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3901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Anti-depressants on: March 08, 2012, 07:50:07 PM
This makes sense to me.  I absolutely do not believe antidepressants are not better than placebo.  I don't understand the findings of some studies that suggest this.  There is NO doubt they are helping some people.  It cannot just be placebo.  No way.  Yet even in this study only one in five benefits (or at least more than placebo) and it appears other modalities may be just as good:

..Study suggests overall benefit from antidepressants
By Genevra Pittman | Reuters – 10 hrs ago....Email
....NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite recent debate about how well antidepressants really work in people with only mild or moderate depression, a new analysis of drug studies suggests they may have some benefit across the board.

Researchers found that more patients taking Prozac or Effexor had a substantial improvement in their symptoms than those taking a drug-free placebo pill, regardless of how severe those symptoms were to begin with.

The idea that unless you're very, very ill, you're not going to benefit from treatment does not appear to stand up" when looking closely, said the study's lead author, Robert Gibbons, from the University of Chicago.

Still, not everyone in the studies improved -- on average, about five people had to be treated with one of the drugs for one person to feel better, and the benefits seemed to be diminished among some of the oldest patients.

What's more, one researcher not involved in the study said its findings still don't mean the drugs are any better than non-drug methods of treating depression, such as talk therapy and being more physically active.

For their analysis, Gibbons and his colleagues looked at outcomes for each individual patient in published and unpublished trials testing the effects of six weeks of treatment with antidepressants versus placebo pills. Most of those trials were funded and run by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture Prozac and Effexor -- Eli Lilly and Wyeth, respectively.

They included 12 studies of Prozac in adults and four each in elderly patients and youth, as well as 21 trials of immediate- or extended-release Effexor in adults. About 9,000 participants were included.

More adults and kids taking Prozac, known generically as fluoxetine, had at least a 50 percent improvement in scores on depression tests after six weeks compared to those assigned to take a placebo pill.

Fifty-five percent of adults on Prozac responded to treatment, compared to 34 percent in the placebo group. In youth, 30 percent on Prozac had significant symptom improvement, compared to just six percent of the comparisons.

The benefits were seen regardless of how severe patients' symptoms were before starting treatment.

However, in the elderly the differences between the treatment and placebo groups were much smaller, and the researchers calculated that 17 older patients would have to be treated with Prozac for one to gain from it.

Clearly the efficacy of antidepressants is age-dependent, (and) largest, most interestingly, in youth, which I don't think would be the mainstream view in psychiatry," Gibbons told Reuters Health.

The findings, he added, raise other questions that need to be followed up (including), what's going on in the elderly?"

Both types of Effexor, or venlafaxine, also seemed to help adults with mild to severe depression, with slightly more patients responding to the immediate-release dose.

Some of the study's authors have testified for or received funding from drug companies, though the report itself was funded by national health agencies.

The researchers said they couldn't be sure there would be similar improvements with other types of antidepressants -- especially given the more limited data in kids and the elderly -- or that the longer-term benefits would be as clear.

One recent study suggested that up to a fifth of patients on the antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) might actually benefit more from placebo pills (see Reuters Health story of December 9, 2011.)

Irving Kirsch, who studies antidepressants and placebos at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said the new report didn't make him more optimistic about the drugs.

If five or more patients need to be treated with an antidepressant for one to substantially improve, most don't get much out of it, he pointed out.

More than 80 percent of the patients are not getting a significant benefit from the drug -- either they're not getting better or they would get the same benefit with placebo," he told Reuters Health.

There are alternative treatments for depression that also produce about the same symptom reduction as the drugs do, but without the risk of side effects," Kirsch added, including psychotherapy and exercise.

Still, Gibbons said that the improvement in symptoms for the average patient wasn't insignificant.

Definitely it doesn't look like antidepressants are placebos," he concluded.

SOURCE: Archives of General Psychiatry, online March 5, 2012.

3902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 08, 2012, 07:39:42 PM
"his re-election campaign is now targeting the Koch brothers’ private foundation donors in a parallel effort to chill conservative speech and activism"

Not to mention the hysteria of some libs on MSM outlets recently about the *unfairness* of a system where Sheldon Adleson can give millions to the Newt campaign (making HIM a target) yet narry a peep when it is big entertainment stars/Soros and wall street libs supporting Obama.
3903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brockster and natural gas on: March 08, 2012, 07:34:19 PM
Brock man comes out and acts as though he is for nat gas  wink
Read Wikipedia on nat gas.  Scroll to the section for the US.  While converting to natural gas doesn't itself cost much getting a certificate from the EPA will cost a bit more - 50 grand:
3904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Name calling from the left on: March 08, 2012, 07:17:45 PM
  Michelle Malkin  Lead StoryThe war on conservative women
By Michelle Malkin  •  March 7, 2012 09:13 AM The war on conservative women
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2012

I’m sorry Rush Limbaugh called 30-year-old Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut.” She’s really just another professional femme-a-gogue helping to manufacture a false narrative about the GOP “war on women.” I’m sorry the civility police now have an opening to demonize the entire right based on one radio comment — because it’s the progressive left in this country that has viciously and systematically slimed female conservatives for their beliefs.

We have the well-worn battle scars to prove it. And no, we don’t need coddling phone calls from the pandering president of the United States to convince us to stand up and fight.

At his first press conference of the year on Tuesday, the Nation’s Concern Troll explained that he phoned Fluke to send a message to his daughters and all women that they shouldn’t be “attacked or called horrible names because they are being good citizens.” After inserting himself into the fray and dragging Sasha and Malia into the debate, Obama then told a reporter he “didn’t want to get into the business of arbitrating” language and civility. Too late, pal.

The fact is, “slut” is one of the nicer things I’ve been called over 20 years of public life. In college during the late 1980s, it was “race traitor,” “coconut” (brown on the outside white on the inside) and “white man’s puppet.” After my first book, “Invasion,” came out in 2001, it was “immigrant-hater,” the “Radical Right’s Asian Pitbull,” “Tokyo Rose” and “Aunt Tomasina.” In my third book, 2005′s “Unhinged,” I published entire chapters of hate mail rife with degrading, unprintable sexual epithets and mockery of my Filipino heritage.

If I had a dollar for every time libs have called me a “Manila whore” and “Subic Bay bar girl,” I’d be able to pay for a ticket to a Hollywood-for-Obama fundraiser. To the HuffPo left, whore is my middle name.

Self-serving opponents argue that such attacks do not represent “respectable,” “mainstream” liberal opinion about their conservative female counterparts. But it was feminist godmother Gloria Steinem who called Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a “female impersonator.” It was NOW leader Patricia Ireland who commanded her flock to only vote for “authentic” female political candidates. It was Al Gore consultant Naomi Wolf who accused the late Jeane Kirkpatrick of being “uninflected by the experiences of the female body.”

It was Matt Taibbi, now of Rolling Stone magazine, who mocked my early championing of the tea party movement by jibing: “Now when I read her stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of (redacted) in her mouth. It vastly improves her prose.”

It was Keith Olbermann, then at MSNBC and now at Al Gore’s Current TV, who wrote on Twitter that columnist S.E. Cupp was “a perfect demonstration of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does” and who called me a “mashed up bag of meat with lipstick on it.” He stands by those remarks. Olbermann has been a special guest at the White House.

Some of us have not forgotten when liberal Wisconsin radio host John “Sly” Sylvester outrageously accused GOP Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch of performing “fellatio on all the talk-show hosts in Milwaukee” and sneered that she had “pulled a train” (a crude phrase for gang sex). (Earlier, he called former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a “black trophy” and “Aunt Jemima.”)

Or when MSNBC misogynist Ed Schultz called talk show host Laura Ingraham a “talk slut” for criticizing Obama’s petty beer summit. Or when Playboy published a list of the top 10 conservative women who deserved to be “hate-f**ked.” The article, which was promoted by Anne Schroeder Mullins at, included Ingraham, “The View’s” Elisabeth Hasselbeck, former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and others. Yours truly topped the list with the following description: a “highly f**kable Filipina” and “a regular on Fox News, where her tight body and get-off-my-lawn stare just scream, ‘Do me!’”

And then there’s the left’s war on Sarah Palin, which would require an entire national forest of trees to publish.

A reporter asked Obama to comment on examples of liberal hate speech at Tuesday’s press conference. He whiffed, of course. This is, after all, the brave leader who sat on his hands while his street thugs attacked tea party mothers and grandmothers as “Koch whores” during the fight over union reform in Wisconsin. (As I reported last week, his re-election campaign is now targeting the Koch brothers’ private foundation donors in a parallel effort to chill conservative speech and activism.) He’s leading by example.

So no, we won’t get any phone calls from Mr. Civility. Acknowledging the war on conservative women would obliterate The Narrative. Enjoy the silence.
3905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 08, 2012, 04:50:13 PM
"I'm not sure why people focus on birth control.  It's a minor cost item, frankly it saves money for the employer, i.e. in theory less get pregnant.  Also, there are a lot of mandated benefits that cost a lot more.
So who cares....  If you don't want to use the benefit, don't.  Make babies.  Have fun.  But if you don't want babies now, then take birth control.  You will be happy and so will your employer."


I think you get this but....

The left is focusing on BC because some of them or most of them,or apparently most women (?) feel it should be a MANDATED RIGHT for insurance companies to have to pay for this.

The left is  doing under the banner of womens "health". 

For the Church it is not a cost issue.  It is a to the Church a moral issue.
3906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FWIW here is my post 03/03 about phosphodiesterase inhibitors on: March 08, 2012, 02:43:57 PM
Power User

Posts: 2666

  Re: Politics
« Reply #749 on: March 03, 2012, 07:09:36 AM »     


The idea that a 30 yo woman is "testifying" before congress because she want her BCP paid for by her school helath insurance is astounding enough.   Then to have a sitting United States President call her up to defend her from some names is unbearable.   It is unbearable the left has sunk us this low that that is an "issue" that is shoved into the forefront with as always the complicit MSM.

If this is something that hurts Republicans than all I can say is this country is beyond help.

WE are dead broke, health costs by far are the biggest threat to our nation and we can't even agree on not paying for BCP?

As an aside I don't know why insurance plans are paying for viagra drugs either.  People can/should pay out of pocket. 
My health costs are enough.  I don't need to pay more for these either.

Remember when it was determined by one health group the mammograms between 40 and 50 do more harm than good.

Then we get barraged with woman's "rights" group, all leftist liberals  (almost all Deomcrat party types).

I didn't see the same outrage when med orgs are saying we should stop doing routine PSA tests.
3907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 08, 2012, 02:41:09 PM

"I have never heard you complaining about Viagra being covered"

Actually I , at least (if no one else), posted on this board that I don't think viagra, cialis or levitra should be covered.

As for BCP I would leave it to the insurance plan to decide if they want to include it.

If the Catholic Church is paying for the health insurance and they choose not to cover it under their sponsored plan then that person can always apply for a plan that does.

I do't get the logic than it is cheaper to pay for BCP than birth.   As for the cost issue it was this grown woman Fluke who brought that up when she stated it would cost her 3 thousand a year.  If we are THAT far from any personal responsibilty in this country than we are all screwed - No pun intended.  So the logic is we may have well pay for BCP because if not the woman (30yo) will have unprotected sex and thus may get pregnant and it will cost "society" more.  Folks were screwed if this is now the majority's thinking.

