal) Just as is not every Muslim is a terrorist. And not every lawyer is…..well…..maybe. (:smile:)

        • And not every lawyer…….ROTFLMAO…………..

          I agree with your points Colonel. Although I would rather have a nosy neighbor than a nosy Govt agent. 🙂

          Stay safe this weekend.
          JAC

          • Fair point….at least with the neighbor, I can be nosy back….

            Have a great one, sir. By the way, you let me down…I requested that you take this immoral yankee weather back…..you sent me 18 degrees this morning.

            So, this summer, I am going to send you 110 in the shade with 60% humidity. Hows that?

            • D13

              You are mistaken sir!!

              I sent you some 40 plus weather we had last week.

              Its them damn New York Yankees you should chastise. I think they have polluted the warm air I sent your way.

              Now if I could get the Canadians to just send the cold directly east instead of filtering by us first.

  20. Not recommended for anyone under 17 to watch, yet the actors who play the parts are 15 and up

    A Racy Show With Teenagers Steps Back From a Boundary
    By BRIAN STELTER
    Published: January 19, 2011

    MTV executives have a new hit drama on their hands, featuring the sexual and drug-fueled exploits of misfit teenagers. They also have something else — a fear that coming episodes of the show may break the law.

    In recent days, executives at the cable channel became concerned that some scenes from the provocative new show “Skins” may violate federal child pornography statutes.

    The executives ordered the producers to make changes to tone down some of the most explicit content.

    They are particularly concerned about the third episode of the series, which is to be broadcast Jan. 31. In an early version, a naked 17-year-old actor is shown from behind as he runs down a street. The actor, Jesse Carere, plays Chris, a high school student whose erection — assisted by erectile dysfunction pills — is a punch line throughout the episode.

    The planned changes indicate that MTV, which has been pushing the envelope for decades, may be concerned that it pushed too far this time.

    “Skins” is a calculated risk by MTV which is eager to get into the scripted programming business. The channel, a unit of Viacom, has long tested American standards for sexuality and obscenity on television with shows like “The Real World” and “Jersey Shore.”

    Those reality shows have generally involved adults, but for “Skins,” the producers purposefully cast actors ages 15 to 19, most of whom had never acted before.

    MTV’s president and other executives declined interview requests on Wednesday. An MTV spokeswoman, Jeannie Kedas, insisted that the future episodes of “Skins” were still works in progress. She would not confirm that MTV executives were fearful of running afoul of child pornography laws.

    “ ‘Skins’ is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way,” she said in a statement. “We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards. We are confident that the episodes of ‘Skins’ will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.”

    Child pornography is defined by the United States as any visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In some cases, “a picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive,” according to the Justice Department’s legal guidance. Anyone younger than 18 is considered to be a minor.

    The youngest cast member on “Skins” is 15.

    “Skins” is an import from Britain, a country that has historically displayed a higher tolerance for TV eroticism than the United States. The episodes for MTV, including the third one, which was shared with TV critics, are virtually identical to the source material.

    The remade episodes, like the ones in Britain, included simulated masturbation, implied sexual assault, and teenagers disrobing and getting into bed together.

    With ads that feature groups of barely clothed teenagers, “Skins” is surely one of the most sexually charged programs that MTV has featured. Before it even had its premiere, the Parents Television Council, a TV watchdog group, labeled “Skins” the “most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children.” The group objected to the gratuitous scenes of drug and alcohol use, violence and sexual acts.

    Of course, those scenes may be what attract young viewers in the first place. Jessica Bennett, a senior writer for Newsweek, wrote last week, “ ‘Skins’ may be the most realistic show on television.”

    The show is off to a running start. It attracted 3.3 million to its premiere on Monday night and set a new first-episode record for the channel among viewers ages 12 to 34.

    Episodes of “Skins” are rated TV-MA, indicating that the content may be unsuitable for viewers younger than 17. MTV states in news releases that it is “specifically designed to be viewed by adults.” However, many of MTV’s viewers are in middle and high school. According to the Nielsen Company, the first episode drew 1.2 million people younger than 18.

    MTV noted that the episodes were being shown only at or after 10 p.m. Eastern, and said in the statement, “We also have taken numerous steps to alert viewers to the strong subject matter so that they can choose for themselves whether it is appropriate.”

    It is unclear when MTV first realized that the show may be vulnerable to child pornography charges. On Tuesday, a flurry of meetings took place at the network’s headquarters in New York, according to an executive who attended some of the meetings and spoke only on the condition of anonymity. In one of the meetings, the executives wondered aloud who could possibly face criminal prosecution and jail time if the episodes were broadcast without changes.

    Days earlier, MTV held a premiere party for the series in Manhattan. Ensconced there in the V.I.P. perch, the actors huddled around one another and stared in awe at the youthful party that was under way — while unable to partake in the free alcohol that was flowing in the 21-and-older area. By midnight, several of the actors appeared to have headed home with their parents.

    Referring to the largely unknown actors, Bryan Elsley, an executive producer of “Skins,” said in a letter to critics last month, “They’re making the characters their own and demanding that their voices be heard.”

    Mr. Elsley and his producing partners did not respond to interview requests on Wednesday, but MTV executives were known to be worried about how the producers would react to the planned changes. The channel intends for the editing to obscure some of the sexual content in the third episode and others.

    There are, of course, innumerable examples of youthful sexuality being packaged by the media. Amy M. Adler, a professor of law at New York University who specializes in free speech, art and pornography, pointed to the teenage singer Miley Cyrus’s revealing photo shoots and the CW network’s use of condemnations by the Parents Television Council of the risqué drama “Gossip Girl” to promote the show.

    “There are times when I look at mainstream culture and think it is skirting up against the edge of child pornography law,” she said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/business/media/20mtv.html?_r=2&scp=2&sq=Skins&st=cse

  21. Oakland 2nd Graders Reportedly Engage In Sex Acts, Teacher Suspended

    January 21, 2011 12:19 AM
    Print Share 139
    Markham Elementary School in Oakland. (CBS)

    Markham Elementary School in Oakland. (CBS)

    OAKLAND (CBS 5) — A teacher at Oakland’s Markham Elementary School has been suspended indefinitely after school officials said a pair of second-graders performed sex acts on each other in class – with the teacher present.

    “I think everyone is taken aback over this shocking incident,” Troy Flint, the spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District, told CBS 5 on Thursday. “Of course, it is hard to understand how that could have occurred.”

    Flint said the sex acts incident was one of two separate cases under investigation involving the teacher; both incidents occurred last week in the same classroom but he said they didn’t come to the attention of school officials until Wednesday.

    In one case, several students apparently took off their clothes and were naked in the classroom. In the second incident, a boy and girl reportedly engaged in oral sex in front of their classmates.

    Flint indicated that the suspended teacher, whose name was not released by the school district, was present for both of the incidents.

    Flint and Markham principal Pam Booker said they were limited in terms of the details they could release at this time because of the ongoing investigation into the matter.

    Booker noted that the students said to be involved in the incidents were interviewed by school leaders.

    In a letter sent to parents of Markham students on Thursday, Booker offered an apology by telling them that the incidents “represent an unacceptable lack of supervision. I understand there is great anger over this news.”

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/01/21/oakland-2nd-graders-reportedly-engage-in-sex-acts-teacher-suspended/

    • It’s because our past president said this really wasn’t sex at all, remember?

      This has got to be some pre-April Fool’s joke, right? Even for SanFran this is beyond, beyond.

      • There is an investigation and it was reported in the paper-Guess we will have to wait to see what the investigation finds.

        Calif School Eyes Report Of Sex By 2nd Graders

        POSTED: 2:02 pm MST January 21, 2011
        UPDATED: 2:06 pm MST January 21, 2011
        OAKLAND, Calif. — A second-grade teacher in Northern California was placed on leave while the school investigates a report by a student that classmates engaged in oral sex and stripped off some of their clothes during class, officials said Friday.

        “We believe if the reports are true, there was a serious lapse of judgment or lack of supervision in the classroom,” said Troy Flint, a spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District.

        The name of the Markham Elementary School teacher has not been released. The teacher said he did not see any of the suspected acts take place, Flint said.

        The principal learned Wednesday of the allegations after the student came forward, A letter was sent Thursday informing parents there was an investigation.

        Counselors were on-hand Friday to speak with students at the school. Investigators were also interviewing students and faculty to find out what might have occurred last week.

        The district emphasized the students were not accused of any wrongdoing.

        “It’s an incident of kids expressing their natural curiosity that went too far because an adult didn’t step in,” Flint said.

        http://www.kpho.com/news/26575038/detail.html

  22. Lead Story
    The Philadelphia Horror: How mass murder gets a pass
    By Michelle Malkin • January 21, 2011 12:00 AM

    The “fetal material”-stuffed freezer at Philadelphia’s “Women’s Medical Society”

    The mainstream news reports about Philadelphia’s serial baby-killer Kermit Gosnell and his abortion clinic death squad only scratch the surface of his barbaric enterprise. You must, must, must read the entire, graphic, 281-page grand jury report (embedded after my column below) to fully fathom the systematic execution of hundreds of (not just seven) healthy, living, breathing, squirming, viable babies — along with an untold number of mothers who may have lost their lives in his sick, grimy chamber of horrors as well. It is explicit. It is enraging. It will haunt you.

    Ask yourself why you are not hearing about which root causes and whose rhetoric are to blame for this four-decades-long massacre — just the tip of a blood-soaked iceberg defended by the predators of Planned Parenthood. You know the answer: If it doesn’t help the Left criminalize conservatism, it’s not worth discussing.

