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5551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: October 26, 2009, 11:00:45 PM
Comments to the recent posts in the thread. Regarding the IMF, very clever not using the terms debtor, creditor!  Wouldn't want to get a stigma.  Just like food stamps re-named 'Snap' for better brand appeal.  My understanding is that IMF is mostly non-US control where the World Bank is more U.S. dominated.  I assume US is the main funder of both.  My opinion: funding from the US should be decided by the US on a case by case basis with recorded up or down votes by the people's elected representatives, not diverted to these multinational institutions including the UN.

Interesting take on the US ceding control of the internet - to countries and intl organizations more prone to global regulation and taxation.   No one else seemed to pick up a negative take on our country giving up another valuable asset.  I'm sure they will still want disproportionate US funding.

Also should note in this thread that references elsewhere to the controversial IPCC study regarding alleged global warming always seem to leave out the first name of the group of agreeing scientists, it is not just a random group of single minded scientists; it is the the UN - IPCC.
5552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: October 24, 2009, 08:37:45 PM
The question: "At what point is someone beyond the social pale for all areas because of the views held in some areas?"

Discuss that, but my view is that CCP should decide what goes into CCP posts until HE crosses the line - and he hasn't!  Same goes for the right of anyone here to criticize any quote or person quoted. 

Alleged or implied of Buchanan was: "diminished the Holocaust and made somewhat supportive  statements of Hitler and made antisemitic and anti Israel statements."

I think I was the only one to actually back that up with this link to the anti-defamation league: "search the anti-defamation league website for 'Buchanan' at website".  There are a bunch of over the top quotes there especially from his books.  In and amongst the real objections are many quotes that are not so objectionable but just different than their own viewpoint, for example Buchanan opposes gay marriage which makes it harder to sort out the context where he made  bonehead remarks like not knowing the CO levels of diesel engines.

Interestingly we just had Rush Limbaugh have his liberty taken due to quotes originating from a blog, picked up by the St. Louis Dispatch and CNN.  Pretty good sources.  Happened to be patently false.  Same goes for context on the rest of what he says.  The NY Times quotes him without noting that he points out absurdity by using absurdity; it is one of his techniques, so the quotes are real while the meaning and the context is lost.  No one who listens regularly thinks he is racist or wants America to fail but every liberal who gets his words from elsewhere thinks exactly that.  So he was denied a right within our economic system - to buy into a business of his choosing.

Crafty, recall also that Jude Wanniski was not exactly a friend of Israel.  He was a defender of Saddam - one who paid people to kill Israelis, a denier of gassing the Kurds, but brilliant on  economics.  Off the board??

Back to the question, no one Muslim and certainly not Ahmadinejad could be posted if we ever took the wider and longer view.  Nothing from Obama on this board it follows because he is on a quest to sit down with the guy, etc.

Of course I should have stopped there, but it was Rachel who wrote the most offensive view I've read here, and in return I'm sure vice versa.  She basically said tough luck to the consequence of her abortion view which is current law, (like the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany) that nearly cost my daughter her life, defending the complete right of the mother to kill her unborn for any reason, in this case during a bipolar mood swing with the motive of spite, and that all men, the father in particular and the other relatives should have no say whatsoever in the process or in setting the law.  Please correct me if wrong; I have no intention of overstating that point.

The silence of others here on abortion is deafening but the analogies to Hitlerisms never end - a primitive life form of lower value, not worth preserving.  Where have I heard that before?  'Diminished the tragedy and made somewhat supportive statements of [those who choose to kill] and made anti-fetal statements' - 'not much different than a sperm and so what if it is alive with unique DNA', etc.

Yet I find her views on other subjects and other posts here extremely valuable and worthwhile.  For example, I find this contribution yesterday brilliant, and not something I would run into elsewhere during my typical day: "According to the Midrash, the Third Commandment, "You shall not take G-d's name in vain," and the Eighth Commandment, "You shall not steal," are one and the same. Indeed, the Torah (in Leviticus 5:20) refers to financial fraud as "a betrayal of G-d." "Because," explains the great Talmudic sage Rabbi Akiva, "in defrauding his fellow, he is defrauding the Third Party to their dealings."

I wouldn't want my previous disagreement to prevent me from learning this kind of insight.   - Doug
And since this is the fire hydrant, will someone tell me why we call God "G-d"?  I think he knows we're talkin' about him.
5553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science: The Carbon Con Game on: October 23, 2009, 08:21:01 PM
Until this, I hadn't read anything critical about China's new PR campaign and the American Obamagasm over it that China will soon lead the world in green-everything if we don't get our coercive-big-government act together right now...

The Carbon Con Game
Peter Huber, 10.15.09, 10:20 PM EDT
Forbes Magazine dated November 02, 2009

China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas on the planet. We burn more carbon per person, but China has more people, and both its population and economy are growing much faster than ours. For many members of Congress, a vote for strict carbon limits will be politically suicidal if constituents continue to believe--correctly--that the vote will propel a massive shift of jobs, wealth and emissions from Peoria to Beijing. So in the coming months watch out for brazenly false claims that China is blazing the green trail, and getting richer by doing so, and that to compete we must outgreen them. China is of course delighted to jigger numbers to help frame the story.

"China attaches great importance to tackling climate change," China's climate commissar recently declared. The Middle Kingdom therefore promises to lower its energy consumption per unit of GDP. Translation: "We promise to get richer." Energy consumption per unit of GDP always falls as a country gets richer. The poorest countries in Africa spend 100% of their GDP on food, the most primitive form of energy. Bill Gates, on the other hand, has the lowest energy consumption per unit of household GDP on the planet. Carbon emissions per unit of GDP follow the same trajectory. China's are about twice as high as ours, Africa's three times as high. The global climate, however, doesn't care a fig about hyphenated emissions, whether per capita, per dollar or per unit of sly political prevarication.

"China also sets an objective of increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the primary energy mix to 10% by 2010, and to 15% by 2020." Translation: "We'll keep on burning the stuff that poor people burn until we get rich." Biomass accounts for 10% of the global energy supply but less than 4% in the developed world and closer to 2% in the U.S. The poor always burn more carbohydrates, fewer hydrocarbons. Calling something "renewable" doesn't mean that it saves carbon. Agriculture, forestry and deforestation already cost the planet more than twice as much in carbon equivalents as transportation--over 30% of all emissions. Since nobody can track how many twigs, cowpats and rice husks a billion peasants burn--or alternatively, leave to fungi to convert into methane, a powerful greenhouse gas--China's carbon accountants can make its renewable numbers come out anywhere they like.

China is proud to report that it has been shutting down "small thermal power-generation units." Translation: "We're replacing diesel generators with big coal-fired power plants." Big, central power plants burn much cheaper fuel much more efficiently, and therefore generate much cheaper power, and therefore boost energy consumption, emissions and GDP even faster.

China touts its new wind, hydroelectric and nuclear capacity. Translation: "China's energy policy is--and will remain--solidly anchored in coal." The word "capacity" next to "wind" misleads by a factor of five or so, because much of the time the wind doesn't blow. China's nuclear plants and its gargantuan hydroelectric dams will indeed make a real dent in the carbon intensity of its energy supply. But mushrooming coal consumption will utterly swamp the savings for as long as anyone can possibly foresee.

China says it "has increased its carbon sinks by promoting reforestation." Translation: "Your sinks don't count." North America has been reforesting since 1920, and continues to do so. So fast, in fact, that we're currently sucking about two-thirds of our carbon emissions back into our forests and soil. Europe and Japan hate all such talk, at least when it's America that's talking, because we have lots of land to reforest and they don't. U.S. greens do their best not to talk about it too, because--well, it gets in the way of other agendas.

China says because it's poor and we're rich, we must slash our emissions--absolute emissions, not the per-GDP kind--by 25% to 40% in the next decade, and also pay China and other developing countries in both cash and technology transfers to help them curb theirs. Translation: "You're responsible for our sorry past."

Agricultural footprints shrink, forests recover and birth rates decline as people get richer. Our 19th-century birth rates were as high as China's and India's were through most of the 20th. Their huge, impoverished populations reflect economic and political choices that stifled economic growth in their countries during the century when we got rich, stabilized our populations, reforested our land and dispatched would-be global tyrants to the dustbin of history. China, not America, is responsible for the economic and demographic legacies of Puyi, Yuan, Sun, Chiang and Mao.

Peter Huber is a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute and coauthor of The Bottomless Well
5554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / re. Where in the constitution...power to mandate Americans buy health insurance on: October 23, 2009, 08:12:06 PM
"Where in the Constitution is the authority to mandate that Americans buy health insurance?"

I passed that excellent question to my liberal senators, Amy Klobuchar and the Honorable Al Franken as well as Congressman Keith Ellison and one friendly Republican.  Will keep the board informed of any interesting answers.

Maybe the federal authority to mandate health insurance is hidden in between the federal power to forbid states from limiting the right to kill your young and the search exemption for pleasure crafts.  sad

A constitutional convention is a bad idea in a climate where the existing provisions are already ignored and when the opponents of limited government are clearly in power. 

Instead it seems to me that each time federal authorities step on the constitution we should push for an up or down vote on repealing that constitutional protection, and see where they stand.  For example, McCain-Feingold should have been coupled with a demand for congress to vote yea or nay on repeal of the 1st amendment.  Couple Coast Guard funding with a demand for a vote to repeal the 4th amendment, and health reform with a demand for a vote for or against repealing the 10th.  If 2/3 of the House and 2/3rds of the Senate vote repeal, off it goes to the states.  I'm assuming that most people like constitutional limits on power, but like Pelosi - they just forget we have them.
5555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: October 23, 2009, 10:34:12 AM
I hope we don't hold out the same harsh treatment for those who sympathize with or deny the existence of the holocaust of our time. 
5556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Foreign Policy: Dick Cheney, October 21 2009 on: October 22, 2009, 10:32:07 AM
I found this speaker/author to be well-informed.  - Doug

Most anyone who is given responsibility in matters of national security quickly comes to appreciate the commitments and structures put in place by others who came before. You deploy a military force that was planned and funded by your predecessors. You inherit relationships with partners and obligations to allies that were first undertaken years and even generations earlier. With the authority you hold for a little while, you have great freedom of action. And whatever course you follow, the essential thing is always to keep commitments, and to leave no doubts about the credibility of your country's word.

So among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.

It is certainly not a model of diplomacy when the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic are informed of such a decision at the last minute in midnight phone calls. It took a long time and lot of political courage in those countries to arrange for our interceptor system in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic. Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved, just like that - with apparently little, if any, consultation. Seventy years to the day after the Soviets invaded Poland, it was an odd way to mark the occasion.

You hardly have to go back to 1939 to understand why these countries desire - and thought they had - a close and trusting relationship with the United States. Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.

What did the Obama Administration get from Russia for its abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic, and for its famous "Reset" button? Another deeply flawed election and continued Russian opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In the short of it, President Obama's cancellation of America's agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won't be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.

Big events turn on the credibility of the United States - doing what we said we would do, and always defending our fundamental security interests. In that category belong the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to counter the nuclear ambitions of the current regime in Iran.

