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Monthly Archives: January 2014

What America Needs and Wants

A recent Gallup poll puts a large spotlight on the disconnect between Americans and their current government, and the SOTU speech last Tuesday was a great example of that disconnect. Inequality and immigration were mentioned as the President’s top priorities this year, yet according to the poll, those two issues are not even close to the priorities of many Americans; garnering just 4% and 3% respectively. What Americans do understand, which our government does not, is that flooding the labor market with a lot of unskilled labor via immigration reform will further exacerbate the unemployment problem, which has become a hardship for millions of Americans. Furthermore, raising the minimum wage to $10/hr will do nothing to lift anyone out of poverty, another concept that most Americans understand and that our government does not. Last Tuesday, Obama emphatically stated that Americans want the government to work together and resolve the problems our country faces. NO, Americans do not want that. Americans currently rank government as the problem, not the solution. There is very little that the government can do, that the private sector and the average American can’t do better.

Americans WANT jobs. Jobs that pay more than $10/hr. And if Obama would unleash the private sector, those jobs would be created. Just as the Tech boom fueled the growth and expansion of the 90’s, the energy boom and expansion can, and should fuel the growth for the next decade or two. We have discovered in the last few years that we are literally sitting on vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas, and the extraction of those reserves would put millions of people to work instantly. The Keystone pipeline is waiting approval, and Canada is hoping that we come to our senses and get the ball rolling. Otherwise, Canada will build that line themselves and those jobs and resources will flow west to China. Obama should also pay close attention to what is happening on private lands in North Dakota and how that activity is fueling job growth throughout the region in every business and driving up wages as well.  This is not rocket science.

The private sector and American ingenuity reigniting an economy built on an energy platform rich with crude and natural gas resources is the prescription this country needs. Not some pandering minimum wage and immigration reform cited by out of touch bureaucrats, Republican and Democrat alike. They are all so out of touch it’s embarrassing, and that is why this year, I am changing my registration to Independent.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Another SOTU, Another Republican Implosion

It’s becoming an annual tradition: President Obama delivers his state of the union speech, and some Republican or other implodes on camera. Usually it occurs during the delivery of the Republican response. You know, Marco Rubio clumsily grabbing for his water bottle, or Bobby Jindal–the previous Republican wunderkind, remember?!–giving an awful speech that was painful to watch. I’m not saying that one of this year’s responders didn’t have their awkward TV moment, but there were just so many responses to keep track of this year. Who knows what happened in them, since nobody was watching.

No, I’m talking about Michael Grimm, Republican congressman from the state of New York. Following last night’s SOTU speech, Grimm went on NY1 TV for a brief interview. After eliciting a few comments about the speech–it was “divisive,” don’t you know–the reporter, Michael Scotto, had the audacity to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation of his 2010 campaign fundraising. Rep. Grimm didn’t like that, not at all. His response?

“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera.

“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.

“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”

Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”

Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”

Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

It kinda makes you wonder if he has previously broken boys in half, doesn’t it?

After the incident–and after Grimm realized that maybe he shouldn’t be physically threatening television reporters while their cameramen are recording the threat–Grimm issued the following statement:

I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.

Rep. Grimm expects “a certain level of professionalism and respect?” One might say the same about our congressmen.

P.S. As soon as Cluster reads this post, he’ll no doubt start scouring the Internets looking for a similar incident involving a Democrat. It could be from the twentieth century, or the nineteenth century, or colonial times. I’m sure I speak for all of us in saying that I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Current Events, Politics, The Freak Show

 

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Tweet Of The Day

Randy Weber of Texas, a United States congressman. I get having a difference of opinion, but really?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Current Events, The Freak Show

 

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Happy Tuesday

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Anything can make music

The next time someone tries to claim that the only “real” musical instruments are either stringed, (guitars not included) blown through or banged on, show them this.

 

http://gizmodo.com/an-ingenious-composer-made-this-awesome-music-using-onl-1502241637

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Former Govenor “vaginal probe” McDonnell and his lovely wife

0121-virginia-governor_full_380    This is beyond pitiful because they took a right turn at entitlement, drove up arrogance and crashed into stupidity.  And it sure shows the ugly truth of so called conservative purists.

11 days into his governorship he was being lauded as the next Republican candidate for President. 11 days out he and his bride are under a 14 count Federal indictment. This is the conservative side of conservatives. I guess the “serve” part of the word has to do with oneself because they sure as hell aren’t serving others. Unless it’s in prison mess hall. Don’t bend over in the shower Bob!