    Over to you, eugenics-inspired, eco-freak Obama science czar John Holdren…

    ***

    The Philadelphia Horror: How mass murder gets a pass
    by Michelle Malkin
    Creators Syndicate
    Copyright 2011

    Let’s give the “climate of hate” rhetoric a rest for a moment. It’s time to talk about the climate of death in which the abortion industry thrives unchecked. Dehumanizing rhetoric, rationalizing language, and a callous disregard for life have numbed America to its monstrous consequences. Consider the Philadelphia Horror.

    In the City of Brotherly Love, hundreds of babies were murdered by a scissors-wielding monster over four decades. Whistleblowers informed public officials at all levels of the wanton killings of innocent life. But a parade of government health bureaucrats and advocates protecting the abortion racket looked the other way – until, that is, a Philadelphia grand jury finally exposed the infanticide factory run by abortionist Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D., and a crew of unlicensed, untrained butchers masquerading as noble providers of women’s “choice.” Prosecutors charged Gosnell and his death squad with multiple counts of murder, infanticide, conspiracy, abuse of corpse, theft, and other offenses.

    The 281-page grand jury report (see full embedded document below) released Wednesday provides a bone-chilling account of how Gosnell’s “Women’s Medical Society” systematically preyed on poor, minority pregnant women and their live, viable babies. The report’s introduction lays out the criminal enterprise that claimed the lives of untold numbers of babies — and mothers:

    “This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”

    Echoing the same kind of dark euphemisms plied by Planned Parenthood propagandists who refer to unborn life as “fetal and uterine material,” Gosnell referred to his deadly trade as “ensuring fetal demise.” Reminiscent of the word wizards who refer to the skull-crushing partial-birth abortion procedure as “intact dilation and evacuation” and “intrauterine cranial decompression,” Gosnell described his destruction of babies’ spinal cords as “snipping.”

    He rationalized his macabre habit of cutting off dead babies’ feet and saving them in rows and rows of specimen jars as “research.”

    His guilt-ridden employees then took photos of some of the victims before dumping them in shoe-boxes, paper bags, one-gallon spring-water bottles, and glass jars.

    They weren’t the only ones who adopted a see-no-evil stance:

    *The Pennsylvania Department of Health knew of clinic violations dating back decades, but did nothing;

    *The Pennsylvania Department of State was “repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell” – including the clinic’s unclean, unsterile conditions, unlicensed workers, unsupervised sedation, underage abortion patients, and over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street – “and repeatedly chose to do nothing.”

    *Philadelphia Department of Public Health officials who regularly visited Gosnell’s human waste-clogged offices did nothing;

    *Nearby hospital officials who treated some of the pregnant mothers who suffered grave complications from Gosnell’s butchery did nothing; and

    *The National Abortion Federation, the leading association of abortion providers that is supposed to uphold strict health and legal standards, determined that Gosnell’s chamber of horrors was “the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected” – but did nothing.

    Meanwhile, the death racketeers have launched a legislative and regulatory assault across the country on pro-life crisis pregnancy centers from New York City to Baltimore, Austin, and Seattle who offer abortion alternatives, counseling, and family services to mostly poor, vulnerable, minority women.

    Already, left-wing journalists and activists have rushed to explain that these abortion atrocities ignored for four decades by abortion radicals and rationalizers are not really about abortion. A Time magazine writer argued that the Philadelphia Horror was “about poverty, not Roe V. Wade.” A University of Minnesota professor declared: “This is not about abortion.”

    But the grand jury itself pointed out that loosened oversight of abortion clinics enacted under pro-choice former GOP governor Tom Ridge enabled Gosnell’s criminal enterprise – and led to the heartless execution of hundreds of babies. Mass murder got a pass in the name of expanding “access” and appeasing abortion lobbyists. As the report made clear: “With the change of administration from [pro-life Democrat] Governor Casey to Governor Ridge,” government health officials “concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”

    Deadly indifference to protecting life isn’t tangential to the abortion industry’s existence – it’s at the core of it. The Philadelphia Horror is no anomaly. It’s the logical, blood-curdling consequence of an evil, eugenics-rooted enterprise wrapped in feminist clothing.

    http://michellemalkin.com/

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      I also read that his employees are just as guilty as he was & most of them were unlicensed in another article. What a horrible, horrible thing to do. How would he feel if some one did that to him. I won’t put down what I really think here, because there isn’t any nice way of putting it.

    • Where is the media???????????

      Compare their non-response to this story to their reporting on the Tucson shooting.

      Tucson was because of right-wing hate rhetoric and use of cross-hairs but this is just one isolated incidence of a bad doctor.

      Hmmmmm????

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Hasn’t exactly been a non-response. I’ve read about this on various sites from different sources across the political spectrum.

        And this is not a result of the pro-choice movement’s rhetoric nor message itself. This is not even an issue of abortion, but of clear and deliberate murder. As the post states:

        “This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women.”

        • And Loughner in Tucson was about a mentally ill man who chose to kill.

          Exactly my point – Why is this being handled differently by the media?

          Why isn’t Planned Parenthood an accessory to this crime? Why not all pro-abortion activists? Why not anyone that approves of late term abortion as a woman’s right?

          • Let me help out, It’s Palin’s fault. It’s Beck’s fault. It’s the Tea Parties fault. If the Liberal Media are going to act like total dipshits, they could at least be consistant. This just shows the rediculousness of their past actions.

          • My thoughts exactly-although I would put the blame on the shoulders of the so called inspectors. And I do believe that you can blame the lack of respect for life-makes it much easier for these woman to think it’s okay to kill their babies whether they are “viable” outside the body or not. If you tell people it is okay to kill babies in the womb-that thought will grow to include other justifications. And one of the current justifications for abortion -woman will get abortions anyway-yea they will still get abortions that are illegal when they are legal even if it means killing life(at least by the current legal definition of life). So we encourage people to kill babies for what reason-so there will be more. Do we really want to encourage this practice by teaching our children that it is okay to destroy babies in the womb.

            • Speak of the devil-here you go.

              The Baby Butcher
              Pro-choice absolutism and the grisly abortion scandal in Philadelphia.
              By William SaletanPosted Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, at 8:48 AM ET

              Pregnant woman. Click image to expand.Should there be a limit on when women can seek abortions?Should abortion be allowed late in pregnancy? Some feminists say yes. In recent months, several have stepped forward to condemn talk of compromise between pro-choice and pro-life moderates. Women’s autonomy, they argue, must be absolute.

              Now these absolutists face an awkward discovery. A grand jury in Philadelphia has indicted a local doctor for running an abortion clinic in which no limits applied. Babies of all sizes and gestational ages were casually butchered. It’s a tale of gore and nihilism—and an occasion for pro-choice advocates to reflect on the limits of reproductive freedom.

              The absolutists have been up in arms since October, when pro-choice moderates met with pro-lifers at Princeton University to discuss their differences and possible areas of collaboration. What irks the absolutists most is the notion of restricting second-trimester abortions. But their commitment to reproductive autonomy doesn’t end at the second trimester. Implicitly and often explicitly, it extends to the third.

              Last month, two leading reproductive rights activists, Steph Herold and Susan Yanow, published an essay rejecting the concept of time limits. They write:

              Women have no obligation to make a decision as soon as they possibly can. The only obligation women have is to take the time they need to make the decision that is right for them. Don’t we believe that women are moral decision makers, and carefully consider their options when faced with an unwanted pregnancy? Don’t we reject the anti-choice rhetoric that women make the decision to have an abortion callously? The pro-choice movement takes a step backward when we judge that a woman has taken too long to make what may be a life-changing decision. Shouldn’t we want women to take the time they need to make the best decision, regardless of where they are in the pregnancy?

              Marge Berer, founding editor of Reproductive Health Matters, takes a similar position. In an article on the same site, RH Reality Check, she argues that “an abortion provider must never pass judgement on the validity of a woman’s need for an abortion.” Instead, “abortion providers should act as technicians with a clinical skill to offer.” According to Berer, “anyone who thinks they have the right to refuse even one woman an abortion can’t continue to claim they are pro-choice.”
              Advertisement

              Berer takes particular offense at a moral limit suggested by pro-choice writer Frances Kissling. Kissling has proposed that “when a fetus reaches the point where it could survive outside the uterus, is healthy, and the woman is healthy, and she has had five months to make up her mind, we should say no to abortion.” Berer quotes this statement with dismay and repudiates it with a question: “Who exactly are the ‘we’ that she [Kissling] now considers herself to be part of?” Berer concludes that “there will always be a handful of women” who don’t make their abortion decisions before 20 or 24 weeks, and “the pro-choice thing to do is to support them and do the abortions anyway.”

              Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, goes further. “Is there anything qualitatively different about a fetus at, say, 28 weeks that gives it a morally different status to a fetus at 18 weeks or even eight weeks?” she asks. “Why should we assume later abortions are ‘bad’—or, at least, ‘more wrong’ than early ones?” Furedi rejects this assumption and concludes that “in later pregnancy, too, I believe that the decision, and the responsibility that comes with it, should rest with the pregnant woman. … We either support women’s moral agency or we do not. … There is no middle ground to straddle.”

              Among other things, this means no time limits. Furedi argues that “women should have access to abortion as early as possible and as late as necessary.” In her current essay, she writes: “To argue that a woman should no longer be able to make a moral decision about the future of her pregnancy, because 20 or 18 or 16 weeks have passed, assaults [moral autonomy] and, in doing so, assaults the tradition of freedom of conscience…” In fact, “the delivery of an abortion procedure in the second (and even third) trimester is preferable to its denial.”

              These essays vary, but together, they capture the absolutist worldview. There’s no moral difference between eight, 18, and 28 weeks. No one has the right to judge another person’s abortion decision, regardless of her stage of pregnancy. Each woman is entitled to decide not only whether to have an abortion, but how long she can wait to make that choice.

