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Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 22, 2012

Why Bother With Books? School Lockers Really Should Become Gun Lockers

helen-mug1 HELEN:

Margaret, when someone comes at you with a gun, respond with a gun. And when someone comes at you with a bigger gun, don’t mess around – trade up to a semi-automatic assault rifle with a hi-capcity clip. Fight violence with more violence. That’s cleary the only way to respond to the horror in Connecticut… if you’re a dipshit from the NRA.

Are they bullshitting us? Some peckerwood named Wayne LaPierre at the National Rifle Association announced that the NRA would form the National School Shield Emergency Response Program. And by that he means “armed security” at every school. I don’t know Margaret, NSSERP doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as NRA. This from the people who came up with “Trigger the Vote” as a voter registration slogan for the last election. I guess I expected better.

According to LaPierre, “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Clearly the idea of not having access to the gun in the first place escapes LaPierre, but with a name like that I imagine he became infatuated with guns at an early age. Of course, asking the NRA for a solution to gun violence is like asking Wal-Mart for a solution to big box stores. Somehow having more of them was going to be a given. I wonder if LaPierre knew that just such a security person was on duty at Columbine High School in 1999? My guess would be that fact was overlooked by Mr. LaPierre considering he spends most of his time with his head up his ass.

But really, what the hell do I know? I am just a stupid old woman whose biggest claim to fame is cooking almost anything in bacon grease. But even I can grasp the concept that guns designed to shoot 30 bullets in 10 seconds or 100 rounds without reloading have no business being sold in the first place. Holding gun owners accountable for storing their guns safely from those not legally allowed to use them doesn’t require much deep thought either. Creating a market where bullets are more expensive than a McDonald’s hamburger might be worth considering as well. This is not rocket science. However, I am sure if the NRA were totally honest, they would admit to wanting a few rocket launchers on the school lawn as well. I hear that in addition to killing bad guys they can take out a lot of deer with one launch.

If we follow the logic of LaPierre, we need armed security at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, college campuses, movie theatres, malls, churches, office buildings, grocery stores, parades… I guess the NRA needs to create the National Everywhere Shield Emergency Response Program (NESERP). Now that has a nice ring to it. Sadly, with almost 300 million guns in America, we’re already there thanks to the lobbying efforts of the NRA.

Mr. LaPeirre also called on Congress to create “an active national database of the mentally ill”. I couldn’t agree more. The first name on that list can be his. I mean it. Really.

margaret-mug1 MARGARET:

Helen, dear, did you know you can buy a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 designed and built as a true .22 LR semi-auto from the ground up, with all the standard operating features and accessory specifications of a modern-version centerfire M&P15 rifle in various colors including “Pink and Platinum”? It could match my outfit. I hear they’ll even throw in a few hi-capacity magazines for free. Honey, you just can’t separate a discussion on gun control from one on mental illness. They kind of go hand in hand. LaPierre is just one more asshat to add to our list of many.

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  47. Gee… What do we call you? “Utah”? “Utah CC”? What’s your preference?

    Of course it doesn’t affect you. In fact, the more married people, the better, IMHO.


  48. The “defend marriage” meme seems bogus to me. I don’t see how someone else’s getting married affects MY marriage in any way.

  49. Well said, Al Burt. Thanks for saying what I was thinking.

  50. Happy Easter!

    How many peeps will a .50 cal BMG go through?

    Happy shooting!


  51. So we have negative growth in the 4th quarter of 2012. 4 years of stimulus, spending, bailouts, and debt and this is what we get? This is what we voted for 4 more years of?

  52. What should be the final word in gun control.

  53. Gato:

    Sorry about that. Been coming to this site since it first appeared but almost never commented because it just stirs up the trolls so I rarely comment anymore. I once had a blog on WordPress about something else that had an auto-fill feature but somewhere along the line WordPress decided that I had to use an older ID that I had put together much earlier. However, because I removed my e-mail address the auto-fill no longer functions and I forget all the time that is doesn’t work anymore. So I’ll try to remember to add it at least in the body in the future.

    Al B

  54. Thanks, whoever you are (Can’t you come up with some kind of a nickname or something…?)

    That pipeline offers so little benefit to any “average person” in this country, and the potential of SUCH hardship and damage to same, that I can barely tolerate the thought of it. (I was going to say that I couldn’t understand why anyone would be in favor of it, but, of course, it’s pretty easy to figure out who does, and why… $$$$$$$)

    Even though it’s perfectly clear that the stuff is going to be sourced from another country (and I do love the Canadians I have the privilege to know), dragged across the center of OUR country, to a place where it can be shipped to OTHER countries… A lot of people still seem to think it’s a wonderful idea. I certainly don’t.

    This is disturbingly similar to what’s going on in my small community here, with our water. A large company wants to buy up OUR stuff so they can use it for whatever THEY want to do with it for their “other developments,” and we’re supposed to think that’s a wonderful idea. Again… I certainly don’t.

    I must be in a nay-saying frame of mind these days… ! Dam straight.


  55. Gato & Lori:

    And pipelines never spill, – right?
    A few more arrows for the quivver.


  56. Jeebus Pfesser.

    When I take my first flying lesson can I borrow your Zodiac-601?

  57. Happy Easter, Helen & Margaret and your families! And happy Easter to all the lovely ladies of the porch. I hope that you all are, like me, exhausted and happy this evening after a day filled with family, food and fun.

  58. Because gun control is the answer. Let us look how one of the strictest cities, Chicago, is doing. Would anyone move their family here?


  59. Of course we look for articles that reinforce what we already believe, but here is David Stockman’s take on the phony-money printing that is elevating the current stock market.


    Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. – Milton Friedman

    Save your Confederate money, boys. No, the South is not going to rise again, but it might be worth more than your dollars.

  60. Just in case anyone thinks the Cyprus-styled deposit confiscation theme is a one-off plan, they are eying YOUR bank accounts as well:


    And, by the way, the usual protection for depositors under $250,000 by FDIC deposit insurance won’t apply. It will completely wipe out small depositors.

    What will you get in return? Why, you will become part owner of the failed bank, just what everybody dreams of buying with their life’s savings!

    Anon – how are the flying lessons getting along? Learn about pre-flights yet?

  61. Congratulations on your grandson’s acceptance at a bastion of higher education Auntie Jean! Berkeley, how great! You must be very proud of him indeed! Great news!

  62. and then we have SFB who has his nose so deep speculating in other people’s business than he can tell exactly how much fiber PF had this morning.

  63. Yayyy Auntie Jean’s g-son! Great school fantastic accomplishment! Im sooooo happy for all yinzs.

    Re pipeline. I agree it is much Muchhhh more probs than its worth. Just ask the Kalamazoo residents that are still dealing with this type of “oil ” accident. Whatttt a nightmare.

    There is a letter to Obama floating around our there asking him to just say nooo. Google it and sign it!

  64. Waialeale on March 28, 2013 at 10:13 PM.

    Auntie Jean. Great news re your Grandson’s acceptance at Cal Berkeley. Berkeley is just about the finest State University in the country. My wife and I were there for a summer back in the 1960’s (following the Free Speech Movement days). We enjoyed it so much that we’ve been back several times since for visits.

  65. A man kills 20 children in Connecticut and ‘to much Liberty’ is blamed for the massacre. A president kills 176 children in Pakistan with drone attacks and he is Time magazine’s ‘person of the year.’

  66. The “defend marriage” meme seems bogus to me. I don’t see how someone else’s getting married affects MY marriage in any way.

    Just to show one how crazy this all is, I have a gay employee who is planning to marry his best girlfriend. They are both in their forties; she has an adult son. Both have given up on the idea of finding a partner and have decided to marry so they can take care of each other as they age and be able to make medical decisions, as well as have access to each other’s finances and retirement. We have a nice ten-acre property with a lake; we hope to host their wedding later this summer. I’ll post pix hopefully.

    BTW, like your new avatar, lori – it’s much better than the Che-Guevara -freedom-fighter lookalike.

  67. Hey, Auntie Jean – Wonderful blessings on you and yours! How lucky that kid is to have you as a Granny… We’ve got a terrific porchful of wise crones here, and I’m proud to think I may be one of them… Wise women weave the web that supports us all, and always have… And always will.

    And namaste to you, too!

    And – hey – I’ll say it… Love from my heart to you.


  68. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Oops! Put up this comment on the wrong post. Outta practice.

    I have to break my vow of commenting silence to tell some of my dear old friends here at M & H’s the great news. This is a red letter day in CA and HI!!! 18 year-old grandson #1 was just accepted at UC Berkeley. He’s on his way! We have always been ever so proud of him from the day he was born, but this is the icing on the cake. Just had to share. I am one mighty proud grandma!!! His mom was crying so hard on the phone she could barely talk!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    And P.S. Peas, you are up to your old priceless tricks! Your links have always been right on top of the news of the day. You are a gem!!!

  69. ‘Unnatural Sexuality???’

    PEACE ~ Δ

  70. Oh, Whirled, you are a wicked girl…! Thank heavens (and I mean that quite literally) I don’t think the Creator (whatever He or She might be) gets one bit offended by this kind of thing – and He or She must hope that we don’t, either. Laughter is our greatest gift from the Universe, don’t you think?

    Thanks for posting this; I loved it.


  71. Gato, hi again. I, too, am confused by the various Anons, and I’m often tempted to skip those posts, but hey, what can I say, I like to retain continuity in the discussion, and there’s a good guy/gal among them. I’ll look forward to your post. Have a nice evening.

  72. Traditional Marriage???

    PEACE ~ Δ

  73. Who are you, and what is it that you think someone is trying to take from you? Why do you feel that someone else’s having something means you will no longer have it?

    Just curious…

    Isn’t there something in the Bible about Jesus taking one loaf and one fish, and His making those into enough to feed the multitudes? Wasn’t that Jesus’ whole message – that there is enough for all, especially when people follow HIm? And – most importantly – IS ANYONE SAYING THAT GAY PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY, AND STRAIGHT PEOPLE SHOULDN’T…? I don’t think so.

    “Marriage,” in this country, and many others, must include a secular legal contract; all the rest is at the discretion of the participants. Why else would we all have to go to our local Town Halls for that license, and not just solely to our houses of worship…? Huh? Get married in your church, temple, or mosque, and leave out that Town Hall thing, and see whether you’re “married” or not.

    Or try to sell your house, or validate your will, or any number of other things, solely with the authorization of your house of worship, and see how that goes. All that may work in Afghanistan, and in any number of other tribal cultures, but not here, as far as I know. Case closed, IMHO.


  74. Hi, Terri – Yeah… “Pay in blood”…? What’s that about? And I’m getting kind of confused about which anonymous poster is which… Any idea who is who?

    HTG, I have to say that I’ve never felt even slightly “threatened” by any of my gay friends. In fact, as I look at my, and my husband’s, almost entirely heterosexual families, I can’t help but notice that we’re just about as screwed up as anyone could be!

    Have a good evening…


    BTW, finally am going to get up another post on my own blog tomorrow. http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com

  75. Hi Gato, Some people insist on putting their own religious connotation on marriage. You can count me among those who don’t care what the bible has to say about the matter. No church is going to be forced to marry anybody they don’t want to. And really, haven’t enough straight people made enough of a mess of the whole notion of marriage being sacred? Some, like Rush Limbaugh, do it four times! We are all entitled to equal protection under the law, and that includes gay people. No harm will come to anyone if we legalize same sex marriage. To me, it’s really very simple.
    And now we are told we will “pay in blood.” How Christian.

  76. Our traditions have as much value as anyone else. If you seek to go on the offensive and try and take ours from us when it is unnecessary to do so, do not be surprised when you pay in blood. We will defend ourselves.

  77. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Terri – For responding quick as a whippet, and so very simply and well.

    I’ve never understood why some people look at this issue as a “zero sum game,” where the granting of a legal right to someone else somehow “strips” that right from those who already enjoy it. There is already too much garbage going around about “natural marriage” vs. “unnatural marriage,” whatever that’s supposed be about. When my husband and I got married, the thing that made it legal was not the fact that our good buddy, the Prespbyterian minister, said some lovely words in front of a nice gathering of friends, but that we got a MARRIAGE LICENSE from City Hall. Maybe if they’d just change that to “CIVIL UNION LICENSE,” or some such thing, the whole issue would be defused to some degree. That’s the thing that everyone would be required to have, and that everyone had the RIGHT to have. (Yeah; in my dreams! It won’t go away until those last holdouts give up on the idea that the thing they’re doing is somehow more legitimate than it is if someone else wants to do it…)

    As Justice Sotomayor so pointedly inquired yesterday – and I paraphrase: “Is there any other contract or Federal right that is restricted on the basis of gender or sexual orientation?” Of course there isn’t!

    One of my favorite signs carried by a pro-legalization demonstrator outside the Supreme Court read, “Jesus had two dads, and he came out fine.”


  78. PFesser on March 28, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Is this what you are promoting?


  79. http://christianity.about.com/od/whatdoesthebiblesay/a/marriagecovenan.htm

    According to the link above, there are three commonly held biblical beliefs about what constitutes a marriage in the eyes of God:

    1 The couple is married in the eyes of God when the physical union is consummated through sexual intercourse.
    2 The couple is married in the eyes of God when the couple is legally married.
    3 The couple is married in the eyes of God after they have participated in a formal religious wedding ceremony.

    To quote Anon March 28, 2013at 1:28 PM “this word (marriage) is already taken and defined for more than a thousand years. It has history and tradition and meaning”

    No word remains static for eternity. All words and definitions are subject to redefinition based on current customs and usage. In fact, how many times is definition # 1. still in use.
    Anon: – we are still in the 21st century and times they are achangin’ (just in case you haven’t noticed)

  80. From Merriam-Webster:

    noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\

    Definition of MARRIAGE

    a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

  81. Words have meaning, like all words in our language. Marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. I do support civil unions, but this word is already taken and defined for more than a thousand years. It has history and tradition and meaning for billions of people that deserves the same respect the homosexual community is looking for. They can still get what they want without having to strip us of that.

  82. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/obama-lashes-out-at-powerful-voices-using-fear-and-frustration-to-collapse-gun-control-efforts/

  83. Tom Friedman wrote an extremely interesting book several years back, called “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” in which he made the case for converting entirely to electric transportation. The beauty is that all forms of energy can be converted to electricity and transported over thousands of miles with complete safety – no concerns about oil spills, etc. After all, what we are transporting in pipelines, etc, is ENERGY; why not do it as electricity? The HUGE advantage is that it removes us entirely from dependence on oil from the Middle East; with no serious interests there, we could bring our military home and let those guys fight it out amongst themselves. fine by me.

    Amazon has it for eleven bucks in print, ten for your Kindle. Highly recommended.


  84. Couple of things to consider about the water problem. It’s not as simple as, “The bad corporations are poisoning the water!”

    The Ogallala Aquifer’s primary threat is not an oil pipeline that hasn’t been built yet – it’s over-pumping. Some estimates are that there is only about 25 years of water left in the entire thing. Curbing water use and finding other sources of clean water are the priority. And the idea that there is just so much clean water, and when it’s gone, it’s gone is not true. The sun and oceans make a giant distiller, and every time the water cycle runs, you get clean, distilled water – called rainwater.

    Secondly, we need oil; your car won’t run on pee. As long as Americans refuse to take the steps to convert their transportation system to electric, we are going to have to produce and deliver oil. In an ideal world, that can be done with zero risk; we don’t live on that planet; the engineers know how to deliver oil with low – but not zero – risk. Every pipeline blocked, every ship blocked, every oil well not drilled, raises the cost of fuel. If you are willing to pay that, so be it, but know that is the cost of “activism.”

  85. HI – Al B…? Non…?

    Absolutely agree with you about (1) the irreplaceable value of pure water and (2) that ridiculous Keystone XL pipeline. Basically, we’re offering the belly (or, “spine,” if you prefer) of the US for use as essentially a trench, in which some of the filthiest and most dangerous “fuel material” known to humankind can be shipped from Canada to the Gulf, and from there all over the world to the highest bidder. Anyone who thinks the “average American consumer” is going to see one penny of “fuel savings” from any of this is absolutely delusional – as you have pointed out somewhat more graciously.

    Yes, there may be a few thousand jobs, for eight or ten years, building the damned thing, and then… The only jobs after it’s completed will be cleaning up the inevitable “accidents” that are bound to happen. Contamination of any aquifer would be an absolute disaster. It’s one thing to “clean up” water in which people swim, and quite another to try to clean up water people drink… The entire project is a travesty, IMHO.

    I must add that I cast no particular blame for pushing this on the people of Canada. Who feels what, among the Canadian people, about their oil companies probably runs in about the same proportions as what people here feel about “ours.” As usual, this benefits the fat cats plenty, and the rest of us not at all.

    BTW, the particular water situation with which I am currently involved is not so much about the quality of the water – except that State standards grow ever more demanding, every year. Our water has been inspected and monitored for more than fifty years, and I don’t believe there’s ever been a single case of anyone even getting stomach cramps from drinking it. The issue here is ownership of the supply and distribution – something now promising to be much more expensive in order to meet the newer, and much stricter, standards. Do I think there might be any collusion between any State officials and the “very large water company”…? Let’s just put it this way: I know what I’D do if I were a “very large water company,” and it certainly wouldn’t be to sit idly by and let a small independent community continue to control its own water supply, one that is capable of providing water to hundreds more residences than it currently does…


  86. I see this new symbol popping up everywhere over the last couple of days and was wondering what it meant. So I did some research and discovered what it meant so I can save all of you from having to figure it out on your own. My PSA for the day.

  87. Hopefully, a sad chapter in the drug wars is drawing to a close. Nice article in The Atlantic.


  88. BTW Pfesser

    Why do you spend so much time demeaning women? Were you deserted by your mother?
    And you seem to know so much about Texas. How long have you lived there?

    Just asking.

  89. agreed Al B! .. F&F

  90. thriughthe = through the

  91. Lori & Gato:

    You are correct to be concerned about such an important issue as water purity. While often it can be handled on a local level not everyone seems to care a hell of a lot about regional resources. At risk is the potential destruction of the Ogallala Aquifer if a proposed oil pipeline should rupture and seep into this important source of water.. If you Google it you’ll find plenty of concern.

    In the Wiki entry you will find this report.
    “In 2008, TransCanada Corporation proposed the construction of the 1,661-mile (2,673 km) Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil from the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta to refineries near Houston, Texas. The proposed route of the pipeline crosses the eastern part of the Nebraska Sandhills; opponents of the route cite the risk to the Ogallala Aquifer posed by the likelihood of catastrophic contamination from spilled dilute bitumen.”

    As you probably know this issue is being considered at the presidential level. And while RW charlatans will try to convince you that building this pipeline will lead to lower fuel prices and a hundred year supply that is so much baloney. The refined products will be sold on the open market so the refiners will squeeze as much as possible out of its price. And while China ends up with the refined products, the USA will be left with the cleanup expenses and the going out of business sale of a large portion of the mid country thriughthe dispossession of its inhabitants.

    It isn’t worth the risk.

    Al B

  92. HI, Lori – Thanks for sharing your community’s story – and glad to hear it had a “happy ending”! Many people, including myself, have a strong “survival” connection to water, and it takes some doing to make the nuts and bolts financial feasible for hanging on to the system. But that’s what has to happen, especially in these tight times. The grass roots movement afoot here is exciting (much as I imagine what’s going on in Texas is!), and there’s a real “David and Goliath” quality to it, since we’re dealing with both the State DPH and a large water company. We’ll have to see what happens in the next few weeks… And keep plugging away!

    Loved your line about “All’s WELL…” Perfect for a water drama!


  93. *above

  94. It all turned out well Gato. When I left my little community had “clean city water” and the premium (read tax) they were going to make us pay had been waived.

    Our problem was a little different than yours however. We lived about the Retsof Salt Mine. At the time it was the largest salt mine in North America. Unfortunately a portion of the mine collapsed and it caused lots of additional problems for our community’s wells. Our water was not only unsafe but many homes were forced to share the same contaminated well. Needless to say that’s NOT good. The “City” refused to extend it’s system to our community and thus the battle ensued. After a while the City acquiesced to extending their water system but at an astronomical “fee”. No one…. could afford it.

    I owned a business at the time and for some strange reason I was “elected” head spokes person for our business and home community. LOL LOL

    It’s so ironic because nearing the end of the water battle my husband changed jobs and we relocated to Dallas. As part of the relocation package the company bought my business and our house! Consequently we/I never really benefited from the “city” water… Buttttt my neighbors did. ;-) All is well that ends well..

    I hope your endeavor is as successful.

  95. Hey, Lori – Thanks for the support! And how did it work out in your community? Were you able to hold on to your water? We’ve had our own system here for more than sixty years, with our Community, via it’s Board of Directors, managing the thing all the while, and now we have new requirements for “purity,” and so on, from our State’s health department.

    I – and many other residents – think we have the brains and resources to handle it, and others feel that it’s all just too much. So we’ll have to see how it all plays out. This is community activism at its best, and its most contentious. I guess I kind of love it, in some strange way…


  96. HI Gato! YES I am wishing you great success with your community water system! At the risk of sounding like “one of those people” I toooooo fought for water in my small community when we lived in the Finger Lakes, NY. That project really IS sooo time consuming.

    Gosh that was many moons ago. My youngest was still nursing! LOL LOL I remember that because when I needed to attend yet another meeting, my youngest came right along with me. Lots of times, in those days, that wasn’t heard of. What a difference 19 years makes. Boy, how time flies… But now that I think about it … it’s no wonder she is leading the Progressive charge on the campus of her university! LOL She was literally weened on activism ! some things never change…

    Good luck Girl… Please give us lottsa up-dates!

  97. Seems to me the book was already wrote and perfected on how to get a grass roots movement going, they were called the Tea Party. Unless of course you are talking about a Maryjane grass roots movement, then the dems I am sure are more than qualified, OWS showed us that.

  98. Hi, Lori – I’m not following you as closely as I should be doing. Spending a lot of time working to keep my small community’s water system here from being sucked up by a large outside corporation. This seems like a reasonable way to be spending my time and energies for the next couple of weeks. I surely wish you the best in Texas! And trust you’re wishing me and my neighbors the best here, as well…


  99. opps meant to post this one from my home city. ;-) Yes we can!!


  100. lori – I think you underestimate the people of Texas. It is very much a pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps kind of place. They are a self-reliant bunch, and have very little patience with the socialist nonsense, those who don’t want to work, and those who seek to buy votes with other people’s money. In short, they are Republican.

    If you’d like a real job, however, I’m sure you can find one there. Be warned: may require sweating. Also math. I wouldn’t put “runway model” on my resumé.

    No thanks necessary. Good luck.


  101. and this my friends is how a REAL grassroots movement begins.


    please take a peek at BGT’s blog. be a part of turning texas BLUE!

    hugggggs and kisssses going out to Delurker today! <3 Love ya Girl!

  102. Anon@148.

    Good reply. No country ever prospered by doing the kind of foreign adventuring we are here in the USA, and more than one eventually failed by doing exactly that.

  103. Anonymous: March 25/2013 at 5:20 PM

    I’d guess you’re just lusting after a good sized slab of mad cow beef, right?

  104. Anonymous AKA Al Burt at 1:48 PM: You are the true definition of what a human being should be, full of compassion and insight. Thanks for your input.

  105. I voted Democrat because I am Pro Choice….except on guns, schools, trade, health care, energy, smoking, union membership, light bulbs, plastic bags, Walmart, what foods you eat………

  106. Mr Estes

    Not quite as old as you but did serve in the USN during WWII as did my 2 brothers, six cousins and countless friends. Also, my dad, four uncles and eight cousins served in other armed forces. My brothers joined the Navy before Pearl Harbor probably for the same reasons you did, no jobs during the Depression. Two cousins I can hardly remember failed to survive D-Day and are buried in France. So you don’t have to evangelize about what it means to have served during wartime. However, that learning experience has lead me to a vastly different opinion than yours.

    Because I got educated after the war, I see the world in a different light. Part of my different opinion is also due to the deceitful activities of the last administration that led us into a needless war in Iraq that drained our resources and destroyed our economy. Your concept of “standing up to others” is a judgement that war is the answer to all our problems. It is not. The Iraqi oil, that was supposed to pay us back for liberating the Iraqis from their despotic leadership, is now going to the Russians and Chinese and we are left with the legacy of 110,000 dead Iraqis, uncounted numbers of wounded, and a shallow and shaky reputation across the world. We are about as welcome as the USSR was after WWII.

    The Navy was also an eye opener to the treatment of minorities by our military. I couldn’t imagine being a person of color or a Filipino in the Navy. They were treated like indentured servants and were hardly made to be thankful for the “freedom” bestowed upon them by their shipmates and their service. Their treatment was both ignominious and reprehensible. To think that all minorities should now be grateful is bogus thinking. I don’t see why dragging their ancestors here in chains is a reason to be grateful.

    Also I’m still at home with family and friends, not locked away in a rest home with nothing but hate-filled talk-radio on the dial. I have grand children and expect to see great grandchildren although that’s uncertain because of my age. I’d like their world to be at least as good as the one we’ve been through but with so many deniers afoot, that’ll never happen. But picking fights with other countries is not the way to go. We are no longer the super power we once were and the best way to get along with other countries is to negotiate away our differences. Threatening other countries if they don’t see our way is a lost cause.

    Al Burt

  107. A bit of fun…just how many days old are you??



  108. not to change the subject but I’m wondering how many of the Gov’s(DHS) bullet purchases are going to Syria


  109. ROTFLMFAO……good one PF

    “In point of fact, there are ALWAYS multiple perfectly valid POVs, and as long as I’m allowed to remain here, I personally guarantee that you will hear others than just those of the voices ringing in your head.”

  110. Anon –

    I checked that one out on Snopes. They mark it as “correctly attributed.” Thanks for one of the few non fan-boi posts – and an accurate one, at that!


    Terri in NY opined: “Freud would have a field day! but I’m sure he know everything there is to know about Freud, psychology and everything else.”

    re: Freud. You are mistaken – couldn’t tell you a thing about him. He has been totally discredited; his ideas are considered by modern psychiatrists to be laughable.

    Well, except for the part about penis envy. Carry on in a strong fashion.


  111. Dear President Obama,

    My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

    I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

    One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

    So here goes.

    I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

    I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.
    You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

    ” We’re no longer a Christian nation”
    ” America is arrogant”

    – (Your wife even
    announced to the world,” America is mean-spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our
    war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

    I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

    After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

    Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

    I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

    Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

    Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue . You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

    And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

    One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

    You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.
    You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.
    And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle…

    Harold B. Estes”

  112. Italians are furious at Ford/India’s ad:


    Apparently never got published widely before it was pulled. Lots of tension between Italy and India lately; guess they decided to make fun of Berlusconi one more time…LOL

  113. Back to ignoring the moron for me, he’s hopeless.

  114. Gato- I read back aways . The Steubenville case is a lot like one which unfolded here last fall, with the exception that the victim here was male.


    Sad to say, that seems to have made it easier for the town to question a whole lot of things which do not seem to be getting enough conversation in the Steubenville case.
    The town got together and had numerous gatherings to get its mind round the party culture of their young people with its distinct lord-of-the-flies leanings. Too early to tell if it will make a difference but a good place to start.

  115. Hi, Pi – Good to hear from you again…

    Oh, if only there ever WERE a “last word”! But we will likely not be so favored… Thank goodness for “Delete”…

    I miss M&H, too – lots!


  116. Dear Gato and others –
    Been busy and haven’t checked in for awhile. Sheesh.
    All this again?
    Let the doof have the last word he so desires.
    Yes, a tree falling in the woods makes a sound when there is no one there to hear.

    There are a lot more interesting things going on.

    Dear Helen and Margaret,
    Sure miss hearing from you. Lots of things going on which seem like your cup of spicy tea. Sending best wishes and hoping to hear from you soon.

  117. PF “speaks” again:

  118. anon – You can tell you have ‘em on the run when they go to other blogs to see what you said there that can be used in yet another ad hominem. Maybe, anon, you should put your time into proffering a convincing argument about the topic at hand, instead of wasting it in attacking the speaker. There are lots of profitable ways to use your time. (You could take a flying lesson and learn about preflighting the airplane or something; that’s covered in Lesson One.)

    While you are at it, lose the “anon.” It makes it look like you are afraid. (I’m sure that’s not the case, is it?)

  119. Pf says here:
    I guess that is one way of looking at it. Another might be that he enjoys a good argument, and likes to consider ALL sides, and that kind of foolishness offends some in this little echo-chamber.

    And elsewhere says this:
    The NAGS at FG’s comprise everything about the Left that is bad – bigotry, complete disdain for tradition and that lethal combination of ignorance and arrogance. They have completely abandoned any notion of topical argument because they get their heads handed to them every time, so it’s just “Well, YOU are a …….” or, “You don’t like Obama because he’s black.” No, actually he seems very personable; it’s his attacks on my Constitution that I find unsavory. It’s like dealing with 7th-grade girls. If you don’t take them seriously – I don’t – it gets pretty amusing.

    And this:
    If Tex is still here, I’m having a ball with the NAGS over @ Fat Grannies. You, Noah, et al should drop in occasionally; I think we all still owe them a debt for outing Rutherford. The old gal, Grandma, has decided she’s a physics instructor now; it’s pretty funny, since I used to teach college physics to X-ray students; she’s no more idea what she’s talking about than a hog knows when Sunday comes; I think she’s actually a musician or something.

    Good argument, my wrinkly old ass. He is a hypocrite and a liar. Let him go folks. Heed the saying about wrestling with pigs.

  120. Hi Penelope,I just came across your blog via Kathy McMahon’s, and I want to rnoespd to your pro-Walker stance as the parent of a now-grown public school student and a former public high school teacher. Yes, the education system in America is irretrievably broken and I left it with the feeling that the whole thing should be scrapped and rebuilt from the ground up. That is not going to happen, so it’s nice that some parents can afford to stay home and educate their children and still get food on the table. That is simply not the economic condition of most families; and to be honest, many adults would be unable to educate children because they are unskilled and/or simply don’t care enough, or they have to work outside the home. Schools are not going to change because there is no real, compelling for them to do so. They’ve been pretty much the same since the late 1800s. I served on a school reform committee for 5 years, and ultimately the reason we could not act on any of our recommendations was because they caused conflict with the football schedule! That is just reflective of our society that values sports over intellectual growth. Charter schools are not going to fix anything. Yes, they abolish teachers’ unions, but I can assure you, they are repeating ALL the other mistakes of the system. Administrators will make a huge profit, then leave the wreckage behind. Are you even aware that teachers make about 1/3 of what principals and superintendents make? I have a master’s degree in my content area (English) and I began my career making $24K for a full teaching load (6 classes per day) and ended it 7 years later making $29K in a huge school district, where ongoing education was required (at my expense) to stay certified. The year I left, the principal made $160K, and the superintendent’s salary was unpublished! Presumably, it was much higher. Oh, and FYI, I never belonged to a teachers’ union, even though I had 3 to choose from. Vouchers will be introduced then their value will be reduced so that they are useless, which will just keep the whole socioeconomic scheme just the way it is: the poor will be uneducated and unable to move up in society. The rich will continue to be able to attend good schools, and there won’t be much in the middle. Anything that is for profit is going to be just that. Walker is a front man for corporate profiteers who want to get their hands on that public money, too. Apparently, it’s not enough to own our defense, our food supply, our media, and our banks. Cheer for Walker as a destructive force all you like, but I’m not sure you’re going to like the consequences of the world he is creating: absolutely no workers’ rights (goodbye weekends, goodbye overtime pay, goodbye paid vacations) and all your tax money redirected to religious schools and the very wealthy, for starters. Stuff is going to be broken, all right! Your roads, your postal service, your water supply, eventually your grocery stores and electricity, too so they can be sold to the highest bidder.Wouldn’t it be more constructive for you to educate a couple of poor kids along with your own? Or to start a local school cooperative? While I understand the emotional need to knock it all down and start over, I urge you to take a cool, rational look at what is really going on here. The whole Walker game seems based on the (wrong) idea that teachers are getting something no one else is getting, and they’re getting it for free! If teaching is such an awesome deal, why do 3 out of 5 new teachers leave after their first year? The problem is that schools are expected to raise kids now, not just to educate them. Parents have a responsibility here, too, to reinforce good habits and make sure kids have the resources, nutrition, and support for getting an education, but as a teacher, I was expected to be a nurse, nanny, psychologist, and parent. Trying to hold kids accountable always resulted in howling parents and administrators, who saw our job as being more keeping kids happy and giving them good grades (to keep up their self-esteem ), even when no work was being done by the student at all. Most of the high school kids I taught had never read a single book, nor did they have books at home.As the citizen of an adjacent state, I’ll be watching Wisconsin with great interest, as it seems like you are on the edge of a very dangerous experiment that the rest of us will learn a lot from. Best of luck up there.G

  121. I apologize if this was already posted.. if not..

    THIS is a REAL man. ;-)

    Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to an even better weekend!

    xoxoxo all

  122. sidney18511 opined: “Actually, I am beginning to think that the pfesser is doing a bit of performance art….sorta like a comedian”

    I guess that is one way of looking at it. Another might be that he enjoys a good argument, and likes to consider ALL sides, and that kind of foolishness offends some in this little echo-chamber. After all, how DARE someone deign to upset the little circle-jerks and mutual back-patting! (Oh, you’re so smart! But NO, YOU are so smart! Gosh, I guess we are BOTH smart! No, I’m sure you are smarter than me!)

    So everybody’s comfortable, and then along comes PF with the irritating idea that there might be more than one way to look at things. Gosh, we can’t have that, now can we?! The liberal/socialist/politically correct way is the only way; just ask us!

    In point of fact, there are ALWAYS multiple perfectly valid POVs, and as long as I’m allowed to remain here, I personally guarantee that you will hear others than just those of the voices ringing in your head.

    I’m actually quite impressed by the tolerance of the Left-leaning ladies who run this show. They may have their own very biased POVs, but at least, unlike some, they are willing to HEAR others without resorting to sophomoric personal attacks.


  123. Hi, Karen – Interestingly enough, I am at this moment finishing up the last illustrations for a book about mental issues, for teenagers – and was referenced to a book called “Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism,” by Dawn Prince-Hughes, who is autistic herself, and learned a great deal from spending with time with the great apes, I believe at the Oakland Zoo… And earned a doctorate in anthropology. I read some excerpts on Amazon. She’s a wonderful writer, and it looks like a great book…

    I will try EVEN HARDER not to even reference you-know-who… Every now and then I evidently need an intervention! :-)


  124. No apology necessary, Gato! I was just making an observation.
    You are right Sidney. I usually ignore the hot, stinky gusts of air, and shall return to doing so.

  125. Actually, I am beginning to think that the pfesser is doing a bit of performance art….sorta like a comedian…..an arsewipe comedian.
    He really should be ignored. There was a time a little while back where nobody responded to him and he was talking to himself. Now, that was funny!
    We should do it again.

  126. Hi, Karen – I guess I was hoping that maybe some of the obnoxiousness could be due to some unavoidable unawareness – as i do know that sometimes Aspies (especially younger kids) can inadvertently get themselves into difficulties because of their literalness. (In fact, it’s my understanding that lying is a “social skill” that, as you point out, is just NOT in the vocabulary of an Aspie.) Did not mean to suggest that obnoxiousness itself is in any way particularly linked to Aspberger’s – although I apparently inadvertently did that. I apologize!

    Just hard for me to understand what someone feels is “gained” by eliciting dislike, day after day, by doing the same things over and over again…

    Maybe it’s just the old “any attention is better than no attention” thing.



  127. Gato,
    I must respectfully disagree with your theory. In my 3 decades as an educator I have known many students with Asberger’s. Not a single one of them was a lying, mean-spirited, self-aggrandizing blowhard.
    They are very literal people, and know that predjudices like racism and sexism are illogical, and therefore useless.
    My theory is that he is just a garden variety a-hole.
    He has plenty of time to stalk the internet because people in “real life” will not tolerate him.
    I’m sure that there is little to no traffic on the bridge he lives under.
    Have a wonderful day.

  128. He’s a liar. He’s here to screw with us. He is trying to get Noah to come back and join his fun. Tex won’t be far behind using some other name. Pathetic.

  129. Hi, Terri – Well, there’s one area in which he (she?) IS quite knowledgeable: How to be irritating. It’s always enlightening to be exposed to the myriad little tricks that can be employed to annoy someone – everything from pomposity to sexual innuendo to patronizing little “nicknames.”

    Interestingly, several months ago I mentioned here that I have a friend whose twenty-year-old son has Aspberger’s. “‘Fess” “opined” that he, too, knew a young man who is an Aspie, and very solicitously asked ME if I could direct him to finding out some ways for the lad’s family to get help.

    Well, softie that I am, I diligently did a little research and talked to my friend, even while thinking that all anyone has to do is type “Aspberger’s” in a google search, and seven hundred thousand resources instantly appear… And wondering why Mr. Brilliant hadn’t just done that himself.

    Fortunately, I never got around to actually replying. (Thank you, Universe!)

    One of the defining characteristics of Aspies is that they have great difficulty “reading” signals from other people, or of empathizing with anyone else’s feelings, or knowing how their behavior affects another person. They are often much more comfortable with machines, statistics, data, computers, and so on. (My friend’s son is studying to be an aeronautical engineer, for example, and doing quite well, I’m happy to say.) Now that I think about it, blog posting seems like the perfect outlet for an Aspie, don’t you think…?

    (We can now await The Lecture…)

    And, gee, I miss M&H!!

    Have a lovely day!


  130. Hi Gato,
    Yes, indeed, he’s the most un-self aware person on the planet. His latest angry assertion that we are all here to learn totally contradicts his behavior. Freud would have a field day! but I’m sure he know everything there is to know about Freud, psychology and everything else. On we go…

  131. Now tell us again about how the Democrats are taking over Texas?



  132. Well, gat, we are all on this earth to learn, so when you know about something, it’s appropriate to speak.

    And when you know nothing, it is appropriate to keep silent.

    Think about that.

  133. Hi, Terri – It’s just amazing! Just when you start to think that what’s-his-name couldn’t possibly be any more insufferable… He tops himself!

    (“Yes, of course, when I was selecting the animals for the ark, I was able to bring my great depth of experience in genetic studies to bear upon the matter, for which the Creator was extremely grateful…”)

    Truly awesome, isn’t it?


  134. Anon– it sounds like you’re really getting under his skin. Good job!

  135. Thank you, anon – I appreciate the fact that you confessed your complete ignorance on the subject so quickly, so we can get onto other topics.

    Of course you and I both know that a 182 is a certificated aircraft, built by the Cessna factory, not by a homebuilder from scratch, so that nonsense is just your being intentionally obtuse.

    As for preflight inspections, the alternator is not visible during an ordinary preflight. The cowling must be removed to see it, and removing the cowling is an hour-long, two-man process. So, in point of fact, the cowling is never removed for a pre-flight inspection, nor does the pilot routinely follow behind an A&P after an annual inspection to check his work, test pilot or not. In most cases, that would be like a patient checking the doctor’s work; in my case, however, having previously built my own homebuilt aircraft over a three-year period, I now ALWAYS assist in the annuals of my 182. After the A&P goes home, I conduct additional inspections before closing the airplane up. You learn from experience.

    Sorry, Hotshot. You are ‘way out of your depth on this one. Better luck next time. Cheap shots don’t work on people who know more than you do – that would be ‘most everybody – so you might try another tack.

    As for the avatar, if you have something on the ball, you’ll recognize it.

  136. Pfesser;

    Your new avatar is a comforting improvement. Like a family TV show from the 1960’s. Are you planning to line them up and have a vote?

    Regarding your latest rant and challenge. There’s an old adage in flying to the effect that whenever a plane comes out of a repair shop or following an annual inspection, the first person to fly it is a test pilot whether or not they wish to acknowledge that fact. I can assume that you are neither Chuck Yeager nor Bob Hoover but there I go assuming again.

    And I have to admit you have the advantage over me regarding your challenge. I’ve never built a 1962 Cessna 182 Model E from scratch, – at least that’s how I interpreted what you said you’ve done. Actually I suspect you’ve also said a lot more but I don’t waste a lot of time reading your blather. I actually have a life beyond the internet and it takes up most of my time.

    But if anyone wants to see the Federal Air Regulations concerning repairing ones own airplane go to http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20734
    It will probably tell people more than you want them to know.

    And why have you not reported this incompetent mechanic to the nearest FSDO office? Remember, the FSDO is your friend. Or does he sign the aircraft logs?

    But more important, why do you hang around this blog harassing the people here? I haven’t kept count for obvious reasons but I’ve never seen a single person who has been persuaded by your single-minded persistence and yet you insist upon laying out the same low-ball comments time and time again. Isn’t that kind of persistence a type of insanity? And wouldn’t that estrangement from reality disqualify you from owning handguns. If not it should.

  137. Vinaigrettegirl – well spoken. Reminds one of the Kitty Genovese story of the ‘sixties. Don’t know why someone doesn’t speak up or do the right thing. I would hope any adult there would say, “Look fellows, this girl is totally out of it, and likely underage as well. You can’t be messing with her; she’s going home as soon as I figure out who her parents are, and if I can’t, she’s going home with the cops.”

    It’s very much like what happened at Penn State. The major players were just above it all.

    You just can’t have that.

  138. “It was a shoddy preflight and I know what I’m talking about.”

    So, you wanna play do you, little boy?

    OK, enlighten us as to what constitutes a full and thorough preflight on a 1962 Cessna Skylane Model E, with an O-470 engine, and in particular those items relating to the alternator, and how an improper preflight would fail to pick up a loose hold-down bolt.

    We await your erudite discussion.

    Or, perhaps, do you not know what you are talking about?

  139. Hey Whirled;

    I’d already seen those two videos. Though the second one is pure satire, the first one is reality. Everyone who thinks rape is some sort of bland human foible that’s just part of growing up should be forced to see both vids. Good job!!

  140. Hi, Whirled – It absolutely does.

    Unfortunately, there are probably plenty of people who wouldn’t realize this is satire, and THAT says a lot…


  141. Saw that on FB this morning Peas… Does say a lot about our culture doesn’t it?

    We gots a lottttta talking to do to our youngin’s don’t we?

    This “yes what the boys did (rape) is bad BUT ____________ ” mentality is just soooooo astonishing to me. I just can’t comprehend there are still people who think this way in 2013.

    SMH…. and on we go…

  142. “Satire” from ‘The Onion’:

    College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

    Kinda nails it, huh?

    PEACE ~ Δ

  143. Couldn’t agree more vinaigrette girl. AMEN sister…

    Did anyone happen to catch CNN ‘s coverage of the verdict? It was appalling. I was screaming at the TV while that Poppy Harlow was letting the rapist father have a 5 minute monologue about why his son was convicted unfairly. Noooooo mention of the victim or her family. Made my blood boil!!

  144. All *anybody* had to do was look at their fellow human being, who was vulnerable, and pack her into a cab or their car and take her home, or to an A&E if there is one in Steubenville, or even the police as a last resort. NOBODY made that simple choice. The people who DID CHOOSE to violate that child are responsible for their actions and the people who did not act to help her are responsible for their INACTION.

    Apparently, in all that group of people, there wasn’t one single human being remotely capable of doing as they would be done by, but the males who put everybody else’s decisions on the line were the ones who actively decided to rape her.

    There is no excuse for that, none whatsoever.

  145. No apology for slut-shaming the child who was drugged, and not merely too drunk to walk?

  146. It was a shoddy preflight and I know what I’m talking about.

  147. anon opined: “Sounds like a shoddy pre-flight to me”

    That is, of course, what it WOULD sound like to you, since you haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about.

    Whirled peas – I went through that pretty thoroughly. Wow. The folks putting it out don’t claim to be objective, but even allowing for that, it’s is a pretty horrific story. I sure remember the obsession that rural folks had with high school football when I was in HS, and the hero-worship of those adolescent gladiators.

    If you get a little time, watch “Rocket Boys” – set in WV in the 50s. That kind of thing figures prominently in the story. Thanks.

  148. PFesser March 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Sounds like a shoddy pre-flight to me.

  149. Won’t see this in the MSM:

    The Steubenville Files

    Beware, not for the faint of heart.
    (especially the Vimeo video)

    PEACE ~ Δ

  150. Dear Anon Jess Lickedapeen -

    re: A&P mechanics. One should ALWAYS check others’ work. Two years ago the lazy-assed mechanic neglected to safety-wire my alternator, because the long bolt that held it on was difficult to get to. I landed and checked another problem and noticed that the 8″ long bolt that held the alternator onto the plane was out about 4″. I would have been pissed if my alternator departed the plane. I saved my own life, the lives of my sons, and my beautiful ’62 Cessna by the attitude of, “can’t trust licensed A & P mechanics who are certified to do the work” —-

    “because he finds them to be incompetent”

    No, Hotshot. Because the ARE incompetent. Having built my own airplane from scratch and flown it ten years, I can say that without qualification. I feel sorry for you folks who fly in aircraft maintained by others. But don’t worry – falling from altitude is not dangerous.

    It’s striking the ground after falling from altitude that is the problem.

    Cordially, PF

  151. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    I want to send you both my sincerest gratitude for your having created this blog, how many years ago. You have been truly pioneers in the social media that has been reflected in the positive political turn of events in the recent past and continues to be a strong force in bringing a level of awareness to the general public.

    Aside from that, I have made many fast and dear friends among the contributors to the comment section that I will always cherish. I have been invited to participate on other sites and am now conducting a mini-seminar on neuroscience in delurkergurl’s “Kitchen”. I expect to be visiting, among others, Gato’s “Party and Soul”.

    I, as always, return to my first love, music. In parting, some of my friends might enjoy relaxing and listening to a few of my favorites. They can be found on YouTube. Any of Chopin’s Etudes will do but his “Revolutionary Etude”, Opus 10, No. 2 is a rouser! Also his “Fantasy Impromptu.”

    My all time special favorite is “Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor” that I played at the tender age of 17. On YouTube, Hannes Minnaar does a very fine performance with the Limbrugs Symfonie Orkest. The Second Movement is especially lovely and soothing.

    Again, thank you for your kind hospitality. I wish you both good health and happiness and also to your families.


    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.


  152. I recall from a posting several years ago that the obnoxious troll is also a doctor and a shade tree mechanic who does maintenance on his own airplane (contrary to Federal Air Regulations). Oh he’ll howl that he can’t trust licensed A & P mechanics who are certified to do the work because he finds them to be incompetent so he does it himself and then cons somebody who has an A & P to sign the logbooks for the repairs.

    Just an upstanding and outstanding citizen.

    Jess Listenin

  153. Pig.

  154. Granny, I don’t think sex is your game. Certainly it ain’t physics, either; glad to see you gave that lecture circuit up, although we were all waiting with bated breath to hear of the essence of the Higgs boson.

    Maybe you should stick with what you know, whatever that is…Weren’t you a piano player or something? Know any Frederick F’in Chopin?


  155. Of course, ad hominem is the first – and last – refuge of the man who has no argument. Carry on, please; if you find your voice vis à vis the topic at hand, let me know. So far I don’t see a single on-topic thing; guess the cat got your tongue?


    Nothing substantive from you, either, Granny? Now don’t you go getting back on your favorite topic of sex – you know how excited you get when I verbally spank you; at your age it could be dangerous. Guess your memory of the old slap and tickle hasn’t gone yet, huh?


    Gato – We don’t own our kids? Really? How incisive! Think that up all by yourself?

    No, we don’t “own” our kids – but when your sixteen year-old daughter, who already has a reputation as a sloppy drunk, gets so sloshed she has to be carried around by the hands and feet like a pig and then gets herself fondled by the football team, maybe you need to do a little self-examination of your parenting…er, now what do liberals call it? Style? Yep…that’s it – your parenting “style” could use a little examination.

  156. I have to wonder how he would know ANYTHING about maturity, the person whose infantile craving for attention is offensive, disruptive, and endless.

  157. Hi, Auntie Jean – Sorry critter, huh…?

    Hope you are having a lovely afternoon/evening. I shoveled out my car YET AGAIN this morning. Hope this is the last time… I’m looking forward to planting the first stuff in my greenhouse…



  158. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Karenbobaren, Terri in NY and Gato, for some of us Old Timers who have been hanging around the porch for a long time and have long memories, SpankMe has regaled us AT LENGTH with his tales, bragging about smoking marijuana and having sex with anyone he could find. Especially when he was attending and teaching at East Armpit College and Pornographic Trade School. One of his more memorable ones was, and I quote:

    “I always wanted to have sex with a black girl. There is still time.”

    Now all of a sudden he is judgmental, wanting them all to go to jail, parents included. Say what? I guess he never got caught – - – or did he?

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  159. Hi, Terri – Teenagers AREN’T very “mature”… We all know that. Frontal lobes not fully developed until around age twenty-five, and so on.

    I am so weary of what’s-his-name telling all of us, endlessly, that he knows more about “trailer park people,” and college students, and teenagers, and just about any other demographic anyone might mention… Oh; maybe I do know. He just has to always present himself as the most knowledgeable individual about everything, huh? (Let’s see… “I lived in a trailer park; I grew up in the South; I’ve been an editor; I teach college; I have guns; I know history,” and on and on and on.) Bore and boar! Next he’ll be announcing that he, personally, has been a drunken teenage girl and/or a Steubenville football player.

    BTW, I grew up in Ohio, and one of my best GFs was born and grew up in Steubenville. Her father was in coal and trucking. I visited her and her family there many times. It was a sorry place in the sixties, and may still be.

    “Blaming” any parent for the behavior of his or her child is absurd. We don’t own our children. We just do the best we can, and they will be teenagers, no matter what. We all were, and we all screwed up from time to time. The best lesson possible is to try to get these “boys” to understand that what they did was wrong, whatever the circumstances. Maybe girls will learn something, too, one hopes.

    If just one kid, male or female, is more protective of himself or herself because of this, that will be a good thing.


  160. The lecture we just received about teenagers and maturity is horseshit. Comparing a sixteen year old girl to a pig on a spit is reprehensible, but consider the source.

  161. Well, Miss Karen, as a Hillbilly myself, I know what a hillbilly is – far better than you. You may know them as “trailer trash,” but I grew up with people like this – irresponsible little shits who always seem to be where the trouble is.

