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3201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 02, 2012, 02:33:52 PM
Henninger gives a lot of credit to Obama's power of persuasion.

First, there are 40-45% of the people in the US who WILL vote for him no matter what.  They will never cross the Democrat line.

"The GOP is appealing, as its candidates so often do, to the American brain. Barack Obama is happy to be left by himself, going for their hearts."

Clinton proved the independent block of the public can turn on a dime.  And it is that group (independents) that will vote based on how good they feel THAT day.    If the economy is bad then Obama can pull on all the heart strings he wants.  He will not win.  Then again if the economy is or appears to be getting better, it might work.   If the market is going up and the stated though corrupted unempolyment number is coming down than that group will stop and think, "well this guy isn't doing that bad" and Mitt just do anything to excite me.

"any half-awake citizen will notice the words that fail to appear: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, entitlements and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Apparantly the Democrats have decided NOT to touch those "rails" of politics.  It is obvious they are gaming the Republicans to do so.    I guess they have polling data to show they can get a bit more than 45% by letting the Repubs commit themselves and then demogague them.

"He's going to take ownership of the American economy. Not the real one, but the one he's just made up, "the economy built to last."

""An Economy Built to Last,"

Is this the new catch phrase analogy to hope and change?

OK let Mitt begin to study this.  IF one wants an entitlement economy which IS what he is building on, it won' t last.
If one wants an economy that will last, like what we have had for 200 hundred years then don't vote for the big government guy.  Lest we want to look like Europe with some of us paying for the bankrupt Californias, NJs, etc. 
 
3202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hillsdale Iprimis on: February 02, 2012, 10:22:57 AM
January 2012

Charles Murray
American Enterprise Institute

Do We Need the Department of Education? 
Charles Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He received his B.A. in history at Harvard University and his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written for numerous newspapers and journals, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, and National Review. His books include Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980, What It Means to Be a Libertarian, and Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality. His new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, will be published at the end of January.
The following is adapted from a speech delivered in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 28, 2011, at a conference on “Markets, Government, and the Common Good,” sponsored by Hillsdale College’s Center for the Study of Monetary Systems and Free Enterprise.

THE CASE FOR the Department of Education could rest on one or more of three legs: its constitutional appropriateness, the existence of serious problems in education that could be solved only at the federal level, and/or its track record since it came into being. Let us consider these in order.


(1) Is the Department of Education constitutional?


At the time the Constitution was written, education was not even considered a function of local government, let alone the federal government. But the shakiness of the Department of Education’s constitutionality goes beyond that. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates the things over which Congress has the power to legislate. Not only does the list not include education, there is no plausible rationale for squeezing education in under the commerce clause. I’m sure the Supreme Court found a rationale, but it cannot have been plausible.


On a more philosophical level, the framers of America’s limited government had a broad allegiance to what Catholics call the principle of subsidiarity. In the secular world, the principle of subsidiarity means that local government should do only those things that individuals cannot do for themselves, state government should do only those things that local governments cannot do, and the federal government should do only those things that the individual states cannot do. Education is something that individuals acting alone and cooperatively can do, let alone something local or state governments can do.


I should be explicit about my own animus in this regard. I don’t think the Department of Education is constitutionally legitimate, let alone appropriate. I would favor abolishing it even if, on a pragmatic level, it had improved American education. But I am in a small minority on that point, so let’s move on to the pragmatic questions.


(2) Are there serious problems in education that can be solved only at the federal level?


The first major federal spending on education was triggered by the launch of the first space satellite, Sputnik, in the fall of 1957, which created a perception that the United States had fallen behind the Soviet Union in science and technology. The legislation was specifically designed to encourage more students to go into math and science, and its motivation is indicated by its title: The National Defense Education Act of 1958. But what really ensnared the federal government in education in the 1960s had its origins elsewhere—in civil rights. The Supreme Court declared segregation of the schools unconstitutional in 1954, but—notwithstanding a few highly publicized episodes such as the integration of Central High School in Little Rock and James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi—the pace of change in the next decade was glacial.


Was it necessary for the federal government to act? There is a strong argument for “yes,” especially in the case of K-12 education. Southern resistance to desegregation proved to be both stubborn and effective in the years following Brown v. Board of Education. Segregation of the schools had been declared unconstitutional, and constitutional rights were being violated on a massive scale. But the question at hand is whether we need a Department of Education now, and we have seen a typical evolution of policy. What could have been justified as a one-time, forceful effort to end violations of constitutional rights, lasting until the constitutional wrongs had been righted, was transmuted into a permanent government establishment. Subsequently, this establishment became more and more deeply involved in American education for purposes that have nothing to do with constitutional rights, but instead with a broader goal of improving education.


The reason this came about is also intimately related to the civil rights movement. Over the same years that school segregation became a national issue, the disparities between black and white educational attainment and test scores came to public attention. When the push for President Johnson’s Great Society programs began in the mid-1960s, it was inevitable that the federal government would attempt to reduce black-white disparities, and it did so in 1965 with the passage of two landmark bills—the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act. The Department of Education didn’t come into being until 1980, but large-scale involvement of the federal government in education dates from 1965.


(3) So what is the federal government’s track record in education?


The most obvious way to look at the track record is the long-term trend data of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Consider, for instance, the results for the math test for students in fourth, eighth and twelfth grades from 1978 through 2004. The good news is that the scores for fourth graders showed significant improvement in both reading and math—although those gains diminished slightly as the children got older. The bad news is that the baseline year of 1978 represents the nadir of the test score decline from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. Probably we are today about where we were in math achievement in the 1960s. For reading, the story is even bleaker. The small gains among fourth graders diminish by eighth grade and vanish by the twelfth grade. And once again, the baseline tests in the 1970s represent a nadir.


From 1942 through the 1990s, the state of Iowa administered a consistent and comprehensive test to all of its public school students in grade school, middle school, and high school—making it, to my knowledge, the only state in the union to have good longitudinal data that go back that far. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills offers not a sample, but an entire state population of students. What can we learn from a single state? Not much, if we are mainly interested in the education of minorities—Iowa from 1942 through 1970 was 97 percent white, and even in the 2010 census was 91 percent white. But, paradoxically, that racial homogeneity is also an advantage, because it sidesteps all the complications associated with changing ethnic populations.


Since retention through high school has changed greatly over the last 70 years, I will consider here only the data for ninth graders. What the data show is that when the federal government decided to get involved on a large scale in K-12 education in 1965, Iowa’s education had been improving substantially since the first test was administered in 1942. There is reason to think that the same thing had been happening throughout the country. As I documented in my book, Real Education, collateral data from other sources are not as detailed, nor do they go back to the 1940s, but they tell a consistent story. American education had been improving since World War II. Then, when the federal government began to get involved, it got worse.


I will not try to make the case that federal involvement caused the downturn. The effort that went into programs associated with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in the early years was not enough to have changed American education, and the more likely causes for the downturn are the spirit of the 1960s—do your own thing—and the rise of progressive education to dominance over American public education. But this much can certainly be said: The overall data on the performance of American K-12 students give no reason to think that federal involvement, which took the form of the Department of Education after 1979, has been an engine of improvement.


What about the education of the disadvantaged, especially minorities? After all, this was arguably the main reason that the federal government began to get involved in education—to reduce the achievement gap separating poor children and rich children, and especially the gap separating poor black children and the rest of the country.


