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3051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 23, 2012, 12:54:08 PM
"But as Obama embarks in earnest on his second presidential campaign, deliberately invoking the echoes of 2008 as he does so, the contrast with his old image is especially stark."

One point I suggest is that Obama's image in 2008 was jsut a facade.

I haven't read his books but some of the exerpts clearly suggest he was a very confused and often angry boy/man growing up.  He was abandoned by his father.   And by his mother and left to be raised by white grandparents.   Though his mother was white he is black skinned and appears to have had lots of identity issues growing up with regards to race, religion, his nationality, his allegiences, his culture.   He has certainly sounded very angry.  

I also hypothesized that this man has a gigantic narcissim problem and when the going gets rough he will start to blame everyone else and be ruthless.   So far he is living true to form.

My point is the main difference between now and 2008 is we are really seeing the true nature of the politics and ruthlessness of this man.  We have more than his words, his charm along with accusations from his political enemies and hints of information from his past.
We have years of his OWN actions, deeds, dishonesty, hypocracy, cover-ups, self adoration to prove who he is .
You can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

Yes Bigdog.  This is essentially unspeakable to Democrats.  Cory Booker's quotes are rare from their side.   He will be hushed.  He may be punished by the DNC as well though we will not hear of it.

3052  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / From Scientific American politics is "tribal" on: May 21, 2012, 04:28:47 PM
Clinton is from the Democrat tribe.   Gingrich is from the Republican tribe.   Brock is from the radical liberal tribe.   Santorum is from the strict conservative tribe.

Well,

I am not sure "tribal" is the explanation.  I think it goes more to the individual peculiarities of individual human beings and that tribalism is just a means for us to get what we all seem to covet in varying degrees and in some ways.

Nor do I subscribe to the last conclusion in the last paragraph of this essay even though it includes a quote from John Stuart Mill who if I am not mistaken he had one of the highest estimated IQ's in history.

In any case:

****Evolution Explains Why Politics Is So Tribal
Evolution helps to explain why parties are so tribal and politics so divisive

By Michael Shermer  | June 13, 2012 |

Read More »
Which of these two narratives most closely matches your political perspective?

Once upon a time people lived in societies that were unequal and oppressive, where the rich got richer and the poor got exploited. Chattel slavery, child labor, economic inequality, racism, sexism and discriminations of all types abounded until the liberal tradition of fairness, justice, care and equality brought about a free and fair society. And now conservatives want to turn back the clock in the name of greed and God.

Once upon a time people lived in societies that embraced values and tradition, where people took personal responsibility, worked hard, enjoyed the fruits of their labor and through charity helped those in need. Marriage, family, faith, honor, loyalty, sanctity, and respect for authority and the rule of law brought about a free and fair society. But then liberals came along and destroyed everything in the name of “progress” and utopian social engineering.

Although we may quibble over the details, political science research shows that the great majority of people fall on a left-right spectrum with these two grand narratives as bookends. And the story we tell about ourselves reflects the ancient tradition of “once upon a time things were bad, and now they’re good thanks to our party” or “once upon a time things were good, but now they’re bad thanks to the other party.” So consistent are we in our beliefs that if you hew to the first narrative, I predict you read the New York Times, listen to progressive talk radio, watch CNN, are pro-choice and anti-gun, adhere to separation of church and state, are in favor of universal health care, and vote for measures to redistribute wealth and tax the rich. If you lean toward the second narrative, I predict you read the Wall Street Journal, listen to conservative talk radio, watch Fox News, are pro-life and anti–gun control, believe America is a Christian nation that should not ban religious expressions in the public sphere, are against universal health care, and vote against measures to redistribute wealth and tax the rich.

Why are we so predictable and tribal in our politics? In his remarkably enlightening book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon, 2012), University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that to both liberals and conservatives, members of the other party are not just wrong; they are righteously wrong—morally suspect and even dangerous. “Our righteous minds made it possible for human beings,” Haidt argues, “to produce large cooperative groups, tribes, and nations without the glue of kinship. But at the same time, our righteous minds guarantee that our cooperative groups will always be cursed by moralistic strife.” Thus, he shows, morality binds us together into cohesive groups but blinds us to the ideas and motives of those in other groups.

The evolutionary Rubicon that our species crossed hundreds of thousands of years ago that led to the moral hive mind was a result of “shared intentionality,” which is “the ability to share mental representations of tasks that two or more of [our ancestors] were pursuing together. For example, while foraging, one person pulls down a branch while the other plucks the fruit, and they both share the meal.” Chimps tend not to display this behavior, Haidt says, but “when early humans began to share intentions, their ability to hunt, gather, raise children, and raid their neighbors increased exponentially. Everyone on the team now had a mental representation of the task, knew that his or her partners shared the same representation, knew when a partner had acted in a way that impeded success or that hogged the spoils, and reacted negatively to such violations.” Examples of modern political violations include Democrat John Kerry being accused of being a “flip-flopper” for changing his mind and Republican Mitt Romney declaring himself “severely conservative” when it was suggested he was wishy-washy in his party affiliation.

Our dual moral nature leads Haidt to conclude that we need both liberals and conservatives in competition to reach a livable middle ground. As philosopher John Stuart Mill noted a century and a half ago: “A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.”****



.
3053  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GREAT POST on: May 21, 2012, 01:17:13 PM
One would think we were in a country whose media was controlled like say a communist/nazi nation.

Yet we have a "free" press. 

What does one make of this paradox?

3054  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / former CNN anchor: Obama condescending to women on: May 21, 2012, 01:10:51 PM
Coming from a former female CNN news anchor (most if not all of whom apper to me are usually left wing) this is a bit of a surprise:

Obama: Stop Condescending to WomenBy CAMPBELL BROWN
Published: May 19, 2012
 
WHEN I listen to President Obama speak to and about women, he sometimes sounds too paternalistic for my taste. In numerous appearances over the years — most recently at the Barnard graduation — he has made reference to how women are smarter than men. It’s all so tired, the kind of fake praise showered upon those one views as easy to impress. As I listen, I am always bracing for the old go-to cliché: “Behind every great man is a great woman.”

Enlarge This Image
 Peter Foley/European Pressphoto Agency
A Barnard graduate during President Barack Obama's commencement address.
Readers’ Comments
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
Read All Comments (655) »
Some women are smarter than men and some aren’t. But to suggest to women that they deserve dominance instead of equality is at best a cheap applause line.