    Although to the liberal mind, the idea of personal responsibility may seem foreign, in many cultures – and THIS one a couple of generations ago – a sixteen year-old would be married, with a child or at least one on the way, managing a household while her seventeen year-old husband worked his hands into dust to support them – not sloshing down cold ones until she had to be carried by all fours (like a pig getting ready to be put on the spit).

    Growing up is a process, beginning in REAL childhood, terminating hopefully somewhere around eighteen. By the time someone is sixteen he/she should be showing some maturity, and the kind of judgement exhibited by this young woman is inexcusable. And before you start your chorus of “blame the victim,” stow it – you know exactly what I’m talking about. She shouldn’t have been there, consuming alcohol and crawling around on the floor like an animal. Drinking at sixteen is illegal in 50/50 states, by the way.

    This girl already had a reputation as a lush; for that I blame her parents. They should be in jail, as should whoever sold alcohol to her.

    As for the young men, their behavior is beyond contemptible – and something quite common, by the way, in that redneck culture of high school football hero-worship you see all across America. They raped this young woman, sure enough – apparently fingers-only, but non-consensual – and then posted it for the world to see.

    There is plenty of blame to go around; what a shame that any of us waste any time in discussing this bunch of goobers, let alone take the time to feel sorry for them. As I said, trouble seems somehow to follow these people like the smell of sh*t on a blanket.

  162. I suppose that neither you or any of your loved ones have ever had a lapse in judgement? Fact: teenagers who have had no experience with drinking may overdo it. That does not make the victim a “hillbilly” who is comparable to a “pig ready to go on the spit”. Being drunk, or in her case, unconcious(!) does not mean that she is giving consent.
    “Kiss and tell”? They didn’t sneak a kiss and gossip about it! They raped her! He took pictures of her and published them on the Internet!
    I hope that this never happens to your mother, aunts, wife, daughters, or granddaughters.
    Please go away, you have really stepped over the line here.

  163. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, Brava! Brava! And beautiful! Thank you so much for putting up the askmoxie explanation from mom to her boys. It is exactly the kind of communication any mom, and dad too could have with their kids, both sons and daughters. It is the kind of loving rapport that can go a long way toward preventing tragedies with life long consequences rather than angry punitive measures after the fact.

    Thank you, lori, for sharing.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  164. Nice letter, Lori. I’ve seen it posted all over.

    Perhaps we can also add the following, for the Hillbilly girl who, at sixteen – five years too young to be drinking at all – managed to get herself good and shitfaced, to the point that she had to be carried by her wrists and ankles, like a pig ready to go on the spit.

    “Where the hell is your judgement, young lady? And where the hell are your parents, who have let you, at your young age, already get a reputation as an out-of-control boozer?”

    And to the boys, who are only a year older, perhaps we could say, Where the hell are YOUR parents, who were supposed to be teaching you to be gentlemen, and respect your fellow travelers in this earthly vale of tears? When does a gentleman ever take advantage of a girl who is so drunk she doesn’t know where she is? Are you that much of a pathetic piece of manure, or so hard up for a piece of a girl’s ass that you have to stoop to those levels?

    And by the way, Studly Hungwell: gentlemen do NOT kiss and tell, especially to the whole damned electronic world.

    I think they should all go to jail – especially the parents.

  165. In light of the recent events in Steubenville Ohio – everyone should have this conversation with their young boys. Thanks askmoxie.org for shDear Boys,

    Some really horrible things happened to someone who could be one of your friends, and it was done by some people who could be your friends. You’re 11 and almost-8 now, so the incident that made me write this letter isn’t something you’ve heard about, but this stuff keeps happening, unfortunately. So I need to talk to you about it.

    First of all, I know we talk all the time about how special your bodies are, and how you’re the only one who gets to decide what to do with your body. I’ve never made you put anything in your mouth that you didn’t want to, or touch anyone you didn’t want to, or talk to anyone you didn’t want to, because I wanted you to understand that you and you alone control your boundaries. We worked on blowing a kiss so you could show that you liked someone without having to touch them, and high fives if you were ok touching them but only with your hand. We talked all the time about not letting people tell you that what you wanted was wrong or that they knew better, and that you should always always tell your dad or grandma or me if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable.

    And we talk all the time about making sure that if you’re touching someone else that they want you to be touching them. That if they say “No” you have to stop right away (even if it’s just fake-punching your brother) and that even if they aren’t saying “No” you need to make sure they’re still enjoying it. You know how sometimes you like to be tickled and sometimes you don’t? Well, everyone’s like that, so even if they liked it when you did it yesterday, you should still make sure they really want you to today, whatever kind of touching it is.

    Now I’m going to talk about sex. I know you know “how it works” because we’ve been talking about it ever since you two were little, since before you could read, and you know all about sperm and eggs and penises and vaginas and vulvas and orgasms and condoms and all that. And I know I told you it feels good and you had a hard time seeing how that could be true but took my word for it. Well, the thing I didn’t tell you is that it feels unbelievably amazing when you’re doing it with someone who really wants to be doing it with you. Like, better than popcorn followed by ice cream, or a Supah Ninjas marathon, or two snow days in a row. You know how excited I get when I get a new pair of shoes? It’s like 500 times better than that, when the person you’re doing it with is so excited to be doing it with you that they start asking you for it.

    This is what I want you to wait for. I want you to wait to have sex until the person you’re with asks you for it. Tells you they need you now, and that they can’t wait, and they want it. Calls you by your name and asks for it.

    If you’re ever in a situation in which someone is asking you for it and you don’t want to have sex with that person, don’t do it. And if you’re ever in a situation in which you want to have sex but the other person doesn’t ask you for it, don’t do it. It’s only good if you both want it, and can tell each other you want it, and are sure you both want it. Otherwise someone’s going to get hurt. And romance is weird enough without hurting other people when you can stop yourself (and you can always stop yourself–that goes along with having opposable thumbs).

    This letter is almost over but this next part is super-important: Not everyone you know has been taught all the stuff we’ve talked about. You are going to know people, and maybe even be friends with people, who think it’s ok to hurt other people in a lot of ways. One of those ways is sex. I know you’re going to hear other boys say things about girls, or sometimes about other boys, that means they don’t care about those girls’ feelings or bodies. When you do, I need you to step in. All you have to do is say something like, “Dude, that’s not cool” or something that lets the person saying something nasty know that it’s not ok. Remember that everyone wants to fit in. If you can take control of the mood in the room by letting them know nasty talk isn’t ok, they’ll stop so they don’t look like an idiot.

    Remember how we talk all the time about how we’re the people who help, who fix things when there’s a problem or someone’s in trouble? You may get the chance to do that someday. Because those boys who say nasty things about girls may actually do something to those girls. If you are ever anywhere where boys start hurting a girl, or touching her in any way that she doesn’t want, you need to step in. If she’s asleep or drunk or passed out or drugged and can’t say “no,” you need to step in. Remember, it’s not good unless both people can say they want it. If a girl isn’t saying anything, that doesn’t mean she wants it. If she isn’t saying specifically that she wants it, then it’s wrong.

    Here’s how you should step in:

    1. If it’s safe for you to say something, say something. In a loud, commanding voice, tell the guy who’s doing it to stop, and make sure he knows it’s not ok and he can’t be an asshole (sorry to curse, but by the time you’re in this situation you’ll be cursing, too). Then help the girl get to someplace safe, and call her parents. (Even if she thinks she’s going to get in trouble, call her parents. If they’re mad at her, I can talk to them and take care of it.)

    2. If it’s not safe for you to say something, leave the room quietly and calmly and call me. I do not care if you’re someplace you’re not supposed to be, or not the place you told me you were, or in Canada or someplace that would normally get you in a lot of trouble. You get immunity if you’re calling for help. My phone is always on, and it does not matter what time of day or night it is. If I don’t pick up right away, call your dad, and the same immunity rules apply. Call one of us and give us the address of where you are and we will come help. Then hang up and call 911. Tell them the address and that there’s an assault going on. They might want you to stay on the line with them until the police get there.

    3. Even if you don’t like the girl, step in. Even if she’s been mean to you or snobby, or someone told you she did something you think is gross. No matter what she did, no one should hurt her. If you step in, the next day you can go back to hating her. If you don’t step in, well, how are you any different from the loser who’s hurting her? You know who you are. Step in.

    4. Do not worry that everyone will hate you if you stop the cool kids from doing something. Stopping someone from hurting another person makes you a hero. This is what you’re here to do. And if there are people who don’t like it, screw them. Your dad and I will do anything it takes to make sure that anyone who doesn’t like your being a hero stays away from you and keeps their mouths shut.

    We have been practicing for this for a long time, for being the ones who help. Remember when we were in the middle of the knife fight on the subway and we got the other mom and kid out of the way? Remember when we helped my friend move away from her scary husband? Remember all those times we took pictures of those freaky dudes staring at the little kids at the playground? We’ve been practicing to step in and help someone else. You can do it. I have faith in you.



  166. Grandma @ 5:44 pm.

    Hear! Hear! And well said.

    Do you remember in the ‘seventies, when Larry Flynt got convicted on obscenity charges and sentenced to jail? I saw a documentary on him the other morning about 4:00a.m. on some obscure channel. He subsequently published a Hustler with full-color pictures of dead and wounded American soldiers in Vietnam, with the caption, “What Is More Obscene? Sex or War?” They tried to get the prosecutor to respond to that on camera and he just locked up and said he really had no answer…priceless.

  167. Grandma opined: “Statistical models that were postulated long before CERN was built and the Higgs Bosen was finally discovered recently. The scientific community is not so arrogant as to believe that their positions and findings are the final definitive answers to all the outstanding and unanswered questions of the universe. There is always room for further study and discovery.”

    I have no idea what you are trying to say, but I think you are conflating the Heisenberg Principle with your own uncertainty, or the uncertainty of research in general. Yes, we know that when one investigates the unknown, by definition he does not know what he will find. Why is that news?

    Actually, Grandma, the Heisenberg Principle is very limited in scope: it says that the more precisely one knows the position of a particle, the less precisely one can determine its momentum, and vice-versa. There are a few more arcane applications, but otherwise that’s about it. Find another, more applicable analogy.

    You are ‘way out of your depth, but please – carry on in a strong fashion. I taught college physics for a while; your missives are very entertaining.

  168. Excuse me: Rand Paul. Good pick-up. Thanks.

  169. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Paul Ryan and his cronies are mighty quiet about the gazillion $$$$$ spent and are still being spent on rebuilding Iraq after his fellow cronies voted for and succeeded in demolished it. No, the hue and cry is about cutting domestic programs such as education, health and watching our own infrastructure decay.

    It all depends on which ideological masters their slaves serve.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  170. Re Portman–Oh yeah, it was politically timed, no doubt. We all remember that he was in the running for veep last time around. But I still give him credit for changing his position, especially since he now has to deal with all the homophobes. We are gradually moving in the right direction on this issue, and this helps.

  171. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori and Terri, re Portman – two words – political expediency.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  172. I hear ya Terri and agree. But something just doesn’t smell right. He has known fir two years his son is gay and today is the day he chose to announce his “change of heart “? When 2 weeks from now would have been soooooo much better of a time …… politically? Mmmmmmm nawww there is something else going on.

  173. Re Ron Portman–I’m glad he now supports gay marriage. For some people it’s difficult to change long held beliefs and apparently he has been able to do this. His son deserves a lot of credit for coming out to his parents two years ago and helping his father accept the notion of gay marriage. I wish all politicians could do this.

  174. Hi Congenial Gang,

    In this morning’s newspaper, the “Celebrity Cipher” worked out to be a quote from Bob Hope.

    “You can always tell when a man’s [sic woman’s] well-informed. His [sic her] views are pretty much like yours.”

    98-99% of the posters here at M&H’s are extremely well-informed!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  175. What does everyone think about Rob Portman coming out for gay marriage today?

    I get the whole “evolving position” thing. I think everyone with a working brain evolves on issues. But there was something about Portman’s chat with Bash that made me uneasy. I think it was when he said – MY son said it wasn’t a choice to be gay, it’s just a part of who I am. As if to say EVERYONE else who has said it WASN’T a choice to be gay was lyin but now that MY son says it .. it must be true? Also his hedging when Bash asked him if he would now go back to Ohio and campaign on his changed position and advocate for equal rights. Of course that will be a big fat NO!

    I realize he is a politician and he announced today so he could bury the lead on a Friday afternoon while everyone else was paying attention to the CPAC Rodeo clowns. But any consultant worth their weight would have advised him to wait until Good Friday Easter weekend. No, there was something EXTRA political about Portman’s timing.

    I’m happy the guy is a reformed bigot, but there is something that just doesn’t sit right with me.

  176. (problem downloading so combining)
    From the Rachel piece: Sources said that Lanza’s shooting spree lasted less than five minutes and that he fired 152 bullets while making his way through two classrooms in the elementary school killing 26 people.


    American Conservative Union is the organizer of CPAC. David Keene/Keane was the chairman of ACU from 1984 to 2011. He is now the head of the NRA. The NRA is a sponsor of CPAC. He left ACU/CPAC because his wife Diana Carr? was charged with mail fraud and jailed for embezzling about $400,000 from CPAC. Their son Michael was sentenced to10 years in jail for a road rage incident and due to released soon. Michael has emotional problems and was hospitalized a number of times prior to the road rage thingy. His problems were covered up and he was allowed to own a gun. He was on his way to a shooting range when the road rage incident occurred. Interesting yes?
    Dumb thing to do while having a gun in your hand. A man was upset with his wedding band so he shot the ring off his finger.


  177. HI, Cynthia – One can only hope! Somehow, in between posting stuff, I manage to do some work, make dinner, get myself to the Y for a couple of cardio workouts a week, read books, email non-blogging friends, rake up the yard, and do all kinds of things. I imagine you do, too.

    Do you ever get the feeling that the fesser is just sitting there, waiting for someone to show up whom he can “correct” (and insult) on anything from spelling to Tielhard de Chardin…?

    Just a thought…

    And the CPAC is a laugh-fest, isn’t it? I can hardly wait for Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert… And, of course, like most of us, I’m hoping that we’ll hear something from M&H!


  178. LMAO

    “I am not a sixth grader,” Feinstein bristled.
    and she’d flunk…. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with Jeff Foxworthy


  179. Oops! Me again. It’s Higgs Boson, not Bosen. Typo misspelling. Sorry.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  180. Pfesser – you said you tweaked your avatar. I noticed the same avatar but with Mickey Mouse ears going by the name Los Pepes in the comment section of Huffington Post. Is that you?


    PS – A Los Pepes got his butt kicked there!


  181. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks Terri in NY for the heads up on Ted Cruz. I watched for him and saw the clip of him and Diane Feinstein – twice – last night on NBC news and PBS. He proudly recited from the NRA script with the now familiar patronizing and condescending tone of voice and attitude. Feinstein tore him a new one and he never even knew it.

    It is obvious that along with Teihard de Chardin et al, SpankMe never heard of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal as still applies to science. e. g. Statistical models that were postulated long before CERN was built and the Higgs Bosen was finally discovered recently. The scientific community is not so arrogant as to believe that their positions and findings are the final definitive answers to all the outstanding and unanswered questions of the universe. There is always room for further study and discovery. The hubris of orthodoxy need not apply for positions in the discipline of any science, political science included.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  182. CPAC is always good for a laugh. I’m happy when the right wing lets their freak flag fly! What better way to turn off the rational middle than giving a platform to bloated, orange haired egomaniacs who promote birtherism (I’m looking at you Donald Trump), our old friend Sarah Palin, and the newest extremist, Ted Cruz. Let’s hope SP manages to say something outrageous enough to get Margaret back to her keyboard. Fingers crossed.

  183. pfesser:

    You are so full of it I expect to see you free floating aloft at the next ABQ hot air balloon festival.

  184. Good morning friends!!!

    ;-) Gato, I hate to be THAT social media person who picks the low hanging fruit and point out someone’s simple mistakes (or perceived mistakes) for no other reason than JUST to be a creepy jerk. Social media has a name for those “people” . LOL LOL But in this case I’m sure their isn’t a jury in the land that would convict me!

    I’ll tell ya, I thought Rand Paul’s filibuster the other day was heroic for a few reasons. Personally… I DO think we as a society need to discuss how drones play a part in this ever changing landscape of “war”. It’s a conversation most politicians don’t want to touch including my dems. I understand WHY they don’t but I would sure like it if someone … soon…. gets in front of this issue. Where that shakes out I’m not quit sure yet, but I do think it needs to be discussed. A drone in Obama’s hands I don’t worry about, lol lol of course, … but God forbid by some miracle some one like Palin got into office??? I shudder to think where that might end. I applaud Paul for bringing it to the front of the room. NOW, his REASONS and METHODS for doing it were nefarious, as we learned this week.

    The second reason I give him kudos for talking about this subject is because as he continues his push for the nomination he is going to need those people (and more so $s) he offended. He tried to make nicey nice to them afterwards but the political damage was done. He also went around the minority leadership which is sooo interesting to me. He dissed his VERY own state’s, his senior senator, the freakin Senate minority leader! THAT takes balls. The conventional wisdom put’s it another way – political suicide.

    Make NO mistake, I despise ALL of Rand Pauls other POV, … I dispise his hypocritical OUTRAGE when it comes to allll of his soical and fisical issues… but on this one that day I gotta give him credit.

    Delurker, I saw a tweet yesterday about a loaded gun & extra magizine clip falling out of the ceiling of a middle school. I donno if it was an op-ed or something else they were referencing.. Anyone see/hear anything?

  185. 84 gun deaths so far this week. 2 of them babies. It seems like responsible gun owners would be furious about the people that can’t handle the responsibility.

  186. Right on, Lori – And the very idea that ANY “Paul” is going to “revive the moribund Republican party” is just hysterical. If CPAC has chosen to listen to the likes of this Paul, Paul Ryan, Mittens, Mamma Bear and The Donald, as some of their paragons of wisdom, then Charlie Pierce must surely be spot on when he titled his blog post on the assemblage this morning, “The Monkey House Is Open’…


  187. Perhaps you should take your own advice fessor and stay away from commenting on politics. The clip your nephew sent you, the one you are sooooo impressed with? Yeah well its not NOT Ron Paul speaking.

  188. re: “So de Chardin and his colleagues are still batting 50%. In baseball that is considered pretty damn good!”

    So, Grandma, you think that science is JUST FINE if it bats 50%, eh? Just like in baseball…my, my, my…just like baseball…


    “Statistically, one has to weigh the preponderance of evidence in light of probability of all the variables for validity within the margin of ERROR.”

    Say what? Read that again and tell me if it makes the slightest bit of sense. ‘In light of’ the ‘probability of all the variables?’ I thought you were college educated. That nonsense reminds me of one of my freshmen, trying to b.s. on a test.

    My advice to you, Grandma, is to stick with what you know – whatever that is.

    Maybe science isn’t your game…I know, let’s have a spellin’ contest!

  189. My nephew just sent me this video of Ron Paul at CPAC. Superb. I think this guy may revive the moribund Republican party. It’s going to be a long haul; the nutcases have certainly done a lot of damage.

    Great line, paraphrasing: “The ‘sequester’ does not cut anything; in fact it expands the government by 7 trillion dollars over the next decade. Only in Washington can an increase in 7 trillion dollars be called a ‘cut.’ ”

    “The President seems to believe we can keep borrowing $50,000/second.

    It will be fun following this young man over the next election cycle.

  190. Ohhh Gawd Terri you are sooooo right about Cruz being a nasty piece. I went to hear him speak last year when I was living in Dallas. You wouldn’t know it know it was the same man! He ran wayyyyyy on the Tea Party downlow. Dallas has been blue for the last few elections and Cruz had to make a huge surge to the middle to appeal to a Dallas Austin and Houston electorate. Of course it took a NY second once he got to Washington to show his true colors.

    One thing I hate worse than a teahater is a lying teahater.

  191. Hi, Auntie Jean – It’s like that koi pond app on my iPad: Just touch your finger on the screen, and all the fish scramble around!

    Have a lovely evening…


  192. Have any of you been watching the new senator from NM, Ted Cruz? He’s a particularly nasty, arrogant piece of work foisted on the Senate thanks to the tea party. He had quite a contentious exchange with DIane Feinstein today about gun control. She handily put him in his place. It was a thing of beauty. Check it out if you get a chance.

  193. Hi Congenial Gang,

    SFB, I appreciate your info from Dobzhansky and on de Chardin. Fascinating men beyond their time. Of course, as SpankMe so succinctly pointed out, “Piltman Man” was proven to be a hoax – some 40 years later – but “Peking Man” stands. So de Chardin and his colleagues are still batting 50%. In baseball that is considered pretty damn good! Statistically, one has to weigh the preponderance of evidence in light of probability of all the variables for validity within the margin of ERROR.

    Romney tried that with his 47% hypothesis experiment and it didn’t work out too well for him and his number crunching pal Ryan, did it.

    But Gato, as usual though, SpankMe, the all knowing snake oil salesman, rose from the depth of his slimy pond to Google someone he had never heard of and try to discredit de Chardin’s entire body of work. To my knowledge, this is the very first time SpankMe has ever come close to admitting there was ANYTHING or ANYBODY he didn’t know more about than anyone else on the planet.

    We can always, always, always count on him to take the bait. We can continue to set one trap after another for him to inevitably fall into every time.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  194. Ah, SFB – You seem to have roused the pfesser from his recent (and so appreciated by so many) somnolence next to his keyboard…

    Good luck with that… (I’m sure you’ll be fine.) Dangle the bait, and the pond dweller will respond. YOU, of course, are the dangler, and the pond dweller remains ever the pond dweller… Until he’s hooked. Have fun!


  195. A brilliant analysis, SFB. Unfortunately, you are assuming a whole raftload of things, and then charging headlong after windmills that don’t exist. We know what ASSUME does. (It has done that for you; kind of embarrassing, huh?)

    Until Grandma mentioned Peter de Chardin, I’d never heard of him. Guess that kind of makes the rest of your gyrations moot, eh? From your erudite description, I’m sure he was a fine fellow, though…

    The point was: The “discovery” of Piltdown Man was a hoax – whether “ANY” great scientists, including Mssr. de Chardin, got taken in, I don’t know. Grandma seems to think he was, and by describing it as a “discovery,” suggests that she was, too. Sorry. Happens to the best of us.

  196. While the wily pfesser, in his lame attempt to denigrate Grandma, tries to make Pierre Teilhard de Chardin seem like some sort of ignorant know-nothing, he couldn’t be more more out of touch with reality. De Chardin’s attempts to see evolution in a human light put him at odds with officials in the Roman Curia who suppressed publication of his writings for the rest of his life. But his influence did not escape the vision of one of my heroes,Theodosius Dobzhansky, the eminent 20th Century biologist credited with development of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis that accounts for natural selection in the light of Mendelian genetics. Dobzhansky’s famous essay Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution draws upon the insistent view of Teilhard de Chardin that evolutionary theory must be placed at the center of how man understands his relationship to nature.

    In a presentation in The American Biology Teacher in 1972 Dobzhansky characterized de Chardin in these words.
    One of the great thinkers of the modern age, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, wrote the following: “Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems much henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of though must follow this is what evolution is.” Of course, some scientists, as well as some philosophers and theologians, disagree with some parts of Teilhard’s teachings; the acceptance of his worldview falls short of universal. But there is no doubt at all that Teilhard was a truly and deeply religious man and that Christianity was the cornerstone of his worldview. Moreover, in his worldview science and faith were not segregated in watertight compartments, as they are with so many people. They were harmoniously fitting parts of his worldview. Teilhard was a creationists [sic], but one who understood that the Creation is realized in this world by means of evolution.

  197. “In addition to being a priest, de Chardin was a paleontologist and a geologist. He took part in the discoveries of the “Peking Man” and the “Piltdown Man”.”

    Must have been some “discovery!” “Piltdown Man” was a hoax, Grandma.


  198. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Terri in NY, you are probably right about Gato being better qualified to be pope than Ryan was to be a heart beat away from the presidency. Sorry, Gato, about you not being elected pope. Wrong century and wrong gender. Besides, we women don’t have the vote in the Vatican anyway.

    All I know about the new pope is that he is from Argentina and that he is a Jesuit. Depending on the point of view, the Jesuit Order of priests are the intellectuals of the Church OR historically have been involved in all kinds of nefarious schemes and intrigues. They are also affectionately known in some circles as “Jebbies”.

    For the record, we have a mixed marriage. My husband was raised Catholic; I was raised Protestant. We are a couple of heathen now.

    We have a very old friend my husband grew up with. He too is an octogenarian and has been teaching Philosophy at an East Coast Jesuit institution forever. Still going strong. He advises PhD candidates. He is a brilliant man. He has written a number of books of which we have signed copies. The trouble is, they are so esoteric, it’s hard to get past page one, paragraph one. We have visited back and forth for years, one time fairly recently out here. He is a gourmet cook. He makes a mean ”Coq au Vin”! In the process, he makes an ungodly mess in the kitchen for me and his wife to clean up the disaster afterward. But what the heck, we have left over “Coq au Vin” for several days. We four have always had lively discussions into the wee hours of the night along with a cuppa “tea” or two.

    Along time ago he turned us on to the books of Teihard de Chardin (1881-1955) a French Jesuit, “Jebbie!”. In addition to being a priest, de Chardin was a paleontologist and a geologist. He took part in the discoveries of the “Peking Man” and the “Piltdown Man”. He was almost kicked out of the Jesuit Order and even the Church a few times. His writings were banned for a time too. Pope John XXIII bailed him out.

    There was a line in one of his books that I committed to memory because I thought it was so profound. It has been a long time since I read it so I don’t remember for sure, but I think it was in his book, “The Divine Milieu.”

    I quote:

    “The fires of hell and the fires of heaven are not two different forces, but contrary manifestations of the same energy.”

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  199. “In other words, (Paul Ryan is) a garden variety egotist.”

    No, he’s just a fellow who can do simple math. (Sorry, I said the “m” word – math.) Anybody knows that when your checkbook gets empty, you can live beyond your means by borrowing, but you can only do that for a while. The US is ‘way beyond that point; time has run out.

    Nobody wants to kill Santa Claus, but to buy things takes money – and we don’t have the money to live the way we have been. Personally, even with all Ryan is trying to do, I don’t think it will be even close to enough. We can either take a dull needle with medicine in it or we can just keep doing what we are doing, and die. My guess is, you will vote “die.”

  200. Hi, Terri – I don’t disagree with you at all. The ego is a fragile little critter, made of brittle glass, which must be protected by any and all means, in order to avoid shattering. I think our impressions are basically the same – you just got to the point more quickly than I did!

    Have a good evening…


    (Oh dear; oh dear; where are M&H these days…??!!)

  201. Hi Gato,
    I have as slightly different take on Ryan. I think he believes he is a superior being, smarter and wiser than the rest of us and totally able to make statements that are not true (such as “government takeover of health care”) and make others believe him. In other words, a garden variety egotist.

  202. HI, Lori – It seems apparent to me that there are some people who cannot allow themselves to feel either compassion or gratitude, and who seem to believe that anywhere they got, they got solely through their own efforts. For some reason, it’s as if they seem threatened by either of those human attributes – that they will somehow be “less” if they admit to having, or allowing others to have, either of those qualities.

    Of course, I don’t “know” Paul Ryan AT ALL, but we can certainly all see very clearly how he presents himself, again and again. I’ve learned to trust my instincts, and I’ll bet you do, too. These are not ideological alarms going off; they are very basic human intuitions. In spite of our American legends of independence and self-sufficiency, humans are pack animals, and we give a damn about what happens to others of our species.

    I think Ryan is being used, as I remarked earlier to Terri, and his ego is deluding him into thinking that his being used means he’s doing something “good” and “responsible.” I suspect he hardly knows with whom he is dealing, and how easily he could be thrown under the proverbial bus the moment he is no longer useful.

    And then some Freudian slip pops out of his mouth, and it’s game over – at least for a day or two, and at least for those who are paying attention to what’s ACTUALLY going on, rather than what we’re being TOLD is going on. The last election cannot be denied.

    (Gosh! I didn’t mean to get all pompous here… Sorry!)

    And, darn it, Terri, looks like someone else was elected to serve as Pope, despite your thoughts earlier today. Thank heavens!


  203. Re ; Paul Ryan. This is a guy who not only didn’t deliver his home state for Mittens, he didn’t even carry his congressional district! His neighbors didn’t even vote for him on the Presidential ticket!

    Even his neighbors know he shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    I wouldn’t be surprised he is worried about being primaried. That would explain his insistance to appease the right right wing of his party and continue the silly talk of repealing Obamacare.

  204. Cynthia: you may be on to something. I remember when he was commenting on the election loss, he blamed the “urban vote”, which is code for minority votes. Sometimes the truth slips out…..

  205. Here is Ryan’s slip of the tongue:
    “This to us is something that we’re not going to give up on, because we’re not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people.”


    Is it possible that Ryan is so willing to support cuts to safety nets is his belief that only minorities depend on them?


  206. Hi Gato,
    I agree with everything in your post. Part of the problem is the media, who seems to have bought into the notion that Paul Ryan is a serious person who is trying to solve the debt problem. In reality, as you say, he is an ideologue (and an extreme one in my opinion), whose main goal is to destroy the entitlement programs that we all benefit from in order to “shrink” the government. Fundamentally, people like Paul Ryan reject the entire notion of government, instead putting their belief in business. The hypocrisy is enormous since he himself is employed by the government (and he appears to be living very well), and his education was funded by the government. He admits he benefitted greatly from social security benefits when his father died. However, he seems to have no compunction about denying those same benefits to others. I guess you could say I don’t like the guy or his policies! And you would make a better Pope than Paul Ryan would a president.

  207. Hi, Terri – As the ever-wise Charlie Pierce pointed out in one of his postings this morning, Ryan’s “economic theory” is not based on his political beliefs – his political beliefs ARE his “economic theory.”

    Paul Krugman is an economist. So is Milton Friedman, and many others, different as their “policies” may be. Ryan is a “policy wonk,” alright, but it ain’t in economics. He’s a cardboard front man for a bunch of single-minded ideologues who hope they can pass him off as an “economist” in the hopes of distracting the populace from their plutocratic political goals.

    Ryan is about as worthy to be designated an “economist” as I am worthy to be elected Pope… And there’s no white smoke coming out of any chimney around here.


  208. Ryan’s budget is a total joke. First, it assumes the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act. That will NOT be happening while the Dems control the senate and Obama is president. I agree with you Gato, if he’s the “brains” of the GOP, they are in big trouble. Check out his voting record too. He voted for both Bush wars, the prescription drug benefit, etc.; all unpaid for. His reputation as a deficit hawk is a sham; just like the his bogus budget. Somebody should remind him that he and Romney lost the presidential election; the American people do NOT support the policies he puts forth. All the Orwellian doubletalk he does such as “we want to strengthen Medicare” while he tries to destroy it are not fooling anyone who has an iota of common sense.

  209. Paul Ryan was on a show this morning and he says something along these lines “we haven’t stopped trying to destroy health care for Americans.”

    Of course that is not what he meant to say however it seems to be one of the few times a Republican actually told the truth.


  210. I think the problem for the Republicans is not that the President is a mulatto; the problem for thinking Republlicans (there are three of them!) is that he can’t do math – sort of like Grandma’s mythical CEO.

    The numbers have to add up, and closing your eyes and wishing won’t make it so. Ryan knows that, and has the guts to say so; Hussein does not.

    Won’t change the outcome either way; reality is reality – and we are so far in debt, as I noted below, that it is not recoverable. Hope you have a little plot to raise some food, Grandma – you’ll need it.

  211. Oh, Auntie Jean… If Ryan is the “intellectual force” on economics for the GOP, I think they’re in deep doo-doo, for sure. (IMHO, they still just can’t stand that uppity black guy’s still being President… And he IS! And I’m so glad.)

    ‘Bout time to add something to that tea on your porch, don’t you think? Around here (CT), it’s been raining all day, and 50 degrees F. Nice thing is that all the snow is being washed away… And now we can see the reminders of all the work we didn’t do last fall – piles of leaves, many fallen twigs and branches, dead plants in my deck planters…

    I’m looking for crocuses and snowdrops – always the first up, this time of year… First cardinals on the bird feeders today. Always a good sign…


  212. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Paul Ryan’s new budget reminds me of a true story my husband was privy to. The Board had been conducting an exhaustive search for a new CFO. They spent days plowing through lengthy resumes and interviewing candidates. They had become weary of the whole process.

    Finally the irritated CEO asked the latest one, “How much is 2 and 2?” With a sly grin, the man replied, “How much do you want it to be?”

    The CEO said, “You’re hired.”

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  213. Sorry! (head slap). I forgot there was math in it…

  214. Very interesting article on “The Economy of Lies” by James Dale Davidson, of the Financial Intelligence report, an investment newsletter. He has no dog in the hunt whatsoever, other than making money for himself and people who subscribe to his letter.

    “The bogus impression that the economy
    “recovered” over Obama’s first term,
    notwithstanding a 9 percent drop in median real
    family income, was based entirely upon an almost
    unchallenged application of the third type of lie
    — statistics — in this case the double counting
    of imaginary jobs and a studied under-count
    of inflation. If the inflation calculation used to
    determine real economic growth were comparable
    to that employed in the Carter administration there
    would have been no statistical illusion of recovery
    — just an extended bottom-bouncing after the
    financial collapse of 2008.

    The consequence of allowing Obama to shape
    the public’s perception of the economy with a steady
    cascade of apparently credible lies is not merely
    miscalculation by misinformed voters in selecting
    candidates, there is also a growing gap between
    economic reality and political fantasy. Obama and
    his crew cultivate complacency over a U.S. fiscal
    policy that is unsustainable. Consider the U.S.
    government’s GAAP-based 2012 financial data.
    They show that the real federal budget deficit hit a
    record $6.6 trillion in 2012 — based on generally
    accepted accounting principles.”

    (GAAP – generally accepted accounting principles – the set of rules every business in the US must use in order to accurately report its financial condition. The US govt, however, which requires this of everybody else, oddly enough does not use them.)

    continuing…”Using accrual accounting as employed by private
    companies, the government’s operations suffered a
    total shortfall (with unfunded liabilities reported in
    terms of net present value), of 42 percent of GDP.
    This leaves the total national debt plus unfunded
    liabilities at an astonishing $85.4 trillion or 570
    percent of GDP.

    When the deficit is seen in its true light, there is
    utterly no prospect whatever that the shortfall can
    be closed by tax increases, much less by economic
    growth. The economy would have to expand by
    more than 40 percent annually to stabilize the
    liabilities as a percentage of GDP. Nothing of the
    kind is even remotely possible.”

  215. Are you both ok?  I’ve missed reading your letters.

  216. Confirmed: We live in an alternate universe.


  217. Good Bill Maher “New Rules” section on, “Why does everything have to be political?”

  218. Yep I think you’re right Auntie Jean . It will happen. There were a couple of other pics tweeted too. Everyone there seemed to be enjoying the speakers as they talked about microtargeting, registration, and of course the ever popular ground game.

    All three of those things working in tandem is what will bring us success.

    Today is Austin! I am sure the turnout will be even larger. They have been a blue county for a while now. Who knows maybe Helen will be there! ;-)

    Fired up and ready to go!

  219. Hi Congenial Gang,

    WOOOOOOO!!! lori, San Antonio is cookin’!!! Texas will soon be seeing red as it slowly but surely turns blue. Keep it up.

    Gato, come on out and bring your honey! Same goes for any and all of the porch dwellers, well, with one or two exceptions. We can sit on our Dinky Deck out back, high up on a cliff overlooking the ocean or go out front and almost reach out to touch the magnificent mountains. We can sit and drink my Famous Constant Comment Spiced Tea and giggle. The men can join us or go off together and do guy stuff, whatever guys do when they are out doing guy stuff. Snorkel, swim in the ocean or the pool, whatever. I have been known to spike the Tea on occasion. Hey, it is always 5:00PM somewhere on the planet. We will turn you two loose to go bask on a private, secluded beach somewhere. We have hunnerts of ‘em. We’ll provide the blanket and then you are on your own. Just be back in time to help make dinner with a cuppa tea or two to liven things up a bit.

    Not to worry. I’ve been around the block enough times to develop a pretty tough hide. I really don’t give a big rat’s ass what some Walter Mitty wannabe says or thinks. As I’ve said before, over the years I have learned to answer to: “Jean”, “Mrs._____”, “Sweetheart”, “DAMMIT,JEAN!”,
    “mommy”, “mom”, “AW, MOM!”, “grandma” and “HEY! LADY!”

    We have been here 23 years, so out here I answer to kapuna, (grandma) from my hanai keiki (informally adopted kids and grandkids) all over the island. Our own are usually far away on the mainland, so I simply take up some hanai keiki. I often hear ’ho ’olu ‘olu, Kapuna, ‘ho ’olu ‘olu????” (Pleeeease, grandma, pleeeease???” Music to my ears.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie (Tutu) Jean

    P. S. My mini-seminar on neuroscience is going up tonight over in delurkergurl’s Kitchen. She gave me the green light.

  220. twitter pic of battleground TX – san antonio!

    fired up and ready to go…

  221. Hi, Auntie Jean – We’re with ya, big time! I care not one whit how many times that person refines his avatar, and hopes someone cares. I don’t. He/she is a sorry soul.

    Would be so cool to come to Hawaii, and sit on YOUR porch, with you.

    My dearest Soul Sister is convinced that the Grandmothers are quietly working on weaving their web… Something that will hold us all… She’s out in the Anzo Borrega desert these days, in her RV. I miss her physical presence, but she – like you – keeps everything happening, with the Grandmothers.

    Someone may use that word in a pejorative way, but his doing so means nothing. Being a Grandmother is the highest honor – and not earned easily. You be proud of everything you are, and everything you are doing…


  222. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Aw, shucks, you guys, SFB and Gato.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  223. Hey, SFB – Me, too!


  224. The comments back and forth here are more revealing than one might expect and often show off the best and worst of one’s educational experiences. On the one hand we have Auntie Jean who has a host of interests and shares her observations and experiences whenever possible. She is exceptionally talented, is a musician and an artist, has traveled extensively, had a career in biological research, is a mother and grandmother and is willing to admit that she doesn’t know a few things but is usually willing to learn. On the other hand we have the eminent pfesser who seems to be unemployed currently but has ample time to cherry pick comments off right wing blogs and is so superbly educated that he doesn’t have time for alternative views because he already knows all there is to know about everything.

    I go with Auntie Jean every time.

  225. Tweaking just a little:

  226. Just got my new gravatar finished! One of the perks of being an editor is that you have access to so many talented people. Thanks to my Photoshop guy!

  227. ooopppsss, Jeremy Bird will be in Austin MONDAY! So there is still time to sign up.

    Thanks for the headsup Steve… xo


  228. Jeremy Bird, Mayor Julian Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro are in San Antonio today to talk about how we’re working to make Texas count! Jeremey Bird was in Austin last night. ( BTW South x Southwest is a really cool event. If you are in the area you should check it out) He will in be Dallas soon. I am sooo excited to hear what these guys have to say, about not only what is happening in TX, but what is yet to come!

    There is limited seating soooo if you are in San Antonio and wanna come and hear the plans and listen to one of the BEST Political Scientist’s in the bizness map out a road to victory for Democrats in TX. Go to battleground Tx and rsvp for tonights event.

    Yes we can!

    Have a wonderful day everyone.. xoxoxoxo to all

  229. I think Grandma’s post sums up the Left’s position on education perfectly: they want to talk about it and make sure everyone knows how PASSIONATE they are. To their minds, that’s enough.

    In point of fact, that and two bucks-fifty will get you a cup of Americano.

  230. re: education in America. I served on a county school board during the late ‘eighties. It was an eye-opening experience; I’d always wondered why my colleagues and I had received such a fine primary education in the wilds of West Virginia, yet twenty years later, the pupils – in the same county – may as well have been educated by wolves.

    It is actually quite simple, complex theories notwithstanding. The current school system is simply incapable of providing a decent education.

    A friend summed it up perfectly: The school system nowadays is, itself, like a giant school bus. The driver (the Board) has a gas pedal and a brake. The passengers (pupils, teachers’ union, service-personnel union, county-workers’ union, parents, lawyers) are all along for the ride; each has his own brake pedal.

    No matter what the Board tries to do to improve education, it will gore somebody’s ox or alienate at least one of the passengers, who will then jam on the brake and bring the whole system to a screeching halt. Try to fire an incompetent teacher, or even discipline him/her, and the union will tie the system up with an interminable series of hearings. Discipline a student, or just give him the grade he deserves and you will hear from his lawyer, who will jam the brakes and paralyze the system until you give in.

    The board all started out well-motivated, but like our predecessors, we eventually wore out and knuckled under. So what could we do?

    In practical terms, we were limited to one thing: We could lobby the citizens to build more buildings – new schools housing the same students, the same administrators, the same teachers as before. Our benefit was the bronze plaque by the door with all our names on it.

    Parents were willing to tax themselves to death to build new schools they didn’t need (Many of Oxford’s buildings were built in medieval times.), because they thought a new school meant better education for their kids. Pathetic, really.

    No,we have everything we need to provide a superb education to our children; what we do NOT have is the will.

  231. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, I appreciate your kind words. There are so many things I don’t know diddly about though. I haven’t a clue what all those wires and stuff under the hood of the car are or where they came from. All I know is to turn on the ignition, step on the gas and go!, ever mindful of watching the road and traffic. If I had a flat tire, I would have to stand out by the side of the road and look helpless until some kind soul came along and helped me. Fortunately, it has never happened – yet. Further, I have NEVER thought it is ladylike to pump gas. I know, I know, most women do! But I go out of my way and pay a few cents a gallon extra at the only full service station on the island. There are some really, really sweet kids there that can use their jobs.

    Thanks lori for the tips on other sites to visit. I am familiar with several of them but never heard of others. I’ll check them out. It is helpful of you to provide info for all us to stay on top of current political happenings.

    Back to the political business at hand for us liberal progressives. This is one of our jobs!!! A highest priority should always, always, always be EDUCATION!!! I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT THAT!!! Our children (my grandkids included) deserve the very best qualified teachers, facilities and resources so they can become whatever their abilities and aptitudes turn out to be. And I’m not talking about the usual platitudes of the “American Dream” of a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence.

    This starts in pre-school and kindergarten all the way through college and beyond in the Humanities, the Arts, Science, Math, Technology; all or none of the above. I really, really lose it, patience-wise, when the right wing keeps incessant hammering away about cutting this and cutting, more often than not with education first on the chopping block. Teachers deserve to be compensated for the work they do (and love!). Hungry kids can’t learn if they don’t have decent nutrition, sometimes from the free lunch and even breakfast programs. And….

    OK, I’ll get off my soap box……….. for now………..

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  232. Gato Auntie Jean is an accomplished pianist amoung many other things. :)

    Btw I was thinking of you the other day when Rand Paul was filibustering. I dont know if you were still out of country or not but he used Alice In Wonderland to illustrate his point. It reminded me of your diary. :)


    Thanks for the info about Bocelli…

    We’re just back from a place that may be very like where you live all year round… Lush greenery, melodic songbirds all day long, hibiscus flowers blooming and dropping, palm trees – a real Eden. And absolutely wonderful people, whom we adore seeing. Love being there, and love being back home in our snowy and rock-bound landscape here in CT.

    The Daylight Savings Time switch-over is my favorite day of the year… Kind of a human-made solstice, and the real one comes soon after. An arbitrary “extra” hour tonight!


  234. Thanks gato, Ill check out Esquire!

    Conservative blog and sane is an oxymoron isn’t it? LOL I tease…LOL LOL In all seriousness I think it’s pretty difficult to find a “moderate” conservative these days don’t you? That David Frum from the dailybeast that I talk about often seems to be the closest I have come to reading anyone from the right that “has a clue”.

  235. Morning, Lori – And thanks for the list! I’d add Charlie Pierce’s blog for Esquire. He’s a great writer, and awesome snarker, as well.

    I really wish I could find a sane “conservative” blog that’s not swarming with bats in the belfry – and without the condescending slime disguised as “argument” that oozes up from under the porch around here from time to time… Any ideas, anybody?

    Beautiful sunny day here in CT. SO NICE!


  236. While we wait for M&H’s return don’t forget there are lottsaaa places out there where some good liberal conversation is happening. (I know most of of already know this, but JIC ;-) )

    A few of my favs are dailykos, extremeliberal, stonekettle (of course) even huffingtonpost has some good conversations lots of times. They aren’t necessarily ultra liberal, but the conversations are pleasant and productive. Krugman has a good blog to read, but nothing happening in the comment section. Which I think he prefers. I LOVE juanitajean’s and if you just want to read and listen to “another from a different mother”, liberaloasis is – welllll just that oasis. Where, as they say, “left is right and the right is wrong!” LOL LOL

    Good stuff allllll…

    They are all somewhat moderated and trolls are treated as such. ;-)

    Have a great weekend .. kinda rainy and yuckie here today. But they say our aquifer needs it. xoxoxoxo all

  237. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Neuroscience is a subject dear to my heart. In his State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned “investing in the bests ideas”. One of them he cited is the research project underway all over the world into the “Brain Activity Project.” In countries as diverse as Constitutional Monarchies, Socialist Democracies, Theocracies, and Communist Capitalism, scientists are forging ahead in fascinating research that, in the long run will benefit all of mankind in ways we can now only imagine. Each country tailors its political system to the needs and desires of its population in terms of history and traditions. But the ultimate goals are for the most part the same. The work will go on, with or with the United States. It would be a shame though if we were left behind in the dust because of our usual political wrangling over budgetary concerns.

    The NIH has hopes to begin funding for the project next year. It is estimated to be roughly $300 million a year to become at least $3 billion over the next 10 years. It would be similar to the amount spent on the highly successful Human Genome Project. However, mapping the brain activity, neuron-by-synaptic neuron (something like 100 billion of ‘em that we know about so far) is vastly much more complex than unraveling the double helix of our DNA. But we did it!!! The obvious salutary outcomes of the research could be finding the causes and possible treatment and/or cures for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s and a host of neurological disorders.

    And then there are the serendipity aspects. I am reminded of the old anecdote about the guy who was working on finding out just what the heck radio waves or microwaves were all about. He was a dedicated scientist and often skipped lunch to keep on working. So he was in the habit of carrying a couple of candy bars in his shirt pocket to tide him over. He noticed that the candy bars kept melting whenever he walked by the massive equipment. Hmmmm. (It also created a nasty, sticky laundry problem for his wife.) It took a lot of time and effort but he finally made the connection that there was HEAT involved in radio waves! Voila! the birth of the microwave oven!

    Who among us is not grateful for melting candy bars and the convenience of our microwave ovens we use every day.

    The training and experience I had in neuroscience more years ago than I am willing to admit are downright primitive compared to what is going on now with the advances in technology. (Such as dropping an electrode into the hypothalamus of a laboratory rat. After memorizing the stereotactic atlas of the rat brain for the three dimensional co-ordinates, of course. There are many less invasive techniques now.) Many of my colleagues are now dead and I’ve lost touch with others. But I do keep up with some and like to stay fairly current with what’s going on in the fascinating world of neuroscience.

    I’m thinking of conducting a mini-seminar on what I do know and am learning about it still. But not here. This is primarily a political blog. I think, with delurkergurl’s permission, I may take it into her Kitchen for anyone who might be interested.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  238. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks Gato. I would love to take credit for “SpankMe” but someone else here dubbed him that several years ago. Your comment jogged my memory.

    We saw the Bocelli special at Portofino on PBS a few nights ago. The ‘rattling the tin cup’ schedule out here is different than on the mainland. What a breathtaking setting Portofino is for any reason, concert or no.

    Bocelli is a phenomenon with such a mellow voice and presentation. And obviously a super nice guy! Did you know he had a brief operatic here in the U.S.? He was “Werther” to Denyce Graves’ “Charlotte”. That’s Massenet’s French opera Werther, not the candies. I think it was performed in Michigan to rave reviews. It is an opera that does not require Werther to move around the stage with too much action so blocking wasn’t a problem. It’s one that’s called “stand and bark”.

    To my knowledge, Bocelli did not pursue an operatic career after that. This is off the top of my head, but I understand that he was sighted for a while but his blindness was the result of a childhood congenital problem. He learned to sing by listening to his family’s old records. Later he got his start singing and playing in a piano bar. Somewhere along the line he got some formal training but he does a masterful job of crossover. Talk about playing the hand you are dealt and coming up with FIVE ACES!!!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  239. Terri -

    As (Margaret’s?) nephew Matthew so very succinctly said several years ago, those who vehemently accuse those with opposing viewpoints of “trollery” would more accurately fulfill the criteria themselves.

    In fact, it is the very essence of trollery to accuse others of “trolling” when one is unable to mount a successful counter-argument and is too intellectually lazy to even try – it’s much easier to dismiss them as “trolls,” isn’t it?

    Want to give it another go? This time, try to stick to the topic and leave personal stuff at home.

    Your ball.

    Apologies to Lori for teasing you about your “runway” experiences. It was just that Grandma dredged it up (I actually didn’t know about it until then.) and it instantly explained a lot.

    All best, PF

  240. Auntie Jean… You are an absolutely brilliant star!

    Love Spank Me… That says it all.

    Me and my honey are watching Andrea Boccelli in Portofino on PBS. Beautiful music; my soul is there. And thanks for being your wonderful self. You de best!


  241. Can’t help thinking our economy would be recovering much faster if the a Republicans would just get out of the way. They have essentially done nothing the past four years except obstruct.

  242. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Looks like SpankMe just got his newsletter and statement from the NRA for his life-long membership fee. Could be they would waive the fee if he cut-n-pastes it to enough blogs. Heaven knows, the NRA is not getting much mileage or traction in the media anymore.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  243. Better than expected jobs report! Good news ( and a result of Obama’s economic policies). Hope the sequester cuts don’t stop progress, things are looking up.

  244. HI Congenial Gang,

    How nice to turn on the computer this morning and see a great post from Gato and you special friends here on the porch. We missed you Gato! We progressives are making progress out there across the land so let’s keep up the good work.

