Posted by: Helen Philpot | January 25, 2011

Sometimes men should just stick to football… but I digress

Margaret, I read the comment you sent me and felt compelled to respond.  I know you don’t like it when I do, but honey you know how I feel about this particular subject.

Dear Readers,

In case you are new to my web page blog, I’ll give you a little background.  I told my friend Margaret that I thought Sarah Palin was a bitch… is a bitch.  Anyway, my grandson really hadn’t fully explained to me that other people could see this page besides Margaret. Which is kind of funny because Margaret actually has to have her husband, Howard, print the pages out for her to read because she doesn’t like computers very much….

But I digress.

So I kept writing about things and more people kept stopping by. Just yesterday I was telling Margaret that I find it very odd that Republicans think government is too big and healthcare for all Americans is just insane.  It doesn’t seem to matter that it would cost less than Bush’s wars… but that would just be unAmerican of me to suggest…afterall Sarah Palin’s son is in that war…

Again, I digress.

 I find it odd because I know that Rick Perry, the Governor of my state, is really upset about how big government has gotten.  Evidently it’s not big enough, however, because ‘ole Ricky seems to think its small enough to crawl up my vagina with a sonogram machine and a recorder so that Ricky can tell me how to think based on what God whispers in his ear when no one else is around.  To be truthful, it could just be something he picked up in church.  I’m not sure.  It might have happened at his office.  It’s really hard to tell the difference between his office and his church these days.

I just can’t seem to stay on subject today…

So that is what I was writing about to my friend Margaret.  And then she had Howard print out my letter and some of your comments.   Sometimes – like last night – she calls me because she gets so worried when one of you gets a little upset.  But I tell her, “Margaret, dear. It’s just the internet.  It’s not like anyone forces them to read it.”  But Margaret worries.  She just wants everyone to get along.  You know.  Agree to disagree and things like that.  Which would be nice except that Governor Ricky wants to pass some new laws.  And once that happens you can’t just agree to disagree.  Once it becomes law if you disagree you have to spend a lot of money with lawyers or go to jail.

But I digress.

So last night some fool  (sorry Margaret) named Noah decided to call you all sheep because you seemed to like what I had written about Ricky.  I wasn’t aware sheep could read, and I have always thought that too often used insult about following like sheep is a bit far-reaching.  Yes.  Survival instincts in sheep tend to mean that one sheep will more than likely follow the sheep in front.  Did you know, however, there is a certain strain of sheep in Iceland known as leadersheep?  Leadersheep are highly intelligent animals that have the instinct to lead a flock home during dangerous and difficult conditions. They have an exceptional ability to sense danger. There are many stories in Iceland of leadersheep saving lives during the fall roundups when blizzards threatened shepherds and flocks alike…

But I digress.

Among other things, Noah decided to leave a little pearl of personal wisdom in his not so well thought out diatribe:


With my wife being almost 7 months pregnant this subject really touches home for me so I can understand the passionate feelings from both sides of the issue. Having gone to the first ultrasound I could never have made a choice to abort the child for any reason. I can understand why the governor wants to have women have that firsthand experience of hearing that heartbeat, it is very powerful. I guess I don’t see a problem if what he is suggesting isn’t stopping all abortions, which he is not and I would be opposed to if he was.


Well isn’t that just precious?  Noah is particularly knowledgeable about this subject because his wife is 7 months pregnant.  Congratulations Noah.  I know my readers will join me in wishing you and your family all the best.  You’re almost there: two more months to go.

I assume your wife had her amniotic fluid test and that everything turned out fine?  It’s a scary time those first few months.  Did you know that if you and your wife learned through the amniocentesis that something had gone terribly wrong with the developing fetus that one of your options might be to terminate the pregnancy?  Sometimes the abnormality of the fetus is significant.  Survival of both the fetus and the mother can be called into question.  [By the way.  I am using the word fetus not to dehumanize but rather because that is what it is called – a fetus] Often women facing this type of heartbreak consult with their doctors, their family members and even their pastor.  I am sure more than a few say a prayer and ask for wisdom.  Did you know, Noah, that if your wife was in that situation and she decided to terminate her pregnancy good ‘ole Rick Perry would still force her to look at a sonogram and listen to a heartbeat so that she can agonize further that the child she wanted so desperately isn’t to be.  I wonder how comforting you would be to her at that moment.  “Look, honey.   I can understand why the governor wants to have women have that firsthand experience of hearing that heartbeat, it is very powerful.”  Thank goodness that you and your wife are not dealing with that.

And I assume, of course, that the child due to arrive in two months is your child?  How blessed for you and your family.  Did you know that if your wife had been raped and subsequently discovered that she was pregnant,  she may not even want to consult with her family, her priest or even her God.  She may want nothing more than to simply ask her doctor to end the unwanted pregnancy so that maybe she can begin to heal from this traumatic experience.  Thank goodness that isn’t your situation Noah.  Can you imagine how horrible it would for a women like your wife in this moment of sadness, anger, disbelief, denial to have Rick Perry then force her to reconsider by showing her a sonogram and letting her listen to a heartbeat.  She’ll have to sign a paper declaring that she watched and listened and still decided to terminate the pregnancy. 

Even worse, Noah.  Imagine if that woman was your daughter.  Do you know the sex of your child yet?  What a world she will get to grow up in.  So very different from your childhood or even mine.  You were there at the invention of the internet.  I was there at the invention of the television.  I also grew up in a world where abortions were illegal Noah.  I watched women die because they had no choices.  You realize that Rick Perry wants that world back, right?  This nonsense about abortions should only be legal in the case of rape or the life of the mother… what a crock.  The world is never so black and white.

But that is not for you Noah.  No. This is a time of great joy and celebration for you and your wife.  Thank goodness.  Some women struggle with the idea of motherhood.  They know deep down inside that bringing a life into this world is a blessing yes – but  also an enormous responsibility and for some the ultimate sacrifice.  To know that another life will depend entirely on your ability to find it within yourself to love so selflessly and care so deeply.  To give birth is not to be taken lightly, Noah.  Some women, after very serious consideration about where they are in life and what they can and can’t offer to a child, decide that they are just not prepared to bring another life into the world.  And after much thought and prayer and probably tears, they still have  Rick Perry there to given them even more to consider.  Thank goodness for thoughtful ‘ole Ricky.

But not you Noah.  Thank goodness you and your wife have made the decision that this is a wanted child… that this will be a loved child… that you have the means to feed and care for this child.   I am sure Rick Perry will be sending you a bouquet of flowers after the delivery to show you how much he cares about the very personal decision you have made.  I hear that just the other day, Rick sent a letter of congratulations to the woman who just delivered her 5th child because her husband feels that using condoms are a sin.  Good ‘ole Rick.  I think his letter said something along the lines of don’t worry about where you will get the money to feed the child because you chose life and that is all that matters.  Good ‘ole Ricky even sent her one of those lovely Choose Life license plates.  She doesn’t own a car, but it’s the thought that counts.

Noah dear.  Stick to football.  And Mrs. Noah?  Slap him for me.   He really should spend more time tending to you rather than writing to me.  But I digress.   I mean it.  Really.


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  12. Helen, I don’t know where you live, but if a house next door or across the street ever becomes available, please let me know. I think you’re awesome.


  13. @tammyharper — Given the length of this thread I haven’t read all the posts, but I did see that you mentioned the Katherine Windels case, and suggested that no liberals would denounce her. So I’m stepping in to say that this hardcore lefty (as in “the Dems are too conservative for my tastes”) absolutely abhors what she did, and supports her being prosecuted for it. Resorting to threats, and particularly extending those threats to your target’s family, is unconscionable. I can’t say why others haven’t spoken up–I’d like to think it’s not because they condone her actions, but who knows? Certainly there are some liberals who behave as badly as the conservatives we criticize.

    I also saw you mentioned free speech, so while I’m here I’ll mention I support it strongly regardless of the speaker. For instance, I applauded the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case against the Westboro Baptist Church, and believe it to be a perfect example of the principle of free speech. However, I don’t feel similarly compelled to defend Glenn Beck, as you implied people like me should, because he was not censored by the government, rather his platform was removed by the private entity that had previously supplied it. The misunderstanding of the difference between the right to speak [sacred, IMO] and the right to a platform [nonexistent] has always been a pet peeve of mine. But I’ll admit it was particularly galling to hear cries of censorship from some conservative-minded people who otherwise seem to think private corporations don’t have enough freedom as it is.

    Finally, for the record, I am not alone in my feelings, but I’ve found people like me often avoid certain sites or threads because it’s tiresome to read endless variations on “Rethuglicans are evil”/”Libtards are stupid.” The state of political discourse in this country saddens and frustrates me because it’s so hard to know how to fix it. I only know for sure that it starts with a personal resolve to be the better person in a conflict.

    (Oh, and the abortion issue? Not touching that with a ten-foot pole!!)


  14. jsri, I agree, we still face the possibility of attacks in this country and around the world, in that regard President George W Bush was right in his statement about not obsessing about OBL’s capture. The great thing, about the raid, is all the intellgence that has been recovered in this raid. I bet that is a great read!


  15. To my friends and some detractors who said I was not worthy of debate I say that boat has sailed and there were missed opportunities to discuss rationally but instead was broadsided. I have made some good friends James and PFessor and hopefully some good people’s trust. I’m thankful that a few of you have rallied about me and my wife during these last few months and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
    To Jean and a few others who were not comfortable with rational posts well….she is
    Better off now since she has the kitchen where she can hold court and postulate about days gone by.

    The board was undone by people not wanting to acknowledge others ideas and yet pounce on any rational thought that did not come from the ones at the top of the dirt pile. So as in school yard games those at the bottom of the hill would be clobbered with dirt clods for trying to play the game.

    I’m hanging in there as is the wife..the best friend of my life who will receive the Deans award tomorrow night. Remember..I’m the one not bright enough to have married an intellectual. Oh but I did, and life has been a roller coaster full of thrills and delights. Looking forward to many more curves and loops with Valerie.


  16. Here’s Nancy Pelosi from a press conference on September 7, 2006:

    [E]ven if [Osama bin Laden] is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done . . . is done. And even to capture him now I don’t think makes us any safer.

    And here’s Nancy Pelosi yesterday:

    The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaida. . . . I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment. . . . [T]he death of Osama bin Laden is historic. . . .

    This devastating then-and-now comparison comes to us courtesy of John Hideraker of Power Line. It underscores the degree to which partisanship can ravage people’s fair-mindedness and, in the process, make them look like fools and hacks. Such things aren’t uncommon in politics—but what is rare is to see such intellectual dishonesty proven so conclusively.



    This is for anyone still wanting to try Helen’s stuffing recipe………thanks to Alaskapi for helping me find it.

    Hope these two wonderful ladies will still grace us with their wonderful wit and wisdom. I am checking daily but am having some doubts that we will ever hear from them again.


  18. I have deeply mixed feelings about the assassination of Usama Bin Ladin. Certainly the world is a better place without him but Al Qaeda, though seeming to be headless at the moment, has cells and operatives all across the globe and it’s only a matter of time before we get hit again. And I’m sure Al Qaeda operatives will not forget the image of ecstatic Americans celebrating in front of the White House. I suspect that that image will be used over and over again as justification for their future actions.

    Why do we always have to glorify “winning”? The Israeli’s are known for carrying out clandestine operations to suit their purposes and more often than not leave the world guessing about their participation. For the sake of our nation I wish we could do the same. I fear that the death of Usama Bin Ladin will simply be an opening shot in a never-ending terror campaign that will be escalated through mutual reinforcement without ever having clear cut “winners”.

    Only a fool would believe that this is the end of the issue


  19. Looks like Noah can’t wait for “this board is finished” & the “class dismissed”. If Noah says it’s so, it must be so! Been there, done that, find a new mantra, yours is long dead.


  20. Noah, that’s about the dumbest comment I’ve read so far! Thanks for the giggle.


  21. Just a note on Osama bin Laden. Both Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh have given MAJOR high praise to Obama for taking this guy down. Further proof the class of the conservative side that the Liberal party could learn from and should be taking note. We all know were it Bush that had done it the left would never acknowledge his role as they are not now acknowledging his role.

    This will be telling if our hosts are still around or not. Should they ignore this event we will know for sure in the next couple days that this board is finished.


  22. And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
    And says at last just as the time bell rings
    ‘Goodnight, now it’s time to go home’
    And he makes it fast with one more thing
    ‘We are the Sultans… We are the Sultans of Swing’


  23. Anonymous, I understand why you might feel as you do, coming from a position of ignorance and short sightedness.

    My understanding from people on this board that have been around much longer than I have is that I am the only person to have been addressed directly and had a post dedicated to by this boards host. Exactly how many posts have you had commented on by them? That would be zero. That would mean I have a point of view worth commenting on, and you did not. I’ll take that as a victory, and your commentary as a jealous rant.

    As far as being sliced up and roasted, no not really. Considering they commented on my opinions and never once had the intestinal fortitude to respond, there was no slicing to be done. They offered their myopic opinion to my brilliant and well thought out argument because it threatened what they believed in. Had I not gotten inside their heads they would not have been so moved to respond.

    AS for ID’ing yourself, since you have been served once again, might just be better to stay Anonymous, and crawl back into the shadows. Class dismissed.


  24. OOOOPS!!!

    Forgot to ID myself.


  25. Haven’t been on this site for a while and after reading Noah’s post I thought I was visiting Comedy Central. When somebody who’s been sliced up like a roasted turkey by the site’s host, tells the world that being roundly skewered by her is an “honor” – that’s gut busting funny. Instead of “opening another’s mind to ideas they had not considered” it was his rude and nasty behavior as a guest on her site that prompted her to take him to the woodshed – not some philosophical collision.

    About the only point of agreement between Noah and me is that this board has seen the end of its days. Going on for almost four months now is too long an absence to recover from. The only reason I wonder where Noah and his ilk will end up next is because I have no intention of going there. And, Noah, a real philosopher might also say, “self praise is no recommendation”.


  26. I like the story PFessor.

    Hi Craig, you left while I was gone. I have thought about you and wondered how you and your family are. Yes, the last post was written in hate, but it was a back- handed complement that they would take the trouble to write about you.

    This reminds me of the last episode of MASH or the last day of school. I also lived through a closing on my last base before I returned to the US to become a civilian. The base was closing and we all were going our separate ways. Life unraveled for a month or two as people left. We had the most memorable good bye party of my life.

    Just in case it is over:

    “Closing time Time for you to go out
    to the places you will be from
    Closing time. This room won’t be open
    until your brothers and sisters come
    …Closing time. Every beginning comes
    from some other beginning’s end.”



  27. Hey guys. It does appear this board has seen its end of days. I consider it a great honor that this boards last post was directed at me, even if it was in hate. To a true philosopher there is no greater reward than to open another’s mind to ideas they had not considered, I believe I did just that. Even though the reactions were negative and hostile, I got inside their head and made them think, and that was my only goal.

    I do hope that our hosts are both alive and well and if they are able or of the mind too should have a farewell post to thank all their loyal followers. I leave you with one of my favorite videos.


  28. Molly Ivins?????????


  29. Are you sure you’re not the reincarnation of Molly Ivins?????


  30. I located my favorite (tough!) high school teacher in Cleveland many years ago. She was in her lower nineties, having never married (had something to do with a fiancee’ who died in the war according to local legend) and was living with her 90’s brother.

    When I came to visit, I said, “Miss Deitz, do you remember me?”

    “Why yes, of course. You were lazy.”

    Well, nothing wrong with the old girl’s head…

    I later discovered her brother had died and she’d moved to a retirement home. I called her every Christmas Day (her birthday) until about five years ago, when they told me she had died. I think she was about 100.

    Great, great lady.


  31. My son who is living in AU for a while was the one who sent this blog to me. I have really enjoyed what Helen has to say and the way she says it…;^) However, I’m very worried that something may have happened to her. I do hope she’s ok.

    I sent my much awaited dilatory Christmas Letter to an old friend who was in the same age range. It was strange that I didn’t hear from her at Christmas. The letter was finally returned from the retirement community in VA, marked “deceased” with no further information.

    So I guess what most of us here would like is knowledge of closure one way or another. Some think that Helen and Margaret aren’t “real”, but I’ve known a lot of very feisty ladies “of an age” with valid opinions, too. Unfortunately, many of them are also gone now.

    So Matthew, if you should happen to see this, please reply. I’m signing off… (Hmmm, I can hear Ella singing that song in my head as I typed it.)


  32. kimwim, I wonder about them also, but this is their blog and they don’t owe us anything. Maybe another message will be here tomorrow, or next month, or never. It happens. I’ve seen two blogs like this run their course– then we moved on.

    There is nothing stopping you from starting your own party here. Write something, and someone will eventually answer. I will check out for good one of these days, but you don’t have to.


  33. I am worried for Helen and Margaret, they haven’t posted since Jan. 25 from what I can tell, unless I’m missing something. I’d like to be part of this community, but I’m afraid I’m too late to the party. It’s good to read the nice conversation going back and forth.


  34. This is a unique site designed to be a free for all. Over the past two years , I’ve met some nice, open-minded people, two of whom at the beginning, told me the site needed folks like me, even though they disagreed with almost everything I wrote. They also predicted the bigots would drive me away.


    I entered a new accelerated graduate school program designed to let students earn their MAs and PHDS with theses and dissertations within four years. I was terrified because I had been away for a long time, and most of my competition was in school without a break. Moreover, I still had nightmares and needed some peace.

    At our first department orientation party, people were comparing assistanceships. I had been out of the country and didn’t understand how much “the world” had changed. I said I had what was left of the GI Bill. A hush fell over our part of the room. A young man said “You don’t belong here you fascist. We’ll get rid of you.” They tried and failed.

    I consider you and people like you to be their spiritual bretheren. I will never forget, and I will expose you for what you are at every opportunity. People like you created me, and your chickens have come home to roost. The Pfessor and others forced no one to leave. You flatter us to say we did. We all have free will.

    This one’s for you Palin Shutup, Rae, Juneau Joe, Jean, and the other nice folks who couldn’t stand us on this site. I also dedicate it to others who mistreated my kind when we came home.

    “I was shattered and I wanted you
    to come and make me whole
    Then, I saw you yesterday
    but you didn’t notice
    You just walked away
    ’cause everything you wanted me to hide
    is everything that makes me feel alive
    If you were right and I was wrong
    Why are you the one who’s gone?
    The lights go out, the bridges burn
    Once you go you can’t return
    Remember how you used to say
    I’d be the one to run away?
    But I’m still here.”

    Vertical Horizon


  35. H&M. Like many posters here I came in almost four years ago and stayed because I was attracted to the kindness, generosity and welcoming nature of your followers who came from many walks of life and from all corners of the country (and beyond). And as I followed along I saw a lot of people who were delighted to have a place where they could share thoughts, insights, experiences and ideas with others of similar makeup.

    Unfortunately, your overwhelming success recently brought in the naysayers and negativists who found that they could get their repellent messages out by co-opting your site. As they succeeded in driving the rational posters away, I’ve noted a sharp drop off in responders from a million hits a year on average to many fewer now. The cause and effect is quite clear. Now they claim to be moving on to a site that suits their purposes better but I suspect that is simply a ruse to get you to post again so the can resume their attacks.

    Having said all that, I want to thank you sincerely for establishing this site. Without it I probably would never have had the opportunity to connect with so many decent and thoughtful people. But I will sorely miss your humor and perceptiveness concerning our political system. It was an informative and fun ride while it lasted


  36. Helen and Margaret,

    It has been quite a ride, your site found me as the result of a happy coincidence, I didn’t find it, since then you given me lot of laughs. It has also made me realize, the loss of one’s sense of humor is not inevitable, I raise my glass to the two of you: Thanks for the good times, my best to both of you!



  37. James –

    Since the last post was almost exactly three months ago, I think one must conclude that this blog has been abandoned by whoever is writing it, or in any case that the posts are so infrequent as to make it irrelevant.

    With the breakup of the BBB, M&H’s usefulness as a clever, but blatant, shill for the (fortunately small) bigot subset of the Left has been gone for a long time, so I have to conclude that the writer(s), whoever they are, have lit out for greener pastures. Nice work, us.

    I’ll check in every so often as myself and others to make sure it doesn’t fall back into those old, bad habits. In the meantime I’m finding some real challenge – and some tough cookies – at Rutherford’s blog. It’s a real step up and good exercise for the brain; I’m having a ball. You and Craig have my email.

    No mas, te.


  38. Ah yes, “The Intimidator.” You can still google Dale Earnhardt on you tube and see him in action. He would spin someone into the wall and say with a little smirk “I didn’t mean for it to happen. I only meant to rattle his cage a little.”
    Retired driver Darrel Waltrop is now a commentater for Fox Sports. He had some classic battles with the “intimidator.”

    I like the joke.

    Youtube has NASCAR fights, so maybe there is something with Dale SR. too.

    I think Earnhardt died ten years ago this summer. He took an awfully hard hit straight into the wall so most of the energy was not dissipated as it is when a car tumbles down the track.

    His son, Dale Junior is a popular driver and seems nicer on the track than his father. His fans are sometimes called “Junior Nation.”

    Many NASCAR drivers and crew began on farms and in small towns. Some didn’t have much money. Many are born again Christians and some will tear up during the National Anthem. Many give a lot to charity and witness their faith to others.

    On the other hand, they are adrenalin junkies who want to win at all costs. They hold grudges and will brawl.

    The drivers are only the most visible parts of their teams. Crews, spotters, crew chiefs, and engine designers are just as important. Crews hold their own competitions.

    Indie style racers like Danica Patrick look down on NASCAR, but even she competed in a few NASCAR races recently. Several drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya and Sam Hornish JR. have switched to NASCAR.

    Yes, like NOP, Lori, and many others, we had a good feeling about you two and still do. You on the other hand had better watch your step or Val will be watching after you.

    Vigilanti justice is usually different from self defense as you write, NOP, but it can become proactive as in northwest Missouri when a man killed a bully and no one talked. It was done out of fear of future danger as well as punishment for past misdeeds.


  39. Craig, a lot of us had an inkling Val was going to be very successful in her battle with the big C, glad we were right. You are another case, though, watch your step.

    Vigilante justice? The West has been settled, therefore I’m not even going contemplate here. It is not really the same as self-defense is it?


  40. James –

    I don’t watch racing, but my brother used to tell me about a driver they called “The Intimidator” who bullied everybody around on the track. Why didn’t somebody punch his lights out after the race? I think he wrecked later and got killed. There was some joke about his being like Michael Jackson and chasing little boys ’round and ’round, but Jackson could catch them. You probably get the humour since you are a fan.

    Yeah, you can’t be doing the vigilante thing. That is the whole purpose of the law – to be devised when everybody is calm so it can be used to do the right thing when people are not. I still do not see how the Westboro people have survived this long, though. god, I have two sons of military age. If one of them got killed and these jokers showed up, I don’t know what I would do…I just don’t know…


  41. Craig I am THRILLED for you and Val’s good news!!!!! Salute!

    Have a lovely and blessed weekend. We will continue to keep you close.


  42. I have very mixed feelings about such justice too, alaskapi.

    Compared to you folks, we are over populated, but we still have so few people our county has only five traffic lights. Our son’s dorm at ISU held more people than all of our towns combined.

    The closest neighbor lives two miles away.

    NASCAR features vigilanti justice on national television. If a driver crowds or bumps another, the victim is likely to spin him out later. Brad Kaslowski did several things to Carl Edwards. Edwards finally spun Kaslowski into a wall. The car flipped through the air and he might have died. NASCAR put both on probation and the trouble stopped.


  43. Craig-
    Such good news about Val!!
    Congratulations to her!!

    And you… ouch, ouch, ouch!
    Next time you want or need some excitement in your life, speak up here and I can send you some hot pink bow ties or theatre makeup to make warts on your face or something. No more tilting at doggie gates or dancing with them or whatever it was!

    Yes, vigilante behavior is common here in rural parts of this state too, James, though it has more to do with the vast distances from law enforcement than anything else usually. Sometimes weather and distance mean it is days before troopers can get into a remote community when there is trouble. The Village Police Officer program was developed to try to change that and shows some promise.

    I have very mixed feelings about it all. A man was beaten to death by his neighbors a number of years ago after someone accused him of molesting a child. Not only did it turn out that he had nothing to do with it but when authorities actually arrived and investigated it turned out one of the prime instigators of stirring up what became a mob was the offender. Whatever has some kind of appeal in the whole thing also has a very dark side if not watched very carefully.


  44. Doug Powers with Michele Malkin’s blog discussed a threatening phone call to a Sheboygan, Wisconsin gas station clerk. The caller said she had seen state Senator Joe Leibham a Republican, buying gas there.

    She said selling gas to him was bad for business.

    The call was recorded on an answering machine, and the clerk traced the call to the Sheboygan area district school office.

    The customer was the senator’s brother. “What a maroon!”


  45. Here is another one for Tammyharper’s list. A man named Kock runs a business in Des Moines. He has been getting hostile e mails for a while. The latest was a death threat. He has no connection to the infamous Kock brothers. Not only do some of the leftists make violent threats but they are also stupid.


  46. That’s an interesting story, PFessor. I wonder if that woman told her children and grand children. Your part of the country is probably full of stories like that.

    I don’t really think anything violent will happen to my wife and me, but I do worry about our dog. One of the men who “killed” himself shot himself in the head–twice.

    During the WW! era, a new drainage ditch was in place. During floods, farmers sometimes cut the dike on the opposite side of their homes to take the pressure from them. My grand parents got tired of it, so my grand father and his three oldest children carried rifles and patrolled the dike at night.

    Nothing happened except for the time my aunt fired at a shadow.


  47. James –

    re: vigilante justice. My Dad told me the following story that happened when he was a young man – but I think not married yet – so that would be around 1915 or so:

    A local young lady lived alone in a small house up one of the hollers of southern West Virginia. She had been implicated in several peccadilloes concerning four or five young married families, which is to say she had either bedded or tried to bed several of the young husbands.

    She was warned by several of the older church ladies, but basically laughed it off.

    One night about ten of the older men in the community, a couple of whom were the fathers of the young men in question, stole quietly up the hollow to her cabin, having cut dozens of keen switches from the brush and trees along the way.

    They entered her cabin during the dead of night under lantern light (remember this was before rural electrification in the ‘thirties) turned up her skirts and cut her bare rear end and legs to ribbons, until they ran out of switches. She was given a warning that it would be better if she moved out of the community, which of course she did.

    Not quite as deadly as your experiences, but certainly a memorable tale.


  48. Blowing away the Westboro folks would definitely be inappropriate, PFessor.

    Tammyharper, Obama shows no signs of changing spending policy. He says we can fix this by taxing the rich, but he is lying. The rich don’t have enough money as the figures I quoted a few days ago show. The real money is with the middle class, and the government will come for it one way or another. Even that will be a temporary fix.

    A Boston University economist estimates the fiscal end will come by 2017 when the bond market collapses. We are like a vampire sucking its own blood.

    Tick tock, Tammy.


  49. Here is how vigilanti justice works near our home. Several men act as “enforcers” to persuade trouble makers to ease off or else.

    Our law enforcement is too far away and unwilling to do much, so people take matters into their own hands.

    Eight or nine years ago, I submitted statements against a neighbor in an insurance fraud case. We cost him a lot of money. He was a bully and in return, he tried to burn our farmstead down. That was his version of “justice.” Two volunteer fire departments and we put out the fire. We didn’t press charges because there was no evidence. However, both fire departments were sure the fire was not accidental.

    We helped a divorced woman who’s ex- husband showed signs of wanting to kill her. He was a member of a drug gang and after we started helping the women, they turned their attention to us. They damaged some property and parked darkened pickups near our driveway at late hours.

    Three unexplained “suicides ” occurred, so I kept a loaded rifle by the door and posted on a message board that if my wife and I died it would not be by suicide. They were finally arrested and sent away.

    Last fall, one of my wife’s high school students got mad at her. They are violent and have spent a couple of nights in jail for vandalism and for pouring battery acid down a mule’s throat. He and his friends have visited us at night when we are asleep or gone. The pranks have slowly escalated to their killing and partly skinning a labrador- sized dog and putting it on the hood of our car.

    Last week, they set a fire a quarter mile east of our house while we were gone. The grass was dry, and it was racing toward our home in an east wind. My wife and I put out the fire in about two hours and finished after 11PM.

    We have been telling everyone we know, including people at school. Some have said we should call the sheriff, but it would accomplish little more than make the kids mad.

    My wife was buying groceries today and ran into one of the “enforcers” who likes us. He asked for the names of the kids, but my wife said we could handle it. He told her to call if anything happens and they will be there for us. He also told my wife a fire arms class is being held next Saturday. If one passes the test and pays $50.00 he/she can carry.

    This is bothering my wife more than I thought. She wants us to take the test. Nothing violent will probably come of it, but if it does, my wife is a very good shot with a pistol. The best nonlethal shot is at the knees.

    Vigilantism is alive and well.


  50. Craig –

    Good news and bad news for you. Wow, man – maybe you should go live in a swamp…

    The fractures through the “surgical neck” of the humerus are SO common. They are tough to immobilize because of their location but usually heal OK. Your career as a professional pitcher, however, is in some jeopardy. LOL.

    Sounds like Val is tough as balls. Congrats to her. Good, good stuff.

    Hey, I’ve been checking out Rutherford’s blog. Very cool. Lots of ideas floating around, and lots of profanity. Very irreverent. No thought police. Some smart people there. Check it out. A little whiskey and it would be damned near perfect. (I think he’s working on that part.)

    re: Westboro. I have very mixed feelings about them. I think blowing them away would be (somewhat) inappropriate. However, were I on a jury trying the alleged perp, I would guarantee at the worst a hung jury. Defective carbon units have to go. Just my opinion.


  51. “Unfortunately, for some areas of the country, there is a long and involved history of such events.”

    Yep. Like San Francisco.

    If memory serves, that is where the term “vigilante” originated. Who knew?! First vigilante justice, then pot smoking, then d*ck smoking. See how that “gateway drug” thing works?


  52. and the ticker still remains at zero


  53. I usually like to refer to my common sense. It rarely leads me astray.


  54. tammyharper on April 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM you said “in this case it is the right thing to do” when referring to members of the Westboro Baptist Church getting beaten up.

    And who decided it was the “right” thing to do?

    By your logic if a group of people has an ethical or moral dislike of something you said or wrote does that give any of them the right beat up your relatives and burn your house down? I don’t think so – or do you disagree?

    I thought the Supreme Court settled that case, – as disagreeable as it may seem to be to most people.


  55. Interesting fact. Obama has added more to our national debt in his first two years in office than the previous 43 Presidents combined.


  56. James you have to be especially careful about those brown recluse attack bunnies.


  57. Thanks for the good news about Val, Craig. I was thinking about you two yesterday.
    Our friend’s 84 year-old grandmother has had inoperable cancer for several years, and she still lives by herself. The doctor thinks she will see 90 if something else doesn’t get her first.

    As for you, painful sounds like an understatement.

    I hope you both have a good Easter weekend.


  58. Yes, on one level, what happened to the cultists was wrong, but it was certainly satisfying.

    Vigilanti justice is endemic to empty parts of the country because the law is unwilling or unable to enforce its edicts. For example, a bully in northwest Missouri was considered a danger to the community. Someone killed him, and the murder was never solved because no one knew or saw anything.

    It is also in parts of big cities. Several of our daughter’s therapy clients have been victims of revenge shootings. One client died after another of her clients shot him.

    Vigilantism can be more than justice denied. At its worst, it is life denied.

    Yes, that part about BP is wrong.


  59. PFesser, Lori, NOP,Alaskapi,delurkergurl and James
    Valerie flew in Tuesday and met Dr. O’Shaughnessy the Cancer Researcher in Dallas.
    She said that Val had improved 80% from when we last visited in February and that she liked the progress she saw from the reduction in size of lymph nodes and tumor markers in the latest blood tests.
    The Doctor said it was very encouraging in Val’s capabilities to withstand the Chemo so well and still work. O’Shaughnessy had nothing but good things to say and said come back in six weeks after the next two cycles of treatment. That would be late May early June time frame.
    Val will never be totally cancer free, but the Doctor said there is a very good chance of putting this in a “semi state” of permanent remission with continued Chemo. Plus eventually at some point maybe months from now, those Chemo treatments may go to a strictly oral regimen.
    Val was ecstatic and returned this afternoon. More later…

    I wrote the above Tuesday night..wednesday am I tripped and fell over a doggie gate and fractured my upper left Humerous right under the the ball joint..which is not very funny and painful to surgery needed just time..Starting to look like a war zone around here.

    I’m sure Val will update her blog site soon.
    Thanks for all the prayers…Best to all….

    And as for the Westboro folks, they will get a message directly from God some day and it may not be pretty. I agree PFesser those WV and other Applachia folks won’t take getting messed with.


  60. This is just wrong


  61. Sometimes it is harder to do things on an official level. But in this case it is the right thing to do. I have found few rules to be universally true, there almost always is a valid exception. In the case of these people I find that it is a very valid exception.


  62. Vigilante justice is justice denied. Lauding this sort of behavior is easy, especially when reprehensible characters like members of the Westboro group are the victims, but it is still wrong. Unfortunately, for some areas of the country, there is a long and involved history of such events.


  63. Tammyharper –

    The Westboro thing made my day.

    I have it on good authority that when they were “protesting” at the mine in WV last April that the only thing that saved the female from taking a bullet between the tits from the mountainside above was the fact she had her kids with her. One of the vanguard did get his face messed up at a local convenience store by a miner. I am told a local State Policeman then arrested him for disturbing the peace.

    That is not the way to handle things, but by their actions they are inviting disaster. They are messing around with the wrong people.


  64. How dare you. My veracity is unimpeachable. You sir are a coward and a prevaricator of the highest magnitude.


  65. Not me. the other one.


  66. FYI, Anonymous = jsri


  67. tammyharper, I agree. Omaha radio station KFAB was just talking about it.


  68. No offense intended to Lepers, but it does look like a Leper Colony squatted here for a couple of days.


  69. Childish comments require childish responses.

    Wayne, Wayne, go away.
    Don’t come back another day.
    Your rants and rages
    Fill too many pages
    Like a force of gravity
    With increasing depravity
    But nobody cares
    See, nobody cares.


  70. OH brave anonymous poster,

    And Jim Wright has a zillion followers, – and you have how many, – a generous two or fewer?

    That’s a zillion rubes. That’s not a following. That’s one leaping lemming heading a zillion other lemmings over a cliff. 😈

    You think some cult following made of hapless sheep is great strength, do you? Chuckle. That zoo with their fascist bozo as author is one step above Heaven’s Gate carrying their Pet Rocks.

    So let me elaborate again anonymous. I think Jumping Jimmie Flash a clueless MSNBC dolt that needs a teleprompter to know how to tell his kid goodnight. Tell him I said that. If he wants to prove me wrong, he knows where to find me.



    All I can say it is about dam time.


  72. I, too, want to hear from Helen or at least know that she and Margaret and their families are enjoying life and not having any major troubles.

    Family members, can you let us know?


  73. I hate to interrupt anyone, but I’m trying to find out if anything happened to Helen. I love her blog and I get worried when she’s absent for so long. Does anyone know? If this has been answered somewhere in the thousands of comments above, my apologies. I don’t have enough hours in the day to read them all. I wish I did.


  74. Is it safe to assume this is spillover feud from another board?


  75. And Jim Wright has a zillion followers, – and you have how many, – a generous two or fewer?


  76. So should I gather he is a Master Baiter or Master Debater?

    OH, what great lib humor!!! One of the seven predictable comeback lines. I’m going to write a book on the predictability of lib humor, but it will be only two pages long. Pull their string, and you get a random canned insult repeated ad infinitum.

    However, my debating skills were not the issue “Sky”. Do you wear flowers in your hair?

    The premise was not that I am Patrick Henry, but that Jumping Jimmie Wright is a goosestepping censor that can not stand up to scrutiny once removed from home base – big on mouth, short on truth. It’s hardly unique as it applies to 98% of liberals juiced on MSNBC.

    Jumping Jim is dependent upon the same mindless sycophants that frequent places like Media Matters, KKKOs, and a few WordPress blogs of lefty persuasion that will go unmentioned (cough cough). It’s feeds his insecure ego.

    I’m simply volunteering to help prove that if little Jimmie wishes to step off the curb. 😉

    There’s a teleprompter joke there somewhere…


  77. Helen,

    I found your blog and enjoy your thinking. When will you share more of your wit with us? I see you have quite a following here.

    I noticed you have one Wayne Perram who seems to consider himself quite the debater and also good at baiting someone to debate with him.

    So should I gather he is a Master Baiter or Master Debater?


  78. Hey Smashmouth, you read like Poolman.

    No, dubmer!

    You also read like an upstanding member of Jim’s blog – right on target with the ill-timed misspelling. Rule #1 – If you’re going to make some lame attempt at insulting from a horrid song, at least spell the insult right Tiger.

    Yeah, Jim so “pawned” me, he couldn’t answer my questions, so he banned me. He’s an uneducated lackey, who lied about his academic credentials which didn’t match his boring stories of glory days. What a worm. 🙄

    As for Rutherford? The only classy lib I’ve ever debated with. Don’t really care what your opinion is of old “R”, but he’s a Harvard graduate in mathematics, which would make him about million times more intelligent than say you and Jim “Bradley Manning” Wright. Why don’t you get your vicious buddy over to Rutherford’s place, where we can debate a few “facts” without moderation.

    Then we’ll see how Jim pawns people in an open forum with his ‘high standards’ of bleating sheep. Here’s a ten dollar bet Rambo can’t and won’t make it out from the echo chamber.

    Pass this on to Rambo, will you? 🙂


  79. Lemme take my socks off so’s I can keep score.

    Jim is a loser, yet he pwnnnnned Waynie. What’s that make Waynie? Dumb. No, dubmer! My favorite song comes to mind. “Wayne wuz lookin kinda dumb with his finga and his fumb in the shape of an L on his forehead.” Sadly, he was looking in the mirror.