              It’s one thing to preach these ideas in the lefty blogosphere. It’s quite another to see them in practice. That’s where Kermit Gosnell, the doctor at the center of the Philadelphia scandal, comes in. According to the newly released grand jury report, Gosnell accepted abortion patients without regard to gestational age. “Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere—because they were too pregnant,” the report explains. “More and more of his patients came from out of state and were late second-trimester patients. Many of them were well beyond 24 weeks. Gosnell was known as a doctor who would perform abortions at any stage, without regard for legal limits.”

              This meant killing viable babies. “We were able to document seven specific incidents in which Gosnell or one of his employees severed the spine of a viable baby born alive,” the grand jury concludes. One victim was killed at 26 weeks. Another was killed at 28. A third was killed at 32. Some of the dead were 12 to 18 inches long. One had been moving and breathing outside the womb for 20 minutes. The report alleges hundreds of such atrocities. One employee admitted to severing the spinal cords of 100 babies, each one beyond 24 weeks.

              Gosnell, as described in the report, is hardly what the absolutists have in mind when they speak of reproductive freedom. According to the indictment, he treated his patients like garbage and caused one of them to die. But those are separate charges. Regardless of how those charges turn out, the grand jury has recommended that Gosnell be prosecuted for murder in the deaths of seven babies, for infanticide in the deaths of two others, and for 33 felony counts of performing abortions after 24 weeks in violation of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act.

              The question for Furedi, Berer, Yanow, Herold, and anyone else who asserts an indefinite right to choose is whether this part of the indictment should be dropped. You can argue that what Gosnell did wasn’t conventional abortion—he routinely delivered the babies before slitting their necks—but the 33 proposed charges involving the Abortion Control Act have nothing to do with that. Those charges pertain strictly to a time limit: performing abortions beyond 24 weeks. Should Gosnell be prosecuted for violating that limit? Is it OK to outlaw abortions at 28, 30, or 32 weeks? Or is drawing such a line an unacceptable breach of women’s autonomy?

              Throwing Gosnell in jail won’t solve the problem. The women who came to him at 26, 28, or 30 weeks will show up somewhere else. And if you won’t say no to them, you will have to say yes.

              http://www.slate.com/id/2281812/

          • One question-what should we do with these poor desperate woman who willingly broke the law. Are we so heartless that we will actually put them in jail or force then to actually go to court to determine a reasonable judgement? Afterall they are still poor and desperate. And yes-this question is full of sarcasm.

        • Murphy's Law says:

          “This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women.”

          This case is about a doctor who could do whatever the hell he wanted in his clinic and made a boatload of money killing babies and endangering women.

          The abortion industry is not about providing choice for women. Nor is it about women’s health. It is and has always been about making an unbelievable

          amount of money killing babies.

  23. My Trip To Sam’s Club

    Yesterday I was at my local Sam’s Club
    Buying a large bag of Purina dog chow
    For my loyal pet, Rover and was in the
    Checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.
    What did she think I had, an elephant? So since
    I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I
    Didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again… I added that I
    Probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that
    I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with
    Tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
    I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that
    It works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply
    Eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally
    Complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.. (I have to
    Mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with
    My story.)
    Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because
    The dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff
    An Irish Setter’s ass and a car hit us both.
    I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart
    Attack he was laughing so hard.
    Sam’s Club won’t let me shop there anymore..

    • I want to believe that’s a true story so badly it hurts.

    • ROFLMAO

    • A first-grade teacher, Ms. Brooks, was having trouble with one of her students.
      The teacher asked, ‘Harry, what’s your problem?’

      Harry answered, ‘I’m too smart for the 1st grade. My sister is in the 3rd grade and I’m smarter than she is! I think I should be in the 3rd grade too!’

      Ms. Brooks had had enough. She took Harry to the principal’s office.

      While Harry waited in the outer office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was. The principal told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test.
      If he failed to answer any of his questions he was to go back to the 1st grade and behave.

      She agreed.
      Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.

      Principal: ‘What is 3 x 3?’
      Harry: ‘9.’

      Principal: ‘What is 6 x 6?’
      Harry: ’36.’

      And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know.

      The principal looks at Ms. Brooks and tells her, ‘I think Harry can go to the 3rd grade.’

      Ms. Brooks says to the principal,
      ‘Let me ask him some questions.’

      The principal and Harry both agreed

      Ms. Brooks asks, ‘What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?’

      Harry, after a moment: ‘Legs.’

      Ms Brooks: ‘What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?’

      The principal wondered why would she ask such a question!

      Harry replied: ‘Pockets.’

      Ms. Brooks: ‘What does a dog do that a man steps into?’

      Harry: ‘Pants.’

      Ms. Brooks: What starts with a C, ends with a T, is hairy, oval, delicious and contains thin, whitish liquid?’

      Harry: ‘Coconut.’

      The principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.

      Ms. Brooks: ‘What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?’

      The principal’s eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer,
      Harry replied, ‘Bubblegum.’

      Ms. Brooks: ‘What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?’

      Harry: ‘Shake hands.’
      The principal was trembling.
      Ms. Brooks: ‘What word starts with an ‘F’ and ends in ‘K’ that means a lot of heat and excitement?’

      Harry: ‘Firetruck.’

      The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher,

      ‘Put Harry in the fifth-grade,………………… I
      got the last seven questions wrong….

  24. Gold 1340.00 and dropping yet demand is up.
    Why is that BF?

    • When the gold price falls, it is evidence of government manipulation.

      When the gold price rises, it is evidence of lack of faith in government issued fiat currency.

    • Texas, Mathius,

      As Rogers says – it’s taking a “breather”.

      People are selling to pay for their Christmas – this is establishing a “new floor” price for the commodity, we probably will not see these low prices for quite awhile after this.

      The fundamentals have not changed. Prices are rising across the board. The smart money is still buying bonds and T-bills. When they figure out they will be stiffed …….

      Mathius, that is true over a longer term than a week. You have to look at the 6month 12month trends to make that claim.

  25. Buck the Wala says:

    Not to dredge up the debate on the constitutionality of a health insurance mandate once again, but I came across something this morning that is very interesting.

    Apparently, the Federal Gov’t had mandated the purchase of health insurance before — in 1798! Those crazy 18th century progressives not understanding the limits of the Constitution…

    http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_j_orourke/2010/03/24/news_pres_signs_h-care_insurance_mandate-212_years_ago

    • And then what happened? Heh Heh…

    • Buck

      The old law is interesting but I do not think it displays “original intent” in the way that Mr. ORourke and all those hanging their hat on this would like.

      If they want to play that game then they must use the definition of “commerce” that was in effect at that time. Said definition would have included “shipping” but would not have included “health insurance” for private citizens across state lines.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      While trying to learn more about this, I see it is all over the net. Were we the only blog in the world unaware of this 🙂

      So far it appears to be taxes paid by users/merchant marine/sailors, for Government run Insurance, for care under the Marine Hospital Service. It will be interesting to learn more about this.

      While basically being forced to buy into this service, it is not insurance from private insurance companies across state lines.

      Need more time to wrap my head around this……….

      Nice find Buck!

      • Yea, this surprised me-Have a hard time believing that there isn’t something wrong with this-or the lawyers for the government would be using it to help their case-they aren’t as far as I know????

        Also wondering why this went away and when-was it found to be unconstitutional-or did the need just go away-Many ,many questions.

    • http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/cp/vol-09/no-01/rao/

      The Left will always try to spin shit into gold, and, always fail. This article is a great historical look at the subject, it’s purpose and the reason behind it. It has NOTHING to do with a nationwide mandate to buy health insurance. Grasping at straws 👿

      • From the article: Eventually customs and treasury officials restricted the length of hospital stays. In 1821 Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford banned the marine hospitals from admitting “incurable” and “insane” seamen.

        Govt mandated healthcare and “death panels” nice history the Progressives want us to have as a future.

      • In addition, there is no mention of this Act being challenged on it’s Constitutional merits. It set’s no precedent nor “because they did it then” have any bearing on todays issues.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Your link, everything one would want to know and more about this topic! Yikes, how did you find that? 😉

        • APD,

          Knowing that the Progressive agenda can only be acheived through deceit, I went through page after page of Left Wing mythical BS until I found it. It took awhile, but really enjoyed the article. Reading something without political spin was refreshing. Unlike conspiracy theories, most of the “Left Wing” spin can be debunked quickly. HEHE 🙂

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Thinking out loud again …………………..

      To regulate commerce or to make commerce regular. Seeing to it that the all important merchant marine was kept a healthy vibrant force, would fall under the commerce clause. Forcing seaman to purchase government run health insurance and healthcare, IF not violating other Constitutional Liberties, and a big IF, would then fall under making commerce regular.

      So is forcing all Americans who have the ability to breath, to purchase private health insurance at ‘whatever price’ helping to keep commerce regular? Or is it favoring one form of commerce over any other? Dollars spent one place can’t be spent another place.

    • Precedent does not override the constitution. The 1798 proposed law was not constitutional. Neither was the legal requirement of all landowners to grow at least two hemp plants to reduce our dependence on “foreign rope”. There have been laws in place for a long time that went against constitutional principles, it is one of the reasons I like the idea of a constitutional litmus test for all laws, not just those challenged and taken to court.

      • The 1700s maritime world was very different from now. There were all sorts of exceptions made for ships and ship captains that went against the principles of freedom. Even the existence of the admiralty flag, which gave judge, jury, executioner powers to the captain was obviously out of line with “due process” requirements, and was put in place because of various precedents and traditions and fear of mutinies, etc. Such things should be removed and railed against, not relied upon as justification for modern destruction of freedom.

  26. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I wonder what else was involved in the thinking of doing this. Maybe the marine hospital service (never heard of it before) was going broke tending to sick sailors hired from other countries? Lots we might not know here.

    Maybe we could learn something here, and apply it to illegal immigrants soaking up hospital resources.

