Terrorism is supposed to make us stupid

isisMidland County’s Sheriff is prepared to deal with the terrorist group, ISIS. In remarks on a series of news shows last month the West Texas lawman explained his plans to cope with the imminent danger and expressed his certainty, despite the absence of any reason, sense, or evidence, that the group lurks just over the border in the inky darkness of Mexico.

By all accounts, Sheriff Painter has served with distinction in his long career. Now he joins a growing list of prominent victims of terrorism, persuaded by a cheap and easy tactic into abandoning reason and working against his own, and his nation’s interests.

As a tactic, the initial goal of terrorism is to make you stupid. Terrorism is designed to coax a more powerful enemy into defeating themselves by clouding their judgment and distorting their sense of their relative power on the diplomatic, political, and military battlefields.

Sheriff Painter and others like him (see: Perry, Rick) are wasting valuable time, mental energy, and even money preparing to defend themselves from a cheap illusion. Counting the cost of this distraction in all its manifestations would be a terribly depressing exercise. We can be fairly confident that no one fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria could find Midland on a map. Few Texans could. Yet a band of young losers half a world away have caused damage in that and many other distant corners of the US at virtually no cost to themselves.

Acts of terrorism manage to subtly shift power toward the dumbest, most cowardly, most paranoid forces inside an enemy. The less one understands the scope of the battlefield the more impact terrorism carries.

If it is such an effective method, why shouldn’t we leverage terror tactics ourselves? We sometimes pretend that we eschew terrorism because of some moral superiority, but that’s only partially true. We don’t use terrorism for the same reason that we don’t use nuclear weapons. Both are purely destructive tools that only make sense in the most hopelessly desperate circumstances.

Terrorism is a tool of the weakest of the weak. The more savage the tactics, the weaker the perpetrator. Although terrorism can be fairly successful in causing a powerful enemy to trip over itself, it creates conditions that make it extremely difficult to capitalize on that enemy’s failures. Like nukes, terrorism is good at destroying things, yet creates a climate in which it is nearly impossible to rebuild.

Savagery is critical to the strategy, absolutely necessary in order to generate the mental distortions that leave an enemy reeling. Once unleashed, that same savagery becomes extremely difficult to contain, defeating efforts to establish any reliably humane order once the political goals are achieved. Terrorism is a way to sometimes win the war, but always lose the peace. No one with any credible hope of success resorts to terrorism on a mass scale.

Even then, terrorism often fails at even its primary objective, giving us some helpful lessons in how to respond. London at the peak of “The Troubles” in the ‘90’s was a terrorist playground. Life was disrupted on an almost daily basis by bombings or bomb threats. People forget, but the art of bombing skyscrapers was first mastered by the Christian terrorists of the Irish Republican Army. People have largely forgotten about it because the IRA campaign utterly failed to stir the British to stupidity.

As the effort dragged on, reports of the day’s incidents were quite literally relegated to the traffic report. Terrorism in London became an annoying nuisance, like the weather. Today, Northern Ireland is quiet and steadily rebuilding as an integral part of the United Kingdom. The IRA’s terror campaign failed on every level.

We need to calm down. Across more than a decade fighting this supposed “War on Terrorism,” more people are still killed in America each year by gun-toting toddlers than by terrorists. You are just as likely to be crushed to death under your enormous furniture as to be killed by a terrorist. Our secret weapon in the War on Terror, the one that guarantees victory, is perspective. Somehow we haven’t been able to mass-produce it.

At its foundation, terrorism is a form of deception meant to coax an otherwise unbeatable power to wage war on hopelessly unfavorable terms. Sheriff Painter is the poster child for America’s ever worsening series of failures against global religious fundamentalism. Understanding why he’s wasting his available mental energy worrying about Muslims blowing up the local Dairy Queen may be the key for the rest of us to turn the corner, replacing “War on Terror” paranoia with the sober, day to day routine of life as the world’s only global power.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Foreign Policy
433 comments on “Terrorism is supposed to make us stupid
  1. tuttabellamia says:

    I get it now. It’s not terrorism that makes us stupid. It’s the media that makes us stupid.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Or as Loma Monster says, human nature makes us stupid.

    • texan5142 says:

      Speak for yourself, and how do explain kabuzz and cap since neither one watches the media

    • Crogged says:

      We are all in the gutter……..

    • Crogged says:

      Now that I can’t trust Gwyeneth Paltrow anymore I’m completely lost……..

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Tutt, Obama is appointing a Czar to handle the EBOLA issue. But he has no medical training. Obama doesn’t have a clue.

      • Crogged says:

        We’ve seen how organized the doctors in the CDC have been, no way someone without medical training should ever be in politics………

        Look, over there, a media term used for years is now derogatory, a Czar, even though I prefer the ‘older’ spelling of Tsar, which I say not to get TThor in a tizzy.

        But maybe Republican’s can now say they will appoint a TThor for general oversight of ‘new’ problem which seems to cover mutliple agencies of Fed Govt? Tthor owes me money now.

        Let’s see–US population is 317 million people.

        Total population of Ebola infected population is, what-three? (not counting those brought in for treatment).

        RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. Make President DO something (Fittyohm bait here……..)

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Thanks, Kabuzz. See, what would I do for news without you guys?

        Seriously, though, I had heard a about the President naming an Ebola Czar on NPR this morning. I’ve always thought the whole Czar concept was funny. I don’t know anything about this person’s background, though.

        Yes, I get most of my news from NPR and BBC radio. My life revolves around radio. Radio is my TV.

      • Crogged says:

        As usual, it’s the Dems or the 1930 MSM to blame……

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again Crogged the point flew over your head. With an outbreak of EBOLA you would think the THOR handling it would have clinical expertice in communicable diseases. Maybe JohnGalt should do it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Crogged said, “Look, over there, a media term used for years is now derogatory, a Czar, even though I prefer the ‘older’ spelling of Tsar, which I say not to get TThor in a tizzy.”

        Go even older. Have an Ebola Caesar.

        Which sounds like the worst restaurant order *evar*.

      • Crogged says:

        Yup, over my head and David Gergen’s too, but what do you expect from such a motley liberal bunch of 10D1T apparatchiks……

      • Crogged says:

        See, I can’t even get my favorite government agency’s name, 1D10T, right. It’s always over my head, or I can’t get it out of my head, sang ELO.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Crogged: Good song reference. 🙂

      • “Go even older. Have an Ebola Caesar.

        Which sounds like the worst restaurant order *evar*.”

        Laughed out loud at that one, Owl. 😊

  2. kabuzz61 says:

    GW’s daughter was thrown out of her teaching job at a university for using cocaine. Oh wait! I’m wrong. Hunter Biden was thrown out of the Navy for using cocaine. Anyone bet he didn’t get a dishonorable discharge? How come the MSM is mum on this. GW’s daughters underage drinking (which we have all done) made national news.

    At least now Hunter can buy the coke from Obama. 🙂

    • johngalt says:

      Does CNN count as MSM? It’s the #1 story in their sidebar (the headline is Ebola stuff). How about MSNBC, where it’s the #4 article. On the Chron.com, there’s a picture under “US and World” of Biden and his son. I imagine there’s a 27 image slide show to illustrate prodigal presidential/VP children in history.

      Did you really mean that the MSM is mum on this, or that you don’t read the MSM but you imagine they wouldn’t report on Biden’s son being dishonorably discharged?

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/16/politics/hunter-biden-discharged-from-navy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

      • Turtles Run says:

        Lets not forget the story is on Talking Points Memo, ABC, CBS, NBC, and even the li’bural MSNBC.

        http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/hunter-biden-navy-reserve-failed-drug-test

        It could be worse. It is not like Biden and his family crashed a party in Alaska and started a brawl only to have their butts handed to them.

        Baaaa Buzzy, Baaaa I hope that wool coat comes in nice.

      • Crogged says:

        The best Fox News poll ever conducted.

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fox-poll-hell-handbasket-ebola-isis

        Mr. Kabuzz doesn’t watch media, as he pointed out below, but something tells me he reads emails from trusted friends, especially the ones with a forwarding address which fills an entire screen.

        Our Number 1 threat, ISIS………., do these ‘registered voters’ ever leave their home?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Crogged, I get all my news from you guys, on this blog. Scary.

      • Crogged says:

        Tutt your source of news isn’t scary -there is usually a broad enough spectrum here of linked articles that you don’t have to worry about getting a limited or skewed point of view. I’ve kind of dropped out of the back and forth of blaming each side that goes on here (Dems always BAD! Wingers always MISINFORMED), but even with my ‘liberal’ perspective, I believe challenges to perspective are more valuable than continual affirmation of how right I always seem to be.

      • Crogged: I, too, appreciate the challenges to my perspective on here. It’s the main reason I follow this blog. There are some interesting, intelligent minds here, covering the ideological spectrum.

        The anger and insults get tiresome though. Don’t know why people take this shit so personally.

      • Crogged says:

        I think it’s safe to say that no one writing here has had to change their jobs after election results were posted. We just shrugged shoulders and wrote another pithy comment in our war for truth and justice.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “GW’s daughters underage drinking (which we have all done) made national news.”

      Speak for yourself. I did not have my first drink till I was 21 or 22.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      JG, front page with Jen and Barb Bush in major papers, segment stories on all the shows and on the talking heads shows, blogs etc. More then one day even. Come on. You’re looking bad here.

      And for the pest, repeating a lie makes you look as bad as GG. Read the police report. It is hard to crash a party for the birthday of a family member.

      • Crogged says:

        Yes, the police report makes the Palin’s look like peaceful Christians enjoying their punch at the birthday party, until those dang teenagers spiked the punch. This two faced hypocritical no nothing has been could have been our President, better ask McCain what to do about ISIS and Ebola.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Way to move the goal post crogged. The point is Turtles said the Palins ‘crashed’ the party when it couldn’t have been further from the truth. I am not sure if I’m a Palin fan except for my admiration of her and her family for putting up with the hate and vitriol that spewed out of liberals mouths. Quite disgusting but on the bright side makes it open season on Hillary and Chelsea, both public figures.

        And for the perpetually slow Texas, I think cocaine and any other addiction is not good and I am very glad if he got help. The POINT is the difference in coverage and caring of the subject matter. Astounding.

      • Crogged says:

        Yes, I moved the goal post by referring to the entirety of the truth rather than nit picking about extraneous detail. My bad, Palin family absolved of drunken boorish behavior, named Number 1 family in Alaska by BreitbartBlazeWhoCaresAboutTruthandPerspective dot com……..

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – Fine I will say they were invited to the party. Does that make you feel better. But can you explain to me how that distinction make the Palin’s look better. Frankly, if they were invited and this was a family event it makes them look like bigger pieces of hillbilly, trailer park trash based on their behavior. Unsurprisingly, it is not the Palin slug fest that upsets you it is whether they were invited.

        Does Little Bo Peep know you are loose? .

      • johngalt says:

        And I posted links to the Biden story on the front pages of these major news sites. I know you are desperate to prove your pre-existing suspicion of the media. You’re not going anywhere with this particular issue.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Turtles, actually I am quite impressed that Bristol Palin kicked some guys ass for being an A-Hole and making fun of the family in public. I would like to think I would protect my family from being publically made fun of. Maybe you wouldn’t, so there’s he difference.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yup, there’s the difference buzzy. Resolving a verbal drunken tiff with escalation to physical violence. The mature ‘Mericun way! According to buzzy Except for the “sissy liberals”.

        NASCAR ain’t got nuthin’ on the “classy” Palins.

        Carry on buzzy. Yes, we’re laughing AT you. And the Palins.

      • johngalt says:

        In other words, Buzz, you’d respond to insults exactly as you would have in the 8th grade. Very mature.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – I am sure every trailer park in “MURICA” is proud. Maybe they can set up a fight between Bristol and Ronda Rousey in th next UFC.

    • texan5142 says:

      I must have missed that part of the bible where christians are supposed to find joy in someone else’s misfortune.

      • texan5142 says:

        I read the report, white trash personified.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        It’s from a Lutheran translation, somewhere in the Second Letter of Paul to the Church in Schadenfreude.

        (Which is a *much* easier read than his Letter to the Church in Weltschmerz….)

    • tuttabellamia says:

      The Coke Brothers?

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Kabuzz, that would make them the Coke Brothers?

  3. lomamonster says:

    Darwin would belly laugh at the concept of Human stupidity being engendered by various threats to the species. He would know full well that stupidity IS the human condition, and things like “human error” have killed more people than can possibly be imagined over the course of our habitation of this planet. Just because someone breaks out of the pack and is recognized as “smart” does not exempt him or her from the most egregious examples of stupidity.

    So in defense of stupidity as my own personal intellectual domicile, I would beg others to join me as my brothers and sisters in fate! At least then we can subsequently learn something useful together, eh?

  4. Owl of Bellaire says:

    Is kabuzz’ frequent and vocal disdain for intelligent people a reflection of his own deep sense of inadequacy?

  5. BigWilly says:

    Ebola for the mind in the American media, or when is a virus not a virus? Build up your immune system gents (and ladies), because you are coming into contact with some pretty heavy mental viruses.

    Could a terrorist sneak across the border undetected? Yes, a terrorist could sneak across the border undetected. This is why we need to keep a watch on those sneaky looking Canadians. Especially the Frenchified element, if you know what I mean.

    The border needs to be controlled more effectively, and perhaps more humanely. I’m not sure if the government (Fed) is fit to carry out this mission. They do not appear to be inclined to it. It may fall on the states to get it done, allowing for a general consensus among the states of course.

    “Hear us, you who are no more than leaves always falling, you mortals benighted by nature,
    You enfeebled and powerless creatures of earth always haunting a world of mere shadows,
    Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings:
    Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever!”

    Aristophanes, how I stumbled over thee!

    • johngalt says:

      They did sneak across the border undetected. All 19 of the 9/11 terrorists entered the United States perfectly legally. And the next set of terrorists, when or if they arrive, will do the same. Half of the illegal immigrants did so too, and just overstayed visas. This is my problem with the fetish of some for fences and walls along the southern border: there are so many more cost-effective means for increasing security that don’t involve hiring illegal immigrants to build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants.

    • lomamonster says:

      The Bird, is indeed, The Word!

  6. bubbabobcat says:

    Another off topic:

    “Budget Deficit, as Expected, Falls to Pre-Recession Levels”

    “The federal budget deficit, after rising to more than a trillion dollars a year at the height of the recent recession, has fallen to pre-recession levels and is now lower than the annual average of the past 40 years, Obama administration officials confirmed on Wednesday.

    The improvement, which was expected, reflects the effects of economic growth, higher tax revenue and lower-than-expected health care costs.

    The 2014 deficit was equal to 2.8 percent of G.D.P., below the 3 percent level that many economists consider the acceptable limit in a growing economy. The budget shortfall has now declined for five consecutive years, from a high of 9.8 percent in the 2009 fiscal year, and is the lowest it has been since 2007.

    Many economists believe that the immediate spending cuts brought about by the compromises exerted a ‘fiscal drag’ that slowed the economic recovery and kept pressure on the Federal Reserve to maintain its expansive monetary policies to offset the austerity moves.”

    Yup, Obama’s “failed economic and stimulus policy” and the “disastrous AHA” at work.

    http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2014/10/15/?entry=2450

    Wingnuts wrong again. Surprise! Not.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Lets see, in the late 1990’s there was a very nearly balanced budget, GOP congress controlled the spending and budgets. Granted, they lost their way when Bush43 got elected and the deficits went up, but the last GOP deficit was a whopping $161 billion, including war expenses, the economy was growing at about 4% per year and unemployment was at about 4.6%. That’s what the democrats inherited in January 2007.

      Deficits started growing again, and the budget for 2009 was so bad that not even the neo-conservative Bush43 would sign it. Once Obama became president, the deficits shot up to about $1.5 trillion per year, unemployment was high and the economy sluggish at best. Since the PPACA was passed, millions of people lost their coverage, others have watched their premiums skyrocket, and people are flat out denied health care by the law.

      That is just on the domestic side of things.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        More proof of Cappy’s endemic willful wingnut reading comprehension problems.

        You didn’t even read the article or my excerpts did you? Just an opportunity to spew more of your delusional crap derived from your isolated sensory deprivation box.

        Babble on as usual Cappy.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – Don’t forget your claim that 100 million people will lose their healthcare coverage by the end of the year.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, Turtles, Obama keeps delaying his signature bill. He and democrats are terrified of it.

      • johngalt says:

        The last GOP deficit was in FY 2008 and was $438 billion on a budget that was passed by a divided Congress and signed by Bush. This same divided government is partly responsible for the FY 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion, since the anti-Christ did not take office until one-third of that year had passed.

        Absolving the GOP of responsibility unless it is solely in power confirms your blind partisanship and erodes any shred of credibility you might have left. It also completely invalidates your bragging about the late 90s surpluses, since the GOP was part of a divided government then.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        OOPS! JG, you may consider yourself a great biologist and as always the smartest man on this site in your mind, but even you must know that the president does not appropriate or for that matter lead the budget creation. You do know that???

        And Bubba not knowing this is a bad year for democrats and the NYT’s is trying to help them out as much as possible. The country is doing so well, as is the world, that all the candidates are fighting to have Obama appear with them. Read the signs buddy. You been had.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, those 2006 elections really did happen, though the left tries very hard tp pretend they didn’t. Now why would the left want to forget about those midterm elections? Well, because they took control of the federal government in January 2007, and along with that, control over legislation and spending.

        Back to civic 101 for you, John.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Gotta wonder about it sometimes, Kabuzz. They know their ideas, policies, goals and laws don’t work, the world as they want it has always failed. But occasionally they let tehir real meaning out, as with Gwyneth Paltrow when she was gushing all over Obama and wishing he was a dictator, when ACORN told people to be proud of being socialists, When Maxine Waters openly pushes socialism, when Obama says, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Only it fails, so they have to blame others for resisting socialism and communism. Rand summed the whole thing up perfectly in “We the Living”.

      • CaptSternn says:

        A better way to put it in perspective, the republicans own the federal government, the budget, spending, unemployment and growth from January 1995 to January 2007, even though democrats controlled the senate for Bush43’s first two years. Democrats own it all from January 2007 to present. Which part has been better for those things and which has not?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Captain, all I can say is I know. The main sign from some on the echo chamber is when the names start coming out. Except Bubba, that is all he has.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The only reason your “world” might “succeed”, Sternn, is that it’s largely imaginary, based in your own deliberate distortions of history, abortions of logic, and contradictions of common sense.

