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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Chris Christie on: March 07, 2014, 08:56:04 AM
I'm not a fan. If this takes him out of the running, awesome.

Sure, governors from a NE blue state with rino tendencies have been electoral gold in the past for us, but maybe it's time to look past the rino with the BMI of a rhino and the dulcet speaking voice of Tony Soprano.

Just throwing that out there.
102  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: March 07, 2014, 08:44:09 AM
Law enforcement isn't out looking for innocent people to jam up. Those who actually do the majority of police work are a small number of the officers being paid to work, depending on the agency.

If you are actually trying to catch real bad guys, it's like sales. It's about numbers. If you stop John or Jane Q. Citizen, you can quickly find they are not a problem and cut them loose.

You are looking for the guy who starts out explaining why he doesn't have ID and he borrowed the car from a friend who doesn't have a last name and an unknown address. Or the driver who slurs their words and has a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage on their breath and person.

If you look at statistics, the biggest thing you can do to save lives as a patrol officer is take drunk drivers off the road.
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: March 06, 2014, 09:00:07 AM
He shouldn't get one thin dime. Should have to cover all court costs too.
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Spike Lee: segregationist on: March 06, 2014, 07:58:58 AM
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslim Brotherhood chaplains on: March 06, 2014, 05:42:00 AM

What could go wrong?
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: I am hero on: March 06, 2014, 04:11:51 AM
Vegans eat plants.  Plants reduce CO2.  Therefore Vegans are destroying the planet.

I eat animals who produce CO2 and eat CO" reducing plants.  Therefore I am a hero.

107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 05, 2014, 06:31:56 PM
I'm wondering what happens when the US starts having cartel style violence happen on the scale that it does here, you know, where daughter's fingers start getting cut off while they're on the phone with you...

I'm just saying, law enforcement doesn't stop anything, especiall once the criminals figure out that there are just better ways to keep law enforcement officers in line, longarms, soft targets, etc. It's all a charade.

The thing that I would worry about, is fixing the economy. That is the ony thing that keeps crime in check. I've found out all about it living and working here. It certainly isn't "The LAW:"  afro

We may just find out. However, there is nothing new about badguys targeting cops. There were old school responses to such things that established lines that were respected. Borders can be crossed both ways.
108  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: March 05, 2014, 06:26:40 PM
A PBT (Preliminary Breath Tester) isn't the same as a Brethalyzer used for a forensically admisssable analysis. The PBT can be used for part of roadsides but it's reading alone isn't admissable as they are more prone to error where as the one you'd find at the local PD/SO is calibrated and is admissable in court.

There are other smaller details that are debatable. The biggest thing is don't be stupid or confrontational. Follow the orders given. If you politely clarify things, like "Am I free to leave?" to establish your status, that's fine.
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 05, 2014, 06:15:23 PM
Umm , , , not sure that anyone was saying otherwise, but yes your statement is true.

Oh, the Big L Libertarians are convinced that everything will be wonderful when you kid can buy meth at the corner store. What could go wrong?
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary echoes appeasers line on Hitler in comments on Putin on: March 05, 2014, 06:07:59 PM

Hillary Echoes Appeasers Line On Hitler In Comments On Putin


Published on on March 5, 2014

Without knowing that she was being recorded, Hillary Clinton told a recent gathering
that when [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin "looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he
believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia."  Her remarks come perilously
close to justifying Putin's behavior.
More of concern, the also echo the very justifications the Munich-era appeasers
cited for not responding to Hitler's incursions into Austria and the Sudetenland.