  27. Hey! to all you new FB friends! Now we are really getting to know each other……

    😉

  28. @ Buck : I know a little about it but will know more after next week. In our legislature down here, there are no closed doors and even committee meetings are taped and aired and are open to the public. There are 12 of us heading down to Austin to attend some specific committee meetings and budget meetings to hear the details.

    There are several public service agendas that are going to be cut or reduced. One of them is in the State employees. 194 positions being eliminated immediately…with estimates ranging to over 230 positions. Since our legislature is not paid except for the time spent in session every two years, there is no great expenditure here. we do not have professional representatives. But, there are a lot of state agencies that are way over staffed, according to the Comptrollers office. There are highway crews that are way over staffed and waste is prevalent in those areas. Texas is pay as you go. To raise revenues without raising taxes, our fee system is relatively high compared to other states. However, in Texas, our fee system actually funds the department it is relative to…..example. The State and Parks Service uses some tax money but its budget is based on fees for entering the parks..consequently, the admission fees are higher than most states.

    The assistance programs are being targeted for waste and abuse. One thing we have to watch is the broad sword….hence, the targeting of services going to illegals being first and foremost. The state run food stamp and welfare programs are being targeting with increased vigilance and greater background checks to determine eligibility.

    a huge drain is in our educational system. We do not have a problem like New York or Rhode Island has in not getting rid of teachers due to unions, we have a problem with ineffective administrators not getting rid of bad teachers because of a good old boy system. One of the areas discussed is not only a rating system tied to merit of teachers, but funding based on a rating system tied to the administration of school districts. we have a rating system tied to the the merits of teaching in a lot of districts now and it seems to be working. Job performance is measured by test scores and goals being met.

    There is great pressure being applied to the free lunch program that had been expanded to breakfast and now to dinners in some areas. Discount food prices to students and free meals to most….with no supervision. For example, a kid whose family makes one million dollars gets free lunches…it is not supposed to happen that way but it does. So, there is a great push on to properly qualify recipients that are truly needy. This is a huge expenditure and this qualification will include visits to the homes and part of the process. It is streamlining the programs to where the initial savings will come from….

  29. Social Justice as defined by Van Jones:

    http://www.therightscoop.com/van-jones-explains-social-justice

  30. Because it freaks me out when I agree with Black Flag, I feel we should list briefly the topics which are to be avoided in the future so that we don’t find ourselves in a situation where we have to agree again.

    1. Islam is peaceful – at least as peaceful as the other major religions.
    2. People should be allowed to live where they want to. Immigration quotas are BS.
    3. Gold is shiny.
    4. Drugs are a personal matter – it is my body and I’ll do whatever I damn well please to it. (note, that does not excuse me for robbing a liquor store to pay for my meth addiction).
    5. The United States is a Christian Theocracy.
    6. You never count your money while you’re sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough for counting when the dealin’s done.
    7. Falling down a flight of stairs in an unpleasant activity.
    8. Quantum mechanics are complicated, and it’s distinctly possible that all current theories are wildly inaccurate.

    I think that about covers it.. anything to add, pirate?

    • Mathius,

      Correct #(6) – you have to count your chips at the table – your opponent has a right to know how much damage you can do to his stack.

      Add:
      (9) – Intelligence is not bulletproof.

      • #6: If you play correctly, counting your chips should never be necessary. You should have your opponent clearly covered so that if they ask for a count, you can just respond “a lot more than you.”

        #9: Intelligence is not bulletproof.. but it sure doesn’t hurt.

        #10: Bush Jr. was a lousy President.

        #11: Gay people are people, too. They should be treated equally in all regards. DOMA should be repealed, not that the government should be in the business of defining or permitting marriages anyway.

        #12: Violence begets more violence. Usually.

        #13: If you shoot a trespasser, a wise course of action is to bury the body and never mention it.

        #14: When I drove to work this morning and skidded in the snow, it was a good thing that I missed (barely) the pickup truck in front of me with the bumper sticker reading “When in doubt, empty the magazine.”

    • Ok Matt…think about this…..SORRY USW…but this may throw SUFA-ites into confusion.

      Today…this day….

      Matt, Buck, BF, Gman AND D13…all in tacit agreement on an Islamic point today.

      Whoa….this is scary.

      • That’s it. Site is closed down. I cannot take this kind of madness. I created SUFA to enable people to sit down and have respectable discussion where we intelligently put forth our points. But now that we have that group all in agreement, I realize that I have apparently done some funny mixing in chemistry class and there is likely to be an explosion. For the safety of all involved, I believe the only thing to do is shut the site down.

        • Kinda makes ya want to run off a short pier, doesn’t it? IT was a full moon recently,,,perhaps that is a reason.

          Also, it could be a cleverly designed psyops ploy.

        • Hey! Our fearless leader makes a guest appearance!

          Hope the recovery is going well.

          But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of other stuff we all disagree about. Watch this:

          The government is better at spending your money than you are.

          Abortion is not murder because a fetus is not a person.

          Obama is doing a great job.

          Society’s needs trump individual’s needs.

          The Jets are better than the Steelers. (I don’t actually care, but this should be an inflammatory statement)

          New York is better than Texas by all important metrics. Similarly, SoCal is better than NoCal.

          Red Bull is better than Dr. Pepper.

          Health Care mandates are constitutional, good for society, and will bring down costs.

          Army is better than Navy.

          There, that should get the ball rolling again.. no need to shut down SUFA.

          • Matt,

            If States like Texas and Arizona, ect. pass laws that require a Presidential candidate to produce a long form birth certificate to be put on the ballot in that State, will Obama still run for a second term despite not being on the ballot in several States?

            • Sure, why not? It’s not like he can win Texas anyway, and AZ is probably a long shot at this point. So, what does he lose if they decide to be conspiracy theorists?

              • Why is it a conspiracy theory? Because, 1. despite all BS about it, it has not been released, 2. Anybody that spends 1 million bucks to hide his past, has something to hide. 3. The Hawaiian governor can’t seem to find one in the archives. 4. because you said so? 5. Most conspiracy theories rae eventually proven to be actual conspiracies (AGW for example). 6. He has a obligation to the country to be honest about everything. 7. He wants to steal your Grog and rape your raptors!

          • Army is WAAAAAYYYYYY better than Navy…. except at football, apparently

      • TexasChem says:

        What was the point? I missed it somehow…

        • I’m fairly sure they agreed that-Sharia Law is not creeping into our Progressive cities. That there is no present danger of this based on the case were the Judge wouldn’t give a muslam woman a restraining order based on the fact that her husband wasn’t rapping her according to his beliefs that he had the right to have sex with her.

  31. If this is true (don’t knock the source – just ask John Edwards), it is truly Karma!

    As I recall from a previous discussion with Mathius, (the justify abortion version is) humans start out as nothing but parasites. Then if they allow themselves to be severely brainwashed and follow and promote a progessive path through life, they promote continued living off of others as a fair and just society, ie parasites.

    And now The One may have been invaded by intestinal parasites!?!

    Karma, baby, Karma!

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/obama_scary_skinny_stomach_parasite_hawaii/celebrity/70029

  32. WAY TO GO GENE SIMMONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. @ Matt……ok…your defenses are getting pretty good…but really, Matt….sending out female Raptors in mini skirts as a distraction to my siege is beyond the pail even for you.

    BTW..inquiring minds want to know….how did you manage to get a female raptor in the first place…and then how did you manage to get them in a miniskirt?

    • How did I get one: I have another tunnel.

      How did I get it in a miniskirt: carefully.

      .. I was going to use In ‘n’ Out burgers, but then I ate them all before I could use them to bait traps.

      Now get off my lawn! (throws 8th Red Bull of the day at the nearest raptor)

      You know what? Fine, stay put. See if I care. I’m just going to go drink all the grog by myself, then there’s no point for you to be here.

      Mathius wonders aloud what 4,000 gallons of grog will do to his liver…

      • OK, well, 3,999 gallons of grag left. This is going tobe more difi- dificult than *hic* than I thought. Well, at least those damned rappers, er, raptors, couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a rocket luncher.

        Hmm.. wonder what a rocket luncher is.. is that like someone who eats rockets for lunch? Or is that a rocket which happens to be eating lunch?

        Oh man, that made no cents. *hic* I probably ment to write sense there, but cents is foneticly the same thing. See what I *hic* did there? See what I did there? Huh? huh? I speeled phonetically phonetically. Now, where was I?

        Oh yes, 3,998 gallons of groog on the wall.. 3,998 gallons of grog. Take one down, give yourself cirrhosis of the liver. I don’t think that’s how the song goes, is it?

        Anway, as I was saying, get off my damn lawn, you hippies! So, yea, I skidded in the snow, like I mentiond to flack blag somehwere above. The guy had a bumper sicker (whcich he didn’t put on his bumper, so is it still a bumper sticker or is it now a window sticker?) anyway, it said “when in doubt, empty the magazine” bu5t that didn’t seem wise to me.. when in doubt, you should conserve ammo, and probably seek cover ’cause thats when the raptors strike (“clever girl..”). *hic*

        But yea, he had that and he had another sticker with sergeant’s stripes, and onther that said “there’s no such thing as an ex-marine”, and annother saying a bunch of other things that I forgot, but I sure was glad I didn’t hit his truck. But also, his truck was bigger than my car and it probably would have broken mine and that would have made me sad.

        You’re so not going to get any of the grog, D.. you know, D, I don’t even know your name, or what D13 stands for. DPM, that jerk, said that your pappy was named D12, and that makes sense, but what does he know? I checked the google in case it was some kind of military designation , but I didn’t see anything jump out at me – which is good, because if things jumped out at me from google, that would probably upset me.

        So, I’m going to say that – 3,997 by the way – the D stands for Domingo. Can I call you Domingo? Good. So, Domingo, that just leaves us wondering what the 13 means. Of course the most obvious explanation is that it’s your shoe size. You seem like the type to have really big clown feet.

