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3001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 30, 2014, 07:27:32 AM
Thanks for response.

OF course you know all this too....

It doesn't help that in Nixon's day the media was gunning for the Republican and now the vast majority is protecting the President.  Public opinion counts for everything in this kind of thing. 

Such a victory would be weak.  Obama will continue to do whatever he wants.   Ultimately he will pardon all the illegals.  That is his way of giving the Right the finger.
3002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 29, 2014, 11:47:05 AM
"and those who have protected those officials — need to be removed from office now, not two or three years from now when we may finally have a scrupulous attorney general. This is why the Constitution’s impeachment clause makes clear that the political process of removing malfeasant officials from power provides no double-jeopardy protection against a later criminal prosecution for the same misconduct"

So what does it take to impeach these officials?

And won't impeachment simply die in the Senate?
3003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 27, 2014, 08:35:27 PM
Doug,
Which do you think is heavier.  The ice cream cone or the dumbells he uses when he "works" out?
3004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is our business the Hospital's business? on: June 26, 2014, 11:27:20 AM
As a primary I don't want another burden hoisted on me by another entity interested only on THEIR bottom line.  I spend half the day performing someone else's requirements to help them supposedly in the fraudulent claim it is for the "care of the patient".   I can confidently tell you it ain't and all information coming in is that statistical measurements are not showing more than very minimal if any gains in overall health.  It is all a bunch of people and business finding ways to cut costs are generate income.  And I am in the middle.  embarassed

***********Hospitals Spy on Your Purchases to Spot Bad Habits
 

By Shannon Pettypiece and Jordan Robertson  Jun 26, 2014 12:01 AM ET 
 
You may soon get a call from your doctor if you’ve let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.

That’s because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do.

Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data. Patients and their advocates, meanwhile, say they’re concerned that big data’s expansion into medical care will hurt the doctor-patient relationship and threaten privacy.


“It is one thing to have a number I can call if I have a problem or question, it is another thing to get unsolicited phone calls. I don’t like that,” said Jorjanne Murry, an accountant in Charlotte, North Carolina, who has Type 1 diabetes. “I think it
Acxiom Corp. (ACXM) and LexisNexis are two of the largest data brokers who collect such information on individuals. They say their data are supposed to be used only for marketing, not for medical purposes or to be included in medical records.

While both sell to health insurers, they said it’s to help those companies offer better services to members.

Much of the information on consumer spending may seem irrelevant for a hospital or doctor, but it can provide a bigger picture beyond the brief glimpse that doctors get during an office visit or through lab results, said Michael Dulin, director of research and evidence-based medicine at Carolinas HealthCare System.


Carolinas HealthCare System operates the largest group of medical centers in North Carolina and South Carolina, with more than 900 care centers, including hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and surgical centers. The health system is placing its data, which include purchases a patient has made using a credit card or store loyalty card, into predictive models that give a risk score to patients.

Within the next two years, Dulin plans for that score to be regularly passed to doctors and nurses who can reach out to high-risk patients to suggest interventions before patients fall ill.

Buying Cigarettes

For a patient with asthma, the hospital would be able to score how likely they are to arrive at the emergency room by looking at whether they’ve refilled their asthma medication at the pharmacy, been buying cigarettes at the grocery store and live in an area with a high pollen count, Dulin said.

The system may also score the probability of someone having a heart attack by considering factors such as the type of foods they buy and if they have a gym membership, he said.

“What we are looking to find are people before they end up in trouble,” said Dulin, who is also a practicing physician. “The idea is to use big data and predictive models to think about population health and drill down to the individual levels to find someone running into trouble that we can reach out to and try to help out.”

While the hospital can share a patient’s risk assessment with their doctor, they aren’t allowed to disclose details of the data, such as specific transactions by an individual, under the hospital’s contract with its data provider. Dulin declined to name the data provider.

If the early steps are successful, though, Dulin said he would like to renegotiate to get the data provider to share more specific details on patient spending with doctors.

“The data is already used to market to people to get them to do things that might not always be in the best interest of the consumer, we are looking to apply this for something good,” Dulin said.

While all information would be bound by doctor-patient confidentiality, he said he’s aware some people may be uncomfortable with data going to doctors and hospitals. For these people, the system is considering an opt-out mechanism that will keep their data private, Dulin said.

‘Feels Creepy’

“You have to have a relationship, it just can’t be a phone call from someone saying ‘do this’ or it just feels creepy,” he said. “The data itself doesn’t tell you the story of the person, you have to use it to find a way to connect with that person.”

Murry, the diabetes patient from Charlotte, said she already gets calls from her health insurer to try to discuss her daily habits. She usually ignores them, she said. She doesn’t see what her doctors can learn from her spending practices that they can’t find out from her quarterly visits.

“Most of these things you can find out just by looking at the patient and seeing if they are overweight or asking them if they exercise and discussing that with them,” Murry said. “I think it is a waste of time.”

While the patients may gain from the strategy, hospitals also have a growing financial stake in knowing more about the people they care for.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, hospital pay is becoming increasingly linked to quality metrics rather than the traditional fee-for-service model where hospitals were paid based on their numbers of tests or procedures.

Hospital Fines

As a result, the U.S. has begun levying fines against hospitals that have too many patients readmitted within a month, and rewarding hospitals that do well on a benchmark of clinical outcomes and patient surveys.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which operates more than 20 hospitals in Pennsylvania and a health insurance plan, is using demographic and household information to try to improve patients’ health. It says it doesn’t have spending details or information from credit card transactions on individuals.

The UPMC Insurance Services Division, the health system’s insurance provider, has acquired demographic and household data, such as whether someone owns a car and how many people live in their home, on more than 2 million of its members to make predictions about which individuals are most likely to use the emergency room or an urgent care center, said Pamela Peele, the system’s chief analytics officer.

Emergency Rooms

Studies show that people with no children in the home who make less than $50,000 a year are more likely to use the emergency room, rather than a private doctor, Peele said.

UPMC wants to make sure those patients have access to a primary care physician or nurse practitioner they can contact before heading to the ER, Peele said. UPMC may also be interested in patients who don’t own a car, which could indicate they’ll have trouble getting routine, preventable care, she said.

Being able to predict which patients are likely to get sick or end up at the emergency room has become particularly valuable for hospitals that also insure their patients, a new phenomenon that’s growing in popularity. UPMC, which offers this option, would be able to save money by keeping patients out of the emergency room.

Obamacare prevents insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions or charging patients more based on their health status, meaning the data can’t be used to raise rates or drop policies.

New Model

“The traditional rating and underwriting has gone away with health-care reform,” said Robert Booz, an analyst at the technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. (IT) “What they are trying to do is proactive care management where we know you are a patient at risk for diabetes so even before the symptoms show up we are going to try to intervene.”

Hospitals and insurers need to be mindful about crossing the “creepiness line” on how much to pry into their patients’ lives with big data, he said. It could also interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.

The strategy “is very paternalistic toward individuals, inclined to see human beings as simply the sum of data points about them,” Irina Raicu, director of the Internet ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said in a telephone interview.
3005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Wesburyesque from the Associated Press wing of the Democrat party on: June 26, 2014, 10:54:18 AM
Why a grim US economic picture is brightening

Associated Press
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER and MARTIN CRUTSINGER June 24, 2014 5:45 PM
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — When the government updates its estimate Wednesday of how the U.S. economy fared last quarter, the number is pretty sure to be ugly. Horrible even.

US economy shrank at steep 2.9 percent rate in Q1 Associated Press
U.S. economy contracts sharply, consumer spending revised down Reuters
Economy in U.S. Shrank in First Quarter by Most in Five Years Bloomberg
U.S. Economy Shrinks by Most in Five Years The Wall Street Journal
U.S. consumer spending misses expectations on weak services Reuters

The economy likely shrank at an annual rate of nearly 2 percent in the January-March quarter, economists estimate. That would be its bleakest performance since early 2009 in the depths of the Great Recession.

So why aren't economists, businesses or investors likely to panic?

Because most agree that the economy last quarter was depressed by temporary factors — particularly the blast of Arctic chill and snow that shuttered factories, disrupted shipping and kept Americans away from shopping malls and auto dealerships.

Since then, the picture has brightened. Solid hiring, growth in manufacturing and surging auto sales have lifted the economy at a steady if still-unspectacular pace. That said, sluggish pay growth and a stumbling housing rebound have restrained the expansion. But the economy's recovery continues.

"We had a very bad first quarter, but the first quarter is history," says Craig Alexander, chief economist at TD Bank. "It doesn't tell you where the economy is going, which is in a direction of more strength."

Wednesday's report will be the government's third and final estimate of the economy's first-quarter performance. Here are five reasons economists are looking past last quarter's dismal showing and five reasons the economy still isn't back to full health.


If the economy really was tumbling back into recession, you'd see businesses laying off workers — or at least clamping down on hiring. That isn't happening. Employers are adding jobs at the fastest pace in 15 years. That's a pretty clear sign that they see last quarter's troubles as temporary. And layoffs are down. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, has fallen 10 percent since the first week of January.

With summer in full swing, it might be hard to remember the brutal winter. But the cold damaged the economy last quarter. Spending on autos, furniture, clothes and other goods rose at the slowest pace in nearly three years. With snow blanketing building sites, home construction plummeted in January. Alexander estimates that winter weather slowed economic activity by about 1.5 percentage points on an annual basis.

Yet the impact didn't reflect fundamental problems in the economy. Americans who postponed car purchases during winter simply bought cars during spring instead. Auto sales jumped to a nine-year high in May.


Another drag on growth last quarter was probably also temporary: Companies sharply cut back on their restocking of goods. That wasn't unexpected. It occurred after companies had aggressively ramped up restocking in the second half of last year. The slowdown in the January-March quarter reduced annual growth by 1.6 percentage points, the government said. With growth strengthening since spring began, businesses are restocking at a faster rate again. Inventories grew 0.6 percent in April, the most in six months.