In the 1930s, it was common for advocates of appeasement toward Nazi Germany to
describe Hitler's ambitions to annex Austria and Czechoslovakia as merely an attempt
to unite all Germans under one roof.  When Hitler occupied the Rhineland, in
violation of the Treaty of Versailles, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin said
he was just "marching into his own back yard."
In attributing to Russian leader Vladimir Putin the same rationale as Hitler used --
the desire to "protect my people," Hillary is echoing the appeaser's rationale for
muting their response to Nazi aggression eighty years ago.
Putin does, indeed, cite the concentration of ethnic Russians in all of the former
Soviet Republics to justify his intervention in their affairs.  These Russians live
there, largely, because former Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin ordered them to move
there to establish a Russian ethnic presence in these conquered territories and to
weaken the centrifugal forces of nationalism.
Hitler's foreign Germans largely lived in other lands as a result of the division of
territory after World War I in the Treaty of Versailles.  His demand that the three
million ethnic Germans who lived then in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia
formed the basis for his demands to take over the territory.
In this case, too, Putin is using the justification of taking care of his people to
explain his invasion of the Crimea and his threats of invasion of the Ukraine. 
But only Hillary is buying it.
Her comparison of Hitler's transparently fraudulent characterization of his
motivations in the 30s with Putin's today was not to demean Putin's, but rather to
offer it some context and explanation, just one step short of a justification.
Putin could care less about the ethnic Russians in Ukraine just like Hitler did not
give a damn about the ethnic Germans living abroad.  Each used them as an excuse for
territorial acquisition and aggression.
It's too bad that Hillary chose to repeat this rationale for aggression in this
Her embrace of Putin's rationale -- or at least her citing it without refutation --
illustrates her naiveté when it comes to the Russian leader. 
The only thing Putin is looking to "reset" is territorial boundary of Russia.
Hillary didn't see through him then and she doesn't quite get it now.

At this point, what difference does it make?
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Obama knew CIA secretly monitored intelligence committee, senator claims on: March 05, 2014, 06:06:44 PM

Obama knew CIA secretly monitored intelligence committee, senator claims

White House declines to comment after Mark Udall says agency spied on staffers preparing scathing report into CIA torture after 9/11

Barack Obama. Udall wants the president to help declassify the 6,300-page inquiry by the committee into CIA torture. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/AP

Spencer Ackerman in Washington

 Wednesday 5 March 2014 12.06 EST

A leading US senator has said that President Obama knew of an “unprecedented action” taken by the CIA against the Senate intelligence committee, which has apparently prompted an inspector general’s inquiry at Langley.

The subtle reference in a Tuesday letter from Senator Mark Udall to Obama, seeking to enlist the president’s help in declassifying a 6,300-page inquiry by the committee into torture carried out by CIA interrogators after 9/11, threatens to plunge the White House into a battle between the agency and its Senate overseers.

McClatchy and the New York Times reported Wednesday that the CIA had secretly monitored computers used by committee staffers preparing the inquiry report, which is said to be scathing not only about the brutality and ineffectiveness of the agency’s interrogation techniques but deception by the CIA to Congress and policymakers about it. The CIA sharply disputes the committee’s findings.

Udall, a Colorado Democrat and one of the CIA’s leading pursuers on the committee, appeared to reference that surreptitious spying on Congress, which Udall said undermined democratic principles.

“As you are aware, the CIA has recently taken unprecedented action against the committee in relation to the internal CIA review and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the Committee’s oversight powers and for our democracy,” Udall wrote to Obama on Tuesday.

Independent observers were unaware of a precedent for the CIA spying on the congressional committees established in the 1970s to check abuses by the intelligence agencies.
“In the worst case, it would be a subversion of independent oversight, and a violation of separation of powers,” said Steven Aftergood, an intelligence analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. “It’s potentially very serious.”

The White House declined to comment, but National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Obama supported making the major findings of the torture report public.

“For some time, the White House has made clear to the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that a summary of the findings and conclusions of the final report should be declassified, with any appropriate redactions necessary to protect national security,” Hayden said.

McClatchy reported that the CIA inspector general has made a criminal referral to the Justice Department, a threshold procedure for opening a criminal investigation.
Neither the CIA nor the Justice Department would comment for this story.
In 2012, the Justice Department closed an inquiry into prosecuting low-level CIA practitioners of torture without bringing any charges. But the prospect of the agency spying on its Senate overseers who prepared their own inquiry potentially places the agency right back into the legal morass it has labored for years to avoid.