And as far as Christie, I’m at a loss. If he’s telling the truth then he’s the most oblivious human on the planet and shouldn’t be governor. If he’s lying he must either be delusional or think he’s smarter than everyone else and shouldn’t be governor. Either way, shutting down the GWB certainly was a Bridge to Nowhere.

And speaking of Bridges. Although not Jeff Bridges . Here is what one of my favorite writers had to say.

http://www.stonekettle.com/2014/01/a-bridge-too-far.html

 

Ring my doorbell and I’ll shoot

Sigh. Another instance yesterday of a gun owner shooting at other human beings with little to no provocation. I realize you all are probably getting tired of me bringing these reports to your attention, but geez. I’m tired of the fact that so many gun owners seem to have so little self-control.

Gabe [May] reportedly told police that after knocking on a Main Street door and running toward Conewago Street, he and his friend hid near a culvert for about 15 minutes. They walked down Hale Avenue before a white male stepped into the alley and said, “Are you boys lost?” according to the affidavit.

Gabe said he and his friend turned around and started running, when he heard a gunshot and felt pain in his foot, the affidavit states. After running and hiding, Gabe said he took off his shoe and sock, discovering he was shot.

Kids have been knocking on doors and running away from them since there have been doors. It’s a juvenile prank that usually results in, at most, an angry glare from the neighbor. But not in this case.

Naturally, the specter of “stand your ground” raises its head again. In Pennsylvania, where this shooting occurred, it’s referred to as the “castle doctrine.” Experts don’t think it applies in this case because, you know, the kids were running away when they got shot. Not only that, the shooter apparently hunted them down over a 15-minute period. For ringing his doorbell. He only wanted to scare them, but apparently his aim was so poor that when he attempted to miss them, he hit them. You never know with this stand-your-ground business. Perhaps the whole idea of having your doorbell rung late at night is enough to feel threatened to such an extent that you’re justified in resorting to lethal measures.

 
54 Comments

Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Current Events, Guns

 

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Are you a liberal or a conservative? There’s a quiz for that!

So Time magazine has a quiz that attempts to identify your political leanings based on 12 non-political questions. The questions are:

  1. I prefer cats to dogs.
  2. I prefer watching documentaries to action/adventure movies.
  3. Respect for authority is something all children need to learn.
  4. I keep my desk and other workspaces very neat and organized.
  5. I believe that self-expression is more important than self-control.
  6. If I heard that a new restaurant in my neighborhood blended the cuisines of two very different cultures, that would make me want to try it.
  7. My government should treat lives of its citizens as being much more valuable than lives in other countries.
  8. If I were married or in a serious dating relationship, I would think it is perfectly OK for my partner to look at erotic or pornographic pictures or videos, by himself/herself.
  9. The Internet browser I most often use is
  10. I wish the world did not have nations or borders and we were all part of one big group.
  11. If I were to visit New York City, I would rather go to Times Square than the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  12. I am proud of my country’s history.

I tried it. I got 29% conservative, %71 liberal. I noticed, though, that slight changes in one or two answers turned that around completely. Okay.

But I propose another quiz that identifies your political leanings: The conspiracy theory quiz. Here are the questions:

  1. Do you believe global warming is a hoax, or not?
  2. Do you believe Osama bin Laden is alive, or not?
  3. Do you believe a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, and the US government covered it up, or not?
  4. Do you believe that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order, or not?
  5. Do you believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11th, 2001, attacks on America, or not?
  6. Do you believe there is a link between
    childhood vaccines and autism, or not?
  7. Do you believe the moon landing was faked, or not?
  8. Do you believe President Obama is the anti-Christ, or not?
  9. Do you believe the Bush administration intentionally misled the public about the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to promote the Iraq War, or not?
  10. Do you believe aliens exist, or not?
  11. Do you believe the CIA was instrumental in distributing crack cocaine into America’s inner cities in the 1980s, or not?
  12. Do you believe the government adds fluoride to our water supply, not for dental health reasons, but for other, more sinister reasons, or not?
  13. Do you believe that shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies, or not?
  14. Do you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President Kennedy, or was there some larger conspiracy at work?
  15. Do you believe in Bigfoot or Sasquatch, or not?
  16. Do you believe media or the government adds secret mind-controlling technology to television broadcast signals, or not?
  17. Do you believe that the exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons, or not?
  18. Do you believe that the pharmaceutical industry is in league with the medical industry to “invent” new diseases in order to make money, or not?
  19. Do you believe Paul McCartney actually died in a car crash in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a lookalike so The Beatles could continue, or not?
  20. Do you believe the United States government knowingly allowed the attacks on September 11th, 2001, to happen, or not?

