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3951  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 21, 2012, 02:07:15 PM
"but they are entitled to certain accommodations because a federal law was passed by the people's representatives and signed by the President.  It was not an unenumerated right found in the constitution"

Exactly.  Accomodations that the majority now have to make for disabled minority is only because of laws passed by laws intended for compasionate reasons.   

A law can thus be passed that makes virtually anything an entitlement by people's "representatives".

In a way however this law does make the majority actually have ot make way for SPECIAL accomodations for the disabled.

I suppose laws that held for racial considerations in say college admissions could be also thus categorized.

I suppose that passing gay marriage into a law is not 'special' per se but allowing that minority the same government recognized privilege as non gays.

The gay marriage thing is a movement that will continue on ithrough infinity till they get what they insist on.

The majority can argue forever it is just a matter of time before the mority says al right we have had enough.

Here is what you want now will please stop the "reverse harrasment".

3952  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 21, 2012, 10:06:23 AM

Good point.  No need to panic as it is way too early.   The Repubs have not consolidated and are not focused on Obama and the MSM is having a great time yucking up their attacking each other.   

When reporters go out on the street and ask pedestrian basic questions about politics, the direction of the country, history, etc.  It is amazing how little people know.  It seems most people are not paying attention or thinking beyond the headlines if even that.

I guess that is one reason why it is so easy to bribe people for votes and blame the "rich".

Gallup says the unempolyment rate is 9% - watch for all sorts of explanations why this is wrong for the OBama outlets, why their calculations are misleading and for the WH to dispute the numbers, and finally "it would be far worse without Obama".  Anything but the truth and accepting any responsibility.
3953  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Scientific American Michael Mann on: February 20, 2012, 02:40:35 PM
I am not for or against "climate change" resulting from human behavior.  I am simply confused.

***Michael Mann Defends Climate Computer Models
Penn State climate modeler Michael Mann talks about what computer models can tell us--and what they don't need to. David Biello reports

January 10, 2012 | 120

"Even in high school my idea of a good time was sitting in front of a computer and solving problems." Climatologist Michael Mann. “And that has always been true. I love using computational methods to learn about the way, hopefully, the way the world actually works.”

Some critics, such as physicist Freeman Dyson, charge that climate change science relies too much on such computer models. And even worse, that the climate scientists behind them are too much in love with their computational creations. Such mathematical approximations are crude, failing to capture the real world climate impacts of a cloud, for example. That makes them useful for understanding climate but not for predicting climate change, Dyson has argued. I asked Mann in a recent phone interview how he responded to such arguments.

"I have to wonder if Freeman Dyson will get on an airplane or if he’ll drive a car because a lot of the modern day conveniences of life and a lot of our technological innovations of modern life are based on phenomena so complicated that we need to be able to construct models of them before we deploy that technology.

“In the case of the climate, of course, there is only one Earth, so we can’t do experiments with multiple Earths and formulate the science of climate change as if it’s an entirely observationally based, controlled experiment. We need to rely on conceptual models of the system we’re studying and it’s no different in any other field of science. In fact, the way science progresses is by conceptual models being put forward and then testing them against observations. One of the most, I think, striking examples of that was just within the last month, this announcement, the Higgs Boson.

“Its existence was predicted by the standard model of particle physics and the fact that there’s—we got a glimpse of it, it looks like it may very well be there—is a real victory for that model of science where you test, you put forward conceptual models of the way the world or the universe works and test those models against the observations and see the extent to which they can predict new observations and when they do, it gives you increased confidence in the models.

“It’s no different in the case of climate change.  The models are simply at some level a formulation of our conceptual understanding and when someone says they don't like models then I’m wondering what alternative they have in mind.

“How do they formalize their conceptual understanding? Through back-of-the-envelope, poorly conceived thought experiments?  It's somewhat bewildering when I hear something like that from a premier scientist, and I think it belies a misunderstanding of the way models are used. In climate science, for example, where we don't need an elaborate climate model to understand the basic physics and chemistry of greenhouse gases, so at some level the fact that increased CO2 warms the planet is a consequence of very basic physics and chemistry.

“The details, how much warming you get, depend on things like feedbacks. And you can’t incorporate feedbacks through a back of the envelope approach.  You actually have to critically think about the interactions that take place in this very complex system. And those feedbacks ultimately determine the extent to which that initial warming will be amplified, but they don’t even change the fact that you elevate greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and you’ll get a warming of the surface. That’s basic physics and chemistry and people who claim that they don’t believe that, they don’t believe we’re warming the planet through increasing CO2 levels because of climate models, they don’t understand the fact that you don’t need a climate model to come to that conclusion. It's basic physics and chemistry.

“The climate models come in because we wanna know how that's modified by feedback.  What are the important feedbacks?  How will atmospheric circulation patterns change? And again, does Freeman Dyson, assuming he is willing to get on an airplane even though models have been used to test the performance of the airplane, assuming he does and he knows he’s going somewhere where they’ve predicted, where weather models have predicted rainfall for the next seven days, does he not pack his umbrella because he doesn’t believe the models? It's just in that case the worst that will happen is somebody gets wet when they wouldn’t otherwise have. In this case, the worst that can happen is that we ruin the planet.”

—David Biell

Makes you wonder why to spite such easily obtained search results the science ignorati continue to insists the models are wrong. It is like they have no interests in the science but protecting some int
2. pterostyrax
12:02 PM 1/10/12Freeman Dyson has it right and Michael Mann has it wrong.

Here are just a few of the areas in which the GCMs and conclusions drawn from them are unequivocally wrong.

1. GCMs do not solve the original partial differential equations describing all of the mechanisms included in the models. They solve modified equations that are approximations of the originals, which, by definition, introduce errors in the solution.

2. GCMs require numerical rather than exact solutions of the equations. The numerical solutions introduce additional errors in reproducing the modified equations particularly with regards to the temporal/spatial scales used in the solution and the type of grid chosen to define the physical space modeled.

3. Once the forms of the modified equations and the temporal and spatial scales have been chosen, then one must setup initial and boundary conditions that define and then drive the simulations. Huge errors are introduced in the simulations as a result of uncertainties in defining these boundary conditions for all the myriad processes necessary in GCMs. Give the same model to 10 different modelers, and you will have 10 different results depending upon how the boundary conditions are specified.

4. The myriad processes involving physical, chemical, and biological interactions have their own problems including important processes left out and incomplete mathematical descriptions of the ones included with numerous simplifying assumptions, but the greatest problem is how the processes are parameterized and the specification of these parameters. Give the same model to 10 different modelers, and you will have 10 different results depending upon how the parameters are specified.

5. Even if all the previously described problems could be eliminated, GCMs, or any model for that matter, cannot predict the future. They can only say what would have happened given the proscribed initial and boundary conditions. No one can know the boundary conditions for the future.

Admittedly, the previous is a very brief discussion of why Dyson is right and Mann is wrong. I could easily write a long paper or even a book on the subject, but I will exit this comment with the following statement - If you can give the same model to 10 different modelers and obtain 10 different results, then that aint science, or at least what I have always believed to be science.

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3. pterostyrax
in reply to Trent1492
12:13 PM 1/10/12Riddle me this. Why are four different model output runs included when comparing to "observed" temperatures? Additionally, on another graph in the IPCC report, why are the results of 14 (I believe this number is correct) different GCMs averaged and then included in the comparison of computed versus observed temperatures?

I am fairly certain I know why.

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4. Trent1492
12:32 PM 1/10/12pterostyrax Says: Riddle me this. Why are four different model output runs included when comparing to "observed" temperatures?

Trent Says: Each models makes different assumptions about the future input of CO2. If you had even a smidgen of knowledge you would have know that one, Riddler.

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5. Trent1492
12:35 PM 1/10/12Anyone else wondering why Pterostyrax will not address the fact of the models and temperature match that is found in the peer reviewed literature? It is like he is in denial of reality. Funny that.

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6. pterostyrax
in reply to Trent1492
12:56 PM 1/10/12This graph is a comparison to computed versus OBSERVED temperatures. Four different carbon inputs for FUTURE inputs of carbon are irrelevant.

I do not mind the ad hominem, but at least get it right when you conduct one.

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7. Trent1492
01:13 PM 1/10/12Pterostyrax Says: This graph is a comparison to computed versus OBSERVED temperatures. Four different carbon inputs for FUTURE inputs of carbon are irrelevant.

