So which stories / issues / topics grab your attention this weekend?
Any thoughts on Governor Markell's "State of the State" Address? Governor Markell proposes spending 1.1 Billion dollars for infrastructural improvements (roads, bridges), half a Billion more than currently planned. He did not specify how he intended to raise all those additional dollars (looks like a mix of borrowing, fees, and taxes, although negotiations on such funding imploded last year). The governor noted, "Infrastructure investments create high-paying, middle-class jobs today and they lay the foundation for future prosperity."
Political reality: It's an election year, and some legislators may be even more reluctant to approve tax and/or fee increases. Likewise, too much borrowing becomes a problem lest bond rating agencies raise their eyebrows about Delaware. Naturally, Republicans jumped on the governor's failure to specify what kind of funding he had in mind.
The governor didn't shy away from talking about Wilmington's street violence: "Making our downtowns more vibrant and safer must start with Wilmington. Wilmington is the business capital of the state and our cultural center, yet violent crime has engulfed neighborhoods and taken many lives. When people do not feel safe in their communities, little else matters..." To that end, the governor proposed legislators authorize funding for a new Division of Special Investigations unit - which would investigate gun trafficiking - to be based in the Department of Safety & Homeland Security.
Former downstate pediatrician Earl Bradley files a new appeal, saying his public defenders should have aggressively challenged the judge's review of evidence not specifically mentioned in the actual warrant. Bradley was convicted in 2011 for the sexual assaults of nearly one hundred patients.
Ousted University of Delaware head football coach K.C. Keeler has landed head coaching position at Sam Houston State University. Good for him! From what I observed, Keeler is a class act, just like a certain former U.D. men's basketball coach who's now at Notre Dame.
AAA Mid-Atlantic and some Maryland lawmakers want local governments in Maryland to order audits of their speed-camera traffic enforcement programs. That, after a secret audit in Baltimore uncovered far higher error rates than previously realized. The BALTIMORE SUN reported data from a never-released audit found Baltimore speed cameras likely charged motorists for thousands more erroneous tickets than disclosed previously.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee - who could very well go after the Republican Presidential nomination one more time - did his party no favors in trying to erase the gender gap. Huckabee, who currently hosts a program on the Fox News channel, told G.O.P. national committee members Democrats were pandering to women: "They cannot control their libido or their reproductive system(s) without the help of government." White House press secretary Jay Carney jumped on Huckabee's remarks, calling them offensive to him, and to women. Yet in his speech, Huckabee declared the G.O.P. stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. One headline I saw: "What the Huck?"
The relaxation of some sanctions on Tehran has Western companies scrambling to Iran in search of new business opportunities. Still, a significant portion of international sanctions remain in place, awaiting a permanent deal. Nonetheless, even a partial relaxation of sanctions is sufficient to create a substantial business interest on both sides.
The U.S. intervention in Iraq looks like one colossal boondoggle, in so many ways, beyond the incredible cost, and human toll. The U.S. government has sued KBR (Kellogg, Brown, & Root Services, Inc.). The government alleges KBR made false claims, often inflating the value of goods and services. Plus, KBR employees allegedly took kickbacks for the award and oversight of subcontracts, then filed phony reimbursement claims. Let's not forget KBR was a subsidiary of the energy company, Halliburton, of which former Vice President Dick Cheney was chief executive.
And in case you missed it, the Obama Administration is sending new aid to the central Iraqi government (aligned with Iran) in its battle with the (Sunni) Islamists.
Egypt unraveling: At the time of posting (mid-morning, Friday), a trio of explosions had rocked the Egyptian capital. One targeted the downtown security headquarters. Symbolic timing? The eve of a police holiday, and of the start - three years ago - of the demonstrations on Tahrir Square, which led to the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
John B. Judis, a senior editor and columnist at The NEW REPUBLIC (and ordinarily a defender of President Obama against conservative critics), has posted a column entitled, "It's Time to Declare Obama's Syria Policy a Total Fiasco".
Conservative author & pundit Dinesh D'Souza - once an adviser to President Reagan, behind the hugely controversial movie about President Obama, "2016: Obama's America" - has been arrested and indicted on charges of campaign finance fraud.
KOCH WORLD 2014
"If the Koch brothers' political operation seemed ambitious in 2010 or 2012, wait for what's in store for 2014 and beyond.
The billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are convening some of the country's richest Republican donors on Sunday at a resort near Palm Springs, California, to raise millions of dollars for efforts to shape the political landscape for years to come.
It's the cash that can possibly kick Democrats out of the Senate majority this fall and shape the philosophy and agenda of the G.O.P. conference -- not to mention the 2016 Presidential field..."
After the controversial execution of a Mexican national in Texas this week, Oklahoma used a lethal injection to execute a man convicted for the stabbing death of a 21-year-old woman in 1998. (He continued to claim self-defense, saying she had lunged at him with a knife.) Last words: "There's a chemical taste in my mouth, I'm going, I'm going."
A former commander of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican warns - in an interview with the Swiss newspaper SCHWEIZ am SONNTAG (Switzerland on Sunday) - what he called a "network of homosexuals" inside the Vatican could pose security problems for Pope Francis. According to a translation of the interview provided by Britain's GUARDIAN: "I cannot refute the claim that there is a network of homosexuals. My experiences would indicate the existence of such a thing. Elmar Mader suggests the Roman Curia's all-male environment draws gay men "like a magnet." Mader, who professes not to have a problem with gay people per se, suggests gay people might be "more loyal to each other than to other people or institutions." Another former member of the Swiss Guard claims people within the Vatican seeking sexual favors targeted him more than twenty times. Attending a dinner in Rome, this former guard claims a priest told him he's be the dessert after the steak and spinach. Italian gay rights activists criticized Mader.
