Some Thoughts on Change

Whew. So let me just tell everyone that I have had a lot of surgeries in my days. Some worse than others. But this one was not a good time. My entire midsection was basically rendered useless. And anyone who has ever had their core muscles injured or hurting can tell you that you use them far more every day than you think that you do. So that means that everything hurt for the last couple of weeks. Sitting hurt. Laying down was kind of OK. Standing hurt. It all still hurts but is now becoming bearable. So I am attempting to ease myself back into sitting for long enough to actually write something longer than a paragraph. But rest assured all, I am recovering fine. And I want to thank everyone for their constant well wishes and patience as I get through this madness. Tonight begins my foray back to SUFA in earnest as I have been dying to write over the last few weeks. But what I want to talk about tonight isn’t politics, but instead the way forward on SUFA as I try to balance a new career, a new schedule, and a Mrs. Weapon that has always been far more tolerant of my writing than I have any reason to expect.

As I am sure that many of you noticed, the blog has a bit of a new look. I felt it was time to change the look a bit. I hadn’t really changed it in over two years. I will continue to tinker with details but I have pretty much settled on the basic look as you see it today as the underlying format. The real question I am trying to answer is whether to move over to a self hosted version of wordpress where I would have more freedom with the look, feel, and functionality of SUFA. It appears that the trade-off would be that I would pay somewhere around 8-10 bucks a month instead of hosting here for free and I would spend more time trying to manage it as the software on the free side is more user friendly. More on that in the coming weeks as I make up my mind on which way to proceed.

But the real changes that I am making for the time being revolve around the content here at SUFA. For the last 2+ years I have primarily relied on my own writing to make up the content here at SUFA with a smattering here and there of guest commentaries. To give you an idea of numbers I have personally written over 500 articles and there have been a little over 50 additional guest commentaries. That is a lot of reading over the last two years! At present I am faced with two simultaneous struggles here at SUFA.

The first is time. I have started an entirely new career in an entirely new industry. As is true any time you make a move like that, I am now in a position where I must work to prove myself to a whole new group of people. And that means that I work harder, longer, and better than any of the people around me. I pride myself in being that kind of person. Add to that the fact that for the first time in our many years together, that means that Mrs. Weapon and I have the same schedule. So instead of my hours after work being when she is in bed, they are now the same as hers. And I have neglected spending enough time with my beautiful wife for far too long. The end result is that I simply don’t have as much time to write as I used to have. As a consequence I feel that what I have offered lately has been shallow, weakly researched, and random.

The second is that in the course of 500+ articles I feel like I have become somewhat stale in my content. You all know what I think on issues. And I consistently write about the things I know and the things that I am passionate about. At this point I feel like when you read the title of an article, you already know what I am going to say and what I think. And I don’t have the time to research well enough to provide a good reason for you to continue reading re-hashed subjects.

So I thought long and hard about what to do. As a few folks who I emailed with could tell you, I considered everything. I thought about shutting the site down. But a good friend talked me out of that path (Thank you for that JAC). I considered starting a whole new site that was different in content and feel, but I realized that I am passionate about what we talk about on this site, so I am not that interested in changing. I finally settled on adding authors to the site and making it a similar SUFA with new opinions and new topics. This can accomplish many things.

First it allows me to maintain control of what I have created with all of you. I can keep the feel. I can keep my rules of respectful discourse and welcoming differing opinions. Second it allows me to get fresh content and perspectives from some of the folks who have spent ample time on SUFA for quite some time. For the readers here at SUFA that means that you will get new content more regularly and you that content will offer the opportunity to discuss things that I may not have brought to the table on my own. Finally it will allow me to keep SUFA while giving me more time to spend with Mrs. Weapon and more time to participate in the discussions.

So over the next couple of weeks I will be adding contributors to SUFA. Contributors have the ability to sign in to SUFA and write articles on their own. They cannot directly post them, but they can write them, develop them, ask for my feedback on them, and finalize them right here at wordpress rather than attempting to write a word document or email and send it to me. They won’t be able to post them. Only I can approve and publish the articles that they write, but the article when it publishes will be published under their name and will be their own thoughts and ideas. I maintain this control because I still feel an obligation to run things and ensure that SUFA remains what I intended it to be.

As you can see to the left, everyone who is a registered contributor to SUFA will be listed in the sidebar. In many ways, I see this working in a somewhat similar way to a site like The Huffington Post. Arriana created it. She runs it. But she has a lot of other contributing writers. It allows her to focus on what she wants to write about. I will run SUFA. I will control who contributes. I will not control their ideas or opinions. I will try to lead and persuade in directions that maintain what we are trying to do at SUFA.

So what will this look like? I am not going to stop writing. On the contrary, writing and offering my thoughts and opinions is a large part of what I love to do and why I created SUFA in the first place. I will still be offering an article or two every week, which is pretty much consistent with what I have been offering over the last few months. But instead of having the other days be without an article, there will be articles from other authors posted. I intend to try to have a new article post early in the morning every Monday through Friday. How often you will see each of the other authors depends on how many people I end up with as contributors. If I am posting articles of my own on Monday and Thursday, then having six other authors would mean that each of the other authors would have an article published every other week. If I have nine other authors then each new author would have an article published every third week. If I end up with over ten regular writers I may have to move to having more than one article posting on some days.

And who will these new authors be? Well I am taking applications! I have offered 4 people the opportunity to become regular contributors and all four have accepted, which makes me really happy. They know who they are but I am not revealing them just yet! But I am looking for more. So what I am looking for are people who are willing to make the following commitments:

  1. You can commit to offering at least one article every two or three weeks depending on how many authors we get.
  2. You are comfortable with my idea of controlling the flow of articles and doing minimal control on what types of subjects get covered (and I do mean minimal)
  3. You can commit to following my rules of respect for others in your writing
  4. You can commit to following through on whatever promises you make to me on timelines

That is really about it. There is no contract. You aren’t going to be in trouble if you find you don’t have time to write for a bit. Just let me know ahead of time so I plan for something else to be posted. What I would absolutely love is to end up with a stable of writers from all perspectives. So I especially extend my offer to those on the left or the anarchy leaning folks to join up. Even if you can only write one article a month, it would be great to have a regular contributor or two from differing political ideologies. If I haven’t already contacted you it isn’t because I am not interested in having you write here. On the contrary I can think of ten or fifteen people at SUFA who I would love to have as regular contributors.

So if you are interested in becoming a regular contributor here at SUFA, please contact me via email. We can then discuss what you are thinking and what I am thinking. We can discuss how often you may be interested in regularly offering content. Some folks might want to offer something every week, others may only have time to write once a month. Some of you may be wondering if the things you would want to write about would fit into my ideas of what SUFA is supposed to be. Rather than assuming anything, email me and let’s discuss it! Perhaps you have an idea for some sort of personal column (for example I could see Buck doing a monthly Constitutional Law topic column, not that I am pressuring you Buck, it just made for a good example). Whatever you are thinking, contact me and let’s discuss it. I am really open to any ideas that can make SUFA a more productive and enjoyable and informative place for the readers to visit.

I know that there are others among you who would be interested but are afraid that you don’t know enough or worry that you are not a good enough writer to do something like this. Please don’t fall into that trap. As some of the folks who have written here previously can tell you, I am pretty good at working with you to refine your thoughts and help you form them into a well written article. I won’t let you make a fool of yourself and you may be surprised how good you can be with just a tiny bit of coaching. So I encourage anyone who is interested to contact me. You can contact me at:

So now that I have laid out what I am thinking, I am interested in hearing everyone’s honest thoughts on where I am planning to take SUFA. I know some of you may be skeptical or you may have concerns as to how good SUFA will be with changes such as these. So let’s talk it through. Be honest and I will do my best to answer any questions you have or to further clarify what I am thinking. I feel like SUFA has become one of the best collections of people having honest political discussion on the web. And I am excited to think that I have found a path forward that will allow SUFA to grow and become even better for all who come here. But what do you think?


I think the Superbowl this year is going to be really good. Who is everyone rooting for and who do you think is going to win and why?

Is the Big Ten’s decision to name their two divisions “Leaders” and “Legends” the gayest thing ever?

Who is excited that pitchers and catchers report in 10 days? My Red Sox are going to kick the crap out of everyone.

I just finished a great three book series, “The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”. I have been on a fantasy kick lately, reading the “Song of Ice and Fire” series from George RR Martin (which is an absolutely amazing series that is being made into an HBO series in April, trailer below) and I recently started “The Book of the New Sun” Series by Gene Wolfe. What suggestions for my next reading can I get from all of you (excluding the remaining 7 books in the Thomas Covenant series, which I already plan on reading). I read a lot when I can.

And the 11+ minute “Inside the Game of Thrones” video which really let’s you know what it is about. I am SUPER EXCITED about this series. The books were amazing and this new HBO series looks amazing as well.




  1. I look forward to the changes USW, and I am happy that you will be able to spend more time with your family, that is something that all who have one should be able to do. I am relieved that your recovery is going well.

    I am a Pittsburg fan, but I am not nearly devoted enough to football to have any good reasoning for that. From what I can tell they have a good all around team, so I am rooting for them. Mostly, however, I just want to see a good game.

    I think the new look is great. I think having multiple authors is also a good idea. If you do decide to move to your own site, I will help any way that I can. I do not know that it is necessary, but it is certainly possible and, as with all things, carries with it a few advantages.

  2. US…glad to here you are on the mend. I hope the same for BF…he evidently took a very bad fall.

    The new look is fine. It really makes me no difference as far a the look goes, it is the content that keeps me coming back. I look forward to some articles to be written by our left leaning friends. I have really tried hard to understand how and why they believe what they do, and perhaps I can gain some insight if they write some articles that get posted on this site.

    As far as the SB goes…I am pulling for Pittsburg, but have a sneaking suspicion that Green Bay is going to win.

    The Red Sox are one of the best teams money can buy, so they should fare well in the upcoming season…I did see that Manny and Johnny Damon are now playing for the Rays…As far as the Big 10 goes…I am an SEC guy, the big 10 is of no consequence to me.

  3. Regarding Game of Thrones, Valar Morghulis.

    If only G R R Martin, would stop cramming his face with Pizza and stop watching American football so he could finish the next book.

    • Amen to that Bob. It is quite frustrating waiting for the next book to come out. To be honest I was a little disappointed with the 4th book as well, simply because we really saw none of the characters that are usually followed. I was dying to get back the happenings on the Wall and across the sea.

      • Having seen a recent picture of Martin, I can only assume the series will never be finished 😦

        • Right now they are claiming that the 5th book is primarily finished and that we could see it in 2012. But I don’t imagine we are ever going to get anything more than that, if we even get that.

          Makes me sad. I really loved the series and if he could finish it out in a compelling way I would probably put it in my top three in the genre. But as it stands, the lack of wrap up on the major winter is coming plotline keeps it out of my top 5

          • Not sure if you are King fan, but Ron Howard(don’t get THAT part) is set to begin filming the Dark Tower series, only going to be 3 movies though. Tolkein’s Hobbit is being filmed soon as well but it will be broken into two movies. I can only hope that both of those do justice to the books. LOTR was pretty faithful to the series so I’m hoping The Hobbit will be too. Speedy recovery to you and Flag!

            • I used to read a lot of Stephen King. I got away from him after a while but always enjoyed his stuff. I would be interested in the Dark Tower Series as a movie.

              The Hobbit, however, is something I am really excited to see. If I remember correctly this is being done by Peter Jackson again. I always thought that The Hobbit was the best of the books, so I am hoping that the movie ends up the same.

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    @USW – good for you sir……more time spent with Mrs. Weapon is always a good thing. Best of luck in the new career – I am sure you’ll do well.

    I am rooting for Green Bay – I have great admiration for the Pittsburgh defense, but I’d really like to see the Packers pull this one out. Like others I really just want a good, hard-nosed football game.

    Baseball – like any Phillies fan I was ecstatic when they re-signed Cliff Lee – the potential is there for them to have the most dominant starting rotation in the history of baseball. However, Ryan Howard must still learn to hit a baseball in the playoffs and left field has not been solved yet. The Red Sox however may be a different story. They still have too many holes to fill (holding the breath for another year that Big Papi will find the fountain of youth?) and their division, as usual, will be the most hotly contested in baseball. I look for the Sox to finish slightly above .500 and will be in their PJs eating chowda come October. 😉

    Big Ten? Big Whoop! Best football is and has been played in the SEC. In the last 20 years the Big Ten has set claim to the Championship twice. Since the inaugural of the BCS there has been only one Big Ten go all the way – and unless Ohio State makes the charge this year – we should expect yet another SEC winner. 😉

    • “Best football is and has been played in the SEC.”

      Wow, that makes several things you and I can agree on.

    • That is a surprising thought on my Sox. What holes do you feel they need to fill? The rotation has Lester and Bucholz, along with Lackey and Beckett and Dice-K. If two of those last three return to form our starting rotation is good, although not great. We shored up the bullpen by signing Jenks and a few others. We added Carl Crawford in the OF and Adrian Gonzales at 1B, Moving Youk to 3B. That leaves a potential lineup something like this:

      Crawford LF
      Pedroia 2B
      Ortiz DH
      Youkilis 3B
      Gonzalez 1B
      Drew RF
      Lowrie SS
      Varitek/Saltalamachia C
      Ellsbury CF

      The sheer speed of Ellsbury and Crawford make them a formidable baserunning threat. Gonzales and Youk are true power hitters and Papi and Drew are streaky but consistent. And remember that Papi did much better when he hit in the 3-hole with a real hitting threat in clean-up behind him. He has not had that the last 2.5 years but still manages to get 30/100 each year. Now he has that again.

      As for the division… Yanks are always tough. Rays are counting on Red Sox retirement team (They signed Manny and Damon). The O’s never seem to be able to get their crap together and the Jays traded away their two best players in the last two years (Halladay and Wells).

      I say October sees my Sox trying to figure out a way to deal with the Phillies rotation (which I agree should be downright nasty). Whether they do or not probably decides which one of us is owing the other something 😉

      Yeah the SEC has been tough the last bunch of years. But I love my Lions and the Big Ten is a tough conference, whether all the haters are willing to admit to it or not. Other divisions will come around again. The Big Ten used to be the best conference at one time. So did the Pac 10. Now it is the SEC. The cycle will come back around again. But I hate those new division names.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        I think once you get past Lester the rotation is average at best – even Beckett has shown some wear the last 2 years. The hitting is going to be a conundrum – the speed potential is good – but the you have to get those guys in – never thought of Papi and Drew as small-ball guys.

      • I’m good with Legends but Leaders has to go!

  5. Glad your healing , USW.

    Change can be good, as long as your not hoping as well 🙂 I’m not a Pittsburgh fan or a Packers fan, but I live in Steeler country. With that said I’m hoping first and foremost, a good game, secondly, I’m looking for the Packers take the game on a late 4th quarter touchdown pass and hold on for a 4 point win.

    I don’t follow baseball, at all, as far as the Big Ten, the names don’t matter (a little silly) but I’m glad there will be a Conference Championship game. I never liked that co-champion thing in CFB.

  6. Ray Hawkins says:

    Injured wrestler rejects medical intervention, wants spine to heal naturally

    (Parents declared unfit – son placed into Protective Custody)

    Lying flat on his back in Thomas Jefferson University Hospital last night, 16-year-old Mazzerati Mitchell said he didn’t want to take medications that could help heal his bruised spine after a wrestling injury.

    His parents, Vermell and Jack Mitchell, are on the same page. The family believes in herbal medicines, natural healing, noninvasive measures.

    But the hospital and Delaware County don’t agree. That’s why the Mitchells got a letter yesterday from Delaware County’s Department of Human Services’ Office of Children and Youth Services saying that their son had been taken into protective custody.

    “It’s taken our rights away as parents,” Vermell Mitchell said. “Protective custody implies we’re not good parents. We are good parents.”

    In part, the letter reads, “This action was taken because of the child’s immediate medical need to be immobilized and to receive medications that would strengthen his spine and the parents’ refusal to cooperate with the treating professionals’ medical recommendations to repair his spinal injury, which led us to determine that safety and well-being of the child was at risk.”

    The Mitchells, of Boothwyn, intend to go to court in Media this morning to fight the decision.

    A spokesman for Jefferson did not return a page seeking comment last night.

    Mazzerati, a junior at Chichester High School, was injured Tuesday during wrestling practice. Immediately afterward, he was unable to feel or move his limbs.

    But within an hour, Vermell Mitchell said, “His feeling was back and he was moving his legs and arms. Everyone that’s examined him said how he’s getting better.”

    The parents said they had no problem with Mazzerati’s being taken to the hospital and the tests he underwent. Their problems are with what came next.

    They declined to have their son given steroids or medicines that would affect his blood pressure. They declined, they said, when one doctor recommended surgery that would include putting pins in Mazzerati’s spine.

    Vermell Mitchell, who has studied natural medicine and is a practicing herbalist, told the doctor that she would use herbs to heal her son. She also was open to physical therapy for him.

    “I explained what I do and why I don’t believe in what he wants to do,” she said. “What he wants to do with the pins and needles the body can do on its own. I said I could do natural things. He got very upset when I told him what I could do versus what he could do.”

    The Mitchell family lives a natural lifestyle: The parents and all eight of their children, ages 9 to 30, are vegetarians. Vermell Mitchell gave birth each time without drugs. With the exception of one child’s arm injury, which required a hospital visit, the children have never been seriously ill, she said.

    Aside from the immunity-booster echinacea, Vermell Mitchell said she would give her son liquid chlorophyll (to increase circulation and blood flow to the spine), slippery elm (to address inflammation) and goldenseal (an anti-microbial).

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Now I don’t know much about herbal medicine, but this case is clearly not of the “his life is in jeopardy” variety.

      I consider this a gross overstep by the authorities involved.

      Very disappointing.

      • I don’t know which way to go. I guess I still have to fall on the side of the individual but it is tough. My brother had a son that had epilepsy. They believed in the natural healing. So, he was not given nor received any type of medicine other than natural healing type things. Of course, epilepsy will attack without warning. His son was allowed to drive or operate anything he wanted. The end result, a seizure ocurred while surfing the NorthShore in Hawaii and he drowned. Autopsy showed the paralysis of epilepsy. He could not save himself.

        Wonder what would have happened had he been driving.

        I do not know the answer. Do you allow the person who does not partake of medicines know to worjk the same privileges like driving or risky sports and things where he could endanger others? I do not know.

        • D13, you cannot remove all risk and maintain freedom. There will be fools that abuse freedom and harm people in the process. Whether the case of abuse you speak of is because of ignorance, or close-minded fervor, failure to question information, mistrust of Western Medicine because of their own bad experiences, etc., they were still fools to make the decision they did. And I still support their freedom to make such a choice. I may support them suffering consequences for their negligence if it can be proven that they did not take reasonable steps, but the freedom to make such a choice should not be infringed. Blind faith in any type of medicine can be bad, I have seen people die because they refused to accept an alternate method of treatment and picked chemicals and drugs and surgeries. I have seen the opposite. Any reputable practitioner will be open to all forms of legitimate medicine, those who are not are suspect.

          To take a tragedy, however, and use it to justify enforcement of medicine and legal action against personal or parental medical decisions is no different than the thinking that justifies Obama’s health care law. The “its for your own good” argument is evil no matter how you slice it.

      • I concur 100%. A huge overstep.

      • Ray, Hope the foot is getting back to normal. This is a huge overstep, under the circumstances. But I see D13’s point as well.

  7. Hey, USW…….the Super Bowl? Well, I do not care who wins. I guess I am more of an NFC fan than anything. However, regardless, I wish it was not here. I cannot believe all of the hoopla that goes with it and the inconvenience to the people who live here. The prices that have tripled and the traffic flow that has been redirected. I posted earlier that I hoped Texas would be different but I am really disappointed. Oh well, that is the name of the game, I guess.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @D13 – Figured you’d be in a Black Hawk “surveying the situation”?

      • LOL…hi Ray. We do have some security responsibility but not at the SB….but places where large crowds gather. I will be in the TOC (Tactical OPerations Center). It is amazing how much goes on behind the scenes.

    • I see the madness here in New Orleans at least a couple times per decade. We are scheduled to have it here in 2013. You are correct…it is a huge inconvenience to local folks.

  8. Question for those of you who support Obama Care. The latest report released this morning, showed that the waivers from Obamacare are now 733. Forty percent of those 733 waivers belong to unions. So here is my question…especially to Buck who supports fully this health package.

    Please justify the waivers.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      When have I ever said I fully support this health package? (hint: I don’t)

      All I said is that it is constitutional.

      • Buck,

        Did you see the post I put up last night ? The SCOTUS ruling on the commerce clause and compelling individuals.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          What’s the cite?

          Did you see my Scalia quote?


            The court held the following in this case:

            8) Congress cannot invade state jurisdiction by purchasing the action of individuals any more than by compelling it. P. 73.

            (12) If the novel view of the General Welfare Clause now advanced in support of the tax were accepted, that clause would not only enable Congress to supplant the States in the regulation of agriculture and of all other industries as well, but would furnish the means whereby all of the other provisions of the Constitution, sedulously framed to define and limit the power of the United States and preserve the powers of the States, could be broken down, the independence of the individual States obliterated, and the United States converted into a central government exercising uncontrolled police power throughout the Union superseding all local control over local concerns. P. 75.

            In my readings last night, as you have provided no examples of precedence that you calim exist, I provide this SCOTUS ruling as a precedent that the SCOTUS has made concerning the “mandate”.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I’m not that familiar with that case. But I did note the following statement from a brief glance at point 12:

              12. The Agricultural Adjustment Act does not purport to regulate transactions in interstate or foreign commerce, and the Government in this case does not attempt to sustain it under the commerce clause of the Constitution. P. 63.


              Also, your thoughts on Scalia’s statement:

              “Where necessary to make a regulation of interstate commerce effective, Congress may regulate even those intrastate activities that do not themselves substantially affect interstate commerce. Congress may regulate even noneconomic local activity if that regulation is a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce.”

              • Yes Buck,

                I understand that, however, as I have said before, the Feds cannot violate one part of the Constitution to justify another part. The precedent presented CLEARLY states that the Feds do not have the authority to compell individuals. The mandate is in violation of the 10th Amendment as stated. Nothing beyond that matters. Once a Constututional violation exists, that is the end game.

              • Bottom Line says:

                So Scalia thinks Congress has the authority to regulate everything and anything remotely related to “commerce”?

                Is there a legal avenue for a private citizen to have a mental inquest warrant served to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice?

              • I still do not see how you consider the individual mandate to be a “regulation of interstate commerce”. The individual mandate is a funding mechanism only, not a regulation. It is a component of the “regulation” requiring insurance companies to do a certain thing, but even that is an overstep of the commerce clause because it is not regulating commerce in that case either, but forcing a certain type of transaction to be permitted. The final goal of the health care bill is not to regulate commerce, but to promote the general welfare. As I have stated before, the promotion of general welfare is not dependent on this specific bill, nor is it proven that it will promote the general welfare due to the costs and burden on the economy, which will do as much or more harm to the people of this country than a lack of health care coverage. Further, it has been shown in the operation of similar actions by other nations that the overall quality of health care is diminished, thus, again, not a promotion of the general welfare.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Jon, I don’t see the mandate is the regulation of interstate commerce; I see the mandate as one means selected by Congress towards the regulation of health care/insurance reform, the authority over which Congress has to regulate comes from the commerce clause.

              Also, I’m not quite sure where or how you are bringing in ‘general welfare’ to this discussion. The general welfare clause only comes into play in conjunction with the ‘taxing and spending’ clause — namely, Congress has the power to tax and spend to promote the general welfare. Even if we are going to go down that road and argue that, insomuch as the mandate is going to be deemed a tax it doesn’t promote the general welfare, your argument is misplaced – whether or not you personally believe this will promote (or harm) the general welfare is of absolutely no concern as there is clearly a rational basis to conclude that this will promote the general welfare.

              • I bet I can prove this statement completely false. This Law is about control and redistribution of wealth, even the Dem judges who ruled in favor of the law said the later!! If you want proof it is about control, it’s in the stimulus law, and I can post a video if you would like to prove this. This is NOT going to promote anybodies welfare. 👿

              • clearly a rational basis to conclude that this will promote the general welfare.

                OOPS! 🙂

              • The general welfare is onvlved because the only reason for regulating health care is to supposedly promote the general welfare. The commerce clause is simply the loophole they are trying to use to constitutionally justify their authority to regulate health care in the way that they are. As far as the intent of the commerce clause itself, regulation of interstate commerce would only have a motivation if there were issues of commerce, such as interstate disputes, contractual issues, varying legal requirements for transactions from state to state, jurisdictional issues relating to enforcement, etc. There is nothing in the commerce clause about taking care of people or making things better for people or anything like that. The commerce clause is a jurisdictional declaration, not a motivational one. The General Welfare clause is a motivational declaration, indicating the intent of government action. So both have to be employed here. Just because the government is supposedly allowed to do something in terms of jursidiction is not enough, there must also be a constitutional justification for the purpose of the legislation itself.

                As for your last sentence, I could say the same thing in the opposite way. Your personal belief in this is not relevant as there is clearly a rational basis to conclude that this will harm the general welfare, or that it will not promote it. So what’s your point? Whose opinion does matter? The government’s? So much for by, for, and of the people then. Not saying that my personal beliefs are all that matter, just saying that there is a rational case on both sides of the argument, so neither side can ignore the existence of the other. It cannot just be made law because the representatives want it to be law, not when it is in violation of government authority, i.e, not constitutional.

              • Bottom Line says:

                Jon Smith – “It cannot just be made law because the representatives want it to be law, not when it is in violation of government authority, i.e, not constitutional.”

                BL – But they have the votes, the guns, and the monopoly on violence. They get what they want.

                Constitutionality is just their way of bullshitting people into believing coercion is acceptable.

                Yeah, I know…I’m just sayin’.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                “The commerce clause is a jurisdictional declaration, not a motivational one. The General Welfare clause is a motivational declaration, indicating the intent of government action. So both have to be employed here.”

                Absolutely untrue. Congress has no power to do anything, other than tax and spend, for the general welfare. Congressional authority to regulate interstate commerce is not limited by any concern for the general welfare; they are free to regulate interstate commerce for any damn reason they please, even if doing so goes against the general welfare.

                Though again, the governing standard for promoting the general welfare is extremely broad — is there some rational basis to conclude this will promote the general welfare? Of course there is; you even admit as much in saying that there is a reasonable argument to be made on both sides.

              • I don’t think the federal government was ever granted authority within any aspect of the constitution to do anything for “any damn reason they please”. Such a statement requires a very loose interpretation of the Constitution as a whole and an obvious bias towards an overbearing and authoritarian, if not down-right tyrannical, government.

                You may be correct that there was no specific tie to motivation, and that the general welfare clause is not at work here. However, it is blatantly obvious that a loose interpretation is being held of “regulate” and of “commerce among the several states”.

                Either way, the argument still stands that:
                1) Individual mandate is not a “reasonable” method of executing regulation of commerce, thus not constitutional.
                2) Control of health care is an expansion of federal power that violates both the 9th and 10th amendments.
                3) Regulation of interstate commerce still requires commerce to exist. If a person is both healthy and uninsured, no commerce exists. Regulating of non-commercial activity does not directly affect health care. The inability to distribute cost and thereby create the illusion of affordability by making the healthy pay against their will may affect the execution of the so-called “regulation of commerce”, but that is outside the scope of said regulation. If such a requirement is needed for that regulation, then the regulation is not valid.

              • Jon,

                I’m at a loss with Buck. He’s a smart guy, but for some reason, he won’t see the beyond his political views. I provided a SCOTUS precedent, that is totally clear that the Feds cannot mandate. In my research, the case I linked above, was never mentioned in all these court cases, so I e-mailed the VA-AG to pass it along 🙂 Hope tonight finds you happy and warm!

              • Thanks G, its been a rough day and now I am stuck in a room with a large crowd of artsy yuppies listening to godawful bands. So I dunno about happy, tho its only for a couple more hours so I can get happy then. The alternator on the RV is out, so batteries are not charging, so warm is a little tricky too. Fortunately, after a long drive to a friend’s house with a few stops to recharge the battery to keep the headlights running, I should be able to plug in which will afford a space heater as well as power for the thermostat and furnace fan, so warm will be fixed later as well. 🙂

                Stay warm and keep your powder dry my friend. 🙂

      • My mistake….I just naturally made an assumption based on your liberal and seemingly unwaivering positions. HOwever, I stand corrected. But still….the question remains.


      773 Obamacare waivers…and counting
      Ethel C. Fenig
      In August, 2009, as he was extolling the virtues of his proposed Obamacare, President Barack Obama (D) famously promised “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” And if you’re a union member you certainly can; if you’re not, well…

      The Health and Human Services site Helping Americans Keep the Coverage They Have and Promoting Transparency (sic) conveniently lists the 773 waivers approved to date. Scroll through the list; notice that most of the waivers, more than 650 went to unions exempting well over 2 million employees.

      And for the millions of other workers who like their health care plan and want to keep their health care plan?
      The site also helpfully provides links on how to get one. Go! Lots of luck! You’re going to need it.

  9. Every now and then a photographer catches us revealing our true feelings. It is all there in the picture, no words are needed.

    Check out the staffer standing behind Mr. McCain. It appears she is looking at the press folks who are trying to get attention.

    Wonder what she really thinks about the person/persons she was focused on?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @JAC – based on the positioning of the hand holding the black voice recorder – I think your “staffer” may just be another reporter.

      • I could see that based on the positioning of the mic, Ray, but I don’t think so. I think the mic looks better postioned for the shorter woman to the right in that picture. The woman in question has the look of a staffer, not a reporter. Regardless of which she is, she isn’t happy!

  10. Murphy's Law says:


    I know I don’t post regularly at all, but I am always around reading…..I am getting used to the new look here and support you in this. I also totally agree with your desire to make changes that will allow you to spend more time with Mrs. Weapon. I wish I could meet you both in person sometime.

    On your questions- Since the Super Bowl is in my backyard for the first time this year, I am watching all this with amazement…..the ice and record setting sub-freezing temps this week have only made it more interesting. I just want a good game, I don’t care that much who wins since I am not a fan of either team, though if you put a gun to my head I would say the NFC team. I just plan to stay the heck out of the way of all the traffic as much as possible.

