1. Rest in Peace Joseph and may the Good Lord help your friends and loved ones through their grief.

  2. 😐

  3. I think Paterno was a good man who made a terrible choice. It is very ironic how close to the end of his life so much of his legacy was tarnished.

  4. SK Trynosky Sr. says:


    After the events of the last few months, it is difficult to doubt what a very wise old priest once told me.

    “The devil’s greatest success is convincing us he doesn’t exist”.

    Lead a good life and the bad guys can still drag you down.

  5. Murphy's Law says:

    As soon as I saw the news about Paterno’s death, I thought of you, USW….and then of his family.

    He was a good man. I pray for strength for his family in the days ahead.


  6. In sum total, a positive life well lived. He was a respected on honored individual by all us alum. A man of the 40’s not the sexually liberated 60’s. A family man, a religious man who probably could not conceive of the depravity of some. Penn State will not be the same for a generation without him.

  7. Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks.

    Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.

    Its the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back.

    Losing a game is heartbreaking. Losing your sense of excellence or worth is a tragedy.

    The minute you think you’ve got it made, disaster is just around the corner.

    Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.

    When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.

    The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.

    Publicity is like poison; it doesn’t hurt unless you swallow it.

    When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.
    Joe Paterno

  8. Why aren’t there any reply buttons on the other pages? Is it just my computer or is everyone else having this problem? 🙂

    • I’m cursing at my computer right this second too V..what’s the deal?

    • Somebody has closed the comments.

      Just continue here………………

      Hope you ladies had a nice weekend.

      • Okay-Thanks JAC

        Now please read these words and think about this “A third of my generation is gone because of abortion. ” A third-gone-dead-not allowed to be born.

        January 23, 2012
        Why my generation is the most pro-life in recent history
        By Kristan Hawkins Published: 4:53 PM 01/20/2012 | Updated: 4:56 PM 01/20/2012

        This weekend the country will be begin its 40th year of living under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the landmark Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion, sparking deep division in the nation between those who seek the right to protect life at all its stages and those who support a woman’s right to choose to terminate the life of her own child.

        A third of my generation is gone because of abortion. Did I lose my best friend without even knowing it? Do men and women of my generation lack spouses who were aborted? Are brothers and sisters missing their siblings that never got the chance at life? We will never know.

        An unplanned pregnancy is difficult and emotionally and physically stressful. But there are so many resources for women and families facing these crises. They don’t have to choose abortion. They can walk away from the facility and into a pregnancy resource center or a maternity home. Thankfully many women do just that. In fact, a few of them are featured in a new video from Students for Life about how my generation is the most pro-life generation in history.

        The African-American woman who chose life after her doctors said she should have an abortion. The little girl with the big brown eyes who should have been aborted. The woman whose four siblings were lost to abortion. The dad who doctors said should abort his daughter. These are real people who faced abortion and its aftermath. They are survivors and heroes.

        Those are the faces of the good news. The numbers are also encouraging. Businesses that make a profit on abortion are on the decline. According to Planned Parenthood’s latest report, the abortion giant’s private contributions are down 27 percent while its profits are down just over 70 percent. Planned Parenthood has also been steadily losing affiliates and clinics since the mid-90s, closing 30 clinics last year alone. The bad news is that government funding for Planned Parenthood compromises nearly half of its income.

        The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm, reports that states enacted a record number of pro-life laws in 2011 — 92 laws in 24 states, more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010. On the federal level, the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood early last year after undercover videos showed several employees helping sex traffickers to cover up their crimes against underage girls.

        With families struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table, why is the government funding the abortion industry to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year? Of course, abortion supporters say that the money abortion providers receive does not pay for abortions. But former Planned Parenthood workers, like Abby Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s one-time Employee of the Year, admit that’s not true and that all the money abortion providers receive goes into one pot and pays for abortions. Recent polls have found that over 70% of Americans do not want their tax dollars paying for abortion.

        But the tide is turning and America is waking up. According to Gallup, this generation of young people, unlike previous generations, is pro-life. We realize how much we have lost to abortion — and continue to lose. It’s up to us to change the course of this nation, and we can do it in 2012. We are pro-life, we vote, and we’re in this fight to win it.

        Read more:

        • Do you get it-these babies would have been your friends, your neighbors, and could have been you!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • V.H.

            Fallacy of appeal to emotion.

            “would have been”?? At best you can claim “could have been”. Just as likely “would not have been”.

            “could have been you”?? Not at all. Because I am here it could not have been me.

            • You just proved the fallacy of logic IMHO

            • But I wasn’t directing the words at you-although I see where it may have looked that way-I was just telling you thanks for the information 🙂

              • V.H.

                I knew it was not directed to me. But I felt it necessary to point out the flaw of this approach to the debate.

                Making FALSE or SPECULATIVE statements will not carry the day against those who appear more rational. In the long run defeating one emotional appeal with another will not work, at least in my humble opinion. While most people may react emotionally, when emotion is their foundation it becomes subject to rapid and often change, based on who can fan the flames of passion the best. I give you Mr. Obama as an example.

                Logic is can not be a fallacy, unless Reality does not exist.

              • I do understand your point JAC-but it isn’t just an emotional appeal it is based on truth. Being able to say no it couldn’t of been me-because it wasn’t me-is reasoning which may not technically be an incorrect statement but it is still total BS. If a woman can abort a baby but chooses not to-doesn’t mean she couldn’t have chosen to do so. It means you were just lucky.

          • Or innocent men convicted to the death penalty by a jury of Kathy(ies) … madonna mia.

            • No innocent ones, just the guilty Charlie.

              • The problem, Kathy my love, is VERY often, the innocent are “judged” guilty and later found to be innocent. Why a particular Illinois Governor (I believe) did away with the death penalty; because of all the “mistakes” in convictions once DNA cleared the condemned).

                You see what I’m saying?

                Yes, us secular types waste so much time on those pesky details … how can you trust us?

            • How secular of you Charlie.

              • Now here’s the kicker, VH. I am pro choice and death penalty. that’s right, I believe in the death penalty, but only when we can be 100% sure of guilt (nothing short of 100%). That would seriously reduce the number of executions, but at least the innocent won’t be whacked by the state for the wrong reasons.

              • Charlie-what measure do you use to justify abortion-how is it not killing the innocent ? Where does the 100% rule come into play with unborn babies?

  9. Two Iranian lawmakers on Monday ramped up threats that their country would shutter the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for oil sanctions on Tehran — a warning that comes one day after the USS Abraham Lincoln passed through the iconic waterway.

    Lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Kowsari, deputy head of Iran’s influential committee on national security, said the strait “would definitely be closed if the sale of Iranian oil is violated in any way.”

    Kowsari claimed that in case of the strait’s closure, the U.S. and its allies would not be able to reopen the route, and warned America not to attempt any “military adventurism.”

    Iran has repeatedly warned it would choke off the strait if sanctions affect its oil sales. Another senior lawmaker, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, said Iran has the right to shutter Hormuz in retaliation for oil sanctions and that the closure was increasingly probable, according to the semiofficial Mehr news agency.

    “In case of threat, the closure of the Strait of Hormuz is one of Iran’s rights,” Falahatpisheh said. “So far, Iran has not used this privilege.”

    Go ahead Iran…do it now. Exercise your “misguided” privilege. Please, for the sake of Obama….Do it now……today.

    • Common Man says:


      Still have pigs and bambi critters running amuck about your abode? My brother-in-law and I have been shooting one half and one inch groupings at 100 and 200 yards with our .308 and 7MM Mag.

      Hope you are well sir


      • Doing great, CM….yes, those pesky Porky’s are really tearing up winter wheat and alfalfa….even the professional trappers are having a problem….The little Bambi critters are still prolific but do not pose the problems to the wheat and alfalfa fields. We had an abundance of acorns this year because of our land management programs….plenty of grass even through the drought because we know how to manage our land resources. We do not pay attention to government agents who think they know how to manage land and resources. We are logical and know what land looks like,…..not some ivy league bureaucrat that does not know one blade of grass from another.

        The .308 and the 7mm are formidable weapons and quite suited for our purposes because the ranges of shots here are going to be over 100 yards. We do not allow tree stands nor “bunkers” with feeders. We are actually too good at our game management…..we have too many critters of all kinds…..this is because we do not lease nor will we.

        The problem we also have here is a severely dwindling quail population. There are three reasons for this…..(1) Road runners….they kill quail for the sport of it. So we try to shoot every road runner we see….then sell or trade the feathers to the Hispanic and Indian population where they are quite popular. (2) Pigs will also crush and eat quail eggs.and (3) Fire ants.

        I do have your email and will be in touch with you this year on coming down or up….I forget where you are. Bring a shotgun also…..preferably a 20 gauge with 4 and 71/2 shot and a Poly Choke. Four shot for ducks and the 71/2 for doves…..The reason that I recommend the 20 gauge is less wear and tear on the shoulder because of the amount of shooting and if you are a good shot, you do not need a 12 gauge anyway. We also have a trap and skeet range set up for private use.

        When it is time to do some deer hunting, bring a .223 or a .222 or a .243….(I have plenty if you do not)…..for turkey (deer and turkey season are the same). Your 308 and 7mm is more than adequate for the deer. We counted 19 flocks on the ranch that numbered 15 or more in each flock. Plenty of acorns again and some corn. Since we do not allow stand hunting (the building of them but…if you want to climb a tree, you are welcome to do so) or feeders, it makes for some real hunting skills. Turkey is a crafty bird and if you are an experienced hunter (which it sounds like) you know what I mean. They are far more crafty than any Viet Cong or Afghan fighter I have ever come up against…..if the turkey were armed,,,,,,we would all be dead. ( The neighboring ranchers get a little upset at the air strikes so I had to quit that ).

        Short story, plenty of game for food and some trophy sized white tail. We have tried to introduce black tail here, but they do not survive. It is the diet we think.

        It is also open season on the EPA which keeps trying to get on our land to monitor water. We caught one the other day and prosecuted him for trespass. We have a small spread of 25,000 acres but it is still hard to patrol all the fence lines…so any one not wearing ranch colors is open season. We also have GPS monitoring devices so we know whom is where on the ranch. Cell phones do not work out there……closest town is Ardmore……….25 miles away and the ranchers do not allow cell phone towers on their property. Cell phone towers means that government personnel can have 24 hour access….and we do not want that, of course. Satellite phones work well.

        We have some large cats (Puma) on the property and bobcats but we do not shoot them. They keep the rabbit population down and do not bother the cattle. Every coyote (four legged) you see……blast away. We sell and trade the hides to the Indians and the Hispanic population but there is also a $15 bounty from the county on these critters. Every coyote (TWO legged) you see…blast away….but there is no bounty and they are hard to clean. Not many get through Texas anyway.

        So…we shall stay in touch and I will get you here….how much lead time do you need?

        • Oh…..forgot…..I would recommend a Leopold variable 8-20 power scope for the turkey….however, our weapons are equipped with them if you do not have a variable scope. Most shots are going to be long and often through some small windows.

        • Common Man says:

          Colonel Sir;

          You have a lot of critters!. Lead time I would say 3-4 months if you can. Let me know and I will plan accordingly.


          • Roger that.

          • @CM….do you ride horses?

            • Common Man says:

              Colonel sir;

              I have spent a fair amount of time on horse back, although most of that time was in my youth on the family farm. I have ridden some since, but predominately trail horses. Would be ok with mare’s and geldings, but would prefer to avoid spirited studs; not as sure of myself as I use to be. Most of us up here in the Michigan rely on ATV’s or our legs.

              FYI: Since I started the new job back in January 2011 I have not had the time to follow SUFA. My days run from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm or later at night. As such my response time to the folks here gets delayed. I respond quicker via my email which you have via USW.

              Looking forward to connecting


    • D13,

      It seems to me this will help the Saudi’s more than anyone else. How much influence do they have on US & Euro policy?

      • This article is interesting and close to the mark but it gives too much credence to the “effectiveness” of the Iranian military. Iran’s motive since the 1979 revolution has been everything but peaceful. The fact that they have not attacked anyone in 300 years is folly……they could NOT attack anyone but are getting close to some intimidation now.

        A couple of points…..closing the Strait can be done by simply sinking a few tankers in the narrows. Easy enough…..but IRAN needs the Straight more that we do. Closing the Straight will prove nothing except some chest beating. Iran has no effective offensive capability. Note the use of the term effective. That is to mean, they cannot wage a war and win at all and they know it. We may get scratched in the early on efforts….but we will not lose an Aircraft Carrier or major warships if we lose any at all. Their anti ship missile system is great for smaller craft with no defensive capability. Iran’s bluster is to flex junior muscles…that is all. Iran has no bottom to sustain anything past an initial onslaught that will have minimal military damage. Any attack on a US military target, and Iran’s military will be reduced to Romper Room status in 48 hours.

        Now, to your question. If you are talking closing the Straight, of course it will benefit the Saudis. They can replace the Iranian oil with a simple twist of the wrist. The question is…….Russia and China that are also dependent upon the Straight….however….your question is to policy. Europe and the US and its allies has called Iran’s bluff. We have all said sanctions will take place this summer… what you will. Back door diplomacy has already replaced Iranian oil should this happen. Russia and China knows this. So, as to policy issues with the Saudi’s……they have minor influence on policy. They have to have the US and Europe….so does Syria. Iran has no over land shipping and receiving capability to amount to anything.

        Do not fret about Venezuela either. Venezuela needs the Caribbean to be open for their oil exports. Should Iran close the Straight….so would that happen to the Venezuelan oil exports. Chavez knows this as well. The Russians and the Chinese will bluster at a blockade but that will be all. Venezuela has huge problems economically right now. What is not being reported by the MSM is the runaway and rampant inflation that has taken hold since Chavez….the country is dying.

        Help any?

        • Iraq has still nor recovered from the war. I would think this “helps” the other oil exporters. If Iran gets itself shot up a little, again I think it would help the others economies. It also seems to me that Iran, Turkey and thew Saudi’s want to establish a regional leadership role. Maybe a build-up to a Caliphate. It’s not that I have anything good to say about Iran as a nation, but still get the feeling we are being “played”. Iran is more a threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia, let them deal with them.

  10. Ray Hawkins says:

    What a terrible end for a generally good man. It sucks that he cannot be “here” to see things through with the Sandusky case.

  11. RIP Joe!

    I can’t remember a time in my life that Joe Pa was not the face of Penn State. He will be greatly missed.

