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9651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:39:37 AM
Quote
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.**
9652  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....  ; )
9653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 10:00:28 PM
http://www.douglasfarah.com/article/447/understanding-the-islamist-agenda-and-negotiations.com

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.
9654  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?
9655  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.
9656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 07:50:25 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

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?

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/tom-daschle-another-ethics-casualty-for-obama/

URLs in this post:
[1] chief performance officer: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/02/03/1778480.aspx
[2] Marie Cocco: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/02/daschle_is_indefensible.html
[3] Richard Cohen: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/02/AR2009020202054.html
[4] good-government types: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/23/william-lynn-obamas-first_n_160512.html
[5] TIME magazine: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1876550,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
[6] conservatives: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/100dyjdy.asp
[7] mainstream: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/31/AR2009013101535.html
[8] The Note: http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/02/the-note-2309-s.html
[9] unpopular: http://www.gallup.com/poll/114091/Americans-Approve-Obama-Actions-Date.aspx
[10] rendition program: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/52402
[11] 54%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/114097/Americans-Support-Stimulus-Major-Changes.aspx
[12] floating steadily back: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls
9657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: February 03, 2009, 07:34:21 PM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

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.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/hiding-the-truth-about-the-pay-gap-between-men-and-women/

URLs in this post:
[1] Fair Pay Act: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama
[2] Paycheck Fairness Act, : http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1338
[3] CONSAD Research Corporation: http://www.consad.com/
9658  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".
9659  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.
9660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:00:34 PM
http://blutube.policeone.com/Clip.aspx?key=7350646A116A3395

Much more common than gold metal winners or Columbia laws school grads, in my personal experience.
9661  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?
9662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 05:02:58 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/03/great-news-iran-launches-satellite-on-rocket-that-could-become-icbm/

No worries! Nothing a few "talks without preconditions" can't fix.....
9663  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.**

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/36234

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)gmail.com)
9664  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.
9665  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.**

9666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 03:34:50 AM
http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/1998/05/williams199805

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.
9667  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?
9668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 02, 2009, 11:52:50 PM
http://www.davekopel.org/NRO/2001/The-Left'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.
9669  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.
9670  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".**

http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg032702.asp

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."

WALKING IN HALF-WAY THROUGH
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.

HYPOCRISY, AGAIN
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."

FINALLY
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.
9671  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 CNSNews.com 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 CNSNews.com blog that you referenced, you "forgot" to finish and post;

**I did not "forget" anything. I posted the entire article from http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/obamas_hypocritical_law.html 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 CNSNews.com. “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?**



9672  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.
9673  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.
9674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 01, 2009, 10:10:41 AM
I still don't get how abortion is a quasi-sacrament to you, Rachel. Maybe if he had big screens showing footage of babies in the midst of the procedure as he signed the bill? Oh yeah, infants can't vote, so no need to pander to them.
9675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: February 01, 2009, 10:00:16 AM
**Ok, let's hear the screams of outrage now.**

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-rendition1-2009feb01,0,7548176,full.story
From the Los Angeles Times
Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool
The role of the CIA's controversial prisoner-transfer program may expand, intelligence experts say.
By Greg Miller

February 1, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism -- aside from Predator missile strikes -- for taking suspected terrorists off the street.

The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured.

The European Parliament condemned renditions as "an illegal instrument used by the United States." Prisoners swept up in the program have sued the CIA as well as a Boeing Co. subsidiary accused of working with the agency on dozens of rendition flights.

But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration's war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.

The decision underscores the fact that the battle with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups is far from over and that even if the United States is shutting down the prisons, it is not done taking prisoners.

"Obviously you need to preserve some tools -- you still have to go after the bad guys," said an Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing the legal reasoning. "The legal advisors working on this looked at rendition. It is controversial in some circles and kicked up a big storm in Europe. But if done within certain parameters, it is an acceptable practice."

One provision in one of Obama’s orders appears to preserve the CIA's ability to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects as long as they are not held long-term. The little-noticed provision states that the instructions to close the CIA's secret prison sites "do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis."

Despite concern about rendition, Obama's prohibition of many other counter-terrorism tools could prompt intelligence officers to resort more frequently to the "transitory" technique.

The decision to preserve the program did not draw major protests, even among human rights groups. Leaders of such organizations attribute that to a sense that nations need certain tools to combat terrorism.

"Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place" for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "What I heard loud and clear from the president's order was that they want to design a system that doesn't result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured -- but that designing that system is going to take some time."

Malinowski said he had urged the Obama administration to stipulate that prisoners could be transferred only to countries where they would be guaranteed a public hearing in an official court. "Producing a prisoner before a real court is a key safeguard against torture, abuse and disappearance," Malinowski said.

CIA veterans involved in renditions characterized the program as important but of limited intelligence-gathering use. It is used mainly for terrorism suspects not considered valuable enough for the CIA to keep, they said.

"The reason we did interrogations [ourselves] is because renditions for the most part weren't very productive," said a former senior CIA official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject.

The most valuable intelligence on Al Qaeda came from prisoners who were in CIA custody and questioned by agency experts, the official said. Once prisoners were turned over to Egypt, Jordan or elsewhere, the agency had limited influence over how much intelligence was shared, how prisoners were treated and whether they were later released.

"In some ways, [rendition] is the worst option," the former official said. "If they are in U.S. hands, you have a lot of checks and balances, medics and lawyers. Once you turn them over to another service, you lose control."

In his executive order on lawful interrogations, Obama created a task force to reexamine renditions to make sure that they "do not result in the transfer of individuals to other nations to face torture," or otherwise circumvent human rights laws and treaties.

The CIA has long maintained that it does not turn prisoners over to other countries without first obtaining assurances that the detainees will not be mistreated.

In a 2007 speech, https:// www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/2007/general-haydens-remarks-at-the-council-on-foreign-relations.html "> www.cia.gov/news-information/speeches-testimony/2007/general-haydens-remarks-at-the-council-on-foreign-relations.html the agency had to make a determination in every case "that it is less, rather than more, likely that the individual will be tortured." He added that the CIA sought "true assurances" and that "we're not looking to shave this 49-51."

Even so, the rendition program became a target of fierce criticism during the Bush administration as a series of cases surfaced.

In one of the most notorious instances, a German citizen named Khaled Masri was arrested in Macedonia in 2003 and whisked away by the CIA to a secret prison in Afghanistan. He was quietly released in Albania five months later after the agency determined it had mistaken Masri for an associate of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Masri later described being abducted by "seven or eight men dressed in black and wearing black ski masks." He said he was stripped of his clothes, placed in a diaper and blindfolded before being taken aboard a plane in shackles -- an account that matches other descriptions of prisoners captured in the rendition program.

In another prominent case, an Egyptian cleric known as Abu Omar was abducted in Italy in 2003 and secretly flown to an Egyptian jail, where he said he was tortured. The incident became a major source of embarrassment to the CIA when Italian authorities, using cellphone records, identified agency operatives involved in the abduction and sought to prosecute them.

Defenders of the rendition program point out that it has been an effective tool since the early 1990s and was often used to bring terrorism suspects to courts in the United States. Among them was Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was captured in Pakistan and was convicted of helping orchestrate the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Because details on the rendition program are classified, the scale of the program has been a subject of wide-ranging speculation.

An exhaustive investigation by the European Union concluded that the CIA had operated more than 1,200 flights in European airspace after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The implication was that most were rendition-related, with some taking suspects to states where they faced torture.

