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1201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: June 01, 2012, 03:42:13 PM
"And therefore, I do not think that it is bad thing that a 16 year old be put into an adult prison."

Is this what you mean to say?

No... it is my fault for trying to multitask, and failing.  I do not think that 16 year olds should be placed into prison with adults. 
"I am not saying that joining a treaty is necessary to change policy, but I whole heartedly approve of the point of joining this treaty."

By which you mean you disagree with treating juvenile killers as adults?   

Yes. 

Anyway, is this really the point of joining the Treaty?  I strongly suspect not.  I suspect it is more more a matter of a backdoor to establishing progressive entitlements (a.k.a. "rights") that have nothing to do with the point that Morris, who lets face it is not very precise in some of his thinking, is raising here as a "And furthermore" type of point.  Yes?

Also yes.  And, your fears about the future, possible implications is part of why I don't think joining the treaty is a necessary step. 

Sincere apologies for the confusing wording of my prior post.
 
1202  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Condtioning for the stick on: June 01, 2012, 02:34:36 PM
"Is it not always possible to bring the strength from weight training into the power of your hits?"

Body mechanics may be one answer.  If your shoulders are stronger than mine, then you should be able to swing a stick harder from the shoulder.  But if I successfully engage my feet, legs, core, shoulder and biceps (for example) to swing chances are very good that I can hit harder than you.  You might take a look at Bruce Lee's writings on the subject of striking. 

1203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: June 01, 2012, 02:29:07 PM
One thing that you may not be aware of is that minors do not have the same rights as adults.  So, for example, a minor need not be read his/her rights upon arrest/detainment.  Therefore, in some ways, there is a lower bar for a conviction for a minor than for an adult.  And therefore, I do not think that it is bad thing that a 16 year old be put into an adult prison.  This is also not to mention the extreme violence that takes place in detention centers, whether for juveniles or adults.  A minor has not become an adult, and therefore on average, hardly has a fighting chance in an jail altercation.  And, finally, a teen's brain has not fully developed, which means that holding them accountable, as an adult, from a physiological/psychological perspective doesn't make much sense.

I am not saying that joining a treaty is necessary to change policy, but I whole heartedly approve of the point of joining this treaty. 
1204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: May 31, 2012, 09:14:56 PM
Your last point was the real take away for me in the article.  I think the idea of Americans committing three felonies a day is interesting, and the continued decline adherence to drug laws (of Democratic presidents, I should add, which may balance your concern of the partisan agenda) is also worth noting. 
1205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A Nation of Scofflaws on: May 31, 2012, 04:25:55 PM
http://www.esquire.com/features/thousand-words-on-culture/end-of-law-in-america-0612

The collapse of Americans' faith in the Supreme Court has been recent but dramatic. Somewhere in between Bush v. Gore and Clarence Thomas's paid appearance at the Koch brothers' retreat and Antonin Scalia comparing surgery to broccoli, Americans noticed that some of the foremost justices in the country are buffoons. Since 2009, public approval of the Supreme Court has declined fifteen percentage points, and according to one survey less than one out of four Americans has confidence in the court's judgment. With the decision on health care scheduled for June, the country's already tenuous regard for the Court may grow even more strained. The idea of the Court as an above-the-fray guardian of the Constitution is, by this point, strictly the stuff of civics classes and nostalgia. In ordinary life, the law has never been held in as much contempt as it is now. Quite simply, nobody follows it anymore.

1206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Public approval of Supreme Court reaches new low on: May 31, 2012, 04:24:46 PM
http://www.insidecounsel.com/2012/05/02/public-approval-of-supreme-court-reaches-new-low

Public approval of major social phenomena, the economy, politicians and appointed officials is always apt to wax and wane with time. For the U.S. Supreme Court, though, public opinion is currently waning like a crescent moon.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press yesterday released a survey indicating that public opinion of the high court is currently at a quarter-century low. And unlike previous evaluations of the court over the past decade, this time there is very little partisan divide as Republicans, Democrats and independents all responded with relatively unfavorable ratings.