Candidate Obama declared last year that he would be willing to sit down with Iran's leader without preconditions. As President, he has committed America to an Iran strategy that seems to treat engagement as an objective rather than a tactic. Time and time again, he has outstretched his hand to the Islamic Republic's authoritarian leaders, and all the while Iran has continued to provide lethal support to extremists and terrorists who are killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic continues to provide support to extremists in Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, the regime continues to spin centrifuges and test missiles. And these are just the activities we know about.

I have long been skeptical of engagement with the current regime in Tehran, but even Iran experts who previously advocated for engagement have changed their tune since the rigged elections this past June and the brutal suppression of Iran's democratic protestors. The administration clearly missed an opportunity to stand with Iran's democrats, whose popular protests represent the greatest challenge to the Islamic Republic since its founding in 1979. Instead, the President has been largely silent about the violent crackdown on Iran's protestors, and has moved blindly forward to engage Iran's authoritarian regime. Unless the Islamic Republic fears real consequences from the United States and the international community, it is hard to see how diplomacy will work.

Next door in Iraq, it is vitally important that President Obama, in his rush to withdraw troops, not undermine the progress we've made in recent years. Prime Minister Maliki met yesterday with President Obama, who began his press availability with an extended comment about Afghanistan. When he finally got around to talking about Iraq, he told the media that he reiterated to Maliki his intention to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq. Former President Bush's bold decision to change strategy in Iraq and surge U.S. forces there set the stage for success in that country. Iraq has the potential to be a strong, democratic ally in the war on terrorism, and an example of economic and democratic reform in the heart of the Middle East. The Obama Administration has an obligation to protect this young democracy and build on the strategic success we have achieved in Iraq.

We should all be concerned as well with the direction of policy on Afghanistan. For quite a while, the cause of our military in that country went pretty much unquestioned, even on the left. The effort was routinely praised by way of contrast to Iraq, which many wrote off as a failure until the surge proved them wrong. Now suddenly - and despite our success in Iraq - we're hearing a drumbeat of defeatism over Afghanistan. These criticisms carry the same air of hopelessness, they offer the same short-sighted arguments for walking away, and they should be summarily rejected for the same reasons of national security.

Having announced his Afghanistan strategy last March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission.

President Obama has said he understands the stakes for America. When he announced his new strategy he couched the need to succeed in the starkest possible terms, saying, quote, "If the Afghan government falls to the Taliban - or allows al-Qaeda to go unchallenged - that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can." End quote.

Five months later, in August of this year, speaking at the VFW, the President made a promise to America's armed forces. "I will give you a clear mission," he said, "defined goals, and the equipment and support you need to get the job done. That's my commitment to you."

It's time for President Obama to make good on his promise. The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger.

Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries. Waffling, while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy, endangers them and hurts our cause.

Recently, President Obama's advisors have decided that it's easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President's chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn't asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.

In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama's team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision - a good one, I think - and sent a commander into the field to implement it.

Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.

It's worth recalling that we were engaged in Afghanistan in the 1980's, supporting the Mujahadeen against the Soviets. That was a successful policy, but then we pretty much put Afghanistan out of our minds. While no one was watching, what followed was a civil war, the takeover by the Taliban, and the rise of bin Laden and al-Qaeda. All of that set in motion the events of 9/11. When we deployed forces eight years ago this month, it was to make sure Afghanistan would never again be a training ground for the killing of Americans. Saving untold thousands of lives is still the business at hand in this fight. And the success of our mission in Afghanistan is not only essential, it is entirely achievable with enough troops and enough political courage.

Then there's the matter of how to handle the terrorists we capture in this ongoing war. Some of them know things that, if shared, can save a good many innocent lives. When we faced that problem in the days and years after 9/11, we made some basic decisions. We understood that organized terrorism is not just a law-enforcement issue, but a strategic threat to the United States.

At every turn, we understood as well that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. We had a lot of blind spots - and that's an awful thing, especially in wartime. With many thousands of lives potentially in the balance, we didn't think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

The intelligence professionals who got the answers we needed from terrorists had limited time, limited options, and careful legal guidance. They got the baddest actors we picked up to reveal things they really didn't want to share. In the case of Khalid Sheik Muhammed, by the time it was over he was not was not only talking, he was practically conducting a seminar, complete with chalkboards and charts. It turned out he had a professorial side, and our guys didn't mind at all if classes ran long. At some point, the mastermind of 9/11 became an expansive briefer on the operations and plans of al-Qaeda. It happened in the course of enhanced interrogations. All the evidence, and common sense as well, tells us why he started to talk.

The debate over intelligence gathering in the seven years after 9/11 involves much more than historical accuracy. What we're really debating are the means and resolve to protect this country over the next few years, and long after that. Terrorists and their state sponsors must be held accountable, and America must remain on the offensive against them. We got it right after 9/11. And our government needs to keep getting it right, year after year, president after president, until the danger is finally overcome.

Our administration always faced its share of criticism, and from some quarters it was always intense. That was especially so in the later years of our term, when the dangers were as serious as ever, but the sense of general alarm after 9/11 was a fading memory. Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America ... and not to let 9/11 become the prelude to something much bigger and far worse.

Eight years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive - and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed. So you would think that our successors would be going to the intelligence community saying, "How did you did you do it? What were the keys to preventing another attack over that period of time?"

Instead, they've chosen a different path entirely - giving in to the angry left, slandering people who did a hard job well, and demagoguing an issue more serious than any other they'll face in these four years. No one knows just where that path will lead, but I can promise you this: There will always be plenty of us willing to stand up for the policies and the people that have kept this country safe.

On the political left, it will still be asserted that tough interrogations did no good, because this is an article of faith for them, and actual evidence is unwelcome and disregarded. President Obama himself has ruled these methods out, and when he last addressed the subject he filled the air with vague and useless platitudes. His preferred device is to suggest that we could have gotten the same information by other means. We're invited to think so. But this ignores the hard, inconvenient truth that we did try other means and techniques to elicit information from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and other al-Qaeda operatives, only turning to enhanced techniques when we failed to produce the actionable intelligence we knew they were withholding. In fact, our intelligence professionals, in urgent circumstances with the highest of stakes, obtained specific information, prevented specific attacks, and saved American lives.

In short, to call enhanced interrogation a program of torture is not only to disregard the program's legal underpinnings and safeguards. Such accusations are a libel against dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country's name and in our country's cause. What's more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future, in favor of half-measures, is unwise in the extreme. In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.

For all that we've lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings - and least of all can that be said of our armed forces and intelligence personnel. They have done right, they have made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.

Last January 20th, our successors in office were given the highest honors that the voters of this country can give any two citizens. Along with that, George W. Bush and I handed the new president and vice president both a record of success in the war on terror, and the policies to continue that record and ultimately prevail. We had been the decision makers, but those seven years, four months, and nine days without another 9/11 or worse, were a combined achievement: a credit to all who serve in the defense of America, including some of the finest people I've ever met.

What the present administration does with those policies is their call to make, and will become a measure of their own record. But I will tell you straight that I am not encouraged when intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America's enemies. And it certainly is not a good sign when the Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.

There are policy differences, and then there are affronts that have to be answered every time without equivocation, and this is one of them. We cannot protect this country by putting politics over security, and turning the guns on our own guys.

We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work - the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame.
5557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness, Who pulls the strings? on: October 22, 2009, 10:27:58 AM
"There is also the heavy whiff of politics in the (Obama) administration's war deliberations. The president's senior political adviser, David Axelrod, apparently attends war cabinet meetings—something I did not do as President Bush's senior political adviser."  - Karl Rove
5558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / His Glibness - Zero Executive Experience on: October 21, 2009, 11:48:00 PM
Afghanistan - Obama did not use the word 'victory' to describe the criteria for his delayed and awaited decision on troop levels.

His brief background in the Illinois legislature and even more brief background as one of 100 senators did not put him in a position to face small executive decisions before being faced with serious Commander in Chief choices.  Nor did his experience as community organizer or ACORN defense council help. 

Obama logged 143 days of experience in the Senate before announcing his run for President. That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and working.

Chief executive of his campaign was his executive experience before being sworn into office.

Gibbs:"... a decision will be made in the coming weeks as the president goes through an examination of our policy"

Perhaps that is the amount of time the focus groups require to do their work.  We know Obama isn't pulling all-nighters with Gen. McChrystal.  Maybe he will also soon come to a decision on the vote he missed to condemn the General Betray Us ad:
"In the latest round of maneuvers over last week's ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton today voted against a Senate resolution that condemned the ad and supported Petraeus. Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden did not vote on the measure."
5559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics, John Maynard Keynes anti-capitalism quotation on: October 21, 2009, 11:07:08 PM
First my comment on the previous post here.  The Yen in one currency mentioned for the replacement of the dollar.  Japan is/was the world's no.2 economy yet countries hold a whopping 3% of their foreign reserves in Yen.  I will criticize Europe later but point out for now that the only threat to our own currency is economic mis-management from within.

Saw this on a bumper sticker today next to some save the earth stickers:

“Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.” - John Maynard Keynes

Substitute the word liberty for the word capitalism in the quote for that is what they are really saying.  They can't curtail your free ability to buy, sell, work, save, invest or retain a fair portion of the fruits of your labor without curtailing your liberties. 

The nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives is their way of describing hard working Americans who are trying to bring prosperity and economic security to their families.  Keynes is dead but he is still the chief economic adviser to the current administration.  At room temperature he still believes that a large deficit is the ONLY way that our flawed free market can rescued.

There isn't a capitalist in today's world who can take away 40% of your family's income.  Big government can.  A bit unusual but my total taxes paid for 2008 were 4 times larger than my take home income.  To say that taxes are greater than food, clothing and shelter combined would be pure sugar coating for the magnitude of this taking.
5560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rant / Pat Buchanan - continued on: October 21, 2009, 10:37:18 PM
CCP: "Yet I find him to be the only one who will state what others are literally afraid to state."

That is very true in some cases.  Digressing a little, there is a politician in Sweden charged with “hate speech” for writing an opinion piece in which he calls Islam the biggest threat to his country since World War II.  On the board we have seen videos and threats caused by the newcomers to western European countries.  In the US, it would be Buchanan to point out what everyone sees.  Buchanan opposes a lot of the legal immigration we currently have and all of the illegal immigration.  I might disagree with him on legal immigration but it should not be wrong or illegal to lament that there used to be a day when city notices didn't need to be printed in 13 languages and to comment that in those days the cities were stronger and the crime rate was lower, if that in fact was the case.

My point about protectionism was only that I disagree with him.  Same goes for Iraq.  The view he takes is certainly welcome on the board for discussion or debate IMO.  Opposing WWII intervention is consistent with anti-Iraq-war views - I don't agree with it but it's worthy of discussion.  I don't know the context of the Lincoln remark, but certainly by today's common rhetoric he led us into a bloody war.  Hard to explain but bloody war can be a good thing, like war to stop Hitler and showing our massive destructive capability and proving the willingness to use in order to stop the Pacific war of WWII.

Suspicion of the Israel lobby in America is valid and healthy.  Plenty of people think they have too much influence and it should be okay to say it aloud over the airwaves.  My objection is that when they say we only have a policy because of money from Israel, misplaced loyalties or Haliburton (or coal companies etc.),  but I favor the policy and I didn't receive any money, then I personally find that comment naive and condescending, still worthy of posting for discussion if for no other reason than that the view is widely held and deserves an opportunity to be answered and refuted.
5561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 21, 2009, 11:35:58 AM
Strat has the analysis of the Afghan situation as good as any I've read.  Obama doesn't have the commitment to go in and do what is necessary in the urban centers and take heat like Bush took over casualties and mistakes.  If he tries without full commitment it will fail because the trust of the people necessary to get good intelligence won't happen.  Retreating to the horizon will fail for the lack of on-the-ground intelligence and because air strikes would take casualties making things worse.  Lack of a commitment to win (or exit) means perpetual war favoring the side willing and able to take the most casualties, and unless I'm missing something, we lack the commitment.