    Love you all!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  245. Hi, Sidney (and Lori),

    Good to BE back! And, Lori, didn’t mean to suggest that I find my home mountain exactly bleak in its snowy incarnation… It’s quite beautiful around here these days, just as it is – a B&W and sepia landscape, so different from the one we were seeing on a lovely small island in the Caribbean, full of rampant color and warmth. They’re both fine, and I know I’m a very lucky girl to be able to experience both of them during any given year…

    What they miss down there is the promise of Spring… It’s always eighty-two or eighty-four degrees there every day, 365. It may rain for fifteen minutes one morning, and then it’s done… So they don’t know the promise of crocuses under the snow, and how magical it is when those first bits of color appear…

    As for M&H, there’s another mystery… I know so little of their actual lives, other than they, along with Matthew, started something that means a great deal to all the rest of us. And, dang, that’s probably enough!

    I, too, hope to hear from them, and MAINLY hope they are well…

    Now, finally, I think we have to go out and shovel. We’ve managed to spend two-thirds of our first day back not doing that, although I did fill the bird feeders… I do feel some responsibilities here!


  246. Welcome back Gato…..missed you so much. I too am concerned about M&H. Something is not right. Has anyone tried to get in contact with the grandson?

  247. Waving to Gato! Welcome back. ;-) Sorry it is to such a bleak landscape.

    I’m sure M&H are ok. They have never been really active during the off season (so to speak). Helen’s hot buttons have always been the half term nitwit from Alaska and Pro choice isssues. There hasn’t been much in the news lately about those two things. LOL I have full faith they will be back soon. ;-) In the down times they have been sooo gracious in allowing us to stay.

    Trolls will be trolls … remember Grama Katie’s wise words… scroll baby scroll.

    I know she is probably somewhere over the rainbow screaming those words now. LOL LOL xoxoxooxox alll

    and onnnn we go… whats on the menu today folks?

  248. Welcome back Gato!
    Of course you are right about “trolling.” It’s quite hard to read that offensive stuff and let it go by (“grandma”, “little girl”, “boy”–how obnoxious can one person be?). He’s a perverted little jerk, but I will try to ignore him.

  249. Very interesting article from Harvard: gun ownership by the public reduces murder rates.

    “The study, which just appeared in Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694), set out to answer the question in its title: “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence.” Contrary to conventional wisdom, and the sniffs of our more sophisticated and generally anti-gun counterparts across the pond, the answer is “no.” And not just no, as in there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, but an emphatic no, showing a negative correlation: as gun ownership increases, murder and suicide decreases.

    The findings of two criminologists – Prof. Don Kates and Prof. Gary Mauser – in their exhaustive study of American and European gun laws and violence rates, are telling:

    Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population).

    For example, Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland’s murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe. Sweden and Denmark are two more examples of nations with high murder rates but few guns. As the study’s authors write in the report:

    If the mantra “more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death” were true, broad cross-national comparisons should show that nations with higher gun ownership per capita consistently have more death. Nations with higher gun ownership rates, however, do not have higher murder or suicide rates than those with lower gun ownership. Indeed many high gun ownership nations have much lower murder rates. (p. 661)
    Finally, and as if to prove the bumper sticker correct – that “gun don’t kill people, people do” – the study also shows that Russia’s murder rate is four times higher than the U.S. and more than 20 times higher than Norway. This, in a country that practically eradicated private gun ownership over the course of decades of totalitarian rule and police state methods of suppression. Needless to say, very few Russian murders involve guns.

    The important thing to keep in mind is not the rate of deaths by gun – a statistic that anti-gun advocates are quick to recite – but the overall murder rate, regardless of means. The criminologists explain:

    [P]er capita murder overall is only half as frequent in the United States as in several other nations where gun murder is rarer, but murder by strangling, stabbing, or beating is much more frequent. (p. 663 – emphases in original)”

    It’s going to be pretty tough for the Left to refute this little research article from the most liberal institution of higher learning on the planet. Don’t you just hate it when reality contradicts your prejudices? I certainly do…LOL LOL LOL

  250. Hi, Auntie Jean, Terri, Lori, Sidney, Pi, and Porch Sitters All…

    I’ve been away for the last few weeks, without my computer (!!!). I was able to read all your posts, though, and missed putting in my two cents’ worth now and then.

    A couple of things: It is worrisome that we haven’t heard from M&H, themselves, for so long… And there’s evidently not much we can do about it, other than just keep hoping we’ll learn something soon… And keep the lemonade on tap, as it were, out here on the Porch…

    Secondly, I’m seriously starting to think that trolling should be designated an official mental disturbance in that big book of “official” psychiatric disorders, the name of which escapes me at the moment. (I’m sure I’ll receive some sort of trolly condescension about my lack of education, announced with some sort of “little girlish” designation…) But, HTG, one wouldn’t put up with that kind of arrogance, bloviation, and pomposity for more than three minutes, face to face, but it evidently comes with the territory in the anonymity of the internet. Just can’t hit Delete fast enough!

    And it’s not because of any “fear” of the “information” that sometimes is put forth, from wherever it’s plucked. It’s the relentless provocation, often with sexual innuendo, that makes any sentient person recoil – and quite correctly, IMHO! I just have this image of a little banty rooster, clucking and strutting, bobbing its little head up and down and poking its pointy little beak into whatever it can (sexual innuendo intended), hoping for a squeal, or even a slap in the head, in response. Hoping for ANYTHING in response, actually! Reminds me of a classic hypothetical dialogue between a masochist and a sadist: The masochist says, “Beat me,” and the sadist replies, “No”…

    Anyway, back from a place with hibiscus, hummingbirds, and palm trees, to a B&W landscape of eight inches of snow, and still coming down… Oddly enough, it’s always good to be home!

    Hope you all are well!


  251. You’re right Sidney.

    As I said I accidentally read his yammerings this morning. The post was sooooo wingnuttery I couldn’t help myself.

    ……right hand raised ….. i will always drink at least one cup of coffee and squirt a bunch of contact solution in both eyes b4 loading M&H! Then I won’t b o feed the trolls. Lol lol

  252. Just my opinion. Ignore pfesser, which is what I do. Don’t respond, and eventually like a mangey lost dog…..he will go away. Don’t feed the troll.

  253. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, re: The Pfesser/Heather/Anonymous/Noah/Whoever’s snide remark in his comment as he preened and strutted around yet once again on Mar. 7, 2013 at 12:00P, and I quote: “you must try to educate yourself in something other than Obama-fawning. There’s a whole world out there.”

    Yes, there is a whole world out there beyond the “Appalachian Moonshiner vs. the Revenooers”. You, lori, and others are informing the 1000+ a day bloggers who come here to read but not necessarily to comment. I commend you for doing a great job of just that – educating us with your thoughtful, well-researched, intelligent and up-to-date rebuttals.

    I am reminded of something my mother taught me many, many years ago. When you point your index finger at any one, as he enjoys doing, look at your hand. Three fingers are being pointed at your self.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  254. My mistake I THOUGHT when you opined on Auntie Jean’s post:

    Very true – numerically. Of course, because of inflation – also the result of the “economic policies of the Obama Administration,”

    that you were referring to the Obama administration cooking the books to skew the inflation rate.

    But I NOW understand you really meant the books have been cooked since 1987 (27 years ago) and all inflation calculations, and hence stock evaluations, since that time have been bogus…..

    You didn’t REALLY mean it was the Obama administration’s deception. LOL LOL silly silly me. You certainly DID get me there Fessor. LMFAOOOOO

    And just a reminder my personal life is none of your biznesss.

  255. 2006 it was, LOL LOL LOL, but they still calculate inflation in the same fraudulent way, since changing it back would require changing a standing policy, and it gives them more cover to continue to calculate it Greenspan’s way. As they say about Scientology, “L. Ron is gone, but the fraud goes on.” Just like the Fed. LOL LOL LOL.

    re: fawning dates. Fawning is fawning, no matter the time frame. Wise up, little girl. They are tearing your playhouse down, and you are helping them. Hope you can survive; my guess is that all that runway work didn’t prepare you much for the brave new world your socialist buddies are bringing to pass. You might want to hie on down to Cuba for a little practice in what is coming.

    Don’t get any medical care there, though. You saw what happened to my Boy Hugo, Michael Moore’s assessment notwithstanding.

    (BTW – re: runway modeling. Doesn’t it hurt when all those big airplanes roll over you? – just wondering…LOL LOL LOL)

  256. And I sm pretty sure I didnt start fawning until 2008? Lol lol

  257. Wasnt Greenspans tenure over in 2006? Lol lol

  258. Sorry – I forgot.


  259. ” The Inflation rate is calculated using the Current Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. CPI Index Release Dates”

    Precisely. It is calculated the same way the govt calculates it, not according to the way it has traditionally been calculated before Greenspan changed the calculations.

    Really, Lori – you must try to educate yourself in something other than Obama-fawning. There’s a whole world out there, of which you are blissfully unaware.

    But anyway, thanks for proving my point.


  260. ” The Inflation rate is calculated using the Current Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. CPI Index Release Dates”

    Precisely. It is calculated the same way the govt calculates it, not according to the way it has traditionally been calculated before Greenspan changed the calculations.

    Really, Lori – you must try to educate yourself in something other than Obama-fawning. There’s a whole world out there.

    But anyway, thanks for proving my point.

  261. Lol lol auntie jean I think I will stick to my little political books thank you very much! I know that is the field you received your graduate work? ( or was it post graduate? ) work in buttt it’s wayyyyy over my little brain! Lol I am still slogging through the last book you shared with us over a year ago!! I keep it in my kindle just in case it gets stolen and I need to bore the theif to death!!! Lmaoooo.

    BTW I will happily share my books with all my friends! Lemme know and we can do the kindle share thing. Xoxo alll

  262. Hiya Terri! When I loaded M&H on my phone this morning b4 coffee and sticky contacts I thought I was reading Auntie Jean’s post. LOL Then I quickly realized I was reading Glen Beck and Faux News redux. I guess the carnival barkers and wingnut conspiracy peps have to make a living too. :) Whateverrrrrrr lol on we go..

  263. Lori, you’re just going to confuse him. He can’t handle facts. His tin foil hat is way too tight! But thanks from the rest of the reality-based folk here.

  264. a chat showing the inflation rates from 2000 to present. LOL LOL


  265. Grandma opined: “Since the stock market has soared to an all time high under the economic policies of the Obama Administration”

    Very true – numerically. Of course, because of inflation – also the result of the “economic policies of the Obama Administration,” the actual VALUE of the market is nowhere close. (Sorry, there’s math involved.) Best estimates are that – because the gov’t, in an attempt to hide the real rate of inflation, has changed the way it calculates the inflation number – current govt numbers underestimate inflation by at least 7% per year. That compounds, and by the rule of 72 (sorry – more math), every ten years it underestimates loss of buying power by one-half. Wise up, Grandma – you’ve been had.

    Think of it this way: if it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread during the Weimar period of Germany, did that mean the bread became more valuable than it was before? Of course not; the money just became less so.

    Stocks work the same way.

  266. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, thanks for the tip on the book, “WINGNUTS How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America by John Avlon”. I’ve seen him on TV I think. A handsome fellow. I look forward to reading his book and maybe some Oprah moments here to discuss it. It’s next on my list, after I finish my current book, “The Seven Daughters of Eve – The Science that Reveals our Genetic Ancestry” by Bryan Sykes.

    A few months ago I read his later book, “DNA USA – A Genetic Portrait of America.” At the time I was unaware of this previous book. Sykes is a highly distinguished British scientist and leading authority on the field of genetics. He is professor of genetics at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University and editor of the Human Inheritance; Genes, Language and Evolution .

    As you would expect, both books get very, very technical, but they are readable for the average person and have some delightful anecdotes throughout.

    Aloha! ;-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  267. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Uh, I have to ‘fess up. I should apologize to everyone here on the porch because I, well, er, MIGHT have exaggerated just a bit and embellished the truth a tad with my comment earlier today (waialeale on March 6, 2013
    at 5:52 PM) on a point or so I was making.. I am sorry if I MAY have misled anyone. In the future I will try to be more circumspect and cautious in my remarks. Unless…………………..of course…………………..

    What the hell, everyone else here is outta step but me!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  268. LOL LOL Auntie Jean, dontcha just HATE dem dar Socialistttt Presssidents?

  269. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Today I applied for a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart to get me off the Social Security dole. Didn’t get it. Over qualified. But they are still considering me for a position as a stock girl, that is, if I can pass the arithmetic test. If I don’t get that one, at 83 years old, I think I’ll sue on the grounds of age discrimination. Maybe not. Since the stock market has soared to an all time high under the economic policies of the Obama Administration, we may not have to tap into our Cayman accounts portfolio to buy food after all.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  270. Ok friends, I have another book recommendation for Yinzs that are suffering through the latest snow storm! Or those of us sitting on our deck enjoying the sun. ;-)

    WINGNUTS How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America by John Avlon

    If you don’t know Avlon, he writes for Newsweek and Dailybeast. He is a TRUE “Independent”. Anyone who has known me for longer than a New York minute knows I don’t use that label often. (because most Independents aren’t LOL) but he is. He is really into the whole no party alliance thing. He is married to a conservative that is related to President Hoover! LOL Politics is his life… enjoy. ;-)

    If anyone wants to have an Oprah moment and discuss the book???? lemme know. xoxoxo all

  271. Or as some refer to it “our way of life.”

  272. Hi Congenial Gang,

    The irreversible adverse effects of human genetic inbreeding have been confirmed for a very long time. We see the unfortunate consequences of it every day. So sad.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  273. Typical responses: two about “Boy” and none about the destruction of the middle class by socialist policies. Blind, stupid support of party over country is killing us all. Thanks, “Boys.” Hope you can survive the shitstorm you have created.

    BTW, you should read the article; don’t worry, there’s no math in it. Won’t happen, though; glad you have your priorities straight.

    (HT to Poolman, though, who very fairly outs those who attack our way of life, be they in his party or not.)

  274. I don’t care what you call him. I am very disappointed in him, though I offer prayer daily on his and his family’s behalf, asking protection and wisdom and that he stand on a path of righteousness with justice and mercy flowing down through him (or in spite of him) to ALL peoples he stands over. He has a global reach, I pray that it will be blessed.

    The erosion of our rights under the Constitution did not start with Obama, but he has taken us further down that path. And the pace has certainly picked up. He has a horrendous record with first amendment protections and the treatment of whistleblowers. It isn’t quite the warm and fuzzy transparent people advocating administration promised us on many occasion. Unfortunately for us and just more big lies from O. How can democrats not be upset? Is lying just part of our DNA as Americans anymore? It is okay for liars to represent us because? Sorry, I can’t get on that wagon.

    Wars and rumors of wars? Well, we start them nowadays, often both sides by proxy. He has not ended any war(s). He probably doesn’t have the power we like to believe and since money runs the world, but he hasn’t tried to slow down the moral decline. He has helped morph war into a perpetual state calling it a ‘war on terror’ where the state is god, the god we trust and serve and all who do not bow down are the newly defined enemies the state justifies in murdering. He has been aptly named the drone king. That is how history will remember him. The one who brought change to America. We just were not clued into what that change was really going to be. Handing us over to the globalists. Selling our souls and those of our offspring to this one world system doesn’t bode well with me.

    I am for peacemakers, not warmongers, nor fascists.

  275. Terri in NY

    Rest assured that the great pfesser knows perfectly what “boy” Hussein is supposed to connote.
    It is intended purely as a double put down of the President


  276. Pfesser–did you ever stop to think that referring to President Obama as “boy Hussein” might be offensive to decent people? Oh wait, that’s right, you don’t think.

  277. Kind of cute. Of course, the elephant in the room is that it is precisely the socialist policies advocated by such “demonstrations” which have been instrumental in destroying the middle class. Our Boy Hussein has done more to bring about such destruction than all previous presidents combined, and that, my friends, is a high bar.


  278. A must see


  279. “I wonder if LaPierre knew that just such a security person was on duty at Columbine High School in 1999?”

    I also wonder if he’s aware that Virginia Tech had a full police department and it didn’t help them.

  280. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Since our scholarly contributor PFesser/Heather/Sherlock/Che/Anonymous/Noah has joined the ranks of the unemployed/unemployable, I hope his wife’s small publishing business is able to support him in the manner to which he feels he is entitled. I presume she also does the cooking, cleaning, changing his diapers and cleaning up after him. This affords him the luxury of leisure time to sit in front of his computer all day visiting right wing sites and then imparting such profound wisdom here on a well known liberal blog. He has recently chosen to lecture us on his vast knowledge of and personal experience in a small area in the State of California known as Watts. I’m sure we could all benefit from his further research into the history of the area.

    By was of comparison, perhaps he could link us to some similar charts and statistics on say, West Virginia as to median income per capita, level of education and IQ.

    Granted, Watts is not exactly Beverly Hills, but then, I know of no small area in West Virginia comparable to Park Avenue. I do know that the 5 day Watts Riots of 1992 were set off by the brutal police beating of Rodney King. (After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, not the Civil Rights Act of 1866.) This brought to the fore the concept and problems of “Racial Profiling” It ultimately resulted in several trials and the resignation of the Los Angeles Chief of Police.

    Watts is better known by the “Watts Towers” built by an Italian immigrant, Sam Rodia. It is designated as a National Historic Monument and visited by millions of people every year.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  281. The nutty P forgot to log out before assuming his Noah persona.Busted.

  282. Terri

    Re pfesser.

    Once again – You can take the child out of West Virginia but you can’t take West Virginia out of the child.

  283. Pfesser–it’s really revealing to see your true nature when you drop the phony intellectual facade and you let your true, racist, ageist self shine through.

  284. Here you go. This explains the election and re-election of Maxine Waters better than any back-of-the-napkin theory:


    Median age: 21
    Percent 4-year degrees: 2.9%
    Median income: 25k
    Percent of households headed by unmarried/single parent: about 39%
    Percent veterans: 3.6%

    The voters in Ms. Waters’ district are young, poor, uneducated, their “parents” – if you will excuse the term – are unmarried, and they have never served their country. In other words, Democrats. No wonder they are so easily duped into voting against their own interests, and those of their country.

    170 million jobs lost. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

  285. Meet Shelia Jackson Lee, freed slave:


    Let’s see…slavery ended in 1865, at the end of the War of Yankee Aggression…so that makes her at least 148 years old.

    Sure looks good for her age.

  286. Hi Congenial Gang,

    The Sand Creek Massacre was not an isolated incident by any means. It was only one of many others throughout the West and Southwest. The Indians were not always the helpless victims though and fought back fiercely, sometimes dirty too. There were atrocities on both sides. That’s what war is all about. The Wounded Knee Massacre took place in SD on December 29, 1890. The U.S. 7th Cavalry of some 500 men strong were under the command of Col. James Forsyth against about 120 Indian men and 200 women and children. Casualty counts vary, but about 90 Indian men and 200 women and children were killed. (Google has a fairly accurate summation from a variety of sources.)

    I don’t remember exactly which U.S. commanding officer said this. But when his men asked about killing children, he condoned it with the remark, “Nits grow up to be lice.”

    One of the last major engagements between the U.S. and the Indians took place in Montana Territory near the Little Bighorn River on June 25-26, 1876. It pitted the U.S. 7th Cavalry against the Sioux Tribes of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho led by among others, Chief Crazy Horse. Gen. George Armstrong Custer led the U.S. forces. Custer was killed. That more or less ended the Indian Wars. But as with the Civil War or any war, attitudes continue………….

    One time years ago, I was reading the excellent book, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. My husband came waltzing in from work, early for once, and happy as a lark. I looked up from my book and said, “Don’t speak to me, Pale Face.” He said, “Wha’d I do?”

    There was only one visible trace of my Indian ancestry, that of my inky dark hair, thick and straight as a stick. I can’t tell you how much time and a fortune of money I spent over the years on perms to curl my hair in keeping with the fashions of the day. I would be right in style these days though! But then it turned snow white, prematurely of course, so I guess no one can tell now. Besides, my hair could have come from my “Black Irish” dad’s progenitors.

    With the advent of the unraveling of the Human Genome, it is now known that the Mitochondrial DNA is only passed on through the maternal line so my great-grandmother’s DNA could not have come to me through my dad. Thus, in this day and age, if anyone found out about my Native American heritage through my great-grandmother, I suppose they could try to sic the Immigration and Customs feds on me and deport me back to the Arapahoe Reservation. You know, the old separate but equal thingy. They couldn’t prove it though by my Mitochondrial DNA. Whew! I’m off the hook!

    History is important in that we have to know where we have been before we can know where we are going in the future. We have some ugly and shameful chapters in American History, and World History for that matter since the human species crawled out of our caves and began the ever so slow ascent into civilization. We have a way to go yet, but I think we’re gonna make it!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  287. And the brilliant pfesser pulls out the race card again.

  288. I couldn’t wade through the morass of bullshit from all the idiots who think that people should be able to have over the top weaponry, so I will just say what I think and don’t give a crap if you don’t agree.

    Everyone of the “gun rights idiots” stress their 2nd amendment rights, so I will exercise my 1st amendment right and say:

    “While I do agree with the right to bear arms, I do not agree with the automatic weapon, extended magazine group. I can only hope, if some deranged ass decides to kill someone. the person or persons killed are not part of my family or friends. If someone has to kill someone, let it be the family or friends of the stupid bastards who want to allow the mass murder weapons in the hands of the killer.”

  289. Good morning friends! It’s a gorgeous morning In TX! Spring is on it’s way!

    Auntie Jean, LOL I wish I could give you a good answer to your question.

    I will borrow Ali Velsh’s tweet (he is an anchor on one of those “money- Wall Street morning shows on cable”) concerning the question what is the sequester. “Budget cuts may be in order, but I’ll explain why the so-called “sequester” remains a stupid name for a stupid thing at 3pET”

    My BEST guess, taken from all I have read about this “stupid thing” is the name (Sequester) used when talking about the federal Budget was taken from a 1980 – something? congressional act. I am PRETTY sure it was Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act back in the 80′s when Congress cut Regans budget to balance the budget.

    Now I’ll take our other friends advice and go read Jim’s post and see if I am anywhere in the ballpark with my thinking! LOL LOL
    xoxoxoxo to all

  290. hey anon…
    at least I put a name to myself. Anyone you uses Anon.should(IMHO)be ignored or covered-up, like a piece of crap in the litter box or a dead bug under a rug. Grow a pair. Give yourself a (stage)name. Shit-for-brains comes to mind.

  291. Hi Congenial Gang,

    For all intents and purposes I LOOK WHITE. I didn’t tell the UDC ladies this detail though because they would probably have thrown me out when they found out my PATERNAL great-grandmother was a full-blood Arapahoe Indian, part of the Sioux Nation. (Read squaw.) I have my Dad’s OFFICIAL genealogy too! European English-Scotch-Irish on his paternal side. There are some wild and hairy tales there too! My dad’s 16 year-old WHITE natural mother didn’t take much to domestic life so ran off with another man when my dad was an infant. And so he was raised in Northern Colorado by his father and Arapahoe grandmother. She taught him a great deal of Indian Lore including how to make war bonnet of turkey feathers with head bands in intricate designs from teeny-teeny little glass beads. Years later he made some for our boys, his grandsons. So when they were out playing “Cowboys and Indians” with their little friends, they could be the “Indians.”

    Obviously, my great-grandmother was not involved in the San Creek Massacre, also well known as the “Chivington Massacre”. It occurred on December 29, 1864, out in Kiowa County in CO. Before that, on February 18, 1861, six chiefs of the Southern Cheyenne Tribe and four of the Arapaho Tribe signed the “Treaty of Fort Wise” with the United States in which they ceded most of the lands designated to them by the previous Fort Laramie treaty. On November 29, 1864, two peaceful villages were attacked by a Col. John Shivington’s force of 700 troops. Believing they were protected by the American Flag under the treaty, the Indians; men, women and children, huddled around the flag pole and even ran up a white flag after the firing began. They were massacre and their bodies mutilated. If you have a strong stomach, read on.

    “I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces … With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants up to warriors … By whom were they mutilated? By the United States troops …”
    John S. Smith, Congressional Testimony of Mr. John S. Smith, 1865.

    “Fingers and ears were cut off the bodies for the jewelry they carried. The body of White Antelope, lying solitarily in the creek bed, was a prime target. Besides scalping him the soldiers cut off his nose, ears, and testicles – the last for a tobacco pouch …” Stan Hoig

    “Jis to think of that dog Chivington and his dirty hounds, up thar at Sand Creek. His men shot down squaws, and blew the brains out of little innocent children. You call sich soldiers Christians, do ye? And Indians savages? What der yer ‘spose our Heavenly Father, who made both them and us, thinks of these things? I tell you what, I don’t like a hostile red skin any more than you do. And when they are hostile, I’ve fought ‘em, hard as any man. But I never yet drew a bead on a squaw or papoose, and I despise the man who would.” Kit Carson

    Reportedly, 133 Indians were killed at Sand Creek, of whom 105 were women and children.

    What’s left of the Arapahoe Tribe today is on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Riverton, Wyoming.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  292. Back under your bridge, little troll.

  293. Not a lot of legislating going on up there in DC, but hells of comedy:

    Maxine Waters: “Over one hundred seventy-million jobs could be lost due to sequestration.”


    Where is she from, now? South Central Los Angeles? Isn’t that the place they used to call “Watts?” You people keep putting her back into office, and you wonder why the rest of the country doesn’t take you seriously… Hilarious!

    God help us.

  294. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks, Peas and jsri – - – I think – - – for the link to Stonekettle. Jim Wright sure does know how to get to the nitty-gritty of complex stuff like what “Sequestration” is all about, in the sense that Congress and the media are using it these days. I thought I was asking just a simple question. Silly me!

    But I think I’ll stick to my ancient Unabridged Webster’s first definition: vt/i>“To set off or apart.” As in, to obfuscate, especially in front of TV cameras, any illusion that constituents should expect representation of said constituents’ desires and wishes for the country from their duly elected members of Congress.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  295. Jean there is a good explanation at stonekettle station blog.

  296. Hey Auntie Jean,

    This might help.

    Stonekettle Station – Sequestration & Self Inflicted Wounds

    Peace ~ Δ

  297. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, need your hep. I think you are one of the best qualified here to ask. I don’t understand exactly what is meant by the current talking point terms “sequester” and “sequestration”. I have looked them up in our big old unabridged dictionary and also our Black’s Law Dictionary, fourth edition. Except for spellings, a little out of date maybe? There are a whole slew of definitions and meanings. Is this just more political speak hyperbole like “fiscal cliff” or what? I would really appreciate your clarification.

    I’m also wondering if this is compatible with representative democracy.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  298. Hi Congenial Gang,

    In 1953, on pain of court marshal and dishonorable discharge or worst, (firing squad maybe?); at the tender age of 24 my husband was ORDERED (no ifs, and or buts) to attend the “Air War College” at Maxwell Air Force Base, in Montgomery, Alabama before being upgraded from B-26 Low-Flying Photo Reconnaissance to B-47 jet bombers. Since then the “Air War College” has been re-named “The Air University”. Same thing. There was also a course for wives to teach us how to be proper AF spouses – attendance mandatory. Roll was taken and if a gal cut class for any reason, her husband would hear about it and get demerits for it.

    Through that class and also the Officer’s Wives Club, I met a number of nice women from the South. As we got to know one another they learned that my mother was born and raised in Louisiana. One thing led to another while we swapped stories about our backgrounds and I was invited to a meeting of the Daughters of the Confederacy, now the UDC, (United Daughters of the Confederacy.)

    Because of my OFFICIAL maternal genealogy, I already knew I was eligible for both the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and the UDC. They are both still going strong! (Google them.) According to one account in the genealogy, the couple, a Samuel Fuller and a Jane Lathrop or Jane Lothrop were married by Miles Standish aboard the Mayflower on its FOURTH or subsequent voyage to the New World OR in a private home in Scituate, MA. There are several versions in the genealogy about the principals in the story, depending on who wrote about them, so it is a little confusing as to which one to believe. Some of the dates don’t add up. So take your pick. Supposedly, Fuller left behind a wife and child in Leiden, Holland. (But what’s a little polygamy among Pilgrims.) One blistering account of Fuller said he was a doctor and deacon/preacher, not very good at either profession at that. Oh well. What only counts, is tracing blood lines for genealogical purposes.

    Along the way, the record states that descendants meandered down to South Carolina where an ancestor, Arthur Middleton, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Continuing, there are a whole passel of names of soldiers who fought on the Confederate side making me eligible for the UDC. Names like Watson, Bankston, Weathersby, Bennett, etc., etc., etc., until my mother’s family name in Louisiana. (If anybody has nothing better to do with one’s life than sit in front of the computer all day and try to verify my veracity, you can Google any and all of these names if you like. Lots of different spellings. i.e. “Lathrop” and “Lothrop”.

    In Montgomery, the ladies of the UCD got all dressed up in their best finery for the meetings on Wednesdays. This was vital stuff going on more than a hundred years after the Civil War was over! There was a lovely luncheon served and then they got down to business. The minutes of the last meeting were read, reports were given on the various projects they were involved in. As I remember, there were lofty ideals and objectives of historical preservation, mostly, decorating the graves of the fallen Confederate soldiers. They were also busy tramping around old Confederate cemeteries taking rubbings from tombstones for genealogies. (That was similar to the people we saw years later at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC taking rubbings from names on the Wall.) There was much talk about the Old South along the lines of, “SAVE YOUR CONFEDERATE MONEY, ‘CAUSE THE SOUTH’S GONNA RISE AGAIN!!!” After a social hour the meeting adjourned with the singing of “Dixie”. Some of the women wept.

    I was invited to join! Conditional on receipt of my Authenticated Genealogy, of course.

    I declined on the grounds that we were not in Montgomery permanently since my husband was on Air Force TDY (Temporary Detached Duty) before returning to his home base. That was not exactly the TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP ME GOD. But I’ll get to that and ‘fess up later.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  299. Yup, his “grandma” stuff is totally rude and obnoxious. Yuck.

  300. HTG, the Fesser’s annoyance quotient is absolutely off the charts, even from my current perspective of many thousands of miles from home… Good grief!


    Sent from my iPad

  301. Pfesser

    Time to get a job, or a hobby. You’ve got too much time on your hands and nobody on this site cares what you think.

  302. That’s more like it, Grandma. (Nothing like a little light shining on you to make you straighten up and fly right, eh?) Nice little summary, as far as it goes. One disagreement, though: “Jean Lafitte, the infamous pirate of Louisiana and the Caribbean continued slave smuggling among his many other enterprises.

    (Does this have a familiar ring to it as regards the question of “Illegal Immigrants”?)”

    No, not at all. What do you see as the connection; looks like two separate issues.

  303. Jesus Christ – the right-wing Republicans are at it again:


    I hear Mississippi has a new motto: Thank God for North Carolina

  304. Hi Congenial Gang,

    When it comes to slavery, there is plenty of blood-on-hands to go around. To first get the slave trade going in Sub-Saharan Africa, chieftains waged wars against each other to obtain territory and captives. They then sold the slaves to the “Golden Triangle.” One notorious African chieftain was the autocratic King Gesu (1818-58) in the Kingdom of Dahoney, (now Benin). He was actively involved in the slave trade. It was also well known for its elite corps of well trained female warriors known in Europe as “Amazons”.

    Trade stations were set up along the Gambia River on the African Gold Coast. The price paid for each captive varied from rum to a string of cowry shells or from twenty to forty pounds of iron. The bargaining also involved twelve or so yards of cotton cloth. The average slave was sold in the colonies for roughly $100 about the middle of the eighteenth century. In 1754 George Washington paid $260 for a male slave.

    The “Golden Triangle” of the slave trade began in a European port as ships set sail for the African coast loaded with the bargaining goods to be exchanged for slaves. The second side of the triangle was the transport of human cargo across the ocean to stockades of the slave markets in the Western Hemisphere. The ships were then loaded with products from plantations for the return voyage to Europe, the third side of the triangle. One of the most profitable items was molasses to be distilled into rum. Along with firearms and other merchandise, rum was used to buy more slaves as the trade triangle was repeated. The enterprise was efficient and extremely lucrative at each juncture.

    Of course, ostensibly, the original motivation was to bring the “Savage Heathen to Christianity.” After a while though, it became much more profitable to cut out the middlemen, the chieftains, and just go ahead and conquer the continent of Africa and carve it up between European interests.

    When the United States Constitution was drawn up, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin among others wanted to abolish slavery. Opposition from representatives of Southern plantation states prevented it. The compromise reached was that in twenty years it would be abolished. It was hoped that prohibiting import of slaves would cause slavery to fade away.

    Thomas Jefferson, by then President of the United States, delivered the following message to Congress on December 2, 1806:

    “I congratulate you, fellow citizens, on the approach of that period at which you may interpose your authority constitutionally to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which have been so long continued on the un-offending inhabitants of Africa and which the morality, the reputation and the best interests of our country have long been eager to proscribe.”

    A bill was passed in March 1807 prohibiting further import of slaves but did not address the status of those already living in bondage in the United States. As we all know, passage of a bill does not preclude illegal activity continuing under the radar despite the vigorous energies of law enforcement. Blockade running was rampant in English and other European ports. Jean Lafitte, the infamous pirate of Louisiana and the Caribbean continued slave smuggling among his many other enterprises.

    (Does this have a familiar ring to it as regards the question of “Illegal Immigrants”?)

    The Quakers in England were among the first to object to slavery in general on the grounds that it was not compatible with the Christian principles of Peace and Love. Slavery was abolished in most European countries (without Civil Wars) before it was in the U.S.

    OK, now before I am accused of misandry, I should point out that many, many women jumped onto the upward social status leisure class bandwagon either through marriage or feminine wiles. I’m an equal opportunity critic of injustice and chicanery. Next time, some of my personal experiences not to be found in history books and/or a myriad of other sources.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  305. uawtradesman on February 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    You are so pathetically inept. You have to conjure up supposed humor that is carried ginned up using canned laughter. Your appreciation of humor is somewhere below second grade level.

  306. Hi Congenial Gang,

    WAY TO GO, lori!!! Your enthusiasm is infectious. There are far, far too many fine, intelligent, and decent people in Texas to put up with the BS the Republicans have been shoveling for way, way too long. Red Texas can be turned blue as long as the citizens are receiving legitimate straightforward information rather than a barrage of tired ole GOP talking points.

    Keep up the good work and continue to give us updates on PROGRESS!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  307. I am sooo excited about this I just had to share! I KNOW Helen is too! (especially the part about Mr. OPPS taking our beloved UT’s name in vain!LOL )I am sure she remembers the day we could always count on TX going for the “good guys”. Sadly, Carter was the last of the good guys to see that happen. Wellllllllllllllllll hopefully not for long.

    When I flew up to Ohio a few days before the last election I had the privilege of seeing, hands down, THE BEST, GOTV organization I have EVER witnessed in a general election. I have been working General elections for 40 years, in one way or the other. THAT’S a lot of phone calls and a lot of door knocking for me to compare. The young people I worked with this year,not only knew what neighborhoods to target but what HOUSES to visit. It was amazing to see their methods and genius at work.

    Now, allllll of that talent is coming to Texas! I can wait to get started working with these people. Please join me in returning Texas to BLUE! If you can/want to help just go to Battlegoundtexas.com and help any way you can. ;-) Thanks in advance…

    Dear Democrats,

    Exciting things are happening in the Lone Star State! The Texas Democratic Party is thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Battleground Texas, a new organization that launches today.

    As you might have read, some of President Obama’s top former staffers are behind this new organization. Battleground Texas will focus on grassroots mobilization that will make Texas a state that counts in local, state and national elections. Tune in to the Colbert Report tonight to watch Jeremy Bird speak more about Battleground Texas.

    There’s still a lot of work to be done before Texas is an official battleground. And the TDP is eager to continue that work along with Battleground Texas and other partners throughout the state.

    Just last weekend, Gov. Perry called a Blue Texas a “pipedream” and blathered that, “the University of Texas will change its colors to maroon and white before Texas goes purple, much less Blue.” If ignorance is bliss, he must be ecstatic!

    Gov. “Oops” seriously underestimates those of us who believe in a better future for ALL the people of our great state! We know that Texas can do better. We know that we can adequately fund our schools! We know that we don’t need to have millions of uninsured Texans. We know that we’re better than this. And we know that things are going to change – because we’re the ones who’re going to make the change!

    Get ready Democrats, we have a lot of work before us – but we also have the numbers and the momentum on our side!

    Here’s to a Blue Blue Texas Future!


    Gilberto Hinojosa

  308. Have any of you seen this?

    I don’t care which side of the aisle you are on, this is hilarious.

  309. Pfesser–you rude, uneducated, egotistical turd. Go away. Nobody is interested in what you are reading or what you think.

  310. Sorry – missed the link:


  311. Just a quickie:

    Grandma opined: “represented people. Well, except for women, Indians and slaves, who were counted each as 3/5th of a person but denied the vote. “

    Indians on reservations were not counted for congressional representation until 1924, so they were a zero in the census up to that point, not 3/5. Indians’ enumeration process was actually quite complex; here is a link if you’d like to educate yourself. (Don’t worry, there is no math.)

    Prior to the War of Yankee Aggression, slaves were counted as 3/5 of a free man for purposes of representation only This was to reduce the Southerners’ clout due to holding slaves, but give them some. Had nothing to do with the worth of the slaves as human beings, or their being “3/5 of a person.” It was entirely a representative power thing.

    White women were counted one-for-one, same as men.

    So you are wrong 3-for-3.

    More later.

  312. Grandma, you are so cute the way you rewrite history. Did you ever actually read a history book or take a history class, or do you just make it all up as you go along, of course making sure that your version jibes with your own personal racist and sexist bigotry?

    Some time when I have a few minutes to take a piss, I’ll straighten up a few of your talking points. Hardly seems worth the time, but occasionally I need to review a few historical facts myself, so consider my educating you (again) as a freebie. Try to not get too aroused this time; at your age, it’s embarrassing.

    If anyone is interested in some legitimate scholarship, (Don’t worry, there’s no math involved…) I am reading “American Sphinx,” by Joseph Ellis. It’s one of the rare few examinations of Jefferson that examines and balances the many facets of this brilliant but complex man. It’s been nearly a year since I visited his mountain; time for my yearly pilgrimage. I hope this year, when I say a silent prayer at his grave, he deigns to intervene with that group of incompetent, feckless bastards who get their mail in Washington, DC.

  313. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Literally or metaphorically speaking, you cannot be a slave without a master, nor can you be a master without a slave.

    Starting with the original Tea Party dumping English tea in the Boston Harbor, the protest was about Taxation without Representation. We fought two wars, the Revolutionary and the War of 1812, to free ourselves from British Imperialism only to turn around and steal their land from the Native American Indians. Many of the tribes of the Eastern Seaboard were just flat out rendered extinct. Our brand new Constitution was based on Liberty and Justice for all represented people. Well, except for women, Indians and slaves, who were counted each as 3/5th of a person but denied the vote. That pretty much left only free adult white males as “We the People”. No non-whites need apply. And so the vaguely defined concept of “Manifest Destiny” became deeply ingrained in the Zeitgeist of the American psyche for over two centuries. (Google Manifest Destiny.) We went merrily along, fighting for Truth, Justice and The American Way!. Oops! That’s Superman’s line.

    Early on, any race or ethnic group could be enslaved when they were conquered. The masters had the power of life and death over their slaves. The Muslims had a flourishing slave trade going on in the Levant, extending into some parts of the Orient and Eastern Africa. England and most of the European powers got a thriving slave trade going in Sub-Sahara West Africa. We needed a labor force especially in the agricultural South but the North also had slaves in various forms such as “indentured” servants. So we let war bygones be bygones, kissed and made up with England while teaming up with British interests to obtain African slaves through the infamous and inhuman Atlantic triangular slave trade, also sometimes known as the Golden Triangle. (Google that!)

    With Britain dominating the Empire Building business, most of the other European powers dropped out along the way on the grounds that the instruments and manpower necessary for war and invading other territories was way too expensive for people back home.

    Meanwhile, in the U.S. the public learned to equate black people with slaves even though we fought a civil war over it to end it. The memories linger on in the aftermath with the clearly visible skin color and other “racial” characteristics. The social status hierarchy totem pole consists of the white males at the top, the white female below him, the black males next to the bottom and the hapless black female at the very lowest possible position.

    However, in the world of music, if someone has innate talent, intellect and drive, he/she can carve out an international career of fame and fortune no matter what. Of course, he/she has to learn to read music, a whole different language of notes and symbols instead of alphabets and punctuation. Then he/she has to learn the different languages the lyrics of the music are written in. It takes 5% talent and 95% dedicated continuing years of hard work and practice, practice, practice! Long before the Civil Rights Movement, two outstanding names of black singers come to mind. Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson.

    There is a poignant story about Marian Anderson being denied singing at Constitutional Hall by the venerable DAR because of her race. Instead she sang a free concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington that attracted enormous crowds both in person and on the radio.

    Google their bios. And then listen to them on YouTube. I like Anderson’s “Ave Maria” by Schubert with Leopold Stokowski conducting. Also Robeson singing “Ol’ Man River” from “Showboat – 1936.” It’s goose bump time. If this music doesn’t move you to the core, then you don’t have a pulse.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  314. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I feel that most of the problems plaguing us today have their origins in the age old memes of sexism and racism. I more or less covered sexism a few days ago so here I go with my take on the still prevailing racism that I believe has its roots in slavery in our country.

    Going way back to primitive man, if there was something he needed or wanted, he just took it; whether it was food, women, territory or resources, and killed the previous “owners”. In the process he invented war. Then he got to thinking. Hummm. Instead of killing the defeated people, why not take them captive and make them slaves. No labor costs overhead to cut into the profits.

    Whenever there is work to be done, there are two options: People do it themselves or find someone else to do it for them. If they are unable to do it themselves for several reasons, such as they do not know how, are physically unable or are just plain too lazy, then the natural inclination is, again, find someone else to do it. So, primitive man invented slavery. He could force the slaves to do the work he was unwilling or unable to do himself. As time went by, he wasn’t so primitive anymore and built societies with language, the arts, literature, architecture – - the whole shebang. The slaves had to do the heavy lifting in language, arts, literature and architecture while the masters sat back and enjoyed the pleasures of the leisure life.

    Of course, primitive man needed some Supreme Authority to justify his actions. Down through pre-history and history, all peoples have always, always had deities in one form or another. But because of provincialism (can’t see beyond the end of one’s nose) and the resulting xenophobia, (freakin’ out at anyone who looked and spoke differently or ate different foods), their deities were and are heathen superstitions while ours are the only true faith. With the sanction of their very own Supreme Deity Authority, they had to kill off the pagan/unbelievers/heathen to prove it.

    In Western and Middle Eastern cultures, the Supreme Authority started with the Old Testament of the Bible. The Christian New Testament built on the precepts of the Old Testament. Then the Koran built on both. That opened up a whole new discipline of Hermeneutics (cherry pickin’) of sacred writing that continues to this day.

    e.g. It was OK for Abraham to cheat on Sarah with Hagar and start the nasty sibling rivalry between the Christians and Muslims but conversely, stone a woman to death in the public square if she were taken in adultery. If I remember correctly, King Solomon had 1000 wives and/or concubines. I wonder how he had time to build the Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem with his own hands if he was busy all night tending to his manly duties.

    Of course the Bible was chiseled in stone by the hand of “Yahweh/God/Dios/Dieu/Gott/Allah” so could not be changed – ever. Never mind that it has been translated into the 6000, (that’s six thousand) some-odd languages around the world with a few possible misunderstandings of the nuances of syntax here and there. So now in this day and age, it’s OK for a billionaire to buy an F-16 to strafe the yard of his neighbor’s estate if said neighbor’s dog piddles and poops on billionaire’s lawn. He is only exercising his God Given/Constitutional right to protect himself and his property from unlawful trespass.

    That brings us to the Exegesis (comparing apples and oranges this time) of the Constitution in this country, with one proviso. The Founding Fathers were enlightened enough to know that times and circumstances change. So the Constitution is open ended and can be amended without killing off the opposition. But it isn’t easy! The master can still enjoy the fruits of the “slave’s labor”, (cherries, apples, oranges or maybe by now, also the mangos, bananas, and those funny little green kiwis with brown fuzzy skins.)

    A minor inconvenience for the master is that in his capacity as lord, he never learned how to do much of anything himself except to order the slaves to do it for him.

    There is a story about the Duke of Windsor. As Prince and destined to be King, he was afforded all the privileges of his rank. He had a lifelong valet to lay out his clothes for the day in the morning and even put the toothpaste on the Prince’s toothbrush for him. The result: The Prince couldn’t even get started in the morning by himself because he didn’t know where his clothes, his toothbrush and toothpaste were.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  315. uaw – the other day I googled the 6 billion ammo thingy and now your statement. It seems they are all blogs; right wing of course but IMO no creditable source for the ammo. Do you have one that is not a blog cutting and pasting the same statement? A “news” source. Thanks.


  316. Lori, You’re right! All good news for the left. The people seem to have finally figured out the GOP is not on their side. I’m a happy camper these days.

  317. Anddddd not to leave out the rest of my long time porch dwellers….. you will too appreciate the validation we receive when discussing the Teahatists. How many “discussions” have we had with trolls and hard heads talking about the Tea things “issues’ , or lack there of??? LOL LOL Well the baggers have come to the bottom of their tea cup – approval ratings hovering right around herpes. ;-) Check our Frums comments….

    It’s a good day being a lefty today. These days don’t come along often. Wadda ya say we enjoy em while we can?. xoxoxooxo alll

  318. Good evening friends!

    I have spent the better part of the morning reading a dozen or so polls, and their crosstabs. (# weird things political science wonky nerds do on a Thursday morning!) LOL From Montana’s Gov A/D to Cory Booker v Geraldo Rivera’s potential match up to Obama’s polices and A/D #s and all the special elections going on now in various states. I have to admit, even me, the biggest liberal cheerleader on the face of the earth was surprised by the amount of support and momentum we have, nation wide and surprisingly state by state. I have always been optimistic our issues were winning ones, but these numbers blew ME away. LOL LOL I won’ t bore yinzs being sir links a lot, if you’re interested in the specific polls I pored over this morning you can google or if you are a twitter user and follow most of the news organizations and anchors, check their tweets this morning. They have all tweeted them out.

    We are winning! And in my opinion here is a big part of why…… http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/21/what-comes-after-the-tea-party.html

    I have recommended Frum’s writings before. Not because I agree with the guy, he is a hard core conservative, and we have little political views in common. But because, above all else , he has a solid political science background. He understands politics… even if I disagree with his polices. ;-)

    Pi, my fellow PS wonky ultra liberal…. you will especially enjoy the validation Frum gives us when he talks about how the democratic party has moved more center left but indeed quite the opposite.

  319. LMAO

  320. A teacher asked her 6th grade class how many of them were Obama fans. Not really knowing what an Obama fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except for Little Johnny.The teacher asked Little Johnny why he has decided to be different… again. Little Johnny said, “Because I’m not an Obama fan.” The teacher asked, “Why aren’t you a fan of Obama?” Johnny said, “Because I’m a Republican.” The teacher asked him why he’s a Republican. Little Johnny answered, “Well, my Mom’s a Republican and my Dad’s a Republican, so I’m a Republican.” Annoyed by this answer, the teacher asked, “If your mom were a moron and your dad were an idiot, what would that make you?” With a big smile, Little Johnny replied, “That would make me an Obama fan..

  321. Shot 3 different “assault weapons” last weekend. All owned by 3 brothers.(my girlfriends nephews) A US marshal,a MI State Police officer ,and their brother. If I was going to buy something it would probably be a Thompson 1927.


    what I would like to know is why Homeland security is buying millions of rounds of Hollow-point ammo.Somewhere between 700 million and 1.4 billion rounds. Crap another article says 2 billion rounds. And they’d use wad cutters for practice not hollow-points.
    google non military government ammo purchases

  322. Pfesser

    Are you looking for a definition or an argument?

  323. New medal for drone operators:


    (Just dropping by on my way somewhere productive – mildly interesting conversation here, though, on “sexism.” What, precisely, is meant by that term?)

  324. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Hi Congenial Gang,

    The Aztec calendar ran out so the world was supposed to come to an end in December. Have you heard? Chicken Little says the sky is falling!!!!! The sky is falling!!!!! And everybody looks up. Yep, it was true. It started to rain. We’re going over the fiscal cliff!!!!! Again. The Power of Negative Thinking.

    In ten days, the tax and spend lib’rals have screwed us up so bad we will have to have all these drastic spending cuts, OR ELSE!!!!! Well it does take the public’s attention away from the NRA and pending gun legislation so maybe that issue will just die down and go away. The Republicans remind me of Little Johnny One Note.

    Little Johnny wanted in the worst way to play the trumpet in the marching band. The only problem was he didn’t have a trumpet and didn’t know how to play it or read music for that matter. Well, the band director took pity on him. The school would provide him with the instrument. And the band director himself would take his personal time to teach Johnny to play the trumpet.

    Weeks went by with lesson after lesson and it became apparent that Johnny had no musical talent whatsoever. He couldn’t learn how to purse his lips on the mouth piece or work his fingers on the valves. The band director kept trying and eventually, Johnny finally did learn how to play one note. But only one. Johnny insisted that if he could only march with the band at the next football game, by then he would learn to play the rest of the music by himself. He didn’t know how to march in step either but he just knew if he had the chance, he could.

    And so at half time, Johnny proudly stumbled over both left feet onto the field with the marching band as it struck up “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Johnny kept blaring out his one note over and over again, much to the embarrassment of the entire band and amusement of the crowd in the bleachers.

    Johnny was so elated with his performance that he could hardly wait for the next game and his starring role as the trumpet player with his One Note.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  325. Has Helen died and nobody has told us??

  326. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/50582822#50582822

    If you haven’t watched this, please watch it. It is fantastic news, especially for those of us who have too many medical problems and the expensive tests that go with them. My husband and I are some of those people.

  327. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, I know more than I ever wanted to know about hearing loss in the adult male. ‘boy toy’ has had it for many years with hearing aids, the whole bit. No small $$$$$$ investments there! (From the roar of the B-47 jet bomber engines, flying in the Air Force back in the 50’s.) By the same token he has become very adept at reading lips and facial expressions. And he can READ! If worst comes to worst, I write him a note

    Many men with acute hearing can HEAR fine but they don’t LISTEN. Big difference. They tune out.