        And kabuzz happily laps it up; you two are the most obvious co-enablers on the blog.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        “Exit stage left.”

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Pursued by a bear?

      • johngalt says:

        You two are aware that the budgeting process begins with the President proposing a budget, which is then modified by Congress, passed by both Houses, and signed by the President? It does not become law until all of these steps happen and, so, if the government is divided then both parties have their hands in the final product. This is Civics 101, not the partisan blinders with which you view everything that has ever happened.

      • johngalt says:

        “Since the PPACA was passed, millions of people lost their coverage, others have watched their premiums skyrocket, and people are flat out denied health care by the law.”

        That is a popular belief but it’s wrong. The percent of Americans without health insurance has steadily dropped over the last couple of years. The increase in coverage has been most pronounced for younger people, for lower income brackets, and for minorities. Particularly steep drops occurred in Q1 2014, when the law’s mandate provision took effect for individuals. Needless to say, the drops were most pronounced in states not run by ideologue Republicans.
        http://www.gallup.com/poll/168248/uninsured-rate-lowest-2008.aspx

        As for premiums rising, blaming the ACA for this is like blaming the ACA for the sun rising in the east. Premiums have been rising uncontrollably for decades. Between 2000-2010, the amount a median family paid for insurance nearly doubled from 11% of their income to 19%. No wonder the percent of people without insurance rose relentlessly during this time. We pay twice as much as any other developed country for health care (%GDP) while failing to cover nearly a fifth of the population. The status quo was unequal, inefficient, and very expensive. Three strikes and you’re out.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, you do know that the president does always submit a budget but it is never passed or modified. The wheeling dealing happens in the house and senate. You know this. Why be obtuse.

        And your response to Obamacare is just talking points. I thought you were above that? Guess not.

      • johngalt says:

        The President submits a budget, Congress debates, modifies, and eventually passes it (usually months late), then the President signs it. The President doesn’t sign something he is vehemently opposed to and Congress won’t pass the President’s budget as submitted. Compromise is required, which is why both parties deserve credit (or blame) for the finished product. This is what I posted and it is an accurate picture of the budgeting process, one that has been largely unchanged for two centuries.

        I’m sorry that you consider facts to be talking points. Fact: since passage of the ACA, the proportion of uninsured people has dropped. It is the opinion of most observers that the ACA has a lot to do with this. Fact: double digit rises in premiums were the norm over the last 20 years. It is too early to tell what the ACA is doing to premiums, (though the CBO lowered its estimates of the exchange premium inflation over the next few years). Some people here would have the opinion that large rises would be the fault of the ACA. Other people would think this is the status quo for the last 20 years.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So buzzy whiplashes 180 degrees and goes BACK to claiming the NYT is a biased liberal rag when the FACTS and hard data supports Obama’s policies and initiatives, but JUST YESTERDAY he posted a NYT article on chemical weapons in Iraq as the Gospel truth.

        Okaaaaaaaay.

        And buzzy and Cappy, regarding your obsequious lapdog codependency (thanks Owl), get a room already. Presuming Tut approves.

        And buzzy has some gall whining about JG “swallowing talking points” when, again, he just posted verbatim willful wingnut reading comprehension problem laced patently false chain mail talking points.

        Carry on buzzy. Self immolation is quite entertaining in a metaphorical context.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, John, the president can submit a budget, but congress can rip it apart. See what happened to Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. Congress controls spending and legislation (well, Obama is now trying to rule by speeches and decree), so congress is the real power.

        Premiums are going up because of what is required to be covered. Some people that had no insurance have it now, mostly or entirely funded by the federal government. That’s the logic of the left, have the federal government pay so that the federal government doesn’t have to pay, or was it the other way around?

      • johngalt says:

        1. Are you suggesting that Congressional Republicans passed budgets in the late 1990s with zero input from, and over the objections of, the Democratic president?

        2. Health insurance premiums have been increasing by 10% per year, more or less, for 20 years. Were these increases also because of new mandates about what must be covered? I must have missed that in the news. Fact is, most covered people already had insurance plans that included most everything required by the ACA.

      • CaptSternn says:

        1. I am saying that the party in the majrity has the control, as does Reid in the senate now refusing to even debate some 300 bills sent from then house. But only one party has had absolute control recently, and they gave us the PPACA, which …

        2. Obama said would reduce premiums for a family by $2,500 per year. How has that worked out?

      • johngalt says:

        Despite legions of dire predictions from the Republican Doom Machine and 46-and-counting attempts to repeal it, the ACA seems to be working for most people who are using it. The uninsured rate has dropped from 18% to 13% (a 30% drop), lots of young people have signed up (cutting the uninsured rate for 19-25 year olds by half), and premiums have risen (on average) by less than they did year-over-year before the ACA was passed. I realize not everyone is a winner from this – you, for instance, suffer from high blood pressure caused by hyperventilating at the grave injustice of being forced to be responsible – but lots of other people seem to like it.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      “And the deficit scolds themselves are unappeasable — nothing that doesn’t involve severely damage Social Security and/or Medicare will satisfy them. Why, it’s almost as if shredding the safety net, not reducing the deficit, was their real goal.”

      The Deficit Is Down, and Nobody Knows or Cares

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/the-deficit-is-down-and-nobody-knows-or-cares/

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Don’t pay attention to the man behind the screen Bobo.

        Bengazi! [sic] ISIS! Ebola! Kenyan Muslim who has a radical Christian preacher! He didn’t put his hand on his heart for the National Anthem!

        Yadda, Y, Y, …

  7. kabuzz61 says:

    Off topic but here it is.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html?_r=0

    Not only finding chemical weapons, but our soldiers have been maimed by them. Why the secrecy? I don’t know.

    And this for Homer: Mayor Parker has supenaed Houston pastors to produce their sermons siting her new anti descrimination law. Isn’t that lovely.

    • flypusher says:

      From the link:

      “The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.”

      So not only were the programs not active (and therefore no threat to America or Israel or any other nation), our troops get injured by stuff WE once gave to a scumbag dictator.

      Double fail buzzy.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        That was an editorial insert. The claim by the left is “THERE ARE NO MWD’S IN IRAQ PERIOD”. You can’t back away from it now. The inventory should have been given to the inspectors as lined out in the cease fire but Saddam didn’t, so the cease fire was broken. Rewrite all you wish, but it is what it is.

        But I am more troubled by Homers Mayor reaching into the pulpit to control what the faithful hear.

      • flypusher says:

        ” The claim by the left is “THERE ARE NO MWD’S IN IRAQ PERIOD”. You can’t back away from it now.”

        Don’t have to back away, because that was never MY claim. My claim was/ is/ has always been that Iraq was too weakened and being watched too closely to be a threat to any other nation. So all my “I told you so’s” are still in effect.

        As for the Houston situation, I’d like to hear from someone with some actual legal expertise, but it seems to me that if I file a lawsuit against someone/ some group (or am working closely with whoever filed the suit), I shouldn’t be all that shocked if the defendant’s lawyers try to get information on me.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fly, it always amazes me that the left leaning accept anything as long as the ‘other side’ is getting it. I live for the day when all say wrong is wrong is wrong. We either have rights, or we don’t have rights.

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, it always amazes me that the left leaning accept anything as long as the ‘other side’ is getting it.

        Getting subpoenaed after you file a lawsuit is a violation of rights? The lawyers for the churches are just as free to subpoena any gay activist groups for their records, are they not?

        And buzzy, it doesn’t amaze me in the least that you are the loudest “MY ox is getting gored” whiner here. Even if it’s the barest hint of a maybe of any goring.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fly, here is a recent post comment of yours:

        As for “we don’t know” regarding chemical weapons, more hand waving instead of facts. The US has been free to investigate anywhere in Iraq for over a decade. Are we really that bad at investigations? But the simplest explanation never occurs to you- that it’s very likely the WMD were already used/ destroyed/ confiscated prior to 2002 and they weren’t replaced because Iraq didn’t have the means to replace them (Scott Ritter said as much, before the invasion). You claim that you research and study, yet you don’t back up your assertions with anything specific. So I seriously have to wonder about the value and veracity of whatever it is you “research and study”. Probably the same kind of “sources” that claim governments tell national scientific academies in the Free World what to say, and we know how reliable those are.

        So your claim of JUST saying Iraq was weak isn’t true.

        As for using sermons for discovery? You cannot be that naive can you? It is the Mayor that has to prove discrimination. It is her law.

      • flypusher says:

        Buzzy, I really have to wonder what passes for logic in your brain. Nothing in that quote mining you did contradicts the claim that Iraq was not a threat. Even better, the fact that all those unhindered investigations over all years have only found long abandoned weapons programs supports the claim that Iraq was not a threat. Anyone with any knowledge of chemistry can tell you that these sorts of chemical have an expiration date, and you just can’t bury them in the desert for years and expect them to be usable. What you get is what the troops found, a HazMat situation that causes a very localized problem. You fail again.

        Parker isn’t the one who filed the lawsuit.

      • Turtles Run says:

        To quote Buzzy

        Buzzy you are just making mountains out of molehills. As in your response to people losing their right to vote

        Seems you are fine with other people actually losing their rights but if the merest hint of wrong towards your causes then it is an all out conspiracy fest for you.

        You are the biggest hypocrite here. You must be Preperation H’s biggest customer with all the booty-hurt you suffer.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        More proof buzzy has willful wingnut reading comprehension problems (WWRCP from hereon in).

        Buzzy’s “aha” quote of fly:

        “But the simplest explanation never occurs to you- that it’s very likely the WMD were already used/ destroyed/ confiscated prior to 2002 and they weren’t replaced because Iraq didn’t have the means to replace them.”

        The whole NYT article supported fly’s point that there were no NEW and ACTIVE WMD programs after the first 1991 Gulf War.

        And that is why the government was hiding the fact old and UNUSED chemical weapons manufactured PRIOR to 1991 (as the article noted several times) were found. Because it would have further proved Saddam Hussein was NOT manufacturing (thus not able to use either) chemical WMD. And their whole justification for that unnecessary war.

        All these exposures were INADVERTENT from discoveries of FORGOTTEN stockpiles used for the Iran-Iraq wars in the 1980’s that WE supplied directly and indirectly.

        THAT was why the discoveries were kept secret.

        Carry on buzzy. Because we all know this will not be the end of your WWRCP.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, Bubba, we all know that Bill Clinton was a liar, but you are taking it to the extreme is suggesting that he really did order hundreds, maybe thousands, of people killed, including dozens of U.S. citizens, just to distract us from Monica and the blue dress.

        Facts are that Iraq was working on chemical weapons through at least most of the 1990’s, Iraq was using a factory in Sudan and was working with al Qaeda on those chemical weapons. You also either have forgotten, or ignore, or simply lie about other facts and activities. Iraq was building new delivery systems, new rockets, that had longer range than was allowed under the cease-fire.

        Iraq would not allow weapons inspectors in the contry for four years. And when they were allowed to return, they reported that Iraq refused to cooperate. And what were those trucks moving out of Iraq and into Syria? Why were their traces of chemical weapons in the rivers?

        Some on the left like to claim that reality has a liberal bias, but the fact is reality has no bias, it simply is what is. The left tries to reject reality and replace it with their fantasies, but those are still just fantasies.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes, Cappy all of that is true and supported by your “extensive research” (of wingnut websites) that are secret and only available and discovered by you.

        Carry on.

        Note that it was buzzy who posted the NYT article. And proceeded to spin it wildly and comically to fit his WWRCP.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, Bubba, no secret sites for any of those facts. Iraq in material breach …

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/01/09/iraq-in-material-breach-un-ambassador-says/

      • CaptSternn says:

        Weapons inspectors in Iraq, but not between 1998 and 2002 …

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/30/world/meast/iraq-weapons-inspections-fast-facts/

      • CaptSternn says:

        Clinton administration links Iraq and al Qaeda …

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/jun/24/20040624-112921-3401r/#!

        So there is reality and the facts. Carry on.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I don’t know why I even bother as I know what I will find.

        Fox – Why even FOX embarrasses W and his fellow draft dodging warmongers. “Earlier, Blix told reporters that the inspectors have found “no smoking guns” in Iraq, but Baghdad’s arms declaration to the Security Council ‘failed to answer a great many questions. ‘ ” followed by “ ‘We know for a fact that there are weapons there,’ White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said in Washington.” Whatever.

        Guardian – Saddam Hussuin was developing long range missiles in violation of the 1991 surrender/ceasefire agreement. I am shocked! Eye roll. Only Cappy would draw a conclusive line to EVIDENCE of WMD.

        CNN – No one said Saddam Hussein was a choirboy. He had chemical weapons in the 80’s and used it in the war against Iran. He may have tried in Sudan, or it may have been bin Laden. Either way, it was bombed, end of story.

        Daily Mail – not an investigative report. Wingnut diatribe conspiracy theory editorial from a Murdoch owned paper.

        CNN – So what? Nothing was found when we invaded in 2003 or since. Except pre-1991 stuff.

        USA Today – what the current NYT article said. Old stuff from pre-1991.

        The world is just a Rorschach inkblot for you to twist to your warped whim, isn’t it Cappy?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Poor Bubba, reality and facts just not fitting in with your fantasies and denials. First you claim the information was some secret, then you simply deny it or the sources, but absolutely nothing to refute the facts and reality.

        You, like so many others on the left, run purely on emotion, fantasy and denial. Read Lifer’s title of this entry again, it fits you perfectly.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I’ll hand it to you Cappy. You do have that unique knack for clueless warped lack of irony.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Capt, when you are a goose stepping in line liberals member of the echo chamber, it is futile to try to use facts. Bubba is as bubba does. His refusal of reality is his mode of operation.

        Fly said “He never said there weren’t WMD’s in Iraq” but then I used his words from the past. “But the simplest explanation never occurs to you- that it’s very likely the WMD were already used/ destroyed/ confiscated prior to 2002 …” but yet still says he never said that. And I didn’t even look back any further.

        A new day is dawning next Month and the liberals are beside themselves with emotions.

      • flypusher says:

        The thing about the dishonest tactic known as quote mining, people normally do it when the person they are quoting out of context isn’t around, so that they can’t provide the context. But since you fail at quote mining too buzzy, here’s the context you are deliberately and dishonestly leaving out- the discussion was about ACTIVE, FUNCTIONAL weapons that could pose an actual THREAT to other countries. Exactly how was Iraqi going to threaten anyone with their internal pollution problems? Scrape up the dirt and lob it over the border? Also, I have mentioned that there were buried obsolete weapons found in Iraq during previous discussions. If you are so fond of digging through my posts, I challenge you to go find them.

        Sternn, you’re cherry picking history again, a bad habit also shared by the grumpy kitty. If you had bothered to extend your timeline to June 2008, you would have found the conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Their conclusions on alleged Iraq-al qaeda ties: “Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.”

        Or former CIA director in 2007; “We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period.”

        Or the March 2008 Pentagon report that couldn’t substantiate any links and concluded:
        “The primary target, however, of Saddam’s terror activities was not the United States, and not Israel. “The predominant targets of Iraqi state terror operations were Iraqi citizens, both inside and outside of Iraq.” Saddam’s primary aim was self-preservation and the elimination of potential internal threats to his power.”
        Another relevant quote:”the similarities ended there: bin Laden wanted – and still wants – to restore the Islamic caliphate while Saddam, despite his later Islamic rhetoric, dreamed more narrowly of being the secular ruler of a united Arab nation. These competing visions made any significant long-term compromise between them highly unlikely. After all, to the fundamentalist leadership of al Qaeda, Saddam represented the worst kind of “apostate” regime – a secular police state well practiced in suppressing internal challenges.”

        So when weighing conclusions between the Pentagon/ the CIA / a Senate Intelligence committee and someone who spouts conspiracy theories online, what’s the call?

      • Turtles Run says:

        I would add that even Hans Blix who Cappy’s first link refers to claims that there was no evidence of Iraqi WMDs. This is not news to any reasonable person. If WMDs were really found we would not hear the end of the GOP/Tea Baggers bragging that they were right. Except for the delusional far right wing the question of WMDs is over. None were found and the few outdated stockpiles that were there were weapons that we already knew about.

        http://www.un.org/press/en/2003/sc7777.doc.htm

      • CaptSternn says:

        Either this is still going over your collective heads, or you are all simply in blind denial. Those are all examples of the violations of the terms of the cease-fire. The violations of said cease-fire are the reason the Hussein regime was removed, the official reasons written and passed into law by congress and signed by the president. Here it is with all the official reasons listed …

        http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ243/html/PLAW-107publ243.htm

        Fly, you are now trying to move the goal posts. Iraq wasn’t training al Qaea and Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11/2001 attacks. Iraq had been working with al Qaeda on chemical weapons in the factory in Sudan, but you are now with Bubba claiming that Clinton had hundreds of people killed, maybe thousands, simply to distract people from the blue dress. Clinton is a liar and scoundrel, but I don’t believe he would take it that far. You claim he did, back it up.

        Al Qaeda was not the only terrorist group Iraq had ties with either. There were Mujahadeen-e-Khalq, Kurdistan Workers’ Party and Abu Nidal Organization. The Hussein regime paid families of suicide bombers in Palestine. All in violation of te cease-fire.

        What happened to Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons that were still there in 1998? We don’t know. Another violation of the cease-fire.

        Inspectors were kept out for four years, another violation of the cease-fire.

        Iraq continued the war against the allied forces that started with the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It was scaled back by the allies, but it never ended. More violations of the cease-fire.

        I have said before, and still believe, that everybody here is well above average in intelligence, so this isn’t going over your heads, it is blind denial and deliberate ignorance. The hatred from the left is so thick that truth, facts and reality cannot be allowed to penetrate. None of you can prove that anything in the link I just provided is false or wrong. Y’all close your collective eyes and repeat talking points based on deliberate ignorance and hate.

      • flypusher says:

        ‘Either this is still going over your collective heads, or you are all simply in blind denial. Those are all examples of the violations of the terms of the cease-fire.”

        If you honestly think a majority of the American people initially backed the invasion because of cease fire violations, YOU are the one who needs a vision check. They backed it because they bought W’s sales pitch that Iraq was a threat to this country. They weren’t going to be sold on anything else. I don’t back preemptive war on ANY country unless you can make a case they they pose a threat. I didn’t then and I sure as hell don’t now.

        “but you are now with Bubba claiming that Clinton had hundreds of people killed, maybe thousands, simply to distract people from the blue dress. Clinton is a liar and scoundrel, but I don’t believe he would take it that far. You claim he did, back it up.”