Last quarter's economy will look bleak in part because the government needs to correct a mistaken assumption. It previously figured that health spending soared last quarter after many Americans obtained insurance on the Obama administration's health care exchanges. But when data was released this month, there was no sign of such additional spending.

As a result, consumer spending probably grew at a 2.3 percent annual rate last quarter, not the 3.1 percent previously estimated, according to JPMorgan Chase. Consumers have accelerated spending since then: Retail sales surged in March by the most in four years — and again in April and May, boosted by auto purchases. This month, consumer confidence reached a six-year high. That's a hint that spending will further strengthen.

After slipping in the first quarter, partly because of weather-related disruptions, factories are making more machinery, cars, furniture and computers. They're hiring and giving workers more overtime, which translates into bigger paychecks.


Jason Anderson of CertainTeed, a manufacturer in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, said sales of the company's roofing shingles, siding, insulation and other building products have rebounded since last quarter. The company is building a 150,000-square-foot factory in Jonesburg, Missouri.

"We're still optimistic about the growth trajectory of the United States," Anderson says. "All our plans are still on track."

___

Most analysts think the economy is growing at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the current quarter and will expand at a 3 percent rate for the rest of the year. The Federal Reserve foresees a similar improvement.

Still, that pace would leave growth for the full year at about 2.25 percent, only slightly above last year's 1.9 percent. And despite all the positives, it's worth keeping in mind that a truly robust economy wouldn't be thrown off so much by severe weather.

Here are signs that the economy still hasn't achieved full health:

At the top of most economists' worry list is housing. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have put homes out of reach for many would-be buyers. Even for people willing and able to buy, there aren't enough homes for sale. All of which has slowed purchases, which fell 5 percent in May compared with 12 months earlier.

Builders started work in May on just over 1 million homes at an annual rate, below the pace of the final three months of last year. The slowdown translates into fewer construction jobs, smaller commissions for Realtors and reduced sales of furniture, appliances and garden supplies.

Yet there are signs that the housing market is stabilizing. Price gains are slowing. And mortgage rates have dipped. That could boost sales in coming months.

In fact, data released this week suggested that this may already be happening. Sales of new and existing homes jumped in May.


Another threat: Middle East turmoil, particularly in Iraq, could cause oil and gas prices to spike. That would leave consumers with less money to spend on other goods and could limit growth. Crude oil prices hit a nine-month high Thursday. Gas prices averaged $3.68 Monday, about a dime higher than a year ago.

STAGNANT WAGES

While layoffs have fallen back to pre-recession levels and hiring is steady, the economy still isn't delivering what most Americans probably want most: A decent raise. Average hourly pay, adjusted for inflation, slipped 0.1 percent in May compared with a year earlier. It's still slightly lower than when the recession ended in June 2009. Flat pay limits consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of economic activity.

LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT

Despite the pickup in hiring, 3.4 million Americans have been out of work for six months or longer — more than double the pre-recession figure. Some may find jobs as the economy recovers. Others will give up searching and return to school, retire early or care for relatives. Economists worry that the longer people are out of work, the more their skills erode. Having many former workers permanently frozen out of the job market can slow growth. Last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressed concern that long-term unemployment could create "permanent damage" to both those suffering through it and the broader economy.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3 percent, a five-year low, from 10 percent in October 2009. But much of the drop has occurred because many people have given up on their job searches, retired or stayed in school and never started looking. The government counts people as unemployed only if they're actively seeking work. The rate has tumbled in large part because many of those out of work aren't being counted as unemployed, not because hiring has soared. The percentage of Americans working or looking for work has reached a 35-year low.

___

Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber
3006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: June 26, 2014, 10:09:40 AM

"its-everybodys-fault-but-obamas/"

I remember the libs so outraged about Reagan that they couldn't tear him down.  "Teflon" President they called him.

I guess it didn't matter that the country just happened to be doing far better when he left office then when he came in.

Now the President's party is the other one and he is half minority, and he gets a pass from all the MSM.

I guess the fact the country is far worse now then when he took office is not an issue.

Perhaps enough voters are catching on so the Dems are simply bringing in new future voters with promises that we will pay for.  The Republicans are bought off and complicit.

 

 
 
 
3007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / soccer on: June 26, 2014, 09:57:25 AM
Soccer is more fun to play then to watch particularly if you are a forward or midfield and not in the boring backfield (like watching what is to me a very boring game).
I wouldn't go so far to make an argument that it is an example of moral decay however.  It is just another type of game.
But I do agree it is quite boring and after reading a few articles in the Economist magazine totally corrupt and controlled, at least in many countries by mobsters.  I also don't like going to grab a quick bite in the hospital cafeteria and someone has turned the TV on to ESPN with the volume blasting so that you can't hear the audio from the other TV turned to CNN which I, the American prefers to watch.   I strongly suspect like Coulter few Americans really care about soccer, just all the immigrants who are here.  If legal no problem.  If illegal please get out and get in line.  This is an American football town till we say otherwise.  


*****AMERICA'S FAVORITE NATIONAL PASTIME: HATING SOCCER

June 25, 2014
 
I've held off on writing about soccer for a decade -- or about the length of the average soccer game -- so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay.

 (1) Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls -- all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they're standing alone at the plate. But there's also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.

 In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child's fragile self-esteem is bruised. There's a reason perpetually alarmed women are called "soccer moms," not "football moms."

Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That's when we're supposed to go wild. I'm already asleep.

 (2) Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.

 (3) No other "sport" ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: "2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0." Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: "1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0." If Michael Jackson had treated his chronic insomnia with a tape of Argentina vs. Brazil instead of Propofol, he'd still be alive, although bored.


 Even in football, by which I mean football, there are very few scoreless ties -- and it's a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you.


 (4) The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. Most sports are sublimated warfare. As Lady Thatcher reportedly said after Germany had beaten England in some major soccer game: Don't worry. After all, twice in this century we beat them at their national game.


Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game -- and it's not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.


 (5) You can't use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here's a great idea: Let's create a game where you're not allowed to use them!


 (6) I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO's "Girls," light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is "catching on" is exceeded only by the ones pretending women's basketball is fascinating.


 I note that we don't have to be endlessly told how exciting football is.


 (7) It's foreign. In fact, that's the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not "catching on" at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.


 (Cool Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it's European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren't committing mass murder by guillotine.


 Despite being subjected to Chinese-style brainwashing in the public schools to use centimeters and Celsius, ask any American for the temperature, and he'll say something like "70 degrees." Ask how far Boston is from New York City, he'll say it's about 200 miles.


 Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more "rational" than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man's thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That's easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?


 (9) Soccer is not "catching on." Headlines this week proclaimed "Record U.S. ratings for World Cup," and we had to hear -- again -- about the "growing popularity of soccer in the United States."


 The USA-Portugal game was the blockbuster match, garnering 18.2 million viewers on ESPN. This beat the second-most watched soccer game ever: The 1999 Women's World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. (In soccer, the women's games are as thrilling as the men's.)


 Run-of-the-mill, regular-season Sunday Night Football games average more than 20 million viewers; NFL playoff games get 30 to 40 million viewers; and this year's Super Bowl had 111.5 million viewers.


 Remember when the media tried to foist British soccer star David Beckham and his permanently camera-ready wife on us a few years ago? Their arrival in America was heralded with 24-7 news coverage. That lasted about two days. Ratings tanked. No one cared.


 If more "Americans" are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.


 COPYRIGHT 2014 ANN COULTER*****

3008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Liberalism poison is everywhere. on: June 23, 2014, 09:18:05 PM
So I am reading this article supposedly about Robert E Lee when the  author suddenly makes a left turn comparing the "fire-eaters" who were "incendiary" Southern politicians who wanted to bring back the African slave trade to expand slavery and cotton to, get this the Tea party politicians of today:

"The fire-eaters were a minority then, as the Tea Partiers (their spiritual descendants) are today, but like today’s Tea Party they promoted extremist agendas and pounded down on wedge issues that sundered the nation and very nearly destroyed it."

What in the heck does the Tea Party have to do with advocates of slavery?  Answer:  they are the Union soldiers fighting for freedom.

****How I Learned to Hate Robert E. Lee

By Christopher Dickey June 21, 2014 10:18 PM The Daily Beast
 
All the time I was growing up in Atlanta, the face of Robert E. Lee was taking shape on the side of an enormous granite mountain just outside town. He loomed like a god above us, as much a presence as any deity, and God knows he was accepted as such. It was only much later that I began to question his sanctity, and then to hate what he stood for.

When I was in elementary school, the face of Lee on Stone Mountain was a rough-cut thing, weathering and wasting as the generation that began it in 1912—a generation that still included veterans of the Civil War 50 years before—gave way to generations with other wars to focus their attention.

Then the carving began again in 1964 in a centennial haze of romantic memories about the Old South and frenzy of fear and defiance provoked by the civil-rights movement. As Martin Luther King Jr. was marching on Washington, Confederate battle flags floated above state houses and sculptors using torches began again to carve the granite features of Lee, along with Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis, taking up three vertical acres on the mountain’s face.

It is this sort of image—the bas-relief nobility of memorial sculpture—that Michael Korda chisels through in his massive and highly readable new one-volume biography: Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. But, as Korda clearly recognizes, Lee himself could be almost as impenetrable as stone.

He was not cold. He was very loving with his wife and many children. He enjoyed flirting (harmlessly, it seems) with young women. He had the self-assurance of a Virginia aristocrat, albeit an impecunious one, and the bearing of a man born not only to be a soldier, but to command. He was tall for his time—at least 5’10”—and as a young man he was strikingly handsome, broad-shouldered, and Byronic.

But perhaps Lee’s most memorable feature, even in the worst of times, was his phenomenal self-control, whether in the face of triumphs or disasters. His belief in God’s will lent “a certain opaque quality” to Lee’s character, as Korda writes. Perhaps the general did not cultivate his fame as “The Marble Man,” but he earned it.

