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3251  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some thoughts on mental illness and guns on: February 09, 2011, 01:56:49 PM
One psychiatrist agreed with me on two things:
1)  It is very difficult to predict someone's future behavior with regards to violence.  Like one forensic psychiatrist told me years ago most of the "criminally" insane could be released without them ever being a danger.  Yet determining who is the one that will go on a rampage and hurt someone and the majority who don't is very hard.
2)  People with personality disorders who lack conscious are in general much more dangerous than those who are schizophrenic or delusional.
The latter are usually unable to have the organzied thinking capacity to plan a murder ahead of time - though not impossible.  The former are quite capable of planning to kill someone and appear totally "normal".

****Giffords Shooting Raises Questions About Guns and Mental IllnessJan 11, 2011 – 7:39 PM
Andrea Stone
 Senior Washington Correspondent
WASHINGTON -- It takes a lot to be considered too crazy to own a gun in Arizona.

As authorities investigate the mass shooting that killed six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded, it appears clear that a growing list of troubling warning signs would not have prohibited suspect Jared Loughner from buying the Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol he is accused of using in the attack.

Gun-control advocates say the 22-year-old Loughner was technically within his rights to buy the weapon. And that's why they say stricter background checks and a new strategy for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is needed.

Karen Bleier, AFP / Getty Images
Gun-control advocates say the country needs a better way to ensure that mentally disturbed people and drug users cannot buy firearms."He was dangerous enough to get kicked out of algebra class, but that's not enough to get him disqualified from buying a gun," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Something is wrong with that system."

Despite ample warning signs that Loughner may have been mentally ill -- including behavior unsettling enough to get him kicked out of Pima Community College -- the suspect was eligible to buy and possess a gun.

Under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, it is illegal for people to possess a firearm if they have "been adjudicated as a mental defective" or "been committed to a mental institution."

Neither applied to Loughner.

The federal law also bars drug users from owning a gun.

Yet a 2007 charge for possession of drug paraphernalia was expunged from court records after Loughner completed a diversion program. When he later tried to enlist in the Army he was turned down, according to Time magazine, for admitting that he used marijuana frequently.

Those facts did not show up in the federal database that cleared Loughner to buy the handgun at a Tucson, Ariz., store on Nov. 30, authorities say.

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, would not answer AOL News' questions about whether existing gun laws provide enough safeguards to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing firearms.

"At this time, anything other than prayers for the victims and their families would be inappropriate," he said in an e-mail.

But gun-control advocates say it is past time to speak out.

"Just enforcing the laws on the books isn't enough," Helmke said. "We need a stronger definition that covers somebody like this guy."

What that definition might be is complicated.

"This is a tough problem. It requires balancing of so many competing interests and imperatives," writes Jill Lawrence of Politics Daily. Among them: "gun and privacy rights versus a system that prevents weapons sales to unstable people."

For now, that latter priority is taking center stage. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who heads Mayors Against Illegal Guns, called today for "commonsense fixes to some of our broken gun laws." Among them: tougher background checks to prevent drug abusers from getting around the system.

Other elected officials from New York, home to some of the nation's toughest gun-control laws, also are proposing measures. Republican Rep. Peter King plans to introduce a bill to make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official. Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy wants to restrict the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips like those used in Saturday's deadly shooting.

Yet as the newly revived debate over gun control heats up, advocates say a top priority is to keep weapons out of the hands of the dangerously unbalanced.

"Everyone and his mother knew this kid was severely deranged," said Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, citing Loughner's run-ins with police and school officials.

He noted that a Google search would have been more effective than looking in the federal government's database because it would have turned up Loughner's now-removed MySpace post last month in which he wrote, "I don't feel good: I'm ready to kill a police officer!"

Arizona law allows anyone to petition the court for a psychiatric evaluation of a person who is acting strangely and is suspected of being a danger to himself or others. Despite concerns about Loughner, no one went to court.

The state's weak gun laws require only the most perfunctory background check and no permit. Had Loughner tried to buy a gun in New York, for instance, he would have had to undergo a licensing check by law enforcement officials. That might have uncovered online clues to his mental state as well as his problems at the Army recruiting office and school.

Helmke urged Congress to hold hearings to explore how federal background checks can pick up potentially dangerous people who don't fall within the narrow range of prohibited gun owners. He noted that states improved their reporting systems after the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech by a man adjudicated as mentally ill whose record didn't show up in the federal database.

Since 2008, the names of nearly 1.1 million people disqualified from possessing firearms because of mental illness have been added to the federal system. Another 2 million names are still awaiting entry into the database.

At the time of the Virginia Tech shooting, Arizona had not submitted any mental health records to the federal government, according to government records. It has since listed 4,465 Arizonans and estimates there are nearly 122,000 others who still are not in the system.

Sponsored LinksYet even with better record-keeping since Virginia Tech, there have been several cases of accused killers with a history of mental illness who bought their weapons legally.

"Maybe crazy people will do crazy things," Virginia Tech survivor and gun-control activist Colin Goddard writes in a column for AOL News. "But why, I ask my country, my president, my representatives in Congress, why do we make it so damned easy?"

The answers aren't easy, said Michael Stone, a Columbia University forensic psychiatrist unrelated to this writer. Short of "preventive detention" for those who act strangely but don't break any laws, only the "extremely delusional and bizarre" can be stopped from obtaining firearms.

"It's very difficult to prevent a paranoid person from buying a gun who is able to present himself in a rational and coherent manner, as many are able to do," he said.****
3252  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 09, 2011, 12:43:03 PM
I never saw that before.  GM, do you know when that commercial was done?

I notice we are going to spend 50 Bill on trains.

We can't just drill offshore, Alaska, and the Canadian tar sands?

I really don't want to spend 5 bucks for a gallon of gas.  With Obama our best days are behind us.  Commercials like this do not make me think Newt will change this perception.

3253  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 09, 2011, 10:18:33 AM
My feelings about Newt are the same.

My biggest concern about him in general is he is not 'touchy feely".  He can't reach out to the "little guy" or minorities.  He might have a shot at Reagan Dems though only the white ones.

Then again he is the only one so far among the the "top tier" candidates (to borrow from Doug) who is a real natural born thinker.

I am not optimistic about '12 on the Presidential side.  Obama has been persauded and coached to play the middle from a PR and campaign mode though he is obviously still a radical liberal at heart and as much as he can get away with from a policy point of view.  Therefore without a candidate who can cleary highlight the differences between the progressive agenda and a conservative one (like Newt), AND call out Obama for what he is and not allow him to deceive the swing voters, there is near zero chance a Republican can win IMHO.

If Obama keeps up the charm attack, like Clinton did, it is almost check mate.

History has proven this and Obama's poll numbers are already back up to prove my point.

Obama just need follow the script.  It is already a proven winner.  You can fool some of the people ALL of the time.

Does anyone hear think Palin, Huckleberry, or Romney can get swing voters?
3254  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Both Left and Right are inconsistent on: February 07, 2011, 11:37:27 AM
Both sides jockying for political gain to the detriment of any consistency. 

To be fair,
one could also ask,
"what's the Right's position?"

The right is now chastizing Obama for losing Egypt and the rise of the "muslim bortherhood".

The left is now conveniently chastizing W for starting this whole thing.

I think the roots of W's spreading democracy around the middle east stems as a natural progression of globalizism his father promoted and Clinton picked up and ran away with at full speed, more than just a bunch of neo cons (who Buchanan likes to point out are all a bunch of Jews defending the interests of Israel).
3255  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Egypt: due to the Bushes on: February 07, 2011, 10:48:20 AM
GM, Very interesting letter,
"Extremely distressed by the crew in Washington, and in most European capitals. Media is so corrupted by left-leaning thinking that there is not much of an analysis to be expected in the media that is now competing with facebook, twitters, etc. The dumbing down of thinking is itself a huge problem the West"

I would like to take this cue as an opportunity to open up this:

On cable one of the Middle Eastern pundits who is mostly someone who gives a good analysis shocked me when he declared that W. Bush who is normally a modest man should be taking all the credit for what is happening in Egypt.  He emphasized that what is happening in Egypt is directly related and and a result of what the US did in Iraq.  It would not have happened if Hussain (Saddam - not Obama) was not toppled.  It is the spread of Democracy as was the promoted strategy of the "neo-cons".

To me this is quite a twist.  So what do conservatives do?  Who do we criticize?  It is not Obama's weakness that is leading to Mubaraks's ouster.  It is a Republican's policy that is leading to it!!!

Indeed I think one can actually trace this back to Bush 1.  He who led the charge for globilization, who led the charge for Un backed international coalitions.  I remember a George Will column years back that was very critical of HErbert Bush's handling of the Kuwait situation.  He pointed that he then set a precedent that establishes that the US cannot act unilaterally without the persmission and approval of the UN and the "international" community.

He was right.  George Bush the elder unilaterally set the stage for our weakness.  Or so it can be argued.

So should W be taking the credit, or the blame for this.  Republicans will try to blame Obama.  Liberals including Chris Matthews is trying to have it both ways, crediting Obama and blaming George Bush.

I am not sure.  It gets awful confusing.  I do think this can and should be traced back to Bush the Elder and in my opinion his abdication of AMerican power in 1990 to the world stage and globalization.  Indeed the far left and liberals, and major socialist progressives like Soros should be holding Bush the elder up as some sort of icon.
3256  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Savage:theoryObama conspired for uprising in Egypt on: February 05, 2011, 09:24:22 AM
Savage's essay connects many dots.  I am not convinced by the whole argument or the connections are necessarily significant but there is a valid pattern that emerges.
I heard Brezinski being interviewed on Schieffer last night.  There is no question he (along with Soros) are totally for the revolution in Egypt and have been thinking along these lnes for some time. We know Jimmy Carter is against the "Jewish lobby".  Brezinski certainly is.  Soros has set up his own group to lobby opposed to the traditional Jewish lobby group having decided he knows what is in everyone's best interests.