Strat: "The problem is that regardless of how secure Afghanistan is, jihadist forces can (to varying degrees) train and plan in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia — or even Cleveland for that matter."

Yes but I draw a distinction.  It is very important that the terrorists over time have a smaller map to operate in and they not get too comfortable in any of their locations.  

The fact that the governments of Indonesia and Pakistan are at least trying to end/prevent safe havens is important - governments of Cleveland, Detroit and Minneapolis could take a lesson from them.  

Joining the jihad is not glamorous, even for a suicide bomber, when your side is losing.  OBL knows that; recall the importance he put on winning in Iraq.  

Obama's goal is political, to keep the conflict from getting worse and to find cover.  He needs to make peace with his fellow contributors to the 'General Betray Us' ad from when the General was sworn in to take condescension from then-Sen. Hillary et al.  Remember that LBJ was removed by his own party.

If Obama allows global terrorism to fester and we are attacked after his term he won't be harmed any worse than Bill Clinton was in his legacy. From what I can see, this is about him and about not losing political power to wield at home.  How could anyone read his statements and positions over his brief career and think his focus is national security?
5562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Top 20 signs from the tea party on: October 20, 2009, 09:51:30 AM
I liked this one:

Also: "Don't tell Obama what's after a trillion"
        "Put the Constitution on your Teleprompter"
5563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 19, 2009, 11:44:13 PM
Jumping in and guessing Rachel's issue with Buchanan... CCP, you may want to search the anti-defamation league website for Buchanan,  They have quite a focus on him for not being a friend of Israel to put it lightly. 

Buchanan was a huge early critic of Iraq war, which is fine, but I don't like when people imply Israel has too much power in America and that's why we went.  Like the war or not, we didn't go because some group has both parties on puppet strings.

Other areas: He is a consistent opponent of freedom to trade, opponent of free trade agreements etc. which is a political philosophy opposite to mine at least in that area.  He is a critic of immigration, and not just the illegal kind.  Also very pro-life and he is pro-limited government in most other policy areas.  I think he is pretty much right-on with this piece on climate change legislation.  But as mentioned previously, conservatism needs better leaders.
5564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: October 19, 2009, 02:46:18 PM
Crafty: "Exactly why I don't take them seriously."

   - And the other way forward for conservatives is ....... ?

CCP: "What I am not sure about is how many Americans this [limited government] really appeals to."

   - Yes.  That's a big problem, but so is credibility.  You don't persuade people in the middle when they see you don't believe in what you say either.  George H.W. Bush was kicked out mostly for breaking his pledge of no new taxes.  He was replaced with someone who admitted he would raise taxes.  Bill I-didn't-inhale/Gennifer-Flowers Clinton was perceived as more honest?  I don't know, just know that the brand name didn't stand for anything at that point and people were open to change and compassion instead.
5565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: October 19, 2009, 11:19:15 AM
Gallup, like a lot of polls, samples all Americans not likely voters to get their numbers.  Still their Obama approval spread fell from about 60 points to 12.

Rasmussen measures Strongly approve versus strongly disapprove, groups more likely to show up.  Strongly disapprove numbers stand at about 40% which would be a pretty good combined measure of the different types of conservatives out there.

The commentators don't need more than 40% market share to be very successful.

The Obama vote included people not fully sold on the agenda.  The excitement of blacks which went 95% to Obama is not likely to be energized in the off-year of 2010.  I wouldn't think the Jewish or Israel supporting groups would be energized either.  Obama has had double digit losses of popularity in the 18-24 groups among others as hope and change starts to get specific.  Gallup story is a little slow since the Republican losses were well known since 2006.  The Obama slippage and Pelosi congress disaster polls stories would be more timely stories.

The Republican brand name hasn't meant anything specific or positive, especially to conservatives, for a very long time.  (Crafty just expressed that very succinctly.) Bush cut tax rates twice and never articulated why.  The so-called Bush Doctrine was dropped by the Bush administration at about the time of the Harry Whittington shooting.

Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism.

This board has a wide enough range of conservative and libertarian thought to come up with the next Contract with America to steer next year's candidates in the right direction.  Anyone care to take a stab at it?
5566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Negative Temperature Feedback Factors Measured at MIT on: October 19, 2009, 10:52:41 AM
Climate feedback assumptions in all the UN IPCC models are proven false by actual data.
Peer reviewed, published study by credentialed scientists from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at M.I.T.  Good luck to the debate partners in refuting the data.  May I predict their reaction will be to personally smear the authors...

Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the
outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth
Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data.
It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing
radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface
temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation
fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with
relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of
the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same
SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate
sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to
pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results
also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave
radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from
longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish
the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of
climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem
in climate prediction. Citation: Lindzen, R. S., and Y.-S.
Choi (2009), On the determination of climate feedbacks from
ERBE data
5567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Dollar's Fall: Deal With It - Donald Luskin on: October 17, 2009, 04:54:22 PM
Luskin:  "obviously, a currency undergoing inflation is worth less than a currency not undergoing inflation"

'Inflation' is the creation of the excess money.  Price increases are a symptom likely to follow.  So is devaluation.  'Decline is a choice.'  Our reckless policies were enabled by our fading, privileged status as the world currency.  Unlike third world countries, our debt is in our own currency.  Devalue the currency and you devalue the debt.   - Doug

The Dollar's Fall: Deal With It

The dramatic recent fall of the value of the U.S. dollar grabs headlines every day, even as the U.S. stock market surges to new recovery highs. People are talking about a "dollar crisis," and it's not just the usual rant-and-rave topic on CNBC. There are serious hints from government authorities around the globe that maybe we should think about dethroning the U.S. dollar as the "reserve currency" held by the world's central banks, and maybe global markets like oil should stop being priced in dollars.

There are some currencies that are as weak as the dollar now, such as the British pound. And there are some that are weaker, such as the Malaysian ringgit. But against a basket of the world's major currencies, the dollar has fallen 15% in just seven months. That's a big move in any market, but for a currency it's practically a crash. If it falls another 6%, it will make historic all-time lows.

You'd think with all this going on, officials at the U.S. Treasury would be running around in a flat-out panic. But they're not. This week I met in Washington with a group of the most senior men at Treasury (please forgive me if I don't name names), and I was surprised to learn that they are not terribly worried.

Here's why.

First, they think that the 15% decline in the dollar is actually a sign of economic strength. They point out, quite correctly, that the value of the dollar surged during the recent credit crisis, as investors around the world suddenly craved the safety of dollar liquidity. At the most, the dollar soared 24%, reaching its top on exactly the same day last March that the stock market made its bottom.

That puts the 15% drop in context. And it also helps to explain why foreign governments are suddenly so interested in dropping their dependency on the U.S. dollar. It's not so much because the dollar is weak. It's because the credit crisis revealed that the dollar is intolerably unique.

By that I mean that when the world economy came off the rails last year, everyone in the world needed dollars — not pounds, not euros, not yen, not yuan, not ringgits — because the U.S. dollar is the de facto unit of global trading and investment. Why should the economies of the world be so dependent on a single nation's currency?

So while it may feel like a blow to our national prestige to have the dollar be just another currency, that's probably inevitable — and probably all for the best. It's in America's interest to live in a world more resilient to credit shocks than the dollar-dominated world turned out to be.

Another reason the Treasury isn't in a twist about the dollar is that they recognize there is nothing they can do about it. Oh, sure, Secretary Tim Geithner could give a speech or two about his "strong dollar policy," for all the good it would do, which would be precisely none. By the way, when I visited Treasury, nobody even mentioned the expression "strong dollar."

The reality is -- and the Treasury knows this -- that it's the Federal Reserve that ultimately determines the value of the dollar. That's because the Fed's monetary policies are what determines inflation —and obviously, a currency undergoing inflation is worth less than a currency not undergoing inflation. So if you want a strong dollar, write a letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, not Geithner.

There is one thing that the Treasury could do to support the dollar. But what I heard this week in Washington convinces me that they aren't going to do it. They are going to do the exact opposite.

What I mean is that the Treasury is going to every diplomatic means at its disposal to get countries like China to make their currencies more valuable vs. the dollar. Rightly or wrongly, the Obama administration's Treasury believes — exactly as the Bush administration's Treasury did — that China, and other giant exporting nations manipulate their currencies, to keep them cheap so that their exports will be cheap on world markets.

U.S. consumers benefit from cheap foreign goods at Wal-Mart. But U.S. manufacturers can't compete with the foreign manufacturers that make those cheap goods. And U.S. manufacturers make bigger political contributions than U.S. consumers. So the Treasury, naturally, is committed to getting governments like China to effectively raise their prices by appreciating their currencies.

Now when Treasury officials talk about this, they don't admit that they're trying to get China to stop manipulating its currency lower and start manipulating it higher. Instead, they say they want China to stop manipulating it altogether, on the theory that when the yuan floats freely on world markets, it will inevitably move higher.

Maybe it will and maybe it won't. But there's one inescapable truth here — at least when it comes to the Chinese yuan and several other exporting nations' currencies: They want the value of the dollar to be lower. There's no way around it. If you want the yuan to be higher relative to the dollar, then you necessarily want the dollar to be lower relative to the yuan.

So let's put it all together. I'm not worried that there's going to be some kind of "dollar crisis." But all the facts do point to a lower dollar.

First, if the Fed ultimately controls the dollar's value, then the dollar is going lower — with interest rates at zero for as far as the eye can see, inflation is inevitable.

Second, if the dollar gets stronger during times of credit stress, the dollar is going lower — because global credit markets are recovering, and getting stronger every day.

Third, the Treasury will be actively pursuing diplomacy to get China and other exporters to strengthen their currencies, so the dollar is going lower.
5568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science - the debate on: October 17, 2009, 12:18:57 AM
Freki,  I'm finding the debate very entertaining. 

The 95% issue is funny to me.  If you or your brother misunderstood the meaning of it, that is perfect - because it is designed to be misunderstood, to sound like scientists are alleging something quantifiable.  So you confronted him with backing up the idea that a group of scientists believe that humans are causing 95% of the warming.  Now the debate falls on its ear.  He is trying to explain to you that they never said humans caused 95% of the warming.  They just said they are 95% sure (whatever that means) that we caused a lot of it (whatever that means!)... begging the questions you opened with and repeated politely and repeatedly, still not answered - how much warming is there and how much of that did we cause, how do we know, and what is causing the rest of it, in what proportions?

He reverts to calling one site political and noting that another critic has [only a] a bachelor's degree as he leaves all relevant questions unanswered.  Why?  Because scientists just don't know.

I stumbled into this I think in the 1990s with an NOAA ( report with similar alarmist headlines, so I actually went in and read the report.  It was loaded with data.  But the conclusions weren't borne out in the data; there was a disconnect. The analysis showed a possibility of something but then the conclusions made the liklihood sound stronger. And the headlines and press reports went much further still obviously not written by the scientists collecting the data and writing the analysis.  As it went from data to analysis to conclusions to headlines that grab attention, it also went from imperfect science to reckless fiction. 