Lee was so much the model of a Virginia gentleman that he came to seem a hero not only of the Lost Cause in the South, but of a restored peace for the Union in the aftermath of the war. He believed in reason, good manners, and moderation in all things except battle, when his skill in defense and audacity in offense managed to keep the Confederacy’s hopes for independence alive years longer than would have—or should have—been the case.

And that is part of the problem. While the dream of the Confederacy was kept alive, the men on the battlefield on both sides perished by the tens of thousands. In his desperate effort to triumph at Gettysburg in 1863, deep in northern territory, he waged a battle that cost more than 50,000 soldiers their lives over the course of three days—more than died in combat in the entire Vietnam War.

Lee put the blame for Gettysburg on himself, which was a rare and noble thing to do, then retreated, and kept on fighting. Almost a year later at Spotsylvania Court House, where 32,000 soldiers died, a Union officer described a scene in which the Confederate dead “were piled upon each other in some places four layers deep, exhibiting every ghastly phase of mutilation. Below the mass of fast-decaying corpses, the convulsive twitching of limbs and the writhing of bodies showed that there were wounded men still alive and struggling to extricate themselves from the horrid entombment.”

It may be unfair to criticize a general for wanting to fight on against all odds. That is what we assume generals will try to do, and Lee often put himself in as much personal danger and daily discomfort as his faithful soldiers. But it’s a plain fact that by prolonging a conflict he could not win, Lee’s brilliance and the loyalty he inspired helped destroy what was left of the South.

Korda writes that by late 1864 the Union commander Ulysses S. Grant (the subject of another Korda biography) and Lee had “created dreadful, static sieges that would postpone the end of the war by 10 painful months,” during which time Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman “would march through Georgia, taking Atlanta, marching from there ‘to the sea,’ and destroying everything along his way: towns, railway lines, telegraph lines, homes, farms, crops, and livestock.”

What cannot and should not be forgiven about Lee, despite his many virtues, is the cause that he defended.

Korda argues convincingly that Lee was ambivalent about slavery. His wife’s family owned more than 100 Negroes, but when her father died, Lee took pains to see that the old man’s will emancipating them after five years was executed. (That this finally took effect in 1862 does not diminish the fact that he had set the wheels in motion to free these servants and laborers years before.) Lee and his wife set up a school for the slaves, which was actually illegal in Virginia at the time. And he proposed, toward the end of the war, when the white South was bled dry, that slaves should be enlisted as soldiers and granted their freedom in the process. But that bold suggestion went nowhere with the politicians, who stalled until the idea, along with the Confederacy, was dead.

Korda is especially good at explaining why Lee, who had performed heroically in the Mexican War and served as the superintendent of West Point, turned down the command of the Union armies offered to him by the Lincoln administration in the first days of the conflict. He saw himself as a Virginian, deeply rooted in the state’s genteel culture. And while he did not support secession and thought it dangerous and revolutionary (thus anathema to his aristocratic values), he could not bring himself to lead an army that would force Virginia or any other state to remain in the Union. Once Virginia reluctantly seceded, so, also reluctantly, did Lee.

But after that decision was made, Lee’s nobility and charisma, and the carnage that he commanded, gave cover to all those incendiary Southern politicians who did not, in fact, feel ambivalent about slavery. These “fire-eaters,” as they were called, not only wanted to perpetuate their peculiar institution, they wanted to reopen the slave trade with Africa, which was recognized even at the time as a terrible holocaust banned for half a century, but rationalized by them because African slaves were just so cheap and profitable and could be so useful to those Southerners who wanted to spread their voracious cotton economy to the west and south.

The fire-eaters were a minority then, as the Tea Partiers (their spiritual descendants) are today, but like today’s Tea Party they promoted extremist agendas and pounded down on wedge issues that sundered the nation and very nearly destroyed it.

Lee had no time for these men, and he opposed their ideas, but he fought for them year after year, battle after battle, slaughter after slaughter. Maybe that makes him in his way a fascinating and tragic leader, but readers of Korda’s balanced and detailed book will have to decide for themselves if he was a heroic one. For my part, I think not.
3009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: June 23, 2014, 08:28:18 PM
***However with regard to Iran, she does not spell out what I recently saw spelled out elsewhere. 

a) Stopping Iran from going nuclear will require war and it will be a major war-- the task is quite difficult, and the blowback would be HUGE ;
b) The American people are in no mood for no action, particularly under this Commander in Chief;
c) The US military is in little mood for action, particularly under this Commander in Chief;
d) The US military's budget is contracting, and the military is in no shape for this and the other theaters requiring our attention at this time (Russia-Europe, South China Sea, various parts of Africa, etc)***

The way I see it we are already at war with the Muslims in the Middle East whether anyone cares to notice.

As Bolton said, "if you think Iran is a problem now just wait till they get nuclear weapons.

There will be dirty bombs in NYC.



3010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Will's college and rape comments on: June 22, 2014, 01:32:31 PM
What is wrong about this statement?:

****“The administration’s crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous.”****

Article below.

-----------------

George Will dumped: Prize winning author George Will dumped after column on rape
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch told their readers that they would no longer run George Will's column, calling his latest post about sexual assault "offensive and inaccurate." Was this right--or should he be free to voice his opinion as a columnist?
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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch told their readers that they would no longer run George Will's column, calling his latest post about sexual assault "offensive and inaccurate." Was this right--or should he be free to voice his opinion as a columnist?


June 21, 2014
 
American newspaper columnist George Will is a journalist, author and Pulitzer Prize recipient. The Wall Street Journal once called him “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America.” He’s also out of a job, at least in syndication with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who dumped the conservative political writer for an incendiary piece he wrote about sexual assaults on our nation's college campuses.

In his column, carried originally by Will’s employer The Washington Post, the 73-year-old author said colleges and universities “are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.”

As a case in point, Will linked and discussed a rape charge out of Swarthmore College in Philadelphia. A student was in her dorm with a guy that she’d already been sleeping with for about three months. Quoting PhillyMag.com, Will wrote:

“They’d now decided — mutually, she thought — just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. “I basically said, ‘No, I don’t want to have sex with you.’ And then he said, ‘OK, that’s fine’ and stopped. . . . And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.”

Will said that the Obama administration is “riding to the rescue of ‘sexual assault’ victims” like the Swarthmore student, who filed a rape charge six weeks after the incident above. Will went on to write:

“The administration’s crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous.”

Will claims that “Education Department lawyers disregard pesky arithmetic and elementary due process” and adopt a minimal standard of evidence. Will also mocked out campus “trigger warnings” – a standard of speech designed to protect sexual assault victims from having their encounter brought back up in their minds. To Will, trigger warnings “swaddle students in a ‘safe,’ ‘supportive,’ ‘unthreatening’ environment -- intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.”

He closes by writing:

“What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity. Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.”

Will’s full column can be read here.

Tony Messenger, the St. Louis Dispatch editorial editors, said he had already been considering dumping Will from the paper, but that Will’s column on rape “made the decision easier.”

“The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it,” Messenger wrote.

Since the column first appeared back on June 6, a petition at MoveOn.org has pulled in close to 46,000 signatures. The petition is calling for the Post to fire George Will. The co-authors of the petition, who are both from the women’s activist group UltraViolet, wrote:


George Will makes his living writing columns that many people disagree with. But his latest column has gone too far. Rape is a serious crime--accusing women of making it up and arguing schools shouldn't be addressing sexual assault puts both women and men at risk. By publishing George Will's piece, The Washington Post is amplifying some of the most insidious lies that perpetuate rape culture. It's not just wrong – it's dangerous.”

Other petitions have been thrown up online, and even state senators are weighing in with their rebukes of George Will. Thus far, the Post is standing by Will, calling his column “within the realm of reasonable debate.”

Will is not going down without taking a few swings however. In a discussion on C-SPAN yesterday, seen here in a YouTube upload, Will lashed out at his critics, saying that “indignation is the default position of certain people in civic discourse. They go from a standing start to fury in about 30 seconds.”

Will blames the Internet for creating a free-for-all forum of name-callers who cannot read, write or think on their own:

“I think it has something to do with the Internet, a wonderful thing. It has lowered, indeed erased, the barriers to entry into public discourse. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the downside to this, and there’s a downside to everything, is that among the barriers to entry that have been reduced is you don’t have to be able to read, write or think. You can just come
3011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jesse Jackson again addresses the wrong crowd. on: June 22, 2014, 12:47:36 PM
Excuse me.  I meant the "Reverand" Jesse Jackson.
I guess he implies Yahoo is racist and keeping Blacks and Hispanics ( a phoney label unto itself - made clear by Marc Levin this past week) from its work force.   This shyster should be speaking to crowds of Blacks and Latinos motivating and encouraging and helping them do better not blaming Yahoo which is hiring the best candidates for their positions.  Yes JJ, Asians are kicking the asses out of Blacks and Latinos , and many of us Whites too.  Wake up you phoney corrupt shakedown artist:


Jessica Guynn, USATODAY 1:25 p.m. EDT June 18, 2014

Half of Yahoo's work force of more than 12,000 is white, 39% Asian, 4% Hispanic, 2% black and 4% undisclosed or more than one race, reflecting the stark lack of diversity in Silicon Valley.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo on Tuesday shared some basic demographic information on its work force, the latest Silicon Valley company to reveal the stark lack of diversity in its ranks.

For years technology companies have resisted reporting this information even though they collect it and report it to the federal government.

But Google late last month swung open the door by revealing the gender and racial breakdown of its work force, bringing to the fore an issue that Silicon Valley has long wanted to keep hidden from public view: that these work forces are predominantly white and male.

Google made the move after Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. stood up at its annual shareholder meeting to urge Google to disclose its numbers. He made a similar plea at the Facebook shareholder meeting. But the giant social network where Sheryl Sandberg is the No. 2 executive, said it preferred to share the data internally first.