In February, the CIA confirmed to the Guardian that it is subject to the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it a crime to access government computer networks without authorization. The issue arose after Udall’s partner on the committee, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, asked CIA Director John Brennan at a January hearing, without elaboration, if the statute applied.
Overshadowed by the CIA inspector general’s inquiry is the future of the report itself.
The committee is pushing for a declassification that the Justice Department, in a letter responding to a lawsuit by journalist Jason Leopold, said is a decision that rests with the committee itself.
But the president of the United States possesses wide latitude to order the report released, as the White House says it supports. “The classification system is based on executive order, not on statute, and the president has absolute authority to declassify executive branch records at will,” said Aftergood.
“In this case, he could order declassification of the Senate intelligence committee report today.”

Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and ex officio member of the intelligence committee, said the alleged monitoring was potentially “extremely serious.”

“If, as alleged in the media, CIA accessed without permission or authority a computer network dedicated for use by a Senate committee, it would be an extremely serious matter. Such activity, if it occurred as alleged, would impede Congress’ ability to carry out its constitutional oversight responsibilities and could violate federal law,” Levin said in a statement on Wednesday.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 05, 2014, 05:58:07 PM
The key point being that even if illegal drugs are decriminalized/legalized, there will still be law enforcement enforcing laws related to illegal drugs.
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: March 05, 2014, 05:55:53 PM
If our laws prohibit the NSA et al from doing XYZ but the NSA et al can end run it by giving other countries the technology to do XYZ and then give the NSA et al the results, does that make our law a joke?

The bigger issue is the backdooring of intel info into criminal investigations and the due process issues that raises and the use of intelligence for partisan polical purposes.

I doubt that the UK's GCHQ or other foreign intel agencies are dependent on our technology.
114  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Know your rights when the police stop you on: March 05, 2014, 05:49:51 PM
This seems to me like something that should be broadly disseminated for the good of all, LEO and citizen alike.

GM, does this pass muster for you?

I didn't see any glaring errors. I'll look it over in more detail and report back.
115  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Pay up or go to jail on: March 05, 2014, 05:48:50 PM

In many ways, probation for profit seems worse than private prisons.

Then again, the ACLU and HRW are free to create non-profits that could perform those services.
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: March 04, 2014, 07:39:02 PM
They have to throw a little variety into the endless bashing of America and western civilization.
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine on: March 04, 2014, 07:36:16 PM
Dems love to fcuk over our allies. Ask the South Vietnamese.
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: March 04, 2014, 01:09:57 PM
Funny how the left insists that we can't enforce immigration laws and deport millions of illegals, but they think they can forcibly disarm the American people.
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 04, 2014, 09:46:14 AM
The war on drugs can mean different things. Should a drug dealer face legal jeopardy for selling to middle school kids? Is it the war on drugs if school authorities for forbid students from getting high at school.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: March 04, 2014, 09:38:20 AM
Fair enough, but do you see a question presented when the agency in question got the intel with technology from the US that the US is not allowed by our laws to use?

What were they used for? Is your privacy less violated if it's by Canadians or Britt?
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 04, 2014, 08:00:05 AM
Is it a war on alcohol to enforce laws on DUI or public consumption or underage consumption/sales?
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: March 04, 2014, 07:57:31 AM
Before we paint with a broad brush, we might want to consider the potential importance of intelligence from foreign entities.
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: March 04, 2014, 04:34:35 AM
Was the FBI correct to ignore the tip from the FSB about the Tsarnev brothers?
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The End of Insurance Companies as we know them on: March 03, 2014, 09:09:11 PM
I happened to sit on a long flight next to a stuffy snooty very smart doctor who was a prof at a med school (I forget which).  We got to talking and it turns out he was also on the AMA's advisory board for Obamacare.  He was quite emphatic that the ACOs described in this article will be a good thing.