    Wayne, baby, you shouldn’t waste your time over there. Head to Rutherfordl’s blog. He’s dumb AND has no standards. Exactly your kind of place. I think he enjoys abuse. No match for yo, baby! You be a real man there! Whatever your type is, it will quiver and swoon.


  80. Someone need an anger management course.


  81. Oops…hear himself write. 😳


  82. PeeDeeKew,

    You mean Blowhard Jim? I figured his “troops” would frag him first.

    I’ve already caught old Fearless JimmyDewKew in one bald faced lie about his education. He was so dim, he couldn’t even keep his lies straight. Contradicted himself and didn’t even know it. I’ll remind him of that if he comes over.

    But I’m not buying your story. Old Rambo Jim is so long-winded at his own blog, there aren’t enough hours in the day for him to man two. I’ve never read a dimmer bulb that liked to here himself “write.”

    But I sure wish he’d take me on around an unedited board. I find him a rank coward and uninformed rube, and will be happy to prove it when the time is convenient.


  83. Hey Wayne

    I heard by the grapevine that Jim Wright will be taking over this site. Good news huh?

    Ha Ha Ha Ha


  84. All of you meet here regularly, I presume, and act like Helen’s naughty children without any supervision. I come to check if she’s posted, as it is now baseball season and the football reference depresses me because that means it’s been a while. Maybe she’s just tired of all the crap that goes on in the comments section… Just a thought.


  85. So well said! Love every ounce of this. Thank you!


  86. Very interesting PFessor. I’m still on the fence, but with 45% of the population’s not paying income taxes we need something to keep them engaged. If we don’t, many of those folks will support whatever our money will provide until the foreclosure notice arrives. Maybe the flat tax will be the only way, but I doubt we will see it right now.

    Speaking of Hellbound Trains, I found a you tube video staring one of my distant cousins. I mean as close as the Cheney and Obama families or Madonna and Gwen Stefani. Gooble Roger Williamson and David Purley by Zafir001. The song track is “May Angels Lead You” Other you tube sites show the same drama. Like Hellbound Trains, I regard it as a metaphor for our times.


  87. Tammyharper & James –

    I just finished Boortz’ first book on the FairTax. Very, very interesting, indeed! And very timely – S&P has just issued a warning to downgrade the US Government’s credit rating from AAA. That has never happened in the history of the country; nice going Barack! To paraphrase lori – Yes we can and yes we did! We drove the country right down the tubes!

    Of course the politicos who use the convoluted tax code to reward their friends and punish their enemies are opposed to the FairTax, because it represents a huge transfer of power from them back to the People. Ditto their political supporters, who believe that the elite in Washington know better how to spend the money we earn than we do.

    One of the misrepresentations they spout is that the FairTax is “regressive” – code for, “disproportionately affecting poor people.” Here is a direct quote from Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University (that hotbed of conservative thought, LOL), who has studied the FairTax proposal extensively:

    “The FairTax imposes much lower average taxes on working-age households than does the current system. The FairTax’s reduction in average tax rates on the working-age population reflects the broadening of the tax base from what is now primarily a system of labor income taxation to a system that taxes, albeit indirectly, both labor income and EXISTING WEALTH. (caps mine) Consider, as an example, a single household earning $50,000. The household’s average tax rate under the current system is 21.1%. It’s 16.2 % under the FairTax.”

    Again, to those in favor of FairTax, as well as those sitting on the sidelines taking potshots, I recommend actually reading the bill (H.R. 25) as well as reading the analyses from all sides. It is a truly amazing proposal, in my opinion – one that could help get America – to quote Savoy Brown – off the Hellbound Train we are now riding at an ever-accelerating pace.


  88. I love you. That is all.


  89. Craig –

    I wanted to mention something but got so wrapped up in my own problems that I forgot:

    We see more blood clots in the lungs of cancer patients serendipitously – those getting CT scans for other reasons – than we do in patients from the ER who are being CT’d specifically to rule out a pulmonary embolus. So if Val gets suddenly short of breath or has swelling in her legs – especially just ONE leg, make sure her doc knows PDQ.



  90. Tammyharper –

    I am slowly working my way through the Neal Boortz books on the Fair Tax. He deals with the questions of “black market” and all the other objections. I highly recommend the two books: “The Fair Tax Book” and “Fair Tax: The Truth.”

    It is truly amazing to see the background behind this proposal. Basically, it is a plan that has been invented and refined by non-partisan experts who all agree that the current system is dragging the United States down the tubes. While none of these people have an axe to grind, those who oppose it certainly do – which is to say a loss of income and power – and they are fighting with every means possible – yes, amazingly, lies too.

    Before really weighing in, I want to finish the two books above. It is an amazing, amazing idea – one that would, as I see it so far, be a tremendous advantage to the whole country – and, once and for all, assuring that those multibillionaires who pay no taxes would finally begin to pay their “fair share.”

    BTW, nice to see spirited argument on this page again. A good example, IMHO, that sometimes things improve by having more people, sometimes by fewer.


  91. NOP, yes, war is theoretically shared responsibility, but the realty is different. Shared sacrifice is just a cluster of pretty words to trick the few willing risk their lives for the rest of us. None of our wars with the possible exception of WW11 when we fought for our national lives featured shared responsibility or sacrifice.

    Bush’s asking the rest of us to go shopping was part of a stimulus plan from the bottom up. Our economy was reeling from the effects of a recession exacerbated by 9/11. Members of Obama’s administration said we needed consumption to bring us out of our recession. They were rooting for good Christmas sales while we were still at war. I fail to see the difference.

    My government wants to expropriate even more of the money my wife and I earned to waste on more profligacy. That is not shared sacrifice. It is government sanctioned theft.

    No disrespect intended from this post, NOP, because you know I like what I know of you. However, “shared responsibility” revives bitterness from my past.

    “Freedom what did you hope to learn about here
    If I was somewhere else
    would this all fall apart?
    Strange, where were you
    when we started this gig?”

    Matchbook 20


  92. This is why the fair tax is better and something like it will make things much better.

    (Newser) – Some Tax Day trivia: The super rich are paying a far lower tax rate than they did 20 years ago, and nearly half of all US households—including both rich and poor—pay no taxes at all. People with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes paid nearly $345 million in taxes in 2007, the most recent year figures are available. Their average federal income tax rate was 17%, down from 26% in 1992, reports AP. During that same period, the average tax rate for all taxpayers dipped to 9.3% from 9.9%.

    Though the top income tax rate is 35%, myriad tax breaks shave that bite. “It’s the fact that we are using the tax code both to collect revenue, which is its primary purpose, and to deliver these spending benefits that we run into the situation where so many people are paying no taxes,”said an expert with the think tank Tax Policy Center in DC. More than half of the nation’s tax revenue came from the top 10% of earners in 2007, and more than 44% came from the top 5%.


  93. In the immortal of Bill Maher of 15 April, 2011 spoken to Michael Steel, former Chairman of the GOP, Obama of course has a larger budget, because he has “that other asshole’s tax cut and war costs to include” (paraphrasing).

    Bill Maher has never been terribly bright, and though he has a niche audience which has made him a rich man, the audience is superficial and shallow. HBO material – like some washed out comics does make one an authority of anything but Barnum’s principle.

    But assuming Maher is right and the “other asshole’s tax cut and war costs included”, then Barack Obama has indeed proven himself an incredibly stupid and irresponsible man.

    Because Obama has not only adopted the Bush Doctrine of which he adamantly campaigned against, but increased in Afghanistan troop deployment to well over 90,000, then chose to bomb a third Muslim country in the process. And it is Barack Obama and the progressives here and elsewhere who are not only claiming but using as argument, “Barack Obama cut everyone’s taxes!!!!” So Barack Obama has provided more of the same, not less.

    Like I said Bill Maher is a lightweight and only appealing to those incapable of critical thought who enjoy rank partisan humor.


  94. Agree with some of what you said James, like we look for our own truth. But Bill Maher is right, you don’t give tax cuts when you go to war and if you go to war, you pay for it. War is a shared responsibility, you don’t send our young men and women off to be potentially killed or maimed and ask the rest of us to go shopping.


  95. No ones’ Puppet, my wife and I tried to extend our stay in England by another year, but the United States wouldn’t let us.

    Bill Maher is wrong. Democrats and Republicans gave us a big deficit, but now it belongs to the Democrats. They are borrowing so much they make Bush look stingy.

    “GET A MEMORY, PEOPLE!” bears repeating. “The truth is out there” if we look.


  96. Thanks Wayne Perram. I hope you stay for awhile.

    No one’s puppet, I agree factcheck is not extremely biased, but it is to a point, sometimes through nuance. I don’t read it very often, but I remember seeing things which weren’t quite right. As you know “facts” in the twilight of truth will be accepted or rejected according to political ideology or other reader’s bias. What looks like a true fact check to you may not to me.

    I did some research for you and also me. Yahoo Finance explains some things about war funding. The costs of Vietnam, Korea, and similar wars was included in regular budgets. As we know, Congress has paid for recent wars through emergency supplemental bills.

    The total bill for the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars is $1.5 trillion. In 1969 at the height of the Vietnam war, the budget increased from $27 billion to $79 billion. However, when war costs were subtracted, the defense budget had actually declined by 29%.

    The Bush administration adopted another way to fund the wars. It gave the Pentagon over $1 trillion in supplementals and let the base budget rise. The Pentagon was able to shift items like fighters from the base budget into the supplemental.

    Since the administration says we won’t put troops in Libya that war can still be paid from the general budget.

    “But if Congress and the administration choose to go outside the regular defense budget to fund it, they should learn the lessons of the past decade and offset the full amount of the supplemental through cuts in the regular fiscal year 2012.”


  97. I have just one thing to say and it is important, so I’m going to shout it. GET A MEMORY PEOPLE!


  98. NOP the one thing we can take solace in is the People are beginning to awaken. Thank the dear heavens!

    This new poll shows the most people have become aware that most of the GOP/Tpers/conservative’s agenda to eliminate the middle class and/ or “minorities” in this country and have resoundly rejected that principle.

    Yay us our message IS being heard through all the noise!

    Just let them dig their own grave……The truth shall overcome. 😉

    As far as the battle of economical numbers and trying to make heads or tails out of them…… forget it. The spin is the spin, and you will find good and bad in each set of numbers, each web site.

    All we can do is look to the motivation of the two sides. For me and apparently 52 percent of the nation, one has to look no further. Who is going to get us to tomorrow? Who is going to meet this new global economical challenge, who has the intelligence and foresight to get us where we need to be…The Democrats… But it’s up to each to decide if they will vote against their own interest orrrrrrr not.

    BTW Happy Passover to all our Jewish friends!



  99. In the immortal of Bill Maher of 15 April, 2011 spoken to Michael Steel, former Chairman of the GOP, Obama of course has a larger budget, because he has “that other asshole’s tax cut and war costs to include” (paraphrasing).


  100. On Thursday Wisconsin conservatives announced that they had collected enough signatures to recall Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay.

    Last week, vandals broke in and stole computers and recall petitions from a Wisconsin office. I think we can add that to tammyharper’s count down.

    Here is another lesson:

    Stanly Kurtz explained some of the reasons for the recession. Our government pressured banks to loan housing money to minorities and others who were at risk because of their low incomes. Congress passed a well-intentioned red lining law to prevent banks from discriminating against potential home owners because of their race or social status.

    The numbers were small during the first years.

    The early nineties savings and loan scandal killed some banks and caused survivors to merge. Organizations like ACORN and Jesse Jackson’s groups used the turmoil to persuade banks to issue more risky loans. They protested and blackmailed banks into loaning more money to the poor. Obama helped train ACORN organizers and did some legal work for them.

    Government officials visited banks and looked at the books to be sure they were loaning a set percentage to the poor.

    Financial institutions bought and sold the loans and mixed the good with the bad. Foreign traders and banks bought the new creations. They made a lot of money, because too many people bid values to unstainable levels. They believed the laws of economics had been repealed.

    Bush and the Republicans had an interest in home ownership too because of their belief that owning one’s home gave the family a stake in the economy. However, they did warn about risky management and loans, but the Democrats discounted the warnings.

    The bubble burst and all financial creations were suspect because the bad were comingled with the good.

    Public service workers, of whom my wife is one, didn’t cause the crash. However, their leaders have negotiated unsustainable pensions and benefits which some of them will never see. It was a problem with the two now government auto workers, it is a problem in Wisconsin and many other states. We are headed into a perfect storm.


  101. Excellent post James. As recently as last week, the WSJ published that we could have taken 100% of the 2009 federal taxable income of everyone making over 100K a year, and it would not have paid for Barack Obama’s 2010 federal budget.

    This myth of soaking the rich, and everyone will note how rich is quickly being defined downward, of paying for all entitlements is bogus and really bad math.

    Worse, it makes the assumption that higher taxes would have no bearing on the decisions of employers and those that actually create wealth and jobs.

    Progressive politics and Keynesian economics has now been tried for three years and the policies have failed miserably. When almost one out of two people pay no federal taxes but receive the disproportional share of the entitlement benefits, then critical mass has been reached.

    Every wage earner should be forced to pay some federal taxes and share in the pain – rich and poor alike. It is the only fair means to sustain an honest election.


  102. Actually James, fact check doesn’t seem biased to me, as I have read many bloopers, misspoken, and misleading things about the Democrats on their website. I must admit, I am always disappointed when I do. I do agree with you about a value added tax, as I don’t think we doing much in the way of value adding, this is definitely one of many areas this country needs to work on. We are going to have to do some changes to Social Security and Medicare to assure future generations of their availability, fortunately or unfortunately people are living longer and the means by which lifespans have increased is quite expensive in some cases. I would very much like to say, after two weeks in London and Paris, that we are far more advanced and that our life style was so much better than theirs…, but I can’t say that. In fact, I see more minuses in our country and our lifestyle than I would have ever imagined, in comparison to G B and France.


  103. My goodness, the site has been active during my absence. Yes, fact check is biased.

    Betsy’s page cited the Wall Street Journal’s numbers. They compared 2005, a “boom year” after the tax cuts and 2008. In 2005, when more tax money was available, the top 5% earned over $145,000. All income from people earning over $200,000 per year would yield about $1.89 trillion, enough money to pay for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in 2010, but not for 2016 because their costs will rise quickly.

    2008 provided $5.65 trillion in taxable income from all individual taxpayers, and most of it came from the middle class. So, anyone who says we can support our spending by taking more from the rich is lying to us. Earlier, Nancy Pelosi mused about using a European style value added tax which is largely invisible and as regressive as a fair tax.

    45% of the population pays little or no income tax. This debate has no apparent connection to them, now. Taxing the rich sounds good to them. When the customers out number the producers, we have a problem. That, tammyharper, is why though I oppose it, I have any favorable thoughts toward the fair tax. Suppose we tax the rich and middle class while continuing our profligate ways. Eventually, nothing will suffice to pay the bills.


  104. Love it Elsie! Thank you for reminding me.

    Consider this as well!


  105. Elsie, class dismissed.


  106. Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took billions in TARP money, spewed vast amounts of oil and Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid NO taxes?

    No, but what I do remember and continue to observe is our public school systems dismal and failing, public employee incompetence from paving to post office while making almost 40% more than their private counterparts, 50,000,000 legalized abortions, most preying on the poor, and a question irrelevant to the creation of wealth having nothing to do with someone’s 401K.

    So this is what I see of the last two years of a progressives agenda in action…

    Many of those public employees called politicians added $15,500 to the burden owed by each American family, a Medicare System which will be bankrupt in nine years wrought with fraud estimated at over 20%, over $6 trillion spent on the continuation of the LBJ Great Society which has given America multi-generational welfare, public housing more dangerous than Tripoli or Beirut, and 74% of black children born out of wedlock, etc. Perhaps even more dangerous, because of Barack Obama’s outrageously incompetent fiscal policies, S&P just today of announcing USA outlook to negative. I’m afraid “it’s George Bush’s fault” has run its course and progressives have also been judged negative, as in massive failure.

    But the kicker? All that you’ve listed Elsie? I don’t see any net wealth created from a one of them, no job creation. I see a lot of give me give me. I see a lot of overpriced or free services paid for by John Q. Public, though but little or no benefit to society overall. I see pandering and buying votes, corruption and no transparency. I think the U.S. public made it very apparent what they thought of the idiocy, immorality, and illegitimacy of progressive politic in Nov. 2010.

    By the way, Big Oil, the progressive bogeyman pays well over 40% in tax revenue.

    How much did Planned Parenthood or NPR pay again? I think it is fair to say at best with America’s test scores dropping the last 40 years, at best we can give public teachers overall a grade of “D-“. Some teachers are wonderful – but I’m afraid far more are of the quality of the Wisconsin protesters, more interested in their bennies than they are in teaching children. That much is readily apparent.


  107. Hey, Helen, Margaret, NOP, Lori and other Progressive friends…

    Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took billions in TARP money, spewed vast amounts of oil and Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid NO taxes?

    Yeah. Me neither.


  108. The Tax Policy Center report is quite interesting, if we have any economists in our midst, or just a good researcher, perhaps they can answer my question. Have the George W. Bush’s budgets been retrofitted to include the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars? It appears they have not. As we all are aware, or should be aware, the Bush Administration never included these costs in their budgets, in layman’s term they put those costs on a credit card, and the worst of if was they never made any payments on that credit card. That all changed then President Obama took office, the cost of out continuing efforts in both of these countries is included in the budget, as well as the interest cost. Now we know the true financial cost of these military actions and we also know these costs are not going to be paid for by Iraqi oil, no folks, we are going pay these bills. It was pointed out this morning on Morning Joe, that for the same amount of money spent on these two wars, America could of had infrastructure and job growth on the scale of the Eisenhower Administration.


  109. Good morning friends!

    For your veiwing pleasure:

    The President discusses his plan for our fiscal future, a comprehensive and balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years.

    enjoy your day all!


  110. only missed one thing in your post Wayne Perram

    lori, class dismissed.


  111. There are 1000 of sources pick the one you want, these have been checked by factcheck..

    FactCheck is a liberal propagandist tool masquerading as unbiased and objective, no doubt receiving George Soros funds. In other words, a carnival joke.

    Here are the facts as published Tax Policy Center – the published record. You will note, even adjusted for inflation, U.S. Federal tax revenue was never than under George Bush in fiscal year 2007.

    It is fair to criticize George Bush for his spending policies, which were atrocious. Jimmy Carter aka Barack Obama has taken the dismal spending record to new heights and will soon be walked to the curb as the worst President in U.S. history, surpassing Jimmy Carter. It remains to be seen if BO can surpass Carter as the worst ex-President too.

    I’m afraid Lori, you’re leftist sites have let you down again. I know you’ll appreciate the record being “straightened out” as truth imperative when we tackle Obama’s massive debt and incompetence, as this site appears to be mostly leftist dogma and even you progressives are going further into debt, though I doubt you understand its ramifications yet.


  112. well lori if you can’t post thoughts of your own…posting that of others comes in a close 2nd place.


  113. Ever wondered where your tax dollars went?


  114. Very funny. but the T-PEErs will never get the message. Too many words of more than two syllables.

    Yeah, that’s why they killed Obama in the last election…because Obama is brilliant.

    This Lori appears like a rank KKKos propagandist. See you at the polls Lori. 🙂


  115. LORI:

    Very funny. but the T-PEErs will never get the message. Too many words of more than two syllables.


  116. This is cute. It tickled my funny bone (in a sick feeling kind of way) on this glorious Sunday afternoon.

    The Gop (T people or whatever they are coalling themselves these days) the party of no we can’t … anymore.


  117. their=they’re


  118. A little deeper than your used to No one’s puppet . To stick to an ideal. Unlike the Liberal party, I do not have an overpowering need to convert others to my ideology, to each their own. I can work with anyone, as long as their consistent. I do not always agree with the Republicans, but at least they are consistent in what they believe in, knowing that I can deal with that. Liberals however seem to hold onto their beliefs when it suits their purpose, and when it doesn’t, out the window they go. I would never turn my back on a Liberal because as soon as it furthered their agenda, they would sell me down the river in a second.


  119. The take from the poor, give to the rich party, Tammy?


  120. lori, I find it interesting the gop denounced the email, yet when a Dem did it to a Republican they did not. Again while I have issues with both parties, I would rather deal with the party that sticks to their ideals.


  121. NOP, Facts about the Bush tax cuts and creating jobs:

    And a look at the job growth (Obama vs Bush) chart:

    There are 1000 of sources pick the one you want, these have been checked by factcheck..



  122. ut oh caught again,

    Yet another T party activist shows their true colors.

    “Davenport, a tea party activist, represents the 72nd Assembly District in Orange County on the central committee.

    She represents Brea, Placentia, Fullerton and portions of other Orange County cities to the county committee tasked with fundraising, campaigning and debating policy for the Republican Party.”


  123. James, What do you think would be worse with the fair tax than what we have now? What shortcomings do you foresee that would outweigh what would be gained and be worse than what we have now?


  124. NOP, Bush didn’t create a single private sector job. The economy did. All the government did was change conditions which might or might not be favorable to job growth. I agree, many were worse than previous jobs. You might have also mentioned Wal Mart or for computer executives, real estate sales too.

    Obama’s efforts have had mixed results too. A television report showed him celebrating new jobs at McDonalds. I think globalization played a role in the growth of low paying job numbers. As Obama said in Detroit, I think. Many of these well-paying jobs are gone for good.

    Tammyharper, I agree in principle, and such a tax may be inevitable, but it does seem harsh. It might be altered a bit to make it more fair.

    I’m sorry to you both for being distracted. We are leaving for an anniversary party in a few minutes, and I’m not ready because our son and I were on the phone for three hours.

    After the phone battery went dead, a woman involved with our recent successful counter- law suit called to tell me a newspaper ran a libelous story about the sordid affair. Our lawyer will be speaking to the chair of our arts organization within an hour. She didn’t tell me what was in the column, but the tone of her voice inplies another lawsuit. My wife wondered if it included the near violent altercation she helped diffuse. We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now, it has.


  125. I guess my point to the fair tax is that it is the best equalizer and all inclusive tax plan I have seen proposed. If you spend money in this economy you contribute. That is so far from the case now. I think this would be the biggest move in the right direction of anything I have ever seen. We can tweak it and work out the bugs but I see no reason to stick with what we have now over the few negatives this idea introduces. Business as usual just isn’t acceptable to an ever growing number of Americans.


  126. James, Bush created service industry jobs, aka McDonald, minimum wage, no benefits.


  127. Cousinearl216 put his top ten NASCAR finishes on you tube and used Match Box 20’s “How Far We’ve Come.” I don’t know what Rob Thomas’ political philosophy is, but the words describe our future if we don’t work together to solve our problems.

    “I believe the world is burning to the ground
    Oh well, I guess we’re gonna find out
    Lets see how far we’ve gone
    I believe its all coming to an end
    Oh well, we’re gonna pretend

    We can turn to the clock
    but I don’t really know
    and I don’t remember caring
    for more than an hour or so…
    I started running
    but there’s nowhere to run to

    Gone gone, baby its all gone
    Now its over for me
    and its over for you.”


  128. We have Firefox, No ones’ Puppet. It is faster. Thanks for mentioning it. I’m still not used to our faster internet service.

    Tammyharper, you made some good points, but it is still a regressive tax. For example, during the hard times, our farm paid for supplies, but we were allowed to deduct part of the cost. With a flat sales tax, all of that money would have been gone. We would not have been able to deduct our property taxes, land and house payments or interest on our loan. At one point, we were close to $500,000.00 in debt, so forgiveness of our loan payment was akin to extra income. We would not have survived under a fair tax. Now, that we are financially comfortable, we would survive. That is why I feel like a hypocrite to consider the tax.

    I still oppose it, but less strongly because a fair tax might demonstrate to us all how dependent we are on our recycled tax dollars. We all want tax reform and lowered deficits, but few of us will surrender our benefits, subsidies and tax breaks.

    Robert J. Samuelson put the benefits into two categories, each resistant to change. Social Security, the mortgage deduction, “who’s benefits are so large that any hint of cuts prompts massive opposition…” The second encompasses smaller programs such as Amtrack, ethanol subsidies and others which are less expensive but which “inspire a fanatical devotion from their supporters.”

    For all of its faults, a fair tax might engage people who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes. They might give more attention to what our government is doing. Illegal aliens would certainly pay their fair share of taxes. Corporations will not pay more taxes. We, their customers will pay.

    I haven’t paid much attention to the fair tax, so I may have misunderstood its implications.

    We have to change our big programs or we will not survive as the country we know.

    “Ryan’s plan would ultimately gut defense and some valuable domestic programs; it wouldn’t reach balance until about 2040.

    Compared to Democrats, however, Ryan is a model of intellectual rigor and political courage. Under this budgets thus far, Obama would run huge deficits from now to eternity. The Congressional Budget Office has projected $12.2 trillion of added debt from 2010 to 2011…Obama… has denied unappealing choices…” I believe the Congressional Budget Office calculated that our economy will be unstainable after 2037.

    If politicians can demagogue an honest attempt to alter and save our social programs for political advantage, we are already lost.

    A fair tax may be like experimental chemotherapy. Will it do more harm than good?


  129. Interesting about the Russians, No one’s Puppet. Didn’t a Russian buy what was listed as the world’s most expensive house somewhere in the world?

    A Wall Street Journal showed over three million new jobs were created during the Bush administration compared to twenty-three million during the Clinton administration. The number of Clinton era jobs was beginning to dwindle as the dot com bubble burst around 2000, but its effects were felt later.

    Obama said “if not for my stimulus, it would be much worse.” Bush could say the same about his tax cut.

    No one can quantify reasons the jobs were created. “The number of jobs created” is misleading and irrelevant. It is also impossible to conclusively demonstrate. However, the unemployment rate was less than five per cent at times during the Bush years until 2006. Employers were hiring anyone with a pulse. Now, employers face a surfeit of job seekers. Our nearly 9% unemployment rate is lower than it actually is because so many job seekers have given up or have taken part time employment.

    An honest comparison of the employment numbers shows that things were better during the Bush administration because of or in spite of him. What happened in 2006? Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took control of Congress and the new election cycle dominated.

    I could say they caused the changes in 2006, but that would be as unfair as saying no jobs were created during the Bush administration.


  130. Here is some more advice, for anyone, who wants to try it. Google Mozilla Firefox, put it on your computer and use it instead of Internet Explorer to get online. It is faster.


  131. No One’s Puppet, I saved the page from yesterday, to avoid a long load up time, so I don’t know what if anything follows.

    Everything you wrote about the drawbacks of a fair tax is true. It is why I wrote I felt hypocritical to consider supporting it. I don’t support it now. My opposition is just less strong. It is also a regressive tax because the poor spend a higher proportion of their incomes on necessities.


  132. It has been Lori, it is now part of the public record, the Republicans want to bleed grandma dry. It ain’t going to happen, the people have got the Tea Party and their Republican conspirators’ number now, Nationally, as well as in Wisconsin. We need diversity of opinion in this country, as well as in any democracy, the Republican Party needs to regroup and let “the moral majority” howl in the wilderness, where they won’t disturb anyone.

    Where are all those jobs, Bush’s tax reduction created? Oh that’s right, there were none! This so called fair tax won’t create jobs, as a matter of fact it will destroy jobs; tax preparers-gone, tourism-gone, and international trade-collapsed. So actually, it is a joke to even discuss a national sales tax. It isn’t going to happen, save the discussion for the kooks.

    Incidentally, last Saturday in London, I went on a tour, just a small group of us, we passed new buildings, our tour guide said, the flats were going for a average price of 5 and a 1/2 million pounds and that most of the purchasers were Russian. Thought you might want to know who has all the money.


  133. NOP… fair tax = one more step towards the alienation of the middle class. What is that saying about putting lipstick on a pig? LOL LOL

    Indeed it is a good week for democrats! They don’t come often and when they dooooo Imma gonna milk it for all it’s worth!

    The new face of America! Things to come. 😉

    Last but not least the GOP has put in motion their plan to gut medicare … Yippie!!!!Their strongest base..(old white people) will be tickled pink with this platform! NOT…. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the 2012 season…! Indeed it’s been a good week.


  134. James, I guess I have either the wrong understanding or a different understanding of the fair tax. You only get taxed when you spend money on something. This closes all the loopholes that people use to avoid taxes. It does not raise taxes, its a raise in pay. Since we are not getting a tax of any other kind, everyone instantly gets about a 20% increase in pay right away. If you work 40 hours at $10 an hour you take home $400.00, not the $300-$320 you take home now. That money is yours and stays yours until you go to the store and spend it.

    I understand the concern about black market and such, but do you really think that compares to what corporations and the rich are doing now to avoid paying their share? The only thing they can do under this system is not spend their money, because as soon as they do, they get taxed the same as everyone else, thus the term fair tax. If overnight the rich and corporations getting taxed 20+% of their money isn’t a significant improvement over what is going on today then by all means show me. This doesn’t bury the poor, this saves them. The increased revenue from the wealthy paying a “true fair share” would fund all kinds of social programs to help those that need it.


  135. I’m standing somewhere between PFessor and No one’s puppet. I don’t think the poor would be reduced to eating dog food, but I agree with NOP that as when we were struggling, the poor could suffer disproportionally.

    Raising taxes on earned income during a recession is a bad idea if we want small businesses to prosper and create new jobs.

    We should demand that upper end millionaires and billionaires pay more taxes on their assets such as stocks, bonds, capital gains, and other refuges for their estates. The Kennedy family, Kerry family, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates, for example could pay more taxes on their sheltered wealth than they do. That’s where the real money is.

    Even so, if we expropriated all of their wealth, we would still be in a world of hurt. The very and less rich don’t have enough money to make more than a down payment on our debt.


  136. Typically, James, you’d have to pay full taxes on your fuel; in addition to sales tax on your fertilizer, seed, pesticides, and equipment. Still looking good to you? There would be so much bartering and the potential of a black market would exist to avoid taxes, nope it just won’t work. And once again the burden would be on the poor and middle class.


  137. PFessor and NOP, the British are an odd people. I can say that because my Danish ancestors became British for seven hundred years or so, and I lived there for two years .

    Yes, we watch all of the comedies. “Are You Being Served?” is also a staple on Iowa Public Television, though it is almost 40 years old. I like Fawlty Towers too.

    When he was young, Marty Feldman had his own television show, I think. One of his most memorable skits was when he gently held a butterfly on the palm of his hand. He peered at it with his big eyes and asked “Little Butterfly, do you want to see God?” SPLAT!!!

    Mrs. Bucket is funny. She gets her poor husband in terrible scrapes. Onslo is my favorite character.

    Our son gave me a DVD of Benny Hill shows.

    The Canadian I like is Red Green.

    My wife and I also like British singers. My wife turns up the radio whenever they play an Adel song. I like Duffy and Cold Play too.

    Yes, I am familiar with the fair tax and its cousins. I opposed it when we were having hard times on the farm because we needed the deductions to survive. Now, like you, I am becoming more favorably disposed to it. I feel a little hypocritical.


  138. The so called “fair tax” sounds like a sure way to further impoverish the elderly and the poor. They have no discretionary income now, therefore they would be reduced to eating cat and dog food. What is wrong with expecting, even demanding, that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes?


  139. jsri opined:

    “OMG I’ve been taken to the woodshed by someone courageous enough to post as Anonymous. Sort of makes my argument.”

    No it doesn’t.

    We’re ALL anonymous. PFesser is no different from Anonymous or anon or suzi. When someone reads your posts, it doesn’t make any difference whether you call yourself jsri or jism – nobody has the slightest idea (or interest, really) in who that is. Using jsri as a handle is no more courageous than calling yourself “anonymous” or “SuziSpankMe.”

    (Which, now that I think about it, might be better anyway, because you are always getting your ass whipped.)


  140. “Interesting link delurkergurl found: “12 Tax-Dodging Corporations Spent $1 Billion To Influence Washington Over The Last Decade”

    Elsie – I think I read somewhere last week that 50% of the public pays 97% of the taxes. That doesn’t seem right, since we all get the benefits.

    I’ve been reading about the Fair Tax. Pretty interesting. It is a national sales tax of about 23%, but all other taxes are eliminated. So when you buy something you see exactly how much tax you are paying. The withholding (the way they do it now) allows the govt to get and use your money for a whole year and pay no interest, and also hides from you your real tax bill. In addition it is just one of many taxes. The Fair Tax would collect the same amount of total tax (it is revenue neutral) and eliminate the IRS and the 100,000 people who work there would be displaced to other jobs that actually do something useful. Ditto the hundreds of thousands of accountants who do people’s taxes and the tax lawyers who work to help people dodge taxes. I haven’t done my own taxes since 1979.

    The real kicker is that it would completely eliminate tax-dodging. If you buy something you pay a tax; if you are a saver, you don’t. It gets the churches (now paying basically nothing on their investment income); it taxes the illegal drug money (now out of the purview of the IRS.) What’s not to like?

    Every year the govt will send a cheque to everybody to pay all the tax up to poverty level, so poor folks will pay no taxes on anything up to the poverty limit, then pay after that.

    The more I read, the more I like it. Are you familiar?


  141. And guys, have you watched Keeping Up Appearances, Coupling, or Father Ted? I like them all.


  142. James –

    re: British comedy. Have you ever seen Fawlty Towers? For some reason, John Cleese has a direct line to my funny bone; I have had to leave the room to catch my breath sometimes.

    Ditto Marty Feldman. Benny Hill was pretty good, but always very juvenile.

    I think a taste for British humour takes a little cultivating; it was always a little puzzling to me until I got the hang of it. Now I can’t get enough.


  143. Steven Colbert skewers the GOP and Fox news:

    Even Colbert couldn’t get through it without laughing.


  144. My wife can’t stand dial up because she has faster service at school. I’m used to it, but having faster service at home is akin to our first VCR to me.

    Up to 16 inches of snow closed part of I 80 between North Platte and Wyoming. Some places are without power as the snow combined with 50 MPH wind gusts take down tree limbs and power lines.

    Now, it is snowing here with huge wet flakes and wind. Boy Scouts chose this weekend to camp in the Scout Ranch. I’m glad I didn’t put my skis away.


  145. Dial-up is pretty much a relic of a bygone era, I am far too impatient for it.


  146. I sometimes tell my wife the same thing, No one’s puppet, but I don’t yell.

    I thought Ace of Base, the Scandinavian band was defunct in the nineties, but thanks to you tube, I learned last night that they are still singing.


  147. “YOU WERE RIGHT, NOP!!!”


  148. Please write soon, Helen and Margaret!


  149. From Auntie Jean!


  150. James, okay, say it, I was right. Of course to both of your questions; I took the train, went to Paris and back to London, plus to Rennes from Paris and back, and most important the daffodils were blooming when I got to London and were still blooming when I left. Tell me again James, “you were right, NOP.”


  151. WOW! What a great post! I just noticed that it is quite dated. I hope you are planning more!


  152. No One’s Puppet,

    I agree about foreign languages. One of our teachers taught us a little Spanish when I was in fourth grade, but she was just free- lancing. Europeans secretly looked down on Americans and Canadians because so few of us were multi- language speakers. I’d pay higher property taxes for language courses too.

    My family came from Wales. While we were visiting the region, I noticed when a bloke entered a shop, the natives spoke in Galic because they didn’t like British.

    My wife and I love British comedy too. Have you ever seen “Are You Being Served?” It was so popular in Iowa that surviving cast members traveled here during fund raisers. I miss the British documentaries too. Entertainment television was quirky and funny. One show, Top of the Pops ran for many years, and it may still be playing.

    Big Bang Theory is also one of my favorite television shows.

    Did you have a chance to ride a British or French train?

    I’d have been scared to lose my debit, insurance and medicare cards too. Did you have to have duplicates made? My aunt fell down a flight of stairs and broke her hip. The British system paid for almost everything, though I don’t know of they are as generous with foreigners now.

    I forgot the Olympics. The British must be busy and excited.

    We know about their earlier cold winter. Are the dafodills in bloom yet?

    You don’t realize, you have helped create a monster. Earlier, I wrote that I don’t assume I will survive to the beginning of another season when one ends. As a result, I tackle what interests me with exhuberance.

    You suggested several times that since we can afford it we should buy a fast internet connection. We finally did, and that is why youtube has besotted me.

    Here is little gift for putting up with my questions. You probably won’t bother to look, but at least you know the thought is well-meaning.

    Google Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch Darlington Race 2003 you tube, or something like that. One of the commentators is a retired driver and another a retired crew chief. Their excitement is as entertaining as the last two laps of the race.

    Another is Top Ten NASCAR finishes (cousinearl216) with Match Book Twenty’s “How Far We’ve Come as the sound track.

    2004 Atlanta Jimmie Johnson’s emotional win.

    One week before, ten members of the Hendricks Motor Sports company, family and sponsors died in a plane crash.
    As you probably know, the NASCAR organization is highly religious, and members donate a lot of money to charity. The Hendricks Motor Sports company holds weekly Bible study. Hence, the references to God and angels.

    Bet you regret suggesting we get fast computer service so many times…


  153. ouch, jsri’s been spanked


  154. and what argument is that? you make no arguments jsri. just wah wah pfesser wah wah james wah wah interlopers wah wah everyobody left cuzza them wah wah i’m outa here. ad nauseum. i’m not trying to make light of senility but please stop with the whining already. we get it. you hate them. we don’t care.

    you’re anonymous too dufus. what difference does it make if i string 4 letters together that mean something to me or not? you are so predictable. and so hip with the omg. what’s next o to the m to the g?


  155. My limitation? You mean like not being able to have situational ethics like you and your ilk? Not being able to turn off my morality when it suits my needs? Yes I find myself often limited because I have this dammed notion everyone is equal and deserving of the same fair treatment.


  156. Anonymous on April 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    OMG I’ve been taken to the woodshed by someone courageous enough to post as Anonymous. Sort of makes my argument.


    Those are beliefs that get put into practice daily. Sorry you don’t recognize them but I understand your limitations.