According to a study from New Zealand published in The LANCET DIABETES & ENDOCRINOLOGY JOURNAL, taking Vitamin D supplements appears to be a waste of money and effort. Little to no additional protection aginst heart attacks, strokes, cancer, bone fractures. Maybe even increased risk in cases involving hip fractures.
New research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: A rapidly mutating plant virus has jumped from plants to honeybees, fueling the collapse of honeybee colonies critical to modern agriculture. Entomological researchers say this only complicates the search for the causes - and solutions - to honeybee colony collapse disorder.
You probably heard the news about the Captain & Tennille (Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille) - the pop duo that recorded "Love Will Keep Us Together", one of six top-5 singles - getting divorced. They had been married 39 years. The Captain told TMZ he didn't see it coming. But here's what didn't make the headlines. The Captain & Tennille's break-up after so many years "may spotlight a medical-coverage gap that can leave many retirement-age couples in financial trouble." (MarketWatch)
The Captain & Tennille had been making a buck from showbiz ever since the 1970's, but The Captain (Dragon) has been coping with Parkinson's-like symptoms for nearly two decades. According to TMZ, the divorce papers filed by Tennille characterized the marriage as "irretrievably broken", but also made "special mention about health-insurance coverage."
As MarketWatch notes: "It's not unheard of for couples to divorce for solely financial reasons, so that the sicker spouse can deplete his or her assets and qualify for health-coverage help from Medicaid. No further details of the couple's insurance situation were available, but it's certainly possible that health-care costs are straining the marriage.
Tennille & Dragon are both Medicare-eligible, but Medicare doesn't cover long-term rehabilitative therapy, nor does it cover most kinds of at-home nursing or assisted living. The couple's website also says that Dragon has received several kinds of neurological treatment that are in 'clinical-trial mode' -- which Medicare also sometimes balks at paying for."
And for a fascinating - but absolutely bizarre - conspiracy theory (involving one of my favorite prog. rock bands of all time!):
Did Supertramp's 1979 "Breakfast in America" cover foretell 9/11? (And considering a previous album, the one which hooked me to Supertramp, was entitled, "Crime of the Century"!)
"Infrastructure investments create high-paying, middle-class jobs today and they lay the foundation for future prosperity."
Guys in overalls leaning on their shovels getting jobs done past deadline and over-budget - and done so badly that more guys in shovels have to go out making repairs. High-paying jobs? Oh, yes. Middle-class jobs? No way.
There is no more meaningless, artificial, manufactured, fake news event than these throne speeches. But newsies feel important running them and talking about them and that's all that matters.
For the record, Woodrow Wilson did not pass the income tax, but he did invent the State of the Union address, probably because he was used to lecturing to bored Princeton freshmen having to take the required intro to U.S. history course.
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 10:40am
Since anniversaries have been mentioned here in recent days, here's one more: The 30th anniversary of the Macintosh.
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 11:42am
I believe the governor is taking the right approach to create jobs. Repairing and improving our roads and bridges is important for our future. Nothing new or imaginative here; Delaware has been doing this for years. Particularly during an election year. Creating jobs never hurts the incumbent party.
Funding does present a problem. In PA, the approach this year is increasing the gasoline tax. That is certainly not a smart move. Increasing the tolls on Route 1 and I-95 would be a good choice, but would hardly cover that large of an increased expenditure. The governor is going to have to get creative, something he is not good at.
We will need to see the details of the governor's plan for violence in Wilmington. It sounds lame to me, but again I'll wait for the details. He needs to become more involved and at least this is a start.
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 3:32pm
Ironically, gas tax revenues - the major source of funds for roads, highways, and bridges - have dropped dramatically. Reason why: People buying more fuel-efficient cars. Meaning people using less gas. Therefore less gas tax.
Maybe they should put up a second toll-booth at the other end of the Delaware section of I-95. Maybe EZ Pass tolls at each entrance and exit of 95 and 495, like on the turnpikes. Hit those big Interstate tractor-trailers hard with tolls, fees, and taxes. They really tear-up roads, and railroads are a better way to move things (and the government, with free roads, has put railroads at a competitive disadvantage for decades).
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 6:10pm
Pope Francis declares the internet a 'gift from God' - but warns that an obsession with the web can leave people isolated
* Pope Francis declared the internet was 'truly good, a gift from God'
* He added it offers 'immense possibilities' to bring cultures together
* Yet he warned digital conversations should not replace face-to-face ones
* The statements were made in a message about Catholic communications
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2545300/Pope-Francis-declares-internet-gift-God-warns-chatting-online-shouldnt-replace-face-face-conversation.html#ixzz2rMNVtqun
Screw you, Jorge! Your god didn't invent the Internet, any more than Al Gore did. People did. Smart people. A lot of them. But your business depends on convincing the human race that it's totally f'ed up and can't get along without you and your god. So human creativity - which supposedly comes from being created in your god's image - can't get credit for anything. Maybe it's understandable that you'd have a low opinion of humanity, since you lived in a country that's home to Peronistas and Nazi fugitives. And work in an organization that shelters pedophiles.
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 7:28pm
Jack Markell: Typical tax-and-spend liberal.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 6:43am
Sorry to hear about the Captain and Tenille. They really seemed like a model couple way back when.
