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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: You can't make this excrement up , , , on: March 27, 2016, 03:05:07 PM

This is the awesomeness of Obama's Smart Power!
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marines trying to scavenge spare parts from a museum on: March 27, 2016, 09:11:29 AM

Got to love the Obama era.

203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: March 26, 2016, 08:42:56 PM
Lots to like. I would pull all US troops out of Europe. No point in trying to protect a suicidal culture.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / When reality strikes Libertarian fantasy on: March 24, 2016, 06:38:52 PM

Not going well.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 24, 2016, 01:35:07 PM
"The war on drugs" is a poor metaphor. Just as the war on crime isn't really a war. Is there an endpoint or just something that has to be done to preserve some semblance of civilization.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Irony of the Obama "Doctrine" on: March 23, 2016, 03:40:26 PM

Incompetence and weakness as doctrine.
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: 8-0 SCOTUS decision on: March 22, 2016, 01:08:39 PM

Nice to see such clear and well reasoned opinions!

The Supreme Court’s Eight Gun Salute
A unanimous rebuke to legal resistance to the right to bear arms.
The Supreme Court building in Washington on Feb. 19. ENLARGE
The Supreme Court building in Washington on Feb. 19. Photo: Associated Press
Updated March 21, 2016 10:36 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court decides many cases unanimously, but not often regarding the Second Amendment. That rare occasion happened Monday when the eight sitting Justices threw out a Massachusetts ruling that the right of individuals to bear arms doesn’t include stun guns.

Jaime Caetano began carrying a stun gun as protection against an abusive ex-boyfriend who remained a threat despite restraining orders (Caetano v. Massachusetts). When officers found her stun gun during a search, she was arrested and convicted for possessing an unlawful weapon. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld her conviction on grounds that stun guns are “not the type of weapon that is eligible for Second Amendment protection” because they weren’t around when the Second Amendment was written.

The Supreme Court’s brief per curiam (unsigned for the court) opinion dismissed that reasoning, as well as the Massachusetts’s court’s argument that stun guns were not meant to be protected because there is “nothing in the record to suggest that [stun guns] are readily adaptable to use in the military.” That’s irrelevant, the Justices noted, because the U.S. High Court’s 2008 Heller precedent explicitly “rejected the proposition ‘that only those weapons useful in warfare are protected.’”

The Caetano ruling, however brief, is an important legal brushback to the many politicians and judges who are still engaging in guerrilla legal resistance to Heller and the follow-up McDonald v. Chicago case that applied Heller to the states. The Massachusetts judges cited Heller, but they willfully misread it to reach the anti-gun rights conclusion they wanted. We’re glad to see even the liberal Justices stand up to that.

In a concurring opinion joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito also put a finer point on the absurdity of the lower court’s position that the Second Amendment protects only guns in common use at the time of the Founders.

“Electronic stun guns are no more exempt from the Second Amendment’s protections, simply because they were unknown to the First Congress, than electronic communications are exempt from the First Amendment, or electronic imaging devices are exempt from the Fourth Amendment,” he wrote. This would have been a stronger message had Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy also joined the concurrence, but at least two Justices made the case in detail.

The timing of Monday’s ruling is notable because Heller and the individual right to bear arms will be major progressive targets if there is a new left-leaning majority on the Supreme Court. Progressives will at the very least try to blow major holes into Heller by narrowing its limits on gun regulation. But for now the ruling is a reminder that Heller is a landmark that needs to be enforced, not resisted.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: March 22, 2016, 01:06:09 PM
Good thing islam is.a.religion of peace. Imagine the bloodshed if it were not.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, Columnist in Communist Cuba? on: March 21, 2016, 04:53:04 PM
A slip up? Or not?

Brian Williams: Wash Post's Eugene Robinson Is a ‘Pulitzer Prize-Winning Communist’

Why did he try to correct himself when he had it right the first time?

"My Muslim faith"

Sormetimes, people accidentally tell the truth.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Grass Impacts Cartel's Cash on: March 20, 2016, 08:00:24 PM
Legalization hit the cartels bottomline, among other things.

Not true. They trade super lab meth and heroin for high grade Colorado weed for domestic distribution. Funny how the legalization advocates keep missing this part of the story.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan on: March 20, 2016, 06:04:13 AM
Apparently he has said he will not support any cuts in Muslim immigration.

Of course not. Government funded anti-radicalization positions are one of the few areas of job growth.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / #FeeltheBreadLine on: March 19, 2016, 11:05:46 AM

Friday, March 11, 2016
Posted by Daniel Greenfield

After Bernie Sanders visited the Marxist Sandanista regime in Nicaragua on a propaganda tour, he argued that the bread lines in major cities were a good thing. “American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing!”

The bread lines had been caused by the radical regime’s socialist agricultural policies of land seizures from farmers. Those farmers who refused to be drawn into Soviet-style communal farms rebelled, along with Indian and Creole racial minorities, and became the core of the Contras, the heroic resistance fighters whose mass murders at the hands of Sandinista terrorists were cheered by American leftists.