Of course. There are lots of books filled with dreamy plans for eutopia. Funny how those tend to work out.
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: March 03, 2014, 09:02:55 PM
Excellent find GM, as always your google fu amazes.

From what I can tell, it appears that this technology is only available to advanced State actors.
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Non Nuke EMP on: March 03, 2014, 07:49:26 PM
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Vulnerability of the Grid on: March 03, 2014, 03:37:26 PM

Why? It's hardly classified technology.
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Silence of the LBGTs on: March 03, 2014, 09:17:51 AM

It is truly vile and disgusting that the LBGT “activist” organizations in this
country and abroad (such as Human Rights Campaign) are SILENT about these

Lefty activists respect those that will kill them.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: March 02, 2014, 07:05:15 PM

Very cool indeed.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine on: March 02, 2014, 10:13:32 AM
Note that both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney saw this coming years ago and were attacked by the left for it back then.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Background context on: March 02, 2014, 08:38:14 AM

To be followed by the Iranian crisis and the Asian crisis we should have seen coming...
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine on: March 01, 2014, 09:39:56 AM
Right about now, Lurch is tearing the sec. of state office apart desperately looking for the reset button...
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: March 01, 2014, 08:28:01 AM
Wait, I thought Obama's election guaranteed a new era of peace...
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Panopticon is Upon Us on: March 01, 2014, 02:22:48 AM

I doubt the UK has any restrictions on gathering Intel on Americans.
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine on: February 28, 2014, 02:58:08 PM

Another red line gets crossed. Who could have seen that coming?
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 27, 2014, 04:58:24 PM
Heh. America's credit rating isn't the only thing downgraded the last five years.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: February 27, 2014, 04:56:20 PM
Ilhamdullah! Some clear thinking from the bench!
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Lesbian denied haircut at all Muslim barbershop on: February 27, 2014, 04:54:41 PM

If it was an authentic muslim barbershop, it wouldn't be her hair that was cut.
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 27, 2014, 04:51:56 PM
There is this archaic social mechanism from long ago that actually was very effective in socializing young males into productive members of society.

It's called heterosexual marriage. It actually involved a man and a woman in a socially and  legally recognized monogamous pair bond. The male actually resided in the home and took part in raising the offspring to adulthood.

Then again, there is no opportunity for graft and government jobs for democrat connected rent seekers, so never mind...
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary fired from Watergate for being a liar on: February 27, 2014, 06:36:01 AM

How shocking!
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Kasparov on: February 27, 2014, 06:33:46 AM

142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 27, 2014, 01:40:30 AM
If they contained things the Clintons wanted public, we'd know about them by now.
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Wait, I thought the science was settled... on: February 26, 2014, 06:09:15 PM

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

Conference proceedings removed from subscription databases after scientist reveals that they were computer-generated.
Richard Van Noorden
24 February 2014 Updated: 25 February 2014

Article tools
Rights & Permissions

The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.

Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers.

Among the works were, for example, a paper published as a proceeding from the 2013 International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering, held in Chengdu, China. (The conference website says that all manuscripts are “reviewed for merits and contents”.) The authors of the paper, entitled ‘TIC: a methodology for the construction of e-commerce’, write in the abstract that they “concentrate our efforts on disproving that spreadsheets can be made knowledge-based, empathic, and compact”. (Nature News has attempted to contact the conference organizers and named authors of the paper but received no reply*; however at least some of the names belong to real people. The IEEE has now removed the paper).

*Update: One of the named authors replied to Nature News on 25 February. He said that he first learned of the article when conference organizers notified his university in December 2013; and that he does not know why he was a listed co-author on the paper. "The matter is being looked into by the related investigators," he said.

How to create a nonsense paper

Labbé developed a way to automatically detect manuscripts composed by a piece of software called SCIgen, which randomly combines strings of words to produce fake computer-science papers. SCIgen was invented in 2005 by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge to prove that conferences would accept meaningless papers — and, as they put it, “to maximize amusement” (see ‘Computer conference welcomes gobbledegook paper’). A related program generates random physics manuscript titles on the satirical website arXiv vs. snarXiv. SCIgen is free to download and use, and it is unclear how many people have done so, or for what purposes. SCIgen’s output has occasionally popped up at conferences, when researchers have submitted nonsense papers and then revealed the trick.

