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5051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 31, 2012, 04:02:13 PM
"Israel was the aggressor in '67?!?"

For that to be true you would have to believe that all opposing air raids must complete their missions and all bombs must land and explode before it is "legal" to defend yourself.

FYI to JDN, if you wait until you are dead to respond, you did not act in self defense.  To the contrary, you failed to act in self defense.
5052  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 31, 2012, 01:32:37 PM
And it wasn't hate speech for a certain chancellor if all of Germany agreed with him...  What a bizarre criteria for distinguishing between right and wrong.

While you were driveling around I think you forgot to answer the question, are they our best ally in the region?

Or are they a rogue nation ready to make more unprovoked attacks on neighbors as you suggest?

How can they be both?
5053  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 19.9% unemployment supplement on: July 31, 2012, 01:23:17 PM
Link to explanation of calculations made in the previous post:

Includes this chart:

By this measure, 'real' unemployment has doubled in the 6 years since Pelosi-Reid-Obama took control of congress and then the executive branch.

Whatever it is we are doing, ostensibly trying to help the middle class by attacking investors and businesses, it isn't working!
5054  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Constant Workforce U6 Unemployment Rate is 20% on: July 31, 2012, 01:04:46 PM
Crafty, I'll do my best to answer that.

When you adjust the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reported unemployment to the unemployment rate if we were to hold the workforce participation rate constant, the 9 million that left the workforce during the Obama years already includes the 3.1 million workers that left for disability pay.  

Here is the combined chart showing 20% unemployment for U6 assuming a constant workforce participation rate for the Obama years.

Definitions for U-1, U-3, U-6 and all other BLS unemployment measures can be found here:

The following chart shows around 9 million leaving the workforce during the Obama years:

Maybe more clear at this link:

It should be noted that the declining labor force participation rate is not unique to Obama.  The rate for males has been declining over a long period and the workforce participation rate for females peaked in 2000.  The important point is that we cannot continue straight line decline unless we also lighten the public sector spending load at the same rate, sharing that burden with fewer and fewer workers - which simply is not going to happen.  Instead it is logically and empirically the opposite; the higher the number of adults who don't work, the more that will receiver increasing benefits from our ever-expanding plethora of programs.

5055  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 31, 2012, 12:16:29 PM
Obj, your points on Obama and his background and disdain for all that made America great are well-founded.  More important though is to capture a significan number of the hearts and minds of the 69,456,897 people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008.  These people I think are more victims of a sort were experiencing disincentive denial.  They believed for the moment you can attack the rich, stomp out wealth, handcuff employers and strangle businesses without hurting the economy overall or hurting working people.  It's just not so and the evidence is all around us.  Saying that the destruction of the republic and our economy was intentional is probably not the most attractive argument for bringing them back.  There is no need to prove it was intentional, even if it was at the top, we only have to show it didn't work.
5056  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: July 31, 2012, 11:45:17 AM
"forcibly taking over Jerusalem, giving no compensation, and calling land in the occupied territory your "capital" is illegitimate." - JDN from Glibness thread

Hate speech IMO if you won't back it up.  Defense of your country is "illegal"?  Please cite the law along with a complete list of countries who have broken it.

Singling out Israel while looking the other way for all others reeks of antisemitism.  The same group that puts Assad and Khadafy on the Human Rights Commission lashes out constantly at Israel for committing acts of self defense.

The real question IMHO is this:  Has our half-hearted, wishy-washy support for our best ally in the region* Israel featuring equal respect for the terrorists who attack them been helpful or counterproductive to Middle East peace?

* In your world, who is our best ally in the region?  Which country seeks peace than Israel and more representative of our ideals?

Meanwhile we bow to unelected Arab royalty, Pres. Assad of Syria is a reformer, and Mrs. Arafat is oh so kissable.
5057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: July 31, 2012, 10:36:06 AM
Frank Gaffney has some credibility with me.  The line at the end looks a bit like a cheap shot, an avowedly gay man rooting for the wrong team, but it is quite odd and dangerous as he points out that gay activism is politically aligned in this country with Islamic extremism.  No, we aren't going to pass an Islamic law tomorrow to stone all gays to death, but that is only because we do not accept the basic tenets of Islamic law in civilized society.

Interesting that Muslim congressman Keith Ellison supports gay marriage.  That plays well in Minneapolis, but I did not hear him say that on his trip to Mecca.

You don't see that many Catholic pro-abortion activists.  Maybe Islam is more tolerant.
5058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 30, 2012, 06:24:07 PM
No. I still did not catch any supported reason why you believe that, just a smear.
5059  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Promised Not To Run Negative Ads In 2008 on: July 30, 2012, 06:21:15 PM
We're gonna run a different kind of campaign, we're not gonna go around doin' negative ads.  - Barack Obama - April 2008, Wilson, NC
5060  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney’s Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem, By Daniel Pipes on: July 30, 2012, 06:16:21 PM

The Corner

Romney’s Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem
By Daniel Pipes
July 30, 2012

Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee, delivered a stem-winder of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation yesterday, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama. For example, the opening comment that “To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land” directly contrasts with Obama’s crabbed statement in Cairo about “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland [being] rooted in a tragic history.”

Also, in contrast to the nonsensical Obama administration stance on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital — sneaking into change captions that mistakenly identified it as that and going through verbal gymnastics to avoid calling it that — Romney came out and plainly called Jerusalem “the capital of Israel.”

Many of his statements are paeans to the Jewish state and its extraordinary ties to the United States. Some quotations, with my italics on the key words in each quotation:

    Our two nations are separated by more than 5,000 miles. But for an American abroad, you can’t get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you do in Israel. . . .

    It is my firm conviction that the security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States. . . .

    We have seen the horrors of history. We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again. It would be foolish not to take Iran’s leaders at their word. They are, after all, the product of a radical theocracy. … We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran’s leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions.

    . . . our alliance runs deeper than the designs of strategy or the weighing of interests. The story of how America – a nation still so new to the world by the standards of this ancient region – rose up to become the dear friend of the people of Israel is among the finest and most hopeful in our nation’s history. Different as our paths have been, we see the same qualities in one another. Israel and America are in many respects reflections of one another.

    . . . the enduring alliance between the State of Israel and the United States of America is more than a strategic alliance: it is a force for good in the world. America’s support of Israel should make every American proud. We should not allow the inevitable complexities of modern geopolitics to obscure fundamental touchstones. . . . A free and strong America will always stand with a free and strong Israel. . . .

    By history and by conviction, our two countries are bound together. No individual, no nation, no world organization, will pry us apart. And as long as we stay together and stand together, there is no threat we cannot overcome and very little that we cannot achieve.

But of the whole speech, it is the final words that most struck me: “May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.” When last did a politician ask the Lord to protect another country?

Comments: (1) Obama and Romney stand as far apart on Israel as they do on the sources of economic growth. (2) Over and over again, Romney returned to the moral bonds between the two countries; yes, there are mutual benefits from our connection, but ultimately it reflects something higher and greater than any of us. (3) If he is elected, it will be fascinating to watch to what extent the outlook expressed today will translate to the workaday policy issues. I expect it will have a substantial effect.
5061  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 30, 2012, 06:00:04 PM
If you already posted why my version of the facts is wrong or anything that supports your version of the facts, I missed it.  Are the other 192 nations in the United Nations all legitimate and just Israel is illegitimate?