What had been productive farmland vanished into a warren of newly invented government agencies run by leftist university graduates with no agricultural background obsessed with seizing land, but with no idea of how to run it. The remaining farmers were forced into grinding poverty by a government purchasing monopoly while the profits went not to their farms, but to the political class of the Sandanistas who lived in luxury while farmers fled and city workers waited on bread lines.

Think of them as the Bernie Bros of Nicaragua. Except they wore khaki fatigues, not pajamas. And instead of angrily tweeting, they marched their victims into churches and set them on fire.

The unfortunates that the Democratic Party’s aspiring top Socialist saw lining up for bread were the victims of a regime that had destroyed the country through socialist thievery. And he learned absolutely nothing from the experience. Just as the Sandinistas had learned nothing from the Soviet Union and Venezuela’s Socialists learned nothing from the Sandinistas so that once again today crowds wait for bread, milk and toilet paper in an oil-rich country that has run out of everything except Socialists.

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants when children are hungry in this country,” Sanders sneered last year.

But it’s the scarcity that the smelly Socialist is shoving at Americans that leads to children going hungry. A choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants means a lot of jobs manufacturing, marketing, stocking and selling them. Those jobs, not Bernie’s self-righteous posturing, allow parents to feed their children.

Children aren’t going hungry in America because we have too many types of deodorant, but because too much of our manufacturing backbone was destroyed by leftist redistributionist policies.

Bernie Sanders’ plan is to double down on failure by adding $15 trillion in taxes. Tax hikes averaging $9,000 would gut the income of American workers and lower household after-tax income by 12 percent. The middle class would lose 8.5% of after-tax income to Bernie Sanders’ insatiable government greed.

This would be the largest tax increase in American history outside of a war. But some days it seems as if Americans have lost a war without a shot being fired and that these are the wages of the occupation.

The Sanders socialist top tax rate proposal goes to 54 percent, but in the past he has favored a 100 percent tax rate. Back in the seventies, he proposed to “make it illegal to amass more wealth than a human family could use in a lifetime” and to seize any income over one million dollars a year.

That would effectively get rid of the underarm spray deodorant factories, not to mention most other manufacturing jobs and agriculture with it. It’s a formula for creating bread lines along the same lines as the Marxist regimes that Bernie Sanders admired.

Sanders was still pushing a 100 percent tax in 1992. It’s a safe bet that his current tax hike proposals are a starting point for massive redistribution from all classes, from the top to the bottom, to the political class of the government that he represents. Given the opportunity, he will get to 100 percent.

Even before all that, Sanders is pushing a carbon consumption tax. Carbon taxes effectively raise the prices of everything, stealing from working families from the supermarket to the job market.

Food prices have already risen sharply under Obama. The dirty secret of the carbon tax is its impact on the price of food. And if that isn’t bad enough, environmentalists have been salivating over the idea of a special tax on what they call “greenhouse-gas-intensive food” which would permanently put meat out of the reach of working families. To the left, such a brutalization of the working class is its most attractive feature.

CBO accounting found that the regressive carbon hoax tax hits low income families hardest. That should bury the myth that Bernie Sanders is fighting for the poor. Liberals fight for the poor the way that KFC fights for chickens.

As the Tax Policy Center analysis puts it, Bernie’s big carbon tax would force “households and businesses to take account of the environmental costs of their activities.” The Big Green beatings will continue until the morale of the workers improves.

The left claims that its carbon tax schemes will offer all sorts of aid to the poor. But what that really means is shoving more working families onto public assistance. Like the Sandinistas, their solution to the poverty and food crisis they want to create is to take away more jobs and add more bread lines.

And we already know that Bernie Sanders is a big fan of bread lines.

Meanwhile more middle class families would find themselves squeezed into the ranks of the working poor. Bernie Sanders rants about the 1 percent stealing from the middle class, but he’s the one who is plotting the biggest heist of money from the middle class in this nation’s history.

Poor workers would lose hours and jobs. Savings would be discouraged. Lower real wages would destroy the future of working families even long after Bernie has gone to the big red gulag in the ground.

And then there are the farms that grow the food. Depending on how a carbon tax is structured, it could hit farms hard. That’s why even the leftist governments that have implemented this harsh tax have generally added exemptions for agriculture to avoid the kind of food disasters that comes from hammering the food supply with a hoax tax. It’s not clear whether Sanders would do so as well.

Farms have already been suffering from environmental policies. A carbon tax could destroy farming the way that the socialist schemes of Sanders’ Sandinistas destroyed agriculture in Nicaragua.

And then the bread lines would be all too real. But there would be no bread.

While Bernie Sanders blathers about billionaires in every speech, his tax plan shows that the Socialist is coming for everyone’s money. Even those at the very bottom of the income tier would still be losing 1.3 percent of their after-tax income, money that many working families cannot afford to give up to Bernie.

“The basic truth of politics is primarily class struggle,” Bernie Sanders has said. And he’s almost right.

Politics has become the struggle of working Americans against the political class. Bernie Sanders is the prototype of a political class of lazy unemployable shiftless parasites at war with the working class. Like the Sandinistas and every other leftist group, he wants to seize money from people of every economic class who actually work in order to invest it in his big government schemes for the political class.

