• Devildog  On December 18, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Not that I have a problem with the collection of metadata (whatever the hell that means) but let’s see what UMOC has written. Obama, the apostle of hope and change and the most open administration in history, is not really at fault because this collection of metadata is merely a technological advancement of what happened under the administration of previous presidents, he can’t be expected to be able to control rogue agencies, the military/industrial complex has too much influence and “the fault lies within ourselves (shades of the malaise president)”.


    • umoc193  On December 24, 2013 at 7:11 AM

      What part of “I find fault with Obama for permitting this broadening” of surveillance means I don’t fault Obama? Plain English. Understand?

      • Devildog  On December 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        Hi, UMOC.

        First, so good to hear a comment from you.

        Second,Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

        Third, while you did write, “I find fault…”, it was followed immediately by, “but in reality…” which was later followed by the excuses cited in my post. Your “fault” of Obama is, in plain English,a mere slap on the wrist (if even that). The “fault” in no way lies within me-I didn’t vote for him, nor with previous presidents nor with a rogue agency.


  • Little_Minx  On December 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    “Once you’re an NSA agent with a seed, you can analyze all the numbers within three hops from that seed…”

    Shades of “6 Degrees of Separation”: I knew a musician who had played in the NBC Symphony under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, who in turn knew many great musicians including opera composers Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi — voilà! 3 degrees of separation — alert the NSA!!!

    • Devildog  On December 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Alert the NSA? Why not alert Obama? Isn’t he still president? Or should we blame Bush? Some liberals have given Omama a total pass while UMOC, to his credit, has given him only a partial pass.

      • Little_Minx  On December 19, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        Dear Santa,

        Please bring Devildog a sense of humor. He either lost his, or else never had one.

        I’ll leave out cookies and milk for you.

        Many thanks, Little Minx.

        • Devildog  On December 19, 2013 at 10:13 AM

          Probably the latter!

  • pittsburgh_dad  On December 19, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    OK. let’s see. You’re not OK with what the NSA is doing but you apparently have no issue with the IRS knowing more about your medical history than your spouse. Paraphrasing one of my favorite lines from A Few Good Men – Oh UMOC, do you see what I am getting at?

    • Devildog  On December 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Pd, they can’t handle the truth.

    • Little_Minx  On December 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      “…you apparently have no issue with the IRS knowing more about your medical history than your spouse.”

      Evidence? Didn’t think so.

      • pittsburgh_dad  On December 20, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        So you are answering your own question and you’re doing it incorrectly. Interesting strategy.

        Lefties claim this won’t happen. How accurate have lefties been about Obamacare? I think they’re batting 0 for about 1000. In fact, what was the Lie of the Year?

        Didn’t the IRS access medical records for 60M Californians recently? You guys really need to take the blinders off

  • Little_Minx  On December 20, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Why isn’t more attention being paid to the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch’s hateful racial comments? Sarah Palin and her ilk are being allowed to get by just paying attention to the guy’s anti-gay screed:

    “On race, Robertson said that growing up as white trash (his words), he worked the fields with blacks in Louisiana. ‘We’re going across the field… they’re singing and happy. Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.’”

    So, in other words, Palin et al. are defending racist speech, without getting caught (except by a few conscientious reporters).

    • Devildog  On December 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      It’s unfortunate that someone (of supposed intelligence) can link a column and then either not read it in its entirety or not understand what it says!

      • Little_Minx  On December 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        What’s your beef?

        • Devildog  On December 20, 2013 at 9:58 PM

          Here’s “my beef”!

          You write the “patriarch’s hateful racial comments” and Palin et al. “defending racist speech”. Certainly within your warped mind’s right to describe it as such but you offer us a link to a column in which the author offers an opinion diametrically opposed to yours.

          Happy Kercheval, the author, writes that Robertson offered a wistful description that is a simplified caricature, inaccurate but not uncommon of people of his age and upbringing.

          Happy goes on to say that it is appropriate for Palin to support Robertson but that the basis of her argument is flawed, it’s not a free speech issue. Happy concludes his column with”Making Robertson a public pariah as some (he’s talking about you) want to do has a chilling effect on the national dialogues on race, homosexuality and all controversial topics in between”.

          So I suggest that in the future, you read and comprehend your links before you post them. And perhaps you should limit your links to your ultra liberal sources and not to some common sense West Virginian. Right UMOC?

