Merry Christmas to All

Hello all my SUFA friends and family!!  I imagine that you have all assumed that I dropped off of a cliff and some of the regulars are taking the time to build a workable robot to replace me. You would think that with the Black Flag computer program we would already have the initially planning completed! The truth is that I have been extremely busy over the last month or two. I owe a great debt for LOI and others who have realistically been the voice and heart of SUFA when I have been unable to. I cannot promise that my schedule will let up just yet, but I do have a few things to say…

First of all, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you a happy holiday season. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for each and every one of you who have frequented SUFA over the years and shared your wisdom, your ideas, and your angst with me. I look forward to the future and what will come next. I don’t know what will come next, which is a post that is coming soon, so stay tuned.

But rest assured, whatever is next, SUFA isn’t going anywhere. I value too much the thoughts and debates that occur here. So to all of you, Thank You for another great year at SUFA and please everyone have a wonderful day today with your friends, family, and loved ones.

Now from me… A few of my favorite Christmas Jams from the wonderful world of 1980’s rap!

And one of my favorite performers (Just ignore the stupid Obama ad that pops up, it doesn’t last long)

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Comments

  1. A Merry Christmas to you as well, and to all here at SUFA (except for Mathius who ya just can’t please with an appropriate greeting this time of year. 😉 )

  2. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays USWeapon – and all of you SUFA rascals!! 🙂

  3. My very best wishes to all. May the new year bring sanity, reason, peace and prosperity to all. If not all then sanity and reason to Congress and peace and prosperity to the rest of us.

  4. Buck the Wala says:

    Thanks to everyone for all the Happy Hannukah wishes over the past few days. Hope you all have a very Merry Xmas with your families and a happy and healthy New Year!

  5. Merry Christmas everyone. Hope all are enjoying family time. Just think Matt, next X-mas will include diaper duty! HO,Ho, Ho!!

  6. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and how ’bout those Buffalo Bills!

    The favorite at casa stella …

  7. Merry Christmas! Go Pack Go!

  8. To Mathius,
    “Man is not, like the animals, an obsequious puppet of instincts and sensual impulses. Man has the power to suppress instinctive desires, he has a will of his own, he chooses between incompatible ends.”

    • Mathius™ says:

      Man has the power to suppress instinctive desires

      So does my dog. She wants to jump on the kitchen counter and eat everything that she can get her paws on. But she has learned to suppress her instinctive desires as well.

      And, just like man attempting to suppress his instinctual desires, she sometimes fails.

  9. From the resident Alabama redneck, have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year ya’ll.

  10. gmanfortruth says:

    Merry Christmas to all! I hope that everyone had a great day and spent time with family. Peace and God bless!

  11. Pay attention to the ghost, you Ayn Randers …

    • Charlie,

      And this is where you cannot comprehend.

      Each and every man has his own duty to himself. How one exercises that duty is unique.

      But it is only in a free market that men – in exercising that duty – actually promotes the general welfare.

      A despicable man whose morals and attitudes are repugnant, still does well for free society.

      For him to achieve, he must produce goods that can be sold. If they sold, it is a statement that other people saw more value in his production than the value of money in their pocket.

      Nobody cares about is morals or attitude – it is what he does for others that makes him a profit.

      You wish that evil is not rewarded. You wish good is rewarded.
      And this is the dominate way the world works – you get your wish.

      But only in a system where violence and coercion is muted.

      Only by violence and coercion can this domination reverse – where evil is rewarded and good is condemned.

      That is the real lessons here, Charlie.

      In any system which requires FORCE and COERCION, such as Socialism, there is NO measure to determine the user of violence does so for a goal that is “good” or “bad” – because that determination is subjective.

      Thus, in coerced systems, it is far more probable that evil gains control, because good men rarely need violence to achieve their ends, but bad men almost always require it.

      • No, actually, men can only do for themselves by doing for others.

        Capitalism requires slaves. The definition of slaves is obviously not shared by us (you and me) … a slave to wages is a slave is a slave.

        No one needs to own anything but their right to be free. Being free does not require one to own another (what capitalism requires). We agree to disagree.

        Or you just don’t comprehend. One or the other.

        • Charlie,

          Because you misuse definitions of words, you have no hope and no answers, other than horror and tyranny.

          • BF,

            Because you misuse definitiosn of words, you have no hope and no answers, other than the same old, same old.