If your story is right and they are the worst of 193 nations, why stop at denying them a capital?  Obama is bragging that he, in the first person, has given them record levels of aid.  If they are an illegal nation, why have an embassy at all?  Why not cut off trade?  Cut off aid.  Kick them out of the UN if they are illegitimate in borders and actions.  But Obama proposes none of that.  Why not? He wants it both ways.  Being deceitful is complicated.
5062  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney says Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel on: July 30, 2012, 03:33:28 PM
Romney says Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel

That was easy. 

In other news, Sacramento is still the capital of California, lol.
5063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Basher Assad, a different leader, a Reformer - HRC, March 2011 on: July 30, 2012, 03:27:24 PM
Here's Mrs. Clinton's fuller quote, from March 27, 2011, answering CBS's Bob Schieffer on why the U.S. was prepared to intervene against Moammar Gadhafi but not against Assad: "There's a different leader in Syria now," she explained. "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he is a reformer." - Hillary Clinton, current Secretary of State, advancing that viewpoint to support validate her policy.  Not surprising since she previously had quite a kiss with Mrs Arafat at the conclusion of a hate-Israel speech:

In 2007, Nancy Pelosi enthused that "the road to Damascus is a road to peace."   The lady wants to be Speaker of the House - again.

On March 16, 2011—the day after the first mass demonstration against the regime—John Kerry said Assad was a man of his word who had been "very generous with me." He added that under Assad "Syria will move; Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States." This is the man who might be our next secretary of state.
5064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics: 3.1 million added to disability rolls on: July 30, 2012, 03:14:31 PM
Bringing this info forward also:

"since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits."
5065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Implied Unemployment Rate on: July 30, 2012, 03:09:56 PM
Bringing this GM post forward in the process of gathering info to answer Crafty's question.  "The real unemployment rate actually rose in January to 11.5%".  To this we might add the disability increase.  Posting disability numbers separately.  I will look deeper into it later.

Implied Unemployment Rate Rises To 11.5%, Spread To Propaganda Number Surges To 30 Year High
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2012 09:35 -0500

Sick of the BLS propaganda? Then do the following calculation with us: using BLS data, the US civilian non-institutional population was 242,269 in January, an increase of 1.7 million month over month: apply the long-term average labor force participation rate of 65.8% to this number (because as chart 2 below shows, people are not retiring as the popular propaganda goes: in fact labor participation in those aged 55 and over has been soaring as more and more old people have to work overtime, forget retiring), and you get 159.4 million: that is what the real labor force should be. The BLS reported one? 154.4 million: a tiny 5 million difference. Then add these people who the BLS is purposefully ignoring yet who most certainly are in dire need of labor and/or a job to the 12.758 million reported unemployed by the BLS and you get 17.776 million in real unemployed workers. What does this mean? That using just the BLS denominator in calculating the unemployed rate of 154.4 million, the real unemployment rate actually rose in January to 11.5%. Compare that with the BLS reported decline from 8.5% to 8.3%. It also means that the spread between the reported and implied unemployment rate just soared to a fresh 30 year high of 3.2%.
5066  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney in Israel on: July 30, 2012, 12:36:20 AM
Another take on this trip is that Romney is shoring up support from conservative Republicans and evangelicals who have a concern or passion for Israel in numbers larger than Jewish Americans.
5067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 109 million US adults 45.5% unempolyed, underemployed or not in the labor force on: July 29, 2012, 11:51:47 PM
Obj, I also consider George Will an independent.  His views are his own; they come out mostly conservative but not aligned with anyone or any movement.  In the context of this thread, we have been reading a lot of analysis from Brian Wesbury for one, who is a great economist but works for an investment house and I think has been trying to put lipstick on a pig in terms of this economy.  He says we are plowing forward but we really are standing still while multiplying our debt burden which means we are really moving backwards at an alarming rate.

By great economist I still mean that he is a economist who writes with the same conventions as the other economists, using misleading measures for things like growth rate, poverty rate, unemployment rate, among others, because that is the language they speak.

I tried to make a different point recently by questioning why they don't use a baseline growth rate where anything below that breakeven line would be considered a cut.  With a more honest measurement IMO it might be easier to see or admit that we are in about the 5th year of man made recession.  If we are not recovering it isn't a slow recovery or any other kind of recovery.  I think GW is making that same point in his own way.

Crafty, I don't know if I understand your question correctly but I think I would try to answer in a more simple manner:

There are how many adults in the USA?  Of that number, how many work at least full time?  How many don't.

Not in the numbers below, but more descriptive economically might be to measure how many adults work full time in the private sector, pulling the wagon, and how many do not.  The answer I believe is that less than 30% work full time or more in the private sector pulling the load and more than 70% do not.

Less than half of working age Americans work full time, here is a source:

These numbers are about a year old:

Only 47% Of Working Age Americans Have Full Time Jobs

The total non institutional civilian labor force (Americans 16 years and older who are not in a institution -criminal, mental, or other types of facilities- or an active military duty) is reported as 238.889 million. Of these, we see:

    Employed: 139.206 million people (58.3% of labor force)

    Unemployed: 14.485 million people (6.1% of labor force)

Obviously, that can't be the total picture, we're only at 64.4%. This is why:

    Part time employed for economic reasons: 8.931 million people. This concerns people who want a full-time job but can't get one.

    Part time employed for non-economic reasons: 18.184 million people. Non-economic reasons include school or training, retirement or Social Security limits on earnings, but also childcare problems and family or personal obligations.

But the by far largest category "missing" from both the Employed and Unemployed statistics is the "Not In Labor Force": 85.2 Million people.

The BLS definition states: "Not in the labor force (NILF). A person who did not work last week, was not temporarily absent from a job, did not actively look for work in the previous 4 weeks, or looked but was unavailable for work during the reference week; in other words, a person who was neither employed nor unemployed." (Clearly, this does include lot of unemployed people).

To summarize: 108.616 million people in America are either unemployed, underemployed or "Not in the labor force". This represents 45.5% of working age Americans.

If you count the "Part time employed for non-economic reasons", you get 126.8 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, working part time or "Not in the labor force". That represents 53% of working age Americans.

So only 47% of working age Americans have full time jobs. While the official unemployment rate is 9.4%. Something's missing somewhere.

A few more factoids on the topic:

    Today, the long term unemployed make up 42% of total unemployed. That is to say, of course, those who are actually counted as unemployed instead of "Not in the labor force".

    43.2 million Americans receive foodstamps. That's 18.1% of all working age Americans. If they all have on average 1.5 dependents, which is probably a reasonable estimate, a full one third of the US population receives at least part of their food through this system.
5068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - George Will Growth Recession on: July 29, 2012, 03:10:19 PM
Famous people reading the forum, this is George Will taking a stab at a point I have been trying to make.   I was saying we are below the 'baseline' for 'breakeven' growth.  It is really negative growth or a growth deficit.

George Will said today:  "We're in a growth recession.  That sounds like an oxymoron.  It isn't.  We're now in the 4th year of a recovery and we're growing but receding at the same time because we're not growing fast enough to create enough jobs to even take account of the natural growth of the workforce."

Go to about 12:20 of the This Week video:
5069  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 29, 2012, 02:37:55 PM
JDN, I agreed with you at the beginning, "Perhaps better to give it up". lol.

No, I don't have any best friends who broke into their neighbor's house, stole a major city, car, jewelry, whatever, and are still my best friend, and that isn't what happened, good grief.  Why have these threads if you can't or won't read them.  Enemies of Israel attacked Israel and lost land in the process.  Which part of that was ILLEGAL?  Did it happen some other way?  Israel is occasionally accused of taking a disproportionate response.  I hope so.  If you (or Carney or Obama) side with Israel's enemies, just say so.  I guess you did.

