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3601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 12, 2011, 10:32:10 AM
If one were to believe the mainstream American media one would think Israeli's love Brock.   WE have Fareed Zakaria asking putting every Jewish official on the spot asking them if they think his friend and confidante Brock is doing "everything possible" to protect Israel.  Of course they are loathe to tell the truth on American TV.  Zakaria knows this.

Antyhing for the beloved One of the beloved Democrat party it seems.  Contrary to the certainly twisted reports we get in MSM:

****Israeli officials: Obama too soft on Iran

Top government officials laud France, UK, but tell Ynet White House policy with regards to Iranian nuclear program 'hesitant'

Attila Somfalvi Published:  12.11.11, 22:44 / Israel News 
  Senior Israeli officials expressed their disappointment with US President Barack Obama's policy on Iran.

"The administration is still not acting in full force to impose significant sanctions against Tehran," one of the officials told Ynet Sunday night.

On the other hand, officials in Jerusalem lauded French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron. "France and the UK have begun to act determinedly, while Obama's administration has yet to formulate a policy that is sufficiently severe," another official said.****

3602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 12, 2011, 10:04:59 AM
well said.
what was he doing in effect apologizing for not being poor?!

if only he could take make the fight like Newt.  He has to be able to do this.

It is the ONLY way to get past the liberal controlled media which is doing all they can to dampen all Republicans and promote their guy.
3603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Movies on: December 10, 2011, 12:37:24 PM
That is a taste of the power of money - it is everything.  That is one theme of the 99% that is absolutely true and unfair in this world.

I wouldn't mind hearing a Republican at least address this kind of stuff.  I will die waiting.
3604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Cameron - not rich enough - just take it all. on: December 10, 2011, 12:34:23 PM
Unfortunately it isn't just a matter of truth coming out.   OF course he stole it.  Of course he will lie.   Of course many around him who have made money and have deals will be happy to lie.  If one thinks that people with the technical know how to make a movie like this cannot also make "new" electronic evidence and back date it would be mistaken.  Private investigators will likely be hired if not already and follow the acusers and his lawyers around.  Don't think secretaries at the law firms can't be bought off (as well as the lawyers who would probably rather work for a billionaire rather than a ripped of poor artist) to supply all the info or help things diappear or get swithed.  Supply someone with a key to get in and make a switcheroo with adjusted evidence.   Even pay off copyright people.    Think they won't get into your house or place of work.  Think they can't bribe anyone around you to give them the inside info as to what you claim, what you have in evidence?  Where it is, copies, etc.

Eavesdropping?  The entertainment industry which cries foul everytime something of theirs is downloaded somewhere in the world does though they rip people off all day long.  Politicians they can't or won't help you.  They all get cuts donations, deals with the entertainers or get to meet with celebrities or have them sing at their fundraiser for free (promotional advertising for them).

It is nothing for them to hire full time people to go out and do these things.  Even neighbors will do it to have a new fence put up or a roof fixed.

 *****Home James Cameron Sued by Sci Fi Geek -- You Stole 'Avatar' from Me!!!
Celebrity Justice12/8/2011 5:55 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF.James Cameron Sued By Sci Fi Geek --
You Stole 'Avatar' From Me!!!

James Cameron is an idea stealing thief ... who ripped the story for "Avatar" from a science fiction nerd who once worked with Cameron's production company ... this according to a new lawsuit.

Cameron is being sued by a guy named Eric Ryder -- who claims back in 1997, he came up with a movie called "KRZ 2068" -- an "environmentally themed 3-D epic about a corporation's colonization and plundering of a distant moon's lush and wondrous natural setting."

Ryder claims the movie also involved "self-contained robotic exterior suits which house a single human operator" ... just like in "Avatar."

According to the suit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Ryder claims his reps pitched the movie idea to Cameron's production company back in 1999 ... and it was so well received, they had multiple serious meetings with high ranking execs about the development of the project.

But Ryder claims in 2002, the company officially shut down the project -- telling him, "No one would go see an environmentally themed feature length science fiction movie."

So when "Avatar" hit theaters in 2009 ... and made bazillions ... Ryder was furious.

In his suit, Ryder alleges he complained to Cameron's people in 2009 -- but when they finally got back to him earlier this year, they told him to kick rocks, claiming J.C. had written the story before 1999.

Ryder says Cameron's people are lying -- claiming there are way too many similarities between the two projects -- including Ryder's idea for one of the characters to be played by Sigourney Weaver.

Ryder is suing for unspecified damages -- probably a bloody fortune.

Attempts to reach Cameron's people were unsuccessful.

1:30 PM PT: Reps for Fox and James Cameron just released a statement, claiming "the suit is baseless and we will vigorously defend our position."*****

3605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: December 10, 2011, 09:36:28 AM
Rush explains Newt's rise as thus,

the Republican voters are saying to the establishment - we are not going to simply except YOUR candidate this time.  You gave as Dole, Bush, McCain and now Mitt.  We are going to take the one we like.  Newt is clearly not afraid to stick it to the "establishment".   Take that Rove, take that the Bush clan.  Take that Scarborough, take that Sununu and the rest of the ones who know what is best. 

Rush is exactly right.  I want someone to take it to Obama and liberal onslaught.  Mitt is njust too vanilla (using Ed Schultz's word).   

That said I don't take lightly the track record Newt has and the very legitimate concerns about his erractic personality.

We will se if Mitt can overcome this AND if Newt can continue to dazzle with sparks flying yet without short circuiting the whole campaign. 

I still sit on the side lines and am queitly rooting for Newt to be OUR ONE.
3606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: December 09, 2011, 11:21:23 AM
"Once upon a time, public schools could be counted on to teach everyone to speak, read and write well and then higher ed could develop specialized areas of education based on the core foundations.

( - Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest."

I just did search on reading proficiency and a lot comes up and all very confusing with different definitions, ways to measure, ways to test for it, interpretations, goals etc.  I wonder how much is language barriers what not with all the foreign kids here who don't learn English.  Now we also have every learing disability under the sun with nearly everyone who can fit in some sort of category or ADD ADHD and on and on and on.

WE have more spent on schools more specialized classes and focus on these "disabilities" and yet is the above telling me 2 out of 3 kids in Wisconsin cannot read a paragrah and tell me what they read?