  12. Anyone ever heard of this? I’ve heard of these kind of eco-friendly environment projects but this one seems pretty detailed. It’s a resource based economy as opposed to monetary base. There’s a lot of reading on this site…some things I could handle some things there’s no way..too communistic for me.

    The Venus Project
    The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any socio-economic system that has gone before. It calls for a straightforward redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable.

    At the bottom of the page is a list of FAQ’s..100 of

    Isn’t it just decent people that we need in government?
    Wouldn’t there be Resistance of the Rich and Powerful?
    How do you see the collapse of the present system occurring?
    How are Resources Distributed Equitably?
    Will there be a government?

    I figured since it slow around here that this might spur some discussion.

    • Anita

      I heard about this some time ago but put it in the far back cabinet.

      Long on rhetoric and very, very, short on mechanics of how this is supposed to be “different”.

      The following, from the article, displays a complete lack of understanding about what MONEY is and what purpose it serves.

      “To better understand the meaning of a resource-based economy consider this: if all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as topsoil, factories, and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we choose to build and fulfill any human need. It is not money that people need; rather, it is free access to the necessities of life. In a resource-based economy , money would be irrelevant. All that would be required are the resources and the manufacturing and distribution of the products.”

      Money allows us to store our production of today so that we may consume those “resources” at some later time. So in this fellers world, we just make things available when ever to whom ever. That is called Star Trek world. You may recall I mentioned this theory two years ago.

      The site does raise, however, a very important question we will need to address in the future. Increases in productivity result in greater free time. It is possible we will invent ourselves out of “labor” type work. How do those without “jobs” make their way? What do we do with more free time? Quite frankly, many humans are built to handle it. Very interesting problems coming, maybe.

      • Yep..many, many questions come from this. I didn’t like that he was going to take away my meat! But it got me thinking that with the way our country is so politically split, gridlock at every turn, that we may just end up in separate communities like JACville or Flagville, which is where this list of FAQs comes in handy to start discussions with.

  13. Just thought i’d pose a question. All too often, we have agreed how corrupt our national government is, and often given the fixes to this enormous problem. We have VDLG, we have Anarchism, we have Communism, and on and on. BUt all of these are the end results, as wished for by various folks. What we have not discussed is a realistic action to end the problem, thus getting to the end result. Any thoughts?

    • I think that would be a great discussion. It will need to be a 20-30 year plan since a lot of people and corporations need to be weaned off the teat of government. We need to look at every aspect of what government does, determine if it is constitutional and a proper function of government. Eliminate those that do not add up. Eliminate or combine the many duplicate bodies and efforts that exist. The objectives should be to shrink government, reduce regulations and increase personal and corporate responsibility.

      • It will not happen without a revolution (violent or otherwise). The powers that be are much too strong; those who need to join the movement much to content and/or struggling to survive. There is an apathy in this country that runs counter to group movements; so long as the top tier gets to hold their thumb on the rest, the rest are forced to survive. Only when it becomes a disaster (a true disaster) will enough people act.

        Here is where I agree with BF; another government, in whatever form, would only bring back abuses of power the likes we have today (corruption, etc.). Why we’ll probably go through time having one form of government overtake another; to be replaced by revolutions over and over and over again. Socialism might stave off a revolution (violent anyway) for X amount of time, but over time it too will became as corrupt as this system (where money talks and bullshit walks).

        The global economy will probably speed up the inevitable. As the gap widens, the workers find themselves struggling a little harder day by day. AS my grandfather used to say whenever he coughed. “Cha-le, it wont’a be long’a now.”

        • Sadly I see G-mans story on his blog more likely then the government changing drastically to VDLG on any time scale. In addition to that, I was kinda sad not seeing G-mans story continued.

          • I will have an updated version on my blog in the coming days. A lot has changed since then, with more real evidence pointing at possible actions by the government. Hint: It ain’t pretty 👿

      • T-RAY….why do you feel there needs to be a weaning process. Why not just close the loop holes in one swoop? And let the water seek its level on all deductions?

        • The changes that need to happen are massive not just closing tax loop holes. Too much change too fast could lead to massive social unrest. Any change is always resisted. To eliminate a bad habit, it is easier to replace it with a good habit. The process should be the same for society. Close one door but open another. Open the freedom door (reduce regulations) while you close the welfare door.

          We once talked about how to eliminate the DOE. Give them 10 years of life to achieve their original goal of energy independence. Each year their budget and manpower re slashed 10% of the current levels. If they achieve a 10% reduction in the amount of energy imported, give each employee a bonus. At the end of 10 years no more DOE but we have achieved 100% energy independence. Success.

          Some comment here that this can never happen given the politician’s thirst for power. I think that is a defeatist attitude. It can happen if the people demand sensible change. Did you here Mitch Daniels tonight?

          Sorry I have not had much time lately to interact on this site. Things have been busy here at home and work.


    “15 Questions The Mainstream Media Would Ask Barack Obama If He Were A Republican”

    During the practically endless series of Republican debates, we have heard almost every question imaginable asked to Republican candidates – if by every question imaginable, you mean horribly slanted, often irrelevant questions designed to make them look bad and help Obama. We’ve heard questions about contraceptives, religion, Newt’s angry ex-wife, Gardasil, etc., etc., etc. So, what would happen if the mainstream media treated Barack Obama the exact same way that they treat Republicans? The questions might sound a little something like this.
    1) Numerous Mexican citizens and an American citizen have been killed with weapons knowingly provided to criminals by our own government during Operation Fast and Furious. If Eric Holder was aware that was going on, do you think he should step down as Attorney General? Were you aware that was going on and if so, shouldn’t you resign?
    2) In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?
    3) Unions invested a lot of time and money in helping to get you elected. In return, they gained majority control of Chrysler, the taxpayers lost 14 billion dollars on General Motors, and General Motors received a special 45 billion dollar tax break. What do you say to people who view this as corruption on a scale never before seen in American history?
    4) Through dubious means, you and your allies in Congress managed to push through an incredibly unpopular health care bill that helped lead to the worst election night for the Democratic Party in 50 years. Since the bill has passed, many of your claims about the bill have proven to be untrue. For example, we now know the bill won’t lower costs and despite your assurances to the contrary, big companies like McDonald’s say they may drop health care because of the health care reform. Since the American people have rejected your health care reform and it doesn’t do what you said it would, shouldn’t you work with the Republicans to repeal it?
    5) When you took office, gas was $1.79 per gallon. Since then, you’ve demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR, and killed the Keystone Pipeline. Now, gas is $3.34 per gallon. How much higher do you anticipate driving gas prices?
    6) Occupy Wall Street has been protesting against Wall Street and the richest 1 percent in America. You are in the top 1 percent of income earners in America and you have collected more cash from Wall Street than any other President in history. So, aren’t you exactly the sort of politician that Occupy Wall Street wants to get rid of?
    7) How do you decide which foreign leaders to submissively bow towards and why do you think that’s appropriate for an American President?
    8) If they could, don’t you think the Nobel Committee would take back the Nobel Peace Prize that you were awarded?
    9) You made bipartisanship one of the central themes of your campaign in 2008. Yet, you’ve worked to push bills through Congress with almost no Republican support, spent much less time negotiating with Congress than George Bush, and you’ve said things like, “But, I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.” Why did you decide to break your campaign promise to pursue bipartisanship?
    10) America lost its AAA credit rating for the first time under your watch. What do you think you should have done differently to have prevented that historic failure?
    11) You cut more than 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund your wildly unpopular health care reform bill. Given that Medicare is running in the red already, don’t you think it’s irresponsible to cut money out of one entitlement program, that millions of seniors depend on — to put it into a risky new entitlement program?
    12) Back in July, you said, “Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.” Since you plan to raise taxes if you’re elected and you’ve had kind words for a value added tax, shouldn’t every American expect a tax increase if you’re reelected?
    13) Why should the American people reelect you when your 10 year budget saddles America with more debt than all previous Presidents combined?
    14) Your stimulus bill cost more in real dollars than the moon landing and the interstate highway system combined. What do we have to show for all of that money spent?
    15) Members of your administration promised that the trillion dollar stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Instead, we’ve had 35+ months of 8% and above unemployment. Doesn’t that mean we wasted a trillion dollars on nothing?

    • @ Naten53……Obama has asked me to step in and answer your questions for him….hope this suffices.

      1) I plead the 5th amendment protection.
      2) I plead the 5th Amendment protection.
      3) I plead the 5th Amendment protection.
      4) I am King Obama. Who needs Republicans? I know what is best….you do not. Shut up, knave.
      5) Give me time, weed hopper. I just sent billions to Brazil to produce their oil and they are selling it to China instead of us. I just killed the pipeline from our neighbor to the north so the oil will go to China. It takes time, comrade.
      6) Huh?
      7) I am King Obama….in time they will bow to me.
      8) I am King Obama….I am going to revamp the Nobel Prize committee in my image. I need four more years.
      9) I am King (soon to be Caliphate in training) Obama. I do not need Congress. I will by pass those weenies as they have no spine. Even my own party does not see what I am doing. Quit asking me these questions or you will be exiled.
      10) I am the great wrecking ball of this society. It is still at AAA?…..shit….I was hoping for lower. I need four more years.
      11) I am King Obama. I already told you that I know what is best for you. The seniors have already lived their life…it is time to confiscate their earnings and make them totally dependent upon the government….however, my death panels will take hold. Just four more years.
      12) I am the all seeing economic Chicago Guru. I disavow your use of the term taxes….they are fees.
      13) I am King Obama.I will go down in history for doing what no other state has been able to do. Bring down the United States.
      14) What are you talking about? Have you not seen my golf handicap lately? My entourages to Europe, my parties? Are you daft? I am King Obama… as I say, slave.
      15) ****sigh**** have you learned nothing? I am King Obama…..the only way to keep the masses in check is to treat them like mushrooms. Keep them in the dark and feed them shit. They will follow….for they are weak.

      In closing….I AM THE I AM…….and you are exiled.

    • to list all his whoppers would require a book, but let’s examine some of the highlights.

      In his first State of the Union address in 2009 we got these doozies. Speaking about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the precedent President stated:

      “Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.”

      In March of this past year, the Pravda of the Obama administration otherwise known as the New York Times had to admit that after all the spending from the ARRA, instead of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs, we lost an additional 2 million.

      He then talked about the dangers of growing the deficit, this was kind of like Rosie O’Donnell extolling the virtues of charm school.

      “There is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children. And that is the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them a debt they cannot pay. With the deficit we inherited, the cost of the crisis we face, and the long-term challenges we must meet, it has never been more important to ensure that as our economy recovers, we do what it takes to bring this deficit down.”

      This from the man who has added more debt to our children’s future serfdom than any past President.

      “Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time. But we’re starting with the biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade.”

      I defy anyone, to find one single item other than the military that this President has asked to be cut.

      In 2010 the jug eared elocutionist really encouraged us to have a “willing suspension of disbelief” with these little myths.

      “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.”

      Yes Virginia, he really said that. Of course he didn’t really believe it, and neither did we. But he wasn’t through yet with his proboscis growing statements. He then cut loose with this little gem on lobbyists.

      “That’s what I came to Washington to do. That’s why — for the first time in history — my administration posts on our White House visitors online. That’s why we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs, or seats on federal boards and commissions.”

      The fact is there are more unrecorded visitors to the White House these days than to a cheap New Orleans whore house. And they have a little work-around to the visitor logs anyway. They just get together at the satellite offices with the folks they don’t want us to know they are meeting with. This administration also has plenty of lobbyists on the payroll.

      Last year Obama not only continued to grow the deficit, he also grew the “deficit of trust” of the American people. First he went back to his support of freezing spending.

      “So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. Now, this would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President.”

      Of course we know he has gone back and asked for debt ceiling increases twice since then. And then, he pushed another recycled lie.

      “Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done — put that information online.”

      So we face another Obama State of the Union address this week, and there will no doubt be a plethora of lies and half truths spilled forth from the teleprompter during it. But in the interest of public safety,
      (Sage advice?)
      if you must play a drinking game based on these fables, make the shots small.

      Read more:

    • Ray Hawkins says:


      Higher gas prices wouldn’t have a damn thing to do with commodities speculation would it? Wasn’t there a day when we didn’t allow speculation on basic commodities?


      When oil prices surged to a ridiculous $147 a barrel in the summer of 2008, conventional wisdom held that normal supply and demand issues were the cause. Both the Bush administration (in the form of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission) and most of Wall Street (through both media figures and market analysts) blamed such factors as increases in oil demand from the Chinese industrial machine, and the failure of Americans to conserve, for the surge in crude prices.

      Goldman Sachs, while outrageously predicting a “super spike” that might cause oil to reach as high as $200 a barrel, blamed piggish American consumers and preached conservation as a bulwark against oil supply disruptions. The bank’s “Oracle of Oil,” Arjun Murti, even broadcast the fact that he owned two hybrid cars.

      Well, thanks to Wikileaks, we now know that when the Bush administration reached out to the Saudis in the summer of ’08 to ask them to increase oil production to lower prices, the Saudis responded by saying they were having a hard time finding buyers for their oil as it was, and instead asked the Bush administration to rein in Wall Street speculators.

      According to the McClatchy report, the Wiki cables show that Saudi ministers repeatedly told Bush administration officials that increasing production might be counterproductive.

      The cables show that at the height of the bubble, in May 2008, U.S. officials met in Riyadh with the Saudi assistant petroleum minister, Prince Abdulazziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, who told the U.S. he was “extremely worried” that high prices would destroy the demand for crude.

      “Aramco is trying to sell more, but frankly there are no buyers,” he reportedly said, referring to the Saudi state oil company. “We are discounting buyers.”

      The issue here, which I covered somewhat in Griftopia and in “The Great American Bubble Machine,” revolves around the influx of speculative money into the commodities markets. Because of various changes to the way commodities were traded — including a series of semi-secret exemptions handed out to commodities speculators, allowing companies like Goldman Sachs to popularize commodities speculation — there was, by the summer of 2008, a cascade of investor money pouring into commodities, mostly all betting on a rise of commodity prices. Much of this might have been due to money flowing out of mortgages and into the “safe” haven of commodities, with exploding energy prices being an unwelcome side effect. While there was less than $20 billion of speculative activity in commodities in the early 2000s, by 2008 that number had jumped up to well over $200 billion, with virtually all that money being “long” money, i.e. bets on a rise in prices. All of that new money turned into a battering ram pushing prices through the roof. We are seeing the same phenomenon this year.

      The Wiki documents show that the Saudis had long ago concluded that this increased investor flow was a threat to disrupt the markets. An embassy cable from 2007 recounted a meeting U.S. officials had with Yasser Mufti, an Aramco planner. “The Saudi analysts indicated a link between higher oil prices and the influx of investor funds into the oil markets,” it read.