Israel to you and these others is an illegitimate nation, and the other 192 nations in the UN are fine.  Unbelievable.  We could pick dozens of examples to show how absurd that is.  Why is North Korea a legitimate nation?  Did they rightfully acquire the land under their capital?  Did the US acquire the land under Washington D.C. through war?  Why do we recognize our own country or capital.  Considering the anti-border enforcement movement, maybe you don't.  Why can't you see Israel is being singled as appeasement to the enemies of Israel, not because they are worse than all 192 others.  Why is that right, it isn't, and what did we gain through that policy, nothing.

If you and others side with the enemies of Israel, fine, but then why do we have to hear all the BS about how they are our ally and we stand by them.  They are but we don't.
5070  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 28, 2012, 03:37:03 PM
"I guess the question is from whose perspective."

I was asking YOU.  

cap·i·tal [kap-i-tl] noun
1. the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.: Tokyo is the capital of Japan.

If NK says somewhere other than Pyongyang or outside the country is the Capital of North Korea, it wouldn't be so.  

If I have one dog and one cat but then I say my cat is a dog, how many dogs do I now have?  Still just 1.  Saying a cat is a dog doesn't make it so.  

The official seat of the government of Israel is in Jerusalem.  Is it not?

You think the President's spokesman does not know that?

"As for Jay Carney, perhaps Tel Aviv isn't the capital, but then neither is Jerusalem.  So maybe he doesn't know; I don't know, but he knows and I know that the legitimate capital of Israel is not Jerusalem."

Wikipedia: "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel..."

CIA Fact book:  "Country: Israel, Capital: Jerusalem"

Israel is not a legitimate country so where they locate the official seat of their government is not the capital?  Is that what you're thinking?  193 countries in the UN, where else do we not recognize a capital?

Do you realize what an odd discussion this is?
5071  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: July 28, 2012, 01:41:59 PM
Yes. Great speech!  Anyone who has had their business swallowed up or nearly so by the regulatory red tape can feel that passion.

For me, taxes cost more than food, shelter, clothing, transportation and healthcare combined, but regulations are worse.

A great line in there:

Take the heavy boot off the throat of America's job creators and LET THEM BREATHE!

We spend $1.75 trillion on red tape.  There is your deficit and then some.
5072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 28, 2012, 01:25:40 PM
Deception and distraction are what they sell.  Economic disaster is what you buy if you buy it.  At their very best they can accuse opponents of exactly what they are doing in plain sight, whether it is false context or refusing full disclosure.
5073  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 28, 2012, 12:56:40 PM
Not following you JDN.  You didn't say what is the capital of Israel.  In what city is the Knesset?  Wouldn't that be the capital?  In what country is Jerusalem?

If the right answer is that the capital of Israel is in Tel Aviv, why didn't Jay Carney say that?
5074  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 27, 2012, 06:26:08 PM
The way we normally determine where the Capital is in a state of foreign land is ... ASK THEM.

The Capital of North Korea is ... Pyongyang.  How do we know that?  They said so.

Israel has declared in Israeli law that Jerusalem is the Capital.  How could the Capital be anywhere else?  Is Israel a less legitimate nation than North Korea?  Less of an ally??

Barack Obama and team don't want to say the longer story.  Israel says the Capital is Jerusalem, Israel's enemies object.  We the Obama administration side with the enemies on this one.  (Bush's fault.)

Life is complicated, foreign policy too, if you don't or can't distinguish between good and evil.
5075  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 27, 2012, 06:17:09 PM
There seems to b e a misconception, Romney is running for President of Bain Capital, been there done that.  Were you going to reply on what is the minimum number of years of tax returns made public required by law to be President and their exact deadlines he seems to have missed?  You've added Donna Bazille to the list of people who won't vote for him until he releases at least 4, 6 or was it 12 returns?  Funny.

If Hillary went all the way back honestly without a statute of limitation she would be an options trading felon.  And no one cares.  Not running for President?  Well she was.

"Romney could end these discussions overnight by releasing his tax returns"

That just isn't so, is it?

Romney's tax returns will tell you what tax policy was and some implications of it at the time of the returns.  You should already know that or else that information is available elswhere.  There is no reason to believe he hasn't followed all applicable laws or missed any reporting requirements to the various agencies. 

Unlike the Senator who was  the 60th vote to pass Obamacare, Al Franken, who owed taxes in 17 states amounting to over $50,000 or the Obama's Secretary of the Treasury who had filed wrong in 10 years of returns counting 4 years wrong twice.

Like the Registrar of Records for Hawaiian birth records, maybe some middle level IRS manger can certify that the former Governor is up to snuff on his returns and payments.  Would that satisfy you?  No.

He's running for POTUS.  You have to be 40 and a natural born citizen. Do you have any questions of him as to what he might do as President? 
5076  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - What is the Capital of Israel? on: July 27, 2012, 09:59:52 AM
Jay Carney Refuses To Identify Capital Of Israel Twice In White House Press Briefing

White House Press Briefing,  July 26, 2012
5077  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness source found - UC Berkley Prof. George Lakoff on: July 27, 2012, 12:14:14 AM
If you have already seen Pres. Obama's You didn't build that speech in context AND Elizabeth Warren's Someone else paid for that rant, then this video is a must see.

Obama and Warren bungled it.  Even the liberal professor, leader of progressives credits the taxpayers for what government has accomplished.!

George Lakoff - No One Got Rich On Their Own
5078  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mark Steyn: Stimulus so far = 1567 Golden Gate Bridges on: July 26, 2012, 11:40:53 PM
Obama implies we should get the rich to pay their fair share and build some infrastructure.  But with just the stimulus money spent so far we could have built the equivalent of 1567 Golden Gate Bridges in today's dollars.  Instead it was squandered.  With just the existing spending in our federal budget 2011 we could build 6788 Golden Gate Bridges.  Instead we got what?

Steyn says: "Instead of roads and bridges, Obama-sized government funds stasis and sclerosis: The Hoover Dam of regulatory obstruction, the Golden Gateway to dependency."
"In Obama's "visions," he builds roads and bridges. In reality, the President of Dependistan has put nothing but roadblocks in the path to opportunity and growth."
5079  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Walter Russell Mead on the budget pressures facing higher education on: July 26, 2012, 03:35:15 PM
From WRM's American Interest website, selected as 'notable and quotable' in the WSJ:

[The University of Missouri] has just announced that it is closing its university press after losing its annual subsidy of $400,000. Now professors and students are up in arms over the closure, decrying the move as an attack on scholarly discourse and taking to Facebook petitions to protest the decision.

Look past the uproar, however, and it is clear that this is part of a wider trend. A number of other universities, including prestigious schools like Rice, have shuttered their presses, and six more have joined it in the past three years alone. As state budgets contract, and as private universities face higher costs, schools across the country are all finding out the same thing—the money just isn't there.

Fewer university presses with higher standards would probably serve humanity better than the current system. Some of the problem stems from the nature of the tenure system, in which every academic in the country is under pressure to publish books whether he or she has anything worth saying or not. In that sense the university press problem is a symptom rather than a cause of academia's woes. Parts of the university press system work like vanity presses, where the driving force in the system is the author's need to be published rather than the reader's need to know.

What's going on here, however, is less about quality than it is about money and the outmoded foundations of American institutions and practices built in the post World War Two era. The baroque inefficiency of the academic enterprise—and especially the research model university, which . . . has built a system that demands enormous outside resources to continue to function.