        Bullshit Sternn. That is your absolutely worst bad habit here- putting words into other people’s mouths. Given all the truly fucked up intelligence about Iraq, could it ever have crossed your brain that he also screwed up just like Bush did? All these investigations and all these military/ intelligence/ government agencies still can’t make a case that sticks, even people who would have a whole lot of motive to prove something. For sensible people people all that failure tells them something. You conspiracy theorists are another story.

        “What happened to Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons that were still there in 1998? We don’t know”

        Yes we do. They because HazMat sites. And they didn’t have the means to make any more.

        “None of you can prove that anything in the link I just provided is false or wrong. ”

        It was not enough to prove that Iraq was a threat to the US, and therefore not enough to justify the invasion. Bush put that burden of proof on himself when he chose to make those claims. I WATCHED all this unfold. I called bullshit then, and I was right.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        GW Bush NEVER said Iraq was an imminent threat. He said we shouldn’t and can’t wait for him to become an imminent threat. Following 9/11 and the chaos of the time made sense.

        No matter how you try to declare it, we did not go to war, Saddam broke the cease fire from 91.

      • flypusher says:

        “GW Bush NEVER said Iraq was an imminent threat. He said we shouldn’t and can’t wait for him to become an imminent threat. Following 9/11 and the chaos of the time made sense.

        By that “logic” buzzy, we should have been invading Iran and North Korea first.

        Invading Afghanistan made sense. Invading Iraq made sense if you were someone who had been agitating for it for years and just got that “Peal Harbor moment” you had speculated about. Choices based on fear without valid evidence give you the fubar situation we have today. Just as the title says, terrorism makes people stupid and invading Iraq is exhibit A.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Iraq was a threat to this nation. Any nation waging war against us and our allies is naturally a very serious threat.

        No, we do not know what happened to things like the weaponized anthrax.

        Fly, you are just being too shallow minded, going with talking points, soundbuites, headlines and bumper sticker slogans. The world is a lot more complicated than that, but you run with your emotions. That is the difference between conservatives and liberals, liberals run with emotion and deliberate ignorance, conservatives run with logic and facts.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “That is the difference between conservatives and liberals: most conservatives run with emotion and deliberate ignorance, but many liberals run with logic and facts.”

        There: fixed it for you.

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, you are just being too shallow minded, going with talking points, soundbuites, headlines and bumper sticker slogans. The world is a lot more complicated than that, but you run with your emotions. That is the difference between conservatives and liberals, liberals run with emotion and deliberate ignorance, conservatives run with logic and facts.”

        More of your bullshit Sternn. Now you’re playing that ad hominem “you’re just emotional” card. You say you “run with logic and facts”‘ yet you conventiently ignore all the post war analyses that lead to the same conclusion- nobody can produce evidence of Iraq plotting terrorist attacks against the US, and nobody (despite over a decade of unhindered access) can produce evidence of active WMD programs going on after 1998. History is not going to judge Bush or America well on this one.

        And if by “deliberate ignorance” you actually mean “insisting that people making claims ought to provide evidence”‘ then and only then would you be correct about the people who called bullshit on Bush’s blunder.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I don’t know much about the anti-discrimination case, but from what I’ve read . . . at first glance it would seem unnecessary and/or a violation of first amendment rights to subpoena the texts of sermons, but it seems the purpose is to prove there was some hanky-panky related to the signatures on the petition opposing the city ordinance, that not all signatures were valid because they belonged to people who are not Houston residents, and that this irregular behavior was encouraged from the pulpit. So, in order to prove fraud, it would make sense to inquire into what was said on these occasions, and since I think sermons are public speech, there should be no question of privacy here.

      • Houston-Stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz, I’m on my phone so not able to look at much or type much.

        However, I am curious how the practice of your faith has been under assault. “This is the place where we stop the LGBT assault on the freedom to practice our faith.”

        How have folks stopped you from practicing your faith?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I didn’t say such a thing. Here is what the Mayor wants:

        Among those slapped with a subpoena is Steve Riggle, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church. He was ordered to produce all speeches and sermons related to Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality and gender identity

        I know this won’t stand because all churches at all different times speak about social events and problems. Unless you and others think any mention of anything that is the least bit controversial is worth going after. This is not hurting the churches. This is just turning the citizens of Houston against the Mayor and City Counsel.

        It is needless. It is fishing. It is bullying. Plain and simple. I think even you can see this even with your very ardent support of homosexuality, transgenders and the like.

      • johngalt says:

        Subpoenaing sermons does seem a bit sketchy, but if they were presentations in which parishioners were being directly instructed in partisan political activities related to the repeal of a city ordinance, then those presentations should be fair game. I’d think the IRS might be interested in them as well.

      • johngalt says:

        I meant to say “if *there* were presentations.”

      • dowripple says:

        It appears that the COH has backed off, claiming the subpoena was too “far reaching”. However, I’m still confused as to why it was considered a violation of 1st amendment rights. The city wasn’t looking to “punish” or “prohibit” anything, only to gather information to see if the petitions were valid. The city is the entity being sued here, not the pastors. If someone here could explain the “crisis”, I would greatly appreciate it.

        Full disclosure:
        1. I thought it was indeed strange to request sermons, and I fully support pastors preaching whatever they want.
        2. I got banned from commenting on Chron.com (for the first time ever, since 2008)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Hey Dow, how do you know you’ve been banned? I’ve not been (yet) under their new comments system.

        Welcome to the club. 😉

      • dowripple says:

        I can tell I’m banned because It shows me as logged in, but my avatar is gone and I can’t post or “like” comments. I still can post on blogs (like Nick’s cartoons and some sports articles), so I guess I’m only half-banned.

        It’s been 2 days like that, so if anything changes I’ll post an update.

        And I’m not saying I shouldn’t have been banned. I let one of the trolls get under my skin and I was, ahem, an asshole. (Pardon my French)

      • CaptSternn says:

        Dow, I think it has something to do with the city attempting to intmidate the plaintifs, bullying them. Even the left leaning Chron has come out with a strong opinion against it …

        http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Don-t-intimidate-5825421.php

        Stinks that you got banned. I have noticed that there seem to be different boards that one would think would be all connected. My ranking has gone up since I have started being a bit more active, but on blogs it is really low, so there must be a separation somewhere. I think some people have appealed the ban and it got lifted, so maybe that is an option?

    • Here’s the Chronicle’s report on Parker’s subpoena of pastor’s sermons. Interesting to see the diversity in the crowd of protesters in the accompanying photo.

      http://www.chron.com/news/politics/houston/article/City-subpoenas-pastors-sermons-in-equal-rights-5822403.php

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Scott, the equivalent article on houstonchronicle.com has no photos but more words:

        http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/City-subpoenas-sermons-in-ERO-court-case-5822800.php

        And yes, the Black community tends to be socially conservative when it comes to rights for homosexuals.

      • I’m curious to know if the left-leaning folks on this blog support Mayor Parker’s actions here. The issue seems to be crossing racial lines and on some of the comment boards there are liberals are saying it’s going too far.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        My point carrying this issue forward would be the long standard of African Amercan churches preaching politics from the pulpits especially who to vote for. OR, voter registration. What actions do churches do if this is successful that can prevent Bully Parker to go forward with anything that may offend her sensibillities.

        JG, I appreciate your honesty.

        I voted for Parker because she said she is a woman running for Mayor not a gay woman running for mayor and she only wants to focus on the cities business. Two months later she is touring the country as an advocate for GLAAD. She is a liar of the worse sort.

      • johngalt says:

        Oh, relax. Parker has been a pretty decent mayor over a challenging period. She’s never hidden the fact that she’s gay and her position makes her a natural advocate for that community.

        On a side note, we occasionally recruit new faculty, who are often not from Texas. Partly this is intentional: most places prefer to hire from outside to bring in fresh blood. Their misconceptions about Houston are many, and finding out that we elected a gay mayor has been invariably an eye-opener (in a good way). It assuages their concerns about potentially living in a very red state.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Scott Bonasso says:
        October 15, 2014 at 11:30 am

        “I’m curious to know if the left-leaning folks on this blog support Mayor Parker’s actions here. The issue seems to be crossing racial lines…”

        Yes. It’s called equal rights for ALL. Not “equal rights for all except those *I* consider icky.”

        And insulting that you would presume “left leaning folks” would monolithically support any and all Black causes. If an ultra religious Black person or pastor advocates for equal rights for Blacks, I’m all for it. If an ultra religious Black person or pastor advocates for discrimination against gays and transgenders, as Tutt noted they are wont to do, I say hell no, you are a hateful bigot.

        Why is that so hard to comprehend or understand as morally consistent?

      • flypusher says:

        “I’m curious to know if the left-leaning folks on this blog support Mayor Parker’s actions here. The issue seems to be crossing racial lines and on some of the comment boards there are liberals are saying it’s going too far.”

        My first reaction to this was “it’s lawyers being lawyers”. They’re casting their nets wide to see what they can get. I will have an issue with this if there is a violation of the goose/gander/ sauce rule- as in the city lawyers can have the sermons, but the plaintiffs’ lawyers can’t access similar records from the opposition.

        The fact that some black churches are in opposition matters zero to me. You’re got to have more than just “it offends my religious sensibilities” to have a case here.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again, my point. If politics is spoken from the pulpit, what will African American churches do if they are constantly sued for political campaigning in church?

        JG, Parker may be a great mayor but she is way over the top on this. She would have done much better for herself to leave this be. Now the citizens as a whole will be up in arms. This does not help her cause at all. This is a very stupid move and I would say one she will lose both in court and public opinion. She should stop digging now.

      • “And insulting that you would presume “left leaning folks” would monolithically support any and all Black causes.”

        I presumed no such thing. I simply made the observation that this doesn’t look to be a partisan or racial issue. People of all stripes are decrying these subpoenas and I was curious who would support them and why. I asked for “left-leaning folks” to answer because I “presumed” that no righties would support them. Was I wrong? Any righties on here want to chime in?

        So, bubba, you’re all for pastors being forced to have their sermons subpoenaed by local government officials. And it’s because you believe that if a pastor speaks negatively of the HERO legislation or Mayor Parker, then they’re restricting the rights of homosexuals.

        Thanks, fly, for your post. You’re one of the few “left-leaning folks” on this board that can engage in a discussion without getting your panties in a bunch.

      • johngalt says:

        This citizen couldn’t care less about what lawyers for the city and lawyers for an organization that seeks to impose its morality on the rest of us are doing. They issue subpoenas. The churches can fight them and then a judge decides. If there were a lawsuit regarding a political matter in which a non-religious civic group were loudly supporting one side through speeches and rallies would you have even a moment’s hesitation at subpoenaing those speeches?

      • John: You’re saying that a pastor preaching to his/her congregation is “an organization that seeks to impose its morality on the rest of us?”

        “If there were a lawsuit regarding a political matter in which a non-religious civic group were loudly supporting one side through speeches and rallies would you have even a moment’s hesitation at subpoenaing those speeches?”

        That’s a good question. If the individuals speaking out against the legislation weren’t the ones actually bringing the lawsuit, then I would think not. But then again, I’m not a lawyer…

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Scott, I’m not going to rehash the legitimate legal reasons lawyers would subpoena the sermons that have already been said.

        “So, bubba, you’re all for pastors being forced to have their sermons subpoenaed by local government officials. And it’s because you believe that if a pastor speaks negatively of the HERO legislation or Mayor Parker, then they’re restricting the rights of homosexuals.”

        Not sure what you are trying to say here. See my responses above. The pastors were suing because their petition signatures were improperly invalidated and the lawyers were digging for any proof that they were gathering inappropriate signatures to bolster their case.

        No one is “getting their panties in a wad” over criticisms of Mayor Parker’s actions. And speaking negatively of the HERO legislation is not “restricting the rights of homosexuals” but attempting to getting it repealed by popular decree is. And it affects transgenders who are not considered homosexuals. Not that it mattered to you apparently.

      • Bubba:

        All you wrote about the subpoenas was “Yes. It’s called equal rights for ALL. Not “equal rights for all except those *I* consider icky.”

        I inferred from that that you considered pastors preaching against HERO from the pulpit was infringing on equal rights for the LGBT community. I was trying to sum up what I thought was your position. Sorry if I was wrong.

        I have read all the responses about the legal ins and outs of this story and have found them to be enlightening. It is a much more complicated legal matter than the Chronicle reported. The matter does bring up some interesting issues about church and state; 1st Amendment; etc.

        I have no dog in this fight. Just trying to pick people’s brains on this story and see what both sides think. And as I said, I’ve found the answers to be informative. But you have presumed that I think liberals will side with blacks no matter what (an insult, you said), and that I don’t care about transgenders.

      • johngalt says:

        Scott – I’m fine with preachers saying whatever they want to their flocks. If they want to preach fire and brimstone about homosexuality, then that is their right. If they are using the pulpit to actively engage in partisan political activities, such as training members of the congregation to collect signatures to repeal a law, then it is seeking to impose their opinion (in this case the morality of homosexuality) on the rest of us and this free speech is relevant to lawsuits alleging improprieties in those activities. This is also illegal, at least in terms of political activities by a tax-exempt entity.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You claim to “not have a dog in this fight”, but your characterizations and assumptions and misnomers on this blog speaks volumes.

        As I noted earlier above:

        “And speaking negatively of the HERO legislation is not ‘restricting the rights of homosexuals’ but attempting to getting it repealed by popular decree is. And it affects transgenders who are not considered homosexuals. Not that it mattered to you apparently.”

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Yes. It’s called equal rights for ALL. Not “equal rights for all except those *I* consider icky.” ”

        All have equal rights, at least those that fit the class of people you like and not those people you find “icky”.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cappy you have taken willful wingnut reading comprehension problems to its “finest” extreme.

        Babble on.

      • I do not have a dog in the fight between Mayor Parker and the mega church pastors. Please point out to me where I’ve mischaracterized either side.

        If you have inferred that I’m “right-leaning” from my comments on this blog in general, then you are correct. And I don’t take it as an insult.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bubba, you still haven’t learned the difference between rights, entitlements and privileges.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        That’s right Cappy.I still haven’t “learned” to understand the warped world of Cappy bizarro “logic”.

        Thankfully.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Maybe you should get a dictionary, Bubba. You can even access dictionaries free with the internet.

        Anyway, I can find better things to do that feed a troll here. I am not Dan, and you are still a deliberately ignorant troll. I bet you really miss Dan at this point. You, Bubba, are now dismissed.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        CaptSternn says:
        October 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm

        “You are still a deliberately ignorant troll.”

        Wow. Just wow. I’ll leave it at that.

      • John: I agree with you. If pastors engage in partisan political activities, then they should be subject to all the legal scrutiny that politicians are. However, in this particular case, it looks as though Parker was going after these five pastors because of the size of their congregations and subsequent sphere of influence. It has been reported that none of these pastors are active litigants in the lawsuit being brought against the city. I think Parker is overreaching in her attempt to head off negative public at the pass.

        As you said earlier, at best, subpoenaing sermons seems sketchy. It’s bad politics; regardless of the legal ins and outs, it’s going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of the general public.

      • Negative public ‘opinion’ at the pass.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        How a church works.

        The pastor will give a sermon. If the serman was on what the Bible says and homosexuality, then so be it. During announcements in most churches in American, they may say a speaker will be speaking in the fellowship center on the recent HERO edict passed by Parker. Attend if you can. Some congregant attended, some of them signed up to get signatures, end of story.

        There is no reason on Gods green earth to supeana pastors sermons.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well buzzy, I’m glad to hear you have attended every Black Baptist sermon yourself to personally verify your ASSumption.

        Now barring that, let’s see what is actually uncovered with subpoena.

        Jeeze.

      • dowripple says:

        Buzz, I’m pretty sure the city doesn’t care about a “gay is sin” sermon. (And for that matter, nobody gives a shit). They are looking for something more along the lines of: “circulate this to get signatures, you may have to go outside Houston to get them.”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        My goodness you liberals are hard headed. It is obvious you don’t attend church.

        Pastors are educated people. Average of Masters level. They know the rules. That is why I said the only think they would say FROM THE PULPIT is “there will be a speaker giving a talk on the recent HERO legislation in the fellowship hall (or parrish hall). All are welcomed to attend.” That’s it.

        As far as black churches talking politics, that has been done since before the civil rights era and rightfully so as they had no other way to communicate on a large scale. The AME churches still practice this. i.e. Rev. Wright. If you can sue pastors for political posturing, then some yahoo will any church that goes politic.

        For the record, I am not supportive of the tax exempt law for churches precisely for this reason. Pastors are reluctant to speak on topical, emotional subjects relating to scripture. I think they should and bad on them for not doing it.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – No one is stopping church pastors from speaking about politics on the pulpit. They simply have to give up their tax-exempt status and fire away.

        It is completely reasonable to request the sermons if they are using them to give instructions on how to fill out petitions to deny the civil rights of those that pay for their tax-exempt status. And there are those of us that do not give a squirt about what the city did and who attend church very regularly. We are just intelligent enough to call out BS when we see it instead of wallow in it.

        In the immortal words of Will Smith, “Don’t want none, then don’t start none.”

  8. tuttabellamia says:

    GG, you mention way down at the bottom of this thread that viewers of a certain news network need to be deprogrammed from mind control tactics. I think it would be a good idea for all of us in general to just turn off all media every now and then, to take a media fast, clean out our brains, and start with a fresh perspective.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I agree. This November will be two years my wife and I unplugged from cable. We are very much more at ease.

    • GG says:

      Personally I avoid cable and network news and can go days without checking out any news period. I keep my Dish so I can watch the History channel as well as shows such as Orange is the New Black and Walking Dead and BBT. Pure entertainment.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      GG, I purchased Apple TV which is a gateway to all the channels. Some with a monthly subscription. I joined Net Flix and Hulu which both carry history channel programming.

      • GG says:

        I have a roku too

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I discovered Hulu when I jilted Amazon and Kindle for the Barnes & Noble Nook. Hulu has a much better selection of foreign films.

        I watch mostly DVDs, though. Right now I’m on a Columbo viewing marathon.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Tutt, Barnes and Noble are downplaying their Nook because the stockholders wanted to know why they encouraged people to buy books online and not visit the brick and mortar stores. Good question.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Kabuzz, these days the B&N stores are doing better than their ebook and online business.

