Category Archives: Uncategorized

ISLAM / ISIS and Extremists criticized as not ‘Nation of Islam’ but ‘Anti-Muslim’

ISLAM / Where are the moderate Muslims speaking out? If you ignore anything said by a Muslim then you probably have heard nada, zip, zilch.

Last week the highest cleric in Egypt, the Grand Mufti, unconditionally condemned ISIS and extremism.

On September 10th, the American Muslim community held a press conference that strongly condemned extremists, and specifically ISIS. They also pledged their love and respect for the American ideal … being an ideal for all.


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PRIVACY‬ / Obama’s ‎DNI‬ Spy Chief Reverses Course. Now Favors NSA‬ Reform aka the ‘USA Freedom Act’ The ‘USA Freedom Act’, originally introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner last year, would end the government’s ability to collect bulk metadata of phone records and usher in a series of new privacy and transparency measures designed to prevent abuses at the nation’s intelligence agencies. It would bar the government from retaining metadata—the numbers and time stamps of calls but not their actual content—and instead require phone companies to keep those records, which would be given to intelligence agencies after the government earned approval for data searches from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Read full story.

Rhetorical question:
So does this mean that they found a loophole?

THE USA FREEDOM ACT (from Rep. Sensenbrenner’s webpage)

Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act
H.R. 3361/ S. 1599
Purpose: To rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies, increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests, and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before the FISC.

End bulk collection of Americans’ communications records

• The USA Freedom Act ends bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
• The bill would strengthen the prohibition on “reverse targeting” of Americans—that is, targeting a foreigner with the goal of obtaining communications involving an American.
• The bill requires the government to more aggressively filter and discard information about Americans accidentally collected through PRISM and related programs.

Reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

• The USA Freedom Act creates an Office of the Special Advocate (OSA) tasked with promoting privacy interests before the FISA court’s closed proceedings. The OSA will have the authority to appeal decisions of the FISA court.
• The bill creates new and more robust reporting requirements to ensure that Congress is aware of actions by the FISC and intelligence community as a whole.
• The bill would grant the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board subpoena authority to investigate issues related to privacy and national security.

Increase Transparency

• The USA Freedom Act would end secret laws by requiring the Attorney General to publicly disclose all FISC decisions issued after July 10, 2003 that contain a significant construction or interpretation of law.
• Under the bill, Internet and telecom companies would be allowed to publicly report an estimate of (1) the number of FISA orders and national security letters received, (2) the number of such orders and letters complied with, and (3) the number of users or accounts on whom information was demanded under the orders and letters.
• The bill would require the government to make annual or semiannual public reports estimating the total number of individuals and U.S. persons that were subject to FISA orders authorizing electronic surveillance, pen/trap devices, and access to business records.

National Security Letters

• The USA Freedom Act adopts a single standard for Section 215 and NSL protection to ensure the Administration doesn’t use different authorities to support bulk collection. It also adds a sunset date to NSLs requiring that Congress reauthorize the government’s authority thereby ensuring proper congressional review.

Read More about The USA Freedom Act


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Democrats, Republicans, and Chickweed

”The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.”

—P.J. O’Rourke

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Politics … ‘Just the facts’ really do not seem to matter in the face of ‘truth’

Strangely most people want to believe the worst. Seldom do facts matter when you can tell a great story about an evil threat and how your group (whomever that group is) is the only thing standing between evil and the loss of ______.

BTW, please send money to help us in our fight.

Was reading a lament earlier today from someone that has been working their ass off to try to create a middle of the road group within the GOP: honest conservatives with a strong libertarian streak but not given over to hyperbole and appealing to emotion as the reason to do X, Y or Z.

Seems that the rug keeps getting pulled out from under them and/or they are finding a huge number of folks just seem to want to follow the ridiculous … facts are slung all over the place but seldom are the facts factual … and few seem to care.

How do you compete against that?

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JOBS / Disconnected from America?

JOBS / Disconnected from America?

… Bill Golden says that it feels great living in the metro Washington DC area. The seven counties of northern Virginia and most of southern Maryland are truly the land of plenty. What few issues we have must sound like whining to the rest of America.

What happens if we were to wake up and ‘being smart’ were no longer enough? Metro Washington DC is made up primarily of knowledge capital workers. For various reasons there is a huge concentrated demand for these folks … living at the center of the empire as they do.

But what if anything were to disrupt the need for that knowledge? Are these Knowledge Workers smart enough to have a Plan B or C?

Chances are that this region of the USA could find itself in some turmoil over the next few years.

Washington Post headline on February 12th, 2013: One in 7 Washington households in the top 5 percent

VIEW interactive map of where wealth exists in the USA:

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On being ‘conservative’ in 2013 by Erick Erickson of

On being ‘conservative’ in 2013 by Erick Erickson of

Bill Golden, aka Bill4DogCatcher says: I often get called a ‘fake conservative’, a liberal claiming to be a conservative, or worse … Reality is that I believe that math has numbers which matter. Ideas should be open to criticism. And I believe that American conservatives themselves are largely responsible for President Obama being president for two terms … and I believe that conservative economics make no more sense than liberal economics. The numbers just don’t tally up and balance out.