1207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Plan X; Iran in "Flame"s on: May 30, 2012, 08:59:27 PM
Two articles:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/with-plan-x-pentagon-seeks-to-spread-us-military-might-to-cyberspace/2012/05/30/gJQAEca71U_story.html?hpid=z1

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israel-iran-lebanon-hit-flame-super-virus?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlAkhbarEnglish+(Al+Akhbar+English)
1208  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Important SCOTUS decisions: Grahman v. Conner; TE v. Garner on: May 30, 2012, 06:46:24 PM

See http://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/1271618-How-to-ensure-use-of-force-is-reasonable-and-necessary-and-avoid-claims-of-excessive-force/ for some good discussion involving the Graham case. 
1209  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Important SCOTUS decisions: Grahman v. Conner; TE v. Garner on: May 30, 2012, 06:43:59 PM

See page three and four for some discussion of the Tennesee case: http://law.du.edu/documents/criminal-law-review/issues/v01-1/Ziporin-Denv-U-Crim-L-Rev-Spring-2011.pdf
1210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Obama, Drones and Secret Wars. Oh My! on: May 30, 2012, 11:52:06 AM
A Foreign Policy article related to the above story posted earlier in the day:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/29/where_the_drones_are

Obama's policy of killing by remote control is by no means new. Over the last decade, America's overseas use of drones has expanded exponentially in scope, location, and frequency. Beyond their use across the battlefields of Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq, U.S. drones have been used to target suspected militants and terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, as well as to conduct surveillance missions over Colombia, Haiti, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, the Philippines, Turkey, and beyond.
1211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Oil Independence>? on: May 30, 2012, 11:49:02 AM
http://oilandglory.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/29/the_skinny_american

When it comes to gasoline, are Americans transforming from the world's chief gluttons to models of moderation? According to Philip Verleger, the energy economist, that is more or less the country's direction, with surprising consequences.
1212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Obama changes definition of "civilian" on: May 30, 2012, 04:21:24 AM
http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/30/11949657-report-obama-changes-definition-of-civilian-in-drone-wars?lite

It is often been reported that President Obama has urged officials to avoid wherever possible the deaths of civilians in covert US actions in Pakistan and elsewhere. But reporters Jo Becker and Scott Shane reveal that Obama inserted a loophole.
 

"Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent."
1213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: May 28, 2012, 06:21:35 PM
I understand your point, and again urge you to look to the Blackmun opinion.  He spent hundreds of words explaining why he felt the case was justiciable.  I'm not trying to agree or disagree, I am only stating that the argument should focus there.  So, for example, he looks to common law history.  This is an idea that you (GC and DMG) tend to like.  So, where, exactly, does Blackmun go wrong with this application?  He moves beyond the right of a woman's "right to chose" and looks at the rights of the doctor.  Do you not agree that doctors have rights?  I only am trying to get you to address the Blackmun opinion, not directly argue with you.  

"...viability" as defined by Blackmun a standard that moves with technology..."  With this I agree completely, and is a source of my frustration with the decision in question.  
1214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 28, 2012, 01:47:10 PM
How much did Perot hurt Bush and Dole in the states Morris mentions?  Results suggest that Kentucky, for example, likely would have gone for Bush except for Perot in 1992.  Total popular votes below:

Clinton: 665,104
Bush: 617,178
Perot: 203,944

West Virginia tells a similar tale, though the margin of victory likely would have been smaller.  A quick look at the 1996 results also suggests that Perot helped Clinton win in states such Kentucky. 

Morris is more right in discussing the LBJ decision to abandon his reelection hopes. 
1215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney/Netanyahu friendship on: May 28, 2012, 01:34:00 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/us/politics/mitt-romney-and-benjamin-netanyahu-are-old-friends.html?pagewanted=all

The relationship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Romney — nurtured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strengthened by a network of mutual friends and heightened by their conservative ideologies — has resulted in an unusually frank exchange of advice and insights on topics like politics, economics and the Middle East.

