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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 21, 2017, 10:09:04 AM
Doug's Federal Healthcare Reform Proposal, March 2017:
"Powers, such as anything to do with the people's individual and family healthcare, that are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

How are the various political entities supposed to wet their beaks with this? I see no opportunity for graft or rentseeking. This is madness!
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I Denounce the Shameful Slanders Against Sebastian Gorka, Friend of Israel on: March 21, 2017, 10:06:08 AM
https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2017/03/17/i-denounce-the-shameful-slanders-against-sebastian-gorka-friend-of-israel/

I Denounce the Shameful Slanders Against Sebastian Gorka, Friend of Israel
 BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN MARCH 17, 2017



"My father walked Jewish classmates to school to protect them from the anti-Semites during the war," Dr. Sebastian Gorka (pictured above with the author) told me in Washington yesterday. He is still astonished by the allegations in left-wing media (and particularly Jewish media) that his father--a hero of the anti-fascist and anti-Communist resistance in Hungary--was a tied up with pro-Nazi elements in Hungary, and that he himself is linked to an Hungarian fascist organization.

Like the campaign of slander against his White House colleague Steve Bannon, these are lies from the whole cloth. As Liel Leibovitz (a liberal journalist at Tablet Magazine) wrote March 16: "I’d like to reach out to my friends and colleagues across town and ask, with clear eyes and a full heart: Have you lost your minds?"


 
Why the Big Lie About Steve Bannon?
There was an anti-Communist organization called Vitézi Rend, destroyed by the Communist government in the 1950s. Gorka’s father, Paul, was a dedicated member of the anti-Communist underground, and had risked his life to organize the Hungarian resistance and deliver vital information about the Soviets to western intelligence agencies, including the MI6. He was eventually arrested, badly tortured, and spent two years in solitary confinement and some more in forced labor in the coal mines before eventually escaping to England. The elder Gorka received a medal from the old Vitézi Rend and wears it on formal occasions to honor his father. After Communism fell in 1989 a number of new organizations called themselves Vitézi Rend, and some of them harbor anti-Semites. By this obtuse chain of indirect association, Sebastian Gorka--according to the liberal media--must also be an anti-Semite.


All the booze in Georgetown couldn't have gotten Sen. Joseph McCarthy drunk enough to spin a dumb story like this one. As a writer, teacher and Fox News contributor, Dr. Gorka has been in the public eye for years. He is a fierce enemy of radical Islamic terrorism and a dedicated friend of Israel and the Jewish people. He has made this clear in countless public statements, for example, this one in the New English Review March 3. Dr. Gorka said:

There is no greater partner of the United States in the Middle East. We are very close and we help the Jordanians, Egypt, UAE  redressing and improving the very  negative relationship that was established between the White House under the Obama administration and Egyptian President Sisi’s government. Israel, as a beacon of democracy and stability in the Middle East, is our closest friend in the region and the President has been explicit in that again and again So it would be difficult  to overestimate just how important Israel is not only to America’s interest in the region but also to the broader stability of the Middle East.
Everyone in the Israel advocacy community in Washington knows Dr. Gorka's strong commitment to the Jewish State.

As Congressman Trent Franks, the chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus in the House of Representatives, stated in a February 27 statement, "I have followed the recent press and social media attacks against Dr. Sebastian Gorka and am compelled to respond with disgust at the attempt to libel this American patriot. Most disturbing of all is the attempt to portray Dr. Gorka in any way as anti-Semitic. Having called upon his expertise on Counterterrorism repeatedly in Congress and used his analysis to inform our work, I can attest that Dr. Gorka is the staunchest friend of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The liberals at The Forward and other fake-news media should hang their heads in shame. Anti-Semitism is a serious business. We remember our dead at the hands of Jew-haters, from Pharaoh up to Hitler and Hamas. A false accusation of anti-Semitism dishonors their memory; it is what religious Jews call a hillul haShem, a desecration of the name of God.

 
Last year I denounced the "big lie" about Steve Bannon, who is one of the most philo-Semitic Gentiles I have ever met. I am disgusted that the same slander has been directed against Dr. Gorka. Israel is fortunate to have friends like Dr. Gorka advising the president. I personally am fortunate to know Dr. Gorka. The slanders directed at him are shameful and inexcusable.
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: March 19, 2017, 01:46:33 PM
Am I to understand that the conservatives on this forum are willing to excuse Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election? If I am reading this correctly, consider me stunned.



https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

Glenn Greenwald
March 16 2017, 8:41 a.m.
FROM MSNBC POLITICS shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.


Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

Obama’s former CIA chief also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the infamous, explosive “dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author, Christopher Steele, paid intermediaries to talk to the sources for it. The dossier, he said, “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.

Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.

Moreover, “several committee sources grudgingly say, it feels as though the investigation will be seen as a sham if the Senate doesn’t find a silver bullet connecting Trump and Russian intelligence operatives.” One member told Watkins: “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations.”

What makes all of this most significant is that officials like Clapper and Morell are trained disinformation agents; Clapper in particular has proven he will lie to advance his interests. Yet even with all the incentive to do so, they are refusing to claim there is evidence of such collusion; in fact, they are expressly urging people to stop thinking it exists. As even the law recognizes, statements that otherwise lack credibility become more believable when they are ones made “against interest.”

Media figures have similarly begun trying to tamp down expectations. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, which published the Steele dossier, published an article yesterday warning that the Democratic base’s expectation of a smoking gun “is so strong that Twitter and cable news are full of the theories of what my colleague Charlie Warzel calls the Blue Detectives — the left’s new version of Glenn Beck, digital blackboards full of lines and arrows.” Smith added: “It is also a simple fact that while news of Russian actions on Trump’s behalf is clear, hard details of coordination between his aides and Putin’s haven’t emerged.” And Smith’s core warning is this:

Trump’s critics last year were horrified at the rise of “fake news” and the specter of a politics shaped by alternative facts, predominantly on the right. They need to be careful now not to succumb to the same delusional temptations as their political adversaries, and not to sink into a filter bubble which, after all, draws its strength not from conservative or progressive politics but from human nature.

And those of us covering the story and the stew of real information, fantasy, and — now — forgery around it need to continue to report and think clearly about what we know and what we don’t, and to resist the sugar high that comes with telling people exactly what they want to hear.

