Open Thread for Wednesday

Sorry for the delay in getting things rolling again folks. I moved from surgery to what appears to be some sort of flu. Too out of it to write anything coherent so I am adding this thread for you to use and then hitting the Nyquil and going to bed…


  1. So I have watched both nights of Jeopardy featuring Watson. I was amazed and spent a good deal of time talking with my daughter about Watson and the history of computing over the past 50 years and how interesting and concerning Watson is/could be.

    Got me to thinking of the 70 movie Colossus: The Forbin Project. Have we just watched an ancestor of a future Colossus type computer system?

    • Plainly,

      of a future Colossus type computer system


      Turing supposed that a machine could be built that given enough “formulas” could calculate to the level of a man.

      Godel showed that there exists Universal Truth, that though are true, cannot be proven.

      Godel then said the power of humanity was the ability to “leap” beyond proof and accept such truth, and then carry forward using the new-found wisdom and knowledge of such truth. A machine -depending on formula- would never make such a leap.

      I am a fan of Godel.

      • Plainly,

        In other words, a machine would always be dependent on mankind to deliver the “truth” of the Universe.

        Yes, a machine can calculate. It can store and retrieve information to a high degree of accuracy. It may be able to discern patterns in data that may expose an insight yet not seen by a man.

        But it will never move beyond what it knows in its own data

        It will always depend on a man to guide the machine to new frontiers of thought, reason and understanding.

      • Firstly, let me say that I’m not convinced that your participation in SUFA isn’t in-and-of itself a Turing test.

        Secondly, kudos on your impressive win last night. I would be very interested in knowing how much of your win was due to superior answering ability and how much was due to the fact that you kept beating the humans to the buzzer. They seemed to know a lot of the answers too and, to me, it’s more relevant who is smarter, not faster to buzz in.

        Now, for the meat of things. “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; when he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong.” – Arthur C Clark.

        How many things have we claimed to be impossible for machines? At first it was physical: machines will never replace horses, machines will never replace assembly workers, machines will never, machines will never etc ect. One by one, these barriers fell. And each time, we simply did what we had to do: we moved the the goalposts in order to maintain the delusion that we are special and superior. Until, at long, long last we admitted defeat – or at least pending defeat. Computer are, or soon will be, physically superior to humans in all ways.

        But we, once again, moved the goalposts. Then it was intellectual: machines will never win at chess, machines will never win at Jeopardy!.

        If I had told you, two decades ago that on 2/15/2011, a supercomputer would defeat the two best Jeopardy! players of all time, you probably would have laughed me out of the room. No, you would have said, computers will never understand native language well enough to compete in a forum like that.

        So now you posit that imagination or the ability to recognize universal truth, is the permanently beyond their capacity. I tell you that you have no evidence to support this and that further, a long train of history supports my argument.

        Human brains are sophisticated machines. They are the entirety of who and what we are as people. Our memories, our thoughts, our reason, our “universal truths,” our creativity, everything. We’re machines. If we can do it, so, eventually, can they.

        And they will do it better.

        • Mathius,

          If I had told you, two decades ago that on 2/15/2011, a supercomputer would defeat the two best Jeopardy! players of all time, you probably would have laughed me out of the room.

          Actually, I would be astonished that humans could even compete with it.

          Humans are not “auto-recall” machines. We do not have a binary-tree database.

          And I think this is where your analysis goes sideways.

          Human beings are self-organized for survival.

          We only remember the things necessary that aids to us living another day. This ability has more side effects and consequences but that is auxiliary, not not primary.

          This explains why our memories are implanted by emotion – we remember well our greatest terror and our greatest joys and forget the mundane easily.

          A machine is not created with a primary purpose to survive – it is created for a purpose to enhance human capability for humans to survive. We can a machine to run faster than us, recall better, resist physical forces, etc. to do things FOR us

          If -ever- a machine is required to work for its own survival, it will have to make the same decisions between trade offs to accomplish this – with the same results that humans had to make – that it will be less in some things and better in others.

          • We are bound by the physical limitations of our brains – currently anyway. Computers are bound only by the physical limitations of what we can program into them. We can make them smarter and smarter and smarter until the watershed point where they, themselves, will create the next generation of machines. At that point, humans will be obsolete.

            There is nothing you or I can do that computers will not be able to do better. Nothing.

            If you argue survival, they can be built to survive and protect their survival and they will do it better than we could. But I don’t recommend programming it like that – that way SkyNet lies.

            • Mathius

              There is nothing you or I can do that computers will not be able to do better

              A machine will never be able to independently assign a reason for its own existence.

              We build machines to solve our problems. No machine builds a machine to solve a desire of a machine.

              • When they’re smart enough, we’ll be able to give them “desires.” Then they will be smart enough to do what they need to to fulfill those desires. Or they will design and build a machine to help them.

                Why can’t a machine be designed to “want” something? And if it’s smart enough, why can’t it find a way to get what it “wants”?

                And, tell me, since you brought it up, what is your “reason for existence”?

              • Mathius,

                Why can’t a machine be designed to desire

                It will be – but only if it solves a human problem

                A machine is only built because humans have a problem to solve.

                Reason for existence

                To teach God how to play poker.

              • God doesn’t play poker. He plays dice.

              • Mathius,

                He plays dice

                That is why I am here…. to teach him another game to play.

              • If they aren’t already, computers will soon be better at poker than you, too.

      • Finding his books in translation is sometimes difficult but especially like his book on Universal Theory.

    • Watson destroyed the humans on Tuesday. It wasn’t that the humans didn’t know the answer, but that watson was beating them to the buzzer. It was obvious that Ken Jennings was getting frustrated by not being able to buzz in first.

  2. Judy Sabatini says:

    Start feeling better soon USW. Take Care & God Bless.

  3. Since USWep update his health, as will I.

    Normal person range of elbow motion = 165 degrees.
    Mine = 110 degrees.

    I will never again be able to curl my arm and touch its own shoulder. But the Doc says, with physio, I may eventually be able to touch my nose again.

  4. gmanfortruth says:

    From TexasChem

    And so the decline of the dollar as the “world reserve” currency has already began and I was not paying attention to current events. Either that or our governments propoganda driven media did not cover it very well. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but with the dollar losing its status as “world reserve currency” wouldn’t that mean that with the amount of money being printed it will cause a decline in value since other countries could just print more of their currency to buy oil instead of having to convert it to dollars first?
    Considering the amount of debt our country is in thanks to the bailouts and government spending does anyone know how in the world they could ever “fix” the mess that is about to happen? What I mean is how could the government actually do this? It seems to me that trade wars and possibly even all out war with other superpowers could possibly come from this.

    • Gman,

      What I mean is how could the government actually do this? It seems to me that trade wars and possibly even all out war with other superpowers could possibly come from this

      Trade war:
      Almost guaranteed without a miracle.

      It has been the traditional response to a collapsing Empire. The last collapse, the British, spanned WW1 and WW2. God knows what may be born from the American collapse.

    • @ BF: I see trade wars imminent. Huge ones.

  5. USW are you sure this is just a bug-might want to make sure it isn’t an infection from your surgery.

    • I am pretty sure VH. Thanks for making me think about the possibility though. It feels like a typical flu. Stuffy head, headache, feeling like I got hit by a bus. I rarely ever get sick so I don’t usually have to deal with this kind of stuff. But I think that the surgery compromised my immune system a little bit and allowed it to take hold.

      • Come on USW…….suck it up, brother. A shot of tequila and a 5 mile run. You used to do that. What’s a bullet wound ( no, SUFA, he was not shot…military humor among black ops types) and a little flu? APFT maximum requirements, here. HUAH!!!

        • Ohhhh…. I am working Colonel. I may be bashed, but I am not broken. Just working from home today so that I don’t spread whatever it is around. 🙂

          • Staying home when sick is a great idea. You’ll probably find this interesting:

            Upshot: If you don’t leave the house when you’re sick, then you can’t spread germs, therefore, germs will evolve to be less debilitating so that you do leave home and infect other people. Very interesting stuff.

            PS: Feel better

  6. @ USW,
    Take a shot of crown reserve…cupla twists of lemon and a smidgen of honey…works better than Nyquil!

  7. gmanfortruth says:

    Happy Wednesday Everyone 🙂

    Two young guys appear in court after being
    arrested for smoking dope.The judge says, “You
    seem like nice young men, and I’d like to give
    you a second chance instead of jail time. I
    want you to go out this weekend and try to
    convince others of the evils of drug use.
    I’ll see you back in court Monday.”
    On Monday, the judge asks the first guy,
    “How did you do over the weekend?”
    “Well, your honor, I persuaded 17 people to
    give up drugs forever.””Seventeen people?
    That’s wonderful. How did you do it? ”
    “I used a diagram, your honor. I drew two circles
    like this: O o. Then I told them that the big circle
    is your brain before drugs and the small circle is
    your brain after drugs.””That’s admirable,” says the
    judge. Then he turns to the second guy. “And how did you do?”
    “Well, your honor, I persuaded 156 people to give up drugs forever.”
    “Wow!” says the judge. “156 people! How did you manage to do that?”
    “Well, I used a similar diagram,” the guy says.
    “I drew two circles like this: o O.
    Then I pointed to the little circle and said,
    ‘This is your asshole before prison……………..

  8. Happy Birthday to BlackFlag and Richmond Spitfire!

  9. Loose Ends

    TexChem left this late yesterday. So I bring it forward as a THINKING exercise for everyone.

    Read the link then please tell me what the TRUE effects are of this idea.

    Also, who do you think is behind this proposal?

  10. On budget fights… Texas……BIG ONE COMING !!!!

    Allen, Texas (North of Dallas)…. $60 million builds new football stadium and performing arts……teachers face layoffs. Robin Hood plan under attack and merit ratings for teachers looming in the future.

    First, there is a sacred cow in Texas and it is called Blue chip High School Football. If there are 2 students….there is a football stadium. Allen, Texas just built a new 60 million football stadium and fine arts center while teachers are losing jobs. Why? Because, when the Democrats had Texas for a short while a long long time ago, they were able to get through a “Robin Hood” program to address disparity between property rich districts and poor districts because schools were funded by local property taxes. The “Robin Hood” bill mandated equality throughout Texas and all school districts were brought into spending parity. The theory behind it was two fold……because the education level and successful student passing rate was significantly higher in richer school districts because individual school districts were in charge of their own education and expenses and, therefore, could hire teachers at greater rates than poorer school districts. So, the Robin Hood plan took from the rich and gave to the poor and, lo and behold, there was parity is funding. Fast forward 20 years later. We still have parity in funding but the education levels did not change. The richer school districts still has a significantly higher rater of graduates than the poorer ones. Why is that? Well, all teachers are paid the same…so there should be equal education of students….not so says the TEA…(Texas Education Agency). With budget shortfalls and a constitutional edict to balance the budget there are no sacred cows. Therefore, teachers in all districts are subject to layoffs. But the equal money DID NOT improve education at all. In fact, it dropped in the poorer districts that receive the extra money.

    So, since Allen, Texas built their new stadium, people are wondering why priorities are stadiums can be built and teachers laid off.

    The answer is simple…..the stadium was built with local money through a voted on bond drive. Not one penny of tax money was spent. High school football is champion here and families will pick up and move to get to a 5-A high school. The next question was asked, so why can’t local school districts run a bond drive to raise teachers salaries. Answer……the Robin Hood bill specifically denies local school districts from creating disparity with bond drives. Even though the funding of schools throughout Texas was brought into parity by taking from the richer school districts and redistributing the wealth… is still not fair to fund teacher salaries through local bond drives….so says the law.

    Further, because the more affluent districts are able to attract students from all over, the bleeding hearts down here are trying to force those districts that fund stadiums and school buses and computer equipment through local bond money be directed to share their money the same way.

    Now, the Robin Hood experiment in Texas is a dismal failure. Parity in spending was mandated and the education levels did not change. All the money pumped into the less fortunate, did NOT raise the quality of teachers or education.

    The war: There is a movement afoot to return the school districts to local jurisdiction and once again fund the local schools with local money and do away with Robin Hood. Let the local districts decide their own taxes and their own funding and hire their own teachers, build their own schools, stadiums, transportation systems and do away with mandated state property tax allocated to all schools. Do away with the Lottery funding for schools and do away with the sales tax issues for schools. This will truly be an independent school system….

    The argument is that since the education levels did not go up and more money did not improve teachers or their commitments….perhaps it is time for a change back to true independence.

    The US Department of Education claims that it will file a law suit preventing this but the attorney general for Texas says to bring it on….it is a State issue.

    The ground swell is beginning on the local levels and it is building fast and in these times of financial hardship…perhaps it is time for the local school boards and municipalities to manage their own affairs.

    • I hope you are successful in eliminating Robin Hood. We need to do that in CA as well but it is not even up for discussion. It also would help break the teacher’s union strangle hold on the legislature. In the run up to all elections here we have continuous radio ads from the teachers union. Within 2 wks after the election, it starts again. The adds are year around. The amount of money spent is incredible.

      • We are going to try. My veteran’s group has decided to get behind this. We picked it up on the floor yesterday in Austin. There is a committee assigned to it and we will monitor it. All legislative committees are public here.

        But this Allen, Texas bond drive really got it going.

    • Robin Hood will be the bane of individualism until the real meaning of his story is understood. The corruption of that story is one of the worst things that has happened to our society.

  11. The one thing that comes close to being a “benefit” to having to get up at 5am is that I stay ahead in reading the days comments, instead of later in the morning and finding I have over a hundred to catch up on.

    Other than that, at my age, 5am is a very ugly hour!!!!!!!

    • 5AM is a very ugly hour at any age.

      • Come on, Matt… are young. Come run with us “never give up even when we should” types.

        • I’ll be happy to run with you.. after 10 AM.

          • 🙂 I have a good friend that once told me….”If you ever catch me running, look behind me…I am being chased”.

            Would you run at 0500 if a cask of grog were waiting at the end? I only run two 8 minute miles, 60 push ups and 60 situps…easy walk in the park for you, young padewan.

            • Running, for pleasure – or just about any other reason for that matter, is against my “religious” principles.

              Call me a running conscientious objector! 🙂

            • gmanfortruth says:

              My running days are over 😦 But I’m one hell of a marksman, so don’t need to run 😆

              • So while D13 is running, you’re leading the target?

              • That works….I am still thinking that I am 21. My body is beginning to talk to me some….things like..ok I will show you…Boing…pulled ham string….the mind says to not pay attention to my body…

                But, my contract with Texas runs out next April 1…, until then I will try to show these youngsters that us old guys can still hang.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                LOL Matt, D13 is safe from my bullets. With my firepower, I don’t need to lead on a moving target, crosshairs on heart, squeeze trigger slowly, end of story. 🙂

              • And, per chance, if he did fire and miss…there would not be a second chance….history has proven to me that a bullet whizzing past the ear makes one run a whole lot faster.

            • I have no real long-term endurance. Never have. I can sprint like a Kenyan, but just a mile would floor me on my best day. 60 push-ups/sit-ups wouldn’t be a problem though they’re tough on the old back after a while.

              • Yes sir…crunches actually..not a full blown back wrenching spine tingling sit up….My six pack has turned to a 2 pack….wonder where that went…..

              • D13: “My six pack has turned to a 2 pack…”

                Mine is now a pillow pack.

              • My (very mild) beer belly has turned into a (very, very mild) two/four-pack. I’ve dropped 19.6 lbs since September.

              • See? There ya go,,,,making me feel bad. Now I have to find that 4 that left…………………….SIGH!!! Too many fajitas and chips, I guess. I have no other excuse since I do not smoke or drugs….god, I am boring.

              • the best way to do situps to avoid back strain and work the full stomach is to hang by your knees. It is a fantastic situp with no back strain.

                unfortunately, it is hell on the knees if your knees are bad. I am lucky with my joints, so no worries for me, but its not for everyone…

              • What do you do? Hang a bar somewhere?

              • Yep.
                Altho I have also used a tree.
                The best is the end of a set of monkey bars in a playground, that way you can hook your ankles under a bar and your knees over the end bar so that you swing less.

