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4001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: March 23, 2012, 12:09:56 PM
"I thought Obama was the post-racial healer"

Exactly.  Instead of feeding the shark frenzy how about Obama calling for calm and to stop the race baiting and threats of violence and the ridiculous attempt at turning this into a Democrat Republican thing.

To date he has not done this with any similar situation.   He simply tries to make political self gain out of it.

He did sit and have "a beer" with the Harvard professor and the Cambrige police officer after that bruhaha some years ago.   But only after HE, the ONE, looked like a fool weighing in and calling the police officer stupid.  It was more for damage control to HIS image rather than anything else.
4002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OMG; ok lets turn this into a race war on: March 23, 2012, 11:12:46 AM
We all know the anti gun crowd will go bonkers over th Sanford Florida thing but turning into a Demcratic party theme and of course the Farrakan/Sharptons of the world threatening to turn this into a race war.  Of course Obama is going to weigh in (oh, but he was pressured) .  There is never an end to the escalations, the attempts at extortion for more and more and more.  Why cannot this tragedy be dealt with as the individual case it is?:
4003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / liar liar liar - except Obama on: March 23, 2012, 10:59:21 AM

Is rachel maddow a liar?
4004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War with Iran and gas prices on: March 22, 2012, 07:57:53 PM
.......How a War With Iran Would Cause $7 Gas

By Rick Newman | U.S.News & World Report LP – Wed, Mar 21, 2012 3:47 PM EDT
If gas prices are still close to $4 per gallon when Election Day rolls around, President Obama will face tough political odds. But Obama--or his successor--could end up with a far worse problem than that in the not-too-distant future.

Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight has run a detailed scenario on how a war with Iran would affect oil prices and the global economy, with disconcerting takeaways for anybody sensitive to oil and gas prices--including politicians. The forecast says that if a military campaign over Iran's nuclear program prompted Tehranto lay mines in an attempt to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, Brent crude prices could soar from current levels of about $125 per barrel to a peak of roughly $240. Gas prices would rise by the same magnitude--pushing them above $7 per gallon.

In the model, oil and gas prices probably wouldn't stay at those levels for long. Any major disruption of oil markets by Iran would likely bring a rapid and overwhelming response by the U.S. military, including attacks by ships and aircraft already stationed around the Persian Gulf. IHS predicts U.S. forces would probably be able to reopen the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil chokepoint, in four weeks or less. But it would still take months for oil prices to settle back down to normal levels, while consumers and businesses grappled with collateral damage to their finances.

Most economists estimate that the threat of confrontation with Iran has already pushed oil prices up by about $20 per barrel.. In the United States, gas prices have risen by nearly 55 cents per gallon so far this year to a national average of $3.92. In addition to hurting consumers, that impacts investors, speculators and business leaders, who are all intently focused on oil prices and where they might be heading.

In its scenario, IHS assumed that Iran will use mines, missiles and small-boat swarming tactics to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 20 percent of the world's traded oil flows every day. That could come in response to a U.S. or Israeli preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, but Iran could also make such an aggressive move on its own. "Iran's leaders have done things that we expect rational leaders to avoid doing," Farid Abolfathi of IHS told clients in a recent presentation. "They might miscalculate or misjudge their chances of success."

Even though the model predicts U.S. forces could probably reopen the Strait fairly quickly, it might still take a while to completely defeat Iran. ines are notoriously tricky to clear and some could lurk undetected, threatening tankers for months. Iranian submarines and small attack boats could hide amidst a large fleet of civilian fishing vessels in dozens of villages and island harbors, mounting follow-on attacks on tankers and American ships.

The forecast also says that if oil were to rise to more than $200 a barrel, it could induce panicky consumer behavior, such as drivers topping off their gas tanks regularly out of fear that gasoline might run out. Lines at gas stations reminiscent of the 1970s might form. Pump prices would rise in line with oil prices, and stock markets could easily fall by 10 or 20 percent, possibly spurring a new recession.

IHS goes on to predict there would also be urgent efforts to relieve the supply crunch, such as a generous release of oil from emergency reserves in the U.S. and Europe. Saudi Arabia would be pressured to tap all the spare capacity it has, and export as much as possible via pipelines that run to the Red Sea. Many nations would institute rationing schemes and strict conservation measures.

Those actions, combined with the rollback of the Iranian military, would bring oil prices down to an average of about $160 per barrel for three months or so, then back to around $120, IHS believes. So the whole affair might rattle markets for six months or so, and perhaps end with something like a return to the status quo.

If it were to happen, the timing could upend American politics. A war with Iran in the fall, leading up to the elections, would intensify the financial pain soaring gas prices have on the typical American family, with gas costing them an extra $100 per month or more. But a surge of patriotism might offset that, electorally speaking, helping Obama more than it hurts him.

IHS assume that its scenario takes place at the beginning of 2013, which would saddle the U.S. president with one more tough and complex problem at the same time that momentous decisions about tax cuts (or hikes) need to be made, and big cuts in federal spending are due to kick in. Wriggling out of a recession under that blend of economic pressures would be an impressive Houdini act for whoever is president in 2013.

There's one other scenario, of course: Some kind of diplomatic resolution that avoids a military confrontation and pushes oil prices down instead of up. That would mean politics as usual, which is ugly enough. But the politicians, at least, would have one less thing to argue about.

