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3101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 17, 2011, 09:50:10 AM
At this time she needs to stay in Congress.  I hate to say it but she has this look that reminds of Pelosi. 

As for Leno I don't recall he moonlights as a journolist.  Why is he even grilling her with questions?  I don't watch him or his ilk but could anyone imagine him grilling Brock or Pelosi like that?

Just more Hollywood crap as far as I am concerned.
3102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: September 16, 2011, 04:57:31 PM
"Cultures do change, even profoundly—look at Germany's breathtaking leap from Nazism into liberal democracy."

Well yeah, only after millions of dead Germans and the obliteration of their citiesand 3rd reich leaders all dead or chased around the world.

Perhaps that is the lesson we will eventually learn about what will "change" Islamic culture.  I hope not but it certainly seems that way from where I sit at this time in history.
3103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: September 16, 2011, 01:19:44 PM
I am wondering if Bloomberg will run at least eventually.  He is technically a Republican but in reality he is a big liberal Dem; perhaps more pro business than most Dems but nonetheless a big lib Dem.
3104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 16, 2011, 11:59:24 AM
Ponzis are illegal unless it is through the US government.

Republicans are not allowed to call it what it is.  Only liberals.
3105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Britain: 1984; on the way here to the US on: September 16, 2011, 11:53:42 AM
Enough is enough.  Personally I am fed up:

***3-Year-Olds Branded “Racist,” “Homophobic” Put In Government Database

Kids’ future careers jeopardized by committing hate crime of saying the word “gay”

Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Over 30,000 British schoolchildren, some as young as three, have had their names registered on a government database and branded “racist” or “homophobic” for using playground insults, infractions that could impact their future careers.

The shocking figures were disclosed after civil liberties group the Manifesto Club made a Freedom of Information Act request which betrayed the fact that kids who used petty jibes are now being treated as thought criminals by education authorities.

34,000 incidents of “racism” in total were reported for the year 2009-2010, with nursery school toddlers as young as three being put on a state database for using the words “gay” and “lesbian”. One child who called another “broccoli head” was also reported to authorities. Other cases included a child who used the word “gaylord,” while another who told a teacher “this work is gay,” was also added to the thought crime database.

The majority of the reported cases involved primary school children.

“The record can be passed from primaries to secondaries or when a pupil moves between schools,” reports the Daily Mail.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“And if schools are asked for a pupil reference by a future employer or a university, the record could be used as the basis for it, meaning the pettiest of incidents has the potential to blight a child for life.”

Schools are being pressured to report such incidents to authorities and face punishments for not doing so under anti-bullying policies.

This is a clear example of how hate crime laws have brazenly been hijacked by the state to get children institutionalized on criminal databases at an early age. This is about the state dictating what your child can think and say – it’s the thought police on steroids.

Orwell talked about the state reducing language via Newspeak in his book 1984. By eliminating the very words that come out of children’s mouths and punishing them for thinking certain thoughts, all critical thinking is ultimately abolished, and Big Brother assumes the supreme power to dictate reality – a dictatorship over our very minds.

3106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: September 16, 2011, 10:14:53 AM
So far she continues to say she is not interested in a run.  We all know her word means nothing.

Like Crafty has pointed out over the years - what has she ever accomplished?  To date that question still rings true.

I can only pray we will never have another Clinton run again.  8 yrs of them was more than enough for me.

Other Dems are also jumping ship.  Every man for himself I guess.
3107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here is another study on: September 14, 2011, 02:49:22 PM
I don't have any children but if I did I would resoundingly encourage him and her to get vaccinated.  I strongly recommend it to all adult women I see under age 26.  Most are sexually active.  Asking them to use condoms is nice but not effective.  They all have boyfriends and are convinced their boyfriends have or would never cheat.  I had one girl age 17 who admitted to being sexually active with her "boyfriend"  get totally indignant when I strongly suggested she get vaccinated and read up about gardisal on the net.  She glared at me knowing full well her boyfriend was, is, and always will be her only love - forever! wink 
Doug, without a doubt you did the exact right thing in portecting your children.  I do agree with Bachman that parents and young adults should have a choice but otherwise she is nuts to put it bluntly.
3108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / prevalence of venereal warts/cancer disease on: September 14, 2011, 02:41:44 PM
While Prof. (emeritus in her own mind) Ann Coulter, Phd, MD. MSc was on Hannity radio yesterday "teaching" us cervical cancer is a rare disease she neglected to note the vector that causes it is truly epidemic:
3109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GM: on: September 14, 2011, 02:34:09 PM
 grin grin grin

I look forward to reading more analysis about this and am totally astounded.  This IS a big deal (big "f" deal to quote the quotable VP Biden grin).   Apparantly many of my fellow Jewish Americans are waking up to the realization they are being used:

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann09.14.2011
The smashing victory of Republican Bob Turner in the special election for the Congressional seat held for decades by Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner sends a pointed warning to House Democrats who were formerly comfortable in their “safe” Democratic districts: No Democrat is safe!

Behind the incredible upset — this was the first time the district went Republican since it was created — lies the massive and growing animosity toward Obama by Jewish Democrats. This Administration’s deliberate insults against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, its sympathy with the radical Islamists, and its support for a return to 1967 borders for the Jewish State have cost it the support of its once second most loyal voting group (after African-Americans).

According to John McLaughlin, the star political strategist who helped pilot Turner to victor, the Republican candidate spent about $60,000 on media in the final week compared to over a million for the defeated Democrat Weprin. The Democrats flooded the district with workers and money but were not able to stem the avalanche.

Turnout among Latino and African-American voters was very low and the outpouring of Jewish and white Catholic voters against Obama’s candidate was truly impressive.

This victory for Republicans is, in its own way, as inspiring for conservatives and as deflating for liberals as the 2010 victory of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race. The message it sends is that Obama’s policies have made all liberals and all Democrats vulnerable even in the bastions of Democratic liberalism.

Thank you to the people who donated key funding to the Turner campaign through in the pivotal last few days of the race. You made a big difference and can feel justifiably proud in the result!

Copyright © 2011 | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Log in***
3110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 13, 2011, 02:29:47 PM

I agree with your thoughts but also sympathize understand the rights of parents to have a say.

So much of communicable disease is political.  Look at the Aids epidemic.   The pols protected the gay community more than the health of the general public.

I don't want to bash the legal profession but clearly the class action law suit industry also helps drive this.  Blame anything and everything one can when going after deep pockets.

There are clearly some ethical attorneys like their are unethical physicians yet the legal system is in view out of control.

3111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / preventative vaccine on: September 13, 2011, 10:16:44 AM
From a public health point of view it is clear this vaccine should be given to all.  Yet I tend to agree with Bachmann that people should have  choice.  That said I doubt this is a big issue in the race for the President and was over dramatic on Bachmann's part - with we are attacking little girls and risking them for drug company profit logic:

****Michele Bachmann attacks Rick Perry on HPV
210 Email Print
By ALEXANDER BURNS | 9/12/11 9:16 PM EDT Updated: 9/12/11 10:05 PM EDT

Michele Bachmann accused Rick Perry of using sixth-grade girls as profit engines for a drug company at the CNN/Tea Party Express debate, lacing into the Texas governor for having attempted to mandate the HPV vaccine for young teenagers.

“To have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just wrong,” Bachmann said. “Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don’t get a mulligan.”

Continue Reading

The Minnesota congresswoman went even further, accusing Perry of handing out favors to a company, Merck, represented by his former top aide, Mike Toomey.

“There was a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate,” Bachmann said. “The governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company.”

Perry pushed back hard against Bachmann, but seemed flustered as the attacks on HPV intensified.

“At the end of the day, this was about trying to stop a cancer,” Perry said. “At the end of the day, I am always going to err on the side of life.”

When Bachmann suggested he mandated the vaccine as a favor to a campaign contributor, Perry responded: “I raised $30 million and if you’re saying I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended”

Bachmann shot back: “I’m offended for all the little girls and parents who didn’t have a choice.”****
3112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 911 on: September 12, 2011, 02:21:52 PM
"Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror"

Shows the left's desperation.  Like I said even a person with Down's is cracking up with laughter over their twisted logic.

3113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jewish "Intellectuals" dead wrong: King of Jordan on: September 12, 2011, 10:10:25 AM
I wonder who the intellectual is.  State's he is an Israeli but also quoted as speaking to him in US.  Wonder if it is Soros.:

*****Jordan's Abdullah: Israel's situation today more difficult than ever

King says 'Jordan and the future Palestine are stronger than Israel is today. It is the Israeli who is scared today'

Roee Nahmias Published:  09.12.11, 15:21 / Israel News 

"Jordan and the future Palestine are stronger than Israel is today. It is the Israeli who is scared today," King Abdullah of Jordan said late Sunday in Amman.

The king described a recent conversation he held in the US with "one of the Israeli intellectuals" who commented on events in the Arab world, arguing that they were good for Israel. "I replied and said that it was the opposite and that Israel's situation today is more difficult than ever before.

Abdullah reiterated that his country would not serve as an "alternative homeland to the Palestinians."

According to the Jordanian leader, "Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine. We support all Palestinian rights and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state – our policy hasn’t changed. The subject of an alternative homeland must not be part of the discussion. It is unacceptable."

