Wednesday Open Thread – January 9th

Tomb of the Unknown ChristmasOur Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen †

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76 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread – January 9th

  1. Sharon says:

    Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget.

    The law requires Congress to pass a budget every year, on the grounds that Americans deserve to know how the government plans to spend the trillions of taxpayer dollars it collects, along with dollars it borrows at the taxpayers’ expense.

    But Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last allowed a budget through the Senate in April 2009, has ignored the law since then…

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/08/quotes-of-the-day-1253/

    • howie says:

      I heard there is a law but no way to enforce the law or punish one who breaks it. Some law.

    • Josh says:

      They make laws and then break them knowing they will not be held accountable. Your fellow citizens keep voting these crooks back into office.

      Why do they not pass a budget? Because they can’t! It is impossible to pass a balanced budget when your expenditures exceed your income.

      To put it in language anyone should be able to understand: For example, if you make $50,000.00 a year and spend $120,000.00 a year you will not be able to balance a budget.

      The Federal Government of The United States of America is so overspending. It’s all smoke-and-mirrors. Our dollar means nothing. Just like the stock market – it means nothing.

      And yet … your fellow citizens continue to vote these crooks back into office!

      • Sharon says:

        Actually the reason they don’t pass a budget (and it’s the first time in history this form of serial outlaw behavior on the part of Congress has been a serious strategy) is because it allows them to keep pushing all the current spending levels forward into the next year’s spending, via the continuing resolution.

        BTW, the law requires them to prepare a budget, but it does not require them to present a balanced budget.

        The maintenance of current services increases by the billions every year, but their accounting tricks do not count it as an increase in spending. If they were to build a new budget each year, from scratch, then they have to count the actual increase. The current services>continuing resolution games allow them to avoid that. So Teh Won keeps getting larger and larger spending capability and Congressional oversight and budget management is neatly cut out of the picture. This is a well thought out strategy.

        Here’s a link that lays it out:
        http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/obamas_spending_and_the_dog_that_didnt_bark.html

        Why is this important? Because the method for financing the government without a budget is a “continuing resolution.” And a continuing resolution is used to maintain current services.

        Bottom line? If the Senate blocks the budget process, which it has for the last three fiscal years, then current levels of spending, even if initially “temporary,” as was the intent with the stimulus bill and with TARP, get folded into government operations. And, presto, government spending has increased by 4%-5% of GDP without anybody ever (a) having proposed it (the president) or (b) having voted for it (Congress, but it is the Democrat Senate which has blocked the process).

  2. WeeWeed says:

    Happy hump-day, kids! The comedy continues….

    Photobucket

    • cajunkelly says:

      Strange little things ya can glean from that list:
      http://www.graypanthers.org/
      Gray Panthers is an intergenerational education and advocacy organization dedicated to achieving social and economic justice and peace for all people.

      Not surprised at Levi Strauss. DH began boycotting them several years back over their position on GC. Not surprised at AARP and BCBS. I assisted my dad in cancelling every thing with AARP (it wasn’t easy, they resist) over obamacare. We moved every thing away from BCBS last year.
      Anti-freedom political positions have consequences. I’m aware that our three small voices are just that, but we do what we feel is just.

      • GracieD says:

        CK, would you happen to know which BCBS plans support gun control? Each plan is separate from the National Association. As I understand it BCBSLA does not support gun control. This is one place where we can make a difference. Most BCBS Plans are owned by the people who hold the policies. An individual could well make a difference in this situation. I shall inquire with BCBSLA.

    • michellc says:

      I saw that list the other day and was very disappointed in seeing Silver Dollar City on the list. Branson has been a vacation spot for my family since my children were babies. It’s a place we can get to in a few hours and has a little something for everyone and it’s perfect for those of us who are tied to our business and farm life. You go spend two days and one night without the animals starving and the business falling apart.
      We’ve been season ticket holders to Silver Dollar City for years. I’m waiting on my e-mail to get my season tickets this year and reply to them sorry I can no longer spend my hard earned money to a park that makes money off the Ozark people and Christians while they’re spending money to disarm Ozark people whose history is not complete without including firearms. SDC opens the day at the park every morning honoring our veterans and then are apparently slapping those veterans in the face while working to take away the freedoms they have fought and died for. You are huge hypocrites and I expect you to do away with the little skit of the train robbery and the train conductor shooting the robbers in the buttocks.

