News & Notes September 17, 2012

One hundred and fifty years ago today troops gathered outside Sharpsburg, Maryland and the Battle of Antietam began.  The bloodiest single day of the Civil War happened along Antietam Creek.  Several hundred thousand history buffs have descended on the Hagerstown region where the battlefield lies nearby.  I remember taking my Mom there when she lived in Hagerstown and touring the battlefield.   Next year is the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg and hotel rooms are already booked up for that reenactment.

Chicago teachers continue their strike this week as moves to strip workers of their rights continues.  Too many teachers are working in poor conditions and those in Chicago are as bad as anywhere.  300,000 educators have lost their jobs and millions are working on pay freezes.  How many lawyers, accountants, engineers and other professionals would work under these conditions?

T-Mobile negotiated in bad faith with workers at its Allentown call center then closed the facility.  This company is virulently anti-union and anti-worker so please don’t use their communications services.  Here’s a video from the Communications Workers of America telling a few of the personal stories of this action:

In other union news a Wisconsin judge struck down Gov. Scott Walker’s law saying teachers cannot organize.

The DCCC has named PA-07 as a Red to Blue targeted seat.  George Badey is challenging Pat Meehan in the five county gerrymandered district.

Have you seen Tom Smith’s strange ad attacking Bob Casey for supporting the stimulus?  That economic bill saved or created 3 million jobs.  We saw just how effective it was when it ended and 14,000 Pennsylvania teachers lost their jobs along with thousands of support staff and state employees.  The stimulus bill funded them for two years.  Smith says all the bill did was create jobs in China.  You know he’s from the coal industry when it turns out he’s completely in the dark.  Casey’s new ad reminds voters Tom Smith is a tea bagger and proud of it:

A lot of ARRA money came to Pennsylvania to research batteries, clean energy and to fund cutting edge entrepreneurs.  Smith is a coal mining executive so no wonder he didn’t like investments in actual clean energy.

State Senate candidate Rob Teplitz is calling for an independent audit of the state legislature.  Taxpayers have a right to know where and how their money is spent.  There is no disclosure or transparency in the budget for the House and Senate.  There has been widespread fraud and abuse there as evidenced by all the legislators and staff who are now in prison.  If we’re all hot and bothered about waste, fraud and abuse in DPW we shouldn’t then be hypocritical about doing so in this budget.

One of the myths repeated by ditto-heads trying to brainwash voters is that tax cuts create jobs.  Not only is there no evidence to support the claim all economic data show otherwise.  A new study over 65 years of data shows how tax cuts actually hurt the economy.

Mitt Romney is worried President Obama will lie during the debates.  This is a pathetic way of trying to cover his own butt for all the lies he has been spouting and which will be disclosed during those debates.  He’s simply talking in code to his supporters so they’ll think it’s his opponent getting caught in lies instead of the actual culprit.  This is a mental illness called progression.  

Why is it conservatives need to speak to each other in coded?  Is it because even they’re ashamed of their bigotry, racism, elitism and lack of empathy?

A collection of Romney’s flip flops:

I find that the stupider a person is the more likely they’re a devoted listener of Rush or a viewer of Faux News.  Smart people tend to be more liberal.  Even Rick Santorum has figured this out.  He said “smart people will never be on our side.”  Yes Rick, smart people know better.

News & Notes May 23, 2012

The Obama Bethlehem office had a good turnout for Harvey Milk Day.  Adrian Shanker, President of Equality Pennsylvania, spoke about the gains for the community from the Obama Administration.  Liz and Trish from the Pennsylvania Diversity Network were also there.  The Obama campaign launches its LGBT outreach with a conference call this morning.  In light of the medical marijuana crackdown how this impacts those living with AIDS is something which was not addressed on the call this morning.

Sen. Casey is under pressure to support marriage equality now that President Obama is on board.

Has Newark Mayor Cory Booker doomed any chance he had of gaining higher office.  He went on Meet The Press and criticized President Obama’s Bain Capital ads.  How is Obama using the issue different from his Republican rivals using it in the primaries?  This is a big deal and it is what he predicates his qualifications to be president on.  That demands examination.

The situation at Fukushima is getting dire.  Another earthquake now might jeopardize the lives of most people living in the northern hemisphere according to some experts.