Shorter Pterostryax: Please ignore the graph with observed temperatures and the models that reproduce them.

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8. just1observer
01:41 PM 1/10/12Michael Mann speaks the truth.

I believe that for Freeman Dyson to malign the accuracy of the current versions of weather models is a false issue and a cheep shot at weather scientists in general. Moreover, arguing over the accuracy of various weather models misses the main issues about the science of weather prediction and global warming.

There are a few things that we know from weather scientists with a high degree of confidence: (1) the earth is indeed warming; (2) human activity is indeed making a meaningful contribution to that global warming; (3) global warming is changing and will continue to change global weather patterns through a very complex set of interactions that we are only just beginning to identify, better yet fully understand, and (4)weather scientists who construct these models to try to identify and understand these interactions and then predict the consequences to test and improve their models are very much on the right track.

These scientific efforts should be supported by the larger scientific community as well as the public. It is an imperative for this science to advance.

If we were to stop or slow the creation, evolution, continuous testing, and improvement of these models we would be doing the world a great disservice.

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9. Trent1492
01:46 PM 1/10/12I think at least one note of clarification needs to be put here. It is blatantly obvious that Pterostyrax is engaging in obfuscation. Climate science has been making predictions and successful observations of those predictions since 1896. When Svante Arrhenius constructed a model of the atmosphere using nothing more than pencil and paper he made several key predictions:

1. Nights would warm faster days.

2. Winters would warm faster than Summers.

3. The Arctic would warm faster than anywhere else.

All of these predictions have been observed in the 20th and 21st century. Pterostyrax and friends want the public to not know of these and other successful predictions because their interests lay in the public being confused and ignorant. That is why they never ever address them. Ever.

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10. pterostyrax
in reply to just1observer
02:21 PM 1/10/12"If we were to stop or slow the creation, evolution, continuous testing, and improvement of these models we would be doing the world a great disservice."

No argument here. My and Dyson's argument is that the models are currently not ready for prime time for the reasons I elucidated among many more that could be brought to bear on the efficacy of GCMs. Because one can throw a host of equations at the real world does not mean that the set of the previous has any bearing on the latter. Point in question - Long Term Capital's economic numerical models.

However, the need to improve the modeling efforts does not change the fact that the current status of GCMs in providing some semblance of the real world and conclusions drawn therefrom is greatly lacking any firm basis regarding sound science.

3954  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 20, 2012, 01:01:45 PM
" is beginning to prepare for a face-off with [Rick] Santorum, just in case the former Pennsylvania senator captures the Republican nomination. The conventional wisdom among both Democrats and Republicans is that Obama would seek to tear Santorum limb-from-limb with attacks on his positions on abortion, contraception, and, now, prenatal testing."

Absolutely.  CNN and MSNBC are immediately all over this.  I don't recall whether it soloDAD or Kyra Phillips this AM with a sarcastic tone and detectable smug look asked someone about Santorum with, " I hear he is questioning Obama's theology"?

Never do any of these people ever question a peeping thing about Obama or use sarcastic tones and facial expressions.

Could anyone imagine her asking, "I heard Obama said they cling to their religion and guns" with any tone of disrespect?

I have to say though Santorum did not *sound* great defending himself this AM.
3955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The only new thing is a Presidential election on: February 20, 2012, 10:58:19 AM
The only thing new about Iran and nuclear weapons is the US election.   Nothing has changed.  All along it is obvious they are hell bent on getting them and nothing can stop them short of military force or some unexpected miracle.

The Republicans have sided with Israel on this.  Apparantly Obama is feeling the heat before his election and now he must decide what to do for his own skin - not Israel's.
3956  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: February 19, 2012, 11:39:57 AM
"The tenor of this piece is at considerable variance from GB."

Exactly my thoughts.  That is why I question the veracity or intellectual honesty of the author of the Wikipedia piece.  Based on that piece I question why GB and others (Hannity) hold Sunstein out as a looney liberal.  OTOH are GB and others the ones who are exaggerating?   I doubt they are.  Far more likely the Wikipedia piece is tempered to camouflage the truth.
Just like Obama conceals who he really is.  All the same with liberals.  They cannot tell us what they really think and aspire to.

Not if they want to stay in office unless they are from Barney Frank's (now ANOTHER freakin Kennedy's) or Pelosi's districts.
3957  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage and Family on: February 19, 2012, 11:33:13 AM
Well it is ironic that on one hand we have the gays making a big deal out of gay marriage (I can only wonder if it is all about the money somehow with regards to estates, taxes etc) while at the very same time we have a collapse of the insitution in the heterosexual side of the country. 

Divorce rates over 50%, single parenthood over 50% under age 30 and especially for the blue collars, minorities etc.

I guess one could argue that homosexuals fighting for this "right" is in a way a fight to preseve it as an insitution.

Yet nothing is stopping them from living together, working and the rest.  It has to be either some sort of in your face to the non gay community, or, gays are just as normal as non gays and not just living an alternative lifestyle, or about financial issues that come up related to marriage.  Or a combination thereof.

Who cares anymore when someone is gay?  I am fatigued by all this infatada about marriage, adoption, bullying (for God's sake if I turn on CNN one more time to see Anderson Cooper making a school bullying incident into an international scandal....)... the point is now I feel like I am the one being harrassed.  Yes I know I can change the TV station.
3958  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs/Sunstein on: February 19, 2012, 11:15:06 AM
The Economist has a lot to say about US government *over*regulation in this week's issue.  I saw this article on Cass Sunstein who is decried from the right as a big liberal.   Sunstein is marketed by the WH as being this big government 'spending/cut' Czar.   A lot of smoke and mirrors as one would expect from the Obama WH.  That said not all of Sunstein's opinions are that liberal though his stance on taxes certainly is one of a big liberal government cheerleader (see the Wikipedia piece on him below; I read with some skepticism for the objectivity of what shows up in Wikipedia).   

Certainly in making its analyses the OIRA appears to exaggerates the benefits, and minimize the costs of  any government program the WH wants to promote or conversely cut:

****..Deleting regulations
Of Sunstein and sunsets
Many barriers impede regulatory reform. The poor quality of the laws Congress produces is among the biggest
Feb 18th 2012 | NEW YORK | from the print edition

The busy nudgemeister .
CHEERS greeted Barack Obama’s hiring of Cass Sunstein away from the University of Chicago. Mr Sunstein, a lawyer, now head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is in charge of lifting the heavy hand of regulation from America’s economy. Known for his clever economics, Mr Sunstein favours a “libertarian paternalism”; policies that nudge, but do not force, people to do the right things. For example, making people opt out instead of opting in to pension plans makes many more sign up, to their benefit. And Mr Sunstein has been involved in redesigning dietary recommendations and fuel-efficiency stickers for cars, making formerly confusing information more useful.

Mr Sunstein is now in charge of overseeing a year-old executive order from Mr Obama telling every agency to slim its rule book. Mr Sunstein says every one has complied, with 580 proposals received from the departments under his purview. (Independent agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission are not among them.) And he says real savings are on the way. Lifting a requirement for states to require pollution vapour-recovery systems will save $400m in five years. Making it easier for doctors and hospitals to participate in the Medicare programme for the elderly will save $5 billion. He adds that agencies have responded not grudgingly (the old stereotype of bureaucrats loth to surrender cash or power), but eagerly.
But the Obama administration has added to the rule book at the same time as it is trimming. And many of the rules are big: 194 of them, each with an economic impact (not necessarily a net cost) of $100m or more, have been published in the Federal Register. In George Bush’s first three years, 141 hit the books. Even if most have more benefits than costs, as the agencies’ economists calculate, the scope of regulation is not shrinking. The overall cost of regulation is unknown, and measurement controversial. One study for the Small Business Administration found that regulation cost $1.75 trillion a year in 2008, though many object to the analysis. It relies on a methodology, invented at the World Bank, which one of the bank’s researchers says was misused, and Mr Sunstein dismisses it as “an urban myth”.

Meanwhile, the executive agencies are accused of minimising costs by counting only hours spent on paperwork or money spent on kit to comply with regulation. The real costs may be found in the hard-to-calculate perversion of behaviour that over-regulation causes. At the same time, the benefits tallied up by regulators may be overvalued (see article). The agencies calculate their own numbers, using their own methodologies. But what no one doubts is that compliance with the ever-expanding rule book is wearisome and hard.