For so long, Democrats demonized and smeared anyone trying to inject basic reason, rationality, and skepticism into this Trump/Russia discourse by labeling them all Kremlin agents and Putin lovers. Just this week, the Center for American Progress released a report using the language of treason to announce the existence of a “Fifth Column” in the U.S. that serves Russia (similar to Andrew Sullivan’s notorious 2001 decree that anyone opposing the war on terror composed an anti-American “Fifth Column”), while John McCain listened to Rand Paul express doubts about the wisdom of NATO further expanding to include Montenegro and then promptly announced: “Paul is working for Vladimir Putin.”

But with serious doubts — and fears — now emerging about what the Democratic base has been led to believe by self-interested carnival barkers and partisan hacks, there is a sudden, concerted effort to rein in the excesses of this story. With so many people now doing this, it will be increasingly difficult to smear them all as traitors and Russian loyalists, but it may be far too little, too late, given the pitched hysteria that has been deliberately cultivated around these issues for months. Many Democrats have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists where evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect.
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Technology (nano, 3D, robots, etc) on: March 19, 2017, 06:40:51 AM
"This will make for an interesting evolution in hijacking trucks and cyberterror."

 shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked

Anything attached to the internet can be hacked (and will be hacked), and criminals and terrorists are almost always on the cutting edge of technology. I bet we will soon see automated trucks leave a port full of goods, and then arrive with an empty cargo container, or their GPS transponder will shut down and most of the truck won't be recovered at all.

Imagine a cyberterrorist using one of these trucks in a crowded area on a holiday. Responding officers can't shoot the driver to stop the vehicle.
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Driverless Trucks are coming on: March 18, 2017, 03:03:18 PM
This will make for an interesting evolution in hijacking trucks and cyberterror.


Self-Driving-Truck Startups Race to Take On Uber
They see the trucking industry—short of drivers and squeezed by rules limiting hours—as ripe for change
By Tim Higgins
March 2, 2017 10:00 a.m. ET
WSJ

As a legal dispute ensnares Uber Technologies Inc.’s robot-trucking division, several startups are showing off their own efforts toward self-driving delivery vehicles that would reinvent the freight business.

While much of the autonomous-vehicle attention has centered on the race to embed the technology in everyday cars—involving auto makers such as General Motors Co. and BMW AG and tech giants such as Uber and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo—another school of thought is that trucking—whether it’s long-haul or across town—is ripe for change.

The industry is struggling to find drivers, regulations governing working hours are squeezing profits, and some artificial-intelligence experts believe computer brains can more easily master highways than complicated city streets.

“It’s an industry that has clear need, where there is a substantial driver shortage, particularly of drivers that are experienced who are safe and talented,” said Alex Rodrigues, a 21-year-old robotics expert, last week. He was sitting in the back of a royal blue Peterbilt truck, retrofitted by his company, San Francisco-based Embark, with two laser sensors and cameras to test self-driving software on public roads in Nevada and on a closed course in California.

Embark and fellow startups Starsky Robotics and Drive AI all emerged in the past week with details about their plans. Their engineers, bearing top artificial-intelligence pedigrees, are seeking a way to replace drivers in commercial fleets.

The idea seemed novel a year ago when Anthony Levandowski quit as a founder of Google’s self-driving-car project—now known as Waymo at Alphabet—to found Otto, a company focused on self-driving semi-trucks. Major manufacturers such as Daimler AG and Volvo AB had been working on the technology, but Mr. Levandowski brought a Silicon Valley swagger. One of his early stunts was transporting a trailer of Budweiser in Colorado.

    ‘It’s an industry that has clear need.’
    —Embark’s Alex Rodrigues

Uber quickly acquired Otto in a deal valued at as much as $680 million. Last week, Waymo filed a lawsuit accusing Uber of using trade secrets allegedly taken by Mr. Levandowski and other former Waymo employees to design a laser sensor used for navigation. Uber said it would review the matter carefully.

“This is a crazy, competitive space and there’s a lot of money on the line,” Starsky co-founder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher said. “One of our investors said it as, ‘We have the opportunity to build intergenerational wealth.’”

San Francisco-based Starsky, which has raised $3.75 million, aims to work with freight companies by year-end to test trucks without human occupants on highways in states such as Michigan, Nevada or Florida. In the coming months, the company plans to conduct self-driving tests with humans on board, similar to the way Waymo has conducted more than 2.5 million miles of testing on public streets. But Starsky wants to start hauling real loads so it can collect revenue.

Drive.ai’s founders believe around-town delivery vehicles—limited to specific areas—and other commercial fleets could be an easier way to introduce the technology. The Mountain View, Calif., company first got attention about a year ago when it received a permit to test in California. It expects to announce pilot projects later this year.

“The question we want to figure out is which routes are the most valuable to start automating,” said co-founder Carol Reiley.
Uber’s Otto unit showed off its self-driving technology last October with a 120-mile beer run in Colorado; a human took over for the on and off ramps.


Drive.ai has a crowded office in a garage near Waymo where it has equipped four cars with sensors and cameras to test its software. The team, which emerged from Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, aims to reduce the amount of computing power required to run its software in a car to that inside a smartphone.

Embark isn’t disclosing how much it has raised, but backers include venture firm Maven Ventures, one of the early investors in San Francisco-based Cruise Automation—acquired by GM last year in a deal valued at up to $1 billion.

Embark’s Mr. Rodrigues arrived in Silicon Valley about a year ago, having helped build the first autonomous vehicle to drive on Canadian roads while a student at the University of Waterloo. It was while stuck on a California highway after his car broke down that he was struck by the idea of applying the technology to trucking.

“There was a truck every six seconds,” he said. “Most of these trucks had ‘drivers wanted’ signs.”

Write to Tim Higgins at Tim.Higgins@WSJ.com

106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Whole POINT of the Internet of Things Is So Big Brother Can Spy On You on: March 18, 2017, 03:01:58 PM
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/03/whole-point-internet-things-big-brother-can-spy-2.html


The Whole POINT of the Internet of Things Is So Big Brother Can Spy On You
Posted on March 15, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog
No One Wants the Internet of Things …

No one wants the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Washington Post noted in 2014:

No one really wants a “smart” washing machine ….

***

If you’re wondering who would want to buy an Internet-enabled washing machine, you’re not alone. Even Whirlpool’s not so sure.

“We’re a little bit of a hammer looking for a nail right now,” Chris Quatrochi, Whirlpool’s global director of user experience and connectivity, said last week at a conference  hosted by tech blog Gigaom. The buyers of web-connected washers, more than a year after launch, are still “not at all widespread,” he said. “Trying to understand exactly the value proposition that you provide to the consumer,” he said, “has been a little bit of a challenge.”