      The cables also show that the Saudis urged the Americans to enact reforms to rein in Wall Street, calling for speculative limits and other changes. It also showed that some Saudi officials believed that speculation added as much as $40 to the oil price during the height of the bubble.

      All of this is significant because both the Bush administration and the Obama administration have denied this narrative to various degrees. The CFTC only recently admitted that speculation played a role in the 2008 mess, having originally (and stubbornly) blamed supply and demand issues. Subsequent analyses have shown that the Saudi position, that worldwide demand for oil never increased nearly enough to account for the gigantic 2008 price spike, was almost certainly correct.

      More on this to come later. Given the surge in commodities prices in the last year (which may in part have caused the rise in food prices that led to disturbances in the Middle East) and the Obama administration’s seeming reluctance still to rein in speculators, it’s remarkable that this issue doesn’t get more press. It’ll be interesting to see how much ink these Wiki cables get.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Keystone Pipeline – so much disinformation out there on both sides. Lots of lies being told by both sides to prop up the project.

      “Keystone XL is an export pipeline. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.”

      – Anyone know is that still the case? I thought some spurs in later phases would keep a lot of oil in Oklahoma for refining and domestic use?

      “By draining Midwestern refineries of cheap Canadian crude into export-oriented refineries in the Gulf Coast, Keystone XL will increase the cost of gas for Americans.”


      “TransCanada’s 2008 Permit Application states “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply. This is expected to increase the price of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”


      “According to an independent analysis U.S. farmers, who spent $12.4 billion on fuel in 2009 could see expenses rise to $15 billion or higher in 2012 or 2013 if the pipeline goes through. At least $500 million of the added expense would come from the Canadian market manipulation.”

      – Not sure what to make of this….

      “In 2008, TransCanada’s Presidential Permit application for Keystone XL to the State Department indicated “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” to build the pipeline.”


      “Jobs estimates above those listed in its application draw from a 2011 report commissioned by TransCanada that estimates 20,000 “person-years” of employment based on a non-public forecast model using undisclosed inputs provided by TransCanada.”


      “According to TransCanada’s own data, just 11% of the construction jobs on the Keystone I pipeline in South Dakota were filled by South Dakotans–most of them for temporary, low-paying manual labor.”

      – Hmmmmm, this doesn’t look good on the surface. Easy to use the “jobs” card when your data is perhaps both wrong and secret?

      “The U.S. Pipeline Safety Administration has not yet conducted an in depth analysis of the safety of diluted bitumen (raw tar sands) pipeline, despite unique safety concerns posed by its more corrosive properties.”


      “TransCanada predicted that the Keystone I pipeline would see one spill in 7 years. In fact, there have been 12 spills in 1 year. The company was ordered to dig up 10 sections of pipe after government-ordered tests indicated that defective steel may have been used. KeystoneXL will use steel from the same Indian manufacturer.”


      “Keystone XL will cross through America’s agricultural heartland, the Missouri and Niobrara Rivers, the Ogallala aquifer, sage grouse habitat, walleye fisheries and more.”

      – This also does not look real good. Is the risk to the Ogallala aquifer real? Is it bs? Why or why not?

      • Ray,

        I agree there is a lot of disinformation out there. I think it has been established they did a three year study and found no environmental danger. The re-routing around the aquifer seems to be a reasonable precaution, except that’s not good enough? And if you look at all the pipelines already in use, how come we don’t hear about all the spills from them? And is there already on going thru that aquifer?
        “Is the risk to the Ogallala aquifer real? Is it bs? Why or why not?”
        How’s the gulf doing these days? Consider I blame Obama for not letting BP hire the Dutch with the best recovery tech, and minimize the damage done, but it looks like it has made a near complete recovery.

  15. @ DPM……nice touch….a Captain Nemo style underwater retreat. Very chic.

  16. 1000 days today.

    Without a budget from the Senate.

    Guess you can’t claim they didn’t stick to their budget this way, huh?

  17. As we watch the Eurozone struggle with its financial challenges Keynesians keep telling us the solution to our economic problems is to spend more money, to pile up bigger debts.

    A week and a half ago, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the debt of more than half of the Eurozone’s countries, and the failure of those policies should be very obvious by now.

    Solving the Greek debt crisis hit yet another snag on Sunday afternoon. New aid for Greece from the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank would have relied on private bondholders “voluntarily” agreeing to a 50 percent cut in the value of the Greek bonds they hold as the Greek government claims it can’t afford the interest rates demanded on the remaining debt. Unfortunately, for the Greek government, it lacks the power to abrogate the rights of foreign bondholders.

    Greece can’t simply apply the Obama administration’s method of doing away with the rights of GM’s and Chryslers’ bondholders.

    The European countries that have fared the best, such as Germany and Poland, rejected the Keynesian medicine. In contrast, countries following the Keynesian path with massive deficits to try to “stimulate” the economy — such as Greece, Portugal, and Ireland — have done poorly, with low growth and increased government debt.

    Many important Democrats, including President Obama and economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, warned Germany that it was folly to cut government spending and reduce their deficits. According to Obama, “Economists on the left and right agree that the last thing the government should do during a recession is cut back on spending.”

    Krugman criticized the reduction in German government spending in June 2010 as a “huge mistake,” comparing Germany’s policies to those of the 1930s, and said “budget cuts will hurt your economy and reduce revenues [by reducing economic growth].” By August 2010, he was saying that it was still too early to evaluate the policy.

    Yet, more than a year later, Germany’s unemployment rate continued falling, dropping by 0.7 percentage points between June 2010 and August 2011. And as of June 2011, German GDP over the previous year had grown at 2.7 percent, appreciably better than our own anemic 1.6 percent. Germany accomplished this without burdening future generations with higher debt.

    Now, contrast Polish common sense with President Obama claim that ever-more government spending is the solution. Poland apparently found contrary advice from other economists. As revenue has fallen, the Polish government has done precisely what our president said not to do–cut back on government spending. Warsaw lowered government spending by 6 percent last fiscal year, while Mr. Obama’s stimulus and supplemental federal spending helped the budget to soar by 18 percent.

    Poland stands out because of its commitment to free-market policies. Facing down the global economic crisis, Poland slashed marginal tax rates, cut government spending and temporarily suspended some government regulations. The U.S. and the rest of Europe adopted a Keynesian economic policy and went in the opposite direction.

    On January 1, 2009, Poland cut its top marginal tax rate from 40 percent to 32 percent. While our total state and federal corporate tax rates average 39.2 percent, Poland’s is just 19 percent. Companies investing in Poland get to keep 20 cents more out of ever dollar that the earn. What Poland understood is the importance of the marginal tax rate. The less you take from each additional zloty,(the Polish currency) that people earn, the harder they will work, the more they will invest and the bigger the economic pie will become. While our growth rate has been very stagnant, Poland’s soared by 4.2 percent during both 2010 and 2011.

    When Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nine European country debts they made it clear that “more fiscal stimulus from the countries with the biggest debt problems . . . to spend their way out of trouble” wasn’t the answer. Americans can learn from other countries’ mistakes. We can continue following Obama’s proposals and follow Greece or we can follow countries such as Germany and Poland.

    Read more:

  18. The video chronicles that tradition, establishing urgency with its opening line: “Another year. Another speech. Rhetoric. Plans. Promises. And now a country on the verge of bankruptcy.” (RELATED: Ad campaign: ‘Washington could learn a lot from veterans’)


    Beginning with President Ronald Reagan’s first State of the Union in 1981, the Gipper’s voice is heard warning, “Our national debt is approaching $1 trillion. A few weeks ago I called such a figure – a trillion dollars – incomprehensible.”

    Fast-forward two years, and Regan is heard announcing, “I will recommend a federal spending freeze.”

    The video then moves on to 1989, where President George H.W. Bush is heard in his first State of the Union address, pledging, “To work day and night, if that’s what it takes, to meet budget targets and to produce a budget on time.”

    The video hops next to his successor, President Bill Clinton, also making promises on the deficit, saying in his first State of the Union in 1993 that “in the end we have to get back to the deficit. For years there has been a lot of talk about it but very few credible efforts to deal with it.”

    At the beginning of his first term, President George W. Bush continued the tradition: “Many of you have talked about the need to pay down our national debt. I listened and I agree.”

    And in 2010, the video continues, President Barack Obama said, “We are prepared to freeze government spending for three years,” adding one year later a proposal “that, starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.”

    Today, the video states, the national debt is $15 trillion — that’s 15 times the figure President Reagan called “incomprehensible” 30 years prior.

    “Stop the rhetoric,” it concludes. “Stop the empty promises. Cut the spending. It’s time to act. Stop pushing America to the verge of bankruptcy.”

    Read more:

  19. The story is shocking enough, even without bringing race into it: on the way to school in Ocala, FA, a thirteen-year-old girl was beaten unconscious and reportedly went into a seizure after being attacked on the school bus by a group of fellow students.

    The girl reportedly was riding the bus for the first time. Someone threw a shoe at her, and she threw it back, hitting a student. That’s when the beating began. At least seven students surrounded the girl, punched her, held her head to the floor by her hair, and kicked her. The bus driver pulled the bus over, stopped the beating, and then continued driving. But the beating started again, so the driver diverted to a nearby school and called officials, and the girl was taken to the hospital.

    Aside from the brutality, there was another troubling fact about this crime — a fact that predictably did not make it into the news: the attackers were black, and the victim was white. Yet, for the first few days after the attack, not a single news outlet reported on the race of the victim. Since the attack occurred, only one news item has even indirectly mentioned the victim’s race. This can’t be because the information was hard to come by. The Ocala Sheriff’s Office responded to my inquiry about the victim’s race within hours.

    Many well-meaning people will ask why race matters. Violence is violence, and people are people, so why bring race into it? I sympathize with that sentiment. The trouble is that, if the races were reversed, this would be a larger story. It would be a larger story because we have a system of racial double standards — some written, some unwritten — that serve to conceal the reality of crimes like this.

    Race matters in stories like this because liberals have made race matter everywhere, in every facet of life. Every institution, from schools to fire departments, is fixated on “achievement gaps,” or “disparities,” or “underrepresentation,” not to mention every form of racially driven categorization imaginable. Yet, when white people are on the wrong side of a disparity, like a seven-on-one beating, we’re supposed to ignore the racial element of that. Or we’re racist for making a point of it.

    Read more:

  20. I just wanted to share some good news.

    My daughter, Natalie, was born last Tuesday! She and her mother are both doing very well!

    I’m just so full to bursting with pride I need to tell everyone I can!

  21. Judy Sabatini says:

    Congratulations JB, Love the name too.

  22. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

    Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought – and several thousand gave their lives.

    We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

    These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

    Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.

    Read more:

    • I sat there screaming “YOU LIE” through most of it. This is a good time to re-run this piece:

      545 vs. 300,000,000 People
      -By Charlie Reese

      Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then
      campaign against them.

      Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against
      deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

      Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high
      taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

      You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

      You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The
      House of Representatives does.

      You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

      You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

      You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

      One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court
      justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly,
      legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that
      plague this country.

      I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was
      created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to
      provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

      I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have
      no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or
      a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a
      politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or
      reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s
      responsibility to determine how he votes.

      Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they
      did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

      What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of
      gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and
      criticized the President for creating deficits.. The President can only propose
      a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

      The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole
      responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving
      appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House now? He is the leader
      of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can
      approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over
      his veto if they agree to.

      It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545
      people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and
      irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not
      traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth
      that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must
      follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

      If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

      If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

      If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in
      Iraq and Afghanistan …

      If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not
      available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

      There are no insoluble government problems.

      Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and
      whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can
      reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom
      they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief
      that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,”
      or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

      Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

      They, and they alone, have the power.

      They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their
      bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

      We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
      What you do with this article now that you have read it… is up to you. This
      might be funny if it weren’t so true. Be sure to read all the way to the end:

      Tax his land,
      Tax his bed,
      Tax the table,
      At which he’s fed.

      Tax his tractor,
      Tax his mule,
      Teach him taxes
      Are the rule.

      Tax his work,
      Tax his pay,
      He works for
      peanuts anyway!

      Tax his cow,
      Tax his goat,
      Tax his pants,
      Tax his coat.

      Tax his ties,
      Tax his shirt,
      Tax his work,
      Tax his dirt.

      Tax his tobacco,
      Tax his drink,
      Tax him if he
      Tries to think.

      Tax his cigars,
      Tax his beers,
      If he cries
      Tax his tears.

      Tax his car,
      Tax his gas,
      Find other ways
      To tax his ass.

      Tax all he has
      Then let him know
      That you won’t be done
      Till he has no dough.

      When he screams and hollers;
      Then tax him some more,
      Tax him till
      He’s good and sore.

      Then tax his coffin,
      Tax his grave,
      Tax the sod in
      Which he’s laid…

      Put these words
      Upon his tomb,
      ‘Taxes drove me
      to my doom…’

      When he’s gone,
      Do not relax,
      Its time to apply
      The inheritance tax.

      Accounts Receivable Tax
      Building Permit Tax
      CDL license Tax
      Cigarette Tax
      Corporate Income Tax
      Dog License Tax
      Excise Taxes
      Federal Income Tax
      Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
      Fishing License Tax
      Food License Tax
      Fuel Permit Tax
      Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
      Gross Receipts(Ta:
      Hunting License Tax
      Inheritance Tax
      Inventory Tax
      IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
      Liquor Tax
      Luxury Taxes
      Marriage License Tax
      Medicare Tax
      Personal Property Tax
      Property Tax
      Real Estate Tax
      Service Charge Tax
      Social Security Tax
      Road Usage Tax
      Recreational Vehicle Tax
      Sales Tax
      School Tax
      State Income Tax
      State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
      Telephone Federal Excise Tax
      Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
      Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
      Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
      Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
      Telephone State and Local Tax
      Telephone Usage Charge Tax
      Utility Taxes
      Vehicle License Registration Tax
      Vehicle Sales Tax
      Watercraft Registration Tax
      Well Permit Tax
      Workers Compensation Tax

      Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most
      prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest
      middle class in the world, and Mom, if agreed, stayed home to raise the kids.

      What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

  23. Mathius™ says:

    Thought for the day: a 100 oz silver bar is one of the coolest things ever – 100x cooler than coins and with a lower premium.

    • Mathius

      It makes a great door stop.