    Leaders and Legends? Lame……

    I am ALWAYS excited about the start of baseball season….I may have said this before, but at age 14 I fell in love with the game after the Astrodome opened, I went to a few games and then started listening to the games on the radio. There is nothing like baseball on the radio…..since college I have lived in the DFW area, remember when the Senators came here as the Rangers, and have been a fan since then. So last season was a dream come true for me……wish we hadn’t lost Lee to the Phillies, but wish him well there. Boy what a pitching staff they will have! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they take it all this year. But as always…..go Rangers!

    I will have to try out the book series you just mentioned. I used to devour books all the time, but lately I have changed my taste in reading material, or actually lost my taste for the books I used to read, so have been looking for a new genre….

    Sorry about the pain you are going through with your surgeries, and BF I am really sorry for your injuries….hope you both recover more quickly than the docs expect!

    Have another day off from school because of the weather, so I expect to be reading on here a lot today. Very thankful for a warm house right about now….

    One quick question USW- don’t mean to complain, and this is trivial, but does the box where we write have to be this small in this new format?


  11. Would someone please keep Janet Napolitano away from here. She is touting that the Texas border is safer now than it has ever been. Now, as to what planet she is from, who knows…. but……and very sorry for straying from USW rules……”keep the bitch outta here. she does not know shit from shinola”….I feel better now.

  12. So let me get this straight.. SUFA is going to become more like HuffPo?

    • Mathius,

      I read HuffPo all the time, and especially the comments section. Their coverage of the Egypt situation is very good, better than Fox or CNN. I don’t comment on there, as arguing with people who seem very off kilter is not a sane decision.

      • I imagine that it’s largely the forum; though, undoubtedly, many of them are unbalanced idiots (People are, after all, dumb), many of them, if taken from the left-wing lunatic echo chamber and dropped into the right-wing lunatic asylum that is SUFA, would be able to construct coherent and nuanced liberal arguments and debate politely and on the merits of the issues.

        (I award myself 10 points for that sentence – read it again, it is a work of art)

        • Mathius

          I am not sure about “many” although you can claim any number to fit the assertion.

          True, it is a work of art. But then again I have absolutely no knowledge or skill with formal English. So your ART could be pure garbage and I wouldn’t know for sure. But it looks nice to me.

          • HuffPo has, what? 1000 regular posters? Let’s say 90% of them are nuts. That leaves 100 rational people? If just 10% of them switched, that’d be 10 people.

            SUFA has, what? 60-70, tops? Throw 10 more liberals on the barbecue and I think we’d get something really interesting.

    • Well, minus the ridiculous name calling and mindless comments.

  13. I would love to be a contributor, but I cannot commit in any way shape or form to meeting deadlines or supplying regularly. I had intended to write something several months ago and just never got around to it.

    Besides, anything I wrote would just get taken out of context 😉

  14. USW-

    Glad to hear that things are improving, relatively, and hope the pain keeps going away! Like others, I think the format change is fine, I really read for the content and knowledge than the look of the site.

    As for the super bowl, not to tick off any Squealer, I mean Steeler fans, but I really hope the Packers beat them, and beat them really bad. Alas, I don’t think it will be a beatdown, just a close Packers win hopefully!

    The big 10- besides OSU, not really relevant in cfb world. They could name the conferences whatever they want- won’t matter. SEC still rules!

    And finally, I’m very excited that baseball is almost back! We have a minor league team here that I go and watch some games at, but I really hope for a competetive year in all divisions and for my fantsy teams to win again!

    I fall into that category of people who think they might want to post an article from time to time. I will contact you for assistance if I can ever write something that I feel would be worthy of reading by our very knowledgable readers!

    Good luck with recovery and the new gig!
    Matt L

    • There’s only enough room on this site for one Matt. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to go.

      • Technically Mathius, I was here 1st- just didn’t have time to respond too often, and by the time I got back here on a semi-regular basis, you were a fine, upstanding, mostly sane contributor. Hope I can get grandfathered in! Always fun to see your witty banter with Black Flag and et al!

        • I have always been here.

          I was reading SUFA before your great grandfather was conceived.

          But, since you were so nice about the witty banter, I guess I can let you stay. 🙂

      • I refuse to accept there only being room for one Matt, we will just have to build an addition!

  15. Loose Ends from yesterday(s).

    Just wanted to make sure a few discussions were wrapped up or further explored as needed.

    Loose End #1: Ray Hawkins comment on my post of the Doug Powers piece. From Ray forward was as follows:

    Ray Hawkins Says:
    February 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

    @JAC – what I find equally “un fracking believable” is that we post the Doug Powers piece (via Michelle Malkin) w/o bothering to see if Mr. Powers left some of the SOTU speech on the cutting room floor prior to the hit piece.

    Here is the full paragraph that Powers selectively choose his material from:

    “You see, we know what’s possible from our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals, school boards and communities. Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado — located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97 percent of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their families to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said, “Thank you, Ms. Waters, for showing that we are smart and we can make it.” (Applause.) That’s what good schools can do, and we want good schools all across the country.”


    So while in the preceding paragraph “Race to the Top” was highlighted, I read the words regarding Bruce Randolph as praising a bottom-up approach.

    Un-fracking believable eh?

    Sloppy Doug Powers……

    Sloppy Michelle Malkin……

    Sloppy JAC…….


    Just A Citizen Says:
    February 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm


    Not at all. What is the point of Power’s piece Ray?

    It is not about bottom up or top down.

    So apparently you missed the point, created your own and then accuse me and Mr. Powers of being sloppy.

    There is nothing in the part you added that is contradictory of the point Powers makes.

    Try again.
    anita Says:
    February 3, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Thanks for finally responding JAC. I have read both posts several times today trying to figure what Ray is seeing as the point. Still don’t know what he’s trying to get at.

    It must be a full moon in lefty world today. They all have their heels dug in.

    Ray, I want to make sure we have this cleared up as you felt compelled to chastise me for something I completely don’t understand.

    Do you still hold your position and if so could you please explain it better. I have no idea what you are criticizing about Powers’ comment.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @JAC – it is unfortunate that you’re still confused by this.

      The Powers article is trying to take pains to point out that the reason for the success of the school was that (as Powers bolded in his article):

      “It was the first school in the state to be granted autonomy from district and union rules”

      He is accusing POTUS of intentionally leaving this “detail” out for some unstated nefarious reasons (perhaps because of this “union” angle? I dunno?).

      I’d love to argue whether the performance of the school can be positively attributed to the significant turnover in the teacher ranks (e.g. ridding the school of the union teachers) – but that wasn’t really the point.

      Unions are no longer “bottom-up” organizations. Most all unions are top-heavy bureaucracies that force things (more bad than good) down on businesses and the employees they supposedly represent.

      It should be obvious that the approach used in the school to “reform” clearly was a bottom-up approach to clean the place out and start anew.

      Obama, as I quoted yesterday, was clearly supporting what the school did, even if he did not quote Deb Stanley from 7 News in Denver verbatim (oh the shock).

      Apparently that went up Powers’ ass sideways and for some reason led to your “ain’t this funny” “unfrackingbelievable” posting. The only funny thing is that a hyper-partisan like Powers (and by association Malkin) can’t get his head out of his own ass long enough to see the good in Obama finally putting on record that monolithic top-down approaches at the minimum DO NOT ALWAYS work.

      People like Powers only move me to think more that we are screwed – dialogue is dead.

      • Ray

        How about the hypocrisy of the POTUS using a “charter school” as an example of success when he supported the abolition of vouchers in the D.C. school system?

        How about the fact that the POTUS has consistently campaigned for and received support from the national teacher’s union.

        Yet he selects a charter type school which pushed out the unions as HIS example of a success story.

        The POINT Ray is the apparent hypocrisy or absolute arrogance that nobody would notice or care.

        Apparently he was correct as your reaction shows. Instead of recognizing the satire and irony of his example, as exposed by Powers, you once again attack the messenger as “just another hit job”.

        That is really objective and rational of you Ray.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          JAC – jump any sharks lately?

          Let’s start from the top shall we?

          “How about the hypocrisy of the POTUS using a “charter school” as an example of success when he supported the abolition of vouchers in the D.C. school system?”

          – Clever choice of words JAC. Irrespective of the position of the NEA or AFT, the budget bills were eliminating FEDERAL FUNDING for the charter schools. His position is that charter schools are not a “long-term solution” for education problems in this country (which from some aspects I agree – a one-size fits all solution for this is likely not going to work). I’m not sure if Powers meant what you are stating here – but the facts don’t support your statement.

          “How about the fact that the POTUS has consistently campaigned for and received support from the national teacher’s union.”

          – He has “consistently campaigned for…” – really? I’d like you to support that assertion JAC. It just isn’t true. Or “….received support from the national teacher’s union” – show me the 2010 numbers on this JAC – I’m dying to see them. If you’re qualifying this as “consistently” then you are even more inaccurate in your statement. Stick to the facts JAC.

          “Yet he selects a charter type school which pushed out the unions as HIS example of a success story.”

          – This is a blatantly false statement JAC. Read the transcript of the speech JAC – he is giving credit to the folks at Bruce Randolph and the community for developing and implementing a solution that did not use a top-down approach. No where in his speech is he taking credit for what they have done. He used it as an example, not as something he was taking credit for.

          At the end of the day Powers owns what his said. And what he said (as well as what he did not say) speak volumes. I looked objectively at his writing and assessed it against the facts available and entirety of the speech that Powers cherrypicked from.

          • Ray

            So apparently you agree with me, yet continue to chastise me for being sloppy, inaccurate and untruthful.

            Perhaps if you just read the words for what they say instead of injecting your preconceived notions into the statement.

            For example, your statement:

            “- This is a blatantly false statement JAC. Read the transcript of the speech JAC – he is giving credit to the folks at Bruce Randolph and the community for developing and implementing a solution that did not use a top-down approach. No where in his speech is he taking credit for what they have done. He used it as an example, not as something he was taking credit for.”

            Please note you last sentence. He used it as an example. Now once again here is my statement you are attacking:

            ““Yet he selects a charter type school which pushed out the unions as HIS example of a success story.””

            Please note Ray I did not say used it as an example of HIS success. I say he used it as HIS example of A SUCCESS STORY.

            Yes Ray, he is giving credit to the local school. Although both the school district and State had to be involved.

            Yes, Powers comments stand on their own. And they have little to do with your objections. I read it as a simple example of irony that a President who does not support charter schools, who supports the teacher’s union, would use THIS school as HIS example of a success story.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              So it went from hypocrisy to irony?

              This has become pointless.

              • As was your attack from the beginning.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                JAC – a dialogue becomes pointless when one participant changes their story midway through because the angle they were holding onto had no merit and was grounded in deceit. Not the first time and won’t be the last.

              • Ray

                I did not change the story. I simply tried to stay brief.

                Excuse me all to hell for not repeating the exact same words.

                I also think it was hypocritical, and ironic, and flat stupid.

                His political handlers should have known better than to give his opposition such a plum.

                But I notice you skipped over the entire issue. You projected intent and meaning that wasn’t present. It seems only because it was Powers and Malkin who presented the piece.

                Would you have reacted the same if it were presented by Jon Stewart?

  16. 8)

  17. Buck the Wala

    Loose End #2:

    You stated at the close of the legal debate yesterday that:

    “Under constitutional jurisprudence you never ask the question of whether forcing people to purchase insurance (the mandate) violates the commerce clause. You ask whether forcing people to purchase insurance is a constitutional means of congress exercising its authority to regulate health care under the commerce clause.

    It seems to me that Vinson answered a question that doesn’t exist!”

    I do not see any true distinction between the two questions you posed here. In either case you are asking if the provisions of the new law are authorized by the commerce clause.

    This was a primary question raised by the challengers. Their claim was that the mandate is not authorized by the commerce clause and expands authority beyond that allowed. Thus it is unconstitutional.

    Thus Vinson was answering the question that was raised by the challengers in this case.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      There’s a subtle but important difference here.

      Briefly put, constitutional analysis would dictate as follows:

      1) What is being sought to be regulated? Health care
      2) What constitutional right does Congress have the regulate health care? Commerce clause
      3) How has Congress chosen to regulate health care? Individual Mandate
      4) Does Congress have the right to select this method to regulate health care? Yes, through the necessary and proper clause – Congress can chose any reasonable means to carry out its regulation
      5) Does the individual mandate violate another constitutional provision or pre-existing right of the states or individuals? This is the real question to be answered in my mind.

      • My question would be is individual mandate a “reasonable means”? That would make the whole deal subjective would it not?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Yes and no – I’m sure there is more to it, but haven’t really delved into it all that much.

          From my understanding, Congress can elect any means it deems reasonable to effectuate the regulation, so long as the method chosen does not violate some other provision or preexisting right.

          • Congress can elect any means it deems reasonable…damn, to me that sounds like the sky is the limit, and definitely not what our framers intended…IMHO.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Tell that to CJ Marshall who authored the 1819 opinion.

              • Obviously, the sky is the limit is not the value that should be placed on reasonable-so what criteria should be used?
                From your post I think the answer to this IYO is “5) Does the individual mandate violate another constitutional provision or pre-existing right of the states or individuals? This is the real question to be answered in my mind.” It seems to me that this is the question that the Judge in Florida was arguing.

              • Got his phone number, or should I just wait another 20 (hopefully) years and speak to him in the afterlife…???

                I guess I am simply wondering how they deterimine reasonable. It sounds as though it is determined however they damn well please, which I do not believe is what the framers intended…no disrespect intended to CJ Marshall.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                CJ Marshall was a founding father.

                Given not all of them agreed on everything, but its sure difficult to argue ‘intent’ with the words of a Founder.

              • It is really hard to argue anything with a dead guy…

            • Speaking of the UnConstitutional healthcare bill, why is this in it: (from an e-mail and confirmed)

              I know this is hard to believe, especially in this day and age. But you are at risk of having your gold confiscated by the U.S. government. You see, buried deep in the healthcare reform act is a line item, secretly added, that gives the government the ability to take away your gold. The official law is in Section 9006 of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Umm..I just looked up Section 9006. Nothing about the government’s ability to steal your gold. Not sure where you’re getting that from.

              • Buyers of precious metals, over 600 bucks would have to file a 1099 to the IRS. However, I think this section was just repealed by the Senate, so it’s probably a moot point.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I believe this was repealed as well so it probably is a moot point.

                But requiring the filing of a 1099 and stealing your gold are two very different things.

          • I’m sure that US v. Butler, 1936, as posted above is pretty clear on the powers of the Feds. Not sure why you seem to be dismissing this Buck, but, it is there, and it ain’t going away.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I’m not dismissing it – just withholding judgment as I haven’t had a chance to really look into the case or the holding.

              It seems to me that the case was really an issue of the taxation, spending and general welfare clause. Beyond that, I would need to do more research and just don’t have the time at the moment.

      • Buck

        So in your view Health Care comprises “interstate commerce” and because of that Congress can do anything it likes to “regulate” said commerce.

        The only restriction is an outright violation of some other constitutional provision, like one of the Bill of Rights.

        Is that correct?

        I assume yes, so let me ask the next question.

        Exactly how does health care qualify as “interstate commerce”? What service or product is transfered or transported across state lines.

        Oh, I almost forgot. The issue was regulation of “health insurance”, not health care. So same question. What makes health insurance qualify as “interstate commerce”?

        Do you see both as commerce or only health care and then Congress can regulate insurance as “part” of its power to regulate health care?

      • 1) agreed.
        2) How does one define regulation of interstate commerce? In this case, congress is demanding that transactions be engaged in (note: I am not referring to the individual mandate, but to the mandate on insurance companies to cover persons with certain conditions or dependents up to certain ages, etc. The means that the power to control one’s own services and to whom said services are granted is stepped on. Furthermore, it is a requirement to engage in transactions that are financially ruinous. Insurance companies must now engage in transactions that will statistically equal a loss. To prevent this loss, the insurance companies are being guaranteed that all persons must be customers of some insurance provider, this is the reasoning for the individual mandate. So is this a reasonable and legal form of “regulation”?
        3) As I mentioned above, Congress has chosen to regulate health care by forcing insurance companies to engage in unsound business transactions. The individual mandate is, in fact, a deal made with insurance companies in order to keep them from going out of business due to losses or premiums so high that they would be unaffordable to clients.
        4) The Necessary and Proper clause is being violated, as this unprecedented mandate is not reasonable, nor is it within the scope of federal authority.
        5) Furthermore, the mandate violates the 10th amendment by engaging in authority that should be left to the several states. It also is in violation of the 9th amendment for its encroachment on individual rights.

        Further, while this bill passed through the Congress in the correct order to be considered a legal passage of a tax, it was not passed as such and therefore the monies demanded cannot be considered a tax. It must, then, be counted as a fine. It is not within the rights of government regulation to enforce fines for failing to engage in commerce of a certain type that is intended to benefit one’s self. Even the power of the States to require driving insurance is restricted to a requirement of liability insurance only. Meaning there might be precedent to have to carry liability health insurance, but not insurance of one’s self or one’s own property. Health insurance is for one’s own benefit only, and is therefore incomparable to a requirement to protect others from potential liability of your improper actions while engaging in a specific activity, as is the case with driving and the conditional issuance of a driver’s license.

  18. Hey All! Been busy and not available much.


    Big Ten Leaders vs Legends

    Leaders lead which is why Wisconsin is in this group;

    Legends are has-beens which is why MSU is in this group!

    Have a good one~

    • Still mad about that loss to Sparty! Tisk, tisk!

      • Revenge on Sunday – could be a very fun day with a win over Sparty at noon and a win over the Steelers later in the day….OR….it could really suck.

        Based on how MSU looked at Iowa last night – I’m going with a win. We have tickets behind the Badger bench – I’ll wave to you!

        • No Kidding? I”ll be looking for a Hi Anita sign!

          I don’t know what Sparty’s problem is so far 😦


          I need to find some squares. My square friend is on a business trip to Maryland at the moment.

        • Sign is made! Now getting it into the Kohl Center will be the challenge, because of course, they check everything and everywhere. It’s small as I believe 8-1/2 x 11 is acceptable.

          Go green (& gold). I have a feeling there will be a lot of Packer green there. Did you know Izzo is a Packer fan? Goes back to when Mariucci (sp?) was on coaching staff and they are best buds.

          • Yeah I knew that about Izzo. Mariucci is from Iron Mtn, in Michigan’s UP..Damn near Wisconsin,

            The Anita sign is Green and White, right? 🙂

    • Voting for the Pack cause I’m too close to Steeler country and several work for me, obnoxious.
      Attended THE Ohio State University – – whoop UofM’s butt tonight!
      Reds fan, wish we had the money to compete with Philly, NY, and Boston, but we did Ok anyway!

  19. The economy, seems to be missing in our discussions, propably because it really sucks and noone wants to talk about. For the record I’m not a fan of Donald Trump (I bet Mathius has hair just like him 🙂 ). He did an interview, which I’ll link too, that should open some eyes. He didn’t get wealthy by being stupid (although he may be a crook, he’s a smart crook). The article author comments on Trumps statements. This is worth a read, here is the end of the article and link.

    We should all hate what is happening to this country. Our economic guts are being ripped out, we are being abused by the rest of the world, America’s infrastructure is being sold off piece by piece, our federal government is drowning in debt, our state governments are drowning in debt and our local governments are drowning in debt.

    The only way we can even keep going is to run around to the rest of the world and beg them to keep lending us more money.

    The mainstream media keeps proclaiming that we are the greatest economy on earth, but the truth is that we are being transformed into a pathetic loser and our politicians are just standing there with their hands in their pockets letting it happen.

    All red-blooded Americans should be horrified by what is happening to this nation. We have been betrayed by corrupt and incompetent leaders. As a nation, we have become fat, lazy and stupid.

    Hopefully what Donald Trump and others are saying about a coming economic collapse will serve as a huge wake up call and the sleeping giant will arise once again.

    If the sleeping giant does not arise, we are in a massive amount of trouble, because right now the road we are on is leading to the biggest economic collapse the world has ever seen.

    • I do not have hair like the Donald.

      But let me say this: As long as I have hair, I’ll be happy about it, no matter how it looks.

      I’m 27, but my father was already losing his by this age, so I count myself lucky that I seem to have dodged that bullet.

    • I saw donald’s remarks and they were interesting. He wanted to send a BILL to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. If we fought a war for oil, where’s my oil??

      Here’s my solution: free health clinics in china and a BILLION people buying Lipitor, Glucophage, Ritalin and Viagra.

  20. Judy Sabatini says:


    I am very glad you are feeling better with each passing day, & hope you will continue to do so.. Hope Mrs, Weapon is doing well also, along with Canine Weapon.

    I too may not participate a lot here myself, but I do read along when I can & if I have something to say, I do. I have always enjoyed reading the comments from everybody. Even though everybody may not agree with everything, what I do find, is how everyone is civil to one another & I find that to be truly refreshing. It’s good to know that there are times, we can agree to disagree without hard feelings there.

    You have a wonderful site here, & I say, you run it how you see fit. I have really enjoyed being part of it for the last 2 years or maybe more, & I’m very glad that I have made friends here. As for the changes, I like it & don’t see anything wrong with it.

    Flag, I hope you’re feeling much better also, & you’re on the mend as well.

    You all take care & hope you will have a great day.


    • Thanks, Judy.

      Last night was probably 3rd worse night over the last 3 weeks – maybe a sign of healing, but it was “un”fun.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        You’re quite welcome Flag, but you know the old saying, going to get worse before it gets better. It took me 9 months to get better when I slipped my Lombard disc, so, yes, I know how you feel. Was very limited in what I could do. What else can you do, but to take one day at a time, right.

        Hang in there Flag!

  21. PS:

    Whoever originally posted the link to:

    wins 2 Black Flag points –

    gawd, I haven’t stopped laughing – it is hilarious.

    • So.. there is something we agree on after all… go figure..

    • Bottom Line says:

      When you’re all busted up and feeling down, laughter is good medicine

      …Maybe not as good as pain-killers, but is good for the soul.

      Hope your recovery is speedy and without further incident.

      Thanks for the points, BTW.

    • Yes, they get Jon Smith points too!

      • Can you clarify the exchange rate? There’s a lot of competing currencies around here, and I think we should try to sort them out. I know that:

        1 Black Flag Point (BFP) is pegged to 10,000 12oz glasses of domestic beer.

        1 Mathius Point (MP) is pegged to 1 atom of gold.*

        Dread Pirate Mathius Point (DPMP) are pegged to wenches.

        D13 Points are pegged to velociraptors.

        Don’t tell me Jon Smith Points are fiat – Flack Blag would have an aneurysm.

        *Terms and conditions apply

        • Heavens no, its not fiat!

          Jon Smith points are pegged to 500 characters of text (roughly 10 lines).* Text can be redeemed in English, PHP, CSS, HTML, Javascript, XML, SQL, binary, and hexadecimal. Common uses for said text include blog articles, comments, resumes, cost analysis, marketting, web site construction, database queries and other code functions, speeches, answers to questions, logical solutions, and many others.

          *Satisfaction with lines of text is not guaranteed if the request requires artistic ability or comedic creativity. Satisfaction only guaranteed with logical reasoning, psychological effectiveness, accuracy, and/or code functionality…

          • Bottom Line says:

            Between you and Flag, I guess I’m racking up.

            I should post links to funny shit more often.


            • Indeed, currently your account with me is 1,000 characters. The good thing is, mine are easier to redeem since they can be digitally transmitted. The bad thing is, while they are useful, they are not necessarily items of instrinsic physical value.

          • I would like to redeem some JS Points. I request that they be in the form of an explanation of SQL. I am a minor deity in VB, but am severely limited in terms of database languages. Please explain the following, with an emphasis on how joins work:

            FROM rtperflot_view H
            LEFT JOIN tc_sector on sectorcode = sec_sector
            JOIN tr_sec S on = s.sec_sym
            LEFT JOIN Tc_sectype TY on s.sec_type = TY.sectype
            LEFT JOIN tc_crosscurrency xcur on s.sec_currency = xcur.fromcurr and xcur.tocurr = ‘USD’
            LEFT JOIN sec_realtime RT on s.sec_sym = rt.secsym
            LEFT JOIN tc_pricelookup PL on s.sec_sym = pl.pl_sym
            WHERE portfolio in (select grpdx_prt_name from ec_grpdx
            where grpdx_grp_name in (‘master’))
            GROUP BY s.customid1

            • Matt,
              I do not think you have an open account containing points, however, as a measure of good faith, I will extend the following to you on credit:

              Essentially, in SQL code, a join is designed to pull data from two tables that already have a relationship. In a relational database, each table has a primary key, but the primary key of one table is often connected to a field in another table. For instance, a customer id number might be referred to in a table listing purchase orders. Each purchase order would have a number, and would also link to a customer id number.
              In a standard query, you have a select statement (which appears to be missing in this query code) stating the specific data you want out of a table. You would typically have SELECT (column_name). Then you have a FROM statement, denoting the table that column name is in. That is where the code you posted starts. A JOIN statement allows data to be pulled from two tables, or for data to be pulled if it matches both tables. In the case of a LEFT JOIN, only data from the left table (first table listed in the statement) will be pulled, and it will be pulled even if there are no matches on the right, or second, table. A standard JOIN requires a match in both tables, a LEFT JOIN does not.
              In your case, I am not sure what some of the rest of the statement means precisely because I do not know your table structure. Essentially it is a query that will output data from several sets of tables that meets certain criteria and group it all by customer number for easy readability. I would need to know the nature of the tables and columns being referred to in the statement in order to give a valid explanation of the full intent or specific predicted output of the query. My guess is that this will return something like all orders that match the criteria, even if there is no customer number or some other piece of data is missing from the second table. The reasoning for using a LEFT JOIN would be so that a group by or other piece of data could be employed to organize data, but the data that was missing such correlations would still come out in the report. A standard JOIN, which is also in your code, is ensuring that data for that specific line of the code is pulled only if there is related data in the second table.
              Keep in mind that queries can also be made against other queries, so if you are trying to decipher what data is being pulled, the statement you posted my also include queries, rather than tables, in what it is pulling data from. A join, however, typically does not include queries because it requires a database relationship to be established between tables to function. Since this is not typically supported in most db systems, joins are usually restricted to pulling data directly from tables. Are there any other specific questions you had in reference to this code snippet?

              • I don’t think I like SQL. I have many question, and I think I’ll need to re-read that post a few times, but I’ll let you know if I have further questions.. thanks for the clarification.

                Now, what do you mean I don’t have any JS Points? I must have thousands by now!

              • I know, I don’t like SQL much either. When I saw that was what you wanted points redeemed in I knew I was in for some drudgery, lol. Its like someone withdrawing 500 bucks in pennies.

                As for points, I dont hand them out that much, partly because I just came up with a decent exchange rate…

  22. Mathius,
    I just finished reading yesterdays thread. I have a question for you. Would you (with perfect knowledge) kill one person to save a thousand?

    • Yes.

      Or rather, I would like to believe that I would. I’m not sure that I could ever actually bring myself to pull the trigger.

      • Even if that person was Emilius?

        • Pretzel

          🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Some days it’d be easier than others…

          Kidding aside, intellectually, I know that no one life is worth more than any other. Her life is worth more to me, but the life of some random stranger is worth more to someone else. That random stranger could be your wife, why should my wife be worth more than yours?

          If push came to shove, would I kill Emilius to save 5 strangers? No. Probably not. But I would believe that, as a question of morality, I would be wrong not to. I just don’t think I could do it. 50 stranger? Still probably no.. 500 strangers.. 5,000 strangers? At some point, the scale would tip. I just don’t know where that point would be.


          At what point would you kill a loved one to save strangers? Is the life of your family member worth more than a half-billion strangers?

          • Mathius

            YES, to me.

            If you can not kill your wife yet you feel some moral conflict, did it ever occur to you that your definition of moral is not in sync with your natural human instincts?

            • Human nature should not be the litmus test for morality.

              Humans are selfish brutal sociopathic creatures.

              Logic should be the test.

              When the two come into conflict, logic should win, but it doesn’t always.

              For example, JAC, your DNA – your human nature – tells you to go out and mate with as many females as you can. But your sense of morality (hopefully) keeps you faithful to your spouse. See the parallels?

              • Young men in their prime, do attempt to mate with as many women as possible. Then when they find one that they think they can tolerate for the rest of their life, they settle down and soon realize their life is over. The greatest tool for abtsainance is a wedding cake. 😆

          • Also, in the 5 people versus one debate.

            What is the 5 were over 65 and the one was a 16 year old?

            What if the one was Thomas Edison or an equivalent?

            What if the 5 were politicians and the one was a plumber?

            What if the 5 were men and the one was a woman?

            What if the 5 were convicted prisoners and the one was just a nobody?

            What if in each of those cases the ratio was 50 to 1 instead of 5? 500 to 1? 5,000 to 1?

            There is no moral absolute that says that lives are of equal value, nor is there a moral absolute that says they are not.

        • Pretzel

          Exactly the right question!

          That’s the rub.

          The theory of utilitarian measure of “innocent life” is a fraud. It only works if the “killer” does not “know” either his victim or others.

          But as soon as the choice is someone personal, the theory collapses.

          (1) They will not murder their loved one to save millions, let alone thousands or hundreds.
          (2) They will slaughter millions to save a loved one.

          Thus, the root of the philosophy – willingness to slaughter strangers so to save themselves or their loved ones and has nothing to do with utilitarian equivalence or calculation

          • Knowing the right thing is not the same thing as being able to bring yourself to do the right thing.

            • Mathius,

              Knowing the right thing is not the same thing as being able to bring yourself to do the right thing.

              And that is the difference between being a mature adult and an immature one;
              the difference between a principled person and a pragmatic person;
              the difference between civilization and barbarianism.

      • Mathius,

        You are not the killing type of a person (I say that in a good way). You run from spiders for God’s sake!

        • I don’t run from spiders but I generally don’t kill them either – I like spiders because they kill and eat all the other insects. Why should I eliminate the predators that are eating my pests?

