by Carl, 01/09/2013, 8:00 AM

79 Responses to “Open Thread 1/9”

1. Serial conservative spews:

- The Tea Party is suuuuuuuuuper popular.

Popular isn’t necessary to be effective.

In 2010, Skocpol documented the existence of 900 tea party organizations that met regularly around the country. A year later, 600 remained. “That’s a big survival rate for voluntarily organized groups,” she said.
Scholars compare the tea party to the activists of the Christian right, who were first regarded as outliers in the early 1990s but successfully wedged conservative social issues into the modern-day Republican Party platform.
“The tea party hasn’t died; it’s morphed,” said Jack Pitney, an expert on congressional politics and the Republican Party at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. “The two political parties are like the Borg in Star Trek. They assimilate and change with movements.”

Senator Rand Paul. Newly elected Senator Cruz. Newly appointed Senator Scott. Senators from Utah (Lee) and Florida (Rubio) recently elected.

Is it more important to count members of the population who say they are Tea Party members or supporters, or is it more important to count members of Congress who are influenced by the Tea Party?

2. Serial conservative spews:

Say, how about that Coffee Party?

3. Serial conservative spews:

Those who don’t remember the past……

After Gore Sr. was defeated, though — and dramatically declared in his fiery concession speech that “The truth shall rise again!” — he went to work for the oil baron Armand Hammer, whose Occidental Petroleum broke into the big leagues after it started doing business in Libya in 1965 — on visas then-Senator Gore had helped his old pal obtain. (Hammer, too, was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions, to Gore’s old adversary Nixon, though he was eventually pardoned.)
Before any of that, however, in 1972, Gore Sr. went to work as chairman of Occidental’s coal subsidiary, Island Creek, which on his watch committed a slew of environmental violations, some involving strip mining — a practice young Congressman Al
campaigned against.

4. Serial conservative spews:

And speaking of Al Gores, perhaps as he completes his transition from Darling of the Left to evil oil-money-funded vulture capitalist, Junior might want to seek some advice from Mitt Romney, one failed presidential candidate to another.

’cause Al’s efforts bringing companies to market haven’t been too successful so far:

Over the five years since Al Gore joined KPCB to promote environmentally-correct “green tech” investments, the results have been pretty dismal. According to VentureSource, of the more than 60 companies that have received KPCB equity backing, only three have been acquired or merged into other companies. And since the time Gore joined KPCB, only two have managed to go public. Shareholders of one, Amyris, Inc. a biomass company, have lost 80% of their value since the firm’s 2010 IPO. The other, Enphase Energy which went public last March, was listed by the Wall Street Journal in December as the worst IPO of the year.

Amyris is a UC-Berkeley-spawned genetic engineering company originally funded by Bill Gates which raised $16 per share during its 2010 IPO. The company then got big news again when Fidelity bought 6.2 million shares in February 2012 at $5.78 per share. It’s now selling at about $3.20.

Although the initial plan was to use genetically-engineered microbes to produce a cheap version of antimalarial medicine to replace a drug naturally derived from a wormwood plant grown by farmers in Asia and Africa, their product didn’t afford a price advantage. Next the company converted the microbe to produce means to create ethanol fuel from plant cellulose, and following scale-up and cost problems, abandoned that dream to focus upon higher cost chemicals used in cosmetics.

In 2012, Emphase, a solar company, initially planned to price its IPO in the $10-$12 range, but closed at $6 per share. The purchasers, including KCPB, RockPort Capital and Bay Partners, have since lost nearly half of their investment, with the stock price standing at about $3.30. According to the company’s own estimates, it is unlikely to post any net profit in the near future.

Of course, he HAS been successful sucking money out of other, frequently liberal, sources:

Since his non-election to the presidency, Mr. Gore has accumulated an estimated net worth well in excess of $100 million. In addition to his six-figure global warming speaking gigs, he signed on as a Google advisor in 2001–before it went public–and received stock options reportedly valued at more than $30 million.