Furthermore, the politics of removing regulations is harrowing. Each removal must go through the same cumbersome process it took to put the regulation in place: comment periods, internal reviews and constant behind-the-scenes lobbying. Ironically, regulated industries may actually not want regulations removed. They have sunk costs into compliance, and do not want those costs taken away to the benefit of upstart competitors.

Many proposals are floated to deal with this last problem. One, supported by the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, is to remove one regulation for each new one that is proposed. A second idea is to create a truly independent scorer for regulatory costs and benefits, modelled on the widely respected Congressional Budget Office. A third is to create a board of outside grandees to help break political deadlocks, like the Base Realignment and Closure commission, which was able to prod Congress to shut down military bases. And yet another is creating a full-time advocate for regulatory rollback: one state, Kansas, has created an “Office of the Repealer”, which aggregates complaints and suggests repeals to the governor and legislature. Lastly, automatic “sunsets” of laws have their fans, though Congress could mindlessly reauthorise laws gathered up in omnibus bills (and a bitterly divided Congress might allow good laws to lapse).

Finally, one bad idea is the REINS bill. Passed by the House, it would involve Congress more heavily in rule-making. If there is a body worse than the executive agencies at this kind of thing, it is Congress. A 1999 study by the OECD found that poorly written laws, not subsequent rule-writing, were at the heart of America’s regulatory woes. (No one has been foolish enough to suggest that Congress has become wiser since then.) Jim Cooper, a Democratic House member from Tennessee, says of his colleagues: “People vote on things they have not read, do not have the time to read, and cannot read.” He further despairs of the power of special interests to bend Congress’s will: “There is a pimento lobby,” he says of those who fight for the interests of those who grow the small red peppers served inside olives. “You do not want to cross the pimento people.” In such an environment, getting things undone is at least as hard as getting them done, and perhaps harder still.****

More on Cass - he is a dog person  grin:
3959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No Mars gold rush in 20"49" on: February 19, 2012, 09:48:46 AM
3960  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: NASA, Space programs on: February 19, 2012, 09:45:46 AM
I wonder if there is any gold on Mars?   The trip could pay for itself
3961  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Decline, Fall, (and Resurrection?) of America on: February 19, 2012, 09:42:53 AM
Great post BG.  Fascinating discussion.  Lots to talk about.  Just some thoughts:

There is no mention (unless I missed it) of the difference between the nation wrecking entitlements we have in the US compared to China.  Does China face this problem.  Demographically doesn't China have a problem down the road with its one child policy essentially creating a future aging demographic burden  which is I read already an issue in Japan?

The economic interdependence of powers does indeed seem to make the prospect of destructive forms of war less likely.

But what about "soft" war?   (akin to soft power).  For example disabling our military through controlling the electronic brain center.

The people of our country now are far more focused on who is going to pay for the soaring costs health care, their retirements, help for increasing children of single parents, the soaring cost of higher education, etc.

Transfering wealth from those who have more to those who have less is not going to keep this country number one.  WE have become a nanny state.

3962  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Gertrude Stein - unusual and complex on: February 18, 2012, 01:49:53 PM
Certainly I have had some conflicts with my fellow Jews, particularly those who are liberal but nothing like this from one of the first openly lesbian celebrities who was a life long Republican, anti Roosevelt an New Deal dissenter.   Interesting since she was gay and female at a time when that was far more taboo than now.   Yet to nominate Hitler for the Nobel Peace prize in part for ridding Germany of Jews??  Wow. 
What was that all about?   
She later speaks of Roosevelt along with Trotzky, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin in the same breath.  She certainly sounds like she believed in personal responsibility and freedom of thought and I think, at least later on from government.

****Institute for Historical Review

Gertrude Stein's Complex Worldview
Nobel Peace Prize for Hitler?
By Mark Weber

Scholars of the life of Gertrude Stein were recently startled to learn that in 1938 the prominent Jewish-American writer had spearheaded a campaign urging the Nobel committee to award its Peace Prize to Adolf Hitler. This was disclosed by Gustav Hendrikksen, a former member of the Nobel committee and now professor emeritus of Bible studies at Sweden's Uppsala University, in Nativ, a political magazine published in Israel. (Reports about this appeared in the New York Jewish community weekly Forward, Feb. 2, June 14, and Oct. 25, 1996.)

Hendrikksen, an avowed friend of Israel who is now in his late 80s, recalled that the Nobel committee rejected Stein's proposal "politely but firmly, citing among their reasons the attitude of the Nazi regime toward the Jews."

In the decades before her death in 1946, Stein was a widely acclaimed literary icon. As monarch of the "lost generation" of American expatriates in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, she cultivated and influenced such literary figures as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as such artists as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Her Paris home was a mecca for writers and artists. Stein's own "modernist" novels, memoirs, lectures and plays -- once celebrated as stylishly avant garde -- have not aged well. Today she is remembered almost as much for who she was as for what she wrote.

Born in Pennsylvania of a wealthy German-Jewish family, she was raised in the United States, and attended Radcliffe and Johns Hopkins universities. But it was during her years of expatriate living in France that she made her lasting mark.

'Hitler Ought to Have the Peace Prize'
Stein's seemingly paradoxical views about Hitler and fascism have never been a secret. As early as 1934, she told a reporter that Hitler should be awarded the Nobel peace prize. "I say that Hitler ought to have the peace prize, because he is removing all the elements of contest and of struggle from Germany. By driving out the Jews and the democratic and Left element, he is driving out everything that conduces to activity. That means peace ... By suppressing Jews ... he was ending struggle in Germany" (New York Times Magazine, May 6, 1934).

As astonishing at it may seem today, in 1938 many credited Hitler for his numerous efforts to secure lasting peace in Europe on the basis of equal rights of nations. After assuming power in 1933, he succeeded in quickly establishing friendly relations with Poland, Italy, Hungary, and several other European nations. Among his numerous initiatives to lessen tensions in Europe, the German leader offered detailed proposals for mutual reductions of armaments by the major powers.

In a 1940 essay, Stein wrote positively of the appointment of "collaborationist" Henri Philippe Petain as France's Chief of State, comparing him to George Washington. As late as 1941, she was urging the Atlantic Monthly to publish speeches by Marshal Petain, which she had translated into English. In spite of her background, Stein continued to live and write in France during the years of German occupation (1940-1944).

She also maintained a friendship with Bernard Fay, who headed France's national library, the Bibliotheque Nationale, during the Petain era. According to a new biography of Stein, Favored Strangers: Gertrude Stein and Her Family, by Linda Wagner-Martin, Fay and Stein often discussed "the Führer's qualities of greatness" in the years before the outbreak of war in 1939. Even after the war, when he was convicted as a collaborationist, Stein and her close companion Alice Toklas remained good friends with Fay and lobbied to free him from prison.

Conflicted Sense of Jewishness
Like many of this century's Jewish American intellectuals, Stein's relationship to her own Jewishness was complex and conflicted. She was sensitive to anti-Jewish sentiment, and sometimes expressed criticism of Hitler. In 1936 she wrote: "There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing. Everybody now-a-days is a father, there is father Mussolini and father Hitler and father Roosevelt and father Stalin and father Trotzky ..."

Estranged from the organized Jewish community, in part because of her eccentricity and lesbianism, she nevertheless retained an acute and proud sense of her Jewishness. According to Wagner-Martin, Stein once said, "all men of genius had Jewish blood," and even developed a theory that Abraham Lincoln was part Jewish.

During the first decade of this century, Stein became enamored of Austrian-Jewish psychologist and philosopher Otto Weininger, whose major work, Geschlecht und Charakter ("Sex and Character"), had tremendous influence on European thinking. Following its first publication in 1903, the book was quickly translated into various languages, and went through 30 editions. Weininger contrasted the masculine "Being" of Aryanism and Christianity with the feminine "non-Being" of Judaism. Jesus was the only Jew to overcome Judaism, he argued. Zionism, in Weininger's view, is the negation of Judaism, because it seeks to ennoble what cannot be ennobled. Whereas Judaism stands for the world dispersion of Jews, Zionism strives for their ingathering.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Sept-Oct. 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 5), pp. 22 ff.