Just wondering, though. I'm baffled at how health care costs could possibly have anything to do with this. Didn't Obama promise us "free health care for all"?
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 6:46am
Looks like poor ole' Bill is having another epileptic seizure.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 8:27am
"Jack Markell: Typical tax-and-spend liberal."
This shows how ignorant Pizza aka Earl is: He can't even come up with anything original to say. He just parrots lines from Koch-funded attack ads. In all fairness, it may not be his fault. He may be brain-damaged from the moonshine they drink at those Klan klaverns in Kekil Kounty.
I see that the government is putting up surveillance drones over Maryland, so they'll watching Pizza aka Earl and his Klan komrades.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 10:52am
Good morning Bill. Glad I could wake you up with something fresh and new to say about me. Hey, if you and I were to meet in person, we could probably make millions as the next Laurel and Hardy!
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 1:03pm
No longer content with smacking students with rulers, the Penguins have managed to convince the right-wing Roberts court to let them deny reproductive choices to their employees. Grab a ruler. Smack a nun. You'll probably find some outside Planned Parenthood harassing women going in.
In Nuns’ Suit, Justices Block Key Mandate in Health Law
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday extended a temporary order from Justice Sonia Sotomayor barring the Obama administration from enforcing the contraception coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act against an order of Roman Catholic nuns.
Sonia is a Papist and therefore should have recused herself over the conflict of interest. Not only that, the nuns at her parochial high school decided to make her valedictorian of her graduating class - not because she had the best grades (she did not) - but because they thought it would be nice to have an Hispanic valedictorian. Reverse discrimination at work then and now, thanks now to the first affirmative action president.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 1:31pm
Apparently, many folks around the nation are not as enchanted with Duck Dynasty now as they were prior to Phil Robertson's anti-racial/anti-gay statements of December.
"The audience for last week’s premiere, also 8.5 million, was down from 11.7 million for the show’s previous premiere.
Similarly, the show has fallen off in the category that A&E sells to advertisers, viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. The premiere last week came in at a 3.3 rating in that group, down from a 5 rating for the premiere in August. Wednesday’s episode dropped to a 2.9 rating.
The 6.55 million total audience was the lowest for the show since December 2012."
Another story I found interesting is the Government is planning placed blimps around Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland to be used to detect cruse missiles fired from off shore towards Washington DC. The story link:
Another story that I believe all of us here will find interesting is this story from the Associated Press:
"A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia - modern-day Iraq - reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah. It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle - as well as the key instruction that animals should enter "two by two."
One more story: 1 in 10 Americans who work full time are still poor.
"By one estimate, one in four private-sector jobs in the U.S. now pays less than $10 per hour, well below a living wage in many areas of the country. Compared to better-paying positions, these jobs are also more likely to come without regular schedules or benefits, like health care coverage, paid vacation time or sick leave -- the basic trappings of middle-class work. In other words, employment doesn't guarantee a life above the poverty line; according to census data, more than one in 10 Americans who work full-time are still poor. "
"Another story I found interesting is the Government is planning placed blimps around Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland to be used to detect cruse missiles fired from off shore towards Washington DC."
MFD: That's the story I was referring to when I mentioned the government had drones watching Pizza. ;)
Here's one about how selfish and annoying some people can be. A bunch of Korean geezers in Queens have taken to monopolizing the tables at a local McDonald's - all day long, literally. They don't buy anything. They just want to chat. They keep real customers from sitting and eating. There are other places available to them but they insist on hogging tables at MikeyD's. After US GI's died to help their country, they come over here and give us a big FU.
Fighting a McDonald’s in Queens for the Right to Sit. And Sit. And Sit.
Shortly after New Year’s Day, Man Hyung Lee, 77, was nursing a coffee in his usual seat in a narrow booth at a McDonald’s in Flushing, Queens, when two police officers stepped into the fluorescent light of the restaurant.
Mr. Lee said the officers had been called because he and his friends — a revolving group who shuffle into the McDonald’s on the corner of Parsons and Northern Boulevards on walkers, or with canes, in wheelchairs or with infirm steps, as early as 5 a.m. and often linger until well after dark — had, as they seem to do every day, long overstayed their welcome. ....
Meanwhile, in Manhattan another Asian geezer was jaywalking. Three people have been run-over jaywalking in that area, so the cops cracked down. The cops saw this guy crossing illegally, ordered him to stop and he just walked away. So the beat the flied lice out of him and sent him to the hospital. You'd think a guy who lived in an Asiatic totalitarian state would know better than to ignore cops.
There's another guy like Pizza and he's running for office in Florida...
'It’s time to arrest and hang him high': Florida politician running for office calls for execution of President Obama on his Facebook and Twitter accounts
* Local Republican candidate, Joshua Black, said President Barack Obama should be hanged for war crimes
* Responses to Black's Facebook post condemned the candidate's sentiment
* Black has since been visited by the U.S. Secret Service, though he maintains his comments were not an actual threat
Billsmith: When you posted that I pictured those airplane drones, but blimps makes more sense as they can sit in one location and just float [probably cheaper too].
There is a group of geezers  who come to our local McDonald's and sip coffee, they're only there for about 30 minutes then they leave until the next morning. That Mickey D's does have a sign posted stating only can sit in restaurant 30 minutes.
Joshua Black sounds dangerous to me, but yet sadly the type many in the TEA party will get very excited about. That sort of speech isn't protected under the 1st amendment, to publicly advocate the death of the President, be he Obama or Bush Jr, because that essentially is advocating the overthrow of the government. So the government can hassle him, possibly arrest him if they determine he's a credible threat to POTUS.