It’s a big concession from one of the most notable champions of the buzzy “Internet of Things” ….

As Digital Trends blogger John Sciacca put it: “Have we gotten so pathetically lame that you need to be notified by an email that your laundry is done?”

Wired jokes:

Now it seems every kind of thing from dishwashers to doorknobs require an Internet connection, since after all, we all know our dishwashers have long harbored a pent up desire for scintillating conversation with our doorknobs.

… Except Big Brother

The government is already spying on us through spying on us through our computers, phones, cars, buses, streetlights, at airports and on the street, via mobile scanners and drones, through our credit cards and smart meters (see this), television, doll, and in many other ways.

The CIA wants to spy on you through your dishwasher and other “smart” appliances. Slate reported in 2012:

Watch out: the CIA may soon be spying on you—through your beloved, intelligent household appliances, according to Wired.

In early March, at a meeting for the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, CIA Director David Petraeus reportedly noted that “smart appliances” connected to the Internet could someday be used by the CIA to track individuals. If your grocery-list-generating refrigerator knows when you’re home, the CIA could, too, by using geo-location data from your wired appliances, according to SmartPlanet.

“The current ‘Internet of PCs’ will move, of course, toward an ‘Internet of Things’—of devices of all types—50 to 100 billion of which will be connected to the Internet by 2020,” Petraeus said in his speech. He continued:

Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters—all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low cost, and high-power computing—the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.

Last year, U.S. Intelligence Boss James Clapper said that the government will spy on Americans through IoT:

In the future, intelligence services might use the [IoT] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.

Yves Smith commented at the time:

Oh, come on. The whole point of the IoT is spying. The officialdom is just trying to persuade you that it really is a big consumer benefit to be able to tell your oven to start heating up before you get home.

Wired comments:

Why do you think there are so many buckets of cash pouring into the IoT hope-to-be-a-market? The Big Corporations don’t expect to make a big profit on the devices themselves, oh no. News flash: the Big Money in IoT is in Big Data. As in, Big Data about everything those sensors are learning about you and your nasty habits that you hide from your neighbors.

The value of Big Data, after all, aren’t the data themselves. “Fred’s car told Fred’s thermostat to turn on Fred’s hot tub” doesn’t interest anybody but Fred and perhaps his hot date (if he’s lucky). The value in Big Data, you see, are in the patterns. What shows you watch. What apps you use. Which ads influence your buying behavior. The more IoT you have, the more Big Data they collect, and the more Big Data they collect, the more they know about how you behave. And once they know how you behave, they know how to control how you behave.

The Guardian notes:

As a category, the internet of things is useful to eavesdroppers both official and unofficial for a variety of reasons, the main one being the leakiness of the data.

***

There are a wide variety of devices that can be used to listen in, and some compound devices (like cars) that have enough hardware to form a very effective surveillance suite all by themselves.

***

There’s no getting around the fundamental creepiness of the little pinhole cameras in new smart TVs (and Xbox Kinects, and laptops, and cellphones), but the less-remarked-on aspect – the audio – may actually be more pertinent to anyone with a warrant trying to listen in. Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society observed that Samsung’s voice recognition software in its smart TVs had to routinely send various commands “home” to a server where they were processed for relevant information; their microphones are also always on, in case you’re trying to talk to them. Televisions are also much easier to turn on than they used to be: a feature creeping into higher-end TVs called “wake on LAN” allows users to power on televisions over the internet (this is already standard on many desktop PCs).

***

A cyberattack on toymaker VTech exposed the personal data of 6.4m children last year; it was a sobering reminder of the vulnerability of kids on the web. But technology waits for no man. Mattel’s Hello Barbie doll works the same way the Nest and Samsung voice operators do, by passing kids’ interactions into the cloud and returning verbal responses through a speaker in the doll. HereO manufactures a watch for kids with a GPS chip in it; Fisher-Price makes a WiFi-enabled stuffed animal. Security researchers at Rapid7 looked at both and found that they were easy to compromise on company databases, and in the case of the watch, use to locate the wearer.

In a separate article, the Guardian pointed out:

Just a few weeks ago, a security researcher found that Google’s Nest thermostats were leaking users’ zipcodes over the internet. There’s even an entire search engine for the internet of things called Shodan that allows users to easily search for unsecured webcams that are broadcasting from inside people’s houses without their knowledge.

While people voluntarily use all these devices, the chances are close to zero that they fully understand that a lot of their data is being sent back to various companies to be stored on servers that can either be accessed by governments or hackers.

***

Author and persistent Silicon Valley critic Evgeny Morozov summed up the entire problem with the internet of things and “smart” technology in a tweet last week:

In case you are wondering what “smart” – as in “smart city” or “smart home” – means:

Surveillance
Marketed
As
Revolutionary
Technology

https://twitter.com/evgenymorozov/status/693958196717711362

(And see Amazon Echo and the internet of things that spy on you.)

In the wake of the CIA leaks showing that the agency can remotely turn on our tvs and spy on us using a “fake off” mode so that it looks like the power is off, Tech Dirt wrote in an article called CIA Leaks Unsurprisingly Show The Internet Of Broken Things Is A Spy’s Best Friend:

The security and privacy standards surrounding the internet of (broken) things sit somewhere between high comedy and dogshit.

As security expert Bruce Schneier points out, the entire concept of the IoT is wildly insecure and vulnerable to hacking.  Indeed, Iot is so insecure that it allowed a massive internet outage.

The highest-level NSA whistleblower in history (William Binney) – the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, and managed thousands of NSA employees – reviewed an earlier version of this post, and told Washington’s Blog:


Yep, that summarizes it fairly well. It does not deal with industry or how they will use the data; but, that will probably be an extension of what they do now. This whole idea of monitoring electronic devices is objectionable.

If forced to buy that stuff, I will do my best to disconnect these monitoring devices also look for equipment on the market that is not connected in any way.
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Brazille and Hillary = partners in crime on: March 18, 2017, 10:51:26 AM
Just as much a lying conniving deceitful crook as her boss lady Hillary,

"I am sorry" (NOT for cheating in the debate) for being so stupid as to leave an evidence trial in the form of emails that proves she cheated:

http://thehill.com/media/324580-brazile-sending-clinton-town-hall-topics-mistake-i-will-forever-regret

 They have no shame.  And as they always do they simply get away with it by being moved around the political network within the criminal Democratic organization / machine.

