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Posted by: Helen Philpot | January 6, 2013

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 1,500,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 27 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

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  2. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?

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  3. Hi, all – I don’t know what “link” or “thread” (or ball of yarn) I’m on with this, but it’s been pretty quiet on the porch concerning “Bridgegate,” or “Christiegate,” or whatever it’s being called these days. Is it only those of us in the NE who are looking at this? (Maybe it’s a bigger deal here than it is elsewhere; I can understand that. Probably not a lot for the rest of the nation to get excited about with possible “political retribution” going on in NJ…)

    Anyway, if anybody has any thoughts, I’d love to hear them!


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  5. The “Slim Pickens” thing is so obvious. The “Slim” is for the breadth of his arguments and the “Pickens” is for his nose. Must be from Texas and was beaten up by a girl in second grade and never got over the humiliation. That’s why he hides behind so many fake names and why he is so vulgar all the time.


  6. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, lori, anybody, we are on a roll with the Texas victory and don’t want to lose the momentum. I have some more “installments” on my Russian River Cruise tale that people might find interesting and perhaps useful, especially as the Snowden Saga intrigue continues. Unless they have done much international travel, I don’t think many people have a clue about what this clown has gotten hisself into.

    But……I’m not sure where to put my next piece. Here in “2012 in Review”? Helen’s new post is such an energizer! For sure, I’m not about to even try to upstage her.

    So I await your input.

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

    Auntie Jean

  7. Hey, Cynthia – Don’t know which “agency” they’re talking about… But, so far, there seems to be nothing “innocent” whatsoever about this dude. Somehow, it was his remark about how he “could be” sitting in some palace in mainland China, petting a phoenix (or whatever he said) that really turned me off. Yeah; that might happen in his dreams! Never heard Bradley Manning going on about how fabulous he “could be” if he hadn’t spilled the beans. No; he just did what he did, and took the consequences – and dire ones they are.

    What’s appalling is that Booz Allen’s “vetting” was evidently totally inadequate, and that they sent this little piece of work into the NSA without – apparently – a clue about what the hell he was up to… And the NSA, for its part, accepted him. THAT’s what should be scaring the bejeezus out of all of us: That our government is so damned sloppy with “outsourcing” its personnel, and with the supposed protection of our private information. For heaven’s sake, the “geeks” who work at my local Apple store go through much more rigorous screening and training than this, before they’re even allowed on the floor! (I go there a lot, and more than one of them has told me about the scope of their training. It’s serious!)

    Not to sound too much like Chris here, but this is the kind of thing that happens when we all start to accept the idea that “corporations” will always do a much better job than “government,” at almost everything. Sure; they’re good at making money… And that’s about it. None of the rest matters. Sadly, these days, there is very little difference between “government” and “business”… And there damned well ought to be!


  8. Gato – I haven’t been keeping up with this Snowden. He doesn’t seem like an innocent high school drop out do-gooder. What was he doing in Switzerland? Who paid his way to tour Europe? Who is the “agency” mentioned in your link? I want that job!!!


  9. Hi, Auntie Jean – Now that we’ve got that “Tex/Slim/Et Cetera” thing sorted out, and Wendy’s done her thing in TX, and DOMA got shot down, and the VRA has been eviscerated… Here’s a piece about Little Lord Snowden that I found interesting…


    No wonder he’s hiding out! I would be, too, if I’d been throwing around that kind of recommendation…


  10. Well all was not lost today. Besides the President’s awesome climate speech, Ed Markey from MA is on his way to the Senate. ;-)

    Thanks to all who made phone calls, knocked on doors and chipped in a buck or two. If one thing we have learned in the last three days is every seat matters.

    Ed Markey will be debating the new voting laws and that’s a good thing.

    Night my friends, it’s been a long week. I’m off for a bit. ;-)

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  11. lori – I was able to watch for awhile, thanks!

    I see he hasn’t learned to use the indoor facilities yet. Oh dear!


  12. Infatuation with aborting innocent life. Fitting for this sanctimonious blog. If they would have only followed their own advice and mom had held fast to that opinion, everything would be a lot brighter for America these days.

    Do you gals prefer the scissors to the skull, the scraping or just the old fashion scald? Have you got your Kermit Gosnell shrine built yet, ladies? You two were made for each other.

    Actually, I’m a big fan of libs when they don’t pollute this earth with their progeny.

    Gato, about the only thing you would be qualified to help me with would be picking up the dog shit in my backyard. But you’re probably so damn uncoordinated, you couldn’t hit the wastebasket. That, or you would be tempted to roll in it.

    You appear to be one of the most ignorant of the pedantic solipsistic types here.

  13. Is there no other Dem that could step in for an hour?

  14. 8.0 hours down 5.0 and some change to go Cynthia. They were fussing about her touching her back brace here a minute ago. Good lord!

    IDK if your dial up can play this but if so here is a live feed. http://www.texastribune.org/

  15. How is Wendy Davis doing? I have spent time standing with her, but I did sit down too. Hard to mow the lawn standing up; mower won’t run.





  16. Oh, Slimmish Person… Get an effing life; learn how to edit yourself and use punctuation correctly. Maybe go pull some weeds out of your garden, or do something useful like that… Get rid of your weeds, and you might have a crop. Just a suggestion…


  17. BTW, when did “liberal” become a bad word? Didn’t our founders want every man to be a free citizen, free to express his opinion about how his country was run?

    I know a bottom feeder blog like this wouldn’t understand the difference between Liberals and liberal, which Liberals are anything but, so I won’t bother to explain.

    I was tickled Peas couldn’t hack Jr. College and went to a “technical” school to be come an expert programmer. Peas is the dude that crawls around on the floor to install cables and inserts automated thumb drives to be read. That kind of expert.

    As to Aunt Jean, I’d give you a heads up on that drivel Peas just left you demonstrating how to insert an ASCII character and show you a much easier way, but by the looks of that picture, you’re probably too ignorant to understand a ½ from a ¼ from say a ¢.

    Is that really your personal picture? Why would somebody posit a picture that ugly of themselves for identification?? Is that 1974 Olan Mills pic?

  18. Hi, Auntie Jean – I just can’t figure out what people get out of the kind of stuff posted by whoever that is… Just gotta get on the internet and be a smart ass…? (Oh, cool… I’ll post under another name, and then I can say whatever I want. Oh, boy; I really told those “libs” what I think of them… I’ll just type away… Reminds me of a country song called, I think, “Redneck.” The chorus is something like “Chew tobacco; chew tobacco; chew tobacco; spit.”)

    BTW, when did “liberal” become a bad word? Didn’t our founders want every man to be a free citizen, free to express his opinion about how his country was run? (Okay; they forgot about the women then, but that was the culture of their time…) But, HTG, they wanted every citizen, as they defined a “citizen” at that time, to vote! That was the whole point of this country.

    It still should be.

    BTW, I have a friend who has shucked her entire life here in CT, and is moving to Hawaii. She has a brother there. I hope all goes well with her; I’m sure it will… It’s the dream of her lifetime.


  19. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Well, well, well, Tex Taylor/Slim Pickens/aka-whatever-the-acquired-persona-du-jour-happens-to-be has returned. Yawn.

    It appears that some members of the Supreme Court as well as Rick Perry and a few Texans are determined to turn back the clock to the “Good Ole Days of Yore”. We all know this is just political drama, gearing up and trying to get a leg up for the mid-term elections. As usual, they know they can’t win fair and square on the merits of their message so have to pull out their tired old bag of tricks.

    Won’t work! We progressives will see to that by exposing them at every turn and at the same time getting our message out.

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

    Auntie Jean

  20. Good moniker for you, for sure! “Slim,” indeed. Maybe a new name for an Ol’ Dog…?

    Now that we know where you’re coming from (“all over the country”), let me be the first to wish you a bon voyage on your continuing journey, and remind you to take your luggage with you. No sense in leaving it here on the porch… It’ll just be overlooked, until it goes into the trash. (Recyclable, I’m sure.)


  21. I’ll never forget that day and indeed it has done me well. Throughout my career I’ve been known as “The guy who can do anything”. “If he doesn’t know it, he can surely figure it out.”

    What a crock of shit. LOL.

  22. Keep workin’ with your crayons, Slim… I’m sure you’ll come up with something.

    I’ve been all over this country and there aren’t a package of sorrier asses more racist than Northeast libs. A bunch of gutless cowards and closet racists buying votes to push their agenda. There’s not an ounce of sincerity in any of you phonies.

    People of color. LOL. You phonies don’t even fake hypocrisy well.

  23. Keep workin’ with your crayons, Slim… I’m sure you’ll come up with something.

    Where did you come from, BTW?


  24. IMHO This is the WORST possible ruling for people of color in my country. IMHO

    Last I looked, there was a WHITE CRAYON is my crayon box. People of color? What kind of politically correct bullshit is that? What a suck ass phony…

  25. Thanks, Lori!

    It came from the heart – and the head wasn’t far behind…


  26. “South-ism” – pf

    Please explain this term.

    Only 5 years ago Congress felt there was sufficient need to continue Section 4? or VRA.
    However, I don’t believe voter restriction is limited to just the southern states.


  27. EXCELLENT post Gato…

  28. This is an EXCELLENT account of what has been done to destroy women’s rights in TX in the last few days. Thank you for your hard work and talented blog Amy. ;-)


    I am extremely disappointed both in the SCOTUS ruling that gutted the voting act of 65 and the disgusting display of misogynistic right wing religious zealots that didn’t even have the decency to PRETEND to care about women’s healthcare & rights in the well of the State House in Austin TX this week, but not defeated. The fight continues, sighhhh…

    However , I LOVED LOVED LOVED my President’s remarks on climate change this afternoon. I haven’t had a chance to see the speech, but I did read a transcript. OBAMA was on FIRE! wasn’t he?

    and on we go my friends, #forward!

  29. gato opined: “Hi, Lori – Quite astonishing that Chief Justice Roberts, along with four of his fellow justices, seems to feel that racism has so vastly diminished in the several Southern states, over the past years, that most of the VRA just isn’t “needed” any more.”

    Right. Now we need laws against “South-ism” – the last remaining refuge for the Northern bigot, and everything will be just hunky-dory.

  30. lori opined: THIS is what happens as a result of 30 years of conservative rule. You end up with , corporations as people, monster inequality and Supreme Court that’s done with civil rights.”

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another might be that fifty years of experience has taught them – like many people in the real world – that every time you give an opportunity to someone who didn’t earn it, you are of necessity taking it from someone who did. It’s just like Jim Crow, except now the colors are different, but it’s just as wrong.

    The Constitution’s purpose is to guarantee equal opportunity, not equal outcome. That is a fool’s errand, and – as “affirmative action” – code for racial discrimination – has so clearly demonstrated, it always fails.

  31. Check out Stonekettle’s take on NSA

    Essential Liberty In Post -911 World



  32. Hi, Lori – Quite astonishing that Chief Justice Roberts, along with four of his fellow justices, seems to feel that racism has so vastly diminished in the several Southern states, over the past years, that most of the VRA just isn’t “needed” any more.

    Well, that’s certainly good news, isn’t it?

    And, if there’s hardly enough racism left to even bother overseeing, then we just have to assume that anyone who complains that his or her vote has been denied because of “race” must just be… you know… gettin’ “uppity.” But, of course, he or she can always file a complaint, and it will be heard long after the election is over and the votes counted – except for those that were denied. All in all, a lovely system…

    And now that THAT little glitch is out of the way, on with redistricting! On with the push for voter ID cards! On with closing polling stations in “undesirable” neighborhoods! No racism here; the SCOTUS said so, so it must be true.


  33. THIS is what happens as a result of 30 years of conservative rule. You end up with , corporations as people, monster inequality and Supreme Court that’s done with civil rights.

    Sad day in America. ;{

  34. ugggggg SCOTUS striking down section 4 and not 5 is really racism on the down low, much like what will now be practiced by some state legs. IMHO This is the WORST possible ruling for people of color in my country. IMHO

    Makes me sick.

  35. Right On Cynthia. I am standing too. Ill post some pics of the #TXLEG later on!

    Thanks for the kudos Gato, although undeserved. ;-) I’m just following my life’s passion now that I have the time an opportunity to do so. Many people would LOVE to be able to do what I do, but can’t – for whatever reason. They are JUST as integral to the cause however.

    Many of M&H’s friends have blazed the trail of the fight for women’s rights. I am just following in their wake. It was a LOT more difficult for them.

  36. Hi, Cynthia, Lori, and others – Thanks for the alert about Senator Davis. Count me in!


  37. Much has been made by several on this blog about Edward Snowden’s choice of countries through which to flee. DeGarcia has a very incisive take on that:

    “Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s recent observation on Fox News Sunday that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s path through places like China and Russia did not typify a trail of freedom should send icy chills down the spine of anyone concerned about America’s world image
    During the Cold War, the drama of a world divided between East and West frequently manifested in high profile defections of Chinese and Soviet citizens to the United States. When Soviet MiG pilots braved being shot down to escape to the West with horror stories from behind the Iron Curtain, U.S. diplomats needed only to smile for the cameras and receive defectors with open arms before the world’s media as the Soviet Union looked every bit the evil empire.

    Today, roles are reversed with Snowden leaving the United States for haven in places like China or Russia. With the United States and her European allies making firm demands that Snowden be detained and denied access to travel, the West looks less and less like defenders of freedom and more like imitators of the East.

    So just what happened to the constitutional lawyer-in-chief? Where is the idealism, the civil rights, and the social justice for mankind in America today?”

    Yes – just where is our hypocrite Constitutional Scholar-in-Chief these days?

  38. “The Cold War techniques of secrecy, snooping, and misinformation, used against foreign governments and foreign populations, became tools of domestic politics, a means to harass critics, build support for questionable policies, or cover up blunders. The very ideals that we had promised to export overseas were being betrayed at home.” Barack Hussein Obama -The Audacity of Hope



  39. Hi Congenial Gang,

    OK, this is Part 1 of our cyber tour for you of our trip to Russia.

    We had a total of eight flights; four on United Airlines and four on Air France. ALL the flights departed on time, arrived on time with no lost luggage! This is remarkable considering all the horror stories we hear on TV and in the newspapers about flying. But United could learn some lessons from Air France about on-board service. United offered us a pitiful little snack box for $5.00. Air France served full course meals with complimentary wine and booze if you wanted it.

    On the first leg, we went through all the usual check-in lines and security hassles. We arrived in San Francisco at 9:30PM, PDT, (6:30PM our time.) By the time we collected our luggage and got out to catch the shuttle to the Burlingame Holiday Inn Express, we were a little tuckered out – but hungry!!! So walked to Max’s Opera Café next door for one of their yummy dinners and music. We always do this. Max’s has budding but hopeful starving young opera singers for waiters and waitresses. They serve you and then get up on the little stage and sing an aria or two. A really fun place!

    Day 8, July 30

    We left our son’s home after lunch for the Philadelphia Airport. Turned in the rental car, schlepped our baggage, went through the check-in and security drill to wait for the flight to leave at 6:55PM.

    Day 9, July 31

    We arrived in Paris at 8:35AM Paris time. About a 7½-hour flight. (We had blisters on our behinds!) We had a 3-hour layover there, which was fortunate. We know our way around San Francisco and Philadelphia airports, but let’s face it! All big city airports are the same. Crowded and confusing with long walks from gate to gate, etc. In Paris we had to go to a different terminal on a train for the flight to Moscow, which naturally, took us out of the secure area so we had to go through security again. The good news is, with a 3-hour layover, it was a pretty good bet our luggage would make the transfer. Fortunately my husband is fluent in French which helped a lot with directions. I have a smattering of French so I smattered some too.

    The flight left Paris at 11:45AM and arrived in Moscow at 5:20PM, Moscow time. At the baggage carrousel, one of our bags fell off on the other side of the carrousel and we had to wait until it stopped to collect it. We weren’t about to try to jump over the moving carrousel to retrieve it. But, hey, the baggage made it!!!!! Lots of Russian language being spoken around us. The Uniworld Cruise Line representative met us with a sign with our names on it and we took a cab to the harbor and the ship, the “Litvinov”.

    When we boarded and got our security cards, we received the traditional welcome of bread and salt. You break off a piece of bread and dip it in salt. They put our bags in the “stateroom” read tiny, tiny little cabin and directed us to the dining room. We had a nice dinner, explored the ship a little and retired to our cabin, #224, a short distance just down the corridor from the reception desk. It turned out that the compliment of passengers was probably about 60% American with the rest being British, Australian or New Zealanders.

    Description of our cabin. Tiny, tiny, tiny. We walked into a narrow space between a closet on the right and the “bathroom” on the left. Then there was a narrow aisle between two cot-bunks with mattresses about two inches thick. There was a very large window over the aisle and bunks. Shelves above the bunks. No TV. There were TVs in some of the public lounge areas always tuned to CNN International.

    And then there was the bathroom. The brochure about the ship said it had been completely renovated in 2002, but did not have all the usual amenities of Uniworld’s other ships. It said the “staterooms” had “typical Russian bathrooms”. (Whatever that meant.) OK. The bathroom was about 3 feet wide by about 5 feet long, with a sink at one end and a toilet at the other. There was an apparatus attached to the sink faucets and a hose with a showerhead. A drain was in the floor under a rubber grid mat. There was a shower curtain that closed off the toilet and the door. That’s where you took a shower. Well, it worked!

    The ship had laundry service, but no laundry room, a woman doctor who spoke no English, a masseur, a hairdresser and a sauna.

    The whole ship was spotlessly clean at all times. The large crew was constantly cleaning, scrubbing and polishing all over the ship. Our dear little maid, Oksana, took very good care of us. (She was the one in our DVD helping the passengers with their life preservers in the routine safety drill.) I think the crew was probably mostly college students. They did speak a little but not much English.

    The local guides were definitely college students who spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable about their history and the local current events. One guide in Yaroslavl was a man, a professor of Philosophy at a local university. Most of the guides were young women, very sweet. Neat summer jobs for people.

    The rest of ship was well appointed with the obligatory gift shops and as I said, spotlessly clean. The only big drawback was the five stories with the very narrow and steep stairs. No elevator. I hung on to both railings for dear life every time I went up and down! There were two dining rooms, open seating, and the Kremlin Bar as seen in our DVD. The Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Reception was held in the Rakhmaninov Hall. (Russian spelling of Rachmaninoff.) It was a combination auditorium, bar and lounge, with a small dance floor. It served a number of purposes. In the evenings they often had movies about Russia. During the day they had lectures on Russian Art, Russian language lessons, etc. Participation in any or all of the activities was voluntary.

    Aloha!  Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  40. “Senator Wendy Davis of Texas will filibuster the Texas Senate tomorrow for women’s reproductive rights.” Juanita Jean is suggesting that all women in the US stand with Wendy while she filibusters. – “Just stand, dammit. Everywhere in America, Stand with Wendy.”


    Gato – you named the right dogs. Small dogs are snappers IMO and I don’t trust them. I learned the dog that gave me 14 stiches and couple of puncher wounds last summer was a Golden Retriever and Lab mix.

    Jean – I’m sorry your husband never had a dog to love and be loved back by one but I understand the fear.


  41. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Good idea, lori, to move over here!

    Cyn, I can relate to your computer problems. I had a hellova time switching from dial-up to whatever it is I have now. My computer guru did it all. I still don’t do Twitter or Facebook because I’m just too old and dense to catch on to all the procedures necessary to navigate them. Talk about trying to teach an Old Bitch new tricks!!!

    Aw, the dog stories are heart warming. My dad was an animal lover to the max so I was raised with every critter known to man. Dogs, cats, goats, a horse, a pet owl in the barn who flew to my dad’s arm like a falcon, a dinner plate sized terrapin that ate raw hamburger from his hand, etc., etc., etc. You get the picture.

    But…..my husband was attacked by a neighbor’s hunting dog when he was a kid and was traumatized. He is still terrified of dogs. Many years ago when we were renting an apartment, the landlady had a darling little cocker spaniel as sweet and loving a dog as you could find. My husband freaked every time he even saw it! So our family always had cats. Numerous cats. I have cat storied out the gazoo. Here we have lots of wild birds that have become so tame they are almost like pets.

    I think if you give any critter enough loving attention, it will return it at least 10 fold.

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

    Auntie Jean

  42. Hey, Cynthia – I’m not familiar with the Vizsla; thought from the name of the source (Pit City) that she was that breed. There are a lot of websites just for pits (I know this thanks to my neighbor), to combat the very bias against them you mention.