  157. James, I took Spanish, but my Spanish is about as good as my tourist French phrases, all two or three of them I memorized for my trip. I wish, foreign languages were taught in primary school, while the children’s brains are developing language skills. And ultra liberal that I am, I’d be willing to pay higher taxes for it. I watched a lot of BBC news and Skye News while in France, turned over to CNN a couple of times, just to find out they were still congratulating themselves for the reporter who traveled 10 days to get a interview with the mother of the rape victim in Libya. Well hip hip hooray CNN, you aren’t part of the story! I watch a lot of British comedy and drama already, James, on PBS and BBC America, so I didn’t watch much entertainment television while I was there. However while I was recouping from a bunch of stairs, I caught a couple of episodes of an American show I’d never seen before, The Big Bang, CBS. I tend to never watch network television, I highly recommended this show it is really clever and funny.

    While I was in Paris, I lost my debit, credit, insurance, and Medicare cards. I had cash and my Passport so I wasn’t down and out, but I was concerned, what if I got ill or had and accident. Then it occurred to me, France and England have socialized medicine, what a relief!

    London is absolutely a buzz about the wedding and the happy couple. Articles in the newspaper everyday and they are busy cleaning and sprucing things up for the big event. Also getting ready for the 2012 Olympics. And of course repair of the damage a few hooligans did, while the rest of the crowd peacefully protested government cutbacks.


  158. Looking at jsri’s post about what a Liberal is I find myself asking an obvious question. Are those beliefs or just ideals? I ask only because I see none of that practiced on this blog.


  159. LOL LOL JSRI, you tickle me.

    Thanks for alerting me to the “name calling”. Since I don’t read those silly people’s contributions I missed the latest tirade.

    I can only guess which one? it was this time. Gosh, I sure hope I can sleep tonight knowing “they” called me a liberal. 😉

    But on to more important things…

    Just where are those jobs the GOP/tpers promised?


  160. jsri, enjoyed your last post. thanks for not posting the same whiny rant again about why everybody (who matters to you) left this place. you (and that delusional jean) also keep forgetting that you’re not going to continue posting here. you’re also not nearly as smart as you think you are. the smart fish don’t take the bait. fool.


  161. Elsie, the stereotypical description of liberals also describes true conservatives. Did you know Neocons are lapsed liberals? I think some of them suffer from immigrant syndrome.

    Many people who claim the liberal banner are something else.


  162. No one’s puppet, could you indulge me a bit longer if you are still reading? Did you get a chance to watch French and British television and radio shows? What did you think of them?

    My wife has taught French and I took French. Our problem was our accents were so thick they still had a problem understanding us.

    Did you like the food?

    Did you hear much conversation about the upcoming royal wedding?

    Katie Curic is a clueless wonder isn’t she tammyharper? She reached her level of incompetence as an anchor. She would be better as a talk show host.

    I agree with much of it Elsie. The “rich’ often escape taxes because their money is in financial and other assets which are sheltered, while the rest of us pay taxes on money we earn each year. The system is unfair.

    Thanks, too for the nuclear link, PFessor.

    jsri, that is a good effort. I knew you could do it.


  163. Oh hey, jsri, you hit on another favorite idea of mine. You know how much I appreciate the greatest hits of Jim Wright at stonekettle dot com. Here’s what he wrote on Liberalism and which bears repeating today:

    ….Liberalism is a mental illness, my ass.

    In fact, just the opposite is true: attempting to resolve conflict without resorting to violence, promoting tolerance within broad and reasonable limits, seeking equality for all, protecting the world we live in so that we can go on living in it, and taking care of the weak and the less fortunate are the hallmarks of the mature and the rational and the healthy and the sane mind.

    And in point of fact, these very things are the founding principles of nearly every mainstream religion, but most especially Christianity – Jesus was the ultimate Liberal. If you claim to be a Christian and you’re a NeoCon then you are a G-d—-ed hypocrite.

    These are the founding principles of every major conservative service organization, from the Masons, to the Elk’s Lodge, to the Boy Scouts of America.
    And these are the founding principles of the United States itself.

    Liberalism is what sanity looks like.

    No wonder Neocons don’t understand it.

    Oh, yeah.


  164. James

    Go back to sleep.


  165. Very good article, Lori. I agree with much of it. Robert J. Samuelson’s column “Excessive government lacks easy fix” makes the point even better with numbers.

    However, I agree with PFessor that the road to socialism is the road to Greece, Portugal, and other countries compelled to retrench because socialism ultimately fails.

    The writer also assumes too much about future social and political beliefs of our immigrants. They may, as he writes, overwhelm Republicans and conservatives, but as they rise through the economy, they may have as others have done, embrace private enterprise and personal freedom. The Hispanics I know have conservative social values, and most are pro-live. Mark Steyn, a conservative author of “America Alone,” believes that Hispanics will be our national salvation.

    The writer neglected to mention that conservatives are multiplying faster than liberals.

    I agree about jsri, PFessor. I also believe he thinks this blog belongs to his friends and him.



    Interesting link delurkergurl found: “12 Tax-Dodging Corporations Spent $1 Billion To Influence Washington Over The Last Decade”

    It’s a bet peeve of mine that not only American millionaires but also billionaire-class individuals and corporations screw the rest of us taxpayers by paying no taxes themselves. Then, to make matters even worse, they also get BACK millions (in total, billions) in tax refunds, tax breaks and sweetheart deals in ultra low tax rates.

    We are bleeding away through unfair taxation the life blood of the middle class while the obscenely rich are protected by tax laws favorable to them and their attorneys. And this article addresses some of the more egregious offenders.

    Interesting read.


  167. Lori:

    Do you realize that we have just suffered the ultimate of all put-downs? Yes, we have been called Liberals. Doesn’t that frost your onions? Since that puts us in the category of dirt bags, I thought I’d better look up the term so I can defend myself.

    I tried to boil down the definition list but any or all of the following terms kept coming up: – progressive, broad-minded, unprejudiced, compassionate, charitable, openhanded, munificent, altruistic, giving and generous. I’ve got to admit, that’s an awful lot of baggage to carry around.

    Then I thought about the sort of folks who like to throw around such terms as pejoratives. I call them the cons. I suspect that many of the cons work out of their garages, sort of like a teenage rock band, creating a lot of noise that annoys the neighbors but little music. These seem to be the same folks who want kids to starve, aging adults to die off and everyone else in between to work until they pass to the great beyond. They want to turn our schools into evangelican boot camps and jingoistic propaganda mills. But they want the rest of us to pay the bills for doing so.

    Libs on the other hand see the human condition for what it really is, – flawed. And they try to act in ways that ameliorate undesirable conditions. They volunteer their time, donate money, recognize injustice and work to correct it. And they do it without resorting to chest thumping displays like silverback apes.

    So, after all that, I decided that the term liberal should be worn as a badge of honor. Wear it proudly. It’s so nice to be recognized.


  168. In a recent interview, CBS News anchor Katie Couric blamed her lousy ratings on weak lead-ins from “local news stations”.

    That, and widespread ownership of remote controls.


  169. “christ. Get a life. It’s just a blog.”

    That’s great advice for ALL of us! The very best poster is our own progressive voice, Helen, and we hope she’ll be back shortly. She’s greatly missed.


  170. James –

    I think the reason jsri can’t get any traction is that he, in his own head, divides the posters at M&H into the “worthy” and the “unworthy.”

    christ. Get a life. It’s just a blog.


  171. For a more technical look at Fukushima nuclear accident from the gEEks at the IEEE:

    Pretty serious. This points the way to better safety backup systems.

    Re: “socialism” being a “damn good deal.” We already tried this experiment, remember? Ask those participants in the ultimate twin experiment, East and West Germany, which they prefer. That is, if you can get any of the phone lines in the East to work…


  172. Good morning friends!

    I love this guy..

    “The ideology and demographics of our country are gradually shifting in our favor. White people are getting old and not having kids. Legal Hispanics are having legal children. Kids are going to college. People are getting ever-so-slightly more cognizant about “socialism” being a pretty damn good deal and not the Russian bogeyman that FoxNews has made it out to be.

    But the process is slow, it is ponderous, it is there but not quite there yet; coming but not yet here. We must unify as a base and lead our party to not just victory, but decisive victory in 2012; lest we repeat the mistakes of 2010 and see our country fall to even more harm.”

    YES WE CAN!,-and-Imma-let-you-finish,-but



  173. Very poorly, Elsie. I say, oui; they say, ah American.


  174. Hey, NOP, how do you say, “No one’s puppet” in French?!


  175. Rachel Maddow had really excellent commentary on our president’s speech tonight. Unfortunately, I had other things that came up and took me away from her show while in progress, so I’ll just catch it online tomorrow. If you’d like to do so, as well, you can find her at


  176. And I should make it clear, I am taking the word of a French tour guide, that France exports canola oil.


  177. Predominately in London James, on the Saturday before I left, we went to Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle though. It is while on this excursion we saw some canola. Didn’t visit any farms though.


  178. Thanks No one’s puppet. My wife is French and German. I liked France too. The canola as a crop does interest me. I didn’t realize they exported the oil. Did you get to drive by any farms?

    Where in Britain were you? My wife and I lived in Great Bardfield northeast of London for two years. Whenever someone travels in the region it revives memories. I hope you had a good time.


  179. jsri, I was polite but firm in my beliefs. People like you, many now absent, called me “Troll, jackass, stupid, teabagger, trash, inhumane, dittohead, mindless, worthless…,” “You” compared me to manure, a child abuser, and other unpleasant things. “You” organized “scroll baby scroll” (my term) against me and tried to vote me off the site. “You” even questioned my gender and created false James.

    I gave as good as I got, and I loved reminding you of the times I was right. It’s documented on this blog. One would think that others’ records of success compared to your failures would make you do some soul searching.

    To be fair, your political commentary is relatively scant. And some of your comments about events on this site show you are barely self aware. Most of your effort tends toward personal attacks, so it is difficult to judge your opinions of specific issues.

    Best yet, I have gotten to you haven’t I? I am inside of your head. If I weren’t you would not revisit old battles like the Ancient Mariner. You wouldn’t care, but you do don’t you jsri?

    Yes, I am full of myself, and here I am. I have earned it.

    Stand and fight once and for all or let bygones be bygones. IF you treat me with respect, I will treat you the same.

    And as Tammyharper reminded us, the counter still stands at zero. Compared to tammyharper, I am a fuzzy little puppy.


  180. James, I liked France quite a lot, contrary to what we hear, they are apparently fond of us as well. While I fractured and butchered their language, they were most helpful and kind, volunteering whenever possible to speak English, for which I was most grateful. Of interest to you, the crop I saw the most, growing in France, was canola, they don’t use it as a cooking oil in France, but export it as well as use it for cattle feed. Saw a few canola fields in England as well.


  181. Craig, I’m glad the news is a little better. Public television followed several cancer patients for a long time, and their emotional ups and downs were apparent. Our friend’s grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer almost four years ago, and at 85, they think she may still make 90. Her mood swings go into bitchiness, and she still lives in her home with help from the grand child.

    I don’t assume I will live to see the next season when one ends. I’ve been that way since age 24. It makes life vivid and exciting.

    Jsri, Jean and I shared a few words. I reminded him this blog documents how often I have been right to counter his negative comments about me. I reminded Jean I have had to correct parts of several of her history lessons.

    I’m not flattering myself, but I’ll bet they had a few words about me in the kitchen a week ago. I don’t belong in the kitchen, so I don’t check.

    Take care of yourself, PFessor. You’re too young to die.

    NOP, how did you like France?

    I agree, Lori.


  182. Completely off the topic. The Republicans we have in office now are almost as bad as the Liberals.


  183. Go count your money Ms. Harper, see if you can make it to the end of the month.


  184. No one’s puppet it means you are a intellectual coward. You cherry pick whatever topic backs your liberal agenda and ignore that which blows holes in your belief system, ie burring your head in the sand. Sorry my dear but that is just how it is.


  185. Look Ms. Harper, if people refuse to discuss politics with Beck groupies, it is just a sign of high intellect. Nothing personal, but you people just aren’t going to win the lottery, so your decision to protect your fantasy income from a higher tax rate is ridiculous. But when things go bad for you in real life, we’ll be there for you.


  186. More good news for dems!


  187. case in point lori, your the biggest coward of them all, well next to Cynthia and Delurkergurl anyway.

    Let the record show the counter stood at zero a second time. More than enough proof that if your a liberal check your morals at the door as they are not only unnecessary but just get in the way of the greater need of winning at ANY cost.


  188. Fan that JSRI!

    On a more interesting note. It was good to hear someone in Washington speak about an actual plan to reduce our debt instead of just yammering about what NOT to do, as in, take away THEIR tax cut. WTG Mr. President!


  189. The more I think about PFsser’s comments the more I think he hit the nail on the head. When the band of thugs has a valid point to make there is no shutting you up about it. As soon as a non liberal makes a point, you are all the sudden to good to comment on it and retreat to your backup board to post. Cowards one and all, too proud/ignorant to concede even the smallest point. Step up or shut up.


  190. I find it comical (not to mention a tad bit hypocritical) after the EXTENSIVE history of this board to relentlessly attack in every conceivable way any non liberal on this board in droves that you should make that comment jsri.


  191. PFesser on April 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    You posted the following:

    “PFesser and James.. Guess all the “real” social commentary is going on over at the kitchen?”

    Couldn’t tell you. I don’t think I have looked in there for over a month, maybe two – though I wouldn’t refer to it as “real” commentary, by any stretch. It’s kind of hard to take the BBB seriously when they run and hide when someone gets the best of them. Not much depth of character in quitters, I don’t think. Sort of a, “if you can’t take the heat, get in the kitchen.” LOL … pussies….

    The above is a perfect example of why so many people have stopped commenting on H&M’s site and have gravitated to a friendlier place. About a year ago, you and your collection of graffiti posting thugs took over and in short order managed to drive most of the long-time posters away. I suspect that many of those who disappeared don’t feel they have to justify every innocuous comment they make to the satisfaction of carpetbaggers who have taken over the comment section for no other purpose than to denigrate and insult others. And the irony of being accused of playing kiss ass by those who spend most of their time playing kissy-ass is not lost on those who have “disappeared”. It is an extraordinary example of deflecting well deserved criticism by launching pre-emptive attacks but failing to see themselves reflected in their own comments. .

    As far as “social” commentary, if you think that means comments made on a protected site at the expense of others, you are whistling up a wind. There is less said about the interlopers on H&M than one might suspect. I believe most writers see them as trivia to be ignored.


  192. What are we doing to our young girls? For anyone with a young daughter or grand daughter this is a must read/see. IMHO


  193. Should anyone be surprised that a testy boorish type would whine that no one is willing to debate him? I’m gone a couple of weeks and not much, make that nothing, changed.

    The strongest sense I had of my own mortality was in The Catacombs of Paris a week ago. Death really is the great equalizer; rich, poor, loved, and the unlovable all await the same fate.


  194. Glad to see all …that nothing has changed.
    I appreciate the good humor and difference in opinions.
    “Mortal”.. yes we are.


  195. Craig-
    glad to see you stop by. Hoping Val’s down days are few and glad to hear there are some gains in pushing back the cancer. Take best of care- both of you.
    I come from a large family on both sides with marraige expanding the membership almost exponentially. We have our twits, our curmudgeons, our sweet but dotty souls, our in-your-face pills…
    If a type of personality exists, we have it. , good, bad, or whatever.
    I wear a bag over my head when one cousin is around so no one can see the family resemblance . He’s a twin to your BIL.
    Works for me 🙂
    and embarresses the daylights out of the cousin…

    Helen and Margaret-
    Certainly missing you. Hope all is well. Thank you for having us all in.


  196. Hey Craig ! I’m delighted to hear Val’s nodes appear to be shrinking! I am sure she does have “down” days. I think I would worry about her if she didn’t. I’m not a doc, don’t even play one on the internet, LOL but I can venture to say, mood swings would be typical with someone in her shoes.

    I thought of you last weekend. I went to Dallas and stayed in the medical district near Baylor. As I was watching the traffic wiz by I was recalling your ice storm horror story. What a nightmare that must have been!

    It’s good to hear from you. Keep your chin up… namaste


  197. “PFesser and James.. Guess all the “real” social commentary is going on over at the kitchen?”

    Couldn’t tell you. I don’t think I have looked in there for over a month, maybe two – though I wouldn’t refer to it as “real” commentary, by any stretch. It’s kind of hard to take the BBB seriously when they run and hide when someone gets the best of them. Not much depth of character in quitters, I don’t think. Sort of a, “if you can’t take the heat, get in the kitchen.” LOL … pussies….

    Sorry to hear about Val’s being down. I had a big blood clot in my leg from sitting at my desk all day and had to get on blood thinners for 6 months. These things can be life-threatening; I sat on the couch with my leg up for about a week holding my breath; when I got back, my associate asked me how I felt.


    It has been really hard to get my spirits back up, but compared to what she is facing, it’s trivial. Best to you both.


  198. JSRI,
    I’ve got one of those brother in laws as well. And a sis in law that makes him look tame. Guess we don’t marry the family but it sure does come with baggage sometimes.

    Val is a lil better physically as nodes are shrinking..mentally though she has her down days. Middle of second cycle currently.

    Hope “all” are well..

    PFesser and James.. Guess all the “real” social commentary is going on over at the kitchen?


  199. Shash, the variety is nice isn’t it?

    That sounds like a nice summer day.


  200. James, we certainly do get a wider variety of weather than most other places.

    A favorite summer tale has to do with a summer morning in western Illinois, where I was at a race meet. I counted nine separate anvil clouds that I could see from where I stood. Uh-oh, not a good way to start a day to be spent outdoors. Sure enough, we had to take shelter twice due to twisters in the neighborhood but the event ended in sunshine and a gorgeous sunset.


  201. I do, too. I’d love to hear her take on the recent budget crisis.


  202. I not only miss Helen but I think we need her to post. Trying to get to the messages here hoses up my browser because there are so many messages.

    But I would just rather hear Helen being Helen and knowing things are going well with her and Margaret. Helen, is all well?


  203. I do, too.


  204. Does anyone know if Helen is okay? I miss her.


  205. jsri, I’m sorry no one else has dealt with your puzzle. I would have done something about it before now, but the tornado took my attention.

    I’m pleased that I at least thought of Maurice Blondel. I discovered the opening sentence, “Its not enough to…” is in Marice Blondel’s “A Philosophical Life”

    I still think I can defend my bumper sticker message.

    I hope you get even with your brother-in law.

    I wasn’t being paranoid. I was using good sense based on the past.

    “He showed up all wet
    on the rainy front step
    wearing shrapnal in his skin
    and the war he saw
    lives inside him still
    Its so hard reach out to that wall
    The years pass by
    and now he has grand daughters.”

    Paula Cole


  206. I forgot to mention, I’m glad Elsie posted the interesting article.


  207. The Hill (Back from the Brink…) wrote that “the fledgling relationship between Boehner and Reid actually grew stronger over the last couple of months, according to sources close to them.”

    Reid told the New York Times “I don’t line Boehner’s legislation, but I like the way he is running the House.”

    That, to me is some of the best news of the weekend.


  208. Thanks PFessor. I appreciate any links you can find and send.

    As Slash wrote, those storm clouds often appear across the prairies. They are called shelf clouds, and form as cold air falls from thunderstorms. Like a cold front the outflow forces warm air up to feed the storm. Clouds condense as the moisture rises, and make a beautiful show.

    Sometimes, the most threatening appearing clouds are not associated with the most wind. Tornadoes are uncommon in such clouds, though the straight line winds can cause as much damage. However, I would worry about the intersection of two such clouds. Since the wind is blowing in two slightly different directions, rotation can spin up small tornadoes near the intersection.

    Some call them “gustnadoes” or land spouts. I’ve seen them.

    Sometimes, if a thunderstorm moves east, for example, and wind from the storm is moving south, the storm may leave that part of the cloud behind. The shelf cloud will continue moving south as the wind gradually backs to the east or northeast. That wind shift is very refreshing on a hot, sultry day.

    Sometimes the boundry will stall like a cold front and set the stage for new thunderstorms along it.

    I’ve been in a single engined plane on the edge of a thunderstorm. My never being the same is reflected in my refusal to ever again ride in a single engined plane.

    The Mapleton tornado has made the Drudge Report. Damage was so bad people including rescue workers had to walk in and out of the southwest part of town at first. One woman we know left her seven year son alone with a baby sitter, and he was terrified until they were reunited.

    12 or 13 people were injured. The town had fifteen minutes warning, and most of the people in the worst-hit section had basements. A woman lived because she took shelter under a basement pool table. The house collapsed into the basement but the table survived. Another family didn’t have time to get to their basement, and debris from their disintegrating house injured them. However, the wind dropped a pickup truck into their small basement.

    Other towns also suffered extensive damage, and hail was a significant factor. Roofs and cars were damaged. Someone at Norfolk, Nebraska photographed hail stones the size of apples. Most reported were jagged with sharp points.

    People in our county are still repairing damage from the March 22 or 23 outbreak. They were happy this one missed them.

    Lincoln, Ne where we spent most of the day had a record high of 90 degrees. There is a chance our area will have a little snow around Friday.

    I’m sure Slash would agree our part of the country has some of the nation’s most interesting and extreme weather.

    Its too early to judge, Elsie. That writer may be right, but Betsy’s Page “Why the budget deal was a victory” may be more accurate. Understanding the political dynamics at this stage is as difficult as guessing if it will snow on Friday. As Bob Dylan wrote, be slow to judge because “the wheel’s still in spin.”

    Our country is in peril. None of us ought to be searching for winners or losers. We need a plan.

    I just remembered when I was a boy, the Saturday Evening Post had an article about an Airman who bailed out of his fighter over a thunderstorm. The thunderstorm bounced him up and down for about two hours, I think. Hail stones bruised him, and his parachute nearly folded several times. I think it happened near your part of the country. I don’t know if it was true, but the story was interesting.



    I haven’t had my first cup of coffee yet, but I HAVE read that article and found it interesting this morning. I’d like to share it with Helen’s progressive readers today. The title of it is “Why Last Week’s Deal Reduces Republican Leverage in 2012 Budget Battle”.

    Headed for coffee….


  210. Shash –

    I’m surely no weather expert, but I certainly *wish* I knew more. It’s the one thing that scares me when I fly. A grizzled old pilot told me once that there is nothing like getting inside a thunderstorm to really make you understand how “big the sky and small the airplane.” He said that you “might” survive the encounter, but you would never be the same.

    Still, I love thunderstorms. My kids and I used to sit on the porch and watch them; it was how I got them to not be afraid when they were little. I sure miss those old days. Sigh…


  211. Hi Helen and Margaret, I hope all is well with the two of you.

    Happy Spring everyone. We just got our first major summer storm last night. ‘Bout time.

    PFesser, I’m not a professional weather person but everyone in MN thinks we know all about weather. 😉 I have seen clouds like that frequently over the prairie. They are scary but they can also be fun to watch.


  212. Here’s one if them:

    Ever see any clouds like these, James?


  213. James – I found a great article – I think it was in one of the aviation magazines I get – on supercells, with great drawings. I have looked at it three or four times and am just getting to where I can kind of get the hang. Do you want me to send you the link if I can find it again?

    There is also a good site on thunderstorms from the aviation perspective, extreme-something or I can send that to you too when I get home. (Alas, working again this weekend.) Sometimes saving lives is a pain in the ass. (That’s a joke…)


  214. jsri, I read every word on this site unless I decide to be “gone.” One can learn a lot. Graduate school and later farming taught me not to miss anything.

    I like that quiz. I wish we could have more.

    My wife and I attended a weather seminar in Lincoln, Nebraska yesterday. In the afternoon, several neighbors called me to ask what was going on since they heard a steady roar. Did they need to take shelter? I was clueless because we saw no clouds, and we were inside all day, but I knew a warm front was surging north, and I thought it would get nasty fast. We were lucky. The storms stayed three or four miles north.

    Sometime later today, the national news will report what happened in Mapleton, Iowa and many other towns last night. We know people there so that is my main interest today.


  215. No really, we’re here to help. My Arse.

    As far as the budget goes, I’ll believe any of them really care when they pass a bill that cuts all elected officials pay by 20%. If we have to tighten our belts so should they.


  216. A budget is the effect of income and outgo. While pols are trying to minimize the outgo – sometimes to the point of heaping all responsibility on the middle and lower classes – they are doing NOTHING about income, except diminishing it. Taxes are the only guaranteed income the government gets, but the individuals politicians must give tit for tat, i.e. tax breaks to those who financed campaigns. So the rich get rich and the poor get poorer.
    Then, on the side, the budget includes a hot button issue, like funding for Planned Parenthood/abortion/funding for NPR, that takes our attention away from the reality of income, or lack of it.
    I like PFesser’s idea. 🙂


  217. James:

    Sorry to induce a bout of paranoia, but it was not aimed at you. I must have missed your earlier comment about philosophy, but then I skip most of what you post anyhow. Takes too much time.

    FYI, this quiz thing ended up in one of my throw away email boxes. I have several and use them mostly when I order something online and don’t want my personal inbox filled with future advertising and annoying solicitations. When I tried to answer, my response was rejected, but after a little digging I found out it came from my brother-in-law who is one of the most irritating people on the face of the earth. Now I owe him one. Much of what he sends me has no context and is basically useless.

    BTW, I found the source of the quote in its entirety. Took about fifteen minutes to locate it.
    Now all I have to do is figure out what it means.


  218. When I read Jsri’s comments, I suspected a trap since I had cited Kant a few days ago. It reminded me of November 12 or so when false James appeared and Juneau Joe who had been absent suddenly became verbose with insults. Then, he disappeared again.

    I know practically nothing about philosophy. My only knowledge comes from a 1972 grad school night class and some casual reading. Will and Areal (Sp) wrote a good Clift Notes start of general philosophical theory. Maybe someone can find answers in their book.

    My relationship to philosophy is like the old joke. Define ignorance and apathy. Don’t know and don’t care.

    Since Jsri doesn’t know the answers either, how do we know who is right? Absent direct quotes we might have to vote.

    Here are my guesses from memory: Plato

    My bumper sticker is “Know your friends and enemies.”

    I forgot to cite examples of mass movements’ influence on government. A small group of us convinced Iowa’s DOT to build a new bridge. After three years of hard work, officials told us what we did was unique.

    The Tea Party helped cause our current budget impass through last summers’ demonstrations. They so frightened Democrats they refused to pass a spending law last year because they feared what the voters would do. The Tea Party helped change the political dynamic.

    I will never tell my representative I will not vote for his/her party again. They don’t need to know. Telling them removes what little bargaining power I have.

    I hope someone gives us the right answers to the quiz. Now, my wife and I are about to leave for a severe storm seminar in Lincoln, Nebraska.


  219. Very bothersome. Common 3rd party…we need you.


  220. Off topic – but so is everything else on this site these days.

    This philosophy quiz arrived in my inbox recently. Why me, I have no idea. I’m not a philosopher. But I sent it off to a conservative friend so he can show his superior grasp of political wisdom as cons are wont to do. unfortunately, I’m still waiting for a reply so better still, I will leave it to others who are better equipped to determine the sources and interpret the concept. Since we have people on this blog who are infinitely better schooled in philosophy than I am, a week should be plenty of time to ID the writers and boil this down to a bumper sticker.

    It is not enough to merely justify the social fact or political organization in general, according to ________. We must also take into account what is unique about each country in relation to other countries, even if that means that each country is inclined to behave as if it were the only true country or, as ________ might have put it, to behave as if it had the unique right to embody the spirit of humanity in a particular moment of history. The inculcation of civic duties within a people tends to make us love and exalt only one country, our own, without making us recognize and love what ________ thinks of as the legitimate and providential diversity of many countries and nations. It seems that we can understand how we can be devoted to our own country, but not how others may be just as devoted to another country quite different in spirit from ours. This is a form of collective egoism, focused on only one country among others, which is no less destructive of the social fabric than individual egoism within any particular country. In inculcating the obligation to devote oneself to one’s own country, which remains for _______ an essential part of everyone’s human good, even unto death, we must also inculcate a more enlightened spirit, a heart willing to recognize the standpoint of other peoples in the measure that these diverse peoples represent an original and legitimate aspect of human culture and of the social ideal to be realized.”


  221. To honor the title of Whirled Peas’ post, I’m playing in my head.

    “God makes no mistakes
    I’m on the right track
    Baby, I was born this way
    Right track, I was born this way.”

    I’m attending a weather seminar tomorrow. If the government shuts down, I will aske what the meteorologists think about it.


  222. That study is interesting, but in simple terms it portrays liberals as wimps and conservatives as shallow- thinking brawlers. Scientists ought to study the effects of what parents and close relative believe. They may be as or more important than brain structure.

    The attached story about the possible five thousand year old gay man or transexual was also interesting, though the title should have read “Neolithic” not cave man.


  223. I beat you to it PFessor. I had already called my Senators’ and Representative’s offices. I told them Planned Parenthood and our troops must not be held hostage to political posturing.

    Both sides are using ideology to fight over relative pocket change. I told them so politely, and reminded them they are ignoring the real problem of entitlement spending.

    Assuming you aren’t rich or don’t have connections, you can’t do much more than you are. Letters to the editor or attending political meetings will not change much unless they are as numerous as Tea Party callers during the health insurance debate. They will help you feel better, though. Only votes will create change. Poll numbers might make them think a little.

    Until the election, we need a Tea Party or old fashion civil rights type demonstration, union organizing, or sixties type riots to get their attention. I’ve been in riots and at Tea Party demonstrations. They are demonstrably effective over time.

    Otherwise, don’t waste your time being too angry. It isn’t worth it.


  224. Another Gem from our hostess

    “Has it occurred to anyone else that the Republican party has become the party of money, guns and sex? It seems to be the only things they think about. Who is having sex with who? How much are my taxes? Keep your hands off my guns. I really think they would explode if a gay couple used their tax refund to purchase an AKA assault rifle. They wouldn’t know whether to hate the sinner or compliment the sin. All the problems we have in the world and this is what we are wasting our time worrying about. Squeaky wheel folks… squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    Imagine what the Religious Right Wing of the Republican party could have done if they had used their supposed Christian morality to squeak about helping the poor. They could have swept the election if someone had said something like: As Christians we think Christ would want us to tend to the suffering of the poor so universal health care is important to us. And money is no object. We will gladly share some of our riches to help the least among us.

    My God but what a unified electorate that would have been.”

    Hope you and yours all well Helen, come back to us soon. We miss you.


  225. OK – I have called my rep’s Washington office; so have my wife and secretary.

    Lori – you are a politico – what should be done next?


  226. Were / we’re / whatever…

    Damn spell checker should know what I meant.



  227. File this under…

    They we’re born that way!

    PEACE ~ Δ


  228. I would urge everyone with an interest in womens’ health issues to write or call their Congressmen/women immediately. The ReBiblicans are attempting to shut down the entire Federal government rather than keep any funding in for Planned Parenthood – a blatant payback to the Religious Right and those of that ilk.

    C’mon sisters! Where the hell ARE you? This is YOUR issue! We are being dragged backward, fingernails digging the dirt, as fast as possible. Do you want to go back to the old days of back-alley abortions? You have a dog in this hunt, get in and get moving, and I mean now!

    Sample letter I just fired off to my representative here in VA, who was elected because of his predecessor’s support for Obamacare.

    Dear Representative Hurt:

    My wife and I are horrified at what is taking place in Washington this very minute. Sir, we voted for you because Representative Periello ignored the will of the Virginia public and voted to pass “Obamacare,” which a large majority of Virginians opposed.

    Now I read the news and I see the Republicans’ blatant attempt to hold the budget hostage in order to placate and “pay back” the Religious Right and others of that ilk concerning abortion. Frankly, sir, I am disgusted with my Congress. I should not have to remind you that we are on the brink of financial insolvency; our debt is so far out of control that the issue is seriously in question, and I find my Congressmen wrangling over social issues like abortion, which in my mind was settled by the Supreme Court a long time ago.

    Please get yourself focused, along with your colleagues, and deal with the Peoples’ Business. If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.

    In the meantime, do not shut down our government in a blatant attempt to shove the Republican social agenda down the public’s throat. You saw where that got Representative Periello. I will speak to you frankly, sir, and take it as a threat or not: if you and your Republican colleagues do not get on task and divorce yourself from the Religious Right, I – a former Republican, and now Independent – will not only never vote for another Republican in my life, I will begin to actively campaign against them.

    &c &c


  229. …Margaret and Helen—Yoo-Hoo and wherefore art you ??? In Desparate need of news and. and some NEW views as well. Remains a tad worrisome without some new inputs….


  230. I like it. Maybe the residents of the Fringe’s alternate dimesion will enact the amendment. Certainly not here.

    Declaring the military non- essential this time, if true is a disgrace.

    Now, I am leaving for a class on preserving historic sites from flood damage. Its not a Lady GaGa concert, but it will do.


  231. James –

    How about this: a constitutional amendment that says,

    A balanced budget shall be maintained at all times except in times of DECLARED war by the Congress. During any time of unbalanced budget, the President and all members of both houses of congress shall receive no pay nor any contributions to any pension plans nor any health care plans. Any and all monies of any kind shall go into the general treasury to defray the cost of an unbalanced budget until such time as is shall be balanced.


  232. We were in a surplus during the Clinton years because Bill is one of the smartest politicians we have. He was not especially ideological, and he adopted the Republican philosophy after they took the Congress. Other factors included our reducing military spending after the Soviet Union fell and the Bush tax increase.

    Rumors say Bill and Newt were ready to discuss reforming Social Security before Monica intruded.

    I am a volunteer weather observer and storm spotter. Meteorologists were not paid during the last shut down, and they were angry.

    Its too bad our government leaders will still be paid. They led us into this mess.


  233. “Government shutdown: What’s closed, what’s open?”


  234. CNN article yesterday on the debt.

    This reminds me of how people, just before they go under from credit card debt, start paying credit cards off with other credit cards. It is popularly known as “putting your debts on turbo.”

    THE US DEBT IS ON TURBO. I absolutely do not see how we can come through this intact. I envision the kinds of riots that were seen between the world wars in other parts of the world. It is really, really scary. And, like him or not or give him the credit or not, I remember how that, at the end of Clinton’s term, we were in a surplus condition.


  235. I’m shocked. I we all knew the Wisconsin Supreme Court race would go to a re count, but this is amazing. One source put Prosser about 2,000 votes in the lead, another forty. Then, I read an uncomfirmed report that enough missing votes were found on an official’s private computer that the margin for Prosser is 7,000 votes.

    Does anyone know what is actually happening?


  236. I am a Lady GaGa fan, especially since she has a Nebraska connection.

    Here is a quote to add to Glenn Beck’s:

    “There’s nothing wrong with who you are
    she said, because He made you perfectly.
    So hold you head up darlin, you’ll go far
    Don’t give in to regret
    just love yourself instead
    I was born this way
    There ain’t no mistakes
    I’m on the right track
    I was born this way
    because God makes no mistakes
    I’m on the right track
    I was born this way.”


  237. I like NPR, and we donate money to them, but I think we cannot afford supporting them with our tax dollars. One of their executives said they can survive without the money.

    I would also stop paying for creationists’ colleges and bridges to nowhere. As Ill Sen Everette Dirkson said something like, ” a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.” I think they would survive with donated money.

    I’d cut farm payments and delay Social Security.


  238. Tammyharper is right about Glenn Beck. Soros and other backed groups have attempted broadcasters boycotts for some time and with a bit of success. Beck’s ratings have fallen but they are still good, but so have other talk show hosts’.

    His attention deficit disorder may be kicking in, or he and Fox may have decided to do something less visible. I think the loss of some sponsors and their money had more to do with the split than just ratings.


  239. anxiously awaiting another insightful post by our great leader. We need your brilliant mind and sassy tongue. Hope all is going well for my favorite writer


  240. Those Iowa eagles are taking so much band with my wife said the school computers are slower than normal at times. I once watched a bald eagle snatch another bird’s kill on the wing.

    I attended a fundamentalist college. They didn’t allow drinking, smoking or dancing. We all had to take religion courses, and parrot the 6000+ age of the earth. Dinosaurs didn’t ride with Jesus. They never existed. The Devil planted their bones to test the believers. Niagra Falls was the same as during the creation, and uneven heating of the earth did not cause wind. God did.

    A friend who later got a good research at Oak Ridge couldn’t tell his parents what he was learning in some of his classes. Sometimes, I gave biology and weather anti- classes, and when given the chance, we drank like fish to rebel.


  241. Pfessor, I mentioned that the CBO believes our economy is unsustainable after 2037. Our entitlement mentality will crash down. Hard assets are good insurance.

    The only prediction I made to Honolulu Sally which did not happen is inflation, and it is on its way. Yesterday, the price of corn was over $7.00 a bushel, the highest in history. If we have a drought this year that price will be the norm. We also have rising oil prices and growing world demand and competition for commodities. We can’t pay our national bills.

    That is why I support anyone, Tea Party member, the Black Caucus, or socialist, who will seriously try to cut spending. Previous Republicans and Democrats have failed us.


  242. Yes, PFesser, your comment about the biology grad student just kinda makes my point: funding private online schools with nearly A HALF BILLION FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS so they can promote creationism should be halted immediately.

    The earth is flat, Jesus rode the dinosaurs, whatever….

    We have no business supporting the business of creationism.


  243. PFesser, not a ratings issue at all. He has over 2 million viewers at his 5pm time slot


  244. Elsie – you might find this interesting.

    I live not that far from the Great Bigot’s “University.” If you ever talk to any of their graduates, you will see why I put University in quotes. Several years ago I met one of their graduates at a YMCA in WV and talked to her about her major. Biology, she said. So, do you guys learn about evolution there? Why, NO, of course not! And then she started in about the half-man, half-ape stuff.

    So where are you now? I am at WVU, in graduate school in Biology. How are you doing? I am failing.