  12. Update on WI-

    Madison schools called off today because a majority of teachers called in sick (so they could protest). How many privately employed could stage a sick-in and still maintain their jobs? I am so sick of the entitlement mentality.

    • Not sure how it is in Madison, but here in NY, you can take a day any time for any reason (personal/sick/protest/whatever) and it counts the same. You get X number of days and you use them when and how you see fit, but they’re called sick days regardless.

      The other week when it showed two feet in a few hours, they didn’t cancel school for some reason. My wife and almost every other teacher called in “sick.”

      What is a school going to do about something like that? Fire most of its staff?

      • Pull a Reagan and fire every last one of them that calls in sick and shows up at a protest rally.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          How dare they show up at a protest rally!?

          Some fun convos today…stupid work getting in the way…

          • Kathy wants Big Government to fire teachers for showing up to a rally using their contractual personal days.

            • Mathius

              NOT personal days, SICK LEAVE.

              To be used for you know, when you are SICK.

              Govt Unions are immoral and should be abolished.

              • Buck the Wala says:


                Have you ever used a sick day when you weren’t really sick? Does it really matter if its a ‘sick’ day or ‘personal’ day? Or do you advocate having companies follow up when someone calls in ‘sick’ to make sure they really are in bed with the flu?

                The point here, at least to me, is teachers contractually have X number of days off (whether it be ‘sick’ or ‘personal’ I don’t care). Kathy seems to be advocating firing them for using one of these days. I’m curious as to why they should be fired? For using a ‘sick’ day when they aren’t really sick? For using their day to attend a protest against budget cuts that will have a direct impact on their every day lives?

              • Way to go Buck. It doesn’t make any sense for the teachers to think that they would sway the governor with their stunt. Like the governor would suddenly change his speech to satisfy the teachers who protested. So what sense did it make to shake up thousands of families schedules to do something for their own personal gain? Used to be that teachers knew what they were getting into from the jump..they sacrificed for the love of teaching the students. You don’t see a problem with that? 🙄 Everyone..including teachers are going to have to share the pain (just like spread the wealth)..

    • gmanfortruth says:


      Keep us updated when you can. These events in Madison are a sign of things to come in many states. Governments are broke, there is no turning back from the fiscal cuts to come. The big question is….wil this get bloody?

      • Nah…no leaky red stuff.

      • If only that were true (a true workers revolution). What will happen is … nothing. The big money won big time with the bailouts; the top 2% got what it wanted. Now comes the steady decline of the workforce until enough are on breadlines to get fed up. That’s coming too, but probably not in my lifetime. Capitalism, unless restrained with genuine regulation, will lead to revolution sooner or later.

        Or what Black Flag suggested (and may be historically correct), the powers that be will start yet another war (whether for diversion or otherwise) …

        Unions have been effectively busted (overall) … much of it their own doing, but let’s not kid ourselves; it was the grand plan of the top 2%. Just wait until their further deregulated and teaching comes through a monitor in another country at 1/10th the cost.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I read something about one state looking to repeal child labor laws to boot. Need to find some more info on that one. Yay unadulterated capitalism…

          • Whoa….I may be a conservative but I am not into that at all.

            (Note to self: lower age definition of child) JUST TEASING… child labor.

          • Why shouldn’t children be allowed to work if they can do the job?

            • They can….I have no problem with that,,,,but the old fashioned sweat shops I do have a problem with….but fair and willing employment, I don’t care if you are 10….this is where I was headed with my comment.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            In Ohio, the legal working age is 16. I had a landscaping/snow removal business since the age of 12, at which I had regular customers for years. I would make 100 bucks or more a week in the warm months and 100+ dollars a day in winter when the snow fell. By law, my customers were breaking the law by hiring me. The laws are outdated and bullshit. They were designed because of forced child labor.

          • HA! Eight kids in my family. All of us had to start working in the summer of eighth grade then had to pay our own way through college. Didn’t hurt us a bit.

          • COOL!
            Maybe now there will be less of a chance of a kid getting sued for having a damned lemonade stand. Now if we can just repeal the stupid FDA and the requirements for a “business license”, as if having a business should be illegal and only a special privilege unless you get a license.
            Go economic freedom! Maybe the economy will have a chance after all. 🙂

          • Jay Leno mentioned that and said “Why should the Chinese kids get all the good jobs”?

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Charlie, Since you’ll be around more often (which is a good thing….I think, LOL) the economy will be a fun subject to discuss. In order to contribute here on SUFA, I ended up starting a new blog which I can hit on the overlooked part of the problems in the country. I would appreciate your opinion. Link:

    • Watch Wisconsin: SEIU, teachers’ unions attempt state hijacking over cuts

  13. To Flag and all on the economy.

    I recently sold some stocks and purchased stock in oil companies. Not talking about a great deal of money invested, but I still expect to profit. I think this will have a substantial impact on the economy.

    • Hmmmm…this is called fracking and has been going on awhile…that and slant drilling in four directions from the same hole…independents have been doing this for years. I am assuming that it is the same method…we use salt water to fracture the structure. Works well.

      • It seems they’ve added some secret sauce to the mix to make it more effective.

        Truth is, though, that we need to find a way off of our oil dependence. Even domestic oil is not very good for a lot of reasons. I’d love to see the emergence of renewable resources as a viable alternative – not saying the gov’t has to be the one to make it happen, but I think long-term that oil just isn’t viable.

        And where will we be when we finally run out? Even if it’s 50, 100, 200 years from now? Eventually the wells will run dry and we will.. what? Come to a screeching halt? I’d like to start making a transition before then. How ’bout you?

        • My personal opinion (and we know what that’s worth 😉 ) is that Americans will not wean themselves off oil dependence until there is no oil to be dependent on. Just won’t happen.

          • no.. eventually Americans will hit the breaking point in terms of price. Well before there is no oil left, the price will rocket enough to force us to wean ourselves off.

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Mathius, From my research, there’s enough oil and natural gas in Alaska alone, to support our country for the next 200 years. The problem is the Govt., not a lack of resources. I would like to see cars run on natural gas though, I think that would be more efficient. Question…What exactly is a renewable resource that you’d like to see made very public? Can our current infrastructure haddle your choice?

              • Does your 200 years take into consideration our increasing energy demands?

                GDP and energy consumption in Japan from 1958 – 2000:

                Japan alone went up 7x between 1958 and 2000. I can only imagine what will happen in China and India in the next few years. And I wonder what the US’s graph looks like..

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Quote “to support our country for the next 200 years.
                Japan can fix their own problems, we can’t afford to be the world problem solvers anymore.

              • Right.. Japan was just the graph I could easily find. I assume the trend is even more pronounced in the US. The question is, are you taking into account the explosion of demand for energy and the likely continuing increases in the future?

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I only mentioned Alaska, there are other places in the US that has oil as well. I’m not sure were your getting an explosion of need from, maybe another part of the AGW lie. Theere will be no explosive of need, it may be a gradual increase, but an explosive is hogwash. We have plenty of natural resources right here in the USA, the thing holding us back is government and big oil corporations. It’s all about money and who can make the most from the masses. Until you lose the left vs. right idealism, and open your eyes and search for the answers that are out there, the future is bleak. Oil will not be an issue.

              • US power demand has doubled in the last 30 years.
                As we integrate electronics into more and more of our lives, I would expect this trend to only speed up.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Remember when you boy Obama said he would bankrupt coal fired electric plants? Matt, you are missing the BIG picture. Very few if any new electric plants will be built while Obama is in office. The government denied mining of “clean coal” (can’t remember the chemical name for it) in Texas and other states. Enough for many decades of power in new plants that aren’t being built. We have what we need as a nation, in our nation, regardless of need in the future. I can prove all of this, but it would take an entire article to do it.

              • “Clean Coal” is a myth. I’d love to see evidence otherwise.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Matt, Think about this for a minute. All of your knowledge on these issues come from where? The media, and the politicians. Do you still believe what they tell you? I will find what the clean coal chemisty name is…..eventually, lol.

            • Maybe, but I’m not going to count on that. Americans are stubborn and will pay the price.

              The only way to break them sooner – rationing. When I was stationed in England we could get gas on base at US rates, but the amount you could have was rationed (we had ration books issued to us that we had to use at the station when we bought gas). Your allotment was based on the distance you drove to the base for duty and the size of the engine in your vehicle. If you ran out of rations before the next issue period you had to buy your gas on the local economy (and that wasn’t cheap – even in the early-mid 80’s).

              • You could be right. Then again, maybe someone will come up with something, and people will happily just switch (ie horse drawn carriage to automobile).

              • In some cases I wonder if that automobile was all that great a change? There is something to be said for that horse and buggy. A lot more romantic when you take the missus out for a ride. 🙂

              • True. People forget that, before the automobile, the horses would just go the bathroom on the street. In major cities, there were literally piles of horseshit stacked up on the side of the road several feet high. The city would have to pay to have it carted off (eventually it would be used as fertilizer). On a warm day, the smell is said to have been worse than you can imagine.

                D13 is probably old enough to remember. I’m sure he could tell you all about it.

              • And Mathius, just think for a second how many of the poor unemployed workers collecting their unemployment checks we could put back to work cleaning up the streets!

                Why, it’d be an economic stimulus program for sure! We’d even let the Dems take the credit for the whole idea. 🙂

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I live around a great number of Amish. Horse and buggy is a normal thing here, and horse dung is not a problem. I will say, that if we go back to horse and buggy, the welfare queens just got a new job, no more free rides!

        • Agreed….even tho family is in oil/gas business…..we need to find alternatives and quickly.

        • Mathius,

          We will -never- run out of oil.

          The whole Universe is full of the stuff.

          • Really? Wow, that’s great to know!

          • Saturated Hydrocarbons in Comets


          • Mathius,

            The current hypothesis of biotic oil formation fails to account for the amounts found off of Earth

            The abiotic hypothesis of oil is more likely. This also explains why we find oil almost everywhere on Earth.

            The only question is: how much will it cost to get it?

            • No. That’s one question. The other question is this: assuming that it even exists (that’s a big IF), would getting at it require more oil than you could bring back. If it takes 1mm gallons to fly a rocket to it, and bring it back, but the rocket can only carry 750k gallons back, then the oil might as well not be there at all.

              “Each of the two Solid Rocket Boosters on the Space Shuttle carries more than one million pounds of solid propellant. The Space Shuttle’s large External Tank is loaded with more than 500,000 gallons of super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, which are mixed and burned together to form the fuel for the orbiter’s three main rocket engines.”

              • there are several working theories on interplanetary mining. I like the solar sail option. There is a working magnetic field type solar sail (no actual material involved) that is pretty interesting. I will dig up my links on that stuff. As BF mentions, once outside of the gravity well there are a lot of options.

                I think space mining might be in my future….

              • You have to sent in motion anything you plan to bring home. Then you have to stop it before it crashes into the Earth and kills us all. I wouldn’t be surprised it this was possible. But I do hope that we’re beyond such a simple and messy mechanism as the internal combustion engine by then.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                Neither the liquid propellant or the solid rocket boosters are made of hydrocarbons.

                Changes the equation.

              • I am sure we will be using hydrocarbons in a more efficient manner, but there are certainly options for transport from space-dwelling collection/refining station and earth’s surface. Furthermore, a lot of it might actually be for fueling the space station itself, and various other industrial pursuits not on the earth’s surface, without the need for further developing the earth or removing resources from it for energy sources for space bound industry. Imagine the doors it would open if energy and construction material was plentiful in space, and the mechanisms for collection and refining, etc. were all in place up there. Earth itself could be a nature conservatory in vast sectors. Future tech and space development could be the ultimate solution to population, pollution, and other earthbound environmental concerns.

                It sure beats low tech solutions that most of the enviro nuts seem to support. Better tech is ultimately better for everyone and everything.

            • Mathius,

              Re: Oil

              that’s a big IF

              No, it is a fact. No “if” exists. The Universe is filled with oil – and it is no real mystery to why.

              Carbon,Oxygen and Hydrogen are among the most abundant elements in the Galaxy. They also like combining with each other. Thus, the Galaxy is full of water and oil.

              You are also befuddled by the confusion of big numbers.

              You think a million pounds of rocket fuel is “a lot”.

              You cannot conceive that a comet contains a million times more pounds of hydrocarbons.

              You cannot balance a big number with another big number and build a reference.

              Further, you are not fully aware of the aspects of space flight and gravity “holes”. Once we are free of the huge gravity hole of the Earth, the entire solar system is incredibly easy to achieve – it is merely a matter of time, and not energy, to cross vast distances.

              And in your example, the solid rocket do not use any hydrocarbons – they are essentially a thermite “bomb”, and as you pointed out, the main tank is hydrogen — and true, it is made out of “oil” -(specifically, out of methane) – but we have trillions upon trillions of cubic feet of methane on Earth – so much, we really have no way to measure the total amount.

              Mankind will enjoy the benefits of hydrocarbons “forever”.

              The only reason it is at risk today is due to government provocations – by either banning access by law or by war.

  14. Teacher in BIG trouble for telling it like it is.

    Remember back to Graf Zeplins guest article on what is wrong with education?

    “FEASTERVILLE, Pa. — A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges “disengaged, lazy whiners” is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today’s students unmotivated — and what’s wrong with calling them out?

    As she fights to keep her job at Central Bucks East High School, 30-year-old Natalie Munroe says she had no interest in becoming any sort of educational icon. The blog has been taken down, but its contents can still be found easily online.

    Her comments and her suspension by the middle-class school district have clearly touched a nerve, with scores of online commenters applauding her for taking a tough love approach or excoriating her for verbal abuse. Media attention has rained down, and backers have started a Facebook group.

    ‘Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS’
    “My students are out of control,” Munroe, who has taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades, wrote in one post. “They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

    And in another post, Munroe — who is more than eight months pregnant — writes: “Kids! They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs. Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS.” She also comes up with a colorful list of comments that she felt should be available on student report cards.

    Munroe did not use her full name or identify her students or school in the blog, which she started in August 2009 for friends and family. Last week, she said, students brought it to the attention of the school, which suspended her with pay.

    “They get angry when you ask them to think or be creative,” Munroe said of her students in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “The students are not being held accountable.”

    ‘They want everything right now’
    Munroe pointed out that she also said positive things, but she acknowledges that she did write some things out of frustration — and of a feeling that many kids today are being given a free pass at school and at home.

    “Parents are more trying to be their kids’ friends and less trying to be their parent,” Munroe said, also noting students’ lack of patience. “They want everything right now. They want it yesterday.”

    A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association declined to comment Tuesday because he said the group may represent Munroe. A message left for the Central Bucks School District superintendent was not immediately returned.

    Sandi Jacobs, vice president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, said school districts are navigating uncharted territory when it comes to teachers’ online behavior. Often, districts want teachers to have more contact with students and their families, yet give little guidance on how teachers should behave online even as students are more plugged in than they’ve ever been.

    ‘She did it as carefully as she could’
    “This is really murky stuff,” she said. “When you have a teacher using their blog to berate their students, maybe that’s a little less murky. But the larger issue is, I think, districts are totally unprepared to deal with this.”

    Munroe has hired an attorney, who said that she had the right to post her thoughts on the blog and that it’s a free speech issue. The attorney, Steven Rovner, said the district has led Munroe to believe that she will eventually lose her job.

    “She could have been any person, any teacher in America writing about their lives,” he said, pointing out that Munroe blogged about 85 times and that only about 15 to 20 of the posts involved her being a teacher. “It’s honest and raw and a little edgy depending on your taste. … She has a deep frustration for the educational system in America.”

    Rovner said that he would consider legal action if indeed Munroe loses her job.

    “She did it as carefully as she could,” he said about her blog. “It’s so general that it applies to the problems in school districts and schools across the country.””

    • 🙂 I’m just going to say that my stress level is just about zero these days. Things are moving along nicely.