But U.S. intelligence officials contend that the EU report greatly exaggerated the scale of the program and that most of the flights documented by the Europeans involved moving supplies and CIA personnel, not prisoners.

Instead, recent comments by Hayden suggest that the program has been used to move no more than a handful of prisoners in recent years and that the total is in the "midrange two figures" since the Sept. 11 attacks.

greg.miller@latimes.com
9676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 01, 2009, 02:11:57 AM
- Chesler Chronicles - http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler -

Jews: To The Muslim Gas Chamber.
Posted By Phyllis Chesler On January 30, 2009 @ 4:55 pm In Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Today, we have grown used to seeing [1] Palestinian and Hamas supporters goose-step, Nazi-style, shoot out their arms as they deliver the Hitlerian “Sieg Heil” salute. They also chant and scream: “Jews to the ovens,” “Hitler did not kill enough of you,” “Jews to the gas chambers.”

This is raw, rank, Jew-hatred or anti-Semitism; that much is clear. But we are also faced with a major paradox. These same Palestinian and Hamas supporters routinely hold signs that accuse Israel of being a “Nazi” state. To them, Gaza is “Auschwitz,” and the Israelis have “occupied” it with “genocidal” intentions.

Of course this is not factually true. According to my colleague, Dr. Barry Rubin: “In 1939, there were seven million Jews in continental Europe. At the end of the Holocaust, only one million Jews survived. There are currently 1.2 million Palestinians in Gaza. At the end of the 2009 war, 1,199,000 Palestinians are still there. The percentage of Jewish civilians killed by Germans and their allies was 86 percent. The percentage of Gazan Palestinians killed by Israelis is .01 percent. The number of Jewish civilians deliberately killed by Nazis and their allies is 6,000,000. The number of Palestinian civilians deliberately killed by Israelis=0.” (Please see below for his additional comparisons).

But the truth no longer matters. People, both Westerners, Arabs, and Muslims, (this includes the media), have all piled onto such metaphoric overkill. It is as if thoughtful and moderate voices can no longer be “heard,” only shouting, shocking, attacks seem to “register.” And, once someone says something, no matter how outlandish, it is deemed to be true–even if it obliterates both reason and reality.

The true truth is that Hamas and Hezbollah, backed by Iran, are engaged in a serious attempt to exterminate the Jews and to wage jihad against both Jews and other infidels. The Muslims/Islamists have projected their own obvious and evil design onto their intended victims whom they portray as Christian Crusaders or Elders of Zion. This would be laughable, or only of psychiatric interest, if it were not so omnipresent and dangerous due to its widespread acceptance.

In a sense, those Europeans and North Americans who support such a false Nazification of Jews, are merely continuing the Holocaust-era determination to genocidally exterminate Jews. This time, they hope that by doing so, the Islamist hordes will spare them, allow them to live as dhimmis, as inferior and subordinate citizens, in an Islamified Europe.

I asked my friend, Dr. Nancy H. Kobrin, the psycho-analyst and Arabist, what she thinks is going on. She said: “If we (the Jews) exist, the Muslims might have to acknowledge their own Jewish roots. They can’t do that. Therefore, they must destroy us.”

“So, they’re trying to destroy the evidence, the living witnesses?” I replied.

“Well, they are pandering to people who like Nazi insignia and the Nazi ideology. But they are also trying to drive the Jews crazy. They must know how seeing Nazi insignia makes us feel. This is very primitive, non-verbal behavior.”

Talk about primitive behavior! Just as certain primitive tribes have been described as literally eating their enemies hearts or other organs in order to incorporate their magical power–similarly, psychologically, the Nazi insignia-loving Jew-haters want to inherit or subsume the Jewish status as “victim” by destroying the Jews and presenting themselves, (the persecuted Muslims), as the noble “victims” of vicious Nazi Jews.

Dr. Kobrin calls this “psychological splitting. They want to have it both ways.” What she means is that the Palestinian propagandists and Muslim jihadists want to both identify with the Nazis as triumphant, death-cult destroyers–and also with the (past) and preferred sacred status accorded to dead Jewish victims. The Palestinians and other Islamists offer up their own babies, women, elderly, and civilian populations as human shields, human sacrifices, in order to obtain this grisly goal. They also engage in faked staged photos to approximate such Jewish-style deaths as well.

Elsewhere, in a [2] Frontpage Symposium about the resurfacing of Nazi cartoons, Dr. Kobrin reminds us that “paranoids” are obsessed with “purity” and therefore with “cleansing.” This is accomplished by having a “scapegoat” upon whom one projects all the “dirty” components of oneself or of one’s group-self.

The use of Nazi images are meant to terrify and intimidate all who view them–especially those who have, in the past, been jailed, tortured, exiled, and wounded by those who display just such symbols. These images are forms of visual hate speech. They are meant to re-traumatize real victims and their second- and third-generation descendants and to intimidate bystanders.

But those Muslims/Islamists who display Nazi imagery also feel that they are the wounded ones. They seek public redress for their real and imagined wounds. What wounds could that be? For starters: Painful, shameful, anal penetration by trusted relatives in childhood; beatings in childhood; painful, public male circumcision between the ages of 5-12; cruel parents, cruel teachers, cruel religious leaders, equally cruel peers–and a culture which takes cruelty as a given; poor nutrition, illiteracy, and/or no productive future–mainly due to Muslim and Palestinian leaders who demand reverence and obedience even as they hoard the wealth meant to alleviate their people’s suffering; street theatre/political protest/mob merging as the only approved form of social life or group “orgasmic” activity.

According to Lloyd DeMause, there is a “paranoid” underside to anti-Semitism. It is caused by “child abuse, paedophilia and incest.” He writes:

“For instance, I would like to refer to a careful survey in the journal,” Child Abuse & Neglect “that showed that when questioned 652 Palestinian undergraduates concluded that 19% were sexually assaulted by a family member, 36% by a relative and 46% by a stranger. Since this adds up to more than 100%, obviously many were abused by more than one person, but the overall conclusion I detailed in my Journal of Psychohistory article entitled “If I Blow Myself Up and Become a Martyr, I’ll Finally Be Loved” (Spring 2006) was that most Palestinians are sexually abused, that men routinely have young boys they rape and that this is not mainly because of poverty because the college students reporting such horrible memories have upper-class families.”

This explains the Arab street. The Westerners who support them–ah, that is a more painful and a more curious matter. Are Westerners trying to both hide and atone for their racism by cleverly masquerading as staunch anti-colonialists and by “slumming,” dressing as impoverished Arabs, marching right alongside the presumably “wretched of the earth,” all fitted out in high jihadic gear? Or, is this a symbol of a Western wish to (psychologically) die, to be done with the demands of freedom, to be cleansed of all our filth–our greed and lust, our many choices?

There is something else. The jihadic use of European Nazi images is essentially a total “fakeout.” The jihadists are projecting all the sins of Islam towards Jews onto Christian Europe. In their use of Holocaust era imagery, the jihadists are trying to pretend that there is no long and genocidal history of Muslims towards Jews, Christians, and other infidels; they presume to deny that there is a 1400 year history of Islamic Jew hatred and genocide towards infidels–one that is still very much alive today; one that is supported by Muslim religious sources.