In any case the real issue is as OReilly says,  *freedom*.  The freedom for the Church to offer a plan of their choosing.

If this is where we are that woman are going to cast presidential votes on whether these meds are covered or not by LAW then it is too late.  They state Obama's poll ratings among women are growing.
3908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 08, 2012, 01:20:51 PM
"CCP, You will have to look very deep through the links at the link because the names of the bills are often opposite or no correlation to the content."

Doug, Thanks,
I haven't taken the time to do so.
Thanks for the link.

As for the cap and trade and gas prices... what can anyone say.

Since Clinton whatever the President says is meaningless.  They say and do whatever they want.  They can say one thing one day something else the next they can spin anything around from the truth.   The MSM very infrequently to never ever takes Obama on.

I remember Clinton making complete turnabouts and then taking the credit for what was the day before Republican initiatvies and all the MSM would do would say, "he sounds so good".

The worst part of it is that it works.   If it sounds good the MSM plays along and poll numbers respond.
3909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's "Nevell Chamberlian" words on: March 07, 2012, 12:56:55 PM
"the tides of war are fading"

Some day history will look back and make him eat these words.
3910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 07, 2012, 12:54:16 PM
Hannity said yesterday Israel has no choice but to take military action. 
Mort Zuckerman who is no conservative agrees:

So do I.

I really don't know have any clue whether the electorate would aprove Obama helping Israel or not.  The polls don't impress me with such dire decisions.

I don't know if Americans would really want to get involved militarily for Jews.  Or how many?  Certainly some would not.

It doesn't sound like Israeli military can reliably do much damage to the dug in multiple sites.  According to the Economist and others (posted on board) even the US military's ability is far from guaranteed.  At least without:

1)  ground operations
2) small nulcear devices

It really does sound like Bibi has made the decision to go ahead.  What Obama will do is a mystery.
3911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 07, 2012, 12:31:55 PM
I've never seen the class envy game played up so much by the left wing media.  That's says THEY are desperate.

Yesterday some cable heads were mocking Mitt as "looking rich".

Well what does that mean?

Does he look different than John Kerry or Ted Kennedy or Kohl?

How about "broke" Nancy Pelosi?

I really don't recall any Republican candidate  going back to Ford when I was old enough to know who ever really sounded like a shoe in on the campaing trail.   Even Reagan was a question mark to some extent.  His best speeches were given after he was President.
3912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 06, 2012, 11:15:12 AM
'Mr. Ahmadinejad"

Speaking of which...   He has been going around for years tipping Iran's intention of wiping the Jews out of the middle east.

If he was not doing this the real intent of Iran vis a vis Israel would not be so obvious and thus almost no chance of stopping them from nucs.
3913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 06, 2012, 11:10:54 AM
"Putting him on the ballot would also put the record of action of the Republican House on the table for discussion, right while Pres. Obama is trying to blame a do-nothing congress."

Good point.  I think he was on 60 minutes and the MSM program kindof already went after him on this from what I recall.   
You know the why is Congress' approval at an all time low.  I don't recall them ever asking Democrats this.

There was certainly no adoration like there is of Obama.

3914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cantor - Mitt's running mate? on: March 06, 2012, 09:13:45 AM
I never thought of this.  It might pick off a few Jewish and perhaps Southern voters (Virginia where Obamster is reportedly ahead of all Repub candidates).  I don't know how much appeal Cantor has otherwise though with say the independents who are more important to victory (In my amateurish opinion).  And certainly Latinos are comprising an ever expanding block of potentially "swing" voters.   Far greater numbers than Jewish voters.  I wouldn't think Latinos are particularly interested in Israel.

****..Look for a Romney-Cantor GOP Ticket
..By Professor John A. Tures, LaGrange College
 .PostsWebsite .By Professor John A. Tures, LaGrange College
COMMENTARY | Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor picked Mitt Romney over the weekend . In a few months, Romney will return the favor by picking Cantor as his running mate for the 2012 election. It's all part of a critical election strategy the Republicans hope to ride to the White House.

Critical elections have been identified by political scientists. These are "game changer" elections where one group switches sides. The new party, infused with the new support, wins the overwhelming majority of subsequent elections. In 1932, blacks shifted from the Republicans to Franklin Roosevelt, enabling the Democrats to win the majority of the elections until 1968. That year, Southern whites shifted from Democrats to the GOP, enabling Republicans to win so many elections by landslides until 1992.

Republicans have been looking for a similar "critical election" to go back to winning elections big. They thought they had it with Sarah Palin, but she didn't win over the female vote. But could Eric Cantor capture the Jewish vote for the GOP? Here's how it would work.

Winning The Jewish Vote: Barack Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008. It was the third highest total for a Democrat since 1972. Only Bill Clinton in 1992 and Al Gore in 2000 (with Joe Lieberman) won more, so the GOP has its work cut out for it. Cantor might help.

Solidifying The Religious Vote: Jews made up only 2 percent of the vote in 2008. But what if the goal wasn't just Jews but firing up Christians desperate to "protect the Holy Land" against Iran by picking a Jewish congressman?

Avoiding Charges Of Bigotry: The mudslinging is likely to get ugly in 2012. Picking a Jewish congressman (coupled with his own faith) could insulate Romney from such charges.

Appealing to Southerners: Cantor is from a region where Romney doesn't poll particularly well. Obama took Virginia, Cantor's home state (along with Florida and North Carolina). It will be impossible for the GOP to do well without retaking these Southern states.

Providing an Ideological Balance: Cantor is seen as more conservative, inoculating Romney against charges he's a moderate. Cantor is credited with pushing House Speaker John Boehner to the right during the debt ceiling debate.

Getting a Young Running Mate: If Romney wins and is re-elected, Republicans will want someone young enough to run in eight years as the standard bearer and avoid the messy primaries of this year. Cantor said he's "not open" to being a vice president, but that might change by this summer.

....@yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook ..****
3915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 06, 2012, 09:00:33 AM
"I doubt they'll actually sue"

Surely Gloria (or someone like her) will be calling and this "business/political" opportunity will be explored.

3916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 06, 2012, 08:17:15 AM
"signed 203 pieces of legislation"

Probably not even 1% of the electorate has the remotest clue what these are.  Including myself.

And I try to stay a bit informed.

No wonder it is so easy to bribe blocks of voters with other people's monies.
3917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 06, 2012, 08:12:40 AM
I recall that Georgetown medical scholl was the MOST expensive in the country at one time.

I don't know about law school but both GW and Georgetown were at least in the past the two most expensive medical schools in the US.  I think it had something to do with not being technically in a state but in the District of Columiba.

Yet this liberal/radical activist who is going to probably one of the most expensive law schools in the country refuses to pay a 100 or two for her BCPs.

Surely this ain't about money.

I am waiting to hear Gloria Allred respond to Hoyer's call for a slander lawsuit against Rush.

In her case it probably is more about the money than political though both are factors (obviously) for her.
3918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dershowitz/Chomsky on Israel/Palestinian problem on: March 06, 2012, 08:07:31 AM
From 2008 so not new:
(I haven't read most of it yet - no time right now)
3919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: March 06, 2012, 07:50:01 AM
Nurse murdering dialysis patients with bleach?  Perhaps this should start a crime thread instead of "health".

Divita is a national dialysis chain.  Anytime we forget the cruelty of one human to another we can quickly be reminded with stories like these:
3920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 05, 2012, 04:41:35 PM
Fluke's name can be added to the "pantheon" of women leaders who have advancied their rights across the globe.'s_suffrage
3921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Occupy Rush Limbaugh on: March 05, 2012, 03:31:11 PM
Drudge now posting several advertisers are pulling ads.

This is now a well orchestrated liberal campaign to try to take down Limbaugh.
3922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 05, 2012, 02:36:09 PM
"heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady"

She is 30 years old.  She was there with an agenda.   I don't know for the life of me what is corageous about demanding others pay for one's birth control or that a health plan be forced to pay for this.

This was all about politics.  One can ciritcize Rush for the words but lets not make her into some hero.

This is totally preposterous.
3923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 05, 2012, 01:28:26 PM
"and key RA's were distancing themselves from his comment"

On one hand I don't like the candidates responses allowing his name calling to become the focus of attention.

Newt on Stefanopolis who of course went bonkers asking him about Rush tying it to Newt to the Repub party to women's right.

Same old MSM mugging of any Repub they can assualt.
3924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 05, 2012, 01:25:14 PM
"And I hope/expect never will be..."

But Obamster said no options off the table. 

"We" have your back (till he no longer needs Jewish votes and dollars and media support).

Well what if that IS what it takes?

Don't wring your hands JDN.

I am thinking out loud.

The first ones to use nucs won't be Israel or the US.
3925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 05, 2012, 12:22:23 PM
First time I ever recall Rush apoligizing.  I agree calling her names didn't help but the MSM has succeeded in deflecting the whole idea that this grown woman expects subsidized Birth control.   Now 'this' too is suddenly a 'right' and suddenly this is being used to turn women against the Repub party. 

Why does a Catholic school 'have' to pay for her BCP?   And I agree that this woman had no problem getting in front of Congress with millions of viewers on international TV to discuss her sex life.

3926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran uses super concrete on: March 05, 2012, 12:13:03 PM
Sledge hammer ordinance may just not work.

I notice small tactical nuclear weapons are never mentioned.

This must contribute to reluctance on our military's part and the rather slim confidence Israel could do serious damage to Iran's nuclear capabilities.   Well we did give them years to dig in all the while they knew we were a paper tiger.
3927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 03, 2012, 09:09:36 AM
The idea that a 30 yo woman is "testifying" before congress because she want her BCP paid for by her school helath insurance is astounding enough.   Then to have a sitting United States President call her up to defend her from some names is unbearable.   It is unbearable the left has sunk us this low that that is an "issue" that is shoved into the forefront with as always the complicit MSM.

If this is something that hurts Republicans than all I can say is this country is beyond help.

WE are dead broke, health costs by far are the biggest threat to our nation and we can't even agree on not paying for BCP?

As an aside I don't know why insurance plans are paying for viagra drugs either.  People can/should pay out of pocket. 
My health costs are enough.  I don't need to pay more for these either.

Remember when it was determined by one health group the mammograms between 40 and 50 do more harm than good.

Then we get barraged with woman's "rights" group, all leftist liberals  (almost all Deomcrat party types).

I didn't see the same outrage when med orgs are saying we should stop doing routine PSA tests.
3928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: March 02, 2012, 01:19:30 PM
Here is the link to WH postage of the "long form"  It doesn't say "African American" it says the father is African.  It does use father's country of origin as Kenya which someone pointed out was a few years before the ever was a Kenya.

I am suspicious of this "form".  Yet we will never know the truth or be allowed to find out if it is a real vs forged document.
3929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mort about sums it up. on: March 02, 2012, 11:30:31 AM
3930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 02, 2012, 09:42:53 AM
George Will on Drudge is predicting Mitt can't win.  Repubs should be happy to win the house and try to get control of the Senate.

I predict otherwise.  Obama will lose and Mitt will win.
3931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 01, 2012, 05:45:42 PM
Sorry for all the extra verbiage above.   I should have filtered the post.

I guess when I say "narcissist" I don't mean in  a derrogatory way.  What may be a better descript would be "idealistic" that is seen in youth.