When Mr. Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Netanyahu offered him firsthand pointers on how to shrink the size of government. When Mr. Netanyahu wanted to encourage pension funds to divest from businesses tied to Iran, Mr. Romney counseled him on which American officials to meet with. And when Mr. Romney first ran for president, Mr. Netanyahu presciently asked him whether he thought Newt Gingrich would ever jump into the race.

Only a few weeks ago, on Super Tuesday, Mr. Netanyahu delivered a personal briefing by telephone to Mr. Romney about the situation in Iran.
1216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: May 28, 2012, 01:23:33 PM
1.  The first point was made to a prior post that stated that a right to abortion os absolute, or words to that effect.  Again, I am not stating that the Constitution gives the power of this decision to the SCOTUS.  I am reminding you that Blackmun takes great pains to answer the questions you pose.  The viabilty question is medical, no matter how you word it.  Not matter the availability of a breast for nutrition after birth, an 18 week fetus is not going to live.  23 weeks is exceedingly rare, and it will take much more care than simply an available breast.  And I have watched this scenario play out, more closely than I would have liked. 

2.  "...with Roe, SCOTUS sorely tested the social fabric's respect for law (as it relates to the states' legislatures role on deciding abortion)."  Only sort of.  There are plenty of other cases in reaction to state laws related to abortion.  As I often tell my students, when the USSC decides a case, it really only opens more questions.  Look at the Court's decisions in Webster and Casey for example.  In fact, whether you agree with him or not, by the time Casey was decided, Blackmun (the author of the Roe opinion, of course), felt like the Court had largely gutted his opinion.  States retain a great deal of power in the abortion arena.  States need not provide funding.  States, as Roe explicitly notes, can outright ban abortions in the final trimester, and have increased power to do so anytime after 24 weeks.  States have tried parental notification, spousal notification, waiting periods and many, many other restrictions.  Several of those have been found to pass constitutional muster. 


1217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Opposite of Loneliness on: May 28, 2012, 09:26:09 AM
http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/may/27/keegan-opposite-loneliness/?cross-campus

The piece below was written by Marina Keegan '12 for a special edition of the News distributed at the class of 2012's commencement exercises last week. Keegan died in a car accident on Saturday. She was 22.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.
1218  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Naked man 'eating’ face off victim on: May 28, 2012, 08:04:21 AM
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/26/2818832/naked-man-shot-killed-on-macarthur.html

This says it all: "It was a scene as creepy as a Hannibal Lecter movie."
1219  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: May 27, 2012, 07:39:07 PM
I know exactly what you mean.  That said, the video is pretty cool!!!
1220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Panetta: U.S. is Ready to Stop Iran from Creating Nuclear Weapons on: May 27, 2012, 08:25:49 AM
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Sunday indirectly confirmed recent remarks by the Ambassador to Israel that the U.S. is “ready from a military perspective’’ to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails.
 
The U.S. and members of the United Nations Security Council recently met in Baghdad for talks about Iran’s suspected nuclear weapon program. Iran denies it has military intentions but has called for the destruction of Israel.
 
“We have plans to be able to implement any contingency we have to in order to defend ourselves,’’ Panetta said on ABC’s This Week. Earlier, Panetta said, “The fundamental premise is that neither the United States or the international community is going to allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.’’
 
Panetta defended the U.S. military’s use of drones to kill terrorists, resulting in some civilian casualties, calling them “one of the most precise weapons that we have in our arsenal.’’
 
He also insisted that the administration did not share any “inappropriate’’ details with filmmakers making a movie about Osama bin Laden, despite criticism from members of Congress.
 
