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3501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: September 11, 2013, 10:57:38 AM

In a way Putin did get Brock off the hook.  And why would he not want to?  Obama is the best President Russia has ever had.  Even better than Jimmy Carter - by far.  So yes.  It is in Russia's interest to keep the Bamster "revalantly" irrevalant (to invent a new phrase). 
3502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / the media shyster does it again on: September 11, 2013, 10:52:56 AM
"Obama delivered the clearest, the most concise and the most morally compelling foreign-policy address of his presidency.
This observation is not designed as cheerleading for Obama."

Me:   The problem is, Mr. Shapiro, once one is a known outright serial liar there is nothing one can say that has any credibility.  Just wait till Iran has a few dozen nuclear devices.  If you think we have trouble now just we wait.  And wait we are doing.

****Obama’s message on Syria: Look the other way or accept moral duty?

President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. President Obama blended the threat of military action with the hope of a diplomatic solution as he works to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

Walter Shapiro
Walter Shapiro 2 hours ago  PoliticsBarack ObamaSyria
As a long ago White House speechwriter (Jimmy Carter) and a devoted student of presidential rhetoric, I have spent the past 24 hours searching for a historical parallel to Barack Obama’s address to the nation on Syria.

We are used to presidential speeches on war (Vietnam, the Gulf War, the 9/11 horrors, Afghanistan, Iraq and the many smaller struggles along the way). Occasionally, we have reveled in presidents announcing breakthroughs for peace, whether it was the end of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis or the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian accords.

But never has a president — down in the polls and stymied in Congress — spoken to the nation in prime time about an unpopular attack that he may not launch against a nation that is not a direct security threat to the United States. Just to add to the degree of rhetorical difficulty, this punitive bombing lacks the support of the United Nations, NATO or even our most loyal ally, Great Britain.

But Tuesday night — after a day of diplomatic flurries that may have averted the immediate crisis — Obama delivered the clearest, the most concise and the most morally compelling foreign-policy address of his presidency.

This observation is not designed as cheerleading for Obama. The president blundered into the crisis with ill-thought-out threats about “red lines” over chemical weapons; he waited too long to go to Congress; and may have only been rescued when the Russians — up to now, Bashar Assad’s enabler — seized on what may have been an accidental comment by Secretary of State John Kerry.

In short, misjudgments by the Obama national security team have made the selling of an air war over Syria even more difficult than it otherwise would have been.

But in many ways, Obama redeemed himself Tuesday night with a powerful invocation of American exceptionalism. “When, with modest effort and risk,” the president said, “we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer in the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes America exceptional.”

Critics have suggested that since Obama has postponed congressional votes that he appeared likely to lose, the speech was a wasted interruption of prime-time programming. That interpretation is simply wrong. Ever since Obama decided to go to Congress for approval of what he regards as the least-bad policy in Syria, we have been treated to a fascinating preview of foreign policy debates in the age of social media.

In prior crises, the president’s meetings with leading figures in Congress have been shrouded in secrecy. Now there are endless live interviews and immediate Twitter feeds summarizing closed sessions. There has, in fact, been more transparency on Syria than on, say, the Obama-John Boehner budget negotiations.

..View gallery."
Syria - History of politics and conflict from 1920 …
March 8, 2005 - A Syrian soldier riding on top of a tank gestures after leaving his position, in Dah …

Maybe what we are seeing here is how foreign policy gets made in a post-Iraq environment. Even as the polling turned against Obama, the American people also expressed comfort with the notion that a president has to go to Congress for permission to bomb another country when American lives are not on the line. A recent Pew Research Center/USA Today poll found that 61 percent of Americans believe that Congress — not the president — needs to authorize air strikes over Damascus.

This is as it should be. Even though Obama has repeatedly said that he believes that he has the authority to act on his own, most constitutional experts from both the right and left say that it would be a dangerous over-assertion of presidential power.

Obama acknowledged the historic belittling of Congress’ constitutional powers in Tuesday night’s speech when he talked about “a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president … while sidelining the people’s representatives from critical decisions about when we use force.” Of course, Obama himself contributed to this dangerous growth of the Imperial Presidency when he declined to go to Congress for authorization to wage the 2011 air campaign over Libya.

But Obama now has turned to Congress — and set an important precedent for the future. As he put it, “I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take the debate to Congress.”

As a result, we are discussing Syria in the open with all the messiness that comes with democracy. Advocates of unbridled presidential power may not like it, but this approach comes a lot closer to what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.

We have also learned in recent days that the American people are rightly skeptical of military operations solely designed to make a point. That’s why the hardest argument for Obama to make is explaining the national security benefits that would flow from an air strike designed “to deter Assad from using chemical weapons” and “to degrade his regime’s ability to use them.”

“Deter” and “degrade” are not normally fighting words. And once again Tuesday night, Obama repeated his promise, “I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.” In fact, the pledge of no boots on the ground has been made so often by administration officials that it almost seems that we are more likely to invade Denmark than Syria.

Hypotheticals are always tricky, but I wonder how the American people might have reacted if Obama had ever followed through on his initial resolve that Bashar Assad must go. There was a hopeful moment, back in 2011, when Islamic militants represented only a small portion of the uprising against Assad. Even then our aversion to foreign military operations probably would have prevented majority support for actively aiding the Syrian rebels. But that goal would have, at least, given a strategic coherence to what Obama and Company were trying to achieve.

But no American should minimize the barbarism of chemical weapons. In a world where civil wars are raging and terrorism is an ongoing threat, it may seem prissy to talk about the rules of war. But the horrors of a chemical warfare attack are a century old. Wilfred Owen, the British poet who died in the final week of World War I, captured the soldier’s-eye memories of a gas attack:

.Crisis In Syria: Presidential Address to the Natio ….Play video."
Crisis In Syria: Presidential Address to the Natio …
“Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling and stumbling,

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…”

The truth is that we are by choice and by fate the only nation in the world that can enforce the rules of war and, yes, take steps to prevent atrocities. It was our decision as a people to remain the greatest military power on the face of the earth both after World War II and the American victory in the Cold War. We have become the indispensable nation, and the other countries of the world are free riders when we offer to take the risks and bear the burden of preventing a dictator from gassing his own people.

After Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans are understandably war weary and gimlet-eyed realists about what can happen when the pronouncements of politicians collide with the realities of 21st-century combat. There are no slam-dunks and not everything that starts “limited” ends up “limited.”

But we also can go too far in the other direction as we flee from any course of action that has even the flicker of military risks. Syria is a charnel house, an inferno of despair — and America is the only nation on the face of the earth that can do anything significant to limit the suffering.

After our history of ill-fated wars and hyperbolic claims, we may not choose to take up that burden. We may decide that our problems are too grave at home for another bout of international altruism. We may decide that the evidence of Syrian chemical attacks is too ambiguous, or we may distrust Obama too much to believe that a military operation would change things for the better.

But no American should be blind to the reality that we have made a choice. We have decided to stay on the sidelines and hope for the best. Hope that maybe a United Nations resolution or Russian intervention or Syrian fears can succeed in eliminating Assad’s chemical arsenal.

As Obama declared Tuesday night, “When dictators commit atrocities, they depend on the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory.”

This is the choice facing America this morning: Do we avert our eyes or do we sadly and grimly accept our moral duty?****
3503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sweden on: September 08, 2013, 01:15:14 PM
Fareed "the" Zakaria was touting Sweden today as a capitalistic model for America, and Obama should learn from his visit there.   cheesy

Ironic Obama's Harvard pal whose network programs appear to be coordinated with the WH propaganda talking points is now touting a country that has turned right and moved away to some extent from socialism.   Yes it is doing better.  wink

Why doesn't he just tacitly admit the left is wrong.  wink

3504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It's "It's the Jews" again on: September 08, 2013, 01:10:47 PM
I was waiting for this.  It's about the Israel lobby.  It's the Jews again:

"The dirty little not-so-secret behind President Obama’s much-lobbied-for, illegal and strategically incompetent war against Syria is that it’s not about Syria at all. It’s about Iran—and Israel. And it has been from the start."

Quite the contrary Dreyfus.  Obama has done everything he can to do the opposite from the "Israel" lobby.

****Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

News of America's misadventures in foreign policy and defense.

Obama's Syria War Is Really About Iran and Israel

Bob Dreyfuss on September 5, 2013 - 12:25 PM ET

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The dirty little not-so-secret behind President Obama’s much-lobbied-for, illegal and strategically incompetent war against Syria is that it’s not about Syria at all. It’s about Iran—and Israel. And it has been from the start.

By “the start,” I mean 2011, when the Obama administration gradually became convinced that it could deal Iran a mortal blow by toppling President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a secular, Baathist strongman who is, despite all, an ally of Iran’s. Since then, taking Iran down a peg has been the driving force behind Obama’s Syria policy.

Not coincidentally, the White House plans to scare members of Congress into supporting the ill-conceived war plan by waving the Iranian flag in their faces. Even liberal Democrats, some of whom are opposing or questioning war with Syria, blanch at the prospect of opposing Obama and the Israel lobby over Iran.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

Item for consideration: a new column by the Syria analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the chief think tank of the Israel lobby. Andrew Tabler headlines his piece: “Attacking Syria Is the Best Way to Deal with Iran.” In it, he says:

At first glance, the festering Syria crisis seems bad news for diplomatic efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear capabilities. In actuality, however, achieving U.S. objectives in the Syria crisis is an opportunity to pressure Iran into making hard choices not only in Syria, but regarding its nuclear program as well. More U.S. involvement to achieve its objectives in Syria will inevitably run counter to Tehran’s interests, be it to punish the Assad regime for chemical weapons use or to show support for the Syrian opposition in changing Assad’s calculus and forcing him to “step aside” at the negotiating table or on the battlefield.

Many in U.S. policymaking circles have viewed containing swelling Iranian influence in Syria and preventing Iran from going nuclear as two distinct policy discussions, as the Obama Administration only has so much “bandwidth” to deal with Middle East threats. But the recent deepening of cooperation between Tehran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime, combined with their public acknowledgement of these activities, indicates that they themselves see these activities as furthering the efficacy of the “resistance axis.”

Like every alliance, its members will only make hard policy choices if the costs of its current policies far outweigh the benefits. U.S. strikes on the Assad regime, if properly calibrated as part of an overall plan to degrade the regime, would force Tehran to become more involved in Syria in order to rescue its stalwart ally. This would be costly for Iran financially, militarily and politically. Those costs would make the Iranian regime and its people reassess aspirations to go nuclear.

Needless to say, such a strategy is bound to be counterproductive, since—by slamming Syria, never mind toppling Assad—Washington is likely to undermine doves and bolster hawks in Tehran and undermine the chances for successful negotiations with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, who’ll be speaking at the UN General Assembly later this month.

In fact, both Russia and Iran have signaled recently, in the wake of Syria’s obvious deployment and use of sarin gas and other deadly weapons that they might be getting ready to join the rest of the world in condemning Syria’s chemical warfare, and that makes it far more likely that the much-postponed US-Russia “Geneva II” peace conference on Syria might work. The hawkish Washington Post today notes Rouhani’s new administration in Tehran is softening its tone on Syria, and it reports that the new Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has acknowledged the Syria has erred, saying: “We believe that the government in Syria has made grave mistakes that have, unfortunately, paved the way for the situation in the country to be abused.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, while issuing scathing denunciations of the coming U.S. attack on Syria, has dropped broad hints that he might be willing to join with other nations if and when the United Nations weapons team concludes that Assad used nerve gas, suggesting that Russia might not block a UN Security Council resolution against Syria. In his much-reported interview with the Associated Press, Putin insisted on waiting for the UN report:

“If there is evidence that chemical weapons have been used, and used specifically by the regular army, this evidence should be submitted to the U.N. Security Council. And it ought to be convincing. It shouldn’t be based on some rumors and information obtained by intelligence agencies through some kind of eavesdropping, some conversations and things like that.”

Then, according to the Washington Post, Putin declared that he might join a UN-sponsored coalition on Syria:

He said he “doesn’t exclude” backing the use of force against Syria at the United Nations if there is objective evidence proving that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against its people. But he strongly warned Washington against launching military action without U.N. approval, saying it would represent an aggression. Russia can veto resolutions at the U.N. Security Council and has protected Syria from punitive actions there before.

But a change in tone on the part of Russia and Iran—the latter of whom the Obama administration still refuses to invite to Geneva II if and when it occurs—won’t mean a thing if the object of war with Syria is to send a message to Iran. As Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for Bloomberg, says, for Israel it’s all about Iran:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel would prefer that Obama enforce his red line on chemical weapons use, because he would like to see proof that Obama believes in the red lines he draws. From Netanyahu’s perspective, Israel isn’t unduly threatened by Assad. Syria constitutes a dangerous, but ultimately manageable, threat.