Rick Newman is the author of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback to Success, to be published in May. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman

4005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "L" word on: March 22, 2012, 06:30:52 PM
Doug it is ok here but don't go on CNN and use that word.   [Well maybe it would be ok if it was a Republican.]

4006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 22, 2012, 08:18:40 AM
Doug that video is a riot.   The greatest mind to ever occupy the WH using canned words.  As for Denmark everyknows Danes can't box cheesy

"Yo, Ben, I got your back bro."  wink
4007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 22, 2012, 08:12:03 AM
And let's not forget Hillary has responsibility here. 

The brave champion of women's rights around the world.

I suppose Zakaria will be out in full force this weekend spinning the tale of Obama's brilliance in all this.
4008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 21, 2012, 05:05:50 PM
On the eve of IRS day I post this challenge from Buchanan to Obama (sorry Rachel, I guess you no longer come to the board loaded with troglodytes so I what you don't see won't offend you; beyond that absolutely nothing personal meant and I do hope you will return to posting on the forum).

In any case here is Pat's pointed challenge:

***The glaring inequality of Obamavilleby Patrick J. Buchanan03/20/2012
CommentsRising inequality "is the defining issue of our time," said President Obama in his Osawatomie speech that echoed the "New Nationalism" address Theodore Roosevelt delivered in that same Kansas town a century ago.
In the last two decades, the average income of the top 1 percent in the U.S. has grown by 250 percent, bemoaned our populist president, while the income of the average American has stagnated.
"This kind of inequality -- a level we haven't seen since the Great Depression -- hurts us all," said Obama.
"Inequality ... distorts our democracy. ... It gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists ... and runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder."
But is the president, a former disciple of radical socialist Saul Alinsky, truly serious about closing the inequality gap?
Or is this just political blather to frame the election year as a contrast between Barack Obama, champion of the middle class, and a Republican Party that supposedly hauls water for the undeserving rich?
Obama's retort to those who say he is waging class warfare?
Republicans alone prevent him from raising the top U.S. income tax rate from 35 to 39.6 percent, where it stood under Bill Clinton, and advancing America toward true equality.
Republicans reply that the top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers already carry 40 percent of the income tax load, while half of the nation and a majority of Obama voters pay no income tax at all. Moreover, these free-riders also consume almost all of the $900 billion the nation spends annually on Great Society programs.
Yet, a path has just opened up to test the seriousness of the president, to determine if he is a phony on the inequality issue, or a true egalitarian eager to close the gap.
That opportunity comes from a report last week that income inequality in America is at its greatest in the electoral precinct where Obama won his largest majority: Washington, D.C.
In Washington, the top 5 percent of households have an average income of $473,000, highest of all of the 50 largest cities in America. The average income of the top 20 percent of district households is $259,000. Only San Francisco ranks higher.
Moreover, that $259,000 average household income for the top 20 percent is 29 times the average household income of the bottom 20 percent, which is only $9,100 a year.
The citadel of liberalism that Obama carried 93-7 has a disparity of incomes between rich and poor that calls to mind the Paris of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Washington is a textbook case of the inequality that Obama says "distorts our democracy," and it is the ideal place to prove that he is serious.
For Washington is Obamaville. The mayor is a Democrat. The city council is Democratic. There are more lawyers and lobbyists concentrated here than in any city in America.
Here we have the perfect test case -- the most liberal city in the republic, with the greatest income inequality, where Obama's political clout and personal popularity are highest. And there is no obstructionist Republican cabal to block progressive reforms.
If Obama and the Democratic Party will not use their power to close the inequality gap right here in their own playpen, how do they remain credible in Middle America?
How to proceed, if the left is serious about inequality?
Consider. The District of Columbia income tax reaches 8.5 percent after the first $40,000 in income. A 5 percent surtax takes that rate to 8.95 percent for incomes over $350,000.
Yet, half a dozen states have higher and more progressive income tax rates than that.
Obama should call on his allies in the city government to raise the district income tax to the 15 percent level New York had in the 1970s.
Since district income taxes are deductible against federal income taxes, this would translate into an actual top tax bite on the Washington rich of 9.75 percent. Is that too much to ask of true progressives?
The new revenue could be transferred to Washington's working class and poor through tax credits, doubly reducing the district's glaring inequality.
Republicans will argue that raising the district tax rate to 15 percent on incomes above $250,000 will precipitate an exodus into Maryland and Virginia, where the top tax rates are not half of that. Conservatives believe as an article of faith that tax rates heavily influence economic behavior.
But Obama, who has kept the U.S. corporate tax rate among the highest in the world and wants U.S. personal tax rates raised closer to European levels, rejects this Republican argument.
Has he the courage of his convictions?
When the district's schools were desegregated in the 1950s, liberals fled. Let us see if they will stick around for a "progressive income tax" to reduce this unconscionable inequality between Kalorama and Spring Valley -- and Anacostia and Turkey Thicket.

4009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 20, 2012, 02:05:36 PM
"All this is more than a little frustraing to me.  Where's the well organized coherent statements of Romney or Saintorum"

Indeed. Romney will have to make these distinctions himself - over and over - and not let the dishonest leader in chief continue to get away with such distortions of the truth.  The MSM certainly will not call out OBama.  This AM CNN is showing one of the anchors making smirks and faces when speaking of Senator Brown of Mass calling for an additional opening of the immigrant gates for thousands of Irish.   She was clear that this is no doubt *political* pandering and will open flood gates from every other ethnic group.

She is exactly right.  The problem is CNN rarely calls out the Brockman the same way like they do Republicans.