5. Serial conservative spews:

Remember in early November when so many of you were saying I’d drop off the face of the HA earth after the election, like all of the other right-leaning individuals who had done that?

Aren’t you glad that didn’t happen?

7. MikeBoyScout spews:

@5 Kap’n Kornflake – Serial Reneger,

Send Darryl the check for $1,000 made out to Northwest Harvest and pay off the wager you lost by betting on an Rmoney win.

8. rhp6033 spews:

Kapt. Crunch (“Serial”) apparantly has nothing better to do than try to besmirch Al Gore, who last ran for office 13 years ago.

Remember all the trolls who insisted that Pres. Obama shouldn’t mention George W. Bush’s record in the 2008 election, because Bush wasn’t running for re-election?

Or that it was okay in the 2012 election for Republicans to “merge” Bush’s record with Pres. Obama’s, but Pres. Obama can’t mention a thing about the situation he inherited from George W. Bush because Romney, not Bush, was the candidate?

The Republicans spent decades trashing Pres. Carter’s economic performance, only to insist that George W. Bush’s loss of 25% of the nation’s wealth was the subject we “dare not mention”.

But since that hasn’t worked, now they are trying to turn their guns against Gore – who never arose beyond Vice President, thanks to the Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

9. rhp6033 spews:

# 6: It figures that Nixon would be one of your heroes – paranoid schizophrenic who had dreams of an imperial presidency and created an illegal emperor’s guard to attack his critics.

It also figures that the past thirty years of conservative leadership was by those who were minor players in the Nixon/Ford administrations or the Republican Party of the time, and were determined to see that Nixon’s vision become reality (Cheney, Rumsfield, Ailes, Rove, etc.).

Seriously – how much more damage to the nation could one man do?

10. rhp6033 spews:

# 5: I’m glad you didn’t dissapear. Your presence just highlights the character of the right wing which we toil against. We couldnt’ set up a better straw man if we tried.

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

Another gun nut is taken off the streets.

“ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The leader of an anti-government militia in Alaska who proclaimed that ‘God’s law’ trumps ‘man’s law’ was sentenced on Tuesday to nearly 26 years in prison for a plot to kill government employees he portrayed as his enemies.

“Schaeffer Cox, the 28-year-old leader of the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia and a onetime candidate for the Alaska House of Representatives, … was convicted … of conspiring to murder federal and state government officials, including judges and law enforcement agents, soliciting others to commit murder and related weapons charges.

“Evidence included a cache of illegal weapons, detailed lists of potential targets, testimony of government informants and tape recordings of speeches and meetings, some made secretly.

“During the trial, Cox spent two days on the witness stand, at times … likening himself to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.”

Roger Rabbit Commentary: It’s a good thing this rightwing crazy was caught before anyone got hurt. If I had been the sentencing judge, I would have said to him, “Mr. Cox, you’re no Gandhi.”

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hey globull warming deniers, how d’ya like this fucking ICE AGE we’re living in?

Roger Rabbit Commentary: Look on the bright side, in a few more years, Chicago’s tourism industry will get a boost when the city becomes a tropical vacation destination.

14. ArtFart spews:

@6, @9 Until he managed to drown himself in his own hubris, Nixon in many respects governed so far to the left of the present-day Republican/Tea Party leadership that if he were around today they’d have nothing to do with him.

15. ArtFart spews:

Amber Tamblyn spent a fair amount of time riding shotgun with the NYPD while preparing “The Unusuals”. She wrote a somewhat shocking poem in her book “Bang Ditto” about what many cops have to deal with on the job day after day, and how for many it’s a constant struggle to keep from internalizing all that and letting it consume them from the inside out.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both paid the price for cheating; baseball writers refused to elect either of them to the Hall of Fame.