1221  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / unbeeelieveable flexibilty on: May 27, 2012, 01:37:22 AM
The good stuff starts at about :50.  Watch the girl grab the apple at about 3:10. 

http://sorisomail.com/email/34321/a-flexibilidade-das-irmas-ross.html
1222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 27, 2012, 01:34:06 AM
Thanks for the post/updates Guro and Doug. 
1223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: May 27, 2012, 01:33:24 AM
I tend to shy away from discussion of abortion, however some points about Roe:

1.  Blackmun never said that the right to privacy (or abortion) was absolute.  He said the right to privacy is fundamental.  This has particular meaning in constitutional law.

2.  Related to that, he states that only when the state has a "compelling" reason to limit a fundamental right can it do so.  And, according to the trimester framework, which is based on the viability of the fetus, state interest does become compelling.  So, there is a distinction with "changes in trimesters." 

3.  Blackmun goes to great lengths to discuss both the justiciablity of the SCOTUS to decide the case and the personhood of the fetus.  You can believe or not, but ignoring it is disingenuous to a discuss of the case.  (And, I would add that his discussion of the common law tradition is worth reading.) 

4.  I do not recall a point in which Bluckmon says that Congress plays a role, as Guro suggests that Rand Paul stated (implied?).  I searched just now, and could not find a section either.  However, it is late and I may be overlooking it.   
1224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 25, 2012, 07:38:15 AM
Ummm , , , BD , , , why are you posting this?

Because I found the article to be interesting.  Apparently, though I will readily admit I have not checked the math myself, Obama has not spent in the ways that he is often accused of. 
1225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Memorial Day on: May 25, 2012, 07:35:16 AM
Every year, I love the front page of the website around Memorial Day.  That is such a powerful picture.  Thank you for the reminder, Guro. 

A short article on the history of Memorial Day: http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html
1226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama has lowest spending record of any recent president? on: May 24, 2012, 09:05:15 PM
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/23/facebook-posts/viral-facebook-post-says-barack-obama-has-lowest-s/

With the caveats offered below, from the article:

So why the disconnect between Obama’s image as a big spender and the reality of how much federal spending has actually grown?

 First, Obama’s record on debt is a lot less flattering than is his record on federal government spending. During the same time that spending is poised to be increasing by 1.4 percent per year under Obama, the debt will be increasing by 14.6 percent per year. The reason? Year by year, federal revenues haven’t been keeping up with spending, due to the struggling national economy (which has held back tax revenues) and a continuation of tax cuts. And each year there’s an annual deficit, the national debt grows.

 Second, federal spending under Obama is higher as a share of gross domestic product than it has been in most of the previous 60 years. That, too is because of the economy, which has simultaneously slowed the growth of GDP and boosted government spending for programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

 Third, the aging of the baby boomers has driven a rise in entitlement spending that is masking cuts Obama and the GOP Congress have made, and have promised to make, in discretionary spending. Using outlays as the unit of measurement, as Nutting and the Facebook post have done, means focusing on money already spent. It does not take into account future spending that’s been committed to but not yet carried out.

 And finally, many Americans associate Obama with the high-profile legislative activities of his first year or two, when initiatives such as the stimulus sent spending upward the fastest. Since then, spending has slowed, thanks in part to spending cuts pushed by congressional Republicans.

 Which brings us to another important issue: The president is not all-powerful, so his record on spending was accomplished in collaboration with congressional Republicans.
1227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: May 24, 2012, 09:42:18 AM
I was able to open the paper.  But, you have a copy in your email inbox. 
1228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The New, Nasty Obama Campaign on: May 23, 2012, 12:32:15 PM
http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/the-new-nasty-obama-campaign-20120523?page=1

But the point Booker was trying to make wasn't only about the legitimacy of attacking private equity -- it was that the tenor of the presidential campaign on both sides has become "nauseating to the American public." In saying so, he touched on something potentially even more unspeakable among Democrats: the idea that the slash-and-burn tactics of Obama's reelection campaign mark a definitive departure from the promise to change politics for the better.