My bigger concern is that in courting women, Mr. Obama’s campaign so far has seemed maddeningly off point. His message to the Barnard graduates was that they should fight for a “seat at the table” — the head seat, he made sure to add. He conceded that it’s a tough economy, but he told the grads, “I am convinced you are tougher” and “things will get better — they always do.”

Hardly reassuring words when you look at the reality. According to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, about 53.6 percent of men and women under the age of 25 who hold bachelor’s degrees were jobless or underemployed last year, the most in at least 11 years. According to the Pew Research Center, if we broaden the age group to 18- to 29-year-olds, an estimated 37 percent are unemployed or out of the work force, the highest share in more than three decades.

The human faces shouldn’t get lost amid the statistics. I spent last weekend with a friend who attended excellent private schools and graduated from Tufts University two years ago. She’s intelligent, impressive and still looking for a full-time job.

The women I know who are struggling in this economy couldn’t be further from the fictional character of Julia, presented in Mr. Obama’s Web ad, “The Life of Julia,” a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help.

My cousin in Louisiana started a small company with a little savings, renovating houses. A single mom, she saved enough to buy a home and provide child care for her son. When the economy went belly up, so did her company. She was forced to sell her home and move in with her parents. She has found another job, but doesn’t make enough to move out. Family, not government, has been everything to her at this time of crisis. She, and they, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Another member of my family left her job at an adoption agency just before the economy crashed. Also a single mother, she has been looking for a way back to a full-time job ever since. She has been selling things on eBay to make ends meet. Friends and family, not government, have been there at the dire moments when she has asked them to be. Again, she, and they, wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is not to say that government doesn’t play a role in their lives. It does and it should. But it isn’t a dominant one, and certainly not an overwhelming factor in their daily existence.

It’s obvious why the president is doing a full-court press for the vote of college-educated women in particular. The Republican primaries probably did turn some women away. Rick Santorum did his party no favors when he spoke about women in combat (“I think that can be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission, because of other types of emotions that are involved”); when he described the birth of a child from rape as “a gift in a very broken way”; and how, if he was president, he would make the case for the damage caused by contraception.

But Mitt Romney will never be confused with Rick Santorum on these issues, and many women understand that. (I should disclose here that my husband is an adviser to Mr. Romney; I have no involvement with any campaign, and have been an independent journalist throughout my career.) The struggling women in my life all laughed when I asked them if contraception or abortion rights would be a major factor in their decision about this election. For them, and for most other women, the economy overwhelms everything else.

Another recent Pew Research Center survey found that voters, when thinking about whom to vote for in the fall, are most concerned about the economy (86 percent) and jobs (84 percent). Near the bottom of the list were some of the hot-button social issues.

Tiffany Dufu, who heads the White House Project, a nonpartisan group aimed at training young women for careers in politics and business, got a similar response when she informally polled young women in her organization. “The issues that have been defined as all women care about are way off — young women feel it has put them further in a box they don’t necessarily want to be in,” she told me. “Independence is what is so important to these women.”

I have always admired President Obama and I agree with him on some issues, like abortion rights. But the promise of his campaign four years ago has given way to something else — a failure to connect with tens of millions of Americans, many of them women, who feel economic opportunity is gone and are losing hope. In an effort to win them back, Mr. Obama is trying too hard. He’s employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending. He really ought to drop it. Most women don’t want to be patted on the head or treated as wards of the state. They simply want to be given a chance to succeed based on their talent and skills. To borrow a phrase from our president’s favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, they want “an open field and a fair chance.”

In the second decade of the 21st century, that isn’t asking too much.

Campbell Brown is a former news anchor for CNN and NBC.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on May 20, 2012, on page SR4 of the New York edition with the headline: Obama
3055  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / holly grail of energy on: May 21, 2012, 12:02:17 PM
Fusion.   Still a pipe dream.   The scientific theory of how it would work, why it hasn't, and a multinational project that is trying to make it work:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fusions-missing-pieces-iter-problems
3056  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / One opinion on how close Iran is to bomb on: May 21, 2012, 11:58:32 AM
Iran may be months away from putting a bomb together.  In this author' opinion that would give Israel enough time to attack.  The biggest rear is a breakout wherein Iran could put the a bomb together in a few weeks.   It sounds like he believes they may have the knowhow and the essential building blocks in place to do this - just the will/word from the "surpeme" leader.

One scenerio is Iran claims a nucler accident at one of its sites and keeps away the inspectors.  They then move to another site the wherewithall to go ahead and put devices together and within a few weeks they could conduct a test:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-close-iran-first-nuclear-bomb
3057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: May 21, 2012, 10:08:51 AM
Unbelievable how the media can vaporize previous stuff that was out there.

From Bob Grant.  A little outdated posted by him back in March before Romney was the solo Republican.  I only post because Bob was on his show yesterday opining that Romney is going to lose by criticizing the PAC that is bringing up the Rev Wright issue again.

The DC repubs seem to feel that this was already "veted" and serves no purpose in this campaign.  Bob disagrees.

He points out the Dems have no conscious about deceit or any kind of attack on Repubs and therefore all kid gloves should come off in this campaing.  

The establishment Repubs have concluded that sticking to the economy IS the best strategy for Romney and personal atacks against the ONE will not work.

I can only hope they do this because they have studies with data that tells them this is the best strategy.

http://www.bobgrantonline.com/archive/2012/obamawin.cfm  
3058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: May 19, 2012, 11:17:26 AM
The blowback on austerity in Europe is proof that socialism is alive and well and is in my opnion contrary to Wesbury's argument that the sprial downward of the Euro is the beginning of the end for socialism.

We sit on the fulcrum here in the US as pointed out by many on the right.

Perhaps a few on the left governors Brown in Kalifornia, Cuomo in NY recognize the problem with some attempts at reforms. 

I guess because they are crats they can get away with it without being blasted from the left.

Republicans would be crucified for the same things.

3059  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: May 19, 2012, 09:15:31 AM
"The failed ideology did not die and never was defeated."

That is why in another thread I felt Brian Wesbury is in a dreamworld when he comes out and states socialism as in Europe is in its death throes.  This ideology will never die.  Yes it may wax and wane a little but it is definitely the malignant cancer that cannot be eradicated.   We will always have soicalists, liberals, communists.   We will always have those who will call for the government to give them what they can't do on their own.  I am not against government.  But for me government is to maintain law and order, protect our country, and be an advocate of its people not control us, our soiciety, our culture.

As for me my government failed me when it couldn't protect me against organized crime.   When in my own life I needed help they wouldn't lift a finger.  Government is not the answer to every one of the world's/life's ills.

Yet there will always be those who will never admit this, or accept it.