It turns out that all of these questions were asked by Public Policy Polling. They also asked respondents for their political leanings, and who they voted for in the 2012 presidential election. So now we know how many liberals and conservatives believe in these various theories.

For instance, over 70% of liberals believe the Bush administration intentionally misled the public about WMD in Iraq, whereas only 23% of “somewhat conservatives” did, and only 18% of “very conservatives.” (I do have a quibble about this question: This is a conspiracy theory? It seems pretty well documented and settled history, which would mean that about 80% of conservatives are unwilling to accept documented fact in this case. But I digress.)

Would you believe that more liberals than conservatives think the moon landing was faked? Or that Paul McCartney really did die in 1966? Well, that’s what PPP says.

But conservatives score on Obama as the anti-Christ; about 20% of conservatives believe that. Conservatives are also more likely to believe in lizard people and very conservative people are the most likely to believe in Big Foot.

So I’m thinkin’ we need a stats wiz to help us take the cross tabs and turn them into our own AllPolytics quiz that predicts political leanings. In the meantime, here’s more or less how it shakes out.

You’re probably a liberal if you believe:

  • The moon landing was faked.
  • Bush misled us on WMD in Iraq.
  • The CIA spread crack in inner cities.
  • Oswald didn’t act alone.
  • Paul McCartney died in 1966.
  • The government allowed 9/11 to happen.

 

You’re probably a conservative if you believe:

  • Global warming is a hoax.
  • Bin Laden is alive.
  • The New World Order is about to take over.
  • Saddam Huissen was involved in 9/11.
  • Vaccines cause autism.
  • Obama is the anti-Christ.
  • Lizard people are real.
  • New diseases were invented to make money.
  •  
6 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Current Events, Entertainment

 

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Today’s gun fail: Man shoots himself in the chin while taking off his pants

Talk about a wardrobe malfunction. Gun owners, help me understand how this happens.

A man accidentally shot himself in the chin Sunday evening, according to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.

[Deputy David] Caldwell said [William] Rood told him he had a .25 caliber Baretta pistol in the right front pocket of his pants. He took the pants off and placed them on his dresser, at which time the Baretta discharged, striking Rood in the chin. It was believed the bullet was still in Rood’s neck.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Current Events, Guns

 

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He threw popcorn at me, so I stood my ground

Well, you just knew this was coming, didn’t you? After all, we’re talking about Florida here.

Yesterday I wrote about the movie theater shooting in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The shooter, Curtis Reeves, was unhappy that the man sitting in front of him, Chad Oulson, was texting before the movie started. An argument ensued and Reeves shot Oulson dead.

Now we hear that Reeves is considering a “stand your ground” defense. Who wouldn’t in the state of Florida? After all, it’s the statewide get-out-of-jail-free card.

According to the sheriffs office:

Reeves wanted Oulson to stop texting. He walked out of the theater and complained to management. When Reeves returned to the 1:20 p.m. showing, “words were exchanged” and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, an arrest affidavit states.

Witnesses say the pair did not throw punches. Reeves pulled a gun and shot Oulson, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.

You see? Having a bag of popcorn thrown at you is life-threatening. The reasonable response is to not only hold your ground, but to also pull out your gun–which the theater prohibits, right along with texting during the movie–and shoot the popcorn thrower at pointblank range. I mean, it’s what any reasonable American would do, right?

According to the Tampa Bay Times:

Several lawyers told the Tampa Bay Times there are too many unknowns right now to determine whether stand your ground could be used successfully in court. Many factors could be relevant, said Stetson Law professor Charles Rose.

For one, when Oulson threw popcorn, that was legally an assault. But was it reasonable to respond with deadly force simply because of the popcorn? No, Rose believes.

However, it becomes more complicated if Reeves considered it to be one step in an escalating response from Oulson. If he feared Oulson would next come over the seats and physically attack him — and if Reeves felt he wouldn’t be able to handle an attack from a younger man — jurors might consider deadly force reasonable, the lawyer said.

“Here’s the problem: We’re trying to look into the mind of the defendant and posit what he thought was happening,” Rose said. “That’s often why these cases go trial — because you just can’t tell.”

Age, physical stature and each man’s strength could come into play, Rose said.

The article has a lot of interesting tidbits, including this from attorney Ron Tulin, who has built stand-your-ground defenses for clients:

Whatever the evidence shows, Tulin said he believes anyone who carries a concealed weapon and fires it needs to be prepared to deal with the judicial system.

“They need to be ready to accept the consequences,” he said, “and to leave their lives in a judge’s hands.”

Good to know we haven’t “progressed” to the point that those who kill with their concealed weapons can’t skip the justice system entirely.

 
28 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Current Events, Guns

 

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