"My outrage and really my frustration was about the cynical negative campaigning, the manipulation of the truth," Booker told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday night, noting the irony of the fact that his plea for civility had been promptly turned into a partisan weapon. "And so here [Republicans] are plucking sound bites out of that interview to manipulate in a cynical manner, to use them for their own purposes."

1229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Crafty (lawyers), second post on: May 23, 2012, 12:29:07 PM
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/05/21/120521fa_fact_toobin

In a different way, though, Citizens United is a distinctive product of the Roberts Court. The decision followed a lengthy and bitter behind-the-scenes struggle among the Justices that produced both secret unpublished opinions and a rare reargument of a case. The case, too, reflects the aggressive conservative judicial activism of the Roberts Court. It was once liberals who were associated with using the courts to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government, but the current Court has matched contempt for Congress with a disdain for many of the Court’s own precedents. When the Court announced its final ruling on Citizens United, on January 21, 2010, the vote was five to four and the majority opinion was written by Anthony Kennedy. Above all, though, the result represented a triumph for Chief Justice Roberts. Even without writing the opinion, Roberts, more than anyone, shaped what the Court did. As American politics assumes its new form in the post-Citizens United era, the credit or the blame goes mostly to him.


1230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Crafty (lawyers) on: May 23, 2012, 12:27:23 PM
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2010074#captchaSection

What is the lawyer’s genius — the talent that distinguishes us from other professions? Movies and television suggest that it is more than legal knowledge and technical skills; it is the way lawyers use creativity and cunning to outwit their adversaries. Lawyers in films and television act much like the Trickster figure in mythology and folklore. Moreover, study of the professional lives of the best real life lawyers reveals these same trickster talents. The paper argues that lawyers should embrace the trickster identity because it celebrates the valuable contributions lawyers make to the public good.
1231  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: May 22, 2012, 03:26:16 PM
Great news, GD.  I look forward to hearing of great things!  I'd love to chat about your "major teaching period" at some point, too!
1232  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: May 22, 2012, 11:37:01 AM
GD, best of luck for a quick and complete recovery for your wife!
1233  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Punched to Death on: May 21, 2012, 05:16:23 AM
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/05/george_zimmerman_claims_he_was_fighting_for_his_life_how_deadly_is_an_unarmed_teenager_.html


How easy is it to kill a man in a fistfight?
 
It happens more than twice a day, on average. Fists and feet were responsible for 745 murders in 2010, or 5.7 percent of all murders that year, according to FBI statistics. (The data on this have been remarkably stable in recent years. In the five preceding years, the percentage of murders perpetrated by fists or feet fluctuated between 5.6 and 6.1.) It doesn’t even take an experienced brawler to punch someone to death: An 11-year-old California girl appears to have killed a classmate with her bare hands in a February fistfight
1234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: May 19, 2012, 03:10:27 PM
As I noted above, I think the idea has merit.  The is large and in many ways unwieldy.  I think there is merit in exploring options, similar to that discussed in the article or an ANZUS or the strides that the US has made in recent years in Asia with the Philippines, Vietnam, S. Korea.  I would like the US to continue to build/maintain relations with traditional allies such as the UK. 
1235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A new "NATO" on: May 19, 2012, 09:02:48 AM
"I do not see the need for a UN treaty."  [International Children's rights]

Agree!  For many reasons.  The desire of some to give up our sovereignty is not tied to one or two individual issues.  I don't see the need for the UN at all except as a speakers forum and a place where representatives can make contacts for voluntary  cooperation. I would keep the UN, move it out of NY, scale down our contribution, and form other organizations that address specific global needs that are in our best interest.

Is this the type of thing you had in mind, Doug? 