        And another thign…

        *thud*

        • Make him research the archives colonel..he’ll see what the D stands for….might learn a thing or two on the search!

        • Heh Heh……and with the resounding thud….the raptors strike….3,996 gallons of grog stolen while he snored to tunes of Arlo Guthrie. DPM sails off in the distance…YO HO YO HO….and a cask of grog for my crew….The secret tunnel is now closed but he does not know because he is still out with visions of Sarah Palin fleeting through his mind and sharing Red Bull with Glenn Beck over a BBQ dinner, while designing a new conservative mantra to live by ( a result of chugging grog at room temperature) at his home while listening to Rush Limbaugh and agreeing with Black Flag….on everything.

          D13 trying to figure out the reference to Domingo which means Sunday in English…scratching his head sipping a Dr. Pepper chuckling about New York being better than anybody and California worse than that….laughing inwardly at the size of the head Matt will have to corral when he wakes up realizing that before the Raptors left, they took a small projectile to the remaining cans of Red Bull and punctured them so there will be no FIZZ.

          Life is good.

  34. Happy Weekend Everyone!

    Cutting out early ’cause it’s colder than hell here and heading to club to get my run in for the day.

    BIG game on Sunday – always accept support for the green and gold so make sure to cheer on the Pack! I hope they make it to the big dance because that would be fun and all, but I really, really hope they win because I’ve been talking smack all week with (the) Bears (still suck) fans and I’m not into eating crow much and I’d be eating a lot of it.

    Hope Rodgers and the boys are ready for the horribly cold and bad field conditions of Soldier Field.

    GO PACK GO!

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.stpaulsjanesville.com/Portals/stpaulsjanesville/ContentRoot/UserFiles/mfenrick/Images/GreenBayPackers.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.stpaulsjanesville.com/Default.aspx%3FTabId%3D261&usg=__Z9qBLj59qAIgnabCPEA2Q3y-Iao=&h=514&w=712&sz=74&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=_hDd-VAHvyXNyM:&tbnh=134&tbnw=180&ei=3Nk5TcGRBIOclgfX8bTrBQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3DGo%2Bpack%2Bgo%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26rlz%3D1R2ADFA_enUS378%26biw%3D1419%26bih%3D696%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=434&oei=3Nk5TcGRBIOclgfX8bTrBQ&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=91&ty=79

  35. Anita, behave OK? Sucky reason to have a stroke!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41188500/ns/world_news-weird_news/?gt1=43001

  36. An interesting National Enquirer story:

    TODD PALIN SEX SCANDAL

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/todd_palin_sex_scandal_prostitute_shailey_tripp_exclusive/celebrity/70033

    SARAH PALIN’s husband TODD is caught up in a sleazy sex scandal, The ENQUIRER has learned!

    Political bloggers are digging into incredible claims that the “First Dude” – father of the couple’s five children – cheated on his wife with a female massage therapist who was busted for prostitution!

  37. Buck the Wala says:
    • Buck

      Once again the ignorance of the general public to the facts is reflected in a poll which proposes false choices.

      First, the option of pick ONE is not available. You MUST pick ALL THREE and even more.

      Given the screaming by the public over the payroll tax, and especially the demagoguery of the left in that regard, I was surprised to see a majority support that option to save these programs.

      Unfortunately they can not be saved, increase or not.

      But what the hell. The worlds coming to an end so lets keep up the party.

  38. Ray Hawkins says:

    Channel surfing after spending all day in ER – just saw that Keith Olbermann resigned on air.

    This is good and bad…….so long Keith.

    • I hope you and yours are okay!!

      Keith quit-must look this up

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks VH – severely sprained foot after a fall late last night.

        • Hope you got some good pills 🙂 A sprain hurts worse than a break in my opinion and for a longer time. What’s up this week-be careful out there folks!!!!

        • Murphy's Law says:

          Dang…..I hate that! 3 months ago I fell and dislocated my shoulder- no fracture, MRI showed no rotator cuff tear….just pain. It’s been a b****! You are much younger though, so you will heal much faster…..kisses to your foot and hope it gets better fast. Hard to keep up with the little bruiser, I guess, though…..

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Thanks Murph…….my little guy doesn’t quite understand that “Dad has a boo-boo”

            • My puppy’s the same way… just keeps bringing the big knotted rope and dropping it in my lap. But I can’t pull… at all. I feel bad cause he thinks I just don’t want to play with him.

              Hope you feel better Ray.

    • Hope all is good 🙂

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        G – was headed out to shed to grab a fresh can of gas (was prepping blower for the whopping 3-4 inches of snow we got – woohoo!). Foot slid on step on deck, caught a piece of ice and foot lodged – I fell forward but foot didn’t. Stubbornly I went and got the gas anyway. Got the blower ready. Then woke this morning unable to walk. Drove myself to ER and got lecture from nurse for driving injured. Perhaps I am stupid and stubborn at times.

        • Sorry to hear that, winter is taking it’s toll. I would have drove to the ER too! Hope you get better quick! Quit trying to keep up with Flag, testing the law of gravity is bad for your health! 🙂

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Hi Ray

          Gee, what’s up with you & Flag? First him & now you. Feel better soon Ray, & take Care.

        • Dont you hate it when that happens? I got the lecture from the fireman for fighting my fire.

          Hope your ankle gets better, my friend….in the meantime..enjoy the drugs.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Thanks D13 – I already threw the meds away. Hate taking the damn things. Nice bottle of scotch seems to help me better.

            • LOL… Mrs. Weapon just rolls her eyes because I stopped taking the pain meds one day after surgery. I would rather have the pain than the side effects. Besides, the pain lets you know you are alive (now who can name that movie?)

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Speculation rampant that Comcast, since the NBC deal was finally approved this week – was chomping at the bit to dump Olberamann (oddly to replace him with socialist Lawrence O’Donnell in the same time slot). This is as odd and perplexing as the big AM station in Philly dumping Glenn Beck.

      Oh well. Life moves on.

      • I thought KO did good in the sports arena, prior to his move to politics. I don’t think he was received well when he went back to doing NFL on NBC when they got Sunday Night Football. IMHO, had he stayed in sports, he would have done really well. His ratings tanked with politics, and sports fans don’t want politics (or their faces) on the TV on Sunday’s.

      • Ray

        I read somewhere a couple weeks back that KO was feuding with his bosses. Apparently his ego had decided he could tell them where the bear goes.

        If true, it is SOP to use a new buyer as cover to deal with “problems”.

        I was also perplexed by the Philly station dumping Beck, given his numbers. Wondered if someone got to the owners or the local advertisers.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @JAC – K.O. has always been known to be very combative with management & producers. Worked with a guy that years ago interned at ESPN while K.O. was there – said K.O. was the biggest dickhead imaginable – eventually whatever talent you supposedly have while on air gets offset by the fact no one likes you at the workplace.

          As for the Beck thing…..I still don’t get it. Anytime I was in the car I usually tuned in to catch him, Rush or Sean – if nothing else to see what other folks are talking about. 1210 supposedly is redoing their whole format to focus on local talent. The only local talent really is Smerconish – and lately he seems to just find whatever position will piss the fewest number of people off and then adopts it.

          I guess I’ll go back to books on tape and podcasts in the car with a little NPR mixed in.

          Hope everyone has a great weekend.

          GO PACKERS!

  39. Still thinking about this-but it’s interesting. Wonder where Jon has gotten too.

    The Science of Libertarian Morality
    A social psychology study explores the formation of the libertarian personality.

    Ronald Bailey from the February 2011 issue

    Libertarians are often cast as amoral calculating rationalists with an unseemly hedonistic bent. Now new social science research upends that caricature. Libertarians are quite moral, the researchers argue—just not in the same way that conservatives and liberals are.

    The University of Virginia social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done a lot of work in the past probing the different moral attitudes of American liberals and conservatives. With time he realized that a significant proportion of Americans did not fit the simplistic left/right ideological dichotomy that dominates our social discourse. Instead of ignoring the outliers, Haidt and his colleagues chose to dig deeper.

    The result: a fascinating new study, “Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Roots of an Individualist Ideology,” that is currently under review at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In probing libertarians’ moral thinking, Haidt and his colleagues—Ravi Iyer and Jesse Graham at the University of Southern California and Spassena Koleva and Peter Ditto at the University of California at Irvine—used the “largest dataset of psychological measures ever compiled on libertarians”: surveys of more than 10,000 self-identified libertarians gathered online at the website yourmorals.org.

    In his earlier work, Haidt surveyed the attitudes of conservatives and liberals using what he calls the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, which measures how much a person relies on each of five different moral foundations: harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity. Typically, conservatives scored lower than liberals on the harm and fairness scales—that is, they gave those issues less weight when making moral judgments—and scored much higher on ingroup, authority, and purity.

    In the new study, Haidt and his colleagues note that libertarians score low on all five of these moral dimensions. “Libertarians share with liberals a distaste for the morality of Ingroup, Authority, and Purity characteristic of social conservatives, particularly those on the religious right,” Haidt et al. write. Libertarians scored slightly below conservatives on harm and slightly above on fairness. These results suggest that libertarians are “likely to be less responsive than liberals to moral appeals from groups who claim to be victimized, oppressed, or treated unfairly.”

    Another survey, the Schwartz Value Scale, measures the degree to which participants regard 10 values as guiding principles for their lives. Libertarians put higher value on hedonism, self-direction, and stimulation than either liberals or conservatives, and they put less value than either on benevolence, conformity, security, and tradition. Like liberals, libertarians put less value on power, but like conservatives they have less esteem for universalism. Taking these results into account, Haidt concludes that “libertarians appear to live in a world where traditional moral concerns (e.g., respect for authority, personal sanctity) are not assigned much importance.”