So it is for Romney to articulate the lies falsehoods, distortions of Obama and team.

It is still early but one has to ask who is running Romney's team.  This stuff is not rocket science.  Why can't the ahndlers come out with scripts for the manager to study.  He can memorize.
4010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 20, 2012, 10:26:48 AM

Another release of "classified" military non information that expresses what any idiot can see.

OK Franks what is the alternative to military stirke that will stop Iran from going nuclear?  The answer is nothing.  The plan is obvious - containment and hope for the best.

I am sick and tired of the WH releasing only information that will help with its re election.

If we are not going to back Israel then just say so.

Stop the double talk, the "I have your back" crap.  "No options are off the table" nonsense.  And we know Iran will strike back in subtle ways at first and there is no end to this as long as we don't deal with it fully now.

It seems to me that military action should include their government that is causing all this not most of the Iranians (at least as is reported)
4011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "deleveraging" a thing of beauty on: March 19, 2012, 03:11:22 PM
Ray Dalio
Man and machine
The economic ideas of the world’s most successful hedge-fund boss
Mar 10th 2012 | WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT | from the print edition

 And my returns look like this
“THE most beautiful deleveraging yet seen” is how Ray Dalio describes what is now going on in America’s economy. As America has gone through the necessary process of reducing its debt-to-income ratio since the financial crash of 2008, he reckons its policymakers have done well in mixing painful stuff like debt restructuring with injections of cash to keep demand growing. Europe’s deleveraging, by contrast, is “ugly”.

Mr Dalio’s views are taken seriously. He made a fortune betting before the crash that the world had taken on too much debt and would need to slash it. Last year alone, his Bridgewater Pure Alpha fund earned its investors $13.8 billion, taking its total gains since it opened in 1975 to $35.8 billion, more than any other hedge fund ever, including the previous record-holder, George Soros’s Quantum Endowment Fund.

In this section
The new grease?
»Man and machine
Pausing for breath
Fixing LIBOR
Year of the tortoise
Better Than Goldman?
Natural stock selection
Arise and fall
Bond shelter


Related topics
United States
George Soros
Economic crisis
Mr Dalio, an intense 62-year-old, is following in the footsteps of Mr Soros in other ways, too. Mr Soros has published several books on his theories, and is funding an institute to get mainstream economists to take alternative ideas seriously. Mr Dalio, too, is now trying to improve the public understanding of how the economy works. His economic model “is not very orthodox but gives him a pretty good sense of where the economy is,” says Paul Volcker, a former chairman of America’s Federal Reserve and one of Mr Dalio’s growing number of influential fans.

Whereas Mr Soros credits the influence of Karl Popper, a philosopher who taught him as a student, Mr Dalio says his ideas are entirely the product of his own reflections on his life as a trader and his study of economic history. He has read little academic economics (though his work has echoes of Hyman Minsky, an American economist, and of best-selling recent work on downturns by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff) but has conducted in-depth analysis of past periods of economic upheaval, such as the Depression in America, post-war Britain and the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic. He has even simulated being an investor in markets in those periods by reading daily papers from these eras, receiving data and “trading” as if in real time.

In the early 1980s Mr Dalio started writing down rules that would guide his investing. He would later amend these rules depending on how well they predicted what actually happened. The process is now computerised, so that combinations of scores of decision-rules are applied to the 100 or so liquid-asset classes in which Bridgewater invests. These rules led him to hold both government bonds and gold last year, for example, because the deleveraging process was at a point where, unusually, those two assets would rise at the same time. He was right.

What Mr Dalio calls the “timeless and universal” core of his economic ideas is set out in a 20-page “Template for Understanding” that he wrote shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and recently updated. The document begins: “The economy is like a machine.” This machine may look complex but is, he insists, relatively simple even if it is “not well understood”. Mr Dalio models the macroeconomy from the bottom up, by focusing on the individual transactions that are the machine’s moving parts. Conventional economics does not pay enough attention to the individual components of supply and, above all, demand, he says. To understand demand properly, you must know whether it is funded by the buyers’ own money or by credit from others.

A huge amount of Bridgewater’s efforts goes into gathering data on credit and equity, and understanding how that affects demand from individual market participants, such as a bank, or from a group of participants (such as subprime-mortgage borrowers). Bridgewater predicted the euro-zone debt crisis by totting up how much debt would need to be refinanced and when; and by examining all the potential buyers of that debt and their ability to buy it. Mr Volcker describes the degree of detail in Mr Dalio’s work as “mind-blowing” and admits to feeling sometimes that “he has a bigger staff, and produces more relevant statistics and analyses, than the Federal Reserve.”

Two sorts of credit cycle are at the heart of Mr Dalio’s economic model: the business cycle, which typically lasts five to eight years, and a long-term (“long wave”) debt cycle, which can last 50-70 years. A business cycle usually ends in a recession, because the central bank raises the interest rate, reducing borrowing and demand. The debt cycle ends in deleveraging because there is a “shortage of capable providers of capital and/or a shortage of capable recipients of capital (borrowers and sellers of equity) that cannot be rectified by the central bank changing the cost of money.” Business cycles happen often, they are well understood and policymakers are fairly adept at managing them. A debt cycle tends to come along in a country once in a lifetime, tends to be poorly understood and is often mishandled by policymakers.

