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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking with clarity and passion, answers Crafty's challenge! on: March 07, 2014, 12:29:11 AM
Some real fire in the belly there!  He needs more of this!

Sen. Marco Rubi read Crafty's post and has agreed to step up his game. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ITBac4ytyc
 
On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference attendees with a fiery speech focused on redefining America’s approach to foreign affairs. He defined the threats he warned that the United States will face in the near future and defined current and long-term America’s economic challenges in terms relating to the preservation of free trade guaranteed by American military and diplomatic strength.

“We are right on the verge, if we make a few right decisions, of a new American century,” Rubio began. He took a populist approach to arguing against “big government” by saying that large corporations are able to “deal with big government,” while other smaller firms are not able to compete. He added that Democratic politicians are creating “disunity” in the country by focusing on addressing “inequality” rather than expanding access to opportunity.

“This notion that we’re going to pit Americans against each other on issue after issue is something that we should never accept as a people, because it’s never been who we are and it isn’t who we are right now,” Rubio said.

He pivoted to foreign policy, defining the threats faced by the United States. He said that China is threatening to take parts of the South China Sea which would limit trade and threaten America’s allies, a nuclear North Korea is testing missiles, Venezuela is slaughtering protesters, and Cuba remains an oppressive dictatorship. He added that Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons and regional hegemony and Russia is attempting to “reconstitute” the former Soviet Union.

“And by the way, what do all these countries have in common?” he asked. “These are totalitarian governments.”

“There is only one nation on earth capable of rallying and bringing together the free people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarianism,” Rubio said. “The United Nations cannot do this. In fact, they cannot do anything.”

“We cannot ignore that the flawed foreign policy of the last few years has brought us to this stage, because we have a president who believed but by the sheer force of his personality he would be able to shape global events,” Rubio asserted. “We do not have the luxury of seeing the world the way we hope it would be. We have to see the world the way it is. And we have to address these issues before they grow unmanageable, and they threaten, not just our freedoms, but our economy.”

“[Ronald] Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union because they had nuclear weapons and he wanted peace, but he never accepted the Soviet Union,” he declared. He said went on to outline how the behavior of the Iranian government should be unacceptable to the American public and regarded as illegitimate.

“If you think high taxes and regulations are bad for our economy, so is global instability and the spread of totalitarianism,” Rubio added. “What we have in America is the exception, not the rule, in human history. Almost everyone who has ever lived on this planet didn’t’ get to choose their leaders, and they didn’t get to choose their life either.”

“Every time I talk about how special America is, some commentator or whoever it may be will roll their eyes and say, ‘Well, that’s just something Americans tell each other to make themselves feel good,’” Rubio said. “You have the right to believe that. I don’t have that option, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / God Bless my Mom on: March 06, 2014, 10:24:46 AM
http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/14025661/?fullname=nancy-l-macgibbon
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: PJ O'Rourke's amici brief on: March 06, 2014, 10:18:17 AM

Steven Hayward called it the "Best. Supreme Court. Brief. Ever."
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/best-supreme-court-brief-ever.php
Steven Driehaus is the sore-loser Democrat who is suing Susan B. Anthony List for independent ads they ran in the election that cost Driehaus his Ohio congressional seat.  I can’t imagine he has much of a case, but it’s made it to the high court anyway.  O’Rourke and his co-authors, which include the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro, defend the idea that opinionated speech is not only protected under the First Amendment, but essential to democracy.  Such as:

    After all, where would we be without the knowledge that Democrats are pinko-communist flag-burners who want to tax churches and use the money to fund abortions so they can use the fetal stem cells to create pot-smoking lesbian ATF agents who will steal all the guns and invite the UN to take over America? Voters have to decide whether we’d be better off electing Republicans, those hateful, assault-weapon-wielding maniacs who believe that George Washington and Jesus Christ incorporated the nation after a Gettysburg reenactment and that the only thing wrong with the death penalty is that it isn’t administered quickly enough to secular- humanist professors of Chicano studies. . .

While President Obama isn’t from Kenya, he is a Keynesian—so you can see where the confusion arises.

    Driehaus voted for Obamacare, which the Susan B. Anthony List said was the equivalent of voting for taxpayer- funded abortion. Amici are unsure how true the allegation is given that the healthcare law seems to change daily, but it certainly isn’t as truthy as calling a mandate a tax.

See also: http://www.georgescoville.com/2014/03/p-j-orourke-ilya-shapiro-cato-institute-amici-curiae-brief-susan-b-anthony-list-v-driehaus/
104  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Know your rights when the police stop you on: March 06, 2014, 09:58:41 AM
This seems to me like something that should be broadly disseminated for the good of all, LEO and citizen alike.
GM, does this pass muster for you?
http://www.online-paralegal-programs.com/legal-rights/
I didn't see any glaring errors. I'll look it over in more detail and report back.

Under "Never" it says "Never Answer Questions"

This is written from a defense attorney's point of view to a future client.  Whatever the accused said is on the record and won't go away.  I would just add, on the other hand, there are times with law enforcement where you might want to be helpful. 

Late night police stops around here for minor infractions, tail light, rolling stops, etc. are aimed at finding something else, drunk drivers in particular.  IF you have had nothing to drink and have nothing else to hide, being cooperative seems like a better strategy than saying I don't have t answer that.  Not consent to a search, but to answer their questions hopefully shows your sobriety quickly so they can get on with their next stop.

I had one encounter with law enforcement that comes to mind; it was not a police stop but a criminal investigation of sorts.  I was leaving my office to meet with the Mpls Fire Chief about an apartment building fire when my insurance adjuster warned me on the phone that as owner of the building with an insurance policy in force, I was their first suspect.  I was shocked; that is ridiculous!  I was a thousand miles away when it happened and I can prove it.  Then I thought through that excuse and realized that sounded exactly the same as the alibi they would hear if I had arranged the fire.  So I got focused on being extremely helpful and forthcoming in helping them solve the crime.  With my keys I got them into units where the tenants would not let him in.  Answering everything and then some sure seemed like a better strategy than acting guilty, but only I knew I was innocent and that no evidence could be discovered that would point to me.  (Now I self-insure.)

105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: March 05, 2014, 09:12:15 AM
On this day in 1946 Winston Churchill delivered his Iron Curtain Speech at Westminster College in Fulton Missouri:
 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/churchill-iron.asp
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Congressional races 2014, Charlie Cook: a very ugly year for Democrats on: March 04, 2014, 05:13:11 PM
Charlie Cook
March 3, 2014

"There are now at least 10, and potentially as many as 13, Democratic-held [US Senate] seats in jeopardy."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/off-to-the-races/congressional-democrats-face-uphill-battle-in-midterms-20140303
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine gave up its weapons in exchange for US protection on: March 04, 2014, 05:09:10 PM
1994, Ukraine was a nuclear pwer.  Does ANYONE remember this?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10667111/Ukraine-pleads-for-Britain-and-US-to-come-to-its-rescue-as-Russia-accused-of-invasion.html


http://unterm.un.org/DGAACS/unterm.nsf/8fa942046ff7601c85256983007ca4d8/fa03e45d114224af85257b64007687e0?OpenDocument

The two Western powers signed an agreement with Ukraine in 1994, which Kiev's parliament wants enforcing now. The Budapest Memorandum, signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – promises to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

Article one reads: "The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine ... to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine."