Bernie Sanders has said that, “Democracy means public ownership of the major means of production”. He has touted support from Marxist economists and proposed redistribution of income as the answer to everything. An admirer of Cuba and the Sandinistas, he has learned nothing from their mistakes and proposes to destroy our economy just as his fellow Socialists destroyed theirs in Latin America.

Sanders supporters who feel the Bern dreaming of all the free stuff they will get might want to look at history and ask themselves whether they will end up standing on one of Bernie’s bread lines instead.

Forget #FeeltheBern, try #FeeltheBreadLine.
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / O-care for illegals! on: March 18, 2016, 05:13:18 PM

Chelsea Clinton: Not Only Does My Mom Vow to Not Deport Any Illegal Alien Children, She Thinks It's Important to Sign all Illegals Up for Obamacare, Too

During the Univision Democrat debate from two weeks ago, I was pretty surprised at how immoderate a position Hillary (and Bernie, too) staked out on illegal immigration: Not only did they agree with Jorge Ramos that it was immoral to even have a border, but Hillary vowed she would not deport a single illegal, not one, unless he was further guilty of serious non-immigration crimes.

That's going pretty far. But I don't think the media will question her much about this extremist position, the same as they won't question her about abortion.

Now Chelsea Clinton comes in to assure everyone that her mom thinks it's critical to sign all the illegals up for Obamacare, too.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: "Is she planning on expanding Obamacare as people know it, ACA, to include people who are not fully documented? Because when you get ill, your illness will not ask you if you are a permanent resident or not."
CLINTON: "It's such an important question. Thank you for supporting my mom. My mom has very strong feelings that we must push as quickly as possible for comprehensive immigration reform, and this is a real difference between her's and Senator Sanders' record, she supported comprehensive immigration reform at every possible chance and she was one of the original supporters and sponsors of the DREAM Act. She does not believe that while we are working towards comprehensive immigration reform we should make people wait, like the families you are talking about. Which is why she thinks it's so important to extend the Affordable Care Act to people who are living and working here, regardless of immigration status, regardless of citizenship status."
So not only do we have to accept anyone who slips past our border security as a permanent resident, we also have to subsidize them.

But remember, there's no reason -- none -- apart from pure racism to object to any of this. None. Nothing like simple self-interest, or not wanting to take on the burden of subsidizing all the world's mobile poor.

No, the only reason one could have to object to this is "hating brown poeple."

BTW: I'm updating the sidebar with stuff about the Salah Abdeslam attacks, if you're interested in that story. A lot of little things are coming out, but not enough for a main post.

There's a link to what could be the video of the arrest itself for example, though that might be video of one of the other captured terrorists.

Update: Hillary Rodham has declared the southern border secure, so there's no need for any additional border security.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pension crisis hard truths on: March 18, 2016, 12:00:53 PM
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: In praise of Obama's foreign policy on: March 18, 2016, 11:31:16 AM

Wow. Very tasty koolaid he's been drinking.
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Actual minimum wage is: 0 on: March 18, 2016, 10:12:46 AM

Fight for 15=Fail.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 18, 2016, 10:08:57 AM
I don't think it's going to happen. I expect the GOPe to pull a "brokered convention" and serve us a giant shiite sammich. Which will shatter the pubs.

Is Ted Cruz Going to Be Able to Pull This Off?

Right now, as a #NeverTrump guy, I’m rooting hard for Ted Cruz. We haven’t seen any polls conducted after Rubio’s departure from the race -- either in key upcoming states or nationally -- so we don’t have a good sense of whether anti-Trump Republicans are coalescing around him.

Tuesday Arizona holds its primary and Utah holds its caucus. At first glance, those are natural Cruz states, right?

[Cue ominous music.]

Notice that we’ve had two polls of Arizona Republicans -- you know, right next to Texas -- and Trump’s well ahead of Cruz in both. The two polls were conducted before Rubio dropped out, so maybe Rubio’s 10 to 12 percent will shift to Cruz and help the Texas senator make up the deficit of . . . 12–14 points. Uh-oh.

The last Utah poll was in mid-February, and had Rubio 24, Cruz 22, Trump 18. Caucuses usually have low turnout, but the Utah one may turn out quite different:

For its presidential preference caucus next week, the Beehive State’s Republican Party will allow any Utahn outside or inside the state to vote online. This will be the first time any political party has allowed online voting for a presidential primary election in the nation.

“We’re stepping out on the national stage in a way we never have before,” Bryan J. Smith, the executive director of the Utah Republican Party, said during a recent Utah caucus preparatory meeting. “This time it matters in more ways than you think.”

The Utah Republican Party said its new method of voting will mainly help families, workers, missionaries and military workers throughout the world, who can’t
be in town for voting. It also may help Utah mothers, who find themselves swamped with child care and work.  A week from now, if Trump wins Arizona and Cruz wins Utah . . . do people begin to doubt whether Cruz can win a one-on-one race against Trump? Or do anti-Trump Republicans begin to really turn their ire on Kasich for sticking around?

Politico reports, “Marco Rubio is close to endorsing Ted Cruz, but the two proud senators -- and recent fierce rivals -- have some details to work out first. Cruz has to ask for the Rubio’s endorsement, and both sides need to decide that it will make a difference, according to sources familiar with the thinking of both senators.”

If you’re Cruz, why wouldn’t you ask?