    Really? You don’t even understand the foundation of biology; you are in a biology graduate program and you are failing? Imagine that…

    Secondly, I have a bigoted older brother whom I can tolerate in small doses, but after a while gets to crawling up my nose. Several years ago, after giving me some lecture or other on how the “sexual revolution had failed” he decided to wax eloquent on the Right Reverend Jerry Farwell, as I call him. “You know, Jim, I was listening to Jerry Falwell the other night and he made a lot of sense.”

    This is not a subject to get me started on. His wife was standing behind him, and I could see her put her head in her hands. Oh god, it’s on…

    “Gene,” I said, “if I had Hitler, Mussolini and Jerry Falwell all tied to chairs in the same room and I had only two bullets, I’d shoot Falwell twice.”

    “Goddammit! Can’t talk to you about nothin’! Before he could collect his thoughts further, I brushed past him to get to the door. I could see his wife laughing in her hand. She winked as I walked by…


  245. Okay, one more crazy thing from Beck:
    ”There are a lot of universities that are as dangerous with the indoctrination of the children as terrorists are in Iran or North Korea. We have been setting up reeducation camps. We call them universities.” — Sept. 1, 2010

    I found that interesting, as I’d just read:

    “Liberty University, the evangelical private Christian school founded by dead apartheid-supporting bigot Jerry Falwell, received $445 million in federal financial aid last year. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, by the way, received $420 million from the federal government.

    “That massive sum was thanks to the growth of Liberty’s online program, which enrolled 52,000 students last year. The school is the No. 1 recipient of Pell grant money in the state of Virginia….”

    Next, I noticed another website that has a great comment about all that federal money going to students of creationism at www dot care2 dot com /causes/education/blog/defund-private-online-evangelical-universities/

    “This year in Congress has been all about defunding organizations that people don’t agree with. First, the GOP has pushed for bans on funds for abortions, since allegedly people disagree with their tax dollars paying for them (they don’t actually pay for abortions, but that’s another matter). Next they argued that Planned Parenthood, NPR, PBS, the EPA and countless other organizations should lose funding because not every taxpayer agrees with their mission and after all, we are facing a deficit.

    “So now I’d like to put up a group for defunding — private, religious colleges with no academic standards. Because I don’t believe in creationism.” His idea: “Don’t Believe in Creationism? Let’s Defund Private Online Evangelical Universities!”

    I gotta go with this dude:
    Funding private Christian schools that require the teaching of creationism with $445mil in OUR federal tax money is absolutely wrong. No more tax support for creationism.


  246. Hi ya, Whirled Peas! Where ya been hiding? It’s always good to see what you brung to the table here.

    In that list of crazy things, the first one that grabbed my attention is:

    “You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one – I can’t speak for you, but I’m on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show.”
    — Nov. 6, 2006

    I’m thinking, “damn straight!”


  247. Link speaks for itself:

    PEACE ~ Δ


  248. Elsie –

    Yeah, it is so cool what is available nowadays that wasn’t back then. Sounds like you had a ball!


  249. tammyharper –

    I think he lost his show because of poor ratings, not content. That’s the capitalist way: if it doesn’t sell, then it has to go.


  250. PFesser, I’m sure that trampling out into the boonies with the guys and a good set of binoculars to count hawks would be fun, but just going online whenever it is convenient to watch the eagle family in its nest is pretty cool, too.


  251. Helen, when you get back, I’d love to hear your take on Beck losing his show. It might be one of your best commentaries!



    While I am sure the Liberals will predictably cheer and call this a victory, it is a shame when any voice is silenced in a nation of free speech. His ratings were better than almost any host on CNN, but like many on this board there were a few who had no room in their world for anyone not like then. I was as often to disagree as to agree with Glen Beck but what I valued most was his unique outlook and perspective on a variety of subjects. Having that silenced is a loss for everyone, even for those too ignorant to see it. We have moved one step closer to losing free speech.


  253. Elsie –

    When I was in college, several professors in the Dept of Forestry, and a prominent chemistry professor (George Hall I think was his name) organized a sojourn to count and classify migrating hawks. They had regular flyways and we would all sit there with binoculars and count/classify them. It was great fun. Wow, the good old days…


  254. When you just can’t stand another minute of politics or wrangling, you might enjoy the website of the Raptor Resource Project.

    I’ve only recently found it, and I totally enjoy watching the Decorah, Iowa eagles on their nest. At times, up to maybe 160,000 viewers watch the 24-hour live video streaming of the mom and dad eagles who’ve sat on their three eggs for several weeks now. The first two eggs hatched over the weekend, and the third one opened just yesterday. The forum questions and answers help explain things as they occur, and a number of YouTube vignettes re-cap what transpired while you are away from the computer.

    I’ve learned a LOT about eagles that I had no ideas about until recently. It’s really entertaining if you are interested in nature and eagles. You can find the live streaming and links to the forum at


  255. Hi all –
    I generally don’t subscribe to this kind of thinking, but I believe this guy may be spot-on. Anybody knows you can’t just keep spending. At some time you must balance income and outgo. I think China’s disgust with us is completely valid; we no longer deserve to be the planet’s reserve currency, and when that happens, it’s Katie-bar-the-door, IMHO.

    I hate to be a doomsday soothsayer, but right now I am looking at a bit of VA farmland and a set of plows for my tractor. It is that serious I believe.


  256. Elsie,
    Exactly!!!! A good article and one we are putting in practice here on H&M. Crazy can’t stand to be ignored!!!!!!!


  257. You are entitled to your opinions as I am mine. I respectfully disagree.

    Wisconsin will have a recount. The Daily Caller quoted Wall Street journalist John Fund author of “Stealing Elections:How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy” said Wisconsin is a good candidate for voter fraud in this election. Milwaukee Detective Mike Sandvick found more voters than people in the past election.

    It will take months to learn whether or not voter fraud occured. Allegations of voter fraud in Wisconsin have never changed the outcome of an election, according the the Daily Caller.

    Prosser will be in office for four more months, though it is unlikely the union case will reach the court by that time.

    I love broad band internet.


  258. @elsie, interesting and sooo true!

    Helen is always spot on thank you for reminding me of some of her classics.

    @ Judith, LOL LOL you tickle me!

    Good news indeed. We have a had couple of good weeks. Yes we can.


  259. Tick Tock…

    The Washington Post Politics reported that Harvard Prof. Gary King’s research of Congress reveals modern members spend about 27% of their time exchanging taunts.
    That partly explains why we are on the verge of a government shutdown.


  260. Elsie, I’ll accept your word that context of the whole article would have given me a different impression.

    I appreciate you weren’t insulting or addressing me. You caught me at a bad time. Setting up broad band connection caused me some problems today. That is no excuse for being nasty to you. I’m sorry.

    PFessor, I think that paragraph is wrong. It was true that the last time Republicans held Congress, but I think the new crop is less doctrinaire about social issues. Have you noticed their voices on the subject, while audible are muted this year.

    Tea Partyers and libertarians are different, but they overlap. Libertarians also belong to the Tea Party movement.

    The CBO says it “can’t conceive of any way the economy can continue past 2037.” That trumps everything.

    I don’t care if a Congressman is pro- life, pro- choice, or a communist. If he/she is willing and able to bring our spending under control, we need her/him in Congress. The majority will control their other issues.


  261. judith I find it laughable that when it comes to your own party’s indiscretions your suddenly stricken with silence. When it suits you and this boards thugs you have endless rantings to say when it is an attack on the conservatives. A dem steps out of line, suddenly your all too good to post.

    such as Helen, our blog mistress

    I wonder if who Helen is news to anyone else other than Elsie.

    So here again 2nd chance Libs. James Wrote.

    Katherine R. Windels of Cross Plains, Wisconsin was charged with sending email death threats to Republican officer holders.

    And in Response I asked how many Libs feel this person should be removed from office? Ticker reset, lets see what we get for a count.


  262. Elsie, that was an interesting article. Thanks.


  263. elsie –
    “Coast to coast, conservatives get elected by promising smaller government and less business regulation but as soon as they get elected, they rush to put big government regulations on the personal freedom and privacy of your body.”

    Well spoken. My POV exactly. They are so dishonest I don’t believe they even see it. I think they really do believe their own line of b.s., which is exactly what makes them dangerous.

    OTOH I have really cleaved to the Libertarians over the years. Their positions are so far out of the current mainstream that the Left and Right both dismiss them as nuts. But I believe that if you study the Constitution just a little, the times (and the men who wrote it), you will see that the Libertarians reflect their intent very well. (Libertarians are very, very different from TPers IMHO.)

    A friend used to quote: “The Dems think they are your nanny and the Repugs think they are your Daddy. I don’t need a Daddy OR a nanny.”


  264. James, the way it works is that you would need to read the entire link provided, which establishes the background and sets the stage for making the excerpt better understood. It is actually a discussion addressed to Progressives, such as Helen, our blog mistress. More directly, I was talking to Mikat and Judith for whom I believe the information I linked to would be of interest.

    Please note, as well, that I’m not insulting you nor was I even addressing you.


  265. What victory, Judith? Granted the surge strategy won an uneasy peace in Iraq, but most liberals refused to acknowledge it until Obama became president. By no stretch of the imagination is Afghanistan won, though we are making progress. The press and others would have been asking President Bush embarrasing questions by now.

    Speaking of embarassing, Elsie’s quotation is so over the top it is parody. How does it work, Elsie? Is someone assigned to do your thinking for you? Does a messenger deliver the goods every week?

    “Some fringe head case…” Your self-knowledge is a first step toward your recovery.


  266. Judith and Mikat, did you see this? It was at

    A brief excerpt follows:

    “Making a logically specious argument to a liberal – especially when it’s dressed up in the shallow accoutrements of intellectual theorizing – is like waving a red cape in front of a bull, and we just cannot help ourselves: We must correct it, dissect its fallacies, and illustrate in detail how it fails to validly reflect reality….it has become “debatable” rather than the plainly false kookery of some fringe headcase.

    “… when you say the word “crazy” and point at a Republican who promulgates sheer nonsense, people will generally recognize that it’s true, and it completely delegitimizes everything they say. Crazy. Not sane. Not connected to reality. People begin to see the things they’re saying in the light of that portrayal, and more likely than not it will fit like a glove with some of the positions they’ve taken.”

    It’s always better to recognize the crazy for what it is — “the plainly false kookery of some fringe headcase”. Us Libruls need to get on with talking to the sane people around us, and dealing in sanity, rather than arguing with the crazies.

    Most likely, our hostess, Helen, being the progressive that she is, would also encourage us to make better use of our time and energy.

    Moving on….


  267. Well, if victory is being ignored, enjoy the win.


  268. Hi uawtradesman. I hope you are doing well. I miss your comments.

    You have made your point well, tammyharper.

    They also have a problem with war. Have you noticed headlines and news stories decrying a huge number of casualties in our wars? Where are the anti- war protesters?


  269. Well the counter stands at zero. We have had more than a thousand hits since I posted and not one democrat took issue with it. I think this is more than enough proof to back up my assertions that democrats will compromise almost any value in order to achieve victory.


  270. ROTFLMAO about the UFO…..
    so whats the count now….


  271. I’m fine Craig. I hope you and Valery are too. It took us a long time setting up last night and we had to do some updating, but we now have broad band internet. For the first time, I can watch you tube etc on our computer.

    On late Saturday, our daughter- in law was two hours from home in California when her SUV caught fire while she was driving. It burned to the ground while she was driving. Our son sent us pictures. It looked like a NASCAR wreck. Thank goodness, she is alive and well.


  272. This Is Alot Of great Info Thanks Alots Great Web Blog


  273. As our hostess, the truely amazing Helen says…..

    “Abortion has no business being a political game… a sound bite to make the evening news. It is a medical decision between a woman and her doctor. If you have a moral dilemma or a religious issue, then don’t have an abortion. It really is that simple. Trust me. I know.

    Abortion is not a dirty word and I am sick and tired of watching holier than thou white men in Congress pretending that they have any concept of what a woman goes through when making such an important decision. For some women it is a time of great sadness – a pregnancy gone wrong, a wanted child not to be. For some women it is a time of great relief – a decision to delay parenthood. It is a deeply, personal decision made for deeply, personal reasons. And, yes, for some women it is a decision they choose not to make – again for deeply personal reasons.”

    You ROCK Helen!


  274. Well, heck, that ‘incorporate my uterus’ website must have crashed. So, for more information on this interesting development, you can go to
    “In an interesting chain of events last week, “uterus” became a four-letter word on the Florida House floor. A group of pro-uterus insurrectionists have now leaped to the defense of the now-defenseless “uterus” via the Internet….”

    There’s also a Facebook page set up by Rep. Randolph’s wife, Susannah, now at


  275. As I read more about State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, from the Immoral Minority’s website, I found that Rep. Randolph’s offhand comment inspired the local ACLU to launch an “Incorporate my Uterus” website:

    Coast to coast, conservatives get elected by promising smaller government and less business regulation but as soon as they get elected, they rush to put big government regulations on the personal freedom and privacy of your body.

    It’s a clear double standard. To them, there are too many regulations on pharmacies and fruit stands but not nearly enough government rules about your uterus.

    Since they seem to agree that government has no business in business, it’s time to make your uterus into a business.

    Maybe then your uterus can get the same treatment corporations get – fewer rules, fewer government searches and more personal freedoms.

    Even though it won’t be a legal corporation, it’s no joke. Incorporate your uterus now to send them a clear message to keep their big government restrictions off your body and give you the same respect they give to every business.



  276. The Miami Herald has reported that last week —

    “…state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, used his time during floor debate to argue that Republicans are against regulations — except when it comes to the little guys, or serves their specific interests.

    At one point Randolph suggested that his wife “incorporate her uterus” to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. Republicans, after all, wouldn’t want to further regulate a Florida business.

    Apparently the GOP leadership of the House didn’t like the one-liner.

    They told Democrats that Randolph is not to discuss body parts on the House floor.

    “The point was that Republicans are always talking about deregulation and big government,” Randolph said Thursday. “And I always say their philosophy is small government for the big guy and big government for the little guy. And so, if my wife’s uterus was incorporated or my friend’s bedroom was incorporated, maybe they (Republicans) would be talking about deregulating.

    “It’s not like I used slang,” said Randolph, who actually got the line from his wife. He said Republicans voiced concern about young pages hearing the word uterus.

    “I think it’s a sad commentary about what we think about sex education in the state,” he said.



  277. Have M&H given up the Ghost?..or should I say HOST…?
    Seems like its been a while.
    Hope all the regulars here and in Kitchen are OK…

    “the reason neither side can reliably count on our votes is that the further out left or right they get, the more they alienate those of us who left their parties for that very reason.” Amen brother.


  278. This is only peripherally related to abortion, unless one argues unwanted babies are better off not born.

    Pink’s new song/video, “Perfect” which can likely be found on youtube, is a disturbing story of a child’s nightmare of not fitting in.


  279. The average American voter is center right, but extremists have absorbed both parties. While the Republican party has modified its social agenda and given recent lip service to national economic restraint, Democrats have ventured so far afield, voters are beginning to notice. Hence, Republicans appear less onerous by comparison.

    A Rasmusen telephone poll of likely voters showed more believe congressional Democrats than Republicans are extremist. Though the press keeps quiet, news that the left commits more abusive and violent acts than the right leaks into public knowledge. This also contributes to a relatively negative perception of Democrats.

    It is not “too complicated for” either side. Too many are ideological true believers and their way is the only way.


  280. Who says Repug’s aren’t making jobs……,-inexperienced,-2-time-drunk-driver,-son-of-lobbyist-for-$80k-job


  281. Residents of Chicago reported spotting a UFO.

    When last seen, it was being chased by local community organizers, hoping to get the aliens registered as Democrats


  282. I ran across this on Jewish World Review this morning. I like to go there to get the conservative POV, but sometimes it is downright scary.

    It seems to me that the Left is convinced that the reason it can’t get the Independent vote is because it is not Left enough; the Right thinks that, if it would just be “true to its principles” and move further Right, everything would be OK.

    No, IMHO the reason neither side can reliably count on our votes is that the further out left or right they get, the more they alienate those of us who left their parties for that very reason. Just too complicated for them I guess.


  283. My wife, once again, brings me back to my senses. She sent me this link today:

    I had watched Huckabee’s show at my brother’s home a couple of times and he seemed so, well, NORMAL that I was beginning to forget that he, first and foremost, owed his allegiance to an imaginary, invisible wizard – Constitution be damned.

    Yeah, make all Americans watch someone’s sermon at gunpoint. Sorry, Preacher – you’re out of here!


  284. Seconded, with feeling!


  285. I was re-reading some of Helen’s comments, and I thought I’d share this excerpt from her post, “Oh Happy Day”, on November 3, 2010.


    Margaret, happy days are here again. The skies above are blue again. It really is just too good to be true. The Republican gains delivered by the Tea Party are almost more than I could hope for. I only wish that lovely Witch in Delaware could have come along for the party as well.

    Now let’s see. Where do I begin? Our taxes will soon be about zero percent so let’s start spending today to get this economy back on track. The government will shrink to a size somewhat equal to the size of our military which means Social Security has to go. Those of us who were smart enough to save for a rainy day will be high and dry… for at least a few months. And I got a good check-up from my doctor recently so I don’t need my Medicare… for at least a few months.

    Now about that black man in the Oval Office. It will take a few days to get impeachment hearings underway, but until then I hear they are moving him out of the White House and into that little room at the top of the Washington Monument so he can’t cause any more trouble. Oh and Ms. Pelosi is out too. How dare she take on the Health Insurance Industry. Didn’t she realize people own stock in those companies?

    Gays are no more. They all left, presumably to join the French Army. And teen pregnancies are a thing of the past. Teens will no longer have sex. Except the Palins. The Palins will abandon teen pregnancies as easily as a camel will pass through the eye of an early pregnancy test stick. No. The Palins will continue to give birth to abstinence only babies. That we know for sure.

    Abortion? Well everyone knows that was just a luxury American women really couldn’t afford anyway. And government will now be small enough to actually fit inside a woman’s uterus…..


    Yes, Helen, your commentary on the American political scene is what we come here for. I’m sure I speak for the bulk of the readers here in telling you how very much we look forward to your next post.


  286. Thanks for the kind words, PFessor. I had vague thoughts of ever smaller slices too, but you made it clear.

    Another possibility is something like Kant’s merging rationalism and empiricism. No discussion of reality or knowledge can occur without knowing the role of the human mind in constructing reality and knowledge. Understanding constructs a single whole of experience.

    Thus, eohipus, and mesohipus while different in size and appearance are still a horse. We are mature adults, but our essence from birth to death is unchanged. The passage of time merely lets us express different parts of ourselves. Therefore, the first undivided cell contains a soul which has not yet expressed itself.

    Even assuming there is no soul, one can say the blue print for later self -awareness is with the first cell. Maybe as with a computer, the components of self awareness slowly assemble until the light comes on as quickly as when we push the computer on switch. If in later life layers of self awareness peel away, the person remains the same whole entity like a re -varnished table.

    On the other hand maybe Heaven has a big turnstile with souls lined up behind it. As soon as another body becomes available, an angel yells “NEXT!”

    I’d better stop before you think the effects of my head injury are worse than they were.


  287. Poolman: “This cannibalism meme can really eat on you after awhile.”
    Hell, even if nobody else acknowledges it, nice lick. ..grin..

    On another front, re: M&H being a “left-leaning blog.” Undoubtedly true, but M&H’s strongest suit, IMHO, is that they are are real liberals, which is to say they are very tolerant of ALL points of view, unlike a few of their posters. (Don’t worry, that will come with maturity.) That is probably my biggest criticism of many on the Left; they claim to be the party of tolerance, but display very little of it. In my neck of the woods, we call those people bigots, and as a liberal myself in many ways, I don’t want them EVER claiming to speak for me.

    If one’s argument is valid, it has little to fear from legitimate criticism; if it is not, one has the enviable opportunity to learn something. You can’t lose! If someone desires to maintain some semblance of credibility, it is important to acknowledge points well-made and criticisms well-founded. I don’t see much of that here, except for a very few posters like James, who freely acknowledges others’ good points.

    James: “At what point does a fetus/baby have a soul? Is it there with the first cell, at birth, or somewhere between? What do Muslims and other religions believe and why?”
    I see that as a very deep, very significant question, but it seems to lead to a paradox, like Zeno’s Paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, when you slice the time segments thinner and thinner. (For us math geeks, this paradox is the thought experiment that eventually led to calculus) By that I mean, at which second does the fetus go from soulless to soulful? What about a half-second before that? A hundredth before that?
    One answer might be that there is no soul. The brain is all just a big, marvelous analog computer. I came to this conclusion in medical school, watching patients slowly stroke out section after section of brain and become less and less themselves, until they eventually weren’t even conscious. Remember HAL, in 2001, a Space Odyssey? Remember how he changed as they turned off each section in turn? Like that…what do you think?

    Tammyharper: You are quite a feisty ball of fire, aren’t you? It’s a real treat to see another who cannot be intimidated. If you want to communicate, pfesser53 at gmail dot com.


  288. I’m sorry about your health problems, PFessor. Pulmonary emboli got my attention. My cousin in law called his wife a day after my father’s funeral to tell her he was checking out of the hospital. An embolism got him about fifteen minutes later.

    Yesterday while waiting for my wife to get new glasses, I rapidly walked through the mall for over an hour. Later, we ate a huge meal with our daughter and son-in law. I hope I broke even.

    I needed your joke about your wife’s good memory and also the lightning rods. We have family emergency in California.

    Last week, I went to a traveling medical examination show in Nebraska because for two years, snow storms had canceled it near home. The nurse/receptionist asked standard questions as we checked in. She left and another appeared. She asked a man. “Do you have a pace maker?” “No.” “Do you want one?” “Huh??” I liked it.


  289. James noted:

    “Ironically, I forgot to tell Jsri when he accused me of grievance mongering that before my head injury, I had edetic memory. I still remember things without trying, and I don’t need to use my MP3 player.”

    My ex was like that, but her memory was even better than yours. She could even remember things that never happened.

    I actually did exact a little revenge this year; ’twasn’t much, but I get the joke, even if nobody else knows about it:

    We had lightning damage last summer and I installed lightning rods on the house.

    I bought the glass balls in honor of her. The blue ones.


  290. Hi all –

    I’m off from work a few days – laid up with a deep vein clot from sitting at my desk too long. Looks like 6 months of anticoagulants; I’ll voluntarily surrender my pilot’s license – hope to get it back in 6 – 10 months. Stupid, irresponsible act; I should have been up from my desk and walking at least once/hour. Oh, well. Life goes on. I think I had a few little pulmonary emboli, but good old lungs took it without much complaint – just a few twinges of pain and a little short of breath for a few minutes. I’ll give them a nice treat later – a nice long bike ride in the beautiful Virginia springtime sun. That sort of thing gives you a new appreciation of the gift that is life.

    Anyway, a Tea Party friend sent me the following link:

    I am told the official line from the Tennessee Historical Society is that it is probably apocryphal, but makes a good tale anyway. Cheers.


  291. Yes, the counter is still at zero.

    Lori submitted a little throw away post everyone but I ignored. I believe it was one of the most important in a while. It deserves to be expanded.

    According to Hot Air, a Rasmususen poll shows 57% of the public sides with the Republicans if we have a budget related shutdown. “Those who favor a shutdown seem to believe that forcing it and winning it will strike some sort of meaningful blow to the left’s resolve in defending Social Security and Medicare. Is that right-trimming a tiny bit of discretionary fat will lead to a Waterloo on mandatory spending?”

    For Medicare : 84% of Democrats favor increasing or maintaining it.

    83% Republicans

    80% Tea Partiers

    Social Security has similar numbers.

    “What’s especially interesting is how deeply misinformed the public is about how much we spend on most federal programs…That’s significant because, theoretically, cutting more in this year’s budget per the House GOP bill might convince America’s misinformed voters that the ‘hard cuts’ had already been made. You can imagine the…Democratic ads: ‘we just cut a whole $61 billion. What more do these Republicans want?'”

    We are posturing over pocket change.

    Ironically, I forgot to tell Jsri when he accused me of grievance mongering that before my head injury, I had edetic memory. I still remember things without trying, and I don’t need to use my MP3 player. The play list is in my head.


  292. I love the way Morrill writes. It reminds me a little of our gracious hosts.

    I always come away from reading their articles with a smile and a renewed sense YES WE CAN and WE MUST!


  293. im sure in your myopic world everything is really that cut and dry poolman. I stand by what I say and who I say I am. If #1 that isn’t good enough for bad and #2 if what I am and am not is really that important to you, and you would prefer to focus on me rather than some more interesting subject matter, might I suggest you troll elsewhere.

    Take note…the counter is still at zero


  294. You either stand by your comments or they don’t represent your views.


  295. Hey tammyharpler, cute babies, remind me of Fauxnoise, sadly in need of LOTS of editing. A little like you.


  296. Ms harper, aside from that last video, all your previous posts I just scrolled back up and re-read are judgments against others that you just stated I am in no position to make about you. My judgment of you is based on your comments. So unless you recant your comments, or if your comments don’t reflect your beliefs, I stand by my statement. And it is the only thing I base my statement on.

    Bottom line, you either


  297. poolman, your leading with a false assumption. I am not here to post to your set standards. I am here for my own personal entertainment and learning experience at my pace my way.

    You know you, and you are very qualified to make that judgement. You however do not know me. You can spout all the bullshyt you want and make whatever deductions you like but I am not on trial nor will I let you put me on trial. I am who I say I am and if that is not enough for you then there is not much I can do for you.

    Fact of the matter is I have made recently 2 very valid points based on recent stories about Democrats. The first shows how the left is willing to turn a blind eye when it suits them. The latter how they will stoop to any level to further their cause. If me pointing this out bothers you then again there is not much I can do for you.

    I also pointed out the plan by the Republican Governor to grant himself unprecedented emergency powers when he considers a town to be in financial trouble.

    fyi. Telling someone that they are not what they say they are is not a sign of respect. Until you change your mind set don’t expect my respect anytime soon.

    To appease poolman’s delicate sensibilities here is that aforementioned video about the Governor from Michigan.


  298. Ms harper. You are so sure of “how the left works”, and yet you came to this board with the claim of being an independent with a tendency toward conservatism. Why then are your points the same tired and over-used far right wing jabs at liberals and progressives? This obviously is a left-leaning blog and always has been. Take it from someone who is truly an independent voter – you are a right wing “conservative”. Unfortunately that “conservative” moniker is no longer an accurate description of most republican ideology since theocrats and capitalist shills have for the most part hijacked the Grand Ole Party.

    Aside from the Bill Cooper video, I haven’t read anything new or enlightening in your posts. They just seem to be a continual whining over how unfair or uncouth you think the “left” is. This isn’t welcoming of real debate, if that is what you honestly want. First, don’t assume everyone here is of the same belief/mindset, just because this is a liberal blog. Second, show respect if you expect any.


  299. how disingenuous Mikat . This was meant clearly as a joke. But it is an absolutly stupendous example of how the left works. They know there is nothing in this story but they run with it because they think that dumb Americans will look at the headline and not dig deep enough to see the deceit. This is why the left can never ben trusted with power. You should be ashamed of yourself Mikat


  300. MIkat scary isn’t it???

    As delurker says “crazy as a football bat’! LOL LOL


  301. You deserve an “I told you so” tammyharper.

    Lori, I don’t have time to to check the link now. I will later. Whatever he did, that person is wrong. However, when the left addresses its own violence and abuse I will care.

    Re personal attacks from some people. Thank you, Lori, for “fighting fair.”


  302. yet another rebiblican wanting to force his “beliefs” on all of us .

    If we would only do what he wants, we would all be so much happier!


  303. and the count stands exactly at zero, who could have predicted? why me!


  304. Another lovely T per darling shows us, one more time, his dark side.–I’m-so-pissed-about-this,-I’m-spitting-nails!!!!!


  305. I’m not sure some of the people on this board have even heard the story of the woman in Wisconsin. That is sad too.


  306. Jean raised an interesting point when she wrote “perhaps some contributors make assumptions without having knowledge of others’ backgrounds or qualifications.” She seems to say we should give more consideration to someone’s opinion simply because of the degrees behind his/her name. I agree if a lawyer, doctor, farmer, or someone else with specialized knowledge of a specific topic opines.

    Otherwise, a person’s background means nothing except to an elitist.

    Jean, I “tooted my own horn” because people like you called me a troll, etc and tried to vote me off the site when you didn’t like my opinions or the way I stood up to you all. I wasn’t seeking sympathy. I was telling you why I was more determined than you. Moreover, my conclusions were closer to reality than yours. Of course, I happily remind you of the irony.

    Remember, someone who claimed to be the nephew who runs this forum addressed the troll debate last June. He said on a moderated site, several of you, not I, would have been banned or suspended because of your attacks.


  307. It is what we call the sad truth. It concerns me that Dems are willing to overlook things like this because it is within their own party. I will count the number of Libs on this board who say this person did wrong and should be removed from office. Shouldn’t need many fingers.


  308. That was hilarious, and it wasn’t even an April Fools joke.

    Katherine R. Windels of Cross Plains, Wisconsin was charged with sending email death threats to Republican officer holders. She should also be charged with stupidity for sending death threats from her home computer. If she had been a Tea Party member the story would have been at the top of the list.


  309. President Obama accepted an award for government transparency – in a meeting that was closed to both press and public,




  310. Eb and flow, Lori. I agree the Tea Partyers could not sustain their earlier flash and enthusiasm. I didn’t even know they were planning a demonstration. Last year, the internet was filled with messages about protests. More than bad weather kept them away.

    I have mentioned on this site that discretionary spending is not out of control. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements and possibly military spending are our main problem as factcheck said. David Stockman’s over wrought statements for effect sound interesting.

    You should worry. I have agreed with you twice in one evening.


  311. Discretionary spending out of control? Just the facts please. 😉


  312. opps looks like the Tpers rally pooped out!


  313. delurkergurl, I’m usually a mild mannered fellow, but most people don’t appreciate personal attacks. As I wrote, I will forgive and forget what anyone does if he she/stops. As for men, and their contests, I blame testosterzone. Women fight too though.

    The old joke is one boy gives another boy a bloody nose. A girl gives another girl an eating disorder.

    Thanks to Jean for bragging about her and her husband’s considerable intellectual accomplishments. She should be proud. History is not her strong suit, but I respect her dogged effort to make sense of the past. I’ve had to correct her historical stories several times but at least she tries.

    Thanks also to Jean for admitting she is a bigot and elitist. Those traits were self evident, but confirmation was good.

    You’re pretty good tammyharper, even when you are outnumbered.

    alaskapi, I like your blog owner’s statement. In that spirit, I have a question which might diffuse fights for a day.

    This began as a discussion about abortion and related issues . We know doctors note guide posts marking the evolution of a cell to a viable baby.
    At what point does a fetus/baby have a soul? Is it there with the first cell, at birth, or somewhere between? What do Muslims and other religions believe and why?


  314. When will you run for office?


  315. Well now that I waded all the way in here, I guess I’ll have to leave a comment. FWIW,

    There. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. BTW, you might want to change the channel. This cannibalism meme can really eat on you after awhile.


  316. Fifty years ago, Spencer Tracy said a mouthful, and he did it so well, in this clip from “Inherit the Wind”:

    “Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding…”


  317. Pi,

    You have incredible resources at your disposal, and it’s always fun to see where you suggest we look next. I’ve never heard of but I see that I am going to want to bookmark that site. Thanks a bunch.


  318. thanks for that I guess alaskapi ..coming from you..that means almost nothing


  319. oh for crap’s sake tammyharper-
    you are starting to come across as a walking talking exercise of just about every fallacy humans fall into with each other

    hippie commie menatlly ill very very liberal wierdo Pi


  320. This to me is the most accurate portrayal of 2 liberals having as close to a substantive conversation as they are able to do.


  321. oh for crap’s sake-
    Helen said a long time ago :
    “NEW, New Rules:

    If you are not for me, you are against me. I’ll get over it. Now kindly return the favor.”

    How’s about following the blog owner’s lead here?

    I don’t give a damn if people disagree with me or each other. I do care that the baby games of name calling and one-up-manship get in the way of eating pie, drinking tea, and hearing what people think.
    It doesn’t really matter whether I agree with anyone here nor whether they agree with me. I rarely change my mind on basics anymore but I do enjoy trying to see things from different angles.
    Most days I learn something or other about someplace I’ll never get to , a point of view I haven’t considered ,etc until we hit these horsepunky flinging sprees.
    What the hell?
    hippie commie mentally ill VERY VERY liberal Pi
    Dear Helen-
    thank you for having us all in.
    Sorry about losing my temper and my language.


  322. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I have always thought it was good manners to address my comments to the people here at M&H’s as a whole. Generally, they have been and are a congenial group. Perhaps some contributors make assumptions without having any knowledge of others’ backgrounds or qualifications. Those assumptions reveal more about the attitudes and character of the commenter than the content. Most of us have not been that interested in tooting our own horns to impress others or gain sympathy.

    I would like to thank jsri for coming back and defending my honor. It is my turn. I happen to know that jsri is a fine gentleman. FYI he has a PhD and has had a distinguished career as a professor of Molecular Biology and then as an Administrator. As such, I’m sure he has had his fair share of chemistry courses. I also know one of his responsibilities was advising students based on their qualifications. His wife also has a PhD with impressive career credentials.

    I have told you very little about ‘boy toy’s’ educational background or professional career. I didn’t think anyone would be interested or that it was anyone’s business. I have mostly told you stories about our adventures. My Background? In my first life, I was a concert pianist. In my second life, I was and am a wife, mother and now a grandmother. I have always considered that my primary purpose in life. However, I have given private lessons and done master classes off and on from time to time. In my third life from 1968-74 I studied and worked at three different California Universities in Research into the Neuroscience of Physio-Psych. I was doing such things as implanting electrodes into the hypothalamus of the brains of living lab rats. It was cutting edge science at the time. In my fourth life since our retirement with the leisure time to devote to my avocations, I have spent the past 10 years or so studying History, especially the Political implications thereof.

    What am I going to do in my fifth life? I’m not sure yet. What I am sure of though is that I’m not going to waste it reading inane, poorly written troll drivel on this blog. You see, I am a bigot. I am against incredibly boring and tedious-arrogant-pompous-egotists-racists-sexists-ageists-blue-eyed-white-supremecists-mysogynistic-blowhards with nothing of substance to say. This is why I have abandon M&H’s blog in favor of others who have similar interests and believe it or not outstanding credentials and qualification beyond being nothing but li-bral arts ladies and other such nonentities.

    I am also an elitist. One of our closest friends is a PhD from Columbia economist in a very narrow field, working all over the world with the World Bank. When we talk about the National economy, he just smiles and says, “I know nothing about that. It’s not my specialty.” Most professionals in any field of endeavor are not inclined to expound outside their areas of expertise.

    We are currently plowing our way through a just published book by another lifelong friend, a PhD head of the Philosophy Department at a prestigious eastern university, mentoring and advising PhD candidates. It is an 800 page tome that he has devoted over 40 years of his life working on. It is a little esoteric for us, mostly because we don’t have very much background in philosophy. I mean, we haven’t had much time to ponder “the “willing will and the willed will” or the “thinking thought and the thought thought”. It works better than Ambien! Occasionally we both nod off mid-sentence. He is actually a really fun guy though.

    We are also receiving e mails from very reliable sources around the world regarding the radioactive repercussions from the damaged reactors in Japan. They are quite informative although as nuclear scientists, not one of them has inferred that the solutions can be made on the back of a napkin. One (with humor) advised us, since we live in Hawaii and we can be looking forward to Condoleeza Rice’s mushroom cloud, to eat miso soup with tofu in it to rid our systems of radiation. I think we’ll pass on that one. We have tried it here with Asian friends in the past. To me, I think it tastes like lumpy dishwater. We can just learn to live with the radiation.

    Au revoir.


    P. S. I think I’ll be spending more time reading Jim Wright. Insightful, and entertaining and above all interesting. He is a fine writer with keen perceptions. Right up there with Helen’s posts!!!


  323. maybe you need a higher dose elsie09, that or your stroking out on us.


  324. froth and spittle, lies, obfuscation, smoke and mirrors….baggers, birthers, theocrats, and the twisted “logic” of “some fool named noah”.


  325. lol what twisted logic. I hope that comforts you at night as you and your kind rob your grandchildren’s future


  326. Helen doesn’t rant.
    Quoting Helen isn’t ranting.

    Incoherent froth and spittle? Now, THAT’S ranting.


  327. elsie09 when the meds kick in I hope you realize I was referring to your inchoerant rantings, not anyone else.


  328. Helen, the progressive owner of this blog, commented about “some fool …named Noah”.

    She reacted to “his not so well thought out diatribe” by admonishing him:

    “Noah dear. Stick to football. And Mrs. Noah? Slap him for me. He really should spend more time tending to you rather than writing to me.”

    Nothing incoherent there; Helen tells it like it is. Her words are quite clear to any sane person.

    On the other hand, I like what the guy said the other day about Teabaggers’ Tourettes — it’s also known as “incoherent froth and spittle”.


  329. elsie09 take those meds and try again, talk about incoherent rantings.


  330. Yeah, Lori, Mikat and Crypto…

    I’m called a “bitch”, with the terrible failing of not being able to converse in “civilized discourse”, and then tammyharper/noah spews forth with “insanity, rage and hate”. That seems to be the pot calling the kettle black.

    Or, maybe it’s projection.

    Or, more likely, it’s just more bullying along with that smoke and mirrors stuff, in a poor attempt to distract the progressives who come here to visit on Helen’s PROGRESSIVE blog.

    Ooohhhh……look at that shiny thing over there…….

    Distractions, lies, bullying…. We know how they think, these same old-same old blowhards, and us “libruls” refuse to give in to their obfuscations.

    Even Helen finally had enough and wrote this post about “some fool …named Noah”, “in his not so well thought out diatribe”, telling him:

    “Noah dear. Stick to football. And Mrs. Noah? Slap him for me. He really should spend more time tending to you rather than writing to me.”

    It’s just amazingly funny how tammyharper/noah/whatever all sound the same.

    And didja notice that when noah got quiet, “tammyharper” started up the same ad hominem attacks?