And Kiev is now claiming that their country's borders are not being respected. 
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 03, 2014, 02:35:35 PM
JFK: "The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeYgLLahHv8#t=46

Barack Obama:  “This has been a secret project we’ve been working on for a long time."  Private researchers working with the  Pentagon, classified, maybe, not really, ha ha.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77pnVFLkUjM
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Rule by the Ignorant on: March 03, 2014, 01:02:47 PM


These are dark days - being ruled by the ignorant.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/03/remember-when-ronald-reagan-was-in-congress-good-times-good-times.php
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Dave Camp's proposal deserves comment on: March 03, 2014, 12:55:33 PM
Camp's proposal is not exactly what I am looking for, but I respect him for stepping forward with a real plan.  John E. Sununu comments on it in the Boston Globe today.

Tax reform: Ski it if you dare
By John E. Sununu    March 03, 2014
 
When David Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released tax reform legislation last week, the first thing that sprang to my mind was Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine. Looming just 2 miles or so from the Pinkham Notch visitor center, the greatest natural snow bowl east of the Mississippi beckons thousands of hardened skiers every year. The ravine’s 50-foot snow pack entices them with the promise of beauty and exhilaration. For those who conquer it, there’s a sense of achievement to which nothing else compares.

In Washington, the siren of tax reform calls out to devoted policy wonks in the same way. Designing a simpler tax system, like skiing the ravine, allows suitors to take on as much as they dare: corporate taxes, personal income taxes, or the entire 75,000-page code. At Tuckerman, the higher you climb, the steeper the grade. The ultimate thrill is reserved for those willing to attack the sheer face from the snowfields above.

Approaching the steep headwall from that relatively flat terrain, the slope falls away so abruptly that skiers cannot possibly see what awaits below — until they pass the point of no return. Tax seminars, hearings, and speeches are the Washington version of those snowfields. Everyone gets the opportunity to posture, talk about what could be, and pretend they know what lies over that horizon. But as Camp found out last week, talking and doing are different things. Once you crest the lip and are clinging to a 55-degree slope, the mountain becomes a lonely place.

Camp’s loneliness has nothing to do with ability. The Michigan Republican is an outstanding congressman with an effective, inclusive leadership style. But the “discussion draft” he made public contains something that makes most members of Congress uncomfortable: details. Every deduction, credit, exemption, and loophole makes the tax code more complicated, and simplification demands that they must go. Meaningful tax reform requires trade-offs. But when confronted with hard choices, most members of Congress start looking for a way to bail out.

Camp’s bill demonstrates the courage of his convictions. Rafts of deductions are capped, phased out, or eliminated altogether. The bill reduces the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to three: 10 percent, 25 percent, and an additional surcharge on income over $400,000. The corporate tax rate would drop from 35 percent today — one of the highest in the world — to 25 percent.

Wisely, Camp designed his bill to be revenue-neutral. It doesn’t attempt to raise or cut tax collections overall. Perhaps more important, it is “distributionally” neutral; he makes no effort to raise or lower taxes for the rich, the poor, or the middle class. This debate should be about how we pay, not how much — and about making the code and our entire economy more efficient, productive and fair.

Avoiding class warfare rhetoric makes for a smoother trail, but those who benefited from the code’s complexity will still be unhappy. Every wrinkle in the current tax code has its own constituency. Farmers, ranchers, teachers, caregivers, and gamblers — an endless list — are singled out within the law. Everyone loves the idea of simplicity, but getting there will require that we think of ourselves as taxpayers, not part of a special group.

To date, few in Congress have been willing to support the bill publicly. The more narrow-minded have clung to their opposition to the bill’s “bank tax,” which was designed to pay for future bailouts under the Dodd-Frank regulations passed in 2010. If that’s the biggest flaw they can find, fine. Drop that piece and get on with it. At least we’ll learn who has genuinely committed to reform and who just wants to pay lip service.

Most important, everybody needs to realize no one can possibly agree with every element in such a comprehensive bill. You need to believe that the fundamental economic fairness that comes from taking the plunge makes it worth the trouble . . . and then push over the edge.

A good friend once described his favorite Tuckerman moment, watching an enthusiastic father encourage a group of young teenagers to take on the headwall. “Come on guys!” he waved while crossing the upper lip. Catching an edge on his crucial first turn, he bounced and slid like a rag doll several hundred yards to the floor of the ravine. The young gaggle behind followed without incident, no worse for having witnessed the spectacle.

Camp’s tax reform effort is unlikely to pass, but his willingness to take the plunge with honesty and substance deserves enormous credit. Most important, if he inspires just a few to follow his courageous path, we may remember his pioneering run for a long time.

John E. Sununu, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, writes regularly for the Globe.
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Patriot Post: The soft bigotry of low expectations on: March 03, 2014, 12:45:57 PM
,,,A former president had a phrase for this sort of thing: "The soft bigotry of low expectations."

That phrase works fine without the 'soft' qualifier.  Low expectations for an individual based on his or her race IS bigotry.

It is 2014.  When do we move to to being color blind, at least in our governance.

112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 27, 2014, 10:32:53 AM
Crafty and Bigdog may be right here about the negative effect for Republicans with independents and centrists.  Still I think it is important that someone keep pointing out truths about both Clintons.  On one hand we are saying that Ted Nugent can't be used to rev up a crowd because of association of a candidate or official with statements Nugent made or words he has used.  Then on the other hand, in a most crucial Senate race we see a pretty, married, 35 year old woman (Grimes of Kentucky) use a serial sexual predator to rev up a crowd for her, while running against the 'Republican war on women'.  Why does this not shine badly on her judgment?  The hypocrisy should go unmentioned?

As it applies to 2016, I don't see Rand Paul as the nominee.  Typically it is the VP who does this type of hatchet work.  I do see Rand Paul as an excellent tactician.  Maybe he is not running, as he has implied, and this type of work is just taking one for the team.  Or maybe he is acting like a VP candidate now with a plan of elevating in time for 2016.  If he is running, this is not the general election, it is the fight for the nomination, and what counts is his standing with people who vote in Republican caucuses and primaries.

The Bill Clinton behavior was not run of the mill unfaithfulness.  It was a conspiracy run with the power of the Governor's office and then the power of the Presidency, putting demands on everyone from highway Patrol and Secret Service to executive staff.  The 'shenanigans' were not all consensual.  Upon learning about it, attacking Republicans is not the normal wife/girlfriend response.  The anger she expressed was about him being stupid and getting caught.  Has Hillary ever called him out for the abuse of his executive power?  No, instead she attacked ALL the people who did that.

SHE was a crook.  If Rand Paul is making a strategy of going after the Clintons and he seems to have done his homework, I doubt if we have seen all he has to say.  When people have heard enough about the Clinton scandals of the 70s, 80s and 90s, Rand Paul can move right over to Benghazi:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/11/12/rand-paul-suggests-benghazi-disqualifies-clinton-in-2016/
Washington Post, November 12, 2013: Rand Paul suggests Benghazi disqualifies Clinton in 2016
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 27, 2014, 09:33:12 AM
Doug, thanks.  Maybe I misread the article of have misunderstood Parker and
I have not made political persuasion a study but I always saw her as leftist:
http://www.conservativehq.com/node/14524

Maybe she is a faux-conservative, along the lines of David Brooks.  The line of hers you identified was leftist.

