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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH: Only Deterrence Can Prevent War on: September 05, 2014, 11:12:00 AM
Hanson follows up on my "disproportionate response" post with an excellent "peace through deterrence" article.  Never more timely than now.

Only Deterrence Can Prevent War
Most aggressors take stupid risks only when they feel they won't be stopped.
By Victor Davis Hanson

Only lunatics from North Korea or Iran once mumbled about using nuclear weapons against their supposed enemies. Now Vladimir Putin, after gobbling up the Crimea, points to his nuclear arsenal and warns the West not to “mess” with Russia.

The Middle East terrorist group the Islamic State keeps beheading its captives and threatening the West. Meanwhile Obama admits to the world that we “don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with such barbaric terrorists. Not long ago he compared them to “jayvees.”

Egypt is bombing Libya, which America once bombed and then left. Vice President Joe Biden once boasted that a quiet Iraq without U.S. troops could be “one of the great achievements” of the administration. Not now.
China and Japan seem stuck in a 1930s time warp as they once again squabble over disputed territory. Why all the sudden wars?

Conflicts rarely break out over needed scarce land — what Adolf Hitler once called “living space” — or even over natural resources. A vast, naturally rich Russia is under-populated and poorly run. It hardly needs more of the Crimea and Ukraine to screw up. The islands that Japan and China haggle over are mostly worthless real estate. Iran has enough oil and natural gas to meet its domestic and export needs without going to war over building a nuclear bomb.

Often states fight about prestigious symbols that their own fears and sense of honor have inflated into existential issues. Hamas could turn its back on Israel and turn Gaza into Singapore — but not without feeling that it had backed down.

Putin thinks that grabbing more of the old Soviet Republics will bring him the sort of prestige that his hero Stalin once enjoyed. The Islamic State wants to return to 7th-century Islam, when the Muslim world had more power and honor.

The great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges once summed up the Falklands War between his country and Britain as a fight “between two bald men over a comb.” In fact, Britain went to war over distant windswept rocks to uphold the hallowed tradition of the British Navy and the idea that British subjects everywhere were sacrosanct. The unpopular Argentine junta started a war to take Britain down a notch.

But disputes over honor or from fear do not always lead to war. Something else is needed — an absence of deterrence. Most aggressors take stupid risks in starting wars only when they feel there is little likelihood they will be stopped. Hitler thought no one would care whether he gobbled up Poland, after he easily ingested Czechoslovakia and Austria.

Saddam Hussein went into Kuwait believing the U.S. did not intervene in border disputes among Arab countries. Deterrence, alliances, and balances of power are not archaic concepts that “accidentally” triggered World War I, as we are sometimes told. They are the age-old tools of advising the more bellicose parties to calm down and get a grip.

What ends wars?

Not the League of Nations or the United Nations. Unfortunately, war is a sort of cruel laboratory experiment whose bloodletting determines which party, in fact, was the stronger all along. Once that fact is again recognized, peace usually follows.

It took 50 million deaths to remind the appeased Axis that Germany, Italy, and Japan in 1941 were all along far weaker than the Allies of Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The Falklands War ended when Argentines recognized that boasting about beating the British was not the same as beating the British.

Each time Hamas builds more tunnels and gets more rockets, it believes this time around it can beat Israel. Its wars end only when Hamas recognizes it can’t.

War as a reminder of who is really strong and who weak is a savage way to run the world. Far better would be for peace-loving constitutional governments to remain strong. They should keep their defenses up, and warn Putin, the Islamic State, Iran, North Korea, and others like them that all a stupid war would accomplish would be to remind such aggressors that they would lose so much for nothing.

Even nuclear powers need conventional deterrence. They or their interests are often attacked — as in the case of Britain by Argentina, the U.S. by al-Qaeda, or Israel by Hamas — by non-nuclear states on the likely assumption that nuclear weapons will not be used, and on the often erroneous assumption that the stronger power may not wish the trouble or have the ability to reply to the weaker.

If deterrence and military readiness seem such a wise investment, why do democracies so often find themselves ill-prepared and bullied by aggressors who then are emboldened to start wars?

It is hard for democratic voters to give up a bit of affluence in peace to ensure that they do not lose it all in war. It is even harder for sophisticated liberal thinkers to admit that after centuries of civilized life, we still have no better way of preventing Neanderthal wars than by reminding Neanderthals that we have the far bigger club — and will use it if provoked.

202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Obama absent for start of NATO meeting on: September 05, 2014, 11:04:57 AM
Imagine NATO without the US...
“We call on Russia to end its illegal and self-declared annexation of Crimea,” Rasmussen said.  [NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen] “We call on Russia to pull back its troops from Ukraine” and stop the flow of arms to separatists.  Rasmussen said the gathering of the leaders should telegraph a "clear message" to Ukraine that NATO stands with the nation and supports its reforms.

President Obama was nowhere to be found during the beginning of a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine commission in Wales on Thursday.
Obama was "noticeably absent" from the start of the meeting, according to a White House pool report

He had more pressing matters.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 04, 2014, 10:33:50 PM
Sean Trende at RCP knows his stuff, but doesn't know yet what will happen this year with maybe 10 tossup Senate seats.

Democrats lead Republicans [currently] in the generic ballot, 42.5 percent to 42 percent.  Republicans had a healthy lead at this point in 2010: 47 percent to 41.7 percent.

But look closely. The difference is not found in a stronger Democratic vote at the expense of Republican votes.  It is found in a greater pool of undecided at the expense of Republicans. Democrats aren’t doing better.  Republicans are doing worse.
It’s ...consistent with a story that this election is not as high-interest as 2010, and that undecided voters have not yet engaged fully with the process.  When they do engage, Obama’s unpopularity will make it unlikely that they will vote Democratic.

In fact, this is roughly what we saw in 2010 [just a little earlier in the process].
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption on: September 04, 2014, 06:01:27 PM
Kind of sad.  He seemed like a good guy.  The state Virginia really cleaned up.  His successor is Clinton crony, Terry McAulliffe.  It's funny what is legal and what is not, and who gets off scot-free and who gets convicted of multiple felonies.  Hillary was certainly worse, between cattle futures and Whitewater.  She is the current frontrunner for President and McDonnell is headed to prison.

There shouldn't be any tolerance for even the appearance of helping one company or industry over another and yet they do it all the time.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Aug. ISM non-mftg index beats consensus on: September 04, 2014, 05:47:16 PM
" ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Increased to 59.6"

The economy seems to do best in the contrived measurements.  How many people don't work in America, how many people don't work full time (hundreds of millions), how many even know or remember what full time, private sector employment is anymore?

 0.0: That is the manufacturing and non-manufacturing index level today combined for all the companies that never started over the last 8 years since Pelosi-Obama-Reid took power.