I cannot conclude why Soros would admit he felt no guilt having helped send Jews to their deaths when 14 years old.  I do not blame him for saving himself.  What 14 yer old would have done different.  He may have also at the time thought they were just bing deported not murdered.  Is he just in massive denial?  Or is he some sort of personalty disorder, narcissistic, pschopathic, or other who has no conscious?  I don't know.  One cannot even say with any degree of confidence his 70 or so "philanthropic" human rights organizations are even really as much for humanitarian gain as for financial gain.  Not withstading the huge tax write offs, one can only guess how much inside information he gleans from these connections spreading his money throughout the world how much he capitalizes by exponentially increasing his net worth - which he clearly has.

What say you Rachel?  Or have you just been insulted and disappeared off the board?
3257  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Repubs.odds on for Senate in '12 on: February 05, 2011, 09:07:28 AM
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann02.4.2011
I know we predicted Republican Senate control in 2010. Republicans did gain seven seats and came within four of winning control. Razor thin defeats in Colorado and Washington and unexpected thrashings in Nevada and West Virginia proved us wrong.

But this time – honest – we are going to win!

The battlegrounds in 2012 are a lot more red and less blue than in 2010. If we switch seats in North Dakota, Florida, Nebraska, Virginia, and Montana – red states all – we get control by 52-48.

And the way 2012 is shaping up, Republican control is more and more likely.

Start with retirements. Kent Conrad, the North Dakota liberal twin of retired Byron Dorgan, has announced that he won’t run again. That seat is a sure GOP pickup.

Jim Webb (D-Va) has raised very little money, speaks with ambivalence about Obama’s programs, and has not yet decided whether to run. George Allen’s announced challenge to his re-election should cool him off even further and he’ll probably drop out. Not a sure pickup but, if the Republican Party nominates Allen — and not some later day Christine O’Donnell – we should be all right.

Herbert Kohl, the Wisconsin Democratic octogenarian, may also not run. He hasn’t raised money but did lend his campaign $1 million to fill up his bank account. But loans can be repaid. Kohl may well retire. Defeated Democratic Senator Russ Feingold may challenge him in a primary, hastening his exit. Not a sure pickup, but in a state which went so heavily Republican in 2010 (the GOP captured the governorship, both houses of the legislature, a Senate seat, and more House members) it’s a likely Republican gain.

The Nelsons (Bill of Florida and Ben of Nebraska) both face tough challenges from strong candidates in red states. Who knows if they will really run? Ben Nelson has to have the model of Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln firmly in his mind. He needs to quit before he gets thrown out.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), a former client, may not run again especially since his state lurched sharply to the right in 2010.

And, in Montana, Democrat John Tester, who won by less than one point in 2006, is an easy target in a very red state.

So rate North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, Montana as very likely Republican victories.

But we won’t stop there. Wisconsin – against either Kohl or Feingold – is a good pickup prospect. Bob Casey (D-Pa) can be beaten as can Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). Bill Nelson (D-Fla) probably won’t win again and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) will likely lose to former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman. And Republicans have a good shot against Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich).

Joe Manchin (D-WV) faces mounting scandals and his failure to make good on his promise to vote like a Republican may cost him his seat. And Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the single sleaziest member of the Senate, may face a challenge in a state whose GOP is animated by its Republican governor Chris Christie.

It should be a happy election season!
3258  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Miranda Lambert on: February 04, 2011, 02:04:04 PM
It is not that your friends have been unable to steal more lyrics from Katherine, it is she is too happy to write.  It is truly amazing how these people lie all day long.
Another excuse when songs are not successfully stolen is the female stars have babies, the amle stars make up all kinds of excuses.   Gretchen wants time with her family.  Country singing was secondary.  Fat Toby Keith is too busy with his label and promoting others, and the rest of them are too busy doing beneifts and charity work (another way to promote themselves in the meantime)

***Miranda Lambert
By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo!
Thu, Feb 03, 2011, 4:10 pm PST
This is one of those "good problems." In Ladies Home Journal, the country star says she is too happy to write country songs, which are all about "leaving and sadness." Lambert has good reason to be happy with a new fiancé and Grammy nominations888

The truth is she can't wirte and if her friends cannot "get" her the material she is clueless.  So she comes up with this line.

And the public soaks it up like the dupes they are.
3259  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 04, 2011, 11:45:03 AM
They want freedom from repressive government.  So do I here in the US.  I don't want more "good"government by whatever definition Soros whose fingerprints are on world wide progressism.  I want to be left alone.
3260  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Soros on Egypt on: February 03, 2011, 07:58:42 PM
"I am, as a general rule, wary of revolutions"

LOL, this guy is for real?  The liberal Wall Street money man who helped put the revolutionary into the President's spot. 

His fortune has gone up several fold in the last several years during a recession.  There are not many honest people who could do that.  I read he sits on the same board as ElBaradei.  Remember I have been posting that some powerful people are pushing this guy, Elbaradei to the forefront. 

All over the radio (and I have been told in the NYT) point out the Egyptian military high command was in the US the day the revolt started.  Agreed it could not have been coicidence they were meeting people at the Pentagon the day "student's" blackberries were going off.

I wonder how much Soros with all his insider wheeling and dealings is making on this.

OK Rachel, you still want to worry about Soros?  He claims what is going on in Egypt is the fault of Israel and its leaders are too stupid and rigid to know what's best for them?  I want to know.  Who elected Soros?   I find it hard to beleive this guy is making his money honestly. 

****By George Soros
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Revolutions usually start with enthusiasm and end in tears. In the case of the Middle East, the tears could be avoided if President Obama stands firmly by the values that got him elected. Although American power and influence in the world have declined, our allies and their armies look to us for direction. These armies are strong enough to maintain law and order as long as they stay out of politics; thus the revolutions can remain peaceful. That is what the United States should insist on while encouraging corrupt and repressive rulers who are no longer tolerated by their people to step aside and allow new leaders to be elected in free and fair elections.

That is the course that the revolution in Tunisia is taking. Tunisia has a relatively well-developed middle class, women there enjoy greater rights and opportunities than in most Muslim countries, and the failed regime was secular in character. The prospects for democratic change are favorable.

Egypt is more complex and, ultimately, more influential, which is why it is so important to get it right. The protesters are very diverse, including highly educated and common people, young and old, well-to-do and desperately poor. While the slogans and crowds in Tahrir Square are not advancing a theocratic agenda at all, the best-organized political opposition that managed to survive in that country's repressive environment is the Muslim Brotherhood. In free elections, the Brotherhood is bound to emerge as a major political force, though it is far from assured of a majority.

Some have articulated fears of adverse consequences of free elections, suggesting that the Egyptian military may seek to falsify the results; that Israel may be adamantly opposed to a regime change; that the domino effect of extremist politics spreading to other countries must be avoided; and that the supply of oil from the region could be disrupted. These notions constitute the old conventional wisdom about the Middle East - and need to be changed, lest Washington incorrectly put up resistance to or hesitate in supporting transition in Egypt.

That would be regrettable. President Obama personally and the United States as a country have much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy. This would help rebuild America's leadership and remove a lingering structural weakness in our alliances that comes from being associated with unpopular and repressive regimes. Most important, doing so would open the way to peaceful progress in the region. The Muslim Brotherhood's cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president, is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system. As regards contagion, it is more likely to endanger the enemies of the United States - Syria and Iran - than our allies, provided that they are willing to move out ahead of the avalanche.

The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is no longer monolithic or the sole representative of the Jewish community. The main danger is that the Obama administration will not adjust its policies quickly enough to the suddenly changed reality.

I am, as a general rule, wary of revolutions. But in the case of Egypt, I see a good chance of success. As a committed advocate of democracy and open society, I cannot help but share in the enthusiasm that is sweeping across the Middle East. I hope President Obama will expeditiously support the people of Egypt. My foundations are prepared to contribute what they can. In practice, that means establishing resource centers for supporting the rule of law, constitutional reform, fighting corruption and strengthening democratic institutions in those countries that request help in establishing them, while staying out of those countries where such efforts are not welcome.

The writer is chairman of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations, which support democracy and human rights in more than 70 countries.****

3261  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: February 02, 2011, 10:54:32 AM
3262  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / sovereign loyalties not obvious anymore. on: February 02, 2011, 10:04:52 AM
JDN's piont moved here:

"Still, here in America my Japanese, Korean, or Chinese friends, although they are have become naturalized citizens, often still refer to themselves
as Korean, etc.  or I might call them "Korean".  I don't think an offense is taken either way.  I think the first generation always has one leg in the country of their birth and one
in America, their adopted country.  It's understandable."

As a doctor many of my colleagues are from somewhere else.  I think more than half of doctors in NJ are Indian, Pakistan, Arab, Asian.
Yes we generally get along yet I am never quite sure how they actually think about America or for me, Jews.

Some if not many or most would be the first to tell me America is still the best place in the world. But what about the ones who harbor a dislike or even hatred of Americans or Jews?  Of course they aren't going to tell me.  Are some of them sending money to Jihadists?  Or some of them sympathetic with the WTC bombers?
Are some of the Chinese sending intellectual property back to China?  There is NO doubt some are.  But which ones.

I wouldn't know.  I couldn't know.  I know only one thing.   As an elderly retired dentist once told my mother decades ago while we were walking down to the corner stores, "one never knows what is going on in the back of a man's mind!"

I never forgot him saying that.   

One Pakistani physician whose son was almost killed when that lady was assinated in Pakistan told me these Jhadists and trouble makers are crazy.  They used to be mostly in the western part of the country but now they are everywhere.  And he said the problem is one can not know who is who or who is loyal to what.  Even they can't tell what the other ones are doing or thinking.