"he is not visually “one of us” in the way some Republicans have demonstrated they’re most comfortable.

Not just leftist but bad journalism.  Where is the supporting evidence to make such a bold claim?  They give out those Pulitzers  like they are just Nobels.
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 26, 2014, 11:10:34 PM
Ted Nugent, 2003, Denver 103.5FM:  Nugent insisted he was trying to make the point that the offensive terms were merely words and shouldn't offend anyone.  The show's Korean producer KATHY LEE admits she wasn't personally offended. 
http://www.contactmusic.com/news-article/nugent-in-trouble-over-racial-slurs

Has anyone ever used the n-word just discussing the issue of using the n-word, intending to slur no one?  If so, did you lose your free speech rights and all credibility forever?

Nugent has used the mongrel term for white people: “So much media has lost its soul lying Saul Alinsky Joseph Geobbells freaks,” Nugent tweeted. “CNN Joseph Goebbells Saul Alinsky propaganda ministry mongrels (sic).”  http://www.thewrap.com/ted-nugent-gay-pirate-twitter-cuba

'The Wrap' writer:  "For the record: Yes, we get it — he’s being sarcastic but epic ridiculousness deserves to be recognized."

115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics - Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility on: February 26, 2014, 10:59:18 AM
According to a recent study of mobility (see Figure 1), the correlation between parent's income rank and children's income rank is about 0.3.

http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/mobility_trends.pdf
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: What's happening to the workweek in low-wage industries? on: February 26, 2014, 10:48:33 AM


http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/020714-689319-low-wage-workweek-hits-new-low-with-obamacare.htm

Liberal policies are having the opposite effect of their marketed intention.

Asked to comment, frontrunner Hillary Clinton said:  "AT THIS POINT WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?!"
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science, Michael Mann v. Mark Steyn on: February 26, 2014, 10:19:43 AM
Is anyone following the Michael Mann v. Mark Steyn legal contest?  Maybe it is more a freedom of speech or freedom of press issue, but it is based on the merits of the pathological science.

Steyn I think has been quiet but posts the views of others here:
http://www.steynonline.com/6125/mann-about-the-house

Mann About the House

by Mark Steyn
February 24, 2014

UPDATE! My fellow free-speech warrior Down Under, Andrew Bolt, threatens to sue Michael Mann for a characteristically witless and leaden Tweet from a guy with the warm-monger's version of Tourette's. Hey, come on in, Andrew, the more the merrier!

UPPERDATE! Mann has apparently deleted the Tweet, and apologized. He's already in court in Virginia, the District of Columbia and British Columbia. I guess he figured side-trips to Melbourne would play havoc with his schedule. Easier to stick to bullying notorious Koch-funded denialist Diane Rehm.

**

Steve McIntyre continues his series on self-conferred Nobel Laureate Michael E Mann's equally false claims (in his legal pleadings against me and my co-defendants) to have been "exonerated" by multiple international inquiries. On Lord Oxburgh's panel, the President of the Royal Statistical Society described Mann's methods as "inappropriate" and the results "exaggerated". With the Muir Russell report, Mann and his lawyers doctored a quote to make it appear as if it applied to him rather than merely faculty of the University of East Anglia.

Now Steve turns his attention to the third of the United Kingdom's "official exonerations" of Mann cited in his court pleadings - by the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Commons. There's no reason why a committee at Westminster would investigate a professor at a university in Pennsylvania, and indeed they don't: the handful of references to Mann in the report are in the recipient lines of emails, plus a reference to "Mike's Nature trick". Nevertheless, on page 20 of his Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendants National Review and Mark Steyn's Motion to Dismiss, Mann and his Big Tobacco lawyer falsely cite the House of Commons report in Paragraph Two of Section C, titled "Dr Mann is Exonerated":

    In March 2010, the United Kingdom's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published a report finding that the skeptics' criticisms of the CRU were misplaced, and that its actions "were in line with common practice in the climate science community."

As Steve McIntyre puts it:

    The first sentence is completely untrue: the Committee Report said nothing of the sort. The assertion that "criticisms of the CRU were misplaced" is neither made nor supported in the Committee Report. This phrase originated instead with SKS [Skeptical Science, a Mann-friendly site], who, once again, altered the language, though, in this case, not going so far as to fabricate a quotation.

But the second half of that first sentence is even worse. With the Muir Russell report, the result of doctoring the quote is that it appears inclusive of Mann. With the House of Commons report, the meaning of the quote is entirely inverted. Here's what the Commons report actually says:

    As we explained in chapter 2, the practices and methods of climate science are a key issue. If the practices of CRU are found to be in line with the rest of climate science, the question would arise whether climate science methods of operation need to change. In this event we would recommend that the scientific community should consider changing those practices to ensure greater transparency.

In other words: If the Mann-Jones hockey-sticky hanky-panky is indeed normal climate-science behavior, then climate science needs to change. The Commons committee returns to this point:

    54. It is not standard practice in climate science and many other fields to publish the raw data and the computer code in academic papers. We think that this is problematic because climate science is a matter of global importance and of public interest, and therefore the quality and transparency of the science should be irreproachable. We therefore consider that climate scientists should take steps to make available all the data used to generate their published work, including raw data; and it should also be made clear and referenced where data has been used but, because of commercial or national security reasons is not available. Scientists are also, under Freedom of Information laws and under the rules of normal scientific conduct, entitled to withhold data which is due to be published under the peer-review process. In addition, scientists should take steps to make available in full their methodological workings, including the computer codes. Data and methodological workings should be provided via the internet.

In other words: all the stuff that Mann has spent the last 15 years obstructing access to - including right now in court in Vancouver and Virginia.

The brazen misrepresentation of these reports, the doctored quotations and inversions of meaning, in Mann's court pleadings is remarkable. I said above that Skeptical Science was a "Mann-friendly site". That's true. It's where he and his lawyers turned to get the bogus quotes they use in their legal pleadings. But, behind the scenes, Skeptical Science operated a private forum in which the "climate community"'s disquiet over Mann's methods and their distaste at feeling obliged to defend them is palpable. Robert Way:

    I don't mean to be the pessimist of the group here but Mc brought up some very good points about the original hockeystick. The confidence affirmed to it by many on our side of the debate was vastly overstated and as has been shown in the recent literature greater variability on the centennial scale exists than was shown. The statistical methodology used by Mann did rely too much on tree rings which still are in debate over their usefulness to reconstruct temperature and particularly their ability to record low-frequency temperature variations. I've personally seen work that is unpublished that challenges every single one of his reconstructions because they all either understate or overstate low-frequency variations. My personal experience has been that Moberg still has the best reconstruction and his one does show greater variability. That's why I don't like to talk the HS stuff, because I know a lot of people who have doubts about the accuracy of the original HS.