" the Plow Horse economy may be starting to trot"

Last time Wesbury said that, we were headed into negative growth territory with an economy too weak to withstand winter.  No mention that it is still the worst economic recovery in 80 years, perhaps more.  I think Wesbury is conflating market success with overall economic performance, which is stuck in an intentional, no-growth pattern of stagnation. Plow horses don't trot, especially when pulling a heavy load.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq - ISIS #2 'awwwwwwwwseeeeeeeeeya!' on: September 04, 2014, 01:12:14 PM

This seems like great news, a hit in the inner circle.   Also good to learn about rival hockey.  )
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party Reagan: A Time for Choosing on: September 03, 2014, 02:02:06 PM
Do we have a Reagan thread?

Government was smaller then and the private economy was stronger then than now.  Right?  Is this any less relevant today?

More on same topic:

Reagan Biographer Stephen Hayward, Extremism and Moderation
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Recreational Pot Not Bringing In Tax Money That Was Expected on: September 03, 2014, 01:28:29 PM
Taxing something to death is not legalization as required by the referendum IMO.  What a joke.  They way it is bought, around the tax, is still illegal.  People would rather buy illegally than pay a 30% tax.  (  Maybe there is some lesson there for tax policy if not for drug policy. 

Who could have seen this coming?

Those who buy it once as a novelty pay a little extra and pay a small tax  - once.  Those who are heavy users ALL have medical license, and avoid the tax.  (Can you say "chronic pain"?)  The occasional users in between all know someone and buy it the same way they used to, off the 'street', from unknown origins, untaxed and unregulated.

DENVER (CBS4) – High hopes for tax money isn’t as expected as the state’s legal marijuana industry isn’t bringing in as much money as anticipated. In fact, tax revenue is way below expectations.  When voters approved recreational marijuana salesthe state predicted it would pull in more than $33 million in new taxes in the first six months. The actual revenue came up more than $21 million short.  The problem is that buying pot is less expensive on the streets where people don’t have to pay taxes or fees.  Medical marijuana is also less expensive than recreational pot, so those with medical cards are sticking to buying that way.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Worse than Glib, Obama's reaction to 911 was empathy for the hijackers on: September 03, 2014, 12:57:36 PM
"The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers..."

   - Barack Obama, September 19th, 2001, in the Hyde Park Herald
"We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."  (Archives)
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Winning the Latino Vote on: September 03, 2014, 12:49:51 PM
The piece is right.  The liberal hold on these groups is based on a combination of lies, deception and fallacious thinking on the liberal side.  Also peer-group following and momentum.  You just are a Dem and hate or distrust Republicans and never gave it any critical thought.  Combine that with sloppy thinking and poor messaging on the conservative side and you have electoral victory without producing any positive results.  Witness Obama v. Romney, 2012. 

Most conservative messaging is aimed at firing up the base while alienating all others.  It should be aimed at conservatives clarifying what they believe, which is not putting the needy out to pasture, and putting a positive face on it all to those who should be open to a conservative message or philosophy.

Example:  Paul Ryan said he was wrong to say "we are a nation of makers and takers".  That is badly over-simplified.  His mother with social security survivor benefits was a taker, at least in any way that is helpful to say politically.  Nor are relatives of mine who take a retirement benefit from the government that they earned working.  Some of those comp plans were poorly negotiated and retired people way too early costing the people way more than they should but are not either the fault of the recipient not the best place to focus going forward.

Liberal policies harm liberal constituent groups.  If we can't make that case today and offer persuasively a better alternative, when will it ever be easier?
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues, Cool summer follows cold winter on: September 02, 2014, 09:31:07 AM
After a cold winter, [Boston Globe] "Cool summer doesn’t invalidate climate change"

Really, nothing does, if you truly believe!

Climate change is a fact; it has been going on since the beginning of the earth.  The validity of a direct link, however, between higher CO2 levels, man-made CO2 levels alone causing higher temperatures has been broken.

While the alarmists question the credentials of a Harvard educated, MIT atmospheric physicist, this Boston Globe columnist served on the Boston city council for 5 years in the 1990s.  If you don't believe him, he says re-read the same, discredited UN IPCC bunk, as if that is a second source. 

Anyone want to bet whether he has read past the sensational headlines?

Much more on this topic on the Pathological Science thread.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Daily Mail piece debunked? on: September 01, 2014, 11:21:21 PM

Both of these sites (2 posts) have bunk and de-bunk backwards, and both de-bunk themselves quite nicely.  The attacks center around the smearing of critics and non-denial denials of what the critics are saying.  They "debunk" by calling Richard Lindzen, Atmospheric Physicist at MIT, and Roy Spencer, climatologist and Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former NASA scientist, and others "psuedo" scientists, while calling their own discredited people "peer reviewed". 

It is the alarmists who manipulated the data and processes and published bunk.  Yes, there is CO2 gain and yes, there has been warming over the last 500 years and many others times before that, but no, none of the alarmists claims has come true or is about to.

Nobel prize winner Al Gore said 7 years ago that the Arctic would be free of ice in 7 years.  Corrupted IPCC scientists stood by while Gore made all kinds of claims based on tampered and cherry picked data.  " An Inconvenient Truth".  The claims are being proven false.  Instead of warming accelerating, warming stopped ("paused") according to all of them.  Instead of becoming ice-free in 7 years, the Arctic has added ice area twice the size of Alaska over the last 2 years and increased the mass, thickness and density in the rest of it.

The Arctic has "added ice area twice the size of Alaska" over the 2 years since I watched the liberal drivel IMAX documnentary, "To the Arctic", with alarmist scare narration delivered by Meryl Streep:  But now the bears are again prospering.  Mother Nature still has cycles.  Who knew?

This year featured ships stuck in Antarctic ice as well:

Don't beliieve your own lying temperature sensors, but it was the coldest winter where I live in more than 30 years:  Not exactly spiraling heat, nor is there proof that atmospheric trace component CO2 is the lead component of global temperature change.  It is a weak correlation, if any.

Is the record cold just here?  No.  Brisbane (Australia) hit a 103 year record low, and Nashville hit its coldest temp on record.

Yes, the warming stopped 16-17 years ago.  If the data manipulators allege .001 degree warming since then, ask them for the mathematical margin of error of the sampled data, not counting their well documented, measurement and manipulation errors.

The warming period preceded the industrial age by hundreds of years.  But the allegation, debunked, is that the warming is spiraling out of control.  Really?  The data says no and the models are false.  The "hockey stick" is a well-discredited lie.  We knew that before the last 17 years proved it.

The IPCC folks stood behind Al Gore, like James Hansen with his secret algorithms for altering raw data, and Michael Mann of Hide-the-Decline and stack-the-peer review fame, published their bunk.  Then others like Lindzen and Spencer de-bunked it.  And now the alarmists respond by re-stating the original bunk, while smearing their critics, financed by Koch, etc. as if that sets it all straight.  It doesn't.

Where did their models predict that warming would or could pause?  They didn't. 
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trust Iran? on: September 01, 2014, 08:17:42 AM
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: September 01, 2014, 07:41:26 AM
You don't insert external costs into a transaction by passing a ban.

We don't advance equal protection by applying laws to different products and industries differently.

Martial arts in a public healthcare state arguably has an external cost.  The answer is to pass a ban?
Good luck with majority-decides-your-choices thinking.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: August 29, 2014, 12:28:25 PM
What do we think of Rand's article?