3607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: December 08, 2011, 06:50:25 PM
DAVID not 'Dick' Gregory - of meet the jerks (I mean the press) shocked

Sorry Dick.
3608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why, Israelis love Obama on: December 08, 2011, 02:06:57 PM
Yet the recent Zogby poll (Zogby is a well known fan of the Palestinians and anit Israel) shows Brockster's popularity to be on the rise in Israel to around 54%.

Sure I believe that. rolleyes

Bob Grant has to be right - he suspects there are some big liberal machers pushing the Democrat party agenda in Israel as well as perception there and here.  Nothing new there though.

How else can one explain this?

It has to be all propaganda bulls''t
3609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FAF may have very well been about getting gun laws changed as Rush suspected on: December 08, 2011, 12:43:39 PM
Perhaps it isn't online maybe on Rush's website but Rush today has pointed out emails that prove he was right.  Part of Fast and Furious was exactly about liberals trying to affect gun laws in the US.  The libs thought the public outrage over people getting killed from the US guns would spark another round of public outcry for stricter gun laws.

Remember well the Prez is the guy who condescending opinion was "they cling to their guns and their religion".

The wagons are certainly circled.  The ongoing investigation is leading to a coverup that may have only one recourse - impeachment proceedings.

OK Woodward where are you now?

I am not holding my breath.
3610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: December 08, 2011, 12:36:42 PM
The previous post does highlight another concern I have for Newt.
That is he is full of ideas.  But do we have any clue his ideas work?

He was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer a day or two ago and his ability to just blow away all questions and challenges was/is astonishing.  No one else is even close.  Wolf was left dumbfounded.

I want Newt to go on Dick Gregory and watch him sweep the gotcha liberal aside as well.

Brock sounds like a desparate struggling broken record and Newt sounds like a genius.

The liberal onslaught is only just beginning but so far their efforts at trying to dismantle Newt with "remember....."

The Republican establishment is in an obvious panic that their chosen one Mitt seems to be in decline.

Both are hopint to paint Newt as the asshole./  So far he is shoving it their faces.   grin

3611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: December 07, 2011, 11:33:58 AM
I really like Jim Rogers.  I wish I had listened to his example and sold everything before 2008.
3612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: December 07, 2011, 11:32:16 AM
I can't say I am offended in the same vein.  I have noted how many Jews are involved in the political and social and economic and cultural liberalism over the years.  As well as the journolist.

I would say the ratio of Jews who are liberal vs "neo" cons (whatever exactly that means) is probably on the order of ten to one.

Pointing out the obvious is not bigoted.  It is truth. 

3613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: December 07, 2011, 11:22:28 AM
Good points from Newt.   The propaganda and outright lies from this president never end.  He obviously thinks he can get up there and say whatever he wants and his charm will simply blow us over.    The MSM is letting him get away with it and indeed mostly enable him to do it.

The other point is who are we in the US to lecture ANYONE about negotiating with one's enemies with our record in shambles.

It is just as absurd and offensive to see Brock lecturing Europe on its' debt issues.  Who are we to give such lectures.

This pompous arrogant guy in the WH has to go. 

To see the libs calling Newt pompous and arrogant.

BTW, Newt keeps mowing his obstacles down.   I would rather have an immoral Newt than moral Mitt if otherwise Newt will be better at saving the country from Brockster and the liberal socialist hordes. 

My concern now is can Newt keep it up and not self destruct?
3614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: December 06, 2011, 03:22:13 PM
Crafty I cannot think of anything to add to Freidman's piece.

He eloquently argues the dilemnas that exist that we face in the world.   

Trying to sort through all this can take an entire career - with no clear pathway forward.
3615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: December 06, 2011, 02:03:44 PM
Well I dunno.  If Muslims in Muslim countries want to live by Sharia let them.  What do I care.

But not in this country.  Here we live by US law period.

Desperate to shore up his base?  Probably.  Fundraising time.  Go after the big monied part of the GLBT crowd.

I have to wonder if he is really raising the kind of money being claimed.

3616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New fabricated calamity - thanks to the women's lobby on: December 06, 2011, 01:45:18 PM
Some women who had cancer that was not well seen on mammogram has lobbied politicians to require that doctors inform them of their "dense" breasts which might lead to a missed early cancer because of the density obscuring the spot.

So without any medical evaluation of whether lierally chasing down every dense breast in the US leading to more expensive imaging tests and more procedures mostly false postives we have a political activist going straight to the poliiticians for more gigantic spending.   Oh "but it will save lives and how much is a life worth" is the retort?

Folks there is no end in sight to do gooders.  We are so F...!

****Dense Breast Bill Veto in Calif - Lets get on Jerry Brown's case!

Posts: 130
Joined: May 2010
 October 13, 2011 - 11:22pm
Hey ladies! I'm so upset about this veto. OUr legislature passed the bill which would require that women be informed of dense breast and that mammogram may not show malignant growths. I never thought this would happen or I would have put pressure on Jerry Brown. From what I understand he bowed to the Calif. Medical Assoc. which is a very powerful lobby here. I personally could have been spared a lot of grief if I had been told I had dense breasts. I had my mammogram faithfully every year, but no one thought to mention it to me. Perhaps it could have been caught sooner and I wouldn't of had to have chemo and 6 surgeries. But I'm lucky. My tumor was close to the surface so I was able to feel it pretty easily. I know a lot of ladies aren't so lucky and they end up with a dire prognosis. This is about $$$$ nothing else. Let's give Gov. Brown a piece of our minds. Let him know we're more powerful than the Calif. Medical Assoc.


‹ do not want to take anastrozole? CT scan, no changes, but 10th infection since April and this time in the kidneys ›

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Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2011
 October 20, 2011 - 12:45am
Henda Law. All women should be informed about their breast density and
the need for additional testing. Jerry Brown is allowing women to die,
because he vetoed the law on this very issue, he has blood on his hands.

Lets start a Occupy Protest on this very important issue.............

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New Flower
Posts: 2583
Joined: Aug 2009
 October 21, 2011 - 10:07pm
yes it is very important to be aware
I wish I knew, probably could catch mine much earlier
New Flower

Posts: 5179
Joined: Aug 2009
 October 24, 2011 - 10:37am
Okay California Gals .. I am in the processing of
gathering email addresses .. telephone numbers .. and other means of contacting .. our YAHOO IDIOT -- Governor -- Jackasss Brown!