Bottom line this failed ideology will never be defeated.  Only kept at bay.
3060  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: May 18, 2012, 03:52:22 PM
"Frankly, I would be happier if people left each other alone.  Let me smoke occasionally in peace outdoors and you can go to MacDonald's on a daily basis.  And let's not tax either one of us."

I agree completely.  Just give me my freedom and leave me alone.

That is why I am a Republican with a trend towards the Tea Party.
3061  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Fat tax on: May 18, 2012, 11:53:37 AM
 Oh my God.  Please don't start with a fat tax.  There is no end to this crap.  This ain't going to work  Make 30 million people deal with this to stop 2700 heart attacks a year - even if true is crap.  Liberalism is the biggest darn cancer:

Report: 'Fat Tax' Could Curb Nation's Obesity Problem
20 Percent Tax Would Be Placed On Unhealthy Foods

POSTED: 7:27 pm EDT May 17, 2012
UPDATED: 11:47 am EDT May 18, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- Health experts have been trying to combat obesity in America for years and have recently suggested a new way to solve the growing problem.

A new study suggests that imposing a fat tax on unhealthy food and drinks could help slim down expanding waistlines.

According to reports, more than 60 percent of Americans are overweight. Under the tax, a $4 cheeseburger would cost an extra 80 cents, RTV6's Stacia Matthews reported.

Some Hoosiers found the proposed fat tax hard to swallow.

"I don't think we should tax people and the way they run their lives,” one man said.

Others said a fat tax is palatable.

"I'd pay 20 percent. It's worth it,” one woman said. "I would eat a lot more healthy just to save more money.”

Researchers said a fat tax could drop obesity rates by 3.5 percent and prevent 2,700 heart-related deaths a year. The study also urged subsidies for healthier foods and veggies to make them more affordable.

Dr. Eric Wright, who heads the Department of Public Health at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said the fat tax falls right in line with other consumer products.

"We've applied tax to alcohol and tobacco and that has definitely shown through very many studies that it actually decreased use. So, the logic has been applied to fatty foods and preliminary evidence in Europe is that it’s very effective,” Wright said.

Researchers said Indiana spends $3.5 billion a year on obesity-related medical costs.

"The reality is, with two-thirds of the population being overweight or obese, that's what's driving up health care costs and you can either choose to pay now, or you can pay later,” Wright said.

Critics of the tax said people who choose to healthier foods should receive tax breaks and incentives. Copyright 2012 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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   – David
PERSONIAL RESPONSIBILITY-whats that-NOT IN AMERICA-its everyones elses fault
Today, 12:50:25 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate HsiaLin Boy
Hey US government, stop trying to play God. You cannot say with a straight face that you "care" about anyones health while you allow alcohol to still be sold. Alcohol kills more people, both the users of and the victimized by..... than any other drug in the world. Just admit you are looking for yet another way to get your hands on peoples money.
Today, 12:50:04 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Jack
The problem is that they will get used to the additional tax revenue and then not want the money flow to dry up if people stop eating the excessively taxed food items.
Today, 12:49:48 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Nilo Cantonjos
...and the solution to another problem is imposing more taxes?  
 
What about stop punishing the corporations and start focusing on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?  
 
To liberals... the solution is to always TAX. Kinda stupid if you ask me... but then again, the liberal's mind is so clouded with sin, they can't right. What is right is wrong to them and what is wrong is right to them.
Today, 12:48:38 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Pat Kelsey
Come on November.
Today, 12:48:26 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate David
the sad thing is-thes so called smart folks-lie to the voters just to get into office-them once thr in they do whatever they want-then when we try to remove them-Senetor HERRIE WORTHLESS REID-they take the money stolen from us to payoff acorn and the union heads to put them bck n office-as a smoker-I DONT PAY THR STUPID TAXES-i save $25/carton by rolling my own-i dont have kids so y shld i pay for that SCHIP tax-heres an idea-IF ANY CITY OR STATES PASSES A FAT TAX,SMOKING TAX OR ANY OTHER STUPID TAX-THEY SHLD JUST MAKE AGAINST THE LAW TO SELL-THAT WLD SOLVE THE PROBLEM
Today, 12:46:31 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Michael  
People are not fat because they over eat or lack activity. Ok some people are. But studies show that the majority of Obese people don't over eat or are super lazy. It is WHAT they eat that causes them to gain weight. And no I am not talking about just fast food, which definitely is an issue. But the fact that anything you buy at the supermarket is in fact bad for you. Yes, anything! unless you are buying all non GMO food, and non fructose corn syrup food. Also, Americans eat way to much meat and dairy.  
 
To tax obese people you are not going to change the problem, just earn money from it. The problem lies in the fact that the organizations that say what a healthy diet is are bought by the big food producers. Change your DIET don't buy processed food, cut back on dairy and meats, and of course exercise more often.
Today, 12:41:36 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Britt Hall
If they really wanted to curb obesity they would start by limiting the items you can buy with food stamps. We now have more folks using food stamps than ever before and I challenge anyone to go to your grocery store and watch what is being bought with food stamps and then take a look at the size of the people buying it. These folks are buying pure crap called food all on the public dole. Again, don’t take my word on it.. go to your store and see for yourself. But, does anyone think any democrat would even suggest food stamp recipients should be limited in what they can buy with our tax dollars!
Today, 12:37:00 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate James Watson
The time to nip this kind of "thinking" in the bud was when the government started going after smokers. As a smoker, I have watched over the years as voters (many of them obese, junk food eaters) voted to raise my taxes supposedly for cancer research, though it was really just to feed the government beast.  
 
Tell me now why I should come to the aid of junk food eaters?  
 
"First they came for the (fill in the blank), but I remained silent, for I was not a (fill in the blank)...."
Today, 12:36:36 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate David
but if you vote rupublician you will get folks like Mrs.Snow out of Main-The sad thing is thr was a man running for the Presiden of the US who has spent his 35 yrs in congress fighting for the Constution of the United States of American and everyone put him down as a kookie old man-we need 565 Congressman Dr.Ron Pauls in D.C
Today, 12:34:49 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate T N McCoy
This is going to be a tax on the lower income groups, because they are the customers buying these things. Now, Obama is attacking the poor, the rich, the middle class, the US as a whole, and Western civilization. How much more can we take before Revolution occurs?
Today, 12:34:20 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Jasonn
I am opposed to the NANNY STATE and the feds sticking their noses in my life. Stick to national defense and and infrastructure like highways and leave the rest of everyday living to the folks.
Today, 12:33:48 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate Michelle W
I need a Big Government Mommy and Daddy to shephard me thru life.  
 