    I’m thinking you are referring to dachshunds (the “wiener dog”) and chihuahuas as the two primo biters. (I’m not sure about the spelling, either!) We had a chihuahua mix, a rescue dog, once – for about two days. And a nasty little stinker he turned out to be! He was all cozy and cuddly with me, and I thought, “Oh, how sweet… He’s ‘bonding’ with me after all his lonely time at the shelter…” Then, while he was sitting on my lap, my husband leaned over to kiss me goodbye, and the little dude growled and snapped at him. What I thought was “bonding” was really his asserting himself as the alpha dog in the household. That didn’t work out too well. We returned him to the shelter, with all the concomitant feelings of guilt and failure on my part. Happily, he ended up living out on Long Island, best friends with a Newfoundland. I’m pretty sure I know who ended up being top dog in that pair!

    I’d also add beagles to the list of aggressive dogs, although that may be just my personal experience. We have a neighbor with one, and this dog can jump over a four-foot-high fence, open a gate latch with his front paws, so he can freely cruise the neighborhood, chasing and barking and nipping at both walkers and cars. He will not be deterred in his quest for dominance…

    His owners had to get him an outside pen with both chain link walls AND “ceiling”… He’s still a stinker… And they just love him. Whaddya gonna do…?


  43. Gato – They tell me she is a Vizsla mix. Vizsla is a Hungarian breed similar to a Weimaraner. A bird dog; pointer; hunting dog. She has many of the characteristics of Vizslas. “Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal, caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, children and even strangers. Often they are referred to as “velcro” dogs because of their loyalty and affection. Whenever these dogs feel neglected or want something, they will cry.” She hasn’t cried yet!

    But I do believe the mix part is Pit Bull. Pits were once called ‘nanny dogs” because they are so good with children. In the 30/40’s this was the family dog to have. Their reputation of having a “locked” jaw is a myth. The dog fighters and the media have given this breed the bad name not the dog. They have been bred for aggressiveness and probably beaten into being aggressive. Any dog can bite. The two most reported biting dogs are the (I can not spell them at this moment and spell check is not helping) “hot dog” dog and the “tea cup” or pocketbook dog from Mexico. Further up the list of least reported bites are Pit Bulls and Rotweilers(sp) but unfortunately they have the worst reputation.


  44. OMG Cynthia she is adorable! Best wishes to you and your new pup. And happy belated birthday!

    If you are on facebook you should friend hip dog canine hydrotherapy & fitness. The owner is an old friend to M&H and a dog resucer from way back. she posts the BEST pictures if her furclients! Lol lol I look forward every morning to her new posts.

  45. How bout here?

  46. A wonderful reminder of Bush’s 8 years.


  47. Good article in The Journal about the sequester vis à vis the FAA and the needless furlough of (largely needless) air traffic controllers.


    great line: “For all of its rough edges, the sequester is proving to be educational. It is showing Americans how broken so much of government is, and it is revealing how our politicians refuse to distinguish between essential services and needless waste.”

    As someone who uses ATC’s services on an up-close-and-personal basis every week, I can vouch for its accuracy. If the FAA weren’t a pet government featherbed, technology would have already done for it what email has done for the US Postal Service.

  48. Hi Kitchen Crew,

    By all means, Peas, bring your wife!!! Actually you would be in BIG, BIG trouble with both of us if you didn’t. And sure, you can bring your cat. We are cat people from way back. There are plenty of feline pals in the neighborhood to keep him/her company when they aren’t all curled up snoozin’. They can stay busy chasing down geckos and chameleons.

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

    Auntie Jean Δ

  49. Aloha Auntie Jean,

    I’m glad I could help you set up your gravatar back when the porch was filled with pie lovers (‘wedgies’) and remember it fondly. I just may take you up on that invite to come out to Hawaii. Can I bring my cat?
    And my wife? ;)

    Anyway, here’s what I found for ya:

    International Accent Marks and Diacriticals

    You can hold down the ALT key while typing in the 3 or 4 number code or if you prefer you may be able to hi-lite, copy, and paste the accented letter itself.

    Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

    PEACE ~ Δ

    ps: You can always copy and paste the ‘wedgie’ above.

  50. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Whirled Peas Δ on April 22, 2013
    at 9:08 AM

    Yep, Peas, good buddy, you are a GENIUS!!! Could be I was referring to you in the present tense, since my former “in house” computer guru died. Thanks (I think) for the link to the Html Code Tester. I’ll give it a try. This is not the first time you have given out great computerese tips. But somewhere along the line I lost my “wedge” and can’t find it. Now if you could just help me figure out a way to do diacritical marks, I would be in clover.

    I can never forget how you helped me way back early on to get my avatar, taking me through it, step by step. I wouldn’t have it without you! Remember how I invited you to move in with us? The offer still stands. We will feed you. I will even do your laundry while you go snorkeling, scuba diving or something. But BYOC. (Bring Your Own Computer.) Mine gets messed up from time to time.

    Back to my fish fry or the salt mines, depending on the point of view.

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

    Auntie Jean

  51. Response to PFesser on April 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    You said “Again, I am grateful for the advice, but in point of fact, I know both quite well. That’s why I’m so effective at what I do here. Like shooting fish in a barrel, really…heheeeee……”

    Now I’m curious. When did you become a writer of humor? I have a feeling that your effectiveness is all in your mind. Or can you present us with the names of all the people on this site that are your followers?

    On second thought, can you name just one?

  52. Hey, Terri – Just hang tough, and ignore this bulls***. It’s never going to end, apparently. Whew! I think I gotta go wash my hands… Yuck…


  53. YOu should know– you’re constantly name calling. You are truly stupid.

  54. Terri-name-calling is immature. Seventh-grade girl level, really. Grow up. Cordially, PF

  55. Hey Moron, your reading comprehension is slipping. I AM the one who plans to ignore you. Gato is quite able to speak for herself, and she’s made mincemeat of you more than once. I quite enjoy it it when she does. Keep it up, she gets the best of you every time. I will now go back to ignoring you and your boring, long winded, pointless posts.

  56. gato – I haven’t been able to find any references to “panties,” except for YOUR posts. I suppose it’s possible I missed it somewhere. Can you help me out?

    Perhaps you are ‘projecting,’ ….hmmm…??? Trying to tell us something?

    (Here’s how you do it: on the Mac, it’s apple-f, then put in the word you’re looking for. I don’t do PCs. Sorry.)

  57. jsri opined: “The first rule of teaching is “know your subject”. The second is “know your audience”.”

    Again, I am grateful for the advice, but in point of fact, I know both quite well. That’s why I’m so effective at what I do here. Like shooting fish in a barrel, really…heheeeee……

  58. gato – I thought you were going to ignore…what happened, Sweetie? Can’t do it? Heheee…. God you are so easy.

    On a more adult level, the Senate is set to consider CISPA – a bill that was introduced previously and died. It provides for essentially shanghai-ing Google, Yahoo – all the major portals – for use as government spies. I urge anyone with interest in maintaining what little Internet privacy we now have to call or write their Senators.

    Here is a response I received from mine and MY response to HIM:

    ‘Thank you for contacting me about cyber security legislation currently pending in Congress. I appreciate hearing from you.

    As America’s private and public sector have increasingly become the target of cyber attacks, I believe it is imperative that Congress address cyber threats in a balanced manner that not only protects our critical infrastructure, but also protects our individual rights. Multiple legislative approaches to improve U.S. cyber security have been proposed, but disagreement remains about the appropriate federal role.

    As you may know, on February 13, 2013, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was reintroduced by Representative Mike Rogers and was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 288 – 127. CISPA would amend the National Security Act of 1947 to add provisions for cyber threat intelligence, and would charge the Director of National Intelligence with facilitating information sharing between the private and public sector.

    I understand your concerns about the scope of this legislation and the potential for privacy infringement. Please be assured I will work to ensure that efforts to improve our national security protect constitutional rights in a balanced way.

    Thank you once again for contacting me on this important matter.’


    “OK – by the tone of your noncommital response, your leanings are quite apparent, so let me be clear: this is an extremely important, nay, CRITICAL matter to me. If you vote for CISPA, I will do everything legally within my power to ensure that you are not re-elected, to include campaign contributions to your opponent, giving speeches at the county medical society. canvassing door-to-door and voicing my opinion on numerous Websites that are owned by my wife and me.

    Is that clear enough?



  59. HI, JSRI – Alas, I’m sure he doesn’t care one bit… Rachel Maddow, on Jon Stewart recently, described Justice Scalia as a guy who just wants to make everybody angry, and seems to delight in doing so – and, in fact, described him as behaving much like a web troll. Sounded quite familiar to me!

    All the erudite narratives about flying, or history, or math, or the world-renowned proctologist who’s his best friend, or whatever else he can come up with, are just used as hopefully “soothing” caresses, to be employed while he’s waiting to do what he REALLY likes: Saying “panties,” or “grandmother,” or “liar,” or – all our personal favorite – “cordially”…

    Just think of a three-year-old who walks into his parents’ dinner party and yells “I made a big poopy!” at the top of his lungs. Why does he do it…? For attention, and that’s all. And he does it because it works. (Most people, when they grow up, realize that there are better ways to get others to notice them, but, evidently, some never do.)


  60. PFesser on April 22, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    You’re cherry picking again. I didn’t mean to imply that the only thing that makes you a bush pilot is experience. I thought it was clear that I was saying that such training takes a very, very long time. I once had a flight instructor on staff who came out of the Flying-the-Rockies tradition that involved flights carrying hunters into one-way airstrips in the mountains. He thought he’d be a natural for Alaska flying but gave it up after a couple years because he felt that it would take him half a century to feel comfortable – and get warm again. He eventually ended up flying 747’s for a freight carrier.

    BTW your use of the word grandma as a pejorative would not go over well in our household. You see, I’m married to a grandma who is also a mother-in-law to boot. She is a bright, attractive and accomplished lady, and was and still is a superb teacher, so it always intrigues me to see how our daughter-in-law and the grandsons and their friends light up when she enters the room. It is unfortunate that you have chosen to denigrate the ladies on this blog just because they have something to offer that is not always along your unduly focused train of thought. That is not a pretext for trenchant dismissals. And your use of the word “cordially” as a sign off after a demeaning comment simply adds salt to the wound.

    The first rule of teaching is “know your subject”. The second is “know your audience”.

  61. Hi, Whirled – That’s a GREAT story; thanks for sharing it!


  62. OK…quick story.

    When I was a youngster, my older brother brought home a book from his new HS computer class that taught BASIC programming language. Being math centric and very inquisitive, I picked it up and started to learn (with a little help from him) how to write computer code. I was fascinated and hooked from the get-go.

    Realizing that this was the future, I decided to follow him into the field and, after HS, went to a for-profit computer school so I could get started on this career path as soon as possible. That is where one of my most memorable schooling experiences happened.

    We had several teachers, but one was very strict that you follow his instructions to the ‘T’. I had learned from previous experiences that small code was essential because of limited RAM (Random Access Memory) and concise code helped the CPU (Central Processing Unit) output using the fewest cycles due to streamlined throughput.

    So I looked at the program he was teaching and I cut out the waste in both size and stream while still rendering the EXACT same output. I was ecstatic, thinking I had done a wonderful job. But when he saw it…he blew his stack. He berated me in front of the whole class because I had strayed from his rote lesson plan and was insulting him personally for not following instructions. He gave it an ‘F’ and told me to do it over.

    I was crushed. I did as I was told but I took my failed code and showed it to another of my teachers, looking for a second opinion. As I handed it to him and told him which teacher had failed me, he rolled his eyes before inspecting my work.

    A smile grew across his face as he went through the program line by line. Looking up with a big grin he said: “Where did you learn this?” I told him: “I taught myself.” To which he replied: “Screw him! This is genius! Do as your told to pass his class, but please bring this type of clarity and ingenuity into everything else you do. It will serve you well.”

    I’ll never forget that day and indeed it has done me well. Throughout my career I’ve been known as “The guy who can do anything”. “If he doesn’t know it, he can surely figure it out.”

    That’s my (maybe not so quick) story and I’m sticking to it!. ;)

    PEACE ~ Δ

  63. waialeale on 4/21/13 @ 10:08p
    “I sure do miss my computer guru.”
    Hi Auntie Jean,

    Not sure if you were referring to me…;)

    Here’s an HTML tester I use to check my code. Simple, but it does the trick. You can Google around and find others maybe more to your liking.


    Hope it helps. Use it in good health.

    PEACE ~ Δ

  64. Tsarnaev to be questioned with “Miranda-izing” him:


    McCain, et al, want to deny him an attorney, too.

    Remember, boys and girls – if they can do it to HIM, they can do it to YOU.

  65. jsri – re: “Experience is the best teacher.”

    I disagree. Years ago I taught myself to fly hang gliders (as did everybody else, since they hadn’t been invented very long). It took months to dump bad habits once I started flight training.

    You need training – THEN experience. All experience by itself does, is to teach you how to do it wrong, over and over. As we have all seen in our lives, some folks get old and wise; most just get old.

  66. Good article by Ralph Nader on Commondreams about the Bush legacy. He calls Bush to task for war crimes and his attacks on the Constitution, then notes Hussein’s continuation of same.


  67. Wowie, zowie, Auntie Jean – I certainly hope you’re working on a book with all of your amazing historical information. You are SO far ahead of me, history-wise, and I love your narrative style.

    Don’t stay away too long… Promise?


  68. Goofed again! Here are the corrections. “Iskra” (Lenin’s underground newspaper) is supposed to be in italics since it is a foreign word. The italics went wild after that. I failed to turn them off. (I sure do miss my computer guru.)

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

    Auntie Jean

  69. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Continuing about Lenin. After this post, I have other fish to fry so will sign off for a whiIe. Never fear, I will return!!!

    It was in London that the party split into the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks. Lenin lost control of iskra</i/ to the Mensheviks. Under an assumed name, disguised in a blond wig and clean-shaven, he slipped back into St. Petersburg when the Russian Manifesto granted political freedom in 1905. He gained personal notoriety throughout Europe as he continued to preach violence as the primary means of political reform. He went to Sweden, then back to St. Petersburg where he gave a speech under the name of Karpov.

    Again leaving St. Petersburg, he lived for a time in Finland then began relentless travel to London, Stuttgart, Geneva, Paris and Copenhagen, ever fomenting and promoting the strict Marxist dogma. In 1912 while he was living in Prague he launched his newspaper, Pravda for underground distribution in St. Petersburg. He was the militant architect of the Third International, Comitern, the world organization of communists to follow the earlier ones of the 1860′s and 1880′s. The Comitern was held in 1919 in Moscow and was followed up by the Second Congress in 1920.

    In 1914 he was arrested as a Russian spy by the Austrians and deported to Switzerland. While they were in Switzerland, Krupskaya’s mother was very ill. Krupskaya had been tending the stricken woman around the clock. “Desperate for sleep, the younger woman asked Lenin, who was writing at a table, to awaken her if her mother needed her. Lenin agreed and Krupskaya collapsed into bed. The next morning she awoke to find her mother dead and Lenin still at work. Distraught, she confronted Lenin, who replied, ‘You told me to wake you if your mother needed you. She died. She didn’t need you.’” 17

    A cold man.

    When the Russian Revolution of March 1917 occurred Lenin was determined to get back into his homeland. After Czar Nicholas II’s abdication, back in St. Petersburg Lenin hammered away at the Provincial Government and against the war (World War I). Kerensky put down the Bolshevik uprising and Lenin escaped again to Finland, this time disguised as a locomotive fireman.

    Before long the Bolsheviks gained a majority in the Provincial Government so it was time for Lenin, the Professional Marxist Revolutionary, to go back and seize power. He was in Switzerland and anxious to get back to Russia after a ten year exile. He was afraid the monarchy would be restored. Yet he was fearful of arrest and/or transport through the North and Baltic Seas because of German U-boats.

    Now, this turn of treacherous events is incredible! The GERMANS made covert arrangements for Lenin and a contingent of Bolsheviks to travel in a secret train across Germany to Sweden, then Finland and on into Russia. The German motive? They were fighting a war on two fronts! Russia’s Provisional Government was continuing the war. Lenin’s return would at the very least stir up further unrest that could only benefit Germany. In return Lenin promised the Germans to make peace. He arrived in St. Petersburg to great fanfare. He began a vigorous campaign against the Provisional Government and the war, still hammering away with Marxist theory and rhetoric.

    Trotsky, who had been living and writing in New York, returned and joined forces with Lenin to marshal support for their radical but at that time minority ideas. Josef Stalin had returned in March from three years of Siberian exile. He and Molotov were editing the Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda. Soon the public outcry forced the Provisional Government ministers to resign one by one.

    In the November Revolution of the same year, Lenin formed the first Russian Bolshevik Government and became the first Chairman of the Soviet of Peoples’ Commissars. He named Trotsky as his Commissar of Foreign Affairs.

    As the Germans advanced toward St. Petersburg, Lenin moved the capital to Moscow and took up his residence in the Kremlin Palace. He negotiated the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, March 3, 1918. Trotsky then became head of the Department of the Army and Navy.

    Lenin’s tenure as head of state was short lived. In August of that same year, 1918, a terrorist of the Socialist Revolutionary Party attempted to assassinate him. Lenin recovered. In May of 1922 he suffered his first stroke but slowly recovered. In December he had his second stroke that paralyzed his right side and removed him from power. He lost speech in his third stroke in March 1923 and then had a fatal stroke in January of 1924. He was embalmed and placed on permanent public display in a mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow.

    There has always been speculation that Stalin poisoned Lenin. Josef Stalin succeeded Lenin and expelled Trotsky from the Bolsheviks on grounds of “obstructionism”, whatever that may have meant. Exiled once again, Trotsky found his way to Turkey, France, Norway, and ultimately to Mexico. There he met his fate, undoubtedly on orders from Stalin. Trotsky was killed by a pickax to his skull. Stalin went on to a thirty-nine year reign of terror that rivaled Czar Ivan IV the Terrible some four hundred years before.

    Hitler and his ilk were the REACTIONARY FACIST result against the excesses of COMMUNISM. Whichever, TOTALITARIAN regimes that retain complete control by cruel repressive means are beyond contempt.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  70. Hi, Terri – Yes; the obsession does seem pretty bizarre… Maybe he thought there were somehow some panties involved…! (Not…)

    So there will be the usual diversionary tactics, for a while, about Republicans starting to back legalizing marijuana, or some flying anecdotes, or whatever… BTW, have you noticed how most of the people he seems to “know” are in the medical field…?


  71. Thanks for the pep talk Gato! I always think we need to stand up to bullies, so I’ll take your advice and vent when the feeling moves me. I did read your blog and liked it very much. When I have a little more time, I’ll post more.
    On another note, your visit to the gun club seems to drive PF into something verging on hysteria. I wonder what that’s all about?

  72. jsri – Actually, it’s called a “Moose Turn Stall,” or just a “Moose Stall” in Alaska – for the reasons you gave. The guy who posted the video I linked to saw a good friend killed that way – a guy he had trained in bush techniques. His name was Shaun Lunt; he was an anesthesiologist and all-round good guy. His family has maintained a Website of his beautiful Alaskan pictures, called “Due Up.” No idea what that means. Let’s see here…here we go:


    They were flying side-by-side in a high wind and Lunt made a downwind turn to look at a whalebone or some other artifact on the beach. Nothing wrong with that; the airplane doesn’t know which the wind is blowing, but being close to the ground he overestimated his airspeed and the ground rose up and smote him.

  73. Pinocchio, er, I mean gato – opined, “SpankMe!”

    No thanks; I don’t play with amateurs.

    Now, about that “gun club”… heeeeeee…..

  74. Republicans beginning to back legalization of marijuana:


    Even Sarah Palin (God forbid) is – at least tentatively – on board. She’s right – enforcement of pot laws is such a waste of the constabulary’s time. There may be just the faintest glimmer of hope for (what used to be) the party of low taxes and small government. Just the faintest.

    jsri – good to see you again! I’ve been able to fly quite a bit lately. Actually had an instrument failure yesterday – it was good experience. Working on my commercial rating now; I may flight instruct when I retire for real.

    I built a plane in the ‘nineties and flew it all ’round West Virginia, in and out of the grass strips and converted hay fields, but always admired the REAL backcountry flyers who made their livings in Alaska. The guy in the video makes a fine living teaching others Alaskan bush techniques.

    On another front – I appreciate your advice, but may I remind you that, on a blog, nobody’s opinion – or five people’s opinions – carries any weight whatsoever, except for the owner’s.

  75. Hi Congenial Gang,

    My thoughts have been distracted by the carnage in Boston this week. However, I do want to continue my short bios of Marx, Kerensky and now Lenin. Please bear in mind that these are only brief sketches of the lives of these men and the times of the Czars and Early Russian Communism. VOLUMES have been written about the topics. Our personal experiences extend some 20 years with two separate and extended visits to that country. Like the U. S., it is a VERY big country with diverse people. This one about Lenin gets a little long so I will break it up into a two parter. I think it gives some insights into the man’s character, or lack thereof.

    Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov a.k.a. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin a.k.a. N. Lenin a.k.a. Vladimir Ilyin a.k.a. Karpov was also born in Simbursk, like Kerensky. He was eleven years older than Kerensky. The son of a freed serf, Lenin’s father graduated from the University of Kazan and became a mathematics teacher, then Director of schools for the Province of Simbirsk and finally Actual Councilor of State, a rank of hereditary nobility. Lenin’s mother was the daughter of a prominent Volga German doctor who had a large estate. Lenin was third of six children. He was a gifted, excellent student. As a teenager he proclaimed himself an atheist.

    When he was sixteen, Lenin’s father had a stroke and died in his son’s presence. Sixteen months later his older brother, Alexander was arrested and hanged with four other students at the University of St. Petersburg for an attempted assassination of Czar Alexander III. Lenin did not get along well with his brother so it is not known how or if the deaths of his father and his brother affected him at the time or in later life. All five of the surviving Ulyanovs (Lenin’s siblings) became revolutionaries.

    Lenin graduated at the head of his class and the head master, Kerensky’s father, wrote a glowing recommendation of the student. The elder Kerensky had been a friend of Lenin’s father and for a time looked after the young man’s affairs.

    Lenin went off to the University of Kazan but within three months involved himself in a student political demonstration and was expelled. His family had moved to Samara to live with his mother’s parents. He set about to educate himself in law and foreign languages, completing four years of study in one – - – so he said. He eventually became fluent in English, French, and German and was able to read Italian, Polish and Swedish. He especially wanted to learn German so he could read Marx and Engels in the original language.

    He successfully passed his law examination in St. Petersburg in 1891 and returned to Samara to unsuccessfully practice law. Two years later he returned to St. Petersburg to launch his career as a professional revolutionary. He attended study group meetings where he met another committed Marxist, Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya. All her life, she insisted on being called Krupskaya.

    Lenin went to the major cities of Europe, meeting with prominent revolutionaries and gathering propaganda leaflets that were illegal in Russia. Back in Russia he began writing and printing anti-government manifestos and organizing strikes. He was arrested and spent a year in jail in St. Petersburg where he continued his study and writing. He was then sent into exile in the Siberian village of Shenskoye, Yenisei Province near the Mongolian border. It was there that he met fellow revolutionaries including Leon Trotsky. Lenin often said that his three-year exile was the happiest time of his life.

    Exile during the reign of Nicholas II was not as harsh as later Communist Gulags were, especially if the banished had some money. Lenin’s mother provided him with funds most of his life from her widow’s pension and her family’s holdings. Lenin was probably the richest man in the village. He lived in a house, sent and received volumes of correspondence from his family, friends and revolutionary companions all over Europe. He continued his study and copious writing of Marxist propaganda.
    (“Propaganda” is now referred to as “spin”.) It was while he was in exile that he first used the pseudonyms, N. Lenin and Vladimir Ilyin.

    Krupskaya was also soon arrested and sent into exile. She arrived in Shenskoye with her mother. She had told the authorities that she was Lenin’s “fiancee” in order to be sent to the same village. After a time she and Lenin were married. Lenin disliked his mother-in-law intensely. When Lenin was released in 1900, Krupskaya had not yet served out her term of exile so he left her and her mother in Siberia.

    Lenin obtained a Russian passport and went to Munich, tore up his old one and got a new Bulgarian passport under an assumed name. In Munich he started an underground newspaper called Iskra , “The Spark”. (The Spark that would ignite the flame of revolution.)

    Krupskaya was released and joined him in Munich. Again, she brought her mother with her. Krupskaya worked with him thereafter as his secretary. They moved to London, then Geneva, always organizing and skipping out one jump ahead of arrest. In 1903 he was in Brussels for the second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party. The police chased them out so they reconvened in London.

    Later with Part II.

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

    Auntie Jean

  76. Hi, Terri – You just do what you need to do… It’s all fine. Hard to know what to do with someone who just doesn’t “get” much of anything.

    We have a guy in our Community, who holds a position of some authority, and lots of people are saying, “Someone needs to put him in his place.” The truth of the matter is that he has NO IDEA that there is even some place into which he should be put. And he ain’t going to be put there, so there’s hardly any point in trying…

    There’s no way you can do better. i, myself, have often found myself responding… And it’s all to no avail. Some people just have to keep writing, typing, commenting, begging, whatever. There may be nothing to do to stop them – other than hitting “Delete,” time and time again.

    I have a deposition coming up next week, for a lawsuit in which I am a plaintiff, for a really serious injury I incurred more than two years ago. My lawyer gave me some really good advice: Just don’t think for a minute you’re going to beat them, because you never will.

    Doesn’t mean they’re going to win; just means that you, personally, are not going to beat them. I thought that was excellent advice… Especially since I thought I could be so cool that I could make them yield. Will never happen.

    And we can’t beat “SpankMe”… All we can do is eliminate him from our heads.

    BTW… Just put up a new post on my own blog, http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com. Would love to hear your comments, if you’d care to check it out.


  77. Hi Gato,
    I probably don’t help matters by breaking my own rule of ignoring him. I’m going to try to do better,

  78. Oh, Terri – It’s so hard to think there may be nothing we can “do” about this person… Whoever, whatever… It’s just going to keep happening, in a thousand incarnations. This is the downside of the internet.

    Fortunately, there are enough upsides to keep so many of us hanging in here…!

    IF ONLY M&H would reappear… I’m beginning to think they may not. It’s been so many months. Much as we might feel they have some responsibility to us, they do not…

    Meanwhile, I’ve just put up a new post on my own blog: http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com. M&H made me do this. For that, I’m grateful.


  79. Hey, JSRI – Indeed, a great post. We always hope that some thoughtful and kind commentary, such as you have done, might bring some comfort to an apparently troubled soul… May never happen, but it’s so worth doing, anyway.

    Good on you! And all that cool airplane stuff – love it! On my first flight to what I considered to be the “wilds” of the Yukon Territory, to Churchill, Yellow Knife, and Dawson, there was a woman co-pilot. This was probably forty years ago, when that was pretty rare. I was thrilled! (And these were the days when the cockpit door was always open, and anyone could come forward to talk to the pilots during the flight, and the course was easily modified to avoid any thunderclouds that looked ominous…) Not only was she flying the plane, but there was somebody serving all twenty of us freshly-cooked roast beef, rare or medium-rare, our choice, with appropriate sides, also perfectly cooked. Now I can’t imagine how they did that.

    And here’s how we landed: A preliminary low sweep of the runway, to make sure there weren’t any mooses in the way, and then a guy came out waving his arms to indicate all was well, and in we went. It worked extremely well. One of the best trips of my life.

    Thanks for reminding me of so many great memories.


  80. Jsri– great post! I, too, work at a college and have never heard a faculty member talk the way our resident troll does. But, then, I don’t believe his story. However, I am pretty sure you are in for a lecture from PF!

  81. PFesser.

    Time to pack it in. On this site you’re a total loser. And a miserable teacher. I know you claim to have taught at a college or university but I question that claim. Most of my career in higher education was as a senior academic administrator and the best parts of the job were the moments when I was invited to observe real honest-to-goodness professors at work in their classrooms, labs and studios. You violate just about every rule of pedagogy known to humans. You are woefully incapable of distinguishing between pedantry and teaching. In your zeal to display your hypothetical intellect, you trample the needs of those you are trying to reach and deliberately diminish them whenever possible. Insulting and denigrating others is a certified way to get them to ignore you. Plus, you are humorless to a fault.

    My suggestion to you would be to follow your dream of becoming a bush pilot. Then you could abuse the airplane instead of people who reject your abject narrow-mindedness. If the video clip you showed a few days ago is an example of what you want to do, then go ahead, because that sort of hot-dogging may look
    exciting but is more dangerous than it appears to be. Coming ashore like that in a SuperCub with Tundra tires is not being a bush pilot, it’s being a clown. But I’d predict that if you follow the Denali track, sooner of later you’ll be subjected to the “Ooh look! A Bear,” syndrome. That’s when you see movement on the ground out of the corner of your eye and as you whip your head around you suddenly wonder why the ground is coming straight up at you in the windshield. And long after the Coast Guard finds your crash locator beacon the Federal authorities will find the probable cause of the accident as “vertigo-induced spatial disorientation”. According to many people I knew who have tried the Alaska thing, you don’t train to be a bush pilot by becoming a ninety-day-wonder. Experience is your best tutor, and that takes eons.

    One college where I was employed also had an aviation program as one of the offered curricula and as a result I got to know a lot of professional pilots with all degrees of experience. I also managed to pick up a few ratings of my own in the process. This was long before glass cockpits and GPS were available which meant that you had to know enough to interpret your position solely on the info offered by Jepperson charts and the gauges on the instrument panel. I have to admit that I was bemused by your response to the person who thought you did a poor preflight. But I too would have ignored your challenge to do one on an airplane I’m unfamiliar with, – unless you offered a detailed check-list.

    But obviously, you have plenty of time on your hands. This may be the perfect time to follow a new track and give everyone here a rest.

  82. Thank you, Gato. It’s Stonekettle Station. And this is Skyler, not Anonymous. Don’t know why it posted as Anon. (Just that one post, not the ridiculous Anons who have been posting lately). Anyway,again, my thanks!

  83. Stonekettle station, maybe…?


  84. Hi friends and fellow liberals. I was wondering if someone could help me find a blog I used to read, but somehow it got deleted from my favorites. It’s from an ex-military guy, very liberal, very smart and tells it like it is. Thanks!!

  85. Yes Gato I can’t imagine how frightened that neighborhood in Watertown must have been, especially with him still at large Friday evening. Obviously, I am thrilled the little bastard has been caught. Hopefully justice will be swift and just.

    I, however, still remain critical of the way the hide and seek portion of this ordeal was handled. There were many mistakes made in the last 24 hours with the apprehension of these two. I think it’s important to question those aspects and not just wave our flag and shout USA. I’m as proud as any of my country, but truly, these guys weren’t the brightest bulbs on the tree, if we couldn’t find these two with all our country’s might at our disposal? We need to rethink some procedures IMHO. Ultimately is was a citizen who “found” him not more than a mile from where he was last seen! SMH… I think we can do better.

  86. Obamacare ushers in the French workweek:


    Pretty tough if you’re a young fellow trying to carve out a life for yourself and your family. Of course, the old-timers, with their gub’ment checks, will do fine.

    I’m reminded of a conversation with an old southern-gentleman obstetrician, about 1979, concerning the Iranian revolution: “Well, they wanted ‘Hoo-meini;’ now they got him; let’s see what they do with him.” So prescient, and so true…

    Yep. You wanted Hussein; let’s see what the next fifteen years bring. And no, I won’t feed you.


    Speaking of obstetrics – by the way, Grandma, the preferred spelling for “perineal” is, well, just that. If you were attempting “perianal,” – that, too. No need for thanks; no charge.

  87. To Grandma: I wondered how long it would take you to notice that the author’s name was “Jean.”

    Or, if it really IS you, accept my apologies. There’s no independent way to really tell, is there?

  88. Thought for the day. Paraphrasing Beppe Grillo:

    “If everyone in America becomes a socialist, from whom do they steal?”

  89. Hi, Auntie Jean – I love “perinial”… Brilliant!

    Glad to hear the bombing suspect has been nabbed… Hiding in a boat in someone’s backyard… Scary!


  90. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato and Terri, I’ll chime in. How about the “Punditry of M&H’s Perinial Parasite” who, in a pitiful bid for attention, as well as the classic “Control Freak”, consistently returns to change the subject in order to try to control the conversational agenda. When he is “Spanked” for his efforts he’s happy and keeps coming back for more.

    You might find this bit of recent history interesting regarding his accusation of “plagiarism”. I can’t very well plagiarize myself, can I? Over a decade ago, long, long before blogs, Facebook and Twitter, I set up my website as a sort of perpetual Christmas letter for far flung family and friends. It was easier than individual letters, phone calls and e mails. I had a great friend who was my computer guru, a professional. He helped me set it up because I didn’t know diddly about the inner workings of the net. There was quite a bit of interest in it because of our travels. Since it is only for family and friends, trolls are not allowed there. I still respond to family and friends personally though. It sparked an interest in history and current events in our grand kids. Proud grandma speaking here, one of them graduates from high school this year and has been admitted to a most prestigious university.

    On our travels in addition to my refrigerator magnets and a few other little souvenir trinkets, we also ALWAYS picked up English edition books written by local authors. Some of them are of a glorified National Geographic type with pictures. Others are TOMES!

    So, one thing led to another, as I kept adding to it. Unfortunately, my computer guru died and I didn’t know how to continue on my own. I have some more fascinating notes and info on our trips to Russia, China, Turkey and the Greek Islands down to Crete I could never put up.

    I do hold a copyright on an entirely different genre however. Nothing on the internet is copyrighted unless specifically stated. Like everybody else, what I put up in blogs is an original composite of what I have seen, heard or read elsewhere.

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

    Auntie Jean

  91. over the events in Boston today.

    Seriously? We can kill OBL with a couple of seal teams and a few helicopters but we can’t find a 19 year old prep school wrestler in a 20 block radius with 2000+ law enforcement people? Someone has to do a lot more than say “oops” for me to be OK with that.

    Gato there is a really cool lady I follow on twitter, her profile says some like I am an unabashed bleeding heart liberal. I won’t argue with idiots, so if you disagree, be smart. Otherwise, bite me F******.

    I think she has it just about right. xo enjoy your weekend allll

  92. Hey, Terri – I took a quick glance downward, and, HTG, I don’t see any flames anywhere – not even a simmer… My husband doesn’t, either, although I’m sure he’d like to see something like that these days…!

    All this stuff about “exposing” and “panties” is pretty sad. (Just get off the elevator at “Third floor: Ladies Lingerie and Bondage Supplies.” I remember that from Saks; don’t you? Or was that Filene’s Basement…?)

    I have no idea what somebody thinks he’s “exposed,” or who he thinks he’s confirmed a liar.

    HTG, I REALLY wish there were some equivalents in our language for the pejoratives like “Missy”… Doesn’t this say a lot about us that we can’t find one? Would it be “Dicky,” or ‘Doofus”…? Any ideas on this?

    Porch Ladies: Chime in!

    And, yes, I am really distressed about the absence of Margaret and Helen, themselves. They may have done their job… And now it’s our job to keep it going…


  93. PF. Looks like the strain of posting is getting to you. Calm down. It’s very immature. Maybe you should crawl back under your rock and keep dreaming your fevered, survivalist dreams. Us urbanites will do fine without you and your guns. Maybe a little Prozac is in order.

  94. Not doing too well, are we Missy? I just exposed Grandma as a serial plagiarizer, you as a massive fibber.

    As for the military “vaporizing” folks, where are we talking about here? Syria? Iraq? Chechnya? East Germany? I, for one, don’t know a single soldier who would turn his firearm against an American citizen. Jesus, you sound like some kind of advocate for totalitarian rule – but that is, of course, what Hussein and his dupes (that would be you) are after, isn’t it?

    Besides, whom would they go after? There are 20 million hunters in America – I would classify them ALL as gun experts. A big army is a million men. Whom are you going to “vaporize?” Everybody? How are you going to get that fellow on the hill with the deer rifle, who is only going to pull it out of his closet for that single shot at a high-value target, since he knows he won’t get away?

    Grow up, little girl. The people in this country are a lot smarter and tougher than you can ever imagine – except, of course, for the people on the east and left coasts. At least when the next war comes, the urbanites will be at the front line and, being generally unarmed, the least able to defend themselves.

    Think of it as urban renewal.

    And, no, I won’t feed you.

  95. gato defended: “I certainly do not take well to being told where I need to go “learn” this or that, or being challenged to perform some dog-and-pony trick so that someone else can graciously “decide” whether or not I’m a liar”

    The names of all the local shooting clubs near Sandy Hook are available by any of a dozen sources. Nobody wants any names of people, just the name of the club. Why would you object to providing that?

    Your pants are on fire, Missy…LOL LOL LOL.

  96. I heard a story of a woman whose husband was a big donor to RR’s campaign. They were invited to RR’s FIRST Inauguration and were in the greeting line. RR came up and began telling them of his war service/experience in WWII. Nancy was very nearby and came over, put her arm around RR and changed the subject and moved him down the line. RR was never in the service nor did he play a role/part of being in the war!

    Nancy had to know there were problems with RR’s memory whether she wanted to admit it or not. She was always close by him through out his presidency; a bit more than just the devoted wife. Those who worked closely with him must have reason to question his memory or thinking at times yet said nothing to upset the apple cart.


  97. to some extend *when

  98. Yep Auntie Jean, you pretty much have hit the nail on the head IMHO.

    Terri, there is a good book out there that talks about how/why and to some extent why RR became the Pope of the right.

    It’s by Will Bunch, the title is something like … Tear Down This Wall, The distortion of Ronald Reagan. It’s a pretty easy read if I remember correctly, and sheds a little light on that subject.

    Sorry I am on my way out the door or I’d look it up for ya..

  99. I have always been puzzled by the canonization of Reagan by the right, They conveniently forget Iran contra, the quadrupling of the national debt, the killing of marines in Lebanon. Most egregious of all, the deliberate ignoring of the AIDS epidemic. Imagine if a Democrat had been in office.

  100. Hi Congenial Gang,

    A little recap for a view of the bigger picture. When I decided to go back to college in 1968, as I have said before, the California education system from kindergarten through college and advanced degrees was second to none. And for me, as a California resident, the cost was $2.00 per unit. At that time the state had the sixth largest economy in the world.

    In 1967, to my astonishment and that of many, many people, Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California. I know, I know. For the dedicated right-wing conservatives he has been beatified and canonized. If they had their way, they would dynamite the monument to Crazy Horse in South Dakota and chisel out his visage twice as large as the nearby images on Mount Rushmore.

    Those of us who lived in California before and after his tenure as governor just could not believe that he could possibly be elected President of the United States! But then the GOP did it all over again later, as in; getting the governor of Texas elected for two terms and ultimately President. You know who I mean. Their ideological “modus operandi” by now is surely obvious. However, I think the public has certainly lost its political virginity!

    Back to Reagan. He was originally a Democrat – nominally. And a B list movie actor but with name recognition. For a time he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, a UNION! for heaven’s sake! As he aged and his good looks began to sag and fade, like plenty of other matinee idol actors before and after him, he drifted toward the right and politics where he could once again get back into the limelight. Charlton Heston, (who can forget Moses and the heroic deeds of Ben Hur. Oh, yes, and the line about prying his gun from his cold dead hand.) Clint Eastwood, (The tough guy Dirty Harry and “Make my Day”.) Jon Voight, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others to name a few. Nostalgia time for some people of the good old carefree days of youth. And oh, let’s not forget George Murphy, a movie song and dance man – literally. A natural for a GOP U.S. Senator, don’tcha think?

    As governor of California, Reagan had fallen into step with the GOP party line and was definitely their pawn. As usual, one of the first glaring initiatives was to begin chipping away at the educational system on the grounds of, what else, MONEY. Why spend money on old, crumbling facilities or build new ones? Just double up the number of kids in the existing classrooms. Books, supplies, resources; who needs those? Back in the “Good Old Days” of our parents and grandparents down on the farm, they didn’t have or need those and look how great we turned out! Furthermore, an undereducated electorate is much easier to manipulate than a well informed one. Above all, the arch enemy is, was and always will be the Unions. In this case, the Teacher’s Unions. I watched this steady deterioration happening for eight long years in CA and then again in Washington for another eight years from nearby Philly.

    I want to go on record right here by saying that in my lifetime, I have been known to have made an error or two in judgment. I have even on occasion had lapses of memory. (Where did I leave my car keys? Oh, yeah, they’re right here in my pocket.) Wifty episodes euphemistically called “Senior Moments”. In talking to one of our sons about it, he admits that occasionally he has a “Junior Moment” or two. Those human incidents are considered of serious consequences only when there is a CONSISTENT pattern repeated over and over again. As we know, age related dementia is a tragedy that strikes someone in just about every family or circle of friends, anywhere, anytime. In the case of “Alzheimers”, some symptoms very often are apparent up to as early as 15 years before a formal testing and diagnosis.

    Reagan’s cognitive impairment was self evident to his inner circle early on during his governorship of California. They tried to keep it quiet for as long as they could, but it soon began to leak out. That was fine however with the GOP ”Powers That Be”. As long as he could still read a script, all they needed him for was to be propped up in front of a microphone or camera and say what they told him to. He didn’t often flub his lines but Californians were certainly aware of his failing capacities long before he became president.