Despite individual exceptions and moments of respite, historically, Jews were routinely and relentlessly subjected to pogroms in the Muslim world and were ultimately driven out of the Muslim Middle East. The Jewish refugee story is the larger and more hidden story of 1948-1956. The Christian Crusades took place because crusading, imperialist, and genocidal Arab Muslims were slaughtering Christians throughout the Middle East and central Asia in what was once known as Byzantium; Zoroastrians in Persia too. Christians are still persecuted by Muslims today; many have been forced to flee Muslim lands. Read the important [3] works of [4] Bat [5] Ye’or and of [6] Dr. Andrew Bostom on this subject.

The use of Nazi images in pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli demonstrations cannot be countered with sweet reason, fact, or truth. The hoarse demonstrators who scream hate speech slogans, who seem hypnotically in thrall to hate, are not capable of rational conversations in which any truth other than their own prevails. If one presents a jihadi True Believer with objective facts which challenge their version of reality, they will either physically and verbally threaten to attack you, actually attack you, or they will walk away.

Bullies, including terrorists, must be defeated militarily. They will comprehend absolutely no other language.

Israel, Hamas and the Nazis: A More Accurate Historical Comparison
Notes by Dr. Barry Rubin

Number of Jews in Continental Europe, 1939: 7 million
Number of Palestinians in Gaza 2009: 1.2 million
Number of Jews still alive in Continental Europe at end of the
Holocaust: 1 million
Number of Palestinians left alive in Gaza after the 2009 war: 1,199,000
Percentage of Jews Killed by Germans and their allies: 86 percent
Percentage of Gazan Palestinians Killed by Israelis: .01 percent
Number of Jewish Civilians deliberately killed by Nazis and their
Allies: 6,000,000
Number of Palestinian Civilians deliberately killed by Israel: 0

Number of Jews armed during most of the Holocaust: 0
Number of Hamas soldiers in Gaza: About 20,000
Number of rockets fired at Israel by Hamas: 4000
Number of rockets fired by Jews at Germany: 0
Number of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians by Hamas:
Thousands

Number of terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians by the Nazis: thousands
Number of armed attacks of any kind by Jews on German civilians: 0
Nazi “humanitarian supplies” for Jews: starvation diet coupled with
slave labor
Israeli humanitarian supplies for Gaza: regular shipments even while
Hamas is attacking Israel, no one actually in Gaza even claims to be
hungry; treatment of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals

Nazi treatment of Jews: According to a Gestapo official in Warsaw: “It
is permissible to take from a Jew everything….Whoever wishes may kill a
Jew, and our law will not punish him for it.” (Jan Karski report, 1942)
Hamas treatment of Jews: It is permissible to take from a Jew
everything. Whoever wishes may kill a Jew, and our law will not punish
him for it.

Israeli treatment of Palestinians: Soldiers subject to strict
discipline and code of behavior for whose violation soldiers are
court-martialed and sent to prison.
Nazi soldiers hide among German civilians to incur civilian
casualties?: No
Hamas soldiers hide among Palestinian civilians to incur civilian
casualties?: Yes
Ideology of Nazis Toward Jews: All Jews in the World Should be
Exterminated
Ideology of Israel toward Palestinians: Have your own state and just
leave us alone
Ideology of Hamas toward Israelis and Jews: Starting with all Jews in
Israel should be exterminated, Hamas is increasingly extending that to
all Jews in the world.

Nazi goal: World Conquest
Israel’s goal: A small democratic state
Hamas and Islamist goal: World conquest
A common Western attitude toward Nazi Germany prior to 1939: The
Germans have suffered a lot and have legitimate grievances. If we
appease them they will leave us alone. They are only after the Jews and
what do we care about them?
A common Western attitude toward Hamas in 2009: The Palestinians have suffered a lot and have legitimate grievances. If we appease them they will leave us alone. Hamas, Iran, and other radical Islamists are only
after the Jews and what do we care about them?
Syrian, Iranian, and Hamas view of the Holocaust: It didn’t happen.
Syrian, Iranian, and Hamas view of the Gaza war: It was another
Holocaust.

Article printed from Chesler Chronicles: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/01/30/jews-to-the-muslim-gas-chamber/

URLs in this post:
[1] Palestinian: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2008/12/31/gaza-comes-to-america-hate-demonstrations-against-
israel-on-the-east-and-west-coasts/

[2] Frontpage Symposium: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=A593C5BB-315C-415F-A26B-335CC94D9913
[3] works: http://www.amazon.com/Eurabia-Euro-Arab-Axis-Bat-YeOr/dp/083864077X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=bo
oks&qid=1233355443&sr=8-1

[4] Bat: http://www.amazon.com/Islam-Dhimmitude-Where-Civilizations-Collide/dp/0838639437/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=
UTF8&s=books&qid=1233355443&sr=8-2

[5] Ye’or: http://www.amazon.com/Dhimmi-Jews-Christians-Under-Islam/dp/0838632629/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s
=books&qid=1233355443&sr=8-3

[6] Dr. Andrew Bostom : http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Islamic-Antisemitism-Sacred-History/dp/1591025540/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&am
p;s=books&qid=1233355338&sr=1-1
9677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama hates white people and wants them to die on: February 01, 2009, 12:39:48 AM
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/obama_hates_white_people_and_w.html

January 31, 2009
Obama hates white people and wants them to die
Rick Moran

With nearly 1.5 million people in the mid-west without power during a cold snap, what other possible reason is there that this new "competent" administration and FEMA would be failing so spectacularly in helping in this natural disaster?

It's got to be that Obama hates white people and wants them to die!

Of course, I am just aping what lefty blogs were saying about Bush less than 24 hours after Katrina's hurricane winds stopped blowing. But AP is reporting that Midwest disaster relief people are none too pleased with our new president's FEMA.

In Kentucky's Grayson County, there are 25 National Guardsmen there to help - but no chain saws to cut away fallen limbs and trees. EM Director Randell Smith is quoted as saying, "We've got people out in some areas we haven't even visited yet," Smith said. "We don't even know that they're alive."

Smith is also quoted as saying that FEMA is a "no show."

What's that? Here we are 5 days after the storm ended and still no FEMA? I demand a Congressional investigation. And let's get all the anchors and media people down here pronto. People's lives are at stake. For all we know, there are babies being eaten and people jumping off their roofs committing suicide because FEMA is nowhere to be found.

And where is our president? Shouldn't he be visiting these ravaged areas? It must be that he HATES WHITE PEOPLE AND WANTS THEM TO DIE. That is the only possible explanation for this incredible failure of our national government to relieve the suffering of these people.

Isn't it interesting that now that we have a Democrat as president that all of a sudden, disaster relief is a state and local matter and the federal government should stand aside and allow them to do their jobs?

Just wondering...
9678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 01, 2009, 12:35:04 AM
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/obamas_hypocritical_law.html

January 31, 2009
Obama's Hypocritical Law
Andrew Thomas

In a windfall for trial lawyers nationwide, President Obama struck a blow for employees who want to sue their employers for alleged pay discrimination.  However, an inconvenient report from CNSNews.com 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.  Coincidentally, this is almost exactly the same pay disparity that President Obama himself decries in the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act" he just signed into law Thursday. 

Two questions arise:  1) Will the mainstream media pick up this story of presidential hypocrisy?  2) Will any of Obama's female staff members sue him for discrimination?  Sadly, the answer to both of these questions is most likely NO.
9679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 01, 2009, 12:20:43 AM
"Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."
9680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 01, 2009, 12:16:28 AM
So 20 years snuggled up to Wright was what for Barry-O? Who is he loyal to?
9681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 31, 2009, 06:48:23 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/31/iran-to-obama-your-willingness-to-talk-proves-your-weakness/

Iran to Obama: Your willingness to talk proves your weakness
posted at 6:15 pm on January 31, 2009 by Allahpundit   

Like CJ says, that fist sure looks clenched.