3963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mayo Proceedings psychiatrist on marijuana on: February 18, 2012, 11:02:06 AM
I received free a copy of the journal.  I glanced through a somewhat long article but have not spent the time reading it.

This physician supports the use of it for medical purposes.  I am not convinced we need another psychoactive drug out there.  OTOH it is out there anyway I guess.   Here he is giving a 10 minute chat about it:
3964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 18, 2012, 08:59:18 AM
Drudge reporting "sources" in the WH now saying military action against Iran now "more" likely.

Give me a break.  If this is not now the tail wagging the dog!

After all this suddenly the WH has decided sanctions are not working.

Throw the Jews/Israel under the bus.  Now he needs them and their donations.   Suddenly the picture has changed.

I am all for helping Israel.  But at the expense of another four years of this guy....

Democrats will stop at nothing.
3965  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 17, 2012, 04:17:08 PM
"Why not polygamy/polyandry as well?"

Why stop there?  Why not just take it to the end game -
Why even have marriage altogether?

Just abolish it.  We have divorce at over 50%.  We have all these people fooling around.   We have children of single or unmarried parents all over the place.

Now gays are hoisting their agenda on the rest of us.

Perhaps we could tax individuals more and stop deductions, so the State would be happy to rid of marriage.

Just get rid of it.  It is nealy meaningless or going in that direction every day anyway.

We celebrate celebrities who have kids out of wedlock.  We celebrate gays having children.  We see everyone and their uncle so to speak having affairs (JFK with a teenager and running the WH like a Damn personal brothel)

I can go on.

Just get rid of the antiquated and fast becoming worthless institution.

So a few "chapels" on the Vegas strip will go out of business.
3966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 17, 2012, 01:14:17 PM
Bigdog says,

"Moreover, in some areas of civil rights, such as handicapped, special accommodations are exactly what they are entitled to.  Ramps, tutors, Braille books, sound emitting cross walk signals?  Gay rights, like race and handicapped, are civil rights questions."


"special accommodations are exactly what they are entitled to"

Wow.   We are forced to accomodate to disabilities because of laws passed for compassionate reasons.  Yes all of us can become disabled at any time.   The problem is the word "entitlement".  There is NO end to extrapolation of using this word to endless areas of our society our culture.

The left has used this word in no small way to ever increase entitlements (and the government to enforce it - and the costs of others to pay for it) endlessly.

There is still no end in sight.  And there will not be.  Not unitl the entire world all 7 billion of us are exactly the same.
3967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Napolitano on: February 17, 2012, 11:45:26 AM
Beck gone now Napolitano.   Ratings are down I guess.  Truthfully it seems like these shows will only appeal to certains groups and go only so far.   I say with disappointment that the strict conservative message is not going to get us the independents.  Just won't happen.  It is just too late, like it or not.

Proof in point, the country's "greatest generation" is now the country's biggest "entitlement generation" - by FAR.  Medicare and SS alone will bankrupt us while the politicians and the few who control the world economy continue their shell game.

In any case back to Freedom Watch:
3968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: February 17, 2012, 10:01:56 AM
I saw this last night.

Yes.   One has to wonder are there the result of incompetence, honest mistakes, or outright bribes or just political operatives doing stuff for their guy?

We will never know.

Romney has money.
3969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 16, 2012, 07:43:35 PM
"The Obama Farewell Speech of 2012" grin

I wouldn't put it past him to pull a "Cleveland" in 2016. shocked
3970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chinese buying lots of gold on: February 16, 2012, 07:39:30 PM
I don't know if this accounts for the price but China is buying large amounts.  Indians are buying too though I don't know if as much:
3971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 16, 2012, 03:17:30 PM
For those of you who want to spend time reading 29 pages of this "study" which has a lot diatribing in it while in the same paper admits that actual research looking into the this is "scant" one can knock yourself out here:

So the authors blab and blab and blab at some points saying certain things are "well established" and later contradicting the whole thing with there is scant evidence.

It reminds me of "field" of  graphology wherein people claim to be ble to determine a person's personality from their handwriting.

A retired FBI documents examiner explained that he reviewed the books written on the subject and concluded there was no scientific continuity.  They all used different criteria and had different conclusions.

3972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 16, 2012, 02:42:07 PM
"Actually nearly all the national medical groups agree (I wouldn't call them "progressive special interest groups")"

I am not sure who does these kinds of studies but it is more likely they are gay researchers with an agenda than conservatives trying to advance their conservative values.

That said I don't know whether it is harmful or not.

I am not sure why anyone would care enough to spend time and money unless gay and that would bias the study.

3973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ross is still alive on: February 15, 2012, 04:06:54 PM
3974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 15, 2012, 04:04:47 PM
3975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 15, 2012, 03:51:28 PM
Assasination is quite acceptable so long as it makes a liberal politician look good.

Question, who lies more Nixon or Obama?
3976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 15, 2012, 03:42:26 PM
BG interesting fact book.

It is ironic we now have the most liberal President in history, making the most of speical operation forces overseas.

I remember not too long ago every liberal from Hollywood to MSM decrying out loud the CIA and special ops (IranContra) as
an evil segment of the Unites States overseas policy.

Sort of like Reagan's space based anti ballistic initiative as being ridiculed as Star Wars.  Now I can guarantee you Brock wishes he had antiballistic weapons that could shoot down nuclear warheads.  It would make Iran seem like less of a threat.
3977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 15, 2012, 03:32:30 PM
Interesting post Crafty.

Readers know I have been disappointed to say the least over the years seeing so many fellow Jews supporting liberal political causes.

I had never heard of billionaire Adelson until I read about his several million donation to Newt.  I am glad the right appears to have an answer to Soros et al.  (and Jewish grin)

I am not sure why Shledon suddenly feels comfortable with Mitt when indeed he was not only weeks ago when he shelled out big money (not for him) for Newt.

FWIW (very little except to make conversation) I like Santorum.  I am not thrilled by Mitt.   Obviously many Republicans feel the same way.  Yet I still conclude Mitt is the stronger candidate for Obama.

Probably there is still time to give Santorum one more shot at why he is Presidential and should be the nominee.

Romney is like Campbell's chicken soup.  Basically adequate but just doesn't make my mouth water.  Hopefully with the right management and a real defined appealing campaign message this will be enough.

If not, to borrow Ross Perot's famous phrase, "we will be in [deeper] deep doodoo".

BTW, I wonder what happended to him.  Is he still alive?
3978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: February 14, 2012, 04:26:56 PM
"In fact, the federal government's total obligations today – including all future obligations – is more than $1 million per taxpayer. And that's if you assume all 112 million taxpayers really count. (They don't. Only about 50 million people in the U.S. pay any substantial amount of federal income taxes.)"

This answers the questions under the government spending thread about the burden on "real" taxpayers who are supporting not only themselves and family but several others.

Otherwise it sounds like the crises in Kally4rnia is the same as the Federal Government.

It is so bad or about ready to be so bad -

What is amazing man in the MSM look at people who write articles like this and laugh and smirk and belittle them. 

Well health insurance in NJ goes up 10% every year.

Prescription drug program under Bush cost more than SS?  I didn't know that.  And we have some pushing for Jeb Bush?
No thanks.  The first brought us Clinton the second brought us Brock.  Enuf said.

3979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: February 14, 2012, 03:34:04 PM
"we are looking at about $350,000 per taxpayer?"

Brock is not helping the middle class - he is killing us.

Yet hear him speak he is saving us.

Will/can the word get out?

Yet for the other 240 million what do they care?  Vote for the Brock!! They say.  Soak the "rich". tongue rolleyes cry sad angry
3980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / preposterous on: February 14, 2012, 03:29:09 PM
"What business is it of the government what gender we are?"

What business is it of government what gender race ethnicity age or anything else?   A human being is a human being.

What business is it what "country" we are from?   Denmark, Kansas, New Zealand, Nigeria, Mongolia.   Obviously we are all one race - humankind.  (notice "man"kind is out!)

Look one world government with all of us exactly the same.

Don't forget it is the right of this same government to tell us what is politically correct to say AND think.

They can also tell us what we can and can't eat.  How many times we can flush the toilet.  What kind of light bulbs to use.  What kind of car to drive.   How much money we are allowed to make and certainly how much we can keep and must give them.