            Tyranny comes in all forms; economic no less than physical threats. You’re exposed, my friend. You (the “anarchist”) need the state for your capitalism more than I (the “statist” socialist) do …

            • Charlie,

              Me denying you my goods on your terms is not a tyranny nor imposing slavery.

              You offering me $2 for my $60,000 car … and me saying “no thanks” is not me imposing tyranny on you.

              But because you are disappointed you do not have my car for $2 does not mean you are a slave.

              And that is the problem. You assign a great deal of emotion muck to your theories – and thus, deliver your theories in an irrational, subjective manner. Should such theories gain control of society, society will be managed by irrational and subjective whim – and as history has demonstrated, results in massive slaughter of millions of people.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Please state your definition of capitalism where it REQUIRES that one human being own another. I would be interested in seeing that.

          Also, if someone is completely dependent on government housing subsidies, food stamps, government healthcare, and welfare checks, would it be accurate to say that that person is owned by the government, and thus, obviously a slave? Why or why not?

    • Gee Charlie if a man is not good by your definition you WILL make him good by your definition of good.

      • If a man does not own the means of production by any definition, he is a slave. Only the owners of the means of production (the slave owners) would consider him free.

        • Charlie

          If a man does not own the means of production by any definition, he is a slave.

          Because you do not own my machine does not make you my slave.
          Because you do not own my car does not make you my slave.

          However, you do make me a slave when you try to enforce your utterly bizarre understanding. To fix your bizarre problem – that is, you think you are a slave because you do not own my car – you impose and force upon me to surrender my car to you, and it is your action that enforces slavery.

      • When I have something, knowledge and experience that my employer wants and he offers me money which I want, by your definition that is slavery? What s totally bizarre definition.

    • Linus Tells Charlie (Stella) Brown the True Meaning of Christmas

      Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/12/25/linus-tells-charlie-brown-true-meaning-christmas#ixzz1hkIHo5qL

  12. Dropping in late…sorry….but was on border duty and still am…..hope everyone’s Christmas day was unique…..and Happy New Year…..

    ok…back to chasing bad guys.

  13. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    I’m late, I’m late, had to get to DC to see the new grandbaby with the wife. May everyone have the happiest of holiday seasons. May the spirit of this joyous season touch you all.

    How’d you like that Matt? Got through the whole thing without saying MERRY CHRISTMAS once. By the way, congratulations prospective Daddy.

  14. Murphy's Law says:

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, Happy Hannukah or whatever you may celebrate this time of year!

    And congrats, Matt! Hope the mom-to-be is feeling well…

    Murf

  15. If Iran blocks the straight in these war games and slows even one oil tanker….I hope we have the balls to sink it.

    • You want to sink the oil tanker? Why?

      • Ahhh….Todd…you know me…..I knew someone would ask that…..perhaps there are others….you know I meant the warships that block International Waters.

        Doesn’t much matter……there is a nuclear arms race beginning in the ME…….they are scared of Iran or so says the Saudi PM and the Turkish delegate…..even Pakistan is worried now and they already have it.

  16. It seems the Professor shares my view about most of those who espouse a “Living Document” theory about the Constitution. Thought ya’l would like to listen to the person I have used often on Constitutional issues.

  17. Here is some more to consider regarding Commerce. Sorry BF, but this one dispels your claim about the meaning of “regulate”.

    To “regulate” Commerce means more than to “make it regular”
    Written by Rob Natelson on 25 December 2011

    From time to time I punch holes in “progressive” myths about the Constitution and the American Founding. But conservatives and libertarians have their own myths as well.

    One is that congressional authority under the Commerce Clause (I-8-3) to “regulate Commerce among the several States” permits Congress only to facilitate trade among the States—i.e., that “to regulate” means only “to make regular.” The claim is that the Commerce Clause does not empower Congress to burden or obstruct commerce—and therefore Congress has no power to ban trade in products such as obscenity, marijuana, or goods made with child labor.

    This argument, like so many other constitutional claims, seems to have arisen among partisans in the 19th century, but it remains popular among some libertarians today. Its promoters observe that a major reason for the Interstate Commerce Clause was to enable Congress to smooth out barriers to trade that some states had erected against other states.

    Unfortunately for us free traders, the argument is false. Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce . . . among the several States” is far wider than merely authority to make trade regular. Congress also may obstruct trade, or even ban it.

    Where’s the proof?