Netanyahu believes, of course, that Iran, Syria’s primary sponsor, poses an existential threat to his country, and so would like the Iranians to understand very clearly that Obama’s red lines are, in fact, very red. As Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told me last night, the formula is simple: “If the Iranians do not fear Obama, then the Israelis will lose confidence in Obama.”

In his round-robin television appearances on Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry—now the administration’s über-hawk—repeatedly said that bombing Syria would send a message to Iran. As he told Fox News on Sunday:

“The fact is that if we act and if we act in concert, then Iran will know that this nation is capable of speaking with one voice on something like this, and that has serious, profound implications, I think, with respect to the potential of a confrontation over their nuclear program. That is one of the things that is at stake here.”****
3505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rep. King to run on: September 08, 2013, 12:20:05 PM
Rep. Peter King Announces 2016 Run For President

King Is First Republican To Toss Hat In Ring

September 8, 2013 8:26 AM

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Rep. Peter King

Rep. Peter King. (file/credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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2016 election, Congress, Long Island, New Hampshire, presidential run, Rep. Peter King   
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Long Island Congressman Peter King has thrown his hat in the 2016 presidential ring.

King is the first Republican to announce he’s running.

The congressman currently serving his 11th term announced his candidacy on a New Hampshire radio station on Friday during a visit to the state.

New Hampshire historically holds the first primary in the nation.
3506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Can Congress legislate ethics rules for the Supreme Court? on: September 08, 2013, 12:12:58 PM
Judicial ethics and Supreme Court exceptionalism

National Constitution Center
Amanda Frost August 15, 2013 10:00 AM  Politics

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt selected by Professor Frost from her full 49-page research paper. The paper is available at the Social Science Research Network (registration is required) at

In his mild-mannered way, Chief Justice John Roberts has set the stage for a constitutional conflict between Congress and the Supreme Court.  Roberts’ 2011 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary focused on judicial ethics, a subject that has been much in the news lately.

In the course of that year, several of the Justices were publicly criticized for their alleged involvement in political fundraisers;  acceptance of gifts  and travel expenses paid for by groups with political viewpoints; failure to report a spouse’s employment; and, most controversially, refusal to recuse themselves from the constitutional challenges to the health care reform legislation despite alleged conflicts of interest.

Existing laws already cover some of this claimed misconduct, and the spate of negative publicity inspired the introduction of new federal legislation that would further regulate the Justices’ behavior.

Roberts’ Year-End Report acknowledged these accusations of impropriety, as well as the legal framework that governs in this area.  Then, in a shot across Congress’s bow, he stated that the Court had “never addressed” Congress’s constitutional authority to prescribe ethics rules for the Supreme Court—which many took to be a broad hint that, at least in the Chief Justice’s view, Congress lacks that authority.

To be sure, the Chief Justice was careful to note that his “judicial responsibilities preclude [him] from commenting on any ongoing debates about particular issues or the constitutionality of any enacted legislation or pending proposals.”

But he went on to say that the “Court has never addressed whether Congress may impose [ethical] requirements on the Supreme Court,” and noted that the constitutionality of the recusal statute in particular has “never been tested.”  With those words, Roberts put the nation on notice that Congress’s authority to regulate the Justices’ ethical conduct is an open question.

The Chief Justice’s Report raises serious questions about the constitutional status of existing ethics legislation, as well as the Supreme Court Justices’ willingness to abide by laws that at least some of them may consider to be invalid, and thus non-binding.

Currently, federal legislation requires that the Justices recuse themselves from cases in which they have a conflict of interest, mandates that they file annual reports in which they publicly disclose many aspects of their finances, and bars them from accepting money for most outside employment.

Although the Justices appear to follow these laws, the Chief Justice’s Report suggested that he is not sure they have to.

His comments also cast doubt on the constitutionality of the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2013, which was recently introduced by Representative Louise Slaughter and Senators Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal, and Sheldon Whitehouse.  Although the Chief Justice’s Report has provoked vociferous responses from those on either side of the issue, thus far there has been little academic analysis of the constitutional issues involved.

Although the Constitution requires that there be a Supreme Court, it did not make that institution self-executing, nor did it give the Court the power to control its internal operating rules, as it does for the House and Senate.

Thus, Congress is authorized—perhaps even required—to enact legislation implementing the judicial power under its Article I authority to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution . . . all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States.”

For example, vital matters such as the Court’s size, the dates of its sessions, and quorum requirements are absent from the Constitution, and thus have always been controlled by federal legislation.

Indeed, a federal statute requires that each newly confirmed Justice “solemnly swear” that she will “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich” before taking her place on the Court.

Ethics statutes, which promote the effective and legitimate exercise of the “judicial power,” thus must be understood as part and parcel of Congress’s broader power to establish the federal courts and control judicial administration.

That said, Congress’s power to regulate the Supreme Court’s ethical conduct is limited by separation of powers concerns and the need to preserve judicial independence.

Federal legislation, whether it concerns ethics or other aspects of judicial administration, cannot seek to control the outcome of pending cases.

Congress would obviously be well outside its constitutional authority, for example, if it enacted a law providing that all Justices appointed by a Republican president must recuse themselves from cases challenging the constitutionality of federal legislation.

In short, ethics legislation cannot be used to control the content of judicial decisions, or to penalize the Justices for their decisions in previous matters.

Finally, Congress must take care to preserve the Supreme Court’s constitutional status as the head of the judicial branch.

The Supreme Court is the only constitutionally required court, and the Constitution specifies that the lower courts are “inferior to” the Supreme Court.

Thus, it is constitutionally questionable whether Congress could, by statute, alter the judicial hierarchy by giving lower court judges the power to force a Justice to recuse him or herself, or penalize a Justice for an ethical violation.

However, none of the existing ethics statutes give the lower courts any such authority over the Supreme Court, or otherwise threaten its role at the head of the federal judiciary.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s special constitutional status does not insulate the Justices from regulation of their ethical behavior—after all, Congress has enacted similar statutes affecting the President and Vice-President of the United States without causing any constitutional crisis.

In sum, Congress has considerable leeway to regulate the Justices’ ethical conduct, just as it has exercised authority to decide other vital administrative matters for the Court, as long as it does not interfere with the Court’s decisional independence or the Court’s role as the head of the third branch of government.

Constitutional questions are frequently raised by opponents of legislation seeking to regulate the Justices’ ethical conduct, distracting from the policy questions that are also worthy of debate.

Hopefully, the above discussion (and the full essay at SSRN) will help to clear away the obstacles that have too often prevented a full and frank discussion of whether the benefits of such legislation outweigh the costs.

Amanda Frost is a professor of law at American University’s Washington College of Law. She writes and teaches in the fields of federal courts, civil procedure, statutory interpretation, judicial ethics, and transparency in government.

3507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: September 08, 2013, 12:00:51 PM
I don't believe for one second that there were not capable military in the area that could have gotten there in time.  Of course no one new in advance there would be ample time but military personnel could have been dispatched immediately upon calls for help.

It is also clear that Stevens was specifically picked to be sent to his post by you guessed it:  Clinton.

And she left him there to die for her political career.

And we should trust her or Brock who will put their political reputation above lives?  Did anyone think Reagan or either Bush would even dream of that?
3508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 08, 2013, 11:55:21 AM
Watching the talking head cable shows this AM has slews of arguments for military action.  Every single one is illogical and basically is so confusing one can only conclude we should not get involved.

Just face it.  One cannot predict the outcome of war or guarantee results.

You go to war to defeat an enemy.  Not to manage outcomes around the world.

Now Drudge is suggesting Brock, Nobel peace winner is going to tie Syria to Iran.   All of sudden he is in a political jam and NOW he makes a case for action against an Iranian proxy?

This rational is even more crazy.

I don't believe the ineptitude.   This is all about the ONE.
3509  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: September 08, 2013, 11:48:40 AM
Amazing post Doug.

Not a freaking peep from MSM.

I get Scientific American and nearly every article about everything somehow has references to man made "climate change".

They refuse to admit, maybe just maybe they are wrong.

The left never does.
3510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Australia on: September 07, 2013, 02:33:00 PM
The World Turns

By  Mark Steyn

September 7, 2013 7:57 AM

 A few moments ago, Kevin Rudd conceded, so, in a day or two, after the usual prompt eviction that occurs under the Westminster system, Tony Abbott will become Australia’s Prime Minister. I’d like to second John O’Sullivan’s wise words on Mr Abbott’s conservatism: we’re not talking about a Cameronesque trimmer and opportunist here.*

If you’re interested, here’s me with the new Aussie PM (and Britain’s Dan Hannan) in Melbourne last year. I was the warm-up act, so, after I’d chilled down the room with my usual doom-mongering, it fell to the then Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to restore jollity and optimism, which he did brilliantly – and extemporaneously. He has a confident swagger when he walks up to a podium – he enjoys the rough and tumble of politics, and he’s a natural at it. I remember wishing the GOP could produce a few more chaps like that, instead of risk-averse over-managed money guys who can afford to buy up the previous loser’s most expensive consultants.

But I digress. Here’s the campaign video of Bill Glasson, the world’s second most famous political ophthalmologist (after Bashar Assad), who ran against outgoing PM Kevin Rudd by channeling Les Miz. My old pal Julie Bishop, Australia’s new Deputy Prime Minister, has a stirring, emotionally harrowing cameo.

*(although, even by that dismal standard, it’s worth noting that Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Britain now all have prime ministers to the right of the US president. That’s a kind of American exceptionalism the world could do without.)


3511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This post makes my day on: September 07, 2013, 07:12:36 AM
I really am laughing "out loud".

Keep it up and I may be able to survive three and a quarter more years - though I don't know about the country.

At least if we were going to have a nerd as CiC it should have been an IT/CEO stud like a Gates, or Ellison.  Then we could have had a "Revenge of the Nerds 3" with them beating the heck out of Putin.

Thanks CD!
3512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: September 06, 2013, 11:01:28 PM
Obama is completely wrong and a fool.

The tides of war are not receding.  They are accelerating.  The good and the bad of the human race is on full display on the internet.  Nothing has changed.  Just becoming more plain and transparant to see.  The endless battle between good and evil.  The need for encryption.  The need to break encryption.   The need to prevent breaking encryption.   It never ends.  It is becoming as mind boggling as the the universe.

3513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Caution. rated X on: September 06, 2013, 08:17:33 AM
Should this go under humor?  Watch for the Huma and Anthony divorce announcement shortly after the election.  I still say it was absolutely no coincidence that he tanked in NYC polls only after comparisons were being made to Hillary Bill.   The machine went to work and he is cast adrift.   He could get a job as host to one of those LA comedy clubs. 

In any case, Carlos' dagger:
3514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 04, 2013, 10:12:46 PM
I watched morning schmo this AM and he interviewed some Benghazi author and the interview was very similar to this.  No mention whatsoever about the pre election cover up by Obama and Hillary and outright deception and lying to America for their political cover.  Not a peep.  Just that nothing in retrospect was done wrong in the events that led to the attack.  Just that it is always easy in hindsight to retrospectively go back and find warning signs.   Unbelievable.  Then to sound really adorable they all croon (including Schmo) about the bravery and courage of those who were left to be murdered by those at the top (and yes, "we are here for a higher calling was a phrase used in 1975 and thus was no biggie that was used again this time).   I know Americans see this but bottom line is their pocketbooks.

*****CBS Highlights Benghazi Anniversary; Fails to Mention Obama and Hillary By Name

Published: 9/3/2013 5:54 PM ET

Subscribe to Matthew Balan

By Matthew Balan

Tuesday's CBS This Morning spotlighted the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Islamist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, but whitewashed the role of President Obama and his administration, including that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King didn't once mention Obama or Clinton's name during an interview segment with author Fred Burton.

 In his new book, Burton revealed that "an unidentified security official in the Benghazi compound...messaged the U.S. embassy in Tripoli: 'Benghazi under fire, terrorist attack.'" However, Rose only vaguely referenced the White House's now-discredited talking point about the terrorist attack: "Does this book and your understanding of it suggest that everybody knew it was a planned attack, and not a surprise arising out of a protest?" [audio available here; video below]

 The three anchors brought on the former diplomatic security agent to discuss "Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi". In her first question, King played up how her guest wrote, "'In this situation, there's no right or wrong decision – just the issue of reaction and survival.' So, really, take us inside that day – what happened day – these really young guys."