Labbé does not know why the papers were submitted — or even if the authors were aware of them. Most of the conferences took place in China, and most of the fake papers have authors with Chinese affiliations. Labbé has emailed editors and authors named in many of the papers and related conferences but received scant replies; one editor said that he did not work as a program chair at a particular conference, even though he was named as doing so, and another author claimed his paper was submitted on purpose to test out a conference, but did not respond on follow-up. Nature has not heard anything from a few enquiries.

Related stories
•Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing
•Editor will quit over hoax paper
•Computer conference welcomes gobbledegook paper

More related stories

“I wasn’t aware of the scale of the problem, but I knew it definitely happens. We do get occasional e-mails from good citizens letting us know where SCIgen papers show up,” says Jeremy Stribling, who co-wrote SCIgen when he was at MIT and now works at VMware, a software company in Palo Alto, California.

“The papers are quite easy to spot,” says Labbé, who has built a website where users can test whether papers have been created using SCIgen. His detection technique, described in a study1 published in Scientometrics in 2012, involves searching for characteristic vocabulary generated by SCIgen. Shortly before that paper was published, Labbé informed the IEEE of 85 fake papers he had found. Monika Stickel, director of corporate communications at IEEE, says that the publisher “took immediate action to remove the papers” and “refined our processes to prevent papers not meeting our standards from being published in the future”. In December 2013, Labbé informed the IEEE of another batch of apparent SCIgen articles he had found. Last week, those were also taken down, but the web pages for the removed articles give no explanation for their absence.

Ruth Francis, UK head of communications at Springer, says that the company has contacted editors, and is trying to contact authors, about the issues surrounding the articles that are coming down. The relevant conference proceedings were peer reviewed, she confirms — making it more mystifying that the papers were accepted.

The IEEE would not say, however, whether it had contacted the authors or editors of the suspected SCIgen papers, or whether submissions for the relevant conferences were supposed to be peer reviewed. “We continue to follow strict governance guidelines for evaluating IEEE conferences and publications,” Stickel said.

A long history of fakes

Labbé is no stranger to fake studies. In April 2010, he used SCIgen to generate 102 fake papers by a fictional author called Ike Antkare [see pdf]. Labbé showed how easy it was to add these fake papers to the Google Scholar database, boosting Ike Antkare’s h-index, a measure of published output, to 94 — at the time, making Antkare the world's 21st most highly cited scientist. Last year, researchers at the University of Granada, Spain, added to Labbé’s work, boosting their own citation scores in Google Scholar by uploading six fake papers with long lists to their own previous work2.

Labbé says that the latest discovery is merely one symptom of a “spamming war started at the heart of science” in which researchers feel pressured to rush out papers to publish as much as possible.

There is a long history of journalists and researchers getting spoof papers accepted in conferences or by journals to reveal weaknesses in academic quality controls — from a fake paper published by physicist Alan Sokal of New York University in the journal Social Text in 1996, to a sting operation by US reporter John Bohannon published in Science in 2013, in which he got more than 150 open-access journals to accept a deliberately flawed study for publication.

Labbé emphasizes that the nonsense computer science papers all appeared in subscription offerings. In his view, there is little evidence that open-access publishers — which charge fees to publish manuscripts — necessarily have less stringent peer review than subscription publishers.

Labbé adds that the nonsense papers were easy to detect using his tools, much like the plagiarism checkers that many publishers already employ. But because he could not automatically download all papers from the subscription databases, he cannot be sure that he has spotted every SCIgen-generated paper.
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Worse than I imagined on: February 26, 2014, 05:57:55 PM

In Defense of the Elastic Clause of the Constitution

February 26th, 2014 - 5:15 am

If college students listened to Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh, they would receive a better American history education than they are getting from their professors. I recently spoke at Emory University, where one student defended all of President Obama’s unconstitutional actions by invoking the Elastic Clause of the Constitution.
Citing the Elastic Clause could indeed justify a wide range of administration actions, except for one problem – it doesn’t exist.