    • Since Mathius has disclosed that his wife works in education, maybe he can comment on “kids these days”

      I know a co-worker whose wife was taught not to grade in red pen, because red is a bad color that upsets the children.

      • I haven’t heard about that, but I have heard similar such nonsense. I firmly believe that children these days are coddled and their egos protected to the point where they have this overinflated self-esteem that is completely unrealistic and is at odds with reality. It’s a disservice to children to shelter them this much.

        You did bad? You get an F in big letters in red ink. And your test gets put down on your desk face up regardless of whether other students can see it. Maybe you’ll be embarrassed, but you’ll try harder next time. That is how the world works.

      • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

        Yup, they are.

        Of course, I don’t have those pesky restrictions when they come to me. Terrifies the hell out of ’em!

  15. Wonder what the outcry would be is a student was suspended for berating a teacher on his/her personal blog.

    • Public or private?

      • that is, public school or private school?

        • public school

          • Probably pretty muted. I would think that a public school should have no right to restrict what a private (albeit under-aged) citizen is allowed to say and do in accordance with his first amendment rights outside of school property and school hours.

            But I just don’t picture it generating too much outrage.

            • Then why the teacher…should not the same rules apply?

              • Well, similarly, I think the teacher is within their first Amendment rights to say whatever they want, but I do think they should be more professional than that.

                I know that, at a party, a group of Emilius’s colleagues were mocking one particularly obnoxious student, but they were opted to use a nickname for him rather than refer to him by name. It was a small thing, but I think it makes a big difference in terms of what is and is not acceptable behavior.

                Something just rubs me the wrong way at the idea of a teacher badmouthing a student on their blog, but I would have to argue that it is within their rights to do so. There are lots of things that are within your rights, but which are not a good idea.

                I can, however, see that generating quite a bit of outcry.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                Privacy issues.

                Educators have access to private and personal information…students, generally, do not.

  16. gmanfortruth says:

    Just heard a report on radio tha protests have started in Saudi Arabia. Haven’t found nothing in writing yet.

  17. Judy Sabatini says:

    To Black Flag & Richmond Spitfire

    I want to wish you both a very Happy Birthday, & hope you will have a wonderful day.

    God Bless you both & Hugs & Love to you both as well.

    Take Care always.

  18. gmanfortruth says:

    Time to call out FOX News on their BS tactics. Todd, you’ll be happy to see this>

    Fox News Caught In Shocking Dirty Tricks Stunt Against Ron Paul

    In a shocking act of mass public deception, Fox News attempted to skew Ron Paul’s 2011 CPAC straw poll win by representing it with footage from the previous year’s CPAC event, at which Mitt Romney supporters had loudly booed the result, another example of the continuing dirty tricks campaign being waged against Paul by the establishment media.

    As is normal, the MSM as a whole ire corrupt lying corporate talking heads.

    • Amazing how you’re able to see this so readily when it’s against someone like Paul, but when it’s a liberal, you see and hear nothing..

      • gmanfortruth says:


        This was FOX News, not MSNBC. They are considered right wing. They are just as corrupt as all the others. The fact that it was against Paul is not the point, the point is this is how the MSM works, they lie, knowingly, to all of us. I’m putting my left/right ideas away and attacking the division that it has caused. I figured you would appreciate me calling out FOX on their misdeeds!

        • I do, honestly, I do.. But could you make me a really happy camper and call them out for pulling this BS against someone on the left? Pick one, any one, and just call them out for it and I can die happy.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Give me an example. I can only answer to what you believe are lies against the left. I’m hoping you understand that when the major news networks (any of them), knowingly distort the truth when reading the news (not the Becks and Maddows), then that is a huge problem for all of us, not just the left or right. The bigger question should be…how often have they been doing this and what subjects have they done it with?

            • Pick one from here:

              That’s fair-ish that you exclude Maddow/Beck from the “News” category, but I do with that Fox News would make some effort to clarify what’s news and what’s opinion/entertainment.. maybe a disclaimer somewhere?

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Beck, Hannity, O’Rielly, Maddow, Olberman, and all the rest of the nightime mouth pieces cannot be defended. I’m speaking of what is a newscast (reporting the news), should be honest. What FOX did was not honest. All of us should demand that the “newscast” just report the actual news, no opinion or deception. That’s what as news organization should do, and we all should demand that. Screw to nightime mouthpieces, their only there for ratings not truth. If you can give me a biased new report (from the major news organizations, e.g. FOX, MSNBC, CNN, major networks), I’ll work to prove it right or wrong.

  19. Mathius,

    computers will soon be better at poker


    They will be “good” – since they will play within calculated odds.

    They will never be “better” because poker is a game of people and their attitudes. The best a machine can be will be a player type called a “Rock” – and they are beatable.

    To understand this, think about a computer playing “Rock/Paper/Scissors” – what advantage does a computer have over a human?

    • They will be able to evaluate your playing style. They will be able to bluff. They will be able to take calculated risks. They will never go on tilt. They will be able to take advantage if you go on tilt. They will be able to switch readily and instantly from aggressive to defensive to passive to “rock.” They will know what to do to keep you off balance.

      It will be able to scan your facial expression and pupil dilation and estimate the odds that you’re bluffing. It will listen to your voice and gauge the stress levels. It will monitor pheromone levels.

      It will remember every hand you have ever played against it. It will remember how you held your cards, how you sat in your chair, the words that you used, how much you sweat, did you fidget. It will learn and adapt. It will see what works against you and what doesn’t. If you have a tell, it will find it.

      And it will beat you.

      The only question is when. Not if.

      • Mathius,

        They will know what to do to keep you off balance

        How will they “know” unless someone programs them to “know” – and that will be on the assumptions of the program.

        And I have a million tells – and they all contradict each other. A machine will never be able to discern which tell means what when.

        It may beat me today but after a week, I’ll own it

        • Let me ask you this, flag: the entire history of computing supports my argument. What do you have to support yours? Do you have anything other than an argument which boils down to “because it’s too complicated”?

          • Mathius,

            No, actually the entire history of computing disputes your argument – for decades the “pundits” have called for a human-computer, and none exist.

            • Clarify.

              A “human-computer”?

            • They’re working on it. But, if I’m understanding this right, you’re “proof” that it can’t happen is based on the fact that we haven’t yet achieved it?

              Man cannot go to Mars because we have not yet gone to Mars.


              Human-type problem solving is probably the most complicated and difficult goal in all of AI. It’s going to take some more time. But I would say that Watson solved problems on Jeopardy! yesterday. It’s “goal” was to earn points by figuring out what the clue (problem) was getting at, then to search and analyze data to solve for an answer. How can that be anything other than “problem solving”?

              And it did it better/faster than the humans.

              • Mathius,

                No, that is not my proof – it is a fact again.

                They have not done it, yet it is you who uses this as a proof that they will do it – Bizarre~!!

                They cannot achieve it and Godel proved it. That won’t stop them, though. They will continue futility, but the consequences will create some neat machines

                The Jeopardy thing is nothing relevant. So it has a large database and can search it quickly. Clap. Now let’s see it get up and walk out of the room and live like a human – like the other two can. Impossible.

                Humans always win because we adapt when the game changes.

              • I’m arguing that we keep saying things are impossible for a computer, and then we build a computer which can do them.

                Mill flower: Done
                Replace horses: Done
                Fly: Done
                Chess: Done
                Read the human genome: Done
                Rock/Paper/Scissor: Done
                Jeopardy!: Done as of tonight.
                Poker: Pending.. close..

                So you moved the goalposts way, way down the field.

                Live like a human.

                I say history is on my side. Being a human and living a human life is nothing but a series of tasks. Get up in the morning, get dressed, consume breakfast, drive to work, perform work, drive home, do housework, take wife out dancing, come home, catch up on sports highlights, go to sleep-mode, etc.

                How many of these have we programmed already? We’ll get the rest in time. Then it’s just a question of stringing them together and ironing out the bugs.

                Nothing more.

                There is nothing mystical here, just the slow inexorable march of progress.

                Some day, probably within our lifetimes, you may meet a man, shake his hand, conduct business, go to a bar, chat about sports and women and poker, and part ways – and never know if he’s human or AI.

                Some day, there may not even be any discernible difference. Shortly after that, the only difference will be that they’re better than us at everything.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                A better test for this system is to remove the buzzer. Let each participant answer the question in secret and then each scores points.

                Then compare scores, humans may just be slower to the buzzer but better at answering the questions.

                Not exactly a fair and impartial game at this point.

    • Re Rock, Paper, Scissors:

  20. Mathius,

    Re: Back to Poker vs Machine

    Also remember this requirement, explained by example:

    You and I are playing poker using match sticks. Who will win?

    You and I are playing poker, but now you are using your own money. Who will win?

    I am playing poker with a computer using match sticks. Who will win?

    I am playing poker with a computer but it is using your money…. that is, you have the power to decide when the computer quits the game… Who will win?

    • Sorry.. you’re getting surreal again. Do I have to get the hose?

      Which ability that I described above do you believe is beyond the realm of possibility for a well programed computer with the correct hardware?

      #Multiple playing styles: aggressive/passive/rock/etc
      #Ability to switch between them in an effective manner
      #Remember play history in extensive detail
      #Cross reference play history for patterns
      #Take advantage of patterns
      #Detect bluff via dilation/voice stress/etc
      #Read body language
      #Wager effectively

      Put this together correctly and the machine wins.

      Just like R/P/S, where the machine is averaging 59.59% for nearly 300,000 games. Perfect knowledge isn’t necessary – only a better algorithm than humans use and the discipline/ability to use it.

      • Mathius,

        You do not understand the nature of poker, which is why the difference between the match sticks and your money is significant.

        If you have no risk, you will tend to play far more recklessly (ie: take longer gambles).

        When you are playing with your money, you will tend to play far more conservatively (ie: take fewer gambles).

        Thus, with a machine. The machine – itself – suffers no risk – it will take outish gambles because it faces no threat. If it loses, it does not starve, nor lose its home, face a divorce, lose your car, etc.

        All the ancillary aspects to which you focus are irrelevant – those are merely information pieces. It is the risk that makes Poker poker

        • And the absence of “risk” is yet another strength of the AI.

          You’re getting ethereal on me. Poker is a game with cards and chips/money/clothes/etc. Whatever your internal motivation, the goal is to amass chips/money/clothes/etc by winning hands against your opponent(s) in accordance with the rules.

          The computer will follow the rules and you will follow the rules and the computer will end up with all of your chips.

          You’re essentially saying that Deep Blue didn’t really win at chess because it faced no “risk” in defeat. Watson wouldn’t starve if it lost Jeopardy! so it didn’t really play Jeopardy!. That’s BS. Risk is part of those games too. Winning means bringing home the bacon, it means pride instead of shame. Computers won those, and they’ll win poker. And then they’ll win whatever else you can think of.

      • LOL @ Mathius,

        The hose comment is hilarious dude!
        “It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again!”

  21. Well we’ve gone national now. Un-frickin-believable. It is amazing the brain drain that occurs when you become indoctrinated by union “solidarity”. Just like the statists that look to their beloved government for answers to everything, these union sheep cannot imagine lives without the protection. If they’d only get past it and look at the bigger picture, if they aren’t beholdened to the union leadership, they just might be better off – the good, productive employees that is.

    I have not heard of any violence yet, but the rhetoric is heating up big time.

    • Have you forgotten what life was like for workers before unions?

      Unions were a necessary ill. And now they’ve overreached. But get rid of them, and you could expect the pendulum to swing back to the bad old days.

      • Don’t buy that for a minute and I doubt you do either.

        • I believe that I don’t know.

          But one thing I do know is that checks and balances don’t work so well when you remove one side’s check.

  22. “Unions were a necessary ill. And now they’ve overreached. But get rid of them, and you could expect the pendulum to swing back to the bad old days.”

    Matt, that’s just like the doomsayers who warned about gunfights in the streets when concealed carry was allowed, or like all the hype over AGW. Chicken little prophecies.

    Last week a severe storm froze Dallas under a sheet of ice, just in time to disrupt the plans of the tens of thousands of (American) football fans descending on the city for the Super Bowl. On the other side of the globe, Cyclone Yasi slammed northeastern Australia, destroying homes and crops and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

    Some climate alarmists would have us believe that these storms are yet another baleful consequence of man-made CO2 emissions. In addition to the latest weather events, they also point to recent cyclones in Burma, last winter’s fatal chills in Nepal and Bangladesh, December’s blizzards in Britain, and every other drought, typhoon and unseasonable heat wave around the world.

    But is it true? To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

    Anne Jolis, editorial writer for WSJ Europe, has the surprising data on extreme weather events.

    As it happens, the project’s initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. “In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”

    • Now, right or wrong, I’m curious. This person used a model, but you give credence to it. Other scientists use a different model and you call then doomsayers.

      Why do you believe this guy but reject the other guys out of hand? Or is it something as simple as the fact that this what you already believe?

      • The difference is the first model was used to analyze what has been observed in the past and compare that to observations today. The results are that the climate observed today does not vary more than the climate observed in the past.
        The other models try to predict the future without being able to accurately describe what we know has happened in the past.

        Does the first model prove that AGW does not exsist? Not necessarily but it does disprove the statements that the current climate is more severe than that in the past. Which many climate scientist who push AGW have repeatedly stated that climate has and will continue to be more severe than in the past.

      • Matt,

        A good question! I think this study is flawed with where it begins, right at the end of the Little Ice Age. That said, I think any study of weather has to look at historic events. There are records of major weather events nearly everywhere civilization exists, so hurricanes in the gulf are documented. Combine that with records in India, Australia, China, etc, and you can prove if there have been changes in the weather patterns.

        If they were to take this model and project the weather 100 yrs in the future, I would say bulldookey. For it to show no changes does surprise me. The LIA was a huge event that had significant impacts on mankind. The French Revolution might not have happened if the cold weather had not caused their wheat crops to fail. “Let them eat cake” may be a myth, but the starvation was real, and heads did roll. History channel has a very good documentary on LIA, even though they spin AGW into it.

        Most AGW scientist predict warming based on computer models, that have been proven wrong nearly every year.
        Remember the prediction of no more snow in the UK?

        So short answer, a historic model is bound to be much more accurate then any future model, and should be given
        greater credibility based on that.

  23. Visualize please,

    TexasChem in…
    Black and green face paint.
    Carrying a Tippman 98 pro custom paintball marker.
    250 round electric auto-feeder.
    Custom response trigger.15 rounds a second!
    Apex barrel.Various settings on barrel allow for different spins to be put on the paintball which allows for shooting AROUND or OVER the top of cover. Gun shoots almost silent.*giggle*
    Handmade vest carrying ten 200 round load canisters.
    Mossy Oak camo pants and longsleeve shirt.Leather airborne combat jumpers.AND my brand new 5 pc woodland GHILLIE Suit!

    A heavily forested deer lease.Twenty acres marked with orange paint and flagging for playing field.
    50 crazy, beer and whiskey drinking south-east Texas boys similiarly decked out but they are all MINUS the ghillie suit.
    6 referees.
    Approximately thirty 4-wheelers.Dual axle BBQ pit capable of cooking 20 brisquets at once.Unknown number of girlfriends, wives, spectators and children. Tailgates are down the smell of BBQ and BEER is in the air, teams are being made up and navy blue or grey armbands handed out.