US President Barack Obama’s offer to talk to Iran shows that America’s policy of “domination” has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

“This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed,” Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

“Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change,” he added.

Surprised by the knock on capitalism from jihad HQ? Don’t be. The enemy of Iran’s enemy is its friend, which is why they’ve buddied up to anti-American socialist regimes via the Nonaligned Movement with a special emphasis on Chavez. International opinion matters, especially to Democrats, and digs at capitalism help advance Iran’s cause internationally even if they’re not exactly a raison d’etre for Islamic fundamentalists. (See also Bin Laden talking up Noam Chomsky and dumping on corporations in his last video message.) The significance of this isn’t that they’re using The One’s outreach to their own ends; self-aggrandizing propaganda is what Islamists do, after all, which is why Israel kicking the hell out of Hamas for a few weeks somehow gets spun as a Hamas victory. The significance is that it shows how obsessed the regime is with the perception that it’s winning its ideological battle with the west, to the extent that even rare attempts at rapprochement from the U.S. are sneered at as crude concessions of defeat. Like I’ve said before, that bodes very, very ill given how much national pride they’ve invested in the nuclear program. How can they make a deal with America to give up nukes when they’ve built their identity on defiance of America? Why, it’s practically a national slogan.
9682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: January 31, 2009, 06:26:11 PM
 http://www.metimes.com/International/2009/01/27/al-qaida_and_the_plague/9143/

Al-Qaida and the Plague
OLIVIER GUITTA
Published: January 27, 2009

TOUGH CONDITIONS -- Undated photo released by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb on the Internet showing training and work of al-Qaida groups in Algeria. (Balkis Press photo via Newscom)
In the middle of the massive coverage of U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration, a rather troublesome news story emerged. Unfortunately, it failed to get the coverage it deserves. If confirmed, it deserves the full attention of the Obama administration: the story has to do with bio-terrorism.
The story began with a Jan. 6 report in the Algerian newspaper Echorouk that a number of terrorists had died of the plague in one of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) training camps in Tizi Ouzou. Another Algerian newspaper En-Nahar, affirmed that 50 terrorists have been diagnosed with the plague, 40 of whom have already died.

Now some analysts dismissed outright this story saying it was totally fallacious. But a few observations at this point give credibility to this story, even though one cannot be sure of the provenance of the plague. Consider the following:

1. Algerian authorities have been totally silent. Reliable sources usually willing to share information declined to comment on this report. As can be expected, Algerians authorities were not too pleased that the story was confirmed by American sources. Indeed the Washington Times confirmed through a senior U.S. intelligence official that an incident had taken place at an AQIM training camp that had to be shut down as a result.

2. Coincidence or not: 60 terrorists from AQIM from Tizi Ouzou (the same region where the incident allegedly occurred) decided to surrender to the authorities. It is very rare that such a large number of AQIM operatives defect at the same time. That could mean that they possibly got really scared by what had taken place in the training camp and did not want to get involved in biological weapon experimentation that could likely result in their deaths.

3. Over a year ago, Pakistani terrorists came to train in AQIM training camps and may have one way or another contributed to the production of that biological agent. Interestingly, the Washington Times mentions an intercepted communication between AQIM leaders and AQ Central in Pakistan relating the mishap.

4. Al-Qaida operatives in Europe had tried to develop biological weapons in the recent past. In France, Menad Benchelalli, a terrorist specialized in poisons had produced small amounts of ricin and Botulinum toxin that he intended to release in France. He was arrested in 2002.?Then in 2003, British authorities arrested seven individuals accused of also producing ricin.

5. AQIM was "hired" by AQ central mostly because of their extensive network in Europe that could allow them to strike Europe at some point. AQIM's leadership has been under intense pressure to attack European targets in order to maintain its credibility. In fact, by not using a "conventional" weapon, AQIM would prove its value to AQ Central. If the group was indeed developing a biological weapon, it was surely destined for delivery in Europe, and most likely in France.

Interestingly, AQIM did not wait long to refute this story. On Jan. 21, in a communiqué the group accused "some hypocrites who quoted their masters at the Algerian intelligence agency" of being behind this false story. The group also noted that this story was planted to dry up the well of new AQIM recruits. If indeed that is the case, it might be a very smart strategy that maybe should be copied.

Another explanation for the alleged deaths of the AQIM operatives is very bad hygienic situation in the camps. Indeed, several former AQIM terrorists told the Algerian En-Nahar newspaper that living conditions are horrendous and that numerous deaths resulted from poor hygiene. They add that the AQIM emirs (chiefs) quarantine the sick right away, because the disease propagates itself very quickly.

Whatever the explanation, it seems that there have been unexplained deaths among AQIM operatives. At this point, the developments of this story and its possible implications need to be closely monitored. Indeed a nightmarish scenario could unfold if one of the infected individuals boarded a flight to Paris, London or New York. This person could become de-facto the means of "delivering" the weapon.?

--

Olivier Guitta is an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant. You can read his latest work at www.thecroissant.com/about.html
9683  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: January 30, 2009, 09:54:34 PM
Hi GM,

Mostly based on police reporting, video footage, and personal accounts of people in the field. 

**What would that be?**

Like I said "people have strong opinions ...and most of them are valid."  I've carried many different pistols and feel confident with using any of them (thought I love my 1911).  Magazine capacity vs stopping power ...solid arguments can be made for either one.

Train well...

**Please define "stopping power"**
9684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 29, 2009, 02:50:21 PM
JDN,

Keep in mind that LAX, LA and Orange county sites are known to be targets for al qaeda. Imagine the irony of a newly released Gitmo terrorist butchering someone dear to you in your hometown. The blood will be on your hands just as much as on Barry's.
9685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: January 29, 2009, 02:42:28 PM
**Yes, the dems are well on their way to doing for America what they've done for California.**

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146294351966567.html?goback=.hom#

Trial Lawyer Bonanza
Off and suing with the 111th Congress.
 
Well, that didn't take long. Democrats are planning to kick off the legislative portion of the 111th Congress as early as today with two big donations to one of their most loyal retainers: the plaintiffs bar. Higher labor costs will result from a pair of bills designed to create new lawsuit possibilities in cases of alleged wage discrimination.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is an effort to overturn a 2007 Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber. Lilly Ledbetter had worked for Goodyear for almost 20 years before retiring. Only in 1998, after she took her pension, did she sue and allege wage discrimination stretching back to the early 1980s. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against her, noting the statute clearly said claims must be filed within 180 days, or sometimes 300 days, of the discrimination.


That ruling put to rest Ms. Ledbetter's creative theory that decisions made decades ago by a former boss affected her pay all the way to retirement, so that each paycheck was a new discriminatory act and thus fell within the statute of limitations. Yet that is exactly the theory Congress would now revive with the Ledbetter bill. There would no longer be time limits on such discrimination claims. They could be brought long after evidence had disappeared or witnesses had died -- as was the case with Ms. Ledbetter's former boss.

For the tort bar, this is pure gold. It would create a new legal business in digging up ancient workplace grievances. This would also be made easier by the bill's new definition of discrimination. Companies could be sued not merely for outright discrimination but for unintentional acts that result in pay disparities.