Abdullah sought to reassure everyone, saying "I have never heard from any senior American official – whether Bush, Clinton or Obama – any pressure on Jordan that the Palestinian solution should come at its expense."

"Jordan", the king added, "Will defend its rights and support its vision of a permanent solution that would ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and a just realization of the right of return and adequate compensation."****

3114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 10, 2011, 01:10:44 PM
Please see my reply #111 from Sept 7 9:51 AM on Cognitive dissonance of the left thread titled Soros.  Despite multiple attempts for some reason I cannot seem to copy and past here.
3115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 09, 2011, 03:19:26 PM
See you at Dw 6K or thereabouts.  I'm with Soros.  Though, no thanks to him.

Of course Brian W will note the surge in condom retail sales as a sign things are getting better. rolleyes
3116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / My error made running around during the day on: September 09, 2011, 03:17:13 PM
Actually the coins would not have been gold; maybe silver or non precious metal and may have been dollars or halves?

Like US paper money the metal coins are hardly even worth the metal they are made out of.

Don't pennies cost more to make than they are valued?

Come to think of it aren't we murdering too many trees by printing so much money?  Think of the carbon dioxide not soaked up and the oxygen not produced.

Its a good thing we print $20 ,50 100 bills lest we wipe out the enitre Amazon forest if the 14 trillion in debt were dollars.

3117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 09, 2011, 02:52:06 PM
Whoever came up with that bingo board is OBVIOUSLY a racist biggoted person. wink

Must be one of those crazy loon Tea Party types. cheesy

3118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Get a job at the mint and walk out with millions on: September 09, 2011, 12:16:01 PM
If this does not illustrate the total incompetence of government than nothing will.  They cannot even secure the *mint* from their own employees.
How can someone sneak out 2.4 million one dollar gold coins before being caught?  Did he have help?

And the guy is an ex Fed cop.  Surprise surprise surpirse:

***A former federal cop assigned to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia admitted stealing $2.4 million in "error" coins.

William Gray, 64, of North Wildwood, N.J., admitted in federal court that he took the $1 presidential coins, all missing edge lettering, and sold them to a California coin dealer. Gray pleaded guilty to theft of government property and income tax evasion, said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

Gray had worked at the U.S. Mint since 1996. He said he took the coins knowing they would be considered more valuable to collectors because they were considered "mint errors." He mailed them from New Jersey.

He was freed on $50,000 bail and will be sentenced on Dec. 20.

Posted Friday, Sep 9, 2011 - 7:09 AM EDT**** 
3119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MSNBC - a night of high comedy on: September 08, 2011, 08:15:09 PM
I missed the debate but saw some of the MSNBC liberal "analysts" afterwards.

The two Chrises, Rachel, Al, Ed.  It was really a riot watching them fail as they tried to demean the candidates.  The whole time using every conceivable name, label, argument, and struggling with logic so twisted even one with Down's syndrome would be cracking up with laughter.

The only ones who have lost the *debate* are the liberals.

The LEFT  has lost the *debate*.  Now if the Repubs can only bring home the bacon.
3120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / unions do not represent the middle class on: September 07, 2011, 12:13:24 PM
The strategy of the unions is to exand *their* plight to most Americans by calling it a *middle class* issue.  The jornolists/unions/liberals are all on the same page screaming about the "war on the middle class", "working people", etc.

Like yeah right;   the tea party the republicans the conservatives want to destroy the middle class.

Most of us are not in unions and even some union members don't buy this propaganda - which is exactly what it is.

Yet Pat Buchanan is exactly right and echoes what I have been saying all along:

the left and the right have not as yet put forward a real plan to save the obvious trend of falling behind of the middle class.

And Doug, I love ya but please don't try to give me stats about how the middle class is doing as well as it was 30 - 40 years ago.
It clearly is much  harder to make ends meet today then it was only a generation ago.   Two people working, even college degrees meaning far less, people not having job security, $30,000 being a decent wage in 1970 and now 100K is not even the same.  The middle is clearly been stagnant and not able to keep up with the bills.

That said the answer for me is not to steal from succesful people and dole it out. The answer is unclear to me.  Without any doubt in my mind any Republican who can give a logical plan that addresses this more specifically will wipe out Brock.

The big government small government argument alone will always be a screaming yelling match struggle for the middle votes.
3121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Soros on: September 07, 2011, 11:51:26 AM
I am sure he is invested appropriately:

****Jorge Silva/Reuters; Tom White for the New York Times
“This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” said George Soros, the hedge fund investor, citing the lack of a pan-European body to handle an extreme banking crisis.
Read All Comments (72) »
As Europe struggles to contain its government debt crisis, the greatest fear is that one of the Continent’s major banks may fail, setting off a financial panic like the one sparked by Lehman’s bankruptcy in September 2008.

European policy makers, determined to avoid such a catastrophe, are prepared to use hundreds of billions of euros of bailout money to prevent any major bank from failing.

But questions continue to mount about the ability of Europe’s banks to ride out the crisis, as some are having a harder time securing loans needed for daily operations.

American financial institutions, seeking to inoculate themselves from the growing risks, are increasingly wary of making new short-term loans in some cases and are pulling back from doing business with their European counterparts — moves that could exacerbate the funding problems of European banks.

Similar withdrawals, on a much larger scale, forced Lehman into bankruptcy, as banks, hedge funds and others took steps to shield their own interests even though it helped set in motion the broader market crisis.

Turmoil in Europe could quickly spread across the Atlantic because of the intertwined nature of the global financial system. In addition, it could further damage the already struggling economies elsewhere.

“This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” said George Soros, the hedge fund investor, citing the lack of an authoritative pan-European body to handle a banking crisis of this severity. “That is why the problem is so serious. You need a crisis to create the political will for Europe to create such an authority, but there is still no understanding as to what the authority will do.”

The growing nervousness was reflected in financial markets Tuesday, with stocks in the United States and Europe falling 1 percent and European bank stocks falling 5 percent or more after steep drops in recent weeks.

European bank shares are now at their lowest point since March 2009, when the global banking system was still shaky following Lehman’s collapse.

Investors also continued to seek the safety of United States Treasury bonds, as yields on 10-year bonds briefly touched 1.90 percent, the lowest ever, before closing at 1.98 percent.

Adding to the anxiety, several immediate challenges face European officials as they try to calm markets worried about the debt crisis spreading.

In the coming weeks, the 17 countries of the euro currency zone each could agree to a July deal brokered to bail out Greece again and possibly the region’s ailing banks. Along with getting unanimity, more immediate obstacles could trip up the agreement.

On Wednesday, Germany’s top court upheld the legality of Berlin’s rescue packages, but said any future bailouts for debt-stricken euro zone countries must be approved by a parliamentary panel. On Thursday, officials in Finland are to express their conditions for approving the deal, and other countries may follow with their own demands to ensure their loans will be paid back. 

Though they have not succeeded in calming the markets, European leaders have taken a series of steps to avert a Lehman-like failure. New credit lines have been opened by the European Central Bank for institutions that need funds, while the proposed Greek bailout would provide loans to countries that need to recapitalize their banks. In addition, the central bank has been buying up bonds from Italy and Spain, among other countries, to keep interest rates from spiking. Many of these have been bought from European banks, effectively allowing them to shed troubled assets for cash.

While the problems in smaller countries like Greece and Ireland are not new, in recent weeks the concerns have spread to banking giants in countries like Germany and France that are crucial to the functioning of the global financial system and are closely linked with their American counterparts. What is more, worries have surfaced about the outlook for Italy, whose debt dwarfs that of other smaller troubled borrowers like Greece.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that two-year Treasury bonds briefly touched a record low yield of 1.90 percent. It was actually 10-year Treasuries that hit this record.****
3122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 06, 2011, 11:13:04 AM
"Republicans therefore are a lock or lead in 24 states for 206 electoral votes, and Democrats have or lead in 19 states for 247 electoral votes. That's why seven super-swing states with 85 electors will determine which party gets to the magic number of 270 electoral votes: Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18) and Virginia (13)."

Depressing that it is close at all.  Big or little government is not winning the debate.

It should be a landslide.  The repubs still don't get it.

3123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 06, 2011, 10:56:17 AM
Above posts simply confirm that OBama is nothing more than a messanger.

There is no evidence he has ever been creative or an original thinker.

Clearly his books were not written by him.

I have not seen one example of anything that is original thought on his part.

Indeed it is remarkable this guy who went to Columbia and Harvard has absolutely no writing which indicates any creative thinking.   From what I recall reading about other Harvard law students and professors their lauding him was based only on his seeming ability to referee differences.  He seemed to make everyone think he agreed with them on all sides of arguments or debates and in the end no one knew what HE actually believed.  

Similarly today he plays Reagan, Lincoln, Clinton, Bush, all the while attempting to hide his real agenda.  Even though everyone is on to him now he still plays the same game.  Because - he knows no other.  IT also fits my theory he is a try disordered personality who will continue to lie, scape goat, blame others, and be a pompous ass - to the end.  

That said it is quite clear why he is such a failure.  Without taking marching orders from the real brains behind the progressive movement he is lost as to what to do.