We are not allowed to display certain symbols on our lawn.  They can send a letter to our house telling us we are in the way and must move to make way for a busines that has given someone high up a donation or a piece of the real estate.

We cannot ask people who move here to speak our language but we must speak their language.

The government has NO business questioning what gender we are despite the laws of nature but they have all the business in the world to tell us and do to us all the above.

Make sense to you?  Not to me.

(It gets worse every day.  No end in sight.)
3981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Those carrying the load - have broken backs on: February 14, 2012, 03:17:19 PM
(Unless you are Buffett Gates Soros and a couple of celebs----) 

Let's see 17 K per person 70K per family of four.  Yet if we remove the roughly 50% who pay no income tax or those who are retired on SS what is the real cost to today's workers (some pay a payroll tax I guess) and their working children.  Though since a large number of those under 20 - 25 yo are unemployed - bottom line - the toll on those carrying this load is FAR worse:   
 ****President Obama’s fourth budget has now been released, which allows for a relatively full accounting of deficit spending during his four years in office. The picture isn’t pretty, but it is revealing.

According to the White House’s own figures (see table S-1 here for 2011 to 2013, and table S-1 here for 2010), the actual or projected deficit tallies for the four years in which Obama has submitted budgets are as follows: $1.293 trillion in 2010, $1.300 trillion in 2011, $1.327 trillion in 2012, and $901 billion in 2013.  In addition, Obama is responsible for the estimated $200 billion (the Congressional Budget Office’s figure) that his economic “stimulus” added to the deficit in 2009.  Moreover, he shouldn’t get credit for the $149 billion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) repayments made in 2010 and 2011 to cover most of the $154 billion in bank loans that remained unpaid at the end of the 2009 fiscal year — loans that count against President Bush’s 2009 deficit tally.

Adding all of this up, deficit spending during Obama’s four years in the White House (based on his own figures) will be an estimated $5.170 trillion — or $5,170,000,000,000.00.

To help put that colossal sum of money into perspective, if you take our deficit spending under Obama and divide it evenly among the roughly 300 million American citizens, that works out to just over $17,000 per person — or about $70,000 for a family of four.***
3982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Entitlements and how to go after them on: February 14, 2012, 12:36:48 PM
"Republican lack of integrity"

I really don't know Crafty.  I think the Repubs have been running a defensive retreating strategy for years.  They are really afraid of losing segments of the voters if they stand on principle too much.  So they try to compromise which backfires and on and on.

It is nearly impossible to compete with a party that steals from producers and bribes more and more voters.

Now we have the medicare soc sec bunch who are more inclined to be on the right but for their own pockets are suddenly another big entitlement group that will protect its interests over the good of the country.  Like all of us I guess or hate to say.

"no significance whether or not their destruction of the economy is intentional"

It may be more incompetence.  Does Paul Krugman continue to shove his absurd views on us because he really believes his way is best or that if it doesn't work - well hell F the US anyway and start over?  I am not sure about this.

As we all here know the liberal movement is with the end game of the US is nothing more then a piece of land in a world ruled by liberals "governmentalists".

They don't like America they want to abolish its dominance or use it only to spread around the world.  So if this country fold as we know it - maybe not so bad.

(Of course until they personally would suffer but that is another story.)

3983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 14, 2012, 11:01:54 AM
I like Morris but and have looked forward to his insights.  Unfortunately, I am learning he is just preaching to the Right's choir.
I don't think he has any real insight to independents who seem to bend with the wind.

Brock's team knows this.

That is why they are unleashing this total propaganda war.

Independents will believe whatever they hear @ the moment.

They think the economy is doing better - right or wrong - they vote for Brock.

The market goes up they vote for Brock.

I know, the Repubs are too busy fighting each other and will also get their media machine rolling once we get the nominee.

3984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: February 14, 2012, 10:55:23 AM
"They just get it, care, understand, see it or whatever, they only care about their pocketbook."

Tehy just DON'T get it, etc.

3985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Entitlements and how to go after them on: February 14, 2012, 10:54:07 AM

I am not as optimistic as you.

Just the single fact that I keep hearing that Republicans should be able to "hold on" to the House of reps is alone enough to dishearten me.

To think we have this gigantic liberal in the WH and we are facing this truly radical transformation of America and yet Republicans are struggling to hold onto gains....

The fact the Brock has an approval of even 40-50% also tells me it is almost too late.

It appears many in this country are just fine with a more socialist state.

The 15 - 20% or whatever the number is in the middle - who always decide the elections on a national level
it is obvious by now they are not swayed or concerned about ideology one way or the other.  They just get it, care, understand, see it or whatever, they only care about their pocketbook.

That is it.  It has to be that.   Otherwise Brock's approval would be 40% with disapproval of 60%.   We wouldn't even be thinking the House could go back to Dems or lose Repub seats.  It would be a landslide.

Or let me ask you.  Why is Brock still at 45-50% approval?
3986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Crashing the system may be the goal on: February 14, 2012, 09:57:50 AM
"Until it all crashes."

That may actually be the GOAL.

Someone on talk radio was questioning the motive of Brockster NOT addressing the entitlements.

Whether it be he is just waiting to get re-elected?

And he is playing chicken and letting the Repubs make the first step into the quandry and then will mow down all their proposals with demogauguery?

Or is he really the manchurain liberal who does want the system to collapse so it can be rebuilt more like a communist or fascist state with the end goal being one world government that is all controlling or all knowing.

The answer to this question is unknown but I think it very reasonable to suspect it actually is that he would be ok if the system collapse as long as he and his liberal friends can progress to even bigger new liberal world orders.

Some fools would call this crazy, far fetched, propaganda.

There is actually a LOT of evidence this IS real to support this theory.  Indeed many of the big libs today are saying as much.

The foreign policy proposals calling for the US to forever be bound by the UN is just one example.

The idea tha offshore drilling should be taxed to  give to poor countries - now I should work to pay off the benefits to those in the  US  who are bribed to vote AND  I should do the same for the entire world?

If this does  not shine a light on what the liberals are doing to us - I don't know what will wake up America.
3987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yes and to take it a little further on: February 13, 2012, 02:15:58 PM
Agree with the arguments posted.  Also the gay infitada has a powerful ally in the MSM.  Since much of the opposition to legalizing marriage and with it the "normalization" of homosexuality comes for religion and of course religious groups have been aligned to a large extent with the Republican party the gays have become probably almost as strongly identified with the Crat party as Blacks and 75% of Jews.

So it is quite natural they have big support in the MSM notwithstanding much prominence in the entertainment industry and now with cable news - Maddow, Cooper, etc.

In a way I find my rights as an American citizen to speak out against overwhelming immigration abuse, and to speak out as a taxpayer my resentment that I be taxed up the behind while 50% pay no federal income tax, and the very rich have numerous loopholes, as very much the same type of muzzling of ALL opposition to this progressive wave that is overwhelmiing America.
3988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / pre-election flip flop on: February 11, 2012, 10:54:17 AM
This is so Clinton.  At the last minute just before the election announce a NEW stand on an issue as though he was for it all along and take credit for it and also take away a wedge issue from his opponent.  JDN will of course scream with delight the brilliance of his politics, the independents won't have a clue and it will possibly work to help save his behind next November:

****Obama to pitch lower corporate tax
He'll likely propose a rate closer to an average seen in peer nations

+-WASHINGTON  — President Barack Obama will call for cutting the top 35 percent corporate tax rate as early as this month, according to two sources close to the administration.

The president is likely to propose a rate closer to an average of that seen in peer nations, the sources said.

This would jibe with remarks made last year by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who suggested the United States should be moving to a rate more in line with its major trading partners in the high 20-percent range.

Obama outlined tax measures - including closing tax loopholes for companies that move facilities and jobs overseas - in his State of the Union speech in January, and will lay out principles for revamping corporate taxes by the end of February, a senior administration official said.

"We will talk more before the end of the month on what corporate tax reform would look like," the official said on Friday, confirming that it would include a call for "lower rates."

Facing a potentially tough presidential re-election challenge this November, Obama will propose cutting the rate following the release of his 2013 budget plan on Monday, February 13, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record.

While he spent a big part of his January speech to Congress criticizing businesses for moving jobs overseas, Obama said that "companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world."