An ordinary recession can be ended by the central bank lowering the interest rate again. A deleveraging is much harder to end. According to Mr Dalio, it usually requires some combination of debt restructurings and write-offs, austerity, wealth transfers from rich to poor and money-printing. A “beautiful deleveraging” is one in which all these elements combine to keep the economy growing at a nominal rate that is higher than the nominal interest rate. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Mr Dalio expects America’s GDP growth to average only 2% over a 15-year period.)

Print too little money and the result is an ugly, deflationary deleveraging (see Greece); print too much and the deleveraging may become inflationary, as in Weimar Germany. Although Mr Dalio says he fears being misunderstood as saying “print a lot of money and everything will be OK, which I don’t believe, all deleveragings have ended with the printing of significant amounts of money. But it has to be in balance with other policies.”

Mr Dalio admits to being wrong roughly a third of the time; indeed, he attributes a big part of his success to managing the risk of bad calls. And the years ahead are likely to provide a serious test of whether the economic machine is as simple as he says. For now, he is in a more optimistic mood thanks to the European Central Bank’s recent moves, in effect, to print money. Although he still expects debt restructuring in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland, on top of that in Greece, he says that the “risk of chaos has been reduced and we are now calming ourselves down.” Here’s hoping he is right again.

See also: An interview with Ray Dalio

4012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: March 19, 2012, 03:06:36 PM
don't worry be happy
we will 'grow' our way of this

let me see if I can find the article on that guy who says the US is elegantly or beautifully deleveraging ourselves out of our mess while Europe is not doing it is artfully or in a more ugly fashion.

What a joke.

It really is remarkable that probably few hundreds of  people truly control the world economy
4013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN newscaster is not a journalist as much as a on: March 19, 2012, 01:38:12 PM

Here is what I mean about Fareed Zakaria who meets with Obama regularly to coordinate the framework of his shows with the agenda of the WH.   If I hear him ask one more guest, "don't you think Obama is right?",  or exclaim "you know it is true [what the wh says], give another lecture about the glories of whatever the WH policy is on whatever the topic du jour is:
4014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / release of data that is 80 years old - NOW on: March 19, 2012, 12:09:43 PM
Ok now a lifetime later the Census Bureau which is now under the close scrutiny of the WH is releasing data from the 1930s.
Obviously there is some political reason for this.  There must be information they want released so they can compare the Brock in some sort of positive light.

Fareed Zakaria whose reason for living is to have endless shows cheerleading Obama from ever direction will probably make some sort of analysis comparing the Brockman to Roosevelt now:
4015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 19, 2012, 10:21:39 AM
There is also the obvious trend for those Jews who are against military action to be invested in Obama and the Democrat party elections.
4016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 18, 2012, 02:06:07 PM
Obama:  "That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore"

Remember I have posted how Obama holds up his chin like he is posing for a spot on Mt Rushmore?   Well this supports my theory that that is exactly what he is doing:

4017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 16, 2012, 02:51:06 PM

Your may be right.

I don't quite understand why for some of my fellow Jews, the liberal die hard democrat wasserman schultz types - Republicans are worse than Nazis or middle eastern terrorists.
4018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 16, 2012, 12:54:53 PM
4019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: March 13, 2012, 04:36:23 PM
" Don't forget bi-racial, lefthanded, paraplegic history month!
« Reply #50 on: Today at 01:37:53 PM »"

Good news GM!,

The latter, at least, has been remembered:

Oh how I celebrate!
4020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / women's history month on: March 13, 2012, 02:44:12 PM
Women's History Month
How did March come to be Women's History Month?
By Jone Johnson Lewis,
In 1911 in Europe, March 8 was first celebrated as International Women's Day. In many European nations, as well as in the United States, women's rights was a political hot topic. Woman suffrage — winning the vote — was a priority of many women's organizations. Women (and men) wrote books on the contributions of women to history.

But with the economic depression of the 1930s which hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and then World War II, women's rights went out of fashion. In the 1950s and 1960s, after Betty Friedan pointed to the "problem that has no name" — the boredom and isolation of the middle-class housewife who often gave up intellectual and professional aspirations — the women's movement began to revive. With "women's liberation" in the 1960s, interest in women's issues and women's history blossomed.

By the 1970s, there was a growing sense by many women that "history" as taught in school — and especially in grade school and high school — was incomplete with attending to "her story" as well. In the United States, calls for inclusion of black Americans and Native Americans helped some women realize that women were invisible in most history courses.

And so in the 1970s many universities began to include the fields of women's history and the broader field of women's studies.

In 1978 in California, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began a "Women's History Week" celebration. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8.

The response was positive. Schools began to host their own Women's History Week programs. The next year, leaders from the California group shared their project at a Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only determined to begin their own local Women's History Week projects, but agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women's History Week.

Three years later, the United States Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. Co-sponsors of the resolution, demonstrating bipartisan support, were Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, and Representative Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland.

This recognition encouraged even wider participation in Women's History Week. Schools focused for that week on special projects and exhibitions honoring women in history. Organizations sponsored talks on women's history. The National Women's History Project began distributing materials specifically designed to support Women's History Week, as well as materials to enhance the teaching of history through the year, to include notable women and women's experience.

In 1987, at the request of the National Women's History Project, Congress expanded the week to a month, and the U.S. Congress has issued a resolution every year since then, with wide support, for Women's History Month. The U.S. President has issued each year a proclamation of Women's History Month.

To further extend the inclusion of women's history in the history curriculum (and in everyday consciousness of history), the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in History in America met through the 1990s. One result has been the effort towards establishing a National Museum of Women's History for the Washington, DC, area, where it would join other museums such as the American History Museum.