 
The Government is what we the sheeple demand.
Today, 12:32:54 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate H J
here come big brother again. its not enough to impose higher energy costs on all of us to drive our cars, heat and cool our homes etc, its not enough for big brother to limit my water flow in my shower or ability to flush the toilet properly. its not enough that i have to wait a good couple of minutes for my light bulbs to heat up enough to provide some glimmer of light. its not enough that just about everything i do is regulated or taxed by the government. food prices are already sky high and when i want to go get an occaisional cheeseburger, big brother wants to tax me more too? Geezus H. Kryst!!!!!!!!!!
Today, 12:31:38 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate meeee
Maybe we should all stay home and let the Government deliver our groceries  
every week and tell us which day to eat certain things.  
That way we will be in compliance with the idiotic things they come up with.
Today, 12:31:33 PM– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – ModerateMore
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3062  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: May 18, 2012, 11:11:36 AM
"An "agent", BTW, "is one who acts for, or in the place of, another, by authority from him".  Not a pundit, stalker or casual observer."

Exactly.  The *first* jerk President knew this was on there.  Indeed one can rightly wonder if he told them he was born in Kenya for some reason as opposed they made the claim based on some sort of misrepresentation on purpose or by mistake.   But the FACT it wasn't changed till 2007 clearly shows he made no effort on his part to correct the dishonest misrepresentation.

He was milking the idea of him being born in Kenya for some reason.  I am not clear what that reason would be.

To have never contacted them to correct their mistake for 16 years - until - he ran for Prez - is not just strange - it is deliberate fraud.

But it won't matter.   The wagons have again circled around the first Jerk and he will be insulated.  

Yet this does speak to HIS character.   For a few who cannot decide who to vote for in November it might make a shred of difference.  But for the majority of those who cannot make up their mind by now about him - it will probably come down to what the gas prices are the day of the election.  I don't know how else to explain how the "independents" seem to keep changing their minds from one day to the next based on poll results that are all over the place.  Unless the pollls are just that screwed up.
3063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Even a hint of honesty is not a Presidential job prerequisite apparantly on: May 17, 2012, 04:52:30 PM
I finally agreed with Doug and others that the first *jerk* president was born in the US -

 and now this.

I assume he let the literacy agency use the "born in Kenya" thing knowing it wasn't/isn't true??  Or was he born in Kenya and now he is lying?  Which is it?  Did he lie by proxy till 2007 or is he lying since 2007?

Who is the bigger scum bag him or Warren?  cry huh

3064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sunni vs. Shia on: May 17, 2012, 01:22:01 PM
From this week's Economist a look at the ancient rivalry:

http://www.economist.com/node/21554513
3065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / From another Boston stalwart (in her own mind) on: May 17, 2012, 01:14:16 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-05-15/women-contraception-abortion-reproductive-rights-doctors/54979766/1
3066  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: May 16, 2012, 04:57:01 PM
"FDR—architect of the New Deal and outspoken opponent of Big Business—was forced by the collapse of Europe's democracies under Hitler's blitzkrieg to turn to the corporate sector to prepare America for war."

I was just thinking of the parallels of then and now:  

The US in the great depression then and an almost depression now staved off only by the tarps yet still in the economic "pits".

How Europe's political, economic , and war time upheaval of the 30's and 40's resulted in the US coming out the powerhouse.

With their closest rival being the Soviet Union.

Now we have Europe again in political economic upheaval and in economic dire straits.   If Europe implodes the US again could in a way come out stronger albeit with China not Russia the rival.

We cannot expect nor do I even want Brockman to reverse course.  Simply he needs to be replaced and Mitt take us the other way.  To a better and more prosperous future.

PC,
I hope the movei gets onto cable.  Sounds like a lesson that those of us who have not served cannot fully understand and therefore should not carelessly judge the actions of those who have [served] in combat.

  

3067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / bridging photons and electrons on: May 16, 2012, 04:46:31 PM
A nanotechnology that may be a future big advance:

http://www.economist.com/node/21554503
3068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris is the MAN! on: May 16, 2012, 04:28:38 PM
 grin

The first black, hispanic, woman, gay President just ain't working.

He is going to have to add many more subgroups I guess to have a chance.

He may as well come out and say, look anyone not a white hetero male - vote for moi!

As long as Mitt doesn't muck it up which is doubtful - this may turn into a laugher. cheesy

I was with some very liberal, socialist, democrat party relatives for mother's day.  One asked me if I am still a Republican.  At first I responded by saying I don't really want to talk politics - we all know we disagree and I otherwise love my relatives.

I then added with a smile "hell no" - I am not a Republican anymore.  This was followed by a few moments of silence and I presume shock.  Then I gave them all a bigger shock when I said I am now a Tea Partier.!

We all laughed but one of them did say that "is worse".

Liberals will NEVER change, or ever admit they are wrong.  Relatives included.

3069  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2012, 04:17:34 PM
BD,

"I was on Food Stamps for about 6-8 months about 20 years ago.  I literally had no money, no family willing to assist me, and with literally no money no way to move to get a job.  It didn't help that I lived in a rural area where there was no public transportation, and the local economy was seriously terrible (one reason not to have local support as you describe is the potential inability for the local government to provide the goods that are needed due to local bankruptcy, economic conditions such as employment or drought or other issues).  So, yes, I was on the taxpayers dole for a period of time."

Thanks for sharing your story.  You left out a crucial part.  It is not my business but would you share how you managed to get out of your predicament?

You don't sound like one of the ones that Doug is referring to - who gets on public assistance and doesn't really try to get off.
We hear that no one "likes to be on" unemployment, food stamps, disability, etc.

Of course we would all rather be where Zuckerberg is as opposed to the dole.

I am talking about those who seem to get "comfortable" on the dole.
3070  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: May 15, 2012, 01:59:48 PM
"What can Americans do to stem the obesity epidemic?"

"we should stop marketing food to children"

Good luck with that.   

Look we would have to close 95% of the pizze places, Chinese restaurants, fast food joints, diners, restaurants, Chipoltes, KFC stop stocking supermarkets with every conceivable food from around the world, close all the bakeries, carvels on on and on and on.

There is no other way to do it than this or as I think the answer will only come from the pharmacuetical industry some day.

Yes we can promote weight loss, health and speak vegetables and go crazy legislating our diets and behavior.

That will have only marginal benefit and I don't want the "f" government telling me what to eat or not and how much walking I need to do with tax positive and negative reinforcing tax schemes.