        By the way, your book THE SHORTCUT is available in print from the B&N website, but not in ebook form.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Kabuzz, your book is also available under Kindle Unlimited, which means it’s free to the reader who pays $10/month for the service. Do you still get a profit from those books?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Yes. It is called ‘the library’ and a get a small stipend with every check out. Thanks.

  9. RightonRush says:

    tsk, tsk, is this the future of the Republican Party?

    Amanda Terkel:

    New Hampshire GOP candidate Scott Brown ditched the usual campaign trail stops on Saturday and instead attempted to bond with a younger, rowdier set of voters at the University of New Hampshire homecoming tailgate.

    “I think they realize that he’s a guy that can represent them, that he’s just a normal person like everyone else,” state Rep. Joe Sweeney (R), who is also student body president at UNH, told WMUR.

    Brown attended the party at the invitation of the school’s College Republicans, and by all accounts, attracted a large, enthusiastic crowd. But as anyone who has ever attended a college tailgate knows, it can be hard to control what’s going on around you — potentially posing a problem during a political campaign where optics are important.

    In video posted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, as Brown walked through the sea of tailgaters, there were shouts of “F**k Jeanne Shaheen!” and “Elizabeth Warren sucks!” referring to the Democrat from Massachusetts who unseated Brown from his Senate seat in that state in 2012.

    The language became even more graphic at points, with one man shouting “F**k her right in the p***y” (00:04 in the video above), although it wasn’t clear if he was referring to Shaheen or Warren. At 01:07 in the video, a man also appears to refer to Shaheen as a c**t.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/scott-brown-tailgate_n_5976772.html

    Elizabeth Kowash @liz_kowash
    Follow

    Vote for Scott brown and get free beer!

    Elizabeth Kowash @liz_kowash
    Follow
    Sebastian Payne @SebastianEPayne
    Follow

    Scott Brown posing & chugging a Bud Light with students. Roaring chants of “Scotty, Scotty!” and “Scott for Prez”

  10. kabuzz61 says:

    OT.

    Here is the left acting as callous as ever. Not as bad as making fun of someone that has a disability but it is crass.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/10/ferguson-protesters-march-at-upscale-plaza-frontenac-shopping-mall-in-st-louis/

    • texan5142 says:

      Well hell, if we are to judge everyone on the left because of the actions of these few people, then I will judge you by the actions of a few on the right……..you are a bigot and a xenophobic racist kabuzz. See how that works idiot.

      • texan5142 says:

        I do not know that you are any of those things kabuzz , just making a point. Like you said to John75 yesterday, “is there any sense to it or is it just to insult”

      • flypusher says:

        You righties definitely wouldn’t want to be judged by all the comments at that link, would you?

      • “Well hell, if we are to judge everyone on the left because of the actions of these few people, then I will judge you by the actions of a few on the right…”

        Texan: I would argue that this takes place on this blog every day. Chris uses this blog to criticize the far right because he believes it reflects poorly on the entire GOP and thus hurts the party as a whole. The left-leaning folks on here don’t usually make a distinction between the right and the far right, and use Chris’ criticisms as a springboard to bash conservatives in general.

        For every far right-wing nut out there, there’s an equal and opposite left-wing nut (Newton’s law of politics?). We could use the nutty actions of the far left to criticize the Democratic party as a whole, but that’s for another blog I guess…”Democrat-Lifer?”

      • flypusher says:

        “Texan: I would argue that this takes place on this blog every day. Chris uses this blog to criticize the far right because he believes it reflects poorly on the entire GOP and thus hurts the party as a whole.”

        Chris gives plenty of specific examples, from Rep. Akin’s harmful falsehoods about reproductive biology to Sheriff Painter going off the deep end with regards to assessing threat risks. That’s not the same as saying all the people on the far right are NJs. Specific bad/crazy behavior ought to be called out.

        A complementary Dem-Lifer blog would be great, but no qualified person has yet volunteered to take up that task.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Scott, I’d overwhelmingly agree with you that there are left-wing nuts in the U.S. I have a few in my family, have encountered non-related varieties when living in California, etc.

        However, left-wing nuts don’t seem to achieve the prominence and power within the political establishment that right-wing nuts do. When you see a left-wing nut cited, it’s almost always some protest leader, fringe educator, activist journalist, or the like, who seldom receives credence from the Democratic political representatives actually elected by the people.

        On the other hand, scarcely a day goes by that we don’t see ridiculous mis-statements of fact, grotesque logical lapses, or outright un-American rhetoric, emitted by elected Republicans in the service of their own political agenda.

        Sure, loonies exist on the Left. Some even get elected. But the Left seems to have a more effective filter built in than does the Right, at least in our current political era.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Birdy, you are in denial. Plenty of democratic politicians spouting loony things. Plenty. I acknowledge both sides having loons but to say the dem’s filter them out is preposterous.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        For Birdy courtesy of Jen Ericson

        1. Sheryl Crow on Environmentalism: “I propose a limitation be put on how many sqares [sic] of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.'”

        2. Joe Biden on culturalism: “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

        3. Whoopi Goldberg on 43-year-old Roman Polanski raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl: “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and and [sic] when they let him out he was like “You know what this guy’s going to give me a hundred years in jail I’m not staying, so that’s why he left.”

        4. Joy Behar on Economics: “Isn’t it a little racist to call it Black Friday?”

        5. John Conyers on the Health Care Bill, which he voted for: “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill … What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?'”

        6. Former DNC Chairman Donald Fowler on possible delay of RNC convention due to Hurricane Gustav: “Plus they think the hurricane’s going to hit (starts laughing) New Orleans about the time they start. The timing, at least it appears now, that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates God’s on our side”

        7. Barack Obama: “I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go?”

        8. John Kerry on the troops: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

        9. Howard Dean: “We know that no one person can succeed unless everybody else succeeds.”

        10. Rosie O’Donnell: “Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.”

        11. Al Gore: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

        12. Congressman Hank Johnson on Guam: “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,”

        13. Alan Grayson on Health Care: “The Republican health care plan: don’t get sick … The Republicans have a back up plan in case you do get sick … This is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly!”

        14. Nancy Pelosi on the economy: “every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”

        15. Helen Thomas: Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany and Poland.

        16. Wanda Sykes: “I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight … Rush Limbaugh — I hope the country fails. I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a waterboarding, that’s what he needs.”

        17. Bill Clinton on ordinary Americans: “African Americans watch the same news at night that ordinary Americans do.”

        18. Barack Obama on a tornado that killed twelve people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died – an entire town destroyed”

        19. Harry Reid on Iraq: “This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.”

        20. Kanye West: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

        21. Joe Biden on the economy: “The number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”

        22. Bill Maher on Christianity: “I think religion is a neurological disorder.

        23. Joe Biden on History: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.”

        24. Ted Rall: “Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average I.Q. soared.”

        25. Michael Moore on terrorism: “There is no terrorist threat. Yes, there have been horrific acts of terrorism and, yes, there will be acts of terrorism again. But that doesn’t mean that there’s some kind of massive terrorist threat.”

        26. Henry Waxman on Environmentalism: “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap.”

        27. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC: “If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate.”

        28. California Senator Barbara Boxer: “Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

        29. Wesley Bolin, former governor of Arizona: “We’d like to avoid problems, because when we have problems, we can have troubles.”

        30. Senator Chris Dodd, while on the campaign trail: “Eight more days and I can start telling the truth again” Sen. Chris Dodd, on the campaign trail.

        31. Melissa Lafsky, Huffington Post blogger: “[Mary Jo] would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history … Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”

        32. Joe Biden on the passage of the Health Care Bill: “This is a big f…ing deal!”

        33. Bill Clinton: “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

        34. Jerry Brown, former governor of California, and current candidate for the same position: “The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs.”

        35. Democratic Convention producer Don Mischer, overheard on CNN having an apoplectic seizure when the balloons failed to drop from the ceiling of the Fleet Center in Boston: “Go, balloons. I don’t see anything happening. Go, balloons. Go, balloons. Go, balloons. Stand by, confetti. Keep coming, balloons. More balloons. Bring them. Balloons, balloons, balloons! More balloons. Tons of them. Bring them down. Let them all come. No confetti. No confetti yet. No confetti. All right. Go, balloons. Go, balloons. We’re getting more balloons. All balloons. All balloons should be going. Come on, guys! Let’s move it. Jesus! We need more balloons. I want all balloons to go. Go, confetti. Go, confetti. Go, confetti. I want more balloons. What’s happening to the balloons? We need more balloons. We need all of them coming down. Go, balloons. Balloons. What’s happening balloons? There’s not enough coming down. All balloons! Why the hell is nothing falling? What the f— are you guys doing up there? We want more balloons coming down. More balloons. More balloons.”

        36. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC: “I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where’s Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less.”

        37. Bill Clinton: “I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I’ve never had an affair with her.”

        38. Joe Biden, on the mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who is, in fact, still alive: “His mom lived in Long Island for ten years or so. God rest her soul. And- although, she’s- wait- your mom’s still- your mom’s still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul.”

        39. Al Gore on zoology: “A zebra does not change its spots.”

        40. Rod Blagojevich, former governor of IL: “I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.”

        41. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the newly passed health care law: “We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance.”

        42. Congressman John Dingell on freedom: “The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re passing legislation that will cover 300 million American people in different ways, it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”

        43. Former Congressman Eric Massa: “Now, they’re saying I groped a male staffer. Yes, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe and four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.”

        44. Congressman Charlie Rangel on our troops: “If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.”

        45. Radio personality Ed Schultz on elections: “If I lived in Massachusetts, I’d try to vote ten times … Yeah that’s right, I’d cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. Because that’s exactly what they are.”

        46. John Kerry on health care: “I’m going to be honest with you — I don’t know a lot about Cuba’s healthcare system. Is it a government-run system?”

        47. Congresswoman Maxine Waters on socialism: “Guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal will be about socializing…uh, um…Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”

        48. Senator Harry Reid on Barack Obama: “…light-skinned,” and with “no negro dialect.”

        48. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on national security, after a man attempted to blow up a commercial airplane with a bomb in his panties: “The system worked.”

        49. Nancy Pelosi on legislation: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

        50. Joe Biden to Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham, who is wheelchair bound: “stand up … Chuck, stand up, Chuck, let ’em see you!”

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        An honest person might have felt moved to post one or more examples.

        However, kabuzz, I see that you are under no such compunctions.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Ah, and I’m betrayed by posting before such examples come to light. I apologize for so light a dismissal.

        I’ll have to take a look at your list, and see whether it actually has more merit than the usual right-wing foam.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And the eternal question continues: is kabuzz stupid or “just” dishonest?

        I mean, I would think that the average, educated American adult would know that Sheryl Crow, Whoopi Goldberg, Roman Polanski, Joy Behar, Rosie O’Donnell, Helen Thomas, Wanda Sykes, Kanye West, Bill Maher, Ted Rall, Michael Moore, and self-identified “Huffington Post blogger” Melissa Lafsky are not elected representatives of the Democratic Party. And this discussion was, supposedly, about stupid things that actual elected officials from the major parties say.

        Now, a young, virile fellow in full control of his mental faculties might have snipped out those irrelevant pieces before posting the entire cut-and-paste list. But, evidently, that’s not our kabuzz.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        12 out of fifty but of course the 12 are heroes of the left. But yet you don’t even comment on the 38 dem politicians saying stupid things.

      • Owl: I agree with most of what you wrote. However, the Democratic establishment gets a lot of help with their “filter” by the majority of media outlets in this country. The establishment press and entertainment culture in general tend to highlight the rightwing nuttiness and hide the leftwing nuttiness. So the Dems have an advantage with the casual, low-information voter, whose political views are formed by mainstream news soundbites or what they see on Saturday Night Live.

      • morbid says:

        Kabuzz, Senator Chuck is a friend of mine, and he thought the incident was funny since Biden did not know he was a wheelchair user.

        He is not wheelchair bound by the way. He may not be able to stand but he can get out of that wheelchair.

      • GG says:

        “Heroes of the left”? Uh, no. I don’t know anyone right or left who considers them heroes. Ridiculous.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Well, kabuzz, to be fair (which I realize is hardly ever your intent), it’s not 12 out of 50, since you have a number of repeat contributors in your awkward and poorly-sourced list. Marion Barry appears twice, Joe Biden six times, Bill Clinton three times, Al Gore twice, John Kerry twice, Barack Obama twice, Nancy Pelosi twice, and Harry Reid twice. Oh, and I forgot to take out radio commentator (not politician) Ed Schultz.

        So, now your list has 13 irrelevant names out of 37, so you’ve failed almost the simplest of possible filters over a third of the time.

        Moreover, your list is just haplessly lame much of the time. Big fuckin’ deal that Joe Biden said of the Affordable Care Act that “This is a big fucking deal!” It WAS and IS a big fuckin’ deal. Just because your shell-like ears don’t have enough cushion from the hole-riddled paste in the skull between them to withstand such harsh language, doesn’t mean the comment isn’t perfectly accurate. So all such pitiful over-reachings also fail the test.

        Face it, kabuzz. When you post, you make yourself look more ridiculous.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Actually, the topic is stupid. I must remind you. I have no idea how you can remember lines when you can’t even remember the topic of this discussion. All I can say is ‘stupid is what stupid does’ Birdy.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        It is not “stupid” to say something is “a big fucking deal” when it fucking actually *is*.

      • johngalt says:

        When #1 on kabuzz’s cut and paste parade is a joke told by a pop singer, it’s unlikely to help his cause.

        Not one of them, even from the actual elected Democrats on the list, seems like much more than misstatements. None, certainly, rise to the level of “authentic rape”, though Whoopi Goldberg’s comment about Polanski is pretty abhorrent.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Scott wrote – the usual biased tripe about the media protecting Democrats but completely ignores reality.

        If Scott’s comment were true why is the “biased” media all over Grimes and who she did or didn’t vote for but barely has any mention of North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Thom Tilliis (R-etarded) claim that welfare is slave reparations.

        http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/republican-senate-hopeful-equated-welfare-and-reparations

        Democrat bias my anus.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy wrote: All I can say is ‘stupid is what stupid does’ Birdy.

        Well no one will ever accuse Buzzy of not being familiar with stupid.

      • Media professionals voting and political donations:
        A 2008 Investors Business Daily study put the campaign donation ratio at 11.5-to-1, in favor of Democrats. In terms of total dollars given, the ratio was 15-to-1.

        Media professionals political identification:
        In a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, media professionals were nearly 7 times likelier to call themselves Democrats rather than Republicans.

        Media professionals asked to rate themselves on the political spectrum from left to right:
        In a 2007 Pew Research Center study of journalists and news executives, the ratio was 4 liberals for each conservative.

        The rate at which news outlets interview, quote, or cite the positions of think tanks and policy groups: liberal 3 times the rate of conservative. [Tim Groseclose and Jeff Milyo, “A Measure of Media Bias,” 2004.]

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Scott! SSHH! Let Turtles live in his own shell. Thus the name calling. You brought out facts, you’re going to catch it now.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Buzzy, typical of your brethren, you lack nuance and a general basic lack of reason and context.

        Your wingnut Al Gore internet meme is totally wrong of course. There is nothing wrong with Gore’s statement as supported by no less the REAL inventor of the internet, which Gore never claimed.

        http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

        As are your 50 other zero effort wingnut chain mail cut and paste. and not worth anyone’s time to refute any more than a sample.

        But thank you for playing and proving your basic lack of, or unwillingness to function intellectually and emotionally beyond the 6th grade buzzy.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Scott – Journalist tend to be those that are willing to question authority and not chain themselves to traditions and hey dig for the truth and verify their findings. The modern conservative is ill-suited for such a task. They tend to not question their version of the truth and disregard any evidence proving otherwise.

        Liberalism simple means having an open mind and that serves investigative journalism well.

      • Turtle: You’ll notice I didn’t complain about or criticize a “media bias” to the left. I was simply suggesting a reason that supports Owl’s observation that the Dems have a better public filter for the extremist factions of their party. In fact, one would have to tip their cap to the Dems for making full strategic use of a largely sympathetic media.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Scott – Yes, you said Democrats and I said left. I am sure that accounts for a hill of beans worth of difference. The media reports on a daily basis the actions of Democrats, good and bad. The fact that there are not as many Democrats being reported for ignorant statements is not because they are being hushed by a sympathetic media but maybe just maybe it is because there are not as many crazy remarks made by Democrats.

        In the past two days we have had Steve Stockman claim the POTUS is using Ebola to take over the government, Duncan Hunter claim he has evidence of ISIS on the border (but he is not sharing the details, and a Missouri official call for a military coup. That is just three of the crazy shaite that Republicans have said in the past two days not all just three. The Democrats have nothing on that level, even if they tried. They are better at muzzling their idiots.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      I’m not sure that simply shouting at shoppers counts as “callous” compared to the systematic oppression and occasional murder of Black civilians by a White-dominated governmental authority and police force.

      And, of course, pointing out that someone like Greg Abbott used a disability to get rich and then burned that bridge after him is hardly “making fun”: it’s offering information important to the voters. Whether or not Abbott is a physical cripple is irrelevant to the very real issue of his being a moral cripple.

      But kabuzz continues to see the world entirely through his own thick partisan goggles.

      • flypusher says:

        I haven’t offered opinions on the shooting of Mr. Brown yet because there are some big gaping holes in that story. I do want to hear the cop’s side. But there is no doubt in my mind that there is a long running problem with relations between the police and the black citizens in that town. The Brown shooting was just the proverbial straw.

        I think the police cams should be standard equipment. That recent incident at the SC gas station had no ambiguity. But I do wonder how many people would have been claiming that the victim, Levar Jones, was giving the cop a bad attitude, or acting like a thug, or refusing to comply if there hadn’t been such crystal clear evidence to the contrary.

      • rightonrush says:

        JMHO I think Buzz is just another old angry old white man. He would be as happy as a pig in slop had he been born during the KKK heyday. Nothing like burning a few crosses and whipping or hanging a few unruly negro to work up a sweat. Seeing those unruly black folks in Ferguson having the nerve to protest just because one of their son’s was needlessly shot down is enough to enrage Mr. CatScratch Buzz.

      • Turtles Run says:

        RoR – I got to stop you buddy. When you are wrong I am going to call you out on it. It is:

        “…..hanging a few unruly negro negroes to work up a sweat”

        Though I am sure a different N-word would be used.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Right on, do you even have a clue?

        I was raised in the very desegragated North East while you and your buddies were probably thowing stones at ‘the coloreds’ because they were negroes. I am sure you have family members that are or were in the KKK and I am sure to this day some of your friends and family use the N word casually. After all, you are a white Southerner. So fess up.