The most famous part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was Title I, initially authorizing more than a billion dollars annually (equivalent to more than $7 billion today) to upgrade the schools attended by children from low-income families. The program has continued to grow ever since, disposing of about $19 billion in 2010 (No Child Left Behind has also been part of Title I).


Supporters of Title I confidently expected to see progress, and so formal evaluation of Title I was built into the legislation from the beginning. Over the years, the evaluations became progressively more ambitious and more methodologically sophisticated. But while the evaluations have improved, the story they tell has not changed. Despite being conducted by people who wished the program well, no evaluation of Title I from the 1970s onward has found credible evidence of a significant positive impact on student achievement. If one steps back from the formal evaluations and looks at the NAEP test score gap between high-poverty schools (the ones that qualify for Title I support) and low-poverty schools, the implications are worse. A study by the Department of Education published in 2001 revealed that the gap grew rather than diminished from 1986—the earliest year such comparisons have been made—through 1999.


That brings us to No Child Left Behind. Have you noticed that no one talks about No Child Left Behind any more? The explanation is that its one-time advocates are no longer willing to defend it. The nearly-flat NAEP trendlines since 2002 make that much-ballyhooed legislative mandate—a mandate to bring all children to proficiency in math and reading by 2014—too embarrassing to mention.


In summary: the long, intrusive, expensive role of the federal government in K-12 education does not have any credible evidence for a positive effect on American education.


* * *


I have chosen to focus on K-12 because everyone agrees that K-12 education leaves much to be desired in this country and that it is reasonable to hold the government’s feet to the fire when there is no evidence that K-12 education has improved. When we turn to post-secondary education, there is much less agreement on first principles.


The bachelor of arts degree as it has evolved over the last half-century has become the work of the devil. It is now a substantively meaningless piece of paper—genuinely meaningless, if you don’t know where the degree was obtained and what courses were taken. It is expensive, too, as documented by the College Board: Public four-year colleges average about $7,000 per year in tuition, not including transportation, housing, and food. Tuition at the average private four-year college is more than $27,000 per year. And yet the B.A. has become the minimum requirement for getting a job interview for millions of jobs, a cost-free way for employers to screen for a certain amount of IQ and perseverance. Employers seldom even bother to check grades or courses, being able to tell enough about a graduate just by knowing the institution that he or she got into as an 18-year-old.


So what happens when a paper credential is essential for securing a job interview, but that credential can be obtained by taking the easiest courses and doing the minimum amount of work? The result is hundreds of thousands of college students who go to college not to get an education, but to get a piece of paper. When the dean of one East Coast college is asked how many students are in his institution, he likes to answer, “Oh, maybe six or seven.” The situation at his college is not unusual. The degradation of American college education is not a matter of a few parents horrified at stories of silly courses, trivial study requirements, and campus binge drinking. It has been documented in detail, affects a large proportion of the students in colleges, and is a disgrace.


The Department of Education, with decades of student loans and scholarships for university education, has not just been complicit in this evolution of the B.A. It has been its enabler. The size of these programs is immense. In 2010, the federal government issued new loans totaling $125 billion. It handed out more than eight million Pell Grants totaling more than $32 billion dollars. Absent this level of intervention, the last three decades would have seen a much healthier evolution of post-secondary education that focused on concrete job credentials and courses of studies not constricted by the traditional model of the four-year residential college. The absence of this artificial subsidy would also have let market forces hold down costs. Defenders of the Department of Education can unquestionably make the case that its policies have increased the number of people going to four-year residential colleges. But I view that as part of the Department of Education’s indictment, not its defense.


* * *


What other case might be made for federal involvement in education? Its contributions to good educational practice? Think of the good things that have happened to education in the last 30 years—the growth of homeschooling and the invention and spread of charter schools. The Department of Education had nothing to do with either development. Both happened because of the initiatives taken by parents who were disgusted with standard public education and took matters into their own hands. To watch the process by which charter schools are created, against the resistance of school boards and administrators, is to watch the best of American traditions in operation. Government has had nothing to do with it, except as a drag on what citizens are trying to do for their children.


Think of the best books on educational practice, such as Howard Gardner’s many innovative writings and E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Curriculum, developed after his landmark book, Cultural Literacy, was published in 1987. None of this came out of the Department of Education. The Department of Education spends about $200 million a year on research intended to improve educational practice. No evidence exists that these expenditures have done any significant good.


As far as I can determine, the Department of Education has no track record of positive accomplishment—nothing in the national numbers on educational achievement, nothing in the improvement of educational outcomes for the disadvantaged, nothing in the advancement of educational practice. It just spends a lot of money. This brings us to the practical question: If the Department of Education disappeared from next year’s budget, would anyone notice? The only reason that anyone would notice is the money. The nation’s public schools have developed a dependence on the federal infusion of funds. As a practical matter, actually doing away with the Department of Education would involve creating block grants so that school district budgets throughout the nation wouldn’t crater.


Sadly, even that isn’t practical. The education lobby will prevent any serious inroads on the Department of Education for the foreseeable future. But the answer to the question posed in the title of this talk—“Do we need the Department of Education?”—is to me unambiguous: No.


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

Copyright © 2012 Hillsdale College. The opinions expressed in Imprimis are not necessarily the views of Hillsdale College. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College"     33 East College St. Hillsdale, MI 49242 • Tel: +1 517 437-7341 • Fax: +1 517 437-3923
© 2007-09 Hillsdale College. All rights reserved.
3203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 02, 2012, 08:29:58 AM
I am not short,

but prefer the economy stay slow till after the election. 

If it picks up before hand I fear Obama might get re elected.

I know this is very cynical, but this is how I feel.

In the long run it is better for the country that Obama lose. 
3204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 01, 2012, 01:12:17 PM
*barring some major economic turnaround*

Let me clarify.  I AM definitely against a turnaround before the election if would get Obama get re-elected.  Absolutely and undeniably and unabashedly.   This guy cannot get a second term.

IF a Democrat wants to point out I am betting against the economy of the US for political reasons the answer is - YESIREE!
3205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 01, 2012, 01:09:31 PM
Lets keep our fingers crossed Mitt can come through.

If he does and barring some major economic turnaround, or wag the dog's tail trick like bombing Iran a week before election day (I wouldn't put it past him nor did I with Clinton) this guy will be back at Harvard pretending to be a Constitutional scholar.
3206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 01, 2012, 12:57:36 PM
GM, 

Often we read what a "disappointment" Obama is.  He had such "promise".

Are people who make these statements serious?

I don't get it. 

Obama is EXACTLY what he represented himself to be.  He was the MOST liberal Senator by voting record.   He associated himself with radical left groups.   He sat in a church for 2 decades while listening to a reverand who hates America, Jews, and whites.

What hope and change did these people think he was offering?

Indeed, the only (very modestly) refreshing aspect of his tenure is that he kept up the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan begun by W.
Of course this was almost certainly for political reasons and not in sinc with what are obviously (by now) core beliefs.
3207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 01, 2012, 12:47:40 PM
Do NOT be surprised that if this does occur as in some form of assasination of a specific target (a Saudi) that Obamster will try to cover it up - or at least down play it.  Just like his administration did after Ft. Hood.

I seriously doubt Iran would be so foolish to hit public citizens in the US like WTC or anything like remotely like that.

An Iranian attack like that in the US would be the best thing that ever happened to Israel.