    And so the Karl Rove and Dick Cheney types of Reagan’s day shoehorned him right into the White House. To take advantage of him and use him in that way was despicably cold and diabolically calculating. As we now know, the rest is history.

    Let’s don’t ever let it happen again!

    Despite the usual rah-rah patriotic rhetoric about liberty and freedom, the constitution, et al, blah, blah, blah, I have rarely if ever found a modicum of altruism in conservative ideology.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  101. Yes, indeed… As Obama was talking today, at the service in Boston, about “…the sun rising over Boston…,” I couldn’t help thinking, “Yeah, and it’s going to rise over Washington, too, where a bunch of Senators sold out a bunch of dead children…”


  102. well gato most people in this country agree with you. 90 percent in fact. buttttttt here we are… and on we go. ;-)

  103. Hi, Lori, and Pi – I haven’t been following your legislative details with as much attention as I’m sure I should be doing, but be assured that even most of us here in the New England suburbs (hot bed of blue liberalism, fortunately!) are not demanding a gun-free country, lovely as that notion might seem to us close-to-urban dwellers, whose last sighting of even a coyote was probably ten months ago, on some sort of nature hike…

    But I’ll be damned if I can think of one good reason why even a national registry of gun ownership is such a liberty-threatening idea – and the gun owners I have met and talked to (don’t even bother mouthing off here, Fesser…) don’t see any problem with it, either. Of course, neither I, nor any of them, are busily stocking up and hunkering down in anticipation of the Communist/Fascist/Liberal/Gummint Takeover that is obviously so terrifying so some people…

    What these people don’t seem to grasp is that if “the government” WANTED everybody’s guns, they would have them, and right this minute – they wouldn’t be sitting around waiting for some legislation to be passed. They’d just send in the troops and tanks whenever they felt like it, and it would be a done deal. And, if even all those extra AK-47s were hidden in their closets, or under their beds, it would not matter one whit, since they, and their closets and beds, would be vaporized in a nanosecond, along with their thirty-day supply of dehydrated macaroni and cheese… And their thousand rounds of ammo would just make the obliteration more rapidly effective…

    As always, the most effective “weapon” anyone in this country has is THE VOTE. As long as that’s the case, we will be the country we like to think of ourselves being. I’m more concerned about THAT being taken away, as is happening on a regular basis.

    If all those weapon and macaroni hoarders were paying a bit more attention to the fact that the value of their votes is consistently being jerrymandered out of existence, and being bought by the biggest spender, while they’re busy kicking liberals in the butt, I might be more interested in their point of view.

    And isn’t it interesting how so many of them are all for photo IDs for VOTERS, but not for gun owners…? Go figure…


  104. As you and I have talked about in the past PI, your state is unique! LOL LOL To say that it has it’s own special challenges (and conflicts of interest) for us left left lefties is stating the obvious.

    I absolutely can see where the legislative route is your best way to go.

    I see something different for the lower 48. I’m not sure how that would/could all shake out but I am all for thinking out of the box. We have accomplished things in the past that I couldn’t fathom. It can and will happen again. Of that I am sure.

  105. Not going for gun free.
    Wouldn’t make sense here.
    Would make sense though to put an end to the horsepunky played out during Legislative session this year- expansion of stand-your-ground, nullification of any Federal law some doof here thinks tramples their 2nd amendment rights (which will NOT stand up to legal challenge) … on and on.
    We are already a go-to destination for goofball militia types, grow-yer-own sovereign citizen doofs, and the like- want to push back hard on all that.
    Do not want those folks to keep hold of the conversation here.

  106. LOL LOL I can appreciate Alaska’s stripes aren’t changin! And also too, I don’t think you will ever see a gun free Alaska, that’s ust common sense.

    What stripes I see changing with the changing demos are the “cultural” shifts. The Mom’s saying.. enough. The religious leaders saying no. The entertainers and sports “icons” sayin “carryin’ just aint cool”… Those are the changes that are coming and ultimately will force change.

  107. lori- Both approaches are valid. We need to go at it from all directions :-)
    Changing stripes is not gonna happen in my state ( yet ) so I’m working from this angle.

  108. Yup PI I have no doubt things will change.The US WILL see the day… As the demos continues to change.

    You may be right! The path to that change will MAYbe via “legislation” . Maybe… I’d be Ok with that and celebrate right along with ya, but personally I don’t see it that way.

    With the filibuster in place, Citzens United etc. I just think it is damn near impossible to find 60 votes for anything with meat. UNTIL we are further down the line with the demographic shift.

    Or maybe it will be a combo of both.

    Social change has been swift lately… Fingers crossed.

    Personally I want us to move on for now. Maybe do some edgework..keep fighting.. but thats it. On to stuff we can will. But that’s just me.

  109. back to work ! :-)

  110. http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202581822870&PostNewtown_gun_legislation_will_hinge_on_Heller&slreturn=20130318102449

    read it. get familiar with the ideas and law

  111. lori, gato, terri, et al-
    hang in there.
    it is not over. gonna take more time than we thought but it is coming.
    things is changin…
    read it :


    get familiar with the language, get familiar with the ideas

  112. Good morning friends!

    I have said it a hundred times here on M&H and I’ll say it again. Politics is not for the faint of heart. LOL We all hate to lose and lose we did last night. It feels worse because we know 90 percent of the country is with us on this one but the powerful gun manufacturing lobby just had a little more. And by little I mean 6 votes. So close …. Feels like a kick in the gut. All signs point to guns becoming a thing of the past in this country, but not yet, we have lottsa work to do. We need to keep talking but I think the real change will come 10- 15 years from now when generation X takes the lead. Polls tell us the end is near.

    I am sure all of you saw the post mortem conversations last night . It doesn’t take long for my party to start turning on it’s young. ;-) Last night was no exception. Getting liberals to walk in a straight line is like herding wet cats! – One of the things I love about my party but it’s tough to watch.

    It’s not the first piece of legislation we lost it won’t be our last. I hope we can recover quickly and get onto our other just as important legislation. Time is running out…

    You know I admire the political wing of the WH. I think they are usually brilliant. I hear from some old friends they weren’t very eager to take up this legislation but the President insisted they try. Try they did, he laid it all out on the line, and we lost…. And on we go…

    My daughter was on her way from Austin to Dallas last night and stopped off, as everyone does, at the little Czechoslovakian bakery to pick up one of their famous pastries. An hour later all hell broke loose. I know I will be thanking my lucky stars today while my heart is heavy for those whom heart is broken this morning.


  113. I certainly do not take well to being told where I need to go “learn” this or that, or being challenged to perform some dog-and-pony trick so that someone else can graciously “decide” whether or not I’m a liar – as I trust is well evident from my most recent posts.

    The NRA fabricates all kinds of stuff – including how they get their members, how much support those members actually provide them, financial or otherwise, where they get their money, and on and on and on… The sad thing, IMHO, is how little organized opposition there still is, among gun owners, to the NRA’s posturing. At this point, at least in my area, the thing gun owners want most of all, these days, is for people to just leave them alone. They’re sad and tired at being repeatedly called murderers by even the most well-intentioned gun-control advocates. It’s a shame, but I absolutely understand their position…


  114. Call anyone you want to call; knock yourself out. I can just hear it now…

    “Hello. You don’t know me, but I am a very important person who posts on a blog, and I need to know about everyone with whom any of your members has spoken in the last four or five months, because somebody else on the blog keeps saying she’s talked to you, and I think she’s lying. Well, no, I really don’ know anything about this person, but it’s really critical that I find out if she ever really came to see you. Well, yes, I understand that you’ve been harassed by far too many people already, ever since Sandy Hook, but I don’t think you realize how important this is! I understand that you don’t give out information about your members or your activities, but you really must make an exception in this case… Do you realize who I am? …I’m not sure you really need to use that kind of obscenity to me… I’m just trying to get to the truth here…” CLICK… bzzzzzz

  115. Hi Gato, how funny! He thinks he is the arbiter of truth. He is seriously delusional. I think he is the one who needs to calm down, he spends way too much time posting in a place where nobody cares what he has to say. And on another note, I hope everyone realizes the NRA has been LYING about the gun bill. What a slimy organization!

  116. Let me repeat, yet again, what I told you months ago: I AM NOT GIVING YOU THE NAME OF ANYONE, OR ANY GROUP, WITH WHOM I HAVE SPOKEN, LEST – GOD FORBID – YOU START BUGGING THEM AS MUCH AS YOU BUG US. So you can just “get over” THAT, Mister.

    You have yet to convince much of anyone here of your own veracity and “authority.” Until you’ve managed that, I suggest that you give up your obsession with mine.

    Gato (whoever I am)

  117. I’ll be fair. Of course, I’ll call the club, and if they can confirm a visit by you, then I’ll admit that you visited and apologise for doubting your word.

    If they cannot confirm anybody remotely resembling you, then you owe us all an apology for lying.

    Fair enough?

  118. OK then, give us the name of the gun club you “visited.” I have a list of all the clubs in the vicinity of Sandy Hook.

    Which one was it, hmmm???

  119. If yesterday’s vote proved anything, it is that this is a country that takes the right to our “cheap shots” very seriously, and literally.

    I grew up in the Midwest, FYI, with grandparents who were farmers and hunters, and my brother still owns, and uses, two rifles. So you can STF up about where you think I ought to go to “learn”… It’s where I grew up.

    And the shooting range, and gun clubs, in my neighborhood would certainly take exception to your categorizing them as “imaginary.” Just because you personally don’t “know” something, doesn’t mean it isn’t real – much as you would like us to believe that such is the case.

    You stand pretty much alone in that particular delusion.


  120. gato – It’s an easy and cheap shot to say that the “Congress is owned by the gun manufacturers,” isn’t it? It plays into that Leftist meme of, “the big, evil corporations are screwing the little guy,” and conveniently lets one rationalize one’s defeat as something that was done other than fairly.

    Wise up. In point of fact, this is a gun-owning nation, and the lion’s share of the NRA’s support comes from four million ordinary citizens just like me, not the gun manufacturers. If it makes you feel better to think otherwise, enjoy the delusion; macht nichts, and it just makes the gun-grabbers even less effective than your already-pathetically-ineffective selves.

    You should spend some time out in rural America – really spend time, not just make imaginary trips to imaginary gun clubs – and see what people in the Heartland really think. City folks like you can’t wrap your head around the fact that there are those of us who understand the importance of preserving the right to defend ourselves, and we’re not going to give that up – not one inch. Get used to it.

    So what happened, then? Very simple: Hussein, flush with hubris, tried to extend his institutionalized rape of the Constitution to the Second Amendment. He failed, and so did his dupes. That would be you.

    By the way, I told you so – months ago.

    Have a lovely evening, or whatever it is you do.

    Cordially, PF

  121. Hi, Lurker, and all the rest of us who are appalled by what happened yesterday in Washington – I know “we” make a lot of guns in this country… But do we really make SO MANY that those who make them actually own that many Senators, as well as owning the NRA? Looks that way…

    What kind of a country is run by its weapons manufacturers? You’d think maybe somewhere in South America, or on the African subcontinent, or a good chunk of the Middle East, but here…?

    Now we know for sure: Guns R Us has replaced E Pluribus Unum.


  122. Nice, objective article in the Huffington Post about gun violence, and why the Manchin-Toomey bill would have done NOTHING to reduce it. This author took the time to actually talk with people on the ground who are intimately involved with gun violence every day – instead of just shooting his biased opinion from the hip, if you will pardon the expression…


    Score one for some common sense in DC. Must have been an accident.

  123. delurker opined: “NYT “The National Rifle Association mobilized members to blanket the Senate with phone calls, e-mails and letters. The group also spent $500,000 on Wednesday alone, on an advertising campaign”:

    That’s half a million in one day. Gee, do you think they might have had something at stake here?”

    Of course they do. They have the same thing at stake as any – and all – lobbying groups in Washington – the welfare of the people they represent. It’s called, “doing your job.” They do theirs admirably.

    Of course, one must temper one’s criticism of the NRA with the knowledge that they are one of the few (the ACLU being another) whose job it is to defend the Bill of Rights against the now-continuous attacks from those bastards who get their mail in Washington, DC.

  124. There is a typo in one line. It should be:

    “From the barren glut and suck of living.”

  125. Hi Congenial Gang,

    This is yet another dark day in too rapid succession for our country as we make our unsteady climb up toward civilization. I think Thomas Wolfe said it all in his poem, “This is Man”, from “A Stone, A Leaf, A Door.” I have put this up before but I feel it bears repeating right now. The word “batten” in the last line is not a typo. It means “to grow fat gluttonously or prosper at the expense of another.”

    “This is man.
    Who, if he can remember ten golden moments of joy and happiness
    Out of all his years,
    Ten moments unmarked by care,
    Unseamed by aches or itches,
    Has power to lift himself with his expiring breath,
    And say, ‘I have lived upon this earth
    And known glory!

    This is man.
    And one wonders why he wants to live at all.
    A third of his life is lost and deadened under sleep;
    Another third is given to a sterile labor,
    A sixth is spent in all his goings and his comings,
    In the moil and shuffle of the streets,
    In thrusting, shoving, pawing.
    How much of him is left, then,
    For a vision of the tragic stars?
    How much of him is left
    To look upon the everlasting earth?
    How much of him is left for glory
    And the making of great songs?
    A few snatched moments only
    From the barren glut and such of living.
    Here then is man.
    This moth of time,
    This dupe of brevity and numbered hours,
    This travesty of waste and sterile breath.

    Yet if the gods could come here
    To a desolate, deserted earth
    Where only a few marks and carvings of his hand
    Were legible upon his broken tablets,
    Where only a wheel lay rusting in the desert sand,
    A cry would burst out of their hearts
    And they would say: ‘He lived, and was here!’

    . . . . . . . . . .

    For there is one belief, one faith,
    That is man’s glory, his triumph, his immortality—

    And that is his belief in life.
    Man loves life,
    And loving life, hates death.
    Ad because of this he is great, he is glorious,
    He is beautiful, and his beauty is everlasting.
    He lives below the senseless stars
    And writes his meanings in them.
    He lives in fear, in toil,
    In agony, and in unending tumult,
    But if the blood foamed bubbling from his wounded lungs
    At every breath he drew,
    He would still love life more dearly
    Than an end of breathing.
    Dying, his eyes burn beautifully,
    And the old hunger shines more fiercely in them–
    He has endured all the hard and purposeless suffering,
    And still he wants to live.

    Thus it is impossible to scorn this creature.
    For out of his strong belief in life,
    This puny man made love.
    At his best,
    He is love.
    Without him
    There can be no love,
    No hunger, no desire.
    So this is man—the worst and best of him—
    This frail and petty thing
    Who lives his day
    And dies like all the other animals,
    And is forgotten.
    And yet, he is immortal, too.
    For both the good and evil that he does
    Live after him.
    Why, then, should any living man
    Ally himself with death,
    And, in his greed and blindness,
    Batten on his brother’s blood?”

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  126. NYT “The National Rifle Association mobilized members to blanket the Senate with phone calls, e-mails and letters. The group also spent $500,000 on Wednesday alone, on an advertising campaign”:

    That’s half a million in one day. Gee, do you think they might have had something at stake here?

  127. Doesn’t matter why or how it failed ..it failed. At least round one. Reid didnt vote so he can bring it up again. But still if filibuster was dead we would have had a better healthcare bill immigration and reasonable gun laws done!

    I just think politically the filibuster reinforces the gridlock and makes it nearly impossible to fight special interests.

    Time to ditch the filibuster.

  128. Terri-
    Name-calling is a sign of immaturity. Do calm down.
    Today a few people were able to control their emotions and vote for good sense. Even the teary-eyed father of a dead child said in his speech that even though he had been told unequivocally that today’s proposed law would not have saved his baby, he was going to support it. That is why one should not be allowed to make important decisions when distraught.

  129. Oh I see – it didn’t fail. It was filibustered. Money talks. That’s where the real fight is. Game on. There is no reason in the world why rules should be different for gun shows and internet sales than for gun shop sales. Frankly, gun shops should be pissed.

  130. PF–why don’t you take you “I told you so’s” and Rush Limbaugh quotes and stick them where the sun don’t shine, you creepy, pathetic little troll.

  131. The threat of filibuster prevents 90 % of Americans their wishes. Hard to imagine considering the filibuster isn’t even in the constitution.

    Maybe it’s time for Harry to reconsider his “traditions” and let the simple majority rule.

    Who would ever think we would see a day when 54 – 46 vote on an amendment is a defeat.?

    In this day in age, when special interests have such a strong hold on our politicians, and no hope for public elections on the horizon, we need to make it as simple as possible for the people we send to Washington to get the will of the people NOT special interests enforced. Get rid of the filibuster Harry, once and for all.

    Congrats NRA on a job well done. We will pick our selves up and dust our selves off and live to fight another day. And we will be back.


  132. This just in. Manchin bill not doing well:

    “Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced that the amendment will likely “not get the votes” it needs to pass the Senate Wednesday, signaling a major setback for gun control advocates who have been pushing for weeks to get a bill through the chamber.”

    Told you so – months ago.

    I would’t want to make book on Manchin’s chances for re-election in a strongly gun-rights state like West Virginia. Oh well, as Rush Limbaugh always says, actions have consequences.

  133. down at the bottom of this diary is the list (and explanation) of the 9 amendments set to be voted on in a few.


  134. and what terri sez.. ugggg for freakin frustrating!!!!

  135. Delurker I assume you are talking about the Toomey and Manchin amendment? The orginal proposal would require background checks for currently exempt online and gun-show sales but not for most other private transactions.

    Buttttt Manchin went on air last night saying he didnt think he had the votes and said he and Toomey were mulling around the idea that they would make changes to their amendment such as exempting gun sellers located far from a federal firearms licensee from having to perform background checks on gun buyers.

    They think the newly revised plan would/could attract more “rural” senators who think the proposed background checks would be overly cumbersome for gun sellers in far-off places. Such as Alaska and some other western and prarie states.

    Last whip count I saw was 54 for 6 maybes, down from 57 soilds a few days ago, I am unclear if this whip count was for the NEW NEW amendment that Manchin was seeking last night or not.

    Dailykos has been keeping pretty good track of the vote count. You might be able to find more info there.

  136. delurker: There’s nothing controversial; just a bunch of Republicans, and a few dems, who are afraid of the NRA. Let’s vote them out of office!

  137. The background checks bill isn’t looking too good at the moment. What’s in it that is controversial? I don’t have the bandwidth to research it. What are the pros and cons? It seemed like there was some agreement in principle which has cooled.

  138. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Until the results of a thorough investigation and forensics are in, I think it is folly to speculate on the “who, what, and why” of the Boston Marathon bombing. That said, I am reminded of Rabelais who, like Helen and now you Gato, use satire so well to raise the public’s awareness of even larger issues. In my opinion, Stephen Colbert is the current master. The subtleties of satire are utterly lost on the sophist rubes of the world who have nothing better to do with their lives than argue for the sake of arguing.

    So in the interim, I am continuing with my little treatise on Marx, and now Kerensky and Lenin. Some of you might find it edifying. I have found that the pseudo-intellectual Fox News type mentalities like to toss around terms such as “Democracy, Socialism, Communism, Facism, THE CONSTITUTION, et al” without a clue as to the origins in historical context. So it winds up a lot of gobble-de-gook with relatively no meaning in today’s political world. (As for religions, [plural], I won’t even go there at all!)

    Apropos to nothing except for linguistic curiosity, the ”vich” attached to a Russian name means “son of”.

    Kerensky and Lenin had very similar backgrounds, even having been born in the same isolated town overlooking the middle part of the Volga River in Russia. Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was born in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk ) in 1881. The town had a social hierarchy that had gone on for generations. “Each sleepy provincial town was much like the next: at the top a crust of the local nobility and gentry, then the bureaucrats and professional classes – judges, lawyers, doctors and teachers – and below them, priests and clerks, shopkeepers, artisans, workmen and servants.” 16

    Kerensky’s father was a teacher who at one time had aspired to be a Russian Orthodox priest. He became the director of the local high school. His mother’s grandfather had been a serf and her father rose to be an officer in the military. His uncle was the parish priest of Simbursk. The family was imbued with an abiding devotion to the czar, love of Russia and her traditions. When Kerensky was eight, the family moved to Tashkent because his father was promoted to Director of Education for the Province of Turkestan.

    While attending the University of St. Petersburg, Kerensky became interested in politics. He was not attracted to Marxism because he felt that was a foreign concept. Thoroughly Russian, he gravitated toward the homegrown variety of socialism. He became a lawyer, defending those accused of political infractions.