There’s more data about why Tea baggers are so stupid:  they watch Fox News.  Of course this is a lifestyle choice so perhaps we can round them up, send them to electrified camps and wait for them to die.  That’s what Pastor Worley would recommend, I’m sure.

Speaking of Pastor Worley, now he’s saying that “forty years ago they would’ve hung (homosexuals), bless god, from a white oak tree.”  The problem with this is not only its bigotry but the ignorance from Worley that such things have happened.  How different is a white oak tree from the wood (faggots) used to burn gays alive during the Dark Ages or the fence to which Matthew Shephard was chained and left to die?  Having a pulpit is no excuse to exercise in hate speech.  Real people get hurt by things people like Worley say.

A new effort is underway to mandate that all state campaign finance reports be submitted electronically.  Pennsylvania may yet enter the 21st century in one way.  Fair elections require disclosure prior to election day.

Fox viewers are the least knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about politics and current events than people who watch no news at all.

Marcellus shale drilling consumed 1.5 billion gallons of our precious water last year.  There was so much gas produced that there is now a glut on the market and prices for gas have collapsed.  Royalty checks are also on the decline and some landowners may see nothing for those well pads located on their property.  Imagine living with a drill rig going 24/7 and getting nothing for it?

Bill DeWeese’s vacation from prison was short lived.  He was ordered to return yesterday pending the outcome of his appeal.  The naughty former House Speaker has had all of his offices and staff removed.

One of the stains on the Obama record is his militant assault on legal marijuana in states which have legalized its use for medicinal purposes.  So much for him being a liberal, much less a socialist lefty.

Keystone Progress reports that all Pennsylvania Democrats have left ALEC.  Why were they there in the first place?

News & Notes May 19, 2012

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court finally suspended Justice Melvin after she turned herself in on nine criminal charges Friday.  She will continue getting her $195,000 salary plus benefits.  Included in the counts is one for official oppression, perhaps the most serious charge a Judge can face.  It means she abused her position of power against another person.  Staffers testified about being fired or shunned after refusing to do political work on state time.

Justice Melvin cleverly wore a flag pin and cross for her day in court.  Never trust anyone who feels they must display their faith or their patriotism.

Former State House Speaker Bill DeWeese was released from prison pending his appeal.  He was convicted of using state resources for political work, a practice which was all to common and has sent many politicians to jail.  Joan Orie Melvin and her sisters ignored all the high profile prosecutions for this while they assumed they were above the law.  How the mighty fall who are filled with arrogance and hubris.

Another example is that of former presidential candidate John Edwards.  His case went to the jury this week.  I doubt he’ll be convicted:  not enough evidence was provided that money to pay off his pregnant mistress actually went through his campaign finance accounts.  That would have to be proven for charges to stand.  Still, the man did some despicable deeds.  His campaign message of Two Americas and his focus on the plight of poverty in this nation were commendable and preceded the Occupy movement.

Facebook stock went on sale yesterday.  I have to admit I’m a facebook addict.  I get much of the material for these columns via social media.  Those standing to become very, very rich from the IPO took measures to insure they didn’t pay their fair share of taxes and that got the attention of Sen. Bob Casey Jr.  He and Sen. Chuck Schumer introduced legislation to prohibit people like Eduardo Saverin, who renounced his citizenship to avoid paying those taxes, the right to re-enter the country.  It’s all about rights and responsibilities…

Another Birther Congressman claims, after being caught, he simply “misspoke.”  Maybe he should have “thought” first.  The problem is that requires an ability to think critically and requires some degree of intelligence.

Birthers got up in a huff this week after (of course no one can trust anything posted their for factual value) published a memo from an Obama publisher.  The memo said he had been born in Kenya.  A bit of fact checking would have found this:

“This was nothing more than a fact-checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time,” Miriam Goderich, who worked for the literary agency Acton & Dystel, told Yahoo News. “There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii.”


On the bright side if all these conspiracy theorists keep spending their time trying to prove the unprovable they aren’t trying to convince us to invade more countries based on lies.

Here’s the danger for conservatives who try and drag Rev. Wright into the presidential campaign again:  it makes Romney’s Mormonism fair game as John Aravosis did yesterday.