      • Mathius™ says:

        I’m going to line my bunker with them… let’s see, it’s about 6″ x 3″.. I’m going to need to cover, conservatively, 2,000ft^2 of wall space…

        Hey, JAC.. can I borrow $48 million? I promise to pay it all back ones the dollar hyper-inflates.

        (it would cost roughly 2.56B to do it in gold.. if you’re feeling particularly generous..)

        • Mathius

          I suggest you melt them down and make thinner sheets. It will greatly reduce the cost of your new wall paper.

          Perhaps you can get yourself on the next Obama Economic Stimulus Grant program. Just convince them that you are creating Green Jobs.

  24. Couldn’t remember what this was all about. This fills in the blanks somewhat.

    • Kathy

      When Newt was coming to power he was beating the “ethics” drum against Congress. He used the check kiting authority in Congress to make his case, while he was guilty of the same behavior.

      Newt was supportive of the Impeachment of Mr. Clinton while he was having an affair himself. While the impeachment was really about Mr. Clinton’s lying to investigators, the public viewed it as about nothing other than his personal sex life.

      Newt stood tall on the budget and Mr. Clinton called his bluff, shutting down the Govt twice. The Public blamed the Republicans for the stalemate and the shutdown. Same rhetoric about Granny not getting her Soc Sec checks as was used by Obama last summer.

      The shutdowns and the Impeachment, all led by Newt, resulted in the Republicans getting thumped in the 1998 elections.

      So if you are still considering Newt I think the real questions need to focus on what has he learned about “Leadership”. He has a history of arrogance, much like the current POTUS. This is not conducive to getting big things done. Even within your own party. He has a history of divisiveness. Has he learned his lessons and can he change?

      He is a Big Federal Govt guy. Where is the evidence he has truly changed his views on this point?

      Now I don’t see the answers to these key questions because nobody in the media has asked them at the debates. Ron Paul seems to be the only one that addressed the issue of what do we do now vs. what do we need in the long run. Newt slipped the question and the moderators moved on to something else ridiculous.

      • Interesting, I didn’t know what the ethics thing was all about, but being cleared of any type of crime never makes as much news as what the alledged crime was no matter who you are.

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          Remember that old Ray Donovan quote from the Nixon days. After he was found innocent Donovan said, ….”Fine, now where do I go to get back my reputation?”

          I’ve known a few people in my time who have been in that situation. Unfortunately, the answer is nowhere. You are cooked.

  25. Thought of the day regarding the speech last night and the upcoming political season.

    It appears that we may finally be rid of the “its Bush’s fault” response to all our problems.

    Now the first response to all political questions will be “I killed Osama”.

  26. Clever in a very juvenile way. But one more example of why the Elephants continue to struggle, and why the RNC needs a house cleaning.

    • I don’t get it. Why are you calling out the RNC? …not that I’m defending them…

      • Anita

        Because this is juvenile. Similar to nah, nah, nah, nah, you said that before.

        How would I respond if I were the DNC or Obama? “Something worth saying is worth repeating until it sinks into the thick skulls of the elephants”.

        The D’s accuse the R’s of obstructing solutions to these key issues. So what do the R’s run as an advertisement. An admission that nothing has changed. So here is another retort.

        “We keep talking about these things because the Republicans keep obstructing reasonable solutions that will help the middle class”.

        “If the Republicans would just stop playing politics with the lives of our citizens perhaps we won’t have to keep talking about these issues.”

        Do see what I am getting at now? The RNC and the R leadership just keeps walking right into the line of fire. They seem incapable of looking past the end of their nose, or at least their tired old political methods.

        Mr. O provided plenty of red meat to go after. You know, that CORE PHILOSOPHY stuff we talk about here at SUFA. But notice how the RNC is always avoiding that discussion of CORE VALUES. And when it does, it never states them any more specifically that Mr. O did in his speech.

        • Well these statements in the SOTU caught my attention:

          “From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.”

          “Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China.”

          “At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced States to lay off thousands of teachers.” vs. “Of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid. We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. ”

          Read more:

          • V.H.

            Or how about “I saved GM. Thanks to ME GM is now #1”

            “We need to stop bailing people out”.

            Well MR. PRESIDENT, just WHO is it that you think we need to stop bailing out? Does this extend to your POLITICAL FRIENDS and SUPPORTERS???

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            What a friggen jerk. It’s the government’s involvement in education and medicine that cause the 10% plus inflation rate we see in those fields every year. As the financial aid counselor told me back in ’96 in a rare moment of honesty when I was looking to send my eldest to my Alma Mater, “Tuition begins where loans and government grants end”. So, if tuition is $ 30,000 and you can pull in $ 15,000 in financial aid, then in reality the real cost is half. Schools like Grove City in PA do not accept any government programs and guess what? Their tuition’s are half of what equivalent colleges cost. Docs will tell you the same thing. Government mandates drive up costs not to mention defensive medicine and the trial attorney lobby.

            The first time I ever noticed this peculiar effect was when private sector rents in New York City almost doubled in the space of two years. That coincided with the launching of Section 8 housing subsidies. If the feds would give you $ 800 to house a poor or homeless family why would you rent to me for less?

        • Gotcha..and you’re usual. 😉

      • Anita

        An example of what I am talking about..from the speech.

        “The two of them shared the optimism of a Nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism. They understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share – the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.

        The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important.”

        REALLY Mr. President? That is our defining moment? Making sure our system is fair???

        How about the fairness of over 60 trillion in debt we are shoving onto the backs of our children and grandchildren? How about the fact that your PLAN does nothing to reduce this, in fact it will INCREASE this IMMORAL act perpetrated on future generations.

        How about our ability to even sustain our Republic? Do you really think FAIRNESS is the defining moment when our very Nation could cease to exist as we know it???

        Your own defense dept has identified our National Debt as the Single Biggest Threat to our national security. But you think that the REDISTRIBUTION of wealth and centralized planning of our economy is the “DEFINING MOMENT” of this generation.

        You Mr. President are a MAN WITHOUT A CLUE.

        🙂 🙂

        • Yessir!. Notice he also called for at least 3 more agencies to help straighten things out? 🙂

  27. Well-Crap-can’t wait to hear the results of that study 🙂

    Woman Claims Neighbor’s Energy Efficient Windows Are Melting Her Toyota Prius
    January 25, 2012 12:19 AM

    STUDIO CITY (CBS) — A SoCal woman says the energy efficient window installed in a neighbor’s condominium is melting the plastic components on cars parked in her carport.

    Heather Patron of Studio City was dealing with a mystery regarding her Toyota Prius.

    “The side view mirrors were melting,” says Patron. “Anything that was plastic on the car was melting.”

    Toyota told Patron nothing was wrong with the car. After having the mirrors replaced, she noticed the mirrors on the car parked next to hers were also melting.

    Patron then observed a powerful beam of light that was reflecting off the window of a next door condominium, casting a concentrated beam over her carport.

    CBS2’s Randy Paige placed a thermometer in the pathway of the beam on a partially cloudy day. The temperature registered over 120 degrees in less than five minutes.

    “I’m positive that this window is what is causing the damage to my car,” says Patron.

    Patron is not alone. Reports across the country have alleged damages brought on by concentrated sunlight reflected off of energy efficient windows. The National Association of Home Builders is now conducting a study on the matter.

    “I just don’t feel like it’s fair,” says Patron. “I feel like it needs to be known that this is happening. And a lot of people probably have damage out there, that they aren’t aware that it’s the windows that are causing this.”

    The Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety says even if the window is the source of the damage, there are no code violations involved. The department says it’s not against the law to install a window that reflects sunlight.

  28. Whatever one thinks about Gingrich–a little fear BS going on here or just outright blackmail -either way this……person is …………..

    Pelosi On A Gingrich Presidency: “That Will Never Happen”

    RELATED VIDEOS | expand
    John King, CNN: “You make your case there passionately for President Obama. But also understand that this is a tough reelection climate for any president, Democrat or Republican in this economy. Because of your history with Speaker Gingrich, what goes through your mind when you think of the possibility, which is more real today than it was a week or a month ago, that he would be the Republican nominee and that you could come back here next January or next February with a President Gingrich?”

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “Let me just say this. That will never happen.”

    King: “Why?”

    Pelosi: “He’s not going to be President of the United States. That’s not going to happen. Let me just make my prediction and stand by it, it isn’t going to happen.”

    King: “Why are you so sure?”

    Pelosi: “There is something I know. The Republicans, if they choose to nominate him that’s their prerogative. I don’t even think that’s going to happen.”

  29. I did not watch it but I have heard from several people that he did not try to run on his record at all……he was selling what he was gonna’ do….thoughts?

    I did hear about his “fairness” doctrine……I have this to say for those of you out there on the lefty side of things. I will go for fairness……I will pay a 30% capital gains tax just as soon as everyone pays 30%……….and that includes the 49% that pay no taxes. Make them pay 30% and I will back it….until then……deaf ears and I do not give a tinkers damn about monetary impact arguments. EVERYONE PAYS EXACTLY THE SAME>>>>>>then I will back fairness and become an Obama backer on this one issue only.

    Want no deductions??? I am cool….as long as NOBODY gets a deduction fro anything. Fairness is treating everyone the same.

    • d13

      Good afternoon Colonel. Hope all is well in Texas. Very soggy here in the land of nuts.

      The other day I was in an exchange with several lefties on the issue of “fairness” at another site. I think it was HuffPo.

      I finally asked if they would all agree it was FAIR if EVERYONE just paid the same “effective rate” as Buffet. You know, about 15%.

      For some odd reason it stopped the discussion.

  30. One other thing that I found out last night and confirmed it today as I did not believe it.

    Picture this… individual that works for a company for 35 years retires at age 63 and draws a pension. Then goes to work for another company past the age of 65 and gets laid off. He pulls social security, pension and 99 weeks of unemployment all at the same time. According to the IRS….as long as you were not laid off from the same company you are pulling a pension from… can do this.

    Unbelievable……social security, pension, and unemployment….and we wonder why we are broke.

  31. I also saw on here some interest in the price of retail gasoline and the price of oil per barrel relative to speculation interests. I was not in a position to understand all of it to discuss it with any rationale….however, since the family has significant oil and gas holdings and my brother deals with that side of it on a regular basis……we sat down and talked…..and I now understand how speculation has a direct effect on retail gas prices. If anyone is interested,let me know and I will outline how speculation and futures purchasing affects retail pricing and the lag time involved, For example, the price per barrel is falling today but the retail price is rising….why? I know why.

    • d13

      I would love to hear the explanation. I have experience with cattle futures, as a means of protecting myself, so I couldn’t understand the accusations. At least back then you HAD to take delivery if you held a contract that was not negated by an opposite trade. This was a deterrent to very much speculation and the price set by futures contracts didn’t seem to affect the final market (spot) price much at all.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      I know it exists but would like to know how it works.

    • I’d like to hear it as well. I think I have a basic understanding, but would like something to compare it to. Especially a real world perspective, without all the financial terms.

  32. Obama rescues hostages … what are you crazies on the right going to do now? It’s over … the election is over.

    Who is going to be first SUFA-natic to give Bush the credit?

    Obama to the rescue!

    • gmanfortruth says:


      I totally give Obama credit. After 3 years in office, he is not ballsy enough to use the most powerful military on earth to end this third world pirating problem. Why? Because he is a fu#%!ng coward! Yes, Charlie, he gets all the credit 🙂

      • So G-Man,
        You want to invade another county? Because things turned out so swell in the last two countries we invaded?

        Weren’t you one of those piss’n and moan’n about Obama starting a third “war” in Libya?

    • Maybe the next “Jobs Bill” should include something to give the Pirates jobs so that they don’t have to be Pirates anymore…. whats that? You mean pirates in Somolia and not Pittsburgh?

    • Oh Charlie…..give me a break here. This girl was in captivity for almost three years…..she was not a recent captive. So…one of two things happened………it took three years planning time…….OR……it is election year. You decide.

      • Oh d13thecolonel……give me a break here. This girl was in captivity for almost three years MONTHS.

        She was not a recent captive.

        So…one of two things happened……you either get your news and info from that wonderful right-wing “media”……or……you just make up shit to fit your narrow view. You decide.

    • Oh Charlie, my Plutonian Canoli Eating, friend…..I owe you an apology. I should have known better than to rely on MSM reporting (Time and US News and World Report)…..I had a brain fart. Todd called me out correctly so…….( I called and talked to informed sources ). The lass had been in country for three years working with the locals and was kidnapped in October of last year….. the two mags have it wrong.

      So, as much as it pains me…..this big, black feathery object you see me eating….is a dose of crow. ( Not bad with Jalapeno’s though ) I hope this does not impair future Canoli invites. So…….again. I was wrong and freely admit it……and will, (while eating crow) give great KUDOS to the military and smaller kudos to the Administration for allowing it. Smaller kudos because the administration was not on the front line.

      Mathius….pass me a LARGE RB to go with this.

      • I’m curious what Time and US News & World Report articles you read that had this wrong. I can’t find any.

        • Todd…will go back and try to find them for you….I found them while perusing through the several links that come in dail to various news articles and things. I always expect Time to be very wrong as they usually are….but the USNWR surprised me. However, you were quite correct and I was wrong and corrected such after I verified that from bonafide sources. I do not have the actual mags…..just links…..and it is quite possible that one or the other picked up the same reporting…I know that happens as well. Will see what I can find, if I have not deleted it.

      • Colonel … you’re always welcomed to my canolli parties. Remember, I am a greater good guy … pass the pastries.

        I did not follow this story at all … knew nothing about it until I saw it on the news the other night. I just figured (pot stirring moment at SUFA). Praise Obama (whom I pretty much can’t stand for what he’s done to labor — why you here should all love him) and watch the crazies on the right go berzerk.

        Never fear sir, you’re always invited to my Plutonian (or otherwise) festas.

        • It was a good tweak and rightly so….it will now be interesting to see how he handles the Egyptian mess where they are detaining several US citizens now……supposedly for violating a law that has never been enforced until now. However, if our citizens violated a law, then they should pay the price.

          Please…..there is nothing that Obama could do to make me even like him. But, as I said before, he is the President and all there is to run against him are RHINOS. The established party…..except for Paul, who would never get my vote. I know the man too well. ***sigh***

          But, whatever fest you put on………we shall dine together without political discourse.

  33. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Colonel, is the current idiocy to cut back from 45 brigades to 32 as bad as I think it is? That seems to mean losing about three plus divisions. Afghanistan is still on and Iraq is not even cold yet and we have apparently already forgotten the lesson about “boots on the ground”.

