Overzealous Rivalry Fans


I graduated from BYU, and I enjoy watching BYU sports. I am not from Utah, but I figure it’s good to root for your alma mater, and except for a few recent years, BYU typically fields a decent team in most sports. This year was a humdinger as the football team brought back some fun from the glory days. That is about the extent of my sports enthusiasm. I just don’t get into the extreme side of sports rivalries. Sure, I understand it sells tickets, and a little fun banter is well and good – but to the point of actually literally hating someone with a passion that supports the opposing team just doesn’t make sense to me.

A little history is in order. I used to love playing sports…until I blew out my knee repeatedly and my orthopedic advised me to quit or get a new knee in a couple of years. It was a crushing blow to me. I used to play basketball 3-5 days a week, and now I was relegated to a rousing game of golf. Golf isn’t so bad, but you get the idea. A major lifestyle change was forced upon me. I am competitive by nature, and it doesn’t take much to get my blood pressure rising, so keeping it in check has been a lifelong effort on my part. With the removal of playing most sports, I enjoy from my life, the competitive side hasn’t gone away. I am all for a competitive match – foosball is the drug of choice in the office these days. It frustrates me to no end that I am the worst in the office at it by the way.

Back in the college days, I showed up to every home game of every sport I could make time for, especially football, basketball and volleyball matches. I couldn’t get enough of them. I’d show up the next day with a hoarse voice and a smile on my face, win or lose. Never painted myself blue and white, but I brought signs and props to some games, I was into it. I didn’t boo the other team though. I didn’t shout obscenities as they took the field. I have a sense of sportsmanship, and I have a little perspective in life. I have met and known many that have no sense of that perspective. I have had the opportunity to be on the sidelines for a few different teams as staff, photographer, etc. and the things I have heard and seen shouted at the visiting team would astound you.
I just don’t tie my self-image to winning at things like that. I am no fun for those that want to hit you up on Monday to tell you how much you suck, how your team sucks, and generally berate the worth of anyone supporting your team because their’s happened to win this year. I just don’t take the bait. My favorite thing is to actually pick out something good to say about a player on their team and talk about his merits; nothing diffuses an attempted heckler like complimenting their team.

I have a neighbor that graduated from the in-state rival (University of Utah), and I have to say he handles the rivalry thing with a lot of fun and tongue in cheek. I enjoy it. He definitely roots for his team, but he is the type to pull pranks, jeera little, but take defeat gracefully as well. That to me is fun. Being that he is outnumbered 10 to 1 with the neighbors on which side of the rivalry they fall on, this is probably a good practice. This year he snuck around the night before the big game and used cement chalk to draw big “U”s in the driveways of all the “Y” fans. Everyone was surprised but had a great laugh over it. Needless to say, his house was plastered with “Y”s after BYU came out ahead in the last seconds of the game.

Love your school/team/whatever, just realize there is more to life than that big game each year. Have fun with it, just keep it in the realm of reality.

Apostasy Not


I’m going to admit disappointment. Not necessarily in the quality of the debate; I doubt anyone on either side would complain their side wasn’t forcefully represented. To explain the nature of my disappointment requires some background:

In April, Dan Savage appeared before a high school journalism conference and made some comments about the Bible and about some religious students that walked out on him that caused some anger among the right wing, the religious, and the religious right wing. Dan was accused of all kinds of things, including “bullying,” and a man named Brian Brown, who is the head of the National Organization for Marriage (the pre-eminent anti-same sex, or pro-traditional, marriage organization) challenged Dan to a debate, “anytime, anywhere.”