Mr. Black better pray that no extreme TEA wingnut [or some mentally challenged person who's trolley wheels aren't all hitting the tracks], with a gun/rifle, who already hates Obama, who thinks Obama is evil incarnate, and who's had a few too many Pabs Blue Ribbon Beers, reads that and decides put on his "camo" and go execute the Prez.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 5:55pm
Uh - excuse me - hello! The TEA party does not advocate the assassination of the president regardless of the fact that he's the face of evil in our time. Our agenda is to defeat him and other evil politicians by unseating them and replacing them with our people.
Let's just clear the air on that right now.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 5:58pm
By the way guys, Phil Robertson is not running for political office, so I wouldn't gloat so much about the demise of Duck Dynasty.
The demise of the Democratic Party is the most important thing that needs to happen.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 5:59pm
MFD: You're right. White blimps, that won't stand out so much against the sky. Quiet, too. In Batman: The Animated Series, the Gotham City Police Department uses blimps (or dirigibles, they don't specify) to watch for criminal activity. Always seemed like a better idea than high-speed pursuit.
Yes, many mythologies of ancient cultures include a flood story - even some American Indian religions. One of the oldest (if not the oldest) comes Sumeria in the Gilgamesh epic. It parallels the Genesis version in many ways. And Sumeria was where Abraham came from. Abraham's hometown, Ur, is located in Iraq, inland from the Persian Gulf. archeological evidence shows it was once a port city but the coast line receded. It also shows the city and entire area was flooded in prehistoric times and this is believed to have been the source of the Gilgamesh and Genesis stories.
Apparently, they tried a sign at the McDonald's in Flushing, Queens and the Korean geezers ignored it. As the article says, they are asked to leave - even by cops - and either don't go or come right back when the cops leave. There's a nearby senior center with a room set up specifically for geezers to chat but they go to McDonald's - just this one McDonald's. Not BK or Wendy's even. They probably know better than to hang at a local mom and pop pizza place. There's a certain Italian-American business organization that supplies olive oil, tomato paste and mozzarella and other essentials to New York area pizzerias and is also available to take care of any nuisance problems.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 6:21pm
Isn't Flushing where they make toilets?
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 6:26pm
MFD: Citing your post about how 10% of Americans are in the poorhouse, I must point out one fact.
Who's been president for the past 5 years and what party is still in charge of the Senate and many state legislatures?
And by the way, didn't that president promise "free health care for all"? So why then, can't these people afford health insurance?
Perhaps it's time to put two and two together? (BTW, the answer is ALWAYS 4!)
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 6:30pm
By the way Mike, be careful not to overdrink the Bill Smith Kool-aid.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 6:43pm
Here's a story that oughta get ur goat. Teacher's aide in Massachusetts (that's liberalville USA) get's suspended for sexy photos on the internet.
So tell me, gay rights advocates, where's this young lady's "civil rights"?
Pizza, if you like stories like that you should subscribe to British newspapers. They all have stories like that usually on the right margin of the front page... as well as pictures.
(Plus their news is better too.)
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 7:19pm
Why subscribe? I can just log on to the Daily Mail, which by the way is Allan's British paper of choice.
Now, time for a music break:
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 8:02pm
I just did some research on this Joshua Black fella in Florida. There's something that both Bill and Mike From Delaware failed to point out: Joshua Black is...well..black.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 8:27pm
Based on Mr. Mader's testimony, it sounds like the Vatican could be a potential Sodom & Gomorrah, with the Pope as the next Noah.
And about this subject of execution, I would vote Earl Bradley and Jerry Sandusky the top candidates for capital punishment. Mr. Bradley, especially, should shut up and quit filing these appeals and be grateful that all he got as punishment was a free hotel room for the rest of his life.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 9:20pm
Mrpizza: I've never heard of Joshua Black prior to today. So what if he's black? Be he black or white, you can't go around advocating the death of the Prez. So what's your point?
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 10:04pm
My point is if this was a liberal black advocating the same thing be done to G.W. Bush, it would be swept under the rug.
While I'm at it, if it were really about having a black president in the first place, they could have elected Alan Keyes instead of Bill Clinton, who by the way proclaimed himself as the first black president.
Of course, both Mr. Black and Mr. Keyes are considered "Uncle Toms".
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 10:53pm
MFD: This isn't intended as a rhetorical question, but in your post about Joshua Black you mentioned a mentally ill person having too many Pabst Blue Ribbon beers. I'm just curious how you arrived at that particular brand of beer vs. Budweiser or Coors or Yuengling or any of the hundreds of other brands.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 10:59pm
Mrpizza: do you know of a black man or woman who publicly advocated the death of any other Prez? I don't. So if you don't then you can't say that it would be swept under a rug. My guess is, it would not. The Secret Service doesn't take kindly any sort of threatening language being aimed at POTUS. Not even Al Sharpton would be able to talk his way out of such a situation.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 11:08pm
Mrpizza: I'm not gloating, but glad to hear there are some folks who watched that show to be as sickened & angered by such vulgar crap being said that they've stopped watching that show.
Many Tea folks are gun toting, red neck types from the south, & the ole stereotype is those redneck types also drink Pabs Blue Ribbon beer. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 11:22pm
No, but there was a black woman who publicly commented something to the effect that Clarence Thomas's wife should feed him a lot of greasy fat food so he can die from a heart attack and also a TV talk host (I think it was Chris Matthews) said something to the effect that Dick Cheyney oughta die from a massive heart attack and then right-wing hosts like Limbaugh and Hannity were attacked for pointing it out.