      • rightonrush says:

        Buzz I don’t care where you were born and raised, you are still a bigoted sick old white man.

      • “JMHO I think Buzz is just another old angry old white man. He would be as happy as a pig in slop had he been born during the KKK heyday. Nothing like burning a few crosses and whipping or hanging a few unruly negro to work up a sweat.”

        Did I miss the post in which Kabuzz showed himself to be a racist/white supremacist? Could someone point it out to me?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Scott, there isn’t any examples. It’s all the left has when confronted about their hypocrisy. It doesn’t bother me. Says more about them really.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I see things got back to normal around here. So much for everybody getting along and having an actual discussion. And yes, when the left gets conered, they fall back to accusing people of being racists. It is done so often that it has no power at this point, not that it ever did because the people they are accusing of being ricists aren’t.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “t is done so often that it has no power at this point, not that it ever did because the people they are accusing of being ricists aren’t.”

        So says Capt Segregation.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I do no support segregation, Turtles. But not the first time somebody has been spreading lies about me here. As I said, things have gotten back to normal.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Ah, and I’m betrayed by posting before such examples come to light. I apologize for so light a dismissal.

      I’ll have to take a look at your list, and see whether it actually has more merit than the usual right-wing foam.

  11. goplifer says:

    By the way, your humble blogger made the New York Times today…quoted for his experience with rental cars. Not making this up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/upshot/you-can-rent-whatever-you-want-as-long-as-its-an-impala.html

  12. “No one with any credible hope of success resorts to terrorism on a mass scale.”

    LOL. Tell it to Ho Chi Minh. Or, for that matter, George Washington. (The French and Indian war is not remembered for its Geneva convention niceties.)

    Asymmetric warfare (of which terrorism is a subset) is a time honored military strategy utilized by underdogs (and sometimes overdogs) throughout the history of armed conflict. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But that can be said of any military strategy.

    As for Sheriff Painter, guys like him seem like maroons right up the moment that, for example, some yahoo flies a 747 into a tall building whilst visions of virgins dance in said yahoo’s head. Personally, I’d prefer to expend a little more effort keeping the uninvited out, rather than see my civil liberties trampled in an effort to track and find bad actors *after* they’ve waltzed right in on the INS red carpet.

    • goplifer says:

      When someone flies a 747 into the Midland water tower I will personally call Sheriff Painter to apologize. Until then…

      • Chris, I’ll go way out on a limb and grant you that the Midland water tower is probably safe from attack.

        The interesting thing about the aficionados of asymmetric warfare is their level of creativity. I very much doubt we’ll see another 9/11-style aircraft-mediated attack, but that’s the one kind of attack Homeland Security is bound and determined to prevent. Kind of amusing, in a twisted sort of way.

        Personally, I think it’s more prudent to spend some time cogitating on all the other nasty surprises our erstwhile Islamist adversaries might dream up. I can imagine a half dozen off the top of my head that would make 9/11 seem a walk in the park. None of them *require* an insertion mechanism that involves walking/driving/flying/boating undetected across our southern border, particularly when it’s so ridiculously easy to enter legally, but it would be *imprudent* to rule such means out. The fact that Painter is a cartoonish idiot does not excuse our pathetic southern border security. (I can’t say anything about the state of our northern border. I try to avoid landscapes whose natural state is, geologically speaking, to be covered under a mile of ice. 😉 )

      • johngalt says:

        If a terrorist blows something up in Midland and nobody hears it…

    • Turtles Run says:

      Are you comparing ISIS to the Continental Army? I believe Washington would have lost his support if he started chopping heads off.

      Washington raised and trained an Army as well. They may have fought unconventionally in the beginning but their tactics adopted to the fighting style of the time. The Viet Cong were mostly a guerrilla force that did commit acts of terror but they were a fighting force that were pretty much destroyed after the TET offensive and the NV army started to conduct most of the operations in South Vietnam.

      I rather look for the terrorists in the places that they enter the nation. As discussed before entering the country by illegally crossing the worlds most militarized border does not look like a viable option especially when they can simply cross over from Canada or fly into the country.

      As for Sheriff Moron well he looks the part he is portraying, a fool.

      • Not the Continental Army, Turtles, but rather the Indian (oops!), er, Native American (Iroquois and Huron, respectively) proxies of the Brits and the French. These guys were *not* nice people. They probably would have regarded ISIS as a bunch of pansies. For the record, they didn’t chop off *entire* heads, only scalps.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Yes, TTHOR and the practice of issuing bounties for scalps (including female and children scalps) by American and European officials was just as barbaric. I would argue that the actions of John Chivington and his men surpassed the actions of Native Americans of any time period.

        Our southern border is pretty secure, notice the lack of terror acts generating from there, the 9/11 attackers entered the country from other means then the southern border and no other attacks have originated from there. Could it happen, sure. But there are easier ways to enter the country.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Aren’t Midland and Odessa in areas of major oil and natural gas production? Could some terrorists decide to set some of those wells on fire, something that could be inspired by the actions of the Iraqi army in 1991?

      Not defending the sheriff, and I don’t know that there is a lot of that in that region, just wondering. Honest question.

      • objv says:

        Good point, Cap. When I first moved to the Four Corners region, I thought that it would be the last place a terrorist would strike since it’s out in the middle of nowhere.. Then I found out that the power plants here supply a good deal of the electricity to the western US. If an attack was focused on the US electrical grid, this would be a prime location to strike. However with the EPA regulations closing down more and more plants, the risk of a terrorist attack becomes increasingly remote. Perhaps that is the only tiny bright spot in an area hit hard by loss of jobs.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Captain, the terrorists are without a doubt crafty and focused on the long plan. They know they can enter our country very easily through out Southern border. To think the terrorists are not taking advantage of that gift is folly. They laugh at our freedoms, our political correctness and our unwillingness to follow through.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, setting “some” of those wells on fire would be an inconvenience. But in 1991 Iraq, between 605 and 732 oil wells were set on fire, along with several low-lying “oil lakes” or “fire trenches” of the sort that I don’t believe U.S. environmental policies allow.

        So I would submit that, like many conservatives addicted to the excitement of fear, you have something of a problem in your appreciation of scale.

        objv, I suspect you’re complaining about the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico, where APS closed the least efficient three of a set of five fifty-year-old coal-burning plants and sold the remaining two to Southern California Edison. All five used to generate about 2 gigawatts of electricity. Units 4 and 5 are the largest, and will continue to offer nearly 80% of the plant’s original generating capacity (or some 1.5 GW, says my math). Looking at total net summer capacity (see http://www.eia.gov/electricity/capacity/ ), I see that the U.S. currently has over 1,000 gigawatts (1 TW!) of power generation, so the Four Corners loss amounts to some 0.05% of the total, not exactly a tempting terrorist target.

        Again, you seem to have some sort of problem with scale. Perhaps kabuzz should really be worried about the terrorists laughing at our mathematical abilities.

        Speaking of scale, Four Corners was, at full operation, the largest source of nitrogen oxide gases in the United States, along with releasing CO2 equivalent to the output of 2,800,000 passenger vehicles. Environmental retrofits will now reduce those emissions.

      • Turtles Run says:

        OBJV – If terrorists want to strike at the power grid they would concentrate on the Northeast. 10 years ago when they had a major power outage it raised all kinds of hell. A targeted attack would be far more disruptive there than in the middle of nowhere.

        If you look at the map in the link I included in my link you will see the vast majority of the nations nuclear power plants are located in the Northeast.

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-T-Z/USA–Nuclear-Power/

        BTW: Can someone tell me how do I attach an image to comments on WordPress?

      • objv says:

        Owly, dearest, the Four Corners generating station is only one of many in the Four Corners region. “Four Corners” includes an area that spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Although I’m not any kind of expert on coal and electric production (my husband’s job is with an oil company), a friend who works for one of the electric companies here said that after 9/11 the people that work at the plants were put on alert regarding the possibility of a terrorist attack

        I like breathing clean air. I spend quite a bit of time outdoors. My favorite activities are hiking and doing landscaping out in my yard. I am glad that there are regulations, however, the regulations now are so onerous that they entail huge job losses.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        objv, I’ve actually been to the Four Corners region, to see the ruins at Mesa Verde (with a side trip down to Chaco Canyon). Since you hadn’t provided any actual names or figures of your own, I took the Google results which seemed to best fit your scenario. Would you like to name any others of the “many” which cause you concern, but which won’t appear similarly trite when looked at under the harsh light of reality?

        You point out that “after 9/11 the people that work at the plants were put on alert regarding the possibility of a terrorist attack” and I’m sure they were. So were many personnel at random commercial facilities, county-level governmental offices, and so on. An abundance of caution does not necessarily mean that such caution has a rational basis.

        And how, pray tell, does one tell where the bright line of “onerous” regulation lies? Do we need to ensure you get a government job, as the only one qualified to find it? Or is it possible that your opinion, unvarnished as it often is by actual facts or context, might be somewhat lacking?

        Companies *always* complains that regulation will ruin them. I recall the auto companies screaming to high heaven when they were to be required to install catalytic converters. Yet, go figure, they still exist, and still make money. As Chris has abundantly documented in previous blogs, there are *many* factors leading to increased unemployment in industrial sectors, and to blame job losses entirely on environmental regulations is to swallow corporate propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Objv, notice how the birdy states you blamed all job losses on regulations. That’s how it goes with the bird. When the bird considers himself to be the smartest person on this site, so comes the snobbery. I gave up long ago trying to dialogue with it. Invective, name calling and made up arguments are all it has.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Wait. I thought John Galt was the smartest person on this blog. 🙂

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Tutt — I’m pretty sure that he is.

      • objv says:

        Hold on, Tutt, I thought you were the smartest – or at least, the wisest. 🙂 What I like about this blog is that the contributors have a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise in a myriad of subjects. JG’s and Fly’s strength in biology doesn’t make them an expert in geology (or firearms) like tthor. I think we can all learn something from each other.

        I haven’t been able to comment much today. My husband came home from work not feeling well. He is still susceptible to seizures because of the stroke he had years ago. I’m going to have to watch him.

      • objv says:

        Owl: Mesa Verde is one of my favorite places. I’ve been there twice and will certainly go back to visit in the future when we have company.

      • CaptSternn says:

        OV, hope your husband gets to feeling better.

        Bird, setting just a few wells on fire would cause some serious damage.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “BTW: Can someone tell me how do I attach an image to comments on WordPress?”

        Post a link directly to the image. Find the image you want, right click on it, select Properties, copy the URL to the image, then paste it into your comment. But it might come in larger than you expect, as happened to me and somebody else on an earlier entry, like with the Redskins logo. Works much better with Photoshop (or even MS Paint) to resize it and a place to upload it, then make the link to the image.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sorry Chris if this does not work

      • Turtles Run says:

        Thanks Cappy

      • CaptSternn says:

        Oh that’s just great, Turtles. Now I have “Enter Sandman” by Metallica stuck in my head. 😀

      • Turtles Run says:

        My work is done.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Thanks for the kind words, OV, but I’m more likely the most naive person on this site.

  13. Anse says:

    If you’re a xenophobic ultra-nationalist, terrorism is the gift that keeps on giving. There are a billion Muslims in the world. There’s no way we’re going to rid the planet of Islam. Keep the conflict roiling, dispense with any notions of armistice; even if the head of ISIS could ever be persuaded to offer up a formal, unconditional surrender, I doubt we’d accept it. We certainly aren’t going to give them the privilege of a public trial and opportunity for a spirited defense as we did the Nazis in Nuremberg. What we’ve got is a conflict that has no definable end, no tangible goal that we can achieve and call victory. It’s going to be with us for a long time, a useful tool for propaganda and saber-rattling and rousing the hysterics of the nation’s terrified militants. Even if we get rid of ISIS, the very nature of this enemy makes the threat a perpetual source of fear and ever-increasing militancy.

    Orwell is much-abused in public discourse, but the perpetual wars fought by the three factions in 1984 are an inevitable point of reference. The objective is not victory, but constant warfare. We Americans no longer have military conscription, but instead rely upon a class of warriors who, to their credit, are ready to serve when called, while most Americans have only a distant concern, a friend or maybe a family member, but maybe nobody personally, who is directly involved in the crisis-du-jour. We don’t have to worry about making personal sacrifices; no rationing of food, gasoline, or the like. In fact, if we want a tax cut, we can have a tax cut; no sense paying more than you want to, whether we’re in a war or not.

    Concerns over domestic spying are somewhat hollow as long as we’re still here, chatting in cyberspace, letting companies like Google gather as much data as it wants about us, assuming naively that tech companies will uphold those ideals we hold so sacred. I’m here too, no sense lecturing everybody else about it.

    The “war on terror” is the burr under the American saddle that is going to keep us afraid, and war without personal consequences is the thing that’s going to make us indifferent, and both of those are equally problematic for our republican democracy.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Nobody that I have heard of is trying to rid the world of Muslims.

      I very mucha agree with you that there should be a personal tie in for Americans and drafting would fill that void if both men and women qualified to become military personnel do so. When I was younger it was considered my responsibility to my country to register for the draft.

      • Anse says:

        I’m not a military expert, but I’m guessing that the military probably doesn’t want to depend on draftees. I’ve heard it was a major problem in Vietnam. If our country can’t produce enough people to fight, then we probably don’t deserve to be a country for very long. Then again, it would help if we’d stop inventing enemies.

        The point about Islam is relevant. Consider the mountains of hostile condemnation of the Muslim world, of Islam’s supposedly violent nature, of how Muslims are commanded to kill non-believers, etc. All of that is intended to convince us that Islam is incompatible with modernity; it is intended to make us believe that peace with the Muslim world is impossible.

      • Anse says:

        I should have said, if we can’t produce enough volunteers to fight…

        I could see requiring two years of service as a condition of high school graduation–but not military service. Any kind of domestic community service could be a good thing. Feeling an obligation to one’s country should not be limited to fighting in foreign wars.

      • flypusher says:

        Anse, you are correct that there are top officers who are opposed to a draft, for the reason that people who volunteer are going to be much more dependable soldiers. Don’t know what % of the brass think that way, but I’ve heard that opinion multiple times.

        If you want/need more volunteers, sweeten the deal.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        When you are called to serve you are given an aptitude test to figure out your capabilities so they can see if you fill a need. Granted high tech is the way to go as is aviation electronics.

        But no matter what, the military still needs cooks, clerks, purchasing, transportation, etc. Good jobs that will allow someone to gain some experience to transfer into the civilian world.

        An all volunteer military is not working well when you consider about all guard units are being called up. Most join guard units to avoid direct military service.

      • Anse says:

        Nope, no military conscription. In any capacity. I’ve known to many a-holes who served to believe military service is a prescriptive treatment for people of low character.

      • johngalt says:

        The military has no interest in resuming the draft. They have fairly high standards, which they’ve been tightening over the last few years. If you want more volunteers, pay them more, but I don’t think they’ve been hurting for people willing to serve.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        kabuzz61 says:
        October 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        “Most join guard units to avoid direct military service”

        So buzzy, you finally admit George W. Bush was a draft dodger?.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Draft dodgers burned their cards and fled to Canada. Carter pardoned them, one of the few things I admire about him. Volunteering and serving is not dodging the draft.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes, Mr Obtuse, there is only one way to dodge the draft.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        So Bubba, all those fine men and women in the guard that gave their life or were maimed should have volunteered to join the regular military? Nice. Really nice.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Kabuzz, not only that, but the Nationasl Guard has been called up to active duty status and sent around the world to fight in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Bubba is saying those people are cowards, draft dodgers and refusing to be deployed and fight.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I would agree with kabuzz (gasp!) that both women and men should register for the draft, were we ever to seriously consider such conscription again. I’m also agreed that we as a populace don’t have enough personal “stake” in foreign military adventures, particularly when we can so glibly and irresponsibly coincide them with a tax cut as George W. Bush did.

        However, every military source I’ve ever consulted (including my father, a retired senior U.S. Navy officer with both sea-command and D.C. experience, including work for the office of the Chief of Naval Operations) has stated that U.S. military hardware, and the training necessary to competently operate it, have become too complicated to be entrusted to short-term, potentially unwilling or unmotivated draftees rather than dedicated enlisted personnel.

        Add to that the increasing privatization of which kabuzz seems utterly unaware. NO, our troops are not usually “cooks, clerks, purchasing, transportation, etc.”; in many if not most cases, those duties have been outsourced to contractors like Halliburton and others. That’s yet another reason it’s so infuriating to hear uninformed conservatives whining about the size of our armed forces: we have a *far* larger proportion of enlisted men and women now at “the tip of the spear” than under previous tables of organization.

        I *do* like Anse’s suggestion of a mandatory service requirement — not as a high-school graduation requirement, since too many people don’t even accomplish that, but as a simple expectation of all citizens, to be completed between the ages of, say, 18 and 25. Imagine what our nation could do with a permanent labor force akin to the Civilian Conservation Corps. Of course, we’d have to supervise and pay them, and therein lies the rub with our current political scrum.

        Meanwhile, Sternn and buzzy can’t seem to see the difference between joining the National Guard in the 1970s and doing so in the 2000s, or how it might relate to changes in global events and U.S. military strategy. I suppose a thirty-year myopia isn’t an unexpected ailment for political conservatives.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “I *do* like Anse’s suggestion of a mandatory service requirement …”

        Amendment XIII: Section 1 – Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

        Section 2 – Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        JG already noted buzzy’s and Cappy’s willful wingnut reading comprehension problems (WWRCP) in equating service in the National Guard during the Vietnam draft years with the all volunteer military era.

        Particularly salient is the explosion of NG “volunteers” and insider appointments to already full complemented NG units of both Democratic and Republican well connected progeny AFTER LBJ publicly announced he would categorically not send the full units of the National Guard to Vietnam for fear of showing signs of desperation and losing the war.

        And I was in the National Guard for 4 of my 8 years of military service and was called up for active duty for Desert Storm/Desert Shield (but was never sent into combat) so screw your insultingly shallow, fake and misappropriated indignation and faux victimization buzzy and Cappy.

        I calls ’em likes I sees ’em basd on facts and NOT incessant WWRCP.

  14. johnofgaunt75 says:

    Let’s be clear what this is really about – more scare mongering about Mexico. This is not about ISIS per se. This is about a West Texas sheriff looking for another reason to scare monger against some “menace” from South of the Border. This has been going on for generations in the South Western US. Fox News is simply allowing this xenophobia to spread nationally to their older generation of viewers who were raised in a time prior to the civil rights era.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      You commented much ignorance in so short a paragraph.