          • Little_Minx  On December 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM

            I offered the link only so you wouldn’t think I’d made up the quote. Bite me.

            • Devildog  On December 22, 2013 at 4:37 PM

              Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

          • umoc193  On December 24, 2013 at 7:20 AM

            Ah, good old Hoppy. Nice guy and not as extreme on the right as are many other radio commentators. Unfortunately his local morning show is followed by Rush and Hannity. And his boss is frequent political loser John Raese, a complete a hole.

  • Little_Minx  On December 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    “GOP Beard,” by Rob Rogers, and excellent comments by some friends:

  • toadsly  On December 22, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • Little_Minx  On December 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Here’s the fuller Phil Robertson quote, which has been reproduced widely:

    “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

    Nope, no racism there, none at all, right? No?

    • Devildog  On December 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Nope, none at all-and the reason they were happy is because they were “Godly”, which of course is incomprehensible to the “unGodly”. At peace with yourself and the world. I’m not Godly but I can understand that. Besides which, Duck’s comments are as far from being racist as can be. Stop playing the race card.

      • Little_Minx  On December 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Proof pluperfect that religion is the opiate of the masses. Just drug ’em with “godliness” then they’ll never realize how badly they’re exploited economically and socially. “Those were the days…”

        • Devildog  On December 27, 2013 at 5:01 PM

          So Minx, which is it? Duck’s comment was racist or the Godly Blacks working along side him in the field were happy because they were doped up by “the word” (is the drugging effect of the word something akin to the drugging effect of false government promises)?

          Thank God Call the Midwife doesn’t conflict with Duck Dynasty!

          • Little_Minx  On December 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

            Not either/or WRT “godly Blacks” and religious opiation — but both/and. You can’t fool us by trying to cast the argument in a false paradigm.

    • pittsburgh_dad  On December 25, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      He is stating his experience. Maybe they said things about whites when there were no whites around. Maybe blacks accepted that there was racism and complaining about it wouldn’t do any good and they just were making the best of it. He said he worked the farms with them so he was around them 10 hours/day 5 or 6 days/week (likely) so it would be surprising if they were happy around him and then went home and complained about racism.

      Dennis Prager is right. Conservatives believe liberals are wrong and liberals believe conservatives are evil. Since conservatives are racist by definition, liberals infer racism when none is displayed. This is funny because it is liberals who practice the most insidious form of racism – the racism associated with low expectations. It’s what the welfare state is all about

      • Devildog  On December 25, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        To paraphrase that yo-yo who comments on Rob Rogers’ blog, “we’ll done, pd”. You’re still not following my advice though and why I don’t follow my own advice is beyond my comprehension.

      • Little_Minx  On December 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        “McDonald’s McResource Problem: Even Good Advice Can’t Make Up for Low Wages”:

        Yesterday McDonald’s (MCD) closed its McResource website, a well-meaning effort that had become a font of bad press for the fast food chain. The site suffered for two opposite but equally embarrassing problems. Some of its advice—how to tip an au pair or a pool cleaner, for example—clearly did not apply to McDonald’s workers. But some addressed the potential desperation of low-wage employees. It also suggested that workers considering returning unopened Christmas gifts to get out of debt. A worker group publicized the fact that a McDonald’s worker who called the McResource help line was told to look into food stamps. And in what was perhaps the final straw, the site was discovered to be cautioning employees about the health effects of fast food, calling a cheeseburger and French fries an “unhealthy choice.”

        But while the McResource site offered the lowest of hanging fruit for mockery and derision, it raises a broader question about the place of such advice for low-wage workers who are struggling to make ends meet. The site’s recommendations certainly could have been less comically tin-eared; even if so, would they have been useful?

        The tradition of seeking to improve the lives of the poor by teaching them virtuous habits—thrift, sobriety, piety, self-control—extends back to Victorian social reformers. Today, the question of whether poverty is caused primarily by bad decision-making or societal conditions is one of the main points of contention between American conservatives and liberals. But if interesting new research is correct, the conditions and the decisions are indistinguishable. In other words, poor people really do tend to make worse financial decisions than rich people, but it’s not for lack of good McAdvice. It’s because they’re poor.

        The research, some of which was published in the journal Science last fall, was led by the Harvard economist (and MacArthur-certified “genius”) Sendhil Mullanaithan and the Princeton cognitive scientist Eldar Shafir. The two detail the work in their book Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, published in September. After asking shoppers in a New Jersey mall to estimate their own household income, the researchers gave them tests that measured either their fluid intelligence (if you’re curious, they used the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test) or their impulse control.