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/18/the_persian_gulf_needs_its_own_nato?page=0,0
1236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: May 17, 2012, 12:33:38 PM
But the missles he is talking about are the ones that fly short.  It imight become a problem in future missle purchases, but as of now it isn't.  He is also wrong about the oil purchases and refining capacities, and seems to ignore the role of China with Venezuela and growing in the region.  

It should also be pointed out that he is shilling his book, in which he makes this false arguments. 
1237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Growing Venezuela-Iran alliance on: May 17, 2012, 11:35:09 AM
This appears to be an exaggeration.  He claims that the Shahaab 3 could hit Florida, Texas and Washington, DC.   However, this seems unlikely.  The Shabaab 3 has a maximum range of 2100km (http://mapsof.net/map/shahab-3-range;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8278026.stm).  That's a lot.  But, Caracas to Miami is 2152 (http://www.mapcrow.info/Distance_between_Caracas_VE_and_Miami_US.html).  I realize that is close, and the missles might not be placed in or near the capital.  However, to hit Texas the missles would need 50% more range (http://www.distance-calculator.co.uk/world-distances-caracas-to-texas_city.htm).  And DC is about the same (
http://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is-it-between-Caracas_Venezuela-and-Washington-Dc_Usa.htm).  Therefore, Morris seems to be exaggerating the threat. 


Morris also claims that the US is the only market for Venezuelan oil.  I don't think this is true.  For example, "[Chavez] provides oil at a preferential price to many countries in the Caribbean through the Petrocaribe initiative" (http://www.cfr.org/economics/venezuelas-oil-based-economy/p12089).  Morris is right that Venezuela's oil is heavy, "[a]s a result, much of Venezuela’s oil production must go to specialized domestic and international refineries" (http://www.eia.gov/cabs/venezuela/oil.html).  In fact, according to Wikipedia (for whatever that is worth, "n 2005, PDVSA opened its first office in China, and announced plans to nearly triple its fleet of oil tankers in that region. Chávez has long stated that he would like to sell more Venezuelan oil to China so his country can become more independent of the United States. The United States currently accounts for 65 percent of Venezuela's exports."  So, not only is it NOT true that only the US buys the oil, if the US stopped buying the oil, it might strengthen the ties between Chavez and China.  That seems counterproductive. 


All of that said, Hezbollah in the Americas seems to be a genuine threat.  "Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and other radical anti-American populists have made common cause with Iran and Hezbollah in waging asymmetric warfare against the United States" (http://www.aei.org/article/foreign-and-defense-policy/regional/latin-america/the-mounting-hezbollah-threat-in-latin-america/; http://homeland.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-hezbollah-latin-america-implications-us-homeland-security).  There is some disagreement with even this point, however.  A Christian Science Monitor report questions the AEI report linked about, stating "this support is largely financial, and Hezbollah is not believed to actively direct criminal enterprises in the region. Instead, the group likely obtains donations from individuals who are sympathetic to the cause of spreading Islamic revolution....[T]here is scarce evidence for allegations that the group is developing its political connections in the region" (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2012/0113/Hezbollah-in-Latin-America-an-over-hyped-threat). 

1238  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: May 16, 2012, 08:25:11 PM
I wonder if a police officer can buy "malpractice" insurance?
1239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: May 16, 2012, 11:39:30 AM
"Agree!  For many reasons.  The desire of some to give up our sovereignty is not tied to one or two individual issues.  I don't see the need for the UN at all except as a speakers forum and a place where representatives can make contacts for voluntary  cooperation. I would keep the UN, move it out of NY, scale down our contribution, and form other organizations that address specific global needs that are in our best interest."