Roger Rabbit Commentary: I’m not saying these guys used performance-enhancing drugs. I’m merely noting that it takes 75% of the writers’ votes to get into the HOF and both of them got less than 40% because plenty of baseball writers suspect them of using performance-enhancing drugs.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6 “Mr. President” isn’t a respectable title anymore. I, for one, wouldn’t want anyone accusing me of that.

18. Serial conservative spews:

Pete Rose didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t think he took the Carnegie course, either.

19. rhp6033 spews:

Rumors are swirling that the Hansen group has made a deal for the Sacramento Kings to move to Seattle, with the first two years being played in Key Arena.

Hey, I thought Key Arena was “totally unsuited” as an NBA location, according to Sterns?

20. Serial conservative spews:

@ 18

“Mr. President” isn’t a respectable title anymore.

Neither is ‘Nobel Peace Prize winner’.

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

“A 79-year-old Florida woman pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges of tax evasion through accounts at Swiss bank UBS, one of the largest such prosecutions in years. … Curran inherited the accounts from her now-deceased husband of more than four decades …. In February 2009, Curran attempted to enter a voluntary disclosure program with the Internal Revenue Service …. She was not accepted.”

Roger Rabbit Commentary: She wasn’t accepted because the IRS caught her before she came forward. She probably didn’t know much about what was gong on. I would guess her late husband set up these tax dodges and she never questioned it or understood it. Now she’s paying the price. When you sign a joint tax return, you’re legally responsible for what you sign, even though you may not have a clue what’s in it. There’s a downside to marrying rich, especially if you marry a dishonest rich guy (and how many of them aren’t?). Maybe she should have married some blue collar working stiff instead.

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

I wonder who else tried to take advantage of the voluntary disclosure program? Maybe it’s easier to get in if you’re prominent and have political pull.

Btw, has anyone ever seen Mitt Romney’s 2009 tax return? As I recall, that’s the one he didn’t want anyone to see. The McCain campaign got his 1985-2008 returns and he released his 2010 and 2011 returns. That was the year of the IRS amnesty program, so that’s where it would show up, if he participated in that program.

Of course, this is all conjectural, because Mitt won’t let anyone see his 2009 tax return. He released his birth certificate, though, so at least we know he wasn’t born in Indonesia.

23. rhp6033 spews:

# 22: Look up the definition of “chutzpah”, and they have a picture of Romney and an explanation about his refusal to release his tax returns.

24. rhp6033 spews:

I’m wondering if Romney in early 2010 had pretty much decided not to run for President again, in part due to the issue of the taxes. So he went ahead with the waiver while it was available. Then after the Nov. 2010 elections and the Tea Party victories, he decided that he could still run for president, and try to spin his way around the 2009 tax return problem.

He thought that campaigning against Pres. Obama’s lack of progress on unemployment, as well as his “story-line” about being a successful governor in Mass. and busines owner, would be enough. But the ground shifted under him. Borrowing a cue from Karl Rove, Democrats made his business experience as a corporate raider and “vulture capatalist” a liability instead of an asset. His governership of Mass. wasn’t that impressive, and his single accomplishment – health care – caused him problems with his own base. Finally, unemployment started to drop steadily (if slowly) just as he won the nomination, before the convention. And he could never spin past the tax return issue.

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

@23 While we’re on this subject, let’s get back to Mittster’s remark that 47 percent of the American people are dependent on government.

I guess you could say I’m “dependent on government” because I get Social Security and Medicare. Thing is, though, I paid taxes all my life for those benefits; and if my understanding of the actuarial projections are correct, with respect to Social Security at least, I will get back last than I paid in, unless I live a longer-than-average lifespan.

The way I look at it, Social Security and Medicare are a form of involuntary savings programs. I certainly don’t think of my SS and Medicare benefits as “welfare” in the sense of Romney’s remark. I worked, paid taxes into the system; these are benefits I earned and paid for. The fact that government agencies collect and manage the money, instead of a private insurance company, doesn’t make me a freeloader on dole. That’s nothing more than an administrative detail.