          • Emilius told us that when you see a spider, you scream like a little girl and yell GET IT, GET IT! 😆

          • Mathius,

            Why should I eliminate the predators

            Perhaps because ALL spiders are poisonous???

            • Is that true? I don’t think so.. link?

              But even so, they are not all hazardous to humans or pets.

              But they are hazardous to insects.

              Rest assured that if I noticed a spider with a red hourglass on it’s back, I would definitely kill it.. carefully.

              • Mathius,

                Yes, it is true. All spiders use poison to subdue their “meals”.

                True, not all spiders are deadly to humans, but ALL spider bites will result -as a minimum- a small welt.

                The Black Widow is not that scary. It’s bite is similar to a bee sting in severity – and some people will die from a bee sting.

                The Brown Recluse Spider is the one that really is bad.

                It tends to hide in dark areas in human occupied spaces. It’s bite releases a hemotoxic venom. and can be deadly. The bite often necrosiscauses to the tissues, causing it to dissolve into a fluidly mush and is unrelenting. To stop it often requires massive removal of tissue (like your entire arm or leg of the bite) to save your life.

                I had a friend who got bit on his back, and almost the entire left side of the flesh of his body had to be removed to save him.

              • Right.. brown recluse would get squashed (carefully) in my home.

                Daddy long-legs, if free to go about it’s business.

                Then again, a Goliath bird-eater Spider (Goliath Birdeater / Theraphosa blondi) would probably be removed from the premises, though not necessarily killed unless it put up a fight – but that thing would not be permitted to wander the casa.

              • Mathius,

                For your info, Daddy long-legs is NOT a spider.

                Although they belong to the class of arachnids, harvestmen are not spiders, which are of the order Araneae rather than the order Opiliones.

              • BF,

                I know both spiders well. We have Black Widows all over the place here in NC. I refuse to kill them, much in the same way I prefer not to kill anything these days. But I do require that they stay out of my house because of the danger they pose to my pets or my nieces and nephews. A widow bite will not kill you, but it will make you wish it did. And it can forever alter the brain chemistry of a pet or child.

                As for the recluse. I have been bitten by one on the back of my hand. He was hiding in my ruck. They had to dig down in and cut out a lot of skin and tissue. I was very fortunate that I saw him, knew what he was when he bit me, and made it to a medic immediately. Most people don’t see a doctor until the bite swells and turns the whole area black and purple, which is 7-9 days after bite occurs. At that point you are fighting to keep your limb.

                Overall I don’t mind the Widows as much because they are web dwellers. They build their nest and they stay in it. So if I avoid the types of areas where they would build, I can mitigate the risk. But the Recluse is a mobile spider who moves about. They love to get into fabric areas so they will crawl into your bed or into piles of linen or clothes.

                and MATHIUS… The Widow’s hourglass is on her belly not her back. Widows sit in their webs upside down!

          • Because they’re icky and they can bite you and they can produce hundreds of them from a single egg(is it an egg). They are also intimidating-I moved into a new house once -walked downstairs to wash some clothes and there were 100’s, 1000’s of spiders everywhere-I swear they were following me up the stairs. I would take a step backwards, they would follow me and then stop. I would take another step backwards they would follow me and stop. Don’t know what they did after that because I turned around ran up the stairs and closed the door and them put a towel in the gap. Spider killing bombs went off as soon as my husband got home-because I was not going back down there. 🙂

            • Lots of things are icky, and lots of things can bit you, and lots of thing re-produce en mass (welfare queens, for example).

              Being icky shouldn’t be a death warrant.

              And the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

              A spider has no interest in attacking you except in self defense. If one bites you, it is because it thought you were going to eat it. You are too big for them to eat, so they don’t bother trying.

              Insects, however, have no problem with biting you. They do all sorts of nasty stuff and carry all sorts of nasty diseases. And spiders think they’re delicious.

              People used to tie strings to praying mantises and keep them by their beds at night. Same rational – they’re not pretty, but they do a good job attacking your enemies.

              • I’m not declaring death to all spiders. 🙂 They are free to roam the outdoors-they enter my house one of us are leaving-and it ain’t gonna be me. 🙂

              • Spiders and snakes are our friend. Spidey eats insects….slinky eats mice and rats, cats that venture in..small children…unwanted guests (if diced)…IRS agents…Global warming experts..etc.

              • V.H. lives in Thunderdome for spiders, apparently..

                Hey, you probably are better off not trying to guess how many spiders are living, right this minute, in the walls and attic and basement of your home.

              • Hey D13

                Spiders eat pests.
                Slinkys eat rodents.
                Raptors eat …….

              • Raptors eat liberals.

                And anything that might reasonably be called a “purse dog.”

              • They also eat girly men who carry European manbags.

              • The Purse dog thing made me laugh out loud. Well played sir.

  23. Matt

    Re: Coats

    I see Godzilla left you a note yesteday.

    Godzilla, Thanks for the link…my kinda site!

  24. So, no one that supports Obama Care can answer my question….then I just saw Al Gore on a public braodcasting channel….13 here…..that Global Warming is to blame for the winter storms, the summer droughts, the hurricanes, and the latest cyclone that just hit Australia……what did he leave out?

    • Oh. my question was…….how do those that support Obama Care justify 733 waivers….40% that went to unions. Please justify such, if you can.

      • The law sucks and Obutthead doesn’t want to screw his friends!

      • I agree with G…you have received no answer because there is no answer that makes any sense…much like Obamacare makes little to no sense.

    • The fracking cold ass air!! And that he is a blubbering idiot!

  25. Mathius,

    Human nature should not be the litmus test for morality.

    I disagree. Human nature does determine morality.

    But there is NOT one Human Nature invoked in any situation. There are MANY.

    Example: Fight or Flight

    Humans are selfish brutal sociopathic creatures.

    Wholly disagree. This POV badly distorts your understanding and is a root cause of many of your very perverse beliefs.

    Logic should be the test.

    LOGIC is a methodology – it is not an answer.

    Reason should be the test.

    When the two come into conflict, logic should win, but it doesn’t always.

    Re: Logic … see above.

    Again, you mis-perceive the situation.
    There is not “one” answer to the conflict – whatever the outcome is determined by your morals and values.

    For example, JAC, your DNA – your human nature – tells you to go out and mate with as many females as you can. But your sense of morality (hopefully) keeps you faithful to your spouse. See the parallels?

    Another error.

    It maybe part of a man’s nature to mate with a multitude of females.

    But the stronger drive and also part of man’s nature to protect his offspring

    So the two strategies:
    (1) make as many carbon-copies as possible, so that some survive (the “fish egg” strategy or many basket of eggs, expect most will break
    (2) make a few carbon-copies, but protect these copies to the maximum (the “all eggs in one basket, and protect that one basket to death”)

    Men have found that (2) is significantly more successful – because, ironically, it increases the Father’s survivability. His children mature and eventually provide for the elderly parents – but only if the children know who their parents are – which is easy for the mother, but a massive challenge for the father

    The father “proves” his fatherhood by “sticking around” the family. This is formalized by marriage and societal enforcements of fidelity.

    So as JAC said, morality derives from human nature – it is NOT manufactured out of thin air.

    • “But the stronger drive and also part of man’s nature to protect his offspring” Your DNA plays a tick on you.

      Love is a lust of the blood and a permission of the will (2 points for the reference sans search engine).

      Love exists as a artificial counter-balance to our selfish instincts to protect our DNA (and those with similar DNA, or who might be helpful in perpetuating our DNA) at the expense of the individual.

      We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are really just gene carriers going through the motions in order to make more of those genes.

      So you say we choose option 2, but our DNA screams at us to sow our oats. In terms of DNA perpetuation and genetic mutation over time, the survivability of the father after the progeny have matured is irrelevant – it’s an ancillary perk of no importance in the Darwinian sense. If evolution cared about the survivability of the parents, then human lives would not be capped around 100. How convenient that, absent medical science, humans live roughly just slightly more than long enough to see their children to the age of fertility – then we die and get out of the way.

      We stay with our women because our DNA has tricked our brains. It has made us believe that the future carriers of our genes are more important than those who do not carry out genes, and that they are more important than ourselves. And, to that end, we stay to help ensure their survival and, by extension the further perpetuation of those genes, by staying with the mother to work as a paired unit for their benefit.

      Love, that great deceiver, blinds us to the ups and downs and the reality of life as it really is. And why? To trick us into protecting and favoring our progeny – not because they are living humans with a right to life, but because they carry our genes, which are in direct competition for resources against a myriad of other genes. Survival of the fittest.

      That, sir, is how the world really works.

      “So as JAC said, morality derives from human nature” – and I say WRONG. Human nature is a base and selfish desire for genetic propagation. Bears took the route that lead to strength, elephants to size, cheetas for speed, platypus.. well I’m not sure what they did. We took the route that let to brain power.

      We’re smarter than the other animals, but our nature is the same. We evolved the same way and from the same origins. We share 99.9% of our “nature” with them. Yet you purport to find “human nature” as something completely different. It is not. We are animals. More so, we are bacteria and viruses. Pieces of deoxyribonucleic acid which formed the blueprint for a brain which it hardwired to serve it’s own purposes. You have the illusion of control, but you don’t. Have you ever fought a battle of self-control and lost? Why? Aren’t you in charge? Or is something else, something older and more primitive? Try not breathing and see who wins: you or your DNA?

      Why would I have a hard time killing Emilius to save 1,000 innocent strangers? Because my DNA has built in a trap door into the programming of my mind – an override that says “people who may help with the perpetuation your genes must be preserved.” I can know, intellectually, that Emilius is equal in her value and right to life to a complete stranger, but my genes don’t care about that. And, ultimately, they’re the ones running the show.

      • Mathius,
        But the stronger drive and also part of man’s nature to protect his offspring” Your DNA plays a tick on you

        It is not a trick.

        Man’s survivability is multi-fold and complex.

        If it was merely to make copies, we’d be Praying Mantis – and after copulation, get our head eaten off.

        But that is not humans. After we have kids, we still live. After they leave our care, we still live.

        So there is more to human life than replicating DNA. And it is not a trick, and thus, “that is the way it works according to Mathius” is WRONG.

        We’re smarter than the other animals, but our nature is the same.

        So you argue against yourself. Why would DNA ‘trick us’ to be smart??

        Obviously intelligence changes our nature.

        You want to believe they are dissimilar – but they are not.

        Our nature made us smart; we use our intelligence to change our nature; our nature makes us smarter; we use that intelligence to change our nature again; and so on.

        Man is unique is that we can invoke change within ourselves.

        • “If it was merely to make copies, we’d be Praying Mantis – and after copulation, get our head eaten off.” No because we have, evolutionarily speaking, found a higher likelihood of survival when the male survives copulation and sticks around to help the progeny survive to the age of sexual maturity.

          • Mathius,

            found a higher likelihood of survival when the male survives copulation and sticks around to help the progeny survive to the age of sexual maturity

            Exactly my point.

            The higher the complexity, the less merely making large number of copies makes sense.

            Longevity becomes -in part- a key as you point out.

            After the necessity, extension is irrelavant – it is unnecessary but equally irrelevant if the person continues to age.

            It simply -evolutionarily speaking- does not matter one way or the other.

      • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

        Sorry to have to chime in here but Mathius is technically correct on the human situation in biology.

        The essential purpose of our design is to be the most efficient robotic vehicle for the propagation of our DNA.

        But what the hell do I know, I;m just a dumb bioinformatician.

        Cheers, DCU

  26. February 02, 2011
    Judge Vinson Also Smacks Down Crony Capitalists
    By C. Edmund Wright
    Judge Vinson’s individual mandate ruling is seen — properly — as a defeat for ObamaCare and a win for individual freedom. And it is all of that, of course.

    But there’s more. Perhaps almost as pleasing as the affirmation of individual freedom and the dismissal of a government run-society is the smack-down Judge Vinson’s ruling gave to the concept of “crony capitalism.” And that may be just as important in the long run.

    After all, no government-run society is even possible without corporatists and crony capitalists eager to jump into the sack with the statists who will design laws to force unwilling customers to those corporations. This is something the statists will do under threat of sending IRS and other bureaucrats to harass every unwilling business or individual. You do remember that it was sixteen thousand new IRS agents — not sixteen thousand new doctors — that ObamaCare has plans to employ, don’t you?

    Gee, you think maybe ObamaCare was about control and not health care?

    And you can believe that the resulting threats from bureaucrats are indeed scary to those entrepreneurs who put it all on the line daily. Business owners successful enough to be targets — yet too small to be crony capitalists with Beltway connections — know full well that unelected and unaccountable and incompetent bureaucrats can wipe out a life’s work with mindless and asinine regulations and rulings. You know, like ObamaCare. Or OSHA. Or the EPA. Or an EEOC ruling. And so on.

    Now, in the case of ObamaCare, the chief crony capitalists were the shortsighted health insurers who backed a program that would end capitalism as we know it — even as it temporarily swelled their customer base. What a bargain. Of course, I guess by the time the free market collapses, the CEOs of these companies will have their own private temperate-zone islands paid for by a huge one- or two-year spike in stock options — what with 35 million new customers paying premiums but not yet dying.

    A true free market advocate does not think this way. If free enterprise is a faithful, sexy, and loving wife who is in it for the long run, then crony capitalists are skanky prostitutes out for a one-nighter.

    And let’s not overlook the media impact of crony capitalism. It gives the illusion of free-market respectability to insidious socialist government programs because there is “public support” by so-called “private companies.” This spoonful of sugar helps the sour medicine go down to an electorate that all too often pays scant attention. It is classic liberal political cross-dressing.

    The truth is, crony capitalism is not capitalism at all. It is the opposite. Free enterprise means just that — the freedom to buy and sell as one sees fit for his or her situation. The individual mandate is totally opposed to that on every side of the equation. If fact, most of ObamaCare is.

    The insurers — for some reason that must have been taught by some clueless professor — thought that they could come out ahead in a world where every person would have to buy from them — while on the other hand, every person sitting on top of a million-dollar cancer or failing heart could force them to sell.

    And for some reason, it was acceptable in their calculus that in this win-lose-win scenario, the nanny state would make all of those decisions for all of us — and that they would do so on huge blank slates handed over to Kathleen Sebelius and legions of her bureaucrats. Why they refused to believe that some of those blanks would be filled in with what amounts to death sentences for their entire industry is beyond comprehension.

    This was the ultimate Faustian bargain playing out in front of all of us. And I say ultimate because it threatens to take down one seventh — or is it one sixth? — of a free-market economy in one fell swoop. So devastating to our economy and to our notions of freedom and a free market would be this huge “hope and change” that it could indeed be a death knell for the nation as we have known it.

    Supposed capitalists in the health industry were more than willing to destroy the entire free-market system for their chance to profit from it for a very short period of time. This cannot be allowed to happen — in this industry or any other — and that’s why Vinson’s ruling could really have positive ramifications down the road.

    These deals with the Devil are all over the place, thanks to this administration. We have the Chevy Volt. We have Archer Daniels Midland and the entire ethanol scam. And we have global warming crony capitalists like Jeff Immelt of GE all over the place. None of these products — the Volt, ethanol, windmills — can survive the genius of the free market. None of them entices the real entrepreneur producer because none of them has a willing customer base.

    And yet crony capitalists are getting rich off all of these failing products every day because government is perverting the market with mandates and subsidies and regulations that strangle legitimate decisions about allocation of capital, production, and purchasing. Crony capitalism is the ultimate insiders’ game of government-anointed winners and losers. And the biggest loser of all is the economic system that made America what it is.

    ObamaCare was going to be more of this than any other industry. And there are chilling implications to those who would stand in the way — be it by their independent spirit or their advanced age. That’s why we owe such a debt of gratitude to Judge Vinson. At this early stage, he has stood in the way.

    And by doing so, he has insured that the debate will continue. And during this time, the dark nature and consequences of crony capitalism must be brought to light…and maybe in time to save Granny from a death panel riding around in a Chevy Volt burning corn in the tank while seeing Brazilian and Russian oil rigs off Pensacola Beach.

    • If the HC law isn’t bad enough, one should read the sections of the stimulus bill that are tied in to the HC law. THis crap law is nothing but a government takeover, through and through.

    • SEIU fights healthcare repeal after obtaining waivers from law
      By Alexander Bolton – 02/02/11 05:01 PM ET

      The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is lobbying hard against the amendment offered by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to repeal the healthcare reform law.

      SEIU has sent e-mails to Senate offices urging lawmakers to vote against the proposal to unwind President Obama’s signature domestic initiative.

      “A vote in support of this amendment is a vote to raise out-of-pocket healthcare costs for working families and takes away critical consumer protections provided to Americans for the first time,” SEIU urged senators, according to a copy of the e-mail obtained by The Hill.

      The lobby informed senators that a vote for McConnell’s amendment would count against them on its legislative scorecard.

  27. Buck, I hate to wear you out with this legal banter, but what say you about the administration being found in contempt over the drilling moratorium in the Gulf?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Haven’t really read up on this all that much, but off the cuff it seems that the admin was wrong and should have been held in contempt — an injunction against the moratorium had been granted and Obama basically decided to ignore that injunction.

      But again, not all that familiar with this one.

      • Still, we need permits to be approved and this is not happening. All the new oil/gas work is in Africa, SE Asia and Brazil. Trust me on this.

        • Of all people, you would know Wasabi. How are you my friend?

          • Good, thanks. Hope you are feeling better and adjusting to the new job. Just got a call this morning from a man in the UK who may (hopefully) be hiring me to go back offshore.

            The big problem about the moratorium was when Carol Browner signed off on some scientists as being in favor of the moratorium. The bigger problem is this AGW fantasy world of windmills and solar panels. IF we could build enough of them to supply 80% of our energy, where would people live?? There would be no land left for our homes.

      • OK for arguments sake, let’s say that the administration is guilty. What happens to them?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Not much can really be done — that pesky three independent branches thing.

        • Terry,

          If you haven’t been watching closely, the Prez and Congress have made themselves to be above the law. They don’t care about the Law, or the judges rulings. Even with the Vinson ruling, the administration has said ObamaCare will continue to be pushed. They own the violence against the people, they know that the people are divided, they know the people are not paying attention. We are Fuc%$d, and very few see this! 👿

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            Correct G-man. Next is from the Obamacare ruling >

            “for there is a long-standing presumption
            that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.”
            pge 75

          • Oh, I have watched closely. I understand perfectly where this president and his ilk intend to take this country. That is exactly why I really do not believe he will be reelected. Once the whole of all the garbage this administration has done is presented, I believe that the majority of Americans will oppose him.

            • Back in ’08 I predicted that there will be NO 2012 election, and I stand by that prediction and believe it’s even more likely today.

  28. Mathius

    If evolution cared about the survivability of the parents, then human lives would not be capped around 100.

    It is not capped around 100.

    Evolution is not an entity that holds “concepts” such as “care”. You are illogically invoking human emotion into a state of nature.

    It is a simple fact that it takes far more energy and complexity to extend life than make copies. All life (that we know of) holds this feature.

    But equally, there is no cost to life for life to live longer if it happens to do so.

    In other species of life, the ability to extend life simply does not exist since it takes environmental adaptability, thus knowledge and learning to accomplish.

    That is why humans win.

    • Evolution is not an entity that holds “concepts” such as “care”. You are illogically invoking human emotion into a state of nature. I say “care” in the sense that it holds longevity to be an evolutionary priority. That is, that evolution somehow favors longevity. It does not. Longevity, past the age of reproduction of the progeny, is irrelevant. As such, evolution has not equipped us to have this.

      But equally, there is no cost to life for life to live longer if it happens to do so. That is false. We compete for resources. Every bite of food that I eat is a bite of food that you may not eat. If I live longer, I will continue to consume resources, and you will be less likely to survive (evolutionarily speaking) – especially in harsh climates with scarce resources. By dying, I get out of the way so that my offspring will have better odds of surviving. That is why animals have a built-in self-destruct – we are designed to fail and die.

    • Bottom Line says:

      Interesting how the lady (starting at 3:07) has no problem calling for him(Thomas) and his wife to be hanged, but apologizes for using the word “asshole”.

    > An old cowhand came riding into town on a hot, dry,
    > dusty day. The local sheriff watched from his chair in front of the saloon
    > as
    > the cowboy wearily dismounted
    > and tied his horse to the rail a few feet in front of
    > the sheriff.
    > “Howdy, Stranger.”
    > “Howdy, Sheriff.”
    > The cowboy then moved slowly to the back of the horse, lifted his tail
    > and placed a big kiss on the horse’s butt hole.
    > He dropped the horse’s tail, stepped up on the walk,
    > and aimed toward the swinging doors of the saloon.
    > “Hold on there, Mister,” said the Sheriff, “Did I just
    > see what I think I saw?”
    > “Reckon you did, Sheriff. I got me some powerful
    > chapped lips.”
    > “And does that cure them?” the Sheriff asked.
    > “Nope…but it keeps me from lickin’ ’em.”

    • Canine Weapon says:

      Wow. All I can say is wow.

      You win the internet.

    • I saw this and immediately thought of your wonderful jokes:

      The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service were presenting an alternative to the Wyoming ranchers for controlling the coyote population. It seems that after years of the ranchers using the tried and true method of shooting or trapping the predators, the Sierra Club had a “more humane” solution to this issue. What they were proposing was for the animals to be captured alive. The males would then be castrated and let loose again. This was ACTUALLY proposed by the Sierra Club and by the U.S. Forest Service. All of the ranchers thought about this amazing idea for a couple of minutes. Finally an old fellow wearing a big cowboy hat in the back of the conference room stood up, tipped his hat back and said; “Son, I don’t think you understand our problem here… these coyotes ain’t fuckin’ our sheep… they’re eatin’ ’em!” The meeting never really got back to order. . .

  30. Obama issues global warming rules in January, gives GE an exemption in February

    By: Timothy P. Carney 02/02/11 4:50 PM
    Senior Political Columnist

    Last month, the Obama EPA began enforcing new rules regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from any new or expanded power plants.

    This week, the EPA issued its first exemption, Environment & Energy News reports:

    The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.

    According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to “grandfather” projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

    There’s something interesting about the Avenal Power Center:

    The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine.

    Maybe GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s closeness to President Obama, and his broad support for Obama’s agenda, had nothing to do with this exemption. But we have no way of knowing that, and given the administration’s record of regularly misleading Americans regarding lobbyists, frankly, I wouldn’t trust the White House if they told me there was no connection.

    On the upside, at least Job Czar Immelt is creating jobs!

  31. Obama issues global warming rules in January, gives GE an exemption in February

    Last month, the Obama EPA began enforcing new rules regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from any new or expanded power plants.

    This week, the EPA issued its first exemption, Environment & Energy News reports:

    The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.

    According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to “grandfather” projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

    There’s something interesting about the Avenal Power Center:

    The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine.

    Maybe GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s closeness to President Obama, and his broad support for Obama’s agenda, had nothing to do with this exemption. But we have no way of knowing that, and given the administration’s record of regularly misleading Americans regarding lobbyists, frankly, I wouldn’t trust the White House if they told me there was no connection.

    On the upside, at least Job Czar Immelt is creating jobs!

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:

  32. I read this comment to an article / does anyone know if this is true.

    Posted on February 3, 2011 at 10:31am

    The part I don’t get, as a physician, is how PP can abandon its patients after performing surgeries.
    I have had patients come to me with complications after getting abortions at PP clinics; patients with bleeding, infections (endometritis, peritonitis, sepsis) whom I’ve had to have hospitalized for transfusions and IV antibiotics. I called several clinics, and had long discussions with the chief of my clinic’s dept. of Family Medicine and, astonished, was told that “THE LAW” protects PP from any and all liabilities connected to their procedures. ????????? I still don’t believe this, I never saw the law, but I was told at every step of the way that their liability is limited to what happens IN THEIR CLINIC, not once the patient left. I had more important things to do (like manage the care of patients injured by THEIR care) to get to the bottom of this, but I believe it’s possible and probable, that this is true. How about this fact: PP is a multi-billion dollar corporation, a fortune 500 company, but they still receive direct public (i.e. – tax-dollar) funding. Go figure.

  33. Mathius,

    I say “care” in the sense that it holds longevity to be an evolutionary priority. That is, that evolution somehow favors longevity. It does not. Longevity, past the age of reproduction of the progeny, is irrelevant. As such, evolution has not equipped us to have this.

    Your perspective is flawed.

    Longevity is NOT an evolutionary priority. (1) Replication is.

    Longevity is NOT an evolutionary contradiction. “It” does not care how long an organism may survive beyond (1).

    As such evolution has no matter in longevity, as a “design”.

    To improve (1) for complex organisms, intelligence is a significant factor. It significantly improves (1).

    As an unintended consequence, it also improves longevity.

    It is not evolution that organizes the length of life – after adulthood, carbon copying has been done, and the rest does not matter.

    And that is the key: it does not matter one way or the other – thus, longevity is an opportunity of choice

    But equally, there is no cost to life for life to live longer if it happens to do so. That is false. We compete for resources

    You attribute an incorrect circumstance here.

    Competition for resources is independent of longevity – that is, it exist no matter how old you are.

    It is not that when you are young it does not exist, nor magnify if you are older. It is a static value.

    Every bite of food that I eat is a bite of food that you may not eat.

    Here is your fallacy: I cannot eat ALL the food

    I can only eat so much food, thus, what I eat does NOT remove what you eat.

    If your argument held merit, the population increase to 7 billion would be devastating RIGHT NOW. It is not. We have more stuff now then ever before.

    There is no reason this would change due to older people.

    That is why animals have a built-in self-destruct – we are designed to fail and die.

    No we are not designed to fail and die

    For 99.95% of humanity on earth, we died due to accident or disease.

    Pre-historic man was healthy, strong and young when he died.

    There is nothing in our genetic makeup that makes us necessarily die – we were simply “undefined” beyond a certain age (~45).

    Our “average” longevity has not increased due to a “healthier” population. It has increased due to solving child mortality rates.

    Men have lived to “old” age (~70-90 years old) for thousands of years – if avoided dying as a baby and avoiding death by starvation, disaster, war, accident or disease.

    There is nothing fundamental to dying. It is solvable and is being solved right now.

    The “escape velocity of death” today -right now- is 50 years old.

    If you are younger than 50 right now, you will probably live to 1000 (barring accident). If you are older than 50 right now, you probably will not make it.

    It isn’t that we have the technology today to live to 1000, but that we have the technology to add 10 years. But within those 10 years, we may be able to add another 10 years, and so on.

    Over 50, those 10 years will not add enough to avoid dying.

    Under 50, those 10 years – because of the youth, will make all the difference to “leap the barrier”.

    If you are about 50, start making life style changes to add extra years now. Stop smoking, exercise, watch your diet, etc., and you might make it.

    • I plan to live forever – I have a 23 year buffer zone on that gap.

      My arteries resemble subway tunnels.

      Blood pressure 110/55-ish (unless my family is in town).

      3-5% body fat. (I weigh as much as I did junior year of college).

      No family history of stroke (before the age of 85) or heart disease (at all).

      Only a few cases of cancer (all of which were survived except for my great-aunt – just a few weeks ago – who refused surgery and signed a DNR).

      All of my grandparents and great-aunts-uncles have lived to 80+.

      One case of Parkinsons, no Alzheimer’s.

      I should be good to go.

      Bring on the future!

    • Here is a news flash for you;

      I got kicked out of a “Death and Dying” class back in college for submitting a paper to chronicle my own epitaph which stated in part, “400 year old man shot to death by 19 year old man for stealing his 18 year old bride while still on their honeymoon.”

      It seems the professor did not see life as I see it.

      So now you know that this old geezer (late 60’s and healthy as a horse – a lame horse, but healthy as a horse anyway) plans to be around for a very long time!

    • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

      Dear Flag,

      “There is nothing in our genetic makeup that makes us necessarily die”

      Then how do we explain the decrease in telomere length of the chromosomes with repeated cell division? That is in our genetic make-up. A cell lineage has a lifespan only to the point where the telomeric length stops protecting the chromosome. Then the cell lineage dies.

      Or, how do we explain the existence of say apoptosis or autophagy being pre-programmed at a genetic level.

      There is more about DNA and genetics that we don’t know then we actually do. Take a look at the field of epigenetics and transgenerational hereditary patterns if you want to see something truly bizarre.

      As for humans living to 1000, there is an outside likelihood but I would take the odds against it happening.


      • DCU

        Please review this TED videos first, then we can discuss

        • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

          Commented waaaaaay too late last night to review the videos. I will go through them later today, thank you for the link.

          Stay tuned.

        • Interesting. I do like the first questioner commenting on his “old man” looks while speaking of anti-aging.

        • I do love TED talks.. fascinating stuff, but they do tend to gloss over nuances. In addition, there is only one point of view presented.

          Still, interesting clip – I hadn’t seen that one.

        • DisposableCarbonUnit says:


          If he wasn’t Canadian I would almost swear that this could be you.


          Just for your enjoyment until I get to the videos.


        • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

          OK…watched the videos and have some quick comments that I haven’t had time to find an extensive list of references for, so you can take my opinion with a HUGE grain of salt.

          @Black Flag

          Thanks for the link again.

          Aubrey De Grey sure is an interesting character but his theories are a little off the mark.

          Once again here is a fantastical theory based upon some mysterious future predictions (like Al Gore’s hockey stick chart).

          De Grey makes some rather illogical comparisons that don’t necessarily hold true experimentally, he uses very broad application of his own (?) experimental evidence that makes leaps of logic. If he tried the same methodology in economics you would call him a snke oil salesman.

          As I don’t have access right now to his actual publications or his experimental evidence I can only go so far in my assessment and pose some questions that I would require more information for to properly assess.

          He brings up the concept of RNA interference (RNAi) as a methodology we use to interfere with metabolism; the RNAi technology can bring down the level of some transcripts but has NEVER (so far) been able to completely eradicate the gene expression. I seem to recall from the literature that the best experimental results put the technique at about 80-85% effective. In my research career the RNAi (and its previous incarnation antisense technology) methodologies were at best about 60-70% effective.

          He also speaks of “extending” life by 30 years (from 55 to 85 I believe he said). Let’s comapre that to the current AVERAGE human lifespan (I know–there is significant geographical variation), it currently stands at what, 72-78 years depending on sexual dimorphism? Not a tremendous difference currently from his “future” prediction.