The Russians made her do it.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Secret Service fg up again and again on: March 17, 2017, 05:16:01 PM
a)  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39310793; and http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/laptop-with-hillary-email-investigation-info-trump-tower-floor-plans-stolen-from-secret-service?utm_source=FBLC&utm_medium=FB&utm_campaign=LC


b) heard this morning that the last White House fence jumper was wandering around for 45 minutes before detected.

And the leftdemedia complex bitched about Trump using his private security detail.
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Baraq used Brits to spy on candidate Trump?!? on: March 16, 2017, 08:28:17 PM

This is not uncommon. The law enforcement or intelligence agencies of friendly countries can intercept communications then pass it back to US entities. No law in the UK that would prevent the GCHQ from listening in on anyone's calls. Intercepting foreign comms is what they do.
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 16, 2017, 08:09:21 PM
BBG's view is welcome anytime.  Personal responsibility is still a factor, not just legalization, criminalization.

Trump and the Feds need to do something about federal law not matching state laws (and state constitutions) and I doubt if sending troops into these (swing) states is the best answer.

Colorado's law partly failed and partly succeeded.  Now it's 4 or 5 states.

We don't need legal heroin or legal meth or legal cocaine or five year olds using drugs.  But we also don't need coercive paternalism to be the law of the land for all personal behavior, soda, french fries, etc.

BBG would argue that attempting to use law enforcement to keep heroin from the five year old is a failed policy that should be abandoned.
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 15, 2017, 11:04:09 PM
Too bad BBG isn't here to tell us how if a 5 year old can't buy black tar heroin out of a gumball machine, then we aren't really free.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 15, 2017, 09:01:46 PM

If Russia was still the Soviet Union, the left would do nothing but sing their praises, just like they used to do.
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran claims guerrilla movement in US on: March 15, 2017, 08:59:40 PM

This has been known for many years.
114  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Community Stick/Staff Fights in Berkeley and Elsewhere on: March 15, 2017, 08:53:34 PM
Voluntarily putting yourself into these types of situations is the perfect of example of going to stupid places and doing stupid things with stupid people.
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2nd post today on: March 13, 2017, 10:35:57 PM

Weight is like gender. If you identify as a slender person, of course you are one.
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary 2020! on: March 13, 2017, 08:08:42 PM
America hasn't suffered enough!
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 12, 2017, 07:59:37 PM
On Netflix what is the name of the show?

Fauda



Anyone watch this besides me? I love it!
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Podesta's brother and the Russians 2.0 on: March 12, 2017, 07:58:46 PM

I am sure the left will be outraged to see this!
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: President Trump on: March 12, 2017, 03:08:04 PM
House Committee has asked him to put up or shut up on the wiretapping accusation.

We live in interesting times.


He needs to.

We do.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marxism: the Bug Wearing an Edgar Suit on: March 12, 2017, 02:59:19 PM
http://thedeclination.com/marxism-the-bug-wearing-an-edgar-suit/

Marxism: the Bug Wearing an Edgar Suit

by Dystopic | Mar 10, 2017 | Culture War, SJWs, Socialism | 44 comments

In the movie Men In Black, there’s a scene where an abusive farmer gets killed by the villain, some kind of giant alien cockroach. The alien then possesses his body and walks around in comic fashion, like some kind of rotting zombie. The farmer’s wife exclaims “like an Edgar suit.”
560db22fe14e951aea89980b21a9c598

This is pretty much what Worldcon looks like, these days.

Social Justice Marxists operate in the same manner. They take over institutions, groups, corporations, movements, whatever… and kill them. They then wear the skin of the destroyed, rotting institution like an Edgar suit, ambling around in comic fashion, expecting to be treated as if they were still the institution itself.

Only unlike the movie, there are a great many of these alien bugs on Earth. They are legion. And the thing is, most rightists suspect this is true, because the Edgar suit doesn’t act like Edgar. He acts like an alien cockroach. But they nonetheless give the benefit of the doubt, because they aren’t sure.

It is in that space of uncertainty that Marxism is permitted to spread, and infest every sizable organization. Once infected, forget bringing the organization back to life. It’s a rotting husk. It’s dead. You aren’t going to take it back, and even supposing you did, it’d still be a rotting sack of skin.

I think this is the greatest weakness of the political right. We permit Marxism to spread because we are not confident in our assessment that the people in question are Marxists. Most of them deny it, of course.

I remember when one leftist kept posting about how the border wall was racist, and how illegal immigrants ought to be able to come over, and how stopping them was bad. When I asked him why he was for open borders he denied it. Yet, his chosen policy would result in a de facto open border! Was he really that delusional… or was he a Marxist trying to say “I’m not a Marxist”?

One of the ways to tell if it’s really Edgar, or just an Edgar suit, is to prod the person with absolutes. Marxists are absolutists. A case in point. Another individual explained to me that healthcare ought to be a human right. Every human should have it upon need. I pointed out the usual inefficiencies of government bureaucracy, the long waiting lists, the poor quality of VA care, and the general lack of innovation and creativity in government-run healthcare.

The thing is, the guy agreed with me on many of those things. But he countered with “but if you don’t make it a right, somebody might not get the care they need, and I just can’t support that.” It doesn’t matter if the care would be better for 99.9% of everyone else. If one single person went without needed care, he would judge it a failure.

You see this kind of argument from Marxists all the time. You could destroy entire countries with mass immigration, but if one refugee child suffered, then too bad, too sad. You must do it. Get used to British citizens speaking Arabic, you racist.

It’s the same kind of argument you hear from gun control advocates.”If it saves the life of just one child,” they will say, “it will all be worth it.” Or, “even one shooting is too many.” Marxist absolutism, again. Somebody is wearing an Edgar suit.

MADD is a great case in point. Originally founded to combat drunk driving, an honorable pursuit, the founder wound up leaving a few years later, because the organization had become a group of tyrannical neo-prohibitionists, not merely a group concerned with reducing drunk driving offenses. Soon it was receiving government money, advocating for Traffic Safety Funds (more government cash), and arguing for everything from a rash of checkpoints, to mandatory interlock devices on all automobiles — not just those owned by those convicted of alcohol-related offenses.

MADD is an Edgar suit. Scratch the surface, and you’ll find a bunch of Marxists.

The thing is, if Marxists were open about their Marxism, that is to say if the giant alien cockroach were seen as a giant alien cockroach, every normie on the planet would be trying to squash it. It you saw the bodies of the Stalin regime, the starvation of Mao’s regime, the killings of Pol Pot… you would want to stamp this thing out with every fiber of your being.
Bug

Charming fellow, right?