This is interesting.  Do you have particular needs (and or partnering nations or organizations) in mind?
1240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Second Amendment Law School Textbook on: May 15, 2012, 10:04:28 PM
 cool cool

1241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: May 15, 2012, 05:50:49 PM
Fantastic comic, GM.  Good to hear from you!
1242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dream Act students sue to stop Senate filibuster on: May 15, 2012, 02:22:44 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/15/dream-act-students-sue-stop-senate-filibuster/

Nonsense... Constitution explicitly gives the chambers in Congress the power to make their own rules. 
1243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / People see sexy pictures of women as objects, not people on: May 15, 2012, 02:10:11 PM
http://www.psypost.org/2012/05/people-see-sexy-pictures-of-women-as-objects-not-people-11643

"Perfume ads, beer billboards, movie posters: everywhere you look, women’s sexualized bodies are on display. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that both men and women see images of sexy women’s bodies as objects, while they see sexy-looking men as people.

Sexual objectification has been well studied, but most of the research is about looking at the effects of this objectification. “What’s unclear is, we don’t actually know whether people at a basic level recognize sexualized females or sexualized males as objects,” says Philippe Bernard of Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Bernard cowrote the new paper with Sarah Gervais, Jill Allen, Sophie Campomizzi, and Olivier Klein."
1244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 on: May 15, 2012, 02:07:10 PM
#Invalid YouTube Link#

This is interesting, cool and scary all at the same time. 
1245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2012, 01:10:46 PM
"...with foodstamps they can make healthy choices in the short term that will keep them out of the ER and doctors' offices in the longterm?"  - Looking forward to the link on that!

You don't understand the link between nutrition and health, Doug?!?  Have been giving you too much intellectual respect?  Did you listen to the ad?  Is does NOT say let's buy pie and choclate milk.  The ad explicitly is discussing health and healthy choices. 

The burden is so heavy that 47% of the people need some kind of assistance - in the richest country in earth's history.  So, then, we agree that people need assistance?  I mean, most of the (FOX) panel you posted agreed that much of the public needs help.  So, since we seem to agree, why, exactly is foodstamps the program you disagree with?  Is helping people eat bad?  Do you want children to starve?

These were not job creation attempts in any way I can recognize.  You know that whole "Buy American" push?  You know the car companies that were bailed out?  You don't recognize the connection to building cars in the US and US jobs?

Since we are telling personal stories... I was on Food Stamps for about 6-8 months about 20 years ago.  I literally had no money, no family willing to assist me, and with literally no money no way to move to get a job.  It didn't help that I lived in a rural area where there was no public transportation, and the local economy was seriously terrible (one reason not to have local support as you describe is the potential inability for the local government to provide the goods that are needed due to local bankruptcy, economic conditions such as employment or drought or other issues).  So, yes, I was on the taxpayers dole for a period of time.  Sorry I took all that money out of your pocket.  Now that I make money though, I have visited your fair state, and thrown down several hundred dollars on your local economy.  You don't mind if we call it even, I hope. 

1246  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Warriors in action on: May 15, 2012, 10:21:41 AM
It worked for me before I posted it, and again when I checked it.  If others have issues, I can try to repost. 
1247  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The Mission Continues on: May 15, 2012, 07:03:37 AM


A service created by former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, with the intention of helping disabled veterans continue lives of service. 
1248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Where the Wild Things Are and the“Gettysburg Address” on: May 15, 2012, 05:52:41 AM
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/05/08/the_crazy_invented_worlds_of_maurice_sendak_.html
1249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 15, 2012, 05:19:00 AM
I read an article yesterday talking about the security at the London Olympics.  The author claims that (many) drones will be employed there, too. 
1250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 14, 2012, 08:51:33 PM
Food stamps is meant to be a temporary helping mechanism.  Nothing the FOX "report" argued otherwise.  The rules were relaxed because of the increased average unemployment and subsequent, hopefully short term, poverty rates.  People bitch about Obama's job creation attempts, and then bitch about people not having jobs.  Complain about healthcare and then complain about a ad designed to get people to recognize that with foodstamps they can make healthy choices in the short term that will keep them out of the ER and doctors' offices in the longterm.  That was NOT a good story.

As a side note, you can't "watch" the ad because it is a radio spot.  The images you see are FOX's visual representation coinciding with the words.   
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