But you couldn’t tell that to the student at Emory University who came to my speech last week on Obama’s abuses of power. He persisted in defending the actions through the Elastic Clause, as if the be-all, end-all provision was common knowledge.
From the sound of it, the Elastic Clause must be common knowledge in faculty lounges.
The Elastic Clause, he persisted, gives the president the power to address a wide range of issues through executive prerogative. It allowed the government, he said, to adapt to new circumstances unlike the age when the Founders wrote the Constitution.
Of course the Founders did include an “elastic clause” of sorts, namely Article V, which gives the people and the states the power to amend the Constitution.
But he wasn’t speaking of something quite so stiff and formal. He wasn’t referring to something that required broad assent. He was referring the Elastic Clause that allows the president to swiftly respond to needs as they arise – sort of like Mussolini and Mugabe did.
He was serious. He really believed the Elastic Clause was real. But the constitutional literacy of a different student was even worse. With a straight face, she defended the exercise of executive power and the issuance of executive orders as constitutional because of the inaction of Congress.
“It’s part of the Constitution that if the Congress doesn’t act, then the president can issue executive orders to fix something,” was her argument.
Even more frightening, the person saying this is an officer of the campus Democrats. A little totalitarian in training.
Naturally, this was all quite an eye opener. I’m no fool when it comes to the institutional left and their corrosion of the system. But to have a student debate me over a verifiably fictional constitutional provision, to have a student presume I was the one making things up when I said the Elastic Clause didn’t exist – that blazed new territory.
All of this illustrates the dangerous rot occurring on campus, facilitated in large part by the faculty. All signs point to their success. Students are learning the lexicon of the institutional left and producing tragic-comedy like complaining about equality at UCLA, and worse. My appearance at Emory was sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the College Republicans. Recognize that groups like these are fighting an uphill battle on campus. But without them, college campuses would be intellectually monolithic.
The talk at Emory wandered into the small discrete psychological components of tyranny as described brilliantly in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. No doubt Mr. Elastic Clause and College Democrat Vice President Edict had never heard of the Nobel Prize winning description of where elastic ideas can lead.
Solzhenitsyn’s great book of the 20th century describes the small ideas of totalitarianism, and the camouflaged embryonic consent that individuals give to tyranny over time. Tyranny isn’t just about gruel with potato peelings day after day and bullets to the back of the head.
I presume Mr. Elastic Clause and Ms. College Democrat Officer will never read Gulag, but if they did, they would learn the story of Georgi Osorgin. Osorgin was imprisoned in the Solovetsky Islands in the early 1920s. The date was important because American leftists (such as some Democrats of the 1960s) like to pin the mass murder system only on Stalin. But Solzhenitsyn documents that the gulags were a necessary part of Lenin’s vision of the International Brotherhood. Without terror, his system would not work.

Solovki Prison Camp
Osorgin was to be shot, but he begged his jailers for a few more days because his wife was coming to visit him at the gulag. Osorgin’s wife visited him, then as her boat pulled away from Solovetsky Island, keeping his part of the bargain, he undressed to be shot. Niceties were part of the gulag in the early days because nobody really knew where the fledgling system was headed.