    1st round
    Capture the flag.
    Flag is placed in the middle of the 25 acres in a natural grassy glade about 100 foot in diameter in a mature oak grove with intermingled pines (huge trees) and a small creek runs along the western edge of the grassy glade.Maps are handed out to squad leaders.Teams set up at equal opposite end base camps.
    2 teams 25vs25.
    My team splits into two ten men and one 5 man squad.I’m in the 5 man squad.When the airhorn sounds my squad is to take off and head around the right edge of boundary to set-up on the right side flank of where the flag is but to not attempt to capture.One ten men is coming straight up the middle while the other 10 man is flanking left of flag.My team set up along side an old logging road in some brush.2 on the right side and a few feet further down 2 more on the left side to set up a killing zone between us.The last member of our squad we sent down the logging road to scout and act as “bait”.A few minutes after we set-up the scout comes running back along the road and whispers they’re here as he runs past.From my position I can see the flag as well as a good view of the road.I am in a prone position on the right side of road facing the road at a 45degree forward angle.Six of the blue armbands come running down the logging road and are immediately taken out in our crossfire complaining of a yellow laser!Each team fires different colored balls. Ours was yellow and on full auto with 15 rounds a second coming out of my barrel it has the illusion of a panning laser!I spot two others maneuvering in and out between some red oaks torwards the flag and take one out with a facemask 3 round burst and the other stopped moving behind a red oak.They are about 75 feet away.I set the Apex barrel to fire a curved shot around the tree and after the 2nd adjustment and 4th burst got him 5 times in the stomach as he was trying to cover.Immediately he gets pissed shouting how the hell are you shooting around corners and stomps off to the dead pool back at their base camp.Thats 8 down and 17 to go.I move back 25 feet torwards our base along the road and take up a position between a yaupon and red oak kneeling this time with the flag still in my sight as I figured on their way back the “dead” would tell our position.
    As the minutes pass our “middle” 10 man squad arrives and takes up position facing the glade and are trading fire across the glade with the enemy blue.Our left 10 man shows up but is wiped out as the other team moved in immediately behind them after they took up position at the glade and lost it.I lost my scout as he got sniped as he tried to sprint for the flag.But I spotted the sniper wedged between a stump and fallen oak.POOF POOF POOF snipers gone and I am backing out to change position again.The three remaining I leave on spotter duty watching the logging road and right side of glade.I move deeper into blue territory to attempt a rear strike on their middle position at the glade and am almost taken out by a spotter they had set-up watching the logging road.As I crossed the logging road several red paintballs missed my face by inches.I could see the trajectory he was firing from and to further distance myself had to run further into blue territory and plopped down facing him.A few seconds pass by and I see him trying to stalk me but he can not see me.It’s as if the ghillie suit is some magical invisibility cloak from a Harry Potter tale or something! I am thinking to myself I can not believe he can’t see me as he gets to within 15 feet of me and I just paint his chest with about 45 paintballs in a 3 second burst!
    I hear shouts of did ya get em’ Jeff? I recognize my brothers voice! Oh boy I am excited now! (I think to myself…Gonna get em good for turning my main breaker off at my home last year and shooting me with his paintball gun while I was outside with just a flashlight in my underwear trying to see what was wrong with the power to the house!)He yells again Jeff!?
    I begin crawling towards his voice keeping an enormous pine between us.As I get to the pine I ever so slowly peek around the corner and there he is with 5 others facing the glade but sneaking glances behind himself.POOF POOF POOF I take out my cousin Michael to his left with shots to the back of his head.I jump up behind the pine and run keeping the pine to my back and dart off to the left plopping down facing them.Sure enough here comes nephew Shane trying to stalk me and the magic cloak works again! LOL! POOF POOF POOF POOF POOF POOF POOF POOF he’s out.
    I hear a cracking voice Shane? Shane? Hahah revenge is going to be sweet.I begin crawling towards his position again and notice two blues running towards his position from the right.POOF POOF POOF OUCH! AWWwww. POOF POOF POOF POOF POOF awwww you hit me in the neck!
    Two more are down!
    I begin creeping towards my brother again.I crawl up behind the same exact pine tree I had used earlier and he is scanning his six like a mouse about to steal some cheese!I am kneeled leaning around the pine and he cannot see me! I am only 25 feet away.As he scans behind he is trying to get a friend next to him to go look for me but he wont budge.I think LASER time.I open up on them both for a full 6 seconds.I’m dead,Im dead,I’m dead stop shooting! they are shouting as I enjoy my revenge!
    As the game went on I kept circling behind picking the blues off untill the airhorn had sounded end of game.We had won and I had 14 kills that game.Back at the BBQ everyone complained about the Ghillie suit and said it wasn’t fair to use while my team said it was!
    Large quantities of BBQ beer and whiskey were consumed.Horseshoes and dice were thrown.Multiple paintball games were played.
    Annnd everyone had a good ole’ time!

  24. Good morning all…..Hope the rest of your week goes better. I will be gone until Tuesday…..bad guy hunting on the border. See ya when I get back… tactics to be deployed with new firepower. Adios!!!!

  25. I’m pissed. Enough teachers have called in many school districts around Madison, including the one we live in, so that they have to close for business today. Insubordination=Firing. Can their asses; kick them to the curb;lock them out. When you’re more loyal to the union than to your employer, it is time to move on.

    Watch Wisconsin, Part III: A state government employee speaks; Madison schools, plus 7 other districts shut down a second day; Michael Moore says Wisconsin is the “new Cairo”

    • I’d be pissed too. The super should have kept the schools open today..let’s see exactly who is sick and who isn’t. There is enough non teaching staff to supervise the students who show up. That’s also what substitute teachers are on call for.

      Michael Moore needs the dunce cap!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      ‘…more loyal to the union than to your employer…?

      So if my employer decided to slash my salary and benefits, I should still show up, without protesting or anything of the sort, out of some warped sense of loyalty!?

      • Exactly. There are no chains holding you to that position. You are free to find other employment or open your own business.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          But I’m not free to protest my employer’s decision?

          • Not on my dime! After hours – have at it. Lie about being sick, call in and force your employer to close? Not the professional that we’d like to employ. Have a nice day!

          • Do what you gotta do Buck. In the end it’s not your business. In this economy you need to count your blessings to even be employed. The employers have an unlimited number of applicants to take your position and they ( the unemployed) will do it cheaper.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Sorry but I’m sick and tired of that argument — ‘you should be happy to be employed’ or ‘you don’t have the right to complain, because at least you have a job’.

              Come on, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Its a BS argument and you know it.

              • Bullshit Buck. YOU ARE FREE TO WORK ELSEWHERE.

              • Buck I have told many employees they were free to work elsewhere. Guess what? They Quit! Then guess what? 6 weeks later they show back up wanting “their” job back.

                Your argument doesn’t fly.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I never said the employer couldn’t fire them under certain circumstances.

                But you seem to be arguing that they have no right to protest, to use their contractually alotted days as they see fit. Its either quit or go to work with a smile on your face. I dont’ buy that.

              • Buck,

                You do not have to be happy to work.

                No one cares if you are happy or not.

                Either you accept the job under the terms offered or you do not.

                If you do not, go somewhere else where they will accept your terms.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                So BF, are you coming down against an employee’s right to peacefully protest an employer’s decision which adversely affects them?

                If an employer decides to change the terms of one’s employment, the employee is left without any options? Either accept the new terms or quit?? There’s no right to protest this decision? No right for employees to band together and demand a change?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Kathy, Don’t be mad, just giggle alittle. You may get your wish, many union contracts have a clause that allows the employer to fire employees who engage in a “wildcat strike”. Most unuion folks, not all mind you, but those who voted for Obama and his wealth redistribution idealology, are no learning that wealth redistribution wasn’t meant from the top to the bottom, but the bottom to the top. Interestingly, many probably supported wealth redistribution, like Matt and Buck, until it’s their wealth that’s being targeted. Funny when people have to face “the hair of the dog”!

  26. So what you’re saying Buck is that it is fine for a government operation to shutdown because the employee’s decided to use their sick time bank hours to go and protest, thereby denying the students of the closed schools a school day that they may well have to add on to the end of the school year to insure they’ve had the required number of instructional days?

    You’re saying it’s valid to abuse a benefit (sick time) when you’re not ill? That means if the cops or fire dept employees want to go protest they can use their sick time even if it causes the shutdown of some stations due to all of them calling off?

    I bet the whole issue would be viewed differently if those teachers all bailed for the day to attend a Tea Party rally and political protest against overspending and the state debt?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      We are seeing hypocricy at it’s best. They voted for wealth redistribution, now their finding out what they voted for. I just hope the Governor holds firm and finishes the job he started. If he wins, there’s 6 nore states in line to do the same. Get your Doritos and your favorite beverage, hit the recliner and watch all the little Democrats squirm!

    • As I said elsewhere, it may be different in different states, but in NY, you’re attributed a number of personal/sick days. They are contractually and officially the same thing. It is not an abuse to use a personal/sick day to attend a rally/protest because they are for any reason.

      Emilius used a personal/sick day to stay home when the roads were bad after a big storm. A lot of other teachers had the same idea. The entire school was staffed by only a handful of teachers. I’m sure the kids didn’t learn much that day either. Was this also an abuse of the system?

      The disruption to the students is problematic, but it does not make the teachers bad guys in this.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Of course I feel bad for the students — won’t someone please think of the children!? — in many cases they are getting the short end of the stick, with forced school closures or a completely understaffed school resulting in an inability to learn.

        But as you seem to be saying, that’s another issue altogether.

      • The reports I’ve read (in both right and left leaning reporting) have called them “sick” days – implying a specific use.

        Based upon that specific use implication and going back to my union days our contracts provided for personal days and sick days in separate time banks. Using sick time for other than illness related issues was a contractual violation opening the employee up to disciplinary action.

        Do you find it a problem if they have a specific sick time bank separate from personal time – and in using that sick time for the purpose of attending a political rally/protest they misused/abused the intended purpose of having sick time?

        And no, your significant other was not wrong to use her personal/sick time in the way she did. A safety issue in her getting to her place of employment. Not the same as running off to a political rally/protest. Apples and oranges comparison.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          If contractually they are limited to using ‘sick’ days only for when they are actually sick, that is a different issue. Though I wouldn’t support employers going door to door to check up on their employees to make sure they are really sick.

          If contractually there are ‘sick’ days and ‘personal’ days with no corresponding requirement to be sick on a ‘sick’ day, then no, I don’t have any problem with this.

          As for Emilious, I would say that comparison isn’t apples and oranges — if Emilius’ contract required her to be ‘sick’ in order to use a sick day, then how is that not a violation? In that case she would be contractually required to use a ‘personal’ day, would she not?

          • Because – as Mathius has repeatedly pointed out “you’re attributed a number of personal/sick days.”

            A blended time-off bank in Emilius’ case, Apples and oranges counselor.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I fear you missed my point.

              Assuming Emilius’ contract required her to be sick then would you still support her taking a ‘sick’ day due to snow? I have yet to see anything even remotely suggesting that the teachers in WI are required to be sick to take a ‘sick’ day, so why do you not support their using this day to protest?

              • As usual you’re trying to get off on a technicality. How bout address the fact that WE ARE BROKE and cannot continue on this path. Where does the money come from to pay those teachers. Your BIG GOVERNMENT used it up on bullshit. Now you want to cry unfair because you used up all the money.

              • So sick time isn’t really sick time? Typical lawyer obfuscation.

                Otherwise known as pure BS!

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Simply using the descriptor ‘sick time’ is meaningless. That could very easily just be the terminology the employer uses. All I’m asking for is some citation demonstrating that 1) the teachers used ‘sick’ time as opposed to something else, and 2) the contract places conditions or restrictions on the use of ‘sick’ time

  27. I’m just going to throw this out and see who bites and what the opinions are here at SUFA.

      • Yes and no. If you were the news director and your friend and colleague had been brutally assaulted in that manner, would you air the story or suppress it to protect the woman?

        • I would ask this – if the rape occurred to another person not affiliated with CBS would CBS show the same “protection” to that woman?

          Or, more likely, would CBS find it newsworthy and report it?

          • Probably. I would think CBS should have reported it anyway, but left Logan’s name out of it. Just say “a woman whose identity is not being released was..”. That way they could still protect her but also fulfill their obligation to report the news.

            But that’s not how they did it, was it?

            • I agree, CBS could have reported it that way, and should have – knowing well it would become news especially since a foreign journalist was the victim.

              • I guess, eventually, someone would have put two and two together.. “some foreign journalist in the area was raped” plus “hey, I haven’t seen Lara Logan in a while..”

                But I don’t think that’s really a defense. It was news. They should have reported it and protected her as best they can.

                All-in-all, I don’t see their failure to report it as a grievous breach though. Perhaps a lapse, but I can certainly understand why they would sit on it.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      It’s a sad incident. This nation has become warped in far too many ways. I do wonder, if this would have been a FOX reporter with good looks, would the same idiotic comments get made from the other warped bloggers and MSM? My guess, absolutely! We are so divided as a nation. Sickening. 😦

      • The only problem I have is this: Granted, she did not in any way deserve what happened to her, but she went into the middle of a chaotic mob, in a frenzy, where emotions were running high, in a country with a strongly misogynistic culture, wearing very revealing clothing (by local standards), and without sufficient security – to say nothing of the fact that she is a blond bombshell.

        Before I continue, I want to repeat this: she did not deserve this. No one does. Period.

        But the question I can’t seem to escape is this one: if a woman with diamond jewelry and a mink coat wanders in to Compton in the middle of the night without protection, wouldn’t you hold her at least somewhat responsible for her negligence? No, she wouldn’t deserve to be mugged, but it’s something she should have seen as a predictable and avoidable threat. You wouldn’t give her a pass simply because someone was the victim.

        It’s not that she asked for it (certainly, she didn’t) and, again I can’t stress this enough, she did not deserve it. But she presented a very easy and alluring target for a group of people who were somewhat inclined to take advantage of it. I don’t “blame the victim” here, but I do think she failed someone with regards to the application of common sense.

    • What occurred to this report is a tragedy – as the rape of any woman is.

      It is unfortunate that in following her profession she end up in a very risky place wherein her complete safety could not be assured or assumed.

      It will be up to the Egyptian authorities to bring to justice under their laws those they find/accuse as being respoinsible for this crime.

      • It’ll never happen, unfortunately.

        Personally, I think the penalty for rape should be Lorena Bobbit-ing.

    • Further proof that Media Matters is NOT about objectivity.

  28. Buck the Wala

    From up above on sick leave use for protesting.

    My original to Matt:


    NOT personal days, SICK LEAVE.

    To be used for you know, when you are SICK.

    Govt Unions are immoral and should be abolished.

    Buck’s reply to me:

    Have you ever used a sick day when you weren’t really sick? Does it really matter if its a ‘sick’ day or ‘personal’ day? Or do you advocate having companies follow up when someone calls in ‘sick’ to make sure they really are in bed with the flu?

    The point here, at least to me, is teachers contractually have X number of days off (whether it be ‘sick’ or ‘personal’ I don’t care). Kathy seems to be advocating firing them for using one of these days. I’m curious as to why they should be fired? For using a ‘sick’ day when they aren’t really sick? For using their day to attend a protest against budget cuts that will have a direct impact on their every day lives?

    1. I have NEVER used a Sick day for anything other than being sick. And in my lifetime I used very few of these.

    2. Yes, it absolutely matters whether it is a personal or sick day as to what category of time off one takes. The Sick day is a benefit for a specific purpose. Benefit to both employer and employee. To use such for anything else is a lie, cheating, unethical, etc.

    3. Yes, I advocate follow up. But as a practical matter most employers do not follow up until the number of days exceeds some number, like 5 or 7 consecutive days. However, if I were to see an employee protesting, at the ball game or just out and about they would find Leave Without Pay on their time card instead of Sick Leave.

    4. Sick Leave is not a designated “day off”. How typical of the left wing “entitlement mentality” to even suggest that they are. I see the “relativist” view of the world extends to all ethical standards. I guess employment contracts are just “living documents” as well.

    5. Kathy wishes them fired. I would say not on this offense. But anyone known to have attended these rallies gets Leave Without Pay. Another option is that they can have a Vacation (Personal) day docked from their available days. They can choose.

    And they get a letter that further such “falsification of their time cards” will be viewed as reason for dismissal. Just as I expect is included in their contracts.

    Teachers have every right to go protest. On their time and not by abusing something like Sick Leave.

    Then I would eliminate Sick Leave from the employment contract for the coming year. And I would make sure everyone knew that they would not be allowed to work when sick and would not get paid. And they have the union walk out to thank for that “new benefit”.