3263  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ElBaradei: frontman for Iran? on: February 01, 2011, 11:30:22 AM
Another dubious pick for Peace Prize?  Arafat, Gore, Bamster, and ElBaradei?

***Meanwhile, these paragraphs from today's NYT story about Washington sizing up ElBaradei as a potential leader of Egypt rang all too true:

But now, the biggest questions for the Obama administration are Mr. ElBaradei's views on issues related to Israel, Egypt and the United States. For instance, both the United States and Israel have counted on the Egyptians to enforce their part of the blockade of Gaza, which is controlled by the militant Islamist group Hamas.

But in an interview last June with the London-based Al Quds Al-Arabi, Mr. ElBaradei called the Gaza blockade "a brand of shame on the forehead of every Arab, every Egyptian and every human being." He called on his government, and on Israel, to end the blockade, which Israeli and Egyptian officials argue is needed to ensure security.

Ah. Now we're learning something important here. The Times goes on to detail the deep distrust of ElBaradei among neocons. Cirincione, fyi, is a good guy:

Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and a friend of Mr. ElBaradei, said Monday that Mr. ElBaradei wanted Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Israel, along with India and Pakistan, is not a signatory.

One senior Obama administration official said that it was not lost on the administration that Mr. ElBaradei's contentious relations with the Bush administration helped explain why he was now being viewed by some as a credible face of the opposition in Egypt.

"Ironically, the fact that ElBaradei crossed swords with the Bush administration on Iraq and Iran helps him in Egypt, and God forbid we should do anything to make it seem like we like him," said Philip D. Zelikow, former counselor at the State Department during the Bush years. For all of his tangles with the Bush administration, Mr. ElBaradei, an international bureaucrat well known in diplomatic circles, is someone whom the United States can work with, Mr. Zelikow said.

However, he allowed, "Some people in the administration had a jaundiced view of his work."

Among them was John Bolton, the former Bush administration United States ambassador to the United Nations, who routinely clashed with Mr. ElBaradei on Iran. "He is a political dilettante who is excessively pro-Iran," he complained.

Meanwhile, at The Nation, Ari Berman notes:

ElBaradei's emergence has angered pro-Mubarak neoconservatives, such as Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vide president of the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which is closely aligned with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. "There is a myth being created that ElBaradei is a human rights activist," Hoenlein told an Orthodox Jewish website on Sunday. "He is a stooge of Iran, and I don't use the term lightly. When he was the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, for which he got a Nobel Peace Prize, he fronted for them, he distorted the reports."

So this is what's going on, probably. The administration is feeling some heat from these kinds of sources. Ultimately, Obama and Clinton do not, I would expect and hope, agree with Bolton and Hoenlein. And ultimately, I would expect and hope, ultimately meaning pretty soon, they will embrace Mubarak's ouster more publicly.

But these are complicated things. I know that this thread is now going to be full of indignant fulmination against Israel. That's not my intent. My intent is to show that there are a lot of factors in play here. I want to be clear that I obviously do not think the administration should sit on its hands here for Israel's sake; what's going on in Tahrir Square is inspiring and quite clearly deserves the support, issued in the right way at the right time, by the United States of America. Rather, I am saying that the US, given its role in the world, has to weigh things more carefully than any other country in the world does before it speaks and acts. I think we'll do the right thing, but the right thing must be done at the right time in this case.****
3264  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: February 01, 2011, 11:22:42 AM
"Sorry, I'm not buying this "Who lost Egypt?" analysis."

Neither do I.  I posted more for the arm chair opinion on this guy,  ElBaradei (and not the critical opinion of Bama).

I still suspect someone in the US is propping him up and promoting him.  Apparantly the vast majority of Egyptians don't know of him.  So who outside Egypt is making him *the guy*?

My concern, nobel peace prize or not, he does not appear to be in our best interests.

He is an Egyptian Muslim first.
3265  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / M1A1 on: February 01, 2011, 09:50:04 AM
3266  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 31, 2011, 05:25:53 PM
AS John Bolton asks,
If we think Iran is a problem now can anyone imagine what they would be like with nuclear weapons?
One can now ask the same for Egypt.

I notice the Egyptians are riding around the streets in Abrams tanks - great. cry
3267  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: January 31, 2011, 01:03:27 PM
FWIW. Morris opinion, one of many.  I admit he is not a noted scholar on Egyptian affairs but I like him and usually agree with him.  He notes this guy ElBaradei who is being touted by the media is actually no friend of the West it sounds. 

By Dick Morris01.29.2011
In the 1950s, the accusation “who lost China” resonated throughout American politics and led to the defeat of the Democratic Party in the presidential elections of 1952. Unless President Obama reverses field and strongly opposes letting the Muslim brotherhood take over Egypt, he will be hit with the modern equivalent of the 1952 question: Who Lost Egypt?

The Iranian government is waiting for Egypt to fall into its lap. The Muslim Brotherhood, dominated by Iranian Islamic fundamentalism, will doubtless emerge as the winner should the government of Egypt fall. The Obama Administration, in failing to throw its weight against an Islamic takeover, is guilty of the same mistake that led President Carter to fail to support the Shah, opening the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran.

The United States has enormous leverage in Egypt – far more than it had in Iran. We provide Egypt with upwards of $2 billion a year in foreign aid under the provisos of the Camp David Accords orchestrated by Carter. The Egyptian military, in particular, receives $1.3 billion of this money. The United States, as the pay master, needs to send a signal to the military that it will be supportive of its efforts to keep Egypt out of the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists. Instead, Obama has put our military aid to Egypt “under review” to pressure Mubarak to mute his response to the demonstrators and has given top priority to “preventing the loss of human life.”

President Obama should say that Egypt has always been a friend of the United States. He should point out that it was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel. He should recall that President Sadat, who signed the peace accords, paid for doing so with his life and that President Mubarak has carried on in his footsteps. He should condemn the efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood extremists to take over the country and indicate that America stands by her longtime ally. He should address the need for reform and urge Mubarak to enact needed changes. But his emphasis should be on standing with our ally.

The return of Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has to Egypt as the presumptive heir to Mubarak tells us where this revolution is headed. Carolyn Glick, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, explains how dangerous ElBaradei is. “As IAEA head,” she writes, “Elbaradei shielded Iran’s nuclear weapons program from the Security Council. He [has] continued to lobby against significant UN Security Council sanctions or other actions against Iran…Last week, he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran [saying] ‘there is a lot of hype in this debate’.”

As for the Muslim Brotherhood, Glick notes that “it forms the largest and best organized opposition to the Mubarak regime and [is] the progenitor of Hamas and al Qaidi. It seeks Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad.”

Now is the time for Republicans and conservatives to start asking the question: Who is losing Egypt? We need to debunk the starry eyed idealistic yearning for reform and the fantasy that a liberal democracy will come from these demonstrations. It won’t. Iranian domination will.

Egypt, with 80 million people, is the largest country in the Middle East or North Africa. Combined with Iran’s 75 million (the second largest) they have 155 million people. By contrast the entire rest of the region — Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar combined– have only 200 million.

We must not let the two most populous and powerful nations in the region fall under the sway of Muslim extremism, the one through the weakness of Jimmy Carter and the other through the weakness of Barack Obama.

3268  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 31, 2011, 09:39:49 AM
"Mohammed ElBaradei"

Yesterday someone pointed out that some of the professional Egyptians (probably those who reside in the West) know of him but the average Egyptian has no clue who he is mostly confirming John Bolton's point of view. 

Yet somehow the media is promoting him out of know where as some sort of important leader here.  I don't know who is helping him, State Dept, WH or liberals in the media?

I have to read about him.  If I recall he is no friend of Israel.

We should start a party in the US:

Brothers and Sisters for American Ideals.  Any citizen of the US no matter what religiion, ethnicity, where ever they where born, as long as they aspire to traditional American ideals they can join.

As for Hillary listening to her is a waste of time.  She just sits and makes obvious statements.  IMHO she is not doing a good job, just doing her job.  A titan of foreign policy she is not. 
3269  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WTF on: January 30, 2011, 07:09:41 PM
"I forgot that was also the exact title of Gingrich's book"

I would not discount the possibility they knew exactly what they were doing when they used the same phrase as Newt's book title.
In trying to sound more like Reagan, and more emotional like Clinton it would not surprise me if they were co-opting Newt's phrase.

Just like Clinton co-opted "smaller government" and welfare reform.  One strategy the Dems use is to steal good Republican ideas and take the credit.

"Wonder if the new, improved, centrist leaning, results oriented administration will take up any ideas from the title they plagiarized"

I agree with your skepticism of this and strongly doubt it is any more than your apt descirption, of a "head fake".
Like Saul said, "if you want to change them pretend you are one of them".
3270  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: January 30, 2011, 07:02:32 PM
It is remarkable to see how all the experts disagree as to what is going on and what is going to happen.

Everywhere I read I read something different about what is going on.  The experts on cable don't seem to have a clue what they are talking about.  They almost sound like idiots in their prostilatizing. [spelling?]

John Bolton was on Marc Levin radio around two nights ago and said this guy, Mohammed ElBaradei was basically important ONLY in the West but is not a factor in Egypt at all.  He stated he is "manufactured" in Western media.  I was under the impression from the media that the US likes this guy yet now we are reading he is now forming alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood (sounds like the name of some sort of prison gang doesn't it?).  We have some who say the MB is a minority (no more than 30% or so of the vote) and not much threat, we have others saying they are.

It sounds like near total chaos.

It is obvious Obama is not sure which way to go.  I would not jump to conclusions that any of this was his fault as the region is so complex there probably is no perfect answer.  I think the total lack of any coherent understanding of what is happening now or where it will go from all the talking heads makes it clear how complex the region is.