But still, someone did give them those three days. The three Osorgin days, like other cases, show how far the Solovetsky regime was from having donned the armor of a system. The impression is left that the air of Solovki strangely mingled extreme cruelty with an almost benign incomprehension of where all this was leading, which Solovetsky characteristics were becoming the embryo of the great Archipelago and which were destined to dry up and wither on the bud. After all, the Solovetsky Islands people did not yet, generally speaking, firmly believe that the ovens of the Arctic Auschwitz had been lit right there and that its crematory furnaces had been thrown open to all who were ever brought there. (But, after all, that is exactly how it was!)
People there were also misled by the fact that all their prison terms were exceedingly short: it was rare that anyone had a ten-year term, and even five was not found very often, and most of them were three, just three. And this whole cat-and-mouse trick of the law was still not understood: to pin down and let go, and pin down again and let go again. . . .
Here too, on the first islands of the Archipelago, was felt the instability of those checkered years of the middle twenties, when things were but poorly understood in the country as a whole. Was everything already prohibited? Or, on the contrary, were things only now beginning to be allowed? Age-old Russia still believed so strongly in rapturous phrases! And there were only a few prophets of gloom who had already figured things out and who knew when and how all this would be smashed into smithereens.
I explained to the students that a written Constitution, free from the phony Elastic Clause and power for a president to issue edicts, is what keeps them free. It is what lets them have fun and have a good life. Structural constraints on the power of government allow people to experience joy, worship God, build dreams and fulfill potential. Our Constitution does not have an Elastic Clause for a very good reason. It was established to be inelastic absent the consent of three quarters of states. It was established to lay down fundamental ironclad restraints on the power of government, especially the executive branch.
Some are trying to redefine freedom away from this ideal and toward freedom from want.
That it is becoming fashionable to reject our particularly American version of freedom deserves an overpowering response.
145  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action on: February 26, 2014, 05:52:42 PM
There is a variation between states what the statutes are called. The key elements tend to be pretty similar.

1. Operated a motor vehicle (In some places, bicycles and horses and riding mowers and tractors all count. Check your state statute)

2. While ability was impaired by alcohol, or illegal drugs, or legal drugs, OTC, whatever combination. (If you drink some Nyquil for your flu and decide to drive across town 30 minutes later and bounce off a curb in front of a marked unit, there could be problems aside from your illness).

3. The amount of alcohol detected in your system may or may not exceed the presumptive range in the statute, that doen't mean you were not in violation of the law. As an example, a 16 yr old girl who weighs 100 pounds and never drank alcohol before might be visibly impaired after half a wine cooler.

4. The time from the arrest to when the subject actually provides the breath or blood sample may be hours. There are sometimes unavoidable delays. Like no one able to assist as you inventory a 1978 Chevy suburban that a homeless guy has been living in for an extended period. You've got to complete the inventory before you can have the vehicle towed. Otherwise you and the dept. are on the hook for him to claim that his cash and valuables were stolen.

5. Probable cause doesn't mean guilty. It means a reasonable belief based on the totality of the circumstances that a crime was, is or is about to be committed. An officer can act in good faith and reasonably arrest someone who is actually innocent. That's why we have courts.
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 26, 2014, 02:08:35 AM
RP continues to hit on the Monica Lewinsky meme.

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

Major tactical mistake here by RP.

I think it's exactly the opposite. Dems want to push their bs "war on women" meme, someone needs to remind everyone exactly how dem icons really treat women.
147  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: February 25, 2014, 06:04:14 PM
Is it OK that LAPD SWAT arrested the career gangster that kicked Bryan Stow over and over?
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Ted Nugent on: February 25, 2014, 05:26:34 PM
Ted not really persuading me here  , , ,

Wasn't there also something he said about shooting people from a helicopter that could be interpreted as racist?

The left can interpret anything as racist to smear political opponents. Having said that, he did say something pretty stupid recently.
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tin hat or true tragedy? on: February 25, 2014, 04:44:20 PM

True  crime.
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hagel's proposed cuts on: February 25, 2014, 09:48:44 AM

As I have been pushing for quite some time and as we have discussed on the Foreign Affairs thread,  America lacks a sense of what our strategy is.  Bush's incoherence and substantial errors in execution have been compounded by Baraq incompetence and/or anti-Americanism.  People rightly doubt the competence of our government.

The cuts proposed by Hagel look to be quite terrible.  Will the Reps and honorable Dems do anything about them?

Doubtful. Lots of high fives in Beijing right now. Australia better double down on the Americans it's recruiting for their military.
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