    ‘boy toy’ is fluent in French. He can read lips in French. One time on TV the President of France Sarkozy was addressing a crowd with the voiceover of an interpreter. ‘boy toy’ came out of his chair yelling, “That’s not what he said!!!” The interpreter had misinterpreted.

    And so, jsri, you cannot weasel out on the grounds of hearing loss. But I have known you here at M&H’s for a long time. I know for certain that you are NOT a sexist, male chauvinist pig. You are a true gentleman.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  328. Hello Auntie Jean:

    There’s a caveat attached to your essay on vocal chords. When males get older they often suffer from hearing loss and in so doing, the highest tones are the first to disappear. And as females voices stay in the higher range, males hear less and less of what the females are saying. And yelling louder doesn’t solve the problem. It only leads to more animated discussions.

    In fact, while straining to make out what is being said doesn’t leave enough time for interpretation of what has actually been said and that is often interpreted as a lack of comprehension.

    That’s my comment and I’m sticking with it.

  329. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I have developed my own theory on the Origins of Sexism. Purely scientific of course, mind you. It is based on Anatomy, Physiology, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Theology, Musicology, my own Audiology and the resulting legal and political consequences. Pretty erudite, don’tcha think?

    It has to do with the human voice. The La Voix Humaine, if you will. All babies, male or female, are born with a larynx and vocal cords necessary for crying, speaking, laughing and yelling. The length of the vocal cords determines the pitch. As we know, babies need to be cared for and nurtured by adults, usually the mother, for some time in order to survive. As the child grows in stature, so do the vocal cords. With the onset of puberty, especially in the males and the action of testosterone, the vocal cords lengthen considerably. Thus the crackling sounds of the teenage boy’s voice changing. Estrogen does not have very much of an effect on the growth of the vocal cords in the female, so as a rule, her voice continues to sound very much like that of a perpetual child. A child has a certain amount of innate intelligence but certainly not enough to warrant serious consideration in important decision making for herself, let alone anyone else.

    And so as life goes on, the deep booming voice carries much more authority than that of a high, squeaky one. Naturally, there are exceptions to the rule. Not all men attain the same stature in height so there are variations in the pitch of their voices too. The same for females. Some women are taller and have relatively lower voices than others.

    Along the spectrum of singing voices, we go from sopranos, to mezzo-sopranos to contraltos to countertenors to tenors to baritones to bass baritones to deep, deep basses. Going a step further, in operatic voices the fach becomes endless. If you hear the voice only on a recording, it is easy to identify the type. But if you see the performance live, on TV or a video, you also associate other characteristics that are definitely gender specific with the memes we have become accustomed to for the differences between males and females. Still, one of our most lasting impressions in life after the moment of birth with our first breath is that of our own voice and those around us.

    As is to be expected, the natural voices have been manipulated by composers, directors and producers to fit the various stereotypical roles to be sung. I have discussed castratos before along with countertenors and the “trouser roles” of mezzo-sopranos. The celebrated Placido Domingo’s natural voice is baritone but he TRAINED his voice up to become a tenor. At age 72, he is still singing, performing and conducting. The juicy, choice roles of the young heroes are for tenors while the fathers and villains are usually baritones, regardless of the age of the singer. The Polish contralto, Ewa Podles is an interesting lady. She has a range of three octaves and has sung leading male roles, complete with a costumed beard!

    I’ll give you several examples of the very best in the operatic world today. It is not necessary to know the language to get the gist of the music they are singing or to understand many, many other attributes about the voice and the person behind it. Just Google and YouTube “Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu(“Largo”) from Xerxes the same aria by various artists. First, watch and listen to Dimitri Hvorostovksy, baritone; then second, Jennifer Larmore, soprano: third, David Daniels, countertenor; and any others you care to listen to.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  330. Brain differences between Democrats and Republicans. This is Mother Jones interpretation but you can click through to the info and draw your own conclusions. I found it interesting.


    Lori, I didn’t see the segment you mentioned. I will look for it.

    I spent my morning at church learning more about love, spiritual & human intimacy, and compassion. The racy part of the Bible, if you will. I didn’t learn about fear, disdain for the poor, or the merits of promoting a culture dependent on phallic adoration of assault weapons. In my church we talk about rights bestowed by God as documented the Bible, not in the US Constitution. In fact, week after week throughout a few decades of studies, the right to own weapons designed for maximum destruction has never come up. Ever. I must have one of them librul Bibles.

  331. Anonymous on February 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    I know how you like to cherry-pick right-wing blather and worst-case scenarios but the one about your brother’s energy costs is a perfect case of unintended consequences

    In your post you said, “For you green energy freaks. We were blessed to have great lakes wind forced upon us and they put up a series of wind farms. For the next 9 years my brother has to pay an extra $59.00 a month to help pay for these monstrosities. His normal electric bill in the winter is $210-$260 a month. His first bill with these people was $569.77. They have 4 kids with one on the way and with only one of them working have no way to pay for this extra BS.”

    In your post, you seem to be totally unaware that anyone with 4 and ½ kids and one income is a large part of the problem. As everyone on this site knows, it takes two incomes, a lot of savings and no medical emergencies to stay alive.

    The earth is already on the brink of exceeding its human carrying capacity and you don’t appear to realize that people like the Duggars and Octomom should be chastised rather seen as role models for dumping so many more faces to feed onto the already straining earth. My grandsons understand this problem and how it leads to over-consumption of food as well as energy resources and it’s unlikely that they will go beyond replacement if they decide to marry and have children. Too bad you still haven’t learned the lesson even through your family’s hard. personal examples.

    But I know your ignorance knows no bounds and you’ll choose to ignore the problem and continue to assault female posters here on this site as your only form of “intellectual superiority”. But you can probably stay alive by the lunch they keep handing you every time you come here. You know what “getting handed your lunch” means, right?


  332. Saw a funny meme on face book it said: ignorance can be educated crazy can be medicated but there is no cure for stupid. :)

    I hope at least some of you were able to see Fareed Zakarias ( sp?) Show on CNN this morning. It was fascinating. Especially the segment with Australias former prime minister Howard discussing his country’s ban on assault weapons and the repercussions. He discuses both the policy and politics of the issue and how our countries differ in cultural perception. It really is worth a Hulu view if you missed it.

    His other guests were extremely interesting as well…..

    If anyone caught it Id like to hear your perceptions.

    Its a beauuuuutiful day in TX…. i hope it is where you are too.. xoxo all

  333. Originally Posted by Stefan Molyneux
    If you are for gun control, then you’re not against guns, because the guns will be needed to disarm people. You’ll need to go around, pass laws, and shoot people who resist, kick in doors, and throw people in jail, and so on; rip up families, just to take away guns. So it’s not that you’re anti-gun, because [...] you’ll need the police’s guns to take away other people’s guns, so you’re very pro-gun, you just believe that only the government (which is of course so reliable, honest, moral, virtuous, and forward-thinking) should be allowed to have guns. So there’s no such thing as gun control, there’s only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small political elite and their minions. Gun control is a misnomer.

  334. Now I know alaskapie is not responding because it is hard to admit that they are indeed trying to disarm us proven by all the bills that are now being voted on to do just that. But riddle me this “ladies” why is it I should not be worried that the while the government has a half dozen pieces of legislation in process and twice that pending to disarm the American people, while at the same time it(Obama) is fighting a legal battle to have the right to kill US citizens without due process?

  335. splain this to me folks. Why is this ok over there?

    A woman calling on an AM radio show said it better than I ever could have. “If your laws had protected me from being raped, I wouldn’t need to carry.”

  336. I think this about says it all.

  337. dont sweat it, as you know this is an attaboy club. In a few hours you will get a bunch of pats on the back to reassure you making person attacks rather than to challenge history was the best path.

  338. but hey I do appreciate the arrogance that you feel you have the ability to make me feel relevant.

  339. lmao

  340. fyi little miss, your post was the purest definition of troll, I just called you on it with facts…just so there is no misunderstanding.

  341. I know about history, and I also know enough of you and your ilk to not engage you further in your fantasy of being relevant.

  342. No worries, I am sure you know enough of history to know to back down. Good call.

  343. I should know better than to feed the trolls. Back to ignoring.

  344. You sure little miss you want to stick by the claim that only insane little men carry out civil war? I would surely love to give you a history lesson if you have the gumption to stand your ground. Up for a historical smackdown?

  345. First of all, I’m not YOUR little anything! Gross!

    Civil war is a threat, one that will not be carried out by sane people, ever.
    It’s the saber-rattling of little men with little brains who are afraid. It’s whistling in the dark.

    Just go ahead and secede already!

  346. karenbobaren

    No one is making threats my little drama “queen”

    Several states have made and passed legislation that will prosecute any federal official who attempts to enforce these unconstitutional laws. More than 2 dozen sheriff departments have publicly stated they will refuse to enforce these laws. 2 military members only groups have denounced these proposals. 5 gun manufactures have stopped selling to federal officials and states who support and pass these bills.

  347. Still crazy, and now making threats.
    Try to cut down on your tea consumption.

  348. Still say I am crazy alaskapie?


    You Libs are doing EXACTLY what we said you would do, the total easrure of our second amendment rights. You want a civil war? You’re going to get it.

  349. Now here is something you should get behind, that is if you place any value on our Constitution and those that would shred it.

    Federal Court hits President Barack Hussein Obama with three charges of abuse of office. The charges presented are detailed and damning. The indictments assert that President Obama “acted as a dictator” to exceed his powers of office to appoint officials behind the back of Congress during a recess period.


  350. heh so many lies so little time,

  351. http://campaigns.dailykos.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=316

    Here ya go delurker

  352. By our silence, by our willingness to compromise principle… by our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim, by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing, by allowing all these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.
    —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  353. It’s time. Join more than 850 mayors and over 1.2 million grassroots supporters to demand that Congress step forward with a plan to end gun violence.

    Our efforts cannot bring back the 20 innocent children murdered in Newtown, CT — or the 33 people murdered with guns every day in America. But we can prevent future tragedies by passing common-sense legislation that will:

    Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America
    Ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines
    Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with real penalties for “straw purchasers”
    Demand that your members of Congress support these legislative priorities.


  354. POSITION: The Brady Campaign supports banning military-style semi-automatic assault weapons along with high-capacity ammunition magazines. These dangerous weapons have no sporting or civilian use. Their combat features are appropriate to military, not civilian, contexts.
    PROBLEM: The federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in the fall of 2004.

    THE THREAT: Allowing easy access to highly lethal, military-style weapons by dangerous people, like terrorists and felons, threatens the safety of our police officers, families and communities.

    URGENCY: Since the ban expired, police chiefs across the country report increases in assault weapons used in crime and used against them.

    SOLUTION: Congress must pass strong, effective legislation to ban all military-style semi-automatic assault weapons along with high capacity ammunition magazines. In the short-term, more states must pass their own laws to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

    GET ACTIVE: Contact your Representative and Senators to urge them to support a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

  355. Lets clear up delurkergurl lie.

    Death among children and adolescents
    Email this page to a friend Share on facebook Share on twitter Bookmark & Share Printer-friendly version

    Accidents are, by far, the leading cause of death among children and adolescents.


    0-1 years:

    Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth
    Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
    All conditions associated with prematurity and low birth weight

    1-4 years:

    Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth

    5-14 years:

    Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth

    15-24 years:


    Statistics gathered by the CDC.

  356. Contact the senate judiciary committee! Act now! Urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to Pass Gun Reforms Immediately.


  357. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks gals for your backup. Olderthanrocks, it is sooooo good to see you again! It’s been a while. Yeah, I’m outta the woodshed. Didn’t feel a thing.

    Moving right along. I have had two major areas of interest all my life. Music and Neuroscience. Believe it or not, they are related fields. Of course, I have long since been retired from both, but naturally I still like to keep up with the latest developments going on. I’m reading a fascinating book. lori, it sorta ties in with your link on 2/15 @ 7:3PM on the brain studies between liberals and conservatives.

    The book is “Connectome – How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are” by Sebastian Seung. He is Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Physics at MIT and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has made important advances in artificial intelligence and neuroscience. His research has been published in leading scientific journals and also featured in the New York Times, Technology Review and the Economist. He is obviously a brilliant guy and on the youngish side. No telling what he will continue to accomplish.

    gurl, several times you have mentioned “memes”. If I remember correctly it was Richard Dawkins who coined that word to denote cultural ideas and symbols. Well, Seung has coined the word “Connectome” to denote the neural brain connections as they develop throughout life. Of course they interact with “genes” too.

    That brings us to Watson and Crick who discovered the DNA double helix in1953 that revolutionized what we know about the origins of life on our planet. Did you know that a woman, Rosalind Franklin did most of the preliminary leg work on it but Watson and Crick stepped up to claim the Nobel Prize for the discovery.

    Innovative thinkers all.

    I should warn you that Seung’s book is pretty heavy on the technical side. But if you want to know what’s going on in our world today outside our own little backyards, it is well worth the effort put into it to understand it.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  358. Guns are the second leading cause of death in the U.S. among children ages 1 to 19. Urge your congress critters to HAVE A HEART

    Read more: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/no-more-missing-valentines/#ixzz2L7sKXfCe

  359. Lori, got a link?

  360. My theory is that trolls are little men who suffer from a Napoleon complex. That’s why they make their comments anonymously, and why they are so nasty to others.
    Picture a brutish little bully storming around the playground, kicking down sand castles in their impotent rage that no one likes them.

  361. lamo more classy women. keep em coming “ladies”

  362. Anon……..your dancing as fast as you can, and poor thing you…..your still not getting any attention. The more we ignore you, the faster you dance. You look like an idiot blowing shit out your ass.
    We don’t give a shit what you think about us. Your a troll. A worm. A turd stuck on the bottom of my shoe.
    Go. Stay. Do what ever the F you want, you have no effect here.

  363. here=hear*

  364. “we knew how to handle these type of people” ~lori

    Anyone else here the echos of a precivil war southern woman talking about black folks?

  365. “They are like cowshit you cant avoid stepping in their shit in a wide open pasture.” ~lori

    As always lori, you are a class act.

    More Liberal logic, no defense here.

  366. Helllo friends!

    Have all of yinz signed the petition that will be sent to our beloved Harry Reid so he might be persuaded to reopen the filibuster reform? The ink was barely dry on the last one b4 the Repubs started acting up again.Harry promised if the last didnt work he would revisit the issue.

    Harrryyyyy the time has come. Lets get this done.

    My dear friends…. trolls will be trolls. They are like cowshit you cant avoid stepping in their shit in a wide open pasture. Prior to cyber world we knew
    how to handle these type of people when we encountered them. Same rules apply now. :) Personally I dont even read their posts. I find my liver benifits greatly. Just learn to scrape your shoes b4 entering the porch! Lol lol

    Enjoy your weekend

  367. I know only a very select few can answer any of these question it is still worth asking.

    And on the previous post, before all the crying about, OMG its the blaze…ya so? Its a video, watch it and think for yourself, ignore their commentary.

  368. Terri, I just don’t care about your uninformed assessment. You think you know me, you do not. Pretend all you like that you “get me.” There is only one reason to make things personal. Your arguments cannot stand on their own merit, and you lack the ability to refute my arguments, so you attack me. This is a failing on you not me. Act in accordance with your beliefs and limitations, I will do the same.

    As to why the public needs an “assault” weapon? Here is why. Dispute this.


  369. Auntie Jean:

    It’s okay to come out of the woodshed now that you have been fully castigated. It’s a shame that you have come so far only to run aground like the Costa Concordia in a sea boiling with nastiness.

    When I first discovered this site a good half dozen years ago most of the people shared ideas and stories about their families and communities and it soon collected a following from around the country and the world beyond. It was a pleasure reading and swapping ideas with new members of this world-wide community but then a few years ago, a bunch of right wing thugs started flinging poo around. That changed the direction and the tenor of the blog and its comments.

    In truth a few racist and sexist malcontents showed up early and refutations of such sordid ideas began to become part of the site. Since then a host of previous viewers have disappeared leaving new viewers to fight the same battles that many of us walked away from because after finding that there is nothing new or original about the inarticulate maundering of those who have tried to clog the site.

    For the life of me I can’t understand why the malcontents don’t set up their own blogs if whatever they are doing is so important. I’d challenge them to do that but, on second thought, their readership would most likely be somewhere south of zero.

    Just for the record Auntie Jean, I’m older than your husband but younger than Helen and Margaret and unlike the narrow minded dissenters. I’ve done a fair amount of traveling that has given me some insights that would probably give the intellectual cripples apoplexy.

  370. Anon–you ageist fraud. You don’t come here to “learn.” What could you possibly learn from a bunch of liberals you clearly despise? You obviously think you already know everything. You come here to annoy people and get attention. You’re pathetic. Piss off. And don’t bother responding–I won’t be reading it. Find yourself a good mental hospital and check in.

  371. waialeale
    Going to be blunt and serious with you for a moment, and try to be respectful to someone of your very advanced years.

    I do not care if I have your time. I do not care, and most often prefer that you do not respond. When you and yours respond, I have to spend 80% of my time unraveling dishonest arguments. You are not honest nor do you care to be. Like others you just are, right or wrong doesn’t matter. You have your opinion and you are not here to have that opinion changed. You are not here to learn. You are not here to discover the truth. You come here to hang out with others like you so you can pat each other on the back to reassure each other that you are right.

    I on the other hand love to learn. That is why I am here. That is why I am on 2 times more Liberal blogs than I am on Conservative blogs. That is why I listen to AM radio and watch everything from Fox to your blessed MSNBC. and fringe sites as well. I know the media lies to us. Both in what they say and more importantly don’t say. I care.

    I am here to present a point of view. MY point of view. Why I know your wrong and more importantly why I know you know it, is because you insist on making it personal. It is a fear reaction.

    Listen Grandma, I don’t care if you like me. I don’t care if you respect me. You are old enough to know your words tell a lot more about you than they do about me. I would prefer you engage me on my thoughts and ideas and their merit or lack of merit. At the end of the day I am only encouraged by the nastiness you and yours have shown me. I am even more encouraged by your silence.

    Do whatever it is that makes you feel good. If you want to show off for the people here go for it. If you really want to see if your views hold up to logic and debate, then go for it. If you really just don’t care, then ignore it. What you should understand is that will have very little effect on me regardless. 99% of you fail to keep it off the personal level. Other Liberal blogs hold to better than 80%, just the nature of the beast.

    I hope you chose to rise above all the pettiness. Odds are you won’t, no one here ever does. Either way have at it. I really don’t care quite as much as you imagine I do.

  372. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I think we really should take the time to engage our Stone Age Noah/Anonymous. Definitely stuck in a time warp, he just can’t stand progress. It seems to be vital for him to argue against any and all opposing viewpoints on complex issues and then cut down the commenter to “win” the last word. Above all, craving attention as he does, he cannot tolerate being ignored. But one of these days he just might re-invent the wheel. Since he is the only current rooster in the hen house here, he will need a place to come and crow about it. We well know by now how needy he is.

    I might consider taking him on to let him blow off the steam of his frustration on me, but right now, I am up to my ears with preparations for ‘boy toy’s’ 84th birthday bash. We have three family February birthdays – my husband, one of our son’s and one of our grandson’s. Everybody knows that all great men were born in February!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  373. Hi Kitchen Crew,

    Aloha Dawn! Mahalo for writing on February 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM about being here on the Garden Island for the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki. I’ll bet you have some tales to tell too! Please share. We were amazed and so encouraged by how everyone pitched in to help their friends, neighbors and strangers through such difficult times. We all forged strong bonds of love and friendship to last a lifetime and beyond.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  374. Dems doing at it in another state.


    The Bill: NR 10.09 (1)(c)2

  375. Yesterday Lisa P. Jackson stepped down from her post as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She will go down in history as the first African-American leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, but we will also remember her as a mom. With her own experience of spending nights in the emergency room with an asthmatic child,[1] she understands from the bottom of her heart the importance of clean air for kids. As EPA administrator, she did for families across the country what we couldn’t for ourselves: Lisa Jackson made the air we all breathe a little cleaner.

    Lisa Jackson is truly a super hero mom. Let’s thank her for her outstanding work protecting our families from air pollution with one more clean air win!

    Help us urge President Obama to give Lisa Jackson the best goodbye she could have – finalization of the carbon standard for new power plants. Tell President Obama to finalize the carbon standard now.


    Carbon pollution is dangerous for children because it makes smog pollution worse, which raises the risk of asthma attacks and can permanently damage and reduce the function of children’s lungs.

  376. For you green energy freaks. We were blessed to have great lakes wind forced upon us and they put up a series of wind farms. For the next 9 years my brother has to pay an extra $59.00 a month to help pay for these monstrosities. His normal electric bill in the winter is $210-$260 a month. His first bill with these people was $569.77. They have 4 kids with one on the way and with only one of them working have no way to pay for this extra BS.

  377. And another study that suggests what we all have known for a long time. This one deals with the brain. I betcha they would find the same if there was a way to study the hearts of the two political parties. :) #snark


  378. Conservatives ( Repubs) are indeed bankrupt. I get they are the opposition party and with that comes a certain narrative. But even when they attempt to address and lead- they as Carville puts it, r out of gas. http://www.nationalmemo.com/carville-greenberg/james-and-stan-dissect-the-rubio-debacle/

  379. And this is why our nation is falling. Liberals willing to throw away the Constitution and the process that has made us what we are just for political expediency.

  380. Delurker, I agree. Enough of Republican obstructionism. I’m sick and tired of that BS. What is going on with regard to Chuck Hagel is shameful. And John McCain and Lindsey Graham seem to me to be mean and hateful people.

  381. Hey Auntie Jean,

    Aloha! My hubby was living on Kauai, and we were on our honeymoon when Iniki hit. We returned 3 weeks later to find our home mostly intact… his ex-wife had taken food that was still good, thrown the rotten things out, and buttoned up the house. (She was AWESOME!) That was my introduction to living on the Garden Isle!!! :-)

    We’ve since moved, but it certainly was a lesson in everything!

  382. So far Obama has made 32 recess appointments, to St. Reagan’s total of 232 and GW Bush’s total of 171. I wonder at what point Obama will put an end to the obstructionist hobbling. Time to just appoint the judicial and executive nominees that there aren’t even any objections to, at the very least.

  383. Lets see how we are on integrity alaskapie. You said I was nuts to think they were coming for our guns right?

    Missouri Democrats introduced an anti-gun bill which would turn law-abiding firearm owners into criminals this week. Gun owners will have 90 days to turn in their guns if the legislation is passed.

    Here is the language:

    4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:

    (1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;

    (2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or

    (3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.

    5. Unlawful manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine is a class C felony.

  384. un-freakin-believable Auntie Jean… That is so wrong on so many levels I just don’t know where to begin!

  385. Glad to hear it, Auntie Jean.

    The senate Republicans are going to filibuster Hagel. You see, even a woman-hating, conservative, pro-life-but-war-loving Republican isn’t good enough for them if Obama picks him! Watching them tear apart one of their own makes me want to pop some corn!

    Jim over at StonekettleStation has a new blog post up about reflexive pessimism. It about sums it up, don’t you think?

  386. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Yesterday we got a very large, official looking manila envelope in the mail. It was 10½ “ X 14”. (I measured it!) No return address but it certainly looked important. On the outside in big bold black letters it said, “ADDRESSEE SELECTED TO REPRESENT STATE INDICATED IN NATIONWIDE BALLOT ON NEW GOVERNMENT SPENDING PRIORITIES.




    WOW! Impressive dontcha think? And demanding! Unvoted ballot MUST be returned, OR ELSE! Else what?

    Turned out it was a 10½” X 14”, four-page-letter from the Heritage Foundation, (Leadership for America) and congressman Paul Ryan, chairman, House Budget committee. We had been chosen to “represent your state in the official 2013 Taxpayer Ballot on Fiscal Responsibility that is sponsored by the non-profit, non-partisan Heritage Foundation. Non-partisan?????

    Very fine print at the bottom of page 1. “Not printed at taxpayer expense.” If not, then by whom? If this is a nationwide mailing and ballot, then somebody must have picked up the tab for printing and mailing. That wouldn’t be pocket change!

    I must admit I did not read all four pages of the letter. It was full of clichés and the usual talking points with lots of hyperbole. (Sorta like repeating the Viagra commercials on TV over and over again. By now, I know the dialog by heart). The Heritage Research had unearthed lots and lots of numbers in the billions and trillions as “facts” and “proof” of the Obama Administrations “reckless spending” and so forth.

    Enclosed also was a large 6” X 14” postage-paid envelope with the return address:


    Addressed to:

    PO BOX 97057
    WASHINGTON, DC 20077-7315

    Uh, since the envelope is addressed to Congressman Ryan from Wisconsin, is he working for and being paid by the taxpayers or the by the Heritage Foundation? I believe congress and the Heritage are separate entities.

    The “ballot” was sealed. In big bold black letters on the outside it said SECURE CARRIER (with a window with our name and address on it). It also said “Please detach ballot from letter and follow instruction on reversed side.” On the back it said:

    Vote and return BALLOT in enclosed pre-paid envelope within 5 business days.

    Sign unopened SECURE CARRIER below and return to the Heritage Foundation so one of your neighbors may vote in your place.

    Sign here if NOT voting.

    After careful consideration, we decided to decline the vote. But if any of you cyber neighbors would like to vote, I would be happy to forward it to you, unopened. Just send me here at M&H’s your full name, address, zip code, phone number, e mail address, original driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage license if applicable, Passport, SSN#, name of bank and PIN#, mother’s maiden name, blood type, finger prints and complete DNA genome sequence. All documents will be returned to you. Trust me.

    Also, I’m sure The Heritage Foundation would greatly appreciate your generous contribution to their cause. Just include your VISA, MasterCard, and American Express numbers.

    All such information will be kept in the strictest confidence. Trust me.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  387. Hi Congenial Gang,

    gurl and lori, the bandages are off and my fingers are healing nicely.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  388. Auntie Jean’s treasures are world renowned! LOL LOL I have to admit I TRIED (and failed) to recreate her whimsical treats. Sooo I stand in awe! LOL

    Happy Valentine’s Day all… hugggs and kisses … Love me some porch dwellers!

    On a more ugly and serious note…. The obstructionism continues. Now the Senate has chimed in with their hot headed childish tantrum about Hagel.. Shame on you Senate! You are meant to be the saucer to cool the hot tea coming from the house!

    Barack Obama Won the election, he is President, allow him to choose him team to run the country. When you WIN you can PICK… Until then stop acting like a child that hasn’t been taught how to lose gracefully.

    The time has come to eliminate the filibuster … Harryyyyyy step up (again) to the plate and play some ball.. (or box.. whichever ) LOL LOL

    Leggo, let’s get on with making this country the BEST it can be… VOTE TO CONFIRM

    Now lets all call our Senators today and tell them to do their job.

  389. Auntie Jean, today’s your big day, right? All those little valentine guys will be distributed and dozens of people you’ll never meet will be remarking at your cleverness. Have your fingertips healed yet?

    Has anyone heard from Mageen lately?

  390. No surprise here…


  391. The most racist administration in our nations recent history? Racial Mapping: The Secret Behind the FBI’s Invasive Program


  392. I have to wonder, if gun control is such a big success in other places why did Canada abandon its multi-billion dollar C68 gun law where goose hunters and farmers had to register their squirrel rifles? Because it did nothing to reduce crime, thats why.

  393. Interesting, this Miz Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace quotes snopes when it suites her needs, but like lori ignores it when it does not. Very very telling.

  394. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Happy Valentine’s Day to my dear cyber friends here on the porch. Love each and every one of you.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  395. Hi Congenial Gang,

    gurl, regarding your comment on delurkergurl on February 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM about the Snoops expose on the military meals in Afghanistan. I learned a little more about MRE’s than I ever wanted to know.

    We had a level five hurricane here in 1991 named Iniki. The official anenometer at the Barking Sands Naval Air Base Pacific Missile Range broke at 225MPH so they never did know exactly how bad the storm was. But those of us who lived through it did! We had no water or electricity for two months. At least out here in September nobody froze. So I can identify and empathize with what the survivors of Katrina, Sandy and the more recent severe weather storms in the Northeast went through and are going through. It took well over a year for the island to recover. Some people never did.

    Iniki occurred during the GHW Bush administration. They sent Marilyn Quale, the wife of Dan Quayle out for a “damage assessment tour”. She flew over in a helicopter and then back to Washington, all in one day. She said it was “devastating.” You remember Dan Quayle, don’t you? The mental giant who served as GHW Bushs’ Vice President. He was a former U.S. Congressional Representative and Senator from Illinois.

    The only real help we got from the gov’mit was from the military. They were handing out MRE’s at the National Guard Armory. Not so affectionately known as (“Meals Refused by Ethiopians.”) They are vacuum-packed and sealed. They can be stored indefinitely without refrigeration or spoilage for battlefield distribution. They are nutritionally well balanced. The hot meals can be heated in hot water, e. g., in a helmet with canteen boiling water over a wood fire. We heated them up on a charcoal grill in a pot. Not exactly sit down mess hall fare prepared by a chef, but they were (uh) edible.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  396. Hi Gato,
    Yup, it’s gross, but there is an underlying egotism and self-satisfaction to what he is saying; a real selfishness that is totally obnoxious. Almost everything I have heard him say is full of a self-regard that seems totally unwarranted. I have seldom seen such a bombastic, ridiculous public figure. Keep talking Ted, we’re learning a lot about you.

  397. Hey, Terri, and all – This is… Well; you know – totally gross. But there is something in what he did that evidently appeals to a lot of people who feel frustrated and powerless.

    But why react to something like a toddler, by pooping in your pants, and then bragging about it? “Hi! I’m four years old, and I’m going to be your role model!” That little E-Trade kid, manipulated as he is, is so much cooler. HE, at least, is witty. (BTW, do any of us know of “he” is a “he,” or a “she”?)


  398. Why are these congresscritters going home for 10 days? They work 120 days a year I hear and get paid very well for it. I thought we have problems to solve, decisions to make, business to take care of. And some people think Obama should be at the helm 24/7/365. Oh yeah that’s right….gotta go home to raise funds for their next election. Now I know why government doesn’t work and why they don’t understand how normal people live. Lets vote these *&^%)*$ out of office next election.


  399. And the R’s call him a patriot, Terri!

    If you aren’t feeling ill enough, you can find out (IN HIS OWN WORDS) about his appetite for statutory rape, and receiving oral sex from children (victim accounts). Family values guy.

  400. For those of you with a strong stomach, here’s Ted Nugent’s story of how he bravely avoided the draft during the Viet Nam war.


  401. “The local news just reported this area had the safest hunting season in years….only 2 dead and the 24 wounded were self-inflicted.” Gun/hunter safety classes needed??

    By the way, Mr. Whitetail was interviewed at the end of hunting season. His opinion…more guns in the woods and less cars on the roads.


  402. HI, Terri, & Auntie Jean & Lurker & Cynthia & Lori & Pi, and all of you who’ve been commenting on Rubio’s less-than-stellar presentation last evening –

    Whoever “directed” him would be fired by anyone who had any media and communication sense at all. Weird framing (I think a close-up would have been more effective), terrible lighting (he looked pale and sweaty and seemed about to faint), and – for heaven’s sake – if he’s going need a drink water, it should have at least been VISIBLE, on a table or something, so he didn’t have to sneak half-off-camera, looking like a guilty six-year-old, to get at it!

    Of course, this is the same bunch who thought ORCA was going to win them the election… And who wasted fortunes on that totally dysfunctional debacle (and Karl Rove), with similar results.

    Rubio’s probably a nice enough guy – except for his positions on most things! (Wonder how he’d vote on a “Violence Against Men” Act…)


  403. Great SOTU. Very moving at the end when he said victims of gun violence “deserve a vote.” Loved the stuff on the minimum age, voter disenfranchisement, climate change, pre-school education. On the other hand, Marco Rubio’s response–not so much. The GOP is touting him as the future of their party, but in truth, and in my opinion, he’s not very impressive. I don’t find him particularly engaging, and he doesn’t offer anything new. Just the same old tired ideas we’ve been hearing for years. Let’s not forget who created the financial mess we have been trying to dig ourselves out of.

  404. His preformance won’t be the thing he needs to over come Cynthia. Four years is a long long long time in Politics…. It will be his record.

    Yesterday, as Delurker pointed out, Rubio voted against the Violence against women act. He wants to see Roe V Wade over turned. He wants to give “rights” to the fetus. he opposed the Lilly Ledbetter act. He was in favor of voter suppression in his home state. He backs Ron Paul’s cuts in medicare…… the list goes on and on…It’s impossible to win an National e;ection without the “woman’s” vote. He will NOT have that with his record. THAT will be his Waterloo.

  405. Will Rubio’s SOTU rebuttal be his Waterloo?


  406. Speaking of memes, here are a couple of debunked ones. Stay on your toes, girls! Heard both of these repeated from a my hubby, who is saturated by faux news junkies where he works. It takes patience to teach people to do a little homework before repeating something outrageous! He can’t influence them but he can protect himself. These aren’t the most elaborate explanations but they are quick and convenient for sharing with people who don’t have long attention spans.

    Soldiers in Afghanistan are NOT being starved, and meal changes are not related to budget cuts. They are still getting 4 meals a day.


    And the SEAL who is being shockingly open about killing Bin Laden (idiotically putting a whole lot of people in danger) isn’t being screwed on benefits despite leaving the service 4 years too early to get pension. Turns out he was just ignorant.


  407. I agree Delurker it was just an awkward moment that happened at perhaps the biggest moment of his life! LOL

    It is a silly thing. Poor guy, he can’t help it his Party shoved him center stage as their token brown guy, when he wasn’t near ready for prime time.

    But personally, although I didn’t hear his speech in real time, I read it later, “arguing” against the GOP’s same old tired talking points has become insufferable. They are bankrupt of any NEW ideas and debunking, yet ONE more time, their tired lies, is just something I can’t bear to do. So consequently, I just have to LOLZ at their silliness.. It sure beats the hell out of banging my head against the wall. Perhaps the media feels the same? LOL LOL

  408. Lori, that was cute. It’s amazing how fast these memes take off. Honestly, though, I think it’s stupid how people are so focused on that awkward drink of water. Awkward happens. What about all the stupid or wrong things he said? The media is so dumb! But still, that little meme was funny. :) Still need to find out what Paul had to say. After the SOTU I switched to basketball and now am catching up on the responses online. I didn’t hear or see the motor city madman. Did the secret service keep him out? :P Proud of the media for ignoring him! Honestly didn’t expect they would be able to resist. They loves the crazies!

    I thought the SOTU was good and encouraging. I always like his speeches, though they don’t often resemble the results in any way. I don’t expect 4 years of gridlock to change at all. Everything that gets accomplished will be a bloody fight. Even things that were Republican ideas will get rejected or filibustered by them simply because the President wants it. Everything he does will be called evil even though he’s playing with the same awful cards and terms that previous administrations have. I think it’s smart, though, to take the ideas to the people and for us to work from the bottom up because congress isn’t going to act out of the goodness of their own black hearts.

  409. fGood morning friends!

    unniest thing I saw online last night was this tweet. It’s a take off on the popular meme on facebook.

    “I don’t always drink water. But when I do, it’s in the middle of the biggest moment of my career. #staythirsty”

    That tickled me!

  410. “I am proud to be an American, and so very proud of our President.”

    Of Oblama’s 6419 words..he mentioned:
    Debt 2 times
    Budget 4 times
    Oblamacare 1
    Spending 4 times
    Sequester 1 time
    Unemployment 0 times.

    Which were you the most proud of?

    As for not adding a dime of debt, during his 59 minute speech, the national debt went up $123.5 million dollars and the government spent $404 million dollars.

    Are you proud of the $16.4 trillion in debt?
    Are you proud that 46.2 million people live in poverty in this country?
    Are you proud that 88 million people are out of the labor force?
    Are you proud that 52% of the people in this country need government assistance of some kind?
    Are you proud of the 17.5% unemployment of our youth?
    Are you proud that average gas is $3.60 and climbing sharply?
    Are you proud that January unemployment increased to 7.9%?
    Are you proud that since Oblama took office, the average time a person stays unemployed has doubled from 19.8 weeks to 35.3 weeks?
    Are you proud that the GDP declined in the 4th quarter for the first time since 2009?
    Are you proud that Oblama has not met with his Jobs Council since January of 2011?
    Are you proud that Oblama let his Jobs Council expire Jan of 2013?
    Are you proud that Oblama gifted Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood 20 F-16 Jets, 200 Abrams Battle Tanks, and $216 million for state of the art weapons?
    Are you proud that Oblama is fighting in courts to have the right to execute American citizens with Drone Attacks, with the only measure being suspicion, killing them with no evidence of any kind?
    Are you more proud of Bush’s 44 drone attacks killing 440 people, or Oblama’s record of 300 drone attacks killing 2150 people?(4 to 1 average innocent deaths vs targets killed, ie collateral damage)

    Of these, which made you most proud to be an American with Oblama as president?

  411. Hi Kitchen Crew,

    What an inspired State of the Union address President Obama delivered!!! I am constantly amazed at how smart he is and how he is right on top of every issue. (And I have heard all of them, all the way back to FDR.) We are so lucky to have such an intelligent, capable presence at the helm of our great country.

    I appreciate the links you gals have put up to keep us informed on a variety of issues. Let’s keep it up! And as for participating in every way we can, count me in!!! Things are definitely looking up.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  412. You’re welcome, Cynthia.
    There are multiple external costs which are being ignored by many and shouldered by the larger community . The social cost of the way we do things now are too great.
    We can come up with sensible plans and actions if we work at it.
    We need guns in the part of the country I live in.
    We also need to be part of the solution, not the problem.

  413. I am proud to be an American, and so very proud of our President.

  414. : grassroots organization” is right…along with a lot of other illegal drugs. Proof you ask? Just ask any OWS rally. Of course you will have to catch them in between murdering and raping each other. Funny thing is, most of the thousands of felonies committed by you libs at these events, almost none were done with a firearm. Imagine that.

  415. ;-) Fired up he was and is Cynthia! Awesome speech!

    He just got off the phone with me and 180k of my closest friends ;-) to not only thank us for what we have already accomplished but to call our grassroots organization to action once more. He asked us to enlist YOUR help in implementing the agenda he set out for us tonight. Please join me in that endeavor. Go to My.barackobama.com and join Organizing for action. Together we can… yes we can… I’ll see you there…

    also right now …. tweet #jobsnow to show your support for the President’s job initiatives.

    and for those interested in connecting with people who are committed to reducing gun violence check this out: http://www.barackobama.com/news/entry/reducing-gun-violence-and-protecting-our-kids

  416. I know most of you Libs have never owned a business and have almost no understanding of even the most basic economics.

    The more you tax a business, the less they are able to hire. They have x amount of dollars in their coffers. The more you take out, the less they have to do with. This does not speak to if they will, but are they able. The more government takes, the less they have the choice. Get it?

    You want more government revenue? Why not take the almost 8% of Americans out of work, and put them back to work? How is that for a revenue increase? Not to mention how many that will take off welfare, thus reducing costs more. We already know you can take 100% from those making 100k a year and over and still not balance the budget. Why not travel down a smarter path?

  417. Alaskapi – THANK YOU!

    I hear Obama is going to fired up the barbeque right after the speech.


  418. Shot and killed in a CHICAGO PARK, where they have the strictest gun laws in the nation. GUN RESTRICTION DOESN’T WORK.

  419. OBAMA’S ON FIRE! (sung in my best Alica Keys voice ;-))

  420. Great stuff, Pi. Thanks. You’re such a great resource!

    Speak up for kids with cancer – protect them from the sequester!



  422. Cynthia- there’s one I can’t find right now which I’ll keep looking for but it relates to a study which shows how much changes in law etc have worked to make traffic deaths drop and relates it to gun violence harm
    This one picks a piece of that picture up.


    Also- there are cost analyses out there which look at ALL the costs of gun violence to individuals and society.
    Imagine what we might also know if the NRA hadn’t worked so hard to keep studies from happening or burying the ones there are…

  423. http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourcebook/pdf/monograph.pdf

    similar results as last report

  424. http://www.vpc.org/studies/moreguns.pdf

    this one is very interesting Cynthia

  425. cynthia- lots of resources too in the footnotes
    73K+ in 2010 alone
    of course, there’s an element which would choose to remove attempted suicide numbers…


  426. No surprise here for anyone paying attention. Another promise broken.


  427. Lets do the State of the Union Drinking Game. Every time Oblama blames one of these things instead of taking responsibility for our nations decline, everyone takes a drink.

    The NRA
    Special Interests
    House of Reps
    The Wealthy
    Partisan Politics

  428. Cynthia, I haven’t found a site for that data. The data of people killed shows whose right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was trumped by gun rights. However, being maimed by a gun could certainly imperil those rights too. I’ll keep trying.

  429. Here are the 22 Republican Senators who voted against the VAWA, complete with smiley photos. Just sharing in case you want to consider this in the next election. Did your Senator represent YOU?


  430. not only excited for what he has to say during the SOTU but afterwards too!

    “Thanks for signing up for the call with President Obama after Tuesday’s State of the Union speech.

    The President is looking forward to speaking with supporters like you about the plan he’ll lay out, and how we can help support it.

    The conversation starts on Tuesday, February 12th, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Thanks so much for your support!”

    Organizing for Action

    Anyone else going to be on the line with me???

  431. “Ted Nugent is one of the biggest a-holes around, and he doesn’t deserve the honor of attending the speech. ”

    #1 you dont know him. You are only speaking from the ignorance your MSM masters have given you. and #2 Oblama doesn’t deserve the honor of having a defender of the Constitution, especially since he has done so much to try and dismantle it.

  432. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Before we settle down to watch the State of the Union address, (drum roll) TA-DA!

    Peacock Tale, Part IV, conclusion.

    ‘boy toy’ came up with an idea on what to do about the peacocks. He went down to talk with the people at the Tropical Garden. You know, the place with the nightly lu’au and imu>/i> cooked kulua pig. Sure, they would take them. There were acres and acres for the peacocks to strut around and be admired by the tourists. Besides there were other peacocks on the grounds to keep them company. The Tropical Garden people would even come up, trap the peacocks and take them away. So that’s what we did.

    ‘boy toy’ went over to tell the Peacock Lady what he had done with her peacocks. After all, he was within his legal rights since they had been continually trespassing without permission on our property and she, as their owner, had been repeatedly advised of their unwanted presence. Of course she threw a temper tantrum hissi-fit but by then it was a fait accompli.

    The Peacock Lady went around the neighborhood and told everybody that ‘boy toy’ was a beastly son-of-a-bitch. Not long after that she sold out and we heard she moved to Lanai. No one threw her a farewell party.

    Lanai is the smallest of the inhabited islands of the Hawaiian chain. It is teeny-weeny-itty-itty-bitsy and sparsely populated. Bill and Melinda Gates threw quite a lavish wedding bash there when they were married. A while back Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp. bought practically the whole island, over 90% of it if I remember correctly. Wonder how the Peacock Lady and Ellison are getting along.

    ‘boy toy’ was hailed by our neighbors as the “Man of the Year!” We all lived together in peace and harmony, happily ever after.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P.S. Google Lanai and see what Ellison is doing there. Intriguing. He and the Gates are ”Bleedin’ Heart Li’brals” who are doing something for the benefit of humanity with their vast wealth; rather than stashing it in Swiss or Cayman bank accounts to avoid taxes or spending it trying to buy political offices and politicians so they can amass more power and money for themselves.

    While you are at it, check out Bill and Melinda Gates’ work in trying to eradicate Malaria, world wide.

  433. here is some good info for tweeting tonight, in case anyone decides to give it a try. ;-)


  434. You’re right Lori, he represents all that is wrong with the gun lobby and Obama haters in general and he is a great representative of those types, but it seems so disrespectful at the same time.

  435. I don’t know Terri, you might re-think your position after you read this! LOL LOL I kinda like the idea of a typical old, angry white guy, who can’t sing, ( in other words a typical Republican) being held up as the poster boy for the NRA on the national stage.


    I do know we couldn’t do more harm to their image as he does. LOL

    Alrighty Cynthia. ;-) Lets us know….

  436. I would like to see the numbers for people shot but not killed as well. Numbers of those who are permanently injured such as brain damage, paralyzed, loss of use of limb, internal organ damage etc. And of course the medical cost of these injuries caused by guns. This is one reason why I believe gun owners should be made to carry liability insurance.

    lori – I was hoping Helen would take my hint. Yes it is harder to download when the thread gets long but still in the game at the moment. Thanks!!!


  437. I hear some dopey congressman from Texas has invited Ted Nugent to be his guest at the state of the union. Put me on record as thinking Ted Nugent is one of the biggest a-holes around, and he doesn’t deserve the honor of attending the speech. Plus, Mr. Tough Guy did everything he possibly could to avoid going to Viet Nam, just like Mr. Cheney. Don’t you just love the people who talk so tough and worship the military, except when it’s their turn to serve?

  438. Sorry, the link for the number of gun deaths since Sandy Hook is broken. Here it is again. Note that the total has gone up by 6 since I posted it a few hours ago.


  439. Hi, Cynthia – Must say this didn’t seem like parody to me when I read it – only when the word “psychosis” started to ramble around in my head did I think it could be satire. And THAT’s what’s scary about it – and the Tea Party, in general: Too hard to figure out when they’re joking, and when they’re not…


  440. Tea Party Issues Scathing Rebuttal to State of Union Twelve Hours Before Speech


    I would not be surprised if there is a whole lot of truth to this!!

  441. Well, Lori, Darth Cheney isn’t dead yet. He just said the drone policy is good policy. That should make both Progressive and Right Wing heads explode. Apparently he is feeling the effects of irrelevance lately and needs to stir the pot some.

  442. How many gun deaths since Sandy Hook? See the link below. You can filter by age group. 31 more children dead since Sandy Hook. 101 teenagers. 1768 total so far, though I’m not sure how current the info is. It looks like yesterday’s shootings are in there but the new one today isn’t yet.


  443. Send a valentine to congress!


    Keep the pressure up, ladies! Don’t let 20 slaughtered little children become old news so fast!

    “Roses are red, violets are blue. We need less gun violence. It’s up to you!”

  444. Wow right on Dawn! Somehow I missed your post about the ” ghost of Christmas past” better known as president Cheneny!

    Are there people out there that is still listening to this relic? SERIOUSLY … and they wonder why they cant win a national election?

  445. Oblama has no shame.

    I am currently in Paktika Province and we do not have breakfast or midnight meal. We are down to 2 hot meals a day ( lunch and dinner) or guys who run missions at night and work night shift only get one hot meal a day. The Battle Space owner out here instructed the Contractor who is in charge if the chow halls out here to cancel the meals. What they did not consider is that there a lot of units that are still out here and will be here for quite some time to come (my unit). I don’t know why the DOD is not owning up to the facts. It appears to me they are trying to cover up the fact that we are not being fed.


  446. Cant wait for the SOTU address tonight! Anyone hosting /going to a watch party?

    Terry I agree with you. Love me some Gabby.
    Great link Merrie thanks for sharing
    Cynthia do you need us to move to a lesser used thread so you can load it easier? Im sure our fellow porch dwellers will happily do that for you so you can participate more easily?

  447. Hi Congenial Gang,

    gurl, my tooth is fine, I think, wherever it is. The dentist gave me a brand spankin’ new one on my partial so I’m all set.

    What are you doing up blogging at this hour in your time zone? You have to get up, go to work, be alert and look alive. I can sleep in. Aaaaaaaaaaah, the luxury of retirement.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  448. lol I just got it…Miz Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace. is the little girl with the fingers in her ears yelling “la la la la la la” lmao..classic.

    Liberal Argument Playbook
    Use these tactics when arguing with an informed conservative.

    1. Ignore facts that hurt your position.
    When that doesn’t work…

    2. Say its Bush’s fault.
    When that doesn’t work…

    3. Call them racist then run away.

    Note: If facts continue to come your way, repeat steps 1-3. That way when they give up, you win!

  449. Gato, and other snowbound ladies – how goes the digging out? A good friend of mine said he got 42″. That’s a lot to deal with. Hope the warmer temps and rain don’t cause too much havoc.

  450. Merriebreeze, thanks for sharing that ad. Go Gabby!

  451. Auntie Jean, how are you doing after your tooth extraction?

  452. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Peacock Tale, Part III

    At one time or another every one of our neighbors complained directly to the Peacock Lady about her birds – to no avail. Never defensive, she was always aggressively hostile and sarcastic. Her stock standard answers to the problem were two questions, no solutions. 1. “What do you want me to do, shoot them?” “No, just keep them on your own property. ”2. “My little dog doesn’t like them. Do you want me to shoot him too?”

    I had been teaching music for a long time. Whenever I was conducting a lesson, Timex would curl up on the mat out on the deck outside the open sliding glass doors in the living room. The cows lined up on the fence out back to listen. And the birds perched on the deck rail, often warbling away to the music. It never failed. But here is where it gets interesting. That was only when the music was live! Other times if I had the stereo going with either vocal or instrumental music, none of the critters bothered to come around, including Timex. None of my students was a professional musician even though some of them had the potential to become one.

    This has always mystified me. How did the critters instinctively know the difference between live amateur music and that of recorded professional artists? The volume was usually about the same.

    One day the peacocks decided to join the chorus. They landed on the table on the deck and began their screeching. They were not even in tune!!! Their rhythm and pitch were way, way off key. Then to top it off they decided to leave their droppings on the table where we had our meals! Now large birds that they are, their droppings were of the size that would make a grown man proud.

    That clinched it. The peacocks had to go.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  453. “Gun falls out of her pocket and shoots boyfriend; happened in a public place. Yeah, more guns…. is the answer!”

    I love love love this kind of logic. Something somewhere bad happened to someone so we need to restrict the freedom of everyone everywhere to protect them.

    Limited people with limited minds with limited ideas. Taking away freedoms to solve all of our problems is the action of bullies and dictators. Do as I say, or ill make a law then you will do as I say or I will put you in prison until you do as I say.