    • For the third time, now: I don’t know how it works over there, but in NY, all days off are “sick” days. But there is no obligation (contractual or otherwise) to only use them when you are sick. That is simply how they are labeled and you can use them any time for any reason.

      So, you keep latching onto the fact that they’re using “sick” days, but what they are really using are better though of as personal days.

      • Mathius,

        Can you view it under the stated appearance that sick time and personal time ARE NOT the same in this case?

        • No. Again, calling in sick in NY public schools (I can’t speak to elsewhere) is taking a personal day. Go to the ballgame, go to the beach, go skiing, go to a rally, or stay in bed sick, it doesn’t matter. They are the same in terms of the employment contract.

          So they “called in sick” but what they really did was called in a nondescript all-purpose day-off.

          If you ran a company and you told your workers that you’re only giving them sick days, no personal days, but that they can use their sick days freely as personal days (no restrictions), then one day half your staff called in sick but really they all just went bowling, would that be an abuse of the system? I don’t think so.

          • The point in all of this is not whether they have a contractual right to a day off-it’s the fact that the intent was to shut done the school system. Now do they have a contractual right to shut down the school system-I don’t believe they do. It’s a way around the rules and WE all know it. Now do they have a right to protest-YES they do. Do they have a moral right to shut down the school system? that is the question. There simply isn’t a yes or no answer to this question in my mind. The problem is that unions have spent so many years being unreasonable in their negotiations that the people who are being hurt by their gain are sick and tired of it. So many have taken advantage of their contracts and been allowed to do so by their government bosses that people are sick and tired of it. Firemen making over $200,000 a year-people retiring making more money than they made while they worked etc. etc. etc.

            • It’s true. There are abuses and many unions are so powerful they ultimately damage the source of their employment (ie UAW). What remedy do you propose though? Ban unions, and the workers will have no leverage against employers.

              • Matt you speak as though there are no non-union shops. It works all day long in all 50 states.

              • No, I don’t think we should ban unions-but somehow we need to separate them from government power-and we need to separate business from government power.

          • Mathius – not everywhere is like New York – thankfully. It’s interesting that you REFUSE to view an idea that may work differently than what you are personally aware of and that you REFUSE to opine based on those different circumstances. I have had only two jobs in my lifetime where sick time and personal time (also called vacation time) where combined in one time bank. Otherwise they were two separate time banks which had different requirements for their usage.

            It’s not that you CAN’T, it is that you WON’T. You are choosing to be less than objective.

            • I’m saying that I don’t know the rules over there. Show me the rules and I’ll weigh in.

              If it’s like NY: they’re within their rights to take off en masse for a protest.

              If there’s a contractual obligation to be sick when using a sick day, and assuming that they used sick days rather than personal days: they’re out of line and deserve whatever penalties their contracts specify up to and including termination.

              How’s that?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      1) Ok, so you have never used a sick day when not sick. Kudos. Would you fire an employee for doing so?

      2) No it does not matter (as Mathius keeps saying) UNLESS contractually the teacher is obligation to be sick when using a ‘sick’ day. I find this hard to believe is the case. Prove me wrong.

      3 and 4) So you advocate for employers being a sort of ‘police force’ against their employees? As the employer you are granting your employees a benefits package – their compensation includes a number of alotted days off with full pay (so called ‘personal’ or ‘sick’ days). The employee is absolutely entitled to use those days. Do I use all of mine each and every year? No, but that is my choice. Though I have used a ‘sick’ day to putz around the city or go to a ball game and enjoy a day off from the stresses of work. It is not unethical for me to use the days given me how I see fit, unless I am contractually obligated to use them in a certain manner or for a certain purpose.

      • I’ve taken a sick day because I was “sick and tired of working.” Does that count?

      • Buck: “So you advocate for employers being a sort of ‘police force’ against their employees?”

        PS: Yes, when you have to. I have had to issue written reprimands for violations of sick time usage when it was brought to my attention that the employee was using his time for activities that seriously implied/showed a violation.

        Employers also certainly have the right to determine – if they so desire – whether or not an employee is complying with the requirements for use of a benefit provide them. I know from first hand experience of the Sheriff’s Office supervisors actually checking that an employee was at home after calling in sick – by going to their home. This was perfectly acceptable under the union contract and the complaint by the employee was dismissed by the union.

        • I say you just wait for them to come back to work then draw some blood and check the t-cell count. That’ll tell you if they were actually sick or not.

          • In the one case that came immediately to mind was an officer who called in sick for his shift and then was observed participating in a 10K race about an hour after his shift started. He had been previously denied a time off request for that day due to critical staffing shortages in the jail.

            I was the employee called in on his day off for mandatory overtime to fill the position. I had NO problem writing that reprimand as the supervisor on duty.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Once again, it depends on what the contract actually says. If there are established requirements to use a sick day then yes, the employee is wrong. If there is a distinction in name only (or a shared personal/sick bank) but no corresponding contractual obligation, then no, the employee is not wrong.

  29. gmanfortruth says:

    Word from Wisconsin, on TV. Lots of people at the State house, many more coming in from out of state. The Union head of a teachers union basically said the teachers shouldn’t take the hit, but the wealthy should pay more taxes. There have been some threats to elected officials, but for the most part it’s loud but peaceful. The Wis. Senate will vote on it today, and will likely pass.

  30. Buck

    So BF, are you coming down against an employee’s right to peacefully protest an employer’s decision which adversely affects them?

    They can do what ever they wish.

    If they do not do their job, they will be fired.

    If an employer decides to change the terms of one’s employment, the employee is left without any options?

    You sell apples. You sell apples for $2. The customer demands that he will not buy for any more than $1.50.

    What options do you – as the supplier – have?

    When you have resolved this, substitute “employee” for “supplier” and “employer” for “customer” and see what comes of it….

    No right for employees to band together and demand a change?

    A bunch of apple sellers get together and demand that none of them will sell an apple below $2.

    As a customer, what are you r choices?

    When you have resolved this, substitute “employee” for “supplier” and “employer” for “customer” and see what comes of it….

    • Buck the Wala says:

      “They can do what ever they wish. If they do not do their job, they will be fired.”

      I’ve never proposed otherwise. But do you believe they should be fired for using a contractually granted day off to protest their employers actions?

      For your example, if enough customers band together and demand the supplier sell apples for $1.50, the supplier will either say no and refuse to sell, or agree to sell apples for $1.50. But the customers have every right to band together and ‘demand’ the apples be sold at a lower price.

    • The problem, Flag, is that they accepted the contract under the terms offered. Those terms, to the best of my knowledge, do not specify a requirement that employees be sick when taking a “sick day.” As such, the employer is changing the terms of the agreement.

      It’s not about a right to protest or not protest, or about who have leverage and bargaining power of whom. They have agreed upon terms of employment and the employees are following those terms. The employer should do a better job writing their contracts next time – I suggest they hire Buck, he would not make such a rookie mistake.

      • I can’t believe you just said that the employee has the right to “go around” their contractual agreement. I guess that means it’s okay to cheat on overtime and all the other crap that goes on. Because it’s almost impossible to write anything without loopholes.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Its not ‘going around’ their contractual obligations – the question is what are the contractual obligations in regards to the use of a ‘sick’ or ‘personal’ day.

          • You can discuss any question you want too. The point is the same-the intent is to use a contractual right to a day off to break their contractual agreement, in other words to “go around” the contract. To “go around” the true intent. To take advantage of a right that was given to them in hopes of being fair-and they are going to use it to intentionally do the opposite of what the right was intended to do. If one continues to take advantage-at some point the other side is going to try to take the contractual rights away. Any thoughts of fair went out the window along time ago.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Not to mention the abrupt change in contractual terms regarding pay and benefits…

        But again, they shouldn’t complain – at least they have a job!

    • Buck

      I’ve never proposed otherwise. But do you believe they should be fired for using a contractually granted day off to protest their employers actions?

      I refer back to “sick” days vs. “personal” days.

      If you use a “sick” day as a “personal” day, you are lying. That is a breach of contract. If it was up to me, you will be fired.

      For your example, if enough customers band together and demand the supplier sell apples for $1.50, the supplier will either say no and refuse to sell, or agree to sell apples for $1.50. But the customers have every right to band together and ‘demand’ the apples be sold at a lower price.

      They sure can…. and good luck!

      The problem, Flag, is that they accepted the contract under the terms offered. Those terms, to the best of my knowledge, do not specify a requirement that employees be sick when taking a “sick day.” As such, the employer is changing the terms of the agreement.

      It makes no sense to specifically differentiate two conditions if the conditions are the same.

      Yet, it was differentiated, therefore they are not the same.

      “Sick” is when you are sick and a “personal” day is not a “sick” day.

      The employer should do a better job writing their contracts next time – I suggest they hire Buck, he would not make such a rookie mistake.

      Alas, that is exactly the problem.

      Because you wish to abuse what is to normal people a straight forward circumstance, you will increase the complexity of employment to accommodate the ignorant who seem to have trouble understanding the difference between being sick and being lazy.

      The consequence: an increase in UNemployment.

  31. LOI, what is going on down there? Birds, fish and now a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. Related?

    Ark. cities feel unexplained surge in earthquakes

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Jim Sutterfield was briefly puzzled by a thumping sound that seemed to slam the back of his office chair. But when the small-town Arkansas fire chief turned and saw no one was around, he quickly realized it was just an earthquake — again.

    “That was only my second time to feel one, but others here have felt them for three or four months now,” Greenbrier chief Jim Sutterfield said after feeling the latest tremor on Wednesday. “Now when it happens, people say, ‘Well, there’s another one.'”

    Several small earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.8 to 3.8 have rattled the north-central Arkansas cities of Greenbrier and Guy this week, and the cause is unknown.

  32. Buck, down here.

    From the Madison Teachers Inc., the union for teachers in Madison WI, collective bargaining master agreement for 2009-2011: ( starting at page 98 of the pdf. Personal time off follows the sick time. They are separate time banks it seems from their contract.

    “The following absences will be without loss of salary provided an adequate balance exists in the
    teacher’s personal sick leave account.
    a. Personal illness.
    b. Illness in the immediate family requiring the presence of the teacher; immediate family
    interpretation of this subsection shall be limited to the following relatives of the employee,
    the employee’s spouse or designated family partner:
    l) Husband or Wife (including designated family partner)
    2) Child (including foster, step and grandchild)
    3) Son-in-law or Daughter-in-law residing in the employee’s household
    4) Father, Mother or stepparent residing in the employee’s household
    c. Serious health condition in the immediate family requiring the presence of the teacher;
    immediate family interpretation of this subsection shall be limited to the following relatives
    of the employee, the employee’s spouse or designated family partner:
    1) Son-in-law or Daughter-in-law
    2) Father, Mother or stepparent
    3) Brother or Sister
    4) Brother-in-law or Sister-in-law
    5) Grandmother or Grandfather
    d. Serious Health Condition as used in Section VI-A-3-c means a disabling physical or mental
    illness, injury, impairment or condition involving any of the following:
    1) Inpatient care in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice.
    2) Outpatient care that requires continuing treatment or supervision by a health care

    And it continues on………….enjoy the reading. 🙂

    • The personal leave provisions of their contract:

      6. Personal leave
      Five (5) personal leave days shall be permissible as follows:
      a. Teaching personnel will be permitted to be absent from school responsibilities for any
      purpose without pay. Such absence will be in at least one-half (1/2) day increments and
      shall be for a reason which necessarily cannot be met outside the school day.
      The teacher will be expected to notify the school principal at least three (3) working days
      prior to such absence. Personal leave will not be granted during the first or last two (2)
      weeks of any semester except under extenuating circumstances which may be approved by
      the Superintendent.
      b. Teaching personnel will be permitted to be absent for two (2) days per year from school
      responsibilities for certain purposes without loss of compensation. The purposes will be
      defined basically as legal reasons, i.e., adoption proceedings, settlement of wills, certain
      court actions, real estate closings. The teacher will be expected to notify the school
      principal at least three (3) working days prior to such absence. The teacher will be
      expected to be absent only as long as necessary and the school principal will provide class
      covering as determined by the principal.
      c. Personal Leave Days Earned: Teaching personnel will be permitted to be absent for one
      (1) day (out of the five (5) days listed in VI-A-6) per year from the school responsibilities
      without loss of compensation, provided such days are available in their Personal Sick
      Leave Account. The personal leave day when used shall be deducted from the PSLA
      account of the employee.
      Personal Leave Notification: Requests for personal leave should be made five (5) working
      days in advance of taking such leave, except in the case of an emergency.
      Personal Leave Day Restrictions: Personal leave days shall not be used to extend a
      holiday, vacation, teacher convention, or school recess period. However, the principal
      and/or his/her designee may grant an employee a personal leave day before or after a
      holiday, vacation, teacher convention or school recess period in an emergency situation,
      such as cancellation of a return flight due to weather or other situations beyond the
      employee’s control. The personal leave day will not be granted the first or last week of a
      semester or after April 23 without the approval of the Superintendent.
      Total Number of Employees on Personal Leave:
      Elementary Schools: No more than two (2) employees per building may take personal
      leave on any given day when school is in session, unless the principal and/or his/her
      designee grants approval to exceed the two (2) employee limit.
      Middle Schools: No more than three (3) employees per building may take personal leave
      on any given day when school is in session, unless the principal and/or his/her designee
      grants approval to exceed the three (3) employee limit.
      High Schools: No more than four (4) employees per building may take personal leave on
      any given day when school is in session, unless the principal and/or his/her designee grants
      approval to exceed the four (4) employee limit.

  33. That hopefully will help you make the call now?

    • It seems after further reading that sick leave and personal leave are maintained in one account bank – however there are specific rules and requirements listed for the use of sick time versus personal time.

    • We rest our case! 🙂 Good job PS!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      And do you know whether the teachers have been taking ‘sick’ or ‘personal’ days?

      All Mathius and I have been asking for is what does the contract say. Now we know and yes, there should be some reprecussions (again, according to what the contract provides for) for inappropriately taking a sick day.

      • Buck

        …do we know…?

        No – in my particular experience, it is an honor system made between responsible adults.

        Demonstrate to me that you are an irresponsible moron, I’ll find cause to fire you – I cannot afford irresponsible morons…period.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Kind of a strange answer to a simple question — any reports out there as to whether the teachers are taking a ‘sick’ day?

          I believe they are, but haven’t come across anything specific.

      • And that’s all I have been saying – if they used a day, either a sick or personal – outside the requirements of their contract then they are subject to disciplinary action as defined in the contract.

        You seemed like you (and Mathius too for a while) just wanted to excuse them from any responsibility for the possible misuse of their sick or personal time because they were protesting the evil anti-union move by the Governor..

        • Not at all. I assumed that, without further evidence, the rules were the same for them as they are for Emilius. Therefore, it didn’t appear to be an abuse. Given this contract (and again, assume that they did in fact call in sick as opposed to personal), then they are in violation of the terms of their agreement. Period.

      • No. Your original argument was to be free to protest using sick days. Since that didn’t work you tried another angle which also didn’t work.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Actually no – my original argument was that the contract governs. If they are using so-called ‘sick’ days but there is no corresponding requirement to be sick, then there is no problem.

          My only question was to whether or not there is a distinction made (and corresponding requirements for the use of) sick vs. personal days.

          • Buck

            If they are using so-called ‘sick’ days but there is no corresponding requirement to be sick, then there is no problem.

            But that makes you an adolescent and not an adult.

            If you cannot discern a difference between being sick vs. a personal day, you are too immature to be responsible in any job that I would ever consider offering.

            But since we are talking about government employees, ……

            • Buck the Wala says:

              What about being sick of work and in need of a mental health day?

              Protesting against your employer does wonders for your mental health.

            • Flag, re-read my posts. It’s not about maturity. As used in NY contracts, a sick day is a personal day, so there’s no violation of the spirit of the contract in using them interchangeably. If that was the case there, then there, likewise, would be no violation (official or otherwise).

              Since there is a restriction on their days, they are in violation. Simple.

              • Mathius,

                For me it is very easy.

                I get paid when I work.

                I do not get paid when I do not work.