His backing off the climate emmissions regulations is really an example of he knows full well his policies kill the economy.

Yet he is so set on his ideolgical agenda her won't give in.

3124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: September 02, 2011, 03:07:02 PM
"Why do we have to pay f*ckin rent all our lives - all our lives?  Why?  Why?? Why can't we just pay f*ckin rent for like maybe 10 years, you know, you stay in a place, you know pay f*ckin rent like 10 years and after that you shouldn't have to pay rent again ever and I mean like ever for as long as you live."

Well if she worked for me the answer would be simple:

Why can't I pay you a wage for ten years than you work for me forever for nothing.  I mean I shouldn't have to pay you a f* wage forever!  grin
3125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 02, 2011, 01:06:13 PM

I don't follow Wesbury but every time I read his analyses they always seem the same.  I think GM alluded to this as well:

Despite any bad news there is really good news.

3126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Turkey/Israel on: September 02, 2011, 12:27:49 PM
Turkey expels Israeli ambassador

Ankara follows through on threat to impose independent sanctions on Jerusalem following its refusal to apologize for deadly Marmara raid: Top-level diplomatic staff expelled, key military contracts suspended. Turkish FM: Time for Israel to pay the price

News agencies Latest Update:  09.02.11, 15:06 / Israel News 

Israel-Turkey relations sink to a new low: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced on Friday that following Jerusalem's adamant refusal to apologize over the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, Ankara will be downgrading its diplomatic relations with Israel and suspending key military agreements.

In a dramatic turn of events, Turkey announced that it was expelling Israeli Ambassador Gabby Levy from Ankara. Davutoglu said Turkey's diplomatic representation in Israel would be further reduced to second-secretary level. In accordance, all lower Israeli diplomatic personnel above the second-secretary level have also been expelled. 

More on Israeli-Turkish diplomatic crisis:

Israel defiant: No apology to Turkey
Palmer Report fails main objectives
Will Palmer Report lead to legal onslaught?
UN report: Israel should compensate Turkey
Turkey rebuffs Palmer findings   

The announcement followed a press conference, in which Davutoglu said that some of the UN's Palmer Report findings on the raid were "unacceptable," adding that it was "time for Israel to pay the price... The highest price it can pay is losing our friendship."   

"Today, we reached a point where Israel has, in fact, spent all of the chances that were given to them. The Israeli government, on the other hand, see themselves (as being) above international laws and human conscience," the Turkish FM said.

Turkey withdrew its own ambassador to Israel immediately after last year's raid.

Davutoğlu's stated that Ankara views the Israeli government as responsible for the situation, and that Turkey will not revise its position on the matter until Israel reconsiders its stand on the flotilla incident. Davutoğlu added that despite the Palmer Report findings, Turkey does not recognise the legality of the Israeli blockade on Gaza. 

Turkish President Abdullah Gul reportedly said Friday that as far as Turkey was concerned, the Palmer Report was "null and void." Ankara is also said to be exploring its options against Israel with the International Court of Justice.

 Earlier Friday, Turkey vowed that its demand for an apology from Israel would remain unchanged, stating that it is powerful enough to protect the rights of its citizen. The statement was made in Ankara's first official reaction to a leaked United Nations panel report on the Mavi Marmara incident.
Israel remains adamant over its decision not to offer Turkey an official apology. A senior official told Ynet that while Israel is aware of the implications of its decision to refrain from issuing an apology, "we cannot conduct ourselves based on ultimatums."

The Palmer Report does not demand an Israeli apology, establishing instead that Israel should express regret and pay reparations, the official said, adding that Jerusalem still hoped that the two countries could "return to the cooperation that was a cornerstone of regional stability." Another senior official added that "the severing of ties goes against Turkey's strategic interests."

Jerusalem sources were unfazed by the move, saying that Israel's military agreements with Turkey had previously been suspended – by Israel. "Military trade with Turkey was suspended a while ago… we didn’t want to risk any weapons made in Israel falling into the wrong hands," a diplomatic source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Other sources hedged that while Turkey may downgrade its ties with Israel, the US is likely to stop Ankara from severing its ties with Jerusalem completely.

 Foreign Ministry Director-General Rafael Barak called for a situation assessment on Friday afternoon, following Turkey's decision. The meeting was called after he conferred with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is currently on an official visit to Moldova.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Zaman news site reported Friday that Davutoğlu had spoken with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and that he raised The New York Times issue with him. Davutoğlu added that UN’s Ban was also surprised to hear about the publication of the leaked report.

 AP, Reuters, AFP and Ronen Medzini contributed to this report
3127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: September 02, 2011, 10:59:02 AM
Didn't Federal hate crime law evolve from racial issues wherein the Feds were trying to insure that local judicial systems could not easily allow an injustice due to local prejudices?

For example, white murderers getting a not guilty verdict because the jury judge and local law enforcement/justice system was inherently racist?

Extrapolating that to gays, etc is in probably most people's minds has been ridiculous/unnecessary and indeed become abuse of those accused.

For example the Rutgers student who is charged with a hate crime because his video of the gay college student fellating another student and he than goes and commits suicide because of the exposure.  Most people would agree making this into a Federal issue hate crime is overboard and an injustice to the accused.  Isn't this really double jeopardy?  Overlap to insure that someone accused of a politically incorrect act has another layer of prosecution stacked on top of him/her.

3128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline, Fall, (and Resurrection?) of America on: September 02, 2011, 10:25:35 AM
Bigdog, Good read.
Does Diamond extrapolate his research findings to America of today?
So what is his prognosis for us and what direction should be take? 

3129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 01, 2011, 02:19:14 PM
"let Shillary or another dem take a swing"

Well Sabato was on saying how Brock HAS to go negative against the Republicans (hasn't he always done this in retrospect?) because he cannot run on his record.

If everyone agrees that it is true the incumbant's record is such a failure than why is running at all?

If his campaign strategy is vote for me the other guy is worse then he should for the "sake of the American people" step aside and get out of the way.

3130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 9/11 remembered on: August 31, 2011, 11:41:12 AM
These photos certainly bring the horror of that day back to "life":
3131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: August 31, 2011, 10:54:06 AM
Kissel's article is depressing.

I have almost given up hope.

I still agree with Bob Grant and that it is already too late.

We both hope we are wrong but our guts tell us otherwise.

Your post on political rants showing the mindset of entitlement of that person is extraordinarily depressing.

3132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: August 31, 2011, 10:49:18 AM


If everyone thought like her we would be back to the stone age.

I am not sure what her alternative would be.  Someone has to build shelter and gather, grow, or hunt for food even without civilization.

She thinks people stopped working under communism?

And she might wonder why people might not want to hire her?

3133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / buffett deconstructed on: August 31, 2011, 10:41:15 AM
Interesting analysis from RN.

This is a perfect example of what I was trying to explain that we have do not have fairness in our system.

The guys at the top ARE ripping us all off big time.  The system IS rigged.  Republicans could, I think, win over the independents by putting stops to this kind of crap (at least giving the effort of trying).

If the government has any role it is not to penalize the successful but it could be to at least try to keep the system fair for all to succeed.

This game Buffett is playing is a perfect example of how the game can be rigges and those "at the top" are simply robbing the rest of us.  The Democrats certainly do have a point here but the Republican answer is not to turn around and rob the rich (as the Dems want to do) and redistribute.  It should be to try to make the system fair for all.  The government must not be a position to play favorites.  It is so corrupt.  The cans simply seem to ignore all of this.  Continue to ignore this and thus continue to have millions resent the Rep party.  What else can I say?
3134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dick Morris: Perry v Romney on economy/jobs on: August 30, 2011, 02:55:09 PM
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann08.30.201130 8 84Share125Share
Now here comes Rick Perry challenging Mitt Romney’s record on job creation. The stats are definitely in his favor. Between June of ’09 and June of ’11, 50% of the net new jobs created in the United States were in Texas, making Texas number one in job growth by a loooooooooong shot.

Under Romney, Massachusetts’ record was terrible by comparison. The Bay State ranked 47th in job growth with employment rising less than one percent from ’03 to ’07 – his years in office (during which US job growth was 5 percent).

Governor Perry clearly did better than Governor Romney at creating jobs. But it is not two governors who will square off over the issue, it is two men with two lifetimes of experience to look at.

Ever since President Clinton drummed the concept of net job creation into our heads with his mounting claims of the millions of jobs “I created,” we have become accustomed to monitoring this figure as evidence of executive economic skill. But, in this case, Romney can point to a lifetime of actually creating jobs while Governor Perry can only cite his role in presiding over their creation as head of state.

It’s quite a difference. Perry’s Texas has had historically low taxes for decades and is one of only a handful of states without an income tax. In 1970, for example, Texas had 11 million people and Michigan had 10 million. Now Texas has 25 million while Michigan cannot find jobs for its current population of 11 million. The credit for Texas’ low taxes belongs not just to Perry, but to Governors George W. Bush and Bill Clements before him. (And even a nod is due Governor Ann Richards in between).

The job creation record is partially due to a surge in oil demand (one quarter of the new Texas jobs are in the energy sector) and some of the new jobs are due to the efforts of former Governor (and client) Mark White in getting the chip research industry to locate in Austin in the 80s.