Vicki Sam

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New Flower
Posts: 2583
Joined: Aug 2009
 October 24, 2011 - 8:50pm
Good Thank you
I still cannot understand the gov. He is proposing many other spending initiatives, while young women are suffering from misdiagnosis and likely to get treatment at the very late stage. Vicki, I am glad that you have been
The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2008 © Cancer Survivors Network****
3617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gay infadata continues on: December 06, 2011, 01:13:51 PM
Our country is falling apart and now this is a priority:

By Margaret Talev
(Updates with quote from memorandum, reaction from gay rights advocacy group beginning in third paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration will weigh how countries treat gays and lesbians in making decisions about foreign aid, according to a presidential memorandum released by the White House.

President Barack Obama said in the document he’s directing all agencies engaged abroad to make sure U.S. diplomacy and aid programs “promote and protect” the rights of gays and lesbians.

“The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights,” Obama wrote in the memorandum.

Directing all agencies engaged abroad to promote the human rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people reflects “our deep commitment to advancing the human rights of all people,” he wrote.

The memorandum directs all agencies engaged abroad to improve refugee and asylum protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also calls for strengthening U.S. efforts to oppose foreign governments criminalizing homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender behavior.

Annual Reports

U.S. foreign aid programs will increase government and civil society engagement to promote gay rights, the memorandum says. The State Department will lead an interagency group tracking U.S. responses to “serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBT persons abroad.” Agencies are to report on their progress in six months, and then on an annual basis.

Joe Solmonese, president of the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign in Washington, said in a statement that the presidential memorandum is important as the first U.S. government strategy dealing with rights related to sexual orientation of people in other countries.

“Today’s actions by President Obama make clear that the United States will not turn a blind eye when governments commit or allow abuses to the human rights of LGBT people,” he said.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Terry Atlas

3618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Liberal arts ed vs. liberal agendas on: December 06, 2011, 12:29:27 PM
Rachel, interesting read.  I did a google on the value of liberal arts education.   A lot comes up.  Here is one take:

The Value of Liberal Arts Education  | Print |     
Written by Warren Mass     
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 16:00 
“The Death of Liberal Arts” lamented a headline in an April 5 article that carried the subhead: “How the recession and unemployment are making schools and students rethink the value of an education in the humanities.”

The trend, notes Newsweek, was as rapid as the onset of the current recession. Case in point was Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, which Newsweek had labelled in 2007 as the “hottest liberal-arts school you never heard of.”

But the recession has taken its toll. As Newsweek reporter Nancy Cook observed: “After the endowment of Centenary College … fell by 20 percent from 2007 to 2009, the private school decided to eliminate half of its 44 majors. Over the next three to four years, classic humanities specialities like Latin, German studies, and performing arts will be phased out.”

In response to changing economic conditions, Centenary’s administrators are considering the addition of several new graduate programs to increase their students’ career prospects, such as master's degrees in teaching and international business.

The college’s president explained that the school was trying offer a compromise between providing “a grounding in the arts and sciences, but they also probably need some training in a specific area.”

As another college official quoted in the article, Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, noted: "Students want something they can sell."

The report provided statistics to prove that this was no small concern, citing a recent study by the Pew Research Center that just 41 percent of people ages 18 to 29 are working full-time compared with 50 percent in 2006.

The ancient principle that “man must eat before man can philosophize” may certainly apply to our current situation, as students opt for majors that will provide them with income over those that might feed the mind at the expense of the body. However, students and academians alike may have overlooked a liberal arts education’s value in the world of commerce as well as  in the arts. As Cook writes

Among liberal-arts proponents, the concern is that students who specialize in specific careers will lack critical thinking skills and the ability to write, analyze, and synthesize information. While business education tends to prepare students to work well in teams or give presentations, it often falls short in teaching students to do in-depth research or to write critically outside of the traditional business communiqués of memos or PowerPoints. "I think you need to have both liberal-arts and pre-professional classes at the four-year level," says José Luis Santos, assistant professor in the Higher Education and Organizational Change division at UCLA. "People need to graduate with critical thinking skills because most workplaces retrain individuals for the needs of the industry."

To put it simply: Most employers would prefer to train an applicant who has already learned to think and analyze problems the specific technical skills pertinent to an industry than to teach a new employee who has technical skills — and nothing more — how to think.

In the April 5 edition of The Maine Campus, the University of Maine student newspaper, French language professor Yann Dupuy wrote an op-ed piece entitled “In defense of the liberal arts and languages at UMaine.”

Professor Dupuy cited a statement made in response to proposed budget cut by Raymond Pelletier, the chairperson of the university’s Modern Languages and Classics Department, who was quoted in the campus newspaper as saying, “We need to go at it philosophically, not by the numbers.”

“He is perfectly right," observed Dupuy. “It is a matter of philosophy, and APPWG’s [the Academic Program Prioritization Working Group] report shows the philosophy of university pretty clearly: They lean toward education over instruction.” He continues:

Instruction means giving the bare minimum of knowledge a student needs to be competent at his future job.

Education is this as well, but it also includes giving students the tools they need to later be an independent, free-thinking and morally sound citizen. Education is aimed to make one grow as a human being, while preparing for your future career as well. Education makes citizens; instruction makes good servants. (Emphasis added.)

Dupuy lamented a recent e-mail communication from the university’s dean of students, Robert Dana, in which the dean wrote: “Our primary focus remains on providing the best possible experience for our students.”

Dupuy noted: “Tellingly, in this long e-mail, the word ‘instruction’ is used once, while the word ‘education’ is nowhere to be found.”

With a sense of ironic wit, Dupuy concludes: “People go to Disneyland for a good experience, but students pay tuition for an education.”

Yet another commentary on the decline of liberal arts education, “A look at teaching ills of top-tier colleges,” a book review written by Cornell University professor Glenn C. Altschuler, appeared in the Boston Globe for April 6. Altschuler reviewed The Marketplace of Ideas by Louis Menand, an English professor at Harvard and staff writer at the New Yorker. Altschuler writes:

Liberal education, Menand reminds us, is in danger of being marginalized by the proliferation of alternatives. Twenty-two percent of bachelor’s degrees are conferred in business. Twice as many sheepskins are awarded in social work each year as in all foreign languages and literatures combined. Four percent of undergraduates major in English; two percent in history.