There seems to me a bit of naivity to it but age hasn't given me much in the way of answers OTOH.
3932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 01, 2012, 04:47:35 PM
Recently at a gathering the daughter of on of the doctors present called herself a "fiscal conservative" and a "social liberal".   Some years ago a member of my family donned the same self description of his political persuasion.

I think I know whence they come and how this (a bit narcisstic concept comes) yet upon reflection I find both somewhat mutually exclusive.  So does this author:

   Email Address: 
Zip Code:   

 AboutContributeContactAdvertise HereHelpConservative News, Books, & ViewsConservative Book ClubRegnery : Conservative Blog and News     
Hot Topics:Morning Briefing• Horserace• Primary Targets• Tech at NightRecent PostsLog InSign Up“I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal.” The Epitaph for America’s Future?

Posted by Ausonius (Diary)

Saturday, February 27th at 9:47PM EST

47 CommentsRecommenders: tcgeol (Diary), BlueStateSaint, penguin2 (Diary), redneck_hippie (Diary), Achance (Diary), nessa (Diary), Vegas_Rick (Diary), aesthete (Diary), TheSophist (Diary)
Many have read a version of the following statement from “moderates,” defined here as people who want to seem high-minded and objective by staying “above the fray.”

“I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal.”

The goal in this essay is to demonstrate the illogicality of such an oxymoron. For ultimately fiscal conservatism will be impossible, if you support social liberalism.

How does one define “social liberalism” anyway? Since I do not want to be accused of setting up strawmen to knock down, in good faith I offer the following examples of social liberalism: antagonism toward racial profiling, protecting children, and (contradictorily) killing unborn children.

Liberal political scientist Benjamin Barber, an emeritus professor at Rutgers, offers an explanation for one aspect of political correctness:

“On the belief that while classes of people and categories of action may be statistically correlated with certain kinds of behavior, those correlations do not warrant encroaching on the liberty and rights of individuals. No one is to be prejudged in their behavior or motives simply because they belong to a certain class or category.”


On the surface, no Conservative will argue with this. But consider the “failed attack” by the infamous Shoe Bomber (Richard Reid). One of the most expensive aspects of Barber’s purist attitude has been occurring for years in our airports: because of political correctness, profiling for possible suspects has not been allowed. The result is that 9-year old little girls from Cincinnati, as well as 90-year old grandmothers from Pittsburgh, are stopped, scanned, sniffed, debriefed, de-shoed, and delayed because social liberalism says not to use stereotypes…ever, even though Richard Reid and his ilk do not fit the profile of a 9-year old girl from Ohio.

Americans have been led to think, therefore, that such high-mindedness is the price one pays for safety. And what exactly is that price? It is not just an annoying, exasperated feeling while standing in line. Roughly 50 million people per month pass through American airports per month. If we place the very modest price of $10.00 on the head of every passenger for their lost time (obviously the time of many travelers is worth much more!), it means that half a billion dollars are lost every month to the American economy, $6 Billion per year, $60 billion since Mr. Shoe Bomber’s antics.

And we say and believe that his attack failed! This estimate obviously does not take into account the tax dollars spent for all the increased surveillance and the equipment: and I will openly admit, the waddling and possibly illiterate T.S.A. guards I have seen do not make me feel safer. They make me feel less wealthy, knowing that as government employees they have better benefits and pensions than I ever will!

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby offered this opinion in an essay from August 23, 2006:

“No sensible person imagines that ethnic or religious profiling alone can stop every terrorist plot. But it is illogical and potentially suicidal not to take account of the fact that so far every suicide-terrorist plotting to take down an American plane has been a radical Muslim man. It is not racism or bigotry to argue that the prevention of Islamist terrorism necessitates a special focus on Muslim travelers, just as it is not racism or bigotry when police trying to prevent a Mafia killing pay closer attention to Italians.”

Profiling will not eliminate airport security, but one wonders, if political correctness were tossed aside, could not the loss in time and efficiency be greatly reduced?

Social liberalism has led to an attitude of allowing government intervention to protect us from ourselves, from cars, from saturated fat, from incorrect sneezing, from almost any situation which can generate a bureaucracy. OHSA in the Department of Labor is now approaching $2 Billion for its budget. And of course, we must protect the children: much spending is done in the name of helping children.

But where are the limits? One small personal example: when my wife was a principal of a grade school, the board wanted to install new playground equipment. She was given a 27-page booklet from the FedGov on playground safety. It seems that the FedGov’s bureaucrats had mandated that a playground slide had to have “9 inches of mulch at the bottom,” otherwise…lawsuits were possible for not following Federal guidelines. Now who decided that “9 inches of mulch” had to be used, and how? Bureaucrats! You can imagine them in lab coats and holding clipboards, while they put crash-dummies on the slide to discover the proper depth of mulch to protect the delicate derrieres of American 9-year old children.

“Your tax dollars at work!” “Where are the limits?” Obviously none exist.

Probably most Americans do not realize that their government is involved in such minutiae: child safety taken to manic extremes is one of the unintended consequences of social liberalism.

Although not all welfare goes to children, they are the main reason often given by politicians for supporting the welfare state. And of course over the last c. 80 years, governments have taken over from the churches, private charities, families, and private individuals the care for the poor or the temporarily indigent: which tradition would be more efficient in dealing with poverty, more caring, and more likely to prevent it from increasing?

The Heritage Foundation offers the following horrifying information for the “social liberal-fiscal conservative” to contemplate:

“Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent $15.9 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars) on means-tested welfare. In comparison, the cost of all other wars in U.S. history was $6.4 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars).”

“According to President Obama’s budget projections, federal and state welfare spending will total $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years (FY 2009 to FY 2018). This spending will equal $250,000 for each person currently living in poverty in the U.S., or $1 million for a poor family of four.”

(My emphasis above)


In theory of course, that wipes out poverty! But we know it will not! Social liberalism does not stop poverty: if welfare-state bureaucracies actually lessened poverty, they would put themselves out of work. It is to the bureaucrats’ advantage to fertilize poverty!

However, human fertilization is something of which social liberals are usually skeptical. And here we touch upon abortion: I am aware that purely moral arguments are enough to argue against killing unborn children. The point here, however, is our “social liberal-fiscal conservative” will claim that abortion should be allowed, that it actually saves money for society, and that anyway, should not a true conservative keep government away from telling people what they can do with their bodies?

In a study called Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births by Lott and Whitley, the authors examine the costs to society of Roe vs. Wade over time. One finds the following conclusion on p.18:

“The higher estimated increases in murder imply that legalizing abortion raised the number of murders in 1998 by 1,230 and raised total annual victimization costs from all crime by at least $4.5 billion.”


Note that $4.5 Billion is for one year only. Probably a good number of RedState readers are already acquainted with demographic researcher Dennis Howard’s estimate that since Roe vs. Wade the U.S. economy has lost $37 Trillion dollars due to the loss of population. While you can debate how productive the aborted babies would have been, how many might have become criminals, welfare mothers, etc., one must ultimately assume that most people, even from the lower classes, are honest and want to succeed. So even if Howard is wildly off by 90%, that would still mean nearly a loss of $4 Trillion, which would come in handy right now to save the U.S. partially from bankruptcy! The cost to enforce anti-abortion laws would hardly affect such a sum.

Legal abortion, of course, was only part of the wider so-called Sexual Revolution 40 years ago, spawning the additional expenses of higher divorce rates (“no-fault divorce” also being part of a “socially liberal” agenda), higher illegitimacy rates, rises in STD’s and AIDS, etc. (I recall leftist columnist Ellen Goodman in the early 1980’s insisting that a crash program to cure AIDS was absolutely essential, not just for curing the afflicted, but to preserve the Sexual Revolution, i.e. to let people have casual sex with no consequences.)

I could continue into vaguer territory: what are the economic consequences of a society where mediocrity is extolled in a quest for fairness, where schools cancel awards ceremonies for fear of offending somebody, or, worse, where everyone is given an award, thus making the achievements of true winners meaningless? In the cartoon-movie The Incredibles, which shows a society where superheroes have been shut down by lawyers for the destruction and extra-constitutionality involved when the “supers” battle villains, one of the characters opines: “If everyone is super, then no one is.”

What is the cost of that kind of social liberalism/political correctness? How many future Bach’s, Curie’s, Edison’s, Einstein’s, Galileo’s, Michelangelo’s, Mother Teresa’s, Schoenberg’s, or Wright’s (Orville, Wilbur, as well as Frank Lloyd) are being stifled and stunted in our increasingly hostile-to-excellence society, or worse, are now part of hospital waste?

“I’m a fiscal conservative, but a social liberal.”

Let that not be the epitaph for America’s future.

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 Category: Abortion, Nanny State, RINO's, Welfare State

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For Aesthete and Others: The Pro-Abortion Social Liberal Cannot Be A Fiscal Conservative
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:47AM EST (link)
There was a discussion on Monday under a different topic about whether abortions save society money: this diary contains my expanded thoughts on the subject.

Again, let me emphasize that the topic here is very narrow: one would never want to defend a pro-life position with only an economic argument.

My point here is to show that for someone who claims to be “fiscally conservative” but “socially liberal” his support for abortion will be a contradiction: abortions are a drain on an economy and prevent fiscal conservatism.

Still, I want to emphasize again for clarity: even if abortions saved us billions per year, one would still want to prevent them!

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
I'll get back to you on that
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 11:31AM EST (link)
Suffice it to say, I think that you’re right in your support of life, but that your analysis concerning the economics of the situation are rosy, at best. I’ll get back to you when I have the time, and thanks for following through on your promise to put up a diary on the subject.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 And I'm back
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 5:49PM EST (link)
First, let me say that I mostly agree with your assertion that social liberalism, as a general philosophy, is incompatible with fiscal conservatism. I would say, however, that most people who label themselves as socially liberal/fiscally conservative do so out of ignorance, and actually mean to say that they are socially libertarian.

Social libertarianism ≠ social liberalism, and the broadness of the term, “social liberal”, as well as its presumed pushback against social conservatives, leads many to use the term “social liberal” for their own beliefs, even though those beliefs are more libertarian than anything else. I would broadly state that most people who call themselves fiscally conservative and socially liberal are not supportive of true social liberalism, which for the purposes of discussion, can be defined as an attempt to use government to promote behaviors beneficial to establishing a “classless” society. (Likewise, libertarianism could be defined as being opposed to government involvement in social engineering, and seeking equal access to government services for all citizens without discrimination.)

Small government proponents typically believe that government should undertake the fewest actions possible, and that most domestic policies are 1) ineffective and 2) that they shouldn’t be undertaken by government, given its status as the arbiter of coercive force. Given that, it could be claimed that social conservatism is incompatible with small government, considering that social conservatism calls for an expansion of government with the dubious aim of restoring a “moral” society. Regulation and outright bans of pornography and online gambling in the federal government, the War on Drugs (which, as far as I can tell, can’t be even peripherally related to any of the federal government’s express powers, and as such violates the 10th), and several other examples abound of social conservatives attempting to regulate, ban, and imprison their way to their preferred endgame. This cannot in any way be tied to fiscal conservatism, and in many ways, violates its principles, and those of federalism. Certainly, not all of social conservatism’s efforts violate the principles of small government: I applaud their attempts to move discussion of religion into the public sphere, and along with libertarians, they are oftentimes the strongest supporters of non-public education solutions.