But when attacked, when someone starts to suspect an organization is full of Marxists, they retreat into the Edgar suit. Hi. I’m Edgar. Nice to meet you. And my goal is just to try and help reduce drunk driving deaths!

Do you know why Marxists like absolutism so much? Why even a 99.9% success rate is not good enough for them? Because it gives them an excuse to continue to exist. No human society will ever reach 100% of anything. There will always be people who are poor, people who don’t get the care they need, people who die senselessly, idiots who get drunk and wreck someone’s life. Always.

Reducing the incidence of those things is a good and noble pursuit. But they can never be stopped completely. By saying that nothing is good enough unless it has a 100% success rate, the Marxist is giving himself power for life, and his organization power forever. Because so long as one person slips through the cracks, he can say “my work is not done yet.”

But the single-minded focus of Marxists on power politics is a good tell. Absolutism can tell you if someone is a Marxist, but so can an over-reliance on the language of political power. Normal people might talk politics for a while, even rant about it as I do here, but there are also times when they just don’t care about politics at all.

Marxists want to bring politics into everything. Are you eating a plate of Chinese takeout? Cultural Appropriation. Do you drive a nice car? Privilege! Do you like your hair a certain way? Racism! Everything must involve politics with them. They cannot stop thinking about their obsession for even the briefest of moments. At some point, a normie is likely to talk about his dog, or his kid, or how much he likes beer, or something totally unrelated to politics. The Marxist, on the other hand, will find a way to steer that back.

Another Edgar Suit tell is an obsession with personal bias. Like the 100% success rate demands, the Marxist demands absolute objectivity on the part of others (while displaying none himself). Unless you can demonstrate proof of moral perfection and a completely unbiased, objective viewpoint, you can be dismissed because you’re biased. The data underlying it is irrelevant, because the collector is biased. For instance, if you said that black people in the United States committed a greater per capita share of violent crimes than white people, that is a true statement. The Marxist would say that you are biased against black people, thus your conclusion (whatever it may be) can be dismissed on that basis. Forget the facts.

The same standard, of course, is never applied to them. But again, it makes an impossible demand so that a permanent political bludgeon is created, which they can beat you over the head with constantly.

There are probably many more such tells (if you’ve got one, drop it in the comments), but those are the ones I’ve seen most frequently, and most obviously. And it’s very important to identify which groups and institutions are SJW-converged, which ones are Edgar suits filled with Marxist cockroaches, and which ones are not. Rightists have permitted bad actors to continue to be treated like good actors merely because they skinned an organization of good actors alive, and wore them like a suit. It’s both stupid, and disservice to the memory of those who created the original, non-converged organization.
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: March 12, 2017, 02:52:56 PM
I asked Scott Grannis and this is what he said:

"Derivatives are poorly understood by almost everyone, including the author of this article. This vastly overstates the case by many orders of magnitude."

-Scott Grannis
scottgrannis.blogspot.com


Are derivatives a problem? If so, where on the scale, 1 being no issue, 10 being TEOTWAWKI?
122  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Community Stick/Staff Fights in Berkeley and Elsewhere on: March 12, 2017, 12:58:40 AM
This will work it's way to edged weapons, firearms and explosives in time.
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marxism: the Bug Wearing an Edgar Suit on: March 12, 2017, 12:56:28 AM
http://thedeclination.com/marxism-the-bug-wearing-an-edgar-suit/


Marxism: the Bug Wearing an Edgar Suit

by Dystopic | Mar 10, 2017 | Culture War, SJWs, Socialism | 44 comments

In the movie Men In Black, there’s a scene where an abusive farmer gets killed by the villain, some kind of giant alien cockroach. The alien then possesses his body and walks around in comic fashion, like some kind of rotting zombie. The farmer’s wife exclaims “like an Edgar suit.”
560db22fe14e951aea89980b21a9c598

This is pretty much what Worldcon looks like, these days.

Social Justice Marxists operate in the same manner. They take over institutions, groups, corporations, movements, whatever… and kill them. They then wear the skin of the destroyed, rotting institution like an Edgar suit, ambling around in comic fashion, expecting to be treated as if they were still the institution itself.

Only unlike the movie, there are a great many of these alien bugs on Earth. They are legion. And the thing is, most rightists suspect this is true, because the Edgar suit doesn’t act like Edgar. He acts like an alien cockroach. But they nonetheless give the benefit of the doubt, because they aren’t sure.

It is in that space of uncertainty that Marxism is permitted to spread, and infest every sizable organization. Once infected, forget bringing the organization back to life. It’s a rotting husk. It’s dead. You aren’t going to take it back, and even supposing you did, it’d still be a rotting sack of skin.

I think this is the greatest weakness of the political right. We permit Marxism to spread because we are not confident in our assessment that the people in question are Marxists. Most of them deny it, of course.

I remember when one leftist kept posting about how the border wall was racist, and how illegal immigrants ought to be able to come over, and how stopping them was bad. When I asked him why he was for open borders he denied it. Yet, his chosen policy would result in a de facto open border! Was he really that delusional… or was he a Marxist trying to say “I’m not a Marxist”?

One of the ways to tell if it’s really Edgar, or just an Edgar suit, is to prod the person with absolutes. Marxists are absolutists. A case in point. Another individual explained to me that healthcare ought to be a human right. Every human should have it upon need. I pointed out the usual inefficiencies of government bureaucracy, the long waiting lists, the poor quality of VA care, and the general lack of innovation and creativity in government-run healthcare.

The thing is, the guy agreed with me on many of those things. But he countered with “but if you don’t make it a right, somebody might not get the care they need, and I just can’t support that.” It doesn’t matter if the care would be better for 99.9% of everyone else. If one single person went without needed care, he would judge it a failure.

You see this kind of argument from Marxists all the time. You could destroy entire countries with mass immigration, but if one refugee child suffered, then too bad, too sad. You must do it. Get used to British citizens speaking Arabic, you racist.

It’s the same kind of argument you hear from gun control advocates.”If it saves the life of just one child,” they will say, “it will all be worth it.” Or, “even one shooting is too many.” Marxist absolutism, again. Somebody is wearing an Edgar suit.

MADD is a great case in point. Originally founded to combat drunk driving, an honorable pursuit, the founder wound up leaving a few years later, because the organization had become a group of tyrannical neo-prohibitionists, not merely a group concerned with reducing drunk driving offenses. Soon it was receiving government money, advocating for Traffic Safety Funds (more government cash), and arguing for everything from a rash of checkpoints, to mandatory interlock devices on all automobiles — not just those owned by those convicted of alcohol-related offenses.