    Haidt and his colleagues eventually recognized that their Moral Foundations Questionnaire was blinkered by liberal academic bias, failing to include a sixth moral foundation, liberty. They developed a liberty scale to probe this moral dimension. Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that libertarians dramatically outscored liberals and conservatives when it came to putting a high value on both economic and lifestyle liberty. Haidt and his colleagues conclude, “Libertarians may fear that the moral concerns typically endorsed by liberals or conservatives are claims that can be used to trample upon individual rights—libertarians’ sacred value.”

    Next the researchers wondered, “Might libertarians generally be dispositionally more rational and less emotional?” On the standard inventory of personality, libertarians scored lower than conservatives and liberals on agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extraversion. Low scores on agreeableness indicate a lack of compassion and a proud, competitive, and skeptical nature. Like conservatives, libertarians are not generally neurotic, tending to be emotionally hardy. And like liberals, libertarians scored high on openness to new experiences, indicating that they have broad interests.

    Libertarians scored lower than both liberals and (especially) conservatives on sensitivity to disgust. The authors suggest this tendency “could help explain why they disagree with conservatives on so many social issues, particularly those related to sexuality. Libertarians may not experience the flash of revulsion that drives moral condemnation in many cases of victimless offenses.”

    Some of the more intriguing results involve the empathizer/systemizer scale. Empathizers identify with another person’s emotions, whereas systemizers are driven to understand the underlying rules that govern behavior in nature and society. Libertarians, unlike both liberals and conservatives, scored very high on systemizing. The authors note, “We might say that liberals have the most ‘feminine’ cognitive style, and libertarians the most ‘masculine.’ ”

    The researchers also found that libertarians tend to be less flummoxed by various moral dilemmas, such as the famous “trolley problem.” In the trolley problem, five workmen will be killed by a runaway trolley unless you move a track switch which will divert the train but kill one workman—or, in another version, push a fat man off a bridge stopping the trolley. Typically, most people will choose to move the switch, but refuse to push the fat man. Why the difference? The utilitarian moral calculus is the same—save five by killing one. According to the researchers, libertarians are more likely to resolve moral dilemmas by applying this utilitarian calculus.

    Taking various measures into account, the researchers report that libertarians “score high on individualism, low on collectivism, and low on all other traits that involved bonding with, loving, or feeling a sense of common identity with others.” Haidt and his fellow researchers suggest that people who are dispositionally low on disgust sensitivity and high on openness to experience will be drawn to classically liberal philosophers who argue for the superordinate value of individual liberty. But also being highly individualistic and low on empathy, they feel little attraction to modern liberals’ emphasis on altruism and coercive social welfare policies. Haidt and his colleagues then speculate that an intellectual feedback loop develops in which such people will find more and more of the libertarian narrative agreeable and begin identifying themselves as libertarian. From Haidt’s social intuitionist perspective, “this process is no different from the psychological comfort that liberals attain in moralizing their empathic responses or that social conservatives attain in moralizing their connection to their groups.”

    I find Haidt’s account of the birth of libertarian morality fairly convincing. But as a social psychologist, Haidt fails to discuss what is probably the most important and intriguing fact about libertarian morality: It changed history by enabling at least a portion of humanity to escape our natural state of abject poverty. Libertarian morality, by rising above and rejecting primitive moralities embodied in the universalist collectivism of left-liberals and the tribalist collectivism of conservatives, made the rule of law, freedom of speech, religious tolerance, and modern prosperity possible. Liberals and conservatives may love people more than do libertarians, but love of liberty is what leads to true moral and economic progress.

    http://reason.com/archives/2011/01/20/the-science-of-libertarian-mor

    • The authors note, “We might say that liberals have the most ‘feminine’ cognitive style, and libertarians the most ‘masculine.’ ”

      Does that make our liberal friends “girlymen” 🙂

    • This is another study of several that I find disturbing of late. It seems there is an effort ongoing to “categorize” people using psychological testing. The implication is that we are all somehow “predisposed” to certain behaviors and thus political viewpoints.

      My concern is that this ignores the role of rational thinking, of reason itself, in human decision making, learning and growth. I am not the only one here who started out on the left but wound up in pretty much the libertarian or Radical Right Wing Liberal camp.

      In fact, I am reading a book of short autobiographies of contemporary Libertarian thinkers. Each tells how he/she became a Libertarian. So far only ONE, of about 10, claims he started that way. The other 9 all started their lives and careers as “liberals”.

      The findings are very interesting, although the “liberty” question was not asked of the liberals or conservatives. But I am still concerned over what the motivations really are of these types of studies.

      • Actually, they added the question and they said “Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that libertarians dramatically outscored liberals and conservatives when it came to putting a high value on both economic and lifestyle liberty.” I do agree that using someones political affiliation to determine their values is interesting but as many have said -none of us fit perfectly into the definitions. So any value in the conclusions is very limited and certainly shouldn’t be used to further stereotype people.

      • agreed, tho I do not mind the studies, psych classification holds potential hazards.

        I did not start libertarian either, I started conservative.

      • Bottom Line says:

        JAC – “This is another study of several that I find disturbing of late. It seems there is an effort ongoing to “categorize” people using psychological testing. The implication is that we are all somehow “predisposed” to certain behaviors and thus political viewpoints.”

        BL – There have been countless studies on human behavior that try to categorize people, and does so with some accuracy.

        Modern psychology attempts to explain human behavior by analyzing patterns and consistencies in data collected.

        It says according to the data collected and what we know about how the brain functions, persons exposed to stimulus set A will usually posses personality traits B,C,D,E,and F, and exhibit behavior G,H,I,J,K…

        What it cannot do is explain individual rationale as it relates to free will and choice. It cannot explain why a person values this or chooses that.

        It can tell you that most people who value this will usually fall into this group and pick that, but it cannot explain exactly why that was their particular choice, as why varies by individual.

        It can say libertarians/liberals/conservatives usually fall into this or that category and exhibit these particular traits, but cannot say why they are libertarians/liberals/conservatives, and thus cannot say that this particular personality type will likely choose that political idealism.

        This article appears to suggest just that, or at least questions if… “we are all somehow “predisposed” to certain behaviors and thus political viewpoints.”

        …Which is ridiculous.

        Good call, JAC. Like you, I call bullshit.

    • Nice piece, V. It is fairly convincing, and I do fit a lot of the profile. I do not have a great concern about being part of a group or having outward approval. I am not easily disgusted. I hold freedom and utilitarian arguments very high in my moral compass thinking. I am not particularly subject to emotional appeal, preferring to look at things more objectively.

  40. What Defines Our Differences?

    By Ron Ross on 1.21.11 @ 6:08AM

    What is the encompassing issue that divides liberals and conservatives?

    Consider, for example, the following debates: socialism vs. a free-market economy, higher taxes vs. lower taxes, more regulations vs. deregulation, bigger government vs. smaller government, federal control vs. state and local control, government ownership vs. private property, government-run health insurance vs. private health insurance, or coercion vs. voluntary exchange. All of these debates are different applications of the same principle. What’s at the bottom of the difference between each of the two positions?

    The common element in all these debates is this — do we want power and control to be centralized or decentralized? Should control be in the hands of politicians and bureaucracies or individuals and private entities?

    For example, think about what actually happens when your taxes are raised. Your control over your own life is diminished, the power of politicians is increased, and control is centralized.

    The most commonly used words to describe the two sides of the divide are liberal and conservative. However, the words themselves do not accurately reflect what liberals believe or what conservatives believe. They are not good descriptors. Liberals aren’t really liberal and conservatives aren’t really conservative. Those terms do not help either side understand and define what they believe. The labels “left” and “right” offer even less guidance than liberal and conservative.

    Furthermore, the terms have evolved over time. Those who would have described themselves as liberal a hundred years ago would today be called conservative. On the other hand, centralized and decentralized are words that maintain their meanings relatively well.

    The centralized-decentralized spectrum closely parallels the tyranny vs. freedom spectrum. Having control over our choices is essentially the definition of freedom. One of Milton Friedman’s most popular books was titled Free to Choose. Friedman saw clearly that freedom is fundamentally about choosing. Another of his influential books was titled Capitalism and Freedom. In that book he explained why true and lasting freedom is a practical impossibility under socialism.

    A central difference between liberals and conservatives revolves around the issue of individual responsibility. The more we take the power to choose away from individuals, the more we diminish the meaning of, and opportunity for, individual responsibility. If you do what you do because you’re forced to, are you exercising morality? Are you responsible for your actions? The most insidious result of liberalism is that when control is centralized, so is morality.

    There is what could be called the logistics of information — having information at the right place at the right time. Leaving control in the hands of individuals leaves it closest to the information and incentives required for efficient decision making.

    No one can know as much as you do about your goals and priorities. Even if you assume that Harry Reid and his fellow lawmakers are smarter than you are, does it follow that they should make your choices for you? It’s not very efficient if information has to make a round trip from you to Washington, D.C. and back.

    Not only is the best information held by individuals, so are the most powerful incentives. It’s only natural that you will work harder for your own goals than for someone else’s. This is one of the main reasons why free market economies are by far the most powerful generators of prosperity and economic growth.

    The Heritage Foundation’s recently released 2011 Index of Economic Freedom once again confirms the almost perfect correlation between freedom and economic vitality. Terry Miller, one of the survey’s authors, confirms that the freer economies are “more efficient at protecting the environment, better at improving health, and better… in enhancing life satisfaction and overall happiness.” Rather than “spreading the wealth” as Mr. Obama wants to do, we would be better off if we spread the control.

    When making choices with their own money, individuals are most motivated to make careful decisions that produce the desired results. Individuals don’t typically spend their own money on mini-versions of “pork-barrel projects.”

    If choices are made for you, you will not automatically agree with them. Consequently, centralization always involves force.

    Most people have probably not thought about controversial political issues along the lines of centralized and decentralized. Nevertheless, it is probably the best way to frame the debate for a number of reasons.