The OAG hasn’t had much scrutiny despite some missteps, especially in the Sandusky case.  The Pennsylvania ACLU is taking Attorney general Linda Kelly (she replaced Gov. Gasbag) to task for not investigating the NYPD for civil rights violations against PA Muslims.

The AP reported that the NYPD had monitored about 250 mosques, universities and businesses, without any evidence of wrongdoing.  In February 2012, the AP reported that the NYPD was monitoring Muslim college students at over a dozen universities far beyond the New York city and state limits, including at the University of Pennsylvania.  In light of these disturbing reports, the ACLU-PA, in coalition with 20 civil rights, student, faith-based, and civic groups, sent a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly requesting that her office undertake an immediate investigation of the NYPD’s surveillance of law-abiding Muslim communities in Pennsylvania.

The Attorney General refused our request.

Here’s a refreshing look at equality:

Congressional Republicans broke their budget agreement with the White House by passing an alarming defense bill.  Why we’re spending gargantuan amounts on the Pentagon while cutting programs for the poor is defenseless (pun intended).  Breaking an agreement they required after holding the country’s debt hostage shows they cannot be trusted.

A bit of reality talk about the economy and “job creators:”

No consumers (meaning people with good jobs and discretionary income)=no jobs.

More on the economy:

News & Notes May Day Edition

This is my third time writing this today.  Every time I got halfway through Firefox crashed taking the work with it…  Now I’m using Chrome and trying to figure out how it works.  At least Chrome remembers my passwords and saves my tabs (I hope!).  My 64 bit system simply hasn’t worked well with Firefox and after today’s failures I’m fed up.

Today is May Day, the traditional labor celebration day worldwide.  Many general strikes were planned.  Occupy movements are also scheduled to resume as of today.  Occupy Delaware has been broken up though, as of this morning, several tents remained.  Occupy Wilkes-Barre says it will resume.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Easton tomorrow speaking at Lafayette College.  I plan on being there for coverage.

The President is in Afghanistan where 90 minutes ago he and President Karzai signed an agreement for ten years of cooperation after the 2014 U.S. withdrawal.  I’m on a White House conference call about it as I type.  The agreement says the U.S. will not maintain military bases in the country.  

Iraq is buying American fighter jets as the real reasons for our failed invasion there evolve:  it’s all about business.

Last week Pat Toomey joined every other male Republican Senator voting against the Violence Against Women Act.  The renewal expanded coverage to Native Americans, members of the LGBT community and others.  A section written by Bob Casey expands protections for college coeds who are a disproportionate number of the rapes in that age group.  Date rape continues being a problem at colleges and universities.  Why does Pat Toomey hate women?  Though the bill passed the Senate a House version passed today strips LGBT protections.  According to Republicans it’s OK for gays and lesbians to be beaten.

The Pennsylvania ACLU is initiating legal action against Gov. Corbett and the Commonwealth over Voter ID.  The fact PennDOT is insisting on charging people for state issued identity papers for voting makes this a poll tax.  Those have been struck down by the Supreme Court.  This is the first of many legal actions to come caused by Corbett’s radical agenda which taxpayers will forced to cough up dollars to fund.  Instead of educating our children, providing services for the disabled and fixing our roads we’ll be paying lawyers in losing causes.

The AFL-CIO is ridiculing Mitt Romney:

New Mexico Senate candidate Eric Griego has a new ad targeting Heather Wilson on Social Security and Medicare:

This will be an interesting race to watch, New Mexico is a swing state and this open seat is a bellweather.

The Fox/Rupert Murdoch hacking scandal continues unfolding.  James Murdoch stepped down as head of the Fox empire in Britain and today Parliament found Murdoch senior “unfit” to run the company:

Texas efforts to defund Planned Parenthood met a roadblock when their law was declared unconstitutional.  It has already cost the Lone Star State $35 billion in federal Medicaid funding.  Rep. Daryl Metcalfe plans on introducing a similar initiative here soon.  Meanwhile the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down its “fetal personhood” legislation.