The TEA folks I've met at the rallies in Washington are mostly ordinary soccer Moms who simply want to get the excesses of government under control. I don't question the existence of the people you speak of, but they're the exception and not the rule.
Speaking of beer, I found a vintage commercial that should be interesting to everybody regardless of whether you partake of the substance or not:
Sat, Jan 25, 2014 11:24pm
"Apparently, many folks around the nation are not as enchanted with Duck Dynasty now as they were prior to Phil Robertson's anti-racial/anti-gay statements of December."
Mike: I don't think it's quite that simple...some people (like myself) are sick of all the hysteria and 24/7 coverage of a non-story..just all "ducked" out. I also know quite a few others who are still pissed at A&E and refuse to watch anything on their channel ever again.
BTW, NO ONE in the Tea Party has called for violence against this president! Do you not remember Bush's effigy being burned by those who opposed him while he was in office? Bush was hated by the Left and many called for his execution and worse...that is very recent history.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 3:08am
And here's another tea bagger running for office who'd appeal to Pizza aka Earl:
U.S. Congressman offers free assault weapon to primary supporters
Paul Broun sent an email to his supporters backing his U.S. Senate run offering a free AR-15 to the lucky winner. "You see, it's no secret that the Democrats and liberal media would love to take away our guns and mandate every aspect of our lives,” he said.
Christine is starting to look almost sane by comparison.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 3:15am
Pizza aka Earl is not the only one who's a fan of Vlad Putin (ex-KGB spook).
Putin a better president than Obama: Romney
Mitt Romney thinks Vladimir Putin is better at being president than Barack Obama.
Let's see how long before Twitt flip-flops on this. Twitt is the author of health care reform (along with Newt) they later opposed just because somebody else tried to get it passed. Twitt flip-flops probably due to brain damage from keeping his car running while he rides it up and down in his car elevator.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 3:37am
I would agree that Putin is a better president than Obama, but then, that isn't saying very much. Arnold Ziffel could do better than him.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 8:04am
Does this mean you'll be heading back to Minsky Pinsky to deliver blood sausage and cabbage pizzas?
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 9:04am
Nah. I'll be taking them to Topeka to serve at a potluck at a prominent and infamous church out there.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 9:05am
Mrpizza said: "MFD: Citing your post about how 10% of Americans are in the poorhouse, I must point out one fact.
Who's been president for the past 5 years and what party is still in charge of the Senate and many state legislatures?"
This didn't happen in the past 5 years, but has been happening since the 1980's when "trickle down economics" started. Both party's are to blame as neither has done anything to stop the one sided economic situation where 85 folks now have the wealth of a billion others combined wealth. There's something wrong with a system where people working full time jobs don't make enough salary to put them above the poverty line. Again, both party's seem to allow this.
The main reason it hasn't improved during the past 5 years though CAN be laid at the feet of the GOP/TEA party folks in Congress, not Obama and the DEMS.
EarlGrey said: "NO ONE in the Tea Party has called for violence against this president! Do you not remember Bush's effigy being burned by those who opposed him while he was in office? Bush was hated by the Left and many called for his execution and worse...that is very recent history."
So you know for a fact that Joshua Black is NOT a TEA party person? The hatred I've heard and seen by outspoken TEA party folks on other blogs, and even here, strongly suggest that many TEA folks might not openly call for the Prez to be gunned down [probably because they know that is asking for real trouble with the Secret Service], but those same folks wouldn't shed a tear if it happened as the hatred and demonetization of Obama by the TEA faction has gone far beyond not agreeing with his political views.
As far as those Bush burnings in effigy, those were done in foreign countries as far as I recall. I'd assume if any were done here in the US, again the Secret Service would have investigated.
The a difference is those were demonstrations, and burning someone in effigy isn't a new tactic, seems like colonialist did that a few times about another George who wasn't popular, King George of England. This Sen. Black called for the Prez to be killed, that's a different thing.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 10:21am
Pizza aka Earl: Keep it up. You're turning MikeFromDelaware into a progressive. :)
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 3:30pm
Billsmith: I'm a moderate Registered Independent. I'm liberal on some issues and conservative on others.
This hate Obama thing just as the hate Bush thing got way out of hand. I don't believe either man is evil or seeks to destroy the nation, they both have their own vision on how to rebuild the US. I don't totally disagree with either of them nor totally agree with either of them. Neither, in my opinion, is the greatest Prez in my lifetime.
In politics, I'm a firm believer in trying to find ways to meet in the middle rather than following either extreme [I do give Obama credit for trying to do this in his first term].
"The Bill Maher" Liberal/Progressive types are just as extreme to me as the TEA party extremists in the other direction. I believe we need a little bit of both, but not enough of neither, in other words, the middle ground where we take the best parts of both views. I realize the tough part is finding that middle ground.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 5:39pm
MFD: It sounds like you are saying they are both decent, sincere guys but possibly misguided. I say they are both rotten, power-hungry S.O.B.s. Both will say anything they think will get them what they want, pandering to either the Pizzas-Earls or the Kavips of the world. And I can't agree with your Goldilocks view of truth or of the correct course of action in any situation. Truth almost never lies half-way between two opposing viewpoints.
And I agree with Barry Goldwater on extremism.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 6:15pm
Billsmith: Sadly most politicians are egotistical & self-serving. An example of trying to find the middle ground would be Obama's approach to getting a national healthcare plan passed. He's stated he's prefer a single payer system, but realized he had no chance of getting that passed the G.O.P., so he used their plan that the G.O.P. had developed to combat Hillarycare. That worked & now for the first time the U.S. has a national health-care plan. Had Obama been stubborn & stuck to his original plan, he'd have not won the battle & today many uninsured folks would still be unsured. So compromise or being willing to bend a bit got something accomplished.
