Who Owns You?


Posted on : 12/29/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

On the international front, socialism is on the rise in France.  Socialists recently won control of most of the government and immediate set to work solving their deficit problems by raising taxes on the rich.  Those taxes were one factor for Johnny Depp's decision to return to the U.S.  There have been other reports of France's elite moving to the U.K., Belgium, and other countries to avoid those confiscatory tax rates. 

Recently, France's Prime Minister had a hissy fit over several high profile actors, and others that took similar precautions to preserve their earnings.

I find the bureaucratic outrage to be more than a little amusing.  It is as if these socialists believe that those people are the property of the state rather than being individuals who have the freedom to choose the conditions in which they live.  Why should they be surprised when those individuals exercise that freedom in the face of an overly bureaucratic government that is imposing an intolerable level of taxation?

The exodus is predictable, as is the socialist response.  Sadly.

In THAT Pocket!


Posted on : 12/28/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : ,

I just found this interesting....and thought you might as well.

Reading The Rule Book


Posted on : 12/27/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

One reason why I lean towards the GOP is that they attempt to maintain the pretense of have read and understood our Constitution at some point in the recent past.

Each member of the House has had to attach a Constitutional Authority Statement (CAS) to every proposed bill since Jan. 5, 2011.

However, one group of Republicans is unimpressed by the offered justifications for constitutionality.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) analyzes each statement—3,865 in the first year alone—and in response to some of the more questionable justifications began emailing every congressional office a “Questionable Constitutional Authority Statement of the Week.”

“We started highlighting horrible Constitutional Authority Statements because there were so many of them,” said Brian Straessle, RSC spokesman. “Think of it as a shaming mechanism to get people to think seriously and carefully about the intended limits of the federal government’s power.”
Newt Gingrich, for all of his flaws, had at least one redeeming quality.  He thought that members of Congress should read the Constitution as well as the works of the founders so that they would have some sort of familiarity with what the words in the Constitution mean.

The Democratic leadership abandoned that idea a long, long time ago.

Christmas Perspective


Posted on : 12/25/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Via the outstanding men and women at BlackFive:


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I  gazed round the room  and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door  just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled  here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's  freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the  snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every  night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from  the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's  a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,'
And now it is my turn  and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But  my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a  foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my  sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that  this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting  and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I  asked, "or prepare you a feast?"
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from  your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love  us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

- written by Michael Marks in 2000

Merry Christmas 2012


Posted on : 12/24/2012 10:12:00 AM | By : Dann | In :

All of the best this season to my many valued readers.  As a Christmas treat, please enjoy this unique Christmas tale.  And always remember why being away in a manger may not be the most sanitary condition in the world.

Unreal Reality TV


Posted on : 12/23/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In :

One of the few "reality" TV shows that we watch from time to time at Casa de Todd is "Storage Wars".  The premise of the show is that people compete at auctions for the contents of storage containers.  The folks on the show are given a limited opportunity to view the container from an aisle way (no touching/entering please) before bidding on the contents.  What they see is what they get.

In theory.

A recent story suggests that the show's producers were juicing some of the containers that were won by the show's paid participants.  One of the participants, Dave Hester, had a spine and a conscience and protested the deceitful practice.  As a result, they stopped juicing his containers.  And then they fired him from the show.

David Hester's suit claims producers have added a BMW Mini and newspapers chronicling Elvis Presley's death to lockers in order to build drama for the show and that his complaints about the practices led to his firing.

Hester is seeking more than $750,000 in his wrongful termination, breach of contract and unfair business practices lawsuit. A&E Television Network declined comment, citing the pending lawsuit.

"Storage Wars" follows buyers who bid for abandoned storage lockers hoping to find valuables tucked inside.

"A&E regularly plants valuable items or memorabilia," the lawsuit states. Hester's suit claims he was fired from participating in the series' fourth season after expressing concerns that manipulating the storage lockers for the sake of the show was illegal.

What is interesting is that on the show, Mr. Hester is presented as a bit of a self-centered ass.  Perhaps he was just covering his.  Or perhaps reality TV really isn't all that real to begin with.  In either case, it is good to see someone doing the right thing for a change.