I do think it a good question to ask that in general terms is a weak President ala Carter, and now Obama something that leads to more instability in the Middle East or just a coincidence that Iran, Turkey, and possibly now Egypt have coups during Democratic Presidents reigns something that has contributed to this instability?

Another question with no definite answer is should the US be supporting the  unpredictable results of Democracy or leaders who align their countries  more in keeping with our interests?

I don't know the answer and no one else does either.  I know only one thing.  Hillary Clinton won't help.   

3271  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: January 28, 2011, 01:50:10 PM
"At the beginning of 1996, Obama was able to get all of his opponents thrown off the ballot."

GM, Can you elaborate?  How did he do that and who helped him do this?
3272  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 28, 2011, 01:47:04 PM
Judge Napolitano last night stated the law is clear that he was not a resident for the time period involved.  Based on a literal interprestation of the law it is an open and shut case.
He added two other comments:

Illionios is Democrat and they tend to interpret law based on the politics (although we know this happens everywhere frequently)
it is best for the voters to decide who they want for mayor [so he would not make a "federal case out of the matter].

Doug writes,
"Is a typist at 40k for a backroom federal office also serving their country or are they working a job."

I would add the question was Emmanuel serving his country or himself?  Serving as WH chief of staff has to be one of the ultimate career moves.  I find calling it "serving one's country" as the partisan protector of the number one politician not in the same league as someone who "serves" in the military. Particularly one who volunteers though I gues one could even argue that volunteering for the military service is a form of career move (though I would not).

From Dick Morris who I quote often here:

***Dear Friend,

Have we learned our lesson? Do we now know to nip aspiring, radical, charismatic Chicago politicians in the bud? We missed our chance once. Now a second chance is coming around again.

Rahm Emanuel – the most ruthless, aggressive, ambitious, radical, take-no-prisoners politician in America – is running for Mayor of Chicago. The bottom rung of his ladder. From there, it’s the Senate and then the White House. This time as the boss.

Let’s knock him off the bottom rung before he rises further. Stop him before his political career metastases.

His style? Do anything, attack anybody, adopt any pose to get elected. Sound like his mentor in the White House?

So now we have a chance to intervene and stop Rahm.

I know you probably don’t live in Chicago. But we all live in the United States and, make no mistake, the presidency is Rahm’s goal.

There is an alternative. Gery Chico, former Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard Daley, is Rahm’s chief competitor. (Not counting former Senator Carol Mosley-Brown who conveniently forgot to pay her taxes last year). Chico is not ideal. He’s no tea party activist. But he is honest. And he’s to the right of Rahm. And he’s running second.

Our goal? Force Rahm into a runoff against Chico. And Chico can win. And we will all be saved from Obama II in the form of Rahm Emanuel.

Please give to our PAC to stop Rahm. Go to and donate! You will find it a whole lot cheaper and easier to stop him now that you will in the future.

We let Obama climb the ladder. We learned our lesson. Now let’s stop Rahm.

To help stop Rahm – Click Here!


Dick Morris****

3273  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 01:16:17 PM
Reading this I conclude that Soros is the "chosen one" in his own mind.

Obama is his front man.

Like I said without some very liberal Jews Obama would never have been President.

European style socialism already has proven to be a dud like every other socialistic government.

Why he thinks that government is the answer to all of human kinds ills, when it is run by people with same frailties as the rest of us is a mystery to me.

He is clearly an enemy of the US as we know it.

Yet we have MSM like SoloDAD acting like the front man Obama is not a far lefty.  And anyone who even states that is nuts or brainwashed.

Beck is certainly no anti semite from anything I have seen or heard.

You know what?  Jews do NOT have some sort of monopoly on hos to speak or mention genocide or even specifically the Jewish holocaust.  They do not own genocide or have some special right to decide who gets to refer to it or how.  Like their attack on Sarah Palin because she used a phrase.  If she were a Democrat liberal we would never had heard a peep from any of the Liberal Jews.
3274  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 11:42:44 AM
"If you don't understand the world Soros was living in and you prefer him to be murdered  that is your problem."

Soros is a problem for the United States.

If you don't see that, that is your problem.  You didn't answer my question about his lack of any guilt, or seeming concern.  I don't want a put down on my undestanding of the Holocaust.
3275  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Soros- ruthless- selfish on: January 28, 2011, 11:07:15 AM
Great find GM!  What do you say to this Rachel?  Here is Soros himself admitting he felt no guilt.  It wasn't even "difficult"!  While I don't blame him for doing what he had to to save himself 14 years old is enough to know what one is doing.  How do you explain this?  Why are not these same liberal rabbis not offended by this?  To think one could watch and even be forced to participate sending your own people away to their death and admit to not one ioda of regret or guilt??
Well I doubt this master of Wall Street who spends his entire life beating the hell out of everyone he can in trying to make a buck is just as ruthless there as he seems here in this interview:

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.

KROFT: I mean, that’s–that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

Mr. SOROS: Not–not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t–you don’t see the connection. But it was–it created no–no problem at all.

KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

Mr. SOROS: No.
3276  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: January 28, 2011, 10:04:10 AM
O Donnel had a couple of rabbis on yesterday discussing this though I came to it late.
L. O Donnel who after watching the rabbis sound like a bunch of cackling yentas exclaimed how he can see how one can never get two rabbis to ever agree.

"We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media. But that is not what we have seen at Fox News. It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps."

I would agree with this in a second.  Perhaps Beck does use the word Nazi too indiscriminantly.  I think it highly likely Beck will respond to this and it will be interesting to see what he says.

OTOH I am offended by Soros subversive and behind the scenes tactics in changing America towards a progressive big government agenda that restricts our freedoms and is actually does have some similarities to the political upheavels of Europe IMHO.

3277  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Failed socialist" what proof do you have of this GM? on: January 28, 2011, 09:46:58 AM
"failed socialist"

GM I ask you the above with tongue in cheek,

Did you see SoloDAD Obrien (one of CNN's partisan hacks pretending to be a journalist) going after a Republican congresman yesterday for calling Obama a "socialist".
It was one of those "keeping them honest" segments.  She wanted to know what the evidence is that he is a socialist.  When one of the answers was Obama-care she was beside herself and obviously bristling with anger, "more than 50% of the people want it", "so are you saying more than 50% of Americans are socialist?"  She could not trap him into acquesing and was clearly annoyed.

Just another jornolister attempt at labelling anyone who evens suggests Obama is in some way marxist as "radical", as "crazy".  Like it isn't obvious the Pres isn't a radical progressive - yeah right.

I used to think of myself as a moderate Republican.  I now have learned from this board and watching the media and the progressives what a mistake that is.

Progressivism is truly a form of cancer.  When they cannot ram it down our throats they scream "civility", "bipartisanship", "compromise", "good governance".

The right cannot compromise because there is NO compromise with them.  They do not stop, it is never enough, and their answer to everything is more government programs and regulation.

3278  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / $100 bucks to see Obama's birth record on: January 27, 2011, 05:30:21 PM

Doug posts:
"CCP, like you say, the story keeps giving off more and more reasons for suspicion so it is hard to let it rest,"

Hears more today from Drudge.  What can I say?  All Obama has to do is grant permission to release it.  Yet the story keeps on giving with his refusal to do so to the point of spending a lot to stop its' release.  The only answer is it simply doesn't exist.  Below is another Dem ruse:

Hawaii lawmakers want release of Obama birth info
            Buzz up!848 votes ShareretweetEmailPrint Reuters – President Obama makes a point during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on …
 Slideshow:President Barack Obama  Play Video Barack Obama Video:Rand Paul: Obama 'Been Co-Opted By The Tea Party' ABC News  Play Video Barack Obama Video:Turmoil in the Arab World FOX News By MARK NIESSE, Associated Press Mark Niesse, Associated Press – 1 hr 47 mins ago
HONOLULU – Five Hawaii Democratic representatives want to pass a law making President Barack Obama's birth records public and charge $100 to see them.

The bill, introduced this week, would change a privacy law barring the release of birth records to anyone unless they have a tangible interest.

The measure hasn't been scheduled for a public hearing yet, and can't move forward until that happens.

Its primary sponsor, Rep. Rida Cabanilla, says she wants to end the controversy surrounding Obama's birth by handing over official state records to those who will pay.

She says the fee would help offset the extra work by state employees who handle frequent phone calls and e-mails from people who believe Obama wasn't born in Hawaii.

Hawaii's health director has said she's verified Obama's original records, and notices were published in two newspapers within days of his birth at a Honolulu hospital
3279  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Obama:"Winningthefuture"Palin:"WTF" on: January 27, 2011, 05:25:19 PM
My opinion of Sarah just skyrocketed with this: grin

****For Palin, Obama's 'Winning the Future' phrase is WTF
07:50 AMYahoo! BuzzShare
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
Sarah Palin rips President Obama's new slogan, Winning the Future.
CAPTIONBy VALERIE MACON, AFP/Getty ImagesPresident Obama's new slogan is "Winning the Future."

To Sarah Palin, it's "WTF."

Palin used the acronym at least three times last night in discussing Obama's State of the Union speech on Fox News. WTF is also a phone text-driven phrase used to avoid spelling out the f word; it stands for "what the (blank)."

"There were a lot of WTF moments through that speech," the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate told Fox's Greta Van Susteren.

Palin used the phrase in reference to Obama's discussion of the federal debt, and his claim that the U.S. faces a "Sputnik moment" when it comes to technology and innovation challenges from other countries.

Palin also discussed fellow Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, which you can read about on our OnPolitics blog.

Obama used variations of "Winning the Future" several times throughout his speech. At one point, he said: "If we want to win the future -- if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas -- then we also have to win the race to educate our kids."

The president, by the way, isn't the first politician to use the phrase "Winning the Future."

Palin's fellow Republican Newt Gingrich entitled one of his books Winning The Future: A 21st Century Contract With America.