        Before taking the tests, the subjects were given a hypothetical household financial dilemma to solve: Their car is having trouble. Should they go ahead with a repair or hold out and hope the car continues to work without it? The key detail was this: For half the subjects, the hypothetical repair costs $300; for the other half, it would cost $3,000.

        Mullainathan and Shafir’s team found that for the poorer test subjects, being faced with the more costly hypothetical had a marked effect on their performance on the cognitive tests. The mental strain of having to work through the potentially ruinous financial calculation—even hypothetically—exhausted them, and they did significantly worse on the intelligence and impulse-control tests than equivalently poor subjects who had been given the cheaper hypothetical. How much worse? As poorly as if they were severely sleep-deprived. (For the wealthier test subjects, neither scenario was unaffordable so there was no effect.)

        In other words, the financial stresses of poverty can weaken people’s decision-making ability. As blogger Matthew Yglesias has pointed out, this may help explain the research finding that simply giving money to poor people is a particularly effective form of aid—particularly compared to the far-more-popular practice of giving the poor the things donors think they need—with noticeably positive effects years later. By providing a financial buffer and alleviating stress that may lead to poor decision-making, a cash infusion helps people make better financial decisions.

        In contrast, giving the poor advice as to how to make better decisions—even if such advice is more germane to their lives than how much to tip a domestic—doesn’t do anything to alleviate that pressure. It’s a cruel twist that, if Shafir and Mullainathan are right, the poor simply can’t afford to think as clearly as the rich.

  • Little_Minx  On December 24, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Happy Winter Solstice holiday of your choice to all!

  • Little_Minx  On December 27, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Toadsly! et al.: This weekend (on WQED Sunday @ 7:30 PM, IIRC) is the holiday episode of “Call the Midwife.”

    • Little_Minx  On December 28, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      The “Call the Midwife” holiday episode is on (in part) opposite the “Kennedy Center Honors.” Decisions! Decisions!

      • toadsly  On December 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        I’ll choose “Call the Midwife.”

  • Devildog  On December 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Hail to the chief Duck, back in business. Neither a racist nor a homophobe (hate the sin, love the sinner).

    • Little_Minx  On December 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      If you can’t recognize a racist/homophobe when you see one, then look in the mirror.

      • Devildog  On December 28, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        I think Minx you may be suggesting I am a racist, homophobe. Since I am a conservative and/or a Republican and/or whatever, I guess I am (by definition) That/those. And, at my age, I avoid looking at mirrors.

        More social science study baloney. Being the genius I am, I could have predicted the results of all those studies. How much cash is necessary to be infused to eliminate poverty? I do believe societal conditions are a major cause of poverty, especially if progressive government eliminating incentives can be considered a societal condition.

        I breathlessly await your recommendation-Call the Midwife or Kennedy Center Honors? That is, of course, if there is not a football, basketball or hockey game on at that time.


  • Little_Minx  On December 28, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Bigotry based on “low expectations”? When people have been subject to centuries of prejudice, it’s not equitable to tell them they have to run life’s marathon with a starting line far behind that of the more privileged.

    And extending unemployment insurance stimulates the economy, by providing funds for the unemployed to provide, albeit minimally, for their families — because when they spend that money it is cycled many times through the economy.

    The rich tend to hang on to their money, rather than risking it on “job-creation.” Heck, they could save even more money if more public services were eliminated, or cut drastically. Just imagine: fewer and poorer public schools, higher costs for higher education, closing of public libraries, privatization of public health clinics, more toll roads, fewer police and firefighters… and on and on. American society evolved in the past century (or more) on the principle that everyone benefits when a higher tide floats more boats.

    • pittsburgh_dad  On December 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      The Great Society Programs have been around for 50 years and the poverty rate is higher today than it was in 1963. The poverty rate decreased significantly during the Reagan recovery and has increased significantly during Obama’s (ahem) recovery. The gap between the 1% and the 99% has increased more under O than under any previous president. And this results from the always negative unintended consequences of the failed economic and social philosophy that is progressivism

      And it is conservative policies that lead to the higher tides. Just asked the person you quoted – he helped to cause the higher tides that occurred in the 1960s by cutting taxes.

Please give me your thoughts.

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