Since these supposed wrongs could be compounded over decades, the potential awards would be huge. Most companies would feel compelled to settle such claims rather than endure the expense and difficulty of defending allegations about long-ago behavior. The recipe here is file a suit, get a payday. And the losers would be current and future employees, whose raises would be smaller as companies allocate more earnings to settle claims that might pop up years after litigating employees had departed.

The Democratic majority is also resurrecting the concept of "comparable worth" with the Paycheck Fairness Act. This idea holds that only discrimination can explain why female-dominated professions (teachers, secretaries) tend to command lower wages than male-dominated professions (plumbers, truck drivers). Yet most of these pay disparities are explained by relative experience, schooling or job characteristics. Teachers do tend to earn less than truck drivers, despite more education. Then again, truck drivers work long, hard, often unpredictable hours. The market -- not some secret patriarchy -- places different values on different jobs. And in the case of teachers, the main salary setter is the government.

The paycheck fairness legislation would nonetheless require labor officials to use comparable worth in creating "voluntary" wage guidelines for industries. Voluntary or not, these guidelines would become the basis for more litigation against companies that didn't follow them. Meanwhile, the bill strips companies of certain defenses against claims of sex-based pay discrimination. It also makes it easier to bring class actions, and it allows plaintiffs to claim unlimited punitive damages even in cases of unintentional discrimination.

House Democrats passed both bills in the last Congress, but they were blocked by Senate Republicans. With at least seven more Democrats in the Senate, they may be able to roll enough GOP Senators to pass both this time. Barack Obama supports both, notwithstanding that they would raise workforce costs in a recession. Elections have consequences, and one price of November's vote is going to be a more powerful, and much richer, plaintiffs bar. Whether or not the U.S. economy creates more income in the coming years, Congress is clearly determined to redistribute it.
9686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 29, 2009, 02:30:35 PM
Remember this phrase "At least Bush kept us safe". The next mass casualty attack on US soil is all on the Empty-suit now.
9687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 29, 2009, 10:33:03 AM
Why Does Obama's Pastor Matter?   
By John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, February 04, 2008

Barack Obama, in a way that recalls John F. Kennedy, a politician to whom he's frequently compared, has carefully controlled and burnished his image to create the impression of an independent figure, free from dogma and ideological entanglements. But there is one man who threatens to undermine Obama's appealing narrative as a man above the ugly quarrels and divisive partisanship of the past: his longtime pastor and spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.


On March 1, 1972, Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. became the pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), a position he still holds to this day. Because he has been a revered figure in the life of presidential aspirant Barack Obama for two decades, Wright's political views, which he commonly draws from the tenets of liberation theology, are worthy of some scrutiny—if only to shed light on the teachings that have had enough resonance to retain Obama as a TUCC congregant since 1988. So great is Obama's respect for Wright, that the former sought the Reverend's counsel before formally declaring his candidacy for U.S. President. Moreover, Obama and his wife selected Wright to perform their wedding ceremony and to baptize their two daughters. These are honors of considerable magnitude, and it is reasonable to speculate that if we learn more about Rev. Wright, we may gain some insight into the personal qualities and belief systems Barack Obama holds in high regard.

When we read the writings, public statements, and sermons of Rev. Wright, we quickly notice his unmistakable conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustices that make life very difficult for black people. As he declared in one of his sermons: "Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!... We [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."

In a similar spirit, Wright laments "the social order under which we [blacks] live, under which we suffer, under which we are killed."[1] Depicting blacks as a politically powerless demographic, he complains that "African Americans don't run anything in the Capital except elevators."[2] On its website, Wright's church portrays black people as victims who are still burdened by the legacy of their "pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism," and who must pray for "the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people."

Wright detects what he views as racism in virtually every facet of American life. In the business world, for instance, he attributes the high unemployment rate of African Americans to "the fact that they are black."[3] Vis-à-vis the criminal justice system, he similarly explains that "the brothers are in prison" largely because of their skin color. "Consider the 'three strikes law,'" he elaborates. "There is a higher jail sentencing for crack than for cocaine because more African Americans get crack than do cocaine."[4] Notwithstanding Wright's implication that the harsh anti-crack penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, the Congressional Record shows that such was not at all the case. In 1986, when the strict, federal anti-crack legislation was being debated, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)—deeply concerned about the degree to which crack was decimating the black community—strongly supported the legislation and actually pressed for even harsher penalties. In fact, a few years earlier CBC members had pushed President Reagan to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[5]

In Wright's calculus, white America's bigotry is to blame not only for whatever ills continue to plague the black community, but also for our country's conflicts with other nations. "In the 21st century," says Wright, "white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns."

Remarkably, no mention of jihad—the ageless Muslim tradition of aggressive, permanent warfare whose ultimate aim is to achieve Islam's dominion over the human race at large—managed to find its way into Wright's analysis. Rather, he assured us that the 9/11 atrocities were ultimately traceable to the doorstep of U.S. provocations. In fact, Wright apparently sees no reason to suspect that Islam may be incompatible in any way with Western traditions. "Islam and Christianity are a whole lot closer than you may realize," he has written. "Islam comes out of Christianity."[6]

Apart from America's purported racism, Wright also despises the nation's capitalist economic structure, viewing it as a breeding ground for all manner of injustice. "Capitalism as made manifest in the 'New World,'" says Wright, "depended upon slave labor (by African slaves), and it is only maintained by keeping the 'Two-Thirds World' under oppression."[7] This anti-capitalist perspective is further reflected in TUCC's "10-point vision," whose ideals include the cultivation of "a congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY." Dispelling any doubt that this is a reference to socialism and the wholesale redistribution of wealth, the TUCC mission statement plainly declares its goal of helping "the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America's economic mal-distribution!"

This view is entirely consistent with Rev. Wright's devotion to the tenets of liberation theology, which is essentially Marxism dressed up as Christianity. Devised by Cold War-era theologians, it teaches that the gospels of Jesus can be understood only as calls for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia where today's poor will unseat their "oppressors" and become liberated from their material (and, consequently, their spiritual) deprivations. An extension of this paradigm is black liberation theology, which seeks to foment a similar Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial rather than class solidarity. Wright's mentor in this discipline is James Cone, author of the landmark text Black Power and Black Theology. Arguing that Christianity has been used by white society as an opiate of the (black) masses, Cone asserts that the destitute "are made and kept poor by the rich and powerful few," and that "[n]o one can be a follower of Jesus Christ without a political commitment that expresses one's solidarity with victims."

Many of Wright's condemnations of America are echoed in his denunciations of Israel and Zionism, which he has blamed for imposing "injustice and … racism" on the Palestinians. According to Wright, Zionism contains an element of "white racism." Likening Israel's treatment of Palestinians to South Africa's treatment of blacks during the apartheid era, Wright advocates divestment campaigns targeting companies that conduct business in, or with, Israel.

Given Wright's obvious low regard for the U.S. and Israel, it is by no means surprising that he reserves some of his deepest respect for the virulently anti-American, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. "When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens," says Wright. "Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen … His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest. Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience. His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics. His love for Africa and African American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

Wright's paean to Farrakhan was parroted in the November/December issue of TUCC's bimonthly magazine, the Trumpet, which featured an interview with the NOI "icon" who, according to the publication, "truly epitomized greatness." "Because of the Minister's influence in the African American community," the Trumpet announced that it was honoring him with an "Empowerment Award" as a "fitting tribute for a storied life well lived."