Meanwhile, one more ominous note for the #NeverTrump forces. According to the Associated Press count, Trump has 678 delegates, and needs 1,237. He’s 559 delegates away from winning the nomination, and 1,059 remain. Can Trump win 53 percent of the remaining delegates?

Even if you feel confident in saying “No, Trump won’t win that many delegates” -- and yeah, that’s a high bar to clear going forward -- so far Trump has won about 46 percent of the delegates available so far. (He’s done so with 37 percent of the votes cast in Republican primaries and caucuses so far.) Assume Trump maintains his current level of support throughout the rest of the process, and he’ll get 46 percent of the remaining 1,059 delegates. That gives him 492 more delegates.

Trump would enter the convention in Cleveland with 1,170 delegates, just 67 short of what he needs. (It’s easy to picture Trump’s first phone call going to John Kasich, currently sitting there with 144 delegates.) Yes, you might hear talk or calls for a Cruz–Rubio ticket, but Trump will argue, with justification, he’s won 94 percent of what was needed to be the nominee.

Derailing Trump will require a big surge from Cruz from here on out. Can he do it?

218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gates says Baraq went against entire NSC on Egypt coup on: March 18, 2016, 09:47:50 AM

Funny, it might cause some to question his loyalties...
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Real slavery, real history on: March 17, 2016, 01:44:38 PM

Not PC.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The left has just taken over the public discussion of this on: March 17, 2016, 01:26:33 PM
Illegals get scholarships ,  go to our law schools, encourage more illegal immigration and are treated as heroes and as though they are so lovely.  AS Levin would ask,  what about our children?  We could only imagine if these were future Republicans how this story line would be so different:

If the dems thought illegals would vote republican, we'd have a wall larger than the one in Game of Thrones.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 17, 2016, 10:23:36 AM
Hillary, the Empress Dowager of Chappaqua, on Twitter and two responses:

"It is absolutely unacceptable that the gun industry can't be held accountable when they (sic) endanger Americans."

"We going to hold car manufacturers responsible for drunk driving deaths now?"

"Do we hold the computer industry accountable when someone mishandles classified govt. intel on a private email server?"

 grin Love the last one!
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 17, 2016, 08:46:39 AM
[Leftist, Liberal] "I thought the two were the same. What's the difference? I ask in earnest."

My understanding follows; G M can add to this or correct it.

Liberal is a mis-used term taken by the left for its softer sound.

Liberal, open to new behavior or opinions, synonyms, wide-ranging, broad-based.

Leftism is the orthodoxy of statism that people, especially in certain demographic groups aren't allowed to stray from.

223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why wasn't this covered? Is this data accurate? on: March 17, 2016, 08:45:13 AM

Why isn't covered? Because it doesn't fit the left's narrative. Is it accurate? I believe so.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: March 16, 2016, 09:29:56 PM

Putin is assassinating people in our country right under our noses and no repercussions.  huh

Wouldn't it be great if they could find evidence to link Putin to this murder on US soil. 

There still would be no consequence.

That's why they did it.
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: March 16, 2016, 09:26:22 PM
Social media is a bad idea, especially if you are in law enforcement.
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Levin says guy is liberal on: March 16, 2016, 09:17:30 PM
From Levin's Conservative Review.  Apparently Merrick said:

"If you believe in the limits of federal power, then you will be in the minority"

Conclusion =>  this is all we need to know.  The guy is a liberal!

leftist, not liberal.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 16, 2016, 07:48:27 PM
Big government becomes even more ravenous as the economy sputters and will do what it needs to do to fill it's coffers.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Kasich on: March 16, 2016, 07:20:29 PM
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 13, 2016, 12:50:10 PM
Remember when Marco R committed the sin of reaching for a sip of water?  She gets a round of clapping:

It is reasonable to recognize it, when an elderly, disabled person does something that their head injury might make very difficult.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Isn't Just for Existential Threats Anymore on: March 13, 2016, 07:46:22 AM
So all that spying on Americans that wasn't relevant as all the data just sat there unexamined until a specific national security need arose . . . can now be accessed by law enforcement agencies for investigations not related to national security matters. Who could see that one coming?

First, consider the source. Second, as far as state and local law enforcement goes, the FBI has long been known as a black hole where information goes and none ever emerges from.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China expanding military might in South China Sea on: March 13, 2016, 07:43:21 AM
My question is 'why'?  Why is China increasing military power in the South China Sea?  No one is threatening them.  The sea lanes are open.  What do they hope to achieve?  It could only mean some sort of expansion.  ? Is this against Japan.  Taiwan?   Indonesia?  What?  It would be like us building up atolls with military offensive capability in the Caribbean.

China is the "Middle Kingdom", as in between heaven and earth. They see themselves as ascending to first a regional superpower and eventually a global superpower. They see it as a position wrongfully deprived of them in the past by imperialist powers that they will now claim.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "We stopped Trump!" on: March 12, 2016, 11:41:47 PM

So, in America in 2016, violence is the proper response to speech you don't like. Lovely.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Good idea! on: March 12, 2016, 08:14:51 PM

Let's import Somalis. Now's let's spend money fighting "radicalization"!
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: March 12, 2016, 10:04:45 AM
Well Rubio does score well on conservative review.  He would be winning if not for immigration probably.