    He was renowned as a brilliant orator and was elected to the Fourth Duma, the legislative body instituted by Czar Nicholas II. Kerensky was responsible for major reforms such as freedom of speech, press, assembly and religion, universal suffrage and equal rights for women. He favored Russia’s entry into World War I and he supported the end of the monarchy during the March Revolution of 1917.

    With the support of the Mensheviks, Kerensky was elected Minister of Justice in the new Provisional Government in a coalition with many monarchists. He was unable to consolidate the various factions within, however. In the November Revolution when the Bolsheviks assumed power, he was forced to flee. He never revealed how he made his way to Europe. In 1940 he moved to the United States and lived in New York and Palo Alto, California. He continued to write and lecture on his experiences until his death in 1970.

    There were two major components of the organized Russian Marxist movement, the Bolsheviks, majority, and the Mensheviks, the minority. The R.S.D.L.P. (the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party) was formally organized in 1903 in Brussels, Belgium and London. It soon split into two factions. The Mensheviks advocated a principle of evolutionary change by means of a parliamentary constitution to replace the autocracy of the czar.

    The other faction, the Bolsheviks, adhered to the strict Marxist view of total war against the bourgeoisie and dictatorship of the proletariat. These viewpoints emerged as two irreconcilable political ideologies. The Bolsheviks ultimately became the Communist Party in Russia. After the revolutionaries gained a foothold in St. Petersburg, the radical Bolsheviks grew in strength in the industrial centers of Moscow, Kiev and Ekaterinburg.

    The Narodniki were also a group whose interests lay with the peasants in revolution. This group believed that Russia would remain primarily agricultural. The Bolsheviks were convinced that Russia would follow Europe and the United States into rapid industrialization.

    The organizational structure of the party was that of Soviets, that is, councils of deputies, representing grass root levels of associations either of factory workers, farmers or soldiers. After the Bolsheviks seized power, some of the Mensheviks and Narodniki joined the Bolsheviks. Others were active in counterrevolutionary movements.

    Next time, Lenin.

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

    Auntie Jean

  139. Tweet from Harry! Fingers crossed!

    Senator Harry Reid‏@SenatorReid1m
    It’s time to vote. Tomorrow at 4 pm, Senators will vote up or down on background checks, assault weapons ban, and high-capacity clip ban.

  140. Gato now OPINES: Any time anyone – other than your Sainted Self – posts anything here, we just take a deep breath, and know that you are probably inevitably likely to chime in with something or other… And we do it anyway.

    Oh, if only you were able to keep just ONE of your “promises,” for more than a day or two… That you will not deign to try to discuss “issues” with “seventh-grade girls,” that you will not to “play with amateurs,” or any of the gazillion other things you “profess” to find too embarrassing to do. Evidently being embarrassed is not something that bothers you much, all your protestations to the contrary.

    Have a lovely evening, or whatever it is you do.



  141. gato opined: “I could just imagine Wayne La Pierre slavering about how every marathon runner should be provided with a derringer… That, of course, would have done absolutely NOTHING to prevent this, unless, someone, somewhere, knew which bystanders with a backpack were carrying the IEDs…”

    You are right – you IMAGINE it – because he never said any such thing, nor would he EVER say anything so stupid. He would know, as you correctly surmised, that it would do absolutely nothing to prevent “this.”

    Classic straw man argument. Could be used in a textbook on logical fallacies.

    I, OTOH, could imagine someone who knows nothing about firearms saying such a thing as you have said. Oh, that’s right – you did, didn’t you?!

  142. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Terri and Gato, I concur completely with your statements. But for a few, like McConnel and La Pierre, it’s back to their regular song and dance. Those are tunes that people with hearts and souls will not dance to.

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

    Auntie Jean

  143. Me too Terri.. Me tooooo…

    A funny thing happened on the way to …

    As I listen to many of the Boston law enforcement personnel plead with the public “if you see something say something” I can’t help but wonder how many people actually DO “say something”.

    I frequently take the Amtrak to my daughter’s home in Dallas. On my last return trip home I had an occasion to “say something”.

    As I was standing track side, about 50 yards from the building, a man “ahemmed” me and asked, as he was walking away, if I would keep an eye on his luggage – he was going to use the restroom, so he said. With that, he was off making his way jogging across the tracks heading in the direction of the building.

    I immediately thought of the 1000 times I was asked at the airport if anyone asked me to take their bags? LOL Remember that? I use to think now what IDIOT would actually take a strangers bags? LOL Wellllll that idiot would be me! I didn’t actually AGREE to take care of his bags, I didn’t have time!

    Nonetheless there I was standing beside 3 bags that belonged to a stranger that was NO where to be seen.

    So I did what every red blooded woman does and took inventory of his luggage! LOL One dirty cruddy back pack that didn’t look very full, one generic suitcase, new, and one very beat up Louis Vuitton carry on that wasn’t zipped, the real deal, not a fugazi found on any street corner In NYC – Hummm that was an odd collection of bags I thought! LOL I tell ya, the things that go through your mind at a time like that are bizarre.

    I’m NOT an alarmist by a long shot. In fact, very little “scares” me. Which also went through my mind! Lori, you tend to blow things off and not pay attention to things you should,.. Maybe this is one of those times? I said to myself. SOOOO I literally assessed if a “bomb” could fit in those shabby dabby looking things. I looked at the amount of people standing with me in the waiting area and decided if he was indeed a tarrist he wasn’t a very good one because there weren’t many people there and we were all spread out along side the track. UNLESS he was planning on blowing us up when the train arrived? He didn’t LOOK scary but then again I was pretty sure tarrists tried to look normal.

    In the end I decided to tell the people around me about the abandoned bags and move away from them. I figured if they were still there when the train came I would “say something”. The train was late so we stood there for 20 minutes, still the luggage lain abandoned. I kept watching for the man to come out of the terminal. Finally I spotted him smoking a cigarette making his way back to the track. After the train arrived and we were headed to our roomettes, who is right behind me? My tarrist.. LOL Yep he had the sleeper cell beside me (pun intended) ! Uggggggg another 10 hours of wondering… ;-)

    I must of had my “she looks like she knows how this train thing works ” outfit on that day, because my tarrist was one of about 5 people on the trip that either asked me to do something for them or asked me for information! LOL

    Bottom line.. I failed as a citizen. I probably SHOULD have hauled my ass back to the terminal and “said something”. For a number of reasons I just “handled it myself”… I am positive if either of my kids had been with me I would have said something.. and quite possibly if there were any kids standing near me.. But stilllllll I chose NOT to say anything.. Probs not good..

  144. Hi, Terri – You must have been reading my mind… After Mitch McConnell came out with his idiotic statement about how we’ve, once again, become “lax” in our security operations (a statement that I’m sure was not well-received by any law enforcement, CIA, or FBI operative in the country), I could just imagine Wayne La Pierre slavering about how every marathon runner should be provided with a derringer… That, of course, would have done absolutely NOTHING to prevent this, unless, someone, somewhere, knew which bystanders with a backpack were carrying the IEDs…

    The other thing that has been sitting with me – and I’m kind of surprised how strongly I am feeling this – is the awareness that this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other places around the world. It happens at religious gatherings, markets, coffee shops, weddings, anywhere… Little eight-year-old Afghani children are torn to bits in an instant; Pakistani mothers have their arms or legs blown off, hundreds of people are killed or suffer horrendous injuries. And none of them will be taken to Mass General, or Brigham and Women’s, or any of the other world-class medical facilities that exist in Boston. They will bleed and die on the dirt streets of their villages… There will be no non-stop “special reports;” no massive investigations; no promise to make every effort to make sure those responsible feel “the full weight of justice.” Most of the time, they just die, mourned only by their families. This is the reality of “collateral damage.”

    And WE are often responsible, even if inadvertently, of causing this kind of horror in these places. It is beyond me how we can take part in this kind of thing, pay very little attention when it happens “there,” over and over again, and then suddenly feel that the Universe has tilted, and that something is suddenly and horribly “wrong” when it happens in our front yard. It’s horribly wrong when it happens anywhere. That’s what I’m thinking…


  145. Hoping the events in Boston don’t distract or derail the gun control bill. I read the marathon was being run in honor of the Newtown victims (26 miles for 26 victims); and there were Newtown parents among the spectators in Boston yesterday.

  146. * Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics

    even I feel the need to correct titles! LOL LOL

  147. Hi friends! Just stopped by hoping that I missed a tweet by M&H announcing their return. :( No such luck.

    Oh the other hand it’s good to see some of my old friends commenting.

    Thanks Deb. Ill take your advice. Im new to this city so I will need to do a little networking but community extention sounds like a great resource.

    PI funny you should mention Wendy Brown! I just downloaded Edgewood Critical essays on knowledge and politics. LOVE Wendy and abso
    lutely adore this book!

    BGTX continues to consume much of my time. I cant tell you how exciting it is to be a tiny part of this movement! Such smart energetic positive Progressives we have in this State …. sooooo refreshing to actually hear there voices!

    Like everyone here I am saddened ftom the recent events in Boston. I hope justice is swif.

    Xoxo ho all!

  148. Thank you Auntie Jean and delurkergurl-
    Agree. Very much so.

  149. Excerpts from a very interesting article by none other than Maestro Alan Greenspan, c. 1966. I guess he’s “evolved” since then…

    In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

    This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”

  150. delurker – well said. The world takes offense at what it considers “American exceptionalism,” but the fact is, Americans ARE exceptional, and it only takes something like the Boston bombing to prove it, again.

    On another front, I am reading Peter Schiff’s “Crash Proof” – a really good look at the policies of the past 50 years or more that have brought us to the brink of financial disaster we are facing now, which nobody now believes can be avoided.

    I am, of course, very critical of Obama, but he is not alone in trying to kick the can down the road, instead of dealing with it; he has a lot of company, all the way back to the ‘sixties.

    Here is a very succinct excerpt of what we face. Apologies for the length.

    Peter Schiff. “Crashproof.”

    “In the 1990s and 2000s, expansions of the money supply have been used to create permanent inflation in order to relieve the symptoms of inefficient government. As new money stimulates consumer spending and increases the gross domestic product (GDP), it creates an illusion of healthy economic growth. By diluting the dollar’s value, it artificially reduces the costs of social programs, the massive national debt and budget deficit, and our huge current account deficit. Reflected mainly in asset bubbles (stocks, bonds, and real estate) and being exported to buy consumer products from Europe and Asia, this inflation is not reflected in official figures, such as the consumer price index (CPI). But inflation it is, and it is diminishing the purchasing power of the dollar as this is written. What is now high, if largely invisible, inflation will become acutely felt hyperinflation as dollars being accumulated abroad come home to roost.”

    That, my friends, if I may mix my metaphors, is the whole ball of wax in a nutshell. Fasten your seatbelts.

  151. You’re right, Auntie Jean. After something like this happens it’s hard to know what to say. Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold some people back. Don’t read comments on news articles unless you’re looking to be disgusted with humanity.

    Look for the helpers, as Fred Rogers said:

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

    I heard last night that some of the runners ran toward hospitals after running 26 miles, to give blood. I saw that the Red Cross tweeted they have enough blood and to schedule future appointments instead. I have never heard of the Red Cross saying they have enough blood. I suppose it’s happened, but it was a nice thing to hear yesterday after seeing so much blood lost at the scene.

  152. Dear Porch Friends,

    This is a tragic day for our country. Yet another act of senseless violence, this time at what should have been a joyous conclusion of the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  153. I actually have a good friend (and blogger) in Anchorage, and the old fellow who is staying with me more-or-less permanently has a daughter there also. I have also been considering taking some bush-flying lessons from this guy:

    Hope to make it up there within a couple of years. I’ll give a shout first. I think you said you were not near a major pop center, right?

  154. PFesser-
    If you ever make it to Alaska , do not refer to the PFD as a transfer payment (even though it is )
    Might get you in deep trouble.
    Folks have some interesting rationales about what they think it is . One must apply to receive it. I never have. Dirty money to me. One more of Pi’s windmills to tilt at..:-)
    However one sees it, I was limiting my remarks to the Native community and things which are specific to that community.
    I do understand the Outside unemployment % on reservations remark- simply clearing up the difference here. Navajo friend would argue some of the same issues I did about subsistence lifestyle not fitting into neat employment categories for trying to understand some of what is going on. She has been horrified that gang culture has shown up on the reservation in recent years. That is a whole nother big effing mess not easy to explain or deal with. Reservations have issues most Americans do not “get” at all and unemployment though very relevant is usually more a symptom than a cause.

  155. Pi – “We do not have reservations ( with one exception, Metlakatla ), unemployment is nowhere near as high as it can be be Outside on reservations, there are no Alaska transfer payments,

    Actually, I was referring to reservations in the lower 48 West – a MD friend worked there for several years and was appalled by the EtOH rate. The link was a common ethnicity with Native Alaskans, not the reservation per se.

    re: Alaska transfer payments. What about the Alaska Permanent Fund?

  156. Where are you Helen and Margaret? You are greatly missed. I hope you are both well.

  157. delurker-
    I pretty much understood what you said to be a set of remarks about the irony of a fellow committing suicide by gun at an NRA sponsored event. I see the irony too. I also see in later reports that guns are prohibited at these events so sadly something/somebody slipped up somewhere.
    I’m not a sensitive type by and large- mostly a bull in a china shop type really, but do get my britches in a bunch very easily over anything which even feels like it makes light of suicide. Maybe too easily but it is what it is .
    Best wishes for the continued recovery of your family member and for all who were touched by his pain.

  158. A couple, three responses :

    gato- Yes, the long dark has something to do with the high rates of suicide here but it doesn’t fully account for the extraordinary rate in young people .
    The cascade effect explains some of it- those who know/knew someone who killed themselves ARE more likely to see suicide as somehow an ok response to personal pain, esp. amongst young folks.

    PFesser- As I said nothing about regulation of guns in relation to suicide I’m not sure why you responded with the regulate-other-stuff response In light of the study I quoted, it should give us all pause though. As a relatively slim majority of suicides are from guns we might be tempted to brush it off (and many are from the people-have-been-killing-themselves-forever-POV). However, as a minimum of attempted and “successful” suicides by guns is 70% and at least 99 in 100 attempts fail across all other chosen methods, gun suicide is a particularly lethal choice.
    We need guns here. I have never said differently. I simply said I don’t think anything about suicide is funny.

    As per all the usual questions about Alaska Natives, alcohol, unemployment, and the like- It’s complicated , more complicated than the narrow assumptions seen in the question you asked here:
    “…reservations reporting >80% rate. Or could it be due to the Federal and Alaska transfer-payment systems, which encourage idleness and aimlessness, due to no reason to pursue meaningful work? ”

    We do not have reservations ( with one exception, Metlakatla ), unemployment is nowhere near as high as it can be be Outside on reservations, there are no Alaska transfer payments, Federal transfer payments are of the same ilk that states receive and do we really think states’ self governing monies from the Fed encourage idleness and aimlessness? There are deep and abiding problems with the general view away from villages that the only work worth recognizing is that which is paid.
    There is nothing idle or aimless about subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering and given the far flung communities , lack of stores, limited supply routes in, etc, there is nothing useless about continuing to rely heavily on such routes of “self-employment “.
    I still laugh about the experience of a friend who moved here from Virginia in the 70s. He was into some back-to-the-land frame of mind and got hooked up with an elder near Barrow who agreed to teach him to provide for himself. Friend was worn to a frazz after a year, deeply thankful for the experience and insight into a subsistence life, and went to work on the pipeline because it was waaaayyy easier.
    Alcohol remains a deep problem and I could go on for a week about that and the problems between the State and communities there.

  159. Pi, I wasn’t making light of suicide at all, and I hope I did not imply it. In fact, our family is working through a situation involving a family member who swallowed several weeks worth of powerful medications a couple of months ago. He planned to go to sleep and would not have woken up. He realized he was making a terrible mistake and told someone to get him to the hospital. By the time he got there, he was in a coma. Thank God he didn’t have a gun that day, or he wouldn’t have had time for second thoughts. A week in a coma was scary but at least he’s alive and doing much better.

    I really wish that man at the speedway had not had a gun. The fact that he did changed everything. One could argue that he might have used another (statistically less successful) method, or he might have done it another day. Maybe doesn’t matter. He’s already gone and his people are grieving.

    Thanks for the data.

  160. alaskapi -

    Your post raises two questions immediately – maybe three.

    First, do we really want to dissuade people who want to kill themselves? I think probably so, especially if they are mentally ill or drunk, but one really does have the right to do with himself what he wishes, IMHO. (Interestingly, over the years I have noticed that nearly all suicides have in common both alcohol and sleep deprivation.)

    Secondly, folks have been killing themselves long before guns were invented, I would suppose. So, do we want to further regulate: ropes, bridges, buildings (no ledges or access to the roof), pills, alcohol, automobiles (no closed garages allowed!)? Where does it stop? If one cannot get a gun and is determined to off himself, then the numbers of deaths from all those other things will rise, and then folks will be suggesting the next thing on the list be banned, don’t you think?

    Thirdly, why is it so prevalent in Alaska? Could it be the firewater that white man brought to the natives? There is no question of a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, and among American Indians it is very, very high, with some reservations reporting >80% rate. Or could it be due to the Federal and Alaska transfer-payment systems, which encourage idleness and aimlessness, due to no reason to pursue meaningful work? Could it be due to those godawful long winter nights? I don’t have an answer, but I wonder if one would do better to look for root causes rather than try to ban the means themselves.


    On another front, gato opined: “SpankMe!”

    No thanks – I don’t play with amateurs. Go to fetlife.com or some other fetish site, learn, get some experience, then call me back.

    Or you could consult with Grandma – she enjoys her spankings (caught you plagiarizing the last time, didn’t I, Granny!) so much that she keeps coming back for more!

  161. Hi, Pi – It’s heartbreaking. I had the occasion to spend some time in the Yukon Territory many years ago, during the summer. Talking with friends I made who lived there year round, most of them in Dawson and Churchill, listening to them describe the conditions in winter blew me away – bitter cold, almost no sunlight for months on end, and so on… I remarked, “That would drive me absolutely crazy.” And they replied, not laughing, it does us, too.”

    Add to that the unemployment and alcoholism that are scourges particularly among Native Americans everywhere, and it’s easy to understand the despair that ensues… And, yes, of course people can kill themselves in all kinds of ways (so don’t even bother with something else like your stupid “rope” analogy, SpankMe); the problem is that guns are both supremely easy and effective – and years of “product development” have been applied to make them ever more so. And the “marketing” and “lobbying” are relentless in trying to make sure they are in the hands of everyone possible. (Little pink handguns promoted to children…? Shameful!)

    There was a powerful piece in The New York Times, shortly after Newtown, written by a woman who suffers from deep and chronic depression. She was BEGGING for stricter gun control… So it wouldn’t be so easy for her to kill herself.

    And anyone who DARES to scoff at this sort of thing, or finds it laughable, or thinks she should just “get over it,” has never suffered from, or loved someone who was destroyed by, serious depression.


  162. Alaska has the highest rate of suicide in America, similar to some other far north countries in Europe.
    However , the rate is driven even higher by the horrible rate of Alaska Native youth suicide.
    Folks yuck it up about Darwin awards, culling the gene pool, and assorted similar crap but I think this laughing over the grave of our future especially disgusting.


  163. Well Gato, I will be interested in hearing what the investigation turns up. Did he own it legally? Did he have previous mental health problems? Was it legal to have the gun at the event? (Duh – it’s Texas.)

    Owing a gun is being held up like a sacrament right now but our society keeps proving day after day that there is no shortage of people who aren’t mature enough to handle the responsibility. At least this guy only shot himself. I imagine there are some people who were there who might question the wisdom of camping in the midst of drunk guys packing heat from now on. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is second to the second amendment.

    Congratulations to the Bush family! Saw some photos of very happy grandparents. That Jenna is a beautiful woman – even labor and delivery can’t diminish her.

    p 22
    Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death among Americans.
    More people die each year in the
    U.S. from suicide than from homicide. A firearm is the most commonly used method to commi tsuicide (54%). The firearm suicide rate has remained virtually unchanged from 1981 to 2007
    (See Figure 12).

    Someone commits suicide with a firearm every 17 minutes.

    Handguns are the most frequently used type of firearm, accounting for 70% of the firearm-related suicides.

    Suicide attempts with a gun are the most fatal of all gun injury and result in death 70-90% of the time. By contrast, only 10-15% of suicide attempts by any other means (i.e. hanging,carbon-monoxide poisoning, pills,or cutting) are fatal.
    Hospitals see a significant number
    of firearm injuries labeled as accidental or
    unintentional that are actually intentional in
    nature. Identification of these attempts is need
    ed to prevent a repeated successful attempt.
    This is especially important in youth since
    there are 100-200 youth suicide attempts for every completion.


    call me a dud.
    Nothing about suicide is funny.