MADD is an Edgar suit. Scratch the surface, and you’ll find a bunch of Marxists.

The thing is, if Marxists were open about their Marxism, that is to say if the giant alien cockroach were seen as a giant alien cockroach, every normie on the planet would be trying to squash it. It you saw the bodies of the Stalin regime, the starvation of Mao’s regime, the killings of Pol Pot… you would want to stamp this thing out with every fiber of your being.
Bug

Charming fellow, right?

But when attacked, when someone starts to suspect an organization is full of Marxists, they retreat into the Edgar suit. Hi. I’m Edgar. Nice to meet you. And my goal is just to try and help reduce drunk driving deaths!

Do you know why Marxists like absolutism so much? Why even a 99.9% success rate is not good enough for them? Because it gives them an excuse to continue to exist. No human society will ever reach 100% of anything. There will always be people who are poor, people who don’t get the care they need, people who die senselessly, idiots who get drunk and wreck someone’s life. Always.

Reducing the incidence of those things is a good and noble pursuit. But they can never be stopped completely. By saying that nothing is good enough unless it has a 100% success rate, the Marxist is giving himself power for life, and his organization power forever. Because so long as one person slips through the cracks, he can say “my work is not done yet.”

But the single-minded focus of Marxists on power politics is a good tell. Absolutism can tell you if someone is a Marxist, but so can an over-reliance on the language of political power. Normal people might talk politics for a while, even rant about it as I do here, but there are also times when they just don’t care about politics at all.

Marxists want to bring politics into everything. Are you eating a plate of Chinese takeout? Cultural Appropriation. Do you drive a nice car? Privilege! Do you like your hair a certain way? Racism! Everything must involve politics with them. They cannot stop thinking about their obsession for even the briefest of moments. At some point, a normie is likely to talk about his dog, or his kid, or how much he likes beer, or something totally unrelated to politics. The Marxist, on the other hand, will find a way to steer that back.

Another Edgar Suit tell is an obsession with personal bias. Like the 100% success rate demands, the Marxist demands absolute objectivity on the part of others (while displaying none himself). Unless you can demonstrate proof of moral perfection and a completely unbiased, objective viewpoint, you can be dismissed because you’re biased. The data underlying it is irrelevant, because the collector is biased. For instance, if you said that black people in the United States committed a greater per capita share of violent crimes than white people, that is a true statement. The Marxist would say that you are biased against black people, thus your conclusion (whatever it may be) can be dismissed on that basis. Forget the facts.

The same standard, of course, is never applied to them. But again, it makes an impossible demand so that a permanent political bludgeon is created, which they can beat you over the head with constantly.

There are probably many more such tells (if you’ve got one, drop it in the comments), but those are the ones I’ve seen most frequently, and most obviously. And it’s very important to identify which groups and institutions are SJW-converged, which ones are Edgar suits filled with Marxist cockroaches, and which ones are not. Rightists have permitted bad actors to continue to be treated like good actors merely because they skinned an organization of good actors alive, and wore them like a suit. It’s both stupid, and disservice to the memory of those who created the original, non-converged organization.
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Derivatives on: March 11, 2017, 09:06:19 PM


http://www.jsmineset.com/2017/03/07/in-the-news-today-2621/

So, exactly how much of a problem is this?
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Germany on: March 11, 2017, 09:00:09 PM

Islamophobia!
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: March 11, 2017, 08:58:30 PM
I hope Chelsea Clinton comes out against nepotism in politics.
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump-Russia Accusations and the possible Silent Coup on: March 08, 2017, 11:19:59 PM
"Add to all that, Trump has his own loose association with the truth.  He owns Trump Tower, so to him, wire tapping of his campaign or administration is a wire tap of him.  He makes some statements out of ignorance and some out of clever gamesmanship and strategery.  It is not easy (or possible) to know which is happening at any particular time. 

For my money, this is a shiny object on both sides.  Yes, Pres Obama might have committed the most cynical political crime in our nation's history with the wiretap of a political opponent.  If not in this case, he still holds that title for IRS targeting of his political opponents.  And no one cared."

Very well said.
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CNN using spycam on President Trump in the oval office?!?!? on: March 06, 2017, 07:40:26 PM

Would they have done this to Obama? We all know the answer.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ties that bind on: March 06, 2017, 07:39:18 PM
https://westernrifleshooters.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/17155905_1449812015038234_5980515726633840896_n.jpg



130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: ISIS calls out China on: March 06, 2017, 02:47:00 PM

Yeah, my money is on China. China can do anything it wants without a murmur of complaint from the international community.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump-Russia Accusations and the possible Silent Coup on: March 06, 2017, 02:44:33 PM
Sometimes I listen to CNN in the morning and today I heard a point that I had not considered and which I must confess seems rather logical.

In that President Trump is the head of the executive branch, can't he just find out for himself what the FISA warrants were and were not?



I would tend to think so, unless the intel community is being blatantly insubordinate. Waiting to see what evidence there is for this.
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War on: March 05, 2017, 11:29:44 AM
I tried to find the total CG budget and this is the best that come up.  Around 10 billion so a 10 % cut is big .  Especially when already strained. 

https://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2016/02/24/bigger-budget-more-troops-ahead-coast-guard/80846656/

The Coast Guard is often ignored, but very important to national security.
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump-Russia Accusations and the possible Silent Coup on: March 05, 2017, 11:27:55 AM
No one will ever find a concrete smoking gun linking wiretapping to Obama. 

But it is not hard to imagine he would have somehow not casted a blind eye to it or looked the other way, or in some way set the wheels in motion for this to occur, or at least given a wink to it.



Just like he used to "joke" about using the IRS to punish his enemies.

134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues, 4300 (so far) came in that were banned on: March 03, 2017, 09:29:40 AM
I wonder what crimes or acts of terror will be committed by the thousands coming in to the US because of the unconstitutional block on the President's proper ban on entry from named, terrorist countries.  Blood I would not want on my hands.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/02/over-4300-refugees-have-arrived-in-the-us-since-judge-blocked-trumps-travel-ban/

Facts on the ground keep supporting this President's stand on immigration.

Regarding the wall and the border, it is strange that enforcing existing law is so controversial.

All immigrants are good, and if they misbehave in some way, it's because of the inherent evils of American society.
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Oh my God. on: March 03, 2017, 09:06:15 AM
angry

Of all the stupid things.  The Repubs again play right into the hands of the DEms.  They control Washington but as they always have, simply buckle.

