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10001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 07, 2009, 09:39:42 PM
The europeans are masters of "feed the crocodile, hoping it'll eat you last".  rolleyes
10002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 07, 2009, 09:32:05 PM
Ok, copy.
10003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 09:31:07 PM
I think you can respect and admire Yon while reasonably disagreeing with him. He has ground truth advantage, but sometimes one's perspective on the ground misses the larger picture. Then again, it's not like i'm working at a think tank or manning a desk in Langley.
10004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 07:37:44 PM,0,4669288.story

Deja vu in Kabul
Naysayers call Afghanistan a hopeless quagmire. Isn't that what they said about Iraq?
By Max Boot
February 7, 2009

For years, opponents of the Iraq war claimed it was an unwinnable waste of resources that wasn't worth fighting anyway. The real war against terrorists, they argued, should be waged in Afghanistan. But now that Iraq has made heartening progress and we are finally sending more troops to Afghanistan, the critics are applying to Afghanistan the same arguments they once used in favor of partial or total withdrawal from Iraq.

Afghanistan, we are told, is a hopeless quagmire. A Newsweek cover story screams "Obama's Vietnam." Andrew J. Bacevich of Boston University writes, "Afghanistan will be a sinkhole, consuming resources neither the U.S. military nor the U.S. government can afford to waste."

Skeptics, including many in uniform, contend that we need to downsize our goals in Afghanistan. Establishing a functioning democracy, they say, is too ambitious in an underdeveloped Muslim country with little sense of nationhood. According to the Associated Press, a Joint Chiefs of Staff report advises "squeezing Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctuaries inside neighboring Pakistan while deemphasizing longer-term goals for bolstering democracy."

But don't worry, the naysayers assert, we can still achieve our core objectives in Afghanistan. George Friedman, of the private intelligence firm Stratfor, opines in the New York Times that Afghanistan requires "intelligence, and special operations forces and air power that can take advantage of that intelligence. Fighting terrorists requires identifying and destroying small, dispersed targets. We would need far fewer forces for such a mission than the number that are now deployed."

It is striking the extent to which the arguments now being made about Afghanistan were previously made -- and discredited -- in the case of Iraq. The only thing we haven't heard yet is a proposal to dismember Afghanistan into mini-states. But with Joe Biden in the White House, we can expect that brainstorm to pop up soon.

Is it quixotic to try to build democracy in Afghanistan? The same thing was said of Iraq. It is true that holding elections wasn't a magic elixir there. But once the security situation started to improve, Iraq's political process began to function and competing factions started to solve problems with handshakes rather than bombs.

The latest provincial elections delivered a strong showing for centrist, secular candidates -- a far cry from the sort of extremists (Hamas, for example) that are thought to be favored in Middle Eastern voting. In the long run, democracy in Iraq is likely to strengthen stability. That's just as well, because installing a "Saddam Lite" strongman was never a serious option. Most Iraqis would not have put up with it.

Nor would Afghans stand for a strongman "solution." In a 2007 poll conducted by the Asia Foundation, 85% agreed that "democracy may have its problems, but it is better than any other form of government." In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, there is no practical alternative to supporting the democratic process if we want to create a government with legitimacy, the sine qua non for defeating any insurgency.

What about the argument that we don't need more troops in Afghanistan? Can't a handful of special operations forces prevent a takeover by extremists? We tried that in Iraq. From 2003 to 2006, U.S. troops withdrew to large bases while the Joint Special Operations Command carried out strikes on targets such as Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Zarqawi. That turned into a game of whack-a-mole. As top-level terrorists were going down, new ones were popping up and the war was being lost.

The war effort was turned around by an increase in U.S. and Iraqi troop numbers and by the decision to push U.S. troops into outposts in population centers. Ordinary Iraqis could rat out terrorists, secure in the knowledge that they would be protected from retaliation. Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, only counterinsurgents who live among the people can acquire the knowledge to identify insurgents.

The Bush administration lost sight of that basic truth because leaders from Donald Rumsfeld on down feared that increasing troop numbers would stoke resentment of foreign occupation. Similar concerns are expressed today about Afghanistan by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. He recently told Congress: "My worry is that the Afghans come to see us as part of the problem, rather than ... the solution. And then we are lost."

But in Iraq, the "surge" was welcomed by a populace concerned above all by pervasive insecurity. The same thing is likely to happen in Afghanistan as U.S. troop numbers rise. In both nations, nothing feeds anti-Americanism more than concerns that U.S. troops aren't doing enough to impose law and order.

This is not meant to minimize the difficulties in Afghanistan or exaggerate the similarities with Iraq. Afghanistan is a larger and poorer country with more difficult terrain and fewer resources of its own. It also has more porous borders with a much larger problem of terrorist infiltration. And it is a much more difficult place to keep a large military force supplied. But we should not exaggerate the difficulties either. According to the Brookings Institution, civilian casualties in Afghanistan last year (1,445) were a fraction of the casualties in Iraq at the height of the fighting. Fom July 2006 to September 2007, at least 2,000 Iraqis were dying each month.

Keep in mind that until fairly recently, the conventional wisdom was that we had already won in Afghanistan and could never win in Iraq. Now we hear the reverse, but the new zeitgeist is no sounder than the old. We can win in Afghanistan, as we are now winning in Iraq.

The key is for policymakers to ignore the naysayers. They will get louder over time, because, just as in Iraq, a surge in the number of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan will inevitably bring about a short-term spike in casualties. But if President Obama doesn't lose his nerve, the odds are that a classic counterinsurgency strategy, supported by adequate troop levels, can turn around another failing war effort.

Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor to Opinion. He is the author, most recently, of "War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today."
10005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 07:19:11 PM
I reject the Stratfor "Iran as a rational actor we can work with" paradigm. They've been at war with us since 1979, it's well past time we return the favor.
10006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 08:56:39 AM
Rather than a direct military confronttation with Iran, President Empty-suit should open up domestic drilling and push the Sunni gulf states to ramp up production to crater oil prices. In addition, he can fund train and equip dissident resistant groups. These pressures can potentially end the mullah's rule, or at the minimum cripple the Iranian state.
10007  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free on: February 07, 2009, 08:43:26 AM
To quote Phil Messina "A warrior must hear the assassin's call, but never answer it".
10008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 06, 2009, 09:54:26 PM
I'm guessing you found that Indian piece I sent you persuasive?  cheesy


If I understand correctly this approach is willing to accept/embrace a collapse of the Pak state.   

**Embrace? Hell, make it happen.**

In such an event, what happens to Pak's nukes? 

**First thing we do is seize them.We do have assets in place to do just that.**

In such an event, what about Baluchistan and the other Whackostan's?  Do they become yet more areas for the AQ types to train and launch attacks?  Or in the current situation are there already a surplus of areas from which they can do that so it doesn't matter?


Also, I gather Iran's Shia nuts are not enthused about the Sunni nuts in Afg-Pak.  Its why they helped us in 2001-2002 and were surprised to be branded part of the axis of evil.  Is there some use we can make of this?

**Exploiting the sunni-shia split is always something to be used.**

10009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 09:45:16 PM
If "giving" everyone a government job is so great, then why not "give" everyone a free house and a million dollars as well?

Funny, I've actually considered that before. I certainly wouldn't complain... wink

And I love the past tense of HUSS post. Two weeks in and the administration is already part of the past, due to a bill that hasn't been passed.

You can't see any problem with this?
10010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 03:55:06 PM

10011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 03:36:16 PM
If "giving" everyone a government job is so great, then why not "give" everyone a free house and a million dollars as well? Now that would be a stimulus!
10012  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free on: February 06, 2009, 10:52:19 AM
Does this mean DBMA videos want to be uploaded to Limewire?  evil

"With great power, comes great responsibility". Cheesy comic book sentiment? I say no. You may not be able to prevent bad guys from learning dangerous knowledge, but you can make damn sure they don't learn it from you.
10013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: February 06, 2009, 08:45:35 AM

Moral blindness, thy name is Obama.
10014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 06, 2009, 08:35:04 AM
OK, so what do we do now in Afg/Afg-Pak?