[How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS]

The timing of the rise of ISIS matches the timing of the election of Barack Obama, and the start of a new US policy of non-intervention, along with the abandonment of all gains made at great cost before him.  It was built by prisoners released instead of being sent to the closing of Guantanamo.  9/11 (and WWII too) arose out of a period and policy of non-intervention and reduced preparedness.  Both Pres. Obama and Rand Paul need to stand up and recognize evil and the threat of letting it grow, spread and prosper.

"Al Baghdadi even served four years in a U.S. prison camp for insurgents, at Bucca in southern Iraq -- a time in which he almost certainly developed a network of contacts and honed his ideology."

Rand Paul will not make us safer.  And he will not be electable (IMO) running on the foreign policy of Barack Obama.  He says that will bring independents and liberals to him, which I doubt, but it certainly will distance him from much of the conservative base.  The world is not going to be safer, nor are the threats going to get smaller in the last two years of this administration coming into the next election, and facing the next President.

Rand Paul needs a Sister Souljah moment pretty soon with his father to tell him publicly he is wrong, it is not helpful, so stop it.
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan - The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea on: August 29, 2014, 11:53:32 AM

Paul Ryan is stepping up his game.  Paul Ryan subbed for Sean Hannity for a 3 hour nationwide radio show yesterday.  He was already into a monologue when I started listening that I thought was very inspirational, talking very clearly and persuasively about the direction we should be headed.  He has a new book out, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea".

I'm not convinced he could win, but he is a very sharp guy with a great background and has his head on straight.  He would be a great choice for President IMHO.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues - Plastic Bag Ban on: August 29, 2014, 11:12:56 AM
"There is no reasonable room I have seen for the right to take the lead.  You would have to be very, very quick to beat the left to the punch."

I disagree.  First you have to be emotionally available.  For example, I see no reason that a Rep could not seize upon the plastic bag issue, using the ED analytical framework I describe.  Yes the left has yapped about PBs first, but with no discernable limiting principle.  Lots of people intuitively understand the lack of cost-benefit in watermelon thinking and the lack of limiting principle and here we have a great chance to establish the principle while simultaneously allaying concerns that Reps are always going to find the analog the of the definition of gyres to quibble about.

The Rep who gets on our front with this, and similar problems will be seen as a uniter, the kind of leader that we need, blah blah.

[Add GM's link to the points made below.  "Without presenting any quantitative evidence, the editors wrote that plastic bags pose a huge cost to the environment..."  In 2011, the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency released a study that evaluated nine categories of environmental impacts caused by different types of supermarket bags. The study found that paper bags have a worse effect on the environment than plastic bags in all nine impact categories, which include global warming potential, abiotic depletion, acidification, eutrophication, human toxicity, fresh water aquatic ecotoxicity, marine aquatic ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, and photochemical oxidation.]

Since yesterday's posts:
On second try, California plastic bag ban passes Assembly

Crafty,  Respectfully, may I assume this 'solution' (above) is not the approach you are describing?  But do you support this ban?

Giving credit where due, Crafty's gave support to this quite a ways back:
"plastic bags at the grocery store foul our planet, both land and sea, at great cost to marine life in particular."

I trust our host but still would like to see the math and science on this problem and this policy.  What about stores other than grocery, dollar store, home depot, mall stores, etc.  Why is it okay to target one industry and not all?  What about the other plastic wrapping in a grocery store?  I have made a conscience effort to take and use fewer plastic bags in all stores since that post of yours, while awaiting convincing evidence.  

We could asses everything a packaging tax.  But I am already paying a waste disposal charge - to my local government who chooses and pays the hauler and landfill.  Why am I paying a flat rate - for water, sewer, garbage - when my usage is a tiny fraction of my neighbors?  And I pay nothing in marginal cost for adding more bags to whatever garbage is there now.  It is actually against the law to NOT bag my garbage.  Reforming that is a better approach.

Common sense conservatism says that excessive waste is stupid, and wrong.  Libertarian principles say that people should retain choices - until they are hurting someone else.  Business economics tells businesses that packaging serves a valuable purpose, increasing quality and satisfaction while decreasing (direct) costs.  "External Dis-economies" tell us that the business and consumer can't feel the entire cost, therefore the government should intervene by levying that cost onto that transaction.  But that is not at all what is happening here!

I thought carbon was the largest problem on earth.  Toward that end, nuclear power is the only major source that is carbon-free.  (We didn't come to agreement on that either.)  Paper bags in place of from grocery stores triple the greenhouse gas emissions of plastic, require 4 times the water consumption to produce, and emit harmful methane in the landfiull.  How does that math  compare with the math on this ban?  [See GM's post.]  Re-use bags carry harmful bacteria, also viruses.  Even more so after we ban dangerous chemicals.  We could wash more, but these are current facts, repeatably measurable.  Public health and public healthcare costs are affected.  Where is that externality measured?  Government mandates have consequences, and usually not the intended ones.  My proposal is that new taxes and new regulations should require the passage of an accompanying, unintended consequence statement, not just an environmental impact statement.  

How mush clearer will the ocean be after this ban goes into effect?  They will tell us none until everyone, everywhere does it.  How much clearer will the ocean be and how much healthier will marine life be after the inland states follow?  None, so we switch over to the landfill argument.  What proportion of landfills are excessive grocery bags?   More importantly, we will feel better about ourselves if we pass more laws, and more laws are certain to follow this one.

The lesson learned in California is that government makes better choices than people.  Good luck translating that into conservative, free market enthusiasm.

The Republican who gets out in front of plastic bag bans (and soda bans, gun bans, SUV bans, campfire bans) across the country won't be the nominee.  Speaking for the 10% who need facts, evidence and reason (I don't buy that either), I will be emotionally available to these kinds of policies after I see the math and the science that supports it.  

The issue regarding ocean crap IMHO is proper disposal.  The fact that we generate too much waste is way more complicated than a grocery store plastic bag ban.  For one thing, why do I have to buy two or three of something when I need only one?  Maybe government could pass a law...
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: August 28, 2014, 05:40:22 PM
Great discussion here, jumping in a little late.

Answering the last, first: "Name me positions where the right is in the lead against external diseconomies"

The greatest external dis-economy I see in the US economy is the power of excessive government to tax and regulate beyond reason or proportion, choking out private businesses and transactions.  The right is the only side sounding off against that.

It is true that the left is so far out front on all issues environmental.  They are on it before there is a problem.  There is no reasonable room I have seen for the right to take the lead.  You would have to be very, very quick to beat the left to the punch. 

The right has sided with the environment plenty though.  A Republican President started the EPA and a family member, Republican, was the first national director of water quality.  He applied rigorous math and science to the priorities of measurement and cleanup of water supplies.  No partisan.  Not exactly what I see today.

One point of environmental lead for the right might be to attack the level of carbon emitted by excessive governments, federal, state and local.  Their total likely amounts to 40% of our carbon emissions and 40% of our garbage and ocean filth output.  What part of THAT could we cut back?