With the exception of the drug war, I would say the agenda of social conservatives in the 80s was mostly one of repealing harmful government legislation. Later iterations of social conservatism, however, abandoned their zeal for repeal (hey, that rhymes!) and instead, have taken after their European Christian Democratic brethren in actively proposing legislation that increases government.

Perhaps a telling quote of social or “traditional” conservatives can be found in Russell Kirk’s screed attacking libertarians which, while haphazard and scattered, offers the following gem: “Conservatives have no intention of compromising with socialists; but even such an alliance, ridiculous though it would be, is more nearly conceivable than the coalition of conservatives and libertarians. The socialists at least declare the existence of some sort of moral order; the libertarians are quite bottomless.” Regardless of the statement’s veracity (which is quite low, but I digress), there is no reasonable way in which subscribing to some moral order or other makes the conservative movement more akin to socialism than libertarianism (in which case, I suppose the fascists are also closer to conservatism than strawman-libertarianism). Sad to say, that’s where some social conservatives would like to take our party, and it is this that most fiscal conservatives rebel against when they call themselves “socially liberal”.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
excellent summary aesthete of what many of us
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:03PM EST (link)
believe. The last paragraph is amazing, I could have used it in my socon vs libertarian con battles of the past. I said pretty much the same thing but did not have the proof lol.

BTw, I have one minor quibble. As you know, there is nothing moderate about libertarian-conservatives. libertarianism is a radical view, just like the radical views of the Founders.

I am not so sure there are many who call themselves “socially liberal” who are actually libertarian. I hope you are right but I have my doubts. One some big government socons do to weaken libertarian-cons is to lump them in with “social liberals” and “fiscons”. In fact they inflate the numbers of fiscons and deflate the numbers of libertarians in our movement. That is a rhetorical tactic, and one that serves none of us well.

Molon Labe!
The founders were radicals?
Scope (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:32PM EST (link)
First time I heard that. What made them radicals?
That they were far outside the mainstream
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:45PM EST (link)
In this case, radical is not a pejorative.

Here’s a biased but mostly accurate article briefly discussing the Radical Whigs and their popularity in the Americas.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
 Probably an apt description Scope, if not very flattering
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:51PM EST (link)
Radicals, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Even aside from rebelling against the British gov’t, surely enough to make them radicals in the eyes of the British and the Tory’s here, many were adherents of “Enlightenment” which had a bad reputation, at least among the Kings and the Aristocracy that it sought to replace with individual liberty and reason.

Its not like they knew what would happen when they started the American Experiment, and there were times we could easily have gone the way of the French Revolution.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
55 nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 8:44PM EST (link)
I know I was using the term in a positive way. They risked their own necks when they already were leading pretty dang good lives compared to everyone else in the world. They must have had a very great motivation to do that.

You know, it has been argued that the most free person on earth in 1760 was colonial american. The key point is this included the average British Citizen.

Some may say this diminishes the ideas of the Revolution, I say it amplifies them.

Molon Labe!
Thanks Doc, I was right there with you.
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:00PM EST (link)
I discovered an interesting fact last week. There is a High School down the street from me named 71st School. I, and most citizens here have always thought it was named after a street. Not Hardly! It is named after the 71st Regiment of Foot, a Tory Regiment raised here to fight with the British.

And we think our political atmosphere is charged? I think the Colonial Americans would find it tame and boring. I mean when was the last time we had a good old fashioned tar and feathering?

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
very true Nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:13PM EST (link)
the worst abuses in the revolution were colonial on colonial. If you really hated a guy, you charged him with being a Rebel or Tory, depending where you lived. I am not saying this about everyone of course, but it happened all the time. And as you say, tar and feathering was not fun. It was not some humorous thing it is often portrayed as, unless you like third degree burns and possible death.

Hmm, you had a Tory regiment? I will make a wild guess and say New York? Or maybe South Carolina? those are just guesses.

Molon Labe!
Fayetteville, NC Doc. I wasn't so much surprised
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 11:15PM EST (link)
that it was here, the revolution wasn’t all that popular, but for the school to be named after it now was much more so. But then the race baiters hadn’t been invented yet and now that they have they use their ire for the Founding Fathers. The Daughters of the Confederacy still quietly place the Stars and Bars on the veterans graves for Memorial Day but I’ve never heard of a school named after a Confederate Regiment.

Many of the Scots who emigrated here were loyalists, to include Flora MacDonald who, in 1745 had smuggled Bonnie Prince Charlie out of England hidden under her skirts. The Colonial Governor had encouraged Scottish immigrants by granting them a 10 year tax exemption and land grants.

The history here is fascinating, from that, to the “hornet’s nest of rebellion,” in Charlotte and Colonel Sevier bringing the “Overmountain Men” across the Appalachians from Tennessee and western Virginia to fight a Tory Regiment at Kings Mountain, one of the pivotal battles of the Revolution. The Whigs (our side, lol) took over 800 prisoners at that battle. Every last one of them escaped (home to his farm) within a couple days, along with a fair portion of the Whigs who captured them.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
very interesting Nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 5:10AM EST (link)
Well I did guess A Carolina lol. It is true there were many Tories down there. BTW, I found the school’s website and they do not mention the Tory Regiment. They claim it was named after the Highlander Regiment of which many of them served.

Don’t worry, I believe you over them, but I did find the whitewashing interesting. As you say, there is no huge deal that their were Tory Regiments, we all know that. I even would not be that offended if say so many in the town served because it is history. But if they are covering it up, hmmm 

Molon Labe!
I'll check their website, thanks Doc
nessa (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 11:18AM EST (link)
I got the information from another website, I’ll have to do a little more investigation. History is always interesting.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
Doc, whitewashed, mayby not exactly...
nessa (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 12:51PM EST (link)
The schools website says they were named for the famed Highland Scots who fought for Bonnie Prince Charley and the Jacobite cause in the 1740s.

What they didn’t mention, intentionally or due to a technicality, was that they were indeed Loyalists, though not retaining the 71st Highlanders name. From the website of The North Carolina Highland Regiment- 71st Highlanders, a group of Revolutinary War Re-enactors…

Unit began in 1776 when North Carolina’s governor Joeseph Martin, convinced King George III that, he, Martin could raise 10,000 Loyalists who could march to Wilmington, join forces
with English troops, and quell the growing rebellion in the south.

An army of 1600 loyalists, mainly Highland Scots, gathered in
Cross Creek ( now Fayetteville ) and began the 90-mile march to Wilmington, the men designated only as North Carolina Highanders were on their way to becoming part of the
Royal Highland Emigrants (later know, 84th Regiment of Foot)
then forming in Halifax.

Less than 20 miles from Wilmington, Rebels defeated the
Loyalists at Moore’s Creek Bridge. Most of the North Carolina
Highlanders were paroled, but the already-commisioned group
never can to fruition…. until Cornwallis.

When Martin learned in 1780 that Crown Forces under
Cornwallis would again appear in force in the province, Martin
re-ssued the commisions, the group was reformed again as The North Carolina Highland Regiment, an independant royal
light infantry unit consisting of over 600 men. Many of them
were the soldiers from the ill-fated Cross Creek muster four
years earlier. The regiment had blue jackets made locally,
borrowed kilts and hose of the 71st Regiment of Foot who
were now wearing military overalls.

I’m going to have to check out the Highland Regiment, it will be interesting and a couple of those gentlemen, dressed in their kilts and blue coats, hung about with powder horns and Brown Bess would be able to deliver a stunning classroom instruction on the Founding of America and the Constitution in any of the local schools.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
I think we have it Nessa
Doc Holliday (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 2:05PM EST (link)
so technically the school is not named after the Loyalist regiment but the Highland regiment. Men from the area did join a loyalist regiment but it was not called the 71st Regiment of Foot. That is what I have been able to glean, are we agreed or is more snooping required 

Molon Labe!
Thats got it Doc! nt
nessa (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 2:14PM EST (link)
“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
          check out this book Scope, it won the Pulitzer
Doc Holliday (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 8:32PM EST (link)

Wood is one of our greatest Revolutionary historians. I am not going to go into detail on the argument but we can certainly agree we made a “radical” change from the Monarchical, class societies of that era, and those of our forbears.

Molon Labe!
"Radical" vs. "Conservative" Revolutionaries
Ausonius (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 10:51AM EST (link)
In History one often sees revolutionaries couching their position as a return to an original, higher, uncorrupted state.

A great example of this is Martin Luther, who believed that his reforms took Christianity back to a first-century A.D. purity lacking in the Church of his day. He viewed this as a conservative position, but knew of course that it would be seen otherwise. “Radical” goes back to the Latin for “root” (as in “radish” and implies a complete “uprooting” of society and starting from scratch.

One can debate how radical Luther really was.

However, his true conservatism – I am not using the term in our American sense here – is seen when he wants nothing to do with the politicization of his Reformation. He is immediately on the side of the political status quo, and wants nothing to do with peasants demanding an expansion of rights! He sees them as rabble who, if they dare to revolt, deserve only to be beaten down by the nobles.

Another example is the musical revolutionary Arnold Schoenberg, who believed that his (radical) “atonal” music was a logical development from Brahms and Wagner. Schoenberg rejected the term for himself, even though people called him constantly “revolutionary.” Musicologist Willi Reich wrote an analysis of him called: “Schoenberg, The Conservative Revolutionary.”

Schoenberg himself, to show he was following logical musical trends, wrote an essay called “Brahms, The Progressive” which Brahms probably would not have appreciated! 

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
   That's a good quibble you have there
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 7:37PM EST (link)
At the upper levels, actual libertarian decision-makers tend to be few and far in between, and social liberals/fiscal conservatives abound (which is probably a function of the libertarian philosophy’s even greater aversion to government than conservatism, as well as the predilection for East Coast conservatives to be more authoritarian). In that sense, social conservatives can largely substantiate the claim that they are better practitioners of fiscal conservatism than the mythologized social liberal/fiscal conservatives. Among us voting hoi polloi, however, I’d say that there’s a fair amount of people, particularly those “South Park conservatives” who grew up in the Clinton and Bush Administrations, who broadly see social conservatives as the guys who tried to impeach Clinton on trumped-up charges and expanded government under Bush, however unfair such a narrative might be, and who have adopted the label to, essentially, run as far away from that behavior as they could. I would also include those who hold largely libertarian views, but who as a result of the Civil Rights movement, don’t hold federalist views, as those who define themselves thus: many times, they see the federal government as being the appropriate authority in social disputes, and have no problems with Eisenhower-esque intervention in that regard. Both of these groups are classical liberals, but have a negative aversion towards being associated with the stereotype of social conservatives, and some have an aversion to associating themselves with libertarians and their conspiracy theories, as well. Of course, some social liberals know well what they advocate, but the overwhelming majority of those classify themselves as “moderate” or progressive, due to the large amounts of federal funding needed to carry out the socially liberal vision.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
  Defining "Socially Liberal" Aesthete
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 8:17PM EST (link)
was one of the problems I had in my opening essay, as mentioned.

Your analysis would seem to work for many of them at least: many thanks!

And you usually cannot go wrong by quoting Russell Kirk! 

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
  Concerning abortion
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 6:17PM EST (link)
Concerning abortion, a good argument could possibly be made in favoring restrictions because of the potential economic output of those who were killed prematurely as a result of a lack of regulation. However, fiscal conservatism has not traditionally concerned itself with the general economy of the nation (one reason why it typically opposes Keynesianism). Instead, it tends to focus on government finances.