3208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 01, 2012, 12:41:22 PM
This bodes well for Romney.  Despite the MSLSD  and WasserwomanSchultz's claim that Brock is the great and formidable campaigner he is, it appears the independents are not buying into his story line.   So far Romney's caution may be paying off.  He is too moderate for me but then again I'll vote for any Republican (except maybe Paul) over Obama (on second thought, I would probably not vote).  It IS the independents who count.   A few Republican voting Latinos thrown in won't hurt Romney get it.

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/gallup-state-numbers-predict-huge-obama-loss/352881
3209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california eventually be Greece on: January 30, 2012, 02:38:33 PM
Eventually California will be asking for Federal aid like Greece telling Germany to bail them out:

***Greek fury at plan for EU budget control
By Peter Spiegel in Brussels and Kerin Hope in Athens
Greece’s finance minister angrily rejected a German plan for the eurozone to impose a budget overseer onto Athens in return for a new €130bn bail-out, saying it would improperly force his country to choose between “financial assistance” and “national dignity”.

Evangelos Venizelos said the proposal to create a European Union “budget commissioner” with the power to veto Greek tax and spending decisions, revealed by the FT, “ignores some key historical lessons”. He added EU lenders already had sufficient monitoring safeguards in place in its bail-out programme.

Mr Venizelos’s comments came as talks in Athens shifted from the weeks-long negotiations over restructuring its privately held debt to the question of which public institutions will have to pay to fill a widening gap in Greece’s budget figures.

According to officials involved in the discussions, negotiators representing Greek bondholders largely completed a deal with Athens at the weekend which would cut the long-term value of privately held bonds by just over 70 per cent.

But the formal signing of the agreement has been delayed amid disagreement over whether a remaining budget shortfall will be filled by further Greek austerity measures, additional loans from EU governments, or by the European Central Bank, which is facing pressure to give up profits on the €40bn in Greek bonds it holds.

A deal is essential to finalising the new Greek bail-out, which must be completed before a €14.4bn bond comes due on March 20 or Greece would become the first developed economy to default in nearly 60 years.

“If the process is not completed successfully, we will be faced with the spectre of bankruptcy that would have grave consequences for society, and especially for the poor,” Lucas Papademos, the Greek prime minister, said after meeting Greek political leaders on Sunday.

EU and International Monetary Fund officials have already presented the Greek government with a 10-page list of “prior actions” Athens must take before being granted the new bail-out. The list, obtained by the Financial Times, includes cutting 150,000 public sector jobs within three years and cutting this year’s budget deficit by a further 1 per cent of economic output.

To get Greece’s debt down to 120 per cent of economic output by 2020, the IMF has insisted more must be done. A senior EU official said that talks which focused on whether European lenders or the ECB would shoulder that burden were now expected to stretch into mid-February.

Eurozone leaders, led by Germany’s Angela Merkel, want Monday’s summit in Brussels to focus on agreeing a new treaty to enshrine fiscal discipline across the bloc. Finance ministry officials will resume talks on Greece later this week.

The German plan, which was circulated on Friday and would also force Greece to pay its debt obligations before spending any money on normal government expenditures, caught Mr Papademos and other eurozone governments by surprise. Officials said it was unlikely to be adopted.

“The Germans have a lot of influence but that goes a little beyond the limits the outer member states could support,” said a senior official involved in the discussions. “If you went with that model you’d do away with the normal democratic decision-making in a member state.”***
3210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 30, 2012, 02:19:55 PM
"I have only agreed to serve as veep for Crafty"

It was reported a famous martial artist has come out to endorse Newt.  I thought maybe just maybe it was our favorite martial artist.

Then it was revealed it is Chuch Norris.

3211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 30, 2012, 01:07:26 PM
Doug, Great post.

I agree Newt WAS smeared.  Surely with a complicit liberal media.
Apparently he did seem to turn around in retreat in the 90's on his contract.  Clinton was way to liberal and got pounced.  He came back by selling us the "era of big government is over" and than announced a daily nanny statism initiative.  Perhaps Newt should have played the same phoney game from the other side.  However he would not have had an adoring loving press supporting him as do the Democrats.  Perhaps in some regard Newt was being far more realistic than the now self proclaimed stalwarts of conservative like Scarorough who state that Newt abandoned them.  Perhaps Newt was right to step back and give in a little (retreat).  Maybe better to give in some and lose a battle then the whole war he may have thought.  OTOH perhaps he just panicked.  I am not sure.

For the Republican party and conservativism in general this seems like THE dilemna.  Similar to playing the right approach to the Latinos who are very much in the Democrat party camp though they do hold some strong conservative values with regards to Christian faith.

"We don't need compromise with liberals, but we need the right dosage of conservatism to be successfully sold to independents presented the choice.  We don't need a zero capital gains rate, but we need a reasonable one and a 'permanent' one.  We don't need single digit income tax rates on the richest (per Herman Cain) but we do need to show we are moving significantly away from wealth destruction policies.  We don't need pollution spewing, we need environmental gains locked in but with unnecessary and unwise regulations repealed.  We don't need to be the world's policeman, but we are the world's superpower so we need a clear explanation of what peace through strength means going forward.  We don't need to slash a trillion a year in spending (per Ron Paul) laying off government workers all at once to join the construction workers, we need a path forward that balances private sector growth, revenue growth and serious and specific spending restraint, but not the root canal type."

Doug for President!

 


3212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 30, 2012, 11:32:11 AM
Thinking out loud, I wonder if the collapse of Newt in the polls after the budget stand off in the 90's led some Republicans to come up with the compassionate conservative theory which W embraced.   Perhaps some repub strategists concluded too heavy on the strict conservative path may lose the independents.

I am still not sure which way to go.  However I do get the idea that compromise cannot be an answer since there really is no compromise with liberals.  They will chip away till forever.

OTOH I am not convinced that strict ideology will win out either.  I just don't know.  I'm afraid Mitt doesn't either.
3213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Econimist State capatilism ala China, Russia, Brazil on: January 30, 2012, 09:59:06 AM
We see the nepotism corruption and control that government control over business can have here in the US.  There are some benefits as noted in multiple articles in the Economist's last issue.  Yet, eventually it is thought this style of governing will lose out.
Brockster is leading us towards the government control of everything which is bad in the long run. We will have much more stifling of innovation, and far more corruption in the long run.  Here is one article:

***The visible hand
The crisis of Western liberal capitalism has coincided with the rise of a powerful new form of state capitalism in emerging markets, says Adrian Wooldridge
Jan 21st 2012 | from the print edition

BEATRICE WEBB grew up as a fervent believer in free markets and limited government. Her father was a self-made railway tycoon and her mother an ardent free-trader. One of her family’s closest friends was Herbert Spencer, the leading philosopher of Victorian liberalism. Spencer took a shine to young Beatrice and treated her to lectures on the magic of the market, the survival of the fittest and the evils of the state. But as Beatrice grew up she began to have doubts. Why should the state not intervene in the market to order children out of chimneys and into schools, or to provide sustenance for the hungry and unemployed or to rescue failing industries? In due course Beatrice became one of the leading architects of the welfare state—and a leading apologist for Soviet communism.

The argument about the relative merits of the state and the market that preoccupied young Beatrice has been raging ever since. Between 1900 and 1970 the pro-statists had the wind in their sails. Governments started off by weaving social safety nets and ended up by nationalising huge chunks of the economy. Yet between 1970 and 2000 the free-marketeers made a comeback. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher started a fashion across the West for privatising state-run industries and pruning the welfare state. The Soviet Union and its outriggers collapsed in ruins.