The purpose of Women's History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history: to take one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes that the day will soon come when it's impossible to teach or learn history without remembering these contributions.

As the Women's History Guide at About, I focus on women's history 365 days a year. To honor this special month, I encourage you to explore this site, learning more about one important aspect of the history of all people. Women's history isn't just for women, although many women find that studying women's history helps them realize that women's place is everywhere.

4021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran from India point of view on: March 13, 2012, 01:03:28 PM
Strategies to deal with Iran sanctions
Srinath Raghavan
Share  ·   Comment   ·   print   ·   T+   Share  India's good relations with the Middle East countries will advance its interests in the region.

When it comes to Iran, India means business. This was clear from New Delhi's decision to send a delegation comprising officials and businessmen to Tehran. The delegation is exploring the opportunities created by the latest US and EU sanctions on Iran. India's serious pursuit of its economic interest is a welcome turn in its foreign policy. But New Delhi needs to orchestrate its economic and geopolitical moves on the complicated chess-board of West Asia.

The US has imposed sanctions that will penalise financial institutions transacting with the Iranian central bank. In tandem, the EU has slapped an embargo on Iranian crude imports that will come fully into effect in July 2012. American allies in Asia — Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — are also reducing their imports of Iranian crude. In all, Iran could miss out on as much as 35 per cent of its total exports. This leaves China and India as the two largest buyers of Iranian crude. Iran currently accounts for more than 11 per cent of India's oil imports, amounting to $12 billion a year.

Faced with such hard sanctions, it isn't surprising that Iran has agreed to a rupee payment mechanism for 45 per cent of its oil exports to India. This, of course, works rather well for us. It provides a major avenue for Indian exports. Iran is already the largest importer of rice from India, accounting for half of the 2.2 million tonnes exported by India last year. This is the time to surge ahead with exports in some other, higher-value sectors. We could also use this opportunity to upgrade the Chahbahar port and its transportation links with Afghanistan and some other Central Asian countries. Chahbahar was recently used by India to send 100,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan. Investing further in its development will considerably increase India's economic footprint in these parts.

While surging ahead with the opportunities presented by the current situation, India needs to prepare for potential pitfalls in its ties with Iran. For a start, the agreement on the payment mechanism doesn't spell the end of the problems in importing oil from Iran. There is the major issue of insurance for tankers shipping Iranian oil to India. European firms insure more than 90 per cent of tanker fleets globally. Their refusal, following the imposition of sanctions, to cover shipments from Iran presents serious problems for India.

New Delhi is apparently considering extending the sovereign guarantee to Indian ships that fetch Iranian crude. This still leaves us with the issue of covering foreign tankers chartered by India. We may find some interim solution to this. But in the longer run, we need to enhance our own fleet, and foster the development of protection and indemnity insurance in India. The position, vis-à-vis Iran, points to a larger strategic imperative for India. Our energy security hinges on our ability to become a serious maritime power. And historically, there have been few maritime powers that aren't financial powerhouses as well.

The more pressing challenges are geopolitical. As the US and its allies attempt to step up sanctions on Iran, there will be pressure on India to follow suit. So far, India has spoken out against these steps, and has rightly held that it isn't bound to comply with unilateral sanctions. New Delhi should be more forthcoming in pointing out that the sanctions are actually likely to be counterproductive. The heart of the problem is the ambiguity in Washington's approach to Iran.

On the one hand, the imposition of additional sanctions is aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate with the West and halt its nuclear enrichment activities. On the other, there is the unstated but evident hope that the sanctions might lead to regime change in Iran. In this context, Tehran has little incentive to comply with UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear programme. What is more, having seen the fate of Muammar Gaddafi, who paid for abandoning his nuclear programme with the loss of his regime and life, the Iranian leadership will look for solid reassurances before engaging in serious negotiations.

Making these arguments, if only in private, is important, because India wouldn't like Iran to acquire nuclear weapons capability. The problem isn't that a nuclear Iran would present an existential danger to its Arab neighbours and Israel. The American nuclear umbrella and the Israeli nuclear arsenal are more than adequate to make sure that Iran doesn't even contemplate using nuclear weapons. Nor is it the case that a nuclear Iran will trigger a chain-reaction of nuclear proliferation in West Asia. The Arab countries have, after all, lived with the Israeli bomb for decades. The problem rather is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons might embolden Iran in using its proxies to advance its influence in the region. For the fear of escalation to the nuclear level would constrict the options available to Iran's rivals. The resulting instability will undermine India's interests in West Asia — and not least, the presence of 6 million Indian workers.

Further, a determined move by Tehran to acquire the bomb will catalyse the incipient rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This dynamic is currently playing out in third countries like Syria and Bahrain, where Iran and Saudi Arabia are supporting their respective clients. India has important interests in its relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is no coincidence that even as New Delhi is looking to expand its economic engagement with Tehran, the Indian defence minister went to Riyadh — the first visit of its kind. Similarly, India has interests at stake on both sides of the Iran-Israel divide. The challenge for New Delhi in all these sets of relationships is to avoid taking sides. The recent attack on the Israeli diplomat has led to exaggerated claims on the ‘war' in West Asia coming to India's doorstep, and the need for India to pick its partners.

On the contrary, India's good relations with all these countries provide it more options to advance its interests in the region. This is a game that New Delhi needs to play with patience and finesse.

(The author is Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.)