In a handful of cases, notably the best endowed private universities, there is enough money on hand to make this system work. But less affluent private universities and virtually all public universities face a harsher climate. And as state governments in particular face claims on their tight revenues from more powerful constituencies than university faculty and staff, the public universities are being systematically starved of cash.

There are two ways for the system to respond. One is by cheese paring: cutting costs on "extraneous" or "non-core" activities while trying to preserve the heart of the old model. This looks like simple common sense to most administrators, and it is often the thinking that leads to the closure of university presses as well as other activities that, in the cold light of a budget crunch, suddenly look like frills.

The second way is more difficult, but it is ultimately what the academy must do: it must reinvent itself and radically restructure. This would involve not merely closing down an expensive university press but rethinking the relationship of scholarship to teaching, and re-examining the relevance of the "publish or perish" system for the large group of disciplines and institutions where it doesn't really make sense.
5080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New home sales double dip on: July 26, 2012, 03:17:47 PM
"Sales of new U.S. homes unexpectedly dropped in June from a two-year high..."

"Unexpectedly", lol.

Employment is down, incomes are down, wealth is down,growth is down, confidence is down, 62% say we are on the wrong track, why wouldn't new home sales be down?

Who buys the new homes that drive home construction employment, the lowest income quintile?
5081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy: Tax Fairness on: July 26, 2012, 03:08:24 PM
Good data presented here by Ari Fleischer in the WSJ a few days ago taken from the latest CBO study.  The top 20% make 50% and pay 70% of federal taxes, while the middle quintile pays 9% of the burden and the lowest pay essentially nothing and receive the most back. The wealthy "haven't been asked to do their fair share"??  What a crock.

Ari Fleischer: The Latest News on Tax Fairness
A new Congressional Budget Office reports shows the share of taxes paid by the top 20% has gone up over the last 30 years, while the share of taxes paid by everyone else has gone down.


If fairness in paying taxes means the amount you pay is based on the amount you make, then the only group in America paying at least a "fair share" is the top 20%—people who make more than $74,000. For everyone else, the tax code is a bargain.

You wouldn't know this from President Obama's rhetoric, but our tax system, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is incredibly progressive. Consider: The top 1% of income earners pay an average federal tax rate of 28.9%. (See the nearby table.) The average federal tax rate on the top 20% is 23.2%. The 20% of taxpayers earning between $50,100 and $73,999 pay an average 15.1%, and so on down the line. The CBO report includes payroll as well as income taxes paid.

There's also another way of looking at fairness, and that's the tax burden. Here, consider the top 20% of income earners (over $74,000). They make 50% of the nation's income but pay nearly 70% of all federal taxes.

The remaining 30% of the tax burden is borne by 80% of the taxpayers, those who make less than $74,000. In short, this group's share of taxes paid, 30%, is lower than the share of income they earn, 50%.

Yet President Obama says that "for some time now, when compared to the middle class," the wealthy "haven't been asked to do their fair share."

He's right that the system isn't fair, but not because the top 1% pay too little. It is because they pay too much.

Mr. Obama has said that some wealthy employers pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. True, some are able to lower their effective federal tax rate by giving millions to charity. Or because they derive much of their income as capital gains or from tax-free municipal bonds.

But middle- and low-income Americans who do not invest also pay lower rates thanks to the deductions they receive, such as a $1,000 per child tax credit (which phases out for couples who make more than $110,000), or the Earned Income Tax Credit, which no one making more than $50,000 is supposed to receive.

The CBO report ("The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009") covers the years 1979-2009. It makes plain that the impression conveyed by the president about what upper-income Americans pay in taxes does not hold up to scrutiny.

First of all, the share of taxes paid by the top 20% has gone up over the last 30 years, while the share of taxes paid by everyone else has gone down. It has gone up despite the tax cuts enacted by President Clinton in 1997 and by President Bush in 2001 and 2003. But that makes no difference to the president. The only group of taxpayers he calls on to "sacrifice" are those already doing all the tax sacrificing.

The top 20% in 1979 made 44.9% of the nation's income and paid 55.3% of all federal taxes. Thirty years later, the top 20% made 50.8% of the nation's income and their share of federal taxes paid had jumped to 67.9%.

And the top 1%? In 1979, this group earned 8.9% of the nation's income and paid 14.2% of all federal taxes. In 2009, they earned 13.4% of the nation's income but their share of the federal tax burden rose to 22.3%.

Meanwhile, the federal tax burden on middle- and lower-income earners is lighter. In 1979, the bottom 20% paid barely any taxes at all, just 2.1%. Now their share of taxes is a minuscule 0.3%. The burden on the middle-income earners ($34,900 to $50,100) has dropped too. In 1979, they paid 13.6% of all federal taxes; in 2009 they paid 9.4%.

One reason our country is so divided is because the president keeps dividing us. If taxes need to be raised to fight a war or fund a cause, the president should ask everyone to pitch in. If the need is national, the solution should be national—and that includes all of us.

But that's not how Mr. Obama governs. We learned during the 2008 campaign that he believes in spreading the wealth around. And recently we learned he doesn't believe that successful people made it on their own. Without the government, the president tells us, job creators and entrepreneurs would not be able to make it in America.

It's really the other way around. Without job creators and the successful, the government wouldn't have any money. So next time Mr. Obama meets someone in the top 1% or even the top 20%, instead of saying they're not paying their fair share, he should simply say thank you.
5082  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness continues on: July 26, 2012, 02:47:51 PM
Pres. Obama yesterday: "...our union may not be perfect, but it is perfectible."

Meaning:  The founders and the 43 Presidents before me were a little off the mark but my vision for the country is right.

A week ago:

"The mistake of my first term—couple of years," the president allowed, "was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right." At times, Obama confessed, he'd forgotten that "the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

No, Mr. President.  The mistake of your first term was policy; you got it wrong.
5083  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH - Iraq Ironies on: July 26, 2012, 02:40:53 PM
Iraqi Ironies

Victor Davis Hanson

Jul 26, 2012

Amid all the stories about the ongoing violence in Syria, the most disturbing is the possibility that Syrian President Bashar Assad could either deploy the arsenal of chemical and biological weapons that his government claims it has, or provide it to terrorists.

There are suggestions that at least some of Assad's supposed stockpile may have come from Saddam Hussein's frantic, 11th-hour efforts in 2002 to hide his own weapons of mass destruction arsenals in nearby Syria. Various retired Iraqi military officers have alleged as much. Although the story was met with general neglect or scorn from the U.S. media, the present director of national intelligence, James Clapper, long ago asserted his belief in such a weapons transfer.

The Bush administration fixated on WMD in justifying the invasion of Iraq while largely ignoring more than 20 other writs to remove Saddam, as authorized by Congress in October 2002. That obsession would come back to haunt George W. Bush when stockpiles of deployable WMD failed to turn up in postwar Iraq. By 2006, "Bush lied; thousands died" was the serial charge of the antiwar left. But before long, such depots may finally turn up in Syria.

Another staple story of the last decade was the inept management of the Iraq reconstruction. Many Americans understandably questioned how civilian and military leaders allowed a brilliant three-week victory over Saddam to degenerate into a disastrous five-year insurgency before the surge finally salvaged Iraq. That fighting and reconstruction anywhere in the Middle East are difficult under any circumstances was forgotten. The press preferred instead to charge that the singular incompetence or malfeasance of Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld led to the unnecessary costs in American blood and treasure.

But perhaps that scenario needs an update as well. Journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran's new book, "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan," is a blistering critique of the Obama administration's three-year conduct of the Afghanistan war and its decision to surge troops, chronicling stupid decisions, petty infighting, arrogance and naiveté. In an earlier book on Iraq, Chandrasekaran had alleged that America's Iraq dilemmas were the result of a similarly bungling Bush administration.