Poor Mitt Romney:  just after hiring a communications guru infamous for his sexist Tweets (he scrubbed his Tweets after being hired) Ric Grenell has quit already.  Instead of his horrible sexist comments about women (and, especially Rachel Maddow) being the cause for his exit it is his sexual orientation.  Republican extremists couldn’t bear having  a gay man in that position.

Kane May Have Violated Federal Election Law

Kathleen Kane wants to be Pennsylvania’s Attorney General but seems to be having trouble obeying federal election law.  In a telephone conversation Monday her media person Joshua Morrow insisted to me that she had never been an executive at her husband’s firm Kane Is Able.  Patrick Murphy’s campaign alleged that she had made FEC contributions saying she was and that the firm was anti-worker and anti-union.  The Kane campaign never contested those facts, just that she had never been associated with the company.

Yet on numerous occasions she filed legal forms with candidates and campaigns listing her occupation as an executive at Kane Is Able.  These include monetary contributions just last year to Bob Casey’s Senate re-election campaign and previously to Joe Sestak’s Senate race, Arlen Specter in 2010 and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  That last contribution dates to October of 2006.  The FEC posts all documents online in their original form and contributors to federal campaigns must fill them out for every contribution.  This means Kane stated her official occupation, for federal election purposes, numerous times as Executive, Kane Is Able.

Is the Kane campaign lying about her record or did Kathleen Kane commit federal election law violations?

Here are links to some of the documents:…………

Morrow contacted me ordering me to retract a statement I published from the Murphy campaign and said “I’d be sorry if I didn’t.”  When I double checked the facts I found their statement was entirely accurate.  I then told Mr. Morrow that I thought their attacks on the Congressman’s war record were unworthy and backfiring.  It’s never a good strategy to impair an opponent’s service to their country, especially when, in Patrick’s case, he was awarded the Bronze Star for that work.

The Murphy campaign kindly provided me with the official narrative written in granting him the award for his work in the Judge Advocate’s Office where he did, indeed, prosecute terrorists.  Specifically, Sheikh Tohma and Sheikh Moyad, a top lieutenant of Moqtada al Sadr.

It is unbecoming to attempt to mar the record of a war hero in order to achieve elective office and Ms. Kane should be ashamed.  The words of her manager were totally speculative and completely unfounded.

I contacted Mr. Morrow for comment but he hasn’t responded.

Let’s Get Blunt: Sen. Casey Votes With the Pope

The Senate voted on the Blunt Amendment Thursday and our Senators both voted against a measure to table the item.  Tabling effectively kills a bill and the vote was a close 51-48.  Casey was one of only three Democrats to vote for the Amendment.  The Blunt Amendment was designed as an anti-contraception measure but went well beyond that allowing an employer to deny medical coverage based on any personal beliefs.

The Catholic Church, of course, is quite against contraception.  It isn’t enough that don’t have enough clean, potable water or food for the billions now living on this planet but the amount of fresh water is limited and declining due to pollution.  The prehistoric notion to “go forth and multiply” is insane dogma.

Our wretched health care system already puts your employer between you and your doctor as they decide what type of plan you receive with what benefits and procedures covered.  If the Blunt Amendment had passed you could have been denied more than contraception coverage.  Diabetics could be refused coverage along with those who are HIV+, anyone with a condition resulting from being Jewish, Black (sickle cell anemia), obese, female, male (erectile dysfunction or testicular cancer) or any of a myriad of other reasons.

This was a horrendously bad amendment but Casey obviously took marching orders from the Vatican and opposed the motion to table.  JFK would be mournful today watching fellow Catholics representing the Pope instead of their constituents.

Indefinite Detention

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed this week funding The Pentagon for a staggering $662 billion for the fiscal year.  That total wasn’t the focus of the bill however.  Provisions inserted by Carl Levin and John McCain, at the request of the Obama Administration, say a president can declare anyone an “enemy combatant” and have our military detain and imprison us without trial indefinitely.  This marks the end of democracy in America if any leader can arbitrarily arrest a citizen and hold them without trial forever.  These are police state tactics.

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware argued on Up With Chris this morning on MSNBC that he voted for the bill for several reasons.  First he didn’t want to defund the Defense Department while the nation is at war.  His second reason was that since, statutorily Congress cannot enact such legislation which contradicts the constitution, the Supreme Court will strike it down.  Neither argument is valid.