    • No sir… is not bad from the standpoint that the reserve contingent has been increased to 16 Brigades. A great deal of the fighting has been done by reserves anyway. So, reverting to National Guard type Divisions….the cost of maintenance shifts from Federal to State. What is being done is a smoke and mirrors effect or creative accounting. Takes the money out of the Fed budget as a cut…..but is increased to the State Budget. Watch California very carefully. I submit that you will see some new reserve divisions magically appear there.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        But who will pay? Almost all the armories in NYC have been shuttered so that the state doesn’t have to keep them open., Even the stately old 7th Regiment Armory on Park avenue, built by private subscription is in the process of being turned into some kind of culture center despite the fact that there was supposed to be a poison pill in donating it to NY State. The massive Kingsbridge Armory is a hulk, the 102nd Engineers in Upper Manhattan is now a Track and field center and guard/reserve membership in NYC is a joke.

  34. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    Anybody get a chance to watch Newt on the space program and a moon colony yesterday? Media is already tearing him to pieces. Apparently they have forgotten Kennedy pledge about doing the moon landings in less than a decade. Comments?

    • Did not see it and am very favorable to our space program. But he needs to back away from it or will be polling below Pelosi. Isn’t there a budget/deficit issue?

      by 1996 Gingrich thought that the space program had lost its “spirit of adventure” because of the pernicious influence of government bureaucrats. If they were to get out of the way and allow private space exploration, he wrote, private entrepreneurs could be given free reign to explore the heavens at a fraction of the cost.

      We could also have sex in space.

      “I believe that space tourism will be a common fact of life during the adulthood of children born this year, that honeymoons in space will be the vogue by 2020,” Gingrich wrote toward the end of the chapter. “Imagine weightlessness and its effects and you will understand some of the attractions.”

      While proposing items like a permanent moon base make it clear that Gingrich is still intent on blurring the line between science fiction and government policy, there are some differences between the Newt of today and the one who wrote “To Renew America.” The book is dedicated to his ex-wife and current antagonist “Marianne, who made it all worthwhile.”

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        I agree with you. Rather than explore the possibilities, trash him and make it a “folly”. I always remember Heinlein touting the benefits of 0 G’s especially for the elderly or physically impaired, “Waldo Inc” anybody?

        • In Florida, he may be playing to a forgiving crowd, but it may backfire also. They have a strong tea Party, I think mainly Sr. citizens. So he cannot scare them on Medicare, SS, etc. I think he would be better on the space program to only talk about our not having an orbital vehicle.
          Leave the moon and other projects for the future, after our deficit is dealt with.

  35. A lot of talk recently that Newt was not a Reagan man-So I’m trying to determine the truth of those charges. I’ve found these two articles and I’m in the process of watching and reading all these articles in the second one. But others opinions would be appreciated.

    Nancy Reagan 1995: Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt
    Posted by William A. Jacobson Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:50pm

    There is something truly obscene about the full blown assault on Newt Gingrich’s strong Reagan conservative history from and on behalf of Mitt Romney, who unabashedly ran away from the Reagan legacy and conservative principles in his 1994 Senate campaign and 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Truly obscene.

    The latest iteration comes from Elliott Abrams writing in National Review, quoting pieces of a single speech Newt apparently gave on the floor of the House on March 21, 1986, in which Newt criticized certain foreign policy decisions of the Reagan administration. Abrams does not link to the full speech or to other speeches of Newt at the time.

    Instead much of the anti-Newt conservative media — including a screaming Drudge banner — accuses Newt of “insulting” Reagan. It is part of a smear campaign which started when Newt surged in Iowa and National Review unloaded with it’s infamous “Marvin the Maritan” issue, and now it has resurfaced once again now that Romney is in electoral trouble.

    A more honest assessment comes from Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator. Lord, who was in a position to know because he witnessed first hand Newt’s interaction with Reagan, has written a critical column, Reagan’s Young Lieutenant, Much like Byron York’s column debunking Romney attacks regarding Newt’s ethics charges, Lord’s column is a critical contribution to the truth in a sea of shameless lies.

    Lord portrays Newt in a much more favorable light:

    Newt Gingrich was part of the Reagan Revolution’s Murderers’ Row. And anybody who was in Washington in the day, much less in the Reagan White House or the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign (and I would make that particular cut of three), knew it….

    …. time after time after time in the Reagan years, a number of those times which I had the opportunity to see up close as a young Reagan staffer charged in my duties with being the White House liaison to Gingrich and Kemp’s Conservative Opportunity Society, Newt Gingrich was out there again and again and again for Ronald Reagan and conservative principles. In his own memoirs, The Politics of Diplomacy, James Baker noted of his days as Reagan White House Chief of Staff that he always “worked closely” with the people Baker described as “congressional leaders.” And who were those leaders? Baker runs off a string of names of the older leaders of both House and Senate in the formal positions of power — plus one. That’s right: young Newt Gingrich….

    …..But whatever happens, quite unlike the picture Romney is trying to paint of his prime opponent in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich was very much present and accounted for on the Reagan team. To borrow from Reagan’s farewell address to the nation and the men and women who served him, Newt Gingrich wasn’t just marking time. He made a difference. He helped make that City on a Shining Hill stronger. He helped make the City freer.

    Quite to the contrary of the Romney message, Newt Gingrich was in fact one of Reagan’s Young Lieutenants.

    One of the best.

    At the 1995 Goldwater Institute Dinner honoring President Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich was the keynote speaker. Nancy Reagan gave a short speech on behalf of herself and President Reagan, in which she both spoke warmly of Newt and recognized Newt at the heir to the Goldwater and Reagan legacies:

    The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century. Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.

    Nancy Reagan had it right, as does Jeffrey Lord. Newt was part of the Reagan revolution and he was the heir to that legacy, not alone, but as someone to whom the torch had been passed.

    That torch never was passed to Mitt Romney, and if it had been, he would have rejected it:

    The promotion of Romney’s presidential aspirations has forced much of the conservative media to conflate capitalism and free markets with the Bain business model, a position we will live to regret.

    So too, in order to promote someone who never was part of the Reagan revolution and opposed the conservative agenda of the 1990s, we are willing to reinvent and distort the history of conservatism.

    We deserve what we get.

    Update: Drudge versus history

  36. gmanfortruth says:
  37. To Those Interested in Oil Speculation and how it affects retail pricing.

    OK here goes…..and if I get into trouble I will ask my brother again. First of all, we, as a family, that produces oil and natural gas, do NOT get involved in futures. It is way risky because in this instance, you do not get the oil in hand… has yet to be pulled from the ground. The price per barrel could drop leaving the futures holder (contract) with a margin call which will be explained later.

    First and foremost, understand that oil futures are NOT the same as cattle or grain or hard commodities that you can take possession. Oil is sold on the spot market. (That means that whatever the price is today, is what oil sells for). Also, oil, when sold on a contract basis, requires a percentage deposit prior to the call date (call date =the agreed upon delivery date of the oil). This is usually a low percentage to buy (buy=make) a contract. You need to understand margin call as well (margin=the difference in the agreed upon price and the spot market when actually delivered if it is less than the contract price).

    Here is how it works (simplified). Joe Tent Peg is a trader/speculator. He watches the news and gets alarmed at the bluster of Iran. OMG, he thinks, if Iran closes the straight….there will be less oil. So he rolls the dice and speculates at the price of oil YET TO BE PUMPED FROM THE GROUND. Let us assume that the spot market today is $90 p/bbl. (p/bbl=price per barrel). So he jumps out there and makes a buy (contract) of five million barrels (5 tanker loads) at a future date (call date) speculating that the price of oil is going to be $100 p/bbl. He goes through his broker to do so and puts up a 10% deposit to secure the buy. Johnny Dip Stick and others of his ilk see what is happening with Joe Tent Peg and decide to do the same thing and then you have open bidding among speculators on future oil not yet delivered and still in the ground and it drives the p/bbl higher….all thinking that Iran is stupid enough to close the straight. Let us further assume that the p/bbl goes above the $100 mark on Joe Tent Peg…he all of a sudden has a margin call on the deposit side of his buy because the deposit was based upon 10% of the buy. Now, 10% of $110 is more than $100 and the buy calls for the increased deposit. So, the speculator has to come up with the difference. He can pony up the dollars or sell a portion of his buy to someone else to raise the cash. So, it rocks along for awhile and in the meantime, the supply of oil already in the pipelines begins to run out and the refiners need oil. The speculators have driven the price up to “x” dollars and the spot market will buy what it needs. So let us assume that Joe Tent Peg is sitting on a couple of tankers of oil and the refiners want it and the spot price is now $100 bucks and he sells his buy or contract to the refiner for $100 p/bbl. When the call date arrives and Joe Tent Peg takes delivery and re-consigns it to Harry Gas Maker….$100 p/bbl oil is now in the pipe line. The retailers are going to have to buy at a higher price now because the p/bbl has gone from 90 to 100 bucks. Consequently, the profit margin is raised to compensate at the retail level. It does not matter if you are Shell Oil or Billy Insignificant….it is what it is…spot market price in the pipeline.

    Now….take into consideration that Iran does not close the Straight and the oil continues to flow freely and the price of oil falls to $80 p/bbl. It will not affect the retail price because $100 p/bbl oil is in the pipeline. The retailers have to buy that refined product at the higher price because it is in refining. There is ALWAYS a lag time between the spot market and the retail price because of the logistics. This is why you have a falling p/bbl and a rising retail price until the lower price oil gets into the logistical scale. So, when the speculators bid against each other and start making buys on future oil…..the spot market increases its price. This is where speculators have a direct influence on the price of oil.

    This is, however, fraught with danger. A speculator runs a huge risk with OPM (other people’s money). A speculator never puts up his own bucks unless he can leverage (leverage=protect) his own personal investment. The down side to speculation is buying a future and the price NOT reaching its goal. For example, Joe Tent Peg buys at $100 p/bbl and it does not happen. The price of oil stays or falls when his call date is due. He has to sell to the spot market at $90 but is on the hook for $100….he now has a margin call to make up the difference. So if Charlie Dumb Ass put his hard earned money with Joe Tent Peg and the oil sells less than what he contracted for…..Charlie has to also pony up the difference because Joe Tent Peg would not enter into an agreement with Mr. Dumb Ass without a margin call protection clause.

    In closing, it is a BIG BOY’S game. Speculative buys are not for the young. You can make big bucks and/or you can lose it faster than you make it. BUT the question was asked…how can you have retail prices going up when the oil is falling. Hope this helps…..if there are specific questions, please ask.

    Also, for those of you who understand that we are also in the cattle business….we do not sell cattle to speculators either. We stay away from speculation and always go with the spot market. It is our way.

    • d13

      Good morning/afternoon Colonel.

      You started out explaining how Oil futures are different and that the speculator basically LOCKS in the future spot price because he actually purchased the future oil contract. But then you explained how he could lose if the spot price did not reach the future price he paid.

      The second part seems to contradict the first part.

      I guess I still don’t see how the speculators can drive up Spot prices unless they are ACTUALLY controlling the availability/price of the oil upon the exercise date. But if that is the case, then how can they get hurt? That would only seem possible if they did not make up a large enough group to affect total supply/price.

      Could you also ask your brother if the retail price of gas TODAY is also driven by the expected future spot price.

      I know in other businesses, the price is often increased today as it is today’s profits that pay for the future “wholesale” goods. Thus retail price increases can precede wholesale price increases. But at the same time reductions in wholesale prices precede drops in retail prices. This of course results in higher profit “margins” right when wholesale prices are dropping. A very bad PR problem for the BIG BOYS, but ignored for the medium to small guys.

      • I was trying to tie two things together…..but if he locks his price in via a contract and guarantees a purchase price at the call date……and if the gamble does not get to that price…..he gets hosed. Loses money…lots of it…. because he has to buy. He has to buy regardless of the spot market price at the date of call and if the oil did not rise…he must sell on the spot at the lower price and make up the difference on a margin call.

        According to a broker, that exact thing happened some time ago. If you will recall there was a time that tankers full of oil were sitting in harbors waiting to be unloaded but the speculators would not sell waiting for the price to come up. They tried to create a false shortage because they tied up the tankers. This only worked for a shot period of time as the demmurage charges on a tanker were horrendous. The really big boys…Exxon, Shell, etc….bought their own oil back at a lower price but they could absorb the loss.

        It is the intense bidding on futures that drives the spot price up. The only way it affects the retail price is what is in the pipeline (refineries) at the time of the bidding and how much oil is available to replenish the pipeline. This is why the government goes into the strategic oil reserves at times is to release enough oil to the pipeline to keep prices lower at the retail level.

        The disgusting part of it is….right now….speculators are driving the price based upon threats from Iran. No one sees that fact that Iran does not have the transportation logistics to move their own oil if they close the straight or attempt to close the straight. So, they try to buy oil in large quantities…..and tie up tankers for storage. It is a dangerous game to be in that market….but the rewards are great if you cal it right.

        The BRO says yes, the spot market is currently being driven, to a smaller point today, by the speculators…..if they buy enough futures. Herein lies the problem, he says, because in today’s computerized era, programs are established to run models on the basis of day to day spots and make buy decisions in that manner. In other words, the computer triggers trades and there is no human aspect saying…..let’s wait another 24 hours. He says that everyone is tied to these computers and they trigger computerized bidding back and forth and no one says WAIT A MINUTE.

        What also exacerbates the problem is that the small oil and gas wildcatters like us….cannot go to the refineries individually. We are forced to sell on the spot market and not allowed to deal with the refineries direct. This means we cannot offer lower prices. It is easy for us because we do not have the overhead that the big boys do…..we pull oil out of the ground for 15-30 p/bbl but are forced to sell it at spot prices. This is in one way good for us because we get the big bucks….BUT, if we wanted to undercut the speculative price….we cannot.

        • d13

          So lets try a couple more questions.

          If I understand correctly, if I buy a futures contract I can take delivery, if I choose to. This is however, optional. I could just close my position before the call date. Right?? This is the same for Cattle or any other commodity as far as I know.

          Next. If I take delivery, don’t I have to pay the FULL contract value? If so, then the “speculators” accused of holding all those tankers would have had to have had billions of dollars at their disposal. This doesn’t sound like your run of the mill “speculators”.

          I wonder what the volume of the “speculation” was the Big Boys buying contracts to cover themselves in case the run up was real and not speculative.

          And of course, we haven’t even touched on the Crack Contracts……………I suggest we not get into that, for the sake of SUFA’s sanity.

          I am curious when you say you have to sell at spot and can’t deal with the refineries. WHO exactly is it that you are selling to?