Use the Indians to break the ISI's spine.
10015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 05, 2009, 11:05:44 PM
U.S. Jewish targets listed on Muslim website
'Give them the Islamic message,' demands New York-based extremist
Posted: February 05, 2009
5:03 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – A U.S. jihadi website has issued a series of videos targeting the New York headquarters of Chabad, a Jewish outreach movement, just two months after the group was rocked by a deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

The videos also ask viewers to "give the Islamic message" to Yeshiva University, a Manhattan-based Jewish college, as well as "Jewish Federation buildings all over the U.S." in response to the institutions' purported funding for Israel amid its recent offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic threats already resulted in a New York Police Department investigation and a beefed-up police presence outside the Chabad headquarters, WND has learned.

"When an atrocity is done like what was done in Gaza, indiscriminately killing women and children, we know who the source is," stated Yousef Al-Khattab, the CEO of in a video address posted on the website.

"These are definitely the sources," Khattab stated, citing Chabad and the other Jewish institutions.

"We think it's imperative to hold these people responsible, speak in front of their homes, give them the Islamic message. Leave them the message of Islam. That's not a threat, that's what it is," Khattab said in the video.

While Khattab, who spoke to WND today, claimed his website is not issuing threats against Jewish groups, a second video posted on the site contains what can easily be interpreted as lightly veiled threats of violence against Chabad.

The video features a slideshow of images of wounded Palestinians and then repeatedly switches to pictures of Chabad's main headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It then presents a picture of a blood-stained Jewish prayer book taken from inside a Jerusalem seminary following a deadly shooting massacre there last March that killed eight Jews.

The video ends with the sound of gunshots.

Asked whether the video montage was implying Chabad's headquarters should be targeted by Islamic violence, Khattab told WND, "It is what it is."

Khattab said he did not have the authority to issue a directive to carry out specific attacks.

Further petitioned to explain the intended meaning of the blood-soaked prayer book interspersed with images of Chabad's headquarters, Khattab replied, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

He told WND he supports Hamas' suicide bombings against Israelis, including attacks targeting cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.

"There is no such thing as Israeli civilian," he said. "I pray to Allah for the complete destruction of Israel."

In a video on his website, Khattab states he normally advises others to "just ignore [the Jews]. That's not racist. We don't like to deal with them ... but when there is a terrorist war of destruction, killing of kids ... [Israeli] genocide, then we have to take to the forefront."

Security bolstered at Chabad headquarters

Motti Seligson, a spokesman for Chabad, told WND although not all threats are serious, his organization is "work[ing] closely with law enforcement to ensure that all threats are handled properly, as safety is of paramount concern."

Immediately following RevolutionMuslim's first posting about Chabad two weeks ago, the NYPD stationed a large police presence, including NYPD vans, outside the Jewish group's headquarters.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelley called Chanina Sperlin, vice president of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, to assure him the police were looking into the situation and were taking any threats seriously.

Khattab said he was questioned by NYPD investigators.

Expert: Take threats seriously

One Chabad official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was not particularly concerned about the alleged threats.

But U.S. terrorism expert Steve Emerson said videos like those posted on should be taken seriously.

"Any site that advocates violence or provides incitement to violence has to be taken seriously," he told WND.

'We appreciate support of American progressives'

Realizing his statement may attract the attention of U.S. law enforcement agencies, Khattab delivered a direct message to the NYPD, CIA and FBI: "You can put me in jail for the rest of my life. As long as I got that information out there for people, I did something. I didn't sit on my behind."

Khattab also lashed out against any website that may pick up on his statement.

"It just attracts Drudge, the JAWA report, Atlas Shrugs (blog), and Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch blog) and just other whining little queers and stuff like that."

But he celebrated what he said is his website's non-Muslim following of "progressive Americans, socialists, anarchists, communists ... people who can really contribute, they give us dialogue and send us nice e-mails."

Khattab, a 39-year-old New York taxi driver who converted to Islam from Judaism, said he launched with the mission of "preserving Islamic culture," "calling people to the oneness of God" and asking them to "support the beloved Sheik Abdullah Faisal, who's preaching the religion of Islam and serving as a spiritual guide.

He told WND his site's main goal is to establish worldwide Islamic dominance. He runs the site from his home in Queens, N.Y., and even advertises his personal phone number.

Faisal, the website's spiritual adviser, was convicted in the UK in 2003 for urging his followers to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners. In videotaped recordings, Faisal was taped delivering sermons calling on Muslims to use chemical weapons to "exterminate unbelievers" and "cut the throat of the Kaffars (nonbelievers) with (a) machete." previously reported Faisal's sermons may have influenced "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who attended mosques where Faisal preached.

Khattab's website is no stranger to controversy. In the past it featured a video praising al-Qaida's beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl under the banner "Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead Smiley," and a puppet show making light of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
10016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: February 05, 2009, 10:54:54 PM
**Choice! No excess in the pursuit of "womens' health" can be criticized, right?**

02/05/09 02:15 PM
Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion

Associated Press Writer
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips.

"I don't care what your politics are, what your morals are, this should not be happening in our community," said Tom Pennekamp, a Miami attorney representing Williams in her lawsuit against Renelique (ren-uh-LEEK') and the clinic owners.

The state Board of Medicine is to hear Renelique's case in Tampa on Friday and determine whether to strip his license. The state attorney's homicide division is investigating, though no charges have been filed. Terry Chavez, a spokeswoman with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, said this week that prosecutors were nearing a decision.

Renelique's attorney, Joseph Harrison, called the allegations at best "misguided and incomplete" in an e-mail to The Associated Press. He didn't provide details.

The case has riled the anti-abortion community, which contends the clinic's actions constitute murder.

"The baby was just treated as a piece of garbage," said Tom Brejcha, president of The Thomas More Society, a law firm that is also representing Williams. "People all over the country are just aghast."

Even those who support abortion rights are concerned about the allegations.

"It really disturbed me," said Joanne Sterner, president of the Broward County chapter of the National Organization for Women, after reviewing the administrative complaint against Renelique. "I know that there are clinics out there like this. And I hope that we can keep (women) from going to these types of clinics."

According to state records, Renelique received his medical training at the State University of Haiti. In 1991, he completed a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Interfaith Medical Center in New York.

New York records show that Renelique has made at least five medical malpractice payments in the past decade, the circumstances of which were not detailed in the filings.

Several attempts to reach Renelique were unsuccessful. Some of his office numbers were disconnected, no home number could be found and he did not return messages left with his attorney.

Williams struggled with the decision to have an abortion, Pennekamp said. She declined an interview request made through him.

She concluded she didn't have the resources or maturity to raise a child, he said, and went to the Miramar Women's Center on July 17, 2006. Sonograms indicated she was 23 weeks pregnant, according to the Department of Health. She met Renelique at a second clinic two days later.

Renelique gave Williams laminaria, a drug that dilates the cervix, and prescribed three other medications, according to the administrative complaint filed by the Health Department. She was told to go to yet another clinic, A Gyn Diagnostic Center in Hialeah, where the procedure would be performed the next day, on July 20, 2006.

Williams arrived in the morning and was given more medication.

The Department of Health account continues as follows: Just before noon she began to feel ill. The clinic contacted Renelique. Two hours later, he still hadn't shown up. Williams went into labor and delivered the baby.

"She came face to face with a human being," Pennekamp said. "And that changed everything."

The complaint says one of the clinic owners, Belkis Gonzalez came in and cut the umbilical cord with scissors, then placed the baby in a plastic bag, and the bag in a trash can.

Williams' lawsuit offers a cruder account: She says Gonzalez knocked the baby off the recliner chair where she had given birth, onto the floor. The baby's umbilical cord was not clamped, allowing her to bleed out. Gonzalez scooped the baby, placenta and afterbirth into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

No working telephone number could be found for Gonzalez, and an attorney who has represented the clinic in the past did not return a message.

At 23 weeks, an otherwise healthy fetus would have a slim but legitimate chance of survival. Quadruplets born at 23 weeks last year at The Nebraska Medical Center survived.