In this special report
»The visible hand
Something old, something new
New masters of the universe
Theme and variations
Mixed bag
The world in their hands
And the winner is…
Sources & acknowledgements
Reprints

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

Related topics
Economics
Globalisation
United States
Business
Emerging markets
The era of free-market triumphalism has come to a juddering halt, and the crisis that destroyed Lehman Brothers in 2008 is now engulfing much of the rich world. The weakest countries, such as Greece, have already been plunged into chaos. Even the mighty United States has seen the income of the average worker contract every year for the past three years. The Fraser Institute, a Canadian think-tank, which has been measuring the progress of economic freedom for the past four decades, saw its worldwide “freedom index” rise relentlessly from 5.5 (out of 10) in 1980 to 6.7 in 2007. But then it started to move backwards.

The crisis of liberal capitalism has been rendered more serious by the rise of a potent alternative: state capitalism, which tries to meld the powers of the state with the powers of capitalism. It depends on government to pick winners and promote economic growth. But it also uses capitalist tools such as listing state-owned companies on the stockmarket and embracing globalisation. Elements of state capitalism have been seen in the past, for example in the rise of Japan in the 1950s and even of Germany in the 1870s, but never before has it operated on such a scale and with such sophisticated tools.

State capitalism can claim the world’s most successful big economy for its camp. Over the past 30 years China’s GDP has grown at an average rate of 9.5% a year and its international trade by 18% in volume terms. Over the past ten years its GDP has more than trebled to $11 trillion. China has taken over from Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy, and from America as the world’s biggest market for many consumer goods. The Chinese state is the biggest shareholder in the country’s 150 biggest companies and guides and goads thousands more. It shapes the overall market by managing its currency, directing money to favoured industries and working closely with Chinese companies abroad.

State capitalism can also claim some of the world’s most powerful companies. The 13 biggest oil firms, which between them have a grip on more than three-quarters of the world’s oil reserves, are all state-backed. So is the world’s biggest natural-gas company, Russia’s Gazprom. But successful state firms can be found in almost any industry. China Mobile is a mobile-phone goliath with 600m customers. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation is one of the world’s most profitable chemical companies. Russia’s Sberbank is Europe’s third-largest bank by market capitalisation. Dubai Ports is the world’s third-largest ports operator. The airline Emirates is growing at 20% a year.


 
State capitalism is on the march, overflowing with cash and emboldened by the crisis in the West. State companies make up 80% of the value of the stockmarket in China, 62% in Russia and 38% in Brazil (see chart). They accounted for one-third of the emerging world’s foreign direct investment between 2003 and 2010 and an even higher proportion of its most spectacular acquisitions, as well as a growing proportion of the very largest firms: three Chinese state-owned companies rank among the world’s ten biggest companies by revenue, against only two European ones (see chart). Add the exploits of sovereign-wealth funds to the ledger, and it begins to look as if liberal capitalism is in wholesale retreat: New York’s Chrysler Building (or 90% of it anyway) has fallen to Abu Dhabi and Manchester City football club to Qatar. The Chinese have a phrase for it: “The state advances while the private sector retreats.” This is now happening on a global scale.


 .
This special report will focus on the new state capitalism of the emerging world rather than the old state capitalism in Europe, because it reflects the future rather than the past. The report will look mainly at China, Russia and Brazil. The recent protests in Russia against the rigging of parliamentary elections by Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, have raised questions about the country’s political stability and, by implication, the future of state capitalism there, but for the moment nothing much seems to have changed. India will not be considered in detail because, although it has some of the world’s biggest state-owned companies, they are more likely to be leftovers of the Licence Raj rather than thrusting new national champions.

Today’s state capitalism also represents a significant advance on its predecessors in several respects. First, it is developing on a much wider scale: China alone accounts for a fifth of the world’s population. Second, it is coming together much more quickly: China and Russia have developed their formula for state capitalism only in the past decade. And third, it has far more sophisticated tools at its disposal. The modern state is more powerful than anything that has gone before: for example, the Chinese Communist Party holds files on vast numbers of its citizens. It is also far better at using capitalist tools to achieve its desired ends. Instead of handing industries to bureaucrats or cronies, it turns them into companies run by professional managers.

The return of history

This special report will cast a sceptical eye on state capitalism. It will raise doubts about the system’s ability to capitalise on its successes when it wants to innovate rather than just catch up, and to correct itself if it takes a wrong turn. Managing the system’s contradictions when the economy is growing rapidly is one thing; doing so when it hits a rough patch quite another. And state capitalism is plagued by cronyism and corruption.

But the report will also argue that state capitalism is the most formidable foe that liberal capitalism has faced so far. State capitalists are wrong to claim that they combine the best of both worlds, but they have learned how to avoid some of the pitfalls of earlier state-sponsored growth. And they are flourishing in the dynamic markets of the emerging world, which have been growing at an average of 5.5% a year against the rich world’s 1.6% over the past few years and are likely to account for half the world’s GDP by 2020.

State capitalism increasingly looks like the coming trend. The Brazilian government has forced the departure of the boss of Vale, a mining giant, for being too independent-minded. The French government has set up a sovereign-wealth fund. The South African government is talking openly about nationalising companies and creating national champions. And young economists in the World Bank and other multilateral institutions have begun to discuss embracing a new industrial policy.

That raises some tricky questions about the global economic system. How can you ensure a fair trading system if some companies enjoy the support, overt or covert, of a national government? How can you prevent governments from using companies as instruments of military power? And how can you prevent legitimate worries about fairness from shading into xenophobia and protectionism? Some of the biggest trade rows in recent years—for example, over the China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s attempt to buy America’s Unocal in 2005, and over Dubai Ports’ purchase of several American ports—have involved state-owned enterprises. There are likely to be many more in the future.

The rise of state capitalism is also undoing many of the assumptions about the effects of globalisation. Kenichi Ohmae said the nation state was finished. Thomas Friedman argued that governments had to don the golden straitjacket of market discipline. Naomi Klein pointed out that the world’s biggest companies were bigger than many countries. And Francis Fukuyama asserted that history had ended with the triumph of democratic capitalism. Now across much of the world the state is trumping the market and autocracy is triumphing over democracy.

Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy, claims that this is “the end of the free market” in his excellent book of that title. He exaggerates. But he is right that a striking number of governments, particularly in the emerging world, are learning how to use the market to promote political ends. The invisible hand of the market is giving way to the visible, and often authoritarian, hand of state capitalism.

Special report at a glance 
The crisis of Western liberal capitalism has coincided with the rise of a powerful new form of state capitalism in emerging markets says Adrian Wooldridge Neil Webb 
A brief history of state capitalism and its variations Neil Webb
Related stories
The visible hand

Something old, something new
 How state enterprise is spreading to achieve global reachNeil Webb Related stories State capitalism's global reach: New masters of the universe

 It's not all the same, there are themes and variations within state capitalismNeil Webb Related stories A choice of models: Theme and variations

 Pros and cons: SOEs are good at infrastructure projects, not so good at innovationNeil Webb Related stories Pros and cons: Mixed bag

3214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Now it is a problem - just before the election on: January 30, 2012, 09:37:02 AM
Gotta secure the Jewish vote eh Brock?  I can hear the liberals defending, "oh he has been an ardent of Israel from day one".