Romney has actually, personally, financially created tens of thousands of jobs. His record of buying companies, fixing them up, selling off the unprofitable parts, obtaining financing to grow the money-making parts is invaluable in helping us to get out of the current job creation funk.

Any good Republican president will hold down taxes and block new regulations. But it may take a businessman with Romney’s skill set to dig down into the bureaucracy and understand precisely how bank regulation or EPA controls stop job creation. Romney needs to make the case that we need more than broad brush policy strokes to get the job machine running again. It is not enough to have been a good driver of the economic engine. You need to be a mechanic who knows how it works.

3135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Race-baiting Industrial Complex on: August 30, 2011, 12:09:23 PM
I am not clear what Black caucus and leadership want Brock to do.  They want him to create jobs for Blacks?
Well it ain't going to happen by expanding big government and spending and taxing white boys.  They continuously shoot themselves in their feet.  Keep voting for endless doles.  Keep voting for a party that is allowing competition to come in to the country.

Are we ever going to have a Republican who can articulate this to Blacks?  Herman Cain, Michael Steele, have not been able to do this it seems.

***The face of the unemployed
Thousands of the unemployed came to a job fair in Miami Tuesday, August 23, 2011 sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Miami Herald Staff

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson speaks to job hunters at a job fair sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami Tuesday, August 23, 2011.
By Patricia Mazzei
President Barack Obama could have a political problem with black voters in 2012.

Obama is still immensely popular with African Americans. But at a town hall-style meeting held in Miami Gardens this week, some black leaders and Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus said they are exasperated that the country’s first black president has not done more to address the needs of the black community — particularly its 16 percent unemployment rate.

“Can you say, ‘black’?” Rep. Maxine Waters of California snapped at Don Graves, the executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He had told the crowd of hundreds at Mount Hermon AME Church that Obama is focused on helping every community, though “certain communities have been hit harder.”

The meeting Monday night, coupled with a jobs fair in downtown Miami on Tuesday, was part of a national, five-city tour intended to draw attention to hurting, urban communities and to connect employers to job-seekers.

The tour was a contrast to Obama’s bus trip last week when he ventured to rural areas in the Midwest before heading with his family to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for vacation.

The White House is expected to unveil a new jobs plan after Labor Day.

The tense moments at the meeting underscored an increasing cause of concern for Obama, who has argued that turning the economy around will help all communities. Some black leaders want the president to target aid directly to African Americans, who were crucial to Obama’s victory three years ago. In 2008, Obama won 96 percent of the vote from black women vote; 95 percent of black men.

But Obama is trying to appeal to independents and other voters across the political spectrum. And even if he does not champion African Americans as much as some black leaders hope, it is unlikely that black voters would vote against him.

Still, there is another possibility: that discouraged black voters stay home on Election Day next year, a particular worry for Democrats in swing states with sizable black populations — such as Florida, where about 13 percent of registered voters are black.

At the meeting, panelists acknowledged that blacks find it difficult to disagree with Obama or to say that they are disappointed with him because they fear their concerns will be misinterpreted as flagging support.

“We don’t want to talk about it, because we don’t want to come across as being critical of the president,” said the Rev. Victor Curry, president of the local NAACP. But African Americans, he said “should expect something from the man that’s getting 90 percent of their support.”

“President Obama needs us to hold him accountable as well,” Curry said. “We’re not blaming President Obama. We know what he inherited: He inherited a bad team.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, who hosted the meeting and jobs fair, suggested Obama would be able to do more in a second term — and that things would be worse if a Republican were in the White House.

“The real enemy is the tea party — let’s remember that,” Wilson said. “The tea party holds Congress hostage…They have one goal in mind, and that’s to make President Obama a one-term president.”

Earlier, Waters, the California congresswoman, had gone after Graves, the Obama aide, when he said an obstacle to job creation is “folks who are going to stand in the way and block the legislation that the Congressional Black Caucus has proposed.”

“Say tea party,” Waters interrupted. “Say it!”

“It was tea-party Republicans,” a quiet Graves said.

The thorny politics, however, did not keep some 6,000 people from attending Tuesday’s job fair at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami. Entering the hall in orderly groups, the attendees shook hands and distributed résumés to recruiters from more than 120 companies and government agencies looking for new hires.

The going was tough, job-seekers said, because employers were directing them to apply to jobs online instead of taking down their information on the spot.

“I just don’t get responses,” said Michelle Gil, a 33-year-old from Kendall who has been looking for a marketing job for a year and a half. “I can’t get a job at Wal-Mart.”

Naomi Wright of Miami Gardens, who attended Monday’s meeting and Tuesday’s jobs fair, said she was disappointed that employers weren’t conducting interviews on site.

“It’s been difficult,” said Wright, who is African-American and has been unemployed for two years. “But I understand the president is in a very tough spot. I can’t say that he has not done enough.

“Just because we disagree does not mean we don’t support him and don’t respect him.”

Read more:***
3136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: August 29, 2011, 05:56:54 PM
I forgot about the maternity leave "entitlement", ahem excuse me, I mean "human/civil right".
3137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: August 29, 2011, 05:37:05 PM
"I think GM would leave the country before he moved to or lived in California!"

True but I thought he is there.  In any case I wondered if he was not on the East Coast and therefore he didn't get the same media blitzkeig we got here in the NYC metro area. 
3138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buffett pulling a Jeff Immelt? on: August 29, 2011, 01:58:08 PM
The saying something rotten in Denmark seems appropo here.  When we have such a big political supporter/investor in bed with the most powerful pol in the world affecting policy and naturally investing accordingly well...:

****The Examiner Washington Is Barack buddy Buffett betting on bank bailout?
Is Barack buddy Buffett betting on bank bailout?
byTimothy P. Carney Senior Political Columnistposted18 hours ago at8:06pmwith19 Comments

President Barack Obama presents the 2010 Medal of Freedom to Warren Buffett during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)If you're looking for proof that Too Big to Fail is still alive, and that Washington won't leave large financial institutions to the mercies of capitalism, consider billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett's $5 billion bet on struggling Bank of America.

Buffett, who recently won plaudits for advocating higher taxes, has spent four years betting on bailouts and big government -- and tilting the playing field in that direction by putting his money and prestige at the service of Barack Obama.

Buffett gave the maximum donation to Obama in 2007 -- $4,600 to his campaign, and $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee -- and also hosted a fundraiser for Obama in Omaha. By mid-2008, Obama had tapped Buffett as an official economic adviser to the campaign.

When Wall Street nearly collapsed in September 2008, Buffett rallied behind the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and bet big on its passage. He put $5 billion into failing investment bank Goldman Sachs. "If I didn't think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week," Buffett said on CNBC at the time.

Obama had campaigned against policies that mainly serve wealthy Americans, belittling the notion that "somehow prosperity will trickle down." Obama was the only man in position to block the bailout, but he voted aye and took much of his party with him.

As Congress was passing TARP and Republicans were falling in the polls, Buffett made another investment in Obamanomics, taking a $3 billion stake in General Electric.

Goldman got $10 billion in TARP funds, and by late 2009 was reporting record profits. Buffett made more than $3.6 billion in profit off the investment.

GE never got TARP money, but a month after the Buffett investment, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation gave GE a $139 billion guarantee on its debt, and GE was a regular recipient of other Federal Reserve bailouts besides TARP. Then GE forged an intimate alliance with the Obama administration, boosting investments in greenhouse-gas credits, embryonic stem cells, wind power, battery technology, and trains -- all technologies subsidized by Obama. GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt, who lauded Obama's "reset capitalism" in which government would be an "industry champion," became Obama's "job czar."

More recently, Buffett said he's considering investments in ethanol pioneer Archer Daniels Midland, nuclear-power king Exelon, and government contracting giant General Dynamics. ADM was built on close ties to politicians, as was Exelon. ADM relies on ethanol subsidies for profits, while Exelon lobbies for greenhouse-gas restrictions that will profit the company's nuclear-power holdings. And General Dynamics, with $139 billion in federal contracts since 2000, is also cozy with government.

In this light, and recalling his Goldman-bailout profit, consider Buffett's investment last week in Bank of America.

Investors had been dumping Bank of America shares, presumably over worries about the mortgages it holds. But B of A holds ugly mortgages mostly because it bought Countrywide in 2008 -- a move government officials encouraged because they thought it would stabilize the financial sector. Similarly, B of A bought up Merrill Lynch with some nudging from the Treasury Department.

Finally, the Obama administration is simultaneously siding with struggling mortgage-holders against their banks while also trying to promote more lending. You could say Uncle Sam owes Bank of America.

At least Moody's, the credit-ratings agency, seems to think so. In a June 2 announcement, Moody's (owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, by the way) wrote that Bank of America's credit rating "currently incorporates an unusual amount of 'uplift' from Moody's systemic support assumptions that were increased during the financial crisis." In other words, Moody's -- and thus most creditors -- assumes the government will not let Bank of America fail.

By putting $5 billion in B of A, Buffett seems to be following his mantra: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful." But does the Oracle of Omaha, as he did in 2008, find his courage in the promise of a bailout? And does he have good reason to expect one?