Where we weren't in the lead, it seems that Republicans have (almost?) never rolled back environmental standards.  The air and the water have never (in the last 50 years or so) been cleaner.  Give liberals some credit and lock in the gains.  But the success of the programs removes a lot of the future urgency.  Growing the economy would help people quite a bit more right now, IMHO.

If Dems say gas mileage should be 100 mpg by mandate, should Republicans say 105?  If they say do it in one year, we could say 6 months, even if the technology to do so either practically or affordably does not exist?  Again, it is hard to be out front when the anti-commerce, anti-freedom side is already all over it.

"Quibbling about the definition of gyres , , ,"

So what is a gyre?  I have no idea, but the "facts" stated in the article are intuitively unbelievable.  If I read it correctly, 40% of the oceans are so clogged in plastics and garbage that navigation is jeopardized.  I sincerely doubt that.  Of the people here who live near the coast, what percent of what you see is disgusting and what percent is beautiful?  Either 40% has some trace in it, or if it is all drifting to the same places, then a tiny percentage of the oceans, maybe .001%, are too clogged for surface travel or sea life.  These pollutants never break down, yet see fish are tearing them apart as fast as they can to their own demise.  Which is it?  And why does a liberal publication run the facts in the opinion section.  Crafty sees a real problem.  Fine.  Let's wait for those real facts.

This discussion started earlier with the idea of banning plastic bags in San Francisco.(?)  But if this is "a perfect issue to illustrate free market environmentalism", isn't the answer is to add the environmental cost of a plastic bag to the transaction?  That is NEVER what is proposed.

Why are we dumping garbage into the ocean?  We don't need to.  Who is doing that?  I'm not doing that.  Governments control garbage.  If San Francisco is doing that, STOP DOING IT!  Non-coastal areas are not doing it.  Are they saying that is just what blows into the water off of litter on the streets?

What is the cost of cleaning up one ocean square mile, acre or hectare?  And how many plastic bags does it contain?  Certainly that is quantifiable, at least with estimates.  Add up the cost, assess it to the perpetrators, and start the cleanup.  Who is proposing that?  I have not seen it.

"...the underlying fact that we are crapping up the oceans" 

If so, then let's take the gathering and presenting of those facts seriously.  And make our response to it effective and proportionate.

We were crapping into Lake Superior decades ago; there it was taconite tailings.  It was wrong and it was stopped.  No one has a right to do that.  Maybe liberals were out front stopping that, but isn't the issue non-partisan?
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: (US) Foreign Policy - Disproportionate Response on: August 28, 2014, 10:20:40 AM
Liberals and anti-Israelis often admit Israel is being bombed and attacked but blame or accuse Israel of making a disproportionate response.  It seems to me this is an entire topic in itself, which we should address regarding US foreign policy.

Isn't disproportionate response the essence of deterrence and deterrence is the essence of national security.

Denying the right to do that is put our national security at risk.  (And same obviously for Israel)

Looking it up on Google I see wikipedia calls it "Massive retaliation" and Foreign Policy magazine calls it "An eye for a tooth":

Deterrence is tough to achieve against the suicide bomber types but I think we have learned that leadership (such as OBL) value their own live, just not those of the rank and file.

Current example.  I.S. is threatening to behead another journalist if US does not end air strikes.  Shouldn't it be the other way around.  You behead one American and you set your own mission back by years.

Thoughts anyone?
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Defeciti over $500B this year, future looks worse on: August 28, 2014, 07:23:05 AM
I doubt if those numbers fully capture the new health care losses.

I wonder what the correlation is between defense spending reductions and future war impending.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Dan Rather on: August 26, 2014, 08:07:20 AM
Dan Rather on war against Islamic murderers, unless you would send your own son or daughter, shut up.

Why doesn't that same logic apply to the 99% always wanting to keep raising taxes on the 1%?
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 25, 2014, 01:39:24 PM
Silence to violence is not leadership.  Is the looting of private stores right?  Wrong?  Or check with our focus group guy.  Dearest leader Hillary says the latter.

In contrast, Dr. Carson said something about personal responsibility and can back it up with specific policies.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 25, 2014, 12:57:03 PM
Well, my position is we should wait for the facts.  Given that I am hard put to fault Hillary for keeping her mouth shut.

I agree, but we are not in her targeted constituencies.  And I think she didn't say wait and see, she said run and hide.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary on Ferguson on: August 25, 2014, 11:33:03 AM
Speaking of Cruz' view on foreign policy, what is HRC's view on Ferguson ? ? ?

Not ready for prime time.
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Strategy to use Ocare in the Senate races on: August 21, 2014, 08:45:44 AM
Republicans should circle back to the Obamacare failure, especially in the NINE Senate toss up races.  Great article:
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 21, 2014, 08:34:51 AM
Interesting media question posed, what would happen to the level of protests and violence in Ferguson if the media cameras were not rolling? Certainly the race baiters would go home.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 21, 2014, 07:45:48 AM
I am not bothered by bias (or wierdness) at the Huffington Post in the same way I am with ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT, LAT, Mpls Startribune, etc., so called mainstream.  They can do what they want with their brand name, and we can call them out on it.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 21, 2014, 07:30:56 AM
POTH tries to explain the unexplainable:

But if her election is already a certainty, why lose the Senate.  Those are 6 year terms!
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 21, 2014, 12:11:59 AM
 I love the personal story. It's hard to say what we can learn from Nixon. He was both a fool and a political genius. He won 49 states that year.

Hill doesn't just need loyalty, she is obsessed, with it. Something is amiss here IMHO.

What greater loss did O have than losing the House? And now the Senate.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 20, 2014, 10:43:49 AM
I believe the point of stumping for others is to create loyalties and political indetedness .  I can think of only one scenario where she won't ever need that.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: August 19, 2014, 11:55:10 AM
Anyone heard anything on the autopsy of  the US ambassador to Libya?

Was he as valuable as this guy?

Maybe we can send Eric Holder there to get at the "truth".  And interrupt a golf trip to announce it.

I have long complained that equal protection under the law has no meaning with this group of ruling bullies or to anyone else on their side of the aisle.  They don't even have equal curiosity.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, Ferguson, MO on: August 19, 2014, 11:35:53 AM
Strange, strange story.  Proves me right on one thing.  Look away from these breaking stories, unless there is something you can do to help, until the facts begin to come in.

More than a dozen witnesses - plus three autopsies - corroborate the police story (that I never heard in the media).  He was coming toward the officer.

But what was the uproar about?  Too many black getting shot by whites?  Really?  The odds are 15-fold higher in the other direction.  In fact, the fear of a black being shot is to be shot by another black.  That is tragic.

Did "protesters" really believe he was gunned down in broad daylight for no reason?  Did the officer have a history of that?  Did the police department have a history of that?  No.  But if that is what he had done, the man isn't any more dead the last 40 to be gunned down in Chicago.  But this one rose high in the news.  Partly because the news ran it wrong.  And partly because the protests are planned and orchestrated, not spontaneous.