    Just like we complain about skeptics like Pielke and Christy etc letting their work be miscontrued, Mann et al stood by after their original HS and let others treat it with the confidence that they themselves couldn't assign to it. They had just as much of a responsability to ensure their work was used to promote properly just as Christy et al do. It is a tight rope we must all walk afterall.

And again:

    Even his newest reconstruction doesn't validate past 1400 if you don't include disputed series (which I have no idea why he's including them at all).

Principal Component Analysis honcho I T Jolliffe:

    'My strong impressive is that the evidence rests on much much more than the hockey stick. It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics...' [THIS IS THE EPITOME OF HOW I FEEL-Robert Way]

Neal King of UC Berkeley:

    The real question is, Why would you believe the tree-ring proxies at earlier times when you KNOW that they didn't work properly in the 1990s? I guess there is a good answer to that, but no one has ever given it to me.

    I believe a good 50% of the game is being able to avoid booby traps. Because the science is at the edge of ignorance, mistakes WILL be made. The question is, How do you avoid putting your foot in the traps? I think Mann (and maybe Steig) are examples of how NOT to proceed.

Robert Way again:

    MBH98 was not an example of someone using a technique with flaws and then as he learned better techniques he moved on… He fought like a dog to discredit and argue with those on the other side that his method was not flawed. And in the end he never admitted that the entire method was a mistake. Saying "I was wrong but when done right it gives close to the same answer" is no excuse. He never even said that but I'm just making a point. What happened was they used a brand new statistical technique that they made up and that there was no rationalization in the literature for using it. They got results which were against the traditional scientific communities view on the matters and instead of re-evaluating and checking whether the traditional statistics were valid (which they weren't), they went on and produced another one a year later. They then let this HS be used in every way possible (including during the Kyoto protocol lead-up that resulted in canadian parliament signing the deal with many people ascribing their final belief in climate change being assured by the HS) despite knowing the stats behind it weren't rock solid.

John Cook of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland:

    I have to tell you that you should warn those doing that particular one to stay away from Mann's 2008 paper if they take this topic as it seems it has actually been invalidated by climate audit (as much as I hate to admit it they are right about the issue of the study failing verification statistics past 1500 for one)

This is what the climate community says to each other about Michael Mann in private. Why won't they say it in public?

To reprise Judith Curry's words from yesterday:

    For the past decade, scientists have come to the defense of Michael Mann, somehow thinking that defending Michael Mann is fighting against the 'war on science' and is standing up for academic freedom. It's time to let Michael Mann sink or swim on his own. Michael Mann is having all these problems because he chooses to try to muzzle people that are critical of Mann's science, critical of Mann's professional and personal behavior, and critical of Mann's behavior as revealed in the climategate emails. All this has nothing to do with defending climate science or academic freedom.

~If you'd like to support Steyn's pushback against Mann and his enforcers, please see here.
http://www.steynonline.com/6048/give-the-gift-of-steyn
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 26, 2014, 10:11:21 AM
"The usual left wing media hit job."

The Washington Post author is Kathleen Parker, somewhat conservative and 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary.  She does however work for the Post.
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 26, 2014, 09:57:00 AM
RP continues to hit on the Monica Lewinsky meme.

This, IMO, shows major tin ear.  Of course I get the point, but it is NOT going to play well with most women.    On top of that, lot's of people will wonder WTF Bill's dalliances have to do with Hillary being president or not and more people will say "We've been through this quite a bit already-- including impeachment.  Is this the best you've got?"

Major tactical mistake here by RP.

I think it's exactly the opposite. Dems want to push their bs "war on women" meme, someone needs to remind everyone exactly how dem icons really treat women.

I agree with GM.  Bill needs to have his baggage pinned to him.  Hillary was the enabler and the leader of the smear campaign against the women.  Neither of them has ever acknowledged the predatory nature of the 'relationships' or the enabler role that she played. 

Rand Paul has no insecurity about lack of substance.  I'm sure he would love to debate Hillary anytime on any issue.  The best we've got is that Hillary supported the policies that are taking down this nation.  She logged a zillion miles as Sec State and has no accomplishment to show for it.

How many young people know Bill Clinton was impeached, shamed the Oval Office, lied under oath, was disbarred?  How many young women know Hillary was conspiring to smear each of Bill's accusers and victims?  Dropping drawers, groping, fondling rape, it wasn't all consensual!  People should know and the media isn't going to tell them.

BTW Hillary is writing a book about her time as Secretary of State.  I wonder how the chapter on Benghazi is going.  I'll suggest a title - in a shrill tone:  AT THIS POINT WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?!
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 26, 2014, 09:32:34 AM
Okay, understood after having it explained.  If Nugent has had other episodes of race issues, then maybe this is strike three, but I have not heard of any.

It's hard for me to believe we are race sensitive about a guy who was popularly elected President of the United States - twice.  Yet any Dem commentator can look at a tea party crowd or a Republican debate and denigrate their gender or race if it looks too lilly-white or vanilla to them.  The only "white" guy I've ever seen was my grandfather in a casket.  Caucasians have pigmentation too!  The issue with this President is not his looks, his race or his heredity, it is that he is destroying the country.
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bobby Jindal comes out swinging on: February 26, 2014, 09:14:29 AM
"he is not visually “one of us” in the way some Republicans have demonstrated they’re most comfortable."

Conservatives and Republicans are thrilled to draw leadership (and rank and file) from other than older white males.  They gave Herman Cain a good, close look.  They liked having Bachmann on the stage, and they like Rubio's authentic, fluent Spanish.  Mia Love was the star of the last convention.  Asian Americans are anther group conservatives need to start reaching.  This will come down to merit, experience, positions on issues and ability to communicate a clear message - to all.

Bobby Jindal has the smarts and experience to be a great President.  He will win the nomination if he is seen as the best at conveying the message and getting things done.
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Marco Rubio, clarity and passion on: February 26, 2014, 08:48:49 AM
Some real fire in the belly there!  He needs more of this!
From a political point of view, this could play well too.

Peggy Noonan picked up on this as well.  Interesting to know that this is not teleprompter material from speechwriters.  The Harkin Cuba talk he is addressing was made on the Senate floor just prior to Rubio.  His notes were regarding the Venezuelan atrocities.  He expresses the moral side of freedom, at home and abroad.

Do you think he could hold his own with Joe Biden or Hillary, Hickenlooper, Schweitzer?

http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2014/02/25/viva-rubio/
    February 25, 2014, 4:28 PM

Viva Rubio,  (by Peggy Noonan

What a great, myth-destroying statement from Marco Rubio, on the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday afternoon, on the facts about Cuba and their connection to events in Venezuela.

We have pressed in these parts for American political figures to speak clearly and with moral confidence about American sympathies in various international disputes. Rubio’s speech is honest political indignation successfully deployed.

Late last month Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa came back from a week-long trip to Cuba full of the wonders he’d seen. In a meeting with reporters he spouted inanities that were clichés a quarter-century ago: Cuba has fabulous health services, everyone can read. Yesterday Harkin decided to haul his inanities onto the floor of the Senate. Rubio heard what he’d said and followed him on the floor soon after.