His pandering to illegals makes him just another selling us out.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / America's fading air supremacy on: March 12, 2016, 09:55:21 AM

Fundamental change.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: March 12, 2016, 09:47:22 AM
Yes we spend hundreds of billions and probably trillions in R & D and they  just "march" in and steal the blueprints for comparatively nothing. 

So Gilder says 'big deal'?

He lost me on that one going back 16 yrs or thereabouts.

It is a big deal, and not enough is being done.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: March 12, 2016, 02:28:07 AM
China is struggling to run as fast as it can, just to stay in place. It's hardly winning. Everyone in China who can, is trying to get the fcuk out.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Time to end the TSA? on: March 11, 2016, 04:33:38 PM

The airlines were in charge of aviation security 9/11/01.

Security firm plans overhaul after failures

By New York Times,
published November 10, 2001

ATLANTA -- Under fire for a lengthy series of lapses at airport checkpoints, Argenbright Security, the nation's largest airport security company, appointed a new chief executive Friday to replace its founder. It also announced an overhaul of its policies to improve training and weed out employees with criminal records.

David Beaton, an executive at Securicor, Argenbright's British owner, was named to replace Frank A. Argenbright Jr., who built the company from a small polygraph operation in Atlanta in 1979. Beaton said Argenbright was retiring as planned and declined to say whether the departure was related to the company's problems.

The company also plans to increase the wages of its 7,000 checkpoint screeners -- in some cases, to more than twice the minimum wage that many of them are now paid -- and will hire a second screener to work at every X-ray machine that examines carryon luggage. All screeners will have their backgrounds rechecked for criminal convictions, Beaton said, and new employees will receive 40 hours of classroom training instead of the 12 required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Argenbright handles security at Airside D at Tampa International Airport.

Friday's moves were clearly an effort to salvage the company's reputation -- and stave off a federal takeover of the industry -- at a time when Argenbright is being attacked almost daily by officials in Washington as the most prominent example of the country's porous aviation security system.

Company officials have acknowledged that supervisors in Philadelphia forged documents to allow people with criminal records to work as checkpoint screeners, and frequently allowed workers to skip the federally required training and tests. Two Argenbright employees were fired in Chicago this week, accused of stealing knives carried by a passenger who was almost able to take them onto a plane. The Sept. 11 hijackers smuggled their box cutters past two company checkpoints.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has accused the company of committing "an astonishing pattern of crimes," and this week Gov. Parris N. Glendening of Maryland criticized Southwest Airlines for hiring Argenbright to check passengers at Baltimore/Washington International Airport.

While not commenting on past problems, Beaton said it was time to bring Argenbright -- which has 40 percent of the nation's airport security business -- up to the higher standards of European airports.

Some of the proposed changes could involve significant costs to the airlines, which pay companies like Argenbright for their security, and inconvenience to passengers. For example, the company plans to hand-search any bag that contains an item opaque to X-rays and will automatically hand-search the luggage of any passenger carrying a suspicious item caught by a metal detector.

Beaton said he knew the policies could increase waiting time at checkpoints but considered them important to achieve the government's zero-tolerance policy for airport threats.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump gets this very, very wrong on: March 11, 2016, 01:20:43 PM

How am I supposed to vote for this fcuktard?
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Whole Foods Psuedo Science on: March 11, 2016, 11:24:22 AM

Some of the criticism struck me as curmudgeonly crankiness, but on the whole a fair point is made.

100% organic snake oil.

241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Baraq hires former Hamas terrorist on: March 11, 2016, 05:52:05 AM
Some rather deranged pictures on this page, but if true, the content is worth noting:

242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Analysis of IED Readiness in the US on: March 10, 2016, 04:16:05 PM

Strange, I thought the libertarian answer to all criminal activity was to legalize it.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Heroin poppy farming up 40 x since US in Afghanistan on: March 10, 2016, 09:50:21 AM
Money laundering from drug trafficking accounts for 6% of banking as much as oil and gas?

Though bank employees are complicit none ever go to jail, unlike the nickel and dime drug pusher on the corner:

Too big to jail.
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / When Bernie Sanders Thought Castro and the Sandinistas Could Teach America a Le on: March 10, 2016, 08:09:04 AM

When Bernie Sanders Thought Castro and the Sandinistas Could Teach America a Lesson

As mayor of Burlington, Sanders praised the regimes of Nicaragua and Cuba—claiming bread lines were a sign of economic health and press censorship was necessary in wartime.
After the ISIS-orchestrated bloodbath in Paris last November, CBS News informed the three Democratic presidential candidates that a forthcoming debate it was hosting would be shifting focus from domestic to foreign policy.
It seemed like an uncontroversial decision. But it was enough to send Bernie Sanders’s campaign into paroxysms of panic. During a conference call with debate organizers, one Sanders surrogate launched into a “heated” and “bizarre” protest, complaining that CBS was trying to “change the terms of the debate…on the day of the debate,” according to a Yahoo News source.
Still, the clamor from Bernie’s camp wasn’t that bizarre. Bernie understands that the frisson Sanderistas audiences experience isn’t activated by conversations about the Iran nuclear deal. No, Sanders disciples are slain in the spirit by repeated-ad-infinitum sermons about billionaires twisting mustaches, adjusting monocles, and jealously guarding their “rigged system.” It was this message that vaulted Sanders from the mayor’s office to Congress and into the Senate. But foreign-policy questions, The New York Times noted, had a habit of pushing him “out of his comfort zone.”