An autopsy determined Williams' baby - she named her Shanice - had filled her lungs with air, meaning she had been born alive, according to the Department of Health. The cause of death was listed as extreme prematurity.

The Department of Health believes Renelique committed malpractice by failing to ensure that licensed personnel would be present when Williams was there, among other missteps.

The department wants the Board of Medicine, a separate agency, to permanently revoke Renelique's license, among other penalties. His license is currently restricted, permitting him to only perform abortions when another licensed physician is present and can review his medical records.

Should prosecutors file murder charges, they'd have to prove the baby was born alive, said Robert Batey, a professor of criminal law at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. The defense might contend that the child would have died anyway, but most courts would not allow that argument, he said.

"Hastening the death of an individual who is terminally ill is still considered causing the death of that individual," Batey said. "And I think a court would rule similarly in this type of case."


Find this article at:
10017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 05, 2009, 10:31:40 PM
Until/unless Pakistan's malevolent interference in Afghanistan is ended, there is no hope for progress.

Fundamentally, there are massive issues facing Afghanistan, including it being a mishmash of tribes, languages and islamic theology as well as caught in the tug of war between global powers.

There are no quick and easy answers for it's problems and in the best possible case, it won't be a Jeffersonian nation in decades.

My suggested strategy that applies here and the rest of the world in fighting the global jihad consists of several principles:

1. This is a war of generations. We need to forget the short term American mindset of 24 hr. media cycles and fiscal years and 2-4 year elections. Our enemies plan in decades and centuries. We need to do the same.

Note: I have seen al qaeda documents captured in Afghanistan that shows their 100 year plan to re-establish the global caliphate and crush the western world. I doubt that the pentagon has a similar plan plotting the survival of the west.

2. The Marines have a slogan "No better friend, no worse enemy,". This needs to be hammered into the US State Department as their ethos. Post WWII, they've tended to push US foreign policy into the reverse. Transforming less than optimal allies into better countries takes time. Abandoning allies to revolutionary movements only makes things worse for the people in the country and often the world as well. As bad as the Shah might have been, Iran is not better off now by Carter allowing him to fall from power.

3. This is a global struggle. There is no Iraq war, no Afghan war, no Gaza war. They are different theatres of the same war, just as Normandy and Iwo Jima were small segments of a global war. I see no one from either political party that seems to grasp this reality, or at least willing to say such things publically. This needs to be recognized by the public. Our current president's pandering and groveling only earns contempt from our enemies and shows them to be a "strong horse".
10018  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: February 05, 2009, 08:49:04 AM
Does a 5 inch knife have more "stopping power" than a 4.5 inch knife?
10019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 05, 2009, 08:40:36 AM
Stupid should hurt. I doubt very much that it's possible to make a viable case against Phelps if the bong photo is all they have.
10020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brave Sir Robin-Obama on: February 04, 2009, 09:27:49 PM

Run away-run away!
10021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:32:39 PM
Per Wikipedia:

Prior to joining ABC News, he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later became Clinton's communications director.
10022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Corruption, this week with George Stephanopoulos on: February 04, 2009, 05:38:07 PM

February 04, 2009   CONTACT: COLLEEN O’BOYLE or TIM SCHEIDERER AT 703.683.5004
Bozell to ABC President: You Must Publicly Address Stephanopoulos' Apparent Conflict of Interest
Open Letter Demands Public Resolution to Daily Strategy Calls


Alexandria, VA – Media Research Center (MRC) President L. Brent Bozell, III has written a letter to ABC News President David Westin calling on him to publicly address and resolve what appears to be a clear violation of journalistic ethics by ABC’s Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Last week a Politico story broke the news that Stephanopoulos has participated in daily phone strategy sessions with now White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel throughout his tenure at ABC.

Mr. Bozell on Thursday issued a statement demanding an explanation, and calling for Stephanopoulos to recuse himself from reporting on an Obama Administration whose plans and messaging he spends every morning helping to craft. Stephanopoulos has remained silent.

Bozell has now brought the matter directly to Westin, calling on him to either provide evidence that the Politico story is false, or admit and resolve what clearly would be a major violation of journalistic ethics.

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x. 122) at (703) 683-5004.
10023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: February 04, 2009, 04:21:12 PM;_ylt=Aqam7ISLSp4n4wroVv2b2d8UewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTB1MjgxN2UzBHBvcwMxNARzZWMDdG9vbHMtdG9wBHNsawNwcmludA--

11 former Gitmo inmates on Saudi wanted list

By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 27 mins ago

CAIRO – Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that 11 men released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay are now on the kingdom's most-wanted list despite having attended its touted extremist rehabilitation program.
President Barack Obama has signed an executive order closing the detention center at the naval base in Cuba, leaving countries scrambling over what to do with released detainees.
Saudi Arabia and terror experts defended the program for terror suspects, saying it is largely effective. The Pentagon has said it's unlikely to change its policy on prisoner transfers to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and home to 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, has pursued an aggressive campaign against militants but also sought to rehabilitate those it believes can abandon their violent extremist beliefs and reintegrate into society.
These rehab programs — and the kingdom's assurances that they are effective — have been a major reason why most of the Saudis have been released from Guantanamo. Only 13 of the 133 Saudis detained there remain, said Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman, Gen. Mansour al-Turki.
"Besides the 11 people (on the wanted list) who came from Guantanamo, there are still 106 people who have gone through this rehabilitation program and are doing OK," al-Turki told the Associated Press by phone. Three others committed suicide in Guantanamo.
The 11 were on a list of 83 Saudis and two Yemenis wanted for their connections to al-Qaida issued Monday by the Saudi government. The government knows where the rest of the 106 former detainees are.
Among the 11 were two Saudis who have emerged as the new leaders of Yemen's branch of al-Qaida. The two appeared in a militant video last month calling for attacks against Arab governments and Western interests.
"Imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for, and were imprisoned for," Said Ali al-Shihri said during the video. Al-Shihri was jailed for six years in Guantanamo after his capture in Pakistan, and said he resurfaced as the branch's leader after completing the Saudi rehab program.
The Saudi rehab program placed former Guantanamo detainees in secure compounds with facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Imams gave them lessons on moderate Islam, and they met with psychologists and sociologists.
Georgetown University terror expert Bruce Hoffman stressed that the vast majority of those going through the program have not rejoined extremist groups.
"I think it would be a mistake to view the program as a failure. Instead of looking at the 11, concentrate on the (others) who have not gone back to terror. ... I think the success has been remarkable," he said.
The Pentagon also has said it is unlikely to stop prisoner transfers to Saudi Arabia. After the video of al-Shihri was released on extremist Web sites in January, Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon said the U.S. sees the Saudi rehab program as admirable.
"The best you can do is work with partner nations in the international community to ensure that they take the steps to mitigate the threat ex-detainees pose," Gordon said.
But Obama's Jan. 21 decision to close Guantanamo within a year has unleashed a debate in the U.S. about what to do with the remaining 245 inmates, some of whom are considered very dangerous. On Wednesday, the European Parliament said EU countries should help the administration accept Guantanamo inmates.
Obama's announcement came about a week after the Pentagon issued a report saying that increasing numbers of those released have rejoined militant organizations and carried out attacks. Figures from December indicated that 61 of the former detainees have rejoined militant movements, up from 37 in March, it said, without detailing the nationalities of the 61.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has cautioned against closing Guantanamo, claiming the remaining inmates are "hard-core."
"If you release the hard-core al-Qaida terrorists that are held at Guantanamo, I think they go back into the business of trying to kill more Americans and mount further mass-casualty attacks," he told the online political magazine Politico in an interview published Wednesday. "If you turn 'em loose and they go kill more Americans, who's responsible for that?"
But al-Turki, the Saudi spokesman, stands by his country's rehab efforts, which hundreds of Saudis have passed through. He said the families of the 11 on the most-wanted list were the ones who alerted the government that the former Guantanamo detainees had disappeared.
"The program is meant to show society and the community and the families of these people that we are doing everything possible as a government to give these people all the chances they need," he said.
Khaled al-Maeena, the editor of the English-language Saudi daily newspaper Arab News, said community involvement is the strength of the Saudi program.
"There is no use putting them in jail and creating more hatred. Once you put them in society they are under, in essence, your watch. You know what they do," he said.'
10024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 04, 2009, 04:04:42 PM
Unrestricted Warfare.
10025  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Long Gun for self-protection on: February 04, 2009, 04:00:17 PM
I like ghost rings too. I like side saddles and don't find them to make the shotgun more difficult to use. I think lights are a must have. Yes, using a shotgun for hostage rescue scenarios is....far from optimal, but the training exercise is useful.