One might ask, as I have done in the "America's Inner City" thread, what else is going wrong in these neighborhoods and with these people that is keeping them out of productive activities and responsibilities.  Comments?
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary candidacy on: August 19, 2014, 11:24:02 AM
While it appears to all observers (including myself) that I am losing my bet that she won't run, won't win the nomination if she does run and won't win the Presidency if she does run, today a couple of articles today seem to show the tides may be turning:
Hillary Clinton's SUmmer Slide, Hillary is inevitable no longer
By Tom Keane,  Boston Globe Columnist   August 19, 2014
Clinton’s numbers have dropped by 10 or more points
(Not much new here except that someone besides us is saying it.)

Hillary Clinton Not Campaigning Much for her Party in 2014
By Michael Barone - August 19, 2014

Just about everyone noticed Hillary Clinton's scathing comments on President Obama's foreign policy in her interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg.  But almost no one has noticed where Clinton hasn't been seen. That's on the campaign trail or at fundraisers for Democrats running for the Senate.

Why isn't she out campaigning for Democrats?
a)  This is going to be a lousy year for Dems.
b)  The candidates don't want her there.
c)  She isn't very good at campaigning.
d)  She doesn't like doing it.
e)  She doesn't want to face the difficult questions that come with being out there:

 Barone:  "That might force her to weigh in on Obamacare, illegal border crossings and fracking."

In other words, maybe she isn't running after all.   )

234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: August 19, 2014, 11:08:46 AM
"Latest scientific study points to volcanic activity and magma displacement being responsible for glacial melting and rising oceans"

Don't get your hopes up for this to fly in the MSM.  Next thing we know this too will be explained away as being due to fracking.

It was a great post nonetheless.  There is a lot more going on in climate than the alarmists would like to tell us.  People seem to understand this in polling.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 19, 2014, 11:06:20 AM
As I have been hammering for several years now, the Reps are utterly divided on foreign affairs and much of the core attitude that used to underlie Rep political strength on foreign affairs is gone.  With good reason the American people do not trust the competence of either party to lead this nation in war.  Which is a real big fg problem because it sure looks like a big war is coming!

Looked at through a political lens, Hillary's strategy is very interesting, potentially quite dangerous for us. 

Riddle me this:  How will the Reps respond to it?  More hawkish?  More Dovish?  How will each of the potential Rep nominees respond to it?  The American voter?  Given the American voter's well-earned distrust and looming war, is he/she likely to go for untested neophytes like Cruz or Paul? or Rubio? or?

(Oh and by the way, how does it square with what each of us thinks is best for American and the world?  This probably would be better answered in the Foreign Policy thread where I also posted it.)

Tangent:  I wonder why no one seems to note that Hillary's recent distancing from Baraq by pointing out that she, Petraeus, and Sec Def Paneta also supported arming the FSA in the early days of Syria, is also exactly what Sen. John McCain and Lindsay Graham advocated , , ,

She chose to serve BHO and carry out his vacuous foreign policy.  Now, assuming she's running, she needs to both distance herself from him - on foreign policy - while still getting 100% support from him and his staff, loyalists and band of campaign outlaws.  So she gave an interview ripping him, then immediately called him to "clarify".  Got ripped back badly by Axelrod, and still failed to distance herself.  (And WE are the ones screwed?)

Republicans will have the same heart wrenching debate over foreign policy that Americans are having with themselves.  Marco Rubio is hawkish. Rand Paul is dovish.  Mike Pence is busy exercising his executive experience.  This will play out.  The hawks need to demonstrate they aren't warmongers and the doves need to convince people they aren't pushovers.  The key will be to keep the debates positive and substantive.  In the end, we need to strengthen America from within and they all agree on that.

It is the Dems who can't run on abstractions.  They had their chance and they blew it.

Forgotten about Hillary Clinton's empty foreign policy experience is that her victorious rival named a special envoy to all the difficult areas, 24 in all, leaving her free to take unlimited trips to nowhere.
Obama administration’s 24 special envoys represent an unprecedented expansion of this mechanism
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Congressional races: And the Least interesting... on: August 19, 2014, 10:47:33 AM
Steven Hayward says Montana Democrats have found someone who can sit comfortably next to fellow MENSA member Barbara Boxer:

Less than 2 minutes will give you a good feel for the depth of the Dem field.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Most Interesting Candidate - Jeff Bell, NJ Senate on: August 19, 2014, 10:42:07 AM

The Most Interesting Candidate in the World
Column: Jeff Bell and the Republican future
It's not a party unless it's a Jeff Bell party

It's not a party unless it's a Jeff Bell party

BY: Matthew Continetti
August 15, 2014 5:00 am

Jeff Bell was a reform conservative before it was cool. He’s spent his career arguing with a risk-averse Republican establishment. He pushed Ronald Reagan to embrace the supply-side doctrine of tax cuts before deficit reduction. He spent the 1990s warning the GOP that its tax policy favored investment capital over human capital, corporate interests over working families. He designed a family-friendly flat tax that reduced payroll taxes, increased the child tax credit, taxed capital gains and regular income at the same rate, and ended business expensing. Payroll tax relief and a generous child tax credit are elements of today’s reform conservatism. Bell was there first.

Bell’s career has been a mix of thought and action. He was born and raised in New Jersey, and graduated from Columbia University. He fought in Vietnam. He was an aide to Richard Nixon and to Ronald Reagan, and was active in the conservative movement more generally. In 1978, he upset liberal Republican Clifford Case in the New Jersey Senate primary, losing to Bill Bradley in the general election. He’s the rare political consultant whose views of the world are more expansive than those expressed on Morning Joe.

While advising clients, Bell published two books—both recommended—and articles for National Review and the Weekly Standard. I got to know him when I joined the Standard in 2003. I’ve been in awe of his theoretical and practical intelligence ever since.

I once asked Bell which books best represent the future-oriented, dynamic, cheerfully populist, optimistic, supply-side worldview of President Reagan and Jack Kemp. He thought for a moment and told me to read The Cultural Pattern in American Politics and The Transatlantic Persuasion by Robert Kelly, and The Economy in Mind by Warren Brookes. Try getting that response from James Carville.

Bell repeated history in June of this year when he won, for the second time, the New Jersey Republican primary for Senate. He’s continued to surprise a lot of people by keeping the race between him and incumbent Cory Booker within 10 points. The press has largely ignored his campaign for horserace reasons. Washingtonians don’t think he’ll win.

The other day I watched an interview Bell gave to NJTV news. The questions dealt with process: where the polls stood, how much money has been raised, what the “ground game” looks like. But the questions missed the point. The reason to study Bell’s campaign isn’t his social media strategy. It’s his agenda.

Bell isn’t just running against Booker. He’s also running against the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy, which began in 2008 under Ben Bernanke and continues under Janet Yellen. Defenders of the Fed say its actions since the financial crisis have prevented a depression and sustained the recovery that began in June 2009. Bell says the Fed is responsible for the dreariness of that recovery—its shallow growth, its mediocre job creation. He says the Fed has helped deficit spenders in government, CEOs, and Wall Street bankers and investors. It’s harmed consumers and savers.