Since abortions are committed disproportionately by low-income blacks and hispanics, we should view a prohibition of abortion (assuming that the policy is effective) as an increase in the low-income black and hispanic population. The facts are these: 1) low-income citizens in the US typically pay no taxes, and receive money from the government in the form of tax credits. 2) low-income hispanics and blacks are disproportionately more likely to commit crime, especially violent and property crime. 3) Low-income citizens are eligible for a gamut of federal government programs, such as Medicaid and welfare, as well as other state programs. 4) Low-income blacks and hispanics have a greater proclivity towards being involved in the drug trade, and other illegal activities. Given this information, it is unlikely that pro-life policies would lead swelling government coffers. To play devil’s advocate, there are two main effects that I can think of that would mitigate these costs: the fact is that, when one grows older, one’s income tends to go up. Though this, unfortunately, holds much less true statistically for low-income blacks and hispanics (particularly for those raised in single-parent households), it does, indeed, happen, and the tax revenues from this elevated status later in life would likely be positive. Second, the multiplier effect, wherein these additional consumers spend on other things, might indirectly raise tax revenues through additional wages, hirings, and so on of individuals who are net payers in the system. (This will probably not be very large, however, as most money will initially go towards local businesses, whose owners may be on the same (non-payer) boat as themselves.) Considering all of the above, it seems to me that, short-term, at least, government at all levels would on net have to pay for this increase in low-income population. Besides all of this, if one is only considering fiscal conservatism, it is unlikely that the economically efficient number of abortions is zero. Though it is probably not the number Roe v. Wade allows, this would effectively make the utilitarian pro-choice.

Fortunately, there’s a more compelling argument to be made to libertarians (who, by and large, comprise the group of “social liberals/fiscal conservatives” that you reference) concerning life issues: government is meant to protect peoples’ rights and maximize their freedom; as murder is a massive and direct curtailment of said rights and freedoms, the libertarian believes that the government has a legitimate role in preventing murder from occurring, and in using its coercive force to correct for such happenings. Since a fetus is biologically alive, has unique DNA, and is responsive to external stimuli, it cannot objectively be stated to not be a live human (at least, not in any way significantly distinguishable from an infant up to 6 months). As killing an infant would lead to repercussions, so too should the termination of a fetus’s life be subject to repercussions as a curtailment of that pre-born child’s right to living unmolested.

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
  Ausonius, I had a similar observation for other reasons....
penguin2 (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:30AM EST (link)
in that diary. I was commenting with dpaitsel who became DRayRaven during the thread, and I made the simple observation that fiscal conservative and socially liberal was an oxymoron. My remarks to him had to do with the Great Society programs, etc. See my comment here. He came back and said he was not socially liberal, a social libertarian. Never did come back and define that one for me. The other question I would ask and no one who describes themselves as “fiscal conservative/socially liberal” has answered, is where is the fiscal restraint to be found? Only by gutting the military? And as you pointed out that certainly would not be enough.

I wonder if this disceptive phrase is really coming from the Left and perhaps relates to something Beagle wrote about with his diary, Partisan Tolerance.

Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. – Benjamin Franklin
When Good stands up to Evil, Evil blinks. – Vassar Bushmills

Conservative Education: Suggested Reading List

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Many Thanks for Your Comments! The Distortion of Language
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 9:57AM EST (link)
is the hallmark of Leftists/Communists as Orwell pointed out in “1984″ over 60 years ago.

I will be “tolerant” enough to admit that people exist who really do not see the oxymoronic aspect of their beliefs, that they really think you can be socially liberal and a fiscal conservative simultaneously.

But in other aspects, no, they know what they are doing: trying to play the game both ways, distorting the issues, claiming to be on the other side at least partially in order to show how “moderate” and willing to compromise they are.

Another term for them is RINO! 

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
Libertarians or Libertines
Beaglescout (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 1:43PM EST (link)
IMHO, the problem is in the second word above. Legal abortions, legal prostitution, legal drugs, no more wars, are all “libertarian” positions that are nothing less than libertine ideas of convenience for these mostly young, mostly male, progressive and ronulan agitators.

 “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.”

–Alexander Hamilton   

Study at Redstate University
Laissez-faire Libertarians Might Sound Good At First
Ausonius (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 5:38PM EST (link)
as you point out, BeagleScout (Is that a reference to Snoopy?),
until one sees the consequences, and suddenly you are in a “do your own thing-Peace-Love-Dope” ’60′s fantasyland of irresponsibility.

Some of my “smarter” former students who stayed in contact with me became libertarians in their 20′s, so your comment is not without some foundation.

And speaking of former McGovern and Carter voters, Mrs. Ausonius, before she fell under my power, had also voted for them. After experiencing a gentle yet forceful Vulcan mind-meld, she has never lost her distaste for Dems! 

Aesthete is correct: “If you only knew the power of the Reagan right!” (Booming bass voice with fist clenched).

Many thanks to all for the comments and recommendations!

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
   My Position
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:42PM EST (link)
My position is that the federal government has no authority to fund the social programs that it funds — including social security, medicare, medicaid, etc. I realize that battle was lost in the 1930′s, but that is my position and I believe that my position is what the Founders intended.

I also believe that many of the programs that masquerade as economic programs are really social programs that were not intended to be regulated under the commerce clause. For example, federal pollution standards are viewed as being supported by the commerce clause. I disagree. I think they are public health issues and thus should be handled under the health, welfare, moral, and police power of the states.

I think the federal government should only fund national defense, fix weights and measures, establish a patent office, regulate trade with foreign nations, create a uniform currency etc. All the programs enumerated in the Constitution under Article I, Section 8 “Powers of Congress” . And that is it. Nothing more.
  I consider myself Socially Libertarian and My Definition is Very different but I think Constitutionally Correct
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:32PM EST (link)
As a “social libertarian”, (and adamant fiscal conservative) I don’t think you have really defined my beliefs.

The issue is not that I support abortion (or other “socially liberal” views), it is that I do not believe that many of the issues raised by social conservatives should be addressed at the federal level.

I believe that the constitution very strictly enumerates the power of the federal government. Congress is not supposed to exceed that authority. Many (though I recognize not all) of the social conservative principles call on the federal government to act — and I think social regulation is beyond the authority of what the Founders intended the Federal government to regulate.

For example, I don’t think the federal government should ban abortion. That is not because I am pro-abortion. My understanding of what the Founders intended was that police powers (such as the authority to prevent and prosecute murder) was intended to be handled by the states.

I think we crossed the line during Roosevelt’s New Deal and have continuously expanded federal authority since. I do not support continuing that approach since I believe it is unconstitutional.

So, it isn’t that I support liberal social policies. I just don’t think the federal government should be involved in most of those issues. Those were intended (in my view) to be handled at the state level.
P.S. Just Because I consider myself Libertarian Doesnt Mean I support RonPaul
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:34PM EST (link)
At first I admit I kinda liked Ron Paul, but after a few months I realized he was a fraud and a wacko.
On social issues, you are a federalist
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:39PM EST (link)
not necessarily the same thing as a social liberal.

 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
I don't consider myself liberal in any way
TeddyMalone (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 2:46PM EST (link)
Maybe it is a matter of a bad choice of language though.

I thought social libertarian fit because I define libertarian as implying limited involvement by the federal government.

Maybe it would be clearer to argue I was a federalist.

In a way, maybe instead of fiscal conservative/social libertarian, just stating I am a fiscally conservative federalist may be more accurate.

Thanks for the comment and the idea.
You're welcome. As you learn more
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:05PM EST (link)
about conservatism, and what it means to be a conservative, things will clear up as far as naming your principles. The problem for a lot of people is that they know only what media and politicians and pundits say about conservatism. Don’t fall into the trap of believing those who claim they are the only True Conservatives, and who want the federal government to decide on social issues. Not true, and not even close to true. True Conservative is a label that followers of people like Mike Huckabee choose for themsevles, their most distinguishing characteristic being they demand constitutional amendments to outlaw social practices with which they disagree.

Many of our members here started out as democrats and even liberal democrats. I myself voted for Dukakis and Carter. Now I am a traditionalist conservative.

 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
Dude, I voted for
mbecker908 (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:14PM EST (link)
George McGovern.

LOL. McGovern was who I was
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:22PM EST (link)
trying to remember his name. I was only about 21 years old and that was a looooooooong time ago.

Now my idea of a flaming liberal is Huckabee. How life experience changes one’s outlook.

 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
 LOL becker, did you have to chisel the "X" onto the ballot?
nessa (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:36PM EST (link)
I tried to resist but it was hopeless.

“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Contributor to Unified Patriots

teh twitter
 Yes but then you saw the light....
SteveLA (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:39PM EST (link)

Or was it one of those deals where you went into a voting booth and the ballot went “Out Demon…out”….  and you started voting on the right side? LOL


Competency over ideological purity and litmus tests
Yep, it was pretty terrible
aesthete (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:45PM EST (link)
but ultimately, the power of Reagan compelled him 

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
My first Presidential vote was for Ford
SteveLA (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 4:00PM EST (link)
Of course I grew up in the Dixecrat South and was just about disowned for voting for a ***gasp*** Republican. By ’76 the Democrats had just about imploded after the turn way Left after Chicago ’68 and McGovern ’72.

The Republican party was way different in ’76 than today, with the effects of Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy having not been felt.


Competency over ideological purity and litmus tests
   So, you're the one...
rbdwiggins (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:50PM EST (link)
that canceled-out my vote for Nixon…

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” – Ronald Reagan
 Sheepishly he admits ... me too. nt
Achance (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:58PM EST (link)
In Vino Veritas
Well, in my case, I voted for McGovern
redneck_hippie (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 4:12PM EST (link)
when I was carrying my first child (I was 23, not 21 as I said before). The day she was born, I woke up with labor pains, and the radio was playing, “The Day The Music Died.”

But it didn’t.

 Activists Taking Action: Unified Patriots
    call yourself what you want Teddy, heck maybe
Doc Holliday (Diary) Monday, March 1st at 5:28AM EST (link)
you will coin a new term! I have found that “libertarian-conservative” seems to go over well. Many called Milton Friedman a part of the “libertarian-right”. Uncle Milt is one of my ideological kinsmen. His views were very close to mine. Of course Reagan was a real hero and Goldwater was Mr. Conservative (libertarian).

For me it is simple. If you read the Constitution and you believe in it and the Founders, you will end up a conservative. If you then listen to the pulpit, or are affected by your local culture, you might alter your stance on government or societal intervention.

I think all conservatives of all stripes should be welcome, we simply don’t want or need those that pretend to be conservative but are really statists. I think that group is on the wane, maybe they have finally seen what to much power in one place can do.

In our nation it is the people that were given the power. Ever since they have been giving it back.

Molon Labe!
    One problem
Menlo (Diary) Sunday, February 28th at 3:08PM EST (link)
Your point makes sense regarding government spending on entitlement programs.

But what exactly do you do under a Constitution that empowers the federal government to ensure states offer equal protection?

Few people today would want to entirely follow the intent of the founders, largely because of their defense of practices that people today consider wrong.

I’d guess close to 80 or 90 percent of the population sees all levels of government the same in most cases. They don’t care which it is; they just want it to “do more” or “do less” at any and every level.