Same goes for the IPCC.  Yes they have many scientists.  Yes they choose from those who already agree with the cause.  Yes they publish thousands of pages.  Yes there is CO2 growth.  Yes there is warming, at times, though not large, continuous or predictable.  Yes the chart looks steep if you choose your time frame carefully, choose and tweak your data, and work with the scale. 

Here is the same data as theirs graphed more honestly, see environmental issues thread Mar-Apr 2009 (
(also see:

First, here is the CO2 increase, viewed honestly.  Alarmists HATE this picture.  Really, it is the same data they chart, but they chart without a zero base showing in order to make the slope and the increase look alarming:

Fifty years increases in Atmospheric CO2 content as measured at Mauna Loa by the NOAA

Back to the hockey stick, now discredited.  It implied that earth temps were stable and predictable until the acceleration of the industrial age and then the temps just went through the roof.  Besides the data errors they made, the temperature increases look different with either a shorter or longer view.  Here is the time frame he was choosing - since the 1970s:

Global warming, lower atmosphere from Satellite data,

Or look at a longer view.  It is not particularly warm now.  Earth has had wide ranges of temperatures, long cycles and wide swings - long before automobiles or coal plants:

2000 Years of Global Temperatures

Source: ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT, VOLUME 18 No. 7+8 2007

Look at the cooling cycle now, the warming cycles of the past, the variances on other planets, the resilience of the planet, and what I think is the obvious observation that we won't be hooked on fossil fuels for more than a blip in time in terms of the life of the planet - with or without government intervention.  When you look at all of that objectively should we be alarmed now?  We are talking about warming over a good part of a century in the tens of a degree.  We are calling something a "contaminant" and a danger that we all exhale and that is the lifeblood of all plant life.  We are talking about a phenomenon where we know that earth has self-correcting mechanisms, scientists call them negative feedback factors, such as the resulting increase in plant health and growth will consumes a portion of the increased CO2.   We are talking about warming where we have little or no understanding about how so many other factors, wind, clouds and sun variances for example - factor in  And we are talking about a temporary fuel source.

Referring back to the alarming CO2 chart with a 38% increase (worth showing again)

I would be more 'alarmed' if the levels of this life essential molecule, that still comprises less than one half of one tenth of a percent of atmospheric content, were decreasing!

5569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: October 16, 2009, 10:14:34 PM
Thanks Howie for writing.  Great post.  With today's imagery or in your case seeing them born early and tiny, it is hard to deny what is real and in front of you.  Last time this digressed into details about criminalization issues, that unique DNA isn't important because identical twins have same DNA, that sperm is alive so it isn't important that that a fetus is alive and whether or not someone personally thinks he/she is/isn't more moral than someone else.  Before we decide what to do about abortion and separate from finding quirks of nature to confuse or undermine the point, separate from personalizing this to who is or is not more moral than someone else, can't we all look and see that the little one is a developing, live human being.  It is alive, it is human, it has its own genetic code separate from the mother and the father, and it is too young to survive on its own - like a baby.

Before figuring out what to do about it, can't we agree that because it is a live, developing human being trying to grow, develop and survive, to kill it for convenience reasons - which fairly characterizes 98% of abortions in America - is wrong.
5570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: October 16, 2009, 11:34:30 AM
Two quotes onthe current situation:
To Russia With Love. Do you laugh or cry about our policy with Russia? When we serially cried out “reset” button, blamed Bush for the new Cold War with Russia, and promised to “listen”, we knew the US was walking blindfolded up the steps of Putin’s guillotine. So we humiliated the Czechs and the Poles (who have suffered far worse from the Russians) in exchange for the mythical “help” with sanctions on Iran. Today, Putin’s brief verdict of “premature” on sanctions said it all. If we can reconstruct the Obama/Hillary disaster, it goes something like this: Putin always liked the win/win/win/win idea of a nuclear Iran (the missiles point at the U.S., good profits for Russian companies, tensions in the Gulf always a help with high oil prices, everyone begs Russia to “leash” their new feral nuclear bulldog). So he entraps the idiotic Americans by vague promises of Iranian sanctions in exchange for reestablishing Russian fear and obedience in the former Soviet sphere—while revealing how America’s economic dive and strategic hesitation are proof of a more endemic decline. When Hillary talks of how delighted she is that Russia is “so supportive”, are we to cry for the beloved country? It is as if Putin not only knew he would win on this one, but get the added bonus of showing the world how obsequious, naïve, and impotent the new U.S. was in the bargain.
Throughout the Cold War, except to some extent during the Carter years, the U.S. responded more or less in kind to Russian hard-bargaining. In the modern era, President Bush, prodded by Vice President Cheney, eventually did so as well.

It probably never occurred to the Russians that a U.S. president would come to power hoping to "reset" relations with Russia on some basis other than the hard bargain and the "trust but verify" mentality. Yet this is precisely what has fallen into the Kremlin's lap. From what I've heard, the Russian elites can neither believe their good fortune nor hide their amusement.
5571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interconnected Economics and the Magic of Numbers in Politics, Thomas Sowell on: October 16, 2009, 11:22:31 AM

Back in the days of the Soviet Union, two Russian economists who had never lived in a country with a free market economy understood something about market economies that many others who have lived in such economies all their lives have never understood. Nikolai Shmelev and Vladimir Popov said: "Everything is interconnected in the world of prices, so that the smallest change in one element is passed along the chain to millions of others."

What does that mean? It means that a huge increase in the demand for ice cream can mean higher prices for catchers' mitts, among other things.

When more cows are needed to produce more milk to make ice cream, then fewer cows will be slaughtered and that means less cowhide available to make baseball gloves. Supply and demand mean that catchers' mitts are going to cost more.

While this may be easy enough to understand, its implications are completely lost on many people in politics and in the media. If everything is connected to everything else in a market economy, then it makes no sense to have laws and policies that declare some given goal to be a "good thing," without regard to the repercussions, which spread out in all directions, like waves that spread across a pond when you drop a rock in the water.

Our current economic meltdown results from the federal government, under both Democrats and Republicans, declaring home ownership to be a "good thing" and treating the percentage of families who own their own home as if it was some sort of magic number that had to be kept growing — without regard to the repercussions on other things.

We are now living with those repercussions, which include the worst unemployment in decades. That is the price we are paying for increasing home ownership from 64 percent to 69 percent.

How did we get from home ownership to 15 million unemployed Americans? By ignoring the fact that there was a reason why only 64 percent of families owned their own home. More people would have liked to be home owners but did not qualify under mortgage lending standards that had been in place for decades.

Politicians to the rescue: Federal regulatory agencies leaned on banks to lend to people they were not lending to before — or else. The "or else" included not having their business decisions approved by the regulators, which could cost them more money than making risky loans.

Mortgage lending standards were lowered, in order to raise the magic number of home ownership. But, with lower lending standards, there were — surprise! — more mortgage payment delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures.

This was a problem not only for banks and other lenders but also for those in the business of buying mortgages from the original lenders. These included semi-government enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as Wall Street firms that bought mortgages, bundled them together and issued securities based on the anticipated income from those mortgages.

In other words, all these economic transactions were "interconnected," as the Russian economists would say. And when the people who owed money on their mortgages stopped paying, the whole house of cards began to fall.

Politicians may not know much — or care much — about economics, but they know politics and they care a lot about keeping their jobs. So a great distracting hue and cry has gone up that all this was due to the market not being regulated enough by the government. In reality, it was precisely the government regulators who forced the banks to lower their lending standards.

The other big lie is that this was a failure of economists and others to foresee that the housing boom would turn to bust and set off financial repercussions across the economy.

In reality, everybody and his brother saw it coming and said so — including yours truly in the Wall Street Journal of May 26, 2005. As far away as London, The Economist magazine warned about the danger. So did many American publications and individuals. The problem was that politicians refused to listen. They were fixated on the magic number of home ownership and oblivious to the economic interconnections that Russian economists saw long ago and from far away.

It is understandable that many people do not pay nearly as much attention to political issues as they do to practical decisions that they have to make in their own lives. For one thing, they have only one vote among millions, so their influence on what policies the government will follow is in no way comparable to the weight of their decisions in their own personal affairs.

One consequence is that politicians can get away with half-baked arguments that people would never accept in their personal lives, where they apply a lot more scrutiny.

People who would never let some high-pressure salesman rush them into signing a contract to buy a car, before they have a chance to read the contract, may see nothing wrong with a President of the United States trying to rush Congress into passing a thousand-page bill before anybody has a chance to read it all.

Numbers, as well as words, get more scrutiny in private life than in political issues. Politicians love to cite magic numbers that are supposed to tell us whether some policy is a "good thing" or not. By sheer repetition, it is claimed that bigger numbers mean better results, whether the number is the percentage of families that own their own homes or the miles per gallon that automobiles get.

Administrations of both political parties, going back as far as the 1920s, have from time to time pushed the idea that a higher percentage of people owning their own homes is a "good thing," completely ignoring such repercussions as rising foreclosure rates in the wake of extending mortgage loans to people who are unlikely to be able to keep up the payments.

One of the other magic numbers that is popular in politics is the average miles per gallon of gas that cars are supposed to get, in order to meet standards set by the government. No matter how big this number gets, it can always get bigger, so there is no logical stopping place — which means a never-ending political crusade to increase that magic number.

The open-endedness of magic numbers is not their only problem. The more fundamental problem is that the costs entailed by a magic number are often either ignored or downplayed. More miles per gallon, for example, are usually achieved by having lighter cars — and lighter cars mean less protection from the consequences of automobile accidents. Bluntly, it means more severe injuries and death.

Many of the same people who protest against "trading blood for oil" when it comes to military interventions in the Middle East seem not to see that higher miles per gallon can also mean trading blood for oil.

The magic number du jour is the number of Americans without health insurance. Apparently getting more people insured is another "good thing" — which is to say, it is something whose costs are not to be weighed against the benefits, or whose costs are to be finessed aside with optimistic projections or a claim that these costs can be covered by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse."

In real life, people weigh one thing against another. But in politics one declares one thing to be imperative, so the issue then becomes how we do it. In real life, all sorts of desirable things are not done, either because of other desirable things that would have to be sacrificed to do it or because of the dangers incurred in achieving the desired objective are worse than the problem we want to solve.

Almost never are the dangers of having uninsured people weighed against the dangers of having government bureaucrats over-ruling doctors and deciding whether money would be better spent saving the life of an elderly person or paying for an abortion for some teenager.

The crowning irony is that the problems caused by insurance companies refusing to pay for certain medications or treatment are to be solved by giving government bureaucrats that same power, along with the power to prevent patients from using their own money to pay for those same medications or treatments.

More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke said, "Nothing is good but in proportion" — that is, when weighed as a trade-off. But a prudent weighing of trade-offs does not produce the political melodrama of pursuing a "good thing" measured by some magic number.
5572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion, pick on someone your own size on: October 15, 2009, 06:58:39 AM
Estimate that a little more than a million slaughtered since the last post here justifying abortion and maybe 3/4 million killed since the last on the Reproductive Issues thread insisting that a beating heart with unique fingerprints is a 'potential life'.