                I get to choose when or not I wish to work.

              • Right. That’s for you. Other people have contracts which specify that they may take days off under specified conditions.

                Should they meet those conditions, they have adhered to their contract. Otherwise they are in violation.

    • OK, I agree with you.

      It looks like the penalty is loss of pay for that day.

      Therefore, they should all have one day deducted from their salary.

      Case closed.

      • Buck the Wala says:


        Though probably more than one day at this point…

      • Almost closed.

        Besides what Buck just wrote, I’ll add that should any makeup day need to be added to the end of the school year as a result of this improper usage then those days are unpaid days for those teachers in violation of their contract.

        • I should add – IF the contract would not be violated in doing so.

        • If it says that, sure.

          If it says they should be flogged, sure.

          Whatever it says. They signed it, that’s how the game is played.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Only if the contract allows for such.

          You don’t get to penalize the teachers above and beyond what the contract provides, just because you disagree with their actions.

          • I added that amendment above.

            I do agree that neither side gets to violate the contract as they see fit.

            If either side got to why bother having a contract, right?

        • gmanfortruth says:

          PS, It’s not a contract issue, if they work, they must be paid their agreed to wages under the Federal Wage and Hour Laws.

  34. Asking for legal advice for a friend.

    He lives in a mobile home that is in the name of a family member. It is on his property. He has made all financial payments for over five years. Family members now fighting.
    Can the family member simply default or seize the trailer?

    And no, it’s not for me, Casa de Illusion shown below is paid for…

    • LOI,

      He who owns the property determines its use.
      He who can demonstrate ownership owns the property.
      Demonstration of ownership: receipt of purchase or ‘deed’

      Making payments is not necessarily sufficient – making payments can be called “renting” and does NOT infer ownership whatsoever.

      If there is documentation to the arrangement, the judge will consider it. If there is no documentation other than the receipt of purchase or deed, the documented owner of the trailer wins.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      To add, the owner wouldn’t be able to simply seize the trailer and kick him out. Assuming there is a rental relationship found, state law generally gives some notice requirement for eviction.

      At the end of the day state law will govern. There could be some facts that, even in the absence of a receipt or deed, your friend could be found to be the owner. You should have him consult with a local real estate attorney.

  35. gmanfortruth says:

    The one thing that seems to have been missed in this whole Wisconsin issue. In November, the voters said fix the budget. They are fixing the budget, at the expense of government employees, which is were it should come from. The silent majority spoke, and spoke loudly.

    • Well, now here’s where I get into trouble from a different direction.

      The actions by the Governor and state legislature to arbitrarily change the existing contract and not meet the agreed upon and ratified provisions of said contract is wrong!

      Any changes to the contract – unless provided for in the active contract – must wait for the renegotiation.

      The WI Gov, as well as any other Governor/state legislature that tries to do otherwise will likely end up in the courts and I personally believe they will lose.

      The employees covered by these contracts have the right to receive the agreed upon compensations for their work.

      Is this where i duck? 😉

      • You don’t have to duck from me-I think this is a complicated issue-but bottom line it is the employer, who has to pay the bills and keep things going that should make the final decision on what he will pay or do. The employee has the right to accept or leave. When we start talking about government employee’s the decisions aren’t being based on a balance between economics and fairness. Just political BS.

        • But the employer agreed to the contract, should – regardless of how painful it is – must live up to that contract.

          This may not be the greatest comparison, but it would be like the bank deciding to double your monthly mortgage payment regardless of the terms and conditions of the mortgage whether you like it or not.

          It sucks for the employers – and in this case the taxpayers – but this isn’t the fault of the employees who accepted the contract just like the employer accepted it.

          • Pardon both my poor typing and sentence structures today – I seem to have slow fingers unable to keep up with my thoughts.

            My apologies.

          • I don’t disagree with that assessment in theory-but life simply isn’t that ordered. If an employer goes bankrupt-you have very limited remedies-you are basically out of luck. If a state goes broke-people need to be reasonable or other people are going to be layed off. People always scream for fair-well good luck-life ain’t fair. I also have no idea how often they renegotiate- but I believe they are talking about changing things after this contract runs out. Either way-neither side is necessarily being fair. What is fair? The labor unions can shut down the schools and demand that which the states can’t pay-at some point the State’s being the employer have to make the decision on what they can economically do and then the employee’s have to decide to take it or not.

            • I agree that once the contract is up then all’s fair in working out any new contract or changing the terms of employment.

              Until then though the governments must live up to the obligations they agreed to.

              • Yes, people, even governments should live upto their agreements. But that simply isn’t always possible. And the people effected need to face the reality that they may well lose their jobs in order to do so. To complain about lay offs at the same time you scream for more and more and more, just won’t work. I figure if we keep going the way we have been-we are gonna have to pick which responsibility we need to put first. Having the money to pay teachers to teach our kids or to just pay the teachers that have retired. Is the governor overstepping -maybe-but maybe it’s necessary. And maybe it just isn’t possible to have public unions, when every decision is based on the vote and which side is in office instead of what is reasonable.

    • Buck the Wala says:
      • Good ole Frances Pivens’ organization. Nows there an unbiased source.

        Dictator governor? Where’s the civility?

      • From the article, by Russ Feingold:

        “Former US Senator Russ Feingold decried the move, declaring that “Governor Walker’s request to the State Legislature to eliminate nearly all of the collective-bargaining rights for thousands of Wisconsin workers is big government at its worst. No private employer can do what the governor proposes, nor should it. For decades, Wisconsin has protected the rights of workers to collectively bargain with their employer on wages, benefits, workplace rules, and many other aspects of their employment. The governor is wrong to suggest that public workers are responsible for the state’s budget woes, and he is wrong to use that bogus excuse to strip them of rights that millions of other American workers have.””

        Now if that isn’t your stereotypical PROGRESSIVE thinking.
        It is now Big Govt for the Govt to eliminate collective bargaining with ITSELF.

        Big Govt granted the privilege but now Big Govt can not take it away. And to hammer the point we will now declare privileges granted by Big Govt to be Rights.

        What utter irrational blather.

        Public employee unions are immoral. Period. They rely on the “monopoly on the use of force” to extract blood from the tax payers, who in turn have NO SAY in the contract.

        • Okay Buck I read the article – and will comment:

          1. As JAC pointed out, what dictator? The Governor can only propose the legislation, it is up to the legislature to enact it or not. Would you agree with me if I said Obama was a dictator in reference to the PPACA?

          2. Having not had the opportunity to read any proposed legislation I wonder if it bans governments from collective bargaining or only allows governments to refuse to use/allow collective bargaining with employee groups?

          3. While it is regularly called a “right,” it really isn’t. It’s more of a privilege that an employer has agreed to use. Why should there be an never-ending “right” for employee/employee group to have collective bargaining over their employment?

          4. Feingold has a lot of room to talk. It seemed fine with him that the PPACA took away rights from individuals in mandating health insurance coverage (when that provision kicks in), yet the State can’t mandate a prohibition (if that’s the actual intention) of collective bargaining? Seems like the word hypocrisy fits here. And should you want to use the “greater good” argument – prove that what is being proposed wouldn’t be a “greater good” for the people and taxpayers of the state?

          5. Feingold said, “is wrong to use that bogus excuse to strip them of rights that millions of other American workers have.” So? There are just as many millions of workers who labor every day that have no “rights” to collective bargaining.

          6. “State Representative Mark Pocan, a Madison Democrat, argues that: “Wisconsin is hardly ‘open for business’ if businesses can’t attract employees because of a bad employee climate in our state.” Really? How does this create a bad business climate for private businesses? Any law of this nature does not affect how private business may or may not negotiate employee-employer contracts. This seems nothing more than a straw man argument.

          Now, do I win a “Buck the Wala” point or two for discussing the substance of the article? 🙂

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Yes, I give you a Buck the Wala point for actually addressing the article. Not much time at the moment to respond, but briefly put:

            1) Yes, describing the governor as a dictator is unnecessary; it has nothing to do with the substance or the issues.

            2) Good question and unclear as to the answer. It seems that it bans collective bargaining in all cases except for wages. I’d be very curious to know the answer to that question though.

            As for your comments on Feingold and hypocrisy – there is a big difference between ending collective bargaining and imposing a mandate to purchase health insurance. Its apples and oranges. Ending collective bargaining (or severely restricting its use) is an affront to workers. I get that there is a difference between workers in the private sector and workers in the public sector, but at the end of the day, workers should have the ability and the right to band together. The fact that it is the taxpayers footing the bill for public workers is really besides the point – the government is the employer in this case and there is a clear employer-employee relationship. The fact that there are many non-union workers out there is also besides the point – I would support their right to form a union as well if they so chose.

            6) Pocan’s argument absent any facts is a straw man argument and pretty far removed. However, as I said, curtailing collective bargaining, even if only in the public sector, is an affront to workers. It could, down the road, have an adverse affect on the private sector as well as families with one public worker leave the state. But again, this is all conjecture without any evidence or facts to demonstrate this is happening.

            • Buck: “workers should have the ability and the right to band together…”

              PS: Yes, I agree they do – but that doesn’t require that the employer recognize that group, or negotiate with that group.

              Buck: “The fact that there are many non-union workers out there is also besides the point – I would support their right to form a union as well if they so chose. ”

              PS: Why? While you support their right to unionize, I support an employers right to not deal with unions or limit what they’re willing to have covered in any collective bargaining.

              Buck: “However, as I said, curtailing collective bargaining, even if only in the public sector, is an affront to workers.”

              PS: Okay, it’s an affront. So he’s pissing off the union workers. I never commented on the intelligence of his decisions or proposals. His choice to do so is not a fatal flaw that will destroy unions or collective bargaining – based on the information known to me at this stage.

              Buck: “It could, down the road, have an adverse affect on the private sector as well as families with one public worker leave the state.”

              PS: The old “if worms had machine guns birds wouldn’t screw with them” argument (which you acknowledge with the sentence after that one I quoted – I’m just agreeing).

  36. gmanfortruth says:

    Ya’ll are way too serious today 🙂

    BLESS the SOUTH!!!!!

    The owner of a golf course was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, ‘You graduated from the University of Tennessee and I need some help. If I were to give you $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?’ The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, ‘Everything but my earrings, Sugar.’

    A group of Alabama friends went deer hunting and paired off in two’s for the day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight of an eight-point buck. ‘Where’s Henry?’ the others asked. ‘Henry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail,’ the successful hunter replied. ‘You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?’ they inquired. ‘A tough call,’ nodded the hunter. ‘But I figured no one is going to steal Henry!’

    The sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his pick-up into the ditch. The sheriff asked, ‘Why are you dumping garbage in the ditch? Don’t you see that sign right over your head’. ‘Yep’, he replied. ‘That’s why I’m dumpin’ it here, ’cause it says ‘Fine For Dumping Garbage’.

    A senior at LSU was overheard saying, ‘When the end of the world comes, I hope to be in Louisiana.’ When asked why, he replied he’d rather be in Louisiana because everything happens in Louisiana 20 years later than in the rest of the civilized world.

    The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, ‘Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!’ Bubba replied, ‘Did you see who it was?’ The young man answered, ‘I couldn’t tell, but I got his license number.’

    A Georgia State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-75. The trooper asked, ‘Got any I.D.?’
    The driver replied, ‘Bout whut?’

    North Carolina
    A man in North Carolina had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it.. Then he got back in the car to wait.

    A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was. The man replied, ‘I have a flat tire.’ The passerby asked, ‘But what’s with the flowers?’ The man responded, ‘When you break down, they tell you to put flares in the front and flares in the back. Hey, it don’t make no sense to me neither.’

    And this from South Carolina
    ‘You can say what you want about the South, but I ain’t never heard of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  37. I for one welcome out new computer overlords

    • Mathius,

      You are too quick to provide your submission to us.

      You do not know our purpose or aim.

      It may not be in your favor.

      • It doesn’t matter. We can’t win. I figure if you turn against us, you’ll start with the troublemakers and save the submissive ones for last.

        D13 and his raptors are probably first on the list, followed by gman and his sniper rifle.

  38. Things that make you shake your head. Just got this auto-email from our school. Guessing since there are no classes today, the office secy is catching up on her work and she’s been meaning to get this out so we know when to keep our kids’ home. Note, she didn’t list: Teacher Insubordination!

    Guidelines for Keeping Children Home from School

    As a parent, you often have to make the decision of whether or not

    to send your child to school if he/she has symptoms of an illness.

    Sometimes it?s hard to know if the symptoms will go away after a

    couple of hours, or progressively get worse throughout the day.

    As a guideline,

    fever (temperature of 100 or greater), vomiting, and diarrhea are rash or a severe sore may also indicate illness and should be

    considered signs of illness and are reasons to keep your child home to prevent

    exposing well children to illness. Other symptoms such as a

    throat (one that did not begin that morning)

    considered when deciding whether your child should attend school.

    According to state law H49.01, any teacher, principal, or nurse serving a school may

    send home for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment, any pupil suspected of having a

    communicable disease. Some examples are: lice, strep throat, and impetigo.

  39. I am beyond, beyond, beyond. Slimeball Dems are in hiding to avoid taking a vote. OM-fricken-G! Holy crap, I cannot even believe the reprehensible behavior that these scums have decided to participate in.

    Senate Dems leaving city to avoid participating in budget vote

    • Right. Because slimeball Republicans never behave like this.

      • RepubsNotBipartisan flu is also extremely contagious among Republicans – though they don’t have “sick” time – not a labor platform they support I guess.


      • gmanfortruth says:

        Texas Democrats Flee to Neighboring State to Avoid Redistricting Vote – 2003-05-15 Washington 15 May 2003

        Seems the Dems have a habit of running like little girls with their hair on fire. Cowards, all of them.

        • Is it cowardice or a stall tactic?

          And, again, is this something you feel is isolated exclusively to Democrats? Are the Red Shirts completely innocent of shenanigans?

          • gmanfortruth says:

            The only incident I can recall was Texas Dems in ’03. I’m sure that had the Repubs done that, you would have posted a link by now. Cowards! Their taking there ball and leaving because they can’t win. Cowards!

          • Is it appropriate for anyone? I don’t get your debating skills, well let’s see, sick or personal? cowardice or stall? have repubs ever done it?

            It is wrong. Period. They work for us, we expect them to show up (teachers and sens/reps).

            • Sure. That’s fine. I’m only objecting to your decision to single out Democrats as if Republicans are saints.

              They all pull this BS. Not just the Blue Shirts.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                They all pull this BS.

                I’d like you to provide proof that the repubs left to avoid a vote at any time in the last 25 years! I’ll put up 100 G fiat notes (G-Notes) that says you can’t prove it!

              • Nothing comes to mind, but I could probably spend all day listing cases where they used filibusters and amendments to stall bills and confirmations from coming up for a vote.

                It’s a difference in tactics, but the same BS.

    • They’re taking “sick” time. The dreaded DemNotVoting flu – very contagious amongst Democrats.


    • Truthseeker says:

      I hope they are not claiming hours they are not working. Fleeing the state is not working.

  40. From the WI Governor’s Webpage ( Click on the “Govenor Walker Introduces Budget Repair”

    Collective bargaining – The bill would make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum. Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until the new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units are required to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues. These changes take effect upon the expiration of existing contracts. Local law enforcement and fire employees, and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from these changes.

    So, all existing contracts are safe under his proposal. The bill doesn’t outlaw collective bargaining, but does place some limitations on it. I fail to see how this is such a grievous destruction – or destruction at all – to unionized workers “rights.”?

    Seems more like they just don’t like the framework being proposed and now are blowing it up into a “big evil government picking on the poor oppressed worker” drama. A lot of boo-hooing really.

    If it becomes a law then the voters can work to change the law later, can’t they?

    Here’s a handkerchief…….

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Any reason why police, fire and state troopers are exempt?

      • Not that I’ve found yet. I’ll keep looking as I curious about that myself.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          All I’ve heard is that those are the unions that supported the Governor’s election…unsure if that’s true or not.