  3. WeeWeed says:

    Medicare pays $415 million annually for breast care screenings in women over 75 – which is about 1/4 the 2011 cost for Obamaphones. “Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts.” :evil:

    Time magazine, 2/9/2012.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/breast-cancer-screenings-cost-medicare-billion-annually/story?id=18153309#.UOzISnffWSo

  4. WeeWeed says:

    The face of the progressives calls the GOP the “bath salts caucus.”

    http://thehill.com/video/house/276139-rep-grayson-mocks-gop-as-the-bath-salts-caucus

    • texan59 says:

      Ahhhh yes. The lovely Mr. Grayson has is back in fighting trim within just a few days of his return. Folks, if we don’t start giving it back, they will never stop. You have to hit back at the bully. Only harder. They will probably never stop. But if you just sit and take it, they will hit harder and harder til you cry like a Poindexter. :evil:

      • Menagerie says:

        You are never going to make the Republicans man up. Most of them are sissies hiding in the last stall in the girl’s bathroom, lest the bully take their cookie away.

    • ctdar says:

      What a disgusting & irrational comment

  5. Arkindole says:

    Hey all.. I posted this way downstream last night Have a look…
    Go to this page when you get a chance…

    http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_documents/holmes_application.pdf

    If, for some reason you can’t open I have it saved locally.
    This is apparently a doc dump/request compliance from the univerisity for all info/correspondence related to James Holme’s application to the Neuroscience program at IL.
    Go to page 130
    Look at the picture of Holmes and the Llama. (everyone keeps talking about that in emails).
    What do you think? Is that the same James Homes we’re seeing in the media photos?

    There are a couple of strange things. With this application, his visit to IL, and his correspondence.

    1. Holmes flatly turned down acceptance at IL, relative to CO, when he wants to specialize in learning in memory (see statement of purpose). IL is one of the Meccas of research with learning and memory–there are big guns there so to speak. Look at the number of students that are getting acceptance letters to working on grant funds. The more research grants at an institution has, the more it is viewed as a top tier place. Being from a warm climate, and the commute distance from home, could explain Holmes bowing out, but he went to CO–just doesn’t make sense.
    2. His correspondence is very terse in the emails–that’s just not normal for applicants. Applicants tend to babble in emails.
    3. His reference letters for the graduate application are what I would call the 1 dollar letters. There is sort of a running metaphor–three kinds of letters–$1, $10, and $100. The $1 letter is where you provide a “worthless” letter just to get a letter in the pile with the application–just talking about grades that are already visible on transcripts and grades that the selection committee can already see. Maybe you add in some other things like “writing ability”, “mature attitude”, “ability to focus”, yada yada, as was the case with his letters. If Homes actually did have research experience and lab skills that he listed on his curriculum vita, why didn’t the researchers in those labs write letters for him? Those are the $100 letters–letting another school know that the applicant did well (or not) in actual hands-on lab work. That’s what the next person really wants to know–will this kid get through my lab in 5 years and be able to do independent research. It’s all risk assessment in terms of potential graduate students, and every letter writer knows it. Homes did not get the $100 letters…
    4. Holmes apparently had very high GREs (graduate record examinations) from the emails. If so, a normal applicant with those numbers would have potentially been accepted anywhere, and, they would know that. Why CO?

  6. howie says:

    Here is a good one. I see that Venezuela has postponed the inauguration of their dead president-elect. Ya can’t make it up can you. :)

  7. ctdar says:

    TX Student lost fight over ID microchip badge. :evil:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/01/student-rfid-suspension/

    • texan59 says:

      When you oppose this stupid thing because it’s “the sign of the beast” things never seem to go your way. Maybe as a violation of the 4th Amendment or something akin to that. When you go to court sounding like Alex Jones you better have an airtight case. Don’t get me wrong, I use as much tin-foil as the next guy, but you have to at least sound normal. ;)

      • Sharon says:

        Well, just to throw an amateur theological slant on your excellent point:

        even if an individual Bible-thumper (like me) chooses to take the escatalogical position that the RFID = the mark of the beast, that is not an argument against the RFID..at least, not unless the government is claiming to be a Pre-Millennial Literal Position Bible-Thumping Group of Rulers. I’m not thinking they ever represented themselves as being that.