Burton replied, "I think the politics of this story have been put over the top, and what I wanted focus on, Gayle, was the heroism of the agents...on the ground, in this very difficult environment, trying to do the best they possibly could, based upon the circumstances that were unfolding."

 King followed up with her own vague reference to the Obama administration's early talking point that the Benghazi attack was an impromptu reaction to an obscure anti-Muhammad YouTube video: "You point out this was not a ragtag team that came into the embassy that day. You said they were methodical, and they were systematic. These guys knew what they were doing."

Norah O'Donnell couldn't bring herself to use the President's name when she asked her sole question about the manhunt for the perpetrators of the terrorist attack. Instead, she used a general pronoun in reference to the United States:

NORAH O'DONNELL: It is almost a one year later since this attack happened and these four Americans were killed. And yet, those responsible are still on the loose. Why haven't we been able to catch them? What do you believe is behind the hunt for them, and why they've been so elusive?

Near the end of the end of the segment, Rose raised the issue of whether the incident was a "planned attack and not a surprise", but like his colleagues, didn't specifically mention that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had claimed that the assault was a "spontaneous - not a pre-meditated response" eight days later on several Sunday morning shows. CBS senior correspondent John Miller also hinted that Ambassador Chris Stevens was partially at fault:

JOHN MILLER: ...[Y]ou've got an ambassador who wants to travel. It's September 11th. It's a symbolic day for threats. And this is very typical of the Diplomatic Security Service. They're a small agency with...a very limited number of people covering 450 outposts. And usually, there is (sic) two of them – or just a handful – in a high-threat place to cover a threat like that. When the ambassador says, I want to go from Tripoli to Benghazi, nobody gets to say, well, sir, that's a bad day for that. We can't let you do that. They just mount up and go. And this is part of that story.

Exactly three weeks earlier, on the August 13, 2013 edition of CBS This Morning, correspondent John Blackstone boosted Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential run, and minimized the ongoing questions about her leadership before, during, and after the attack in Benghazi. For opposition, Blackstone merely noted that "a new ad, just released by the GOP, criticizes Clinton's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi", without further explaining the issue.

The full transcript of the Fred Burton segment from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

NORAH O'DONNELL: Next week marks the first anniversary of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

[CBS News Graphic: "Inside Benghazi: Book Details Deadly U.S. Consulate Attack"]

GAYLE KING: For the first time, we hear from the agents assigned to protect Stevens in a new book detailing the assault. It's called 'Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi'. It's written by Fred Burton. He is a former diplomatic security agent, and a former State Department counter-terrorism deputy chief. He joins us, along with our senior correspondent – that would be John Miller, who's a former assistant FBI director. Good to see you both.

Fred Burton. I have to start with you, because I was on plane for ten hours yesterday, and I read your book from cover to cover-


KING: I have to say, I bugged the guy next to me – let me read you this part; let me read you this part. You know this job. You've done this job, so you how these guys were feeling. And at one point, you said, 'In this situation, there's no right or wrong decision – just the issue of reaction and survival.' So, really, take us inside that day – what happened that day – these really young guys.

BURTON: I think the politics of this story are – have been put over the top, and what I wanted focus on, Gayle, was the – the heroism of the agents – that were all very young – on the ground, in this very difficult environment, trying to do the best they possibly could, based upon the circumstances that were unfolding.

KING: But you point out this was not a ragtag team that came – came into the embassy that day. You said they were methodical, and they were systematic. These guys knew what they were doing.

BURTON: Absolutely. It was a very choreographed attack on the temporary facility, which was not up to physical security standards; which, obviously, has been discussed, as a result of the follow-on accountability review board by the State Department. But in essence, this is what diplomatic security service agents do. I investigated the last U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty in 1988, which was Ambassador Arnie Raphel. He perished aboard Pak-1, which was the aircraft which killed the president of Pakistan. And I was all of about 24, 25-years-old at the time, and I remember just being greatly overwhelmed by circumstances. And I certainly didn't have the experience in my – in my mind, to do the job that – that it would have been a different story today if I'd gone out to do the same kind of case.

O'DONNELL: It is almost a one year later since this attack happened and these four Americans were killed. And yet, those responsible are still on the loose. Why haven't we been able to catch them? What do you believe is behind the hunt for them, and why they've been so elusive?

BURTON: Well, I personally don't believe that anybody will ever be captured and brought into a court of law to be prosecuted for this. I think the most probable outcome will be some sort of Predator drone strike on the suspects identified. It's a very hostile environment. There is no infrastructure in place, Norah, to capture these individuals. The Libyans do not have a FBI or a CIA, per se. This is a country that is like the wild, wild West-

O'DONNELL: Sure, sure-

CHARLIE ROSE: You talk about the politics of all this. But does this book and your understanding of it suggest that everybody knew it was a planned attack, and not a surprise arising out of a protest?

BURTON: Well, you look at this case, Charlie. What you have is the moment that the first round was fired, the agents that were there knew absolutely that this was a terrorist attack. That was the only outcome that they were dealing with at the moment-

ROSE: Right-

BURTON: Remember, that the counter-terrorism community is really not geared for decisions to be made at the highest level. So, there's a process that's in play; notifications are made; and, in essence, you have to have good contingency plans, so you have an appropriate response at that period of time.

KING: John what were the lessons learned in Benghazi, do you think, that will help protect other diplomats?

JOHN MILLER: Well, there's the formal essence, which will come out from the review board; and there are the informal lessons, and one of the reminders is that the ambassador is 'god'. And that is, you know, when you're in a hostile environment – the ambassador was popular there, and had operated in Benghazi before. But you've got a security package that is shrinking, and you've got an ambassador who wants to travel. It's September 11th. It's a symbolic day for threats. And this is very – this is very typical of the Diplomatic Security Service. They're a small agency with – with, you know, a very limited number of people covering 450 outposts. And usually, there is (sic) two of them – or just a handful – in a high-threat place to cover a threat like that. When the ambassador says, I want to go from Tripoli to Benghazi, nobody gets to say, well, sir, that's a bad day for that. We can't let you do that-

KING: Yes, yes-

MILLER: They just mount up and go. And this is part of that story.

KING: And the most touching thing was to remember Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty. We'll be right back.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.******
3515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politically (In)correct on: September 04, 2013, 09:26:03 PM
We got Lebron James!

We also got the best gardeners in the world!

Take that China!
3516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: September 04, 2013, 11:44:29 AM
Well his point is it would be cheaper.

Save students money.

Your point well taken. 

Can you imagine a nation of millions more lawyers?

Has anyone studied the fact that most politicians are lawyers and the connection with ever expanding legislations and government?

I suspect there is a huge connection or correlation.
3517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 04, 2013, 11:39:44 AM
CD asks,

"Then campaign on stopping Iran from getting finished nuclear weapons."

Care to flesh that out?

*** On 2d thought.... maybe would not be a good campaign issue....

One a loser issue -

Two telegraphs intentions -
Yet I agree with the Rachel's post that this should be the goal.

Their should be consistent honest up front strong positions by any Republican candidate on this.  OTOH by 2016 it sounds like it will be too late.  Iran will have nucs and try doing something then...

If one thinks it crazy now forget about it then.  Iran will dominate the Mideast.   

It sounds like this is what Israel analysts think.
3518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chinese style "colonialism" in Africa on: September 04, 2013, 11:31:02 AM
Yahoo! News
As Africa welcomes more Chinese factories, a new wariness sets in

In Congo, Chinese are settling in with businesses and bargains that locals love. But at a giant copper smelting plant, Chinese and locals work together but live apart.

Christian Science Monitor
Jacob Kushner 2 hours ago 
Some 6,000 miles away from his home in China, Robin Wei awakes on a cot beneath a white mosquito net. He gets dressed, opens the door of his bunker, and walks out into the rainy season toward the factory where he works.

Four years ago, Mr. Wei bade goodbye to his wife and daughter in Shanghai and boarded a flight to the heart of Congo's mineral belt. He lives and works at a Chinese-owned smelting plant that extracts copper from the rich ore, which is then sold for wire and pipes that go into building skyscrapers and cargo ships.

Congo also holds nearly half the world's known reserves of cobalt. It has vast reserves of high-grade copper, tantalum, and tin. Just 10 years ago, a ton of copper could fetch $1,700 on the world market. Today it goes for about $8,000.

Wei is one of hundreds of thousands of Chinese men and women – as many as 1 million by some estimates – who, at least for now, call Africa home. (Wei goes home to visit his wife and daughter once a year.) China has been investing heavily in Africa for more than a decade, and both China and its migrants are in what could be called a settling-in period as the story of a fast-growing Africa and a rising China unfolds.

Congo is increasingly influenced by the penetration of all things Chinese, and that in turn is bringing high hopes for development.

But it is also raising wariness here that Africa's new benefactor may sometimes be driven by the same self-interested motives as the Western nations that preceded it in the colonial and postcolonial periods.

Like most Chinese here, Wei lives a separate life, socializing exclusively with his Chinese co-workers except for an occasional foray down the street to buy groceries and exchange pleasantries with a Congolese street vendor.

Yet to the Congolese, the Chinese have increasingly become a necessary part of everyday life. To buy a cellphone, people go to Chinese electronics shops that offer knock-off Blackberry models at a third of the market price. When people want to enjoy a soccer game, they take a seat in the bleachers at Kinshasa's "Martyrs Stadium," a gift from China in 1993. A drive through downtown Kinshasa runs along a grand central boulevard, newly widened and repaved by a Chinese construction company.

Down the road from Wei's copper-smelting plant in the town of Lubumbashi, a Chinese doctor treats Congolese and Chinese patients with a combination of modern pharmaceuticals and ancient Chinese acupuncture. Grocery stores sell Chinese rice and sauces; there is even a Chinese casino.

Many Africans have welcomed Chinese migrants and their businesses. In a 2009 survey of 250 people in nine African countries, three-quarters said the Chinese way was a "very positive" or "somewhat positive" model of development.

Increasingly that Chinese model is defined by huge deals in which Chinese companies mine minerals or extract oil and build needed infrastructure for the African nation, often using Chinese skilled labor to do so.

The rising price of copper, for example, has prompted two Chinese state-owned companies to open the largest mine Congo has ever seen. In exchange for the rights to mine potentially billions of dollars' worth of copper for more than two decades, these companies are spending $3 billion upfront to build roads, bridges, and hospitals in Congo.

The Chinese are replicating this minerals-for-infrastructure model in other African countries, notably Zimbabwe, Guinea, and Angola. In 2009, China surpassed the United States as Africa's largest trading partner.

That China has moved 600 million people out of poverty over the past 35 years is a source of admiration for some African elites.

When asked in a different survey which model of development offers more promise for Africa's future – the Western one, which tends to keep private business separate from infrastructure that is considered "aid," or the Chinese model, which blends the two – Africans responded overwhelmingly with the latter. Many see China as more welcoming than the US. Twice a week, a line forms outside the Chinese Embassy in Kinshasa as Congolese students and businessmen arrive to apply for visas to work or study in China. They say it's far easier to get a visa to go there than to the US.

As relations deepen, however, a wider rift is opening between Chinese and Congolese at the workplace. Congo's leaders laud Chinese investors for creating jobs. But some here note that large Chinese companies often employ Chinese workers to do jobs that could easily be done by Congolese. Even Congolese who do get hired by Chinese companies may find their high expectations dashed.

On a rainy morning in Kinshasa, a group of Congolese men huddle under the overhang of a tin roof. The men are employed by the China Railway Engineering Corp. (CREC), a large construction company that is widening and paving the road that connects Kinshasa's airport to its downtown.

The men have been hired to dig trenches, direct traffic, and carry supplies, for which they earn $65 per month, just slightly above the minimum wage here.

The workers say they hardly interact at all with their Chinese managers. They eat and live separately from them. And they say most Chinese don't learn the local languages, French and Lingala, making conversation impossible. The men dress in street clothes because CREC doesn't provide them with uniforms.

"They don't give us boots or helmets. We work like this," says Maba Litile, pointing to the sandals he's wearing. "We work really hard, but the money is too little. If I found another job, I'd leave."

Far away on the outskirts of a mining town called Kolwezi, men, women, and often children spend their days digging with picks and shovels for bits of copper ore. Each week they push bicycles and wheelbarrows laden with bags of those rocks to sell to the Chinese.

In a riverbed that runs through town, Kayenda washes and cleans a batch of rocks before selling them. Like most Kolwezi miners, Kayenda says she's grateful to the Chinese for providing a means by which her family can earn an income. But also like many, she resents that the Chinese are getting rich off her hard work and her nation's minerals. "The way they are helping is giving jobs, but also they are stealing from us," she says.