4022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 13, 2012, 12:18:54 PM
Thanks for the post.  The more and more we here MSM saying that no repub can beat Obama and is the favorite (if not a shoe in) , the more I think it is clear to "short" O's stock.

I think he is done and as long as Mitt can carefully follow a good script he will win.

Obama's tactics are pure desperation.   The left MSM cheerleaders are running with whatever story the WH puts out thru the jurnolist and whatever connections they have.  It's OBVIOUS.

4023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 13, 2012, 10:49:03 AM
Yes clearly the US military is against an attack on Iran.  The weight of the information we know publically is that they have already decided Iran will go nuclear, and they have already concluded of a strategy of "containment".  Along with some missle "defense" systems they know Israel has ~100 nuclear devices and submarines capable of launching them they appear to think a policy similar to US Soviet detante/mutual assured destruction is the best way to go.

Netanyahu does not agree with this strategy and is not willing to risk Iran getting the nucs.  The questions being thrown about from time to time like during the 60 minute interview with the Mossad chief, "are the Ayatolohs rational" comes into play here.  In other words would Iranian leaders who weld the power be level headed enough not to use nuclear weapons knowing full well they would suffer a devasting attack that would kill millions.  The Mossad guy says they are in his opinion "rational".  Well I say they are rational enough to plan to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a peaceful program, dig the program deep under ground, only let the IEA see what they want them to see, and make clear publically intentions of wanting to get all Jews out of Israel.  They have also been rational enough to have some talks over the years, hold off (reportedly) the program shortly after they saw Saddam being dragged out of a hole, and now again show some signs they want to talk ("to save face") just as it is becoming clear Israel will act alone - again - if aint obvious by now - to stall off any military attack so they can continue on the program they have paid extraordinarily dearly for in time, expense, with sanctions, with economic woes.

Folks they want bombs.  Every indication tis they plan on making good with their threats.   
Amadinajad keeps making it clear that Iran only need light up a few nucs to kill or injure most Israelis.  This is the same group (I think) that was willing to send 100 thousand children to near certain death across Iraqi mine fields.

So now we can either pray that containment would work aka Obama/US military or hope that what Netanyhu does works.

Either way Israel risks their existance.
4024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hillary's cornered the lady vote on: March 12, 2012, 05:22:57 PM
Obama is trying desperately to win over the women who I suspect didn't like him so much in 08 not because they loved McCain but because they love Hillary.   Hillary is a giant hit among woman.   She would win them over in a huge landslide in 2016:
4025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: March 12, 2012, 05:17:28 PM
Looking for nat gas investors overseas:
4026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 12, 2012, 03:50:17 PM
According to this writer Netanyahu need not worry.  He has Obama's ull support.  Obama said so.
(till Nov 2 wink)
4027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Netanyahu can read stories like these - just like me! on: March 12, 2012, 03:40:40 PM
Personally I didn't like Obama's advice to calm down the rhetoric.  I don't recall ever seeing Bibi appear panicked, scared or irrational.
I notice MSNBC and CNN (though the latter was a far more balanced panel) had on guests implying that the IRan thing is diverting attention from the big issue at hand in the middle east which is the Israel Palestinian dispute without an end.  They had guests who made it clear that the entire problem are the Jewish settlements and if it weren't for the Jews settling on WEst Bank there would be peace.  Essentially the fault of the Jews.  Chris Hays sounded suspiciously putting forth this veiw which indeed is the view of the present WH occupant.  It is in my view no coicidence MSNBC is pushing this now.  It is direct propaganda from the WH or its minions.

All I can say to the WH is just keep it up.  You will lose many Jewish votes.   If Jews are somewhat paranoid and suspicious and untrusting it is for good reason.   On Obama's political gamesmanship:
4028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ayatollas see the same things we do on: March 12, 2012, 03:27:40 PM
4029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 12, 2012, 10:45:47 AM
In reading the opinion of the 60 minutes interview with the Mossad chief and Leslie Stahl  along with everything else we have read I conclude that Israel has marginal ability at best to stop Iran from going nuclear.  Indeed, the odds of success (without the US) are so low many Israelis would not do it alone.  Too scared and understandably so.

I still think Israel has no choice but to try.  The question is what will the US do?

What should they do?

There are many answers and many opinions.

Bottom line Iran will almost certainly have a nuclear bomb capability.

Military means was in retrospect and clearly is the only way to stop them.

Iran will have nuclear weapons will dictate to the Jews to leave Israel or else and the situation will be 100 times more dangerous than now. 

Everything points to this.  Despite years of talking about talkng nothing else has changed.

Iran has succeeded in digging in, and correctly judged the US to not be willing to do go the distance.
4030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 10, 2012, 11:45:23 AM
makes sense
4031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cal Thomas: may as well leave now on: March 10, 2012, 10:14:19 AM
****Leave Afghanistan now

By Cal Thomas | Most wars have a turning point that either signals the road to victory or the ditch of defeat. In Vietnam, the 1968 Tet Offensive by communist troops against South Vietnamese and American forces and their allies is regarded as the turning point in that conflict. Though communist forces suffered heavy losses, which would normally define defeat, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite and others in the U.S. media, portrayed the operation as an allied loss, thus encouraging not only the anti-war movement, but North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops who believed all they had to do was hang on until America grew tired of the war and quit.