This was Dan’s response:

“Where? My dining room table. Place? Seattle, Washington. Here’s the deal: we can fill a room with my screaming partisans and your screaming partisans and play to our respective peanut galleries, as we both have a little of the grandstander in us. I feel that will create more heat than light. So what I’d like to challenge you to do is come to my house for dinner. Bring the wife, my husband will be there. And I’ll hire a video crew and we’ll tape a sort of after-dinner debate. You have to acknowledge my humanity by accepting my hospitality, and I have to acknowledge yours by extending my hospitality to you.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was by this. Not by (necessarily) the idea of a real debate between SSM’s most important institutional opponent and it’s most, shall we say, vivid defender, but by Dan’s choice to be — what’s the word? — how about decent. When’s the last time in our continually expanding battlefield that used to be public discourse did somebody genuinely extend a hand, let alone a home-cooked meal, to an ideological enemy? And I felt the same admiration, and even pleasure when Brown accepted Dan’s offer.

That’s my porn of choice: two public figures being nice to each other. Go figure.

Anyway, the debate, as filmed and put on Youtube, unedited, was a come-down from the pre-bout hype. Not that it wasn’t combative, not that it wasn’t substantive (both of these men know their case law) but it was so… unpleasant. Whatever kindness the two men may have expressed to each other in the unfilmed dinner vanished; they retreated back into their respective corners and went at it, with the same unbending convictions they had going in.

Mark Oppenheimer, the moderator of the debate, felt the same way, writing:

It was dispiriting, but in an instructive way. Here were two Catholics — Mr. Savage born to the faith, Chicago Irish, the lapsed son of parochial schools; Mr. Brown of Quaker ancestry, but a Catholic since college, with a convert’s zeal — who could agree on nothing and could effect no change of heart in each other. They disagreed over whether Mr. Savage had the right to insult the Bible in front of high school students; about whether the New Testament endorsed slavery; and about whether the recent study by Mark Regnerus and its controversial conclusions about gay parents had any merit.

Every time they disagreed, I drank some more.

We can’t, in the end, be surprised. The “Oh my god, what have I done?” moment we all hope for happens only in movies, and other fables, and the number of public figures who have committed that sort of apostasy is very small, and those who do it are rarely rewarded. Think about it: it would be inconceivable for Dan Savage to publicly change his mind about SSM. He’d destroy his career, his reputation, his own family. But it would be just as hard for Brian Brown; his career, as well, is based on his unshakeable advocacy for his cause. What would happen to him if he said, “Hey, you know, let’s let gays get married, it’s no biggie?” He’d lose his job, his public position, maybe even his own family (we assume his wife, mother of his soon-to-be 8 children, agrees with his current views.)

In the end, we don’t really want our enemies to be convinced. We want them to be punished. I am a runner, and I often pass the time while running making Speeches at my enemies, real and imagined. I tell him or her or them how foolish and wrong they are, how ignorant of fact and devoid of decency, and I never imagine them agreeing with me. I imagine them… if I spare a thought for them at all… staring back at me, in angry silence. I don’t want an agreement; I want a victory.

So it is with Dan, and Brian, and the rest of us. In the end, one of the two sides will in this particular argument win (I’ve declared my preference.) Society will change, as it always does, and SSM will become common or illegal, and those who are on the losing side will most likely go to their graves convinced they were right anyway. And those who have won will be happy about that because to we small minded creatures there’s no point in winning if you don’t have somebody you can say you’ve beaten.

Throwing Out Cigarette Butts IS Littering


Why is it that smokers (in general) think that sharing their butts with the world is ok? Do they really believe that tossing a freshly completed cancer stick out the car window is not littering? Every time I see someone do this, I feel like driving up next to them and tossing any available garbage through their car window. Can you imagine the shock on their face when I land a shot in their back seat with a half-drunk Big Gulp and a banana peel?

I do have a theory about why this habit is so prevalent. People who smoke, for whatever reason, have chosen to completely ignore all the health risks related to this nasty habit. If you can’t tell, I am not worried about offending any readers that might happen to be smokers. You know it, we all know it – smoking is nasty and carries with it an earlier death sentence in life. You have obviously dealt with this issue in some manner and chose to ignore it. My theory is that smokers have learned not to care/respect their own health/body, so therefore they begin to not care about anyone else’s.