Some see China as merely the newest player in a centuries-old pattern of foreign powers coming to make their fortunes from Congo's natural resources.

In theory, Congo should be rich, given its vast mineral wealth. But one wouldn't know it by looking at how the majority of Congo's 76 million people live. Rural families sleep in huts that flood when it rains. Only 4 percent have electricity.

Life in cities can also be bleak, as urbanites hustle to earn enough income to subsist. Despite its resources, Congo is the least developed country in the world, and it is also the world's most unlikely place for an individual to improve his or her livelihood, according to the United Nations.

It is hardly lost on Congolese that billions of Western aid and investment dollars have not alleviated Congo's poverty. Some say the West has had its chance. Yet the question of whether China will improve life in Congo more than did the investors who came before it remains unanswered.

On a rainy morning back at the copper-smelting factory where Wei works, a group of muscular Congolese men swing sledgehammers over their heads, then bring them crashing down upon black boulders. More men enter the machinery yard through a metal gate.

"Congolese, they really don't have a sense of time and distance. They're supposed to work at 7:30 but they come at 8 or 8:10 or 8:20," says Wei, who seems more intrigued than concerned.

Behind them, the three-story furnace melts the ore into copper lava, sending dust particles into the air. After an hour of watching rocks transform into molten copper, it becomes impossible to take a full breath without a burning sensation in the lungs. Yet only the few Congolese workers who handle the molten copper are given protective face masks.

All week, Wei and his Chinese colleagues work side by side with the Congolese men. As is typical for first-generation Chinese abroad, they eat only Chinese food while their Congolese employees place a pot atop the hot copper at the factory to cook cassava flour – a traditional East African lunch.

But on the weekends, Chinese workers struggle to feel at home in a place that remains largely foreign to them. Wei is one of only a few who speak the local languages. Some of Wei's Chinese co-workers say they have come seeking adventure. They are often new college graduates who face scarce job prospects at home, or they are leaving jobs in China to earn more money in Africa.

But in reality, Wei's co-workers tend to stay isolated from Congolese society altogether, rarely venturing beyond the concrete walls of the smelting complex. They spend their weekends tending gardens planted with Chinese vegetables, playing table tennis, and singing karaoke. Many are simply reconstructing their lives in China, here.

For many, China's influence in Congo will depend upon whether the Chinese stick around.

Some Chinese have lived here for more than a decade and intend to stay. But the business that brings so many Chinese migrants to Congo today could one day lure them away again as opportunities arise in other places. Whether the Chinese will be transient or put down roots here in Congo remains to be seen.

•This story was adapted from the new e-book "China's Congo Plan." Reporting was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

3519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / length of professional education on: September 04, 2013, 11:07:45 AM
Obama is calling for law school to be two years not three.  What do any of our legal contributors think?

I really have no knowledge in this area and no opinion.

Some are calling for radical overhaul of medical education too.  For example get rid of much of the basic sciences.  Some procedures could be done by non doctors etc.

3520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / war powers act on: September 04, 2013, 11:04:10 AM
There is a lot of very poor logic hear but some food for thought:

National Journal
Michael Hirsh September 2, 2013  PoliticsBarack Obama Syria

World War II began 74 years ago Sunday when German troops invaded Poland. The invasion conclusively discredited the concept of "appeasement" as a foreign policy for, well, the next 74 years. But if the U.S. Congress opposes authorization of the military mission to Syria that President Obama has now handed off to it, and if Obama uses that as an excuse to back further away from enforcement of his "red line," the "A" word will likely come to dominate the international debate once again.

And Barack Obama, who in his first term was known as the vanquisher of Osama bin Laden, could come out of his second looking more like Neville Chamberlain.

I don't want to overstate things. Bashar al-Assad, a tinpot dictator who is fighting only for his own survival, is no Hitler. He's not set to overrun an entire continent. And the "lessons of Munich" and the dangers of appeasement are generally overdrawn. But, after all, it was Secretary of State John Kerry who lumped Assad with the Fuehrer on the talk shows Sunday, saying that he "now joins the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein [who] have used these weapons in time of war." (Technically, Hitler's only use of gas was not on the battlefield but to kill millions in extermination camps.)

These are also the clear implications of the president's own words. Already the United Nations, NATO, and Great Britain have failed to enforce his red line against chemical weapons use. Only the United States, with the possible help of France, stands in the way of allowing Assad to grin triumphantly atop the WMD massacre he authorized, to do it again and again, and thus make it more acceptable internationally. As Obama said in his Rose Garden statement Saturday: "If we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorists who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide?"

So the stakes look very high indeed. All of which makes Obama's other announcement on Saturday so unsettling. Obama said 1) Military force against Syria is justified; 2) that he has decided to use it; and 3) that he believes he has the authority to do so right now. But then he declared that he's going to ask Congress for approval that, by his own account, he doesn't need. Thus, a president who for the last four years has had no compunction about unilaterally deciding whom to launch drone strikes against or whom to spy on has effectively surrendered a chunk of constitutional authority to a fractious, unreliable and politically motivated Congress over the issue of redressing the perilous precedent set by Assad.

It may well be that this is "the right thing to do for our democracy," as Obama said. But previous presidents, both Democrat and Republican, have said otherwise. They have declared even the War Powers Act (which gives Obama the authority to attack Syria for 60 days before asking for congressional approval) to be an unconstitutional infringement of presidential power.

The risk of Obama's handover to Congress is that, as Susan Page wrote in USA Today, "he has weakened his own presidency—what happens if he doesn't want to seek congressional authorization the next time?—and even the presidency itself. That argument is part of the reason that Ronald Reagan didn't seek congressional authorization before ordering the invasion of Grenada, why George H.W. Bush didn't seek authorization before launching military action in Panama, why Bill Clinton didn't seek authorization before ordering the bombing of Kosovo."

Obama is feeling lonely at the top because he doesn't have the U.N., NATO, or even the British behind him this time. Still, it is more than a little odd that he is turning for companionship to the Congress that has made a mockery of his every initiative until now. And Obama has not been consistent in this policy. "If from the beginning he said something to the effect of, 'I'm a constitutional scholar. I think the Constitution intends for the use of military force to be justified, and Congress has to approve. So I will use my presidency to make that a precedent,' then fine, no one would be seeing it as an abdication," says one scholar of the ethics and legality of war. "Instead, it came across as 'I need top cover because our closest allies ever won't follow us on this one.'"

What also smacks sadly of the appeasement era of the 1930s is all the talk about "war weariness," from Obama and others. "I know well we are weary of war," the president said Saturday. "But we are the United States of America, and we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus. Out of the ashes of world war, we built an international order and enforced the rules that gave it meaning."

Yet that international order is what is now in some danger, 74 years later. After all, it was just this kind of war weariness that created Neville Chamberlain, and his foreign policy of "positive appeasement" as he called it, in the years after the terrible bloodletting of World War I. If one becomes unwilling to strike dictators and mass murderers, all that remains is to appease them.
3521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 04, 2013, 10:52:52 AM
The more I have thought about it the more I conclude the Republicans should stand with the Dovish Dems and not authorize military action. 

Cite Obama's previous remarks.

Cite how our interventions in the Middle East have been more trouble than help.

Then campaign on stopping Iran from getting finished nuclear weapons.

One reason I conclude this is some experts opinions that we cannot eradicate sarin or other chemical agents from Syria without serious military intervention.

3522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 03, 2013, 08:20:35 AM
Some Republicans criticized Obama for threatening to act alone.  OK so he now goes to Congress.  So Congressional Republicans should stand up and do the right thing - Americans don't want another war - do not authorize it.

Most Americans don't want to be the world's policemen.

Sure, the media, university, Democrat party socialist/fascist machine will spin it to their way of propaganda. 

Bottom line people will vote their pocket books.  Not for chemical weapons use in Syria.   
3523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Best time for a nap is 1 to 4 PM on: September 02, 2013, 09:24:26 PM
Sounds like Latinos had it right all along.  I wouldn't mind a nap at that time.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the short nap. For other uses, see Siesta (disambiguation).

A siesta (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsjesta]) is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in some countries, particularly those where the weather is warm.

Because the siesta is the traditional daytime sleep of Spain and, through Spanish influence, of many Hispanic American countries and the Philippines, the word siesta also derives from Spanish, originally from the Latin hora sexta "sixth hour" (counting from dawn, hence "midday rest"). Siesta is also common in Italy (there called riposo), where museums, churches and shops close during siesta so that proprietors can go home for a long lunch and perhaps a snooze during the day’s hottest hours. Einhard's Life of Charlemagne recounts the emperor's summertime siesta: "In summer, after his midday meal, he would eat some fruit and take another drink; then he would remove his shoes and undress completely, just as he did at night, and rest for two or three hours."[1]

Main factors explaining the geographical distribution of the modern siesta are high temperatures and heavy intake of food at the midday meal. Combined, these two factors contribute to the feeling of post-lunch drowsiness. In many countries that observe the siesta, the heat can be unbearable in the early afternoon, making a midday break at home ideal. However, siesta is also practiced in some colder regions, such as Patagonia. This could indicate that the siesta has a stronger relation with culture than with climate.
  [hide] 1 Biological need for naps
2 Sleep cultures
3 Cardiovascular benefits
4 Further resources
5 References
6 External links
Biological need for naps[edit source]

Older, pre-teenage children are usually capable of napping, but others acquire the ability to nap as teenagers as well.[2]

The timing of sleep in humans depends upon a balance between homeostatic sleep propensity, the need for sleep as a function of the amount of time elapsed since the last adequate sleep episode, and circadian rhythms which determine the ideal timing of a correctly structured and restorative sleep episode. The homeostatic pressure to sleep starts growing upon awakening. The circadian signal for wakefulness starts building in the (late) afternoon. As Harvard professor of sleep medicine Charles A. Czeisler notes, "The circadian system is set up in a beautiful way to override the homeostatic drive for sleep."[3]

Thus, in many people, there is a dip when the drive for sleep has been building for hours and the drive for wakefulness has not yet started. This is, again quoting Czeisler, "a great time for a nap."[3] The drive for wakefulness intensifies through the evening, making it difficult to get to sleep 2–3 hours before one's usual bedtime when the wake maintenance zone ends.

Dentist and pharmacist sharing similar business hours in the island of Lipsi, Greece
Taking a midday nap is common in a number of tropical and subtropical countries, where the afternoon heat dramatically reduces work productivity. The Washington Post of February 13, 2007 reports at length on studies in Greece that indicate that those who nap have less risk of heart attack.[4]

In the United States, the United Kingdom, and a growing number of other countries, a short sleep has been referred to as a "power nap", a term coined by Cornell University social psychologist James Maas[5] and recognized by other research scientists such as Sara Mednick[6] as well as in the popular press.[7]

Cardiovascular benefits[edit source]

La Siesta, Ramon Martí Alsina (MNAC)
The siesta habit has recently been associated with a 37 percent reduction in coronary mortality, possibly due to reduced cardiovascular stress mediated by daytime sleep (Naska et al., 2007).

Nevertheless, epidemiological studies (see Naska et al, 2007; Zaregarizi et al, 2007; Zaregarizi, 2012) on the relations between cardiovascular health and siesta have led to conflicting conclusions, possibly because of poor control of moderator variables, such as physical activity. It is possible that people who take a siesta have different physical activity habits, for example waking earlier and scheduling more activity during the morning. Such differences in physical activity may mediate different 24-hour profiles in cardiovascular function. Even if such effects of physical activity can be discounted for explaining the relationship between siesta and cardiovascular health, it is still unknown whether it is the daytime nap itself, a supine posture or the expectancy of a nap that is the most important factor.

Naska, A., Oikonomou, E., Trichopoulou, A., Psaltopoulou, T. and Trichopoulos, D. (2007). Siesta in healthy adults and coronary mortality in the general population. Archives of Internal Medicine, 167, 296-301.
MohammadReza Zaregarizi, Ben Edwards, Keith George, Yvonne Harrison, Helen Jones and Greg Atkinson. (2007). Acute changes in cardiovascular function during the onset period of daytime sleep: Comparison to lying awake and standing. American J Appl Physiol 103:1332-1338.
MohammadReza Zaregarizi (Author). Effects of Exercise & Daytime Sleep on Human Haemodynamics: With Focus on Changes in Cardiovascular Function during Daytime Sleep Onset. BOOK, ISBN (978-3-8484-1726-1), March, 2012.