    Sanity=Liberal, i.e., Progressives, like Helen
    Insanity=baggers, birthers, GOP, theocrats, corporatists, etc., etc., etc.


  331. cryptoclearance. the only value this board has is that it is a history lesson to remind us what you and your kind did to our country decades ago and how far we have come since that time. We need to remember the lessons of the past so as not to repeat them. Thankfully this geriatric gathering of liberals won’t be around long enough to do much lasting damage. You hate people like James and Pfesse because they blow your weak and fallacy ridden arguments out of the water. Before they came you could make any absurd claim and have no one to call you on your ridiculous line of thinking.


  332. >>Progressives, like Helen, know all about shallow arguments based on bullying and misinformation. SANE Americans understand that the rants of teabaggers and bullies, theocrats and corporatists, are just distractions, lies, obfuscation, obstruction, and smoke and mirrors. <<

    The ranters apparently have no where else to demonstrate the qualities you have listed above. What they do not understand (how can one who watches Fux "news") is their "conservative" agenda will bite them in the ass.


  333. OMG LIBERALS!!!!
    so now women are bitches? You are one sick jerk.

    Lori: I think the incognito posters have some real misogynistic issues. Bring it on you fools.


  334. Mikat: These people you have addressed are just what you have written: ignorant and unable to have or apply critical thinking/research skills. They post here because they actually get some sort of response. They seen to get some sick satisfaction from it. oh yeah, and these people reproduce!
    By what has been written by them, they are so stupid that they really don’t realize that their “conservative” rantings will bite them in the ass. Ignorant. hate, fear mongering and racism.
    Lets get back to what this PROGRESSIVE and INTELLIGENT M&H blog is all about. Ignore the idiots. It looks like M&H certainly do!


  335. Mikat thanks for proving my point…insanity, rage and hate, the true liberal attributes.


  336. LOL LOL LOL Elsie, yes the nerve of us progressives posting on a progressive’s personal blog! Good grief what are we thinking?


  337. Tammy,
    can you spell HYPOCRITE
    My GOD woman…(Noah) do you ever do anything but regurgitate Faux noise!!! Get your head out of your A$$ and do some research. Or at the very least educate yourself with the FACTS. remember those? Don’t bother answering me. we already know what you will say and how you will say it… Blah, Blah, Blah. I will not stoop to read anyhting you vomit again. OMG, I pity your children!!!!


  338. “Jesus was the ultimate liberal.

    Liberalism is what sanity looks like.

    No wonder Neocons don’t understand it.”


  339. opps forgot to cite the article too.


  340. Oh, I forgot….that was NOAH, who is the whatever here…


  341. “Another perfect example of why you have to be mentally wrong in the head to be a liberal.” This is a PROGRESSIVE’S blog….So, tell us again…who is “mentally wrong in the head”?

    Apparently, Noel/tammyharper/whatever, you choose to ignore a number of things, with the greatest one being that Helen, the owner, blogs about the failings of conservatives.

    Progressives, like Helen, know all about shallow arguments based on bullying and misinformation. SANE Americans understand that the rants of teabaggers and bullies, theocrats and corporatists, are just distractions, lies, obfuscation, obstruction, and smoke and mirrors.

    Helen, the progressive who owns this blog, has humorously exposed a multiplicity of failings of rightwingers for all of us to see. Unfortunately, there will always be those who choose NOT to see or understand, and then spew their rightwing blather in some failed attempt to replace Helen’s progressive thoughts on Helen’s own progressive blog.

    So, continue your epic fail to distract the progressives who come here to enjoy Helen’s work. Your arguments and insults are all just noise to us, since we UNDERSTAND what your purposes are while trespassing here on Helen’s blog to argue your empty points of “merit”.

    Long live Helen and her progressive voice.


  342. An interesting tper poll:


    Do you think CNN will finally stop covering these unpopular loons with breathless adoration? LOL

    This poll shows the lowest favorable number and highest unfavorable number since CNN started polling the t pers.

    The biggest t pers ratings drop was with the $50K group. It now has a -13 in fav minus unfav for tea party, and also show a -9 with Republicans, 0 for Democrats (in other words, favs equal unfavs.)

    It will be interesting to see how this effects Bohners budget decisions. Stay tuned!


  343. elsie09, you call names, use stereotypes because you lack the intellectual capacity to argue points of merit. That is what makes you a bitch in my book.

    Cynthia, I feel I already know the answer to this, but could you possibly be anymore petty?

    Another perfect example of why you have to be mentally wrong in the head to be a liberal. People like elsie and Cynthia cannot accept people like James and PFesse as they are. They cannot engage in civilized discourse with them without having to try and point out what they consider to be faults, then go on endless rants highlighting those faults. It is sad you cannot take the higher ground and try and understand them instead of persecute them. Find out why they think as they do rather than attack them.

    Personally I would suggest ignoring these throwbacks to an earlier day when people of color knew their place and a woman’s place was in the home. They do not have the ability to embrace or try to understand change or people that are different to themselves. You are invading their little place of hate, and as long as you do so they will forever despise you for it.


  344. In spite of what some would have us to believe, this is NOT some conservative’s rag; it’s Helen’s blog.

    You know…HELEN, a strong, progressive writer, who wrote in “Higher Ground” on November 10, 2010:

    “…You live and you learn. And at my age you learn too much. For instance, I have learned that when Democrats over-reach, we end up providing health insurance coverage for children who have pre-existing conditions. When Republicans over-reach, we go to war.

    “When a liberal activist judge over-reaches, a disenfranchised group of Americans have their constitutional rights restored. When a conservative activist judge over-reaches, the country’s elections get handed to corporations on a silver platter.

    “Sour grapes? Maybe. I never said I was without prejudice. In fact, I have openly admitted to being a bitch. But the difference between my being a bitch and Sarah Palin being a bitch is huge. When I am a bitch, a few people get a good laugh over an old lady’s blog writing. When Sarah Palin is a bitch, some of God’s most beautiful handiwork gets reduced to a line item on Exxon’s annual report….”

    If “the mood” truly has changed on this blog, then it’s because of comments that are not true to the owner’s bent for progressive politics. Conservative blowhards attempt to bully their way through what once was a funny, relatively calm, daily read and then high-five each disruption like juvenile delinquents.

    I have no doubt that the OWNER of this blog would not hesitate to call a teabagger by that name if she so desired. It’s her rules…although THAT may be difficult for bullies to understand. However, the SANE progressives among us understand we are visiting her progressive blog and need to mind our manners in accordance with what we understand HELEN’S rules to be.


  345. M & H,

    “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!”

    During the day we find Underdog, a mild mannered doctor, fixing broken souls. But at night his lab coat transforms into a mighty cape giving him super powers and off he fltts to M&H to slay the BBBs that are infecting their blog. (WTF?, is really a good use of ones time and talent??) Anyway………..

    When help is needed, I am not slow,
    For it’s hip-hip-hip and AWAY I GO!!!
    Not bird, nor plane, nor even frog,
    It’s just little old me…….Underdog.
    I am a hero who never fails;
    I cannot be bothered with such details.

    When bullies on this blog appear,
    And mock those that they should fear,
    And bully all who see or hear,
    The cry goes up both far and near for…
    Underdog! (Underdog!)
    Underdog! (Underdog!)
    Speed of lightning,
    Roar of thunder,
    Fighting all who mock or wonder,
    Underdog. (Underdog!)



  346. Good grief, I wish you people would step back and get an objective look at yourselves. Why does everything have to become a pissing contest? (As a female, I really never understood the point of those… 😉 ) Why is it always necessary to take the hostility up a notch? “You were an ass first! I wasn’t an ass until you were!” That still makes you an ass, get it? There is nothing remarkable by being able to piss higher, farther, wider, or more artfully. In the end, it’s still piss.


  347. jsri, as PFessor wrote, you truly are out of your depth. You ought to read “The Art of War” or “Rules for Radicals.” This basically unmoderated message board is like a small town or business office. Some people are allies, some are enemies, and some don’t care. Grievance collecting is how one knows the difference.

    You have revealed far too much of yourself, your vanity and motivations. I could use them against you, and I learned by keeping score. Before you launch an attack, you need to watch your victim and understand his/her strengths and weaknesses. If you had, you’d know that you can’t touch me. That’s why I wrote “tried” to insult me.

    You harp on my incoherent writing style because its all you have. I cheerfully agree. So what else do you have to show me, you big talking man?

    I’m sorry your family has had health problems. I` respect you for your achievements and how you recovered from early hardships. But we all have free choice. Personal adversity is no excuse for mean behavior. You should have been strong enough to finish the “fight” you started in December or better yet, kept personal attacks to yourself.

    I don’t hold grudges. Treat me well, and I will be nice to you. Pay attention. Several people and I have cordial exchanges when before we were hostile. We even agree on some things. You and I could be the same.

    As PFessor wrote, the mood on this site has changed. Adjust.


  348. JSRI… we will need you during the next election cycle! love you! xo


  349. Mikat, a page out of Karl Rove’s play book. Repeat a lie enough times and eventually it becomes the truth.

    Or … the infamous… people are more apt to believe a big lie, the more ridiculous the better. (Of course I’m paraphrasing Hitler in Mein Kampf)

    Same, same same, tactics….


  350. Pfesser:

    Your response on March 17, 2011 at 4:51 AM was a patronizing put-down, to Jean, typical of many of your responses to comments on this blog. While your information is sometimes useful, you can’t seem to resist sticking in the knife and twisting it on the way out. It’s an attitude thing and I’m sure the victims find it appalling.

    I find it interesting that you pass yourself off as a physician. My wife and I, at our age, are very well acquainted with physicians, too many of them, both good and bad, yet I have never come across one with a superiority complex to match yours. I suspect that everyone on this blog knows how intellectually superior you are but I’d suspect that’s also a cover for having the bedside manner of a cockroach.

    You broke into this blog about a year ago and immediately started throwing your weight around accusing people of blowing smoke up one another’s asses yet here you are with your cadre of like minded interlopers playing kiss ass on epic scale.

    And while you’re just warming up, I’m cooling down. That gives you an opportunity once more to show what an intellectual powerhouse you are. Too bad I won’t get to see it because I’m out of here for good. Between my wife’s medical needs, my volunteer work and family responsibilities I have no time for this crap anymore.


  351. I am neither right or left. to me both sides have issues and sometimes I feel the fight between the two sides is only a distraction. That said were I to be forced to chose a side I would probably go right because at least you know where they stand. This board is the perfect example of why I could never be on the left side of the isle. I have seen countless example of situational ethics on this boards coming from the left. People like James and PFesser, while I don’t always agree with them are at least consistent in their beliefs and I can at least respect that.

    I put 95% of everyone else in the “do whatever it takes” to win category. Morals only seem to come into play when it empowers your argument, or diminishes another s argument, they are nothing more than a tool to use to reach an end goal. I see bigotry, intolerance, hate, hypocrisy, double standards, everything we shouldn’t be.

    How we win should be as important as winning itself. I see the left wanting to not only win, but would also in a heartbeat send the right side packing from this country were they given the option. I think they forget that the right are Americans citizens too. This so called compassionate party, is only compassionate for those that are like them, and they have no room in their hearts for anyone else. They way the left talks about the tea party, all citizens of this great country mind you, would lead you to believe that they were speaking about members of Al-Qaeda.

    I don’t mind spirited disagreement, but the left and those on this board take it to the point of rage, and in the end serves no one well.


  352. James

    As usual you are incoherent. That’s probably why I “threw in the towel” – not because you won some trivial argument but most likely because I had no idea what you are talking about. You said that I “tried” to insult you three or four times last December and then gave up. If I said something like that it was because my wife was undergoing some critical medical tests and I was in no mood to spend my time carrying on a feud with likes of you.

    BTW if you keep score like you did for forty years then you are a grievance collector. And believe me if I want to “try” to insult you I can actually do it. But I’m damn well not going to substitute for your psychiatrist.

    Actually I try to stay away from this site only because it takes so long to open with all the nonsense spread across it. It just isn’t worth coming here anymore. Your only coherent comment was to TammyHopper


  353. jsri opined:

    “A couple weeks ago, Auntie Jean asked a pretty straightforward question about the effect of using seawater to cool the reactor core of the breached nuclear power stations in Japan. Instead of an informative answer, she got a basic chemistry lesson and was roundly insulted, a typical mysogynistic response. ”

    James wrote to jsri:

    “I also think the PFessor was just trying to help. You read too much into it.”

    I think so, too. On both counts. No insult meant to Jean at all. I actually enjoy Jean’s history lessons; as someone with more chemistry class hours under his belt than you have in your entire degree, jsri, am I unfit to return the favor to Miss Jean? She is clearly someone genuinely interested in learning and asked if anyone had a clue of what was going on. I did, somewhat, and had the expertise to research the rest. Perhaps a little willingness to learn would do nobody any harm, including yourself. (BTW, I must have missed that “misogynistic” part; could you be a dear and point it out to me? — or is that part of the “anybody who doesn’t agree with me is….racist, sexist, age-ist – take your pick…)?

    Sometimes, hotshot, a little self-examination is in order. I will agree that M&H has changed over the past year, but not in the way you think. In my view it has gone from a circle-jerk of about five schoolyard bullies whose greatest satisfaction is to tell each other how smart they all are and gang up on anyone with the temerity to disagree, to a place where well, they are a little bit afraid – afraid to expose their raw bigotry because they know they will be called out – EVERY TIME. A place where those with opinions not straight down the Democrat mainline can be heard without fear.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret: In 1984, after I straightened a bullying physician out in no uncertain terms, an old X-ray tech once told me, “You know, Doc, bullies really bring out the predator in you, don’t they?” You’re goddamned right they do; it was a casual perusal of this blog and a general disgust with the BBB’s bullying that made me decide to hang out for a while. Honestly, I’ve had a ball.

    Which brings us to today. Several of the BBB, as I like to call it, have been unable to take the heat, so they got out of (in) the kitchen. You, of course, would like to continue the play but unlike Donna (for whom I have a grudging admiration, actually) and some of the others, you are really no challenge – you are out of your depth in a car-puddle.

    So don’t tempt me, little boy. I am just getting warmed up.


  354. elsie09, you can cherry pick all of the conservative hostility you want. I can do the same with leftists. It is a waste of time. Both sides have crazies and hot heads.

    I think you used the term “tea bagger” recently. A line in “The President’s Analyst” applies. “Don’t say chinks. It’s bigoted”. So is “tea bagger.”

    tammyharper, how much do you want to bet that you are also one of the people jsri wishes someone like Jim Wright would drive away?


    yet another Faux noise lier shaken out of the tree. How many times do you have to be lied to before you start doing your own fact checking?


  356. jsri, I am not whining, I am warning you. I explained it to delurkergurl. Back in the service, I was used as bait to catch some bad guys. They tried to kill me. One night they tortured me. As a result, I have a slight physical disability. Other things happened too.

    One of the side effects is when I am besieged such as on a liberal message board. I react as if I was under attack again. I project a combat-like situation into something different from what it origionally was. In my mind, long dead men and I repeat our skirmishes. If you really want the details, I will give them, but it would be a long post.

    That is my warning. If you attack my views, or how I write, I don’t mind. When you attack me as a person, I bite . Last December, you tried to insult me. I responded successfully three or four times. You threw in the towel and gave up because you wrote I was better at insults than you. Then, you disappeared for quite a while. It wasn’t the first time.

    I keep score, not because I am a grievance collector but to collect your foibles. My keeping score helped me survive forty years ago. If I am lucky you might unwittingly reveal something which lets me glimpse the inside of your head. A few well-placed words can inflict more pain than a fist.
    If you are nice to me, I am nice to you.

    Since you used “trolls” and “manure” in the same sentence, I will leave you with this. An apparently effete and elitist man such as yourself may dream of a white knight to do what you can’t. You may pray that he rescues you from the likes of me, but don’t bet on Jim Wright. At alaskapi’s suggestion, I read his blog. We are alike in some ways. Based on past history, I think we would get along with each other.

    In case you haven’t noticed, like Jim Wright, I refuse to back down, and like him, I am supremely self confident.


  357. used to be a little bit of a fan of Jim Wright until I read that piece of work. Guess his true colors are out for all to see.

    10 days into the Obama war in Libya and we are $550mil in the hole. Wonder what congress thinks, or better yet wonder if they will be asked.


  358. alskapi, I read some of Jim Wright’s posts, and you are right. I like his writing with the exception of the last one.


  359. re: elsie09 on March 29, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Jim Wright is a force to be reckoned with. He refuses to back down.

    Too bad he wasn’t a reader of H&M a year ago. He would have cleared the trolls out of here like so much barnyard manure.


  360. James on March 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Don’t whine about hard times to me. It doesn’t wash. I grew up during the depression, watched our house get repossessed and came within a day of getting sent off to an orphanage. For several years food was a luxury and forget about non-essentials, they didn’t exist.

    And I don’t understand how mud slinging would lead to death threats. Your writing about them is so obscure that I have no idea why anyone would be interested in them.

    As far as retaliation is concerned, I’m not a grievance collector like you so I have no record of any attack on you or any counterattack. As for backing down, I have no idea what you are talking about. But again, most of your posts are so rambling and convoluted and apt to be ignored it’s no wonder I might have missed something.


  361. I second that Crypto.. I often wonder exactly who would “listen” to that sick puppy. On second thought I don’t think I would! LOL LOL He is oneeeeeeeeee sick pup.


  362. Crypto, there are so many haters and crazies to choose from that maybe Jim had to draw the line somewhere in order to come to a stopping point on his post!


  363. >>Every single one of those hates I listed in America were taken directly, directly, from Yahoo, from TEA party chat rooms, from transcriptions of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter <<

    One apparently had been over looked. The hate, fear mongering idiot Savage. What a sick SOB.


  364. Some background on Jim Wright’s post about America, from “America Explained”, March 25, in his own words:

    As always, a rather large number of folks read what I wrote and then decided that I must be a) a very angry man, who b) hates America.

    I don’t suppose there is anything I can do to convince these people otherwise, even if I were to bake them a plate of cookies and sing “You Are My Sunshine” accompanied by flying bunnies on kazoo and banjo while giving them a baby oil neck massage as they watched Glenn Beck…

    …Ask yourself this, when was the last time you heard Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck spend an entire show talking about the things they love about America? When was the last time Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachman, or Sharon Angle went an entire hour on the air without describing something about America that they hate? When was the last time you read any article on FoxNews, Yahoo, or a Tea Party forum that didn’t include a comment section full of descriptions of things conservative commenters hate? Be honest. Every single one of those hates I listed in America were taken directly, directly, from Yahoo, from TEA party chat rooms, from transcriptions of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter – and I could have made that list a lot longer. A lot longer.


    “Every single one of those hates I listed in America were taken directly, directly, from Yahoo, from TEA party chat rooms, from transcriptions of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter –”


  365. alskapi, I trust you, so if you think I should give Jim Wright another chance, I will when I get time. We had more snow last night, and I have work to do before I ski on it again. I don’t have to “think” that screed was bigotry. It was according to a dictionary definition. That article reminded me of the first time I saw porn.

    One of my Air Force friends bought a black and white 8mm movie film in Mexico when he was on leave. It was against the rules so ten or twelve of us watched it serepticiously in a darkened room. Some of us were still in our teens, and eager to watch forbidden pleasures.

    Our voyaristic impulses soon turned to disgust and one or two left before the ordeal was over. I almost vomited. There was no emotion or connection. The participants might as well have been making grocery lists or following assembly instructions for a child’s toy.

    While it’s true Jim Wright provided a pretty complete composite of undesirables, including liberals which means some people who post here are on the list, it was overkill and lacked as much sense of reality as the porn film. His use of a Confederate flag as the vehicle to carry him into the thicket was overwrought and inaccurate. In the beginning, slavery was not the primary issue which caused the Civil War.

    His seeming clairvoyance should make him eligable for the Amazing Randy’s $10,000. check.

    Wright’s apparent anger made one suspect he didn’t like America either and he needed someone, maybe the Unibomber, to calm him before he hurt himself or others.

    I am an equal opportunity scold. One of the women in our group gave a campaign pamphlet to a reporter. It described one of our opponent’s run for state office as a Socialist. That had nothing to do with our legal dispute, and the woman’s attempt to make him look bad because of his political beliefs was as bigoted as Jim Wright’s article.

    jsri, in simple terms so you can understand: I survived hard times, some of which I described here. I broke but fixed myself. My reactions are not always normal, and I have been open about it. I am probably the only one here who relives a time when men tried to kill me every time people here sling mud at each other.

    I may or may not be as intellegent as you, but I am smart, and I know stuff. When I am wrong, I admit it. You referred to Jean’s question about salt water in the nuclear reactors. Remember, I wrote I was as clueless as she was. I know my limits and don’t stray beyond my fields of expertise unless it is to learn more. I have earned my self confidence in ways you can’t imagine.

    I also think the PFessor was just trying to help. You read too much into it.

    jsri, I never personally attacked you except to retaliate when you attacked me, and then you backed down. That tells me something about you.


  366. Elsie, good except – so I went and read the whole piece. Very good! It’s nice to have someone new to read!


  367. Hey, Mikat and roz, glad you enjoyed the excerpts. Cynthia brought the link to Jim Wright’s site to us, and I continue to look there for more entertainment until we hear back from Helen.

    Here’s another view from Jim Wright, posted in May 2009, from his commentary:

    “Liberalism, Conservatism, and Insanity, Or
    That’s The Stupidest Thing I’ve Heard In a Long Time
    – even in the bastion of Neocon central, i.e. South Central Palinville, Alaska.”

    Liberalism is a mental illness, my ass.

    In fact, just the opposite is true: attempting to resolve conflict without resorting to violence, promoting tolerance within broad and reasonable limits, seeking equality for all, protecting the world we live in so that we can go on living in it, and taking care of the weak and the less fortunate are the hallmarks of the mature and the rational and the healthy and the sane mind.

    And in point of fact, these very things are the founding principles of nearly every mainstream religion, but most especially Christianity – Jesus was the ultimate Liberal. If you claim to be a Christian and you’re a NeoCon then you are a […damned] hypocrite.

    These are the founding principles of every major conservative service organization, from the Masons, to the Elk’s Lodge, to the Boy Scouts of America.

    And these are the founding principles of the United States itself.

    Liberalism is what sanity looks like.

    No wonder Neocons don’t understand it.



  368. Thanks Elsie, great website! Jim Wright has perspective, brains and his writing is excellent as well. I’m a fan!!


  369. Elsie,
    Thank you for posting the website. Jim is Fantastic! suggested reading for all.


  370. An old Jewish friend of mine from DFW sent this to me. I apologise for the all-caps; I don’t have a way to convert it back to l.c. I think this has been around a while…

    A Nun Grading Papers…..

    Can you imagine the Nun sitting at her desk grading the papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure! (I know I couldn’t!)





























  371. I have really enjoyed working my way through Jim Wright’s blog today at He’s a bit shocked at how wildly viral the post Cynthia linked to has gone.

    I thought his blog comment about teabaggers was particularly funny:

    “Oddly, I haven’t yet received any death threats – and I’ve gotten death threats for posts much less pointed than America. But I have gotten a number of emails that stop just, barely, short of threats. I’ve gotten the usual screeds questioning my manhood, my patriotism, my military background, my morals, my integrity, my agenda, my affiliation with the New World Order, and whether or not my parents were ever married. I’ve gotten an even dozen that are in the format I’ve come to call TEA Party Tourette’s, i.e. incoherent froth and spittle, random capitalization, punctuated with serial ellipsis and exclamation points, full of fierce damnation and God’s wrath – I’m tempted to post those here for ridicule, but it would be like taunting the class spaz. Amusing, yes, but more than a little mean. I’m not saying I won’t, mind you, you know me after all, but that’s another post entirely.”

    I wondered who IS this man?

    I found his background in his list of “ten things to consider before you decide to be a troll here” [on his blog]:

    … First, in order to understand my response to trolls, you need to understand who I am. Do NOT assume that you know me, unless you’ve hung around Stonekettle Station [his blog] for a good long time. But here are the basics: I’m a retired United States Navy Chief Warrant Officer. Retired is a relative term, I will, for the rest of my life, identify myself as a Chief Warrant Officer – it is an ingrained part of my personality. Navy Warrants are unlike any other rank in any other service. We are selected from a highly competitive group, and we are selected for two things specifically, advanced knowledge combined with experience and a specific personality type. As a group, we tend to be profane, hard boiled, out spoken, and supremely confident in our abilities to get the job, whatever it may be, done. As such we get only the worst jobs, the ones nobody else can do. We are not Officers and Gentlemen – and nobody expects us to be. To help non-Navy folks understand what I mean, allow me to illustrate. When I applied for Warrant I was interviewed by three Navy officers, one Warrant, one Limited Duty Officer, and a senior Naval Academy Graduate – a full Commander. My interview consisted of one question, asked by the Commander: “Let’s say we make you an officer, when you join the wardroom you’ll be surrounded by real Officers, Academy Graduates (at this point he took pains to tap his Academy ring on the table top so I would notice), and that means three things: one, they are better educated than you. Two, they are smarter than you. And three, they are a lot younger than you. How are you going to handle that?” I didn’t have to think about my answer, I said immediately, “I’ll buy younger, but not the rest of your points. I believe each member of the wardroom has something to contribute, and if I need to know how to chain a woman to a urinal, tear up a Vegas hotel, or cheat on my engineering exam those officers will be the first ones I ask – other than that they better stay the [hell] out of my way.” The Commander turned bright red, the LDO remained carefully straight faced, and the Warrant smiled – and the interview was over (no, the Commander wasn’t being an ass, the Warrant put him up to it. And it was really the Warrant’s decision).

    And that is how you become a Warrant, and it should tell you something about what kind of person I am. If you find that story only confirmation of your assumption that I’m an asshole, well you may be right, but you’re missing the bigger picture. Do some research into why people like me are necessary to the military, start here. My job was to get the mission done, by hook or crook, come hell or high water. You fight until there’s nothing left but ashes, and then you piss in the ashes. Warrants exist solely for that reason. We lead from the front, by example, and we have a well earned reputation for bluntness, duty, honor, courage, and commitment to our people and the mission. I’ve been around the world, fought in two wars, and earned the respect of fighting men on six continents. So when you troll my site and attempt a personal attack on me or mine, well, that’s what you’re up against.

    Until Helen gets back with her own pithy comments, there’s plenty more to read at Jim’s Stone Kettle Station and in the Kitchen at chatterclatter dot wordpress dotcom.


  372. Yes, ty PI and Cynthia for bringing Jim Wright’s posts to my attention! I linked him on my face book as well. I thought he was THAT good.


  373. Cynthia, thanks for the link.

    I am from the South. I grew up during desegregation. I have relatives on both sides of my family tree, as well as neighbors and a number of former friends, who represent everything about which Jim Wright rails. He nails the mentality of the birther, the bagger, and especially bigoted, myopic Southern haters of all persuasions.

    Lori, you are spot on.

    And Alaskapi, thanks for your suggestion to read more of Jim Wright. His words ring true, through-and-through.

    I was reminded of this verse in Jeremiah 5:21 — “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not…”


  374. It’s only relevant when Helen has a new post. The rest of the time, ho-hum…


  375. Cynthia, Lori, et al

    It is interesting to see how one person’s claim of bigotry is another person’s reality. When I read Jim Wright’s original piece on Stonekettle Station, I could easily attach names to the description. One is my brother-in-law and two others are long-time acquaintances who insist upon sending me warmed over cut-and-paste diatribes aimed at President Obama even though I have told them I don’t want to see any more of them in my mailbox. Despite their bumper sticker mentalities, they are remarkably persistent. The latest one yesterday was a recap of the words of the judge at the sentencing of shoe-bomber Richard Reid. The version that landed in my mailbox is at least eight years old and while heartfelt, is typical of the jingoistic flag-waving in everything they send me.
    It is also interesting to me to see the response of the one on this blog who sees himself as God’s gift to the universe. I realize that he is infinitely smarter than most of the posters here but he seems to come up somewhat short in the humanity and humility departments.
    In my long career in higher education I came across many people who thought that way. It goes with the territory. And while many are experts in their own academic fields, they often fall into a swamp when they stray beyond their area of expertise. When directly questioned, they rely on obfuscation rather than information. A couple weeks ago, Auntie Jean asked a pretty straightforward question about the effect of using seawater to cool the reactor core of the breached nuclear power stations in Japan. Instead of an informative answer, she got a basic chemistry lesson and was roundly insulted, a typical mysogynistic response. It has become pretty obvious that aside from Helen’s comments, females responders here generally are treated as not being worthy.
    This site has gone to hell in a handcart in the past year. Prior to that is was Helen’s unique perspective that brought readers here and a community of like minded people gathered regularly to exchange views and comments. But the takeover during the past year has unbalanced the site in a different direction and many of the regular posters have gone elsewhere.
    And to return to this site after having been away for a few days is a trip through never-never land. It took hours and hours of skimming and skipping just to get a general sense of what was going on. In the end it wasn’t worth the effort. As far as I’m concerned, this site is no longer relevant.


  376. James-
    Believe whatever you want to believe but I still would suggest you read more of his posts.


  377. Cynthia,
    Thank you for posting that article, it was Brilliant!


  378. I haven’t had time to read Jim Wright’s other articles, so maybe he isn’t but that article was bigotry pure and simple. I know, because I was the the object of such prejudice when I returned to the United States. I was a veteran, and my kind was undesirable. Black friends also told me their stories of how it was. Our son and daughter -in law kept their marriage a secret because her Korean family disapproved of mixed marriages.

    Wright cannot know the mind of a stranger in a pickup even if he knows others who drive big trucks. He projected his biases on someone he has never met and by extension a class of people.

    The people who verbally and nearly physically assaulted us yesterday were Democrats. (The only real assault was a woman’s being pushed against the side of the courthouse.) They numerically outnumbered us and the wife of one had her cell phone ready to call for even more reinforcements until the sheriff and deputy arrived. Another has run for state office as a socialist. At least two belong to labor unions. Am I to believe their violent behavior is what all Democrats, Socialists and members of labor unions are? By extension, are you a thug if you are a liberal Democrat? If I follow Wright’s logic the answer is “yes”. I reject that sort thought.

    Bigotry and its cousins are endemic, pernicious, and vile. “conservative/teabonkers” is as bigoted in its intent as the N or other words used to objectify and dehumanize classes of people. Deny it all you want. It is still what it is.

    I am not mad at anyone here, and I am not accusing anyone of bigotry, only the two words. However, I am angry at what almost happened yesterday and possible repercussions to follow. This isn’t over in our little county.

    I have to be in Nebraska soon, so if I post today, it will mean false James has returned.


  379. Jim Wright is NOT a bigot.
    Would recommend folks read more of his posts before passing that judgment.
    And BTW, his take on the mindset of the person in described truck is spot on as regards a lot of folks in the valley. I’ve been wondering since he posted this entry if he saw one of my cousins on the way to work…


  380. Cynthia: thank you for posting the link to the blog. I bet is angers the “conservative/teabonkers that are dominating this M&H blog.

    Lori – your post on Cynthia’s link beat me to it.


  381. We just returned from a court ordered-supervised election following our lawsuit victory. Then, it got interesting with an altercation staged out side the court house Angry associates of the losing side wanted their pound of flesh. We decided my wife was less threatening as a woman, than I, so as I took videos she piled in and used her best teacher mode to help quiet what was on its way to assault. The sheriff and deputy arrived. They said if we wanted to press charges, the jail would have new residents within minutes. After all, I had it on memory card and the ringleader had a history of assault. We declined to press charges.

    A few minutes ago, I had time to read Cynthia’s link. After my day, I am in no mood to be polite or to mince words. Jim Wright is a bigot, and he doesn’t even know it. I would tell him to his face.


  382. lori opined:

    “You hate your neighbors, you do, you hate them. You hate the n and the sp and the ch and the g and sp and haj. And, man, there’s nothing you hate more than when they call you a racist and a bigot.”

    And what is HE but a bigot, when he has generated a massive, multithousand-word rant against someone whom he has never even MET? All on the basis of how the man’s truck appears as it passed him on the highway? WTF? You have to be kidding me. hmmm..Somehow this sounds familiar… What’s the next step? The color of the man’s skin? The thickness of his lips? His accent? (Omigod, it might be SOUTHERN! There’s a sure giveaway to being an undeserving low-life!)

    You can’t claim the moral high ground when you are behaving exactly like those you claim to oppose, and there is no better example than that referenced above. In point of fact, he is much worse, because he – and we – don’t know a thing about the fellow he was ranting against, but a little reading of his little missive surely tells you about where prejudice – yes, that’s “pre-judging” – lives.

    “I have “listened” to my political opposites for years and years.”

    I’m glad you put listened in quotes. That alone speaks volumes. Nothing else needed. Perfect.

    “It really is the same same same.. They are always wanting something that “use to be ” back in the day of …. what??????”

    Some things were better in the past, some were not. But let’s not get onto schools again.

    “They believe there is not enough to go around and damn it, they deserve to be first in line, cause , welllllllll they just do, cause……. they are BETTER than!”

    That is not what they tell me. They tell me that they want to be first in line for what they have earned, cause, wellllllllllllll…they EARNED it. All those things that “go around” (handed out by the government) did not fall from the heavens; they came into being because someone actually worked for them. And oddly enough, those who worked would like a say in who receives what THEY worked for. That doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.

    “Personally, I always want what is yet to come for our country. I “believe” in America, the Great Experiment… always have. I DO believe the best is yet to come. ;-)”

    Vague, uplifting phrases may make you feel better, but such polyanna gets you nowhere. Nothing makes America immune from going into the trashbin of history just like almost every other country that has ever existed, except for its open system that lets people point out problems without fear, and then set about solving them. I for one believe, in the words of Franklin, we have a “republic, if you can keep it.” And I certainly believe that, more than any other time in history, the issue is in question.

    “thanks for reminding me of that today……”

    No charge.


  383. Cynthia, I passed the citizenship test. No Jay Walking for me!

    PFessor, yes, cross country skiing is a good workout. Fortunately, it didn’t take me much longer than an hour to learn to stay upright. I extend the season by cross country skiing in marginal conditions such as between harvested corn stalks when snow is gone everywhere else. I can cross country ski on a half inch of snow or ice if it is on grass. Skiing on drifts is also a challenge– sort of like down hill skiing on cross country skis. Those situations took longer to master. If you misjudge your speed on a big drift, you may stall near the top and slide backward on your skis.

    Last March, I was skiing on drifts up to waist high surrounded by six to eight inches of water as snow melted rapidly. I crashed through a drift and as I tried to get out of the snow, a ski and shoe came off. I couldn’t find it in the drift, so I removed my other ski and walked a half mile through water and snow to the house. I knew I was safe from frost bite because the temperature was about 45, and the only thing below freezing was the snow.

    My feet and calves were numb after my walk, and my feet had turned purple and black. After soaking my feet in mild water for a couple of hours, I walked back with a shovel and retrieved my ski. Maybe some day, you can enjoy such adventures.

    My daughter taught me how to down hill ski. One thing that transferred from down hill skiing was my feeling of insecurity if I wasn’t using ski poles. Our daughter told me “you don’t use ski poles until you are good.”

    My wife won’t cross country ski for fear she will fall and break something. She has arthritis and her bones are weaker than they once were. Falls are the main problem, and it is hard to get up again. One can hit the ground hard with no tumbling as with down hill skiing. It is like hitting a wall squarely in a NASCAR race. Kenitic energy is not redistributed over time as when a car or skier tumbles and turns.

    Sking on a mixture of grass or mud is especially good for the heart, because one has to work harder. I think you would like it.

    Our dog loves when I ski. As soon as she sees me carrying skies to the edge of our back yard, she runs in circles and jumps in the air.

    Your snow is from the same storm which gave us an inch of snow yesterday. One more is due Monday night and Tuesday.

    An e friend’s husband was sledding in the Black Hills. He and his son were racing down hill until they got off course and hit a tree. A tree branch impaled him and nearly came out the other side. He is back at work now, but still pretty sore.

    It reminded me of how the children and I rode our tobaggan down hill as we stood on it like a multi- person snow board. The hill was steep, and we went fast. My shoulder was sore for about six months after one of our spills. I miss those days.


  384. Thank you for posting this Cynthia!!!!!! Fan fan fan…..

    This is the part that reminded me the most of some of the more “conservative” contributors on this site.

    “You hate your neighbors, you do, you hate them. You hate the n and the sp and the ch and the g and sp and haj. And, man, there’s nothing you hate more than when they call you a racist and a bigot.”

    I have “listened” to my political opposites for years and years.

    It really is the same same same.. They are always wanting something that “use to be ” back in the day of …. what??????

    They believe there is not enough to go around and damn it, they deserve to be first in line, cause , welllllllll they just do, cause……. they are BETTER than!

    Personally, I always want what is yet to come for our country. I “believe” in America, the Great Experiment… always have. I DO believe the best is yet to come. 😉

    thanks for reminding me of that today……



  385. James –

    I have never done any cross-country skiing, but they tell me it is the very best CV workout going. How long would it take to get proficient enough to enjoy yourself? I have downhill skied for about 30 years, but I wonder how much the skills would transfer. I gotta find something to take the place of running. I have gained 30# in the past four years. Now, dammit, it looks like I have a DVT from sitting at my desk too long at a time without getting up to stretch. I’m working this weekend with my left leg up on a pillow. Grrrr…not looking forward to old age.

    When it quits bloody snowing – yes, snowing – here, my son and I are going riding on the local bicycle trail, so at least that’s something.


  386. This may not be a Sunday morning read but it is worth reading.

    America You Keep Using That Word I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means



  387. Ronald Brownstien is one of the smartest writers Lori has linked to, and I enjoyed his article immensely. Why? Because when Obama’s applogists compared him to Lincoln, FDR and Kennedy I thought it was bunk. Ike seemed more logical to me. Some called Bill Clinton a second Eisenhour because of his policies. Another writer also compared Obama to Eisenhour. (sp)

    To read something like that did wonders for my ego, and even better, it is snowing hard. As snowfall rate overcomes melting, I may be able to ski again this afternoon.