“While Washington has gotten free financing from the Fed, families planning for college, retirees living on a fixed income, and everyone else hoping to earn a decent return on their savings rather than speculating in the markets have fallen behind,” Bell writes on his website. “It is a travesty that our monetary policy has deprived seniors, parents, and savers in billions of income so Congress can rack up more debt.”

The value of the dollar is the top issue of his campaign. Bell attacks Yellen and the Fed as much as he attacks Booker. Indeed, one of his chief attacks is that Booker voted for Yellen. Bell has a plan to establish a new gold standard. Most importantly, though, he frames his agenda in terms of “restoring middle class prosperity.” The economy remains voters’ top concern, but voters continue to resist Republican economics as favoring business, the rich, and the connected. By focusing on the Federal Reserve, money, and the rising cost of living, Bell is doing more than trying to win an election. He is reshaping the Republican economic message.

Most of the GOP candidates on the trail this year will criticize the Obama economy. But, when it comes to saying what they would do differently, they won’t be more specific than calls for budget cuts and income and corporate tax cuts. They will be parroting the GOP message of the last 30 years, a message that has been producing diminishing returns.

Bell’s diagnosis is radical, comprehensive, and visceral. He knows that voters who aren’t conservative find it difficult to draw the connection between the Balanced Budget Amendment and their daily life. Talk about how these voters are paying more for less, though, and you are likely to find an audience.

I have become leery of single explanations for our troubles. I cannot say that adopting a gold standard would magically restore American prosperity. But I do think the case for the Federal Reserve has been overstated. The Fed can’t take credit for avoiding a depression while shirking responsibility for our subpar economy. The news is so disappointing that some economists have said we are in the middle of a long-term secular stagnation.

Since history runs only once, and in just one direction, there is no way of proving the counterfactual that things would be worse without zero interest rates and quantitative easing. The progressive heirs to Franklin Roosevelt’s belief in “bold, persistent experimentation” should be the last people to dismiss proposals from outside of the mainstream.

It is precisely the outlandishness of Bell’s vision that makes it worthy of attention. Even as America is rocked by domestic malaise and global crises, our elites return to the same old ideas. This should be a moment for contrarian original thinking. Confidence in government is low. The gap between the public and the caste is wide.

Obamacare is less popular than ever, yet Republicans don’t talk about it. A majority wants to see the illegal immigrant children from Central America returned home—in fact, a majority wants to see reductions in legal immigration—yet Washington’s priority remains comprehensive immigration reform. Americans overwhelmingly support Israel in its fight against terrorists, yet the picture painted by the media is one of Israeli aggression and Palestinian helplessness.

If you relied only on polling data, you’d be knowledgeable of the priorities and wishes of voters. But you wouldn’t have a clue about the priorities and wishes, the buzzwords, action items, clichés, and worldview, of the bipartisan American elite. For that, you’d have to turn to the media, whose concerns are entirely orthogonal, and even harmful, to the interests of the American people.

Nowhere is the divergence clearer than in perceptions of inflation. It’s true that the rampant inflation some conservatives predicted when the Fed announced its “extraordinary measures” has not appeared. But it is also true that inflation is difficult to measure, that growth in wages has been slow, that the cost of health care and tuition continue to rise. Voters complain about rising prices even as experts say the voters don’t know what they are talking about. Who is a politician better off siding with?

Last year, American Principles in Action, a group associated with Jeff Bell, released its own autopsy of the 2012 election. The report noted that, after unemployment, voters in the 2012 exit poll said “rising prices” were their top concern. “What voters dubbed ‘rising prices’ is really a declining standard of living,” the report said, “which many perceive to be the consequence of the ‘shrinking value of the dollar,’ as one Ohio focus group participant told us.” Experts may dismiss Jeff Bell’s calls for monetary reform, but that focus group participant in Ohio is likely to listen—and vote.

The report issued six recommendations to GOP candidates: Don’t avoid social issues but use partial-birth abortion and Common Core as wedges against your opponent; use the social issues to appeal to religious Hispanic voters; call for an end to the Fed’s inflationary policies; attack Obamacare for lessening the American standard of living; go after “the student loan racket”; and celebrate middle-class workers instead of “job creators.” As far as I can tell, Jeff Bell is the only Republican Senate nominee to adopt such an agenda wholeheartedly.

While I disagree with him on immigration reform, and believe an amnesty would hurt precisely those Americans he is trying to help, I am excited to see, for once, a candidate try something bold and original. Jeff Bell may be a lone voice in 2014, but he was also a lone voice calling for supply-side tax cuts in 1978.

Thirty-five years ago, Bell prophesied the future of conservative politics. He’s doing the same today.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Total European Economic Growth, 2nd Qtr 2014 = Zero on: August 15, 2014, 01:41:54 PM
Economic growth in Europe came in at zero in the second quarter of 2014. That's not the growth that Europe — with its huge unemployment rate of 12 percent, or roughly 19,130,000 people out of work — needs.
Euro-Zone Economy Stalls in Second Quarter as German GDP Slips

Problems of Europe failing/floundering from a US point of view:

1) Our economies are linked.  The EU is the largest trading partner of the US with $367.8 billion worth of EU goods going to the US and $268.6 billion of US goods going to the EU as of 2011, totaling approximately $636.4 billion in total trade.

2) We are copying their failed economic model.

3) We are backing their currency and bailouts:

"The gloomy numbers out of the euro zone—whose roughly $13 trillion economy accounts for 17% of the world's gross domestic product—join a litany of similarly sour reports this week from Asia, all pointing to signs of sudden weakness among many major economies." - WSJ link

Brian Wesbury remains optimistic, sees buying opportunities...
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues: Second illegal immigrant wave of 30,000 coming in Sept-Oct on: August 15, 2014, 09:42:42 AM
A second wave of some 30,000 unaccompanied illegal minors from violence-ravaged Central American nations is expected to swamp the U.S.-Mexico border in September and October, a crisis that could be worse than the one that has already pushed 62,000 children into the U.S., according to a top immigration group.

(I disagree.  This will not be the "second wave".)
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science: Wind farm requires 700 times more land than Fracking on: August 15, 2014, 09:38:33 AM
Energy Politics, Pathological Science Liars and Cognitive Dissonance of the Left all rolled into one:

Wind farm 'needs 700 times more land' than fracking site to produce same energy

Shale gas site 'creates the least visual intrusion' compared with wind or solar farm for same energy, according to Government's former chief scientific advisor on energy

By Emily Gosden, Energy Editor 14 Aug 2014
A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by the energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor.

Prof MacKay, who is Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said that a shale gas pad of 10 wells would require just 2 hectares of land ...
By contrast, a wind farm capable of producing the same energy would span an area of 1,450 hectares, requiring 87 turbines each 328-foot tall.  The large area covered by the farm as a whole would mean it would be visible from a surrounding area of between 5,200 and 17,000 hectares.