Yahoo, which is also run by a woman and another former Google executive, Marissa Mayer, said 50% of its work force of more than 12,000 is white, 39% Asian, 4% Hispanic, 2% black and 4% undisclosed or more than one race.

Asians comprise 57% of Yahoo's tech workers while 35% of tech workers are white. About 37% of Yahoo workers are women and 23% of senior managers are women.

Last week, LinkedIn also disclosed its diversity figures, which were very similar to those released by Google and Yahoo. But LinkedIn also released the demographic report it provides to the federal government.

Only Intel, Cisco and a smattering of other companies routinely disclose their demographic reports to the federal government.
3012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 22, 2014, 12:32:41 PM
Agree 100%.  The control of the Party by the establishment financed by lobbyists and the Rove crowd is on stage for all to behold.

I agree we need candidates who can win but that doesn't mean win by being a Democrat on many issues.  What good is that?   We need good mouthpieces.  Right now few of the leaders are able to articulate meaningfully.   I don't know why they can't get it.   The answer is they are bought and paid for.

Batt who beat Cantor has a good mouthpiece.  I am impressed by him and I see potential in him.

Rubio is coming back.  Yet he has to do a better job of reaching the middle group more.  Can't be done just with platitudes.

Not when up against cold hard cash bribes.
3013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 22, 2014, 12:26:00 PM
The Economist has an article this week on how Hildabeasts book is basically a talking points directive to her mafia army to hit the airwaves with.   Who would ever have guessed?

And of course we are seeing the other obvious and totally predictable moves to separate herself from Brock.   The Benghazi deception was of course, not her idea.  She was serving the President.   Of course we can count her as being in agreement with Obama on every point he polls well on (probably few), and in disagreement (from day one) on every thing he polls poorly on.  Setting the illusion that she is not him, would not govern like him, and of course would be much "smarter" and effective.

I am glad her book is selling very poorly.  Perhaps there is hope that the Clintons cannot simply bribe their way to another top job in the world.   Like we were dead broke and Bill and I struggled to find the money for houses and college tuition. rolleyes wink tongue

http://nypost.com/2014/06/22/clinton-bristled-at-benghazi-deception-book/
3014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: June 19, 2014, 11:12:22 AM
Are there four other white guys on this board that would like to sign a petition to the Trademark Office describing how we cannot sleep eat or calm down over the name Cracker Barrel?

Why are not 50 Senators spending their time with this?   No time between raising cash I guess.  One absurd meaningless crusade is as much as they can handle.
3015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: June 19, 2014, 11:08:24 AM
"They were busy feeding IRS hard drives into blast furnaces"

All the shysters men will be out claiming IRS was just following protocol and or just a snafu.

We should be able to confiscate WH hard drives to get the evidence.  Good luck with that.

Of course other then 10 minute discussion between Anderson Cooper and Jeff Tobin there will not be one peep from the same media that went wild after Nixon.   There was no end to their congratulating themselves over getting him impeached.
Now for fully worse crimes total silence.
3016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: June 18, 2014, 10:02:07 PM
This is good but it doesn't let Brockary off the hook.

#1 Why did they apprehend this guy if they continue to claim Benghazi was due to "digusting" video?   Was this the guy that made the video?

#2 Why did they or their minions lie about the whole affair for years starting just before an election?

3017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: June 18, 2014, 07:25:36 AM
I met a few people who sold within the year before 2009.   They seemed to see something coming. 

I read the housing situation is now being duplicated with bad loans on the housing thread.
3018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 18, 2014, 07:21:11 AM
The future of the Republican party or a party of smaller government will be bleak.

Who do you think is watching soccer?   It ain't me.   I am not a huge sports fan but I still hate watching soccer and would rather watch football, basketball, or baseball, or UFC.   Probably even bowling or billiards.   It appears that except for some Eastern Europeans who know what it is like to live under statism the majority of the rest wherever they are from have no problem with centralized government control.   

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-match-in-world-cup-sets-a-tv-record-1403034850
3019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dr. Oz; healath supplements hucksterism on: June 17, 2014, 10:33:43 PM
Probably all or at least the vast majority of these marketing natural health substances are scams.  They all pretty much follow the same format.  Some con artist picks up on some lousy  or worthless study published in some journal and then turns around to sell some product that will make one feel younger, cure or ease joint pain, help one sleep better, or have the sexual drive of a 14 yo, live longer, feel more energetic, reduce fatigue depression anxiety and all the rest.

The site how they are the only ones who get it pure, or in the correct mixture, or from some rare plant in S America.  They try to impress with their PhD or memorizations of some biochemical pathways.  I truly suspect some of the University people who actually do these studies are in on the scams.   Many are most certainly receiving some kickbacks.   Oz maybe doesn't but I am sure some of these people who do studies do.  

I am glad we are seeing more public outrage of this.  As for Dr. Oz I really know little about him and have never listened to him though a few people have asked me about some things he has said.  

****WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from Congress, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz on Tuesday offered to help "drain the swamp" of unscrupulous marketers using his name to peddle so-called miracle pills and cure-alls to millions of Americans desperate to lose weight.

Oz appeared before the Senate's consumer protection panel and was scolded by Chairman Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for claims he made about weight-loss aids on his TV show, "The Dr. Oz Show."

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, acknowledged that his language about green coffee and other supplements has been "flowery" and promised to publish a list of specific products he thinks can help America shed pounds and get healthy — beyond eating less and moving more. On his show, he never endorsed specific companies or brands but more generally praised some health supplements as fat busters.

McCaskill took Oz to task for a 2012 show in which he proclaimed that green coffee bean extract was a "magic weight loss cure for every body type."

"I get that you do a lot of good on your show," McCaskill told Oz, but "I don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true."

Oz insisted he believes in the supplements he talks about on his show as short-term crutches and even has his family try them. He said his job on the show is to be a "cheerleader" for his audience, one who offers hope even if that means looking to alternative healing traditions and any evidence that might support them.

But Oz did agree that there's no long-term miracle pill out there without diet and exercise.

Within weeks of Oz's comments about green coffee — which refers to the unroasted seeds or beans of coffee — a Florida-based operation began marketing a dietary supplement called Pure Green Coffee, with claims that the chlorogenic acid found in the beans could help people lose 17 pounds and cut body fat by 16 percent in 22 weeks.

The company, according to federal regulators, featured footage from "The Dr. Oz Show" to sell its supplement. Oz has no association with the company and received no money from sales.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission sued the sellers behind Pure Green Coffee and accused them of making bogus claims and deceiving consumers.

The weight-loss industry is an area where consumers are particularly vulnerable to fraud, Mary Koelbel Engle, an associate director at the FTC, testified at the Senate hearing. She said the agency conducted a consumer survey in 2011 and found that more consumers were victims of fraudulent weight-loss products than of any of the other specific frauds covered in the survey.

Oz stressed during the hearing that he has never endorsed specific health supplements or received money from the sale of supplements. Nor has he allowed his image to be used in ads for supplements, he said.

"If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email or other circumstance," Oz testified, "it's illegal" — and not anything he has endorsed. He hasn't allowed his name to be associated with specific brands, he said, because of ethical concerns he has about doctors making endorsements of health products.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked Oz if he would be willing to create a master list of brands he feels work, instead of suggesting that a general supplement may work for weight loss and then leaving consumers to poke around on the Internet in hopes of finding something.

"I've been actively looking at that," said Oz. "With your suggestion and support, I think I'm going to do it and I think it'll do a lot to drain the swamp that we've created around this area."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.****






3020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 17, 2014, 10:13:56 PM
Hillary calls the IRS issue not a scandal but a partisan "circus".  angry
3021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Lois Lerner on: June 14, 2014, 06:43:12 PM
How obvious does it have to be?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obstruction_of_justice
3022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / His actions are very clear. on: June 14, 2014, 06:25:16 PM
"Bush, whatever his warts and misjudgements, was working *for* the interests of the country, not against them. I'm not sure you can say that about Obama unless you are a total isolationist who believes we ought sinmply to withdraw behind our own fence and wait to fight AQ in the streets of American cities."

Isn't it obvious Obama is about one world government with fantasies as himself in charge.    He is about the full blown progressive agenda.   It is hard to say he is an isolationist.  In fact he is just the opposite.  He lets the hoards come into the US almost at will.  He refused to enforce the laws.  As long as they are mostly Democrat party voters.  

To me it is all payback time for him.  FU to the GOP.  FU to whites.  And probably FU to Christians and Jews.  
FU to "exceptionalist" American thought or traditional values.  Everything he does is to FU the values this nation was founded on.

If one listens carefully at what he says he gives this away.  LIke when he was speaking to some Democrats party hacks recently.  He plainly said the illegals are the future of this country.  Why?  Because they will by large majorities vote for a party that gives them the payouts and thus keep Democrats in power for a long time until there is a major upheaval and enough people wake up.

Although by then we really may be all made into government drones.

If I hear one more person say he is either incompetent or stupid I will explode.  

This guy knows exactly what he is doing.  And he will finish his Presidency in a blaze of fire.

All will be pardoned.  After he lets many millions more get here first exactly as we are seeing.  Later after being pardoned they will bring their relatives so that in 10 yrs we could realistically have another 50 million in the country 80% who will vote for the Democrats.  

That is if there is any money left to buy their votes with.
 
3023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 12, 2014, 09:47:27 PM
It is always a pleasure to see Hillary squirm about her lying.

Yet, sadly half the country could care less about lying with the ubiquitous come back,
"they all do it".  Ever point out her lying to a lib.  When boxed in with logic this is ALWAYS the comeback.

In my view lying should automatically cancel one out for any public office.
3024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 12, 2014, 12:47:16 PM
"The Presidential table was set for her far better in 2008 than it is in 2016.  Bush finally leaving instead of Obama finally leaving."

I agree with statement.  She is already preparing to distance herself as the tough moderate.  As one who can reach across the aisle ("like her husband did", if you believe the rewriting of history).