Palin also said that rather that Sputnik, the nation should declare "a spudnut moment," referring to the name of a Washington state coffee shop: "A family-owned business not looking for government to bail them out and to make their decisions for them. It's just hard-working, patriotic Americans in this shop."****

3280  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / here it comes: the gifford bill on: January 27, 2011, 02:51:25 PM
Doug noted on another thread the conspicuous absence of any mention of guns by Obama in the SOTU address.  He is right in calling his address just a bunch of "head fakes".

Well of course here it comes.  I think obvious it will be known as the  *"Gifford" bill*. The Democarts simply cannot resist an opportunity to jump in and claim they are fixing every single minute ill with mankind with more regulation, more tax, more control.

****White House to Push Gun Control
Obama intentionally did not mention gun control in his State of the Union, but aides say that in the next two weeks the administration will unveil a campaign to get Congress to toughen existing laws.
Evan Vucci / AP
Arizona Congressmen Jeff Flake (left) and Raul Grijalva sit next to the empty seat of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Capitol Hill before President Obama's recent State of the Union address.
At the beginning of his State of the Union address, President Obama tipped his hat to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who’s now recuperating in a Houston medical facility. But throughout the hourlong speech, he never addressed the issue at the core of the Giffords tragedy—gun control—and what lawmakers would, or should, do to reform American firearm-access laws.

That was intentional, according to the White House. An administration official says Obama didn’t mention guns in his speech because of the omnipresent controversy surrounding the Second Amendment and gun control. Tuesday’s speech was designed to be more about the economy and how, as Obama repeated nine times, the U.S. could “win the future.”

But in the next two weeks, the White House will unveil a new gun-control effort in which it will urge Congress to strengthen current laws, which now allow some mentally unstable people, such as alleged Arizona shooter Jared Loughner, to obtain certain assault weapons, in some cases without even a background check.

Tuesday night after the speech, Obama adviser David Plouffe said to NBC News that the president would not let the moment after the Arizona shootings pass without pushing for some change in the law, to prevent another similar incident. “It’s a very important issue, and one I know there’s going to be debate about on the Hill.”

                The White House said that to avoid being accused of capitalizing on the Arizona shootings for political gain, Obama will address the gun issue in a separate speech, likely early next month. He’s also expected to use Arizona as a starting point, but make the case that America’s gun laws have been too loose for much longer than just the past few weeks.

As the White House prepares its strategy, several gun-policy groups are saying they were burned by the lack of any mention of guns in the president’s highest-profile speech of the year. “President Obama tonight failed to challenge old assumptions on the need for, and political possibilities of, reducing the gun violence—which he suggested should be done two weeks ago in Tucson,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation’s largest gun-safety group. No group said it had been consulted by the White House regarding legislative suggestions.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association has stayed largely silent following the Arizona shootings. Asked about a specialized White House effort on guns, a spokesman for the powerful gun lobby declined to comment.****
3281  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Asia & Africa on: January 27, 2011, 02:31:07 PM
One of my Indian physician colleagues thinks a 50 billion valuation on Facebook is nothing for its potential.

I asked I thought they don't know how to make money off it yet.  But when one thinks of billions of people being tuned into it he is definetly right.

Of course GS is getting in at the bottom....

Us average joes never have a chance.

Getting back to N. Africa and the Middle East, it will be interesting to see what happens in the other countries.

The rise of Muslim Brotherhood.  The fall of the shieks?
3282  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Close or farther to GOD? on: January 26, 2011, 01:08:18 PM
Hubble spots most ancient galaxy to date
Updated 9m ago | Comments 4  | Recommend    E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints & Permissions |   
 Enlarge NASA/AFP/Getty Images
This is the image of the sky in the region of the Hubble Ultra-Deep field taken with the new Wide Field Camera 3 Infra-red imager (WFC3/IR). It's the deepest image of the sky ever obtained in the near-infrared.

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By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
Hubble space telescope astronomers Wednesday unveiled a view of a galaxy that took shape within 480 million years of the Big Bang, offering a glimpse of the universe as it gave birth to its first stars.
Galaxies are the vast archipelagoes of stars filling space, such as our own spiral-shaped Milky Way galaxy. The new "UDFj-39546284" galaxy is the most distant and ancient one yet spotted by astronomers.

Roughly 10 times smaller than the Milky Way galaxy, the new star-packed discovery confirms that a period of rapid star-birth unfolded in the era after the Big Bang, which took place about 13.75 billion years ago.

"The nighttime sky would have looked very different then," says study lead author Rychard Bouwens of the University of California Santa Cruz.

Massive blue stars created by dense clouds of hydrogen gas would have been born and died within millions of years' time, quick by cosmic standards, their death blasts filling space with charged, radioactive particles. "Probably, it wouldn't have been a very healthy time for life, if planets even existed then," Bouwens adds.

The report, in this week's edition of the journal Nature, shows stars formed in the galaxy at a rate 10 times slower than they did in galaxies only slightly older, ones dating to about 700 million years after the Big Bang. Those galaxies themselves were much busier star factories than today's comparatively quiet ones.

Newly installed instruments aboard the Hubble space telescope, 30 times more sensitive than their predecessors, allowed astronomers to peer deeply into space to find the galaxy, one of 6,000 contained in a "deep-field" view collected over 100 hours of telescope viewing time. "We have pushed Hubble about as far back as it can go," Bouwens adds.

"Just as archaeologists sift through deeper layers of sand to uncover the past, cosmologists use large telescopes and sensitive detectors to study galaxies at ever greater distances from Earth," says Naveen Reddy of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, in a commentary on the study. Because the speed of light, 5.9 trillion miles per year, is finite, he notes, looking at more and more distant stars allows astronomers to "peer farther back in time."

Discovery of UDFj-39546284, Reddy adds, "paves the way for a bright future in studying faint and distant galaxies." A better look at the era of the first stars will most likely come from NASA's troubled James Webb Space Telescope, which the space agency announced late last year was about $1.5 billion over budget, pointing to a total cost of $6.5 billion and a 2015 launch.

Once launched, the bigger mirrors and near-infrared spectrum sensitivity of the James Webb Space Telescope should allow a full survey of the first galaxies, now established as ripe for observation by Hubble's latest discovery.

3283  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: January 26, 2011, 12:58:15 PM
Psychiatric illness is a tough thing to determine.

It is often particularly tough to determine who is a threat and who isn't.

Probably one out of three people in the US are or have been on some psyschiatric med at some point in their lives.

OFten psychiatrists do no more than ask someone if they are a danger to their self or someone else.

If they don't see obvious psychotic behavior or thinking they then simply rely on the person's saying yes or no.

This Az guy's case is somewhat extreme with multiple people expressing concerns, the school, many witnesses, even the police were notified.
In retrospect it seems more might have been done but by whom?  Az apparantly does allow for someone to be hopitalized against their will without obvious/overt  suicidal/homicidal intent.

In most states this person could not without consent have even been committed.

Should we force medicate people who are deemed psychotic?

The very vast majority ofr mentally ill, including psychotics are no "danger" to others except perhaps in screwing up not only their lives but those of family members.

Personally I favor just accepting the fact that there are occasionally nuts who will find a way to get guns and who will shoot people.

I prefer this vs a police state for anyone with a mental illness.

3284  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tunisia:implications for N Africa on: January 26, 2011, 12:43:51 PM
Stratfor: North Africa After Tunisia
January 14, 2011 | 2031 GMT


The Tunisian government has fallen. The first collapse of an autocratic regime in the Arab world due to a popular uprising has implications for the wider region, where there is no shortage of states with similar vulnerabilities. Though a domino effect is unlikely given the unique conditions in each country, Egypt is the next one to watch.


Unprecedented public agitation in Tunisia has brought down the government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, an event that may have repercussions far beyond the tiny North African state.

Though a small, closed, and isolated place, Tunisia is part of a significant region where other states — to varying degrees — also are vulnerable to mass uprisings. The social unrest in Tunisia over the past month suggests the decades-old style of governance in the Middle East and North Africa region increasingly is becoming untenable.

Since their establishment in the post-colonial period, regimes in the region have relied on a number of factors to maintain their power. These have included exploiting the Islamist threat to get the masses to accept an autocratic state as a defense against an “Islamic” one. They also have included a strong security and intelligence apparatus that has prevented social mobilization efforts. And they have been marked by an ability to maintain a decent level of economic development by gradually moving away from the command-style economy toward economic liberalization.

Each of these three core factors are no longer working the way they once used to.

For one thing, Islamists increasingly have fragmented into different strands, the majority of which want to pursue their political goals via democratic means. The jihadist threat has also subsided. And most important, a rising Turkey under the Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is seen by many people in the Arab world as a template for a system in which religious and secular segments of society could coexist. In essence, the old Islamist bogeyman these regimes would cite is no longer an argument capable of convincing the masses to tolerate a secular

For another thing, the security and intelligence apparatuses in the Arab world have struggled to thwart public mobilization in an age where communication technology has advanced tremendously. When these regimes came to power, people at best had one landline telephone and watched state radio and television — a situation that continued until the last few years. With the explosion of satellite television, the Internet and cellular phones, people have found it much easier to communicate and to mobilize, especially in countries where education levels have gone up rapidly as is the case with Tunisia.