1.^ Einhard, Life of Charlemagne, §24.
2.^ Dement, William (1999). The Promise of Sleep. Dell Publishing. pp. 113–115. ISBN 0-440-50901-7.
3.^ a b Lambert, Craig, PhD (July–August 2005). "Deep into Sleep. While researchers probe sleep's functions, sleep itself is becoming a lost art". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
4.^ Stein, Rob. "Midday Naps Found to Help Fend Off Heart Disease", Washington Post, 13 February 2007, p. A14.
5.^ Maas, James B. (1998) Miracle Sleep Cure: London: Thorsons
6.^ "The National Institute of Mental Health Power Nap Study". 2002-07-01. Retrieved 2002-07-01.
7.^ "Researchers: Power Nap Better than Caffeine to Fight Afternoon Fatigue". Fox News. 2007-09-04.****

3524  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Graphene, Carbyne? I need GG!!! on: September 02, 2013, 09:12:20 PM
I have been getting some email alerts about graphene having some sort of incredible characteristics.  Being single atom thin with incredible strength, more than any other material. Having something like twice the conducting properties of copper.  Being flexible.   And incredibly light.  Leave it to the geniuses at MIT to find something that may be even better, carbyne.  Could either of these replace silicon?  GG where are you?
3525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Repbuclicans have to break through on: September 02, 2013, 09:00:20 PM
This could go under race etc but I feel it fits better here as a good argument that Blacks should strongly consider coming back to the party of opportunity (Lincoln) and leave the party of stagnation and serfdom (Obama).
Instead we here the usual race bating propaganda at the 50 anniversary of MLK>
Is Obama Good for Black Americans?

Mona Charen's column is released once a week.

Mona Charen August 23, 2013  SocietyBarack ObamaUnemployment

Buried in a New York Times story about the economy was this arresting statistic: Median family income for black Americans has declined a whopping 10.9 percent during the Obama administration. It has declined for other groups as well — 3.6 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 4.5 percent for Hispanics - but the figure for blacks is huge. This decline does not include losses suffered during the financial crisis and the recession that followed, but it instead measures declines since June 2009, when the recession officially ended.

That's not the only bad news for African-Americans. The poverty rate for blacks is now 25.8 percent. The black labor force participation rate, which rose throughout the 1980s and 1990s, has declined for the past decade and quite sharply under Obama to 61.4 percent. The black unemployment rate, according to Pew Research, stands at 13.4 percent. Among black, male, high school dropouts, PBS' Paul Salmon reports, the unemployment rate is a staggering 95 percent.

Does any of this affect the standing of the nation's first black president with black Americans? Not a whit, apparently. This is not to suggest that any president should gear his policies to one or another ethnic group. The president serves the nation as a whole, or should. But if unemployment, poverty and the black/white income gap had expanded under a different president to the degree is has under Obama (the income gap is now larger than it was under George W. Bush), it wouldn't go unreported and the president would not escape responsibility.

The advent of an African-American president surely brings psychic dividends to black Americans (and the rest of us, to a degree), but those intangibles may be pretty much all they get from his presidency. In terms of material prosperity, his leadership has delivered nothing but decline. He plays the psychological card very skillfully — showboating his identification with Trayvon Martin and sticking up for Henry Louis Gates — but more and more his gestures in this regard seem like substitutes for results.

Black poverty is up, employment is down and wealth is down. The dissolution of the black family continues unabated, with 72.3 percent of black children born to unmarried mothers. Black males constitute just 6 percent of the population yet comprise more than 40 percent of those incarcerated in state and federal prisons and jails. One-third of black men aged 20 to 29 are in the purview of the criminal justice system (incarcerated or on probation or parole).

The press resolutely ignores these figures, while the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party in Hollywood serves up distorted history to distract and pacify the public. The latest entry appears to be "The Butler," which misrepresents President Reagan (as I gather from those who've seen it) as, at best, insensitive to blacks, and at worst as racist. Eugene Allen, the actual White House butler on whom the film is supposedly based, kept signed photos of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in his living room (pictures of the other presidents he had served hung in the basement).

According to a 2008 Washington Post profile, Allen served eight presidents for 34 years until his retirement. He did not, as the movie portrays, resign to protest Reagan's policies on civil rights or South Africa. His wife happily reminisced to the Post about the time the couple were invited by the Reagans to attend a state dinner in honor of the West German chancellor. "Drank champagne that night," Mrs. Allen recalled with pleasure. The film apparently depicts the invitation as tokenism. The filmmakers also insert a horrific childhood "memory" for Allen — his mother being raped and his father shot by a white landlord. Didn't happen.

Would it interest black moviegoers to know that under Ronald Reagan's policies, median African American household incomes increased by 84 percent (compared with 68 percent for whites)? The poverty rate dropped during the 1980s from 14 percent down to 11.6 percent. The black unemployment rate dropped by 9 percentage points. The number of black-owned businesses increased by 38 percent and receipts more than doubled.

Obama's economic record is dismal because he is inflexibly attached to the wrong ideas. Hollywood is, of course, free to worship at his tattered shrine. But to smear Reagan — a man who deeply loathed bigotry in any form and actually improved the lives of all Americans including blacks — in an attempt to prop up the drooping Obama standard, is contemptible.

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at

3526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 02, 2013, 08:35:45 PM
Some interesting thoughts.  I don't agree with all of them.

I do like this:

"Few concepts have polluted American strategic thought as badly as the “Powell doctrine,” a Cold War relic from Colin Powell’s days in uniform that never made much sense and has since been consistently misapplied in recent years. In its various forms and emendations by Powell, it basically says: Never fight unless you absolutely have to, and only fight wars you know you can win. Buy low, sell high. Rotate your tires. Never poke your sister in the eye with a stick. That sort of stuff"

Watching Colin Powell these last five years keeps provoking the question, "how in the world did this guy become Joint Chief of Staff?"
3527  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / More liberal hypocracy. Obama practices fidelity to the Consititution on: September 02, 2013, 09:06:36 AM
Talk about switch and bait.  From a shyster in the liberal media (white house propaganda).  Only could he turn Obama's self made mess in Syria into a "history -defying" decision.   I guess Shapiro was Rip Van Winkle during the Bush one and two years.

****Obama's history-defying decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria
US President Barack Obama speaks about Syria outside the White House in Washington, DC on August 31, 2013
Walter Shapiro
Walter Shapiro 23 hours ago 
President Barack Obama, according to background briefings by his aides, reached a fateful decision late Friday afternoon as he strolled along the White House lawn with his chief of staff Denis McDonough. Contrary to every expectation by his national security team, Obama concluded that he should ask Congress for authorization to bomb Syria.

The full reasoning behind the president’s turnabout remains murky. He may have wanted to share responsibility for a risky strategy to punish the barbarous regime of Syrian strongman Bashir al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people. Obama may have recognized the political dangers of attacking another Middle Eastern country without popular support at home.

And the president, a former part-time constitutional law professor, may have also belatedly recalled the wording of Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution that grants Congress the sole power “to declare war.”

But whatever Obama’s underlying motivations and however the Syrian vote plays out on Capitol Hill, the president’s decision to go to Congress represents an historic turning point. It may well be the most important presidential act on the Constitution and war-making powers since Harry Truman decided to sidestep Congress and not seek their backing to launch the Korean war.

Just a few days ago, before Obama’s decision was known, legal scholars from both the right and the left were in agreement that waging war over Syria – no matter how briefly – without congressional approval would bend the Constitution beyond recognition.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served as a Bush administration lawyer during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, wrote in the legal blog Lawfare, “The planned use of military force in Syria is a constitutional stretch that will push presidential war unilateralism beyond where it has gone before.” And liberal constitutional scholar Garrett Epps,  writing for the Atlantic  , concluded, “It’s pretty clear that an American attack would violate the Constitution.”

Virtually no one in politics, the press or the academic community expected Obama to go to Congress for approval. That isn’t the way the presidential power works in the modern era. It is a sad truth that whomever occupies the Oval Office invariably expands rather than trims back the Imperial Presidency. Obama himself has reflected this pattern with his aggressive enhancement of the National Security Agency’s efforts to monitor electronic communications.

For more than six decades, the war-making powers of Congress have been eviscerated by presidents of both parties.

Which brings us back to Truman, who in 1950 balked at asking a Congress weary after World War Two for approval to militarily respond to the Communist attack on South Korea. Dean Acheson, Truman’s secretary of state, claimed in his memoirs that a congressional debate over the Korean War “would hardly be calculated to support the shaken morale of the troops or the unity that, for the moment, prevailed at home.”

Acheson may not have remembered that military morale and national unity are not mentioned in the Constitution. But the war-marking powers of Congress are at the heart of the nation’s founding document. It was as if the sign on Truman’s desk read, “The Buck Stops Here – And This is Also Where the Constitution Is Twisted.”

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Syria - History of politics and conflict from 1920 …
March 8, 2005 - A Syrian soldier riding on top of a tank gestures after leaving his position, in Dah …

The plain-spoken Truman resorted to weaselly words to claim that Korea was a United Nations-sponsored “police action” rather than a war. No other American “police action” has ever led to 54,246 wartime deaths.

Truman’s assertion of vast executive power as Commander in Chief set a template for future presidents. Even when presidents have gone to Congress for approval of major military engagements, these blank-check authorizations have often been based on deceptive arguments.

Lyndon Johnson premised the entire Vietnam war on the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which was designed to permit a limited response to two minor and maybe mythical naval skirmishes with North Vietnam. Similarly hyperbolic were George W. Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

Even more legally dubious were all the times a president sent troops and planes into combat without anything more than desultory briefings of the congressional leadership.

Ronald Reagan dispatched the Marines into Grenada in 1983 under the preposterous rationale that he was only protecting endangered American medial students. Bill Clinton skirted congressional approval for the 1999 airborne attacks to halt Serbia’s ethnic cleansing of Kosovo on the shaky grounds that this was a NATO operation. And Obama himself was even on flimsier footing when he justified America’s participation in the 2011 bombing campaign over Libya based on a United Nations resolution.

But Syria did not provide Obama with any of these fig-leaf justifications.

No American lives are in danger and the national security threat is hard to identify. Not only is NATO not participating, but also neither are the Brits, the United State’s closest diplomatic ally. With Russia serving as Assad’s enabler, there will be no Security Council resolution or UN mandate.

Every time a president employs questionable legal arguments to wage war, it becomes a valuable tool for the next Commander in Chief impatient with the constitutional requirement to work through Congress. That’s why it would have been so dangerous for Obama to go forward in Syria without a congressional vote or the support of the UN or NATO. It is as much of a slippery slope argument as the contention that Iran, say, would be emboldened with its nuclear program if America did not punish Assad’s chemical attacks.

Assuming Obama wins congressional approval, America’s coming attack on Syria is designed to set a lasting precedent: No government can ever again use chemical, biological – let alone nuclear – weapons without facing devastating consequences. As Obama asked rhetorically in his Saturday Rose Garden statement, “What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?”

But Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval may prove to be an even more important precedent. Future presidents – as they consider unilateral military action without American security hanging in the balance – will have to answer, “Why didn’t you go to Congress like Obama did over Syria?”

Confronted with a series of wrenching choices over Syria, Obama chose the course that best reflects fidelity to the Constitution as written. Hopefully, in the days ahead, taking that less traveled road by presidents will make all the difference.****
3528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / moved over from Israel thread on: September 02, 2013, 08:56:56 AM
I nominate this Dog Brothers Forum, not Biden for President in 2016.

Most here have been advocating we hit Iran nucs for *years*.

Unfortunately it doesn't appear that will happen.  It appears the plan is containment.   

There is likely a back up offensive plan but only if shoved into it.

As for what to do in Syria.   In my most expert military, strategic, political, and in international affairs opinion I think we do as Doug suggested:  hit all WMD sites in Syria (though not yet convinced about NK).

I also agree with one Middle East analyst on CNN (I don't know his name) who said a more credible "red line" would have been the Syrian air force.  Thus we should destroy Assad's planes.

Congress should stand up.   Forget idiotic "shots across the bow".  The Congressional authorization should be to do the job and not half assed laughable crap.  Get rid of all known WMD and air force.

Or, do nothing.   Forget 'face'.  We are not Japanese.   Reagan pulled out of Lebanon.   He didn't worry about his face or his reputation.   He worried about America and our military.

Frankly I prefer do nothing or as we have suggested for many years now go after Iran.

As for NK, I haven't thought about it much.  But come to think of it suppose we just get rid of that monstrous family there.   It is not the middle east.     
3529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 02, 2013, 08:55:47 AM
I nominate this Dog Brothers Forum, not Biden for President in 2016.

Most here have been advocating we hit Iran nucs for *years*.