The support she has of the left, who have no better candidate so far, is unbelievable.   A small portion of it is ideology, such as the girly movement, but most seems to me to be from those who hope to profit handsomely from her Presidency.   

3025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: June 12, 2014, 12:30:52 PM
"I have repeatedly commented here at the time and since then, our leaving was a huge, huge, error."

Yes, you and others on the board notably GM and I think Doug and objectivist.   I was not so sure what to do.

I hope the soldiers who fought there will know no matter what happens they did not fight in vain, that they bravely risked lives, limb and golden years for their country, that their efforts were as noble as they come, and the rest of us armchair Americans will always be proud of them.  The Military should never be treated like the Vietnam Vets were by the liberals of the 60s including Clintons, Kerry, and Fonda ( who for some unclear reason is lionized now for making postmenopausal exercise videos for post menopausal broads).

At the very least the Brockster should be screaming the praise of our military and our nation that valiantly tried to free Iraq from homicidal dirtballs.   Instead he makes us look like we are to blame and we are the disgrace.

3026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Incredible outfield throw on: June 12, 2014, 12:21:51 PM
I remember throwing a softball from the outfield to home as a kid, usually if not always on one bounce and always a little afraid of putting everything into the throw as it felt like my rotator cuff would give out.   This is amazing.  He turns an error into a fantastic play.   This is the best of baseball:

https://screen.yahoo.com/automation-category-channel-b/maryland-ag-sues-sports-uniform-143200260.html
3027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 12, 2014, 10:03:21 AM
"Sixty-eight percent of Americans favor allowing immigrants living in the country illegally who were brought to the United States as children to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college."

Allowing people who come here illegally serve in the military for citizenship?  Talk about immoral.

Go to college?  We will pay for all that.  cry
3028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 12, 2014, 09:45:22 AM
"Immigration reform is definitely dead".  Maybe maybe not.

In any case Obama is  encouraging the hoards of future Democrat voters to pour into the country.  And how convenient.  The Dems will point the finger at the GOP saying "they blocked reform.  It is their fault."

Obama clearly is fully intent on doing as much as he can to do his progressive bidding.

When we even hear left leaning Jeff Tobin admit there is a constitutional crises then we know at least a few more people are waking up to what we on this board have said even before this guy was elected in '08.

The damage is severe and will be really bad by the time he leaves power.   We will have 15 million new legal residents and they will bring in more hoards.

Even if the GOP takes the Senate they will not have 60.   Obama cannot be stopped.  The Framers certainly did not intend this.  Except maybe in wartime as "Commander in Chief".  But now every excuse possible to use that keeps this guy going.
3029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: June 12, 2014, 09:36:18 AM
The Jihadists armored convoys consist of a bunch of Toyota pick up trucks with platoons of guys wearing black hoods and carrying Kalishnokov weapons.   A few jets scrambled could finish the whole thing off.  This is reminiscent of Herbert Bush encouraging Kurds to rise up against Saddam and then leaving them alone to be murdered.

Now we encouraged and supported moderate elements in Iraq only to abandon them when they need some help.

3030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: June 11, 2014, 07:33:10 AM
 I wonder why Brat was able to win against the money and name recognition when other were not.  The Mitch McConnell.

Was it the makeup of his constituency or he was simply a better candidate?

I don't know.
3031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Paper technology on: June 11, 2014, 07:30:06 AM
I didn't realize paper was invented by the Chinese between 100 and 200 AD.  Of course it really took off after the invention of type and printing press.  Martin Luther was the first bestseller ( a bit before the NYT):

http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21603411-cheap-portable-printable-invention-happy-find
3032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 11, 2014, 07:23:10 AM
"Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, doesn't really have a story to tell: Her book is an assemblage of anecdotes, organized geographically, held together by no overarching theme, or underlying analysis, or ultimate accomplishment. In April she was asked to name her proudest achievements as secretary"

This is the story of her entire life not just as Sec of State.   Her whole persona has been one of a defiant hippy in search of something to rebel against.
3033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why can't the GOP get some better mouth pieces? on: June 11, 2014, 07:19:30 AM
The only reason I post this if because of this line:

" That was David Brat’s (that’s the guy who won) whole campaign: Cantor was a liberal who supported a path to citizenship for the swarthy illegals. (He didn’t say that, of course, at least the swarthy part.) Immigration reform is D-E-A-D. There is no chance the House will touch it. That means it’s dead for this Congress, which means that next Congress, the Senate would have to take the lead in passing it again."

Again the GOP allows the left media to control the way immigration is presented.  This is not about just Latinos coming in from south of the border although they of course are the great bulk of illegals.  Sure they are easier to spot.  But their are plenty from Europe, Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, Asia who are not here legally as well.   No matter where you come from we expect you to respect our laws.   That includes residence laws too.  The GOP has to make this clear.  Of course like nitwits they don't and of course the Dems can more easily turn this into a racial issue.  Which it is not.  Whether for or against amnesty for 15 million people and later many of their relatives and the millions more who will come again it is an economic issue.  It is about the money as always.


******By Michael Tomasky 10 hours ago The Daily Beast

Eric Cantor Loss Is an Earthquake

Here’s the thing: Eric Cantor did not fall asleep in this race. He spent around $5 million. He ran lots of TV ads. He knew this was going to be a close one. He campaigned. And he still got creamed.

And here’s the other thing: Cantor was not an enemy of the Tea Party. He was in fact the Tea Party’s guy in the leadership for much of the Barack Obama era. He carried the tea into the speaker’s office. And still he got creamed.

Creamed! Has a party leader ever lost a primary like this? Stop and take this in. Like any political journalist, I’m a little bit of a historian of this sort of thing, although I readily admit my knowledge isn’t encyclopedic. But I sure can’t think of anything. Tom Foley, the Democratic House speaker in the early 1990s, lost reelection while he was speaker, but that was in the general, to a Republican, which is a whole different ballgame. And he was the first sitting speaker to lose an election since…get this…1862! But a primary? The No. 2 man in the House, losing a primary?

So what happened here? Obviously, first, it’s about immigration. That was David Brat’s (that’s the guy who won) whole campaign: Cantor was a liberal who supported a path to citizenship for the swarthy illegals. (He didn’t say that, of course, at least the swarthy part.) Immigration reform is D-E-A-D. There is no chance the House will touch it. That means it’s dead for this Congress, which means that next Congress, the Senate would have to take the lead in passing it again. (The Senate’s passage of the current bill expires when this Congress ends.) And the Senate isn’t going to touch it in the next Congress, even if the Democrats hold on to the majority. Those handful of Republicans who backed reform last year will be terrified to do so. And it’s difficult to say when immigration reform might have another shot. Maybe the first two years of President Clinton’s second term. Maybe.

Second, the reports of the Tea Party’s death are…well, you know. Cantor’s loss is a huge disruption of the narrative that the Republican establishment had taken control this year. And throw in the coming Chris McDaniel-Thad Cochran runoff in the Mississippi Senate race, which many now expect Tea Partier McDaniel to win, and you have a narrative in which the Tea Party can say, “We’re still calling the shots.” Cantor also has spent the past couple of years talking about education, which, any Tea Party person knows, is code for black, city, unions. Other Republicans in the House won’t miss that message, and they won’t try to carve out any “interesting” legislative profiles for themselves.

Third, what does it mean for the country? Hard to say yet, but bad, surely. The House GOP wasn’t exactly ready to start cutting deals with Obama even with Cantor in the leadership. Now that he’s been beaten by a right-winger…no one, not a single Republican in the House will take a chance on anything. The legislative process, already shut down, will only be more so.

And Brat himself, fourth, is a star overnight. I’d hate to be his booker or scheduler. His Wednesday is going to be a roller-coaster ride from Rush Limbaugh to Fox to Laura Ingraham to who knows what. He is a hero to these people. Remember how Scott Brown attained wattage in 2009 by beating Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts? Brown was a major star then. Brat is going to make Brown look like a nameless session guitar player.

I’m sure there’s ramification five, six, seven, and eight that I’m not even thinking of right now. We’ll see. But this is an earthquake. One of the most shocking electoral nights in American history. Did I really say that? I did. It’s true. And it’s bad.

Related from The Daily Beast**********
3034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Any good chemists here on: June 07, 2014, 09:18:23 AM
who understands why gaseous sulfur waste from carbon fuels cannot be recycled into something else:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur
3035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I wonder how much of this 250 million will mysteriously disappear on: June 07, 2014, 08:38:52 AM
Clintons Hit $200 Million for Endowment Before 2016 Race
 
By Jonathan Allen and Annie Linskey  Jun 6, 2014 12:00 AM ET 

Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton raised $200 million in 10 months for their foundation’s endowment, positioning the nonprofit to survive even if its cash-collecting namesakes engage in a 2016 presidential run.

With four-fifths of their $250-million target in the bank, they are also changing fundraising strategies to include small donors -- a tactic that would create a list that could be politically useful, as well.

The Clintons’ initial appeals for foundation money were to contributors who could give $1 million or more. Those answering that call included Irish cell phone billionaire Denis O’Brien, and Bill Austin, owner of Minnesota’s Starkey Laboratories. Others were charities founded by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu -- the world’s second richest man -- and one run by Chicago venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker and his wife.

“As with many of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations, an endowment will provide the Clinton Foundation with the permanent capacity to support established and new programs and responsibly plan for the future,” Craig Minassian, the group’s chief communications officer, said in an e-mail.

The race to build an endowment is a sign that the foundation is maturing, that 67-year-old former President Bill Clinton won’t always be able to serve as its chief rainmaker, and that the time for Hillary Clinton, 66, to settle the question of her presidential ambitions is running out, said three people involved in the endowment project who asked for anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the fundraising effort.

The foundation’s officials are compiling a list of investment management firms to maintain the fund, and will soon put out a request for proposals, a foundation official familiar with the strategy said.

Establishing and funding the endowment now is important because a return by the Clintons to the political stage will also require a shift from generating cash for the foundation to financing the campaign, said those involved in the current fundraising drive.