Over the past 30 years, the revolution in humanities disciplines has spawned a crisis of legitimacy. An emphasis on context, contingency, and interpretations rather than facts, Menand indicates, led to an abandonment of “Great Books,’’ “Western Civ,’’ a core curriculum, and, often, prerequisites for courses in the major. Professors of women’s studies, cultural studies, gay and lesbian studies, and postcolonial studies took the theoretical position that disciplinary boundaries are arbitrary and limiting.

If there is any surprise to be found in these critical analyses, it is that they originate from sources generally deemed to fall on the modernist “liberal” side of the philosophical spectrum, and not on the classically liberal side from which "liberal arts" takes its name.

Whatever the sources, and whichever labels are attached to these sources, they present a concurrence with the message delivered by the late University of Chicago professor Allan David Bloom (1930-1992) who championed the idea of “Great Books” education. Bloom became famous for his criticism of modern American higher education, and is best remembered for having expressed his views in his bestselling 1987 book, The Closing of the American Mind.

That these concerns about the decline in American education are being voiced in circles traditionally thought of as being receptive to modern “liberal” philosophy is encouraging. Perhaps the ever-more apparent impending political totalitarianism and collectivism enveloping our nation is making the need for an intelligent, informed, and thinking electorate apparent to our nation's most intelligent and honest observers, by whatever philosophical label was previously applied to them.

More and more academians apparently are realizing, as Professor Dupuy said: “Education makes citizens; instruction makes good servants.
3619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Want to get wealthy - be Clinton lawyer on: December 06, 2011, 10:36:52 AM
I am not holding my breath that the MSM will investigate ties between Clinton and MFS.

Remember Chelsea is married to the kid of convicted Wall Streeter.

The Clinton legal military machine is already building their berms, moats, castles and other legal iron curtains around their beloved political saint.

The total corruption is mind boggling. 
3620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: December 06, 2011, 10:31:43 AM
""non-Christian" merchants who "use Jesus to lure you in to Santa Claus's birthday party." 

GM, JJ was of course referring to Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist "merchants".

I mean - not Jews -

I offer the challenge again. If anyone has heard any prominent Black say anything really protective or good in general about the Jews please let me know.  Of course all Balcks are not anti semites.  I am talking about the ones we see in the media for years.  The Jacksons, Sharptons, Waters, and the other well publicized "civil rights" leaders.
3621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: December 05, 2011, 10:34:21 AM
"All the older people I know vote with their pocketbook and don't want any changes."

Absolutely.   And that is why we can't some entitlement reform from either party.

The "greastest" generation is now the greatest entitlement class - rightly or wrongly.

It has been run like a Ponsi scheme and even Perry who honestly pointed this out was thus vilified.

I wonder if the money that was put in over the decades was really placed into the proverbial "lock box" would these programs now be solvent?

Government simply cannot keep their hands off our money and spend it faster than a person pissing from an urinary tract infection.

3622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: December 05, 2011, 09:49:10 AM

My take....

In the end women will vote their pocketbooks like everyone else.  Older women will vote against Obama to some extent because they will not like how he is destroying America as we know it (and possibly medicare soc sec - if that is how it is projected).   Younger women, particularly the single mothers, will vote Democratic for obvious reasons.

I don't think the sexual thing will be a big factor despite what anyone tells us now. 

Obama and Lincoln?  They may not have been ladies men but there was one difference - a little thing called honesty.

But interestingly enough we know far more about Lincoln who lived 150 yrs ago than we do about Obama's earlier life don't we?
3623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 05, 2011, 09:41:59 AM
"Chinese Ministry of State Security wants to read up on our cholesterol counts, it's just a few clicks away...."

I read that hardware has components made overseas so we should not kid ourselves into thinking there are things put into these components that can be used in ways not intended.  I don't think for one second US manufactureres of software and hardware do not have ways to get in our electronic devices.

Eventually the Chinese will probably be able to shut our entire country down with a few clicks.

That might very well the start to the next world war.
3624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The health care chief on MSNBC on: December 04, 2011, 02:59:58 PM
We all agree that the costs of health care going up around 10% is unsustainable.  We will all go bankrupt.  Berwick "sells" (using his own term) his vision for the rest of using catch phrases like "quality", "human right" etc. 

He does admit in a disingenius way that of course we are going to ration but we should do it with our eyes open.  He is covering up the fact that extending care to 40 million people will not lower costs and that the rest of us will in some way pikc up that tab and get less.   My opinion is that he is trying to get us to socialized medicine with arguments that he can improve quality of care, save costs on needless tests, health IT, performance measures, reducing side effects, infection rates.
The most telling part of the interview is an example he uses of a test his own daughter's insurance refused to pay for.  He says he is a pediatrician and he can assure us she "needed" this test.  What he doesn't tell us is that insurers do not refuse tests out of the blue and not without their own data that is EXACTLY the kind of stuff CMS is planning for us.  His excuse is when the private insurers refuses payment they do not say why.  I can tell you they do have appeals processes and the processes do include the option of a review by another doctor.  Additionally everyone knows they go by actuarial data to determine what to pay for or not.  That is exactly what he is planning.    In any case health care in the US is broken.   But I don't want single payer we are all forced to be in Harvard policy makers control health care.
3625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 04, 2011, 01:06:56 PM
"electronic medical records, something in which he believes."

There are hundreds of EMR vendors.  It is like the tech craze before the tech crash of the late 90's.  It is predicted in a few years that the number will fall to a few dozen through consokidation and bankruptcy.

Realistically they are not ready for prime time yet CMS is pushing and bribing us all to jump on board.

And no doubt there are thousands out there vying to cash in on it all.
3626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: December 03, 2011, 11:39:15 AM
Disability rolls are also on the rise.   People are leaving the work force and desparatly getting onto disability and taking the easy way out. 

I cannot seem to find number on this but I am suspect the Feds are allowing this to lower the unemployment numbers.

There is no way people are suddenly getting jobs in droves.

But Brockster takes the phoney numbers to Hawaii for some leisure time.