Last week, when Buffett spoke with Obama and decided to invest in Bank of America, we learned that he is hosting another Obama fundraiser. This all sounds familiar.

It's beginning to look a lot like 2008, which is bad news economically -- unless you know how to profit off bailouts.

CORRECTION: This column originally understated the size of Buffett's investment in Bank of America. The correct figure is $5 billion, not $3 billion.

Timothy P.Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear on****
3139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / To GM on: August 29, 2011, 01:36:28 PM
Appears most people are agreeing with you.  I guess this is the new big government paradigm.  You're in California aren't you?

Perhaps you were not blankeded with 24/7 total wall to wall coverage on every single  cable and local news stations for several days on end.  We also got calls from the police not to leave the house and when it was ok to leave.  The *max* winds were 75 miles per hour.  A tropical storm is up to 74 mph.  People were being informed they were breaking the law by not evacuating certain areas.  I don't know.  This was beyond necessary to me.  Where does it end?  Can't we just use common sense?   To me it was more about politicians covering their behinds than realistic threat.  That said this is obviously the way it will be from now on.

****Mayor Bloomberg's sky-is-falling act makes him hero of Hurricane Irene
BY Erin Einhorn

Monday, August 29th 2011, 4:00 AM

 Robert Mecea for NewsMayor Bloomberg at NYPD's Joint Operations Center on Sunday. Take our PollHurricane hero?
Are you happy with the job Mayor Bloomberg did to brace for Irene?

      Yes. New York City was very prepared for the crisis.
 No. The early evacuations and closings were unnecessary.
 Not sure. I am just glad Irene was not as devastating as it could have been.

 Related NewsBloomberg: ConEd may be forced to shut off power in southern tip of ManhattanNYC 'preparing for worst' in hurricane: BloombergNYC planning to shut down transportation systemBloomberg's plane was last to land at LGA as Christmas blizzard intensifiedAnalysis: Bloomy's 'not in Bermuda' campaignClaims of test cheats tripleNote to pols: Too much is better than not enough.

Or as mom always said, better safe than sorry.

Those words of wisdom are political winners.


Sure, Irene wasn't quite as advertised. Plenty of New Yorkers grumbled that mandatory evacuations and constant warnings were an extreme overreaction, but history will remember Hurricane Irene as a victory for Mayor Bloomberg.

He was the one who evacuated low-lying parts of the city, who was on TV seemingly at every moment warning, cautioning and coaching New Yorkers on how to deal with what was touted as a killer hurricane.


The foresight and hustle won kudos - some begrudgingly.

In sharp contrast to the bruising Bloomberg took as the city struggled to dig out from the debilitating post-Christmas blizzard, Hizzoner was lavished with praise yesterday from even his toughest critics.

"I'm not a critic today. I'm a fan," said City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who last spring conducted what some called the "Mother of all Hearings" into the city's disastrous blizzard response.

"I'm sorta disappointed. I emailed some of my colleagues today and said, 'Damn! I missed my opportunity to have the Mother of All Hearings, Part II.'"

Last winter, elected officials from across the city said they spent the days after the blizzard fielding furious complaints from constituents and getting no response from the administration.

This time they were invited to frequent conference calls and meetings ahead of the storm.

Top city officials responded to emails and calls as the winds and rains pelted the city.

And by yesterday, James said that when she notified the administration of downed trees in her central Brooklyn district, "they responded with the cavalry."

Maybe it was a little too much, some acknowledged.

Maybe some New Yorkers were inconvenienced by the forced evacuation or alarmed by the panic.

Surely many are steamed at Gov. Cuomo and the MTA for yanking the crucial lifeline of the city's public transit system for nearly two days, but, this time, no one could complain that their mayor was AWOL.

"He wanted to go from bozo of the blizzard to hero of the hurricane," said Baruch College political science Prof. Doug Muzzio.

Instead of swooping back into the city from Bermuda as Bloomberg did just before the blizzard, New Yorkers could barely turn on their TVs over the weekend without seeing the mayor giving a briefing or inspecting the troops.

"This was Michael Bloomberg saying, 'You know what, nothing else is going to happen on my watch,'" said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), who helped evacuate thousands of people from his Coney Island district.

"Some people are going to say he overreacted, but you know what? It's better to be safe than sorry."****
3140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: August 29, 2011, 12:44:29 PM
Well we have wondered why Mexicans come here for work.

Carlos Slim didn't get to be worth 74 billion being a nice guy:

"Nearly two-thirds of Mr Slim’s wealth is thought to lie in América Móvil, the biggest or second-biggest mobile-phone operator everywhere in Latin America except Chile (where it is third). In Mexico Mr Slim’s grip is particularly strong, with 70% of the cellular market and 80% of landlines. In half the country’s 400 local areas, only his company has the infrastructure to put through calls to landlines. Not surprisingly, after accounting for purchasing power home landlines in Mexico cost 45% more than the OECD average and business lines 63% more (see chart 3). Mobiles are better value, particularly for those who do not make many calls. But basic broadband access costs nearly ten times more (per megabit per second of advertised speed) than in the rest of the OECD."

3141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economist; study suggest cloud science may be wrong on: August 29, 2011, 11:57:16 AM
****Clouds in a jar
A new experiment with old apparatus reveals a flaw in models of the climate
Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition
CLOUD chambers have an honoured place in the history of physics. These devices, which generate vapour trails that mark the passage of high-energy subatomic particles, were the first apparatus that allowed such passage to be tracked. That was in the 1920s and led, among other things, to the discovery of cosmic rays. Science has moved on since then, of course, and cloud chambers are now largely museum pieces. But the world’s leading high-energy physics laboratory, CERN, outside Geneva, is dusting the idea off and putting it into reverse. Instead of using clouds to study cosmic rays, it is using cosmic rays to study clouds. In doing so, it may have thrown a spanner into the works of the world’s computer models of the climate.

Clouds are formed by the condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere around clusters of molecules such as ammonia and sulphuric acid. Ions created by the passage of cosmic rays can trigger the formation of such molecular seeds—a process of particular interest because the arrival of cosmic rays is regulated, in part, by the sun. The 11-year solar cycle, which governs the appearance of sunspots, also changes the sun’s magnetic field. That, in turn, affects the passage of cosmic rays (which are mostly protons released by distant supernova explosions), and thus the number of such rays that make it to Earth. Since clouds help regulate the climate, by reflecting sunlight back into space and cooling the atmosphere, some researchers think cosmic rays are a means by which changes in solar activity are translated into terrestrial climate change.

Just how much cosmic rays affect cloud formation has, however, remained elusive. A team at CERN, led by Jasper Kirkby, therefore decided to recreate both the solar cycle and the atmosphere in a lab. Their “cosmic rays” are generated by one of CERN’s particle accelerators. To simulate the atmosphere, they have built a special cloud chamber of their own, with the air manufactured from scratch, using liquid nitrogen and oxygen together with precise amounts of trace compounds, including sulphuric acid and ammonia.

A typical run at CLOUD, as the experiment is unimaginatively named, begins by tracking the growth of seeds from single molecules into clusters in the presence of ultraviolet radiation, which is known to encourage such growth. An electrical field removes any ions present, so the rate of seed growth should be equivalent to that in nature with no cosmic rays around. Next, the field is switched off, allowing actual cosmic rays to permeate the chamber for a while. Finally, a beam of artificial rays from the accelerator is added to the mix.

By comparing rates of seed formation during the different phases of the experiments, the researchers have been able to put a figure on cosmic rays’ contribution to the process. The results, reported in this week’s Nature, suggest naturally occurring rays enhance seed-formation rates by a factor of ten. That implies the rays’ varying intensity could indeed affect the climate.

Dr Kirkby and his colleagues remain cautious about the result, however, because of a second finding. To their surprise, they discovered that the seed-formation rates for sulphuric acid and ammonia are between a tenth and a thousandth of those needed to account for the cloud seeding actually seen in the atmosphere. That suggests other compounds are important, too—and this, in turn, implies that current climate models, which assume most seeds are made of ammonia or sulphuric acid, may require revision.

Atmospheric physics is, of course, notoriously complex. And it would be foolish to start reprogramming all the models on the basis of this single result. But it does suggest that a closer look is needed into what is going on in the real atmosphere. Clearly, there is life in the old cloud chamber yet.

from the print edition | Science and Technology
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3142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mexico economics; from Economist on: August 29, 2011, 11:33:28 AM
Mexico’s economy
Making the desert bloom
The Mexican economy has recovered somewhat from a scorching recession imported from America, but is still hobbled by domestic monopolies and cartels
Aug 27th 2011

HOT and high in the Sierra Madre, the city of Saltillo is a long way from Wall Street. Stuffed goats keep an eye on customers in the high-street vaquera, or cowboy outfitter, where workers from the local car factories blow their pesos on snakeskin boots and $100 Stetsons. Pinstriped suits and silk ties are outnumbered by checked shirts and silver belt-buckles; pickups are prized over Porsches.