Understanding the patterning of your shotgun/ammo is something every defensive shotgunner should know.

10026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 03:53:00 PM
THC is fat soluble and can be detected weeks after a single use in the user's system

Depends on the user and depends on the system.

**Ok, do you know of someone who totally metabolizes THC in the same way most people can metabolize alcohol?**

I just don't buy the all-encompassing, reefer madness, rabid, stupid stoners stereotype that has been perpetuated for so many years.

**Reefer madness. No. Stupid stoner. You think there is nothing to the stereotype?**

And I think it gets people bent when someone like Phelps who has performed at an extremely high level (no pun intended) turns out to be a pot smoker.

**Yeah, because there is never any news about high level athletes using drugs.......  rolleyes
10027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thank god we have smart people running things now! on: February 04, 2009, 10:28:08 AM

Wow, the economy is worse than I thought!
10028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:39:37 AM
Would you want a Dr that smokes weed to perform it? Airline pilot ? Any other person in a position of responsibility?

How would you know if they were or were not marijuana users? And please don't respond with "drug testing" because we all know how well that works... rolleyes

I'm going to guess many pot smokers are like many drinkers. They find a time and place for it. Many people who drink alcohol do it responsibly, why would that be different for marijuana users? Bad drunk exist, so do bad pot smokers. I would no more make a blanket statement about enjoyers of alcohol than enjoyers of marijuana.

To each his own...

** A key difference is the nature of alcohol vs. the nature of THC. Alcohol is water soluble and quicky metabolized. I don't want a surgeon that is working on a major hangover from the night before, but a surgeon that had two or three glasses with dinner the night before is fine. THC is fat soluble and can be detected weeks after a single use in the user's system, raising legitimate concerns about a longer term degree of impairment related to it's use.

You might be surprised at the things I detect in people that aren't obvious to the average person.**
10029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:33:05 AM
I think i've proven that I absolutely cannot be enlightened....  ; )
10030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 10:00:28 PM

Feb 2, 15:42
Understanding the Islamist Agenda and Negotiations

There are many good reasons for wanting to talk directly to one’s enemies, particularly states that pose a direct threat to one’s security. The Obama administration, facing a host of domestic problems and inheriting the ineffective policies of the previous administration in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, has incentives to want to get the Iran issue contained, at a minimum.

The same can be said for the Afghanistan crisis, which is lurching from bad to worse. The Taliban, flush with opium money, is making inroads while the corrupt and ineffective government fiddles, and Kabul is close to burning.

But one has to be clear that the other side wants some sort of serious back and forth. This is what is missing in both cases.

One must start from a recognition of what it is Iran wants: the abolition of Israel, the unimpeded sponsorship of armed non-state actors (Hezbollah and Hamas, with the dalliance with al Qaeda when convenient), and imposition of a global theocracy. None of these issues is negotiable.

From this Wall Street Journal piece, it is quite clear that Iran sees nothing to be gained by talks, and much to be gained by trying to humiliate the incoming administration. Perhaps they are simply recognizing the reality that their basic goals leave little room for substantive negotiations.

It seems to me that Fareed Zakaria makes serious mistake in his assessment of Afghanistan policy in calling for talks with the Taliban.

This is largely for the same reason: the lack of a understanding of what the Taliban want and what they are.

Like the Iranians (yes, the Taliban is Sunni and wahhabist, and yes the Iranians are Shi’ite and they have much disdain for each other on many issues) the Taliban has as its bottom line the establishment of a global Islamist caliphate that starts in Afghanistan and from there, the world.

The differences with al Qaeda are cultural clashes and discomfort with the way the Arab forces treat the Taliban, but not over fundamental beliefs, tactics or strategy. A world under Sharia law, as understood by both groups, is a divine mandate and therefore not negotiable.

Zakaria writes that:

The United States is properly and unalterably
opposed to al-Qaeda. We have significant differences with the Taliban on many issues—democracy and the treatment of women being the most serious. But we do not wage war on other Islamist groups with which we similarly disagree (the Saudi monarchy, for example). Were elements of the Taliban to abandon al-Qaeda, we would not have a pressing national security interest in waging war against them.

That is simply not true. As he notes later, al Qaeda (the old guard, perhaps less relevant than ever) is essentially a parasite, living off host groups and nations. But in the case of the Taliban, the host has welcomed the parasite, fed it, clothed it, protected it and embraced it.

The idea that the Taliban would, in a verifiable way, renounce and cut ties to al Qaeda, is simply not realistic. The idea that we should stand by and deal with-and likely assure the ascent to power of-a group whose basic philosophy is to return everything they can back to the Middle Ages is an abandonment of everything we claim to stand for. The fact that we tolerate Saudi Arabia’s abysmal behavior is no reason to watch another country fall under the worst kind of enslavement and barbarism.

Finally, the line about having no pressing national security interest in the Taliban repeats exactly the misguided analysis that led the Taliban to facilitate the execution of the 9/11 attacks. Every major attack (1998 East Africa bombings, USS Cole, 9/11) were carried out by non-state actors (al Qaeda) operating from a “failed” state or sympathetic state (Taliban and Sudan).

Dialogue is a useful, vital tool in international relations. But it is only useful when the bottom lines of both sides are understood and the areas of overlap can be discussed. Otherwise, it is a waste of precious time and resources.
10031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 09:43:46 PM
Sounds like a zen koan.

If someone you loved needed neurosurgery, would you want a Dr that smokes weed to perform it? Airline pilot ? Any other person in a position of responsibility?
10032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslim (Pak? Arab? or?) mob set Brit police fleeing on: February 03, 2009, 08:16:32 PM

Just a quick glimpse into europe's future.
10033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 07:50:25 PM
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Tom Daschle Withdraws: Another Ethics Casualty for Obama
Posted By Jennifer Rubin On February 3, 2009 @ 10:53 am In . Feature 01, Money, Politics, US News | 73 Comments

How quickly they fall. Tom Daschle, who just yesterday had the full backing of President Barack Obama, has announced he is withdrawing his name from consideration as Health and Human Services secretary. For both Daschle and Obama, it has been a rough ride, calling into question the latter’s judgment and skill as a chief executive.

President Barack Obama rode into Washington on a veritable cloud of goodwill and sky-high expectations. The mainstream media had swooned over his transition with some justification. They had swooned over his inaugural speech with far less. But hopes, even among conservatives, were high for a break from business as usual, a degree of bipartisan pragmatism and a can-do approach to solving the nation’s economic problems. But in a mere two weeks, the thrill is gone and nagging questions have begun.

Most glaringly, we have been treated to a raft of embarrassing personnel issues. Tim Geithner made it through the confirmation hearing but Bill Richardson did not; nor did the “[1] chief performance officer” who could not perform the task of paying all her own taxes. Then Tom Daschle, who just yesterday garnered the support of President Obama and Democrats in the Senate, has now announced he is backing out. This followed a storm of criticism from not just conservatives who are aghast at the tax cheats and revolving-door-ism. [2] Marie Cocco summed up:

No need to fumble for words that sum up the stew of hypocrisy, arrogance, and insiderism that is the unfolding saga of Tom Daschle. This is the audacity of audacity. … The rationale for confirming Geithner was that he is a financial wizard — one of a handful of people, it was argued, with the experience and intellect necessary to manage the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression. But surely there is more than one Democrat capable of managing the Department of Health and Human Services. And undoubtedly there is more than one — there are perhaps, hundreds — as committed to the cause of revamping the health care system. Daschle isn’t indispensable. But he is indefensible.