The sudden turnaround.  Similar to his STOTSU speech when he suddenly is a champion of natural gas. Same BS rolleyes

***Pentagon chief sees Iran bomb potential in year
Jan 29 07:14 PM US/Eastern
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, pictured on January 26. Iran could devel...

Iran could develop a nuclear bomb in about a year and create the means for delivery in a further two to three years, the US defense chief said Sunday, reiterating President Barack Obama's determination to halt the effort.
"The United States -- and the president's made this clear -- does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the CBS program "60 Minutes."

"That's a red line for us. And it's a red line obviously for the Israelis so we share a common goal here."

Panetta maintained that US officials "will take whatever steps are necessary to stop it" if Washington receives intelligence that Iran is proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon.

Asked if that meant military action, he said: "There are no options that are off the table."

Panetta told the interviewer that "the consensus is that, if they (Iran) decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon."

In a report issued in November, the International Atomic Energy Agency said intelligence from more than 10 countries and its own sources "indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device."

It detailed 12 suspicious areas such as testing explosives in a steel container at a military base and studies on Shahab-3 ballistic missile warheads that the IAEA said were "highly relevant to a nuclear weapon program."

Iran rejected the dossier as based on forgeries.

The Islamic Republic has come under unprecedented international pressure since the publication of the report, with Washington and the European Union targeting its oil sector and central bank.

In his State of the Union message Tuesday, Obama said a peaceful outcome was still possible with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, but he declined to rule out the military option.

"The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent," Obama said.

"Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal," the president declared, triggering a standing ovation.***




3215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 28, 2012, 11:59:33 AM
OTOH when thinking about my above post it seems strange the people who are now criticizing Newt for compromising are some of the biggest compromisers.  Isn't Dole's (lauded even by the MSM) ability to "work with the other side" and who championed big government anti-business things like American with Disabilities Act and Scarborough who sits next to the Misha or whatever her name is and often agrees with the MSNBCers being somewhat disingenius?
3216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Scarborough - again on: January 28, 2012, 11:29:25 AM
Ok here is Joe's first hand account.  I have been tough on Joe.  He often appears a sell out MSLSD.  Yet this may shed us some light.   Newt's downfall was after the polls clearly showed that HE not Clinton was being blamed by a majority of Americans for the government shutdown.  That IS what I remember.  His political collapse came soon after that.   I no doubt would think the liberal MSM had a big role in the public's perception.  It seems whenever the PRes goes up against the houses for spending bills (like we saw recently with the spending limit bruhaha between Boehner and OBama) the Pres wins out.

From what I gather that Newt gave up on his principles after his falling in the polls by appeasing on the big spenders and tax raisers etc.   He appears to have panicked, put his tail between his legs and given up on HIS own contract.  That is when and why his own people abandoned him.

Excerpt from Scarborough:

***Three years into his speakership, the man who helped draft the Contract With America began trying to undo some of that document’s key provisions. The government shutdown had badly damaged the speaker’s brand and he went to work trying to raise his 27 percent approval rating.

In April 1997, Gingrich told The New York Times he was ready to be a kinder and gentler Republican by negotiating away the very tax cuts that he had once called “the crown jewels of the contract.” Soon, conservatives were being pressured to vote for big spending appropriations bills.***



See here:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/72084.html
3217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / John and Julia Tyler (or John and Bo Derek?) on: January 28, 2012, 10:42:10 AM
Reading the recent article about John Tyler's (President 1841- 1844 and born nine years before George Washington's  birth) grandson  giving his opinion on the present President and the Repubs I looked up John Tyler.  I note he met a 24 yo. woman who along with her father and sister went on the steamship Princeton during which a cannon exploded and killed the father.  Both the President and the young woman were "at a safe distance away when the explosion occured".   The gentleman that he must have been  wink Tyler consolled her and soon married her.  He was 54 yo.

****Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820-1889)
Second Wife President John Tyler (1790-1862)
William Henry Harrison (9th President) was a soldier. Born in Berkely, Virginia, he knew early that he wanted a military life and he pursued it vigorously. Assigned to the Northwest Territories as a lieutenant, he engaged the hostile Indians on many occasions. In 1811 his forces were attacked near the Tippecanoe River (today, West Lafayette, Indiana) and although Harrison's command had casualties of 190 they repelled the attack. This incident and others earned him a national reputation as a great Indian fighter but the site of the first battle stuck and through the remainder of his life he was known as "Old Tippecanoe."

The local citizens sent him off to congress and he later served as Governor of the Ohio Territory. In 1840, the Whig Party nominated him for President. Needing balance to attract southern votes he looked to ex-US Senator and past Governor John Tyler of Virginia, a strong states rights advocate, as his running mate. The opposition party tried to mock the ticket by deriding the campaign slogan, "Old Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," but Harrison and Tyler won and took office on March 4, 1841.

One month later Harrison died. The politicians were stunned. Even Tyler's own party, The Whigs, didn't like him and soon expelled him from the party but Tyler was not dismayed. When his enemies called him an "outlaw" he responded by renaming his Virginia plantation "Sherwood Forest." But Tyler was distracted by the illness of his wife. Her condition grew grave and in September, 1841 she died in the White House.


 
Julia Gardiner was born on Long Island, New York; a debutante at fifteen, she was the "belle of the ball" and the society pages quickly dubbed her "The Rose of Long Island."
Late in 1841 she and her family visited Washington for the winter social season and there, through arrangements made by Dolley Madison for a tour of the White House, she met the new widower, President John Tyler, who took more than a casual interest. Later, he wrote letters to her and she answered them.

The following year Tyler invited her father and family back to Washington and while there he arranged a tour of the Navy's first power driven and newest ship which was in port at Annapolis. Onboard, observing a demonstration of the ship's guns, her father was killed by an explosion but Julia and the President were a safe distance away and were not harmed.

Tyler offered his condolences and comfort and soon gained Julia's consent to become engaged. On a late Sunday evening Tyler secretly slipped from the White House and made his way to a rendezvous in New York City. There, on June 26, 1844, he and Julia were wed, the first President to marry while in office. He was 54, she 24.

Washington was surprised but not stunned over the news. The elopement caused more gossip than did the age factor. She was First Lady for the last eight months of his term and in 1845, failing re-election, the Tylers retired to Virginia where, over the next fifteen years, they added significantly to the Tyler family with seven children joining the eight Tyler had with his first wife. When the last daughter, Pearl, was born in 1860, two Tyler sons, Robert (44) and John (41), were older than his wife.

As the south began secession Tyler accepted a position on the governing body of the new Confederate States of America but he died in 1862, before the group held it's first meeting. Julia supported the political views of her husband and defended states rights and the right to own slaves. Fearing retaliation from the north for her views, she collected the family papers and took them to a Richmond bank for safe-keeping. This turned out to be a mistake because during the war the bank was destroyed and the papers lost.

Battles raged throughout Virginia and finally she fled to New York where she worked secretly and voluntarily for the Confederacy throughout the remainder of the war. By the end of the conflict her activities had drawn a lot of attention and suspicion in Washington, but she was never arrested. However, the defeat of the south left her without money or means of support and her plantation, Sherwood Forest, had been virtually destroyed.

In 1880 Congress voted her a $1,200 annual pension, ten years after providing for Mary Todd Lincoln. When Garfield was assassinated in September, 1881, Congress had second thoughts and voted $5,000 per year for Mrs. Garfield, Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Polk, and Mrs. Tyler. With the pension, she was able to live comfortably and spent her last years in Richmond where she died in 1889. She is buried there with her husband.