That said I just lost 20 more pounds and am as thin as I was in high school.

Why?  Because I know what I need to eat and what not to.   And after years of working on it I finally figured out what works for me.

Most people don't have a clue.  And the government won't help.

And BTW, I do very little exercise.
 

3071  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: May 15, 2012, 09:32:47 AM
The silence from Harvard is deafening.

Shoudn't the school be formally outraged?
3072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Warren's fraud is like this one on: May 14, 2012, 05:02:26 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120514-717396.html
3073  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The L thing again on: May 14, 2012, 04:57:30 PM
"Once upon a time that would have been embarassing and led to being shunned by decent people from across the spectrum , , ,"

Agreed.  I don't know when such outright fraud/lying became acceptable.

If we cannot trust our leaders than what hope is there for us?   

To think this Harvard lawyer at 400K per annum committed frauded her application and now runs for the Senate - what kind of example is this for our children?

No shame no apology no withdrawal from the Senate race, no resignation as law professor just obfuscation and persistent lying.

I don't buy the common declaration that "they" (politicians) lie and therefore that seems to excuse any of them that do.

Why can't we hold them to higher account?

I have notcied a few people actually using th L word on TV recently.  That used to be a no - no.  I guess this is progress? 
3074  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 11, 2012, 04:47:46 PM
On Drudge is the latest Rasmussen poll showing Romney ahead with likely voters 7 points.

Just my hunch but by Monday a left wing poll will be announced by the AP that shows it either a "statistical dead heat" or Obama still ahead.

Russmussen of course could be wrong but I believe they have been the most accurate in the last elections.
3075  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: May 11, 2012, 02:32:38 PM
Interesting post.

Life is seems much more complicated today.

There absolutely is far more competition.

There absolutely is information overload.

Despite all the "advances" are human beings better off?

I don't know.  We could probably debate this for a long time and get thousands of different answers and opinions.

3076  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / SKorean nuc insepctor dies in auto crash on: May 11, 2012, 12:19:42 PM
Accident or murder?

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/155611
3077  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Military computers compromised in 2007 on: May 10, 2012, 07:21:12 PM
Last week on 20/20 or 60 minutes or one of those shows was a segment on how military computers were all compromised in 2007 by a thumb drive and "terabytes" of military and other government data was all downloaded to some foreign entity.   The foreign entity was not named.  I thought they were implying it was Chinses but this suggests Russian.  Basically they got EVERYTHING from what sounded like the entire US governnent/military.  

This sounds like what they were talking about.  They pointed out it was when W was President:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/technology/26cyber.html?_r=1&src=busln
3078  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead on: May 08, 2012, 04:15:52 PM
"CCP,   I agree except that I don't remember if Republicans made big on that operational failure or if people mostly just took that as having had enough with a policy of dealing with the world from a position of weakness. To me it was not that it failed, but that the failure was a symbol of our weakness."

Good point.  Your probably more accurately depicting it then I did in retrospect.

As for you points about the value of "enhanced" interrogation I agree with that as well.  We will never get the libs to admit it that.

There is no rational logic to the concept that water boarding three people with no permanent harm is some such incredible crime against humanity yet sending robots (drones) out to assasinate alleged combatants/enemies and kill them like that is humane and ethically ok.  Don't get me wrong - I am not against either - just the illogic of one is so totallly outrageous and immoral and the other is morrally justified and within international law.

We never really know who is killed from these drones.  They are all faceless and labelled enemy combatants by the military.  Many could be innocent farmers or goat herders for all we know. 

I wonder what the outrage would be if W was still ordering all these drones murders vs a Democrat Prez?

3079  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead on: May 08, 2012, 01:02:46 PM
There was a special on the military station this weekend on seal team six.  I believe it was a replay.  In any case the seals who came up with the six idea had their first operation in Iran in 1980.   They learned from the failure.  Jimmy Carter had the guts to try the operation though he was made the laughing stock by the Repubs for it's failure.   This time around Brock man looks like the genius.  The only geniuses were the Seals IMHO:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2011/0503/In-SEAL-Team-Six-success-lessons-from-horrible-night-in-Iran-30-years-ago
3080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The tale of two economies on: May 08, 2012, 11:20:53 AM
GM scores a three pointer against Wesbury:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/47337188
3081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: automobiles on: May 07, 2012, 05:04:04 PM
Early electric cars:

http://inventors.about.com/od/estartinventions/a/History-Of-Electric-Vehicles.htm
3082  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / automobiles on: May 07, 2012, 05:02:24 PM
First car 1888:

http://www.benzinsider.com/2007/05/the-worlds-oldest-original-car/
3083  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Oh comon on: May 07, 2012, 12:07:36 PM
" The end of the social welfare state in Europe is a precursor for the US.  It’s a Dead Cat Bounce for Socialism."

And out of the ruins will arise the most free market, capatilistic, expansion of the world economy that lifts alll boats the world has ever known.

How do I know?  Wesbury said so.
3084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: May 07, 2012, 11:36:50 AM
" Didn't we already have enough data on that?"

There appears no end to voters voting themselves perks from the treasury

----

Now on Drudge Oba-mao invites Hollande to WH with congratulations.

Probably standard etiquette but I can't help think behind the scenes they will give each other high fives while calling for "forward" together.
3085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: May 07, 2012, 09:46:14 AM
PS:

France is EXACTLY where Brock wants to take us.

It seems the idea that this is precisely why the Euro and its countries are mostly in their quagmire because of crushing social programs is apparantly BESIDES the point. 

It seems to me the socialists including Brock are trying everything they can to bring a new order to capatilist societies.

How else can one explain this?
3086  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: May 07, 2012, 09:42:46 AM
Even the left-leaning Economist writers are afraid of Hollande in France.

To think that asking a few people to take public funded retirement at 62 instead of 60 (after 41 years of that job) is even too much for them to accept shows how hard it is for people to give up benefits once they get them.

http://www.economist.com/node/21553446
3087  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / socialist in France? on: May 06, 2012, 01:23:43 PM
Off Drudge:

"Hollande has promised to boost France’s public education system by 60,000 employees and reduce the retirement age from 62 to 60 for people who have completed a minimum 41 years of work.

He also campaigned on a pledge to give all foreigners the right to vote in local elections in line with laws already in place for EU citizens living in France. The Socialist has said he will balance the country’s budget by 2017."

This could be our future.