          His use of flight as a model for progress is interesting. Would you say that progress in “flight” has been linear or more sigmoidal? It seems to me that we haven’t made any real significant progress in “flight” for a period of time.

          He also lectures about therapies that can extend life by 50% in the mouse. As with most biological research this is an artefact of the experimental set-up. I would be willing to say, without seeing the protocols, that the mice were probably genetically distinct inbred strains such as BALB/c or nude mice. This homogeniety of population makes it difficult to predict anything outside of the experimental model. If they were to use a heterogeneous population of mice that were never inbred and had a wide genetic diversity then they MAY limit the artefactualness of the model system they are using. There are of course 2 realities to what he has proposed so far:

          (1) Mice are not human. What works in the mouse does not always translate to a similar result in humans (look up Judah Volkmans research on angiostatin).

          (2) In human experimental medicine most therapies offer only a 1-2% incremental benefit (based on empirical evidence not on theory); however this does not preclude the possibility of something giving a larger benefit. From your postings in the past year it does sound like you are a man that would DEMAND empirical evidence before you would accept a theory that goes as far as he does.

          As for his 7 categories for engineering he conveniently leaves out the fact that each of these categories contains pathways that require very specific mechanisms of operation. Just in category 1 alone he listed phagocytosis, well this is receptor mediated and that requires a very specific 3-D configuration of molecules. Phagocytosis is merely a specific intracellular reaction of a specific extracellular association of 2 x3-D molecules.

          BTW: His LEV model curve prediction are probably as accurate as Al Gores’. Unless there is ACTUAL empirical experimental evidence provided to substatiate the curves, how is his predictive capability any different than that of the AGW crowds?

          Didn’t have much time to fully develop all of the arguments today, but would love to discuss them with you at some point.

          Interesting guy, interesting theory, but it doesn’t really matter without some type of human EVIDENCE.

          Just a quirky question: Would you apply “mouse” economics to the human world or would you require some evidence of DIRECT applicability?

          • Now, could you tell Flag why inbreeding is bad? He wouldn’t believe me.

            • Jennie,

              It is as bad as breeding. Period.

            • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

              Inbreeding is only “bad” when the specific population contains genes that will have a negative effect on the progeny.

              Clean gene pool….no bad effect.

              If someone is going to inbreed, they should make sure their family comes from good genetic stock!

              The concept still gives me shivers down my spine however. EEwwwwww!


              • DCU

                f someone is going to inbreed, they should make sure their family comes from good genetic stock

                If someone is going to breed – period – they should make sure their family comes from good genes.

                And that’s the point, matters not ‘who’ at all – it matters what genes they have – and mongrels bred pairs have as much junk as “pure” bred pairs.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:


                I was being intentionally flippant.
                Breeding is breeding regardless of our personal beliefs regarding in or out.


    • Another “source” of information

      Some people think they gonna die someday
      I got news ya never got to go

  34. Here is a little something worthy of reading and discussion Friday morning.

    “Egypt’s plight: “Moderates” to the rescue?

    February 3, 2011 by Elan Journo

    In the streets of Cairo, tens of thousands are clamoring to get rid of strongman Hosni Mubarak. Ominously the Muslim Brotherhood—the origin of Hamas, Al Qaeda and other jihadist outfits—is maneuvering to assume leadership of the protests. The Brotherhood is our enemy; its success in Egypt means greater peril for us (to put it mildly). But some protesters evidently despise the Brotherhood’s totalitarian political ideal. Where does that leave well-meaning Egyptians who want neither Mubarak nor the Brotherhood?

    Beware of pinning your hopes on so-called political “moderates.” There are at least two related problems here.

    1. In the Arab-Muslim world, the slippery term “moderate” encompasses those who are merely anti-Islamist–not necessarily pro-Western. Many Egyptians readily swallow anti-Semitic, anti-Western conspiracy theories (e.g. the Protocols of the Elders of Zion). Moreover, supporting Palestinian “resistance” (read: terrorism) against Israel is a conventional, mainstream, uncontroversial view. Egypt is one of the places where ordinary people matter-of-factly will tell you that America got what it deserved in the 9/11 attacks. Keep all that in mind, when you ponder what it would mean for so-called moderates to be elected into power in Egypt.

    2. The other problem stems from the argument that so-called moderates can be a bulwark against the political power of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. In that part of the world, the political spectrum is far narrower than you may think: whereas Islamists want religion to be the all-encompassing principle of government, a typical “moderate” still acknowledges that Islam has some, albeit limited, role in government. True secularists are scarce and marginal. So could “moderates” in government prevent the Islamists from taking over? Ultimately, no. I touch on this in my book, and here’s part of the explanation.

    The only intelligible meaning of “moderate” advocates of religion are those who try to combine devotion to faith with concessions to reason. They obey the dictates of Islam in some areas and not others, fencing off certain issues or areas of life from the purview of religion. Let us grant the premise that the West can find moderate Muslims and support them in a way that does not discredit them in Muslim eyes as saboteurs conspiring to undermine Islam. Could moderates really steer their culture away from the totalitarian movement?

    The holy warriors hold that Islam must shape every last detail of man’s life. The moderates accept the ideal of Islam but shy away from the vision of total state. Moderates might agree to allow sharia to govern schools, say, but not commerce; to dictate marriage laws, but not punishments for blasphemy, apostasy, or adultery. Yet in doing so, moderates ultimately advance the agenda of the totalitarians, since even delimited applications of Islam to government constitute an endorsement of it as the proper source of law.

    The tension between moderates and the totalitarians is unsustainable. What happens when the totalitarians push for expanding the scope of sharia a bit more? If sharia can govern banking and trade, for example, why not other aspects of life? Why not also institute Islamic punishments, such as beheading apostates? Having accepted in principle the ideal of sharia, moderates have no grounds to reject further means to that end. They can offer no principled opposition to the slaughter of infidels who refuse to submit, or of apostates who claim the freedom to choose their own convictions. In the face of the incremental or rapid advance of the totalitarian goal, the moderates are in the long run impotent. If Islam is the ideal, why practice it in moderation?

    One news report tells us that the ostensibly “moderate” Mohammad ElBaradei has talked about setting up a governing coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The plight of Egypt — like that of much of the region — is intellectual. The protestors who genuinely do want a better future face no good options.”

    (P.S. What could help Egyptians? To address that fully would take a separate discussion. At minimum, I’d name three things: the embrace of genuinely pro-freedom ideas, secular government and individualism.

    • Sounds like the same arguments we have on here about government in general-just with a different twist. Except IMO if you start out with a theocracy as the basis of your government you only have two choices a dictatorship or a democracy-if you choose a democracy then you have majority rule with no protections for individual rights, hence no real freedom. This in my opinion is our countries problem we are very quickly loosing any resemblance to a Republic-and if we become just a democracy-the twist, being a theocracy makes no difference.

  35. So Dallas now has more snow then here, sorry Mathius, I’m still praying for snow.

  36. @D13

    Col, What’s up with the rolling blackouts down your way. The MSM says little about it, but these are a summer issue in the rest of the country. We get radio commercials in the summer to conserve do to peak demand, but winter, we here nothing. Any thoughts?

    • Electric heating down there? Space heaters and such? I know it’s been brutal down Texas-way.

      • Matt, Why not other States that are cold? AC is sure to use more electricity in the summer, as it does everywhere else in the country. Rolling blackouts in the winter is unheard of, and too my knowledge, this is a first. I’ll wait on the Colonels response before moving on.

        Have a good day!

        • Other states aren’t as wimpy as Texas 😉

          • The good colonel is evidently not on here today…yet. There is no way he could pass up a comment on that!

            • Or he’s too much of a wimp to respond!

              (Mathius quickly dives for cover)

              • Raptors lurking under your bed…….waiting…watching…

              • Also, pay NO attention to the rustling in the closet…it is nothing.

              • But alas good Colonel, the mighty Mathius was prepared for your raptor attack (DPM ratted you out). He knew of the impending ambush upon his return from the shower and was prepared with a diversion. As he enters the room, he finds himself surrounded by the evil raptors. With great speed, the mighty Mathius tosses his robe and pulls his sword, and then, in surprise, the raptors fall to the floor in uncontrollable laughter! There stands the mighty Mathius, dressed only in red panties and matching bra, with a pink furry corsett, he leaps into action a slays the evil raptors. In victory, he grabs a Red Bull and dons his pink furry wings, and stands (somewhat) tall in triumph 😆

              • It had to of been a mole within the raptor organization….DPM would never rat me out…..or…….perhaps a bribe of grog would do it…..maybe you are right….he is a pirate, after all.

            • @ Terry… has not gone unnoticed.

    • Gman….sorry for the late response. Just caught it.

      It appears that there were several pipes that froze and broke from the temps because they were not adequately protected. The pipes that broke were in the direct supply line to the schools and other business’. The ability to produce heat was reduced by 12%. So to take in the demand for heat in the early mornings when people got up…it was requested that rolling blackouts of 15 minutes be instituted. In the summer, we know about our heat and we have ample power for cooling. The same capacity existed for heat except the supply side was not protected against the cold. The blackouts lasted only one half of a day and did not affect everybody ( I had no blackout but was prepared for it ). To drop the demand, it was decided to close schools and administrative offices of non essential government services to reduce demand. It worled quite well and no more rolling blackouts were experienced. It was decided that public non essential services and government services be affected rather than the general public in their homes.

      We know about heat…and our winters are usually calm. About every ten years or so we might have a three day stretch of some light ice or cold where temps range from 25-45 but that is about it. So, the supply line pipes and transfer stattions that were above ground were not insulated for cold and they froze. Pretty simple really. But some engineers caught bare assed….the problem with the pipes and transfer stations were fixed within 24 hours.

  37. Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Take special note of the interviewee’s comments in the last two paragraphs.

    From Fox News: “The Brotherhood has rushed to take a stronger role in the unprecedented protests that erupted 10 days ago, led by more secular young activists demanding the ouster of Mubarak. The Brotherhood’s strength was on display in the pitched battles in Wednesday and Thursday against government supporters who attacked the protesters’ camp in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square before they were driven from the square by the pro-democracy forces.

    Brothers — distinguishable by their close-cropped beards — dominated the front lines, often lining up to pray for “victory or martyrdom,” before throwing themselves into the fray, hurling stones, sticks and firebombs at the attackers while shouting “God is great.”

    Amr Said, a 41-year-old chemist who said he is a Brotherhood supporter, told The Associated Press in Tahrir Square Friday morning that “our instructions are not to assume a role that is too visible at the moment, and to get along with all other groups including and leftist and liberals.

    “We also refrain from making our typically brotherhood chants and when one of us does, we quickly shut him up,” he said.”

    Read more:

    • IMHO, Egypt is going to change, hopefully for the better of the people. Syria, Jordan, Yemen and other countries a following suit. Is Saudi next? I’d say that people, in general, get tired of the same old shit in govt., and I also think that is happening here to some extent. While the people of these countries want more freedom, we sit back idle, as our freedoms continue to be slowly eroded. The US is headed down a bumpy path, let’s hope the people wake up and see what is really going on, in their own back yard.

  38. John O’Reilly hoisted his beer and said, “Here’s to spending the rest of me life, between the legs of me wife!”

    That won him the top prize at the pub for the best toast of the night!

    He went home and told his wife, Mary, “I won the prize for the Best toast of the night.”

    She said, “Aye, did ye now. And what was your toast?”

    John said, “Here’s to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife.”

    “Oh, that is very nice indeed, John!” Mary said.

    The next day, Mary ran into one of John’s drinking buddies on the street corner.
    The man chuckled leeringly and said, “John won the prize the other night at the pub with a toast about you, Mary.”

    She said, “Aye, he told me, and I was a bit surprised myself. You know, he’s only been in there twice in the last four years. Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come.”

  39. This is just to freakin funny. While the Left rips Beck’s chalkboard the White House has a “white board” used prominently on their “White House Blog” site.

    • As follow up here is an opinion piece by M. Malkin on the latest white board talk regarding “Start Up America”.

      White House academic with zero business experience explains “Startup America”
      By Michelle Malkin • February 3, 2011 10:40 PM

      Austan Goolsbee and the “Valley of Death”

      Yes, there is such a thing as the “White House White Board,” where Obama bureaucrats and czars get to show off their central-planning chops and lecture America’s real movers, shakers, and job creators on how government will play an integral role in rescuing us all.

      Today’s White House White Board lesson on “Startup America” comes from Austan Goolsbee — the Chicago academic/Obana crony last seen parsing the word “recovery” and scoffing at prescient critics of the subprime crisis.

      Innovation: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, tell everyone else how to hitch the collective economy to the wagon of the State and how much (er, little) they should make doing it.

      I’ve got better ideas for what belongs in the “Valley of Death” Goolsbee drew on his white board.


      Commenter Papa Louie: “…’Start-up America’ is really ‘Shut-down America’. You have to level a building before you can fundamentally rebuild it.”

      Commenter Forest: “I’ve started two successful small businesses. This video is insultingly idiotic. Every single thing this regime says about small business is designed to sound good to people who know nothing about small business. It’s unbearable to listen to this stuff, but hey, they did talk to ‘hundreds’ of small businessmen about their great desire for another government program ‘for’ small business…But I did love the (now banned) incandescent light bulb representing an entrepreneurial idea in the graphic of the start-up small business guy. Terrific timing on that.”


      I didn’t link to Malkin’s story cause her link is over there on the right.


  40. Hannity in a smackdown with an imam..saw this live a couple nights ago..Hannity better watch his back or his head!

    • anita

      Question my dear. When you watched this did it download quick enough for you to watch as if it were live?

      Or did it continually stop and start?

      • very quick JAC.. get on it!

        • anita

          Have been trying for over a year. Computer guys blame the internet guys who blame the computer guys.

          I “supposedly” have high speed wireless service. But I can not watch ANY video from Fox or its talking heads, like Beck, or many other major outlets. It take way to long with all the starts and stops.

          I have the same problem with youtube video, but some are worse than others.

          Sorry for whining. But you confirmed what I thought. The problem is mine. Or at least those of us who live in the area.

          When is MOVING date?

          • Bummer JAC.. Hannity did get the imam to admit that he would like the caliphate to extend to the US and that he(Hannity), being an infidel, would be welcome to live in the US, under Sharia! Hannity ended the interview by calling the imam a sorry SOB. I couldn’t believe it. That’s why I said Hannity better watch his head before the letters B and E preceed HEAD!

            Honestly JAC, I’m second and third guessing my cabin again. World events have me shakin in my shoes. I’d sure like to break ground as the spring thaw approaches but I’m also thinking I might not want to put all my eggs in one basket. We’re getting offers on mom’s house but they’re very low and we’re not accepting them. I own commercial property which is also not moving…. Decisions, decisions! Don’t be surprised if I just stay put. I’m worth more by keeping things seperate than condensing. Knowwhatimsayinvern?

          • JAC,

            I have the same problem with videos. I hit play, minimze it and get back to it once it has played through, then I hit replay, and it plays as if live. Hope that helps.

  41. The Beckster seems to have upped the anti with the lefties. They are going bonkers over Beck because of Beck’s recent linking of Communists, hardcore lefties and Islamic Caliphate.

    Here is a summary from Huff Po:

    “After being derided and charged with trafficking in wild conspiracy theories, Glenn Beck redoubled his warnings that the uprisings in Egypt could lead to an Islamic caliphate spreading across the Middle East on his radio show Thursday.

    Beck has come under criticism for his doomsday vision of the potential fallout from the Egyptian revolution. He has warned that the world is “being divvied up” by the “uber left” and the “Islamicists,” and that what was formerly “Ancient Babylon” could emerge as the new seat of “evil” and center of the new caliphate.

    On his radio show, Beck struck back at his critics. “When I say that there’s a caliphate, that it is a desire of the Islamic extremists in the Middle East, that is not a conspiracy theory,” he said. “They want a caliphate. Look it up…so don’t talk to me about crazy conspiracy theories.”

    He then issued, as he put it, a warning. “I plant my flag in this soil,” he said. “If I’m wrong, so be it. So be it. Then I am wrong. And you can discredit me all you want for the end of time. But I’m telling you I’m not wrong on this one.”

    Beck continued, laying out three things he said he knew to be true:

    “1. Groups from the hardcore socialist and Communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both a common enemy of Israel and the Jew.

    2. Groups from the hardcore socialist and Communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are the common enemy of capitalism and the western way of life.

    3. Groups from the hardcore socialist and Communist left and extreme Islam will work to overturn relatively stable countries, because, in the status quo, they are both ostracized from power.””

    So I am curious what some of you think about Beck’s claims. I am also curious what you think about how the Left is reacting.

    I did happen to hear this piece on the radio yesterday. The Huff Po summary seems pretty accurate. If you check out the HP site under “media” tab they have the audio of the show. Just in case you want the complete context before commenting.

    And for all those who are thinking of starting out with the standard Beck is crazy and makes this up, let me point out that this “connection” is presented in a few books written by Govt insiders. One of which is “Shadow World”, by Robert Chandler.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I cleared my mind, took a breath of fresh air and listened to the audio…..

      (1) Who are these groups from the “hardcore socialist and Communist left”? In my opinion Beck has historically used the term “Left” rather broadly and usually to encompass anyone not-conservative and not-libertarian. If the “hardcore socialist and Communist left” is a subset of “anyone from the left” then who the hell is he talking about?

      (2) How is it that Mohamed ElBaradei is not the “face on the stamp” (at least potentially) that Beck refers to? What is the backstory on him?

      (3) I won’t refute Beck’s claims by claiming him as apeshit. I am merely asking for some more connective tissue here. Are there “some” who wish a Caliphate? Sure. If Mubarek goes down does that materially increase the likelihood of a Caliphate? Is Beck insinuating that it is a Caliphate to rule the entire world and they are in cahoots with these folks from the left? I don’t know. My sense is that it is no more certain than if the Packers win on Sunday we’ll all be forced to eat Bratwurst as part of our daily diet for the remainder of time.

      I guess I just don’t really get what he is getting at – what insight does he have that can affirm that Egypt + radical Islam + evil Lefties = new world order / a lot of dead Jews / etc?

      So lets not call his commentary crazy. I’ll just call it grossly incomplete.

      • It would take days and days..weeks… for you to catch up Ray. I know Beck it hard to take. Some days I can’t watch him..but he does connect all the dots..its unfortunate you won’t give him a chance.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Anita – for the sake of my relationship with JAC I’m trying to approach the questions/request with an open mind and give Beck a chance. 😉

          The extent of what he is accusing would seem to necessitate that there is come clear linkage that is readily available for a guy like me to consume. I cannot watch his shows because of timing and I don’t own a DVR. And I’m not aware that he podcasts his shows.

          • I wouldn’t worry about your relationship with JAC; I’d worry about the implications of all of this for you, your family, your country!

            • For real..The lefties here are way to smart to be in denial of all this stuff. I’m not trying to ridicule in any way. This stuff is not theory to be debated anymore.. it’s on..and it’s scary

      • Ray

        Glad to see your calm thinking back at work.

        I think you raise several legitimate questions.

        I don’t have time this minute to provide my take on all of them but will try later today.

        My biggest point, at this time, is that these ideas are not original to Beck. They deserve serious consideration given who some of the folks are that have put them out there.

        So I suggest we look at Beck as a somewhat flawed story teller. He consolidates and presents the accumulated stories of other. He may or may not have the grand story correct. But we should not simply toss it out because of the messenger.

      • Ray,

        I have not looked into this, but from memory, I recall several on the “left”(as they would describe themselves) supporting Chavez and his “Democracy”.

        Ollie North said today that one thing the US still lacks is Human Intelligence in those countries. I think that is pretty accurate.

    • And for all those who want to call Beck crazy..he’s been putting up quotes and quotes and quotes from the hard left. They don’t even hide their intentions anymore. They put it right out there for people to hear. the MSM just won’t acknowledge it because it’s hard to defend against. Beck demands people to research for themselves. He need 9 chalkboards on the set now to explain his views it gets so deep. And they (the hard left) are all connected to this grand scheme of NWO. Now he has Frances Piven still, currently, talking evil and he has shown even Code Pink to be linked with the Muslim Brotherhood. They have an add right at the bottom of the Muslim Brotherhood website. It’s so deeply connected that its hard to call Beck crazy. The guy knows his stuff and it’s scary.

      • I continue to have more and more respect for the work and research that Beck does. The media is being blown out of the water by him and would rather just sling cheap shots than do their own investigating. Journalism schools have done a real disservice to this “profession”.

    • JAC,
      Beck is nothing more than a charlatan. He tells his audience what they want to hear, and they lap it up.

      • Curious Todd.. where do you get your world news? Exactly where? What websites or what cable channel?

        • Anita,

 and are the two biggest for daily headlines/events. I like their formats and the differing view points.

          Huffington Post & Drudge Report for a wide variety of news and views.

          SUFA and most of the links posted here.

          New York Times & Washington Post.


          I don’t watch a lot of TV news, but CNN & Fox when I do.

          And you??????????

          • My TV doesn’t leave FoxNews too often although alot of the time its on mute. (Must watch Deadliest Catch , AxMen,and Pawn Stars)

            I also check out Drudge, RealClearPolitics, RedState, and Michelle Malkin. I follow Charles Krauthammer where ever he pops up. I also like The Weekly Standard and National Review.
            JS Mineset and USA WatchDog for economics. I also email around with family and friends and follow their links. And last but by far not least my buddies at SUFA have terrific links.

            • Anita,
              I don’t see a lot of…”diversity” in your list…

              Do you ever read any “Liberal” media to get a different opinion?

              • oops been missing this.

                You’re right. I see enough liberalism here on SUFA . I understand the framework and don’t agree with it. I am a true conservative. Both sets of grandparents were conservative business owners. My parents were conservative business owners. I am a business owner, went to Catholic school for twelve years. I see a need for a national defense and not too much else. We’d all have more cash and more sanity if we were just left to figure things out for ourselves.

              • Anita,
                I don’t expect you to agree with “liberalism”, but limiting your exposure to only one point of view does tend to skew your view of the world…

                I did a search on “Oboma” today (yes, I spelled it wrong!!) for something – I don’t even remember why. This was one of the first things that came up (I still wonder if this is some kind of joke, but it’s been going on for almost 4 years…)


                The date of 2007 and the “why-barack-hussein-oboma-will-never-be-president” intrigued me, so I read a little bit of it. It’s called “Republican Faith Chat”, but the articles and comments on this blog are quite frankly racist and ignorant. My “favorite”:

                Dottie415 said
                July 20, 2007 at 11:30 am
                I had a bit to drink last night and don’t fully remember posting some of my later posts on here.

                In any event I have a hurting in my heart reading the nasty things I wrote about Christ’s mother.

                I have asked my Lord to forgive me for saying such and I ask all of you — even the trash — to do likewise

                Wow – such redemption – especially the even the trash part…does Dottie really think she is being a good Christian?

                Some people on SUFA have expressed some strong Christian views, but I would never equate the people on SUFA with the attitudes express on this blog.

                But that’s what Glenn Beck does. He finds the worst of the “left-wing” and twists it around broad generalizations to apply it to all liberals-progresses-democrats. His conclusions are completely invalid, but it drives ratings, which drives him to make more outlandish generalizations. And the cycle repeats itself over and over…

              • Todd,
                On the one hand I agree with you, there is a broad brush applied by Glenn and others based on the actions of a few. You will notice on huge difference in your example and his examples, however. Your example was some fringe creeps ostracized by their own so-called group. Other Christians and Conservatives do not defend or associate with groups like that. They are not in positions of significant influence, you had to spell Obama wrong just to find it.

                Glenn’s examples tend to be of people in MSM or in politics. People with positions of power or influence or people that those with power and influence associate with. Now, I will grant that “associate with” can be skewed because people with influence and power know a LOT of people and associate with a lot of people by the nature of their job. Further, crazies seek to associate with power, making it even more likely to see something like that. It does not mean that the person in power is necessarily being swayed by that association. Still, the people Glenn talks about are not as obscure and fringe as you like to make them out to be. They are in leadership positions.

                Furthermore, Glenn goes out of his way to state that he does NOT think that all the left is a certain way or that the average democrat believes the way the people he is exposing believe. Rush often does the broad brush statements applying to all democrats or all liberals. Glenn generally does not.

                For the record, I have never seen Glenn’s tv show. Apparently, almost all of the railing against him and examples of lunacy or irrational connection are based on that, rarely on his radio program or his books. And there are a lot of things I disagree with him on and dislike about him and the way he approaches his message, but understand that if, indeed, you consider the people he is pointing out to be lunatic fringe, then why are they in leadership? Why are you not doing more to get such nuts out of your party?

                Also for the record, I listen to the BBC, NPR, Talk Radio, various international news programs, I read a variety of publications and a variety of internet sites and blogs, including a couple based out of England. Is my information totally balanced? No, I do not listen to “Fresh Air” as much as I do Glenn Beck, I am not claiming equal time, but I always figure if you never listen to or read anything you disagree with, you will never understand the perspectives of other people. So I do all that, and I find the average liberal to be too focused on micro and not enough on macro. The educated ones have bought into mathematical failures like Keynesian economic theory. The uneducated ones seem to get their news from Jon Stewart at best and Entertainment Tonight at worst. But, of course, that is just my limited exposure to a few hundred liberals in various aspects of life. I am sure there are a great many serious thinking persons that are liberal, there are a few on this site, you included I think.

            • Jon,
              You used a lot of generalizations in your defense of Beck. I have no doubt you think critically enough to separate the fact from the fiction in Beck’s message. Many people don’t.

              There’s lots of other groups that could be used to paint Christianity as “Bad”. How about the Westboro Church? Or the Pastor in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran?

              My point is Beck skews the facts to fit his message – and his audience.

              • I agree, he does. He also encourages people to think and research for themselves. So some people cannot sort out the fact from the fiction? Does that mean a person spouting some of both should not be paid attention to or should be restricted? I suppose you are willing to apply that to Jon Stewart and Chris Matthews and other commentators on the left?

                You should also note that he was specifically and very vocally critical of the two groups you just mentioned. I do not hear any of his counterparts on the left treating the extremists that he brings up in similar manner. In other words, if the extremists that he uses to demonize the so-called “left” are so bad, and are not indicative of typical liberal thinking, then why is there not more vocal outcry against them by the mouthpieces on the left?

              • Limberwulf,
                Yes, he encourages people to think and research for themselves. But if most people did that, Beck wouldn’t be so popular. Paid attention to – that’s up to the individual. Restricted – No.

                In other words, if the extremists that he uses to demonize the so-called “left” are so bad, and are not indicative of typical liberal thinking, then why is there not more vocal outcry against them by the mouthpieces on the left?

                I don’t know exactly what groups you’re talking about. Can you list them?

                The thing is Beck cherry-picks his facts and then uses broad generalizations to apply them to all of the left.

      • Beck has a very specific message-if we continue to follow the progressive agenda, whether you are a progressive on the left or the right, we will end with a result which has been proven by history. He is not saying these things will happen tomorrow-but they can happen-if we as a people on the left and the right don’t stand against the extreme positions and acknowledge where these agenda’s are taking us. Now I don’t lap up every word he says-His words do not make me shake with fear-but they do open my eyes to the dangers. If you disagree with his opinion, so be it, but it doesn’t make him a charlatan and it doesn’t make me a fool.

        • VH,

          Beck has a very specific message-if we continue to follow the progressive agenda, whether you are a progressive on the left or the right, we will end with a result which has been proven by history.

          Could you explain what the “progressive agenda” is and the “result which has been proven by history?”

      • Bottom Line says:

        Todd – “He tells his audience what they want to hear, and they lap it up.”

        BL – They all do that.

        You basically just described modern day MSM as a whole.

      • Todd,

        That seems like an easy way to discount whatever he says without evaluating and determining accuracy or inaccuracy in what he has presented. While that is an easy way to dismiss what is presented, and will probably work well at a cocktail party with other liberals who already believe that of Beck, it doesn’t work for people who are interested in the truth. I would say that Beck spins things. I would say that he presents a lot of what his audience wants to hear. But perhaps you have the relationship skewed. Perhaps they are his audience because he is saying what they already believe to be true and he is the only one with the balls to say it.

        Half the shit he says may be completely made up bull. But that still means that half is accurate and relevant. Dismiss what he says at your own peril.

        • USWeapon,

          Perhaps they are his audience because he is saying what they already believe to be true and he is the only one with the balls to say it.

          He tells his audience what they want to hear

          Is there any real difference in these two statements?

          Half the shit he says may be completely made up bull. But that still means that half is accurate and relevant. Dismiss what he says at your own peril.

          IF half his shit is made up, I believe that would support my opinion of Beck. How much shit is acceptable in your drinking water?? Half??

          And how do you tell which half is which?

          You posted an article about beck a long time ago. I believe one of your comments was something like “Beck has his facts right, but the conclusions he draws are not always right.”

          Beck is a commentator, not a news reporter. You do not listen to him for the news/facts, you listen to him for his analysis and conclusions. If his analysis and conclusions are not correct, what are you getting from him?

          • A lot of what we are getting is the unvarnished truth. I know…what a shock to your system…

          • Maybe this could answer some questions:

            Translator Jafar Jafari reports the following information from Khaled Abdel Kader, Chairman of Egyptian Geologists Society, who spoke by by telephone from Tahrir Square:

            I am authorized to present a list of demands by the university students, graduates and under grads, participating and present at the Square:

            The objective is to solidify this popular revolution and bring the downfall of the regime, not just Mubarak, for its crimes against the Egyptian people throughout its 30 years.

            Immediate removal of Mubarak from the presidency and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, effective January 25, 2011. Nullification of all measures and decrees that were issued after that date.

            Immediately dissolve the two houses of Parliament since it lost legitimacy.

            Appointment of Commander Sami Anan, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, as provisional president as an acknowledgement of the armed forces role till the presidential elections are held. Should he decline, we nominate Amr Mousa, of the Arab League, to hold that office provided that he takes oath in front of High Court Council and to include his pledge to fulfill popular demands of political and economic reforms.