        The information provided in Scripture that we Bible-thumpers reference is not there for our use in the courts. It’s there to provide insight along the lines of, “When all hell breaks loose, you will probably function better as an individual if you have some idea what the big picture looks like.” Of course, there’s not a verse in the book of the Revelation that says exactly that….but that’s the underlying purpose of the foretelling of events. Not so the info can be used as legal arguments.

        Or something.

        • texan59 says:

          Thanks for smoothing some of my rough edges ma’am. ;)

          • Sharon says:

            Yer rough edges are so gracious, I didn’t notice them. :) And I should have made more clear–I’m a gen-u-wine Bible thumper in a lot of ways, but I specifically do not believe “the RFID” is “the mark” that is talked about that will restrict buying and selling. That mark is specifically described as being under the skin on the back of the hand or in the forehead. Her argument to that would probably be, “Yeah, but that’s probably where they’re going.” Ok. Fine. But even if they are, they aren’t there yet.

            So this is a case where someone has taken a single somewhat-generally-accepted (by conservative Christians) thought and generalized it in a way that is not valid.

            Whether in a religious context or a secular context, when people are freaking out, it is so blasted easy to take something that may be specifically true and apply it generally that makes it not true. Oh, well. We’ve got a lot confusion coming down the road on all fronts.

      • Sharon says:

        In addition, if that’s her logic, then she’d better get rid of her cell phone and any credit cards…and hurry and buy an older-model car and keep its maintenance up to date…because all the newer cars are gonna have black boxes on them.

  8. ctdar says:

    MN man has video camera seized under “HIPAA” and later arrested….when he finally gets camera back everything deleted.
    “The deputy wrote on the citation, “While handling a medical/check the welfare (call), (Henderson) was filming it. Data privacy HIPAA violation. Refused to identify self. Had to stop dealing with sit(uation) to deal w/Henderson.”
    …..”There’s nothing in HIPAA that prevents someone who’s not subject to HIPAA from taking photographs on the public streets,” Granick said. “HIPAA has absolutely nothing to say about that.” She had never heard of a case in which a law enforcement agency cited HIPAA to bar someone from recording, she said.
    http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_22333563/little-canada-man-videotaped-sheriffs-deputies-and-got

  9. 22tula says:

    “MSNBC Works with Alex Jones to Discredit Tea Party Movement”
    by Cliff Kincaid – June 13, 2010
    http://www.aim.org/aim-column/msnbc-works-with-alex-jones-to-discredit-tea-party-movement/

    Is Alex Jones trying to discredit the Defenders of the Second Amendment?
    January 7, 2012

    Alan Dershowitz – January 7, 2012

    • ThatOldGuy says:

      Jones’ heart is in the right place–the absolute LAST thing that THIS man would do is knowingly try to help TPTB (when the thrust of Jones’ activities is to dismantle TPTB). I don’t believe his behavior here was uncalculated (nor was Morgan unwise in inviting Jones to appear).

      My guess is, Jones being the conspiracy theorist, he knew what he was walking into (c.f. what he says to Morgan at 8:32 in the interview). He has a very specialized base of listeners/supporters/fans. He knew that people who know him and support him, will watch this interview and continue to support him. He knew that people who have known him, and don’t support him, already know him in the worst light possible. He knew that, of the people who are not familiar with him, there will be a population of the people who will hear what he has to say and be intrigued should he say something meaningful. On the other hand, he knew that Morgan will try to control the debate and limit discussion to what he wants to talk about (as you see in the interview, all he wanted to talk about was a misleading nominal statistic that is inherently meaningless vis-à-vis comparing “gun murder” rates between countries). So what’s Jones to do? Is he to answer the questions that Morgan cherry picks with all proper decorum, and risk: losing people from his base because of his relative absence of gusto; not piquing the curiosity of those to whom he has first been exposed in this interview; convincing the people who already dislike him that he’s not an intellectual challenge to Morgan or their world-views? He was aware of how Morgan treated Pratt a few weeks back, and figured that he would go for it: he would get across as much information as he could with what time he had on Morgan’s show, and to hell with Morgan if he thinks that he’s going to confine what Jones says to answering misleading and cherry-picked questions.