    Well, first, let’s examine Founding-Era English dictionaries. To my knowledge, not one limits its definition of “regulate” to “make regular.” In fact, of the 18 Founding-Era legal and lay dictionaries I’ve examined (counting multiple editions of the same publication as a single dictionary), NONE even includes the definition “make regular.” Instead, definitions of “to regulate” generally include phrases such as “to direct,” “to adjust,” “to govern,” and “to determine or decide.”

    Second, when you interpret a phrase in the Constitution, you have to consider not only its immediate purpose, but how people generally understood it. The phrase“regulate Commerce” is a good example. All throughout the Founding Era, Americans used those words mostly to refer to government restrictions on commerce, such as trade bans, price regulation, and prohibitory tariffs. For example, before the Revolution American colonial writers resisting Parliament’s efforts to tax them nevertheless accepted British restrictions on trade as legitimate efforts to “regulate” the trade of the empire.

    Third, in the Commerce Clause the verb “regulate” has three objects, not just one: interstate, foreign, and Indian commerce. Under Founding-Era (as well as modern) rules of interpretation you should read “regulate” the same way for all three.

    But a major reason for giving Congress authority to regulate foreign commerce was to enable Congress to keep out foreign goods. The idea was to encourage American manufactures and rectify an unfavorable balance of trade. And a major reason for giving Congress power to regulate the Indian trade was allow Congress to block or limit sale of certain goods to the Natives, specifically liquor and firearms.

    So even though the Founders thought that an immediate use of the Commerce Clause would be to free up interstate trade, the Founders also gave Congress authority to obstruct it. This authority included power to burden or ban trade in selected items or from selected sources. And Congress could use that power for any reason not otherwise prohibited by the Constitution. Hence, even though the Constitution left direct governance over subjects like obscenity and marijuana to the states, the document gave Congress authority indirect power to affect such items by preventing them from crossing jurisdictional lines.

    “Progressives” and their allies on the Supreme Court have interpreted congressional authority far too broadly. But this does not justify the rest of us committing the opposite error.

    • JAC

      Sorry BF, but this one dispels your claim about the meaning of “regulate”. To “regulate” Commerce means more than to “make it regular”

      Why say sorry? It does not mean more than what it means!

      Regulate means to make regulation.
      bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; impose regulations”

      Congress also may obstruct trade, or even ban it.

      No, this is incorrect.

      In general terms, Law comes in two forms:
      *REGULATION.
      *PROHIBITION.

      We do not regulate murder. We prohibit it. This is a prohibition.
      We do regulate driving on highways. These are regulations.

      The purpose of these regulation is to manage a behavior into a set of subjective norms for no other purpose than predictability and conformity.

      I know what side of the road you will pass by me when we drive toward each other.

      It does not matter whether it is on the left or on the right.

      What does matter is that we both know with great clarity which side we will pass.

      The question of regulation is not to prohibit or block a behavior but to manage and conform the behavior.

      This author is very confused about the purposes of regulation of law in the Commerce act.

      He is applying the practice of legislation as if it was regulation.

      Regulations are created by a secondary body and not the primary legislator.

      Such as highways, it is the Dept. of Highways that determines the regulation under the authority granted to it by the Congress. The Congress itself does not regulate, it legislates

      Therefore, within this clause of the Constitution — the Congress must be the secondary body to “something superior” in this case and clause.

      …and that primary body, I would argue, is the States themselves.

      • JAC,
        He is applying the practice of legislation as if it was regulation.

        Sorry, I meant the other way around

        He is applying the practice of regulation as if it was legislation

        • BF

          Sorry my friend but I put the gold medal with Natelson on this one.

          He is simply using the meaning of the terms and words as they were used at the time of the Constitution’s writing.

          Thus to Regulate trade meant that Congress had the authority to control trade.

          You are assigning a narrow and modern view of “regulate” to “Regulations”, not the meaning as used in the document.

          The greatest modern ABUSE of this clause is in the meaning of “Commerce” not in the word “regulate”.

          • JAC

            simply using the meaning of the terms and words as they were used at the time of the Constitution’s writing. Thus to Regulate trade meant that Congress had the authority to control trade.

            I disagree – he (and you subsequently) are misusing the definition.
            At that time there existed total clarity to the difference between legislate and regulate.
            This is not a recent understanding – indeed, probably has been understood for over 2,000 years, and most certainly before 1700.