Throwing Out Cigarette Butts IS Littering

My same theory extends to the second-hand smoke situation. Hey, I don’t have a pack of my own, so there’s a pretty darn good chance I don’t want to inhale your byproduct. When I am camping I don’t snuggle up to the campfire and inhale deep breaths of smoke for the pure enjoyment of it. I used to be more timid about responding when people asked if I mind if they smoke. Usually, I was tolerant and just distanced myself. I learned this response from a friend. They ask “Mind if I smoke?” I respond, “Mind if I fart?” Crude, but this typically gets the point across.

I am really curious as to the rationalization smoker’s who do this have for the littering habit. Do they figure they pay enough taxes on their smokes that it should cover the crews needed to clean up after their droppings? Is this their little way of getting back against the world for coming down on them all the time? Still upset that laws are being passed to limit where they can light up? Do they just care less?

Throwing Out Cigarette Butts IS Littering

Littering in general bugs me, but smokers doing it just goes over the threshold of my tolerance. You have an ashtray in your car, and there are waste receptacles all over every major city. They are there for a purpose. Oh, and while I’m at it, smoking DOES cause cancer and YES, it is a disgusting habit. Sorry, no pulling punches on this one.

School’s Out!


Mary, the “mom”

I look forward to the end of the school year almost as much as my kids do. First and foremost, I look forward to sleeping past 5:40 on weekdays. But I also look forward to a break from worrying about all the assignments, tests, projects etc. (I know they’re not my responsibility, so why would I worry? See my earlier posts about micro-managing and you’ll get the picture!) And, believe it or not, I actually enjoy spending time with my kids when everyone is relaxed, as opposed to the normal weekday routine where everyone, including me, is stressed out.

Okay, so today’s the last day, at least for my high school student. Now what? He should have a summer job, but he doesn’t yet. (See Rach’s post about her summer job dilemma and you’ll get the idea.) Regardless of how much I enjoy spending relaxed time with him, it won’t take long for the sleeping til noon and hanging around all day to get on my nerves.

School’s Out! So, I’ve explained to him that I will have a list of extra chores for him to do around the house until he gets a summer job. I fear that I’m about to trade nagging about school work for nagging about chores. Which, of course, is in addition to nagging about a summer job.

What are your kids doing this summer? How do you handle the sudden wealth of free time?

Rach, the “teen”

The post about the summer job really helped me. It got me more motivated, and more willing to really look. I knew I needed to get one, so I answered an advertisement, went in for an interview and got a summer job. I did it because sitting around the house listening to my parent’s nag was the last thing I wanted, and it’s the last thing your kids want to.

I think the first week of summer (right after school lets out) is a great time to sleep in late, hang out with friends and get all that classic summer stuff done. Then it’s time to work.

Last summer, my dad employed me (for minimum wage) to repaint two big benches we keep outside. It took me the entire summer, but it kept me busy. I think chores like that are good for middle and high school students. One or two big simples “around the house” chore they can do.

Paint something, plant a new garden, weekly “all house” cleanings. Something that they can do when they want (flexible hours), but for a certain amount of hours a week (say, 10), and something that they have to do (for the money, for the responsibility, for the drive to the mall you promised them).

School’s Out!

It was hard painting those benches (yes, painting can be hard). But it was a good summer – because I made the rules about it. I got the work done, I felt responsible for the benches, and I got paid for it. With only a little nagging.

Brad, the “dad”

I guess I’m just the ol’ softy in the pack this time. Because I have seen how ridiculously hard the killings have been working this past year, on grades and friendships and special projects and community service, and I’m actually hearing myself saying, “Hey, it’s summer: take some time.”

Maybe I’m particularly easy on them this year because I can see the future. The Valkyrie will be heading off to college in exactly two months, and there are a work-study gig and 13 units waiting for her there. The Elf will be starting at an academically demanding high school in just a little more than that – the same school her sister just escaped from – and, as she’s been saying herself, once she gets there the grades and extra-curricular stuff really start to count.