  454. It is incredibly ironic that Mr Cheney thinks President Obama is making poor choices for his second term cabinet members.

    Mr Cheney who headed up the VP search for W, and found himself to be the best person for the job. Mr Cheney who procurred 5 deferments to avoid Viet Nam, and then stated he had better things to do. Mr Cheney who’s own staff committed treason by outing a CIA operative. Mr. Cheney who promoted lies to get us into a 10 year war against weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist. Mr Cheney who said we’d be greeted as liberators in Iraq. Mr Cheney who, as sec of defensed during poppy Bush’s term said going to war with Iraq was unwinnable. Don’t get me started about Halliburton.

    Please Mr. Cheney, leave your tattered legacy with some shred of decency by just keeping your lying mouth shut. At least Former Pres Bush has the grace to do so.

  455. If you haven’t read this you may find it very interesting. The comments too!


    There are those who keep screaming about the Dems or Socialists taking over the country but from this article you may find it is not them they need to be worried about.

    And for some humor:



    PS – Please Helen, write another piece. It is getting difficult for those of us with dialup and old computers to download!!!

  456. The typical gun culture.

  457. I think Gabrielle Giffords is one of the most effective advocates for gun control out there. I admire her efforts and those of her husband as well. They seem like good people.

  458. Gabby speaks -

  459. 3 dead and 2 wounded in a shooting in New Castle County Courthouse in Delaware.

  460. Gun falls out of her pocket and shoots boyfriend; happened in a public place. Yeah, more guns…. is the answer!



  461. heh no comment on Snopes lori? telling…very telling.

  462. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Peacock Tale, Part II.

    I forgot to mention that we had a pasture of about 20+ acres across the back of our property with a herd of cows. I didn’t have to feed them. They grazed all day by themselves. Also the chickens did earn their keep by eating the centipedes. Those ugly little varmints are not like deadly scorpions but they do have a very painful bite. One time in the parking lot at Wal-Mart we saw a chicken chase down a centipede and munch on it for his lunch.

    Our elevation was too high for the county water system. So for our little community of 15 properties of 3-5 acres each, we had a private tank and water system rather than digging individual wells. We each had to have cesspools and septic systems to tend to as it was. We bought our water from the county and had it pumped up to our system. It was purely a loose cooperative enterprise we all shared. ‘boy toy’ was “elected” (read drafted) to be in charge of reading the meters, making out the bills, collecting the monthly checks and paying the county water department and electric bill. There were some other neighborhood guys who took care of the technical maintenance stuff. Fine! Great, huh.

    Well, there’s one in every crown isn’t there. There was a widow who was generally a pain in the ass. She was a constant complainer and whiner with a litany of demands from all the neighbors. Never had a kind word for or about anybody. She made a total nuisance of herself. ‘boy toy’ had to hound her for the water check every month and she was invariably late. For some reason she acquired a pair of peacocks. Maybe she saw them as a status symbol or something. I don’t know. Well, it didn’t take long to learn the down side of peacocks!

    For one, they are quite large birds! Only the males have the colorful array of tail feathers in order to attract the female. They can fly but not very far. The tail feathers weigh them down and create drag. The worst of it is that they have an unholy screech that sounds like some poor victim of medieval torture on the rack. The lady who owned them had a little dog who didn’t like the peacocks so he chased them off her property all the time. The only time they went back, I guess, was when she fed them. Nobody else did! They began roaming the neighborhood, scratching up and trampling flower beds. They seemed to delight in terrorizing the birds and chickens. Pretty soon everybody was complaining about them. Next, the damn peacocks then took it upon themselves to roost for the night on our roof ridge right over our bedroom. Being birds, they woke up with the sun and started their screeching. You can only imagine how I had to be peeled off the ceiling at daybreak!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  463. How do Dick Cheney (“Obama appointed second rate people”) and Lindsey Graham (I’ll block Hagel and Brennan) sleep at night? They’ll put the whole country in jeopardy to save their egos. Idiots. Tools.

  464. Try that again.

  465. My vote for our next Prez.

  466. If you need any coaching lemme know Gato. But I doubt you will. You have my email.

  467. You will also note I did not feel the need to be personally condescending or belittling to you.

  468. gatodicima
    Because you and yours are inconsistent and dishonest. You have two sets of rules here, one for those that agree with you, and another for those that do not. Nothing more complicated than that. If you had the same standards for everyone, criticized everyone equally, I would not bother. I don’t care if your opinion is different than mine. I do care that you set a different standard for no other reason than a difference of opinion, political affiliation, race, sex, …ect.

    The above is irrefutable. There are tens of thousands of posts that back this assertion. If you cannot agree with 100% of it, then pass by this comment and move on as we have no common ground to further a productive conversation.

  469. Non – Could you just give us some sort of a HINT about what it is that so excites you about doing this stuff?

    Let me take a quick look at your “arguments.” (Oh; almost made a typo there, and called them your “Aaaarghuments.” Freudian Slip…)

    (1) The Shoot the Messenger Argument
    (2) The Straw Man Diversion
    (3) The Slippery Slope Fallacy
    (4) The “You Must Be A Racist” Accusation (OMG! Do you have some “race” that has been inadvertently insulted…?!)
    (5) The Condescension Posture (I won’t get too far “into” that one…)
    (6) The PMS Postulation

    And so on… Not only is a single one of these anything close to what might be thought of as “original,” they’re not even useful or informative – primarily because many of us have heard all of them before, almost verbatim, now that I’m thinking of the lack of originality.

    The majority of the posters here regularly provide relevant personal experiences, useful suggestions, real “news,” interesting links, original thoughts and commentary, and/or witty and thoughtful narratives. If you like to spend your time bloviating to people who are, in your lordly opinion, uneducable, so be it. And so be the general deletion of your remarks (except for the occasional exception, such as this one), until the proverbial cows come home.

    As I’m sure you know, a laboratory rat will continue to seek the occasional, and random, “reward” almost ceaselessly, but soon gives up when confronted with the continued denial of any at all. Here’s your “treat” for today. Bon appétit! And you’re welcome.


  470. Look at what Obama is doing, turning us into his communist/socialist police stated he has dreamed of. DHS is Obama’s personal SS.

    Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.

    According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.


  471. But weak lori you choose to attack the source and ignore the content, all of which makes a lot of sense. Sounds like you are a bit of a racist. You feel the same way about snopes?

  472. Thanks for the tip, Lori. I may give it a try…


  473. Hi, Auntie Jean – You are a wonderful story teller, fully peacocks or not fully peacocks! And your critter names are the best…

    I did google those Java sparrows – absolutely cute as can be.

    Keep ‘em coming!


  474. And that is exactly why I usually don’t play links a lot with trolls. Lol LOL DAILYCALLER????? SERIOUSLY? Tucker’s rag? Pfffff lol

  475. http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp
    :roll: That :roll: Is :roll: All :roll:

  476. There are perhaps 600,000-1 million defensive uses of guns each year, about the same as the number of crimes committed with guns.” And contrary to popular belief, gun-wielding victims of assault or robbery are less likely than unarmed victims of assault or robbery to be injured.

    Kleck’s theory that gun-control laws don’t reduce crime — which has been corroborated by other scholars — is consistent with the fact that America’s violent crime rate has been steadily falling since 1990 even as gun-control laws like the Assault Weapons Ban and Chicago’s handgun ban have either expired or been repealed. Today, crime is more widespread in Western Europe than it is in the U.S.

    Gun-control laws might be worth pursuing if they stood a chance of taking guns out of criminals’ hands, or at least forcing them to use less lethal types of guns. But they don’t, for two reasons.

    First, criminals rarely obey laws. Studies show that most criminals acquire guns through friends or through theft, which means they’re able to bypass background checks and other well-meaning restrictions. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, stole the guns he used from his mother.

    Second, there are close to 300 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. Even if Congress passed a law banning the sale of firearms tomorrow — which would violate the Second Amendment — it would be decades before the supply of guns decreased significantly, especially considering that many guns are operational 100 years or more after they’re manufactured.


    That is all :roll:

  477. hmmmm a bit of my post was left out: it said …. chuckling at Auntie Jean and Twitter…. LOL LOL

    my post down there makes a LITTLE more sense now. ;-)

  478. I normally don’t do the sir links a lot thing.. but I just couldn’t let this particular straw man argument go.

    <3 YOU AUNTIE JEAN!!!!

    But seriously, it is fun and easy, effective & efficient! You don't need an app for your phone gato. It's just twitter.com, sign up and tweet away. ;-)

    Pi, good to hear the good news from wayyyy up dar! better news that PPP is still putting out reliable polls after the election. Fingers crossed!

  479. The firearms homicide rate, and homicide rate overall, is also higher in the U.S. than other advanced countries, such as Canada, Australia and those in Europe, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The U.S. gun homicide rate was 3.2 per every 100,000 people in 2010, according to UNODC figures. The UNODC measures “intentional homicide,” which is “an unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person.”

    The international data show that country-to-country comparisons are inherently difficult to make — and, as the NRC said, provide “contradictory evidence.” For instance, Latin American countries with high levels of firearm homicide show low levels of gun ownership. Honduras has a gun ownership rate of 6.2 per 100 people and a gun homicide rate of 68.43 per 100,000 people, and Colombia has a gun rate of 5.9 and firearm homicide rate of 27.09, as shown in this chart produced by the Washington Post using the same data we have cited here.

    But among advanced countries, the U.S. homicide rate stands out. “We seem to be an average country in terms of violence and aggression,” says Harvard’s Hemenway. “What we have is huge homicide rates compared to anybody else.”

    Says Wintemute: “The difference is that in this country violence involves firearms and firearms change the outcome.”

    factcheck.org http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/

    That is all. ;)

  480. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Got a peacock story for ya. We came out here as tourists for several years to escape the drearies of Philly Februaries. We visited all the islands at one time or another but fell in love with this one and with each other all over again in the process. Of course we visited the infamous Tropical Garden with their lu’au and pig from the imu. There were wild/tame peacocks strutting around the grounds along with the feral cats and chickens. The chickens are descendants from those brought by the Polynesians from Tahiti when they immigrated here. The chickens are all over the island and are more or less protected. I thought the peacocks were the most spectacular birds I had ever seen with their plumage all spread out as they strolled around.

    I have to set the stage so you can visualize what was going on. We decided to retire out here. We bought some land in 1987 high up in elevation and began the process of building a main house and a little guest house above the oversized garage because we knew we would be having PLENTY of visitors. Did and do! Both houses were two-story with the main house living room, dining room, kitchen and family room upstairs with sliding glass doors and large windows all around to take advantage of the spectacular scenic views. We built a bridge from the deck extending across the front of both houses. We had tables and chairs on the decks for when we often had lunch and dinner out there. Livin’ it up in Paradise!

    OK. I am a soft touch for critters. People often dropped off their unwanted pets on the road and naturally the poor animals showed up at our doorstep. We fed them and cared for them until the SPCA could come pick them up. One time a tiny little orange tiger kitten showed up. I don’t think he had been weaned yet because he was so small and wobbly on his legs. I put out a bowl of warm milk and he dived in with both front paws and kneaded it as if he were nursing, dripping with milk from head to toe. The only thing I had to feed him was a can of Vienna Sausage that he wolfed down. You guessed it. We got attached to him and decided to keep him. I stocked up on cat food. He was definitely an indoor-outdoor cat. We figured he would become a good mouser. So we named him “Timex”. Our “Watch Cat.” Oops! He was so young when he was separated from his mama she never had a chance to teach him who his natural enemies were. The birds, chickens, mice, rats and toads were his FRIENDS he grew up with! In the 16 years we had him, he never once caught so much as a cricket.

    We had a bug zapper on the bridge between the two houses. I used to plug it in about 5:00PM. We had mosquitoes the size of F-16’s that whined in after dark. For several days I happened to notice a circle of toads down below the deck and the bug zapper. I observed them for a while and began to realize what they were up to. As the bugs were electrocuted by the bug zapper, they dropped down to the waiting toads below. It was if the toads spread the word, “Come on over to Auntie Jean’s. She has a barbeque for us every night!”

    Some of you Old Timers already know the story about Cassidy, our one legged patriarch rooster. (He hopped along just fine, hence his name.) He had quite a harem. One day a hen showed up, with a brood of about a dozen little fuzzy-wuzzy chicks. They were eating away at the cat food. Now, you can’t have baby chicks eating cat food. So I loaded down with 50 pounds of “Scratch” chicken feed. While I was at it, I got a large bird feeder and 50 pounds of wild bird seed. We also had lots of mourning doves, mynah birds, Hawaiian cardinals with brown-grey bodies but red-crested heads and the darling, darling little Java sparrows. (Google them!) They look like they are wearing tuxedos with morning coats and always, always travel in close pairs like love birds.

    Oops! I way overshot my 140 characters for this time. I’ll get to the peacocks later.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P. S. Hey gang, don’t blame me! Aesop started it long before even my time.

  481. Violent crimes per 100,000 people:
    Britain: 2034 USA: 466

    Who banned guns? Britain.
    That is all.

  482. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Damn it, gurl! Can too! But I don’t Twitter, Tweet or Facebook. Got all I can handle with WordPress. (101 characters.)

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

  483. Thanks, Lurker… Grateful for the perspective here…


  484. Gato, I suspect it wasn’t Auntie Jean who invited you to twitter. The thought of my dear friend conveying anything in 140 characters or less makes me laugh! :)

    Jean, sorry about the tooth but glad it was painless!

  485. Hi, Auntie Jean – OWWW! Teeth are so always in our faces…

    Yeah; we “soldiered through,” and probably mostly by just staying put. There’s a lesson there, is there not? Sometimes the best thing to do is… Nothing. Everything important happens in stillness.

    Our Mayor just put out another robocall, saying that CT State roads are still closed, and thanking all of us for hanging quiet.

    I’m fond of our mayor, and he’s a Republican!


  486. Even though those on the left do not care about the needless loss of 4 lives and the media is going their part to help the public forget about what happened by refusing to report on it, there are those that care and will hold Obama responsible for his incompetent handling of Benghazi.


  487. Hi Congenial Gang,

    So glad to hear everyone has soldiered through and weathered the “Storm of the Century” OK. Yep, the local and national news has become show-biz, hasn’t it. I think you are right Cynthia about the stores promoting the storms. Whenever we get impending awful weather out here there is a run on fifty pound bags of rice and toilet paper. I’m not sure what the correlation is there.

    Yesterday while you were all sweating out the storm I was sitting in the dentist chair with a tooth extraction. OH, THE AGONY!!! THE TORTURE!!! THE TORMENT!!! THE SUFFERING!!! THE ANGUISH!!!

    (The fact that it was totally painless does not minimize the telling of it.)

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  488. Hi, Cynthia – Just getting a little shack-wacky here, and, at the same time, liking the opportunity to enjoy the warmth given by our wood stove, which came with my house, and for which I am so grateful. I had NO IDEA I would come to love this little stove so much…

    We’ve had no power outage, so everything is still working. Bright blue sky, whipping winds; cars dug out; so all seems pretty okay around here.

    Good afternoon for laundry and ironing, IMHO!


  489. Glad to hear everyone made it through the storm okay! Finger Lakes region of NY has about 6-7 inches but they predicted more snow. Electric went out several times during the night but not long enough to cause trouble. We were hit by the storm from the west; it is still snowing.

    I am sure the grocery stores are responsible for hyping these storms just to get more people into their stores! It was packed on Thursday night! Monday there will be freezing rain before turning to rain; this might cause some problems here. Around here we just wait 5 minutes as it is sure to change.

    This is dairy farm country. They are very good at keeping the roads plowed and passable. However also they enjoy putting your mail box in the ditch and plowing in the end of your driveway! My biggest problem is blowing snow off the crop fields that surround me. The property seems to be a snow magnet especially the 300’ driveway.


  490. M&H… Oh, lordy, we do miss hearing from you!

    Somehow a blog becomes like one of our children, or one of our parents… We hardly know what to do without them.

    You have a hungry Porch here! If you can’t be here, please have someone let us know. We will carry on, no matter what. You can count on that.


  491. Hi, Auntie Jean – We’re good here; so kind of you to think of your New England sisters and brothers… The wind was howling this morning, and it was too cold even to shovel… And, besides, everything shoveled just got covered up again. So we took a break… And then all was fine.

    Now we have a crystal dark amethyst sky, the wind has blown the snow off the evergreens, and there’s a red cardinal sitting on a branch. (There has to be SOME reason to continue to live in New England, I think… This might be the one.)

    BTW, did you ask me to join Twitter? I think it was you… I don’t tweet, and I don’t even think my phone can do it. So forgive me if I don’t accept your invitation… I just don’t know how to do it. And I’m honored, anyway…


  492. Hi, JSRI – I’m in Western CT, and yes; it wasn’t as ferocious here as predicted. We got about eighteen inches, which is enough! I woke up a couple of times last night, and was surprised at the silence, since they’d predicted pretty serious winds all night long.

    We live in a very wooded area, so what’s happening with the trees is always of particular concern to us – especially those that are near our three 85-gallon propane tanks. And most of today, it’s been bright and sunny, and the wind has blown the snow off the trees, so they’re holding up well.

    Agree that the image of the intrepid reporter standing in the teeth of the gale is total show biz, and does get kind of amusing. But I don’t mind at all if the warnings are overstated. (My husband and I are pretty much retired, and our decisions on whether or not to go somewhere are, therefore, generally up to us; I certainly realize that we are quite fortunate in that respect!)

    Our Mayor does the robo-calls, alerting people to only travel if necessary, to get their cars off the streets, offering free parking in public garages, and so on. I think this is one of the reasons that our roads are usually pretty well cleaned-up quite rapidly after one of these babies. The clean-up crews have US out of the way, so they can get their job done expeditiously.

    We are also very fortunate to live among a wonderful bunch of neighbors, two of whom have snow blowers. (Yay!) As soon as things calm down a bit, we’re all out there together, with our shovels – and the blowers – and we all work together to get everyone’s walkways shoveled and cars dug out, one household at a time. (Nobody here has a garage, so freeing the vehicles is always a biggie!)

    Basically, I find myself grateful for everything that helps us get through these offerings of Mother Nature!


  493. Waialeale:

    The storm has passed and we are now in a winter wonderland. The weather turned out to be much less severe than predicted. Believe me we’ve seen worse.

    The damage is less than expected because most of the night the snow was dry and going sideways so it didn’t accumulate to the point where tree limbs came down. But some drifts are as high as an elephant’s eye and the car in the driveway is completely drifted over and may be inaccessible for the weekend.

    We quit watching the local news broadcasts because they’ve been hyping this storm, breathlessly and endlessly, as potentially the “worst in history” for the past four days. And sending reporters out into the storm to show it’s ferocity became hilarious as reporters positioned themselves facing into the wind as passersby walked lazily behind them. All one had to do was look out the window to see what was going on. Now they’re scrambling around to find damages they can show to further scare off viewers. Local TV news is about as uninformative as one can get these days.

  494. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Those of you, my dear porch friends who are in the path of the monster storm, please, please, stay warm and safe. There is little doubt that many of you will lose power and not get this message until after the storm has passed and some semblance of normalcy is restored. Just know I am thinking about you and sending you loving thoughts and cyber hugs.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  495. In case you dont believe it, listen to their own words.

    If you are still an unbeliever, listen to your own tricky Dicky Clinton admit it at the end.

  496. A new study from the widely respected National Bureau of Economic Research released this week has confirmed beyond question that the left’s race-baiting attacks on the housing market (the Community Reinvestment Act–enacted under Carter, made shockingly more aggressive under Clinton) is directly responsible for imploding the housing market and destroying the economy.

    The study painstakingly sorted through failed home loans that caused the housing market collapse and identified an overwhelming connection between them and CRA mortgages.


  497. lori- Yup. The kicker kicker will be WHO actually runs. Other polls see a dead heat if our (crappy) Gov decides to run.
    Already helping fill the election purse – is likely to be a wild ride but is nice to have some hope :-)
    Son of Pi is in Maine- says they are getting lots o white stuff.
    Hoping all in the path are safe and cozy… shoveling is not much fun but , oh well.
    Dear Helen and Margaret- thank you for having us all in. Sure looking forward to a new post!

  498. To: sidney18511 on February 7, 2013 at 12:06 AM &
    To: Terri in NY on February 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    re: ugly comments by Timmer on February 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I have another take on this Timmer character (or any other iteration of this sluggard that shows up).
    I’d be willing to bet that his hatred of women is related to his relationship with his mother. She probably abandoned him and his old man or kicked this personally offensive brat out of the house because he was out of control.
    On the other hand there is also a handful of individuals who have doubts about their own sexuality that has turned into, in this case, a well-documented hatred of women. It’s not worth the effort to try to amend such a character because of the hard wiring of his low I.Q. neurons

    Oscar the grouch

  499. I am so glad we stood up and said Voter ID was a bad thing. That voter fraud no longer exists in this country. It is because of actions like this that the right man got elected.


  500. Morning, Auntie Jean – The snow just started, and we’re anticipating about two feet of it by mid-day tomorrow. Sigh… New England… !

    Love the boar-trapping procedure. Maybe I’ll try it on our local woodchucks when they come out of hiding, heading for the flowers. If it doesn’t work on them, at least I’ll have a nice snack with which to assuage my disappointment!


  501. Whatcha think Pi? You agree with PPP’s findings?


  502. Just a thought “ladies”

    “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    PEACE ~ Δ

    ps: M&H…we miss you. :)

  503. HI Congenial Gang,

    Thanks gato for your vote of confidence. I somehow – occasionally – gained a voice of reason while raising three sons. We all survived with our sanity reasonably intact but I had my doubts when each of them was about 9 years old. Guess what? They grew up to be fine, responsible, loving and successful men. We are extremely proud of them!

    Speaking of wild boars. There is an interesting nursery here. It is unusual in that it does not have plants sitting around in pots. The nursery abuts the mountains and goes on for acres and acres. The owner lives on the property. When you want a plant, he just goes out and digs one up for you.

    One time we wanted an especially beautiful vine to climb up the pedestal and across the trellis in our Pitiful Little Patch garden. The vine has strings of dark red and gold flowers about 18” long that hang down. When we drove down the long driveway to his home we noticed that the foliage along the way was trampled and in disarray. That was quite unusual! The man came out of his home and we remarked about it. He laughed and said he had been visited by a group of wild boar down from the mountains the previous night and they had rooted around all over the place. The wild boar is somewhat nocturnal. It had happened before and he knew what to do. He said he was going to “commune” with them. That is, put out cages to trap them by luring them with several loaves of bread soaked in wine. Apparently it makes them nice and mellow and they go docilely into the cages that trip the doors to automatically close behind them.

    Then he takes them down to an extensive Tropical Garden where they have a nightly lu’au, generally for tourist consumption. They have a large amphitheatre for the traditional hula dancing and music. The men do the famous Hawaii lu’au Fire Dance. Google or YouTube it. They need a pig for the imu every night for the lu’au feast. Of course they use domestic pigs but always welcome the wild boar whenever available. There are wild peacocks strutting around the grounds but they are quite tame so they don’t cook ‘em.

    The imu is an underground steam cooker. For details, Google imu. They dig a pit, put twigs and wood down there for the fire with a bunch of stones on top. Wrap the pig in leaves, snout, feet and all, and put him down there with more stones on top. The porous stones get really, really hot! Fill up the pit with dirt and leave him there to bake for 24 hours. Then dig him up and Voila! you have kulua pig cooked in his own juices. Yummmmm!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  504. Funny how the male trolls always resort to the same ageist, misogynist BS whenever they feel threatened.

  505. Hi, Auntie Jean – You’re a calm voice of reason, as always. Love your bringing in your observations of other societies and cultures. So many of us (well; not on THE PORCH, of course!) forget that “our way” is not the only way, and maybe not even the best way. Most societies have done better with cooperation and mutual support than with competition and division – always.

    Hope you check out my new post at http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com. Just went up today. (A little own-horn-tooting here; please forgive!)


  506. For you alaskapi

    “San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne is fully supportive of the Obama/Feinstein gun grab, and says if lawmakers play it right Americans can be completely disarmed within “a generation.”


  507. Somehow this seemed fitting for this gathering of “ladies”

    Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you. ~Stephen Covey

  508. Hi Congenial Gang,

    We have subscribed to Scientific American Magazine forever. In the January issue there is a short article, written by a science teacher in Blauvelt, NY; a tiny little town on the nearly southern tip of New York State.

    Entitled “Creation, Evolution and Indisputable Facts” the author asks if scientists and biblical literalists can get along. I don’t know where he got this statistic but he says that 40% of American adults believe literally what is written in the Book of Genesis and eschew science. Quoting from the article; “Yet, few if any of them live without the benefits of fossil fuels and electricity. Most are happy to fly in airplanes, take hot showers, heat their homes, drive their cars, watch their televisions and text their friends. They reject science only if it conflicts with their beliefs or asks them to change their way of life.” An strange inconsistency.

    I am reminded of the Amish community in Pennsylvania a few miles from where we lived for 15 years. They are a self-contained minority of perhaps 250,000 people who actually live their lives according to their faith without the modern everyday conveniences we take for granted. They are very fine people, honest and upright citizens who do not aspire to force their life style on others. As avowed pacifists, I seriously doubt if there are any of them who ever had a gun. Our son, who lives nearby sent us a copy of a book written by one of them entitled, “Living without Electricity”. Not my cup of tea but the Amish manage nicely!

    Out here we have a very dear friend, born and raised in the islands. He is up-to-date in every aspect except one. He is an avid hunter – with bow and arrows he made himself. He goes tramping around in the remote mountains. Several times he has brought down a wild boar! They are BIG, UGLY and DANGEROUS critters with tusks that curl up around their cheeks and beady little eyes. His wife makes adobo Philippine style, from the meat. Delicious!

    Including us, none of these people have ever found it necessary, to have firearms of any kind to maintain our way of life or interfere with the lives of those in our communities.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P.S. I’m experimenting to see if I can put up boldface, italics and diacritical marks in WordPress. I knew how to in our old operating system but lost it with the new one.

  509. “ladies” you are projecting. Bunch of insecure, petty old ladies attacking something because you are not able to think your way through to a solution. If this is how you raised your children to respond to people who are not like them, God help us all. I’ll let you hang yourselves with your own rope, no need to sink to your level.

  510. Timster……your an ass. Nobody here gives two shits about what you think or post. Go hang out with the wingnuts, in other words, your own kind. And bring your gun so you can shoot your mouth off there.
    My fellow porch dwellers….this dude doesn’t want a debate. Like a stray dog, looking for food, if we don’t feed him he will wander off.

  511. Great choice for Prez ladies. While you are helping him fight to disarm us, he is trying to execute us without proof, without the opportunity to defend ourselves in the court of law, for no other reason that suspicion.

  512. Timmer… STFU… Figure it out. Get a life.

  513. Hey, Pi – It’s those of you who own guns whose info means the most. Thanks for all you do! This is a great Porch… (And I am wondering where M&H, and Matthew, are these days…) I think we’ll carry on, no matter what.


  514. You guys are like a bunch of class room clowns trying to impress each other with your little antics. Again, a riot. Just makes me feel all the more secure that I have it right. You should take your act on the road, the Three Butch Stooges. Enjoy your evening “ladies”

  515. hehehehe…


    Is all from Logic 101

    “A fallacy is incorrect argument in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity, or more generally, a lack of soundness. Fallacies are either formal fallacies or informal fallacies.”


    Done with responding to silliness.
    Cynthia- will go look at the Hartman link.
    There were also other reasons for the 2A- will see if his argument works.

    Cheers porch dwellers all…
    butch bully? hehehehehe

    And here I thought I was
    hippie, commie, liberal, weirdo, pro-gun Pi …

    way left libertarians like me really do get called a lot of names, eh ?
    but it’s all water and duck back stuff to me anyway…:-)

  516. Timmer – Let’s be honest here. We know your game and you know ours. Most of us have been down your road with you. So what’s the point of going down a road that leads to no where again and again and again?


  517. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Cynthia, love it, love it, love it! The NRA’s pin-up boy is a classic. It’s nice to put a face and physique with a troll blogger’s name. It really should be on a billboard throughout this great country of ours along with the Coppertone little girl and her dog. I’ll always remember him in that pose.

    Enough of this fun and frivolity. I’ve got to get busy now.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  518. Lordy be, Cynthia – I was just about to start dinner! Eeeeuuuuwwww…


  519. I love this butch bully thing you ladies have going here. Its a riot.

  520. NRA Polling stats.


    You might be interested in a picture of the official poster bear… err…man for the NRA.

    (I heard it is our very own Timmer who posed for this picture. What do you think ladies? I hope he has the safety lock on; he might just shoot his head off……well…then again.)


  521. To each their own, reasoned discussion is not for everyone. I’ll pass by comments from the both of you from this point forward.

  522. Timmer – Yep; that’s it! That’s what we’ve got. Glad you picked up on that… Certainly not worthy of your further attention, huh…?

    So sad…


  523. Semantics, absurdities, and insults, thats all you 2 have?

  524. Timmer, you tiresome boor/bore/boar –

    You can put on your tally that you got me to reply, along with some of the other Porch Dwellers – but it will likely only be this once, so don’t get too worked up about it.

    It is obvious that the only opinion that interests you is the one emanating from your own bathroom mirror.

    No one thinks that “limiting freedom is the only way to achieve social change,” but it sure as hell is REQUIRED for the functioning and survival of any society.

    As for women being “given” the right to vote – you’re joking, right? Women weren’t “given” that right any more than African-Americans were “given” a seat at the front of the bus. People fought and died for those things – because the people who thought they shouldn’t have them were much like you, frankly.

    I did enjoy your equating the preservation of “gun rights” with PMS, or whatever point it is you were trying to make there. Plenty of people already feel that an excess of testosterone should be reason enough to deny someone a license to carry…


  525. Hi Congenial Gang,

    AlaskaPi and Cynthia, WAY TO GO!. Intelligence trumps blather every time.

    Speaking of blather, straw men and fallacious arguments, did you know that obeying the myriad traffic laws infringes on your right to drive down the middle of the highway at 90MPH? Who needs stop signs and traffic lights anyway? Those only impede the freedom of the road for your horse and carriage. It’s in the AMERICAN CONSTITUTION somewhere. I’ll look it up and get back to ya.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  526. “What you get from the 2nd amendment does not reside in the actual words , it resides in your take on it.”

    Actually I made no statement at all as to what I think about the 2nd amendment. I think it is a pretty bold move to assume what I get from this document.

    What I asked for was your opinion alaskapi, not a lesson in how to copy and paste definitions of your claims.

    All you have managed to do here is muddy up the waters. We were guaranteed certain rights. You and yours think the only way to enforce your morals on others is to take away freedoms. If you can just control every aspect of another persons life, you can make them act in accordance with your beliefs. Since you cannot persuade someone on merit, you do it by force.

    I do not believe that limiting freedom is the only way to achieve social change. To me that is the last resort, for you and yours the first. Education and vigilance and personal responsibility to me are far more effective methods. But then I have found people of a Liberal persuasion tend to feel the public is to dumb to survive without the guidance of the all knowing government.

    Women were given the right to vote. What if it was determined that PMS made you make decisions that you would otherwise not make? What then if, for your own protection, that only women who did not suffer from PMS could vote? Is there any persuasive argument that could be made to you that would get you to give up even a little bit of those rights? I should hope not. So too do we feel about guns.

    “If we ban high capacity magazines, we ban high capacity magazines. We are not starting an inexorable slide into total prohibition and disarmament because we do that one thing.”

    It ALWAYS starts with ONE thing. Look at the progression of cigarets. TV add bans, increased taxes to discourage use, more taxes and more taxes, now in many states you can no longer smoke in a public place at all. In several cities it is illegal to smoke in your own home. It always starts out as one, always.

    “Congress makes law, not the Pres.”

    You may want to review current history before you try to back up this comment.

    “Since no one has truly proposed “punishing those who use guns properly” there is no reason to address it.”

    When you limit the freedom of the majority because of the actions of the few, you are punishing them by default, no matter what topic you are talking about.

  527. Alaskapi and all – have any of you heard Thom Hartmann’s opinion on the 2nd Amendment? I found it interesting. It is an excerpt from his book.

    “The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says “State” instead of “Country” (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.”



  528. Thank you, AlaskaPi. Very effective arguments, thank you.

    Did you hear the latest faux outrage? People are not allowed to criticize Beyonce’s Superbowl attire because she’s black! If she were white people would be all over it. As they say on Weekend Update, “Really?” Madonna probably started that meme, LOL. People waste their energy on the most ridiculous fallacies. Well I’m not afraid to say it – Beyonce would have looked more tasteful in a bikini than her leather teddy! However, she is one heck of a talented performer, and half time shows tend not to be the model of tastefulness.

  529. Timmer-
    Since no one has truly proposed “punishing those who use guns properly” there is no reason to address it.
    Go find out what is being proposed at the federal level- there is no “punishment” being proposed there.
    A lot of damn paperwork, spending some money and time getting better data bases and network to track stuff and so on. Closing loopholes, and the like.
    A PIA, yes.
    “Punishment”, no.
    Hyperbole may well be a recognized rhetorical device but it fails as a reasoned stance . We need reasoned stances on the issues we are confronting here and we need to be very wary of whether we are drifting into fallacious reasoning- all of us, all the time.
    Just because we can reason does not mean we always do it well.

    gato- will have to come see what you’ve worked through there :-)

  530. Great, Pi; I’m glad! And I love “obscurantic heel digging in”…


    P.S. Just about to do a new post on my blog about some of the lunacy… In the next day or two. Not nearly as erudite and/or well-researched as yours, though… A different POV on the same stuff…

  531. gato-
    that bumper sticker idea made me laugh right out loud!

  532. slippery slope

    In logic and critical thinking, a slippery slope is an informal fallacy. A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect, much like an object given a small push over the edge of a slope sliding all the way to the bottom.[1] The strength of such an argument depends on the warrant, i.e. whether or not one can demonstrate a process which leads to the significant effect. The fallacious sense of “slippery slope” is often used synonymously with continuum fallacy, in that it ignores the possibility of middle ground and assumes a discrete transition from category A to category B. Modern usage avoids the fallacy by acknowledging the possibility of this middle ground.


    This one irritates the bejabbers out of me.
    If we do one lil thing we’ll be committed to HAVING to do a whole bunch of other things and end up in the crapper . The crapper or hell or whatever being decided by the argument which doesn’t want to change anything rather than the reality we are trying to address.
    If we ban high capacity magazines, we ban high capacity magazines. We are not starting an inexorable slide into total prohibition and disarmament because we do that one thing.
    I repeat prohibition is not on the table. Nor is repeal of the 2nd amendment, nor is legitimate self defense law ( though stand -your -ground can go take a hike ).
    The president has proposed executive actions which are ALL sensible and all within law which already exists. Congress makes law, not the Pres. The Heller decision currently defines a fair number of things about guns, 2A, and what we can do and it most certainly does not allow for prohibition or law which denies gun ownership to law abiding citzens.
    this is where we are.
    Why don’t you step up and help instead of indulging in obscurantic heel digging in?

  533. the whole prohibition argument turns back and forth on straw man and false dilemma,

    false dilemma

    A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and/or-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The options may be a position that is between two extremes (such as when there are shades of grey) or may be completely different alternatives.


    The notion that prohibition of gun ownership by all citizens is what is being asked/pushed for is not grounded in reality. It does not take notice that what is being asked for most concretely is a series of regulations to continue to allow law abiding citizens to own guns. It is all about either we have guns or we do not and arguing prohibition doesn;t work.
    Well, duh, on the prohibition doesn’t work dealie but now it’s a straw man- because that is not what is being talked about.

  534. What you get from the 2nd amendment does not reside in the actual words , it resides in your take on it.
    It was written to balance and address competing concerns from Federalists and Anti Federalists.

    “The wisdom of Madison’s approach to the resolution of the militia issue was born out by subsequent events. The language relating to the militia, which he chose for inclusion in what became the Constitution’s Second and Fifth Amendments, was specific enough to satisfy both the supporters of the Renaissance militia ideal and the advocates of the Enlightenment theories of liberal democracy. The approach, therefore, resolved most of the concerns that had been raised during the ratification process.”


    The militia ideal referred to came from a long history of mistrust of standing (especially in light of the mercenary type employed by monarchs ) armies and the other from a growing sense of what we now call “natural rights” .

    The natural-rights argument is one we Americans love but rarely look at in historical or logical context. It has some issues itself.

  535. Timmer-

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

    Straw Man


    A straw man or straw person, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally,[1][2] is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.[3] To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[3][4] This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues.

  536. Good morning, Pi – and Auntie Jean, and Cynthia, and Porch Dwellers – Yes; the TimmerSpeak sounds oh, so familiar… So far, however, he/she has left out the so-and-so “opined” phrase which was always one of my personal favorites…

    But I did like the statement about the right to “bare” arms – reminded me of FLOTUS, of course!

    And, as for the guns vs. weapons debate: I’d go so far as to say that a gun can be designated a “tool” when its butt end is used to drive a nail into a 2×4, and a hammer can be called a “weapon” when it’s used to smash someone’s head.

    I hope this doesn’t lead to a spate of “I Support The Right to Bear Tools” bumper stickers…


    They are full of all the holes found in straw man , false dilemma, and various other fallacies.”

    I disagree, show me otherwise.

    As for going through the hundreds of comments, no. This website is set up for a lazy administrator. It is too hard to follow and these short pages are to facilitate letting a thread run for months without having loading issues. While it is nice for the admin, it is too difficult to bother with for the end user.

    “The worn out guns-don’t-kill-people-do and the like doesn’t answer doodly squat .”

    That maybe so, but it is necessary. Inanimate objects are not capable of any action good or bad. Until people are willing to concede this point it needs to be hammered on over and over.

    The 2nd amendment was very clear why we need the right to keep and bare arms. But that is another issue I did not address.

    Prohibition was a major failure. It had the weight of the military and a constitutional amendment and still it could not be enforced. The war on drugs is a utter failure. It is because of this war and the way it is fought that criminal organizations are able to profit in the billions of dollars and tens of thousands of innocent lives are lost each year. What in your experience tells you things will be different with guns?

    I contend the people that are doing the deeds are the problem and that they should be our main focus. Why do you disagree?

    I agree with responsible ownership. If we can get our mental health services such that we can eliminate most people with issues getting guns, and we can educate people and through force of law compel them to responsibly store those arms so they do not fall into the wrong hands, would that not do far more than any restriction on the guns?

    Also not answered by anyone is why do you feel that punishing those using guns properly is the key? Why is limiting the freedom of our citizenry seem to be the only solution you can come up with?

  538. Oh for crap’s sake.
    Here we go again.
    Same old, same old.
    They are full of all the holes found in straw man , false dilemma, and various other fallacies. You can go back and read the hundreds of comments here ( our hostesses allow us to yab on quite a bit) poking holes in em.
    Things are going to change. Some guns might be prohibited, some folks won’t be able to have guns, etc. but guns are NOT going to be prohibited.
    Start THERE because that is where we are.
    Get on board and be part of the solution!
    The worn out guns-don’t-kill-people-do and the like doesn’t answer doodly squat . Neither does the only-criminals-will-have-guns routine.
    And screw the slippery slope argument, we live on a slippery slope in most of our sorting out of how to live together and get the best shake for all and each.
    We NEED guns where I live. They are not going to be prohibited. it may turn into a royal pain in the pazoo to deal with how to make some stuff work but as a society , it is time.

    Helen and Margaret-
    Thank you for having us all in. Sure hoping we hear from you soon.
    We’ve about worn this side of the record out her.


  539. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Dear Timmer on February 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Thank you for your self-edifying comment. In your concluding paragraph, you have identified yourself admirable and I do sincerely hope you will avail yourself of the help you need forthwith.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P.S. I’m sure may of us here on the porch recognize the style of Noah/Anonymous/et al in Timmer’s contributions. He has been off the right-wing payroll for quite a while.

  540. “Timmer – Yes Chicago has strict gun laws. Unfortunately the states surrounding Il do not, so where do you think they go for guns.”

    And yet these cities that you say are shipping in guns have lower crime rates. Explain to me how making them illegal effects those that do not obey the law in the first place? By default you are disarming the public at large and making them less safe. How is this a good thing in your mind?

    “A gun or a bullet has never killed anyone. A deranged individual has.”

    The 3 year old in this link was not deranged. If you google you will find more.”

    Apples and oranges. We WERE talking about guns and criminals and violent acts. NOT about adults storing their guns improperly.

    “How many people actually used their gun to protect themselves as compared to how many were killed by accident, anger or drunkenness?”

    Show me some statistics after you explain what does one have to do with the other. A gun is a tool. Like all tools it can be used right or it can be used wrong. Point being is often times the private citizen is outmatched even if the criminal is unarmed. If they are responsible adults, why should they be denied the right to defend themselves and their family. More to the topic of this particular point, why make laws that disproportionately effect the poor?

    “They didn’t ban these but they did make it more difficult to purchase. Has it happened since?”

    I am not sure what point you thinkyour making by this. That it has happened since, or even before, is proof of nothing. As for it being harder, I have ZERO problems getting either. I just put in 75 gallons of diesel in my truck and before the snow hit I purchased 22 bags of fertilizer for my front and back yard and garden.

    “Theirs is not the only argument that is utterly ridiculous. Do you have anything other than right wing talking points to offer?”

    I think this is dismissive talk out of lack of anything to honestly refute my argument. As for being talking points, this to me is just pure logic talking. Please feel free to show me how a gun kills someone. Explain to me how prohibition worked. Show me how well the war on drugs has worked. Explain to me the logic behind limiting the rights and freedom of those living a good life and obeying the law is the best way to deal with those who are not.

    I have given sound reasoning why this is ineffective and why it makes us less safe. Make a logical argument and show me why I am mistaken. Don’t dismiss me out of hand just because my view differs from yours.

  541. Hi, Cynthia – “Timmer’s” arguments are SO ENDLESSLY DRAGGED OUT FOR DISPLAY (almost verbatim) that I think someone (might we take a guess at which organization?) must be writing them up and distributing them, so that self-proclaimed “reasonable” bloggers can just paste them in as if the thoughts are their own… even down to that absurd argument about banning fertilizer (or baseballs, or scissors, or cars) that is always thrown in as if it had some relevance. (Oh, yes, and there’s always that penultimate little snarky bit about how “you” ought to do something to improve your thinking, having been exposed to such brilliance and logic…)

    I hope he takes his lecturing to the eighty-plus percentage of Patriotic Americans, and the seventy-plus percentage of both gun owners AND NRA MEMBERS, who WANT universal background checks and a limit on amounts of ammunition sold, and who think both those things would be effective. He might also want to inquire as to why the NRA has spent so much time and money to make sure that the vast amount of information on “deranged individuals,” WHICH ALREADY EXISTS, does not get into any nationwide data base. When LaPierre pontificates (in a complete turnaround from his position in 1999) that “background checks don’t work,” he knows damned well why they don’t – they don’t because the gun manufacturers won’t let them happen, and his organization is their mouthpiece.

    On the other hand, YOUR points are well-thought-out and informative, as always – especially about the degree of “derangement” in the mind of the toddler who was killed by the pink hand gun.

    Keep up the good work…


  542. Timmer – Yes Chicago has strict gun laws. Unfortunately the states surrounding Il do not, so where do you think they go for guns. Also too there, 1200 cops retired in 2011/12 and they have only hired 200 to replace them. The Chicago cops say they need more cops on the streets like they had in the 80’s that now have reached retirement age.

    “A gun or a bullet has never killed anyone. A deranged individual has.”

    The 3 year old in this link was not deranged. If you google you will find more.


    “The people that live in some of the highest crime areas would be left helpless if we were to take your advice.”

    How many people actually used their gun to protect themselves as compared to how many were killed by accident, anger or drunkenness?

    “Fertilizer and diesel fuel were his weapons of choice. Are you going to ban these items or making them to expensive to own?”

    They didn’t ban these but they did make it more difficult to purchase. Has it happened since?

    “No disrespect, but I don’t think you have thought passed the end of your nose and the rest of your argument is utterly ridiculous.”

    Theirs is not the only argument that is utterly ridiculous. Do you have anything other than right wing talking points to offer?


  543. http://truth-out.org/news/item/14255-the-legacy-of-chattel-slavery-private-prisons-blur-the-line-between-real-people-and-real-estate-with-new-irs-property-gambit

    I heard a discussion (as I remember) regarding private prisons and–

    1. Why immigration reform is slow in coming. In AZ one private prison corp. receives $11m a month to house Illegals.
    2. Why they want judges to be elected rather than appointed. Easier to buy a judge that will put people in jail.
    3. Why they want to drug test students in MN. Put them in jail; take away their right to vote or have a decent job especially those of color.
    4. The private prisons will have a steady supply of “slave” workers which can be put to work making furniture etc which can be sold for money. Like LA after the C.W. – the chain gangs; work them until they drop and get more prisoners from the state.
    5. One private prison corp. contract reads they be guaranteed a 90% occupancy rate.
    6. Private prisons may not hire “professional” guards; provide health care, adequate food to prisoners etc. – what ever they can do to cut costs for them – not the government.
    And more

    It seems it all connected to a means of making money!


  544. I am afraid your logic escapes me ladies.

    1. There are over 200 million guns in circulation. How do you plan on dealing with this? Having the President’s sick his private security force on the American people?

    2. Chicago and DC have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the land and lead the nation in gun violence. How again will more gun laws help?

    “But even I can grasp the concept that guns designed to shoot 30 bullets in 10 seconds or 100 rounds without reloading have no business being sold in the first place.”

    Anyone competent with their weapon can change out a clip in under 3 seconds. Why spend all the time an energy on something that will have almost no impact on gun violence.

    I wonder why the focus is on the symptom and not the problem. A gun or a bullet has never killed anyone. A deranged individual has. Why not focus on making sure these individuals never get a gun in the first place. Since when do we in this country punish the majority who use a tool properly because of the few who choose to use it for illegal purposes?

    “Creating a market where bullets are more expensive than a McDonald’s hamburger might be worth considering as well.”

    First, what will this do to the people that are the problem, namely the criminal? You can make them $10,000 a bullet and the criminal will steal them all the same. Second, I am surprised that a person of your political persuasion would make a suggestion that affects the poor more than anyone else. The people that live in some of the highest crime areas would be left helpless if we were to take your advice.

    No disrespect, but I don’t think you have thought passed the end of your nose and the rest of your argument is utterly ridiculous. You are thinking with your heart not your head. If making things illegal worked in this country, prohibition would still be the law of the land, and drugs would be impossible to obtain.

    By your logic we should make cars illegal because some people kill with them while being drunk. Deranged people bent on doing bad things will find a way. Timothy McVeigh managed to kill a lot of adults and children without firing a single bullet. Fertilizer and diesel fuel were his weapons of choice. Are you going to ban these items or making them to expensive to own?

    I hope you can see that this path leads to nowhere and does nothing to make anyone more safe. Gun laws only work on the people who obey laws, and they were never the problem in the first place. We need tougher mental health screenings to help better identify these people early on and get them the help they need so they never have the desire or the opportunity to commit these horrific acts.

  545. Another reason not to have “cute” guns in the house:



  546. Andy Borowitz on the NRA:



  547. I would like to draw your attention to a very moving video/song by singer/songwriter John Flynn in Delaware. I am a fan of his work – he tells it like it is, very movingly – with insightful social commentary. He posted this video on youtube and got lots of vitriolic remarks from gun lobby-types. But this simple song brings tears to my eyes….http://johnflynn.net/

  548. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, now I know why you are no fan of Ray Lewis. Neither am I now. I saw him on a pre-kickoff Super Bowl interview. Talk about a steady stream of rationalizations followed by self-congratulatory platitudes. Wadda guy! He is a real prince! Just ask him, he’ll tell ya! He nearly blew out his triceps pattin’ himself on the back! BTW, do you know whatever became of the Orioles?

    Oh well, the Super Bowl is history for another year. Next time, it could be the Steelers, the 49’ers, the Broncos, even the Patriots for all we know.

    On to another topic. Does anybody here know how to put in italics, boldface and diacritical marks in comments? I used to know in our old operating system but I lost it.

    And so, back to politics as usual. Things are looking up for us progressives right now but we know the right wing will be up to their usual tricks if we don’t stay on our toes. It’s not that easy when each of us have our own little canoes to paddle along. Cynthia, you are doing a good job of keeping us informed with your insightful links.

    I am really looking forward to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. It should be a real barnburner!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  549. Hey, Lurker – The niece of a friend of ours was in that group…

    I agree; we must remain warriors. And there are no stronger warriors than women in service of the good. I’m still in contact with the guy who was so welcoming at my neighboring shooting range, and finally got my act together to contact the manager of that range to ask for his help, as well.

    Did you see the thing about how the NRA “solicits” new members? If that article is factual, a whole bunch of NRA members have been coerced into being so. They have their own consciences to deal with, and everybody handles things as best as they can. But this group does NOT represent the majority of gun owners…


  550. I get concerned when Helen goes too long without posting, because of course we never know when her blogging days will end. However, long absences – especially when not in the election cycle – are pretty normal for them. Meanwhile, we need to keep being warriors for what’s right! I can’t believe all I’ve learned or gotten to participate in with the gun control thing in the past couple of months. The more I learn the more I realize I need to learn. It’s agonizing and rewarding. Keep fighting the good fight! Don’t sit back and assume someone else will fight on your behalf!

    I had no idea those Sandy Hook kids would be singing at the big game last night. I was so caught off guard that I had to leave the room. I’m sure they were full of beauty and love, and I feel terrible that all I could focus on was their loss. However, the loss was theirs and not mine to co-opt, you know? And if I don’t keep plugging away I’ll be letting them all down. Forward!

  551. Hey, Cynthia – I think “All of the Above” is the correct answer, once again. Wish i could laugh about this more than I can at the moment. Maybe tomorrow…


    WHERE ARE M&H, and MATTHEW!!??

  552. Think the NRA is crazy or paranoid?
    497 people or organizations the NRA has placed on it’s “enemies list”.



  553. Hey, Cynthia – Love Charlie. And I don’t think the GOP IS very credible these days. Feel sorry for my dear husband, who doesn’t know what to do with his lifelong party affiliation. But he’s hanging in there – he’s dropped Faux for BBC World News America. A good thing!