That shift in status, from private to public life, also would mean the couple could be subject to conflict-of-interest charges if foundation donations are sought from those with interests before the federal government.

Avoiding Conflicts

Also, raising an endowment prior to a presidential run will ensure the foundation doesn’t starve a potential Clinton super-political action committee, said Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington-based watchdog group. Super-PACs that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money didn’t exist during Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Historically, many of the people who could give to a Clinton Foundation would have maxed out to the Clinton campaign,” Holman said. “Now they can throw all that money at the candidate herself.”

U.S. law bans foreigners such as billionaires Slim and O’Brien from contributing to political campaigns, so a potential Clinton campaign wouldn’t be competing for their dollars.

During the 2008 presidential primary campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama tried unsuccessfully to pressure the Clinton Foundation to reveal its donors. As part of the deal struck for Hillary Clinton to join Obama’s administration as secretary of state, the foundation agreed to disclose its contributors.

Donor Disclosure

The backers of the endowment will be listed along with other supporters in annual public disclosures going forward, according to a foundation official.

At a minimum, the Clintons simply wouldn’t have the time to nurture the endowment or foundation in the midst of a presidential campaign. If she runs and wins, the foundation could be deprived of their fundraising prowess for a decade.

The fundraising drive will be a hot topic of hallway conversations today when top donors -- including some who wrote checks for the endowment -- gather at Goldman Sachs (GS) Group Inc. headquarters in Manhattan for the organization’s annual spring briefing on programs.

The Clintons’ urgency is evident in the speed at which they have been generating donations.

“Most small or medium foundations wouldn’t be able to raise that kind of money in a year,” said Reina Mukai, a research manager at the New York-based Foundation Center, which tracks philanthropy. “It’s fairly unique.”

Small-Donor Event

In September, the foundation will hold a $1,000-a-head reception at the Italian Embassy in Washington. For $25,000, a couple will be able to dine after the reception with Bill and Hillary Clinton at the Washington home they’ve kept. A check for $50,000 includes dinner and an invitation to the New York-based foundation’s next donor conference.

Bill Clinton, advised by longtime aide Doug Band, created the Clinton Foundation shortly after leaving the White House in 2001. In 2012, it took in $54.7 million in revenue and ended the year with $183.6 million in assets. Its endowment, though, was just $292,000.

In the past dozen years, the foundation sprouted 11 separate arms, from the Clinton Global Initiative to Hillary Clinton’s “Too Small To Fail” project, which was founded in 2013 to improve the health of children younger than 6 years old.

Whether or not Hillary Clinton runs for president, foundation officials said it makes sense to set up a mechanism for building the family’s legacy “in perpetuity.”

One Clinton confidant described a maturation process at the foundation that made an endowment a natural move.

Start-Up Tendencies

In its early years, this person said, the foundation was more like a start-up, trying to figure out how to make it each year. More recently, its officers have begun considering how to make sure it can endure for decades.

While the $250 million level may secure the operation of existing programs, it hardly puts the Clinton foundation in the same league as those with the names Ford, Gates or Rockefeller attached to them.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, reports having an endowment of $40.2 billion -- 160 times the size of the Clinton Foundation’s goal. At $32.7 billion, Harvard University ranks first on the list of major college endowments.

The Clinton goal compares more closely to the size of the endowment of former President Jimmy Carter’s Atlanta-based foundation, which reported having a $460 million endowment in 2011.

Foundation Turnaround

The success of the Clinton fundraising drive marks a turnaround for a foundation that, according to the New York Times, was rife with disorganization and incurred about $40 million in deficits in 2007 and 2008. Bill Clinton disputed the account.

Still, in 2011 the foundation contracted with the New York-based law firm Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP to audit finances and policies. Recommendations included: hold regular staff meetings, review expense reports, and adopt a gift acceptance policy “to ensure that all donors are properly vetted.”

In July, the Clintons reorganized its staff, removing Chief Executive Officer Bruce Lindsey from day-to-day management and installing Eric Braverman from McKinsey & Company in his place.

As the foundation announced those changes, Bill Clinton added a request. “We need an endowment,” Clinton said in Aug. 13 open letter posted on the foundation’s website “which our family and friends are working to raise.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Allen in Washington at jallen149@bloomberg.net; Annie Linskey in Washington at alinskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net Don Frederick
3036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: June 6, 1944 on: June 06, 2014, 10:47:03 PM
They're all at least 87 y.o. now.  I vaguely can remember when the last Civil War vet died I think in 1965.
Are any WW1 vets alive still?
3037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 06, 2014, 10:40:40 PM
"the end of the canned food"

 cheesy

Even worse if it canned spam!

I admit I am in the awkward position of hoping I lose the bet.  grin
3038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Video Clips of Interest on: June 05, 2014, 09:52:23 PM
I wouldn't do this myself let alone with a dog but from NatGeographic:

http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/27/video-when-dogs-fly-dean-potter/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=inside_20140605&utm_campaign=Content
3039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 05, 2014, 09:36:56 PM
You make a good argument.  My position one can never underestimate the Clinton machine.   No matter how unbelievably dishonest Bill would be, let alone her, they would always manage to weasel out of trouble still on their feet.   shocked

I would like to place some heavy duty wagers with you:

1)  If she doesn't run I buy dinner.  If she does I get a dinner.

2)  If she doesn't win the Democratic nomination I buy lunch.  If she does you buy  lunch.

3) If she wins the Presidency I get breakfast.   IF not you do.

 grin
3040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 05, 2014, 11:23:51 AM
He knows he could never be impeached.  He knows he has no more personal elections to play with after this November.

He is going to be unleashed.   What we have been seeing is just for openers.  We better win the Senate. 

We better win all three WH, C , and S by 2016.   And start packing all the courts with Conservatives - not just talent.  Cynical yes.  But practical and realistic too.

I hope Conservative Supremes have good doctors.  I hope Ginsberg stays alive till 2016 but I bet she retires if WH goes Republican in '16.
3041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 05, 2014, 11:18:44 AM
Doug,

"My cover all bases prediction was that she will not run, won't win the Dem nomination if she runs and won't win the Presidency if she runs and is nominated"

Well you do make three predictions here.

How are you so sure?

'Inside info' you can share here?

3042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 05, 2014, 10:17:00 AM
Bamster:  no apologies.  We leave no soldier behind.

Yeah right.  Suddenly now this happens when this was all known going back to 2009.

Right after the VA scandal breaks.  We can see the WH is being run by Podesta, the Clinton fixer.

Same diversion tactics and rapid fill the news with spin.
3043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AFter seeing this on: June 05, 2014, 09:47:05 AM
Putin is frightened:

http://news.yahoo.com/video/fitness-expert-breaks-down-president-141039080.html
3044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It's official on: June 05, 2014, 08:31:47 AM
Cover of People. 

On,

her marriage
grandmother status
sleeping in to 8 AM
so involved
time to break the highest glass ceiling
post more botox and a quarter inch of makeup
saving the elephants
getting to know her [again]
the real Hillary behind the scenes
and of course an "oh my gosh"

http://www.people.com/article/hillary-clinton-2016-presidential-run-becoming-grandmother
3045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Reparations on: June 03, 2014, 07:25:52 AM
Well, we did fight a Civil War.  750,000 dead at a time when there were roughly 32 or 33 million people in the US (22 in the North and 9 in the South roughly 4 mill of them slaves .   That would be around 7.5 million deaths in today's numbers 300 mill + 30 mill illegals:

***Thursday, May 29, 2014 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: "A Peace Warrior": Poet, Civil Rights Activist...

The Case for Reparations: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Reckoning With U.S. Slavery & Institutional Racism

African-American History, Race in America

"We Shall Overcome": Remembering Folk Icon, Activist Pete Seeger in His Own Words & Songs
Jan 28, 2014 | Story

Bill Moyers on Dark Money, the Attack on Voting Rights & How Racism Stills Drives Our Politics
Jan 27, 2014 | Story

SPECIAL: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words
Jan 20, 2014 | Story

An explosive new cover story in the June issue of The Atlantic magazine by the famed essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates has rekindled a national discussion on reparations for American slavery and institutional racism. Coates explores how slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and federally backed housing policy systematically robbed African Americans of their possessions and prevented them from accruing inter-generational wealth. Much of the essay focuses on predatory lending schemes that bilked potential African-American homeowners, concluding: "Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole." Click here to watch Part 2 of this interview.":http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/30/part_2_ta_nehisi_coateson

AMY GOODMAN: "The case for reparations. 250 years of slavery. Nine years of Jim Crow. 60 years of separate but equal. 35 years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole." So begins an explosive new cover story in the June issue of the Atlantic magazine by the famed essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates. The article is being credited for rekindling a national discussion on reparations for American slavery and institutional racism.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In the essay, Ta-Nehisi Coates exposes how slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and federally backed housing policy systematically robbed African Americans of their possessions and prevented them from accruing intergenerational wealth. Much of the piece focuses on predatory lending schemes that built potential African-American homeowners. This is a video that The Atlantic released a preview its new cover story, "The Case for Reparations."


*BILLY LAMAR BROOKS SR.: This area here represents the poorest of the poor in the city of Chicago.


MATTIE LEWIS: I’ve always wanted to own my own house, because I work for white people when I was in the South, and they had beautiful homes and I always said, one day I was going to have me one.


JACK MACNAMARA: White folks created the ghetto. It drives me crazy today even that we don’t admit that. This is the best example I can think of the institutional racism.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: To talk about "The Case for Reparations," we’re joined now by Ta-Nehisi Coates here in New York City. Welcome to Democracy Now! You start your article with one particular figure, Clyde Ross. Tell us his story and why you decided to begin with him.