First, defund the The Pentagon and we won’t be “at war” any longer.  This is the most direct way to bring an end to a bad war where we have no clear mission, Osama has been eliminated along with 22 of the top 30 Al Qaeda leaders and we are doing harm than good to our strategic national security.

On his second argument one cannot assume the Roberts Court would overturn such provisions.  Meanwhile great harm can be done.  That wouldn’t stop a president from implementing these powers and start arresting Occupy protesters for example.  They would disappear to, who knows where?  Gitmo?  One of those secret CIA prisons overseas?  We’d never know and, with no access to legal counsel the detainees couldn’t even challenge the constitutionality of their arrests.  Congress has passed all sorts of unconstitutional legislation since 9/11:  the USA PATRIOT Act, expanded FISA abuse, the wiretapping of everyone’s communications and examination of billions of financial transactions and nothing yet has been overturned by SCOTUS.  So that argument has no merit whatsoever.

Under this law you could contribute funds to a religious charity and, if, unknown to you, the money was transferred to a person or body deemed to be hostile or terroristic, you could be arrested and disappear ala Salvadore Allende style in Chile.

America has become yet another banana republic controlled by tyrants.  Both Bob Casey and Pat Toomey voted for this.  What will you do about it?

Random Thoughts

A new woman has come forward claiming a 13 year affair with Herman Cain.  No word from Mrs. Cain but Herman says it is no one’s business if he committed adultery.  Say what you want about Newt’s serial adultery but at least he married them.

Tobey Maguire is returning money he won fair and square in a gentleman’s poker game.  Just because some fool lost hundreds of thousands in high stakes poker doesn’t mean he (or his estate) doesn’t honor their debts.  If you can’t risk losing you shouldn’t be playing.  There’s no evidence any of the players knew he was losing money he’d stolen in a Ponzi scheme so why should they have to repay investors?  Is nothing sacred any more?

Barney Frank isn’t seeking re-election next year.  This frees him up to accept unlimited bribes from Wall Street banks.

A judge has rejected a $285 million settlement against Citibank.  He thinks it isn’t sufficient and that the public should be informed what the bank did, this time, to get such a slap on its wrist.

What idiot would claim there’s no such thing as income inequality?  This one:

There are so many absurdities on this spiel one hardly knows where to begin.  Teachers “are allowed to exist?”  News flash:  we don’t need stock brokers in order to have teachers.  Without teachers those morons on Wall Street wouldn’t even know how to add and subtract or how to commit massive fraud.

A gay couple on layover in Denver were called “faggots” by a United Airlines supervisor.  Don’t fly United folks.

Bob Casey aggressively courted the gay community in 2006 despite a career of gay bashing.  He promised he’d seen the light and would support equality.  Now it’s time to pay up on the DOMA vote.  We’re watching Bob.

Random Thoughts

Sen. Bob Casey’s former Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff is now working for VP Joe Biden.  Gee, I never thought Casey had a press secretary.  Every time I’ve tried approaching him for something they lose my card.  That office was invisible to bloggers.

Speaking of which the White House blogger outreach guy Jesse Lee will become Director of Progressive Media & Online Response.  I hope this doesn’t diminish the great access we bloggers have had with this White House.  I’m on White House conference calls regularly and receive daily press releases and notifications, especially anything related to Pennsylvania.  I wish our Congressional staffs were half as cooperative as the WH has been.  Heck, even 25% would be an improvement.

While our Democratic Talk Radio show has been off the air since October (funding issues, Labor doesn’t seem to want to fund Labor oriented radio, even in a time when they are under attack) it seems right wing radio is wearing out its listeners.  Rush’s Arbitron ratings are down 33%.  Don’t worry Rush baby you’ll always have your Oxy.

Tea Party baby Michelle Bachmann has been offered a constitutional debate by a high school sophomore.  Since then the girl has been attacked by the right wingnuts including threats of rape.  Now Bachmann is threatening witchcraft against America if it doesn’t back Israel’s imperialistic ambitions.  I thought Chrisitne O’Donnell was the witch?  Perhaps Michelle will offer Christine the chance to place the curse.