Only Japan has a steeper corporate tax rate than the United States among industrialized countries, though other countries make up the revenue with a value-added tax, he said. The United States does not have a VAT.

An overhaul of the corporate tax system is extremely unlikely in an election year, but the president's proposal could be an olive branch to the business community to show that he agrees with them on one key aspect of tax reform.

"I think what he will end up doing is saying, 'For years folks have been asking for a lower corporate rate, and here it is - what do you think?,'" said Jared Bernstein, a former economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.

Advertise | AdChoicesObama's Treasury Department was close to releasing a revamp of corporate taxes last year, but pulled back after business opposition, according to a former official.

Republican Rep. Dave Camp, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' tax-law writing Ways and Means committee, has set a goal of trimming the top 35 percent corporate rate to 25 percent.

Gene Sperling, director of Obama's National Economic Council, has told reporters that the president will be laying out "principles" for corporate tax reform close to the budget release.

Obama's corporate plan will also include a new minimum tax on foreign profits earned in low tax countries - an unpopular idea in the corporate community.****

3989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: February 10, 2012, 05:16:43 PM
I forgot about the fact that no planes bringing arms to Israel were allowed to land in Europe during the '73 war.

I wonder if the diffference now is Saudi will step up and provide extra oil to Europe.  Not holding my breath.

The Saudis have to know Iran is the threat and the Jews are not. 

3990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: February 09, 2012, 02:37:43 PM
"Kudos to CCP for warnings given regarding Lap Band Surgery some time ago."

Thanks JDN.

I don't remember posting on this board about that.

Unfortunately outcomes for lap band are very disappointing.  *Most* will gain the weight back and many do have problems later on.

The full bariatric restrictive/absorptive procedures are better.   Yet I was recently surprised to find that contrary to expectations patients are not necessarily living a lot longer by what one would think is a life saving procedure.  I think it depends on their co - morbid condidtions to start with. 

I will try and see if I can find more recent information that I can post here.  I don't recall the latest details.

Like the complete turnaround on PSA testing sometimes the longer one studies "outcomes" the more we realize we may not be doing as much good as thought.

That is one of the theoretical concepts behind electronic medical record data.   That we will know more about long term effects of what we do and don't do.   The jury is out on this.  Overall I am not a big fan of it.

Yet the train has left the station like it or not. 
3991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: February 08, 2012, 04:10:09 PM
"the Recording Industry Association of America"

The pot calling the kettle black.

What a joke.
3992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 08, 2012, 04:04:21 PM
great story - thanks.
3993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 08, 2012, 10:33:48 AM
It is still very early but I am getting nervous looking at Mitt not being able to overcome the MSM slant about him.

It was never a big problem that Kerry was the richest man in the Senate when he ran.

All of a sudden we hear the MSM tagging Mitt with the he is the 1%  guy and suddenly that is a reason that disqualifies him for President.   

I am not sure that the Republicans are at this point doing themselves a favor by having Santorum running and Gingrich, well I am not sure wht he is accomplishing.

Mark Levin who I really like is WRONG if he thinks having someone who can take a stand - and probably LOSE - is better than a "moderate" like Mitt who can have a much better chance of winning - is the right course.  That is exactly the wrong course.

The prospect of another Sharon Angle who unbelievably lost to Reid in Nevada - occuring in the Presidential race -

this makes me lose sleep a lot more than wringing my hands about the world's poor.  There were always poor people, there always will be and the poor in this country have it far better than most if not all places in the world.
3994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: February 07, 2012, 10:33:19 AM
"Obama IMHO is one of the most honest"

Folks, this is what we are up against.

The 40-45% who will always vote for this guy no matter what.

Lying is no longer lying (unless one is Republican), spinning is no longer lying it is just politics and "they all do it", and indeed one cannot even call someone a liar when in fact they clearly are as that is now poltically incorrect and worse than calling someone a slang bigotted name.

Last night I noticed CNN calling Obama on his "reversal" on PACS.  If it was a republican it would have been called "flip-flop".

I didn't see the show but I assume they had several guests essentially explaining why it is really NOT a reversal or at the very least how he was driven to do it and is still true to his word etc... 
3995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: February 06, 2012, 12:58:48 PM
"For that we apologize?  And blame ourselves??"

According to Ronbama yes.

Amazing despite all our blood sweats and tears many Arabs still despise us.

Not all.  I remember one Iraqi - American who escaped Saddam who after the US invasion to get rid of Saddam proclaimed to me, ''there is a God!"
OTOH he is an Iraqi Christain - this is the big difference I think.
It seems like th Christains in the middle east whom I have met over the years, whether they be from Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq....
are far more friendly to the US and even Israel/Jews.

I have many Muslim patients and being a doctor in NJ of course work alongside many Muslim doctors (many from Pakistan).

I generally don't discuss politics.   Can't take the chance for obvious reasons.  The same reason why celebrities who want to market themselves to everyone should keep their political views to themselves.

Once one of the doctors who is from Pakistan told me after his son was almost killed by fundamentalists in Pakistan that the radical Islmaist are "crazy".  And in Pakistan they used to concentrate in the West but arehave moved all over Paakistan and one never knows who they are  so it is nearly impossible to know the motives of anyone you are dealing with.

Kind of the same thing we seem to hear from US forces dealing the Pakistanis - some work with us and spy for us while others do just the opposite.
3996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / africa on: February 06, 2012, 10:56:12 AM
Ndubuisi Ekekwe

Ndubuisi Ekekwe is a founder of the non-profit African Institution of Technology. He recently edited Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Global Diffusion, Economics, and Policy.

Africa Is Open for Business
9:24 AM Monday February 6, 2012
by Ndubuisi Ekekwe | Comments (2)

Angola is offering financial aid to debt-ridden Portugal. The Economist recently declared Africa a "hopeful continent" after years of writing it off as "hopeless." More than a million Chinese are in Africa exploring opportunities in villages and cities. The continent is attracting top global brands and has a growing middle class. There's a sense of upbeat optimism with possibilities that seem endless. As the lions roar from Kenya to Ghana, and cheetahs from South Africa to Mali, young Africans are unleashing their entrepreneurial energy and most governments are offering stronger leadership, a more business-friendly economy, and less corruption.

But, Africa is not an isolated island in the world, and ongoing uncertainty with some of its trading partners could imperil any sustainable progress. A trade shock is just around the corner, as the continent remains reliant on a mineral-based economy. And new, rosy economic statistics have not managed to stop strikes, riots, and other protests, which are the result of the continued reality of economic inequality. What's more, Africa is complex, fragmented and multicultural. What works in Nigeria is not guaranteed to work in Kenya.

But, none of this should keep businesses from expanding into African markets. The international community should not ignore a growing market of roughly a billion people. Africa needs about $50 billion to meet its development goals over the next few years, and it needs the help of the international community to tackle the vicious cycle of poverty, disease and hunger in Africa today.