Unfortunately it doesn't appear that will happen.  It appears the plan is containment.   

There is likely a back up offensive plan but only if shoved into it.

As for what to do in Syria.   In my most expert military, strategic, political, and in international affairs opinion I think we do as Doug suggested:  hit all WMD sites in Syria (though not yet convinced about NK).

I also agree with one Middle East analyst on CNN (I don't know his name) who said a more credible "red line" would have been the Syrian air force.  Thus we should destroy Assad's planes.

Congress should stand up.   Forget idiotic "shots across the bow".  The Congressional authorization should be to do the job and not half assed laughable crap.  Get rid of all known WMD and air force.

Or, do nothing.   Forget 'face'.  We are not Japanese.   Reagan pulled out of Lebanon.   He didn't worry about his face or his reputation.   He worried about America and our military.

Frankly I prefer do nothing or as we have suggested for many years now go after Iran.

As for NK, I haven't thought about it much.  But come to think of it suppose we just get rid of that monstrous family there.   It is not the middle east.     
3530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 01, 2013, 06:30:59 PM
I am familiar with Cato's strategy.  Rome went on offence against Hannibal by attacking Carthage and pulling him out of Italy.  They defeated Hannibal there and later burned the city to the ground.

Take out the serpent at its head is what he means I guess. 

The head is Iran and Syria its Hezbollah it's arms. 

I get it now.

Does Brock?
3531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Funding the patent office with private money and having stellite offices? on: September 01, 2013, 12:30:36 PM
I understand the point of having those who use the government "service" pay for it (akin to those who drive over certain roads are the ones who pay the tolls for the upkeep) but this also means the government employees are all beholden to these companies.  A similar situation exists at the FDA with at least part of it's' budget being paid for by pharmaceutical/medical device companies.  Of course there is bias and conflict of interests.

Corruption will invariably be even worse than it already is.

*****Silicon Valley patent office shelved

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Silicon Valley's high-tech firms are fighting what they consider a deeply personal federal cut this summer that shelves a planned patent office in this innovation-fueled region.

While most of the country is feeling some pinch from the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, tech leaders say this one is unique and unfair, because the Commerce Department's promised satellite patent offices were never going to be funded by taxpayers. Instead, they're supported by the $2.8 billion in annual patent fees collected from inventors, entrepreneurs and companies.

"We were really upset," said Emily Lam, a director at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an association representing local high tech firms. "It makes absolutely no sense that an office funded almost entirely by fees would be subject to sequester."

But U.S. Patent and Trademark Office chief financial officer Tony Scardino said the government's across-the-board austerity policy doesn't make exceptions for fee-supported programs. And if there's a "continuing budgetary stalemate" this fall, he said that could cause further delays.

Silicon Valley firms seek more U.S. patents than any other region in the world, and San Jose is the nation's top patent-producing city, with 7,074 patents last year. And California is the nation's patent leader, with seven of the top 10 patent-producing cities.

The U.S. Patent Office currently has a backlog of 590,000 nationwide, and it can take more than two years to have an application reviewed.

Until two years ago, the only U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was in Arlington, Va. Silicon Valley companies often would have to send a chief scientist to Arlington for a few days to meet with examiners, losing valuable time and money.

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David P. Clark, CEO of Petzila, poses with Bella, the …
David P. Clark, CEO of Petzila, poses with Bella, the company's mascot, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, …

Then a 2011 law raised patent fees in exchange for promises from officials to use those new revenues to speed up the patent process and establish four satellite offices for the first time in the agency's 200-plus year history.

But that's not exactly what happened.

With budget cuts came a federal decision that 8.6 percent of all patent fees are immediately diverted from the Patent Office into the U.S. Treasury; in total, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will lose between $120 million and $130 million in patent fees it collects this year.

There are three satellite office projects underway: the first opened in Detroit in July, 2012, and permanent locations for others were selected in Denver and Dallas before sequestration.

Last month, the General Services Administration — which owns and operates federal properties — said it was suspending its search for permanent patent office space in Silicon Valley, dashing hopes of local startups.

"It was terribly disappointing," said Dave Clark, who launched a high tech pet products startup called Petzila in San Jose this year with his business partner Simon Milner.

Eight months into the pet-friendly technology business, they say at least 20 percent of their energy has gone toward getting a patent. That's time they'd rather spend developing, manufacturing, marketing and financing their first product: a wall mounted system called PetziConnect that allows pet owners to remotely say hello to their dog and, at the click of an icon, give Fido a treat.

..View gallery."
David P. Clark, CEO of Petzila, poses with Bella, the …
David P. Clark, CEO of Petzila, poses with Bella, the company's mascot, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, …

"It would be a godsend if we could meet with a patent examiner; It would cut our costs and time in half, and cut our anxiety by 60 percent," said Clark. "Nothing compares to a face-to-face conversation."

A local patent office staffed with as many as 150 new examiners would have provided entrepreneurs with nearby staff familiar with high tech, and a streamlined process, business leaders said.

"The more educated about the technology the examiners are, the better job they're going to be able to do in figuring out what applications are patent worthy and which should be rejected," said senior patent counsel Suzanne Michel at Google, which has tens of thousands of applications pending.

A local Congressional delegation is now seeking a sequestration exemption for the office.

Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., whose district includes Silicon Valley, said shelving the office "is going to set us back in terms of our own competitive edge, like trying to run a race with your ankles hobbled."

"It's too bad," said Jonah Probell, who writes semiconductor intellectual property patents for a small firm in Sunnyvale, Calif.

For now, Silicon Valley Patent Office Director Michelle Lee, a former Google patent law division head, is working out of a small, temporary space with just a handful of administrative judges in rooms borrowed from another government agency in Menlo Park, Calif. — not nearly enough to meet the needs of the region.

Meanwhile, lawmakers and bureaucrats on the East Coast will decide when they can release funds to open a permanent, fully staffed Silicon Valley Patent Office. To date, officials have said they plan to go ahead with it, but they have provided no timetable.

"Which, who knows, that might be never," said Probell.*****
3532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: September 01, 2013, 11:57:45 AM
" My fellow Americans (and our good friends) what should we do in this moment? "

Best thing would be to impeach Obama.  That would be best for America.  (And keep out Hillary in 16).
3533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I don't quite understand the last paragraph on: September 01, 2013, 11:55:59 AM
"Just like Cato the Elder, who insisted that "Carthage must be destroyed" over and over again, we must remind ourselves again and again: Syria is not the problem. The problem is the Iranian nuclear program, the source of Syria's and Hezbollah's power and the mother of all evils in the region. That is the real target that the coalition should have in its sights"


This comes in out of no where in the end of his article.   I would have liked him to clarify this logic.   So is he saying the root of all the problems is Iran's nuke program and Hezbollah?
3534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 01, 2013, 11:15:32 AM
August 12, 2013

A Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law


WASHINGTON — In another setback for President Obama’s health care initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.

The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014.

The grace period has been outlined on the Labor Department’s Web site since February, but was obscured in a maze of legal and bureaucratic language that went largely unnoticed. When asked in recent days about the language — which appeared as an answer to one of 137 “frequently asked questions about Affordable Care Act implementation” — department officials confirmed the policy.

Please click here for the remainder of the article:
3535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Energy issues, energy technology on: September 01, 2013, 10:58:59 AM
I am wondering if Westport or Clean Energy could be decent investments.   There is nothing unique about Westport I don't think and I wouldn't think gas stations are such a good investment although I haven't spent too much time researching this. 

Some feel the nat gas producers are analogous to the bandwidth companies of the late go go late 90s.  Global crossing (was great investment for George H Bush, Colin Powell, and Terry McCullife who is another Democrat who appears ready to win in Va. more because the Republicans do not have a good enough of a candidate to oppose him), JDSU (If only I sold at the the CEO is retired just in time...if that wasn't a tipoff I didn't heed than I don't know what is - in retrospect), and LVLT (with few exceptions like QCOM - wireless).

OTOH if only we can get rid of Obama.....I can't believe we have 3 + yrs of him left.   By the time he leaves the damage he and his onslaught legions in the government, media, university complex will have trampled this country to mediocrity.
3536  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Wolves, Dogs and other canines on: September 01, 2013, 10:44:05 AM
ah oh.  One of my dogs is dalmation mix and some have thought the other half might be pointer.  We just neutered him.....I wonder what he is thinking. shocked
3537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nat gas buildout on: August 31, 2013, 10:55:11 AM
What's Stopping Mass Adoption of Natural Gas Vehicles?

By Brendan Byrnes  | More Articles  | Save For Later     
August 31, 2013 | Comments (0) 

Join Motley Fool analyst Brendan Byrnes for a conversation with Ian Scott, the executive vice president of Westport Innovations' On-Road Systems segment, which works with OEM partners such as Ford, Volvo, Kenworth, and Peterbilt to produce natural gas-0powered vehicles in the U.S. and elsewhere.

In the following video, Scott describes the progress being made in natural gas infrastructure among companies such as Clean Energy Fuels and Royal Dutch Shell, with as many as 560 stations projected to be in place by the end of 2015.

The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for this year. Find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.
Brendan Byrnes: When you look at some of the big companies using natural gas vehicles -- Waste Management, UPS, FedEx -- UPS actually is going to increase their natural gas fleet to 800 by the end of 2014. That's up from 112 right now.

What do you think overall when you look at the landscape? What's the biggest barrier for companies embracing natural gas? Is it the infrastructure? Is it companies like these that need to come in and really take the lead and show that it's possible and the economics work? What do you think is the barrier?

Ian Scott: I think historically it's been infrastructure, has been the biggest one. But now we see -- and the UPS example is a great one -- we see where infrastructure is no longer an impediment. I think we're getting stronger infrastructure but we're not at critical mass yet, where we need to be in order to just see massive adoption of natural gas.

Companies such as Clean Energy and Shell and ENN, they're doing a great job in building out particularly liquid natural gas stations right now. I think that's really going to help.

Our product costs more. It costs more than a diesel or a gasoline product, so what you're doing is you're paying up-front capital cost, but more than making that back in the fuel savings. We have to do our job as well, in order to get the product cost down, and we're working aggressively to do that. That will come with volume, obviously, as well.

The stations are being built. We're going to sell more product. That will allow more stations to be built, and I think we're starting to see it really pick up right now.

Byrnes: Could you talk about infrastructure? We have America's natural gas highway being built out by Clean Energy. What's the improvement in infrastructure you've seen over a year or so, and where do you think this is going over the next couple of years?

Scott: It's amazing. We said in our recent Q-Call that, from announced LNG stations, we're looking at 560 by the end of 2015. The load that's available for trucking in particular is just tremendous.

We've seen other companies come in now; you mentioned Clean, but Shell just made a large announcement with respect to TravelCenters of America. We have -- ENN has made announcements, other companies are putting in fueling stations as well.

I think that we've gone from, "Is the infrastructure going to be built?" to "It's being built, being built rapidly, and now we need to continue to provide the products to the marketplace."

Brendan Byrnes has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Clean Energy Fuels, FedEx, UPS, Waste Management, and Westport Innovations and owns shares of Waste Management and Westport Innovations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
3538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rodham's 1969 Welleseley Commencement speech on: August 31, 2013, 10:41:56 AM
In the year of the mud soaked drug sex orgy Woodstock this is what the Hill had to say.  Not one kind word of America.
Whoever the Repubs pick should have some smart people pick this apart and formulate a PRO America plan going forward that America has been in theory the land of freedom, opportunity, pride, confidence, prosperity for all instead of demoralizing themes of limits, unfairness, hollow men of anger and bitterness, and self bountiful ladies of righteous degradation (aka stand by your man).   The Clintons are the face of the anti Vietnam war kids of the 60's who ARE now in power.   The only difference is they don't even believe in a newer America.  They no longer ever believe in America.  They believe in world wide government. 

 CBSNews /
  CBS/   February 11, 2009, 3:56 PM  
Hillary Rodham's 1969 Commencement Address
Wellesley College
1969 Student Commencement Speech
Hillary D. Rodham
May 31, 1969
Ruth M. Adams, ninth president of Wellesley College, introduced Hillary D. Rodham, '69, at the 91st commencement exercises, as follows:

In addition to inviting Senator Brooke to speak to them this morning, the Class of '69 has expressed a desire to speak to them and for them at this morning's commencement. There was no debate so far as I could ascertain as to who their spokesman was to be -- Miss Hillary Rodham. Member of this graduating class, she is a major in political science and a candidate for the degree with honors. In four years she has combined academic ability with active service to the College, her junior year having served as a Vil Junior, and then as a member of Senate and during the past year as President of College Government and presiding officer of College Senate. She is also cheerful, good humored, good company, and a good friend to all of us and it is a great pleasure to present to this audience Miss Hillary Rodham.