  165. Twenty-two year-old kills self while swinging from stone arch:


    People have been visiting this arch for over a hundred years, but there were no guns ropes, and nobody died.

    Let’s just effing face it (I know you do)… If the drunk guy foolish young guy ….. didn’t have his hands on a loaded gun strong rope, ………..he would be alive this morning. Hung (possibly) over, but still alive.

    Think that dude was thinking about his “second amendment rights” rights as a “swinger” at that ……when he thought it was a good idea to blow out his own brains jump off a 140′ tall rock? Were his wife, or his girlfriend, or his boyfriend, or his children, or his parents, or his sisters and brothers, thinking about that?

    Rope. The problem is that damned rope. What we need are stronger rope control laws. I’m going to call Hussein right away and see if my buds and I can get a ride on Air Force One.

  166. Lurker… Is this satire? OMG; I think it’s possible it’s not… In some strange way I think it matters almost not at all whether this event was sponsored by the NRA. Bottom line is always the same: fast cars, booze, bunch of guys, guns… Ending up with somebody dead. This time, only one. Sometimes there are more.

    I did a lot of booze and fast cars at a track here in CT, for a bunch of years some time ago (my former husband was a fine amateur driver), along with sleeping on the ground for any numbers of weekends, right next to large barrels of auto fuel with some fireworks being set off all around… And THAT, in itself, was pretty scary, for sure.

    But there were no guns, and nobody died.

    Let’s just effing face it (I know you do)… If the drunk guy at the race track didn’t have his hands on a loaded gun, there would have been nothing lethal he could have put up to his temple, or anyone else’s, and he would be alive this morning. Hung over, but still alive.

    Think that dude was thinking about his “second amendment rights” at that drunken moment when he thought it was a good idea to blow out his own brains? Were his wife, or his girlfriend, or his boyfriend, or his children, or his parents, or his sisters and brothers, thinking about that?

    Let me hear just ONE of them say something like, “Oh; it’s really okay that he did that, because at least he was exercising his Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.” Anybody saying that? (Oh; I know… “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” In this situation, a drunk person, with a gun, killed himself. How’s this for a new slogan: “Guns don’t kill people; drunk people with guns usually kill people they know first, and then kill themselves.” Works for me.)

    This one is seems to be on Wayne, and the NRA, and all they’re spending gazillions to keep this idea in place. This kind of thing is exactly what they are insisting be allowed. Nice work, guys. Sleep well.


  167. Man shoots himself in the head during first ever NRA sponsored NASCAR race.


  168. Jean – you prompted me to do a little research on Marx; thank you; I hadn’t thought about him since college. Here is what I found on “Jean’s Gatherings” Website:


    “Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883) was born in Trier or Tr è ves in the Rhine Province of Prussia. His father was a Jewish lawyer. The family converted to Christianity in 1824 when Karl was six years old. He entered the University of Bonn to study law when he was seventeen and later transferred to the University of Berlin. There he ultimately took his PhD. in Philosophy in 1842 after studying a wide variety of disciplines. Georg W. F. Hegel, a philosopher, was an enduring influence on Marx during his years in Berlin.

    “After an unsuccessful attempt to secure a teaching position, he made his living as a journalist. His outspoken opinions nearly resulted in arrest so he went to Paris. There he met Friedrich Engels who became his intellectual partner and lifelong friend. As an economist, Marx became the foremost exponent of “scientific socialism” with his working-class theories.

    “In a nutshell, this is what he postulated:

    “Historically, slaves performed the primary means of production as in Greece and Rome. During the medieval times, society changed and feudalism emerged as the political, economic and social system. Landowners protected and allowed the vassals (with variations of the names, serfs and peasants) to use the land provided tribute, military service and utter loyalty to the lord were rendered in return.

    “The medieval guilds produced a majority of the craftsmanship and labor. These guilds became the precursors of Labor Unions. With the exploration and discovery of new lands and trade routes, feudalism faded and capitalism came into view. Machinery and factories completed the cycle with the Industrial Revolution.

    “The French Revolution combined with the Industrial Revolution to form a synthesis against a social structure that had been unchanged since time immemorial. For the first time, social doctrine was based on and supported by economic rather than moral factors. This is an extremely important distinction! Wars had traditionally been fought for territories and trade routes. The new wars would be fought over ideology.”

    Note the quotes around material that belongs to others, to avoid plagiarism.

  169. Did anyone see this?


    Allegedly, these are “Trayvon Martin” targets, although there is no face on it. Actually, a lot of the bad guys very often wear hoodies these days – the idea being to thwart all the surveillance cameras that are everywhere, so I wonder if Martin was the model for these targets, or just hoodies in general.

  170. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883) was born in Trier or Trèves in the Rhine Province of Prussia. His father was a Jewish lawyer. The family converted to Christianity in 1824 when Karl was six years old. He entered the University of Bonn to study law when he was seventeen and later transferred to the University of Berlin. There he ultimately took his PhD. in Philosophy in 1842 after studying a wide variety of disciplines. Georg W. F. Hegel, a philosopher, was an enduring influence on Marx during his years in Berlin.

    After an unsuccessful attempt to secure a teaching position, he made his living as a journalist. His outspoken opinions nearly resulted in arrest so he went to Paris. There he met Friedrich Engels who became his intellectual partner and lifelong friend. As an economist, Marx became the foremost exponent of “scientific socialism” with his working-class theories.
    In a nutshell, this is what he postulated:

    Historically, slaves performed the primary means of production as in Greece and Rome. During the medieval times, society changed and feudalism emerged as the political, economic and social system. Landowners protected and allowed the vassals (with variations of the names, serfs and peasants) to use the land provided tribute, military service and utter loyalty to the lord were rendered in return.

    The medieval guilds produced a majority of the craftsmanship and labor. These guilds became the precursors of labor unions. With the exploration and discovery of new lands and trade routes, feudalism faded and capitalism came into view. Machinery and factories completed the cycle with the Industrial Revolution.

    The French Revolution combined with the Industrial Revolution to form a synthesis against a social structure that had been unchanged since time immemorial. For the first time, social doctrine was based on and supported by economic rather than moral factors. This is an extremely important distinction! Wars had traditionally been fought for territories and trade routes. The new wars would be fought over ideology.

    Marx saw society, especially capitalism, comprised of two warring classes:

    1. The bourgeoisie, the property-owners, were a small percentage class of the population. Ownership of private property had been and continued to be obtained through birth or the production of others.

    2. The proletariat was by far the vast majority class of workers who had to sell its labor to the bourgeoisie at a subsistence level in order to survive.

    Marx was convinced that reconciliation between the interests of these two classes was impossible. The proletariat could never hope for any help from the bourgeoisie. ARMED REVOLUTION was the only means of liberating the proletariat in its struggle against capitalism. This was the core of Marx’s theory of “scientific socialism”.

    Socialism was already in existence to a certain extent as a result of the reforms that had taken place all over Europe when the absolute power of monarchies had been weakened by the rise of various elected constitutional means. The idea of communism had been around for a long time. (Remember Mazdak of the Persian Empire and the Moslem Ismailite Seveners that evolved into the Carmathinians?)

    Obviously, Marx did not think much of capitalism. He thought that capitalism would become extinct because of the very methods it employed to preserve its class. These means gave the proletariat the motives for revolution as long as the rich became richer and fewer and the poor, poorer but greater in number.

    He believed that Democratic constitutions would be of no value as the class distinction heightened. He foresaw that once capitalism had been obliterated, the proletariat would take complete control and socialism would prevail for an intermediate time as a proletariat dictatorship .
    Socialism would be succeeded by communism when the entire population evolved from working class to a classless society. This concept would work only if communism were achieved WORLD WIDE! Then in the final stage of development for civilization, society would live happily ever after in Utopia.

    In 1845 Marx was exiled from France and went to Belgium for three years. He founded the first Communist Political Party in 1846. His party differed from the Socialist Party already in place. He and his family spent the rest of their lives in poverty in London supported mainly by contributions from Engels. His most famous works were “The Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital”. He died in London in 1883.

    Marx considered religion to be the opiate of the people. He would have been surprised that communism took hold first in Russia and then China rather than England and the United States. At that time the West was far more industrialized than Russia and China.

    It is easy to see how communism, on paper and rhetoric at least, would appeal to the working people. But it is all in the METHODOLOGY. What Marx and others seemed to have over-looked were a few other intrinsic human attributes; personal initiative and aptitudes coupled with healthy competition and incentive.

    To be continued……..

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

    Aunie Jean

  171. #3 here! Guess who I’m thinking of….

    “Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person.” (or in this case, “group”)

  172. Count me in as Personal Post #2.


  173. Sorry, Grandma – we’re doing issues now. I will keep count of the posts from those who keep refusing to focus on issues, and instead keep getting personal. To the casual observer, it might appear that either they are afraid of open debate, or have no argument to make. (Actually, AlaskaPi might be the exception to that; we’ll see…)

    You have the distinction of being personal post # 1. Congratulations.

    Staying topical:
    Suggested new topic: Tax Freedom Day arrives, five days later than last year:


  174. Hi Congenial Gang,


    Before you assume the identity of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in your avatar, perhaps you should tell us all you know about him instead of sitting around, waiting for someone else to do your research for you. To have any credibility, you should have a minimum of two other sources of information beyond Wikipedia.

    I await your erudite response.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  175. OK – good; I’ll start:

    If North Korea does something really stupid, do you think Obama has the nerve to respond with force?

    I think he does. Witness his decisiveness in the Osama killing. Afraid he ain’t.

  176. Nice work, WPeas! That only took about a month, even with multiple hints! Bob Dobbs is his name. It was a comedy line ‘way back when. (late ‘seventies, ‘eighties, maybe?) I’d wondered what happened; guess it died out.

    Subgenius is only the name of the church; it is not the name of, nor does it describe, any member – including me. Bob Dobbs was the prophet; Jehovah 1 revealed himself to Dobbs, who then founded the church. (It’s like “real” religions; you have to get the mythology right or you won’t be saved.)

    I picked it up because the likeness reminded me of an old ham radio buddy, Jerry F, who was Chair of Aero Engineering at my university. Great human being. He used to spend his entire Christmas holiday patching phone calls from troops overseas to their families at home via amateur radio. (Wow…so long ago, now…)

    Again, nice work! I’ll look for another fun avatar. Maybe a composite of Hussein and Lenin…hmmm…..if you know a little Photoshop, it’s easy to modify any picture so Google Images won’t be able to search it…that will be a nice challenge. Gotta do something for entertainment until M&H get back online…


    So, wanna talk topics, or just want to stay on the personal? I’ll promise no math, OK?

    Cordially, PF

  177. Pretty nifty, Whirled! And I loved seeing “crasher squirrel” in some of his (or, in this case, “her”) many adventures… Way cool… Thanks!


  178. Hey gato,

    Google images has a pretty cool function. It lets you drag and drop an image to search by.

    Example: my avatar.

    PEACE ~ Δ

  179. Good work, Whirled! What a riot… A little creepy, but still funny, for sure…



  180. Hi all,

    Thought I’d chime in on our resident asshat.

    He considers himself a ‘SubGenius’


    Enjoy your spring.

    M&H you are sorely missed!

    PEACE ~ Δ

  181. Oh! How interesting… I speak French, but didn’t know that word – didn’t come up in conversation much. Thanks for the clarification; now it all makes sense…


  182. Gato

    Pfesser is no professor. Fesser in French is spank. And since the pee-fesser has made references in the past to an interest in a little off beat sex, he is also known on this blog as Spankme for obvious reasons

    Just thought I’d clear that up.

  183. Hey, Terri – Thanks for the kind words. I actually enjoyed being a bit of a smart ass for a while there. And, Lurker, I really don’t know the difference between “Professor” and “Pfesser.” What am I missing here?

    And, Sidney, I must remember to use “asshat” more often.Great word!

    And, boy, don’t we all wonder where M&H are these days…? Lordy – guess they’re leaving us on our own for a while here. I think we’re doing fine, but I miss our Ladies, too!


  184. My two cents: sidney, don’t give that asshole the satisfaction of discouraging you from posting. I enjoy hearing your comments. Gato, I was glad to see you engage him and stick up for yourself (and in such a witty and articulate way!). I ‘d hate to be on your bad side! He’s a sick and sad person, desperate for attention and trying to prove to somebody that he’s smart. Of course he has only proven the opposite. He’s a rude, ignorant man with way too much time on his hands; and he’s a woman hater to boot. He has to live with himself, but we can just ignore the turd and continue on.

  185. P.S. – Gato, it’s not “professor”. It’s “pfesser”, which has a different meaning. I wanted to correct your inference in case it was unintentional. Have a lovely evening.

  186. Sidney, I’d like to think Matthew would let us know if something happened to Helen or Margaret. They’ve gone several months without posting in the past so it’s not entirely unusual. When it’s not election season they seem to lose interest in blogging and the blog itself, and even the spam is left unattended. Just my 2 cents, which is apparently worth more than 2 cents these days since minting pennies has gotten so expensive. Does that mean I’ve gotten smarter? :P Still, it’s nice to show appreciation to our hosts. :)

    Alaskapi, thanks for the info on the Heller amendment and for your steady and sensible perspective. I don’t have your patience so I wasn’t going to bother, but I bet you educated several people with that info. Good on you.

  187. Hi, Pi – Thanks for the slack. Sometimes the “personal” is the only thing that’s really happening, especially when someone is insisting that it’s not – and that doing so is petty, childish, “seventh grade girl,” or whatever. And I don’t mean you!

    When I was growing up in Ohio, our family had a “friend” down the street who was, of all things, a science “professor.” He used to frequently invite my younger brother to his house, to spend time with him in his basement, to work on “science experiments.” He never invited me, or our parents – just my little brother. He was not about “science,” or scholarship; he was about little boys. And, yes, it was “personal,” and that’s all it was. All the professorial stuff was just a smoke screen he hoped would make him unassailable. Eventually, of course, he was not. My Midwestern Mom had very good antennae!

    The “cordial” and scholarly ones are frequently the most treacherous…

    And the internet is especially accommodating to this sort of thing.

    BTW, I have recontacted my local shooting range, hoping to find out what some real “gun people” around here think about our State’s new regulations.

    Look forward to hearing from them!



  188. gato, sidney, et al- I understand by and large. I disagree with engaging personally but I understand.
    PFesser-I don’t understand no matter how many times I read your put downs and the reasons for them.

    dear Helen and Margaret-
    miss the hell out of you even though I sure appreciate the latitude to blab on here in your absence.

  189. Gato, PI, terri and all my other porch buddies. I am discusted with this asshat and his asshat comments and I have come to te conclusion that his only purpose is to spread his asshatness for his own asinine fun.
    I’m gonna put my lemonade away for a while and drop in on the porch sometime in the future. (I am really starting to think that Margaret and/or Helen might be suffering from some illness or worse) I pray I’m mistaken, but something doesn’t seem right.
    Gato…I will talk to you on your board partyandsoul, and I would love it if everyone moved over there with me, where we could have intelligent conversations without professor asshat.

  190. It is quite apparent that you are here SOLELY to indulge your “perverse pleasures.” We are all well aware of that. All the garbage about issues and balance is just your way of leading into what seems to really interest you: An opportunity to mention someone’s “big girl pants.”

    That’s why I engage you only when I bloody well feel like it. The masochist said to the sadist, “Beat me.” And the sadist said, “No.”

    (Sorry, Pi; I’m sure I’m making you crazy. I’m over it with this. Promise…)


  191. oh for crap’s sake.

  192. cwarn: 1)none, therefore 2)moot.

    A reduction of proposed increase is, well, just that. A cut is a reduction. My understanding is that real reduction is not proposed at all.


    gato – If you had any idea – any at all – of the perverse pleasure I obtain from our exchanges……..well, there wouldn’t be any.

    Want to talk issues? Yes or no… If so, I reserve the right to demonstrate my disdain for the policies – and sometimes the perpetrators – in our govt. That may include, but is not limited to: Hussein, The Bernank, Geithner, Bush-the-Lesser, Bill HotLips Clinton, Richard Nixon and various/sundry presidents, secretaries of state, secretaries of defense. Oh, additional chairmen of the Fed.

    re: fun. Fun is always my goal; life is short. You are a good and reliable source of same. Correspond on an adult level and we’ll laugh together. Attack me and we’ll laugh at you; I can drive you ’round the bend anytime I desire, and you know it, but I won’t do it as long as you stick to topics and leave the you-and-me out of it. Your call.

    re: being treated like an errant six-year-old. Don’t act like an errant six-year old and I won’t treat you like one. Actually, you are too modest; I put it at about seventh grade – your last post as a good example.

    And, while I’m thinking of it: want to put on your big-girl pants and talk issues?

    Cordially, PF

  193. And let me add, as I’m sure you’ll be pleased to see me doing, “Sweetie,” “seventh-grade girl immaturity,” and “Cordial” to the list of irritants. Keep ‘em coming; you’re on a roll – a little repetitive, but let’s call it a roll, anyway.

    BTW, Mr. High-Minded, Interested-In-Issues-Not-Personalities, the great “issue” you’re addressing with, “Calm down, Sweetie. It’s OK. Get a cup of coffee and a nice shower, and it’ll all be fine…” is exactly… What? Do you see nothing about “personalities” in any of that?

    You cannot possibly be so – excuse me, “Stupid” – as to think that anyone would be willing to even consider the possibility of having a serious discussion with someone who addresses them as he would an errant six-year-old. Is that how you addressed your alleged students? (Oh; maybe you taught kindergarten…)

    As someone recently said, “…when you are so smugly satisfied with your own POV, you are getting ready to make a mistake.” I couldn’t agree more.

    And may I hope that, since you feel that I am so easy to “drive to frenzy,” and therefore no “fun,” that you will give it up? Probably not, since – despite all your posturing and protesting to the contrary – “fun” seems to be your main goal here… That, and lecturing to those you consider uninformed – which includes, apparently, anyone you do not see when you are alone and looking in the mirror.


  194. Where are you Margaret and Helen? It’s been a while and I am many of my friends are anxiously awaiting your POV on the current events.

  195. 2- the decision in Heller, which is where we are now in this public debate, addresses the issue fairly clearly :
    “(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. ”


    While some worry that any changes will necessarily lead to true abridgment of the right to bear arms, I’m more concerned that we’ll end up with more messy and hard to manage patchworks of law than we already have as well as to continue to keep loopholes which are easily used by criminals to obtain firearms semi-legally.
    Don’t know about where you live but here we recognize Defense of Life and Property pretty strongly.
    However, it is not a free pass to blaze away at animals or people.
    Should you kill a bear under DLP you are required to skin it, and send hide and skull to Fish and Game along with a description of what happened and why you invoked DLP. Along with trying to weed out folks killing bears indiscriminately for hides or whatever it is also designed to help keep track of whether problems are developing in an area with an aggressive set of bears ( which does happen when there’s a crash in the food chain and starvation issues percolate up to the predators). Some folks bitch about excessive regulation and argue for just accepting it was DLP but most of us recognize the value of the law there because there are other things at stake in the overall picture for all of us.
    I see gun regulation similarly.

  196. Pf – What militia do you belong to, how often do you meet?

    You may call it a reduction…I may call it a cut.

    Enjoy the day.


  197. Pi – point well-taken.

  198. PFesser- a couple problems with relying on the shall-not-be-abridged language .
    1- the 1st amendment carries similar language


    and we have long recognized, legally, that requiring permits to assemble and the like do not abridge those rights in a meaningful way.

  199. gato – I’ll really level with you.

    I’m interested in ideas – all ideas – not personalities. I couldn’t care less what anybody thinks personally – it just rolls off like the proverbial water on the duck’s back. In fact, when attacked, I take great delight in driving people to frenzy; you, unfortunately, are so easy that it’s really not that much fun.

    As for ideas, both time alive on this earth, and metric tons of class time – as well as teaching, have taught me that, when you are smugly satisfied with your POV, you are getting ready to make a mistake. Nobody has a lock on the truth. Conservatives can be horrible, but there is no bigot like the liberal bigot, because he thinks he is the ultimate good guy, holds the ultimate high ground, when in fact the socialist ideologues have caused more death and misery than all the others combined.

    So, lighten up a little and don’t take things so personally; people who disagree with you are not your enemies. They may, by opening your mind a little, be your best friend.