The women's rights argument should keep in mind that roughly half of the victims, who only want to be born, would otherwise grow up to be women - with rights - such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Update from the trenches: An 18 week pregnant abortionist describes terminating an 18 week fetus as she briefly contemplates the ongoing development of her own, soon to be, cute little pre-schooler.  Be warned - you might not want to visualize this process over breakfast lunch etc.  Photo is not actual; the fetus is removed in parts.  

    When I was a little over 18 weeks pregnant with my now pre-school child, I did a second trimester abortion for a patient who was also a little over 18 weeks pregnant. As I reviewed her chart I realized that I was more interested than usual in seeing the fetal parts when I was done, since they would so closely resemble those of my own fetus.

    I went about doing the procedure as usual, removed the laminaria I had placed earlier and confirmed I had adequate dilation. I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position – it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier.

    With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen.

    Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes – without me – meaning my conscious brain - even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics.

    It was one of the more raw moments in my life. Doing second trimester abortions did not get easier after my pregnancy; in fact, dealing with little infant parts of my born baby only made dealing with dismembered fetal parts sadder.
5573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 14, 2009, 05:25:59 PM
Freki,  People like that are fun to discuss science with. Besides counting scientists, I particularly like the way he condescends, as if you weren't able to google without some steering.  Seriously I like the way you don't show all your cards.  Just within the discussions here is enough material to rip the report to shreds, but that's not the way to begin.

He starts his IPCC point saying with hundreds if not thousands presumably support him and closes saying it's thousands.  Guess that sounded bigger.  But he didn't even try to quantify what the scientists are saying, even though you asked very specifically.  If he thinks only one or two 'prominant' scientists have a question then you have already done more research than him.

He did say, you pick the time frame - you already did.  Then he wants to steer you past the 70s because of inaccurate data but the two decades without warming coming into the 70s led to the Time Magazine headline warning us of the danger of a new ICE AGE:,9171,944914,00.html.  This of course was the consensus of the best scientists and most accurate information available.  He says the measurements weren't accurate then, and they aren't accurate now either, but I wouldn't go there.  Just look for the data.  Also he would like to steer you away from 2008-2009 because that indicates another decade, since 1998, without warming that NONE of the models of the greatest scientists in the world could explain or predict.

But since he says you pick the time frame and you did, middle of the last century until and including 2009.  I would re-iterate the 2 questions already posed and if he prefers that you just do your own research, you can easily delay, read the IPCC study, note that the answers aren't in there in spite of thousands of scientists checking and double-checking each other's work and agreeing with each other - qualitatively - that man's impact is large and something must be done.

You have clearly won the debate over bias and I would accept your victory silently and drop it.  If a scientist would not tilt his view or his emphasis over funding then same obviously applies for scientists with 'other' funding, or vice versa.  What he doesn't see is that even if 90% agree with today's conventional wisdom and 10% don't, nothing inherent in the science tells us which group has it right.  History includes plenty of examples of when the consensus was mistaken, see Time magazine 1974 regarding global cooling or anything in the last two centuries that pertains to quantum entanglement.

BTW, IPCC doesn't publish measured temperatures from anywhere.  They run their analysis on data that has been adjusted by ever-changing, unpublished 'correction' algorithms.  What is the margin of error?  They don't say.

As soon as you can pin him down on an alarming amount of continuous and accelerating, measured warming and that human causes are the main cause, say at least a third or a half of that, then his alleged consensus of scientists will quickly disappear, I predict.
5574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Top Twenty Things Obama Doesn't Say on: October 13, 2009, 12:47:33 PM

Despite countless speeches and news conferences, did you ever hear President Obama express the following ideas?

        1. Not everything is a federal issue; some things are for the states to decide.

        2. I hear what you're saying and you have a good point.

        3. One of the beautiful things about our constitution is the liberty given to individuals to pursue their dreams.  There is great opportunity in our country to succeed.

        4. In an effort to stimulate job growth and despite the objections from my party, I am working with Congress to reduce taxes for small businesses.

        5. I am saddened by the cycle of poverty that exists in our major cities, and here is a way we can empower the next generation to break the cycle and fulfill their God-given potential....

        6. The folks at the town hall meetings and those who came to Washington on 9/12 were exercising one of the greatest rights we have as Americans, freedom of speech.

        7. Stop already with all forms of ‘cult of personality' behavior.  I am a public servant, just like all those who have served before and all who will come after my term is complete.  It's not about me, it's about the country.

        8. I heard a great message Sunday morning at church.

        9. History teaches us that evil exists in the world; for this reason the United States must remain strong, ready to defend itself and its allies.

        10. I didn't realize a communist was part of my administration.  It won't happen again.

        11. The billions siphoned out of health care into lawyers' pockets never healed a single person.

        12. No other country on earth offers its citizens the opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as does the United States of America.

        13. The experts have looked at the proposed (fill-in-the-blank) program, and when it is extrapolated out beyond just the initial offering there is clear evidence it will cost too much money and will eventually fail.

        14. I disagree 100% with the Cloward-Piven strategy of increasing the welfare rolls and overwhelming the financial system, and I am not affiliated in any way with the implementation of such an idea.

        15. I don't know the answer to your question but I will give it some thought.

        16. The goal of my presidency is not to implement a political ideology, but to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

        17. Every person has value regardless of age, gender, color, physical characteristics, or any other factor.

        18. Any healthcare bill I sign must include a provision to exclude the rationing of care, keep the door open for competition among insurers, and promote the opportunity for our young people to pursue an education in the medical fields to ensure future supply meets future demand.

        19. It is important for legislators to remember that what helps someone in the short-term may actually hurt them in the long-term, and we must avoid this kind of scenario.

        20. It has become clear to me after meeting with military experts that their recommendations should be implemented in our current situation; this is not an area in which politics can be allowed to interfere.
5575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Unfulfilled Pledges on: October 13, 2009, 12:45:06 PM

Here is the top 10 list of most glaring examples of Mr Obama falling short in key areas he trumpeted during his campaign.

1.PROMISE BROKEN. Mr Obama said he would "not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days". But the "sunlight before signing" promise has already fallen by the wayside with Mr Obama signing three major bills without public scrutiny.

2.PROMISE BROKEN. Mr Obama repeatedly said he would negotiate health care reform in televised sessions broadcast on C-SPAN, the public service network. Instead, he his approach has been no different from his predecessors, holding talks behind closed doors at the White House and Congress.

3.PROMISE BROKEN. Mr Obama solemnly pledged that "no political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years". In practice, Mr Obama has granted several waivers to this rule, allowing lobbyists to serve in the top reaches of his administration.

4.PROMISE BROKEN. Mr Obama said he would end income tax for the elderly making less than $50,000 per year, thereby eliminating taxes for seven million of them. This has not been part of his economic stimulus bill, his first budget outline or any legislation proposed by the White House.

5.PROMISE STALLED. On taking office, Mr Obama announced with great fanfare that the Guantanamo Bay prison camp would be closed within a year of his inauguration on January 20th. Defence officials now concede that this self-imposed deadline will not be met.

6.PROMISE SIDELINED. Mr Obama promised to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that prohibits openly gay personnel from serving in the United States armed forces. Despite reiterating the pledge this weekend, Mr Obama shows no signs of taking concrete action on the issue.

7.PROMISE BROKEN. Mr Obama said that in 2009 and 2010 "existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired". Democrats on Capitol Hill opposed this and Mr Obama has quietly abandoned the proposal, omitting it from his list of requirements for draft legislation.

8.PROMISE BROKEN. During the campaign, Mr Obama promised that "as President I will recognise the Armenian genocide" carried out by the Ottoman Empire after 1915. Once in office, he traveled to Turkey and made no mention of genocide. In a statement in April on the memorial day for the genocide he spoke of the "heavy weight" of history and the "terrible events " of the period but failed the use the g-word.

9.PROMISE SIDELINED. As a candidate, Mr Obama highlighted his support for abortion rights, stating he would back this up "by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president". At a press conference marking his first 100 days, Mr Obama said this was "not my highest legislative priority" and that it was important to "focus on those areas that we can agree on".

10. PROMISE SIDELINED. Mr Obama promised to end warrantless wiretaps on the domestic communications of Americans and to "update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability". So far, he has taken no action.
5576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: October 13, 2009, 11:26:20 AM
CCP, My daughter went to see Taylor Swift this past weekend sad  The question of who writes her songs is asked on Yahoo.  Then it is answered by young fans who vote on each other's answer and so it is now a resolved question sad

In my day... for one thing each band succeeded by creating something new and original. I doubt if Bob Dylan stole songs or poems.  Nobody ever said he sounds just like - fill in the blank. The lead singers of the Grateful Dead each had a lyricist and they gave and took shared credit on every song.  They played plenty of other people's material and even if they re-worked it musically or even if it was never previously famous they didn't claim they wrote the song.  Similar for bands like Yes, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, etc. They didn't come out with a new song to the reaction that it sounds remarkably like someone else.  More likely they could be accused of it sounding to much like own of their own previous works.

What I don't understand, if there are millions to be made why they can't, as Jackson had to here with Paul Anka, buy and pay for the help they receive.  Maybe the answer is in the fan comments on Taylor Swift.  They are so sure that she is singing directly to them from the heart, not reading a teleprompter.  Even then, couldn't they privately buy the right to take full credit?
5577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: A second Great Depression is still possible on: October 13, 2009, 10:55:00 AM
First regarding Bloomberg on the Obama dollar, normally a weak dollar boosts exports i.e. self correcting, but combine that with the decimation of industry, what is there to sell anymore and the dollar was already low.

The Financial Times piece: a good chance the US economy will experience a second dip followed by extended stagnation that will qualify as the second Great Depression.

I agree with GM, absolutely possible and almost certain.  But also totally PREVENTABLE.

All of our policy levers are currently headed in the wrong direction.  Pro-growth economics has been replaced with assumed growth economics that makes it okay to keep adding burdens and inefficiencies to the productive economy until it collapses on its own weight.

"The economic crisis represents the implosion of the economic paradigm that has ruled US and global growth for the past thirty years. That paradigm was based on consumption fuelled by indebtedness and asset price inflation, and it is done."

   - There was a little more to it IMO but he has his time line correct.  30 years ago we were in the Jimmy Carter era of stagnation and stagflation.  Carter's answer was to do everything possible to make it worse while correcting none of the underlying weakness.

Today, if the problem was debt, our answer is debt on steroids??

Decline is a choice. (See

Pro-growth policies are a different choice.  True pro-growth policies such as those of JFK, Reagan, and even Clinton after the Gingrich takeover, are rather simple and always available. 

Investors don't even know what their tax rate will be on returns from productive investments made now.  Taking a widespread, wait and see approach chops off new job growth before it can get started.  The left machine certainly promised huge hikes on all the larger players.  Complicating that is that fact that their word is worthless, their policy aprovals are negative and the context they operate in has changed.  Even though they haven't really raised taxes yet, the uncertainty causes all the economic damage we would expect if they had.

Employers don't even know what the burden of hiring an employee today will be.  With space and time not allowing a full laundry list of all the known burdens and coming burdens (cf. employee leave, layoff notification laws, health care burdens...).  Hillary said it best and Obama and Pelosi are definitely to her left; it goes something like this: You can't afford all the ideas I have for the economy.