Remarks of Hillary D. Rodham, President of the Wellesley College Government Association and member of the Class of 1969, on the occasion of Wellesley's 91st Commencement, May 31, 1969:

I am very glad that Miss Adams made it clear that what I am speaking for today is all of us -- the 400 of us -- and I find myself in a familiar position, that of reacting, something that our generation has been doing for quite a while now. We're not in the positions yet of leadership and power, but we do have that indispensable task of criticizing and constructive protest and I find myself reacting just briefly to some of the things that Senator Brooke said. This has to be brief because I do have a little speech to give. Part of the problem with empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn't do us anything. We've had lots of empathy; we've had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. What does it mean to hear that 13.3% of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That's a percentage. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction. How can we talk about percentages and trends? The complexities are not lost in our analyses, but perhaps they're just put into what we consider a more human and eventually a more progressive perspective. The question about possible and impossible was one that we brought with us to Wellesley four years ago. We arrived not yet knowing what was not possible. Consequently, we expected a lot. Our attitudes are easily understood having grown up, having come to consciousness in the first five years of this decade -- years dominated by men with dreams, men in the civil rights movement, the Peace Corps, the space program -- so we arrived at Wellesley and we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap. What we did is often difficult for some people to understand. They ask us quite often: "Why, if you're dissatisfied, do you stay in a place?" Well, if you didn't care a lot about it you wouldn't stay. It's almost as though my mother used to say, "I'll always love you but there are times when I certainly won't like you." Our love for this place, this particular place, Wellesley College, coupled with our freedom from the burden of an inauthentic reality allowed us to question basic assumptions underlying our education. Before the days of the media orchestrated demonstrations, we had our own gathering over in Founder's parking lot. We protested against the rigid academic distribution requirement. We worked for a pass-fail system. We worked for a say in some of the process of academic decision making. And luckily we were in a place where, when we questioned the meaning of a liberal arts education there were people with enough imagination to respond to that questioning. So we have made progress. We have achieved some of the things that initially saw as lacking in that gap between expectation and reality. Our concerns were not, of course, solely academic as all of us know. We worried about inside Wellesley questions of admissions, the kind of people that should be coming to Wellesley, the process for getting them here. We questioned about what responsibility we should have both for our lives as individuals and for our lives as members of a collective group.

Coupled with our concerns for the Wellesley inside here in the community were our concerns for what happened beyond Hathaway House. We wanted to know what relationship Wellesley was going to have to the outer world. We were lucky in that one of the first things Miss Adams did was to set up a cross-registration with MIT because everyone knows that education just can't have any parochial bounds any more. One of the other things that we did was the Upward Bound program. There are so many other things that we could talk about; so many attempts, at least the way we saw it, to pull ourselves into the world outside. And I think we've succeeded. There will be an Upward Bound program, just for one example, on the campus this summer.

Many of the issues that I've mentioned -- those of sharing power and responsibility, those of assuming power and responsibility have been general concerns on campuses throughout the world. But underlying those concerns there is a theme, a theme which is so trite and so old because the words are so familiar. It talks about integrity and trust and respect. Words have a funny way of trapping our minds on the way to our tongues but there are necessary means even in this multi-media age for attempting to come to grasps with some of the inarticulate maybe even inarticulable things that we're feeling. We are, all of us, exploring a world that none of us even understands and attempting to create within that uncertainty. But there are some things we feel, feelings that our prevailing, acquisitive, and competitive corporate life, including tragically the universities, is not the way of life for us. We're searching for more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode of living. And so our questions, our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue. The questions about those institutions are familiar to all of us. We have seen heralded across the newspapers. Senator Brooke has suggested some of them this morning. But along with using these words -- integrity, trust, and respect -- in regard to institutions and leaders we're perhaps harshest with them in regard to ourselves.

Every protest, every dissent, whether it's an individual academic paper, Founder's parking lot demonstration, is unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age. That attempt at forging for many of us over the past four years has meant coming to terms with our humanness. Within the context of a society that we perceive -- now we can talk about reality, and I would like to talk about reality sometime, authentic reality, inauthentic reality, and what we have to accept of what we see -- but our perception of it is that it hovers often between the possibility of disaster and the potentiality for imaginatively responding to men's needs. There's a very strange conservative strain that goes through a lot of New Left, collegiate protests that I find very intriguing because it harkens back to a lot of the old virtues, to the fulfillment of original ideas. And it's also a very unique American experience. It's such a great adventure. If the experiment in human living doesn't work in this country, in this age, it's not going to work anywhere.

But we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation. A liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves. To be educated to freedom must be evidenced in action, and here again is where we ask ourselves, as we have asked our parents and our teachers, questions about integrity, trust, and respect. Those three words mean different things to all of us. Some of the things they can mean, for instance: Integrity, the courage to be whole, to try to mold an entire person in this particular context, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. If the only tool we have ultimately to use is our lives, so we use it in the way we can by choosing a way to live that will demonstrate the way we feel and the way we know. Integrity -- a man like Paul Santmire. Trust. This is one word that when I asked the class at our rehearsal what it was they wanted me to say for them, everyone came up to me and said "Talk about trust, talk about the lack of trust both for us and the way we feel about others. Talk about the trust bust." What can you say about it? What can you say about a feeling that permeates a generation and that perhaps is not even understood by those who are distrusted? All they can do is keep trying again and again and again. There's that wonderful line in East Coker by Eliot about there's only the trying, again and again and again; to win again what we've lost before.

And then respect. There's that mutuality of respect between people where you don't see people as percentage points. Where you don't manipulate people. Where you're not interested in social engineering for people. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. And the word "consequences" of course catapults us into the future. One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to woman who said that she wouldn't want to be me for anything in the world. She wouldn't want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she's afraid. Fear is always with us but we just don't have time for it. Not now.

There are two people that I would like to thank before concluding. That's Ellie Acheson, who is the spearhead for this, and also Nancy Scheibner who wrote this poem which is the last thing that I would like to read:

My entrance into the world of so-called "social problems"
Must be with quiet laughter, or not at all.
The hollow men of anger and bitterness
The bountiful ladies of righteous degradation
All must be left to a bygone age.
And the purpose of history is to provide a receptacle
For all those myths and oddments
Which oddly we have acquired
And from which we would become unburdened
To create a newer world
To transform the future into the present.
We have no need of false revolutions
In a world where categories tend to tyrannize our minds
And hang our wills up on narrow pegs.
It is well at every given moment to seek the limits in our lives.
And once those limits are understood
To understand that limitations no longer exist.
Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free
Not to save the world in a glorious crusade
Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain
But to practice with all the skill of our being
The art of making possible.
Copyright 2009 CBS. All rights reserved. ****
3539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Astronomy on: August 31, 2013, 10:00:29 AM
The zoom effect was great!
3540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: August 31, 2013, 09:58:17 AM
"Maybe if they fart a lot the methane will melt the ice, , ,"

Liberals don't even have to fart.  Just open their mouths.
3541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: August 31, 2013, 09:55:04 AM
The USA raised their alert to "Our narcissist in chief put his big left foot in his mouth".   cry angry
3542  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Harvard: No correlation btw gun control and less violent crime on: August 29, 2013, 09:24:30 AM
Here ya go Bamster read this and LEARN:

****Harvard Study: No Correlation Between Gun Control and Less Violent Crime

by AWR Hawkins  28 Aug 2013 1545  post a comment 
A Harvard Study titled "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?" looks at figures for "intentional deaths" throughout continental Europe and juxtaposes them with the U.S. to show that more gun control does not necessarily lead to lower death rates or violent crime.

Because the findings so clearly demonstrate that more gun laws may in fact increase death rates, the study says that "the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths" is wrong.

For example, when the study shows numbers for Eastern European gun ownership and corresponding murder rates, it is readily apparent that less guns to do not mean less death. In Russia, where the rate of gun ownership is 4,000 per 100,000 inhabitants, the murder rate was 20.52 per 100,000 in 2002. That same year in Finland, where the rater of gun ownership is exceedingly higher--39,000 per 100,000--the murder rate was almost nill, at 1.98 per 100,000.

Looking at Western Europe, the study shows that Norway "has far and away Western Europe's highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate."

And when the study focuses on intentional deaths by looking at the U.S. vs Continental Europe, the findings are no less revealing. The U.S., which is so often labeled as the most violent nation in the world by gun control proponents, comes in 7th--behind Russia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine--in murders. America also only ranks 22nd in suicides.

The murder rate in Russia, where handguns are banned, is 30.6; the rate in the U.S. is 7.8.

The authors of the study conclude that the burden of proof rests on those who claim more guns equal more death and violent crime; such proponents should "at the very least [be able] to show a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that impose stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide)." But after intense study the authors conclude "those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared around the world."

In fact, the numbers presented in the Harvard study support the contention that among the nations studied, those with more gun control tend toward higher death rates. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.****


3543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Archibald Carey's 1952 speech on: August 28, 2013, 09:42:09 PM
This is a remarkable sea change from what my generation is used to hearing from a Civil rights leader.   Martin Luther King (aka Michael) "borrowed" from this Archibald Carey speech for his I have a Dream speech (that his family has since copyrighted).

In this speech we can hear Carey CHAMPION the REPBULICAN party!   The party of the downtrodden and minorities.  The party of freedom for the entire world.   

I recall it was Dick Morris who pointed out that most Blacks were Republicans until Goldwater refused to push for Civil Rights.   I didn't know that that was the reason for the sea change in their voting.  I was only a couple years older than the ONE at the time of the '63 speech.   Amazing how the Blacks will vote as a block and change on a dime.  Recall when Bill Clinton was quoted as saying "you know a Black can't win" when referring to Bamster.  The very next day Hillary tanked in the polls.  Similar event occurred with Goldwater/Johnson I guess.

In any case the speech drags on a long time.  Indeed I couldn't listen to all of it.  I suggest listen to 10 or fifteen minutes:
3544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MSM for Bamster on: August 28, 2013, 09:02:09 AM
Only a graduate from Columbia's school of journalism (propaganda) could come up with this contrast as a defense of her One.  Of course she now works for the very 'objective' out fit Time:

****6 Ways Syria 2013 Isn’t Iraq 2003

A ‘Coalition of the Willing’ to deal with WMDs may sound familiar, but these two plots are vastly different

By Jay Newton-Small @JNSmallAug. 28, 201319 Comments   

      Presidential Reunion: Scenes from the Opening of the Bush Library
Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME
President Barack Obama applauds former president George W. Bush at the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Follow @TIMEPolitics
An American president says a Middle Eastern country has weapons of mass destruction. He builds a “coalition of the willing” for a military strike against said country.

Sound familiar?

It could be President Barack Obama in 2013 or President George W. Bush in 2003, or so fear liberal Democrats leery of getting involved in yet another war in the Middle East.

“While the use of chemical weapons is deeply troubling and unacceptable, I believe there is no military solution to the complex Syrian crisis,” Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who famously was the only member to vote against authorizing the war in Afghanistan, said Tuesday in a statement on her Facebook page. “Congress needs to have a full debate before the United States commits to any military force in Syria — or elsewhere.”

But Obama, who ran on a platform in 2008 of ending Bush’s wars in the Middle East, isn’t Bush, and there are important distinctions between the two scenarios. Here are six ways Syria 2013 isn’t Iraq 2003:

Regime change

Bush made no secret that his plan was to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. This time around, the Obama administration is taking pains to say that ousting Syrian strongman Bashar Assad is the last thing they want as it would only create a power vacuum the disorganized Syrian opposition isn’t ready to fill. “I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. “They are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons.”

A limited engagement

U.S. officials are looking at a two-day, limited strike on Syria, which would not involve any American boots on the ground — compared to the 130,000 U.S. troops Bush had already mustered on Iraq’s borders by the time he declared his intentions to the public. The purpose in Syria is to punish Assad so that he knows he cannot use chemical weapons against his own people with impunity. Striking the weapons themselves could potentially create too much collateral damage, so Syrian military sites are being selected. Whereas Bush envisioned five months in Iraq — which turned into 10 years — Obama hopes his engagement will be counted in days, not weeks.

Arab support

Most of the Arab world opposed Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The entire Arab League except Kuwait condemned the war. And Turkey denied the U.S. use of its military bases. This time around, most of the Arab world, with the exceptions of Iraq and Lebanon, supports strikes against Assad, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in talks to potentially participate in the military operation.