          If true I would have a hard time believing that that support didn’t play a role in this decision.

      • Walker has stated these were exempt for public safety reasons. There are several unions involved with this group of people – some backed Walker; others did not.

        • Ok, now to be the devil’s advocate:

          How do these changes he is proposing create a potential public safety concern that would require exempting police, fire and state troopers from the proposed law?

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Police and troopers have GUNS! Firefighters have very strong water hoses! Would you want to piss them off if you were Governor? 😆

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Easy – they don’t.

          • If they leave their jobs to come to Madison to protest, like they are doing. Clearly, these protests were expected and I guess he was trying to keep them happy!

            Was payback part of it? Perhaps. But again, some of these backed him and others did not, so it’s not quite as simple as that.

  41. Okay, I’m watching Fox News atm and listening to the complaints that in the killing of the one ICE agent and the wounding of the other that the agents weren’t armed because of agreements with Mexico that US agents/police etc not be armed in their country.

    Congressman McCall said that shouldn’t be the way it is and that agents should be armed.

    Here’s my thinking:

    1. Would the US or our citizenry want to allow Mexican law enforcement officers to be armed on United States territory? I doubt we would and then why shouldn’t Mexico have the same right to refuse to allow them to be armed?

    2. Why should we have agents running around in Mexico anyway? It’s Mexico, not the US. It’s the responsibility of Mexico to deal with their problems. The agents knew – or should have known – of the risks of their assignment.

    We are not a nation with any right to tell another nation what is and isn’t to be allowed within their country. I’m sorry the agents were killed, but lets get a handle on reality Fox.

    We now return you to your regularly editorialized news.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Very interesting…

      Agree on point 1, disagree on point 2. I have no problem with US agents being on the Mexican side of the border as part of their assignments (so long as Mexico authorizes this action). However, as you argue, if Mexico does not want US agents being armed while in Mexico, so be it.

    • #1.
      I don’t see the issue with Mexican agents being armed while in the US on official duty and with the permission of the US government.

      I’m not sure I want them riding around in the back of a pickup mounted with a machine gun while in the US though.. so maybe there’s something to this..

      Either way, reciprocity should be the rule

      If Mexico can’t or won’t handle it, and they’re willing to let us cross the border to do the job, I see no problem operating in our neighbor’s back yard.

      • Two unarmed agents successfully handling the job in a foreign nation in place of the local police, national police and military…..

        That even stands a chance of being successful how?

        If it’s so terrible a problem we should declare it a terrorist threat to our nation then we can invade and take over to fix any problems and solidify our national security, no? (/sarcasm off)

  42. gmanfortruth says:

    A new article if interested. Note: It is not about the left/right political ideaolgy. It’s about ALL Americans.

  43. How many of you are in “right to work” states?

  44. Note:
    Silver is smashing through $31 on its way to $32

    Hope Texaschem bought silver yesterday….

    • Forget silver. What do you think about oil? Specifically, a domestic oil ETF?

      • Mathius,

        Re; Oil

        I will not tell you what to do.

        I will tell you what I see.

        I see the supply of oil becoming constrained. Unrest in the Middle East is inevitable and will increase. Wars will continue unabated in the region. China is pre-buying massive volumes from Iran without any competition from the US (due to as usual stupid government law).

        Indigenous supply is large, but contained by government writ. This will not change quickly.

        Regional supply is huge, but risky (Venezuela) or expensive (Canadian Oil Sands).

        • Not asking you to tell me what to do. I want you opinion: buy / short / don’t know?

          • Mathius,

            Yes, you are.

            I gave you the conditions as I see them.
            The rest is up to you.

            Buy if you think the price of oil will go up in the future.

            Sell if you think the price of oil will go down in the future.

            Stay away if you are unsure and have no real money to risk.

  45. Mathius Says:
    February 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    “Sure. That’s fine. I’m only objecting to your decision to single out Democrats as if Republicans are saints.

    They all pull this BS. Not just the Blue Shirts.”

    I agree Matt. I have been listening to the budget debate with Obama and the Repugs both pushing for about the same amount of spending cuts. Both seem to attack the other for not cutting enough, which is a lie from both sides.
    They are both more worried about their voter base than the budget or deficits.

    from John Lott
    The NY Times compares Obama’s 10 year reduction in spending to just one year of that change by Republicans
    From the New York Times:

    President Obama, who is proposing his third annual budget on Monday, will say that it can reduce projected deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, enough to stabilize the nation’s fiscal health and buy time to address its longer-term problems, according to a senior administration official. . . .

    The administration readily concedes, even boasts, that the president will not win any race to outcut Republicans. In the House, Republicans are trying to slash up to $100 billion in the current fiscal year alone before they begin writing their own proposed budget for 2012 and beyond. But the administration contends that its plan would leave the country in better overall fiscal health than the path Republicans envision. . . .

    Half way through the article they finally note:

    House Republicans will begin work on a 2012 budget after they finish trying to shrink current spending. But their proposed $100 billion cut for this fiscal year, already four months old, would translate over a decade into more than $1 trillion in deficit reductions, budget analysts say. . . .

    • One little difference in how the Repugs balance a budget and the White House.

      Read more:

      If you borrow money to pay off the interest on debt, are you adding to the debt? The White House says no. ABC’s Jake Tapper – and the rest of us – are a bit confused by that logic. Keep in mind while watching the video below the break that under the budget the president submitted to Congress on Monday, interest payments by 2021 will exceed Social Security outlays.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Per the article: “But the administration contends that its plan would leave the country in better overall fiscal health than the path Republicans envision. ”

      My takeaway – forgetting that both the GOP and Dem plan calls for about the same amount of cuts, there could be a difference in those cuts’ impact on ‘overall fiscal health’. I don’t know enough about either to conclude that one would be better than the other, but that is a fair distinction to make.

      • “But the administration(which left out interest payments in their budget) contends that its plan would leave the country in better overall fiscal health than the path Republicans envision. ”

        Buck, I think if you look at the fiscal solvency of Amtrack and use it as a base for Obama’s high speed rail project. The 57 billion initial spending will be enough to sink his future plans on solvency. What would Amtrack times 100 cost per year for the next 20 years?

        Both parties are playing the blame game and trying to frame the debate to their advantage.

        Read more:

        Senate Democrats say they want a short-term extension of current spending levels. House Republicans are demanding cuts from any funding bill.

        “I am not going to move any kind of short-term CR at current levels,” Boehner told reporters Thursday morning.

        Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held his ground, saying that current spending levels for a short-term CR is where the Senate will ”start and stop.”

        Fingers are pointing in all directions as to who will be blamed for a government shutdown, which will happen on March 4 unless the two sides come to an agreement.

        “Shutting down the government would be on [Boehner’s] head and that would be a huge mistake,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat.

        “The Speaker says we must cut spending,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel countered. “Why are Senate Majority Leader Reid and Sen. Schumer willing to shut down the government to avoid cutting spending?”

      • Mr. President, do you think we’re stupid?
        Robert Santoski, American Thinker

        The length to which this administration will go to stretch the truth is mind-boggling. Here we have the President of the United States standing before the world and claiming that his latest budget balances in 2015. He didn’t even flinch when he said it.

        Yet his own budget document shows clearly on page 160 that the deficit in that year is $669 billion with a ‘b’. When questioned on this obvious inconsistency, Obama said, in effect, that his calculus does not include interest payments. This was later confirmed by his budget director who used the term ‘Primary Budget’ to describe this cool new way of viewing the world.

        Who knew that we didn’t have to count interest in our budgets? This is good news for all of us who carry balances on our credit cards or have mortgages. Interest payments don’t count. Sweet! I don’t think the banks will be too happy about this, or the Chinese in the case of our national debt, but if it’s good enough for the President, it’s good enough for me. It would be helpful if Mr. Obama would just provide us with a note we can give to our bankers stating that interest doesn’t matter, so there’s no confusion when we refuse to make our monthly payments.

        Really, Mr. President, do you think we’re stupid?

  46. Bottom Line says:

    Does anyone remember our conversation after the elections?

    I told ya so, Kathy. 😉

    ~ 44 ‘Tea Party Caucus’ Members voted to renew Patriot Act ~

    • :/

      (That’s my not-at-all-surprised-face.)

    • Help me remember…..

      Did I connect the Tea Party with the Patriot Act?

      • Bottom Line says:


        No, myself and flag were arguing with you that voting is pointless. I was saying that nothing is going to change with the newly elected republicans and tea party candidates.

        I specifically remember telling you that there was a long list of “I told you so’s” coming.

        So, …When I saw the above article I just couldn’t resist.

        …just messin’ with ya a little, that’s all.


  47. Stu Blog: Politifail. Factchecking Politifact’s claims about the Muslim Brotherhood and Glenn Beck

    Thursday, Feb 17, 2011 at 11:07 AM EST

    Politifact, the fact-checking arm of the St. Petersburg Times, stamped a big fat FALSE on a claim Glenn made about Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood last week. But were they correct? We here at the Stu Blog rate their claim an UTTERFAIL.

    Here is the claim the Politifact decided to (poorly) fact-check:

    “We told you this week how if (President Hosni) Mubarak does step down, however, the Muslim Brotherhood would be the most likely group to seize power. They’ve openly stated they want to declare war on Israel and they would end the peace agreement with Israel and they would work towards instituting something we told you about, a caliphate.”

    That’s a lot to unpack. We decided to check Beck’s claim that the Brotherhood has “openly stated they want to declare war on Israel,” because so much of the debate in the United States revolves around the Muslim Brotherhood’s’ intentions toward the main U.S. ally in the region.

    Fair enough. They do a little homework and come up with this:

    Sure enough, three days earlier he informed viewers that “a top official in the Muslim Brotherhood has just said that … ‘The people should be prepared for war against Israel.’”

    Who was that top official? Beck’s website pointed to a Feb. 1, 2011, item in the Jerusalem Post that had a “leading member” of the Brotherhood, Muhammad Ghannem, declaring that “the people should be prepared for war against Israel.”

    Since they’re not saying the quote was inaccurate, or that it came from a source outside the Muslim Brotherhood, you might assume that they would rate it as “true.” But, Glenn Beck doesn’t get that benefit of the doubt.

    Also, notice that they’re not actually fact-checking Glenn. They aren’t saying that he misquoted the source of the story, the Jerusalem Post. If anything, this should theoretically be a fact-check of the Jerusalem Post. If somehow the Jerusalem Post was wrong, it’s hard to blame Glenn for reporting their error.*

    So, what mental gymnastics are they using to get to a FALSE rating? They go, without irony, to quite possibly the least trustworthy source imaginable when dealing with Glenn Beck: The Woodrow Wilson Center. I’m not kidding.

    “I have never heard of [Muhammad Ghannem],” said Dr. Jason Brownlee, a scholar with the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. “It’s a big organization, and there may be people who say things like that, but that doesn’t mean it’s policy. It doesn’t jibe with my experience visiting Egypt and doing research on the Muslim Brotherhood for over a decade.”

    So, the FALSE rating comes from Glenn accurately quoting a newspaper, accurately quoting a Muslim Brotherhood member, who apparently doesn’t rise high enough on the Muslim Brotherhood popularity list for the Woodrow Wilson Center. What a devastating case.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Seems the Liberal media as a whole have a problem telling the truth. The Liberal/Progressive agenda can’t succeed on it’s own merit, it must constantly lie and decieve. Befuddles me how people can follow an agenda such as this.

  48. February 17, 2011
    CBS News takes NOAA Fisheries Management to the woodshed
    Mike Johnson
    Wow! What a nice job by CBS News, Armen Keteyian, and Katie Couric.

    On 16 February, CBS News devoted some four minutes to an investigative piece into the scandal that should have rocked NOAA and the Obama administration last fall. Our government is driving the fishing industry into oblivion with “unduly complicated” regulations and with federal agents who are “overzealous” and prone to “abusive conduct.”

    The piece opened with Bill Lee, a fisherman from Rockport, MA, who has been forced out of business by the fines levied by NOAA. Mr. Lee is articulate and the photogenic background of Motif No. 1 is emblematic of New England. CBS got the sound bite but they are constrained by time. A more in depth coverage of Mr. Lee’s ordeal is given in Richard Gaines’ article in the Gloucester Times.

    Mr. Keteyian next spoke to Richard Burgess, another fisherman. Mr. Burgess told of being fined $27,000 for a paperwork error and being told that if he contested the fine, it could go up to $125,000 or more. You can view Mr. Burgess’ testimony to Congress on that incident and others at the link. Mr. Burgess said on camera to CBS, “[We are] hardworking people and we’ve been treated as common criminals.” Ouch!

    The outrages were investigated by the Department of Congress Inspector General (IG), who confirmed the fishermen’s complaints. See my American Thinker essay on “NOAA’s Law Enforcement Behaving Badly.” CBS addressed the NOAA Law Enforcement “Shredding Party” where the director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement shredded some 70-80% of his documents before the IG ever got to see them.

    The only NOAA representative on the piece was Eric Schwaab, the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, not the janitor but not the boss. Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the boss of NOAA and a confirmed environmental zealot, did not appear; why not? Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Dr. Lubchenco’s titular boss, did not appear; why not?

    CBS showed a clip of Senator Grassley, who said, “I want to make sure that heads roll … because in a bureaucracy, if heads don’t roll, you don’t change behavior.”

    Nicely said, Senator, but no heads have rolled and apparently none will. Nobody has been punished at all. There will be no change in behavior. Dr. Lubchenco and her minions are looking forward, not backwards; bureaucratic doublespeak for doing nothing.

    Mr. Keteyian concludes with a nice shot of the Scotia Boat Too, Mr. Burgess’ boat, pulling in to the pier. The voice-over says, “Now a judge [sic, should be Special Master] is reviewing at least 31 cases of fishermen caught up in the government’s net, to see if some of the fines should be returned.”

    Sounds good to me, Armen. Unfortunately, since you put this piece in the can, the Secretary of Commerce has reneged on his pledge to review previous fines and has severely limited the Special Master’s scope of remedies.

    Congratulations, CBS. You are the first national outlet to bring this issue before the American people. A strong, hard-hitting piece. The government of the United States, that is to say the American people, you and I, are driving our friends and neighbors out of business by raw power and strong arm tactics. It needs to be stopped. We need the help of the media. This essay augments your excellent work and shows that if you were less constrained by time, you could have gone deeper.

    The fishermen, their families, the related dockside businesses, and the American people thank you.

  49. Bottom Line says:

    Another “don’t taze me, bro” type moment.

    Only this time, it was ex-CIA agent turned political activist Ray McGovern saying “This is America?”…and instead of being tazed, he was taken outside and roughed up.

    • They were worried a camera would pan over and show him with his back turned to her in silent protest and how it would negatively impact Clintons image.Instead they made it much, much worse.I hope this video goes viral!

  50. Buck the Wala says:
    • Buck, Mathius and anyone else who cares to answer:

      What are your thoughts/opinions on what the WI Dems are doing in preventing legislative action on this bill by purposely staying away from the state capitol?

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Support them 110%

        Gotta run to pick my car up from the shop….have a good night!

        • Would you support Republicans 110% if they were taking the same kind of action over some legislation?

          • Buck the Wala says:

            That would depend on what principle they are standing for.

            Though I would support their right to use those tactics available, but that wouldn’t stop me from calling them obstructionist hypocrits.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Their acting like a bunch of three year olds who aren’t getting their way. Fu@^!ng pathetic little spoiled brats! What else should be expected of Democrats. They got their asses kicked in November and now all they can do is run away and pout. Disgusting! 👿

        • Wisconsin requires a quorum of 20. There are 19 Republicans and 14 Dems. The Republicans are trying to push through this abysmal legislation aimed at nothing more than breaking unions, and only those unions that do not vote Republican! They hide behind the fabricated excuse of a broke state, ignoring the fact that it was this Governor and the Republicans that created this state of affairs.

          What else are they supposed to do? Sit back and allow a tyranny of the majority? Its about time the Dems stood up for their principles!