Granted it might be better to allow each state to devise their own plans, but Dems like big federal programs. So from a Dem point of view Obama out smarted the GOP & got national healthcare. Something they've been trying to get since the days of Harry Truman.
The Right-to-Life folks want no abortions ever. I've discussed this issue with Pro-life folks & said to them, what if the law were changed so that only rape, incest, & the life of the mother in danger were the law so no abortion for birth control which would eliminate about 99.1% of all abortions as less than 1% are due to rape, incest, or the life of the mother in danger. They usually respond nope, we want no abortions so they'd rather continue to have 100% of the abortions continue than stop 99.1 % leaving only 0.9 %. That's the problem with extremism. All or nothing so they end up with nothing. Granted the Pro-choice folks probably wouldn't go for that, but maybe the Pro-choice folks would be ok to not have Birthcontrol abortions after the second trimester, which would still cut down hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Still better than none. So no compromise & nothing changes.
That's the problem with extremism, be it liberal or conservative in my opinion.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 6:53pm
MFD: I had understood from posts you made earlier that you thought single-payer would be better than the current hodge-podge Obama came up with trying to placate everybody - and pleasing nobody. It is now looking like the whole plan will go belly up - just like those too-big-to-fail financial companies Bush bailed out.
Compromise is not the same as moderation. Compromise is half a loaf is better than none. Compromise is practical politics, not optimal solution. Your principle seems to be the middle of the road is best.
There can be no compromise on abortion, nor should there be. If it's wrong, it's wrong. It's a personal choice, it's nobody else's business.
What you seem to be advocating is a system in which the outcome is always everybody is unhappy - not completely unhappy but equally unhappy.
It's sad when anyone who takes a principled stand is called an "extremist." By that definition, you would be a religious extremist.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 8:22pm
In response to the concerns Mike from Delaware has cited regarding "hate speech", I'm implementing a new policy with regards to my posts. From now on, I'll be posting scripture only in response to whatever the subject is. Of course, I'll reference the particular subject I'm relating the scripture to, but the scripture I post will be my only comment on the subject. If I can't find a scripture to relate to it, then I won't comment on the subject at all.
Now, if anybody wants to argue directly with God and call him a "racist bigot homophobe" or whatever, that's between you and the almighty.
I sure don't want to be on the wrong side of THAT argument.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 8:23pm
Billsmith: yes, if we're going to have a national plan yes might as well make it Single Payer. I like the idea of each state doing its own thing on healthcare, but pity those folks who live in such places like Mississippi, Alabama, or Lousiana. So in the long run, we're probably better off as a nation with Single Payer nationwide. Can you imagine the mess it would be if someone who works in Delaware where we'd probably have a single payer system was transferred by their employer to Mississippi where they'd have the least of whatever. What a heart ship that could cause that employee & his/her family. One year great healthcare coverage the following year next to nothing. So for that reason a national single payer system probably is the best way to go, in my opinion. People are far more mobile than in the past, so states doing their own thing on healthcare probably isn't the best way to go.
I agree with you that if abortion is wrong then it's wrong, but that's the problem, one side sees no problem with any & all abortions & the other side sees any & all abortions as murder. Kind of hard to meet halfway. My view is still oddly in the middle. In Biblical times i believe the standard was it wasn't considered a life until it's breathing (right after the doctor slaps its butt to get it to suck in air & breathe for a modern translation of that). I believe in Colonial times the standard was when they could hear a heart beat. Frankly I like that standard. It's heart is providing blood throughout its body. Yet, the Prochoice folks are using the Biblical standard of prior to it breathing in his/her first breath it is not a living being. So sadly there is not an easy answer for the abortion question.
No I agree that you can't compromise all the time, we've gotten to the point that one side or the other would sink our ship of state rather than compromise ever. That's a dangerous place to be too.
I've been called a fanatical Christian a number of times, because I'll freely tell folks about the love, grace, & salvation of Jesus Christ. Yea, hard to believe a former United Methodist now Lutheran being called a Christian fanatic. Yet on the other hand, I've had folks from fundamentalist churches tell me that Methodists & Lutherans aren't saved. So yes I understand what it is like to be considered a radical because of my strongly held beliefs on Jesus Christ.
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 8:51pm
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. - Matthew 10:22
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 26, 2014 9:54pm
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 2:39am
MFD: State by state? State's rights by any other name. What you are calling for is the same argument used to justify Jim Crow laws and sound reasonable and unbigoted.
The standard in Biblical times was seven days after birth. I have mentioned this before. The standard now is taking a breath. There was no standard in colonial times. Hear a heartbeat, how? Even if this had been an issue in colonial times they did not have stethoscopes, let alone monitoring equipment. Heartbeats can be detected with today's equipment earlier than ever - in undeveloped fetuses incapable of life outside the womb even on life support equipment. You want to make things simple, which clearly are not.
You are back to looking for ways to be neither hot nor cold. And you are placating your "brother in Christ." The friend of the bigot is no better than the bigot. At least he says plainly what he means and does not mince words.
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 2:48am
The "slippery slope" again. Pizza people go from bestiality to rape.