This seems an odd distinction to confer upon someone whose anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic statements are numerous. For example, in 1996 Farrakhan told a Tehran newspaper that God would "bestow upon Muslims" the honor of "destroy[ing] America." In February 1998, he sent a cordial and supportive letter to Saddam Hussein, calling him a "visionary" who had earned the Iraqi people's "love," and whose demise would "mean a setback for the goal of unity [among Muslims]." In July 2002, he declared that America, "with blood dripping from [its] hands," had no moral authority by which to overthrow Saddam. In February 2005, he condemned the United States for waging a war "against Islam," adding: "[T]here's no way that I, as a Muslim, could countenance my children or grandchildren fighting a war against fellow believers in any part of the world."

Farrakhan also has a long, well-documented history of venom-laced references to the white "blue-eyed devils" and Jewish "bloodsuckers" who purportedly decimate America's black communities from coast to coast. Moreover, he has referred to white people as "the skunks of the planet."

On a 1984 trip to meet with the Libyan dictator (and America's arch enemy) Muammar Qadhafi, Farrakhan was accompanied by none other than Jeremiah A. Wright.

Farrakhan has long considered Qadhafi to be his trusted "friend," "brother," and "fellow struggler in the cause of liberation for our people." In 1996, the NOI leader formed a partnership with Qadhafi, who pledged $1 billion to help Farrakhan develop a Muslim political lobby in the U.S. Said Qadhafi: "We agreed with Louis Farrakhan and his delegation to mobilize in a legal and legitimate form the oppressed minorities—and at their forefront the blacks, Arab Muslims and Red Indians—for they play an important role in American political life and have a weight in U.S. elections." "Our confrontation with America," added Qadhafi, "was [previously] like a fight against a fortress from outside, and today [with the NOI alliance] we found a breach to enter into this fortress and confront it."

Farrakhan's October 16, 1995 Million Man March ranks among the events about which Rev. Wright has written most extensively and passionately. Wright attended the rally with his son, and has described it as "a once in a lifetime, amazing experience."[8] When a number of prominent African Americans counseled fellow blacks to boycott the demonstration because of Farrakhan's well-documented history of hateful rhetoric, Wright derided those critics as "'Negro' leaders,"[9] "'colored' leaders," "Oreos," and "house niggras"[10] whose most noteworthy trait was their contemptible "Uncle Tomism."[11] "There are a whole boat load of 'darkies' who think in white supremacist terms," added Wright. "… Some 'darkies' think white women are superior to black women…. Some 'darkies' think white lawyers are superior to black lawyers. Some 'darkies' think white pastors are better than black pastors. There are a whole boatload of 'darkies' who think anything white and everyone white is better than whatever it is black people have."[12]

In the book titled When Black Men Stand up for God, a collection of sermons and reflections on the Million Man March, Wright identifies Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga as an attendee of the rally.[13] In the end notes that follow a transcript of one of Wright's sermons, Karenga is described as "an internationally acclaimed social activist and scholar in Pan African Studies"; "the founder and creator of Kwanzaa, the well-known African American holiday"; and "the director of Pan African Studies and Visiting Lecturer in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside."[14] Unmentioned is the fact that Karenga is a self-identified "African socialist" whose "Seven Principles of Blackness," which are observed during Kwanzaa, are not only the Marxist precepts of parity and proletariat unity, but are also identical to those of the 1970s domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army. Nor is it noted that in 1971 Karenga was convicted of torturing two women who were members of United Slaves, a black nationalist cult he had established.

On its website, Wright's church describes itself in distinctly racial terms, as being an "Unashamedly Black" congregation of "African people" who are "true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization," and who participate in TUCC's "Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community."

Some have suggested that such seemingly exclusionary assertions, coupled with Wright's own racially loaded statements and his close affiliation with Farrakhan, indicate that Wright is guilty of racism. But Wright casually dismisses this charge, stating: "I get tickled every time I hear a 'Negro' call me a racist. They don't even understand how to define the word. Racism means controlling the means."[15] In other words, Wright employs a rhetorical escape hatch that permits him to evade all charges of racism simply by claiming that only the "dominant" (i.e., white) demographic is capable of such ugliness. The implication is that no deed or utterance, however hateful or vile, is egregious enough to qualify any black person as a racist; that blacks are always the victims of racism, never its perpetrators.

American voters ought to have more than a passing interest in the fact that when Barack Obama formally joined TUCC in 1991, he tacitly accepted this same Jeremiah Wright as a spiritual mentor. Moreover, he pledged allegiance to the church's race-conscious "Black Value System" that encourages blacks to patronize black-only businesses, support black leaders, and avoid becoming "entrapped" by the pursuit of a "black middle-classness" whose ideals presumably would erode their sense of African identity and render them "captive" to white culture.

In addition, voters should examine carefully the question of whether Obama shares Wright's socialist economic preferences. They ought to be aware, for instance, that the Democratic candidate is on record as having said that his religious faith has led him to question "the idolatry of the free market." Moreover, Obama's voting record and his issue positions show him generally to favor high spending and increased government intervention in all realms of life.

When Rev. Wright's controversial statements and positions recently became more widely publicized, Obama said, "There are some things I agree with my pastor about, some things I disagree with him about." It is the duty of every American voter to determine exactly where those agreements and disagreements lie.

Notes:
[1] When Black Men Stand up for God (Chicago: African American Images), 1996, p. 17.
[2] Ibid., p. 102.
[3] Ibid., p. 17.
[4] Ibid., p. 17.
[5] John DiIulio, Jr., "My Black Crime Problem, and Ours," City Journal (Spring 1996), pp. 19-20.
[6] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 16.
[7] Blow the Trumpet in Zion (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), 2005, pp. 8-9.
[8] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 10.
[9] Ibid., pp. 11, 37.
[10] Ibid., p. 80.
[11] Ibid., p. 11.
[12] Ibid., p. 81.
[13] It should be noted that Wright's church has conducted Kwanzaa programs for its congregants. See When Black Men Stand up for God, p. iv.)
[14] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 25.
[15] Ibid., p. 102.

John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at wsbooks25@hotmail.com
9688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 29, 2009, 08:36:49 AM
Change Terrorists Can Believe In   
By Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 29, 2009

As he promised during the campaign, President Obama has signed an executive order directing the closure of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay within a year. This is clearly an offering to his leftist base of supporters, who will be immensely grateful. It's also a move that has been well received at the United Nations, where UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay described Obama’s action as representing a good day for the rule of law.

As it happens, Obama signed the order on the same day it was reported that a Saudi-born Guantanamo terror detainee named Said Ali al-Shihri, who had been released and sent back to Saudi Arabia to enroll in a Saudi "rehabilitation program" for former jihadists, has returned to his old terrorist ways instead. That should be no surprise, naturally, in the incubator of terrorism that is Saudi Arabia.

Al-Shihri left Saudi Arabia and resurfaced in Yemen where he has been restored to a prominent position in terrorist circles. He is now an al-Qaeda commander in Yemen, which is re-emerging as a terrorist safe-haven. Last September, he proved his terrorist mettle with his involvement in a car bombing outside the American embassy, killing 16 people.

Al-Shihri is not the only Guantanamo alumnus who has resumed terrorist activities. The Pentagon believes that dozens of former Guantanamo detainees have “returned to the fight” against America.

There are 245 prisoners still being held at Guantanamo. Obama is embarked on a course that will either release them or try them under the full constitutional protections afforded criminal defendants in American courts. What is to be done with dangerous captives who cannot be brought to trial for risk of revealing intelligence secrets or because evidence against them was elicited under coercive interrogation techniques? Some may be released on legal technicalities and if no other country agrees to take them, possibly permitted to remain in the United States, where they will be able to set up sleeper al-Qaeda cells on our soil.