Philosophos Historia ****

3218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 28, 2012, 09:33:45 AM
"Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself."

Yeah it does appear this way.   For me to continue to keep writing it off as *Wash Establishment*. is not being realistic.  All these people can't be wrong or simply doing this for nefarious reasons.   They have worked with him side by side and could see exactly this.

"He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway."

We are seeing it now.  Newt, we keep hearing has no organization and is running his campaign solely on his debating, speech skills.
Didn't he also have a team that left him some months back.   Though I want a #1 guy who is confident, I am not sure I want one who will never listen to others at all. 

"Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall."

We are essentially to some degree seeing that now.  He does seem to have an element of mania especially when he does start to do well he gets a little out of control.  Like Crafty points out he got off message the last debate because he got focused on knocking off Romney.

I am almost completely sure I would have to vote for Romney.

As for Bob Dole, I like the guy, he liked to compromise, was known for that more than anything, terrible Prez candidate but his words are echoed by so many others they most likely  are true and not just sour grapes, etc.

And what we are seeing does corroborate what are have siad about Newt in the 90's. 

3219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 27, 2012, 04:41:31 PM
"Iowans heard, from Mr. Gingrich, not media attacks but bracing expressions of American values electric in their effect. That was why he kept rising in the polls."

Agreed.  He says so eloquently what so much of us *loooong* to hear.

Romney sort of  undecided says it.  But not like Newt.

We certainly didn't hear it in the State of the (Soviet) Union address the other night.



3220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: January 27, 2012, 12:35:03 PM
Someone pointed out that Santorum has little money.

On that count no one can compete with Romney.  It was said Perry had lots of cash.

Your right the MSM gives him no credit.

3221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: January 27, 2012, 11:32:22 AM
"Corporate America must do its part, too. If we are to ever understand the extent of cyber espionage, companies must be more open and aggressive about identifying, acknowledging and reporting incidents of cyber theft."

Good luck.

Indeed.  Some companies are doing the espionage.   Some have departments of hackers paid to hack around.

Brockster can talk all he wants about new Federal agencies to go after bad mortgage loans and some Wall St practices.  But this stuff is far worse and far more insidious and a far greater challenge to everyone.   

At least we now know there are three people in DC are even talking about it   cry
3222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 26, 2012, 07:50:32 PM
Interesting read on the Margaret Thatcher movie.   This author suggests the movie doesn't really do her full justice and sacrifices history for some hollywood glitz.

Contrast this review with the following one from the Economist obviously written by a Thatcher hating liberal:

http://www.economist.com/node/21542367
3223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It seems to many people really hate the guy on: January 26, 2012, 01:27:33 PM
The negatives on Gingrich are surprisingly emotional.

For me to relate to this I could use this example:

No matter what Hillary or Bill Clinton say or do at this time I will *never* like either.  She can smile and look adorable and give the impression she is kind and considerate and sweet.  It makes no difference to me.   I simply will not forget them from the 90's.

I wish them no harm but do wish they would both just go away and stay in private life and leave this country alone.

Apparently many people feel that way about Newt.  I don't, but so what.  I am just one.
3224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Frances Folsom Cleveland First lady at 21! on: January 25, 2012, 06:39:12 PM
The only President to have gotten maried IN the White House.  At age 47 he married the 21 yo daughter of one of his  law partners.   He was kind of looked after her when the father died and mentored her through school.  At some point it got romantic.    What is intersting is this was during the height of the Victorian Age.  She was apparantly a well liked first lady, both times he was elected.  And she held many a house warmings for the gentry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Folsom_Cleveland_Preston
3225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mitt vs Newt on: January 25, 2012, 12:36:01 PM
Kind of reminds me of this fight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96KfeAFakak
3226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No surprise here. Obama distorts Lincoln on: January 25, 2012, 11:14:52 AM
So Brock implies Licoln was a big government man.  Here is keeping HIM honest.  I doubt Lincoln lied or misleads like Obama: 

http://biggovernment.com/cjohnson/2012/01/25/exclusive-noted-lincoln-scholar-says-obama-misquotes-lincoln/
3227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 25, 2012, 11:07:37 AM
" who trust Americans enough to tell them the plain truth about the fix we are in, and to lay before them a specific, credible program of change big enough to meet the emergency we are facing"

Agreed by me.  I hope the electorate is ready for honest and needed changes.

The Dems don't think they are and are salivating at the thought of the Repubs going out on the "limb".

3228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Chomsky on: January 24, 2012, 06:27:55 PM
In GM's post:

***However, Chomsky did say that his tax shelter is OK because he and his family are "trying to help suffering people."***

This falls right into a theme I have proposed for at least part of the reason some of my own fellow Jews who are themselves quite capatilist in their own finances yet are quite socialist in their politics:

1)  It is ok because they worry about the poor.

2) They are better than others precisely because the use their mouthpieces for the poor. 

3) It suggests some underlying guilt perhaps?

In any case, we of course see this in other wealthy Democrats who are not Jewish.  Look at all they non Jews in Hollywood. Look at the Al Gores the John Kerrys the Nancy Pelosis the Harry Reids and the Bil Gates and Buffetts.

Naturally I have no problem with those who want to help disadvantaged people.  I have no problem if they become wealthy.  I do have a problem when they bash a system and everyone else who succeeds in it while they in turn do the same thing.  Every hear of the word 'hypociritical'?  In other words it is all ok for them to live exactly the way they bash others for because they are mouthpieces for the poor.  They vote the good Democratic party.


Mr. Chomsky, if Bama gets a second term and the progressives have their way, sir you may get what you wish for.  And that would include a change in trust laws in a way that half of YOUR trust goes not to your daughters but to big gov.
3229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 24, 2012, 11:56:55 AM
"If Romney wins as a weak or compromising Republican with a let's-see-how-it-goes agenda and a razor thin majority in the House and Senate, nothing bold will be enacted or repealed. 
Republicans need a clear agenda and a clear up or down vote on it.  Either the electorate will be sold or it won't."

So Doug are you for Newt at this point?


3230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 24, 2012, 10:47:42 AM
BD,
Yes that is what we keep hearing on radio and on cable that "everyone will behind the scenes tell 'you' they fear he will cost them majorities in the houses"

I am not sure what to make of this.  I am somewhat skeptical that would happen.  Yet the polls so far do tend to show he would not beat Bama.   If that changes and starts to score with the independents I would certianly reconsider my support.

While Mitt certainly doesn't blow me away with the brilliant oratory like Newt he is satisfactory and on balance quite attractive overall.  He is a bit of a compromise for me but my conclusion we MUST beat Obama and this country cannot afford chances.

A lame duck Bama is frightening and even more so if Newt would cause the houses to go to the crats.  The pundits keep trying to tell us Bama has/is really been a moderate and all.  We all know he is a radical leftist who governs left of center ONLY because he has to to keep power.  So yeah, the idea of his being a lame duck and unleashed from a re election is very unsettling.
3231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Real Clear and Obama vs Repubs by name on: January 23, 2012, 12:56:46 PM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/president_obama_vs_republican_candidates.html
3232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: January 23, 2012, 12:48:42 PM
Well he does seem to have most of the Wash crowd behind him.
I've heard Mitt has his family do a lot of the inside advising.
3233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: January 23, 2012, 12:22:22 PM
Steyn is ABSOLUTLEY right about Mitt's bland unimaginative lines.