            The existence of a Parliament is testament to this understanding.
            The creation of a Congress is testament to this understanding.

            To, therefore, stand back and dispute this – that the Founders did not understand this … the very fellows who instituted such construction – is not valid – except to further claim they were ignorant fellows and did not know what they were doing. However, holding THAT position is worse (for you).

            The Congress has the authority to REGULATE trade within the terms LEGISLATED to them.

            I argue it is the STATES that determine which trade would be so legislated, not the federal government, because it makes no sense to create legislation upon one’s self to regulate one’s self. The redundancy is unnecessary, and it is not duplicated anywhere else in the Constitution (that is, congress legislating itself to regulate).

            So, either it is contradictory, or your source’s understanding is faulty.

            I’ll bet you will go -in this matter- with the latter because if you accept the former, that’s the end of the whole Constitution.

            • Darn a bit too fast to submit.

              I wanted to further comment about the “legislate” vs “regulate”.

              As I pointed out, the Founders were perfectly aware of such a difference – it is an understanding of over 2,000 years or more of governance and jurisprudence.

              Yet, the choose the world “regulate” and NOT “legislate”

              Your position would be nearly irrefutable had the word been “legislate” – indeed, Congress would make LAW upon the States inter-commerce.

              “….legislate Commerce among the several States….” …. then indeed, it would agree to your position.

              But it does not say that.

              Trying to utilize one word to mean a different word is the root problem of the confusion of this document – not only in this case, but all cases of such confusion…. see the confusion of Buck for more examples 😉

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Hey, why am I being called out in this debate??

                Though since I have been named I feel the need to at the very least state where I fall — and that would be with JAC and Natelson. Given as you both well know I disagree with Natelson on certain aspects of his interpretation, but in the area of the commerce clause and the meaning of ‘regulate’ he is correct – where we disagree is how far the concept of ‘commerce’ goes, but that is not the subject of this debate.

              • BF

                OK, first of all it feels very strange standing on the same side as Buck, but when your right your right.

                BF, your argument holds no water in the context of what the Document’s purpose is or how it is written.

                Article 1, Section 8 outlines Congress’ power. It does so by using words as power or authority to act. It is NOT written as to who gets to write laws vs regulations.

                For example, and using the same word, lets look at this one:

                “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;”

                Now try and tell us how the word “regulate” here means that the States retained the authority to determine the value of money but only gave Congress the power to write the implementing regulations.

              • JAC

                BF, your argument holds no water in the context of what the Document’s purpose is or how it is written

                So, you do argue that the Founders did not know the difference between legislate and regulate

              • BF

                Sorry, I forgot an important part.

                Article 1, Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

                So they gave Congress the “legislative power” associated with those expressed in the document, as in those “granted” as described.

                You also fail to address a key part of your theory. Just how were the States to determine what trade laws would be implemented?

              • JAC

                Article 1, Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. So they gave Congress the “legislative power” associated with those expressed in the document, as in those “granted” as described.

                No argument.

                But that is NOT what the clause in question refers – it refers to regulation – as I stated, the Founders could have as easily and appropriately (IF your argument is correct) the world “legislate” – but the SPECIFICALLY did not.

                The clause SPECIFIC grant of specific powers – as is the purpose of the Constitution.

                It is either Specific or it is not.

                If you are on side with Buck, then you argue it is not specific but a general mishmash of muck – and then your argument is right — but then all the arguments of Buck are right -for you- too.

                If you are not on side with Buck, then you argue it is specific, but then your argument here cannot be right.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Does it really feel all that strange? I knew over time you would come around to seeing things my way. 🙂

            • BF

              Nice try. That could be your most elaborate trick yet in trying to use YOUR definitions to undo accepted meaning.

              Your interpretation doesn’t even make sense in the context of one of the primary issues which caused the Convention to be called in the first place.

              And since Mr. Natelson is one of the few Constitutional Scholars and Professor of Constitutional Law that has actually spent the time to research the laws and associated definitions in use at the time, then I go with his view over yours.

              Yes, I am deferring to his authority as an expert. But that is done because it conforms with my own review and it is logical.

              • JAC

                So the best you can do is the fallacious appeal to authority….

                BF Nice try. That could be your most elaborate trick yet in trying to use YOUR definitions to undo accepted meaning.

                But that isn’t my definition – it is the base definition of jurisprudence of the last 2,000 years – the difference between legislation and regulation.