So was the know-it-all reporter right then about Iraq, or is he right now about Afghanistan, or neither, or both? And will the media revise their earlier criticism and concede that America's problems in conducting difficult wars in the Middle East are inherent in the vast differences between cultures -- fault lines that likewise have baffled even Barack Hussein Obama, the acclaimed internationalist and Nobel laureate who was supposed to be singularly sensitive to customs in that part of the world?

In 2008, we were told that predator drone attacks, renditions, preventative detentions, military tribunals, the Guantanamo detention center and the surging of troops into difficult wars were all emblematic of Bush's disdain for the Constitution and his overall ineptness as a commander in chief. In 2012, these same continuing protocols are no such thing, but instead valuable antiterrorism tools, and seen as such by President Obama.

For all the biases and incompetence of Nouri al-Maliki's elected government in Iraq, the Middle East's worst dictatorship now seems to have become the region's most stable constitutional government. Given Iraq's elections, the country was relatively untouched by the mass "Arab Spring" uprisings. And despite sometimes deadly Sunni-Shiite terrorist violence and the resurgence of al Qaeda, Iraq's economy, compared with some of the other nations in the Middle East, is stable and expanding.

The overthrow of Saddam was also supposed to be a blunder in terms of grand strategy, empowering our enemies Iran and Syria. True, Saddam's ouster and the subsequent violence may have done that in the short term. But how about long-term, nine years later?

The Assad dynasty seems about to go the way of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Bin Ali and Libya's Muammar Gadhafi. Syria's grand ally, Iran -- which barely put down popular demonstrations in 2009 -- has never been more isolated and beleaguered as it deals with sanctions, international ostracism and growing unpopularity at home.

Who knows whether Saddam's fall, trial and execution, coupled with the creation of an Iraqi constitutional government, triggered a slow chain reaction against similar Arab tyrannies.

The moral of the story is that history cannot be written as it unfolds. In the case of Iraq, we still don't know the full story of Saddam's WMD, the grand strategic effects of the Iraq war, the ripples from the creation of the Iraq republic, or the relative degree of incompetence of any American administration at war in the Middle East -- and we won't for many years to come.
5084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney and the 2002 Olympics on: July 26, 2012, 01:55:45 PM
This is a pretty good story about Mitt's management of the SLC Olympics 2002:

Romney and the Olympics: What the SLC Games say about a Mitt Romney presidency

By Lisa Riley Roche , Deseret News    July 25 2012
"Both supporters and critics of Romney's three years as the CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee say his experiences in Utah offer insights into what he would bring to the White House. "
"Romney's expertise is data-driven analysis."
"Bullock, who was Romney’s No. 2 at SLOC as chief operating officer of the Olympics, said Romney has had to tone down his personality since throwing his hat in the ring."
“I wish the rest of the world knew Mitt as we did,” Bullock said. “He’s just a blast to be around.”
“I always found him very unique because he was a leader and an executive."
“If he ever got in the White House, that would absolutely mirror what he did in the Games,” Eynon said. “When Mitt says he would cut nonessential things … I would take him at his word.” 
"Gillespie said Romney’s ability to focus on what’s important and give up what isn't, no matter how much pressure there may be not to, will win over voters." 

Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who’s heading the planning for Romney’s transition to the White House, said the results of the Olympics speak for themselves.

“Discouragement was replaced by belief. The $400 million deficit was replaced by a $100 million surplus. The 2002 Winter Olympic Games are widely respected as among the best ever put on,” Leavitt said.

Romney accomplished this, he said, by applying the principles learned at Harvard Business School and put in practice building a personal fortune estimated at $250 million: Start with tearing apart the books and bringing in experts from both the finance and Olympic world.

"I heard Mitt over and over again giving a speech talking about the need to separate 'want-to-haves' from 'need-to-haves.' He set clear priorities, made hard decisions and stuck with them." 

5085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues: POTH would rather be in Fallujah on: July 26, 2012, 01:01:06 PM
When Bush won 'unexpectedly' in 2004, NYT reporters were reportedly telling each other they didn't even know anyone who voted for Bush.  Rush L humorously pointed out that they would have to send "foreign correspondents" out to the heartland to find out what happened.

Let the record reflect that 61 years after the oil discovery the POTH has now sent an opinion reporter out to Williston, North Dakota to file a condescending and derogatory * report on a boom that has the potential to change geo-politics.

I know it was a day trip because the hotels are booked and she certainly doesn't have any friends there.

*  "There are certain things that journalists do as a public service because you, the noble reader, are probably not going to do them for yourself — like attending charter revision meetings or reading the autobiography of Tim Pawlenty. Going to Williston is sort of in this category."  - Gail Collins, NY Times
5086  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Senate votes 51-48 for a recession on: July 26, 2012, 12:47:10 PM
Raise taxes on employers and small businesses in a zero growth economy and you have a guaranteed recession, if all other factors are constant.

Senate Votes to Raise Taxes on Small Businesses

Yesterday, the Senate narrowly voted (51-48) to raise taxes on 1.2 million small businesses, which will likely kill more than 700,000 jobs at a time when nearly 13 million Americans are out of work. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA) joined all Republicans in bipartisan opposition to the tax hike.

Raising taxes on "only the rich" polls well as a plurality of people still believe you can soak someone else and not yourself, your family, your neighbors in an  integratively interconnected economy.  It just doesn't happen to be true.  Labor requires capital and employment requires employers with enough funds to meet a payroll and profit incentives to drive economic growth.

The Senate is actually bluffing or positioning because they know they don't have the votes in the  House.

Two Dem Senators, Joe Lieberman and Jim Webb, crossed party lines.
5087  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: July 25, 2012, 11:32:07 PM
From Crafty's WSJ/Henninger post:

Barack Obama is explicitly seeking a mandate to make the public economy pre-eminent. That is the unmistakable meaning of "You didn't build that."

Correct, no matter the meaning of 'that'.  Some of us have been begging for that kind of clarity from Republicans for a few years here.

Clinton used to blur the differences and co-opt his opponents' agenda.  RINOs do that too.  In 2008, Obama was cautious and cryptic, speaking in platitudes, even when he told a plumber we need to spread the wealth.  Now the President sounds hate-filled and angry: "You didn't build that!"  A far cry from hope and change.

The lines are drawn; it's the chicken and the egg.  One side says you couldn't have your business if not for the public sector.  The other side argues that you can't fund our public sector without a healthy private sector.

Both are right but voters have to choose which is pre-eminent.
5088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential -specious shiny objects on: July 25, 2012, 05:17:17 PM
Famous people reading the forum?

Romney responding to a reckless Biden remark: "We have very serious problems confronting our nation and American families are hurting, yet the Obama campaign continues to try to divert voters' attention with specious shiny objects. "
5089  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Moving Backward on: July 25, 2012, 02:44:33 PM
President on the trail, is:  “going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs.”

That's great - for a campaign with a motto of "forward".  Are they going to compete in a 1990's global economy too.  Maybe have an internet boom, dot com and housing bubbles too.  Can he get our competitors to set the clock back 20 years too?  How about rolling back regulations on businesses 20 years, lol.

Or he could ask his own advisers, the tax increase will cost the economy a couple million jobs.

"extending for one year the Bush tax cuts for families making less than $250,000"

The Obama plan sets the tax rate increase coming problem in motion for a third time, as if the first two didn't do enough damage.