            Formation of a broader government headed by Dr. Mohammad El-Baradei to include all the factions participating in this revolution: January 25 Movement; Muslim Brotherhood; Kifaya; Al-Ghad Party; National Front Party; Nasserists; and other participants. Its sole mission is to maintain law and order.


            • G-Man,
              So the people demand that their government represent them? That sure is terrible and shocking!!

              You know, if you change:

              *Mubarak to Obama
              *Commander Sami Anan to Palin
              *Muslim Brotherhood, et al to Tea Party

              and correct a few minor details, it sounds just like something you would write!! 🙂

              Isn’t that interesting… 😉

              • Todd, Didn’t post it to be a surprise, just what is reported, hoping that it would provide some conclusion (or more fire 🙂 ) to the conversation on this matter.

                I’m NOT a Palin fan, and the Tea Party will be quickly corrupted just like the Dems and the GOP! I have much broader ideas, far different than what you may think. 😛

              • G-Man,
                So what’s your point in posting this?

              • I thought it might assist in determining if Beck is right or wrong. I don’t care , myself, but at least everyone knows what the protesters want.

    • So, if the uprisings in Egypt could lead to an Islamic caliphate, what then? Does this possibility justify our meddling?

      • I think not. Our meddling in Iran did not work out very well in the long term. Makes me wonder about Germany & Japan. After the war, did we allow them much choice in how they would be governed? Wait 50 years and see if Iraq will stand the test of time, and be “friendly” to us or hostile.

      • Jennie

        If it does, why do you think it is worth meddling it?

        Do you live in Egypt?

        • I don’t think we should be meddling. I was asking because I wanted to know what JAC was thinking. I haven’t listened to Beck recently, so I don’t know what point he’s trying to make by bringing up this possibility.

    • “When I say that there’s a caliphate, that it is a desire of the Islamic extremists in the Middle East, that is not a conspiracy theory,” he said. “They want a caliphate. Look it up…so don’t talk to me about crazy conspiracy theories.”

      The Islamic extremists in the Middle East want a caliphate? Ok, I won’t argue with that.

      1. Groups from the hardcore socialist and Communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are both a common enemy of Israel and the Jew.

      2. Groups from the hardcore socialist and Communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they are the common enemy of capitalism and the western way of life.

      3. Groups from the hardcore socialist and Communist left and extreme Islam will work to overturn relatively stable countries, because, in the status quo, they are both ostracized from power.

      The hardcore socialist, Communist left (are there other types of communists??) and extreme Islam will work together to achieve their goals? Hey, I won’t argue with that either!

      The thing is, as Ray mentioned about, these are broad generalizations. How many people and how much influence do these three groups have? That probably depends on how each viewer defines them, and that’s the problem.

      Beck leaves so much to the imagination, and he’s been pumping up this line of fear and socialism and new world order for so long, he knows exactly how his viewers will fill in the blanks…

      • Todd,

        Forget for a second that Obama even exists.

        Do you see the mood of the nation as more or less uptight in the last two years?

        • More

          • Todd,

            Damn, we agree on something 🙂 Most of the folks that I speak with are “concerned” or “fearful” at what is happening around them. When I ask to explain further, most can’t. It’s as if their human senses are acting, but their minds can’t figure out why. Then I get those that just despise Obama for being a Socialist (not because he is black, that racist shit is just that, shit). I have answers for them that don’t know, as far as what I think from all that I read. History repeats, and I think it may be happening here. What say you?

            • G-Man,
              The question is why are people more “concerned” or “fearful”?

              • Me thinks it’s because of the debts that the Feds and the States have built up, and how the MSM talks about it. THose who search the net see more of how the problem will finally come to an end, and nothing I’ve read or seen is not very pretty at all. As I see it, the dollar is devalueing, and food prices are rising. Some countries have already bought and recieved wheat, rice and corn to last their countries for a year (that’s alot of rice for Vietnam). This could lead to a shortage and the weather isn’t helping (damn Global Warming, lol). We have about 90% of our population in urban areas, who rely on what is in the grocerie stores, when it becomes unaffordable, things get ugly, stores are looted, and suddenly there is no food in the stores. I’ll leave everything beyond that to your imagination.

              • G-Man,
                Or it could just be the fear and hysteria drummed up by people like Beck:


                But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Todd, Took me 10 minutes to find way up here, let’s try keeping up alittle better (sarc) 😆

                It’s possible that those who listen to Beck, some fear could be drummed up. If Beck had 100 million listeners , which he don’t, then you could be an track. Then again, if those who listen to the talking hacks from the left, most of us here are homophobic redneck racists 🙂

              • “most of us here are homophobic redneck racists”

                G-Man, you forgot to add “clinging to our Bibles and guns”


          • thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you.!

            Next question…Are you prepared for bad times ahead as in food storage, gold or silver on hand?

            • Yes

              • Sweet! then we do have much in common. We both understand things are not good and we need to be prepared. So ENOUGH of all the back and forth hate…here and in the “real world”.

                So what direction is Mayberry! 🙂 Answer that and I’ll be the happiest person on earth because that’s where I want to live. with a few more modern convieniences (like internet) thrown in.

              • Mayberry is a fictional town in North Carolina. The closest think you will find to that is were I and several other SUFAites live, in the country, far from anything urban. The closest thing to urban is 22 miles away, a small college town of about 5500 people. Everything more urban is 50 miles or more. 🙂

              • My Mayberry has a party store (American owned) and a gas station..3 miles from the lake. Meijer’s and other civilization is 10 minutes from there. Population 1400.

              • Amen G-Man. Nearest town is only about 1500 population. One store/gas station and a ACE hardware. Casinos are there but slow in the winter, and they’re not large casinos by any stretch.

                I got a small country store about 5 miles away with gas pumps too.

                Heck I only go to the nearest city about once every 2-4 weeks depending (and that’s 25 miles away).

                Guvmint can root me out iof they think it’s worth it – but it won’t be. 😉

              • Roger that PS,

                I think it would be funny to have them chase me deep into the forest, where their fancy smancy GPS devices don’t work. I’ll disappear, and they’ll be lost for hours and hours 😆 We had a few folks get lost in these woods. We’ve come across a couple, who had left their coat and gun somewhere and whas in such a panic he had to go to the hospital in shock. He was lost for three days, good thing it wasn’t that cold then.

              • G-Man.

                I use GPS when going into unknown territory too – it’s called a terrain map and lensatic compass!

                People need to have skills other than the tech toys – makes em bold, lazy and potentially dangerous (mostly to themselves).

              • YEP! Alittle knowledge of the sun, moon, stars, and winds help as well. Don’t even own a GPS, useless tech if you ask me!

              • Anita,
                While we agree that things are “not good”, I’m not so sure we agree on the future. We’ve been thru tough times before and we’ll get thru this. I do agree we always need to be prepared – for a bad storm or worse – especially where I live.

                I live in “Mayberry”: between two lakes, at the end of a 1/2 mile long private road that’s at the end of a 1/2 mile long town road. Our northern property line is a river that flows between the two lakes. The trails I maintain are right behind our house and they connect to 3 other cross-country ski areas for a total of over 80km of trails – right from my front door. I ski the equivalent of a Birkie on Saturday and Sunday almost every weekend.

                We’re 10 miles from the nearest town of 800, 25 miles from a city of 5000. We commute an hour (one way) to work, but only 2-3 times a week. We work at home the other days. We got all our neighbors to sign a petition and hounded our phone company for 2 years to get 5mb DSL. Not bad for the middle-of-no-where…

                You might think I wear rose-colored glasses – but that’s because life is pretty sweet. There’s not much I would change…

              • I saw your pics. It’s beautiful there. Where we part ways is how bad its going to be for the country when the SHTF. You won’t be affected when the rioting starts here unless you have to get to town. I’ll be less affected than the folks in downtown Detroit but it still won’t be pretty. But I’m just about convinced it’s going to happen here which is why I want my Mayberry so bad. 15 homes on my lake. Currently sporting an 05 32ft RV. Unsure weather it makes sense to build just yet.

                We’re both in a pretty good spot but I’ll sure hate to see the day when our country looks like Egypt today. Could be sometime this year-maybe next year..we shall see. What will we look like when the dust settles?

  42. When will people open their eyes to the energy “crisis”? Will this be enough?

    NM declares state of emergency over natural gas shortage…
    TX residents asked to limit use…
    Outage in AZ…
    San Diego shortage…
    Usage at record high in UT…
    CA utility told to cut pipeline pressures…
    SHELL oil postpones drilling in Arctic; Dem Sen. blames White House…
    Mexico cancels offer to send electricity…
    Obama’s Blocking Of New Plants Triggers Nationwide Blackouts?

    • V.H.,

      Everthing there, is not a shortage of energy, it’s a fake shortage for two reasons. I’ll explain, Electricity in UT and other places, too my memory has never been an issue in winter, until the EPA began their Obama ordered CO2 emmisions caps enforcement. Natural gas, we are not short on it in the NE US, but with the cold so far south, it is a possibility. I still say it’s a ruse to raise prices.

  43. Have a great weekend everyone! (Anita – watch for my sign!)

  44. February 04, 2011
    Labor Force Participation at 26 Year Low
    Steve McCann
    The headlines today trumpet a decline in the unemployment rate to 9.0%, however only 36,000 jobs were created. The rate drop is due to the absurd policy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics not to count those who dropped out of the labor and ceased looking for a job.

    A more important but unreported statistic is the massive drop in the labor force. Today at 64.2%, the labor force participation rate (as a percentage of the total civilian noninstitutional population) is now at a 26 year low. In January of 2000 it hit 67.5% by comparison.

    This the lowest since 1984 and is the primary reason the unemployment rate has dropped to 9.0%. Those not in the labor force has increased from 83.9 million to 86.2 million (a drop of 2.2 million on just one year).

    In calculating the unemployment rate the BLS is now counting only 13.9 million as unemployed compared to 15 million two months ago when only 80,000 jobs created. These are the disenchanted, no longer looking for a job and thus no longer on the BLS rolls.

    The unemployment rate is a sleight of hand the reality is far worse. There is no broad base recovery underway despite the best efforts to report otherwise.

    Update from Steve McCann:

    The Gallup Organization issues its own unemployment statistics which have been somewhat more accurate than the BLS and take into account more of the effect of those who have dropped out of the labor force. Yesterday Gallup reported a U.S. unemployment rate of 9.8% up from 9.6% in December.

    Further the underemployment rate (those unemployed and working part-time because they cannot find full-time work) in January was 18.9% down from 19.0% in December. The closest number to this statistic issued by the BLS is the U-6 which showed 16.9% in January.

    The summary in the Gallup report is:

    Gallup’s measures paint a real-time picture of the current job realities on the ground. Nearly 1 out of 10 Americans in the U.S. are unemployed nearly 1 out of 5 are underemployed, and the nation’s overall hiring situation has not improved over the past four to six months.

    So, we have the dueling unemployment rates. However Americans on Main Street know the situation for jobs has not improved over the past year as even more people enter the labor force each year.

  45. Don’t think that this can’t happen…….

    Here’s something to think about . . . .

    I remember asking dad about Castro when I was about 9 years old. I asked , “Is Castro a good guy or bad?”

    Dad said he couldn’t tell!! This was about 1955. We
    were living in Louisiana at the time . Dad was in the army

    Cuba was fairly close and in the news a lot. The
    Cubans were asking the same question! Ike was president.

    This past July, we had the pleasure of sharing a
    summer barbecue with a refugee from Cuba . Our dinner
    conversation was starkly different than most.

    This refugee came to the United States as a young
    boy in the early 1960s. His family was more fortunate than
    most as they were able to bring a suitcase and $100 when
    they fled Castro’s newly formed revolutionary paradise.

    Our dinner consisted of all-American fare:
    hamburgers, potato salad, watermelon and fresh ears of sweet corn. This is a menu shared with family and friends
    nationwide, while celebrating the birth of our beloved
    America on the Fourth of July.

    We began with a simple discussion about our country
    and the direction it has taken since Barack Obama came to
    power. We shared the usual complaints about the sour
    economy and liberal social engineering emanating from the
    rulers in Washington .

    But then he said it. The sentence came naturally.
    I assume it was unplanned. But it carried the weight of a
    freight train. “You know when Castro took power, none of us knew he was a Communist.”

    We sat stunned. He continued, “Yes, we all thought
    he was a patriot, a nationalist. Before the revolution he
    didn’t sound like a radical.”

    The comparison at this point was easy, and I
    interjected, “You mean just like Barack Obama?”
    He responded, “Yes, just like Barack Obama.”

    He continued, “We were all shocked as the government
    just continued to grab more power. First they said the
    revolution is over, so please turn in your guns. We all

    “I remember my uncle saying after it started,
    ‘Castro will only nationalize some of the big industries, he
    will never come and take our family hardware store. ‘But
    that is exactly what happened, Castro started with the sugar mills and the large industries, but they eventually came and knocked on the door of our family hardware store. My family had run this store for generations. They said we now own the hardware store, you work for us. And that nice, large four-bedroom home you own, it is now our property also, and you can move yourself and five children into two rooms of the house because others are moving in with you.”

    The lesson learned from this discussion is a lesson
    most Americans refuse to hear. Political leaders can lie
    about their agenda and once in office they can take totally
    unexpected turns.

    If you had asked us three years ago if we thought
    General Motors would be nationalized, we would have never
    believed it. We could never contemplate a country where the rule of law, the most fundamental building block of a
    justice society would be evaporating just like it did in
    Castro’s Cuba in the early 1960s.

    But the news of injustice keeps increasing. Black
    Panthers are not charged with wrongdoing by the U.S.
    Department of Justice because their crimes are against
    whites. The bondholders of GM are stripped of their assets
    without due process by the government. Governmental leaders are bribed in full daylight only to have all investigation of the crimes stifled by the Attorney General. The U.S. borders are overrun with crime and illegal activity and the leaders in D.C. act as if it is important to protect the
    lawbreakers while the innocent are killed and overrun. When local communities attempt to enforce the law, they are ridiculed and threatened as racists and bigots. They are
    sued by the very administration entrusted with enforcing
    the law.

    Without the rule of law the U.S. Constitution is a
    sham. Without the rule of law our beloved America is
    swiftly becoming a country where only the well connected and politically powerful will be safe. As Michelle Malkin has
    so eloquently explained in her recent book, a culture of
    corruption has replaced honest government.
    The only way this problem will be fixed is by
    massive citizen action. All honest citizens that want to be
    treated equally must come together and demand that the
    favoritism, the bribes, the uneven enforcement of law end
    now. And yes, it can happen here.

    G says – I don’t watch Beck or Hannity, or any of the other media mouths. Has anyone noticed the increase in police brutality lately? Public transportation is turning in to an act of sexual abuse by Big Sis, or get arrested. Notice Nazi palitano is in Dallas? Have seen yet the TV screens in Walmarts with Nazi P asking for citizens to report suspicious active (WTF is that?) ? Have you seen and read S 510, the Food safety bill passed in the middle of the night during the Christmas holidays. Have you heard about DUI checkpoints that now have a judge on seen to sign a warrant to take blood? I could write for a week about this crap. Wake up America!

  46. Canine Weapon says:

    Two hunters are out in the woods in New Jersey.

    One of them suddenly stops, clutches his chest,
    and falls to the ground. He is not breathing or

    The other hunter feels for a pulse and, not finding
    one, calls 911.

    “I think my friend just died!” He shouts panicking
    into the phone, “what should I do? We’re in the
    middle of nowhere.”

    “OK,” said the 911 operator, “First, make sure
    he’s really dead.”

    There’s a silence, then the operator hears a

    The man comes back on the line “OK, I’m sure.
    Now what?”

    • Here;s a video of a recent event involving the police. I wonder how often this happens that aren’t caught on tape?

      • G- Man,

        A lot – sadly.

        It has been a multi-decade attitude change from “maintain the peace” to “law enforcement” – whereas the former created an attitude “everyone goes home unharmed” the latter -enFORCEment- requires a “beating”.

        It bodes badly for the People.

        • Hi BF,

          Hope the healing process is getting you better! Unfortunately, this isn’t just “local” cops, it’s at every level. The TSA is totally out of control, things are only getting worse. The legal system does nothing, and the sheeple are becoming kitty cats and doing nothing either. We’re a police state, not much different than China or North Korea. If you believe in the 2nd amendment , your a terrorist, WTF!

          I wish I had an answer, but I don’t. At least not one that don’t involve extreme violence.

          Get well soon!

          • The People rebel, from time to time against police brutality. Every now and then one of these beatings catches the national attention, and the cops are forced to behave for a while – then, slowly, they creep back to being thuggish.

            You should note that the vast majority of police are good people who just want to serve their community. But…. have you ever heard of the Stamford Experiment? It’s one of Flack Blag’s favorites.

            • Mathius

              ou should note that the vast majority of police are good people who just want to serve their community. But…. have you ever heard of the Stamford Experiment? It’s one of Flack Blag’s favorites

              I will not share your sediment.

              It may HAVE BEEN that the vast majority of police were “good” – but I do NOT believe this to be true today.

              One look at the video demonstrates: either they participated or did nothing to stop it.

              • “One look at the video demonstrates: either they participated or did nothing to stop it.”

                And I will tell you why they did one of those two things. Those who would take the moral stand to stop and/or report every participant (including those watching and doing nothing) would find himself/herself out on a very lonely limb – ostracized by just about every other cop – a very dangerous spot for them to be in.

              • True, Plainly,

                It’s dangerous to buck the system..

        • It’s funny.. I think it was Chris Rock – he did a comedy routine on how not to get beaten up by the cops. If you have time, I strongly suggest finding the video.


          That said, though I really hate to do it, I agree (mostly) with Flack Blag – there seems to have been, in recent years, a shift from the police working for us, to us working for the police.

          The example I find most telling is that the police in budget strapped locals have stopped policing crimes which do not result in either a felony arrest or, more significantly, revenue for the police. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of items which have been impounded and sold at auction. Additionally, they have increasingly become focused on traffic tickets, because they are so lucrative.

          I haven’t seen cops beat anyone (though I was in LA during Rodney King), but I do know that there is no excuse for what I saw in that link. They were making a point: we, the police, are in charge and you will pull over whenever we damn well tell you to – or else. It’s as if they were punishing him for disrespecting them.

          Yes, he should have pulled over, but once caught, it should have been a matter for the courts. Police should not be in the business of dispensing “street justice.”

          • Mathius: “a shift from the police working for us, to us working for the police.”

            PS: Good sir, as an ex-law enforcement and corrections guy let me say that the police have never worked “for us.” but have always worked for the government bureaucracy.

            It is a simple fact and a tough one for people to believe considering the continuing propaganda put out that the police are there to “protect and serve.” The joke being is that it isn’t the people they’re protecting and serving.

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              Andy Griffith worked for The People!

              Ok, fine, the stated purpose of the police is to do.. what, exactly? protect/serve? maintain the peace? enforce the law? prevent crime? investigate crime?

              I’m ok with any/all of those.

              But at what point is the purpose of the police administer a beating? At what point is the purpose to issue more tickets so they can fund themselves? At what point is the purpose to confiscate stuff to sell at auction?

              Give a man a nightstick, sooner or later, he’s going to find a chance to use it. I’m tired of this.

              I’m tired of driving like a grandma because I don’t want a huge fine for speeding PLUS an $80 surcharge (surcharge for what, you may ask? I have no idea, but it’s 80 bucks on top).

              I’m tired of telling the alarm company not to send the cops to my house when my alarm goes off because they charge me $300 per visit if they don’t find signs of a break-in.

              I’m white, generally well-dressed, well-spoken, and I live in a nice area – I don’t have much to fear in terms of violence from the cops – on financial hassles. But I can only imagine how a poor or minority person might feel – they probably get nervous every time they see the uniform.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                That should read: “I don’t have much to fear in terms of violence from the cops – only financial hassles. “

          • Any suggestion on how to….stop this from getting worse?

            • Write your congressman. What else?

              And, when he ignores you, write you mayor.

              And, when he ignores you, write every member of your town council.

              And, when they ignore you, take out a full-page add in your local paper on the day before elections, publish all your letters and responses, and tell people who you think they should vote for (possibly run for office yourself if necessary).

              Take election day off, and spend the day shuttling poor/oppressed people from your town to the polls. Talk to them en route about why you’re doing this, and who you think they should vote for.

              In a small town, if you can flip two dozen votes on an off-year election, you can take over a council seat.

              All politics is local.

              • Mathius,

                Elections are what got us in this situation. Small towns don’t have this problem, it’s mostly an urban issue, and the system has too much control. This problem, sadly will only continue, no matter who is elected. Your tax dollars at work!

            • Sadly, you won’t.

              You see the “people” have no control over cops. They are a “guild” all their own. There are two sides, you’re either a part of the thin blue line or one of “them.”

              With few exception this kind of behavior is gotten away with regularly. Occasionally a rogue cop or two will be thrown under the bus to appease the public outrage, but you’ll never get it to change.

              Cops are “isolated” from society. It is their ‘job” to stand above society and keep anarchy in check, doing it for the government. Cops are taught that they are better, they are taught to be authoritative and take control, they are taught to be aggressive – for their safety they are taught. Unfortunately this generally leads to cops administering a little justice on the spot when you have directly atagonized them and/or having an attitude that citizens are of a lesser species (all the while telling us how they’re here to care for us and protect us from the bad guys).

              DRM, you may be a generally well dressed, well spoken white guy but you aren’t exempt – trust me you’re not. Oh the likelihood is less, but you aren’t safe by any means. Please, take that as a fact. In the end it comes down to what mood the cops are in – unless of course you’re one of the local powerbroikers.

              • I’m litigious. I would be more than happy to take a beating from the cops.

              • Mathius: “I’m litigious. I would be more than happy to take a beating from the cops.”

                OK, I won’t argue that. But, what are you willing to have your significant other suffer through sir? There’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. Don’t pretend to believe the cops won’t stoop pretty low to “win.”

            • G-Man,

              Do exactly what they fear the most – videos.

              The more it is exposed to light – the worse they look – and the less support they get from the public.

              There will come a day that when a cop is chasing a kid, the People will throw rocks at the cop…. then things will change.

              • I concur with Black Flag. The greatest protection you have is video. Why do you think those cops back east in some states keep arresting people for videoing them?

                Cops HATE any video they don’t control.

  47. Check out this Chinese artist. I say him on TV a while back and was amazed. In some of the pictures he is hard to find.

  48. Does Obama and his administration think they are above the law?

    Read more:

    Last Friday, a top Napolitano lieutenant sent Issa a short letter promising to comply “expeditiously,” only to let the deadline expire the next day.

    Experts say it was a pretty big brush off.

    “You don’t call up the committee one day before the deadline and tell them for the first time that you’re going to miss it,” said Adam Goldberg, a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and veteran of the oversight wars during the Clinton administration, when he served as a counsel to the president.

    “I think that’s kind of irresponsible by the agency,” said Don Goldberg, a former special assistant to Bill Clinton who managed that administration’s response to Travel-gate, the FBI’s siege of Waco and other crises. “I would think the agency would want to get out of his crosshairs.”

    So what’s Napolitano thinking? Is DHS suffering from a steep learning curve after two years of almost no oversight by congressional Democrats?

    “I suspect it’s just taking some time to get organized,” said Democratic strategist Paul Begala.

    “I assume the problem is bureaucratic confusion…people are probably learning the ropes of congressional investigations,” said Adam Goldberg.

    Another view is the Obama administration is sizing up the new GOP majority. Victories on Election Day gave Republicans the power of congressional subpoena, granting virtually unlimited authority to demand documents and compel testimony by key officials.

    “In missing this deadline, the administration is saying ‘we’re not going to make this easy, we’re not going to roll over. You’re gonna have to work for these documents.’ Ultimately they’ll turn them over,” said Mark Paoletta, a partner at Dickstein Shapiro who managed nearly 200 oversight hearings for Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    • Contempt citation for the administration in deep water drilling ban
      Bill Weckesser
      Like the cavalry riding to the rescue, another federal judge has shot point-blank into the heart of the beast that is the Obama administration. U.S. Federal Judge Martin Feldman has ruled the administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater-drilling moratorium after the policy had been struck down. Bloomberg reports that the judge ruled that the Interior Department acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and then reinstituting policies that have effectively shut down offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

      “Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling. “Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.

      It would certainly be ironic if his policy blunders in the Gulf last summer help to doom his efforts for a second term. He willfully exacerbated the problem by not accepting non-union foreign assistance with the clean up. Then he compounded the disaster by halting off-shore drilling-destroying the jobs of thousands of innocent Louisiana workers. His minions then cavalierly ignored court orders to lift the ban. Now, the lack of production is contributing to rising pump prices. If the $4.00 a gallon level is breached this summer angry Americans will certainly connect the dots. As Joe Louis observed of an opponent, “he can run, but he can’t hide.”

      Additionally, spikes in gasoline prices almost always lead to recessions. Such a slow down could hit in late 2011 or early 2012-just in time for his re-election push. Mr. Obama may not be terribly worried about that though, since by then his administration could have additional contempt charges for ignoring Judge Vinson’s ruling this week overturning ObamaCare. It’s fascinating how often “what goes around; comes around.”

      Bill Weckesser

      E. Lansing, MI

    • Vanderboegh and Codrea obtained assurances that their informants would come under the whistle-blower protections offered by Senator Grassley of Iowa, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. What follows is an excerpt of a letter from Grassley to Acting Director of the ATF Melson:

      Members of the Judiciary Committee have received numerous allegations that the ATF sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers, who then allegedly transported these weapons throughout the southwestern border area and into Mexico. According to the allegations, one of these individuals purchased three assault rifles with cash in Glendale, Arizona on January 16, 2010. Two of the weapons were then allegedly used in a firefight on December 14, 2010 against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, killing CBP Agent Brian Terry.

      On January 30, 2011, there came word that the ATF in Phoenix, instead of helping Senator Grassley get to the bottom of the allegations, had begun to exert retaliatory pressure against agents suspected of blowing the whistle on the operation. The following is an excerpt from the subsequent letter sent from Grassley to Acting Director Melson upon hearing of the retaliation:

      As you know, I wrote you on Thursday, January 27, regarding serious allegations associated with Project Gunrunner and the death of Customs and Protection Agent Brian Terry. Although the staff briefing I requested has not been scheduled, it appears that the ATF is reacting in less productive ways to my request. I understand that Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) George Gillette of the ATF’s Phoenix office questioned one of the individual agents who answered my staff’s questions about Project Gunrunner.

      Mike Vanderboegh is now reporting that the answer to this letter from Senator Grassley has been the January 31 promotion of William D. Newell to Darren Gil’s previous position of Mexican attaché to the ATF. Theoretically, this would leave Gillette — a person already alleged by the whistle-blowers to be deeply involved in coercion of the informants — in charge of the Phoenix office.

    • Pro-slavery, anti-Native American Democrat Andrew Jackson (a progressive precursor) instituted the “Indian Removal Act”, forcing Native Americans out of the US and into the territories of the west. When the Cherokee tribe resisted being removed from their lands in Georgia, they took their case to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled against President Jackson, who promptly refused to abide by the decision. Of the Chief Justice, he said, “John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can”.

      The forced migration continued unabated, resulting in the deaths of 4,000 Cherokees by starvation and disease during the infamous “Trail of Tears.”

      Progressive President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not a friend of the Judicial Branch. When the Supreme Court invalidated parts of his “New Deal” legislation, he introduced the “Judiciary Reorganization Bill” in retribution. The ultimately defeated Bill would have allowed him to select six new Justices, who he anticipated would permit him to push through his progressive agenda.

      FDR told an aide that when “the Chief Justice read me the oath and came to the words ‘support the Constitution of the United States’ I felt like saying: ‘Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy — not the kind of Constitution your Court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.'”

      This sounds a lot like the words of our contemporary President, who, as an Illinois Senator characterized the Constitution as a “charter of negative liberties,” stating that “…the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society” and “I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.”

      So what respect does Mr. Obama have for the constitutional rule of law? Let’s look at the latest evidence in just the past few days.

      This week, Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC won a federal ruling against the Obama administration concerning the legality of its offshore drilling moratorium. Per the Wall Street Journal:

      A federal judge Wednesday blasted the Obama administration for “determined disregard” of his order to lift a ban on offshore oil and gas drilling last year. […]

      The drilling halt was first ordered last May after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, in which 11 workers died, and the resulting oil spill. Judge Feldman struck down the initial ban in June, and the Interior Department quickly ordered a second one.

      In his ruling, Judge Feldman said Hornbeck was owed the money because the government’s conduct amounted to contempt of court.

      Earlier last week, federal judge Roger Vinson effectively struck down the ObamaCare health care law on the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate. The Obama administration is already sending out signals that it intends to ignore the decision and continue implementation. The issue is inevitably headed to the Supreme Court. If the Court rules ObamaCare unconstitutional, will Mr. Obama abide by this decision?

      Bill Wilson, in an Investor’s Business Daily editorial, states:

      Failure of the Obama administration to stop all activity related to the law that the federal court held to be unconstitutional would create a potential constitutional showdown between the two branches rarely seen in our nation’s history. […]

      Ultimately, the rule of law must prevail in this instance. Unless and until Judge Vinson’s decision is overturned by a higher court, the federal government must follow it.

      Failure to do so would unnecessarily throw our nation into its worst constitutional crisis since the Nixon impeachment. It is up to Obama whether he wants to subject both himself and our nation to that kind of turmoil. For the sake of our nation, let’s hope he takes his oath of office seriously, averts a crisis, and follows the law of the land.

      Based on Mr. Obama’s past history of words and actions, I believe it is unlikely that he will follow the law over his obsession to implement his progressive agenda. If this is the case, when will talk of a “constitutional crisis” turn into calls for impeachment?

      As much as I yearn for a speedy end to the Obama administration, it is much more important that our Constitution is protected at all costs, regardless of all political outcomes, and against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This does not appear to be a progressive priority.

      • Ahaa! Think I’m sleeping here? You left off some parts even though the parts are basically included in the wrapup of the article. Two sentences stand out IMO:

        That leaves the latter explanation, which I believe is a common attitude toward the courts whenever progressives are prevented from reaching their righteous objectives.


        John Adams stated that we are “a nation of laws, not of men.”