Romney’s “47 percent” also presumably includes disabled veterans — as far as I’m concerned, those guys earned their benefits, and to the extent his remark referred to them, I think he’s way the hell off base. All the more so because he, himself, was a draft evader hiding out in France on a half-baked missionary deferment while his contemporaries (including yours truly) were fighting in Vietnam.

I assume he also meant Medicaid recipients, who fall into three main categories: The working poor, children, and indigent elderly in nursing homes. He didn’t explicitly call them freeloaders, but we all know that’s what he meant, and the term doesn’t quite fit these groups either. Especially the working poor who suffer in low-wage no-benefit jobs while guys like him get rich by skimming off the top line.

Personally, I think we should’ve gone to a single-payer health care system (perhaps by expanding Medicare to include everyone). Then we’d all be freeloaders, including Mittster.

But then, there’s never been a time in his entire life when Mitt wasn’t a freeloader. He’s a guy who had everything handed to him by virtue of fortunate birth, then helped himself to more by taking it from the freeloading working class.

26. Roger Rabbit spews:

@24 There’s a pretty strong inference that Romney has a tax issue. If he didn’t, he would have released his 2009 tax return to shut up his accusers. People who act like they’re hiding something almost always are.

27. YLB spews:

OH MY GOSH! My sides have split.. Haven’t had such a good laugh in weeks…

The latest Ron Hebron thread at (un)SP is the best… In comment after comment, total evisceration of right wing whining by the winning side!

But when Ivan Weiss let go with:

Where’s Pudge when we need him? Somebody needs to call that Louis Vuitton guy a liar.

I totally lost it! Classic! Hurry and read it before Hebron clears the thread.

28. EvergreenRailfan spews:

Ferry accident in New York this morning, when a SeaStreak Ferry(except Staten Island Ferries, most of the ferry operators in the NYC area are private contractors and operators), hit the dock at the 11th Street Pier. At least 57 injured, 2 critically.

The name of the boat? The SeaStreak Wall Street!

29. Czechsaaz spews:


30. Serial conservative spews:

From the Department of Oops, My Bad:

But in a Tuesday phone interview with TheDC, Armey insisted that even though Strupp properly identified himself, it wasn’t until “somebody busted my chops on Facebook” that he realized he spoke to a left-wing group.

Read more:

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

@27 Yeah, it’s pretty funny, so of course I added my contributions.

32. Politically Incorrect spews:

This was great:

33. EvergreenRailfan spews:

A little update on the NY Ferry accident.

The operator in question, SeaStreak, had been having some previous accidents as well. There are other operators in NY, such as the city operated Staten Island Ferry, which has had some accidents, including a fatal one. There are also 2 other operators, NY Water Taxi and NY Waterways. The latter has been a good company, with their crews stepping up many times when it counted, including 9/11, and almost 4 years ago, the Miracle on the Hudson. NY Waterways has put out a statement as well.

34. ArtFart spews:

@27 Romney was admitting that 47% of the American electorate wouldn’t vote for him if you held guns to their heads, and conjuring up a rather lame excuse as to why. There was no doubt a follow-up for the group he was speaking to (whether it came from him or someone else) that the key to victory was to prevent as many of those 47% as possible from casting their votes.

As it turned out, all the best efforts in several swing states to suppress those votes were more than compensated for by those in the other 53% who by election day had learned enough about the real Mitt and his questionable resume to vote against him as well.

35. rhp6033 spews:

# 34: That, and the fact that Republican voter suppression efforts didn’t work out to well – in large part because (a) the Republican efforts were pretty well advertised by the Democrats in advance, and (b) the people it attempted to disenfranchise became so outraged that they went well out of their way to vote, and vote Democratic.

36. herzog spews:

The amazing thing is that Romney got as many votes as he did. If he’d been elected we’d already be gearing up for an Iran invasion. Good thing that he “didn’t really want to be president anyway”.