Insanity: Do the same thing, expect a different result.
5090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney - VFW speech lays out foreign policy differences on: July 25, 2012, 02:15:54 PM
Romney to VFW, skipping intro:  ...
Just consider some of the challenges I discussed at your last national convention:

Since then, has the American economy recovered?

Has our ability to shape world events been enhanced, or diminished?

Have we gained greater confidence among our allies, and greater respect from our adversaries?

And, perhaps most importantly, has the most severe security threat facing America and our friends, a nuclear-armed Iran, become more or less likely?

These clear measures are the ultimate tests of American leadership. And, by these standards, we haven’t seen much in the President’s first term that inspires confidence in a second.

The President’s policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest recession in seventy years … exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify … compromised our national-security secrets … and in dealings with other nations, given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due.

From Berlin to Cairo to the United Nations, President Obama has shared his view of America and its place among nations. I have come here today to share mine.

I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.

In 1941, Henry Luce called on his countrymen – just then realizing their strength – “to create the first great American century.” And they succeeded: together with their allies, they won World War II, they rescued Europe, they defeated Communism, and America took its place as leader of the free world. Across the globe, they fought, they bled, they led. They showed the world the extraordinary courage of the American heart and the generosity of the American spirit.

That courage and generosity remains unchanged today. But sadly, this president has diminished American leadership, and we are reaping the consequences. The world is dangerous, destructive, chaotic. And the two men running to be your commander-in-chief must offer their answers to the challenges we face.

Like a watchman in the night, we must remain at our post – and keep guard of the freedom that defines and ennobles us, and our friends. In an American Century, we have the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, we secure peace through our strength. And if by absolute necessity we must employ it, we must wield our strength with resolve. In an American Century, we lead the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

If we do not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will take our place, pulling history in a very different direction. A just and peaceful world depends on a strong and confident America. I pledge to you that if I become commander-in-chief, the United States of America will fulfill its duty, and its destiny.

American leadership depends, as it always has, on our economic strength, on our military strength, and on our moral strength. If any of these falter, no skill of diplomacy or presidential oratory can compensate. Today, the strength of our economy is in jeopardy.

A healthy American economy is what underwrites American power. When growth is missing, government revenue falls, social spending rises, and many in Washington look to cut defense spending as an easy out. That includes our current President.

Today, we are just months away from an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with a trillion dollars in cuts, severely shrink our force structure, and impair our ability to meet and deter threats. Don’t bother trying to find a serious military rationale behind any of this, unless that rationale is wishful thinking. Strategy is not driving President Obama’s massive defense cuts. In fact, his own Secretary of Defense warned that these reductions would be “devastating.” And he is right.

That devastation starts at home. These cuts would only weaken an already stretched VA system and impair our solemn commitment that every veteran receives care second to none. I will not allow that to happen.

This is not the time for the President’s radical cuts in the military. Look around the globe. Other major powers are rapidly adding to their military capabilities, some with intentions very different from ours. The regime in Tehran is drawing closer to developing a nuclear weapon. The threat of radical Islamic terrorism persists. The threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation is ever-present. And we are still at war and still have uniformed men and women in conflict.

All this and more is ongoing in the world. And yet the President has chosen this moment for wholesale reductions in the nation’s military capacity. When the biggest announcement in his last State of the Union address on improving our military was that the Pentagon will start using more clean energy – then you know it’s time for a change.

We’re not the first people to observe this. It is reported that Bob Gates, the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another security problem within this administration. After secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to “shut up.” He added a colorful word for emphasis.

Lives of American servicemen and women are at stake. But astonishingly, the administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran.

This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis. And yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”

This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence. Obama appointees, who are accountable to President Obama’s Attorney General, should not be responsible for investigating the leaks coming from the Obama White House.

Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.

It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that. When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our findings after Election Day.”

Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets? Did a superior authorize it? These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now. If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.

And let me make this very clear: These events make the decision we face in November all the more important. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain? I’ll tell you right now: Mine won’t.

The harm done when national security secrets are betrayed extends, of course, to the trust that allies place in the United States.

The operating principle of American foreign policy has been to work with our allies so that we can deter aggression before it breaks out into open conflict. That policy depends on nurturing our alliances and standing up for our common values.

Yet the President has moved in the opposite direction.

It began with the sudden abandonment of friends in Poland and the Czech Republic. They had courageously agreed to provide sites for our anti-missile systems, only to be told, at the last hour, that the agreement was off. As part of the so-called reset in policy, missile defenses were sacrificed as a unilateral concession to the Russian government.

If that gesture was designed to inspire good will from Russia, it clearly missed the mark. The Russian government defended the dictator in Damascus, arming him as he slaughtered the Syrian people.

We can only guess what Vladimir Putin makes of the Obama administration. He regained the Russian presidency in a corrupt election, and for that, he got a congratulatory call from the Oval Office. And then there was that exchange picked up by a microphone that President Obama didn’t know was on. We heard him asking Dmitry Medvedev to tell Mr. Putin to give him “space.” “This is my last election,” President Obama said, and “After my election I’ll have more flexibility.”

Why is flexibility with Russian leaders more important than transparency to the American people?

President Obama had a moment of candor, however, just the other day. He said that the actions of the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez have not had a serious national security impact on us. In my view, inviting Hezbollah into our hemisphere is severe, serious, and a threat.

But at least he was consistent. After all, this is the president who faltered when the Iranian people were looking for support in their struggle against the ayatollahs. That uprising was treated as an inconvenient problem for the President’s policy of engagement, instead of as a moral and strategic opportunity. That terrible misjudgment should never be repeated. When unarmed women and men in Tehran find the courage to confront their oppressors, at risk of torture and death, they should hear the unequivocal voice of an American president affirming their right to be free.

I will leave Reno this evening on a trip abroad that will take me to England, Poland, and Israel. And since I wouldn’t venture into another country to question American foreign policy, I will tell you right here – before I leave – what I think of this administration’s shabby treatment of one of our finest friends.

President Obama is fond of lecturing Israel’s leaders. He was even caught by a microphone deriding them. He has undermined their position, which was tough enough as it was. And even at the United Nations, to the enthusiastic applause of Israel’s enemies, he spoke as if our closest ally in the Middle East was the problem.

The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world. And the chorus of accusations, threats, and insults at the United Nations should never again include the voice of the President of the United States.

There are values, causes, and nations that depend on American strength, on the clarity of our purpose, and on the reliability of our commitments. There is work in this world that only America and our allies can do, hostile powers that only we can deter, and challenges that only we can overcome.

For the past decade, among those challenges has been the war in Afghanistan. As commander-in-chief, I will have a solemn duty to our men and women in uniform. A president owes our troops, their families, and the American people a clear explanation of our mission, and a commitment not to play politics with the decisions of war.

I have been critical of the President’s decision to withdraw the surge troops during the fighting season, against the advice of the commanders on the ground. President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat.

As president, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. I will evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.

We face another continuing challenge in a rising China. China is attentive to the interests of its government – but it too often disregards the rights of its people. It is selective in the freedoms it allows; and, as with its one-child policy, it can be ruthless in crushing the freedoms it denies. In conducting trade with America, it permits flagrant patent and copyright violations … forestalls American businesses from competing in its market … and manipulates its currency to obtain unfair advantage. It is in our mutual interest for China to be a partner for a stable and secure world, and we welcome its participation in trade. But the cheating must finally be brought to a stop. President Obama hasn’t done it and won’t do it. I will.