        I hope he keeps up with his agenda. I’m all for impeachment.

        • I would like to see Judge Feldman hold Ken Salazar for contempt. Lock his @ss up for a few months and see if anyone gets the message. After all, if it were a private company or citizen, that is what would happen.

          And legally, the Florida suit has to be appealed for them to implement it. They cannot simply ignore the ruling. It would bring contempt charges for that as well.

          Impeachment. I can see it happening. And it would taint Biden, Pelosi and Reid. Would be interesting.

          • And this is a wonderful example of the danger of the extreme Progressive agenda’s-it is being used to usurp the power of Congress, to ignore the rule of law, and in the end make rule for and by the people a joke. It is one thing for groups of people to make their case to the people-it is another for them to be given special influence and power by our elected representatives.

  49. Black Flag:

    A mural for you house?

  50. After watching the above police video, I present this (I’m laughing, but it isn’t funny).

    The family of a Virginia teen suspended for the remainder of the school year for shooting plastic “spitwads” at students in the hallway is targeting the school district’s zero-tolerance policy, claiming that it’s “criminalizing childish behavior.”

    The 14-year-old initially was hit with a 10-day suspension, but the Spotsylvania County School Board later voted to extend the punishment for the rest of the school year, citing the Student Code of Conduct’s requirement that a student found with “any type of weapon, or object used to intimidate, threaten or harm others” be “expelled for a minimum of 365 days” unless “special circumstances exist.”

    The district also referred the case to the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office, which charged him with three counts of misdemeanor assault.

    Geez, I could still be in jail if this were happening in my school days 🙄 Another example of the US becoming a police state.

    • Murphy's Law says:

      I saw that story also……what I just don’t understand is how tiny plastic “spitwads” shot through a straw in the school cafeteria could be defined as a weapon or object used to intimidate. The story didn’t say anyone was in any way “intimidated”, “threatened” or “harmed” by what this kid did- the implication was that he was bored and causing some mischief. Anyone know any more about this? The “no tolerance” cases like this one just make no sense to me.

      • Murph,

        Don’t sell flower baskets from your home!

        Critics: Some justice courts just interested in collecting fines
        February 3rd, 2011 @ 10:00pm
        By Lori Prichard and Kelly Just
        SALT LAKE CITY — It was a shocking experience for Dena Long-Christensen, sitting in a cell in the Salt Lake County Jail for nearly two weeks among people charged with serious crimes.

        Her cellmate, for example, was spending time on charges of aggravated assault. Long-Christensen’s crime? Selling flower baskets from her home.

        “Instead of being further in shock, it was like, there’s something wrong with our country,” said the West Jordan woman.

        KSL obtained Salt Lake County Jail records for every individual incarcerated from 2004 through 2010. Though the vast majority of defendants who are sent to jail from municipal courts commit drug-related crimes, there are others who do go to jail for business license violations as well as other petty crimes such as jaywalking, lack of a dog license or having tinted windows.

        WTF is going on in this country?

  51. So it appears the Dems have their own ideas on extending, again, the un-PATRIOT-ic Act.

    Why have a Constitution one should wonder.

    • A great example of “one team, two different colored shirts”. Both parties are corrupt POS’s :

      On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a vote to continue and extend the law. “Having this debate year after year offers little certainty to agents utilizing these provisions to keep the nation safe,” said ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

      “Short-term reauthorizations lead to operational uncertainty and compliance and reporting problems if the reauthorization occurs too close to expiration,” Grassley continued. “If these provisions are necessary, we should provide more certainty rather than simply revisiting the law year after year given the indefinite threat we face from acts of terrorism, and that looks like decades ahead. We should permanently reauthorize the three expiring provisions.”

      Grassley, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will introduce legislation to make the measures permanent

      • Bottom Line says:

        I hate this phuking country.

        If we cannot at least be a LITTLE free here, what good is it?

        It is fast becoming a useless shithole.


        • BL,

          Freedom isn’t free, and the cost of keeping it may become very high. Your IN or your OUT! I was born free (i think), but I’ll die to be free if need be, and I don’t feel to phuckin free either 👿

          • Hear hear!
            I die free, regardless of anything else. Whether I die of a disease because I chose to roll the dice on health care insurance or I die taking down tyrants matters not a whit to me. I die free.

          • I am a free man and no one has the right to impose themselves on me or my family.

            Like Jon says, I will die free – fighting if necessary.

            I want nothing more than to be left alone by the government. Quit stealing what is mine. Quit telling me how I am suppose to live. I am not hurting anyone.

            It seems as society keeps “advancing” we lose more of that freedom. I want no part of it anymore. Society can keep their “advancements” and put them where the sun doesn’t shine,

            • YES, I agree. Lets start by exposing this advance on our freedoms. A virtual Revolution, that is non-violent, but tells the truth about our loss of freedom. A peacefull revolt to educate, not to incite. I’m in, who’s with me! 🙂

              • I am in. Let us strategize. Let’s all come up with 10 things that can be done to start and move along on this non-violent revolution of education. I will see what I can come up with. I figure we can combine our creative ideas and start an action list.

              • Sure, count me in. Education is a good process, it took me decades to educate myself to get where I am now. 🙂

                I’ll think it through some and see what I can come up with Jon.

              • Of course we’ll all likely end up on some government watch list (if we already aren’t there).

                Which is fine, I wouldn’t fly now-a-days if you paid me to anyway.

              • I like the red V that infowars is pitching. 300 million of those on telephone poles around the country would get people asking questions!

              • PS, I am with you, I have moved way past the point of caring if the government is watching. I pretty much assume they are and dare them to come after me.

            • I have a simple plan. I volunteered to write and help USW, and have written articles that were posted last Spring. They are in the lines of what I’m speaking of. I have two articles written to do just that, just waiting on everything to come together.

              However, if those who can write, can do so, we can all send the link to our friends, ask them to to send to their friends. The power of numbers can educate many. It’s past time to make a difference, it’s time to make that difference, even in the smallest of ways. I’m not giving up on the freedom that I desire and have earned, be damned if I give up on those like me!

              • Spreading your writings is good. Only thing where I am concerned is that I have very few on my email list and none of them think/believe as I do – but I’ll send along the links.

                What many people are missing is the simple basics of how and why society is advancing itself right out of free and independent existence.

                But, writing about it all is a way to teach the views many here at SUFA hold. I’m for it.

              • Right ON! My friend, it is about education, not violence. Your short list of contacts, plus everyother short list adds up! My contact list, between my list and those that I speak with, is close to 10K, and only God knows how more people are reached after that. We can reach out and achieve what is needed to beat what we face. May not be easy, , but no fight isn’t my style. Hopefully, it’s not anyone elses either. 🙂

              • If we wanted easy I guess we’d let the government take care of us, provide for us, and live for us. 😉

        • Let the Patriots of Freedom Stand up and identify themselves!

          • A great love song! If more people would apply these words to their freedom, we might not be where we are right now.

  52. Todd:

    You asked about the Progressive Agenda. “Progressive” is a tough thing to get a rope around. It is a consolidation of many lines of thought and alliances between various groups. Some of which are very socialist and others more overtly fascist. But in “general” I think you could say it is a mix of ideology and heavy “pragmatism” that has one broad goal, or at least inevitable outcome. Namely the absolute control by the Federal Govt of anything and everything deemed appropriate as determined by those in control who think such control necessary.

    There are some firm “agenda items”, I’ll call them objectives, that have existed since the late 19th century, and which are shared by “socialists” and some “communist” groups.

    Here is a summary from Wiki on the “modern” Progressive movement.

    The fourth and current liberal Progressive movement grew out of social activism movements, Naderite and populist left political movements in conjunction with the civil rights, GLBT (Gay rights), women’s or feminist, and environmental movements of the 1960s-1980s.[47] This exists as a cluster of political, activist, and media organizations ranging in outlook from centrism (e.g., Reform Party of the United States of America) to left-liberalism to social democracy (like the Green Party) and sometimes even democratic socialism (like the Socialist Party USA).

    While many contemporary Democratic party leaders and Green Party leaders have at times called themselves “progressives,” the term is usually self-applied by those to the left of the Democratic party,[48][not in citation given] Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Debbie Stabenow, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Cynthia McKinney (The Green Party candidate for President in 2008), John Edwards, Sherrod Brown, Kathleen Sebelius, David McReynolds, Ralph Nader (The Green Party presidential candidate in 2000), Howard Dean, Peter Camejo, Al Gore, and the late Paul Wellstone and Ted Kennedy. At the same time, the term is also applied to many leaders in the women’s movement, cosmopolitanism, the labor movement, the American civil rights movement, the environmental movement, the immigrant rights movement, and the gay and lesbian rights movement.

    Other well-known progressives include Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, George Lakoff, Michael Lerner, and Urvashi Vaid, however Chomksy and most American leftists disapprove of the co-option of the term “progressive” by overwhelmingly pro-corporate and pro-military politicians and think tanks such as Third Way.[citation needed]

    Significant publications include The Progressive magazine, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Huffington Post, Mother Jones, In These Times, CounterPunch, and Broadcasting outlets include (the now-defunct) Air America Radio, the Pacifica Radio network, Democracy Now!, and certain community radio stations. Notable media voices include Cenk Uygur, Alexander Cockburn, Barbara Ehrenreich, Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, Arianna Huffington, Jim Hightower, Lionel, the late Molly Ivins, Ron Reagan, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Stephanie Miller, Mike Malloy, Keith Olbermann, Greg Palast, Randi Rhodes, Betsy Rosenberg, Ed Schultz, David Sirota, Jon Stewart and The Young Turks.

    Modern issues for progressives can include[citation needed]: electoral reform (including instant runoff voting, proportional representation and fusion candidates), environmental conservation, pollution control and environmentalism, same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, universal health care, abolition of the death penalty, affordable housing, a viable Social Security System, renewable energy, smart growth urban development, a living wage and pro-union policies, among many others.

    Examples of the broad range of progressive texts include: New Age Politics by Mark Satin; Why Americans Hate Politics by E.J. Dionne, Jr.; Community Building: Renewing Spirit & Learning in Business edited by Kazimierz Gozdz; Ecopolitics: Building a Green Society by Daniel Coleman; and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.

    The main current national progressive parties are the Democratic Party and the Green Party of the United States. The Democratic Party has major-party status in all fifty States, while there are state Green Parties or affiliates with the national Green Party in most states. The most successful non-major state-level progressive party is the Vermont Progressive Party. However, progressives often shy away from parties and align within more community-oriented activist groups, coalitions and networks, such as the Maine People’s Alliance and Northeast Action.”

    I have to run for now but will try to put together a more complete article on the Progressive Movement for us all to discuss.

    In the meantime I suggest everyone who’s interested follow the Wikipedia links to Progressive Party, Progressivism, Progressive Movement, etc. Most of what I have read there seems pretty accurate relative to historical text.

    Happy reading.

    • Add Buck the Wala to the list of names. He has said so himself and he’s also furious that Obama has not been “left” enough.

    • JAC,
      I understand the progressive agenda. I was asking VH to explain her comment, especially the we will end with a result which has been proven by history part.

      Beck has a very specific message-if we continue to follow the progressive agenda, whether you are a progressive on the left or the right, we will end with a result which has been proven by history.

      • Todd

        At its heart Progressivism is the Fascist Political/Economic model. It is the belief that Govt can use the Private sector to achieve its goals and objectives. Those in turn being heavily based on socialism and “social justice” concepts.

        We know it ends badly because we are living in the results today. For one, we know it results in Corporatism, as those who are being manipulated and controlled eventually gain the ring of power.

        Hit a man with a stick and you give him the moral authority to hit you when he is able.

        When you base a Political/Economic model on philosophical principles that are in conflict you will get violence, balkanization of society, class warfare, economic stagnation and eventually collapse.

        History is riddled with failed societies and nations that thought that they could mix economics, based on Capitalism, with politics based on centralized rule. The Progressives thought they had found a “third way”. One that avoided the pitfalls of communism or monarchy or totalitarianism. But they were wrong. If we look closely we see that it leads to the same place. It just took a little longer.

        The Progressive concept leads to various possible outcomes. Including, totalitarianism, communism, socialism, or more fascism and corporatism.

        But what you do not get, and this is Beck’s primary point (I think), is FREEDOM, LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all. If we do not recognize the path, we will lose any chance of fulfilling the dream that was America.

        • JAC,

          If we look closely we see that it leads to the same place. It just took a little longer.

          I think you have your “tense” mixed up here…

          The Progressive concept leads to various possible outcomes. Including, totalitarianism, communism, socialism, or more fascism and corporatism.

          That doesn’t really sound like “a result which has been proven by history.

          It sounds more like your opinion.

          G-Man couldn’t answer this question – can you?

          Do you have an example of a society that fits your definition of “Free”?

          • Todd

            There is no place left that is Free, even as free as the USA was conceived to be.

            But there are a few places where there is a memory of what freedom entails. The remnants will hopefully prevail in the long run.

            It is possible that a free nation could rise up from the collapse caused by the Progressive agenda. But historically it has just led to greater central control.

            Historic evidence = USA

  53. Scientists Race To Breach Anarctica’s Lake Vostok

    Posted on: Saturday, 5 February 2011, 07:48 CST

    Russian scientists are set to pierce through Antarctica’s frozen surface to reveal the secrets of an icebound lake that has been sealed deep there for the past 15 million years.

    Alexei Turkeyev, head of the Russian polar Vostok Station, told Reuters by satellite phone that scientists have “only a bit left to go.” His team has been drilling for weeks in a race to reach the lake — buried 12,000 feet beneath the polar ice cap — before the end of the brief Antarctic summer.

    With the quickly returning onset of winter, scientists will be forced to leave on the last flight out on February 6. “It’s minus 40 (Celsius/Fahrenheit) outside,” said Turkeyev. “But whatever, we’re working. We’re feeling good. There’s only 5 meters left until we get to the lake so it’ll all be very soon.”

    Scientists are hoping the lake will reveal new forms of life and show how life evolved may have evolved in the times before the ice age. The lake could also offer scientists a glimpse of what conditions exist for life in similar extremes on Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa.

    “It’s like exploring an alien planet where no one has been before. We don’t know what we’ll find,” Valery Lukin of Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St Petersburg, which oversees the expedition, told Reuters.

    The discovery of the hidden network of sub-glacial lakes of Antarctica in the 1990s has sparked much enthusiasm among scientists the world over.

    Explorers from the US and Britain are following the trail of Russia’s scientists with their own missions to probe other buried lakes, which are among the last of the world’s hidden and unexplored areas.

    “It’s an extreme environment but it is one that may be habitable. If it is, curiosity drives us to understand what’s in it. How is it living? Is it flourishing?,” Martin Siegert, head of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences, who is leading a British expedition to a smaller polar lake, told Reuters reporter Alissa de Carbonnel.

    Experts explain that the ice sheet traps in the planet’s geothermal heat and prevents the lakes from freezing. Sediment from the lake might show scientists a window to the past, back millions of years to tropical prehistoric times, said Lukin.

    Lake Vostok is the largest, deepest and most isolated of the frozen continent’s 150 sub-glacial lakes. It is overly saturated with oxygen, more so than any other known environment on Earth.

    John Priscu of Montana State University, a chief scientist with the U.S. program to explore another Antarctic lake, said Russian scientists are “leading the way with a torch.”

    Priscu said beneath the frozen crust, far from any sunlight, in the vast sub-glacial lake creatures may lurk around thermal vents in the lake’s depths. “I think Lake Vostok is an oasis under the ice sheet for life. It would be really wild to thoroughly sample… But until we learn how to get into the system cleanly that’s an issue,” he told Reuters.

    Explorers, about to breach the lake for the first time, now face an important question: How do we go where no one has gone before without spoiling it or bringing back some foreign virus?

    “I feel very excited but once we do it there is no going back,” said Alexei Ekaikin, a scientist with the expedition at Vostok Station. “Once you touch it, it will be touched forever.”

    • Forgot the question-Should we are shouldn’t we?

      I go with we should but very carefully-we should explore and learn!!

      • Drill, baby drill! Sorry, what was the question again? Unless we think there is some pre-historic danger lurking below, why not? It’s just very old ice.

        I wonder how much we spend studying all this and if it’s worthwhile? I usually favor research, but all this seems to do is allow scientist to make wild guesses, and call them theories. Theories are usually better funded than wild @ss guesses.

      • agreed, be careful but explore and learn. I presume care is being taken to maintain the protection from the elements and the oxygen rich environment. I say learn as much as possible, but contaminate as little as possible.

      • One thing not mentioned here:

        One major concern is the Russians have filled the hole they’re drilling with more than 14,000 gallons of kerosene and Freon to prevent it from freezing shut. The Russians have engineered their system so that when they break through into the lake, water pressure from below is supposed to push the drilling fluids up the hole, rather than letting them pour into the lake and contaminate it.

        But Barnes is nervous. He’d prefer that the Russians used more environmentally friendly drilling systems that use hot water and don’t need kerosene and Freon.

        I agree – explore and learn – but not if they contaminate it with kerosene and freon!

  54. LiveAction videos released earlier this week (with both edited and unedited versions) exposed personnel at Planned Parenthood clinics in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia as all too willing to help provide abortions, birth control, and other “reproductive health services” to underage hookers in a pimp’s employ while getting around laws requiring notification of law enforcement and/or parents. On Friday, the self-described “youth led movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time” released three more videos showing visits to Old Dominion State clinics in Falls Church, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.

    Left-wing “bloggers” have swung into frantic action. Not to see how widespread the abuse of underage girls might be at Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide. No-no-no. As Dana Loesch reported yesterday at, they are plotting how they can most effectively defend the rogue organization (links are in original):

    JOURNOLIST 2.0: Soros Sites Hold Con Call To Map Strategy for Planned Parenthood Defense

    It was reported that Alternet, Soros’ Media Matters, and other progressives staged a conference call this afternoon where they mapped strategy to defend Planned Parenthood from the choices Planned Parenthood staffers made on tape.

    … Instead of focusing on the fact that there is an organization who turned a blind eye to child sex-trafficking, an organization that receives forced federal funding, the group of senior fellows ostensibly chose the route which affords zero defense of women, born or unborn, thereby saving them from compromising their female-hostile ideologies: attack Lila Rose. These outlets don’t see the insanity in feigning disgust that the racket was exposed, not that it occurred at all.

    The majority of the call was spent discussing ways to discredit Rose because of her funding. They surmise that some group which donates to her pro-life magazine is a group donated to by a group given money by the Koch Brothers. So says people who just cashed a $1 million-dollar check from George Soros.

    The opening of the Alternet post on the confab notes a couple of other interested parties who were in attendance:

    On a conference call with bloggers convened by Media Matters for America with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and Vice President Stewart Schear, I got a little tip into where Lila Rose, who leads the right-wing sting group Live Action, gets some of her funding.

    Well, isn’t that cozy? The organization under fire gets to meet with people who somehow believe that they are still “journalists” to plan its defense. There would seem to be little reason to doubt that those involved will share their plans and information with others at establishment press outlets who also somehow believe that they are still “journalists.” This is all being done to defend the reputation and funding of an organization shown over at least the past half-dozen several years as willing to flout the law and basic human decency to maximize the number of abortions it performs.

    Paraphrasing a NewsBusters commenter’s tagline: This isn’t media bias. It’s a working relationship.

    Note, LiveAction rejects being labeled conservative or right wing. They consider themselves pro-life, period. And that may include members who are liberal or conservative.

  55. ‘World premiere’ of Atlas Shrugged movie trailer planned for CPAC
    By Steven Nelson – The Daily Caller | Published: 6:24 PM
    FreedomWorks will host a premier of the trailer for the film adaption of Atlas Shrugged at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

    Since the novel by Ayn Rand was published in 1957, efforts to produce a film version have been attempted. All failed due to a variety of legal and editorial disputes.

    Protagonist Dagny Taggart will be played by actress Taylor Schilling, who previously was the lead character in NBC medical drama Mercy.

    Atlas Shrugged has been highly influential within conservative and libertarian circles for its support of laissez-faire economics.

    The film’s website calls the book a warning of implications to society when “individual achievement is undervalued, suppressed and demonized.”

    The premier will be held on February 11. The film, which features one-third of the book, will be released in theaters on April 15.

  56. I think this is a particularly good article in support of gun rights.

    February 2, 2011

    Fresh off of blaming Jared Loughner’s killing spree in the Tucson mall on Sarah Palin, liberals are now blaming it on high-capacity magazines. They might as well imprison everyone named “Jared” to prevent a crime like this from ever happening again.

    During the presidential campaign, Obama said: “I don’t know of any self-respecting hunter that needs 19 rounds of anything. You don’t shoot 19 rounds at a deer, and if you do, you shouldn’t be hunting.” It would have been more accurate for him to end that sentence after the word “hunter.”

    It’s so adorable when people who wouldn’t know a high-capacity magazine from Vanity Fair start telling gun owners what they should want and need.

    In fact, high-capacity mags put a predator like Loughner at a disadvantage because they are so long, unwieldy and difficult to conceal. This may be why the Tucson shooting appears to be the first spree killing involving a high-capacity magazine. It would have been easier for Loughner to bring two guns.

    On the other hand, for a homeowner who is a poor marksman, a large-capacity clip could be a lifesaver.

    But after every multiple murder, liberals come up with some crackpot idea to “do something” that invariably involves infringing on some aspect of our Second Amendment rights.

    The ACLU won’t let us put nuts in mental hospitals and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik wouldn’t lock up Loughner even after he had broken the law several times.

    In an open society that includes Sheriff Dumbnik and the ACLU, deranged individuals may explode into murder and mayhem now and then. The best we can do is enact policies that will reduce the death toll when these acts of carnage occur.

    There’s only one policy of any kind that has ever been shown to deter mass murder: concealed-carry laws. In a comprehensive study of all public, multiple-shooting incidents in America between 1977 and 1999, the highly regarded economists John Lott and Bill Landes found that concealed-carry laws were the only laws that had any beneficial effect.

    And the effect was not small. States that allowed citizens to carry concealed handguns reduced multiple-shooting attacks by 60 percent and reduced the death and injury from these attacks by nearly 80 percent.

    When there are no armed citizens to stop mass murderers, the killers are able to shoot unabated, even pausing to reload their weapons, until they get bored and stop. Some stop only when their trigger fingers develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Consider just the school shootings — popular sites for mass murder because so many schools are “gun-free zones.” Or, as mass murderers call them, “free-fire zones.”

    At Columbine High School, two students killed 13 people before ending the carnage themselves by committing suicide. They didn’t need high-capacity magazines because they were able to stop and reload.

    At the Amish school shooting in 2006 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the deranged killer murdered five little girls and then committed suicide.

    In 1998, two students in Craighead County, Arkansas, killed five people, including four little girls, before the killers decided to stop and attempt an escape.

    And in 2007, a deranged student killed 32 people at Virginia Tech — 30 of them in a very short period of time in one building. He didn’t need high-capacity magazines because he had two guns and reloaded.

    There was no one to stop him.

    School shootings that have been halted were almost always stopped by the happenstance of an armed citizen on school property.

    In 2002, an immigrant in Virginia started shooting his classmates at the Appalachian Law School in Grundy. Two of his classmates retrieved guns from their cars, forcing the killer to drop his weapon and allowing a third classmate to tackle him.

    Three dead.

    In Santee, Calif., in 2001, when a student began shooting his classmates, the school activated its “safe school plan” — as the principal later told CNN — by sending a “trained campus supervisor” to stop the killer.

    Possibly not realizing that he was in a gun-free zone, the killer responded by shooting the trained campus supervisor three times. Fortunately, an armed off-duty San Diego policeman happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day. With a gun, he stopped the killer and held him at bay until more police could arrive.

    Two dead.

    In 1997, a student at Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss., had already shot several people at his high school and was headed for the junior high school when assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a .45 pistol from his car and pointed it at the gunman’s head, ending the slaughter.

    Two dead.

    In 1998, a student attending a junior high school dance at a restaurant in Edinboro, Pa., started shooting, whereupon the restaurant owner pulled out his shotgun, chased the gunman from the restaurant and captured him for the police.

    One dead.

    See the pattern?

    In response to Columbine, schools adopted “anti-bullying” policies; in response to Virginia Tech, eBay ceased selling magazines online; in response to the Tucson shooting, liberals want to ban the particular magazine Loughner used.

    And then the next killer will come along with a different arsenal and a different motive, and the only way to stop him will be with an armed citizen with a gun.

    • Nice piece.

      The thing about large capacity magazines is key. Making them illegal will not stop psychos from having them, but it will make an inaccurate innocent defender run out of bullets too soon, especially if they waste any rounds on warning shots. High capacity mags are only used by recreational shooters and defenders. Criminals with high capacity mags are usually using them along with fully automatic weapons that are already illegal. Yet they have them, go figure….

      • Also, it was not the 9th thru the 15th rounds fired in Tucson that did all the damage. Banning hi capacity magazines does what? Makes sure the criminals practice and are accurate enough for the first 8 rounds to count, and also get good at reloading, because it takes seconds to switch clips, and you can have as many of those as you can carry.

      • No gun laws of any kind – even outright banning them – will stop gun violence from occurring. All we have to do is look to the heavily restrictive or prohibited gun laws of places like Chicago, New York, or Massachusetts to understand the futility of the majority of gun laws. Are there reasonable laws – depends I guess on what we each consider to be reasonable. My take may not be the same as Mathius or Buck for example.

        I will say though that people who believe or desire to possess a firearm have some experience with using them. Get some instruction, go to the range (even if only once or twice a year) and practice. Above all people need to train their judgment in using a firearm (like evaluating to use it or not, target clarity, down range obstacles, control of panic, mental attitude, etc). It’s not a toy and it’s not like a John Wayne movie – if you’re pointing it plan to use it, and dang well know you may kill someone.

    • Very nice piece! The Liberal/Progressives can only gain the control they want when the population is unarmed. The sad part is, the Progressive agenda has NEVER worked for any nation, and I’ll be damned if I want them to try to get it right in the USA. I have become determined to do educate as many as possible to their bullshit ideals that have destroyed entire generations in our history. Just like last night, I hold no quarter, because it’s time for two words….

      FIGHTS ON!


      • Amen sir!

        • THank You, Hopefully, we can wake some people up a stop this crap! It seems as though they want a war (of words at this point), and I’m damn sure ready to give it to them!! 👿

          FIGHTS ON!!!

      • G-Man,
        Most of you complain about how the USA as become more and more progressive since the 19th century. It seems to me that the Progressive agenda has worked for the USA in the 20th century.

        Singapore is another example of a prosperous progressive society.

        Do you have an example of a society that fits your definition of “Free”?

        • Todd says: “It seems to me that the Progressive agenda has worked for the USA in the 20th century.”

          G says: Since the beginning of the 21st Century, over 40,000 companies have shut their doors and moved their operations out of the country. This doesn’t include the small businesses that closed due to numerous reasons, like excessive corporate taxes and oppressive government oversight. Yep, the progressive agenda has worked real well for the country.

          • Dodging the question much G-Man?? 😉

            Any references for your numbers??

            The one decade of the 21st century has been dominated by the “conservative” agenda. Clinton and the Republican Congress deregulated derivatives, and the Bush tax cuts and wars.

            Your original comment was:

            The sad part is, the Progressive agenda has NEVER worked for any nation

            I gave you two examples. Any comments on those?

            And I’ll ask my question again: Do you have an example of a society that fits your definition of “Free”?

            • Progressives are in the Conservative side too, especially at the Washington level. The examples you gave do not fit a liberal agenda, but they certainly fit a progressive one. Government power and size expanded rapidly under both of those administrations, especially the Bush administration. Even if the specific actions you mention were not progressive in nature, cherry picking examples of government reduction in the midst of administrations characterized by massive government growth is hardly an argument for conservative agenda failures.

              • Jon,

                The examples you gave do not fit a liberal agenda, but they certainly fit a progressive one.

                Please explain the “Progressive Right” and how my examples fit?

                My examples were not of “conservative agenda failures”, but just pointing out that the first decade of the 21st century was not dominated by the “progressive agenda”.

                But my real point is G-Man is dodging the question with some bullshit generalization he can’t even back up with facts.

              • The example administrations fit the progressive right, not necessarily the examples themselves, with the exception of the war on terror. The “Progressive Right” is comprised of those seeking control and consolidation of power. The never waste a crisis, just like the progressive left. They bring in little bits of freedom loss here and there. It is gradual, but it is still loss of freedom.

              • Jon,
                Sorry, but you can’t paint everything you don’t like as “Progressive” – left or right. The Bush Administration and the Republican Congress were Conservative and they pushed the Conservative Agenda.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I know you don’t see this, but the Repubs and Dems, are on the same team, they just wear different shirts. Nothing has changed as far back a Nixon. They are not working for us anymore!

              • There were a lot of things done under Bush that were not conservative at all. Prescription drug program, no child left behind, and others. That said, maybe I am cherry picking to make it seem like it was progressive.

                Even if it was, overall, conservative, it doesnt really matter. I dont like conservatives either except in financial matters. Military support and social conservatism are not libertarian traits. 🙂

            • gmanfortruth says:


              I don’t live in other societies, so your question is unanswerable. Don’t know much about Singapore, to be honest, but did find this about their leading political party:

              From the 1963 general elections, the PAP has dominated Singapore’s parliamentary democracy and has been central to the city-state’s rapid political, social, and economic development.[1] However, it has been criticised for laws that suppress free speech and other civil liberties.

              I wonder how that is working for the people? I wonder if they could legally answer that question?

              As far as the USA goes, with the municipalities, States and the Feds neck deep in debt, the results may not be very likeable, but we shall see.

              Hope that solves your curiosity.

              • Criminal law of Singapore
                From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                Jump to: navigation, search
                A variety of activities ranging from smoking to carrying durians is banned on Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system.