3627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: December 02, 2011, 12:55:13 PM
"A Nobel Laureate (aren't they all?)"

Every time I drive through Princeton all I can think of is "stinking liberal university professors".  All the same.  Columbia Hahvood, Yale Princeton.

I cannot think Ivy league without the thought of American hating professors teaching the propaganda.

To think this guy Krugman was given a noble prize is just as big a joke as Brock getting one for peace.

They belong in the same boat as Arafat.
3628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / juggle/cook the books on: December 02, 2011, 12:05:33 PM

Great news but who in their right mind believes the numbers?  Essentailly embezzling the numbers all it is.

We ain't seen nothing yet.   Wait till election 12 nears.  No one will know who to believe.
3629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 02, 2011, 10:50:47 AM
MSLSD "hate all republicans" crowd has been bashing Newt for being condescending and conceited.  Bashing him for his "I make 60K a speech" comment and some of his other declarations.  I think they are quite terrified of him. 

I can't think of anyone more arrogant and condescending and self serving patronizing than the one and only Brock-man.  The Clintons are a close second.

So this charge from them is desperation.   They will every night yell and hoot and scream everything they can.

They are wrong in the estimation of Newt's "baggage".  The risk to him is less his baggage but more going forward with his tendency to make errant statements.  I hope he will listen to handlers for once and be careful by staying on a well rehearsed and vested script before he opens his occasionally big mouth.

The country is clearly willing to look away from personal stuff if the right leader comes forward - IMHO.

The left has no one to blame for this.  They lowered the bar themselves with the CLontons and previously with the Kennedys.

3630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: December 01, 2011, 06:04:52 PM
Hey how come Sharpton Jackson and the rest of the race baiters are no where to be seen or heard when the media is assasinating a conservative Black?

Bottom line - it ain't about race - its about reparations.
3631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 01, 2011, 01:37:54 PM
I am on the sidelines at this point between Mitt and Newt. 

I think people overestimate Newt's baggage.

The past is the past and much of the American public will not care about the baggage if Newt continues to sould like the best one with the best ideas for the job.

I am not happy with the illegal position but I understand it.  The cat is way out of the box with regards to that.  If we need to be reasonable with the illegals who are here with their clans in order to capture some of the Latino vote in order to stem the "progressive movement cancer from the liberals than so be it.  OTOH at least Newt points out that those who came here illegally must never be given citizenship.   

Let the left overestimate what short memories the public has or the concern they will have for Newt's past "indescretions" if they find his ideas too compelling to resist.

Look at Clinton.   No matter who sleazy no matter how dishonest no matter what lies and disgusting BS he or Hillary would come out with it made no difference.  The economy was good (of course due to the tech bubble) and he is now remembered as a great her.
3632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's love life as bad as Lincoln's?? on: November 30, 2011, 04:15:33 PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
About Obama's 'missing girlfriends'

Posted: August 18, 2011
9:00 pm Eastern

© 2011 
As WND reported, radio host Rush Limbaugh raised an intriguing question on the air: "Where are all of Obama's former girlfriends?"

In referring to past email inquiries he received on this subject, Limbaugh continued, "They are interesting because those people haven't surfaced. There aren't any ex-girlfriends that have admitted it."

In fact, I wrote about this question in my book, "Deconstructing Obama," and on these pages last year. As the likely source of these rumors, I thought I might clarify them, at least to the degree they can be clarified.

As it happens, Obama inadvertently raised the girlfriend issue himself in his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father." Published when he was 33, "Dreams" documents Obama's all-consuming search for identity.

Whether he dated white women or black women – and what he might have learned from either – matters, but Obama gives the reader very close to nothing.

"Cosby never got the girl on 'I Spy,'" he laments in "Dreams," but in his own retelling, he does not do much better.

Although Obama spent 13 years on the mainland as a single man, on only one occasion in "Dreams" does Obama make any reference to his love life.

In a brief recounting, he tells his half-sister, Auma, that in addition to a white woman he had loved and lost, "There are several black ladies out there who've broken my heart just as good."

The problem is that Obama shares with the reader not a word about any of the black ladies, and not one of them has come forward on her own.

The white woman in question presents a different set of problems. In terms of height, hair color, eye color, parentage and highly specific place of origin – namely a large country estate with a lake in the middle – she is a dead ringer for Bill Ayers' lost love, the late Weatherwoman Diana Oughton.

In his definitive Obama-friendly biography, "The Bridge," David Remnick likewise falls silent on the subject of girlfriends, white or black.

Remnick interviews hundreds of people in Obama's life, but unless I missed something, he offers not a single interview of an Obama girlfriend.

Obama biographer Christopher Andersen made a serious effort to identify the mystery white woman, but he failed.

"No one," he writes, "including [Obama's] roommate and closest friend at the time, Siddiqi, knew of this mysterious lover's existence."

To be sure, Obama did court and marry his wife, Michelle. This tale of courtship, however, is strikingly devoid of any reference to love, sex or romance.

At his most passionate, Obama says of Michelle, "In her eminent practicality and Midwestern attitudes, she reminds me not a little of Toot [his grandmother]." That description must surely have warmed Michelle's heart.

In his second book, "Audacity of Hope," Obama does not even get the date of their first meeting right. "I met Michelle in the summer of 1988," he writes, "while we were both working at Sidley & Austin."

Obama acknowledges he had just finished his first year at law school, but he did not begin Harvard Law until the fall of 1988.

As has become more and more evident, there are some serious manipulations in the Obama narrative. If the year he first met Michelle is not one of them, the courtship of the mystery white woman is.

Jack Cashill is an Emmy-award winning independent writer and producer with a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue. His latest book is the blockbuster "Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Love and Letters of America's First Post-Modern President."

3633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reset foreign policy has not happened on: November 29, 2011, 10:09:56 AM
Let's see.  Great One was going to improve our relationships abroad.

Have our relations improved with Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, China, N. Korea, Venezuela, Russia, Lybia, Egypt, Israel, PLO, or anyhwere?    I haven't seen the left wing media come out with some obscure foreign polling data claiming some other country, continent or region's people love Obama or the US lately.

Great One's charm was going to get everyone to love us.

All we needed was to get rid of Republicans and the world would be one big happy Pepsi generation.