And [3] Richard Cohen was no less critical:

Taken individually, the tax problems of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the health and human services secretary-designate, Tom Daschle, don’t amount to much. Together, though, they amount to a message: If you are beloved by this administration, you don’t necessarily have to play by the rules. Both Geithner and Daschle are good men, but their appointments send the message that Washington’s new broom sweeps a bit like the old one.

The Daschle debacle is not the only problem bedeviling the Obama team. This follows a slew of ethics waivers which has made the so-called ethics rules (prohibiting ex-lobbyists from working on issues for which they previously lobbied) into Swiss cheese. The [4] good-government types are fuming. And even the MSM has noticed the pattern, which includes an ethics waiver for William Lynn, a former lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon who has been nominated for the Pentagon’s number two job.

[5] TIME magazine explains:

But the controversy over the waivers, which have been criticized by both Democratic and Republican senators, is just one of the perception problems dogging Obama’s new ethics policy. Another issue stems from the people nominated to the administration who have worked in the lobbying business but are not technically lobbyists — people, in other words, like Tom Daschle, or former Senator George Mitchell, the new Middle East peace envoy who had previously served as the chairman of a law firm that has done lobbying and legal work for many clients in the region, including the leader of Dubai.

In short, we are back to the very same Washington, D.C., brew of sleaze, double standards, ethical lapses, and hypocrisy. That it comes from an administration which ran on such a sanctimonious platform only makes it that much more disappointing and indeed infuriating.

But that’s not all. Aside from the ethics issues, the number one priority, the Obama stimulus plan, has run aground. The administration’s stimulus bill has become the subject of widespread criticism from [6] conservatives and [7] mainstream outlets alike for its porked-up spending plans and insufficient attention to fulfill the president’s directives for a temporary and targeted response to the recession. What was supposed to garner bipartisan support has instead invigorated the Republican opposition. As ABC’s [8] The Note summed up: “Team Obama lost the early battle to define the bill — which has become a pork-stuffed monstrosity, instead of economic salvation wrapped in legislation.”

On foreign policy the record is more mixed. The president’s declaration that he will close Guantanamo, as soon as he has figured out what to do with the prisoners, brought conservative criticism and has proven to be [9] unpopular with voters who, come to think of it, don’t like the idea of moving dangerous terrorists to their neighborhoods or releasing them to the battlefield. And liberals are miffed that the Bush-era terrorist [10] rendition program has been retained or indeed expanded. President Obama’s apologetic interview with Al-Arabyia was panned by conservatives and lauded by liberals (but, tellingly, was not echoed by his new secretary of state and was greeted with contempt by Ahmadinejad.)

It is fair to ask: what’s wrong? Several things, it appears, are at work here.

First, the Obama team certainly does not place ethical standards or the appearance of ethical standards above other concerns (e.g., avoiding embarrassment or getting a key player). Now this should come as no surprise from the team which promised to work within the public campaign financing rules and then decided it was better not to. In the course of the campaign, however, against the dreaded Republicans this passed muster. In the glare of the White House press corps lights when expectations are higher, it induces biting criticism and even anger.

Second, Obama has never been an expert legislator and has, it seems, lost control of his own stimulus bill. By deferring to the House Democrats he lost the policy and political high ground. Now an astounding [11] 54% of Americans either want a major reworking of the bill or to block it entirely. The president and his advisors seem to have mistaken his own personal popularity with both the public’s and the Republicans’ willingness to accept anything he and the Democrats could dream up.

And finally, the Republicans have played their cards well on the stimulus — speaking in respectful tones about the president, displaying heretofore unheard of unity, and hammering at the excessive and unwise aspects of the stimulus bill. By holding their ground, they have forced Obama into a tight corner. He must now either revise the bill or pass it on his own. And by standing on principle, they have denied the president the chance to do what he has done successfully throughout his career; namely, to claim the mantle of bipartisanship while advocating a far-left agenda.

Now, President Obama’s approval numbers are still high, but they are [12] floating steadily back to earth. This is the messy business of governing — when rhetoric comes up against reality and the sky-high expectations of supporters are ratcheted down, bit by bit.

It was never realistic to expect President Obama would reinvent politics, but it would have been nice had he not sacrificed his principles quite so quickly. It has not earned him any brownie points. Instead, conservatives are revived, liberals are dismayed, and the general public is left wondering: Didn’t we vote for something better than this?

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[1] chief performance officer:
[2] Marie Cocco:
[3] Richard Cohen:
[4] good-government types:
[5] TIME magazine:,8599,1876550,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
[6] conservatives:
[7] mainstream:
[8] The Note:
[9] unpopular:
[10] rendition program:
[11] 54%:
[12] floating steadily back:
10034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: February 03, 2009, 07:34:21 PM
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Hiding the Truth About the Pay Gap Between Men and Women
Posted By Michael J. Eastman On February 3, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 01, . Positioning, History, Legal, Money, Politics, US News | 27 Comments

The debate over pay equity is front and center on the Congressional agenda. The first bill signed into law by President Obama, the Lilly Ledbetter [1] Fair Pay Act, overturns a U.S. Supreme Court decision and vastly expands the opportunity to file pay and other discrimination cases. Another bill, the [2] Paycheck Fairness Act, has already passed the House of Representatives and is likely to be considered by the Senate in the spring.

Paying someone less because of their sex is illegal and two federal laws, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provide the framework whereby victims of pay discrimination can seek redress. However, some argue that these two laws are not effective at eradicating pay discrimination and that the laws must be changed. Central to their argument is the so-called “pay gap,” the difference between the average earnings of men and women.

In debate over the Paycheck Fairness Act, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said that today women earn “78 cents for ever dollar that is earned by a man doing the same job with the same responsibilities.” Miller then went on to say “if we are serious about closing the gender pay gap, we must get serious about punishing those who would otherwise scoff at the weak sanctions under current law.” President Obama expressed similar sentiment as he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.

To close the wage gap, Miller and his colleagues support punishing violators of the Equal Pay Act with unlimited punitive and compensatory damages. They also seek to make it harder for employers to justify legitimate pay differences, make it easier for trial lawyers to create large class actions lawsuits, and effectively eliminate the statute of limitations for many types of claims, among other things.

The argument that the pay gap must be closed rests on the assumption that the pay gap is largely attributable to employer discrimination. However, if the pay gap is to be used to justify such significant changes in the law, it seems entirely appropriate to examine the pay gap itself. Does it really measure employer discrimination? Do other factors play a greater or lesser role?

Economists who have studied the pay gap have observed that numerous factors other than discrimination contribute to the wage gap, such as hours worked, experience, and education. For example, Professor June O’Neil has written extensively about how time out of the workforce, or years spent working part-time, can reduce future pay. Likewise, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, in her book Women’s Figures, has written about the decisions that women are more likely to make to choose flexibility, a friendly workplace environment, and other nonmonetary factors as compared to men.

Recognizing the importance of unbiased research on the pay gap, the Labor Department recently contracted with [3] CONSAD Research Corporation for a review of more than 50 existing studies as well as a new economic and statistical analysis of the pay gap. CONSAD’s Report, which was finalized on January 12, 2009, found that the vast majority of the pay gap is due to several identifiable factors and that the remainder may be due to other specific factors they were not able to measure.

CONSAD found that controlling for career interruption and other factors reduced the pay gap from about 20 percent to about 5 percent. Data limitations prevented it from considering many other factors. For example, the data did not permit an examination of total compensation, which would examine health insurance and other benefits, and instead focused solely on wages paid. The data were also limited with respect to work experience, job tenure, and other factors.

The Labor Department’s conclusion was that the gender pay gap was the result of a multitude of factors and that the “raw wage gap should not be used as the basis for [legislative] correction. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

The Labor Department’s new report is clearly an important contribution to the debate over pay equity. But where is it? Although it was posted on the Labor Department’s web site just days after it was finalized, it was apparently removed as the transition in power was occurring between former President Bush and President Obama. We don’t know why the report was taken down, but certainly the timing is suspicious.