The financial crisis of 2008 began on the trading floors of Manhattan, but the biggest tremors were felt in the desert south of the Rio Grande. Mexico suffered the steepest recession of any country in the Americas, bar a couple of Caribbean tiddlers. Its economy shrank by 6.1% in 2009 (see chart 1). Between the third quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009, 700,000 jobs were lost, 260,000 of them in manufacturing. The slump was deepest in the prosperous north: worst hit was the border state of Coahuila. Saltillo, its capital, had grown rich exporting to America. The state’s output fell by 12.3% in 2009 as orders dried up.

The recession turned a reasonable decade for Mexico’s economy into a dreary one. In the ten years to 2010, income per person grew by 0.6% a year, one of the lowest rates in the world. In the early 2000s Mexico boasted Latin America’s biggest economy, measured at market exchange rates, but it was soon overtaken by Brazil, whose GDP is now twice as big and still pulling away, boosted by the soaring real. Soon Brazil will take the lead in oil production, which Mexico has allowed to dwindle. As Brazilians construct stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Mexicans, who last year celebrated the bicentenary of their independence from Spain, are building monuments to their past (and finishing them late).

Mexico’s muscles

Yet Mexico’s economy is packed with potential. Thanks to the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and a string of bilateral deals, it trades more than Argentina and Brazil combined, and more per person than China. Last year it did $400 billion of business with the United States, more than any country bar Canada and China. The investment rate, at more than a fifth of GDP, is well ahead of Brazil’s. Income per person slipped below Brazil’s in 2009, but only because of the real’s surge and the peso’s weakness. After accounting for purchasing power, Mexicans are still better off than Brazilians.

Though expatriates whinge about bureaucracy, the World Bank ranks Mexico the easiest place in Latin America to do business and the 35th-easiest in the world, ahead of Italy and Spain. In Brazil (placed 127th) companies spend 2,600 hours a year filing taxes, six times more than in Mexico. Registering a business takes nine days in Mexico and 26 in Argentina. The working hours of supposedly siesta-loving Mexicans are among the longest in the world. And although Mexico’s schools are the worst in (mainly rich) OECD countries, they are the least bad in Latin America apart from Chile’s.

These strengths have helped Mexico to rebound smartly from its calamitous slump. Last year the economy grew by 5.4%, recovering much of the ground lost in 2009. Exports to the United States, having fallen by a fifth, have reached a record high. In the desert there are signs of life: Saltillo’s high street, where four out of ten shops closed during the recession, is busy again. CIFUNSA, a foundry that turns out some 400,000 tonnes of cast iron a year for customers such as Ford and Volkswagen, shed 40% of its staff in 2009, but has rehired most of them and is producing more than it did before the slump.

However, the jobs market has yet to return to its pre-recession state. Nationally, the official unemployment rate is 5.4%, having peaked at 6.4% in 2009. Javier Lozano, Mexico’s labour secretary, believes that the pre-recession mark of 4.1% will not be matched within the term of this government or the next (ie, before 2018). What’s more, the new jobs are not as good as those that were lost. Average pay last year was 5% lower than in 2008. Because of this, and rising food prices, more Mexicans have slipped into poverty: last year 46.2% of them were below the official poverty line (earning less than 2,114 pesos, or $167, per month), up from 44.5% in 2008.

Just as recession came from the gringos, recovery depends partly on them. Many analysts who once predicted economic growth of 5% this year cut their forecasts to under 4% after a downward revision of American GDP in July. Exports account for nearly a third of Mexico’s trillion-dollar GDP, and most go to the United States. Remittances provide $190 per person per year (down from $240 in 2007). Now America faces several years of lacklustre growth, which poses a dilemma for Mexico.

Some look at the recent explosive growth of Brazil and wonder if it is time to follow its example and look to new markets. In 2009 only 3% of Mexico’s exports went to Brazil, Russia, India or China, whereas Brazil sent 16% of its exports to its fellow BRICs. Industrialised countries receive less than half of Brazil’s exports but 90% of Mexico’s. The Inter-American Development Bank, the biggest lender in the region, describes a “two speed” Latin America, in which economies, such as Mexico, which do most of their trade with developed countries, lag behind those, such as Brazil, that have forged links with emerging markets.

South or north?

Mexico has already diversified its exports. America’s share of them has fallen from 89% in 2000 to perhaps 78% this year and will fall further, according to Miguel Messmacher, head of economic planning at Mexico’s finance ministry. Sales to Latin America and Asia are growing twice as fast as those to America. The automotive industry, Mexico’s biggest exporter, is ahead of the trend: though exports to America continue to rise, they now make up only 65% of the total. Eduardo Solís, head of the industry’s national association, says he would like to get the figure down to 50% by focusing on Latin America and Europe.

Others say Mexico’s economic future will always be to the north. “We can’t just become a commodity exporter and start sending soy beans to China,” says Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign secretary. History, geography and natural resources have wedded Mexico to its wealthy neighbour: “It’s not something we chose,” he says. If the American economy is growing slowly, Mexico will just have to get a bigger chunk of it.

That task has been made harder by China. Since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 its share of American imports has grown fast and is now the biggest. The shares of Canada and especially Japan have fallen. Mexico’s share, which almost doubled in the seven years after NAFTA came into effect, slipped after 2001. But it is edging up again (see chart 2).

China’s low wages, which lured factories away from Mexico, are rising rapidly. In 2003 Mexican pay was three times Chinese rates but now it is only 20% higher, Mr Messmacher says. The rising yuan and the cheap peso accentuate this trend.

Proximity to America, Mexico’s trump card, has been made more valuable by the high oil price. The resolution in July of a long dispute has allowed Mexican lorries to make deliveries in America, which the Mexican government reckons will reduce firms’ shipping costs by 15%. The rise of China may also help Mexico too, by forcing American companies to compete more keenly. Detroit carmakers cannot export cars to South Korea, but a Mexican factory using American parts can, notes Luis de la Calle, a former trade minister.

Luring foreign investors has been made trickier by a spike in violence. Since 2007, a crackdown on organised crime has caused Mexico’s drug-trafficking “cartels”, as they are known (though they are in fact rather competitive), to splinter and fight. Last year the murder rate was 17 per 100,000 people, a little lower than Brazil’s, but more than two-thirds up on 2007. Ernesto Cordero, the finance minister, has estimated that the violence knocks about a percentage point off Mexico’s annual growth rate.

The fighting is highly concentrated: last year 70% of mafia-related killings took place in 3% of the country’s municipalities. In Yucatán state, where tourists scramble around Mayan ruins, the murder rate is no higher than in Belgium. Last July was the busiest ever for Mexico’s foreign-tourist trade, but there are signs that the drip of bloody stories is starting to hurt bookings. In the first five months of this year, arrivals were 3.6% lower than last. Acapulco, which caters mainly to domestic tourists, has virtually emptied thanks to frequent shootings in the heart of the hotel zone.

Many of the roughest areas are in the north, where foreign investment is concentrated. In Ciudad Juárez, a centre of maquila factories that assemble products for export, the murder rate has climbed to one of the highest in the world, as the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels battle for control of the border crossing, little restrained (and often aided) by the local police. In Tamaulipas, a border state where violence surged last year, the unemployment rate has risen to 7.5%, the highest in the country. The head of a Mexican multinational with operations there found recently that his local manager had been siphoning company money to the cartels. Many rich businessmen have moved their families to America; the governor of one border state is rumoured to have done the same (his office denies it).

Investors have largely held their nerve. Foreign direct investment, which reached $30 billion in 2007 but fell to half that in 2009, is expected to recover to $20 billion this year. Businessmen play down the violence: Mr Solís admits that some car transporters have been robbed on highways, but says that this year has been better than last. This month Honda became the latest carmaker to announce plans to expand in Mexico, in spite of the insecurity.

Still, insecurity adds costs and delays. The road from Saltillo to Monterrey, the nearest big airport, has become dicey, so more people rely on Saltillo’s own tiny airport, where a single airline offers flights to Mexico City for upwards of $400. Conferences, concerts and sporting fixtures have been cancelled in Monterrey. In Coahuila on August 20th a football match was abandoned after shots were fired outside the stadium. Some foreign companies are even nervous about sending executives to Mexico City, although it has a lower murder rate than many American cities.

From Uncle Sam to Uncle Slim

Despite Mexico’s difficulties, one of its citizens is the richest person in the world. Carlos Slim, the son of a Lebanese immigrant, has made a fortune estimated by Forbes at $74 billion. The magazine reckons that last year his net worth rose by $20.5 billion.

Nearly two-thirds of Mr Slim’s wealth is thought to lie in América Móvil, the biggest or second-biggest mobile-phone operator everywhere in Latin America except Chile (where it is third). In Mexico Mr Slim’s grip is particularly strong, with 70% of the cellular market and 80% of landlines. In half the country’s 400 local areas, only his company has the infrastructure to put through calls to landlines. Not surprisingly, after accounting for purchasing power home landlines in Mexico cost 45% more than the OECD average and business lines 63% more (see chart 3). Mobiles are better value, particularly for those who do not make many calls. But basic broadband access costs nearly ten times more (per megabit per second of advertised speed) than in the rest of the OECD.

Telecoms is not the only monopolised sector. A study by the OECD and Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission (CFC) found that 31% of Mexican household spending went on products supplied in monopolistic or highly oligopolistic markets. The poorest tenth suffered most, 38% of their expenditure going on such things.