    I’m gettin’ a little more and more worried about M&H, I must say…


  554. An interesting take on things:

    “….But I think the primary reason that the president’s numbers are heading into puppies-and-fluffy-bunnies territory lies in his ongoing campaign — by means both explicit and implicit — to delegitimize the Republican party as a credible opposition party.”



  555. We were going to serve dirty martinis at our party, in honor of Lewis, but decided he wasn’t worthy of center stage! Lol instead we are trying a new Mardi Gras martini. It’s meant to taste like a king cake. I sill letcha know! Recipe: equal parts “king cake vodka” ( if you cant find that use vanilla vodka with a pinch of almond extract) and Bailey’s Irish cream. 1/2 part Grand Marnier dust top with cinnamon.. add a baby andy some beads and it’s party time! Lol

    I bet it would be good with cupcake vodka too!

  556. Oh and he is a linebacker for the Raven’s. He says this will be his last game. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  557. Auntie Jean….he was indited for the murder of 2 men. He took a plea and rolled over on his 2 companions and was convicted with obstruction of justice. He was slapped on his wrist and sent on his way. After paying off the 2 victims families he found Jezwiz and all is right with the world now…… all and all a real douche!

  558. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Happy Groundhog’s Day everyone! Punxsutawney Phil did his thing so it won’t be long now till spring.

    lori and gato, to humor our two sons in the Bay Area, we will be having rice-a-roni with my White Zin and ‘boy toy’s’ beer. lori, who the hell is Ray Lewis and what has he done to incur your wrath?????

    I SHOULD know something about football by now. I’ve frozen through many a game in the bleachers. Nice sitting in comfy warmth in the living room watching the infamous Super Bowl ads though. There are usually more commercials than game time.

    BTW, do you know about the “Living Will”? The old lady tells her kids, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependant on machines and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens to me, just pull the plugs.” So they got up, unplugged the TV and the computer and threw out her wine.

    The little bastards!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  559. Hey, Lori, and Porch Sitters All – Crab cakes and a special martini sound good to me. We’re going to share it with some friends who have one of those giant TVs, where every player’s nostrils are so large they look like caves into which one could too easily disappear…

    Some good GFs are always there, and we usually spend our time wondering why this football thing is such a big deal for the guys we love.

    For me, the great thing is that it’s taking place in New Orleans, a city which refused to die, and which refuses to knuckle under… I’m sure they still have Big Oil interests wishing that all the residents would leave so it can just be a port, but don’t think that’s going to happen. Some have had to leave, but not everybody.

    And who cares if Beyoncé lip-syncs or not? Anybody?

    The woman is cool… And so are all of you on The Porch!

    Hey, M&H, we miss hearing from you! Hope all is well…


  560. LoL LoL auntie Jean…. mitt and ME! I can’t carry a tune in a bucket nor could I tell if anyone else could. BUT my older sister the music teacher can. LoL and I have heard her say, many times over the years exactly what you just said as she too has critiqued many a vocal and instrumental performance for me. Lol

    Actually this year’s SP leaves me in a conundrum. I absolutely HATE the Ravens (better know as the RAT BIRDS in Pittsburgh) and I especially HATE Ray Lewis but yet if the 49s win they will tie the Steeler ‘s with six Super Bowl winssss soooooo what’s a fan to do?

    I guess I will enjoy our special Super martini s, crab cakes and rice a roni. :)

    CHEERS ALL…….. have a fun weekend and leave politics for next week. Xo

  561. Hi Congenial Gang,

    With the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday, I have an idea that you, lori and jsri will be glued to your TVs along with everybody else. Beyonce has been getting quite a bit of media coverage about her lip-sync rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at President Obama’s inauguration. To be invited to perform at such an auspicious occasion is indeed an honor.

    Here’s my assessment of her performance(s). She is a very attractive young woman with plenty of stage presence and poise. She has a lovely natural voice with a remarkable range. But……there is always a qualifier isn’t there and everybody’s a music critic.

    She tends to go a tad flat and take a breath before she goes up and NAILS the high notes. Those are the toughies! Just as in speaking, most of us finish a sentence before taking a breath and going on to the next sentence. In music, a “sentence” is called a “phrase”. So when she sings this Sunday, LIVE, in front of a gazillion people around the world, the pressure is on for her to sing it RIGHT without flubbing it. That’s enough stress to take her breath away!!! It is important for her to belt it out, even with a microphone, with a smooth flow of the lyrics without noticeable or audible breaths interrupting or between phrases.

    A good voice coach could easily correct those minor little glitches with some lessons in Breath Control. It all starts in the diaphragm. (That’s BREATH CONTROL, not BIRTH CONTROL.)

    Anyway, bless her heart, I wish her luck. I sure wouldn’t want to be in her shoes Sunday!

    In the past few decades, many, many performers have been stylizing the Star Spangled Banner with embellishments. That’s OK I guess. It does individualize the execution of the piece. It is a quite difficult number to sing well. Did you know the poem (lyrics) written by Francis Scott Key was set to an originally old English drinking tune? Personally, I would prefer if our National Anthem were “America the Beautiful”. I think it more accurately personifies the spirit of our country and its people. And ANYONE can sing it!

    Well, with the possible exception of the tone deaf Mitt Romney.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  562. Oops! Typo above. Correction. It’s the LHC for Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. Sorry to mis-inform first time.

    Auntie Jean

  563. Hi Congenial Gang,

    You thought I had left the building, din’ya. Not so fast! I’m like a bad penny that keeps turning up. However, I just finished reading a fascinating book and I want to share with you what I have learned from it. I have a fairly solid background in biology and chemistry, but I have always been a lightweight in physics. Now I know all there is to know from start to finish about the Big Bang, spacetime, electromagnetic fields and waves; quarks, muons, nutrinos, black holes and stuff.

    The book is a NOVEL about physics. Whoever heard of a non-fiction TOME to learn about physics? The book is “fizz, nothing is as it seems” by Zvi Schreiber. This is his brief bio from the book.. He is obviously a brilliant man.

    “Educated at the University of Cambridge and at Imperial College, London, Zvi earned a B.A. in Mathematics, a Ph.D. in computer sciences and a M.Sc. in theoretical physics. His M.Sc. thesis, ‘The Nine Lives of Schrodinger’s Cat’ surveys interpretations of quantum mechanics and is quoted on Wikipedia.

    “Zvi Schreiber is best known as a tech entrepreneur, having built up several software startups, one of which – Ghost – was also a pioneer of
    Palestinian-Israeli business cooperation. He is involved in community computer rooms for the benefit of Palestinian and Israeli children and adults. He is currently CEO of Lightech, which produces power supplies for energy-efficient LED lighting. Born in London, Zvi lives with his family in Jerusalem, Israel.” He is in his early 40′s and has a brood of children.

    The book is a wild ride of quasi-science fiction starting with Aristotle, through Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Hawking to name a few of the biggies in the physic world; ending with a scenic trip through the LHD at CERN.

    The book was in some respects a tough read for me since much of it was way, way over my head. I had to re-read some of the chapters several of times before I “got it”. He even takes on epistemology and ontology along with metaphysics! Still, it was well worth the time and effort I put into reading it.

    If you decide to take it on, be sure to read the acknowledgements at the back of the book first and then his notes on each chapter where he explains what is historical and what is his, shall we say, poetic license.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  564. Personally IDC how responsible anyone is or isnt. IDC how a person spells it or describes it. IDC who belongs to what club. Assult style weapons and magazine type ammo has no place in a civi society and we must not tolerate this barbaric culture.

  565. Hi, again, Terri, and Lori – Bottom line, as I’m lookin’ at it, is that anything that can be done to drive a WEDGE, AND A REALLY BIG ONE, between “responsible gun owners” (or, RGO’s, as I’m starting to think of them) and the NRA is, IMHO, a really good thing… Because, obviously, pro-gun people are the CUSTOMERS of the manufacturers who send their millions to prop up the NRA. And when THOSE individuals start to threaten the bottom line, and say that the NRA does NOT speak for all of them, then, I believe, we will start to see some response… If the NRA loses support from a good chunk of those whom it purports to “represent,” they will – perhaps – follow Karl Rove down that long lonely road to irrelevancy… (Actually, it didn’t take long for Karl, did it…?)

    To be perfectly blunt here, one gun owner’s voice protesting the proliferation of military style weapons, and supporting, at the very least, universal background checks, is probably “worth” the voices of at least fifty of us Commie, anti-American, tree-huggers, to gun makers and the NRA…

    BTW, I do not mean to imply that every company that manufactures firearms is totally irresponsible. It is the unholy alliance of the Four Horsemen of greed, “acceptable” violence, paranoia, and mindless machismo that must be held responsible – and disempowered.


  566. Thanks for the correction Gato. You’re right, the account I read (more closely this time) identified the hecklers as “NRA supporters.”

  567. Yup Terri… disgusting … the time has come to stop the sale of these barbaric wespons to civilian population.

    We must fight these paid lobbyists by calling them out whenever they show their ugly heads.

    You go girl!

  568. Hi, Terri – Yes; I am quite ashamed of some of my fellow CT residents about that… However, according to what I’ve read about the hearing, those who were shouting “Second Amendment” were identified only as “pro-gun advocates,” not specifically as NRA members. (They may or may not have been; I don’t know.)

    Here’s why I think remembering that distinction is important: Not every gun-owner is pro-NRA; in fact, plenty of them are disgusted by much of the NRA’s recent behavior – most notably LaPierre’s speech immediately after Newtown, and their releasing the new iPhone app “for children” (“NRA: Target Range,” or some such thing) one month to the day after that massacre. IMHO, it would be a rare “responsible gun owner” who would find that to have been a fine idea. (As I’ve mentioned, the members of the gun club with whom I spoke shut down all of their shooting activities for almost a month following that tragedy, out of their own sense of respect, grief, and decency.)

    The NRA likes to represent itself as speaking for “all responsible gun owners,” and much of their clout is braced up by that fabrication. If we assume that everyone who is “pro-gun” is also “pro-NRA,” I think we only help the NRA maintain that delusion – and, frankly, I don’t want to help that particular organization “maintain” one single damned thing!

    I continue to believe that there are sane and responsible people – and the requisite number of wingnuts – on both sides of this issue. And they must work in concert to make progress on stemming the tidal wave of gun violence in this country.

    I absolutely agree with you, though, that anyone shouting about his or her “right” to ANYTHING while someone is talking about the loss of his child is absolutely repugnant.


  569. Here’s something to make you cringe: the father of a six-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook shooting was heckled by NRA members at the CT state capitol. That seems to me to be the ultimate in cruelty.

  570. Hi Congenial Gang,

    So what are the common denominators that bring people together? Here are a couple of tidbits that may be clues to how that happens. As the power of the far flung Roman Empire had crumbled and the Renaissance had come along, Italy as we know it today was a collection of feudin’, fightin’ little city states. It was held together tenuously by the power and money of the Vatican. The autocratic hierarchy of the Church had become way too heavy handed in its authoritarianism of strict literal interpretation of the Bible times of Moses and Jesus. The Inquisition is only one extreme example.

    The Renaissance was accompanied by the rise of the humanities; literature, art, music, sculpture, science and the resulting technology. Probably the most important development was widespread LITERACY.

    As some of you know, I have a rather extensive background in music. I love it! All kinds of music! But I am especially a Grand Opera buff. I think music is definitely one of the most important factors in bringing people together. Witness the phenomena of Elvis, the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Western Music culture in our country.

    Grand Opera more or less began in Italy and many of them are written in that language. Italians then and now take their opera very seriously. It is not uncommon to see musicians and singers on many a street corner. And often people go around humming “La donne e mobile” or O mia babbino caro”. At formal performances, the audience knows the music so well, it is not unusual for them to boo and hiss the lead soprano or tenor off the stage if they don’t sing it right!!!

    I’m sure you know about the Catholic Index of forbidden books. Galileo’s for one. The Church and political leaders were heavily into censorship too. Nothing derogatory was to be said or written about the Church, kings or the nobility under pain of charges of heresy. Authors and composers weaseled around the sensors by taking enormous liberties of literary license. Giuseppe Verdi (“Joe Green” in English) was no exception. In his forgettable rarely performed opera, “Nabucco” all the bad guys and gals too get their just deserts. The good guys and gals live happily ever after. Its melodrama to the max!!!

    However, there is a very famous chorus that is often performed now, “Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate”. It is beautiful! YouTube it. There are a number of offerings but I like the Met.2002 performance best. “Va pensiero” caught on with the Italian populace so much that they went around singing it. That music is credited by many with uniting Italy. She has had a stormy history along the way but is emerging into a thriving democracy today. People still go around humming “Va, Pensiero.”

    OK. I think I’ve done enough damage around here. So I’m outta here for now. You’re on your own, gang.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  571. Hi Congenial Gang,

    gato, Terri and Cynthia, affectionately known elsewhere as “Cyn”, toldja.
    Pfesser/Heather/Che/he/she/it is not the first, nor probably will not be the last. One of his cronies tried to sic the Feds on me. Didn’t work. It did make me shut down the comment section of my website though. Bullshit takes up too much time. It was 10-12 years old anyway. However, this ole grannie will not be intimidated, no matter who or what.

    FYI, “Auntie” here in Hawaii is considered a term of endearment to “Calabash Ohana”. “Ohana” means “Family”. if you eat out of the same “Calabash bowl” together, that confers the same rights and privileges as blood relatives. I consider my M&H’s porch friends Calabash Family. Unfortunately, every family has an odd member or two.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  572. PF–how’s this–you’re a boring boor.

  573. Gato – Cynthia/Cindy I am known by both names depending upon when we first met. No big deal.

    It makes one wonder if he is just a b*llshiter or a stalker. A bit too creepy either way.

    Actually Pfesser’s name is Pfisser – the f is silent but again all depends upon when you first met him.



  574. Hi, Cynthia – So now you are addressed as “Cindy”?

    Some Victorian statement is crossing my mind, something like, “Sir. Your attentions to my person are not welcome, and I find your behavior inappropriate and repellant. Please restrain yourself from any further comments, lest I be called upon to engage my solicitor.”

    Or something like that. This, of course, is the web, and things are different here.

    But creepy is creepy, wherever it shows up. And this dude is getting ever creepier.


  575. Neat video of the power of an armed citizen against 5 (five) thugs:

    Nice try, Cindy, but generally occurrences are bores. Also gun barrels. People are boors. Sometimes Boers.


  576. I would like to highly recommend the essay “Guns” by Stephen King. It’s available as a Kindle Single (too long for a magazine, too short for a book) for 99 cents. Many excerpts can be found via Google, but the entire essay is a must read.
    Mr. King speaks passionately yet reasonably about the need for stronger gun control legislation. As a gun owner himself, he knows all of the arguments and addresses each of them in turn.
    It’s an easy and quick read, and I think that most of you who are following this thread would appreciate it.

  577. Gato – have you considered – boar – as in male chauvinist pig

    Pfesser – according to Merriam-Webster your super superior intelligence needs an update or perhaps an attitude adjustment, eh?


    5 BORE noun
    Definition of BORE
    : one that causes boredom: as
    a : a tiresome person
    b : something that is devoid of interest


  578. Hey, Walleye – Nice work!

    Interesting that Fesser prefers to be called a “boor”… Someone who is rude, with no manners.

    Maybe the answer is “all of the above”!


  579. Pfesser

    You missed the definitions of bore that apply most aptly to you.

    1. “A person whose talk or behavior is dull and uninteresting.”
    2. “A steep-fronted wave caused by the meeting of two tides or by the constriction of a tide rushing up a narrow estuary.”
    In the second case it is your hot air rather than water.

  580. lori – Thanks I knew about VA. You are right about the comment section – interesting. I especially enjoyed the new name for republicans – Banana Republicans!


  581. Hi, Terri – Must admit I didn’t quite get the “lightbulb equals gun” thing… But at least I didn’t make any grammatical errors… If somebody wants to spend a lot of time looking up every shooting range within a hundred miles of Newtown, CT, so be it. Talk about obsessions…!


  582. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks lori for your comment on January 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM. I took the time on a rainy Sunday afternoon to read the link and its comments in the entirety. VERY INTERESTING!!!

    I think it just goes to show that since the Republicans have NO constructive or innovative solutions to problems the country faces, they go out of their way to create new ones. And as usual they are up to their old tricks of trying to steal the 2014-2016 elections since they very well know they can’t win fair and square.

    You know, trying to change the filibuster rule in congress to give them selves an edge. The usual gerrymandering shenanigans; how many decades have they been using that tired old strategy. And then they can always fall back again on the not so sub rosa voter disenfranchisement by hook or by crook. You know, all us “unpleasant” demographics based on race, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, hair styles, food preferences and pet animal choices. Native Americans? Oops! They were singled out and explicitly excluded by the CONSTITUTION! Does anybody know if that prohibition has ever been challenged? I almost forgot the District court ruling that Obama’s recess appointments for judges was unconstitutional. For sure, that will be going all the way to the Supreme Court but odds are they won’t even give it a hearing let alone uphold it. But as we know, that takes lots and lots of time and can hinder plenty of the nation’s business being attended to.

    I suppose it gives the Republicans sumpin’ to do to try at least to prove to them selves that that are even a little bit relevant. And so they blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah……..

    That is why it is so very important for us progressives to stay alert especially at the local level and spread the word about the mischief the conservatives are up to in our neck of the woods.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  583. Hey, Lori – It’s just a constant source of fascination (among many other things) to me that so many of those who cast themselves as the “true Americans” seem so determined to do their damndest to make sure that “America” is run solely by themselves – a democracy “of SOME people, by SOME people, and for SOME people,” as it were. And all the while posturing that they are reflecting the true intentions of the Constitution…


  584. Hey Gato,
    His use of Hussein to refer to the president bugs me. And then he follows it up with a pointless, long-winded, self-aggrandizing story about guns (or something, who knows?) and it becomes unbearable. I will try to ignore him from now on, but truly, he is an ass.

  585. Pfesser with an e – “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.” Following in the footsteps of Pres. Obama, we’re calling you (and Fox and Limbaugh and Ailes and Murdoch and Koch) out!

  586. Hello friends!

    Cynthia did u c this http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/27/1182006/-If-it-is-not-stopped-the-Republican-war-on-democracy-will-tear-this-nation-apart?

    It goes to what u were talking about the other day. I especially enjoyed the comment section.

  587. Hi, Terri – I was thinking maybe the Fesser had been banned from the Porch… Evidently not!

    As someone said when Romney announced at some GOP luncheon recently that he wasn’t going to disappear… “Drat! I was hoping he would put himself out of our misery.” (I posted that earlier, so you may have already seen it…)


  588. Hi Terry – it’s Fesser, not Fessor. And it’s boor, not bore. Bore is what the bullet travels down.

  589. By the way, Topcat: I don’t want the names – just the name of the gun club. HT to Google Maps for showing me all those around the area of the killings, so it won’t take long to check your story out.

    Can you do that? What’s the matter? Gato got your tongue?

  590. Pfessor, you really are an ass. And your stupid stories are neither amusing or enlightening. You must be the biggest bore on the Internet.

  591. I just saw the ultimate in hilarity and had to share it:

    Headline: Obama_Says_He_Has_Actually_Fired_Guns.


    Do tell? Check that box off; he’s really a man; he’s actually fired a gun.

    Hussein has actually fired guns………. Right you are… Jesus Christ; he doesn’t know which end of the tube the round comes out of.

    Reminds me of one of my old partners, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfathers were all doctors. One day at lunch he said to me, “My father told me yesterday that he had never seen HIS father without a necktie. He also told me that he wasn’t sure he would know how to change in a light bulb; he had always hired it done.” Seeing my aghast look, he hurried to add: “But I know how to change a lightbulb.” (shoot a gun)

    I stared at him for a full minute. I finally said, “Good for you, Dick. Let me tell you something: When they drop the big bum, as my granddad used to call it, and the world turns to chaos, don’t you come ’round my farm for me to feed you. You would be of no use whatsoever, and another mouth to feed, besides. If you stick your head over the fence, I’ll shoot it off.”

    I don’t think he saw any humour in that.

    That’s because I wasn’t kidding.

    …..Hussein has fired guns. HAAAAAAAAHAAAAHHHHAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

  592. Hi, Auntie Jean – THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING! IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY! WTF could they possibly have been “thinking”…? Probably “thinking” that there are still plenty of people out there who get their rocks off looking at big black weapons, splatters of blood, and “witches” who should be burned at the stake and/or pulverized to bits. Good god…

    Let me speak candidly: I jus’ wanna puke on this…


  593. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Here’s a U. S. cultural meme for ya, delurkergurl. In yesterday’s local newspaper there was a review and some pictures of a new movie release of a remake of the “Hansel and Gretel” fairy tale. Hansel and Gretel are a couple of gun-totting bounty hunters, tracking down witches.. The Grimm brothers must be spinning around like a couple of whirling dervishes in their graves.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  594. Perhaps the news media will start doing their job again.

    “Its going to shake the industry up in a lot of ways,” Gara added. “I mean you’ve basically got a not-for-profit, 24-hour news network launching here. This is a company that does not do things based on a financial or economic rationale.”



  595. Hi Delurker, friends!,

    The GOP had their winter retreat the other day to discuss the whippin they took this last time around and tore elect their Party chairman . Apparently they thought Reince Priebus did such a good job as Chairman last time around they decided to keep him around. Good news for us!

    The new and improved Reince Priebus made the rounds yesterday telling the world that his party has had a rebirth and awakening,an Oprah ah ha moment. Yup it’s true Reince Priebus has admitted they haven’t done a very good job at presenting their message with a smile. He told CNN alllll his party needs to do is smile more and allllllll will right with the word. Blacks, Hispanics, women, poor, will come runnnning to the GOP and their “message”, because of course it’s the RIGHT message (all pun intended) if only the Party would smile while delivering the word of conservative’s.

    ‘I think that is kind of like the proctologist hanging ;-) signs in their waiting room and thinking people will hop skip and jump to their office even though they will still be receiving the same treatment once they arrive.

    Good luck with that Reince Priebus… good luck with that……

    I think the GOP would be better served to listen to Bobby Jindal’s speech at the same retreat. The one where he suggests the GOP should trust the intelligence of the American electorate… and not be “the stupid party”.

    Ya think???????? LOL LOL

  596. Just had to stop by to laugh with my friends here. I keep hearing the meme that the president’s kids get armed security but that’s too good for the rest of us… are his kids somehow more important?

    Duh. Yeah, they need more security but it’s not because they are more important. It’s because their father is, and nobody wants some hostage taker to be able to use his kids to force him to compromise the country in some way. It’s the way it’s ALWAYS been. If someone were to kidnap my child, the potential global consequences are pretty much 0. Not so much for the leader of the free world. I accept that. Who wouldn’t? Dumb, dumb talking point. Sadly very effective in certain demographics.

    And don’t get me started on the rifles -vs- fists meme. Foolish sheeple.

    I see Lori’s number one fan is ripping off her avatar… Seems intensely childish to me but I hear imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Congrats, Lori, I guess?


  597. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Speaking of cutting Federal spending, here are some statistics for ya. Look them up in various sources to verify for yourself if you don’t believe me. I would but I don’t know how. Perhaps some of you more computer savvy folks could and then post the links. I don’t know how to do that either. Peas, you are the computer genius around here. Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top and a cherry pie for good measure?

    The U. S. has 6% of the world’s population and has 41% of the world’s military expenditures, not counting veteran’s benefits. That is more than 15 other friendly COUNTRIES combined including NATO and China. It is also more that we spend on Social Security and Medicare.

    While you are at it, see if you can find out who are the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of any kind of guns, assault weapons, heavy arms, missiles, drones, you name it. We shouldn’t be surprised when some of those are shot back at us. Hey, we sold ‘em to ‘em! The taxpayer’s money goes to the DOD, no questions asked. The DOD budget is sacrosanct. It’s classified you see. Then the DOD buys the armaments from the manufactures so our taxpayer money goes right into the corporate coffers and naturally “administrative costs” for the salaries and stock options of their highest officials.

    And then there is our nuclear arsenal that we have to monitor and maintain with specialized technically trained personnel around the clock for years on end. Are we ever gonna use them? Of course not. But what about Iran and Korea? They are developing them so they can have the leverage to play in the Major Leagues with the Big Boys. In the meantime, especially in Korea, their people are starving. Oh well, there are some mighty inflated egos that need to be fed out there.

    Methinks something is outta whack here.

    What if these political leader guys took up the competition of pinochle or cribbage in their leisure time instead of saber rattling. Then maybe they could stop quibbling over available and adequate health care for their citizens.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  598. Hi, Auntie Jean – Love it! Didja hear about VP Joe setting things straight today, saying if you want to “defend yourself,” get a shotgun? May be seen to be controversial (and I can hardly wait to hear what the Foxters have to say about it), but at least he pointed out the idiocy of maintaining the delusional idea that any military weapon is appropriate, and “NECESSARY”, for personal “defense.” Nor is an F-15, or a tank. Those are “arms,” too, so I guess the NRA thinks anyone who wants to should be able to have one…

    Also really enjoyed reading your travelogues – The Russia story was great!

    BTW, I remember watching the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, and continue to think of the Veep as what I and my friends always called him then: “Cute Joe Biden.” He still is, and now older, wiser, and an even more wonderful piece of work. Wouldn’t we love to see/hear him with M&H…?


  599. Mornin’ Congenial Gang,

    I think the gun fanciers like to make a lot of noise about “Second Amendment Rights”, defending ones home and hearth, blah, blah, blah. Most of it is swaggering macho bluster to INTIMIDATE in order to get their way. Probably few of them have ever thought beyond that to being in a position to actually use deadly force. That goes for not only on a personal scale but politically and nationally.

    But more and more the hyperbole has started to backfire. People don’t believe in the boogieman under the bed anymore once they get to be grownups. And so the next step in the strategy is to whine. Didn’t Boehner say yesterday that Obama was trying to destroy the GOP? I thought they were doing a pretty good job of that all by themselves.

    Didja hear about Boehner going into the doctor’s office saying his body hurt wherever he touched it.

    “Impossible!” says the doctor. “Show me.”

    Boehner took his finger, pushed on his left shoulder and screamed. Then he pushed his elbow and screamed even more. He pushed his knee and screamed; likewise he pushed his ankle and screamed. Everywhere he touched made him scream.

    ‘”I thought so,” the doctor said, “Your finger is broken. You’re a Republican, aren’t you.”

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  600. hummmm I guess vote party line might be 3 words?.. LOL LOL how bout VOTE PARTY? .. that sounds right..

  601. Hiya Cynthia, friends!

    There is a pretty wide spread evidence that the Repubs attempt at voter suppression this election cycle back fired BIG TIME. Martin wrote a piece about this for CNN online a while back. I don’t think much of Martin as a political pundit per say, but he does know the African American community from a community activist perspective. On this issue I trust his judgement.

    The same goes for Citizen’s United. I believe it was a republican pundit, that wrote an article suggesting that the influx of corporate $ in the Rep primaries caused those races to go on much longer than otherwise would have. Consequently allowing Obama to use those summer months to “define” Romeny as the big business hatchet man in those awkward summer months that caught Romeny not only too broke to fight back but also busy fighting back people from his own party that should have long since dropped out of the race. Also take a look at Montana and North Dakota as two states where outside money flowing into the state worked against the GOP. Tester’s (D Montanta) surprising senate win and Heidi Heitkamp’s narrow victory (D ND) were, good examples of good old fashioned populists backlash. The people in the heartland were none to pleased about the Citizens United ruling. I think it was in Montana where the bipartisan group called Western Tradition Partnership got its sprouts.

    It’s ironic, but some might argue the birth of the Super Pacs have cost Mitch McConnell the majority in the last two cycles. The states with record number of SP $$ pouring into their states (like California and Illinois) took the big hits on their GOP congressional delegation as well!

    I think they are on the right track when pundits suggest all of these shadowy super pacs $ and private financiers, such as Koch and Adelson, has cause the GOP to rely too much on these fund raising methods. I think it has minimized the Republican candidates in so many races into nothing more than pawns for these guys outside agendas with little connection to the little people they are meant to represent and who actually!

    As far as Gerrymandering .. it happens… it shouldn’t, but it does. Two words VOTE PARTY LINE! lol lol

    AND I think the GOP needs to be careful what they wish for. ;-)

    But of course you’re right… we must always stay vigilant

  602. lori – you have far more faith than I. With all this voter ID, redistricting, Citizens United and now the Electorial College issues I fear they are really rigging the system to ensure the GOP always wins. I wonder just how much power or influence the sane moderate Republicans have to turn it around.


  603. <3 love you Mikat!

    Yup that was one of my fav themes too Pi.. But I must admit I loved the whole damn TONE of his speech. There was a time in the last 20 years that I wondered if I'd ever hear it on the national stage again.

    The GOP will come back. Contray to what we see on the face of the party now, there actually ARE people behind the scenes of the GOP that can read. ;-) and they are reading the same facts we are reading. They KNOW they HAVE to change if they have hope to get back to a national majority party. Personally, I hope that comes later rather than sooner.. LOL But I'll use what leverage we have right now to pull the country my way. ;-)

    Stay tough friends. ;-)

  604. Mikat, thanks for sharing your story. I have an acquaintance who lives in a remote area. An unstable man broke into his parents home and was beating his elderly parents. One of them managed to get out and get their son. He shot the assailant in the knee because he said he could not live with himself if he took someone’s life. This is from the man who’s elderly parents were severely beaten.

  605. Mikat, thanks for sharing such a personal story. It is also extremely illuminating about human nature. I think most of us would hesitate to take another human being’s life, no matter how heinous the person is. We cannot expect teachers and custodisns to accept that responsibilty on our behalf. Let’s just try to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally unstable. We can do it, if we find the will and put pressure on our lawmakers.

  606. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Mikat!!! Sooooo good to see you here once again. Yours is a chilling and thought provoking story.

    Here is the end of my Moscow tale. It got late and I was too tired to finish it last night.

    Part III of our Russian trip. Up on the sun deck I was chewing my fingernails off up to the elbows and wearing down a rut the planks of the floor. The ship sailed at 5:00PM. At 4:45PM the front desk paged me and said my husband was there. I flew down the stairs and hugged him! He was soaking wet because he had been caught in a brief heavy shower but he was grinning from ear to ear. Back in our cabin while he changed into some dry clothes I chewed him out and then he told me of his adventures. He had lingered a little too long in the men’s room. Too much borscht the night before at dinner? When he came out he couldn’t find me. He wandered all around looking for me in the crowd. Then he went to the designated meeting place outside and there was no sight of anyone in our group. Oops! He surmised correctly that I was with them and we had gone on ahead. BTW, in 2007, we were both in our mid 70’s + and no doubt looked it.

    What to do? Find a way to get back to the ship on his own. He asked a couple of policemen but they spoke no English. No help. In the crowd he heard an older couple speaking English to each other so approached them and told them his problem. They spoke Russian too. They advised him to take a cab to the business district and find a hotel with English speaking desk clerks. If worst came to worst, get to the American Embassy somehow. They told him the two Russian words to tell the cab driver. Business district. Business district. Business district.

    Dropped off on the sidewalk, he asked several people if they spoke English. Nyet. Then he spotted a couple of young men about the age of our sons. One of them was carrying a laptop computer. Da, they spoke English. He explained his plight and said if he could look up on the computer where the ship was docked he could take a cab there. They said no problem and invited him to come on into their office in an adjacent office building. My husband told one of them the name of the ship and the cruise line. The young man found the website for Uniworld River Cruise Line on the computer. Its headquarters happened to be in Los Angeles but showed the itinerary and where our ship was docked in Moscow.

    Fine. But as they pointed out, that was about an hour’s drive and did he have enough rubles for the fare. Uh, probably not but he had a credit card. OK, they would take him to a nearby bank to get some more rubles. As they were walking a few blocks to the bank they explained that sometimes cab drivers try to rip off customers by taking them on the “scenic route” to the destination. So the smart thing to do was negotiate the price of the fare ahead of time. Walking back toward their office, they got acquainted. Turns out they were a couple of stock analysts and gave him a few tips of good Russian companies to invest in! They hailed several cabs and bargained back and forth in Russian before they were satisfied with the price of the fare. The cabbie told them that the dock was restricted and he couldn’t drive directly to the ship but he knew a pedestrian tunnel under the highway nearby where my husband could walk a short distance to the ship. With big smiles and handshakes, my husband bid the two young men a hearty thank you and farewell.
    The cab ride took about an hour. When they got to the pedestrian tunnel, the cabbie got out with him and walked him through it. Sure enough, there was our ship about a half mile down the walkway by the river. My husband thanked him profusely as best he could in English and paid him with a handsome tip. They both went their separate ways with big smiles and handshakes. On the way, that’s when my husband got caught in the downpour and got soaking wet. He casually asked me if I had picked up his windbreaker from the cloak room – like at home, “Did you stop at the cleaners for my jacket?” That’s when I lost it and threw a pillow at him. Sheesh!

    The rest of the cruise on up to St. Petersburg was delightful! Nobody got lost.

    So does this sound like the Ruskies are all a bunch of bloodthirsty commies out to get us and destroy our way of life?

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  607. JSRI, Auntie, Lori, Gato and friends,
    I am here, I am always here. This is the first blog I check every morning. I simply love me some Margaret and Helen! I have been so impressed with you Gato, Please don’t ever go away. It may be tempting after arguing with the rable around here, but we need your calm and rational comments. You say what I would love to say in a much better way then I could. I do not have the education and writing skills required to go head to head with some of these “gentlemen”. Don’t get me wrong, I am every bit as intelligent as any of them!
    I am ex-military, I have used both hand guns and the MR16 military weapons. I know how to shoot and am actually pretty good at it. After reading the column JSRI copied in his comments this morning, I feel I need to give a little human perspective as well. Many years ago when my son was an infant, my ex husband stalked me constantly, he was a drug addict and had become very abusive. He would wait in the woods across the street from my home every morning. Once I left, he would break into my home and make himself comfortable, have breakfast, watch TV, find anything of value to sell for drug money. My neighbors would call the MP’s and they would go and “collect him”. You see since I lived on a military base and my ex was a civilian they had no jurisdiction over him. Since all this was happening on a military base the civilian police had no jurisdiction at all. My ex found a huge gaping loop whole and was taking full advantage of it! At night he would wait for me and bust the door down and beat me up. This happened over and over again. At one point on the way to the hospital in an ambulance the MP who was with me told me that I was the “property” of my ex and there was nothing they could do!!. One day my neighbor gave me one of his guns. Now if ever there was anyone who needed shooting, it was my ex! I took the gun and sat in my stairwell for hours, waiting. While I was waiting, I had plenty of time to think about what I was doing. I had been asured that if I shot my ex inside the house, I would be free from charges. None the less, I had time to think about harming another human being, shooting some one point blank. I came to realize that I am not that kind of person, I could not shoot some one, even though he needed it, I could not harm another human. I gave the gun back and the next time I got beat up and sent to the hospital my Superiors decided enough was enough and sent me back to Germany on a “threat to life” PC. I think that most people would agree with me, in particular teachers who are generally very thoughtful and caring people. I do not believe that there are very many people who, even in a situation that calls for it, could bring them selves to shoot another human being. Some of us are just not wired that way. To expect otherwise is to open the door to calamity. An armed teacher/sales clerk/taxi driver/business man/Healthcare professional can have his/her gun taken from them very, very quickly and used against them. Statistically, that is exactly what happens.
    More guns are not the answer. Frightenend, panicking people with guns is not the answer. This is not the wild west or the OK coral. You cannot expect anyone in a “suprise” attack to know who, what or where the “bad guy” is and how to take him out without harming others.
    No one is trying to take your guns away. We just don’t want anyone to be able to get guns or build an arsenal in their basement.
    Common sense people, common sense.

  608. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Part II of our Russian trip. When we arrived at the Moscow Kremlin Armory Museum by bus with our guide and group, we decided to check our windbreaker jackets in the cloak room. I put the claim check in my pocket along with my ship ID card. And so we toured the “Armory” all morning, had lunch there and had a fascinating time!

    After we exited the “Armory” the guide pointed out the rest rooms and then showed us where to meet outside for the rest of the tour. By then there was a HUGE crowd going into the museum and waiting outside too. It would be easy to get lost in the crowds. My husband didn’t show up! Usually he is the one pacing impatiently waiting for me to come out of the ladies’ room. We waited quite a while and a man in the group even went back into the men’s room to look for him. Not there. While we were waiting, I went back in to the cloak room and picked up our jackets. Finally the guide said we couldn’t hold up the tour any longer. My husband knew what our schedule was and where the bus was parked so maybe he would catch up. But it was panic time for me! Don’t ask me where we went or what we saw for the rest of the tour.

    It was about an hour’s bus ride back to where the ship was docked. I tipped the guide my last two American dollars and went up the gangplank with no husband, no passport and no money. Just the clothes on my back!

    Aloha! ;-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  609. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Let’s see. What do we think we know about Russia and her people. A bunch of commies for sure. Ivan the Terrible was, well, terrible. Stalin was a pathological monster. Kruschev pounded on the UN podium with his shoe and said he would bury us. Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall. What else? This is going to take a more than a few sound bites to tell it all.

    I have a hair-raising tale about our visit to Russia in 2007 on a river cruise from Moscow up to St. Petersburg on the Volga River with all the cities and towns along the way. Putin was president then and after being out of office for a while, is back in again. During some of the days of the Tsars, the capitol was moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg but in more recent times, moved back to Moscow.

    Some people like to save up all year to go to the Super Bowl, the World Series, Rock concerts or drop a bundle weekly in the neighborhood bar. We like cruising. After we retired we took one, sometimes two cruises a year. We had been to St. Petersburg before on a big ocean going Holland American cruise across the North Sea and the Baltic Sea from London to St. Petersburg. We wanted to go there again since there is NEVER enough time to see it all.

    Most of the cruise lines have a convenient procedure. When you first board, you go through the usual airport-like security. Then they take your picture and on the spot issue you a credit card type ID. So every time your get on or off the ship all you have to do is swipe your card. Simple, huh. You don’t have to be schlepping your luggage back and forth from airports and hotels. But unlike some of the other cruises we have taken, in Russia it was required to take your passport with you too whenever you left the ship.

    The Volga River cruise we were on had about 70 passengers I think. When we first boarded the ship in Moscow we were given the traditional welcome of bread and salt. You break off a piece of bread and dip it in the salt. That was nice. There has to be a story there but I don’t know what it is. We used the ship as a hotel for a few days while we toured Moscow before we sailed. Same when we got to St. Petersburg. They had guided tours of 10-15 people with English speaking guides extremely well informed in the history of the city and current local events. Or you could strike out on your own. Since the only Russian words we knew were “Da”, “Nyet”, “Pepsi” and “MacDonalds” we opted for the guided tours every time. The night before they had about an hour’s briefing on the next day’s tour.

    Moscow is of course a very large city with many, many fascinating historical attractions. We toured the sprawling Kremlin spread out over I don’t know how many acres. On the last day in Moscow we were to go to the “Kremlin Armory Museum”, a vast museum where they display the Crown Jewels, elaborate vestments of the officials of the Russian Orthodox Church, Faberge Eggs, that sort of thing. Google it. At the briefing we were advised that because of the priceless contents of the museum, we women would have to check our purses in the cloak room before entering. My husband and I discussed it and decided I would just leave my purse in the safe in our cabin. He could carry both of our passports in his shirt pocket. He gave me a few American one dollar bills since it is often a courtesy to tip the rest room attendant. I put those in a pocket of my blouse along with my ship ID card. We had exchanged cash at our bank for rubles before we left home at a rate of 2,200 rubles for 100 American dollars. And of course, we had credit cards that are honored everywhere. We could get more rubles from the front desk of the ship whenever we wanted some more. My husband carried the money and cards in his wallet in his front pocket. So we were all set.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  610. gato- we have a lot of doofs here too, same as everywhere.
    We’ll just have to keep plugging away.

  611. lori-
    I was thinking about you some when I heard the speech and then went to read the text :-) We far, far lefties have been waiting to hear some of that for a long time, eh?
    Now, if he can, with all our help, tug us back to true center, and maybe even get one toe back into the lovely left !
    I left this on my favorite Alaskan blog- Mudflats
    Remarks about my favorite piece of Mr Obama’s speech :

    All the yapping about liberty,freedom, and American exceptionalism by the far right in recent years has rested on ignoring great wide swaths of American experience to the contrary to prop itself up. The continual rejection of groups of Americans , the marginalization of so many, the attempt to exclude so many, mark the far right’s shaky stance on personal and societal responsibility.

    Mr Obama struck the right chord with me here:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    “Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. ”

    Human institutions have a habit of taking on lives of their own. Constant attendance betwixt and between what we say we are doing and what it is all shaking out to be for real people is necessary to carry out, accomplish, make real our goals.
    Our goals, as briefly outlined by Mr Obama in this address, include breathing life back into real, workable notions of community in relation to the individual.
    I’m heartened , I have some hope we have turned a corner here.
    Lots of work ahead…

  612. Hey, Terri – It was indeed a lovely day yesterday… And today, more gun deaths at yet another school, and Mississippi down to one abortion clinic. Goddess help us… It’s now easier to get a black gun than an abortion…

    HTG, I live with a man, and I do love him, but sometimes I so wish he would get up on his hind legs and say something like… “I love my woman, and I will defend her, always.”

    Maybe not today, and maybe soon.


  613. Have been enjoying the dialogue here as usual. Yes, yesterday was a fabulous day!!! I love our president and his family! Most beautiful family ever!

    My husband’s theory about gun control goes something like this… 2nd amendment so the slave owners could keep their property from revolting. Then in the 60′s when the black panthers showed up with unloaded assault type weapons in public, gotta ban them to keep the former slaves from uprising.

    Love the mother jones and stone kettle links. Haven’t checked the Slate.com site for gun deaths, but show it to everyone I can. Every time I look at Wayne Lepiere I want to just add a little moustache under his nose. Voila a Hitler look alike!

    If it is true that more guns make us safer, then why are we not the safest country in the world?

  614. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, good to see you again!!!

    I really enjoyed the solemn inauguration yesterday with the parades after and celebration festivities. In the process, I even finished all the damn Valentine Guys I send to our grandkids. So it was a successful banner day all around!

    As you know, I have been on a museum kick here lately. I do tend to get a little long winded at times. So with Margaret and Helen’s permission I would like to put up another one about our trip to Moscow. For anyone contemplating international travel, there might be some useful information in it too. I think I will break it up into several segments so as not to bore people silly or take up too much room in cyberspace. Fair warning, it is a hair-raising tale though.

    BTW, did you hear? Boehner and McConnell opted to boycott the inauguration and decided to go to Disneyland instead. They were driving on the interstate when they saw the sign that said Disneyland LEFT. They started crying, turned around and went home.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  615. Hey Gato, first: good for you for visiting your local gun club and meeting the members. Also, I give you credit for trying to have reasonable exchange with Pfessor; although I think you’ve learned he’s unreachable. Also, you, Lori and Cynthia write some of the best put-down posts ever. So much fun to read because they are SO richly deserved.
    On another note, yesterday was a beautiful day for the USA. Looking forward to the next four years.

  616. Many years ago when the NRA was still interested in gun safety, I took an NRA sanctioned gun handling course at a nearby gun club. It was taught by a veteran police officer who was somewhat harsh on the yahoos who were there simply looking for a way to blow away anyone who happened to trespass on their property. While teaching us gun safety the instructor also spent a large part of the time on gun owner responsibility. He also emphasized his concern that bringing a handgun into the home would not make the home safer but would increase the probability that someone within the family would end up being a gun victim. Although I qualified on the range and on the basis of my scores was encouraged by him to join with other shooters in the club, I demurred. Frankly, I realized that I’d never have the ability to shoot anyone even in a shoot-or-get-shot situation and that my hesitancy in an emergency would only guarantee my demise. Even trained gun handlers may not become instant Rambos when threatened unexpectedly as this following article shows.


    Although my wife and I taught for many years, we both feel that arming teachers is as close to lunacy as you can get in a classroom for a host of reasons. I have no interest in owning a gun but have neutral feelings about using them for sport or sustenance. However, I have severe misgivings about other reasons for having them given that most of the gun owners I know seem to be imbued with Rambo-like tendencies and are not among the most introspective people I know.

  617. Another shooting at a college in Texas. And a teenager killed 5 people over the weekend. I’d like to know how he got access to an appropriately secured weapon…

  618. Loved loved loved Obama’s speech!

    I always knew there was a Progressive hiding (wayyyyyyy) behind that centrist, pragmatic, facade.. LOL LOL

    No, but seriously, his words were music to this old gal’s ears. I just hope he follows through as aggressively as he went after them yesterday.

    I was thinking of my porch friends and was wondering if you felt the same?

    Best line? anyone? …. Piiiiii?????

  619. Happy 6 million hits!!!
    You two are the best!!!

  620. Hi, Pi – Jim Wright is terrific. I get to his site every now and then, but NOT OFTEN ENOUGH! Thanks for the reminder… You’ve got some pretty cool (like yourself) neighbors up there in Alaska… And I do realize – assuming that your geographical situation is pretty much like the Yukon Territory – that your nearest “neighbor” may be a good three hundred miles away!

    Now, if he could just get thousands and thousands of his like-minded fellow gun-owners to get a political action group going and get all over the NRA, I would be right there!


  621. Hi, Cynthia – Isn’t it something…? Would be interesting to know how many conspiracy theories floated around other Presidents, maybe W, or Reagan, for example, and make a comparison.

    Charlie Pierce had (yet another) very good piece this morning about how all this stuff pretty much rolls off Obama, because he simply IGNORES all of them, for the most part. Crazies are unlikely to listen to reason, ever – a lesson of which I must keep reminding myself!

    Yesterday was a lovely day… I made a big pot of slow-cooker pea soup and watched off and on most of the day. Was kind of disappointed that when the parade actually started (late), the channel I was watching switched back to its “regularly scheduled programming.” So I watched some of that on the web. I love marching bands! Maybe that’s my Midwestern background showing up…


  622. holy moley, Cynthia! I’d missed a few of those. How are they gonna top the Mars trip? I mean, really…!

    gato- here’s a very good one for you :-)


    every little bit helps and Mr Wright dishes up a nice tidy bit

  623. Since Obama is starting his second term this chart will bring you up to date of the conspiracy theories of his first term. (Some of us are at that age where these things become a blur.) Surely there will be even wilder theories this term!



  624. Opps that was me down dar! Lol

  625. Congratulations friends we did it! Again …….

    Peas……. indeed!

  626. What a glorious day for an Inauguration.

    Isn’t it a lovely mornin’?
    . ;)

    ps: NRA Debate Tips

    PEACE ~ Δ

  627. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Happy Inauguration Day, President Obama!

    More on our nation’s capitol. My husband, AKA ‘boy toy’ here and in the Kitchen, had to go to DC when we lived in Philly, usually about once a week when he wasn’t traveling. He had tried flying. You know, get to the Philly airport, go through check-in/security, rent a car and reverse the procedure coming home. He also tried AMTRAC and then taking the Metro. More time consuming hassles. So he settled on driving down even though it still took time.

    Fairly often, I would roust out and go with him. He would drop me off at the Smithsonians to spend the day and pick me up at his favorite, the AeroSpace Museum. Then we’d go home. I had a ball! At the time there were only a dozen or so museums but Google now says there are 19! I kept going back to the various art museums and I loved the Museum of Natural History. After a few years I probably could have inventoried some of ‘em. The Smithsonians rival the British Museum, the Louvre and The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, hands down.

    On the way home, we always stopped for dinner. I was trying to remember the name of the restaurant. ‘boy toy’ came up with it, the Williamsburg Inn in White Marsh, Maryland not to be confused with the old colonial town of Williamsburg, Virginia. The Inn was a favorite watering hole for so many of his colleagues coming and going from DC. It was like Old Home Week every time we walked in. That was the place where they used the colonial style cutlery and silverware. I think they called the knives “pistol handle” knives and of course the “three frong porks”. Try saying “three prong
    forks” really fast. I can’t do it.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  628. The NRA isn’t really a “gun owner” lobby. It is a gun manufacturer’s lobby. That is who they take their marching orders from. They ISSUE orders to their membership.

    My point being, I believe in talking and consensus building. I think we should work on issues wherever there is common ground. We will certainly need to do that on budget reduction and immigration ect.

    The thing is We HAVE common ground on assault weapons ect.

    Pouffe said on CNN today he thinks we have the votes. 60 and 218. Now I don’t know if they have actually whipped or not, but he feels confident.

    So yes your right, now is time to put the pressure on the houses.

    As the saying goes, when you have won the debate, stop talking! LOL

  629. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Since there is a 2-5 hour time difference between here and the mainland, I am always running behind to catch up with you guys. It’s 3-6 hours during the summer because we don’t observe Daylight Savings Time. Sitting closer to the equator, we don’t need to.

    Crafty Lady in illinois on January 20, 2013 at 11:51 AM, good to see you again! It’s been a while. Stick around. We are going to need you down the road to represent your state with what’s going on there.

    Now if we can just round up Mikat in Washington State and No One’s Puppet in Nevada……How’s about good ole Peas (Whirled Peas). I think he is from CA And Poolman in AZ. Speak up!

    Cynthia on January 20, 2013 at 1:37 PM, your comment was the most persuasive I have heard or read for gun control. The manufacturers of guns that lead to ever more deadly ones are naturally pushing to sell more as it enhances their bottom line profits. Their answer to a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of a madman is even more lethal measures that as we know, lead to far more death and destruction of men, women and children than the initial problems presented. It’s far better to LEGISLATE than to go in with blazing guns and other WMDs.

    We are about to witness yet another PEACEFUL transition of political power, not from a king, emperor or dictator, but the openly exercised will of a democratic system, WE THE PEOPLE. No civil war or revolution necessary. I call that progress!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  630. ;-) happy you take no offense.. none was intended i assure you.

    barackobama.com Organize For Action (otherwise known as OFA) is up and running again… log on and join me in the fight . Not just this one but all of our important issues. ;-)

  631. Hey, Lori – With you on all of this. (I never feel disrespected by you, BTW. No problem!) Yes; the majority of Americans (and it doesn’t seem to be a huge majority, sorry to say) want to rein in the proliferation of black guns. We just need to get the message out there.