                Look here and re-educate:

                Legislation Vs Regulation

                Legislation is a directive placed by a government or governing body on either an industry, a section of community or placed on people of a country which must be complied with in order to remain within the legal boundaries of that particular country, community or industry.

                After legislation is passed, there will be regulators, usually government bodies, who will examine the laws passed and work out the details that need to be enforced so that they are followed.

                Read more: Difference Between Legislation and Regulation | Difference Between | Legislation vs Regulation http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-legislation-and-regulation/#ixzz1hlqctQUi

                Legislation The process of making or enacting laws.

                Regulations The practical details and rules made under Legislation

              • That could be your most elaborate trick yet in trying to use YOUR definitions to undo accepted meaning.

                There were many times when I thought it was just the SAGE who saw this … good point, JAC.

            • BF

              The authority given was “To regulate Commerce………………..”

              See the words, “To regulate”. They were not “To promulgate regulations pertaining to”.

              Exactly the same wording as for money…….”To Coin money, regulate the value thereof,…………..”

              You are making a very absurd argument here my friend.

              In order for your argument to carry any water at all you have to show the mechanism, procedure, method, etc that the States retained to exercise their supposed autonomous authority over controlling trade among the states, with foreign nations and with the Indian tribes.

              And my position on this does not require me to accept Buck’s arguments on other matters. In fact the defense of the authority to “regulate” is the same one that proves the current meaning of “commerce” has been distorted to rationalize anything.

              Again, as Natleson stated, history is not on your side here. Despite your claims of 2000 plus years of commons and uniform understanding.

              One more time from him, regarding the definitions of the term in the mid to late 1700’s: “To my knowledge, not one limits its definition of “regulate” to “make regular.” In fact, of the 18 Founding-Era legal and lay dictionaries I’ve examined (counting multiple editions of the same publication as a single dictionary), NONE even includes the definition “make regular.” Instead, definitions of “to regulate” generally include phrases such as “to direct,” “to adjust,” “to govern,” and “to determine or decide.””

              Now, I have to go outside and “regulate” the flow of water coming through my yard.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Very good points, minus the part about the complete distortion of the meaning of ‘commerce’. We’ll have to revisit this side of the coin another day. I should have much more free time at work after the New Year.

  18. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I am not sure I am getting Charlie’s point about ownership of the means of production above.

    So far I have only seen basically two types of systems for this:

    1. Private ownership of the means of production. The owner may be a wonderful guy or a tyrant. In most cases, the “slaves” are generally pretty well off, though there are exceptions. If the business is well-run, the owner will likely be VERY well-off.

    2. “Public” ownership of the means of production. This does NOT mean that the “workers” own the means of production, it simply means that the STATE owns the means of production. The owner is (invariably) a tyrant. The slaves are not well off at all, and it is virtually impossible for the business to be run well, but somehow the owners (high-ranking government members) leech what they can out of it and become (at least temporarily) very well off.

    Now, I am pretty sure that even Charlie can see that #2 is a worse option than #1.

    He seems to be arguing for system #3, which to my knowledge does not currently exist, so it is pretty hard to evaluate on its merits, since, due to its lack of existence, we cannot observe and evaluate it.

    • Peter

      The Third Way is private ownership and public control. It is called FASCISM. The owners (private) are partners with the Tyrants (govt). A few get very rich and the rest of us become victims to their mass delusion and conceit.

      This is the system that Charlie sees but fails to recognize as the only outcome possible of HIS system.

    • Peter says:

      “I am not sure I am getting Charlie’s point….”

      Neither do I, neither do I!

  19. I will be very happy when they find these people and throw their sorry behinds in JAIL!

    December 27, 2011
    ‘Anonymous’ hackers target US security think tank
    By CASSANDRA VINOGRAD Published: 5:46 PM 12/25/2011 | Updated: 2:42 PM 12/26/2011

    LONDON (AP) — The loose-knit hacking movement “Anonymous” claimed Sunday to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor. One hacker said the goal was to pilfer funds from individuals’ accounts to give away as Christmas donations, and some victims confirmed unauthorized transactions linked to their credit cards.

    Anonymous boasted of stealing Stratfor’s confidential client list, which includes entities ranging from Apple Inc. to the U.S. Air Force to the Miami Police Department, and mining it for more than 4,000 credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses.