Now we may have a special prosecutor that WILL dog Trump for the entire 4 yrs.  EVen if they limit the investigation they will find other avenues along the way and get  judge's permission to go down all the roads this takes them:

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/now-obama-appointee-name-special-223921337.html

ALREADY they are caving.



The Stupid party is also known for it's weakness.

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/SD.jpg

136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude on: March 02, 2017, 09:57:42 PM
Strange, the countries where muslims come from are such nice places, I wonder what happens to them in europe.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: March 02, 2017, 09:56:03 PM
Lot's of good detail in that article.


Except how Obama the feckless let this happen.
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Genderless Alien" on: March 02, 2017, 04:44:26 PM

The same ones that do m to f or f to m reassignment surgery.
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China outflanking US in SCS on: March 02, 2017, 04:42:05 PM
Now that Trump is president, it's a concern. Gee, when did China start getting so aggressive? Questions not asked or answered. Must have just happened a few weeks ago.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: February 28, 2017, 10:39:59 PM
What Nagasaki and Hiroshima have become today can be directly related to what America did and did not do in winning the war.

Of course, we need to get back to the part where we won the war.

Being the nice guy, once you've won is crucial. History cares nothing for the nice guy loser.
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH/Thomas Ricks: on: February 28, 2017, 06:58:27 PM
Oh no! The law is being enforced!

 rolleyes


If I am not mistaken, the author here wrote a very serious book on Iraq called "Fiasco".

Are U.S. Immigration Centers the Next Abu Ghraib?

By THOMAS E. RICKS
FEB. 27, 2017


By all accounts, Gen. John Kelly was a fine Marine. He served with Gen. James Mattis, now the secretary of defense, and was seen as being in the Mattis mold — a low-key, prudent, rigorous thinker. So it is with surprise that I see Mr. Kelly, in his new role as secretary of Homeland Security, presiding over a ham-handed crackdown on immigrants.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are operating aggressively under President Trump, feeling, as The New York Times reported, “newly emboldened” and “newly empowered.” Officials’ use of detention powers is widening, with some people being held who have no criminal history at all. The government raids often are conducted around dawn, to catch people as they leave for work. The uniformed agents are wearing body armor and carrying semiautomatic weapons. The morning raids and the military appearance may not be new developments, but they are especially worrisome when ICE and Customs and Border Protection, domestic law enforcement agencies, are overseen by a former general.

And there definitely seems to be recklessness in the way Homeland Security is operating. In recent days, agents have taken a woman with a brain tumor out of a hospital, almost deported a distinguished French scholar flying into Houston to deliver a university lecture and scared the daylights out of an Australian children’s author who vowed after the experience never to visit the United States again.

This isn’t being done solely to foreigners. The son of the boxer Muhammad Ali, a citizen, was questioned upon arriving in Florida from Jamaica about his religion, which would seem to be a clear violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom. And passengers on a domestic flight from San Francisco to New York were required to show their identity documents to customs officials because ICE thought a person with a deportation order might be on the plane.
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

    Immigration Agents Discover New Freedom to Deport Under Trump FEB. 25, 2017
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Continue reading the main story

For people who witnessed the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, such an aggressive stance is all too familiar. Over the weekend, Brandon Friedman, a former officer in the 101st Airborne Division, questioned on Twitter why Homeland Security officers were operating without constraints. He added, “In the military, it happens to aggressive units with poor leaders.” Erin Simpson, a political scientist who worked on strategic assessments for the United States military in the Afghan war, added in another tweet that the federal agents seem to enjoy “near impunity.”
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Most chilling of all was the comment by Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, last Tuesday that President Trump wants to “take the shackles off” federal agents.

All this reminds me eerily of the words and actions by United States military officers who helped create the conditions that led to the abuses of Iraqi detainees at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, where a detainee abuse scandal in 2004 undercut the American effort in Iraq. I’m not suggesting that immigrants are being tortured in the horrific way that prisoners at Abu Ghraib were, but I do see parallels in the aggressive stance of Homeland Security agents and the message this carries abroad.

Even the language is similar. On Aug. 14, 2003, as the Iraqi insurgency was mushrooming, an Army officer in the Human Intelligence Effects Coordination Cell at American military headquarters in Iraq sent out a directive saying that “the gloves are coming off regarding these detainees.” In case that wording left any doubts, he added, “We want these individuals broken.”

In response to orders like that, some Army units became far more aggressive. Like the Homeland Security operations, these Army missions often were conducted as night or dawn raids. Those hundreds of roundups wound up swamping the Abu Ghraib prison. Six weeks after the “gloves are coming off” memo, it held some 3,500 Iraqis. Four weeks later, that number had doubled.

When Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the commander of the demoralized Army unit running the prison, complained about the numbers of prisoners arriving, she was dismissively told to “cram some more tents into the compound.” Perversely, this undercut the intention of collecting more precise intelligence, because there weren’t enough interpreters and interrogators on hand to detect the bad actors among the thousands of people being held. A subsequent investigation by the Pentagon found that some prisoners were held for months before being questioned.

What puzzles me is that Secretary Kelly surely knows all this. In his first tour in Iraq, he was General Mattis’s deputy commander. General Mattis was eloquent in his public comments about Abu Ghraib. “When you lose the moral high ground, you lose it all,” he said.

Secretary Kelly would be wise to think back on his years as a Marine, and to keep his honor clean, as the “Marines’ Hymn” admonishes service members. If he doesn’t, the United States may through the actions of his department lose far more than it gains.
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: How to respond in SCS on: February 28, 2017, 06:53:35 PM

Good video.

War is great for the economy. It would also cut down on the population (especially one with China).

" The U.S. owed China $1.115 trillion as of October 2016." https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-debt-to-china-how-much-does-it-own-3306355

"That's 27.8 percent of the $3.8 trillion in Treasury bills, notes, and bonds held by foreign countries." (about 6% of the total US debt).

I'm thinking that a war with China would be a great idea. I'd even put my life where my mouth is.

It would quite probably turn into WWIII and with the nuclear exchange usually associated with WWIII. Not a great idea in my mind. This does not mean we roll over. I do agree with throwing some elbows and showing we won't be punked, but it has to be done with a great deal of finesse.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/11/30/the-great-depression-was-ended-by-the-end-of-world-war-ii-not-the-start-of-it/
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Germany on: February 28, 2017, 09:17:01 AM
The left is just as vile in Europe as here I guess.  Prob funded by Soros:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/02/27/german-carnival-attack-trump-decapitated/

Interesting bit of projection. Who is decapitating people?
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: I was a Muslim in Trump's House on: February 27, 2017, 11:46:24 PM

Don't let the door hit you where allah split you.
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: February 27, 2017, 11:42:43 PM
Outstanding work Doug.  Thank you!