                Although the legal system of Singapore is a common law system, the criminal law of Singapore is largely statutory in nature. The general principles of criminal law, as well as the elements and penalties of common criminal offences such as homicide, theft and cheating, are set out in the Penal Code.[1] Other important offences are created by statutes such as the Arms Offences Act,[2] Kidnapping Act,[3] Misuse of Drugs Act[4] and Vandalism Act.[5]

                In addition, there is a perception that Singapore society is highly regulated through the criminalization of many activities which are considered as fairly harmless in other countries. These include failing to flush toilets after use,[6] littering,[7] jaywalking,[8] the possession of pornography,[9] the sale of chewing gum,[10] and sexual activity; such as oral and anal sex between men.[11] It has been claimed that one of the results of such heavy regulation is that Singapore has one of the lowest incidences of violent crimes in the world.[12] A catchphrase recently used in a police anti-crime campaign was “Low crime does not mean no crime”.

                Singapore retains both corporal punishment (in the form of caning) and capital punishment (by hanging) as punishments for serious offences. For certain offences, the imposition of these penalties is mandatory. More than 400 people were executed in Singapore, mostly for drug trafficking, between 1991 and 2004. Statistically, Singapore has one of the highest execution rates in the world relative to its population, surpassing Saudi Arabia.[13] Science fiction writer William Gibson famously described Singapore as “Disneyland with the death penalty”.[14]


              • G-Man,
                With all the research you do, you’ve never found a society that fits your definition of “Free”?

                Maybe it’s because one has never existed? Because men tend to group together and form “governments” that then oppress their fellow man?

                I Posted this link about Singapore to JAC too:

                Yes, there are a lot of issues with freedom in Singapore. But compare Singapore to other SE Asia countries – would you rather live in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, or Singapore?

                As far as the USA goes, with the municipalities, States and the Feds neck deep in debt, the results may not be very likeable, but we shall see.

                Based on your many posts, I guess you don’t believe in “American Exceptionalism?”

              • Your losing me Todd-I am really trying to understand what point you are trying to make with all this-Your post about Singapore shows a country where the people have no real freedoms but you point out that it’s better than other societies that take away freedoms. I can’t believe that you are holding up Singapore as the type of society you want for America. So what are you trying to say?

              • Todd,
                No, I don’t believe in “American Exceptionalism”. That’s just more horseshit propaganda. Looking at the current world, I find no place that I would accept as “free” in my mind, including the USA. However, don’t mistake that for a lack of love for my fellow Americans, you included. This countries government has gone astray, in my opinion. This country, is full of great people, despite our government. I suggest you read the Declaration of Independence. It’s the earliest days of our nation, that would closely fit my idea of “free”.
                Your question was too general. As is normal with left wingers, your questioning technique is designed to attack the individual, rather than get a reasonabl answer. Pathetic, Sir, it seems the history of your antics continue 8)

              • G-Man,
                Exactly how is my questioning technique designed to attack the individual, rather than get a reasonable answer?

                It seems you turn to personal attacks when you can’t answer a question.

              • I answered the question, after alot of posts to identify it’s true intent. Had you asked “do you know of any society, past or present, that would fit into your idea of free, does it or did it ever exist?” I would have answered in my next post. Instead, you chose to make an incomplete question to achieve……nothing.

                I’m from Mars, but noone cares 😆

                While we may disagree on many subjects, I’d still fight for you and your families freedom. Maybe we should establish our base when it comes to freedom!?! It would make things less argumentative, maybe! 🙂

              • VH,
                Oh NO, I’m not holding up Singapore as the type of society I want for America!!

                And yes, the government control in Singapore is quite extreme!! But there are many worse places in the world, with brutal dictatorships, or where there is a complete breakdown of society and the rule of law.

        • Todd

          I am curious what your criteria are for concluding that the Progressive agenda has worked for the USA.

          I am also curious as to what you think makes Singapore a “progressive society”.

          • JAC,

            I consider the 20th century to be a pretty good one for the USA. Just off the top of my head:
            * Indoor plumbing
            * Electric grid
            * Telephones
            * Cars
            * Highways
            * Airplanes
            * Air Conditioning
            * NASA / Apollo Program
            * Internet
            * All the technology in general

            * Workers Comp Insurance
            * Unions
            * Work Place Safety

            * Civil Rights Act
            * Voting Rights Act
            * Clean Water Act
            * Clean Air Act

            * An overall safe, stable, and free society

            Singapore a “progressive society”:


            • And not so good as well.

              New Deal
              Japanese/German/Italian internments
              League of Nations/United Nations
              Atomic Bombs on Nagasaki & Hiroshima
              Guantanamo internments
              Patriot Act (and associated laws)
              Unions (since we both know they’re just as bad as good)
              16th Amendment
              Progressive Income tax
              Affordable Care Act
              Food & Drug Administration
              Federal Communications Commission
              Environmental Protection Agency
              Department of Education (and others)

              Off the top of my head. It’s a case of opinion.

            • Todd,

              As many do, you confuse technical astuteness with Freedom.

              It is NOT overall safe (compared to …what?), it is NOT stable (missed the financial bubbles lately) and it is most definitely NOT free.

            • Todd,

              A progressive society is so far different then the “progressive agenda” I can’t even give an example.

              What planet are you from?

              • G-Man,
                Sorry if I didn’t word my questions/comments clearly enough, but I’m not even sure where I mixed up “progressive society” and “progressive agenda”.

                I’m from Earth.

                And you?

        • Having tracked conversations of this type before I come to the idea that before answering the question the first thing that might be done is for each to state their definition of “free” and then come to agreement from those definitions of what “free” means for the purpose of your discussion?

          Just a thought.

          • Plainlyspoken,
            I don’t think we’ll all ever agree, and even if we did by the time that conversion was done, we’d have forgotten the question.

            So feel free to define it for yourself and how it applies to the society that fits your definition of “Free”.

  57. I don’t know why I read these articles, they tend to make me crazy. I have to wonder why in this whole article the problem is that these people did a fatwa-I didn’t see the word murder anywhere. Fatwa’s are illegal but without any mention of murder-I have to wonder if the outcome would have been any different if the courts had handled the situation.

    Govt asked to explain failure to stop fatwa
    HC gives Shariatpur admin 15 days to tell why it could not save life of 14-year-old rape victim
    L-R: Mofiz Uddin and JoynalStaff Correspondent

    The High Court yesterday ordered district officials in Shariatpur to explain why they failed to protect 14-year-old rape victim Hena from being whipped to death as per a fatwa on Monday.

    The deputy commissioner, the superintendent of police of Shariatpur and the thana nirbahi officer of Naria upazila — where the incident took place–will have to report to the HC in 15 days how it happened although the court (HC) had eight months ago declared fatwa illegal and a punishable offence.

    In a suo moto rule, the HC directed them also to report what steps they have taken in this regard.

    An HC bench comprised of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain issued the rule following press reports on the killing of Hena.

    The reports said Hena was raped by her 40-year-old relative Mahbub on Sunday. Next day, a fatwa was announced at a village arbitration that she must be given 100 lashes. She fell unconscious after nearly 80 lashes.

    Fatally injured Hena was rushed to Naria health complex where she succumbed to her injuries.

    Supreme Court lawyer Seema Zahur yesterday placed before the HC bench a press report on the incident on behalf of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association.

    Meanwhile, another HC bench yesterday directed the law enforcement agencies to submit a report to it within three weeks on what steps have been taken following this incident in the light of its judgement on extra-judicial punishment.

    The bench comprised of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder also ordered the information ministry to run a media campaign to create awareness among people against extra-judicial punishment.

    The bench headed by Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on July 8 last year delivered the verdict declaring illegal all kinds of extra-judicial punishment including those in the name of fatwa at local arbitrations.

    Following three writ petitions, the court directed the authorities concerned to take punitive action against people involved in enforcing fatwa against women.

    It also observed that infliction of brutal punishment including caning, whipping and beating at local salish [arbitration] by persons devoid of judicial authority constitutes violation of the constitutional rights.

    Barristers Rabia Bhuiyan, Sara Hossain and Mahbub Shafique, and advocate KM Hafizul Alam, lawyers for the writ petitioners, yesterday placed the judgement to the bench following the incident involving Hena.

    Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights watchdog, expressed deep concern and shock yesterday at the killing of teenage rape victim Hena.

    It demanded punitive action against those who enforced fatwa concerning her.

    The ASK called upon the government to take effective steps to stop recurrence of such incidents.

    • V.H.

      I don’t know why you read it either. While so many are watching and pay attention to crap in the Middle East, there are people here at home trying to bone us in the butt. Let them deal with their issues, we have plenty of our own here!

  58. I got really into the Thomas Covenant books but haven’t liked the newest chronicles (third set) as much.

    And I’ve been waiting on the next Song of Ice and Fire book *forever*. Neat to see they’re doing an HBO series on it though!

    Anyway I’m liking the new look. I just popped in to complain about how much of a pain it is to do small business taxes. With all my business done over the internet among multiple people in multiple states I can’t figure out which state partnership form to file or which state to apportion all the bits of income to, blah. Maybe I’ll just stick it all in the state we’re registered in and call it a night.

  59. Jennie

    Sorry I didn’t see your comment yesterday or today until very late. So let me address it now.

    Jennie Says:
    February 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I don’t think we should be meddling. I was asking because I wanted to know what JAC was thinking. I haven’t listened to Beck recently, so I don’t know what point he’s trying to make by bringing up this possibility.

    I am not sure WHY Beck raised the possibility other than to wake folks up to the fact it could happen. And that it has happened with some individuals on the radical side. He uses the folks involved in the flotilla to Israel that got stopped as an example of this.

    I have not heard him propose any kind of intervention or interference in the region. Just more like…wake the hell up America so far.

  60. Well, the TSA chief has made my final decision. Good thing I have a private plane……if TSA unionizes, I will never set foot on a public airliner again. I will drive or I will pay twice the fuel costs to fly my own plane. Government unions are just plain wrong. I wonder if we will ever have a President strong enough to do what Reagan did if they strike. Kiss your safety goodbye….IN MY OPINION.

    • In addition, TSA Chief Pistole has forbidden the opt out for airports and has forbidden private security companies to compete. Nice payback to unions….Great progressive movement. Forced unionization.

  61. Happy Superbowl Day! 🙂

    World’s Shortest Books


    By Barack Obama



    By Tiger Woods





    By Rev Jesse Jackson & Rev Al Sharpton


    By Hillary Clinton



    By Bill Gates



    By Amelia Earhart




    By Ellen de Generes & Rosie O’Donnell



    By Mike Tyson



    By O. J. Simpson



    My Complete Knowledge of Military Strategy

    By Nancy Pelosi

  62. JAC: Some text and and combined interview with Brigitte Gabriel on Hannity vs imam

    • sorry for the stutter 😉

      • anita

        Thanks, and I had to read your post three times before I caught the stutter. What’s that say about my reading ability?

        The interview and this post on the interview and B. Gabriel exemplifies why I can’t stand Sean Hannity.

        The guy was right. Hannity talks over his guests, especially when he has already put them in a “category”.

        He could have really done a great interview with this Imam but instead talks over him and won’t explore the points raised.

        Don’t worry, I am not rationalizing or supporting the Imam here. Just pointing out that we tend to ignore what guys like this are saying and then put our own “interpretation” on it.

        For example, he says the USA is the killer of innocents and is occupying “muslim lands”. Well the next point should have been the time table for the various actions. Pointing out that the USA was not “occupying” any lands when the radicals decided to start attacking us. And the fact we helped them against the Russians so what the hell gives.

        Probably enough said on it for now. Or I’ll start getting the blood pressure up………..heh, heh, heh!

        I do wish D-13, BF and anyone else who has actually spent time in the region would give us some insight into just how big this movement is and how strong.

        Then we need to assess to what extent our policies and actions “actually” feed into their power instead of diminish it. I am not so sure we are truly feeding it to the extent some claim. Or at least that it wouldn’t gain absent any US action in the region.

  63. FINE KATHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You guys were on fire! You whooped us fair and square! I looked and looked even had my bifocals right up to the screen..never could find ya!

    Now GO PACK!

  64. I vote fot the Volkswagon Darth Vader commercial.

    • Me too!

    • I agree! I also live in Steeler country, and the NWS has just issued flash flood warnings for all of Western Pa. It seems the Terrible Towels can’t contain the tears any longer

      Congrats to Packer Nation. The cheeseheads deserved this victory 🙂

    • I like the VW one too. I did not see all of them but most of what I saw were not very good. One observation, if this is the biggest revenue generator and it was sold out weeks in advance, how come there were so many commercials for Fox shows? Seems like a revenue killer to me. Also why can’t they get someone who can sing to do the anthem and the half time shows? I am not musically inclined, certainly not a music critic, but I do know when something offends my tinny eardrums and when someone blows the words to the national anthem.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Twenty years ago, it was done right. It’s my most memorable moment of a country UNITED! It’s time to get that back!

      • I thought the “God Bless America” rendition was the worst of the night.

  65. Finally, after all these years, I have won a Superbowl bet.

    Oh, and what did I win?

    A Reeses candy bar . . . . . 😉

    The “Pack” is back!

  66. Did anyone watch the UFC fights Saturday?
    Anderson Silva is a bad, bad man ..

    GO Packers!

    • Didn’t watch it, but read about it. Silva had a good night!

      The Pack rules!

    • I did. I really didn’t expect such a sudden ending. I actually thought Vitor had a chance to beat him. I was ….. incorrect.

      I am sure that Ray watched as well. I know that he is a fan.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @USW & @G-Man –

        On the fights……

        (1) The Bader-Jones fight ended as I thought it would. What was shocking to me is that they’re putting Jones in an immediate title match against Shogun Rua. The shortened camp Jones will have may be offset by the long layoff and injuries that Rua has had (although Jones had some “injuries” prior to the Bader fight it is unclear what they were and how severe). This could be one of the most entertaining fights ever – and something tells me Jones will want to get it to the ground.

        (2) Forest-Franklin – I wasn’t really enamored with this fight – Forest is a huge LHW and all else equal that size dominated imho. Forest needs a big fight next (maybe Bader? Little Nog?) – Franklin I am less certain of.

        (3) Silva-Belfort – that straight front kick just blew me away – you really never ever see that – even in competition. I sat there literally stunned at what I saw. It was as if Vitor thought it was a feint or something else? Vitor looked very tentative to me – teetering between “measuring” Anderson or maybe just being scared. A lot of post-fight talk was that when these two trained together (and they trained together a lot) Anderson pretty much owned him. I’m not looking forward to Silva fighting Okami next – that will be a yawner. Silva need a catch-weight bout with GSP or they need to redo the Chael Sonnen fight. I’m still not 100% convinced that Silva is pound-for-pound the best in the world – Alistair Overeem is the most dominant MMA-fighter not in the UFC – right next the Fedor Emelianenko – on any given night either of those three could be the best PFP.

        • @Ray….doesn’t matter. I still would not climb in the ring without a bazooka….and that probably won’t be enough with some of those guys.

        • @Ray
          1) Seems awfully quick for Jones to go from a debut to the title fight. Been a long time Rua fan.
          2) As much as I like Franklin, I think he’s done. Those Silva beatings and that nasty broken nose changed him, doesn’t seem the same anymore. Same with Liddell, I don’t think they are that great a draw anymore.
          3) I would love to see GSP and Silva fight, to me it seems like either GSP or Penn are the best PFP IN the UFC.

          I don’t think we’ll ever see Fedor in the UFC, it’s really too bad PRIDE didn’t last.

  67. Okay, I tried to copy and paste a picture and it won’t allow me to do that . . . . . . . 😦

    So if you want to see it, go to my blog (just click on my name).

  68. Todd

    I understand all that -it’s what I said. But you have posted this article before as an example of a successful progressive agenda-I do not understand why-what point are you making. In what way is Singapore a good example.

  69. Hopefully things will get back to normal now. Local barowners are hopeful that the natives will not be too upset at the price hikes. The local merchants reported that the sales were down…and not because of the weather as much as they noticed the native population did not come in and play and stayed away. A lot of out of towners willing to part with their money but the increase in sales that was predicted was predicated on the local population still coming in. It did not happen.

    • What did you think of the national anthem performance?

      • I did not see it at the start but saw the replay… was, of course, terrible. I am like Gman……the best one that I have heard all these years is when Whitney Houston sang it. I am afraid that I am too old school on our anthem to jazz it or change it very much. But what impresses me the most, is that you can tell when it is played or sang, if it is from the heart or if it is a performance….last night was a performance and not a good one at that. Actually, I am being too politically correct….

        IT SUCKED !!!!

        • sang???? Sung….whatever.

        • I think it really says something about the NFL & Fox. If the #1 performer is not at the top of their game, you bench them! I would want rehearsal checks written into the contract.

          I also thought half-time blew, but am not a Black-Eye Peas fan.

          • Have to admit it sir…….when half time came on, I switched to monty python in search of the Holy Grail….it was more entertaining. Then came back for the second half.

  70. Let me see if I understand this correctly. Mrs. Obama, the Queen of fighting obesity…the leading lady in trying to get restaurants to offer smaller portions, regulate buffets, and force the inclusion of carrots and fruit in children’s menus…..hosted a white house super bowl party that had the following fare:
    – Bratwurst
    – Kielbasa
    – Cheeseburgers
    – Deep Dish Pizza
    – Buffalo Wings
    – German Potato Salad
    – Twice Baked Potatoes
    – Snyders Potato Chips and Pretzels
    – Chips and Dips
    – Salad
    – Ice Cream

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Mrs. Obama responds…..

      Dear D13 – the menu you are referring to is the menu I served only to Republicans. You see – I thought it would be funny to watch these “friends” gorge themselves on all that fatty, high carb food – wing sauce dripping down their chins, pizza sauce stains on their shirts, gut busting brats….

      The real treat is watching all those fatties run to the toilet where Barack and I had frozen toilet seats installed right before the game and the kids replaced the toilet paper with medium-grade white sandpaper.

      Talk about Republicans being sore asses about everything!


    • gmanfortruth says:

      MRS. Obama, Al Gore ect. All these “do as I say, not as I do” jackwagons can bite me!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Yesterday was cleansing day…..

      And they did serve salad!

  71. gmanfortruth says:

    Read the menu closely! 🙂

    Golf Story

    An old golfer comes in from a round of golf

    at a new course and heads into the grill room.

    As he passes through the swinging doors

    he sees a sign hanging over the bar:

    COLD BEER: $2.00
    HAMBURGER: $4.50
    JOB: $50.00

    Checking his wallet to be sure he has the necessary
    payment, the old golfer walks up to the bar and beckons to the
    exceptionally attractive female bartender who is serving drinks to a
    couple of sun-wrinkled golfers. She glides down behind the bar to the
    old golfer.

    “Yes?” she inquires with a wide, knowing smile, “May I
    help you?”

    The old golfer leans over the bar and whispers, “I was
    wondering,young lady,” he whispers, “are you the one who gives the

    She looks into his eyes with that wide smile and purrs:
    “Yes Sir, I sure am.”

    The old golfer leans closer and into her left ear and
    says softly, “Well, wash your hands real good because I want a

  72. MORT ZUCKERMAN: But having said that, [Hosni Mubarak] has been a steadfast ally of the United States for 30 years. And the only way – it is absolutely fair and right to think that this is time for him to leave. But if you want him to leave, we did it in exactly the wrong way, which is to do it publicly, which is humiliating for an Arab leader. And of course, therefore when we sent a special envoy whose message, whose mission was leaked, namely that he was going to ask Mubarak to leave, he gave him a very brief meeting and said I don’t want to talk to you again. Because this man has been around as an ally and expects to be treated as an ally for 30 years, and therefore it seems to me we should have found a better way to get to him.

    Now, let me just say, I want to say one thing. Let’s just remember this: in Tehran there were hundreds of thousands of people in the street. Iran was our principal enemy in that part of the world and this administration said nothing. But here we take a 30-year ally of the United States and we start publicly attacking him. That was exactly the wrong way to do it in that part of the world. Now the, the Saudis, the Jordanians, most of the other countries are enraged because they feel in a sense he was not badly, he was badly treated and not treated with respect.

    Fabulous point by Zuckerman that most in the media have been oblivious to.

    If Mubarak’s time has come to depart, our diplomatic play is to privately assist him in doing so as peacefully as possible in order for our long-term ally to save face and to demonstrate to other leaders we support that we would do the same for them in a similar situation.

    By so quickly backing the protestors, Obama has not only snubbed someone that has been very important to America for three decades, but also likely damaged our relations with other leaders in the region.

    In addition, as Zuckerman accurately stated, this is quite a contrast from Obama totally ignoring Iranian protests in 2009 against a man that is our mortal enemy. This inconsistent strategy regarding the Middle East has to be confusing and concerning to all those watching.

    But there was more:

    JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Hold on. I want to pick up that point, because this goes to that. Okay. Now a big Arab authority, a big one, the Secretary General of the 22 nation Arab League, Amr Moussa, said this:


    AMR MOUSSA, SECRETARY GENERAL ARAB LEAGUE: The message has been sent, the message has been received. It will never be the same again. I firmly believe that the Arab world in one year’s time will not be the same as we see it today.


    MCLAUGHLIN: In one year’s time the Arab world will not be the same. Question, what is the chance that Moussa will run for president himself?

    PAT BUCHANAN: Pretty good. He’s head of the Arab League, he’s a transitional figure. Look, the Mubarak era is over, but Mort is right. This is a soldier, a man of honor. He sent his troops to fight alongside us…

    MCLAUGHLIN: You’re talking about Mubarak?

    BUCHANAN: I’m talking about fighting the Gulf War, and here comes this diplomat over there and he says, “Hey, get out.” They’re humiliating him. I think he got his back up and understandably so.

    MCLAUGHLIN: Why did Obama do it? Because he wants to be on the side, because he knows it’s a done deal. And he wants to establish his bona fides with the incoming group. Is that it?

    BUCHANAN: He went back to his, basically if you will, his sort of moderate left mode, this is a Facebook-Twitter revolution, I’m part of this.


    BUCHANAN: He got too far out in front.

    CLIFT: You make it sound…

    MCLAUGHLIN: I still don’t get it. Who are his advisors on this? Who are Obama’s advisors?

    BUCHANAN: He advises himself on this one. I think that’s what’s comes out of his feelings.

    CLIFT: You make it sound like this is some sort of fad he wants to get on the Twitter bandwagon.

    BUCHANAN: He wants to get out in front of things.

    CLIFT: Look at all the dictators that this country has stuck with too long.

    BUCHANAN: Eleanor…

    CLIFT: He has served our purposes well.

    He has served our purposes. Liberal media members sure know how to treat their allies, don’t they?

    BUCHANAN: You don’t do that to friends of 30 years.

    ZUCKERMAN: That’s right.

    CLIFT: He did not serve his people very well. He has run a repressive regime.

    BUCHANAN: Who are we to decide that?

    CLIFT: We are not deciding it. He is deciding it. He’s still in power. And this president is giving him a nudge behind the scenes…

    ZUCKERMAN: Not behind the scenes.


    CLIFT: …which is something that he needs…

    CROWLEY: No, no.

    CLIFT: …and he’s calling for…

    ZUCKERMAN: Publicly. Publicly.

    CLIFT: The President should just stand by?

    ZUCKERMAN: Now. When he said, “Now,” he means now. And that’s not the way to do it, okay?


    ZUCKERMAN: I’m not talking about the transition. He wanted him to leave now, and we all know it.

    MCLAUGHLIN: Right, right. He’s telling him to leave.

    ZUCKERMAN: That’s right, that’s exactly what he told him.

    CROWLEY: Right, I agree with Mort completely. Look, the administration mishandled this from the beginning and it’s not unlike how they…

    MCLAUGHLIN: Why? Why?

    CROWLEY: …how they handled the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations which they did in public and it blew up in their faces. Diplomacy 101 is especially when you’re dealing with a stalwart ally like Hosni Mubarak is you take this behind closed doors. You don’t have the American president give a big declaration. Look, the other point he raised, Moussa, Moussa is now the choice as of this moment of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    ZUCKERMAN: Right.

    CROWLEY: The Muslim Brotherhood now is working this crisis so that they can ride the tide to seize power, and I’m telling you if they grab power in Egypt, they…

    MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.

    CROWLEY: …they will consign 82 million Egyptians to the perpetual darkness of the Islamist rule. And don’t make any mistake about it, let’s not be naïve about this.

    MCLAUGHLIN: You remember when the Muslim Brotherhood were the really bad guys over there?

    CROWLEY: They are the bad guys.

    BUCHANAN AND ZUCKERMAN: They are the bad guys

    MCLAUGHLIN: They are the bad guys today?

    CROWLEY: Yes.

    MCLAUGHLIN: How many Muslim Brotherhood are there?

    ZUCKERMAN: They’re probably a third of the population.

    BUCHANAN: Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    CROWLEY: It doesn’t matter.

    CLIFT: And they’ve been bad…

    MCLAUGHLIN: How do you account for the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood that were the bad guys are now the good guys?

    CROWLEY: They’re not the good guys.

    ZUCKERMAN: I didn’t say they were the good guys. Let me just tell you, Hosni Mubarak …

    MCLAUGHLIN: Do they control the strings of power. Do they control the strings of power?


    ZUCKERMAN: No, they do not yet. The army controls the strings of power. No, this whole issue is going to turn on what the army does. But let me just point out one thing, and Mubarak knows it, okay, because he happened to be sitting next to Anwar Sadat when the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat, one of the great figures out of that country. It was the Muslim Brotherhood who assassinated him.

    MCLAUGHLIN: They defeated him.

    ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely, they killed him.

    MCLAUGHLIN: Did they do him in?

    ZUCKERMAN: They did. They killed him.

    MCLAUGHLIN: Did you hear that?

    ZUCKERMAN: The Muslim Brotherhood is not a backer of democracy.

    BUCHANAN: If their democracy comes one man, one vote…

    CROWLEY: One time!

    BUCHANAN: …in Egypt, let me tell you, the Muslim Brotherhood will initially get 25 to 33 percent of the vote, and the Arab street’s views about Israel will be reflected in the government.

    Indeed, and for their part, since this crisis began, the overwhelming majority of media members have been badly misrepresenting the Muslim Brotherhood as a force for good in Egypt. A bit later in the program, Crowley put a finer point on this:

    CROWLEY: I think that we in the West have fallen into a trap of romanticizing what the Arab street would want if they were given true democracy as we understand it. Because when you look at recent polls of the Egyptian people, 75 percent say they would like Islamic law, they would like Sharia. 65 percent say they would like the reinstitution of the Islamic Caliphate. When you talk about democracy, it is not going to be a Jeffersonian democracy, it is going to be one vote like we saw in Gaza with Hamas, one man, one vote, one time.

    100 percent right. The media have indeed romanticized these protests from the moment they started rather than honestly informing the public not only about Obama’s missteps but also the risks of us getting this wrong much as Jimmy Carter did with Iran over 30 years ago.

    Fortunately for viewers, Buchanan, Crowley, and Zuckerman were on the set to present the more-reasoned view of this current crisis while making it quite clear that Clift – like so many in the liberal media – is indeed caught up in some romantic haze about this situation making her completely unqualified to offer anything other than a view the adminstration would be happy with.

    Now that’s an ally so-called journalists know how to serve and support.

    Read more:

    • 10 questions with the editors of the Global Muslim Brotherhood Report
      By Jamie Weinstein – The Daily Caller | Published: 9:12 AM

      The Global Muslim Brotherhood Report is a serious and sober online website that tracks the happenings of the Muslim Brotherhood network around the world.

      It was started, according to the editors, “because few were discussing what we call the Global Muslim Brotherhood, seemingly unaware of or ignoring the existence of this global network.” The site seeks to “give interested parties a place to come for daily developments in the Global Muslim Brotherhood as we were tracking them.”

      The editors of the site choose to remain anonymous because of the “extraordinary lengths that the global Muslim Brotherhood would go to harass, defame, or slander its critics.”

      “We saw this happen to others, including venerable university presses and leading news organizations and with the recent controversy over the resignation of the Obama campaign’s Muslim outreach director,” the site explains. “Hence we made the decision to let the information, often originating from the Brotherhood and its affiliates, and backed by public records, speak for itself, and not get lost in the distraction created by Brotherhood harassment campaigns.”

      Recently, The Daily Caller reached out to the editors of the site and they agreed to answer 10 questions from TheDC about the Global Muslim Brotherhood network, which has become ever more relevant with the turmoil in Egypt:

      1. What are the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood

      It must be remembered that at its heart, the Muslim Brotherhood is a covert organization albeit with a public face and there is discordance between its public and private positions. Although the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, along with the whole of the Global Muslim Brotherhood network, proclaims it support for democracy, the motto of the organization remains as it always has been:

      – Allah is our objective.

      – The Prophet is our leader.

      – Qur’an is our law.

      – Jihad is our way.

      – Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

      In practical terms, the Brotherhood attempts to gain as much influence for itself as it is able, presumably in the service of its long term vision. Its ability to gain power and influence varies from country to country according to the conditions “on the ground.” That said, its has already been noted that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is a covert organization at its heart and much remains to be learned about its true nature. For example, a secret document unearthed in a U.S. terrorism trial revealed the thinking of a senior Global Muslim Brotherhood leader close to Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader in the global Muslim Brotherhood network who lives in Qatar, and which said:

      The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

      2. Some commentators have suggested that fear of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is overblown. Is fear of the Muslim Brotherhood having a significant influence in a post-Mubarak Egypt, or even taking control in a post-Mubarak Egypt, actually overblown?

      A fear can only be said to be “overblown” if it is out of proportion to the threat which is represented, so the question cannot be answered until the threat is examined.

      Read more:

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Are the size of the dots proportional to the size of their ego?

    • Looking to hear more about Cain. Anyone think he’s able?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        He makes good pizza.

        I did see him speak once. Good speaker.

        But makes some good pizza.

        • Heavy edit to shorten..

          Their objections? The attendees were successful and conservative, with the audacity to have a meeting and talk about shared beliefs in limited government, our free market system and constitutional liberties.

          My initial reaction, and that of many others, was to wonder how anyone could object to a group of citizens peacefully assembling — people who happened to be like-minded conservatives in a free country like ours. The only obvious answer is that they do not want a free country consisting of people who can think and make decisions for themselves. They want a country dominated by big government in our lives and union domination of businesses and of our workforce.

          As conservatives continue to make congressional and legislative gains, the liberals and the unions are resorting to demonstrations and even violence to shut us up, or worse yet, to stop us from even daring to think and believe differently from their view of the world.