  388. PFessor, that is a good idea. From what I know of local Tea Parties, they have a strong libertarian bent as you write. They are so independent minded that for awhile last year, Omaha had two Tea Party organizations hostile to each other.

    They should talk.


  389. Here you go my friends! This piece talks directly to the subject we were discussing a few weeks ago. (we have talked about it 100 times, the latest being a NOP topic)

    Just who is this man we call President? And where does he fit in on the 2011 political landscape? Interesting to me… I hope you enjoy. 😉


  390. Now that I’ve read later comments, I also agree that rape plan is outrageous. Reproduction is a private, not government matter. However, to refuse to vote for all Republicans only empowers Democrats and gives us another form of “tyrany.” Otherwise, I like the letter. Economic competition lowers prices and political competition saves us from dictatorship.

    As you know, tammyharper, the odds are against a third party, but it has happened. The Republicans formed a third party which supplanted the Whigs, so it can be done if conditions are right.

    If Carl Rove was a burgler, that doesn’t make Republicans “common thugs” any more than Sandy Berger’s publicized document theft makes all Democrats criminals. As I wrote, both sides do it.


  391. James and tammyharper –

    It just occurred to me: why would the Tea Party and the Libertarians not join into one party? It seems to me that their agendas are very nearly identical. I wonder if they have talked together about that. Public disaffection with the two parties now in power couldn’t be higher – what is Congress’ approval rating now, 12% or something like that?


  392. I didn’t reload a saved page from yesterday, so I don’t know what if anything people wrote since then.

    Shades of Sharon Angle and the Tea Party: A western Iowa school district decided to play a detailed “war game” to prepare for a possible terrorist attack after several school and mall shootings in Omaha the past few years. They asked for help from Homeland Security, I think.

    The condition of help was that the school district would follow the scenario that disaffected white separatists would kill Hispanics. As we know the most likely attack would be by Muslim extremists, not white separatists. Locals, including Hispanics were so angry, the school district dropped its plans. The government agency responded with a note claiming that they were astounded and implied the school district people were not patriotic if they refused the plan.

    Meanwhile, the Omaha World Herald discovered the Omaha School district has been hiding true compensation for the Superintendent and other high officials. The Superintendent actually earns over $400,000.00 and in effect had an 8% pay raise when the school board said he had taken no pay raise.

    Mayor Suttle narrowly escaped recall because the city faces the same public employee expenses as Wisconsin and other governments. Firings, library, and park cut -backs saved the city from bankruptcy. Now, the EPA demands that Omaha repair a sewer system which shows little sign the work is needed right now.

    The mayor spoke against the unfunded mandate and said the government has become too intrusive. They tried to persuade the government to wait until the economy improves, but the federal government was unmoved. Now, he is proposing a tax on toilet paper to pay for the sewer work. Some other cities showed an interest, and Suttle’s proposal made the Drudge Report.

    Mayor Suttle is a loyal Democrat, but his rant against unfunded mandates sounds like what I have heard from the Tea Party. Unfunded mandates and overweening government intrusion in private affairs is a Tea Party issue. If they were looking, the Tea Party would pick up recruits near Omaha right now.


  393. lori –

    Forget it. I just got a text copy and it is just like you say.

    This is just too much. I am writing a letter TODAY to Reince Priebus, chair of the RNC.

    “Sir, I have voted Republican since I was eighteen – that is, until three years ago – at which time it became clear that the Party had lost its way. It has now become the party of the Lunatic Fringe, the Religious Right, the Anti-Abortioners, and I will have nothing to do with it.

    When the Party comes to its senses and starts taking care of the People’s business, which is to say, the governing of all for the benefit of all, and stops catering to a small vocal group that wishes to engineer the social structure of this country to its own narrow-minded agenda, I will consider returning.

    Until that time, I will consider “Republican” beside any candidate’s name to immediately disqualify him for office.


    James ……………..MD


  394. lori –

    Wow. That looks pretty bad. Obviously Rep. Schultz has an axe to grind, but it still looks bad. Do you have a reference to a more non-partisan analysis?

    As I have said before, these people up in DC are completely out of control. Man, if you could only roll back time…Way back when, when the Republicans invited the RR to drive, they made a helluva mistake. Before then, they represented my POV perfectly. Now DC reminds me of “Murder on the Orient Express.” There are so many criminals, I wouldn’t know which one to arrest first.


  395. I know many of you received this fund raising letter (I took the $ bit out) but jic some of you did not, here ya go. Makes me sick… literally….


    Last month, I emailed to alert you to Republicans’ outrageous attempt to redefine rape.

    Your support helped fund the DCCC’s Rapid Response team, keeping the spotlight on House Republicans and forcing them to roll back some of the most extreme provisions in their bill. But now another shocking revelation has come to light.

    Get this: an official at the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation revealed that the GOP’s anti-choice H.R. 3 bill could allow the IRS to investigate women who terminated pregnancies that were the result of rape or incest. It’s simply unbelievable.

    Forcing victims of rape and incest to explain these traumatic events to IRS auditors is dehumanizing and unconscionable. We must have a powerful response.

    The fact that House Republicans think women’s reproductive choices are fair game for tax auditors shows just how out-of-touch the GOP really is. Rather than fighting for jobs, or health care or equal rights, House Republicans are reaching deep into the personal lives of all American women.

    We cannot stay silent in the face of this legislative attack on women’s health and reproductive freedom by the extreme right-wing fringe of the Republican Party.

    Thank you,

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz


  396. I very much like the idea of the “fair tax” I saw a couple of documentaries on it and to me seemed to be a very sound idea. Unfortunately without a solid 3rd party there is no way the Dems or the Republicans would allow this to take place.

    The Tea Party is still an infant as far as political movements go. I suspect there will be many more missteps before they find their footing but make no mistake I think that it is a movement that will be around for decades to come. I believe that this or an organization like it will be how we get a 3 party system in place.

    Republicans are too myopic in how they think and do things. They tend to hyper focus on issues and sometimes fail to see the casualties that happen along the way. Democrats spend with little regard to the consequences and are far to short sighted to what plights they are creating for our children with the policies they make today. I think the public is starting to get fed up with the entire process and I think the climate is ripe for a solid 3rd party to spring out in the next 10 or so years.

    We have to remember lessons of the past. Rome fell partly because their economy became too top heavy. To few controlled most of the wealth. Today some 40 people control 50% of this countries wealth, this just isn’t good for the country or morally right for many reasons. On the other hand I am adamantly against forced redistribution of wealth. Socialism and Communism are proven failed policies that are unsustainable in the long term, and no the couple of microcosms that exist out there are not proof that it works. I don’t know how we correct this problem honestly. Maybe the fair tax would help, it is certainly a promising idea.


  397. LOL LOL NOP… It makes me happy too that for ONCE the other party’s fringe (tpers) is giving them trouble. Usually it’t my party with those types of headaches!

    Mikat… they are nothing more than common thugs! Did you know the GOP’s darling Rove committed burglary too? That’s how he got his leg up with the party loyals.


  398. I agree, tammyharper.

    However the Tea Parties need to be more discerning about the candidates they support. As soon as Sharon Angle was nominated, I knew Harry Reid would keep his seat. Tea partiers should ask “is this candidate capable?” and “Can he/she win?” They shouldn’t expect the whole ideological pie, and they should either control themselves or let others curb their more fanciful impulses.

    The family of anyone, Tea Party or not, who thinks Charlie Sheen makes more sense than Rep Beohner should seriously consider costodial care. It was kind of funny though.

    The Chamber of Commerce certainly should be investigated as should the former SEIU official who was recorded over the weekend explaining how his allies will destroy the economy and take down the government. I mentioned the Wall Street group who attempted a coup against FDR with an attempted use of the American Legion. For seemingly intelligent people those folks are awfully stupid.

    Mikat, the Democrats have no more morals than the Republicans. They are politicians and power motivates them.

    Cynthia, I haven’t forgotten to take the test. I don’t have much time right now.


  399. tammyharper –

    I know several (I would not say “many”) Tea Partiers, and they are all really good people who just can’t survive any more taxes. Having said that, my experience with those I see on TV is pretty disturbing, and this movement seems to be attracting some pretty loose cannons with personal issues of their own, Sharron Angle case-in-point.

    A friend I met on the Internet turned me on to the Fair Tax proposal. Are you familar with that? I am about half-way through the Boortz book and I find it a compelling idea so far. Thoughts?


  400. I for one think the tea party is the best thing to hit this country in decades. It shows us that there are still political organization and people out there that stand for something, I mean really stand for something, and actually hold on to their ideologies no matter what public opinion might be. If only we had more politicians like this.


  401. But, hey as long as they have the “chamber of Commerce” the repugs can’t loose…. right! They simply have no morals left.




  403. News like this, probably, shouldn’t give me so much pleasure, but….


  404. You know the answer to “Why can’t we get ourselves organized?” People have short memories and take the path of least resistance.

    l plan to take the test, Cynthia, but not now. Our four inches of new snow over night are begging to be skied on. That is a big change from Tuesday when a tornado was near by.


  405. aquart –

    Well spoken.

    My wife has a degree in Medieval Studies and she has really opened my eyes about how the same scenarios have played out over the centuries, over and over. It was not uncommon for young ladies in historical times to find themselves in the family way and literally throw themselves down the stairs in an attempt to abort.

    They found themselves with two broken arms. And pregnant.

    It is so frustrating for me. I and my “sisters” – and a lot of other men – worked SO hard to get abortion rights, and now it seems everybody is asleep at the wheel, while the RR and people of that ilk chip away at those rights. You don’t want the bad old days, believe you me. You don’t want them. Why can’t we get ourselves organized?


  406. Upthread, someone mentioned an ectopic pregnancy. Are there really morons so poorly educated by our gutted schools that they think there’s a choice about terminating that death sentence? My grandmother had one. She was so ill from it that over fifty years later they were still talking about it at her funeral. About her miracle of survival so that she could continue to be a mother to her son and her daughter.

    Me, I’m a miracle, too. The baby born after the baby who died because my mother had full-blown eclampsia. They told my dad she must never try again, but they never told her. So two years later, there I was, caesarean birth and nine pounds. Born wanted and loved, the way every child should be.


  407. My mom, who will be 90 in May, lost her favorite cousin over seventy years ago. Bessie died from “a fall down the stairs.” That was the euphemism for death by illegal abortion.

    Bessie was loved, but she was lost. The family she could have had later was lost to the world, her affection was lost to my mother and her parents.

    That is the world Rick Perry wants. Secret shamed funerals of women who could not bring themselves to do what Rick Perry and his church wants them to do. That’s what’s coming. And if it comes, we deserve it for being so hypocritical, heartless, and stupid.


  408. This blog is starting to lock up my browser. I am going to have to buy a new computer so I can continue following the saga.


  409. NEWSWEEK gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship Test–38 percent failed. The country’s future is imperiled by our ignorance.

    Okay boys and girls we are going to have a pop quiz today. Sit straight. Feet on the floor. Pencils ready. Keep your eyes on your own paper!

    Ready……Begin …Now.

    (There are 20 questions.)



  410. Priceless…


  411. NOP –

    Points all well taken.


  412. Even the Federal Reserve says we are on the verge of insolvency, but we act as if nothing will happen when that day comes.

    We should try “comptetivation” as Sprint Cup drivers did at Daytona. The condition of the track and rules let the drivers draft and push each other. Two cars tied together were faster than single cars. At that stage of the race the commentator said “everyone is your friend.” Another commentator said it was like a high school prom or air traffic control as drivers and their spotters made deals.

    Politicians can do the same. Right and left need to overlook their hostility and craving for power to work together until conditions return to normal. Since that won’t happen until an emergency I think we are better off with a split government–Republican Congress and Democratic executive.

    The Tea Party is too conservative for me, but thank God for them. They served the same function as labor unions do for Democrats. Without them, Republicans would not have won as many seats as they did.

    I disagree with PFessor. Both parties lie. NOP, the Democratic tent isn’t as large as one might think. I remember when Pro life Senator Casey was not allowed to speak at a Democratic convention, and some liberals wanted to be rid of the Blue Dog Democrats last fall.

    PFessor, Obama can’t focus and lead any better than he is doing now. His past history shows he has never had to do much more than vote “present.” Obama is still learning on the job.

    The diarist of Lori’s link fails to understand the average American tends to be center right.


  413. Sorry PFesser, the Republican Party isn’t our problem, they should have thought about the consequences before they began catering to the Christian Right, “as you sow, so shall you reap.” In retrospect, some good has come out the recent victories of the Tea Party, even non-political types suddenly realize, who is in office matters. We Democrats haven’t been this fired up since 2008, bring it on 2012! Honestly, we have a state legislator in my state that wants to make it mandatory that everyone check the air pressure in their tires every month. How are they going to enforce that? I only use that example, because while it shows how much these loony busybodies want to be in our business, a low tire doesn’t originate in the bedroom and therefore infer low morals and the you deserve whatever happens to you mentality.

    However that said, I have said, for sometime, all Americans and their government would benefit if there was a responsible grownup third party. But President Obama has enough on his plate, he doesn’t have time to organize that party for you. Damn, don’t you think if he’d had the time, he would have fired Chairman Michael Steele for the GOP?



  414. NOP –

    I would say I am about 20% Democratic, about 70% Libertarian, about 10% Republican.

    Yes, it is fair to say that I am positively ill about how the Republicans have let themselves be taken over and controlled by the hoopies. The Democrats it seems to me are unable to capitalize on the Repubs self-destruction and I am VERY frustrated with them, too, but not how you might think. In the same way that the Japanese forced American carmakers to make better autos, the Dems could force the Republicans to jettison the RR, the tea partiers, the fetus people, but they are so unorganized and spend so much time reacting to the Right that they can’t get the job done. The Republicans are basically dishonest, but the Democrats are incompetent, and that is just as bad.

    The Dems need to pull their fingers our of their backsides, quit worrying about what the ReBiblicans think and Do Their Damned Job. If they do the People’s Business they will GET the votes. There are no shortcuts. People are too smart. Just do your job and you will get elected, but nobody can seem to get that. It is only a small group of people – yes, very loud, but a small group – that cares about abortion or who is getting a BJ in the White House.

    For the record, I really like Obama’s style. I just wish he would get focused and Lead, dammit! Lead! Do what needs to be done to get us out of Afghanistan, Iraq. Get laws passed to stop the plunder on Wall Street, or make the Republicans publicly responsible. Do the people’s business. That’s all he needs to do.

    Rant over. Apologies for the harsh tone.


  415. PFesser, it is not the liberals who are looking for a third party. The Democratic Party still serves us very well, it is a big tent that includes a lot of ideas. Seems you are the one wadding in the mire, crying for an alternative to the limited vision of the Republican Party.


  416. lori –

    That is a really good article, but I got only as far as, “unfortunately for Republicans, our strength is that we’re right,” and had to quit because I was laughing so hard.

    That is not the Left’s strength at all. In point of fact, it is the Left’s unassailable perception that it is always “right” that is its greatest weakness. “Why won’t Americans just open their eyes and see we’re right? After all, WE’RE the GOOD guys!” (FWIW, doctors suffer the same disease; that’s why the plaintiffs’ lawyers have eviscerated us.)

    No they are not always right. Probably less than half the time, truth be told.

    Any lawyer will tell you that the most powerful thing a witness can do is to concede an opposing lawyer’s point, because it makes him look credible and honest. The best thing the Left could do is to admit that it doesn’t have all the answers. As of right now, very few people trust either party. Put me and millions of other independents in that group.

    The left had better get its manure together or we are going to end up with a cadre of bible-thumpers running this country, and in the not too distant future. Count on it.


  417. ignore the shiny objects in the room. remaining focused is key. 😉


  418. interesting short video


  419. We need a third party. Its frustrating to realize the best argument for Republicans is they are less onerous than Democrats. I heard on the news this morning the Fed also says we are on the verge of insolvency.

    “We” are becoming addicted to government largess as more people depend on our tax money. Time makes change more painful and politically harder until eventually our choices are gone.

    Ex (?) SEIU official Steve Lerner architect of the Justice for Janitors program and a occasional visitor to the White House spoke to a group of progressives over the weekend. He presented a plan to overthrow our government and economic system.

    Lerner cited Wisconsin as an example of how to implement their plan. They would begin by collapsing the banking system with a general mortgage strike. Then they would single out a bank like J. P. Morgan with a week of Wisconsin style protests and action.

    It sounds as hairbrained as a Wall Street scheme to overthrow FDR by enlisting the aid of a famous war hero and the American Legion. Both are signs extreme views in uncertain times.


  420. James –

    “The real money is in Social Security, Medicare, Medicade and other entitlement programs. Combine them with public employees’ unsupportable health and insurance deals, and we have a problem . We need President Obama’s leadership because right now, neither party will attack the golden cow because both know the other will demagoge it. So far, no one has attacked the real problem.”

    Well spoken. Not a day goes by that I don’t look at my wife and say, “What is wrong with us? What in hell is going on up there in DC? These people are completely out of control.”

    The ReBiblicans talk about “jobs” while pandering to the lunatic fringe, not realizing that is why people like me left the Party. They need to STFU, along with the Dems, and take care of the People’s business, to wit: put the finances in order. Stop adventuring overseas. Then the jobs will come. And by the way, stay the hell out of people’s personal lives.

    Just my .05


  421. The Ed Show’s assumptions are falceous. Governments cannot create private jobs. They can only produce favorable or unfavorable conditions for private enterprise.

    The unmentioned House Republicans’ budget bill was intended to lower the deficit and indirectly help employment. Continuing the Bush tax cuts was a direct attempt to help maintain the employment rate. Obama agreed to sign it.

    Democrats control the Senate and presidency. They have most of the power, and their job record is worse than the Republicans’.

    Republicans know the abortion, Planned Parenthood, and NPR defunding won’t go anywhere because the Democrats will kill the bills. They are pandering to their electorate by keeping their promises. During the next campaign they will tell their people they tried and if voters elect a favorable Senate and or president they may be successful. All politicians pander.

    We donate to NPR and will continue to do so. However, I agree with Juan Williams that the organization should be defunded, not because it is a horrible organization but because we are short of money. I don’t know enough about Planned Parenthood to know if it would go out of business if the government defunded it or if its services would decline.

    I don’t see anything wrong with declaring English our official language, especially after visits to parts of the country where speaking English seems to be uncommon. Can you say Quebec boys and girls?

    I also supported the investigation of extremist Muslims in the United States. The number of Muslim terrorisitic acts, including the murder of soldiers is sufficient to require an investigation of possible causes.

    Reaffirming the “In God We Trust” motto, defunding Planned Parenthood, and the abortion bill are plain dumb pandering.

    As for the rest, Mr. Ed is displays inadequate perspicacity. What can the Republicans do? Repass failed budget bills, lower taxes, mandate job creation?

    The real money is in Social Security, Medicare, Medicade and other entitlement programs. Combine them with public employees’ unsupportable health and insurance deals, and we have a problem . We need President Obama’s leadership because right now, neither party will attack the golden cow because both know the other will demagoge it. So far, no one has attacked the real problem.

    We will have faster internet service. The new modem came today. We may have satalite cable, but that will wait until we see how much time we waste on youtube, Hulu etc.

    Yesterday, our high was 72, and a strong thunderstorm dropped hail on us. A damaging tornado was 25 miles south. of us. The storms didn’t last long because they developed along a cold front and sped northeast at 50 to 60 MPH. It is 41 now and we may have enough snow for me to ski on tomorrow night and Friday morning.


  422. The Ed Show last night detailed the things that the new Congressional ReBiblican majority in reality thinks is more important than what it *says* is important. Here is where his data came from:


  423. Pfessor did for me what he is doing for Craig and Val, by giving educated guesses based on his experience. He did the same for me after my brother- in law nearly died in an accident. He is getting around in a walker, but he wants to drive. He also is refusing to do some of the physical therapy because of the pain. Thus, the surgeon wants to see him in Omaha to be sure everything is all right. My BOI is emotionally unequipped to cope with extended inactivity.

    Thanks again PFessor. My telling my sister- in law a doctor I met on line predicted at least the chance of a good outcome meant a lot to her when she was grasping for any good news.

    Craig, I wish I knew the right words or information which would make it better, but I don’t. I still have a feeling you to will be together longer than 18 months. The Omaha World Herald reported a survey showing the cancer death rate has fallen this year.

    One of my ancestors published a thick book connecting the cousins branches from the initial American settlement. He traced our family line back to Denmark around 750. They later migrated to Normandy during the Viking attacks and went to England with William the Conqueror. When we lived in England we checked his information for veracity. I confirmed his finding our family name in the Doomsday Book and the registry of the ship which took our ancestors to America. Its listed in the Public Records Office. We have met unknown relatives in the US and Canada. All have one thing in common–that book.

    My family migrated from Wales, and my mother’s was Scots-Irish and German. Several of my ancestors fought on both sides of the Revolutionary war, and those on the losing side fled to Canada. My mother’s family settled in Pennsylvania and Indians held one woman hostage for awhile. It is possible Jean and I are related.

    We still have the steamer trunk another ancestor took on the gold rush. His name was James too. The only gold he found was in a gold ring a grateful prospector gave him after he saved the man’s son’s life. It was passed down to the eldest son. My grandfather dived under a table in an Arizona bar gun battle, and my father rode with the border patrol near Nogalis during his summer breaks from college.

    Sarah, one of my distant grandmothers was a classmate of the girl who told Lincoln he would look better with a beard. He showed his new beard at a school assembly. Sarah recalled his voice was higher pitched than she thought it would be. I still have her college autograph book. She was smart and wanted to do something with her life. Her professors were never sure what she would say in class.

    One of her friends wrote in the autograph book “Do you remember the times we went down to the river for our “serious interviews?” Do you remember the evening two shadows stepped from the bushes and what transpired later? I won’t bore you with what you already remember. Just think of me and what happened when you enjoy warm summer evenings.”

    Has anyone tried group fiction? We used to do it on the Janeane Garafalo site. Someone wrote a paragraph and others followed as they took the story to and fro. It might be entertaining during the “dry spells.”

    Elizabeth Taylor died.


  424. Craig –

    I’ll email you with address.

    Jean –

    “This little history lesson will be my swan song as I bow out gracefully.”

    Enjoyed your historical accounts. Stay sharp. Adios.


  425. Amen Auntie jean.. fannnnnn that. 😉


  426. Hi Congenial Gang,

    It appears that Margaret and Helen have abandon us to our own devices (vices?). I miss them. There are certainly any number of events going on in our country and around the world but apparently not enough to command the interest and attention of only a few people here anymore. The number of hits to this site have dropped off dramatically. I suppose many people only come by to see if Helen has put up a new post. This little history lesson will be my swan song as I bow out gracefully.

    On another blog, many of us have been involved for a long time in formal research into our Genealogies and enjoy comparing notes. It is interesting to find out where we came from and possibly some of the factors that helped shape who we are now – – or maybe not. We do not often name names so as to protect the guilty. For all we know, we have plenty of pirates and horse thieves hanging from our family trees.

    On my paternal side, the descendants of ancestors are as thick as fleas. Some were of Scotch-Irish heritage and are still there. Some were from elsewhere. Others immigrated all over, many to the United States. For instance, one had nine children. The FIFTH child had ten children. This is the branch of my family I have followed. I will give this one his Genealogy #5. His SECOND child died at age 21. (Genealogy #52). The THIRD was killed by a cow at age 13. (Genealogy #53.) Many of the same names were used over and over again, so the numbering system is more efficient in keeping track of who’s who.

    Somewhere along the line, EIGHTH child, #58 wound up in Pennsylvania and married a person there who was probably of Pennsylvania Dutch and/or German heritage. They had 10 children. Their descendants scattered all over, some to Ohio and others out to the Wild and Wooly West. Here is an example: One of my grandchildren’s Genealogy # is 58,221,332.

    Here is where it gets interesting I think. Some of my ancestors were involved in the WHISKEY REBELLION (1794) that set precedents that are still controversial today. This was an insurrection in the Pennsylvania and Virginia counties West of the Allegheny Mountains. It grew out of the federal excise tax on spirits enacted three years earlier to finance the plan of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton for the assumption of state debts. The western farmers, most of whom were of Scotch-Irish extraction, used the whiskey they distilled from their grain not only as a beverage but also to barter for supplies in the Eastern and New Orleans markets. Further, the law required that it be paid in money, of which they had very little.

    Since much of the whiskey produced in the U.S was distilled in their region, they felt that they were being called upon to bear an unjust burden of the debt assumption. Moreover, they asserted it was a scheme designed to fill the pockets of a few speculators in the Eastern Cities. Another of their grievances was that persons prosecuted for violations of the law were tried 350 miles away in the Federal Court at Philadelphia. Western Pennsylvania became astir with violent attacks on enforcement officers and protest meetings – the beginnings of the “Moonshiners!” against the “Revenooers!”

    At Hamilton’s behest, President George Washington issued a proclamation ordering the insurgents to disperse, asking the Governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia to call out 13,000 Militiamen. They assembled in Carlisle, PA.

    As soon as the militia crossed the mountains, all resistance collapsed. Oaths of Allegiance to the Federal Laws were obtained from a large number of citizens. Although a number of insurgents were arrested, their most violent leaders escaped down the Mississippi River. Washington later pardoned some of the men who had been convicted.

    The Whiskey Rebellion and Insurrection were important in that they demonstrated for the first time the Power of the Federal Government and the prerogatives of the President. There’s not much specifically spelled out or written in the Constitution about that!

    So now, are we nothing more than a collection of little people trying to hang onto our own small patch of turf and hostile to everyone else about it or are we the United States of America. I like to think we are the latter.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  427. I am usually just a lurker, but- since I am a breast cancer survivor, and I just lost my beloved sister to her fourth battle with this awful disease- I am sending good vibes to you, Craig and your wife Val. As far as my family experience, comparing PET and/or CT scans was the most helpful to us; we could understand if treatment was working, or why the protocol was changed…or why my sister decided to let go. Also- I hope the center has a nutritionist on staff, to help you both find foods that are appealing that will help in the fight.

    Best wishes-


  428. tammyharper,
    I’m a RePug and have a son in Navy reserves and back our Military.
    But do you remember Grenada?
    We lost a lot of good people there..
    And now we have another tourist island with 4th estate med school..if its still there.

    And living in Texas..I also agree about protecting our borders which leads me to believe we would be better off bombing Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez,Acuapulco, Matamoros, Naco,Agua Prieta..and thats just for starters.

    Hell they just celebrated the Columbus New Mexico raid by Pancho Villa last week..then arrest several of the American ..”Hispanic” local officials for trafficking arms to the Mexican cartels.

    Texas whipped Mexico’s ass once. Just let us have another chance. We still want our New Orleans Grey’s flag back from the Alamo. One or two Cruise missile’s and a little looking the other way and we would have no more problems South of the border.
    This is with a lil tongue planted in cheek.


  429. Pfesser ,
    I can scan and send latest radiologist report.
    Its Greek to me. Its three pages and concerns the markers of the latest PET scan.


  430. President Obama sends troops into Libya to protect civilians,
    Isn’t that what the Governor of Arizona wants to do and he is suing Arizona?
    Go figure!


  431. “So lets take a deep breath and be friends.”



    re: scar. The chemo is not perfect, but it is pretty good and may be really knocking the tumor down to the level that it is not picking up enough tracer to be seen. The machine spits out numbers that reflect how much the tumor is taking up tracer and it sounds like those numbers are going down for the spinal areas. That is good news for sure. Insignificant, huh? That is another great word to hear.

    The mass you still feel could be scar – read that Dead Tumor. Maybe that is what the radiologist meant and why you can feel it but it is not taking up tracer. If so, that is Really Good News.

    I use CT to follow most tumors, but only because we don’t have PET here, which is a combination of CT and nuclear medicine and has the benefit of both. It sounds to me like everything is very much on track.


  432. Best wishes to Val for her recovery.


  433. Truce. We’re pulling for you, Craig!


  434. NOP..
    PFesser has been in touch now for about three months almost since this situation started in late December. He offered his 5 cents worth off line and I took him up on it.
    So Yes I have conversed with Doctor J., a radiologist.
    He’s been most helpful. Not trying to hide anything here.
    I have bounced a couple things off of him ,compared notes about Val’s treatment and we have talked maybe two to three times by phone. He is what he says he is. He Dr. J, was just another resource.
    Everyone here on the porch have been a resource in one way or another from treatments of symptoms to advice on driving conditions to get to Dallas and back.
    I appreciate all of you from James to YOU..NOP to LORI, Megann,delurkergurl,Alaskipi and Poolman. and on and on ..
    Thanks to all.

    Val had her second treatment this am. She’s sleeping the ativan IV off that they give her for nausea. She cut it down from half of last weeks dosage but still is knocking her goofy. I think she’s going stop it from now on ..she has pills at home if need be.

    Peculiar, the radiologist said this am that the reason the tumor was not picked up is that it may be just scar tissue from the biopsy..strange though that its palpable still from a December procedure.
    He also said the points of interest on her spine may be getting smaller…and may be insignificant. What he said he saw most of, was evidence of her working out at gym.
    So go figure…? I know the C is still just doesn’t go away, cause the nodes are still enlarged.

    So lets take a deep breath and be friends.


  435. NOP –

    1) I am actually a medical doctor.

    2) Diagnostic Radiology.

    3) Nobody is “inserting” anywhere. Whatever Craig asks, I answer, and I have specifically asked him several times if he is comfortable discussing these questions here – and have reminded him that he has my telephone number if he is NOT comfortable. He has indicated that he is.

    4) Your weirdness is your own problem. I am *very* secure and haven’t the slightest concern over the value judgments of others. I come here to debate and to learn; other than defending myself when necessary, the personal stuff just goes overboard like the poo on a battleship.

    5) And while we’re at it, let’s get something else straight here: Craig is not Val’s next of kin. He is her husband. “Next of kin” refers to someone who is dead, and I think we are a long, long way from that.


  436. PFesser, I forget, or never knew, are you an actually medical doctor? Specialty? I find it suspect that you would be discussing Val’s condition, treatment, and test results (which you haven’t seen) with her next of kin. A little general information with a distant relative or friend about a medical condition is one thing, sort of Dr. Oz of the Internet, but Craig is part of Valerie’s medical team, a very important part of that team. It is just plan weird, that you would be inserting yourself into another medical team’s case.


  437. Craig, there is nothing wrong with being the squeaking wheel, if I were in your position, the next of kin of the patient, I would be on the phone calling the Oncologist’s office every hour on the hour until my phone calls were returned. It is to be expected, that you want answers to your questions!


  438. “I have read about drugs which reduce the construction of new blood vessels which feed a tumor. Is the research promising, and does it only apply to the primary tumor?”

    The biggest problem in fighting cancer is that you are fighting *yourself*. Bacteria? No problem; it’s a plant, so use a herbicide. But cancer is your own tissue.

    How to attack? Look for some difference. Several years ago somebody noticed that in normal circumstances, there are very few new blood vessels being made in the body, but in cancer they are a requirement for the tumor to live, since it is growing new tissue continuously. Any metabolically active tissue needs blood vessels within about 2mm to provide oxygen and nutrients; tumors often partially die of their own accord when their growth outstrips blood supply.

    That’s about all I know. The anti-angiogenesis drugs are effective but generally not curative so I’m told. Just one more tool in the oncologist’s armamentarium. sp? My understanding is they work for the primary and the metastases also.

    The answer is out there. Just gotta find it. Just *gotta* *find* *it*.


  439. Thankyou for posting that tammyharper.In the words of Chris Mathews, “tell me something I don’t know.” A long time ago, Poolman and I discussed the war in Iraq. He maintained it was illegal. I thought it was in a twilight zone with interpretations either way. I think this attack occupies the same ground.

    The press and left pilloried Bush especially when the war went bad. Some are criticizing Obama, but most are quiet. Time will tell if they prove themselves to be hyprocrites.

    PFessor, look at our government, and see the answer to your question about rank amateurs .

    Your medical discussions are educational, and I admire Craig and Valery for their courage and determination.

    I have read about drugs which reduce the construction of new blood vessels which feed a tumor. Is the research promising, and does it only apply to the primary tumor?


  440. PFessor, yes, changes in the ocean level have been profound since the peak of the Ice Age. Many villages still rest under water near coasts across the world. A land bridge helped Asians migrate to America and probably did the same for people in Southeast Asia as they leap frogged from island to island.

    18,000 years ago, the Sahara Desert was a savanna, and people were learning to use and eat small grains. They made flour and were settling in villages. Those tribes were on to verge of inventing agriculture, but the climate changed, and aridity drove the people away. Had the Sahara stayed relatively moist, agriculture would have changed societies’ thousands of years before it did.

    Of course, we face many short term climatic fluctuations such as the Little Ice Age and a two hundred year plains drought. We are overdue for another. For at least five hundred years, the Midwest has had a serious drought roughly every twenty years. The last was in 1988. They are often associated with la ninia conditions which prevail now.

    Consider the rising food prices and growing demand. Imagine the psychological and real impact if we have a drought this summer.


  441. Interesting morning reading: Why it is always a bad idea to put rank amateurs in positions of power.


  442. Craig –

    Sorry – I’ll try to keep it more down to earth. The information base has gotten so super-specialized that sometimes it is hard to stay connected.

    That reminds me of when I was taking some EE classes back in the late ‘nineties. We “students” were off for our usual lunch at the local Chinese restaurant, walking along and chatting. Someone remarked about some amazing programming problem solved by one of the professors, and that even though we were all seniors, Dr. P’s information seemed so very far above our own that it was depressing. I had to chuckle a little and told the kid that “the difference between an undergraduate education and a doctorate is almost beyond comprehension.” He just looked at me and said, “How do you know that?” I looked back at him and we all started laughing. He had forgotten for a minute that we weren’t ALL just a few years out of high school.

    The medical stuff is the same – you get so far down the road to ultraspecialization that it’s hard to get back. Even though I have done just about every job and avocation, sometimes it’s tough. I feel sorry for the docs who are trying to explain things to their patients when their only world experiences are their own medical specialty and golf. LOL Again, apologies. I’ll try to do better.


  443. NOP..and PFesser
    That was our first order of business for today..but you can’t ever get a doc when you need one. WE definitely have the same concerns and questions. Val has her second
    Chemo tomorrow am. Hopefully we can get to the Oncologist next door and or the PA and get more definitive explanations about the tests. Yes PFesser I have the # and I may call you soon.
    Thanks and Peace all.

    Oh and PFesser you really know how to speak Medical BS. Your way beyond my understanding. I sleep next to a Psychiatrist so by osmosis I have learned a bit
    over the past 30 plus years of Psychiatry. That’s why I act for the Med students in their one on one interview tests. I’ve developed quite a reputation for being “real”.


  444. Craig –

    OK, it was a PET scan – that makes more sense. PET is an interesting kind of scan that basically reveals metabolic activity by searching for the utilization of glucose. Of course, everything uses glucose, but you are looking for areas of very high utilization, which is typical of the runaway metabolism of cancer. The glucose is tagged with radioactive fluorine, F 18, so it can be picked up by scanning. The fluorine decays by positron emission, which is to say it emits a positive electron (antimatter) which then undergoes annihilation when it meets an ordinary negative electron, giving off two high-energy photons in opposite directions. A very high-tech, pretty sensitive technique.

    Interesting physics aside (You can’t spell geek without EE, LOL), I am somewhat puzzled by the lack of uptake by the primary tumor. It is in a superficial location and should be definitely visible. The lack of metabolic activity may mean that the primary tumor is being damaged by the chemo, etc. That’s good, but I would feel a lot better if the other metastases did the same.

    I don’t know how comfortable you feel discussing the medical particulars online, but as always my phone lines remain open if you think I can be of help. NOP’s advice is good; it is a health care team, but there should be just one quarterback, and that I believe that should be the oncologist. Just my .05.


  445. Presidential candidate Obama (12-07) states: “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    ” Except when I’M president.” ?


  446. Craig, I’m not a doctor or scientist, but it would seem if there was an anomaly on Val’s test result, the doctor would order more tests. This is a rough patch for the two of you, I am sure, and it must be real tempting to look to outside sources, anywhere and everywhere for, not only, more encouraging, but also conflicting possibilities. The old dotting the (I)s and crossing the (T)s thing, but perhaps, you should follow up her tests with a discussion with her oncologist, so you know exactly what is happening and what to expect. I hate to think, you are scaring yourself unnecessarily. Pulling for you!


  447. Pfesser,
    It was a PET scan which was done.

    It lit up the nodes in neck and underarm..and also 4 spots on her spine. There were three (3) there in December.

    The tumor in breast, which is now palpable, did not light up…

    Thanks for your response.


  448. “Fast forward to ‘modern’ times. I understand the Christian Scientists eschew medical intervention, especially blood transfusion. And more recently, on the basis of ONE English physician’s advice, some Americans are afraid to have their children immunized for measles because he thinks the vaccine causes autism. ”

    The radiologist who replaced me in WV many years ago has three autistic children. He and his wife are great people, but they have been sucked into doing chelation on their kids and tried to convince me that my ADD kid needed all these metal levels checked, and then blood chelation therapy. They are convinced that their kids’ autism came from a reaction to immunizations. He’s a doctor, so it’s not just people without medical training who get suckered into this stuff. I feel really bad for them.


  449. James –

    re: climate change. I just went to VA Beach for a couple days’ vacation with the wife and boys. We went to the aquarium and I ran across something on one of the descriptor boards that amazed me: “During the last ice age (18,000 years ago), the ocean level at this location was 450 feet lower.”

    I had always looked at the map of Chesapeake Bay and surmised that it was nothing but a flooded valley, with the ridges on each side still above water, but the above was quite a surprise to me. 18,000 yrs wasn’t that long ago and -450′ is a pretty low ocean. It makes me wonder more than ever if this “climate change” nee global warming is much ado about nothing, as my old roomie Bill Shakespeare used to say…


  450. Craig –

    Was it a sonogram that lit up or a bone scan?