Apparently, it is now more important to make sure that foreign terrorist suspects enjoy all of the rights guaranteed to the American people by our Constitution than it is to ensure to the American people the security in their lives, liberties, and property that the Constitution lays down as a primary obligation of the federal government.

And if the United Nations has its way, the former captives may even be awarded damages for their ‘pain and suffering’ while they were detained. UN torture investigator Manfred Nowak has claimed, for example, that inmates eventually freed from Guantanamo should be entitled to sue the United States if they have been "mistreated" according to his notion of what constitutes torture or other forms of cruel, inhumane, or degrading punishment.

President Obama has kept another of his campaign promises by signing an executive order making the Army Field Manual govern interrogation techniques for all United States Government personnel including the CIA. While leaving the door slightly ajar for very limited undefined exceptions, the enhanced interrogation techniques that have helped keep us safe since 9/11 are a thing of the past.

According to the outgoing director of national intelligence, Admiral Michael McConnell, the intelligence community needs interrogation techniques beyond what are contained in the Army Field Manual. They will not get such flexibility under the new executive order, however, which also prohibits the CIA from holding prisoners in third countries.

The Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations is a publicly available document posted on the internet. It provides the terrorists with a roadmap as to how they are likely to be interrogated and the expected psychological outcomes. Some portions resemble a psychology textbook. With a bit of role-playing as part of their training, hardened terrorists will have little problem in learning how to manipulate their interrogators.

Obama’s primary mistake is to virtually remove the element of surprise from future interrogations. Keeping the enemy guessing on what we may or may not do and how we do it is essential in the kind of asymmetric war we are fighting with the terrorists, who capitalize on their own use of surprise. Acting in calculated, predictable steps within a set of publicly available rules that signal exactly what the terrorist suspects can expect while in detention removes any incentive on their part to cooperate.

The toughest sanction in the Army Field Manual is the limited separation of an unlawful enemy combatant from his fellow detainees, which requires higher levels of approval before it can be imposed. It will have little effect on terrorists trained to handle such conditions.

Separation of enemy combatants can mean solitary confinement. It may also include psychological feelings of isolation and loss of a sense of control brought on by perceptual or sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, and the use of sensory overload, temperature or environmental manipulation.

However, the Army Field Manual prohibits the use of "excessive noise"; "excessive dampness"; or "excessive or inadequate heat, light or ventilation." And the manual bans any program of sleep deprivation that does not permit a detainee at least four hours of sleep a night. Just to put this into perspective, consider how many college students regularly get less than four hours a night of sleep.

The manual does permit some detainees to be blind-folded and to be given earmuffs for up to 12 hours at a time under medical supervision when physical isolation is not feasible.

These measures are about as bad as it gets for the terrorist suspects under the Army Field Manual. They are a snap to prepare for during terrorist training sessions.

Everything that is permitted and prohibited is spelled out in great detail. There are no potential surprises.

The Army Field Manual states that "all prisoners and detainees, regardless of status, will be treated humanely. Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is prohibited. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 defines ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ as the cruel unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This definition refers to an extensive body of law developed by the courts of the United States to determine when, under various circumstances, treatment of individuals would be inconsistent with American constitutional standards related to concepts of dignity, civilization, humanity, decency and fundamental fairness."

Under the Army Field Manual’s application of this sweeping prohibition, interrogators cannot even mock the passages in the Koran that serve as the basis for the most dangerous jihadists’ fanatical beliefs, much less deprive these captives of their incendiary religious tracts altogether.

Yet UN officials such as its torture investigator Manfred Nowak are not satisfied. He believes, for example, "[W]hen isolation regimes are intentionally used to apply psychological pressure on detainees, such practices become coercive and should be absolutely prohibited." Since Nowak thinks that virtually all instances of detainee isolation constitute mistreatment, he will assert that detainees subjected to isolation under the Army Field Manual’s interrogation methods must be compensated for any supposed "psychological damage."

Terrorist rights groups such as the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU are of the same mindset as Nowak. They believe that the Army Field Manual’s interrogation methods, even those governing the carefully controlled use of isolation and requiring that the use of sleep deprivation last for no more than 20 hours a day during any 30 day period, constitute cruel and unusual punishment. These misguided leftists are more concerned about the psychological welfare and comfort level of their terrorist suspect clients, whom they fear will become depressed, irritable and disoriented, than they are about the lives of their fellow citizens. Claiming that such treatment is inhumane and therefore illegal under the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the advocates for terrorist suspects threaten to go to court on behalf of their clients whom they believe should be treated as conventional prisoners of war with full constitutional and Geneva Convention protections.

The Geneva Conventions do require that "[P]risoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind." (Emphasis added.) A prisoner of war would have to be treated as if he or she were in the U.S. military, with the same living conditions as our own military forces.

The Army Field Manual follows this protocol for detainees who actually qualify as prisoners of war. Detainees eligible for POW status are provided with privileges and procedural protections that go beyond the baseline prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that extends to all detainees including unlawful enemy combatants. However, it is simply laughable to think that denial of POW status as so defined under the Geneva Conventions to terrorist suspects can equate to torture or any other form of truly inhumane treatment. On the contrary, it means only denying special privileges and procedural protections to individuals who refuse to abide by even the most minimal set of civilized norms and laws of war, not to mention the same norms set forth in the Geneva Conventions themselves. Al Qaeda and other Islamic fanatical terrorists come nowhere close to qualifying for POW status and the advantages that come with it.

As a rational society, we should be able to agree that being "exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind" in the course of an interrogation is not torture or otherwise inhumane treatment but rather a reasonable if unpleasant burden imposed on foreign terrorist suspects caught in connection with hostilities aimed against the United States and who may have valuable information on more planned attacks. The Army Field Manual already gives them far more sanctuary than they are worth by prohibiting interrogators from using the kind of physical and mental stress that is everyday practice in boot camp for our own soldiers.

President Obama has said that he signed the executive orders closing Guantanamo and ending the use of enhanced interrogation methods to demonstrate to the world that the United States will not sacrifice its core democratic values in order to achieve national security. In fact, he is on a path toward sacrificing both. In his desire to please his political base and opinion-makers at the United Nations and other elite forums, Obama may unfortunately be giving our mortal enemies the tools to undermine our democratic values and to continue their hostilities against us with renewed strength.

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.
9689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 29, 2009, 08:16:56 AM
Our new president is one step removed from Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, so anti-semitism is hip and trendy for today's left.  Some on the left try to use anti-zionism as a fig leaf for that position. So, don't be too shocked to see it vomit forth from the mouths of westerners.
9690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2009, 10:50:08 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/27/pure-nazism-muslim-cleric-celebrates-the-holocaust-on-egyptian-tv/

No denial here.
9691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 28, 2009, 09:56:09 PM
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/boot/52431

20 or 30 Years Ago?
Max Boot - 01.28.2009 - 9:35 AM

“America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.”

So said our new president in his interview Tuesday with Al Arabiya, the Arabic-language satellite news channel. At first the words washed over me. Then I did some simple math. Let’s see… 20 or 30 years ago… that would be 1989 or 1979.

What was happening in relations between America and the Muslim world back then? Not relying on memory alone, I consulted Bernard Grun’s reference book, The Timetables of History.