    Austin, Texas-based Stratfor provides political, economic and military analysis to help clients reduce risk, according to a description on its YouTube page. It charges subscribers for its reports and analysis, delivered through the web, emails and videos. The company’s main website was down, with a banner saying the “site is currently undergoing maintenance.”

    Proprietary information about the companies and government agencies that subscribe to Stratfor’s newsletters did not appear to be at any significant risk, however, with the main threat posed to individual employees who had subscribed.

    “Not so private and secret anymore?” Anonymous taunted in a message on Twitter, promising that the attack on Stratfor was just the beginning of a Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets.

    Anonymous said the client list it had already posted was a small slice of the 200 gigabytes worth of plunder it stole from Stratfor and promised more leaks. It said it was able to get the credit card details in part because Stratfor didn’t bother encrypting them — an easy-to-avoid blunder which, if true, would be a major embarrassment for any security-related company.

    Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president of intelligence, said the company had reported the intrusion to law enforcement and was working with them on the investigation.

    Ads by Google

    Stratfor has protections in place meant to prevent such attacks, he said.

    “But I think the hackers live in this kind of world where once they fixate on you or try to attack you it’s extraordinarily difficult to defend against,” Burton said.

    Hours after publishing what it claimed was Stratfor’s client list, Anonymous tweeted a link to encrypted files online with names, phone numbers, emails, addresses and credit card account details.

    “Not as many as you expected? Worry not, fellow pirates and robin hoods. These are just the ‘A’s,” read a message posted online that encouraged readers to download a file of the hacked information.

    The attack is “just another in a massive string of breaches we’ve seen this year and in years past,” said Josh Shaul, chief technology officer of Application Security Inc., a New York-based provider of database security software.

    Still, companies that shared secret information with Stratfor in order to obtain threat assessments might worry that the information is among the 200 gigabytes of data that Anonymous claims to have stolen, he said.

    “If an attacker is walking away with that much email, there might be some very juicy bits of information that they have,” Shaul said.

    Lt. Col. John Dorrian, public affairs officer for the Air Force, said that “for obvious reasons” the Air Force doesn’t discuss specific vulnerabilities, threats or responses to them.

    “The Air Force will continue to monitor the situation and, as always, take appropriate action as necessary to protect Air Force networks and information,” he said in an email.

    Miami Police Department spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz Jr. said that he could not confirm that the agency was a client of Stratfor, and he said he had not received any information about a security breach involving the police department.

    Anonymous also linked to images online that it suggested were receipts for charitable donations made by the group manipulating the credit card data it stole.

    “Thank you! Defense Intelligence Agency,” read the text above one image that appeared to show a transaction summary indicating that an agency employee’s information was used to donate $250 to a non-profit.

    One receipt — to the American Red Cross — had Allen Barr’s name on it.

    Barr, of Austin, Texas, recently retired from the Texas Department of Banking and said he discovered last Friday that a total of $700 had been spent from his account. Barr, who has spent more than a decade dealing with cybercrime at banks, said five transactions were made in total.

    “It was all charities, the Red Cross, CARE, Save the Children. So when the credit card company called my wife she wasn’t sure whether I was just donating,” said Barr, who wasn’t aware until a reporter with the AP called that his information had been compromised when Stratfor’s computers were hacked.

    “It made me feel terrible. It made my wife feel terrible. We had to close the account.”

    Wishing everyone a “Merry LulzXMas” — a nod to its spinoff hacking group Lulz Security — Anonymous also posted a link on Twitter to a site containing the email, phone number and credit number of a U.S. Homeland Security employee.

    The employee, Cody Sultenfuss, said he had no warning before his details were posted.

    “They took money I did not have,” he told The Associated Press in a series of emails, which did not specify the amount taken. “I think ‘Why me?’ I am not rich.”

    But the breach doesn’t necessarily pose a risk to owners of the credit cards. A card user who suspects fraudulent activity on his or her card can contact the credit card company to dispute the charge.

    Stratfor said in an email to members, signed by Stratfor Chief Executive George Friedman and passed on to AP by subscribers, that it had hired a “leading identity theft protection and monitoring service” on behalf of the Stratfor members affected by the attack. The company said it will send another email on services for affected members by Wednesday.

    Stratfor acknowledged that an “unauthorized party” had revealed personal information and credit card data of some of its members.