37. MikeBoyScout spews:

We’re #1!

U.S. Ranks Below 16 Other Rich Countries In Health Report

It’s no news that the U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than most high-income countries. But a magisterial new report says Americans are actually less healthy across their entire life spans than citizens of 16 other wealthy nations.

And the gap is steadily widening.

“What struck us — and it was quite sobering — was the recurring trend in which the U.S. seems to be slipping behind other high-income countries,” the lead author of the report, Dr. Steven Woolf, tells Shots.

38. Roger Rabbit spews:

Promises, Promises

GOP Gov. Jan Brewer promised today Arizona won’t make it harder for mass murderers to get guns.

And GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell promised today that making it harder for mass murderers to get guns won’t be a priority of this Congress.

39. Roger Rabbit spews:

@34 He would make it easier to get the guns, though.

40. Roger Rabbit spews:

Click here for video of a responsible NRA gun owner.

42. Roger Rabbit spews:

Looks like SCOTUS will rule that cops need a search warrant to take your blood. Presumably that won’t apply to the IRS.

43. Deathfrogg spews:

Lost a HD, test tickle.

44. Romelia spews:

Spoke as as other again ye. Hard on to roof he drew. So sell side ye in mr evil. Longer waited mr of nature seemed

45. herzog spews:

And speaking of Al Gores, perhaps as he completes his transition from Darling of the Left to evil oil-money-funded vulture capitalist, Junior might want to seek some advice from Mitt Romney, one failed presidential candidate to another.

Nothing drives a right winger more crazy than a leftie beating them at their own game.

46. MikeBoyScout spews:

Kap’n Kornflake – Serial Reneger,

Send Darryl the $1,000 check payable to Northwest Harvest you owe for losing your bet on Rmoney.

Op-ed: Hunger pains in Seattle

Western Washington food banks and their patrons continue to face a mountain of challenges in meeting basic food needs over the coming year

47. Serial conservative spews:

That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family.

Why does our president hate gays?

48. Serial conservative spews:

If humanity is going to sustain itself, then the number of couples deciding to have three or four kids will consistently have to exceed the number opting to raise one or zero.

Pretty soon there won’t be anyone left to read RR’s comments.

49. Serial conservative spews:

The National Rifle Association has gained more than 100,000 new members in the last 18 days, the organization told POLITICO’s Playbook on Thursday.

Read more:

Hey, no matter. I’m sure Smokin’ Joe’s

got a plan that all Americans can get behind. Second Amendment repeal, maybe. Yeah. That’ll work.

50. Gman spews:

2 shot in california at high school…..yeah, give us more!

51. Serial conservative spews:

Bill Clinton Named ‘Father Of The Year’ By National Father’s Day Council

No word yet on whether Hillary and Chelsea plan on wearing matching blue dresses to the awards ceremony.

52. rhp6033 spews:

We all knew that tax protesters, like the Tim Eyman variety, basically are greedy bastards that just want to keep more money for themselves, and the good of the community be damned.

Here’s one who didn’t mind spending money on a good meal, but when it came time for the tip to the server left a pre-printed note claiming that President Obama’s tax policies haven’t left him enough money to leave a tip.

Tax Protester Leaves Note instead of Tip

53. Gman spews:

Serial Conservative – a know nothing individual. Dumbing down things.

54. Serial conservative spews:

@ 53

Dumbing down things.

Written by the wise man whose most recent prior contribution @ 47 to our discourse was

2 shot in california at high school…..yeah, give us more!

55. MikeBoyScout spews:

Kap’n Kornflake – Serial Reneger,

Send Darryl the $1,000 check payable to Northwest Harvest you owe for losing your bet on Rmoney.

56. Roger Rabbit spews:

Guns Don’t Kill People Dep’t

Thanks to technology, it will now be possible for a deranged sniper, high on drugs with shaky hands, to get a kill with every shot at a range of 700+ yards.