Humanity will never be a Pepsi generation, the progressive's dream.

Why, even in our country alone no one can agree on anything and we fight and squabble over the money and our personal interests all day long - same as everywhere - same as every time in human history.

3634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / CO2 emissions less of an issue than thought on: November 28, 2011, 05:39:25 PM
From the Economist:

****Climate change
Good news at last?
The climate may not be as sensitive to carbon dioxide as previously believed
Nov 26th 2011 | from the print edition

..CLIMATE science is famously complicated, but one useful number to keep in mind is “climate sensitivity”. This measures the amount of warming that can eventually be expected to follow a doubling in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its most recent summary of the science behind its predictions, published in 2007, estimated that, in present conditions, a doubling of CO2 would cause warming of about 3°C, with uncertainty of about a degree and a half in either direction. But it also says there is a small probability that the true number is much higher. Some recent studies have suggested that it could be as high as 10°C.

If that were true, disaster beckons. But a paper published in this week’s Science, by Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University, suggests it is not. In Dr Schmittner’s analysis, the climate is less sensitive to carbon dioxide than was feared.

Existing studies of climate sensitivity mostly rely on data gathered from weather stations, which go back to roughly 1850. Dr Schmittner takes a different approach. His data come from the peak of the most recent ice age, between 19,000 and 23,000 years ago. His group is not the first to use such data (ice cores, fossils, marine sediments and the like) to probe the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide. But their paper is the most thorough. Previous attempts had considered only small regions of the globe. He has compiled enough information to make a credible stab at recreating the climate of the entire planet.

The result offers that rarest of things in climate science—a bit of good news. The group’s most likely figure for climate sensitivity is 2.3°C, which is more than half a degree lower than the consensus figure, with a 66% probability that it lies between 1.7° and 2.6°C. More importantly, these results suggest an upper limit for climate sensitivity of around 3.2°C.

Before you take the SUV out for a celebratory spin, though, it is worth bearing in mind that this is only one study, and, like all such, it has its flaws. The computer model used is of only middling sophistication, Dr Schmittner admits. That may be one reason for the narrow range of his team’s results. And although the study’s geographical coverage is the most comprehensive so far for work of this type, there are still blank areas—notably in Australia, Central Asia, South America and the northern Pacific Ocean. Moreover, some sceptics complain about the way ancient data of this type were used to construct a different but related piece of climate science: the so-called hockey-stick model, which suggests that temperatures have risen suddenly since the beginning of the industrial revolution. It will be interesting to see if such sceptics are willing to be equally sceptical about ancient data when they support their point of view.

from the print edition | Science and technology
3635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The great uniter, post partisan post racial leader on: November 28, 2011, 01:47:35 PM
President Obama praised Frank's work on the financial reform legislation.

"This country has never had a Congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him," Obama said in a statement. "It is only thanks to his leadership that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever happening again."


3636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 28, 2011, 12:58:37 PM
" I am skeptical anyone will make government much smaller, but perhaps the one who can reform the most is the one people find the least threatening.  One part of smarter is send state governing responsibilities back to the states."

Taking a page from Alinsky - if you want to change "them"  pretend you are one of them.

Mitt can play he is a liberal and establishment guy but he is really behind the scenes  - a great conservative.

Well one can only wish....

3637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: November 28, 2011, 11:49:54 AM
Barney out - market up big! wink

Wait till O'bamster loses in '12! cool
3638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 28, 2011, 10:40:45 AM
"Mitt Romney will take a smaller, simpler, and smarter approach to government."

Excellent - a perfect comeback and in your face to the Clinton strategy of "smarter" government (see my post under the Clinton thread).  Yes smarter and more honest governent but smaller not larger like the liberals.

We have got to counter the dem machine idealogy that government is the answer to solving all the ills of mankind and every other ill affecting the Earth.

3639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: November 28, 2011, 10:09:05 AM
"said wrt Pak at the last republican debate, that we need mollycoddle them and fund them because of their nukes, and that they can descend into chaos etc. We dont even have the guts to stop funding Pak, there is no question of Obama starting a new war."

With regards to the first part of this post what do the generals think we ought to do?  We can keep doing what we are doing and tread water, we can perhaps get tougher with (what) results, or perhaps we pull out altogether.

What do the military experts think is best?  I would guess they may have divergent opinions and may be unsure as well?

With regards to the latter part of the post are you saying Obama is starting a new war?
3640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy is failing on: November 27, 2011, 03:36:01 PM
3641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here it is. "Smart power" from Time on: November 27, 2011, 03:19:21 PM
No one but no one is smarter than the pair of Clintons - except for the other one on the way - Chelsea.,9171,2097973,00.html
3642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Smart" on: November 27, 2011, 03:15:58 PM
a modern economy requires a government that is *smart*  Obviously this is the new push for a return to the Clintons from the liberals.  Government is not the problem - aka the Tea Party's claim - what we need is a "smarter" government.  And who better to see that government is smarter than the beloved Clintons.  Remember the cover of TIME magazine with something about Hillary Clinton and "smart" foreing policy.  There is NO doubt she will run for President again.   When I don't know.  If VP slot with the Brockster?  I don't know.  If not than in 2016.

This is the new con.  "Good and smart" government.  I recall Soros also has spoken about "good" government.   There really is no hope in stopping this relentless push for government to control everything we do.  They use voter bribery (entitlements) to buy people with this ideology.  I really think there is no hope. 