So here we are: The candidate accused of not caring about foreign policy was the same politico who, years ago, was routinely accused of preferring foreign affairs to the tedium of negotiating overtime pay with the local firefighter’s union. Indeed, after he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders turned the town into a fantasy foreign-policy camp. In his 1997 memoir, Outsider in the House, he asked, “how many cities of 40,000 [like Burlington] have a foreign policy? Well, we did.”
What were the policies and ideas that animated his small-town internationalism? In a recent interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Sanders was asked about a comment he made in 1974 calling for the CIA’s abolition. He qualified, hedged, and offered a potted history of CIA meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries, all while arguing half-heartedly that his views had long-since evolved toward pragmatism.
If CNN can ambush Sanders by reaching back to 1974 and his not-entirely-unreasonable criticism of the CIA, perhaps another enterprising television journalist will ask the candidate-of-consistency one of the following questions:
— Do you think that American foreign policy gives people cancer?
— Do you think a state of war—be it against the Vietnamese communists, Nicaraguan anti-communists, or al Qaeda’s Islamists—justifies the curtailment of press freedoms?
— Do you stand by your qualified-but-fulsome praise of the totalitarian regime in Cuba? Do you stand by your unqualified-and-fulsome praise of the totalitarian Sandinista regime in Nicaragua?
— Do you believe that bread lines are a sign of economic health?
— Do you think the Reagan administration was engaged in the funding and commissioning of terrorism?
A weird palette of questions, sure, but when Sanders was mayor of Burlington, he answered “yes” to all of them. Hidden on spools of microfilm, buried in muffled and grainy videos of press conferences and public appearances, Mayor Sanders enumerated detailed—and radical—foreign-policy positions and explained his brand of socialism. (If you find foreign-policy debates tedious, feel free to ask Sanders if he still believes that “the basic truth of politics is primarily class struggle”; that “democracy means public ownership of the major means of production”; or that “both the Democratic and Republican parties represent the ruling class.”)
In the 1980s, any Bernie Sanders event or interview inevitably wended toward a denunciation of Washington’s Central America policy, typically punctuated with a full-throated defense of the dictatorship in Nicaragua. As one sympathetic biographer wrote in 1991, Sanders “probably has done more than any other elected politician in the country to actively support the Sandinistas and their revolution.” Reflecting on a Potemkin tour of revolutionary Nicaragua he took in 1985, Sanders marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power.
It’s quite easy to believe, actually, when one wonders what elected American official would knowingly join a group of largely unelected officials of various “fraternal” Soviet dictatorships while, just a few feet away, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega bellows into a microphone that the United States is governed by a criminal band of terrorists.
None of this bothered Sanders, though, because he largely shared Ortega’s worldview. While opposition to Reagan’s policy in Central America—including indefensible decisions like the mining of Managua harbor—was common amongst mainstream Democrats, it was rare to find outright support for the Soviet-funded, Cuban-trained Sandinistas. Indeed, Congress’s vote to cut off administration funding of the anti-Sandinista Contra guerrillas precipitated the Iran-Contra scandal.