    A bone scan would show the metastases to the spine but not the breast tumor, so that sounds right. The bone scan works on the principle of “bone turnover” and looks for calcium hydroxyapatite being incorporated at a more rapid pace than usual, as in metastatic disease, but would likely not see the breast mass. She will have to follow it with something else. A sonogram would most likely see the breast mass and any nodes. I typically follow this kind of tumor with a CT scan, since it is easy, reliable and will see all those things above in one test. Forgive me for kind of crawfishing, but I am not sure what kind of test she had. Was it a sonogram for sure?


  451. Really like “Mad Mikes America.” Thanks!


  452. Holte Ender at Mad Mikes America (news and commentary) pointed me to this blog and I am glad that he did. You crack me up! I live in Dallas and so the post was especially meaningful to me.


  453. Craig, my wife and I did the same as you did, only we watched the moon on Friday night because last night was cloudy. Do you know if it is safe to eat ice cream to curb heart burn? I had awful heartburn when I took medication for pericarditis. Without counsulting the doctor, I ate a few spoonfuls of ice cream which helped.

    I told the doctor, and he said I had done the right thing. He had forgotten to tell me the medicine could cause ulcers. Obviously, I should have asked the doctor first because ice cream might have adversly interacted with the medication I was taking.

    Jean makes some good points, but connecting Europe’s Dark Ages with losing control of the SilK Route is a stretch. Some of my ancestors, the Vikings played a larger role as demographics forced younger sons to find their fortunes in foreign lands. Climate change which caused famines and discord also played a role. During that time Ireland was one of the most important bastions of intellectual development in Europe.

    Mummified blond and red headed central Europeans rest in parts of western China. The dry air preserved many of their bodies almost perfectly. Several bodies five to seven thousand years old show signs of surgery, including stitches. They also produced other cultural and technological achievements. Some female warriors were buried with their weapons as men were.

    Their descendants likely controlled the Silk Route before it was the Silk Road. They also gave rise to the Amazon legends. This is only my conjecture and it is a greater leap than any Jean has made, but I think it is possible Arabs learned something from those early tribes.

    Yes, Arabs were intellectual super powers long ago, but they lost their creative mojo before the Ottoman Empire became the “sick man of Europe.” Maybe climate change contributed to their decline.

    One reason I dislike the main stream media is how they helped President Obama cover his tracks. Tom Brokaw said on Charlie Rose’s show “We really don’t know much about the man. We don’t even know what he reads.” It was their job to find out and tell us, but they failed. I did some research, and his potential election frightened me. He has done some good things which I support, but his short comings outweigh his achievements.

    If Hillary had been a viable alternative, I would have voted for her. I would have given money to her campaign.

    I have a bad feeling about this. It seems so simple, but so did the invasion of Iraq. The world needs a “policeman” to save us from anarchy. Who if not us? The UN, China, Russia? I support Obama’s letting other countries take a leading role, because they should, and it will save us money. But I again, I am afraid of surprises which lie ahead.

    I am one Republican who does not want Sarah Palin to run. I want Republicans to win the White House, but as it stands now, I think Obama will win a second term. Sarah Palin does more good as a non-candidate with the aura of possibility. If she loses in the next election, she takes Republicans with her.


  454. Tonight My Valerie and I went out to see the moon as it will be the closest to the earth this evening till sometime in 2028. We held each other and thought about our past 46 years together. We kissed and cried and yet said little as each of us told the other almost at the same time that we knew what each other was thinking.
    We want grand children together..more Christmas’s, time to travel and be with our son and his wife and see their growth. We want more time to hold and look at many more moons and continued New Years together.
    Val has had a rough three days since ingestion of Xeloda pills along with her chemo drip. It has zapped her strength and she cannot do her workout without repeated stops. She is having quite a bout with heart burn or pain in the upper GI due to the treatment. So finally its coming home that she is ill but will not rest. I think this weekend has been her wake up call that she is sick.
    Her Monday sonogram bothers that it came back positive for the nodes and four spots on her spine but failed to light up her tumor in her breast which is clearly palpable. This does not give me clear evidence that the cancer has not spread anywhere else as the Radiologist reported. How can you miss a tumor the size of a small golf ball?


  455. PerFessor,
    I agree completely with your assessment.
    Even though my son is still in the Reserves and know he will go to pains me to continue to see us as the worlds military policeman.
    I could easily vote democrat. Or should I America first..the rest of you get in line.


  456. Hi Congenial Gang,

    It seems we are off and running to war – again. Well, we have all that high-tech weaponry sitting around, bought and paid for. We might as well see how it works. And we have plenty of young men that can be taken out of the gene pool. It appears that some of the hyper-testosterone types want to keep the ancient Semitic family feud between Isaac and Ishmael going indefinitely.

    Isn’t it curious that Robert Mugabe has been brutalizing his people in Zimbabwe for about as long as Gaddafi has in Libya. How come the world community hasn’t taken Mugabe out? Oh, yeah. Zimbabwe doesn’t have any oil or anything else anybody wants.

    I researched and put some of this up in M&H’s some time ago. Maybe this is a good time for a refresher course. After the Muslims defeated the Christian Europeans and took control of the famous overland “Silk Route” to the Far East trade, Europe fell into the ‘Dark Ages’ for 500 years. It wasn’t until England took command of the high seas to get around to Asia again that Europe began to emerge once again.

    Between 628 and 1058 Arabs made enormous strides in all areas of their endeavors. After they invaded and conquered parts of peaceful Hindu India, along with the usual spoils of war, they brought orange trees and spread them throughout southern Europe, especially in Spain for the first time. Cotton was introduced into Europe from India by the Arabs. Muslin cotton and damask linen from Damascus are two from their rich fabric heritage. To grow cotton, canals and extensive irrigation systems were devised to bring the usually arid desert lands into productivity.

    A fascinating bit of innovation was another import (stolen?) from India. The Vedic religion of the Hindus invented and then developed “fables” as a means of teaching moral values. The Moslems brought this type of stories back from India and they eventually became incorporated into Western lore.

    The Caliph Harun al-Rashid (789-809), a contemporary of Charlemagne, proposed a Suez Canal. His idea simmered for a thousand years until the French, with some financial backing from the English, finally completed building it in 1869. The construction of that canal took ten years.

    The windmill was in use in Arab countries long before it first appeared in Europe in the twelfth century. They beat Marco Polo to China by 425 years. The technique for making paper was brought from China, making possible the manufacture of books. Paper had been in use in China since 105. By 794, books were common in Baghdad. They did not appear in Germany until 1228 and in England until 1309.
    The technology of tempered steel was brought from India to Persia. The Arabs took it from Persia and made it into the celebrated “Damascus” blades and later into Toledo steel. Other Muslim Arab incursions into China brought back gunpowder, the compass and playing cards, first to the Middle East and eventually, Europe. Another ingenious first was the use of carrier pigeons.

    From about 700 on, the Islamic world experienced a virtual Renaissance similar to that of the Italian during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. They made astonishing advances in science and mathematics. ‘Arabic numerals’ and zeros used in astronomy were brought from Hindu India in 662. The Arabic word, “safir”, meaning, “empty” became the English word, “cipher”. In the hands of Latin scholars, “safir” translated into “zephyrum”, in turn shortened into “zero” by the Italians. The Muslims also imported the decimal system from India, which of course, ultimately spread to Europe.

    The Arabs are credited with developing algebra. As a matter of fact, algebra was literally OUTLAWED in Europe for over two hundred years. (Right on!) “Algebra” is from the Arabic words, ”al-jabr”, that translates “restitution”, “completion” or “adjustment”. For those interested, they also came up with tables in trigonometry and other higher mathematics. During this time their astronomers automatically assumed from their calculations that the earth was round!

    The Arabs very nearly invented the science of chemistry. As was most of Medieval learning in this field, it was tied into alchemy and the occult. Jabir ibn Hayyan (702-765) well known in Europe as Gebir, was the most famous. Because of his work in alchemy he came up with the concept of the scientific experimental method five hundred years before Roger Bacon.

    Ali al-Masuda compiled a thirty-volume encyclopedia. As a historian, he compared favorably to Pliny and Herodotus. This native of Baghdad postulated a theory of evolution, mineral to plant to animal to man. Of course, this did not set well with fundamentalist Muslims and he spent the last ten years of his life in Cairo in exile where he died in 956.

    Of course, most of those people were not theologians. When people prosper economically through conquest and trade, they have the leisure to pursue the arts, humanities and science. If the vast majority of the public is economically just getting by at the subsistence level, under-educated and provincial, then they are gullible and easy prey to the propaganda put out by those greedy for power and political influence. (This is just fine with the present governor of Wisconsin.) Religiosity and patriotism have always been the most effective tools.

    Fast forward to ‘modern’ times. I understand the Christian Scientists eschew medical intervention, especially blood transfusion. And more recently, on the basis of ONE English physician’s advice, some Americans are afraid to have their children immunized for measles because he thinks the vaccine causes autism. Sheesh!

    Aloha! 🙂 Shalom. Namaste.

    Auntie Jean


  457. Craig –

    I’m taking a few days at the beach and I just saw that we are in ANOTHER war, this time in Libya.

    We do not deserve to lead the world. We cannot mind our own business because we are too damned busy imposing our personal morals on everyone else. Why do we feel the continued need to spend, spend, spend on our military, while people here not only sometimes don’t have enough to eat; they don’t even have somewhere to live? We DESERVE to be owned by the Chinese; our whole country is falling apart and we are adventuring – AGAIN.

    That tears it. I don’t care if the ReBiblicans run Sarah Palin; even though I voted for him in 2008, whoever runs against Barack Obama in 2010 has my vote. Feh.


  458. From watching today’s geo-political developments..
    I must say I’m becoming more impressed with Sec. of State Clinton in her demeanor, public speaking and candor while operating within the confines of her post. Perhaps the wrong demo did run for President?

    Too bad we had to sit on our hands for three weeks while Muammar Gaddafi rolled across Libya..and now have to ask him pretty please with a bomb attached.

    Nobody wanted another front, but our President could have cut this snakes head off early with the blessing of the rest of the Mediterranean governments who amazingly watched idly with their own imported American fighters sitting on their tarmacs. And safely I might add.
    It all had to come down to the oil and the facxt that the French,British and other European countries finally had to act or otherwise find a new supplier and at a higher price. The wily Saudi’s did not reach out to help much, except to “say” they would back up any oil shortages.


  459. I am one of those Democrats, who want Sarah Palin to run for President.!5783033/independents-pick-sheen-over-palin-for-president


  460. Here ya go A Jean.. Good article. 😉

    Enjoy your weekend all! Mageen if you are around please drop a note in dekurker’s kitchen. I might know of a possible job opportunity for your son. He does have a business degree, yes?



  461. Interesting little column from a short while ago:

    I am an Orthodox rabbi who lives in New Jersey but works in New York City. Approximately half of my waking life is lived under your laws and jurisdiction. Like everyone who lives or works in New York City, I have the right, even the obligation, to confront some of your policies regarding so-called “gun control”.

    A short time ago, Arabian speeches at the U.N. urged the Arab World to boycott everything that originates with the Jewish people.

    In response, Meyer M. Treinkman, a pharmacist, out of the kindness of his heart, offers to assist them in their boycott as follows:

    “Any Arab who has Syphilis must not be cured by Salvarsan discovered by a Jew, Dr. Ehrlich.

    He should not even try to find out whether he has Syphilis, because the Wasserman Test is the discovery of a Jew.

    If an Arab suspects that he has Gonorrhea, he must not seek diagnosis, because he will be using the method of a Jew named Neissner.

    An Arab who has heart disease must not use Digitalis, a discovery by a Jew, Ludwig Traube.

    Should he suffer with a toothache, he must not use Cocaine, a discovery of the Jews, Widal and Weil.

    If an Arab has Diabetes, he must not use Insulin, the result of research by Minkowsky, a Jew.

    If an Arab has a headache, he must shun Pyramidon and Antypyrin, due to the Jews, Spiro and Ellege.

    Arabs with convulsions must put up with them because it was a Jew, Oscar Leibreich, who proposed the use of Chloral Hydrate.

    Arabs must do likewise with their psychic ailments because Freud, father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew.

    Should an Arab child get Diptheria, he must refrain from the “Schick” reaction which was invented by the Jew, Bella Schick.

    Arabs should be ready to die in great numbers and must not permit treatment of ear and brain damage, work of Nobel Prize winner, Robert Baram.

    They should continue to die or remain crippled by Infantile Paralysis because the discoverer of the anti-polio vaccine is a Jew, Jonas Salk.

    Arabs must refuse to use Streptomycin and continue to die of Tuberculosis because a Jew, Zalman Waxman, invented the wonder drug against this killing disease.

    Arab doctors must discard all discoveries and improvements by dermatologist Judas Sehn Benedict, or the lung specialist, Frawnkel, and of many other world renowned Jewish scientists and medical experts.

    In short, good and loyal Arabs properly and fittingly remain afflicted with Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Heart Disease, Headaches, Typhus, Diabetes, Mential Disorders, Polio, Convulsions and Tuberculosis and be proud to obey the Islamic boycott.”


  462. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Again, help!!! Would one of you computer geniuses please put up a link to Gene Lyons’ latest column? It is entitled: “Obama should lead the parade.”

    Lyons is dear to my heart, partly because he is such a talented writer, but also because he is a flaming liberal. This column is right up there with Helen for wit and wisdom. The way he takes Gingrich to the woodshed is hilarious!!!

    On a more serious note, there is also a short editorial column, (Mar. 14) from
    “The Patriot-News” of Harrisburg, PA entitled “On elder care.” As an “Elder”, fortunately I have never been subjected to elder abuse or neglect, but apparently it is more common than any of us in our country like to admit.

    Thank you in advance.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  463. Happy St. Patrick’s to you too Jean! Hope everyone is wearing green today.


  464. Morning Congenial Gang,

    Happy St, Paddy’s Day everyone!!! On March 17, everyone is Irish.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  465. It is just terrible about what is going on at the Nuclear Reactors in Japan. But the problem will not be solved by these Fly-bys dumping sea water from the helicopters. You can see from the videos that the water is just not reaching the reactor. Come on, people…THINK! It is really very simple. Attach a cable to Helen and slowly lower her into the reactor. Once her big fat ass is in place, problem over. Crisis solved. Disaster diverted. Oh…and throw Margaret in there as well…just incase any radiation slips out. God speed Margaret & Helen!


  466. Dear Helen, Margaret, and/or Matthew, It’s just not fair that we haven’t heard anything from you for all too long. Please at least let us know that you are ok. It’s been almost 2 months. Perhaps you are so disgusted with politics in the USA that you find it painful to remark?

    Oh well, back to lurking. But you are in my thoughts.


  467. Oh, yeah. Happy St. Pat’s! Bye, I’m off to play the concertina and sing in public. Hopefully, nobody will throw things. Except for brew supplies. Those, I need.


  468. “I for one believe there are no simplistic answers to complex questions.”

    “Sometimes true, but never say never. Saying, “It’s too complicated; I can’t solve it” doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else out there who can solve “it” just fine.”

    Sure. Just not with a simplistic answer. Check the modifier.


  469. I agree with alaskapi, Craig. If you and Valery weren’t terrified, something would be wrong with you. You can make your fears work to your advantage. Maybe it is my irrationality, but I still have a feeling you two will be together longer than the predictions.

    Complicated problems can be solved. Remember Apollo 13. Many considered it lost, but luck and creativity brought it home. The same can happen for Valery and you as well as for the nuclear disaster in Korea.

    But then, what do I know? Everything I understand “I learned in Kindergarten” the service and auto racing.


  470. Jean on nuclear reactors and saltwater:

    “My electronic piano has had to have the ‘mother board’ replaced. ” and “Magnify those silly little examples a gazillion times in the electronics necessary to run and maintain nuclear reactors. Well, you get the picture…… ”

    No you don’t. Problems with your electric piano don’t scale to nuclear powerplants. Even undergraduate electrical, nuclear or mechanical engineers have a kind of education unknown to those in the liberal arts; for designers of nuclear reactors, handling salt spray in the air is a problem to be solved on the back of a napkin over a couple of doughnuts.

    “I for one believe there are no simplistic answers to complex questions.”

    Sometimes true, but never say never. Saying, “It’s too complicated; I can’t solve it” doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else out there who can solve “it” just fine. There ARE answers to complex questions, even if you don’t have them.


  471. Hi Congenial Gang,

    The magnitude of the problems being created by the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan is so far beyond the comprehension of us ordinary folks, it blows my mind. I did have chemistry and other science courses at the undergraduate level in college, but what the experts are facing and have to come up with rapid solutions for – now – is mind boggling to me.

    This much I do know. Out here we have some fairly significant difficulties with salt water, salt spray, and high humidity that landlocked people never experience. During our 4-5 years off and on as tourists, we loved to stay in hotels or condos right on the ocean. Early on in one of the condos, I pulled out the bottom drawer of the stove looking for something. It was empty. The entire drawer was completely rusted out. The outside maintenance staff was continually hosing down the salt spray on the windows so we could see out! Of course we had daily maid service to vacuum and sweep out the fine sand on the lanai that even the gentle trade winds blew in. The condo complex was of fairly new construction.

    Aside from the fact that beachfront properties are prohibitively expensive, ‘boy toy’ and I are both born and bred mountain people. For our permanent residence we wanted some elevation! Never ending window washing, vacuuming and sweeping out sand wasn’t my idea of how I wanted to spend MY retirement! That backfired too. When we were warned that Hurricane Iniki was on its way in 1991, Big Mouthed Jean said, “Don’t worry. By the time it gets up here, it will blow itself out.” Yeah. Our little island is almost circular, 35 miles in diameter. Iniki was 55 miles in diameter! It hit us dead on and completely enveloped the island.

    We also found out the hard way that any metals, cars and even solid brass lamps became pitted and corroded in a short length of time. The effects of high humidity are brutal on electronics. Without proper care, most computers have about one third of the life as those on dry, flat land. My electronic piano has had to have the ‘mother board’ replaced. Later it began to ‘crackle’ whenever I turned it on, indicative of shorting out. I was advised by a piano expert to always leave it on overnight. Just that small amount of heat evaporates the humidity. If the water vapor is from salt spray however, just imagine the salt deposits that are left behind after the evaporation.

    Magnify those silly little examples a gazillion times in the electronics necessary to run and maintain nuclear reactors. Well, you get the picture……

    The bluster of the oracles’ soothsaying away about things they know absolutely nothing about would be humorous if they didn’t take themselves so seriously and expect other people to do so too. I for one believe there are no simplistic answers to complex questions.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  472. Craig-
    It’s ok to be scared as hell.
    The world as you know it just changed.
    Sit a spell and catch your breath.
    You’ll get your feet back on firmer ground.
    Hang right in there and best wishes for you both.


  473. I think the difference is a matter of temprement. My glass tends to be half full, and my wife’s half empty. She also wants to fix things and make them better as you do NOP. Nothing is wrong with either attitude. Its just the way people are. You will learn to at least give lip service to Valery’s half full glass, because you are her most important cheerleader.

    Your being so open about this is a lesson for us all. In your way, you two are teaching us about how to cope with something like this when it is our turn. As Red Green says “We’re pulling for you.”


  474. Must say Craig, I like Valerie’s attitude better than yours, it seems she is determined to live her life with grace, that is a beautiful thing. Don’t get me wrong, I would be more like you at this point, I always want to fix things and make it better for those I love, I think you might be the same way. I think we all realize how hard this is for you and hope things get better for both of you.


  475. My wife’s posting my glass continues to be half empty.


  476. Numbers and connections normally don’t mean much to me tammyharper, but I just scanned headlines on the Drudge Report. Maybe you are on to something.

    Here are some more numbers:

    My father’s birthday March 11

    My mother’s birthday June 12

    My birthday October 13

    My younger brother’s birthday January 14.

    Lady GaGa and her Poker Face are aces high around here. Her boyfriend is from southeast Nebraska, and when they hung out in Omaha and Lincoln over the winter, they made a good impression. A local woman who was a junior high classmate also gave a favorable interview in the Omaha World Herald.

    According to a local radio station, Gwen Stafani and Madonna are distantly related through a Canadian ancestor. Madonna and Lady GaGa are cousins. I don’t know if that connection or tammyharper’s dates are more frightening.

    It will take a while for the Japanese to rebuild from that devistation.


  477. September 11,New York…January 11,Haiti,…..March11,Japan…….Luke21:10-11 And nation shall rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom


  478. “I took that to mean they refused to give their income level, if we’re looking at the same spot on the poll. They answered the the favorably question but refused to give their income level.”

    OK – thanks. Of course that changes the statistical model, but it sounds plausible.

    On another front, the friend whose daughter had the leaking brain aneurysm sent me something:

    It blew my socks off. Slide the vertical bar on the pictures right and left.


  479. @PFesser on March 15, 2011 at 6:01 AM

    I took that to mean they refused to give their income level, if we’re looking at the same spot on the poll. They answered the the favorably question but refused to give their income level.


  480. As I understand it, the greater danger are the pools of spent fuel. Some have lost their cooling systems and there is no way at this time to correct the problem. This spent fuel is very hot and if the water boils off then it could become the “biggest dirty bomb”. – Was on Thom Hartmann yesterday – If I remember correctly – has been arguing against nuclear power for 40 years so it may be a bit extreme.

    “What happens if Republicans and Democrats play this game whenever the opposite party proposes legislation they don’t like?”

    No, they’re too lazy to do that; they just filibuster 70+ times!



  481. Rachel Maddow makes clear what part of the problem is for those of us who don’t understand.


  482. A good book to read right now is “On the Beach.” Descriptions of radiation sickness symptoms in the book fit what we hear now. I read the book when I was in junior high and it taught me Australian geography.

    KFAB Omaha hosts interviewed a scientist who compared the reactors to a heater on a stove. It has been turned off, but the heat remains for awhile. Thus, he said the heat in the reactors will slowly disperse as water is added.

    The scientist who predicted the San Francisco earth quake says something big may happen around March 19.

    Thanks PFessor for the “Life is Now” post. “Don’t Worry. Be Happy” All we have is now. We don’t even have this afternoon, and last night is just a memory.


  483. Thanks for the explanation PFessor. I had heard sea water would destroy the core but that wasn’t the workers’ main concern.

    Micheal Savage interviewed a nuclear expert who said the West Coast has little to worry about. The main problem will be several months of “hot” sushi. He said people near radiation should eat lots of tuna and other fish with a high iodine content. This will slow their bodies absorbtion of radioactive iodine isotopes. They should avoid taking the iodine pills some are pushing, because they have side effects and should not be ingested unless the danger is real.

    I was shelter chief on an Air Force base. According to war game rules, we were safe in a tight enclosure. The radiation level determined how safe it was to be outside and for how long. It was my job to calculate the safe time if there was one.

    No One’s Puppet, if you connect me with that “winning warlock” Charlie Sheen, you will be my heroine. I like 2 and 1/2 Men and some of his film work. He does need another intervention.


  484. “I have heard on TV that they are pumping sea water into the nuclear reactors to keep them cool. Would the Sodium and Chloride react adversely with any other chemicals being released that would not necessarily occur with fresh water?”

    The problem with the reporting is that the reporters generally don’t have a vanishingly small clue of how reactors work or how the containment systems are arranged. The best information I have found is this article from a techie at Tech.

    As for the hydrogen, his surmise is that the cladding around the nuclear fuel rods may have been breached. I remember from high school chemistry that hydrogen is manufactured on a commercial scale by passing superheated steam over hot iron, which I suppose is possible, but doesn’t sound likely. From UCC Website:

    “The manufacture of hydrogen on an industrial scale involves the reaction between steam and iron. Spongy iron from the reduction of spathic iron ore (ferrous carbonate) is heated to redness and steam passed over it.

    3 Fe + 4 H2O ==> Fe3O4 + 4 H2

    The hot ferrosoferric oxide, Fe3O4, is then reduced with water gas:

    Fe2O4 + 4 H2 ==> 3 Fe + 4 H2O

    Fe2O4 + 4CO ==> 3 Fe + 4 CO2 Water gas is made by passing steam over red hot carbon and it consists of a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, with a smaller amount of carbon dioxide:

    C + H2O ==> CO + H2

    C + 2 H2O ==> CO2 + 2 H2

    As for dumping seawater into the core, best guess by folks who seem to know (NOT the lamestream media – apologies to Queen Esther), they do not believe this is necessary or being done, but it would basically render the core junk, with no other bad effects.

    These plants produce immense amounts of heat to boil water to make steam for power generation; the control rods are automatically dropped if power is lost (deadman’s switch), so the primary reaction shut down immediately, but the secondary heat generation and residual heat goes on for quite a while, requiring cooling. It appears that a Chernobyl-like meltdown is not possible in these reactors. (The newest reactors (not these) have gravity-fed water from tanks for emergency cooling, so loss of pumps is not a problem.)

    These reactors’ safety systems vis a vis earthquake worked just fine; they failed when buried in a tsunami, so the take-home lesson for America is that our reactors – a similar design to Japan’s – will be safe until a tsunami comes a couple of hundred miles inland.

    For those with a scientific bent, I recommend Tech Review, the MIT magazine. It is now what Scientific American once was…sigh…


  485. These are some pretty tough times for many of us. I ran across this on Jewish World Review this morning and thought I would share:

    By Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

    Many people live in the past, brooding over bad choices they’d made or someone’s negative behavior to them years ago. Others live in the future, worrying about events that may happen — or may not. Here is the way to achieve lives of joy, courage, love and serenity is to live in the moment, to see the wonders of the present, to feel gratitude for what is happening right this minute. Right now we’re writing our life stories, and we can choose how the script will read. Right now we can put behind us self-doubt, anger, frustration.

    Right now, we can choose happiness.


  486. Love that vid NOP thanks for sharing.


  487. Hi Congenial Gang,

    This is one of the most delightful performances I have seen in a long time. She is a true virtuosa! I just had to share it with you.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  488. M&H. Where are you my little darlin’s. So much going on in our world and you are quiet as church mice. Missing your pithy opinions!!!


  489. If not James, I’ll try to hook you up with Charlie Sheen. “Winning!”


  490. I agree tammyharper.

    I just talked to the man himself. I found Tony Schultz’s phone number and called. I told him I disagreed with some things he said but liked the way he said them. He was polite and said he appreciated talking to someone else who knows Populism. He borrowed themes from his college courses and recordings of Martin Luther King’s speeches.

    He is too young to remember the late seventies and eighties farm recession, though his father and grand father have told stories. He met John Melencamp. I assume Melencamp was in Wisconsin, but I don’t know for sure. As you know, John Melencamp, Willy Nelson, and others helped organize Farm Aid in 1985.

    If you hadn’t posted the link, No One’s Puppet, I would never have met him. He asked my name and address twice for some reason. Maybe I should be looking for men with badges carrying a restraining order. If so, I’ll tell them it was your fault.


  491. Jean and James, no science wiz here, but I wondered about potential corrosion with the use of seawater. At this point, I told myself, don’t look for even more problems ahead, these poor people have enough on their plates for now.


  492. You know I was just joking NOP. Even so, our beliefs overlap, and I think both of us respect each other.

    Thanks for the transcript, Cynthia. Our slow connection is now up to Badger Care. YouTube is all well and good, but nothing beats hearing a stem winder in person. I may try to get in touch with Mr. Schultz. He could have mentioned the Omaha Platform which was one of the first political documents to mention something like Social Security.

    I don’t have a Chemistry related advanced degree, so I don’t know any more than Jean. However, one news report said they were using sea water as an act of desperation without regard to consequences.


  493. Wonder if the Dems know they will have to stay in the state and show up for work to take their state back?


  494. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I’m just curious. Is there anyone here who has advanced degrees and/or training in chemistry related subject? I have heard on TV that they are pumping sea water into the nuclear reactors to keep them cool. Would the Sodium and Chloride react adversely with any other chemicals being released that would not necessarily occur with fresh water?

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  495. James, just so you know, I am the most liberal Democrat, you’ll like to ever meet.



    UPDATE on the most awesome speech you will hear about Wisconsin
    by Roby NJ .

    A partial transcription by Roby NJ – transcription picks up at 3:50 in on the full You Tube video.

    … and we are gonna take this state back!
    And yet there are those who tell us that “This isn’t a farmer’s issue.” And these people have petty resentment that is amplified by right wing radio until they think that a fireman’s pension is the problem.

    And then there are groups that represent this evil. The Dairy Business Association was here on Wednesday for Ag Day in the Capitol saying “Hooray for Walker’s budget.” Well I want you to know, that those aren’t farmers. They’re agribusiness corporations with a few factory farmers in front. And I want Wisconsin and the world to know that this is the real Ag Day at the Capitol.

    This issue, it’s a farmer’s issue because our rural schools are getting decimated by this budget and they are the centers of our small towns and rural communities. In my hometown of Athens, 14 of 44 teachers got pink slips, will be laid off, because of this budget. It’s bad for our children’s education; it’s bad for the stability of our town; it’s bad for the very future of our school district; and we say NO.

    This issue is a farmer’s issue because Scott Walker wants to hack Badger Care. Eleven thousand family farm members depend on Badger Care because of the exclusivity of for-profit health insurance companies and because of the pathetic and volatile price we receive for milk and other commodities that don’t meet the cost of our production. We depend on this and we support Badger Care.

    This is a farmer’s issue because we have been battling…corporate power for more than a century. This budget could not be a clearer manifestation of corporate power. And we say NO.

    This is a farmer’s issue because public workers are our friends, and our neighbors and our family members, and we stand in solidarity with them.

    We’re all in this together. We go up together or we go down together.
And the way I see it is we got two choices: I can have my unions busted and stand alone and be pitted against my neighbor in a desperate and unequal economy.

    Or WE can come together to say “This is what our families need. This is what our communities need. This is what a just wage is. This is what democracy looks like.”

    It’s a farmer’s issue because we understand, that an injury to one is an injury to all. Solidarity!



  497. Yes, I forgot to mention police and fire fighters. You and I agree farm subsidies will be cut over time. Have you noticed that on several subjects, we often agree more than we disagree? Maybe I should ask if you are a secret REPUBLICAN!! Ha Ha!

    An e- pal from Tennessee told me my views fit the Democratic party in his area. We both agreed we should work to moderate our respective political parties.

    Thanks to a doctor’s error, I have two birth certificates. Maybe I should get an id from one and register as a Democrat. Hee Hee!

    Thank you, thank you for the video. As you know we have dial up, and I have been waiting for the speech to load for a couple of hours. Tony Schultz reminds me of the farmers who spoke up during the farm depression of the late seventies and eighties.

    Another thing I like about it is a cousin lives about three counties northwest of the Schultz home.

    As you know, Henry Fonda played Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath. What you may not know is he was born in Nebraska as was Marlin Brando. The families knew each other.

    Assuming everything keeps working, the entire video should be viewable in another three or four hours. Thanks again.


  498. This is the video, enjoy!!5781998/watch-a-wisconsin-farmers-inspiring-speech


  499. Major boo boo here, please disregard , so called video!


  500. I agree with you James, but I have a pretty good idea that farm subsidies will go or be greatly reduced, just like everything else. I also think police and firemen are two that I would name to my list. You going Democrat on us James?

    Here is a video of a farmer’s speech, that I am dedicating to you James, but of course I hope everyone will watch it…. It is that important!


  501. “What happens if Republicans and Democrats play this game whenever the opposite party proposes legislation they don’t like?”

    They just filibuster 70+ times!

    Letter Wisconsin Teacher Wrote to Scott Walker
    Here’s an open letter from one high school social studies teacher, Eric Brehm of Endeavor, Wisconsin, to Gov. Scott Walker, asking about the impacts of his “budget repair bill

    “If I keep going at my current pace, I will work 2,720 hours this school year, 136% to 156% as much as your average hourly worker.”

    “By contrast, I make about $38,000 per year.”

    “As an educator, I understand how difficult it can be to get young people interested in politics. You have managed to do this in the space of one week.”
    “Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.”
    Wisconsin Teacher’s Salary Statistics and Benefits
    Wisconsin teachers have a starting salary of $25,222
    Wisconsin teachers have an average salary of $46,390
    The 10 year growth in salary is 21.5%

    Budget Fight: What Public Employees Really Cost,9171,2055204,00.html



  502. Yes, NOP. Everybody eats.

    I wasn’t telling you what I thought should happen to agricultural subsidies but what I think will happen.





    Communications and infrastructure

    During the health care bill debate, President Obama said “elections have consequences” and “we won.” The same applies to Wisconsin. Democrats tried to negate the election. They set a bad precedent, and they should be punished so others will think twice before repeating their behavior. After they serve a week or so of penance, the Democrats should be allowed to vote again. Maybe fines should have been imposed instead of taking their right to vote. I don’t know.

    What happens if Republicans and Democrats play this game whenever the opposite party proposes legislation they don’t like?


  503. “Judith I thought of your post when I read this poll. Notice what income level supports Obama the most. ”

    Can you help me out with a couple of things? Firstly, the numbers I see have all income levels within statistical dead heat, except for “over $100K” which suddenly jumps to about 2:1. Think about it a minute…how is that possible? Roughly equal and then 2:1…hmmm. Basic calculus says discontinuous functions are not possible, which is to say a smooth curve, then a vertical jump. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Secondly, I see they have numbers for “favorable” and “unfavorable” for those listed as “refused to answer.” Help me out here…how does that work? They read their minds? hmmm again…I’m sure the Daily Kos is perfectly fair and unbiased, so I must just be reading the numbers wrong somehow. Can you straighten me out? Thanks.


  504. lori wrote:

    “Then they figured out a way to game the system, and now that the Democrats are back, they aren’t even letting them vote at all. I guess that’s what you call democracy, Wisconsin GOP style.

    Or it could be interpreted as the natural consequence of not minding the store: if you are not there, it is likely that someone walks off with your bacon. The opposition is not your friend.

    Here in this country, we set rules, write them down as law, and agree to be bound by them. If people run away when the tide is not in their favor, the whole system fails. The proper behavior is you pays your moneys and takes your shot. If you get out-voted, then you can do what the ReBiblicans are doing about Obamacare – try to repeal it.

    Having said that, of course two wrongs do not make a right. (However, three do —-Tony Hendra) This “contempt of senate stuff” sounds pretty bogus to me.


  505. So true:

    (by jed lewison)

    For weeks on end, all we heard from Republicans was that Democrats had a duty to return to the state and vote on Scott Walker’s union-busting legislation. Then they figured out a way to game the system, and now that the Democrats are back, they aren’t even letting them vote at all. I guess that’s what you call democracy, Wisconsin GOP style.

    Fitzgerald: Dem senators won’t be allowed to vote in committees
    Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald wrote this afternoon in an email to his caucus that Senate Dems remain in contempt of the Senate and will not be allowed to vote in committees despite returning from their out-of-state boycott of the budget repair bill vote.

    “They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded,” wrote Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.


  506. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Here are some interesting thoughts. These are from a supplemental insert in the March 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine. We have subscribed to it forever and think it is a fairly reputable publication.

    So before we climb up on our high horses and proclaim to the world – again – that we are the collective ego-centric “Leader of the Free World”, “The Greatest Nation that Ever Was”, and are the hottest hot shots that ever graced the planet, maybe we should try to look a little farther than the tip of our own noses. Ponder these numbers. Of course these statistics are not absolutes, only indiciative of trends.

    “The earth’s population will reach SEVEN BILLION in 2011. The percentage of people with a decent standard of living is higher than it has ever been. Inequality still abounds: 2% of the population owns 50% of the wealth. But the gap between the worlds’ poorest and richest is now filled by a broad middle-income group that scarcely existed on a global scale 50 years ago. More children live to be adults and fewer adults die of preventable diseases. The birthrate is falling. Yet before the era of explosive population growth ends by 2050, the earth will hold more than NINE BILLION people. The challenge: How to share and sustain the PLANET while lifting even more people into a better life.”

    Naturally, these percentages do not add up to 100% since there are so many other Nationalities, Languages and Religions also,

    19% are Chinese
    17% are Indian
    4% are American

    13% speak Mandarin as their first language
    5% speak Spanish
    4% speak English

    33% are Christian
    21% are Muslim
    13% are Hindu

    40% work in Services
    38% work in Agriculture
    22% work in Industry

    Urban vs. Rural:
    51% live in Urban Environments

    This is surprising, 82%

    There are many, many more categories broken down into income level groups from “Low”, “Lower Middle”, “Upper Middle”, and “High”; areas such as technology, access to the inter net, cell phones, etc. If you are interested, you could get your hands on a copy of the magazine. I don’t know if this insert would be anywhere on the inter-net.

    Especially in light of the possible nuclear disasters as a result of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, I feel we are all overdue to re-think priorities. I don’t pretend to have a clue what the ramifications of major nuclear fallouts could be. That technology is way over my head and beyond my comprehension to say nothing of the social and economic factors involved. But instead of following the ancient and time-honored traditions of just taking what we want by force, perhaps we could start sharing the ever-diminishing resources of this planet with each other. The conservative mantra for a long time has been, “A high tide raises all boats.” When the standard of living is elevated WORLDWIDE, we too will benefit.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  507. James, could you tell me in your own words, why you feel that the agriculture sector is a important component to our national security? Are there other businesses or careers that you also feel are essential to the country’s future?


  508. Hi, No Ones’ Puppet. Thank you. Nice to “see” you again too.

    My fearless prediction is farm subsidies, including support of biofuels, will still be with us in the new 2012 farm law. Subsidies will be directed more toward insurance and conservation than production, and they will be cut. However, agricultural leaders will successfully argue that the safety net is important to our national security.

    As long as farm prices remain good, much of the production subsidy money will be unspent because a certain price triggers payments. As you know, agriculture is such a polyglot that one sector may prosper while another struggles. Moreover, agricultural fortunes change with the seasons.

    I agree with much of what buttons 844 wrote, though our potential crisis concerns public, not private employees. I have a prediction about that too, but you didn’t ask.