Still another change has been the gradual move by the region’s autocratic regimes from command economies to more market-oriented ones. Some — such as Algeria, Libya, and to a lesser degree, Egypt — have managed the change on account of their petroleum wealth. Meanwhile, the forces unleashed by global financial downturn and economic recession have made it much more difficult for the regimes’ to maintain decent economic conditions in their respective countries. Some of the following countries can rely on energy wealth to address this problem, avoiding the kind of social unrest unleashed in Tunisia due to runaway unemployment; others will not:

Libya has a small population (6.5 million) relative to its size and wealth and is unlikely to see mass unrest. The Gadhafi regime over the years also skillfully has employed institutions to connect with the grass-roots in order to counter the threat of alienation from the government. Besides, in the case of Libya the issue is an intra-elite struggle between old guard and those calling for more reforms.
Algeria is also petro-rich but has a much larger population (35 million). It also has had the worst experience with Islamist insurgency, and given that the North African node of al Qaeda is based in country, many remain fearful that jihadists will exploit any mass rising against the government. There is also a fair degree of democracy in Algeria, with multiparty politics including Islamists in parliament. Each of these factors reduces the chances of a mass uprising.
Morocco is more vulnerable than Algeria given that it has more less the same size population (33 million) but without the energy resources. That it has a constitutional monarchy with multiparty parliamentary politics including an AKP-style Islamist party in the legislature provides it with a decent cushion, however. The society is also significantly torn between religious and secular classes.
Egypt is the most vulnerable in all of North Africa and the Middle East given it is already in a historic period of transition given that its elderly president, Hosni Mubarak, is ailing and his successors are divided over how to ensure regime stability and continuity of policies. Moreover, the opposition boycotted recent elections that it saw as unfair, and opposition parties are lack representation in the system. The country’s largest opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, has even said it is considering civil disobedience as a way forward in the wake of the recent electoral rigging. Regime-change in the region’s largest Arab state (80 million people) has huge implications for not just the Arab states but also Israel and U.S. interests.
The Arab masses (not just in North Africa but the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula) have watched the fall of the Tunisian regime blow by blow, creating the possibility that the public in many countries may find inspiration in the Tunisian experience. It is too early to say how things will unfold in the Middle East and North Africa, as each state has unique circumstances that will determine its trajectory. What is certain, however, is that a regional shift is under way, at least to the extent that governments can no longer continue with business as usual.

3285  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us"??? on: January 26, 2011, 12:31:55 PM
Well I was intrigued by the last line of your post, "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us" by Ralph Nader.
I found this op ed.  LOL the image of Warren Buffet leading the charge of supplies into New Orleans during Katrina. 
The twisted logic of Nader is reflective of the twisted logic of all super rich progressives.  Of course he chooses all the big super rich liberals and writes a fictional account of them having meetings and looking for ways to stop the big corporations from ruining the world. 
Of course these same people think big government is the only thing that can save us.  Buffett who thinks he should be taxed more.  Soros, what can I say. Phil Donahue is on this list?

 Ralph Nader: Only the Super Rich Can Save Us!
 At a little noticed meeting with Senate Democrats, Warren Buffett, the famous investors' guru, told the lawmakers that rich people are not paying enough taxes.

A tax increase for the very wealthy? Many of the Senators backed away from that recommendation, even though it came from the world's second richest man.

That is just one reason why Mr. Buffett plays a central role in my first work of fiction, Only the Super Rich Can Save Us! The title is derived from an exchange between Buffett and a woman from New Orleans.

Buffett is leading a convoy of critical supplies right after Katrina to help the fleeing poor stranded on the highways without food, water, medicine and shelter. At one stop, Buffett was distributing supplies when a grandmother clasped his hands, looked right into his eyes and cried out: "Only the super-rich can save us!"

Her words jolted Buffett to his core. Arriving back at his modest home in Omaha, he knew what he had to do.

The next scene is early January 2006. Buffett and 16 enlightened super-rich elders gather at a mountaintop hotel in Maui, and devise an elaborate strategy to take on the corporate goliaths and their Washington allies, and to redirect the country toward long overdue changes.

What follows is a top-down, bottom-up mobilization of Americans from all backgrounds in a head-on power struggle to break the grip of the corporate titans on our government.

With four out of five Americans believing that the U.S. is in decline, imagining the super-rich powerful engine revving up an organized citizenry is a precondition to revitalizing democracy.

Tom Peters, the best selling author of In Search of Excellence summed up my book's objective by calling it a work of fiction that he would love to see become nonfiction.

Step by step, week by week, Buffett's super-rich, who call themselves "the Meliorists" build their campaigns--first privately and then openly launching their initiatives during the 4th of July weekend with media, fanfare and parades.

Turning real, well-known people into fictional roles does not mean that their past achievements and beliefs are overlooked. To the contrary, I extend their achievements and beliefs to a much more intense level of what I believe they wish to see our country become.

Over the years, I have spoken to many super-rich and found many of them discouraged and saddened about our nation's inability to solve major problems--a society paralyzed because the few have too much political and economic power over the many.

Buffett, in my "political science fiction,' to use my colleague Matt Zawisky's phrase, selected people like George Soros, Ted Turner, Ross Perot, Sol Price, Yoko Ono, William Gates Sr., Barry Diller, Bill Cosby, Joe Jamail, Bernard Rapoport, Leonard Riggio, Phil Donahue, and others because each brought unique experience, determination, money and rolodexes to that secluded Maui hotel where they met every month.

The "Meliorists" address the enormous mismatch of resources between citizen groups and the corporate supremacists. This time the entrenched CEOs are challenged by the retired or elderly billionaires and megamillionaires who know the ways and means of business and political power, and can throw the resources, smarts and grassroot organizing talent against the corporate behemoths, who are not reluctant to counterattack.

In 1888, a Bostonian by the name of Edward Bellamy published a tremendous bestseller about a utopian U.S. in the year 2000 called "Looking Backward." The book inspired the then-growing progressive movement.

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3286  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "service to the United States on: January 26, 2011, 10:22:56 AM
I would not call his position as chief of staff to the WH as  "service of the United States".

He was in service to the Obama Adminsitration.

He was not drafted into service, it was not an elected position, it was a purely political appointment to a government job.  It was totally voluntary on his part and it required he relocate to Wash. DC. huh

3287  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No birth certificate on: January 26, 2011, 10:15:50 AM
I don't like beating dead horses ie: the lack of a birth certificate.  But you know folks, this is not a dead horse.  This guy's birth certificate does NOT exist so states the governor of Hawaii.  Now we can argue all we want about whether this is a big deal for the Republican strategy.  But it is a big deal to me.  I want to know why we have State government officials claiming to have seen the document and publicly making claims it was there and intact when it wasn't.  I want to know why anyone who questions this has to be labeled as crazy.  We have a guy who became President despite the lack of a birth certificate.  This is a big deal.  There was/is a cover-up.

This is legitimate.  All gangster bamster has to do is produce the document.  Now it is obvious why he doesn't.  He doesn't because he can't. 
Maybe many Americans are not bothered by a world class fraud but I am.

What should be done about it?  I don't know.  Whether or not it is a technicality with regards to his mother being out of the country for only a few months is one issue. But isn't Obama's lying about it, aren't false claims from government officials a crime?
3288  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / I wonder if it about HC law on: January 25, 2011, 12:38:44 PM
"Common Cause's letter isn't only an unfair attack on two Supreme Court justices. It is an assault on the judiciary and an effort to silence conservative voices."

Yesterday, Rachal Madcow was manic with glee discussing Thomas's apparant failure in not disclosing some tax issue with his wife. 
I almost wanted to prescribe her depakote to get her to stop drooling over the non issue.

The liberals are going after the conservative court in a big way lately.  They must be quite fearful of the possibility of a HC strike down.
3289  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "and the pursuit of Happiness" on: January 25, 2011, 12:27:18 PM
The Declaration guarantees the *pursuit* of happiness not happiness.  If we listened to the Democrats one would think everyone is guaranteed a home, health care, retirement, easy work, equal income, and every protection from every bad thing anyone could imagine is wrong with the world.  It is like a relative of mine said, everyone should be guaranteed equal chance in life not equal outcome.

***IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton***

3290  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More sensible health care on: January 24, 2011, 02:26:55 PM
Everything starts with repeal
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, January 21, 2011

Suppose someone - say, the president of United States - proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I've got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion.
He'd be laughed out of town. And yet, this is precisely what the Democrats are claiming as a virtue of Obamacare. During the debate over Republican attempts to repeal it, one of the Democrats' major talking points has been that Obamacare reduces the deficit - and therefore repeal raises it - by $230 billion. Why, the Congressional Budget Office says exactly that.

Very true. And very convincing. Until you realize where that number comes from. Explains CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf in his "preliminary analysis of H.R. 2" (the Republican health-care repeal): "CBO anticipates that enacting H.R. 2 would probably yield, for the 2012-2021 period, a reduction in revenues in the neighborhood of $770 billion and a reduction in outlays in the vicinity of $540 billion."

As National Affairs editor Yuval Levin pointed out when mining this remarkable nugget, this is a hell of a way to do deficit reduction: a radical increase in spending, topped by an even more radical increase in taxes.

Of course, the very numbers that yield this $230 billion "deficit reduction" are phony to begin with. The CBO is required to accept every assumption, promise (of future spending cuts, for example) and chronological gimmick that Congress gives it. All the CBO then does is perform the calculation and spit out the result.

In fact, the whole Obamacare bill was gamed to produce a favorable CBO number. Most glaringly, the entitlement it creates - government-subsidized health insurance for 32 million Americans - doesn't kick in until 2014. That was deliberately designed so any projection for this decade would cover only six years of expenditures - while that same 10-year projection would capture 10 years of revenue. With 10 years of money inflow vs. six years of outflow, the result is a positive - i.e., deficit-reducing - number. Surprise.

If you think that's audacious, consider this: Obamacare does not create just one new entitlement (health insurance for everyone); it actually creates a second - long-term care insurance. With an aging population, and with long-term care becoming extraordinarily expensive, this promises to be the biggest budget buster in the history of the welfare state.

And yet, in the CBO calculation, this new entitlement to long-term care reduces the deficit over the next 10 years. By $70 billion, no less. How is this possible? By collecting premiums now, and paying out no benefits for the first 10 years. Presto: a (temporary) surplus. As former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and scholars Joseph Antos and James Capretta note, "Only in Washington could the creation of a reckless entitlement program be used as 'offset' to grease the way for another entitlement." I would note additionally that only in Washington could such a neat little swindle be titled the "CLASS Act" (for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act).

