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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 43,251

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Cecil Adams (The Straight Dope) had a good column today on Secret Societies:

"Dear Cecil: The Straight Dope columns I find particularly interesting are the ones about secret societies: the Illuminati, the Bilderbergs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Masons, etc. I'm not sure whether I should beat 'em, join 'em, or continue to relegate them to the land of paranoid delusions. Can you give me the Straight Dope?"

"You’re missing the big picture, John. Sure, I could riff on the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, or the League of Hyrax — or I could tell you about the more insidious secretive societies that hide in plain sight. These organizations are far more dangerous than a bunch of balding ex-frat brothers sitting around naked in the woods plotting world domination. They work right out in the open, knowing the average person can’t fathom how deep the swamp really is."


"Finally, the most insidious secretive society of all — lobbyists. They don’t work for the government; typically they’re former government employees who put their insiders’ contacts and knowledge at the service of whatever private interest is willing to pay their steep rates. How steep? For a crude idea, divide the estimated $3.3 billion 2012 lobbying tab by the 12,400 known lobbyists, for an average of $266,000 per lobbyist. Acquiring votes ain’t cheap.

Who pays that kind of money? The National Rifle Association at $3 million is a piker compared to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, number one at $136 million. The rest of the top five might seem noncontroversial — the National Association of Realtors, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, General Electric, and the American Hospital Association. But think: what businesses are these people are in?"

Whole column at:


"If Unknown Soldier had a name, he could write it on a form & then be on an endless waiting list for

Veterans benefits." - Frank Conniff


Picture from the new "Man of Steel" movie. Not sure the retro look works....

It is very easy to advocate changes AFTER something happens.

It is called closing the barn door after the cow gets out. Where were all the voices calling for improved storm shelters BEFORE the tornado hit? Moore, OK should have the message now. Hopefully they, and other towns in similar circumstances will improve their disaster preparations.

The country needs to change its entire mindset and prepare for future disasters. We also need a wholesale re-investment in improving/upgrading the country's infrastructure. This should be a main issue for the Democratic Party. Improving the infrastructure will create jobs in every district, ever community across the nation.

I suspect that this will require ousting the extreme right wing from the House, Senate, and Governor's mansions. It needs to be done and it needs to start now.

"Obama approval ratings UP. So tiny group of millionaire Beltway pundits & GOP are out of touch w/

the public? No way!" - Frank Conniff


They're here!

This morning there was a cicada sitting on my deck railing.

"You do what you hafta do" from Derf

Truth in Commencement Speeches

From Brian McFadden:


From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Rob Rogers:

Wish he had waited a week. He could have included the IRS and AP.

Not to imply Mark Sanford is sleazy, but it wouldn't be a bad idea if Charles Ramsey moved in across

the street from him." - TV's Frank

More at https://twitter.com/frankconniff
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