Rubio pointed out Cuba has fabulous health services only if you believe a totalitarian government’s health statistics, its people can read only what that government allows them to read. They are an abused people in an oppressed culture.

What Rubio was speaking of is the moral meaning of things and the need for America to recognize and address the moral meaning of things. America should not stand mute when presented with political dramas in other nations, particularly when they occur in our own hemisphere. We have a voice. We should use it. If we don’t show our sympathies, who will? If we do not articulate our values and beliefs, who will?

What to do in the future about Cuba—what relations to have with it and policies to adopt toward it—is the subject of legitimate debate. How to approach and respond to what is happening in Venezuela is a matter of debate. But you can’t begin that debate with fan fiction. You begin it with facts and go from there.

If you don’t get the facts right, you’ll never get the policy right. And it does the world no good to see a great power fallen into relentless, mealy-mouthed obfuscation. That only adds to the slump-shouldered, depressed feeling that a lack of clarity always brings.

Rubio’s statement may make a bigger impression on the Republican base than he perhaps expected, and the pundit class may start to see him again as a 2016 force. An observation: Everyone in national politics worries about getting the right speech text, the right words. But Rubio got the words and meaning right through notes and pictures, not a prepared text. Cesar Conda, Rubio’s chief of staff, said the senator had intended to speak that day on Venezuela, but included Cuba because he wanted “to set the record straight.”
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Marco Rubio comments on Tom Harkin's trip to Cuba! on: February 25, 2014, 08:25:08 PM
John Hinderacker of Powerline:  Marco Rubio has been in the doghouse with lots of conservatives because of his endorsement of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. But he is solid on virtually every other issue, and is one of the most talented politicians on either side of the aisle. Yesterday he reminded us how great he can be, when he rose to respond to Tom Harkin’s paean to the wonders of socialist Cuba. For twelve minutes or so, Rubio ripped into the corrupt socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela, and their enablers here in the U.S. It was a brilliant, impassioned defense of freedom and human rights. Rubio’s speech has rightly attracted a lot of attention; if you haven’t already watched it, you should:

A big mention of the atrocities in Venezuela as well.  "This is what the Castro regime supports.  Always on the side of tyrants."

124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 25, 2014, 08:00:11 PM
Clearly President Obama is 100% human, and clearly Ted Nugent knows that, was angry and displeased with him, said something stupid and untrue and apologized for it, but how does calling someone a 'subhuman mongrel' qualify as 'racist'?  Seems to me it was a slur against millions of innocent canines.  A real 'subhuman' mongrel, man's best friend, does not try to take our country down.
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tin hat or true tragedy? on: February 25, 2014, 07:42:55 PM

Try entering a Dem event without 'Voter ID' !

Data-sharing between government agencies and the campaign completes the trifecta of 2012 election scandals, along with IRS targeting and voter fraud.  That doesn't count the ugliest part, Candy Crowley and her debate assist on Benghazi or the most blatant part of election stealing, lie to their face and repeat the lie until everyone has it:  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/12/lie-year-if-you-like-your-health-care-plan-keep-it/  Other than all that, I thought it was a fair contest.
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 25, 2014, 07:23:49 PM
Clarifying, I hope:
Two predictions:  Marco Rubio will rise up and oppose this [Obama and Hagel gutting the military].  Rand Paul will embrace [Hagel's cuts] and perhaps want to cut further. 
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: GOP lobbyist drafts bill to ban gay athletes from playing in the NFL on: February 25, 2014, 02:13:33 PM
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/24/powerful-gop-lobbyist-drafts-bill-to-ban-gay-athletes-from-playing-in-the-nfl/

From the article:

According to the statement, the idea for a Congressional ban on gay athletes in the NFL came to him after he watched coverage of Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet prior to the NFL draft. In recent weeks, Sam has been praised by many Democratic lawmakers, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, who called him “an inspiration.”

This story looks like a spoof to me.  If it's not, it should be.  The GOP does not oppose freedom of association, no matter what one 'Lobbyist' says.

I've been part of the GOP for a long time.  I've been Chairman, Co-Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Delegate, Alternate, Caucus Convener and Attendee.  There is no position in the GOP called 'Lobbyist'.

Wikipedia:  "A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature."  'Under consideration' by Congress is a fact not mentioned in the article.

"GOP" is not mentioned in the source article at The Hill.  So this is neither the GOP, nor a bill, just a stupid idea.
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 25, 2014, 11:56:42 AM
"The cuts proposed by Hagel look to be quite terrible."

Peace through weakness, when did that work?  Hagel showing why he was chosen.

Unilateral disarmament, even if you believed in it, why wouldn't you try to get reduction commitments from your adversaries as you risk the consequences? 


"This is a "Profile in Courage" moment for those who believe that Peace comes through Strength.  Let's see who speaks up , , , and who does not."

Two predictions:  Marco Rubio will rise up and oppose this.  Rand Paul will embrace the strategy.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 22, 2014, 02:59:33 PM
They are insisting that I accept cookies, blah blah.  May I ask you to share it here?

Medical tourism
Médecine avec frontières
Why health care has failed to globalise
Feb 15th 2014 | From the print edition

CLARE MORRIS hardly noticed when she tore the meniscus in her knee while dancing. The pain started only when she heard that repairing the damage at a hospital in South Carolina, where she lives, would cost $15,000. With limited insurance, she would have had to pay much of that herself. But after shopping around she found that she could have her knee repaired at a good hospital in Costa Rica for $7,400—and take a holiday, too.

Just a decade ago, stories like hers seemed to point to the future of health care. If a person could save thousands by shopping in the global health market, the reasoning went, insurers and governments could save billions. A knee replacement costs $34,000 in America, but just $19,200 in Singapore, $11,500 in Thailand and $9,500 in Costa Rica, according to Patients Beyond Borders, a consultancy. Even within Europe savings are to be found: a hip replacement is $4,000 cheaper in Spain than in Britain.

In the mid-2000s American insurers set out to find these savings by touring foreign private hospitals. They found that many were as good as their rich-world counterparts, and far cheaper. A big shake-up seemed likely. In 2008 Deloitte predicted an “explosive” boom in medical tourism, saying that the number of Americans going abroad for health care would grow more than tenfold by 2012.

It did not happen. Poor data were part of the problem: whereas Deloitte counted 750,000 American medical tourists in 2007, McKinsey, another consultancy, found at most 10,000 a year later. It is generally agreed that the number of medical tourists has grown since then—Thailand’s Bumrungrad hospital, which is popular with foreign patients, reports “steady growth”. But the data are still fuzzy. Patients Beyond Borders estimates that as many as 12m people globally now travel for care, perhaps 1m of them Americans. Industry insiders admit that growth has not matched the initial heady expectations.

Patient interest also turned out to be lower than predicted. Though some patients in the rich world seek out deals, most receive adequate health care at a manageable price and would prefer to stay at home. Potential savings are often insufficient to trump concerns about quality and the lack of recourse if something goes wrong. In 2008 Hannaford, an American supermarket chain, offered to pay the full cost of hip and knee replacements for its employees, including travel and patients’ usual share—provided they would go to Singapore. None took up the offer.