Newt said this after his SC win and I thought what a GREAT line and why can't the other guy come out with this kind of stuff:

Newt warned:  “imagine how radical he would be in a second term.”  I thought YES!  Could we imagine Obama unleashed without having to pretend he is a moderate to get re elected? 

Steyn says:  "And where, among all the dough he’s handing out, is the rapid-response team?"

Another resounding YES!  Remember Clinton's rapid response goons (obnoxiousness aside) hitting the MSM airwaves ALL day and night in response to every single remotely negative insinuation or accusation against the greatest spinner of the last century?

Doug writes:

"Dick Morris had it right.  It is not momentum of Newt or organization of Mitt now, it is the message from here on out, and it better get more focused."

The question is the message going to win over the independents?  Otherwise we have the 40 40 split right vs left who have already drawn their sides and dug in.



3234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: January 23, 2012, 10:19:48 AM
The conventional wisdom is Newt can beat Obama in any debates.  Suppose he is the nominee and Obama simply ducks the debates?

After all said and done at this time I prefer Romney as the "safer" candidate.  Newt seems just too risky.  On this count I agree with Coulter about Newt.  I don't agree with her assertion he would absolutely lose against Obama.  Yet the "insiders" must be doing studies of this and what they find is telling them independents don't/won't like Newt.

I guess the question is how will Newt do with the independents?  My understanding is Romney is more popular with them.
The conservatives seem convinced that all they need is a great voice in the darkness to convince the independents that their contrasting vision for America is the best choice and all the independents will have some sort of awakening and vote for a Republican.   I am not so sure. 

Surely if Wesbury is right and the stock market is up 20% this year (despite the debt +/- unemployment) independents might very well go for Brock.  He is very intent on buying their votes ("it is all about the middle class").


3235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: January 23, 2012, 10:17:52 AM
""I see him more like Geo H.W. Bush.

Only meant as an analogy coming into it, not a compliment."

I know.   I just took it the next step by projecting that if Romney who does seem a lot like Bush Sr. would also be roughly the same success/failure as HW.

But who ever knows?

Some are born leaders and have gifts for the politics.   Some are more made.  Romney is a studied (albiet very smart, likable, hard working guy) manager type.   

Newt is blessed with the mind but not quite the right personality or temperment.   

I happen to agree with Geraldo Rivera this moring who points out with shock how the Republicans seem willing to bet the farm on Newt - so far - since he now has a several point lead in Florida.


I still prefer the safer bet - but not etched in stone.  Yeah I want to see Newt debate Obama into the hole but I also don't want to see a crash and burn.
3236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt vs Romney on: January 23, 2012, 10:08:21 AM
The conventional wisdom is Newt can beat Obama in any debates.  Suppose he is the nominee and Obama simply ducks the debates?

After all said and done at this time I prefer Romney as the "safer" candidate.  Newt seems just too risky.  On this count I agree with Coulter about Newt.  I don't agree with her assertion he would absolutely lose against Obama.  Yet the "insiders" must be doing studies of this and what they find is telling them independents don't/won't like Newt.

I guess the question is how will Newt do with the independents?  My understanding is Romney is more popular with them.
The conservatives seem convinced that all they need is a great voice in the darkness to convince the independents that their contrasting vision for America is the best choice and all the independents will have some sort of awakening and vote for a Republican.   I am not so sure.  

Surely if Wesbury is right and the stock market is up 20% this year (despite the debt +/- unemployment) independents might very well go for Brock.  He is very intent on buying their votes ("it is all about the middle class").


3237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: January 21, 2012, 09:55:14 AM
Doug writes,

"I see him more like Geo H.W. Bush"

Great analogy!  HW had more experience in the public sector being head of CIA, VP, etc but the analogy is right on.

Unfortunately, as Doug pointed out in the past HW was a "great diplomat, but so so President".

So far Romney is exactly the same.  Takes no risks, always the safe bet. Tries to please the most people he can.  He is essentailly a moderate.  And.... just doesn't really connect like a Reagan, JFK, or even a Clinton.

"I think there is a 50% chance he will be a great President"
 
A great President?  Nothing to suggest that will happen and naturally that is why he wins tepid support from the right.  I remember looking at my mother during a Reagan debate and saying to her, "I think this guy could be a GREAT President".  She said I think so too.   So far does anyone think that with Romney?

Of course he could turn out to be one if he wins.  I wonder if anyone thought that of Lincoln when he took office.
3238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can Iran torpedo US carrier on: January 19, 2012, 04:10:25 PM
Does Iran have torpedos which could seriosly threatened US ships?  This is old but may be applicable.  Torpedo fast but sub would have to get close and also the missile is not guidable:

Iran's High Speed Torpedo Scam
April 4, 2006: Iran recently announced the successful test of a new, high-speed torpedo, one that could move through the water at speeds of up to 100 meters a second. This is four times as fast as conventional torpedoes, and is thus  nearly "unavoidable" by its intended target.

 
The new Iranian weapon is apparently based upon Russia's VA-111 Shkval (Squall) torpedo. The Shkval is a high-speed supercavitating rocket-propelled torpedo originally designed to be a rapid-reaction defense against US submarines. Basically an underwater missile, the solid-rocket propelled torpedo achieves its speed by producing an envelope of supercavitating bubbles from its nose and skin, which coat the entire weapon surface in a thin layer of gas. This drastically reduces metal-to-water friction. The torpedo leaves the tube at nearly a hundred kilometers an hour, then lights its rocket motor. In tests in the 1990s the Shkval reportedly had an 80 percent kill probability at a range about seven kilometers, although steerability was reportedly limited.

 
The reliability of such rocket-propelled torpedoes remains uncertain. The much publicized loss of the Russian submarine "Kursk" was, according to some sources, likely due to an accidental rocket motor start of such a torpedo while still aboard the boat.  News of this new Iranian weapon was accompanied by the announcement that Iran had also tested a new ballistic missile, the Fajr-3, which employs some stealth technology and carries several warheads.

 
Iran's possession and successful testing of this weapon is troublesome for several reasons. One is Iran's increasing belligerence, especially towards nuclear-armed Israel (which is estimated to have at least 200 nuclear weapons and the missiles and submarines to deliver them) as well as an almost equal antipathy towards the US. Another reason to worry is Russia's apparent intent to continue close economic ties with Iran and the resulting transfer of its technology to this Islamic state run by fanatics and others who are apparently just plain nuts.

 
Iran is believed to have three late-model Kilo class SSKs bought from Russia, eight mini-subs purchased from North Korea, and several older boats of unknown type. The navy has several dozen fast attack boats that might carry the new torpedo but whose capabilities are in other ways modest. Its small fleet of P-3K "Orion" aircraft could conceivably also carry such a torpedo although it is unknown if Iran plans to arm its Orions with the new torpedo. Iran's navy is the smallest of its armed forces.