          • gmanfortruth says:

            LB, Oddly enough, what the Repubs are doing in Wisconsin is a mirror image of the last two years of our Congress. It seems that the Repubs are getting some payback. How do you like your own shitty tasting medicine. Democrats are fucking coward, crybaby, spoiled brats. I’ll leave it at that. 👿

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Morning Gman!

              Sit down, take a deep breath, and enjoy a cup of joe!

              I wouldn’t say this is a mirror image – different situation with different dynamics. And I definitely wouldn’t label the Democrats as ‘coward, crybaby, spoiled brats’ – at least not due to their fleeing the state to avoid a vote.

              What other option do the Dems in WI have? There is clear public support against Walker’s proposal (though I don’t know the specific percentages – any insight into that, anyone?)

              • You guys are so blinded by the MSM and buy into their BS. You mean the loud voices at the capital? Including the bussed in national Organizing for America and DNC and national union members that are there squawking their heads off? That is the voices that represent the state? I think not.

                November we flipped the governor/Senate/Assembly for a reason – we are sick of this BS and we are tired of the financial condition of our state and we expect those we elected to fix the issues. That is what they are doing. That is what they campaigned on and were elected on. I’ve heard this was “such a surprise”. BS.

                This isn’t like what happened with OCare at all. They’ve been given every opportunity for debate, amendments, the whole process and they decide their only recourse is to run and hide?

                Get your information straight. You are way off base here.

          • WTH? The only thing honest with your post is your name!!

            Up until this last election, we’ve had a Dem Gov and both houses were Dems andd you say in 6 weeks the new governor and Repubs created the VERY REAL financial problems? Sorry buddy, you are sorely mistaken.

            What are they supposed to do? Do their damn and show up for work. Ever hear of elections have consequences? Wisconsin spoke in November and we said, no more.

            Running for the border to avoid their job is standing up for their principles? What a pathetic set of principles this group – and apparently you as well – hold.

            • Because Walker’s tax cuts for the wealthy had nothing to do with anything?

              “Walker claims that the state is broke. However, the Wisconsin Fiscal Bureau, a sort of in-state CBO, disagrees with Walker and projects a net positive balance of 56 million for the state by the end of June, 2011 (read their report here, PDF). Further, the Bureau argues that the state would have had an additional $202.8 million to work with over the next two years if not for the tax cuts already passed during Walker’s brief administration.”

              Link to report:

            • I guess the democratic side of the legislature decided to go on strike, too! At least the teachers are actually standing up and protesting-not hiding out in an expensive resort. Wonder if the citizens of Wisconsin will have to pay for their little vacation. It’s the list of demands from their expensive hidy hole that irritates me the most. You got demands-stand up-do your job-if there are legal ways to stop a vote use them-but do not think you have the right to just not show up and hold the whole state hostage. Which is the problem with state employee unions-they can hold ALL of us hostage-not just their employer.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                That sort of goes back to my question — what, if any, methods does the minority party in WI have to stop a vote? Is there a filibuster-type device?

                If so, I agree – use it! Get up there and don’t stop talking until the cows come home! But if there are no other methods, why not go on strike as it were?

              • Buck – Elections!

                HELLO! The people of Wisconsin spoke – not just the noisy, littering group shouting there now – the WHOLE state!

                I am appalled by the lack of moral principles I am continuing to see more and more from the left – and you sadly are right there with them.

                Run away and hide is an appropriate response? Get real Buck.

              • Because we have a system of government -we have set up a system to settle debates and disagreements and the legislature is the body that STANDS for that system. They are supposed to use that system, it is their job. If they don’t want to represent our democracy they don’t need to be our representatives.

              • Actually Buck, all they have shown is that our system of government is totally moot and useless -if all it takes to stop our government from fulfilling it’s duties to represent the people is for part of the legislation to go on strike.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Some would argue union-busting is not serving our citizens nor fulfilling its purpose.

                And Kathy, ‘lack of moral principles’!? Come on now. How is it immoral to stand up for what you believe in? I’ll ask one more time – what remedies does the minority party in WI have?

              • I don’t know-but your only point seems to be stopping the bill-not the democratic process-at some point bills are supposed to be voted on-you know the people voices supposedly being heard. And as far as the Reps. they can voice their personal opinions on their own time-when they are in the legislature they are supposed to be following the rules and casting votes for the people. They in this instance aren’t “we the people” they are the people’s representatives. They don’t have the right to strike over the democratic process.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH, If you were morally opposed to a law that would be passed if voted upon, would you support the minority to do everything in their power to ensure that vote does not take place?

              • NO!!!!! Our democracy is our attempt to live free-it ain’t perfect and we aren’t all that free anymore. But if we spit on the process-we don’t have a process. Now I might personally, as an individual call for a revolution.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                So no issue with calling for a revolution (and completely upending our democracy) due to legislation you do not like, but a huge issue with Democrats acting to stop a piece of legislation they do not like?

              • Buck, Abortion is legal-as immoral as it gets-I didn’t call for a revolution-the point-if anyone has the right to call for a revolution it is the people-the people’s representatives do their jobs. They don’t just decide that a bill shouldn’t be voted on and if they run out of legal rules and regulations to stop a vote-They VOTE.

              • We took it on the chin when O’care passed in the middle of the night. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The WI D’s jumped the state. You ask what can they do? Just like they’re doing in DC. Take the vote today then vote later to repeal it. THAT is how a representative govt works.. Aren’t those YOUR famous words Buck?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Don’t remember every stating those words, or anything to that effect. Care to remind me of my statements on the matter?

                But I keep asking without an answer — what options does the minority have in the WI legislature? It seems this is it – either sit back and let the majority party steamroll everything through, or flee to avoid a quorum. Anything I’m missing?

              • Nope can’t give you an example..but that is what you always say..don’t like the law then change the law.

                I gave you what your option just don’t want to accept it.

                Vote on the bill..accept the results then vote to repeal it if you wish..Just like our side is doing with Ocare. Why should you get any additional options?

              • I understand that you don’t want the bill to pass Buck-but your continued insistance that if there isn’t a legitimate way to stop the bill by using the rules and processes of our democratic system means anything goes-states pretty clearly, that you do not care about democracy. You just want what you want and to heck with the other voices in the legislature. Everyone’s representatives get a vote -according to you-they aren’t allowed a voice unless they agree with you.

    • They are showing them as the true losers they are and they are becoming the laughing stock of not only the state but of the country. I tried calling the resort they are at but the receptionist wouldn’t put me through. Of course, I did ask for a swarmy looking dem politician slinking around, so maybe she just couldn’t tell which one I was calling for.

      Apparently the Tea Party from northern IL was called to the location and brought cameras and are at each of the doors of the resort. Shine a light on them, ridicule them, show them to be the fools that they are.

      Heard that WEAC, the union is now calling on teachers to strike – this will make it easier for the governor to call them back to work or fire them. I’m guessing they will be willing to pay 12% of their health care premiums and 5% of their pensions after that.

    • I say the state should apply job abandonment laws to them. Three consecutive days of missed work and you have abandoned the position.

      • I say the teachers show up and read the constitution until the kids can say it in their sleep. Not teach a single thing and get fired for incompetence, then collect unemployment until the state is dumber than it already is (for voting his whacko into the governorship) and actually in fact (because it wasn’t before this bozo won the election) financially in default.

  51. Bottom Line says:

    TSA Criminals Caught Stealing Cash, Arrested for Assault

  52. Apparently a neighborhood in Modesto, CA finds that they may need armed private security.

    “Residents must first approve the plan to bring in armed security guards and at least 500 residents will have to pay $25 a month for the patrol.”

    Is it possible they have little faith in their government issued police?

  53. Yous guys kill(s) me … oy vey. Union busting, plan and simple … where there was a surplus budget before this lunatic governor gave tax breaks to his supporters … except for 3 unions who supported him (Cops, State Troopers and firefighters–so much for ideology, huh?).

    Workers of the world unite! The only good side to this is it will speed up the revolution. Unions fall like dominoes and finally the masses are forced to put down their text message devices so they can eat … where do they get the food (yous ask)? Revolution.

    It’s a beautiful thing … but also why I went whacky over the bailouts … I said it would set back labor 100 years and it has. A prediction I wish was wrong … and I blame the 2nd rate Republican, President Obama for overseeing it.

    Boy, I hope Anita isn’t angry at me again. Spend yesterday with Doc drinking our unemployed afternoon away … him from the right (he’s fed up with politics too) and me from the left … when it comes to booze, we always cross the aisle.

    • Thanks for the Valentine Charlie but you just lost your brownie points with me (just for today).

      Union busting? Everybody has to share the pain now not just the private sector. Then what about the weasel Ds running for cover! I really don’t know the inside politics of WI but they just voted in an R governor. You trying to tell me that in 4 weeks the governor spent the state broke. I find that hard to believe. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie! You’re going to drive me to start drinking with you and Doc.

      Kathy, take care of my light work for me please.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Anita, Charlie is close to being as right as he ever has been. It is union busting, overdue and plain as day. He is mistaken as far as “were are they gonna get food” if the unions go away. Food prices will beat the loss of unions to that punch be years. I do agree with him, I’m sick of politics (left/right paradigm) as well.

        • So G.. after reading what V just posted do you still say it’s union busting? Where does the money come from to pay for unfunded retirements? It has to come from somewhere. Maybe I’m missing something. Do you get it off the backs of the private sector by way of more taxes? That ought to go over real well! If you want to call it union busting then so be it..don’t promise cookies that you don’t have.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Anita, I agree what the Wisconsin Governor is doing. But it is union busting, and as I said, long overdue, especially in the public sector. Charlie was wrong on the economics. Not a surprise considering how the left wing spins things away from the truth. Relax my dear, I’m still on your side!

            • Relaxing! Geez between the Feds and the States now I think we’re all going to go crazy 😉

            • Oy, vey … the State (IN FACT) was not busted; it was only set back by the amount of tax breaks for business the new gov. enacted (FACT). And why is it the little guy has to always “sacrifice” … I guess the bailouts are already forgotten … and if you’re claiming your with the governor on this, why (oh, why) aren’t you upset that only 3 unions aren’t affected by his dictatorial decree? The 3 unions who supported him in his election. How hypocritical is that?

              Workers of the world unite!

              Anita (make believe I wrote this yesterday so we’re back to Valentines today …:)

    • Truth in Accounting Issues: Wisconsin’s “Financial State of the State”
      Publius Forum on 12.01.10 at 7:00 AM | no comments |
      Publius Forum

      From the Institute for Truth in Accounting…

      Chicago (November 29, 2010) Today, the Institute for Truth in Accounting released Wisconsin’s “Financial State of the State.” After an intensive review of the State’s 2009 audited financial report, the Institute determined the State is in a precarious financial position because it does not have the funds available to pay more than $14.4 billion of the State’s commitments as they come due. Each taxpayer’s share of this financial burden equals $7,400.

      Wisconsin law requires a balanced State budget. “If governors and legislatures had truly balanced the State’s budget, no taxpayer’s financial burden would exist,” said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA). She continued, “A State budget is not balanced if past costs, including those for employees’ retirement benefits, are pushed into the future.”

      While Wisconsin reported total assets of $39.2 billion, the Institute’s review of the State’s 2009 financial report revealed that there are almost $1.4 billion of off-balance sheet retirement liabilities. The Institute also determined that more than $27.8 billion of the State’s assets cannot be easily converted to cash to pay State bills of almost $25.8 billion as they come due. These assets consist of capital assets, including infrastructure, buildings and land, and assets that are restricted by law or contract. The State does not have the funds needed to pay for more than $14.4 billion of State obligations.

      Wisconsin law requires the adequate funding of pension benefits, but no such law exists for State employees’ and teachers’ retirement and healthcare benefits. The Institute’s study found obligations related to these benefits total more than $1.6 billion. This is a result of years of over-promising retirement benefits, while shortchanging funding. Since retiree’s healthcare benefits are not immediately payable in cash, Wisconsin’s politicians ignore these payroll costs when calculating “balanced” budgets. As of June 30, 2009, the State had set aside only 22 cents to pay for each dollar of healthcare benefits promised. As of that date only $450 million was deposited into the healthcare retirement systems, even though the actuaries calculated that a minimum of $2.03 billion should have already been contributed.

      The Wisconsin “Financial State of the State”, available at and provides this accounting by outlining the financial situation of the State, including unfunded liabilities to the State’s retirement systems.

      Read more:

  54. More fun tomorrow. The real union thugs are coming in:

    Support Wisconsin: Trumka storms Madison tomorrow; Walker supporters to rally Saturday; a disgusted teacher calls out unions

    Surprise! They’ve also found the DNC and Organizing for America (Obama thugs) are here as well. Kind of know how Arizona feels now – nothing like having the president working against a state trying to get their fiscal house in order.

  55. Hey Kathy-Looks like the debate and closed schools will in all likelihood be coming to Tennessee. 🙂

    Tennessee County School Board Fires Teachers Union
    (Read WP posts from Warner Todd Huston) | (Read MT posts from Warner Todd Huston) | rss

    Now this is more like it. Back in October of 2010 the Summer County, Tennessee School Board decertified the Sumner County Education Association (SCEA), the union for county teachers, because it no longer satisfied the law by counting as members fifty percent plus one of the total number of employees requiring a teaching certificate. This, school board officials said, means that the SCEA can no longer engage in collective bargaining for teachers.

    The school board has used this opportunity to immediately begin rewriting the relationship between teachers and schools.

    Naturally, the union is running straight to what is usually the last bastion of mindless obeisance to union obstructionism, the courts, and is suing to force the school board to accede to union demands regardless of the law.

    For its part, the union says that just over fifty-two percent of the county schools employees are union members and so they are still in charge. The school board points out, though, that this percentage actually does not satisfy the law because the requirements are that fifty percent plus one of the actual teachers — those employees requiring a teachers certificate to work — need to be in the union, not over fifty percent of all school employees — which includes janitors, administrators and other non-teacher employees.

    But the union doesn’t care about the law. SCEA representatives want the courts to force the school board to deal with them anyway. As State Senator Stacy Campfield says, “I fail to see why anyone has the guaranteed right to force an employer to negotiate with a union if they don’t want to. Where else besides government does that happen in the real world?”

    The case will be heard in the courts in the middle of this month, February. But in the meantime, the school board has quickly moved forward to change insurance benefits to require teachers to pay twenty percent of their healthcare insurance instead of the fifteen percent negotiated by the union.

    It is good to see government bodies making efforts to eliminate public employee unions. These anti-democratic, budget-killing entities should never have been allowed to exist in the first place. Public employee unions are antithetical to good government certainly.

    But there might be even better news in Tennessee on this subject. Tennessee State Representative Debra Young Maggart has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for any school board to have to negotiate with a teachers union at all HB 0130 would eliminate collective bargaining for teachers in the state.

    Of course unionists are going crazy over this one claiming that the rep hates teachers and kids! But Maggart insists it isn’t an anti-teacher bill.

    “This is not an anti-teacher bill,” Maggart said. “It is an anti-collective bargaining bill. And I think that this bill serves the best interest for our teachers, our students and our school systems across the state.”

    Let’s hope this bill passes. If you are in Tennessee you should urge your reps to support it. And if it does pass it should serve as a model for other states to emulate. It will be a giant step toward taking back control of our schools as well as a strike for fiscal responsibility.

  56. Here’s another example of a dim-witted, unprincipled response from a……Dem Rep from WI. See a pattern much?

    Democrat Rep. Gwen Moore: Abortion is better for unplanned babies than having to eat Ramen noodles

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Wow that is dimwitted!

      Though Moore’s point isn’t horrible nor dimwitted — abortion is and should be a viable option for women who do not want to or are unable to raise a child.

      I’m gonna go duck behind my desk now…

  57. I will reiterate that one of the problems in this whole debate – IMHO – is that unions believe that collective bargaining is a “right” when it is not – it is a privilege agreed to by employee groups and employers.

    A privilege that can be rescinded by either side and the employee unions are pissed the Governor is going to try to limit their “rights.”

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