The predicted growth depended on medical tourism evolving from an individual pursuit to a cost-saving measure embraced by insurers and governments. But without reliable projections, insurers were reluctant to invest in the idea, says Ruben Toral, a health-care consultant. And cooler measures of the size of the opportunity dimmed their ardour. In 2009 Arnold Milstein of Stanford University estimated that less than 2% of spending by American insurers went on the kind of non-urgent procedures that might be moved abroad.

The legwork required also turned out to be formidable. Insurers had to choose foreign hospitals, negotiate contracts and malpractice insurance, and arrange follow-up care with American providers. They also risked upsetting the locals who would continue to take most of their custom. By the time the battle over Obamacare distracted them from contemplating transnational forays, most seemed to have concluded that they would not be worthwhile anyway. Companion Global Health Care, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield, is the only big medical-tourism offshoot of an American insurer.

Governments have shown a similar lack of enthusiasm, perhaps because state promotion of medical tourism is usually seen as an admission of policy failure. In 2002 Britain allowed patients facing long waits to seek treatment elsewhere in Europe. Liam Fox, the shadow health secretary at the time, called the decision “humiliating” and criticised the government for not spending more at home. In Germany patient advocates blame government stinginess for the fact that some retired people choose, for reasons of cost, to live in eastern European care homes. Overall, only 1% of public health-care spending in Europe now crosses borders.

But the mere possibility of medical tourism is starting to change health care in unexpected ways. The biggest gains have gone not to patients, insurers or governments, but to hospitals, which have calculated that they could win more business by reversing the trend and going abroad to find patients. America’s Cleveland Clinic will open a branch in Abu Dhabi next year. (It already manages Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, a 750-bed hospital in Abu Dhabi.) Singapore’s Parkway Health has set up hospitals across Asia. India’s Apollo Hospitals, a chain of private hospitals, has a branch in Mauritius.

And though American firms and insurers have mostly stopped scouring the globe for bargains, some have negotiated bulk rates with top-notch hospitals at home. Lowes, a home-improvement firm, offers workers all around the country in need of cardiac care the option of going to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. PepsiCo, a food giant, made a deal with Johns Hopkins in Maryland. Other firms are said to be working on similar schemes. The future of medical tourism may be domestic rather than long-haul.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th &'t kn 9th Amendments on: February 22, 2014, 02:56:20 PM
How does Bing rate on the privacy scale?

Don't know.  It is a Microsoft product so I would assume lousy.  They definitely retain your searches.

Some say better than google:
blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/shanerichmond/100004375/is-bing-a-better-bet-than-google-for-privacy-protection/

Google says:
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

I am trying:  https://duckduckgo.com/  for searches.

I would be more interested in email featured like gmail, with privacy, without high cost.  https://www.reagan.com/ offers something like that, $40/yr.  Don't know the quality or features.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine on: February 22, 2014, 02:40:38 PM
When Obama told Medvedev he would have more flexibility after the election, who knew it meant getting bent over by Putin over and over again?

He should have checked with George Bush before speaking about the power of an unpopular, lame duck.
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: February 22, 2014, 02:37:39 PM
"A plan to divide California into six separate US states is closer to making it on to a November ballot, with organizers gaining approval to collect signatures."
"that would increase the Senate by 10 senators"

And decrease the clout of every other state and Senator.

Article IV, section 3:

New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.
----------------

Surprisingly, I don't see anything about super-majorities.  I would have expected the procedure to be more like the process of ratifying a constitutional amendment.

Northeastern Colorado wants to split too.  As do I.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/06/07/secession-colorado-north-northern-weld-county/




133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dems hesitant to answer for Obamacare on: February 21, 2014, 12:30:21 PM
At this point, what difference does it make?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/02/20/minnesota_dems_hesitate_to_answer_obamacare_question_at_town_hall.html

Minnesota Dems Hesitate To Answer Obamacare Question At Town Hall - Video at link

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar with Congressmen Tim Walz and Collin Peterson (all D-MN) faced a question about Obamacare at a town hall meeting.

"I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2500 per family," a resident asked. "What happened?"

After a pause, Peterson grabbed the microphone and said, "I voted 'no,' so I'll let these guys handle that."

(Peterson is chair of the House Ag. committee, one of very few Dems who voted no.)

The expressions, blank stares, and laughter is priceless.  Klobuchar smiles and throws her hands up in the air.

Too bad Sen. Klobuchar didn't face a serious challenge to reelection last year.  We'll see what Sen. Franken's excuse is soon.
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Privacy issues: Google vs a very small competitor that is hardcore about privacy on: February 21, 2014, 11:35:41 AM
Besides Big Government, the biggest usurper of privacy is Google (or are they now one and the same?).

I carry an Android smartphone (Google operating system).  I leave the location feature off, but miss nice features by not being tracked.  I use google search and google mail, among other things.  It is more than a little creepy.  At some point they know everything about you - and they are willing to share!

Interesting article:
Inside DuckDuckGo, Google's Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor
http://www.fastcolabs.com/3026698/inside-duckduckgo-googles-tiniest-fiercest-competitor
DuckDuckGo's Secret Weapon: Hardcore Privacy
When you do a search from DuckDuckGo's website or one of its mobile apps, it doesn't know who you are. There are no user accounts. Your IP address isn't logged by default. The site doesn't use search cookies to keep track of what you do over time or where else you go online. It doesn't save your search history. When you click on a link in DuckDuckGo's results, those websites won't see which search terms you used. Simply put, they're hardcore about privacy

https://duckduckgo.com/

I am going to try this as my default search engine for now and see how it goes.  Now Google knows that too.
135  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: February 21, 2014, 10:56:40 AM
OK.  Not arguing in what follows, just looking to explore where this leads.

Is it fair to say that we both know that as a practical matter an officer can make up a reason, before or after, for the stop?  Thus as a practical matter does the standard become the police can demand ID of anyone at any time.

What if a person does not have ID with him?  May he be searched for ID?  Fingerprinted?  Arrested?

When police 'make up a reason', I think we all can agree justice is undermined. 

Laws are different for operating a motor vehicle on a public street than for just existing, or being somewhere.  I sometimes don't have ID when driving, even though it is required.  When pulled over, they already know I match the photo and description of the person who owns the car, and they know my record, warrants, etc.  Police are also doing more and more with 'shooting' license plates without a driving infraction to look for legal or criminal issues with the vehicle, owner or driver.

I would not carry a wallet for just walking and maybe just a credit card or a bill if I was planning to buy something on the walk.  I wonder if facial recognition software will change the ID and fingerprint question of the innocent person looking suspicious to law enforcement.  I assume that if you are out in public they believe they have the right to shoot security footage.  Can't they run checks that way - soon if not now?  Less intrusive in one way, but far worse perhaps in the potential for abuse.