From the Economist:

****Bill Clinton's "Back to Work"
Missing Bill
Sep 29th 2011, 14:09 by A.W. | LONDON

..DURING the 2008 presidential election Bill Clinton’s reputation took a battering. Democrats who had stuck with him through all the bimbo eruptions and political zigzags suddenly started accusing him of racism (in South Carolina) and boorishness (almost everywhere). This owed something to the press which had all but degenerated into an ahmen chorus to the Obama operation. But it owed more to a general sense of exhaustion with the former first family: few people wanted to see Bill become Putin to Hillary’s Medvedev.
How the mood has changed! The comeback kid is back with a vengeance. From September 30th to October 1st he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his announced run for the presidency in Little Rock, Arkansas. In November Knopf is publishing a new book, “Back to Work”, his second literary offering after his sprawling autobiography. And the press is primed for a love-fest. The further Barack Obama’s stock has fallen—and it has fallen a long way—the more Mr Clinton’s has risen. And the worse the global economic crisis becomes—and it is becoming very bad indeed—the more people hanker after the stable growth of the 1990s.
Unlike Mr Obama, who seems most at home with campus liberals and minority activists, Mr Clinton knew how to reach white middle America—those poor boobs who ostensibly cling to guns and God. Mr Obama knows only two registers—grand (and increasingly tedious) rhetoric and cold cerebration. Mr Clinton can feel people’s pain—can drape a hand over people’s shoulders and convince them that they are the centre of his universe. He does Oprah better than Oprah and Dr Phil better than Dr Phil. But "Back to Work" reminds us that there is an even more important reason why we should miss the old rogue: he may have been undisciplined, self-indulgent and sleazy, but he was one of the greatest policy wonks ever to sit in the White House.
One of the most surprising things about Mr Obama’s presidency—even more surprising than his appetite for golf—is his lack of interest in the nitty-gritty of policy. Mr Clinton brought the same appetite to social policy that he did to junk food and cheap women. He loved debating the finer points with the likes of Robert Reich and Lawrence Summers. As a New Democrat, he understood that liberalism needed to reinvent itself if it was to remain relevant in an age of globalisation and information technology (though his interest in IT did not extend to teaching himself how to use a computer). As a former governor, he understood that the devil of policy-making lies in the details.
In his new book “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President”, Ron Suskind quotes Mr Obama claiming that “Carter, Clinton and I all have sort of the disease of being policy wonks”. But in truth Mr Obama is surprisingly free from the disease, given his Ivy League education and cerebral style: he has never wrestled with public policy for any sustained period of time; never once gone to battle with his party’s interest groups in defence of a new liberalism, for example; never descended into the engine room of the policy machine.
Mr Obama’s supporters might retort that he inherited a far more difficult set of problems than Mr Clinton: the biggest economic implosion since the Great Depression, a huge mountain of debt, much of it accumulated by his spendthrift predecessor, and two interminable wars. But he also had huge resources at his disposal in his first two years: a solid electoral majority, Democratic majorities in both houses and a whirlwind of goodwill as the first African-American president. This could have produced health-care legislation that dealt seriously with costs and educational reforms that extended choice and competition. But instead Mr Obama handed over the detail of health-care reform to Congressional Democrats (who gutted any cost-cutting) and retreated before the teachers’ unions. Mr Obama’s supporters might also retort that after those two golden years, he was confronted by a resurgent Republican majority in the House. But divided politics can be a stimulus to creative policy making: Mr Clinton’s battles with Newt Gingrich’s Republicans led to one of his singular pieces of legislation, welfare reform.
“Back to Work” addresses the subject Mr Obama has been weakest with: job creation. Mr Clinton sounds some classic themes from the 1990s with a bit of fashionable greenery flown in. The private and public sector should be partners, not antagonists: anti-government rhetoric may be good for politics (and TV ratings) but it is bad for policy-making. A modern economy requires a government that is active but smart rather than one that is active but driven by vested interests. But the blurb also promises some “specific recommendations” on how to put people back to work and create new businesses—and even double America’s exports. It is impossible to judge whether this is just flannel or serious argument until the book is released next month. It is also far easier to make recommendations from the comfort of retirement than it is to govern. But a president who presided over America’s Indian summer—a period of sustained growth and disciplined government—should at least have something to say to a new generation of politicians who live in a far stormier time.***

3643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 25, 2011, 02:36:49 PM
"To allow threats to grow and develop right while we have reason, justification and perhaps opportunity to take action is exactly what has landed us in this triple threat situation, IMHO."

Bolton was on a few days ago and agreed that if Iran gets nucs so will S. Arabia, Turkey, Egypt go after them.
It doesn't seem like anyone knows if Israel can do it or not.   Only Israel knows what it has and only Iran knows what it has.

Didn't the nuclear holocaust in the movie "The Day After" start with nuclear devices going off in the Middle East?

I remember not being able to sleep that night after watching the movie.

The doctrine of mutually assured destruction doesn't fit this situation like it did between USA USSR when we had two superpowers with more rational leaders and more or less equal capability.

Now we have disprotionate foes.
3644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 25, 2011, 12:38:41 PM
MSM is in full swing doing everything they can to delegitamize the Rep field.

CNN is every day I turn it on spending inordinate amounts of time trying to debunk everything the candidates say.

You know the "keeping em honest" pitch.  As though they are the final arbitars of truth and justice.

If that were the case they would be debunking Brock every single day - but they don't.

We NEVER hear from the MSM any criticism of the Dem party unless they include the Republicans in the criticism.  It is never the party they go after.  When that is the case it becomes all the politicians.

Cain has fallen in the polls more for his poor handling of allegations and indeed more because he is obviously not prepared to be a President - I doubt it is because of the allegations themselves.
3645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 23, 2011, 12:08:28 PM
The debate was good.  The candidates are all better.  The formatt seemed improved with more leeway on allowing candidates to speak longer and answer each other rather than 30 second sound bites.  Less "gotcha" stuff I thought. 

Mitt looked great. Strong on defense.  Newt too. 

MSLSD is in full Democratic machine mode every day and night attacking the Rep candidates.  CNN gloriously points out about Newt and his money endeavors.  Not a peep about GE, MSLSD and the WH.   
3646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mitt vs Newt? on: November 22, 2011, 02:31:42 PM
I too still like Newt.  "NA" stands for Newt anonymous.  Last night saw Mitt.  While the substance of what he says is correct he just doesn't take it to the opposition like Newt.  Like he still has the need to soften his tone when speaking about Brock, with phrase like "he means well".  Get rid of that.  He doesn't mean well.  He is out to get rid of America as we know it.   And he is not honest about it.  Why keep calling him a nice guy who is just misinformed.  Brock is well aware of what he is doing and he is fully aware he is not telling us the truth.

I agree with Crafty here.  Newt don't back down.  I want to see him and Mitt "duke it out" and lets see who can make the case better for stark choice between Brock's one world government socialism and America as we know it.   