    The company had sent another email to subscribers earlier in the day saying it had suspended its servers and email after learning that its website had been hacked.

    One member of the hacking group, who uses the handle AnonymousAbu on Twitter, claimed that more than 90,000 credit cards from law enforcement, the intelligence community and journalists — “corporate/exec accounts of people like Fox” News — had been hacked and used to “steal a million dollars” and make donations.

    It was impossible to verify where credit card details were used. Fox News was not on the excerpted list of Stratfor members posted online, but other media organizations including MSNBC and Al-Jazeera English appeared in the file.

    Anonymous warned it has “enough targets lined up to extend the fun fun fun of LulzXmas through the entire next week.”

    The group has previously claimed responsibility for attacks on credit card companies Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., eBay Inc.’s PayPal, as well as other groups in the music industry and the Church of Scientology.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/25/anonymous-hackers-target-us-security-think-tank/#ixzz1hkmpRVGA

  20. I got a clever Christmas present from my daughter. A book full of facts about my birth year. Thought I would share some with ya’ll.

    The first humans reached the summit of Mt. Everest.

    Queen Elizabeth II is crowned.

    Earl Warren becomes Chief Justice

    John Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier are married.

    New York adopts a three colored traffic light (who would have thunk there were only two before this).

    Detroit Lions won the Pro Football Championship (that was for you Anita).

    New House price = $9525.00

    Avg. Income = $4011.00 (note: house price was little more than 2x income).

    New car = $1651.00 (note: car was almost 50% of income).

    Movie ticket = $0.70

    Gas = $0.20 per gallon.

    Coffee = $0.76 per pound

    Hamburger = $0.54 per pound

    Fresh baked bread = $0.16 per loaf

    Top Movies: From Here to Eternity (academy award), Peter Pan, The War of the Worlds, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Shane, and How to Marry a Millionaire.

    Life Expectancy = 68.2 years

    And……………………

    Little Ricky was born on “I Love Lucy” (that one is for you Matt).

  21. Bull Shit Alert

    Couldn’t think of a better name for this type of discovery.

    In reviewing the info in the book my daughter gave me a discussion ensued about various facts in each book. She got one for everybody.

    During this discussion it came to light that the “actual” life expectancy has NOT changed that much in the past hundred years. That is the expected age of death of the average adult American. You see, this is because the official “life expectancy” number is based on the average life span at the “moment of birth”.

    Meaning of course, that it used to be shorter PRIMARILY due to infant mortality, and not adult mortality. Once you survived your childhood your avg death year was not that far from your parents or grandparents. Now obviously there has been some change thanks to dental hygiene primarily. But in my case it has NOT moved from 68 to 78 years in my lifetime.

    Now WHY do I bring this up???

    Because it means that the data base that is being used by politicians to evaluate and make proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare are BULL SHIT.

    It means that the avg. death date from the inception of the program to now has not actually changed that much. Especially when you consider that the start date of concern is not your birth date but your START WORK, and thus contributions, DATE.

    It means that the FALL DOWN in Soc Sec is FAR WORSE than we are being told. Because they use the change in expectancy from 65 to 78 as a reason for the account deficits. But the ACTUAL change is probably more like 75 to 78.

    Now those of us who never accepted the ridiculous promise of Soc Sec aren’t all that surprised that it can’t work. But I must admit I had not considered this little fact in my conclusion. This only makes the reality all that more obvious and in my view outright deceitful.

    Anyway, I thought you all might like to think on this one a little. Proof that when politicians are telling the truth, they are still lying.

  22. For those interested in more on the interpretation of the Commerce Clause

    From: exploring Constitutional conflicts.

    “The Commerce Clause is a grant of power to Congress, not an express limitation on the power of the states to regulate the economy. At least four possible interpretations of the Commerce Clause have been proposed. First, it has been suggested that the Clause gives Congress the exclusive power to regulate commerce. Under this interpretation, states are divested of all power to regulate interstate commerce. Second, it has been suggested that the Clause gives Congress and the states concurrent power to regulate commerce. Under this view, state regulation of commerce is invalid only when it is preempted by federal law. Third, it has been suggested that the Clause assumes that Congress and the states each have their own mutually exclusive zones of regulatory power. Under this interpretation, it becomes the job of the courts to determine whether one sovereign has invaded the exclusive regulatory zone of the other. Finally, it has been suggested that the Clause by its own force divests states of the power to regulate commerce in certain ways, but the states and Congress retain concurrent power to regulate commerce in many other ways. This fourth interpretation, a complicated hybrid of two others, turns out to be the approach taken by the Court in its decisions interpreting the Commerce Clause.”