          • In oil, you do not have the option of dropping the contract. You cannot take possession of oil that is not out of the ground. You only get the oil when the call date is due. The only way you can close your position is of you sell your contract to some other. Remember, in oil futures, you have a substantial down payment just to set the contract. You are making a down payment on oil not yet pumped from the ground.

            Yes, you have to pay the full contract value, no matter the price per barrel at the time. If you contracted oil for 100 dollars and the spot price is 90 dollars…you have to pay the 100 dollars. No one will buy the oil at 100 dollars if the spot is 90. So you have the choice to sell at 90 and take a loss or hold the oil on tankers hoping the price comes up in that time period. I think the demmurage on tankers is around 300 thousand per day. So it does not take much delay to kill your profit. They sell at a loss.

            The Big Boys have been known to do this but they usually do it on the short end.

            We have no choice but to sell to oil brokers. Refineries will not deal with wildcatters.

            • One other thing…..there were a set of individuals that tried to set up a refinery in Fort Worth Texas….it was not going to amount to much. In other words there was no way they were going to be able to give any competition to the Big Boys. The object was to be able to buy from small wildcatters and individual land owners. They were going to refine only one type of gasoline and number 2 diesel fuel. They were blocked by Clinton Administration and again by the Bush Administration. They just tried again recently and the EPA has made it impossible for them to comply. This is utter bull shit and an abomination. But it is what it is. Stifling the free market again.

  38. gmanfortruth says:

    @ Todd,

    Yes, since fighting piracy on the open seas equates to invasion in your little liberal mind, I guess that must be what I mean. They should do an updated version of “All in the Family”, you could make millions playing Mike Stivick, aka “Meathead”. 🙂

    • Todd, you need to move quickly….

      A 2005 Chrysler 300C once owned by President Obama, has resurfaced on Ebay three years after it was first offered on the auction website. In December, 2007 the then-senator reportedly traded in the HEMI V8-powered luxury sedan for a Ford Escape Hybrid. Only 1,800 miles have been put on the car since it was purchased with 19,000 miles on the odometer.

      The previous auction, which listed the car for a starting bid of $100,000, fell apart when phony bidders pushed the price up to $1 billion dollars and the car hasn’t sold in the years since. Nevertheless, it was posted again last week and this time around the anonymous owner is asking $1,000,000.

      No bids had been placed as of late Wednesday afternoon.

      A representative for the Illinois-based owner tells that now that Obama has spent three years in office they think the car has even more historical value than it originally did. She cites the reported sale of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 1977 Peugeot for $2.5 million as an example of the potential value of the vehicle.

      The current auction runs until 10:30 PM Wednesday, but if there are no takers the car will likely be listed again at a lower price.

      Read more:

    • G-Man,
      Maybe you haven’t heard, but these pirates were on land.

      And what’s with the name calling?

      • Todd

        Where have you been lately? Off enjoying your fresh snow?

        Question for you, given I know you follow environmental issues.

        Do you have any good friends or acquaintances in the BLM or Forest Service?

        If so, I suggest you ask them about what the major emphasis is by this Administration at this time. Other than quickly spending all their stimulus carryover. Especially ask them if they are getting any directions about their “hiring authority”, including the “temporary seasonal workforce” this coming summer. Those would be the college age kids they hire for trail and fire crews.

        Hope you have gotten in at least a little skiing this winter.

        Its inner tubing time here.

        Best to you and yours.

        • JAC,
          Been busy with FUN stuff! And skiing since Dec 5. Because I want to ski ASAP and ALAP every year, I spend a lot of time in the off-season smoothing out trails, picking rocks, and planting grass. That’s paid off even more in recent years with the warmer winters and unpredictable & undependable snow.

          I don’t have any friends in the BLM or Forest Service. What is it you’re hinting at?

  39. gmanfortruth says:


    CMon Man, can’t a guy have some fun around here. You know Obama is nothing more than a puppet, just like the entire Congress. they don’t work for us, that’s for sure. You know where I stand, and I stand firmly. We have much in common as I see it. Peace! 🙂

    • I’ll give you the puppet.

      Hey, I’m watching the debate and you all know I have no use for the free market, but I gotta say I do love Ron Paul … he’s so NOT a politician. If only he saw the folly of his market theory.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        It has been a bit comical. Paul is pretty straight forward, the rest just kiss ass for votes.

  40. gmanfortruth says:

    Sorry State Of The Union
    January 26, 2012 by Ben Crystal

    President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night.My fellow Americans:

    What an honor to be standing above you this evening. I mean for you, of course. Tonight, you mark the third anniversary of my ascent. With your continued obedience, it will not be my last. In fact, if all my plans for you come to fruition, I figure I’ve got at least 30 more of these to go.

    I would like to first acknowledge some noteworthies. Seated behind me is the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. Hey, Joe. Joe. Joe. Joe, put down the sippy cup! Did you remember to go before we started?

    Seated next to Vice President Biden is Speaker of the House John “The Man with the Tan” Boehner. Eventually, I’ll be able to book you a spot where you will really sport a savage tan. The Guantanamo Bay Spa? Bring your sand wedge, buddy.

    And where’s my Michelle? Heck, you can’t miss her. Get moving, right to the Taco Bell! What? I figure since we already use two of everything else: limos, Air Force jets and vacations, we might as well use both bedrooms, right? That’s a nice dress, honey. Which one of your taxpayer-funded, take-along-a-few-dozen-of-your-best-friends-and-live-it-up-like-Oprah trips did you pick that one up on? Are those diamonds? Isn’t being rich awesome?

    Where’s my other girl? Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi! Hey, Nancy, why so surprised? Oh, um, right. Awkward. But seriously, what a job she did laying the groundwork for my invasi — er — election! How many people watching this even remember that the House approval ratings under Nancy’s Speakership were as crappy as they are now? Oh, right. We suppressed that, didn’t we? Nancy, of all the duplicitous, multimillionaire hypocrites at the top of the liberal food chain, you’re definitely one.

    And there’s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Harry, you can put Nancy’s purse down when you’re in chambers, pal. How long has it been since you and your fellow Senate Democrats have even offered a budget? I think I was still helping ACORN fill out absentee ballots the last time.

    Down to my left, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Guys, I know I ran on an anti-war platform, but no one told me blowing stuff up is so awesome! Did you see that resurgence of Gadhafi loyalists in Libya? Come by the Situation Room tomorrow. We’re going to continue the war we were never fighting to begin with over there. Grab some of the boys I deployed to Uganda without telling anyone. And we need to go over our plan for the invasion of Iran, toward which we are totally not ramping.

    Down in front: the Supreme Court of the United States, the last line of defense of the Constitution — whatever the hell that is. Keep whispering, Justices Thomas and Alito. Attorney General Eric Holder needs to see you after the speech tonight, boys.

    And where’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor? Hey, Mitch: I’ve decided to declare you in session. Now, you’re not. Now, you are. Now, you’re not. Ha-ha-ha! Don’t you glare at me. Ask Senator Rand Paul what happens to prominent opposition politicians who hassle me. Dr. Jellyfinger to the House Chamber, stat!

    Up in the gallery: the corporate media. Without your willing complicity, this would be a whole lot more difficult. “Any criticism of Obama is code for racism.” That’s brilliant. And you conservative commentators? Four words: National Defense Authorization Act. Four more: indefinite detention without trial. You feeling me?

    As for the State of the Union: I have moved us from two shooting wars to 2½. If the timing works, Iran will be next. The economy is in the toilet, and I intend to close the lid and nail it shut. We’re going to beg, borrow and steal whatever we need to push pet projects like Solyndra and cover cronies like Jeff Immelt when he sends jobs overseas. More Americans than ever are on government assistance; and if I have anything to do with it, we’re going to make that a clean 100 percent. Meanwhile, most of my “achievements” have forced us to run up debt like a second wife on Rodeo Drive. Don’t worry, though. We’ll bill your grandchildren.

    To liberals watching me tonight: Keep it up, and we’ll put you on the top of the approval list for one of GM’s combustible golf carts. To the non-liberals: Pay no attention to the Homeland Security strike team outside your front door.

    Good night and Alla — er — God bless me!

    –Ben Crystal

  41. How about a “hell yeah” for Seal Team Six?



  42. Tuesday Night

    Me: Just remember, there is nothing on TV tonight
    Her: Isn’t Obama on doing his State of the Union?
    Me: Like I said, there is nothing on TV.

    • Ray

      I had a very interesting experience this week with the State of the Union speech.

      I did not watch it or listen to it. Sorry, but I have lost my ability to watch that man without feeling rage building.

      But on Wednesday I did READ the complete thing. Did a little evaluation as I read it again about three times.

      Then I started listening to the media coverage and following the left/right blogs.

      It was amazing. I thought the speech filled with contradictions, cheap rhetoric and quite flat.

      Those that heard it could only heap compliments upon the man. “The most powerful closing to a speech I have heard in my lifetime”, said one pundit. Guess which side of the isle she sits on.

      I thought I might have missed something about the “greatness” so I compared it to parts of some old speeches given by “great” men, back when there was no TV. You know like Lincoln, Adams, Washington. There was NO comparison, even in just the written word.

      My take away is that the speech is designed to affect emotion given the speaking style of Mr. Obama. If you take away the sound of his voice it has little power and absolutely NO GRANDEUR.

      I think in the future perhaps we should ALL do this with major political speeches. Regardless of the source.

  43. Well we got it again. I am off again for weekend tornado damage cleanup.

    • I didn’t realize it was that bad-be careful out there.

    • Dang! That’s tough to look at That area got hit around Christmas too, didn’t it? That makes three big storms in a short time. Michigan has been dodging the bullet for a while now. Makes a person count their blessings. .

  44. Ron Paul-“I don’t think we should go to the moon-we should send some politicians up there” Hee Hee LOL

  45. My wife and I thought the best line of the night was when Ron Paul said he’d answer the phone and want to know why he called. Perfect. An absolutely honest and perfect answer … no playing to the crowds/votes. For that he alone, he should be the nominee.

    If only he’d walk away from that free market nonsense … he’d be the PERFECT candidate.

  46. Santorum:

    ‎”Faith is a very important part of my life and it’s an important part of this country. The foundational documents of our country-everyone talks about the Constitution, very important-but the Constitution is the ‘how’ of America. It’s the operator’s manual. The ‘why’ of America, who we are as a people, is in the Declaration of Independence. ‘We hold these trust to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.’ The Constitution is there to do one thing, to protect God given rights. That’s what makes America different than every other country in the world. No other country in the world has its rights based in God-given rights, not government-given rights. And so you say, well, faith has nothing to do with it. Faith has everything to do with it [applause]. If our President believes that rights come to us from the state, then everything government gives you, it can take away. The role of the government is to protect rights that cannot be taken away. And so the answer to that question, I believe in faith, in reason in approaching the problems of this country. But understand where those rights come from, who we are as Americans, and the foundational principals by which we have changed the world.”

    Big applause. Mathius? You don’t like the mention of God. You are NOT the 99%.

    • Mathius™ says:

      Of course I’m not the 99%. I couldn’t possibly be prouder of that fact.

    • Anita, my love. The problem with quotes form the constitution and/or declaration, et al … they were written by men … quite wealthy and educated men … and as wonderful as they “sound”, they really weren’t very accurate (not at the time they were written or today).

      My creator was Spiranza Telese (Stella at the time of my birth) … I guess the old man had something to do with it too but I try not to give him too much credit.

      This is why Rick will never fly … he’s not even off the ground yet … you’ll be stuck with frik (Newt) and frak (Romney) … and we’ll all be stuck with Obama … not becuase he’s any good (see my blog post tomorrow when I take issue with his “state of the onion”–because it might as well have been written by the onion). It’s all a farce that is controlled by the 0.06% (of which Romney is one).

      And if we’re going to pray about anything, let it be that the Moonachie Blue Team defeats the Foxboro Cheatriots next week … please.

    • ” We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

      I’m just starting to really understand the significance of these words-If the Progressives win-that means religious views have to die-which means I can not live my life as a Christian because one can’t just leave ALL their values at home. And I don’t see where the Progressives are offering any new ideas which can contend with unbridled human passions. All I see is the idea that there shouldn’t be any moral guidelines to bridle anything. We have become a country trying to figure out how to make two totally incompatible viewpoints work together-Which I don’t think is possible- All I can see right now, and I am not meaning to be dramatic, is slavery to the State, a bloody revolution(and no one knows where that will lead) , or living in an uncivilized cesspool.

      Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry-just look at these words and apply them to our politicians and how they use them to run for office.

      I have a lot of thinking to do-I’ve always agreed with civil rights and non-discrimination laws-but I have watched with everyone else while these laws have caused more discrimination then they have stopped. I’m thinking the only way I can live my Christian values and the Progressives can live as they please-is too allow discrimination in the private sector and make most everything private.

      I know this has been a piecemeal sorta rant, although I’m not angry so it isn’t really a rant-but like I said-I have a lot of thinking to do-life is such a roller-coaster.

      • gmanfortruth says:


        You need only to believe as you wish, not as others want you to believe. An interesting question to ask all those that want to do away with religion would be “If not for believing in God and knowing that at the end of life I will have to answer for my actions, what morals would I have, if any?”

        Be proud of who you are, be proud to be a Christain and tell anyone who don’t like to f$&k off! 🙂

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Right, because an atheist is just incapable of having morals…

          Yes, you should be proud of who you are, and embrace who you are, but let’s not criticize those who do not share your religious views.

          And to VH, not so sure how you make the leap that progressives winning means the end to you living your life as a Christian. While it is true Progressives seek a strong separation between church and state, that has absolutely nothing to do with how you choose to live your life.

          • First of all, I am not saying that atheists do not have any individual morals-I am saying that there seem to be very few if any agreed upon societal morals or social norms we as a society can agree on. And if you win -I will not be allowed to live as a Christian-because you are taking away my ability to live my beliefs using the force of law to label my beliefs as discriminatory. So I may be able to believe certain things but I no longer will have the ability to shun those things which I disagree with.

            • Wouldn’t you be able to do so in private?

              What do you need the law for?

              • Please define private to me-in relationship to discrimination laws. What can I do in this world that involves another human being where being accused of discriminating against one group or another can not reach me.

                I don’t understand the second question in relation to what I’ve said-the whole point is that discrimination laws, which seemed like a no brainer are being shown to be wayyyyyy to broad a term to use for a law because there seems to be no limit to how they can be applied.