Because I refuse to follow the talking points for being conservative it must be that I am not one. It can be lonely being a conservative that believes ‘maybe there are no best answers’ and ‘let’s experiment’.

My loneliness has at least one new voice added to it. One of the most popular conservative blogs,, is also now taking fellow conservatives to task.

Erick Erickson of

What I am finding is that among conservatives there is too much outrage, piss, and vinegar. It makes our ideas less effective. We have become humorless, angry opponents of the President instead of happy warriors selling better ideas. We are not even selling ideas.

Conservatives, frankly, have become purveyors of outrage instead of preachers for a cause. Instead of showing how increasing government harms people, how free markets help people, and how conservative policies benefit all Americans, we scream “Benghazi” and “Fast & Furious.”

We’re off key and off message. We’ve become professional victims dialed up to 10 on the outrage meter.

You can read all of Erick’s comments at

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GUNs / Both the pro-gun and anti-gun lobbies are out of control

GUNs / Both the pro-gun and anti-gun lobbies are out of control.

Yes, guns can be scary … and so can cable TV which runs the same sad stories over and over and over and over.

The FBI says that rifles of ANY kind accounted for less than 400 deaths last year out of 10,000 violent deaths.

What problem are we trying to solve?

The best source on this debate is the FBI, which provides an annual crime report that also provides history so that you can compare crime rates by category and across time.

3.8% deaths per 100,000 due to violence in 2012 (preliminary number; final number to be released in Jun 2013) is the current estimate of whether the use of guns to commit violence is on the rise or the fall. 3.8% @100,000 is itself a major improvement over 2011’s 4.6%.

The rate in 2006 was 5.8% and in 1996 it was 7.4%

In the end, the anti-gun lobby will lose because they are trying to solve the wrong problem, assuming they are focused on ‘violent crime’ without regard to the implement of death that is used. Assault Guns are just a boogeyman that plays in well with a theme of gun control, regardless of their actual use in our society.

The pro-gun lobby will come out of this looking like a bunch of tone deaf nuts because they seem incapable of empathy at a time when appearing to actually care would be one of the best things they could do to deflect near hysterics by the anti-gun crowd … assuming that they do care — which can be in doubt when they go out of their way to block almost any form of research into how guns are used and all the while claiming that what we need to do is to examine the facts.

Source: FBI Annual Crime Rate Statistics


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Environment / Report: Climate change behind rise in weather disasters claims world’s largest insurer

(USATODAY) Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance firm, sees climate change driving the increase and predicts those influences will continue in years ahead. Per a new report supported by Munich Re, the number of natural disasters per year has been rising dramatically on all continents since 1980, but the trend is steepest for North America where countries have been battered by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, searing heat and drought.

Read USATODAY article

Munich re reports on its website about the impact of climatic change: economic losses amounting to some US$380 billion have made 2011 the most expensive natural disaster year to date.Munich Re lays out its overview in a 62 page report available as a PDF document.


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Congress and Political Parties – They all vote in lockstep. Right?

Congress is an immoveable force where the majority of members vote as solid blocs. Fact or Fiction?

>> Check out the difference between Democrats in the House between the two Congresses.

All votes are averages across X number of congressional bills

111th Congress

>> House sample size: 1654 Bills
>> Senate sample size: 688 Bills

% = the number of times that House/Senate members voted as a majority for a bill.

Dems / House: 81% of bills / majority of the party members voted ‘yes’
Reps / House: 65.7% of bills / voted as ‘yes’ bloc

Dems / Senate: 63.5% of bills / majority of the party members voted ‘yes’
Reps / Senate: 57.3% of bills / voted as ‘yes’ bloc

112th Congress

>> House sample size: 1549 Bills
>> Senate sample size: 433 Bills

Dems / House: 52.7% of bills / majority of the party members voted ‘yes’
Reps / House: 56.6% of bills / voted as ‘yes’ bloc

Dems / Senate: 67.9% of bills / majority of the party members voted ‘yes’
Reps / Senate: 60.5% of bills / voted as ‘yes’ bloc

Source: Washington Post Congressional Votes Database,

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Bill4DogCatcher’s prediction for 2012 Election results

Making predictions about elections as volatile as 2012 is a sure way to end up embarrassed when it is all over.

There is plenty of time yet for stupid shenanigans and for events to change the playing field.

As I see it now, this will be the 2012 election results on election day: Democrats keep the Senate and pick up 1-2 seats; Democrats take back the House with a slim majority of some 15-25 seats; and President Obama gets reelected with a 5-8% margin and 340-350 electoral college votes.

Third party candidates will draw off no more than 3% of the popular vote.

Since ‘conservatives’ greatly outnumber ‘liberals’ in the USA (40%-21%) then I believe some soul-searching is in order to bring conservatism back as a viable political philosophy … one that even conservatives are willing to vote for, as well as a few moderates.

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