Consumers, citizens, taxpayers and voters, whatever we like to call ourselves, we don't even know if we will have $2000 added to our energy bill, $4000 added to our health care bill, and who knows what added to our tax bill, not even counting state and local taxes.  Property taxes, energy taxes, health care costs and more are not costs that go down when you lose your job or close your company.  Then what?

What else did they do to really dig deep for the first great depression?  Smoot Hawley.  So what did Obama do as the hole keeps expanding: "Obama slaps tariff on Chinese tires - MarketWatch  Sep 11, 2009 ... The Obama administration will slap a special tariff on Chinese-macde tires."  Also canceled out of a free trade agreement in Latin America.  Does that mentality from the world's largest economy cause others to open the doors a little more to free enterprise and free trade?  I think not!

Repeating, decline is a choice.  We are choosing it.  Maybe you and I didn't vote for Pelosi or Obama, but we also are not successfully putting out clear, pro-growth alternatives and arguments up for consideration.
5578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs - George Shultz on: October 12, 2009, 03:02:56 PM
Very interesting.  A huge problem with no easy solution.  Nothing really gets legalized in this country as lemonade stands get shut down for licensing issues and tobacco gets sold on the black market as taxation goes sky high, so I think that can be a misnomer.

I can see decriminalization for consumers to a point as Crafty described in this thread agreeing with Obama.  I can see reevaluating all penalties and trying to get them in proportion to the amount of damage done to others.  A renewed campaign with honest science to inform people of risks makes sense.

An advantage of legalization would be labeling for potency and content, but that really isn't legalization if buying and selling as it is known today is still a violation of all FTC (and IRS) laws.

Here is a question (or two) for our libertarian friends here in favor of full legalization of drugs, what would you do then about prescription drugs?  Cocaine you can buy and sell but for Valium or Viagra you need a Doctor and a Pharmacy reaping fees and profits? That doesn't make sense.  And further, if could trust ourselves with medicines, why can't we trust we the people with 'medical' devices and procedures?  Today that can be a felony with years in jail.
5579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward - pundits and leaders on: October 12, 2009, 02:24:01 PM
CCP: "It seems to me many participants in the tea party would find Levin and Beck appealing.
I really don't know how much they are simply preaching to the choir or are actually finding growing support among independents.  Couldn't they be leaders of the tea party?"

Not speaking for the movement but if I get to choose a leader from among the right wing punditry I think I will go with Prof. Victor Davis Hanson.

Let the left wing media try to take him apart.  Katie Couric can ask him what he reads, Charlie Gibson can see if he understands the Bush Doctrine, and maybe George Stephanopoulos can try to trip him up on the names of leaders around the world.   smiley
5580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues - Fox News on: October 12, 2009, 12:56:47 PM
I often hear top of the hour radio news from Fox and find they often let the same liberal spin fall into news stories that we would expect from ABC, NBC, CBS, AP, etc.  A good conservative editor would question the wording and framing of the stories and no one is doing that IMO.

I don't watch the cable shows but see Fox News Sunday.  Of the usual panelists, obviously 2 are right wing.  The others for balance are less flaming in their leftism than typically found on the other Sunday shows.  Chris Wallace is the most balanced of the moderators.  I would compare him to Jim Lehrer in his ability to keep his personal views out of the way and do his job.

Hannity is an opinion show.  I know him only through radio.  Obviously a lighter weight than Rush but  he brings on insightful and relevant guests, right and left.  To have him on prime time must ruffle the lefty feathers but his success, like Rush, is based on the void left by the rest of the media.

Crafty,  I am curious to read more about your observation that the WSJ opinion page has changed for the worse since the Murdoch took over.
5581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward - does not go through David Brooks on: October 12, 2009, 12:33:36 PM
David Brooks is from the Obama wing of the Republican Party IMO.  He is infatuated with Huckabee only as it relates to a split among conservatives.  There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Brooks would vote for Huck.   Rush is a radio show based on one person's opinion.  He doen't hold Get-out-the-Vote rallies.  To the extent that his views resonate with others he attracts and holds listeners.  That he doesn't change minds could be said about any of them including Obama whose electoral win didn't translate into support for his policies.  I listened to Rush more than Brooks did and Rush DID NOT ENDORSE ANYONE for President in the primaries. Even Oprah took a side.  Fred Thompson was largely ignored.  No one trashed Huckabee.  Plenty of conservatives exposed his policies and rhetoric that is/was not conservative.  Isn't that what a conservative, opinion commentator should do?  No one melted over Romney.

Social conservatives felt threatened by Giuliani but Huckabee knocked him out (and Thompson) in the first state.  Then Republicans held their nose and nominated the most centrist and anti-Republican of all the choices hoping that would bring moderates, centrists and independents to the cause in a bad year.  The opposite happened.

Huckabee is interesting to the left because his charisma and partial success help to widen the divide among conservatives. 

Brooks: "So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power."  - In this case "everyone" refers to the people he shares elevators with at the NY Times.  He perhaps should take Rush's advice that the NY Times should send 'foreign correspondents' out to the heartland and find out what the people there really think.

On the right, people are fascinated with the so-called tea party movement that really is the groundswell without a leader.
5582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Job Creation 101 - WSJ on: October 12, 2009, 11:27:45 AM
Obama and the left machine is actually proposing a TEMPORARY program to boost employment?  Is that what we want?  Temporary hiring? A government program to boost private sector employment?  They are also proposing the largest tax ever (cap and tax) on heavy manufacturing and a takeover of health care, housing, banking, energy and auto manufacturing...

Job Creation 101
A hiring tax credit returns from the dead.

The White House is finally coming to realize that taxes affect job creation. Terrific. Its solution seems to be to bribe employers for hiring new workers, albeit only for a couple of years. Less than terrific.

Alarmed by the rising jobless rate, Democrats are scrambling to "do something" to create jobs. You may have thought that was supposed to be the point of February's $780 billion stimulus plan, and indeed it was. White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein estimated at the time that the spending blowout would keep the jobless rate below 8%.

The nearby chart compares the job estimates the two economists used to help sell the stimulus to the American public to the actual jobless rate so far this year. The current rate is 9.8% and is expected to rise or stay high well into the election year of 2010. Rarely in politics do we get such a clear and rapid illustration of a policy failure.

This explains why political panic is beginning to set in, and various panicky ideas to create more jobs are suddenly in play. The New York Times reports that one plan would grant a $3,000 tax credit to employers for each new hire in 2010. Under another, two-year plan, employers would receive a credit in the first year equal to 15.3% of the cost of adding a new worker, an amount that would be reduced to 10.2% in the second year and then phased out entirely. Why 15.3%? Presumably because that's roughly the cost of the payroll tax burden to hire a new worker.

The irony of this is remarkable, considering the costs that Democrats are busy imposing on job creation. Congress raised the minimum wage again in July, a direct slam at low-skilled and young workers. The black teen jobless rate has since climbed to 50.4% from 39.2% in two months. Congress is also moving ahead with a mountain of new mandates, from mandatory paid leave to the House's health-care payroll surtax of 5.4%. All of these policy changes give pause to employers as they contemplate the cost of new hires—a reality that Democrats are tacitly admitting as they now plot to find ways to offset those higher costs.

Alas, their new ideas are little more than political gimmicks that aren't likely to result in many new jobs. Congress doesn't want to give up revenue for very long, so it would make the tax credits temporary. Thus anyone who is hired would have to be productive enough to justify the wage or salary after the tax-credit expires—or else the job is likely to end. An employer would be better off hiring a temp worker and saving on the benefits for the same couple of years.

The tax credit would also inevitably go to some employers already planning to hire, or reward companies that lay off some workers only to hire others to take advantage of the tax credit. And it would reward parts of the country that are growing, such as Texas, at the expense of those that aren't, such as Michigan. In other words, it is a very inefficient business subsidy.

We know all this because a new jobs tax credit has already been tried—in the Carter Administration. In 1977 as he entered the White House, Jimmy Carter proposed a jobs credit and a Democratic Congress passed it. Its unfortunate history was recounted in 1980 by then-Treasury official Emil Sunley in a chapter of "The Economics of Taxation," a book edited by Henry Aaron and Michael Boskin for the Brookings Institution.

As Mr. Sunley summarized: "The impact of the credit on jobs was slight. In many firms those who make hiring decisions did not understand the firm's tax status." He added that, "Because the capital stock is fixed in the short run, to increase employment significantly, demand for output must increase. An incremental tax cut tied to employment will not by itself generate that increase in demand. Moreover, a temporary incremental credit is unlikely to affect significantly the long-run substitution of labor for capital." Call this Job Creation 101.

President Obama first floated the hiring credit in January, but it died after opposition from Democrats who seemed to get the joke. "If you have a company and you're selling fewer shingles, $3,000 isn't going to get you to hire somebody when your sales are shrinking," said Senator Chuck Schumer. Yet now even some Republicans, such as House GOP whip Eric Cantor, are saying they're receptive to the idea. Mr. Cantor ought to know better.

The lack of U.S. job creation is a big problem, but the quickest way Washington could help would be to stop imposing more financial burdens on hiring. And if Democrats really want to reduce taxes on labor, the cleanest way would be to reduce the payroll tax rate. They could finance a permanent payroll cut by using the $300-$400 billion or more in unspent stimulus money, rather than continuing with the transfer payments and pork barrel spending that have failed so miserably to create jobs.
5583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 12, 2009, 11:10:18 AM
Freki - I wanted to add the names Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and Dr. Roy Spencer, climate change research scientist for the Univ. of Alabama Huntsville to your list as sensible minds on the subject with ample qcredentials, but they are already both quoted in BBG's last post.  I'm sure the alarmist is aware of their work and has left wing hate site dirt ready to smear them personally rather than address their scientific studies. 

The idea that the coal industry for example, as it is directly threatened with tax and regulatory extinction, should not be funding any scientific atmospheric research regarding the result of their process is antithetical to the founding concept of freedom.

5584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 12, 2009, 10:43:57 AM
"I thought that the BMD system had been canceled due to budget."

The Russians opposed missile defense sites in Czech and Poland.  Obama wanted Russian cooperation on Iran.  Obama canceled those sites, backstabbing our allies.  Later Sec. of Defense Gates wrote that we have a much better missile defense plan in the works, unbeknown to the Czechs and Poles and likely to be again canceled later.  Now Russia is allegedly upset about that and can still sabotage cooperation against Iran.

A government 2 trillion out of balance is not likely to feel constrained by a budget.
5585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: ACORN - the firewall on: October 11, 2009, 03:31:40 PM
"What would stop them from zapping off one copy of personal information for themselves as they submit it to the Census Bureau?  The federal government We will essentially be paying organized labor and “social justice” organizations to recruit new members."

Luckily they have a "firewall" (Lol) between activities partisan-political and all the taxpayer funded, Marxist do-gooding that they do.  I heard that directly from the head of ACORN.  

Also reassuring is that the incident in Baltimore (and in New York, Washington, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Boston, Minneapolis, San Diego and Seattle) was an isolated incident.  

If anyone out there has ever seen a picture of this firewall, please post it.

The constitution authorizes and mandates the count of the number of people in your household.  Where in the constitution does it empower the federal government to coerce answers on anything else??

The list of 'Census Partners' is scary and obnoxious.  What about naming rights, will it soon be called the Pepsi or Bud Light Census?  In the meantime maybe we can just call it the ACORN or Bill Ayers Census.