European support

Remember Freedom Fries? France and much of Europe weren’t wild about going to war in Iraq. France is now spearheading the effort to oust Assad, although Germany and southern Europe remain skeptical of military involvement. Britain, of course, was as much on board with Iraq in 2003 as it is with Syria in 2013.


This time, there’s next to no doubt they actually exist. The pretense for the war in Iraq was disproven: Hussein’s alleged WMD stockpiles were never found. In this case, the international community has, with the exception of Russia and Iran, accepted and condemned the use of chemical gas in Syria last week that killed as many as 1,300 people.


Bush asked for and received overwhelming permission and support from Congress to invade Iraq. When asked, Carney  on Tuesday said Syria poses a “significant challenge to or threat to the United States’ national security interests.” The language is important, as the president must seek permission from Congress to go to war unless the U.S. is imminently threatened. So, Carney’s careful categorization would seem to indicate that no matter what Lee wants — she sent a letter with 20 of her colleagues asking Obama seek permission from Congress to engage in Syria— he likely will go this alone as he did Libya.

Maybe Obama should allow the debate in Congress. It’d be a headache, for sure, and the posturing could last longer than the intervention itself, but it might also reassure nervous members like Lee who worry Obama is getting the U.S. into another decade-long war in the Middle East. And given U.S. polls showing huge opposition to engagement in Syria, it might help assuage the American public as well.

Read more:*****
3545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 27, 2013, 10:02:21 PM
Obviously Wesbury is in the top 5%.
3546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: August 25, 2013, 08:02:40 PM
BD wrote:

"Congress is not institutionally able to check the executive well in this policy space"

How so Big dog?  Doesn't Congress have people who are knowledgeable do the research them and prep them?

Lack of experience or insight in a specific policy area such as health care did not stop Democrats and Obama from passing a 2,000 page bill that none of them read or probably even really understand what was in it.

The bill was almost written surely by Ivy leagues elites over 20 years.

As for term limits I am not sure I am for them I was only siting Marc Levin's proposal.  I am not even sure he is committed to his proposals but has 'thrown' the ideas into the public domain for 'discussion'.  The concept of term limits has popped up multiple times over the last 40 years according to Wikipedia which has a decent (it seems to me) historical perspective on those who serve in American government from GW's two term Presidential precedent that seems to have set a standard for 140 yrs.  Apparently initially at least till the time of Andrew Jackson House members also limited themselves to two terms. 
3547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Term limits are best option to limit power of ruling elite. on: August 24, 2013, 12:09:59 PM
I checked Levin's website.  There is no email contact info.  to ask him your supposition.  I would think he might answer that the longer one is in Congress the more they serve themselves and learn not to serve Americans from their districts better.

Is it not telling that your point suggests that we need career politicians to spend a lifetime learning how to navigate a political system?   

I would submit to you that the reason we need term limits is because there is so much money involved.  So much lobbying
 that has a corrupting influence not only on serving House members but the family members, their business colleagues, their friends who some how get sucked into the picture.  The fact that in order to run one needs lots of money and going against influential politicians who have decades to set up self serving organizations of staffers, contacts, etc. along with decades of name recognition explains why so few incumbents lose their seats.  What is it? 95% of incumbents win re-election.   How is this possible with an approval rating hovering around, what, 10 or 20%?

I don't think Levin necessarily wants to take away the power of the voters to decide who gets re elected or not.  But I think he realizes that with incombuncy comes a real danger of abuse of power, and corruption.

Don't you think corruption is rampant?  Revolving doors in and out of the private and public sector.  How else can we put some limit on this without term limits?  I think this is what Levin is proposing.  Term limits are better than allowing a small group of people to control 320 million without which there is almost no limit to their power.
3548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Marc Levin's Suggestions for Constitutional Amerndments via Bozell on: August 23, 2013, 10:02:06 PM
****Levin to the Rescue

Published: 8/13/2013 10:08 PM ET

Subscribe to L. Brent Bozell III

By L. Brent Bozell III

Only those happily trampling on the last vestiges of freedom will deny that our federal government as a constitutional republic has ceased to function. The president can no longer control (nor does this one want to control) the enormous and ever-expanding bureaucracy functioning as a government by fiat. The legislative branch, so corrupted, so drunk by the allure of power, so disdainful of its constituents, is unable to  stop its bankrupting ways. The judiciary is perhaps the worst. The Supreme Court is openly rejecting the authority of the Constitution itself.

 If the federal government refuses to adhere to the enumerated powers of the Constitution, what can the citizenry do about it? The events of the past five years (more, actually) prove this. It has become virtually impossible to stop the agenda of a radical Chief Executive who brazenly uses the federal government as his personal political machine. It is almost impossible to defeat an incumbent member of Congress with all the advantages it has awarded itself. For all intents it is impossible to replace a member of the Supreme Court.

The left is content with this terrible turn of events. By “transformation” they meant the transfer of power to the state. Conservatives are loath to declare American exceptionalism dead, yet are powerless to stop the statist steamroller. With every cycle the situation worsens. At some point the unthinkable -- tyranny -- is upon us. We are running out of time. Only radical surgery will save the patient now.

Enter Mark Levin, M.D., with his new book, "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic." Levin is a Constitutional scholar -- and he shines. He argues passionately that the federal government can be brought under control only if new limitations are thrust upon it by its citizenry. He proposes a Constitutional convention, not one called by Congress but one impaneled by two-thirds of state legislatures, and which would require a three-fourths margin to pass any new amendments. It is the lesser known of the two options provided by Article V of the Constitution.

 What should a Constitutional convention tackle? Levin offers eleven amendments for consideration, with appropriate subdivisions, each carefully researched and each designed to reduce the power of the state.

 Term limits for  Congress is the first liberty amendment Levin offers. It is my view also the most important.  Only when there are limits (12 years of service) will Congress be populated by men and women driven only by the call to service, not the siren song of power. The millions delivered by special interests for the re-election of incumbents who, in turn, reward said interests with billions in grants, contracts, tax shelters and the like -- will cease.

 Levin calls for other limitations on Congress. He proposes an amendment to limit federal spending and another to limit taxation, the combination which will restore fiscal sanity while devolving power from the state. He offers an amendment to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, returning to the Article 1 mandate that Senators be chosen by their state legislators.

 What about the Supreme Court? “hould five individuals be making  political and public policy decisions and imposing them on every corner of the they pursue even newer and more novel paths around the Constitution in exercising judicial review?” Levin points to the obvious: Sometimes mistakes are made (Roberts, anyone?) and America shouldn’t be punished for the rest of that jurist’s life. He proposes 12-year term limits for them as well.

 What can be done to control, even reduce the size and scope of the bureaucracy?  All federal departments and agencies must be re-authorized by Congress every three years or be terminated -- that’s what.

There’s a liberty amendment to protect and promote free enterprise, now under vicious assault. One to protect private property given the ability of the federal government suddenly to steal it. Amendments to increase the power of the States, and finally, an amendment to protect the voting process.

 Who would have thought any such amendments would ever be needed? And that’s the point. Such is the nature of the crisis.

 Levin quotes Tocqueville reflecting on the Constitutional Convention of 1776: “t is new in history of society to see a great people turn a calm and scrutinizing eye upon itself when apprised by the legislature that the wheels of its government are stopped...”

It is time for our legislatures once more to issue the clarion call.
 Levin hopes “The Liberty Amendments” will launch a national discussion, and it will. Levin is a consequential man, and this is a consequential book. Some critics will dismiss the concept out of hand. It is they who should be dismissed -- unless they have bold new alternatives to propose. Nothing else is working, and nothing else will do. We have reached the tipping point.****
3549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / automobile on: August 22, 2013, 10:12:35 AM
How can auto dealers keep out a company that wants to sell direct to consumer?   I don't get it.  I don't own Tesla stock although it has skyrocketed.  When someone comes out with an *inexpensive* hybrid then I am ready to invest.  That said dealers have the power to prevent Musk from selling direct to consumer in Texas?  Sounds like a form of union protectionism/favoritism to me.

****Why Texas Bans the Sale of Tesla Cars

When you’re about to compete in your first electric car race, brace yourself for the sound … of silence. But don’t let those quiet engines fool you because these days, quiet means fast.

With every major car company looking for a share of the booming electric car market, the competition to go faster and further for cheaper has become an all-out war. Detroit, Japan and Germany are all represented, but right now, an unlikely newcomer is getting top honors: the Tesla Model S.

It’s being hailed as a game changer. It’s the first electric car to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year; an unprecedented 99 out of 100 rating from Consumer Reports; and now, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s also the safest car ever.

But if the Model S really is the car of the future, then why has Texas banned its sales in the state and why are lawmakers in several other states trying to do the same?

To answer that, first you need to meet Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He plans on opening 50 new Tesla stores in the next year. And taking a page from the Apple playbook, Musk is selling his product directly to consumers. No hard sell. No commission for employees. And uniform prices at every store.

“We actually train people to educate,” explained Musk. “We always wanted to be a really low-key kind of friendly environment, where we're not constantly trying to close deals.”

That’s a dig at the traditional middlemen in the car-buying experience: the car dealers. Musk wants to cut them out completely. He thinks customers don’t like them and that dealers are prejudiced against electric cars.

“It takes them at least twice as much effort to sell someone an electric car and to educate them as to why an electric car is good,” said Musk. “And so if we were to go through the traditional dealer path, the result would be a disaster.”

So Musk is declaring war on car dealers, but car dealers are also declaring war on Musk. They have already successfully booted him out of Texas and there is anti-Tesla legislation pending in North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.

“This happens all the time,” said Bill Wolters, the president of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association. “Someone wants an exception to the franchise laws. If we made an exception for everybody that showed up in the legislature, before long the integrity of the entire franchise system is in peril.”

The outcome of the battle remains to be seen, but it’s just one of many standing in Musk’s way of the Model S becoming a mainstream success. For all the hype, only 20,000 have been sold.****
3550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / It's about *time* from a leftist rag on: August 22, 2013, 09:43:17 AM
Coming from a Times writer.  Finally stating the obvious. shocked smiley


Don’t Ignore Race in Christopher Lane’s Murder

The association of young black men with violence doesn't come out of thin air

By John McWhorter Aug. 22, 2013124 Comments   

Follow @TIMEIdeas
Australian Christopher Lane was killed on Monday in Oklahoma by three teens, one of whom has said they were just “bored.” The right is complaining that the media is making nothing of the fact that two of the teens were black whereas Lane was white, as opposed to the massive alarm sounded in cases such as white (or white-ish) George Zimmerman killing black Trayvon Martin. And again the cry was heard that there is more “black-on-black” or “black-on-white” crime than “white-on-black,” and that young black men are in fact more of a problem than people like Zimmerman.

The numbers don’t lie: young black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S. We don’t yet know whether the attack on Lane was racially motivated, nor can we know whether the three black boys who attacked a white boy on a Florida school bus recently would not have done the same to a black kid. (Critics took Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task for not condemning the violence.) But hardly uncommon are cases such as the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire, saying “You get what you deserve, white boy” (Kansas City, Mo.) or 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch “for Trayvon” (Mobile, Ala.).

So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air. Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it’d be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death ofIt’s not that black communities are in complete denial about these statistics — Stop the Violence events are a staple of high-crime areas. But let’s face it: black America isn’t nearly as indignant about black boys killing one another or whites as about the occasional white cop killing one black boy, even though the former wreaks much more havoc in black communities. There is no coordinated nationwide movement equivalent to the one Martin galvanized. There are no thoughtful films “exploring” black-on-black crime the way Fruitvale Station treats the death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was killed by transit police in Oakland, Calif.

And recent example illustrates how many blacks feel about who is murdering whom. Two weeks ago, an NYPD cop killed 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse. Douse was in the process of shooting other people, and had been charged with shooting someone else in May — and yet his aunt compared him to Martin. In her mind, the main sin was the white cop’s.

Granted, it seems a lot easier to do something about the Zimmermans than the black thugs. Protest profiling and police departments institute new programs. But black thugs aren’t moved by protests, so it can seem like we’re just stuck with them.

But who’s to say what would happen if black America exerted even half of the emotional fervor and brainpower it does over cases like Martin’s to thinking about how to keep black boys from going wrong? Annette John-Hall had some wise words on this last year. What kind of self-image do we have to assume we can only change others, but not ourselves?

For the time being, though, it’s time for the media to stop proudly emblazoning the race of white cops who kill black boys while cagily describing black teens as, say, “from the grittier part of town,” as has been the case regarding Lane’s killers. The media needs to be as honest with black people as we need to be with ourselves. No group gets ahead by turning away from its real problems.

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