 
However, there is also the matter of credibility and capability. For decades, Iran has continually boasted of new, Iranian designed and manufactured weapons, only to have the rather more somber truth leak out later. Iran's weapons design capabilities are primitive, but the government has some excellent publicists, who always manage to grab some headlines initially, before anyone can question the basic facts behind these amazing new weapons. Take, for example, the new wonder torpedo. The Russians have not had any success convincing the world's navy that their rocket propelled torpedo is a real threat. For one thing, the attacking sub has to get relatively close (within seven kilometers) to use it. Modern anti-submarine tactics focus on preventing subs from getting that close. For that reason, the Russians themselves tout the VA-111 Shkval torpedo as a specialized anti-submarine weapon for Russian subs being stalked by other subs. This is also questionable, because  Shkval is essentially unguided. You have to turn the firing sub and line it up so that the  Shkval, on leaving the torpedo tube and lighting off its rocket motor, will be aimed directly at the distant target. Do the math, and you will see that there is little margin for error, or chance of success, with such a weapon. If the Iranians bought the  Shkval technology from Russia, they got the bad end of the deal.

 


 
3239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / cloning dogs on: January 18, 2012, 01:47:39 PM
I lost a beloved pet some months ago.  I am not sure what to think of cloning a pet and agree with Ms. Tarantolo - it is kind of "weird".

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/south-koreas-dog-cloning-industry-raises-ethical-red/story?id=15309415
3240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wonder how China knows how to angle missles through carrier defense systems? on: January 18, 2012, 01:09:47 PM
Probably this simple.  Although probably not through simple email or the like.

Must happen all day long:

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20120117/NJNEWS/301170036/Chemist-admits-stealing-sanofi-aventis-secrets?odyssey=mod|mostview
3241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I don't think he gets it - playing it too safe on: January 18, 2012, 12:41:58 PM
"I fear that just like George "Passionate Conservatism" Bush, Mitt suffers from what I call "patrician's guilt" and that therefor he will have a strong tendency to crumble and crump under class warfare and race-baiting from the progressives-Dems."

Yes!   He should speak with great pride of his families accomplishments as well as his own and spread hope, challenge and direction on how all of us can achieve great success just like the Romneys.

They achieved an American dream.  This is what it is all about (unless your an MSLSD type).   Show us the way Mitt!

He needs to spin it around.  Do Americans want to be like him or have government welfare pay for their bills?

Who in their right mind wouldn't rather have the chance to be like him?  He is great role model.

Obama's plan is we all be resigned to be a bunch of losers who envy and need a nanny state to feed and protect us.

What a contrasting picture!  If this doesn't resonate with a majority - God help us.
3242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney - flat (without the *tax*) on: January 18, 2012, 11:17:03 AM
This AM I was really dismayed at how Romney handled the msm gotcha thing with his taxes.

This would have been the perfect time for him to  agree that we need tax total *reform* like a flat tax (which he doesn't seem to promote.)

He is playing right into the hands of the *left's* talking points.  As noted he sounds "flat footed".

I only wish Newt had a better temperment.  A real genius with a gift for gab (perhaps without some bluster) would have been a lot better than a technocratic bland detail man who memorizes lists of lines and answers.

I know I sound depressing but I just can't see the sun arising over the horizon that Reagan spoke about.

3243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris on debate on: January 17, 2012, 12:42:38 PM
http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/who-won-the-debate-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert-8/
3244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin on: January 17, 2012, 11:20:47 AM
Yes there is a sort of dishoner for the dead in this. 

Yet I am fascinated by the history of mankind and it unfortunately the only thing left to study of previous generations are the gravesites.

I don't think it is a morbid curiousity that motivates.  It is a study of us I suppose.

Than again grave robbing for money has gone on forever.   Not good.

Do we really learn anything that helps mankind do better in the future from all this archeology?  I haven't given it much thought or know the answer.

Perhaps if we did that would be some sort of moral justification for this.  Otherwise I think you are right and it is morally wrong.

I guess mummy exibits serve no purpose other than to make tourist dollars.
3245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: January 17, 2012, 11:12:56 AM
I didn't know Romney is taking "credit" for using billions in taxpayer money to save them.

 shocked huh
3246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: January 17, 2012, 09:44:22 AM
Andrew Sullivan calls himself a conservative  rolleyes.  He gives assigns credit for anything good to the genius of Obama.  Anything bad is result of the incompetence of the right or the delusion of the far left (which of course does not include Obama).  Obama  he concludes is a moderate.   

Some of the highly debatable opinions whcih are stated as though they are fact include:

For example, the bailout of the auto industry was a "great success".   (I ask for whom?)

And of course if Brock is not as far left as some paint him it is not because he couldn't be, it is because he *really is* a moderate left of center.   rolleyes

He totally ignores Brock's own devisive politics.  I could go on but one can see for himself.  OF course the article is under the Newsweek banner.  A few decades ago I used to subscribe to this magazine:   

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/15/andrew-sullivan-how-obama-s-long-game-will-outsmart-his-critics.html
3247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / wikipedia on: January 16, 2012, 02:31:17 PM
***Post-colonial historyThe first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Despite British hopes of handing power to "moderate" African rivals, it was the Kenya African National Union (KANU) of Jomo Kenyatta that formed a government shortly before Kenya became independent on 12 December 1963, on the same day forming the first Constitution of Kenya.[42] During the same year, the Kenyan army fought the Shifta War against ethnic Somalis who wanted Kenya's Northern Frontier District joined with the Republic of Somalia. The Shifta War officially ended with the signature of the Arusha Memorandum in October, 1967, but relative insecurity prevailed through 1969.[43][44] To discourage further invasions, Kenya signed a defence pact with Ethiopia in 1969, which is still in effect.[45]

 
The former Kenyan President and founder of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta.On 12 December 1964 the Republic of Kenya was proclaimed, and Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya's first president.[46]***

This doesn't prove to me that there were not independence minded people who were calling the country Kenya before it was official but this is certianly very suspicious to me.

Obviously the whole thing is too pol incorrect to do anything about it.

Most people could simply not conceive of such fraud at such a high level.
3248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 16, 2012, 02:27:24 PM
"If Virginia and a few other states were to keep the incumbent President off of their ballot in their state based on insufficient or inconclusive documentation provided, the campaign of the former constitutional law professor would certainly respect that decision based on the decision in the Perry case and their respect for "states rights".  No?"

Short answer, no. wink

It is clear to me that the birth certificate on the WH website is a fraud.  As far as I know the phrase "African American" was not even dreamed of in 1961.  We all know it seemed to evolve at some point within the past few decades (80's?) after negro was changed to more acceptable "black" to later African American.  I am certainly ok with calling a group of people whatever they wish.  No problem there.  As for the Kenya thing I am not sure when that name was dreamed of.  I think it true some call a country a certain name before it really has existed.  Perhaps the father called it that?

I have been thinking this for some time but have elected not to bring it up again since now we would be calling the Brock the L word.  Trump was right in what he did.  He also questioned the WH posted document.   He was destroyed in the media.   Bachmann even suggested the original be verifed by document examiners.  She was mocked.

I think the only ttuth is the mock is on the American people.
3249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Studying ancient human remains on: January 16, 2012, 02:17:05 PM
I have patient who is from Thailand.   She went on a sightseeing tour of Egypt and when she came back we spoke.   She enjoyed many of the sights very much but would not go to see the "mummies".  She explained as a Buddhist that she thought that such displays desecrated the dead.  This report reminds me of her feelings about this: 

http://news.yahoo.com/researchers-tribes-clash-over-native-bones-160144542.html
3250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Oldest living senator falls on: January 16, 2012, 10:50:07 AM
One has to stand right up next to it to appreciate how large and massive this tree is.  I remember drving through central Fla. and stopping to go walk up the park to the tree:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senator_(tree)
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