Did I really see La Raza in charge of counting legal immigrants for congressional representation?  sad
5586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 11, 2009, 12:29:59 PM
I agree with all of what BBG wrote.  I wrote previously that polling scientists is not science and would add that credential-checking scientists is also not science.  Before all major breakthroughs in science, nearly all scientists agreed that the opposite was true.

If I were you I would ignore the side-fights of credentials and personalities, knowing that plenty of able and respected people will back you up, and as a first reply I would only ask to clarify what he is alleging.

"Man is causing/contributing greatly..."  When they ask for more money at my daughter's school they say that ninety-some percent rate the school district as good or excellent.  Well there is a BIG difference between good and excellent in the school business.  Why do they lump those together? Obviously to skew a point and make good sound like excellent instead of like fair or mediocre or adequate.  Obama's stimulus has "created or saved xx million jobs.  How many did it create and how many did it save and why did they lump those together.  Obviously to make an inference while making it impossible for you to refute what isn't even really alleged.

But your rival and the media of our time writes: "2) Man is causing/contributing greatly to this." What the hell does that mean?


I would only reply in the first inning with a clarification request:

"Lets define Global warming -- it has two major premises."  - agree

"1) The average temperature of the earth is rising."  - Let's clarify so we know what we are agreeing on here.  What is the rise (very exact or within a specific range) since say the middle of the last century until now?

"2) Man is causing/contributing greatly to this."  - Must know what you mean by cause or contributing greatly in order to answer this.  Please specify what portion of the rise, precise or within a range, is directly attributable to CO2 emissions (that is the issue of the day) and what the other specific portions of the rise are attributable to each of the other factors, if any, that play a role in warming.


If he says that on both counts scientists don't know, then he is honest and you are done.  If he sidesteps and fires back again with 'everyone who is anyone agrees...' then I would ignore him until he can put to words and numbers what it is that he is alleging.
5587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 11, 2009, 11:56:16 AM
Sorry no sound bites.  sad

Their main argument is a fictional picture that Obama and Edwards drew in the 2008 Democrat debates where the viewer is led to believe that American snipers, high in the mountains, had Osama bin Laden surrounded and in their sights, ready to shoot, but received instead a radioed message from President Bush telling them to quickly lay down their rifles and leave the mountains of Tora Bora immediately, and take the next train to Fallujah lol because that is now the central focus of the war on terror.  It just didn't happen that way.  The politicians in Washington did not micro-manage the commanders in either war, they weren't denied resources to track terrorists in the mountains and no one ever had bin Laden in their sights much less turn back, unless you count the opportunities we passed up under President Clinton.

Ironically, the intelligence that could have prevented the 'unnecessary' war was not available perhaps due to the gutting of the intelligence agencies by the appeasers who took power after the cold war threats were settled without a shot fired by the trigger happy Pres. Reagan.  The prevention opportunity for the attacks on America on September 11, 2001 would have been to massively and fatally strike al Qaeda after one of the many previous attacks they made on Americans and American interests such as the USS Cole bombing in Aden in 2000 or the Embassy attacks in Africa in 1998.

Post-9/11/01 is when bin Laden truly knew to hide because (other than Saddam Hussein as published in his own state newspaper 51 days prior- only al Qaeda knew of the attacks that were coming.

Both Bush and the Nobel peace laureate have authorized major strikes into the 'safe' areas of Pakistan.  It is ridiculous and counter-productive to make the choices we face now out to be political or partisan.
5588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan - Frank Rich NY Times on: October 11, 2009, 10:37:54 AM
"I find Frank Rich to be a typical Pravda on the Hudson douche bag" - Reading only this piece I would say you are sugar-coating it.  Good to know what post-partisan liberal journalism looks like.  Can't we all just get along?  His obsession with McCain makes me want to write an attack piece on Walter Mondale, and see what readership I get.  No wonder they are bankrupt and seeking federal bailouts.  Does he know that Republicans and conservatives especially can no longer declare war, fund war, stop war or even participate in committee meetings?  What an *sshole.

I just hate reading a piece where the first sentence is a lie but that is how today's liberals start an argument: "...America divert its troops and treasure from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2002 and 2003".

  - I would like to see the supply route aerial photos of our troops and treasure leaving Kabul on the long journey to Baghdad.  

In fact the Afghanistan war was the model of a multi-lateralist intervention and Iraq at least according to this scumbag was a go-it-alone venture.  In Iraq, we won - not mentioned in the piece.  In Afghanistan, apparently there is still a problem and why would allies stay committed if we are happy to do it for them.

"these hawks insisted that Iraq was “the central front in the war on terror” when the central front was Afghanistan, so they insist that Afghanistan is the central front now that it has migrated to Pakistan. When the day comes for them to anoint Pakistan as the central front, it will be proof positive that Al Qaeda has consolidated its hold on Somalia and Yemen."

  - If we keep winning, the world they operate in keeps getting smaller and smaller.  BTW, it was bin Laden who put the central focus on Iraq and who chose Afghan for an ungoverned safe haven that this author infers that he would prefer.  Also curious about his writings that propose a US war right now in Pahkistahn or is this all just hot air and bullsh*t?

Side note, how would it affect the pressure we want to put on Iran right now to prevent them from going fully nuclear if Saddam had just this week successfully tested his own new nuclear weapons.  That is what the Iraq Study Group predicted: he was 5-7 years away, more than 5-7 years ago... not mentioned in the hit piece.

"[McCain] hyped the faulty W.M.D. evidence to the hysterical extreme of fingering Iraq for the anthrax attacks in Washington. Or that he promised we would win the Iraq war “easily.” Or that he predicted that the Sunnis and the Shiites would “probably get along” in post-Saddam Iraq"

  - The WMD evidence came through all the best intelligence agencies in the world, why would you not 'hype' it if you gave a damn about American security.  The part that was faulty originated with Saddam himself over-hyping his ability to impose destruction - even after he had attacked FOUR of his neighbors: Iran, Kuwait, Israel and Saudi.  Besides the Bush hatred, or in this case McCain just to mix it up, the only response these armchair hate writers have had to Saddam taking Kuwait, Saudi and maybe Israel, shooting American aircraft, defying UN resolutions and their own surrender agreement and going fully nuclear would come from Paul McCartney lyrics (to the beautiful melody): "Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. There will be an answer,let it beeeee."

"they promoted their strategy (war in Iraq) as a way of preventing another 9/11 — even though no one culpable for 9/11 was in Iraq."  

  - I wonder if they don't read their own words, but we weren't trying to prevent the attack that already happened, we are trying to prevent future attacks by taking battle to our declared enemies.  Not mentioned as usual is that future attacks were stopped and BTW, Saddam did not go nuclear or restart his chemical or biological programs.

"If you listen carefully to McCain and his neocon echo chamber, you’ll notice certain tics. President Obama better make his decision by tomorrow, or Armageddon (if not mushroom clouds) will arrive."

  - No.  I don't think he said that, lol.  What they perhaps are saying is that the Commander in Chief, Lyndon Baines Obama,  should make clear to the troops in harm's way whether we are in this war to win or are we out or are we content to settle for a quagmire under his watch.

"Most tellingly, perhaps, those clamoring for an escalation in Afghanistan avoid mentioning the name of the country’s president, Hamid Karzai, or the fraud-filled August election..."

  - But he would return our troops to America? With the ACORN prosecutions in full force and the ACORN legal defense team in charge??? Lol.  That election (Afghanistan in August) took place under Obama's new plan for Afghanistan and uner his watch and command.  Not McCain.  Did I miss a news story where Obama alled for a re-vote or a re-count?

"Those demanding more combat troops for Afghanistan also avoid defining the real costs. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the war was running $2.6 billion a month in Pentagon expenses alone even before Obama added 20,000 troops this year."

  - Those demanding more troops are Obama's chosen command team.

"Gen. David Petraeus stipulates that real counterinsurgency requires 20 to 25 troops for each thousand residents. That comes out, conservatively, to 640,000 troops for Afghanistan (population, 32 million)."

  - I don't think the major battle areas of Afghanistan encompass the whole nation or the whole population.

Frankly this anti-war piece could more logically be written attacking Obama.  Even if some points are valid, what is his plan to protect America while allowing all known safe havens to fester?
5589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City on: October 10, 2009, 02:13:33 PM
 Oct 7, 2009
Fight At Fenger While Officials Discuss Violence   CHICAGO (CBS)

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan arrives at the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware Pl., for a discussion on combatting violence among Chicago youth.  President Barack Obama was so shocked by the deadly beating of a Fenger High School student that he dispatched two members of his cabinet to address the problem.  But on the day Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan met with local officials to discuss youth violence, there was another fight at Fenger.

As CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports, students said what happened Wednesday is typical of what happens every day. Students from Altgeld Gardens got into a fight with students who live in the area surrounding the high school, an area known as "The Ville."

Altgeld Gardens resident Tommie McCoy said Holder and Duncan should have visited Fenger and Altgeld Gardens, not just met with Mayor Richard M. Daley and other local officials in downtown Chicago.  If Holder, Duncan and Daley had been outside Fenger on Wednesday when school let out, students said they would have gotten an eyeful.

"They was fighting," one girl said.

Another student said, "Some boys they got off the bus fighting and that. Then the police came over there breaking up the fight."  As soon as the punching stopped at Fenger, the students and the simmering tension moved south to Altgeld Gardens a few miles south.

Luevinne Leggett, a senior at Fenger, said she doesn't feel welcome there.  "I don't feel welcome because I get chased home from school every day," Leggett said. "I try and avoid the problem by walking and they chase me. The police not doing nothing. They sit out there and they watch people get chased."

Vashion Bullock said he feels similarly. He was involved in the fight that claimed the life of 16-year-old Derrion Albert last month. Bullock's brother is one of four teens charged with murder.  Bullock said Duncan is wrong if he believes that the problems don't stem from making Carver a selective enrollment school. He said he gets attacked by students who live close to Fenger because he is from Altgeld Gardens.  "Before I went to this community school (Fenger), I didn't have no fights, no nothing; until I went outside the (Altgeld Gardens) community," Bullock said.
5590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 10, 2009, 01:56:49 PM
Freki, please post his arguments here as long as there is nothing confidential about wanting to save the planet.  BBG has it right, proving something doesn't exist is a bit tough.  Your first move IMO is to draw the allegations out of him and sampling scientists isn't science.  For example, in the last 60 years - that should cover most of our lifetimes - how much is he alleging that the earth has warmed?  (The answer is almost zero, maybe a half degree C and certainly within the margin of measurement sampling error.)  If he doesn't like the time frame compare now with the 1930s, lol. And second, draw out from him what portion of that warming is caused by human CO2 emissions - that is the part they are trying to regulate and specifically how much is cased by each of the other top 5 or 10 causes. If he says that scientists have no idea, then you have met an honest man, lol. (Last time I looked into this I came up with numbers that human caused CO2 is about 2% of total CO2 production, warming from CO2 is about 2% of total warming and that total warming isn't more than about a tenth of a degree per decade.  If he concedes anything at all resembling these numbers then I would concede to him that humans caused CO2 emissions are likely a 0.0004 contributor to the tenth of a degree warming that has plagued our planet, and that we should all be more careful - but not shut down our economic system.