“The ultimate touchstone of constitutionality is the Constitution itself and not what we have said about it.” -Felix Frankfurter
  Very good post
constitutionalconservative (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 12:36AM EST (link)
Don’t agree entirely with everything here, but you are right on target in saying that fiscal conservatism implies certain choices which effectively preclude social liberalism
 Simple test: homocons
TheSophist (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 1:30AM EST (link)
What a great essay in many ways. Well written, researched, and great points.

However, I rather think that the straw man you knocked down with such elegance is not the real representative of the “fiscal conservative, social liberal” mindset.

The simple test, to me, is what happened at CPAC this year. Those who shouted down Ryan Sorba are more properly folks I think have the mindset of “fiscally conservative, socially liberal”. (

One could, I suppose, make the argument that fiscal conservatism requires that we oppose gay marriage: such unions do not result in children, and therefore, the economic health of the nation is threatened by the lack of future workforce.

Whether that argument is or is not compelling to you, I think, determines whether you are “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” or not in the _usual_ sense of the term in modern politics.


“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan
But one could also argue
aesthete (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 2:14AM EST (link)
That, because of the proclivity for homosexuals to have higher incomes, and because of the net deficit of couples who want to adopt to children in need of adoptions, gay marriage plus adoptive rights would, on the whole, increase the economic health of the nation by allowing for wealth to not disappear/go to the government upon death (in addition to the human capital imparted by these couples to their artificial progenitors). I suppose one would have to say, in order for your argument to hold, that the capital formed by additional gay unions < income lost because of less marriages. Since I don’t believe that marriage rates would be affected by a potential extension of government marriage to homosexual couples, I see that scenario as somewhat unlikely. (And, if we are only looking at the economics of the situation, I imagine that an analysis of different social arrangements, such as polygamy, would have to be looked at, to ensure that the maximally efficient solution would be chosen.) I, personally, prefer the creation of civil unions for all couples without regard as to their sexual identity or lack thereof, and the returning of marriage to social institutions (churches, synagogues, and the like) which would be better guardians of such a sacred contract.

Different viewpoints, different arguments, but whatever the case, it once again shows the error in making long-term economic projections based on social programs, and lays bare the intellectual folly of programs justified solely because of their social engineering value. The moral argument is often the best one, and although “Because God says so” might not be a particularly compelling argument for the intellectual or the debonair socialite, I have found that it is often a better reason for support of a given action or philosophy than convoluted arguments about utility, economic efficiency, and other secular concerns. Good night, brother!

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice – G.K. Chesterton
  Staistical Correlations on "Socially Liberal - Fiscally Conservative" Politicians
Ausonius (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 8:18AM EST (link)
Many thanks for all the comments above!

Thinking that a “pro-life Dem” might show some fiscal conservatism,
I went to the politicians’ ratings of the National Taxpayers Union and compared them to ratings from the National Right-To-Life Foundation.

One might assume that a “pro-life Dem,” e,g, Bart Stupak of Michigan, might be rated decently by the NTU.

But no, he earns a very low “F” from them.


Stupak is only a 50% pro-lifer, by the way. Another 50% pro-life Michigander, Dale Kildee, gets an incredibly low “F” of 3% for fiscal conservatism.

Ike Skelton of Missouri, a 75% pro-life Dem from Missouri, has an “F” of 12%from the NTU.


I have not had time to correlate every member of Congress: but you can check yours through the above websites.

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
 And For The Senate...?
Ausonius (Diary) Tuesday, March 2nd at 9:49AM EST (link)
Here is the website from the National Right-To-Life statistics for the Senate:

Skimming through quickly, between these scores and those of the National Taxpayers Union you see libberal are liberals.

Lieberman, for example, has miserable single digit ratings from both.

The Mainiac Sisters are at 50% for pro-life, and 33% for fiscal conservatism.

Ausonius: 310-395 A.D. Teacher, Poet, Consul, General, Farmer.

Personal Tutor to the future St. Paulinus of Nola and to young Gratian, heir to the throne during the turbulent final years of the Western Roman Empire. When his former student Gratian was assassinated, Ausonius threw up his hands and retired to his farm in Gaul. Rome was captured by barbarians 14 years after his death.
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COMMENTS Nice try, but not accurate by justvisiting's the thing, hero... by APA Guy (Diary)
Duplicate post? by RDCook (Diary)
Controlling the message by RDCook (Diary)
Boy, do I need to watchc my punctuation. (^:^) nt by Flagstaff (Diary)
You know? by aesthete (Diary)
correction by Scope (Diary)
Newt Gingrich told Cavuto today that he is against ending tax credit/subsidies energy by Scope (Diary)
Coulter's positions have entirely unravelled in her attempts to support Romney by JSobieski (Diary)
exactly right. Although some social conservatives took issue with some of his statements by JSobieski (Diary)
Calling a man who leaves a young woman to drown by aesthete (Diary)
UUNNN-KAY, now I remember. by funwithknives
"Party Unity" led us to McCain and Romney in the first place by redcal
Patrish, you really don't want to go down this path by lineholder (Diary)
You need to do some research by irishgirl
He also expanded it by lapert
It's been said of the MSM by aesthete (Diary)
Tbone...ROFL! [nt] by lineholder (Diary)
excellent, toby by Jeff Emanuel (Diary)
Again T-bone by Patrish
Uh, if breathing wasn't controlled by the brain stem by Tbone (Diary)
Coulter's a jerk, not a lawyer. by Viet71 (Diary)
Compliment of Human Events by lineholder (Diary)
Who, Vladimir? He's a Red State regular. by acat (Diary)
Calling Steve Maley, aka Vladimir by lineholder (Diary)
So, Pat, have you ever heard of the "Electoral College? by Tbone (Diary)
thanks by independentconservative
HIPPA comes to mind, lapert. by acat (Diary)
OK, you got me stumped, by funwithknives
We have little other choice than to fight with what we have by lineholder (Diary)
The Supreme Court has more power than the president or congress. by Viet71 (Diary)
Logically Consistent In Fact...For a Leftist by Ausonius (Diary)
"Here's a good spot for ColdWarrior in 3...2...1... " by ColdWarrior (Diary)
We covered that by lapert
Heh. The one you should really be calling is Vladimir. by acat (Diary)
rsklaroff, I really do think if Jindal got in soon he could build it in time, and I think it would be a smart move on the part of the party to support him if he did by center77 (Diary)
Aw C'mon, 'cat by funwithknives
I don't think so by lapert
Oh my by citizenkh (Diary)
Thank your favorite diety for Citizens United by Viet71 (Diary)
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Steve Foley Web Ad: Say No to Career Politicians #CA-47
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I could never hold his sword, but I will take up mine again
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I Blame Us All. Don't Worry: You Will Too.
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The Ntrepid Endorsement (Preview: Speaker Gingrich is NOT Up to the Task)
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It's time for Rick Perry to climb back on the horse.
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Christian Pastor Nadarkhani is facing an Iranian Death Sentence and needs help
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In The Land Of The Free, The Brave Pay More
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REDHOT Moe Lane: MoeLane: #rsrh Looks like the Elizabeth Warren boomlet has faded...
 Dan McLaughlin: ICYMI, a fantastic Perils of Portland piece by @Heminator #rsrh
 Neil Stevens: LightSquared is hyping internal DoD docs even as it opposes disclosing internal FCC docs. Hmm. #rsrh
 Steve Maley: O’Reilly Is An Idiot On Gas Prices » Say Anything #rsrh
 Moe Lane: MoeLane: #rsrh The other Snowe-shoe drops?
 Moe Lane: MoeLane: #rsrh Mitt Romney and suburbanites: key to opening up the map?
 Steve Maley: FrackNation update: 2000+ supporters, > 90% of goal raised. See 1st footage now. #rsrh
 Steve Maley: Headline: "Global Warming Is Making The World Colder." #wuwt #rsrh
 Steve Maley: “@EdMorrissey: Landrieu blasts Salazar over Obama admin policies on domestic drilling " #RSRH
 Moe Lane: MoeLane: #rsrh The major thing to take away from the Michigan result
3933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brietbart on: March 01, 2012, 02:27:34 PM
What I found interesting are the posts after the short Malkin post.

Liberals who are so kind, thoughtful, heartful:
3934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 01, 2012, 11:50:56 AM
Iran is consistently marching towards nuclear weapons.  I don't see any ambiguity.

"Sources at the WH, generals, etc one come out and say the military option  is not viable .

The next day we hear that there is no alternative to military force in stopping Iran.

Another day we hear absurd proclomations that military force is "on the table".

The next day we hear people railing against the Israelis to not take action into their own hands.

The following day we hear that we are not abandoning the Jews.

Every day we hear some talking joker on cable proclaiming that the best choice is diplomacy.

Today Cogressman Ellison is on the MSNBC station saying we simply need to talk more with the Iranian leadership and that is more or less are only option.

Iranians are not stupid.  They can see the waffling just as I can.
3935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction Snow retiring on: February 29, 2012, 12:26:19 PM
Rush on radio today has it right.

Naturally the MSM turns this  into a rap against the Tea Party and in general the Republican party.

Somehow she can't just go queitly.  It has to be emphasized that she is just soooo depressed by partisanship (aka the right of her) and *they* are by implication ruining the country and her great work in moving this country foward will be sorely missed.

He is exactly right.  The MSM always turns anyone who complains about partisinship into this sort of story line (those dirty Tea baggers are destroying progress, and the ability to move this country forward)

Rush is also right when he explains in his usual descript way how the Democrats have decided they must win by turning this into the 50% on the dole vs those who are paying.  They publically call them the 1% but they are really waging war on the rest of all of those who are footing their bills.  Taxpayers HAVE become the new class of SLAVES in this country.

Any more get into that group and the death of this country as we know it can already be engraved on the tombstone.
3936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Cross between ET and Cousin IT on: February 28, 2012, 02:14:30 PM
3937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 28, 2012, 01:30:41 PM
I would also add that when the consensus is the market is going higher that might be an indicator to sell.

In any case Webury on one hand states one cannot predict the future so long term holding is the answer.

OTOH he predicts we are going up another 20% this year.

Well, if we do I hope its after November 2 - not before.
3938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Santorum on: February 28, 2012, 11:01:12 AM
Some have been reporting that Michigan primary is a bit of an anomaly in that Democrats can vote in it.   Something about unions are getting some of their members who are able to vote in this and mess up the Republicans - ie. help Romney lose.

I really question how much of the "support" for Santorum is more cynically driven rather than real blue collar support.
3939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 28, 2012, 10:57:29 AM
"Wesbury has called the past year better than we have"


This time.
3940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: February 28, 2012, 10:02:49 AM

Sure Jew could be used in a way that is more of an insult.   Like "that Jew".  Could be for anything I guess.  Like that "American".

Like that "Arab".   Like that "Communist"  that "Nazi". 

Fitzgerald - made up by founder.

I forgot you did mention that.

Yes it does sound like the firm may have been run with faith based nepotism in mind.  Perhaps it just gravitated that way.

As for labels many inferences are best understood only in context.

Like calling one a liberal could just be a form of adjective describing/summarizing one's political views.

OTOH when I call someone a liberal I am clearly thinking derrogatory thoughts.   wink
3941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 28, 2012, 09:53:35 AM
Mention the word Ponzi scheme and your are vilified as a cook, a jerk, an idiot by the liberal MSM.