In some ways, this is the Last Great Summer for both of them. Adulthood or a reasonable facsimile is just over the horizon. So if the Valk takes a month off (yeah, a month) to go road-tripping with her travelicious Mom, and the Elf spends a week or two (or three) doing little but sleeping in, going online and making art…okay. Just this once. Because from here on in, things are gonna get busier and more serious, and I want them to remember at least one more, one last, long, slow summer before the blitz begins.

Am I a fish in a barrel or what?

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support


The first significant mining company victim of West Africa’s ebola epidemic is on life support and like most of the human victims has little chance of survival. London Mining, which operates the Marampa iron ore mine in ebola-stricken Sierra Leone has had to call in the administrators – a task being handled by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the chances of finding a buyer who will actually cough up any significant money for the debt-ridden corporate entity are seen as virtually non-existent. While it is not the ebola epidemic itself that has been the main factor in the company’s almost certain demise, but the dramatic fall in iron ore prices, ebola has been, in effect, the final straw adding to costs and restricting potential investment interest from third parties.

London Mining started production at its Marampa mine in December 2011 and in 2013 produced 3.4 million wet tonnes of sinter concentrate. It expanded production capacity to 5.4 million tonne/year in 2013, and had been planning to increase it further to 6.5 million tonne/year. Marampa has a mineral resource of over 1 billion tonnes of iron ore including a Probable Reserve of 539million tonnes grading 31.1% Fe, sufficient for over 40 years of mine life. It employs around 1,500 people and is a significant contributor to the Sierra Leone economy.

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support The company has also completed bankable feasibility studies outlining plans for a further 20 million tonne/year of iron ore production by developing mines in Greenland and Saudi Arabia, but the figures have been thrpown into doubt given the collapse in iron ore prices..

But London Mining was already on the downward path before the ebola outbreak struck its host country and exacerbated the situation, although no-one at the mine site appears to have fallen victim to the disease. Mining and upgrading 31% tenor iron ore to compete with those like Rio Tinto, Vale and BHP who can dig the stuff out of the ground at around 60% just became less and less economic as iron ore prices slumped. The company’s share price on London’s AIM market fell from comfortably over £4 in April 2011, down to around 4 pence and now trading is suspended.

The company had been trying to find an investor to plug a financing gap which meant it had been running out of money to maintain operations. Indeed only a week ago the company’s CEO, Graeme Hossie commented that there was little or no value remaining in the company’s shares.

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support

Now it is down to the PwC administrators to try and salvage something from the wreckage. According to an announcement confirming the appointment of administrators, Russel Downs, joint administrator and PwC partner said “The collapse in iron ore prices and the resulting impacts on this business have been very dramatic and our focus is to ensure that a buyer is found for the Marampa Mine operations given it is such an important part of the Sierra Leone economy. We are liaising with key stakeholders and asking for a short window of forbearance as we look to conclude a transaction.”

In a parallel announcement, Hossey commented “Since first entering Sierra Leone in 2005, London Mining has established substantial operations at Marampa having brought back commercial mining and related economic activity to the region after 40 years. I salute all our employees for their dedication and contribution in creating what is now an important part of Sierra Leone’s economy and ongoing development. I also applaud them for the ongoing leadership role our team has played within the private sector in Sierra Leone in helping address the challenges of the current Ebola crisis. The Marampa mine retains excellent fundamentals and it is our sincere wish for it to find the appropriate financial support to continue operating over the longer term.”

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support

Thus talks are ongoing to try and at least salvage the Sierra Leone mine although companies will be nervous about sending executives to view operations in the ebola-stricken nation. India’s Jindal steel is thought to be involved in negotiations as it is one of the mine’s major customers.

It seems, though, there is only one potential strategic investor left in discussions with the company and there is no confirmation that it is, or is not, Jindal. But whoever it is it is clear that it is only interested in the mining assets and not in keeping London Mining as a going concern.