      Jones actually gets a lot of important points across, if you listen through the loudness and fake accents. The way he makes fun of Morgan’s ridiculous assertion about nominal “gun murders” is by asking ridiculous questions of his own (i.e., chimpanzees, mechanical sharks), and isn’t unjustifiable. Jones doesn’t focus on particular “factoids,” as he calls them, but on trends: of where crime rates have declined in the United States as gun ownership has increased; of how the US government recently purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and is now aiming to control the sale of firearms to citizens; of how the UK has large amounts of violent crime (more so than any other country in the EU) even though “gun murder” is down (why is “gun murder” to be condemned, but not murder in general?); of how the elimination of one means of committing murder does not lower murder, as if the categories are static like a physics quantity, but merely changes the means by which murder will be carried out by an individual unable to acquire the former means; and so on. Focusing on recent events where semiautomatic weapons were used, in order to tug on the hearts strings of grieving families and concerned citizens, is also part of Morgan’s shtick (as could be easily witnessed in Morgan’s interview of Pratt. For example: Pratt starts laughing because Morgan wouldn’t let Pratt argue a point, and Morgan repeatedly, and pretentiously, commands Pratt to stop laughing [WELL after the *chuckle* Pratt gives] in order to suggest that Pratt is laughing, not at Morgan’s idiotic and condescending behavior, but at the Sandy Hook tragedy or at the victims of various recent mass shootings) even though the use of these types of weapons, while prolific thanks to the media, is statistically rare. I think it’s pretty safe to say that, in preparation for this interview, Jones came across the Pratt interview and studied Morgan’s behavior and adjusted his own behavior accordingly (Jones is capable of sitting still while taking an interview).

      So why did Morgan take this interview if all he did was get loud and obnoxious heat? The answer is actually pretty obvious: with Pratt, Morgan behaved like an emotionally-challenged high school freshman in a debate club. Morgan wouldn’t let Pratt get his points across, he insulted him through name calling and smear attempts, he interrupted everything Pratt said, he characterized Pratt as a heartless and uncivilized man, and so on and so on. Honestly, who would have any credibility after an interview like this? So, with his reputation clearly damaged by his conduct, Morgan has to figure out how he can reappear as a somewhat respected journalist (at least in his own mind). So he invites Jones on the program, which effectively has the potential to kill two birds with one stone. First, Morgan can redefine his image from what was conveyed in his Pratt interview. Second, Morgan can discredit those who favor gun ownership as being lunatic, fringe, right-wingers.

      And just how did Morgan fare in his efforts? I’d say he did pretty well! As soon as Morgan learned Jones’ behavior game (it took him long enough) and listened to what Jones was saying (he was actually making some pretty strong arguments), Morgan changed the game: so, who was behind 9/11? If anyone knows anything about Jones, they know that he’s a conspiracy theorist who is very interested in the 9/11 attacks. So what does asking Jones about this do for Morgan? It ends the interview, nullifies everything Jones said in the prior thirteen minutes if it was valid heretofore, and it paints all gun supporters as idiotic and crazy. It’s really pretty cool. It’s also a sneaky, and illegitimate, argument tactic called poisoning the well (a variant of argumentum ad hominem). What did the interview itself do for Morgan? A pretty beneficial amount of good: Morgan was actually able to contain his emotions in this interview and come across as calm, cool, collected, and English. It’s a total 360 from the Pratt interview: Morgan is praised as having an incredible amount of patience to put up with the likes of Jones, and the pro-second amendment crowd is made to look ridiculous (as opposed to the opposite being the case vis-à-vis Morgan’s interview with Pratt: where Pratt is praised as having an incredible amount of patience to put up with the likes of Morgan, and the anti-second amendment crowd is made to look ridiculous).