TA-NEHISI COATES: Mr. Ross is really just emblematic of much of what has happened to African-Americans across the 20th century, and I emphasize 20th century. Mr. Ross was born in the Delta region of Mississippi. His family was not particularly poor, they actually quite prominent farmers. They had their land and virtually all of their possessions taken from them through a scheme around allegedly back taxes and were reduced to sharecropping. In the sharecropping system, there was no sort of assurances over what they might get versus what they actually picked. When I first met Mr. Ross, the first thing he said to me was he left Mississippi for Chicago because he was seeking the protection of the law. I didn’t quite understand what he meant by that. But, as he explained it to me, he said, listen, there were no black judges, no black prosecutors, no black police — basically, we had no law. We were outlaws and people could take from us whatever they wanted. That was very much his early life. He went to Chicago thinking things would be a little different. On the surface, they were. He managed to get a job, got married, had a decent life. He was basically looking for that one more emblem of the American middle class in the Eisenhower years, and that was the possession of a home. Unfortunately, due to government policy, Mr. Ross at that time, like most African-Americans, was unable to secure a loan due to policies or red-lining and deciding who deserved the loans and who doesn’t. There was a broad, broad consensus that African-Americans, for no other reason besides blatant racism, could not be responsible homeowners. Mr. Ross, as happens when people are pushed out of the legitimate loan market ended up in the illegitimate loan market and got caught up in the system of contract buying, which is essentially just a particularly onerous rent to own scheme for people looking to buy houses. Ended up purchasing a house, I believe at $27,000 he paid for it. The person who sold it to him had bought the house only six months before for $12,000. Mr. Ross later became an activist, helped formed the Contract Buyers League, and just fought on behalf of African American home owner on the west side of Chicago. I should add that it is estimated during this period that 85% of African-Americans looking to buy homes in Chicago bought through contract lending.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Let’s hear Clyde Ross and his onward speaking a in 1969 on behalf of the Contract Buyers League a coalition of black homeowners on Chicago’s South and West Sides from all of whom had been locked into the the same system of predatory lending.


CLYDE ROSS: They have cheated us out of more than money. We have been cheated out of the right to be human beings in a society. We have been cheated out of buying homes at a decent price. Now it’s time now, we got a chance. The Contract Buyers League has presented a chance for these people in this area to move out of this crippled society, to move up. Stand on your own two feet. Be human beings, fight for what you know is right. Fight.

AMY GOODMAN: Ta-Nehisi Coates, can you talk about this example and others in this remarkable piece and how you then talk about the bill for reparations that has been introduced by John Conyers year after year in the house, and what reparations would actually look like?

TA-NEHISI COATES: What I try to establish in this piece is that there is a conventional way of talking about the relationship in America between the African-American community and the white community, and it is one that we are very comfortable with. I call it basically the lunch table view of the problem with racism in America is that black people want to sit at one table and white people want to sit at another lunch table. If we could just get black and white people to like each other, love each other, everything would be solved. In fact, even these terms that we’re using are inventions, and they’re inventions of racism. If you trace back the history back to 1619, a better way of describing the relationship between black and white people is one of plunder, the constant stealing, the taking from black people that extends from slavery up through Jim Crow policy. Slavery is obviously the stealing of people’s labor. In some cases the outright theft of people’s children, and the vending of people’s children, the taking of the black body for whatever profit you can wring from it, up through the Jim Crow South where you have a system of debt peonage, sharecropping — which really isn’t much different minus the actual selling of children you steal, exploiting labor and taking as much as you can from it. Into a system when you think about something like separate but equal. In the Civil Rights Movement, we traditionally picture colored only water fountains, white only restrooms. The thing people have to remember, if you take a state like Mississippi or anywhere in the deep South where you have a public university system, black people are paying into that. Black people are pledging their fealty to the state and yet, they aren’t getting the same return. This is theft. This is systemized. When we try to talk about the practicality of it, I spent 16,000 words almost just trying to actually make the case. At the end, what I come to is that the actionable thing right now is to support Representative John Conyers’ Bill H.R.40 for a study of what slavery has actually done, what the legacy of slavery has actually done to black people and what are remedies we might come up with. I did that not so much to dodge the question, but because I think to actually even sketch out what this might be would take another 16,000 words. We have to calculate what slavery was. We have to calculate what Jim Crow was. We have to calculate what we lost in terms of redlining and come to some sort of ostensible number and figure out whether we can actually pay it back. And if we can’t, what we might do in lieu of that.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: When you mentioned that the systemic plunder that occurred, I mean, this is not ancient history.

TA-NEHISI COATES: No, no.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In the most recent economic crisis in the country, there was this enormous reduction in the wealth of African-Americans in the country as a result of the housing crisis, yet the narrative portrays it as the housing crisis was caused — the conservative narrative is — by affirmative action policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make it easier for African-Americans with low credit to get loans. Talk about that and this enormous wealth loss that occurred recently.

TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, the great sociologist Douglas Massey has a very interesting paper out specifically about the foreclosure crisis as it should be rightly called that happened very, very recently. One of the things he demonstrates in the paper is the thing that made this possible, segregation was a driver of this. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The African-American community is the most segregated community in the country, and what you have in that community is a population of people who have been traditionally cut off from wealth building opportunities. So, anxious to get wealth-building opportunities. If you are a banker and you are looking sell a scheme to somebody and rip somebody off, well there your marks are, right there, right in the same place. That’s essentially what happened.

AMY GOODMAN: Ta-Nehisi Coates, I wanted to go to this issue of reparations and the examples you have seen, for example, after the Holocaust, Germany and the Jews. Can you talk about how those reparations took place?

TA-NEHISI COATES: It is very, very interesting. One of the reasons why I included that history, because as we know, reparations for African-Americans has all sorts of practical problems that we would have to deal with and fight about. I wanted to just demonstrate that even in the case of reparations to Israel, the one that’s most cited, this was not a sure thing. One thing that people often say about African-American reparations is, well, oh you’re just talking about savory, that was so long ago, as though if we were talking about a more proximate or more present case it would be much easier. But, in fact, the fact it was so close made it really, really hard for people, made it hard for some Israelis who did not want to feel like they were taking a buck off of folks’ mothers or brothers or sisters or grandmas who had just been killed. In Germany in fact, if we look at the public opinion surveys at the time, they were no more — Germans in the popular sense — were no more apt to take responsibility today than Americans are for slavery. So, it was a very, very difficult piece. What’s interesting and I think one of the lessons that can be learned from it, however, is the way it was structured. In fact, Germany did not just cut a check to Israel. What they actually did was they gave them vouchers. Those vouchers that were worth a certain amount of money, those vouchers had to be used with German companies. So, essentially, what they structured was a stimulus for West Germany while giving reparations to Israel at the same time. It gives us some clue that some sort of creative solutions we might have in the African-American community.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: One of the issues you also raise is that this reparations demand is not new in American history. You talk about Belinda Royall who in 1783 had been a slave for 50 years, became a freed woman. She petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for reparations.

TA-NEHISI COATES: Right, right, right, and I think people think of this as something that just sort of came up, you know 150 years — Black people — reparations is basically as old as this country is, and it’s not just, as you mention, Belinda Royall, people like that, but, it is also white people who understood at the time some great injury had been done. Many of the quaker meetings for instance — basically, they would excommunicate people who didn’t just free their slaves, but actually gave them something, you know, paid them reparations in return. We have the great quote from Timothy Dwight who was the president of Yale who said, to liberate these folks, to free these folks and to give them nothing would be to entail a curse upon them. Effectively, that is actually what happened upon African American and really, I would argue, upon the country at large. Many, many people of the Revolutionary generation, the generation that fought in the Revolutionary War, understood that slavery was somehow in contradiction to what America was saying it was. Many of those folks also at the very least gave land to African-Americans when they were liberated. Some of them educated them. But they understood to just cut somebody out into the wild, which is basically what happened to black people, would not be a good thing.

AMY GOODMAN: Ta-Nehisi Coates, we want to thank you very much for being with us. We’re going to do part two right after the show and we will post it online at democracynow.org. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent of The Atlantic where he writes about culture, politics and social issues. He has just written a cover story called "The Case for Reparations." Ta-Nehisi Coates is also the author of the memoir "The Beautiful Struggle."***



3046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Men with Dogs corraled Mammoths? on: June 03, 2014, 07:19:15 AM

Dogs Helped Drive Mammoths To Their Graves, New Study Suggests
 
  | By David Grimm 
  Posted:  06/01/2014 10:11 am EDT    Updated:  06/01/2014 10:59 am EDT   
Print Article   
MAMMOTHS

  It’s known as the mammoth cemetery for good reason. Along the banks of a Siberian river not far from the Arctic Ocean lie thousands of bones, most of them belonging to the giant, shaggy relatives of today’s elephants. A new study argues that such mysterious graveyards were not the results of a natural catastrophe, but rather the work of early human hunters—who may have had help from some of the world’s first dogs.

“This is the first time that someone’s gone out on a limb and suggested something different than what we thought before,” says Angela Perri, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and an expert on dog domestication. “But it’s still very speculative at this stage.”

Study author Pat Shipman first became interested in what she calls “mammoth megasites” in 2009. About 30 such spots have been unearthed in central Europe and North Asia, some with tens of thousands of bones packed tightly on top of each other across areas as small as 60 square meters. The massive tusks and femurs of mammoths jut out among the remains of wild horses, deer, foxes, and other animals. “They’re crazy sites,” says Shipman, an anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “The sheer number of dead mammoths is astounding.” More than 160 of the tusked goliaths lie in the mammoth cemetery—a site known as Berelekh—alone.

How did they get there? Some scientists think it was an act of nature—perhaps a flood that swept dozens of animals to a particular spot, or an unlucky herd that fell through thin ice. But recent evidence has suggested that people may to be blame. Shipman says the mammoth megasites begin to appear about 44,000 years ago, just about the time that modern humans entered this part of the world. What’s more, archaeologists have found evidence of huts made of mammoth bones at some of these locations, as well as cuts and burn marks on the bones that could only have been made by people.