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But despite its aversion to elections, brutal suppression of dissent, hideous mistreatment of indigenous Nicaraguans, and rejection of basic democratic norms, Sanders thought Managua’s Marxist-Leninist clique had much to teach Burlington: “Vermont could set an example to the rest of the nation similar to the type of example Nicaragua is setting for the rest of Latin America.”
The lesson Sanders saw in Nicaragua could have been plagiarized from an editorial in Barricada, the oafish Sandinista propaganda organ. “Is [the Sandinistas’] crime that they have built new health clinics, schools, and distributed land to the peasants? Is their crime that they have given equal rights to women? Or that they are moving forward to wipe out illiteracy? No, their crime in Mr. Reagan’s eyes and the eyes of the corporations and billionaires that determine American foreign policy is that they have refused to be a puppet and banana republic to American corporate interests.”
But Sanders was mistaking aspirational Sandinista propaganda for quantifiable Sandinista achievement. None of it was true, but it overlaid nicely on top of his own political views. Sanders’s almost evangelical belief in “the revolution” led him from extreme credulity to occasional fits of extreme paranoia.
For instance, in 1987 Sanders hosted Sandinista politician Nora Astorga in Burlington, a woman notorious for a Mata Hari-like guerilla operation that successfully lured Gen. Reynaldo Perez-Vega, a high-ranking figure in the Somoza dictatorship, to her apartment with promises of sex. Perez-Vega’s body was later recovered wrapped in a Sandinista flag, his throat slit by his kidnappers. When Astorga died in 1988 from cervical cancer, Sanders took the occasion to publicly praise Astorga as “a very, very beautiful woman” and a “very vital and beautiful woman,” positing that American foreign policy might have given her cancer. “I have my own feelings about what causes cancer, and the psychosomatic aspects of cancer,” he said. “One wonders if the war didn’t claim another victim; a person who couldn’t deal with the tremendous grief and suffering in her own country.”
(Sanders often lurched toward conspiracy theory to make banal historical events conform to an ideological narrative. He argued that Ronald Reagan was as Manchurian president created by millionaires who run corporations: “Some millionaires in California said ‘Ron, we want you to work for us. We want you to become governor.’ They sat around a table. A dozen millionaires. They made him governor. And then they made him president. And he did his job effectively for those corporations.”)
The conflict in Nicaragua exacerbated Sanders’s more extreme positions. He asked a group of University of Vermont students to consider how “we deal with Nicaragua, which is in many ways Vietnam, except it’s worse. It’s more gross.” His answer was to raise money and civilian materiel for the revolution, establish a sister city program in Nicaragua, and act as a mouthpiece for the Sandinista government.
The local Vermont journalist corps, with whom Sanders had an extraordinarily contentious relationship, occasionally questioned Sanders on Nicaragua’s increasingly dictatorial drift.
In 1985 Sanders traveled to New York City to meet with Ortega just weeks after Nicaragua imposed a “state of emergency” that resulted in mass arrests of regime critics and the shuttering of opposition newspapers and magazines. While liberal critics of Reagan’s Nicaraguan policy rounded on the Sandinistas (talk-show host Phil Donahue told Ortega that his actions looked “fascist”), Sanders refused to condemn the decision. He was “not an expert in Nicaragua” and “not a Nicaraguan,” he said during a press conference. “Am I aware enough of all the details of what is going on in Nicaragua to say ‘you have reacted too strongly?’ I don’t know…” But of course he did know, later saying that the Sandinistas’ brutal crackdown “makes sense to me.”
What “made sense” to Sanders was the Sandinistas’ war against La Prensa, a daily newspaper whose vigorous opposition to the Somoza dictatorship quickly transformed into vigorous opposition of the dictatorship that replaced it. When challenged on the Sandinistas’ incessant censorship, Sanders had a disturbing stock answer: Nicaragua was at war with counterrevolutionary forces, funded by the United States, and wartime occasionally necessitated undemocratic measures. (The Sandinista state censor Nelba Blandon offered a more succinct answer: “They [La Prensa] accused us of suppressing freedom of expression. This was a lie and we could not let them publish it.”)
To underscore his point, Sanders would usually indulge in counterfactual whataboutism: “If we look at our own history, I would ask American citizens to go back to World War II. Does anyone seriously think that President Roosevelt or the United States government [would have] allowed the American Nazi Party the right to demonstrate, or to get on radio and to say this is the way you should go about killing American citizens?” (It’s perhaps worth pointing out that La Prensa never printed tutorials on how to kill Nicaraguans. And it’s also worth pointing out that in 1991, Sanders complained of the “massive censorship of dissent, criticism, debate” by the United States government during the Gulf War.)
Or how about the Reagan counterfactual: “What would President Reagan do if buildings were being bombed? If hospitals were being bombed? If people in our own country were being killed? Do you think President Reagan would say, ‘of course we want the people who are killing our children to get up on radio and explain to the citizens of the country how they are going to kill more of our people?’”
Or perhaps Abraham Lincoln can convince you: “How many of you remember what happened in the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s feeling about how you have to fight that war? And how much tolerance there was in this country, during that war, for people who were not sympathetic to the Union cause?”
While Freedom House and Amnesty International agitated on behalf of La Prensa, Sanders was making excuses for the government that censored its articles, prevented it from buying newsprint, harassed its staffers, and arrested its journalists. “The point is,” he argued, “in American history the opposition press talking about how you could kill your own people and overthrow your own government was never allowed…Never allowed to exist.”
The Burlington Free Press mocked Sanders for playing the role of internationalista dupe and lampooned him for expressing, after just a brief, government-guided tour of Nicaragua, “such approval of the Sandinistas on the basis of what was at best a cursory inspection,” an instinct that “says more about his naïveté in the foreign policy field than anything else.”
Sanders countered that he was free to quiz real Nicaraguans on their political allegiances, but they “laughed” when he asked which party they backed because “of course they are with the government.” When asked about the food shortages provoked by the Sandinistas’ voodoo economic policy, Sanders claimed that bread lines were a sign of a healthy economy, suggesting an equitable distribution of wealth: “It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.” When asked about Nicaragua’s notoriously brutal treatment of the Miskito Indians, the Free Press noted that Sanders “attempted to cut off” the line of questioning. (Ted Kennedy called the Sandinistas’ crimes against the indigenous Miskitos “unconscionable,” “intolerable,” and “disturbing,” commenting that they were relocated at gunpoint to “forced-labor camps which resemble concentration camps.”)