3088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Zuckerman suspect of the Afghan policy on: May 04, 2012, 10:20:01 AM
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/mzuckerman/articles/2012/05/03/us-credibility-on-afghanistan-is-dubious-and-suspect

Bigdog writes:

"I am saying that we, as a people, are tired of war coverage"  True.  Other differences were the 60's culture which included a youth backlash to the war with the drugs, the antiestablishment thing, civil rights, look "what we did to the Indians" thinking.  Most probably the draft at that time pissed of a lot of people.  Now of course the military is all volunteer.   I presume that made a big difference.

I remember growing up as a kid in the 60's getting tired of the daily counts on the 6 or 11 oclock news at that time.  But then again I never had to worry about the draft and I knew no one "over there".  OTOH I didn't get the concept of bashing of our country and troops at the time.  I thought we were there to fight communism and it seemed like a noble cause.   Our troops were risking life limb and their livelihoods and I could not understand the disrespect they got from the people who are now OWS and in power as the IVY elites now.

BDG I think you and I agreed in previous posts we would like our troops home.   IN Vietnam in retrespect while our intentions were good it was not worth the costs.

I am dubious about whether this war is either.  
3089  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 03, 2012, 07:23:41 PM
BG,

Are you saying the coverage of the wars is not different during W's Presidency and O's Presidency?

Are you saying the MSM is not going after O the same way they went after W?
3090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 03, 2012, 03:11:37 PM
"You may not have noticed that since the mid-1970's there has been a bit of change in the media environment."

Yes that is true.  There were newspapers, some radio and 6 oclock and 11 oclock news.  So maybe the 24/7 news, media, internet cycle results in stories "blending" in or getting lost in the blitz.

" Also, remember all the pissed off conservatives talking about how the constant coverage of the body count in Somalia and then later in Iraq and Afghanistan undermined the mission?"

No actually, I don't.
3091  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 02, 2012, 01:07:59 PM
Well Bigdog perhaps you are not old enough to remember Vietnam.

I agree with Doug.  Good for the NYS(limes) and USA today.  As for cable and internet yahoo news I don't see much.

3092  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 33 dead last month in Afghanistan on: May 01, 2012, 01:26:47 PM
As noted on Drudge complete silence from the MSM.  I remember quite well during Vietnam hearing EVERY single day the death and injury count on the networks.   Remarkable hypocracy.  When W was President we heard constant daily baggering about Guatanomo and water boarding as torture including from the phoney American in the WH.   We have our own people dying and near silence.   I heard the ex CIA guy on Hannity speaking last night how he was offended about the he and others being accused of torturing people at the same time I hear the jerk in chief running around taking credit for essentially murdering Bin Ladin in cold blood.  Not that I care about Bin Laden but why is one politically correct but not the other - answer - politics.

http://www.unknownsoldiersblog.com/2012/05/bigger-than-day.html
3093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economist: A third industrial revoluction on: May 01, 2012, 10:48:56 AM
In progress.  Gigantic fortunes to be made (never by me):

The third industrial revolution
The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made—and change the politics of jobs too
Apr 21st 2012 | from the print edition

..
 
THE first industrial revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century, with the mechanisation of the textile industry. Tasks previously done laboriously by hand in hundreds of weavers’ cottages were brought together in a single cotton mill, and the factory was born. The second industrial revolution came in the early 20th century, when Henry Ford mastered the moving assembly line and ushered in the age of mass production. The first two industrial revolutions made people richer and more urban. Now a third revolution is under way. Manufacturing is going digital. As this week’s special report argues, this could change not just business, but much else besides.

A number of remarkable technologies are converging: clever software, novel materials, more dexterous robots, new processes (notably three-dimensional printing) and a whole range of web-based services. The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as long as it was black. But the cost of producing much smaller batches of a wider variety, with each product tailored precisely to each customer’s whims, is falling. The factory of the future will focus on mass customisation—and may look more like those weavers’ cottages than Ford’s assembly line.

In this section
»The third industrial revolution
Cristina scrapes the barrel
Beyond battlefield medicine
Flip back please
Never again?
Reprints

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

Related topics
China
Technology
Science and technology
Digital Fabrication
Henry Ford
Towards a third dimension

The old way of making things involved taking lots of parts and screwing or welding them together. Now a product can be designed on a computer and “printed” on a 3D printer, which creates a solid object by building up successive layers of material. The digital design can be tweaked with a few mouseclicks. The 3D printer can run unattended, and can make many things which are too complex for a traditional factory to handle. In time, these amazing machines may be able to make almost anything, anywhere—from your garage to an African village.

The applications of 3D printing are especially mind-boggling. Already, hearing aids and high-tech parts of military jets are being printed in customised shapes. The geography of supply chains will change. An engineer working in the middle of a desert who finds he lacks a certain tool no longer has to have it delivered from the nearest city. He can simply download the design and print it. The days when projects ground to a halt for want of a piece of kit, or when customers complained that they could no longer find spare parts for things they had bought, will one day seem quaint.

Other changes are nearly as momentous. New materials are lighter, stronger and more durable than the old ones. Carbon fibre is replacing steel and aluminium in products ranging from aeroplanes to mountain bikes. New techniques let engineers shape objects at a tiny scale. Nanotechnology is giving products enhanced features, such as bandages that help heal cuts, engines that run more efficiently and crockery that cleans more easily. Genetically engineered viruses are being developed to make items such as batteries. And with the internet allowing ever more designers to collaborate on new products, the barriers to entry are falling. Ford needed heaps of capital to build his colossal River Rouge factory; his modern equivalent can start with little besides a laptop and a hunger to invent.

Like all revolutions, this one will be disruptive. Digital technology has already rocked the media and retailing industries, just as cotton mills crushed hand looms and the Model T put farriers out of work. Many people will look at the factories of the future and shudder. They will not be full of grimy machines manned by men in oily overalls. Many will be squeaky clean—and almost deserted. Some carmakers already produce twice as many vehicles per employee as they did only a decade or so ago. Most jobs will not be on the factory floor but in the offices nearby, which will be full of designers, engineers, IT specialists, logistics experts, marketing staff and other professionals. The manufacturing jobs of the future will require more skills. Many dull, repetitive tasks will become obsolete: you no longer need riveters when a product has no rivets.

The revolution will affect not only how things are made, but where. Factories used to move to low-wage countries to curb labour costs. But labour costs are growing less and less important: a $499 first-generation iPad included only about $33 of manufacturing labour, of which the final assembly in China accounted for just $8. Offshore production is increasingly moving back to rich countries not because Chinese wages are rising, but because companies now want to be closer to their customers so that they can respond more quickly to changes in demand. And some products are so sophisticated that it helps to have the people who design them and the people who make them in the same place. The Boston Consulting Group reckons that in areas such as transport, computers, fabricated metals and machinery, 10-30% of the goods that America now imports from China could be made at home by 2020, boosting American output by $20 billion-55 billion a year.