Since the Obama administration appears to care more about not offending those Afghans who want to kill Americans and since it has announced the deadline for the withdrawal of surge-level troops in Afghanistan for later this year, despite the fact that they have stymied the efforts of Taliban insurgents to destabilize the country, maybe it's time to pull all U.S. forces out and leave our puppet, Hamid Karzai, to his fate.

The latest affront comes courtesy of the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers on a military base near Kabul. Military officials maintain the Korans were being used by imprisoned jihadists to pass messages to other prisoners and were confiscated and destroyed. A spokesman for the NATO-led force said the troops, "...should have known to check with cultural advisers to determine how to dispose of religious material properly." For this unintended action, however, Karzai wants the soldiers to be put on trial and has asked NATO commanders to allow it. If they do, they will have disgraced their uniform.


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Does writing in a Koran desecrate it? One might expect it would, but the outrage is over the burning, not the writing. More than 1,700 Americans have died in and around Afghanistan and more than 14,000 have been wounded since the United States invaded shortly after September 11, 2011. And this is the thanks we get? How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless puppet.

When do jihadists apologize for mass murder or religious persecution? Two years ago in Rasht, Iran, Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who converted from Islam, was arrested on charges of apostasy. He has been sentenced to hang for his religious conversion. Anyone hear any apologies from "moderate" Muslims about that, much less attempts to shame the ayatollahs, or label them apostates?

The New York Times reported recently that President Obama's three-page apology letter to President Karzai contained these sentences: "I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies." This will only serve as further evidence to our enemies in Afghanistan of America's weakness and lack of resolve in what is likely to be a very long and global war. American impatience, fatigue and a desire not to offend, does not bode well for an American victory or for Afghan liberation. No one worried about offending our enemies during World War II. That's why the forces for good won.

Can Afghanistan be stabilized so as not to pose a threat to America and American interests? Probably not, if the surge forces pull out on schedule and America continues to fight under restrictive and self-imposed rules of war while the enemy does not.

So what's the point? Are we to stay only until after the election so President Obama won't be asked, "Who lost Afghanistan?" If our troops are coming out anyway and if the administration can't define victory, or commit the resources necessary to achieve it, waiting longer only ensures more casualties. As with Vietnam, that is a waste of blood and treasure. Ask the ghosts of the more than 58,000 fallen whose names appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, or the ghosts of the politicians who are responsible for putting them in their graves.****

4032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 10, 2012, 09:57:10 AM
What does that mean with regards to the interest rates and changing the assumptions on funding?

4033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Here is the video off yahoo on: March 10, 2012, 09:12:49 AM
This leaves out the first part of the exchange, I don't know if that is deliberate because it just shows the part where Christie loses his temper and not what led up to that point:;_ylt=AlcrjlK2vTBvj2sUtM5ePl.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNqdHMxNDk3BGNjb2RlA2N0LmMEcGtnA2VkY2JkZTdiLTRhNWUtMzVlOC1hZjQ1LTRhOWU4ZmQ4NTdjNwRwb3MDMwRzZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgM3ZWNiOTFhMy02YTRhLTExZTEtYmJmZi1lNzBlNzFkNDVmNmM-;_ylg=X3oDMTFrM25vcXFyBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnMEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3
4034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / video gotcha hit piece on: March 10, 2012, 09:10:09 AM
On yahoo is a video of governor Chris Christie losing his temper with a Rutgers law student.  I was not aware of the propose change to Rutger's name as a result of a merger with Rowan University.  I don't know the specifics of this law student but this whole thing somehow smells of teachers unions vs the governor.   The UMDNJ system has multiple corruption scandals.  As a state prosecutor before he was governor he was active in that area.

****Kevin Riordan: Rutgers-Camden, Rowan may marry, but they should keep their names
January 31, 2012|By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
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Gov. Christie's proposal to "merge" Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University under the Rowan name looks less like a collegial partnership and more like a hostile takeover. Or perhaps a shotgun wedding.

Whatever you call it, the plan - part of an effort to reorganize, if not revolutionize, higher education statewide - feels like a foregone conclusion.

It arrived last week, floating on promises of more money, more jobs, more . . . more. And like so many decisions with enormous consequences for Camden, it appears to have been made with little input from people who live or work there.

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Is it possible Camden and South Jersey would be better served by linking Rutgers and Rowan in a way that retains their identities? Could the schools gain academic and economic clout in a merger that more resembled a collaboration?

A "consortium," such as that proposed by the Rutgers-Camden faculty, could combine some programs at the universities, leveraging strengths but maintaining separate operations.

"There's nothing to stop a cooperative arrangement from happening," says Howard Gillette, history professor emeritus at Rutgers-Camden.

Others suggest creating an umbrella institution with a name such as University of Southern New Jersey. It would maintain key elements of Rutgers and Rowan, which would retain their names. The parent institution would have the scale and grant-attracting cachet of a large research university.

Some alternative seems preferable to Christie's bold proposal, which has not been well received at Rutgers-Camden.

"I don't trust [Christie]," third-year Rutgers law student Jessica Starkman said Monday, as applause rose in the Camden campus' Walter Gordon Theatre.

Starkman, 25, of Cherry Hill, was one of nearly 200 law students who attended an afternoon question-and-answer session. No one who spoke, including Dean Rayman Solomon, applauded the merger.

Several antitakeover events are scheduled on campus this week, and more than 3,000 people have signed an online petition against the merger.

"I've never seen Rutgers-Camden so united," Janet Golden, a professor of history and a leader of the union that represents the teaching staff, told me Monday.