Funny, I was told this was a myth from right wing h8ors!!!!!!111!!!!!!!

146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) on: February 27, 2017, 10:13:55 PM
This is a fairly accurate article and captures the current Indian thinking vis a vis China. Something that is not captured in most contemporary articles is the mood in India is quite positive, the thinking is that India will overtake China in about 10-15 years economically. Demographics of India are better as compared to China. New Indian missiles reach all parts of China, so the military threat from China is no longer scary. The thinking is that China has not fought a war in 3-4 decades...does this generation of chinese soldiers even know how to fight anymore ? and do they want to start with India.

That is a key question. China's last war was with Vietnam. It didn't turn out well for them. The PLA has been quite corrupt and it is hard to say how well they will perform in combat.
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 27, 2017, 09:11:50 PM
If you live in a blue state, it's past time to leave.


Yes, but it's a nice way to hammer the blue states.

Right, but also (further) punishing the red voters in the blue states.

I wrote about this earlier, that NJ ad MN among others were going to get hammered.

Yes it makes sense, but it could be a partial exclusion or have a  phase in period.

One thing about extreme ideas like this is that it most likely isn't going to happen.  Why not propose tax reform they can pass and pass it now, instead of talking like a think tank while they have a most certainly temporary governing majority.
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 27, 2017, 07:34:52 PM
The property tax deduction is in danger .  So effectively many people in the middle will get tax increase if they own property and are in tax brackets that are NOT getting any break

Some of Tthe rich already don't pay property tax in NJ.  They have ways around it  - like hiring a low wage employee to grow some vegetables and claim it is farm.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/gop-tax-plans-could-eliminate-083155224.html

Fairness my ass

Yes, but it's a nice way to hammer the blue states.
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Stratfor: Pakistan- the indespensible, unreliable ally on: February 27, 2017, 07:31:40 PM
Fred Burton spelled enemy wrong.


Analysis

Editor's Note: The following piece is part of an occasional series in which Fred Burton, Stratfor's chief security officer, reflects on his storied experience as a counterterrorism agent for the U.S. State Department.

By Fred Burton

When it comes to combating terrorism, Pakistan is an indispensable ally for the United States. But as the two countries' checkered history shows, it is also an unreliable one.

Pakistan seems to be a constant center of terrorism and chaos. The Taliban and al Qaeda have long been present in the country. Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden even hid out in his compound in Abbottabad, a stone's throw away from a military training compound, before Navy SEAL Team 6 took him out in a 2011 raid. Pakistani officials have denied that they knew about bin Laden's presence. But for those of us who have spent time in the world of counterterrorism, it's hard to believe that one of the world's most wanted people lived in the city for years without being detected by the Pakistani government or its intelligence agencies.

The raid took place only when CIA suspicions about the terrorist leader's whereabouts were confirmed by a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi. He used a fake vaccine campaign to obtain samples of the bin Laden family's DNA, pointing U.S. forces to the compound. For his role in the affair, Afridi was convicted by Pakistan of treason and is currently serving a long prison sentence. Afridi became a cause celebre after U.S. President Donald Trump made a campaign promise to have him freed. But when Pakistan reacted angrily to the suggestion, it became another bone of contention between uneasy allies.

Pakistan's turbulent history also includes a pattern of violence toward its leaders, who have been targets of numerous assassination attempts. In 1988, the mysterious crash of a U.S.-made C-130 claimed the life of President Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq and many of his top generals, along with U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Herbert Wassom and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel. Over a decade later, President Pervez Musharraf survived several attempts on his life. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was not so lucky; she was killed in a bombing in late 2007.

In the late 1980s, I was part of a small U.S. team sent to investigate the crash of Zia-ul-Haq's C-130, a tricky case made more complex by the atmosphere we found in Pakistan. First, Zia-ul-Haq belonged to the Pakistani army, but the country's air force was the branch tasked with coordinating our investigation. As in any nation's armed forces, interbranch rivalries ran deep there. From the first briefing with Pakistani officials, it was clear that they had preconceived notions about the cause of the crash, creating immediate friction with our small team. To make an uncomfortable situation even worse, they closely watched our every move.

As an investigator, I strove to rule in or out the variables that could have caused the crash, such as sabotage, catastrophic mechanical failure or weather. Granted, the event was traumatic to Pakistan; after all, it had lost its president. But it was also unnerving for the Diplomatic Security Service. We had lost our ambassador and a brigadier general. In fact, before Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi, Raphel was the last U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty.

Pakistan's cooperation with the United States on that case and others has not stopped militant groups from festering in the country, despite Islamabad's campaign against them. Pakistan's hard-line Islamist factions and long-running disputes with India provide a breeding ground for militancy, and Islamabad has even had a hand in fostering groups that later committed acts of terrorism.

The recent house arrest of Hafiz Saeed demonstrates the duality of Pakistan's relationship with the United States when it comes to terrorism. As Pakistan's competition with India over Kashmir heated up in the 1990s, its intelligence services supported the development of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the armed wing of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamic charity Saeed had founded. Since being turned loose in Kashmir to harass Indian troops, Lashkar-e-Taiba has pursued its jihadist agenda in other regions as well, targeting Americans among other victims.

Saeed himself is the accused mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people, including six U.S. citizens. The U.S. government offered a $10 million reward for his arrest and conviction for the attacks, which targeted several hotels. Despite the price on his head, Saeed continued to live openly in Pakistan, even giving occasional press conferences. That is, until he was placed under house arrest by Pakistani authorities in late January.

Why the change of heart? It could be to ensure that the new U.S. administration continues to funnel military aid to Pakistan, or to avoid being added to the list of countries with a U.S. travel ban. It could also be a sign of a larger shift in Pakistani politics. Islamabad's reasons are rarely straightforward. Either way, it's unlikely that the Pakistani government is motivated by the prospect of the reward, offered through the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, since states are not eligible to cash in on it.

The one constant I've learned over the years is that Pakistan is key to our silent and sometimes violent war on terrorism. The success of the fight also depends on the continued cooperation of men and women with Afridi's courage. I trust that the Trump administration is working behind the scenes to secure his release. Because if anyone deserves a State Department reward for helping run a terrorist to ground, it's him.
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