          This type of liberal lunacy and attempted intimidation is not going to work.

          That dog won’t hunt. Liberal lunacy is not in our national DNA.

          Read more:

  73. Clark County firefighters profit from sick leave policy
    Commissioner suspects organized ploy for extra overtime

    By Joe Schoenmann (contact)

    Clark County’s firefighters call in sick almost twice as often as rank-and-file county employees and at about four times the rate of management.

    Those numbers, included in a county compensation study, have one commissioner claiming firefighters are gaming the system in an effort to accrue more overtime. Firefighters who call in sick are replaced by colleagues who are paid overtime.

    “They have figured out how to play the system to their benefit and take advantage of every single opportunity in their contract to maximize their pay and minimize the benefit to the taxpayer,” Commissioner Steve Sisolak said.

    The president of the firefighters union said the higher use of sick time by the union’s members was “news” to him. “The county has never brought this concern to the union,” said Ryan Beaman, president of Firefighters Local 1908.

    Beaman said Fire Chief Steve Smith is responsible for management, supervision and discipline of firefighters. Smith would not comment due to ongoing contract negotiations.

    Those talks are likely more contentious than in recent memory as labor has been unwilling to budge and management has little wiggle room because of declining tax revenue. Unlike the county’s other employee unions, firefighters were unable or unwilling last year to offer salary concessions that county commissioners and administrators found acceptable.

    Sisolak is the only commissioner to speak openly about what he calls a “broken” payroll system. If some think the system isn’t broken, he said, then there’s either an abuse of the sick-leave policy or genuine health problems within the department.

    Overtime is a heated issue for county firefighters, with the employees defending it as the result of the administration’s reluctance to hire enough of them to cover regular shifts. Firefighters work overtime — which is 1 1/2 times normal pay — on shifts that should go to an employee paid a regular hourly rate.

    But Sisolak said it appears that a chunk of the department’s overtime costs are the direct result of firefighters taking too much sick leave: the more sick leave, the more other firefighters will be needed to fill in and the more overtime that will be paid.

    The average firefighter in fiscal year 2009 was out sick for 9 1/2 shifts. Because firefighters are scheduled to work 10 shifts a month, that equals almost one month of sick leave per year. When combined with time off for vacation, which averages about 13 shifts per firefighter, the average firefighter is off a little more than two months a year.

    Consider the case of Battalion Chief Renee Dillingham. She worked about 75 percent of her scheduled 2,912 hours in fiscal 2009. Her sick leave plus vacation totaled 28 shifts, or about three months away from work. So she worked about 2,200 hours.

    But even after being sick for 382 hours and on vacation for 292 hours, Dillingham managed to pull down an extra 1,199 hours of “callback” pay — overtime pay, plus a contribution to the employee’s retirement fund. Callback pay amounted to about $80,000, almost equal to Dillingham’s $93,144 base salary.

    “Someone sick and vacationing so often had enough energy to come back and take on so many extra hours?” Sisolak said sarcastically.

    Firefighters have benefitted from the public’s admiration since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 lost their lives at New York City’s World Trade Center. “But it’s not acceptable anymore,” said Sisolak, a commissioner since January 2009.

    “Firefighters have become the gold medalists of gaming the system, and it’s gone too far, and it’s gone on for too long,” he said.

    Sisolak said it would be very difficult to prove firefighters coordinate taking sick time so their colleagues may earn overtime. But data for individual firehouses raise that specter.

    In fiscal year 2009, sick leave and vacation for firefighters throughout the department averaged 484 hours. But the total leave time of firefighters working at McCarran International Airport averaged 876 hours, or some 35 shifts. At 10 shifts per month, that’s about 3 1/2 months.

    Meanwhile, the average overtime worked by airport firefighters was 859 hours — almost equal to the number of hours they took off for sick and vacation leave.

    The airport firehouse is interesting on another level. The Federal Aviation Administration requires special training to work there, so it is closed to other firefighters without that training.

    “Are they sitting around and figuring this stuff out together? I don’t know,” Sisolak said. “But it’s something we should be looking at.”

    Other municipalities have struggled with sky-high sick leave among firefighters. “Sick-leave abuse” has become such a problem that addressing it is a part of normal contract negotiations.

    In East Jefferson, La., near New Orleans, negotiators in 2009 tussled over the idea of either targeting individuals or creating a blanket policy to get after sick-leave abusers. They settled on a policy requiring firefighters who take sick leave for off-duty injuries lose their scheduled overtime pay before their regular hours are tapped. There is no penalty for firefighters injured on the job.

    In Clark County, Sisolak would like to see firefighters work shorter shifts, maybe 12 hours instead of 24. He said he often gets calls from taxpayers who see firefighters driving fire trucks to the gym or to the supermarket.

    “If we had them on 8-to-12-hour shifts, then they wouldn’t be sleeping on the job, or going to the gym, and we’d get more work out of them,” he said.

    Other commissioners aren’t so sure. Commissioners Tom Collins and Chris Giunchigliani said if a problem exists, it is management’s responsibility to curb it.

    “If they really think people are doing this, then they have to address it. And if they don’t address it, then shame on them and shame on us,” Giunchigliani said.

    Sisolak disagreed.

    “You can’t blame management because they do what we (commissioners) tell them to do,” he said. “If we want to do something about it, if we want to negotiate contracts that don’t allow this to happen, then that’s what we have to tell county management.”

  74. gmanfortruth says:

    I am now “officially” OLD! I’m also a proud Grandfather of a blue eyed, 6lb 14oz, 21″ Baby girl! 🙂

    • Have to start calling you Grandpa, since your now Old as Dirt 🙂 Congratulations!!

    • Congrats…now spoil them. That is what I do….spoil them hopelessly…. You know….M&M’s, Dr Pepper, Pizza, Hershey Bars, etc…..then send em home.

      Enjoy them….nothing like being called granddad and have them search your pockets for candy.

      • Oh, but don’t tell anybody. I am supposed to be a rough, tough grizzled old Colonel set in his ways….and not supposed to have these moments of teddy bearish moods.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Congratulations Grandpa, & just because you are, doesn’t make you old. You’re only as old as you feel. LOL!

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Congrats! So the “G” now stands for “Grandpa”?

    • Congrats G-Man!

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Thanks everyone 🙂

      If it ever stops fricken snowing, I get out and buy a cane!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Or a walker if it gets that bad. LOL!

      • Congrats gman!

        You know the best thing about grandkids?

        Diaper changing is NOT in your job description! 🙂

      • “If it ever stops fricken snowing

        According to reports we’re looking at getting 6-10 inches of snow here over a 24 hour period starting about midnight tonight.

        Ah well, good think I love cold weather.

        • ::sigh::

          I meant “thing” not “think”

          ::mumble, mumble:: stupid keyboard……

          • gmanfortruth says:

            My keyboard keeps screwing up as well, must be one of those dreaded conspiracy theories. Let’s see, Keyboards were designed specifically to misspell words to make people look less than intelligent, so they won’t think their smart enough to engage in dissent of the mighty Godlike government. That sounds good! 🙂

    • G-Man,


      Now you can spoil the kid rotten and let her parents suffer the consequences! 😉

    • Awesome!…my only grandchild turns 9 today.

    • Congrats, grandchildren are one of the few perks of growing old.

    • Murphy's Law says:

      Congratulations! You will NEVER get tired of looking at her……and it is no doubt amazing how she just happens to be THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BABY EVER BORN.


  75. “Sunday Reflection: Does America have a lawyer problem, or a law problem?

    Comments (16) “BookmarkShare PrintPrint
    By: Glenn Harlan Reynolds 02/04/11 8:05 PM
    Sunday Reflections Contributor

    As someone who teaches at a law school, and sees his students go out into the world, I am predisposed to like law. When I practiced law at a big firm here in Washington, D.C., I enjoyed it and I felt like we helped our clients with their problems, more often than not.

    But a lot of people out there don’t like lawyers, and think that the legal profession is harming the country. And I’m beginning to think that they might have a point.

    The New York Times recently reported on the problems of an American entrepreneur in Greece. Though Greek political leaders desperately want new businesses to start up there – to help Greece’s imploding economy and dreadful balance of trade – the barriers in terms of regulation and legal confusion are very high. The Times reports:

    “Sitting in his office, Mr. Politopoulos took a long pull from a glass of his premium Vergina wheat beer and said it was absurd that he had to lobby Greek politicians to repeal a 19th-century law so that he could deliver the exports that Greece urgently needed.

    “And, he said, his predicament was even worse than that: It was emblematic of the web of restrictions, monopolies and other distortions that have made many Greek companies uncompetitive, and pushed the country close to bankruptcy. . . .

    “The Greek economy is riddled with distortions — the number of trucking licenses has remained unchanged in Greece since 1971, for example, and the country is among the world’s leaders in lawyers per capita. It has one lawyer for every 250 people, compared with about one for 272 in the United States. The effect on Greek competitiveness could not be more pernicious.”

    So America will have to churn out a few more lawyers to reach Greece’s ratio. But not that many more. A few readers of my blog even gleefully emailed me this passage as an illustration that America should have fewer lawyers.

    But while America might be better off if some of the smart people who go into law went into something more entrepreneurial, this may have things backwards. Is Greece’s problem really too many lawyers? Or is it too many laws?

    In his 1990s book, “Demosclerosis: The Silent Killer of American Government,” Jonathan Rauch wrote about the tendency of special-interest laws to accumulate, adding complexity to, well, everything and making it much harder to do – or start – business. That certainly accounts for Mr. Politopoulos’ problems – he wants to sell herbal tea, but an obscure Greek law requires brewers to brew only beer. No tea.

    As a lawyer, I can think of half a dozen ways around this, but that’s kind of the point. When laws are complex, there’s almost always a way to lawyer around them, but to do that you have to pay a lawyer to figure it out, and then you have to structure your business in a way that’s driven by the need to get around dumb and complex legal restrictions, rather than in a way that makes for an efficient business. But the demand for lawyers is a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

    At least, that’s what I’ve always thought. But now my University of Tennessee colleague Ben Barton is making me think again. He’s got a new book out from Cambridge University Press, “The Lawyer-Judge Bias in the American Legal System,” and his thesis is that lawyers are not only a symptom of overly complex laws, but also their cause.

    In particular, he notes that in America, pretty much all judges (except for a few justices of the Peace and such) are lawyers. And, after examining the work of judges in a number of different areas, he concludes that judges systematically rule in ways that favor lawyers, and that make the legal system more complex. (And legislators, mostly lawyers themselves, aren’t much better).

    Barton tells me that his thesis gets two very different reactions depending on the audience: Non-lawyers find it painfully obvious, while most lawyers and legal academics find it shocking and offensive.

    I’m neither shocked nor offended, but I do think that there’s a real problem with America’s current legal environment, and I think that we’re in pretty much the same situation as Greece: If we want the kind of economic growth it’s going to take to get us out of our current economic and indebtedness crisis, we’re going to have to drastically reduce the number of laws and regulations confronting new and existing businesses.

    That’s hard to do piecemeal – hence the term “Demosclerosis.” In his book, “The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities,” economist Mancur Olson noted that frequently it takes a war or a revolution to clear away enough regulatory and special-interest underbrush to allow for fresh economic growth.

    But Olson also noted that America has shown a unique capacity for self-renewal, often managing to start afresh without the kind of traumatic cleansing required by other nations.

    Perhaps we can do that again. Looking around, I’d say it’s about time. And if the end result is less work for lawyers, well, maybe some of those excellent minds can find something entrepreneurial to do instead. The country would probably be better for it.

    Examiner contributor Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the proprietor of and a law professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:

    My favorite line:
    “When laws are complex, there’s almost always a way to lawyer around them” Our Constitution has been lawyered around to our detriment.

  76. WhooooHooooooo!

    Feeling a little dehydrated today but damn, it is worth it!

    Started the day with a stomping of some “legends” wearing green and ended the day celebrating our own green and gold team. Love our A-Rod (and not the one getting hand fed by Cameron Diaz up in the celeb section). Finally can move on from the Brett Favre years. So happy for Donald Driver & Charles Woodson especially to get this championship.

    It’s been quite the football season: my son’s high school team went undefeated and repeated as state champs; Badgers made it to RoseBowl; and Pack are SuperBowl champs. What a fun, long season.

    General observations – Christina Aguilera Really? Why do they go with these “types”. Plus – LEARN THE WORDS!

    Black Eyed Peas – Ummm, they are interesting but lost me on the “Obama get us some jobs” song.

    Darth Vader was the best commercial. Did you notice how much violence and sex there was? Splattered babies, go.daddy, etc. Although the Faith Hill one helping the guy send a note to his girl was hilarius (something about a rack…..)

    Jerry Jones – get a frickin’ field. The sliding and the injuries that happened as a result were unbelievable.

    Anita – I held up my sign often! Everyone around me wanted to know, “who the hell is Anita and why are we saying hi to her”. My daughter was watching the game on TV and caught a glimpse of it only once, and she was looking for it and knew right where to look, so I’m not surprised you didn’t see it. I tried!

  77. So Arianna Huffington has found someone stupid enough to think she’s worthwhile. AOL is buying her media outlet for over 300 mil.

    What gets me chuckling is this comment by AOL’s CEO:

    “Arianna is a singularly passionate and dedicated champion of innovative journalistic engagement, and a master of the art of using new media to illuminate, entertain and enhance the national conversation”

    What a crock. She’s nothing more than a modern day Hedda Hopper, and a very poor copy of Hopper at that! But apparently she’s found her pot of gold.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Plainlyspoken – according to at least a handful of sites – Huffingtonpost easily outranks Fox News where you sourced the story from. Maybe the 25 million who visit HuffPro each month are on to something?

      • Ray, below are just 2 comments from liberals off a progressive liberal blog I read on the sale. So I doubt those 25 million are on to anything.

        “I guess people could look forward to more celebrity breasts and even more President Obama bashing. Not me; I stopped visiting their site after realizing Arianna goes wherever the wind blows and the writing reflects to fickleness of their stances.”


        “I pretty much stopped reading it after realizing that 95% of it was mostly geared around a) bashing the Democrats; b) gossip; c) scam medicine; and d) fake science. It was like reading the National Enquirer with side of the NY Post. The occasional actual news story or insightful analysis that would appear didn’t make it worth the effort to go there on a regular basis.”

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Plainlyspoken – the site is a news aggregator and yes – they do frequently push content to their tabbed sites which isn’t really news to some of us (e.g. the media/entertainment tabs). News in the eye of the reader I guess.

      • Drugs???

  78. So its lunchtime on the first day of Anita’s Homeschool!

    This is soooo exciting. My son is excited, knows exactly what’s expected, he can do most of it unsupervised,and it’s only going to take a couple hrs a day. If he chooses he can be done with 7th grade a couple months early. As long as we finish the curriculum and have all results recorded its a done deal. Frees the mind bigtime..Hooray!

    Now I know why BF knows so much. He’s had the answer key at his fingertips for …how many years now? Look out BF..I’ll be as smart as you in no time. Now instead of dreading bad news every day at 3pm we can celebrate all the small victories of each day. Gotta love it!

    I’ll check back later but congrats Gman (love your gravatar) on the new granddaughter, and congrats Kathy on a wild ride in sports for you this year.

    Gotta run..I’m 2 minutes late from lunch on the first day! 🙂

    • The teacher is tardy on the first day….love it!

      Way to go Anita on this big step. Keep reporting from the front line.

    • Anita,

      Outstanding! And just imagine… it gets better everyday!! 🙂

      A small warning: one day you will say to yourself:
      “Why didn’t I do this earlier??” and may fall into regret.

      So let my words help: “Look forward not backward. We cannot do what we did not know. Now we know, so now we do!”

      …and you were always as smart as I…..


      • My father works 13+ hours every day.

        My mother does not work, but her IQ is closer to that of a gibbon than it is to an average person.

        Given this, do you think homeschooling would have been a good choice in my family? Do you think the private schools I attended were such a bad choice?

        Or is it possible that some options work for some people in some circumstances and others work for others?

        You seem to imply a one-size-fits-all-model; and I really hate one-size-fits-all models.

        • Homeschooling is NOT a model.

          That is the point of homeschooling.

          I am pretty sure you wouldn’t have been any worse for the wear if your mom had home schooled you.

        • Mathius,

          My father works 13+ hours every day.

          Homeschooling – maybe on a busy day – takes about 2 hrs.

          My mother does not work, but her IQ is closer to that of a gibbon than it is to an average person.

          One of the goals of homeschooling – really a consequence – is “self-teaching”, so really the IQ of the parents is mostly irrelevant.

          Given this, do you think homeschooling would have been a good choice in my family?

          Most definitely yes.

          Do you think the private schools I attended were such a bad choice?

          Expensive, but not a bad choice.

          Or is it possible that some options work for some people in some circumstances and others work for others?


          You seem to imply a one-size-fits-all-model; and I really hate one-size-fits-all models.

          Life is trade offs and choices.

          • Hm… that was unusually even handed, Flag.. are you feeling ok?

            • Mathius,

              I am always even handed.

              In questions of principle and rights, I am right and you are wrong. That’s even.

              In questions of individual choice, you have to live with your choices and I with mine, and that’s even too.

        • Someone excited about what they are doing is NOT an implication or judgment on you. The fact that you took it that way indicated more about you than them.

          Homeschooling is not right for everyone, but it is not so impossible to do as many would have you believe. It also afford more flexibility than any other educational option there is, making it not a one-size-fits-all model by its very definition.

          I know there are circumstances where homeschooling is not possible, or at least not ideal. There are situations where private school is not possible either.

    • Congrats anita!

      We have been homeschooling our daughter since the 3rd grade (she’s into her 4th year of homeschool now). She regularly finishes up her grade curriculum early each year.

      She regularly scores well on the required state testing she must take each year.

      Best of all we know exactly what she is learning and how well she’s learning. My standards of performance beats any schools standards.

      Good luck and enjoy the education you get as well as the one your son will get too. 🙂

      • Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

        PS.. There are no required tests for Michigan. After I read your post I called AGAIN just to verify.

        BF: Sorry pops! I’m no fool to even think I’m in the same intelligence level as you. But I was hoping for some BF points just for making the leap 🙂 Today was a good day for sure. I explained how things were going to happen and we tackled more than required for 2 subjects. 2 papers graded ..both A’s..with only minimal help from me. He even proved to me why on one question the answer key was wrong. Atta boy!

        • Colorado approved the program we use for our daughter’s homeschooling and ion doing so she takes the state annual testing. It’s no big thing for her.

          I’m also going to bet that as your son progresses in his program you’ll find him working more and more with less and less input required from you. There are days when I wonder if my daughter will have something to ask after a week of not needing my assistance. 🙂

          • Nice! I admit that I’m scared of science but that one of his favorites. Maybe he can teach me a few things.

  79. So President Obama says in his speech to the US Chamber of Commerce:

    “Of course, your responsibility goes beyond recognizing the need for certain standards and safeguards. If we’re fighting to reform the tax code and increase exports to help you compete, the benefits can’t just translate into greater profits and bonuses for those at the top. They should be shared by American workers, who need to know that expanding trade and opening markets will lift their standard of living as well as your bottom line. We cannot go back to the kind of economy – and culture – we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth and gains in productivity just didn’t translate into rising incomes and opportunity for the middle class.”

    That is the complete paragraph so I am not taking anything out of context and the emphasis is mine.

    So, dare I ask – does that emphasized part mean what I think it does?

    • That depends on what you think it does.

      For example: Do you think it means that he’s a closet socialist?

      • Mathius,

        I think it he’s got the standard liberal/progressive beliefs that everyone’s life quality can only be served by the government controlling lives from birth (since prior to birth the fetus is just a collection of tissue which can be discarded at will – so many liberals tell me) through death.

        Is that a form of socialism?

        And I’ll rephrase my question – what does that comment of his mean?

        • It means what it says: that a rising tide should lift all boats – not just the private yachts.

          I’m not sure how he intends to do this – that might be more interesting.

          • Yes, I’m sure those workers would like more water under their keels – but that’s up to the workers to figure out with the companies.

            The only real way Uncle O can affect it is by forced governmental action against businesses.

      • I think it means that he told a bald faced lie to Orielly yesterday when he told him that he was not for redistribution of wealth…

      • Mathius

        “Do you think it means that he’s a closet socialist?”

        That’s a GIVEN and NOT in the closet.

        All Fascist Progressives/Progressive Fascists are part of the socialist family.

      • Closet? Not at all…


    Question: What business do the cops have in protecting a company from their own stupidity? Shouldn’t it be the job of the store clerk to shut down the pumps or waive off traffic? I would think the cops should help if someone tried to use the pump over the objections of the attendant, but that doesn’t seem to be what happened.

    My two cents..

    • Well, they’ll tell you they responded and blocked off the station due to the traffic hazards created at the intersection caused by the numbers of vehicles trying to get into the station for the cheap gas. Public safety you know, since people are stupid (something I believe you regularly point out 😉 ).

      • Well, people are dumb. And you could make a public hazard argument here – but that’s not what the article said. From the article, and nothing else, it appears that the police showed up to stop people from filling up at the expense of the gas station.

        That would be: your tax dollars spent to hire someone to stop you saving money at the expense of a corporation who misprogramed their own computer system.

        I’m not exactly a fan of this.

        • I based my thought on this from the article:

          “to a traffic jam that spilled out of the station and into the intersection of Dutton Avenue and Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa.”

          Now as far as the business getting police protection to prevent profit losses for their computer glitch – the business should have closed or take their lumps. The business profited from the police response because the citizens couldn’t exercise some good judgment and behavior to gain a chance at getting some cheap gas.

  81. Over the past 10 years, city cops fired 4,702 bullets, accidentally pulled the trigger 323 times, and missed 78 percent of their intended targets

    Offered without comment..

    • I don’t find that surprising or unusual.

      I remember a deputy who accidentally shot himself in the butt when he put his Glock back into his holster after booking a prisoner into the jail. It was a long, long time before we let him live that one down.

      • You actually let him live that down? I don’t think human life-spans are long enough for me to let someone live down something like that.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Mathius – guns don’t miss their targets. People miss their targets. Offered w/o further comment or any skullduggery.


      • @ Ray… ooooooooohhh? I think you have been banished from the leftist agenda. Isn’t that saying the same as ” guns don’t kill people…people kill people”. Welcome to the center/right.

  82. gmanfortruth says:

    Since it would be illegal for US troops to deal with civil unrest in the US, I’ve wondered why we have NORTHCOM, which is our part of the military that trains for civil unrest. It’s always been my belief, that our troops would not fire on American citizens. What event(s) would cause such civil unrest that the military would be needed?

    As I’m researching for an article, I came across the answer to a few questions I have had. Our troops won’t be used here. I found this in a Feb 2008 article: A recent announcement by Northcom confirmed that U.S. and Canadian troops will be allowed to patrol each other’s countries in the event of a national emergency.

    “U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency,” reads a Northcom press release.

    If their training for it, which was never an issue in my time of service, it should be cause for concern for everyone.

    • “Since it would be illegal for US troops to deal with civil unrest in the US…..”

      Just off the top of my head here but that isn’t entirely true. US troops could be used under a state of martial law – which would override Posse Comitatus, or in the advent of declaring a national defense area (something we trained for in the USAF in case a plane went down off base).

      Also, if we look back at history, US troops commanded by General Douglas MacArthur were used against the Bonus March protesters in Washington DC back 1932 (after police couldn’t handle the issue).

      Plus, I believe, troops could be used to protect any and all federal property as well – which would allow the government to get a lot of force deployed at the minimum.

      Lastly Posse Comitatus allows for use of military troops to enforce civil authority when the Constitution OR and Act of Congress so authorizes it.

      Now, doesn’t that make you feel all safe and secure? 🙄

    • Wait.. the Canadians are going to be allowed to patrol each the US in the event of a national emergency?

      I’d really like to see a Mountie try to police US citizens during an upheaval.. I think that wouldn’t end well.

      And remember what happens to Red Shirts

  83. gmanfortruth says:

    In case your bored and would like some light reading, go here”

    • I’m a little bored, but I’m worried that if I get involved in another blog, I’ll never have any time for work…

    • Mathius


      A true SUFA kind of guy/gal would have proposed ending Social Security/medicaid/medicare.

      I do give Simpson credit for speaking the truth. But you notice how everyone is trying to portray him as some crazy loon.

    • You have to like his comment:

      “that’s a sparrow’s belch in the midst of a typhoon”

      lol. funny.

      • I liked how he corrected his “misstatement.”

        He had apologized in August for comparing Social Security to “a milk cow with 310 million teats.”

        But in the interview he said he had merely misspoken.

        “I meant to say that America was a milk cow with 300 million teats, and not just Social Security.”

  84. The REAL Reason Ben Bernanke Leaves a Paperweight on the “Print” Button When His Finger Gets Tired

  85. According to Paul Krugman the real reason for the Middle East turmoil.

  86. Murphy's Law says:

    Want to throw out a question to all of you….any opinions on the Kindle? I don’t have one, but am thinking about it….looking to cut down on the clutter, and having books on a Kindle (I think I would keep a small library of real books) would help in that regard.

    Would be interested in any and all thoughts….


    • Hey Murph,

      I own the Kindle DX (the larger screen). I absolutely love it for what it does. It is far easier to take with me when I go somewhere. When I used to take a trip I used to have to take several books with me because on vacation I read constantly. I am an avid reader anyway. I really struggled to make a choice. Mrs. Weapon has the Nook and she loves it. One of my good friends has the kindle and he loves it. After playing with both of them I just liked the kindle better so that is what I went with. The up side is being able to go on Amazon and find any book that is on kindle and order it and have it on your kindle in 15 seconds. The books are cheaper than they are when you buy a hard copy version of them. Battery life is excellent but remember it is not backlit. That e-ink technology is awesome though. Extremely clear text and pictures.

      The other upside is that friends and family can just buy you Amazon gift cards that you can use to buy the book or even just buy you the book in kindle format. It saves them having to box it up and send it to you. Additionally when something happens that a book is out of stock, you can get the kindle version. For example, this Christmas I wanted the new Mark Twain Autobiography. A small publishing house has the rights to it and they sold through the first printing in days. They didn’t anticipate getting more hard copies in for several months. However they don’t have to print the e version, so I was able to go and download it immediately.

      The one down side is that there are some books that are not available in a Kindle version yet. For example I have been reading the Thomas Covenant series. The first two chronicles (3 books each) were not available in the kindle version. The last chronicles (4 books) IS available in kindle though. So go on Amazon and start doing searches for the books you intend to buy and look to see if they have the kindle version of the book (instead of searching “all” search only the kindle store for that title). If they have most of the titles that you are looking for then you are good to go. If not, they are adding new ones all the time. I think eventually nearly everything will be available for the kindle, but for now there are some limitations. However, if it is a popular book and current you can almost guarantee that they will have it. I think they are over a million titles converted over already.


      • Murphy's Law says:

        Thanks, USW- my best friend at work has one and just swears by it….and the newest version has text-to-speech capability so those who are blind can use it much more easily than using audiobooks. It also has better options for enlarging text for those with low vision, or for older folks who need everything in large print. I was unaware of the DX so thanks for telling me about it.


        • Oh yeah, the DX is kick butt. It has a 9.7″ screen instead of the 6″ screen. So for enlarging font and all that I really like it a lot. But the DX is definitely more expensive. It runs twice the cost of the smaller ones: $389 versus the 6″ with all the same features for $189

          The best in-laws in the world got mine for me.

    • I have a free Kindle app on my smartphone, I use it *all* the time (and screen is actually big enough to not be a pain to read). Not sure if I would’ve bothered to buy a standalone unit though.

    • I’m looking into them also and here’s the feedback I received from sister (Kindle) and SIL (Nook).

      Sister loves Kindle but it doesn’t do color which is fine for books, but might not be best if getting magazine subscriptions. SIL does a lot of these and therefore likes the color option of Nook.

      Heard “rumors” that Barnes & Noble is struggling? I have not looked further into this as I am not yet ready to buy, but if true, obviously Nook could change (you buy from B&N).

      Both loved their respective versions in terms of always having their “book” with them and they both mentioned not having books/magazines laying around anymore was a real plus.

    • I have the Sony eReader (touch screen, daily reader). It can download books wirelessly and is in all ways amazing. I carry it with me at all times and use it whenever a minute presents itself.

      It is especially good when you compare it to a thick hardcover (I’m reading Fall of Giants by Follett right now… that’ an 800 page hard cover that I would have to schlep around). I am going on vacation for a week on a beach in a few days and I will go through three or four books, but I only need this one devise (saves room in my luggage for all the souvenirs that Emilius is going to buy).

      I will say, however, that there is one serious downside. If you lose a book, or get it wet, you are out $8-25. If you lose the eReader, you are out $300. That is a substantial difference and has caused me some serious aggravation.

      I got the extended Sony warranty, and they replaced and upgraded my reader twice after I broke it. There was no question about fault (it was absolutely my fault) or coverage – they took it back at the store and handed me a new one (because mine was a discontinued model, they just gave me the new version). They looked up the warranty by serial number, so I didn’t even need my warranty paperwork. It could not be an easier or a better experience.

      Battery life is epic. I recharge every few weeks with heavy use.

      Visibility is no different than reading a paperback.

      Without the case, it fits in the back pocket of your jeans – but I use the case because it has a built-in reading light, and also because I tend to sit on it and break it when it’s in my back pocket.

      • Murphy's Law says:

        I have heard that one downside of these devices is that you do have to be careful with them, as they break if dropped even a short distance, etc. Thanks for your input- it’s always better to hear reviews from people I trust. And since I work with students who are either blind or severely visually impaired, I want to know about all the features so I can advise my students.


        • With the case, I have dropped and otherwise mistreated my current eReader with no problems. Additionally, unlike older versions, weather doesn’t seem to affect it.

          With regards to the visually impaired, I’m sure you’re already aware but the you can change the print size to be pretty large, and you can also change the screen orientation to landscape if you prefer to fit more text to a line. Page turns are very fast, so not having much text on one page wouldn’t be a deal-breaker in my opinion. The Kindle, however, makes a larger version and may be a better option, but I can’t speak with any firsthand knowledge about it.

          Oh, and Murphy,

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