If the debate over pay equity is to be at the forefront of the Congressional agenda, then the Labor Department and the new administration need to acknowledge that the overwhelming evidence is that the pay gap is not based primarily on employer discrimination. Disclosure of the Labor Department’s report would be a good first step.

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10035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:35:36 PM
Then there was they guy with weed in his socks. When we find the weed, he looks us in the eye and says "Those aren't my socks".
10036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:23:24 PM
Multiple times I have contacted people and busted them because they had weed and/or drug paraphenalia in plain view. So stoned/stupid that that forgot they left it sitting out on their dashboard/console/ashtray.
10037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:00:34 PM

Much more common than gold metal winners or Columbia laws school grads, in my personal experience.
10038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 05:09:04 PM
Show me one high performing pot smoker and i'll show you 10,000 middle aged losers living with their parents. Yes?
10039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 05:02:58 PM

No worries! Nothing a few "talks without preconditions" can't fix.....
10040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 04:53:03 PM
**Remember all the outraged feminists? Oh wait, they were too busy calling Sarah Palin a c*nt.**

Obama only talks good game on gender pay equity
Submitted by SHNS on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 15:17.
By DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard News Service
editorials and opinion
"Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work," Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said August 28 in his convention acceptance speech. He told the crowd in Denver: "I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons."

Obama's campaign website is even more specific. Under the heading "Fighting for Pay Equity," the women's issues page laments that, "Despite decades of progress, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. A recent study estimates it will take another 47 years for women to close the wage gap with men at Fortune 500 corporate offices. Barack Obama believes the government needs to take steps to better enforce the Equal Pay Act..."

Obama's commitment to federally mandated pay equity stretches from the Rockies to Wall Street and beyond. And yet it seems to have eluded his United States Senate office. Compensation figures for his legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.

A watchdog group called LegiStorm posts online the salaries for Capitol Hill staffers. "We have no political affiliations and no political purpose except to make the workings of Congress as transparent as possible," its website explains. Parsing LegiStorm's official data, gleaned from the Secretary of the Senate, offers a fascinating glimpse at pay equity in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.

The most recent statistics are for the half-year from October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, excluding interns and focusing on full-time personnel. For someone who worked only until, say, last February 29, extrapolating up to six months' service simplifies this analysis. Doubling these half-year figures illustrates how a year's worth of Senate employees' paychecks should look.

Based on these calculations, Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.

Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

Why this disparity? One reason may be the under-representation of women in Obama's highest-compensated ranks. Among Obama's five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.

Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make. This figure certainly exceeds the 77-cent threshold that Obama's campaign website condemns. However, 83 cents do not equal $1.00. In spite of this 17-cent gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality, he chose to chide GOP presidential contender John McCain on this issue.

Obama responded August 31 to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's Republican vice-presidential nomination. Palin "seems like a very engaging person," Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio. "But I've got to say, she's opposed -- like John McCain is -- to equal pay for equal work. That doesn't make much sense to me."

Obama's criticism notwithstanding, McCain's payment patterns are the stuff of feminist dreams.

McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.

On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.

How could this be?

One explanation could be that women compose a majority of McCain's highest-paid aides. Among his top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women. The Republican presidential nominee relies on women -- much more than men -- for advice at the highest, and thus, best-paid levels.

If anyone on McCain's Senate staff is unhappy, McCain's male staffers might complain that they seem to get a slightly raw deal.

In short, these statistics suggest that John McCain is more than fair with his female employees, while Barack Obama -- at the expense of the women who work for him -- quietly perpetuates the very same pay-equity divide that he loudly denounces. Of all people, the Democratic standard bearer should understand that equal pay begins at home.

(Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock(at)
10041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: February 03, 2009, 04:45:40 PM
Obama will piss this away. It's an article of faith on the left that Iraq must be a failure. Obama was elected to ensure this.
10042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 04:35:33 PM
GM; I get your point, but you are speaking to the choir.  I never have been a fan of NOW.  I prefer to ignore them
although sometimes they are so loud it is hard to do.

In general, though, I don't think it is a left or right issue; democrat or republican; Democratic Hart as well as Republicans have been driven from office
for their peccadilloes. 

**The difference is the double standards. When dems cross the lines, the MSM actively covers up/minimalizes the acts, and in Clinton's case most feminists put power politics over their supposed values.**

As for Clinton, whether he committed these alleged acts or not I don't know nor did I pay much attention.

**He did.**
As for the intern, that was a matter of trust and it bothered me deeply.  Her parent's trusted him to educated and protect her;
it is an honor to be an intern in the White House; instead her job duties seemed to include everything but actual "sex".   huh
I take the same attitude towards teachers that have sex with their students.  Or employers.  It's wrong.  Also, I don't respect a few local
policemen I know of who stop women on some pretense and then ask them out.  It is an abuse of authority and trust.

But I doubt if all this has much to do with The Cognitive Dissonance of his Glibness except that history has and will repeat itself; but it
is not a republican or democratic, left or right issue.  It's just wrong if you are in a position of authority and trust.

But the Ledbetter case was about equal pay for equal work for the same job.  I happen to think that is the right thing to do
whether you are republican or democrat.

**The Ledbetter law won't be about right or wrong, but about litigators shaking down businesses and the costs getting passed on to consumers.**

10043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 03:34:50 AM

Lowering the bar
Clinton and Women

President Clinton’s sordid entanglements with Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and now Monica Lewinsky have drawn barely a squeak of protest from the powerful writers, lawyers, activists, politicians, and academics who call themselves feminists. As they struggle with fresh allegations from Kathleen Willey, the author reveals some ugly truths about the women’s movement and the commander in chief.
by Marjorie Williams May 1998