African economies are growing, and millions have moved into the middle class category within the last decade. And Africans are buying things, from iPads to Porsches. Africans are also becoming global players, with some of their banks — such as United Bank for Africa and Guaranty Trust Bank — opening offices in the U.S., France Flag Like ReplyReply Real-time updating is paused. (Resume)
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Post as … .Africa Is Open for Business
Angola is offering financial aid to debt-ridden Portugal. The Economist recently declared Africa a "hopeful continent" after years of writing it off as "hopeless." More than a million Chinese are in Africa exploring opportunities in villages and cities. The continent is attracting top global brands and has a growing middle class. There's a sense of upbeat optimism with possibilities that seem endless. As the lions roar from Kenya to Ghana, and cheetahs from South Africa to Mali, young Africans are unleashing their entrepreneurial energy and most governments are offering stronger leadership, a more business-friendly economy, and less corruption.
But, Africa is not an isolated island in the world, and ongoing uncertainty with some of its trading partners could imperil any sustainable progress. A trade shock is just around the corner, as the continent remains reliant on a mineral-based economy. And new, rosy economic statistics have not managed to stop strikes, riots, and other protests, which are the result of the continued reality of economic inequality. What's more, Africa is complex, fragmented and multicultural. What works in Nigeria is not guaranteed to work in Kenya.
But, none of this should keep businesses from expanding into African markets. The international community should not ignore a growing market of roughly a billion people. Africa needs about $50 billion to meet its development goals over the next few years, and it needs the help of the international community to tackle the vicious cycle of poverty, disease and hunger in Africa today.
African economies are growing, and millions have moved into the middle class category within the last decade. And Africans are buying things, from iPads to Porsches. Africans are also becoming global players, with some of their banks — such as United Bank for Africa and Guaranty Trust Bank — opening offices in the U.S., France and the U.K. Investments in the continent will grow, and the following areas remain the most promising:
Energy: Despite the abundance of resources like solar, oil, water and gas, most Africans still have no reliable energy supply. The challenge has been the cost-intensive, long-term reward nature of these projects in unpredictable political systems. It's simply too risky for businesses to invest in this sector. Minerals: As the world economy recovers, African minerals such as crude oil and gold will remain important to the global economy, as demand increases. Investing in extracting and processing these minerals will remain a lucrative venture. Agriculture: Africa is unfed in a continent with good, arable land. Africa imports its food, despite the fact that it produces enough to feed its citizens. The problem is that harvests are poorly managed due to a lack of preservation techniques, which means that much of the food goes to waste and Africa goes hungry even after bumper harvests. Food production, processing, and preservation will remain a profitable growth area. Technology: Africa has not attracted capacity-building investments, such as R&D centers and hi-tech manufacturing. In the coming years, as global buyers become more sophisticated, companies that differentiate their products within local markets will have a strong competitive advantage. Africa is no exception. For example, telecoms can be profitable in Africa not for selling airtime, but for powering value-added services such as mobile banking and mobile business, among others, that address the needs of this unique population. Four things will drive the African economy in this decade:
African diasporas: The diasporas who have acquired world-class skills with international networks will drive sustainable African development. As the global economy recovers from recession, their impact will continue to expand. Education: Education is a weak link in the development of the continent. Major foreign investment has not come to the sector owing to low return, but some African governments are working hard to change that. For instance, Rwanda and Carnegie Mellon University have teamed up to offer a graduate-level program in East Africa. The new campus will train talent for companies who want to make products closer to Africans. Better education will also serve to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem on the continent. Intra-trade: The trade route to colonial links will become weaker as these nations become richer and make choices purely based on market factors. For instance, Cameroon could choose South Africa, rather than France, to process some of its food. Infrastructure: Though the regional economic communities (RECs) have not lead to monetary unions, Africa is poised to benefit from the integration of its various economies, and can learn from the euro zone crisis when strategizing about its own single currency program (PDF). The RECs will form free trade areas, which will help modernize infrastructure, among other things. Africa's biggest risk is its political system. New governments have cancelled mine contracts and leases executed by predecessors. The continent faces challenges if it cannot prepare for its post-mineral era. As I drive by dead mines that generated billions of dollars of wealth around the world, but left no sustainable community development behind, I have to wonder: What will the domino effect be if the continent cannot transmute effectively into a post-mineral era? Africa needs a redesign of its economy towards a knowledge-driven one. New industries remain underfunded and quality startups are scarce.
Africa is open for business, and tomorrow's global leaders should understand both the risks and the opportunities that are available here. There is the potential for corporations to make billions of dollars in profits in Africa. But, much more importantly, contributing to a strong and sustainable Africa could just be the next generation of global leaders' greatest legacy.
3997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: February 06, 2012, 09:24:52 AM
"CCP, you are thinking in terms of security risk to the US, Israel and rest of the world.  He is thinking in terms of his own approval rate on the 'Arab street'.  Completely different concerns."

Good point.  They are different.  However I am of the view Obama does indeed feel that if their brand of democracy is a fundamentalist Islamic democracy then that is their choice and perfectly ok with him.

I don't think his aplogizing around the world for the US was entirely just to impress the Arab street.

I liken his view to Ron Paul's in this regard - the US should balme itself for much of it's overseas problems.
I don't disagree with Paul on domdestic policy but do not accept this foreign policy view which I think is what Obama thinks - though he plays more middle of the road for his own polical purposes.

But then again I certainly am no scholar on these matters cheesy
3998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama miscalculation? Not so fast on: February 05, 2012, 11:11:23 AM
Mort thinks OBama miscalculated.  Perhaps.  I am not so sure.  Au contraire, I think Obama is quite content with  democracies controlled by Fundamentalist Islamists in the Middle East.   Indeed WHAT evidence do we have that he would be the least bit disturbed by this?

US News and World Report -

***Barack Obama's Middle East Miscalculation
In Egypt, we are witnessing the democratic election of a dictatorship
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman

January 20, 2012 RSS Feed Print A little-noticed event gives a grim insight into what is really happening in the Middle East. The euphoria of the "Arab Spring," the instant Twitter-style transition from dictatorship to democracy, is seen for what it is: an illusion. Yes, the dictatorship of one kind has gone, but democracy in the sense we understand it is, shall we say, somewhat delayed.

There have been any number of disappointments. The event that should give us pause about the underlying forces was obscured by the Christmas holiday. In mid-December, violent Islamic Salafist extremists burned down Cairo's famous scientific Institute d'Egypte, established by Napoleon in the late 18th century during a French invasion. The institute housed some 200,000 original and rare books, maps, archaeological objects, and rare nature studies from Egypt and the Middle East, the result of generations of work by researchers, mostly Western scholars. Zein Abdel-Hady, who runs Egypt's main library, remarked, "This is equal to the burning of Galileo's books."

The Salafists, who hate all things Western, no doubt saw their vandalism as an act of defiance against the West, destroying the precious documents of historical Egypt that were so intimately connected to the West. They are either too ignorant and/or too careless to realize that they were destroying their own heritage from Pharaonic Egypt.

[Read Mort Zuckerman and other columnists in U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.]

Last year in the Middle East was the most dramatic it has known for many. The series of uprisings in Egypt were marked by the emergence of Islamic forces from years of suppression. They scored dramatic political gains in Tunisia and Libya, too. Leaders who perceived themselves as invincible fell, one after the other, the most dramatic being the end of the rule of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

The United States could not decide whether to support a regime that was disagreeable, but yet a strategic ally, or abandon it because it ignored fundamental American values like freedom and democracy (which means not just fair elections and majority rule, but respect for the rule of law, equal rights for women, tolerance of minorities, and freedom of expression). Alas, with the collapse of the Mubarak regime, the cause of freedom in Egypt is set back since, in the battle between the army and the conservative Islamic extreme, the Islamic bloc won by an overwhelming majority, with first place taken by the Muslim Brotherhood and second place grabbed by the Salafi extremists. By the time the elections are finished, there is likely to be at least a two thirds majority for an Islamist constitution. What we are witnessing is a democratic election of a dictatorship.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the turmoil in the Middle East.]

The White House completely miscalculated in Egypt, as it did in Gaza. It seemed only to care for the mechanics of the electoral process rather than the meaning of the results. Washington vacillated on who its Egyptian allies really are. We had long shared with the Egyptian military understandings on national security, ours with an eye to maintaining peace in the region. That relationship is now pretty much lost.

Americans, in their perennial innocence, have demanded that the generals turn over power to the civilians whomever they may be, just as they did to the Persian shah, just as they did after Israel's pullout from Gaza when they hadn't a clue about the danger posed by Hamas. Our ingenuous attitude has been tantamount to handing over Egypt on a silver platter to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, who ironically are coming into power as democrats.

Their new foreign policy will include opening the blockaded border with Gaza, ending normal relations with Israel, and opening them with Hamas and Iran in such a way as to alter the balance of power in the region against U.S. interests. Indeed, one of the few things that unites the political parties in Egypt is an anti-Western foreign policy. Cairo has already allowed Iran's warships to transit the Suez Canal; failed to protect pipelines supplying energy to Israel and Jordan; endorsed the union of Hamas and Fatah; and hosted conferences in support of "the resistance," that is, terrorism.

The United States forgot the lessons of Iraq, namely, that it is easier to remove an Arab-state dictator by military means than it is to alter the internal balance of power and create a solid foundation for human rights. Had it kept the Iraq experience in mind, the Obama administration would have thought a lot harder and ensured that there was a foundation for genuine democracy in Egypt before demanding Mubarak's immediate resignation.

[See photos of protests in Egypt.]