The cost of these captive markets is ruinous. Until recently, for example, firms selling generic medicines were required by law to operate a plant in Mexico. This, along with a system that allows doctors to prescribe medicines by brand rather than by generic compound, means that the market is dominated by expensive brands. Generics account for less than 17% of the drugs market, against 66.5% in America. Medicine is a third pricier than in Britain.

Transport is expensive too. The handful of budget airlines that arrived in the past decade have struggled to get take-off and landing slots at Mexico City’s airport, which are dished out by a committee dominated by incumbents. The CFC found that flights to and from Mexico City were between 40% and 80% dearer than those to less strangled airports. Intercity bus routes are dominated by four firms that have divided up the country. Fares are 10% higher than they ought to be, the CFC estimates.

Banking is similarly uncompetitive. Two banks control almost half the market for deposit accounts and two-thirds of the credit- and debit-card markets. The lack of choice means that 95% of account-holders have never switched banks. Top of the list of Saltillo businesses’ complaints is the scarcity and cost of credit.

Some of these pinch points are being addressed. The collapse last year of Mexicana, North America’s oldest airline, has presented an opportunity to auction landing slots to nimbler competitors. Drugs should get cheaper thanks to an auction system devised by the CFC for Mexico’s social-security institute. In April a new competition law introduced penalties of up to ten years in jail for collusion, and empowered the CFC to make surprise inspections. The same month it fined Mr Slim’s mobile-phone operator a record $1 billion for abusing its market dominance.

Banking has been opened to entrants such as Walmart, which has already shaken up Mexican retailing. Commercial credit is expanding: it stands at 19% of GDP, nearly double the ratio in 2003. Lending is still less than half of what it was before the banking crisis of 1994, suggesting plenty of room for growth—certainly more than in Brazil, where credit already equals about half of GDP.

Forcing competition on cosy industries is still not easy. When the government decided in 2009 to shut down Luz y Fuerza, a state-run electricity company that was costing the taxpayer $3 billion a year, it required 1,000 police in riot gear to occupy the firm’s offices. Since Luz y Fuerza shut, the wait for new connections in Mexico City has fallen from ten months to four. But its ex-employees still bring parts of the capital to a halt with protests. Labour-reform efforts, to ease hiring and firing and allow six-month trial contracts, have met opposition in congress. Even with the new competition law, few people fancy the authorities’ chances against Mr Slim’s lawyers.

The answer is to open the economy and let foreign competition force Mexican firms to adapt, believes Mr de la Calle. “If you have free trade, you don’t need structural reforms because the companies have to compete,” he says. He cites the pork industry, which used to be blighted with hog cholera. Farmers resisted pressure to eradicate it, preferring to sell low volumes at high prices. When tariffs were dropped, cheap pork from America forced Mexican farmers to clean up their act. Cholera was eliminated, output rose and prices fell.

Other industries are ripe for similar treatment. Oil is a prime candidate. Pemex, a state monopoly, handles everything from exploration to petrol pumps. Its profits contribute a third of government revenue, allowing Mexico to maintain a generous and feebly enforced tax regime. But decades of underinvestment have hurt production, which fell from 3.4m barrels a day in 2004 to 2.6m. Brazil, which has allowed foreign investment in its oilfields, is producing around 2m barrels a day and expects to be pumping 6m by 2020.

Pemex’s output has stabilised in the past year, and this month it awarded its first performance-based contracts, a precursor to getting oil majors to explore the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But efforts to make the company more efficient have been vetoed by the oil workers’ union. Refineries are poorly run; petrol stations forbid self-service.

The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a think-tank, estimates that the GDP growth rate could be raised by 2.5 percentage points if the oil industry were opened up and labour and competition laws reformed. Reeling from an American-made recession, however, Mexico is hardly in the mood for a more open economy. With a presidential election next year, it would be easier to keep puttering along in the shadow of Brazil, an economy which in some ways Mexico outclasses. Mexico’s rebound from slump and its resilience to lawlessness show its underlying strength. If it could only bust the monopolistic dams that have parched its economy, its desert might one day start to bloom.

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3143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China/baidu on: August 29, 2011, 11:29:21 AM
From the Economist:

****The internet in China
Bashing Baidu
State television fires on China’s Google
Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition
LAST year Google remembered its motto (“Don’t be evil”) and stopped co-operating with China’s censors. Since then, Google has found it much harder to do business in mainland China. The chief beneficiary was Baidu, China’s leading search engine. Its share of internet searches, already vast, grew to a dominant 75%.

Robin Li, Baidu’s Chinese-born, American-educated co-founder, is only 42 but one of China’s richest men. That makes him a target, despite his scrupulous efforts not to upset the ruling Communist Party. Since August 14th Baidu has been the subject of a series of damning investigative reports on CCTV, the main state-run broadcaster. Using undercover cameras, CCTV exposed Baidu employees apparently helping firms circumvent laws that bar unlicensed companies from advertising online. The reports also suggested that the lack of transparency in Baidu’s advertising system could lead advertisers to overpay. A Baidu spokesman refused to comment.
It was not the first time that CCTV has bashed Baidu. Reports in 2008 made similar allegations, prompting Baidu to apologise publicly. The latest attacks go further, though. It might seem a bit rich for the state broadcaster of a secretive, authoritarian country to chide Baidu for murkiness. And it certainly surprises some China-watchers. Baidu has done all it can to comply with the government’s whims. It is also a national champion: its shares are listed on New York’s NASDAQ exchange, and foreigners can’t get enough of them.

So what might the criticism signify? Is CCTV attacking Baidu for political reasons, or commercial ones? CCTV has a search engine, too, which hardly anyone uses. So do two other big government-run media outfits—the People’s Daily newspaper and the Xinhua news agency. CCTV, though state-run, is not just a propaganda outfit. It is also expected to make money through advertising (and it does). It must be tempting to nobble a rival.

That no other state-run media outlets carried stories on Baidu suggests this is not a government-orchestrated campaign against the company or the internet more generally. However, the Communist Party is wary of the influence of private internet companies, and no doubt keen to see that Baidu doesn’t get too big for its boots.

The party was slow to grasp how big the internet was going to be in China, and it missed its chance to own the digital commanding heights. So it tries to control them indirectly. On August 23rd, for example, Beijing’s Communist Party chief paid a friendly visit to the offices of China’s biggest microblogging site, Sina Corp’s Weibo, and suggested that it “absolutely put an end to fake and misleading information”. Sina Corp, a private firm, deletes postings that annoy the party within hours. Not quick enough, said the party chief.

Perhaps the most likely motive for CCTV’s attacks on Baidu is that its journalists are trying to do their jobs. Public anger about toxic food, corporate mismanagement and official corruption has emboldened reporters. Journalists at CCTV led the extensive media coverage of a high-speed-rail crash at Wenzhou in July that killed 40 people, until the censors curbed them.

Such reporting embarrasses the party, which likes to boast that China builds big infrastructure projects faster and better than anyone else. The CCTV attack on Baidu could reflect a decision to go after a less protected target. Or not. This being China, no one knows for sure.****
3144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: August 29, 2011, 09:45:01 AM
"The political subscript is to contrast Baraq with Bush's handling of Katrina."

True.  Brock was of course playing the script of a caring worried father with thousands of troops ready with the comfort blankets, tents and TV dinners.

But not just him....

It seems all of the pols were getting in the act.  Cristie, Boomer Bloomberg, and the rest.

They are all out in force taking credit.  The media covers every little mud slide and flood and power outage to justify the whole thing.  Nothing wrong with warnings and information but the whole thing was overdone in a crazy way.

Fox seems to have been the worst.  24/7 coverage the entire weekend and still going strong.

The fear of political fall out like Katrina has now turned our polticians into law suit fearing doctors who order everything under the sun. 
3145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gas pipeline attack stopped on: August 27, 2011, 12:37:36 PM

Did Israel just stop 'spectacular' terror attack?
Sources say it would have devastated both Jewish state and Gaza population

Posted: August 12, 2011
1:00 am Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2011 WND

Israeli troops on Gaza border
TEL AVIV – Israel stopped what would have been a spectacular border terrorist attack planned from inside the Gaza Strip, according to Egyptian security officials.

The Egyptian officials said there is information the attack Tuesday was aimed at the sole pipeline that supplies Gaza with gas. The pipeline, located at the Israeli town of Nahal Oz, is manned and provided by Israel.

Israeli security officials would not comment on the matter.

In a rare incident, on Tuesday all electricity, phone and Internet service was suspended for about 18 hours in the Gaza Strip.

The blackout was reportedly caused by Israeli military bulldozers operating near the fuel pipeline in the Israeli town of Nahal Oz, which is close to the Gaza Strip.

At about the same time the electricity went out in Gaza, the Egyptian officials said Israel passed a message for Egypt to be on high alert for possible attacks from inside the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian officials said they have information that Israel was actually working to stop a cross border attack aimed at the fuel pipeline. The officials said the downing of communications inside Gaza was central to halting the attack.

The Egyptian officials said members of Jihadiya Salafiya, an al-Qaida-allied group in Gaza, are suspected of attempting the major attack along with elements of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad.

An attack on Gaza's pipelines would be devastating for both Israel and the Gaza population, which relies on the supply lines for its fuel.