    Who has the potential bucks to do this? Mayors Against Gun Violence, the Brady group, and so on. Sorry I can’t pull up the links right this minute, but they’re out there… And Gabby Gifford’s and Mark Kelly’s relatively new group. Send money to any and all of them… And talk to any gun owners you know. I think we do need them… Because they can tell the NRA to shut their pie hole in a way that will be heard as ours will not be.


  632. also 88 percent support universal background check and 65 percent support restriction on high-capacity ammunition clips….sooooo IJS.. lol

  633. Hello Friends…… I hope everyone is enoying this historical weekend ! I love my country and my president. ;-)

    Now for my rant.. LOL LOL I just couldn’t leave it at that..

    In the lastest polls 58 percent of the American people agree with the expired assault weapons ban and would like to see it reinstated.

    Sorry and with all due respect gato, we don’t need “gun owners” to agree to anything. President Obama HAS the support of the American people.

    What we NEED is those 58 percent who do agree with him to be vocal and DEMAND legislation. What we NEED is our red state democrats and blue state repubs to have some political courage and get this thing done. What we NEED is for the American people to stand up to big money and say NO MORE… not this time…

    As the President said if this just saves ONE more life.. it’s worth it.

    If you meant we need assault weapons owners to come together with the President .. forget it, they have already justified their position.

  634. Hi, Cynthia – There’s a lot of money being spent out there to get people whipped into a frenzy on this issue… And, as you say, that’s a real problem.

    That’s why it seems to me that anything that can be done to encourage gun owners and non-gun owners to come to a consensus, together, could result in a powerful voice for both reason AND liberties. Good lord, now that I think about it, how can we possibly expect to have one without the other…?

    Gun owners who shoot for sport, or sustenance, or self-defense, or for ANY reason other than psychotic rage, do not like being labeled murderers, any more than gun control advocates like being labeled ant-American, or “Commies,” or whatever. (My guess – and I’m just taking a flyer here – is that most of those who are hollering the loudest about “needing” a gun to defend themselves from criminals or from “the government” have rarely found themselves in the position of having to actually DO either…)

    It is also somewhat disheartening when people who declare themselves “responsible gun owners,” and/or “lifetime members of the NRA” spend their time and energy questioning the motivations and veracity of non-gun owners who are seriously looking for this kind of consensus, instead of urging their fellow gun owners to join the conversation and try to find a solution. Those individuals may be a minority, but they’re all the gun manufacturers have left. And so they will be courted, and supported, as long as they’ve got a few bucks still clutched in their not-yet “cold, dead hands.”

    This was certainly not the kind of response I got from the gun club members I’ve met so far, from those you’ve heard calling in to talk show radio, or from Steve Sanetti, President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in his remarks at the recent SHOT show in Las Vegas. As you know, a majority of gun owners are very aware of, and live with, not only the enjoyment of their firearms, but the potential risks, and the serious responsibilities, involved in owning them.

    The ONLY people that the NRA, and gun manufacturers, are going to listen to – if they listen to anyone – are people who own and use firearms. Any opportunity that can be found to encourage them to speak up in favor of reasonable regulation should certainly be pursued. That’s what I’m trying to do in my neck of the woods and, so far, so good!


  635. Gato – I listen to talk radio. There have been a number of gun owners who call in who are rational, sane, level headed people who agree that something needs to be done about the escalation of gun violence in this country. They don’t see the need for assault type weapons or 100 round clips etc. for the average citizen for protection. But most of all they were not fearful and did not consider this as an attack on their 2nd Amendment rights or that the government was coming to get their guns. I believe these callers represent the majority of guns owners. I believe you also found this true.

    Unfortunately the fearful and crazies are getting all the attention. And are the ones turning people against gun owners. And the crazies are on both sides…. pro-guns and anti-guns. Those that feel we do nothing or we just need more guns do more to harm their cause then help it and those who want to eliminate all guns do as well. Do we wish to be a violent or a peaceful people?

    My biggest concern is the gun manufacturers designing bigger and more deadly (if that is possible) weapons. There will be those who feel they must have one. Like the we do with the newest cell phone, computers, tvs etc. At what point do we say enough is enough?


  636. Has anyone seen this from Bill Maher?


  637. Hi Congenial Gang,

    We are really on a roll, putting up plenty of valuable info from all over. Thanks everybody! I’ll get back to you with our further adventures in DC, especially the Smithsonians and the National Gallery of Art, absolutely one of my very favorites.

    But first, I only have time to read and bring up the links now. I’m down to the last 9 Valentine Guys to go, plus two family birthdays. It will be down to the wire to get them in the mail, but I’ll make it! (It’s hard to type with bandaged fingers. Sigh.)

    Carry on and keep up the good work! Love you all.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  638. Hey, Cynthia – Thanks to you. The people who run gun ranges and shooting venues here in CT have been so assaulted, by TV crews, by reporters, and by so many other people, the last couple of weeks.

    As I have said so many times, they couldn’t have been nicer.

    Would i give the Fesser their names…?? No way!

    It was a great experience for me. I’m glad I met these people. They’ve been kind enough to add my name to their email list. And we live right across the street from each other.


  639. pf – your comment at January 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM crossed the line in so many number of ways along with being a bit creepy as well even for you. Gato’s comments regarding her visit to the shooting range in no way required a need to pass your “smell test”. She would have been very foolish to have divulged such personal information on the Internet and to someone who goes by the name Pfesser.

    “Awaiting your answer…” – sounds like line from Christopher Walken as The Continental on SNL! Thanks for the laugh and the image!


  640. Hi, Lurker – Thanks for the kind words. (I’ve got to get another post up on my blog; I’m working on it…!)

    If you do get to DC, you might want to see the National Gallery of Art, too, in addition to Auntie Jean’s suggestions. It’s one of the loveliest large galleries I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. And my eyes will certainly be on DC the next day or two.

    As for my spending so much time in writing “rebuttals” to the posturing sorts here, it is apparently one of my character flaws that it takes me a long time to GIVE UP! Sometimes that “flaw” serves me well (tenacious as a terrier); other times it’s just a total waste of time and energy. Takes me a ridiculous amount of time, sometimes, to figure out which thing is actually happening… And it’s always helpful when someone, such as yourself, expresses wonder at why I’m doing it. Thanks!

    Always good to hear from you.


  641. Political AND policy decisions Pi! Especially when we consider climate change and alternative energy sources. Obama has singnaled he would like to make that one of his initiatives in the next 4 years. I am anxious to see if he says anything Monday.

  642. Hi, Pi – What a wonderful story… And from my home State, too! Bless the hearts of every single one of those people – those who organized the event, and put their personal cash and credit on the line, and those who turned in their firearms.

    BTW, are you familiar with the “Caliber Collection”? It’s jewelry made from melted down weapons confiscated by the Newark, NJ, police department. It somehow popped up on my home page. http://calibercollection.com.

    All this stuff may seem “small”… But every great social change (as I know you well know) begins with a few people doing SOMETHING.

    Step by step… And they all matter.


  643. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_cost

    have been talking to an economist recently who thinks we need to look more carefully at social costs when making political decisions.

  644. Exactly Gato! I especially enjoyed the comments below the diary. did you happen to read them! Lottsa lolz!

  645. gato, lori, et all-
    There is also the little considered social cost of gun ownership.

    “6. Social costs
    In sum, gun prevalence is positively associated with overall homicide rates but not
    systematically related to assault or other types of crime. Together, these results suggest
    that an increase in gun prevalence causes an intensification of criminal violence—a
    shift toward greater lethality, and hence greater harm to the community. Of course, gun
    ownership also confers benefits to the owners and possibly other members of the
    household. The benefits are associated with the various private uses of guns—gun
    sports, collecting, protection of self and household against people and varmints. But if
    our estimates are correct, the net external effects appear to be negative.”


  646. HI, Lori – That’s a good one! Really makes some excellent points. Kind of reminded me of Obama’s oft-quoted debate remark about “muskets and horses”… I haven’t seen a lot of commotion about people wanting to regulate antique rifles and Colt 45s (although even that wouldn’t hurt).

    But the manufacturers, marketers, and their lobbyists, do their damndest to relentlessly make sure potential customers THINK there is no legitimate distinction between an antique rifle and an AR-15 – which is exactly why the NRA paid this particular guy to display his “blunderbuss” and talk firmly about how nobody’s going to take it away from him.

    Trying to make that argument is, to me, the same as insisting that there’s no arguable difference between the Wright Brothers’ first plane and a 747, because they both go up in the air… Of course they do, and, beyond that, there’s a WORLD of difference in their capabilities. Same with firearms – and that’s the whole point.

    Thanks for the post!


  647. gato opined: “The “thin air,” out of which you have – incorrectly – assumed some of my statements are drawn, consists of my more than forty-five years of experience as a successful professional in publishing, marketing, and advertising.”

    Which part of publishing, marketing and advertising has to do with firearms? I’ll answer that for you – none. I’m glad you’re smart and successful; unfortunately your knowledge base doesn’t apply here, does it?

    “I believe I can speak with at least a moderate amount of knowledge about how these areas operate.”

    No you can’t. And aren’t.

    “And your “wisdom” about marketing is based on… What, exactly?”

    I have no knowledge of marketing, and claim none. I do, however, know quite a bit about firearms and the people who own them – which is, of course, the topic, isn’t it?

    Of course, what you have done is dragged out the Straw Man argument, the most transparent and easily countered of fallacies. You tell everybody all about the evil gun manufacturers – of which you know nothing, the evil NRA – of which you know nothing (and by the way, of which I am a life member), guns, of which you know nothing, and gun owners – of which, you, well, know nothing, now that we can discount your fictitious “visit” to a firing range. You then proceed to tear down the evil straw men who never existed to begin with, except in your own fevered brain.

    I’m not much fan of conservatives, but I will say one thing – they believe what they believe and they are not hypocrites – and they generally don’t shoot off their mouths when they know NOTHING about the subject. More than I can say for the know-nothing, we-don’t-do-math Left.

    Cordially, PF

  648. “No; I will not give you the name of the range, the club(s) or the individuals with whom I spoke,”

    That’s what I thought.

  649. sad but funny…


  650. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/us/19land.html?hp

    Things are changin’

  651. Jean, I love your travel stories. You have inspired me to visit the capital this summer if I can fit it into our VA vacation.

    Gato, so glad you jumped into this blog. You’re a great addition. Gotta wonder why you give certain people the attention they seek, but if it’s fun for you then it’s all good. :D I enjoy your blog.

  652. More guns in schools, that’s the answer. Except, well, oops.


  653. Yikes, not sure what happened there but here is my whole post. ;-)

    Good morning freinds,

    I read “Why Romney Lost and what the GOP can do about it” by David Frum last night. It’s a good little read that I hope no one in the GOP reads, LOL but I think many of you here would enjoy it. The book is more like a pamphlet, in that it’s not very long however it is packed full of good info. I read it while watching Lance and playing fetch with my Lab! LOL sooooo a pretty easy read. I think it was all of 5 bucks on my Kindle.

    Frum is a hawkish Conservative, make no mistake about it. He is NO friend of the Progressive ideals. He was a speech writer for GWB after a brief flirt with managing his own conservative think tank. He is a sharp cookie that unfortunately understands us Liberals Achilles heels. He currently writes for the Daily Beast, actually I THINK it might be his baby, but I’m not sure… I read his blog daily, mostly while holding my nose and swallowing hard to keep my morning coffee down.

    Not to toot our own horn but many of us here on the porch have been screaming much of what Frum is saying to whomever would listen until our fingers were sore, but until now, not many in the GOP have been willing to admit we knew what we were talking about. It’s not because we Liberals are sooooo extraordinarily intelligent or have a crystal ball that we saw the writing on the wall for things like the Tea Party movement, pro life, or the “deep vein of racism running through the GOP”, (as Powel recently characterized it) and ultimately predicted the outcome of this last election while most of the major GOP heavy hitters looked like they had been hit with a semi on election night. It’s because we remember our own history and have learned from our experiences as we navigated similar troubled waters in our own Party, a couple of times. Thankfully we have successfully righted our ways to come out on the other side, winning the popular vote 5 out of six times since 1988.

    Time will tell if the GOP has hit rock bottom… In the mean time I will continue to bust my butt for my side and make sure we don’t rest on our laurels. We have much work to do friends… now leggo do it!

  654. is a hawkish Conservative, make no mistake about it. He is NO friend of the Progressive ideals. He was a speech writer for GWB after a brief flirt with managing his own conservative think tank. He is a sharp cookie that unfortunately understands us Liberals Achilles heels. He currently writes for the Daily Beast, actually I THINK it might be his baby, but I’m not sure… I read his blog daily, mostly while holding my nose and swallowing hard to keep my morning coffee down.

    Not to toot our own horn but many of us here on the porch have been screaming much of what Frum is saying to whomever would listen until our fingers were sore, but until now, not many in the GOP have been willing to admit we knew what we were talking about. It’s not because we Liberals are sooooo extraordinarily intelligent or have a crystal ball that we saw the writing on the wall for things like the Tea Party movement, pro life, or the “deep vein of racism running through the GOP”, (as Powel recently characterized it) and ultimately predicted the outcome of this last election while most of the major GOP heavy hitters looked like they had been hit with a semi on election night. It’s because we remember our own history and have learned from our experiences as we navigated similar troubled waters in our own Party, a couple of times. Thankfully we have successfully righted our ways to come out on the other side, winning the popular vote 5 out of six times since 1988.

    Time will tell if the GOP has hit rock bottom…Selfishly I hope not. For the sake of my country I hope so. In the mean time I will continue to bust my butt for my side and make sure we don’t rest on our laurels. We have much work to do friends… now leggo do it!

  655. Hi Congenial Gang,

    The upcoming Presidential inauguration this weekend, with all its pageantry should be impressive to watch. The TV images of our nation’s capitol will be inspiring, I’m sure. No doubt, they will bring back fond memories for me of when we lived in suburban Philly.

    We used to drive down to DC fairly often for a day trip with the kids to show them around the seat of our government of this great country. Occasionally we took some of their friends with us too. My husband frequently had meetings to attend there and in its environs, so he knew it like the back of his hand. Also whenever we had visitors we took them to “do” DC. I think we could have qualified as guides with a tour company!

    The whole city is very well laid out and quite imposing. Solid and permanent. Nicely landscaped and maintained, it gives you a sense of stability. There is the White House, the Capitol building and complex and then the Supreme Court building. I’ll have to save the Smithsonian Museums for a whole other session to talk about. The Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials are beautiful reminders of our history and heritage. I like the Lincoln Memorial the best. The Washington Memorial, in my opinion at least, is just another copy of the old Egyptian phallic symbol obelisks. It was closed for quite a while for renovations but I think it is open again so you can go up to the top of it. There is a breathtaking panoramic view of the city from up there. The mirror like image of the Washington Memorial in the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall is quite lovely.

    We never did get around to going to Arlington National Cemetery in VA. Tramping around cemeteries is not my idea of a fun thing to do but we did sorta want to see John F. Kennedy’s grave with the Eternal Flame.

    The very first Thanksgiving after our youngest son went off to college, we found our selves being “empty nesters” for the first time in well over 25 years. At loose ends, we decided to go to DC for the long weekend. We got a room in a hotel in Crystal City, VA. Google it. People can live there, work and shop without ever going outside! It is very nice, all glass, hence the name. We had Thanksgiving dinner in the formal dining room. It turned out to be something of a hilarious bust up. They had the traditional turkey and trimmings dinner but they also had “Roast Goose” on the menu. We had never had “goose” before so thought we would try it. While we waited for our dinner to be served, there was a lady harpist setting up for the evening’s entertainment on a small stage. Gee! How elegant can you get!

    She started to play and in the middle of it there was a loud PLING! A string broke or something. She fiddled with it and started up again. PLING! More fiddling. I guess she didn’t have any spare strings. So it was play, PLING, fiddle, play, PLING! fiddle. About that time, our Thanksgiving Goose was served. A large plate with a circular piece of “goose” about 3” in diameter, swimming in, not gravy but grease! Beside it on the plate was an ice cream type scoop of supposed dressing, also swimming in grease! Both totally inedible. Well, the wine was good. When we left, the poor harpist was still “PLINGING!” away. We were back in the room by 8:30PM watching TV.

    By coincidence, we happened to be there the weekend the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened for the first time so we went to see it. It too is by the National Mall. It is two long black granite walls meeting at about a 90 degree angle. There is a wide walkway sloping down to where the walls converge. The walls are covered with the names of the casualties from that war. As we walked slowly down, we saw a number of people, some on their knees, with sheets of heavy tracing paper, taking rubbings of the names of their loved ones, presumably to frame and hang on their walls at home. Literally thousands upon thousands of nothing but names. I was in tears by the time we reached the lowest points in the walls and started back up the other side. The cream of American young manhood, cut down even before the prime of life with nothing to show for it but a name on a polished granite wall.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  656. Gato, I agree… LOL LOL I think the NRA is getting their political advice from the house republicans.

    Their popularity is some where close to head lice!

    I love it! I hope they keep it up!

  657. Hey, Cynthia – It almost seems that all we need to do is stand back and let some people, literally, shoot themselves in the foot. Could anyone have made the NRA look worse than they themselves have done with their latest “ad”?

    But, of course, we need to do more, one day at a time, day after day. Appreciate your contributions to the effort!


  658. Hi, Auntie Jean – I spend far too much time duking it out with the Fesser, and far too little responding to excellent, thoughtful, posts such as yours – and so many others.

    Couldn’t agree more about the money interests playing into our xenophobia. Whatever works; the bottom line rules… For some people. My ex-husband was a TV commercial director, so I have some first-hand experience with what was generated to appeal to all kinds of human instincts to sell a product, whether it was a BMW or a boil-in rice bag.

    Always appreciate your thoughtful comments, and if your honey winces when you “have an idea,” I’ll bet he’s listening, anyway!


  659. gato-


    We have a fruitloop bill filed by the State House Speaker .Montana and a couple others are flirting with similar ideas.
    Our House Speaker has said he doesn’t know if it is constitutional but doesn’t think that means it is not important.
    Enough crazy for one week.
    Enjoy your weekends all and keep plugging away.

  660. No; I will not give you the name of the range, the club(s) or the individuals with whom I spoke, and with whom I continue to correspond. They have been accosted for weeks by all kinds of people, not all of them friendly, or interested in hearing what they had to say. (And you want to “make a few phone calls, just to verify?” Good lord…)

    If your only concern is whether or not I’m a liar, so be it. I could care less.

    As always, with you it’s never about responding to questions about your opinions; it’s always about the curriculum vitae of the questioner.

    Forget it. Talk to your own gun-owning friends.

    Smell whatever you want.


  661. pf – wtf! – are you okay???

  662. gato – that “vislt to the shooting range” post just doesn’t pass the smell test. Would you mind posting the name of the range? I might like to make a few phone calls, just to verify, of course. We’re all honest, here, right? Should be no problem…

    Awaiting your answer…

  663. anddddddddddd here is another great place to get involved if one so choooooooses..LOL LOL

    See you there.


  664. Cynthia – don’t flatter yourself. I haven’t the slightest interest in educating you. However, there are quite a few people who read this blog, and since it has a general liberal tilt, many or most of them probably know as little about guns as you do. It isimportant for them that the correct information be available, because there may be some who have not already closed their minds.

  665. Sigh… Fesser… And I am equally “amused” when arrogant egotists use pandering condescension in the hopes that it may distract from the insignificance of their so-called arguments. Actually, I find it more annoying than amusing. A kitten with a ball of yarn is amusing; your condescending attitude is not.

    The “thin air,” out of which you have – incorrectly – assumed some of my statements are drawn, consists of my more than forty-five years of experience as a successful professional in publishing, marketing, and advertising. I believe I can speak with at least a moderate amount of knowledge about how these areas operate. And your “wisdom” about marketing is based on… What, exactly?

    Am I fearful about the prospect of tens of thousands of would-be vigilantes armed with vast arsenals of weapons and ammunition, ginned up by the kind of “political pornography” we have seen in the last day or two from the NRA’s “stand and fight” wing? Certainly – because I know first-hand how effective that sort of garbage can be. (See paragraph above…)

    Finally, your profound wisdom in pointing out that “… people who buy military-style rapid-firing weapons buy them because a) they want them and b) are afraid they someday won’t be able to own them…” was a real eye-opener. So THOSE are the reasons we’ve all been seeking all this time. They want them because they want them, and they’re afraid they won’t be able to have them! I had no idea!! And, if people want something, by god they should be able to have it, shouldn’t they? (I actually “want” you to stop so frequently being such an arrogant and repetitive bore, so I gather I should be able to “have” that… Not much luck so far.)

    And, BTW, it was good of you to point out who the actual “fearful people” really are, after all: The people who are afraid they won’t be able to get each and every thing they want. Awwwww… A well-raised toddler knows by age five or six that he or she may not always get every single thing he or she wants – unless the parents are abject failures at raising a civilized member of society.

    I have already said that the gun club members I met were quite nice – in fact, they were much more helpful and generous with their comments and thoughts than some self-described academicians I might mention…


  666. I had forgotten about this site. I see poor WV has dropped to second place, behind the California. Guess they’ll need to try harder.


  667. Oh pf, bless your heart, knowing how much it excites you to put me in my place with your super superior knowledge and intelligence. Have I ever told you how many ways I really truly…..don’t care?

    Thank you for correcting my weapon terminology. Your point is?

    I have in the past fired a hand gun, a rifle and of course BB guns. With my limited experience, and to the surprise of the men showing me, I was able to hit the target 80% of the time. I did this without knowing the correct terminology.

    There was a time when I would have stood by your side to fight for your right to own guns/weapon/firearms. Today I not only want your rifle, but your hand guns, and your great, great, great grandfather’s gun as well. Thank you for changing my mind.

  668. and JIC anyone is interested:

    Organizing for Action

    Organizing for Action is the next big step for the grassroots movement that elected the President. We’ll work together to organize around the issues we care about, fight for our shared values, and empower the next generation of leaders.

    barackobama.com and look for OFA and click! join me ;-)

    Thanks M&H for allowing me to spread the word. xo

  669. I know how you feel. The Roves, Limbaughs, Becks, et al, are real embarrassments to the Party of Lincoln – and of Eisenhower. I think the modern ReBiblicans (if one may call them modern) may just drive the Party out of existence. That would be too bad, too, since we NEED a two-party system to keep both sides honest.

    If one wants to see the results of about eighty years of such one-party rule, look no farther than West Virginia – a place that the US Chamber of Commerce calls a “Judicial Hellhole” because of its litigious atmosphere and unimaginable tort awards. 47th in health, 42nd in business climate, 6th in poverty.

    Nice article by Hoppy Kercheval – someone, incidentally, I know.


  670. Cynthia ~ All, I know whatcha mean. Some days it does feel like we are living in a parallel world from these rightwing nuts doesn’t it? It can surely getcha down.

    When I am having one of those days I re watch Karl Rove’s election night melt down on FOX news ! I mean if that doesn’t bring a smile to a liberal’s face I donno what does! LMAO

    The same way good ole Sarah Palin’s ill relevance, Ron Pauls dismal performance in the primary races and the Tea Bagger’s major FAIL this last election cycle makes my heart warm.

    Remember when they tried to tell us they and their supporters were representative of “main street America”? ugggggg

    Last but not least as we watch our guy take the oath of office Monday (Sunday) and see alll of our hard work come to fruition we can be assured we are winning the fight. Slowly…. bit by bit… but we are winning.

    Stay calm and carry on my friend & enjoy the weekend! LOL LOL

    Auntie Jean brilliant idea… ;-) as usual. Love the way your mind works woman! xo

  671. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Me again. Here’s my idea of a way to partially change the xenophobic induced fear, anger and indifference. Let’s pretend that we are taking a week’s vacation to say Alaska. After a long hard day of sightseeing the breathtaking scenery and encountering that state’s warm and friendly people, we curl up in bed in our hotel room or cruise ship cabin and turn on the LOCAL 11:00PM news. (Not a lot of tourists go to Alaska in the dead of winter but we can find out what it is like for the people who live there year round. In fact, the cruise ships that go there in summer come here for winter and then go back to Alaska when the weather is more favorable.)

    The news anchors everwhere have been taught to speak a pretty generic English that we can hear and understand in almost any broadcast anywhere with the possible exception of other countries where we do not speak their language. But suppose we sit up and actually pay attention to what they are talking about. The format is pretty much the same everywhere. They start with reports of local events and issues that affect Alaskan citizens and for the most part, we never heard of. They interview local people that often speak with a different regional accent and idioms of English than ours. The way they dress, the background settings of cities, towns, homes and businesses are similar to ours but, well – - – - – different. Then they move on to the weather and sports reports and finish with a little human interest story. That 30 minute interval is at first pretty confusing because we don’t know diddly about what they are talking about. Still, if we tune in every night after a sumptuous dinner of weird food we have no idea what it is, by the end of the week we have learned a whole lot more about Alaska and its people than we could ever have imagine. We do have to pay close attention to the visual presentations as well as the auditory though.

    Now, if we could do this at home, get the call letters of a local news TV station and Google it, we could do much the same thing. Pi, are you game to give us links to the NBC, CBS and/or ABC affiliates in your state that you watch regularly? Would you be willing to “host”, say the week of Feb. 3-10 and stand by to answer any questions that M&H’s bloggers might have? You are an old friend. We know you and feel you could fill in many of the details on items presented in the local news. With Helen and Margaret’s blessing, of course. After it all, it is their blog.

    Moving on to the week of Feb. 10-17, how’s about we take a week’s vacation to New York State; New York City and maybe up around the Finger Lakes. It would be your turn, gato or Terri in NY to “host” that week. Then move on to Feb.17-24 to Texas with lori and Elsie. Feb. 24-Mar. 3, Michigan with delurkergurl and UAW. Naturally, UAW would want to include Fox News’ call letters. Mar. 3-10 with Colorado Blue in Colorado. Mar.10-17 with jsri in Rhode Island and so on. There are plenty of other contributors here that I don’t know what states they are from. They could volunteer to step up to the plate in subsequent weeks. We could even be so magnanimous as to block out a week each so that Iowa and West Virginia/Virginia could be represented. Include everybody. This is just an outline. Of course, we could re-arrange the schedule.

    These weekly side trips should certainly not supersede nor disrupt our other discussions here on the porch. But they just might help promote a better informed electorate vital to an effective democracy.

    Waddya think?

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  672. cynthia opined: “Semi-automatic (6 rounds) – must tweeze the trigger 6 times. The next round slips in very quickly.
    Automatic – (6 rounds) – Only need to hold trigger down and all 6 rounds will fire in turn. Not a whole lot of difference between the two time wise.”

    Not so. The M16, which is America’s military rifle, has a practical rate of fire on semi-auto of about 45 rounds/min. Full auto is about 150, or more than triple.

    The AK-47, which is the Warsaw Pact weapon is about 100 full auto, 40 semi. Both weapons have over 500 rounds/min theoretical maximum on auto.

    Hunting rifles and military-style rifles both experience “muzzle climb,” but the military rifles generally have less, since the axis of barrel is generally in line with the shooter’s shoulder, forcing it straight back, not up as much. That is why military rifles have the sights high up above the barrel. Makes a nice handle, too!

    “Hunting rifle – You locate the target in the cross-hairs and pull the trigger. The kick back causes you to lose sight of the target in the crosshairs so you need to refocus. ”

    Many military rifles have ‘scopes; it’s not that simple. And the ‘scopes are already focused; you don’t have to do that. Do you mean, “realign on the target?”

  673. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I have an idea. As my husband would say, oh-oh! First of all there are plenty of sources of information and communication; i. e., word of mouth, books, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and now the internet and the social media, including WordPress, Facebook and Twitter. How many of us have or take the time to avail ourselves of all of them? Not me!

    Since forever, I feel many of the problems of humanity have been caused by PROVINCIALISM and the resulting XENOPHOBIA. Since humans are a social species, a certain amount of provincialism is necessary for survival. But it can lead to the xenophobia that fosters fear and anger, or even worse, indifference.

    The life circumstances of most of us do not lend themselves to learning much about the outside world of, as the song lyrics say, “Far away places with strange sounding names…..” How many of us can pick up in person and go see all those places we hear or read about. The people with a vested interested in power and/or money like to play into our xenophobia. Examples, “It can’t happen here because it never has.” (Climate change and the environmental havoc being caused by reckless human consumption.) DENIAL. And then we believe it wholeheartedly. Or, “It happened there and can happen here to YOU any minute now. We gotta go get ‘em and avenge in kind what they done to us.. (Terrorist attacks.) Anger. “Well, it happened there but could never happen in my backyard because we are nicer and know what we are doing. (Gun violence massacres.) INDIFFERENCE and change the channel. Most of these reactions are stronger when they involve our personal bank accounts.

    Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey did a political ideology about face when the natural disaster Sandy hit HIS state and needed federal help.

    A plan on how to implement better understanding coming up.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  674. gato – “So if you’re hoping to sell a military-type weapon, to whom are you going to appeal? You’re going to appeal to people who see potential “enemies” everywhere… And, if they aren’t seeing as many as you think they should, you’re going to create some “enemies” yourself,”

    Bless your heart; it’s amusing to watch fearful people generate stories out of thin air – completely unrelated to reality – existing entirely in their own fevered brains.

    The difference between you and me is that I know dozens of these people personally and you don’t. Kudos for your visit to the firing range, but you should try to get to know these folks a little better; they are actually quite nice.

    To inject a little common sense here: The people who buy military-style rapid-firing rifles buy them because they a)want them and b)are afraid they someday won’t be able to own them. No matter which side of the gun debate you are on, recent events in Washington suggest that, as for (b), they are right on the money, wouldn’t you say?

  675. I just heard a new elected D-congressman (name?) talk about his time in congress. He had been in office years ago but now back again. He said his election cost approx $250,000 then – now close to 20 million. Back then they worked 48 weeks – now 34 weeks a year. Now – they are told to put at least 30 hours a week into fund raising for their next election. His past week – Monday voting was put off til 6 o’clock. Tuesday they were in committee. They were supposed to work on Wednesday but that was cancelled. He feels so little time is being put into taking care of business when we have so many issues that need to be solved. I think I am going to run for office!

  676. UAW-
    doesn’t matter who does it, it is wrong.
    We lost some really good Rs in the State Senate because of it as well and we lost our most prized possession of all- our Bipartisan Majority caucus in the State Senate.
    Damned fine group of legislators working well together – something Congress couldn’t/can’t get its buns together to do.
    Now, we have a bunch of corporate lackey types in the Majority caucus… oh goody.

  677. Hey, UAW – Guess that just shows what demographic spends a lot of time watching TV, huh…?


  678. yep… Hannity lost viewers.
    FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,276,000
    CNN PIERS 592,000
    MSNBC MADDOW 1,096,000
    CNN COOPER 604,000

  679. apparently Cynthia has never shot a gun….big guns kick and little guns (like a .223) don”t …
    I’ve shot a .223…I need to stop to hit the target…

  680. hey Alaskapi… Gerrymandering isn’t always a Dem problem…they do it also…
    and Cynthia….gun control is not a racist issue…the same people that don’t want it now where the people that didn’t want it for Clinton and didn”t want it for Gore…wtf is going to happen when the gop takes over the senate and the presidency….and uses the rules the dnc wants established now????????

  681. Lori and all – it was just a bad morning. It is more than just guns. IMO crazy/insanity/paranoia is epidemic among a segment of the population in this country.

    Some of you may already know this but this is what I learned today.
    Semi-automatic (6 rounds) – must tweeze the trigger 6 times. The next round slips in very quickly.
    Automatic – (6 rounds) – Only need to hold trigger down and all 6 rounds will fire in turn.
    Not a whole lot of difference between the two time wise. The more rounds a clip holds the more times you can fire.

    Hunting rifle – You locate the target in the cross-hairs and pull the trigger. The kick back causes you to lose sight of the target in the crosshairs so you need to refocus. Takes time
    Assault rifle – is made in such away the kick back does not cause the barrel to move off target so there is no need to keep refocusing between shots. Real fast. Of course this also depends upon the proficiency of the shooter.

    I also heard Sean Hannity has lost many viewers and Bill O’Reilly too. The radio talk show hosts are also getting a bit nervous regarding their ratings. People are catching on?????


  682. Hi, Cynthia – I’m afraid I feel that the answer is “all of the above”… And there is PLENTY of racism in the mix, as part of the personal hatred for this President. The latest NRA video opens with the line, “Are the President’s kids more important than yours?” If that is not a PERSONAL attack, I don’t know what could be. And then it goes on to say that the President is an “elitist hypocrite.” It does not say anything about policies, or programs… It is a very specific verbal assault on one man and his family and, IMHO, a barely-veiled call to violence… Personal violence.

    And then the President of the NRA has the gall to make a statement this morning about how, “We aren’t talking about the President’s children”… OF COURSE THEY ARE! That’s precisely what they said.

    I am confident that firearms manufacturers have spent plenty of time on market research, finding out everything they can about their potential customers – just as any company would do. So if you’re hoping to sell a military-type weapon, to whom are you going to appeal? You’re going to appeal to people who see potential “enemies” everywhere… And, if they aren’t seeing as many as you think they should, you’re going to create some “enemies” yourself, from which you can then convince your customers they must defend themselves, preferably with numerous of your products. Gun manufacturers are no different from any other money-driven industry, even if we – and many others – think they should be.

    People are right in feeling that, in many cases, their government is NOT working for them, and that it is corrupt and a too-malleable pawn of Big Money. But they tend to believe that “government” and the “socialists” are their “enemy” and not – much more accurately – the incredibly wealthy and powerful capitalists who are pulling the strings. (Gerrymandering, for example, among ever so many other manipulations…) And these manipulators want to continue to work under the radar as much as possible, so any “distraction” that can be fomented serves them very well. They’re perfectly happy if people are getting all wired up about birth certificates, or college transcripts, or a childhood meeting with some “Commie,” or what does or not go on in some stranger’s uterus… If people are listening to Glen and Rush, they’re probably not paying much attention to the fact that their voting district has just been re-arranged, or that unidentified donors are spending millions of dollars, buying ads to make sure they continue to worry about all of those things…

    An under-educated, under-employed, and frightened populace – with plenty of credit cards – is the ideal consumer base for selling people all kinds of things they probably don’t really need. (I’m not talking food and shelter here; I’m talking designer sneakers and military-style weaponry. And a so-called “black gun” is a lot cheaper than a fine rifle, I was astonished to learn.)

    Plenty of people DO need guns, and plenty more enjoy learning the skills required to use a firearm well and responsibly. And those people have all my respect – not that they particularly need mine; I’m sure they have plenty of respect for themselves and their weapons. They do not own their firearms out of fear of some imagined enemy.

    But paranoia itself is a mental illness; I wonder how the NRA feels about including that category in their newly-recommended data base?


  683. I am blown away by how purely evil the conservative extremists are. What kind of horrid people calling themselves “truthers” dispute the deaths of 26 people at Sandy Hook because they did not get to see dead children. Good god.

    People with guns and ammunition kill people. We do not need military style guns on the streets. This is not about hunting or sport shooting. It is about money. The NRA lobbies for the gun manufactures who pull in billions on their most heinous equipment. That money is in turn donated back to the NRA for their vile hate-mongering lies so that the manufactures can sell more of their crap. Truly evil incarnate.

    No one is taking any guns away. No one needs an automatic weapon of military capabilities. We register cars, boats, motorcycles, motorhomes and carry insurance on them. No one has their panties in a bunch about that. If people are objecting to registering guns then they have something to hide. The gun show loophole must be closed.

    The republicans were the ones who created the law for the first assult weapons ban because they were afraid that black gangsters would come after them with those types of weapons. Suddenly it is ok for all gang members and criminals to buy from gun shows with no background checks and possess these weapons because their puppet master the NRA says so inorder for the manufactures to make billions……….PLEASE !!!!!

    And BTW…….the woman who is incharge of putting candidates into board positions at the NRA lives 10 minutes from Sandy Hook. I wish I could remember her name because it needs to be “out there” for people to see. Lawrence O’Donnel on MSNBC had an excellent piece about her and the secret inner-workings of the NRA board. More investigation should be done.
    How many of the victims did she know ?? I hope she feels guilty as hell !!!!!
    But those kinds of people seem to be amoral as well as immoral.

  684. Damn straight on the gerrymandering dealie , lori!
    We have a frickin mess here right now because of it.
    Redistricting board got an ok with plenty of reservations from State Supreme Court just in time to print ballots for fall election. 59 of 60 state seats were up because of the new district lines… way too many of which got shifted a smidge here or there to pit incumbent Ds against each other. Is back in court and Supremes are saying it ALL needs to be redone again.
    Meanwhile we have a super majority of Rs in Rep chamber which is NOT representative of the population here- even though we are overall red.

  685. Great ? Cynthia… what do you think?

    Especially because this is Ronald Reagan’s legislation! Their Party’s standard bearer. LOL LOL

    My guess it’s not just one thing but many things coming together at one time to create this environment? … Media? racism? ignorance? IDK the answer.

  686. I wonder how much of the gun control issue has to do with guns and how much of it has to do with the extreme hatred of this President? If a GOP President suggested finding a solution to reduce gun violence would it be met with such resistance? Can such hatred cause a society to turn to violence because of it and in the end destroy itself? I can understand the liberals being upset with Obama for not being liberal enough but I don’t understand the conservatives finding so many faults to justify their anger and hatred of him. Are we slipping down into the dark hole of insanity? Who, what is in control of this? Can we stop it?


  687. I can’t read an article about gerrymandering w/o thinking of you Auntie Jean.

    A couple of years ago you sounded the alarm of what was about to happen around the country as more and more State Congresses turned red. You warned us that all politics began at the local and state level and we needed to be vigilant. Welllllll surnuf, here we are. ( and of course Pi is a hughhhhhh advocate of that issue as well)

    The ONLY reason the house was able to maintain it’s republican majority was because of the newly gerrymandered congressional districts. They (repubs) lost the popular vote by a significant margin in this last cycle. It will be difficult to pry the seats from their hands this next time around as well, but we will. ;0

    So take heed friends… if you ever thought it wasn’t important to vote Party line in alllll elections… think again and listen to Auntie Jean who has seen more than a few elections in her life… Alllll politics is local…

    love ya A jean.. allll….xo

  688. Fesser – I intended to trivialize certain words, because they are, IMHO, trivial. I was fairly certain you would comment on that.

    I see no grounds whatsoever for your self-aggrandizing opinion that you “…handle the language better…” than Auntie Jean. I think she’s plenty eloquent, whether she expresses her opinions like a scholar, or like a dock worker. And your comments about the dimensions of portions of anyone’s anatomy, and the corporeal punishment that you, in your fantasies, have applied to them, are not welcome. If you find it secondarily satisfying to post about them here, as well as having them wherever you have them, double shame on you.

    (Lest I forget, thank you for the web information.)

    Finally, as I have already mentioned, the question seems to me to be WHY certain things work in other cultures, and not here, which, of course, is where we are. Saying that it’s because we are already “…infiltrated with untraceable guns…” is just an excuse to preserve the status quo. Sometimes I ask my husband why he did something, and he replies, “Because I did it.” That, to me, is no answer at all, and I put your statement in the same category. THAT SITUATION IS A MAJOR PART OF THE PROBLEM, not the “reason” nothing will work.

    I must say, yet again – and evidently over and over – that I think it is idiocy to insist that the much-vaunted right to bear arms means that anyone can have as many guns, and as much ammo, as he or she wants.If the apparently law-abiding Nancy Lanza (may her poor soul rest in peace) had not been able to acquire quite so many cartridges, and maybe even some certain types of weapons, perhaps fewer children and teachers would have been murdered in Newtown.

    I am not so naive as to think that anything the President proposed yesterday, or anything he signed, will absolutely guarantee that no mass slaughters will ever happen again, particularly in the near future. Changing our country’s long-standing love affair with weaponry of all sorts, and the no-longer-viable vigilante mentality that is relentlessly encouraged by those who profit from it, will be a long haul. Saying that, however, is no justification for refusing to start the process. Now.


  689. Again, knock it off Fesser. Your odd obbsession with me is starting to get a little creepy. I thought you changing your gavatar to mimic mine was more than a little wierd considering your other antics to gain entrance to places I frequent. But your insults last night crossed the creepy line and entered a new territory.

    I don’t talk to you. I don’t address you. I don’t even READ your posts unless another poster makes me aware that you have yet again insulted me or mentioned me in your ramblings. I want nothing to do with you. I couldn’t care less about your political views and more importantly your private life. You are of no interest to me. GET IT? According to your insults last night you don’t have a very high opinion of me either so I see no need to even address me ever again.

    You need to stop. Now.

  690. PFESSER, I do not agree with you about gun control. We can agree to disagree on that. However, you have crossed the line with your remarks today. You’ve spoken about “spanking” a “grandma” a few times, and are gleefully saying that she enjoyed it. In the process you’ve made fun of her age, her body, and her intellect. You called the woman who rejected you names as well.
    A man who cannot face an intelligent woman without calling her names is not a man in my book. The words “misogynistic asshole” come to mind, but hey, I’m just a woman. Duhhh, durrr!
    Go away. You are a troll. You are here to upset people and you enjoy it. Why don’t you post your real name? Because trolls are anonymous. They can claim to be anyone or anything without reprisal. From what I’ve read, you have quite a fantasy life about who you are.
    And now for the personal attacks from you.

  691. UAW- sounds like Michigan is way ahead of us here. Mostly sounds like reasonable stuff there.
    The no-duh! things Mr Obama is calling for do NOT exist as of yet and each has been called for at some time or other in recent years.
    Not enough info sharing by states with fed and vice versa.

    Personally, I don’t trust states or feds without PLENTY of oversight but most of the time I trust the fed a smidge more than many of the specific states-including mine through the last 3 governors.

  692. gato -

    The quotation thing was in response to your using them to trivialize others’ opinions, not to correct your grammar.

    Secondly, it is irrelevant whether draconian gun control works elsewhere, because we are HERE, not there, and multiple attempts here have shown that it does not work in this country – probably because the entire country is infiltrated with untraceable guns, and if you take guns from the law-abiding, you simply make them easy marks for the non law-abiding.

    Thirdly, if your choices are to either do the wrong thing – something that has been demonstrated to not work – or to do nothing, then the correct choice is to do nothing, because the Wrong Thing does no good and hurts people. That does not prevent you from doing the Right Thing later, when you figure out what that is.

    re: bold. I have quite a few Websites and deal with HTML all day. Here is how you do bold:


    Certain types of inline HTML is supported by WordPress – great, great blogging software. I have about ten or so WordPress blogs for my various authors. Very search-engine friendly, and of course, open source.

    If you are wondering what is the deal, Jean and I used to be fairly cordial, that is until I began to disagree with her, at which point she brought out the insults. I, of course, handle the language better than she does and paddled her ample behind several times – affronts from which she has never recovered. I poke her in the eye for entertainment occasionally. Ditto lori, who never met a conservative idea she liked or a liberal one she didn’t. Not a thinker – just a dupe, really. Me? I’m mostly Libertarian. I find not a nickel’s worth of difference between the bigots on both sides. Just looking for what’s right; don’t care who had the idea.

    And by the way, I remain cordial to those who do also. Personal attacks are always met front-on. Just my style. Cheers.

  693. When we talk about the DC law, we are talking about a specific law which doesn’t seem to have been worth a toot as per what folks wanted it to accomplish and was no loss to have overturned- though the SCOTUS decision attached to its overturn will affect how we deal with further laws in this area of concern.

    I’m reading this now.


    I don’t know where it is going yet but is looks at post Heller gun control issues from angles I haven’t thought about. Interesting…

  694. Correlation is not necessarily causation.
    There were multiple other factors at work around the same time as the handgun ban was overturned which are also assumed or suspected to have impact in the form of falling gun violence/violent crime in general in the area.


    It always amuses me to hear an exhortation to avoid emotional responses
    when it can be equally problematic to rely on arguments which sound reasonable but are fallacious on another plane.
    The tendency towards causal reductionism and/or cum hoc ergo propter hoc arguments bites us all in the buns at some time or other.
    Looks to me like WSJ article/opinion piece has a set of problems with both.

  695. By 2007, on the eve of the overturning of the DC handgun ban (Heller) , about the best that could be said for that particular law was that it didn’t work, wasn’t enforceable, etc.

    “Guns were used in 63 percent of the city’s 188 slayings in 1976. Last year, out of 169 homicides, 81 percent were shootings.

    Meanwhile, periodic ATF reports have documented that firearms, flowing in from elsewhere in the country, remain available on D.C. streets – exactly what the ban was designed to prevent.”


  696. Fesser – Of course I’m not joking, and you know it. (And if you don’t like my use of quotation marks, too bad – just suck it up and consider it part of my style. If I could italicize, underline, or bold face type in these posts, I surely would.)

    What’s really interesting is that, apparently, gun control measures are ineffective ONLY HERE IN THE US OF A. Such regulations have worked very well to diminish the number of mass slaughters in any number of other officially-designated-modern industrial countries. (I could have used a few quotation marks there, but you’ve got me watching myself.) What’s different about us? That’s a very serious question.

    As for more availability of help for the mentally ill, as opposed to treating them at home, that would, of course, be a good idea… And the funding for such aid is cut at every turn. You are apparently familiar with this difficulty, since you mentioned not long ago that you know a college-age Aspie, and asked ME where his parents might turn to find help for him. My friends with an Aspie son were able to find a college that included assistance for Aspie kids in their disability services program – government-funded, I will add, but who knows for how long.

    I know how hard my friends had to work to find a good situation for their son. Whether or not Nancy Lanza made the same efforts I will probably never know. Her son killed her… And then twenty-six other people, most of them children at their first-grade desks, some of them blown to bits, wrapped in the arms of their teachers or classroom assistants. But, thank god, you can continue to put forth your rational arguments – among them equating suggestions for improving a society torn apart by our obsession with guns, and violence, with fixing a flat tire. Nice work.

    But, hey… Let’s continue to do nothing! Great idea.

    You go sleep on this thought… “I had a good day today. I did nothing about anything. Thank god I wasn’t emotional… At least I corrected gato on her use of quotation marks.” Or do whatever you want.


  697. “For the new or uninitiated porch sitters, the Pfessor/Sherlock/Che and self-proclaimed Lothario-wannabe has had a thing for lori every since he learned way back when that she has been a runway model.

    For the new or uninitiated porch sitters, Grandma has had a thing for PFesser since the first time he spanked her saggy bottom and – much to her dismay, she liked it a little bit.

    Unfortunately, jumping off the porch and calling someone a sonofabitch, then hiking your skirts and running for the house, shouting, “Don’t hit me; I’m an old woman!” doesn’t work in the Internet(s). Sorry, Grandma.

    (runaway model? What kind of runaway model was it? A Gremlin? I had a Pinto that ran away like that once when the throttle stuck…)

    “… does not take rejection well.” No, Grandma, the quote is, “doesn’t suffer fools gladly.”

  698. gato opined: “A lot of time and energy is being spent, by a lot of people, pointing out various and sundry statistics to “prove” that this or that gun control effort “won’t work.”

    Not “prove” – prove. Not “won’t work” – won’t work, hasn’t worked, doesn’t work. As has been pointed out multiple times, we’ve already run this experiment.

    “If no single effort will “work,” then, dammit, it seems that we bloody well ought to do EVERYTHING… instead of nothing.”

    You’re joking, right? So……..if you have a flat tire, you should weld additional wheels on the car to fix it, right? Then a crutch on a long shaft, just for luck, then some outriggers with men on them…then…

    – or you can fix the flat. Do Something – Anything! is just another emotional argument to a problem that requires logic to fix. The fact is that the common denominator in the Sandy Hook types of tragedy is generally mental illness – how about reversing the ’60′s trend of treating all mental illness at home? That alone would have stopped Sandy Hook, without trampling on the rights – yes, rights – of the law-abiding.

    No, we should NOT do things that Do Not Work just so we can check off the box that says “we tried.” Because anything you do also has down sides, if we don’t know what works, then we should do nothing until we do, not Something! Anything! to assuage our guilt and fool us into believing we really did something positive.

  699. Hi Congenial Gang,

    For the new or uninitiated porch sitters, the Pfessor/Sherlock/Che and self-proclaimed Lothario-wannabe has had a thing for lori every since he learned way back when that she has been a runway model. He does not take rejection well.

    We progressives still have to keep pushing out the huge piles of bullshit that the right keeps dumping. I think it has something to do with their improper potty training.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  700. ya Alaskapi …I’m smarter than that but sometimes I tend to exaggerate a little.
    Like I said it’s going to get interesting.
    We’re going to trust the administration on gun control when they sold guns to Mexican drug lords???????
    Gato goes to a shoot and finds out that the people there are real people and not orges….cordial but wary …NO SHIT…treat someone like shit and see what happens.(might get slapped)
    A lot here talk about having meaningful conversations but then talk about needing others to pull head from ass…the NRA is a criminal organization(diff site).
    “Weapons designed for a theater of war have no place in a movie theater.”…NO SHIT SHERLOCK..
    no matter what…WACO did happen…?how many children did Bill Clinton kill that day?
    What’s going to happen when states refuse to enforce federal law……think sanctuary cities…marijuana laws…hell states saying they want to enforce federal laws and the feds saying NO(southern border)…WTF
    Here in Michigan all pistol/revolver sales(even private) require a purchase permit gotten from the county police office with full fingerprints and background check with return to police office for a safety inspection,…rifles/shotguns require background check except private sales,..muzzle loaders do not require a background check… for a while we had to sign for ammo and then they put an age limit on it and I needed my dad to buy my 22 shells(quite awhile ago)
    I leave the keys in the truck and car and don’t lock my house….(location,location,location) I also piss off the front porch…

  701. Like I said “It’s going to get interesting”.
    got Rush on right now….”Let’s do a background check on Obama ,MSM hasn’t”

    got a list of thing Obama wants to do……
    1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
    well DUH
    2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
    might piss DRs off. isn’t this something the NRA backs?????
    7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
    Maybe an Eddie Eagle program in schools….marksmanship a part of physed????