  509. Been awhile…for alot of us in more ways than just one or two ways. Am hoping all is well with M&H…after mentioning problems with spouse and etc, amongst other issues. WOULD INDEED be nice to have an update and even , some wisdomly words and observations/etc.
    Those are indeed difficult days for Craig and his family.Know too others have difficulties of similar nature as well here abouts. The supportive effort is sure to be appreciated as it DOES help to sustain in /thru the difficulties.
    What an old saw to offer that ‘ain’t it great that a thorn bush DOES proffer up roses’ comes to mind when reading thru the various comments, some contentious, others not so much as the differing opinions roll onward.
    There remains far more than JUST two sides to just about all of the various equations and discussions and many remain dug into preferred rut sure THEY/we have THE correct conclusive/etc. Good to always leave a cracked door though.Better still is to allow that there are few absolutes as well and worth noting, on all sides SOME will ALWAYS try for an advantage whether due one or not. Nothing is black or white, just various shadings of grey !! Truly times that try ALL souls !!
    In regards to “union” issues….have been a union member–was part of employment and no REAL choice (there was an “option” to decline which did come with a few sticky points that COULD be instigated so was easier to just go along with than fight it. ) Unions have their good points as well as their bad points, just like about all else…not all good but not all bad either and due to unionization we ALL made some great strides(work environment/safty measures/pay scales and pensions and benefits that reach far beyond JUST union members and their work/employment.
    Does anyone truly believe they have NOT benefitted in a number of instances due to the negotiated collective bargainings done BY unions across the board ? If so, think need a deeper education and wider knowledge base for sure.
    Have there been or ARE there abuses in the union system ? Sure but an actual greater common good has come about due to negotiated collective bargaining as well. How many truly believe they WOULD BE better off without such “safe guards” and merely at the whim of CORPORATIONS elites who would whim whatever to their OWN benefit ? Any truly believe the corporates WOULD BE benevolent and fair and etc,etc,etc without prompting ? Seems , and really do mean SEEMS many do, hence we ‘ve alot of victimhoodnessings going on so sure that unions are the ONLY problem with what is wrong with our worlds….Think we are running out of handbaskets to tote all ….the good, the bad and the outright ugly. What does seem needed is for all to get a grip on actual reality using facts and that remains rather much elusive. It could be worse just as it CAN get worse, even worser. Really comes down to hardrock life for sure with no guarentees for ANYONE so best to TRY to make the best of it and that will involve SINCERE negotiated compromises that will needed to be respected as for the actual GREATER common good for ALL ,not just the few !!!


  510. “What nature doesn’t do to us ……..will be done by our fellow man!”

    Michigan bill would impose “financial martial law”

    Michigan lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill that would enable the governor to appoint “emergency managers” — officials with unilateral power to make sweeping changes to cities facing financial troubles.

    Under the legislation, the Michigan Messenger reports, the governor could declare a “financial emergency” in towns or school districts. He could then appoint a manager to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services – and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.



  511. Judith I thought of your post when I read this poll. Notice what income level supports Obama the most.


  512. Hi James, glad to see you back, while you are reminding us about your prognostications, answer a question for us, what will be the fate of farm subsidies?


  513. Well, another corporatist slips and lets his true feelings out. CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow responded to his co-host’s statement. Co-host – “All in all, the market is taking this in stride.”

    “The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that,” Kudlow responded. “And the human toll is a tragedy, we know that.”

    Yep, humans are fungible. As long as they’re not embryos. At least his bank account’s ok.

    Seen parked in my neighborhood – a beat-to-shit car, pieces falling off, with a NObama sticker displayed prominently in the back window. If I ever see the driver, I’m going to ask him why he’s supporting people whose primary belief about the country is that there’s too much middle class. A middle class who’s got too much of their money. If they get their way, he won’t be able to afford a car at all.


  514. Tomorrow, March 15th there will be rallies around the country in support of the workers in WI and all workers/unions. My husband and I will be attending the one near our home. I f you go onto or you will be directed to a rally locator. I belong to a union and my husband does not. We understand that unions are not perfect (what is, including our union of states?) but theyare the only remaining protection that the workers/middle class have against the overwhelming power of the corportations. (see paul krugman) I have no problems with unions giving back in times like the present, but to ignore/deflect the fact the banks/corporations/Koch brothers etc. are the cause of the financial problems experienced by states and individuals is foolish at best. Our economy was strong before the Bush years and the unions were strong during those times as well. (And, there was far greater regulation of the banks/financial sector in those times).
    I hope that tomorrow’s rallies will continue to shine light on these facts. Too many people have been ignorant of these developments. Newspapers, TV, most politicians (shout out to Bernie Sanders), being corporate owned, no longer provide the facts and connections that we need to be informed. Most information provided by these quarters have corporate interests at heart. Not the interests of ‘the peole’. The internet, thank god, still provides us with blogs like M&H, Daily Kos, Huff Post, Crooks and Liars, Daily Dish etc. that provide facts about the players that control most of our lives.
    Also, the “I’ve got mine” mentality among many of us is all too prevalent. To my ongoing amazement it’s often found in religious right arenas masquerading as ‘big government’ – unless it’s about women’s rights. Then all bets are off.
    Yikes, this is a rant and I for that I apologize. Willful ignorance makes me nuts!


  515. Hi Craig. I can’t say anything more or better than what’s already been said, but I’m sorry the news wasn’t more encouraging. I am hoping for the best possible outcome and as much happiness as is possible with the time you have left together, whether it’s a year or five or ten or more. 🙂


  516. This is for you PFessor: “I TOLD YOU SO!!!”

    The animosity of the other side was so thick we are lucky no one smuggled fire arms into the court room. Reporters were interesting. Though they were only doing their jobs, they tried every trick possible to get us to talk when we were under court order to shut up.

    I don’t know if the figures you posted are true or not, but I suspect they are. I ranted about this problem over a year ago. Police and Fire fighter contracts with binding benefits nearly took Omaha into bankruptcy, and the mayor barely survived a recall election.

    We discussed it at our regular county-wide political brunch on Saturday. The government workers’ unions hold a unique position because although we pay their salaries, our representatives negotiate. It has been profitable for both sides. Unions demand what they can get away with, which is their job. Government negotiators give them what they can afford, but since it is not their money, they can be over generous. Often pay raises are deferred in the form of benefits, because they are easier to justify and are less painful to the tax payers.

    The Wisconsin and other governments withhold union dues which then go to the unions. It is relatively painless for the workers because they never see the money. In return, unions donate money and workers to campaigns of politicians who have helped them. When contracts expire, they negotiate even more generous terms. Republicans, Democrats, and Unions know the system will change if unions are forced to collect dues every month or whenever they must be paid.

    That, in my opinion is the main issue, the status quo. Unions and some Democrats are fighting for their economic and political lives, and I believe that explains their desperation and anger. Protesters have issued death threats, manhandled observers and Republican politicians. Democrats and the liberal press have rallied to the cause as they ignore what would have been a leading story if Tea Party protesters had committed those acts.

    In the beginning, I believe several of the unions offered to make financial concessions. What they refused to do was to give up something even more important than weakening parts of the collective bargaining process. Collecting dues without government help was non- negotiable. I believe the outgoing chair of the NEA said the union’s power is more important than good schools etc. because teachers owe their salaries and benefits to the union.

    The new Iowa House has passed a law requiring government workers to pay at least $100.00 per month to their health care, because Iowa needs the money. The Democratic Senate says it is part of a national campaign to bust unions. The system will change or state and local governments will run out of money.

    Those teachers who lied about being sick to be there were stealing money from the state. My wife teaches, and she gets five days of personal leave per year. If she needs more time, she can get time off without pay.

    I like that song, Cynthia. If you want more proof we haven’t changed in fifty years, listen to Eve of Destruction by Barry Mcguire.


  517. Craig, Val is right. Nothing is set in stone.

    Remember, my doctor told me to settle my affairs in the winter of 1991. An e- friend had six months to live after doctors told her she had breast cancer. That was six years ago. True, cancer spread to her thyroid after the all clear, but she beat it too.

    On the other hand, a neighbor was diagnosed with cancer last summer. He died before Christmas. The point is nobody knows. Educated guesses are based on statistics. Look at the bell curve. It is filled with outliers.

    Even if Val has only eighteen months, that is longer than some of us on the forum have. I’m betting on her to beat the odds.

    Maybe you could save Lori’s and NOP’s posts to read in your dark days.


  518. Craig,
    I am very sorry to hear the bad news about the cancer. Val sounds like a real fighter, that is good, she can beat this thing. One little word of advice…. Don’t let the cancer take over your world, put it in it’s place and remember to see Val when you look at her, not the cancer. As Poolman said, take each day, one at a time and live it to the fullest.
    I will keep you and Val in my thoughts and prayers.
    Best wishes


  519. Kingston Trio!! A Beach. A Fire. A Beer. And Singing Songs.
    Young, Naïve, Held the World by the Tail. Oh my.
    Perhaps the names, locations and events have changed a bit but have we in 50 years?

    Rioting in Africa

    They’re rioting in Africa. They’re starving in Spain.
    There’s hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.

    The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
    The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles.

    Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
    And I don’t like anybody very much!

    But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud,
    For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud.

    And we know for certain that some lovely day,
    Someone will set the spark off… and we will all be blown away.

    They’re rioting in Africa. There’s strife in Iran.
    What nature doesn’t do to us… will be done by our fellow man.



  520. Pfisser,

    “disclaimer: I don’t know if a single word of it is true, but if so, very very interesting stuff…”

    How much do you want us to believe? If someone believes this “creative math” I have a bridge to sell them and a stunning designer jacket to wear to the closing.

    Letter Wisconsin Teacher Wrote to Scott Walker

    “Via one of our Tumblr chums, Positively Persistent Teach, here’s an open letter from one high school social studies teacher, Eric Brehm of Endeavor, Wisconsin, to Gov. Scott Walker, asking about the impacts of his “budget repair bill.” It’s lengthy and worth reading—and passing on—in its entirety. You can also read up on Brehm at his blog, Bang the Bucket. In his own words:”

    “If I keep going at my current pace, I will work 2,720 hours this school year, 136% to 156% as much as your average hourly worker.”

    “By contrast, I make about $38,000 per year.”

    If you wished to trim $30 million off of the budget that works out to about $6.91 per Wisconsin taxpayer. So I must ask: Is it fair that you ask $3000 of me, but you fail to ask $6.91 of everyone?

    “As an educator, I understand how difficult it can be to get young people interested in politics. You have managed to do this in the space of one week.”
    Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.”
    Wisconsin Teacher’s Salary Statistics and Benefits
    Wisconsin teachers have a starting salary of $25,222
    Wisconsin teachers have an average salary of $46,390
    The 10 year growth in salary is 21.5%
    Average Beginning Teacher Salary: $31,753
    Average Teacher Salary: $47,602
    Average Administrator Salary: $77,740
    Elementary School Principals: $82,414
    Middle School Principals: $87,866
    High School Principals: $92,965



  521. I’m sorry your news wasn’t the greatest Craig. But I know Val can give this beast a run for it’s money. If anyone can do it Val can!I’m sure of it. I’ll be looking forward to hearing NED in your next report! xo


  522. PFesser
    I’ll be calling you soon in a day or two after the next scan..


  523. With all the sad news here of late, I thought I’d forward medical news of note, sent to me by a doctor friend:

    All drugs have two names, a trade name and generic name.

    For example, the trade name is Tylenol and its generic name is Acetaminophen.. Aleve is also called Naproxen. Amoxil is also calle Amoxicillin and Advil is also called Ibuprofen.

    The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra.

    After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin.

    Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin.

    Pfizer Corp. Announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer.. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one.

    Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of ‘cocktails’, ‘highballs’ and just a good old-fashioned ‘stiff drink’.

    Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT & DO.


    Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer’s research.

    This means that by 2020, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

    From Your Source for all Medical News. You’re welcome…


  524. Jean, I think we are going to be okay, even the blasphemers, as I recall Briton used to hang pickpocketers. Times change, laws evolve.
    Craig, glad to hear Val has the spirit, if I recall your words correctly, the doctor said, at the bare minimum Val has eighteen months. That means she could have a lot more than that, if she works under the assumption that she has plenty of time left, I ‘m sure she will.


  525. James –
    “It has been a long few months of vituperative law- suits and counter suits reported in at least five news papers. Now, we have won. ”

    Congratulations on your legal triumph! Say I Told You So. It gets me excited.

    Along that line, did you know Greta Van Susteren and her husband/law partner were the subjects of serious legal disciplinary proceedings in WV because of “ambulance chasing” in 1996? Believe me, in a state full of ambulance chasers, that is a very high standard to meet. They then later slipped under the wire because of a rule that “ambulance chasing” only applied to those regularly practicing law in WV. Get outta here! I’m so glad to be in Mr. Jefferson’s home; the best way to see WV is in the rear view mirror.


  526. Interesting data sent to me today by a right-winger friend. disclaimer: I don’t know if a single word of it is true, but if so, very very interesting stuff…

    2010 Wisconsin Public Worker Wages
    No wonder the unions don’t want to give up their power. . . .

    ATTACHED: This is the official excel DPI database of Wisconsin teachers wages by school district. Look up your own district !!!

    AVERAGE WAGE AND BENEFITS (remember this is for about 9 months of work) includes a computation for retirement benefits, health and life insurance, sick day pay accrual, vacation days, personal holidays.

    Milwaukee $86,297
    Elmbrook $91,065
    Germantown $83,818
    Hartland Arrwhd $90,285 (highest teacher was $122,952-lowest was $64,942)
    Men Falls $81,099
    West Bend $82,153
    Waukesha $92,902
    Sussex $82,956
    Mequon $95,297
    Kettle Mor $87,676
    Muskego $91,341
    Arrowhead – Bus Mng – Kopecky – $169,525
    Arrowhead – Principal – Wieczorek – $152,519
    Grmtwn – Asst Princ – Dave Towers – $123,222
    Elmbrk – Burliegh Elemetary – Principal Zahn- $142,315 (for a primary school!!)
    Madison – Asst Principal – McGrath – $127,835
    UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN STAFF (2009) (salary alone):
    Michael Knetter – Prof of Bus – $327,828
    Carolyn Martin – Chancellor Mad- $437,000
    Hector Deluca – Prof of Nutritional Science – $254,877 (really??)
    ( -as the UW removed salaries from being posted online in 2007- why if they are so low?)
    How about some other “public servant job” ??? What do they make?
    Madison Garbage men (2009) (salary only):
    · Garbageman, Mr. Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.
    · Garbageman, Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598
    · 7 Madison garbage men made over $100,000
    · 30 Madison garbage men made over $70,000
    136 Drivers made more than $70,000
    54 Drivers made more than $80,000
    18 Drivers made more than $90,000
    8 Drivers made more than $100,000
    Top Driver made $117,000
    (Source WTMJ)

    (The average private bus driver makes $9-13 an hour (about 20,000 year) with no pension, or healthcare.)


  527. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Donna, I am worried. I am really worried! If I remember correctly, our Law is based primarily on British Common Law and Precedents.

    I just read about Britain’s Blasphemy Act of 1698. As a lawyer, you must be familiar with it. It stipulated that for denying the Holy Trinity, a person could be prevented from holding public office and receiving some inheritances. Up until 1925, (that’s only four years before I was born!!!), Blasphemy charges were brought against Britons not only for expressing contempt for God and the Scriptures – for which fines, imprisonment and even corporal punishment were enforced – but also for insulting high-ranking government officials. The last prison sentence for Blasphemy was handed down to a “Speaker’s Corner” orator in 1921. These were perfectly legal convictions for Blasphemy. Is that law still on the books?

    Today there are some extreme right wing conservatives who are heck bent (not h*ll bent!) on returning to the ‘Good Ole Days’; you know, before slavery was abolished, women’s suffrage, unions and the like, by any means possible, fair or foul.

    Many of us here on the porch have committed grave sins of Blasphemy! I am one of them and so afraid. If any of us are busted, Donna, will you bail us outta jail and defend us, all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary?

    Thank you so much.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  528. Note to Poolman ..Thanks for your input and advice.
    I appreciate it.


  529. Note to all.
    If you see a piece of a mans ass beside the road it is mine.
    My wife saw my statement..and took great umbrage with what she says
    is not going to happen. She said “you have me boxed and buried.”
    “But I’m not going any time soon.” “what the doctor said was statistics and I can beat the statistics.”
    Well that was my ass being handed to me by my wife. Her glass is and always will be half full… if not full.
    Now to the happy place. She gets her new sonogram tomorrow..and first Chemo treatment Tuesday. I guess its the start of a whole new life style.

    The Avastin will be a fall back drug of choice with a another drug called
    Invitor. So we will wait six weeks and see where we are and hopefully the current treatment will start putting the nodes in remission and whatever is in her back as well. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.


  530. Craig: F*ck. I have no other words that quite capture how awful I’m feeling for you and Val.

    Wait. I do have this. (I hope it doesn’t come off sounding glib. I don’t mean it that way. This is something a dear friend said to me when it became apparent that breast cancer was going to kill his beloved wife [also a dear friend])….

    “We’re grateful to know how much time we have left. Not many people get that gift.”

    My jaw dropped. I had never thought of it that way.


  531. Dear Helen
    I really enjoy reading your blog. I hope that you and your family are ok, and that you yourself are still alive as it has been a while since your last (and very brilliant) blog. I hope that I am as smart as you when I get your age (or before). I wish you all the best.
    yours sincerely
    (ms) Benét


  532. Craig, I’m sorry about the news. As others wrote, nothing is set in stone. I have a present for you. It is all I can do. Google “You’re Not Alone” by Downhere which I assume is on YouTube.

    It has been a long few months of vituperative law- suits and counter suits reported in at least five news papers. Now, we have won. The district attorney will supervise terms of the ruling before the end of the month. Early on, I made a list of predictions on this forum, and, I enraged people when I scornfully wrote “I told you so!” as they came true. I’d like to do the same to our litigant opponents, but I will probably meet them with a smile and “hi”, because we won.

    Hi, Tammyharper. Keep up the good work.

    Christina Hendricks of Mad Men stars in a science fiction video, “The Ghost inside” by Broken Bells which is also on youtube. It tells a nice story which is an allegory of a woman trapped in a bad relationship. I think it could also apply to people and their ideologies.


  533. A rather amazing bit of statistics on the quake in Japan.


  534. Hi Congenial Gang,

    We saw our Internist Thursday for our routine checkups. He has been our primary care doctor for a long time. He has impeccable credentials. He has such a full roster of patients he hasn’t been taking any new ones in quite some time. We know, because we have recommended some friends to him.

    I think this is pretty interesting. Once a year the local newspaper puts out an extensive survey on the goods and services on the island and asks the people to rate them. This runs the gamut from restaurants to fast food joints to car dealerships to professional people of all stripes- doctors, lawyers, CPAs, you name it. The results were recently published.

    Our doctor was rated as a doctor, “First Place!” “Best on the Island”! His partner was Second. (We cudda told them that.) There was a nice plaque on the wall in his waiting room to that effect.

    Now here is where it really gets interesting. They also had a prominent sign saying they no longer would accept such-and-so insurance carriers and listed them! One was Humana. The sign also listed alternate insurance carriers they recommend.

    Over the years, without making a big deal out of it, our doctor has shown his disgust with the way the insurance and pharmaceutical companies have been giving both the patients and the doctors their greedy Mickey-Mouse-run-arounds. Looks like some medical professionals are fed up! When one of our doctor’s caliber and reputation speaks out like this, it may have some positive repercussions – for patients anyway. Since Obamacare has gone into effect and patients can no longer be denied claims for pre-existing conditions, they are free to go to insurance carriers who give better service. Isn’t that Capltalism and the Free Enterprise System at it’s best? So what can the conservatives whine about that.

    I think this is a big step in the right direction, don’t you?

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  535. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Craig, I’m so sorry to hear of Val’s grim prognosis. That said…….there are so very many variables. Example, we had a dear friend given three years with cancer. He lived for fifteen and died from something else! So I’m a little leery of time lines. Science likes to think it knows everything and has all the answers wrapped up in little bundles on the shelf. There are such things as spontaneous remissions and no one knows why.

    None of us knows what even tomorrow brings. I could get hit by a Kauai bus. But they are kinda small and lumber along slowly. I think I’m still nimble enough to hobble out of the way. I hope you will both concentrate on the LIFE you have together and enjoy every moment. You have plenty of livin’ to do!

    I send you my best Aloha!

    Auntie Jean


  536. Craig –

    There is a worldwide race going on: humans vs. cancer, and the cancer cannot win – not in the long term. Medicos now are all linked via the ‘net, and any research anywhere on the planet showing benefit for your wife will be known to all other researchers within days – sometimes hours.

    The answer is out there. It will come. Will it come in time? Nobody knows. But hope is not gone until life is gone and from where I sit, I believe there is cause for great hope. (Don’t make me quote Yogi Berra about the fat lady!) -grin- As always, you have my phone #; call any time you feel the need.


  537. Shame on you Craig, getting a fourteen year old girl all liquored up, all in the name of love! LOL


  538. Craig, just know God prefers to work from impossible circumstances. He is king of the impossible. Never give up. Time for more of the roses, dinners, wine and candlelight. I’ll keep lifting her to the Father. The race isn’t over yet.


  539. Yea..I know…NOP and all..
    My pharma rep across street who use to sell cancer drugs came over and gave me the speech about new things and products are happening every day..Guess I just feel like that BP guy…I just wish we had our life back…
    I’m suppose to be her rock..and I need to get it together and I guess its just a very raw nerve right now. We have been going to church fact it started back in the fall before any of this cancer stuff transpired. I just prey and I know she is leaning on “HIM” more. She’s a fighter. I knew that when I married took me ten years to snare her..Lots of roses, dinners, wine and candlelight. From age 14-to 24 I went after her. I can’t give up on her now. Thank you all for being my listening post and my heart out to Mageen in Old Virginny as well.


  540. Damn, Craig. That stinks. I am truly sorry.


  541. Craig, eighteen months can be at lot or it can be nothing, I suppose, depending on one’s mood and perseverance. The difference between Val and the rest of us is she knows the what and can approximate the when, but a lot of living and building of good memories can happen in the meantime. Remember we are here for you as a diversion whenever you need one, my instincts scream, tell him something encouraging, but I don’t want to get all maudlin or be a phony. I am very sorry the news wasn’t better.


  542. Aw, Craig, I’m so sorry the news is not what we all wanted to hear. Hang in there. Take each day at a time. If that’s too much to fathom, then break the day down into the next fifteen minutes, if you have to, and just get through those few minutes at a time.

    Maybe the research will throw something really useful her way that will give Val more time, more hope, more progress, and some goodness. Surround her and yourself with friends and loved ones, and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

    My heart aches for Val and you today.


  543. Craig-
    You both will win if every moment you have together is a celebration of your love and time together.
    It sounds stupid and touchy-feely but it is true . Very best wishes to you both.


  544. Met with Dr. O from 5pm and walked out at 7pm.
    In some ways shortest two hours but exhausted after coming out and heading to hotel.
    Not good news from Dr. O
    Val has incurable cancer. She will be on some sort of chemo from now on.
    She starts Tuesday in Lubbock. Val’s only hope is that the genome study currently being conducted on Val’s DNA tissue will take 4- 5 more months to reveal what exactly her cancer would best react to.
    When I asked about time..She looked down and then started about the statistics and Val’s current state of good health and exercise regimen…but Dr. O said she certainly has 18 months, but Dr.O Would not give any guarantees. All people react differently and she will try and get Val on any clinical study around the country that may benefit her. This cancer has Metz to the spine as well as the lymph nodes.
    Base line Val has 18 months at least out to who knows, 3 years..6 years? Maybe there will be new developments and regimens in the mean time.
    The body can only take so much chemo so I’m told. Dr. O also has Val scheduled for another base line pet scan on Monday to compare past and future results from chemo treatments.
    Thus we know she will die from cancer…it’s just when, depending on her fight , strength and how long her body will let her receive chemo.
    I’m drained and the mood around the house has certainly been less than jovial.
    Val is a fighter and is trying to stay up..but we both look at each other and wonder..hug..and then retreat to our lil corners of the world… And I’m suppose to put my “happy face” on and say we will win this.


  545. PFesser,

    Regarding the link in your post from 7:54 am and in honor of Captain Jean-luc Picard, “Make it so!”


  546. HRH Sofia –

    Thank you SO much for the I Have Sex video. I guess I am not so far behind the times; I even recognized the music: “Handlebars” My two teenage sons love that song. It has quite a message if you listen to the words.

    Damn the ReBiblican right. Damn them. When are they going to get their noses out of other people’s crotches and take care of the country’s business?


  547. “Poolman a 3 foot tsunami wave could be 100s of feet from top to bottom. This was no wave to be surfing in buddy. I think you might be confuzzling the two.”

    No, no, no, no. It doesn’t work like that. The wave’s amplitude is three feet, period, peak to trough. Its wavelength (the distance between peaks (or troughs)) may be several miles; that is why, even though it may travel several hundred miles per hour, boats on the ocean may not be even aware of it as it passes under them, slowly lifting them three feet and letting them back down.

    When it gets to shore, that is a different matter. As the water reaches the shallows, the wavelength begins to shorten and the water begins to “pile up,” converting a long shallow wave to a short high one.

    It is SOP for boats to sail offshore at first notice of a tsunami. Surfing? No. too close to shore, and they don’t know how high the wave will be for sure at any given shoreline. 100 feet deep? No.


  548. Hi all –

    Check this out: I think it will especially appeal to you, Poolman, Craig, James, Noah, and others with a Libertarian bent.

    Click to access The_Honorable_Legislator’s_Creed.pdf

    I found this on a Website dedicated to electrical systems for airplanes. I have talked to this guy; he is really something. His name is Bob Nuckolls and has worked as an electrical engineer in the aircraft industry for Boeing and several others. I wired my homebuilt airplane according to some of his designs and it performed flawlessly.

    I see he has other things on his mind, too. He’s a very impressive guy.


  549. Auntie Jean- so glad Hawaii was mostly spared and people were so ready!
    Sending best wishes!


  550. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Cynthia, I am in awe of your talent for accurately expressing in symbols what primates are not capable of understanding in the written word. Since humans first scrawled depictions on the walls of their caves, they have been able to convincingly describe their thoughts and feelings. I applaud you for giving the ahem, other side of the POV that some so ardent advocate for here at M&H’s.

    No need for apologies. I for one look forward to more of your Keyboard Kreations! You have my unqulified support.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  551. Tammy, never thought I’d say this, but thanks for the video. Frightening!


  552. Cynthia, offended? Hardly!


  553. Cynthia.

    No need to apologize. Unfortunately you will now be seen as using the standard set by the ape.


  554. Gee, Cynthia…

    I haven’t been offended by anything YOU said. Besides, sometimes a gal has to do what a gal has to do. For example, I have a really good pair of nippers I could maybe loan ya, but ya just can’t get through online with them like you’d want to, so words have to do.

    And, please, keep up the good work.


  555. Everyone,

    I most respectfully submit my sincere apology to Helen and Margaret and to all I may have offended by my display of rude, crude, disrespectful, and immature behavior and lack of self control.

    And also to my mother who raised me to a proper respectful woman and taught me better then to stoop to this level of behavior.



  556. A lesson in being truly objective no matter what side of the isle your on. A disturbing event in Michigan.


  557. an.800lbgorilla,

    Cynthia opined on February 20, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
    “I will admit I am no match for people like you.”

    an800lbgorilla opined on February 22, 2011 @ 4:17am
    “I’m glad we clarified that.”

    Are you really, really sure of that?

    ………(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ………..\………. _.•´

    DO NOT under estimate me!

    In case you’re asking – number of asshat ex-husbands.



  558. Morning Congenial Gang,

    Thanks for your concerns about us. We are all grateful out here that the tsunami turned out to be a non-event. We get tsunami warnings all the time since we are out in the middle of the Pacific Rim and can get them from Alaska, to Chili, to Indonesia, to Japan as well as all the islands in between.

    We got the Civil Defense ro-bo call as we were hearing the sirens go off regularly last night. We are up high on a cliff so we knew we were safe. Civil Defense out here is a well oiled machine and quite efficient. They opened and announced where evacuation centers are all over all the islands to get people to higher ground. The centers are not shelters – no food or sleeping accommodations. They are only set up for the short term duration of the tsunami.

    Of course, the Red Cross was right in there – – – on TV rattling their tin cups for donations. (I don’t hold the Red Cross in very high esteem since our experiences with them during Hurricane Iniki in 1991.)

    BTW, aren’t Civil Defense, and those geophysical, earthquake people part of that big, bad g’ment that keeps throwing us taxpayers money away on useless programs?

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  559. lori, I know plenty along the beach will be affected. But Auntie Jean is on higher ground, as I recall. A lot of the surfers do like to follow the storms. 20 and 30 foot waves are not too uncommon in winter on some of the beaches. But you’re right, it isn’t like a tidal wave. The ocean is a very powerful force that puts us wimpy humans to shame, making us respect mother nature and realizing how little control we have over these forces. I’m happy I’m landlocked at times like this.


  560. Poolman a 3 foot tsunami wave could be 100s of feet from top to bottom. This was no wave to be surfing in buddy. I think you might be confuzzling the two.


  561. Poolman, I didn’t watch it, but when I saw it on a blog discussing abortion, I had a Kathy Griffin moment. I can’t be the only one with a warped sense of humor can I?


  562. I heard 3 foot waves in Kaua’i. That isn’t anything to get exciting about. I don’t even think the surfers would get excited over that. My heart goes out to those in Japan, though. These are exciting times, for sure.


  563. Nope NOP didn’t notice.. I have great scroll skills..


  564. Gorilla,

    Rand Paul is totally right in his rant in that video. I have felt the same frustration over that type of government intervention in our life choices for decades. Thanks for posting it. It also speaks well into the topic of this thread.


  565. NOP, I ignored all of it. Kudos to you for caring.


  566. I see the big gorilla posted a video of Rand Paul, anyone besides me note the irony? I just look at him and think….


  567. Auntie Jean- you are in my thoughts. Just now hearing from a sibling on far north coast of CA where waves are expected to hit 8 ft and so much damage was done after AK Good Friday quake in 64…
    Please let us hear from you too


  568. Helen and Margaret, in case you missed seeing this add. Makes me really proud of some of our “youts.” Can you imagine, Planned Parenthood cost the government 75 million dollars. Sound like a lot until you hear that oil subsidies cost us taxpayers
    2.5 BILLION.


  569. Cynthia, I saw that yesterday and wanted to post it, too. I’m so glad you did.

    It’s an awful commentary on the priorities of our nation that we can waste any of our time looking at Charlie Sheen’s bad choices and totally forget or ignore the ultimate sacrifices on our American men and women dying overseas in the miserable war in Afghanistan.


  570. Sending out prayers to Auntie Jean and everyone else in Hawaii. Please be safe and let us know that you are!


  571. Hi Auntie Jean, Please be sure to let us all know that you are ok out in HI. Looks like it might be really bad.


  572. Thanks for the clarification, Elsie. Good info. And Cynthia, thanks for the link.


  573. Like

  574. Please check this out…..Thank You

    Viral post pits coverage of Sheen, fallen soldiers
    By Wayne Drash, CNN

    “It started with a Facebook status update. Upset at the media’s coverage of Charlie Sheen, someone took up for American soldiers dying in Afghanistan.”



  575. Oops…

    I found the actual NASA website that disputes and/or clarifies some of the inventions attributed to NASA a bit better at

    You’ve got plenty to read if you go there or just use Google with the subject of NASA inventions.


  576. Elsie:

    Thanks for adding specifics to my general assessment. That sort of innovation has slid into the background as our “biggest and best brains” now shuffle papers and make fortunes at the expense of the rest of us.


  577. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri and elsie, brilliant comments, back to back, today! Thanks for sharing positive insights.

    Aloha! 🙂 Namaste. Shalom.

    Auntie Jean


  578. Thanks for sharing that, Elsie. I didn’t know that!


  579. Hey, jsri.

    NASA’s development of thousands of space industry products have directly impacted our lives. In fact, in its 50+ years, NASA has filed more than 6300 patents. So, as the GOP slashes funding everywhere it can and “cuts taxes to balance the budget”, it might be good to take a moment and reflect on a few of the inventions or improvements that we have today that evolved from NASA’s efforts:

    Here are the top 15 space spin-offs:

    1. CAT scanner: this cancer-detecting technology was first used to find imperfections in space components.

    2. Computer microchip: modern microchips descend from integrated circuits used in the Apollo Guidance Computer.

    3. Cordless tools: power drills and vacuum cleaners use technology designed to drill for moon samples.

    4. Ear thermometer: a camera-like lens that detects infrared energy we feel as heat was originally used to monitor the birth of stars.

    5. Freeze-dried food: this reduces food weight and increases shelf life without sacrificing nutritional value.

    6. Insulation: home insulation uses reflective material that protects spacecraft from radiation.

    7. Invisible braces: teeth-straightening is less embarrassing thanks to transparent ceramic brace brackets made from spacecraft materials.

    8. Joystick: this computer gaming device was first used on the Apollo Lunar Rover.

    9. Memory foam: created for aircraft seats to soften landing, this foam, which returns to its original shape, is found in mattresses and shock absorbing helmets.

    10. Satellite television: technology used to fix errors in spacecraft signals helps reduce scrambled pictures and sound in satellite television signals.

    11. Scratch resistant lenses: astronaut helmet visor coating makes our spectacles ten times more scratch resistant.

    12. Shoe insoles: athletic shoe companies adapted space boot designs to lessen impact by adding spring and ventilation.

    13. Smoke detector: Nasa invented the first adjustable smoke detector with sensitivity levels to prevent false alarms.

    14. Swimsuit: Nasa used the same principles that reduce drag in space to help create the world’s fastest swimsuit for Speedo, rejected by some professionals for giving an unfair advantage.

    15. Water filter: domestic versions borrow a technique Nasa pioneered to kill bacteria in water taken into space.


  580. Pfesser

    The fundamental building block is still education, your favorite whipping post, the single element you keep pointing out as being inferior. But the real question you don’t seem to address is “How have we gotten into that position?”

    Meanwhile, who will design, develop and produce these high value products you have fixated upon? In order to do so, companies must invest in R&D. Without that investment, no company is going anywhere because it is the R&D area that companies will dump first while trying to make their bottom line presentable.

    And where will they sell these high value products? I suppose Central Africa might be a great prospect given their excessive wage levels. But beyond that where do we go?

    And where is the support for Basic Research? During the fifties and sixties, the feds put a lot of money into basic research. The end result was a flowering of companies willing to put these results to practical use. Just think of what a step backwards it would be if we didn’t have the Internet, GPS, advances in aviation and automotive technology, and modern medicine with all its new devices and procedures. And where is that sort of government support today? Practically non-existent. It is a fraction of what was available during those headier times.

    Yet look at China and India today. They have made a deliberate and concerted effort to support higher education and by the sheer size of their populations they will out reproduce and out produce us. And there is little we can do about it. China today is producing engineers in prodigious numbers and India has our computer services in their back pocket.

    Certainly more unions may not be the the answer to the education problems. But neither is dumping teachers and forcing 60 kids into a classroom, or firing the whole staff and rehiring only a select few. And the constant drumbeat of teacher denigration does wonders for moral and motivation.


  581. PFesser opined:
    “You will not ever be on a roll until you are able to acknowledge both sides of an argument and show respect to those who disagree with you.”

    jsri responded:
    “Your usual pompous arrogance is showing again.
    I will show respect when I get it.”

    Check. And mate.


  582. jsri opined:

    You said “There is a much larger picture that I don’t believe you are seeing:”

    I see the picture very clearly. The problem is globalization.

    Every time an international company ships its technology to third world countries, it gets stolen and we get it back in cheaper versions of the original. As long as global reach companies continue to do this we will be at a disadvantage. This cycle will never end until third world workers are at comparable pay scales to those in top tier countries but I don’t see that happening any time soon.”

    I believe the picture you don’t see is that you can’t stop it. No matter what.

    IMHO the only way to a high standard of living, long term, is to produce high-value products and sell them for a good price. Our people have fallen so low in their education levels that they do not produce high value goods, and it’s just supply and demand – people get better products at a lower price elsewhere. You cannot stop that by unionizing or anything else. Look at Toyota. In the ‘sixties, we used to laugh at the “toy” cars. Now they are more than sixty times the size of GM. Why? They make a high-value, high-quality product.

    There are no shortcuts; unions often protect the dead wood; that is just a way to prosper short-term and fail long term. That is what we see now.


  583. Pfesser

    Your usual pompous arrogance is showing again.
    I will show respect when I get it.


  584. Thanks PFesser, Now that I better understand what I am dealing with, I am ashamed of myself for allowing myself to get sucked into their hypocrisy. They wonder why old people and union workers would vote for Republicans. Could it possibly be that they are untimely voting for the lesser of 2 evils? As I stated above I would rather vote for a tea party member because at least I know what they stand for, and will continue to stand for it even in the face of bitter opposition. Democrats like in Wisconsin and on this board only hold true to their beliefs as long as it is to their advantage to do so, then flee their ideals and or their state rather than face up to it and fight.


  585. jsri opined:

    “I’m impressed. You actually understood one. I guess I;m on a roll.”

    You are not on a roll. You will not ever be on a roll until you are able to acknowledge both sides of an argument and show respect to those who disagree with you.


  586. tam –

    You’re some girl! Don’t have much time to help out this week, but it appears you don’t need it…

    Keep up the good work.


  587. No self loathing at all. I find this very educational, and humorous, in a train wreck sort of way.


  588. tammyharper on March 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    I’m impressed. You actually understood one. I guess I;m on a roll.


  589. Whirled Peas, your contributions are greatly missed here. It’s really good to see you again.

    You might want to take a look at where some really interesting folks hang out. It’s a site that is much faster to load, and the conversation is pleasant and often easier to digest.


  590. My guess is that Tammy feels just about the same thing that Noah does. It’s just a guess, though.


  591. Can you imagine, how much self loathing Tammy feels that she chooses to hang out here, in the company of liberals?