For a control group, I would like to know what the greenhouse gas effect would be if 7 billion people on earth owned a horse and buggy and heated their home with firewood.
5591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Decline is a Choice, Krauthammer on: October 10, 2009, 01:27:19 PM
Decline is a Choice, by Charles Krauthammer is a fairly long read.  I recommend reading it slowly - in its entirety.  Krauthammer does a nice job of showing how Obama's policies favor American decline for both economic and foreign policies.

Decline Is a Choice
The New Liberalism and the end of American ascendancy.
by Charles Krauthammer
10/19/2009, Volume 015, Issue 05

(go to the link, article didn't fit in a post)
5592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 09, 2009, 11:39:44 PM
Copied here for follow up.  "For China I think the situation is the opposite of Russia.  They are highly dependent on the US economy, the dollar and the value of their already sunken investment."

GM:"I disagree Doug. China has us by the short and curlies. They couldn't build a military that could defeat ours for the amount of money they used to buy our debt. Now, they are using their financial leverage to bend us to their will. Unrestricted warfare, financial edition."

That's good.  We haven"t had enough disagreement around here since the French supermarket uprising.  smiley

Based on the size of the Chinese investment in the dollar already and the importance that US purchases of Chinese goods plays in their economy and based on my personal conjecture that their economic growth is built partly on a house of cards...

I just have to believe they are more worried than we are about whether the economic scare of the past year could turn sharply further for the worse and whether their political system, with a hundred people ruling a billion, would survive the chaos of a severe and prolonged economic crisis.  jmho

That said, they are of course our competitor and arch-rival in every other market in the world and somewhere between annoyance and enemy on nearly all matters of geopolitics.

But they don't win by crushing us economically.  They win more like a parasite feeding off of us as I see it.
5593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: October 09, 2009, 10:59:26 PM
"For the record the US is by far the world's largest arms merchant and we are not always very careful about to whom we sell."

Can you give an example as egregious as selling mines to Iran for them to terrorize a crucial shipping lane in international waters?
5594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 08, 2009, 11:55:30 PM
"anyone have something on this matter from a more definitive source?"
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education... 10/13/2008

Powerline wrote about Sunstein a year ago: and the book is partially published online at googlebooks:
One thing unique about these Marxists and the right to healthcare, a job, a home, an education and the rest of the Second Bill of Rights is that with the original Bill of Rights, your right to speech, bear arms, be free of unreasonable search etc. did not create a burden on someone else to provide something for you.

From Powerline Oct. 2008:

Obama's Constitution
October 28, 2008 Posted by Scott Johnson at 5:36 AM

Yesterday the Obama campaign called on University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein to tamp down the furor over Obama's advocacy of "redistributive change" and overcoming of the Constitution's "negative rights" in his 2001 radio interview. Politico's Ben Smith reliably channelled Professor Sunstein's spinning on behalf of Obama.

Professor Sunstein was actually the right man to call on to explain Obama's remarks. They derive directly from Sunstein's advocacy of Roosevelt's so-called second Bill of Rights. Sunstein devoted a book to the subject in 2004 -- The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever. Roosevelt set forth his "second Bill of Rights" in his January 1944 State of the Union Address:

    In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all--regardless of station, race, or creed.

    Among these are:

    The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

    The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

    The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

    The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

    The right of every family to a decent home;

    The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

    The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

    The right to a good education.

Tom Palmer usefully explicated the political thought underlying Sunstein's argument in his review of the book. By contrast with the doctrine of rights conferred by God and nature set forth in the Declaration of Independence, Sunstein holds:

    You owe your life -- and everything else -- to the sovereign. The rights of subjects are not natural rights, but merely grants from the sovereign. There is no right even to complain about the actions of the sovereign, except insofar as the sovereign allows the subject to complain. These are the principles of unlimited, arbitrary, and absolute power, the principles of such rulers as Louis XIV. Intellectuals have assiduously promoted them; think of Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes.

Thus Palmer deems Sunstein a "new intellectual champion of absolutism" who advances "the radical notion that all rights -- including rights usually held to be 'against' the state, such as the right to freedom of speech and the right not to be arbitrarily imprisoned or tortured -- are grants from the state."

At the American Constitution Society's "Constitution 2020" jamboree at Yale Law School in 2005, according to my daughter's notes, Sunstein explained:

    * With growth and change, political rights enshrined in Constitution are inadequate.

    * Need economic bill of rights. Ingredients of Second Bill of Rights--only with these rights will we have security

    * Long tradition of American political thought--states owe to every citizen a degree of subsistence. Second Bill of Rights made possible by attack on distinction between negative and positive rights. Effort to separate them is unfit for the American legal framework.

    * Roosevelt . . . did not favor return to narrowly construed judgments of those who drafted the Constitution.

    * By 2020, it's going to be about time for the Second Bill of Rights to be reclaimed. . . . Beauty of Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights is its concreteness--right to education, etc.

The debate on the left, alluded to in Obama's remarks and addressed in Sunstein's book, has been whether Congress or the courts should promulgate the welfare state agenda. Three years ago Sunstein et al. modestly posited the fulfillment of their welfare state dreams in 2020. With left-wing Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, and with Obama's ascendance, it looks like the future is now..

UPDATE: Via RealClearPolitics I see that Professor Sunstein is also spinning directly on behalf of Obama over at TNR. Maybe he'll explain some time after the election, if candor ever becomes the order of the day, what Obama meant when he referred to "the tragedies of the civil rights movement."

And from the Buckeye state, a reader reports:

    I live in Toledo, Ohio. Prior to Obama's trip here in which he met Joe the Plumber, the October 12 issue of The Toledo Blade had a signed statement by the co-publisher and editor-in-chief on the first page asking Obama whether he would agree with FDR's "Second Bill of Rights" guaranteeing "the right to a job, the right to a decent home, the right to adequate medical care, and the right to a good education." The statement includes a link to the audio clip and transcript of FDR proposing it.

    The letter was accompanied by a front page article discussing it, claiming "many" believe these ideas should be invoked, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The article stated that an answer from Obama as to whether he supports the idea is important to all Americans. The Blade claimed Obama agreed in principle to the ideas expressed in the second Bill of Rights: "Mr. Obama declined to give a simple yes or no answer, but in a written response and in an answer to the same question shouted at him, Mr. Obama appeared to agree in principle."

    Here's the article in the Blade detailing Obama's visit, noting: "U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers."

    This is scary stuff, but it obviously has the support of the Blade, Sen. Brown and Rep. Kaptur. I've frankly been surprised this hasn't received more attention as I think it sounds nutty to most Americans. At least I hope so.

Hope! Maybe that's the missing ingredient in the McCain campaign.

5595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 08, 2009, 11:34:40 PM
"The claim that doctors would leave medicine or retire is just a lot of hot air."

If I understand correctly, the plan isn't in place until 'Obama's 2nd term'.  I think the more the plan looks like public employee union civil service work in place of private practice, the more likely a certain number will be to re-evaluate their future during the interim rather than join and learn the new system.  it wouldn't take too many planned retirees plus early retirees to totally screw up the already screwed up numbers in the plan IMO.  The same number of doctors and nurses at the same cost are already planning to treat 20-30 million more people as it stands? As I look for a Dr. myself it seems all the ones I know are already too close to retirement to be of much use to me in my upcoming old age.

If they eased the burden of malpractice lawsuits and insurance, an aging MD could continue to practice on an eased up schedule longer instead of taking normal retirement.  Seems to me that keeping them in practice a little longer would be a better course than forcing them out if we were trying to give better treatment to more patients.  But we aren't headed in that direction right now.
5596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 08, 2009, 11:09:25 PM
Stratfor can be so good in their analysis and writing that it can be easy to forget that most conclusions are admittedly based on conjecture.  Even within the responsible agencies and with all the security clearances, much intelligence is false and much of what is needed just doesn't exist.  I think Strat is valuable so often just for asking the right questions even if their answer is just one opinion.

Maybe a military action (against Iranian nukes)would be a disaster or maybe a short, sharp air and naval campaign to set them back a generation is possible.  From our point of view in the armchair, the strike now question is hypothetical - assuming that we can.  But we don't know that.

With Osirak 1981, the Iraqis might not have known the Israelis could do that. With SDI, the enemy thought we could and the Americans thought we couldn't. Nuclear disarmament, forcible or negotiated is tricky business.
Freki, What you write about Russia is true.  I would add that as an energy producer, Russia wants higher prices for oil regardless of how it affects us, and for the US as we choose to leave our energy in the ground and choose to pay enemies for energy - the price spikes that threaten our economy and our security are our own damn fault. 

For China I think the situation is the opposite of Russia.  They are highly dependent on the US economy, the dollar and the value of their already sunken investment.
5597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 08, 2009, 11:14:28 AM
"U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to three Central European countries to discuss ballistic missile defense infrastructure and bilateral security ties. The purpose of Biden’s visit is twofold: to reassure Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania that the United States is still a powerful security guarantor, and remind Russia that the United States has clout in its geopolitical backyard."

Russia must bee worried to see Obama send Biden to Poland, lol.

Yes, our very highest official to reassure our wonderful allies that we will never let down or sell out (sarc).  It is our very highest priority to reassure them of our commitment, after just blindsiding them with surprise missile defense site cancellations, but first Biden must attend his even higher priorities, visiting the home of MN Twins owner to raise 8k a plate for the DNC.  Who pays 8k a plate to dine with Biden that isn't looking for a corporate backscratching?  Pohlad owns hundreds of banks - I don't suppose their are TARP funds in the banking industry...

Joe Biden to visit Twin Cities next week
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio  October 6, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — Vice President Joe Biden will travel to the Twin Cities next Thursday for a fundraising dinner at the home of Robert Pohlad, son of the late Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad.  The Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America will host the $7,600 a plate fundraiser. 
This will be Biden's second visit to Minnesota since the inauguration. He visited a bus manufacturing facility in St. Cloud in March.

Whoops, no mention of the layoffs that followed at that mfr where he bragged about 'stimulus' money and its coming affects on the local economies across the heartland.
5598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: October 08, 2009, 10:55:23 AM
"Over the years, Tehran has amassed thousands of mines, largely from Russia and China."

For all the billions invested and bullsh*t exchanged in all these multilateral diplomacies, is there no international law or UN resolution prohibiting China and Russia from conspiring with a terrorist nation to mine international waters for random, massive destruction?

Perhaps the west should detonate one Chinese ship in international waters for each oil vessel damaged until they bring their own central party swimmers in to round up each and every explosive until the waters are clear.

More likely we will have another multilateral commission look blindly into the matter and get back to us with no solution at some later date yet to be determined.
5599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: October 06, 2009, 10:52:15 AM
Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, pictured as they stood up to Iran, Sarkozy with the youthful glibness and dead-man-walking Gordon Brown... missing were Putin and Hu.  We are not part of a united nations whether keep holding meetings and photo-ops, passing resolutions or not.
5600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters, Iran ended nuclear weapons program in 2003? on: October 06, 2009, 10:42:39 AM
While we are investigating the questioning methods of terrorists that saved thousands of innocent lives, why is there no push for a congressional investigation and prosecution of the lying, backstabbing, partisan traitors in the intelligence agencies that brought us the known-FALSE report in 2007 that Iran had ended its pursuit of nuclear weapons in 2003?  Just curious.

I would hope that these negligent contributors to future genocides would receive fair trials with plenty of lengthy and expensive appeals, and then be executed for treason.
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