There will always be a contention between the right to be left alone and a need for law enforcement to try to prevent things like a terror attacks before they occur.  Crafty, how would you like to see that balance struck?
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 21, 2014, 10:19:32 AM
ccp,  Interesting questions.  Democrats successfully create and manage political and economic dependency and for some reason, exposing it makes us look bad and uncaring.  This came from an unknown individual on yahoo best answers:

(5 years ago)" If you're asking what percentage of all Black people who are on welfare it's about 10%. If you're asking what percentage of all welfare recipients are Black it is about 30%. Whites make up the majority of people on public assistance. "


'Welfare' of course is a loose term.  Warren Buffet is a welfare recipient too with his cronies at the White House blocking a pipeline to pump up his railroads.  Much of my work is in the inner city.  The problems I see are not racial, they are cultural, but blacks are hit disproportionately with the culture of not entering the productive economy and living off of this program and that with all the cash, hassles, limitations and unintended consequences that come with that.  People become easy prey for votes to those who pump up the failed programs, namely Democrats.  And with that, people are receptive to the hate speech against those who challenge our pathetic status quo on this front, namely Republicans.  Resentment and entitlement are the American values taught to all races in these large pockets of failure in America that tend to be majority black or minority.  I have invested in the inner city because I know these people have all the potential to rise up from this economic culture. (I patiently wait.) Democrats, judging by their rhetoric, programs and policies, believe they cannot.

Most important is how do we break the cycle, but I like that you are asking the hard questions about how it began which might help us to better understand the viewpoint.

A point I made a couple of election cycles ago is that we do not have to win a demographic group we are losing badly, but we do have to begin to measurably chip away at that loyalty.  The Obama Presidency creates that opportunity like we have never seen before.  Blacks got their candidate, as they saw it; they gave him 96% support and enormous turnout.  Dems won the House, Senate and Presidency while the black condition worsened - badly.  The people look good but their policies don't work.  Can they tell us that this stimulus program or that got ten million off of food stamps.  No, it is just the opposite.  Trillions went through cronies while the rolls of food stamps and disability just kept expanding.

There are lots of articulate and prominent black conservatives out there, not reaching the channels and publications that most black people read.  At some point that message needs more and more people behind it, a critical mass.  Changing the minds of 10% of any significant group is tidal wave in politics.  Just having two viewpoints represented and debated where there was only one,  would be a nation-changing breakthrough.  If you are black and you spend any time reading or listening to Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson, JC Watts, Clarence Thomas, Mia Love, Walter Williams, Hermann Cain, Alan West, Ken Blackwell, Larry Elder, Bill Cosby, Tony Dungy, and on and on, you would be hearing smart people speaking honestly from the brain and from the heart.  Racist is to think their message is not their own or that people from one group cannot accomplish what people from other groups already have.

On the other side of economic freedom is the contorted argument that capitalism is holding you back and it is government that will set you free.  How is that going??!  Great at the top, if you are David Axelrod winning elections or Michelle Obama in a $25,000 dress and jetting to and from Hawaii and the Vineyard.  Not so good back in the neighborhoods where they, once again, 'got out the vote'.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: February 20, 2014, 12:45:09 PM
(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)

Given the GOP's history, it's an almost certainty.

Yes.  Even so, with politics as usual Republicans in a sleepwalk might re-take the Senate and hold the House in 2014.  Then lose it all in 2016 without accomplishing a single thing unless we/they are able to pull together and communicate a compelling message.  It all sounds familiar, doesn't it.
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 20, 2014, 12:21:28 PM
"Do I understand it correct though that it was LBJs pushing through the Civil Rights Act that caused this "sea change" in Black Americans party affiliation from republican to democrat?"

Good question.

"There was a big move to Democratic voting in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, and another in Lyndon B. Johnson’s."
http://www.factcheck.org/2008/04/blacks-and-the-democratic-party/

"Blacks mostly voted Republican from after the Civil War and through the early part of the 20th century. That’s not surprising when one considers that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and the white, segregationist politicians who governed Southern states in those days were Democrats. The Democratic Party didn’t welcome blacks then, and it wasn’t until 1924 that blacks were even permitted to attend Democratic conventions in any official capacity. Most blacks lived in the South, where they were mostly prevented from voting at all.

The election of Roosevelt in 1932 marked the beginning of a change. He got 71 percent of the black vote for president in 1936 and did nearly that well in the next two elections, according to historical figures kept by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. But even then, the number of blacks identifying themselves as Republicans was about the same as the number who thought of themselves as Democrats.

It wasn’t until Harry Truman garnered 77 percent of the black vote in 1948 that a majority of blacks reported that they thought of themselves as Democrats. Earlier that year Truman had issued an order desegregating the armed services and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment."
----------------

What GM's Kevin Williamson argument demonstrates is that southern (white) Democrats did not jump to Republican for racial or racist reasons.  There was no going back on civil rights legislation, as Goldwater pointed out.  People like Al Gore Sr, Robert Byrd, etc. never jumped parties.  The south went Republican in 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, etc. when Dems went liberal in the big government way, but went Dem in 1976, 1992, 1996, etc. when Dems talked a more centrist path.  A typical Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Arkansas Democrat had national political views closer to northern Republicans than to northern Democrats - on national security and on the size and scope of government.  Rick Perry is an extreme example of how conservative a southern (Texas) Democrat could be as recently as the 1990s.  He is not close politically to McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Obama, Pelosi, etc. of the national Democratic mold.  That type of switching was inevitable.
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Markos Moulitsas: A blue Georgia on: February 20, 2014, 11:23:40 AM
The competitive Georgia Senate race will covered elsewhere.  My observation on this piece by the founder of Daily Kos is the left's belief they will win states merely by upping their "non-white" numbers.

"Georgia’s population grew by 1.5 million between 2000 and 2010. Of those, 81 percent — 1.2 million — were nonwhite. That brought down Georgia’s percentage of whites from 63 percent in 2000 to 59.7 percent in 2010. And that trend appears to be accelerating: According to updated census estimates, that number was down to 55.1 percent in 2012. "
http://thehill.com/opinion/markos-moulitsas/198650-markos-moulitsas-a-blue-georgia

Absent in his certainty is any indication, much less proof, that leftist policies have been helpful to "non-white" people.

He also fixates on Presidential year voting with a non-white at the top of the ballot.  A bigger political story is the huge level of Obama-2012-voter buyer's remorse.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/02/buyers-remorse-71-of-obama-voters-regret-voting-for-his-reelection/
https://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/December/Young-Obama-Voters-Suffering-Buyers-Remorse/
http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-voters-already-feeling-buyer-s-remorse
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Likely Are Democrats to Lose the Senate? on: February 20, 2014, 11:05:38 AM
I like like the math behind this but others might just know his conclusions.  Based on analysis of previous elections and the electoral maps out there, Republicans need to pick up 8 or 9 Senate seats in 2014 in order to still hold majority after 2016.  It will take wins in the House, Senate and Presidency to even try to turn this ship around.  (This should have happened in 2012!)

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/02/20/computing_democrats_risk_of_losing_the_senate_121640.html

Over the past two cycles, the president’s job approval has explained 58 percent of the variance in competitive Senate races in any given state.

...unless 2016 turned out to be a good Republican year overall, that Republicans would probably have to win 53 or 54 seats in 2014 to feel good about their chances of holding the Senate two years later.



 At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.