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/16/list-executive-actions-obama-plans-to-take-as-part-anti-gun-violence-plan/?cmpid=googextension#ixzz2IAT4vL6a

  702. Cynthia…….that. Was. The. Best. Post. Ever.

  703. pf – For a man who has the education you claim to have you are a very narrow, limited minded man. And extremely arrogant as well. All you can come up with is more guns?

    I am very sorry about your keyboard. I was really hoping to cause such a physically violent reaction that it would force your head out of your ass.


  704. LOL LOL Gato, amen.. During the election cycle someone suggested an easy reelection path for Obama. They proposed all he would have to do is come out in support of oxygen. The entire Republican party (and republican trolls) would quickly become extinct due to refusal to breath! LOL

  705. Fesser – A lot of time and energy is being spent, by a lot of people, pointing out various and sundry statistics to “prove” that this or that gun control effort “won’t work.” If no single effort will “work,” then, dammit, it seems that we bloody well ought to do EVERYTHING… instead of nothing.

    I agree that it’s not a “simple” problem, and so do the gun club members with whom I spoke yesterday. So… We as a nation are capable of solving only “simple” problems? (For heaven’s sake, people wanted to “save” the TWINKIE, of all things, and it didn’t take long to solve THAT “problem.”)

    I’d like to hear more red, white, and blue citizens saying, “If we can put a man on the moon, we can do something to prevent people from being murdered when they go to school, or to a movie, or shopping.” Where’s that ol’ “We’re the greatest country in the world” thing around the gun violence issue, huh…?

    Instead, we have a bunch of self-declared-helpless apologists saying, “Oh, there’s nothing we can do,” and the NRA (NFAMOUS – National Fire Arms Manufacturers Of the US) putting out a highly inflammatory “ad,” complete with name-calling, directed SPECIFICALLY at those who, for all kinds of reasons, just can’t stand this President. Disgusting… And no surprise whatsoever. Did the NRA ever question having security for Saint Ronny’s family…? I don’t think so.

    The traditional free speech “limitation” – it’s not acceptable to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater – now has a new and even more deadly connotation…

    Let us know if, and when, you have any positive suggestions… If not, I’ll just have to assume that you think it’s perfectly fine for people to risk being shot whenever and wherever someone feels like shooting them, with any weapon of his choice. “Greatest country in the world,” indeed… If you don’t mind living where any public place is a potential firing range.


  706. Cynthia – you owe me a keyboard; I spit out my coffee all over it when I read your post.

    Let me get this straight: An article in The Wall Street Journal by a former DC prosecutor who was in office during the DC gun ban is not authoritative, but “Mother Jones” is? Hilarious!

    Just keep pushin’ that hot, steaming pile…

  707. “Weapons designed for a theater of war have no place in a movie theater.”

    I love my President… Now lets go get this done friends!

    Call, blog, donate, stand on your head and sing yankee doodle, LOL do EVERYTHING you can to get this done so that we can then go on to our other important work.

  708. I researched but I could find nothing that said the lower murder rate in DC was directly or even remotely due to the lifting of gun restrictions. I have learned the hard way when you make decisions based on the wrong information you don’t solve your problem. You just have a bigger and more costly problem to solve. But Mother Jones had an interesting opinion.


    But if you wish to believe that more guns is the answer just tell me what state I should by pass in my travels.


  709. LOL LOL, Was just on twitter Auntie Jean and noticed this tweet by @LOLGOP . “I remember when Republicans used to pick fights they had a chance of winning.”

    I thought you would enjoy it! Yes, we do have the wind at our back.. Keep pushin the pile. ;-)

    In case yinzs haven’t seen the PEW poll taken recently here it is.. You can find the tag numbers by clicking on the actual poll itself after you reach the site. Also too, CNN, Nate Silver 538, and Gallop have all done their own polls, all with like results.


    Yes we can!

  710. An interesting article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by Jeff Shapiro, prosecutor for Washington, DC during the DC gun ban. I apologise for the length; I can’t post the link, since you have to be a subscriber, but here are a few pertinent paragraphs:


    In the wake of the horrific elementary-school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month, many Americans, desperate to do something in response, have decided that much stricter gun control is the answer. Democrats have proposed reinstating the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed legislation that would even restrict the use of some semiautomatic handguns.

    As a former prosecutor in Washington, D.C., who enforced firearms and ammunition cases while a severe local gun ban was still in effect, I am skeptical of the benefits that many imagine will result from additional gun-control efforts. I dislike guns, but I believe that a nationwide firearms crackdown would place an undue burden on law enforcement and endanger civil liberties while potentially increasing crime.

    The D.C. gun ban, enacted in 1976, prohibited anyone other than law-enforcement officers from carrying a firearm in the city. Residents were even barred from keeping guns in their homes for self-defense.

    Some in Washington who owned firearms before the ban were allowed to keep them as long as the weapons were disassembled or trigger-locked at all times. According to the law, trigger locks could not be removed for self-defense even if the owner was being robbed at gunpoint. The only way anyone could legally possess a firearm in the District without a trigger lock was to obtain written permission from the D.C. police. The granting of such permission was rare.

    The gun ban had an unintended effect: It emboldened criminals because they knew that law-abiding District residents were unarmed and powerless to defend themselves. Violent crime increased after the law was enacted, with homicides rising to 369 in 1988, from 188 in 1976 when the ban started. By 1993, annual homicides had reached 454.

    The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department also waged a war on firearms by creating a special Gun Recovery Unit in 1995. The campaign meant that officers were obliged to spend time searching otherwise law-abiding citizens. That same year, the department launched a crackdown called Operation Cease Fire to rid the District of illegal firearms. But after four months, officers had confiscated only 282 guns out of the many thousands in the city.

    Civil liberties were endangered. Legislative changes empowered judges to hold gun suspects in pretrial detention without bond for up to 100 days, and efforts were made to enact curfews and seize automobiles found to contain firearms. In 1997, Police Chief Charles Ramsey disbanded the unit so that he could assign more uniformed officers to patrol the streets instead, but the police periodically tried other gun crackdowns over the next decade—with little effect.

    In 2007, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the city’s gun ban was unconstitutional. Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote in the majority opinion that “the black market for handguns in the District is so strong that handguns are readily available (probably at little premium) to criminals. It is asserted, therefore that the D.C. gun control laws irrationally prevent only law abiding citizens from owning handguns.”

    The ruling was affirmed the following year by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion said that citizens were guaranteed a right to keep firearms that were in common use in their homes for self-defense, but that the government could pass reasonable regulations concerning firearms and ammunition.

    Heller created a panic among gun-control advocates because it condoned the ownership of semiautomatic handguns, which are among the most common firearms in use but also the target of many restriction efforts. Supporters of the District gun ban maintained that because a semiautomatic handgun could potentially be converted into a machine gun—a class of firearms not expressly protected by Heller—they were in fact machine guns and therefore not protected by the Second Amendment. In response, Congress threatened to pass a law that specified the legality of semiautomatic handguns in the District. To avoid the embarrassment of being dictated to by Congress, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation in September 2008 amending the gun ban to allow ownership of semiautomatic handguns for home defense.

    Since the gun ban was struck down, murders in the District have steadily gone down, from 186 in 2008 to 88 in 2012, the lowest number since the law was enacted in 1976. The decline resulted from a variety of factors, but losing the gun ban certainly did not produce the rise in murders that many might have expected.”

    Emotional arguments, especially when the fruits of one’s emotions affect others, are not reliable or appropriate. I think Mr. Shapiro, who was THERE, has credibility; certainly most of Congress reads the WSJ every day. Hope so.

  711. Good morning, Lori -

    “Pushing the pile.” An excellent description. Thanks. I, too, will use that phrase when referring to that particular agenda.

  712. Can’t wait to hear em Auntie Jean.. ;-) xo

  713. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Great work, gato, on describing your visit to the gun club! In the relatively brief time you have been visiting the porch, I have come to know you and your style. As a result I trust your judgment and the accuracy of your account. Not many of us can avail ourselves of such first hand information especially so close to the Newtown tragedy where I am sure emotions are still running very high. Thank you for sharing with us.

    From what little I have heard about Obama’s recommendations I think they are equitable for all parties involved. I hope exercising executive orders are not necessary. However, the panic has already set in with the usual hysteria from the far right. We can bet they will create another “fiscal cliff-type crisis” before any legislation can make it through the House. Ho-hum.

    Good to “see” you again lori! It’s been a while here at M&H’s. I’ve got some new ideas for progressives pushing the pile I want to run by ya when I get more time. We have some great momentum going, don’t we.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  714. NRA has , according to them , 4.2 million members , up 100K from 4.1 million before the latest freakout-signup.
    AARP says they have 38 million members.
    Both lobby, offer services, and the like.
    We don’t have any trouble stomping on AARP


    when they screw up over healthcare, why should we over the NRA.?

    Since when is 4.2 million people in a membership organization trying to affect legislation
    1- a majority voice?
    2-anything more than a special interest group whose interests do not necessarily dovetail with the needs and desires of the rest of society or even a simple majority ?

  715. Good on you and the skeet club gato!
    Son of Pi lives in Maine now, teaches gun safety, and is part of a skeet shooting club ( Egads- he lives a civilized life compared to his rural upbringing here – no more real ducks, just funny lil clay dealies )
    You would have had a similar conversation with him and the other members of his club.

    UAW- nobody is going to go kicking in doors and dragging gun owners into the street for cryin out loud. Might be fun to get all whupped up in anticipation of such a thing but when nobody knocks/bangs on the door what the hell ? Big letdown or make up more bizarro scenarios like the end-of-the-world people do everytime it doesn’t end on schedule?
    I’m an admin on a collective blog about rural Alaska issues . We have small readership and enjoy yakking about fishing, mining, food security, and economic issues in the bush with no more than 100 regular readers.
    When President Obama won office the first time we had almost 1900 hits in a single evening after a hide-your-head-in-the-sand-the-end-of-the-world-is-upon-us bunch found a post we had run on the cost of food in the bush. Apparently they were all planning to move to Alaska , stockpile guns and food, and learn to live off the land and hide out from Mr Obama (until they found the reality of costs here) because the commies were going to over run the US in short order. Didn’t happen, isn’t going to happen.
    Neither will ATF be hitting every door on your road to take your guns.
    You’re smarter than that.

  716. uaw – I understand 400k have joined Mayor Against Guns very recently. What gives??


  717. Amen, Gato sister! Your conversations with them match the ones I’ve had with gun owners in my very much gun loving state. Not all gun owners think “anything goes” is what is stated in the constitution. They feel that appropriate regulations will prevent some tragedies and will prevent the instinct to ban guns outright. Nobody is going to remove the right to bear arms.

  718. Pleased you feel satisfied with your visit today gato!

    The sentiment you witnessed today is supported by all of the national polls I have been reading as well.

    Pi is right, yours is important work. We all, in our own way, must do what it takes to keep pushin the pile.

    The time has come…. and on we goooooo

  719. Oh, UAW… WTF IS A GUN GRAB LAW…??!! Every single member of the gun club with whom I spoke today, here in CT, thinks our CT laws are just fine, and thinks that Black Weapons are only suitable for the military… And anyone who needs to fire indiscriminately with an unending supply of cartridges just hasn’t a clue about how to handle a firearm.

    If you can’t hit a target with one or two shots, you just shouldn’t Fing have a gun, because you have no skill in using it. They don’t seem to like the NRA much, either.

    They already have their guns, and aren’t very worried about their being “grabbed.”

    And THEY, rifle owners all, think that the easy access to inexpensive Black Weapons is an abomination.


  720. jeez….NRA membership up over 100,000….
    what gives

  721. Hey, Fesser, and Lori, Pi, Terri, Auntie Jean, and Porch Sitters all… Forgive me if I’ve forgotten to name some of you have been so supportive. You know who you are…

    It went very well. AMAZINGLY WELL. They couldn’t have been nicer. Really. I mean it. I was kind of afraid that someone might want to ask me shoot something before they’d talk with me, and all they did was give me some earplugs. No real “answers” yet, but I didn’t go there for answers. I went there to hear from gun owners and active shooters about what they thought. They couldn’t have been more cordial, and appropriately wary at first – and I don’t blame them. They have been accosted and accused by reporters for weeks, to the point where I was told they felt they just had to throw up their hands and say, “We didn’t do this!” The range is less than twenty minutes from Newtown, has been around since 1899, and one of the other groups that shoots there regularly is based in Newtown. This was the trap shooting club, who only shoots one afternoon a week in the winter (today), except for some special events they hold. They had an event for the Wounded Warriors, which I thought was great, since that’s a group my husband and I support wholeheartedly.

    It was chilly here today, and the deep mud in their parking lot was getting really sloshy and sticky. But there was a big fire going in the clubhouse fireplace, and plates of cookies available for anyone who walked in. Everyone who came to shoot signed in, took his or her place in line, and went to an assigned position on the range to shoot. They go out to the range when a space is available for them. They have a voice-activated system, so when a shooter says “Pull,” a little orange thing flies up in the air, and he/she gets a chance at hitting it. I was amazed at the order of it all. (And not everybody hits everything, BTW. You’ve got to be good to hit that little thing…)

    What did I think of them? I thought they were great, and thoughtful, and welcoming, and dismayed by the magnitude of the gun craziness that has become part of our culture. Trap shooters have beautiful shotguns, and look at easily-accessible multiple-firing guns as “black weapons,” only appropriate for the military… And that is exactly what they call them: Black Weapons. And they think it’s awful that these black weapons are so much cheaper than a fine shotgun. The members with whom I talked were as grieved as any tree-hugger could be about the slaughter of children… This particular club suspended its shooting schedule for more than three weeks following that tragedy in Newtown, and were not happy that other clubs, using the same range, had not done the same. I found, as I’d hoped to find, that we have more in common than we have differences.

    IMHO, it is very important that we do our best to get gun owners on board to support nationwide regulations on gun ownership. And I think they’ll do it. The gun manufacturers are not going to give a shit about what any “anti-gun” person thinks… But they WILL give a shit about what their potential customers think. These are the people we need to encourage to speak up… And let them know we are all in this together. Gun owners are not our enemy. They may be our strongest ally.

    If you are a gun owner, and a member of a shooting club, talk to your fellow members, about what they think would be reasonable.

    If you are not a gun owner, make an effort to get to know someone who is, and make sure they know you don’t hate them. And then see the above.

    The shooters with whom I talked today were looking for answers. They want them. Let’s help them find them.


  722. geez Gato.
    Maybe I was commenting on 2 different things in my post…
    like now.
    I haven’t heard about Texas succeeding but I heard their going to make it a felony to enforce any gun grab law that Obama edicts…….


  723. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I read in the paper this morning that a petition has been circulated for Texas to secede from the Union. Apparently a number of Northerners have signed it. OK. Texas citizens would need passports and visas to visit the U.S. We wouldn’t want any of them illegal alien Texicans sneaking across the borders now, would we.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  724. gato – how did your meeting go? What is your honest opinion of these women and men?

  725. Hi again, Lori – Check this out… http://www.womenontarget.us. Here’s my favorite line from their intro:

    “No husbands, boyfriends, or other ego driven detractors are allowed in our classes!”

    The “Flashbang holster” is also interesting…


  726. UAW – How did a one-sentence remark in reference to your avatar send you into a multi-paragraph exhortation about “Am i going to be a criminal when they come to take away our guns…”?

    Who knows?


  727. sorry Gato.
    someone got THEIR “knickers in a twist” because of my “Michelle Bachmann” avatar.
    It’s going to be interesting when Obama finds out that a lot of police won’t enforce his rules. Are the BATF going to start kicking down doors in the middle of the night(again)? How many Waco’s(with children killed) are going to happen. How about a million man march on Washington with all marchers carrying guns? Will the police or national guard have another “Kent State” moment someplace?
    Are people REALLY saying that honest,mentally stable, hardworking, taxpaying Afgan, Iraq, Vietnam,or Korean war vets, retired police officers, judges,or politicians be made into criminals because they won’t give up their guns.
    Am I going to become a criminal because I have two 25 rnd clips for my ruger 10/22.
    This is going to get really interesting.

  728. I think I remember reading somewhere down there talk about demographics of gun owners.

    Nate Silver’s, as probs you all know, is a wizz kid when it comes to polls, stats, and predictions… Here is his findings on gun ownership demos.


  729. try again.

  730. Best wishes, gato.
    is an important step no matter how it turns out.

  731. Here it is. I think I’ll use this avatar for a while.

  732. Fight hard gato.. there is lotttsssa money opposing us. We need tenacious, clear thinking, visionary Progressives’ that can clearly see the path FORWARD. Good luck!

  733. Hi, Pi, and Lori – Yeah; let’s keep at it. I’m meeting with some gun club people at our local shooting range IN A COUPLE OF HOURS… (They started practicing about half an hour ago; it’s easy to hear them from my house.) I know, from reading local news (I’m in a town that adjoins Newtown, CT) they they have already been “hounded” and accosted by reporters for weeks, and are feeling… Actually, I don’t know what they’re feeling – which is why I asked if they’d meet with me – so I can find out. Their email responses have been very encouraging.

    I’ll let you know how it goes… Hope I can handle the noise!


  734. Right ON Pi!

    Give em hell and keep on pushin the pile my friend! Change WILL happen. Hopefully sooner than later….

  735. ;-) gato.. that’s just the way they roll.

    and on we goooooo to the important stuff.. We have important work to do!

    Looking forward to what the VP recommended to the President today!

  736. lori-
    things are looking up some that we might get some real and necessary change on gun control.
    thanks for doing your part :-)
    I got into a big argument recently on an Alaskan blog with a doof who was talking down to everyone else about how much safer they all were because he conceal carries everywhere he can.
    Yeah right. Just what I want. A wanna be vigilante who thinks he’s not safe gassing up his rig or buying toilet paper and milk at the market. You betcha.
    Our so-called metropolitan areas are full of em- rural folks are a lot more sensible about it all here usually- maybe because they do deal with real risks regularly.
    The 2 family members I have lost to murder wouldn’t have been helped and given the random , out of the blue circumstances Mr conceal carry would likely have been dead right alongside them, before he even had a chance to get his gun.

  737. Hi, Lori – I seem to recall UAW’s getting his knickers in a twist when some of us expressed a dislike for HIS “Michelle Bachmann” avatar… (Shall I add the oft-appearing “HAHAHA” to this…?)


  738. UAW his 1st amendments rights have nothing to do with his opinion on my personal gavatar for heavens sake… Get real..

    He can yammer all he wants about whatever he wants as long as he leaves me alone and the host allows it.

    And that goes for you too.


  739. yes GFY Fesser.
    We don’t want you using your 1st amendment rights either…..HAHAHA

  740. GFY Fesser & mind your own business. No one cares what you think.

  741. Aptly named facebook page, “Right wing rants and raves”.

  742. Lori – have I told you how much I LOVE your Che Guevara avatar?

  743. With the close of the holiday fun & my youngest tucked back into University I wanted to take a minute and express my gratitude and pride of my fellow Progressive porch dwellers and of course our hosts, M&H. We again are leading the way for real meaningful forward thinging “change”.

    Most of you know my bailiwick is really the political side of politics. I normally leave the policy debates up to others. But I think it’s important for ALL of us to make our voices and opinions heard on yet another cultural ground swell that has presented itself at our doorstep.

    None of us political junkies would have thought we would be sitting here talking about assault weapons and high capacity ammunitions clips days before our guy puts his hand on the bible for the second time to take the oath of President of the United States. But here we are and we MUST not let this moment in time pass us by.

    We MUST, as we have done with so many other important social issues, be the ground breakers and standard bearers for reasonable ~ SANE, PROGRESSIVE attitudes towards these weapons and artillery that should ONLY be seen on a battlefield.

    Just as we have been passionate advocates for cultural changes towards many other just and SANE social issues we must add this to our long list of “change” issues. This barbaric notion that these weapons should be readily available to civilians is just ridiculous. These weapons represent much that is wrong in our society. It’s greed and a big money industry dictating this absurd cultural issue where it makes it socially acceptable to “own” these things. It’s time…. keep pushing the pile.. keep our eyes on the prize. Please don’t fall, as we have time and time again, for the micro issues and strawman arguments and instead focus on the BIG picture. Banning these human slayers from the streets. It can’t stop there, but it’s a good start.

    Good luck my friends.. and thanks again. I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with yinz. ;-) YES WE CAN……

  744. [...] 80-somethings got somethin’ to say, and I ‘spec we best [...]

  745. Hey, PFesser – Won’t disagree with your county’s stats. My brother & sis-in-law live in SC, and I suspect the percentages there are much the same, if not even more equal, than those in your area.

    I think the Northeast’s URBAN areas are similar… But the New England suburbs certainly aren’t, for sure… My eleven-year-old granddaughter, who lives nearby, was all atwitter when a Jamaican boy became part of the student body at her elementary school a few years ago. Don’t think any of the kids had ever seen – or even heard of – dreadlocks prior to that momentous day…

    BTW, I did not mean to say that hunters, in particular, are angry and fearful, and all that other stuff… In fact, my guess is that a most hunters find all that “get your man card” stuff as juvenile and repugnant as I do. Gun manufacturers do not have to “convince” anyone who has a need or desire to hunt to buy a gun, or two… But if they can convince someone who’s paranoid about the government, or some minority group, or the magnitude of his own manhood, to buy a few, so much the better for the bottom line. That’s how it looks to me…

    Enjoyed your and Auntie Jean’s washing machine stories. My mother also had one of those big roller ironing machines, and the precautions and admonitions were much the same.


  746. [...] 80-somethings got somethin’ to say, and I ‘spec [...]

  747. gato – a quick check of my county’s demographics shows 33% black; actually I thought it was more than that. I drive through a private hunting club property on my way to the airport every couple of days and I would say that at least 75% of the hunters I see walking along the road are black. I always chuckle to myself when I see them and their white compadres roaming around together with shotguns and beagles, yukking it up. Things have come a long way here in the South. Maybe the northern urban areas will catch up to us one day.

    re: early washing machines. My mother was born in the early 1900′s. Rural electrification took place in the late ‘thirties, so for much of my mother’s life she and her family didn’t have electricity. Her sister married a fellow who made sure they stretched their budget to the max to have all the “modern conveniences.” He bought her a gasoline-powered Maytag washer. The engine was a little two-stroke affair; one opened the window a crack and snaked the exhaust pipe out so as not to gas the family! I still see those engines at county fairs occasionally. Ah, here’s one…

    My mom was very careful to be sure none of us got around the wringer washer when we were little, regaling us with tales of kids who ran their arms through the wringer. Maytag later manufactured the wringers with panic bars right above the wringer rollers so that if you got caught you could slam your hand against it and the rollers released and popped wide apart. If you were too panicked to hit it, the rollers would pull you up against the release. My mom told me about an older lady who literally got her ‘tit in the wringer.’ We were VERY careful around that machine!

    Near the end of my training, a medical article was published about the x-ray appearance of “wringer arm” in toddlers, noting that it was unlikely to be seen these days because of the disappearance of wringer washers. Two weeks later I saw the first and last real case I have ever seen. It was just serendipity that I had seen the article and nobody else had – and had grown up on a rural farm with a wringer washer; the junior residents thought I had figured it out on my own; I never told them any different.

  748. Hi Congenial Gang,

    One of our many very favorite pets for years and years was our dog, Shep. He was a huge half collie, half shepherd; all black with a white blaze down his throat and white front paws. He looked like he was wearing a tuxedo. He was so patient with my little sister and me. We rode him like a horse, pulled his ears and tail and he always tolerated us with infinite forbearance. He never ever barked, bit or even nipped at anybody. But just let a stranger set foot in the yard and he was transformed into a ferocious looking beast! His coat of hair stood up and he bared his teeth with a deep menacing growl.

    As many of our early memories are, this incident is indelible in my memory although I didn’t learn some of the details until years later. About that time there was a powerful politician in the state who was involved in a huge scandal about multiple counts of corruption and embezzlement among other things. His name was Gelwick. My dad and a number of other men who had dealt with him were subpoenaed to testify at the trial. As always happens, it dragged on through the courts for months and was all over the papers continually. Somewhere along the line, not so discreet threats were made toward the men and their families too, if they testified. So Dad told Mom to be on the alert and not open the door to anyone we didn’t know.

    One day a big black car came down the long driveway and a tall burly fat man got out and came to the front door. Mom didn’t answer it. He went away. He came back though several days in a row. Of course Mom told Dad and there was some tension as you can imagine. One early evening after Dad had come home from work the big black car came rumbling down the driveway again. Dad put on his holster with the six-shooter. When the man came to the front door, Dad and Shep were waiting for him. My little sister was just a toddler then and I was 6 or 7. I vividly remember she and I huddled behind Mom’s skirts a few feet away, watching. Dad opened the front door, rammed the six-shooter into the man’s fat gut and quietly said, “What do you want?” Shep was doing his fierce thing. The man blanched and started to sway. Dad quickly snapped the safety, holstered the gun and grabbed the guy under one arm. (I distinctly remember hearing the click of the safety.) Then Mom and he helped the man into the house and sat him down at the dining room table. The man was sort of babbling, “pru-pru-pru” and fumbling in his coat pocket for a small booklet.

    OK. It turned out that my parents had whole life insurance policies for each member of the family with the Prudential Insurance Company. The premiums were five cents a week for each of us, including my older brother and sister. The Prudential man came around every week to collect 30 cents and record it in his and our booklets. The policies were 20 Pay Life. I don’t know if there was such a thing as term life insurance in those days. The regular Prudential man was not available for some reason and this man was subbing for him.

    Everything turned out fine. Shep lay down by the man’s feet. Mom went into the kitchen and brought back coffee while my sister and I ran around the house as usual. The grownups chatted and got acquainted. The man collected his 30 cents, dutifully recorded in both booklets, and went away happy. (Probably relieved that he didn’t get shot!)

    To make a long story not so short, Dad and most of the other men testified at the trial. Gelwick was convicted and went to jail for a nice long stretch. We all lived happily ever after.

    Nowadays, I pick up some cans of Comstock’s Cherry Pie Mix at the supermarket. We transact our insurance business on the internet. No need for guns anymore. We still have the crooked politicians with their powerful lobbies to contend with though.

    There is a postscript to the cherry trees story. Years later we were visiting my parents with our small boys. The cherry trees had grown to immense proportions by then and were loaded with fruit. Our boys were tickled pink to climb the trees with buckets and pick the cherries, those they didn’t eat with both hands that is. Dad and I were watching them. A bunch of crows were having a feast up at the top of the trees. I told Dad I remembered when he used to shoot the crows. He grinned and said there were plenty of cherries now for them too. He hadn’t used his guns for a long time he said so he had gotten rid of them. He had developed other interests, for one a huge tank of tropical fish he fed and tended to.

    He was wise enough to retain the best of the traditions of his cultural heritage and felt no disloyalty in discarding the rest. That’s what I call maturity. He was a mellow guy. I always loved him.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  749. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Here are a couple of my gun stories from growing up in the Wild and Wooly West of Northern Colorado some 70+ years ago during the Great Depression in the early 1930′s. You know, nostalgic tales of the Good Ole Days of my youth.

    My dad was a veteran of WWI but never saw combat action since the Armistice was signed 9 months after he was drafted. At home he had guns; rifles and a six shooter revolver. He was a crack dead shot. It was a given at the time that all the men had guns. There were even a few Annie Oakley types too. We lived way out in the isolated country abutting the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We had a montmorency cherry orchard. We shared the cherries with all our friends and neighbors during those tough economic times. Mom canned them in quart mason jars and kept them in the cellar along with all the other fruits and veggies she canned from our huge garden.

    Every summer when the cherries were ripe, the crows came around and were pecking away at the cherries. Dad got out there with his six shooter, took aim and picked them off, one by one. Pretty soon very few crows came around any more. I guess they got the message.

    About that time, Dad bought Mom a brand spanking new state-of-the-art electric wringer washing machine. It was a vast improvement over the old scrub-on-the-washboard that most of the women had. She hauled it into the middle of the kitchen floor and hooked the hoses up to the faucets in the kitchen sink, then plugged it in. We had to be careful to step over the long cord that stretched across the floor from the washer to the wall plug. But hey, we had electricity and hot and cold running water!!! After each load was washed, she hung the fresh laundry out on the clothesline to dry. It was good exercise for her, out in the fresh air and sunshine she said. Unless…. it was snowing, sleeting, hailing, freezing or gales of wind came along and blew the wash all over the backyard.

    This story is getting pretty long so I’ll have to make it a two parter.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  750. Fesser – You are correct, yet again… I AM reasonable. Thanks for acknowledging that.

    As for my “scenario” of keeping people underemployed, undereducated, and hungry… I didn’t make that up. Look at the stats of what’s going on in this country.

    A quick scout around the internet, about who owns guns, was pretty interesting. I don’t know where you live, but if most of the gun owners in your neighborhood are non-white, you evidently live in a very interesting place!

    Check out http://www.M4CARBINE.net, or http://www.thefirearmsforum.com, or http://www.gallup.com. The last indicates that one in three white people own firearms, and one in six non-whites do.

    I am confident that hunters, as you say (and Alaskapi would probably agree), that hunters are probably some of the most responsible gun owners amongst us. I can’t imagine any hunter who would feel that she needs a multiple-round cartridge to take down any rabid animal, or any source of food.

    You got a tree…? I’ll keep barking.


  751. Gato – you seem to be reasonable, so I’ll address some of your issues reasonably.

    “The idea that some “survivalist,” with however many weapons, would be able to “defend” his home and family if “the government” decided to attack him is, IMHO, totally delusional.”

    I don’t know any “survivalists,” so I can’t help you there, but a citizen doesn’t have to defend against “the government” as you put it, because it would be such an uneven contest as to be no-contest. He only has to keep his own counsel, call or talk to nobody, and select his target. You cannot defend against a man who doesn’t intend to get away. There are 20 million hunters in this country, and I would call each a gun “expert.” Think about that.

    “divided against each other, angry, frightened about some mythical black or brown or gay or “foreign” or Commie “enemy,” and doing their damndest to assure people that an expensive pair of tennis shoes, or yet another automatic weapon and lots of ammo, is going to keep them from going under…”

    I know a lot of hunters and gun owners. The above is an entirely fictitious scenario, produced out of thin air by (whom?). And by the way, the great majority of hunters I know, and in this county, are black. Bark up another tree. Sorry.

  752. HI, Cynthia – Thanks for the Salon link. I was kind of getting to that point, among other things, in my last (somewhat interminable!!) post to PFesser.

    The idea that some “survivalist,” with however many weapons, would be able to “defend” his home and family if “the government” decided to attack him is, IMHO, totally delusional. (But, as the old saying goes, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail…”)

    However, as you point out, our current government IS under far too much sway from big money interests – and quite a few legislators are doing everything they can to make sure that influence increases. People are, in fact, correct in their feeling that much of government policy doesn’t care about them – and every time funding for social services are cut, or some corrupt CEO walks away with a “golden parachute” after having trashed his company’s investors, their suspicions are rightly confirmed.

    But having as many weapons as possible, and a three-month supply of freeze-dried food, is just not the answer. I can understand how it might FEEL better to think that one could just blow away the “bad guys” when they come to the door… But they’re already there, quietly dismantling the door, and the roof, and the yard… Through disenfranchisement, undisclosed expenditures of millions of dollars to buy legislators (as you’ve pointed out), corporate tax loopholes, keeping people uneducated, underemployed, without access to health care, or even nutritious food, divided against each other, angry, frightened about some mythical black or brown or gay or “foreign” or Commie “enemy,” and doing their damndest to assure people that an expensive pair of tennis shoes, or yet another automatic weapon and lots of ammo, is going to keep them from going under…


  753. The statement “we need our guns to protect us from the government”. Yet we are the government…that should get very interesting if we start shooting. But who is trying to control the government these days? Corporations are buying Congressvarmits who in turn make laws to the corps advantage and are slowly taking over the country. So are these gun people going to shoot up Wall Street, BP Oil, Walmart, GE etc.? Would be fun to watch if it was so seriously stupid.

    Interesting link: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/11/stop_talking_about_hitler/


  754. But, but, but gato, how’re ya gonna tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” if they all have guns?

    Me again.

  755. Hey, Auntie… I will be going as myself. Who else could I be? And I think the woman who invited me will be there as herself, also. I want to ask her what she thinks. If I only hear what she has to say, I will have done my job.
    And she will have done hers, too.

    Lordy… This isn’t about well-documented position papers, is it? It’s about what matters.


  756. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Good luck, gato, on your upcoming face off with the local gun club. You won’t be packing concealed heat to defend yourself, will ya?

    Meanwhile, I am up to my ears, paddling my own little canoe. Many years ago I vowed to and worked assiduously to eliminate two four letter words from my vocabulary – the “h***“ word and the “f***“ word. I succeeded admirably, until…….

    I can’t tell you how much I “h***”, loathe and despise these “f***in’” little Valentine Guys I’m making for my grandkids. To make matters worse, son #2 in CA (age 56!) has requested/demanded some to take to work. Sheesh.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  757. Thank you, Auntie Jean…

    This stuff takes me so far out of my comfort zone, as does my upcoming visit to my neighboring gun club this coming Tuesday. You can’t imagine how much your support means to me… Well, actually, I think you do.

    I feel surrounded by loving women, and the men who support us. And one of them is Matthew.

    And I think I’ve just written my own next blog post…


  758. Hi Congenial Gang,

    gato,WAY TO GO!!!!! You too, pi I!!!!!.

    Your comments below are what I call well informed, well thought out and well articulated. All of us can learn something from it.

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  759. Well, Fesser – As Auntie Jean has already mentioned, I’ve evidently flunked your course on Constitutional history. Think I’ll sign up for Obama’s classes next time, as she suggests… Maybe with Auntie Jean and Alaskapi and Whirled (and Margaret and Helen, and any number of other Porch Sitters) as adjunct professors.

    You certainly did a thorough job outlining your points – as did Jonathan Swift when he wrote his “Modest Proposal.” HOWEVER (and there’s always a “however,” isn’t there?), sticking strictly to the wording of the Constitution as your sole justification for your argument, with no regard to the conditions of the society in which it was written – and changes that have taken place since that time – seems to me to be, in the Big Picture, a bit myopic, if you’ll excuse my saying so.

    As I readily admit (and you have pointed out) I do not “pfess” to be a Constitutional scholar… But I did take fifth grade history. I think we can safely say that, at the time the Constitution was written (amazing document that it is), there was only a minimal “standing army,” and the basic idea was that citizens (only the free, white, males amongst us, BTW) of our then-new country should be enabled to serve, with weapons, if called upon by the government, to help preserve this new nation against foreign aggression – as well as offering an implied restraint against any overbearing activities by our very own government.

    I would venture to say, also, that, at the time, the “firearms” available to both the military (such as it may have been) and the citizenry, were relatively similar. Sure; maybe the military had three muskets to every one held by a civilian… But they were all muskets.

    Speaking of apples and oranges, let’s look at the situation today. The United States of America continues to be one of the biggest and most powerful arms manufacturing and distribution agents in the entire world, and we have been for quite some time. The NRA may be exhorting “patriots” to hang on to their AK47s and magazine clips in order to defend their “liberty,” but there is no way that even these would stand against the enormous arsenal currently held by our military, should that military decide to turn against its own citizens – a situation I find highly unlikely. (Ohhh… I can just imagine the replies to this statement already…)

    Do you want to get into a discussion of what constitutes a “firearm”? Would that include ground-to-air missiles, IEDs, drones, and so on? Your argument would indicate that any citizen should be able to purchase those, as well, would it not? Does that seem like a good idea? Do you want your kids and grandkids to live in that kind of world? Why not? Why should there be any limits to the resources they might use to defend themselves?

    As for whether or not many Jews and Russians might disagree with my point of view, I have never heard any Jew (my first husband is one, and I live in a community founded by Jewish firemen, so I have some experience here) say that the reason they felt they were persecuted and slaughtered was because they didn’t have enough guns. They were victims, primarily, of a sociopath with a formidable PROPAGANDA machine – one that convinced their fellow citizens, through lies, distortions, and the inducement of paranoia and appeals to the most base of human instincts, that the Jews were a danger, a threat, and less than human… Does this sound vaguely familiar…? It sure as hell does to me.

    The brilliance of the Constitution, as I see it, is that not only did it lay out some profoundly important principles for a sound and healthy society, but it laid out ways for those principles to be modified, as needed, to reflect changes in the nation, as that nation grew, while always honoring the intent of those principles.

    If you really want to “protect our democracy,” may I suggest that you apply your energies to some of the following:

    (1) Eliminating the deliberate jerrymandering of voting districts.
    (2) Reducing the ever-growing income inequity between working people and corporate shareholders.
    (3) Assuring that our children have a decent education.
    (4) Assuring that all our citizens have access to, at least, minimal health care.
    (5) Making sure that every citizen has the right to vote.
    (6) Insisting that those who are buying our legislators step up and say who they are, and who they represent.

    IMHO, this might be a decent start.


  760. Auntie Jean-
    While it is technically true that slave/slavery is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution , there are 2 other places in the original Constitution where it is dealt with.
    The Section you quoted from Constitution was about apportionment for representation. The North was against it , the South wanted it to increase/maximize their numbers of Reps to Congress.

    There’s also the Fugitive Slave Clause

    No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
    Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3

    The prohibition of importation of slaves for 20 years :

    The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
    Article 1 Section 9


    By and large , the issue was deemed a State issue. The tension between State and Federal governments has existed from the beginning .
    Personally- I think that, while very frustrating at times, is proper.

  761. Mornin’, Auntie Jean – Yeah; I must have misread the syllabus. I thought it was Sociology and Ethics…

    Thanks for providing the enlightening data. (I’m not a Constitutional historian; glad you evidently are…!)

    I’ve been pondering the PFesser’s remarks, and will get back on it later today. Sir Thomas More’s belief that “silence implies acquiescence” has been running through my mind… And I don’t “acquiesce” to the erudite PFesser, however finely-honed his argument…


  762. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Uh, gato, looks like you flunked the Mighty Pfessor’s course on the Constitution. On Jan. 12, 2013, at 9:17 PM, he graded your paper and your answers were all WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Guess you’ll have to take the class all over again.

    Or maybe you could take Obama’s series of courses. I hear that the President’s qualifications and credentials are recognized as exemplary. I’ll sign up for them with ya!

    But for now, we can stipulate that there is no explicit definition of citizenship in the Constitution. But check out Article 1, Section 2, Number 3: The “3/5 Compromise” for Congressional Representation, (census, etc.,) was certainly intended to exclude slaves from full citizenship. The words “slave” and “woman” are not mentioned in the Constitution, but the words “free” and “male over the age of 21” are.

    The gun fanciers and the NRA love to spout off about the Second Amendment and the “well-regulated militia.” Look up the definition of the word “militia”. It is ALWAYS subject to federal, state or local government control, except for posses and renegades of course. Today, the ORGANIZED militia is the National Guard, the Regular Military Reserves and such. The UNORGANIZED militia is all the rest. You know, the hairy –chested he-men who have never worn a uniform but bag a squirrel or a possum occasionally to brag about.

    Again the NRA’ers talk as if the Second Amendment is Holy Writ with no room for anything but a literal interpretation, just like the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, and Vedic writings. However, the Founding Fathers were men of the Enlightenment who knew full well that societies change over time. Perhaps that’s why they made provisions for Amendments. Uh, isn’t that maybe why they created a Supreme Court Branch in the Constitution too?

    While we are at it, let’s look at a couple of other Constitutional provisions:

    Article 1, Section 8, Numbers 12 and 16.

    The congress shall have power:

    Number 12. To raise and support armies, but not appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.

    (Tell that to the DOD. What’s trillion here, a trillion there for years on end.)

    Number 16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States prospectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  763. Hi Gato,

    Here is the ‘original’,*
    edited and re-posted.

    *Sanitized for his protection.

    If this was a 15yr old posting on Facebook, the authorities would be all over him. We can only hope he gets the help he truly needs for his crazed, paranoid delusions before he hurts someone.

    PEACE ~ Δ

  764. Hi, Whirled – Ye gods and little goldfish… This guy, and Alex Jones…


  765. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA says we need a national database of the mentally ill…

    …or as he called it “a lunatic database”.

    I nominate this guy: James Yeager

    I hope someone is looking into this lunatic. Some gun nuts are just nuts!

    PEACE ~ Δ

  766. Amy Nouson-
    Seriously? LOL!
    Whata loada .
    Next time you make a straw man to shoot down, try for a harder one to spot.

  767. Whether you read it backwards or forwards, I would recommend everyone here read this trial coverage carefully


    It is considered the most thorough and fair of all the coverage of this trial by all sides on the various issues of any coverage anywhere.
    it is long but some of the things which come up over and over include the piles and piles of legal weapons this lil bunch amassed before they stepped into trying to get illegal weapons, the escalation of bizarre behavior including wearing body armor to visit and try to intimidate a state trooper, running an armed “security detail” all around a radio station where Mr Cox was doing an interview, and endless horsepunky about the federal government and black helicoptery type stuff.
    Coming from a state where right wing militias are getting more than a bit big for their britches and who use this bunch of doofs as poster boys for “freedom, liberty, and patriotism” I’m tired of the BS. ( Mr Cox renounced his citizenship as a “sovereign” )
    I’d like to see us have these conversations take place on ground we live on- not the ozone- and here we live with guns. And we need to.
    However, we do not need or want to have the gun thing allow any more of these fruitloops to hide under the 2nd amendment … or the 1st for that matter.

  768. This is a summary of the case and the majority and dissenting opinions.


    This is where we have to work from no matter what we think or feel.

    I have asked repeatedly here for responsible hunters to step up and be part of a solution to a number of the problems we face on gun control issues as well as try to explain to others that a total ban on guns is not going to happen.
    I don’t give a damn what comes out of the NRA, their leadership has made them irrelevant.
    Equally, I don’t give a damn what total abolitionists are saying.
    Gato has actually done something to create a place to try to start. Good job, Gato!

  769. There are plenty of restrictions under the law on the 2nd amendment- not enough for many, too many for others.
    This is where we stand now :


  770. Helen, normally I love you, I really do. I don’t read every entry but I applaud along with the ones I read. I’m not going to defend the NRA. Like PETA, they can get pretty out there sometimes, even if you agree with the underlying cause. Nonetheless there are a lot of pretty bad errors in your analysis. Of course, given that you have no background in this, other than being alive and not wanting to see little kids get shot, that’s not too surprising.

    I’m going to let you in on a little secret Helen, even the whack jobs in the NRA don’t want little kids getting shot. I know in some chamber of your heart you’ve decided otherwise. Demonizing people you don’t understand is pretty psychologically normal, but the NRA people actually have hearts and care too. Despite what everyone loves to think. But I’m not here to discuss the NRA. I’m here to discuss Germany. Not some bullshit Hitler analogy either, so have no fear.

    Helen, you were probably paying attention to the 1974 Munich Olympics when those poor athletes were taken and gunned down coldly. You likely watched on with the same horror that the rest of the world had. Because it was the first time terrorism ever played out on the international stage. Terrorism had been a domestic issue until then and usually one in one of “those other” countries that Americans usually dismiss.

    And the German police bungled it. I mean really bungled it, bless their hearts. They felt terrible, and humiliated, and they took it pretty hard. But the rest of the world didn’t blame them. No one had seen anything like this before. It caught them off guard and they did all the wrong things and almost everyone died. (To Germany’s credit they came back swinging with an attitude of never again and now they lead the world in handling terrorists, I dare say, but that’s getting into history you don’t need to have.)

    My point is the Columbine guards basically ran away. Now don’t get me wrong, bless THEIR hearts, they were following the protocol of the time and so on. But they bungled the job badly, much like our Munich police friends, because they had never seen anything like this before. They weren’t trained for it. No one was.

    And so now you’re reminding me a little too much of those pro-life whackjobs who bomb clinics and murder doctors in the name of saving lives.

    In the name of safety, you want to remove guards. You hate the idea of them. I’m not really following your logic here. After Waco did you want the FBI disbanded? After Munich should we have abandoned having police? We’re talking about the same thing here, right? Guards – licensed, trained, bonded, police except not-on-the-city’s-payroll guards. I mean, if you’re afraid they won’t be well enough trained, how about you push for really premier training? But instead you want to remove guards, in the name of safety. Guards…whose sole job description is “keep everyone safe”.

    I know the world’s gone crazy and it feels like up has become down, but when I read you invoking the Columbine guards to support an idea that guards make things worse… I just don’t know what to say. Apparently we shouldn’t be learning from our mistakes and improving, we should be turning our back on mistakes and leaving schools utterly defenseless. For their own safety.

  771. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I am confident that Tuesday, Biden and his task force will come up with some viable solutions for the gun violence issues. They are long overdue. I am so glad they wouldn’t die down and go away this time.

    jsri, I am almost as proud of your grandsons as I am of ours – almost. We have river and ocean going canoe regattas out here. It is fun to see them practicing. There are long 10-12 man (and now girl too) crews gliding through the water at surprising speeds with their oars in perfect synchrony. Poetry in motion. We also used to see them on the Charles River when we lived in the Boston ‘burbs.

    Yours is a poignant story about your dad, Mikat. You do have some very happy memories of him though. Which brings me to one of my stories about a museum to add to your must-see list when you and hubby take your Grand Tour of the NE.

    There is an old joke about the definition of a “Yankee”. Around the world, a Yankee is known as an American. Within the U. S., he lives north of the Mason-Dixon Line. From there, a Yankee is from New England; in Massachusetts, from Boston, lives on Beacon Hill and eats Cherry Pie for breakfast.

    When I was reaching the burnout stage from 24/7 beck-and-call duty chasing after kids, on an occasional Saturday I used to leave the kids in my husband’s capable hands and drive into the city on Route 128, Boston’s answer to DC’s Beltway. But I wasn’t about to drive all the way in! As you know, jsri, they don’t drive it in Boston, they AIM it! So I would park at the Boston Fine Arts Museum and take the el. Then I went to Elizabeth Arden’s Salon and Spa on Beacon Hill for a complete overhaul. The works! Next, I would treat myself to a nice lunch and then go shopping.

    There was one special upscale store I loved to browse through and occasionally pick up a small item. I got to know one of the sales ladies quite well. One time she called me and said a suit had come in with my name on it. Sure enough, it fit perfectly and was absolutely gorgeous! It was light blue wool boucle with a tunic length jacket. Of course it was way, way, way over my budget but the sales lady promised to put it aside for me on a rather informal layaway. I began squirreling away a few dollars from the weekly food budget until I had enough to make up the delta between what I could afford for it. It took a while!

    I LOVED that suit and wore it for special occasions for about 30 years. When the lining was shot, I even replaced it myself. Moving out here I knew it was way too warm to ever wear again but it broke my heart to give it to the Good Will.

    Anyway, back to my day in Boston. I then took the el back to the Museum. At the time there was no admission charge. I moseyed around but always wound up on a mezzanine, sitting on a bench looking down the long corridor at a Monet. I think it was one of his Water Lilies paintings. It was soooooo serene and relaxing! Occasionally I would walk down and inspect it closely, trying to figure out from his brush strokes how he did it. The man was a genius!!!

    So with my batteries recharged, I was ready to go back to the usual routine of utter pandemonium at home.

    So ya gotta go check out my Monet at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts!

    Aloha! :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean.

  772. “HI, again, PFesser – If you’re going to keep up that “guaranteed in your nation’s founding document” stuff, please remember to include the “WELL-REGULATED MILITIA” part of the statement, as well. The Second Amendment does NOT say anything remotely like, “Anyone who feels like it can own as many guns as they want for any reason.””

    You are right. Here is what it says:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Nothing in the first part negates anything in the second part. It does not say that you have to be in a militia or in the army to have a gun; it’s just a statement, a preamble. The second part then gives the law: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. There are NO qualifiers. “Shall not be infringed” means exactly that. Nothing more.

    “There are plenty of “rights” many Americans now take for granted which were not included in that fine document: The right to vote for women and the right to equal treatment under the law, whatever one’s gender or race being two of the most significant.”

    You are getting out in left field, comparing apples to oranges. The things you call “rights” are granted in laws; they are not guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms is. Those other rights can be easily reversed and revoked. Not so things guaranteed in the Constitution.

    “And some “rights” have been revoked since that document was written, by the will of the people – such as the “right” to own slaves. For heaven’s sake, man, times and societies evolve and change, and their laws change along with them.”

    Firstly, I am unaware of any law permitting the keeping of slaves, or prohibiting it in 1787. Certainly not in the Constitution, so I’m not quite sure what your point is.

    And yes, “woman,” times and societies DO evolve; ideas, however, are forever. Such as the idea that one should be able to defend oneself.

    “I would argue that most citizens today feel they have the “right” to operate a motor vehicle, SO LONG AS THEY MEET CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS.”

    They, and you, would be wrong. The state has made it very clear that driving is a privilege, and you acknowledge same several times before you get your license. Sorry.

    “I cannot, for the life of me (literally), understand why people – even someone as frequently thoughtful as yourself – continue to take the position that the ownership of firearms is the ONLY “right” that must never carry any restrictions whatsoever.”

    Nobody ever said that. You cannot be loony, or a child. Other than that, there should be very, very few restrictions.

    ““Regulation” is NOT the first step on the slippery slope of “Removal,””

    Many Jews, Russians, others might disagree with you.

    “Licensing motor vehicle operators (including those on scooters) certainly did not lead to the disappearance of automobiles, did it…?”

    Cars do not threaten the government; armed citizens do, and even a cursory study of history shows the sequence of events leading to totalitarianism – starting with registration of firearms so the govt knows where to go when they want to take them.

    “Societies cannot function without some level of regulation and responsibility – and the refusal to apply that principle, at least in some reasonable degree, to the ownership of potentially deadly weapons is a formula for disaster… As we see on an average of eighty times a day in this country.”

    Yep, and the beauty of it is that we’ve seen this played out many, many times. Restrictions on gun ownership leads to a severe, immediate rise in crime and relaxing such result in a much safer country. Why is that hard to understand?

  773. .
    Bookmark this, can check everyday and follow along.
    People Killed by Guns Since Newtown?

    PEACE ~ Δ