      Some disconcerting things to note: there was meant to be a third segment of this interview. According to Jones, a producer came out from the background, crying, and asked Jones to leave due to his behavior. This occurred during the second commercial break of the interview. Jones was meant to stick around to debate Dershowitz on guns et al. in the third part but, since Jones was asked to leave, Dershowitz was free to argue against nobody and to suggest that Jones would probably shoot somebody with whom he disagrees (after all, that’s a totally legitimate inference to make seeing as Jones is one of those gun-toting, nutty right-wingers, right?). Meanwhile, in a panel that was formed last night, on Morgan’s show, Morgan and the gang have a good laugh when a guest suggested that Morgan should invite Jones to a boxing match and that Morgan shoot Jones to death with a “semi-automatic that [he] got legally.” It’s nice to know that the peaceful and anti-violent left are such a group of disgusting hypocrites–if Jones even *hinted* at making such a comment, he’d probably be arrested on the spot.

      Ben Swann recently released a video comparing the statistics presented during the interview and paints a different story (that Morgan cherry picks false statistics to paint a false contrast between the UK, where supposedly no crime occurs, and the US, supposedly the crime capitol of the civilized world). I’ll place the link below, as this video is pretty significant. Let’s go back to what Morgan said about “gun murder” rates. If we accept the numbers given as true (Morgan and Jones accept the numbers, 35 (UK) and 11,458 (US), even though they are inaccurate) and take the absolute difference between the US and the UK (population ratio of 5:1, remember) the difference amounts to less than four thousandths of one percent. So we have a country that can largely be characterized as having a controlled firearm environment against a country that can largely be characterized as having a relatively minimally controlled firearm environment, and the difference between populations of “gun murder” is virtually *nothing.* That difference is only meaningful if the measurement is meaningful (as I contended above, there is no meaning; we’re talking about the social interactions in two totally different societies, not about how many hydrogen atoms are in a molecule of water). So Morgan’s contentions about “Well, you know, it’s 35 versus 11,000″ are, both, ignorant and misleading.

      And that’s all I have to say about that.

      http://www.fox19.com/story/20538164/Piers-Morgan-vs-Alex-Jones-and-Gun-Homicide-Rates

      • ThatOldGuy says:

        Here’s the youtube video of Ben Swann–in my experience, the YouTube buffer is loads quicker than the buffer of the site I linked to in my initial post. This is a very good video providing a breakdown on certain statistics and arguments in the “gun debate.”
        Yes, this is a reply to myself. So I talk to myself sometimes.
        “Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?”

      • jordan2222 says:

        Excellent analysis. Thank you.

  10. ctdar says:

    New book out yesterday on the Bullies of the left by Breitbart’s Shapiro and dedicated to his mentor:
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/08/Meet-the-Bullies-Breitbart-Editor-Exposes-Obamas-Army-of-Thugs-in-New-Book

  11. WeeWeed says:

    Email!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    THANKS AUSTRALIA THIS IS AWESOME

    Written by an Australian Dentist

    To Kill an American
    You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a
    report
    that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward
    to anyone who killed an American, any American.

    So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let
    everyone know what an American is, so they would know when they found one. (Good
    one, mate!!!!)

    ‘An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish ,
    Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African,
    Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani
    or Afghan.

    An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho,
    Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

    An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In
    fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan . The only
    difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them
    chooses.

    An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer
    only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for
    the government and for God.

    An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
    The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence,
    which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of
    happiness.

    An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other
    nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

    When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans
    came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

    As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other
    nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

    The national symbol of America , The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired
    and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest
    tossed. These, in fact, are the people who built America.

    Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11 ,
    2001 earning a better life for their families. It’s been told that the World
    Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and
    first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
    So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General
    Tojo, and Stalin , and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the
    world.

    But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are
    not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the
    human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is
    an American.

    • Josh says:

      http://www.snopes.com/rumors/america2.asp
      Snopes says this is not true but does give credit to the writer at the bottom of the page.
      “…penned by…Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law in Northern Virginia. Mr. Ferrara’s commentary was originally published in the National Review on 25 September 2001.”

      Well, whoever wrote it and/or modified it, it’s lovely and true!

  12. Josh says:

    “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”
    — Edward R. Murrow

    “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

  13. Patriot Dreamer says:

    Biden: Obama Considering ‘Executive Order’ to Deal With Guns

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/biden-obama-might-use-executive-order-deal-guns_694984.html

    And here we go…

  14. aliashubbatch says:

    Test comment.

  15. scubachick75 says:

    </object

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