    Cordially, PF

  200. Calm down, Sweetie. It’s OK. Get a cup of coffee and a nice shower, and it’ll all be fine. When you can focus on issues and not people, come back. I think you are at least average intelligence and seem to have had a bit of world experience; we can have some interesting discussions, but I’m not going to get sucked into that seventh-grade girl immaturity of name-calling. It’s just embarrassing.

  201. You think that was not “calm,” you pretentious jerk…? You think you should be given some sort of dispensation because you “can’t help” rattling people’s chains? You’re not doing half the rattling you think you are… You think you’re cute? Clever? Amusing? Important…? Have something of interest to say? About anything? Think anyone is fooled by your occasional awkward forays in to the land of the reasonable, with your “scholarly” links and clips and commentary? You wouldn’t acknowledge “not calm” if it kicked you in the butt, which it actually has around here, frequently. Wanna know what really makes me “not calm”? (I’m sure you don’t, and I don’t care.) For one thing, it’s your endless use of “opined”? Don’t you know a single other synonym for that outdated professorial word, dragged out from some mid-century textbook you have next to your toilet? And then there’s “Hussein,” “little girl,” and “don’t worry, there’s no math,” and on and so on. If you can’t be the smartest ass at the party, then you don’t wanna play. I wish to god someone could convince you that you aren’t, so you wouldn’t. What on earth does it feel like to know that the only way you can get anyone to pay ANY attention to you is to be continuously offensive…? The average toddler prefers affection to anger, but anger to being ignored. For most people, that pretty much ends concomitantly with the cessation of diaper use. But, obviously, not for everyone.

    And I didn’t write this for YOU; I wrote it for everyone else.


  202. Calm down. I can’t help pulling your chain; just don’t make it so easy, OK?

  203. Do not presume to instruct me on where you think I should direct my “gratitude,” and for what or whom I should be “thankful.”

    Do not think for a moment that I care one whit whether or not you share any of your “reasons” for anything you say, whether or not you actually have any “reasons” for anything at all, or in what sort of “mood” you may find yourself at any given moment.

    And do not burden yourself with “protecting” me – unless you would care to “protect” me from your very unpleasant perpetual condescension and pontificating. If you could manage THAT, I might actually BE grateful.


  204. The fact that “the most effective political machine in Washington” is funded by, and represents, a coalition of weapons MANUFACTURERS, says quite a bit about the state of most of our politicians today – and it’s not something of which we, as a people, should be proud. Also, please keep in mind that more than SEVENTY PERCENT of the membership of that “large, well-funded, well-organized group of gun owners” SUPPORTS universal background checks and a limit to the number of high-capacity magazines that can be purchased by a single individual– as does more than eighty percent of the American populace, and contrary to what the NRA insists gun owners “support”.

    If you actually believe that the NRA truly “represents” the majority of the often-touted “responsible gun owners,” then the tenure of your “professorship” should be revoked post-haste.


  205. gato opined:

    “I can’t imagine that very many people who need a gun to control wildlife, to protect stock, or to hunt, or for any other legitimate reason – including sport shooting…”

    There is no such thing as a “legitimate reason.” I don’t need a reason – of any kind – to own a gun – my Constitution guarantees me the RIGHT. I may have such a reason, which I may share with you or I may not, depending upon how I feel at the moment.


    “IMHO, if anyone is driving the tank that could run you over, it’s the NRA.”

    All military hardware already has to be licensed: automatic rifles, for example – the REAL assault weapons. Ditto military aircraft, ditto tanks. Apples and oranges. (I know it’s an analogy; I’m pulling your chain.)

    You better be grateful for the NRA – it’s one of the few things that stand between you and the life of an East German or North Korean. Don’t worry, though; we gun owners will continue to protect you from Hussein – and you can continue to criticise us for it.

  206. couple of things:

    Cynthia – To my understanding, there are no CUTS on the table. It is just a reduction in the planned increase. Is that not right? When is a reduction in the amount of increase a cut? (Only in un-embarrass-able Washington could such be spoken of with a straight face)

    If I am living on borrowed money – say I make $50,000 this year and borrow 50,000 – and decide I really have to do something about my extravagance — and then I decide to only borrow 50,000 next year – when I had planned to borrow 60,000 – I don’t think that is a cut, is it?

    I appreciate your approach, Pi, but the problem is that the Founders had the foresight to not approve the Constitution without a Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment of which is clear: Shall Not Be Abridged. And it was put in there to counter exactly what we see now: a naive populace, frightened by a feckless government, willing to give up “essential freedom for the illusion of security,” I believe is how the Franklin quote goes. You know the rest of his words.

    The gun-grabbers, the frightened city-dwellers, the socialist occupants of the White House be damned. They have – and will – run up against their own constitution, and a large, well-funded, well-organized group of gun owners, represented by the most effective political machine in Washington. There may be some nibbling around the edges, but what they want, ain’t going to happen. Save your breath.

  207. http://no-cuts.com/

    Alan Grayson among others started a petition to stop cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid.
    Please sign if you are so inclined. Pass it on as well, to those you think would be interested. Thank You!


  208. delurkergurl-
    “I saw one set of remarks about democratic process being stalled by a few…” referred to your remarks :-)
    I think you are by and large correct and don’t find fault with what you said.
    I am pretty much a permanent minority on multiple counts and issues and often chafe at that reality. I do realize it is a real place though as opposed to the obstructionists in the latest round of attempts to work on gun control who seem to think they are standing for a majority of Americans with ever-increasing proof they are not.

  209. Pi, “tyranny of the metropolitan majority, advocates for tribal sovereignty , and other unpopular and minority views” – I can see that and really do care that the minority be represented and not just squashed. What I don’t like is the minority party filibustering to prevent DEBATE on a topic that is actually favored by the majority of the country in one form or another. Their job is to represent their constituents – something both parties forget a lot! They don’t even have anything to lose by allowing the debate to go forward. It’s not like the house is going to pass anything the senate comes up with anyway.

  210. Gato- per my crack about the majority here :-) :
    I was making reference to the foolishness of my state legislature in working on unconstitutional nullification law


  211. Gato-
    I agree that guns are a product which should allow for regulation of the commerce attached to their distribution, ownership, etc. but I also think there are other issues.
    We’ve got to have the conversations about the right for law abiding citizens to own guns but , I think, change focus and the context as the current arguments have left us spinning our wheels.
    I am very wary of the neoliberal arguments to monetize our earthly lives in discrete $s and transactions but I do see a strong set of arguments to look closely at the hidden costs to all of us in continuing to do what we are doing now as regards arguments for “personal liberties” like unregulated gun ownership.
    Not that gun ownership IS unregulated. Actually, there are a bazillion laws concerning gun ownership, some sensible, some stupid, some unenforceable, some needlessly convoluted. We really ought to be able to sit down and tidy up this mess.

    It is the way of humans to see things differently. It is also the way of humans to indulge in mischaracterization , etc of other POVs.
    We can ignore the foolish voices and work to understand enough of other POVs to get something done or we can retreat to a place of waiting for what-is-never-going-to-happen total civility and never get much done.

  212. Hi, again, PI – And may I say, “Absolutely.” I can think of no other group of users of a product (and a gun is a product, whatever else it may be), where the manufacturers of that product have assumed the role of “spokesperson” for the users. It’s as if GM were lobbying for the removal of all auto safety regulations, and claiming to speak for “drivers,” or Monsanto were in charge of the FDA… Oh, dear… That’s kind of starting to sound like the way it is…!

    But I think you get my point… And I think yours is right on.


  213. One paper detailing social costs related to homocides only:


    There are a lot more if you look around.
    If we continue to compartmentalize our gun control conversations around civil liberties (internal costs ) and all and ignore growing social costs (external costs ) we are doing ourselves no favors.
    Actually, we are shooting ourselves in the foot from my POV.

  214. HI, PI – No reason whatsoever to apologize, far as I can tell. I thought your post was thoughtful and well-founded. Of course those of us who live in suburbia, even next door to Newtown, have no real concept of the importance of guns to people who live in wilder places. (We see a rabid raccoon; we call Animal Control… That’s about as far as we go!) Unfortunately, it seems to me that when the NRA opposes ANY restrictions – even registration or background checks or limits on high-capacity magazines – it is THEY who drive “us” to tar ALL gun owners with the same brush. I can’t imagine that very many people who need a gun to control wildlife, to protect stock, or to hunt, or for any other legitimate reason – including sport shooting – would object to having a license to have that weapon… No more than a pilot would object to taking flying lessons or a driver to registering her car. IMHO, if anyone is driving the tank that could run you over, it’s the NRA.

    Gun manufacturers have to sell product, and I would venture to say that any responsible owner (other than a collector) would hardly feel the “need” for thirty or forty weapons, and thousands of bullets. Am I wrong here? (Even the collector probably wouldn’t “need” that much ammo.) So who is the NRA actually “protecting”? I think we know the answer to that one…


  215. Law is for law abiding citizens, Pfesser.
    We make rules of conduct and management for those rules.
    When we distinguish some behaviors as criminal , we place values/priorities on 5 main objectives in coming to agreement on penalties/remedies.


    A lot of the talk about anti gun control centers on figure-out-how-to-nail-the-criminal-not-the-law-abider with the assumption that somehow because criminals will always get guns we can’t do anything which won’t harm law abiding citizens.
    I would suggest that that POV ignores what criminal law is all about to begin with. One of the most real and sad facts of the whole shebang is that we will never stop all real crime before it occurs. We will always have to deal with what to do when a broken person/group harms us . However, there are growing and very real social costs to gun ownership in this country which law abiding gun owners ought to be paying attention to when they argue.

  216. Not what I saw Pfesser. Not at all. I saw one set of remarks about democratic process being stalled by a few, another invoking some of the majority rule notions which surround frustration with representational democracy for many , and another insisting EOs are necessarily a circumvention of the democratic process of another type.
    I pretty much agree with the first about the particular issues at hand, identify with the second on certain narrow levels, and disagree with the 3rd as framed, though specific EOs certainly have attempted to do an end run around checks on executive powers.
    As someone who regularly rails against the tyranny of the metropolitan majority, advocates for tribal sovereignty , and other unpopular and minority views , I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about whether I “believe” in majority rule or not because I see it IS a fact of political life here on multiple levels.
    What the majority consists of and thinks at any given time and place on given issues shifts regularly and always contains elements of foolishness and wisdom, which is pretty human really.
    As per whether hypocrisy is in play here . No, don’t think so.While anti-gun control folks are cheering the foot draggers as holding to principle it is obvious there has been a sea change in the general populace’s attitudes.
    It is has been a long time coming but it has come -whether the foot draggers in Congress at the current moment realize it or not- a majority of Americans are ready to work on meaningful gun control. It may take a few years but it is coming.
    Equating a sea change in public attitudes and frustration with the institutions we have to make-it-so with a petulant I -want -what -I -want temper tantrum might float your boat but not mine.
    Would say that is more like what my stoopid state legislature was up to when it passed an illegal nullification law to spit on the Fed and refused to be part of the larger conversation.
    We need guns here in ways most cannot even get their minds around in the rest of the country. We won’t have the voice we need at the table if our state and federal reps keep arguing beside-the-point crap.Damn majority will shut us out and run right over the top of us.
    Sorry, majority here at M and H’s ;-)
    Is true .

  217. I think that the REAL problem is that each side takes every opportunity to mischaracterize and misquote the other – based on a genuine ignorance and disrespect of the opposition. Until that is changed, there will never be a compromise.

    The problem I see with “gun control” laws is that they only apply to law-abiding gun owners, who are already behaving responsibly and cause nobody any trouble. Propose a law that restricts gun ownership of criminals only, and every gun owner in America will be on board.

  218. alaska3.1415927 – You are making it too complicated. We saw two folks up on their soapbox, bloviating about the sanctity of the democratic process, where majority always rules. (A little reading beyond seventh-grade civics shows how silly THAT is, by the way…)

    The question is whether they really believe what they say. And we see that when “majority rule” gores their own ox, (Shall we outlaw Executive Orders, then?) they – and you – clearly do not believe in majority rule at all.

    The guiding principle is: “Principles be damned; I want what I want, and what I want is for my side to win.” That is called “hypocrisy.” And, not for nothing, but it is exactly that kind of abandonment of principle – again, on BOTH sides – that has put us precisely where we are.

  219. Terri-
    EOs ARE pertinent to the gun control issue, however, to assert simplistically that EOs necessarily usurp Congress’ powers is horsepunky.
    LONG interesting history , tested across all 3 branches of our constitutional government , for over 200 years :


    puts paid to the notion that EOs are not allowable .
    Congress has remedies should an EO seem to exceed what is allowed under law and has often used its authority to challenge a specific President’s EO(s)
    Along with the remedy afforded by the courts and those Congress can invoke this is not some end run around democracy and all that horsepunky- it is part of established procedure for the Executive branch and has multiple checks and balances in both other branches of government should a Pre get carried away.
    So – we all get pissed at an EO from a Pres we don’t like- Nixon and GW Bush anyone? Doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of law which supports the use of EOs and work to keep it all in check.

  220. That’s it, Terri – run and hide, little girl.

  221. I’m not interested in your attempt to divert attention from gun control.

  222. I couldn’t agree more. So I assume you, Terri, and you, delurkurgurl, would be in favor of outlawing Executive Orders, since they represent the President’s avoiding the democratic process by usurping Congress’ role of making laws. As you so succinctly put it, Terri, “Last time I looked, majority is supposed to rule in this country,” and as delurker noted, “They are afraid that if they allow democracy to take its course then they won’t get their way.”

    Eliminate Executive Orders, yes, or no?

  223. I’m in complete agreement with your last statement delurker. Last time I looked, majority is supposed to rule in this country. And these are the same people lecturing us on the constitution and personal “liberty.” What a joke!

  224. Law Enforcement More Likely To Be Killed In States With Weak Gun Laws, Study Finds


    Top Republican: Conservatives Are Too Scared To Debate Popular Gun Safety Bill


    (They are filibustering debate on the bill because they hate the democratic process this country was founded on. They are afraid that if they allow democracy to take its course then they won’t get their way.)

  225. Oh, by the way re: gun control.

    Told you so. Cheers, PF

  226. ideologue, not idealogue

  227. gato opined: ” a small group of intractable ideologues, with a modicum of power – and claiming they are authorized to “speak for the community” – are trying to ram their POV down the throats of a large majority that strongly disagrees with them. The amount of current havoc, and potential future damage, being wrought by this is ongoing battle is truly unbelievable…”

    Yes, very much like the socialist agenda that is being shoved down America’s throat by a small group of idealogues in DC, who think that, just because THEY believe it with all their heart, that makes it OK to force it on the great majority of Americans who know better.

    On another topic: R.I.P. Lady Thatcher. Thank you for all you did for your country, and ours.

    Before The Iron Lady took over the reins, as the U.K. slid down the socialist sh*t-pipe, best estimates were that, by 2030, Britain would have the GDP of Albania.

    Of course, now it’s heading there again. But at least they’ll have us for company. Cordially, PF

  228. Hi, Terri – This reminds me very much of what is currently going on in my little community: a small group of intractable ideologues, with a modicum of power – and claiming they are authorized to “speak for the community” – are trying to ram their POV down the throats of a large majority that strongly disagrees with them. The amount of current havoc, and potential future damage, being wrought by this is ongoing battle is truly unbelievable…


  229. I’m feeling very discouraged about Congress and the new proposed gun safely laws regarding background checks. When more than 90% of the American population supports it, how in the world can our elected politicians NOT vote for it? This is such a sad commentary on our political process. Will money and lobbyists always win?

  230. Entertaining explanation of how the Fed and the US Govt manipulates inflation data.

    Once again, we see that the real inflation rate is about what it was when Jimma Carter was president (about 10%/year). Using the rule of 72, every seven years you lose half the value of your savings. Then half again the next seven years. Rinse and repeat.

    I think my wife is right. I need to pay off the house and buy plows for my tractor, so we will have a place for all our kids to live if necessary, and the means to grow our own food. Sorry about all you city folks – can’t feed you; you’re on your own.

  231. Wiedemer comments on Fed’s “100% fake” recovery, built entirely on printed money.


    For those who are not familiar with him, Wiedemer originally became famous by correctly predicting the housing bubble and collapse. His analyses since that time have each proven to be right on the money.

    Best advice at this point seems to be to put your money in foreign stocks and domestic farmland. There is quite a bit of farmland for sale near me, at really good prices, but I haven’t any real estate investing experience, so should be an interesting experiment. As far as stocks go, smart money is pulling out of the American market; Canadian bank stocks seem to be big favorites, since the Canadian govt did not de-regulate its banks and also hasn’t engaged in money-printing like Hussein and The Bernank.

  232. One of many ironies: he accused sidney of being long winded. Just scroll back and see who writes the most verbose, rambling, meandering posts–him! Absolutely no self awareness.

  233. More “other points of view” on CPI. I’m not sure whether to think it’s good or bad yet, but either way I’m sure Obama knows his budget will never pass the House.

    Social Security would grow under Obama ‘cuts’




  234. Hi, Al B – Made up names to respond to his own comments…? Really? That’s pretty sad,,, I often forget that nothing necessarily has to be what it seems to be, out here in the ethernet… Maybe not even you… Or me… (But I am, I swear!)


  235. Pfesser:

    I don’t get your point. Obviously you come here to pick fights and your superior intelligence always seems to win, – at least in your mind.

    I’ve been reading this site’s entries since it first opened and thought at first that you were a reasonable RWNJ and overlooked much of your hostility. But I was wrong. Your hatred of women is palpable as is your hatred of our President. It’s pretty obvious that you just hate people who don’t bow down to your self- adulation. Could it be that you’re smoking something illegal in those pipes you seem to favor?

    Not once have I ever seen anyone swayed by one of your arguments. I’ll leave out the fake responses where you made up names to reply to your own comments. Maybe it’s time for you to go back to work.

    Al B

  236. Thanks delurker :-)
    Hoping there are things there to open up different ways to look at some things.
    The Wendy Brown paper is very interesting ( lori- you might get a special kick out of it ). It was at the end of a long list of readings I was put on to to try to understand state and federal fish allocation issues here in Alaska. Likely no one here is interested :-) with how one gets from federal fishing quota rules or state limited entry law to discussion of differences in neocon and neoliberal thought though…
    best wishes !
    Dear Helen and Margaret-
    Sure miss you!

  237. Yay, Pi’s been back for a visit. Thank you for your links, AlaskakPi. Thought provoking information that serve as a great starting point for more and more learning. I can’t tell you how much the batch of links you shared earlier this year have helped make me a better fighter for important causes. We need real information if we want to be effective.

    Sidney, I’m glad you liked the post I shared yesterday. It’s such a different take on the CPI than all the same-same noise heard in other places. I can’t vouch for its total accuracy but their work there seems to be well researched.

    There is a follow up post for it today. I haven’t read it yet but I’ll get back to it later.

    Social Security Concern Trolls’ Math Problem


  238. I am new here and didn’t need to go back farther than a few days to see I was wrong about this fellow. I apologize.

  239. “The Bottom Line
    Although economics deals with numerical data and well-established formulas that work to solve various problems and provide insight into economic activity, it is not a completely empirical science. Furthermore, as mentioned, too many x-factors – the unpredictable, including unintended consequences – may occur in the complex world of economics, thus surprising the experts and defying their forecasts.”


    Unintended and unexamined consequences I’d say
    And unexamined cultural notions…

  240. http://www.brynmawr.edu/socialwork/GSSW/schram/wendybrown.pdf

    and here’s one I’m working through right now…
    the conversation in this country is not broad enough…
    what else can you all think of to work away at where we are and where we want to go which isn’t bogging down in the same old ruts ?

  241. http://www.globalissues.org/article/39/a-primer-on-neoliberalism

    if you haven’t run into the terms before…

  242. http://www.stwr.org/globalization/neoliberalism-and-economic-globalization.html

    for a perspective which isn’t so Amerocentric

  243. Gato, et al- I would recommend reading :


    Hayek and Friedman have had a profound influence on our notions of economics but we don’t pay enough attention to what really changed.

  244. All I see is this PFesser person being cordial, and everyone else being total bitches. Why all the hostility? PF has tried to defuse the conversation multiple times, and everyone just spews hate. Why not take on the points and leave the personal baggage alone?

  245. Hi Gato, I have no idea what he’s doing here. How could anyone takes any of his points seriously when they are couched in insults and condesension? Annoying. I’m sitting here and rooting for Syracuse and they are losing. Back to the game. Have a nice night.

  246. Hey, Terri – Bait taken, with a thousand-word reply. Just chompin’ down the chum… More than even I could ever have hoped…

    What’s-his-name doesn’t disappoint; that’s for sure. BTW, who TF is “Rutherford,” and who cares? (Oooooohhh… Some more mysterious and unexplained initials! Oh, bad girls! Can’t do math! Don’t know history! Putting on lipstick! No respect for their elders! The world is coming to an end!)