Since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February, similar attacks have been carried out three times now on an Egyptian pipeline located in the Sinai desert that supplies Israel with about 35 percent of its gas needs. All three attacks have been blamed on Jihadiya Salafiya and likeminded Islamist jihad groups.

Hamas telecommunications officials said yesterday an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer damaged a communications cable and cut all phone and Internet networks in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip the day before.

The IDF spokesman's office denied the army was "responsible for the incident" but added it was willing to "help restore communications."

An attack on Gaza's fuel pipelines could have negative implications for Gaza's Hamas rulers.

While both Hamas and al-Qaida are offshoots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the groups often clash over a difference in tactics.

In August 2008, Jihadiya Salafiya announced it established an armed wing, which it called the Damascus Soldiers, brandishing weapons in a public display in Gaza while openly identifying with al-Qaida ideologically.

Unlike other radical Islamic organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have demonstrated some pragmatism in aspects of political life while still holding an Islamist worldview, the new al-Qaida organization believes in a strict interpretation of the Quran and that only the Quran can dictate how to act.

The Islamist group believes violent jihad is the primary way to spread Islam around the world, including jihad against secular Muslim states.

Hamas has worked with the al-Qaida-allied groups in Gaza. It took credit along with Jaish al-Islam for the kidnapping in June 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

But Jihadiya Salifiya has been regularly publishing pamphlets labeling Hamas as "non-Muslim" since the terror group ran in 2006 democratic elections, which the Islamist organizations see as an expression of Western values.

Also, for the past two years, al-Qaida leaders themselves have released audio tapes blasting Hamas for participating in elections and in the democratic process.

Hamas several times has engaged in heavy fire clashes with the Islamist organizations in Gaza, including Jihadiya Salafiya.

Read more: Did Israel just stop 'spectacular' terror attack?
3146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: August 27, 2011, 12:28:18 PM
"He sounded like the appearer"

should have been appeaSer.  Sorry.
3147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 27, 2011, 12:26:23 PM
"I would rather he not have put things like that, mostly because some people   will be determined to misportray it."

Exactly.  The main reason it is important so as not to give political adversaries fodder.

In a side note  but related, it has been interesting to see Bushies like Rove become adversaries.  I ask who elected him?

He damaged O'Donnel and now Perry. 

I saw Jeb Bush on Fox again.  He is definitely NOT the Republican this country needs.   He sounded like the appearer of the past not like I sounded last week. 

His families political "accomodating", if you will, has in retrospect, clearly helped lead us into the mess we are in now.

We don't need niceness.  We need someone who can express and explain the urgency/emergency we are in and give us a clear path out without appeasement.

No appeasement.  Respectful ok.  But strict and clear.  If we can't stop it here it is probably over.  As Doug also pointed out, here we are in the wrost economic crises in a lifetime and Brock still has a 50/50 chance of winning.  If that doesn't make it clear what we are up against (the welfare state) than nothing will.
3148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Is this going to happen with every thunder storm now? on: August 27, 2011, 12:13:15 PM
Leon Panetta says 100,000 reserves are ready to help in hurricane disaster areas.

Troops abroad shouldn't worry their loved are safe.

Gov. Christie is advising thousands to get the hell out!

Mayor Bloomberg has evacuated  a million.

All for at most a category 1?

I agree with Michael Savage.  I have never seen such ridiculous hysteria over a storm.

Tomorrow we will read how it wasn't as bad as "expected" and thank God etc etc.

A few branches will come down a few basements flooded a power line down here or there for a hours or a day.

But the politicians will brag how they protected us and the media as always makes lots money.

Howard Kurtz will question the media frenzy on his CNN show and will have guests on who will after some phoney hand wringing conclude the media was correct in how they handled it all along.

And I was once told as a kid I was cynical?

3149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / rebuttal part 3 on: August 27, 2011, 11:49:46 AM
Page 3 of 3

Portraying WWII as bounteous economically because statistical measures bettered is like confusing a high batting average with winning championships. You can hit well and still lose. Normally, hitting safely and decreased joblessness reflect success, but war is different. Unemployment lessened because the draft sent men into combat. Increasing production because women were forced into factories building bombs is deceptive.

Economics studies the transformation of scarce resources into that which best fulfills our unlimited desires. How does blowing up Germany boost American living standards? How is making men sleep in frigid fox holes under enemy fire enriching? How did rationing everything from the enjoyment of luxuries to our clothing and diets lift anyone’s material standing?

The military doesn’t jumpstart the economy, it protects producers. This represents patriotic sacrifice, not prosperity.

Production is the progenitor of wealth, but making things unvalued by markets doesn’t improve life. Neither does working harder to achieve the same result. Repairing damage caused by war or natural calamity through debt encumbrance does nothing to support sustainable growth. Once said project completes, we’re back where we started with debts to boot.

During the postwar era, both parties believed spending was stimulating and thought government intervention essential during downturns. But we almost invariably recovered before the spending packages even passed Congress. Unfortunately, rather than conclude that intervention is unnecessary, now, we rush spending bills through as if racing a deadline to preempt the natural ricochet so politicians can take credit.

Stimulus spending doesn’t augment aggregate demand unleashing our “animal spirits” towards growth. It invites crony capitalism, patronage and dependency. As funds flow through Washington, producers reorient from satisfying customers to lobbying politicians. War spending leads to the dreaded Military-Industrial Complex Republicans like Ike feared, but Neo-Cons today relish.

If resources were unlimited or little effort was necessary to extract value, we could consume at will. Instead, markets prioritize output by channeling resources via price signals. Government spending fails because politicians lack the vital feedback mechanism of profits and losses. It’s not their money. Military outlays exemplify this faulty prioritization. Once Congress gets involved, we can’t even cut defense projects the military finds redundant. What the military does demand is often exorbitantly overpriced.

Stimulus efforts allow politicians to dispense dollars in patronage schemes conferring power upon themselves at taxpayer expense. Congress buys votes with your money. Even if public spending did stimulate, such corruption is too repugnant to condone.

As government grows, it becomes increasingly self serving. Bureaucracy inevitably seeks its own expansion. Businesses succeed by producing efficiently and pleasing customers. Bureaucracies thrive via inefficiency. Exceeding one’s budget makes it easier to ask for more. Failure allows sinecures to grovel before Congress that greater funding can achieve what lower funding merely wasted.

Deficit spending has never once successfully stimulated recovery. Like our failed war on poverty or public education, interventionists consistently claim we haven’t spent sufficiently. Mimicking the New Deal’s failure, Keynesians today decry that the Bush and Obama stimulus bills were half-hearted.

Dr. Krugman so desperately seeks more spending that he wishes Congress would pretend aliens are invading. Washington could then control the economy – for our good, not theirs, he’d have us assume. Krugman assures us liberals have a conscience.

Whether they have any common sense is less certain.
3150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / rebuttal part 2 on: August 27, 2011, 11:49:02 AM
After campaigning on fiscal discipline, FDR promptly accelerated Hoover’s initiatives, devising new economic experiments almost daily. As FDR’s economist Rexford Tugwell conceded, “We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.” Despite ridiculing Hoover’s “extravagance,” FDR increased spending another 83% in his first three years.

The best unemployment result prior to WWII was 14% in 1937. European unemployment was far lower. By 1939, unemployment was back at 19% as FDR increased taxes and cut spending in preparation for war. As the government reined in its make-work projects, rather than weaning a sustainable recovery off the Keynesian incubator, the recovery reversed. The New Deal clearly failed to prime the private pump.

On the surface, wartime spending finally propelled America from the Depression’s pits. As war production expanded from roughly 2% of GDP to almost 40%, statistically, America rebounded. In 1940 dollars, GDP shot from $101.4 billion to $120.7 billion in 1941 up to $174.8 billion by 1945 while unemployment fell below 2%.

America didn’t officially enter the fray until December 1941. FDR had by then rescinded most New Deal regulations, scuttled the WPA and similar agencies and ceased his incessant public bickering with private business. Some surmise he stopped attacking industry recognizing he needed their help attacking fascism.

The pre Pearl Harbor boost stems from three factors: wartime spending by others, which does not reflect stimulus on Washington’s part; Lend-Lease, but giving away munitions abroad promotes no prosperity here, and the demise of the New Deal.

After netting out federal spending, GDP surged 17% from $91.9 billion in 1940 to $107.7 billion in 1941. Once engaged, our non-federal output trickled down to $101.4 billion by WWII’s conclusion in 1945. The private economy reflected little improvement, partly because private consumption was curbed. Living standards didn’t regain 1929 levels until America restored a market based economy in the aftermath of victory.

FDR dreaded the recession’s return as Keynesian theory suggested severe trouble when ten million plus soldiers returned home unemployed. The president proposed a “Bill of Economic Rights” predicated on aggregate demand maintenance. Congress thankfully repudiated it. Tax rates were slashed while war time rationing, price controls and regulations receded.

America was one of few industrial nations with its productive infrastructure intact. Despite federal spending falling from $93 billion in 1945 to under $30 billion by 1948 (in 1945 dollars), unemployment stabilized around 4% as Americans, free of New Deal shackles, launched an economic boom.
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