The shock of the new

Consumers will have little difficulty adapting to the new age of better products, swiftly delivered. Governments, however, may find it harder. Their instinct is to protect industries and companies that already exist, not the upstarts that would destroy them. They shower old factories with subsidies and bully bosses who want to move production abroad. They spend billions backing the new technologies which they, in their wisdom, think will prevail. And they cling to a romantic belief that manufacturing is superior to services, let alone finance.

None of this makes sense. The lines between manufacturing and services are blurring. Rolls-Royce no longer sells jet engines; it sells the hours that each engine is actually thrusting an aeroplane through the sky. Governments have always been lousy at picking winners, and they are likely to become more so, as legions of entrepreneurs and tinkerers swap designs online, turn them into products at home and market them globally from a garage. As the revolution rages, governments should stick to the basics: better schools for a skilled workforce, clear rules and a level playing field for enterprises of all kinds. Leave the rest to the revolutionaries.

3094  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 01, 2012, 09:57:44 AM
JDN writes,

"Yes, I agree, it is difficult to always be cheerful about this states future. We do have our problems.  That said, in some ways I am glad so many are leaving."

I recall reading in the Economist that if California stopped every government service they offer the debt is so large in wouldn't evn make a dent. 

JDN's post is a certainly proof that socialism/liberalism/progressive or what ever label they want to call themselves to hide who they are is a disease.  A cancer without end.   Not you personally JDN , but your politics.

Don't worry be happy.  The rich can pay for all of us.
3095  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nor will wringing every drop of oil from the OBL thing help BO on: April 27, 2012, 04:03:48 PM
GM "pandering" not helping.

  I agree.  Nor will this.   So what has BO done for us lately.  This is OLD news and while good news not worthy of re-election.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/04/obama-holds-bin-laden-interview-in-situation-room-121873.html
3096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The smartest guy I know on the economy on: April 26, 2012, 07:03:38 PM
Of course the man who said this was thinking he is the smartest guy on everything else:

Good article by Jonah Goldberg on Corzine and Obama.

http://www.nationalreview.com/author/56454/latest
3097  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / iran got INTACT drone on: April 26, 2012, 06:07:24 PM
From another thread - my thinking was suppose the military let them have a drone with phoney or misleading construction or hardware/software/codes etc.   Let Iran think they can crack our codes when in fact this will lead them off base.  Perhaps we are not that smart.......

Also I wondered if this was some sort of show for the Israeli's that "you see we are serious about watching your back we are actually sending drones over Iran....."

OTOH it could be a total screw up and we lost a drone to Iran because it was defective, they did hack into its control mechanism, or something like that.

I would like to think it is a brilliant feint.


  ******Drone "captured" intact?
« Reply #533 on: Today at 12:14:50 PM » 

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

Just a thought.   Suppose the US military LET Iran have the drone?  For political and military reasons.

*****Iran capture US drone by hacking its GPS signal?
16:04 16 December 2011
AerospaceHackingPoliticsJeff Hecht, consultant

(Image: ABACA/Press Association Images)

How did Iran manage to capture a US robotic surveillance plane, which looks remarkably undamaged in an Iranian video? The US initially claimed the drone went astray over Afghanistan and blamed a malfunction, but Iran said it had brought the craft down 200 kilometres inside its border earlier this month.


Now the Christian Science Monitor reports that Iran jammed GPS signals and fooled the drone into landing at an Iranian base. "The GPS navigation is the weakest point," an unnamed Iranian engineer analysing the captured drone told a Monitor correspondent inside Iran. "By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain."

Once the drone lost its bearings, the engineer said, Iranians were able to reprogram its internal mapping system to think that its home base was an Iranian site at almost the same altitude. He added that the slight mismatch in altitude caused a rough landing that damaged the robot plane's landing gear and underside.

GPS signals are broadcast by satellites, so they are weak near the ground. That makes them vulnerable to interference from stronger nearby signals. Even military versions of GPS are vulnerable to electronic warfare, which usually seeks to disable key systems to bring down a plane. The Iranians claim to have taken that one step further by electronically capturing control of the remotely controlled robot craft.  A former Navy specialist told the Monitor that hostilely reprogramming a GPS to fly to a different home is "certainly possible".

Built by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the RQ-170 Sentinel craft is a high-flying surveillance craft, which uses stealth technology to elude detection. Although details are classified, some information has leaked, including photos which match those shown by Iran.

At the time the US lost control, it was operated by the CIA. With no US controller operating it, the unmanned aircraft should have crashed - yet the one Iran displayed showed only a dent, although its landing gear was hidden.

If that's what happened to the CIA's Sentinel, it's going to prompt some serious rethinking of how to wage robotic warfare. You don't want the enemy to be able to capture and reprogram your robots so they fight you.*****


 
3098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drone "captured" intact? on: April 26, 2012, 02:14:50 PM
Just a thought.   Suppose the US military LET Iran have the drone?  For political and military reasons.

*****Iran capture US drone by hacking its GPS signal?
16:04 16 December 2011
AerospaceHackingPoliticsJeff Hecht, consultant

(Image: ABACA/Press Association Images)

How did Iran manage to capture a US robotic surveillance plane, which looks remarkably undamaged in an Iranian video? The US initially claimed the drone went astray over Afghanistan and blamed a malfunction, but Iran said it had brought the craft down 200 kilometres inside its border earlier this month.


Now the Christian Science Monitor reports that Iran jammed GPS signals and fooled the drone into landing at an Iranian base. "The GPS navigation is the weakest point," an unnamed Iranian engineer analysing the captured drone told a Monitor correspondent inside Iran. "By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain."

Once the drone lost its bearings, the engineer said, Iranians were able to reprogram its internal mapping system to think that its home base was an Iranian site at almost the same altitude. He added that the slight mismatch in altitude caused a rough landing that damaged the robot plane's landing gear and underside.

GPS signals are broadcast by satellites, so they are weak near the ground. That makes them vulnerable to interference from stronger nearby signals. Even military versions of GPS are vulnerable to electronic warfare, which usually seeks to disable key systems to bring down a plane. The Iranians claim to have taken that one step further by electronically capturing control of the remotely controlled robot craft.  A former Navy specialist told the Monitor that hostilely reprogramming a GPS to fly to a different home is "certainly possible".