    • johngalt says:

      JG75, I don’t even think it’s scaremongering just about Mexico, or foreigners, or terrorism. It’s just promoting a culture of fear in which the only thing standing between the citizenry and certain imminent death from what evil lurks, is a noble and very well funded fill-in-the-blank. On TV, FoxNews is your only trusted source of information – anything else is conspiring to keep the truth from you. Your good sheriff is on duty, protecting you in a way those no-good politicians can’t (or won’t, lies the implicit sneer). Surely you understand how my department needs state of the art equipment and a few new officers. The military, my goodness we can’t cut the military, or that ragtag bunch of thugs in the Middle East will INVADE THE UNITED STATES. We look the other way when a president we like vastly increases the surveillance power of the government, and rant hysterically when it is continued by one we don’t like.

      Unfortunately, the real costs here come in distracting us from far likelier problems, whether the be global disease outbreaks, economic weaknesses, or a broken immigration system luring hordes of children into making terribly dangerous journeys out of some desperate hope.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Perhaps but you don’t have a similar fear of Middle Eastern terrorists coming from Canada (even though I would suspect there are MANY more Middle Eastern and Arab immigrants in Canada than Mexico).

        Mexico is the particular target here as it always has been. Mexico and Mexicans have for a long time been seen as a threat and this threat has been historically as justification for discriminatory policies, especially in the South West.

      • CaptSternn says:

        75, the bigger interest with issues from south of the border would be the drug cartels. They are serious threats, and they are here in the U.S..

      • flypusher says:

        There you go, we actually agree on something. The cartels actually are on the Southern border, and already engaged in violence-a real threat rather than an imagined one.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, Fly, they are not on the southern border. They are here, on our soil, in our cities. They have taken over ranches and himes on this side of the border,

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        No doubt the cartels are a threat and I have no problem addressing that threat. I also have no problem with enacting stronger security down on the Southern border with Mexico to address that threat. I also do not discount the mess that illegal immigration can cause for people who live down by the border. I know a person who has property down there and they have to put bars on all their windows and doors because people just kick in the door or throw a rock through the window as they make their way North. But again…these are real, ACTUAL problems not make-believe, imagined problems.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And if we really want to address those problems, any politician who wasn’t pandering would immediately suggest:

        1) A genuinely reliable, fast, and useful system for verifying the U.S. citizenship of potential employees, with the requirement that it be used by *all* employers of any size, including subcontractors, and

        2) Legalization of marijuana nationwide, with requirements for inspection and tax collection to ensure quality just as we now do for other drugs, and

        3) A massive federal drug-treatment program for cocaine and other substances, coupled with housing, food, and education for enrollees, rather than the simpler but societally damaging tactic of criminal incarceration.

        You’d instantly dry up much of the illegal-immigration problem, and kneecap some (though not all) of the cartels’ smuggling income. Like other criminal enterprises during periods of prohibition, they’ve diversified into other fields which would also need to be addressed.

      • johngalt says:

        There is a very, very easy answer to the drug cartels and gangs that would end the problem with a snap of one’s fingers: legalization. While the MJ is a no-brainer, I used to wonder about the damages that could result from legalization of heroin, cocaine, and harder drugs. There is no way that open legalization could possibly do more damage than the war on drugs has, and experiences in countries that have partially legalized it show that it is relatively benign.

      • johngalt says:

        There is another reason for legalization: chemistry. The Breaking Bads of the world invent new designer drugs faster than legislatures can prohibit them. Some of these carry far worse risks than what they replace. Better the devil we know than the one we don’t.

        An amusing story came out of Nebraska, I think, about 15 years ago. The cops busted an ecstasy lab, which was operating in the open. The proprietor pointed out that he was making a perfectly legal substance: methylenedioxyMethamphetamine while the state law prohibited the production of methlylenedioxyEthamphetamine due to either ignorance or (more likely) a typo.

      • flypusher says:

        Good Lord Sternn, did you really think I literally meant just the actual line that represents the border between the US and Mexico? How pedantically dense can you get?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Fly: Cap makes a good point, because many people think all the action is taking place in towns close to the border, and he is saying it has gotten all the way up to here in the Houston area.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Houston is a major port. I wouldn’t be surprised to see cartel activity in New York and New Jersey, too, for similar reasons. But that doesn’t mean they’ve penetrated to that latitude universally, and are now dominant in Nebraska.

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly: Cap makes a good point, because many people think all the action is taking place in towns close to the border,..”

        Trouble is, I never said that.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Pah, mere facts, fly. 🙂

      • CaptSternn says:

        “The cartels actually are on the Southern border …”

        Those were your words. My reply was just stating the facts, not even confrontational. The police and the press keep things a bit quiet on the matter, but the gangs and the cartels are here and they are active. Not always to the extent that they are in Mexico, but things do happen.

        http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Zeta-soldiers-launched-Mexico-style-attack-in-2283370.php

      • flypusher says:

        “The cartels actually are on the Southern border …”

        And they are. Stating that is not saying that they AREN’T elsewhere.

  15. lomamonster says:

    Perspective is far too precious a commodity in the United States these days, as Chris has indicated. True perspective, whatever the end determination of it might be, is dependent upon careful and studied assimilation of fact. However, the basic search for such perspective can be fully biased at the onset of the endeavor for it, thus leading to the pre-determined frustration and failure of its pursuit.

    Thus, perspective can be handily mistaken for truth and is generally heralded as an adequate replacement for it. Why we accept different conclusions based upon the same data is so confounding that it might represent the true extent of the intellectual disease that manifests itself as the greatest pandemic of the modern world.

    There is no cure…

    • tuttabellamia says:

      It’s self-reinforcing, when one is surrounded by like-minded people both online and off but especially online, where group indignation leads to a frenzied foaming at the mouth, and the media of one’s choice keeps adding fuel to the fire.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        It’s even MORE self-reinforcing when there’s no need to ever confront any actual facts, but just the constantly reiterated and rephrased talking points of the wholesale merchants of fear.

        One of the things I love about this blog is the willingness by many participants to bring in actual numbers, statistics, history, and math, from reliable and trustworthy sources. Alas, kabuzz and Sternn prove to be laggards in that area as in so many others.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl, besides “numbers, statistics, history, and math,” there’s the use of logic and just thinking things out, brainstorming, using analogies. I think those are also important on their own.

  16. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    And I go bounding blissfully off topic.

    You know what else makes folks stupid? Being gay.

    Being gay doesn’t make gay people stupid, but gay people being gay evidently makes GOP candidates stupid.

    It seems that our esteemed Greg Abbott is against granting marriage licenses to old folks unable to have children, or I guess more broadly, doesn’t want to grant marriage licenses to infertile couples or any couple that simply does not want to have children.

    Our future governor wasn’t talking and getting his words garbled. Nope, he took pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and carefully wrote out the following words:

    “Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in encouraging couples to produce new offspring, which are needed to ensure economic growth and the survival of the human race.”

    “By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage…Texas’s marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society. Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy.”

    Infertile heterosexual couple getting married do not result in pregnancy either.

    Wait, surely Abbott isn’t using this line of reasoning only with gay folks rather than protecting pro-creative marriages from the horde of old, past the age of child bearing, folks getting married.

    Fun fact: Just about every gay person would have to get married in order to come close to the number of weddings involving women over the age of 50 in the US. Toss in marriages of younger people who are infertile (ignoring those folks who don’t want to have kids), and it dwarfs the number of gay people possibly getting married.

    Thump your Bible to oppose gay marriage if you have to, but don’t make stupid, stupid pro-creative arguments.

    • flypusher says:

      “Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in encouraging couples to produce new offspring, which are needed to ensure economic growth and the survival of the human race.”

      So it’s not problems with people making enough income to support children, or lack of parental leave, or lack of policies to help working parents, or even the down economy that’s driving down birthrates, but rather those sneaky gays!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        heterosexual sexy sex —> babies —> ??? —> “ensuring economic growth”

        homosexual icky sex —> no babies —> downfall of capitalism?

        I guess technically, if there were no babies born, it would end up having a negative effect on the economy.

        I just didn’t realize that straight folks would stop getting married having babies if gay people were allowed to get a marriage license.

      • flypusher says:

        “I just didn’t realize that straight folks would stop getting married having babies if gay people were allowed to get a marriage license.”

        Can’t say that I would have anticipated that effect either. So Abbott and his ilk are now predicting a big birth dearth in all those states where the AGs aren’t making silly arguments to prevent gay marriages, right? Because that’s the logical conclusion. I can’t help from looking at things from a scientific perspective, and Abbott’s little hypothesis is getting tested even as we speak. But I don’t think his ilk are willing to put up or shut up- they’ll just cast about for another lame excuse when the gay marriages don’t do anything to the birth rates.

    • texan5142 says:

      Yep, I read that today, what a tool.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Homer, I am thinking you are a latent homosexual by all your comments about gays.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…maybe I am or maybe I’m not. However, how latent is it if I keep bringing it up?

        Your line of thinking would mean that Stern is a latent fertilized egg.

        Stern would also be a latent slave or a latent abortion-seeking woman who views dropping out of school, quitting a job, and having an unwanted major surgery as mere inconveniences.

        That would also mean that many of us are latent Black folks, terrorists, or GOP goofballs because those folks sure get brought up a lot too.

        However, Buzz…you just keep on keeping on.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Some of us are just latent.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        HT, your point would have been valid IF you didn’t change the topic to get your dig in. Captain and others mostly don’t do that.

      • flypusher says:

        “Captain and others mostly don’t do that.”

        I’m betting all of us would love to have a $ for every time Stern went on a rant about abortion in a discussion that had zero to do with abortion. We could throw a nice little party with all those $.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Fly – With the amount of money that would bring, we could rent out Las Vegas.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz, I don’t even have to go look at previous posts…I think I can do it justice from memory:

        “Most on the left view people are mere property to destroy as they wish. Much like slave owners denied the humanity of slaves, those on the left deny the humanity of people….”

        I would venture to say that some form of that comment has appeared more than just about any other comment; followed closely by you chiming in with, “Excellent point Captain”.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I will grant that The Captain does bring up the constitution frequently, but going off topic of the subject on hand? I don’t know. But you do bring up the homosexual subject just as frequently.

      • flypusher says:

        “I will grant that The Captain does bring up the constitution frequently, but going off topic of the subject on hand? I don’t know. ”

        Would you please just STOP insulting everyone’s intelligence here???? Just stop. Everyone’s posts are still there for the record. Go look it up if you really have that much trouble with your memory. It’s all there. You couldn’t be more wrong, and you’re quite good at being wrong.

        “But you do bring up the homosexual subject just as frequently.”

        But you have an issue with that one off-topic topic, but not the others. Surprise, surprise.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, there’s “off topic,” and then there’s “out from left field.” The good thing is that here on this blog, anything goes, and anything goes off topic, too.

        I think the reference to Greg Abbott’s legal appeal of the same-sex marriage ruling is off topic but still appropriate, since he is our Attorney General and more than likely to become our next governor very soon.

        For me, “out from left field” is a link to an article about the latest outrageous thing said or done by some no-name politician, or about an outrageous bill proposed in a state legislature with no hope of passing, AND having nothing to do with the current thread.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Or me talking about my experience with jury duty. Off topic, out from left field, but darn it, I just wanted to share it with you guys.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        My comment was certainly off topic, despite the brilliant tie-in with the causes of stupidity.

        When our local politicians do stupid things that hit the national stage, it is hard to ignore them. We are in a country where more and more states are removing barriers to recognizing gay marriage – a country where even a modest demographic analysis shows that this is already a lost issue for the anti-gay marriage crowd, so it is telling that our Attorney General took the time to not only submit a brief but to submit a brief that is some mindnumbingly stupid.

        It does not suggest good things about the people to which he is pandering.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, I am well aware when either side is using politics during a contested race. I don’t think you understand the politics of Texas. There is more to Texas then the three big cities. They have a say whether you think it is wrong or not. In this stage of the election cycle, both sides go off the rails. How about insulting Abbot because he is in a wheelchair? A new low for Davis, but like you said, stupid is just stupid.

      • flypusher says:

        “How about insulting Abbot because he is in a wheelchair? A new low for Davis, but like you said, stupid is just stupid.”

        And again you insult the intelligence of everyone who reads this blog. The issue is tort “reform”, not wheelchairs and who sits in them. Here’s my metric for whether that particular attack ad had any validity- could Greg Abbbott, if he were filing suit today over the accident that paralyzed him under the current laws, get the same settlement he got back when he did sue? If the answer is yes, then that was a cheap shot by the Davis camp. But if the answer is no, then Abbott is a hypocrite and this topic is fair game. Anyone know the answer to that?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Hey buzz…please let us know how Davis ran an ad that was “insulting Abbot because he is in a wheelchair?”

        Your partisan blinders can’t be that thick.

      • objv says:

        Homer and Fly, this subject is an especially sensitive one for me since at one time my husband was wheelchair bound and considered permanently disabled.His left side was completely paralyzed and he had lost the vision on the left side of both eyes due to a stroke caused by an AVM. I had handicapped plates on my car and had to drive him around for six months until his vision recovered.

        I am disgusted by the Wendy Davis ad on two levels. First of all,she is using an image of a wheelchair to paint Abbot as weak and possibly not up to the job. She did not have to use a wheelchair in her ad. Her message could have been clearly given without highlighting her opponent’s physical disability in such a dramatic way..

        Secondly,,I don’t know the circumstances of the cases where Abbott supposedly worked against the interests of disabled people. He is a lawyer. Aren’t lawyers charged with representing their clients’ interests? Hilary Clinton took it to the point where she smeared a girl who had been raped even though she thought her client was guilty.I’d like to know the specifics of the cases Abbott was involved with.

        I spent a few months with my husband at TIRR. I learned that there is a wide variance in the type and degree of disability among handicapped people. A disability can also change over time. It can improve and worsen. My husband was extremely fortunate. All his doctors thought his disability would be permanent. They were wrong. Other people who are handicapped have conditions that worsen over time. Some reach a stage of stability. What is clear is that disability should be evaluated on an individual basis. No case is the same.

        What is clear is that it is despicable to highlight a profound and irreversible physical disability to score political points..

        .

      • objv says:

        What is clear … what is clear. Maybe, what is clear is that I do not have an “inner Owl.”

      • CaptSternn says:

        Y’all are funny.

      • flypusher says:

        “I am disgusted by the Wendy Davis ad on two levels. First of all,she is using an image of a wheelchair to paint Abbot as weak and possibly not up to the job.”

        I’m suspecting that you are seeing what you want to see in this case. In context of the ad is Abbott siding with special interests rather than the little guy, even if the little guy went through a crippling injury just like Abbott. The focus is on hypocrisy, not disability.

        “Secondly,,I don’t know the circumstances of the cases where Abbott supposedly worked against the interests of disabled people. He is a lawyer. Aren’t lawyers charged with representing their clients’ interests? ”

        It wasn’t about him being a lawyer and representing clients. It was about him backing changes in the law that limit damages for victims of similar catastrophic injuries.

        This blog explains the allegation:

        http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=55035

        A lawyer quoted there:

        “Since Abbott’s settlement, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, one of his most loyal and robust contributors, has been on a perpetual mission to eliminate the rights of catastrophically injured Texans.

        The list of limitations that Texans for Lawsuit Reform has passed since 1986, with the help of politicians like Abbott, that would directly limit his claim if he were to make it today include limitations on medical care in the past, lost wages and punitive damages. Abbott’s settlement document specifically references punitive damages.

        However, the much graver threat to Abbott’s case today is the Texas Supreme Court’s continued insistence on substituting its judgment for that of juries. In fact, since Abbott’s settlement, the Texas Supreme Court has repeatedly held that “naturally occurring conditions” do not create an unreasonable risk of harm.

        Based on this legal precedent, cases similar to Abbott’s are thrown out of court without a jury hearing them. While it is only known generally that a tree fell on Abbott, it is likely that the Texas Supreme Court would dismiss such a case.

        If the Court ruled in that manner, Abbott or anyone with the same type of case would collect nothing today.

        Catastrophically injured Texans now often find themselves without the legal remedies Abbott had at the time of his settlement, and they are forced to go on government assistance at taxpayer expense because the liable party cannot be held accountable for negligent acts.

        It is impossible to reconcile Abbott’s longstanding relationship with Texans for Lawsuit Reform and his own personal experience. Either Abbott made what he would now have to concede are likely “frivolous” claims for his personal injury settlement, or he is complicit in supporting legislation and court opinions that he knows to be unjust based on his own life experience.”

        So I want to know, is this guy right? Do these “reforms” mean that a case just like Abbott’s being tried today would result in a much smaller settlement, or even get tossed? If that is true, then not only is Abbott a vile hypocrite, he’s also a whiner.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I don’t watch TV, so I Googled the ad just now and saw that it starts off with just an image of a wheelchair, and then moves on to the examples of Mr. Abbott’s hypocrisy.

        It doesn’t show a typical photo of Abbott sitting in his wheelchair, but just an image of a wheelchair. I wonder what the image of a wheelchair on its own is supposed to project. Was it necessary? If Abbott were sitting in it, yes, it would be appropriate, because it is part and parcel of him. But the image by itself? I have to wonder. Just something to ponder.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Could the wheelchair image be an appeal to the immediate, uncomfortable reaction that many people have when faced with a person with a disability?

      • flypusher says:

        ” I wonder what the image of a wheelchair on its own is supposed to project. Was it necessary?”

        I’ve seen the ad. I would not have included the wheelchair for the simple reason that it was not necessary to make the point (hypocrisy) and as demonstrated here, you have people reading all sorts of things into it. Campaign ad messages should be straightforward and direct, with little or no distractions.

        They should have gone with a message along the lines of: Back in 1984, Greg Abbott suffered an injury that left him permanently disabled. He was able to seek redress in court and win X million $ in compensation. But would someone in that situation today get their day in court? Then you compare the actions of Abbott the plaintiff vs Abbott the elected official.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I have to confess a certain amount of amusement at all the furor over Abbott’s empty chair, after the great glee with which a certain political-convention speech was greeted which featured an empty chair as a stand-in for another, Democratic, politician.

        Admittedly, there are some differences in the situations. But they’re not *that* great.