That a health-care reform law of such enormous size and consequence, revolutionizing one-sixth of the U.S. economy, could be sold on such flimflammery is astonishing, even by Washington standards. What should Republicans do?

Make the case. Explain the phony numbers, boring as the exercise may be. Better still, hold hearings and let the CBO director, whose integrity is beyond reproach, explain the numbers himself.

To be sure, the effect on the deficit is not the only criterion by which to judge Obamacare. But the tossing around of such clearly misleading bumper-sticker numbers calls into question the trustworthiness of other happy claims about Obamacare. Such as the repeated promise that everyone who likes his current health insurance will be able to keep it. Sure, but only if your employer continues to offer it. In fact, millions of workers will find themselves adrift because their employers will have every incentive to dump them onto the public rolls.

This does not absolve the Republicans from producing a health-care replacement. They will and should be judged by how well their alternative addresses the needs of the uninsured and the anxieties of the currently insured. But amending an insanely complicated, contradictory, incoherent and arbitrary 2,000-page bill that will generate tens of thousands of pages of regulations is a complete non-starter. Everything begins with repeal.

3291  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 24, 2011, 01:30:30 PM
Interesting to note the gov is giving some control to primary care in Britain.  Being the czar here Berwick seems to think British model is the model we should follow I don't know what to make of it.  Other than it is obvious guaranteeing care to everyone and expecting to control costs with primary care is likely to fail.

If, as I am not clear from this article, that the government is giving up and saying to primary care doctors - here we give you X amount of money and you spend it however you think best and take the rest for your salaries - than - if that the case - expect a big problem.  This formula has been used by mangaed care and is a recipee for cut throat health care.  Imagine going to a doctor who you know will make more money denying care to you.  His/her judgement on every single decision is now clouded by their knowing that.  Is that what we want.  I have seen that first hand.  I wouldn't dream of going to any doctor with that in mind.  The doctor will constantly balance what he can deny you with the risk of if it's wrong - getting his ass sued.  To protect that he/she will document up the wazoo as much as possible.

That is how they sometimes get away with it. 

The whole idea we will bend the cost curve down while providing care to 50 million more is aburd.  And they are guaranteeing everyone get the same?
We will all pay more and get less.  Not more. 

Oh sure Gifford would get managed care.  Yeah right.
3292  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / part two on: January 24, 2011, 01:22:36 PM
Britain Plans to Decentralize Health Care
Published: July 24, 2010
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The government has promised that the new plan will not affect patient care and that the health care budget will not be cut. But some experts say those assertions are misleading. The previous government, controlled by the Labour Party, poured money into the health service — the budget is now about three times what it was when Labour took over, in 1997 — but the increases have stopped. The government has said the budget will continue to rise in real terms for the next five years, but it is unlikely that the increases will keep up with the rising costs of care and the demands of an aging population.

“The real mistake that is being made by the health secretary is to drive through an ideologically determined program of reorganization which is motivated by the principle of efficiency savings,” said Robin Durie, a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Exeter. “History shows clearly that quality will suffer as a consequence.”

Dr. Durie added, “The gulf between the rhetoric of the white paper and the technicalities of what is involved in the various elements of the overall reorganization being proposed is just extraordinary.”

For example, he asked, how will the government make good on its promise to give patients more choice — a promise that seems to require a degree of administrative oversight — while cutting so many managers from the system?

“How will the delivery of all this choice be funded?” Dr. Durie asked. “And how will the management of the delivery of choice be funded?”

Dr. Vautrey said the country needed to have a “mature debate about what the N.H.S. can and cannot afford.”

He said: “It is a sign of the mixed messages that government sends out. They talk about choice and competition and increased patient expectations at the same time as they tell the service they need to cut costs and refer less and prescribe less. People need to understand that while the needs of everyone may be met, their wants will be limited.”

As they prepare for the change, many doctors are wondering whether it will be permanent this time around.

“Many of our colleagues have seen this cycle of change repeatedly,” Dr. Vautrey said. “Many would look at previous reorganizations and compare it to this one and wonder how long the current change will last before the next one comes along.”

3293  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Part 0ne British care back to doctors on: January 24, 2011, 01:21:40 PM
Britain Plans to Decentralize Health Care
Published: July 24, 2010
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CloseLinkedinDiggMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink LONDON — Perhaps the only consistent thing about Britain’s socialized health care system is that it is in a perpetual state of flux, its structure constantly changing as governments search for the elusive formula that will deliver the best care for the cheapest price while costs and demand escalate.

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The new British government’s plan to drastically reshape the socialized health care system would put local physicians like Dr. Marita Koumettou in north London in control of much of the national health budget.
Even as the new coalition government said it would make enormous cuts in the public sector, it initially promised to leave health care alone. But in one of its most surprising moves so far, it has done the opposite, proposing what would be the most radical reorganization of the National Health Service, as the system is called, since its inception in 1948.

Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.

The plan would also shrink the bureaucratic apparatus, in keeping with the government’s goal to effect $30 billion in “efficiency savings” in the health budget by 2014 and to reduce administrative costs by 45 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost because layers of bureaucracy would be abolished.

In a document, or white paper, outlining the plan, the government admitted that the changes would “cause significant disruption and loss of jobs.” But it said: “The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the N.H.S., and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians, means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management.”

The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, also promised to put more power in the hands of patients. Currently, how and where patients are treated, and by whom, is largely determined by decisions made by 150 entities known as primary care trusts — all of which would be abolished under the plan, with some of those choices going to patients. It would also abolish many current government-set targets, like limits on how long patients have to wait for treatment.

The plan, with many elements that need legislative approval to be enacted, applies only to England; other parts of Britain have separate systems.

The government announced the proposals this month. Reactions to them range from pleased to highly skeptical.

Many critics say that the plans are far too ambitious, particularly in the short period of time allotted, and they doubt that general practitioners are the right people to decide how the health care budget should be spent. Currently, the 150 primary care trusts make most of those decisions. Under the proposals, general practitioners would band together in regional consortia to buy services from hospitals and other providers.

It is likely that many such groups would have to spend money to hire outside managers to manage their budgets and negotiate with the providers, thus canceling out some of the savings.

David Furness, head of strategic development at the Social Market Foundation, a study group, said that under the plan, every general practitioner in London would, in effect, be responsible for a $3.4 million budget.

“It’s like getting your waiter to manage a restaurant,” Mr. Furness said. “The government is saying that G.P.’s know what the patient wants, just the way a waiter knows what you want to eat. But a waiter isn’t necessarily any good at ordering stock, managing the premises, talking to the chef — why would they be? They’re waiters.”

But advocacy groups for general practitioners welcomed the proposals.

“One of the great attractions of this is that it will be able to focus on what local people need,” said Prof. Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, which represents about 40,000 of the 50,000 general practitioners in the country. “This is about clinicians taking responsibility for making these decisions.”

Dr. Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the general practitioner committee at the British Medical Association, said general practitioners had long felt there were “far too many bureaucratic hurdles to leap” in the system, impeding communication. “In many places, the communication between G.P.’s and consultants in hospitals has become fragmented and distant,” he said.

The plan would also require all National Health Service hospitals to become “foundation trusts,” enterprises that are independent of health service control and accountable to an independent regulator (some hospitals currently operate in this fashion). This would result in a further loss of jobs, health care unions say, and also open the door to further privatization of the service.

3294  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 24, 2011, 11:56:14 AM

"Yes maybe by accident, really it is the radical leftism of his mother.  That is likely what drew her to the African student as much as race.  Obama's other mentors and colleagues had far more direct influence than his father: Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright etc."

And as noted, his college transcripts, his full birth certificate (albeit debatable as to importance), his pre national politics history all seems vague.  We know he did drugs. But we have heard as far as I know, nothing from the leftists he knew and associated with.  Dead silence and only for talk radio and Fox we would know nothing of any of it.


Not one person from College remembers him?

Yes I agree it is all water under the bridge anyway.  He and the progressive forces behind him need to be beaten on the issues.
3295  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Progressive front man on: January 24, 2011, 11:26:51 AM
Crafty, Doug and GM,
I agree with all of you the Republicans need to keep up the pressure and to do their best to control the airwaves.  Obama, as do all Presidents have the big advantage of the bully pulpit.
I agree with Dick 100%  and particularly so since he is one of if not the architects of the Clinton resurrection it certainly behooves the right to listen to him on the best strategy to deal with Clinton 2. 

Yet just sticking it back at the gangster bamster has it risks as I pointed out with Newt's failed policy of a government shut down that led to HIS not Clinton's down fall.

I don't know exactly how to avoid this and look strong and not just become a compromiser which will result in the gangster getting a second term (again of course barring some unforeseen events like a secoind dip in the economy.)  I am not confident about Boehner at this point but perhaps I am prejudging.   Certainly Morris felt he made a huge mistake on the tax compromise BEFORE the lame duck session was over.  Not a good start.  Krauthammer certainly thouth Boehner gave away the farm.

Getting the progressive front man out is without a doubt the only way to save our country from decline IMHO.

So far I don't see anyone on the right who has the charisma to do it.  Forget Romney - no charisma (my nephew worked for him for his first run) .  Forget Palin no crossover appeal.  Forget Huckabee - too wishy washy.  Newt my choice probably does not have swing voter appeal.  Jindal who my nephew works for now as press secretary does not appear to be prime time national material.

Hopefully someone with the right stuff will bubble up before 2012.
3296  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nearly check mate. on: January 24, 2011, 10:33:04 AM
Obama has just placed a check on the Republican team if you will.  If he is able to keep up the moderation and bipartisan facade then it is check MATE.  Barring of course something unforeseen (to sound like David Gordon when speaking of the markets).