The endless shell games by those in power.

Private concerns would be subject to laws, law suits.

The government can do whatever it wants.
3942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 28, 2012, 09:44:24 AM
"but it’s the long-term bulls, who believe in the steady progress of technology and wealth creation, that make money most consistently."

I thought the same thing just before the tech crash and lost a lot.

Of course one can do index funds, berkshire hathaway stuff that was not "dotcom".

3943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 27, 2012, 01:47:20 PM

what is your analysis of the politico report?
3944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: February 27, 2012, 11:24:26 AM
"is the word "Jew" offensive?"

Of course I only speak for myself.  As for me the answer is no.

Anymore than I would think calling one Irish, Mormon, Catholic, Polish would be offensive.

Let me ask you this though:

"Cantor Fitzgerald; a Jewish firm"

I am not sure what this means.  Was Cantor Fitzgerald owned and run by Jews as a "Jewish" firm?

Fitzgerald?  WHy not a Jewish/Irish firm?

You worked there and are not Jewish.

3945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / polls all over the place on: February 27, 2012, 11:14:22 AM
Politico headlines Obama approval at 53% and kicking the behinds of all Republican comers.

Rasmussen on Drudge has hime losing to most Repubs and getting less than I think 45%.

I suspect Rasmussen is closer to the truth. 

To me Brock is getting more and more desperate.

We heard "class" card now "race" card on Drudge.  These are desperation moves IMO.

Anyone want to wager that once Romney gets the nomination and he gets to focus he will win in November?

I'll make that bet now.  How about the cost of one postage stamp?
3946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The sister article from economist on: February 27, 2012, 09:13:26 AM
Of course we don't know what the truth is behind all these analyses.  Does Israel really know what is going on in Iran or the US or is what they know what we are reading?  This analyses includes what Israel can and cannot do conventionally.  Their air power is somewhat limited.   Waiting HAS allowed Iran to dig deeper.  According to this article US airpower would be better but it sounds like the long term is to go after the scientists as well as the sites.  This would require hitting civilian sites and some sort of ground game.

The world kept kicking the can down the road (I agree with GM) constantly avoiding the military option hoping for a peaceful solution.   Now that that choice has led us to here we can either choose to accept a nuclear Iran or not.

It is worth noting that in one of the articles I posted it was pointed out that after the US bombed and invaded Iraq Iran actually may have backed away from their nuclear program suggesting that they may well have feared a forceful intervention and THAT THAT had a desired affect.   Maybe there is a lesson in that.

****Attacking Iran
Up in the air
The probability of an attack on Iran’s nuclear programme has been increasing. But the chances of it ending the country’s nuclear ambitions are low
Feb 25th 2012 | from the print edition

THE crisis has been a long time coming. Iran started exploring paths to nuclear weaponry before the fall of the shah in 1979. Ten years ago the outside world learned of the plants it was building to provide “heavy” water (used in reactors that produce plutonium) and enriched uranium, which is necessary for some types of nuclear reactor, but also for nuclear weapons. The enrichment facilities have grown in capability, capacity and number; there has been work on detonators, triggers and missile technology, too.

Iran wants, at the very least, to put itself in a position where it has the expertise and materials with which to build deliverable nuclear weapons quickly. It may well want, at some point, to develop the bombs themselves. This is deeply worrying to Israel, which is threatened by Iran’s proxies in Lebanon and Gaza and disgusted by the anti-Semitic rants of Iran’s leaders. It also alarms Arab states, which fear Iranian power (and their own Shiite minorities). That alarm could lead some of them—Saudi Arabia, Egypt, perhaps Turkey—to seek nuclear weapons of their own. Many fear that this would make the region even less stable than it is. Even if it did not, it would make the possible consequences of instability much more terrible.

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Outside powers, especially America, would give a great deal to avoid the prospect of an emboldened, nuclear-armed Iran. Hence ever-stronger sanctions designed to get Iran to cease enrichment and content itself with reactor fuel made elsewhere. Hence, also, a willingness by America and others to keep open the option of military strikes.

In Israel that willingness has hardened close to the point of commitment. Israel has nuclear weapons itself, including submarine-based weapons that could posthumously annihilate any aggressor who destroyed the country. But this deterrent is not enough to stop Israelis from seeing a nuclear Iran as the precursor to a second holocaust. The problem is that military action will not necessarily bring about what Israel wants—and could, in the medium to long term, make matters worse.

Short fuses

The possibility of an Iranian bomb comes closer with every revolution of the centrifuges in its underground enrichment plants (see article). Israel’s director of military intelligence, Major-General Aviv Kochavi, says that Iran has obtained 4 tonnes of uranium enriched to 3.5% and another 100kg enriched to 20%, which the Iranians say is for a research reactor in Tehran. If further enriched to 90% (which is not that hard once you have got to 20%) the more enriched uranium would be enough for up to four nuclear weapons. General Kochavi says that from the moment Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave the order, it would take the Iranians a year to make a crude device and another year or two to put together a nuclear warhead that would fit on a ballistic missile. American analysts, who imagine a broader-based approach to developing a nuclear capability, rather than a crash programme, think it would take a bit longer.

Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, talks of the Iranian programme entering a “zone of immunity” well before any bombs are built. This year some of Iran’s centrifuges have been moved to a previously secret facility near the holy city of Qom. This site, Fordow, is buried deep within the bowels of a mountain; hence Mr Barak’s talk of Iran reaching a stage “which may render any physical strike as impractical”.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Fordow has room for 3,000 centrifuges, compared with the 9,000 Iran claims at its first enrichment plant, Natanz. Mr Barak fears that once Fordow is fully equipped Iran will leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). That would bring the IAEA’s inspections to an end, as well as its safeguard procedures aimed at tracking nuclear material. North Korea left the NPT in 2003, two years before announcing that it had the bomb and three years before testing one.

Not all Israeli security officials agree with Mr Barak. Some think that the time may already have passed when Israel on its own could carry out such a strike; others reject the idea that Fordow is a uniquely difficult target. Many of their American peers see a focus on Fordow as too narrow. There are less well defended facilities that are also critical to Iranian nuclear ambitions: sites that make centrifuges and missiles, for example.

Iran’s decreasing vulnerability is not the only reason for thinking that, after talking about it for many years, Israel might actually be about to strike. It has been building up its in-air refuelling capacity, and thus its ability to get a lot of planes over targets well inside Iran. And the Arab spring has reduced Iran’s scope for retaliation. The plight of the beleaguered Assad regime in Syria removes Iran’s only significant Arab ally from the fray. A year ago both Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza might have been relied on to rain missiles on Israeli targets after a strike against Iran. Now Hamas is realigning itself away from Iran and towards Egypt, and the situation in Syria means that Hizbullah cannot be certain that, if it fires at Israel, its Iranian-supplied arsenal will be replenished.

Awkward allies

Then there is the American presidential election. Like the Bush administration before it, Barack Obama’s White House sees Iran’s nuclear ambitions as a huge concern. But it worries that the consequences of an attack on Iran, whether by Israel or America, are unpredictable and scary: oil prices would rocket—at least for a while—endangering the economic recovery; allies in the Gulf already shaken by the Arab spring could be further destabilised; jihadist terrorism could be re-energised; America could be deflected from its primary goal of balancing the power of a rising China in the western Pacific.

Leon Panetta, America’s secretary of defence, says an Israeli attack might delay the advent of an Iranian bomb by “maybe one, possibly two years”, which looks like too little reward for such risks. Mr Obama has insisted that the Israelis give more time for diplomacy, an ever-tightening sanctions regime and intelligence-led efforts to sabotage Iran’s progress. In the period between September last year and January this year Mr Panetta and the chairman of the joint chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, both warned Israeli leaders that if they attacked they would be on their own.

But the election may give Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, something to bargain with. In the face of a hawkish Republican rival and in front of an electorate that is in parts fiercely pro-Israel, Mr Obama may feel he has to welcome, or even build on, an Israeli fait accompli in a way he would not have done earlier and might not do after his re-election, should it come about. In March Mr Netanyahu is planning a trip to Washington. He is likely to remind a broadly sympathetic Congress where America’s duty lies in confronting the “existential threat” to Israel. Although Mr Netanyahu is a more cautious character than some suppose, it would be a mistake to think he is bluffing when he says privately that on his watch Iran will not be allowed to take an irreversible step towards the possession of nuclear weapons.

In early February Mr Panetta appeared to reflect the sense that an Israeli attack was becoming increasingly likely when sharing his thoughts with a journalist from the Washington Post. He said he now believed there was a “strong likelihood” that Israel would attack Iran between April and June this year. Other sources put the odds of an attack this year a bit over 50%.

Such an attack would be a far more complex undertaking than the Israeli strikes against Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 and Syria’s reactor near al-Kibar in 2007. The Iranian nuclear programme looks as if it has been set up with air strikes in mind. Its sites are spread across more than a dozen supposedly well-defended locations.

Israel would probably pay particular attention to the enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow; after them would come the facility at Isfahan that turns uranium into a gas that the centrifuges can work with and the heavy-water reactor under construction at Arak, both of which are above the ground. The larger Russian-built reactor at Bushehr would probably escape unscathed; it is less relevant to weapons work and damage to it could spread contamination across the Gulf.

Israel’s main attack force would consist of two dozen F-15Is and 100 F-16Is, variants of American fighter bombers that have been adapted for long-range missions, along with tankers for aerial refuelling, perhaps supplemented by armed drones and submarine-launched cruise missiles. The planes’ most likely route would be over Jordan and then Iraq, which has almost no air defences. Iran is defended, but mainly by Soviet-era surface-to-air missiles of a kind the Israelis have dealt with before. Iran has fighter aircraft, too, but the Israelis are not too concerned about them.

Plans of attack

Israel has at least 100 two-and-a-quarter tonne (5,000-pound) GBU-28s precision-guided bunker-busting bombs and even more of the smaller GBU-27s. Natanz would be vulnerable to these if they struck with sufficient accuracy and in sufficient numbers.

The biggest question is whether an Israeli strike would have any impact on the centrifuge chamber at Fordow, said to be buried 80 metres deep. According to Austin Long, an academic who used to work for the RAND Corporation, if every one of the F-15Is aimed the GBU-28 it was carrying, along with both its GBU-27s, at a single point, there would be a 35-90% chance of over half the weapons arriving at just the right place and at least one bomb would penetrate the facility. So if carried through with impeccable precision an attack on Fordow would have a reasonable chance of inflicting a bomb’s worth of damage.

But even if things went off without a hitch Iran would retain the capacity to repair and reconstitute its programme. Unless Israel was prepared to target the programme’s technical leadership in civilian research centres and universities the substantial nuclear know-how that Iran has gained over the past decades would remain largely intact. So would its network of hardware suppliers. Furthermore, if Iran is not already planning to leave the NPT such an attack would give it ample excuse to do so, taking its entire programme underground and focusing it on making bombs as soon as possible, rather than building up a threshold capability. Even a successful Israeli strike might thus delay Iran’s progress by only three or four years, while strengthening its resolve.

An American attack might gain five years or even ten; it could drop more bombs on more of the sites, and much bigger bombs—its B-2s carry GBU-57 “Massive Ordnance Penetrators”, weighing almost 14 tonnes. Mindful of its greater capability, in May 2008 Israel’s then prime minister, Ehud Olmert, asked George Bush whether America would, if needed, finish the job that Israel had started and stand by its friend no matter what the consequences. Mr Bush, preoccupied with Iraq, turned him down.