A solar farm generating equivalent energy would span a 924 hectare area, directly building on 208 hectares of it.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said: "This comparison by David MacKay clearly demonstrates that, contrary to what some people may assume, exploration for and production of shale gas would actually have less far less impact on the countryside than wind or solar energy.  "To supply an equivalent amount of energy a shale gas site would occupy just a small fraction of the land required for either wind or solar sites..."

The Department of Energy and Climate Change caused controversy last autumn when it published and then deleted from its website a graphic showing that onshore wind farms covering 250,000 acres would be required to generate as much power as the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, which would cover 430 acres.

241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / On Martha's Vineyard... on: August 15, 2014, 08:35:30 AM
President Obama walked into a local bank in Martha's Vineyard to cash a check. He was surrounded by Secret Service agents. As he approached the cashier he said, "Good morning Ma’am, could you please cash this check for me?”

“It would be my pleasure sir. Could you please show me your ID?”

“Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn’t think there was any need to. I am President Barack Obama, the President of the United States of AMERICA!”

“Yes sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations and monitoring of the banks because of 9/11, impostors, forgers, money laundering, and bad mortgage underwriting not to mention requirements of the Dodd/Frank legislation, etc., I must insist on seeing ID.”

“Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am.”

“I am sorry Mr. President but these are the bank rules and I must follow them.”

“I am urging you, please, to cash this check.”

“Look Mr. President, here is an example of what we can do. One day, Tiger Woods came into one of our bank branches without ID. To prove he was Tiger Woods he pulled out his putter and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a coffee cup. With that shot we knew him to be Tiger Woods and cashed his check.”
“Another time, Andre Agassi came into the same place without ID. He pulled out his tennis racquet and made a fabulous shot where as the tennis ball landed in a coffee cup. With that shot we cashed his check.
So, Mr. President, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, as the President of the United States?”

Obama stands there thinking, and thinking, and finally says, “Honestly, my mind is a total blank…there is nothing that comes to my mind. I can’t think of a single thing. I have absolutely no idea what to do and I don’t have a clue.”

“Will that be large or small bills, Mr. President?
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam - Europe, Muslims are not a minority on: August 12, 2014, 10:51:03 AM
IIRC "Mohammed" is the second most common name of new borns in Rotterdam.

Number one according to this:
Muslim demographic bomb
Muslims are Not a Minority
By Daniel Greenfield  July 25, 2013

...Muslims are not a minority. There are 1.5 billion Sunni Muslims worldwide, outweighing Catholics as the next largest religious faction at 1.1 billion and Hindus at 1 billion. They are still a minority of the overall population in Western countries, but a demographically trending majority.

In the UK more people attend mosques than the Church of England, that makes Muslims the largest functioning religious group there. Mohammed was the most popular baby name last year, ahead of Jack and Harry. In France, in this generation, more mosques have been built than Catholic churches and in southern France there are already more mosques than churches. Mohammed-Amine is the most popular double name, ahead of Jean-Baptiste, Pierre-Louis, Leo-Paul and Mohammed-Ali.

In Belgium, 50 percent of newborns are Muslim and empty Belgian churches are being turned into mosques. The most popular baby name is Mohammed and of the top 7 baby names, 6 were Muslim. A quarter of Amsterdam, Marseilles and Rotterdam and a fifth of Stockholm is already Muslim. The most popular baby name in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague is… Mohammed.

Europe’s Muslim population doubled in the last generation, and is set to double again. By 2025, (a decade and a half away), a third of all births in the EU will be Muslim
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Media catching up? on: August 12, 2014, 10:43:35 AM
"Doug, I don't see him losing the media at all. "  - ccp recently

I owe you an example or two of that.  Here is Dana Milbank, a leftist caricature of a MSM columnist from my point of view, writing almost identical words to what we have saying here for years.

My post, this thread, June 19, 2014: "Keeping up with our leader while the world is engulfed in flames:  Middle East burns while Barack Obama played his 175th and 176th (18 hole) rounds of golf as president."

Dana Milbank, Washington Post, August 12, 2014:  "Obama vacations as the world burns"
"Obama responded [to Hillary Clinton's criticisms] with not one but two rounds of golf. As the criticism became public, Obama was doggedly sticking with his plans to go on vacation — a decision that, if not in the category of stupid stuff, could fit under the heading of “tone deafness.” ...  after returning from the beach, ... He freshened up at his 8,100-square-foot vacation home...  Criticism from Clinton. War with the Islamic State. Trouble with Maliki. It’s enough to make a man hook his drive into the sand trap."

"President Barack Obama follows through on a swing while golfing at Farm Neck Golf Club as golfing partner former NFL player Ahmad Rashad, right, sits in a cart."

I played tennis with Rashad at his home during his last year with the Vikings.  Ahmad is such an amazingly nice guy in private and off-camera that Pres. Obama could very easily believe that he likes him.

Apparently Michelle is happy to have him out of the house.
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: August 11, 2014, 12:15:20 PM
Pres. Obama and the Dems are trying to keep multinational corporations in America by passing laws, issuing executive orders and deeming things to be law retroactively, instead of competing with other countries and economies on a level playing field based on business climate, regulations, taxers etc.  Witness firms like Walgreen and Minnesota's Medtronic dying to leave.

I wrote last year or so that California cannot solve its fiscal problems by raising tax rates - unless it bars the exits.

Minnesota's Governor is fighting the migration-out problem by attempting to levying state tax against the snowbirds even if they are gone for most of the year.

Glenn Beck noted in this context that the Berlin Wall was built and armed to keep people in, not to protect a border from outsiders as we think of it.

Is that what this country has come to - under liberal-fascist rule?  Really?
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Time Magazine, Senator Marco Rubio: Obama Needs to Dig In for a Fight in Iraq on: August 11, 2014, 12:04:21 PM
Senator Marco Rubio: Obama Needs to Dig In for a Fight in Iraq
Marco Rubio Aug. 8, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC - June 28: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during the Senate Foreign Relations markup of legislation (S J Res 20) that would authorize limited U.S. military force in support of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) humanitarian intervention in Libya.

Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups continue to threaten Israel. The United States and its allies have been forced to close their diplomatic missions in Libya because of fighting between secular militias and al Qaeda-affiliated groups. The Taliban is going on the offensive in Afghanistan as the United States and coalition partners continue to draw down.

ISIS, an extreme Sunni militant group that emerged from al Qaeda, has been occupying and razing churches across Iraq, pulling down crosses, destroying religious documents and holy sites, and forcing Christians and other non-Sunni Iraqis to convert or face death. It is capturing young girls and the widows of men they have executed for their own unmarried fighters. It has seized bridges, dams and other infrastructure that Iraqi towns and communities rely on for subsistence.

The United States is right to intervene in Iraq to provide humanitarian assistance to persecuted religious minorities—including the Yazidis currently surrounded by ISIS forces in northern Iraq and Iraqi Christians, who have been brutalized as ISIS has swept through their villages, massacring thousands and conducting forced conversions of those they do not kill.

But America’s security interests extend well beyond the fate of Iraq’s religious minorities. Because ISIS, with thousands of foreign fighters, many of them from the West, will not rest once it has taken Erbil or Baghdad. Its expansionist ideology will lead it to attack U.S. allies in the region and eventually Europe and the United States.