Increasing Collaboration and Productivity through Unified Communications


The essential goal of communication is to break down barriers. Whether it’s through a phone call, instant messaging or even social media, breaking down barriers is essential. In today’s society, we want to be able to communicate anytime, from anyplace, from any device. This is even more important with business communication. Better communication with your customers means a better customer experience, ultimately increasing your bottom line. Unified Communications (UC) takes our ability to communicate effectively to the next level and can substantially increase productivity. Here are a couple of ways Unified Communications can increase collaboration and productivity in your workplace:Increasing Collaboration

The mobility of a business line

Have you ever been expecting an important business phone call? A phone call that’s so important that you cannot leave your desk until you get it no matter what the circumstances are? These types of situations can cause stress in employees, reducing morale and decreasing productivity. Unified Communications gives you the flexibility to move about your office, attend off-site appointments with clients, travel anywhere or simply just have your business phone with you at all times on your mobile device.

Increasing Collaboration

Unified Communications solutions typically have mobile applications, tablet applications or desktop applications for laptops that allow you to log-in with your business line. These are over-the-top (OTT) applications similar to email/Facebook/etc. that present you with a dialing pad, contact integration, visual voicemail and more. This mobility allows you to take calls from clients anywhere, and allows you to still focus on doing your job effectively. There is no more being restricted to your desk. For me, personally, the mobility of my business line has allowed me to be more flexibility than ever before in the ever-changing environment of a high-paced office.

Collaboration through IM, file sharing and video conferencing

Collaboration is an integral part of a successful team. Whether you’re a startup or part of a large enterprise, UC gives you the ability to be a part of a productive environment through collaboration. Imagine if you were able to communicate by instant messaging with your team members, wherever you are. Imagine if you were able to share files with your team members instantaneously wherever you are. Imagine if you were able to have a high-definition video conference with your team, regardless of location, and regardless if they are on a mobile application, laptop or desktop PC. Sure, you may be able to get these options through multiple avenues, but a good Unified Communications solution will give you all of these options on one platform.

Increasing Collaboration

Giving employees access to these forms of communication will allow your business to run smoothly, allow your employees to be more efficient, increase your overall productivity, and enable better collaboration. Unified Communications solutions may be a fairly new to the game, but giving your workforce the tools and resources to communicate it a way that best suits their needs will pay big dividends down the road.

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101


What do businesses and brands have to learn from the Santorum/Savage “Google Problem”? Unwanted search results will always be alive online, and it takes an active approach to keep them managed as much as possible. With the right tactics, it’s possible to minimize reputational threats, but simply complaining about them will not find a resolution.

(Author’s note, this post is not meant to advocate for one political party or any single politician vs. another.)

Without getting into the frothy details (which you can find out about through the article links that follow in this post), Rick Santorum has become a high profile example of a common problem for many brands, businesses, and business leaders dealing with unfavorable search results that stray WAY off-message. Essentially, the candidate is dealing with a competitive attack page aimed at undermining his campaign and throwing a wrench in his own messaging.

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101

What Santorum has NOT been doing over the past 8 years of the existence of columnist Dan Savage’s rogue page, is deal with it by creating more relevant content and employing even basic SEO tactics. Instead he has protested to Google (no word if he has also complained to Bing) to remove the page in question from its search rankings. But while Google often gets requests of this nature, it stands by the algorithms placing links in appropriate order.

What Santorum’s team SHOULD be doing is employing digital and web strategies, creating more relevant links that push down the ranking of Savage’s site. Content in the form of newer blogs, websites, and especially videos (they get ranked ahead of traditional page links) that engage with his followers will rise to the top of searches. New material, along with search engine optimization techniques could redirect eyeballs to Santorum’s official and supportive pages. As of now, he’s been (as Danny Sullivan of searchengineland.com puts it) “playing hide and seek” with search engines.

According to Slate.com, the Dan Savage site has about 6 times more incoming links than Santorum’s official site. And while inbound links are not the sole measure of page rank, the lack of effort to compete on that front illustrates the larger issue. Putting your head in the sand won’t make the problem go away, and by even slowly chipping away with basic tactics it is possible to make things more manageable.