    The centralization-decentralization framework is the most inclusive way to categorize the issues. Framing the debate in this way makes it possible to resolve a whole category of issues rather than countless specific ones and win the debate wholesale rather than retail.

    The framework could essentially be thought of as a compass when assessing, for example, proposed legislation. Besides asking, “Is it constitutional?” we could also ask, “Does it centralize or decentralize control?”

    Should we begin calling liberals “centralists” and conservatives “decentralists”? Although those aren’t words with much pizzazz, using them, or at least keeping them in mind, would definitely go a long way in making it clear what we’re arguing about.

    One big advantage of using the centralism/decentralism terminology is that the words have little or no emotional baggage. The words liberal and conservative carry with them a number of assumptions and stereotypes. These are serious impediments to rational debate.

    If you ask, “Are you a centralist or a decentralist?” you are more likely to start a discussion rather than trigger a defensive reaction. Maybe it would even add some “civility” to the debate, if you should care about that kind of thing. It’s also not a bad question to ask yourself to help determine what you believe and why.

    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/01/21/what-defines-our-differences/

    • The common element in all these debates is this — do we want power and control to be centralized or decentralized? Should control be in the hands of politicians and bureaucracies or individuals and private entities?

      When both sides realize their being played, and not to their benefit, stop allowing themselves to be brainwashed by the media hacks and learn to think on their own, nothing will change. There are very few individual thinkers, those that can accept what they read with a grain of salt and actually research it’s validity. Those that understand that neither side is right, can then rationalize what is happening in the political spectrum. It’s not about right or wrong, left or right, it’s about power and money. Only one has no opposite.

      • I agree- the parties aren’t right on either side-they are ruled by the stereotypical definitions of the terms-and common sense has gone out the window. All republicans aren’t anarchist and all liberals aren’t socialist. In reality, when it has come to our laws-both parties have too much socialism in them.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Nice find, V.H.

      Pretty good article, but IMHO, I think the author circles around the REAL point without ever touching on it. He’s almost there.

      Ron Ross – “What’s at the bottom of the difference between each of the two positions?

      BL – A: The same thing at the bottom of the difference in EVERY position…How we define rights and responsibility.

      THAT is the Bottom Line.

      Everything else is a result and/or manifestation of said definitions.

      From What I can tell, Republicrat conservatives have a nominally good understanding of rights and responsibility, but are lacking in their general understanding of freedom, hence their unwavering demands for coercion and violence.

      Liberal progressive Demopublicans, apparently have absolutely no understanding of any of these concepts.

      Up until the last couple of years, I didn’t quite get it either. I have evolved and found the Bottom Line.

      You know when you you start to get a definitive understanding of rights and responsibility when you stop rationalizing your own contradictory thoughts. You can’t say rights and responsibility without factoring in freedom. Things begin to come into focus with crystal clarity, you begin to see everything in absolutes.

      From that point on, the world appears insane, evil, and backward.

      • …” world appears insane, evil, and backward”

        I agree with this statement in whole. Everyday there is something(s) in the news that proves it too!

    • IMHO, Conservative and Liberal are 2 wings of the same bird. If they can’t eat you, they will s$%t on you.

      • Bottom Line says:

        …hence why I call them “Demopublicans” and “Republicrats”.

        I still like the metaphor you used several months ago, Wasabi…

        “Would you rather have a turd on wheat or a turd on rye?” (or something like that)

        I’ve used that several times in conversation, and with great success I might add.

        Thanks.

  41. How many SUFAites are in approval of a National ID card, complete with a chip for GPS tracking?

    • bettin on a goose-egg…

    • I have a TWIC card. The idea was to keep felons and illegals from working offshore. Unfortunately a lot of us are no longer working offshore now.

    • That would be a NO! makes me feel like a dog on a leash.

    • This would cause me to team up with BF and fight…..this would be two things we agree on. USW would have a fit.

    • Shortly, all 50 States, under the directive of the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security, will be required to federalize their driver’s licenses, effectively converting what was a uniquely, “local” state drivers’ license into what amounts to a “National ID Card”—or, as some opponents to the concept during the Clinton years called it, “a United States Internal Passport.”

      REAL I.D. was enacted in 2005, to make it more difficult for people who are not citizens, to secure a state-issued driver’s license. The law takes effect in May, 2011. At that time, every States will be required to create a drivers’ license that conforms to new federal “standards.”

      In short: REAL I.D. allows the government to convert your state issued drivers’ license into a REAL Nazi/Communist-style National Identification Card, with all the scary attributes of an Internal Passport like people in Nazi/Communist-Europe were required to carry.

      When did that happen here? It happened in 2005, when you were more concerned about terrorists than civil liberties. Congress passed the Real ID Act on May 11, 2005, which created new bio-metric national standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses. The new law also requires those who do not drive to have a state-issued “non-driver” ID card.

      Not just the federal government, but states will be able to quickly (at a moment’s notice!) share 18 different points of private information about you, personally.

      The controversial 2005 bill designed to create national standards for driver’s licenses is doing far more than that, according to a report released last week by the Center for Immigration Studies. The report, authored by Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Policy at CIS, offered an update on the implementation status of the Real ID Act in each state. The results were frightening. “Real ID is alive and well and it is being implemented,” Kephart said. Most states are already compliant well before the deadline. Personal data about you has already been taken and it has been stored in a dossier about you.

      In addition to the rehash of the 1993 Clinton National ID Card, the impetus for REAL ID stemmed from recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, although the standards established by the 9/11 Commission have already been repealed. REAL ID requires State driver’s license authorities to use more stringent measures to verify Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, proof of citizenship and immigration status. The act prescribes 18 SEPARATE SECURITY CONTROLS that States are now required to use when issuing driver’s licenses.

      And this information will be available to law enforcement officials in all other States. If you were stopped in any State for speeding, the police in that State can “read” the database assigned to your card and virtually “share your information” over the Internet with any other government agency in any state. The presumptions of “unreasonable search” are gone forever, since any semblance of real privacy ceases to exist when REAL ID goes into effect.

      In addition to some First Amendment concerns, the REAL ID Act violates the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, because driver’s license, as such, should come under state laws, not the laws of the federal government. It violates the Tenth Amendment in reference to state powers and obliterates the states’ dual sovereignty with the federal government.

      Have you ever considered entrusting your private information to the federal government? Of course not—especially now! But now that they are consolidating every piece of information about every American into a universal federal database, you are now much more vulnerable to identity thieves.

      How many times have you recently read about hackers stealing information on thousands of people from credit card company databases? Now, ALL OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL BE AT RISK!

      The REAL ID Act implementation will make it much easier for the federal government to track every American—which is the purpose for it under the REAL ID Act. This is an outright invasion of your privacy. You must tell your Member of Congress this. We need to make sure that those in Congress understand that you object to government having more information than they absolutely need to know to tax you, or to send you a check. Anything else is not their business. We must do everything that we can to invalidate the May 11, 2011 “peeper deadline,” when the Department of Homeland Security and the Commerce Department will begin to amass a database on every American, something that they were previously forbidden from legally having.

      Eventually, READ ID-compliant cards will be REQUIRED for air travel, access to federal buildings, and even for receiving federal benefits, such as Social Security. A Federal agency will not be able to accept, for any official purpose, a driver’s license or identification card issued by any state to any person, unless the state is meeting the requirements specified in the REAL ID Act.

      Before a REAL ID can be issued, the applicant must provide the following documentation:
      1. A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes his or her full legal name and birth date
      2. Documentation of birth date
      3. Documentation of legal status and Social Security number
      4. Documentation showing name and principal residence address.

      Digital images of each identity document will be stored in each State Department of Motor Vehicles database. And, according to some opponents of REAL ID, this is only the beginning of the information and documentation that the state governments will be required to obtain and to put on the card!

      The Department of Homeland Security claims this cannot be construed as a “National ID Card,” because the cards are issued by the states. However, the national READ ID law establishes NATIONAL STANDARDS that the states must adhere to. So, when you hear the rhetoric, it is just that—rhetoric. It’s federal government “double-talk.” Please help us stop this federal intrusion into your privacy right now.

      The liberal American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland says: “The law places no limits on potential required uses for Real IDs.” In time, Real IDs could be required to vote, collect a Social Security check, access Medicaid, open a bank account, go to an Orioles game, or buy a gun. The private sector could begin mandating a Real ID to perform countless commercial and financial activities, such as renting a DVD or buying car insurance. Ultimately, just as Social Security Cards were never supposed to be used for ID purposes, Real ID drivers’ license will, very quickly, become de facto national ID cards, which is why people who don’t drive will still need to carry one.

      The “machine-readable technology,” as required by REAL ID, would convert state-issued driver licenses and identification cards into TRACKING DEVICES, allowing computers to pinpoint and record people’s whereabouts anytime that they are identified. Under REAL ID, all state drivers’ license databases will be linked. This will allow information in a person’s ID database in any state to be accessible by officials in any other State, or by the federal government.

      In 1998 the Clinton Administration tested such a privately-funded card without the consent or knowledge of Congress. Their card was part of a special healthcare program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program was initated in five western States and entailed giving women with dependent children free healthcare in the pilot project that actually tested the effectiveness of the biometric cards, which electronically monitored the whereabouts of the cardholder 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by GPS. The test lasted one year. It was deemed to be a success. Our federal government does have the ability, and the desire, to track the whereabouts of its human capital while they work, when they play, and where they sleep. REAL ID, in other words, is REAL Intrusive.

      Did anyone notice that when the cops say they have a suspect they are looking for, it is only hours and the suspect is in custody, whereas five/ten years ago, it would take numerous hours if not a day or more. No big deal? Or is this really bad?

    • Bottom Line says:

      I don’t like ANYTHING with my name on it..primarily because names on things are usually associated with a corresponding number used for some form of tracking of information.