'I sleep with one eye open': Woman who was 'raped by pizza delivery boy, 17, as her daughter slept beside her' details the horrific attack she says ruined her life
* Cesar Lucas, now 17, is accused of sexually assaulting 35-year-old former actress Kia Graves as she slept in her Manhattan apartment in 2012
* Graves says she was raped beside her sleeping 7-year-old daughter
* Graves has been unable to work, spends her days in fear and has been plagued by nightmares since the attack
* The part-time pizza delivery boy pleaded not guilty, which could mean Graves will have to testify
* Lucas allegedly confessed he to the rape, and said he did it because he was 'feeling horny'
Billsmith: I believe you need to re-read my post on states setting up their own health-care system. Essentially it sounds good, but I offer an example of why it ultimately isn't the best way to go. So I'm confused by your post. No one liked the Feds telling states they couldn't have any roads with posted speeds over 55 m.p.h.; states wanted to make those decisions.
The idea of a state choosing how to do things is not new & not only used for Jim Crow laws as school decisions are local ones not federal ones, for example. Right now against Federal law, states have chosen to allow gay/lesbian marriages & legal pot.
I think we all can agree eventually the Feds will legalize both.
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 7:47am
MFD: There are several issues at play. One is some basic standards apply to us all, no matter in which state we happen to live. Another is states can serve as test cases or laboratories of innovation and find ways to provide better than the basic standards (which means basic standards ultimately rise).
The problem is the federal government operates in the spotlight and state governments often operate in the shadows, they don't get nearly the same amount of media and public attention (although state laws affect us more often than do federal laws).
The one-percenter groups that fund the tea party have been busy getting control of state governments (and then redrawing districts to cement their control). And corporations have been busy co-opting members of state legislatures. If you have not heard the following pieces, I strongly recommend you read or listen to them:
How ALEC Serves As A 'Dating Service' For Politicians And Corporations
A batch of recently leaked documents to The Guardian has revealed new insights into the goals and finances of the secretive group called ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a group that brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations. Together, they develop model bills that lawmakers introduce and try to pass in their state legislatures. Through these model bills, ALEC has worked to privatize public education, cut taxes, reduce public employee compensation, oppose Obamacare, and resist state regulations to reduce global warming gas emissions.....
While the federal government is divided and gridlocked, some states have become political monopolies where one party controls both the state legislature and the governor's office.
The New York Times' Nicholas Confessore says relaxed restrictions on political donations in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision are helping special interest groups influence elections to create single-party states. In Confessore's , he shows how campaign strategists have become increasingly creative in raising large contributions from all over the country and funneling that money to local races, often concealing the names of contributors.....
Mike: I never heard of the rep from Florida before the news story on him...but I saw no news stories saying he was a Tea Party Republican...only a nutty Republican who said some very stupid things. Now if Black had called for impeachment, I would believe he's a Tea Partier.
(If the HuffPo didn't call Black a Tea Party member I highly doubt he is...)
"I think we all can agree eventually the Feds will legalize both."
And once they do legalize both...both groups will turn against the Feds telling them what to do through regulations and laws imposed on both groups. How many pro-pot supporters really want all the crazy rules/regs/taxes the Fed govt is imposing on pot? Are prices going up or down? Quality...up or down? Taxes? Age limits? Quantity limits?...etc.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 8:52am
Billsmith: Some things are better decided by the local folks than the "brain trust" in DC. Granted there are plenty of times the "brain trust" in Dover isn't any better than their DC cohorts.
The big difference is state and local legislatures are more answerable to their communities than the feds.
So when reasonable and when it makes sense, yes the locals should be making decisions not the fed dictating. Yet there are other times where the feds need to take a stand and say this is how its going to be, the civil rights of the 60's is an example.
Of course the fly in the ointment in this is not everyone agrees what should be decided by states and local yokels vs the feds. Been that way since the founding of our nation.
By the way, you mentioned state legislatures and governorships being controlled by the Republicans, yet you forgot to mention good ole Delaware where the opposite is the rule. DEM governor and DEM controlled legislature and I believe there's no Republican in any statewide office either. Delaware is about as Democrat as it can be. So that cuts both ways. Neither is a good thing, in my opinion, again I'm a registered Independent, I don't like either party totally, but don't hate either party totally.
Bill said: "You are back to looking for ways to be neither hot nor cold. And you are placating your "brother in Christ." The friend of the bigot is no better than the bigot. At least he says plainly what he means and does not mince words."
I don't have the need to make Mrpizza see things as I do any more than I do with you or anyone else here. I simply express my beliefs, views, and opinions. We discuss the various topics, I learn from you all, hopefully you all learn something of value from me.
I don't agree with all of you at some point in our discussions, depending on what we're discussing. I just don't see the need to try to make you agree with me. I've never been good at "selling". As a Boy Scout going door to door trying to sell light bulbs or some kind of crappy candy made by the Mason candy company I was one of the poorest sales guys in our troop [back then parents didn't take the stuff to work to sell for you either]. I'm the radio guy, I'll tell you about something [a product to keep the radio scenario], but its up to you to decide if the product is worth trying.
I am not a persuasive enough speaker or writer to convince a naked man on an ice berg at the North Pole to buy a parka from me so he won't freeze to death. So I simply try to present what I believe are logical ways of looking at a topic and if you see value for that point of view, great, if not, you'll tell me why and maybe I'll modify my view based on learning something I didn't know before, or I'll not agree with your point of view. It is what it is.