A side note on this story is how other groups that are digital-savvy have taken advantage of the situation, with services like Reputation.com as well as political rivals placing ads on the Savage page. Seeing where attention is being drawn online, and connecting with a message that aligns with viewers’ likely angle of interest, these third parties recognize the power of targeted connections.

As the campaign season continues, it will be interesting to see the path that Santorum and his team takes. A Synegrated approach in applying digital tactics along with reputation management communications can go a long way, and provides a lesson for anyone dealing with off-brand or competitive web material.

Here’s A Quick Guide to Online Reputation Management

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101
Have a social crisis plan in place

Just as any brand should have a crisis communications plan ready for traditional media, there should also be a complementary guide for social media.

Monitor your brand online

Set up Google alerts based on your company/brand name and keywords so that you are aware of online mentions.

Start blogging and commenting

Begin with one blog, but keep in mind that by creating and managing multiple blogs on different topics you will be able to link between them. Network with and comment on other blogs that are similar to yours.

Keep your social network presence up to date

Search engines favor more recent content, and sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are just the tip of the iceberg.

Curate your social networks

Be aware of choosing quality over content in regards to your friends and connections, as they may reflect back on your brand.

Ask for inaccurate information to be corrected or removed

As opposed to an intentional online attack, if someone inadvertently writes or says something misleading or off base about you, politely ask them to correct the mistake or take the content down.

How do you monitor and track your online reputation?

What additional best practice recommendation to the list?

Beachfront Hotels With Kids’ Swimming Pools in Florida


It seems like every family in America plans a Floridian vacation at some point. When the Florida summer heat becomes too stifling, adults have plenty of options for cooling off. But what are some hotels that allow kids to cool off in an appropriately sized swimming pool? Here are a few beachfront hotels in Florida that provide kids’ swimming pools.

Wyndham Vacation Resorts in Panama City Beach

This high-rise beachfront resort has spacious one- and two-bedroom suites with a full kitchen and washer/dryer. Guests also have a view of the Gulf of Mexico from their balcony and can take a walk on the white sandy beach. The hotel has a no-smoking policy and offers security services, and children can swim in the outdoor kids’ pool located near the bigger pool.

Wyndham Vacation resorts in Panama City Beach
14700 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
(850) 636-8200

Palm Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach

All the rooms at the Palm Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach have front row views of the Atlantic Ocean, private balconies, and room safes to stash valuables. Fishing and golfing packages are available, and guests can use the game room, laundry service, snack bar and heated pool, while kids can play in the outdoor kids’ swimming pool and enjoy other recreational activities. It’s only an hour from Cape Canaveral, Sea World and Disney World.

Palm Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach
3301 S Atlantic Ave
Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118
(386) 767-1711

Wyndham Palm-Aire

The Wyndham Palm-Aire resort is a gated community located approximately 15 minutes outside of Fort Lauderdale. It has 24-hour security. Its spacious one- and two-bedroom condos come with king-sized beds, sleeper sofas, washers and dryers, bathrooms with Jacuzzis, cable television, full kitchens and private balconies. Children can swim in the outdoor kids’ pool and enjoy special activity programs designed just for kids.

Wyndham Palm-Aire
2601 Palm-Aire Drive North
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
(954) 972-3300

Doubletree Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

Located along the white sandy beaches of Cocoa Beach, the Doubletree Hotel is just a few minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast. The hotel features 148 guest rooms and suites with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, free wireless Internet access, refrigerators and microwaves. Guests also enjoy private access to the oceanfront hotel’s beach and a heated outdoor pool with a kids’ swimming pool located nearby.

Doubletree Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront
2080 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931
(321) 783-9222

Wyndham Royal Vista

The Wyndham Royal Vista hotel sits right on the beach. Guest accommodations include a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, whirlpool tub, balcony and separate living area. However, not every unit provides an ocean or coastal view. Adults can swim in either of the two outdoor swimming pools, while children can use the kids’ swimming pool or the playground.