Christie's proposal is largely driven by his desire to dismantle the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and distribute its components to higher-education institutions, mostly in Newark and New Brunswick. New Jersey would end up with a large research university in each of its three major regions.****

4035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 10, 2012, 08:53:48 AM
"So why the bizarre, lewd crude, disgusting, personal attack on Ms. Flukes, a college law school student?  If you disagree, if you don't think specific benefits should be mandated by government, fine, express your viewpoint in a logical methodical manner rather than personally maligning Ms. Flukes.  This conversation might be fine for a football locker room, or a drunken bachelor party, but it has no semblance to public forum that is searching for the truth."

At the same time JDN claims we are bashing Fluke he does the same to us, ignores our valid points that have nothing to do with Fluke'sex life which she volunteered to in a round about way go pulbic with, turns it into a sexist issue, ignores the poltical activism involved, (which, JDN IS the truth), continues to ask, what is the big deal? (so if not a big deal than let the Catholic Church refuse to pay for it).

JDNs remarks remind me of MSNBC this morning on the Chris Hays show.  the feminist activist democrat party advocate Katrina Vanden Heuvel complains how there are not enough women in government and the cast of guests of course talk of the parade of white men in the Republican party.    No mention whatsoever of Sarah Palin being chosen and running as a VP for the POTUS.  And they show a clip of Bachman volunteer to serving water to a group of white men at the start of a talk show meeting denigrating her to an example of white boys forcing women into some submissive role/posture etc.

JDN continies to ignore our points and then denigrate those of us on the right the exact same way while he professes the "truth".

4036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 10, 2012, 08:20:21 AM
*States haven't financed almost 96 percent of the $627.4 billion they were projected to owe for future retiree benefits in 2010*

And states simply print money like the Federal gov. flooding the financial system with green paper.

And that is one difference between Greece and the US.  Greece uses the Euro and so they can't simply print monopoly money like we do and try to con our way out.

How dare me suggest this is a ponzi scheme.

4037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Allred has a cousin? on: March 09, 2012, 01:53:44 PM
Yep here we go.   All about going after the "1%er", keeping this in the headlines, the female vote, cash, Limbaugh.

The same pattern.  Allred cashing in monetarily and poltically on the babe factor again:

I don't know how this country is going to survive.  This whole country is become just a circus.
Has any President participated in making such a mockery of our country?

He could put a stop to this but he won't.  It is all about him.
4038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 09, 2012, 11:01:26 AM
I also don't buy the Rush is not the same as Maher argument therefore it is OK for the comedian but not the radio host who is representing the truth.

If that is not BS.

Maher acts as though he represents the truth all day long.   Additionally Rush never hides the fact that he is a partisan.

Hypocracy continues from the left.

"But if I am working on staff
(I am not Catholic) and my wife wants to take the pill, well why not?  Nobody is forcing anyone to take the pill."

No body is forcing anyone NOT to take the pill.  Your wife wants to take it - take it.   Just the Catholic Church does not feel right about encouraging this by paying for it.

The left just wants more mandates.  As long as someone else pays it is good.
4039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 09, 2012, 09:11:46 AM
Well as per Rachel's post it is very clear many women identify with Fluke exactly.  I do not mean this with tregards to the names (slut etc.).   I mean in terms of her position that women ARE entitled to BCP from insureres, and that denying them this is a war on women, a war on women's health, and it is some sexist issue.

The war really is on religion, freedom, separation of religion and state.  It the left using this avenue along with every conceivable avenue possible to push bigger controlling government upon us, make more of us dependent, class warfare, redistribution of wealth, slowly devolving the United States soveriegnty,  (we need permission from the international community to do anything in Syria -which I admit the first Bush guy started), making us into some sort of socialist gov controlled 1984 state.

I don't know if Rachel is looking at this bigger picture or not or just wants the BCP paid for (based on a "health", "cost", "sexist" issue).

Bottom line it IS that easy to bribe segments of the population.  Here I will champion your BCP so vote for me.  Someone else - not you SHOULD pay for it.

I will champion gay marriage gay adoption so vote for me.

I will champion illegals can stay here and be pardoned (it is coming folks - in the second term) so vote for me.

I will tax the rich so vote for me.  50% already pay no Fed income tax.

Folks this country is broke, we done.

Rachel you don't have to answer.  Your business is yours.  This is NOT directed to you personally only that your post is reflective of an attitude in this country that in my opinion is part of the problem.
4040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: March 09, 2012, 08:54:01 AM
Well I am just exploring investing in NG.  Right now prices are rock bottom.  The fracking technology is a two edge sword for investment.  It makes natural gas a resource we can exploit to the nth degree which even the Brock man has to admit though disingenuously and not sincerely.

The problem from investors, by making our huge supplies so readily accessible the supply is not so high the price of nat gas is so cheap the companies margins are squeezed.

I am wondering if the big players would actually make the conversion of all our vehicles to nat gas.  Apparantly Pakistan is the leader in number of nat gas vehicles.  In the US Kaliflower is the leading state for some fleet vehicles.  If regular autos were to go nat gas then I would think the nat gas players would skyrocket.  I don't see that happening with this Prez.  OTOH I am not sure the likes of Exxon, Conoco, etc will start converting gas stations and if the auto makers will start doing that with cars.

I am not sure what it will take for that.
4041  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.

4042  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.
4043  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:
4044  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.
4045  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.
4046  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.
4047  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.
4048  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.
4049  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.
4050  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.
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