        • Good answer G. I struggle with the same thoughts as V has. Besides if you believe in God you have to believe in Satan. Both are constantly pecking at us. Who do you want to have your back? (rhetorical question) The rest is all noise.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Actually, you do not have to believe in Satan if you believe in God.

            • Facepalm! we can’t have Satan either…I’m listening…..

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Anita, not sure what you are looking for me to say. There are many many many different religious views out there. There is no requirement that one believe in Satan if they believe in God.

                But no one is saying YOU can’t have Satan (or God). That is completely up to you.

              • Fair enough..but does that mean we just make up the rules as we go?

              • Anita

                The point is that you can have Satan if you want.

                But you DO NOT HAVE to have Satan if you don’t want.

        • G-Man,

          Be proud of who you are, be proud to be a Christain and tell anyone who don’t like to f$&k off!

          Wow, that’s quite the “Christian” attitude you have! Did you learn that in Sunday School?

          • gmanfortruth says:

            WOW! Who are you to judge anyone?

            • You’re kidding, right? You judge everyone who disagrees with you.

              Your previous comment was nothing more than judgment and condemnation of those who disagree with you…

      • V.H.

        You seem distraught and in a bit of a funk this morning.

        Do not fear, at least to the extent you portray here. The Progressives CAN NOT stamp out Religion in general nor your Religion in particular.

        Now it is possible, though I think unlikely, that humans will reject “religions” in the long term. But I do not see humans EVER discarding spirituality or the concept of some higher being/existence/intelligence or what ever you want to call it. Even if they did, it would be far into the future.

        I know that you equate religion and morality as integrally linked. But you must recognize that immorality has in fact been linked to religion as well, including those within Christianity. You must also acknowledge that men of high moral standard have existed who are not religious. So this begs the question of the linkage between the two. At least at a high level of thought.

        There is no doubt that for many humans it seems their moral standards come from their religion. This does not mean that the relationship is an absolute, but only that most people don’t spend time exploring the nature of morality and the relationship of religion to our daily lives. Much like Govt, they simply accept it as a truth. They never question or challenge the premise.

        I think Mr. Santorum’s statement was an excellent summary of how religion informs humans in their daily lives, including the foundation and operation of institutions like Govt. Where he strays is his inference that ALL the founders, and the Declaration of Independence somehow VALIDATE Christianity as the SOLE source of our moral standards or that it REQUIRES that we ALL acknowledge God as the source of our Inalienable Rights. Those who do not recognize God have the same rights, and their lack of belief does not mean they ASSUME or CLAIM that there rights then come from Govt.

        In fact I know many “religious” people who think their Rights do come from Govt in general and the Constitution in particular. So this is not a problem with secularism vs. religion, it is a failure to TEACH history.

        I also wanted to point out that there are MANY Religious leaders in this country who are now espousing the notion that the Progressive Ethic is Consistent with Christianity. Including the concept of Social Justice and placing environmental protection over Human needs.

        Your anxiety and frustration deserves serious thought and discussion. But I think your “solution” is self evident and is dead on. Reduce the role of the State. We will figure out how to coexist quite well, as long as we share the desire for peace and prosperity.

        • Have a lot more thinking to do on this subject-but I think my views based on Christianity isn’t really the point so much as the fact -that if I can’t adhere to my Christian values due to broad discrimination laws-then no one else can adhere to their views either by force of law.
          But a society that has totally opposite moral codes–how does it survive-and how much right do the people in a society have to determine what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. And if you take away the right to shun by force of law-you don’t have a voice-freedom is gone.

          • One other thing, before I leave(leaving for a night at a hotel, woo hoo, party time 🙂 ) the Founding Fathers may or may not have based the Constitution on any particular religion but then again they may have-but they definitely based our rights as coming from our creator) but “we the People of the time-I would say accepted it based on basic Christian principals. But I think the point was more that we as a people needed to be of good moral character(not lying, me me above all else) kind of people and that we needed to have some basic moral principals to bind us together. We are losing that bond.

  47. Obama’s in the (Big) house! U of M. My daughter can’t catch a break. She saw him (so did I) on base in Hawaii, now she just saw him, from her office, making a commotion in the streets of Ann Arbor. 🙂

  48. January 27th..I haven’t held a snow shovel in my hand yet this season. My son shoveled once. Matt? Do you need to borrow my shovel?

  49. Politicians, summarized quite nicely.

    An excerpt from an article at American Thinker:

    “Today, American Idol appears to be the litmus test for electing a president. Is someone cool, hip, and exciting? Is he/she good-looking?

    On that basis Obama is eminently qualified. He is good-looking and smooth-talking (with a teleprompter), and he exudes confidence. These characteristics, coincidentally, are the same ones necessary for a successful career as a charlatan or confidence man. What is not coincidental is the overlap between a successful politician and a successful criminal! Success in either of these two fields is dependent upon duplicity, fraud, and coercion.”

  50. Jerri, Jerri, Jerri … presidential choices & Castro … swing baby, swing …

  51. Want a good look at how ME diplomacy is played out… this.

    Iran’s ayatollahs are again testing U.S. resolve
    By: John Bolton | 01/08/12 8:05 PM
    OpEd Contributor

    Iran’s threats to close the vital Strait of Hormuz, its naval exercises in nearby waters, and the ominous increase in tensions over its nuclear weapons program all point to a dangerous year ahead.

    Even worse, Iran’s belligerent rhetoric and behavior today only foreshadow its behavior once it becomes a nuclear weapon-armed state.

    Iran undoubtedly wants to avoid further economic sanctions, and is threatening the weak and unstable global economy to magnify the potential effect of any interruption in vital oil shipments from the Gulf region.

    But more importantly, Tehran is testing Western resolve, especially Washington’s, as it draws ever closer to a nuclear capacity.

    How should America respond? As the U.S. Fifth Fleet did, saying “any disruption will not be tolerated.” Significantly, however, President Obama has not spoken, once again signaling to the ayatollahs that his heart just isn’t into standing up to them.

    The president’s continuing lack of leadership in response to Iran’s saber rattling brings to mind the October 1961 Berlin Crisis. There, just a few months after the communists began constructing the Berlin Wall to stop the hemorrhaging of refugees from East Germany, a confrontation developed at the Cold War’s iconic Checkpoint Charlie, located between the U.S. and Soviet sectors in Berlin.

    American Patton tanks, armed and ready, stood tube to tube with Soviet tanks just a few yards away, as Berliners and the world held their breath. At one point, President Kennedy telephoned his personal representative in Berlin, Gen. Lucius Clay, hero of the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift, to hear Clay’s assessment.

    Kennedy closed their conversation by saying, “Don’t lose your nerve.” Clay famously shot back: “Mr. President, we’re not worried about our nerves. We’re worrying about those of you people in Washington.”

    Iran today may not be equivalent to the Soviet Union in 1961, but then again, Barack Obama is no John F. Kennedy. Iran will be watching every American reaction, especially as it sees the European Union once again on the verge of opening negotiations over the nuclear weapons program.

    The Tehran regime has made incalculable progress over the past decade by using the European obsession, shared in many U.S. circles, that there is some satisfactory negotiated settlement to Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

    While the prior negotiations droned on inconclusively, Iran gained precious time to advance its nuclear weapons program, enhance its political legitimacy by appearing diplomatically “reasonable,” and fend off stricter sanctions. Every indication is that Iran will unlimber this successful strategy yet again.

    Iran’s ingenious, decade-long response to the West’s naivete reveals the basic flaw in the whole sanctions approach, especially Obama’s. Economic sanctions against Iran were once intended to force it to give up its nuclear weapons program, but now the president’s aim is for sanctions simply to get Iran back to the negotiating table.

    And once there, what will happen? The race, on the one hand, between Iran’s scientific and technological progress toward achieving a deliverable nuclear weapons capability, and, on the other, the possibility that diplomacy or sanctions can stop Iran from achieving that objective, is now in its final stages.

    It has long been clear that, absent regime change in Tehran, peaceful means will never persuade or prevent Iran from reaching its nuclear objective, to which it is perilously close.

    Indeed, viewed dispassionately, advocating diplomacy or sanctions, and believing they will actually impede Iran’s nuclear program, simply provides cover for Iran to do just that.

    Unfortunately, Iran is paying attention to Obama’s weakness, and the weakness of the Europeans, not to the Fifth Fleet’s unequivocal statements. Once again, as in Berlin in 1961, it is those nerves back in Washington we should be worrying about.

    John Bolton is the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

    The ME has learned well, the art of Brinkmanship from the United States and Russia. Combine this with the sweeping takeover of the smaller ME countries, backed by Iran, and now Egypt, backed with Iranian money holding American Citizens that want to leave…… is going to be interesting and exactly what I predicted earlier last year.

  52. @ Charlie……..good morning, my friend. I would like to pick your Plutonian brain, if you will allow it. I have been reading your blog and watching your posts with interest.

    Would you please favor me with YOUR definition of capitalism? Please try to refrain from those quotes of 5 million per hour or whatever you do…just define it…in your words.

    The reason that I am interested is because I have asked several people their definition…..from right wingers to left wingers…and I have yet to receive the same definition.

    Thanking you in advance,,,,,and a tip o’ th’ hat to you……

    • Caro Amico, buon giorno, Colonel!

      In a nutshell, my issue is this: Capitalism is a mechanism by which those with the most gelt seek to maintain their wealth and to do so they must have things go their way. I know BF, et al, look to the utopian capitalism whereby competition will always rule the day; that bad practices will not ultimately be reward, etc., etc., but the facts are, they are rewarded … mostly because those with wealth set up a government to protect their wealth (it was not a government created for the greater good and if one wants to believe it was (the best intentions of the founding fathers, etc.), then it sure didn’t work out that way. It (capitalism) may have worked back in the day (for some/certainly not all–to include those this country exploited (home and abroad) but it has reached the point of globalization and profit without producing anything. We are thrown bones … some of those keep us mired in survival but sooner or later that won’t work. Those with the power are required by the nature of capitalism to expand that power (it is foolish and unrealistic to think otherwise). In the process, workers are exploited … to suggest that those with the power “earned” it, is a stretch I’m not willing to make. The sweat of the brow argument is a nice fantasy but it floats about as good as a 1956 Buick.

      It is the mechanism that is faulty. Capitalism requires expansion for success. Expansion comes in all forms, most of them detrimental to those at the bottom (whether they are there by their own desire (not likely) or they are stuck there because they’ve lived through generations of poverty, etc.). Just because you or I are proactive in our lives and seek some achievement of success related to owning things (property/assets), does not mean the rest of the world should or has to. And I know for a fact I’ve had advantages others have not had. I also know the deck is so rigged these days (corruption-politics-money) that nothing short of a revolution would overturn it (not that a revolution would yield a greater good scenario). Money sought to protect itself in the form of governments. People without had to go along with it (I don’t remember any signatures of cattle herders on the constitution). As wealth expanded it protected itself. What we have today is inevitable in a capitalist society. I believe as Noam Chomsky does; capitalism can not survive without government support. We will be forced to turn to socialism (perhaps the worst kind–born of revolution) because the money refuses to yield. The fact it has so many workers believing the propaganda of free markets is what keeps it alive (i.e., SUFA et al) … people believing in fantasies about their own government, willing to dismiss the evil it has done over and over again, yet vilifying other forms of government wholesale … drinking the American patriotic kool-aid, so to speak.

      I am not a believer in an absolute welfare state, but I don’t for a second believe that any of the 0.6% “earned” what they have. Not for a second.

      Nor do am I willing to dismiss what this country has done in the name of “equal rights for all”. I’m sure BF, et al, will have a 20 page response about how this isn’t capitalism (what we have today–not free market capitalism) but you cannot find free market capitalism anywhere becaues Chomsky is correct, it cannot survive without the government … or the government wouldn’t have been put in place in the first place.

      Gotta go buy a new car … the foreign Honda has finally died … burial at 2:00 p.m.

      • Thanks Charlie….I will have some more questions…..but understand your bereavement. Please accept my condolences at the loss of your “foreign” investment.

        • The Honda was bought back in the day when I was a devout capitalism money lender … it’s an old baby (170,000 miles) … and I did the “smart” capitalist thing (bought much for the money).

          I will buy another one now because my purchase has nothing to do with my political system. So long as the two major parties are what is “offered” to us, I’ll continue to buy smart. Take another look at my blog, Colonel. So long as union members side with either of these two parties, they do nothing for me. I don’t blindly support anybody … but since I have to live here by the rules of the elite, I’ll get as much as I can for the gelt. I want a good car … Honda is one of the best. We also drive a Volvo, also a good car. I’ve had Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles and frankly, they sucked. This is what I meant by being stuck in suvival mode (what the big money depends on). We’re all too busy surviving to take up arms .. but probably long after I’m gone, we won’t be able to survive this absurd gap in wealth and then the money will have to flee … and the people will figure it out on their own.

      • Charlie

        Until you can wrap your mind around the Gross Contradictions and IRRATIONAL thinking in this statement, you stand little chance of solving the problems you rant about daily.

        “but you cannot find free market capitalism anywhere becaues Chomsky is correct, it cannot survive without the government … or the government wouldn’t have been put in place in the first place.”

        But in the mean time you will enslave the rest of us in your mission to find Utopia.

        • But in the mean time you will enslave the rest of us in your mission to find Utopia.

          JAC, out of left field this one was. Who is looking to enslave you besides the institutions you claim you hate so much (the government)? Okay, that one you’ll agree with, but then deny it is owned by the wealthy. Talk about IRRATIONAL friggin’ thought!

          My man, try the caffeinated version.

          • Charlie

            It is not irrational at all. You desire a political system, Communism, that you yourself admits results in enslaving the people. Until you realize that trade among free men is not the problem but the power of Govt, you are captive to the very problem you rant against.

            Now if you please, address the contradictions and illogical argument you, and Chomsky, made against free market capitalism.

  53. @ VH……hope that you survived your party…..

    I usually stay away from religious discussions but here is how the significant other and I handle it and it seems to go quite well. I have been in a lot of countries exposed to a lot of religions and religious underpinnings. As a military officer, I was required to go through classes on the different religions in the areas to which we were deployed. The reason for the classes was to try to understand the reactions of the indigenous (local) population and to try to avoid violated what they considered to be sacred. In dealing with local leaders, it was important for them to understand how we would try to respect their beliefs. As a commander, it was also incumbent upon me to be able to instruct my command on proper and reasonable behavior and still accomplish the mission upon which we were tasked……which sometimes was impossible.