We’ll need that same clarity of purpose and resolve in the Middle East. America cannot be neutral in the outcome there. We must clearly stand for the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights. And we must stand against the extension of Iranian or jihadist influence.

Egypt is at the center of this historical drama. In many ways, it has the power to tip the balance in the Arab world toward freedom and modernity. As president, I will not only direct the billions in assistance we give to Egypt toward that goal, but I will also work with partner nations to place conditions on their assistance as well. Unifying our collective influence behind a common purpose will foster the development of a government that represents all Egyptians, maintains peace with Israel, and promotes peace throughout the region. The United States is willing to help Egypt support peace and prosperity, but we will not be complicit in oppression and instability.

There is no greater danger in the world today than the prospect of the ayatollahs in Tehran possessing nuclear weapons capability. Yet for all the talks and conferences, all of the extensions and assurances, can anyone say we are farther from this danger now than four years ago?

The same ayatollahs who each year mark a holiday by leading chants of “Death to America” are not going to be talked out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons. What’s needed is all the firmness, clarity, and moral courage that we and our allies can gather. Sanctions must be enforced without exception, cutting off the regime’s sources of wealth. Negotiations must secure full and unhindered access for inspections. As it is, the Iranian regime claims the right to enrich nuclear material for supposedly peaceful purposes. This claim is discredited by years of deception. A clear line must be drawn: There must be a full suspension of any enrichment, period.

And at every turn, Iran must know that the United States and our allies stand as one in these critical objectives. Only in this way can we successfully counter the catastrophic threat that Iran presents. I pledge to you and to all Americans that if I become commander-in-chief, I will use every means necessary to protect ourselves and the region, and to prevent the worst from happening while there is still time.

It is a mistake – and sometimes a tragic one – to think that firmness in American foreign policy can bring only tension or conflict. The surest path to danger is always weakness and indecision. In the end, it is resolve that moves events in our direction, and strength that keeps the peace.

I will not surrender America’s leadership in the world. We must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose, and resolve in our might.

This is very simple: if you do not want America to be the strongest nation on earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American Century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity.

Fewer members of the Greatest Generation are with us today – and they can’t hold the torch as high as they have in the past. We must now seize the torch they carried so gallantly and at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough so that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.
5091  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena, Frank Marshall Davis on: July 25, 2012, 10:48:54 AM
I see why they call him a mentor, not his father.  Barack Sr. was an economist I thought, not a goat herder.  Yes, Barack Jr. came to his leftist views through his mother and presumably whomever she was listening to or hanging with in her own activism, including Davis.

Regarding "Soviet Agent", I believe his file includes photographing Hawaiian coastline but not known exchanges with Soviets.

From Wikipedia:
"Frank Marshall Davis knew Barack Obama from as early as 9 or 10, until he left Hawaii for Occidental College in 1978 at the age of 18.

Barack Obama’s 1995 autobiography, Dreams from My Father, included several examples of Obama receiving advice from Frank Marshall Davis:

    Obama’s grandmother (Toot) and Gramps have an argument over whether Gramps should give Toot a ride to work after she had been threatened at a bus stop by a black panhandler. Obama looks to Frank to sort it out in his mind. (p. 89-91)
    When Toot is having difficulty convincing the drug-abusing young Obama to apply for college, it is again Frank who is able to convince Obama that college is necessary. (p. 96-98)
    Frank tells the young Obama “…you may be a well-trained, well-paid nigger, but you’re a nigger just the same.” (p. 97)

Davis told Obama that black people "have a reason to hate [white people)" (Dreams from My Father, p. 91). He also advised the college-bound Obama to "keep your eyes open" and "Stay awake" otherwise he would be "trained" against his own interests. (p. 97) Obama explained how he carried out Davis's advice. "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets." (p. 100).
Reading about Davis, I notice the name Vernon Jarret is prominent among the activists, father in law to Valerie Jarret.  Reading about Valerie Jarret, there is no indication of a connection to Obama before Valerie hired Michelle instantly upon meeting her and wanted to meet her fiance Barack.  Quite a coincidence.
5092  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Women SD issues on: July 24, 2012, 03:45:26 PM
"He said the purpose of the motion had been to enforce the law that protects juveniles and their actions from disclosure."

Subject of a different discussion, but it is the offenders who are protected and future potential victims who are denied disclosure.  Something seems backwards there.  Justice prevailed because they didn't follow the law.

Very interesting post BD.
5093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: July 24, 2012, 03:34:35 PM
"in 18 months Obama himself became the #2 all-time recipient-- who was #1?"

That was my point.  If he became #2 for all-time during that year, he was certainly number one for that year.  (I searched but don't have a link or report to support that.)

"2) I am hearing that snopes is owned by a big Obama donor, but have no citation."

No, I don't think there is a smoking gun on them.

You may be thinking of, 'a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.  Barack Obama served as Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, whatever that means.  The bias shows up in which statements they choose to write about and that their conclusions are really just another biased opinion to add to the mix.  Take their coverage of the 'you didn't build that' scandal.  After you parse out the context, the President is still saying that in the larger picture the business did not build the business because the government, and not even his federal $4 trillion government, enabled it.  In the political context, that is complete bullshit.  There isn't a federal program opposed by Republicans or business owners anywhere within sight of the President's misleading straw argument.  There was no serious political point.  He was rambling with his 'Harry, I have a gift' confidence while exposing his own distaste for private enterprise and accomplishment and America saw it, on the long clip or the short clip.  He was also very nearly plagiarizing the plagiarist Elizabeth Warren.  The rant we thought was ridiculous he thought was promising and repeatable. 

It is a lie (IMO) for Obama to say or infer that a job creating, money making business is not paying it's share of everything around them, roads, schools, you name it, and for him to pretend in Presidential fashion that he is having a debate with opponents who want the business to pay nothing and keep everything by keeping federal tax rates the same.  The federal government is much more likely holding back that business than enabling it.  Yet puts it back on the Republicans for twisting his words.  That is their opinion, but not necessarily the last word.
5094  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: July 24, 2012, 02:46:53 PM
It is said that the candidate dishing out negative ads doesn't take the heat.  Maybe this is different.  This is an incumbent President blanketing airwaves in July, not a summer of recovery, with personal destruction ads on his opponent while he is too busy to meet with his jobs team, too vain to visit Wisconsin during recall, too ideological to listen to the deficit commission and too stubborn to work out a tax deal with Republicans.  Reelection and holding power is job one.  To hell with you people.

Romney ran Bain, whatever each voter is going to think about that.  Bill Clinton got caught lying about Jennifer Flowers before his first election, got caught taking young intern, Oval Office blow jobs in his second term - and voters including soccer moms still wanted to hear about his economic plan.

The smear ads on Romney end (I assume) with a proud, smiling President saying "I'm President Obama and I approve this message".  It must look desperate.  Also it makes you wonder why he isn't busy governing if he wants the job that badly.

Those ads should have been run by the outside groups but that is so hard to coordinate from the Chicago campaign headquarters without breaking federal campaign laws.

*  Latest poll in MN, one of the most yellow states, shows that Romney has cut Obama's lead in half and Dems losing by double digits on two ballot amendments, marriage and voter ID.
5095  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Medical Device Tax on: July 24, 2012, 02:03:48 PM
Tax something, get less of it.  Putting an extra excise tax on medical devices as if saving lives needs a sin tax is unbelievably stupid and counter-productive.

“In anticipation of the tax, some manufacturers (of medical devices) have announced plans to lay off workers or reorganize operations.”    - Robert Pear, reporter for The New York Times.