Tea baggers have been carrying copies of the constitution with them at rallies for two years.  It might be nice if they read it sometime.  There’s an Amendment there which guarantees free assembly and free speech.  It’s so important the Founding Fathers made it #1.  In Michigan they barred the media from a “town hall” which was closed to everyone except Tea Party people.  Congressman Justin Amash closed his event to a small group of senior citizens and the media.  Then they called security (twice) by lying that these wild and crazy elderly folks were throwing things.  The only thing being thrown out were their rights.  So much for Tea bagger transparency.  Whatever, we can see right through them.

I’m sick and tired of hearing from conservatives that America is broke.  We aren’t, the wealth and riches are just being concentrated among the very few richest people.

Local Tea Party wannabe John Fielding, fired from the Berks County Public Defenders Office is running for school board in the Antietam area again.  Too cheap to spring for real signs he made his own and they’re as dark as his soul:

Meanwhile Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach, another Tea bagger, is lying on his campaign signs:

Leinbach campaigned four years ago against the $80 million rainy day fund established by the then Democratic Board.  He promised to return the money to the taxpayers yet hasn’t introduced a single resolution to do so.  How is that “promises made, promises kept?”  Instead he has increased the balance in that fund.  I thought this was supposed to be the taxpayer’s money?

Interim Attorney General Linda Kelly was confirmed by the PA Senate to succeed Toxic Tom Corbett.

News & Notes March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Hereby declare that spring has arrived.  Party on.

The situation in Japan is deepening daily.  No one believes anything being said by either Tokyo Power or the Japanese government.  The same thing happened at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.  There seem to be meltdowns at two of the six reactors at Dai’ichi and spent fuel rods in cooling ponds are also exposed.  A nuclear plume is now on its way encircling the earth while American officials continue to claim that nuclear power is safe.  Yes, the world is also flat.

We’re now entering the fourth part of this disaster.  The quake was first, the tsunami second, the nuclear meltdown third and now an economic meltdown.  Japan will need to begin its vast investment in U.S. Treasury bonds to finance rebuilding its country.  This will greatly reduce the market for future bonds and cripple America’s ability to continue deficits and foster economic growth.  Meanwhile markets are collapsing.

Tom Corbett’s budget isn’t being welcomed.  A F&M poll shows clear opposition to his austerity cuts and refusal to tax gas extraction.  78% are against his cuts for public education, 67% oppose the higher education cuts, 72% say he should tax smokeless tobacco and cigars, 62% want an extraction tax 64% support privatizing the state liquor stores.  The Wine & Spirits Shoppes contribute $500 million a year to the state general fund every year.  Are they willing to pay more income tax to replace that revenue?  No by 68%.  Where do they think the money is coming from?  If the people want to be tough on crime, lock everyone up, they have to be willing to pay for it.

Sen. Bob Casey has introduced his FRAC Act again.  The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act increases accountability by requiring better disclosure and regulation.  Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) is the House sponsor.

WFMZ Channel 69 had egg on its face Tuesday evening when it ran this graphic before the polls had even closed:

New State Senator Judy Schwank is hitting the ground running as budget hearing are set to get underway in Harrisburg.  The Berks County Elections Board must still certify the election results before she can be sworn in.  Sen. O’Pake’s staff remains in place providing her with people from the get go.

The next State Senate special election is likely to be for Jane Orie’s Pittsburgh area seat.  Once her retrial on public corruption charges is rescheduled potential candidates will begin lining up support.  Following her first trial and the announcement her defense fabricated evidence her conviction seems to be inevitable.  The vast amount of evidence against her proved indefensible.

Republicans have decided (along with too many union officials) that teachers must accept pay freezes.  This is because Wall Street bankers defrauded public pension funds of $7 trillion with junk securities rated AAA.  Fraudulent mortgages sold illegally contributed to the collapse of the economy forcing sales and income taxes to plummet.  The recession is entirely their fault but they want you to pay for it.  How fair is that?  Why aren’t we imposing major taxes on these criminal banks to recapture that money?  Why are we punishing teachers instead?

Yet another Republican needs to learn to keep his real opinions to himself.  This one in Kansas thinks immigrants should be treated like wild animals and shot from helicopters like wild hogs.