Sometimes I may not be totally sold on my current position, as I'm still gathering info to make a better decision so then I may be more gray rather than black and white in my point of view. I used to think states should make most decisions and agreed with Romney that healthcare should be a state by state decision, until that thought of a person being transferred from a Blue progressive state like Delaware to a Red conservative state like Mississippi accurred to me. That thought caused me to shift in my point of view. There are some things that should be a nationwide thing, other stuff that should be decided by the states. Healthcare should be national, abortion, gay marriage, and legal pot should be state decisions, in my opinion. I realize you'll not agree as you'd want all of those to be national decisions.
As I've said before, Mrpizza and I are at different places in our walk with Christ. We both love and strive to serve Our Lord in how we live our lives, we just see some aspects of that differently. Just as Mrpizza could also attack me for not seeing it his way, he also uses restraint in not attacking me. I believe he respects me in that I am not in the same part of my walk as he. There are times I cringe at something Mrpizza may have posted as I'm sure he cringes at some things I've posted, but we respect each other and try to offer our opposing thoughts without attacking the other. Same with EarlGrey, JimH, Kavips, and Allan.
The key is we both worship the same Risen Jesus Christ, just as Allan, JimH, EarlGrey, Mrpizza, and Kavips all do, yet all of us worship at different Christian churches and don't all have the exact same beliefs or practices. Some here are: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Non-denominational, and Lutheran [if I didn't list your denomination I'm not sure which church you worship at so didn't guess] yet are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
I can't explain it any better than that.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 8:56am
EarlGrey: in fairness, yes Senator Black may be just a nutty Republican and not a TEA person. So far I've not been able to find anything that attaches him to the TEA movement, so I stand corrected I made an assumpton and was apparently wrong.
Good point on the feds then regulating those issues once they legalize them.
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 9:18am
"Conservative author & pundit Dinesh D'Souza - once an adviser to President Reagan, behind the hugely controversial movie about President Obama, "2016: Obama's America" - has been arrested and indicted on charges of campaign finance fraud."
So, we are to believe that the same administration which blamed Benghazi on a B-movie (and prosecuted/jailed the producer of this film), and the same administration that used the I.R.S. to single-out Tea Party groups/members for audits should be trusted when they prosecute D'Souza?
Is it just coincidental that D'Souza has another movie coming out on July 4th (4 months before the November 2014 elections) that he is being singled out?
The producer for Shindler's list (who produced D'Souza's first movie and is co-producing his upcoming film) sure doesn't think so...
"The big difference is state and local legislatures are more answerable to their communities than the feds."
MFD: That's a lie the state's rights people try to peddle, but it is not case. Maybe there was a time when it was true but I doubt it. Bottom line: People pay more attention to D.C. D.C. gets more scrutiny. Attention makes D.C. closer, not proximity.
You have on several occasions gotten on my case for not listening or reading everything you post. I do often read if you provide a link to an article; I don't necessarily listen to a long lecture or sermon. But if I don't read or listen, I don't try to contradict what I didn't read or listen to on the basis of knowing little or nothing about it. You, on the other hand, clearly did not bother either reading or listening to the Fresh Air links I provided and you contradicted them. This sounds like hypocrisy and like a mind closed to something you once heard from a civics teacher, right-wing talk show host, or preacher (likely with no basis in fact).
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 1:32pm
Allan, don't know if you are looking for a trivia question, but do you know the first city to reach a million people?
I was very surprised by the answer.
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 1:49pm
I'm not sure there's a definitive answer on that question to which everyone can agree...
Ancient Rome? Alexandria (Egypt)?
More modern: London
In the U.S.: New York
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 3:15pm
Kavips and Allan: I'm reading a book by Charles C. Mann "1491" about America before Columbus. In his book he says based on archaeological discoveries that they now believe that there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe. The earlist cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptiians built the great pyramids. So it may be that the first city to have a million people may end up being in the Americas.
I'm listening to the audio book version at work, so many details I'm not getting, but I hope to find the book [paper type] and go back and find more details, very interesting book.
It's not a new book, copyright date for the original paper edition is 2005.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 6:12pm
Billsmith: You are incorrect in your answer about Jewish law and when life begins.
In Jewish law, although the human soul exists before birth, human life begins at birth, that is, at the time when the child is more than halfway emerged from the mother's body.
Circumcision is performed on the eighth day of the child's life, during the day. The day the child is born counts as the first day, thus if the child is born on a Wednesday, he is circumcised on the following Wednesday. Keep in mind that Jewish days begin at sunset, so if the child is born on a Wednesday evening, he is circumcised the following Thursday. The Bible does not specify a reason for the choice of the eighth day; however, modern medicine has revealed that an infant's blood clotting mechanism stabilizes on the eighth day after birth.
An unborn child has the status of "potential human life" until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother's, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.
Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances, requires abortion. Where the mother's life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 6:20pm
Billsmith: In fairness I too was incorrect in what I said about the Colonists in our Abortion discussion.
The colonies inherited English Common Law and largely operated under it until well into the 19th century. English Common Law forbade abortion. Abortion prior to quickening was a misdemeanor. Abortion after quickening (feeling life) was a felony.
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 7:24pm
MFD: They had their laws. We have ours. The standard in most states is human life begins with the first breath. If the autopsy finds air in the lungs, it is an infant. Otherwise, it's a fetus. Lines have to be drawn somewhere. Are you arguing that U.S. law today must conform to 200-year-old laws or 2,000-year-old laws? Societies evolve and so do their laws.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 7:46pm
Billsmith: no I'm not advocating that at all, just correcting incorrect info both of us had posted earlier.
Tue, Jan 28, 2014 8:25am
Wed, Jan 29, 2014 2:40pm
Archeologists are in general agreement that it was Rome.
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