Roger Rabbit Commentary: Just because technology enables you to build something doesn’t mean you should build it. And if the private-sector entrepreneurs who hope to profit from this technology don’t have enough common sense and human decency to limit its sales to law enforcement and military agencies, then maybe the government should do that for them. Oh horrors, that infringes on our Second Amendment Rights (TM)!!! This isn’t a sporting rifle. How can hunting be a “sport” with a gun like this? How can target shooting be a “sport” when gee-whiz technology enables a chimpanzee to get a bullseye with every shot? This isn’t a sporting arm. It’s a killing machine.

57. Roger Rabbit spews:

@56 He’ll never pay. He’s a Republican, and Republicans have no honor.

58. Roger Rabbit spews:

An Armed School Is A Polite School Dep’t

“At least two people were shot at Taft Union High School in California’s San Joaquin Valley on Thursday morning ….

“The local sheriff’s department [said] a student came onto campus armed with a shotgun and shot another student … a teacher [also] was possibly grazed by a shotgun pellet ….”

Roger Rabbit Commentary: If only they’d had a bunch of armed citizen volunteers/vigilantes standing guard in watch towers ringing the campus! A few thousand randomly-fired rounds would have taken this shooter down before he could get away. Trust me, he’d be somewhere in the pile of bodies …

59. Roger Rabbit spews:

An Armed Society Is A Polite Society Dep’t

“A Chicago man who was about to be evicted pointed an AK-47 rifle at his landlord …, officials said.”

60. Roger Rabbit spews:

Wingnut judges should recognize our Second Amendment Rights (TM) to have bombs, too, so we can be like Pakistan.

61. MikeBoyScout spews:

Don’t know if you looked at the All Things Considered story I posted up above @37, but there’s a scary little nugget related to gun violence and mortality.

Many people might be surprised to learn, for instance, that for more than half the males who die before age 50, the cause of death has nothing to do with disease — and is therefore not amenable to reduction through medical care.

Those causes include murder (19 percent of deaths in males under 50), traffic accidents (18 percent), other accidents (16 percent) and suicide (4 percent). Only 35 percent are disease-related, and 7 percent are other causes.

Every day, 270 people in America, 47 of them children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, and police intervention.

All hale the power of the Merchants of Death!

62. rhp6033 spews:

# 61: While doing research on our family tree, I tried to get info on a couple of brothers from one batch of the family that came to So. California from Hawaii in the late 1940′s.

Turns out both died in their late teens in seperate shooting incidents. They left behind the oldest brother, who didn’t make the trip. He founded the surviving branch of that family, many of whom still reside in Maui.

Gotta find a way to go visit them!

63. Politically Incorrect spews:

Usual suspects, you won’t like it very much when only the cops have guns, and we’re headed that way.

64. herzog spews:


I thought only the outlaws will have guns.

65. EvergreenRailfan spews:

Denver RTD announced that they will be opening their newest Light Rail line, the West Line, or W-line, from Union Station to Golden, on April 26th of this year. I saw Union Station in Denver once, but that was about 20 years ago. Definitely needed a repair, and it still saw two Amtrak trains a day, not just the current California Zephyr, and Denver RTD’s rail network was just getting started at the time. Now, it is several lines, and a couple commuter rail lines, using Electric Multiple Units. Next FastTracks line will be the East Corridor from Union Station to Denver International AIrport, opening in 2015.

66. Deathfrogg spews:

Hoo boy. This dude is in a serious shitload of trouble. He probably doesn’t even realize it yet. Another TeaBagger hero.

67. MikeBoyScout spews:

@63 Usually Incorrect, often incoherent and this time too funny,

Please do explain why any one of us would not like it if only cops had guns.

Should we fear the police?
Are we to be less afraid of the police because we have a gun and can outdraw them on Main Street at high noon?