    For more: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/statecommerce.htm

    • Buck the Wala says:

      And out of curiosity where do you fall?

      • Buck

        None of the above.

        The first choice is close but then they muddied the water with “states are divested of all power to regulate interstate commerce.”

        Congress has the authority to Regulate Interstate and International trade. That means Congress has “THE” Legislative Authority. But that authority means nothing until it is exercised. So until that point, the State has the authority to regulate commerce. The Constitution did NOT “divest” the states of anything, but it did give the Congress Primary Authority, if it chooses to exercise that authority.

        So in this respect I could move more towards number two. But that is not exactly correct either because the Constitution did not “convey” concurrent power. It only conveyed power to the Federal. What is not explicitly conveyed or is not activated via legislation, where authorized, is RETAINED.

        Number three is just an absurd distortion by lawyers seeking job security. But then I seem much if not most of such interpretations in that light.

        The wording of the document and review of the debates surrounding ratification make it pretty clear that the framers intended Congress to have Primary authority to “regulate” Interstate and International “Commerce”.

        In my view “to regulate” meant “to control”. After all, even though the framers were steeped in Locke and other Liberal thinkers, they were raised in a Mercantilist world. Many of them craved economic might like that of England, Holland and France. They wanted Federal protection from outside trade as well as from other states who held advantages.

        I do not see much ambiguity in this clause relative to the Primary Power or meaning of “to regulate”. As you said earlier, our differences lie more in the term “commerce”. And I might add, the judiciary’s expansion of what was viewed as the “means” of “regulating”. So in this context I would agree with BF that the phrase “to make regular” does apply. Not in the Location of the Prime Authority but it what its actual manifestation of “intent” should be.

        So in my view, Congress has the primary authority to control Interstate Commerce. But that regulation is limited to those actions needed to make interstate commerce “uniform” or “regular” among the states relative to ONLY commerce. Thus offering Govt Insurance or requiring someone to purchase “insurance” is beyond that authority. As is dictating the amount of product that can be produced by an individual or in trying to control products sold within a state, whether transported out of that state or not. The intent or purpose of this clause was to stop trade wars between the States and to protect the States from the same thing Internationally.

        I can just imagine what the Founders/Framers would have done with a Supreme Court that decided that a farmer could not grow his own food because it might interfere with “regulation of interstate commerce”. HINT: Hamilton knows.

        Now, I think many of the “product safety” regulations are authorized by the commerce clause in that they address an aspect of Interstate Commerce by making all products of the same type “uniform” that are sold among the states. However, this authority does not extend to products made within and sold within a single state. Again, transport of private property across state lines is NOT “interstate commerce”.

  23. Thought some of you might like to see what a few of my old Montana friends are up to:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/27/montana-recall-ndaa-indefinite-detention_n_1171044.html

    There are two extremely repugnant things about this article. Both of which appear designed to discredit this effort.

    One, it tries to link Oath Keepers to the “Separatist Neo Nazi Militias”, which was not the original “Militia Movement” for those who don’t remember.

    Two, it then tries to tie Oath Keepers to Tea Party and then the Tea Party to some racist comments by a crazy person calling himself a Tea Party candidate. This tying Oath Keepers to the Crazy Racist.

    Now all that aside, if the law says what BF and others say it does, then the Montanan’s have a good case.

    But they will not get the recall done before one of the two is out of a job anyway.

  24. Since we have been kind of on the topic of the Constitution and thus, indirectly, the Supreme Court, I thought we should kick around Newt’s idea of pushing the federal judges a little harder.

    Subpoena Judges? HELL YES.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/subpoena_judges_yes_indeed.html

  25. And of course, the MYTH about the Independence of the Federal Judiciary.

    The Branches are not as SEPARATE and EQUAL as many have been taught to believe.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/newt_and_the_judges.html

  26. CRAP!

    Helping the kids move into their new home today, guys painting upstairs..my pregnant daughter and I downstairs “preparing” a ceiling fan for installation. Got all mechanical parts together successfully (yay for girls), daughter goes to screw in new CFL bulb and bloop! up in the air the bulb goes and breaks into both our laps!…We may be dead tomorrow! 🙂

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