 If we run our simulations around [his average rating 48.3 percent over his presidency], we get the following overall distribution of outcomes:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart3-2-20.gif

(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine Riots/Resistance on: February 20, 2014, 10:43:23 AM
A good read in the New Republic, and a George Will column:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116655/kiev-ukraine-protests-are-vladimir-putins-worst-nightmare
What's Happening in Kiev Right Now Is Vladimir Putin's Worst Nightmare
"If it can happen in Kiev, in other words, it can happen in Moscow."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-is-ukraine-the-cold-wars-final-episode/2014/02/19/382f6844-99a9-11e3-80ac-63a8ba7f7942_story.html
Is Ukraine the Cold War’s final episode?
By George F. Will, Published: February 19

"... President George W. Bush peered into Putin’s eyes and got “a sense of his soul” as someone “very straightforward and trustworthy”?...Ukrainians, whose hard history has immunized them against the folly of wishful thinking, see in Putin’s ferret face the cold eyes of a prison warden."

"Obama participated in waging seven months of war against Libya, a nation not threatening or otherwise important to the United States." 
"Yet Obama seems so fixated on [the "reset"] that he will not risk annoying Putin by voicing full-throated support for the Ukrainian protesters."

"...this is perhaps the final episode of the Cold War. Does America’s unusually loquacious 44th president remember how the words of the 40th — “Tear down this wall!” — helped to win it?"
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics at the State level: Scott Walker emails on: February 20, 2014, 10:30:12 AM
Also relevant to Presidential 2016, but first he faces reelection contest in Wisconsin. Walker was not charged after years of investigators pouring over all these communications.  Surviving this may actually strengthen him for what lies ahead, where many of the other contestants have not had political executive experience.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/20/us/20walker-emails.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/us/wisconin-political-investigation.html?ref=us&_r=0

The accusations involve mixing government and campaign business.  I wonder if equivalent investigations are gong on in Dem strongholds like: the White House, Rahm's Chicago mayoral office, and Barack and Hillary's Senate offices 2008.

In the article:

...there were also signs among the documents that Mr. Walker had called for a stop to some of the activities. At one point in May 2010, Ms. Wink resigned after allegations that she had posted pro-Walker comments on The Journal Sentinel website while at her county job. Mr. Walker sent an email to another aide, writing of Ms. Wink: “I talked to her at home last night. Feel bad. She feels worse. We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, et cetera.”

Also, the passing of an internet joke by the Chief of Staff was discovered:

In 2010, Mr. Nardelli forwarded what appears to be a long chain email to undisclosed recipients that concluded, “I can handle being a black, disabled, one-armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is H.I.V.-positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat!”
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: February 20, 2014, 10:11:04 AM
It is inspiring to see that many of the popular uprisings across the globe, Ukraine, Iran 2009-2010 and Venezuela in this case, are in a pro-freedom and anti-oppressive government direction.

Once again, wishing you the best and wishing there was something we could do to help.
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process, vote fraud: Data sharing between govt and Dem campaigns on: February 19, 2014, 11:28:49 AM
James O'Keefe exposes Texas Dems taking government data and using it for partisan, get out the vote operations.

Who has been making that allegation here?



http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/02/19/Exclusive-OKeefe-Busts-Battleground-Texas-Voter-Registration-Scheme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXKwQI_0kDI

The footage shows Battleground Texas volunteer Jennifer Longoria saying the group uses the phone numbers from voter registration forms in later efforts to boost turnout on election day.

Texas Election Code prohibits the use of, or even the copying of, phone numbers provided by individuals registering to vote.

“Every time we register somebody to vote, we keep their name, address, phone number,” Longoria said.

The video also shows volunteers calling to boost turnout for Wendy Davis's gubernotorial bid.

The new revelations are likely to add to concerns about an apparent culture of data sharing among Democrat-aligned political and nonprofit organizations.
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs: $100 billion in improper welfare payments per year on: February 19, 2014, 11:18:05 AM

The federal government is wasting an astonishing hundred billion dollars a year in improper welfare payments to recipients not entitled to them. This is an amount of money greater than the GDP of most nations on earth, more than Morocco and within striking distance of Hungary. The figure comes from a study by Veronique de Rugy and Jason Fichtner [George Mason University / Cato], who produced the following chart based on the OMB's High-Error Programs Report:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/02/100_billion_in_improper_welfare_payments_per_year.html
http://www.paymentaccuracy.gov/high-priority-programs

    Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid top the chart and combine for $61.9 billion in improper spending, which should surprise no one given their sheer size. But their relatively high rates of errors should especially worry us as the federal government is expanding its reach into the health-care market - does anyone think the Affordable Care Act will be any different from other federal health programs?

    Interestingly, though Medicare fee-for-service is the biggest drain in absolute terms - wasting nearly $30 billion in 2012 - it's far from the worst offender on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The Earned Income Tax Credit is responsible for $12.6 billion in improper payments, almost a quarter of what the program spent in 2012.
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education, Ben Carson on: February 19, 2014, 11:05:41 AM
Dr. Ben Carson addresses graduates at the Univ of Delaware May 27, 2000.


Great story.  Read it!
http://crossmap.christianpost.com/blogs/benjamin-s-carson-told-of-his-journey-from-poverty-at-university-of-delaware-4712

"When I was in the fifth grade, I thought I was stupid, so I conducted myself like a stupid person and achieved like a stupid person. When I was in the seventh grade, I thought I was smart: I conducted myself like a smart person and achieved like a smart person."
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 19, 2014, 10:40:22 AM
"Barry Goldwater made a huge mistake that leads to this"

The article conflates 'civil rights' with a specific federal bill: "Conservatives opposed civil rights. ... Barry Goldwater ... opposed civil rights law. He claimed that he viewed it as a states rights issue, and actually favored equal rights, but the practical effect of his stance would be to allow segregation – in the south “states rights” meant “Jim Crow.”

'States rights' (in the US) is also a term that means following the constitution, even when it is not helpful to your political aspirations.

Goldwater voted for other civil rights bills in 1957 and 1960:

Wikipedia: Though he opposed forced segregation, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona voted against the bill, remarking, "You can't legislate morality." Goldwater had supported previous attempts to pass civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 as well as the 24th Amendment outlawing the poll tax. He stated that the reason for his opposition to the 1964 bill was Title II, which in his opinion violated individual liberty and states' rights. Most Democrats from the Southern states opposed the bill and led an unsuccessful 83-day filibuster, including Senators Albert Gore, Sr. (D-TN) and J. William Fulbright (D-AR), as well as Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who personally filibustered for 14 hours straight.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tacJtYPHKiE

"Voting against it were 21 Democrats and [only]six Republicans."
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0619.html
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 19, 2014, 12:09:03 AM
A VERY impressive and persuasive argument!
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: February 18, 2014, 05:06:22 PM
How do you live, invest or run a business in an annual inflation rate of 56%("probably much higher")?  At what point does it just spiral into nonsense...

Why aren't we more careful to manage our own economy when we know the consequences of mis-management are so real?
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Minimum Wage 10.10 will cost another half million jobs -CBO on: February 18, 2014, 04:56:56 PM
Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers....The increased earnings for low-wage workers resulting from the higher minimum wage would total $31 billion, by CBO’s estimate. However, those earnings would not go only to low-income families, because many low-wage workers are not members of low-income families. Just 19 percent of the $31 billion would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995
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