Wyndham Royal Vista
1110 South Ocean Boulevard
Pompano Beach, FL 33062
(954) 233-7500

Obama’s “Bulk Data Collection” Two Step


Last week the USA Freedom Act passed the U.S. Senate and it requires the collection of meta data to be terminated. For example, if someone in New York places a call to somebody in Germany and uses the term “bomb” that conversation could get flagged to compare the numbers and locations involved to see if there is a pattern that might relate to other data that could indicate terrorist activity.

There is not somebody sitting in a room listening to the conversations of Americans. Not only would that be illegal but it would be impossible. However the issue has become a hot topic amongst Liberals and Libertrians (many Conservative view it as a tool to fight terrorism) and thus the USA Freedom Act was passed.Obama

President Obama, however, has asked for a six month extension on the collection of meta data which a new plan is developed:

  • The Obama administration has asked a secret surveillance court to ignore a federal court that found bulk surveillance illegal and to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months.
  • The legal request, filed nearly four hours after Barack Obama vowed to sign a new law banning precisely the bulk collection he asks the secret court to approve, also suggests that the administration may not necessarily comply with any potential court order demanding that the collection stop.
  • Justice Department national security chief John A Carlin cited a six-month transition period provided in the USA Freedom Act – passed by the Senate last week to ban the bulk collection – as a reason to permit an “orderly transition” of the NSA’s domestic dragnet. Carlin did not address whether the transition clause of the Freedom Act still applies now that a congressional deadlock meant the program shut down on 31 May.


This is a very different reaction from President Obama than many of his supporters would have expected.

Here’s Obama back in 2007:

  • “I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient,” Obama said in 2007, adding that “the FISA court works.”Obama
  • Again critiquing “the Bush administration’s initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens,” Obama promised to “update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law.”
  • The biggest issue is not that Obama’s views on the matter have changed since he’s been president it’s that he hasn’t admitted that the rhetoric he used to help get elected – and attack the Bush presidency and the national security of this country – was misguided.

Obama’s supporters like to cast the Republicans as lawless but who has done a 180 and became what he decried?

How to Explain the Democratic Collapse


Mid-term elections – especially if one person has been president for 6 years – almost always result in the ruling party taking a hammering. But this mid-term was different because not only did Democrats lose seats in both the House and Senate but they also lost governorships in key strongholds like Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts and states that had been counting as newly “flipped” like Colorado also went red.

And in Liberal states like Oregon ballot initiatives that one would assume would pass such as giving driver’s licenses to illegals actually went down in flames. Leftist strongholds like San Francisco didn’t disappoint by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and Berzerkely – I mean Berkeley – passing a soda tax.
But they were the exception, not the rule.


Republicans saw “Abortion Barbie” Wendy Davis lose her election bid – and much of the female vote – in Texas while Republicans saw the election of the first black senator in the South since Reconstruction and black Conservative Mia Love win her race in the House. Arkansas also went Republican – despite Bill Clinton’s efforts and Sandra Fluke lost her bid for election in California.

A few things happened. Republicans captured 10% of the black vote and many blacks simply stayed home.


We can’t discount the role that racism played in 2008 and 2012 – many blacks went to the polls and voted for Obama because he’s black – but we didn’t see much evidence of that this time around.

Democrats have become very lazy and pretty much campaigned on social issues which matter little when people are unemployed or struggling to pay their healthcare costs.

The GOP now controls a majority of state legislatures and governorships as well as the House of Representatives and the Senate.


President Obama, meanwhile, held a press conference where he said he didn’t care what the election results were he’d simply do what he wanted.

He hasn’t learned a damn thing mostly because he doesn’t think he was wrong he believes the voters were. This despite the fact that his supporters and party has abandoned him.
It is too early to tell whether this win marks the start of a Republican domination or whether it’s just a blip on the radar however one thing is for certain… Republicans should enjoy it before they get down to work.