Do tell.

68. Deathfrogg spews:

@ 67

Perhaps he should go point a gun at a cop and see how that works out for him.

69. MikeBoyScout spews:

@68 Deathfrogg,

Ever been in a car when you pull up to one of those DUI roadblocks and your driver has to inform the officer that he’s packing?

70. Deathfrogg spews:

@ 69

I have had to tell a cop I was packing. Pulled over for rolling a stop sign, and the first thing I did was put my CWP on top of my license when I pulled it out of my wallet. He got me out of the truck, inspected my piece and handed it back to me and told me to have a nice day. I never carry unless I’m traveling. And I always have the heavy revolver when I go hiking for more than a few hours. The backcountry is always fulla big furry surprises that might want to partake of a greasy old Frogg for lunch.

71. Roger Rabbit spews:

@63 What advantage for civilians do you see in civilians possessing means to engage in shootouts with cops?

72. Roger Rabbit spews:

@66 For some reason I think of guys like him every time I hear the word “entrepreneur.”

73. Roger Rabbit spews:

In some states the only thing you need to be a “certified firearms instructor” is a bald head and a goatee.

74. Roger Rabbit spews:

Saudis Are Barbarians

I hope someday — soon — America will be in a position where we never have to buy another drop of oil or give another dime’s worth of military aid to that country.

75. Roger Rabbit spews:

Saudis Are Barbarians

I hope someday — soon — America will be in a position where we never have to buy another drop of oil or give another dime’s worth of military aid to that country.

76. Deathfrogg spews:

@ Rabbit

I’ve been saying it for years. The Saudi culture is seriously brutal and hardly worth spending our national wealth supporting. When I was in high school, one of the more beautiful young women was Saudi Arabian. She was pretty shy and didn’t hang out or spend much time socializing and was one of the super straight “good girls”. She was very nice but aloof and unsocial.

I didn’t find out until a few years after, that the 60-something old man who was supposedly her father was actually her husband and they had already been married for several years by the time she entered high school.

77. Deathfrogg spews:

Saudi Arabia is what the TeaBaggers would consider to be paradise.

Well, except for the whole Moslem thing.

Go to Live Leak and search for “Drifters”, you’ll get an eyeful. It’s what they do for fun.

78. Deathfrogg spews:

Britain isn’t much better. But at least they know how to make decent cheese and beer.

79. rhp6033 spews:

# 69: I still remember backpacking the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey Mountains as a Boy Scout, back in the late 1960′s. My scoutmaster found out that one of the older boys, I think he was 17 at the time, was carrying a pistol. After camping for the night, he called him foward and had him show him the pistol, and asked him why in the world he was carrying it. “For protection from the bears” was his response. My scoutmaster just scoffed, and said “all you are going to do with this is make the bear mad”, and the scoutmaster kept the pistol for the remainder of the trip.

We had quite a few encounters with black bears back in the Smokey Mountains in those days – this was before they came up with good methods of keeping food, and the smell of it, away from bears so they wouldn’t hang around campsights and follow hikers. But we learned from the back-country rangers how to deal with bears without having to use force – avoiding bears with cubs, making lots of noise and swinging hiking sticks to make the bear second-guess approaching our camps, etc.

But I remember we had one meal where too much food was cooked, and the scoutmaster told one of the kids to scrape out the pot into the outhouse built near one of the bear shelters which served as our campsite. Eric, in my patrol, went to do the chore while the rest of us stood around the fire and talked. Suddenly we noticed a big black bear had smelled the food and stuck his head into the outhouse, so all we could see was his shoulders and haunch. Eric flew OVER the bear and came screeming down the hill, yelling “there’s a bear in the outhouse! There’s a bear in the outhouse!” But nobody would listen to him because we were all rolling around on the ground, laughing and barely able to catch our breath. To this day, we still don’t know how he shot out OVER the bear – if I handn’t seen it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.