Built by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the RQ-170 Sentinel craft is a high-flying surveillance craft, which uses stealth technology to elude detection. Although details are classified, some information has leaked, including photos which match those shown by Iran.

At the time the US lost control, it was operated by the CIA. With no US controller operating it, the unmanned aircraft should have crashed - yet the one Iran displayed showed only a dent, although its landing gear was hidden.

If that's what happened to the CIA's Sentinel, it's going to prompt some serious rethinking of how to wage robotic warfare. You don't want the enemy to be able to capture and reprogram your robots so they fight you.


tagsCIAdroneGPShackIran 
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29 Comments
All comments should respect the New Scientist House Rules. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please let us know, quoting the comment in question.
inventor on December 16, 2011 5:25 PM
I've been warning people about that a long time. The US department of defense is crazy to use open source windows software to control military drones. Were they on drugs?

 
dominic vautier on December 16, 2011 7:39 PM
Drones like this can fly all by themselves and have redundant means of navigation. If something unexpected happens such as an attempt to take over control the drown goes dark and flies back home. It does not depend on gps or even the special military gps. It can use topography to get home and that is the main way it works since it can’t be fooled.

I find it incredible that the Iranians got this bird. The number one defensive goal of our military was to protect our investment so we use the best technique which is topography, not gps. We are so good at designing these things. How did they get it? That is the big question. It was not by jamming gps or breaking the tether or fooling the bird. It was some other way.


 
farhang on December 16, 2011 7:49 PM
The U.S should not send its drone some 250 kilometers inside Iran. What if Iran had done such a thing, it would have been called a "provocation". Since America's military satellites scan all over Iran then why the drone should be here?

 
Jason on December 16, 2011 7:56 PM
The most amazing thing for me is that it didn't have self-destruct.

 
Enola on December 16, 2011 10:31 PM
Dominic suggested that the drone can't be fooled. I have some suggestions:

. Maybe it is just a fibre glass model to spread false news.
. Maybe the US is letting them spread that false news to up the ante so that Iran can be perceived as increasingly belligerent ahead of a war.

. Maybe the US wanted that drone to be caught for the reason above.
. Maybe they let them have it to underestimate their technology.
. Maybe it is secretly transmitting back to the US the Iranian's reverse engineering technology and the people doing it.

. If it is genuine, why did Iran let them know they caught one. Newer ones will now be upgraded.

Finally,
. Maybe it was not caught but snared in the air and brought down.

 
pres on December 16, 2011 10:46 PM
Whatever, if the US did not want them to have it then it was, at least, some payback for the US/Israeli STUXNET debacle.

 
sniper310 on December 17, 2011 5:02 AM
Stupid.. at least they should have have an auto fry for the electronics. Some brainless pilot must have went out for a cup of coffee. Was probably brought down by a high altitude jamming/intercept source.

 
GKZH on December 17, 2011 7:11 AM
But how iranian knew that there is a flying object to start interfere in it's brain?

 
Mark on December 17, 2011 8:51 AM
New land based GPS technology such as GPS 2.0 created by an Australian private company Locata would have prevented this hijacking of the satellite GPS signal.

Radio reception a terrestrial GPS beacon has 1 billion times the signal strength of a satellite GPS beacon - in normal civilian applications - making jaming harder to do..

 
morteza on December 17, 2011 11:49 AM
We, as iranians, are not your enemies as you mentioned in the last sentence. that was random and rude. Surveillance or spy bird, whatever you call it, was caught over another country, this does not make that country an enemy, and give you permission to start a new war.

 
Peter jackson on December 17, 2011 3:33 PM
Wow it is Possible ....!...........if it is possible, that is an incredible but extremly dangerous.....beware of this things.

 
d on December 17, 2011 3:41 PM
The build quality of the plane looks rather low

 
jemand on December 17, 2011 4:56 PM
If this bird is real and represents state of the art stealth aero-tech, then what will China do for Iran to get it's hands on it? Then again, it might be a decoy to test Chinese intelligence contacts with Iran. The possibilities are almost endless.

 
David Oldfield on December 17, 2011 6:43 PM
Anything that can be programmed, can be re-programmed.
That incudes planes and people.

 
GreenBoy on December 17, 2011 10:03 PM
I'm Iranian. I am completely against Iran's government. but I want to add some comments:
1- Was it fair to send a surveillance aircraft to Iran? Is it for or against human rights?
2- How did Iran know the presence of the RQ-170 on its air? It may be just an invention made by Iran government.
3- I know this government. They are master of doing such these.

 
Ham on December 18, 2011 5:05 AM
I wonder what pilots have to say about this? How would this have been handled if it had be a real person in the cockpit? One also wonders that if GPS can be hijacked by enemies, then can those enemies eventually turn around a fleet of drones and have them attack the sender countries? Or fly into targets?
Hamilton

 
Gigawatt on December 18, 2011 11:07 AM
SkyNet

 
Sean on December 18, 2011 10:52 PM
I agree with morteza and GreenBoy. Iran is not an enemy. It's only paranoid America that thinks it is and so they send those drones over Iran to spy on them. If it was the other way round then America would blast Iran all over the media and Iran would be a radioactive wasteland within minutes. I am sick of all this talk about how Iran is building a nuclear arsenal, so what if they are? What possible threat could they pose to America with it's thousands of missiles? Stop building this tension to fever pitch and just leave them alone!

 
Anon on December 19, 2011 2:11 AM
A former Navy specialist told the Monitor that hostilely reprogramming a GPS to fly to a different home is "certainly possible".

Maybe that's why he's not a specialist anymore. Jam the feeble GPS signals? Sure. Fool a military GPS receiver with false signals? Highly unlikely.

 
@Sean on December 19, 2011 2:16 AM
"Iran would be a radioactive wasteland within minutes."

Yes, because, as the first country with nuclear weapons, the United States has used them on
3099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: April 26, 2012, 02:02:46 PM
***Blow writes: "as the 2010 midterm elections showed, economic issues are something of a Trojan horse for the right"   - huh?***

Blow is famous for letting emotion get in the way of any sound logic or common sense.

Then again the whole Democrat party is having a hard time explaining the liberal agenda in a logical/rational way.


3100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / First family travel on: April 26, 2012, 01:57:04 PM
What do others think?  I really don't want to get into how much a first lady spends.  On one hand she is representing the US overseas.   I don't want or expect she travel coach.   I want the first family safe.   OTOH is she travelling the world sightseeing?  Hillary did the exact same thing.  I am not sure about other first ladies.   Certainly the Obamas will be financially secure enough to travel wherever they want after the Presidency is over.   

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