 What are friends for? .
Mr Obama, whose relations with Mr Netanyahu are much cooler than were Mr Bush’s with Mr Olmert, says he is “leaving all options on the table”. An American attack thus remains a possibility, and will continue to be one up to the day Iran fields weapons. But America is unlikely to rush into a strike following an Israeli mission. Administration officials suggest that America would aim to stay firmly on the sidelines, though they are resigned to the fact that, however strong its denials, its complicity would be widely assumed. America would, however, respond vigorously to any attack on its own forces, the oil installations of its allies, or shipping.

Despite a lot of huffing and puffing from Iranian commanders about closing the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 35% of the world’s seaborne oil passes, Iran lacks the ships and firepower with which to mount a conventional blockade. Mines, torpedo-carrying mini-submarines and anti-ship missiles would still allow the Iranians to damage poorly defended tankers. But a spate of such attacks would probably bring an overwhelming response from the carrier groups of America’s Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain. Iranian action that managed to be more than a nuisance while not provoking a decisive counter-attack by America would require finely judged and innovative tactics.

Wars at home

Nevertheless, to maintain its credibility the Iranian government would feel compelled to retaliate. As well as threatening shipping, it has also said that it will strike back at any Gulf state from which attacks on it are launched. America has bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates; those countries could become targets if Iran chooses to see America as directly implicated in any attack. Iranian strikes on the Gulf states could, in turn, lead America to retaliate against non-nuclear targets in Iran.

Then there are attacks on Israel proper. Although Hizbullah and Hamas may not launch attacks as fiercely as they might have done a year ago, they could still do damage. Iran may also try to hit Israel with its own ballistic missiles, though this would come up against the obstacle of Israel’s missile defences, and could also spur a forthright American response.

A regional conflagration cannot be ruled out. But the biggest downside of an attack on Iran may be the possibility of revived patriotic support for an unpopular and incompetent regime. Even the most virulently anti-regime Iranians today fear that an attack on the country’s nuclear installations could rekindle the revolutionary Islamic patriotism of the Iran-Iraq war, validating decades of paranoid regime propaganda and cementing the Revolutionary Guard’s increasingly firm hold on politics and the economy.

Although such fears may be overdone, so too may be the hopes of some outside Iran that an attack could have the opposite effect, with Iranians turning against the regime. It is true that Iran is embroiled in a power struggle (see article). Parliamentarians have summoned the president for questioning for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Given the level of public disaffection with the regime following a post-election crackdown in 2009 and the economic downturn caused by sanctions (see article), the government can expect only limited sympathy from the public. If retaliatory strikes against shipping, or Gulf oil terminals, or Israel, brought on a subsequent wave of American attacks it might lose even that. This is a reason to expect a relatively restrained reaction to any raid, or one expressed through terrorist attacks far away—such as those mounted last week on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi, Tbilisi and Bangkok.

But discontented though they may be, Iranians are for the most part quite proud of their nuclear programme, seeing no reason why so ancient and grand a nation should not have nuclear weapons. They point out that Pakistan is a far less stable and more dangerous member of the nuclear club than Iran would be, and that Western powers are hypocritical in their tacit acceptance of Israel’s nuclear weapons. Iran, they say, has not launched a war since the 19th century; Israel has never been completely at peace.

This adds to the case that, although bombing could delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it stands little chance of diminishing them; further entrenching them looks more likely. Perhaps, in the time gained by an attack, today’s regime might fall, its place taken by one less committed to nuclear development. But it is also possible that reinvigorated sanctions might convince even today’s regime that the cost of becoming a nuclear power was too high. Coupling sanctions with the threat of an attack may make them yet more convincing—even if, paradoxically, an actual attack would lessen their force.

The sanctions have become so tough, though, only because the world takes the risk of an Israeli attack seriously and it needs an alternative. Sword-rattling can sometimes have its place. But the swords are sharp—and double-edged.

 Nearing a point of no return***
3947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Google fu aka kung fu on: February 26, 2012, 12:38:29 PM
I understand the clarification cool
3948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 26, 2012, 12:19:24 PM
"Yes, it is hard to believe that Clarence Thomas would ever be the Republican nominee. Then again, most people thought an inexperienced African-American often mistaken for a Muslim could never defeat presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, much less be elected president"

Yes but the huge difference one is a politician and the other has never run for office or given any indication he could have any talent to do that.
3949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economist bombing Iran not the answer on: February 26, 2012, 12:16:58 PM
Authors conclude that at best bombing Iran would delay their program 10 years and risks them becoming even more determined to get one later.  Additionally all the other problems that might arise, increasing nationalism among those who are disenchanted with the present regime, terrorism around the world, missles fired from Gaza, Lebanon, etc. 

I disagree with the analysis.  Israel will have no choice what to do.   And waiting this long has not changed anything except allow the Iranians to dig in their defenses against any attack.  A prospect of a middle East with several nuclear capable countries is worse.  If not for the US than certainly for Israel which can easily be wiped out with just a few bombs.

****Bombing Iran
Nobody should welcome the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. But bombing the place is not the answer
Feb 25th 2012 | from the print edition
FOR years Iran has practised denial and deception; it has blustered and played for time. All the while, it has kept an eye on the day when it might be able to build a nuclear weapon. The world has negotiated with Iran; it has balanced the pain of economic sanctions with the promise of reward if Iran unambiguously forsakes the bomb. All the while, outside powers have been able to count on the last resort of a military assault.

Today this stand-off looks as if it is about to fail. Iran has continued enriching uranium. It is acquiring the technology it needs for a weapon. Deep underground, at Fordow, near the holy city of Qom, it is fitting out a uranium-enrichment plant that many say is invulnerable to aerial attack. Iran does not yet seem to have chosen actually to procure a nuclear arsenal, but that moment could come soon. Some analysts, especially in Israel, judge that the scope for using force is running out. When it does, nothing will stand between Iran and a bomb.

The air is thick with the prophecy of war. Leon Panetta, America’s defence secretary, has spoken of Israel attacking as early as April. Others foresee an Israeli strike designed to drag in Barack Obama in the run-up to America’s presidential vote, when he will have most to lose from seeming weak.

A decision to go to war should be based not on one man’s electoral prospects, but on the argument that war is warranted and likely to succeed. Iran’s intentions are malign and the consequences of its having a weapon would be grave. Faced by such a regime you should never permanently forswear war. However, the case for war’s success is hard to make. If Iran is intent on getting a bomb, an attack would delay but not stop it. Indeed, using Western bombs as a tool to prevent nuclear proliferation risks making Iran only more determined to build a weapon—and more dangerous when it gets one.

A shadow over the Middle East

Make no mistake, an Iran armed with the bomb would pose a deep threat. The country is insecure, ideological and meddles in its neighbours’ affairs. Both Iran and its proxies—including Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza—might act even more brazenly than they do now. The danger is keenly felt by Israel, surrounded by threats and especially vulnerable to a nuclear bomb because it is such a small land. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently called the “Zionist regime” a “cancerous tumour that must be cut out”. Jews, of all people, cannot just dismiss that as so much rhetoric.

Even if Iran were to gain a weapon only for its own protection, others in the region might then feel they need weapons too. Saudi Arabia has said it will arm—and Pakistan is thought ready to supply a bomb in exchange for earlier Saudi backing of its own programme. Turkey and Egypt, the other regional powers, might conclude they have to join the nuclear club. Elsewhere, countries such as Brazil might see nuclear arms as vital to regional dominance, or fear that their neighbours will.

Some experts argue that nuclear-armed states tend to behave responsibly. But imagine a Middle East with five nuclear powers riven by rivalry and sectarian feuds. Each would have its fingers permanently twitching over the button, in the belief that the one that pressed first would be left standing. Iran’s regime gains legitimacy by demonising foreign powers. The cold war seems stable by comparison with a nuclear Middle East—and yet America and the Soviet Union were sometimes scarily close to Armageddon.

The dream of pre-emption

No wonder some people want a pre-emptive strike. But military action is not the solution to a nuclear Iran. It could retaliate, including with rocket attacks on Israel from its client groups in Lebanon and Gaza. Terror cells around the world might strike Jewish and American targets. It might threaten Arab oil infrastructure, in an attempt to use oil prices to wreck the world economy. Although some Arab leaders back a strike, most Muslims are unlikely to feel that way, further alienating the West from the Arab spring. Such costs of an attack are easy to overstate, but even supposing they were high they might be worth paying if a strike looked like working. It does not.

Striking Iran would be much harder than Israel’s successful solo missions against the weapons programmes of Iraq, in 1981, and Syria, in 2007. If an attack were easy, Israel would have gone in alone long ago, when the Iranian programme was more vulnerable. But Iran’s sites are spread out and some of them, hardened against strikes, demand repeated hits. America has more military options than Israel, so it would prefer to wait. That is one reason why it is seeking to hold Israel back. The other is that, for either air force, predictions of the damage from an attack span a huge range. At worst an Israeli mission might fail altogether, at best an American one could, it is said, set back the programme a decade (see article).

But uncertainty would reign. Iran is a vast, populous and sophisticated country with a nuclear programme that began under the shah. It may have secret sites that escape unscathed. Even if all its sites are hit, Iran’s nuclear know-how cannot be bombed out of existence. Nor can its network of suppliers at home and abroad. It has stocks of uranium in various stages of enrichment; an unknown amount would survive an attack, while the rest contaminated an unforeseeable area. Iran would probably withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which its uranium is watched by the International Atomic Energy Agency. At that point its entire programme would go underground—literally and figuratively. If Iran decided it needed a bomb, it would then be able to pursue one with utmost haste and in greater secrecy. Saudi Arabia and the others might conclude that they, too, needed to act pre-emptively to gain their own deterrents.

Perhaps America could bomb Iran every few years. But how would it know when and where to strike? And how would it justify a failing policy to the world? Perhaps, if limited bombing is not enough, America should be aiming for an all-out aerial war, or even regime change. Yet a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan has demonstrated where that leads. An aerial war could dramatically raise the threat of retaliation. Regime change might produce a government that the West could do business with. But the nuclear programme has broad support in Iran. The idea that a bomb is the only defence against an implacable American enemy might become stronger than ever.

Get real

That does not mean the world should just let Iran get the bomb. The government will soon be starved of revenues, because of an oil embargo. Sanctions are biting, the financial system is increasingly isolated and the currency has plunged in value. Proponents of an attack argue that military humiliation would finish the regime off. But it is as likely to rally Iranians around their leaders. Meanwhile, political change is sweeping across the Middle East. The regime in Tehran is divided and it has lost the faith of its people. Eventually, popular resistance will spring up as it did in 2009. A new regime brought about by the Iranians themselves is more likely to renounce the bomb than one that has just witnessed an American assault.

Is there a danger that Iran will get a nuclear weapon before that happens? Yes, but bombing might only increase the risk. Can you stop Iran from getting a bomb if it is determined to have one? Not indefinitely, and bombing it might make it all the more desperate. Short of occupation, the world cannot eliminate Iran’s capacity to gain the bomb. It can only change its will to possess one. Just now that is more likely to come about through sanctions and diplomacy than war.****

3950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Question on: February 26, 2012, 12:04:09 PM

Did you mean "follow up"?
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