        Meanwhile, kabuzz complains that “There is more to Texas then the three big cities.” He ignores, of course, the simple demographic fact that the “Texas Triangle” is one of 11 “megaregions” (clustered urban networks) in the United States, and contains nearly three-quarters of all Texans. Sure, there’s more to Texas; but not that much, in terms of population. And population is, theoretically, what our representative government is based upon, at least for political movements that don’t trace their ideologies back to the anti-urban, rurally based opponents of U.S. political reform in the 1920s.

        Oh, and I went to my jury summons for Bellaire’s local court today. For the first time in years, they didn’t have enough jurors to make up even a single panel. A police officer went scouring the neighborhood for recruits, but they decided to release all of us and reschedule our calls for December.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      HT, you ought to put this in a letter to Mr. Abbott.

    • johngalt says:

      Abbott’s brief in this case was purely a campaign document. As a legal appeal, it presents mind-numbingly stupid arguments. I wonder if he was even momentarily embarrassed by signing his name to it (probably not). Sadly, Richard Posner is not on the Fifth Circuit, but if he were I would buy a front row ticket to watch him interrogate Abbott.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I wasn’t aware this was a legal brief. Interesting. It would, by extension, also be against people remaining unmarried. I will read the brief itself before I say anything further.

      • flypusher says:

        Even by the much lower standards of campaign rhetoric that is embarrassingly stupid.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Here’s a link to the actual text of the brief:

      • johngalt says:

        Believe it or not, those arguments comprise the official response of the state of Texas as it appeals the overturning of the same sex marriage ban amendment.

      • flypusher says:

        As a consolation prize for not having that epic Posner vs Abbott legal duel, let us bask in Posner’s logic on voter ID laws:

        http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81664639/

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I just skimmed through the document. This “rational basis review” concept is interesting. To me it makes no sense to have to prove that something as personal as marriage is beneficial to the government. I would think that marriage exists only for the benefit of the parties who want to marry.

        I know the parties are asking for the government to give their marriage its seal of approval, and as such you might think the government should have something to “gain” in all this, but, still, the government is us, and we all have something to gain by allowing people to live their lives and marry whomever they choose, or not marry at all.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Tutt, you’re are at the main reason states grant authority for marriage. To track families for a number of reasons, one of which is to grow the state.

      • objv says:

        Homer, speaking of stupidity and politics, why not take a page out of Wendy Davis’ playbook to make your point? An attack on a handicapped man using a photo of wheelchair shows real class and will probably sway many voters (hopefully, to vote against her.)

      • johngalt says:

        I certainly wasn’t looking for the government’s seal of approval when I got married. Who would? My marriage did not change my relationship with my wife – we didn’t feel any differently about each other the day after than we did the day before. We did, however, want two things out of it. First it publicly demonstrated our commitment to our friends and families. Second, it afforded us a package of legal rights and responsibilities that society has bundled together in the marriage contract. I would argue that the efficiency with which this contract enumerates and protects these rights and responsibilities has societal benefits and, therefore, there is some government interest in protecting this institution. Same sex marriage is fully compatible with this interest.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I assume you are equally disgusted with Abbott’s campaign ads parading around in a wheelchair. I mean, why does Abbott have to use a wheelchair in his ads? Does he think a wheelchair makes him look weak and not up to the job.

        Clinton absolutely lost support over that issue. The difference is that Clinton was serving as an attorney for a defendant. Abbott has been pushing tort reform as an elected official.

    • GG says:

      I read this yesterday and was flabbergasted at the stupidity of it.

      Off topic: I was watching a history channel show last night about sex throughout history. Homosexuality wasn’t that big a deal in a lot of cultures along with prostitution. They served a valuable social service and in some cases even a religious one.

      • Turtles Run says:

        What was the name?

      • GG says:

        It’s the History Channel’s sex series “The history of sex”. It’s fascinating and covers sex from the ancient world, the Far East and India and all the important periods up to the 20th century.

      • GG says:

        If I recall there is even a segment on the early Mormons. The Puritans were no where near as puritanical as we think. As soon as pews emptied out they were up to all kinds of sexual hijinks.

      • johngalt says:

        If the degree to which pederasty was practiced amongst our philosophical forebears in ancient Greece were widely known, I don’t think Michigan State would be called the Spartans.

      • GG says:

        No doubt. Another interesting little tidbit: Samurai warriors would go to Kabuki theaters to find young male lovers. Homosexuality has existed in the military forever contrary to what some think.

      • LOL. JG, frankly, “Troy” would have been a *far* more entertaining movie if Achilles’ relationship with Patroclus had been more, ahem, accurately portrayed.

  17. Owl of Bellaire says:

    On an anti-stupid, pro-literature, and potentially self-revelatory note, I’m involved in UpStage Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s *Macbeth* this weekend and next. If you read the bios in the audience leaflet, you’ll probably be able to figure out who I am. 🙂

    So come see, if you happen to be near Lambert Hall in the Heights, and feel free to introduce yourself afterwards and say hi. For more information, see http://www.upstagetheatre.org .

    • rightonrush says:

      Not making any promises but we will try to make it. For sure we will buy a couple of tickets.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Holy crap, Owl! “The Scottish Play”? You’re a bold man to say that.

      We’d be there in a heartbeat, but we’re not back in Houston until mid-November. We’ve been Alley patrons for many years, but we’d love to see one of your productions. Kindly keep me posted on your next show.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Does your role start with H?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        What, “Hecate”? That part probably isn’t actually Shakespeare’s writing, though our production does include it. If you want to find out whether it’s me, you’ll have to come. 🙂

    • “What, can the devil speak true?!” 😉

      That’s awesome, Owl! Congratulations. I’ll spread the word on my Facebook page.

    • CaptSternn says:

      But seriously, best of luck with the play. Just not something we would do whether you had something to do with it or not.

      • CaptSternn says:

        But you did give me an excuse to copy and use that image.

        Good luck with the play, bird.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl: We’d attend, but we’re afraid you might be tempted to take on the role of John Wilkes Booth. 🙂

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Nah, it’s set in period, so the worst weapon I’d have access to is Angus’ cool polearm, which looks like the bastard child of a spear and a can-opener. (Need to find out its actual name….)

        Besides, we *like* audiences.

    • flypusher says:

      Break a leg.

    • johngalt says:

      Too much travel this month to make it. After being forced into reading horrible Shakespeare in high school, (the idiotic Romeo and Juliet and one of the Henry’s, which isn’t horrible, but seemed so to a 17 year old), Macbeth was the play that turned me on to the bard. Good luck!

    • objv says:

      Owl: Ooh! The idea of seeing you live onstage is giving me goosebumps! 🙂 Honestly, though, if I were still living in Houston, I would definitely come to see you perform. I’ve never seen *Macbeth,* and since I have recently read a biography of Elizabeth I, I am extremely interested in the period of time around her reign when Shakespeare was writing..

      An added bonus would, of course, be finally putting to rest the issue of your gender!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV wrote: “An added bonus would, of course, be finally putting to rest the issue of your gender!”
        ******************
        OV, I don’t think it’s that kind of “show.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I live about 15 minutes walking distance from Lambert Hall, so I will be tempted to just walk over there and see what the fuss is about.

        I performed at Lambert Hall at age 6, in a ballet, and I also had a xylophone solo.

      • objv says:

        Tutt, lol! I had thought that Owl’s bio would be more than sufficient. I was not expecting any further “proof.” 🙂

        I hope that you will take the opportunity to walk over to Lambert Hall to see Owl … and please make sure that Cap comes with you. Drag him by the ear if necessary. Many men need a little encouragement of that kind to appreciate culture.

        I have never met anyone who comments here. I knew where Tracy had his office through someone who worked for him, so when driving by on I-10, I always thought it would be fun to stop by and announce, “Hey, tthor, it’s ME!” Needless to say, the thought quickly passed and I inevitably chickened out.

        … Now, all of a sudden, I’m having a compulsive urge to wash my hands. What’s up with that?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, we’ll be able to put the issue of Owl’s gender “to bed.”

      • objv says:

        On second thought, I don’t think I want anything to do with putting any Owl issues to bed. It might involve climbing a tree, and that would be impossible since I’m afraid of heights (not the Heights with a capital H where you live which I assume is a very, nice place,) 🙂

    • Good on you, Owl! Sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening, although I’ll pass on the “reveal.” I’d hate to get ventilated by an Owl equipped with a pointy-something. 😉

    • flypusher says:

      Somebody fubar’d in that Dallas hospital, and that person’s head(s) need(s) to roll once they figure out what happened. Ebola has been in the news since last spring and there was zero excuse for not connecting the dots when Duncan made his first trip to the ER. You don’t feel well AND you been in West Africa recently?? That should have been an immediate red flag. It’s also discouraging to read that they’re still passing out antibiotics indiscriminately. They don’t work for viral infections. Unnecessary use helps increase the pool of resistant bugs.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “Somebody fubar’d in that Dallas hospital, and that person’s head(s) need(s) to roll once they figure out what happened.”

        Is that how we connect Ebola to ISIS?

      • rightonrush says:

        I wonder if Mr. Duncan would have had better luck if he had had insurance. Black and no insurance, he had at least 2 strikes against him before he walked into the emergency room. Plus, 103 temp. should have gotten him more than worthless antibiotics and tylenol.

      • rightonrush says:

        Owl, ISIS is connected to Ebola through Bengazi.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Only in that “Benghazi” ends with the “I” in “ISIS” and begins with an “E” and “B” like “Ebola”.

        But I take your point.

      • flypusher says:

        I also wonder if he might have survived if treatment had started 2 days earlier.

        If it is true that he did lie on any of the questionnaires that could helped flag this earlier, I’ll confess that I wouldn’t be feeling a lot of sympathy for him. But that still wouldn’t excuse the hospital’s mistakes. I wouldn’t be surprised if insurance (or lack thereof) influenced that bad call on Mr. Duncan’s 1st visit. This should be a warning about getting priorities straight.

      • flypusher says:

        “Only in that “Benghazi” ends with the “I” in “ISIS” and begins with an “E” and “B” like “Ebola”.”

        “Obama” & “Ebola” both have 5 letters, 3 syllables, and the “o”, “b”, & “a” in common! Coincidence????? I think not!!!!!!!!

  18. flypusher says:

    So if the ring wing side of the isle is really so worried about isis invading via the Southern border, that means they’re now ready to seriously work on that immigration system overhaul, right???

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Right-wing *voters* would have such an interest, certainly.

      But right-wing *politicians*, dominated by some of the same types of people who use comments systems to drive advertising dollars, know that they *need* that fear to drive votes and donations.

      So they’ll rant a lot, propose grand plans that will never survive the consensus-building of a deliberative, representative legislature, and then snarl about how they’re being stymied by anti-American liberals in their quest to keep YOU and your family SAFE, so send more money or God might call them home.

      • flypusher says:

        The inaction definitely backs up the observation that civil liberties < fear or terrorists < making lots of $ off cheap under the table labor.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Sure, Fly. Let us start with securing the border, then we can move onto enforcing our immigration laws and deporting people.

      • flypusher says:

        And there is the problem, right there. When you don’t dry up the demand, supply finds a way.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That is true, Fly. I liked the Arizona law that also punished people that hired or otherwise aided illegal immigrants. It is the left that blew the collective gasket.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Wait stern…in your world…the left blew a gasket over the employer provisions in the Arizona law? It had nothing to do with the show-us-your-papers driving-while-brown thing?

        I guess I understand on some level your need to say things like that, but it is not like you are going to change anyone’s mind or vote here. Everyone generally knows where you are coming from, and those that like it, like it, and others generally role their eyes.

        You know full well that the left didn’t “blow a gasket” over the employer provisions, so why the need to say things you know to be incorrect or, at a minimum, misleading?

        It is not like you are running for office or work for Fox News.

      • flypusher says:

        “It is not like you are running for office or work for Fox News.”

        Maybe we can’t assume that. He’s running a classic poison pill strategy.

  19. flypusher says:

    I’m far more worried about running afoul of homegrown criminal activity than I am about being taken out by terrorists. But to put that in perspective, I consider getting killed by criminals to be a very low risk, as I don’t partake in illegal activities and don’t run in the circles/neighborhoods of the criminal elements. So, in the absence of any specific info, I’m not losing sleep over terrorists.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Crime can happen to anybody, anywhere, at any time.

      • flypusher says:

        Some places and times have worse odds than others.

      • Indeed, Cap. Always remember two things: 1) You are your own first responder, and 2) the bad guys buy groceries, too.

        You just never know who you might run into, or where, whether you want to or not. The bad guys frequent all the same public spaces you do.

        I don’t plan on ever having my home burn down, or my vehicles, but home and vehicles are all fire extinguisher equipped. I don’t plan on ever cutting off my foot with my chainsaw, or running my hand through the table saw, but my first aid kits are all very well stocked. I don’t plan on falling off the scoot, but I always dress for the crash, not the ride. I leave it to our gentle reader to speculate on how I prepare for undesired social interactions of the ballistic variety.

        Some equate preparedness with paranoia. I equate lack of preparedness with stupidity. That goes for nations as well as individuals.

  20. johngalt says:

    Terrorism doesn’t make us stupid. Terrorism exposes the stupid that was already there.

  21. johngalt says:

    This really relates more to the last blog post, about mysticism and superstition. It’s not the children that are the problem, though we lie to them through our teeth (Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, etc.). Neil de Grasse Tyson is awesome…

  22. CaptSternn says:

    I don’t know that Terrorism is supposed to or does make us stupid. I don’t care to use the word “stupid” to begin with when talking about a person or people in general. Ignorant or deliberately ignorant is, to me, a better description. And there is a lot of that around. Has been for a long time, some things just expose it more than others. That can lead to stupid actions or reactions.

    The sheriff is posing and posturing. I think he is doing it to call more attention to the security probems on our southern border. While he is right about the security problems and possible consequences, I doubt he realizes how foolish he is looking in the eyes of the rest of the state and nation.

    The threat of terrorist attacks on our soil is real, and here in the States it can be on a grand scale, like the 1993 WTC bombing, the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing, and most of all the 2001 attacks on the WTC Towers and the Pentagon. We do have other attacks that are more on scale with terrorist attacks in general, like the Boston Marathon bombing, the Fort Hood attack, and more recently the beheading in Moore, Oklahoma. We could include other terrorist actions, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Century Theater in Aurora, even the UT Tower shooting. Some are driven by religious extremism, others simply against the federal government for injustices, and some are just unknown.

    You are correct in that the damage is our actions and reactions, like the Patriot Act and the more recent NSA spying on all of us. Or the TSA at our airports, who are not allowed to do the job properly because political correctness does not allow them to do so.

    We have stupid acts and actions based on ignorance that also help the terrorists and terrorist organizations. We had al Qaeda defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan by 2008, and on the ropes everywhere else. Now al Qaeda is rebounding, the Islamic State splintered off and is gaining ground, the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining ground in Libya because of our actions, was gaining ground in Egypt due to our inaction.

    These and other problems, like the Russian advances in the Ukrain and especially the Crimea, are happening because of “stupid” choices based on ignorance, but not by “stupid” people.

    And our current response? Drop a few bombs, launch a few missiles, very ineffective. Bush43 and his administration did understand the way war is waged in the 21st century, and was doing a good job in foriegn policies and actions. The domestic policies and actions, well, wouldn’t call them stupid, just government being government, which is why government should never be trusted, the very founding idea of this state and nation. But government is still necessary.

    Back in the late 1990s, when I fisrst started studying the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Law and court rulings, I got very passionate about it and thought “people have to know and things will change for the better”. Man, I was like the newly converted Christian person standing on the street corner with a bullhorn shouting it out. Standing on the rooftops, shouting it out. Shouting about limited government and individual liberty and rights, shouting out about the constitution.

    Guess what, people shut me out. I have much scaled back and simply try to discuss it and talk about it, and still get emotional reactions and face deliberate ignorance. The problem is, people don’t want to know, don’t want to think. People want soundbites, headlines, and bumper sticker slogans.

    In 2002 and most of 2003, I was (and I will use a 50¢ word here) vehemently against the Invasion of Iraq. Nobody could explain it, though I was willing to listen. It took me doing a lot of research to change my mind and understand it. Will people listen to the reasons now and possibly change their minds? Of course not. The will say, “where are the wmd” or, “Bush lied and people died” or, “Bush invaded the wrong nation after 9/11/2001”.

    Are those peole stupid? I don;t think so. Are they ignorant? Very much so. Deliberately ignorant? Definately. Willing to listen and discuss? Absolutely not. Forming opinions based on emotion and ignorance? Completely.

    How can that be changed? Obviously I don’t know the answer or things would have already changed.

    Sorry for such a long comment, didn’t mean for this to happen but I will leave it as it is. And trust me, even now I am cutting it short. 🙂

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Well said Captain. The movie is being released from Hollywood of all places on Snowden and how invasive Obama’s spying on American’s program has grown.

      For the record, I was and still am against the new department of Homeland Security. Way too powerful.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Cap – Without getting into all the ‘points’ in your soliloquy, I have but two two question:

      First, do you believe the American public wanted to get the hell out of Iraq, and

      Do you believe an American president should be responsive to the will of the people?

      Simple, straightforward questions, and I ask only for similar answers.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Fifty, your questions are simple, but the answers are not. But I will try to keep the answers as simple …

        Answer to the first question, the majority would have said yes in 2008, but not all.

        Answer to the second question, sometimes, maybe most of the time, but not always.

        In answer to both, I do not blame Bush41 for not removing the Hussein regime, nor do I blame Clinton for not invading Iraq and Afghanistan nor failing to capture bin Laden. In hindesight those things should have been done. Maybe those people should have had enough experience to know that, but the public support was not there. And how did those things work out?

        Remember, or understand, FDR was elected to a third term by promising to keep the U.S. out of WWII.

        You want simple, a.k.a. headlines, soundbites and bumper stickers, but it is not that way. Reality does not have a liberal bias, nor a conservative bias, it is just reality. And most often it is not simple, things are connected, not separate. The dots are connected, not just individual dots.

        What are the right things to do? What are the wrong things to do? What should a leader do? So are you one that sums things up so simply?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Let me more this ever simpler:

        Did the *majority* of the American people want to get the hell out of Iraq, and

        Should the president respond to tjhe will of the *majority* of the American people.

        Please do not obfuscate of extemporize. Doing so will blunt both your position and the point of my inquiry.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I’m not sure he can help it. According to Tutt, often he’s more invested in “winning” arguments than in being right.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Actually, Owl, today both Cap and I are more interested in keeping the peace that was born on the last thread. Note the smiley face he posted at the end of his very first comment here.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Darn it. I knew the truce would be tentative and temporary. Captain Sternn has returned to his old video game goal to destroy the enemy at all costs.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        When he instead could have just answered fifty’s question honestly and effectively.