Through the Mayor’s Council on the Arts, Sanders tried to bring some revolutionary third-worldism to Vermont when he funded cable-access television that showed “films from Cuba [and] daily television fare from Nicaragua.” At a press conference, Sanders highlighted the grants that allowed the importation of “films produced in Nicaragua, that appear on Nicaraguan [state] television, on Channel 15. We have films from Cuba on Channel 15.”
Ah, yes, let us not forget the democratic socialist Shangri-La in Havana. In 1989 Sanders traveled to Cuba on a trip organized by the Center for Cuban Studies, a pro-Castro group based in New York, hoping to come away with a “balanced” picture of the communist dictatorship. The late, legendary Vermont journalist Peter Freyne sighed that Sanders “came back singing the praises of Fidel Castro.”
“I think there is tremendous ignorance in this country as to what is going on in Cuba,” Sanders told The Burlington Free Press before he left. It’s a country with “deficiencies,” he acknowledged, but one that has made “enormous progress” in “improving the lives of poor people and working people.” When he returned to Burlington, Sanders excitedly reported that Cuba had “solved some very important problems” like hunger and homelessness. “I did not see a hungry child. I did not see any homeless people,” he told the Free Press. “Cuba today not only has free healthcare but very high quality healthcare.”
Sanders had a hunch that Cubans actually appreciated living in a one-party state. “The people we met had an almost religious affection for [Fidel Castro]. The revolution there is far deep and more profound than I understood it to be. It really is a revolution in terms of values.” It was a conclusion he had come to long before visiting the country. Years earlier Sanders said something similar during a press conference: “You know, not to say Fidel Castro and Cuba are perfect—they are certainly not—but just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people does not mean to say the people in these nations feel the same.”
There is, of course, a mechanism to measure the levels of popular content amongst the campesinos. Perhaps it’s too much to expect a democratic socialist to be familiar with the free election, a democratic nicety the Cuban government hasn’t availed itself of during its almost 60 years in power.
But Sanders has long been attracted to socialist countries that eschewed democracy. He recalled “being very excited when Fidel Castro made a revolution in Cuba” in 1959. “It just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against a lot of ugly rich people.” In an interview with The Progressive, almost 30 years later, Sanders was still expressing admiration for the Cuban dictatorship: “And what about Cuba? It’s not a perfect society, I grant, but there aren’t children there going hungry. It’s been more successful than almost any other developing country in providing health care for its people. And the Cuban revolution is only 30 years old. It may get even better.”
During his tenure as mayor, Burlington established sister-city programs in Nicaragua and the Soviet Union, and tried—and failed—to create one in Cuba.
By the 1980s, certain elements of the radical left were still defending the honor of the Cuban revolution. But few had kind words for the Soviet Union, with most political pilgrims having long since wandered to Cuba, Vietnam, China, and Cambodia. And Sanders too was routinely critical of the Kremlin, criticizing the invasion of Afghanistan and acknowledging the lack of freedom in the Soviet Union, while still managing a bit of socialist fraternity, praising Moscow for constructing the “cleanest, most effective mass transit system I have ever seen in my life…you wait 15 seconds in rush hour between trains.” He was “impressed” by the state-run youth programs “which go far beyond what we do for young people in this country.”
Sanders has long claimed to be a “democratic socialist”—the type of lefty who loves Sweden, but is offended by the totalitarian socialism that dominated during the Cold War—but he has long employed the tepid language of “imperfection” when discussing the criminal failures of undemocratic socialism. Totalitarians with unfriendly politics are correctly met with derision and thundering demands for extradition and prosecution. So Sanders succinctly described the Chilean murderer, torturer, and destroyer of democracy Augusto Pinochet as a “mass murderer, torturer, and destroyer of democracy.” And Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos is rightly tagged as a “crook and murderer.”
Perhaps at this point I don’t need to point out that Fidel Castro is likewise a crook and a murderer. Or that Sandinista strongman Daniel Ortega, while achieving none of the milestones Bernie Sanders once claimed he had achieved, stole enormous amounts of money from the Nicaraguan people and was, to name just one example, behind the infamous bombing at La Penca which killed seven people (including three journalists).
So to my fellow journalists: the next one of you who gets caught in one of Sanders’s riffs about the CIA’s involvement in the overthrow of Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh, ask him one of my questions. Ask him how consistent he has been on foreign policy. And help him answer a question posed by a Burlington Free Press journalist in 1985, who wondered if his useful idiot trip to Nicaragua would come back to haunt him in a future race.
“The answer is ‘probably.’ But I’ll be damned if I know how.”
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US military drones over US homeland on: March 09, 2016, 06:53:57 PM

Life in the era of hope and change.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: March 09, 2016, 06:53:13 PM
Seems the political damage he did to himself with participation in the gang of 8 was just too great to overcome.

Rush was questioning whether his purpose (and Kasich's) in staying in is to foil Cruz.

Torpedoing Cruz will serve to end his future aspirations for higher office.
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 09, 2016, 10:42:03 AM
So glad to see we are getting pissed on and told that it's raining.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iranian nukes coming to a neighborhood near you on: March 09, 2016, 07:33:05 AM

It's not a bug, it's a feature.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: March 09, 2016, 07:31:57 AM
IIRC Newsweek was bought for exactly ONE DOLLAR by Dick Harman of Harman Electronics and husband of my Dem congressional opponent in 1992 Jane Harman.

250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: spouse abuse on: March 08, 2016, 07:54:30 AM
This is not rare.  Indeed, it somewhat common after abuse.  The abuser will, when in view of health personnel, go out of his way to seem like the doting husband.  Not only to fool the health care workers but to be present to intimidate the wife from talking:

All about control. However, the first time a spouse suffers abuse, they are a victim, after that, they are a volunteer.
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