      So NO, I do not like the idea of an ID with GPS tracking.

      Where I go and what I do is none of anyone’s business.

      I refuse to comply.

      IF/when that happens, my GPS signal will disappear at the same location as the closest microwave oven, or will never exist in the first place.

  42. I suspect the unions are getting a might concerned. I on the other hand think it’s great. It’s gotten wayyy out of hand when a company is afraid to advertise for employee’s because you know it is used by the unions-to send out someone to apply so they can sue you if you don’t hire them-even though you didn’t know they were in the union so the fact that they were in the union wasn’t a part of your decision. Or if you do hire them they go to your jobs and disrupt the work and them sue you because you fired them for disrupting the work. And if their are democrats in power -you will lose in court. My personal experience-makes one aware that some if not all unions are actually the mafia in a sheep’s costume.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows union membership in decline
    By Chris Moody – The Daily Caller | Published: 2:49 PM 01/21/2011 | Updated: 6:17 PM 01/21/2011

    Union membership dropped to a record low last year, dropping by 612,000 workers in 2010 alone, a new analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

    Membership declined to 11.9 percent of the workforce in 2010, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier. In 2009, the unionized workforce lost 834,000 members, the steepest dip in membership rates ever recorded.

    The drop in union membership this year suggests the ongoing decline of organized labor combined with the impact of the recession that began in 2008 that rattled heavily unionized industries such as construction and telecommunications.

    In the private sector, unions only account for 6.9 percent of the workforce overall, a sharp divide from government workers, which is 36.2 percent unionized. Local government workers — teachers, fire fighters and police officers — represent the highest percentage of organized labor.

    Union organizations used the report to call for government policies that bolstered membership.

    “Today’s numbers are a rallying call to lift the floor for all of America’s workers, so they can have a voice on the job, contribute to our economic recovery, and have a future worth fighting for,” said Kimberly Freeman Brown, executive director of American Rights at Work, a pro-union advocacy group.

    Unions represented 20 percent of the American workforce when the BLS first began measuring members almost 30 years ago.

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/21/bureau-of-labor-statistics-report-shows-union-membership-in-decline/

  43. TexasChem says:

    Losing the War against Drugs

    By Jeremy Egerer

    I can still vividly remember walking through run-down Neapolitan suburbs as a seventeen-year old, firmly within the grasp of an LSD trip. As I walked through the tall, unkempt grass and weeds, they brushed against my knees as though greeting me with a handshake. The summer sun was looking down upon me, and the rays felt as though they were shining into my body, as though I was illuminated and radiating life back into the universe. Though I usually noticed the garbage on the messy Italian streets, that day it seemed less prominent, if not unnoticeable, and nature’s Technicolor vibrancy jumped from objects which would have been previously considered not only ordinary, but also drab. I was — at least I felt as though I were — totally connected with reality, as though something that I had lost along the way had suddenly been found, and I was home.

    Explaining an LSD trip to someone who hasn’t experienced one usually invokes wonder or disgust, but it’s what really happens, at least in the psychedelic adventurer’s head. To make things more exciting for me as a young man, this transfer of consciousness into transcendental bliss had come after a hard year of disillusionment. A home-schooler raised by devout Christian parents (whom I never deserved) and having experienced Christ, I had decided, though never quite entirely, that God didn’t exist. To make things worse, aside from losing a caring Creator, I had always felt as though I would never be loved by anyone outside my family. I’d spent much time fantasizing about meeting the woman of my dreams, but my excessive weight problem, certain personal abnormalities, and problems with anxiety made me feel as though I would die a lonely man. And this crushed my spirit.

    When I sought drugs, I did so primarily to fit in with the cool kids so I could boost my status and find a mate. Sometimes, I felt as though I was on the verge of success. Late nights on ecstasy, bonding with “friends” and women who would disappear when the high wore off, oftentimes gave the momentary impression that I wasn’t alone, that I was accepted. It was as though I could talk, and others would listen. I could hug, and profess love, and not be turned away. I could meet new people, and they would instantly appreciate me.

    But my eventual addiction to cocaine, klonopins, and tequila, in combination with an emasculating yet trendy college liberalism, ironically made me unappealing to any women who would have been good partners. By the end of my drug habit, I was alone more than ever. I felt useless, unattractive, sleazy, and many times, I would have preferred to be dead. And although the lie of drugs should have become more clear to me — that the promises it made, that I would be cool, that women would love me, that I would find peace through intoxication, had dissipated further into the air with every puff from a bong — I clung harder to drugs out of desperation. I would wake up some mornings plastered to my pillow with my own blood, the product of ruptured nasal passages. Sometimes, I would swallow dangerous amounts of medications, just to see how high I could get without dying. Although I was walking, breathing, and capable of looking you right in the eyes and saying that things were fine — and maybe you might believe that I was doing well — behind my smiling face was a hollow shell, completely devoid of life and joy.

    I don’t believe I was ever alone in this desperation. In all the years I spent as a drug addict, I’m surprised to have never discovered this. I guess the fact that I was on drugs is a valid excuse. But I now know there were many others around me who were in the same position as I was, crying for help but unable to say so without looking too vulnerable. We were trying to be cool, after all. And coolness was killing us.

    But what my experience with drug addiction taught me, first and foremost, is that drug-smuggling Mexicans aren’t the drug problem, and they aren’t causing the drug problem. Please don’t misunderstand my point: they’re a menace to our society, and they must be combated with utmost seriousness (I personally advocate properly sealing the border and the death penalty for anyone who deals methamphetamine or heroin or is caught laundering serious drug money). But if we are to be at all serious about saving people from the horrors of human abasement, those very people must have something to live for greater than momentary pleasure. They must have hope. But hope in what?

    Liberals are wrong when they say that giving a kid a chance at an education will accomplish this task. You give an empty, lonely, directionless, hurting person — a potential drug addict — an education, and all you’ve got is an educated drug addict. We can’t combat drug abuse with feel-good rhetoric and can-do attitude, because hope in careers can take you only so far, and the warmth of philanthropy fades. Many of us know, despite what some may say, that placing our meaning entirely in the United States of America will end in anger and frustration. And we definitely know, after forty years, a trillion dollars, and numerous lives spent on the War against Drugs, that we can’t win the war with the sword.

    Now consider what we tell our children, as public policy. We tell them that they are alone in the universe, that their lives have absolutely no impact upon the great void. We tell them that everything they fight for, everything they believe in, is a postmodern matter of opinion. We tell them that pleasure is their right, and yet that as they age, they will receive less pleasure, and more pain, and that they cannot reverse this process. We tell them that marriage doesn’t work anymore, that true love, true commitment doesn’t exist, and that they can’t trust the people whom they should trust the most. And finally, we fill the void with tons of useless products and entertainment and psychologically-manipulative advertising campaigns about what happiness should be and where we can get it with our paychecks, all illusory things which most — if not all — will never achieve.

    Now allow me to ask you: is this what you tell someone whose self-destructive habit you want to reverse? Or is this what you say when you want them to hit the gas pedal? I know — placing ourselves in these terms isn’t an uplifting message. But this is who we are, and this is what we tell our children. We are a consumptive, meaningless people without a Creator, without a purpose other than ourselves, and heading toward an eventually painful decay and death.

    You should probably know that I have been clean and sober for quite some time now, that I’ve found and committed myself to the woman of my dreams, and above all else, that I’ve placed my life in the hands of my Creator. These days, although at times I remember the acid trip fondly, although I occasionally wonder how easy writing would be if I just had a line of coke, I have found joy and hope, so these thoughts fade into nothing. I know where I am going when I die, I know whom I serve, and I know what love is. My life has meaning, which is far more than I know most people — especially drug addicts — have. And this joy has completely replaced my need for escape, my desire for intoxication. These days, thankfully, I can enjoy a beer and know I won’t spiral into an inebriated hell-ride.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. Drug addicts are not victims — they are responsible for their behavior. Without understanding this principle of personal responsibility, that who you are and your temporary chemical makeup do not determine your status under the law, we wouldn’t have a real system of justice. But behind the responsibility must lie a reason to want something other than pleasure, something other than an escape. And if we citizens of the United States of America — one of the most drug-hungry populations — expect that the people who represent our values in office are going to somehow deliver us from a terrible soul-cancer, we are wrong. We have to start with giving the individual soul hope.

    I have an answer to the void: it is purpose. My question to you is, what do you have to offer your children so they can live for something better than an easily accessible, temporary escape from nihilism? If we haven’t got an answer, then I would say the war on drugs has already been lost.

    Jeremy Egerer is a recent convert to Christian conservatism from radical liberalism and is the editor of the Seattle website http://www.americanclarity.com.

    • You know I agree 🙂

      That word nihilism seems to be showing up everywhere-or maybe I am just noticing it now.

    • Also agree 🙂

      As the saying has been going in recent years: Why does God let these things happen in school (or govt, or @ home)? Answer.. Because you won’t let Him in!

      Live with that!

  44. TexasChem says:

    This cartoon has had me laughing for a good ten minutes now.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/cartoons/

    • TexasChem says:

      After the laughter subsided I became a bit angry that my country is being led down the path by Obama to “bow down” to a Communist country with one of the worst human rights records in the history of our planet.

      • TexasChem says:

        Where is that Manchurian candidate Mathius? I believe this cartoon to be one of his psychological “triggers”. Would like to see how this story ends…

  45. TexasChem says:

    This web page proposes a new Higgs-less theory which solves, with a great simplicity, the mass, gravitation and curvature of spacetime enigmas. This new theory uses only four dimensions. No extra dimensions, as the Higgs Field, are needed. Here we show that m = f(x,y,z,t). As a result, this new theory is much more credible than the Higgs Boson Theory.

    http://www.higgs-boson.org/

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