Mitt just doesn't inspire me.  Yet it ain't about me.  It is about the independents.  So who can get their attention better, Mitt or Newt?  As always they decide the election.  So I am a pragmatist in the end.   
3647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jonathan Steele book review from economist; interesting take on: November 22, 2011, 02:21:19 PM
Afghanistan’s interminable war
Looking for the exit
A bleak but authoritative assessment of foreign intervention
Nov 19th 2011 | from the print edition

Ghosts of Afghanistan: The Haunted Battleground. By Jonathan Steele. Counterpoint; 437 pages; $26. Portobello; £25. Buy from,

ON TAKING office in 2009, President Barack Obama found a longstanding request from the army on his desk, asking for more troops for the war in Afghanistan. He soon acceded, though not in full. According to Bob Woodward’s book, “Obama’s Wars”, which came out in 2010, the late Richard Holbrooke, Mr Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, reminded his boss that Lyndon Johnson had faced similar demands during the Vietnam war. “Ghosts”, whispered Mr Obama. They haunt him still, as he seeks to bring most American troops home before 2015, without leaving Afghanistan prey to a new extremist Taliban regime or an intensification of its three-decade-long civil war.

“Ghosts of Afghanistan” is a good title for this fine modern history by Jonathan Steele, a British journalist. This is not just because of the many people who have died in its wars, but because “the spectres of past mistakes” still complicate decision-making by the NATO-led, American-dominated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

These include both the quagmire in Vietnam and the Soviet Union’s disastrous nine-year occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, which was cheered by Western cold warriors as “the Soviet Union’s Vietnam”. An experienced writer and commentator for the Guardian, Mr Steele has visited Afghanistan in every phase of the civil war and is well placed to compare the end of the Soviet era and the present “transition”, the favoured common euphemism for foreign withdrawal.

He demolishes some Western myths about Afghanistan that betray short memories and government spin. The Soviet years, for example, tend to be portrayed as a period of bitter repression under a puppet regime, which was defeated by a popular, Islamist uprising, backed by America and Pakistan, and which crumbled as soon as the Soviet Union withdrew its occupation forces in 1989.

There is another way of looking at the same history. At no stage did the Soviet Union have as many troops in Afghanistan as America and ISAF do now. It was never defeated. It withdrew because Mikhail Gorbachev realised the Soviets could never win. The regime they left behind was quite resilient. Only as the Soviet Union began to unravel in 1991 and withdraw its aid did the regime collapse shortly after. The mujahideen boast of having brought down the Soviet Union. The reverse is just as true: it was the collapse of the Soviet Union that brought the mujahideen to power.

There are some uncanny echoes between the two interventions. The Soviets and the Americans both allocated 15 times as much to military spending in the country as to civilian spending. Soviet resentment at the ingratitude of the client regime is matched in America. This month ISAF had to sack an American general for voicing it. Neither the West nor the Soviet Union is predominantly Muslim, enabling their enemies to decry the “infidel” regimes they back. Both wars became very unpopular at home. ISAF, like the Soviet army, has established solid-looking structures in the north, which is largely inhabited by smaller ethnic groups, such as Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. But it still faces a serious insurgency in the Pushtun-dominated south and east, fuelled from Pakistan.

With the war in stalemate now, as it was 20 years ago, Mr Steele argues for peace talks with the Taliban and the regional powers. That, of course, is how wars end. But it is hard when the enemy, known in convenient shorthand as “the Taliban”, is fragmented and ISAF is trying to kill or co-opt as many of its fighters as possible. Moreover, America has committed itself to a timetable for withdrawal—an invitation to its enemies to play a long game.

In one respect the Soviet precedent is not encouraging. That withdrawal was preceded by years of ultimately fruitless diplomacy. But the foreign presence is not the only reason Afghans fight. So the lesson some ISAF strategists draw from the Soviet experience is less to do with the necessity for peace talks than about the durability of the post-occupation Afghan government until its plug was pulled from a socket in Moscow. If the West can commit enough in military and civilian assistance, the present government should muddle through, at least in the cities.

That is not a very encouraging outcome, measured against the high hopes after the swift toppling of the Taliban in 2001. But Mr Steele gives almost the last word in his book to an even gloomier scenario, spelled out by Francesc Vendrell, a wise diplomat formerly with the UN and the EU: “Having failed dismally to make the Afghan people our allies, we will inevitably abandon them to a combination of Taliban in the south and the warlords in the north, and (having somehow redefined success) we will go home convinced that it is the Afghan people who have failed us.” Mr Steele and Mr Vendrell are not the only ones to be haunted by the ghosts of Afghanistan’s future.

from the print edition | Books and arts
3648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 22, 2011, 12:35:25 PM
* I'm just tied up for the
rest of the day*

I cannot resist this one:

You mean you are on Wall Street with fellow "revolutionaries" elbow to elbow in front of Rupert Murdoch's NY office avoiding a bath?

Sound like a lot of fun.  Oh its so great to be part of history and of 'something'.  And the chicks are freebirds too  grin
3649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 22, 2011, 11:44:14 AM
***Imagine if your receptionist asked a patient and his family to leave your lobby, but the patient refused, however the patient was non violent. non threatening, just annoying and uncooperative.  He and his family just sat there.  What would you say if your receptionist, without being threatened in any way, then pulled out her Pepper Spray and attacked the entire family just to clear your lobby?  Causing damage to the individuals.  Wouldn't you feel a little guilty given the circumstances?  Was Pepper Spray appropriate?  As Management, wouldn't you like to have know before your receptionist Pepper Spayed Patients without justifiable cause and if appropriate, require your approval in advance excluding the employee being physically threatened?****

Your analogy is a bit ridiculous but OK.  I'll give a go.  Suppose a group of students walk in my office and sit with arms locked accross the floor and refuse to vacate the premises.  I would then call the police and hope they would have these people removed.  Suppose they refuse to leave based on verbal commands.  Then what?  Since they are not violent I should just throw up my arms and agree it is their right to freedom of speech and let it go?

A receptionist is not the same as a police officer and might be subject to arrest in NJ for using pepper spray. 

3650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 22, 2011, 09:56:46 AM
Whatever some lawyer says about this *must be done* etc doesn't mean much.  Of course this guy will say this.

But what is the law/consitution and the entire legal analysis.  Try getting an objective opinion without everyone's agenda right of left involved.
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