To get a clearer picture, Shipman combed through the literature on more than a dozen mammoth megasites, paying particular attention to the age and sex of the mammoths unearthed there. She then compared these demographics with those seen with the deaths of large numbers of elephants, the mammoth’s closest living relative. Natural disasters such as droughts kill the youngest and oldest elephants, but other sudden die-offs—such as a herd falling through ice or a cull of elephants to control their population—kill indiscriminately, leaving behind the carcasses of young and old, male and female. Elephant hunters, meanwhile, tend to kill each animal in a different place. “To my surprise, hardly anything matched these patterns,” Shipman says of the mammoth bones. What’s more, the dating on the bones indicated that they had been laid down over hundreds of years. That suggests that the animals were killed over and over in the same spot over many generations, she reports in Quaternary International. “There’s something that’s drawing them to that location.”

Shipman says the data point to a scenario in which humans killed the mammoths, but not in the way people do today. Instead of culling them or hunting them across vast plains, ancient peoples may have ambushed the creatures. The reason so many bones are found in the same location may be that these spots were ideal for such ambushes. Perhaps they were surrounded by thick brush, in which spear-hurling humans could hide, or maybe they lay along a commonly traveled migration route. Shipman also thinks the hunters may have had some help from dogs.

It’s still unclear exactly when or where dogs became domesticated, but some recent archaeological evidence suggests it may have happened around the same time and place as the mammoth megasites. A skull recovered from a cave in southern Belgium, for example, has both wolf- and doglike features, and it dates to about 32,000 years ago. Though genetic evidence indicates that this animal may not have been an ancestor of today’s dogs, the find suggests that the process of canine domestication could have begun tens of thousands of years ago. Significantly, Shipman says, similar skulls have been found among the mammoth bones at several megasites. Many of the skulls bear healed fractures, a possible indication that these animals were cared for by humans.

Shipman speculates that the mammoth megasites may be the first significant evidence of a cooperative relationship between man and dog. The canines could have corralled the mammoths at the ambush sites and held the prey in place while human hunters moved in for the kill, Shipman says. Once the mammoths were dead, the dogs could have protected the sites from scavengers. “All of that mammoth meat would have brought predators from miles around,” she says. In return, the humans may have provided these canines with food and protection. And slowly, a closer relationship may have begun to form.

Finding more large and strong doglike animals at these sites would support her hypothesis, Shipman says. Such finds will be necessary to convince archaeologists like Nicholas Conard that the new work is more than just a leap of faith. “I like it as an idea, but there’s no smoking gun,” says Conard, who works at the University of Tübingen in Germany and who has personally excavated mammoth megasites. Perri agrees. “We don’t know enough about what early dogs—or even the wolves of the time—looked like,” she says. “This is extrapolating from too few examples.” Still, Conard says, “there are so few ideas about how these sites formed, and what Shipman is arguing is possible and testable. It’s a move in the right direction.”

Original article:
http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/2014/05/did-dogs-help-drive-mammoths-their-graves
3047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Speaking of "bizarro" on: June 01, 2014, 09:49:09 PM
What does the board think of this discussion of liberalism.   After reading this I am more confused than ever about what is "LIBERALISM" .  According to this author it depends what age and what region and what country you are talking from.

For example, does this make any sense at all of what we think liberalism is in this country in this day and age:

"Unlike conservatives, who fear change, liberals welcome it because they believe that changing societies can be stable. Unlike socialists, who think the advent of Utopia needs to be administered, liberals aim to create the conditions in which each person can thrive in his or her own way unburdened by dictatorship."

If you ask me I think of liberals as just the opposite.  That is more akin to statism.   

Anyway, please read on and get confused:


*****Liberal thought

On the barricades

An eloquent study of a belief under siege
 May 24th 2014  | From the print edition

Liberalism: The Life of an Idea. By Edmund Fawcett.Princeton University Press; 468 pages; $35 and £24.95. Buy from Amazon.co.uk (ISBN=unknown)

SOMETIMES it seems as if liberalism is slowly caving in. Western democracies are battered by partisanship and populism. Inequality is undermining social cohesion. Governments are unconvincingly shoring up expensive welfare states that have failed to match their promise. Meanwhile, the running is being made by places such as Turkey, which has an intolerant majority, and China and Russia, where power cannot be contested. “Liberalism” by Edmund Fawcett is not only a gripping piece of intellectual history, it also equips the reader to understand today’s threats—and how they might be withstood.

“Liberal” in the vocabulary of Mr Fawcett, for many years on the staff of The Economist, does not mean Democratic in the American sense, fanatically free-market in the French, or bearded and sandals-wearing in the British. Instead liberalism is a protean set of beliefs—in progress, scepticism towards authority and respect for individuals—that have been central to the formation of modern Western democracy. Neither is Mr Fawcett setting out to write directly about today. Instead, he traces the evolution of liberalism from its roots in the Enlightenment. The result is a scrapbook, assembled out of thumbnail biographies and historical vignettes, interleaved with philosophical argument and snippets of economics. Mr Fawcett’s erudition and his voluminous list of sources attest to a lifetime’s engagement with liberalism, both in the academy and at the hustings.

Though the sketches are sometimes tantalisingly brief, the scrapbook method gives the book two distinctive traits. One is that France and Germany feature almost as much as Britain and America. John Stuart Mill and James Madison have to share a berth with François Guizot, the French statesman and historian who, long before Lord Acton, articulated the liberal conviction that power corrupts, and Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch, the German who founded the first credit unions. Mr Fawcett tears the blinkers off the view that liberal thought was essentially Anglo-Saxon—and that, correspondingly, France and Germany even today are not truly liberal.

The other distinction, following from this, is the book’s sheer scope, which ranges from monetary theory to social Darwinism and from the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the contrasts between anarchy and dissent. Mostly, these juxtapositions shed light on the adaptability of liberalism—of how, as Mr Fawcett writes, it has “no Marx-Engels Standard Edition”. Occasionally, though, the bedfellows jar; it is odd to find the British Conservative Michael Oakeshott in the same tent as the French Marxist Jean-Paul Sartre.

Adaptability is one reason for thinking that liberalism can withstand today’s challenges. Mr Fawcett argues that it was born not just out of a desire for liberty, but also to cope with the violent revolutions unleashed at the end of the 18th century. Unlike conservatives, who fear change, liberals welcome it because they believe that changing societies can be stable. Unlike socialists, who think the advent of Utopia needs to be administered, liberals aim to create the conditions in which each person can thrive in his or her own way unburdened by dictatorship.

However, as liberalism has spread, these impulses have become silted over. What remains is often a diminished combination of elections and a narrow, market-based version of freedom. Mr Fawcett provides a timely reminder that liberalism is much richer—more concerned with those who lose elections than those who win them, wary of concentrated power wherever it may be found, and committed to the intrinsic worth of every individual.

Liberalism is indeed under siege. Those who would fortify the walls would do well to study the foundations. Mr Fawcett’s book offers an admirable archaeology.
3048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Presidential Pardon on: June 01, 2014, 06:06:41 PM
How is it that the President has this kind of unchecked power?   I would dispute the numbers.   Reagan is obviously champion pardoner in chief when he pardoned 3 million illegals.  The record is soon to be smashed.   

******About Presidential Pardons
 
By Shelley Moore, eHow Contributor

The president of the United States has nearly unlimited power to grant pardons and override the criminal-justice system at his sole discretion. The power is granted by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the president "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." The presidential power to pardon cannot be limited by any other branch of government. Have a question? Get an answer from a lawyer now!

 Original Purpose

To the framers of the Constitution, the power to pardon was probably a natural inclusion, as they were accustomed to this power being used by the king of England to correct injustices. In England, even minor offenses could carry a death sentence, and a royal pardon was the only way to avoid this punishment. The framers of the Constitution also saw a presidential pardon as being useful during war and rebellion, when a pardon could induce rebels to reconcile. As noted by Alexander Hamilton, an offer of a pardon "to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquility of the commonwealth."

Full Pardons and Commutations

Although a full pardon completely overturns a conviction, it does not imply that the conviction was in error. The full pardon reinstates a person's ability to apply for jobs that do not allow criminal convictions, such as law-enforcement positions, and to regain certain privileges, such as carrying a firearm. Presidents also can reduce a criminal sentence rather than issuing a full pardon, called a commutation of sentence. It is common for presidents to issue many pardons during their last month in office.

Recent Numbers

The pardon power is controversial, especially when a president pardons numerous people, as Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan did. Clinton pardoned 395 people during his eight years in office, and Reagan pardoned 393. George H.W. Bush, in contrast, pardoned only 75 in his four-year term, and George W. Bush 171 in eight years.

A Famous Pardon

Pardons often are used more for political reasons than for an offender's atonement or any type of judicial error. Perhaps the most famous pardon was Gerald Ford's pardon of former president Richard Nixon in 1974, when Nixon had not even been formally charged with a crime. Although Ford lost a great deal of favor after the pardon, with people cynically referring to him as "Nixon's man," many historians indicate he might have done the right thing by allowing the nation to move on and heal after the Watergate scandal.

Another Controversial Pardon

Ironically, Jimmy Carter, who beat Ford in the next election perhaps partly because of the Nixon pardon, almost immediately issued a controversial pardon when he took office. Carter pardoned all those who avoided serving in the Vietnam War by leaving the country or not registering for the draft.********

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_4928054_presidential-pardons.html#ixzz33QoRzEBq
3049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: June 01, 2014, 05:28:11 PM
Mayb e add;

1)  Tell us exactly when you learned the video had NOTHING to do with the attack and why you still refuse to admit that.

2)  Tell us why you were blaming a video as an acceptable excuse to attack our embassy and kill 4 Americans and it was necessary to almost apologize to and excuse the actions of terrorists on behalf of our country.

3)  Why are you qualified to be President when you cannot be hones and level with Americans?
3050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption on: June 01, 2014, 09:29:12 AM
Goddam America!

I suppose this was entrapment just to get a minority wink
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