Okay, class, let’s review: The man in question has been sued for sexual harassment over an episode that allegedly included dropping his trousers to waggle his erect penis at a woman who held a $6.35-an-hour clerical job in the state government over which he presided. Another woman has charged that when she asked him for a job he invited her into his private office, fondled her breasts, and placed her hand on his crotch. A third woman confided to friends that when she was a 21-year-old intern she began an affair with the man—much older, married, and the head of the organization whose lowliest employee she was. Actually, it was less an affair than a service contract, in which she allegedly dashed into his office, when summoned, to perform oral sex on him. After their liaison was revealed, he denied everything, leaving her to be portrayed as a tramp and a liar. Or, in his own words, “that woman.”
Let us not even mention the former lover who was steered to a state job; or the law-enforcement officers who say the man used them to solicit sexual partners for him; or his routine use of staff members, lawyers, and private investigators to tar the reputation of any woman who tries to call him to account for his actions.
Can you find the problems with his behavior? Take your time: these problems are apparently of an order so subtle as to escape the notice of many of the smartest women in America—the writers, lawyers, activists, officeholders, and academics who call themselves feminists.
When news broke that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was investigating whether President Clinton had lied under oath about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, or encouraged others to lie, the cacophony that ensued was notable for the absence of one set of voices: the sisterly chorus that backed up Anita Hill seven years ago when her charges of sexual harassment nearly stopped Clarence Thomas’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
With very few exceptions, feminists were either silent or dismissive this time. “If anything, it sounds like she put the moves on him,” said Susan Faludi, author of Backlash. Betty Friedan weighed in, but only to huff her outrage that Clinton’s “enemies are attempting to bring him down through allegations about some dalliance with an intern…. Whether it’s a fantasy, a set-up or true, I simply don’t care.”
It was not until former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey appeared on 60 Minutes in mid-March to make public the allegation she had formerly made in a deposition—that Clinton had manhandled her during a private meeting in which she sought a paying job—that some feminists began to make reluctant noises of dismay. The National Organization for Women (NOW), which until then had found itself “unable to comment responsibly,” averred that “Kathleen Willey’s sworn testimony moves the question from whether the president is a ‘womanizer’ to whether he is a sexual predator.”
But NOW’s change of heart was by no means typical of feminist activists. Many others hung tough. Anita Perez Ferguson, president of the National Women’s Political Caucus—the premier group promoting female participation in American politics—described Willey’s charges as “quantity rather than quality, in terms of my feelings.” She continued, “There’s no question that it’s disturbing…. But to come to any judgment now is definitely not something that I think is timely.”
With the exception of a few Republicans, women in Congress—including several swept to power by female outrage over the Senate’s treatment of Anita Hill—have shown an equal agility of mind. Their excuses range from the procedural stonewall (“What is important for the American people to know is that there is a process in place to deal with these allegations,” in the words of Senator Barbara Boxer) to the creative inversion (What about Ken Starr’s “humiliation” of the women he dragged before the grand jury?, fumed Representative Nancy Pelosi) to the truly fanciful twist on gender politics (“Not so many years ago, a woman couldn’t be a White House intern,” said a straight-faced Senator Carol Moseley-Braun on Meet the Press).
My own sampling of feminist opinion found women offering an astonishing array of strategies for avoiding the elephant in the living room:
See no evil … “It will be a great pity if the Democratic Party is damaged by this,” the feminist writer Anne Roiphe told me. “That’s been my response from the very beginning—I just wanted to close my eyes, and wished it would go away.”
Hear no evil … “We do not know what happened in the Lewinsky case,” said Kathy Rodgers, executive director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. “The only thing that is clear is that the facts are not clear.”
Speak no evil … “We’re trying to think of the bigger picture, think about what’s best for women,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
If the hypocrisy and the powers of denial are impressive, one must consider that these women have had a lot of practice. Feminists have all along muffled, disguised, excused, and denied the worst aspects of the president’s behavior with women—especially in their reactions to Paula Jones, whose sexual-harassment suit they have greeted with attitudes ranging from tepid boilerplate support to outright hostility.
In the Lewinsky case, it has fallen to their enemies to state the obvious. “The C.E.O. of a corporation wouldn’t have had time to pack up his briefcase before he was fired for this,” says Barbara Ledeen, executive director for policy at the Independent Women’s Forum, the Washington-based group that has achieved a certain cachet for its condemnations of traditional feminism.
“The president should be setting some sort of example in the workplace,” says the outrageous libertarian writer Camille Paglia, who has gained prominence in part for denouncing liberal feminists. “That’s all I’m talking about. In. The. Workplace…. Since when did the president use the interns as a dessert cart? ‘Mmmmm, she looks good!’ When did that become okay?”
The chief reason for feminists’ continued support of Clinton is clear: Clinton is their guy. Clarence Thomas was their enemy. Bob Packwood, a liberal Republican who was the next habitual boor to walk the plank, was a harder case for feminists, but in the end they tied the blindfold. Clinton, though, is the hardest case, because he is the most reliably supportive president they’ve ever had.
But if political opportunism is the main cause of their current blindness, it’s not the only one. And it’s worth examining all the reasons in detail. For you can find in them a road map to everything that ails liberal feminism today: political self-dealing, class bias, and dedication to a bleak vision of sexual “liberation” that has deprived them of what was once the moral force of their beliefs.
Feminists are quick to say that any charges of hypocrisy lodged against them are the work of the anti-Clinton right. “It’s a twofer for them,” says Smeal. “If they can get the president, great. And if they can get feminism, even greater.”
So it seems appropriate to say here that I am a feminist and a registered Democrat. Many of the feminist activists in Washington are women I’ve known for years as sources; I feel an open sympathy for much of the work they do. Yet I also feel something close to fury over their failure to call Clinton to account for his actions. My anger may be bred, in part, by my own past willingness to “put in perspective” Clinton’s questionable behavior with women—enough, at least, to vote for him twice. I can’t defend my own past complicity, but I can say that what follows is not the brief of a practiced Clinton hater.
10044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 02, 2009, 11:54:20 PM
At least the dems that love to raise and spend taxes are very dilligent about paying them, right?
10045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 02, 2009, 11:52:50 PM's-Power-Politics.htm

When violence and harassment against women doesn't matter

Many feminists are very concerned about protecting women from sexual harassment, which they define so broadly as to include a man asking a fellow employee for a date, or two men telling a dirty joke which a woman overhears. These feminists tend to support a legal rule of always believing the alleged victim, even when there is no corroborating evidence. "Women, don't lie" about sexual harassment, they claim.

But most of these same feminists remained silent, or were actively hostile, when Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and other women credibly accused Bill Clinton of rape, assault, and indecent exposure; the accusations were backed by substantial supporting evidence.

During the impeachment case, Stanford University Law Professor Deborah L. Rhode served as Deputy Counsel to the House Judiciary Democrats. She claimed that President Clinton's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky did not matter because it was consensual. But in 1988, regarding allegations of Gary Hart's consensual sexual relationships, Rhode claimed, "Womanizing degrades and objectifies women in general … For positions involving moral leadership, these questions are relevant."

Feminists complained about Paula Jones using a sexual harassment lawsuit to pry into Bill Clinton's consensual sexual activities. Yet this complaint ignored the fact that the very law that allowed Jones's attorneys to question Clinton was a 1994 law that Clinton had signed, a move that they had championed.

Betty Friedan, of the National Organization of Women, fulminated that Clarence Thomas was unfit to serve on the Supreme Court because he had allegedly talked dirty to Anita Hill ten years before. When Paula Jones reported that Bill Clinton had indecently exposed himself and ordered a state employee to perform fellatio on him, Betty Friedan responded blithely, "What's the big deal? She wasn't killed, She wasn't harassed. She wasn't fired."

There were some feminists who refused to defend Clinton, but they were hardly a majority of the most-prominent leaders of the movement. For this majority, it is fair to ask whether the welfare of the victims of rape and other sex crimes is less important than the perpetuation of political power by any means necessary.
10046  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: February 02, 2009, 11:22:40 PM
This is why you've got to be sure of what is going on before you jump into it.
10047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 02, 2009, 02:14:27 PM
**A nice example of the "Do as I say, not as I do left".**

March 27, 2002 4:15 p.m.
The Clinton Record
Let’s roll the videotape.

Enough already.

A while back I promised not to write any more Clinton-bashing columns. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt. (Seriously. It reads: "My President Soiled the Country and All I Got Was this Lousy T-Shirt!") But this is getting ridiculous. In the last month or so there's been an outpouring of revisionism so profound it reminds me of the days when the Soviets would mail replacement pages for the official encyclopedia of the Soviet Union based upon who had fallen in or out of favor during any given week.


Thanks to Frank Rich, David Brock, Joe Klein, Hendrik Hertzberg, and numerous others (including Monica Lewinsky herself), we are now supposed to believe that pretty much all conservative opponents of Bill Clinton were twisted little snitches, hacks, and hypocrites, or, simply, sweaty-palmed pervs while the former president was nobly all-too-human.

Oh wait, that's what they've been saying all along.

The difference now is that conservatives have moved on — just like the liberals begged us to. There's a war on you know? Bill Clinton, no doubt, spends his time in his Harlem office eating bucket after bucket of fried-chicken skins while constantly asking his "secretary" to come in and pick up the pencils he "accidentally" dropped in front of his desk. So, most of us ask, why bother with him?

Anyway, the major problem with the new revisionism is there's very little new to it. To the extent there are any fresh revelations the bulk of them come from David Brock's bitchy new book, which seems to be intellectual Viagra for folks like Frank Rich. In the New York Times Magazine, Rich wallows in Brock's muck in order to denounce how dirty it all is (See Bill Buckley's column on this point.)

The title of Rich's coprophilic essay is "Ding Dong the Cultural Witch Hunt is Dead." Rich's thesis is a common one, which would make sense since he carved out a niche as the Bartles and James of New York liberalism — a mid-market distiller of low-potency conventional wisdom. Denouncing the majority of conservatives as "gargoyles and lunatics," Rich giddily notes "the almost unending hypocrisy of so many of Brock's circle in journalism and politics." Insert usual examples here. He continues later, "For a political movement that wanted to police sexual "lifestyles" and was pathologically obsessed with trying to find evidence that Hillary Clinton was a lesbian, the New Right of the 90's was, in Brock's account, nearly as gay as a soiree in Fire Island Pines."