    My assignments have included Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Vietnam, Korea, Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, and Israel….with stopovers in South Africa, Mogadishu, and Somalia. In addition, I had the misfortune of being assigned to UN headquarters. There are a couple of countries I have left out…but you get the picture. So, I think that I have a perspective that a lot do not have.

    When it comes to religion, I have not found one that was not convinced that theirs was the correct pathway. I was raised as in a Christian based family but I do not subscribe to that now. The primary reason that I changed my mind was due to the exposure from all over the world. There is no one alive, I am convinced, that can say which one is right and which one is wrong. Religion, I have found, is local and based on local morals and beliefs. I have seen, in the name of religion, thousands murdered. As a UN observer in Bosnia, I watched a town of 25,000 ethnically cleansed…in the name of religion. (Ethnically cleansed = murdered) We were powerless to stop the madness. I have seen Christian missionaries brow beat a local population and desecrate a religious emblem because they considered it a cult and idol. I have seen Muslim Police whip and torture a female for exposing her forearm and talking to a Westerner in the name of religion.

    Religion, like politics, is a major force to contend with…and it is very powerful and people are willing to die and kill for it. BUT…..I still have not found one that is better than the others. People will cite that Islam is peaceful…it is not. People will cite that Buddhists are peaceful….they are not. People will cite that Hindus are peaceful….they are not. People will cite that Christianity is peaceful….it is not. People will cite that the Jewish faith is peaceful… is not.

    What I have discovered for myself is that religion is personal. It is spiritual and dwells within. I am not a Christian and I have people basing friendship on that basis….I do not need them for a friend. I am not against Christianity nor am I against any other religion nor do I pick my relationships on that basis. My significant other is Christian. Good for her and I support and will fight for her right to be that way. She understands my position and I understand hers. The fact that she goes to church and I do not….does not harm our relationship at all. Living one’s life is the best testament that anyone could make. I am not going to heaven or hell…..I have never seen an angel nor a devil….but will not say they do not exist. I simply have not seen one. I do not take anything by faith. I know the sun will come up in the East everyday…..but I still look everyday to make sure. So, not subscribing to a particular religion, does not make me an immoral or unethical person.

    However, I also believe that there are customs and traditions that are deeply based in religion. Such as the United States. You will never convince another of your position if they do not want to be convinced. Ten thousand angels sitting on your shoulder swearing you are right will not convince anyone that you are correct. I believe that our Constitution was based on Christianity and that basis has formed several traditions and customs. I also believe that the progressive definition of the separation of church and state is likewise wrong and misguided….they, on the other hand, believe they are correct. I do believe that there is an attack on Christian belief and morals and traditions in this country and I support your right to defend such. I think that changing from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays is wrong and I am not Christian. It is a tradition. I believe that all of this bull shit of political correctness and not wanting to offend is wrong. I do not think that to prove this country is truly free we change our values and traditions.

    I also believe that there is or should be religious freedoms in this country and that is the right to establish a Mosque if so desired. What I do NOT believe in…..if said Mosque is used to denigrate this country or preach against this country and incite riot and change in our values and morals is also wrong…..just as I believe that a Christian Church in another country has no right to denigrate that country or beliefs. In our own country, if a Church is used as a bully pulpit….that is wrong. It matters not if the preaching was progressive or conservative….that, in my belief, is not what church is for. I have been around our country, including the Supreme Court and I have seen the Ten Commandments posted everywhere in court rooms all over this Nation. That tells me that this country was founded upon Christian foundation. It does NOT mean that the country is Christian. But to demand that the Commandments are removed is, likewise, wrong. It is our tradition.

    So, do not argue and do not fret. Believe in the way you wish….it is your choice. As with my significant other, she believes in her way and I in mine. We have discussions and she sees my viewpoint and I hers…. and we are just fine. When she is asked why I do not believe the way she does….at Church…..she simply says….he is a free man. He is entitled to his beliefs and it is not my place to change him.

    • d13

      Good morning my Texican friend.


      Nothing to add here, except I have the same situation in my house. It has been a “significant” issue only a couple of times. Otherwise PEACE prevails.

      Best to you and yours this fine day.

    • Thanks for your input 🙂 but I have no problem with living with the non religious on a personal level or even the political level-I have a problem living with Progessives on the political level-and I am starting to realize that they can control our actions quite easily by arbitrarily labeling anything they want to as a matter of discrimination. Even having separate restrooms for male and female based on actual biology.

  54. Question: How did 35 pounds of cocaine end up at the United Nations Headquarters?

    Answer: They ordered it.

  55. Wow, we need to be careful here Conservatives-we are being found by “Science” to be inferior.

    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice
    Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
    Date: 26 January 2012 Time: 10:29 AM ET

    A new study finds links between low intelligence and racism, prejudice and homophobia.
    CREDIT: ArTono, Shutterstock
    View full size image

    There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.

    The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.

    “Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood,” he said.

    The findings combine three hot-button topics.

    “They’ve pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics,” said Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia who was not involved in the study. “When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it’s bound to upset somebody.”

    Polling data and social and political science research do show that prejudice is more common in those who hold right-wing ideals that those of other political persuasions, Nosek told LiveScience. [7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You]

    “The unique contribution here is trying to make some progress on the most challenging aspect of this,” Nosek said, referring to the new study. “It’s not that a relationship like that exists, but why it exists.”

    Brains and bias

    Earlier studies have found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, Hodson said, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step. The researchers turned to two studies of citizens in the United Kingdom, one that has followed babies since their births in March 1958, and another that did the same for babies born in April 1970. The children in the studies had their intelligence assessed at age 10 or 11; as adults ages 30 or 33, their levels of social conservatism and racism were measured. [Life’s Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]

    In the first study, verbal and nonverbal intelligence was measured using tests that asked people to find similarities and differences between words, shapes and symbols. The second study measured cognitive abilities in four ways, including number recall, shape-drawing tasks, defining words and identifying patterns and similarities among words. Average IQ is set at 100.

    Social conservatives were defined as people who agreed with a laundry list of statements such as “Family life suffers if mum is working full-time,” and “Schools should teach children to obey authority.” Attitudes toward other races were captured by measuring agreement with statements such as “I wouldn’t mind working with people from other races.” (These questions measured overt prejudiced attitudes, but most people, no matter how egalitarian, do hold unconscious racial biases; Hodson’s work can’t speak to this “underground” racism.)

    As suspected, low intelligence in childhood corresponded with racism in adulthood. But the factor that explained the relationship between these two variables was political: When researchers included social conservatism in the analysis, those ideologies accounted for much of the link between brains and bias.

    People with lower cognitive abilities also had less contact with people of other races.

    “This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice,” said Hodson, who along with his colleagues published these results online Jan. 5 in the journal Psychological Science.

    A study of averages

    Hodson was quick to note that the despite the link found between low intelligence and social conservatism, the researchers aren’t implying that all liberals are brilliant and all conservatives stupid. The research is a study of averages over large groups, he said.

    “There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals,” Hodson said.

    Nosek gave another example to illustrate the dangers of taking the findings too literally.

    “We can say definitively men are taller than women on average,” he said. “But you can’t say if you take a random man and you take a random woman that the man is going to be taller. There’s plenty of overlap.”

    Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world.

    “Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order,” Hodson said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.”

    In another study, this one in the United States, Hodson and Busseri compared 254 people with the same amount of education but different levels of ability in abstract reasoning. They found that what applies to racism may also apply to homophobia. People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays. As in the U.K. citizens, a lack of contact with gays and more acceptance of right-wing authoritarianism explained the link. [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]

    Simple viewpoints

    Hodson and Busseri’s explanation of their findings is reasonable, Nosek said, but it is correlational. That means the researchers didn’t conclusively prove that the low intelligence caused the later prejudice. To do that, you’d have to somehow randomly assign otherwise identical people to be smart or dumb, liberal or conservative. Those sorts of studies obviously aren’t possible.

    The researchers controlled for factors such as education and socioeconomic status, making their case stronger, Nosek said. But there are other possible explanations that fit the data. For example, Nosek said, a study of left-wing liberals with stereotypically naïve views like “every kid is a genius in his or her own way,” might find that people who hold these attitudes are also less bright. In other words, it might not be a particular ideology that is linked to stupidity, but extremist views in general.

    “My speculation is that it’s not as simple as their model presents it,” Nosek said. “I think that lower cognitive capacity can lead to multiple simple ways to represent the world, and one of those can be embodied in a right-wing ideology where ‘People I don’t know are threats’ and ‘The world is a dangerous place’. … Another simple way would be to just assume everybody is wonderful.”

    Prejudice is of particular interest because understanding the roots of racism and bias could help eliminate them, Hodson said. For example, he said, many anti-prejudice programs encourage participants to see things from another group’s point of view. That mental exercise may be too taxing for people of low IQ.

    “There may be cognitive limits in the ability to take the perspective of others, particularly foreigners,” Hodson said. “Much of the present research literature suggests that our prejudices are primarily emotional in origin rather than cognitive. These two pieces of information suggest that it might be particularly fruitful for researchers to consider strategies to change feelings toward outgroups,” rather than thoughts.

  56. I couldn’t agree more!!!!!!

    January 30, 2012
    The Republican Establishment’s Strategic Blunder
    By Steve McCann

    The Republican Party has a tenuous hold on the conservative movement in America. At present the only home for the 40 per cent of the electorate that identify themselves as conservative is the Republican Party, but it appears that those who are nominally identified as the “Republican Establishment” are doing all they can to alienate the vast majority of the current base of the Party.

    There is no office on Connecticut Avenue in Washington with a sign reading “The Republican Establishment” or the “The Democratic Establishment”; rather it is an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: control of the government purse-strings.

    The Republican Establishment is made up of the following: 1) many current and nearly all retired Republican national office holders whose livelihood and narcissistic demands depends upon fealty to Party and access to government largesse; 2) the majority of the conservative media, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York whose proximity to power and access is vital to their continued standard of living; 3) numerous think-tanks and members thereof who are waiting to latch on to the next Republican administration for employment and ego-gratification; and 4) the reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party.

    The overriding interest of this cabal has been and continues to be: the accumulation of power through the control of the income, borrowing and spending by the Federal Government. Thus, with the exception of the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the Republican controlled House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999, the Republican members of the Ruling Class have been content since 1952 to merely slow down the big-government policies of the Democrats while publicly decrying their tax and spend policies.

    This insider apparatus has been the primary determining factor in whom among those choosing to run for office will receive the financial, media and logistical support so vital for any political campaign, but particularly for national office be it the Presidency or either house of Congress. It is this cabal that has given the nation Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain in the presidential sweepstakes and innumerable go-along to get-along members of Congress.

    This scenario was tolerated and generally ignored as long as the nation was experiencing overwhelming and seemingly endless prosperity. The one major accomplishment of Barack Obama has been to bring a sudden and abrupt end the people’s ability to tolerate this tacitly understood game between the two major Parties.

    The majority of the American people, but in particular those who identify themselves as conservative, are overwhelmingly aware of the true nature of the nation’s problems and the crossroad the country is facing in 2012. The grassroots rebellion that is the Tea Party movement was the first manifestation of this awareness. Despite the success of the Tea Party working within the Republican Party in the 2010 mid-term elections, most of the Republican elites downplayed their success and fell-in with the mainstream media and the Democrats in their well-worn and gratuitous aspersions against those in fly-over country.

    The rank and file members of the Party and conservatives throughout the country are now keenly aware of the opinion the Establishment has of them, as well as what has been going on behind the curtains in Washington. The current Republican nominating process has further exposed the true nature of the Establishment and their self-centered concerns.

    It has been apparent for over a year that Mitt Romney has been chosen to be the next Republican nominee for president. He is next in line and has the track record and inclination to slow down but not reverse the downward spiral in which the nation finds itself; but above all to fall in line with what is expected of a Republican insider. Perhaps coincidentally, he has spent many millions of dollars hiring consultants and beltway pros, and has the fundraising capacity and personal wealth to keep on employing them. Thus he is the ideal candidate of the Establishment.

    However a major problem has arisen. The machinations utilized in the past (with the exception of Ronald Reagan who was not the Establishment’s choice) to maneuver the primary voters into choosing the previously anointed Mitt Romney has now come out in the open as the awakened silent majority is no longer willing to be fooled or taken for granted.

    There are six primary methods of eliminating potential challengers with the tacit cooperation of the mainstream media, and they have been in full display this primary season. They are to portray unacceptable candidates as:

    hypocrites in sexual matters (Herman Cain); or
    unstable (Michelle Bachmann); or
    ignorant and incoherent (Rick Perry); or
    a religious fanatic (Rick Santorum); or
    just plain weird and from another planet (Ron Paul); or
    dangerous and unelectable (Newt Gingrich).

    Sarah Palin would have been placed in all of those boxes had she decided to run, as well as anyone else deemed not acceptable to the elites.

    However, the collective and coordinated vitriol and false or misleading accusations against Newt Gingrich by virtually all in the Establishment, led by the so-called conservative media, is unprecedented. Twice he has arisen, after being vilified and shunted aside, to challenge Mitt Romney and perhaps win the nomination; but the fact that he has been successful in fighting for conservative ideals but in an unorthodox and often contentious, and at times unreliable, fashion has the Establishment in near hysterics. All the other challengers were easily eliminated or made irrelevant, as they did not have the money or experience of knowing how the game is played, but Newt refused to just slink away. Never has the Republican Establishment trained its guns on any one candidate in such an unbridled and unrestrained way.

    Perhaps Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul are not the right candidates to face Barack Obama, but that decision should be up to the voters. While it maybe the role of the conservative pundit class to proffer their opinions of the various candidates, it is not the role of the overall Establishment to so marginalize candidates that there appears to be only one viable alternative.

    The Establishment could not have made a more strategic blunder. They will, in all likelihood, succeed in securing the nomination for Mitt Romney, but the damage they have inflicted upon themselves is approaching irreversible. The public now sees the length to which the Establishment will go to make certain their hand-picked candidate is chosen regardless of the dire circumstances facing the nation.

    Average Republican or conservative voters are the same people that buy the books or magazines or subscribe to the websites, as well as buy tickets to hear speeches by the conservative pundit class. These are the same people asked to open their wallets to support the Party every two years. These are the same people asked to volunteer at the polls and get out the vote. These are the same people who were told every election cycle to trust the Party and its attendant establishment to solve the nations’ ills.

    A number of them (how many is anyone’s guess right now) will no longer be willing to support those factions within the Establishment and the Party or to believe what they are told. These are the people suffering the consequences of the disastrous policies pursued over previous decades, while those in the Establishment live lives of relative ease and comfort, which seems to be their primary concern.

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