The Republicans are on the defensive already.  They come off as too wimpy they lose.  If they come off as the p0arty of no they probably lose as well.  (remember shutting down government backfired on Newt).  Calling Obama as a socialist who wants to redistribute wealth while obviously true is not going to win swing voters.  Remember 50% pay no Federal income tax so they don't care about this.  Remember most union empolyees are very happy to have the rich pay into their pensions.  That is thus NOT a winning strategy.  The winner gets the swing voters.  The Republicans in my view must go beat the media trails everyday convincing why Obama has been bad for the US.  Unfortunately even that has risks too.  Remember how adept the Clintonites were in neutering the Repubs in the 90's?  Even when the Repubs would come out with good ideas that ring true Clinton would steal the idea and make it his own  - case in point - welfare reform.  He took and was gloriusly given all the credit for it by the MSM.  Even the Blacks were kissing his hand on the issue when indeed we all know it never would have happened without Republicans.  So Obama has checked the Repub party.  He could easily make it check mate.  He is not a genius.  The formula is already proven an written out for him.  All he has to do is follow the script.  There are many progressives around him who will keep him to it.

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann01.21.2011Share this article
On this, the second anniversary of his inauguration, President Obama is clearly showing a determination to change his image, replacing his hard left dogmatism with a seeming flexibility and openness to the views of the center. Will it work? Will it lead to his re-election? Are we only one-quarter of the way through a two term Obama presidency?

If the Republican Party wimp out and embraces a moderate agenda, trying to meet him in the middle, Obama will succeed and will be with us for six more years. But if the GOP defines itself in stark contrasts and pushes conservative policies, we will beat him. The key is to test Obama’s centrism by confronting him with bold demands to rollback health reform, undo his massive spending, deregulate community banks, enable state bankruptcies, and block pending executive orders to impose carbon taxes, card check unionization, and FCC regulation of talk radio and the Internet.

We have got to make the gentile and lulling waves of Obama’s new-found moderation crash up against the rocks of Republican demands. Then the leftist rib tide that lurks underneath the seemingly calm waters will be exposed and, in the ensuing surf, he will flounder.

Obama’s moderation is only tone deep. Its hallmarks have been the Daily appointment, his Tucson speech, his sham efforts at deregulation, and his forced acceptance of the Bush tax cuts. Now let’s see what he does with health care repeal, spending cuts, and the rest of the Republican agenda.

The Republican Study Committee proposal calling for $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over ten years is a great place to start. The GOP should take the key elements of it and tack them on to the debt limit increase bill and demand that Obama either sign the bill with the cuts or get no rise in the debt limit. As Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) suggested in a recent op-ed, the government can function without borrowing more for a few months. And during that time, let all of America debate whether or not to cut the budget. Let Obama be on display – day after day – pleading for more spending and borrowing. What will become of his centrism then?

The Study Committee proposal is especially brilliant in its avoidance of any cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Republicans squandered their momentum from Bush’s re-election in 2005 by pushing Social Security reform and won in 2010 by fighting Medicare cuts. To cut or “reform” either program right now would be a disaster. But when it comes to EPA, the Department of Education, Amtrak, the federal workforce, highway construction, public works, stimulus spending, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other non-defense discretionary spending – cut away!

The key to winning the election of 2012 is to force Obama to defend his agenda of 2009-2010 by demanding its repeal and rollback. Republicans need to make him spend 2011 and 2012 defending the programs that brought him down in 2010. And we must also enact budget riders blocking his attempts to jam through by executive orders (even as he postures about cutting federal regulation) carbon taxation, FCC regulation of talk radio, and card check unionization. These issues are all winners.

Obama hopes we forget his past liberalism. After all, in 1996, who remembered Hillarycare? Who voted against Clinton because of his 1993 tax hikes? Nobody. So we need to force these issues to the fore again in 2011 and 2012. We must make Obama run on his record of 2009-2010 by demanding its repeal and forcing him to fight again the same battles that cost him the House in 2010. That is the path to victory.****

3297  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / gangsterbamster on: January 24, 2011, 09:49:53 AM
It wouldn't surprise me that he includes some adorable soundbite in his con job speech tomorrow like "the era of big government is over".  That said the writing is on the wall.  But also thw swing voters will adore it tooth and nail:

Right off Drudge this morning. 
What a corrupt administration!

***Three SEIU Locals--Including Chicago Chapter--Waived From Obamacare Requirement
Monday, January 24, 2011
By Fred Lucas
( – Three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose political action committee spent $27 million supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, have received temporary waivers from a provision in the Obamacare law.

The three SEIU chapters include the Local 25 in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

The waivers allow health insurance plans to limit how much they will spend on a policy holder’s medical coverage for a given year. Under the new health care law, however, such annual limits are phased out by the year 2014. (Under HHS regulations, annual limits can be no less than $750,000 for 2011, no less than $1.25 million in 2012 and no less than $2 million in 2013.)

The SEIU, with more than 2 million members nationally, includes health care workers, janitors, security guards, and state and local government workers.

The three SEIU locals, covering a total of 36,064 enrollees, are covered by the federal waivers, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS gave a waiver to Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees on Oct. 1, 2010; to Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees on Oct. 10, 2010; and to the SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees on Nov. 15, 2010.

So far, the Obama administration has issued waivers to 222 entities, including businesses, unions and charitable organizations. Of that total, 45 were labor organizations.

A total of 1,507,418 enrollees are now included in the waivers. More than one-third -- 512,315 – of the enrollees affected were insured by union health plans.

SEIU Local 1199’s health plan put a $50,000 cap on medical expenses for its New Jersey nursing home workers, according to 1199 SEIU spokeswoman Leah Gonzalez. That’s $700,000 under the 2011 limit stipulated by HHS regulations.

In September, HHS announced it would grant waivers to employers to prevent some workers from losing their benefits if the insurer could not meet new health care law’s requirements on annual limits. The waivers are granted by HHS if the department determines “compliance with the interim final regulations would result in a significant decrease in access to benefits or a significant increase in premiums,” according to a Sept. 3 memo by Steve L. Larson, director of the HHS Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

Local 1199, SEIU's Greater New York Benefit Fund, requested the waiver specifically with respect to its separate plan for New Jersey members, according to Gonzalez. This waiver primarily affects low-wage New Jersey nursing home workers whose health care plan provides medical, hospital, prescription, dental and vision benefits.

The New Jersey members now have an annual maximum health care benefit of $50,000. Gonzalez said fewer than 1 percent of members have ever reached that cap, and that those members who did received additional help.

“The members’ health benefits are paid for by the employer and are negotiated through collective bargaining,” Gonzalez said in a written statement to “Several years ago, facing limited dollars from the employers for this small group, the members themselves chose how to shape their health plan to get the most out of their coverage.”

Gonzalez added that prescriptions are excluded from the cap. “For example, if a member maxes out from a hospital stay, she/he can continue to get their life-saving medications throughout the year while accessing alternative coverage at low-cost community clinics.”

Neither SEIU Local 25 nor Local 1, nor the national organization responded to’s request for comment.

The SEIU's Committee on Political Education made $27,829,845.91 in independent expenditures on Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. SEIU-affiliated groups in Illinois have long supported Obama’s campaigns and endorsed him for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004. In 2008, the national union backed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.***
3298  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: January 24, 2011, 09:40:48 AM
"Better yet, perhaps President Obama should take the lead."

Yeah right.

No Democrat will do this.  Federal, State, county or municipal level.

We the tax payers are being held hostage to government employee unions.

"President Obama, either unwilling, or perhaps unable"

What in Obama's history has EVER given the impression he is/was ever willing to do anything about this?  Why can we not call an ace of clubs and ace of clubs?
3299  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / cover-up complete on: January 22, 2011, 11:10:20 AM
Hawaii governor silenced and cover- up is now complete:

***Associated Press Mark Niesse, Associated Press – Sat Jan 22, 4:56 am ET
HONOLULU – A privacy law that shields birth certificates has prompted Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie to abandon efforts to dispel claims that President Barack Obama was born outside Hawaii, his office says.

State Attorney General David Louie told the governor that privacy laws bar him from disclosing an individual's birth documentation without the person's consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Friday.

"There is nothing more that Gov. Abercrombie can do within the law to produce a document," said Dela Cruz. "Unfortunately, there are conspirators who will continue to question the citizenship of our president."

Abercrombie, who was a friend of Obama's parents and knew him as a child, launched an investigation last month into whether he can release more information about the president's Aug. 4, 1961 birth. The governor said at the time he was bothered by people who questioned Obama's birthplace for political reasons.

But Abercrombie's attempt reached a dead end when Louie told him the law restricted his options.

Hawaii's privacy laws have long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who doesn't have a tangible interest.

So-called "birthers" claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there's no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya, his father's home country.

Hawaii's health director said in 2008 and 2009 that she had seen and verified Obama's original vital records, and birth notices in two Honolulu newspapers were published within days of Obama's birth at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo again confirmed Friday that Obama's name is found in its alphabetical list of names of people born in Hawaii, maintained in bound copies available for public view.

That information, called index data, shows a listing for "Obama II, Barack Hussein, Male," according to the department's website.

"The index is just to say who has their records within the department. That's an indication," Okubo said. "I can't talk about anyone's records."

The Obama campaign issued a certificate of live birth in 2008, an official document from the state showing the president's birth date, city and name, along with his parents' names and races.***

3300  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 21, 2011, 02:06:41 PM

Excellent post.

What is your take on "dreams *from* my father"?

I haven't read this book or D'Suza's book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage" but it is certainly curious Obama seems to take up the philosophy of his father who he may have never known and appears to have not cared one iota for the boy other than just sleeping with the white woman.

Yet Obamas grandparents who appear to have been good to him he throws under the bus as just a bunch of white people.

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