We have seen time and again in recent decades that terrorist groups, once established, use safe havens to launch attacks on the United States and our interests. We ignore this history at our own peril.

Instead of confronting this challenge head on, President Obama has until now avoided taking decisive action. He has let the civil war in Syria simmer for years, creating the space for this jihadist threat to grow and letting instability spread to Syria’s neighbors. Even after ISIS captured Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, in June, the President was hesitant in his response, sending several hundred military advisors but not confronting ISIS directly even as it made military gains. Now, we are rightfully providing food and water to people who face slaughter from extremists who have pledged to kill them.

Given the threat that ISIS poses to not just the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, but also to our Kurdish partners in northern Iraq, the President was right to begin to strike ISIS targets. We also need to strike supply routes from Syria, leadership, and frontline military units from the air. We should target the oil refinery in Syria they are using to fund their operations. And we should go after other assets and funding networks to deny them the financing they need to carry out their operations.

We need to significantly increase our military and humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi government, as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government. Baghdad has in recent days taken action to assist the Kurds with air support, providing some hope that a political settlement that unites all Iraqi political factions remains possible.

The Kurds in particular need urgent U.S. assistance, including weaponry and training for their peshmerga forces that are now facing an adversary equipped with more advanced weaponry, some of it of U.S. origin stolen from the Iraqi military. The Kurds are also hosting more than a million refugees from other parts of Iraq and Syria that have fled their villages in the face of ISIS’s advance. Due to ongoing disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, the Kurdish government has limited resources to continue to provide for these refugees and for their own people.

President Obama rightly stated that he decided to use military force to protect U.S. diplomats and military personnel in Iraq. But this should not be our only goal.

ISIS’s continued rise is not just a problem for Iraq or its neighbors. If we do not continue to take decisive action against ISIS now, it will be not just Iraqis or Syrians who continue to suffer, it will likely be Americans, as a result of a terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland or on our personnel overseas. America was faced with the same choice President Clinton faced in the 1990s during the emergence of al Qaeda: take action now, or we will be forced to take action in the future.

It is time to begin reversing this unprecedented tide of jihadist victories. America’s security and the safety of the American people are at stake.

Marco Rubio, who represents Florida in the U.S. Senate, is a member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence Committees.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Healthcare, Rubio: Congress must act to block health insurance bailout on: August 11, 2014, 11:58:54 AM
This should also go in the President Rubio thread.

More ObamaCare woes: Congress must act to block health insurance bailout
By Sen. Marco RubioPublished August 08, 2014FoxNews.comFacebook431 Twitter217 livefyre325

As evidence mounts of a looming taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurance companies under ObamaCare, the urgency grows for Congress to take this possibility off the table for good.

As expected, ObamaCare's costs are rising, and health insurers are passing them along to patients in the form of higher premiums and deductibles.

Just this week, a majority of insurers offering health plans in Florida announced rate increases ranging from 11 to 23 percent. This means that if patients balk at paying this sharp increase and drop their coverage, these health insurers will have to make up the difference somehow.

Enter section 1342 of the ObamaCare law, which established so-called "risk corridors".

According to this provision, taxpayers will make up the difference for health insurance companies whose plans lose money under ObamaCare. Last November, as it became clearer what this section of the law actually meant, I introduced legislation repealing it and protecting taxpayers from being forced to cover insurers' ObamaCare losses.

Afterwards, as pressure from taxpayers mounted on the Obama administration, it announced that it had no intention of operating this bailout program at a net cost to the American people. As expected, health insurers and their lobbyists revolted. I called the administration's bluff, and introduced new legislation that would codify into law what they have promised and prohibit this "revenue neutrality" from being achieved through use of taxpayer funds. Not surprisingly, it's gone nowhere in the Democratically-controlled Senate, and the White House won't go anywhere near it.

In recent weeks, the public has learned that senior White House officials have been working closely with insurers behind the scenes to make sure that their earlier bailout deal, which helped assure ObamaCare's passage in 2010, would stand and that a taxpayer-funded bailout was still, in fact, on the table.

According to a recent investigation conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Darrell Issa, insurers widely expect to receive funds from the bailout program. One large health insurer recently filed financial statements claiming they expect part of their revenue to come from American taxpayers via the ObamaCare bailout "fund".

This "fund" brings us to another dimension of the Obama administration's maneuvering to make sure that health insurers get paid. Knowing that the current U.S. House of Representatives will never appropriate money for this bailout, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) figured out a way to use general funds available through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pay off health insurers. The effect is to circumvent Congress' power of the purse for the purpose of bailing out health insurers with taxpayer funds.

On this ObamaCare bailout, as with so many issues, Washington politicians are misleading average Americans and planning to stick them with the bill. This is government favoritism and corporate cronyism at its worst.

With ObamaCare's costs rising and projected to cost more than $2 trillion over the next decade, its damage on people's jobs and work hours continuing, and the prospect of a taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurers still alive and well, it's clear this law has failed. It's time to repeal and replace it, but at the very least, we should make it the law of the land that health insurers won't be bailed out by taxpayers because ObamaCare has not proven to be as profitable as its proponents hoped it would be.

Republican Marco Rubio represents Florida in the U.S. Senate. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: August 11, 2014, 11:42:15 AM
"...he seems to be hemmed in by his previous isolationism"

Yes.  Also, so far he has always been able to avoid explaining and distancing himself from a long record of controversial remarks by his dad.  As he rises in stature, the need to clarify will become greater.

For better or for worse, he would be slowest to respond to these situations as they arise, such as the bonfire once called the Middle East.  If these two were the nominees, Hillary sadly would win the peace through strength argument.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues, James O’Keefe Crosses US Border Dressed As OBL on: August 11, 2014, 11:33:00 AM

James O’Keefe Crosses The US-Mexico Border Dressed As Osama Bin Laden

Investigative filmmaker James O’Keefe exposes the U.S.-Mexico border’s vulnerability to terrorism in his latest undercover project, obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

O’Keefe’s Project Veritas video reminds viewers of recent statements by the president and Obama administration officials that the southern border is secure. O’Keefe then proceeds to Hudspeth County, Texas, to easily cross back and forth cross the Rio Grande wearing the costume of modern history’s most recognizable terrorist.

“I see no border patrol. I see no security,” O’Keefe said in the video before donning a bin Laden mask. “Thousands of people have stood in my footsteps right now. They’ve come from South America, Honduras, Guatemala, and they’ve all crossed the border. And if they can cross, anybody can cross.”

Read more:
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SOFA up from the memory hole on: August 11, 2014, 12:41:24 AM

It would not be fair to these other creatures to call him a weasel or a snake for the way he passes blames and shifts positions.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul, foreign policy on: August 11, 2014, 12:37:31 AM
Rand Paul said in June he would not rule out air strikes in Iraq, but still it would seem that he is to the isolationist side and to the left of Pres Obama and potential foe Hillary Clinton on Libya, Iraq, Syria and foreign policy in general.
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