The Islamic groups can credit their success to better resources and organization, but they also have deep ties with Egypt's religiously rooted public. Their work with social and economic welfare programs during the country's long history of economic hardship gave them wide popularity among the illiterate poor. But as Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has put it, "The Brotherhood is not, as some suggest, simply an Egyptian version of the March of Dimes—that is, a social welfare organization whose goals are fundamentally humanitarian." It is a "profoundly political organization," he added, that seeks to reorder Egyptian society along Islamist lines and "transform Egypt into a very different place." As the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood put it in a sermon, "Arab and Muslim regimes are betraying their people by failing to confront the Muslims' real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States." The sermon was titled: "The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end."

In six months a new president of Egypt will be elected. This is important because the presidency has long been the supreme locus of power. After the presidential election, which is supposed to occur before June, authority will pass to the newly elected leadership, and at that stage, the army is supposed to exit. The army's leaders seemingly intend to continue to play a central role, but this may lead to a clash between the army and the Islamic bloc.

[Read Jessica Rettig: Expected Win by Egypt's Islamists Poses Dilemma for U.S. Policy.]

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is doing everything in its power to avoid transferring full control to civilian hands in order to retain the dominant status of the army, whatever may emerge. But army leaders are now seen as trying to steal the achievements of the revolution—and for the worst reasons, namely, their corrupt control of economic assets and the perks they have accumulated over the decades.

This does not bode well for America and its policy of deposing dictators and replacing them with "democratic regimes." As collateral damage, Saudi Arabia, once America's closest ally in the Middle East, no longer sees the United States as reliable, and the Saudi king's willingness to listen to the Obama administration has evaporated.

The new regime in Egypt will face challenges. For one, it will have to stabilize the economy. For that, experts say, it will need tourism; maritime traffic through the Suez Canal; gas sales to neighbors; and Western investment, not to mention American economic and military aid. These probably are the main barriers to a renewed confrontation with Israel, for this vital aid would then be stopped.

[Read Mort Zuckerman: For Israel, a Two-State Proposal Starts With Security.]

Democracy in Egypt without the Muslim Brotherhood may be impossible, but so is democracy under its leadership. It is one thing for the Muslim Brotherhood to run in an election; it's another to imagine what they will do if they gain power, for the Islamists will replace secular dictatorship with Islamic dictatorship, leaving only the army to prevent the establishment of an Islamic state. The young men and women of Tahrir Square toppled the regime. Then along came a second wave, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, once declared, "It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated." Now we will see how the Egyptian military faces its dilemma. If it holds fire, it will seal its fate, and the Islamic forces will take over by default. If army leaders decide to open fire, they will be classified as murderous dictators.

Of course, images of Mubarak on a hospital gurney in a metal cage in a Cairo courthouse, with the Robes­pierran prosecutor now demanding the death sentence, could provoke the SCAF to reconsider its eagerness to return to the barracks and hand power to the new Islamic leadership.

The West faces a dilemma: If it confronts the Islamists, it will confirm the Brotherhood's claim that the West is conspiring to undermine the religious identity of the Muslim world. If it does not, it will ignore the forces within Arab society that yearn for genuine democracy and Western forms of government. At the very least, the United States should withhold economic or diplomatic support to Arab states that follow the path of political Islam. Cairo will now be painted in Islamic colors, but this is not a clash between the secular and the religious. It is a clash between freedom and tyranny.

•Read the U.S. News debate on foreign aid.
•See photos of unrest in Libya.

•See an opinion slide show of 5 ways Arab governments resist democracy.
Tags:Mideast peace, Obama administration, Egypt
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I'm sorry but I don't understand how Mr. Zuckerman can write about freedom and tyranny just one week after he celebrated Fidel Castro, a dictator and tyrant (in Zuckerman's words, "Fidel is certainly at work and active and still an inspiration for Cubans").

Mr. Zuckerman, please go and have a hookah with Salafists, and tell us about the wonderful inspiration they provide to people of Egypt. As much as it is tragic, the Salafists, unlike Castro, were freely elected.

Pavel of AZ 1:32AM January 31, 2012

[report comment]

I'm sorry but I don't understand how Mr. Zuckerman can write about freedom and tyranny just one week after he celebrated Fidel Castro, a dictator and tyrant (in Zuckerman's words, "Fidel is certainly at work and active and still an inspiration for Cubans").

Mr. Zuckerman, please go and have a hookah with the chief Salafist, and then tell us about the wonderful inspiration they provide to people of Egypt. As much as it is tragic, the Salafists, unlike Castro, were freely elected.

Pavel of AZ 1:29AM January 31, 2012

[report comment]

Some might argue that it wasn't a miscalculation at all, but a desired effect....

His advocacy and passive assistance for his beloved"Arab spring" was at the least naive, knowing full well that the "Muslim brotherhood " was waiting in the wings cheering for the same thing.

Don L of CT 12:06PM January 24, 2012****

3999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Andrew Cuomo jr. (future President?) on: February 04, 2012, 12:21:34 PM

Coumo will be the Democratic Presidential pick in 2016 (if not Hillary).

From the Economist.  Even radio host Bob Grant is "pleasantly surprised" how Cuomo is doing:

***Next, walk on water
A New York governor is actually governing
Jan 28th 2012 | NEW YORK | from the print edition
Among the illustrious
FOR four years New York was adrift. When Eliot Spitzer, a crusading lawyer, became governor in 2007, his uncompromising ways caused political gridlock in Albany, the state capital. Just over a year later, he was caught frolicking with a prostitute and resigned. His successor, David Paterson, was affable enough, but too weak to push the state legislature to balance the books. When Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat like his predecessors, handily won the 2010 governor’s race on a promise to “rebuild the government, restore competence, restore trust, [and] get the people of this state believing once again”, New Yorkers gave a cynical snort.

But Mr Cuomo has had an extraordinary year. In the first six months of his term he could point to three historic achievements. First, he balanced the budget: not only bringing spending under control—filling a $10 billion hole and nudging the public-sector unions to make concessions worth $450m—but putting mechanisms in place to control spending in future. He even got the cantankerous legislature to agree. In June Mr Cuomo brought in a cap on property taxes, in a state which the Tax Foundation ranks as the sixth-most-taxed in the country. Robert Ward of the Rockefeller Institute called it “the biggest change in New York’s fiscal policy since the creation of Medicaid”, almost 50 years ago.

Then, also in June, Mr Cuomo signed a bill legalising same-sex marriage, having worked hard to drive the bill through the Republican-controlled state Senate. In December he got bipartisan backing to change the income-tax code, which he says will generate $1.9 billion in additional revenue for the state. It sets in place the lowest tax rate for the middle class in 58 years, while—according to Mr Cuomo’s opponents and the Manhattan Institute—leaving the tax burden on the richest at its highest level since 1986.

Still, most New Yorkers are not upset with him. Indeed, they rate him very highly. He learnt much about Albany politics at the knee of his father, Mario, a former governor. He is clever and determined. His most noticeable flaw is his arrogance, which he has tried to keep in check, but which slipped out in November when he remarked: “I am the government.”

In that case, his cockiness was accurate. There is not much transparency in how he is getting the results, notes Gerald Benjamin of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Disappointingly, it is still three men (Mr Cuomo, the assembly Speaker and the Senate president) in a room making all the decisions.

And there are some big ones ahead. Mr Cuomo is promising to veto any redistricting plan from the legislature which does not come from an independent commission. He wants to expand gambling in the state, infuriating the Indian nations who run its casinos at the moment. Rather bizarrely, he wants to build America’s biggest convention centre in Queens. And he plans to make a start on pension reform.

The thorniest issue he faces is fracking, a controversial drilling technique in which high-pressure water and chemicals are pumped into a bore-hole to ease the extraction of natural gas. New York has a moratorium on the practice, but new rules from the state environment department may allow it. Gas exploration could bring in badly needed jobs and money, but opponents worry that fracking may contaminate the drinking water. If Mr Cuomo can sort that tangle out, says Doug Muzzio, a political scientist at Baruch College, “the next thing he’s going to do is walk on water.”***

4000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 03, 2012, 02:32:22 PM
I think it obvious this is rampant.

Why don't they take another step and ask which party they vote for?

Maybe Romney will get tough with this.  He suposedly has the most strict immigration stance of the field.

Yet I don't hold my breath.  It is really remarkable how this country will sit back and allow ourselves to be walked all over.
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