Without engaging in Rich's and Brock's delight in airing people's dirty laundry in order to denouncing dirty-laundry airing, suffice it to say the problem with this analysis is that it leaves out a lot of history. Indeed, a theater reviewer by training (and a good one), Rich should know that's it's not fair to judge a play if you've only seen the second act.

This may sound juvenile, but they started it. It was the cultural Left which declared that the "personal is political." Indeed, that was a feminist slogan. In the 1980s it was conservatives who argued, in effect, "boys will be boys" and it was the Left who said "not on your life." Liberals disinterred the archaic verb "womanize" in order to lay siege to John Tower. Liberals — agents of the government no less — invaded Robert Bork's private life, investigating his video rentals. Liberals chanted "you just don't get it!" with Maoist fury over the perfidy of Clarence Thomas's alleged joke about a pubic hair and for asking a longtime employee and friend to go out on a date. The whole thing was like Milan Kundera's The Joke — except liberals weren't laughing.

Liberals celebrated the most insane and dangerous ideologues of the Left who told us that "sex is rape" and that all men were horrid, lecherous evil creatures. As a result, liberals — like Hillary Clinton and her nodding husband — created a vast web of rules, laws, and secular customs designed to police the sexual lives of Americans.

And this was all against a backdrop of liberals denouncing conservatives as awful, evil, heartless, greedy, nasty people simply because of the policy positions they took. You like tax cuts and the free market? Oh, well then you're greedy and unfeeling. From homelessness to the Contras, it was the penchant of the Left to equate policy positions with ones spiritual or moral worth. This practice continues today, though perhaps with slightly less intensity.

Anyway, getting back to "sex policing," it was the conservatives — or, more broadly, the Right since libertarians have been consistent on this stuff from the beginning — who fought a losing battle against the Orwellian aims of sexual-harassment laws and the hysteria which created them. National Review, for example, remained consistent on this point before and after Bill Clinton came on the scene, repeatedly noting that while Bill Clinton was a lecherous cretin, the sexual-harassment laws he found himself ensnared in were idiotic.

Considering David Brock's narcissism (show us your nipple again Dave) and Frank Rich's prurience, it's no wonder they don't understand what Brock's role in the culture wars actually was. Brock was popular for no other reason than that he was a sign conservatives were going to start fighting back. Brock describes himself in those days as "a Jew in Hitler's army." As offensive as this is, it's between him and his therapist. But for all of the talk about how he was a "hatchet man," liberals forget that he was one hatchet-wielder against an army. If you want to say that conservatives were the author of this tawdry chapter in American history, that's fine. But, keep in mind that if you do say such things you are revealing the fact that you are either a liar or a fool.

Moving on, I am at a complete and total loss as to how conservatives are the greater hypocrites in this passion play.

First, let's divide up the competing brands and strands of hypocrisy. If I say all people who drink too much beer are reprobates while I continue to go through beer like Bluto in Animal House, that is a kind of hypocrisy to be sure. But, if I pass a law or advocate the passage of a law which bans beer drinking for everybody, while I continue to drink beer, that's a whole other level of hypocrisy. It is one thing to express a fealty to a cultural norm, it is another thing entirely to try to impose that norm by force of law.

Now, let's see. As a general proposition, who was the champion of sexual-harassment laws? Hmm, seems to me it was the party of Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and Chris Dodd. Who celebrated Anita Hill as a martyr in the cause for ever-more draconian sex laws and regulations? Seems to me it was that cadre of humorless feminist lawyers and activists lead by the likes of Hillary Clinton (who has called Anita Hill her hero), Gloria Steinem, Pat Schroeder, et al. Don't tell me I'm wrong, I went to college in a bastion of feminism in the late 1980s and I took notes.

In every measurable sense, it was the cultural Left which dropped a thick tarp of laws and regulations — from speech codes on campuses to mandatory education on how to talk to women in the workplace — over the society. And yet, what happened when Bill Clinton was revealed to be precisely the sort of sub-par person we all knew he was?

Well, golly. Gloria Steinem proposed in the pages of the New York Times a "one free grope rule," whereby male employers were now allowed a free chance to do something worse than anything Clarence Thomas was ever accused of (besides, by the time Bill Clinton had groped Monica, he'd already laid more hands on more women than a guard searching for contraband at a women's prison).

Liberals cheered Katie Roiphe when she wrote, also in the Times, "There is nothing inherently wrong . . . with [Monica Lewinsky's] attempt to translate her personal relationship with the President into professional advancement." Feminist author Jane Smiley, writing in The New Yorker, forgave Clinton because he was simply acting out of a human "desire to make a connection with another person."

Meanwhile, Ken Starr, who was nominally the man in charge of defending these laws liberals put in place, was denounced by liberals across the spectrum because, in the words of Richard Cohen, Clinton was being "mortified, subjected to an Orwellian intrusion by the gumshoes of the state." I don't remember liberals feeling that way when they picked Ken Starr to invade Bob Packwood's privacy and read his diary — an intrusion far worse than anything Clinton went through.

I could go on for hours with this kind of stuff. But here's my favorite. Carol Mosley Braun, recall, was the woman who won her Senate seat by running entirely on the "issue" of Clarence Thomas. Her opponent in 1992 had voted to confirm Thomas, and the media cited Braun's victory as exhibit A of the "feminist backlash." During the Lewinsky scandal, she appeared on Meet the Press to defend the president of the United States playing Baron-and-the-Milkmaid with an intern by sagely noting: "Thirty years ago women weren't even allowed to be White House interns."

And then there's Bill. The revisionists would have us believe that the Independent Counsel's final report on Whitewater, etc., is the final proof that the whole fuss over Bill was a giant waste of time.

It may have been a waste of time, I grant you, but it was not conservatives who wasted it. I will not now — nor have I ever — condoned every tactic and statement of everybody on the Right in the various Clinton battles. But, the fact remains that the Clintons sought out every opportunity to stretch their troubles out. This is a point that even the editors of the New York Times felt obliged to concede last Sunday.

It always struck me as a prime example of the dysfunction-enabling ethos of the liberal establishment; Bill Clinton would not loosen his white-knuckled grip on his deceptions and obfuscations but conservatives were the "obsessed" and "maniacal" ones for not being able to "just let it go."

But don't get me wrong here. I find the legalistic critiques of Bill Clinton to be woefully insufficient. Robert Ray's final "exoneration" is almost meaningless to me because I never thought the case against Bill Clinton should rest on such petty complaints. Oh sure, the charges were serious and relevant. Indeed, I can think of a half-dozen charges that should have warranted impeachment that were never even leveled against him. But the law should be considered the minimum standard for a president's conduct, not the only standard.

Bill Clinton was a shabby and shameless man. The rest is commentary and, frankly, he's not worth the effort to provide any more of it.
10048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 02, 2009, 11:47:21 AM
GM posted: "However, an inconvenient report from last September indicates that candidate Barack Obama paid the women on his staff 78% of the salaries of his male staff members from October 2007 through March 2008."

But the Ledbetter matter addressed the issue of SAME pay for SAME job. Without job descriptions, experience, etc. one cannot
make a comparison.  That's the trouble with numbers... especially in a small sampling. 

By the way; in the same the same blog that you referenced, you "forgot" to finish and post;

**I did not "forget" anything. I posted the entire article from which was at the top of the post.**

NOW President Kim Gandy did not view the pay disparity as a problem.

“It depends on what positions they’re in,” Gandy told “Certain positions are paid more than other positions. I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women’s rights. We don’t advocate people be hired because of their gender. We advocated people be hired and paid without regard to their gender.”

**Shocking! I bet NOW was outraged at the accusations against Clarence Thomas, yet very quiet when a certain president had a exploitative relationship with an intern. Yes?**

10049  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: February 01, 2009, 04:52:03 PM
Under extreme stress, you default to your level of training. If your training is good, you'll do fine.
10050  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights on: February 01, 2009, 04:49:32 PM
Anyone seen "Taken" yet? I just saw it. Worth seeing. My wife said it was good, as it gave her a better insight into me.
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