It turns out that in 1989 U.S. fighters shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra. The last Soviet troops left Afghanistan, creating a vacuum that would eventually be filled by the Taliban. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie’s death for “blasphemy.” Hundreds died in Lebanon’s long-running civil war while Hezbollah militants were torturing to death U.S. Marine Colonel William “Rich” Higgins, who had been kidnapped the previous year while serving as a UN peacekeeper in Lebanon.

And 1979? That was an even darker year-in many ways a turning point for the worse in the Middle East. That was, after all, the year that the shah of Iran was overthrown. He was replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who launched a war against the West that is still unfolding. One of the first actions of this long struggle was the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran and all of its personnel as hostages. The same year saw the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which led to the growth of the mujahideen, some of whom would later morph into Al Qaeda and the Taliban. This was also the year that Islamic militants temporarily seized control of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, an event that drove the Saudi royal family to become ever more fundamentalist.

In other news in 1979,  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was hanged by General Zia al-Hak, inaugurating a long period when Pakistan would be under the effective control of the army in alliance with Islamic militants. That year mobs also attacked U.S. embassies throughout the Muslim world from Kabul and Islamabad to Tripoli. The one bright spot in 1979 was the signing of the Camp David Accord between the US, Egypt, and Israel, which did not, unfortunately, auger a “new” Middle East as many optimists hoped.

So this is the sort of “partnership” between the U.S. and the Middle East that President Obama would like to see? If his predecessor had suggested any such thing he would by now be a subject of ridicule for late-night comedians and daytime talk show hosts, and rightly so.

This is actually a revealing slip. To wit, it reveals two things: First, Obama’s profound ignorance about most aspects of foreign policy, including the recent history of the Middle East. A second, and related point, is his tendency to blame the ills of the region on the previous administration-something that is only possible if you started following the Middle East around 2001 and have little idea of what came before. It is then all too easy to claim, as Obama did on the campaign trail, that it was George W. Bush’s “disengagement” from the peace process and his “disastrous” war with Iraq that messed up the Middle East. Only someone with a longer view would realize how profoundly messed up the region was long before Bush came into office.

Even if we go back before the current era of religious extremism that began in earnest in 1979 we find evidence that from the American perspective the Middle East was hardly a happy place. Think of the OPEC oil embargo that began in 1973, the numerous wars between Israel and the Arabs, Eisenhower’s landing of marines in Lebanon in 1958, the Suez Crisis of 1956, the overthrow of Iran’s prime minister in 1953, and so on.

To the extent that we had any stability in the region it was purchased at the expense of alliances with distasteful regimes like those of the Shah of Iran and the Saudi royal family, once considered the “twin pillars” of American policy in the Middle East. Obama is dreaming if he thinks there was a wonderful “partnership” with Arab or Muslim regimes that he can “restore.”

UPDATE: In the comments section, “Elen” writes: “I wonder if Columbia/Harvard education is overrated or Obama is simply an idiot. I think the answer is both.” I think the answer is neither. From everything I have seen, Obama is a smart man who received a good education at Columbia and Harvard. The problem is that he spent his entire career in domestic policy and politics. He has little knowledge or background in national security affairs—probably about the same amount as anyone who was kind of paying attention in college more than twenty years ago but hasn’t paid much attention since. My guess is that when it comes to foreign policy he knows only marginally more than Sarah Palin—another smart person who simply didn’t have to bone up on this subject before running for national office. You can see the difference when Obama is talking—he is crisp and confident on domestic issues, halting and uncertain on foreign issues. I only hope for all of our sakes that he is a fast learner.
9692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2009, 09:31:50 PM
This is a really important question, so lets make sure we aren't missing anything.

a) Concerning the seemingly pertinent example that Huss uses of the House of Saud, as Stratfor commented earlier today (or was it yesterday?) on the intel thread, SA has kicked AQ's ass in SA.  WHY IS THAT?  Once we removed our troops from SA (their presence no longer being necessary to defend it from SH in Iraq) their motivations changed.  WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

**The Saudis support and fund the global jihad. The ojection they have with AQ is not the jihad, just AQ rejection of the house of Saud.**

b) As noted in many posts made by several of us, there has been a lot of one handed clapping in support of Hamas/Gaza.  WHY IS THAT?  Indeed, many felt that during Lebanon 2 a lot of the Arab world was silently wishing for Israeli success.  WHY?

**Because HAMAS is a pawn of Iran. The Sunni arab states fear the growing power of the Iranian sponsored shia revolution.**

c) As noted in the Iraq thread by my friend in Iraq, who originally opposed the decision to go to Iraq, he sees the Iraqis themselves as having rejected the AQ whackos.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL US? 

**That Iraq, being one of the most secular arab nations was more willing to accept our well intentioned mistakes rather than be tortured and butchered by AQ.**

Capt raises an important question.  Certainly HUSS answered well, but let us be careful that we do not answer too quickly.
9693  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: January 28, 2009, 08:54:03 PM
  I don't subscribe to the one shot school of thought, but you're more LIKELY to STOP an attacker with a 45 vs a 9mm. 



You base this on what?
9694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2009, 07:59:44 PM
With all due respect for Golda Meir, it is time to think outside the box.

**IMHO, HUSS already hit this out of the park.**

The way to stop people from reproducing like rabbits is to make them rich. Rich people can't afford more than two or three kids. Poor people, on the other hand, must bred like rabbits to overcome infant mortality. People on the farm can afford lots of children because they are productive as farmhands. City children are a terrible expense.

Foreign aid never made anyone rich but if Israel could somehow kick-start Gazans into becoming profitable business people, like Lebanon was at one time, for example, Gazans would be too busy making money to lob rockets into Israel.

I know it's a pipe dram but continuous war is not an enticing idea. For a long time Sabras have though of Arabs as camel drivers, as an inferior people. Just yesterday I got another email detailing how Jews have 100 thousand Nobel Prizes vs. maybe about 5 for Arabs. This is supposed to make me proud of being Jewish and it is supposed to be proof of Arab inferiority.

**Lots of shared DNA between the Nobel prize winning Jews and the terror-loving Arabs. It's not a matter of ethnicity or "race" but of culture shaped by religion. Thus Israel produces many good things while the "Palestinians" create new and exciting ways to convince their children to slaughter others.**

Maybe. But it certainly is fuel for more war. The same email stated that there are a huge number of Muslims. But there are only 1.5 million Gazans and those are the people we need to make rich. I think it's doable. 100 thousand Nobel Prize winning minds should be able to come up with a solution. No?

Let's shift gears!

**Until we shatter the global jihad, there will be no "Kumbaya" moments.**
9695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India and India-Pak on: January 28, 2009, 06:18:36 PM
We aren't under this administration. When things get bad enough, we'll do what has to be done. Thankfully, the last president built bridges with India. They are a vital ally for what faces us.
9696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is the empty-suit ready to do more groveling? on: January 28, 2009, 05:32:25 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/28/ahmadinejad-to-obama-apologize/

Kneel, kafir!
9697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 28, 2009, 05:20:17 PM
http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/nefataliban0109.pdf

Here is what weakness and appeasement get you.
9698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India and India-Pak on: January 28, 2009, 05:17:23 PM
Want to defeat the Talibs in Afghanistan? Kill the head of the snake. It's Pakistan's ISI.
9699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 28, 2009, 05:14:45 PM
The problem is that neither the US, Israel or the greater western world want to face that we are in a war for our very existence. There is no "nice" way out. We win or we die.
9700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: January 28, 2009, 02:34:00 PM
Fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! What a great day for the global jihad.  embarassed
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