    “Grateful” for nothing, and “cordial” not at all.

    You have a wonderful rest of the evening; I know I will. Life is good in the seventh grade…


  247. PF-The only person acting like a seventh grade girl is you, you pompous jerk! Now why don’t you run back to your other blog and tattle your tales of intellectual superiority to people who you seem to think give damn.

  248. Gato – This is an important discussion – whether you think so or not – so let’s try to keep it on an adult level, shall we? I have characterized you and several of your peers on Rutherford’s blog as being just like dealing with seventh-grade girls. Prove me wrong.

    As for the topic at hand, I can’t unwind most of Sid’s rambling rant, but I can address several points:

    Firstly, name-calling (RWNJ!) of those who voice legitimate criticism of politicians and policies is juvenile and unproductive. Anyone who doubts that there are serious, serious problems with our economy is either asleep or making his living at a government job – the only part of the economy that is doing well.

    Secondly, it takes only a cursory study of history to reveal that, when a country’s politicians have been irresponsible and run up huge debt – as have ours, both Democrat AND Republican – simply printing money has been tried many times the world over, and has failed each and EVERY time. It is a form of defaulting on your debts, and leads to tremendous inflation domestically and currency wars with your trading partners, which are now (2013) in full swing, AS PREDICTED. Everybody loses, and we are one of the losers. The only way to get rid of debt is to roll up your sleeves and start digging yourself out; there are no shortcuts. Criticizing Hussein for his policies in this regard is legitimate.

    Thirdly, running a country’s finances vis à vis debt is EXACTLY like running family finances; once you accumulate so much debt, the interest becomes so high that you cannot even pay the interest. At this point, you are insolvent. If it were not for the United States’ rampant money-printing having driven down interest rates worldwide, we would be unable to pay our interest NOW. As other countries get in on the currency wars, rates WILL rise and we WILL be technically insolvent. It is not a matter of opinion, unfortunately.

    As for the rest of her rambling, stream-of-consciousness rant, if you can explain any of it to me, have at it; I would be most grateful.

    Cordially, PF

  249. Hey, Sidney – I KNEW he wouldn’t be able to resist, and he didn’t disappoint… he has no idea what a RWNJ is…? I think the rest of us do.

    Good work, GF!


  250. Sid – can you sum that up, say in something coherent of less than three hundred words? Jesus, child, you are all over the place. Take a breath, try to get your thoughts together and try again.

    You might start with explaining what a RWNJ is.

    As for “hatred,” I’m not the one behaving like a blind snake and spewing venom in all directions. I am interested in facts, not emotions – something, Sweetie, to which YOU might aspire.

    I made several points, calmly, none of which you have refuted. You might note that I was critical of Democrats AND Republicans, with special criticism of Richard Nixon. And, by the way, I do not belong to the Tea Party, nor have I ever supported a single of their candidates that I am aware of. I actually voted for Hussein the first go-around. Show us how even-handed YOU are.

    Now, go get yourself a cup of coffee or smoke something, calm down and try to get something coherent in print.

    Just something to think about while you try to calm down …Contrary to your polyanna-ish assertions, we CAN end up like Greece. We CAN go broke. As of April 3, 2013, the official debt of the United States government is $16.8 trillion ($16,786,970,142,479).[1] This amounts to:

    • $53,222 for every person living in the U.S.[2]
    • $138,639 for every household in the U.S.[3]

    Our TOTAL output (GDP) is about $15 trillion.

    Where does that money go? Well, for one thing, since 1960, the amount spent on “social programs” has gone from 23% to 61%. Sorry, I know you don’t do math.

    Ready to pay up? Hussein will expect your check within the week.

    Now, give it another try – this time with less emotion (zero would be good) and more facts.

    Cordially, PF

  251. Woooo-hooooo, Sidney! You go, girl!

    Occasionally even an arrogant and condescending piece of work will come close to making a sensible point… And then swerve away from it just in the nick of time to avoid his being taken seriously. (Throw in one “Hussein” in reference to the POTUS, and I’m out of there. For a minute, I thought he was talking about Iraq…)

    Were what’s-his-name a Player of any skill, he would seize upon the opportunity of your reply to hold back, and not comment for a while – but I think I can hear the saliva of eager response drooling from those jowls already, and the flutter of fingers over a keyboard… I trust YOUR fingers are, like mine, already poised over your Delete button.

    Remember: It’s the weekend. Plenty of time to be responding… Obviously!

    Well done!


  252. Ok fessmeister, I’m gonna break my own rule and respond to your stupidity and asinine comments. First of all…we are not broke. We are the wealthiest country on the globe. And if you want to compare running a government to running your family finances, consider this….the RWNJs such as yourself who don’t feel that the wealthy should pay their fair share and what we need to do is just stop spending money and cut programs that keep people alive would relate to a family like this……..A family of 5. The parents lose their jobs due to layoffs sooooo instead of looking for new jobs to bring in more income, they go the RWNJ route and cut expenses. They cancel cable, telephone and Internet service. Good so far, huh? Then they sell their furniture, cars, jewelry and everything of value to raise money for food. Now their rolling! BUT, when there is nothing left to sell, and no money coming in, what to do? Well.. Get rid of the kids (children are very expensive), pets and the home. Ok….now their cooking! They have successfully cut their spendingl so they end up living under a bridge, waving their tea party “don’t tread on me” flags, so proud of themselves for following the GOP party line of “living within their means” and cheering on the repubs for their refusal to raise revenue. If they didn’t have to sell their bootstraps to buy some hotdogs, they would off pulled them up.
    We are a wealthy county. Running a government is NOTHING like running your family finances.
    We are not broke. We CAN NEVER end up like Greece. And you can’t compare our money to the euro.
    Our ecomomy will not collapse, unless dupes like you keep voting for the tepubs.
    Nobody is going to show up at our “grandchildrens” door asking for money.
    You are being played for a dupe, and the hatred that has been indoctrinated into that little brain of yours is shown in every post you make.
    Your koolaid mustache is showing. Wipe it off.
    Show some respect to the wicked smart woman that post on this board. And out president.
    You sicken me.

  253. delurker – I know it is very hard to grasp for a group who brags that they “don’t do math,” but everything must eventually be paid for. It is all well and good to beat your chest, gnash your teeth and rail on about starving children and old people, but Where Are You Going To Get The Money?

    We have, as a country, behaved terribly irresponsibly for the past many decades, and for the past at least four decades, lived on BORROWED money. You’re smart – you have had to budget for your family – what happens when you have borrowed and borrowed, just to meet daily expenses? I’ll answer that for you – you eventually are tapped out. Well, as a country, we’re tapped out.

    We ALL want good things for our kids and the less fortunate, but the money is not there – not unless we are willing to cut – actually cut – this crazy defense spending, reduce entitlements a little – and reduce does not mean “reduce the increase,” like we are doing now — eliminate farm subsidies, eliminate this crazy ethanol production and dozens of other govt programs that do NOTHING to help us produce the things we need.

    Hussein, who has basically NO training in or understanding of economics, has listened to the Keynesians like Geithner and The Bernank, and decided to just print money, tripling the money supply in four years, with no end in sight. That experiment has actually been run before many times; it has, since time began, done two things: destroyed the economy of whoever does it, and ignited currency wars, one of which it is doing, the other of which it has done.


    At this point you would do well to worry less about politics and a lot more about how you and your family are going to survive. This collapse has been predictable – and predicted – by the smart money for about five years now. Well, it’s coming. No, it’s here. I doubt Hussein could have avoided it – much of the blame goes to his predecessor, Bush-the-Lesser, but Obama’s policies could not have been tailor-made to do a better job of bringing it down on us. Good luck to us all.

  254. Here’s a different take on the chained CPI that may be included in Obama’s proposed budget that has so many people upset.


  255. Start with your local Extension Service. They are in almost every county and most are hurting for funding. The more they are used, the more funding they can get – some federal, some state, and some local.

    They will have a department with a faculty advisor – here it is called Community and Family – Foods and Nutrition, or something like that – the names change as they meld departments together to do more with fewer people. They offer a lot of classes, some free, and have loads of phamphlets with tested methods and guidelines. One thing they excell in is teaching volunteers to spread what they have learned to the general public. Think; Master Gardeners, and Master Food Preservers.

  256. One of M&H’s contributor and I were having a fb conversation the other day over an article concerning our nation’s obesity/processed food obsession. I don’t remember right now the particulars of the article but the point my friend was making was how simple it was to simulate “hamburger helper” meals without the actual processed packet. We got to chatting about the lack of public education in the subject of “home economics” these days. I’m thinkin we need to put a bug in our school boards ears and see what we can do about that.

    For example this morning while I made 15 meals, that would likely feed 4- 6 people,from our left overs from Easter dinner. With just a few low cost extra pantry items (rice, pasta, onions, garlic, potatoes,dried beans,split peas) and some odds and ends fridge items plus some fresh veggies I need to use up today.

    I took a quick second to calculate about how much these new entrees cost. I bought a 12-14 pound turkey and a 7-9 pound ham to serve Easter night. The ham was free with a $50.00 purchase and the turkey was something like $1.28 a pound. We had left over potatoes, veggies, crudités , and bread/buns/rolls of course (who doesn’t) not to mention hard boiled eggs and sweets! Nine of us ate Easter dinner and we were stuffed! Plus I left a few lunches for my daughter to eat during the week. Today I spent an additional 5-8 $ to turn these left overs into meals. So these EXTRA 15 meals that will feed 4-6 people easily, cost pennies a serving.

    I realize that many of the meals I made today aren’t gourmet cuisine and they wouldn’t fit lots of people’s dietary needs. Obviously they shouldn’t be consumed everyday. But they are all made with fresh ingredients with no “processed” packets or preservatives. They are filling and cheap and a hellof a lot better for ya than a canned or processed product.

    The meals I made today will end up on our local woman’s shelter’s table tonight to help feed women and children, for whatever reason,are in need of a hot meal this evening. But I am thinking I need to do more on the education side of this equation. One of the casualties of “no child left behind” were all the extra classes that taught simple things like simple home economics. It’s no wonder lots of American’s are lost without their hamburger helper kits… hmmm and idea is born.

    Anyone have any ideas on where I should start?

  257. btw, this is her site if anyone wants to take a peek.


  258. As we know special elections are crazy events. They are elections where the reddest of red Rebups win in deep blue areas and a soild blue candadate has come out on top in the deep deep red districts. I am thinking SC – 01 might just be one of those special elections!

    Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, has been polling well against her opponent. She has a good organization, a little bit of money and a bit of star power name recognition behind her. This just might be a great chance to pick one off in an otherwise unwinnable district.

    If so, 1 down 16 more to go… ;-) fingers crossed.

  259. Like the video, gato. It has a lot of untruths, half-truths, and mischaracterizations, but unfortunately, also a great number of things that are right on the money.

    I think we will end up with a third party. I don’t see the ReBiblicans ever coming to grips with reality. They still seem to think that the problem is that they “are not getting (their) message across.”

    No, they are getting the message across just fine. The problem is that their message sucks.

  260. Delurker……that was excellent. Actually it was beyond excellent.

  261. And so be all of we…


  262. LOL LOL love it delurker!

  263. Join the party!

  264. Miss you greatly and praying you are well and will return soon.

  265. It’s almost April and no Margaret and Helen. This is unusual. I hope you are both well. Please pop in and at least say hello so we know you’re ok.

  266. Worried by your silence. Are you OK? Your loved ones OK?

  267. I miss you!! I hope everything is OK!!

  268. We’ve been reviewing 2012 for a real long time now, dear Margaret and Helen.

    You’re missed.

  269. Margaret and Helen, where are you? You are greatly missed!

  270. Margaret – Helen – are you ladies ok? Surely you have an opinion to share about the lazy’s in DC who think they are above doing the job they asked for. What’s patriotic about only following the laws and supporting the leaders that fit into ones personal agenda? My mind boggles at the audicity of their actions. ;<

  271. NRA works through shooting ranges this way: if you want to use the range you have to join up right then and there. A real squeeze play.

    Where I come from no one needs a shooting range or the NRA. I know the NRA will insist that whoever does not use their training program won’t know a damn thing about shooting and guns, but H E double hockey sticks, we did just fine without them.

  272. Margaret and Helen,
    I hope you are well, I really miss your stories and humor. Please let us hear from you soon cause now I’m getting worried…

  273. Hi, Pi, and Sidney – Pretty much what I thought… And, don’t worry! I’m not replying to any of them…

    I did just put up a post, though, about something I read this morning that “explains” why NRA membership has been “growing”… Because they’re offering to “support” gun clubs and shooting ranges who are now beset by anti-gun activists from all sides. Another example of using big bucks to back a particular agenda, and taking advantage of the little guys…

    (sorry about all the quotation marks!)

  274. (dang it.
    CraftLady may indeed be crafty but her “name” is CRAFT LADY. Sorry. )

  275. Those are spammers of a different sort folks… the Ivan and so on ones.
    Do not click on their “names”.Always some new way to get a comment in under anti-spammer radar… darn.

    Echoing CraftyLady-
    Sure miss you Helen and Margaret!
    Lots of fun to blab on amongst ourselves here but MUCH more fun to hear from you.
    Hoping all is well

  276. Gato……such odd posts huh? My opinion…..same person just yanking our chain, best to ignore until they slither off.

  277. Hi, CraftLady – I’m wondering, too… And now we have the arrival of “Jumaana,” “Lalito,” “Elena,” “Kazunobu,” and “Ivan”… And their posts about Mike Huckabee, frigidity, pre-cooked shrimp, and so on…

    Of course, “they” might all be the same person, trying on different outfits, as it were, just to see what attracts attention. It’s times like this that make me remember that the blogosphere isn’t always what it seems to be…


  278. Helen and Margaret…………..”.Where are you?”

    Hope all is well!!

  279. I’m starting to get worried about Margaret and Helen since there haven’t been any new posts in awhile. Please let us know that you are okay!

  280. Just so you know – today is National Pie Day in Alexandria, VA and down the road at Mt. Vernon. Mt. Vernon especially has a very big porch if any pie eaters want to gather there.

    Can’t wait to see what M & H have to say about Obama’s second inaugural speech!

  281. Everybody in the USA needs to watch this FRONTLINE documentary about why the justice dept under President Obama has not gone after the banksters for what they did to the world economy. Here’s why. They’re afraid the big banks will implode the economy if anybody tries to go after the big names involved in the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American public. The banksters are out of control. There’s plenty of evidence to go after them criminally but they don’t. Pass this documentary link onto everybody you can. It’s time the justice prevails.


  282. With Obama’s 2nd Inauguration
    coming up on this MLK Monday,
    a look back at his first term.

    PBS: Inside Obama’s Presidency

    *Well worth the time.

    PEACE ~ Δ

  283. 6 MILLION HITS!

    Congrats M&H.

    PLEASE…Keep ‘em comin’ !

    btw…do you get hatemail?

    You should see the ‘Best of 2012′ at DKos:

    Slower thinkers…Keep right!!!
    . ;)

    PEACE ~ Δ

  284. Bravo to President Obama and his new gun control proposals. I hope everyone will to write their congress person and express support. Something just might get done. The NRA is looking like a radical fringe group at this point. Members should be ashamed.

  285. Okay never mind – you already have them; they didn’t show up on my phone until after I logged in a comment. Strange. Don’t mind me.

  286. I bet you’re a good candidate for WordPress Adwords – supposedly you are paid $1 per 1000 hits. That’s a lot of Thanksgiving dinner!

  287. Good luck Gato! Just be your rational, gentle self and you’ll do fine.

  288. Hi, Terri – I got a great reply, from a request I made for a meeting, from somebody at the gun club/shooting range right across the road from me, here in CT, and I’m going over there to meet with her on Tuesday, at her invitation.

    There ARE people who have guns who are as appalled as i am of what can be done with them. And they hate those atrocities as much as I do.

    Am I a little bit scared? You betcha! I’m going to a shooting range, to meet someone I don’t even know, who might be holding a rifle! But I’m going in there thinking that she and I may have more in common than we have differences. I’ve been a Pollyanna my entire life, and it’s always been good for me.

    Wish me luck. I’ll keep The Porch posted…


  289. I’m glad the gun control argument is still going strong. I’m hopeful something positive may actually happen. I’ve seen some recent appearances by supporters of the gun lobby, and they are not going over well.

  290. You two old Lesbians are a hoot!
    Keep up the good work!

  291. Congratulations Helen and Margaret! Did you expect to become so well known when you thought out and wrote your first post?

    Thank you for the sanity and the humor especially during election cycles. And most of all THANK YOU for giving us a place to connect with like thinkers and allowing us to share our 2 cents worth of opinion.


  292. Keep on telling the Republicans how to get their sorry act together – and we Democrats too, if a kick in the keister becomes necessary.

  293. Sorry to break up the lovefest ladies but not everyone is so charmed by your site. I regularly send your address to a couple right-wingers and they go absolutely ballistic, complete with popping eyeballs and bulging roadmap veins. But I notice that these same humorless chickens never have the guts to comment on your site.
    For their healthy hearts, keep posting and I’ll keep forwarding.

  294. Congrats M&H. Keep ‘em comin’!

    Heading for 6 million.

    PLEASE…post more often.

    Really. I mean it!

    PEACE ~ Δ

  295. Good work, ladies!

  296. Congratulations Margaret and Helen!
    And thank you for having all of us in.

  297. HaHa – - You might like to read (or reread) this 2008 comment on your blog from another blogger. http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2008/10/ms-helen-philpot-speaks.html I am indeed looking forward to more non-nonsense speak from you two in 2013.

  298. I ditto every kudo written above. I so enjoy your insight and common sense. Your blog keeps me sane . . . which I wasn’t feeling after listening to the Republicans on the Sunday morning talk shows.

  299. Dang, I thought you were my personal secret that I was sharing with all my friends…oh, wait! Congratulations, Helen! Keep it up. And don’t worry about the meanies ~ you are not a jackass whisperer. I mean it. Really. :)

  300. I love your blogs, Margaret. Thank you for keeping me sane during all the insanity of the elections and then the following violence with guns. I have high hopes for the Year of the Snake, and I wish you a wonderful, safe and happy New Year in 2013. If you ever decide to go public and face to face, I’ll buy a ticket and be there just to meet you in person. Keep those insightful blogs rolling forward, Pamela

  301. That is so cool, I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts!

  302. I sent the two of you a post… The Best…keep lit going!

    Sent from my iPad

  303. well deserved – everyone i’ve passed your blog on to is “hooked” – thank you and please keep them coming

  304. I am so glad to have discovered your ladies, just wish I had found you earlier. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog posts, keep them up. Here’s wishing you both a wonderful 2013!!!!

  305. Thank you for the memories! Thank you for the laughs. I too have been thru Liechtenstein and not near as lovely as this blog! I will stay with you ladies! You are the epitome of common sense. Really! Thanks ladies!

  306. That’s a big yeee-hawwww ladies for another fabulous year! Thanks for being who you are!

  307. So happy for your success — and for our benefits from your blog! Keep up the great work in 2013!

  308. Happy New Year, Margaret and Helen! Love your posts sooo much!

  309. I enjoy your posts so much. A little humor on a subject is always welcome. Keep up the good work.

  310. Congratulations… And THANK YOU!! For being smart, funny, insightful, courageous, funny, perceptive, witty, on target, bold, funny, delightful, gutsy… And did I mention funny…?


  311. Happy New Year, ladies! Thanks for keeping me laughing, or at least keeping me company while I gnash my teeth…

  312. Tom has lost 8 pounds! Me, 0. I don’t care, I’m so happy!

    Sent from my iPad

  313. Well done ladies……

  314. Ladies….you helped us all getting through the mess created by what we sadly call Our Politians….keep going and Thank you!

  315. Love it! Always terrific to get a good report!

  316. A little humor to lighten the day.


    Remember: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Happy New Year to all.

  317. My wife and I drove through Liechtenstein this fall on the way to Tuscany. The entire drive took 15 minutes, plus a leak stop in the main town, whose name I can’t even remember. If you’re in the mood to visit a double-landlocked country, and are in the neighbourhood, and really have nothing else you’d rather do like sort your laundry or something, then I’d say you should go.

  318. Bravo, you are my idol!!!!

  319. Happy New Year, Helen! I do hope that this year is the best one yet for you. May you have plenty of all good things! Hugs and love from Asia, Sil

  320. That’s such a good report, Helen, but no surprise. Your posts are always insightful and to the point. I don’t comment very often, but I check your blog every day. So, here’s to a Happy New Year and lots of visitors to enjoy reading your blog.

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