The Obamacare excise tax adds insult to injury for any remaining US Device manufacturers:

“The device industry is leaving. According to a summer 2011 survey by the National Venture Capital Association, in the next three years, 85 percent of venture-backed health-care companies expect to seek regulatory approval for their new products outside the U.S. first.”  - WSJ

Another idea would be to let innovative Americans who build medical devices to save lives be successful and tax them at the same rate as everyone else!

Instead we watch to see if the manufacturers or the patients in need die first.
5096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: George Friedman on Syria on: July 24, 2012, 11:56:33 AM
Extremely interesting, though it seems he is writing of all the consequences other than the elephant in the room, that Islamic extremists will be controlling another country in the region in addition to whatever problems are to come out of Egypt, Libya etc.

Our only hope can be for these countries now discovering self-rule to turn their attention inward to better their own lives instead of outward to export violence.

5097  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: July 24, 2012, 11:44:35 AM
Does Snopes have any correction for the much larger allegation, that the number one recipient in congress of all Fannie Mae political contributions made during the year of the collapse, is still involved in Obama administration economic policy and the reelection effort? 
5098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 24, 2012, 11:38:03 AM
Agreed.  There was both a bubble and a pin that popped it.  There was both the economic threat of the incoming administration and also the economic damage of an anti-growth congress in power headed for certain reelection.  (Obama was part of that too.)  

The current fiscal cliff scheduled for year end is estimated to be a two million job killer in 2013, a little less than we lost in 2008-2009.  The other name for this policy feature called fiscal cliff should be recession-guarantee.  Cancelling it at the last moment again does not undo damage already occurring and certain to accelerate.  Somebody (Bill Clinton?) needs to talk to the President (and the Dem Senate) about fixing it right now or this will become a career-ending move for the President.  40 consecutive months of unemployment above 8% and now he has set the table for a standoff that will guarantee a downturn on the home stretch of his one shot at reelection.

When investors see tax rates rising and job losses in the millions coming (aka recession) the instinct is to sell, with or without a bubble.  
5099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Depends on what the meaning of "that" is... on: July 23, 2012, 05:43:08 PM
Sensing big trouble over the "You Didn't Build That" statement, the left* has decided the attacks on his statement are out of context and wrong, *Rachel Maddow for example.  Before he said you didn't build that, he was talking about roads around your business.  You didn't build that.  Or did you?

Elizabeth Warren was more clear: roads "THAT THE REST OF US PAID FOR", she shouted angrily and repeatedly.

But the rich DO pay their fair share of the taxes and more and they do pay their fair share of the infrastructure and education systems in their towns that made the businesses that hire people possible.

More important though is that by parsing his words it exposes what Obama was really doing, as he always does in the heat of politics, making the straw argument.

He was putting on his opponents the view that if you favor any kind of limit on the continued growth of an obese and wasteful $4 trillion dollar FEDERAL government that is overlapped on most functions at the state and local levels and is already 1.2 trillion/yr in the red, then you must oppose all spending on all functions of government at all levels of government.

Remember what he said about any reform to our overblown regulatory jungle: "my opponents want dirtier water and dirtier air".

He can't argue honestly a political difference with a political opponent; he can only argue straw with a straw man if needs the win.

Yes, maybe he was talking about local government, local roads and local schools, but for the leader of the FEDERAL government talking about differences in federal laws and taxation, that is bunk.  I don't know about where you live but local businesses here pay huge amounts of property taxes, and I mean scary-high amounts.  Besides that he can't honestly say they didn't pay for that, he is the head of the federal government and not building the roads around your business is not a federal issue. 

Federal roads are paid for with usage taxes that are in fact pilfered for liberal purposes like mass transit.  Maybe he meant the airports but those are paid for in usage fees too.  He did mention the internet, but yesterday's WSJ says that the government invented the internet is urban legend:

Vinton Cerf developed the TCP/IP protocol, the Internet's backbone, and Tim Berners-Lee gets credit for hyperlinks.  But full credit goes to the company where Robert Taylor worked after leaving ARPA: Xerox. It was at the Xerox PARC labs in Silicon Valley in the 1970s that the Ethernet was developed to link different computer networks. Researchers there also developed the first personal computer (the Xerox Alto) and the graphical user interface that still drives computer usage today.

According to a book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning" (by Michael Hiltzik), its top researchers realized they couldn't wait for the government to connect different networks, so would have to do it themselves. "We have a more immediate problem than they do," Robert Metcalfe told his colleague John Shoch in 1973. "We have more networks than they do." Mr. Shoch later recalled that ARPA staffers "were working under government funding and university contracts. They had contract administrators . . . and all that slow, lugubrious behavior to contend with."

"[We] didn't build that"??  No, Mr. President.  YOU didn't build that.

Whatever the hell "that" is.
5100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Bad news about income inequality on: July 23, 2012, 03:54:19 PM
We are most equal when we are most poor.  New CBO data support what I have trying to argue on these pages.

"...the incomes of the top one percent fell 18 times more than the incomes for the middle class at the start of the recession."

The point of the policy arrow change in Nov 2006 / Jan 2007 was to shift from growth to fairness.  At first it succeeded.  The asset / investment selloff mostly hit the rich - at first.  And anyone who owned anything but disproportionately that hits the rich.  But labor requires capital to be fully employed and productive.  Now the rich have recovered and the employment is way down and stuck.

What most analyses miss is that the rich pay the most taxes in dollars when they are making money, when the economy is growing, not when tax rates are the highest or threatened to be raised and raised.  Government services are paid for in dollars, not in percentages.  Inequality is greatest in times of high growth - because the rich are the most invested in that growth, more so than a poor or middle income person by definition.  That is unfortunate but not reversible.

Please see CNBC from last Friday:

The Falling Fortunes of the One Percent
Published: Friday, 20 Jul 2012 | 10:59 AM ET
By: Robert Frank
CNBC Reporter & Editor

The presidential election has given us two myths about the rich. First, that their incomes, and income inequality, are at all-time highs. Second, that the wealthy pay less in taxes than ever, and lower taxes than the rest of us.

A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, however, suggests that both may be false.

Let’s consider income first. Between 2007 and 2009, after-tax earnings by Americans in the top one percent for income fell 37 percent. On a pre-tax basis they fell 36 percent in the same period.

That may sound like a minor haircut for One Percenters compared to people who lost their jobs. But when you take into account federal transfers, assistance and taxes paid, the incomes of the bottom 20 percent grew by 3 percent, while it fell a modest 2 percent for the middle 20 percent.

In other words, the incomes of the top one percent fell 18 times more than the incomes for the middle class at the start of the recession.

The result of this big drop at the top was that their share of the country's total income also fell. In 2007, the top one percent earned 16.7 percent of all after-tax income. In 2009, that portion fell to 11.5 percent.

Inequality, in other words, fell during those years.  We are now in an age of High-Beta Wealth, where the incomes of the One Percent have become far more manic and prone to wild drops than the rest of the country.

And taxes paid? Despite the oft-repeated fact that tax rates for the wealthy are at an all-time low (which is true), it’s also true that the actual amount paid in taxes by the wealthy is higher than before the recession.

The One Percent paid an average effective tax rate of 28.9 percent on their income — far more than any other group, and more than twice the average effective rate of the middle class, who paid 11 percent on average.

So the rich lost more income and paid more of their money in taxes than the rest of the population.

This is not an argument against taxing the wealthy. And the incomes and tax rates of the wealthy may have jumped back since 2009, with the rebound in financial markets.

But when politicians and pundits talk about the rich just getting richer and paying less taxes, they need to pay closer attention to the actual numbers.
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