        Either of which was apparently too much for him.

        Sorry, Tutt: apparently you can’t civilize a Neanderthal.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok Fifty, I will try to make this as simple as possible. Yes and no, in that order.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And Cap should have gotten his facts straight, which he will always subjugate to score political points.

        No the wars and Afghanistan were NOT won in 2008.

        Afghanistan was “won” on November 2001 a month after the war started when his “brilliant” fellow draft dodging warmongering “leadership” cabal snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing a surrounded and trapped bin Laden to escape Tora Bora by trying to fight a war on the cheap by proxy with unreliable Afghani mercenaries with almost daily shifting bought loyalties.

        And then he started a second unnecessary and unsustainable simultaneous war in Iraq and took material, manpower, and leadership away from the real war in Afghanistan thus further dooming the quick end of that war.

        And then he botched that 2nd war also that was won militarily in just under 3 months when Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled in Baghdad in early April 2003. Um, “Mission Accomplished” aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003, Cappy? And then his “genius” proxies cluelessly lost the peace with their de-Bathication of the country and various other missteps.

        I’ve said this before. Draft dodger Bush Jr learned nothing from combat veteran Dad who understood the horrors of war firsthand and more importantly, the limits of asserting your military might and to set a concrete objective, accomplish it as quickly and forcefully as possible with minimal casualties on both sides (but with priority and emphasis on your own first and foremost), and then equally crucially, get the hell out of dodge ASAP and not get stuck in arrogantly hubristic no win “nation building” exercise in futility.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The war with Iraq started in 1990 with the invasion of Kuwait. Al qaeda wanted Afghanistan to be the center of the war for very good reason. But facts, reality and strategy never get in your way, Bubba.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/29/AR2008052904116.html

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thank you for proving my point yet again Cappy.You ignored all the indisputable facts I noted to take a fantastical logical leap to sustain your bizarro conspiracy theory “logic.”

        The first war in Iraq started and ended in 1991 in a little over a month. And we got out. End of story. Bush Jr’s draft dodger induced tragi-comic Iraq follies are wholly and independently his own.

        Carry on as usual Cappy.

        I’m surprised you didn’t claim that the war in Afghanistan started in 1980 with Jimmy Carter.

        I would give that more credence than any of your usual deluded fantasies. As long as you hold both Carter and Reagan equally responsible for their lack of foresight.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The war that started in 1990 didn’t end until the Hussein regime was removed, and we didn’t get out. We kept troops in Saudi Arabia to “contain” Iraq, and that is what caused al Qaeda to turn against us.

        Iraq was placed under strict terms of a cease-fire, but Iraq never surrendered or did it ever abide by the terms of the cease-fire. The U.S., U.K. and France had to establish the no-fly zones. France didn’t stick it out, but the U.S. and U.K. did. Clinton continued the war through both of hisn terms, dropping bombs and launching missiles.

        By around 1994 the Clinton administration discovered that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together on chemical and biological weapons. That’s why, in 1998, the factory in Sudan was bombed, missiles were fired into Afghanistan, Desert Fox was launched against Iraq and regime change in Iraq became the official U.S. policy.

        Reagan helped the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan, and they ousted the USSR. We ignored the place after that, and the foriegners took over, the Taliban. They gave al Qaeda a safe haven. The natives were pushed into the northern part of Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance. Those are the guys that, along with some U.S. Special Forces, made the charge on horse back against the Taliban.

        Afghanistan is not a place for a power like the U.S. nor the USSR to wage war because of the terrain, which is why al Qaeda wanted the center of the war on terror in that part of the world.

        But we had an alternative, Iraq. Iraq was still waging war and the Hussein regime had to go, and we chose the center of the war, a place where our military could operate. That is sound strategy. Al Qaeda took up the invitation and was smacked down, defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and shattered in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where we had our Special Forces operating. Special Forces, small and fast moving units, are the way to deal with that region because of the terrain.

        Those are the basic facts of the situation, the summary that nobody could or would provide for me back in 2002 and 2003. I had to do quite a bit of digging to put it together, and that’s why I changed my mind on the 2003 invasion.

        There is so much more to the story, the Shah in Iran, his installation and his later downfall in 1979, Saddam Hussein coming to power in Iraq in 1979, the invasion of Iran by Iraq, the stalemate, the invasion of Kuwait over oil and debt, the pact FDR made with the House of Saud in 1945 and the continued support of the U.S since then …

        But that is the point, I want to know what is going on, so I do the digging, studying and research. But you, Bubba, and people like you, don;t want to know. Even when presented with the facts and reality, you close your eyes, cover your ears, stamp your feet and scream, “I can’t hear you it’s all Bush’s fault!”

        I do not call people stupid or dumb, and there is nothing wrong with ignorance because that only means the person doesn’t know, doesn’t have the information. But deliberate ignorance, rejecting the facts and reality when the information is presented, is another matter. Why do you do that? I don’t understand it at all.

        Sometimes I have changed my opinion, my views, on things when presented with the facts on issues that I was ignorant about. Why do you reject facts? Is it that you are so blindly partisan that you just can’t accept reality and facts when they go against what you want to believe?

        You and others invoke Reagan and the Bush presidents, but I am not partisan in that manner. I didn’t like Reagan much, Bush41 I was ambivilant as I was not interested in politics or news, Clinton much the same though I liked him a little bit less. I didn;t really care about any of it until the late 1990s when I started studying the U.S. Constitution, laws, court cases, the founding fathers and the founding principles of this nation.

        So please, explain it to me. Any of you, please explain why you will reject facts and reality when presented with those things?

        Or maybe I already know the answer. Look at the title of Lifer’s entry and replace the word “terrorism” with any of several other things.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Great, Cap. I think those are the correct answers. We’ll keep them in mind for future reference. Thank you.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And Cappy STILL lacking in irony I see. And as ALWAYS, it is ALL about you again no matter what the topic. Ooh, Cappy had a late term political awakening and an epiphany and is now a self declared Constitutional scholar. Yeah and Tom Cruise is a mental health expert because he says so and jumps up and down on Oprah’s couch.

        Whoop de doo.

        I lived through the Ford, Carter, and Reagan years with my eyes and ears open. No epiphany or incessant insecure patting myself on the back needed.

        And one more time, revisionist Faux Saint Ronnie does not walk on water. Carter initiated arming of the Mujaheddins in Afghanistan. No ifs, ands, or buts. He gets the credit or equal credit for toppling the Soviet Union by exhausting them politically and militarily in their own Vietnam and ultimately expelling them from Afghanistan and curbing their Cold War expansionism megalomania. And equal blame for the unanticipated rise in al Qaeda thanks to his creating countless aimless, productiveless, and futureless well armed and battle hardened Muslims ripe for conversion to extremism. You know, bunches of Muslim Tim McVeighs way before little Timmy found HIS “epiphany” of irrational hate and fear with Clinton’s election.

        Whatever Cappy. I’m done with your goofy wingnut revisionist delusions.

        Back to more productive ventures such as watching the NFL without the Giants or Texans. Less aggravating and no pounding my head on the wall even if the Cowboys win.

      • johngalt says:

        So, Sternn, we couldn’t effectively fight the Taliban on Afghan soil, “because of the terrain”, though we did it fairly successfully for a decade, so instead we fought the war on terrorism against an opponent (Iraq) that had nothing to do with terrorism. Okayyyyyy.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok, John and Bubba, I will type slowly and keep it simple for y’all …

        We fought al Qaeda in Iraq and won. But the job wasn’t finished, Obama dropped the ball, he quit the job before it was finished, and now we have to go back and deal with ISIS. And he has scheduled a time to quit in Afghanistan, and we will have to go back there as well.

        You know, I am really, really starting to agree with the title Lifer chose for this entry.

    • johngalt says:

      “Or the TSA at our airports, who are not allowed to do the job properly because political correctness does not allow them to do so.”

      This is another odd canard of the right wing. Surely, the screening process is intrusive and was a bit comical in the aftermath of 9/11. The charge of “political correctness” is a strange one, though. It seems to be based in an idea that white-haired grannies pose no threat (true) while people who look like “them” do (specious). How you select those people for additional screening is the rub – often, Israeli security is mentioned. Who here has been to Israel? I have, and can tell you that their methodology is impossible in the U.S. Who’d like to stand in line for three hours to get on the NY-DC shuttle?

      After 9/11 I heard several pilots complain about the increased scrutiny. I can’t take a razor on the plane, they complained. Don’t they know there’s an AXE in the cockpit. Sounds silly to subject pilots to this screening. Because, of course, there’s no way you could buy a pilot’s uniform on Ebay. Today, I’ve signed up for the TSA Pre-check. In exchange for $100 (for five years) and a background check, I cruise through security, rarely taking more than five minutes. This is intelligent security and while it took a whole to get here, it’s a better way of streamlining security than imagining we can racially profile our way to safety.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I agree with you JG. The problem was terrorists breaking into the cockpit on 9/11. That has been fixed. Ease up on the security. I have a fake knee, bolts in my back and I am pulled out every time to be felt up and given the wand.

        With all the intelligence we receive, I am sure we can profile whatever is the current trend at the time. German Arabs, English Arabs, etc. But we have to subject the entire masses so we don’t offend.

        Fifty, the president, no matter what side of the aisle at times makes decisions without the majority of Americans supporting the decision. Obamacare comes to mind.

      • flypusher says:

        “The charge of “political correctness” is a strange one, though. It seems to be based in an idea that white-haired grannies pose no threat (true) while people who look like “them” do (specious). ”

        Were I a terrorist plotter, white- haired grannies are exactly the sort of people I’d be recruiting for my dirty work.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I have only flown twice since September 2001. The firs time was that following December. I thought it strange that we could not take knives onto the plane, and were then supplied with knives during the flight.

      • johngalt says:

        Plastic knives, even metal butter knives, are a bit different than box cutters.

        I was in Europe on 9/11. I did two intracontinental flights two days later and then flew home, via NYC, on 9/16. Let me tell you that I hope to never spend another 20 minutes like that final approach to Newark.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Steel table knives with serrated edges. Even a fountain pen can be very deadly.

        I remember driving to work on that day (though no work got done by anybody at the office that day) and watching every plane as it was coming in for a landing as I drove past the airport.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Sternn whines about “the TSA at our airports, who are not allowed to do the job properly because political correctness does not allow them to do so.”

      Well, no. “Because our commitment to those pesky civil rights for everyone, even folks of unfashionable colors or faiths, does not allow them to do so.” There, I fixed it for you.

      But I have no doubt that you believe your original mis-expression to be as true and vital as the need to allow hotel owners and restaurateurs to deny service to darkies, Yids, or Micks over hundred-mile swathes of the country. That would be killing civil rights in the name of your own political wrongness.

      “The problem is, people don’t want to know, don’t want to think. People want soundbites, headlines, and bumper sticker slogans.”

      What, Sternn, like insisting that the USSR killed millions in the cause of atheism? That’s killing logic in the name of political wrongness.

      Not that such mental misdeeds ever seem to give you pause.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, bird, you have made it clear that you oppose the 5th, 13th and 14th amendments. You support slavery and involuntary servitude. You support denying the rights, liberties and privileges of an entire group of people, and much like the slave owners of old, you don’t even acknowledge their very humanity.

        And by the use of racist labels, you have demonstrated your true feeling about people that are not just like you. No real surprise coming from a being that wishes death on those that do not think the same way you think, including your own family members.

        Yes, I do support profiling, even though I have often been on the recieving end of it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Irony is dead.

        Or perhaps it’s Sternn’s brain that has expired, instead.

        One of them must be the source of that stunk.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Ahem, stink. First typo of the morning, on an iPhone 4S.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Very well said Captain. The bird is encompasses everything that is wrong with America. “My way or the highway” snobbery with a dash of self loathing.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Oh, kabuzz, you’re just sore that I demolished his argument before yours. Then, of course, you proved witlessly unable to do anything to defend your own.

        Typical of a small-brained feline.

  23. kabuzz61 says:

    Of course there isn’t any terrorism. What crazy people. ISIS is too stupid to sneak across our open borders. My gosh. What pinheads. Next thing you know people will take private jets to avoid the threat of EBOLA. What a world of stupid people we live in.

    • RightonRush says:

      Hee-hee, I knew that info regarding flying private would rip you a new butt-hole Cat. Now, pardon me while I go get ready for the cookout on my rickety deck next to my 1955 Air Stream. God, I love this blog!

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Ah, kitty logic. A perfect example of the problem.

      “Of course there isn’t any terrorism. What crazy people.”

      First claim (incorrectly) that your opponents disclaim the entire *existence* of terrorism.

      Then use that flush of dishonest victory to leap several inconvenient synapses and claim that, since terrorism (a conveniently impersonal and shapeless beast) exists *there*, it can and “probably” does exist *here*.

      “ISIS is too stupid to sneak across our open borders. My gosh. What pinheads.”

      Now the armchair quarterbacking. I mean, look at how *simple* and *obvious* the tactics are.

      I mean, to successfully sneak into America, all you need are a few simple things, right? Things so simple that, like water, they are imperceptible to the fish-like brains of most conservative commentators.

      I mean, *everyone* speaks English or, if they’re not that noble, Spanish, right? And obviously *everyone* has an understanding of North American culture sufficient to blend in and find goods and services, right? Moreover, everyone is well enough off to own an off-road vehicle, or pay the exorbitant sums demanded by the “coyotes”. And we all know that, in dangerous situations, life immediately shifts into cinematic mode, where any housebound nebbish becomes John McClain and can stealth and shoot like a special-ops agent.

      None of these are problems for any ISIS operative. I mean, they’re grindingly poor, pitifully uneducated, religiously befuddled young men who have spent their entire lives in the Middle East. Obviously, they are perfect infiltrators into suburban America!

      Wow. Fifty, I think I need to join you in a drink.

  24. texan5142 says:

    America has never been misinformed more than now due to the fact we are so bombarded with information some do not take the time to distinguish between fact and fiction. Misinformation is the deystoyer of empires. I have had a few beers, please excuse my sentence structure.

  25. fiftyohm says:

    I liken our response to the terror threat to an autoimmune disorder.

    Autoimmune diseases are associated with an internal protection mechanism gone awry. In general, a small external insult, one that would otherwise be anything but fatal, triggers a response from the body that can devastate organs and internal structures and even cause death.

    Our nation has responded in a similar fashion to the terrorist threat. We are a nation of laws. We grant to government only those powers necessary to protect us from each other and protect us from external threat. The terrorist threat has resulted in the twisting or outright suspension of constitutional rights at the whim of the Chief Executive. These rights are the basic structure of our republic. We have incarcerated citizens without trial or access to counsel, We have killed citizens without trial. We have accomplished assassinations in direct contravention of US law. We have cost ourselves trillions of dollars with the creation of new government agencies and, hobbled our transportation systems. With the currency of fear, (the equivalent of a few tens of thousands of dollars), the enemy has caused us to waste trillions, and erode our republic from the inside out. That’s what I call leverage.

    Ask yourself: do you believe, Al Qaeda thinks the attacks of 911 were successful? Did that success come from the buildings destroyed and the deaths of that day, or did the real and lasting effects come from our reaction to them?

  26. RightonRush says:

    Fox news has done more damage to the GOP than any other organization. I can’t believe there are people that actually believe the shit they spew day after day, hour after hour. They can always dredge up some ignorant wanna be important person (Sheriff Painter) to add to their toxic stew. I stopped watching Cable News years ago.

    • GG says:

      I think most US media is awful with Fox being in the lead. I get news from several sources, most overseas. It’s good to get a perspective of the world from a source that isn’t so myopic and US-centric. My father is a retired journalist and he shakes his head at today’s media. No integrity at all.

      • rightonrush says:

        Most of my business is located in the M.E. so I read http://rudaw.net/english/your-rudaw & http://america.aljazeera.com/ Also watch CNN International when I’m in South America. No Wolf or John King is a wonderful thing.

      • GG says:

        I really like Al Jazeera and I’ll check out the other link.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        GG, I’m curious to know your dad’s take on the comments sections on news sites, whether he thinks they’re a valuable contribution or a distraction and a pain in the butt.

      • johngalt says:

        I prefer the Economist. I read/watch some domestic news (and some fake news like the Daily Show), but most of it is so dumbed down and/or biased as to make it useless.

      • GG says:

        Interesting question Tutt. I’ll have to ask him and let you know.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        News comments sections don’t exist to foster understanding. They exist to attract more eyeballs, and thus generate more page views and advertising dollars for the company providing the service.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        As much as I despise the blatant lowest common denominator commercialization of online “news” media, I do understand their need to find some viable way to maintain an online free presence. And the current incarnation is the best way (so far) to maintain that free presence for marginal lower circulation news markets that are not national in presence like the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or USA Today that can sustain via ad revenue alone or the loyal and affluent readers willing to pay for online access.

  27. GG says:

    Well, I caught a wee bit of Faux News the other day. It’s amazing how skilled they are at brain-washing and fear-mongering and how they can link Obama to every story they feature. “Tornado warnings issued in OK” will have a solemn anchor saying “what will Obama do?” Whoever is running the show is bringing in brainwashing specialists to maximize the fear and hysteria in their viewers. I especially love the bimbettes in inappropriate cocktail attire trying hard to come across as expert political analysts when it’s clear they are going by a script they were given. Fox is every bit as adept at brainwashing as ISIS is, the only difference being the age of the victims. Fox scares the shit out of the old, uber-religious xenophobes and the uneducated. ISIS lures the young and disenfranchised.

    The entire Fox viewing population needs to be deprogrammed from the mind control they’ve succumbed to.

    • flypusher says:

      They’ve got the Obama is letting isis in and Obama is letting Ebola in conspiracies going at the same time. Their heads just might explode.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Only if you can’t fathom the idea of Ebola-infected ISIS infiltrators seamlessly inserting themselves into American geography and culture!

        (And view any ridiculous but attractive idea as a serious candidate for objective reality.)

      • flypusher says:

        The trouble with the whole Ebola as a weapon thing is that when you’re at you’re most infectious, you’re also most likely too weak to walk or even talk. There are far better candidate pathogens out there for bio warfare.

      • GG says:

        The latest is accusing Obama of deliberately letting Ebola in so he can seize control, implement martial law and establish a dictatorship. Nothing is too far out for these clowns.

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